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ancient geometry be disposed to treat it with greater courtesy. At same time, we have here some admirable specimens of the application of the doctrine of parallels to the most useful of purposes. At page 33, the translator pays a high compliment to the French nation, on account of their skill in ship-building; and that they are well entitled to such encomiums we are not disposed to dispute. However, we beg to differ from him, in ascribing their success to the application of the mathematical sciences to the determination of the best form of a ship; because all, the little all, that is known of the best form, is merely derived from experience. An age probably will elapse, before the mathematical sciences can be applied with any certainty to this subject; for the laws of the resistance of water on a large scale are as yet only matter of speculation. The Dutch form differs exceedingly from the French ; and yet competent judges admit, that it is not on that account inferior in practical utility.* But notwithstanding these criticisms, we do not hesitate strongly to recommend this work, especially to such as are desirous of acquiring the practical use of mathematics whilst studying the elements of that science.
2. Mr Audubon's great Work on the Birds of the United States of America.-M. Audubon devoted 22 years of his life to the study of the Natural History of the Birds of North America. During the greater part of that long period, he lived principally, and nearly alone, in the woods and wilds of the New World, drawing, describing, dissecting, and studying the appearances, habits and manners of the feathered creation. The result of this almost unparalleled labour, has been a connected series of observations equally striking and novel, and a collection of drawings admirable in execution, and absolutely marvellous in their representation of the living and intellectual attributes of the species.
* The current century has afforded some notable instances of the abuse of mathematical science; and in no case, perhaps, has the failure been more complete than in that of patent mathematical ploughs, scarcely one-half of which were ever used, but were consigned to neglect, and to be broken up for other purposes, like so many condemned wrecks. All the mathematical theories in the world are of no use in determining the best form of that part of a plough which works under ground ; and we have no reason to expect that it will ever be otherwise. Like every thing else, mathematics are valuable, highly valuable, only in their own place.
Each group, even each bird, by its attitudes and expression of countenance, tells in these drawings the story of its own instincts. Did our space allow of it, we could dwell long, and with enthusiastic admiration, on these fine displays of skill and taste, and, after all, would but embody in a feeble manner the feelings of thousands who have seen Mr Audubon's pictures in the room of the Royal Institution in Liverpool, and in the Hall of the Royal Institution in this city. We are delighted to learn that these drawings are to be published, and on a scale of magnitude never before attempted in similar works in this country. Already several of the plates, admirably engraved, and beautifully and chastely coloured, have been publicly exhibited. The work, we understand, will appear in occasional numbers; the paper elephant folio, with 5 plates in each. The engravings will be accompanied with a quarto volume of letter press, containing all Mr Audubon's observations on the Natural History of the species, in the form of letters,—of which a very interesting specimen is given, in the history of the Turkey Buzzard in the present number of this Journal.
3. The Aberdeen, Leith and London Tide-Tables for the year 1827; by George Innes, Astronomical Calculator, Aberdeen.Mr Innes, so well known for his enthusiastic devotion to Practical Astronomy and his uncommon accuracy in calculation, has just published his Tables for 1827. This little work, now so indispensable to mariners and others, although requiring no commendation from us, we cannot allow to run its career without again expressing our conviction, from experience, of the perfect accuracy (and here every thing depends on accuracy), of all its calculations and details.
List of Patents granted in England, from 18th September to
18th November 1826. 1826, Sept. 18. To R. WILLIAMS, Norfolk Street, Strand, for an improved method
of manufacturing Hats and Caps, with the assistance of machinery. Oct. 4. To J. R. CHAID, Somersetshire, lace-manufacturer, for improvements
in machinery for making Net, commonly called Bobbin or Twist Net.
To FRANCIS HALLIDAY of Ham, in the county of Surrey, Esquire,
for certain improvements on apparatus used in drawing Boots on
and off. 11. To THEODORE Jones of Coleman Street, accountant, for an im.
provement on the Wheels of Carriages. 18. To WILLIAM Mills of Hazelhouse, Bisley, Gloucestershire, gentle
man, for an improvement in Fire-Arms. To WILLIAM CHURCH, Birmingham, for improvements in Printing. To SAMUEL PRATT, New Bond Street, Westminster, camp-equipage
manufacturer, for improvements on Beds, Bedsteads, Couches,
Seats, and other articles of Furniture.
in propelling Boats, Ships, or other Vessels, or floating Bodies.
and GEORGE Pockock, of Bristol, gentleman, for improvements in the construction of Carts or other Carriages, and for the application of a Power, hitherto unused for that purpose, to draw the same; which power is also applicable to the drawing of ships and other vessels, and for raising weights, and for other useful pur
poses. Nov. 7. To B. NEWMARCH, Cheltenham, for improvements on Fire-Arms.
9. To E. THOMPSON, Birmingham, goldsmith and silversmith, for im
provements in the construction of Medals, Tokens, and Coins. 18. To H. LACY, Manchester, coachmaker, for an apparatus on which to
suspend Carriage-Bodies. To B. WOODCROFT, Manchester, silk-manufacturer, for his improve
ments in Wheels and Paddles for propelling boats and vessels.
List of Patents granted in Scotland from 9th September to 8th
November 1826. 1826, Oct. 10. To John POOLE of Sheffield, in the county of York, shopkeeper,
for “ certain Improvements in Steam-engine Boilers or Steam
Generators ; applicable also to the Evaporation of other Fluids." Nov. 2. To David Ramsay Hay of the city of Edinburgh, painter, and co
partner with George Nicholson, painter in Edinburgh, carrying on business there as painters, under the firm of Nicholson and Hay,
a new Process in Painting, for producing the appearance of Damask.” 8. To THEODORE JONES of Coleman Street, in the city of London,
accountant, for 5 an Improvement or Improvements on Wheels for Carriages."
P. NEILL, Printer.
Biographical Memoirs of Charles Bonner and HORACE BE
NEDICT DE SAUSSURE. Read to the Royal Institute of
MMEDIATELY after the new organization of the Institute, the
, first Class of Science, by a unanimous resolution, ordained a public eulogium to be pronounced upon the members of the Academy of Science, who had died during that fatal period, when all personal merit, all independent pre-eminence, were odious to authority, and when none were permitted to be praised but the oppressors of the country, and their contemptible satellites *
At the moment when we were meditating the discharge of this honourable office, a multitude of meritorious individuals presented themselves to our view. Among these shone forth with a more intense lustre, not only the happy geniuses, who, in these latter times, have opened up to science paths so new and so extended; but those, also, whose valuable talents have enabled them to diffuse the light of knowledge, and teach men to appreciate its benefits. The Lavoisiers, the Baillys, the Condorcets, were the men who seemed more imperiously to demand our homage : but they were also men whose agitated life and unhappy end, would have aroused the remembrance of events which even yet excite too much grief. To expiate the crimes of that disastrous period, it would have been necessary to repeat their history; and this, we confess, we have not yet acquired sufficient courage to do.
* The fatal period of the Revolution. JANUARY-MARCH 1827.
Pardon us, therefore, ye illustrious shades ! if we first present to public recognition such of your rivals, as, from superior prudence, or a happier destiny, kept themselves sheltered from the tempests of which you have been the victims. The day will soon arrive, when we shall fully acquit' ourselves of the sacred duty. The hand which has repaired our evils, gradually softens the remembrance of them : it makes this epochi retrograde, if we may so speak : soon we shall no longer be the contemporaries of your executioners, and shall be able to speak of them as history will speak.
To-day I shall present a sketch of the life of two celebrated individuals, closely allied by blood, and still more by their mode of life, and the similarity of their labours ;-men who, in a country that had experienced convulsions long before ours, had yet commanded the respect of all parties, by their devotedness to science, and by the practice of peaceful virtues. Charles Bonnet, and Horace Benedict de Saussure, the two men to whom Natural History has been indebted in our days for such brilliant advances, and solid improvements, were uncle and nephew, happy family, to which a scion already inscribed in our lists, still ensures for one generation more an heirship of talents so rarely to be met with.
Such phenomena in families could only happen in those small states whose independence is secured by the jealousy of greater powers. Confined within a narrow circle, freed of the care of providing for their safety, neither war, nor public offices, nor the other avenues to rapid success, presented sufficient allurements to turn their minds aside from those long and silent labours which lead to celebrity in science. Being to themselves. proper centre, no great metropolis drew
no great metropolis drew away the geniuses which nature produced among them ; while their prudent economy, and the purity of their manners, prevented talents from being stifled by luxury.
Such was the city of Geneva since the period of the Reformation; and to all the advantages of its political situation, it added that of speaking the same language as those who, of all the other European nations, have carried civilization, among the upper classes, to the highest pitch, and who, moreover, enjoy that unrestrained liberty of inquiry which the Protestants autho