[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Compared with Wine and Dry Measures of the United States.

[table][merged small][table][merged small][table]

The kilogramme is equal in weight to a cubic decimetre of pure water, at 39.38° F., or 1 litre of water of the same temperature. Hence a cubic metre of water contains 1000 litres, and weighs 1000 kilogrammes.

A quintal is 100 kilogrammes, and is equal to 220.548 pounds.

A millier (used for marine tonnage) is 1000 kilogrammes, and is equal to 2205.48 pounds.

However valuable the simplicity of the metric system, there has been great difficulty in making the change universal. Although the agents of government and the higher classes in the commercial world soon understood and adopted it, the smaller tradesmen and laborers were unwilling to charge their memory with names which sounded so unlike their own accustomed language. Hence it was, from these prejudices, that on the 12th of February, 1812, a law was passed tolerating the names of the old measures in the retail purchase of goods; but at the same time, by a slight modification, the values of those measures were so fixed as to bear certain definite proportions towards the standards of the decimal system; and it was required that the measures should bear both graduations, that is, the carpenter's rule should have on one side the metrical divisions, and on the other those of the toise and its subdivisions; and the aune, or ell, should bear on one of its sides its former divisions of halves, quarters, eighths, &c., and on the other the corresponding metres and centimetres; in order that both the purchaser and the dealer might be enabled to convert one measure into the other.

The old and new systems, thus combined, formed what was called the System usuel ou transitoire. It was attended with many difficulties at first, and finally led to almost the exclusive adoption of the old system, in consequence of which, a law was passed in July, 1837, interdicting, under a severe penalty, after the 1st of January, 1840, the use of all weights and measures other than those established by the law of 19 frimaire, an VIII., constituting the metric system. This law will, undoubtedly, tend to similar inconveniences, as those which preceded it; and ultimately, the French may give to the metric measures and their decimal subdivisions the ancient names of toise, aune, livre, &c., which, probably, never will be eradicated from their language.

Comprising Antwerp, Holland, Brabant, Flanders, and Luxemburg.

By a law of 1816, the metric system of France was adopted throughout the Netherlands, which went into effect on the 1st of January, 1820. They retained the old denominations, with the metrical standards for their bases. Their names, and corresponding quantities in France, are as follows:—


1 Mijle is equal to 1 kilometre.

1 Roede" . 1 decametre.

1 Elle" 1 metre.

1 Palm" 1 decimetre.

1 Duim" 1 centimetre.

1 Streep" 1 millimetre.


1 Vierkante Bunder ia equal to 1 are.

1 Vierkante roede" 1 declare.

1 Vierkante elle" 1 square metre.

1 Vierkante palm" 1 square decimetre.

1 Vierkante duim" 1 square centimetre.

1 Vierkante streep" 1 square millimetre.


1 Kubicke Elle is equal to 1 stcre.

1 Kubicke palm" 1 decistere.

1 Kubicke duim" 1 centistere.

1 Kubicke streep" 1 millistere.

The term wisse is given to a kubicke elle of fire-wood.

Dry Measure.

1 Mudde or Zak is equal to 1 hectolitre.

1 Schepel" 1 decalitre.

1 Kop" 1 litre.

1 Maatje" 1 decilitre.

30 mudden —: 1 last of merchandise. 27 madden - 1 last of gram.


1 Vat is equal to 1 hectolitre.

1 Kan" 1 litre.

1 Maatje" 1 decilitre.

1 Vingerhocde" 1 centilitre.

1 aam = 4 ankers = 8 stechans = 21 viertels = 64 stoopen = 128 mingles = 256 pintrs = 180 litres.


1 Pond is equal to 1 kilogramme.

1 Ons" 1 hectogramme.

1 Lood « 1 decagramme.

1 Wigtje" 1 gramme.

1 Korrel" 1 decigramme.

The last, (used for marine tonnage,) is equal to 2000 kilogrammes. The apothecary's new pound = 12 ounces = 96 drachms = 288 scruples = 5760 grains = 375 grammes = 5787 English grains.


At the organization of the federal government, authority was conferred upon congress to establish a uniform system of weights and measures. But, surprising as it may appear, no laws have as yet been enacted by that body for the perfection of so important an object. Some measures have been taken to obtain information on the subject, and able reports have been made by Messrs. Jefferson, Adams, and Hassler. By an order of congress, in June, 1836, a set of standard weights and measures, similar to those in use in England anterior to the passing of the " Act of Uniformity" in May, 1834, have been prepared by Mr. Hassler for the use of each customhouse, and for each state. Hence, the old'measures of England, superseded by the imperial system, with such modifications as local customs or state laws have ingrafted upon it, may be regarded as the general standard adopted in this country.

Most of the states of the Union have attempted to reduce their standards of weights and measures to a uniform system, and numerous laws have been enacted with that view; but so far from succeeding in their object, they have had, in most instances, an opposite effect. There are but few states in which the proportions of their measures are required by law to be the same—lineal, superficial, and cubic measures excepted—although they may bear the same names; and owing to the difficulty of enforcing new regulations, strong prejudices against any innovation, and a constant influx of settlers from one state into another, and from various countries of Europe, who bring their own accustomed weights and measures, uniformity cannot be said to exist in any state of the Union. In this country, as did England and France before their new systems were adopted, local consumers do not feel the whole disadvantage of this confusion; but merchants and others, who make large sales or purchases in distant parts of the country, often experience serious difficulties in converting to their own local standards the quantities expressed according to another rate. The proportion which one standard bears to another is not always easily obtained; and when it is, the calculations to be made are often long and difficult, and may not always give an accurate result. It is proposed to resume this subject in a future number of this work, and point out several ways wherein these difficulties may be overcome.

As the imperial system, and that which preceded it in England, are essentially the same in all weights and measures, except wine, beer, and dry measures, a repetition of them is unnecessary. The relative quantities of wine and dry measures are as follows:—

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The Winchester bushel contains 77.7785 pounds of pure water, of the temperature of 40° F.

Character.—Character is of infinitely greater value than either talent or fortune, and, therefore, by a young man beginning the world, it ought to be preferred above every other earthly consideration.

Should you be without capital, a character for honesty, sobriety, and industry, will make you master of another man's purse; and money properly used, is a most productive commodity. Should you have powerful rivals in trade, a character for steadiness and punctuality will procure you numerous customers—in short, with character and good management you may accomplish any thing—without these, nothing.

If you are diligent and attentive to your business; strictly honest in all your dealings; prudent and economical, and punctual in your engagements, there is no danger of your being unsuccessful in the world. You may often hear people talk of luck, and of such a man being fortunate, but do you act as if there was no such thing as luck. Rely upon it, that nine tenths of the men who are called " fortunate," may, with far greater propriety, be called prudent.

vol. iv.—No. iv. 44



The pilgrims, who landed at Plymouth, in the inhospitable winter of 1620, and those who, following them, but choosing a happier season, commenced the settlement of Boston in the summer of 1630, braved the terrors of an unknown land, that they might enjoy freedom in the worship of God. A deep religious sentiment was at the very foundation of the early colonies in Massachusetts, and for more than half a century gave form and direction to the growing commonwealth. Prospects of worldly gain would seem scarcely to have entered into the thoughts of these pilgrims, many of whom were sacrificing wealth, and distinction in their native land, to find a boon more precious to them here. They fled from persecution. They braved the dangers of the ocean and the savage wilderness; and here, under the shelter of the forests, beneath the broad canopy of heaven, where never Christian man before had knelt in adoration, they bowed around the altar which they had erected to the living God. Conscience, duty, and obedience to the Divine commands, were the ruling motives of the first colonists.

Not so with all who succeeded them in other New England settlements. The returning ships from the new world, although more than once freighted with unwelcome tidings of disaster and death, carried also other intelligence calculated to arouse the public curiosity. The spirit of adventure was awakened. Cautious and calculating men, who had laughed at the "Description of New England," given by Captain Smith in 1616, as the dream of a visionary, now hunted up the long-forgotten narrative, and began to read with interest his glowing account of New England. "Of all the foure parts of the world that I have yet seen not inhabited," says he, "could I have but meanes to transport a colonic, I would rather live here than any where." Men who had hitherto looked upon the passage of the Atlantic with dread—men to whom the visions of the new world had all been full of doubt and peril—now sought with eagerness the intelligence brought by every fresh arrival, and were soon engaged in schemes and enterprises for now settlements, where fortunes could be realized. The letters of the honest pilgrims were full of encouragement to their friends; and the publications which appeared from time to time in London, were calculated to flatter the hopes of the merchant adventurers. A pamphlet entitled "New England's Trials," appeared in 1622; "Levett's Voyage to New England," in 1624; and "New England's Plantation," and "The Planter's Plea," appeared in 1630, followed by various others, which spoke of the soil, climate, and natural productions of the country in terms of extravagant admiration. Along the rivers and water-courses, which were described as more noble than any thing of the kind in the old world, there were plenty of beaver and other animals, to tempt the cupidity of the fur-traders. The huntsman could here find game in abundance in forests which he could call his own; and there were fisheries off the coast, and harbors and bays indenting the shores, such as would equal the proudest of the old world. The forests, too, which had withstood the howling blasts of centuries, and whose solitudes had never rung with the woodman's echoes—presented rich sources of wealth in the unrivalled timber which they would yield for merchandise and exportation. Wood, who

« ForrigeFortsett »