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our nation abounded with more frequent examples of persons of like rank and ability with your Lordship, equally desirous of promoting this, as well as every other branch of natural knowledge, that tends to the honour and benefit of our country.

• But were the patrons of arts and sciences ever so numerous, the subject of my present letter is of such a nature, as must direct me to beg leave to address it to the Earl of Macclesfield; not only as a most competent judge of it, but as the sole person in this nation, that hath instruments proper to examine into the truths of the facts here related. And it is a particular satisfaction to me, that after so long an attendance upon these phenomena, I am allowed the lionour of transmitting the account of them to the public through your Lordship’s hands, as it gives me at the same time an opportunity of professing the grateful sense ! shall ever retain, both of the signal favours which I formerly received from the noble Lord your father, and of the many recent obligations conferred by yourself.'

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This letter was received by the Royal Society with peculiar favour. On the 14th December, 1730, when Bradley communicated to that body his discovery of the Aberration, it was unanimously resolved by the council . to discharge him from future payments, ' and to give him liberty to take up his bond gratis, in considera• tion of his useful and curious discoveries and inventions in As'tronomy, which redounded greatly to the honour of the Society;' but as Bradley was now above the world, the council voted to him the Copley medal for his paper on Nutation, and in the vote of thanks which they recorded, they characterised his discoveries • as a lasting honour to himself, to his country, and to the pre• sent age.'

In the year 1726, an attempt was made by the Royal Society to obtain a small sum from Government to provide suitable instruments for the Royal Observatory; but the ignorant administrations which governed England at that period, spurned from them the claims of science. A petition of the same body in 1748, received more attention ; and upon the recommendation of Lord Anson and the Lords of the Admiralty, L.1000 was given by the King,' to be paid out of the money arising from the old stores of the navy, to buy some astronomical instruments for

the use of the Royal Observatory.' This miserable donation, so miserably given, after twenty-four years of supplication, was laid out by Bradley with great judgment and economy; and with the assistance probably of the Board of Ordnance, the Observatory was put into a respectable state of repair.

Dr Bradley seems to have had a considerable share in the assimilation of the British Kalendar to that of other nations. Lord Chesterfield was the original promoter of this measure which was supported by the Earl of Macclesfield, Lord Chancellor Hard

wick, and Mr Pelham, and finally carried in 1751. Bradley composed the three tables at the end of the bill, the first of which is found in the English Prayer-Book; and Lord Macclesfield had the charge of the provisions of the bill, and supplied all the science which it required. The following curious anecdote happily illustrates the presumption and ignorance of the mob of those days :

"Lord Chesterfield took pains, in the periodical journals of the day, to prepare the minds of the public for the change; but he found it much easier to prevail with the legislature, than to reconcile the great mass of the people to the abandonment of their inveterate habits. When Lord Macclesfield's eldest son stood the great contested election for Oxfordshire in 1754, one of the most vehement cries raised by the mob against him, was, "Give us back the eleven days we have been robbed of;" and even several

years after, when Bradley, worn down by his labours in the cause of scienie, was sinking under the disease which closed his mortal career, many of the common people attributed his sufferings to a judgment from heaven, for his having been instrumental in what they considered to be so impious an undertakivg.'

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When Bradley accepted of the office of Astronomer-Royal in 1742, he became entitled,' as Professor Rigaud states, to no

than the L.100 per annum which had been originally assigned to Flamstead, and which was considerably reduced by

the fees deducted from it at the public offices. For nearly ten years he received only this miserable pittance; and though Mr Pelham offered him, in 1751, the Vicarage of Greenwich, yet he felt the incompatibility between the duties of an AstronomerRoyal and those of an officiating clergyman, and from the noblest molives he refused to accept of it. This generous and highminded sacrifice met with an immediate reward. On the 15th February, 1752, the King granted him a pension of L.250 per annum, in consideration of his great skill and knowledge in the ' several branches of astronomy and the other parts of mathe

matics, which have proved so useful to the trade and navigation of the kingdom.'

With this new incentive to labour, Bradley continued his observations with unremitting ardour; and the reader may form some idea of his diligence from the fact, that the Greenwich observations between 1750 and 1762, which have been published, occupy 931 large folio pages, and contain about 60,000 observations.

Fatigued by his numerous duties, Bradley resigned in 1760 his office of Reader on Experimental Philosophy at Oxford; and the last scientific object to which he was able to attend, was the transit of Venus in 1761. The Royal Society had proposed to

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send qualified persons to different parts of the globe to observe this rare phenomenon; and so contemptible were the means which they possessed for carrying this plan into execution, that. Dr Bradley was requested to inform himself, against the next council, upon what terms the several instruments might be hired for the occasion, the Society giving security for their restitution. On the day of the transit, Dr Bradley was so ill that Dr • Bliss was obliged to take his place at the observatory.

Our eye,' says Professor Rigaud, “looks into the Greenwich Registers with feelings of interest for traces of that hand which conveyed so much instruction to mankind, and catches occasionally the sight of it till 1st September, 1761, when the sun's transit was the last observation that Bradley ever entered, most probably that he ever made. His existence continued for a few months longer, but bis scientific career was closed.'

For several years before his death he had felt strong symptoms of decay, which produced a melancholy depression of spirits. This distress arose from an apprehension that he would survive his reason; but his fears were groundless. He preserved his faculties unimpaired, and died of a chronic inflammation in the abdominal viscera, in the house of his father-in-law, Samuel Peach, Esq., at Chalford, in Gloucestershire, on the 13th July, 1762, in the 70th year of his age. He was buried at Minchinhampton beside his mother and his wife, and an inscription to his memory, composed by Dr Blayney of Oxford, was engraven on a brass plate upon his tomb. He left an only daughter to bewail his death.

Such is a brief analysis of Professor Rigaud's valuable memoir. The practical astronomer must have recourse to the original, to obtain the gratification which he will not fail to receive from its perusal. To us it has all the charms of a romance; and we are convinced that those who, either as amateurs or as astronomers, have devoted any portion of their time to the construction and use of optical and astronomical instruments, will appreciate the sources of interest to which we refer.

The rest of this large volume consists of three portions, namely, those papers of Dr Bradley which appeared in previous publications--the papers which are now printed for the first time---and his astronomical correspondence.

The first of these portions consists of papers chiefly taken from the Philosophical transactions, and occupies 116 pages: The second portion, which occupies 275 pages, consists of the following papers :


1. Description of Molineux’s instrument put up at Kew. By S. Molyneux.

2. Observations made at Kew, from the MSS. of Molyneux and Bradley.

3. Memoranda respecting Bradley's instrument at Wansted. 4. Zenith observations at Wansted. 5. Demonstration of the rules for aberration. 6. Reduction of the Wansted observations. 7. Miscellaneous Astronomical observations.

8. State of the instruments at the Greenwich Observatory in 1742:

9. Experiments to determine the length of the pendulum at Greenwich.

10. Memoranda for observing the Transit of Venus.

Dr Bradley's correspondence, which forms the third part of the original papers, occupies 120 pages; and consists of letters from Clairant, Lacaille, Pingré, Maupertuis, Lemonnier, De Lisle, P. Frisi, Gesner, Ferner, Grischow, Earl of Macclesfield, James Ferguson, G. Graham, Joseph Harris, James Stirling, S. Molyneux, J. Bevis, N. Bliss, Mat. Raper, T. Melvill, and C. Walmesly. Bradley's own letters are addressed to the Earl of Macclesfield, Dr Smith, James Stirling, G. Graham, Maupertuis, Dr Bevis, M. De Lisle, M. Lemonnier, Grischow, Barker, Hadley and Nash. These letters are of course interesting only to astronomers.

Professor Rigaud has added a very curious appendix, containing Harriot's observations, in 1607, upon Halley's comel. They had been so disfigured by Baron Zach, that a faithful réprint of them was necessary. The originals are at Petworth, among the Harriot papers, in the possession of the Earl of Egremont, to whom they descended from Henry, Earl of Northumberland.

În à copious supplement to this work, published by Mr Rigaud, in 1833, he has given a most elaborate and interesting account of these papers, along with fac similes of Harriot's observations on the satellites of Jupiter, and the spots upon the Sun; and he has showh, in opposition to Baron Zach, who had taken a most erroneous view of the contents of these MSS., that Harriot had not anticipated Galileo, either in the discovery of the solar spots, or of the satellites of Jupiter.

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This, and all the other årticles are from Bradley's! MSS, unless otherwise mentioned.

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We cannot conclude this article without expressing to the University of Oxford the gratitude which every astronomer must feel for its liberality in publishing so expensive a work, and illustrating it with so many interesting embellishments. Distinguished as Oxford has been among the Universities of Europe, and as the seat of classical and ethical learning in England, it has not been wanting in its contributions to the mathematical and physical sciences. If it cannot boast of a Newton, it can yet marshal the names of Briggs, Wren, Halley, Ward, Gregory, Keill, and Bradley. Even now, when science has been gradually decaying in many of the other universities of Britain, it has been throwing out new and vigorous shoots on the banks of the Isis; and by the genius and learning of such men as Buckland, Rigaud, Kidd, Daubeny, Powell, and others, the tide of discovery, which, in obedience to its primordial law, has been quitting our eastern shores, may be arrested in its westward course, and bear to the city of palaces' some of its choicest and its proudest gists.

Arr. IV.-Strafford; a Tragedy : in Five Acts. By J.

BROWNING, Esq. 8vo. London: 1837


his is a play which, aided by the exertions of Mr Macready, had a considerable share of success on the London theatre this year. Low as the condition of our national stage at present is, this favourable run of a simple historical play, on an English subject, by an author little known, and unassisted, as far as we can discover, by any advantage of puffing, or green-room connexion, is a phenomenon to which we feel ourselves called upon to attend. We use our best exertions to keep au courant of the literature of the day; and yet, with the single exception of

lon,' we have scarcely had for years occasion to concern ourselves with the acting drama. If we might be permitted the use of so vain-glorious an argument, we should say that this very

circumstance proves how small a space the acting drama occupies in the thoughts of the literary world. This is a melancholy reflection to us, who are firm in the persuasion that high dramatic excellence, and popular interest in its exhibition, are at once causes and indications of a vigorous and healthy tone of public feeling. Nor is the prospect materially improved, when we find ourselves called upon to treat such productions as that before us with the respect


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