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the glaciers effect among the higher regions of the Alps, the Pinus Cembra and Lkrix communis accomplish at lower elevations; and many a mountain rivulet owes its existence to their influence. It rains often in the woodlands when it rains no where else; and it is thus that trees and woods modify the hygrometrio character of a country; and I doubt not but, by a judicious disposal of trees of particular kinds, many lands now parched up with drought—as, for example, in some of the Leeward Islands—might be reclaimed from that sterility to which they are unhappily doomed.
In Glass' History of the Canary Islands we have the description of a peculiar tree in the Island of Hierro, which is the means of supplying the inhabitants, man as well as mferior animals, with water; an island which, but for this marvellous adjunct, would be uninhabitable and abandoned. The tree is called Til by the people of the island, and has attached to it the epithet garse, or sacred. It is situated on the top of a rock, terminating the district called Tigulatre, which leads from the shore. A cloud of vapour, which seems to rise from the sea, is impelled towards it; and being condensed by the foliage of the tree, the rain falls into a large tank, from which it is measured out by individuals set apart for that purpose by the authorities of the island.
In confirmation of a circumstance prima facie so incredible, I have here to record a phenomenon, witnessed by myself, equally extraordinary. I had frequently observed, in avenues of trees, that the entire ground engrossed by their shady foliage was completely saturated with moisture; and that during the prevalence of a fog, when the ground without their pale was completely parched, the wet which fell from their branches more resembled a gentle shower than anything else; and in investigating the phenomenon which I am disposed to consider entirely electrical, I think the elm exhibits this feature more remarkably than any other tree of the forest. I never, however,,was more astonished than I was in the month of September last, on witnessing a very striking example of this description. I had taken an early walk, on the road leading from Stafford to Lichfield: a dense fog prevailed, but the road was dry and dusty, while it was quite otherwise with the line of a few Lombardy poplars; for from them it rained so plentifully, and so fast, that any one of them might have been used as an admirable shower bath, and the constant stream of water sup
plied by the aggregate would (had it been directed into a proper channel) have been found quite sufficient to turn an ordinary mill.—Mag. Nat. Hist.
A mapper up of uncoimidered trifles.
Human Timepiece. J. D. Chevalley, a native of Switzerland, has arrived at an astonishing degree of perfection in reckoning time by an internal movement. In his youth he was accustomed to pay great attention to the ringing of bells and vibrations of pendulums, and by degrees he acquired the power of continuing a succession of intervals exactly equal to those which the vibrations or sounds produced.— Being on board a vessel, on the Luke of Geneva, he engaged to indicate to th» crowd about him the lapse of a quarter of an hour, or as muny minutes and seconds as any one chose to name, and this during a conversation the most diversified with those standing by; and farther, to indicate by the voice the moment when the hand passed over the quarter minutes, or half minutes, or any other sub-division previously stipulated, during the whole course of the experiment. This he did without mistake, notwithstanding the exertions of those about him to distract his attention, and clapped his hands at the conclusion of the time fixed. His own account of it is thus given :—" I have acquired, by imitation, labour, and patience, a movement which neither thoughts, nor labour, nor any thing can stop: it is similar to that of a pendulum, which at each motion of going and returning gives me the spuce of three seconds, so that twenty of them make a minute—and these I add to others continuully.
Dukino the troubles in the reign of Charles I., a country girl came to London, in search of a situation; but not succeeding, she applied to be allowed to carry out beer from a brewhouse. These females were then called " tub-women." The brewer observing her to be a very good-looking girl, took her out of this low situation into his house, and afterwards married her. He died, however, while she was yet a very young woman, and left her a large fortune. She was recommended, on giving up the brewery, to Mr. Hyde, a most able lawyer, to settle her husband's affairs; he, in pro* cess of time, married the widow, and was afterwards made Earl of Clarendon. Of this marriage there was a daughter, who was afterwards wife to James II. and mother of Mary and Anne, queens of England. Zanua.
only a few days, and those in the depth of winter, and during that period the mariner might sail in full security; for which reason they were styled Halct/ondays. P. T. W.
In 1454, an Act of Parliament notices, "that there had used formerly six or eight attorneys only, for Suffolk, Norfolk, and Norwich together; that this number was now increased to more than eighty, most of whom being not of sufficient knowledge, came to fairs, 4c. inciting the people to suits for small trespasses, &c. wherefore there shall be hereafter but six for Suffolk, six for Norfolk, and two for the city of Norwich." H. B. A.
Inscription on a Tombstone in a Church-
Whosoever' life he choose to claim:
Halcyon-days denote a time of peace and tranquillity. The expression takes its rise from a sea-fowl, called among naturalists halcyon, or alcyon, which is said to build its nest about the winter solstice, when the weather is usually observed to be still and calm. Aristotle and Pliny tell us that this bird is most common in the seas of Sicily, that it sat
USE OF TIME.
Dr. Cotton Mather, who was a man of uncommon dispatch and activity in the management of his numerous affairs, and improved every minute of his time, that he might not suffer by silly, impertinent, and tedious visiters, wrote over his study-door, in large letters, "Be short."
Ursinus, a professor in fhe University of Heidelburgh, and a diligent scholar, to prevent gossips and idlers Irom interrupting him in his hours of study, wrote over the door of his library the following lines—" Friend, whoever thou art that comest hither, dispatch thy business or begone."
The learned Scaliger placed the following sentence over the doors of his study—"Tempus meumest ager meus," "My time is my field or estate." And it is frequently the only valuable field which the labourer, in body or mind, possesses.
Ever hold time too precious to be spent With babblers.—Shakspeare.
"Friends,"' says Lord Bacon, "are robbers of our time." H. B. A.
Epitaph On A Potter. How frail is man—how short life's
longest day! Here lies the worthy Potter, turned to
Whose forming hand, and whose reforming care,
Has left us full of flaws. Vile earthenware! H. S. G.
Lengthening Of The Days. Selden, in his Table Talk, says "The lengthening of days is not suddenly perceived till they are grown a pretty deal longer, because the sun, though it be in a circle, yet it seems for awhile to go in a straight line. For take a segment of a great circle especially, and you shall doubt whether it be straight or no. But when the sun has got past that line, then you presently perceive the days are lengthened. Thus it runa in the winter and summer solstice, which is indeed the true reason of them."
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(From the Gentleman's Magazine.) The town of Doncaster has been long celebrated for its beauty and cleanliness, for its striking approach from the south, its magnificent Grand Stand, and celebrated Race Course, its public buildings, its venerable Gothic Church, and stately tower; and latterly, by the erection of a beautiful Gothic Church, with an elegant spire, giving an additional feature to the town from every approach.
This new Church was founded and endowed by a benevolent individual of the name of Jarrett, whose ancestors had for a nnmber of years been connected with the town of Doncaster. A monument in the old church states that a brother of the founder was an alderman of this borough. John Jarrett, Esq. the founder of Christ Church, was in early life a manufacturer at Brud
Vol. XVII." E
ford; subsequently, during the war, he became a partner in the extensive ironworks carried on at Low Moor, near Bradford, under the firm of Jarrett, Danson, and Hardy, where he acquired a very large fortune. Retiring from business some years ago, he returned to his native town, to enjoy the fruits of his honest industry; and during a period of several years, he, by acts of kindness and benevolence, acquired the respect and esteem of his fellow-townsmen. It pleased the Great Disposer of events to terminate his life before the completion of this his last pious work. The first stone of the church was laid on the 9th of October, 1827; and the founder died on the 15th of January, 1S28, at the age of eighty-three. The sums he gave were, 10,000/. for the building, and 3,000V, for the endowment.
The site of the church, at the point where the Thorne road branches from the great North road, is particularly fine and open, occupying about two and a half acres of ground, surrounded by wide and spacious public roads. The style of architecture adopted is that which prevailed in the fourteenth century. The stone used is from the celebrated quarries of Roche Abbey.
The plan of the church comprises a tower, nave, two side-aisles, and a chancel; the latter, together with two vestries, forms a semi-octagonal projection, which gives the east end a multangular and unusual appearance. There are six windows to each aisle, and a seventh at the north-east and south-east vestries. Each of these is divided horizontally by two cross-mullions, and thereby formed into twelve lights; the centre three are square quartrefoils; and the tracery at the head forms three other quartrefoils. The east window is of six principal lights, and the upper part spread out in tracery.
The principal entrance is through a spacious octangular porch, the whole size of the tower, which is groined in imitation of stone. The entrance to the galleries and side-aisles is by the doors on the north and south sides of the church.
The size of the church from the tower to the chancel, in fhe interior, is ninety-four feet long, and fifty-two wide, with galleries at the south and north sides and west end. The accommodation is for one thousand persons, of which three hundred seats are free and unappropriated. The ceiling above the nave is divided into square compartments, by bold ornamented beams, with bosses at the intersection, which are painted in imitation of oak. The sideaisles are groined in imitation of stone, having bosses at the intersection of the ribs, with corbels for the ribs to rise from.
The pulpit, reading, and clerk's desks accord m style with the building, and are placed in the centre of the middle aisle, which is ten feet wide. A handsome stone font is placed in front of the west entrance.
We cannot conclude this account without expressing our admiration of this beautiful specimen of modern architecture, which, although not free from defects, possesses architectural merit in a very high degree. The uniform correctness of style in the detail, the beautiful and finely-proportioned spire, the chaste and elegant tracery of the windows, the light ornamental buttresses
and pinnacles, all combine to give a character to the building pleasing and satisfactory, and reflect great credit on the architects, Messrs. Woodhead and Hurst, of Doncaster.
The building was consecrated by his Grace the Archbishop of York, on the 10th of September, 1829; and the church opened for divine service on the 1st of November following.
The Rev. Henry Branson is appointed the first minister to this church; and the friends of the establishment will hear with satisfaction that, since the opening, the number of worshippers has increased by those who formerly attended the dissenting meeting-houses in the town and neighbourhood.
A subscription has been raised for an organ, which is now building by Gray, of London.
MAGNA CHARTA ISLAND. (To the Editor.) An early and constant subscriber to the Mirror is very much pleased with the view of Magna Charta Island, in No. 467; hut there is something more attached to this spot than the Editor seems aware of.
About half a mile from Magna Charta Island, on the right bank of the river, in the parish of Wyrardisbury, is a farm house, for many years past in the occupation of a family of the name of "Groome,'' as tenants to the late Alderman Gill, holding an estate in the aforesaid parish. This farm house was a residence of King John, whose arms are beautifully; painted, or emblazoned, on stained glass in the windows of the house.
In the kitchen of this farm-house is, or has been, a table of antique manufacture, upon which the identical Magna Charta was signed, and upon which the writer hereof has written and seided many a letter, and partaken of many a glass of home-brewed ale, and bread and cheese equally homely—that is, genuine. This table is considered as an heir loom in the family of Mr. Gill, and if removed at all, has been removed to the manor-house.
It is an erroneous idea that Magna Charta was signed on Runnymede: it was signed on Magna Charta Island, which goes a great way to prove the identity of the table. If relerence is made to the signing of treaties generally, as well in ancient as in modern times, it will appear that they have been signed at a distance from the scene of action; each party (particularly in feudal times) being attended by an equal number of adherents, to prevent surprise or stratagem.
The writer hereof has caught many a trout and perch oft' the banks opposite to the island, and has passed many a contemplative hour on the events of former ages, which have rendered the spot particularly interesting.
Gray's Walk, Lambeth. L.
*#* If the writer is not mistaken, Magna Charta IslandTM nn appurtenant to the manor of Wyrardisbury, and adjoins an estate called Ankerwicke, upon the grounds of which are the remains of an ancient monastery, or priory.
THE WATER KING S BRIDE.
FROM THE GERMAN OF SCHILLER,
(For the Mirror.) Light o'er the water tlte sun's ray planed, While the youths md maidens of Tubingen dane'd.
A stranger youth of noble mien,
Proffered his hand to the village queen.
"Youth, say why is thine hand so white?
The water knows not the day beams light;
Youth, oh why is so cold thine arm,
Can it in Neckar's flood be warm?"
He led her away from the lime-tree's shnde;
"Return my daughter," her mother stud.
He led her on to the stream so clear,
"Oh youth let me go, for I tremble with fear."
He dane'd till they reach'd the Neckar's bank,
One shriek, one plunge, in the wave they sank.
"Farewell, farewell, to thee, Tubingen's pride,
Maiden, thou art the Water Kiug's Bride."
(For the Mirror.)
The following curious compliment to the fair sex is extracted from an old play, entitled "Cupid's Whirligig— u Who would abuse your sex that knows it? O Woman! were we not born of you ?—should we not then honour you? Nursed by you, and not regard you? Made for you, and not seek you! And since we were made before you, should we not live and admire you as the last and most perfect work of Nature? Man was made when Nature was but an apprentice; but Woman when she was a skilful mistress of her art. By your love we live in double breath, even in our offspring after death. Are not all vices masculine, and virtues feminine? Are not the muses the loves of the learned? Do not all noble spirits follow the graces because they are women? There is but one phcenix, and she is a female. Was not the princess and foundress of good arts, Minerva, born of the brain ot highest
Jove, a woman? Has not woman the face of love, the tongue of persuasion, and the body of delight? O divine, perfectioned woman! If to be of thy sex is so excellent, what is it then to be a woman enriched by nature, made excellent by education, noble by birth, chaste by virtue, adorned by beauty!—a fair woman, which is the ornament of heaven, the grace of earth, the joy of life, and the delight of all sense, even the very summum bonum of man's existence.''
Burns must have had somewhat of the same idea as that which I have underlined, when he wrote—
"Her 'prentice han' she tried on man,
THE VICTORY OF THE CID.
(For the Mirror.)
The subject of the following lines is mentioned in the traditional histories of Spain : that on one occasion, to insure victory in a nocturnal attack on the Moslem camp, the body of the Cid was taken from the tomb, and carried in complete armour to the field of battle.
Not a voice was beard at our hour of need, When we plac'd the corse on his barbed steed,
Save one, that the blessing gave. Not a light beam'd on the charnel porcb Save the glare which flash d from the warrior's toreh,
O'er the death-pale face of the brave.
We prcss'd the helm on his ghastly head,
When the Cid went forth to fight.
And the Christians stalwart might?
The winds swept by with mournful blast,
Through troublous skies the clouds flitted fast,
Each sigh was echoed by Faynitn song;
Undrawn was the rein, and his own good sword
But each warrior's heart beat high,
For he knew that the Cid was nigh.
We bore him back to bis silent bed,
When his plumes with Poynim blood were red,
Aud the mass was sung, and the prayer was said
For tlie conqueror from the grave.
Bade Castile's banner wave.