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THE ROUND TOWER OF SWORDS.
The ancient town of Swords, situated in the barony of Coolock, about seven miles from Dublin, though now reduced to an insignificant village, is remarkable for its picturesque features, its ruins, and its historical recollections. Its situation is pleasing and romantic, being placed on the steep banks of a small and rapid river, and though its general appearance indicates but little of prosperity or happiness, its very ruins and decay, give it, at least to the antiquary and the painter, a no common interest.
Like most of the ancient Irish towns, Swords appears to be of ecclesiastical origin. A sumptuous monastery was founded here in the year 512, by the great St. Columb, who appointed St. Finian Lobair, or the leper, as its abbot, and to whom he gave a missal, or copy of the gospels, written by himself
. St. Finian died before the close of the sixth century. In course of time this monastery became possessed of considerable wealth, and the town rose into much importance. It contained within its precincts, in addition to St. Columb's church, four other chapels, and nine exterior chapels subservient to the mother church. Hence on the institution of the collegiate church of St. Patrick, it ranked as the first of the thirteen canonries attached to that cathedral by archbishop Comin, and was subsequently known by the appellation of "the golden prebend." There was also a nunnery here, the origin of which is unknown.
To this monastery the bodies of the monarch Brian Boru, and his son Morogh, were conveyed in solemn procession by the monks, after the memorable battle of Clontarf, and after remaining a night, were carried to the abbey of Duleek, and committed to the care of the monks of St. Cianan, by whom they were conveyed to Armagh.
Śwords was burnt and plundered frequently, as well by the native princes, as by the Danes, who set the unholy example. By the latter it was reduced to ashes in the years 1012, and 1016, and by the former in the years 1035 and 1135. On this last occasion the aggressor, Conor O’Melaghlin, king of Meath, was slain by the men of Lusk. Its final calamity of this kind occurred in the year 1166.
Here it was that the first Irish army of the Pale assembled on the ninth of November, 1641, pre, paratory to that frightful civil war which caused such calamities to the country; and here they were defeated and put to the rout by the forces under Sir Charles Coote, on the tenth of January following, when he beat them from their fortifications and killed two hundred of them, without any material loss, except that .of Sir Lorenzo Carey, second son of Lord Falkland, who fell in the engagement.
Of the numerous ecclesiastical edifices for which
Swords was anciently distinguished, the only remains now existing are those represented in the prefixed engraving for the castle, though said to have been the residence of the archbishop of Dublin can hardly be included under this denomination. These consist of a fine and lofty round tower, coeval with the foundation of the original monastery, and the abbey belfrey, a square building of the fourteenth or fifteenth century. The former is seyenty-three feet high, fifty-two feet in circumference, and the walls four feet thick. It contained five stories, or floors. Its present entrance which is level with the ground, is of modern construction, as well as the roof and upper story: what appears to have been the original doorway is twenty feet from the ground, and but four feet high. Respecting the uses of those singular ancient buildings, says a Dublin Journal, we deem it improper to express any opinion, till the Royal Irish Academy shall have announced its decision on the prize essays on this subject, now under its consideration."
These two towers with the adjacent church, form a picturesque and uncommon architectural group; but the church which is of modern erection, having been completed in the year 1818, though imposing in its general appearance, is but a spurious and jejune imitation of the pointed or gothic style of architecture, and such as might have been expected from minds so wanting in good taste and feeling, as those which permitted the removal of the beautiful ruins of the ancient abbey, to erect it on their site. Similar acts of wanton destruction are now unfor. tunately of daily occurrence, and are any thing but
honorable to their perpetrators, who, though they may regard such remains as vestiges of ancient superstition, should still remember, as Byron says, that
“ Even the faintest relics of a sbrine
any worship, wake some thoughts divine.” We are told that the inhabitants of Swords feel proud of this pretending, but tasteless structure, and we believe it possible; but if the principles of a refined and educated architectural taste should ever again be generally disseminated in Ireland, they will indulge in a very different feeling. In this country we have yet to learn that elegance of form and correctness of design in ecclesiastical buildings are, in the hands of a judicious and educated architect, quite attainable, even with the limited means usually appropriated to the purpose.—Dublin Penmy Journal.
QUOTATIONS. There are a few unfortunate passages in the works of the British classic writers, which exist in a state of perpetual torture and suffering, being taken hold of on all possible occasions by modern authors, and forced to tag out their meaning whenever they are at a loss for an idea out of their own heads. Weak writers—a body who, if numbers signified strength, would be most respectable-could never get on if it were not for quotations; but while it is fun to them, as in the famous case of the boys and frogs, it is death or worse to the gentlemen whose writings are thus pillaged. The reading of Hamlet, for instance, is positively spoiled, in consequence of the ridiculous associations which arise at every other line, in consequence of the uses made of it by the herd of writers whose works are most commonly in our hands. “ Alas, poor Yorick!" has lost all its pathos, from its being applied to every funny fellow who has died during the last two centuries, or at least since the days of Sterne; and we now look upon the declaration of the Prince of Denmark, as to the improbability of there ever being another man like bis father, as the height of nonsense; seeing that “ we ne'er shall look upon his like again” has been said in half the obituary notices of equivocal public characters we can recollect having ever perused. The better plays of Shakspeare are all in pretty much the same predicament. The felicity of that man's diction has been the death of him, and we find him bad because he is so good. We loathe Macbeth, because we never hear in modern literature of a man making wry faces at medicine, but what we are informed that he exclaimed, in a burst of antipathy, “ Throw physic to the dogs—I'll none of it!” We detest King Richard, because there is not an ill-mounted sportsman in the country who will not cry“ Bring me another horse.” Even the fine fancies of the Tempest are become disagreeable to us, since the remark of Trinculo, that “misery makes us acquainted with strange bed fellows,” has been found applicable to so many circumstances. All this, of course, is fine illustration of the danger in which a man stands from his friends.
Small scribblers in newspapers, contributors of paragraphs about public rejoicings, private festivities, and other local matters, seem to find quotations particularly indispensable, their intelligence being generally so trivial and vapid as to be unfit to stand by itself. In a public rejoicing, the bells are always sure to "6
ring ont a merry peal,” and the
crowds of people to be “thick as leaves in Vallambrosa.” In the case of a ball, the “light fantastic toe” comes finely in; in that of a dinner, the night invariably “ drives on wi' sangs and clatter," and the company would take scorn to separate before “the wee short hour ayont the twal.” If the undue interference of a magistrate be commented on, to be sure we have the unhappy Shakspeare drag, ged in to administer censure
“Oh man, vain man,
Dressed in a little brief authority, &c.” In fact, these tags of old authors serve as points to the blunt and airnless sentences of the moderns. We, nowadays, have all of the epigram but the sting, and that we are obliged to borrow from our predecessors. Who ever speaks of obscure genius, but he seizes upon some such recondite passage as
“ Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air?” Who ever describes eloquent writing, without bringing in our old friend
“ Thoughts that breathe and words that burn ?” Who ever indicates the variety of styles in any particular writer, or in his own compositions, without going
“From gay to grave, from lively to severe?” Or who ever writes a sententious account of an unfortunate wretch, but concludes with the pithy remark, that he was only suited to
“ Point a moral or adorn a tale?" And, above all, who ever tells us in print of the rarity of the appearances of any object, animate or inanimate, without taking a vast deal of pains to mention that they were
“Like angels' visits, few and far between?” Oh, these angels and their visits will surely some day be the death of us.
Can any one think of a teacher, but he must draw upon Thomson for
* Delightful task ?” &c. or upon Lord Brougham, for his still more celebrated declaration, that “the schoolmaster is abroad"a phrase now absolutely nauseous from frequency of repetition. When a fine new colony is spoken of, it is of course “ a land overflowing with milk and honey,” even although bees should not have yet found their way to the country, and cows are so scarce (owing to their having to be carried eight or ten thousand miles,) that they sell at sixty pounds each, and only can be had by the people of firstrate fortune. When a population is happy in an old country, every man " sits under his own vine and fig-tree,” though it is more likely, that, while some enjoy themselves in their dining-rooms beside a coal fire, others frequent the neighboring ale-houses during the first three days of the week, being able to make enough to live upon, by working during the remainder. A slight inapplicability, however, is nothing in a quotation, provided only that it give a kind of sense and expression to a sentence which would otherwise be void of both. Thus, a description of an island may be rather tame, the object being itself perhaps rather so; but if by hook or by crook it can be
“ Placed far amid ihe melancholy main,"
scarcely been able to procure a single pig by the most tempting price they could offer in another shape
(though possibly only two miles from shore,) then does it catch a grace from another and more poetical mind, and passes off well enough. On the same principle, we will wish for
a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade;" though, in reality, a walk in some neighboring plantation, upon which we are forbidden to intrude by men-traps and spring-guns, would satisfy us to our heart's content.
To be serious: Modern English writers act very sillily in introducing so many quotations from the works of former authors. Such a practice indicates not only a want of taste, but a want of the powers of original thinking, or, at the least, a want of confidence in these powers. We are of opinion that every writer should stand on his own merits alone. The sentiments to be expressed ought to be given to the reader in a plain straight-forward manner, without affectation, and in as simple and intelligible a language as possible, without the extrinsic aid of trappings from the productions of others.
Quotations of words and sentiments from the Latin, French, or other foreign tongues, are particularly hateful. The exclamation, "O tempora, O mores,” has been applied to every period and state of society during two thousand years, and it is really time it were abandoned. The sin of introducing classic phrases, or of alluding on all occasions to heathen deities, is certainly now much less common than during a former age, when pedantry was frequently accepted as a proof of refinement; still they are too frequently indulged in. The puerile and fictitious transactions of Homer's heroes and heroines are a source of particular annoyance: we feel convinced that if any man would purge our literature of allusions to the “ shield of Ajax," he would deserve a reward for his great public service. Surely our own noble and expressive language is sufficient for every useful and ornamental purpose in every kind of composition calculated for popularity. Away, then, with the paltry practice of interlarding English writing either with foreign words, or what are styled classic allusions, which are injurious to good writing, of no value whatever to that which is bad, and in almost every case thoroughly useless.
THE PLACE VENDOME. Since the time of Louis XVI., while many of the ancient architectural ornaments of Paris have been razed to the ground, many new and splendid edifices have been erected in their places; and almost every year has added something both to the embellishment and extension of the city. The number of convents, immediately before the Revolution, amounted to one hundred and thirty-three; and of the buildings belonging to these establishments the greater number have been either demolished or converted to other purposes. Squares and marketplaces have been erected on the sites of some; others have been turned into prisons, hospitals, barracks, and schools. Many new streets also have risen on the extensive grounds formerly occupied by these institutions, of which only a small number were re-established after the restoration of the Bourbons.
Since that period, the principal additions which have been made to the extent of the city, have been in what is called the Quartier Poissonière, to the east of La Chaussée d'Antin, and in the new quarter which has been formed immediately to the west of the Champs Elysées. All these erections, however, are still within the limits assigned to the city in the time of Louis XVI. The wall built in his reign, and still forming the boundary of Paris, has been since surrounded by a road planted with trees, which bears the name of the Boulevard Extérieur, the epithet of Intérieur being given to that formed by Louis XVI. The Boulevard Extérieur was not completed till the close of the reign of Napoleon. To the taste and energy of the Emperor, Paris owes many of its most magnificent embellishments. A much more complete supply of water than the city had ever before possessed — the public granaries in the garden of the Arsenal — the Abattoirs, many new markets, quays, and cemeteries — the Pont d'Austerlitz, the Pont de Jena, the Pont des Arts, and the Pont de la Cité, may be mentioned among the improvements of which he was the author. The Exchange (which, however, was only completed in 1826), the Column of Victory in the Place Vendôme, the Triumphal Arches of the Place du Carrousel, and of the Etoile, (still unfinishea), and the splendid new streets of Castiglione, de la
WEAPONS OF THE NEW ZEALANDERS.
The musket has in a great measure superseded the primitive weapons of the New Zealander, although ihe New Zealanders are as yet far from being expert in the use of it. By Rutherford's account, they only fire off their guns once, and throw them away as soon as they have got fairly engaged, much as some of the Highland regiments are said formerly to have been in the habit of doing. Captain Cruise, in like manner, states that they use their firelocks very awkwardly, lose an immense deal of time in looking for a rest and taking aim, and after all, seldom hit their object, uoless close to it. Muskets, however, are by far more prized and coveted by the New Zealander than any of the other commodities to which his intercourse with the civilized world has given him
The ships that touch at the country always find it the readiest way of obtaining the supplies they want from the natives, to purchase them with arms or ammunition; and the missionaries, who have declined to traffic in these articles, have often
Paix, and Rivoli, immediately to the north of the Tuileries, were either commenced or completed during the period of Napoleon's domination.
POPULAR ERRORS IN MEDICINE.
BY AN EDINBURGH PHYSICIAN.
ry to man as food, and as some do with one-third of the food that others absolutely require, so five hours' sleep is amply sufficient for one, while another requires seven or eight hours. Some men cannot by any possibility sleep more than four or five hours in the twenty-four; and, therefore, true to the inherent selfishness of human nature, they abuse all who sleep longer. No man should be taunted for sleeping eight hours if he can.
Many people do not eat salt with their food, and the fair sex have a notion that this substance dark. ens the complexion. Salt seems essential for the health of every human being, more especially in moist climates such as ours. Without salt, the body becomes infected with intestinal worms. The case of a lady is mentioned in a medical journal, who had a natural antipathy to salt, and never used it with her food; the consequence was, she became dreadfully infected with these animals. A punishment once existed in Holland, by which criminals were denied the use of salt; the same consequence followed with these wretched beings. We rather think a prejudice exists with some of giving little or no salt to children. No practice can be more cruel or absurd.
Destructire Kissing.-Cicero speaks of a bronze statue of Hercules which had the features worn away by the frequent osculations of the devout. Several instances of the same kind have occurred in modern times. The face of a figure of the Saviour among the bronze bas reliefs which adorn the Casta Santa at Loretto, has in this way been quite kissed away. The foot of the famous statue of St. Peter, in the Vatican, has lost much of its metal by the continual application of the lips and foreheads of votaries; and it has been found necessary to protect the foot of the statue of the Saviour by Michael, in the Minerva, from similar injury, by a brass buskin.
A very common practice in eating such fruit as cherries is to swallow the stones, with the vague notion that these promote digestion. No error can be more fatally absurd. Many cases have occurred where such practices have been the cause of death, and that of a most excruciating nature. One instance is on record of a lady who died in great agony after years of suffering, and the cause was found to be several large balls found in the intestines, accumulated around clusters of cherry-stones. The husks of gooseberries are often swallowed with the idea that they prevent any bad effects from the fruit. On the contrary, they are the most indigestible substance that can be swallowed, and pass the stomach without any change, although they cause excessive irritation, and not unfrequently inflammation in the bowels.
Many people put great faith in the wholesomeness of eating only of one dish at dinner. They suppose that the mixture of substances prevents easy digestion. They would not eat fish and fesh, fowl and beef, animal food and vegetables. This seems a plausible notion, but daily practice shows its utter absurdity. What dinner sits easier on the stomach than a slice of roast or boiled mutton, and carrots or turnips, and the indispensable potato? What man ever felt the worse of a cut of cod or turbot followed by a beef-steak, or a slice of roast beef and pudding? In short, a variety of wholesome food does not seem imcompatible at meals, if one do not eat too muchhere the error lies.
It is a common practice with bathers, after having walked on a hot day to the seaside, to sit on the cold damp rocks till they cool before going into the water. This is quite erroneous. Never go into the water if over-fatigued, and after profuse and and long-continued perspiration, but always prefer plunging in while warm, strong and vigorous, and even with the first drops of perspiration on your brow. There is no fear of sudden transitions from heat to cold being fatal. Many nations run from the hot bath, and plunge naked into the snow. What is to be feared is sudden cold after exhaustion of the body, and while the animal powers are not sufficient to produce a reaction or recovery of the animal heat.
There is a favorite fancy of rendering infants and farther advanced children hardy and strong, by plunging them into cold water. This will certainly not prevent strong infants from growing stronger, but it will and often does kill three children out of every five. Infants always thrive best with moderate warmth and a milk-warm bath. The same rule applies to the clothing of infants and children. No child should have so slight clothing as to make it feel the effects of cold — warm materials, loose and wide-made clothing, and exercise, are all indispensable for the health of little ones. But, above all things, their heads should be kept cool, and
Many people so laud early rising as would lead one to suppose that sleep was one of those lazy, sluggish, and bad practices, that the sooner the custom was abolished the better. Sleep is as necessa
Business.- Business, says a celebrated writer, is the salt of life, which not only gives a grateful smack to it, but dries up those crudities that would offend, preserves from putrifaction, and drives off all those blowing flies that would corrupt it. Let a man be sure to drive his business rather than let it drive him. When a man is but once brought to be driven, he becomes a vassal to his affairs. Reason and right give the quickest despatch. All the entanglements that we meet with arise from the irrationality of ourselves or others. With a wise and honest man a business is soon ended, but with a fool and knave there is no conclusion, and seldom even a beginning.
Reply of Diogenes the Cimic.—Diogenes the Cynic being interrogated what benefit he reaped from his barbarous philosophical researches, and his pursuit of wisdom-“ If I reap no other benefit,” says he, “ this alone is sufficient compensation, that I ain prepared to meet with equanimity every sort of fortune."
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Be-Town is situated on the southern bank of multuous stream, are the immediate objects that the Ottawa, a little below the beautiful falls of the command the notice of the beholder. Chaudiere, and opposite the flourishing village of In remoter perspective the eye dwells upon a sucHull, in Lower Canada. It stands upon a high and cession of varied and beautiful bridges, abutting bold eminence, surrounding Canal Bay, and occu upon precipitous and craggy rocks, and abrupt pies both banks of the Canal; that part lying to the islands, between which the waters are urged with east being called the Lower, and that to the west, wonderful agitation and violence. Beyond them, from a superiority of local elevation, the Upper and above their level, the glittering surface of the Town. The streets are laid out with much regu river is discovered in its descent through the broad larity, and are of a liberal width, that will hereafter and majestic rapid, Des Chênes, until the waters contribute to the convenience, salubrity and ele are precipitated in immense volumes over the verge gance of the place. The number of houses now of the rock, forming the falls of the Great and Lit. built is not far short of one hundred and fifty, most tle Chaudiere. From the abyss into which they are of which are constructed of wood, frequently in a involved with terrific force, revolving columns of style of neatness and taste, that reflects great credit mist perpetually ascend in refulgent whiteness, and upon the inhabitants.
as they descend in spray beneath a glowing sunOn the elevated banks of the bay, the hospital, shine, frequently form a partial but bright iris, that an extensive stone building, and three stone bar seems triumphantly to overarch a portion of the racks, stand conspicuous; and nearly on a level bridge. The landscape of the Union Bridges, alwith them, and on the eastern side of the bay, is though not taken exactly from this enchanting spot, delightfully situated the residence of Colonel By, may convey some idea of the scope and splendor the commanding royal engineer on that station. of the prospect which we have attempted briefly to From his veranda, (says Bouchette, whose descrip- describe, and partly secure to it that admiration to tion we have adopted) the most splendid view is which it is so richly entitled beheld that the magnificent scenery of the Canadas affords. The bold eminence that embosoms Entrance Bay, the broken and wild shores opposite,
POPULAR INFORMATION ON SCIENCE. beyond which are seen a part of the flourishing settlements and the church of Hull, the verdant and
No person can contemplate the surface of this picturesque islands between both banks, and occa
earth without being impressed with a deep sense of sional canoes, barges, and rafts plying the broad
the beauty and grandeur which in almost every surface of the Grand river, or descending its tu country it exhibits. The sunny valley, the extended