Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Benefit Societies.....Prevention of Bank Forgery.

En, or Ain, indicating fountains, may poffibly have given origin to the name of Nefibis; but it is far more probable fome deferted place contiguous to the dry ravine, yet called after it Sebaa. Havila was, no doubt, fituate in the province, and on the river of the fame name, and should be fought nearer to its mouth than to its head, because the names of rivers commonly afcend, being firft impofed where they are moft confiderable. The name of Raamah may with faint probability be imagined in Aaraban, between Refain and Thallaba. If thefe indications be put together, it will follow that the land of Cufh nearly answered to the modern province of Diarrabia, fince it contained five of the cities therein fituate: in a word, that it was the diftri&t comprehended between the Tigris and the Charboras; and confequently that the Chaboras is the Ghion which bounded the land of Cush.

The four rivers of Paradife appear then to have been the Euphrates, the Chaboras, the Mygdonius, and the Tigris.

It is ftrange, that the garden of Eden fhould not oftener be mentioned by the early writers of the Jews. Except in an indecifive paffage of Deuteronomy, a book which feems to have been written during the captivity, (XXIX. 28) under Hofhea, no allufions to it occur, until about the period of the Babylonian conqueft. Was the account at that time new to Jewish literature?

[Jan.

I further beg leave to hint, that I think the reduction of the allowance to one fhilling per week, if a member lies fick more than fix months, feems withdrawing the aid when moft needed, as it is probable the allowance of four fhillings per week will not frequently fupport a fick perfon, and pay all expences of medicine and attendance; and if the extra expence is to be paid out of the neceffaries of the fick perfon, is there not reafon to fear fuch perfon may be left to great want, and one grand defign of fuch inftitutions loft, viz. a fupport in old age or inability to labour. --Several inftances have lately been men tioned in the papers of different Friendly Societies fupporting fome of the aged and infirm members for feveral years.---But, although I take the liberty to give these hints, I do it with fome degree of diffidence and great deference to thofe refpectable characters who have inftituted and promoted the Societies in queftion, who having made obfervations upon their effects, will better judge of the propriety of fuch regulation than I can do.

I beg leave to obferve further, in addition to the hint I gave in your Magazine for September, that a complete trial of one of thefe focieties could not be made in lefs than forty years, that my calculation went upon the ground of the allowance not being leffened in fo great a proportion to a member, who might lie a long time fick, as is the cafe in the Berwick Society; nevertheless, I am still of opinion, that no fociety of the kind can have had a fair trial in lefs time, as many years muft elapfe, after fuch an inftitution is formed, before

it

can have any old members belonging to it, not subject to expences which fall moft heavy on the funds of the fociety. I am, Sir, your humble fervant, J. K. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.

SIR,

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine,

SIR,

I AM much gratified, and much obliged,

by the account CATHARINE CAPPE has given in your Magazine forNovember, of the fuccefs that has attended a female benefit club; and I think thofe who founded or promoted fuch an inftitution, are entitled to public regard. I beg leave, through your Magazine, to throw out a hint or two, which, I humbly apprehend, might be improvements upon thefe excellent inftitutions. In the first place, I thould recommend, that in fuch focieties, on any female marrying, a fall fum of fixpence per quarter, or whatever fum may be thought adequate, fhall be paid, in addition to the former fubfcription, in order to raise a fund for allowing married women fomething in child-bed; fuppofe, ten fhillings and fixpence for the month, and in cafe they are not fully recovered, two fhillings per week during the remainder of their illnefs, unlefs fuch fubfequent illness is amongst the number provided for by the rules,

A Correfpondent of your's, who fub

<<

fcribes himself "A Sufferer by Foxgery," has expreffed a wifh to be informed, whether the Directors of the Bank of England have refufed & plan for preventing the forgery of Bank notes; a plan which would not only have rendered forgery more difficult than at prefent, but almoft, if not altogether impoffible, and of which the excellency was attested by all the principal artifts in London ?"

From the manner in which the question is put, I am led to fuppofe (though I cannot be certain) that your correfpondent has heard fomething respecting the plan offered

Rhapsody on Newspapers.

1798.]

offered to the Bank of England by a Mr. TILLOCK; at the rejection of which, by a Committee of Bank Directors, I was prefent, together with Meflrs. BYRNE, FITLER, LOWRY, and SHARP. That it was our unanimous opinion, as well as the opinion of Mr. BARTOLOZZI, (who was prevented by indifpofition from attending on the occafion) that the fpecimen produced by Mr. TILLOCK of a newly-invented art, not copyable by any known art of engraving; and that the attempt toward imitating it produced by the Engraver to the Bank was very easy to be diftinguifhed from its original, may be acceptable information to your correfpondent, and perhaps not ufelefs to the public.

was

To fay that this invention would utterly prevent the poffibility of forgeries on the Bank, would be hazarding a rafh afsertion: to determine that, if adopted, it would, by increafing the difficulty, diminish the number of forgeries, requires no hesitation, and very little eye-fight. That I mean to deny that little to the Directors of the Bank, must not be inferred, nor that I think they have fhewn themfelves lefs clear-fighted in this bufinefs than difinterested.

Irony apart, I fhould conceive it to be a point both of duty and honour, for the Bank Directors---not to tempt men to the commiffion of a capital crime, by authorifing an ealy mode of committing itnot themselves to fuftain the loffes arifing from the frequent forgery of Bank-notes, ---not to adopt Mr. TILLOCK's plan for the prevention of forgery, if a better can be produced, but---to call forth the talents and ingenuity of the country in fair competition, by offering a handsome reward for the best practical means of preventing forgery on the Bank.

was difputed by fome of our state-orators, whether a newspaper was an article of luxury or neceffity; but the Minister, who was more defirous to obtain an addition to the revenue, than to wait for the difcuffion of fo intricate a question, hurried the bufinefs forwards, without allowing time to determine it. Perhaps, indeed, he might think that much was to be faid on both fides; and that it was a matter of very little confequence to a mere financier whether it was determined one way or other. When, however, I look around me in this vaft metropolis, and mix in the varied focieties that are formed in it, I am clearly of opinion, that a newspaper ranks among the neceffaries of life, and ranks fo high, that, if we except the mere mechanical operations of eating and drinking, I fcarcely know any thing that is fo indifpenfible to the happiness of my fellow-citizens. As a question, “What news ?" is fecond only to "How do you do?” and I am much mistaken if, on many occafions, it does not precede even now, and hereafter, in all probability, it will iffue at the first opening of the lips.

It is, perhaps, impoffible to prove the mifery that would overfhadow fuch a place as London, were there no newspapers publifhed in it; but my imagination has fometimes fuggefted to me the horrid thought of a fufpenfion of newspapers for only one week! Dreadful idea! Intellectual famine! What crowds of diftreffed human beings, hurrying from place to place, afking and befeeching one another,

That a procedure to this effect, is a duty the Bank Directors owe to the public, your correfpondent has fufficiently fhewn; that it fhould be confidered as a point of honour too, I think, is evident, when we recollect that honour due is, in all cafes, proportionate to confidence repofed.

I am, Sir, your's, &c;
Queen Anne-freet East, J. LANDSEER.
Dec. 20, 1797.

5

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine,

SIR,

URING the parliamentary debates an additional tax upon newspapers, it

for the love of mercy," to fupply one little bit of intelligence, to cool the parched tongue of communication---one little accident to fupply the repetition of diurnal morality---one anecdote, ever so meagre and barren, juft to keep the life and foul of converfation together---or one crim. con. or even the lealt fufpicion, hint, conjecture, or furmife, to employ the magnifying powers of imagination, and prevent the dreadful neceffity of feeking for what we know we cannot find---refources within ourselves.

Such have fometimes been the horrid images which my imagination, probably difordered at the time, has fuggefted to me: but how faint is this expreffion of the workings of fancy; for fure I am, it hath not yet entered into the heart of man to form words capable of difplaying the wretched state of our metropolis, were it to be afflicted with a ceffation of news. Wifely, therefore, did our ancestors con

on our firft entrance into daily life, we should have it in our power to de

6

vour the newspaper and the breakfast at the fame time; that in an hour when fleep has left a blank in our thoughts, and the memory of past events hath perifhed, a new world, or a world of news, fhould ftart up to fight, and fet every fpring of the mind in fresh motion. This I call winding up our curiofity for the day; by means of which operation, the machine goes regularly for the accuftomed time. The invention of morning papers was of infinite importance; for morning was not the original time of publication; most of the old papers were published at noon, or in the evening, when they could be of ufe only to thole perfons who make a trade of politics. At that time they were not deemed of much ufe in families; but when tea was introduced, morning papers naturally followed, and the contents of many of them are now happily contrived to give a particular zeft to the Indian Juxury. The connection, indeed, betwixt a breakfast and a newspaper is indiffoluble. We may hear news at any other time of the day; but how lame, how imperfect, how unfatisfactory, how deficient in all thofe little circumstances of detail and defcription, for which we are indebted to the abilities of editors and collectors of paragraphs. Infenfible and ungrateful perfons can only count the value of a bleffing from the lofs of it; but if ever the time comes that the propagation of news is fufpended, they will learn to prize the abilities of thofe geniuses who furnish the news of the day with appropriate imagery; give a brilliancy to an accidental fire; break the neck of a bricklayer with grace; and even cloathe the gallows in heroics ;---men, whofe mere reports tranfcend even facts in point of entertainment, and whofe hints and furmifes are to the thirsty reader

Rhapfadly on Newspapers.

"Confirmations Atrong, "As proofs of holy writ."

[Jan

though one may not know more than an, other, he certainly may conceive more than another. It is a mistake to fuppofe that the intelligence in newspapers is to be underftood in a literal fenfe, or that we are to be contented with what the editor pleafes to tell us. For example, we read that "Yefterday was married at St. Dunstan's church, Mr. Joshua Tape, an eminent mercer, to-Mits Polly Languish, of Mileend." Were we to ftop here, I question whether all the papers in London would furnish half an hour's converfation. But this is no barren text; it includes doc trines and inferences, which may branch out into as many heads as a fermon of the laft century. Is it not neceffary to alcertain what Mr. Tape's property is; how far he may be called an eminent mercer; when it is well known that he failed ten years ago, and paid only ten fhillings in the pound; and how far he may be called a genteel man, when it is well known he ftoops in the fhoulders? It may be allo neceflary to determine whether he deserves the character of a polite fhop-keeper, who, it is well known, refused to take back an article which a lady had kept only fix months: and, above all, whether the man was not an arrant fool to marry Polly Languifh, who, it is well known, had not a fixpence? Then, Sir, with respect to the lady, many important queftions auife; as, firit, how it can be poffible any perfon can think her handfome, when it is well known the has no complexion, very bad ftaring eyes, appears to be crooked, and moreover, it is strongly fufpected, is thirty-three, or thirty-two at leait. Thus you fee that the above paragraph is a full and rich fountain, fending forth waters, fweet and bitter, and quenching the talkative thirft of the whole parish of St. Dun ftan's, and, probably, the hamlet of Mileend.

By means of morning papers, the inhabitants of the metropolis are put upon a footing of equality in point of information, which is not to be looked for in provincial towns, far lefs in villages, where perhaps the great 'Squire only receives a paper, the contents of which he doles out to his efpecial favourites. Yet it may be faid, that this equality of in formation which prevails in the metropolis, can tend only to perfect filence, becaufe no man poffeffes an overplus of news which he may communicate; and at first fight this would appear to be the cafe, but in fact it is quite otherwife; for al

-------.
---.

Let us take another example:---" Yef-
terday Lady was detected in an
amour with Col.
His Lordship
has fent her to her mother's, for the pre-
fent, and is immediately to fue for a di--
vorce." Now, Sir, will any lover of
news ftop here? Will this fatisfy him?
No. It is neceffary to divide and fub-
divide this into an infinite feries of leffer
intelligences, all greatly contributing to
a right understanding of the matter. On
the one hand, his Lordfhip, it is well
known, was old enough to be her father,
and what could he expect? On the other
hand, Lady it is well known, was
young enough to be his daughter, and
wherein was the difappointed? Then it is

******

1798.1

highly probable that he was the most indulgent husband in the world, and that she was the most unreasonable and difobedient wife. Or, fhould this not be the cafe, the reverfe will exactly ferve the fame purpofe; that is, gratify that infatiable defire for news, which is become as neceffary as the food we eat, or the raiment we put on.

Mr. Elkington's Plan for draining marshy Grounds.

We conftantly pray to be delivered "from battle, murder, and from fudden death," (this, by the bye, feems an anti-climax, battle being the greatest caJamity of the three; but let that pass) and yet, Mr. Editor, I know no three ingredients more neceffary, nor, of late years, more frequent than thefe. Battles, indeed, from long habit, we read over with frigid indifference, and I must say, they are very dull and unentertaining. The other two, however, afford many comments, which greatly tend to promote converfation, because they come home to "men's bufinefs and bofoms." The death of one man in the streets, who thought himself a match for half a dozen armed robbers, is a topic of converfation for a month; but the proftration of ten thousand bodies on a field, to gratify the inexplicable fchemes of contending courts, is the ephemera which cannot outlive the day.

7

is no fcandalous story without fome foundation."

I might now proceed to confider the ne city of newspapers, as fupplying fund for political converfation; but as that fubject would lead me to be more prolix than in duty bound, I fhall adjourn the queftion fine die, and conclude with an humble hope that I have fuggefted enough to prove that newfpapers are articles of abfolute neceffity, and of the "first requifition." I am, Sir, your's, &c. RHAPSODICUS.

Thus much for the facts recorded in our newspapers. Now, Sir, only confider what the cafe muft be, if, after dwelling fo long upon any important event handed to us at our breakfaft-tables, and carried from thence about with us wherever we go throughout the day, as ammunition ready to fhoot the monster, filence, and Tupply the deficiency, thought---if, I fay, after all this, it should be next day contradicted by the fame authority. This may appear fomewhat embarraffing; but habit has reconciled us to this alfo. "We always thought there was fomething improbable in the ftory," or, "we had our fufpicions, yet did not chufe to communicate them; or, "we were very cautious in giving full credit to the report, although, to be fore, it appeared to be very well founded, and every body must acknowledge it was remarkably well told." With this ex poft facto fagacity, fome continue to get out of the fcrape pretty decently, while others, determined to fupport the dignity of firit impreffions, and ftudious to avoid the weather-cock variations of common changelings, are till firmly of opinion that there was fome thing in it, and vote nem, con, « that there

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.

SIR,

IF

fuccefs fhall not betray you to relax your efforts, your Magazine feems likely to become the moft excellent and the moft generally acceptable periodical mifcellany of the age. For this reafon, and as thofe who have juft begun to learn, are often the moft eager to teach, I beg leave to trouble you, for the information of your readers, with a fhort account of Mr. ELKINGTON's Mode of Draining; with which I have had a recent opportunity to make mylelf acquainted.

There are but two ways in which tagnant water can be diffuled over grounds, fo as to reduce them into the ftate of moraffes. It may proceed from the overflowing of adjacent rivers, or the collection of rain-water; or, it may bubble up inceffantly from fprings difperfed within the bounds of the morals.

In the former of thefe cafes, the overflowing of adjacent rivers is to be prevented only by strong embankments; and any fimple trench will eafily carry away flagnant water, which has no interior fource, and merely floats upon the surface.

In almost all lakes and moraffes, numerous fprings are difperfed within the compals of the lake or morafs. These can never be exhaufted, Very many moraffes have therefore long baffled every endeavour to drain them effectually for cultivation. Trenches of almost every different depth, and in almost every different direction, have been tried, in vain, or at belt, with very imperfect fuccefs, Vaft tracts of morafs, in England, in Scotland, and in Ireland, have been hopelessly abandoned to perpetual barrenness

But, about the year 1764, Mr. Elkington, in an attempt to draw fome part of the farm of Princethorpe, in the parish of Stretton, upon Dunmore, in the county of Warwick, was accidentally led to ob

8 Mr. Elkington on Draining....Mr. Coleridge on his Monody. [Jan.

ficiently dry and kindly; that an astonishing proportion of the lands of Great Britain and Ireland might be thus redeemed from infertility. Contriving to cover his drains, with only certain openings at proper distances, he thus prevented them from marring the beauty and equality of the fields. To collect water for the ufe of mills and canals; to draw off the water from mines and coal-pits, and for other useful purposes, may the fame invention of Mr. Elkington's be likewise applied.

To reward this invention, and to purchafe it for the ufe of the public, the Board of Agriculture obtained to Mr. Elkington a grant from Parliament, of a thousand pounds sterling. I am perfuaded, that the beneficial effects of his difcovery have already more than compenfated this fum to the nation. I am, &c. Keljo, Dec. 21, 1797. R. H.

ferve, that by commencing his drains from the different fprings which continually poured forth their waters upon the ground, and by this means alone be could effectually accomplish his purpose. He had not even reflected upon the poffibility of the moisture of moraffes, arifing from fprings at a confiderable depth beneath the furface, when, to his furprife, he happened to obferve a column of water burst up with great force, by a hole which he casually made with an iron crow, within the bounds of his morafs. The fact, although neither new nor ftrange, ftruck his mind as an extraordinary difcov.ry. He foon after adopted the ufe of an auger, instead of an iron crow; and determined to make his morafs perfectly dry for tillage, by detecting all the fprings, and continually exhaufting thefe by fuitable dreins. quickly fucceeded in making that particular field perfectly dry. The fubiequent application of the fame principle to all the other marthy parts of his farm, proved alike fuccefsful.

He

In confequence of the ttriking improvement thus effected upon his own grounds, Mr. Elkington was confulted and employed by his neighbours. He, in every inftance, fought out the fprings from which the stagnant water was fupplied; wherever there was a declivity of the furface, endeavoured to detect the main fpring, on which, in every fuch cafe, there are usually various fmaller fprings dependant; ftill bored with the auger to difcover fprings of which he fulpected the exiftence, although they were not quite apparent; commenced his drains from the refpective fprings; but, instead of cutting a drain, in every cafe, to the very level of a very deep spring, adopted the idea of preferving only an auger-hole perpendicular to the fpring, as an outlet by which its waters might afcend into the drain, to be by it conveyed away. Continued experience gave him, at last, very great fagacity in detecting the existence of hidden iprings, and extraordinary fkill to difcern the readieft means for draining off their waters. He learned to pay particular attention to the nature of the itrata through which the water had to rife, and to adapt to it the conftruction of his drains. His fame as a drainer was extended his af

[blocks in formation]

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.

SIR,

Hope, that this letter may arrive time enough to answer its purpofe. I cannot help confidering myself as having been placed in a very ridiculous light, by the gentlemen who have remarked, anfwered, and rejoined concerning my monody on Chatterton. I have not feen the compofitions of my competitors (unless indeed the exquifite poem of Warton's, entitled, "The Suicide," refer to this fubject) but this I know, that my own is a very poor one. It was a school exercife, fomewhat altered; and it would have been omitted in the last edition of my poems, but for the request of my friend, Mr. COTTLE, whofe property thofe poems are. If it be not in your intention to exhibit my name on any future month, you will accept my best thanks, and not publish this letter, But if Crito and the Alphabet-men fhould continue to communicate on this fubject. and you fhould think it proper, for reafons beft known to yourfelf, to publish their communications, then I depend on your kindnefs for the infertion of my letter; by which, it is poffible, thofe your correfpondents may be induced to expend their remarks, whether panegyrical or vituperative, on nobler game than on a poem which was, in truth, the first effort of a young man, all whofe poems a candid critic will only confider as firft efforts. Your's, with due respect, S. T. COLERIDGE.

Shrewsbury.

To

« ПретходнаНастави »