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20,000 persons lost their lives on shore, while fur- / wrecked in the“ Charles,” of Riley in the “Comther to the North, the “Sterling Castle" and the merce,” and of Paddock in the “Oswego." To “Dover Castle,"men-of-war, were wrecked at sea, this ignorance are attributed those horrid and revoltand fifty sail driven on shore at the Bermudas. ing scenes enacted on the raft which was made from
Several years ago, the British Admiralty set on the wreck of the French frigate, “ La Medusa." foot inquiries as to the cause of the storms in cer- Hundreds of others whose wretched fate only is tain ports of the Atlantic which so often rage with told in silence, by the plank upon the shore, owe disastrous effects to Navigation. The result may their loss to our ignorance of currents. be summed up in the conclusion to which the
In 1825, 800 sail of British shipping were lost investigation led : that they are occasioned by the at sea. And upon an average, one American and irregularity between the temperature of the Gulf two British ships are wrecked every day the year Stream and of the neighboring regions both in the round. Most of these losses are owing to the efair and water.
fects of unknown currents. I doubt whether a Connected with and dependent upon this great subject, more important in its bearings, was erer artery of the Ocean, are numerous veins in the presented for the consideration of this Institation. shape of eddies, counter currents, drifts and sets, The field of investigation is most magnificent ; all of the highest importance to Navigation, and when rightly understood, the system of marine curto the neglect of which many frightful disastersrents and Ocean circulation cannot fail to open to us among sea-faring people, are to be ascribed.
an arrangement not less beautiful and harmonious In 1804, H. M. ship “ Apollo,” left the cove of than the “music of the spheres." Though I have Cork with 69 sail under convoy for the West Indies. only glanced at some of the currents in the AtlanThey encountered a current in the tail of the Gulf tic, there are others, both there and in the Pacife, Stream of which they were not aware, and on the pot less interesting and scarcely less important than 7th day out, the “ Apollo,” with 40 of the convoy, these. Among them, circumstances seem to invite were wrecked on the coast of Portugal.
inquiry as to the probability of a “Gulf Stream" It is the Navigator's ignorance of the force of in the North Pacific. The resort of whales about currents on the coast of Africa that has done so Japan, as about Newfoundland in the same latimuch towards supplying the wandering Arabs of tude—the European-like climate of Oregon-the the desert with slaves, and that has given to the thunder storms encountered in high Pacific lati: world such thrilling narratives as that of Adams tudes out of season—the absence of whales in the
torial current that Captain Ross struck which enabled column itself. Therefore this subject recommends itsell him to reach so much farther South than the American Ex. for its beauty and grandeur to every well-balanced and cel Expedition was enabled to do. This warm current-warm tivated mind. The “wonders of the deep" are more often there only by comparison-was not perhaps strong enough alluded to in Holy Writ, and are more frequently used to be detected by the log. It could only be shown by the there in illustration of the power and greatness of the thermometer; for if Captain Ross found a higher tempera- Creator than any other portion of his handy-work. ture than was found upon the same parallel by the vessels
Therefore devout men-for the undevout geologist is s of the American Expedition in another part of the ocean, it mad as the undevout astronomer-will receive from beperoni would be fair to inser that the warmer waters were not posed system of observations, many an instructive and prou made warmer on that parallel, but that they were drifted fitable lesson. In never ceasing motion the waves of the there from warmer regions. I have not seen either of the sea lift up their voice continually. Whether heard in the journals, nor have I heard a word as to any difference of raging of the storm or in the mute eloquence of the cals, temperature found by the two. It appears from the general they teach man his littleness, and tell of the power sd system and arrangement of currents, that a flow of tropical attributes of the everlasting God. water, of course of greatly reduced temperature, but still
Gentlemen here, and good men erery where, can do much higher than that of the surrounding sea, should and ought to be found near the longitude by which Captain Ross ap- their influence with masters by inducing them to sen'
to aid this plan by giving it their countenance, and us proached the Antarctic. And I hope to have an opportunity Washington an abstract of their logs, though it contare ved of comparing temperatures. No doubt but the south pole the track of the vessel, with the winds and temperatures is approached in some region by one or more, perhaps Even this would be valuable, and any thing additional werd several tropical currents. Before attempting another voyage be much more so. Our whalemen do collect and hare 31 there, it would be highly desirable first to ascertain the route their power to give much truly valuable information. The of that which is greatest in volume. Witness the effects of which they collect concerns the meteorologist, the wall the Gulf Stream upon the temperature of the polar basin ralist and others, not less than the navigator and gevings about Spitzbergen, as compared with the temperature at the Indeed, the ocean, with its almost unsealed book of myste same parallel in the North American seas. In studying out the currents of the sea the mind has pre name of his association, a common highway, upon the
ries, presents to the votary of science, whatever be to sented to it a most sublime subject for contemplation. It would be doing violence to the wisdom every where diseach society, like every nation, may make its ventures sy played through nature, to suppose that they are governed return, like them, in vessels laden with treasures to en:ne
the mind and benefit the human race.- Extract frist by other than wise, certain, harmonious and fixed laws.
Paper on the Currents of the Sea as connected with Germany Through these laws, when rightly understood, the system of ocean circulation will present for contemplation an order and read before the association of American Geologists and how arrangement as beautiful and imposing as the geological ralists, May 14, 1744—by M. F. Maury, Li. U. S.N."
same region, all appear to indicate between North servations upon the phenomena of the sea, with Western America and North Eastern Asia, the advantages which no other age has afforded since presence of a large body of warm water. The the world began. probability of such a current there seems to be- It may be asked how a society, in its very infancy come stronger and its similarity to the Gulf Stream and without means, can occupy with observers a more striking, from the fact that the extreme cold field like this, as wide as the poles and as broad of North Eastern Asia corresponds with our North as the sea ?-In answer, I would point to the Navy Eastern climate, indicating thereby the existence and our commercial marine--with such materials of a cold current from the North, corresponding and with its honors and the hope of its honorary to that on our Atlantic coast, where certain cold rewards rightly applied, the moral influence of the water fish are known to resort.
Institute can accomplish more than the mines of If there be such a warm current from Sumatra and Potosi. the China seas, perhaps it is spread out over a larger In whatever may tend to the improvement of space, and does not by any means reach Gulf Stream Navigation, or redound to the credit of their counvelocity. Noris it likely that it would be met in much try, the officers of the Navy have always been force, so low down as vessels bound to China from ready. Any plan, therefore, for collecting facts and Western America would cross it. As far as the systematizing observations in the fields proposed, collecting of facts from observations is concerned, is sure to receive from them the most zealous and this is a barren sea. Our standard directories of hearty coöperation, when it does not interfere with the Ocean do not inform us whether there be so their more immediate duties. much as a current* throughout the whole extra- The commercial marine of no country in the tropical extent of the North Pacific. The time is world can boast of ship masters superior to the fast approaching when that part of the Ocean too Americans as Navigators and in general intelliwill become a great highway for ships. And any gence. Their industry and enterprize warrant the information that this Institute can collate in rela-expectation that they too would join hands in the tion to it, would be highly valuable and most accep-undertaking most readily. Personal knowledge of table to Navigators. We have seen how useful them warrants the belief, that at the invitation of currents become in the economy of the Ocean, and the Institute they would undertake a series of obhow important to its safe and speedy Navigation servations upon any plan the society may propose. is a knowledge of them. In the beautiful system of cosmical arrangements and terrestrial adaptations, by which we are surrounded, they perform active and important parts: they not only dispense heat and moisture, and temper climates, but they
A BIVOUAC IN THE DESERT. prerent stagnation in the sea, and by their active
BY MARY E. HEWITT. circulation, transport food and sustenance for its inhabitants from one region to another, and people “After the battle of the Pyramids, the whole way through all parts of it with life and animation. Yet, on the desert was tracked with the bones and bodies of men this interesting subject, former observations have and animals, who had perished in these dreadful wastes. thrown just light enough to make visible the dark- In order to warm themselves at night, they gathered together
the dry bones and bodies of the dead, which the vultores Dess through which we are groping.
bad spared, and it was by a fire composed of tihs fuel that " The discovery,” says the Baron Humboldt,“ of Napoleon lay down to sleep in the desert !". a group of uninhabited islands is less interesting
[Miot's Memoirs. | than a knowledge of those laws which bind together a considerable number of facts.”
The ploughshare of the conqueror passed Therefore be diligent-let the plan of observa
Across the burning desert plain ; tions cover broad grounds, and occupy the whole
While on the sower followed fast, field. The perfection to which chronometers have
And scattered in the bright red grain. been brought; the nicety of our instruments; the accuracy of the nautical ephemeris; the conve
And tracking on that welded blade, bient arrangement of the requisite tables—and,
Forged from their countless battle-brands; above all, the intelligence and skill of the multi
Far o'er the broad, deep furrow made, todes of laborers that now stand idle, but ready,
On swept his trained Prætorian bands. all combined, enable us to conduct a system of ob- The vulture is the desert's king! * Captain, now Adiniral, Dupetit Thuars found a surface
And what of conquerors recketh he? temperature of 79° one thousand miles to the East of
Who bounds his empire by his wing, Japan, which thereby indicates such a stream. And this Reigneth, I ween, right fearlessly! is further confirmed by the opinion of Mr. Redfield, who has formed his conclusions from information derived from 'Twas night-the conqueror's barvest night, American whalers.
No star in heaven its glories hid;
And poured the moon her radiant light
Her stubble let the desert yield, On desert, tent, and pyramid.
To cheer this wide, unvarying sand! The reaper's blade its toil forsook
For leagues away, the barren plain And in the glittering river Nile
Nor tree, nor shrub, nor verdure ownsThe plumed and turban'd Mameluke
Where they had sown the blood-red grain, Slept with the scale-armed crocodile.
They gleaned but blanched, and mouldering
bones. Oh, Isis! Thou adored of old
And where of old the cloud and fire With mystic rite, and symbol rare ;
Led on the wandering Israelite, Rude hands have rent thy veil's dark fold,
They heaped the pile-till far the pyre And lain thy hidden altars bare.
Reared its red column on the night. The crescent gleams from Moslem tower, And fast the fanning night-wind came, High o'er the walls of Ptolemy;
And high the scroll accusing swept; And naught but thine own lotos flower,
While 'neath that uplift tongue of flame, Oh, Nilus! bends to worship thee.
The “ Lion of the Desert"# SLEPT! Where 'mid the tombs their grandeur raised *“Napoleon,” says Sir Walter Scott,“was pleased with Her Pharaohs slumber, all forgot ;
the flattery which derived his christian name from two Remnant of Egypt's pride abased,
Greek words, signifying the “ Lion of the Desert."
Your sculptured records time hath kept
PRESENT STATE OF LETTERS. To victory, aye Sesostris swept.
To WILLIAM GILMORE SIMMS, Esq. Egypt! Nile's suckling! Thou that wast
Dear Sir,' It is little more than a year since I Throned in the old world's infancy
had the pleasure of a prolonged and interesting While yet on her kind, fostering breast
conversation with you, in Charleston, on the subThe teeming earth encradled thee
ject of American Literature. This conversation
may have passed from your memory, for to you it How, through all time, a doomed lot
was merely the easy enunciation of thoughts long Hath been thine own-devoted land! entertained, and, doubtless, frequently expressed For aye the scourge that wearieth not- before. I shall not as readily forget it, for it has For aye, for
tion on the nature of Literature in general, and Sleep they, the hosts thy sands that trod?
more especially of the Literature of this country. Lo! with their centuries, vanquished all !
The seed which you cast lightly on the soil has Yet, where the conquering Persian stood, Where warred the Assyrian, wars the Gaul! sprouted, put forth leaves and fructified, and, though
the fruit so produced may be crude, still it may be The jackal and the wolf are out,
suggestive of profounder and more mature views A phantom army holds the plain ;
to others, able to devote more time and ability to Why pales the conqueror ? Is't with fear
the investigation of the subject than I can. In His blood runs chill through every vein ?
resolving to give publicity lo my meditations, 1
have preferred the epistolary form to that of the Fear! Was't a word for him who played more imposing essay, as I design expressing my
The sword 'gainst crown and sceptre old ? views in that loose and desultory manner in which Write Fear where drave his furrowing blade they rise, and which is perhaps the most suitable Who trembled but beneath the cold ! for the utterance of opinions for whose soundness
I will not vouch, and which future reflection may Ho! Ye that reaped the ripened field
possibly induce me to modify, or even to abandos. What left ye to the gleaner's hand ? And I do not think that I can address my remarks *"We are assured on the personal evidence of Herodotus to any one with greater propriety than to yourself
, and Strabo, that the pillars erected by the Egyptian leader, for you were the original cause of their formationto mark his conquesis, still remained in their days, and you have devoted much care to the examination of that they were even personally inspected by them in Syria, the subject--and you have been lately illustrating Palestine, Arabia and Ethiopia. The inscription which kindred topics with signal ability. Moreover, I these proud monuments every where bore, was to the fol. lowing effect :” “Sesostris, King of kings, and Lord of
know that you will overlook any crudity which Jords, subdued this country by his arms.” —Civil History of may be incident to this inartistic expression of my Ancient Egypt.
opinions, and to the undigested nature of the speculations themselves. I shall, therefore, presume before, has not been very strongly or intelligently your indulgent consideration, even in those in- insisted upon until of late years, and has not yet stances in which you may be disposed to dissent received its full consideration. It will be wholly altogether from my conclusions; and having anti- unnecessary for me to illustrate its significance, or cipated your favor I shall be less apprehensive of to point out its importance to you. The immediate a failure to obtain that of others.
corollary from it is, that any existing state of society, It is always an interesting and profitable employ- with all its phenomena, must be attributable to cerment to cast a glance over the existing state of tain determinate events prior in time; and, if the letters; but there are many considerations which phases themselves be apparent, the probability is will render such an examination peculiarly instruc- that the causes can not be very recondite, but may tive at the present time. There is an indecision, be discovered, weighed and appreciated by a little a vagueness, and I may add an apparent incohe- attention and diligence. Therefore, whatever be rence in the literature of the day, which, at first the present condition of letters, there must presight, might threaten to baffle all successful scru- viously have been cognizable causes to which it tiny into its nature, and to some observers might may be referred : and by an examination of these seem to indicate nothing but the progressive and we may attain some insight into the subject of our rapid decline of the literary eminence of nations. present speculations. At any rate, I will venture Many, indeed, might be preserved from any such upon making the attempt. apprehension, by the habit, now grown natural to In the earliest stages of the French Revolution, them, of considering quantity as the correlative of the liberal minded of all countries fancied that a quality and of assuming the multitude of recent new Avatar had descended upon the earth for the publications to be conclusive evidence of the vigor, regeneration of society, in all its multiplex departthe excellence and the vitality of the present order ments. There were few who had the prescience of things. Neither of these views can be suffi- and sagacity of Burke, or who were able to scent cient to any but the most superficial minds; they the tainted atmosphere from afar. A few yearsare both incorrect, and sweeping deductions from nay, a few months, and the tremendous overthrow a few prominent facts grossly misunderstood : but of all old systems, produced by the excesses of the if any distinction is to be made between their de- French people at home, together with that mad grees of error, the latter conclusion is the more and feverish lust of conquest which threatened the unphilosophic of the two. To those who are con- institutions of the rest of Europe, spread throughtent to rest upon such misapprehensions of the out all countries terror and alarm for the existence subject, the signs of the times will be incapable of of civil society itself. The revulsion of feeling any lucid explanation. True it is, that a close in- was as great as it was sudden--people became spection of the phenomena around us will furnish alarmed for their persons, their property, and those evidence of disintegration and gradual decomposi- social forms under which they had grown up, and tion taking place in the fabric of the literary world : to which they were attached. The conservative but to a deeper scrutiny this disintegration will ap- energies of humanity on which alone it appeared pear only as one of the phenomena preparatory to that reliance was capable of being placed, and even and indicative of a coming change. For those their activity, it was feared, might prove insuffiwho examine carefully will perceive that among cient to resist that increasing frenzy of innovation, the crumbliug materials the seed leaves of new which was regarded as equally overwhelming and systems are every where unfolding themselves, equally destructive with the invasion of the Northern and, though the frequent and unskilful upturning Barbarians, at the commencement of the Middle of the soil may often cover and hide them for a Ages. From one extreme men had passed to the time; yet, by their vital energy, they again thrust other. This terror and its consequences have thernselves through the superstratum thus thrown gradually faded away. The French Revolution, upon them, and unfold their leaves with a new life. though its advance was through a sea of blood on A few moments devoted to the investigation of which floated the wrecks of a thousand cherished these phenomena to a study of their nature and of the associations, is now regarded with a more calm causes which have produced them will not be wasted. and sober judgment, and can, accordingly, be more
1 hold the position, that every social and intel-justly estimated. We now acknowledge it to have lectual development, and, consequently, every social been the greatest and most radical social change and intellectual change is a natural growth of since the Reformation of Luther, perhaps we might human character acted upon by the variety of say, since the establishment of Christianity. It is human events—they are invariably the product of admitted that it has sapped the foundations of all individual energies and the external circumstances old systems, that it has undermined many and overof society combined. There are other modifying thrown many, but we recognize this very destrucinfluences, which, as they are slight in civilized tion as the necessary prelude of some great and periods, it would be tedious here to enumerate. catholic change already commenced, though not This is a doctrine, which, though feebly enunciated yet fully revealed to us. The exact nature and
limits of this great mutation, the periods and the Wordsworth and Shelley, were equally in harmony modes of its accomplishment are still hidden from with their own times, and with the social pheus, but we can see that it is universal in its opera- nomena succeeding the out-burst of the French tion, and we are not debarred from obtaining some Revolution, but they regarded the world around proximate knowledge of its meaniny.
them from different points of view, and hence arose When every thing else in society was so radi- the stronger features of their dissimilarity. Byron cally affected, it would have been surprising if was, however, the truest as well as the most rhythLiterature should alone have escaped beyond the mical exponent of his age. He uttered the comreach of its influence. By Literature I understand mon but indistinct feelings of men of that day in all that is composed for publication under the form their most beautiful and poetic form—the melanof letters. The Literature of a country is the choly occasioned by the departure of a former most delicate and universal expression of its various system-the full intelligence of the discord and thoughts and feelings, and, hence, is that depart- ruin around—and a sad despair of any better fruits, ment of human intellect in which change is usually but only the fear of deeper and deeper degradation :first displayed. The writings of Voltaire, Rous- these were the feelings which gave inspiration to seau, Diderot and the rest of the Encyclopædis- Byron, but to them was added new poignancy from tical school had indicated the French Revolution, the unhappy events of his life, which never sofso far as it was founded upon opinion, long before fered him to be in harmony himself with the exierit had visibly commenced, or was generally antici- nal world around him. To use his own words, his pated; and like phenomena, though in a less de experience made him feel that gree, might have been detected in the Literatures of other countries. But if Literature be the pre
Our life is a false nature, it is not in
The harmony of things. cursor by its varying hues of political and social change, it is not less affected thereby itself. The That doubt which found an oracular voice in ages of Æschylus and of Pericles at Athens, of Byron has not yet passed away: perhaps the doubt Augustus at Rome, of Elizabeth in England, and itself is now more widely diffused, though less of Louis XIV. in France, might teach us this with intense, and considerably modified in its nature; out any labored argument, and without any recur- but we have no longer the agony which at first rence to the example of the French Revolution. accompanied it, nor have we the same despair of But the latest instance is the most instructive of better things, for we are now confident of a brighter all: the rise of the Byronic and the Lake Schools i day than the former, as soon as the sun has fairly of Poetry in England, and the appearance of the appeared above the horizon. We are still in the modern French Literature as soon as the fanati- gloom of twilight, but we know that the day will cism of social change had subsided into a less vio- soon break, so that our uncertainty manifests itself lent ferment in France, show how suddenly and under less exaggerated forms; but it exists not the how profoundly political convulsions operate upon less on this account. As far as the poetry of doubt the literary world. Byron and his imitators were is concerned—that is irrevocably gone—Byron's the highest and last expression of a system which harp is unstrung; the fountain once so prolific of was passing away ; but mingled with this, and in melody is musical no more--the dead bones can much bolder prominence, was the utterance of not be revived by the wand of any enchanter-that those feelings of dark uncertainty, of scepticism phase of society of which he was the utterance and of despair, produced in apprehensive minds by can never return-the sources of his poetry are the whirl and confusion of tottering creeds and exhausted, and his poetry belongs to the past. crumbling institutions, which filled the world at the The same may be said, though in a different degree, time when they wrote. Wordsworth and his par- of Wordsworth and Shelley. The circumstancestisans were the Evangel of a change in progress. the age which produced them have departed, and Shelley, with a still bolder flight, projected himself though they are rather the prophets of the future far beyond the known into the boundless abysses of than the reproducers of the past, yet when another the future: his voice sounds like the anticipated birth of poetry shall be vouchsafed to us, it will and inverted reverberation of sounds which shall have its own peculiar characteristics, as it will greet no mortal ear until a very distant day. Such be due to its own peculiar causes. As poetry is the being his spirit, his utterance was necessarily dark, earliest flower to bloom in the gardens of Literamystical, perplexed and involved it was the oracu- ture, so it is the first to fade. The generation of lar prophesying of a Pythoness, who, with strained great poets produced by the French Revolution eyes, perceived strange shapes in the recesses of are now no more--they have fulfilled their glorious futurity, which, with difficulty, she could depict in mission and have left the stage-all that we now the known forms of language, and which she could have of poetical are but the echoes, more or less only imperfectly reveal to a generation whose melodious, of their dying fall.' thoughts were unfamiliar with such possibilities The phenomena are more or less analogous in of a fevered imagination. These three, Byron,'the other departments of Literature; but in pro