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on its father's back, to the gray-headed tottering old man, that could not ascend without support. The object of their worship is a strong example too of the lowness of their faith, and their amazing credulity; it was painful to see them on the summit of a mountain, overlooking some of the sublimest and most beautiful scenery in nature, forgetful of the nature of God, and prostrate before a thing deserving only of contempt. However, few national rites, or generally received customs, whether religious or civil, that differ from our own, are so bad as they at first appear. This worship of the natives, when examined into, appears, at least, harmless, and is, probably, attended with good effects; it is accompanied by no cruel rites, or bloody sacrifices; the offerings are of the fruits of the land; the prayers of the supplicants are, first for their parents, next for the prosperity of the shrine, and lastly for themselves. Before the pilgrims descend, an affecting scene takes place; they exchange with each other the betel-leaf, their token of peace; wives shew their respect and affection for their husbands, by their profound salams, and children for their parents, and friends for one another. Thus the ties of kindred are strengthened, friendships are confirmed, and animosities removed. They are then blessed by the priest, and bid to return to their homes, and lead a virtuous life.
Geologically considered, the mountain may be said to be composed of gneiss. The rock on the top, on which is the impression of the foot, is gneiss, of a very fine grain. It abounds in quartz. It is hard and compact, of a gray colour, and only in mass exhibits a Hakey structure. A little below felspar predominates, and the rock is rich in garnets. Here it is in a soft state; and, towards the surface, rapidly decomposing. Still lower, hornblende prevails, and in so large a proportion, that particular masses may be called hornblende rock. Near the bottom felspar again predominates, and the rock contains much molybdena disseminated through it. Besides, in different places, the rock exhibits other peculiarities: here abounding in quartz, in a massive form; there in mica, in large plates; and very frequently rich in iron cinnamonstone. Garnet, traces of the ruby, and adularia, were
the only minerals which I observed; but, I have no doubt, more minute examination would have detected others, and particularly the corundum, all the varieties of which, including the finest blue sapphires, are found in considerable abundance in the alluvial country at the foot of the mountains.
The height of Adam's Peak has not hitherto been accurately ascertained. The assertion of some authors, that it is fifteen thousand feet, is evidently incorrect. From the barometrical observations I made, I do not believe that its perpendicular height, above the level of the sea, exceeds six thousand three hundred and forty-three feet. I had not the means of measuring it accurately, in consequence of there being no barometer to make the necessary observations below. On the top of the mountain I made two observations: one in the morning, and the other in the evening. In the morning, the barometer remained stationary at 23° 75' after having been exposed to the air about half an hour, till had acquired the temperature of the air itself, which was 580; and, in the evening, similarly exposed, it stood at 230 7', the temperature of the air being 52°. The supposition that the height of the mountain does not exceed six thousand three hundred and forty-three feet, is founded on these observations, of which it is the mean result, and on the idea, that the average height of the barometer, at the level of the sea, is about thirty inches; which, from what I have observed within the tropics, is not, I believe, far from the truth; and that the average temperature of the air is 80°, which it generally is at Colombo, on the seashore, at the hours the above observations were made.
I regret we did not remain long enough on the top of the mountain to observe the range of the thermometer, which, I have no doubt, is there very great. We reached the top towards evening, spent the night on the mountain, and proposed continuing there the next day, but our native servants could not be made to stay; for the first time in their life they experienced the sensation of cold, and shivered from its effect; they were so much alarmed at their new and disagreeable feeling, that they resolved to go down at all events," they must die," they said, "if they remained there.' At three o'clock in the afternoon the thermo
meter, in the air, was at 54°, just after a heavy thunderstorm, attended with much rain; at four o'clock it was 52°; at six, 51o; at nine, the same; and, at seven o'clock the next morning, just before we descended, it was 590. During the whole time, the direction of the wind was from N. and by E. to N. N. E. The sensation of cold we experienced on the summit, was much greater than we expected from the state of the thermometer, owing, probably, to the rarity of the air producing an increased evaporation from the surface of our bodies; not to mention other circumstances which also must have co-operated, as the sudden transition, as it were, from a temperature of 80° to one of 51°; a brisk wind, which blew when we were on the top; and the fatigued and nearly exhausted state in which we found ourselves when we arrived.
The country, between the foot of Adam's Peak and Colombo, is interesting to the traveller; it exhibits fine mountain scenery, that brought to my recollection some of the most beautiful parts of the highlands of Scotland; and here and there the vallies presented rich meadows, that, in appearance, rivalled the verdure of England. The country however, in general, is overgrown with wood and thick jungle; and, in cousequence, the low grounds are extremely monotonous. The only rock that makes its appearance, from the Peak to Colombo, is gneiss, varying, in the proportion of its constituent parts, in different places. It is curious to observe this uniformity of rock, for the space of sixty miles. The soil too, in general, as well as the rock from which it is derived, is every where pretty similar; it is, most commonly, a fine light loam, composed of silicious sand, and clay, and iron, in variable proportions, with about one or two per cent. of vegetable matter. The soil is so favourable to vegetation, and the heat and moisture so conducive to the same end, that every spot where a root can fix itself is covered with foliage. Nothing is wanting but industry, enterprise, agricultural knowledge, and, above all, the complete abolition of the old feudal system of government, to convert this wild and beautiful country into a garden, when it will really merit the name of Paradise, that from time immemorial it has acquired, though ill deserved.-I am, &c. &c. J. DAVY.
THIS month was under the protection of Vulcan. It received various names at various times, but did not long retain them. The Roman senate wished to call it Tiberius, in compliment to that emperor, but he declined to agree to it; Domitian denominated it Germanicus, to honour his victory over the Germans; the senate named it Antoninus, in memory of Antoninus Pius; Commodus termed it Herculeus, in honour of Hercules; aud the Emperor Tacitus was desirous that it should be called after him, because that he was born and made emperor in this month.
The first day was a festival in honour of Neptune; sacrifices were also offered to Jupiter the turbulent, or stormy. The next day was a holy day. The Dionysia, a festival dedicated to Bacchus, was held on the third. The Roman games began on the fourth, and lasted ten days. They were instituted by Tarquin the Elder, and dedicated to the great gods; that is to say, to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, to render them propitious to the people. On the sixth of the month a black ram and ewe were offered up as a sacrifice to Erebus. The thirteenth was the day of the dedication of the Capitol, and on this day the pretor performed the annual ceremony of driving the nail into the right side of the altar, in the Temple of Jupiter. This ceremony, which at first was designed only to mark the number of years, became afterwards a religious ceremony, intended to avert public calamities. It was conceived to be of such importance, that dictators were sometimes created expressly to perform it. The great Circensian games, which lasted five days, commenced on the fifteenth These games were borrowed by Romulus from the Greeks, and were at first held in the Campus Martius. They were not named Circensian games till Tarquin the Elder constructed the Circus in the valley Murcia, between the Aventine and Palatine Hills. Five sorts of exercises were performed in these games, namely, running, boxing, wrestling, the discus, and dancing. On the day when the sports began, the people went to the Capitol, and
thence proceeded in good order to the Circus. At the head of the march appeared the cars which contained the statues of the gods. All the children of the knights came on horseback, distributed by squadrons, and the others on foot, ranged in battalions. Next followed those who led the horses; then the combatants, naked; succeeded by dancers, players on the flute; and slaves, bearing censers of gold and silver, and other sacred vessels. The procession having arrived, the consuls and pretors made the accustomed sacrifices, the people took their seats, and the sports began. The twentieth was the birth-day of Romulus, and the twenty-third that of Augustus. Sacrifices were offered on the twenty-fifth to Venus, to Saturn, and to Mania, the mother of the Lares. To the latter young children were originally sacrificed; but Brutus abolished this inhuman custom, and ordered that heads of poppy and garlic should in future be offered, instead of the heads of children. Human sacrifices were also originally offered to Saturn in Greece; but they were abolished by Hercules, who substituted straw figures. As, however, Saturn was supposed to be fond of blood, the Roman gladiators offered it to him, in order to render him propitious. On the twenty-seventh, sacrifices were offered to Venus genitrix, and to Fortune, as Fortuna redux; for the Romans worshipped Fortune under a variety of appellations, so that Plutarch sarcastically observes, that they venerated fortune more than virtue. The thirtieth was a festival consecrated to Minerva, and the Meditrinalia appear also to have been sometimes held on this day; but we shall describe them under the head of October, the eleventh of which month was their usual period.
The sun, during this month, is in the signs Virgo. and Libra.