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pair of wings." During the breeding season, the counteract the effect by diffusing an air of festivity over birds may occasionally be seen from the river ; and the whole which strips it of its terrors. The parts of it if alarmed by shouts, or by firing a gun, they will
u considered singly are beautiful; their strange combination
produces surprise. launch themselves into the air, and will continue
The effect of a musket or peterara
against this mountain exceeds everything I had conceived hovering about the rock at an immense height. It possible. The report is increased to a degree almost inhas not been satisfactorily ascertained to what species credible, and returning upon the ear in redoubled peals the eagle which frequents the rock belongs. Some now from the neighbouring, now from the more distant persons have asserted that the osprey, or fishing
mountains, imperceptibly dying away and again reviving, eagle, is the only one known in Ireland ; but Mr.
till it finally expires in hollow interrupted murmurs, bears Weld says that amongst the mountains of Kerry he
a nearer resemblance to natural bursts of thunder than
anything artificial. has himself remarked several kinds. Eagles are very commonly seen on the small islands of the Lower
Speaking of the channel leading from the Eagles'
Nest to the Upper Lake, Arthur Young says, Lake at Killarney, particularly on some which abound with rabbits. On a calm day, being unwilling to take
The scenery in this channel is great and wild in all its wing, owing to the difficulty which they then experi
features; wood is very scarce; vast rocks seem tossed in ence in mounting into the air, they watch there
confusion through the narrow vale which is opened among
the mountains for the river to pass. Its banks are rocks in quietly for their prey, and exhibit all the appearance | an hundred forms; the mountain sides are everywhere of tameness and familiarity, suffering a person to scattered with them. There is not a circumstance but is approach within a very short distance of them. Not
in unison with the wild grandeur of the scene. withstanding the eager endeavours of the people to Of the Eagles' Nest itself he says, destroy them, in consequence of the great depreda Having viewed this rock from places where it appears tions they commit amongst lambs and poultry, par only a part of an object much greater than itself, I had ticularly during the breeding season, when their ra
conceived an idea that it did not deserve the applause pacity is inordinate, it is said that a few years ago the
given it, but upon coming near I was much surprised; the
approach is wonderfully fine, the river leads directly to its number of these birds was supposed to be increasing foot, and does not give the turn till immediately under, by in Kerry.
which means the view is much more grand than it could This cliff of the Eagles' Nest is the termination of otherwise be; it is nearly perpendicular, and rises in such a short range of mountains, running in a direction
full majesty, with so bold an outline, and such projecting at right angles to that of the stream. The river does
masses in its centre, that the magnificence of the object is not encircle the base of the cliff, but runs directly up
complete. The lower part is covered with wood, and scat
tered trees climb almost to the top, which (if trees can be to it, and then away from it; it turns out of its
amiss in Ireland,) rather weaken the inipression raised by original direction in order to approach the rock, and | this noble rock. This part is a hanging wood, or an object only resumes that direction after having receded an | whose character is perfect beauty; but the upper scene, equal distance. Thus the tourist obtains a full view the broken outline, rugged sides, and bulging masses, all of this rock as soon as he has passed that point in the
are sublime, and so powerful, that sublimity is the general
impression of the whole, by overpowering the idea of beauty course of the stream at which the deviation takes
raised by the wood. place, when “the prospect suddenly opens on passing
Mr. Weld says, it is scarcely in the power of lana small promontory, and discloses a huge pile of rocks rising in a pyramidal form :
guage to convey an adequate idea of the extraor
dinary effect of the echoes under this cliff, whether .... A cliff to heaven up-piled, Of rude access, of aspect wild;
they repeat the dulcet notes of music, or the loud Where, tangled round the jealous steep,
discordant report of a cannon. "Enchantment here Strange shades o'erbrow the valley deep."
appears to have resumed her reign, and those who The water is considerably dilated at its base; and
listen are lost in amazement and delight." A small
hillock on the opposite side of the river, usually being securely sheltered, it generally presents a dark
called the “ Station for Audience,” is used as the and glassy surface, on which the rocks and woods are beautifully reflected. Towards the summit of the resting place of a paterara, which is carried in the pile, the rocks in many places have been disjointed, boat from Killarney; the gun is placed on one side and split into small fragments, by the constant and
I of the hillock, while the auditor takes his station on powerful action of the weather, but lower down they | the other. The effect of a musical instrument.present a broad perpendicular surface, « not unlike / generally a horn, is tried in the same manner. Mr. the bulwarks of some mighty fortress.”
Weld says, that to enjoy the echoes to the utmost When viewed from a distance, (says Mr. Wright,) this
| advantage, it would be necessary that a band of mumuch celebrated rock. go frequently the subject of the sicians should be placed on the banks of the river. painter and the poet, appears quite contemptible, from the about fifty yards below the base of the cliff, and at superior height of the adjacent mountains; but the ap- the same side; while the auditors, excluded from proach to its base by the river is picturesque and sublime their view, seat themselves on the opposite bank, at in the highest degree, since the river runs directly to its
some distance above the cliff, behind a small rocky foot, and there turns off abruptly, so that the rock is seen
projection. He expresses his conviction, that if a from its base to the summit without interruption.
stranger were conducted thither, ignorant of the The base of the cliff is clothed with cak, birch,
arrangement, and unprepared by any previous deand ash trees, which form a dense shade, interrupted
scription of the echo, he would be unable to form a only by the masses of gray rocks, which obtrude their
tolerable conjecture as to the source of the sounds, craggy heads through the foliage, and even up to
or the number of the instruments. He says, that the very summit of the rock, scattered trees and shrubs, of slender growth, may be seen “ dependent
sometimes it might be supposed that multitudes of
| musicians, playing upon instruments formed for more seemingly upon the stone itself for nourishment.”
| than mortal use, were concealed in the caverns of the This remarkable rock (says a writer of the last century,)
the last century,) | rock, or behind the trees on different parts of the cliff ; presents its principal front to the north, and the river
and that at others, when a light breeze favours the making an abrupt turn, passes directly under it. It has that bold freedom in its general outline which sets at nought
delusion, it seems as if they were hovering in the air. description, and demands the pencil of Salvator himself to Here (says Mr. Ockenden, in his Letters from Killarney,) express justly. From the ruggedness of its impending we again rested on our oars to mark the flight of numecliffs which almost overshadow the river, it would be truly rous eagles, (the chief inhabitants of these lofty regions,) awful if the trees and shrubs which cover them did not which was slow, solemn, and very high; to view the marble chasm in the perpendicular side of the mountain in which I There is reason to believe that fire, heat, or caloric, they had formed their nests, and to admire the many noble is the only permanently elastic substance in nature. objects which presented themselves on every hand, in this
When it penetrates the pores of any body, it uniformly
w stupendous scene; when suddenly, to our inexpressible
causes the expansion of such body. A bar of iron is amazement, we were surprised with music, sweeter than I had ever heard before, which seemed to rise from the rock
lengthened by being heated, metals and other subat which we gazed, and breaking upon us in short melo stances are melted by heat, and by heat water is condious strains, filled the very soul with transport.
verted into vapour. There is therefore ample ground Angels from the sky, or fairies from the mountain, or for believing that all fluidity is the effect of heat. The O'Donaghoe from the river, was what we every moment
natural state of water is ice; and air itself, were expected to appear before us; but after a quarter of an
there any means of producing a sufficient degree of hour's fixed attention, all our raptures were dispersed by a
cold, might probably be reduced to a solid mass. clap of thunder most astonishingly loud, which bursting from the same direction whence the music had lately seemed As all fluidity has heat for its cause, so we find to flow, rent the mountain with its roar and filled us with that a much greater degree of heat is requisite to the apprehension of being instantly buried in a chaos of keep one substance in a fluid state than another. Iron, wood, hill, and water. But the horror was as suddenly
for instance, requires more heat to keep it in fusion dissipated by the return of the soothing strain which had
than gold; gold much more than tin; but much less before entranced us. The second music which immediately succeeded the
suffices to keep wax, much less to keep water, much thunder seemed more soft and lulling than the first; but
less spirit of wine, and at last exceedingly less for our elysium was very short, being soon lost in another clap mercury (quicksilver), since that metal only becomes still louder than that which had preceded it, and which solid at 187 degrees below the point at which water burst suddenly upon us, again awaking us to terror: when freezes ; mercury, therefore, would be the most fluid lo! a third return of music superlatively sweet indeed of
of all bodies, if air were not still more so. Now, what
her restored our senses and reinstated our hearts. It lasted some time, and a most solemn silence ensued. We waited
does this fluidity, greater in air than in any other now motionless and awe-struck for what wonders might matter, indicate? It appears to indicate the least degree follow next in this region of enchantment. We gazed at of adherence that can be conceived between the parts the wood, the rock, the mountain, and the river, with alter- of which it is composed, supposing them to be of nate hope and fear; hope while the music dwelt in our
such a figure as only to touch each other at one thoughts; and fear while we remembered the thunder:
| point. The greater or less degree of fluidity does not, and we expected with pleasing impatience some marvellous event. In vain: no angel appeared to delight our eyes;
however, indicate that the parts of the fluid are more no demons to alarm us with new terrors; no O'Donaghoe
or less weighty, but only that their adherence is so to gratify our curiosity.
much the less, their union so much the less intimate, In the Summer of 1802, when the Earl and Coun
and their separation so much the easier. If a thousand tess of Hardwicke visited Killarney, an officer of a
degrees of heat are required to keep water in a fluid ship of war cruising on the western coast of Ireland,
state, it might perhaps require but one to preserve the conveyed two pieces of cannon of large calibre in a
fluidity of air. boat up the river Launeman enterprise till then pro
It is yet doubtful whether light consists of the nounced impracticable. The boat's crew remained
same matter with elementary fire or not. The great encamped for some weeks on the island of Innisfallen
source of light is found to be the sun, from which it in the Lower Lake; and the guns were repeatedly
is projected to the earth in the space of about eight fired off in different places. That the echoes would
minutes; and as the sun is computed to be distant have been proportionate to the strength of their re
ninety-five millions of miles, light must of conseport was a natural expectation, as Mr. Weld says ;
quence travel at the rate of about two hundred thoubut, whether attributable to the prejudice of the in.
sand miles in one second of time. habitants of the country in favour of what they were
Light may be reflected as well as projected. The habituated to, or to the peculiarly unfavourable state
light which we receive from the moon is only reflected of the atmosphere at the time of the trial, it was the
as from a mirror. The light of the sun is three
hundred thousand times stronger than the light of concurrent opinion that the report of the ship guns was not attended either with as loud or as numerous
the moon. echoes as that of the small pieces in ordinary use,
The air we inhale is composed of 21 parts of oxygen loaded with a few ounces of powder.
to 79 of nitrogen gas, which are mixed with vapour and small quantities of other gases.
The effects of heat in producing a noxious quality HEAT-COLD-CLIMATE-AIR.
in the air, are well known. The torrid regions under The known powers of nature may be reduced to two the line are always unwholesome, At Senegal, the primitive forces, attraction and repulsion. The first | natives consider forty as an advanced time of life, is the cause of gravity ; in other words, it is by the and generally die of old age at fifty. At Carthagena, attraction which exists between the mass of the earth
where the heat of the hottest day ever known in and all bodies near its surface, that everything has Europe is continual....where, during the winter seaa natural tendency downward; that, in fact, all matters son, these dreadful heats are united with a continual naturally fall to the ground, &c. The second prin succession of thunder, rain, and tempests....the wan ciple is the cause of elasticity, and this, by counteract and livid complexions of the inhabitants might make ing the effects of attraction, prevents the matter of strangers suspect that they were just recovered from the universe from becoming a solid mass.
some dreadful distemper. The habits of the natives Ancient authors believed, and it is still popularly are influenced by the same causes as their colour, and understood, that there are only four distinct species all their motions are relaxed and languid ; the heat of elementary or original matter, namely, fire, air, of the climate even affects their speech, which is water, and earth. Modern science has however dis- soft and slow, and their words generally broken. covered that none of these are to be considered as Travellers from Europe retain their strength and elements, or primary substances; while, on the other colour, possibly for three or four months, but afterband, it has increased the number of elementary | wards suffer such decays in both, that they are no principles to fifty-two. But as the popular arrange longer to be distinguished by their complexion from ment is sufficient for our present purpose, we will not | the inhabitants. Here, however, this languid and depart from it.5
spiritless existence is frequently drawled on some
times even to eighty. Young persons are generally | as in the sea a man at the depth of twenty feet most affected by the heat of the climate, which sustains a greater weight of water than a man at the spares the more aged ; but all, upon their arrival depth of but ten feet, so will a man at the bottom of on the coasts, are subject to the same train of fatal a valley have a greater weight of air over him than a disorders. In the memorable expedition to Cartha man on the top of a mountain. gena, more than three parts of our army were de- If by any means we contrive to take away the stroyed by the climate, and those that returned from pressure of the air from any one part of our bodies, that fatal service, found their former vigour irre we are soon made sensible of the weight upon the trievably gone. Of the expedition to the Havannah, other parts. Thus, if we place the hand upon the not a fifth part of the army were left survivors of mouth of a vessel whence the air has been expelled, their victory; climate is an enemy that even heroes we feel as if the hand were violently sucked inwards; cannot conquer.
this is nothing more than the air upon the back of The distempers that proceed from those climates the hand that forces it into the empty space below. are many: that, for instance, called the Chapotonadas, As by this experiment we perceive that the air carries off a multitude of the people, and extremely presses with great weight upon everything on the thins the crews of European ships, whom gain surface of the earth, so by other experiments we learn tempts into those regions. The nature of this dis. the exact weight with which it presses. First, if the temper is but little known, being caused in some air in a vessel be exhausted, and the vessel set with persons by cold, in others by indigestion. But its the mouth downwards in water, the water will rise effects are generally fatal in three or four days : upon up into the empty space, and fill the inverted glass its seizing the patient it brings on what is there called for the external air will, in this case, press up the the black vomit, after which none are ever found to water, where there is no weight to resist, just as one recover.
part of a bed being pressed makes the other parts that A different set of calamities prevail in some cli- have no weight upon them rise. In this case, as we mates where the air is condensed by cold. In such said, the water being pressed without, will rise in the places the train of distempers known to arise from glass, and would continue to rise to a height of thirtyobstructed perspiration, are very common-eruptions, two feet. Hence we learn, that the weight of the air boils, scurvy, and a loathsome leprosy, that covers which presses up the water is equal to a pillar, or the body with a scurf and ulcers. These disorders column, of water, thirty-two feet high, for it is also are infectious, and not only banish the patient able to raise such a column, and no more. In from society, but generally accompany him to the other words, the surface of the earth is everywhere grave. The men of those climates seldom attain to covered with a weight of air, which is equivalent to a the age of fifty; but the women, who lead less labo covering of thirty-two feet deep of water, or to a rious lives, live longer.
weight of twenty-nine inches and a half of quicksilver, One fact our senses teach us, namely, that al- which is just as heavy as the former. though the air is too fine for our sight, it is very It is found, by computation, that to raise water obvious to the touch. Although we cannot see the thirty-two feet requires a weight of fiftcen pounds wind contained in a bladder, we can very readily upon every square inch. Now, if we are fond or feel its resistance; and though the hurricane be computations, we have only to calculate how many colourless, we know that it does not want force. We square inches are in the surface of an ordinary human have equal experience of the spring, or elasticity of body, and allowing every inch to sustain fifteen pounds the air ; a bladder filled with air, when pressed, re- we may amaze ourselves at the weight of air we susturns again, upon the pressure being taken away. tain. It has been computed that the ordinary pres.
So far the slightest experience teaches us ; but, by sure of the air on a man amounts to within little carrying experiment a little further, we learn that air short of forty thousand pounds ! also is heavy; a glass vessel, emptied of air, and · The elasticity of the air is one of its most amazing accurately weighed, will be found lighter than when properties, and to which it should seem nothing can weighed with the air in it. Upon computing the set bounds. A body of air, that may be contained superior weight of the full vessel, a cubic foot of air in a nut-shell, may be dilated by heat into a sphere is found to weigh 527 grains, while the same quantity of unknown dimensions. On the contrary, the air of hydrogen gas weighs no more than 40 grains. contained in a house may be compressible into a This is familiarly illustrated in balloons, the ascent cavity not larger than the eye of a needle. In short, of which is at the present time so common in this no bounds can be set to its confinement or expansion, country. The balloon asceuds because the gas with at least experiment has hitherto found all attempts which it is filled is lighter than the quantity of atmo- indefinite. In every situation air retains its elasticity, spheric air which would fill the same space as the and the more closely compressed, the more strongly balloon itself, and the ascending power of the bal- does it resist the pressure. If, in addition to increasloon, and consequently the weight it will carry, is in ing the elasticity by compression, it be increased by proportion to the actual difference between the weight heat, the force of both soon becomes irresistible ; of the gas and the weight of the air. When it is and it has been well said, that air, thus confined and required that the balloon shall descend, some of the expanding, is sufficient for the explosion of a world. gas is let out of the balloon through a valve, just as
[From Buffon, GOLDSMITH, Cuvien, &c.] 'water might be let out of a barrel. The gas that remains in the balloon is still lighter than the air,
FUNERAL CEREMONIES AMONG THE measure for measure, but the proportions between the gas originally contained in the balloon and the
HINDOOS. weight the balloon carries, are destroyed; the balloon When a Hindoo dies, his obsequies are distinguished, with its burden becomes heavier than the air it especially among the higher castes, by a number of displaces, and, consequently, the balloon descends. singular and absurd rites. When a Brahmin is at the
We learn, therefore, that the earth, and all things point of death, a square space is prepared upon the upon its surface, are in every direction covered with ground for the body of the dying man. This space a ponderous Auid, which, rising very high over our having been carefully overspread with a thin coat of heads, must be proportionally heavy. For instance, cow-dung, considered by the superstitious Hindoos as a great purifier, and strewed with a sacred herb, the | the Purohita makes the sacrifice of boiled rice, satubody of the sick Brahmin is placed upon it, and rated with ghee or clarified butter. This rite being covered with a cotton cloth, which has neither been ended, the Purohita addresses certain mantras to worn nor washed, and is consequently considered free each aperture of the body, and finishes by dropping from all impurity. Then commences the ceremony of a piece of gold betwixt the jaws of the deceased. absolution, which is performed by the Purohita, or several Brahmins in succession forcing into the mouth officiating Brahmin.
of the corpse a small quantity of crude rice steeped The dying man having expressed his consent to in water from the Ganges. undergo the ceremony of expiation, the Purohita takes The body is now quite denuded, and sprigs of a a salver, on which are placed several pieces of silver sacred herb, well sprinkled with that offensive comcoin, and other matters ; among these, is a most pound, the Panchakaryam, are strewed over it, the offensive mixture, called the Panchakaryam.
chief functionary marching three times round the The sick man having taken a good mouthful of pile, with a pitcher of water upon his shoulders. this nauseous mixture, the rite called prayashita which he breaks at the head of the corpse. He now is next performed. The word prayashita signifies receives a torch from one of his attendants, but before general expiation, and is performed by the recital of taking it, he throws himself into the most violent certain mantras, or mystical prayers, supposed to contortions of body, and makes dreadful lamentahave an efficacy so potent, that even the gods are | tions, beating his breast, and rolling on the ground. unable to resist their power. After this follows a His attendants unite their cries to his, until the din ceremony to which all pious Hindoos attach great is positively deafening. After this, the chief of the importance. A cow with her calf is introduced before funeral seizes the torch, and applies it to the four the dying Brahmin. The animal's horns are deco- corners of the pile. So soon as he sees the flames rated with rings of gold or of brass, and its neck ascend, the Purohita hurries to the nearest tank or with garlands of flowers. A piece of new cotton | river, and plunges in, in order to cleanse himself from cloth is cast upon her back, descending nearly to the the pollution imbibed from contact with a dead body. ground. She is led, thus adorned, beside the sick | Dripping with his bath, he boils a quantity of rice, man, who, stretching out his feeble hand, reverently and casts it to the crows, which abound in India. grasps her by the tail, the Purohita the while muttering It is, however, believed, that a mantra, signifying that the cow shall conduct the On such an occasion, the crows are not crows, but devils expiring sinner to the next world by a path with or malevolent beings, under that shape, whom the Brahmins which she alone is familiar.
wish to appease and render propitious by this offering. If It is held to be indispensable that a Brahmin should
they should refuse to eat, which the Hindoos say has some
times happened, it is taken for an evil presage of the future die upon the bare earth, because, as soon as his soul
state of the deceased, and people would thence have a is disengaged from his body, the Hindoos imagine that
right to conclude that, so far from having been admitted it must enter into another, which will accompany his into the regions of bliss, he had been kept fast, notwithspirit to the celestial paradise ; and should he die on standing all the mantras and purifications of his brethren, a bed, or even on a mat, he must carry those things in the Yama Lokam, or place of torment.-Dubois. with him to the next world, which would be ex The concluding ceremony is curious. It consists in tremely inconvenient. This notion has given rise to suspending a vessel filled with water from the ceiling a common malediction among the Brahmins, of the house in which the deceased died. It is hung “ Mayest thou never have a friend to lay thee on the | by a very fine piece of cord, supposed to serve as a ground when thou diest !”
ladder for the pranas, or winds of the body, to When the spirit is released, the corpse, washed and descend every day to drink. Thus close the obseshaved, is arrayed in the finest clothes, and adorned quies of a Brahmin. with all the jewels which belonged to the deceased. The most dreadful part of a Hindoo funeral is This being done, the body is rubbed with sandal, and when the widow of the deceased determines to burn the mark of caste affixed to the forehead. It is now herself with the body of her husband. Having more placed upon a sort of litter, and the nearest of kin | than once witnessed this horrible act of fanaticism, I strips it of its clothing and jewels, then covers it shall give an account of it from personal observation. with a single handkerchief, one corner of which he The victim of this awful sacrifice to which I now refer, tears off, wrapping in it a small piece of iron, and a was young, rather stout, and scarcely darker than a few seeds of sesamum.
native of Italy. She had an infant a few months old, The litter is borne by four Brahmins, headed by at which she gazed with vacant in difference, as if the Purohita, carrying fire in a vessel. The male scarcely conscious of its presence, amid the frightful relatives only follow the body, without their turbans, preparations that were making round her. their foreheads being encircled with a narrow strip A considerable interval elapsed before all things of cloth as a mourning badge. The procession stops were ready for the one great act of immolation, and several times before it reaches the funeral pile. At by this time some change had clearly taken place in each halt a few grains of undressed rice are put into her sensations. Her clear, dark eyes gradually bethe mouth of the deceased, in order that if life should came more expressive, but more wild. Her senses not be extinct, there may be time for reanimation to had been evidently paralyzed, by the too free use take place,
| of opium, so often employed, and with such fatal Having arrived at the place appointed for the last efficacy, upon these and similar melancholy occasions, solemn act of cremation, a narrow trench is dug, in order to disarm the terrors, and confirm the forti. about seven feet long and three broad. The place tude, of the miserable victims doomed by the feroupon which the pile is to be erected having been con- cious sanctity of Hindoo superstition to a premature secrated, the officiating Brahmin sprinkles the spot | death, and that too the most horrible. with water, and casts upon it several pieces of a The devoted widow was rapidly recovering from small gold coin. The pile is constructed of dry the partial stupor in which her mental faculties had sandal-wood, and upon this the body is laid at full been involved, and in proportion as her perceptions length with great form. A piece of cow-dung, pressed cleared, her terrors visibly multiplied. Her actions, flat, and dried in the sun, is now kindled, and which had at first appeared merely mechanical, now placed upon the chest of the deceased, over whom seemed directed by her returning impulses, which every moment grew stronger and more distressing. / AMUSEMENTS OF SCIENCE, No. III. She divided among her friends the different ornaments
OPTICS. Part I. of her dress, with the look and bearing of one who, THERE is no science more fertile in curious facts from the distraction of her thoughts, scarcely knew
than that of Optics, nor any which so frequently what she was doing; but suddenly hearing the cry of
offers itself to the examination of all men. The eye her infant, her eye dilated with a bright gleam of re
is so useful an organ, and one so constantly employed, cognition, her lip quivered, her bosom heaved, her
that the dullest capacity cannot fail to notice many breath escaped in short, hard gaspings; she sprang
of the singular phenomena which result from its use. forward, tore it from the arms of an attendant, and
In observing many of these phenomena, we have elasped it passionately to her bosom. Her convulsive
no necessity for complicated optical instruments, the sobs struck upon the ear with a thrilling potency, and
eye itself being so beautifully formed, as in many it was now evident that she was inwardly shrinking
cases to render the employment of other means unfrom the last act of this most horrible sacrifice;
| necessary. she stood before the spectators an image of mute but
But, although the organ of vision is thus beautifully agonized despair.
formed, there is no sense so easily deceived as that of The officiating Brahmins, seeing that it was time to
sight; and even a knowledge of the means by which urge the consummation of this detestable oblation,
optical illusions can be effected, will not always preand fearing lest their victim should relent, com
vent the observer from falling into error. manded all her relatives, friends, and attendants, to
The principal properties of matter on which all retire. In a few moments a large area was left round
optical experiments depend, are the reflection and the pile, within which stood no one save the unhappy
refraction of rays of light from polished surfaces. widow and her executioners. Before the area was
The portion of the science which relates to reflection, cleared, one of the Brahmins had forcibly taken the
is called catoptrics, while that which treats of refracchild from the mother's arms, and given it to an
o an tion, is termed dioptrics. If a ray of light proceeding attendant, unheedful of the cries of the one, or the
from any point reaches a polished flat surface, it is agonies of the other. The widow, knowing what
reflected from that surface at an angle equal to that
by which it reached it; that is, the angle of incidence fell on her knees, raised her eyes towards heaven, and
and is always equal to the angle of reflection, and vice clasped her hands in a transport of speechless anguish.
versd. For instance, if AB is a Two of the Brahmins approached her with an air of
plane mirror, and ce a ray of calm but stern authority, raised her from her recum
light reaching the mirror at I, bent position, and violently urged her towards the
then that ray will be reflected to. pile. She struggled, and, with the energy of despair,
wards F, making the angles E A C, resisted the efforts of the priests of this most san
and E B F equal; so that an obguinary superstition. Upon seeing this, several more
server wishing to see the reflecof these cruel functionaries rushed forward, and
tion of the object c in the mirror, dragged her towards the fagots, which were well
must stand somewhere in the line smeared with ghee, in order to accelerate their com.
EF. If the mirror, instead of bustion,-a contingent mercy, arising out of the
being plane, is concave, the reflecpolicy of securing a speedy termination to the Sut
tion takes place in the following manner :-let A E B, tee's * sufferings, as, the quicker the process, the less
fig. 2, be a concave mirror, c a ray of light falling on chance of rescue or escape. The moment her voice
it at E, then this ray will be reflected towards F; and was raised, it was drowned in the mingled clamour of
| supposing a line to be drawn from E to D, the centre tomtoms t, pipes, and the shouts of hundreds of half
of the circle, of which the mirror forms an arc, it will mad fanatics, who had assembled to witness the
be found that the angle ECD, is equal to E DF. If horrid issue of a devoted fanaticism. Her struggles were now unavailing; she was soon dragged to the pile, and forced upon it. At this time she appeared exhausted by her continued exertions. When seated on the fagots, her husband's head was placed upon her lap; the straw, which had been plentifully strewed underneath the wood, was fired; and the flames instantly ascending, enwrapt the wretched Hindoo, at once shutting her out for ever from human sight, and from human sympathy. Lest in her agonies she should leap from the pile, she was kept down upon it by long bamboos; the ends being placed upon her
Fig. 3. body by the officiating Brahmins, who leaned their
Fig. 2. whole weight upon the centre of the pole with which the mirror is convex, the reflection will take place in each was furnished, so that she could not rise. Her the manner shown in fig. 3, c being the ray of light sufferings were soon terminated, as the wood burned, which falls on the mirror at E, which is reflected to with extreme rapidity and fury. Thus ended this D, forming the two equal angles C FE and Ed F; a line abominable holocaust.
J. H. C.
being drawn from the centre at g, and carried on to F, • The Suttee is the widow who burns herself.
through the point E. The properties of plane, concave, A small double drum.
and convex mirrors, give occasion to many curious
experiments in this branch
of the science. MANKIND are too apt to judge of measures solely by events;
Place two plane mirrors and to connect wisdom with good fortune, and folly with
about eight inches high, and disaster. -ANON.
six in width, in a box, as
in fig. 4, the edges being To work our own contentment, we should not labour so much to increase our substance, as to moderate our desires.
neatly joined and the mirrors -BISHOP SANDERSON.
standing at an angle of ninety