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REVIEW: EXTENT AND CAUSES OF JUVENILE DEPRAVITY.
An Inquiry into the Extent and Causes of Juvenile Depravity. Dedicated by special permission to the Right Honourable the Earl of Carlise. By THOMAS BEGGS. Gilpin. WE have had this book before us for some time, but want of space to do anything like justice to the subject on which it treats has delayed the notice until the present number. The late discussion on the Ragged Schools, and on the Summary Convictions Bill, has given an extraordinary interest to the questions which have been taken up by Mr. Beggs in his Essay. We cannot hope to indicate even the topics he has introduced. The first chapter is devoted to a statement of the subject. The author has apparently no scruple in attacking the various palliative charities which from platform and pulpit have so often been boasted as the glory and pride of our times. He says that "the ignorant and presumptuous quack is but a type of society in its treatment of moral evils," and protests against reliance on poor laws, soup kitchens, and schemes of prison discipline as unworthy the enlightenment of the age. He proceeds to examine the various statistics as to the numerical strength of the dangerous classes. He boldly attacks the exaggerations which have found currency in several of our popular works; and objects to the statement so often made by authority in Temperance works that 60,000 drunkards die annually. Mr. Beggs on this head has been controverted; but as yet no attempt has been made to shew by calculation and fair analysis the correctness of the statement he attacks. Those who have entered upon the subject have shown a greater disposition to carp with the author than deal with the statements he has made. He shows the impossibility of the statistics so often quoted from a work by Dr. Harris, and as we think successfully, proves that crime is decreasing both in intensity and amount. A very appalling amount unquestionably remains. He then enters into an examination of the social and domestic condition of the dangerous classes, and shews how intimately the vice of drinking is connected with the other vices; disfiguring the great bulk of the mendicant, the pauper, and the criminal classess. As will be expected by those who are acquainted with Mr. Beggs
as a lecturer on temperance, he is not satisfied with the machinery of temperance societies. The following passage is worthy of all attention :-"Is there no philosophic spirit among the active leaders of that useful and important movement in favour of temperance, that will undertake to point the labours of societies to something more worthy of their efforts than the employment of a few agents and missionaries? Surely it is not wise to expend time and means in elucidating established facts or enforcing truths that none are ignorant or hardy enough to dispute. Would it not be more in accordance with the spirit of the age, to direct the inquiry to the causes of intemperance, and the working out of practical means for their suppression and removal? Temperance reformers have been the pioneers of a great and glorious work; and it is their province to lead public opinion to still greater triumphs. If they neglect the duties of the position so honourably acquired, they must not complain of weakness and want of support, nor feel surprise that their progress is feeble and slow. These are the necessary consequences of allowing the intelligence which they have been instrumental in creating to outrun them in the race.
Mr. Beggs deprecates the notion of reforming society by any one great panacea. A combination of agencies must be employed. He does not content himself with objecting to the measures proposed by others, but suggests principles of action, much more in accordance with Christian feeling, and more worthy of the age than those on which our present remedial agencies are based. The book must be read to be appreciated, It is full of fact, every page is suggestive, and we urge our readers to make themselves fully acquainted with its contents. They will rise from it better prepared to take part in promoting the great work of juvenile instruction and improvement. They may not agree with all that is advanced, but they will scarcely find a passage that is not full of importance to those who are engaged in various labours connected with the young. The author is earnest and forcible, and is never diverted through the course of his argument from the subject in hand.
IT is computed that two-thirds of the seed sown by farmers never germinates.
life to dead bodies, and spread a web of telegraphic wire over our land, which will soon render time and distance terms obsolete. Gal vanism has revealed more of the secret workacci-ings of our system than any science of modern days; and is so closely associated with our common philosophy, that it is peculiarly the science of the nation and the cottage. A few homely experiments will display its constant presence. The pleasure experienced in drinking out of a pewter pot is produced by the galvanic action of the liquid upon the metal. If we place a piece of zinc under the tongue, and a half-crown or silver spoon above, nothing peculiar will occur until they are connected, but on bringing them together a smarting sensation will be felt; and if performed in the dark, a small flash of light will pass before the eyes each time the connection is made. Place a penny or halfcrown, with the under side moistened with acid, on a piece of zinc somewhat larger, and on the coin a common earth worm; whenever the little creature attempts to crawl down it connects the circuit between the two metals, and, receiving a shock, returns to its former position-the only one tenable without pain. On this principle rings are made to encircle the trunks of trees and prevent grubs from climbing to damage the fruit and buds. galvanic principles steel pens are also made, which having a small piece of zinc revited to them, form a voltaic pen and prevent corosion. There are a hundred other domestic uses and comforts which this science may be made subservient to; and further research in it will unveil new beauties and powers in the secret workings of nature. It is to galvanism we are indebted for our present telegraphic communications, which have often borne upon their swift wings the ministers of justice to apprehend guilt-averted the death-blows of railway mistakes-drawn around the death-bed of the departing the friends who alone can gladden last moments, and is fast linking together the cities of England and the nations of the world; so that soon the breathings and sighs of our
Get a trough or box of oak about twenty-people, and the whispered thoughts and four inches long, three-and a-half broad, and desires of foreign lands will echo each mofour deep, and having cut grooves along each ment in the London temple of the lightning side about one inch a-part, line the whole wires. We cannot detail the particulars of the thickly with pitch or any resinous cement. electric telegraph in this sketch, but hope to Warm on the hob of the grate pieces of slate or have a place for it in a future number of Cotglass, and slip them, while warm, in the grooves, tage Science. and with a little pressure they will melt their way into their places; and, when cold, the whole will be water-tight. Arrange copper and zinc plates, connected with slips of copper, astride over the partitions, a pair in each cell, the zinc of one joined to the copper of the next, and wires soldered to the end plates to operate with. The trough being filled with dilute sulphuric acid, the battery is complete; and if composed of twenty-four cells will fuse metals, fire combustibles, and give very smart shocks. To render it durable, the zinc plates should be amalgamated with mercury, which is done by rubbing quicksilver over them while wet with Thus have we briefly traced the history and construction of the Voltaic battery, and now let us glance at the results. This simple box of plates-this silent machine which a child might manage-and a school-boy construct, has reduced nature's most complex forms into their simples, restored muscular
SCIENCE FOR THE COTTAGE.-No. 1.
THIS Science, of which we yet know but the
If a frog be divided, and a small piece of zinc being attached to the spine-we allow the hind legs to rest upon a piece of silver- they will move in a slight dance; and if dipt in salt water first, the effect will be increased. This was the primitive experiment, and the pewterdish and brass conductor were the metals which convulsed the frogs in Galvani's larder. Volta contrived an arrangement which increased the power, and also rendered it available for experiments, by piling a series of plates upon an earthenware dish in the following order :-Copper cloth moistened with dilute acid and zinc, copper cloth zinc, and so on, from twelve to twenty times; a wire soldered to the top and bottom plates, and held in the hand, gave the shock. This he afterwards improved upon by immersing slips of metal in a range of glasses filled with acidulated water, or zinc and copper in each, connected by wires joined from the copper of one glass to the zinc of the next through the whole range. This machine is called a battery, and the one now generally used is but a slight alteration of Volta's; but as it occupied less space, and is more convenient, it is the one we shall advise our scientific readers to make, and describe accordingly.
GUTTA PERCHA.-It is strange to what an extent a new substance found in nature will alter all the habits of man. We see it especially in the metals, how civilization seems even to depend on some of them, and how they mark more or less all the external life of a country with their inimitable hand-writing. Leather bottles have given place to glass, but Mr. Alexander M'Dougal, of Manchester, has somewhat returned to the old method of using barrels lined with gutta percha for carrying muriatic acid, instead of glass carboys. So far this new product acts like malleable glass, and it will be the means of taking many substances to great distances, and of course in gutta percha we have a new agent, how extensive we do not know, but still new. It has already begun to affect our habits, and with them consequently our modes of thinking to an equal extent.The Leader.
The Editor does not hold himself responsible for all the opinions entered in the controversial page.]
THE SPELLING REFORM.
AFTER reading the articles which appeared in
HOW TO CLOSE SHOPS EARLY.
I AM about to write on a debateable subjectnot that the early closing subject itself is debateable, as there can be scarcely two opinions about it but about the means of altering the present unjust and iniquitous system. I say unjust aud iniquitous, for what can be more so than our present late shopping system? Really, I sometimes blush that I am an Englishman, when I think on the many, many wrongs, which selfishness perpetuates among us. Look at the present state of things. We see young men and women who would, under a better arrangement, be respectable and useful made into mindless machines. We see them toiling for sixteen or eighteen hours a-day-and for what? To meet an urgent necessity? To perform something which humanity demands? Nothing of the kind. The late shopping system is the result of thoughtlessness, stony-hearted indifference, and selfishness. It is a system into which the people in their eager pursuit after perishing gold, and their carelessness of the means employed in obtaining it, have plunged. All who have hearts to feel, or who have minds to see its disadvantages, must deplore such a state of things. There can only be but a very, very small number of men who would perpetuate such a system for its own sake. Perhaps there may be a few such, who though living in the present, are in reality the inhabitants of a past age. And, the chief thing to be considered now, is the best means of putting it down. By persuasion and mutual arrangement, say some. Early closing societies have tried to do the desired thing by such means. But, as yet, they have failed, and so I am afraid they will do. And why? Because it will be an exceedingly difficult, if not an impossible thing, to bring shopkeepers all of the same opinion to do the same thing at the same time. They do not possess humanity, heroism, and determination enough to carry them to such an issue. They have from time to time in various places, come to some agreement among themselves. After a short time some morally weak or selfish man, has kept his shop open later, because some other one did, or for some other reason. When one has broken the agreement, others have done the same. And in a very short time they find themselves just where they were before they commenced an alteration. And so the thing will go on, if some more stringent means be not employed to oblige to close earlier. I think they should be made to close the shops earlier that apprentices and assistants have a right to more time, and that government should guarantee it to them. What more easy thing than to pass a legislative enactment that at such an hour all shops should be closed? This would do the thing at once. Those who would now close earlier, but who cannot because others will not, would then be protected by the law. Besides the government interferes in factories, in mines, and other places, and why not in shops? A change is demanded at once, and in my opinion it can only be done by Parliamentary interference.
ALMANAC OF NATURE-JUNE, 1850.
ing rush gleam and nod beside the stream as if about to sail out into the current, and leave the green home of grass and rushes in which they have been sheltered during all the biting Now the summer has opened her grand tem- into flower, and shake their panicles of purple storms of spring; the grasses come flickering ple of foliage, and has hung the green doors or of silver bloom in every passing wind; and with new troops of flowers. The fields are ankle deep in flowers, and the earth is hold-ments and robed from head to foot in flowers, the green earth, bedecked in her new garing a jubilee. The bird and the bee are singing their merry songs, and the forest runuels are tinkling along over the shiny pebbles as if they must be merry too. The mornings and evenings are like glimpses of the olden days of enchantment, and dew-drops sparkle in the chalices of flowers, and rich clouds of aroma float over the earth and steep the senses in a rosy bliss. The hedges are like high walls of interlaced roses and honeysuckles, and the meadows and woods are sprinkled with orchises and composite plants innumerable. boggy places we may now find the butterwort, and that curious plant, called sun-dew. In the marshes and beside running streams the water-crowfoot and the water-violet, and the forget-me-not, and the brooklime produce their lovely blossoms, and make such green spots as radiant as though the golden stars had fallen from the sky. On the sea shore the horned poppy has a brilliant appearance, and its sea-green leaves harmonize beautifully with the hue of the waters which wash its roots, and sprinkle it with briny spray. In the same situations may also be found, the sea milkwort, the sea holly, or eryngo, and the many other lovely plants which grow amid the shingle and the sands.
S Su M
T W Th
The ferns unrol their fronds, and spread their fan-like foliage waving on the summer air; the scarlet poppies glitter in the sunny fields, and tower up boldly above the green and waving corn. The white water-lily reposes like a river queen upon the blue bosom of the quiet waters; the yellow flag and the flowerThe planet Mercury is in the constellation Taurus all this month, and situated in the Milky Way. Venus is in Gemini till the 17th, and in Cancer from the 18th; she is moving eastward, and is an evening star during the month. Mars is an evening star, and is in the group Cancer till the 20th; on which day he passes into Leo. Jupiter is in the constellation Leo throughout the month, and appears as a brilliant blue star in the evening. Saturn is a morning star, and is in the constellation Pisces during the month.
M. Poussin. Art.
Now is the time of leaves and flowers-
is jubilant and glad.
Around in the fields and above, among the trees, the young birds are trying their wings in short flights, and chirping and twittering to each other, as though exulting in the new dowed. The blackcap is now engaged in the powers with which they find themselves enwatchful labour of incubation, and during the whole of this anxious period, it makes the air resound with its harmonious notes. There are large flocks of redstarts jerking and skipof old buildings and ruins: at daybreak they ping over the corn-fields and around the walls may be seen on the topmost boughs of the The flycatcher and the goldfinch are also in trees, pouring out their floods of merry song. song during this month; but many of these birds which uttered such joyous notes on the first dawn of spring, and which make the wel kin ring for joy when the first glimmerings of gale, the thrush, the blackbird, and the wren sunshine come, are now silent. The nightinhave ceased to sing, and when they hie alone, the woods and forest-paths are mute.
quiet dells and wild nooks in the old woods, The dry banks by the roadside and the are now tenanted by multitudes of insects. The ant-lion digs his pitfall and lurks below like a demon ready to seize with his terrible fangs any unfortunate creature which shall fall within his power. If the prey be larger and more formidable than he dare attack with impunity, he flings upon it repeated showers of sand, until blinded, bewildered, and confused it becomes an easy victim to his rapacity.
of Sun from Earth, at noon, 96,375,000 m.
in Pisces. Water avens, yellow iris fl.
in Gemini. Redstarts in flocks.
William Hilton. Art.
T. S. Albrecht. Natural History.
John Rennie. Waterloo Bridge,
T. Pennant Zoology and Antiquities.
Red fumitory, charlock fl. on banks.
K.W. R. Rotteck. History.
J. B. Massillon. Divinity.
Moon in Aquarius. Bitter swelt by river sides.
J. H. Tooke. Diversions of Purley.
Charles Matthews. The Comedian.
Notices to Correspondents,
THE POETIC SUPPLEMENT.-With the present number, we fulfil our promise by presenting our subscribers and the public with a supplemental number, consisting wholly of poetry. We hope, and we think, it will be found interesting and instructive. We have not been able to appropriate one-half of the poetry sent us. Since the intimation which appeared in our last, of our intention to publish the Poetic Supplement in June, and the invitation we gave our frieuds to supply us with suitable contributions, we have received a respectable carpet-bag-full of letters. We have received an abundance of poetry and rhyme. good, bad, and indifferent. We have had many good pieces, but many more indifferent, and still more bad. If we had twice the space we could easily have filled it; but we very much fear our readers would not thank us for it. It was our intention, at first, to have mentioned every poem that reached us, which we have not the space or the inclination to insert; but their number prevents our doing so. It is right that we should say that several very good poems reached us too late for insertion. Had they arrived at an earlier period, they would have had the preference to many which were in type. To one and all of our contributors, correspondents, and friends, who have so generously contributed, and who have promised to co-operate and push the sale of the Poetic Supplement in their respective neighbourhoods, we proffer our most cordial thanks.Those of our subscribers who have not got the Supplement, may get it at any time through their booksellers. It is uniform in price and size with the Public Good, and will be found a very good companion for the numbers which have been issued and those which are to come.
In our last we stated a hope that the present number would contain a portrait of Mrs. Balfour. As we have been unable to get a good likeness of that highly esteemed lady, we have given a page of autographs instead.
YOUNG WRITERS.-We have received prose and poetical contributions from many who call themselves young authors. In many cases there was no necessity for them to tell us so, as what they wrote was an evidence of it. But because they were young and inexperienced they imagined that a preference would be given to their lucubrations. In this they are sadly mistaken. What would the mass of our general readers say if we inserted inferior poems and papers because their writers were young? We would advise our young friends, or those of
them who are determined to sciibble, to write as well as they can and burn their productions, to write and burn again; and if, after all, they should not be sufficiently fortunate to have their names, or the fruits of their genius in print, not always to put it down to the incapacity or impartiality of editors, but to imagine that it may arise from their own inability, or the unsuitability of their contributions to the periodicals to which they may be sent.
PRIZE ESSAY ON WOMAN'S MISSION.-We fully thought that our space would have permitted us to have inserted in the present number the above Essay. As yet, we do not know the decision of the adjudicators. This we shall know in a few days; and our readers may expect, without fail, the successful Essay in our next. One reason why we have not pushed the matter more vigorously is, we were desirous to get the Essay on "Woman's Mission" inserted in the same number which contains the ladies' autographs.
We were very glad to learn from many quarters that the prize poem on Home, has been read with much satisfaction.
SPARL. You are right. The series of Public Good tracts, which will be issued soon, will, to a considerable degree, supply the apparent deficiency.
S. P. R.-We cannot say whether the prize essay on mechanics' institutions will appear in a supplementary number, or in successive numbers of our magazine.
J. T.-We have decided not to bring out the Public Good oftener than once a month for the present year.
J. W., R. M. C., and T. A.-We would rather not have contributions sent us written in phonography.
A column of original couplets in our next. LADIES' HAND WRITING.-We have from time to time received communications from ladies so badly written, that we have been unable to get through their manuscripts. What we dislike most, and what we think all editors must dislike, is that sharp pointed hand, in which all the bottoms and all the tops of the letters are alike. This may be fashionable, but to us it is disagreeable. A German lady once asked us why it was that almost all English ladies wrote alike. We could only answer by stating that they were so educated, but we do not know why they should be. In fact, we think it foolish and injurious-foolish because it is acting in obedience to an absurd fashion, and injurious because it interferes with the character of distinctive writers. If there is to be any fashion at all in writing, or if any particular manner of forming the letter be generally adopted, let it not be that angular sharp-pointed unbeautiful mode, which has for too long a time been too much in vogue with educated women, but something more flowing, curve-like, and beautiful. No doubt we shall call down upon ourselves many severe strictures for thus speaking against the fashionable mode of our fair
friends' writing; but we are prepared for that if we can in any way check the progress of what is to us, at all events, an unmanly if not an unwomanly practice.
Lines written by a Quaker, and sent with a watch to an unskilful watchmaker, who had