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EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
For JULY 1815.
Description of MINTO HOUSE. sessed of taste, learning, and genius, THIS elegant mansion is situated in totally unbiassed by the vox populithe parish of Minto, and county dict the decisions of our most cele
‘and venturing thus hardily to contraof Roxburgh.
0. Its situation is on a rising lawn, on the west bank of the river Teviot, Edinburgh, 5th July, 1815. from which there is a most beautiful and extensive prospect over the adja. This visionary poet cent country, and along the delightful
“ Makes sweet religion yale of the Teviot, for several miles.
A rhapsody of words." Only a small part of the former -I wonder not that bis son Lorenzo building remains, to which the pre
was an infidel. The "
great sent handsome edifice has been lately Young, as they call him, is prodi, attached, from a plan by that eminent giously great in the outre style; and architect, Mr Elliot.
yet he is admired by the multitude At a short distance to the north of of readers, commonly titled by modern the house, a series of romantic rocks, authors “the respectable public !" completely covered with the most
In my opinion, our celebrated enluxuriant trees and shrubs, rise preci- thusiast of this country, the Reverend pitously from the vale of the Teviot, Mr Ralph Erskine, in his Riddles, which are intersected by enchanting
is walks, cut in the solid rock. S.
However famous this enthusiast might
have been in the last century, his name has Criticism on Young's Night Thoughts.
not descended to posterity with equal cele
brity. By the late Lord Gardenstone,
“ Ralph Erskine was born at Roxburgh, TO THE EDITOR.
1682, and educated at Edinburgh. He was SIR,
minister of Dunfermline, Fifeshire, 1711,
and was deposed 1734, for joining the sece. THE following remarks on Dr ders. He died 1751, aged 69. His works Young's Night Thoughts were
were published in 2 vols. fol. consisting of written by the late Lord Garden
a political treatise, gospel sonnets, and a
bove 200 sermons.' stone. His Lordship was certainly
Lempriere's Universal Biography. prejudiced against the “ Poet of the I have never had an opportunity of seeNight,” yet I think it will not be ing this reverend gentleman's works; but unacceptable to your readers to see
from the enumeration of his productions, I
imagine that he was the author of the the opinion of one, indubitably pos " Riddles" mentioned in the text.
Criticism on Young's Night Thoughts.
Criticism on Young's is less extravagant. I am sure, that he “Oh love of gold! Thou meanest of amours ! should at least be more amusing and to
" Are passions, then, the pagans of the soul? lerable, either to believers or infidels,
“ Reason alone baptis'd ? alone ordain'd than Dr Young in his woeful “ Night “ To touch things sacred! Thoughts.” I know no rule of cri. ticism sojust, so material, and so gene- “ On such a theme 'tis impious to be calm ; ral, as one laid down by old Horace;
“ Passion is reason ; transport temper here!
J. 629. “Scribendi recte, sapere est et principium « Devotion, when lukewarm, is undevout. et fons."
“ Lorenzo! hast thou ever weigh'd a sigh? I shall examine the Night Thoughts
“ Or studied the philosophy of tears?
Night 5. I. 516. by this rule, after first inserting a few
“Death's dreadful advent is the mark of man, specimens of Ralph's Riddles.
“ And erery thought that misses it is blind. “ I'm here and there and every where !
“ Revere thyself; and yet thyself despise ! “ And yet I'm neither here nor there.
Night 6. I. 128. " I'm school'd, though never at a school;
“ Man's misery declares him born for bliss ;
“ His anxious heart asserts the truth I sing, “ I'm wise, and yet a natural fool! “ I'm poor, and yet I nothing want!
“ And gives the sceptic in his hcad the lie.
Night 7. 1. 160. “ I'm both a Devil and a Saint !
Man's heart eats all things, and is hungry I could quote from the Night Thoughts still; many similar passages of subtile and “ More, more! the glutton cries.
Ibid. l. 123. fantastical antithesis ; but I am afraid
“ The world 's all title page, there's no cure that the bulk of readers would take
tents ; them for charming poetry. Those “ The world's all face; the man who shews who can distinguish quaintness and his heart affectation from true sublimity, will “ Is hooted for his nuditics, and scorn'd.
Night 8. l. 333, find such passages in every page-nay,
“ Lorenzo! almost in every line. However, I “ This is the most indulgence can afford, shall hazard some specimens which “Thy wisdom all can do, but make thee reise; seem to resemble Ralph's Riddles very “ Nor think this censure is severe on thee; much.
" Satan, thy master, I durc call a dunce !
Ibid. l. 1414. “ All knowing, all unknown, and yet well “When pain can't bless, heaven quits us in known !
despair. “ Near, though remote! and though un
Night 9. 1. 197. fathom'd, felt? “ And though invisible, for ever seen!
- After all, and as some apology to the “ Know this, Lorenzo, (seem it ne'er so numerous admirers of Dr Young, I strange)
allow that there are strokes and pas“ Nothing can satisfy, but what confounds; sages of genuine poetry to be found, " Nothing but what astonishes is true !
though thinly scattered, among the Speaking of man, he says,
wild effusions of this long and labour“ An heir of glory! a frail child of dust! ed poem. I refer in particular to the “ Helpless immortal ! inscct infinite! first five lines of Night First, and to "A worm! a God !”
the thirteen first lines of Night Fourth. The " Devil" and the “ Saint” are For the sake of justice to our author, hardly such exaggerated opposites as the two passages shall be inserted at the “ Worm" and the " God.” full length. The following extracts I leave
NIGHT FIRST, without illustration to the common
“ Tir'd nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep! sense of the reader :
“ He, like the world, his ready visit pays “ Procrastination is the thief of time ! “ W'here fortune smiles: the wretched he “ What can juake thee, unawak'd by this, forsakes; “ Erpended Dcity on human weal ?
“ Swift on his downy pinions, flies from woe, Night 4. 1. 195. “And lights on beds unsullied by a tear.
of the poem.
rock is here
wbinstone or green“ A much indebted muse, 0 Yorke! in- stone, and the portions of sandstone trudes,
considered as having been involved, “ Amid the smiles of fortune and of youth; remain nearly in a horizontal position. " Thine ear is patient of a serious song. “ How deep implanted in the breast of inan Application, we understand, was made " The dread of death! I sing its sov’reign by gentlemen whose zeal is highly
commendable, that this part of the " Why start at death? Where is he?
rock should be preserved; and orders Death arriv'd " Is past; not come, or gone; he's never here.
were accordingly issued to that effect.
Almost immediately below the spot "Ere hope, sensation fails; black-boding man " Receives, not suffers, death's tremendous now alluded to, and in contact with blow.
the greenstone, is a thin bed of sili" The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and
ceous limestone; below this is a bed the grave;
of slate.clay; and then, still proceed. “ The deep damp vault, the darkness, and the worm ;
ing downwards, a thick bed of sand“ These are the bug-bears of a winter's eve, stone. These have long been parThe terrors of the living, not the dead. tially visible; but of late the sand
From this the writer runs wild, stone has been worked to some extent and continues, with very slight and for building-stones; and in the course transient lucid intervals, to the end of the quarrying operations, a very
excellent section of the beds of rock has been produced.
In this section is very well displayMONTHLY MEMORANDA IN NATURAL ed the “ basaltic rock resting on areHISTORY,
nacious or marly strata,” and these
at the line of junction, resembling July: DIFFERENT appearances in
" a kind of petrosilex, or even jasthe rocks which
compose Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Craigs nished an argument to the Hutto
per*,” appearances which have furhave been founded on as supporting nians, which we do not here mean to certain doctrines connected with the Huttonian Theory of the Earth. In controvert, as a more interesting phe
nomenon claims attention. the midst of the trap tuff which con
At the north-western extremity of stitutes the middle part of the hill, an
the section, some small branched veins insulated piece of siliceous sandstone
are to be observed passing diagonally, occurs, in a highly-inclined position. from the bed of siliceous limestone It is conceived by the Huttonians (the marly strata), through the bed that this trap-luff is analogous to a
of slate-clay, down to the great bed brecciated lava, and that the piece of of sandstone. The bed of slate-clay sandstone is a fragment which has is of a bluish-grey colour, and resembeen forced from the rocks below, bles a band or ribbon stretched along
and carried into its present situation the quarry : by passing the eye aby the tuff when in a state of fusion * long this band to the N. W. termi
At the south-east extremity of the nation, the small veins, being of a difperpendicular face of rock which con
ferent colour, are readily seen. They stitutes Salisbury Craig, and not far consist of sandstone-of a mineral from the new powder-magazine, simi- which all parties have regarded as lar appearaaces were brought to light originally formed in the humid way, in the course of quarrying stones for
and which certainly gives the roads. The supposed involving cation of having ever possessed Aui
dity" Illustrations of the lIuttonian Theory,
* Illustrations &c. p. 300.
dity *" from fusion. The exposed cumulations of branches and leaves, situation and the crumbling and pe- carried down from the surrounding rishable nature of the rock in which bills, is a question. Professor Davy it is situated, render it probable that is of opinion, that in many places this appearance will soon be swept a.
where forests had grown undisturbed, way. But we understand that a cor the trees on the outside of the woods rect sketch has been made of it; and grow stronger than the rest, from this notice may perhaps induce some their exposure
to the air and sun; of the geologists of Edinburgh to vi- and that, when mankind attempted sit the spot while every thing re
to establish themselves near these fomains entire.
rests, they cut down the large trees on According to the views of Werne. their borders, which opened the interrians, there is nothing very remark- nal part, where the trees were weak able in finding partial layers of sand. and slender, to the influence of the stone, either inclined or horizontal, wind, which, as is commonly to be in the midst of beds of greenstone or seen in such circumstances, had im. trap.tuff, which they consider as stra mediate power to sweep down the tified rocks, and of contemporaneous whole of the internal part of the foformation with the sandstone. In rest. . The large timber obstructed point of fact, beds of greenstone and of the passage of vegetable recrement, sandstone alternate several times in and of earth falling toward the rivers; Salisbury Craigs, although these al- the weak timber in the internal part ternations are not readily perceived, on of the forest, after it had fallen, soon account of the extensive talus. It is, decayed, and became the food of fu. however, rather difficult to imagine ture vegetation. Mr Kirwan obhow a Plutonist can account for veins serves, that wherever trees are found of sandstone (which he admits lo be a in bogs, though the wood may be stratified rock) traversing sandstone perfectly sound, the bark of the timitself, as in the quarries at Albany ber has uniformly disappeared, and Street t; or, as in this case, travers the decomposition of this back forms sing slate-clay or argillaceous shistus, a considerable part of the nutritive another stratified rock.
Ni substance of morasses : notwithstandCanonmills, July 29. 1815. ing this circumstance, tanning is not to
be obtained in analysing bags; their
antiseptic quality is however indispuMEMOIRS OF THE PROGRESS OF MA
table, for animal and vegetable subNUFACTURES, CHEMISTRY, SCIENCE,
stances are frequently found at a great depth in bogs, without their seeming
to have suffered any decay: these subIN N the Second Report of the Com stances cannot have been deposited
missioners on the Bogs of Ireland, in them at a very remote period, be. it is stated that three distinct growths cause their form and texture is such of timber, covered by three distinct
as were common a few centuries ago. masses of bog, are discovered on ex In 1786 there were found, 17 feet amination. But whether these mo below the surface of a bog in Mr Kirrasses were at first formed by the de. win's district, a woollen coat of coarse, struction of whole forests, or merely but even, network, exactly in the by the stagnation of water in pla- form of what is now called a Spencer. ces where its current was choked A razor, with a wooden bandle, some by the fall of a few trees, and by ac. iron heads of arrows, and large woodIllustrations, p. 26.
en bowls, some only half made, were + Scots Magazine for May 1815. also found, with the remains of turn
AND THE FINE ARTS.
ing-tools; these were obviously the
NEW translation of the Books of to the Antiquarian Society. These Moses is announced for publicacircumstances countenance the suppo tion at Freyberg, divided into two sition that the encroachments of men historical books, and three books of upon forests destroyed the first bar laws:riers against the force of the wind, 1. A book containing the history of and that afterwards, according to Sir the times anterior to Moses. H. Davy's suggestion, the trees of 2.
the history of weaker growth, which had not room his own time. to expand, or air and sunshine to pro 3. The code of moral laws. mote their increase, soon gave way to
of religious laws. the elements,
of civil laws. There has lately been discovered,
Each of these books will be accomin the vast territories of the govern
panied with proper documents. The ments of Koliwan and of Tobolsk, a whole to form 3 vols. Svo. quantity of ancient Tartar monu Dodsley's Annual Register, for ments, among the tombs of a former 1814, will be ready for publication in people. These articles consist of me a few weeks. tal vases, coins, jewels, &c. many of Mr Linley is preparing an edition them are adorned with human figures of the Dramatic Songs of Shakspeare, and hieroglyphics.
the music partly that of the old masIn the county of Sutherland, in ters and partly his own. Scotland, a pit of coal was discovered Dr Alphonsus Lercy, of Paris, has about two or three years ago, contra published an Essay on certain Diseary to the opinion of many
sup ses of Men, which he traces to the posed that no coal was to be found Oxen on which they had fed ; and he north of the Tay. This coal has establishes the doctrine generally, that been wrought to a considerable ex many diseases with which mankind tent, but time has shown that it seems are afflicted are communicated by the to possess one property peculiar to it. flesh of animals, who are more or less self. The refuse coal, of which a diseased at the time they are killed. large quantity had been left to accu In the state of PENSYLVANIA, west mulate near the mouth of the pit, of the Allegany mountains, there are after having been exposed to the air about 200,000 inhabitants; 101 Presfor a considerable time, took fire of byterian churches, and 57 ministers; its own accord, and continued in two Methodist circuits, in which are state of combustion till the whole was employed 12 itinerant preachers.. consumed. At present they have In the state of Ohio, containing a ceased to work the pit, partly on ac- population of more than 330,000, count of this peculiar property of the there are 78 Presbyterian or Congrecoal, but chiefly that they may have gational churches, and 49 ministers; time to clear away the refuse on the between 20 and 36 Methodist preacha surface. They do not despair of o ers, employed in different circuits ; pening the pit again, and of discover- 10 or 12 Baptist societies; several ing a mode of preventing the defia- societies of Friends or Quakers; congration : and, preparatory to the re siderable numbers of a sect called commencement of working it, they are New Lights; a few Halcyons ; a few sinking sbafts in the direction in which Swedenburghers; and many Univer they intend to proceed.
salists and Deists. In the state of