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selves into one nation, and every thing is extremely ob- truths. Geneva, in its moral and intellectual character,
The remotest portion, indeed, is in utter dark is so essentially French, that we may take it in here, ness; as we approach its termination, light begins to and inform our readers, that they will find in the Foreign break in, but, like the first dawn of morning, it is feeble Review a précis of the labours of the late Etienne Duand uncertain. The second period extends from the ac- mont in the department of Jurisprudence; and, in the cession of Malcolm to the struggle for national independ- Foreign Quarterly, a sketch of his life, which is from ence against Edward I. During its lapse, the Anglo- the pen of Sir James Mackintosh. For information reNorman race were spreading their power, language, and specting the present state of literary and scientific exercustoms throughout the country. The government had tion in France, we must at present look to the Foreign remoulded itself according to the altered character of the Quarterly alone; which contains a history of Pacho, the people, and the original inhabitants had sunk into a se- enterprising traveller in the Cyrenaica, with an abstract condary importance. The new masters, however, had not of his discoveries, (by Mr Conder, the Editor of the contracted a local attachment to their new possessions—a Eclectic Review, and also of Modern Voyages and Tracircumstance which held out flattering hopes to the ambi- vels;) a review of a French Tour through the Nethertion of the English kings. The third period may be lands, (by Bowring ;) an instructive article on the recent viewed as commencing with the accession of Robert progress of Physical Astronomy, apropos of Pontécoulant's Bruce. The different classes had been fairly beaten into “ 'Théorie Analytique du Système du Monde,” (by Mr something like unity of sentiment and attachment to the Galloway, a Scotchman ;) an article on Denon's historical country. From this time we may date the existence of researches in the province of the Fine Arts; and another Scotland as a nation; and from this time our annals be- on a translation of the Greek Erotic writers, now in come clearer and more copious.
progress at Paris. In treating this part of our history—as far as he has Spain. -- Nobody expects much from this country just yet gone—Sir Walter has confined himself to a history of The Foreign Quarterly contains some important the executive. We have almost no notices of the body statistical details of its present condition, by Mr M‘Culof the nation, nor perhaps do many materials exist, out loch, the political economist ; and a critical sketch of of which these more domestic annals could be constructed. the dramatic works of Gorostiza, a Spanish Creole. The The appreciation of the different kings and statesmen, and Foreign Review has three paragraphs :- One on the of their measures, is made with much discrimination. Strange Adventures of a Young Biscayan Girl of the The comparisons of the respective forces of Scotland and 16th Century; another on a Treatise on Political EcoEngland are strikingly just.
nomy, with a particular application to the present state On the whole, we have really read this work with de- of Spain ; and the third on a Memorial by Sr. Gonlight. There breathes throughout a spirit of fairness and salez Azaola, now travelling, by order of his sovereign, candour, and a tempered humanity, which are the evi- through France, Flanders, and England,“ to ascei tain dence of rich feeling, ripened by a long experience. the best method for organizing companies, which foreigners
are invited to join, under the protection of the Spanish
government, and with the most ample guarantees, in order The Foreign Quarterly Review. No. IX. November, to establish associations for working coal, iron, and other 1829. London. Treuttel and Wurtz.
mines in the Peninsula.” We think that the statistical The Foreign Review and Continental Miscellany. No. notices in the Foreign Quarterly, taken in connexion IX. November, 1829. London. Black, Young, and
with the other facts just mentioned, are charming indica Young,
tions that, disorganized and degraded though Spain may
be, her case is not yet utterly hopeless. These are good and interesting Numbers of their re- Italy. - The Foreign Quarterly has a long and intespective works; and such being the case, we are in no resting article on the southern dialects of Italy. It conhurry to ascertain which is the better, being most de- tains, likewise, a notice of the Venetian Pindemonte, the cidedly of the same opinion with that unquestionable friend of Alfieri and Foscolo; and avails itself of the authority, in all matters of taste and literature, Mrs Ma- opportunity afforded by the publication of the latter's laprop, that " comparisons are odoriferous.” We prefer Operette, to correct some of his misrepresentations regiving an analysis of their contents, stating, in a few garding his treatment in England. The Foreign Rewords, our opinion of any article that may seem to have view has an article on the works of the Florentine, Nicopeculiar claims to praise or blame, as it passes under re- lini, a personal friend of Foscolo, calculated to throw view. We arrange the articles under the heads of the additional light on modern Italian literature. respective nations of whose literature they profess to Germany. All the notices in both reviews respecting
this country, are strictly literary, except some statistical France.— The Foreign Review has this time assumed intelligence regarding Prussia, and a retrospective glance the occupation of its defunct brother, (is it defunct ?) the at the state of the administration of justice in Hungary, Retrospective, and treated us to a commentary on the towards the close of the eighteenth century, in the FoEssays of Montaigne. We class, under the same depart. reign Review. In reference to archæological knowledge, ment of literary enquiry, (namely, the retrospective,) a we find, in the Foreign Quarterly, reviews of Heeren's short article, in this Journal, on a French translation of an Treatise on the Politics, Intercourse, and Commerce of old Italian chronicle, entitled “ The Convent of Bajano;" | the Ancients; and a supplementary artiele to that, which and an equally short review in its competitor, of a His-had already appeared in the saine journal, on Niebuhr's tory of the Inquisition of France. Coming nearer to our Roman History. The Foreign has a review of Pinder's own days, we find the leading article of the Foreign Quar- | Antiquarian Researches into the knowledge and estiterly treating, in an amiable and philosophical spirit, of mation of the Diamond, in the different ages which have the additional light thrown upon the personal character preceded ours; and also notices of Matthias's late edition of Napoleon by the Memoirs of Bourrienne ; and also re- of Euripides, and the Bonn Philologists' edition of Synbuking the lies of Méry and Barthélémy, in their poem cellus and Nicephorus. To the literature of an age goue entitled Waterloo ; whilst the Foreign Review gives us a by, but which still continues to exercise a mighty influence notice of the Memoirs of the Duke of Rovigo; and in an on the intellect of the present, belong the works of Schiller, article on the Memoirs of Vidocq, affords a spirited expo- Richter, and the two Counts Stolberg. The dissertation sure of the character and tendency of the modern Conti- on the “Wallenstein's Camp" of Schiller, together with nental police, with an application to some late innovations the copious poetical translations from that piece, (in the in this department of the executive at home. The paper, Foreign Quarterly,) are by the saine masterly hand that likewise, on the new French Ministry, contaius some home- some years ago favoured the public with the other two
parts of this trilogy. One of these extracts appeared some the female mind, and the embellishment of the female months ago in our own columns. We thought highly of it person, Before examining them, we were afraid that then; but now, that we see it along with its companions, we the contents might be too light and trivial, and that they do not hesitate to say, that the translator has succeeded in might be more calculated to amuse the young lady's fancy giving to the English public a spirited and faithful ver- or flatter her vanity, than to extend her knowledge or sion of a poem which we once held to be utterly untrans- improve her taste. We have been, in this respect, most lateable. The Account of the Life and Writings of Jean agreeably disappointed. The Editor of the volume (or, Paul Richter, which forms the leading article in the Fo- we should rather say, the Editors, for we can scarcely reign Review, is by a gentleman of whose talents we have suppose the whole to emanate from one pen,) has had far often taken occasion to express ourselves with much ad- more important objects in view, and by his mode of treatmiration. We have little doubt that he will receive both ing the various subjects he discusses, has proved himself our praise and blame with the same profound disregard at once a person of extensive reading, of excellent judg. which he has evinced towards praise and blame from the ment, of gentlemanly breeding, and of distinct percepvery highest authorities. Nevertheless, we cannot re- tions regarding what constitutes the true value of the frain from intreating Mr Carlisle once more to try to female character. We do not know any way in which a write the language of common men. There has crept young lady could better spend a portion of her time than into his style of thought, feeling, and language, an affec- | in going through this book from beginning to end. We tation of which we find no traces in his earlier writings, venture to say that she would rise from its perusal wiser which adds nothing to the force of his really original and better. Neither would she study it as a task, at views, and which is repulsive and disgusting to the least if she had those dispositions, and that honourable mass of readers. We regret to see a man, who might so ambition, which we hope all young ladies have. Though easily unbosom his rich treasure of hidden thought to his very far from being of a frivolous and ephemeral nature, fellows, persist in conveying it through a medium which still the work is written in that pleasing, flowing, and he knows to be unpalatable. The Counts Stolberg are almost conversational style, which irresistibly wins upon worthy of attention, as the first sheep, who, in a fit of the attention, and communicates instruction in the most sentimental and mystical enthusiasm, leaped back over the agreeable of all ways. wall which marks the precincts of the Romish fold-an The following subjects are treated of, under distinct exploit which, in consonance with the gregarious charac- heads, and all in a liberal and enlightened spirit :- Moral ter of that animal, has since been followed by a numerous Deportment_Botany, or the Florist-Mineralogy-Conbleating and baaing herd. The Exposition of the Tenets chology-Entomology— The Aviary—The Toilet-Emof the Jesuits, by Girardet of Dresden, is meant to sup- broidery- The Escrutoire Painting—Music-Dancing ply some information of the manner in which these fa
-Archery-Riding-and the Ornamental Artist, wathers work upon the weak heads of weak men; but un- der which head are comprised instructions in a great rafortunately, the worthy pastor has borrowed both facts riety of elegant accomplishments, and works of art and and arguments from Pascal's Lettres d'un Provençal, ingenuity. It may be thought that some of the abore diand, what is worse, has by no means improved them by visions inust necessarily be rather dry reading ; but none
In intimate connexion with this whimper- of them are so. There is just enough of science introing sect, stands the great humbug, Animal Magnetism, duced to make the information valuable; while the whole of whose mysteries a very instructive revelation is given is put into so popular and attractive a garb, that many of in the present Number of the Foreign Review. The the most important truths of even Botany and Mineralonly remaining article that we have to notice in con- ogy are communicated without the aid of any of those nexion with Germany, is a short review in the last-men- long lists of unpronounceable words, whose very appeartioned work, of a book, entitled “ A Monument to the
ance is enough to frighten the youthful student. As a Memory of Moses Mendelsohn,” the most amiable and specimen of the style prevalent throughout the volume, enlightened Hebrew of the eighteenth century.
we extract the following short passage from the chapter Greece.--The Foreign Quarterly contains an able e.r- entitled “ The Florist :" posé of the history and prospects of the new Greek state, “ Should a young lady profess a total disregard of flowers apparently from official documents.
yet be unwilling to admit that she was incapable We thought this exhaustive, and perhaps rather dry of feeling their sweet influence, though circumstances might analysis, of the contents of these two Reviews, the best have rendered her insensible to them; and should be inmode of proceeding, in order to convey to our readers an
clined to propose to her a few questions, by way of ascertainidea of the great mass of information they contain re
ing the cause of so-as it would seem to me-unfeminine specting Continental matters. We begin to be of opi- her infancy or childhood, been permitted to run, sit, walk, er
an insensibility. I would ask her, if she had ever, during nion, that the task of opening the eyes of the English gather wild flowers in the green meadows? If she had ever public to the inconceivable fact, that there is such a thing waded, breast high, in the long grass, to gather butter-cups as science and literature beyond the limits of their own and sorrel? If she had ever filled her frock with daisies
, island, will be ultimately effected by the united efforts of priding herself in finding the reddest lipped? If she had these rival works. Like dogs in couples, after all their ever pelted her young companions with balls, made on the snarling and tugging, they seek one common resting-place. with cleavers, and laughed to see their repeatedly vain eo
instant with fresh-gathered cowslips; or slily adorned them They are mutual supplements. We heartily wish success
deavours to escape from their tenacious hold? If she hai to both.
been permitted all these sports, and yet loved not these pretty
toys of her childhood, I should, indeed, fear that her distaste · The Young Lady's Book. A Manual of elegant Recrea- that she, who loved not the lovely dress and various ornar
were a deficiency of taste in general. I should conjecture, tions, Exercises, and Pursuits. London. Vizetelly, ments in which Nature and the Seasons are attired, wonld Branston, & Co. Pp. 506.
have little relish for the delightful scenery of Spenser; that she who failed to treasure up these early
associations of inThis is one of the most elegant, and, in all respects, nocent pleasures, would but ill appreciate the human sym. one of the most appropriate and valuable publications pathies of Shakspeare. If it should appear that these young which the present season has produced. The work is pleasures were wholly unknown to her,--that she had been richly bound in crimson silk, and adorned with an al- accustomed to enjoy the fresh air only in the formal progress most unaccountable number of woodcuts, executed in a
of a school procession, or a fashionable promenade, --if she very graceful and superior style.
had only contemplated the general beauty of the country
But it is for its in- from a carriage window, or her walks had been contined to trinsic and solid merits that we chiefly prize it,--for the her father's grounds,—then, indeed, I should be disposed ting iminense mass of highly useful information which it con- congratulate her, that she possessed pleasures in store, which tuins upon all matters connected with the cultivation of had been denied' to her earlier youth; and to exhort ber tu
throw off the trammels of mistaken dignity, and no longer which we should prefer placing in the hands of our own to debar herself from those innocent enjoyments which im- daughter, or sister, or any young lady, in the improvepartial Nature offers alike to all. I would urge her to seek
ment of whose head and heart we took an especial inthe shade of the woods, the freshness of the hills, the placid beauty of the valleys, and the flowery banks of the winding river. I would entreat her to enfranchise herself from the thrall of Fashion, and visit the spacious orchestra of Na- The Family Library. No. VIII. The Court and Camp ture, that, day and night, resounds with music ;
of Bonaparte. London. John Murray. 1829. * Shrill through the crystal air the music swims, ? To which the humming bee
The two first volumes of the Family Library were Keeps careless company,
dedicated to a Life of Bonaparte; the present volume, Flying, solicitous, from flower to flower,
which, however, is from a different pen, is meant as a Tasting each sweet that dwells
sort of appendix to that work. It contains short biograWithin their scented bells.'”—Pp. 35, 6. phical sketches of all the members of Bonaparte's familyThere is another important matter which has been his brothers, sisters, and wives -- and also of his nine
А strictly attended to in preparing the “ Young Lady's ministers, and twenty-eight Marshals and Generals. Book.” The slightest taint of vulgarity would have en
distinct and compact view is thus afforded of the whole tirely ruined it ; but, as far as we can discover, no such Napoleon system, as it were—himself the sun, and all the taint exists. There is neither, on the one hand, any thing others the satellites that revolved round him, some of them that betrays inferior caste, on the part of the writer,–
in sufficiently eccentric orbits. The necessary shortness nor is there, on the other, any disgusting affectation of of all the sketches detracts somewhat from their interest ; haut ton, or anxiety to inculcate the arbitrary dogmata of but the style in which they are written is vigorous and the merely fashionable circles. A higher and better tone spirited, not untinctured with a certain sarcastic humour,
is assumed,--the tone of one acquainted with the world, which, while it would be inconsistent with the dignity of 1 and whose opinions concerning it are founded upon the regular history, gives additional piquancy to the biography
philosophical basis of extensive experience. The following of the heroes of the French Revolution. We had marked excellent remarks upon Fashion are only a part of a great several passages for extract, but want of room precludes
their insertion. many more, all equally good :
ON THE OBSERVANCE OF FASHION, “ Fashion demands a discreet, but not a servile obedience ; Life of Oliver Cromwell. By the Rev. M. Russell, much judgment may be shown in the time, as well as in
LL.D. Vol. II. Being Vol. XLVIII. of Conthe mode, chosen for complying with her caprices. It is injudicious to adopt every new style immediately it ap
stable's Miscellany. Edinburgh. 1829. pears; for many novelties in dress prove unsuccessful, being Dr Russell has concluded his Life of Cromwell in abandoned even before the first faint impression they produce is worn off; and a lady can scarcely look much more
the same temperate, judicious, and impartial tone in which absurd than in a departed fashion, which, even during its
he commenced it. The second is, upon the whole, a more brief existence, never attained a moderate share of popu- interesting volume than the first, and contains a great larity. The wearer must, therefore, at once relinquish the deal of very excellent writing. We are especially pleased dress, or submit to the unpleasant result we have mention with the chapter “ Containing a review of Cromwell's ed; so that, on the score of economy, as well as good taste, actions and character in the relations of private as well it is advisable not to be too eager in following the modes, as of public life.” We recommend this chapter to the whicb whim or ingenuity create in such constant succession. On the other hand, it is unwise to linger so long as
best attention of the violent partisan on either side of the to suffer Fashion's ever-varying tower to bud, blossom, question; it is full of important truths, and of calm and and nearly waste its sweetness, before we gather and wear
unbiassed deductions from them. Among the literary it. Many persons are guilty of this error : they cautiously public of the present day there is a great craving for abstain from a too early adoption of novelty, and fall into strong excitement, and to them, we can easily conceive the opposite fault, of becoming its proselytes at the eleventh that Dr Russell's style may appear scarcely impassioned hour: they actually disburse as much in dress, as those who or enthusiastic enough ; but this diseased appetite cannot keep pace with the march of mode, and are always some months behind those who are about them ; affording, in
endure long, and he who is capable of patiently and laantumn, a post-obit reminiscence to their acquaintance, of the boriously extracting the pure ore from the dross of hisfashions which were popular in the preceding spring. Such tory, will find a soft but abiding lustre shed over his persons labour under the further disadvantage of falling into work, which will come to be the more estimated the more each succeeding mode, when time and circumstances have thoroughly it is examined. deformed and degraded it from its high and palmy state: they do not copy it in its original purity, but with all the deteriorating additions which are heaped upon it subsequently to its invention. However beautiful it may be, a
The Olive Branch. Edinburgh. H. S. Baynes. 1830. fashion rarely exists in its pristine state of excellence long
18mo. Pp. 305. after it has become popular; its aberrations from the perfect are exaggerated at each remove; and if its form be in
This is the first volume of a small religious annual, some measure preserved, it is displayed in unsuitable co
which, if successful, will probably appear in an extended lours, or translated into inferior materials, until the original shape next year. It is embellished with a portrait of Dr design becomes so vulgarized as to disgust.
Gordon, to whom the work is dedicated; and contains “ There are many persons who, while they affect to de contributions from a number of respectable Scottish spise Fashion, and are ostensibly the most bitter enemies of clergymen. Among these are the Rev. D. Russel, Rev.
the goldess with the rainbow zone,' are always making Edward Craig, Rev. William Laurie, Rev. Adam Clarke, secret compacts and compositions with her. Their constant aim is to achieve the effect of every new style of dress, with John Brown, Rev. William Innes, Rev. J. B. Patter
Rev. Gilbert Wardlaw, Rev. James Anderson, Rev. out betraying the most distant imitation of it: they pilfer the ideas of the modiste, which they use (to adopt the happy son, and Rev. David Dickson. There are also some expression of Sir Fretful) ' as gipsies do stolen children,- poetical contributions, of which the best strikes us to be distigure them, to make them pass for their own.' This is that entitled, “ The Wind, an Emblem of the Holy pititul hypocrisy.”—Pp. 280, 1.
Spirit,” by an anonymous correspondent in Aberdeen. The chapters on the Toilet, on the Escrutoire, on Paint- “ The Voice of the Seasons,” and “ The Exiled Clergying, Music, and Dancing, are particularly worthy of at- man,” by Hamilton Buchanan, are also good. We doubt tention. In short, without any motive or desire to praise not that the number of copies of “ The Olive Branı! this book one iota more than it really deserves, we can which Mr Baynes will sell, will more than remun owly say, that we are acquainted with no work whatever him for his expense and trouble.
The British Naturalist; or, Sketches of the more Interest.. tuted in the year 1731, and entitled, a Society for the
ing Productions of Britain and the surrounding Sea, Improvement of Medical Knowledge." Its transactions &c. &c. Small 8vo. Pp. 380. London. Whittaker
were published, at different periods, in five volumes Sro. & Co. 1830.
They were at an early date translated into foreign lan
guages, and were highly spoken of by the Continenta Works on natural history seem to be in high favour at physicians. In the year 1739, the celebrated Maclaurir the present time. Within the last six months, we have conceived the idea of extending the Society's attention to had nearly a dozen excellent books, embracing all the subjects of Philosophy and General Literature, and it came branches of that interesting subject, two or three of therefore to be distinguished by the title of “ Society for them forming part of periodical publications which en- Improving Arts and Sciences;" or, more generally, “ The joy a very extensive circulation. The British Natural Philosophical Society of Edinburgh.” Its exertions were ist, the title of which we have quoted above, is the last suspended during the civil commotions of 1745, and pwork which has appeared in this department of litera- ralysed to such a degree by the death of its most active ture; and we are inclined to augur favourably of its suc- and distinguished member, Maclaurin, that it seems to cess. It is well arranged, and written in a pleasant have remained altogether inactive till the year 1732. manner; and a simple, but expressive tone of the highest About that time, the Society commissioned David Hume, moral feeling runs, like a thread of gold, (as Hervey and Dr Alexander Monro, junior, to publish a selection would express it,) through its pages. “ The plan,” says from its papers. This was done, in three volumes &ve, the Preface, “ of which the present volume forms a part, in the years 1754, 56, and 71. From this last date, the has long been under consideration; and materials are in Society experienced an interval of languor, till, in the year preparation for extending it not only to a series of vo- 1777, the acute, but withal somewhat extravagant Lord lumes of The British NATURAList, but to follow or al-Kames, infused fresh vigour into its proceedings. In the ternate these with The Foreign NATURALIST, as may be year 1782, the historian Robertson, then Principal of the most accordant with the successful preparation of the University, proposed, at a meeting of the Professors, most work, and the wishes of the public.” We are glad to of whom were members of the Philosophical Society, a learn this, and have little doubt as to its success. That scheme for the establishment of a new one, after the model the present work is so exclusively British, is not the of some of the foreign Academies, for the cultivation of least recommendation we can bestow on it. It is also every branch of science, erudition, and taste. A royal tastefully bound, and the few engravings in it are pret- charter was obtained in 1783, incorporating the body tily done. Upon the whole, let the “ British Natural- under the name of the “ Royal Society of Edinburgh." ist” only have “ a clear stage and no favour," and we The first meeting was held in June of the same year. have no doubt but that it will be found as useful in its All the members of the Philosophical Society were as way as any of its predecessors.
sumed into the new institution. It was divided into two classes— Physical and Literary; and a law of the Society
ordained, that every applicant for admission should decluie MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE.
which class he wished to be received into; but should, nevertheless, if elected, be entitled to attend and take part
in the proceedings of the othur. The progress of the LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES OF
Royal Society, subsequent to this period, will be found in EDINBURGH.
its own Transactions.
In November, 1782, the same year that Principal RoOur readers, we are sure, will be glad to learn, that bertson projected the Royal Society, a number of noblewe have made arrangements for presenting them regularly men and gentlemen interested in antiquarian pursuits with reports of the proceedings of the three principal So- were assembled by the Earl of Buchan, to consider the cieties in Edinburgh—the Royal, the Antiquarian, and utility of an association for the prosecution of their favourthe Wernerian. Such Societies form a prominent and in- ite study. They unanimously resolved to meet on the 18th teresting feature of the intellectual exertions of every of December, and form themselves into a permanent bodī, country; and it is natural, therefore, that the public in under the designation of “ The Society of the Antiquarians general should take an interest in their proceedings. In of Scotland.” The encouragement which this body received gratifying this desire to the extent we aim at, we in no from the moment of its institution suggested the idea of way interfere with the rights and interests of the Socie- applying for a royal charter. The request was granted; ties.
and the charter, after passing the seals, was read to a geneThe Royal Society met for the first time this season ral meeting of the Society, on the 6th of May, 1783. This on Monday last ; the Antiquarian Society meets for the Society, as well as the Royal, published their transacfirst time next Monday, and continues to meet on the tions; but the publication has now been intermitted for alternate Monday with the Royal Society throughout the a good many years. season ; the Wernerian Society commenced its meetings The study of Natural History had been taken up, and last Saturday, and meets once a-fortnight on that day. prosecuted with considerable activity, in Scotland, towards The subjoined reports of what took place at the first meet- the close of last century, and in particular by the intelliings of the Wernerian and Royal, will be found to afford gent and indefatigable Dr Walker. We know that there a fair specimen of the system we intend to pursue. We was a Society for the advancement of Natural History in propose giving condensed abstracts of such papers and dis- existence about the commencement of the present celcussions as are characterised by the importance of their tury, although we have not been able to obtain any accisubjects, the novelty of their views, or by the talent dis- rate information respecting it. Early, however, in the played in them. Other matters we shall pass over more 19th century, this branch of science received a new imbriefly.
pulse among us, by the return of Mr (now Professor JaAs an introduction to these reports, it will not be out meson from the Continent, where he had studied under of place to give a brief sketch of the history of our three the celebrated Werner. It was chiefly by his exerties learned Societies, seeing that they hold so conspicuous a that a number of Naturalists came to unite themselves, rank, and would have an interest for the student, even in January 1808, into a Society, which they termed had their proceedings been less fraught with benefit to the Wernerian, in honour of the Professor of Freiberg. letters, as associations including among their members all Among the original members were Drs Wright and Barthose names of which we are most justly proud.
clay (since dead); Dr Thomson of Glasgow ; Professor In looking for the origin of the Royal Society of Edin- Jameson, the perpetual President of the Society ; and Me burgh, we find that it is to be traced to a Society insti- P. Niell, its amiable and intelligent Secretary.
1 WERNERIAN SOCIETY.
60 per cent of carbonate of lime.
18 per cent of oxide of iron. Saturday, 5th December.
10 per cent of alumine.
9 per cent of carbonaceous matter. Dr Adam in the Chair.
Its height was thirty-six feet; its chamber at the base, A paper was read by Henry Witham, Esq. of Lar
three feet; no branches were found. The essayist protington, entitled, “ On the Vegetation of the first pe ceeded, in the conclusion, to point out the bearing of these riod of the ancient world ; that is, from the first deposits facts, as tending to strengthen the opinion of the vegetaof the Transition series to the top of the Coal-field, the
ble origin of coal. He inclined to the hypothesis, that Magnesian Limestone forming its upper limits; with
these combustible beds had originally been deposited as a Remarks on the probability of Vegetable Origin.” The essayist commenced with some remarks on the impor. in which other vegetables still grew; and felt himself
kind of peat, formed from the remains of vegetables, and tant results likely to be obtained, in a geological point confirmed in this view by the appearance of the Newof view, by an attentive investigation of the history of castle coal-field, and the localities still affected by the rethe vegetation of the earlier world ; in the course of which, be bestowed some high and merited encomiums maining families of the class, which seems to have formon the exertions made by Brongniart towards introdu
ed almost exclusively the vegetation of that early period.
A conversational discussion ensued, relative to the pacing a systematic classification of fossil plants. He next
per just read, in wbich Drs Graham and Greville, and proceeded to lay before the Society the fruits of a series
Mr Bald, engineer, took part. Some interesting facts, of investigations carried on by himself in different coalHelds in the counties of Durham and Northumberland, tending to throw further light on the subject, were eliand in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh. The plants The huge size which these vascular cryptogamics of the
cited, of which the following are the most striking :recognised by Mr W. in these different districts belongel chiefly to Brongniart's third class of the first period early world seem to have attained, is paralleled by the
The hypothesis of Brongniart, of vegetable creation, " the vascular cryptogamic." A growth of tropical ferns. gigantic plant of the fern species occurred in a vein of that their tropical developement in more northern rethe Derwent mines, and again in the great Newcastle gions may have been the result of a greater admixture of coal-field. In both instances the stems were erect, in much as a greater proportion of that gas is as incompati
carbonic acid in the atmosphere, is inadmissible, inasevery respect as if their roots had remained embedded
ble with the functions of the respiratory orgaus of these in their earthy envelope, and without any marks of diluvial action. This is the more remarkable in the late plants, as of animals. As little can it be accounted for by the ter habitat, as most of the fossil plants are there found greater activity of the central heat which seems then to have in a horizontal position, confused, broken, and their existed, unless we conceive this internal warmth to have parts far separated. These gigantic stems may be traced spread to the atmosphere. Sir H. Davy remarked an in a perpendicular direction through the stratum of ted coal-seam ; but branches of plants reared in a hot
increased activity of vegetation in the soil above an ignisandstone on which the coal rests, striking their roots
house, which had been produced to the open air, had downward into a narrow seam ten inches in thickress, and terminating above abruptly in the main seam.
been found to keep time in their flowering and fructificaAgain, in the stratum forming the roof of the coal seams,
tion, with the plants similarly exposed, and not with their Large cylindrical masses of a substance quite foreign to
parent stem remaining in the more genial temperature. It
was further remarked by Dr Greville, and confirmed by the surrounding stone frequently occur. They are full of vegetable impressions, and encased in a thin coating the abrupt termination of the trunks piercing the sand
a statement of Mr Bald, (as serving to throw light on of brigbt coal, very slightly attached to the surrounding stone, as soon as they reached the coal-seam,) that he had
They are known to the miners by the name of kettle-bottoms, and are extremely dangerous, from their frequently seen the traces of the organic stracture in coal liability to fall when the coal beneath has been removed.
evolved by the process of calcination, when none had
previously been recognisable. Such pieces of coal he had Mr Bald has observed an analogous conformation in the Scotch coal fields, known by the name of pot, or cauldron uniformly found slightly waved, and with a fanlike
cleavage. bottoms. The form is pretty well indicated by their
A communication from Dr Gillies “ On the Ancient naine, the mouth of the pot being turned downwards. Its sides are lined with coal from one-eighth of an inch to
Peruvian Roads,” and a paper by the Rev. Dr Scott of an inch in thickness, of quite a different texture from the pion of our Scripture translators,” were next read, but
Corstorphine, On the Hebrew Okrub, and the Scorcoal in the adjoining seam, and frequently of the nature of glance-coal. The cavity is filled up with a kind of tire- the President the books which had been presented to the
gave rise to no remarks. The Secretary then laid before clay, having a less admixture of sand than the roof-stone Society since its last meeting. around. The miner knows that he is approaching these business before it, the Society adjourned.
There being no more bottoms by the coal becoming twisted in its texture, and more difficult to work. They are equally dangerous and liable to fall with the English kettle-bottoms. It
generally happens, that a piece of the stone which fills up the
Monday, 7th December. cavity adheres to the roof, which makes it probable that
Sir WALTER Scott in the Chair. the trouble may go further up than is generally imagi- The Secretary read a communication from Mr John
It might be worth while to examine whether the Stewart, member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Lonpavement under the trouble is anyways altered in its don, entitled, “ The formation of Sound explained on a structure, as is the case with the coal. Mr W. noticed the
new principle; with some observations respecting the occurrence of the stigmaria of Brongniart, with strong manner in which sounds are impressed on the organ of impressions of its leaves, in a limestone near Burntisland, hearing.” The new principle, as developed in the first in Fife. This limestone has neither testaceous nor co- part of the essay, is, that sound is generated by the crearalline remains. He adverted, lastly, to the fossil plant tion of a vacuum. This principle the author sought to discovered in 1826, in the sandstone at Craigleith. A establish by the simple experiment of snapping the fingers specimen had been transmitted for Brongniart's inspec- beside a lighted taper. The flame is drawn towards the tion, who had as yet only found time to return a condi- fingers, indicating the formation of a vacuum, and a rush He believed it to be a section of a mono- of air to fill it up.
He proceeded to corroborate bis cotyledonous plant. According to the analysis of Mr theory by showing its sufficiency to explain the generation Nicol, this plant contained
of sound by thunder, by the explosion of inflammable mat.