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and Earl of Atholl, Caithness, and Strathearn, is ordained to act a principal part in this our olden and eventful history." P. 1.
“ He had a mouth that was as a penance in a charnel-house to behold, and there was an altogetherness of horror and simplicity about the lad very strange and dismal to see.” P. 27.
“ So saying, the Queen rose; and taking her by the hand, led lier to the gate, and they ascended to the royal chamber, where, with the other ladies of the court, they spent the remainder of the day with the tuneful jingle to the virginal and melodious songs, intermingled with pleasant discourse." P. 235.
We could wish also, that a little more variety had been given to Glenfruin's phraseology, which consists of two or three starling notes, neither Erse nor broad Scotch. His perfectly naive and undisguised selfishness, however, is highly entertaining in spite of his tongue and teeth, and nothing can exceed the comic humour of his scene with the king.
The leading historical occurrences, such as the execution of Duke Murdock and bis sons, the behaviour of the Duchess, and the murder of the King, are told in a very interesting and striking manner. The following passage also, put into the mouth of the Countess of Ross, who is otherwise an unimportant character, shews great feeling and reflection.
“ It is the time which, even in safety and peace, ought to move your spirits to more solemn reflections. The very thought of sleep, jying down suspicionless in the lap of so blind a warder as darkness, like an innocent child confiding in its aged nurse, might touch your hearts with the ruth of gentle sympathy for the defenceless. ness in which half the world lies now fettered and exposed. Yet those in that state are more to be envied than they who are awake and abroad at this hour. Who would exchange the condition of the weary hind, as he lies on the ground blanketed with straw, a breathing clod, through the fog of whose dense slumbers the twi. light of no dream ever breaks--so much does hard labour drug with insensibility the poor man's rest; who would exchange his lot for that of the undivulged offender trembling on his bed of down? I was once told of an ermined judge, that was shaken awake at this hour from beneath his canopy of honours, by the vision of an old and wasted wretch whose sentence he had pronounced the day before. In his dream he beheld her strangely changed into one whom in his youth he had thought passing fair, and whose beauty he was himself the first that sullied with shame, and he fell thereafter into an absent melancholy, and, it is said, he never went to sleep any more.” P. 190.
“ Yon stern and harsh sentinel, as he solitary paces the wall, is, I doubt not, at this time ruminating more piteously than you have done. I knew an old knight who had been in Palestine, and he told me of a fierce soldier whom he once, on visiting his post at midnight in a fortress in the Isle of Cyprus, found weeping like a child; and, on inquiring the cause of such singular tenderness in one of his mettle, he told him that he had been thinking of the time when he was a playing boy, with the freedom of his father's house, to which he could never return, and the remembrance had made him sorrowful.” P. 193.
Nor must we forget a descriptive passage in the second volume, which we have never seen excelled as a cabinet picture of nature in repose.
“ The day was grey, still, sober, and mild, without sunshine or shower ;-the winds were asleep, and almost also the waters ; the birds were mute, but not with sullenness, and they shook the crystalline drops from the impearled leaves, as they busily pruned their wings, like gentle villagers preparing for church in the holi. ness of the sabbath morning. The skies were not darkened with any cloud, but the mountain tops were hid in a resting mist, that hung like a canopy, lowered almost to the tufty hills of the little islands in the lake. It was a morning, when the lowing of cows and the bleating of lambs heard afar off, mingling with the bark of the shepherd's dog, seem taned and musical; when doves coo on the window-sills of the solitary maiden, who never listened to any other note of love, and who feeds them with crumbs treasured from her frugal supper ; when daisies lift not their golden eyes, but hang their heads, as if drowsy with some delicious excess ; when bees pass from bloom to blossom in silence; when the dumb butterfly, that never spreads his wing but to the sun, rests as quiet as the pea-flower on its stalk under the leaf that he has made his canopy; and when the voiceless snail, in his satin doublet, stretches his eyehorns from side to side on the dewy sward, as if he wist not where to taste first, Jike a sable-vestured clerk at a banquet : in sooth, a season of quietude and calm, when wary grimalkin, looking out at the cottage door, and fain to pass to her lair beneath the bushes, often puts forth her foot to feel if indeed the soft air be too moist for her furred delicacy.” P. 39.'
In taking our leave of Mr. Galt for the present, it is surely needless to express our conviction that the inferiority of the works which we have discussed, to the Entail and Annals of the Parish, arises rather from an error of judgment in the choice of subjects, than any decay of the powers which we hope soon to see again successfully exerted for the gratification of the public and our own.
ART. IV. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society
of London, for 1823. Part II. Nicol. 4to. IN presenting our readers with some account of the first part of the Philosophical Transactions for 1823, in a late number, we adverted to some of the principal difficulties which we have to encounter in doing so. In now proceed, ing to the second part we find those difficulties considerably increased; and this from two causes: the increased bulk of this second part ;--and the great number of important communications it contains ;-each of which might well demand a copious and detailed examination, and few of wbich can be properly represented without it. We must not therefore lose more space in prefatory remarks, but proceed at once to our work.
The present part of the Transactions is enriched by several very important and elaborate papers on subjects of astronomical science. These are,
No. 31. On the changes of place in the fixed stars, by J: Pond, Esq. F.R.S. Astronomer Royal.
No. 28. On astronomical refractions, by J. Ivory, A.M. F.R.S.
No. 20. A letter from Capt. Hall, R.N. to Capt. Kater, on experiments made by him and Mr. Foster with an invariable pendulum, in London; at the Galapegos Islands in the Pacific Ocean, near the equator ; at San Blas de California, on the N. W. Coast of Mexico; and at Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. With an Appendix, containing the second set of experiments in London on their return.
No. 22. An account of experiments made with an invariable pendulum at New South Wales, by Major Gen, Sir T. Brisbane, K.C.B. F.R.S.
Of some of these we proceed to give such an account as the nature of the papers and our own limits will
allow. The short paper given by the Astronomer Royal in this part of the Transactions is a continuation of those important observations of which we gave some account in a late number.
The changes of place in the stars were then deduced by a comparison with the observations of Bradley. In the present instance a comparison was made with the best of subse. quent observations"; those of the French astronomers en. gaged in the trigonometrical survey, about 1793, and those of Greenwich, Armagh, Westbury, and Palermo, published in the Transactions, 1806. From these a proportionate change of place results.
In the first pamed of the papers, on experiments with the pendulum, Capt. Hall expresses his regret at the little leisure which he had to devote to these experiments : but if bis opportunities were few he appears to have made the most of them. It will be satisfactory to those who are interested in these inquiries, now so extensively repeated, to learn that the results of Capt. Hall's experience, in attempting to devise better or shorter methods than those originally pro. posed by Capt. Kater, are decidedly in favour of the old
rales. He preferred observing the disappearance of the disk, to either its reappearance, or the mean of both, owing to uncertainties in the effect of light on the moment of appearance. There is also another practical suggestion of importance.
“ From having carefully studied your (Capt. Kater's) works before leaving England, I had conceived myself to be sufficiently qualified to undertake a course of experiments at once.
In this however I was mistaken: and the consequence has been that of two extensive series which I made at Valparaiso, neither is I fear sufficiently accurate to deserve your notice. The experience however which I gained in the course of these operations, enabled me ever afterwards to proceed with confidence. And here I may take occasion to suggest the advantage which, on future occasions, would arise, from having the whole experiment performed in Eng. . land, by the person who is afterwards to repeat it abroad: not under the hospitable roof of Mr. Browne, to whose valuable assist. ance every one who has attended to this subject is so deeply obliged, but in the fields, and with no advantages save those he could carry with him. He would thus in good time discover omissions in his apparatus, which are not to be supplied abroad, and be aided in surmounting difficulties before he had sailed, as I did, beyond the reach of appeal."
We will now give the ultimate results of the observations, which our readers may compare with those we formerly gave in our account of the experiments of Captains Kater, Sabine, &c. STATIONS. Length of Pendulum.
302.37 The details of Sir T. Brisbane's observations are given with the same minuteness as the former. They are acompanied by a second series made at the same place by Mr. Dunlop The result of each is as follows :
Length of Pendalum at Paramatta. Ellipticity
Compared with London.
1 Sir T. Brisbane ... 39.07696
1 Mr. Dunlop......
291.83 Compared with Unst.
Mr. Ivory's paper on Refractions is of far too elaborate and extensive a description to admit of our attempting any analysis of it. It is marked by the same profound mathematical skill which is so conspicuous in all the other productions of its distinguished author,
In the curious department of magnetism we are glad to find that Mr. Barlow, and his colleague Mr. Christie, have been actively employed. Of the discoveries of the former gentleman, our readers will doubtless recollect that we have in several instances given them such general accounts as their nature would admit. We conceive that this branch of science, still so obscure, but which has made such great progress of late, is pre-eminently indebted to Mr. Barlow for many important steps in that progress : and the paper now before us shews that under his guidance the science is still advancing. Mr. Christie's mathematical investigation of its laws, we noticed in reviewing the transactions of the Cambridge Society. In the present instance he has followed upthe inquiry by a course of investigations of a purely experimental nature.
No. 23. Observations and experiments on the daily variation of the horizontal and dipping needles, under a reduced directive power. By P. Barlow, Esq. F.R.S. of the Royal Military Academy.
At the commencement of his paper, Mr. Barlow observes that the daily variation of the horizontal magnetic needle was first observed nearly a century ago by Mr. Graham. Since his time, the observations of many succeeding philosophers have done little more than confirm his results. The actual change in the course of a day is however so small, that it requires the most delicate instruments and exact observation to detect it.
In the dipping needle the change, if any, is so minute, that it has hitherto escaped detection. The Royal Society of Copenhagen proposed this subject for their prize in the year 1820, but no communication was sent in.
Mr. Barlow has found a method of magnifying these effects so as to render them very sensible, and easily susceptible of observation and aceurate measurement. ciple of this method is as follows. The needle is in the first instance in its natural direction in the magnetic meridian, in which it is held by the action of terrestrial magnetism. If now the same pole of another magnet be brought near to either of the poles of the needle, it will repel it, and if care be taken, the repulsion may be made to coincide in its direction with the meridian line, and consequently it will not de