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THE

Imperial Magazine ;

TE

OR, COMPENDIUM OF RELIGIOUS, MORAL, & PHILOSOPHICAL KNOWLEDGE.

OCTOBER

“ MEN IN SAVAGE LIFE, ARE DESTITUTE OF BOOKS.'

[1821.

MONTHLY OBSERVATIONS. colour by the action of oxygen, and With a Catalogue of all really British the oxygen disappears ; carbonic acid “Plants, as ther come into Flower gas also discharges the colour, which

is in some degree again restored by OCTOBER.

neutralizing the -acid by an alkali. The storms and cold which occurred at The green parts of plants contain a the equinox have passed away in the considerable quantity of saline matter; early part of this month; so that the and since the green colour is produced air becomes mild and pleasant in the by the action of an alkali, it will apday, but is cold and damp at night ; pear in the living plant from any opeand some clothing in addition to that ration, of which the removal of an acid, which was worn in the summer seems leaving an excess of alkali, is the reto be requisite, especially for those sult. The decomposition of carbonic who have occasion to be in the open acid in plants by the agency of solar air after night. Late fruit now ripens, | light, seems to be the means employmore especially grapes, wbich however, ed by nature to accomplish this purunless under artificial protection, pose; for by these means the acid is rarely attain perfection in this coun- not only withdrawn from its combinatry. Farmers are employed in making tion and expelled, but the alkali is at cider and perry; and in furthering the same moment rendered predomiwith all convenient haste the tillage of nant, and it exists in a state fitted to wheat, which in general it is desirable exert its specific action on the colourto finish by the beginning of Novem-able juices of the leaf. The various ber. Vegetation has now reached its tints of colour which the leaves of limit, and trees begin to shew signs plants assume at this season, or at of a tendency to part with their cloth-particular states of inaturity, appear ing. At first the leaf becomes rigid, to be owing to the predominance of and assumes a darkér green; those alkaline or acid matter; the green and only which are at the extremities of yellow arising from the former, and the the branches, and which have been red, which appears in the leaves of but lately prodæced, retain a lively the cherry and sycamore, and in vacolour; and as these are the most ir- rious kinds of fruit, from the latter. ritable and tender, it is clear that the The same observation applies to the approaching changes are not the ef- colours displayed by flowers. (Ellis) fect of cold, but of age. The vessels When the loaf is completely dead, the which have hitherto conveyed the ve- l process of sloughing, or the absorption getable juices having become rigid, of parts by which an escar is formed obstructions take place, and the pow at the base of the peduncle, soon causes ers of life begin to be called into action it to fall to the ground, where in time to throw off those parts which are now it helps to manure the ground it once incumbrances rather than advantages. contributed to shade. In evergreens, In consequence of a deficiency in the from the oily nature of their envelope, vital powers of the leaf, which is first by which external causes are preventa cause, and afterwards still further ed from exhausting their irritability, an effect, of the separation now pro- some degree of vitality continues until ceeding, between the leaf and the the spring, when the process of sloughbranch, the fluids contained in the ves- ing commences in them also; theleaves sels of the former are left to undergo of the Oak and Beech are thrust off those changes to which the chemical | by the action of the new bud. Notalfinities of their component parts dis-withstanding that the fall of the leaf, pose them.

and all the changes that lead to it, are A solution of the green-coloured known to proceed from a tendency to matter in plants in alcohol, loses its decay, the heart seems to derive greater.

No. 32. – Vol. III.

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pleasure from the sight of the woods, in the time of pairing than at other at this period than at any other. The seasons is, that in the overflow of stillness and softness of the air, the their little hearts they seem to have mild splendour of the sun, shining on more to say. the chastened variety of brown and Winter-birds return. Woodcocks yellow tints of the clothing of the trees, drop in at a short distance from the convey a pleasing melancholy to the sea, and soon disperse themselves feelings, much more grateful than the about; so that after a time they buoyant joy of expectation, that arises seem to be more scarce than at their from the sight of the vivid green of first arrival. The Fieldfare and Redspring.

wing make their appearance on high It is curious to attend to the actions grounds and open fields, where they of Titmice, (Parus,) among the dying are very timid and watchful until the but yet suspended leaves at this sea-cold tames them. They are always in son. Insects have been employed du- motion, feeding like the other species ring the latter months of summer, in of the same genus, (Turdus,)on worms, depositing their eggs either on the and the larvæ of insects; but when leaves, or in their substance, where these become scarce, they live on hips, the larvæ feed on their juices, or wait haws, and other berries. The Laptheir transformations; and now differ- wing, Royston Crow, and the Starcnt species of Titmice are employed ling, visit the western counties, where in preventing the too great multipli- the latter seem to be peculiarly atcation of these creatures. With their tached to the company of Rooks. The feet they take hold of the slender pe- Land Rail, and that more rare species, duncle of the trembling leaf, and with the Spotted Rail, do not emigrate, as the back downward, search in all di- has been generally thought; but they rections for their prey; and without remain in tho western counties, parstopping to resume the erect posture, ticularly in Cornwall, through the winthey may be seen jumping from one ter. Various birds that frequent our leaf to another with busy anxiety. shores, now spread themselves abroad,

Birds have now generally resumed and, as the waves are in a state of agitheir song. The music of birds has tation, appear much on the alert to been ascribed to the desire of pleasing | collect their scanty fare. The Gannet the mate, because it is particularly may be seen beating about in search exerted in the time of breeding; and of herrings, which begin to abound op naturalists have been much puzzled the coast. When the prey is discovered, to assign a reason for the resumption it rises in the air, half closes its wings, of the music at this season, more es- and plunges headlong, perhaps from pecially as many of them continue it the height of a hundred feet, perpenthrough the inclemency of the winter. dicularly into the wave; and it rarely Nay, it is not uncommon for birds to happens that it plunges in vain. sing at a time when they are in great This is, in England, the principal distress : a bird that has been starved time of the migration of the Salmon; to death, has been known to burst into and its spawn begins to be cast in the an ecstasy of song just before it expi- | depth of winter. But in the north of .red. A bird confined in a room that Europe, where in winter the rivers are was on fire, has been known to sing a mass of ice, this fish does not begin until it was rescued; and then it be- its journey until spring is well advancame silent. In the severe winter of ced; and the spawn is cast about mid1813-14, when birds were driven to summer. The uncommon anxiety the utmost distress for the want of food, which this fish manifests to get as high a gentleman went in the night into a up the river as possible, when about court behind his house, with a lanthorn to propagate its species, has long exlight; when a great number of larks, cited attention; it has been known to (Alaudo Arvensis) that had taken re- | proceed to a distance of five hundred fuge there, gathered round him, and miles from the sea, and by persevebegan to sing in a low melancholy tone, / rance to overcome difficulties appawhich he felt to be very touching. | rently insuperable, These cases, and more that might be Come into flower in October :-Nakeu urged, warrant the conclusion that the flowering Crocus, C. Nudiflorus; and song of birds is a real language ; and Perrennial Knawel, Scleranthus that the reason why we hear more of it | cnnis.

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STRICTURES ON R. CARLILE's new sys-l is so far wasted, as to leave them, TEM OF EDUCATION.

when advanced to years of maturity,

in a state of comparative ignorance ; MR. EDITOR.

I would banish from our school books Sir,-Your excellent Magazine being every word about God, or Devil, Heamore particularly directed to an im- ven, or Hell, as hypocritical and unpartial and unbiassed discussion of meaning words, mere words of sound, all those subjects wherein the interests and confine the attention of children of religion, and consequently the mo- , and youth to such subjects, as an every rals of mankind, are concerned, has day's experience shall evince to them induced me to direct your attention to to have a foundation in nature. Thereone of the most infamous publications fore, I would say, that the books of that ever disgraced the press of this children had better be filled with scior any other country. It is a recent entific subjects, than with moral prework from the pen of that wretched cepts; I would most strenuously exhort infidel Carlile ; who at the present time the reader to abandon the idea, if he is justly confined in a prison, as some | does hold it, that morality is dependent slight punishment for the manifold in- onreligion; I solemnly and deliberately juries he has attempted to inflict on assert, that religion is rather the bane the weaker part of his readers, through than the nurse of morality. What the tendency of the various works that avail the dogmas of the priest about have at different periods issued from an end to the world, about a resurhis self-styled Temple of Reason,”in rection, about a day of judgment, Fleet-street; but who on the present about a heaven and hell, or about reoccasion may literally be said to have wards and punishments after this life, * Out-Heroded Herod.' The work al- when we assert that matter is impejuded to is entitled “An Address rishable and indestructible—that it to Men of Science,” “ with a new sys always was what it now is, and that tem of education more adapted to the t will always continue the same. Anhappiness of the rising generation than swer this, ye priests. Come forward, any hitherto extant."

ye men of science, and support these Now, Sir, upon what foundation plain truths, which are as familiar to would you conceive this new system to your minds, as the simplest domonstrarest, which, according to the opinion tion in mathematics is to the experienpromulgated by the author, must ne- ced and accomplished mathematician. cessarily be productive of general good Away then with the ridiculous idea, to society? I tremble while I relate it; and the priestly dogma, ofimmortality; The very name of God, the great and away with the contemptible notion that. eternal Author of nature, the ever-liv our bones, muscles and our flesh, shall ing fountain through which the universe be gathered together after they are rothas its existence, is for the future to be ted and evaporated, for a resurrection totally expunged and obliterated from to eternal life; away with the idea, that the minds of our offspring, it being a we have a sensible soul, which lives disremnant of the grossest superstition; tinct from, and after the dissolution and a belief in his existence and at- of, the body; it is all a bugbear, a tributes, he considers. as inimical to priestly imposture.” One more quoand incompatible with, the happiness tation from tbis infamous work, and I of the human race! It would be stain- have done. ing your columns, Sir, were I to quote Speaking of some of our greatest certain passages from this diabolical philosophers, he says, “I will not betreatise, though at the same time it lieve that Bacon, or Newton, or Locke, will be necessary to give a few short bad any other ideas of the Christian extracts in the author's own words, religion, or any other religion, than I that your readers may form some idea have. In their days, the faggots had of a book, that never was surpassed scarcely been extinguished, nor was in moral turpitude, during the worst the fuel that supplied tbem exhausted; stages of the French revolution ; take they might therefore deem it prudent the following as an instance, in the first to equivocate as a matter of safety. Newpage of his work.

ton was thoroughly ignorant of the che“I shall shew that the present sys- mical properties of matter. Atheism tem of educating children is entirely on leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, a wrong basis, and their youthful time to natural piety. It is impossible to

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analyze the creed of Sir I. Newton, or / versally known, all religion was aboground any one idea upon it. The lished, and a disbelief in the existence writer must have been an atheist in dis- of an overruling Providence publicly guise."

proclaimed: but this would have been The above will furnish a specimen an unfortunate point of time for Carof what the reader has to expect in lile to have noticed, after the ideal forty-eight pages of letter-press. I state of purity and happiness he had conceive that a more atrocious libel drawn, as consequent upon a total on religion and its professors never abandonment of all religion. After issued from the press. Believe me, having perused the works of some of Sir, in writing this I am actuated by the most celebrated authors who have no other motive than a sincere desire written principally for the purpose of (in common, I trust, with every honour attempting the destruction of Christiaable character in the kingdom) to nity, such as Paine, Tindal, Rousseau, check the dissemination of a work, the Volney, and others of less notoriety in design of which is totally to overturn thecause of infidelity, I do not recollect all our existing establishments, and a single passage in the works of any which must tend to do incalculable of the above-named writers, that is injury to the youthful mind. . equal to the delinquency contained in

The work is evidently designed for the pamphlet upon which I am now the perusal of the lower orders; his animadverting. Though T. Paine bas addressing it to “ Men of Science” is shewn so decided a disbelief of the a mere pretext, as no men of real sci- Christian dispensation, yet as it reence could regard it otherwise than gards the existence of a Supreme Crewith that contempt and disdain it so ator, he has not hesitated to state his richly deserves. Indeed, what would firm conviction of thatimportant truth. the opinion of any man be, were he to But this man, if I may so term him, be told that such great and good men after having assailed our established as Sir I. Newton, Locke, Boyle, and religion in a manner disgusting to reother philosophers, equally eminent late, is not content with that, but he for their piety and talents, were but must deny the existence of OmnipoAtheists in disguise ? This is making tence, and, what is, if possible, more an assertion against the opinion of the horrible, blame our belief in a first whole world ; for I am not acquainted cause, as baving occasioned much of with any author who has had the te- our unhappiness in this world. Had I merity to state what demonstrably con- not seen this statement promulgated in tradicts itself through the medium of the work to which I am now referring, all their works.

I could scarcely have believed such a That the immortal authors of the wretch to have been in existence. • Principia,' and of the Essay on the Of what service was the punishment Human Understanding,' should have inflicted onCarlile, for vending the 'Age so glaring a falsehood stated respecting of Reason,' if writings of a still more their memory, by one, whose publica- diabolical tendency are allowed thus to tions, for the honour of this nation, it go unnoticed ? Is it from a motive of is most devoutly to be wished may revenge against the government, for sink into that oblivion they so justly the just but too lenient treatment he merit, is matter of regret only so far has received, that he appears thus deas it may affect the vicious, the igno- | termined to continue his old trade, of rant, and the weaker part of society, traducing andvilifyingwhat the bestand which of course must comprise a con greatest men in all agesoftheworld have siderable majority of the population held sacred? There are some, doubtless, of this and every other country. It is who consider him a martyr in the cause among these classes, that Carlile rests of infidelity; and that he is persecuthis hopes of undermining the social ed on the mere score of opinion. In fabric, and of brutalizing the noblest answer to this, I would say, Ifany inwork of God, as was but too fatally dividual is to be found, who can with proved a few years since in a neighbour- | sincerity assimilate his ideas in unison ing country.

with the infamous assertions of Care It is a curious fact, that not a sin- / lile, would that individual, if an ho; gle allusion is made to that · blood- nourable man, publish to the w stain'd period' throughout the whole / what he must know can do no possiu publication. At that time, as is uni- good, but must necessarily tend

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