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ILLUSTRATIVE AND ORNAMENTAL WOOD ENGRAVINGS,
DIFFUSION OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE,
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES.
SIXTEEN LARGE OCTAVO PAGES, WEEKLY.
EDITED BY THEODORE DWIGHT.
AUTHOR OF A TOUR IN ITALY, THE FATHER'S BOOK, NORTHERN TRAVELLER,
EDITED BY THEODORE DWIGHT, JR. Express Office, 112 Broadway.
NEW YORK, SATURDAY, FEB. 8, 1845.
THE LAKE AND CITY OF TIBERIAS.
Although this lake is one of the smallest pieces of water which ever bore the name, and is not distinguished by its natural scenery, it is connected with some of the most interesting events in history, and naturally claims the attention of every reader. Perhaps no more appropriate subject could have been found, for the first page of a paper like this, appearing at the present day in a country like ours, and designed to carry useful knowledge, with a pleasing variety, to a large number of readers. Events which have taken place on the shores and surface of this distant and now almost deserted lake, are familiar to every reader. They form the subjects of daily reading, conversation or reflection, and furnish the ground-work of the system prevailing in those families to which these sheets will be weekly visiters.
Much that we could wish to say of the interesting scene depicted above, we must omit for want of room; but we refer our readers to the invaluable work from which the following extracts are made; Professor Robinson's Biblical Researches in Palestine, &c., in 1839; Vol. 3d, page 252 and onward.
At half-past two o'clock we reached the brow of the height above Tiberias, when a
view of nearly the whole sea opened at once upon us. It was a moment of no little interest; for who can look without interest upon that lake, on whose shores the Saviour lived so long, and where he performed so many mighty works? Yet to me, I must confess, so long as we continued around the lake, the attraction lay more in these associations, than in the scenery itself. The lake presents, indeed, a beautiful sheet of limpid water, in a deep depressed basin; from which the shores rise in general steeply, and continuously all around, except where a ravine, or sometimes a wide wady (valley) occasionally interrupts them. The hills are rounded and tame, with little of the pictur esque in their form; and they are decked with no shrubs nor forests; and even the verdure of the grass and herbage, which, earlier in the season, might give them a pleasing aspect, was already gone; they were now only naked and dreary. One interesting object greeted our eyes, a little boat with a white sail gliding over the waters; the only one, as we afterwards found, upon all the lake. We descended the slope from the North West, towards Tiberias.
[To be continued.]
THE MOTIONS OF THE EARTH,
Those who have been correctly taught any branch of science, would do well occasionally to review its fundamental principles. We come to the study of almost everything we learn with incorrect conceptions, and we too often return to them on returning to the concerns of common life. We mix with those who have views founded on ignorance, and from intercourse with them are in danger of adopting their language and opinions. It would be judicious, therefore, occasionally to question ourselves on the points which struck us as new and important when we were receiving instruction. Those who are surrounded by the young, or by the ill-informed, have peculiar facilities and inducements for this kind of practice.
On no subject are correct and clear ideas more necessary, and we may perhaps say more rare, than the motions of the earth, and their influences and effects on the affairs of life.
Why is it cold in winter and hot in
orbit, there would be no summer or winter in any country, or zone, but uninterrupted heats at the equator, and unbroken ice at the poles annually accumulating. In our latitude the temperature would probably be that of April and October all the year round. Of course none of our fruits, grains, or most valuable trees or vegetables, would have been known here.
But the axis of the earth is inclined to the plane of the orbit, and all is changed. If you clearly understand the mode and variety of those changes, you have an extensive field of useful and delightful reflection, an exhaustless store of subjects for inquiry and conversation.
We invite our young readers to write their own explanations of the diagram, and reflections on the influence which the position of the earth's axis has on the productions of different countries, the migration of animals, and the conditions and occupations of men.
THE CHINESE IN AMERCIA. We have lately had several interviews with a Chinese scholar, and one of a dif ferent class, who accompanied Doctor Boone, and think some of our readers may be pleased to hear a few words about them. They were natives of Amoy, one of the seaports north of Canton, recently opened to the English, and of course to our ships. They were both remarkably kind in their feelings and courteous in their manners, having readily and successfully accommodated themselves to American manners as far as they were able, showing unwearied patience in answering the endless inquiries of scientific as well as curious visitors, and, although ever modest and unaffected, never disconcerted.
It was a pleasing reflection, suggested by this display of character and manners, that no small degree of amenity must embellish the intercourse of society in its different departments; and that there must exist much morality, as well as taste and mental activity, among the Chinese as a nation.
The scholar had many of the traits of an habitual student, or, as we might say, of a bookworm. His mind was so prone to reflection, that he balanced a subject proposed before making an answer, showing special anxiety to ascertain, first that he had caught the true drift of the inquiry, and then that his reply had been correctly understood.
Being often taken into society, for the
gratification of the missionaries, he was frequently called upon to show specimens of Chinese writing; and, at the first intimation of a wish of the kind, he would stoop and begin to feel for his writing apparatus, which he carried in a kind of pocket, near the calf of his leg. This consisted of a small earthen box to rub his Indian ink off with water, a hair brush and a piece of folded tea paper. His brush or pencil he held exactly upright, in the proper Chinese fashion. His writing was neat as well as rapid; and, much to our gratification, he presented for inspection a volume of tea paper, folded in double leaves, and sewed together with a string of the same material, half filled with writing. It was the private journal of a Chinese scholar on his visit to the United States!
With some eagerness we inquired about its contents; what objects he had noticed? What are his reflections? Has he seen any defects? What are his suggestions for our improvement? With the help of his companion, we were able to translate some of the leading passages from his notes of the voyage, and an abridged account of his journey from New York to Philadelphia.
JOURNAL OF A CHINESE TRAVELLER.I entered a ship to sail for Mennykah (America). The Chinese call it Whah-ke, meaning starred-flag-alluding to the flag of the United States. Not many Chinese go to America, and therefore few of us know anything about it. Englishmen came to Canton first, then to Amoy, after the war. Henceforth there will be no more war;all friends, no trouble. Many American ships will go to China, and the Americans will become acquainted with our language and character. I have already had opportunity to learn many things respecting America, from Dr. Boone and Dr. Cumming, whom I have conversed with in Amoy. At the proposal of Dr. B. I am now proceeding to America, to see and learn more.
On 2d Month, 12th day, we sailed away from Amoy.
On the 13th day, we arrived at Macao. Dr. B. went to Canton, to inquire for a ship to go to America. We soon left Macao, and sailed south ten days, when we saw Carabah, called by Americans, Java.
In the 3d month, 13th day,we saw Abrica (Africa), the Black folks' country. On the 16th, saw a French ship from Java, and an English ship.
CHINESE DESCRIPTION OF A RAILROAD CAR.-I left New York, by water, for the city of Philadelphia. Having landed on the opposite side of the river, we waited some time for the fire-smoke carriage. As I sat in it, I looked out of a window; the trees were running, and the houses were running. I looked again, and it seemed to me that I was once more on the ocean. I could see nothing. Let a man have very good eyes, and he can behold nothing. There was a wonderful thing: I looked before me, and saw a mountain; and while I looked, the mountain came up to my eyes. The fire-smoke carriage is a very wonderful thing. We have it not in China.
CLASSICAL READING.-Will any of our readers furnish us with answers to the following questions?
1. What proportion of the persons who learn Greek or Latin, probably use that language in after life?
2. What proportion probably read Greek or Latin for the improvement of their minds, or the gratification of their taste, independently of professional studies?
3. What are the chief causes of the general neglect of the ancient classics?
4. What measures may be taken to promote a more general attention to the best Greek and Roman writers in their original tongues?
5. What good results might be expected? 6. What evil effects should be guarded against ?
READING TRUE BOOKS.-Will any of our readers send us a brief list of the effects of confining young readers to true books, to the exclusion of fiction, properly so called?
Will they give us, briefly, facts which have come within their knowledge, illustrating the influences of fictions on the mind, the feelings and moral character, the health and lives of the young?
Will they favor us further with suggestions on the means that may be taken to correct these evils?