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Solicitors, and other practitioners, ap- writ directed to the Sheriff, and after pear to have a sufficient participation citation and appearance of the defenin this gainful trade, to prevent them dant in Court, the cause of action is from making any complaint. It will, explained by the plaintiff, in a detherefore, depend upon the public claration. Anciently, a similar pracspirit of the country gentlemen, and tice existed in Scotland. In virtue the mercantile and maritime classes, of the Act 1457, c. 62, a brieve was whether Parliament shall be moved obtained from Chancery,("the Kinges to abolish or reform this system. Chappel,") directed to the Sheriff, to

It is matter of regret, that the call the parties before the Lordes former and last Commissioners, from of Session,” to answer to a matter to a delicacy, perhaps, to the Writers to be then laid against them. So late as the Signet, have neither made any 1672, the practice of engrossing in inquiry, nor reported to Parliament the summons a full statement of the any opinion on this very important facts and the conclusions, was unsubject. Hence there is no provision known. This practice continued till on the subject in the new bill, al- 1723, when the Writers to the Signet though falling within the compass of obtained an Act of Sederunt directthe inquiry of the last Commission- ing the declaration and conclusions ers, and the professed object of the to be embodied in the summons, and new bill.

a copy served on the defender. From The Commissioners in 1818, in- the establishment of the College of deed, admit that they had not made Justice in 1537 till 1723, therefore, the necessary inquiry, and were not it appears that blank summonses were prepared " to state any opinion as to used. The same practice is still conihe expediency of introducing a more tinued in the Admiralty and Teind direct and simple form of personal Courts. execution." But with respect to the The modern practice of embodydeerees of Sheriffs for sums to the ing a full statement in the summons amount of £.40, those Commission- seems to have been introduced chiefly ers reported that signet hornings and to secure a monopoly to the Writers captions were unnecessary, and that to the Signet. It appears to have no the decrees of Sheriffs, like those of other recommendation. But by a Magistrates of Royal Burghs, should decision of the House of Lords' in be an effectual warrant to poind or 1800, the Solicitors were found enimprison," without any previous in- titled to a share in the monopoly. terposition of the Supreme Court." The Scotch practice, however,ought, Their recommendation to this extent on general grounds, to be assimilated has, however, been hitherto disre- as near as possible to that of Enggarded by the Legislature. But the land. The remedy seems easy, and reasons in support of the recommen- would be attended with very benefidation, stated by the Commissioners, cial consequences. All that is necessufficiently shew the expediency of sary is to have either brieves or short abolishing, in all cases, signet writs, summonses. If the last are preferred, and substituting a more simple and let any statements, or averments of less expensive mode of bringing ac- facts, be excluded, and the summons tions into court, and putting decrees confined shortly to the name of the into execution.

plaintiff and defendant,—the amount Although there is a quarto volume of the debt,--the conclusions,—and of the forms of the different writs the warrant of citation. Of this no passing the Signet, we conceive they amendment should ever be permite may be resolved chiefly into two ted. The facts on which the sumclasses : 1, Summonses and arrest- mons is founded should be stated ments, and inhibitions thereon; and, without argument separately, in a 2, Arrestments, inhibitions, horn- declaration, and served on the des ings and poindings, and captions, fender along with citation. The warfollowing upon decrees.

rant of citation should be in a print1. Summonses.

ed form, as in the Admiralty and

Teind Courts, and contain warrant In England, a person is generally also to arrest and inhibit, and in that cited to appear in "Court by a short state should pass the Signet blank,

but be always libelled before service, The average expense of raising and
or using arrestment or inhibition. executing signet-letters, viz. sum-
The arrestment or inhibition should inons, arrestment, inhibitions, sus-
fall to the ground, unless the sum- pensions, horning and poinding, and
mons were lodged with the Clerk of caption, may be stated from £. 10 to
Court, on expiry of the induciæ. A £.25 upon each debt, although, pero
copy of the summons and executions, haps, not exceeding £.5 or £.10 in
as an inhibition recorded in the re- ainount.
cord of inhibitions, like a copy of a By the new plan proposed, the blank
petition for sequestration, should be warrant of citation, arrestment, and
a sufficient inhibition. Mr Forsyth, ivhibition, should cost about seven
Advocate, who has perhaps had more shillings, and all the other expenses
practice, and is better skilled in Scots of letters of horning, arrestment, &c.
forms than any other counsel now would be savedl, cxcept a trifle for re-
at the Bar, concurs substantially in cording an inhibition or charge, be-
approving of this plan. « Return cause the warrants to arrest, poind,
(says he, App. p. 148.,) to blank &c. would be contained in, and ap-
writs, or writs of style, shewing mere- pended to the original decree.
ly the nature of the demand.

Let

If, again, these extracts and the the pleadings in Court begin with a copy for the record were allowed, as declaration, or claim by the pursuer; in the Jury Court, to be prepared by stating his case."

the agents themselves, one extractor 2. Hornings, Cuptim, Sc.

might sign all the extracts of the

Court of Session, and thus the whole When a decree is obtained, the ex- expense of the absurd establishment tract should have appended, in a of so many extractors might be savedl. printed form, warrant to charge, ar- The only objection to the econorest, inhibit, poind, and imprison ;- mical plan proposed, is the vested and no separate letters of horning and interest of the Writers to the Signet. poinding, arrestment, and inhibition It would not be difficult to show and caption, which are quite super- that all the compensation which they fluous and unnecessary, should be could fairly claim would be very permitted. The unnecessary and ex- trifling. But their claims of compensive forms of letters of suspension pensation should be no obstacle to and advocation, which are abolished such a vational benefit. Let the Ba. in maritime causes, but are carelessly rons of Exchequer be empowered to intended by the new bill to be con. examine these claims, and to sustain tinued, should in all cases be abo. them in so far as may be just. lished.

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Loch-a-bo. How sweet a little spot is here !

O, from loath'd scenes of selfish strise, Who'd think, 'ınid shapeless hills so drear, Where dulness chills the springs of life, To meet with such a scene ?

How gladly I'd retreat
It seems some fairy solitude,

To this embow'ring solitude,
Where elves resort in lightsome mood, Where no vain cares or wrongs obtrude
To sport 'mong copses green.

The tranquil mind to fret!
How calm the little lake doth lie, All day, among the willows green,
Reflecting the soft Summer sky,

I'd muse upon the varied scene
One sheet of azure hue !

In soothing reverie ;
And, raising their round heads, are seen The deer would pass me tamely by ;
The wooded isles of softest green,

The wild drake on his webb’d oars lie,
Ainid the waters blue.

Not timorous of me.
Dark woods hemm'd round on every side, And when at eve far to the woods,
And tow'ring hills extended wide, The heron, angler of the foods,
Shut out the world unknown;

Slow soaring took his fight;
No human footstep presses here ;

I'd cross the blue lake in my skiff, The wild fowl and the dappled deer To the lone cot beside the cliff, Make the lone spot their own.

And dream of bliss all night! C.

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ON THE FIGURE OF THE EARTII. A SPECTATOR, placed on any part the sun, and the meridian altitudes of the earth's surface, sees around of all the other heavenly bodies, him a certain limited portion of its when seen from different parts of its surface, and this portion is called the surface, or in different latitudes; and visible horizon of that place. If the this variation, when accurately obspectator advances twenty or thirty served at two places, whose distance miles from his first position, in any is known, or which we can measure, direction, either east, west, north, enables us to determine, with great or south, he will have an entirely accuracy, the diameter of the earth. new visible horizon, which will not It is difficult, however, when meacontain any one of the objects which suring the meridional distance bewere seen in his first position. By tween two places, to keep always advancing still farther, he will have exactly in that meridian ; we may another visible horizon, filled again deviate a little to the one side or to with fresh objects, and bounded by the other, in consequence of which, a different portion of the earth. if our measured distance between the the earth were perfectly globular, two places will be greater than the the boundaries of all these visible true distance. We can place upright horizons would, in every position, poles, or other objects, in the meribe circles ; but as the figure of the dian which lies between the two earth is that of an oblate spheroid, places, in the following manner: the boundaries of all the visible ho. Let a transit instrument, at one of rizons, except when the spectator is the places, be placed in the meridian, at either of the poles, will be ellipses. by the help of circumpolar stars, or Now the perpetual change of objects otherwise; direct the telescope toin the visible horizon cannot pos- wards a distant object, some part of sibly arise from the inequalities of which is in the meridian. Upon this the earth's surface, considered as a object make a mark, exactly in the plane of indefinite extent; for even direction of the vertical wire in the from the highest mountains in one of middle of the telescope ; this point the horizons, we cannot see the ob- will be in the meridian: the same jects contained in the other. It fol. kind of operation may be made at lows, then, that the surface of the the second station which was made earth is not plane, but convex; and at the first; and, in this manner, since this change in the visible hori- the meridian line may be continued zon takes place equally, as to obser- as far as we please. When the dis. ration, in every part of the earth tance between the two places is which has been visited, we are en- measured, and the difference betitled to conclude that the earth is tween the zenith distances of a star round. When the visible horizon is situated on the same meridian, corcomposed wholly of sea, we have oc- responding with the measured discular proof of the earth's convexity. tance, is ascertained; this is what As a ship comes in sight, the top of astronomers call the measure of a dethe mast first appears, while the gree of the meridian. The measurehull and the sails, at least the lower ment of two degrees, in the direcparts of them, are invisible. We tion of the meridian, in two different next perceive more of the rigging, latitudes, is sufficient to determine and, as she approaches, the whole of the two axes of the generating elthe vessel rises, as it were, above the lipse, and, consequently, the figure horizon, or above the convexity of of the earth, supposing it to be ellipthe sea ;-and the surface of the tical. Several degrees have been earth is nothing more than the con- measured, in different latitudes, and tinuation of the surface of the sea, in the result of these measurements is, all directions, and raised a little fare that the mean diameter of the earth ther from the earth's centre. The is about 7912 miles ;-that a degree globular form of the earth is still of the meridian is longer at the poles more satisfactorily proved by the va- than at the equator ; and, therefore, riation in the mid-day altitudes of that the earth is an oblate spheroid, VOL. XV.

D

2

a solid generated by the revolution of the gratuitous suppositions which an ellipse about its shorter axis, and Newton had adopted, that if a plathat the proportion of the less axis is net, supposed to be fluid and homoto the greater as 300 to 301. The geneous, be composed of particles difference, however, in the results which attract in the ratio of their which have been obtained by ma- masses, and inversely as the square king use of various degrees measured of their distances, at the same time in different parts of the earth, by col- that it revolves round an axis in a lating them in pairs, was sufficient given time, it will remain in equilito induce Laplace to suspect that the brium if it have the form of an el. earth is really not a solid of revolue liptic spheroid, wbatever may be the tion, but that the terrestrial meri- ratio of the axis. Maclaurin has only dian is a curve of double curvature. employed in his demonstrations the That illustrious philosopher was led synthetic geometry of the ancients ; to this erroneous conclusion, partly but we regard his method as a masby making use of the incorrect de ter-piece, superior to any thing which gree of the meridian measured by Archimedes or Apollonius has left Maupertius and his associates in Lap- us.” Maclaurin divided the prize land, and some similar wrong results given by the Academy of Sciences at given by La Caille, deduced from Paris with Euler and Daniel Bernoumeasurements and experiments made illi. Now, although it was thus deat the Cape of Good Hope, and partly monstrated that the parts of a homoby an error in his own calculations, geneous fluid, (on which the figure which affected his results. From of the earth, just described, was any subsequent experiments, however, how induced, would be in equilibrio, more accurately conducted, it is now yet it was not shown inversely, that extremely probable that the earth is whenever an equilibrium takes place a solid of revolution, and that both in such a fluid mass, the figure of hemispheres are exactly similar. The the mass must be the oblate sphedegree in Lapland has been re-mea- roid in question. D'Alembert, indeed, sured, and an error detected in the showed that there are more spheroids old measurement of about 200 fa- than one, in which the state of cquithoms. Professor Playfair ascribed librium may be maintained, and this the small discrepancies, which arise result, though it was not observed by from making use of measured degrees Maclauriu, might easily, however, in different places, to the unequal have been inferred from his solution. density of the materials of which Legendre afterwards proved that the the carth may be composed at those solids of equilibrium must always places near its surface, by means of be elliptic spheroids; and that, in which the direction of gravity may general, there are two spheroids that be disturbed.

will satisfy the specified conditions. A homogeneous fluid, of the mean In the case of a homogeneous mass density of the earth, and revolving on, of the mean density of the earth, reits axis in 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 ,volving in the space of 23 hours, 56 seconds, of solar time, would be in minutes, 4 seconds, one of the spheequilibrio if it had the figure of an roids is that above mentioned, the oblate spheroid, of which the axis is Other is one in which the equatorial to the equatorial diameter as 229 to diameter is to the polar as 681 to 1. 230. This is the figure which Newe Laplace has added the following liton ascribed to the earth ; his inves- mnitations. A fuid and homogeneous tigation of its figure, however, though mass cannot be in equilibrium with extremely ingenious, involved as- an elliptic figure, if the time of its sumptions which prevented it from rotation be less than 2 hours, 25 being quite satisfactory. A very ac- minutes, 17 seconds. If the time of curate and elegant demonstration was revolution be greater than this, there not long after given by Maclaurin, will always be two elliptic figures, or which was afterwards improved, and spheroids, and not more, in which rendered more analytical, by Clairaut. an equilibrium may be maintained. Respecting Maclaurin's solution, If the earth be not homogeneous, Bossut makes the following remark: but composed of strata that increase “ He demonstrated, without any of in density as they approach the cen

tre, it will still be an elliptic sphe- another about 2.75, and some of the roid, but of less oblateness than if it rocks as high as 3, and even 3.2. On were homogeneous. This was de the whole, then, it appears not unmonstrated by Clairaut. Newton reasonable to suppose the mean specifell into a mistake, by supposing the fic gravity of the mountain to be from contrary to be the case. The greater 2.7, to 2.75, or 23. Now, { x 24, density of the earth, towards the gives bé, or almost 5 ; that is, under centre, is in itself probable; but it these circumstances, the medium has been placed beyond the possie density, or specific gravity of the bility of doubt, by very accurate ex. whole mass of the earth, in proporperiments made on different sides of tion to that of water, is nearly as 5 the mountain Schehallien, in Perth to 1, or that it is about five times shire, by the late Dr Maskelyne. the weight of water."--Hutton's

By observations of the zenith dis- Tracts, p. 64. Vol. II. Newton tances of stars, the difference of the thought it probable that the mean latitude of two stations on the north density of the earth might be five or and south sides of the mountain was six times as great as the density of determined. A trigonometrical sur- water, and it has now been detervey of the mountain (executed, we mined to be five times as great. have been informed, by the late Reu- « Since, therefore, the common mate ben Burrow) ascertained the distance ter of our earth on the surface therebetween the two stations; and thence, of is about twice as heavy as water, from the known length of a degree and a little lower, in mines, is found of the meridian under that parallel, about three or four, or even five the difference of the latitudes of the times more heavy, it is probable that two stations was inferred, and was

the quantity of the whole matter of found less by 11.6" than by astro- the earth may be five or six times nomical observations. The zeniths, greater than if it consisted all of then, of the stations, had been see

water, especially as I have showed parated from each other by more before that the earth is about four than the usual proportion of the me- times more dense than Jupiter.”— ridian distance; and this could only Principia, Book III. p. 230. arise from the plummet on each side Notwithstanding the irregularities being attracted towards the body of above-mentioned, the figure of the the mountain. From the quantity earth is so near to the spheroid of of this change, in direction of the equilibrium, as to indicate either the plummet, the ratio of the attraction

original fluidity of the whole mass, of the mountain to the attraction of

or the gradual acquisition of a sphethe whole earth, or to the force of roidal figure, in consequence of the gravity, was calculated by Dr C.

repeated waste and reconsolidation of Hutton, and 'found to be as 1 to the parts near the surface. If the 17,804. The bulk and figure of the whole mass of the earth was ever in mountain also being given, from an a fluid state, it must have been so actual survey, its mean density was from the action of heat. The insofound to be, to the mean density of lubility of the greatest part of rocks the earth, nearly as 5 to 9. The and minerals in water, and the iminean density of the earth, then, is

mense quantity of that fluid which nearly double the density of the would be required for dissolving even rocks which compose Schehallien; those that are soluble, are insuperawhich appears, again, to be consi- ble objections to the hypothesis of derably more dense than the mean of aqueous formation. The igneous forthose which form the general exte- mation is not subject to either of rior crust of the earth. From a sur- these difficulties. vey of the mountain, made after- The spheroidal figure may have wards by Mr Playfair, its density been gradually acquired, without was ascertained to be greater than supposing the original fluidity of the Dr Hutton had supposed it to be. whole mass. In a terraqueous body, “By what Mr Playfair could con- however irregular its primitive form, jecture, the mean specific gravity of the prominent parts are subject to the whole would be about 2.7 or be worn down; and having been thus 2.8, one stratum being about 2.4, detached, will be carried to the lower

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