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I heard the growling of bears, the howling of wolves, and the hissing of rattle-snakes. The melancholy muck-a-wiss, a bird that delights in the dusk, flickered about my head, a flight of bats fitted round my path, and a legion of moschettoes, a sort of tarantula, whose bite no music will cure, fastened on my face, hands and legs, raw as they were, and unprotected from their venom. After wandering an age of anxious minutes, groaning with my hurts, praying for some relief, and starting at the strange objects that perpetually danced in every possible shape of terror before my remaining eye, of a sudden I was roused from a momentary forgetfulness of all other fears, by a shout bursting forth just beside me, as if a whole tribe of Mohawks were putting up their whoop of destruction. Rivetted to the spot, I never should have ventured to leave it, had I not gradually discovered that the cause of my immediate alarm was an innocent jack-ass, browsing close by, whose braying I had mistaken for an Indian war whoop. Reviving to something better than my former level of despondency, I determined to make this beast the instrument of my rescue.
As I found he had a bridle on, though no saddle or panniers, I clambered on to his bare back, and jerking him into a jog, committed my fate to his superior knowledge of the city, suffering him to carry me which way he those, and transported at even this change in my forlorn circumstances. The branches flapped me in the face; the briars and brushwood scratched my lacerated legs; but nevertheless I plodded on with my ass, trusting to his instinct for being brought to some human habitation."
But threatening as had been his dangers, and hair-breadth his escapes, the climax of his woes and terror's was not yet complete.' He had proceeded but a short distance on his donkey, whose mouth was hard, and his spirit most characteristically ungovernable, when, by the perverseness of the beast, he was carried almost into the bosom of a demon-like assemblage of savage cannibals, by whom he confidently expected to be spitted alive, roasted, and devoured. He was afterwards overtaken by a most merciless thunder-storm, in which the blue cross lightnings overwhelmed him with dismay, and the descending waters drenched him to the skin. To complete the chapter of mishaps and mortifying adventures incident to his ramble, after
passing an uncomfortable night in a log farm-house, he was conveyed next.morning to his lodgings, in a cart loaded with potatoes, and, by the uncourteous driver, “shot down at the inn-door with the rest of his burthen.” Lastly came on, as a consequence of his preceding disasters, fever and blood-letting, physic and aches, acold room and a hard bed, with all the other evils, majora et minora, attendant on sickness among an ignorant, rude, iron-hearted and impoverished people. Such and so numerous are the adventures of a day, in the city of Washington; and such the spirited but sarcastic picture of that “ American Palmyra” with which the young Greek merchant endeavours to amuse his correspondent in Smyrna.
So much for the letters of Inchiquin, intended to give a view of European prejudices, errors, and follies in relation to America. Of those, and they are a production of a much higher order, in which, with a valour little less than chivalrous, that writer steps forth, the gallant and masculine defender of our country, due notice shall be taken on a subsequent occasion.
CORRESPONDENCE. FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
MISS SYDNEY OWENSON,
THE POETESS AND NOVEL WRITER.
This lady has observed in the preface to one of her novels, that she has written almost as many volumes, as she has years." If this declaration be taken literally, it follows, that not above the one half of those has yet reached our country. Since it
it will be found in the life of the poet Dermody, that in the year 1786, being an inmate of Mr. Owenson's family, he addressed an admonatory poem to Miss Sydney Owenson, and her twin sister, beginning
“Dear girls, in youth and beauty's pride." Now, it is not to be presumed, that those cautionary verses to ladies in "youth and beauty's pride;" could have been applicable before they had reached the age of eleven or twelve, the probability rather is in favour of their being in the bloom of fifteen or sixteen, yet admitting that the age of these ladies had not exceeded that of eleven years, this would, at the present time, bring Miss Owenson to the mature period of thirty-five. For which fact see the very interesting life of the poet Dermody, by Raymond. The same work also describes Mr. Owenson, the father of our authoress, as being a very respectable actor of the Theatre Royal, Dublin.
The moral character of Miss Owenson is irreproachable, and it is said that her talents, have been the means of introducing her to the first society, among the nobility and gentry of her native country.
Critically considered, her poems are perhaps the least excellent of all the productions of Miss Owenson's mind, possessing but little originality, and being a palpable imitation of the manner and costume of Moore, without his inspired genius. In these poems, she professes to be the victim of an ardent and reciprocal passion, which passion, as she is still unmarried, seems not to have terminated in the usual way. Her “Ida of Athens” appears to have been built upon
the model of Madame de Stael's “Corinna," is superior in its moral, but greatly inferior in its mere literary effect as a whole, to the original French work.
Of all the novels of Miss Owenson, that of the greatest ingenuity, and which gives the most indubitable proofs of fine talents is her “Wild Irish Girl," a national sketch, written in the true spirit of patriotism, and which it is impossible to read without interest.
Any anecdotes relating to Miss Owenson, her private history, or her public performances, would be generally acceptable to the American public.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
Your publication of a proposal, I sometime since made to you for presenting, as an exercise for the ingenuity of your correspondents, one or two questions of a mathematical or philosophical nature in each number of the Port Folio, inducing me to believe that I have your concurrence in my desire, I take the liberty of sending you the following problems.
First. What angle of inclination must I give to the roof of a house, the distance between the walls of which is known, so that the time of descent of a ball rolled from the top thereof to the eayes may be a minimum?
Second. Required the area of that triangle inscribed in a circle, whose base = 10, its area being equal to that of secter of its circumscribing circle contained by that moiety of the hypotenuse intersecting the perpendicular and a straight line drawn from the centre of the circle to the right angle?
SCIENCE.FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
IN Mr. Volney's View, the first important observation respecting the climate of the western country, is, that it is warmer in the proportion of three degrees of latitude, than that of the maritime districts. This opinion with the principal phenomena that support it he borrowed from Mr. Jefferson. From either of these authorities, and more especially the latter, one should dissent with caution; and the following remarks, which are not made without some hesitation, would probably at this time be withheld altogether, had not these writers published their inquiries before a sufficient number of observations had been made, to support unequivocally, any opinion. In the course of the last five years this desideratum has been in some degree supplied by a regular meteorological register having been kept at this place. From this register it appears evident, that whether the distribution of heat throughout the months and seasons be similar to, or different from that of the Atlantic states, the annual mean temperature or aggregate heat of this climate is but little, if any higher, than that of cis-montane places in the same parallel.
The mean heat of 1806 was 54° 1, 1807 54° 4, 1808 56° 4, 1809 54° 4, 1810 52° 7, the average of which 54° 4 must be considered a near approximation to our standard temperature; as it corresponds accurately with the heat of our permanent springs and deepest wells. The writer of this article is not in possession of any observations, made in the maritime states, that are perfectly comparable with these results; but those furnished by Mr. Legaux, and inserted in the Gardner's Calendar, of Mr. M‘Mahon, may answer for the present purpose.' The slation of this judicious observer was at Spring-mill on the Schuylkill, in lat. 40° 4', 57' N. of this town. From sixteen years' observations, he found the mean heat of that place to be 53° 5. Now in the Atlantic states, a degree of latitude produces a change of about 1° 7 in the standard temperature; so that the difference in the mean heat of Spring-mill and Cincinnati, is no more than should result from the difference of latitude.