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544
Poison Valleys in Java and Italy.

[Dec. tance ; but in the valley itself there is no Poison VALLEYS.

smell of sulphur, nor any appearance of At the meeting of the Royal Geographi- eruption having ever taken place. cal Society, Nov. 28, considerable interest This narrative was illustrated by extracts was excited by an account by Mr. Alexander from a letter written by W. R. Hamilton, Loudon of a visit to a small valley in the esq. V.P. of the Society, who, when British island of Java, called Guevo Upas, or the Minister at the Court of Naples, visited the Poisoned Valley, which is remarkable for Lago di Amsancto (Amsancti valles of Virits power of destroying in a very short space gil, Æneid, lib. vii. I. 565, into which the of time the life of man, or any animal ex- fury Alectro threw herself, after having, at posed to its atmosphere. It is distant only the command of Juno, sown the seeds of three miles from Batur, in Java ; and on the discord among the Italian cities), the phe4th July, 1831, Mr. Loudon, with a party of pomena of which closely resembled those friends, set out on a visit to it. On arriving of the valley in Java. at the mountain, the party dismounted, and “ The Lago di Amsancto,” says Mr. Hascrambled up the side of a hill, a distance of milton, “is of a rhomboidal form, about a quarter of a mile, with the assistance of twenty paces in its shortest, and thirty in its the branches of trees and projecting roots. longest dimension. The water is of a deep When a few yards from the valley, a strong ash colour, almost black, and bubbles up nauseous and suffocating smell was expe- over a large proportion of the surface, with rienced, but on approaching the margin this an explosion resembling distant thuoder, inconvenience was no longer found. The and to the height of two feet, more or less. scene that now presented itself was of the On one side of the lake there is also a conmost appalling nature. The valley is about stant and rapid stream, of the same blackish half a mile in circumference, of an oval water, running into it from under the barren shape, and about thirty or thirty-five feet in rocky hill; but the fall is not more than a depth. The bottom of it appeared to be foot or two; and a little above are some flat, without any vegetation, and a few large holes, through which warm blasts of sulphustones scattered here and there. Skeletons retted hydrogen gas are coatinually issuing, of human beings, tigers, boars, deer, and with more or less noise, according to the all sorts of birds and wild animals lay sizes of the openings. Some are oblong, about in profusion. No vapour was per- others perfectly round. On the opposite ceived issuing from the ground, por any side of the lake is another smaller pool of opening through which it might escape, water, on the surface of which are contiand the sides were covered with vegetation. Dually floating, in rapid undulations, thick It was now proposed to enter it, and each of masses of carbonic acid gas, which are visithe

party, having lit a cigar, managed to get ble a hundred yards off. This pool is called within twenty feet of the bottom, where a the Coccaio, or cauldron; the larger lake is sickening nauseous smell was experienced, called Mefite; and the openings on the without any difficulty in breathing. A dog slope above Mefitinelle. These openings you was now fastened to the end of a bamboo, will recoguise as the sævi spiracula Ditis, and thrust to the bottom of the valley, and the cauldron as the specus horrendum of while some of the party, with their watches Virgil. in their hands, observed the effects. At the “The mephitic vapours arising from expiration of fourteen seconds the dog fell these waters are at times very fatal, particuoff his legs, without moving or looking larly when the wind is strong, and they are round, and continued alive only eighteen borne in a body in one direction. When minutes. A second dog now left the party calm, as when we were there, the danger is and went to his companion ; at the end of much less, as the carbonic acid gas will not, ten seconds he fell down, and lived only seven in its natural state, rise above a couple of minutes. A fowl was now thrown in, which feet from the ground; and we were thus died in a minute and a half; and another, enabled to walk all round the lake and caulwhich was thrown after it, died in the same dron, and even step across some parts, takspace of time. On the opposite side of the ing great care, however, not to stumble so valley to that which was visited, lay a human as to fall; as a very short time, with our skeleton, the head resting on the right arm. noses and mouths too near the ground, The effects of the weather had bleached the would have fixed us to the spot asphyxiés. bones as white as ivory. Two hours were Many insects lay dead around us; and birds passed in this valley of death, and the party are said often to fall in like manner into the had some difficulty in getting out of it, lake and on the banks. owing to the rain that had fallen. The hu- “ The gaseous products of these waters man skeletons are supposed to be those of are, 1. Carbonic acid gas ; 2. Sulphuretted rebels, who have been pursued from the hydrogen gas ; 3. Sulphurous acid gas; and main road, and taken refuge in the valley 4. Carburetted hydrogen gas. When evawithout their knowledge of the danger to porated, their deposit has been found to cure which they were thus exposing themselves. the scah, or rot, among the neighbouring

The contiguous range of mountains is sheep; and an attempt has been made to esvolcanic, and two craters are at no great dis- tablish a sulphur manufactory here, as on

1831.] Literary Intelligence.--Odes on St. Cecilia's Day. 545 Solfaterra, but without success. The banks In 1691, D'Urfey was the poet, and Dr. have thus been much changed since the days Blow, for the second time, composer. In of Virgil; but the great features still re- the following year, Purcell again appeared in main substantially the same, though, on the field, and the ode was written by Nichoagain reading his description, I do not think las Brady. A contemporary writer, speaking it that of a person who had visited the spot. of this ode, says, “it was admirably set, and It is curious enough, that, although the earth performed twice with universal applause, and is here much blackened, there is no appear- particularly the second stanza, which was ance of volcanic soil in the adjoining country." sung with incredible graces by Mr. Purcell

The poisonous effects are identical at the himself.” Grotto del Cane, at Naples ; but the meplii- Theophilus Parsons wrote the ode for tic air is there so heavy, that you may stand 1693, which was composed by Gottfried, or upright without inconvenience, as it rises Godfrey, Finger, a German, who had been but a few inches above the surface.

master of the chapel to King James II. Of

the odes for 1694, 95, and 96, nothing is Odes on St. Cecilia's Day.

known, except that the last was composed (Chiefly extracted from Malone's Life of tisement in the London Gazette for January

by Nicola Matteis, as appears by an adverDryden," with additional remarks from a

4, 1696-7, announcing that the music percorrespondent of The Harmonicon.)

formed on St. Cecilia's day, composed by THE first establishment of a Society for Signior Nicola, would be performed in Yorkthe celebration of St. Cecilia's day appears buildings on the 7th of that month. to have been about the year 1681 or 1682, To the stewards of St. Cecilia's Feast for and the first performance of which any traces

the year 1697 we are indebted for the finest have been recovered was on the 22d Novem- specimen of ode-writing in the English lanber (St. Cecilia's day), 1683. The author

guage-ALEXANDER's Feast. The discoof the poetry is unknown, but the composi- very of the exact period when this magnifi tion was from the pen of the English Or- ceut ode was written, and the name of the pheus, Purcell, and was printed in score by composer who had first the happiness of Jobo Playford, with a dedication, by the setting it to music, are due to the minute composer, adůressed to William Bridgman,

accuracy of research which so much distinesq., Nicholas Staggin, Doctor of Music, guished Mr. Malone. The first period is Gilbert Dolben, esq., and Mr. Francis ascertained by a letter froin Dryden to his Forcer, stewards for the year ensuing. son, dated September, 1697, in which he Where the concert was held upon this occa

says, “In the meantime, I am writing a sion does not appear; but the books of the

song for St. Cecilia's Feast, who, you know, Stationers' Company show that, from 1684

is the patroness of music. This is troubleto 1700, their Hall was (with the exception

some, and no way beneficial; but I could of the years 1686, 1688, and 1689, in which

not deny the stewards,* who cane in a body years, it seems probable, no performance at to my house to desire that kindness, ove of all took place) the place of assembly ; the them being Mr. Bridgman, whose parents price of hiring it being, till 1694, only two are your mother's friends." The name of pounds ; afterwards raised, in consideration the composer appears by an advertisement in of the damage occasioned by fixing scaffold- the Lopilon Gazette of December 6, 1697, ings, &c., to four or five pounds, and in announcing that the “Song composed by 1700 to six guineas.

Mr. Jeremiah Clarke, and sung on St. CeciThe ode of 1684 was written by Oldham, lia's day," would be performed on the sucand composed by Dr. Blow; that of 1685, ceeding Thursday, for the benefit of Mr. written by Tate, and composed by Mr., af- Clarke and Mr. Le Riche, late stewards of terwards Dr. William Turner. In 1687, the the said feast. muse of Dryden was first called upon to cele- The writer of the ode for the year 1698 brate the sainted patroness of music, and his has eluded Mr. Malone's researches, though poem was originally composed by Giovanni

he conjectures it to have been by Thomas Battista Draghi. In the two following Bishop'; the composer, however, was Daniel years no performance took place in Station- Purcell. For 1699 both writer and comers' Hall, and it seems extremely probable poser are unknown; in 1700 the performthat the unsettled state of the country may ance was an ode of D'Urfey's, composed by have suspended the celebrations of St. Ce

Dr. Blow, and probably the same that had cilia. lodeed, in 1688, it is hardly likely been originally written in 1691 : in 1701, that any concert would be atteoded on the Congreve and Eccles were the poet and 220 November, little more than a fortnight composer; in 1702 both are again unafter the landing of King William III. at Torbay. In the subsequent year they were

* Hugh Colvill, Thomas Newman, Orresumed; Shadwell, the poet laureate, contributing the poetry, and Mr. Robert King, pard Wessell, and Paris Slaughter, esqs.,

lando Bridgman, Theophilus Buller, Leoone of the band to King William and Queen

amateurs; Jeremiah Clarke and Francis Le Mary, the music.

Riche, professors. Gent. Mag. Decemler, 1831.

546
Colony of Liberia in Africa.

[Dec. known; and in 1703, though Hughes is society first heard a sermon in St. Bride's said to have been the writer of the ode, Church, where an anthem, generally comwhich in an edition of bis works, published posed, as well as the ode, for the especial in 1735, is distinctly stated to have been occasion, was sung by the united choirs of performed in Stationers' Hall, no mention the Chapel Royal, Westminster Abbey, and of such a performance is to be found in the St. Paul's. From the church they probooks of the Company, and the composer is ceeded to Stationers' Hall, where, after the unknown.

performance of the ode, a splendid enterAfter 1708 the annual ode appears to have tainment was provided, the oboes and trumbeen abandoned, for though Pope wrote one pets playing alternately during the time of iu 1708, it was not set to music till 1730, repast. A contemporary publication, “The when Dr. Greene composed it for his exer

Gentleman's Journal," (the precursor on cise on taking a doctor's degree. Concerts which the Gentleman's Magazine was mowere occasionally given on St. Cecilia's day, delled), speaking of the meeting of 1692, and sometimes in Stationers' Hall, but they says, “ This feast is one of the genteelest in were for individual benefits, and consisted of the world; there are no formalities por gaselections.

therings as at others, and the appearance Oo St. Cecilia's day, 1723, an entertain- there is always very splendid; six stewards ment, called the “ Union of the Three Sis- are chosen for each epsuing year, four of ter Arts," composed by Dr. Pepusch, and whom are either persons of quality or gensuug by Mrs. Chambers, who represented tlemen of note, and the two last either genSt. Cecilia ; Mr. Leveredge, who sang for tlemen of their Majesties' music, or some of Homer; and Mr. Le Gare, who personified the chief masters in town." Apelles,-was performed at the Theatre in Lincolu's Inn Fields; and Dr. Boyce, some COLONY OF Liberia IN AFRICA. time between 1730 and 1740, composed an ode, the words of which were written by Mr.

(With a Map and Plan.) Vidal, one of the ushers of Westminster LIBERIA is the name given to a colony of free School, and which was performed by the negroes, established near Cape Montserada, Academy of Music in the great room called on the Grain Coast of Africa, a few hundred the Apollo, in the Devil Tavern. Dr. Peyer miles to the southward of Sierra Leone. also composed a second ode during the same The colony has been projected and formed interval of time, which was written by Mr. by some philanthropists in America. The John Lockman, and performed at the same object of the association is, if possible, to time by the same society.

abolish slavery in the United States, not by The ode for one of the years, which Mr. merely emancipating the slaves, but by Malone has been unable to account for, was their actual removal from the country; for composed by a person whose name I have the parties are of opinion, that, if all the never been able to find in any musical publi- slaves in America were emancipated, they cation, though to judge from the specimen must still remain a distinct and degraded his work affords, he must have been at least race, and never could amalgamate with the an average composer for the time when he white population. In those states where lived. His name was William Morris, and slavery has been abolished, the negroes are at the time of writing the ode he describes still separated and shunned by the white pohimself in the MS., which I have seen, as pulation-right or wroug, the feeling they master of the choristers in Lincoln Cathe- say, exists—and if, by industry, morality, dral. In Sandford's “ History of the Coro- and education, a man is enabled to raise nation of King James II.” the name of himself above his brethren, and deserves to William Norris, (no doubt the same per- be the associate of white men, he is no son) occurs among the children of the Cha

nearer associating with them—he is only pel Royal, in which Dr. Blow was then or- separated by his own feelings from ignoganist, and master of the boys. There is no

rance and brutality, to remain a solitary date to the composition; but the words, as outcast. That some few have risen superior I remember, indicate that it was written to the accident of their birth, there can be during a year of war. I saw this ode bound

no doubt ; but the great majority are up in a volume of rough MSS. of Purcell's moulded by circumstances, and, having, no music (and said to be in his autograph), stimulant to excite them to virtue, they which was once the property of Dr. Hayes of yield themselves up to vice-and seem only Oxford, and was purchased, I believe, at the worthy of their bitter fortune : the emancisale of Dr. Arnold's music, by the gentleman

negroes are found to be idle, dewhose property it was when I had the oppor- praved, and ignorant ; driven from misery tunity of looking it over.

to crime; and dying in too many instances The annual celebration of St. Cecilia's the inmates of the workhouse or the jail. day, while it lasted, was a matter of much This is so naturally the consequence of the ceremony, and even the officers of religion existing feeling in America, that, in some were called in to give solemnity and sanc- of the slave states, a slave-holder is probition to the meeting. The members of the bited by law from emancipating a slave,

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548

Literary Intelligence.-Colony of Liberia. [Dec. unless he at the same time sends him out of climate, and the remainder ultimately rethe country. It was the knowledge of these turned to Sierra Leone. In 1821 tbe fex facts that first led to the establishment of remaining were joined by twenty-eight be the Colonization Society by a few excellent colonists, under new agents ; but they did men ; but men possessed of no political not remove until after the arrival of Dr. power, and no pecuniary resources beyond Ayres, who, in conjunction with Lieut. their own, and the benevolent feelings of Stockton, of the U. S. Navy, proceeded to their countrymen.

Cape Montserado, and after some difficul. So far back as the year 1698, the As- ties, and in consideration of three hundred sembly of Pennsylvania, to put an end to dollars, got leave to “ make a book," that the introduction of slaves, laid a duty of is, received by a legal grant, a track of land 101. per head upon their importation ; but from King Peter. this benevolent law, together with about The first settlement and capital of the fifty of similar tenor, which were passed by colony is Monrovia, situated in latitude the neighbouring colonies up to the period 6. 21. N., and 10. 30. W. longitude, about of their Revolution, were all refused the a quarter of a mile above the niouth of the sanction of the mother country.

The in- river Montserado, and about three quarters troduction of slaves was one of the great of a mile from the point of the cape bearing causes of complaint which led to their De- the same name. The river St. Paul emplies claration of Independence, dated July 4, into the sea a short distance from the Mont1776. Scarcely had that struggle ceased, serado. For the first two years the emiwhen a colony on the coast of Africa, simi- grants lived in small thatched houses; and Jar to that of Liberia, was proposed ; but about five years ago, the first dwelling conthe prosecution of the slave trade, by structed of timber and boards, was built on every civilized power, defeated the benevo- the site of the present town, in a forest of lent views. In 1796 the plan was again re- trees of towering height, and a thick under vived in a series of numerous Essays by wood. Tigers, entering this then little vilGerard T. Hopkins, a distinguished Friend in lage, have been shot from the doors. The Baltimore; and shortly afterwards the Legis- first settlers had many difficulties to enlature of Virginia, a State containing nearly counter, as is usually the case in establishone-third of the black population of the ing a new settleinent; but all those diffiUnion, pledged its faith to give up all its culties have been happily overcome, and the slaves, provided the United States could people are now enjoying the benefits of their obtain a proper asylum for them. President persevering industry. Monrovia, at present, Jefferson negociated in vain for a territory consists of above ninety dwelling houses and either iu Africa or Brazil; but that great stores, two houses for public worship, and a State again renewed its pledge in 1816, by a court-house. Many of the dwellings are vote of 190 to 9 (most of the members handsome and convenient, and all of tbem being slave-holders); upon

which General C. comfortable. The plot of the town is cleared F. Mercer, the Wilberforce of the American for more than a mile square, elevated about Congress, opened a correspondence with the seventy feet above the level of the sea, and philanthropists of the different States, which contains seven hundred inhabitants. The led to the formation of the American Colo- streets are generally one hundred feet wide, nization Society, on the 1st January 1817. and, like those of Philadelphia, intersect The great objects of that Society were- each other at right angles. The Colovizathe final and entire abolition of slavery, tion Society have an agent and physician providing for the best interests of the there. The agent is the chief magistrate blacks, by establishing them in independ of the colony, and the physician his assistence upon the coast of Africa ; thus consti- No white people are allowed to reside tuting them the protectors of the unfortu- in the colony for the purpose of trade, or of nate natives against the ravages of the pursuing any mechanical business, such slaver, and seeking, through them, to being intended for the exclusive benefit of spread the lights of civilization among the coloured people. The colonial secretary, fifty millions who inhabit those dark re- collector of customs, surveyor, and constagions.

ble, are appointed by the agent; the viceThe Society first directed its attention to agent, sheriff, treasurer, and all other civil the choice of a proper situation for the officers, are elective; and all the offices, intended colony, and for that purpose agents except that of the agent and physician, are were despatched to Sierra Leone in 1818, filled by coloured people. The court holds and it was, by their advice, determined to its sessions on the first Monday in every settle on the island of Sherbro, about a month ; juries are empanelled, and its jurishundred miles south of Sierra Leone. The diction extends over the whole colony. The first expedition sailed in February 1820, and trials are principally for larceny, and the the Society's agents took with them eighty- criminals generally natives, who commit eight colonists. The result was inost unfor- thefts in the settlements. Two native kings tunate. The expedition arrived at the begin- have put themselves and their subjects ing of the rainy season : the three agents and (supposed to amount to ten thousand) wader twenty of the colonists soon fell victims to chic the protection of the colony.

ant.

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