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Towns.

Dronfield
Duffield
Fairfield
Glossop
Hartington
Hasland
Hathersage
Headge
Heanor
Heath
Hope
Long Eaton
Matlock
Melbourne
Pleasley
Repton
Sawley
Smalley
Staveley
Stoney Middleton
Sudbury
Tideswell
Walton
Winster
Whitwell
Wirksworth

Hundreds. N. Lat.

Inh. to Fem.to W. Long. Houses Inhabs.

100Hon 100 MX Scarsdale 153° 18'11° 28'| 246 1202 489 108 Morleston 52 58 1 30 335 1677 501) 106 High Peak 153 18 1 52 89 362) 407) 104 Ditto

53 252 0532 2840| 537 110 Wirksworth 53 91 1 48| 350 1737| 496 104 Scarsdale 53 13 1 26 132) 572 433 103 High Peak 53 21 1 39 102 500| 490 103 Appletree 53 31 1 281 212) 990 467 107 Morleston 53 1 1 22] 136 972) 715 105 Scarsdale 53 121 1 21 70 387 5531 104 High Peak

153 22 1 45 83 4001 482 103 Morleston 52 54 1 171 1281 515 402 Wirksworth 53 8 1 33 538|2577| 479 117 Repington 52 50 1 33 508/2160 425 101 Scarsdale 53 11 1 161 : 881 482 548| 102 Appletree 52 52 1 35 2331437\ 617) 107 Morleston

52

53 1 191 147) 7421 505 108 Morleston 53 .0 125 112 6301 562104 Scarsdale 53 171 1 22 336 1674 498) 105 High Peak 53 171 1 40 1081 439| 4061 101 Appletree 52 53 1 45 78) 5421 6951 116 High Peak 153 18 1 46 2961376 464 104 Scarsdale 53 121 1 301 1381 664) 481 105 Wirksworth 53 81 391 192 768 400 103 Scarsdale 153 17 1 - 14 166 793 477) 102 Wirksworth 53 61 351 8583792' 4421 104

Derbyshire is included between the latitudes of 52° 41' and 53° 31' N. and the longitudes of 1° 12' and 2° 2' W. Its circumference is 165 miles; its greatest length from north to south is 50 miles, and its greatest breadth from east to west 33. It contains about 1100 square miles, 38,120 houses, and 185,487 inhabitants, viz. 91,494 males, and 93,993 females. About 10-43ds of the inhabitants live in the market-towns, and the remaining 33-43ds in the villages.

JOHN BALNES, jun. January 7, 1818.

SINGULAR PHENOMENON OF THE SUN AND MOON.

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To the Editors of the Northern Star. AT those periods when the sun and moon are both above the horizon, there is a singular phenomenon which I have no where seen noticed or explained. My acquaintance with astronomical works is indeed very partial, but I feel more vonfident that this appearance has escaped notice, because it was a very intelligent and well-informed acquaintance who first directed my attention to it, as a phenomenon he had never seen mentioned in any work upon the subject. A circular opaque body, illuminated by reflection from some luminous body, will clearly show the line of direction in which the rays proceed. Thus if A be the illuminated object, and B the source of its light, the line a, b, will be exactly perpendicular to the line c, d, drawn from the two extremities of the illuminated part, and the rays

of light will fall in the same direction upon the dark surface, whether they proceed from a point or a larger mass of light. Let A be the moon, and B the sun, both seen above the horizon together; and whenever the moon is of such an age as to present any appearance but that of an illuminated full orb, it should be expected, by the extremities of its enlightened portion, to show exactly the part in the heavens where its bountiful illuminator is stationed. On the contrary, it will invariably be found by those who will take the trouble of making the observation, that the sun appears to be in a very different part of the heavens to that which the line of direction seems to require: and while we know that the rays must proceed in the line a, b, or in linės parallel to it, and perpendicular to c, d, the sun will always be seen in some line

g, h, situated considerably out of, and always below the direct line of illumination.

The explanation of this optical deception, I imagine, is to be found in the fact, that, while the real distance of the moon from the earth is only two' hundred and forty thousand miles, and that of the sun is ninety-six millions of miles, the apparent distance of the two heavenly bodies is the same. The following figure will at a glance explain how this deception occurs.

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The moon is really enlightened by rays proceeding from the sun in the line a, b, and parallel lines ; and has therefore its extreme illuminated points

M m

VOL. II.

in c, d, perpendicular to a, b. But the sun appears to us seen from the 'earth at no greater distance than the moon. It will therefore seem situated at m, in the line k, n, because k, m, is the same distance as i, k, and the line of illumination will appear as if it proceeded in the direction g, h, requiring the dotted line e, f, or the boundary of its illuminated portion.

It thus that, while the sun is in reality in the line a, b, darting its direct fays upon the illuminated hemisphere of the moon c, a, d, the sun appears to à spectator at the earth as if it were situated much lower in the line

g;

h. If any of your readers will point out a better explanation of this phenomenon, or inform me where the appearance is noticed by any astronomical writer, he will oblige Yours, &c.

K.

EXAMINATION OF THE COMMON PREJUDICE IN FAVOUR

OF THE ANCIENTS.

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THERE is perhaps, no circumstance more calculated to fill with surprise the mind of him who attends to the ever-varying opinions and, feelings of mankind, than the tendency which he will almost universally observe of desponding fears and anxious forebodings. When men compare their own state with the information they derive from history respecting that of their ancestors, and endeavour to form a comparative estimate of the progress in knowledge, in virtue, and in happiness, which mankind have made in different ages of the world, we should naturally be led to expect that they would look on their own acquisitions with the eye of partiality; and that the disposition which every man feels to think as well of himself as possible, would lead him to estimate too highly the talents and discoveries of his own age,

and to shut his eyes against the errors and vices by which the character of his own times is distigured. The contemplation of ignorance, of folly, and of wickedness is at all times an ungrateful employment, more especially when ourselves or our connections are implicated in the charge; one would suppose therefore, that the mind would be desirous to shake off such unpleasing melancholy thoughts, to indulge in reflections more calculated to gratify its naturally self-complacent spirit, and would be still less willing to deepen the shades in its own picture, and throw a gloom over the light which naturally adorned it. Yet such we find to have been almost universally the case.

Scarce a single writer in any age has attempted to draw a parallel between his own times and those which preceded him, without indulging this gloomy and dissatisfied spirit. They have always dwelt on the unfavourable features which disgraced the character of their contemporaries, and have passed slightly over their more praise-worthy qualities; while, on the other hand, their ima. ginations have been dazzled with a splendid picture of the fancied pre-eminence of antiquity, in which the bright parts are insisted on, and the shades palliated, if not altogether suppressed. By heightening every thing favourable on one side, and by exaggerating every thing unfavourable on the other, they have drawn a comparison, often indeed humiliating, but not nec

necessarily on that account either reasonable or just.

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As I cannot help conceiving this tendency to exalt the ancients at the expense of the moderns, and to extol the virtues of all preceding ages in preference to those of the period in which we live, to be not only unnatural and unpleasing, but erroneous and unfounded, I propose to dedicate a few of the following pages to an examination of the causes which have given rise to it, and to an attempt to show that a more accurate enquiry and a more impartial comparison would lead to a decision much less discouraging and unsatisfactóry.

Öne of the circumstances to which this disposition is to be ascribed, may perhaps be found in that very self-love with which at first sight it appears so inconsistent. Those who complain of the present times, and who delight in drawing invidious comparisons between their own age and the days of other years, are perhaps for the most part men whose unbounded self-love and inordinate conceit of their own qualifications have inspired them with very high and unreasonable expectations of admiration and applause. These expectations being of course disappointed, and their contemporaries not thinking so highly of their merits as they fancy they ought to think, they are filled with disgust at the folly and blindness of the world. Their conceited confidence, which, before, was arrogant and assuming, now becoming discontented and splenetic, they rail without ceasing at this perverse generation, and vent the workings of their disappointed ambition on those who have been so unfortunately dull as not to see and admire their transcendent accomplishments. “ In former times," they will be apt to say, “ it was only necessary to display talents in order to acquire 'that reputation which was their due ;~ in those happy periods every man was qualified to discern, and every community willing to reward distinguished abilities; then the honour and respect which every-where attended merit afforded a constant stimulus to exertion, and excited the successful adventurer to still more noble attempts: but now, alas, times are lamentably altered; these honours, this respect are vanished; now the ingenious improver of the elegant and useful arts, the successful labourer in the fields of science, the active disinterested patriot who devotes his talents to the good of his country, instead of being hailed with the applauses of admiring multitudes, is overwhelmed with every species of invective and abuse; instead of basking in the sunshine of royal or popular savour, he is left to languish in the cold and chilling damps of neglect and obscurity.” Such is the querulous tone in which many an unsuccessful candidate for fame consoles himself for his disappointment, by laying the blame on the-unworthy period in which his evil stars have cast his lot; and such I apprehend will be found to be the origin of much of that predilection for antiquity, and that unfavourable estimate of more modern times, which has so much prevailed in almost all ages and nations.

This propensity may, perhaps, be likewise in some degree ascribable : to the early associations produced by the nature of their education on the minds of those who lead, and who justly lead, the public opinion in favour of particular characters and particular periods in the history of the human race. Accustomed from their earliest youth to look up to Greece and Rome for models of every kind of excellence, the examples contained in the histories of these countries, and in the writings of the great men whom they produced, acquire, in addition to their positive merit, a relative excellence

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in the mind of the young student, arising from their having been the first objects of his studies, prepossessing his imagination before he had any other models with which to compare them. Thus he learns to trace every generous and noble sentiment which enters his mind to some Greek or Latin class sic; every idea of excellence, whether moral or intellectual, which he forms is strongly associated with these studies; and it is no wonder if, by degrees, this association becomes so intimate, that every thing connected with such high-sounding names as Plato, Xenophon, Demosthenes, Cicero; Virgil, &c. appears the ultimate point of perfection. As soon, therefore, as he comes to mix in the world, and compares modern manners and characters with the ideas he has derived from his books, and with the associations thus formed and matured, it is obvious that he will meet with a great va, riety of circumstances which do not accord with the model of perfection his imagination presents to him. These will appear in his eyes as so many po: sitive defects; and thus he will be led to form an opinion of the living world as much too low, as his estimate of the mighty dead had been too high.

These appear to me to be among the causes of this singular phenomenon in the human mind. I do not mean, however, to assert that they are of themselves sufficient to account for it, or that every one whose education has been conducted in the manner above described will infallibly contract such a propensity. Still less would I affirm that every one who appears to view in too sombre a light the character of his own age, is influenced by disappointed ambition or an overweening self-conceit; but I certainly do think that they have, to a considerable degree, contributed to deepen the shades of a picture which we all know is of itself quite sufficiently gloomy. I shall now attempt to show that these views are in a great degree erroneous and unfounded; and that if we would come fairly to the comparison, and, with minds unprejudiced and unbiassed, bring every thing to be estimated according to a just and impartial standard, the result would not only be more correct, but much more enlivening and agreeable.

In the first place, I should think that a strong presumption of the injus: tice may be derived from the permanence and universality of the complaint. If every writer in every age who has indulged in this melancholy train of thought had had just grounds for his lamentations, --if every generation from the beginning of the world, instead of improving, had been constantly growing worse and worse,-things must surely by this time have arrived at a dreadful state indeed. Mankind cannot possibly have been always in a state of deterioration ; there is unquestionably a principle, not only in individuals but in communities, which compels them onwards in a course of inprovement, and which, though various circumstances may for a time retard its progress, or even totally suspend its operations, is seldom, if ever, entirely eradicated. This suspension in almost every instance has been temporary, and has been universal perhaps in none. In almost every period there have been, there doubtless are at present, nations, in which the principle of improvement has been almost entirely destroyed, nay in which every thing seems for

ages

to have gone backwards ; but I apprehend it will be difficult to fix upon any period when all mankind could be considered as placed in this

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