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dear Editor, you are fishing for a com- minate satirist ; and the New Edipliment from old Timothy again !--I tors follow his example "haud pashave seen nothing at all comparable to sibus equis.” For some time they it during the last threescore and ten kept pretty quiet, and allowed your years. Thank you, en passant, for the wicked wags to have it all their own Numbers of it you have sent me. Al way. But unless you look about you, most any thing does for our minister they will laugh down Blackwood's to read'; and I have sent them over Magazine. Allow me for one pararegularly to the manse. There is not graph to employ two or three similes. another copy in the whole country. -Messrs Cleghorn and Pringle reside ; and he quotes great blads of it, mind me of two snails that come I understand, at the presbytery din- crawling out in the calm of the evenner, when it all passes for havers of ing, each clad in a complete coat his own, honest man. Mrs Tickler, of mail, and protruding a formidhowever, cannot endure it, and says she able pair of horns. I have seen such is at a loss to comprehend how any thing snails look quite chivalrous and heroic; so stupid should make her so angry. but the instant a straw touches the She asserts that the good old Tory said horns, in they go and every Scots Magazine has become a drunken thing wears a pacific character. Still

, Whig; and, what is still worse, that however, the cornuous substances keep the Editors are infidels, and sneer, in peeping out-out-as it would almost an under-hand way, at Christianity, seem, in spite of the creatures themlike the godless wits of the Edinburgh selves—till some unhandy accident Review. For myself I can see nothing cuts them off smack-smooth. And of this, nor any thing else, in the New so, I venture to prophesy, will it be Series, which seems to be a sort of re- with these Editors, if they do not take publication of the old women's stories in, and keep in their horns.-Messrs (of which there are not a few) in the Cleghorn and Pringle remind me of a old Scots Magazine. It amazes me, couple of what, in Scotland, are called that Mr Constable should have pre- bum-bees (the humble bee in Eng, ferred Cleghorn and Pringle to Hughland) who come bumming round and Murray, his former Editor. Hugh is round one as if they were excessively a man of real talents—even genius; wroth, and proposed to sting, -when, and though he committed little odd all at once, off they drive, as if some innocent blunders now and then, they new crotchet got into their heads, and were harmless in comparison with the leave one wondering at what the creageneral dulness and stupidity of the tures could possibly mean by such present Editors, which really are ex- insolence.

insolence.—Messrs Cleghorn and cessive, and, I fear, hopeless. I am Pringle remind me of two shard-born much amused with what you tell me beetles,” who, “when all the air a about their quarrel with the Ettrick solemn stillness holds,” come swingShepherd. So they will no longer als ing along “ with drowsy hum," till, as low that most ingenious poet to be it were, intentionally knocking thempraised in their work, and merely be- selves against the breast of some medicause an old man like me cracked a tative gentleman at eventide, they fall few jokes upon it! Will they allow down at his feet, crushed, and bleednobody to be laughed at in your Ma- ing to death, in the dry summer-dust. gazine but themselves ? By the way, -Finally, Messrs Cleghorn and I observe lately that the famous biogra- Pringle remind me (each of them does pher of Mr Hogg still lends the sanc- so) of that simple and foolish bird, the tion of his great name to their Maga- cuckoo, who takes his station among zine, and that he has been trying to the new series of branches of an old play the satirist there. Well

, just oak-stump, and there keeps bobbing whisper into his ear, that if, instead up his tail, and bobbing down his of using the rod in the place where it head, all the while repeating the ought to be used, he keeps any longer self-same cry, and attended by his flourishing it about in the “ New Se- little troop of titlings, from whom he ries,” it shall be wrested out of his receives a small sustenance of worms hands, and pretty smartly applied to and insects, till he is suddenly brought his own extremities.

down from his elevation by some sportThis gentleman has absolutely be- ing shepherd, with an old-fashioned some an unprincipled and indiscri- fowling-piece charged with No VII.

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I therefore, Mr Editor, intend to give sandstone formation, but the great flotz
these gentlemen two months to consider limestone formations are entirely as
of it, and if at the end of that time, I wanting. Last season, Dr Hibbert
have once discovered them with their observed, in serpentine veins, that va-
horns out like snailsbumming round luable mineral the chromate of iron,
you like humble bees-humming on but want of time prevented him pur-
wards like beetles--or bobbing their suing this discovery. We understand
tails like “gowks”--then will I cele- he has now ascertained that it occurs
brate them in immortal verse ;-yea, in great quantities, forming, in some
“I will write a sweet song against them, places, veins several yards wide, and
and put it into thy book," that is to say, in others is so abundant, that the

will allow me; for Mrs Tickler walls of enclosures are built of it. reminds me of your having mentioned From this ore several beautiful and the last time you were here with your very durable pigments are obtained, wife, that you thought them and their which are highly valued in the arts. Magazine quite unworthy of any far- Hitherto the market has been supplied ther notice. For me, I don't care a with it from North America, but now fig-if the worst come to the worst, that it has been ascertained to occur I'll speak to my good friend Mr Mil- in profusion, and of excellent quality, ler, and tip the creatures an eighteen- in Shetland, it will become an article penny pamphlet on my own bottom.. of trade from that country.

I find, my dear Editor, that I have scarcely said one word of what I intended to say,--and filled my sheet entirely with extraneous matter. I shall have an opportunity of writing you again soon, by a private hand,

OF THE EARTH, BY M. BIOT, OF when I hope to amuse you with cer

THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES. Paris tain old-fashioned whimsies of mine

about the Whigs of Scotland, whom I
see you like no more than myself.
Meanwhile, Adieu! yours affection-

[Having been so fortunate as to obtain

one of the few copies of this interesting little work which have reached England, we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of mak. ing a translation of it, for the benefit of

our readers who, however well acquainted IMPORTANT DISCOVERY OF EXTEN with the name and general merits of M.

Biot, may not have received any exact information respecting the circumstances which occasioned and attended the late visit of that

Eminent Stranger to these more remote disDr HIBBERT, the gentleman who last tricts of our island. We can scarcely flatter

ourselves with the hope of seeing our pages year commenced a mineralogical sur- frequently adorned with articles so universally vey of the Shetland isles, has this sea- interesting as this must be. The man of son resumed his investigations, and, science will prize it for the luminous acwe understand, has now nearly finish

count which it contains of some important cd his description of all the islands of physical investigations--they, who are not that remote portion of the British em

qualified to appreciate this part of its merits, pire. His labours have been entirely ventures of one who is not merely a sçavant,

will listen with delight to the personal addirected to the determination of the ar

but a philosopher in the higher and better rangement and nature of the various

sense of the word-a liberal, enlightened, rocks and metalliferous minerals, with- and good man. To those who were so hapout allowing his examinations to be py as to have the opportunity of offering warped by the airy poetical visions of any assistance to M. Biot in the course of the Neptunists, or disfigured and dis- his tour, more especially to those gentlemen torted by the monstrous and absurd whose kindness rendered a two-months' refancies of the Plutonists. He finds sidence in Shetland agreeable to a polite the prevailing rocks are gneiss and stranger accustomed to all the luxuries of mica slate, with subordinate granite,

Parisian climate and society, the affectionate

manner in which their services are here limestone, hornblende rock, and ser commemorated must afford a pleasure greatpentine. These are skirted with what

er in proportion to its peculiarity. There Professor Jameson calls the great flætz can be no occasion to apologise for the VOL. III.

* 3N

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length of this article ; we were well aware without number, discoveries certain that the interest of the “ Notice” would be and lasting, have burst forth in all almost entirely destroyed by mutilating or

the departments of the sciences,dividing it.]

have communicated themselves with When on one of the towers of Flo- rapidity to the arts and to industry, rence, Galileo, two centuries ago, ex which they have enriched with wonplained to a very few persons, in con derful applications, and have increase ferences almost mysterious, his new ed the sum of human knowledge a discoveries with regard to the laws of thousand times beyond what had been gravity, the motion of the earth, and done by all antiquity. But thus exthe figure of the planets,-could he tended, the sciences exceed the powers ever have foreseen that these truths, of any individual. Their prodigious then rejected and persecuted, should, circle cannot be embraced but by a after so short an interval of time, great literary body, which unites in come to be considered as matters of so its collective capacity, as in a vast sengreat importance, and contemplated sorium, every conception, every view, with so general an admiration, that and every thought; which knowing the Governments of Europe should neither human infirmities, nor the cause extensive operations, and distant decay of the senses and of old age, journies, to be undertaken for the sole ever young and ever active, scrutinizes purpose of extending them, and of as- incessantly the hidden properties of certaining all their particulars ? and nature, discovers the powers concealed that in consequence of an unhoped in them, and at last offers them to so~ for propagation of all manner of know- ciety perfected and prepared for appliledge,--the results of their labours cation. In this centre, where all opi. should be offered to the public inter- nions are agitated and combated, no est in numerous assemblies composed authority can prevail but that of reaof the most brilliant classes of society? son and nature. Here even the voice Such, notwithstanding, is the immense of a Plato could no longer attract lischange which has taken place in the teners to the brilliant dreams of his fate of the sciences since that epoch! imagination; and the genius of a When Galileo and Bacon appeared, Descartes, obliged to continue faithful after the many sublime spirits which to the method of observation and of antiquity had produced, they found doubt which he himself had created, the career of the sciences still untrod- could only produce truths unmixed den,-for the name of science could with error. But Plato and Descartes; not be given to the useless heap of with all their glory, would now be hypothetical speculations, in which, considered but as transient elements before their day, natural philosophy of this great organ of the sciences. Its consisted. Till then, men seem to strength would survive their genius, have been more inclined to conjecture and would pursue into futurity the than to study nature; the art of in- developement of their thoughts. Such terrogating her, and of making her is now the noble destination of learnreveal her mysteries, was unknown; ed societies. The unity and the durathey discovered it. They shewed that tion, which their institution gives to the human mind is too feeble and un human efforts, complete the power of steady to advance alone into this the experimental method. They alone labyrinth of truths; that it requires can henceforth ensure the continuity to pausa at phenomena which are con of the progress of human knowledge, nected with each other, as the infant —they alone can develope great theoleans upon

the supports which it meets ries, and obtain results which, by their with when it first tries to walk; and intrinsic difficulty, and by the diversithat in the numerous circumstances, ty, the perseverance, and the extent in which nature seems to allow it to of the labours they demand, could embrace too great intervals, it is ne never be within the reach of indicessary that, by experiments artfully viduals. The determination of the conceived, new phenomena should be size and figure of the earth, -the meamade to spring up in the path, to surement of gravity at its surface, ensure its footing, and to prevent it the connexion of this phenomenon from wandering. Such has been the with the interior construction of the fruitfulness of this method, that in globe,—with the disposition of the straless than two centuries, discoveries ta, and the laws of their densities,

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are of the number of those long en but little different from that observed
during questions which learned socie- by Richer, though somewhat slighter,
ties alone could propose to encounter indicating that the earth is composed
and to resolve. They have for a century of strata, of which the density goes on
and a half formed one of the objects increasing from the surface to the cen-
of the unceasing labours of the Acad. tre, as Clairault has since demonstrat-
emy of Sciences. The first exact mea ed.
surement of a degree of the terres The calculations of Newton were,
trial meridian was made in France, by for some time, the only inductions
Picard, in the year 1670. Newton which existed for believing the earth
availed himself of it, in order to es to be flattened at the poles. The
tablish the law of universal gravity, arch of the meridian, measured by
from which the employment of an in- Picard, was quite sufficient to give the
accurate measurement of the earth length of the semi-diameter of the earth
had at first caused him to wander. at the place where it was observed ;
Two years afterwards, Richer, who but that arch was much too small
was sent by the Academy to Cayenne even for shewing imperfectly the ef-
to make astronomical researches, dis- fect of the flattening. More accurate
covered that his clock, which at Paris knowledge was expected to be procure
beat the seconds, went gradually more ed from the measurement of the com-
slowly as he approached the equa- plete arch which traverses France from
tor; and that it again went quicker, Perpignan to Dunkirk; a measure-
by the same degrees, in returning ment which was intended to serve, if
towards the North, so as to resume I may so express it, as the axis of
exactly its original motion, at the a general map of France, with the
point of his departure. Again,-ac execution of which Colbert had ena
cording to the discoveries of Huyg- trusted the Academy. But in the im-
gens, the quickness of the oscilla- perfect state of the instruments and
tions of a pendulum augments or di- astronomical methods of that period,
diminishes with the intensity of the this arch itself was too short to make
gravity which causes its motion. The the influence of the Aattening dis-
observation of Richer then proved tinctly perceptible; and the small
that this intensity was different in variations, which thence result in the
different latitudes, and that it increase lengths of the consecutive degrees,
ed in going from the equator to the might very easily be lost in the errors
pole. Newton, in his immortal work of the observations. This indeed hap-
on the principles of Natural Philoso- pened. The differences which the
phy, connected all these results with degrees presented, were found from the
the law of attraction. He shewed, effects of these errors, in such a direc-
that the variation observed in gravity tion as would have led to the result
disclosed a flattening of the earth at of elongation at the poles, in place of
the pole,-a circumstance which is flattening. The Academy was not dis-
observable also in the form of Jupi- heartened ; it perceived that the ques-
ter, Saturn, and the other planets tion could not be clearly decided with-
which turn upon an axis. He con out measuring two arches of the meri-
ceived that this flattened form was a dian, in regions of the earth where the
consequence of the even attraction of flattening must produce more sensible
the portions of every planet, combined differences between the degrees, that
by the centrifugal force of its rotatory is to say, near the equator and the
motion. But in order that the ar- pole. She found among her members
rangement determined by these two men sufficiently devoted to undertake
kinds of forces should thus have been these laborious journies. In the year
able to make itself effectual, it behov. 1735, Bouguer, Godin, and La Conda-
ed these great bodies to have been mine,went to America, where they join-
originally fluid: he took them then as ed the Spanish Commissioners. Some
in that state, and showed how to cal ths after, Clairault, Maupertuis,
culate the flattening of a planet ac and Le Monnier, departed for the
cording to the intensity of the gravity, north. The results of these expedi-
at its surface, and the quickness of its tions put the fattening of the earth
rotation, supposing its mass to be ho- beyond doubt, but its absolute amount
mogeneous. This theory, applied to still remained uncertain.

The degree the earth, gave a variation of gravity, of Peru, compared with that of

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France, gave a slighter flattening than and continued, often at the risk of if the earth were homogeneous; the their lives, the most extended and exoperation of Lapland indicated a great act measurement of the earth which

In this uncertainty, the lengths had ever been undertaken. They of the pendulum, which they were concluded it as well, although not so careful to measure, agreed with the easily, as they could have done in the flattening deduced from the operation bosom of the most profound peace. at the equator ; but the exactness of The measurement of the pendulum these measurements, especially in the was not forgotten. Borda, who had operation of Lapland, was not such as done so much to perfect all the other could enable them to solve the difficul- parts of the observations, invented for ty. No fault,lay with any one, as at this experiment a method, the exactthat period it was impossible to do it ness of which surpassed every thing better.

which had been till then imagined, Things remained at this point dure and which has never been surpassed. ing fifty years.

Bouguer, La Conda After these operations were termimine, Clairault, and Maupertuis, died; náted, it was thought that the arch of but after that interval, astronomical the meridian might be continued : instruments becoming much more per- good many degrees south, across Catafect, and the methods of observation lonia, and that it might even be posmore general and more precise, hopes sible to prolong it to the Balearic isles, were entertained of removing the un- by means of an immense triangle of certainty which preceding operations which the sides extending over the had left on the flattening of the earth. sea, should join these isles to the The Academy, the heir of these great coast of Valentia. Méchain devoted works, resolved to resume them with himself to this operation. I

say all the means which could ensure their he devoted himself, for he died of


gave still more import- fever in a small town in the kinga ance to them, by proposing to take the dom of Valentia, after having survery size of the earth, thus determin- veyed all the chain, and measured ed, for the fundamental element of a the first triangles. M. Arago and I system of general and uniform mea were charged with the completion of sures, of which all the parts would be the work, jointly with the Commisconnected together by simple relations, sioners of the King of Spain, Charles and in accordance with our mode of IV. We had the good fortune to sucnumeration. At this day, as former- ceed'; but it is in remembrance, that ly, she hopes that such a system, M. Arago did not return to France founded upon natural elements, in- without encountering great danger

, variable and independent of the in- and after a distressing captivity. Our dividual prejudices of the people, will results, by confirming those of the últimately become as common to all, arc of France, gave them a new proof as are now the Arabian ciphers, the of accuracy. We measured also, at division of time, and the calender. It our most remote station, the length was a wish long ago, expressed by the of the seconds pendulum, after the best and most enlightened of our method of Borda. M. Matthieu and I kings. The proposal realizing it, repeated the same operation upon difwas, so to speak, the last sigh of the ferent points of the arc Academy ; and the act which decided between Perpignan and Dunkirk. its execution, was one of the last which These experiments gave for the flatpreceded the fatal epoch of our great tening of the earth, a value almost expolitical convulsions. All the insti- actly equal to that which M. de Lamtutions tending to maintain civiliza- bre had already obtained, by compartion and knowledge perished, and the ing the arc of France and Spain with Academy perished with them. But the degrees of the equator, calculated true men of science do not require to with new pains, and with the degree have repeated to them the authority of Lapland which Mr Swanberg, for doing that which they believe use able Swedish astronomer, had correctful. In the midst of the disorder and ed by new observations; finally, with madness excited by popular anarchy, an arc of many degrees, which Major MM. de Lambre and Méchain, fur- Lambton had measured with great acnished with new instruments which curacy in the English possessions of Borda had invented for them, began, India.



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