Obrazy na stronie

Richer found that the pendulum tory results have at length been ob. wbich beat seconds at Paris in lati. tained. Ingenious and meritorious tude 48° 50' needed to be shortened individuals have exerted themselves more than a line, to make it beat se- to measure a degree of the meridian , conds at Cayenne in latitude 4° 59. and the names of Riccioli, Picard, This results partly from the rotation, and Snellius, hold a distinguished partly from the figure of the earth, in place in the list. connection with the great law or fact

In 1735, La Condamine, Bouquer, of gravitation. It is, indeed, no very and Godin, set out from France to difficult task to compare any linear measure a degree of the meridian extension with the second's pendulum near the equator; and, at St Dominin a given latitude ; and if easiness of go, they were joined by Juan and Ul. comparison be the only subject of in- loa from Spain. These philosophers, vestigation, the pendulum is perhaps by their science, courage, and persethe best standard. But it must still verance, shewed themselves equal to be remembered that it is a local the arduous enterprize. About the standard only. It is inapplicable, same time a degree of the meridian excepting in the parallel of latitude was measured in Lapland. Many in which the observation has been others have lent their aid to this great made.

work ; and it has at last been brought What the French have done on to a satisfactory degree of precision this subject is well known. They by Mechain and De Lambre. have taken a ten millionth part of the These vast ļabours were underquadrant of the meridian, as their taken in order to ascertain exactly unit for the measurement of linear the figure of the earth; and the acextension ; consequently their stand- complishment of this object has hapard is equally applicable in every de- pily furnished us with the noblest

, gree of latitude between the equator standard for the measurement of li. and the pole. We may remark, that, near extension : a standard, compared on another occasion, Professor Play with wbich, the pendulum ought to fair, speaking of the proceedings of bold a secondary place only. the French philosopliers in this busi- The pendulum has not been neDess, says, “ the method they have glected by the French philosophers. porsued does infinite credit to their At the national observatory at Paris, skill and accuracy; and as it is per- the most exact experiments have been fectly free from all the peculiarities made upon it, by Borda, Cassini, and that would adapt it more to one coun- Mechain. As a standard, it has easiIry than to another, we bave no doubtness of comparison to recommend it; that it will in time be universally re. but, compared with the quadrant of the trived among all civilized nations *.” meridian, it is marked by a puny

loThis is worthy of the liberal mind of cality, which gives it a mean and dithe distinguished philosopher from minotive appearance. Besides, are we Thom it proceeded.

to imagine, that these abstract points It is, no doubt, easier to observe are altogether without moral iufluthe length of the second's pendulum ence? If the length of the pendulum in a given place, than to measure the beating seconds in the capital of a quadrant of the meridian. On this particular country, be assumed as the grand operation immense labour has unit for the measure of linear extenbeen expended; but the most satisfac-sion, does not this give an air of na

tionality to the standard, which bas a Report of weights and measures by a tendency to separate man from man, Cotllmittee of the Highland Society p. 59. ·

to cherish a malignant rivalry among January 1817.


25th December 1916.}

nations, to contract and deteriorate the tion tables, and judicious regulations, best feelings of the human beart, and would greatly diminish the trouble, to shed a baneful influence over the and the obvious advantages would dearest interests of our race. If the soon reconcile all to the change. pendulum be any where adopted, we trust it will be the seconds pendulum,

P.S. At present, I say nothing of at 45°, or some degree of latitude

the combination of Time and Extenwhich may be considered as a mean sion, in order to find an unit of linear of the whole between

equator and measure. the pole, and equally applicable in all DUNFERMLINE,

F. nations.

In the quadrant of the meridian there is a grandeur that imposes on the imagination, and enlarges and improves the beart. It banishes petty On the Poetry of Scott and BYRON. localities from the mind. To measure the quadrant of the

From the French. meridian is an arduous task-but the

( Bibliotheque Universelle, Geneve. 1816.) work is performed. It exhibits an invariable quantity in nature which may WE must distinguish two men of always be discovered by those who genius who shine at present in have science and industry equal to the career of poetry; and we cannot the undertaking. The pendulum may do better than borrow the expressions furnish a good subsidiary standard. of an anonymous author who needs

Sball the quadrant of the meridian only wish it, to secure a great literary be rejected, because it was adopted by reputation. “Two distinguished poets Frenchmen and republicans ? The divide, says he, at this moment, the time was when our calendar remain. admiration of the public, and have ed unrectified, because the reforma- raised, almost to enthusiasm, the adtion of it had originated with the See miration of the art which they cultiof Rome: but we trust that those vate. Both are full of imagination, days of ballucination are past, and both possess copiousness and facility; that we are no longer to be either the both disdain to subject themselves 10 dopes, the tools, or the victims of such any rules which are not imposed by degrading puerilities.

the feelings of beauty; in other reIt is certainly time that our weights spects they have no resemblance to and measures should be reformed: in each other. One, (Lord Byron) their present state they could bave spreads over his works a gloomy chadone no honour to the 12th century. racter. He has travelled through the But unless the reformation be con- East, and delights to contrast the ducted on sound principles of univer- bounties of nature, in the beautiful sal application, and be rational and countries of Greece and Asia, with consistent in its details, we had better the ravages of despotism. In the abide a little longer by our old unit, same manner, when painting men, he the barleycorn ; for we shall have delights to represent the features of all the inconveniences of innovation, primitive grandeur, shining in a soul without the advantages of improve- laid waste, and even dried up, by the ment.

most tempestuous passions. He is a That this great measure can be ac- thinker as well as a poet, and is complished without difficulty and tem- as remarkable for the harmony of bis porary inconveniences, it were vain verses, as for the depth of thought.to imagine. But accurate equaliza. There is mucla originality, energy,


and even splendour, in his talent; but ing trivial graces. Such is the chathere is soinething dismal in this racter of this genius of the north, splendour, and his works leave a feel- whose boldness always imposes on the ing of sadness behind them.

imagination, while his art seduces it. The other poet, to whom Scotland It would be difficult to find a bas given birth, Walter Scott, gives, French translator for Walter Seott. on the contrary, the most rapid and We must regret that the enjoyment agreeable movement to the imagina- of such wealth should be denied to us; tion. He is at once a bard and a the obstacles


insurmountable; miostrel. He traces the picture of language, manners, bistory, local cofeudal manners, and animates it with louring, taste, and national prejudices, the most vivid colours. All lives, all are all foreign to the French reader. moves in bis poems. He gives a If, as is sometimes said, it be worth striking air of truth to the most ec- learning Spanish to read Cervantes, centric details, and renders familiar who can be translated, it is doubtless to us the customs most foreign to our worth learning English to read Walown. We have before our eyes all ter Scott, who cannot ; but it would be bis personages, their costumes, their also necessary to study Scotland and horses, their banners, their hunts, its history, and to familiarize ourtheir battles; and the ground from selves with the scenes which he dewhich this croud of brilliant figures scribes. comes out, is always that rude nature, those mists, those firs, those cascades, those rocks, those savage lakes, which forms the character, rude, but yet View of the Present State of Poetry beautiful, of the frozen climates. The

in GERMANY. talent of Walter Scott is eminently

From the Same. picturesque, and if he can abstain from dilating it in negligent compo- THE muse of poetry threatens to sitions, he will deserve to be called the abandon Germany, as it has aAriosto of the North,

bandoned all the other countries of The astonishing fecundity of this Europe. Göthe shines now almost pet, always worthy of himself, con- alone upon Parnassus (ut inter stellas tributes to force the homage of ad. luna minores.) Though in a very admiration. Four great poems bave vanced age, he preserves all the vigorri issued from bis pen in the course of a of his body and mind; it is he wha few years; and the public ascribe to saw the birth of Germán poetry; alas ! him romances to which he has not will be witness its funeral? Herder, put bis nane. After those beautiful Wieland, and Schiller, are no more. Forks, the Last Micstrel, which Werner has plunged so deep into the leemed to exhaust this branch of poe- chaos of mysticism, that his most retry, bis Lady of the Lake came to cent works, such as Die Weihe der charm England. Lastly, his Lord of Unkraft, (the Apotheosis of Weak. the Lles, without having so lively an ness), resemble the reveries of a madinterest, is not beneath bis great ta- man. The Counts of Stollberg write lests; there is always fertility of in. little; Voss, that respectable old man, Seption, close narrative, enchanting rests near the term of a glorious, but details, lively and brilliant colouring; laborious life. Berlin possesses still above all, that energetic touch, that La Motte Fouque; Klinger and Tieck impetuosity of the poet, who pushes form with him a dramatic triumvirate bis Pegasus through the air, aiming of the second order. The two celeAltays at great effects, and disdain brated dramatic autbors Iffland and


Kotzebue are just dead. Among the siasm which the Germans direct to Lyric poets, we distinguish Kosega- every literary pursuit which appears ten; his style is energetic-he has to them new. Among those who have something original in imagination and particularly studied German poetry, sentiment but he is not so correct, and that of the North, during the as that he can be quoted as a classical middle ages, we shall only mention poet. Among romance writers, none, M. Van der Hagen, the principal edisince the death of the amiable Wag- tor of the Niebelurgen-Lied, and of ner, can be compared to John-Paul- the book of heroes (Heldenbuch) Richter. If his original genius raises the brothers Grimon, who appear to him to the first rank among modern have entirely devoted themselves' to poets, he places it happily out of any this study, and who to much taste rank as a model ; for in the form of unite an immense erudition : Tieck, bis romances he despises all the rules, Busching, and many others, labour and all the limits of this kind of in the same spirit. writing.

Without speaking here of the poliWe may remark among our mo

tical influence of these new ideas, we dern poets two very distinct classes. shall content ourselves with shewing The one write learnedly,—draw their their effects upon poetry. This study ideas, their comparisons, all the forms was doubly useful, as familiarizing us of their style, from natural philoso- with the state of manners in past ages, phy: these are so obscure and mys- and giving us juster ideas of the lantical, that no one can comprehend guage, the religious ideas, and the them. The others write verses in literary culture of those ancient times, the style of the poets of the 12th and but enthusiasm leads us much too 13th centuries. The first fashion of far. The Niebelungen-Lied has been presenting vague and obscure ideas placed in the first rank among epic under mysterious forms—that is to poems; the songs of the minstrels say, of painting mist by mist-is be- have been more highly extolled than ginping to be less common, and, it is those of Anacreon and Tibullus. All hoped, will soon disappear. The se- that can be imagined as great or cond style deserves a little more at- beautiful has been supposed to be tention. While the French armies found in these poems, merely because were encamped in Germany, and the it was eagerly sought. Almost all princes were humbled beneath the the German poets have attempted to yoke of a foreigner, the learned metaniorphose themselves into 'minsought all means of rousing the na- strels; they have borrowed their extion, of making them feel their de- pressions, their turn of thought, their basement, and the ignominy with ideas, without perceiving that the pewhich they were covered. They pre- culiar charm of these poems, nature, sented the picture of the ancient em- innocence, the freshness of sentiment, pire of Germany, compared with its is wanting to themselves. These imiactual condition-they celebrated the tations, compared to their models, are middle ages as its most glorious era. artificial flowers placed by the side of In this spirit F. Schlegel gave bis natural; for the vivifying principle of “ Course of Modern History," at Vi. the art, that soul which inspires it, enna; in the same intention learned and wbich assumes, at all times, a mien drew from the dust of archives peculiar form and character, mocks the poems of the German minstrels all imitation, (minnesinger). The bistory of Ger. Within the two last vears, there many, during the middle ages, was las arisen, as it were, a third class of resumed, and studied with that enthu. poets, of whom a word must be said.


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They are those who have sung the K.M. Knight of Malta. two last wars of deliverance, and the K.M.H. Merit in Holstein. military spirit of the age. Their num- K.M.J. Maximilian Joseph in Davaber is so considerable, that we may

ria. apply to them what Goldsmith says of K.M.T. St Maria Theresa in Austhe English poets in one of his come- tria. dies, “ Dar poets have not written as K.N.S. Royal North Star in Sweden. our soldiers have fought, but they K.R.E. Red Eagle in Prussia, have done all they could." Yet some K.S. Sword in Sweden. of these warlike poets form honoura- K.S.A. St Anne in Russia. ble exceptions: for example, Ch.Kor- K.S.E. St Esprit in France. ner,( Lyre and Sword,) Runhardt, &c. K.S.F. St Ferdinand in Sicily. But, among these songs of war, none K.S.G. St George in R is comparable to the beautiful royal K.S.L. Sun and Lion in Persia. song of Clotilde de Vallon Chalys.- K.S.P. St Stanislaus in Poland. Perhaps good poets, like good histo- K.S.W. St Wlademir in Russia. rians, will celebrate successfully the K.W. William in the Netherlands. glory of the German arms only when K.T.S.Tower and Sword in Portugal. the present time shall be no more; N.B. Foreign Orders give no title of wwhen they shall abandon themselves

Appellation. to the God who inspires them, without being distracted and tormented by little passions.

Offices and Residence of Scottish wiem

bers of the House of Commons. Tabl of Abbreviations of the different

Orders of Knighthood.
British Orders.

AMES FERGUSON, Esq. an advo-

cate at the Scots bar, lord rector of G.C.B. Knight Grand Cross of the King's College, Aberdeen. (PitBath.

four.) K.C.B. Knight Commanders of the

Aberdeen, gr. Bath.

James Farquhar, Esq. a proctor in K.G. Knight of the Garter:

Doctors Commons, and joint depuK.P. Knight of St Patrick.

ty-register of the admiralty-court. K.T. Knight of the Thistle.

(Johnston-lodge, Kincardineshire.) Foreign Orders.

Ayrshire. K.A. St Andrew in Russia

Sir Hew Dalrymple Hamilton, Bart. K.A.N. Alexander Newski in Rus

D.C.L. brother-in-law of viscount sia

Duncan. (Burgenny, in this counK.B.A. St Bento d'Avis in Portugal.

ty, and North Berwick, HaddingK.B.E. Black Eagle in Russia. tonshire.)

1 K.C. Crescent in Turkey.

Annan, Sc. Dumfriesshire. K.C.S. Charles III. in Spain. William Bobert Keith Douglas, Esq. K.E. White Eagle in Poland. K.F. Ferdinand in Spain.

brother to the Marquis of QueensK.G.F. Golden Fleece in Spain.

berry. K.G.V. Gustavus Vasa, in Sweden.

Anstruther, Sc. Fifeshire, KJ. S: Joachim.

Şir John Anstruther, Bart. (AnstruKL. Leopold of Austria.

thor, Fifeshire.)


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