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TERATURE AND EDUCATION
No.5. SUPPLEMENT FOR
JULY 28, 1832.
UNDER THE DIREC ION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,
APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
It is with great pleasure and some pride that we sub-, the Jews, marriage at the earliest manhood, and give mit to our readers this week a woodcut, which, al- four children to a marriage, we shall find that the total though it appears in our own pages, we may with good number of the Israelites at the time of their departure right call a miracle in that particular line of the art. from the land of Egypt, must have amounted to not It is a copy of Mr. Roberts's magnificent picture of the less than three millions and a half ;—that it must have departure of the Israelites out of Egypt, under the exceeded two millions is quite certain, even upon a very guidance of Moses and Aaron ; and is reduced, from low calculation; that is supposing the population not the original size of six feet by four feet eight inches, actually at that time on the decrease. For a considerable to the little gem which our readers now see. It is period after the first settlement of Jacob's family in worth while to reflect for a moment how greatly the Egypt, it is clear that they were a favoured race; but power of painting, in giving pleasure and instruction we are told, that in the course of time, their numbers, to mankind, has been extended by the marvellous ad- and wealth, and power became so remarkable, that vances which we have of late years made in the kin- the jealousy of the reigning princes was excited; "the dred, although subordinate, art of engraving. In children of Israel," says Moses, in the book of Exodus, general, a picture can be seen but by few, and pos- were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multisessed as private property but by one ; a large steel plied, and waxed exceeding mighty ; and the land engraving, although expensive, is yet to be found in the was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king shop-window of almost every principal stationer or over Egypt, which knew not Joseph, (that is, who printseller in every town in England; and lastly, our neither bore in mind the benefits conferred on Egypt readers may here for one penny get to them and their by the wise administration of Joseph, nor regarded the heirs for ever an engraving on wood, which, although members of his kindred with that distinguished proof course it cannot convey a complete conception of tection and favour which we read of as being lavished the details and splendour of the original work, will, upon them on their first settlement in the land of Gonevertheless, give a very competent impression of its shen.) “And he said unto his people, Behold, the general design, and of its total effect.
children of Israel are more and mightier than we: The subject of this picture is one of the most me- come on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they mulmorable events recorded in the history of the Israel- tiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth ut ites. In the space of 430 years, the single family of any war, they join also, unto our enemies, and fight Jacob had increased to about six hundred thousand against us, and so get them up out of the land." men, besides the correspondent women and children. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict If, in round numbers, we allow an equal number of them with their burdens, but the more they afflicted women, and assume, as was generally the case with I them, the more they multiplied and grew, Vol. I,
bricks and building are the works specified by Moses as such as sometimes appear in surpassing splendour those in which the Israelites were principally employed; in the dreams of the night. and hence it is, in default of any certain knowledge In the left corner of the picture is the royal party, upon the subject, that many persons have conjectured, witnessing the departure which no heart any longer that some of the great Pyramids which still exist— dared to oppose. Opposite, in front of a huge Egyptian the wonders of Egypt—were erected by their labour. statue, are the two leaders, Moses and Aaron, in shade; This, however, must apply to their labour in erection and the space between the buildings is entirely filled alone; for, if we remember rightly, the pyramids are with the continuous mass of Israelites marching out all, or for the most part, built of stone.
in order with their banners and ensigns, their camels, Now when the measure of the appointed time was and flocks, and elephants. How these last animals get full, it pleased God to raise up Moses, an Israelite of there, we confess we cannot explain. The outward high birth and of surpassing wisdom, to be the passage must be supposed to lie between the platform leader of his oppressed brethren out of the bondage on which Pharaoh stands, and that on which Moses is of Egypt into the borders of that district of Syria— seen extending his rod. Perhaps it is to be regretted called Palestine,—which God had long before pro- that Mr. Roberts did not work the figure of Pharaoh mised to Abraham as an inheritance for his descend- more powerfully, and dispose the royal attendants in ants. For a long time Pharaoh—which was the com- a way more clearly shewing their interest in the mon name of the Egyptian kings--refused to let the astonishing event which is taking place before their Israelites go; his unwillingness was indeed natural, as eyes. We cannot help thinking that the harpers and the loss of so considerable a part of the population the ladies are a good deal out of place upon such an and wealth of the kingdom must necessarily have occasion as this. threatened to shake his temporal power to the bot- But as we have intimated before, this picture must tom ; and hence it was that although he could not be looked upon as a whole; its total effect is the but recognize the hand of God against him in the standard by which its merit must be tried, and so refearful wonders of loathsome reptiles and insects, garded, its merit must be acknowledged by every one. diseases, blood, lightning, and darkness which visited The lights and shades are particularly beautiful, and the land in rapid succession, as he still, after the re- managed with accuracy and taste, and we need not moval of each particular plague, hardened his heart add that the drawing and perspective are faultless. anew, and recalled the permission to depart, which in We wonder Mr. Roberts did not let in a view of the his terror had been wrung from him. But the will river, which we must presume was very near the of God must ever have its due course, and Pharaoh's palace of Pharaoh ; it might with care have been abuse of the long-suffering and merciful patience of made eminently conducive to a variety of effect. the Almighty, served only to draw down upon him- The splendid engraving from which our woodcut self and his people a more destructive punishment in was taken is by Mr. Quilley; the picture itself was the
end. For it came to pass, as it is written in the book painted for, and is now in the possession of, Lord of Exodus, “ that at midnight the Lord smote all the Northwick. first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first
RELIGION NOT SELFISH. born of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, The first act God requires of a convert is "Be he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and fruitful.” The good man's goodness lies not hid in there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a himself alone: he is still strengthening his weaker house where there was not one dead. Then the king brother. Iam persuaded to be a means of bringing more called for Moses and Aaron by night, and bade them to Heaven is an inseparable desire of a soul when in and the children of Israel depart, with their flocks and a right state. Good men wish all they converse with their herds, and all their possessions.”
in goodness to be like themselves. How ungrateful he Mr. Roberts's picture represents the act of de- slinks away who dies and does nothing to reflect a parture. He supposes the dawn breaking, and first glory to Heaven! How barren a tree he is that lives, lighting up the summits of the gigantic pyramids in and spreads, and cumbers the ground, yet leaves not the distance, and then falling in slant lines across the one seed, not one good work to generate after him! stately obelisks and pinnacles which adorn the pro- I know all cannot leave alike; yet all may leave digious exhibition of palaces and temples which he something answering their proportion, and kind. has very richly imagined and very exquisitely drawn. Withered and dead are those grains of corn out of Of course the Painter has here used his licence largely; which there will not spring one ear. The physician in strictness such a heaping up of colonnades piled who has a sovereign receipt, and dieth unrevealing it, story above story to the skies, is so improbable, robs the world of many blessings which might multiply perhaps impossible, that a severe criticism might con- after his death; leaving this conclusion to all surdemn the design altogether ; but for our parts, we vivors, that he did good to others only to do himself are rather disposed to consider this picture, and some greater. Which how contrary it is to the Gospel, and of Mr. Martin's, which are liable to the same judg- the nature of Christian love, I appeal to those minds ment, as belonging to a particular class of design, in where grace hath sown more charity. I doubt whether which the striking effects of light and shade and of he will ever find the way to Heaven that desires to go an endless profusion of faery architecture, are prin- thither alone. They are envious favourites who wish cipally studied, to the partial neglect of the higher and their king to have no loyal subjects but themselves. more truly imaginative objects of the art. We should all heavenly hearts are charitable. Enlightened souls be sorry to see this style of painting more generally cannot but disperse their rays. I will, if I can, do pursued than it is at present, because we much fear something for others and for heaven—not to deserve its ultimate tendency to lower the character of the art by it; but to express myself and my thanks. Though as an exponent of Beauty and Moral Power ; never- I cannot do what I would : I will labour to do what theless we willingly acknowledge the pleasure we I can.-OWEN FELTHAM's Resolves, 1636. have received, and the admiration we have felt in musing upon this wondrous scene, and letting the eye Trust him little who praises all, him less who censures swim, as it were, over sculptured temple and tower, all, and him least who is indifferent about all.-LAVATER.
The country is rich in minerals. Iron ore abounds VAN DIEMEN'S LAND.
every where; and specimens of copper, lead, and even Much valuable information respecting this important silver and gold, it is said) have been discovered. colony, is to be found in the “Van Diemen's Land Al- There are also coal and limestone. The animals of manack for the Year 1832,"—
-a publication which does this region have been often described. great credit to the infant literature of that remote re- Van Diemen's Land was discovered by Tasman, a gion. Besides the annual and local matter which | Dutch navigator, in 1642 ; but no settlement took belongs to an Almanack, it contains a very able ac- place upon it till 1803, when it was formed into a count of the history and present state of the colony, station for convicts transported from Botany Bay. For from which we shall extract, in an abridged form, a some years the colony suffered great hardships; such few of the most interesting particulars.
being sometimes the scarcity, that eighteen-pence per Van Diemen's Land, formerly considered a part of pound was given for kangaroo flesh , and even seaNew Holland, is now known to be an island, separated weed, or any other vegetable substance that could from New Holland by a narrow strait, called, from its possibly be eaten, was eagerly sought after. Soon discoverer, Bass's Strait. The island is about 210 afterwards sheep and cattle began to be imported, and miles in length, and 150 in breadth, comprising about the colony continued gradually to increase, though fifteen millions of acres, and having a population of still preserving its original character of a place of about 24,000 whites, and probably from 1000 to 1500 punishment for the convicted felons of New South aborigines. It is not subject to any extremes of Wales. During this period, all communication be. heat or of cold, but possesses one of the finest and tween Van Dieman's Land and other places, excepting most healthy climates in the world. The face of the England and New South Wales, was interdicted; but country is much diversified; but, on the whole, it in 1813, the prohibitory penalties on such communimay be called mountainous. Towards the southern cation were removed, and the colony was placed on coast, nothing can be more rude or bold than the ge- precisely the same commercial footing as New South neral appearance of the landscape; hills rising upon Wales. From that time the increase of the colony hills, all thickly covered with trees, save here and became more rapid ; though it was not till 1818, that there a majestic and towering rocky eminence. It Van Diemen's Land began to be spoken of in England seems like one impenetrable forest, crowned by the hea- as a place to which emigrants might advantageously vens. Proceeding, however, more inward, the country direct their attention. In the course of the next two loses much of its stern and forbidding aspect. Beau- years, the tide of emigration from England decidedly tiful plains come in view, divided by streams, and set in ; and the natural consequence of the capital thus bounded only by the horizon; and, in proceeding introduced, was an enlargement of the colony in every towards the northern coast, every variety of hill and shape. Trade began to assume regularity; distilleries dale, woodland and plain, forest and tillage, that can and breweries were erected; the Van Diemen's Land contribute to the beauty of rural scenery, enlivens the Bank was established ; and the growing importance scene. The western parts of the island have as yet of Hobart Town was heightened by the finishing and been imperfectly explored; but they are represented opening of St. David's church. In 1821, when a as bold and mountainous, with many well-watered general census was taken, the inhabitants proved to and fertile spots. The soil, in general, is fertile, and be 7,185; acres in cultivation, 14,940; sheep, 170,000; of a nature amply to reward the industry of the cul- cattle, 35,000; horses, 350. tivator. It yields excellent herbage for sheep and In December, 1825, Van Diemen's Land, which cattle, and has been found to answer well for nearly had hitherto been a dependency of New South Wales, all the productions of the mother country. Around was formally declared an independent colony, with a the coast are numerous bays and harbours that afford Legislature and Executive Council of its own ; the secure anchorage. Sullivan's cove, where Hobart members of both these Councils being named by the Town stands, is one of the noblest harbours in the Crown. At that time, during the commercial exciteworld. There are many fine rivers: the most im- ment that prevailed in England, the Van Diemen's portant are the Derwent, the Huon, and the Tamar, Company was formed, under the sanction of governall of which are navigable. Several of the mountains ment, with a capital of £250,000 to be embarked in are of great elevation: Mount Wellington rises 4000 agricultural operations. This company has not shared feet above the level of the sea, immediately to the west- the fate of many of the speculations of that disastrous ward of Hobart Town. During eight of the twelve period. It carries on its operations, and has succeeded months, its summit is covered with snow; but so clear in becoming possessed of upwards of 300,000 acres of is the atmosphere of Van Diemen's Land, that the land. It appears, however, that this company is far clouds very seldom obscure even its highest points. from being popular in the colony. It is admitted The mountains to the southward are even bigher than that the colony may have derived some advantages Mount Wellington; they form a chain, which reaches from the importation of men, money, stock, &c. caused inwards for several miles, and, in some places, rise by the company; but it is said that the terms on 5000 feet above the level of the sea.
which this establishment has received its grants are In the summer months, (December, January, and unfavourable to the competition of private settlers. February) the average height of the thermometer is If such is really the case, (as it is strongly asserted) about 70. In spring it is from 50 to 60, when the it is an evil which ought to attract the notice o: goweather is generally bright and clear, with occasional vernment; for nothing can be more hurtful than rain and high winds. March, April, and May are the such exclusive privileges as check and hinder the autumn, which is by far the pleasantest season. The enterprise of private individuals. air is then clear and bright,—the sky free from clouds The progress of the colony was for some time kept or vapours,—the heat moderate,-and the nights cool | under by the terror of the Bush Rangers-bodies and refreshing. June, July, and August, are the win- of robbers, consisting of runaway convicts, wnú ter months; but this season is rather looked for as harboured in the woods, plundering, and sometimes a period of moderate and kindly rain, sufficient to re- murdering the settlers. By the energy of the governplenish the storehouses of the earth against the ensu- ment, however, these wretches have been extermiing spring, than as the cold and dismal time with nated; and it is not likely that they will have suc. which we associate the idea of winter.
But a more recent alarm has been caused
by the original savage inhabitants; who, though small their bodies, especially by its fu.nes; and produces in number, have within the last few years, rendered diseases of a dreadful nature, which are often fatal. themselves formidable to the whites. During 1829 Some of the people employed in these mines, are they set fire to the houses and corn of the settlers condemned to work there for their crimes, and others wherever an opportunity offered. In September 1830 are hired by the lure of high wages. When the mermatters had reached such a pitch, that some decisive cury first gains power over their constitution, they are step became necessary. A plan was accordingly affected with nervous tremblings; then their teeth formed, the object of which was to force the whole of drop out, for mercury loosens every thing it touches; the black population into one corner of the island, violent pains, especially in the bones, succeed, for which is joined to the rest by a very narrow neck, the quicksilver penetrates their very substance, and and which, it was thought, might be rendered impass- then they soon die. As it is chiefly from the vapours able by the natives when once enclosed within it. and fumes of the quicksilver that these effects proThis plan, however, failed; and, down to the time ceed, the workmen take the precaution of holding in of this account, the aggressions of the natives still their mouths a piece of gold, which attracts the continued, though the system of defence which had metal and prevents the poisonous matter from passbeen adopted rendered them less dangerous than before. ing into the stomach ; yet cases have occurred, in We greatly fear that, in every case of settlements which the metal had so completely soaked the made by Europeans in savage countries, they have body, that a piece of brass rubbed with the finger themselves to blame for the fierce hostility of the only, would become white from the quicksilver oozing native inhabitants. The original trespass upon
out of the man's flesh. their soil is aggravated by oppression and cruelty; and One considerable mine of quicksilver is at Idria, a the natural resentment of the persecuted race is made town of Carniola, a province of Austria, not far from a pretext for waging against them an exterminating the upper part of the Adriatic, or gulf of Venice. warfare.
This mine was not known till 1497, when the mode The rapid increase of this colony within the last ten of its discovery was rather curious. A few coopers years may be perceived from the facts, that, in inhabited that part of the country, for the convenience that period, the white population has increased from of being near the woods. One day having made a 7000 to 24,000; and that Hobart Town alone con- new tub, and being desirous to prove its soundness, tains more inhabitants than the whole colony in 1821. one of them placed it where the water dripping from In 1830 the revenue exhibited an excess of income the rock might fall into it. In the morning it seemed over expenditure of £20,000; and the exportatation of to stick to the ground, and at first, he in his superthe staple commodities of the island, woul, oil, bark, stition thought it was bewitched; however, examining &c. has become steady and profitable. Society is it more closely, he found something fluid, but shining making rapid advances. Literature may be said to and very heavy, at the bottom of the water in his tub. flourish in a remarkable manner, considering the Not knowing what it was, he took some of it to a youth of the colony. There are five weekly news- neighbouring apothecary, who shrewdly gave the man papers, very respectably conducted ; and the publica- a trifle, and bade him bring all he could find of “that tion which has given occasidn to this article would odd stuff.” The story, however, soon became public; have been creditable to any country. There are and a company was formed for searching the mounsome schools of great respectability; and, on the tain, and working the mine. all-important subject of religion, the information is We will conclude this account with an interesting most satisfactory. Places of worship are erected description by a traveller, of a descent into this mine throughout the colony, conveniently situated for the of Idria :—" I thought I would visit those dreadful population; and the officiating ministers, who are subterraneous caverns where thousands are condemned paid by government, are zealous and exemplary in to reside, shut out from all hopes of ever seeing the their conduct. In short it is evident that the colony light of the sun, and obliged to toil out a miserable of Van Diemen's Land is rapidly becoming a great life under the whips of imperious taskmasters. Imaand prosperous community; and that, notwithstand- gine a hole in the side of a mountain, about five ing its remoteness, it will soon be one of the most yards over : down this you are lowered in a kind of valuable dependencies of the British Crown.
bucket, to more than a hundred fathoms, the pros
pect growing more gloomy, yet still widening us you QUICKSILVER MINES.
descend. At length after swinging in terrible sus
pense for some time in this precarious situation, you Quicksilver, or as the chemists call it, Mercury, is reach the bottom and tread on the ground, which ly a substance of very great importance in the arts. By its hollow sound under your feet, and the reverberait our mirrors are silvered ; it is the basis of several tions of the echo, seenis thundering at every step you colours for painting; it is used in various shapes for take. medicine ; and its importance in the working of me- “In this gloomy and frightful solitude you are entals is very great.
lightened by the feeble gleam of lamps, here and there The principal mines of quicksilver are in Hungary, dispersed, so that the wretched inhabitants can go Friuli, in the Venetian part of Italy, and in Spain. from one place to another without a guide; yet I could But it happens conveniently for the gold mines of scarcely discern for some time any thing, not even South America, that there is a considerable store of the person who came to shew me these scenes of it in Peru.
horror. Nothing can be more deplorable than the The entrance to the quicksilver mines of Friuli, is state of the wretched miners. The blackness of their on a level with the streets of the town, from which visages, only serves to cover a horrid paleness, caused the descent is by ladders into pits ninety fathoms (or by the poisonous qualities of the mineral they are em. 180 yards) deep. Being so low, they are often liable to ployed in procuring. As they consist in general of be flooded by water : and powerful engines are con- malefactors, condemned for life to this task, they are stantly at work to keep them fit for the miners. But fed at the public expense; but they seldom consumo the chief evil endured by the wretched people much provision, as they lose their appetite in a short empluyed in them, arises from the mercury itself, time, and commonly in about two years expire, which insinuates itself into the very substance of through a total contraction of the joints.
"I walked after my guide for some time, pundering within five-and-twenty miles of London, is little on the miserable end these unhappy creatures had affected by its nearness. The village, if a few stragbrought themselves to by their crimes, when, had they gling houses scattered over this secluded spot, can lived virtuous lives they might have been still enjoy- be so called, is one of primitive simplicity: as, in ing the blessings of light, health, and freedom. At the whole parish there is not an inn, nor even a pubthis moment I was accosted by a voice behind me, lic house. The inhabitants of Greensted have a tracalling me by my name. I turned, and saw a creature dition that the body of a dead king once rested in black and hideous, who approached, and with a piteous this church ; and it is believed to have been built as accent said, 'do you not know me?' What was my a temporary resting place for the body of St. Edmund, surprise to discover the features of a dear friend !
the king, (who was slain A.D. 946,) and afterwards He had fought a duel with an officer against the Em- converted into a parish church. . peror's command, and left him for dead; and he had In a manuscript entitled “The Life and Passion of been punished by banishment for life, to labour in St. Edmund,” preserved in the library at Lambeth these mines. His wife was the daughter of a high Palace, it is recorded, that in the year 1010, and the family in Germany. Being unable to procure her thirtieth year of the reign of Etheldred, the body of husband's pardon, she affectionately shared his bond- St. Edmund was removed from Ailwin to London, on age with him. It is proper to add, that the officer account of an invasion of the Danes; but that at the did not die : when he recovered from his wounds, he end of three years it was returned to Bedriceworth ; generously solicited pardon for his antagonist, and and that it was received, on its return from London, obtained it. So that in a few months the duellist was in a hospital near Stapleford. And in another marestored to the happiness he had justly forfeited by nuscript, cited by Dugdale in the Monasticon, and wilfully transgressing the commands of God and his entitled “ The Register of St. Edmund's Abbey,” it is sovereign.”—The Rev. Isaac Taylor.
further added, “he was also sheltered ncar Aungre, where a wooden chapel remains as a memorial unto
this day.” Now the parish of Aungre or Ongar adGREENSTED CHURCH.
joins to that of Greensted, where this church is siPERHAPS the country in the immediate neighbour- tuated, and that the ancient road from London into hood of London, and even London itself, is less known Suffolk, lay through Oldford, 'Abridge, Stapleford, to the inhabitants of the metropolis, strange as the Greensted, Dunmow, and Clare, we learn not only assertion may appear, than towns and districts much from tradition, but likewise from several remains more remote. We can (and we will, in the course of of it, which are still visible. It seems therefore not our weekly visitations) point out spots which must improbable that this rough and unpolished fabric was be esteemed parts of a “land unknown” to many, and first erected as a sort of shrine for the reception of objects well worthy of attention which are equally the corpse of St. Edmund, which, in its return from unknown. Probably these gems both of nature and London to Bedriceworth or Bury St. Edmund's, as of art, like objects brought very near the eye, are only Lydgate says, was carried in a chest.” Indeed, that unseen because of their proximity.
the old oaken structure now called Greensted Church, is this “wooden chapel near Aungre,” no doubt has been ever entertained ; and the very style and character of the building would claim for it a high antiquity.
The nave or body of the church, which renders it so remarkable, is composed of the half trunks of oaks, about a foot and half in diameter, split through the centre and roughly hewn at each end, to let them into a sill at the bottom and into a plank at the top, where they are fastened by means of wooden pegs. The north wall is formed of these half oaks set side by side as closely as their irregular edges will permit : in the south wall there is an interval left for the entrance : the ends were formerly similar, but the one has been removed, and the church enlarged by the addition of a brick chancel; and although the other remains, it is hidden by having a wooden belfry attached. The original building is twenty-nine feet nine inches long, by fourteen feet wide, and five feet
and a half high at the sides which supported the priGreensted Church.
mitive roof. The oaks to the northern, have suffered Our first example shall be the very curious old oaken
more from the action of the weather, than those to church at Greensted, near Ongar, the ancient Aungre, internally so hard and sound, that although some
the southern aspect ; but both are still so strong, and in Essex. This church, as the above engraving represents it, was figured by the Society of Antiquaries, in what "corroded and worn by time,” having been their work called Vetusta Monumenta, nearly one hun- beaten by the storms of nearly a thousand winters, dred years ago ; and such as it then was, it continues to they promise to endure a thousand more. the present day. So long a time having passed since the sketch was made, we had much feared that, during the last century of improvements, some modern uninteresting thing might have supplanted this venerable structure ; and not meeting with any one who knew aught about it, we made a pilgrimage thither in 1829, and found it apparently uninjured by the last lapse of time. Fortunately for this old relic, Greensted, although
Ground Plan of Greensted Church.