Imatges de pàgina

land, a considerable quantity of the bones of fowls were turned up. The advantages to be derived from such a superstition were easily perceived by the monks of the Romish church; and the use of the Bible, and Lord's prayer, was exactly in their style of appropriating heathen superstitions. The name of St. Thecla is also, most probably, an adaptation of the same kind. The origin of the name for the epilepsy, Tegla, is properly, Teg-glwyf, or the happy disorder, since it is even now sometimes called Clefyd bendigaid, that is, the blessed disorder, in the same manner as St. Anthony's fire was called ignis sacer, &c. The change of Teg-glwyf into Tegla, is a very simple one, and the name of Thecla, was as commodious a succedaneum for Tegla, as the warmest wishes of a legend writer could possibly desire; and the probability, that such was the real origin of this name, will be increased by a similar one in the two following instances:

floor of an old church in the south of Eng-| priestess, for a fer, erased the name from her book, and took the poor wretch out of the well; that is, retracted the curse. Where death has been the consequence, and, that it has been so in many instances, is asserted so as to leave little or no doubt of the fact, is it less murder in the priestess and the applicant, than if it were perpetrated by any other means? Most certainly not. I have lately heard that the well has been filled up. I hope it is so. For if they who can, do not prevent such a prac tice, they would do well to consider whether the omission of doing so, does not involve them also in some participation of the crime of murder.

If the well of St. Thecla, as it is called, has been noted for producing a salubrious effect, by a superstitious influence on the imagination, that of St. Elian, not far from Bettws Abergeley in Denbighshire, is, or was till very lately, perniciously resorted to, and made use of, to produce an influence of an opposite nature upon the imagination; and the consequences have frequently been known to be the death of the credulous victim. It is not merely an opinion, but a firmly-rooted belief among the peasantry of this and the neighbouring counties, that if any one be, as the common phrase for the ceremony is, put into this well, by which is to be understood, the being made subject to its influence, that person will pine away till the cause is removed. Hence, if one of the lower order of the peasantry Conceived a malignant resentment against another, this became a mode not less certain, in many instances, than horrible, of gratifying the desire of vengeance. Near

the well resided some worthless and infamous wretch, who officiated as priestess. To her the person who wished to inflict the curse resorted, and for a trifling sum, she registered in a book, kept for the purpose, the name of the person on whom it was wished it should fall. A pin was theu dropped into the well in the name of the victim, and the report, that such a one had been put into the well, soon reached the ears of the object of revenge. If this object were a person of a credulous disposition, the idea soon preyed upon the spirits, and, at length, terminated fatally; unless a timely reconciliafion should take place between the parties, in which case the

The ceremony of dropping pins into the well is common to other wells in the coun

try; but as to the others, whatever idea may originally have been attached to the but it appears to have been, at first, a ceremony, it seems to be wholly forgotten; kind of offering to the genius of the well of some part of the dress, and the pin a substitute.

Without imputation on Mr. R's. discernment, it may, in our opinion, be doubted, whether the name Thecla do not rather refer to a female saint, cele

brated for her celestial compassion and
power in the care of this species of dis-
We have histories in which
this lady, or some other of the same
name, maintains a figure; and many
names of this kind appropriated to dis-
eases, are derived from saints, besides
St. Anthony's Fire---St. Vitus's Dance,
aud various others, well known to this
day, in Catholic countries.

Other customs engage the reverend writer's attention, some ludicrous, some serious, yet many have escaped him. He seems scarcely to have felt the importance of his subject to the general history of our island. For, it ought to be recollected, that, if remains of our more ancient customs, of which no written memorial is extant, can be traced any where among us, the only hope of accomplishing that, must rest on the seclusions of Wales. If authentic, they would be, equally gratifying and instructive.

We might say the same of similar antiquities derived from other parts of our island. They certainly mark the dispositions and characters of different races of men, in ages long gone by:whose memorial is otherwise perished with them, beyond recovery.


Dissertations and Letters, by Don Joseph Rodriguez, &c. tending to impugn or to defend the Trigonometrical Survey of England and Wales carrying on by Col. Mudge and Capt. Colby, &c. By O. Gregory, LL. D. Svo. pp. 106. Price 38. Sherwood and Co. London.


The title to this pamphlet fills the page completely, and to say the least, is quite unfashionable. The contents of it refer to a very laborious, and even painfully anxious, survey of our Island, intended to produce a thorough knowledge of all its bearings, and a correct delineation of all its parts. It has been many years in progress, and is likely to continue many more. We know, that it is considered as the most important operation of the kind ever undertaken by the British nation. It has been conducted by Col. Mudge and Capt. Colby. But when one series of these labours was perfected by combination, the result presented anomalies, at once striking and unaccountable: some of them did not agree with others of a like kind, obtained by foreign mathematicians; and instead of proving that the earth is compressed towards the poles, they indicate the contrary. Now, we think it extremely doubtful whether the compression of the earth proceeds with unbroken uniformity throughout the whole surface, from the equator to the poles; and whether under some meridians there may not be, more or less, of a dipping (though insensible) sometimes in one direction, sometimes in another. This would not at all affect the general figure of the earth; though it would slightly vary astronomical observations; and the greater their accuracy, the more perplexing would be their conclusions, when reduced to calculation and expected to incorporate with others. And further, to this must be added, the varying den sity of the earth in different places, with the varying power of attraction possessed by neighbouring masses, some known, some unknown, and even unsuspected.

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These causes are independent of any supposeable error in instruments, or obVOL. II. New Series. Lit. Pan.

servers, for which a small allowance must be made, to whatever extent a series of observations may be carried. But there seems to be another cause of variation-for it may not be error-in this survey. The two stars which possibly occasioned the principal anomaly, are double stars; and if it might be supposed that each is sometimes brighter than the other, and that they have been observed, alternately, by reason of such brightness, then---might this qui pro quo be the cause of the supposed inaccuracy?

The distance between the two stars composing this double star agrees well enough with this hint, which is offered merely as a hint; an unsupported conjecture.

Though an island be confessedly inappropriate to such undertakings, that may not be the cause of this anomaly; for something of the kind has been detected in France, also: and after all, it may depend on causes not surmised, but left for future discoverers. Be this as it may, we confess that the attempt of Don Rodriguez to confer the palm of superior accuracy in making observations, rather on the French than the English astronomers, startled us, when we first saw it in the Philosophical Transactions. That was not the place where we should have expected such a paper; though being there, we hope and trust, it will prove essentially beneficial to the scientific world.

This Spanish astronomer, who was a coadjutor with the French astronomers in a similar undertaking in the Mediterranean, thinks Col. Mudge has failed in some of his observations. Against this imputation Dr. Gregory defends him; and Dr. Thompson rejoins more than once to Dr. Gregory. The altercation is rude, and unbecoming. Men of letters should be men of self-controul. The occasion called for no such contention; and it were best buried in oblivion. This pamphlet, however, is calculated to prevent that, by comprising the opinions of several eminent foreigners on the subject; and, by references of various kinds, as well biographical as astronomical.

The Lives of Alchemystical Philosophers; with a critical Catalogue of occult Chemistry, and a selection of the most celebrated Treatises on the Theory and Practice of the Hermetic Art. Price 10s. 6d. Lackington and Co.



Oh, inconsiderate and excessive patriotism! to sell for half-a-guinea a work from which, more surely than from the "golden lottery," the reader may acquire his thousands and tens of thousands; and which the blindest obstinacy alone-that of the Bank Directors!-prevents from producing its due effect on the greatest money corporation in the world! Pay in gold !-why, by this time they might have made mountains of that mineral;-might have bid defiance to all the mining monopolists of Spanish America;-to all mining and undermining;---nay, might have been obliged to whoever would have had the charity to relieve them from their superabundant ingots and pigs of the precious metals.

Ah! but they mistook-they foolishly contented themselves with heating their red lion per ignem; they impregnated him with a vegetable black powder, embodied with a desiccating oil; then they applied to his surface thin filaments of Nilotic origin, and passing the compound vi et armis by projection and reverberation, completed the whole with hieroglyphics---whereas, they ought to have but the process is so clear, that any attempt to abridge it were folly in the essence.

Of the Green Lion.-In the green lions' bed, the sun and moon are born; they are married, and beget a king. The king feeds on the lions' blood, which is the king's father and mother, who are at the same time his brother and sister. I fear I betray the secret, which I promised my master to conceal in dark speech, from every one that does not know how to rule the philosopher's fire.

When you have fed your lion with sol and luna, lay them in an easy heat, enclose them Like an egg; a long time will elapse before the king dies, after having eaten all the lion's blood; and at length he grows dark and dry like lamp-black; then the fire may be encreased one degree; for the sweat of the lion, which was given him to eat before the glass was shut, has now united with him, and

is imbibed, or soaked up, if it was rightly proportioned; but if there was too much moisture, it will be the longer in drying, and die of thirst. if it was not sufficiently wet, the child will

Imbibe six times with eight days between each, and then in six weeks in the sealed glass, blackness will appear, and pass away till all is white; this may be fermented for the white stone, or otherwise proceed to the red by continuation of the fire;-then ferment the red powder with pure gold, but the secret is to take the thing that began the work; join luna and the blood of the green lion as at first, and with it ferment the white or red, one to four, without cooling the matters, and seal the glass again till you see the black, white, and red. There is no better the ferment. multiplication than to repeat the work of

A child may understand this as well as the wisest man: we are sorry, however, to differ from this author on the neces sity of repeating the work of the ferment, for the purpose of multiplication; whereas, says a brother adept--

The philosophers made proportions, divers manner of ways, but the best proportion is this: let one part be cast upon an all its impurities; and it will all become mehundred parts of mercury, cleansed from dicine, or elixir; and this is the second medicihe: which projected upon a thousand parts, converts it all into good sol, or luna. Cast one part of this second medicine upon an hundred of mercury prepared, and it will all become medicine, and this is the third medicine, or elixir of the third degree, which other body, and transmute it wholly into fine will project upon ten thousand parts of ansol or luna. Again, every part of this third medicine being cast upon an hundred parts of prepared mercury, it will all become medicine of the fourth degree, and it will transmute ten hundred thousand times its own quantity of another metal into fine sol or luna, according as your fermentation was made. Now these second, third, and fourth medicines may be so often dissolved, sublimed, and subtilizated, till they receive far greater virtues and powers, and may after the same manner be multiplied infinitely.

What an inexhaustible mine of wealth does this open to the simplest souls among the sons of men! Who, now, is poor from necessity? who from his stars ? who from any other cause than his own wilful ignorance, and most astonishing obstinacy,---merely because he will not study the infallible principles of this delightful science. Is it possible to have


patience any longer with those dolts and ninnies who refuse to co-operate in so good a work? Neither is mercury absolutely necessary; for Raymond Lully, in King Edward's time, "converted in the Tower of London twenty-two tons weight of quicksilver, lead, and tin, into gold:" ---afterwards employed in the famous rose noble; the purest of all our coins! Nor is this all for Arnold de Villeneuve testifies "the genuine conversion at Rome [they are famous for "conversions" at Rome] of iron bars into pure gold." If this does not satisfy our readers, we can but lament that they should be less tractable than that obdurate metal: however, their time may come; and that it may, we warrant the hearty supplications of Messrs. Lackington, Allen, and Co.: whose modesty in charging only half-aguinea for a performance so precious, is proof enough that our day also may boast of its conversions :--who, then, need despair? who would any longer refrain from the Magnum Opus; or continue a stranger to the Alchemystical operations of--permutation---illumination--

exaltation--incorporation--and sublima. tion. "Close up thy vessel, and pursue to the end," say the learned :-shall the dubious dare to ask, "to what end?"

The Reformers Vindicated; or, a few plain reasons why the present Constitution of these Realms ought to be immediately abolished. By a Liveryman of London. Price 1s. 6d. Stockdale, London. 1815.

Dean Swift would have made a much better thing of this subject than the present writer has made of it; for irony is like every other keen weapon, extremely difficult to guide; yet, unless it be keen it is nothing.

of things according to the course of `nature, and in a short time few will remain. Punishment attaches not to the dead; and those who are living have it in their power, by confessions which ne longer compromise their safety, to make some kind of amends to their country.

Were this history truly opened-and we know some who are able to open itit would do more toward teaching John Bull the danger of following demagogues, than all the supposed or fancied occasions of speechification, whether for or against. It would be felt as a home stroke-if it did not absolutely cut all Gallic interference between the Continent and the British islands.

The thought strikes us, that it is in the power of the author, or of his connection, to do the nation a good service, by furnishing the real history of the reformers,

The Cross-Bath Guide; being the corre spondence of a respectable Family upon the subject of a late unexpected dispensation of honours. Collected by Sir Joseph Cheakill, K. F. K. S. &c. Under12mo. price 3s. 6d. wood, London. 1815.

Anstey's "Bath Guide" has given rise to many imitators; the present poet adds one to the number. He relates the festivities consequent on the distinctions bestowed in the family of a citizen, who after seeing his son included in the late extension of the Order of the Bath, and himself made a Baronet, becomes bankrupt, and appears as such in the same gazette as announces his new honour.

Anstey drew from life; and his satire is general on the foibles of life, while his characters were intelligible portraits to those who knew the subjects of them. This writer does not draw from life, but from spleen; why contribute to depreciate a political measure, of which it may be said, at least, that it connects with "the cheap defence of nations?" Will his tit-up-a-tit-up strains, persuade the public, that military honours are not essential rewards to military men?

There are follies enough in the world,

and of the reformations intended and at-unquestionable follies-free to the pen tempted, by the Jacobin clubs, which of every writer of discernment ;-but were so notorious some years ago. There whoever commits them to poetry should is a great deal of private history attached take good care that in exposing abroad to them; and the parties who could follies he do not expose a much great make disclosures, are quitting the scene folly at home,

The Right to Church Property Secured, and Commutation of Tythes Vindicated, in a Letter to the Rev. W. Coxe, Archdeacon of Wilts. 8vo. pp. 41. Highley, London.


A very difficult subject in the opinion of those best acquainted with the statutes to which it has given occasion; but free from all difficulty, in the mind of this writer, who appears to be treating on the question, in a series of essays. Ilis proposition is

Government has already, on the books of the property tax, certain data whereby the value of tythe may be generally estimated. Could this be depended upon as exact, a most simple progress would complete the proceeding. This might be shortly as follows. Take the sum of the value of a certain number of years back-say three years, and divide this by three, to obtain the average value. Then take the prices of corn from the Gazette, for the corresponding three years, and by dividing them also in the same way, obtain the average of corn prices. The question then is, to calculate how much corn, each portion of tythe, above estimated in money, would purchase at these prices and the quantities thus fixed, being registered, would remain for all time coming, to be reckoned the commuted tythe of the spective subjects.

in money for all time coming? especially when proposed as a broad and universal proceeding?

The History of Eutropius, being an abridgment, is susceptible of considerable illustration by notes, they supplying those omissions which naturally controul an abridgment. Mr. B's. continued notes at the foot of each page form a comment. ary very proper for this purpose, and in general are well executed; but some appear to us to be rather disfigured. For instance, Jerusalem is said to be called by its present possessors Chutz or Gotz. Who can recognize in these uncouth terms the Al-Kuds, or "C Holy City," of the modern Arabs?-yet is this the very appellation given to Jerusalem by St. Matthew, and possibly was so, long be fore Moses. When the Euphrates is said to rise in Mount Taurus, &c. and to flow into the Persian gulph. the di re-rection in which it flows (southerly) should be added, for the benefit of youth: nor would the latitude and longitude have been misapplied, either of Bagdad, or of the river's mouth. To many ancient names of cities Mr. B. has added the modern names: why not to all?— These defects may be corrected with ease in another edition. The Historical and Geographical Questions are very proper, and instructive.

Now, the fixing this commutation in money for all time coming, recalls to mind those numerous endowments which in time past have been fixed in money; and leads to the enquiry-What is their present state?

For instance, a certain chapel was endowed some centuries ago with a stipend of ten pounds per annum ;---at that time a plentiful income, quite sufficient, with perhaps something over, to enable the priest to exercise hospitality; what is the state of that chapel at present? is ten pounds a sufficient maintenance? The question answers itself; and, if there be any doubt, ask the dissenters, who have almost universally raised the income of their ministers, and the subscriptions for their seats. What has been, will continue to be: and a hundred years he ce money and the products of land may be at as great variance as they now are, compared With a hundred years back:-if so, what becomes of the fixed value of any stipend

Eutropi Historiae Romanae libri Septem: cum notis Anglicis et Questionibus, ad erudiendam Juventutem Historia Geographiaeque Antiqua accommodatus. Studio C. Bradley. Longman. and Co. London. 1815.

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