« AnteriorContinuar »
as the sclerotic coat, it becomes thicker more suddenly towards the handle;—the second is a tapering cylinder of brass which suddenly grows very small at the lesser end, and is surmounted by a three-sided pyramid with a blunt apex. The operator desires his patient to look attentively at some object; and dexterously inserts the lancet, where our own physicians insert it, - a little behind the cornea, and a little below the axis. He then introduces his cylinder; and, after slowly displacing and removing the lens below the transparent cornea, he suffers the instrument to hang by its neck, and lays his patient's head upon a pillow, with the eyes covered with wet cushions, till the spasms excited by the operation have entirely subsided. The eye is then examined; and if the lens has been effectually removed, the patient's head is bound up with the cushions as before, and for a week he is kept in darkness and fed upon boiled rice.—The use of two instruments, instead of one, is certainly a clumsy mode of operation. And the fact, that our own physicians, after the example of Celsus, employ the same tool for the whole work, is considered by Dr. Scott as one proof, among others, that the science of Greece was not borrowed, so extensively as has been commonly supposed, from that of the oriental nations. It is certainly in the doctor's favour, that there never was, so far as we can ascertain, a very frequent intercourse between India, Egypt, and Greece: and his supposition is still farther corroborated by the comparatively recent introduction of the Arabic digits into Europe. According to Matthew Paris, they were brought from Athens by one John Basingstoke, about the year 1240; while some suppose on the other hand that they were first carried into Spain by the Saracens, and afterwards got into France, about the year 1000. Upon either supposition, however, it is very extraordinary that, if so useful a help to numeration had been known to Greece in her earliest days, it should not have been adopted by the Romans in the place of their own awkward numerals, and consequently circulated through Europe before so late a period as the eleventh century. We have no room to enter into the question; but we confess the conjecture of Dr. Scott is by no means devoid of probability. Art. VI.-Sandwich Islands. Voyage round the World. Ву
Archibald Campbell, a Mariner. 1816. When captain Cook discovered the Sandwich Islands, in 1778, Tereoboo was the king of Owhyhee; Teteree, of Moratai; and Pedeoranne, of Wahoo, and those to the leeward. Tamaahmaah, the only brother of Tereoboo (called Maiha-maiha, in Cook's Voyage) has since contrived to subdue the whole group: to get himself a fleet of about sixty small vessels; and
to advance his subjects in civilization a great way beyond the progress which the natives of other islands in the Pacific have hitherto made. They take dollars, as well as muskets, and other European goods, in exchange for fresh provisions, live stock, salt and other articles of out-fit: they breed horses, cattle, and sheep,—rent farms from their chiefs, whom they pay kind, and who, again, hold their land from the king and are bound to furnish him with subsidies; and they have been so successful in imitating the few whites who reside among them, that many are already good carpenters, coopers, blacksmiths, and taylors.--Wahoo is the present residence of Tamaahmaah. The natives are all trained to arms; though the only force kept on foot is a guard of about fifty men,—who do duty about the king's residence, and who go through with the military exercises (says our author) with a great deal more rapidity than precision. His present majesty, one of those great men (says the editor of the Journal) who go before their age,'--holds out every encouragement for whites to remain in his dominions; but, at the same time, he never tempts any person to desert his ship; and suffers every sojourner to leave the island exactly when he pleases. Campbell asked him if he might have liberty to return home? Yes,' said he: - go if your belly tells you to go; and give my compliments to king George. He encourages his subjects to make voyages in the ships which touch at the island; and a native of Owhyhee is now acquiring an education in New Haven, Connecticut. The king's residence is built in the European style. He had two wives; and when Campbell left the island, was about to take a third. Some convicts, who escaped to his dominions from New South Wales, have introduced distillation among the natives; and the use of ava is now giving way to that of ardent spirits. All these facts should not be regarded by the people of this country as merely the parts of an amusing story; for though a formal surrender of the Sandwich Islands was long ago made to England, it is quite obvious that the United States are the nation which is going to be most affected by their increase in civilization and wealth. Art. VII. Notice respecting Travels towards the Interior of
South Africa, in the years 1811-1815. By William John Burchell, Esq. MR. BURCHELL started from Cape Town in June, 1811; and after spending four years in fruitless attempts to make the lazy Hottentots accompany him as far as he wanted to go into the interior, he returned to Cape Town again on the 13th of April, 1815. This article is only a brief sketch of his journeyings in various directions; and, indeed, as the traveller is himself about to publish the results of his observation, he very pru- . dently forbore to communicate to Mr. Brande any more information than would serve to make his readers eager for the rest. Mr. Burchell says he had the good fortune, not enjoyed perhaps by any former traveller, to be admitted without reserve into the domestic circles of the natives;' and we may, of course, expect him to give us a more perfect delineation of their real character than could have been done by those who went before him.
• During the whole journey of nearly four years, he never, except in three instances, slept in a house. The result of his travels is an addition to the knowledge of a part of Africa not before explored, and an investigation of many parts already known, and made more at leisure than by former travellers, and under circumstances more favourable for permitting an undisguised view of their inhabitants: multiplied observations, both geographical and astronomical, from which a correct map of his track may be expected: above five hundred sketches and drawings, the subjects of which are landscapes, portraits, natural history, &c.: very large collections in natural history, comprising a hundred and twenty skins of quadrupeds, amongst which are a male and female camelopardalis; and many animals hitherto undescribed: five hundred and forty birds, of two hundred and sixty-five different species: above seventy amphibia: about two thousand five hundred insects, the number of distinct species of which is not yet ascertained: an herbarium in particularly fine preservation, amounting to above forty thousand specimens, including the duplicates; the number of species contained in which is not at present known: geological and mineralogical specimens, &c.; together with various implements and dresses belonging to the natives. pp. 85, 6. Art. VIII. An Account of a New Species of Agave, from the
Biblioteca Italiana. Milan. 1816. This plant is probably of South American origin; and was introduced into Italy, by the way of Lisbon. It is distinguished from the common agave by the turning or rolling back of the segments of the corolla. The trunk is about three feet high and seven inches thick:—the leaves about one yard long; the flower-stem about eight yards high; and the flowers, of which 1482 were counted, about an inch in depth. It belongs to the class and order-Hexandria Monogynia. Art. IX. Description of a new Machine to measure a Shin's Way
by the Logline. By Mr. J. Newman. It will be impossible to give our readers an adequate idea of this instrument without the accompaniment of a plate: Nor could they, indeed, even with a plate, be able to derive any practical information on the subject;—for, although Mr. Newman's talk about its being 'wound up' would lead us to sup
pose that there is clock-work inside, he has very prudently abstained from giving us a description of any thing but the exterior. Our readers, as well as ourselves, must be contented with knowing, therefore, that the machine here described is intended to supersede the use of that cargo of incorrect minute-glasses at present taken out by vessels. He talks of its
beats being heard at a considerable distance:' and we suppose, in fine, that Mr. Newman has constructed a sort of watch on a large scale, which, as it requires no pendulum, will be as good a chronometer at sea as the common clock is upon land. He tells us, that it has received the approbation of many naval officers; and if it is, indeed, as he pretends, a strong, accurate, and very portable instrument, which can be used as well in the dark as in the day-light, we do not want the testimony of any other person or thing to convince us of its superiority to the present minute-glasses. Art. X. Some Account of the Alstenia Teiformis, or Tea of Bo
gota. Drawn up from the Journal of M. Palacio Faxar, by M. Faraday, Assistant in the Laboratory of the Royal Institution.
This is an article for tea-drinkers. The tea of Bogota, while it has all the perspirative and refreshing qualities of the Chinese plant,-is not predestined to flourish any where except in the warm climates. It was found by M. Palacio-Faxar at the height of 1700 fathoms above the level of the sea; and it is, therefore, very rationally concluded by M. Faraday that its cultivation might be successful in no warmer a country than England. One Dr. Mutis was its original discoverer. Art. XI. Historical Notice of the Life and Writings of D. Do
lomieu. By the Count Lacepede. DEODAT-GUY-SILVAIN TANCREDE DE DOLOMIEU was born on the 24th of June, 1750. He was, in his infancy, made one of the Knights of Malta: but he broke the laws of that fraternity by killing an enemy in a duel, and would have suffered the punishment of death had it not been for the clemency, and the consequent pardon, of the Grand Master. He was nevertheless confined in prison, to await the ratification of the Pope; and it was not till the lapse of nine months that Clement (XIII) would consent to his enlargement. He came out a new man. Study and meditation had contributed to sweeten the bitter draught of confinement; and he had taken up the resolution of devoting the remainder of his days to some scientific or literary pursuit. He fixed upon natural history; and though at the age of twentytwo he joined a regiment of the army, to which he had been appointed at fifteen, he found time enough to continue the prosecution of his chosen study, and within two or three years published Italian translations, with notes, of Cronsted's Mineralogy and of Bergman on Volcanic Substances. About the same period he became acquainted with La Rochefoucault; and published, not long afterwards (1775), his Inquiry concerning the Weight of Bodies at different distances from the centre of the Earth. Through the influence of La Rochefoucault he was elected a corresponding member of the Paris Academy of Science; a distinction so unexpected and flattering that he quit the military profession, and betook himself to mineralogical travelling. Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius, the Appennines, and the Alps,—all came successively under his scrutinizing eye. Nor did his travels stop here. He published, in 1763, a description of the Lipari Islands; in 1784, an account of the phenomenon attending the earthquake which happened in Calabria; and in 1788, a Memoir on the Ponticen Island, together with a Catalogue Raisonne of the volcanic specimens which he had collected on Mount Etna.
M. Dolomieu took the republican side in the revolution; but he became obnoxious to no party during its earlier stages; and busied himself in the prosecution of his studies and in the publication of books. His first work was on the Origin of Basalt; the second on a Species of Calcareous Stone, which had never before been remarked, and to which, therefore, naturalists agreed to give the name of Dolomite;—the third and fourth, on Rocks and Compound Stones; and the fifth, on the Oil of Petroleum, and the Elastic Fluids extracted from Quartz. About this time he was proscribed for the ardour with which he had defended his friend, La Rochefoucault; and, though compelled to wander from one place of concealment to another, he found the means of publishing one Memoir upon the Figured Stones of Florence, and another upon the physical constitution of Egypt. Towards the third year of the Republic, however, the storm which beat so pitilessly upon him began to abate. He was included in the newly established Ecole de Mines; and printed several papers upon the component parts of volcanic mountains. About the same time the National Institute was formed. Dolomieu was one of the original members; and, in about three years, he published no less than twenty-seven memoirs,—the principal subjects of which were leucite, peridot, anthracite, colour considered as a character of stones, the heat of lava, the nomenclature of rocks, and the definition of the limits of mineralogy, mineral chymistry, geology, and mining. He undertook also a new journey through the south of France, and the vallies of the Alps; carrying the hammer in his hand, and forcing nature, by dint of hard pounding, to disclose her secrets. He returned at the end of six months with an immense collection of specimens, -anck