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great numbers of the human race miserable, it did not make him happy. None of his youthful visions of conquest were permanently realized, many of them were dissipated, and he probably died a disappointed and wretched man.
W. D. H.
PHYSICAL ADAPTATIONS. [Among those arrangements of physical nature which evince the wisdom and power of their great Author, those mutual adaptations which meet the view of every thoughtful observer occupy a conspicuous position. Nothing seems to exist for itself alone; and, to express a most important fact in familiar and even homely language, each particular object of notice seems to be what it is, either because something else is so, or that something else may
be Of these mutual adaptations physical nature is full. Mr. Whewell's “ Bridgewater Treatise on Astronomy and General Physics" contains a number of instances, stated with great clearness and force. By quoting a few in the present Number, and some of the following ones in the present year, we may give our readers a general notion of the subject, and enable them to perceive the argument which it involves. We are mistaken in them if they are not led, by each successive instance, to exclaim, “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.” They are manifold; but they are neither isolated nor confused. They are manifold, and their beautifully-adapted relations show the admirable wisdom which has made them all.—Ed. Y. I.]
THE MAGNITUDE OF THE OCEAN.
One of the quantities which enters into the constitution of the terrestrial system of things is the bulk of the waters of the
The mean depth of the sea, according to the calculations of Laplace, is four or five miles. On this supposition, the addition to the sea of one-fourth of the existing waters would drown the whole of the globe, except a few chains of mountains. Whether this be exact or no, we can easily con.ceive the quantity of water which lies in the cavities of our globe to be greater or less than it at present is. With every such addition or subtraction the form and magnitude of the dry land would vary, and if this change were considerable, many of the present relations of things would be altered. It may be sufficient to mention one effect of such a change. The sources which water the earth, both clouds, rains, and rivers, are mainly fed by the aqueous vapour raised from the sea; and, therefore, if the sea were much diminished, and the land increased, the mean quantity of moisture distributed upon the land must be diminished, and the character of climates, as to wet and dry, must be materially affected. Similar, but opposite, changes would result from the increase of the surface of the ocean.
It appears, then, that the magnitude of the ocean is one of the conditions to which the structure of all organized beings which are dependent upon climate must be adapted.
THE MAGNITUDE OF THE ATMOSPHERE.
The total quantity of air of which our atmosphere is composed is another of the arbitrary magnitudes of our terrestrial system; and we may apply to this subject considerations similar to those of the last section. We can see no reason why the atmosphere might not have been larger in comparison to the globe which it surrounds: those of Mars and Jupiter appear to be so.
But if the quantity of air were increased, the structure of organized beings would, in many ways, cease to be adapted to their place. The atmospheric pressure, for instance, would be increased; which, as we have already noticed, would require an alteration in the structure of vegetables. Another
in which an increase of the mass of the atmosphere would produce inconvenience would be in the force of winds. If the current of air in a strong gale were doubled, or tripled, as might be the case if the atmosphere were augmented, the destructive effects would be more than doubled, or tripled. With such a change, nothing could stand against a storm. In general, houses and trees resist the violence of the wind; and, except in extreme cases, as, for instance, in occasional hurricanes in the West Indies, a few large trees in
a forest are unusual trophies of the power of the tempest. The breezes which we commonly feel are harmless messengers, travelling so as to bring about the salutary changes of the atmosphere: even the motion which they communicate to vegetables tends to promote their growth, and is so advantageous that it has been proposed to imitate it by artificial breezes in the hothouse. But with a stream of wind blowing against them, like three, or five, or ten gales compressed into the space of one, none of the existing trees could stand; and except they could either bend like rushes in a stream, or extend their roots far wider than their branches, they must be torn up in whole groves. We have thus a manifest adaptation of the present usual strength of the materials and of the workmanship of the world to the stress of wind and weather which they have to sustain.-Whewell's “Bridgewater Treatise.”
TOLEDO; ITS CATHEDRAL, BELL, AND
SWORD-BLADES. TOLEDO was formerly the capital of Spain. Its population at present is barely one hundred and fifty thousand souls; though, in the time of the Romans, and also during the middle ages, it is said to have amounted to between two and three hundred thousand. It is situated about twelve leagues (forty miles) westward from Madrid, and is built upon a steep, rocky hill, round which flows the Tagus, on all sides but the north. It still possesses a great many remarkable edifices, notwithstanding that it has long since fallen into decay. Its cathedral is the most magnificent of Spain, and is the see of the Primate. In the tower of this cathedral is the famous bell of Toledo, the largest in the world, with the exception of the monsterbell of Moscow, which I have also seen. It weighs one housand five hundred and forty-three arrobes, or thirty-seven thousand and thirty-two pounds. It has, however, a disagreeable sound, owing to a cleft in its side. Toledo could once boast the finest pictures in Spain; but many were stolen or destroyed by the French during the peninsular war, and still more have lately been removed by order of the Government.
Amongst the many remarkable things which meet the eye of the curious observer, at Toledo, is the manufactory of arms, where are wrought the swords, spears, and other weapons intended for the army, with the exception of fire-arms, which mostly come from abroad.
In old times, as is well known, the sword-blades of Toledo were held in great estimation, and were transmitted as merchandise throughout Christendom. The present manufactory, or fabrica, as it is called, is a handsome modern edifice, situated without the wall of the city, on a plain, contiguous to the river, with which it communicates by a small canal. I asked one of the principal workmen whether they could manufacture weapons of equal value with those of former days, or whether the secret had been lost. He answered by putting into my hand a middle-sized rapier, made the day before. “ Your Worship seems to have a strong arm; prove its temper against the stone wall: thrust boldly, and fear not.” I have a strong arm, and I dashed the point with my utmost force against the solid granite: my arm was numbed to the shoulder with the violence of the concussion, and continued so for nearly a week; but the sword appeared not to be at all blunted, or to have suffered in any respect.-Bible in Spain, vol. ii.,
REMARKABLE ESCAPE. Mr. Simpson, in his Life of the Rev. James Renwick, gives the following anecdote :
“Mr. Renwick had gathered a congregation in one of the wild moorlands of Galloway, and was about to commence the religious services, when notice was given that 'the dragoons were coming.' The people fled in all directions. Mr. Renwick, intending to seek for refuge in the house of a friend at no great distance, with one or two others, bent their steps towards it. They had to cross a river, and, as much rain had fallen, the mountain-stream was so greatly swollen, and ran so strongly, that before the refugees crossed it, they agreed to engage in prayer among the thick bushes that grew on its margin. They did so, and when they arose from their knees,
VOL. VII. Second Series.
they observed, to their amazement, a party of dragoons just rising from the water, and landing on the opposite bank. The pursuers had actually arrived at the river while Mr. Renwick and his two friends were kneeling among the bushes, and engaged in prayer; and as the bushes were high enough to conceal the kneeling men, and the rush of the water loud enough to prevent their voice from being heard, the soldiers pressed on in the pursuit, dashed into the stream, and, having gained the opposite bank, went forward, in hope of overtaking those of whom they were in quest. Thus did prayer save them. Had they not agreed thus to commit themselves to the care of their heavenly Father, the mounted soldiers would have arrived while they were crossing the river, and their capture instantly taken place. They had recourse to prayer for deliverance from one danger, and it proved the means of their complete safety.”
REVIEW 1. Sketches illustrative of important Historical Periods in the History
of the World. To which are prefixed, Observations on the Moral and Religious Uses of History. By Mary Milner, Author of “ The Life of Dean Milner," 8c. Foolscap 8vo., pp. viii, 224. Parker.
We are exceedingly pleased with this volume. To the intelligent youthful reader it will be a present of first-rate value. History is an extensive study, where its full comprehension of narrative is considered; but while the entire chain deserves attention, there are periods more than ordinarily instructive on which the writer should enlarge, and the reader should dwell. Miss Milner has selected six of these, and has devoted to them what might be termed six chapters from the volume of universal history. She gives sketches of the times of Alexander the Great, Attila, Mohammed, Charlemagne, the Crusades, and Leo the Tenth. She writes plainly, but clearly, and decidedly on Christian principles,-the only principles, indeed, on which history can be successfully written, as none other can explain the proceedings which are recorded. The “Observations” are brief, but just, pointed, and instructive. On the whole, we have not for some time seen a volume which we can more willingly recommend to the youthful student. Indeed the old, as well as the young, may read it with both pleasure and advantage.
We have already given a few anecdotes from Simpson's “ Traditions of the Covenanters," which will give the reader some idea