Page images

the Pela of the Chinese at 145°, Bee's wax at 142°, and bleached wax at 155o. From several ingenious and obvious considerations, Mr. N. shews that the tallow candle is inferior to that of wax in no respect but the greater fusibility of its material; which forms a more perishable cup at the upper extremity, over which the tallow would run down, if the wick were not made larger than in the wax candle. The thin wick of the latter being unable to support its own weight, when of considerable length, it turns on one side, and undergoes a complete combustion from the contact of the air: but the thicker wick of the tallow candle, instead of bending, remains in the centre of the flame, impeding the combustion, and diminishing the quantity of light by a loss of nine tenths of the whole in the extreme case ; and it can only be made to operate with effect by frequent snuffing. Various experiments, mechanical as well as chemical, are related to obviate this imperfection. None of them are sufficiently effectual to render the tallow candle equal to that of wax: but the paths of investigation to which they lead are promising, and the subject well deserves to be pursued.

Account of the Magnetic Polarity of a Mountain of Serpentine. By M.Humboldt. The manuscript account of this singular magnetic mountain, situated in the Margraviate of Bareuth, was communicated to the editor by Sir Joseph Banks. It is an isolated hill, rising to the elevation of fifty toises above the surrounding plain, and extending in length from west to east.

The un. covered rocks on the northern slope exhibit south poles, and those on the declivity towards the south have north poles. The whole mass does not possess a single magnetical axis, but presents an infinity of different axes, perfectly parallel to each other and to the line of magnetical direction of the earth; though in the contrary position. It therefore reverses the position of the needle of the mariner's compass, when brought near to it. The east and western slopes, though in no external respect differing from the rest, do not affect the needle.--For other particulars, we must refer to the paper itself.

Sir Joseph Banks also presented Mr.N. with a piece of the rock, of which he has added the mineralogical description, together with an account of some experiments. The most remarkable character mentioned by M. Humboldt is, that this stone, though it possesses a strong magnetic polarity, has no attraction for iron filings. Mr. Nicholson could not satisfy himself that it does in fact possess this last property : but he questions whether a natural magnet, as weak in directive power as this stone, might not have been equally inactive with regard to iron filings.

Y 3


[ocr errors]

Description of a Gravimeter, by M. Guyton ;-Description of the improved Air-pumps of Prince and Cuthbertson ;- Various Accounts of the Appearance of Objects seen double, or inverted by terrestrial Refraction ;-On the Mechanical Construction and Uses of the Screau ;-The Method of Lowitz for obtaining very pure Crystals o fixed Alkali ; Experiments on Detonation ; – M. Berthollet on the Compounds of Oil with Earths, Alkalis, and Metals ;--The Combustion of the Diamond ;-Improvements in Telescopes by the Addition of an Iris ; A Memoir, with Tables of the new System of Weights and Measures in France ;-Investigation of the Mctions of Camphor on the Surface of Water ;-M. Vauquelin's new Method of analysing Steel ;--and The Production of an artificial Rock Crystal, by M. Trommsdorff :-are among the new articles of philosophical information which, for the sake of brevity, we can only mention.

An Account of the Fata Morgana, or the Optical Appearance of Figures in the Sea and the Air in the Faro of Messina ; with an Engraving. This astonishing plıænomenon, described by Brydone, Swinburne, and many other writers, some of whom call it the castle of the Fairy Morgana, appears to want no evidence with regard to its truth. Mr. N. has followed Minasi in his Italian dissertation published at Rome in 1773. This author describes the appearance as follows: “When the rising sun shines from that point whence its incident ray forms an angle of about forty-five degrees on the sea of Reggio, and the bright surface of the water in the bay is not disturbed either by the wind or the current, the spectator being placed on an eminence of the city, with his back to the sun and his face to the sea ;-on a sudden, there appear in the water, as in a catoptric theatre, various multiplied objects; that is to say, numberless series of pilastres, arches, castles well delineated, regular columns, lofty towers, superb palaces, with balconies and windows, extended alleys of trees, delightful plains with herds and flocks, armies of men on foot and horseback, and many other strange images in their natural colours and proper actions, passing rapidly in succession along the surface of the sea, during the whole of the short period of time while the abovementioned causes remain.” The philosophy of this striking appearance is still in a very imperfect state. That the atmosphere in calm weather becomes separated, by subsidence, or otherwise, into various strata of different densities and refractive powers, which, when quite undisturbed, produce the appearance called Looming, and when disturbed may for a short time afford surfaces capable of reflecting and refracting the light under small angles, appears to be sufficiently ascertained :

- but


- but on the whole of the facts of atmospheric illusion there is certainly much room for speculation and research.

On the cold Winds which issue out of the Earth. Professor De Saussure, M. Chaptal, and others, have given an account of caves in various countries, out of which a cold stream of wind issues during the hot season ; which is more rapid and of a lower temperature, the hotter the external air is : but which in the winter changes its course, and is directed into the earth. In the present memoir, we find an account of a consi-. derable number of these caves, by that accurate observer M. De Saussure ; who has given a theory designed to account for the effect. On this theory, Mr. Nicholson makes several remarks which shew that it does not agree with the known facts. He himself thinks that this effect is simply the consequence of the slow heating and cooling of the materials of a purous hill. If these materials be supposed to require the greatest part of the summer to cool them, there will be a descending current within the hill, which will flow out at the base; and, on the contrary, when the external air becomes colder than the internal porous mass, the air in the interstices being less dense will ascend, and be followed by a converging current round the foot of the mountain. He directs his reasoning to the Mont Testaceo near Rome, which is intirely artificial, being composed of broken pottery; and he points out various familiar incidents in common dwelling-houses, in which currents of the same nature are produced.

We have now gone through nearly the first half of this curious and entertaining volume ; and here we must stop, If we have opportunity, we may perhaps return to the latter portion of it: but various accidents have so long delayed this are ticle, that more than an additional volume has since been presented by Mr. Nicholson to the public; and what we have already said will afford our readers an adequate idea of the nature and value of his very commendable labours.


Art. IX. EYPINIAOY EKABH. Euripidis Hecuba, ad fidem Manu

scriptorum emendata, &c. Art. X. IN EURIPIDIS HECUBAM Londini nuper publicatam Dia

tribe extemporalis. Composuit Gilbertus Wakefield, ,
ART. ΧΙ. ΕΥΡΙΠΙΔΟΥ ΟΡΕΣΤΗΣ. Euripidis Orestes, ad fidem

Manuscriptorum emendata, &c.
[Continued from p. 207.7

Pol. xxv14. TH *HERE now remains, it is believed, only one of Mr. Wake

field's manifold charges against Mr. Porson's Hecuba, which demands examination. This is an objection, indeed, on



Y 4

which he appears to lay great stress, as may be conjectured from its having been frequently repeated in the Diatribe. The rule itself, on which the charge is founded, was originally laid down by Mr. W. in his Silva Critica, has been adopted in his philological writings, and is practically exemplified in his Iragædiarum Delectus. The following are the passages in the Diatribe :

P. 5. ! Primum mirari subit, V. D. qui summo jure MSS. et editionis Aldiné testimonia tanti fecerit, auctoritates gravissimas passim contemp: tui habere, toties appingendo finalem », si litera consonans sequatur ; quam, vis manifestissimum sit, et multis exemplis evincendum, librarios, qui istud additameni um invenissent, nusquam fuisse omissures ; sed omissum, propter inanem de metro timorem, multo facilius invectures. Probant MSS. probant editiones auctorum vetustissima, hoc figmentum a Græcorum priscorum consuerudine prorsus esse alienissimum, ae scribis recentioribus unice deberi : biatui solummodo occludendo serviens, non autem producendis syllabis. Exemplo sit ver. 236. hujusce dramatis :

ουδ ωλεσεν με Ζευς Ita V. D. edidit; Aldus autem et MS. Harl. luculentissime exhibent 09.02neque aliter fere passim. Si quis quarat, quomodo versum iegam hujuscemodi, cum interrogem vicissim, qua ratione ver. 9. legendus sii ;

Φιλιππον λαών ενθυνων ΑΟΡΙ: aut Lucretii consimilis, iv. 271.

certe penitus remota videtur : nam libri veteres MSS. literam non geminant. Hinc nimirum voci scienter. modulatæ nullum negotium facessitur ; nec, nisi suo periculo, miramque per inconstantiam, prudens editor has leges violat, quas grammatici, scholicista, MSS. cum scriptoribus antiquis, citantibus poëtas, cumulate sanciunt. Nobismetipsis saltem nihil antiquius est, quam ineptias qualescunque, (et bene multis etiamnum procul dubio obsidemur) aliis quibusvis dedocentibus, dimittere, atque ablegare : nemo rursus, nobis hanc inscitiam plus semel damnantibus et irridentibus, videtur aut refutare velle, aut relinquere, Pergant igitur, si velint, in errore longe crassissimo, nimium amantes sui; vere doctis et aquis judicibus tamen, sat scio, sponte abjudicando, librisque veterum serius ocyus, cum unanimi consensu literatorum, expellendo.'

P. 25. Editi de solito ayey: at eniin te, finalis N ! cum tua importunitate magnus perdat Jupiter!'

P. 27. OLE is thus proposed by G.W. for OIAEN; ' et odiosuin illum N finalem,

Εχθεος γαρ μοι κεινος ομως αιδαο πυλησι, me hustatore rejice, secutus Aldum scilicet.'

Ρ. 33- ΕΚΙΝΗΣΕ ποδα, for εκίνησεν π.

P. 35. EIPHKE*. ' Ad ingenium redit heic quoque V. D. olfam putidam, N fina'm dico lectoribus ingerens ; auctoritates licet tam Ald. ed. quam Stolæi, simul inde, prout centies, conculcentur. Nobis non licet esse tam disertis.'

Thus far the Diatribe. The passages from the Silva Critica, which relate so the rejection of the N final, shall also be produced in the words of their author. 3


: Silva Critica, I. p. 81. where Mr. W, is examining this line of Sophocles, Ed. Tyr. 1280.

ΟΜΒΡΟΣ χαλαζης ΑΙΜΟΝΟΣ ελεγγέλο, , as he is pleased to read it; and we have not time at present to state our objections; he adds these observations: “ Metrum certè in tuto est. Ultimam enim pedis lembei syllabam, quamvis sit natura brevis, non dubitant tragici passim producere, quoties cum illa finiatur verbum.

Mr. W. then quotes from the Aldine edition of the Phoen nissæ four examples of the omitted N final: “ 288. speglas! δoμoις. 29ο. δωμασι πελαζελε. 933. Που 'σιι Μενoικευς. 1446. Euonyaye 000194.a.” He next censures Musgrave, “qui non semper, ut sæpe, hanc scripturam servaverit ;” and recommends all future editors of the Greek Tragic and Epic Poets to banish this final N, as it is possim omitted in the passages which are quoted by the Grammarians and others. He then proceeds,

Ultima vocis zou ove syllaba ob pausam in Sophocle [l.c. ex Oed. T.] producitur pari jure quo caos in Homero.

Αυλαρ επειλ αλοισι ΒΕΛΟΣ εχεπευκες εφιεις. Nec mihi videntur de metro cruciari merito Valckenarius et Musgravius ad Eur. Hipp. 234. ob hanc ipsam causam, vim scilicet pausæ in syllaba postrema vocis, si pedem finiat in anapæsticis et iambicis, aut incipiat in heroicis ; quâ syllabá, si modo consonans sequatur, semper debet exulare finalis N.

Τι τοδ' αυ παραφρον ερριψας επος ;” Such is the Metrical Canon which Mr. Wakefield has promulgated in his Silva Critica; and which, as was mentioned, he has exemplified in his philological disquisitions, and in his annotations on some of the Greek Tragedies. It has not, however, been followed, nor even mentioned, by Mr. Porson in his Notes on the Hecuba; and to this neglect, or silence, may be attributed the censures conveyed in those passages which have been just quoted from the Diatribe.- In the Professor's remarks on Orestes, indeed, there is an observation which must be considered as referring to this new law of prosody. As we gave the reader an opportunity of perusing Mr. W's statement of the rule in his own words, we shall now let the Professor also speak for himself. OREST. 64

παρέδωκεν τρέφειν. . Cur N finalem in επίκλωστη, V. 12. [και σιεριμαία ξανασ' επέκλωσεν θεά] et similibus addiderim, nemo nisi qui conmuni sensu plane careat, requiret. Sed erunt fortasse nonnulli, qui minus necessario hoc factum arbitraturi sint π εδωκεν, Rationes igitur semel exponam, nunquam posthac moniturus. Quanquam enim sæpe syllabas natura breves positione producunt Tragici, longe libentius corripiunt, adeo ut tria prope exempla correptarum invenias, ubi unum modo exstet productarum. Sed hoc genus licentia, in verbis scifacet non compositis, qualia Téxvov; Ilat às ceteris longe frequentius est. Ra

« PreviousContinue »