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Jews returned from captivity in Babylon, and that the raisbins of the Jews do not hold their account in Genesis to be a fact, but mere allegory. The six thousand years in the ZendAvista, is changed or interpolated into six days in the aceount of Genesis. The masons appear to have chosen the same period, and perhaps to avoid the suspicion and persecution of the church, have adopted the era of the world as the era of masonry; the V. L. of the French and A. L of the English mason, answer to the A. M. Anno Mundi, or year of the world.*
* Mr. Paine has mistaken the intention of the initials 1. L. used by the French masons, they stand for Vrai Lumiere, which means true light, and not for venerable lodge, as he supposes ; as mentioned in the 24th page of his work.
AMERICAN GENIUS. It is the talents of individuals which establishes the reputation of a nation.
Every candid man will admit that the British nation has. produced a great number of men of the first rate talents, and throughout England there is an admirable industry in improving the useful arts--but the English gentlemen and admirers of British genius in this country, are not content unless British subjects are acknowledged to have an exclusive claim to genius, invention and improvement. According to them, the sterile mind of an American can do little of itself. Original thought must come from England or Scotland, alike prejudice, they extend to our soil and climate, and they rarely find an applo, pear or peach so good as in England; it however, so happens, that we seldom see the best educated and informed gentlemen of England or Scotland in this country. The day-book and ledger man from London, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds, or those who have been brought up among the hollow wares of Liverpool ar Bristol, are not well calculated to pass a correct judgment on Belter Lettre, or scicutific subjects, hence there is much charitable allowance to be made for them—but while such gentlemen are debating the merits of Americans, it-may be well to inform them, that although civilized America has grown out of a wilderness within the last two hundred years, and the people as in all young countries, have from necessity been obliged to attend more to the means of obtaining subsistence, than to the fine arts. Yet America has exhibited some great examples of genius and strength of intellect. Franklin was one of the most enlightened philosophers and politicians of the last century; he was the first who taught Europeans the indentity of lightening and electrecity. The mental energies of the men who conducted the efforts for American independence must ever be respected. They with a population less than three millions, beat the English and gave liberty to America, although opposed by the resources of fourteen millions of British subjects, and the talents of the British nation. Two of the most classic and perfect masters of the Graphic art in Europe are Americans, namely, Mr. West and Mr. Copely, the first of whom is president of the Royal academy in London, a proof that there is no Englishman of equal talents to fill the station. Of the limited number of seven foreigners who were voted members of the national institute in Paris, three of them are Americans, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. West before mentioned, and Benjamin Thompson, Count of Rumford.
The McFingal, by Trumbull, is little inferior to Butler's Hudibras; and the Columbiad, by Mr. Barlow, is an Epis poem of greater merit, possesses more strength of mind, inculcates a more sound morality and philosophy, than any other work of the Epic kind ever produced in England or Scotland. If there be any English gentlemen inclined to dispute this point of honor, or if the writers for the Port-Folio and Anthology, who have suffered political prejudice to deprive them of candor, feel themselves disposed to debate it, the writer of this article is prepared to trace the British poets from Chaucer to Cowper. In Mathematics we have much to be pleased with the genius of Rittenhouse, in Astronomy-of Whitney and Whitemore in mechanics and a great number of inventors of useful engines may be cited, to the honor of America, our neatness in ship building is equal to that of any country, and our bridges of wood are speeimens of carpenter work superior to any thing of the kind in the world. The steamboat, or vessel, the success of which gives the fair prospect of incalculable utility, is an American invention. In 1783, before any essay on this subject was made in Europe, Mr. Fitch, of Philadelphia, built an experimental steam-boat, in which he made several voyages on the Delaware, between Philadelphia and Trenton ; the speed not being sufficient and the machinery very imperfect, were perhaps the cause of his abandoning the enterprise. Since that time one experiment was made on the Thames near London, one on the Forth and Clyde, in Seotland, one on the Rhone near Lyons, each of which were so imperfeet as to give no hope of utility, and conseguently were abandoned. It must be well remembered that while the present North River Steam-Boat was building on the East River in 1807, no one had faith in its success; when spoken of, it was in a tone of raillery, as a thing impraeticable, which would meet the fate of all similar attempts. Fortunately, however, for America, the success has been complete, and America claims the honor of the invention..
As a nation is great and estimable in proportion to the number of men of genius it has produced, and the mental energies of its people, every American is interested in defending a just claim to the talents which our country has exhibited. On this principle these observations are made, by one who is proud of his country, and who is ready to prove that in proportion to our population and existence as a nation, we have shewn as much, if not more talents, as much useful industry, and a better application of our mental and corporeal energies, than any other nation whatever.
A REAL AMERICAN.
The above writer has neglected to notice the invention of Torpedoes, which we consider more important for the peace and happiness of mankind, than any discovery made by human ingenuity during the last century. Torpedoes, in our opinion, will eventually insure the freedom of the seas, and in fact, destroy those immense naval establishments which have proved the curse of nations. The hard earnings of man have heretofore been applied to sustain these floating engines of destruction, which have conveyed misery and desolation to every corner of the world. This invention also claims ar American as its author. We intended, as suggested in a former number, to have inserted the plates attached to Mr. Fulton's work on Torpedoes, with the explanations; but learning that Mr. F. had made some improvements in the machinery, and finding that we could not do justice to the subject, without occupying more room than the nature of our publication would justify, have concluded to omit any fur, ther notice of them; at the same time recommending to our readers a perusal of the entire work.
ECONOMY OF ROYALTY. The salary of the king of England, is one million sterling, per annum--which is four million, four hundred and fortyfour thousand four hundred and forty-four dollars !! 177 times as much as the president's, and 19,444 dollars over. The present gracious sovereign has reigned 50 years. His income during that time has only amounted to 222,222,200 dollars!! exclusive of frequent grants of parliament.
This salary of 50 years would be sufficient to pay the president's from the creation of the world, (allowing it to be 5814 years,) to the present time, and 3072 years to come.
When the present king mounted the throne, the debt of which the nation pays the interest in taxes, amounted to about ninety millions; it now amounts to nearly seven hundred millions, and one year's taxes now is nearly equal to what the whole debt then was. The poor-rates of England and Wales then amounted to about a million and a quarter annually: They now amount to more than six millions annually. The number of parish paupers was then about two hundred thousand : That number is now about twelve hundred thousand. When his reign began, it cost tho laboring man five days' work to earn a bushel of flour; and now it costs him ten days' work to earn a bushel of flour; and if he happens to have three children, it is, upon the common run of wages, utterly impossible for him to earn bread enough for his family to eat, to say nothing of meat, drink, clothing, fire, and house-rent.
An Extract. Whether the Comet now visible be one of those which have a periodical return, is extremely uncertain—I do not find that it corresponds exactly with any on record. Its effect upon the globe will principally depend upon its distance from the earth when passing the descending node.
Doctor Halley, in speaking of the Comet of 1680, says, “ Had the earth then been in the part of her orbit nearest to that node, their mutual gravitation must have caused a change in the plane of the orbit of the earth, and in the length of our year, and that if so large a body with so rapid a motion as that of this Comet were to strike against the earth, a thing by no means impossible, the shock might reduce this beautiful frame to its original chaos."
Mr. Wiston attributes the universal deluge to the near approach of a Comet. His opinion was, “ That the earth passing through the atmosphere of the Comet, attracted therefrom great part of the water of the flood; that the nearness of the Comet raised a great tide in subterraneous waters, so that the out crust of the earth was changed from a spherical to an oval figure.” Thus hé accounts for trees and bones of animals being found at very great depths in the earth,