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MINERALOGY.

rocks, sand, gravel, and peat; and in de. and, non passibus æquis, Sir J. E. Smith ;
termining whether these were formed by but utility is the very last object which
fire, by the sea, by lakes, by rivers, or by these gentlemen seem inclined to pursue.
the changes of the weather. It has been The forming of divisions and sub-divi.
an inquiry of some interest in the science, sions, and the idle practice of making
to find a test by which to distinguish sea names, and drawing up useless and minute
shells from fresh water shells ; as in rocks descriptions of flowers, leaves, &c. form
where shells are found, such a test would the sole pursuit of all eminent botanists.
at once determine their derivation. Mr. Sometimes, indeed, they find a spare cor.
Sowerby has lately attempted something ner in a page, for a note on the utility of a
of this kind; but he confesses himself plant, or on the peculiarities of its growth
that he has not arrived at much certainty, and physiology, but this is very rare.
The bones of an animal found embedded Physiological, or rather useful botany,
in rocks, near Maestricht and Vicenza, is rapidly advancing, under the care of the
which had hitherto puzzled Cuvier and Horticultural Society, and by the talents of
other eminent naturalists, have been de. Mr. Knight, who deserves the highest cre-
termined by Sömmering to belong to a dit for his experiments on the food of
species of lizard, which, from its great plants, and on the ripening and propaga-
size, he calls the giant lizard. It is now tion of fruits. Mr. Drummond also has
unknown, but he conjectures that it is the made the interesting discovery, that the
Dragon of antiquity, so universally, though green mosses, known by the common name
(if he is right) falsely reputed fabulous. of crow silk, so frequently seen on moist
This enormous lizard is twenty-three feet walls, decayed trees, bare patches of
in length. A plate of the bones may be ground, and stagnant water, are not, as
seen. Ann. Phil. ii. 183, N. S. We need supposed by Linnæus, Hedwig, and others,
pot, after this, despair of finding in some a particular sort of moss, called by them
rock or gravel-pit, the skeletons of cen confervæ, but are merely the young plants
taurs, griffins, harpies, or even that of the of the pine moss, and others of a similar
renowned Pegasus.

kind. This is intelligible enough, and is

amply proved by his ingenious experiThe circumstance most worthy of no

ments ; but what are we now to make of tice in this science, at present, is the am

the numerous species of conferve mibitious attempt of M. Nohs, of Freyberg, nutely described and figured in our books? the successor of the celebrated Werner, to

ZOOLOGY. establish a jargon of new names, extreme

We have to record, under this departly uncouth and lengthy; a combination

ment, the same decline of the system of of Greek, Latin, and Teutonic. We

Linnæus as we have just mentioned reare sorry to see Professor Jameson and specting botany. Lamarc, a French naMr. Brande lending their aid to the pro- turalist, discovered that insects, and sepagation of these barbarisms.

veral others of the less perfect animals, Almost every scientific journal announces differ from quadrupeds, birds, and fishes the discovery of new minerals ; but we in being destitute of a spine or back bone ; are usually very sceptical as to the ge and Cuvier, another French savant, of nuineness of these novelties so frequently great industry and talent, took up the hint, thrust on our notice ; for we can often per- and made it the basis of a new arrangeceive a greater anxiety to make out a dis

ment, which bids fair, we think, to supercovery to be new, than to identify the exa. mined mineral with species already known. of Linnæus. And, if we must have a

sede the precise and uninteresting system We are told, for example, (Ann. Phil, ii. learned array of barbarously compounded 236) that Mr. J. Deuchar has found a

names for animals, that of Cuvier is new mineral substance, and is now engaged rather more natural than the “ tooth and with its analysis. It would, we think, nail” work of the Swede, which makes have been time enough to call it new after the whale a quadruped, and ranks the bat the analysis was completed.

next to man in the order of things, be

cause of the way in which it suckles the The study of Botany, lately so fashion. young bats. able, is rather on the decline, owing, we Under the head of Geology, we have seen have no doubt, to the great minuteness, Sömmering's wonderful discovery of the and the absolute barrenness, of the Linnæan ancient dragon. The discovery of the unie system. This system, which was for many corn of our royal arms, which is said to years quite unrivalled, seems to be rapidly have been recently made in Thibet, by falling into the back ground, and the more Major Latter, and in Southern Africa by abstruse and equally useless system of Mr. Campbell, will tend much to weaken Jussieu is coming into favour, and has al. our faith in the dogmatism of naturalists, ready attained a prominent place in the and to put more credit in history, though elementary works.* Mr. Brown and Dr. it should be contemptuously called fabuHooker are our most eminent botanists, lous. The newly discovered animal is de.

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BOTANY.

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scribed by Major Latter, exactly as we dark respecting the agents by whick elechave so often seen it figured,—with the tric, galvanic, and magnetic effects are body of a fine formed horse, and a single produced. Of one thing we are very cere horn in its forehead. We shall examine tain, that these agents are not fluids as the evidence of this discovery most scrue they are often foolishly denominated ; or pulously, as soon as it comes before us if, forsooth, they must be called so, we more in detail. M. Latreille, a French na. must call upon those who thus use the turalist of some eminence, has, in imita. terın for a new definition. At the hazard tion, as we suppose, of Humboldt's geo- of being thought credulous, we would infer graphy of plants, given a very brief sketch from M. Oersted's discovery, that there of the geographical distribution of insects. may be something real in animal magne. This is a subject of great curiosity, but tism, for believing in which we have not there are few facts yet ascertained respect- spared to ridicule the credulity of the ing it, from the want of general observa. Germans. The efficacy of electricity is tions by collectors, those personages being self, in curing disease, has lately fallen usually much more anxious to add a spe into disrepute, though the facts of its cimen to their box, than to record any power are strongly established on the evithing concerning its habits or its history. dence of some of the most distinguished M. Latreille, however, thinks he can prove names in the profession. Two very sinthat warm and cold countries have scarcely gular cases occurred recently. One is any insects in common, and also that under given on the authority of Professor Olm. the same parallels, in countries which are sted, of a man who had a paralytic affecdistant, the species are entirely different. tion of the face and eye, and being slightly This conclusion does not at all correspond struck during a thunder storm, was, in conwith what Humboldt found to hold in the sequence, completely cured. (Amer. Jour vegetable kingdom, namely, that nearly of Science, iii. 100.) A similar cure was the same species flourish in the most dis. effected at Perth, on a man who had been tant countries, when the climate and tem. troubled for several years with a tremulous perature are the same.

affection of his whole body, which was METEOROLOGY.

completely removed by the shock he reIf we were to estimate the advancement ceived during a thunder storm. These of a science by the number of its ob. facts are worthy of record, and should inservers, we should say that meteorology is duce the profession to give electricity, and making rapid progress towards perfection.

even magnetism, a more accurate and fair Except, however, the nomenclature of the trial than perhaps has yet been done. clouds by Mr. Howard, of which we gave an account in our number for September, The polarization of light, as it is called, and the experiments of Dr. Wells on has for several years engaged almost the dew, we recollect nothing which merits undivided attention of opticians; and Di. the name of a great or important disco. Brewster has been so industrious in expevery in the science.

Mr. Farey has lately rimenting and collecting facts, that he has proposed a method of studying the nature formed an entire system of mineralogy or of the phenomena of falling stars, which, the basis of polarization alone. We wait we doubt not, might help to fill up a co with some anxiety for its publication. Mr. lumn of a meteorological table, could he J. W. Herschel has distinguished himself persuade any body to pursue it ; for we do in a similar line of inquiry. The doctrine doubt whether Þr. Foster himself—Mr. of Sir I. Newton, respecting the production Farey is out of the question—or any other of colours by the thickness or thinness of meteorologist, would sit for two hours laminæ, or plates, has been frequently im every night, with his eye fixed on a central pugned, and, we think, with success. If star, ready the instant he should see a the experiments, however, of Mr. Charl falling star to call out “ mark” to his as ton (Ann. Phil. ii. 182, N. S.) be correct, sistant. It would, we conceive, be more colours may, in some cases, such as in ena productive in the way of discovery, to melling, be produced by mechanical divi. sweep the sky for comets.

sion and communication. ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM. We class these together, because the We may consider this as one of the only thing new of any importance re more perfect sciences, in which we can specting either, is the very interesting dis- scarcely hope for much that is new. Not covery of their connexion, by M. Oersted, that there is nothing remaining to be dis of Copenhagen, whose experiments have covered, but because it has been so long been repeated by Sir H. Davy, and several systematically cultivated and taught, that other British philosophers of distinction. the mind of the astronomer is kept very The subject may be considered as still in much in leading strings from his defer its infancy, but we sanguinely anticipate ence to great names, and his implicit conthat it will terminate in some great prac. fidence in mathematical results. A little tical result. We are very much in the scepticism, respecting received opinions in

OPTICS.

ASTRONOMY.

science, is often, however, of much utility with himself to the times of old, when
in leading to discoveries, or in confirming the sublime speculations” of Epicurus,
by new and collateral proof what is already &c. who derived all things from one kind
known ; and though it is rather a danger. of matter, were the only science recog.
ons instrument in unskilful hands, it is pe nised. We think the Royal Society,
culiarly adapted to men of talent. Sir R. showed their good sense in rejecting these
Phillips, we perceive, has been wielding baseless problems, and we would advise
this weapon against the Newtonian system, Mr. Herapath, if he should again feel in-
and has brought some plausible, though clined to exercise himself in system-build-
not very novel objections against the sup- ing, to lay first a sure foundation, without
posed infallible doctrines of gravitation, which even mathematics are false and
attraction, centrifugal and centripetal force, vain.
inertia, and the celestial vacuum It is refreshing to the mind to turn
which Newton founded his sublimc edifice. from Herapath's useless reveries to the
Sir Richard, however, like many other ob practical inventions which are now so nų.
jectors, can pull down more dexterously merous. Among these, we may mention
than he can re-build ; his proposed system the great improvements making in the con,
of motion being in many parts very extra struction of chain bridges, in which Cap-
vagant.--Col. Beaufoy, we perceive, has tain Brown, the inventor of the chain
inferred from some observations on the im cable, has been so successful.
mersion of the satellites of Jupiter that the advantage of such bridges is their cheap-
moon has no atmosphere, or, at least, it is ness; and another, that they can be con.
not like that of the earth. This is not a structed over a width of water where
new conjecture.

bridges of masonry could not be attempted.

on

One great

MECHANICS.

CHEMISTRY.

A Mr. Herapath has come ambitiously

Since the discovery of iodine, there has forward with some baseless mathematical been nothing deserving of much notice in dreams, by which he pretends to give a

this science. Our experimenters are, in more satisfactory, that is, a inore mecha

deed, sufficiently numerous, and many of nical account of attraction, gravitation,

them have formerly obtained high distincheat, &c. than has been hitherto published.

tions for discovery ; but their labours seem His problems, we doubt not, are executed

now to be much more trifling than they with accuracy, and the results, being ma were a few years ago. The rage for mi. thematical, may bring irresistible convic nute and unimportant distinctions, and for tion to his mind ; but we are accustomed,

new terms to designate these, has widely in all cases of pretended proof, to begin

infected those who are desirous of faine; with an examination of the premises; and

the contagion having most probably passed the premises of Mr. Herapath we find to

to them from our natural historians. We be wild, visionary, and, withal, very clum

have, in this spirit, analyses of the excre, sy. His leading principle is " Let it be ment of a serpent, by Mr. Edmund Davy, granted, that matter is composed of inert,

and of the urine of a Ceylon frog, by Dr. massy, perfectly hard, indestructible atoms,

J. Davy; and we have the French cheincapable of receiving any change," and mists analysing opium, and henbane, and admitting “ of no breaking, splitting,

belladonna, and hemlock, and discovering shattering, or any impression whatever.” new substances, which were, for the most This extraordinary demand on our credu. part, formerly known under different aslity is followed by numerous others of the pects, and different names. A metapbysame stamp, which he says he has put in

sical system-a little more intelligible than the form of postulates, • to avoid being Mr. Herapath's, but obscured by symbols, obliged to establish them by direct demon. has long been forming by Dalton, Berzestration.” In the world-making days of lius, Thomson, and others; but though it Thales and Anaximander, all this might,

is supported by the greatest names, we perhaps, have sounded very grand and im. think its utility very questionable, even if posing, but Mr. Herapath must be very

it were demonstrated to be accurately true, sanguine, if he hopes to make such an

The new discovery of the connection betique dreams as these be now listened to

tween electricity and magnetism has inwith any patience. We know nothing, so far

duced some chemists to apply the magnet as our own experience goes, of gas in gene

to analysis ; and we anxiously wait the reral, nor atoms of matter in general, which

sult. Will it have any effect in altering are not oxygen, iron, flint, lime, soda, or the present view of the decomposition of something similar ; and we have been too water, which was the original basis of our often bewildered by metaphysicians to

established system trust to their nonsensical definitions of METAPHYSICS AND ETHICS. matter in general, which is not, as they These studies are now become exceed. suggest, to be found in any particular ingly unfashionable, and it would consebody, but in all the substances around us. quently be contrary to all we know of hu. Mr. Herapath is for making us retrograde man nature to expect much progress to be

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made in them. The publication, however, has evidently no claim. We cheerfully acof the lectures of the late Dr. Brown, has cord to him, however, the merit of being a surprised us most unexpectedly with not pleasing writer. only great originality, but, what is of

EDUCATION. much greater moment, with more clearness The new system of education introduced of thinking, and more utility of applica- by Bell and Lancaster, is said to be rapidly tion, than we had ever contemplated. Dr. extending in almost every part of the civiBrown has fearlessly pulled down former lized world. We have to record one most systems, but he has no less dexterously re- marked exception to this,-its complete built a simple and (wonderful to say) an failure in Scotland. This very striking intelligible and practical system of meta. fact has, we have reason to believe, been physics. He has shown most clearly, that industriously concealed from the Eaglish the dreams of Dr. Reid, though advocated public by the friends of the system ; but by the superficial eloquence of Mr. Stew we pledge ourselves for its truth. The art, are baseless and vain ; and, of course, opulent and public spirited merchants of that Mr. Stewart's elements, however pret- Glasgow erected four very large schools in tily written, and however extravagantly those parts of the city and suburbs where praised by the friendly critics of the north, they seemed most to be wanted ; and a contain nothing which was not borrowed first they were crowded; but so little satisfrom Dr. Reid, though Dr. Reid bad abso- faction did they give, though conducted by lutely nothing worth borrowing; his chief most able teachers from parent schools in work being full of gross mistakes and mis- London, that in one of two years they conceptions. Yet what is more common were totally deserted, and have now bees than to hear Mr. Stewart called the great converted to other purposes. One is let est metaphysician and moralist of the age ? for a Methodist chapel, and one, we beThe theory of Mr. Alison, concerning lieve, still lingers on, but under a change beauty and sublimity, has also fallen be- of system. In Ayr, Aberdeen, and Leith, fore the sweeping pen of Dr. Brown, there are three still languidly kept up; but though he has not deigned to hint even at those in Edinburgh, * Paisley, &c. both the existence of this “ profound and ori, public and private, have been, if we misginal thinker," as he has been most ludi- take not, wholly abandoned. What has crously called by his friend Mr. Jeffrey. been the cause of this ? Simply, it apOur readers may recollect, that Dr. Brown pears to us, that the original Scots system, first obtained distinction by his masterly followed in the parochial schools, is more remarks on the Zoonomia of Darwin, and efficient, because it requires more time in this maturer work we can still easily from the pupil. We may lay it down, is. trace his obligations to that original but deed, as incontrovertible, that what is soon fanciful theory.

learned, is generally as soon forgotten; and We have before us the second part of systems of education which pretend to acthe Dissertation on the History of Meta- complish pupils in half the usual time, are, physics, by Mr. Stewart, published in the and must be gross impositions, and conSupplement to the Encyclopædia Britan- trary to the known principles of human nica. It is, like the other part, rather te

The system of Bell, or of Lan. dious and prosing, and loaded with notes, caster, however, is admirable for merely the sweepings of his common-place book, teaching the alphabet, the accidence, which he found it was beyond his inge- and the first four rules of arithmetic; nuity to interweave with his text. He has but there we conceive its utility stops, cautiously abstained from giving any sketch and must be supplied by one less ineof the improvements introduced by Dr. chanical. We would, therefore, advocate Reid,- for these, as well as his own la. most strenuously the support of these bours, would have dwindled into insignifi- schools ; and it indicates a growing spirit cance after the complete exposure of his of civilization that they are so rapidly in. pretensions by Dr. Brown. He has re- creasing where schools were formerly un. luctantly admitted, however, that Dr. Reid known; but we anxiously look forward to was very imperfectly acquainted with the the period when the population of Europe metaphysics of his own age. We riay ap- will be sufficiently advanced in infomation pear to some to have here done injustice to and improvement to see-as the populace Mr. Stewart. We retort the accusation on in Scotland have seen---that this applauded his friends, who have lauded him as a pro- system can carry pupils but a little way found philosopher, to which character he beyond mere elementary knowledge.

R.

nature.

In the High-street of Edinburgh the system of tuition by monitors is partially adopted; but this has always been more or less practised in Scotland, as well as the system of emulation by taking places.

MONTHLY REGISTER.

were

ABSTRACT OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC OCCURRENCES. On the 8th of October, our last treasury has found in the person of intelligence, dated Epirus, arrived Bardacchi a most efficient supporter; from the Greeks. Those noble peo, one would almost imagine, that in ple are still engaged in the glori. the spirit of the old pirate there was ous struggle against their oppressors, something congenial to the advancewho are so zealous in the attempt to ment of freedom and glory. This rivet their fetters. We have lately man, who formerly commanded the seen the eloquence of the scholar, and flotilla of Lambros, which was con. the bold and animated description sumed in 1787, is now a Greek mer. of the poet, nobly, and naturally chant. It is said, that he has for, enlisted in their service. But we warded to the senate of Calamata a regret to say, that even the genius sum of 1,500,000 francs, to assist of a Byron, and the learned industry the emancipation of the Grecian proof a Lempriere, have hitherto failed vinces. The accounts relative to in attracting the contributions of the the revolt of Candia are various. British people. The minds of the All, however, agree as to the mode few, however, must feel a deep in- in which it originated. The Hydris terest in the success of a country otes despatched to Candia a number to which freedom owes so vast a of active and intelligent agents, and debt of obligation. At the period they soon succeeded in exciting a to which we have just referred, strong feeling in the minds and hearts Omchid Pacha was still before the of all who heard them. The SphaCastle of the Lake, where Ali Pacha ciotes, an independent, tribe inhacontinued, and the troops of Omchid, biting the wild valleys of Mount Ida, who besieged the fortress, first rose in vindication of the prithemselves completely blockaded by vileges of Greece. The feeling has the snow, the floods, and the army since extended very considerably of the chief of Souli; the latter, too, throughout the island, though its were equally blockaded by the Ot- fortified points are still in the power toman fleet, and the Turkish forces of the Turks. occupying the fortresses along the The rise of Mexico to an indepencoast of Epirus. It was by an al- dent state, with an imperial somost romantic incident that Tripo- vereign, cannot be viewed with inlizza fell into the power of Greece. difference by our readers. Royalists The only fortified portion of this and insurgents have united in the town is the castle, and this point declaration of independence which the Turks occupied, while the Greeks was promulgated on the 24th of were contented with simply preserv- August. The sovereignty of the ing a distant blockade. During the new empire is offered, in the first last festivals of the Baïram, and at place, to Ferdinand the Seventh, a moment when the Turkish garri- and, in the event of his refusal, then son was sleeping, a Greek captain, to each member of his family in sucnamed Petro, scaled the ramparts cession, according to seniority. To in silence, and hoisted the flag of the offer, however, is attached a Greece. At the sight of their stan- condition almost tantamount to exa dard, the Greeks, supposing the castle clusion, namely, the personal resihad surrendered, hastened to the dence of the new sovereign in his gate, which

but carelessly trans-atlantic dominions. The first closed, and entered without striking article in the new constitution of this a single blow! The dismayed Turks cradle of South American liberty instantly and eagerly capitulated, would be very likely to invite the and the fortress is now in the pos- tender sympathy of the “ beloved” session of the Greeks. The patriotic legitimate; it declares, that the Roc

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