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but few observations, &c. further than that the air was very rare; and came down again to recruit theinselves. On the 4th of April, they prepared to start for the amazing journey to the moon! and, at twelve o'clock mid-day, seated themselves in the car, together with provisions, fire, &c. &c. The balloon, being of a very unusual size, was with difficulty kept, though chained, to the earth; it had an outer covering, of a kind of oilcloth, to defend it, from whatever might obstruct or damage it. At two o'clock, on the 5th of April, having taken leave of all their friends, they ascended from an outskirt of this city. The balloon was seen for half an hour, and appeared like a speck in the clouds, after which it totally disappeared. It rose with amazing velocity at first, but slackened in pace as the air grew rarer. The wings, lately invented, made of a number of goose-quills, had a surprising effect in propelling and guiding the whole machine. Each of the travellers possessed the famous longitude watch; by which they were enabled to discover not only the time, but their situation. This watch was discovered a few months since, by Mons. de la Rus; which, as it consists entirely of the new metal called Hardoniensiana, and possesses the wonderful property of moving with quickness, constantly without oil, attains the object of speculation in past ages, the longitude, and is a true time-teller at all seasons and degrees of heat. May 3, at half-past five, they found themselves within the moon's attraction, having been obliged to propel themselves to that body; and, at twelve precisely, descended on the surface of what was, to them, a new globe! But, judge of their surprise, on finding the inhabitants of the moon absolute madmen! madmen, who had once inhabited the earth; and the punishment, or correction assigned for them, was to animate another body on the moon. The madmen were much astonished at seeing our travellers, and the first salutation they gave them was, simply, a knock-down blow; after which about two hundred of them jumped over the travellers, one by one. To describe the persons and names of these madmen, would be satirical; suffice it to say, they found many more here than had ever been confined in madhouses. Here are neat towns building at
one time, and pulling down at another; for, amongst madmen, what government can there be? A globe so desolate and comfortless our æronauts were soon glad to quit. They found the climate, where they descended, very mild; they noticed, that the earth makes a far more beautiful appearance than the moon does here, on account of its size. An eclipse happened whilst they remained, which was to them a novel and interesting sight. The whole surface of the moon is as smooth as a bowling-green, with, here and there, lakes of water, which are not deep. They suppose it is these lakes of water which cause the spots, and dark parts visible to us; as they could perceive, through a telescope, the boundaries of the four quarters of the earth, merely by the shaded parts. There are very heavy dews, but no clouds, which makes this part of the universe very eligible for viewing different planets. They did not stay to make many researches, finding the inhabitants so disagreeable, and choosing to leave that to more curious persons to perform; thinking they had done sufficient for mankind, by exploring, as much as they had, these hitherto unknown regions; and being dissatisfied with the treatment they experienced, they quitted the moon rather precipitately, for a planet more hospitable, which they will enjoy the more for having made a visit to another. No pen can describe the pleasure of their friends at again seeing these adventurers.
QUEBEC, NOVEMBER 1, 2318.-This place, once containing not more than five thousand inhabitants, has now increased to five hundred thousand, and is in the most flourishing condition. The amazing number of gas-lights in this city makes the night as light as the day; and the gas is now generally applied to shipping. The "patent gasometer, a foot square," has induced the proprietors of waggons to use the article for the safety of carriage, &c.; and it is thought other vehicles will be lighted in a similar manner. The River St. Lawrence is daily improving, and has been made considerably deeper by the machinery of Messrs. Adamson: which is a steam-engine, acting as a drag. Stone bridges have been long out of use in this country; and twenty iron bridges, each of only one arch,
have been erected over the river, in the walk of two miles. Buildings are constantly erecting on the banks a great distance from this place.
The large kaleidoscope, lately made here, deserves notice. It is one yard in diameter, and is filled with the most precious and valuable stones that are to be found. The cavity, for the reception of the stones, being half filled with water, which is sometimes coloured, the whole makes a most brilliant and delightful spectacle. It is said by some, that the kaleidoscope was invented as early as 1817 or 1818.
MEXICO, NOVEMBER 1, 2318.—The perpetual motion, which has so long been an object of philosophic enquiry, has at length been discovered. It has been found that the new metal, Hardoniensiana, in addition to its other extraordinary qualities, possesses the property of never wearing out. This has induced some mechanists of the present day to search for the perpetual motion, and they have succeeded; the consi deration of the wear of all articles having induced many philosophers, of past times, to desist from the pursuit of what appeared to them only a phantom; but, such is the boast of our enlightened age, that we have been able to enlarge and improve every object of science. The perpetual motion has been already used for watches and clocks; and will, no doubt, in a short time, be made serviceable for other purposes.
VIRGINIA, NOVEMBER 1, 2318.-The attempts of our celebrated linguist towards reforming our alphabet, and bringing into use one universal language, have exceeded his most sanguine expectations. It is a language, composed of the purities and originalities of all languages, and cannot fail to excite the attention of the learned.
The new-invented instrument, to imitate the human voice, has had machinery applied to it, in the manner of a barrel-organ. It is called the vocal instrument, and is used in our churches to read prayers.
We understand that the improvement of the Pacific and Atlantic goes on rapidly; we mean the immense canal which is cutting across the isthmus of * * We have heard that it is the intention of the proprietors of this canal, to cut deep enough to admit ships of
all burden. This will be the most useful and excellent passage to the Indies ever thought of; and promises to be the finest scenery of shipping merchandise in the world, and also the first mart for all kinds of commodities.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE POCKET MAGAZINE.*
SIR, AS I was reading your valuable, though small Magazine, I was struck with J. H. V-y's illiberal philippic against the French and their language: I shall be much obliged to you to insert my answer, which I flatter myself will be found both moderate and just.
J. H. V-y's challenge to the Savans, at first made me afraid of answering him, as, though a Frenchman, I have not the vanity of thinking myself one of the learned tribe: perhaps he will allow, that "there are no rules without exceptions:" however, upon reading his remarks through, I found it required little or no learning to answer them: first, it is necessary to acknowledge that every language has both its beauties and defects, secondly, that every man, from the Laplander to the Hottentot, has a natural, rational prepossession in favour of whatsoever belongs to his own nation, without deserving censure, much less abuse. Notwithstanding the sameness of the terminations, the constant hissing of the letters, and the frequent repetition of the harsh word it, &c. &c. in English, I will not accuse the natives either of vanity or want of sense, because they admire their own language: on the contrary, I join with them; and I hope they will join with me and all Europe, in acknowledging the French tongue deserving of praise and encouragement, notwithstanding its idioms, phrases, and irregularities: if J. H. V-y can prove that there is a living language freer of these than our's, let that bear the palm. I am sorry to find there are men anxious to keep up and to increase prejudices between nations, the consequences of which are so likely to be fatal to the peace of mankind: for, is it not more than the patience of Englishmen could bear, to hear their nation taxed
Impartiality induces us to insert these answers to J. H. Vy, and now, both parties having been heard, the controversy should be allowed to end.--ED.
with vanity and want of common-sense, because their language contains a few irregular and ungrammatical phrases, as it certainly does?
Now for the remarks: it is well known, that rules are founded either on custom or derivation; sound should undoubtedly be consulted, not at the expense of common-sense; that is, more properly, meaning; yet sufficiently so to answer the purpose of pleasing the ear, and persuading the mind; two of the most essential purposes of languages.
To avoid an hiatus, considered as a fault in grammar, custom has made it a rule in French, never to put ma, ta, sa, before either a vowel or h mute; also when the third person of any tense ends with a vowel before il, ils, elle, or elles, to put a t between, for the aforesaid purpose. As to the gender of inanimate objects, it should be considered, that there are only two genders in nature, masculine and feminine: the English add a third, neuter gender; but this, far from being a gender, is the very absence of gender, as black is no colour, but the absence of colour: besides, the words masculine and feminine, figuratively mean bold, strong or stronger, &c.; soft or softer, weaker, effeminate, &c.; the French use them in that sense: hence arises a beautiful variety of sounds in articles, adjectives, gender, and number. As to the negative ne, it is so essential to negative phrases, that for want of it, the sense would become either different or dubious: the adverbs pas, goutte, mot, point, guère, &c. by their sounds or spelling would be taken for nouns; jamais, never, for ever; personne, for any one; instead of no one, &c. &c. should these negative adverbs be left out, there would be no sense at all; as it would be impossible to guess which of them was meant. L. G.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE POCKET MAGAZINE. MR. EDITOR,-BEING a teacher of the French language, my attention was directed to a piece, in your Magazine of the present month, entitled "Absurdities of the French Language." I expected to see some vulnerable part of the structure of the language assailed by some able philologist. Judge of my surprise