« AnteriorContinuar »
ANTIQUITY OF THE GOSPELS VERSUS THE MYTHIC EXPLANATIONS
OF STRAUSS. Dr Dobbin of Trinity College Dublin has come -confounding the Creator of the universe with his forward with what he conceives a new test of the works, and veiling under a mystical jargon opinions reality and antiquity of the gospels, in refutation of which, if carried out to their legitimate meaning, would the mythical explanation of Dr Strauss. To enable end in atheism. The Amber Witch is a story which our readers to understand this subject, we shall first has been translated and read in this country without a give an explanation of the opinions of Strauss in his knowledge of its true design or purpose. The following own words. “A myth is the invention of a fact with account may be interesting. the help of an idea. A nation or religious community Dr Meinhold, a clergyman in Usedom, a small island finds itself in a certain position in the midst of certain at the mouth of the Oder, in Prussian Pomerania, some institutions and notions, on the spirit of which it lives. twenty years since, wrote a treatise intended to illusThe nation or community finds itself constrained by in trate the process of trial for witchcraft, once so common vincible yearnings after satisfaction as to the origin of through the whole of Europe, The censorship of the those observances and views, to imagine for itself an press, for some reason which does not appear, forbade its origin for them. The real origin is concealed in the publication; and hence our author, acting on the recomdarkness of the past, or it is not sufficiently clear to cor mendation of Horace, though from a different motive, respond with the clearness and fulness of these enlarged kept his manuscript for a lengthened period in his conceptions and desires. By the light of those concep studio, occasionally revising and retouching his protions and at the instigation of those desires they trace scribed literary offspring, and eventually presented it to upon the obscure canvass of the past an attractive pic the public, in another form than that in which it was ture of fabulous incidents, these incidents being but the re originally moulded, and attired in a corresponding dress, flection of their present thoughts and aspirations."
In the preface to this book he gave the following fictiti. Accordingly in support of this strange assertion Dr ous account of its origin:Strauss labours to prove that the writings of the New “In my former cure, the same which was held by Testament were composed at least thirty years posterior our worthy author some two hundred years ago, there to the time of the supposed events they detail, this in existed under a seat in the choir of the church a sort of terval he thinks being sufficient for the evolution of the niche, nearly on a level with the floor. I had often seen myth. Indeed he is compelled by facts not to be disput a heap of various writings in this recess; but owing to ed thus to limit the period within which the leading nar my short sight, and the darkness of the place, I had ratives of the New Testament must have been written. taken them for antiquated hymn-books, which were Now the refutation of Dr Dobbin hinges upon the fol- lying about in great numbers. But one day, while I lowing circumstances : while each sacred penman differs | was teaching in the church, I looked for a paper-mark from his neighbour in almost every conceivable form of | in the catechism of one of the boys, which I could not style and expression, there is one particular, and perhaps immediately find; and my old sexton, who was past only one, in the language of the gospels, in which Matthew, eighty, stooped down to the said niche, and took from it Mark, Luke, and John, entirely correspond with each a folio volume, which I had never before observed, out other. This particular consists in the word which they of which he tore a strip of paper suited to my purpose, use when speaking of our Saviour. He is called by them and reached it to me. I immediately seized upon the Jesus, the designation of the Jew of Galilee, the prevail book, and, after a few minutes' perusal, I know not ing one at the time the sacred historians wrote-the which was greater, my astonishment, or my vexation, name by which they were accustomed to address him, at this costly prize. The manuscript, which was bound and that expressive of his personal designation. The in vellum, was not only defective both at the beginning other term is that used by the writers of the epistles, as and at the end, but several leaves had been torn out Paul, James, Peter, Jude, and John, in his epistles and here and there in the middle. I scolded the old man in the Apocalypse--the term Christ, as expressive of our as I had never done during the whole course of my life; Lord's official capacity.
but he excused himself, saying that one of my predecesAs an exemplification, long lists of passages are given sors had given him the manuscript for waste paper. No where these two names are used separately, and where sooner had I reached home than I fell to work upon my they are occasionally used conjoined, from which it ap new acquisition, and after reading a bit here and there pears evident that the name Jesus is the prevailing one with considerable trouble, my interest was powerfully in the gospels, while, as stated, Christ and Christ Jesus excited by the contents.” are the prevailing terms in the epistles. From these Having perused this manuscript, he says he resolved remarkable circumstances Dr Dobbin thinks it evident on publishing it in its original antiquated form, omitting that the difference of designation thus proved to exist, some uninteresting details, and endeavouring to restore indicates a different period for the composition of the the leaves torn out of the middle, imitating, as far as two classes of writings—the gospels and epistles; and possible, the language and manner of the old biographer. that these periods must have been an early date for the He adds, somewhat satirically, as we can now undergospels, and one considerably later for the epistles. The stand, “ I refrain from pointing out the particular pasbearing of these circumstances on the theory of Strauss sages which I have supplied, so as not to disturb the thus becomes evident. It affords the strongest probabi historical interest of the greater part of my readers. lity for the authenticity of the gospels, for the fact that For modern criticism, which has now attained to a dethey were composed by men the contemporaries of gree of acuteness never before equalled, such a confesJesus, aud that on the other hand the epistles were sion would be entirely superfluous, as critics will easily written at a period considerably posterior to the death distinguish the passages where Pastor Schweidler speaks, of our Saviour, when his official capacity had become from those written by Pastor Meinhold.” clearly recognised, and consequently the appellation of The narrative professedly refers to a period immediChrist became the more appropriate one.
ately succeeding the Thirty Years' War, and describes Strauss's Leben Jesu, or Life of Jesus, is a well-known the hopes and fears, and the domestic and ministerial production in Germany. It emanates from Hegel's troubles of the eccentric and worthy pastor of Usedom. school of philosophy, which is essentially a system of It pourtrays, in simple, graphic, and affecting language, pantheism, divesting the Deity of all personal qualities,
bow witchcraft began in the village-how his poor child
was taken up for a witch, and carried to Pudgla, at the • Soe Tentarnen Anti-Straussianum, by T. Dobbin, D.D., and North British Ruview, No. YIIL
| instigation of the sheriff, whose guilty overtures she had resisted-how Syndicus Dom Michelsen arrived and pre. , a history which is attested not only by its existence and pared her defence- how she was put to the torture in wide extension to the present day, but by the united vain, to cause her to confess, and afterwards sentenced testimony of all antiquity, and by the blood of thousands to death-how the sheriff met with an awful end on the of martyrs--a madness more insane than if they were way to the place of execution; and how this heroic and to affirm that the splendid cathedral at Cologne was Christian child was at length saved by the help of the commenced, and obtained its present state, without an all-merciful God. This outline is cleverly filled up with architect and without a plan, by the act of pilgrims, à variety of natural and striking events; and excepting who merely cast stones together as they passed.” This some few indelicate expressions, which we wish the good announcement was met with the unbounded indignation taste of Lady Duff Gordon bad expunged from her of the deceived critics, who not only charged the author translation, the narrative is exquisitely beautiful and with abominable wickedness, but persisted in affirming pathetic, and well entitled to the claim of being “ the | that his book was a genuine historic document. most interesting trial for witchcraft ever known.” The We believe that Dr Meinhold subsequently made manuscript was forwarded by Meinhold to Strauss, with oath before the Synod of Usedom to the fictitious chathe suggestion that it might possibly illustrate by ana racter of “ the Amber Witch," and the members of that logy some narratives in the New Testament; it was synod published their united testimony to the correctsubsequently presented to his majesty the King of ness of his declarations. The controversy on the matPrussia, who approved its contents, while ignorant of ter of fact was thus brought to an end, and the author its design; by him it was ordered to be printed, and it in closing it, sayswas accordingly published in the year 1813.
“ From the history of my work the following conclu“ The Amber Witch” bears this title, from the sub- sions, which I would fain circulate far and wide, may, I ject of the trial having employed herself in digging for think, be drawn. 1. The critics who assert that they amber, by night, on the Streckelberg, meaning to sell can develope, from the letters and style of the sacred it, and with the produce to purchase and to present to writings, the author, and the exact time of composition, her father, on his birthday, the Opp. St Augustini, as ought to blush at the present failure of their skill. out of this circumstance arose the principal evidence of 2. Those of them who declare that history of Jesus her witchcraft. The attractive character of the book, Christ, whose historic truth has a far better foundation and the royal patronage under which it was introduced than any other historic fact whatever, to be a romance, to the reading world of Germany, secured for it a wide ought to be ashamed of themselves for taking my roand rapid circulation. It was everywhere read and mance for real history. 3. If they persist, as they propraised; the multitude universally received it as a genu bably will, in declaring my fable to be a fact, in spite of ine history, and, best of all, none of the neological critics my assertion to the contrary, and of the affidavit of a even binted the least suspicion that it was a fiction. synod of divines, and yet declare the history of the gosOur author having for six months enjoyed the complete pel to be false or fabulous, though its authors have seal. success of his ruse de guerre, at the end of that perioded their testimony to its truth with their own blood, all wrote, from what he called his literary Patmos, to reasonable men will judge that they have pronounced Hengstenberg's Kirchen-zeitung, an evangelical periodical, their own condemnation. If the device by which I acknowledging the purely fictitious character of the have proved this is wicked, it is the wickedness of one work, and the theological purpose it was designed to who by an artifice would detect a thief that had broken serve. In this communication he accuses the anti-su- | into the sanctuary. To me, and thousands of others, pernaturalists of great folly, in receiving his undisguised the GOSPEL is such a SANCTUARY.” myth for genuine history, while they reject “ as fabulous,
ALNWICK FREEMAN WELL. To those whose sympathies still linger on the “Good | pasturing cattle on this common, besides having eduold Times,” the following statement illustrative of the cational and other advantages. These rights are atcustoms of our ancestors still practised by their descen- tained by birth or servitude. Annually on St Mark's dants, may not be without its interest. We give it from eve, the 24th of April, the town bell sounds a notice to a local publication, the Provincial Souvenir for 1846. the members of the Corporation; the Town Hall is
In the north of England are some little nooks, quiet thrown open; the Four-and-twenty, or Common Counsequestered spots, yet uninvaded by railroads, and but cil, presided over by the Chamberlains, are assembled little troubled with fitful and feverish excitement, where to receive candidates for the freelage; and numbers of the broad mummeries of olden times still flourish fresh freemen and of stallingers, as the non-freemen are called, and vigorous. Alnwick, an ancient town, pleasantly crowd into the Hall. Quiet though the town generally situated on the banks of the Aln, amidst beautiful and is, the freemen are not always peaceable; these annual romantic scenery, is one of these tranquil retreats, fa meetings are sometimes a scene of uproar and confusion; mous for its noble Castle, the seat of the Percies, and ever and anon grievances, real or supposed, are occursingularly curious on account of the ludicrous ceremony ring, which rouse popular anger, and cause a condemnawhich annually initiates the young Freemen to its cor tion, loud and severe, to be passed on the governing porate privileges.
body. Such of the claimants as establish their right to Alnwick, though not a municipal, is an incorporated their freedom to the satisfaction of the Four-and-twenty, borough, with its constituted authorities, its Chamber pay certain fees, swear loyalty to the Queen, fealty to lains, four-and-twenty Aldermen, Stewards, Moor the Lord of the Manor, and obedience to the legal orgrieves, &c. Belonging to the body is a large tract of ders of the Common Council, and are then enrolled in land, nearly 3000 acres of which are uninclosed and un- i the borough books. The number of young freemen ancultivated, to a great extent overgrown with whins, nually admitted varies; in one year only two, and in heather, and ferns, and broken up by quarries, coal-pits, another as many as thirty were “ made free;" perhaps kilns, and bogs. Alnwick Moor, in consequence, wears ten may be the average number. Here, in other towns, the aspect of a dreary and neglected waste, reflecting, initiation would end; but here, in Alnwick, the cerein these boastful days of agricultural improvement, dis monies commence, which are regarded as more enfrangrace on every party whose conflicting interests retard chising than the legal preliminaries. improvement, and allow so wide a tract of marshy un St Mark's morn, long and anxiously looked forward drained land in the immediate neighbourhood of the to, is at length ushered in. By early dawn, the friends town to deteriorate its climate.
of each young freeman have planted before his dwelling About 300 resident freemen have the privilege of de- | a bolly tree, marking out to others, in a highly picturesque style, his residence, and emblematic of the unal. | as no house is sufficiently near, the humbler classes find terable truth and fidelity he will maintain to his “ bro. a dressing-room at some “dyke back.” ther freemen.” At half-past eight o'clock the toll of Marshalled in order at the east end of the well by the the town bell again summons the freemen together, to chamberlains of the borough, the young freemen present ride the boundaries and go through the well. Mounted a gay and gallant appearance. On the word of command on horseback, and with drawn swords in their bands, being given by the bailiff, the waits commence playing, the young freemen assemble in the market-place, and pre the shout is raised by the crowd clustered round the ceded by music, and accompanied by the borough autho well, and the oldest son of the oldest freeman first leaps rities, by the under-bailiffs of the Castle, carrying ancient into the puddle, and the other young freemen spring after armour, and by a numerous cavalcade of friends, they him. Each hurries through, cheered on by his friends. ride towards the Moor. On arriving at the place where But a dyke has tripped one, and down he plashes over Clayport Tower once stood, the swords are sheathed head and ears. Another immediately behind stumbles and given up to some friend. In times of border war over him. No marked courtesy is shown to each other fare weapons would be necessary, to defend the freemen ---one will drag his neighbour back and plunge over him; against Scottish marauders; yet so strong is the at -all flounder on, impeding each other's progress, and tachment to ancient usages, that even in these piping besmeared with mud. The spectators enjoy the fun. times of peace," the custom has long outlived the cir. Occasionally the weather is cold and stormy, and then cumstances which rendered it necessary. Arrived at the poor freemen are to be pitied. Forty-eight years ago, the Moor, away fly the new-fledged freemen, guided by nine or ten had prepared to take up their freelage; the experienced moorgrieves, along the boundary line. but bitter, biting, stormy weather came on a few days When about two miles from the well, the more daring before the 25th of April, and cooled the courage of most riders break away from their leading-strings, and reck of them; for only two ventured to go through the well lessly gallop along the broken ground, up hill and down that year. The snow was deep on the ground, the well hill, through whin bushes, over ditches and dykes. was frozen over, and these two bold youths could not Heaven preserve the riders! Tailors, cobblers, shop pass through until the ice was broken. The western keepers, men who were seldom, if ever before, on horse- || end of the well being steep and slippery, the friends of back, dash onwards, fearless of consequences, incited by the freemen are waiting there to pull them out as they example, dreading the laugh of scorn, and determined arrive at the brink. What a contrast to their former for once to prove their courage.
gay and cheerful appearance! Now they are dripping, The famous “ Freeman WELL” is four miles south cold, miserable-looking, and ludicrously besmeared with west from Alnwick, and is situated on the declivity of a red clay mud! Each retires again to his robing-room high hill, called the “ Freeman Hill;" it is fed by a under the open sky, changes his clothes, takes a drop of powerful spring, and is properly dammed up, some time “something comfortable," and all is once more lightbefore the 25th day of April, by rustics, employed by | hearted, joyous, and enthusiastic. the corporate authorities. When filled with water, is Of the original institution of “ going through the well,” is about one hundred feet long, from six to fifteen feet there is no record in history or any borough documents; broad, and from three to five feet deep. To impede the but tradition has uniformly stated that King John, when progress of the freemen in plunging through the well, hunting in Alnwick Moor, or Aydon Forest, as some turf dykes are built across, and straw ropes fixed from part of it was anciently called, was laired in a bog or side to side; and that these traps to catch the unwary quagmire, where the well now is, and was in consequence may not be visible, the rustics take care to stir up the so enraged, that, as a punishment to the inhabitants of mud from the bottom, so that the water is rendered a the town for their slovenliness, he ordered that no one disagreeable puddle. Hundreds of spectators are crowd should enjoy corporate privileges until he had plunged ed about the well, on dykes, on rising ground, eagerly, through the same bog on the anniversary of the day when and some anxiously watching the approach of the young Royalty stuck fast in the mire. The absurdity of the freemen. Many friends of each freeman are there to enactment accords with the character of a capricious and cheer him up. Fathers are there, not mothers, they stupid tyrant; and the tradition is incidentally confirmed stay at home to cook the dinner; brothers, sisters, aye by the unpublished records of his reign, which state that and sweethearts, strangers from distant places allured | King John was at Alnwick in the year 1209, on the 24th by curiosity, and many of the townspeople are there. and 25th days of April. As the freemen bave from time Loud cheers welcome the winner of the boundary to immemorial “ gone through the well” on the 25th of the well;" laughter and sarcasm greet those who come April, it is, therefore, extremely probable that the cereereeping in last. All arrived, each freeman, as he best can, mony was instituted during this royal visit. strips off his ordinary garments, and clothes himself in Strangers laugh at the ludicrous custom, and wonder white; on his head is a white cap, profusely and more why, in these days of intelligence, it is still continued; or less elegantly, according to the taste of his female some few of the freemen, who consider themselves friends, decorated with ribbons of various colours. The depositaries of modern illumination, speak of it as more wealthy have chaises into which they retire, but, relic of Gothic ages, which ought to be utterly destroyed.
DOUBTS OF THE SAGACITY OF INSECTS. If insect intercommunication were really a series of in- | remarkable oversight. Neither a mouse nor a hen will telligent acts, what useful experience might not flies im ever be tempted into the water; but the locust, notwithpart to each other, and so save the lives of many thousands standing the superior sagacity which he is said to exercise of their fellow-creatures, and make us, to whom they give when mischief is to be done, though unable to fly far under so much annoyance, far more comfortable ? A little vio the best circumstances, and obliged to light at brief interlence committed on a handful or two, in a room full of vals for rest, will, nevertheless, undertake a voyage of half these troublesome visitors, and the judicious sacrifice of a ' a league, which he cannot accomplish, and so rush on infew legs and wings, would effectually deter the many who evitable destruction. “In the months of May and June, had not a mind to be maimed; but a fly never takes warning! | I have observed,” says Haselquist, “ the arrival of these One of these insects will hover on the margin of a saucer insects in myriads from the south, directing their course of milk, in which his friends are drowning all around, and towards the northern shore; they darken the sky like a almost touching him, and he will continue to gip away on thick cloud, but scarcely have they quitted the land when the edge of the precipice, or even spring boldly into the the surface of the water is covered with their dead bodies." ocean below.
In like manner ante, on reaching the bank of a river, in It is easy to collect from such facts, and they abound, place of having the sense to stop, and at least take counsel that the same insect which in some instances shows more together and enquire for the bridge, will rush madly on, than human intelligence, commits just as often the most ! and are instantly carried down by the stream, Many insects, as is well known, will fall to the ground when any | had not even the sense to trim the boat; still, by great exone approaches the shrub to which they had retired; cud- ertion, he held fast, and might perhaps have accomplished dling up their legs, they will fall into a trap, or even into his task, when two more strangers thought proper to conyour hand, and, as the entomologists say, will“ pretend to tribute their weight, and brought on the catastrophe. The be dead” to defeat your purpose; but as it frequently hap weary but persevering insect 'was obliged to “ let go;" and pens that the insects which choose this expedient are wing the shell, freighted with three "insides" and half a dozen ed, and so might have recourse to a better, we must either “outs," fell to the ground! They left the conveyance in deny all intention to this act, or censure it as in the high apparent alarm, and scampered off in all directions, while est degree a foolish one. Caterpillars, when about to be he remained for some time fixed to the spot of his discomcome butterflies, are found to have by no means advanced fiture. The shell being subsequently examined, was found in intelligence. If a side-slit is made in the cocoon which exactly to fit the hole in the direction in which the ant was involves the pupa of the great peacock-moth, (who is on dragging it, and no other. Here we have one wise ant, but the verge of emerging into butterfly existence,) he will ra- | nearly half a dozen idiots; nor is it the only instance in which ther persist in inaking useless efforts against the impenetra- the conduct of this insect has appeared in one relation sagable and obdurate end, than turn round and avail himself of cious, and in another defective in common sense. I lately nothe open one. Yet entomologists assert that the silkworm ticed the carcass of a large dead bee, moving as it were by perfectly knows what she is about, when, having finished some unseen mechanism below. On a nearer examination, the cocoon, she fixes her head opposite to the unglued apex I found the bee to be supported on the shoulders of half á by which the perfect insect is to emerge, and never places score of the smallest ants, (Formica flava,) who were dragthe point against any object which might prevent the moth ging it along like a huge unlaunched ship, at the rate of from emerging. A certain beetle called the pill-beetle, who three feet per minute. So intent were the ants on their rolls his posterity along in a bolus or ball of dung, to a work, that they were not to be seduced from it by the alsuitable depot, was once known, when the said ball had lurements of moist sugar and other dainties sprinkled over fallen in a wrong place, to summon three able-bodied assis their path. Nothing could exceed the skill with which tants to the spot, to help him out with it! Intelligence they overcame every obstacle that presented itself; they could hardly go further; but try him on another scent, and would sometimes straighten the joint of one of the bee's you will give up your protege as a blockhead; for he adopts legs, or raise the margin of his wing, or even tarn him at once any false ball that you may treacherously substi completely over. After working in this way for half a tute for his own. This experiment may be easily tried dur- day, they brought him to the door of their house, which ing the summer time, when large detachments of these was in the wall of ours, where, the entrance not being big beetles may be frequently seen, each rolling on with his enough to admit him, I left them late in the evening, fixing hind-legs a ball containing his egg-if you deprive him of him up in a corner for future operations. The following it, and then substitute another, he will not detect the cheat, morning I found hiin lying dismembered, apart from the but will adopt the changeling, and roll it on, nothing doubt ant-hill. Now, if these ants had reflected, would they ing, as he had before rolled on the other. A creature who, not have pulled him to pieces where they first found him, fuiling in his endeavours to execute a task, has sufficient in and so have saved themselves much unnecessary trouble? telligence to solicit aid, ought not to be so regardless of what | Dr Badhan's Insect Life. he has himself manufactured, or to be so little aware of the genuine quality of the interesting materials he had put together, as to take up any round object in its room! The carrion
Fine Arts. fily is said, now and then, to lay her eggs on a certain flower, the smell of which resembles putrid meat, which is the ob GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS OF DESIGN.-Mr A. Poynter, ject of her desire. Her posterity must on such occasions the Inspector of the Government Schools of Design, has perish, owing to their parent's stupidity. A sad blunder is committed by the earth-worm, in the very action to which
reported to the council the results of his first visit to the some writers assign a considerable share of wisdom. When
provincial schools. From this report we take the parever the noise of scratching is made in the vicinity of his
ticulars of the most general interest:larer, believing that it is his formidable enemy the mole “ York. There is little to remark on the subject of boring his way at him, he comes forth for security;-he has, the York School, which proceeds steadily on the plan however, made a mistake;-the stranger at his door is the laid down by the council. The boys are chiefly sons of lapwing, who, acquainted with the weakness of his mind.
mechanics--house-painters, masons, carvers, plasterers, and his particular fear of moles, scratches in his neighbourhood to bring him out, and gobbles him up as soon as he
and carpenters. Those who have remained the longest, comes. In examining an insect-net after it has swept
and attended most regularly in the school, are of these the grass for capture, any one may observe that the classes. As the pupils have generally remained in the ant, who, on the showing of his historian Huber, is next to school to go through the whole course of instruction, man the most intelligent of creatures, seeins least disposed
there has been little change among them, and little opto improve the opportunity to escape from his reticuled
portunity to show to what account they could turn their prison. The bee bounces off resentfully, the grasshopper
acquirements. Six boys and one female pupil come springs in a bound of unusual vigour, every other insect makes the best use of its legs and wings to be off, but the
from the country, and board in York, for the purpose sagacious ant lingers behind! A strong blade of grass, the
of attending the school. The school excites considerable leg of a beetle, any thing worthless that he can possibly attention among the nobility and gentry of the neighlay hold of, is sufficient to detain him; yet he blockades his bourhood. Visitors are numerous, and excellent meet
or every night at curfew, and at cockcrowing removes ings have been collected at the distribution of the prizes. the wooden bars, except on rainy days, when the doors of The system of allotting prizes to the most meritorious all anthills very properly remain sealed. On one occasion I could not help contrasting the industry,skill, and memory, as
works of the pupils in the classes, instead of to compeit would of course be called, of one individual of the formica
tition drawings, has been adopted here, and found sucfamily, with the preposterous proceedings of some of his cessful. Prizes have been given, by the liberality of friends. A wise and laborious ant was toiling up the back of Mr Etty, for designs for stained glass, and for painting à chesnut-tree, and pulling after him an entire snail-shell, from flowers. There is no lending library. The comthe size of a hazel-nut. He halted occasionally, as well he
mittee would be glad to establish one. might, but he never lost hold of the shell, though the mere
“ Coventry. The state of the school at Coventry, and weight of it, one should have thought, would have pulled his mandibles out of joint. In a few minutes he had raised
its prospects for the future, are unsatisfactory. The it upwards of three feet, and all was going on prosperously,
number of pupils now on the books is 106. Of this when it so chanced that three or four idlers of the ant number 60 are the boys of the free schools, who attend kind, and presently as many more, met him on his way, the morning class only three times in the fortnight. Our labourer had almost done his work; his hind-legs were
This fact must be kept in mind in considering the averalready within the hole into which it was his plain pure pose to introduce the shell, when the new-comers, (who,
age amount of attendance, which, independently of these as we have seen, are always ready to help one another,)
boys, is really very small. In addition to the regular proceeded to do just the reverse! They got upon the shell,
cla-s, an evening class is open for instruction in droflthey entered it, they persisted in sticking to it, he could ing, or the mise en carte. The little encouragement givnot carry it; and then the shell swerved to one side or the en to the school may be attributed to the circumstance other, according to the disposal of bis friends within, who that the ribbon trade, as conducted at Coventry, affords
little encouragement to the arts of design. The manu. | ter is anxious to open the door as widely as possible to facturers are for the most part engaged in the produc | applicants of this description. When the present mastion of cheap goods; they neither know nor care for the ter joined the school, the casts, and even some of the niceties of art, but reject elaborate designs upon prin books, were put away and out of sight. The casts are ciple ; and the established system of drafting and de now brought out, and arranged as well as time and cirsigning renders it extremely difficult for the few who cumstances have permitted, and on Monday evenings are more intelligent and zealous to introduce any sub the school is open to public inspection, on which occastantial improvement. If an independent drafter pro sions the best display possible is made of the books and duces a design which is approved, he receives the order other works of art. Many of the visitors are manufac. to draft it ; the established price is paid for the draft, turers, who have never before had an opportunity to but the design reckons for nothing. Under these cir show that they took an interest in the objects of the cumstances, very little that is original is ever attempted. school; and the committee, who perfectly understand The manufacturers are contented to depend upon French the true end of their proceedings, think that now the atpatterns, which are drafted by the drafters in their esta tention of the public has been attracted to the school, blishments, with such alterations and modifications, for a good display of the antique would have an important the sake of variety, as they are competent to make. effect in elevating the general taste. There is no lend. This class of workmen are for the most part too well sa ing library; the committee are anxious to establish one, tisfied with themselves to resort to the school for in and wish to have a list of that at Somerset House." struction in drawing and colouring. The few manufacturers who produce rich goods employ designers independently of drafting ; but I could not learn that such
Proceedings of Societies. designers could make a living at Coventry, or at most ROYAL INSTITUTION, Feb. 27.-Lord de Mauley, V.P. in but one or two at a time. After these data, it cannot the chair.-Prof. E, Forbes, “On the Question, Whence be expected that the school should have produced much and when came the Plants and Animals now inhabiting the effect upon the general manufacture of the town. One British Isles and Seas?”.-Prof. Forbes, having investigated manufacturer has three lads from the school of drafters,
the distribution of the British plants and animals, was led, and considers that they draft much better, from their
as many philosophers and naturalists had been before him, knowledge of drawing, but admits that, as designers,
to the inquiry, the solution of which was the subject of his there is no opening for them.
communication. In order to deal with that inquiry, it was
The best effect, there necessary to establish two aphorisms:-1. That there are fore, that could result from the school would be, that the defined areas on the earth's surface, occupied by species of drafters should resort to it, but this they have never indigenous plants and animals, which must therefore have done, except to the limited extent before stated. The radiated from centres of organization. 2. That each spe
cies is propagated by natural generation from a single committee are perfectly aware of the unsatisfactory state of the school, and of their own failure to render it
stock, The British Islands are in the condition of an isoan object of interest to the manufacturers generally,
lated area, peopled with animals and plants. The existence
of these must be due, either to the effect of winds, curwhich they are disposed to attribute, and perhaps just rents, or the agency of man, or else to migration from ly, to external causes. The premises are very objec some remoter area. The first of these causes is insufficient tionable.
to account for the facts. Being located on these islands “ Nottingham.-Its present prospects are encourag
before the historical periods, plants could not have been ing. Since the appointment of the present master,
transported hither by man; while the size of the animals Mr Hammerseley, in August, the attendance has
equally demonstrates that they were not conveyed to our
coasts by currents of wind or water. It only remains, then, rapidly increased to nearly double the amount to
that our Flora and Fauna must have radiated hither from which it had declined in July, the last month of the specific centres on the Continent; and that this is the case previous master. At present there are fifteen appli appears from the fact, that the great mass of the British cants who cannot be received. On Friday evening
plants and animals are identical with those on the Contithere is a class for drawing plants from nature ; and
nent. The various spots from which they migrated were the whole school study the figure, in accordance with
distinctly indicated, and it was illustrated by the aspect of the directions of the council, which have been followed
a curve of great curvature, whose convexity was turned
towards the point of migration, that the number of species as closely as possible ; but the master asks for some dis
kept diminishing as they became more remote from the cretion to act according to circumstances in the case of original locality. Thus the reptiles, radiating from Belgium, students of a certain class and age, whom it might be diminish as to number of species in Britain, and still n ore desirable to draw to the school without subjecting them
in Ireland. The same law applies to plants, a great quaninflexibly to the whole routine of study. Nottingham
tity of which seem to have migrated from Germany and
the north of France at a period when this country was part appears to be a place where a female class might be
of the great continent of Europe. The Professor then inestablished with great advantage. The number of fe vited the particular attention of his hearers to two phenomales employed in the embroidery and lace trade of Not mena in the distribution of plants, which at first seem quite tingham is immense. Many of them are necessitated, inexplicable on the principles thus far established: 1. The whether competent or not, to be more or less design
appearance of certain plants on the summits of the Cumers; and it may be said that a knowledge of drawing
brian, Scotch, and Welsh mountains, which do not come is important to all who execute the designs of others.
from Germany or France, but are found on the moun
tains of Norway, and on the lowlands still further north. Even in the simple and humble operation of running the
2. The appearance of certain plants on the south-west thread round the pattern, which is the finishing opera coast of Ireland, whose only other habitat is in the northtion upon the machine lace, there is a perceptible differ east of Spain. As to the first of these points-The existence ence in the manuer in which it is performed by different rative Scandinavian plants on the summits of British hands, dependent upon a taste for form. Notwithstand
mountains : Prof. Forbes accounted for this Flora by asing the past inefficiency of the school, its mere existence
suming that it was the sole vegetable growth of these islands appears to have had its effect in exciting a oritical spirit
during what has been termed the pleistocene, or never
pleiocene, or glacial period in geology. At that time the in the workmen with respect to the artistical qualities
great mass of the area of the British Isles was the bottom of the patterns which come into their hands. Some of of an icy ocean, on which icebergs were floating, and the the manufacturers can testify to this fact in their own only vestiges of Britain then were hills projecting above the establishments; and it has been found to have originated
waters, and covered with an alpine vegetation, which driftwith those workmen whose children have attended the school,
ed thither from the Continent by means of these floating A similar feeling has been excited among the pattern
masses of ice. In subsequent ages, when the sea-bottom
was raised to the land-level, and Britain had assumed its drawers. An application has been made by one of esta
present shape, those mountain-summits shared the general blished reputation, to be allowed to take such advantage elevation, and, by being brought into a colder atmosphere, of the school as his avocations will permit; and the mas- I were adapted to preserve the vegetation distributed over