« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
chester Gaol from Mr. W. his son and daughter in law, I convinced them, that I was by no means disposed to be the first to adopt a virulent attack upon an opponent in sentiment. I bave lately seen an account of the death of one Mr. Wait of King Square, Bristol, but it was not mentioned as the Rev. • Mr. Wait, whom I found in a bad ştate of health, and who, I fear, has not survived my imprisonment to receive that visit of mine in Bristol which I have purposed and for which I have an invitation,
Of Dr. Gregory, I am now disposed to think nothing but good, and, as must have been almost a universal case, bis speech to the Mechanics of Deptford and its vicinity, bas raised my admiration of him to a high pitch. An article of this kind is never stale, and I now introduce that speech to the readers of The Republican' as a proof of the great good which these Mechanics’ Institutes cannot fail to do, in connecting the highest state of mathematical and other scientific ability with the lowest state of mechanical labour.
R. C. White Hart Inn, Salisbury, Dec. 2, 1825.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTION AT DEPTFORD. A numerous meeting of the mechanics of Deptford was lately held at the Roman Eagle, for the purpose of establishing a Mechanics’ Institution in that town, Dr. Olinthus Gregory in the chair, who, after a brief exordium, addressed the meeting as follows:
“ You must prepare yourselves for opposition. There is not, in the whole range of human undertakings, one that has not had to contend with some species of enemy; and it is only until you have overcome every difficulty, and stand upon your own firm and proud pre-eminencé, that you must expect your labours to go on quietly. I do not mean to say that this opposition will, in all cases, proceed from persons of bad intentions, but from those who really do not take the trouble to understand the object you have in view. I remember when poor children, twenty or thirty years ago, were first taught the simple art of penmanship, it was urged - Oh! you must not teach them to write, or they may commit forgery' (A laugh.)-Now, let us see bow far this kind of reason will carry us. You must not teach children to speak, or they may commit perjury. Again, suppose my excellent friend, Dr. Birkbeck, to be called upon to attend a person labouring under a paralytic attack, it might be said, 'Oh don't do any thing for him, let him remain as he is, or who knows but that in a week or two he may commit an assault.” (A laugh.) The general questions are --- How far do you intend to go? What
do yon purpose by your Mechanics' Institutes? You have your National Schools, your Lancasterian Schools, your Sunday Schools, and now, forsooth, you must have your Schools of Science.' Gentlemen, I will tell you how far we intend to go-to the very extent of your mental susceptibilities. It is said, that immediately you are instructed in science you become unfitted for the practical arts; as if the improving of your heads would les.. sen the skilfulness of your fingers. I contend, from actual observation, that the contrary is the fact. Will a man, because he may be told that Queen Elizabeth reigned after William the Conqueror, make the worst journeyman blacksmith? Because he may be instructed in geography, and learn that the Cape of Good Hope is in Africa, and Cape Horn in South America, will he make the worse locksmith ? Because he may be told the elements of which water is composed, will he make the worse shipwright, husband, father, or son? I have, within my own ken, and even within my own eye at this moment, men, who, filling an humble situation in life, are persons whose talents and mental industry render them objeets of my admiration. I know an individual residing at Woolwich, an aged man, who has weathered the storms of seventy winters, and never, I believe, at any period of his life, earned above thirty shillings per week, and yet science is considerably indebted to the genius and assiduity of that venerable person. He has, among many other improvements, invented a composition pendulum, the service of which is well known to and duly appreciated by my friend, Dr. Birkbeck, and others around me. Now, I will venture to say, that the individual of whom I am speaking has quite as much industry, and is equally fitted for the occupation by which he gains his livelihood, as if he were perfectly innocent of the talent which I have told
he possesses. I have now to inform you, that several gentlemen, who are eminent in science, have kindly offered their assistance in occasionally delivering lectures to you. But it is not upon lectures that you are altogether to depend for the information you seek.-Much is to be done-much must be done by yourselves, by conversation, by mutual interrogation, and by assembling in groups, and demonstrating to each other the truths with which one may have been enabled to become more readily acquainted than another: and here let me remark, that the most important principles may be exhibited by very simple apparatus--for instance, the principle of the lever may be shown by a foot: rule and some penny-pieces; and by the means of a spring steel-yard, and the models of the beams of a house or ship, the precise strain which these beams will bear may be ascertained.' There is not, perhaps, one among you, who does not know that in laying the rafters for a floor, they are placed that their depth may exceed their breadth. And this, which may appear to some of you
the result of custom, is not so, but the consequence of a knowledge of
one of the fixed laws of nature-namely, that in any beam the breadth multiplied by the square of the depth, divided by the length, will represent the strength. Why, then, should not the labouring carpenter be made acquainted with these laws? Why should not the plumber be instructed in the science of hydraulics ? Improvements are far more likely to be suggested to those engaged in the practical application of a science to the useful purposes of life, than to those whose attention is devoted to its theory. I know of several improvements that have been made in an engine in Woolwich yard by the persons engaged in the labour of working it. There are, besides, other advantages resulting from the knowledge of science. Opportunities will sometimes occur when that knowledge will be of the utmost possible consequence. I will mention two cases bearing upon this declaration, Two young men, neither of whom could swim, were about to bathe in a place where the water did not appear above four feet deep. One of them, however, who had studied a little of optics, and knew that the rays of light refracted from water, that is, in passing from a denser to a rarer medium, would become bent, and consequently elevate the bed of the river, cautioned his companion to stop, just as he was on the point of plunging into the stream. ;This probably saved the young man's life, for it was subsequently ascertained that the water was above six feet deep: The second is an instance of the life of a sailor being saved through the scientific knowledge of a cabin boy: this lad had read in a book, that the specific gravity of the whole of a man's body was to a similar bulk of sea water as nine is to ten, and consequently that it must float upon its surface; but the man kept lifting his arms above the water, which the lad saw would counterbalance the less specific gravity of the remainder of the body; be therefore kept calling to the sailor, · Keep your arms down! This advice was attended to for more than twenty minutes, and the poor fellow's life was eventually saved. Gentlemen, this poor cabin boy was no less an individual than the subsequently eminent Mr. Nicholson, editor of the Philosophical Journal, who, in connexion with Dr. Birkbeck, first gave that impulse to the mechanics which is now felt at the remotest parts of the kingdom. Here, then, is a striking instance of a man bursting from obscurity-of genius shaking off the trammels that bound it, and springing into new life and freedom. What was Sir Richard Arkwright? a man to whose genius this country is indebted for very much of its commercial prosperity--to whose improvements in the machinery for spinning cotton we are indebted for being enabled to keep the cotton trade chiefly confined to ourselves-what, I say, was the great Arkwright? A barber. Yet we owe our proud superiority in this department of our national greatness to the unassisted efforts of Dick the Barber. Who was Ferguson? A simple peasant, a man, who wrapped in his plaid, passed the
winter nights in contemplating the heavens, and who, by arranging his beads upon the cold heath, at length completed a map of the stars. Who was Dr. Herschel, the discoverer of so many important astronomical facts? A boy who played the pipe and tabor in a foreign regimental band. Who was Watt? A mathematical instrument maker. Who was Smeaton? An attorney, Who was Brindley, whose canals have given such an accession of power to our commerce by the facilities of internal communication? A millwright. Nicholson, a cabin boy; and Ramadge the best maker of reflecting telescopes in the world, a Scotch cutler.- Now, without labour, without perseverance, without science, Sir R. Arkwright would have remained Dick Arkwright the barber-the great Herschel would have piped on to the end of the chapter--Watt would have made spectacles-and all the others would have continued in that obscurity from which they emerged with such astonishing brilliance.”—The Learned President sat down amidst most cordial cheering
SUN OR FIRE WORSHIP,
Every system, save one, must have had a beginning; that one, I take to be the per se properties of matter. Religion is a corruption that is secondary to the existence of mankind, and if we cannot trace the origin of the latter, as a distinct portion of animal matter, there still remains a probability of tracing the origin of the former, as an erroneous moral principle springing from an ignorance of its real properties. To get at the foundation of the errors of this moral principle called religion, it is necessary to rest on the things that do exist and not on the words which have arisen as erroneous descriptions of those things. The most powerful thing operating upon the surface of the earth is the sun, and all things on the face of the earth are influenced by it. We have no knowledge of other influence that can form an exception to its universal action on the surface of the earth, and hence we may safely infer, that it has given birth to the fabled history of the Gods. In No. 6, of this volume, I gave some reasons for this conclusion, and I find, that a respectable correspondent in Besley's Exeter News has farther illustrated the subject; which illustration I append to this head. While in Exeter, I learnt, with satisfaction, that Mr. Besley was reprinting the hitherto published works of Mackay, and I hope to see from bis press a neat and corrected edition, which we shall keep on sale in London.
Whiddon's Hotel, Plymouth, Nov. 27, 1825. R. C.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE EXETER NEWS. GRIMSPOUND, or a circular Temple of the Sun under Hamel
Down. In continuation of my last subject I beg leave to add one more paragraph from the very able author of the Indian Antiquities. * These are," says Mr. Maurice, “all plain vestiges of the solar devotion, as well as proofs of its universal influence, which spread from the plains of Babylon, where it originated under Belus, to the rocks and forests of Britain, first tenanted by his posterity (rather his worshippers) the Belidæ, that primeval colony who instituted the Bealtine, and who, according to Mr. Bryant's and my own supposition, were the fabricators of Stonehenge, and the designers of Abury.”-vi. 144. True! and the same Belidæ, whom Stukeley calls the Albionites, enclosed the sacred circles of Grimspound, and lit the consecrated fires to their God Belinus, on the carnedds of Dartmoor. These sacred fires once blazed over the whole island-as well as over the sister island. « On May-eve, the Druids," says Mr. Toland, made prodigious fires on these carns, which, being every one in sight of some other, could not but afford a glorious show over a whole nation. These fires were in honour of Beal, or Bealau, Latinized by the Roman writers into Belenus, by which name the Gauls, and iheir colonies understood the Sun; and therefore to this hour, the first day of May is, by the Aboriginal Irish, called la Bealtine, or the day of B
n's fire. May-day is likewise called la Bealtine by the Highlanders of Scotland, who are no contemptible part of the Celtic offspring. So it is in the Isle of Man: and in Armoric, a priest is still called Belee, or the servant of Bel, and the priesthood Belegieth.”— vi. 155. Maurice from Toland, p. 70.
The solar God, Bel, was holden in such high reverence, that the very names of Kings and Generals, both in Carthage and Britain, were compounded of Bel, or Beal. Ex. gr. Hanni-hal; Asdru-bal; and the British king-Cuno-belinus, (the royal Belin). See Gough's Camden, 1. Ixvii..
The Tank or Lake, which is on the north side of the Temple, was a very frequent appendage of Brahminical places of Worship, and used for purification. This tank was, if I conjecture right, of an elliptical form, but is now a morass covered with water plants, and among others the cotton plant. The form and depth of the tank cannot at present be accurately ascertained, but I hope that the Rev. Mr. Mason, (to whom, as well as to Mr. Jones, I feel much indebted for their kind assistance in this inquiry,) will make some effort, not only to investigate them, but to determine whether any steps or pavement, or stone work of any kind remain at the bottom, or sides of the tank, Mr. Puddicombe is kind enough to send me the following information :-