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Our English word is from the Saxon, he can. It is remarkable, that the word santo, in the Mandingo tongue, signifies heaven, being exactly the same as the Italian word signifying holy, and not dissimilar to the Latin. See the Mandingo vocabulary, before referred
Fades, Saxon; fader, Belgic; vatter, Teutonic; fader, Danish; fader, Islandic; pater, Latin; marin, Greek; padre, Italian; fader, Swedish; pere, French; pay, Portuguese; péétre, Shanscrit; pader, Persian; father, English. The Malay, bapa, father, bears a strong resemblance to the word used by children in this country.
Modes, Saxon; moder, Danish; mutter, Teut.; moeter, Dutch; mater, Latin; YTT!, Greek; madre, Spanish; madre, Italian; moder, Swedish; may, Portuguese; mere, French; mader, Persian; matreé, Shanscrit; mama, Bengalee; mam, Welsh; muime, Irish, a nurse; ma, Malay: inother.
Dagge, Belgic, a dagger ; dague, French; daga, Spanish; adaga, Portuguese; tagħen, German; dagger, English; 177, daker, Hebrew, to pierce, to wound; daghe, Persian, a wound. In English poetry, dagger is often used metaphorically, for pain, trouble, disquietude, &c. Marcus, in Cato, says to his brother,
Passion unpitied, and successless love,
ADDISON'S CATO, ACT 1. SC. 1.
Bourde, Gaelic, a jest. Hence, perhaps, the English “ burden of a song," or concluding verse, being the part which generally and principally carries the point or wit. I find in Bailey's English Dictionary, "bord, a jest, Spenser ;" and also, "borde, a jest," with the authority of Chaucer; bourd, to jest, in the Scottish dialect. It is used in this sense by Ramsay, in his justly admired drama, entitled “The Gentle Shepherd.” Glaud says to Peggy :
Be wary then, I say, and never gie
CENILE SHEPHERD, ACT V. SC. I.
Adder, English; Adder, Saxon; adder, Dutch; ether, Scottish; neider, Welsh; mar, Persian; an adder, a snake; mari, or mary, in the Madagascar language, a serpent.
, Hebrew; amarus, Latin; amer, French; amaro, Italian. From the Hebrew also comes the Æolic, Mugga; Latin, myrrha ; English, myrrh. We have our English word, bitter, from the Saxon, Bites. Leeds, March 10, 1812.
J.H.N. (To be continued.)
ON GRAVITATION, WITH AN OUTLINE OF LE SAGE'S HYPOTHESIS FOR EXPLAIN
ING THE CAUSE THEREOF.
Mr. Frend, in his “Evening's Amusements," for the present year, and an intelligent writer under the signature
- Common ense,” in a late number of the Monthly Magazine, have given some very interesting remarks on this subject; and as the public attention is in some degree fixed upon it, the following brief outline of a very ingenious hypothesis relative to the cause of gravity, may not be uninteresting to the readers of the Enquirer.
Some persons have supposed that to endeavour to account for all the operations of nature upon purely mechanical principles, will have a tendency to exclude the Deity from any concern in the government of the system, and thereby lay a foundation for the introduction of atheism. But in opposition to this opinion, let us place the names of Newton, Maclaurin, Sir John Pringle, and many others, whose piety no man ever questioned ;---it is plain from a passage in Newton's Optics, that he had not the slightest idea that to ascribe the phenomena of gravitation to a mechanical cause, had any tendency to support atheistical opinions, or to weaken the arguments for the existence of God and of providence.
Every candid mind must be convinced that the issue of this argument is quite immaterial to the truths
of natural religion, which must rest on the same immoveable foundation; whether the physical cause of gravity is ever discovered or not, we ought to feel no other interest in the result, than that which the extension or limitation of knowledge is calculated to excite. Every attempt to confine the range of our enquiries, and to produce an intolerance of philosophical opinion, deserves the most expressive disapprobation. In all ages there have been men illiberal and narrowminded enough, to think that the search after natural
was irreverent to the Author of nature, and argued a doubt of his power. Anaxagoras, though the first of the Greek philosophers who entertained rational notions concerning the Supreme Being, yet, because he was a great enquirer after second causes, was accused of irreligion. The same charge, on the same ground, has often been renewed since. It would be right, however, that those who bring this charge. would take some trouble to draw the line which separates the legitimate domains of science, from the hallowed ground which must not be profaned by philosophical research. This boundary, we are persuaded, it will be found very difficult to adjust.-No one will say that it is wrong to enquire into the cause of elasticity, hardness, transparency, and such-like qualities of body;
- Why then should it be improper to enquire into the cause of gravity? On what principle is it, that it is lawful to seek for the mechanism by which the former effects are produced, and impious to extend the same enquiry to the latter? If, indeed, gravitation were not only known to be universal among material substances, but if all the other causes of motion could be reduced to it, and shown to be modifications of one and the same law, there would be little reason to ex. pect that we could ever carry our enquiries much further; and though we should not think that there was any impiety in the attempt to do so, we should certainly despair of its success. But our knowledge of gravitation has by no means reached this perfection. We are not sure that it is quite universal; that heat and light, for example, are subject to its power ; and, what is of more importance in the present
question, we are sure that all the causes of motion have not been reduced to one; so that gravitation is neither shown to depend on impulse, nor impulse on gravitation. Two Jaws very different from one another direct the motions of the material world, and till these two can be reduced to one, or shown to depend on the same cause, or till they be demonstrated to arise from different causes, our knowledge of them remains incomplete. Till every possible means of effecting one or other of these purposes has been tried, till reason and experiment can fairly be said to have dove their utmost, philosophy has not reached its ul. timate object. Some important secret may still be within our reach; some new proof of the simplicity of nature, and of the wisdom of its author, may yet remain to be discovered. In the present state of science, we think that it cannot be affirmed that the utmost has been done with respect to the object we are treating of; nor are we entitled to say that the attempts made have been all completely abortive.
The different systems for explaining the cause of gravity, are those of Descartes, Bernoulli, Newton, Le Sage, and Boscovich. Concerning the system of Descartes, it is not necessary to enter into much detail. The vortices of that ingenious theorist have long ceased to afford satisfaction even to the most superficial reasoner. They are known now only in the history of opinions, and in that history will ever furnish a most instructive chapter. The next system that was imagined for explaining the law of gravitation, was that of an elastic ether, mentioned by Sir Isaac Newton in the queries at the end of his Optics, and proposed with such modesty and diffidence, as entitles it to great indulgence. It is the conjecture of the philosopher, who had demonstrated the existence of the law of gravitation, concerning the mechanism by which this universal tendency is produced, and seems to be thrown out with the view of preventing those who followed him, from thinking that it was sufficient to say that gravitation was an essential quality of matter, and that there was no occasion to trouble themselves about the cause of it. It was to serve as a
stimulus to future enquiry, and as a caution against supposing that the fabric of physical astronomy was complete. According to it, the mutual tendency of bodies towards each other arises from the action of a fluid highly elastic, diffused through all space, but more rare within bodies than without, and more rare at a smaller distance from them than at a greater. Bodies are propelled through this fluid from the denser to the rarer parts, that is, from the parts where the elasticity is greater, to those where it is less. Thus, with respect to the earth, the elasticity of the circumfused ether being greater at a distance from that body than near it, other bodies would, by that greater elasticity, be urged to the quarter where the elasticity is less, that is, toward the earth. The same would hold of the sun and moon, and all the great bodies of the universe. This hypothesis, to which, it must be confessed that many objections may be made, appears to have been suggested to Newton by the phenomena of optics, which it is better calculated to solve than those of astronomy.
The system of John Bernoulli was proposed long after that of Newton, and intended by the author to unite the advantages of the Cartesian and Newtonian systems, without being subject to the difficulties of either; but which, in the general opinion of philoso. phers, does exactly the reverse, uniting the difficulties of both, without the advantages of either. The truth is, that John Bernoulli, though one of the first mathematicians of his age, was far from maintaining the same rank among philosophers. His theory of gravi: tation is accordingly almost forgotten, and is at present very little known, even to scientific men.
A fourth system, by far more ingenious and satisfac tory than any of the three just mentioned, was proposed by Le Sage, in his " Essai de Chimie Méchanique," first published in 1758. This system is very little known; I shall therefore take the liberty of stating a short outline of it, as of the most curious and plausible attempt that has yet been made to account for gravity on principles purely mechanical.
Imagine that through all space numberless coru