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many other things; and it is to be early stages of youth. Therefore, let feared that the disease is not only epi-all teachers exert themselves to predemical, but almost incurable: for serve, as far as they can, the energetic Madam Custom is so imperious and and emphatic expression of their native dogmatical, that she will not listen tongue. But how shall they teach, to harmony, to reason, or to common unless they are instructed themselves ? sense; and in her procession she has They shut their ears against informaMiss Fashion to hold up her train. tion, and consider it as a kind of inWhen riding in a coach, I often per- sult, if any one attempt to correct ceive the lips of some persons move them. Some, when their fault is pointvery quickly, but scarcely to open, and ed out, excuse themselves by saying, à kind of indistinct sound issues, Why, it is very common.” If it be somewhat like the chirping of a bird ; common, then it is so much the worse. so that I know not whether to mourn If we should not follow a multitude to or to laugh. We learn from Horace do evil, neither should we follow the how the ancient Greeks pronounced- common practice in speaking wrong. “ Graiis dedit ore rotundo Musa loqui :" From this consideration, we must not

but our country folks would do well be very sanguine in our hopes. But, to imitate them in this respect, by perhaps, some who would not bear opening the lips sufficiently, so as to personal reproof, may, by looking over give force and energy to the motions of this paper, be put upon self-examinathe mind. The Anglo-Saxon seems to tion in private, and then be induced to be capable of this, from its native sim- amend. plicity and majestic vigour: and most There are many other faults, in probably this pronunciation prevailed orthography and phraseology, which about a century ago, in the reign of have tended to debase our language, queen Anne. But, where feebleness or lessen its sterling value. Diphof expression and phraseology creeps thongs have been lately omitted in in, there effeminacy of manners has most publications, and single vowels already begun, or will inevitably soon substituted in their stead. This has follow. This has been the case with arisen partly from the hurry of the Greece and Rome. The bold, ner- writer, and partly from the ignorance vous, and elegant Latin, has dwindled or laziness of the compositor. A genand sunk into the soft Italian and the tleman, when he scrawls a card, or finical French, &c.: and, alas ! by our a kind of letter, is precipitate, and intercourse with these and other na- leaves out a vowel, and sometimes a tions, the noble Anglo-Saxon is dege- consonant; and others follow him, nerating apace.

supposing that, from his superior eduI seem to myself like one taking a cation, he must be correct. The comsolitary evening walk beside an ancient positor likewise is too indolent to look mansion, which I view with some at- out for a diphthong, when a single vowel tention. I remark many trifling or is at hand. But diphthongs are essenwhimsical alterations or additions, tially necessary, both on account of which the bad taste of late possessors the quantity of the syllable, and also has introduced. I perceive likewise to preserve the etymology as much as that some of the principal foundation possible, at least to the eye; and esstones have been removed, so as to pecially in words derived from Greek endanger the fabric, and portend its and Latin. Indeed, some of the conruin. I pause; and inquire, Can any sonants might be removed, as being skilful architects or judicious workmen redundant; yet even this should be be found, to set about a reparation, or done with a sparing hand ; because at least prevent further dilapidations they are like the principal timbers in a in the building ? If it be prudent in a building, which help to uphold it. It man to preserve his estáte undiminish- seems that the letter c might be eradied, for the good of his family; so is it cated from many words in our lanlaudable that he should pay attention guage, if not from all; as the sounds to his rising offspring, to have them which are usually attached to it may be instructed in such a way as to qualify very easily and properly expressed by them for some respectable station in the letters k and s. It was an unfortulife, If we may hope for any general nate circumstance, when the Normans good to be produced, in what is here introduced their barbarous dialect of hinted, it must be attended to in the the French here; and, among other


things, gave the sound of s to the letter | CURIOUS ADVERTISEMENT, FROM THE €. It has been usual of late years, in words ending with ck, as publick, fa Take notice, and beware of the swindbrick, &c. to suppress the k, and retainler, Jesse Dogherty, who married me the c. I would propose the reverse; in November last; and some time after i. e. to leave out the c, and retain the k, marriage he informed me, that he had by which we shall come nearer to the another wife alive ; and, before I recoGreek ; and our language is already vered the shock, the villain left me, very much enriched by abundance of and took one of my best horses. One Greek words. It has been the custom with some

of my neighbours, however, was so

good as to follow him, take away the persons of late, to give verbs neuter an horse, and bring it back. The said active signification ; or they seem not Dogherty is about 40 years of age; five to know the difference between a verb feet ten inches high; round shouldered; active and a verb neuter. For instance: they substitute the verb lay, dark, and grey eyes. He is remark

has thick lips, complexion and hair which is active, instead of the verb lie,

ably ugly and ill-natured ; is which is neuter : thus they speak non



of ardent spirits; and, by profession, sense frequently in the common use of

a notorious liar. This is, therefore, to this verb; and they seem not willing warn all widows to beware of the to be informed; or their organs have swindler, as all he wants is their progot such an habitual bias, that they perty. The said Dogherty has a numfind it difficult to alter. In speaking ber of wives living, (perhaps eight or of a woman in child-birth, they say,“She lays in, or she has laid in,” By known; and he will, no doubt, if he

ten,) but the number is not positively asking the question, what? it will point out the absurdity or impropriety of the I believe that is the way he makes his

can get them, have eight or ten more. phrase. What does she lay in? or

living. what has she laid in? Has she laid in

MARY DODD, Livington County. groceries, or stores ? The verb lie sig- Kentucky, Sept. 5th, 1817. nifies a state of being, or the posture of the body; and it makes lain in the perfect tense: therefore they should say,

HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY. “ She lies in;" or,

“ She has lain in.”_ In a certain law report it

(Continued from col. 134.) was said, “ The cause is to lay over The Astronomy of the Egyptians.-It until the next term.” You may inform is difficult to determine with any degree the lawyer, if he chance to cast his eye of probability, whether Astronomy on your Miscellany, that he has in this was first cultivated in Egypt or Chalinstance written stark nonsense.

dea. It has been already remarked, Many other instances of improper “ That it was disputed between the phraseology, as well as pronunciation, Egyptians and the Chaldeans, which might be pointed out; but some apo- of them first cultivated this science.” logy is needful even for what is here Each nation asserted its priority ; and written: and these few hints are sub- attempted to support its claims by armitted, through the medium of your guments which were supposed to furpublication, to the consideration of nish incontestable evidence. It is very the candid and intelligent reader; and probable that both nations commenced to excite the inhabitants of Britain to the study of this exalted science nearly pay a little more attention to their at the same time. History warrants native tongue. Though much has been us in asserting, that the Egyptians irretrievably lost, with respect to pro- have been as early in the study of As

Their nunciation in colloquial intercourse; tronomy as the Chaldeans. yet perhaps something may be done to country presenting them with every prevent a further debasement, if some advantage for astronomical observapersons of ability would lend their aid; tions, from its level situation, and from or if the masters of academies, and of its serene nd generally cloudless sky. all schools, would lay the matter seri- And it is, says Dr. Long, “ a fact which ously to heart, with a true patriotic no person can doubt, that they can zeal.

shew even to this day, in their pyraI am, Sir, yours,

mids, the most ancient monuments in April 24, 1819. ALPHA Beta. the world of their skill in practical No. 3,- VOL. I.


Astronomy; for these are all situated | mese, for computing their celestial so that their several fronts face very phenomena. Thales appears to have exactly the four cardinal points, E. S. received from the Egyptians his meN. W.” To this inquisitive and intel- thod of predicting an eclipse of the ligent people, these stupendous obser Sun; and Diogenes Laertius asserts vatories would afford the greatest faci- as their opinion, that the earth had a lities for ascertaining the various phe- spherical form, and that the Moon was nomena of the heavens,—the periodi- eclipsed by plunging into its shadow. cal revolutions of the Planets,—the These facts, few and imperfect as eclipses of the Sun and Moon,-and they appear, are sufficient to impress the relative situations of the fixed us with a high sense of the astronomiStars. And, according to Macrobius, cal knowledge of the Egyptians; but the Egyptians were acquainted with whatever opinion we may entertain of the revolution of Mercury and Venus the extent of their attainments, and round the Sun, and the order which the antiquity of their observations, we the planets held in the system. It is must consider that enlightened countherefore probable, that Diodorus Si- try as the place from which science culus is correct in asserting, that they was diffused over Europe, and as the were acquainted with the stations and source from which Greece derived the retrogradations of the planets. most precious of her intellectual trea

Diogenes Laertius informs us, that sures. But how famous soever the the Egyptians maintain, that 48,863 old Egyptians had been for their skill years elapsed between the time of Vul- in Astronomy, nothing remained of it can and Alexander the Great, and in the time of Augustus ; for when that during this period they had ob- Strabo was there, they shewed him served 373 eclipses of the Sun, and indeed the large buildings where for832 of the Moon. These numbers re- merly the priests lived, and studied present pretty nearly the proportion Astronomy and philosophy; but he saw between the eclipses of the two lumi- no person who presided over those naries ; but Montucla and Bossut, ob- sciences then; the persons present ject to the credibility of this account, were those who attended the sacrifices, because the number of eclipses here and explained to strangers their relimentioned, might have occurred in the gious rites and ceremonies. They told shorter interval of twelve or thirteen him that Plato and Eudoxus had been centuries. It is probable, that these thirteen years in Egypt, and they 48,863 years, were only so many revo- shewed him the apartments where they lutions of the Moon, or lunar years. had studied with the priests. If this be admitted, there is little in- It is to be lamented, that the Egypconsistency in the account; but if it tians were as foolishly attached to jube not admitted, the statement is evi- dicial astrology as the Chaldeans; but dently a vain fiction, only intended to it may be remarked, that mankind raise the antiquity of the nation. Sim- have every where, and at all times, maplicius, who lived in the reign of the nifested so great a desire of looking Emperor Justinian, says, it was report- into futurity, as easily to become the ed to him, that the Egyptians had dupes of such as pretended to foretell made observations on the stars for things to come. 2000 years past; which, if he reckoned Astronomy of the Persians and Phoefrom his own time, will carry us back nicians.—The Persians and Phoenito 1500 years before the birth of Christ. cians, who, from their geographical What these observations were, he does situation, must have had frequent innot mention ; but it seems highly pro- tercourse with Egypt and Chaldea, bable that they were too vague and seem to have drawn from these kinguncertain to be useful, since Hippar- doms a considerable portion of astrochus has made no use of them in de- nomical knowledge. The year of the termining the mean motions of the Persians consisted of 365 days; and, Sun and Moon.

as they were acquainted with the real Conon, the friend of Archimedes, period of the Sun, they added an incollected many eclipses of the Sun, tercalary month at the end of every which had been observed by the 120 years. This additional month fell Egyptians; and it is highly probable at the close of the twelfth month after that they employed formulæ resem- the lapse of 1440 years, which the bling those of the Indians and Sia- | Persians called their period of intercalation, and which appears to have he says, “ By the mere dint of that been established about 820 years be- shrewdness and sagacity with which fore Christ.

nature has endowed him, he will perWe learn from the Persian books, ceive a meaning here, which, you that there were formerly four bright will readily acknowledge, could not Stars, which pointed out the cardinal be perceived by a man in a state of points of the heavens; and it is a very idiotism. In the case of the idiot, remarkable coincidence, in which there is a complete barrier against his chance could have no share, that 3000 ever acquiring that conception of the years before the Christian æra, Alde- meaning of this passage, which is baran and Antares were situated ex- quite competent to a man of strong actly in the equinoctial points, while and accomplished understanding. For Regulus and the Southern Fish were the sake of illustration, we may conplaced in the two solstices. The ceive this poor outcast from the comZodiac of the Persians, like that of the mon light of humanity, in some unacIndians, had two divisions; and they countable fit of attention, listening to very strangely maintained, that the the sound of these words, and making Stars were nearer to the earth than the some strenuous but abortive attempts Moon : an opinion which must have to arrive at the same comprehension preceded the observation of their of them with a man whose reason is eclipses by that luminary. While entire. But he cannot shake off the other nations were applying Astronomy fetters which the hand of nature has merely to the purposes of agriculture laid upon his understanding; and he and chronology, the Phoenicians were goes back again to the dimness and employing the Stars to guide their delirium of his unhappy situation ; course through the trackless ocean, in and, his mind locks itself up in the those grand maritime enterprises which prison-hold of its confined and darkhave associated their name with the ened faculties; and if, in his mysteearliest history of commercial disco- rious state of existence, he formed any very. Thus did a slender acquaint-conception whatever of the words ance with the position of the Lesser now uttered in your hearing, we may Bear, enable the Phoenicians to con- rest assured that it stands distinguishduct their colonies to the remotest re-ed, by a wide and impassable chasm, gions of Europe, and transplant into from the conception of him who has the most savage_climes the arts and all the common powers and percepsciences of the East.

tions of the species.” (To be continued.)

The annexed picture of the deathhouse of an expiring mortal, has all this popular writer's depth of feeling.

“ We may as well think of seeking a MAGAZINE.

refuge in the applause of men, from

the condemnation of God, as we may Sir, Liverpool, April 22, 1819.

think of seeking a refuge in the power Allow me to hand you an extract or or the skill of men, from the mandate two, from the last published sermons of God, that our breath shall depart of Dr. Chalmers. For simplicity, pa- from us. And, have you never thought, thos, and truth of description, they when called to the chamber of the are masterly specimens :-and permit dying man, when you saw the warnme, as a friend to your infant publica-ing of death upon his countenance, tion, to suggest, that it will be highly and how its symptoms gathered and satisfactory to numbers of your read- grew, and got the ascendency over all ers, to find its pages enriched with the ministrations of human care and occasional selections from new publi- of human tenderness; when it every cations of merit, which few have the day became more visible, that the pameans of perusing entire.

tient was drawing to his close, and Your's, respectfully, AMICUS. that nothing in the whole compass The following striking passage oc- of art, or any of its resources, could curs in the sermon on “The necessity stay the advances of the sure and last of the Spirit, to give effect to the malady; have you never thought, on preaching of the Gospel.” Speaking seeing the bed of the sufferer surof the “ natural man understanding rounded by other comforters than those the literal import of the Scriptures, I of the patriarch Job; when, from





morning to night, and from night to convert, directed and restrained by morning, the watchful family sat at wisdom and prudence. His integrity his couch, and guarded his broken is most inflexible, which has formed a slumbers, and interpreted all his sig- delicate sense of honour, awake to nals, and tried to hide from his obser- every word and action in matters small vation the tears which attested him as well as great; he is kind, benevoto be the kindest of parents; when lent, generous, candid, and fair as the the sad anticipation spread its gloomy summer day, and has a hand ever stillness over the household, and open to every good work; he is active, even sent forth an air of serious industrious, and a great economist of ness and concern upon the men of time; he is clothed with that Christian other families; when you have wit- humility, that makes him simple, monessed the despair of friends, who dest, unobtrusive in word and deed; could only turn to cry at the spectacle but an hour's private conversation of his last agonies; and had seen how with him, is a feast of piety and genius, little it was that weeping children not to be bought, and very rarely to be and inquiring neighbours could do attained, in the commerce of life and for him; when you have contrasted friendship by any means. the unrelenting necessity of the grave, Of the ability of Mr. Chalmers, there with the feebleness of every surround is little reason to say any more than to ing endeavour to ward it off; has appeal to his works; which bring forthe thought never entered within you, ward a man of no ordinary station in How powerless is the desire of man! literature and science, politics and dihow sure and how resistless is the vinity; which shew a giant mind, able to decree of God!”

grasp what is out of ordinary reach.

In the pulpit his language is provincial, and his manners unpolished: but

there is a novelty and loftiness of WHOEVER is acquainted with the thought, a sublimity of sentiment, a name of this celebrated divine, will brilliance of imagination, a strength of readily allow, that he possesses a point and expression, a power of elomind of no common magnitude: but quence, that not merely arrests, but lifts whether the following delineation of up and bears away the attention wherehis character is under any obligation ever he will. to friendship, we presume not to de- Of the fitness of Mr. Chalmers for termine. It is certainly the produc- supplying the vacant church of Glastion of no ordinary genius; but as we gow, it is unnecessary to say a word: are not aware that its author has been if the Congregation would wish for a publicly avowed, we feel some hesita- man whose talent would do them and tion in giving his name to the world. all Glasgow honour, I know of no man Copy of a Letter from Dr.

so capable of gratifying their wishes as

Mr. Chalmers. his friend in Glasgow.

I am aware, Sir, you may think what DEAR SIR,

Sept. 27, 1814.

I have written proceeds from the extraYour letter of the 20th, requesting vagance of friendship and partiality. my opinion with respect to the charac- That I am the friend of Mr. Chalmers, ter, ability, and fitness of Mr. Chal- is to me a matter of exultation; that mers, to supply the vacant church of I should be partial to such a man, is Glasgow, (owing to my having wan- my undoubted duty; but that I have said dered from place to place for this fort- one word more than I believe to be night past,) I received only yesterday, true, or that I have in the least exag, which will explain the cause of my not gerated in any thing I have written, receiving it.

am not conscious of-and can with Of the character of Mr. Chalmers, confidence refer you to any man of there is and can be but one opinion truth and fairness that may know him. entertained by all who know him. He I have written what I have written, possesses a most vigorous understand- from no very strong desire that he ing, a sound judgment, richly furnished should go to Glasgow, but because I and governed by divine truth; his sen- think truth required, when I was retiments are those which are usually quested to write, that I should say called orthodox; his pioty is unfeigned what I have said.The evidently meand deep-he has all the zeal of a new rited and deservedly growing fame of


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