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rible shrieks would have added ten- turn. Whether his pursuit succeedfold to his consternation and to the ed or miscarried, he would surely speed of his flight. After this dis- see the propriety of hastening his mal strain had ended, Mr. Davis return with what tidings he could raised his daughter from the ground. obtain, and to ascertain his master's She had suffered no material injury. situation. Add to this, the impro. As soon as they recovered from priety of leaving a woman, single the confusion into which this acci- and unarmed, to the machinations dent had thrown them, they began of this demoniac. He had scarcely to consult upon the measures proper parted with her when these reflecto be taken upon this emergency. tions occurred to him. His resoluThey were left alone. The servant tion was changed. He turned back had gone in pursuit of the flying with the intention of immediately horse. Whether he would be able seeking her. At the same moment, to retake him was extremely dubi- he saw the flash and heard the disous. Meanwhile they were sur- charge of a pistol. The light prorounded by darkness. What was ceeded from the foot of the oak. the distance of the next house could His ingagination was filled with hor. not be known. At that hour of the rible forebodings. He ran with all his night they could not hope to be di- speed to the spot. He called aloud rected, by the far-seen taper, to any upon the name of his daughter, but, hospitable roof. The only alterna- alas! she was unable to answer him. tive, therefore, was to remain where He found her stretched at the foot they were, uncertain of the fate of of the tree, senseless, and weitering their companion, or to go forward in her blood. He lifted her in his with the utmost expedition.
arms, and seated her against the They could not hesitate to em- trunk. He found himself stained brace the latter. In a few minutes with blood, fowing from a wound, they arrived at the oak. The chaise which either the darkness of the appeared to have been dashed night, or the confusion of his against a knotty projecture of the thoughts, hindered him from tractrunk, which was large enough for ing. Overwhelmed with a catasa person to be conveniently seated trophe so dreadful and unexpected, on it. Here they again paused.- he was divested of all presence of Miss Davis desired to remain here mind. The author of his calamity a few minutes to recruit her ex- had vanished. No human being hausted strength. She proposed to was at hand to succour him in his her father to leave her here, and go uttermost distress. He beat his head forward in quest of the horse and against the ground, tore away his the servant. He might return as venerable locks, and rent the air speedily as he thought proper. She with his cries. did not fear to be alone. The voice Fortunately there was a dwelling was still Having accomplished his at no great distance from this scene. malicious purposes, the spectre had The discharge of a pistol produces probably taken his final leave of a sound too loud not to be heard far them. At all events, if the report and wide, in this lonely region. This of the rustic was true, she had no house belonged to a physician. He personal injury to fear from him. was a man noted for his humanity
Through some deplorable infatı. and sympathy. He was roused, as ation, as he afterwards deemed it, well as most of his family, by a Mr. Davis complied with her in- sound so uncommon. He rose intreaties, and went in search of the stantly, and calling up his people. missing. He had engaged in a most proceeded with lights to the road, unpromising undertaking. The 'The lamentations of Mr. Davis diman and horse were by this time rected them to the place. To the at a considerable distance. The physician the scene was inexplicaforper would, no doubt, shortly re- ble. Who was the author of this distress; by whom the pistol was a superior power on the nations in discharged; whether through some Europe? or have these nations ever untoward chance or with design, he met and fixed on certain laws, to was as yet uninformed, nor could he which they will conform under cer, gain any information from the inco- tain penalties? No such thing. herent despair of Mr. Davis. There is no such thing as law of na.
Every measure that humanity and tions in Europe. There are certain professional skill could suggest were customs prevailing in certain na. employed on this occasion. The tions of Europe, which are violated dying lady was removed to the in their turns by every one of them, house. The ball had lodged in her according as it suits their convenibrain, and to extract it was impos- ence: there are only certain agreesible. Why should I dwell on the ments or treaties between friendly remaining incidents of this tale? nations; and if they disagree, reShe languished till the next morn- course is had to war, which sets all ing, and then expired.- - reason, honour, and justice, at defi
Yet, in all disputes between na.
tions, each party objects to the For the Literary Magazine. other some breach of the law of na
tions: and it is very hard indeed, if THE LAW OF NATIONS. each cannot find some pretext from
that law to justify its conduct. Like A GREAT many grave treatises the law of fashion, reputation, or have been written on the law of na- honour, an equally undefined law, tions, and the writers have probably this law of nations is capricious: and fancied themselves usefully employ. there is scarcely anything laid ed while writing them. They have, down to be just or unjust, according indeed, contributed not a little to to this law, which, in the course of our entertainment and instruction, a few years, does not change its by collecting a great number of his name and quality. Thus, not long torical anecdotes. But nothing can ago, every English historian did not be more preposterous that their at- fail to reprobate the conduct of the tempt to extract from these anec- Spaniards towards the natives of dotes a rule for the future govern- America ; and the hunting of them ment of nations in their mutual in- with dogs was looked upon as a retercourse. Nothing can be more finement in cruelty, unworthy of a absurd than for a private person, in civilised nation. What will the his closet, to lay down a law for the English historians now say of the regulation of neighbouring and rival English nation, which has used the states.
same species of dogs against an inSome dreamers, like Vattel and dependent people, with whom it had Puffendorf, pretend to engraft upon entered into a treaty, and, on the these anecdotes a system of conduct, conquest of this people, exercises the such as their own judgment ap- supposed right of conquest by transproves as equitable and proper, beporting them to a distant and retween nation and nation. So far as mote country. their books pourtray the manners of One of the principles, we should the age, they are valuable and in- think, of the law of nations would structive, but so far as they pro- be, that each nation should regulate, pound a system of law, drawn from at its own discretion, its own inhistorical precedents, or from their ternal concerns ; but the late conown reasonings upon right and federacies against France and Powrong, they are frivolous and nuga- land show in what estimation such a tory.
principle is held by the nations The law of natious in Europe! in Europe. The passage of an am. Has any law ever been imposed by bassador over a neutral territory
VOL. III. NO. XX.
might be supposed sacred : yet in a circles, spheres, cones, and pyrzthousand cases it appears, this is not mids, of which, whatever applica. an inviolable principle of this law of tions have been made to the mennations.
suration of empyreal spaces, or ceSome have supposed a law of na- lestial bodies, there has seldom been tions to prescribe a solemn and open any practical use made, in ascerdeclaration of war before we pro- taining heights and distances upon ceed to hostilities; but this is al. the surface of the earth. most invariably disregarded. What Kingdoms, provinces, towns, and more common than to begin by seiz- farms have indeed been surveyed, ing all the merchant ships of the but geometry has lent but little as. enemy in our own ports, before they sistance on those occasions. The are aware that war is intended. compass and the line have been al
It is idle to ascribe any sanctity most the only instruments employed, even to those special laws called and in the use of these the greatest treaties, between particular states. blunders and inaccuracies are comIn assenting to those treaties, each mitted without scruple or compuncnation is supposed to be influenced tion. by its convenience only, and it cer. We can hardly, indeed, fail of tainly adheres to them no longer observing how much slower the than its convenience dictates. The mathematical arts, in general, have litile obligation which these instru. advanced than the mathematical mients possess is evident from this, sciences. Though the former were that almost all wars arise from an the first to start in the progress of imputed breach of treaty. The faci. improvement, they appear to have lity is well known with which argu- fallen behind almost from the first. ments may be found by the rulers Thé rude manner in which Archiof nations for reconciling the pur- medes measured the apparent diasuit of their own interest to equity meter of the sun is well known; and and reason. No matter how false while that great geometer was inand hollow they may be. They will vestigating the properties of the answer all the ends for which they sphere and cylinder with an acute. are intended, and are little more, ness and depth that have been the in any case, but a solemn farce. admiration of all succeeding ages, he Nations, through their kings and was resolving one of the simplest secretaries, will for ever prate about problems of practical astronomy, in justice, equity, and good faith ; but, a more inaccurate manner than at bottoni, they have no principle would be suffered in an ordinary seaof action but their separate inte. man of modern times. When the rest, and their own cunning and great problem of measuring the cirstrength are their sole means of ef- cumference of the earth was first fecting their aims.
thought of, the principle upon which the solution was attempted was perfectly scientific ; but the execu
tion, though in skilful hands, was For the Literary Magazine. in the highest degree slovenly and
inaccurate. The sages of modern THE PROGRESS OF GEOMETRY. Europe have traversed the globe,
from the equator to the polar circle, GEOMETRY, which, in its ori- in order to resolve this great probginal, was no more than the art of lem, and are still labouring hard, to measuring the earth, has been very give perfect accuracy to their conrarely applied to that purpose, in clusions. The academicians of after times. Its votaries have been Greece and Egypt put themselves to busily engaged in me isuring sur- no such inconvenience. One of them, faces and figures, which can only when he engaged in the inquiry, neexist in the imagination, such as ver quitted his observatory ; but
having measured the sun's solstitial neglected. While the most proelevation at Alexandria, where he found capacities have been stretched lived, he took for granted, on report, to the utmost in determining the tha' on the same day the sun was in course, distance, and diameter of a the zenith of Syene, being seen there planet, some hundreds of millions of from the bottoin of a deep well. He miles distant, the real dimensions also maintained, on no better autho- of the smallest lake or island on the rity, the distance and bearing of the surface of our own globe has been two places, and, with such data, was unknown. Men have accurately not ashamed to say he had comput- surveyed the path which the moon ed the circumference of the earth takes through the aerial spaces,
At a much later period, Norwood while they have remained wholly set about determining the circumfe- ignorant of the shortest way between rence of the earth, with an accura- the two principal towns in their nacy as much superior to that of the tive country. Greek geometer as it was inferior The true reason of this difference to recent attempts. Having deter- in the progress of speculative and mined the latitudes of London and practical geometry lies, perhaps, in York, by observation, he travelled the greater facility with which the from the one place to the other, operations of the former are attend. measuring along the high road with ed. It may seem at first a little paa chain, and taking the bearings radoxical to affirm, that it is more with a compass. He was satisfied easy to ascertain the diameter of with the accuracy of his work: Saturn, and the days, hours, mi. “ When I measured not,” says he, nutes, and seconds which it requires « I paced, and I believe the experi- to pass from one point in the heavens ment has come within a scantling to another, than to determine the of the truth.”
exact distance which separates two It is instructive to compare these places within sight of each other, early essays of practical geometry but the truth is, that the instruments with the perfection to which its ope and calculations by which the forrations havenow reached, and to con- mer is effected can be managed by sider, that while the artist had made a solitary student in his closet, with so little progress, the theorist had little expence of any thing but of reached many of the sublimest time, patience, and attention; whereheights of mathematical speculation; as much more of these qualities are that the latter has found out the area demanded to make two rods or of the circle, and calculated its cir- chains of the same precise length, cumference to more than a hundred to place them in the same straight places of decimals, when the former line, and to make the beginning of could hardly divide an arch into mi- one coincide with the end of another. nutes of a degree ; and that many treatises had appeared on the properties of curve lines, before a straight one had ever been accurately drawn or measured on the For the Literary Magazine. surface of the earth. The progress made in the grand
ADVERSARIA. trigonometrical survey of England, which was begun in 1784, is more
NO. VIII. honourable to geometry, than any practical application of its principles THERE is no foreign country to which has been recorded. In no which italy is so much indebted for long time, we may derive from geo- the study and cultivation of its lanmetrical skill an exact delineation of guage, and a just, but at the same Great Britain, an achievement time complimentary, estimation of which has been so long shamefully its writers, and especially of its po
ets, as Great Britain. When Ga. the memory of the vanquished; lileo was disgraced, and suffering and, excepting the few students of imprisonment in his native land, for black letter, we believe no reader - pursuits and discoveries which have is acquainted with Amadis de Gaul immortalized him, his naine, and his otherwise than as the prototype of researches, were honcured as they Don Quixote de la Mancha. deserved to be in England. Milton visited and consoled him in his cap. It has often been a matter of some tivity, and became so enamoured of surprise to me, that so few of our his native torgue, as to compose authors are conspicuous as writers many of the best of his smaller ef. of letters. Whether it be that Pefusions in Italian, and communic gasus is of too lofty a spirit to des. cate to his countrymen, for the first cend to a humble amble I know not, time, a taste for the Italian sonnet. but there is scarcely a volume of
When Marchetti had completed letters which can rank far above his elegant and exquisite version of the ordinary effusions of boardingLucretius, the best which has school misses. Pope is perhaps the hitherto made its appearance, in most harmonious poet the English any language, fearful of the conse- language can boast. He abounds quences which might result to him with fanciful and correct imagery, from the dissemination of a book and every line of his evinces an acwhich struck so deeply at the root curate knowledge of human nature, of all superstition and false philo- yet his epistolary correspondence sophy, he restrained the publication is miserably dull and stale. Were in his own country, and is indebted I to take his character from such a to England for the first edition of specimen, I should suppose him to his labours, which made its appear. be a more merchant, who closed his ance in London in 1717. A siinilar day-book in the evening, to write a warmth of regard for Italian litera. journal of his transactions and plans ture has seldom ceased to be mani- to his friend. fested at any period; but it has of I do not know how far I shall ha. late exhibited a more prominent zard my taste, when I say, that the aspect, in consequence of Mr. Ros. ploughman of Aurshire is equal to coe's gratifying attention to Italian hiin in point of the quality of genius, history, and Mr. Matthias's repub- but I hesitate not to prefer the leto lication of select poems, poetical ters of Burns to those of Pape. narratives, and poetical commen- Burns is an agreeable correspondent, taries, from the best writers of this because his letters are plain, inelegant and highly-gifted people. varnished copies of his thoughts;
whereas, in Pope, every sentence is
polished, every idea is refined. The fame of Amadis de Gaul has Burns always wishes to amuse, Pope reached to the present day, and has strives to be admired. The one indeed become almost provincial in wrote to his friend, the other to the most languages of Europe. But public. this distinction has been attained My present recollection of Burns rather in a mortifying inanner, for does not furnish me with a more fa. the hero seems much less indebted vourable instance of the ease and for his present renown to his histo. elegance of his epistolary style, than rians, Lobeira, Montalvo, and Her that contained in the letter in which berary, than to Cervantes, who se. he describes the origin of one of his lected their labours, as one of the sweetest pieces, his Lass of Balbest known books of chivalry, and lochiyle. therefore the most prominent object “ I had roved out," says he, “ as for bis ridicule. In this case, as in chance directed, in the favourite many others, the renown of the vice haunts of my muse, on the banks of tor has carried down to posterity the Ayr, to view nature in all the