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Here is another specimen :

“ The fire gloweth, burneth, and consumeth to ashes. A spark of it struck out of a flint (or firestone) by means of a steel, and taken by tinder in a tinder-box, lighteth a match, and after that a candle, or a stick, and causeth a flame, or blaze, which catcheth hold of the houses."

The state of husbandry in the 17th century is thus described :

“The plow-man yoketh oxen to a plough, and holdeth the plow-stilt in his left hand, and the plow-staff in his right hand, with which he removeth the clods."

These are specimens of the teaching two hundred years ago in England. The pictures are designed, as the author says, “to entice witty children to it, that they may not conceit a torment to be in the school, but dainty fare. And it will be very well worth the pains to have once brought it to pass, that scare-crows may be taken away out of wisdom's gardens.” So it has not been reserved for the wisdom of the 19th century to find a royal road to learning.-Yours truly,

J. T.

THE AURORA POLARIS. MR. URBAN,—I read Mr. Rowell's letters to the editor of the Athenæum and to yourself with gratification : for I was pleased to find that my efforts to popularise a complicated subject met with approbation from one who, by his own showing, ought to be a judge.

I must confess my ignorance of the details of Mr. Rowell's theory. I know the brief sketch of it in the British Association Report for 1840 ; but this is too scanty to give one the means of comprehending it or comparing it with others. The pamphlet alluded to, which I suppose explains everything and proves what is to be proven, has never met my eye : although Mr. Rowell hints in the Athenæum) that he has sown it freely in scientific ground, I do not find it in a high class scientific library which it is my privilege to use. Nor do I meet with any reference to the hypothesis in the works of writers on the aurora. Mr. Rowell's lamentations (Athenæum) upon the neglect which it has suffered are, so far, well founded. But there may be a cause for this which is not apparent to his view. He says that, as well as explaining the aurora, his theory applies to every phenomenon of evaporation, rain, lightning, hail, storm, &c.; and in some degree to terrestrial magnetism ! Now, Mr. URBAN, what would you say to a doctor who offered you a medicine to cure every ill that flesh is heir to? What you would think of such a specific, is just what exact philosophers think of theories that explain everything. When such come before them, they heed them not. Who shall say they are wrong? They know the precise state of their knowledge, and are the best judges whether the acquired facts are susceptible of complete correlation or no. I suspect that those men of science who received Mr. Rowell's exposition were deterred from reading it by its vaunted universality.

Facts being the tests of theory, the suggestion offers itself that Mr. Rowell should unflinchingly compare the latest acquired magnetical and

meteorological data with his hypothesis, at every point and upon every detail. Generalisations, no one whose opinion is worth having will enter into. If all can be shown to be in accord, there will be found no lack of means for disseminating the results of the collation, and no fear of injustice being done to Mr. Rowell by those who are interested in the progress of physical science. But the onus probandi must rest with him. Philosophers, busy with their own inquiries, cannot undertake to examine the theories of others, either to confirm or to refute them.

Upon the special point alluded to by Mr. Rowell—the height of the auroral light ;-surely he will not oppose his “ belief” to Professor Loomis's measures and calculations. The 1859 aurora was observed from a vast number of stations; and I fancy it would be a hard task to prove all the angles erroneous.- I am, Sir, ever faithfully,

YOUR CONTRIBUTOR.

A GENIUS. MR. URBAN.—The following, copied by me from an old newspaper (The British Chronicle), I have thought might interest your readers :

“ The village of Alyth has produced the greatest natural genius, perhaps, that has ever been known in the country. By a misfortune which a young man of that place, named James Sand, experienced in his early years, he has been confined to his apartment, and to a sedentary posture, for upwards of fourteen years, during which time, without the smallest instruction, he has acquired such dexterity in different mechanical branches as to make violins, clarionets, the Irish, or small pipe, and flutes of different sorts, of a quality and workmanship equal to what comes from the hands of the most approved artists. He also performs upon those different instruments with skill and taste. He finished, some years ago, a musical clock, of a construction peculiar to itself (as he had no opportunity of ever examining a machine of the kind), and which plays a variety of tunes. He has, besides, finished a watch, of which almost all the parts are his own mechanism. But his genius does not stop here : he has also studied the theory of mechanics, whereby he has been enabled lately to construct, upon the most improved model, a reflecting telescope, (an instrument he had no access to be acquainted with but from description,) the metals and glasses of which, together with its case, are entirely his own workmanship. In short, nothing in the mechanical line has yet been proposed to him, either by model or description, in which he has not succeeded.”

I am, Sir, yours very truly, Kelso.

J. T.

THE

GENTLEMAN'S MAGAZINE

JANUARY, 1870.

THE SILKEN BANNER.

A STORY OF SEDGEMOOR: BY JOSEPH HATTON,

CHAPTER I.

Reproach not, Greece, a lover's fond delays,

Nor think thy cause neglected, while I gaze ;
New force, new courage, from each glance I gain,
And find our passions not enforced in vain.-

Johnson.
HEIR courting days were nearly at an end. Mysterious

feats of stitching and hemming, and quilting and netting,
had been performed in one home; whilst in the other,

painters and decorators of the period had been at work for weeks. George Donnington and Mary Grey were engaged to be married. The little town of Bridgewater had duly discussed the prospect of the lovers ; nobody had forbidden the banns, and George's farm on the outskirts of the old town was pronounced to be all that a substantial yeoman's homestead should be.

Other objections, however, to the immediate union of the lovers intervened, and the bells that should have rung marriage peals had more serious work imposed upon them. In short, the news of Mon mouth's re-entry into Bridgewater (prior to the battle of Sedgemoor) put an end to the wedding arrangements, and suddenly consigned the bridal garments to lavender and obscurity.

“Our country, first,” said Mary Grey, grasping George's hand, and looking up into his face with a smile of Spartan heroism," and then ourselves.” For the men were not more enthusiastic than the women in the interest of “King Monmouth” as they delighted to call him.

VOL. IV., N, S, 1870.

к

Mary Grey, herself, had presented a silken banner embroidered by her own hands, to that “rough ” but “ready” regiment which her lover had joined; and the bride elect was prepared to sacrifice everything at the shrine of her country, and on the altar of her religion. There was nothing Amazonian about her either; indeed, she was right womanly in all her actions. George, it is true, had suggested that he should fight none the less heartily as Mary's husband ; but Mary Grey had replied that she had no desire to be made a widow so speedily as the first battle, which must shortly take place, might make her. It would be quite time enough, after the fighting was over, to sacrifice her own liberty. But Mary's heart smote her as she pretended to speak so lightly of their marriage. She trembled for the safety of her lover, and the success of the good cause.

The royal troops were encamped on the famous marsh of Sedgemoor, and long before sunset on the fifth of July, sixteen hundred and eighty-five, it was known in Bridgewater that a night attack on Faversham's army was contemplated. In Monmouth's camp, Macaulay tells us, the Sabbath was observed after the Puritan fashion. “The Castle Field, in which the army was encamped, presented a spectacle such as, since the disbanding of Cromwell's soldiers, England had never seen.” One of the dissenting preachers of the day took for his text, “ The Lord God of Gods, the Lord God of Gods, he knoweth ; and Israel he shall know. If it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the Lord, save us not this day.” George Donnington was amongst the most resolute of the men who listened to the fiery words of Ferguson, and whilst the Puritan preached, Mary Grey had knelt and prayed in the old church of her fathers, gaining strength of resignation and hope beside her mother's tomb.

He was a handsome, stalwart fellow, this George Donnington, in his red coat and jack-boots, the sword of vengeance on his hip. Worthy of Mary Grey's love, worthy the respect of his neighbours, he was in every way a representative man, a leader amongst patriots. Mary Grey's father had fallen in the service of the Protector. Although she inherited much of the old Puritan zeal, she was free from its outward signs of rigour and sternness. She was truly religious, but she danced divinely; she was devout, but none could sing a ballad with more spirit. Foremost at prayers, she was never behindhand at the May-day festival. No wonder George Donnington should have fallen under the spell of her woman's witchcraft. They loved each other too well, did this honest couple, to talk

There was no mock sentimentality in their conduct.

nonsense.

Prosaic lovers these, some of the young ladies of the present day may think when they hear Adolphus simpering idiotic nothings at the Horticultural; or looking spooney somethings over a cup and saucer at Belgravia kettledrums. George and Mary did not care to disguise from themselves, or from any one else, that they were passionately fond of each other. When at last the parting came, the yeoman embraced his betrothed with a fervency that expressed more than words, and Mary returned his honest kiss with a heartiness that was equally eloquent.

“ Promise me that you will not be frightened and think I am killed, as women mostly think concerning those they love, unless they are continually hearing that they are alive,” said George.

“I will not be down-hearted, and never think it possible that you can be killed under any circumstances, George. Will that comfort you?”

“You are acting, Mary; you are pretending to be indifferent, to be light-hearted."

“I wish to encourage and cheer you, George, it is all we women can do: I fear that you may be sorry to leave me, that you will be thinking of me when you should only be thinking of your duty. I don't wish you to fancy I am unhappy when you should feel that my heart beats with your own for the great good cause."

“ Thinking of you will give strength to my arm ; your love, dear, shall shelter me in all times of danger. Fate could not be so cruel as to separate us now.”

“Not Fate, George, our Heavenly father, He will preserve you." “His will be done," said George, solemnly.

At that moment the bugle call for evening parade rung through the streets of the old town.

Good-bye, Mary, God bless you."

"Farewell," said Mary, as cheerily as she could ; but her heart was sad. She watched her lover until he was out of sight; watched him with loving eyes, and with a prayer upon her lips; and, when the bugles were heard no longer, she sought consolation at the shrine of that Heavenly Power who alone giveth the victory.

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