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the Chinese. Osorius, in his Discourse of the Acts of king Emanuel, refers it to Gamar and his countrymen the Portuguese, who, as he pretends, took it from certain barbarian pirates. Goropius Becanus thinks he has good reason to give the honour of the discovery to his countrymen, the Germans: the thirty-two points of the compass borrow their names from the Dutch in all languages. But Blondus, who is also follow. ed by Pancirollus (both Italians,) gave the praise of it to Italy ; telling us, that about the year 1300 it was found out at Mephis, a city of Naples. the name of the inventor of the compass is by Dubartus confidently affirmed to be Flavius. From these authorities it seems a probable conclusion, that Flavius, the Melvitan, was the first inventor of the guiding of a ship by the needle turning to the north ; but that some German afterwards added to the compass the thirtytwo points of the wind, in his own language, from whence other nations have since borrowed it.
PRINTING. • There is some probability that this art originated in China, where it was practised long before it was known in Europe.
That the Romans did not practise the art of printing cannot but excite vür astonishment, since they really possessed the art, and may be said to have enjoyed it, unconscious of their rich possession, as they stamped their pottery with stereotype, or immoveable printing types. How, in daily practising the art (though confined to this object,) it did not occur to such an ingenious people to print their literary works, is not easily accounted for. When first the art of printing was discovered, one side of the paper only was impressed ; the means of printing on the opposite side was not then found out. Specimens of these early printed books may be seen in the libraries of his Majesty and Lord Spencer. It was afterwards attempted to paste the two blank sides together, and thus render them one leaf. The blocks were then made of soft wood, and their letters were carved; but frequently breaking, the expense and trouble of carving and gluing new * letters suggested our moveable types, which has produced such, alınost miraculous, celerity in this art. Our modern stereotype consists of letters carved in brass, which not being liable to break like these blocks of soft wood which they first used, is profitably employed for works which re
quire to be frequently reprinted. Printing in carved blocks of wood must have greatly retarded the progress of universal knowledge; for one set of types could only have produced one work, whereas it now serves for hundreds. Printing was gradually practised throughout Europe from the year 1440 to 1500. Caxton and his successor Wynkyn de Worde were our own earliest printers. Caxton was a wealthy merchant, who, in 1464, being sent by Edward iv. to negotiate a commercial treaty with the Duke of Burgundy, returned to the country with this invaluable art. Notwithstanding his mercantile habits, he possessed a literary taste, and his first work was a translation from a French historical miscellany. The tradition of the devil and Dr. Faustus was derived from the odd circumstance in which the Bibles of their first printer, Faust, appeared to the world. When he had discovered this new art, and had printed off a considerable number of copies of the Bible, to imitate those which were commonly sold in manuscript, he undertook the sale of them at Paris. It was his interest to conceal this discovery, and to pass off his printed copies as manuscripts. But as he was enabled to sell his Bibles at sixty crowns, while the scribes demanded five hundred, this created universal astonishment; and still more, when he produced copies as fast as they were wanted, and eyen lowered his price : this made a great sensation at Paris, The uniformity of copies increased the wonder. Informations were given to the magistrates against him as a magician; his lodgings were searched ; and a great number of copies being found were seized. The red ink which embellished his copies was said to be his blood; and it was therefore adjudged that he was in league with the devil, and Faust was at length obliged (to save himself from a bonfire) to discover his art to the parliament of Paris.
SAILING COACHES. The curious invention of sailing coaches was found out by Simon Sterinius, in the Netherlands. An account of an experiment made in one of them will best describe them. 54 Purposing to visit Grotius, (saith Gassendus) Peireskius went to Scheveling, that he might satisfy himself of the carriage and swiftness of a coach, a few years before invented; and made up with that artifice, that with expanded sails it would fly upon the shore as a ship upon the sea. He had formerly heard that Count Maurice, a little aster his victory at Newport, had put himself thereinto, together with Francis Mendoza, his prisoner, on purpose to make trial thereof; and that within two hours they arrived at Putten, which is distant from Scheveling fourteen leagues, or two-and-forty. miles. He had therefore a mind to make the experiment of it himself, and he would often tell us with what admiration he was seized when he was carried with a quick wind, and yet perceived it not, the coachi's motion being equally quick.”
NewsPAPERS. . We are indebted to the Italians for the idea of newspapers. The title of their gazettas was most probably derived from a small coin peculiar to the city of Venice, called gazetta, which was the common price of their newspapers. It has also been said to be derived from the Latin gaza, which would coloquially lengthen into gazetta, and signify a little treasury of news. Newspapers then took their birth in that principal land of modern politicians, Italy, and under the government of that aristocratical republic, Venice. The first paper was a Venetian one, and that only monthly ;, but it was the newspaper of the government only. Other governments afterwards adopted the Venetian plan of a newspaper, with the Venetian name for it; and from one solitary government gazette we see what an inundation of newspapers · has burst upon us in this country.
Mr. Chalmers, in his Life of Ruddiman, gives a curious particular of these Venetian gazettes. “A jealouş government did not allow a printed newspaper; and the Venetian gazetta continued long after the invention of printing, to the close of the sixteenth century, and even to our own days, to be distributed in manuscript." In the Magliabechian library at Florence are thirty volumes of Venetian gazettas, all in manuscript. Mr. Chalmers discovers in England the first newspaper. “ It may gratify national pride (says he ) to be told that mankind are indebted to the wisdom of Elizabeth, and the prudence of Burleigh, for the first newspaper. The epoch of the Spanish armado is also the epoch of a genuine newspaper. In the British Museum are several newspapers, which had been printed while the Spanish fleet was in the English Channel, during the year 1588. It was a wise policy to prevent, during a period of general anxiety, the dan
ger of false reports, by publishing real information. The earliest newspaper is entitled. The English Mercurie,' which, by authority, was imprinted at London by her highness's printer, 1588.' These, however, were only extraordinary gazettes, and not regularly published ; and it appears that even in this obscure origin they were skilfully directed by the policy of that great statesman, Burleigh, who, to inflame the national feeling, gives an extract of a letter from Madrid, which speaks of putting Elizabeth to death, and describes the instruments of torture on board the Spanish fleet. The first newspaper in the collection at the British Museum is marked No. 50, and is in Roman, not in black letter. It contains the usual articles of news, like the London Gazette of the present day. In that curious paper there is intelligence, dated from Whitehall, on the 23d of July, 1588. Under the date of July 26, there is the following notice : · Yesterday the Scots' ambassador being introduced to Sir Francis Walsingham, had a private audience of her majesty, to whom he delivered a letter from the king his master, containing the most cordial assurances of his resolution to adhere to her majesty's interests, and to those of the protestant religion. And it may not here be improper to take notice of a wise and spirited saying of this young prince (he was then twenty-two) to the queen's minister at his court, . That all the favour he expected from the Spaniards was, the courtesy of Polypheme to Ulysses, to be the last devoured. The aptness of King James' classical saying carried it from a newspaper into history. ,i
In the reign of Queen Anne there was but one daily paper, the others were weekly. Some attempted to introduceliterary subjects, and other topics of more general speculation, Sir Richard Steele then formed the plan of his Tatler. He designed it to embrace the three provinces, of manners, of letters, and of politics. The public were to be conducted insensibly into so different a track from that to which they had been hitherto accustomed. Hence politics were admitted into his paper. Bụt it remained for the more chąste genius of Addison to banish this disagreeable topic from his elegant pages. The writer of polite letters felt himself degraded by sinking into the dull narrator of political events. From this time newspapers and periodical literature became distinct works.
THE ORIGIN OF DESIGN. Some shepherds on the plains of Chorasan were assembled, after the fervours of noon, at the side of a fountain built of the finest white marble by a descendant of Zoroaster. Their flocks were either scattered on the adjacent lawns, or closely grouped under the shade of the losty palm-trees which surrounded the fountain.
The discourse of the shepherds, passing from subject to subject, fell at length on the acknowledgments due to their Deity, the Sun, for the various blessings which he bestowed on them in the regular progress of the seasons; the sweets of the refreshing Spring, the maturing ardour of Summer, and the overflowing gifts of Autumn. A general assent resounded from the lips of all, excepting Aldurasar, who impiously questioned the benignity and power of the great luminary.
· Micah, one of the most learned among the pastoral tribes, unmoved by the prophane temerity of Aldurasar, continued to extol the supreme dispenser of good, who every day renewed the proofs of his majestic bounty, and every hour called forth new images of creation, to extend the name of his might. Aldurasar turned an eye of affected pity on Micah, and on his lip sate the smile of silent contempt.
During the discourse, the Sun had imperceptibly withdrawn his splendour. A faint mist succeeded; portentous clouds arose in the horizon, and in a short time an impenetrable darkness spread over the whole scene. The cry of “ an offended Divinity !" was now loud among the shepherds; Aldurasar was impelled to prostrate himself with his companions on the earth, and to invoke the return of the Sun.
Instantaneously his beams burst forth from a cloud of night, and at the same moment was heard the voice of Micah; “ Behold, what new images our God creates at this instant.” Every eye glanced quickly on him, as he spoke ; Alduràsár held his arms extended towards heaven with surprise and fear, and Micah pointed to the marble wall of the fountain, on which, under the bending forms of the palmtrees, was seen the shadow of Aldurasar in the posture of adoration. Micah, with the end of his silver crook, traced rapidly on the snowy surface the outline of Aldurasar's form,
whom astonishment had rendered motionless; and having · completed his work, “Let this memorial,” he exclaimed,
6 reinain henceforth in reproof of infidelity! Behold the