Imágenes de páginas

tion must be employed in supplying such | written a separate work, and, in those cases articles to our encyclopædias.

in which such works do exist, they have But though the opinion of Sir James seldom been brought down to the present Mackintosh is, generally speaking, well day, or drawn up with that copious detail founded, and is likely to be so as to ency- of recent discoveries which is of so much clopædias of secondary character, yet there importance to the progress of science. It are cases, such as that of the work before is often in articles contributed by eminent us, in which the literary and political arti- individuals who have made the subjects of cles stand on the same high level as those them their particular study that we have of the mathematical and physical sciences.* our only chance of finding the inestimable When the resources of the proprietors are treasures of contemporary discovery which sufficient to command the services of such fill the Transactions' of domestic and writers as Young, Malthus, Macculloch, foreign societies, and those less elaborate Roget, Wilson, Empson, and Tytler,— notices of experimental researches, circuwhile the editor can count on the aid of lated by numberless periodical journals, friends like Scott, Playfair, Stewart, Les- which are the depositories of American as lie, Lord Jeffrey, Sir William Hamilton, well as European science. and Sir John Barrow,—it is not difficult to But these observations are still more apanticipate the result.

plicable to the scientific arts—the arts In the mathematical and physical de- which have science for their basis and for partment of this work we find a combina- their object--to the manufactures and usetion of theoretical and experimental talent ful arts, and to those new and important which has never before been directed in subjects which are included under the genthe same channel. While the treatises of erai head of Civil Engineering. Upon the Robison, Playfair, Mr. Ivory, M. Biot, Dr. greater number of these topics no separate Young, and Mr. Galloway, have recorded works have been written, so that it is only the most recent discoveries in astronomy, in the storehouse of an encyclopædia that those of Robison, Young, M. Arago, Sir the general reader can find the information David Brewster, Dr. Roget and Dr. Trail, on such subjects which is so frequently reexbibit to us a full view of those recent and quired. In this department the Encyclosplendid discoveries by which optics has be- pædia Britannica is particularly rich, and come almost a new science. In the articles especially as to those new arts which are on on Acoustics, Dynamics, Mechanics, Hy- the eve of altering the forms and habits of drodynamics, Pneumatics, Electricity, Mag- social life. The wonders of railway internetism, and Voltaic Electricity (including course, of locomotive engines, tunnels, the interesting new sciences of Electro- steam-printing, steam-boats, and steammagnetism, Magneto-electricity, and Ther- guns; the improvements in gas-lighting, mo-electricity), which complete the circle and lighthouses; the almost magical arts of of Natural Philosophy, we find the fullest the electrotype, voltaic gilding and plating, details respecting the fine discoveries of and the powers of the electro-magnetic Coulomb, Volta, Oersted, Seebeck, Am- telegraph and the electro-magnetic clock, père, and Faraday; while the articles Chem- are all treated in this work by writers comistry and Heat, contributed by Dr. Thom- petent to the task. son and Dr. Trail, exhibit to us the recent It is impossible to refer to these new discoveries of Davy, Berzelius, Faraday, arts, which, along with the Daguerreotype Leslie, Melloni, and Forbes.

of Niepce and Daguerre and the Calotype Were we to claim for several treatises in of Mr. Fox Talbot, constitute the leading this . Encyclopædia' a superiority merely inventions of the day, without giving our over separate works on the same subjects, readers some slight notice of them. There we should not be doing justice to their is perhaps none of the sciences, with the merits. There are many subjects treated exception of chemistry, which has made of in encyclopædias, on which no separate such donations to the fine and useful arts treatise at all has been written; and the as voltaic electricity. Those which depend student often searches in vain for the know upon galvanism, or voltaic electricity, ledge which he requires. There are other properly so called, are Sir H. Davy's art subjects upon which no eminent writer has of protecting the copper-sheathing of ships;

the galvano-plastic art of Spencer and * It is not necessary for us to remind our readers Jacobi for multiplying works of art in of the extraordinary literary talent which pervades metal; electro-metallurgy, or the reduction very many articles of the 'Encyclopædia Metropoli of metals by electricity; the electrotype, tana,' and also of the 'Edinburgh Encyclopædia, completed some years ago under the editorship of or art of copying and multiplying engravSir David Brewster.

usual way.

ings; and the arts of voltaic etching, gild- The modern arts presented to us by ing, and plating.

electro-magnetism, the new science of The art of multiplying works in metal Oersted and Ampère, are not less wonderwas invented in 1831, nearly about the same ful and valuable. The electro-magnetic time, by M. Jacobi of St. Petersburg and telegraph of Professor Wheatstone, now Mr. Spencer of Liverpool. It consists of in use upon the Blackwall and the Great depositing copper, gold, silver, and plati- Western railways, was the first of these num, &c., from their solutions, upon me achievements. The telegraph, with its tallic or conducting surfaces, the metal accompanying alarums, goes into a case being precipitated by galvanism. If the not larger than that of a small table cloth, surface is that of an intaglio, we obtain and so simple are its assertions, that any from it a perfect cameo, and vice versâ. In child can both read and send the messages 1840 Mr. Murray announced the important with scarcely a minute's instruction. fact, that these metals could be all precipi- The electro-magnetic clock of Professor tated upon non-conducting substances, such Wheatstone is another of those singular as plaster of Paris, wax, wood, &c., by inventions, and one which, though it may previously metallising their surface with be less useful, is certainly not less ingenious black lead. In this way, every work formed and surprising than his telegraph. The by art, whether it be the finest carvings, or object of the inventor was to enable a single the finest sculptures, can be multiplied in clock to indicate exactly the same time in copper, or the other metals already men- as many different places, distant from each tioned. The multiplication of engraved other, as may be required. A standard copper-plates is another of the triumphs of clock in an observatory, for example, would this new art; and engravers have found thus keep in order another clock in each that plain copper-plates deposited from a apartment, and that too with such accuracy solution of sulphate of copper upon another that all of them, however numerous, will beat previously prepared copper surface, are dead seconds audibly, with as great precision far superior to those manufactured in the as the standard asironomical timepiece with

which they are connected. But, beside this, The art of voltaic etching is singularly the subordinate timepieces thus regulated beautiful. A copper-plate prepared for require none of the mechanism for mainordinary etching, and all covered with wax, taining or regulating the power. They is connected with a suitable galvanic bat- consist simply of a face with its second, tery, and placed in a solution of sulphate of minute, and hour hands, and of a train of copper. A piece of copper (negative) of wheels which communicate motion from the same size as the copper-plate is then the action of the second-hand to that of the connected with the zinc. When the bat- hour-hand, in the same manner as an orditery is put in action, copper is reduced nary clock train. Nor is this invention from the solution on the negative piece of confined to observatories and large estabcopper, while copper is removed from the lishments. The great horologe of St. Paul's clear lines of the etching-plate to supply might, by a suitable network of wires, or what is taken away from the solution. In even by the existing metallic pipes of the this process no nitrous fumes annoy the metropolis, be made to command and artist, and no air-bubbles interfere with regulate all the other steeple-clocks in the the precision of his work. The lines may city, and even every clock within the prebe bitten to any depth, and are much cincts of its metallic bounds. When railsharper and clearer than when they are ways and telegraphs extend from London made with an acid. The art of gilding to the remotest cities and villages, the senupon silver and brass, which we owe to M. Delarive of Geneva, is equally beautiful in gold and silver, such as vases, chandelier branches, and important. The gold is deposited in &c; by depositing the metal upon proper models coatings of any thickness from a weak and gold articles, by displacement, heat, or solution ; nitro-muriatic solution of it, and the delete- and Mr. Edward 'Palmer has secured by patent rious effects of mercury upon the artist are

another invention equally important. He obtains thus completely avoided.*

printing surfaces by drawing or painting on silver or copper, or any other conducting surface, and then,

by the electrotype, he produces copper or other me* * Great progress is now making in this beautiful | tallic plates with sunken surfaces from which prints

Mr. Spencer, of Liverpool, has, in 1841, taken may be taken, or from engraved copper plates. Mr. a patent for making picture and other frames by the Palmer calls this art Electro-tinting, and he proposes deposition of copper upon suitable moulds, and sub- to employ it for printing china, pottery ware, music, sequently gilding, silvering, or platinising them. maps, and portraits. See, Newton's London JourMr. Parker, of Birmingham, has, likewise, in the nal and Repertory of Arts' for April, 1842, vol. XX., same year, taken a patent for manufacturing articles / pp. 166, 171, 172.


sation of time may be transmitted along, mighty sarcophagi of the brutes that with the elements of language; and the perish. great cerebellum of the metropolis may It was to be expected, therefore, that the thus constrain by its sympathies, and regu- sciences of Geology, Zoology, and Botany, late by its power, the whole nervous system should be most carefully and completely of the empire.

treated of in such a work as this. They In the other departments of the useful form, indeed, the key to the hieroglyphics arts where profound science is called into of the ancient world; they enable us to exercise, we have the articles on Arch, reckon up its almost countless periods; to Carpentry, and Centre, River, Roofs, replace its upheaved and dislocated strata; Strength of Materials, and Water-works, to replant its forests ; to reconstruct the by Robison ; Seamanship, by the same, products of its charnel-house; to repeople with a skilful supplement by Capt. B. Hall; its jungles with their gigantic denizens; to Bridges and Roads, by Young; Architec- restore the condors to its atmosphere, and ture and Building, both very able papers, give back to the ocean its mighty leviaby Mr. Hosking, Professor of Architecture thans. And such is the force with which in King's College, London ; Breakwaters these revivals are presented to our judgand Docks, by Sir John Barrow; Ship-ment, that we almost see the mammoth, the building (by far the best Essay on the sub- megatherion, and the mastodon, stalking ject in the language,) by Mr. Creuze, of over the plains or pressing through the Portsmouth; Cotton Manufacture, by Mr. thickets; the giant ostrich leaving its footBannatyne ; Weaving and Woollen Manu- writing on the sands; the voracious ichfacture, by Mr. Chapman, &c. &c. thyosaurian swallowing the very meal

Among the subjects that must enter which its fossil ribs enclose; the monstrous largely into the composition of an Ency- plesiosaurus paddling through the ocean, clopædia are those which constitute what and guiding its lizard-trunk, and rearing its may be called Terrestrial Physics, includ- swan-neck, as if in derision of human wising the structure and physical history of dom; and the ptero-dactyle, that mysteriour globe and of its atmosphere, and an ous compound of birds, and brutes, and account of the various organized bodies bats, asserting its triple claim to the occuwhich it contains or produces. This spe- pancy of earth, ocean, and atmosphere. cies of knowledge is, generally speaking, In the elegant and comprehensive hismost fascinating. It requires little previ- tory of the ANIMAL KINGDOM, by Mr. ous preparation of the mind; it is associat- James Wilson, he adopts, as the principle ed with our wants and amusements, and upon which the various articles of Natural finds frequent and useful application in all History are to be treated, the scientific clasthe various conditions of life. Carrying sification of Cuvier, who divides the Anius back into the depths of time long be- mal Kingdom into four great classes : Verfore the dawn even of fabulous history, tebrate Animals, or those which have backmodern Geology has acquired an interest bones; Molluscous Animals, such as shellexceeding, perhaps, that of any other of fish and snails ; Articulated Animals, such the physical sciences. Though her conclu- as earth-worms, lobsters, spiders, and insions have not the evidence of demonstra- sects; and Radiated Animals, such as startion, and are opposed to many of our early fish, intestinal worms, sea-nettles, corals, prejudices, yet they stand before us in the sponges, and infusory animalcules. In virgrandeur of truth, and have commanded tue of this arrangement the vertebrated anthe assent of the most pious and sober- imals are described under the heads Icu, minded of our philosophers. They have THYOLOGY, MAMMALIA, ORNITHOLOGY, and lent, in fact, a new evidence to Revealed Reptiles; the molluscous animals under Religion; they have broken the arms of the article Mollusca, written by a most the skeptic; and when we ponder over distinguished naturalist

, Dr. Fleming; the the great events which they proclaim,—the articulated animals under the heads of mighty revolutions which they indicate- ARACHNIDES, Crustacea, and Entomothe wrecks of successive creations which LOGY; and the fourth class under the words they display—and the immeasurable cycles ANIMALCULE, Echinodermata, HELMINof their chronology—the era of man shrinks THOLOGY, and Zoophytes. The great body into contracted dimensions ; his proudest of these valuable treatises we owe to Mr. and most ancient dynasties wear the aspect Wilson himself, and the rest were executed of upstart and ephemeral groups ; the fa- under his immediate superintendence, in brics of human power, the gorgeous tem- order to give variety and symmetry to the ple, the monumental bronze, the regal whole system of natural knowledge

. In pyramid, sink into insignificance beside the connection with this branch of science wo

may here mention the popular article on has not yet taken its place within the doANGLING, written by the same author ;* main of positive knowledge. It is imposand the articles HORSE, HORSEMANSHIP, sible to read the interesting details of its Hound, and HUNTING, from the pen of Mr. history, to follow its ingenious and varied Apperley (Nimrod,) whose powers of speculations, and to weigh the conclusions blonding amusement with instruction are at which its votaries have arrived, without well known to the readers of this journal. endeavouring to estimate the value and ex

Among the productions of the natural tent of its acquisitions, and without fearing world plants stand next to animals in their that a value too high has been placed upon relation to the purposes of domestic life. them, and an extent too wide assigned them, The great botanist of our age, the late Sir The learned and beautiful dissertation of James Edward Smith, drew up an interest- Dugald Stewart is peculiarly fitted to assist ing history of Botany and BOTANICAL the student in this inquiry. We gaze with SYSTEMS, which Dr. Walker Arnott has delight on the first dawnings of intellectual judiciously introduced into his valuable ar- truth; we admire it as it brightens amid the ticle on Botany; and the remarkable trea- clouds and storms of controversy; we foltise on the anatomy and physiology of vege- low it with straining eye till it is eclipsed in tables (enlarged by Professor Baltour,) we the superstition and darkness of the middle owe to the late Mr. Daniel Ellis, whose ages; we trace its revival amid the congefine talents and philosophical cast of mind nial gleams of literature and physical scicharacterize this elaborate article.

ence; and we pursue it through all the lights The newest though not the least impor- and shadows of modern controversy, till our tant of the natural sciences, namely Geolo- | labouring reason abandons her pursuit Gy, with MINERALOGY as its handmaid, has amidst the cloud-capped metaphysics of been treated in a manner corresponding to the German school.' In this survey of its its importance. The treatise on GEOLOGY own powers the mind is bewildered anong was composed by Mr. John Phillips, a geo- conflicting opinions. The truths of one age logist of the first rank, and whose general appear to have been the errors of the next; knowledge added a new qualification for the lights of one school become the beathe task. We regard this essay as one of cons of its rival; and amid the mass of inhigh merit, containing a systematic and phi- genious speculation, and the array of'amlosophical view of the extensive subject of biguous facts to which the inductive process which it treats, while at the same time it is can scarcely be applied, we seek in vain for so perspicuous in its language, and so sober distinct propositions and general laws. If in its views, that the general reader cannot that only can be called truth which we can fail to peruse it with pleasure and satisfac- compel a sound and unprejudiced mind to tion. The recent discoveries of Cuvier, believe, we are driven to the conclusion that Smith, Buckland, Sedgwick, Murchison, our intellectual philosoplıy cannot yet boast Cony beare, Lyell, Hibbert, Elie de Beau- of the number of her achievements. Eveu mont, Fourier, and Agassiz, are all brought in that department which relates to the funcbefore us in a condensed form; and by tions and indications of the senses, where means of constant references to the origi- płıysical science comes powerfully to our nal works we can appeal to them for any uid, there is but little harmony among the further details which may be desired. Of opinions of our most distinguished metaMINERALOGY it is enough to say that it is physicians; and many of those points which treated by Professor Jameson.

Reid and Stewart were considered to have Under the head of terrestrial physics, placed beyond the reach of scepticism have already referred to, we may include AGRI- been lately assailed with the keenest ingeCULTURE, HorticuLTURE, "Puysical Geo- nuity by their own countryman, Dr. Thomas GRAPHY, and MeteoROLOGY, articles con- Brown. How much more difficult, then, tributed by Mr. Cleghorn, Dr. Neill, Dr. must it be to establish incontrovertible truths Trail, and Sir John Leslie, and marked by when the phenomena are those of thought the same industry and talent which charac- and consciousness, and the sole instrument terize the more scientific department of the of research by which we take cognizance general subject.

of them is the abstract power of reflection. From the physical sciences, the philoso- In support of these views we may adduce phy of matter, we must now turn to the the observation of Dr. Reid himself, that philosophy of the mind-that science which the system which is now generally receiv

ed with regard to the mind and its operaThis entertaining manual has been published tions derives not only its spirit from Desseparately, and was reviewed by us in connection cartes, but its fundamental principles ; and with Mr. Colquhoun's 'Moor and Loch about a

that, after all the improvements made by 5

year ago.


Malebranche, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, placed it beyond a doubt that the Egyptian it may be called the Cartesian system. In hieroglyphics were signs of sounds, and quoting this passage Mr. Stewart adds that had determined the phonetic signs of sever the part of the Cartesian system here allud- of the letters of the alphabet. Dr. Young, ed to, is the hypothesis, that the communica- however, did not perceive the whole value tion between the mind and external objects of this step: in consequence of his having is carried on by means of ideas or ima- limited his principle to foreign sounds he ges.

was prevented from pursuing it to its reBut whatever estimate we may form of sults; and he thus left to M. Champollion the nature and extent of our knowledge of the honour of illustrating and developing mental phenomena, there can be only one the discovery. The English philosopher, opinion of the high interest and vast import- however, pushed his researches in a differance of the subject; and the treatises on its ent direction, and succeeded in constructvarious branches in the 'Encyclopædia' will ing an enchorial alphabet, and presenting it be found extremely valuable and instructive. to the world in a state so complete, that but In Dr. Hampden's lives of ARISTOTLE, PLA- few additions have been made to it by his To, and Socrates-(though we cannot ex- successors. These discoveries, with a full actly place them on the same very high level account of the labours of Champollion and with his article on Thomas Aquinas, in the others, are admirably expounded in the artiEncyclopædia Metropolitana)—the student cle HIEROGLYPHICS, which, with the excepwill obtain a clever and comprehensive tion of the 3d, 4th, and 5th sections by Dr. view of the ancient philosophy ; and in the Young, was written by the late Dr. Browne. articles on UNIVERSAL GRAMMAR, Meta- We owe to Dr. Young, also, the treatise on Physics, and PhilOSOPHY, the two last of the afjinity of languages, which forms the which were written by Bishop Gleig and Pro- 2d section of the able article on Lanfessor Robison, he will find the general sub-guage. ject discussed in its most important bear- In the circle of human knowledge His. ings, while the preliminary dissertation on Tory and Biography form one of the largmetaphysical and ethical philosophy will est and most popular departments; and it place before him in ample detail an inter- is here that the peculiar advantages of esting history of the progress of opinion encyclopædic instruction most strikingly in these branches of knowledge.

appear. The histories of the various naThe subject of general literature, includ- tions of the world, both ancient and mod. ing antiquities and the fine arts, has been ern, though written on different scales, and treated in the 'Encyclopædia Britannica' by a variety of bands, form, nevertheless, a in a manner not on the whole less satisfac- body of universal history which a hundred tory. The articles on CHIVALRY, Drama, separate volumes would not be able to supand Romance, by Sir Walter Scott, are ply. In this class of articles we find the worthy of that name. The last of those most recent information, and we are able to articles having been limited to romances of read the events of our own time with a cochivalry, it has been extended very ably by piousness and minuteness of detail which Mr. Moir, so as to embrace a critical ac- we should look for in vain in the indepencount of the romances of the Great Novel- dent histories of European states. The ist himself, and others of anterior and sub-greater number of historical articles have sequent date. The treatise on Beauty by been composed by authors well known to Lord Jeffrey exhibits that intellectual pow- the public; and the History of ScotLAND, er, elegant taste, and brilliant diction, by by Mr. Tytler, is not the only one that prewhich so many of his productions have been sents in a condensed form the results of distinguished. The treatises on Music by years of study devoted to a particular subMr. Grahame, on PAINTING by Mr. Haydon, ject. on Poetry by Mr. Moore, and on Ruero- The biographical department has also RIC by Mr. Spalding, are all skilful per- been elaborately prepared. Many very informances, not unworthy of being associ- teresting lives were written by Dr. Thomas ated with this masterly Essay.

Young; the greater number of the articles But there is another department of gene- in classical and mythological biography ral literature almost of modern growth in were composed by Mr. Ramage; and alwhich the · Encyclopædia' may boast of its most all the Scottish lives were re-comexclusive superiority. The discoveries of posed by that well-read, modest veteran, Dr. Thomas Young respecting hieroglyphics Dr. David Irving. The memoirs of Schilhave been justly considered as among the ler, Shakspeare, and Pope, by Mr. De highest achievements of modern learning. Quincey, have been much admired as speSo early as 1818 our great countryman had' cimens of critical biography; and among

« AnteriorContinuar »