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lation who was involved in unexe examining Refractive and Dispersive pected difficulties, to procure him Powers by Prismatic Rotlection, and a some government situation, Dr. Iceland Crystal;' in 1803, the Bakerian
paper “On the Oblique Refraction of Wollaston's reply, was, “I have lecture, consisting of “ Observations on lived to sixty without asking a the Quantity of Horizontal Refraction ; single favour from men in office,
with a Method of measuring the Dip at
-"On a new and it is not, after that age, that i Sea; in 1904, a paper
Metal found in crude Plate ;' in 1805 shall be induced to do so, even to another, “On the discovery of Palladium, serve a brother: if the inclosed can with Observations on other Substances be of use to you in your present found with Platina ;” in 1806, the Badifficulties, pray accept it, for it is sion;"> in 1807, an “ Essay on Fairy,
kerian lecture, “On the force of Percusmuch at your service.” The en.
rings ;" in 1808, three “ On Platina and closed was a cheque for ten thou- Native Palladium from Brazil,” “On sand pounds.
the Identity of Columbium and TantaSome curious anecdotes are told lum," and a "Description of a Reflective
Goniometer;" in 1810, the Croonian respecting the resolute manner in
lecture, “On Muscular Action, Sea which Dr. Wollaston uniformly Sickness, and the salutary Effects of resisted the intrusion of either Exercise on Gestation ;” and an Essay friend or stranger into his work- “On Cystic Oxide, a new Species of shop. Among others, it is related, Urinary Calculus;" in 1811, On the
Non-existence of Sugar in the Blood of that a gentleman of his acquaint- Persons labouring under Diabetes Melance, having been left by the ser- litus ;' in 1812, two papers “On the vant to ramble from one room to Primitive Crystals of Carbonate of another, till he should be ready to
Lime, Bitter Spar, and Iron Spar," and see him, penetrated into the labo- Microscope ;" in 1813, the Bakerian
"On a Periscopic Camera Obscura and ratory. The doctor, on coming in, lecture, * On the Elementary Particles discovered the intrusion : but not of certain Crystals ;" the explanation suffering himself to express all he of.“ A Method of drawing extremely fine felt on the occasion, took his friend Wires,” and “ A Description of a Sin
gle-lens Microscope;" in 1820, articles by the arm, and having led him to
“On the Methods of Cutting Rock the most sacred spot in the room, Crystal for Micrometers,” and “On said, “Mr. P., do you see that Sounds inaudible by certain Ears.” furnace ?"_“I do."-" Then make
Dr. Wollaston communicated, in 1815, a profound bow to it, for as this is Description of an Elementary Galvanic
to Thomson's Annals of Philosophy, “A the first, it will also be the last Battery;” and to the Philosophical time of your seeing it."
Magazine, in 1816, “ Observations and Dr. Wollaston was elected a Experiments on the Mass of Native Iron
found in Brazil." Fellow of the Royal Society in
Within the last session only, in the 1793, and was elected Second Sc- midst of which his decease occurred, five cretary Nov. 30th, 1806. His essays by Dr. Wollaston were read before communications to the Philosophical the Royal Society. The first was the Transactions commenced in 1797,
Bakerian lecture, “On a Method of
for and amount to the following nume
rendering Platina Malleable;'
which, on their last anniversary, Norous list:
vember 30th, 1828, the Royal Society
awarded to the inventor one of the royal In 1797, “On the Gout, and Urinary medals. The subjects of the remainder Concretions;" in 1800, “On Double were “On a Microscopic Double ;" Images caused by Atmospherical Refrac- "On a Dillerential Barometer;" “ On tion;" in 1801, “ Experiments on the a Method of comparing the Light of the Chemical Production and Agency of Sun with that of the Fixed Stars ;” and Electricity;" in 1802, “A Method of “On the Water of the Mediterranean."
The following honourable eulogy ed, indeed, with arsenic, it became on Dr. Wollaston was pronounced susceptible of receiving ornamental by the President of the Royal So, forms; but a continued heat exciety, on the anniversary meeting pelled the volatile metal, and left upon the 1st of December, 1828. the other in a state wholly unfit Having announced that the coun
Dr. Wollaston, instead cil of the Royal Society had of alloying, purified the platinum awarded one of the royal medals of from every admixture by solution, the year to Mr. Encke," for his consolidated its precipitate by presresearches and calculations respect, sure, by heating, and by percussion, ing the heavenly body usually dis- so as to effect a complete welding of tinguished by his name,” Mr. Gile the mass, thus made capable of bert thus proceeded :
being rolled into leaf, or drawn “ The other royal medal has into wire of a tenacity intermedibeen awarded by your council for ate between those of iron and gold. a communication made under cir- To these scientific and beautiful cumstances the most interesting contrivances we owe the use of and most afflicting. An individual, a material, not only of high imof whom not the Society alone, but portance to refined chemistry, but all England, is justly proud, whose now actually employed in the merits have been appreciated and largest manufactories for distilling distinguished by each of the emi- an article of commerce so abunnently scientific establishments of dant and so cheap as sulphuric Europe, has recently been assailed acid. And above all
, we owe to by a malady, one of the most severe them the material which, in the to which human nature is exposed. skilful hands of some members of But the energies of his mind soar- this society, has mainly contributed ing beyond bodily infirmities, he to their producing a new species of has employed them in a manner glass, which promises to form an (I will presume to say) most ac- epoch in the history of optics. ceptable to the Divinity, because Your council have, therefore, most usefully to mankind, by im- deemed themselves bound to exparting, through the medium of press their strong approbation of this society, further stores of know. this interesting memoir (indepenledge to the world, which has been dently of all extrancous circumso frequently before illuminated stances,) by awarding a royal by the splendour of his genius. medal to its author. And they On the first day of our meeting a anticipate with confidence a genepaper from Dr. Wollaston was ral approbation, in both these inread, descriptive of the processes stances, of what they have done." and manipulations by which he Of the Geological Society, Dr. has been enabled to supply all men Wollaston becaine a member in of science with the most important '1812: he was frequently elected
recently discovered on the council, and was for some metals. Platinum, possessed of time one of the vice-presidents. various qualities useful in an emi. He made no contributions to the nent degree to chemists, even on a publications of that learned body; large scale, withheld them all by re- but he was well acquainted with sisting fusion in the most intense the scope of their inquiries, and heat of our wind furnaces. Alloy, always attended to the geological
phenomena of the countries which “ Possessing such variety of he visited in his excursions. At knowledge, with the most inthe annual meeting of the Society, ventive quickness and sagacity in February 20, 1829, Dr. Fitten, its application to new purposes, the president, remarked, that Dr. Wollaston was at all times “though Dr. Wollaston did not accessible to those whom he bepublish any thing on the more lieved to be sincerely occupied in immediate subjects of our pursuit, useful inquiry: he seemed, indeed, his success in the cultivation of himself to delight in such comother branches of knowledge has munications: and his singular dexconduced, in no small degree, to terity and neatness in experiment the recent advancement of geology. rendered comparatively easy to The discovery of two new metals him the multiplied investigations was but a part of his contributions arising from them, which to others to chemical science; and his ap- might have been oppressive or implication of chemistry to the ex. practicable. His penetration and amination of very minute quanti- correct judgment, upon subjects ties, by means of the simplest apparently the most remote from apparatus, divested chemical in his own immediate pursuits, made quiry of much of its practical him, during many of the latter difficulty, and greatly promoted years of his life, the universal mineralogy. His Camera Lucida arbiter on questions of scientific is an acquisition of peculiar value difficulty; and the instruction thus to the geologist, as it enables those derived from communication with who are unskilled in drawing to a man of his attainments has had preserve the remembrance of what
an effect on the progress of knowthey see, and gives a fidelity to ledge in this country, and on the sketches hardly attainable by other conduct of various public under
The adaptation of mea- takings, the value of which it surement by reflection to the pur- would be difficult to estimate, and poses of crystallography, by the the loss
the loss of which it is at present, invention of his goniometer, intro- and long will be, quite impossible duced into that department of to supply.” science a certainty and precision Towards the latter part of 1828, which the most skilful observers Doctor Wollaston became dangerwere before unable to attain; and ously ill of the disorder of which his paper on the distinctions of the he died. Feeling that the duracarbonates of lime, magnesia, and tion of his life was precarious, he iron, aflords one of the most re- devoted his numbered hours to markable instances that can be communicate, by dictation, and mentioned, of the advantage arising thereby to preserve all the discofrom the union of crystallography veries and improvements which he with chemical research. He was, had made; and, a short time bein fact, a mineralogist of the first fore his death, he wrote a letter to order,-if the power of investi- the secretary of the Royal Society, gating accurately the characters informing him that he had that
composition of minerals be day invested in the funds, in the considered as the standard of skill. name of the Royal Society, stock
to the amount of 10001., the inPalladium and rhodium,
terest of which he wished to be
employed in the encouragement of which exhibited a very remarkabf experiments in natural philosophy. appearance. The great body o When he was nearly in the last the optic nerve was converted into agonies, one of his friends having a tumour of the size of a hen's observed, loud enough for him to egg, was of a greyish colour, and hear, that he was not at the time firmer than the brain itself. In conscious of what was passing the inside it was found to be of a around him, he immediately made brown colour, soft, and in a halfa sign for a pencil and paper,
which dissolved state. The nerve conwere given him; he then wrote tained scarcely any of its proper down some figures, and, after cast, substance. ing up the sum, returned them.
Dr. Wollaston was never marThe amount was right.
ried. At the time of his death he Dr. Wollaston's death occurred was senior fellow of Gonville and on the 22nd of December, 1828. Caius College. His remains were A medical inquiry was instituted interred at Chisclhurst, in Kent. after his decease, respecting its im- The funeral was, according to his mediate cause; and from the pub- particular request, exceedingly lished report it appears, that an private, as he had desired that it effusion of blood had taken place should be attended only by the in the ventricles of the brain, descendants of his grandfather.
Memoir of MAJOR ALEXANDER GORDON LAING,
Major Laing was the eldest son than the active, bustling and adof Mr. William Laing, A. M., and venturous life of a soldier, or the was born at Edinburgh the 27th still more hazardous and arduous of December, 1794. His father employment of a professional trahaving for many years had an velier in the unexplored regions of academy in the New Town of inhospitable Africa. Placed as he Edinburgh, young Laing received then was with the prospect, upon nearly the whole of his education his father's retirement (an event under the paternal roof, till, at the which occurred a few years afterearly age of thirteen, he entered wards), of succeeding to his estabthe Alma Mater of his native city. lishment and profession, which,
With a view to habituate him though no doubt abundantly laborto communicate that knowledge to ious, was calculated to yield a comothers which he so eagerly ac- fortable and respectable maintequired himself, Laing went, in his nance, he had thus every inducefifteenth ycar, to fill, for a time, ment to follow it out; or, with his the situation of assistant to Mr. predilection for study, if he did reBruce, an eminent teacher in New- linquish that pursuit, he was more castle-upon-Tyne ; whence he re- likely to become a candidate for turned to Edinburgh six months fame in the peaceful paths of after, and entered upon a similar science, than in the field. duty under his father.
Circumstances, ver, occurAt this period nothing appeared red, which aroused in him that to be farther from his intention spirit of enterprise and adventure which characterised his after-life. Honduras, by which his complaint It was his fate to emerge into the was considerably relieved; but the world at a time when the profes- governor, colonel Arthur, finding sion of arms was every where him an activeand intelligent officer, blended with that of the civilian ; appointed him to the office of fortand when it was considered that major, and would not suffer him to every man in Britain was in duty return to Jamacia, but had him atbound to bear a sword or a fire- tached to another division of his lock, and to know how to use it. regiment, then in Honduras, where During that rage of martial fever, he remained until a return of his Master Laing having attained his complaint forced him to come home, seventeenth year, was, in 1810, ap- his frame being so much debilipointed an ensign in the Prince of tated that he was unable to walk, Wales's Edinburgh Volunteers. and it became necessary to carry Captivated with the slight foretaste him on shipboard. of military service which the vo- The effects of this attack made a lunteer system afforded him, he serious impression on his constitucould no longer submit to the re- tion, and in consequence he restraints, or go through the mono- mained for nearly eighteen months tonous routine, of school discipline; with his friends in Scotland. he, in fact, now regarded teaching During this time, however, onewith the most sovereign contempt,
half of the second West-India regiand finally gave it up, at the termi- ment, that to which he was atnation of the second year. In the tached, was reduced, and he was year 1811 he went out to Barba- again placed upon half-pay. In does, where his uncle, colonel, the Autumn of 1819 he returned afterwards general, Gabriel Gor- to London, and having been sent don then was, with whom he re- for by the late sir Henry Torrens, mained a short time, till he obtained then colonel of his regiment, was an ensigncy in the York Light In- appointed lieutenant and adjutant, fantry, which regiment he imme- and proceeded to Sierra Leone. diately joined at Antigua; and in Early in January, 1822, lieutwo years thereafter, he was pro- tenant Laing was sent by the late moted to a lieutenancy in the same governor, sir Charles M-Carthy, corps, which he held until the re- on an embassy to Kambia and the giment was reduced, and lieutenant Mandingo country, to ascertain the Laing was then placed upon the political state of those districts, the half-pay. Having no relish for disposition of the inhabitants to inactive life, he exchanged, as trade, and their sentiments in respeedily as the business could be gard to the abolition of the slavenegociated, into the second West. trade. Having executed that misIndia regiment, which he joined atsion to the complete satisfaction of Jamaica. While there, he had to the governor, and some alarm undertake the duties of deputy having arisen as to the fate of Sanquarter-master-general, the exer- nassce, a chief in amity with our tions of which department induced government, who had been taken a liver complaint; and in order to prisoner by Yarradee, a war man re-establish his health, the medical of the king of Soolima, lieutenant gentlemen recommended
and adjutant Laing,-though his voyage. He accordingly sailed to health, which had suffered from