Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

other men of eminence, by reducing the An Essay on the Study of Statistics ; by most contributed to bring it into general notice

science to a still more systematical form, have D. Boileau. Sm. 8vo. pp. 70. Price 2s.6d. in Germany. In other countries the progress Colburn, London.

of Statistics as a particular science has been Statistics is the knowledge of the existing more slow. political state of a country. By the political The present Volume contains a series of state of a country, is understood not only its questions, observations, &c. intended to form of government and political strength, facilitate the acquirement of statistical but also every circumstance which influences its prosperity and the happiness of its inhabis knowledge, forming a syllabus for lectaots.

tures ; and intended to assist the inquiries The history of Statistics (says Mr. B.) may

of inexperienced travellers." 41 be traced to the ancients. It was a practice This little work affords good hints for common among them to enrich their histori- the advancement of the study it recomcal and geographical writings with an account mends; and points out a number of citof the political state of the country which they cumstances that deserve the attention of described, or whose history they related. The works of Xenophon, Aristoile, and Ta political inquirers. The study itself is citas, afford incontrovertible proofs that they important to those who wish to be fully held statistical knowledge in high esteem.

informed of the character and abilities of An example so praiseworthy was soon fol- states : which, in times like the present, lowed at the revival of letters. Towards the is of peculiar interest. Our author wishes latter end of the sixteenth century, the am- Statistics should be publicly taught in our bassadors of the republic of Venice began to universities, as it is in some abroad. The address to their senate circumstantial reports addition of a complete list of works on the of the political state of the several countries in subject, published in our own language, which they resided. These reports, which would have been very advantageous to the

Sansovino collected in 1567, induced other British reader. It might be too much, to • intelligent travellers to publish their remarks upon the nations they had visited. In Eng. expect a syllabus of the information comJand, the immortal Bacon (whose genius cated by ingenious foreigners : but could has justly been compared by a French writer, it be obtained, we should esteem it to that heathen god with two heads, one of highly. which was turned towards past ages, and the other towards ages to come), wrote the first Statistical work of any importance, under the Poems : with an Hexametrical Translation title of State of Europe, about the year 1580. Numbers of similar publications created a

of Part of the Second Book of Klopstock's taste for Statistics: Whatever had been writ- Messiah. By F.W. Cronhelın, Crown 8 yoo ten relative to a country in ephemeral produc- pp. 200. Price 5s. Loogman & Co. Lontions, was carefully collected; works too dif

don. fuse were abridged. By degrees, statistical knowledge was brought into a system, and The writer of these poems is of fó. publicly taught in the German universities. reign descent, we presume a Swede'; hig Conring at Helmstædt in the dutchy of ear is accustomed to the modulation of Brunswick-Lunebourg, was the first profes- foreign verse; but that immense length of sor of Statistics. He left a statistical work, intitled, llermanni Conringii Opus posthu

line which may be tolerable in the Germum de Notitid Rerumpublicarum hodier.

man, will not, in our opinion, ever narum ; which is found in the third volume become popular in the English. The of his writiogs. After him the science fell slowest measure that our language admits again into neglect, until the year 1726, when is the alternate rhyme of Gray's Elegy. Everhard Oito of Utrecht revived the reading The pauses and stops also, of our verses, of academical lectures on Statistics. A Latin do not resemble those of the 'German, or work which he published was the first that fall gracefully in the same placés. From quoted the sources of its information. Ever- these bints, the writer will gather cur hardi Ottonis Notitia præcipuarum Europa opinion on the prospect of success in his Reruinpublicarem. Editio quarta. Trajecui ad Rhenuta 1739. 8vo. Since that ume, proposed version ; but we would not disBusching and De Beausobre, at Berlin, courage his study of English verse: as we Actenwall, Schlötzer, Gatlerer, Grelhman think some of his sonnets after receiving and Meusel, at Göttingen, Sprengel at the allowances they may justly claim, are Halle, NorEnann at Rostock, and several l not without merit. VOL. V. [Lit Pan. March, 1809.]

2 Q

sophical, phytological and agricultural A General View of the Natural History and much useful information has been

pursuits, has been ingeniously discussed: of the Atmosphere, wc. of its Connection obtained. But since the numerous diswith the Sciences of Medecine and Agri- coveries in chemical knowledge, which culture, including an Essay on the Causes late years tave witnessed, equal advantages of Epidemical Diseases. By Henry Ro do not appear to have been derived from bertson, M.D.. 2 vol. 8vo. Price 10s. it in favour of the useful science of meConstable and Co. Edinburgh ; and Long teorology. This department though ultiman and Co. London.

mately connected with the arts, and with

the wants and comforts of man, nay be A view of the surrounding medio considered as yet in a state of infanty. ym in which, according to Divine ap- The experiments and remarks of de Luc, pointment, we exist, and by means of Beccaria, de Saussure, de la Place, &c. which all our members perform their &c. have contributed a valuable mass of proper functions, must be highly interest information ; but this demands fresh acing to man. A description of the consti- cessions from the co-operating exer

tuent properties, and a history of the tions of whoever has ability and leisure powerful effects of that portion of the for such pursuits. To the liberal yotaries mundane system, which acts, as the dis- of science, philosophy looks with a long: tributer of light and heat, and the sup: ing eye for aid, in the attempt to improve porter of animal and vegetable life, which to certainty a science, which promises the tempers those excesses, that might endan- nost ample returns for their labours, mid ger our existence, must be considered as incalculable advantages to general society. a subject highly important: Researches The present work has such ends protesdirected to such purposes are the only of: sedly in view. fectual means by which we can expect to advance the cause of real science. The purporting to shew that the atmosphere

It commences with general observations, study of nature, while it interests and has an influence, permanent or partial

, delights, expands and strengthens the over every part of creation. It acts on mind; it affords the most convincing animals and vegetables, under every cit. proofs of the wisdom and power of the cunstance of time, and variety of orgaDivine architect, in forming so beautiful nízation'; a certain degree of temperature and well organised a system ; displaying is necesary for their health, and of at the same time the goodness of an

over- purity for their existence. The properties, Taling providence, in the wonderful means therefore, of the atmosphere, form 22 provided for its regulation. To pursue important subject of research, and fut the operations of nature, to investigate her nish ao extensive field of inquiry. The astonishing powers of production, and necessity of such investigations has bear reproduction; of action and re-action, inculcated in all ages, ** as a branch är with the provisions by which she ensures science, which unites application to the the accomplishment of her desigos; the

purposes of hunian life.' Strong indoce: Tesources, she derives from the earth, and the air that surrounds it, for the propagan to pursue this study; from the facilities

ments, Dr. R. observes, bare lately arisen tion and support of organic life; is a sci; afforded by chemical discoveries, and the ence of inexhaustible profundity, and alarming epidemical effects, which at ya. of the most extensive utility. Whe.

rious periods have been produced in the ther this circumambient fuid. be consi- animal and vegetable economy, dered as essential to life ; as the source of disease or health, of plenty or scarcity 3. at large, would be to enter too extepairs

To examine atmospherical operations whether we regard its own extraordinary properties, or its capability of infinite a field of inquiry. Dr. R. therefore cose

" to medicine and combinations with other natural bodies, fines his observations and the effect of those combinations, its agriculture, leaving atmospherical effects history justifies the most elaborate and in manufacturing processes, &c. withonis minute insestigation. Many have profes- a few occasional remarks." sedly written on atmospheric sscience ;

The work is divided into three park. and its importance in medical, philo. The first discusses the physical properties

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

a

continue

[ocr errors]

1125] Robertson's General View of the History of the Almosphere. (1126 of the atmosphere, and includes various sage to the calorific rays, till it is heated

the effects of Tight, heat, electricity, density, tempe- each are in many instances different, is particulars ; such as, the phænomena of to a certain degree. That it is heated rature, change of climate, meteors, wind, evident; but, that this establishes the rain, aurora borealis, thunder stones and opinion of their separate identity as peprognostics.

culiar substances, does not appear to be The second part comphrehends the che clearly deduced from any discoveries himical properties of the atmosphere-mits therto made. It has long been known, analysis, constituent parts, salutary or that the most intense degree of heat may pernicious proportions, eudiometry, com- be produced by the concentration of the bustion, oxydation, &c. &c. &c.

solar rays, and this tends to prove their Part the third contains an investigation identity, as to matter : perhaps the sepataof the influence of the atmosphere, in the tions in some experiments may prove, that continuance of animal and vegetable lite, they are subject to a modification of their the changes produced by climate, and the composing particles. Under electricity the effects occasioned by different extraneous author seems to adopt the most rational matters often mingled with respirable air. theory of the identity of the substance,

Part I. contains three chapters, divided and that negative and positive states siminto fourteen sections.

ply refer to relative quantities, contained sio Chapter I. sect. I, light ; 2. beat; 3. in different bodies.' 'On this most im

electricity; light differs from the two lat- portant atmospheric theory, Dr. R. is too ter substances, by a peculiar negative pro- concise, and his work is evidently defiperty 2.2. however long the rays may cient in necessary communication

to be directed in parallel lines, much more rational and satisfactory exthey do not produce an increase of illumi- planation of the phenomena of thunder mination. According tothe Newtonian the- and lightning, may be found in Wil. into seven ay is a compound, refrangible liams on the Climate of Great Britain,

others; but according to the p. 59. opinion of M. Prieur, the primitive coloured rays are only three, red, green ties of the atmosphere, and contains

Chap. II. treats of the physical properand violet, and these combined form the other four, with the intermedi- four sections. 1. Colour, fluidity, denate shades of colour. # Thus, red and sity, elasticity, &c. 2. Gravity, variagreen forin yellow; the green and violet, perature, and variation of climate, &c.

& purple the three together produce white, 4. Supposed change of climate in certain

countries. &c. the intermediate shades of colour originate in consequence of the propor- Among discordant opinions respecting tionate quantity of either of these simple the colour of the atmosphere, and its rays in the compound ray. It does not causes, Dr. R. is inclined to adopt that of appear, however, that the artificial mix- Professor Eberhard of Berlin, i Theatt'ure of colours in painting, or the real ap- mosphere, he observes, acquires a blue tinit pearances in the process of dyeing, favours by its property of reflecting the blue rays such an hypothesis. It is a much more only. This is certainly what logicians simple and ostensible fheory, which consi- 1 term petitio principis. For why, we may ders the primary rays to be red, yellow and ask, should this Aaid be contiued to such blue; and that less simple colours, with a partial capability As a resisting inetheir approximating shades are composed dium, it is capable of reflecting every ptiof these in different proportions. Thus mitive ray, and we see at times, that it red and yellow, produce orange ; yellow actually does so. Why, if objects are and blue, green blue and red, first vio- liable to be affected as to colour from the let, then purple. These collectively pro sky, may uot the sky be equally liable to duce white and the absence of them all a change of colour from the earth ? This produces black.

occurs in a medium next to the air in poirt The non identity of heat with light, it of deosity and diaphaneity, water, which is here observed, has been clearly demon- assumes a variety of tints of incumbent strated, by the luminous rays a pássing clouds, on the deflective powers of diffefreely through glass ; which refuses pas- rent kinds of gas.' Dr. R. does not seem

[ocr errors]

to have formed a decided opinion. Under ( not follow that this should give rise to an iothe topic acoustics he has not noticed the crease of summer heats? This we have seen application of dilated tubes to the con- is however not the case ; the temperature veyance of signals, both by land and sea. of the atmosphere is summer having be. Nor is the cause of echoes satisfacto- come of late years much colder. We rily defined. Respecting a late prevalent therefore presume, that our agricultural opinion, that our climate has undergone improvements have bad no influence, in a considerable change, as to its tempe. causing these peculiar changes of the rature, Dr. R. introduces the subject by climate of Britain." Vol. I. p. 169. a large body of verbal and tabular state- Chap. III. contains seven sections and ments from Kirwan's admirable treatise, treats of meteorology.-Of evaporation, on the temperature of different latitudes, rain, winds, luminous meteors, electrical which occupies the whole of the third | meteors, phosphoric meteors, of stones section. Such changes have taken place falling from th: atmosphere, and prognos"in other countries, as well as in this: clas-lics of the weather.. sic authors describe the Roman winter On the cause of rain, Dr. R. observes, as being much colder than it is at this that: “ Dr. Hutton's theory is generally time, and in the days of Charles XII, of followed.” This is certainly an objecSweden, that season appears to have been tionable assertion : nor could the sentie in the north of Europe much more severe ment have entered a person's imagination, than it is as present. Respecting the cli- who has read the opinions of Kirwan, “mate of Britain, it must excite a smile in and de Sausure. The electric vesicular the reader acquainted with history to find system, satisfactorily explains every pheCr:sar's description of the inhabitants, as nomenon ; particularly, why more rain going unclothed, alledged in proof of falls annually on the western, thas on the the extraordinary mildness of the climate, eastern side of this island. The causes of at thế period of his invasion. Numerous dew and hail are by no means fully exinstances of the decrease of temperature, plained ; water spouts are better accounted in this island, are adduced from the state for: and a curious description is here of agriculture at different periods, both given of a descending one, called by the in the north and south. Dr. R. observes, ancients dipsides of winds in general that the change has been very visible the statement in Thompson's chenuistry is "''since about the middle of the last cen- more scientific; and of those peculiar to tury';" and Williams on the Climate of this country, Williams, in his treatise os Great Britain, is referred to, as corro- the climate of this country, is more speborative of the fact. But here Dr. R. has, cific. On the aurora borealis, or northera evidently coufounded two distinct theories, lights, Dr. R's. observations are judicious formed to account for two similar and he properly gives a history of a pece changes : that of Dr. Williamson, and nomenon, wbich long was the terror of that of Mr. Williams. The former,' in ignorant minds, and is still considered noticing the milder state of the American a modern appearance by many, who shoek clime, and the fluctuations of heat and be better informed. They doubtless were cold in the spring, so prejudicial to fruits, coeval with the mundane system, they endeavours to account for it, by the clear-long unaccounted for, and superstitioas.y ing away of immense forests, the drain - dreaded. Blomefield, in bis history o ing of savannahs, and other improve- Norfolk mentions one as being recorded ments arising from cultivation. The lat-I in the chronicles of Norfolk, A. D. 117, ter' attributes-the coldness of our springs Though Canaden speaks of them 253 and summers, to the high state of culti- unusual and terrifying prodigy, and sub. vation, the increase of pasture over arable sequent historians describe their first som lands, and the rage for plantations, par- pearance in England, as much later. Vi. ticularly evergreens. Had Dr. R. care-Dalton bas attempted to account for 3 fully perused the works of either, he cer- phenomenon, by the magnetie fluid on: tainly would have ihought their respective : fained in the atinosphere, and Mr. Cra: positions entitled to greater notice than is by the electric. Is it not probable, thakba contained in the following vague assertions. are the same ? Of thunder stones as they "Granting this to be the cause of the termed, various opinions are here relia superior mildness of our winters, does'it | Dr. R. rejects the bypothesis of their :

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

ling from the moon, by their progress be- , an important question, respecting the inyond the gravitating medium surrounding Huence of climate on man, which has dithat planet. A table is given from Mr. vided modern philosophers into two graña Izarn of places where they have fallen, secls; yet he introduces facts to shew and an analysis of their component substan- that the variation in colour and figure both ces might have been added from Professor depend in a great degree on the difference Thomson, who concludes that upon of clime. Dr. R. is decidedly against the the whole, we may consider those stony new theory of cure, for inflammatory and metallic masses, as fragments of fire complaints, by the application of cold: balls, which have burst in the atmos- and expresses himself rather harshly to. phere.

wards those who have espoused it. This Part the second, volume second, con- | is almost the only instance through the tains one chapter which includes eight work, where Dr. R. distinctly and categosections': and treats of the chemical pro- rically avers his own opinion. perties of the atmosphere : with the gases, Respecting the humidity of the atmos. their proportions and effects.

phere, Dr. R. expresses himself in an As long as science is revered, the name obscure, because a confused manner. of Priestley will be remembered, for He seems to aim at opposing the received his discovery of that extraordinary sub. opinion, that moist seasons, and damp sistance oxygenous gas. In the experiments tuations, are extremely prejudicial to made opon it by Dr. Beddoes, we might health. For this purpose, he compares have expected some allusions to the bold the washing the floors of hospitals, with attempts of that ingenious chemist to as the swabbing of the decks of ships ; not certain its effects on the living animal sys- adverting to the septic quality of vapour tem, in proof that it is a principal cause of arising from the one, and the anti-septic, pthisis pulmonalis.

from ibe other. Part the third contains three chapters, In his third chapter, speaking of the including considerations on the influence plague, Dr. R. observes, it appears of the atmosphere, as a chemical fuid, evident, that neither the physical, nor on animals and plants, on respiration, on chemical properties of the atmosphere are the temperature of living bodies: the altered, in countries, during the prevainfluence of the atmosphere on growing lence of the plague ; nor is it probable, plants, &c. also on animal and vegetable that in the rise of any epidemical distem: remains.

per, this ever appears as an immediate The phenomenon of animal transmuta- exeiting cause. p. 325. In this long tion was noticed so early as the reign of section, Fourcroy's opinion is stated, that Charles II. Browne, in his Hydrotaphia, contagious matter is composed of sul. observes, "In an hydropical body, ten phuretled and phosphoretted hydrogen ; years buried in a church-yard, we met with but, the controversy, whether it be an a fat concretion, where the nitre of the acid, or an alkaline substance, is not even earth and the salt and lixivious liquor of agitated. “ Nitric and oxymuriatic the body had coagulated large lumps of acids bave been found to possess the highfát into the hardlesé Castile soap.” p. 48. est degree of antiloimic powers.". p. 352. The discovery of a similar nature made in The work contains much valuable inforthe church-yard of the Innocents at Paris, mation ; but, persons conversant with is noticed by Dr. B.; but, he might have the subjects comprised in this treatise, selected a fuller account of this transmu- will find few topics with which they have tation of animal sobstances, into sperma- not, by reading or observation, been preceti, by means of moisture, from the Me. viously acquainted. To those unaccustommoirs of the French A:ademy. The pro- ed to such researches, it may afford both cess was repeated under the idea of a new amusement and instruction. What has discovery, and described in the Philosp. been more widely diffused, and more phical Transactions, by a physician at amply detailed in other works, is, in this, Bath. An extensive manufactory for pro collected into a narrow.compass, and precuriog spermaceli from dead horses, was sented in a more condensed and conveestablished at Hanham near Bristol, but nient form. So far, the writer deserves it has been abandoned,

the thanks of the public, But as it apDr. R. sbrinks from the discussion of pears to come ia lhe shape of an origi.

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »