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ing that of gravitation, which, as we understand it, is the incidental falling of bodies towards the earth.
All movable bodies, including our atmosphere, being formed of similar matter to that atomic material composing the earth, are magnetically attracted towards the earth, according to their condition and position with reference to their surroundings. For example, a balloon in the atmosphere is a body with its accompaniments of considerable weight, but its altered condition when inflated with gas produced from the metals iron and zinc, causes it to occupy a greater space than do the surroundings with which it comes in contact, and it is therefore less dense. The balloon is repelled from the earth to a position and atmosphere suited to its condition. How does the law of gravity explain this phenomenon? Again, if all bodies attract each other, the metallic compassneedle should be affected by other metals or bodies, but we find it affected by its like only. May we not therefore be allowed to differ with V., and draw his attention to the fact, or correct him in his opinion of "Magnetism, its affecting very few substances, as iron, nickel, oxygen, &c., and that its law is not yet ascertained with definite or ultimate certainty."
We make no pretensions to giving him new truths, but we find ourselves in circumstances to give him new views of old truths, that are as ancient as the law of nature, and must have existed from or before the beginning. To explain Atomagnetism thoroughly would take up more space than we at present might be permitted to occupy; but we may have now said enough to show that we meant as a reality what we stated in the sentence under consideration.
In conclusion, we must confess that we never could understand the universal application of that "law of gravity" spoken of, and could never find any one prepared to explain it. We would therefore be much pleased if our "critic" would be kind enough to do so.
As for his dread of the consequences of progress and discovery, upon antiquated and established theories of nature's operations, including those of Astronomy, etc., all we say is, if the later theory be true we are not responsible for consequences.
Let the truth prevail though theories perish.
HALIFAX, Aug. 16, 1873.
BY DANIEL CLARK, M. D.
THIS is the title of a Work, some pages of which will be familiar to the readers of Stewart's Quarterly, where several of the articles first appeared. The article on "Auld Lang Syne" will be recognized as having first seen the light in the MARITIME MONTHLY. There is a raciness about the style of these papers which commends them to us. Besides the human characters portrayed, we have characteristic tales, one of which we here present to our readers. It is entitled
A NIGHT OF TERRORS.
IT was customary, about twenty years ago, in Highland districts, to carry the bodies of deceased persons on bearers of wood, instead of on wheeled vehicles. This was necessary in many places on account of the rocky and precipitous character of the roads. The bearers were usually kept in the church or vestry for convenience.
It was a clear frosty October day, in the year 1839, when John McLeod, the parish school master of Tomintoul, died. He had taught, and flogged, and scolded the growing urchins of that locality for nearly half a century, and many of his early pupils had distinguished themselves in the navy, and on bloody battlefields, in the forum, and among the literati of their country. Would that I could wax eloquent on their behalf! His dominical sway was benignant and patriarchal, and there was always a radiancy of graciousness about his countenance which cheered the falterer toiling up the hill of science, but as yet, not far from its foot. Well, his race was run, and his coffined body must be hid from sight. James Murdock, his assistant and successor, was deputed to go over to the "Auld Kirk" for the bearers. His eagerness to go was explained by the gossips at the wake, who stoutly asserted he was sure to pay a visit to the manse near by, and have a short tete a tete with Flora, the minister's daughter. He sped on his way and mission with all the alacrity of one whose breast was filled with "love's young hopes." Night overtook him on the hills, but the full moon was high in the heavens, and benignantly shed silvery pencils of glory over the heathy slopes of the looming mountains, and along the scarcely beaten track on which he trod. When he reached the minister's house, he saw a light shining through the sitting-room window, and curiosity getting the better of his sense of propriety, he peeped through the lattice, and saw Flora stitching swiftly one of the white collars which he so often admired upon her snowy neck. A gentle tap brought her to the door. It is not our intention to chronicle the sayings of the
lovers, for who wishes such love scenes depicted to the ignobile vulgus? The hours of night were fast wearing away, and the "wee short 'oor ayont the twal," which somebody sings about was numbered with the past, when he was found scrambling over the stone wall, which separated the garden of the manse from the graveyard, in which stood a spectre white. (These gentry never appear in any other color, for some good reason of their own.) It appeared to him of monstrous dimensions and of uncouth appearance. It moved and moaned and sighed in apparent unquiet, so that it could not be a white monument made grotesque by the light of the moon. Superstitious by inheritance, his blood froze within him at the sight, for all the ghosts, wraiths, dead-candles, and horrid apparitions, nestling in some nook or cranny of his brain, came vividly to his remembrance; and here was a living evidence of their existence, for what else could it. be? Sliding back over the wall, he hastened to Flora, and told the wonderful tale, with shaking knees, dilated eyes, and fierce gesticulation.
"Now, Murdock," said the tidy maid, "what a silly 'gouk' you are, to be sure, it is only my father's white horse. which has jumped the stiles to feed in the yard."
Murdock, ashamed of his cowardice, especially at such a time, mustered courage to march with firm steps towards the author of his fears, yet, he had been startled, and his nerves had not fully received their quietus. He was now among the dead, and with the living-horse. It was haunted ground. Here was the mound of McTavish, the miser, who drove his only daughter from his door, because he begrudged her the food she ate and the room she occupied, and afterwards froze himself to death, for want of fuel to warm his shrivelled limbs. There lay the bones of Urquehart, of violent temper, who, in blind frenzy, plunged a dirk into the side of his best friend, and then capped the climax by hanging himself. Here reposed poor Nellie, who died ruined, forsaken, and broken-hearted, because of the ruthlessness of a perjured villain. There slept it is presumed-Baillie Ruthven, who treasured up riches by extortion and deceit, but now his children have squandered them, and all that remains of him on earth are a few pounds of unctuous earth;-Enough!--but over him stands a splendid monument of Peterhead granite, as hard as had been his own heart, and on it a lie for an epitaph. Here lies saintly Munro, or rather his remains, but his hymnal chorus of adoration. is now echoing in celestial courts. Each green mound had a history, either real or mythical, and Murdock had heard of the tortured spirits of those departed, periodically haunting the scenes of their earthly sepulture. He believed that such was the case, and while he cogitated, his fears increased. Diabolus was always supposed to be lurking near churches and impregnating the air with satanic influences. He made his way to the church
door, and finding it open, he entered. The bearers had been left near the pulpit, and Murdock determined to make a rush for the spot, and retreat as quickly as possible. He gathered up one coat tail under each arm, and fixed his blue bonnet firmly upon the top of his head, and then made the grand charge along one of the aisles. But alas! for all his plans and hopes, the enemy had him in his clutches, and apparently his hour of doom had come. He felt a painful constriction round the throat, which was fast suffocating him, but he was determined not to fall into the hands of the Evil One without a struggle; yet, like the bewildered traveller in a morass, the more he struggled the more his difficulties increased, and the tighter the grip became. He beat the air with his hands, and stamped the floor with his feet. He gurgled forth short prayers with gasping emphasis, intermingled with the creed, and snatches from the shorter catechism, with now and then ejaculations, which seemed second cousins to profanation. His objurations seemed of no avail, for strangulation by the relentless and untiring fingers of his adversary was increasing in intensity every moment. He made a rush for the door, as he supposed, but blind with terror he had lost his longitude and latitude. No matter, any way out of the church, by window, vestry, or door would be acceptable. Over the pews and seats he went-now floundering on the floor between them, and, anon perched on the top of them in vain attempts to gain his equilibrium, for his unseen enemy had entangled his legs and arms in the meshes of this terribly mysterious agency. He was partially bound hand and foot. Wherever he plunged a bloody trail was left behind. The bonnet was gone, the coat and nether garments,
"Like tattered sail
Flung their fragments to the gale."
He attempted to scream, but fatigue and a tightened throat forbade it. To add to his terror, his adversary leaped upon his head, and scourged his face and body with merciless blows. These fell fast and furious, accompanied by unearthly screams, appalling enough to awaken the seven, or seventy and seven sleepers. The thought came up to his mind, whether it would not be better to come to terms and capitulate on conditions to the Enemy of souls, by the barter of his body and soul, for his release from thraldom, rather than be immolated at once, and never see Flora again. He called upon the Prince of Darkness to release him and he would be his abject slave forever. He would seal such a contract with his blood, only liberate him now; but no response except blows without stint, came from his Satanic Highness. The battle of life and death continued foul and fierce, and yet no truce was sounded by the enemy. In sheer desperation, Murdock made for a small glimmer of light, which met his eye, and which happened to be a gothic window. He plunged at it, and through it,
on to the green sward outside, as a storm-tossed mariner steers for the streaming light from afar, which to him is a beacon of hope. A woe-begone creature told his "horrible tale" to an awe-stricken assembly, at the house of the dead, and a posse comitatus was formed of all the "braves" of the vicinity to beard the lion in his den' and exorcise him with cudgels, instead of with "book and candle." With slow steps, and bated breath, and dilated eyes, the crowd surrounded the church, and as the day dawned a goose, with broken legs, and a cord fastened to one of them, was found dangling from the window. The minister's wife had tethered the fowl in the church-yard, and as the door had been left open, it had found its way into the church, and sitting on one of the pews its cord had become entangled about Murdock's neck, and in the struggle he had wound it round his legs and arms, until the poor animal was dragged upon the top of his head, and in its fight for liberty, had beat him with its wings. Murdock fled the country for Canada, in very shame, and saw Flora no more. If this true tale meets his eye, we expect to be "called out," but we have provided pistols for two and wine for one. As poor Artemus would say "let him appoint the day for his funeral, and the corpse shall be ready."
THE OLD MAN OF THE GLEN.
ONG before the Danes ever came to Ireland, there died at Muskerry a Sculloge, or country farmer, who by dint of hard. work and close economy had amassed enormous wealth. His only son did not resemble him. When the young Sculloge looked about the house, the day after his father's death, and saw the big chests full of gold and silver, and the cupboards shining with piles of sovereigns, and the old stockings stuffed with large and small coin, he said to himself, "Bedad, how shall I ever be able to spend the likes o' that!" And so he drank, and gambled, and wasted his time in hunting and horse-racing, until after a while he found the chests empty and the cupboards poverty-stricken, and the stockings lean and penniless. Then he mortgaged his farm-house and gambled away all the money he got for it, and then he bethought him that a few hundred pounds might be raised on his mill. But when he went to look at it, he found "the dam broken, and scarcely a thimbleful of water in the mill-race, and the wheel rotten, and the thatch of the house all gone, and the upper millstone laying flat on the lower one, and a coat of dust and mould over everything." So he made up his mind to borrow a horse and take one more hunt to-morrow and then reform his habits.