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awn invention and workmanship: with the investigation of a method of allowing for refraction in such kind of observations
13. A description of an improvement in the application of the quadrant of altitude to a celestial globe.
14. A description of a new pyrometer, with a table of experi
15. A description of a new hygrometer.
16 Observations on the graduation of astronomical instruments, with an explanation of the method of the late Mr. Henry Hindley's dividing circles into any given number of parts.
17. Remarks on the different temperature of the air at Eddystone, from that observed at Plymouth, between the 7th and 8th of July, 1757.
n account of the effects of lightning upon the steeple and church of Lestwithiel, in Cornwall.'
These papers vary nearly as much in their importance and merit, as they do in reference to the subjects on which they treat. Most of the instruments therein described are ingenious, although they are now in great measure superseded by subsequent improvements. They are, nevertheless, interesting to all who wish to trace the order of inventions. The paper in which our Author describes Hindley's dividing instrument, is peculiarly interesting. We have often felt surprised, that it has never been inserted among the additions to the Nautical Almanac. Such a disquisition ought to be circulated as widely as possible, that it may fall within the reach of all who are engaged in the manufacture of astronomical and mathematical instruments.
But the most valuable paper in this volume is, doubtless, the fifth, in the order of the preceding enumeration. Our Author, it is true, assumes a vague, inadequate, and improper measure of mechanic power at the outset of this inquiry; yet his mistake is easily corrected by the judicious theorist, who can at once apply the true measure, i. e. the quantity of motion extinguished or produced, to his principal results, and thus make safe deductions from them. Altogether, these experiments on the force of wind and water, and their efficacy in moving mills, are extremely important. They have tended greatly to improve the construction of mills of both kinds; and we do not hesitate to say, that after the lapse of half a century, they are superior in point of correctness and utility to any that have been made, the admirable experiments of M Bossut not excepted.
In the experimental examination of the quantity and proportion of mech nic power, Mr Smeaton has employed much talent and ingenuity to little purpose, by reason of inadequate conceptions of the things under discussion. He does not mean to indicate by mechanical power what Newton intends by momentum; and then, for want of distinguishing between what he
really meant, and what he fancied he meant, involves himself and his readers in needless perplexity
So again, in the paper on the collision of bodies, our Author bewilders himself for want of a due comprehension of the laws of collision, and the mathematical formulæ in which they are included. The paper exhibits an ingenious apparatus for making experiments in reference to this subject; and that alone renders it of any value.
On the whole, therefore, we are of opinion that the reputation of Mr. Smeaton would have been better consulted by a judicious abridgement of these papers, in which errors had been suppressed, and any valuable hints or arguments retained, than by an entire republication. There may be some, however, who may be anxious to possess all that this excellent engineer has written; to such the present volume will be very acceptable.
Of M. Girard's translation we need say but little It is faithful, but neither critical nor scientific. In the Introduction the Translator has drawn together, and compared, the principal results of Smeaton, Pareut, Borda, Bossut, and Coulomb. In the m in they mutually confirm each other; and, altogether, are admirably calculated to furnish practical men with useful and safe maxims.
Art. IX. A Voyage to the Isle of Elba; with Notices of other Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Translated from the French of Arsenne Thiébaut de Berneaud, Emeritus Secretary of the Class of Literature, History and Antiquities of the Italian Academy, &c. By William Jerdan. London. Longman. Hurst, and Co. 8vo. P. 183.
BUONAPARTE in exile, and the Bourbons at Paris! Among the many marvellous events of the times in which we live, the termination of the late dreadful contest, in respect to the individual who figured as the principal character in the great drama, cannot be consid red the least remarkable. That man, at whose nod empires shook to their foundations; by whose fiat kings were created out of nothing, and made to return to nothing with equal ase and rapidity; who caused the whole continent of Europe to turn pale before him, and even, at times, infused a degree of fear into some of the stout-hearted sons of Britain; that man, in a word, who seemed to rule the destiny of half the globe, is now the ruler of a petty island, the circuit of which he could make in a single day; and which would scarcely have proved sufficiently extensive to satisfy the moderate desires of the renowned Sancho Panza.
In fact, the whole life, character, and behaviour,' of the hero in question, has, throughout, presented to the observer au
unprecedented assemblage and combination of qualities. The world had, indeed, before furnished us with remarkable instances of an incongruous mixture of great and little, good and bad in character; but there has always appeared something, both in the littleness and greatness of Buonaparte, of a nature completely sui-generis; and the catastrophe of his public life, if we may consider it as completed, is in correspondence to the Sancho-panzaishness of all the other parts of the more than extraordinary series of recent occurrences. It is on a par with the monarch-making and king-dethroning history of the whole business; a bistory which has proved a severer blow upon the dignity of royalty, and the sanctity attached to regal power, than any order of incidents that has ever had place since kings and thrones have existed.
The imagination naturally and unavoidably accompanies such a man as this, from the publicity of his former career to the privacy of is present existence; and the days that he now passes, are at once more difficult and interesting to realize, in thought, than the days of his power and splendour. While occupied in the organization or command of immense armies, and in the constant hurry of political projects, thoughts of retribution and futurity might be in part extinguished, and reflection buried in bustle. But now that he has time to reflect, of what must his reflections consist? What are his morning, what his evening meditations? Whence does he derive his enjoyments? Of what does his daily occupation consist? What is the nature of the place he inhabits? the people by whom he is surrounded? Such are the circumstances and feelings which will impart a degree of interest to that work, the title of which heads the present article. Many readers, however, who take up the book under the expectation of finding in ita full, true, and parti'cular account' of the little hero of the great nation,' will be disappointed in not meeting even with the name of Buonaparte from the beginning to the end of it; and to find, in lieu thereof, botanical information, historical researches, antiquarian investigations, and geological reveries.
But we advise those who may have bought the book in compliment to Buonaparte, not to lay it aside in disgust on account of disappointed expectations. The treatise is by no means destitute of interest. Deducting indeed, a little from its merit ou the score of its being tinctured throughout with the sing-song sentimen, and flippant-frivolity, so characteristic of a French sçavant, there still remains a great deal to admire in the performance before us; and with this feeling we hasten to furnish our readers with a brief analytical view of its contents.
The isle of Elba is situated in the Mediterranean, at the commencement of the sixth climate, where the longest day consists of
fifteen hours, and nine minutes. The channel of Piombino, of which the navigation is extremely difficult, separates Elba from the continent of Italy. The straits are about ten miles across in the narrowest part Upon the north are the islands of Capraja and Gorgona; on the east the rocks of Parmajola and Cuboli, and the Etruscan shore;' on the south and south-east the islands of Giglio, Montechristo, and Pianosa; and on the west, Corsica, whence it is distant forty Italian miles.
Its figure is very irregular. Formed of a soft and light earth, consisting of a pulverized wreck from mountains, of reefs, and of flints continually triturated and battered by the winds, and by currents and surges of a sea often tempestuous, the shores of Elba present on every side a thousand sharp angles encroaching upon the land, or jutting out into the water, of which the number and shape vary continually. The same causes which modify the form of the island tend necessarily to the diminution of its extent. In the time of Pliny, if a hundred the text has not been corrupted, the isle of Elba was Roman miles in circuit: at present it is not in reality more than sixty Florentine miles, (a little more than 68 English miles.) p. 2-4.
This island was called by the Greeks Ethalia, and by the Etruscans and Romans Ilua or Ilva, of which the moderns have made Elba. Into the etymological explanation of these names we shall here no further enter, than by stating the obvious origin of the Latin name from the Greek Iova, a forest, a name supposed to have been given to it on account of the great quantity of wood which formerly covered its mountainous soil.'
The population of Elba at the time our Author wrote (1808) was, we are informed, about twelve thousand. The inhabitants, he tells us, are warlike and hospitable; they have not the indolence and voluptuousness of their Italian neighbours; the men are less licentious, and the women more chaste than in Italy; nor does that worst part of the Italian character-revenge, shew itself among the Elboese in any thing like the same degree as among the Geno se and Romans. Dr. Spurzheim must not send to Elba for the skulls of murderers and robbers; for we are informed, that robbery here is very uncommon, and murder still more rare.' In the soil and production of the island there is 'the vine is cultivated in the same nothing very remarkable ; "manner as in the north of France, in Germany and England; 'but the use of the press is unknown, as in the rest of Italy, where they still continue to make wine in the same way they have done for two thousand years, and almost with the same utensils. They throw the grapes in tovats; there the fermentation goes on from eight to fifteen days, during which it is squeezed only three times. They then draw off the clear liquid. This best operation terminated, they take off the husks, which 'the action of the air has soured, in order to manufacture it into 'vinegar. As for the lees, upon a vat of eighteen barrels, they
'pour five barrels of water, mingle the whole together, and in twenty-four hours obtain from it a very agreeable piquette.'p. 21.
Although the island was at one period so famous for wood, the improvident consumption of its inhabitants has at length produced an actual and sensible scarcity of forest trees more especially Our Author teils us, that throughout the island there is the greatest want of wood fit for carpenters' work,' 'that wood for fuel is still more rare,' and that in all parts forest 'trees are wanted.' With respect to vegetable productions, the great height to which the American aloe, and the Indian fig arrive, seem to be one of the principle peculiarities of Elba. "The stalk of the former,' (our traveller informs us,) shoots up to 'the height of about eighteen or twenty feet, and is covered with flowers of a yellowish green colour. It blows every year.' 'Aromatic plants,' he adds, flourish throughout Elba in the 'greatest profusion. The inhabitants use them daily in their
itchens. Balm, mint, hyssop, thyme, rosemary, many sorts of 'sage, and fennel, lavender, egline, and myrtle, every where 'perfume the air with their sweet scents, and delight the eye by
the variety of their flowers. p. 27.
Elba being in a great measure destitute of pastures, is, in consequence, thinly supplied with cattle. Several animals are, however, found here in sufficient number; and there is an abundance of game; so that the present ruler of the island may still enjoy opportunities of effecting the work of destruction; and it, is it has been asserted, he is destitute of personal prowess, one should imagine that this kind of warfare would be more congenial to his taste than that in which he was formerly engaged. In his peregrinations, however, he must be careful to avoid encountering the bite of the spotted spider, which the Author tells us, he found in the island, and of which he gives the following interesting account.
"It is of a bright shining black, marked with three rows of bloodred spots, to the number of 13, 15, 16 and 1; the abdomen is round, protuberant at the upper part, and marked with four very black spots arranged in a perfect square The whole body is covered with hairs, and attached to the thorax by a short pedicle; its eyes are fawn coloured, and eight in number; and the thorax is very small It spreads its web close to the surface of the ground, and rushes with prodigious velocity upon its prey; it attacks the scorpion, in particular, with great fury, and is extremely fond of its blood; it shuns the society of its own species It generates towards the end of summer, and envelops its eggs to the number of between 200 and 400, in a cocoon of white silk, compact but not strong In winter it retires among large stones, into the clefts of the rocks and old walls, where, in a torpid state, it awaits the return of spring. Its bite is very dangerous; it is mortal even to man. Its