Зображення сторінки


[ocr errors]


NOTES OF THE MONTH. “ Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri,

Quo me cunque rapit tempestas, deferor hospes.” — Horace,
TION.-M. de Boismont, a French physician of eminence, or rather a clever
Mad Doctor, communicated on the oth of October, to the Academy of Sci-
ences of Paris, the result of his researches with regard to the cause of mad-
ness, and from the accurate statistic accounts published by the different mad-
houses of France, proved that civilization has a great influence in producing
madness. To give to this proposition a degree of evidence, M. de Boismont
compared the number of mad persons of the principal towns of Europe with
the population of the same towns, and the following is the sad calculation :-

Inhabitants. Mad.
1,400,000 7000

1 to 200
890,000 4000


St. Petersburg 377,046 120

1 3,133
369,000 479

1 1,759
330,000 14

201,000 60

1 3,350
154,000 320


1 14,000


150,000 618

80,000 236

70,000 150


466 This account is truly distressing, but we do not give any opinion on the subject. Some philosopher of the 16th century was decidedly in favour of ignorance, and thought that ignorant persons were always happier than those who possessed knowledge. The defenders of the Inquisition and despotism ought to raise a statue to M. de Boismont for having worked so hard in their behalf. As for us, although madness is a very great misfortune, we thank heaven that we are born in England, free and civilized, and not in Cairo, where despotism and ignorance reign.

The Queen's Visit to Brighton.—The 4th of October was a day of extraordinary rejoicings and merriment for the loyal inhabitants of Brighton. The elite of the English and foreign haut-ton had assembled there to witness the first triumphal entry of our youthful queen into that fashionable town, where great preparations had been made for her reception. No monarch of Europe can boast of being, or of having ever been, so universally popular and beloved as Queen Victoria. All her subjects, of every political and religious tenet, have hailed with heartfelt transport her accession to the throne, notwithstand. ing that her predecessor had also justly become a popular king. The festival of Brighton will ever be remembered with pleasurable feelings by those who witnessed the indescribable enthusiasm with which the virgin queen was received. It seemed, in fact, as if the myriads of spectators had been transformed by magical power into a single will and wish, and that the whole of them thought of nothing else, but of welcoming, honouring, and applauding, their favourite sovereign. Triumphal arches, magnificent decorations, numerous bands of music, and other loyal manifestations, had been prepared in order to celebrate the first visit of Victoria. The royal procession was every where received by the cheerings, hurrahs, and deafening applauses of the delighted multitude, and both the queen and her august mother were almost overwhelmed by their feelings. The illuminations were general, and on a splendid scale; and Brighton during that night was transformed into a blaze of light, and afforded to the numerous visitors, and its joyful inhabitants, unparalleled amusements and pleasures. It is worth remarking that on the very day that the queen of England, the head of the protestant church, was idolized by her faithful subjects at Brighton, the pope was celebrating at Rome

[ocr errors]


the anniversary festival of Francis, of Assisi, one of the famous founders of the Inquisition; and as that bloody tribunal of fanaticism, ignorance, and superstition, has been crushed by the protestants of England, and, through their writings and example, has been either destroyed or paralyzed all over Europe, no better day could have been chosen for feasting the protestant queen. May the young queen continue to be the object of the love of her people, and, by imitating the good qualities and great energy of Elizabeth, and by avoiding the faults by which the character of that glorious sovereign was stained, may she prove a true blessing to her empire, and enjoy a long and prosperous reign.

The Fall of ConstantinA.-At last our French neighbours have succeeded in making the conquest of Constantina, which on a former occasion cost them an enormous expenditure, a shameful defeat, and great loss of life. On the 6th of October it was invested by the French army under the orders of General Damremont, commander-in-chief, and of General Vallée, commander of the artillery. During the first five days the natives defended them. selves with great skill and courage, and caused great loss to the besiegers. On the 11th the breach was effected, and on the 12th they succeeded in killing the commander-in-chief, General Damremont, while he was directing the storming of the town. On the 13th, however, the invading army, under the command of General Vallée, and excited by the loss of their commander-inchief, and of a great many of their fellow-soldiers, took possession of Constantina, after an obstinate and destructive struggle on both sides. The victory of the French is of very doubtful advantage, and we apprehend, notwithstanding this new conquest, they will not be able to keep in obedience the savage and courageous Arabs of the interior of Africa; nay, they may find it very difficult to maintain for a long time a free communication between Constantina, Bona, and Oran. It appears that the royal sons of Louis Philippe, the dukes of Nemours and of Joinville, have taken good care of themselves, and that neither of them has been honoured by the smallest Arabian scratch.

PARLIAMENTARY FestivALS AND Dinners.—John Bull is very fond of good cheer, and, although naturally enterprising and industrious, he likes to settle the most important projects over a good dinner, and after having been roused in spirits by the delight of jovial company and excellent wines. Consequently, as the meeting for parliamentary business approaches, both the conservatives and the reformers have begun to assemble in order to combine their plans of attack and defence; and if the proverb be true that in vino veritas, we are happy to learn that the ensuing session will be prolific of much good to the nation at large. Because the conservatives assert that they are true reformers, and that they are willing to forward the destruction of all real abuses both in church and state, the reformers on their side proclaim that they do not intend to destroy any of our national institutions, but wish only to amend what is obsolete and incompatible with the present state of civilization. Both parties, however, are apparently struggling for power and emoluments, which are the only real stimulus of all opposition in parliament. Sir Francis Burdett is an exception to all rules of propriety and consistency, and his present political and religious conduct is truly incomprehensible. He wants neither places nor emoluments; nay, he is incapable of holding any place whatsoever, in consequence both of his ill-health, and of his imbecility. But notwithstanding that, the worthy baronet has of late become the spokesman of the incurables of old toryism, and the discord-rower amongst the contending parties. A man who changes his principles is always dishonourable, especially when he has for years vigorously and publicly been the advocate and the martyr of opposite tenets. He may, however, be excused, or even pitied, if he does not appear before the public under his new standard. Old Glory of Westminster is of a different opinion; since his apostacy he loves to be continually on the stage, and exposes himself to the ridicule of his new allies, and to the deserved contempt of his former friends.

A SHOWER OF Fish. On the 16th of October several persons observed on the rail-road near Air a quantity of small and shining fishes alive, and struggling for life. If there had been only a few, it could have been supposed that some sea-fowls had disgorged them ; but as they were very numerous, they must have been transported there by some phenomenon, and most probably by a gust of wind. In fact, on that day the wind was very high. This is not a new occurrence, and it has often happened in Scotland, and even in Italy. The fish were very small herrings, and measured about half an inch in length.

The SALE OF THE ROYAL STUD AT HAMPTON COURT.-One of the two great pillars of the English empire has been at last demolished by the merciless hammer of the fashionable horse-puffer Tattersall. The Royal Stud was sold on the 25th of October at Hampton-Court Paddocks before many noblemen and sporting gentlemen, and its general produce, according to the opinion of the connoisseurs of all parties, has surpassed the most sanguine expectations of the Fitz-Clarences. The brood mares fetched

9568 guineas. The colt-foals

1471 ditto.

1112 ditto. The stallions, and two hulf-bred colts 3541 ditto.

Total amount · 15,692 guineas. Now that this official statement is known, will not our readers justly wonder at the great noise and warfare which the newspapers have carried on against each other about this almost paltry business, and will they not laugh at the worthy baronet who, to save the country from the imminent danger of its ruin, buckled on his Quixotic armour on behalf of the Royal Stud, and, like Sancho-Pansa, attacked Lord Melbourne with all the fierceness that becomes a true champion of horse-flesh, and of the turf ? Verily, verily, England has rebounded with the thunders of the Times on the subject of the Royal Stud at Hampton Court; but many must now pity the Thunderer for having made so much ado about the paltry sum of 15,692 guineas.

The Late IMPROVEMENTS IN Deal.—The new fashionable watering-place, Deal, has lately undergone considerable improvements, since the duke of Wellington has held his little court at Walmer Castle. On a recent visit to Deal, we were agreeably surprised by the change that has taken place in the exterior and the iuterior of the principal hotel, which has now become one of the best in Kent. “The Royal Hotel,”—the ancient “Three Kings,”-is now commodiously fitted up, and well conducted ; and its spirited proprietors

-Messrs Bleaden of the London Tavern-are sparing no expense to complete their alterations and improvements.


SOCIETIES. Anatomy and MedicinE.—The grants of the British Association for the advancement of scientific research in anatomy and medicine for the next year are as follows:-For observations on the absorbent and venous systems, fifty pounds ; for observations on the effect of poisons on the animal economy, twenty-five pounds ; for the chemical analysis of animal secretions, twentyfive pounds; for observations on the motions and sounds of the heart, fifty pounds; for observations on the pathology of the brain, twenty-five

1 1

pounds ; for experiments on lung disease in animals, twenty-five pounds. Our medical friends will doubtless read of these grants with satisfaction, as many subjects will thus be elucidated which the calls of professional duty have so long prevented; and as every new discovery in the science of medicine tends not only to elevate the practitioner in public esteem and private respectability, but adds also to his means of assisting the general weal of the great human family, the attempt thus made to stimulate the progress of the healing art must be regarded with general gratification. May the results prove as beneficial as the intention is excellent.

VEGETABLE PHYSIOLOGY.-Interesting Experiments. -Mr. Nevan has just detailed some experiments made by him on elms, forty years old, commenced in Feb. 1836. I. The stem of the tree was denuded in a circle of its cortical integument alone, leaving the alburnum beneath uninjured. On the May following the denuded part was filled up by the exudation of bark and wood from the upper surface of the wound, and the tree had not suffered in its growth. Jl. The bark and cambium were removed in the same manner. In August, 1837, this tree sickened, and there was no formation of wood or bark in the wounded part. Two developements, however, took place; one above, the other below; the former having the appearance of roots, the latter were branches with leaves. III. The bark and two layers of alburnum were cut away. The tree was at the time unhealthy ; it, however, put forth its leaves in that and the ensuing spring, but shortly after died. No sap was observed above or below the wounded part. Roots were developed from the upper and branches from the lower part of the section. IV. The bark and six layers of alburnum were taken off. The tree became much less vigorous, but did not die, and otherwise presented the same appearance as the last. V. The bark and twelve layers of alburnum were stripped. The consequences were again similar to the last two; the alburnum above and below the cut being dry, but an accidental cut, which penetrated to the heart wood, exuded sap. VI. This was a repetition of the experiment of Palisot de Beauvais, by cutting away a circular ring of bark around a single branch. The branch continued to grow, and roots sprouted from the under surface of the isolated bark and branch. VII. In this the whole of the wood of the tree was cut away, except four pil. lars composed of bark and eap wood. In this case the sap first appeared from above, descending by the pith, and then from the heart wood, the alburnum being dry. In this case the sap must have passed up the alburnum, and hori. zontally through the heart wood. From these experiments Mr. Nevan infers, -1. That the life of the tree does not depend on the liber or cambium. 2. That a descent of sap takes place before the developement of leaves. 3. That new matter arises from below, which has not previously been allowed. That there were two distinct principles in the tree,-one the ascending or leaf principle, the other the descending or root principle. These experiments completely confirm the theory of the structure of wood by Du Petit Thouars : the seventh proving the horizontal circulation of the sap.

BOTANY.- Plants and Ventilation.-Dr. Daubney has been making a series of experiments on the cultivation of plants under glasses without ventilation, the results of which he has just communicated. In April last he introduced into globular glass vessels, the apertures being covered with bladders, three several sets of plants. In the first were Sedum, Lobelia, &c. ; in the second Primula ; in the third Armeria, &c. At the end of ten days the plants were healthy and had grown. The air in the jars was examined, when the first had four per cent. more oxygen than the atmosphere, the second also four per cent. more, and the third one per cent. more. This was the result of examination during the day, but at night the excess of oxygen had disappeared. On the eleventh day the first jar contained two per cent., the second and third one per cent. excess of oxygen. At night there was less oxygen than in the atmosphere. A Mr. Ward has also made some experiments of a similar character, which are interesting, as they point out a method of bringing foreign

plants to this country which could never otherwise be introduced. His at. tention was drawn to the subject by the accidental placing of a chrysalis under an inverted jar, which some time after was perceived to have a fern and a few blades of grass growing under it. Taking the hint, he introduced some plants of Hymenophyllum under a jar, wbich grew and flourished in the situation. He then made some experiments on a larger scale. The plants were inclosed in glass cases made air-tight by paint and putty, but, of course, not hermetically sealed, and were watered once in five or six weeks. From bis experiments he draws the following conclusions :—First, that confining the air secured a more equable temperature for plants, as its expansion and contraction, by change of external temperature, by its relation to heat in those states, prevented any great or sudden change. This was remarkably exemplified in some plants that were brought from India, which were in the course of three months successively exposed to 20°, 120°, and 40° of Fahrenheit. The enclosed plants were often found surrounded by a temperature higher than the external atmosphere. Secondly, that vascular plants required to be grown in a greater quantity of air than cellular. Thirdly, that light must be freely admitted. Fourthly, that the enclosed air must be kept humid. This can be done by occasional watering, provided any means of escape for the water is allowed, but it is not necessary where the water has no means of escape. Besides the advantage of enabling us to bring plants from abroad, it would also furnish to the physiological botanist the means of observing those operations of nature in his study, for which, before, he had been obliged to resort to the forest and the plain. Might not this mode of preservation be extended from the vegetable to the animal kingdom ?

CHEMISTRY.— Brewing.–Mr. Black, in a paper communicated to the British Association “On the Influence of Electricity on the Processes of Brewing,”-states that a thunderstorm not only checks the fermentation of worts, but even raises the gravity of the saccharine fluid, and developes in it an acid. This effect is principally witnessed when the fermenting tun is sunk in soft earth, and may be obviated by placing it on baked wooden bearers, resting upon dry bricks, or wooden piers, so as to effect its insulation. This is a fact worthy the attention of all practically engaged in fermentation. The prevalence of highly electrified clouds during the fabrication of cast-iron, has a considerable and baneful effect upon the metal. - Alum.-Mr. Atherton, an African gentleman, has recently discovered on the eastern coast of the African continent, about midway between Graham's Town and Algoa Bay, a new variety of alum. Similar to asbestos, it occurs in fibrous masses, having a beautiful lustre like satin, and splitting into threads which would appear to be quadrilateral prisms. In taste, solubility in water, and relation to several re-agents, it closely resembles common alum, but is distinguished from it by containing protoxide of manganese, instead of an alkali, and by not assuming the octahedral form.

ANTIQUITIEs.-Crimea.--A Dutch journal has recently given the particulars of the discovery of some interesting remains by workmen engaged in excavating in the neighbourhood of Kertsch. They consist of two tombs, one of which, of comparatively modern date, contained a marble sarcophagus, and some other valuable objects; among these a marble slab ornamented with a beautiful relief representing a Bacchannal. A silver sceptre was likewise found, together with a bridle, the bit made of the same metal, and a female mask of gold. The other monument was of more ancient date, and contained an urn filled with bones and ashes. The form of it is described as very elegant, embellished with beautiful drawings, the design being an Amazon on horseback, lance in hand, attacking two warriors, the head of one having a helmet, while the other we Phrygian cap. The style of the drawing has given rise to a supposition that it dates about the fourth century before Christ.

MECHANICS.—The Americans have proposed to form a railway in the State of Virginia, 300 miles in length, upon which a novel railway power is

« НазадПродовжити »