Page images
PDF
EPUB

SWEDISH LITERATURE.

Art. XXVIII. Svcnsla Lafvartias Fdrghistoria; or, The Use* of the Lichens in Dyeing, and other Economical Purposes. By J. P. Westring, M.D. Physician to the King of Sweden. No. I. pp. 48, No. II. pp. Z'Z. Price 5s. each. Boosey. 1806.

rTHE nature aad utility of this publication intitle it to attention in every country, where lichens can be produced or procured, and dyeing is an object of importance. It commenced late in the year 1805, and will be completed in twenty-four numbers, including seventy-two lichens (the mow valuable of two hundred and twenty, on which, during fifteen years, the author has been making experiments) ; plates, neatly coloured, are introduced to represent the several lichens, and to display a specimen of the different dies which they yield under different processes. These proctitis are very clearly drawn up, in a manner adapted for the weakest capacity; and the different economical uses are specified so distinctly, as to excite attention from persons who have hitherto been wholly ignorant of their properties.

It might be expected that the country of Linnaeus should continue to possess men of talents in Natural History; and his disciples, of late, seem to have formed a phalanx to defend its title to this distinction. Works of the greatest merit, in every branch of the science, have, within a short space of time, been laid before the public, by such men as Svuartz, Thunleig, Qvenzel, Palmstruch, S/iarrman, Achurius, and others. The Lichens, however, had no distinct history that described all their properties; when Mr. Westring undertook the task. In performing it, he connects and completes his numerous essays on the subject, which have repeatedly been inserted in the transactions of the Academy of Sciences at Stockholm.*

This study has certainly been too much neglected in our own country, notwithstanding the respectable labours of Lord Dundonald and others, in discovering and describing the properties of various mosses. We are of opinion thererore, that a translation of the present work would give this pursuit a rank, in the estimation of English botanists and general readers, which hitherto it has never obtained. Independently of other advantages, it provides in the dyeing only, three new sources of industry. 1st. To the poor the gathiring andpre/iaring it promises a comfortable livelihoodf; 2dly, the dyeing itself, will be more frequent and give employment to more hands, as according to the author's method it is not difficult, and is always serviceable; 3dly, to the ladies it may afford an amusing and innocent occupation, and those who have nothing better to do may be kept out of mischief: for the process will answer as well on a small scale as a large one, and thus in a pint bottle they may dye silks, ribbons, &c. of almost every colour with the greatest ease and expedition.

It has often been remarked, and many of our readers will object, that

■m ■ ■

* Seethe transactions for 179l—1795, &c. Rev.

f Many families in Leith already subsist by the latter branch of the employment. Rev.

the colours produced from lichens are never genuine, and will not stand; but the author has proved, by various experiments, that this assertion is unfounded. He remarks further, what may appear somewhat curious, that these colours are almost the only vegetable colours, that will adhere to white marble. They penetrate deep into it, he says, and may be used in painting upon it, in any hue that fancy may dictate. Might not experiments be made on glass and corals also?

Beside the uses of the Lichens in dyeing and the consumption of the Lichen Tartareus in England is already very considerable) they are found of great service in many other respects. To some of these purposes, likewise, we already apply them; T hus we have mosses of our own, which will produce a kind of gum, resembling the gummi Senegal so valuable in the cotton manufacture. The Lichen Islandicus, as well as the Snow-moss ( Lichen nivalis), and the Rein-deer-moss (L. Rangiferinus ), is ac kno wledged to be salutary in consumptive, and pulmonary disorders. The Hair-moss (L. Hirtus) boiled in a little water and milk is found serviceable in cases of jaundice. Many other remedies might be added from this useful class of plants.* Mr. Olassen in his Travels in Iceland informs us, that the people of that country fatten old and lean oxen with the L. Islandicus, and that they prepare the L.L. Rangiferinus, Nivalis, Velleus, and Proboscideus into as many palatable dishes. The L. Velleus is thought, also, an agreeable aliment, in Canada.

The continuation of this work, will in all probability afford much additional information. If a translation is undertaken, and it is found expedient to copy the plates, very great care will be absolutely essential in correctness of delineation, and especially in a true representation of the colours to be produced.

The 1st. Number of this work contains the Flock-laf,\ (Pulveraria chlorina) which by the various preparations here minutely prescribed, affords 14 beautiful colours on silk, wool, cotton, or linen; tne Fdrglaf, L. Saxatilis) from which 12 colours maybe produced; and the Mjolklaf (L. Lacteus) yielding also 12 colours.

The 2nd Number contains the WestringsAaf,% (Isidium Westringii) with 12; the Ljus-laf, (,L. Gandelaris) with 8; and the Blas-laf, (L. Ventosus) with 12 different colours. The spermatic organs {organa carfiomorpha) of each Lichen have been minutely examined by the learned

* See the -works of Hoffman, Amoreux, and Willemet, as also the transactions of the Academy of Sciences at Lyon. 1786, 7.

f La/is derived from the Anglosaxon word Hlave, a rounded flat protuberance, which answers to the Greek *6ixi», from which the Latin Lichen is adopted, signifying a ringworm, or a rounded flat protuberance, which is the natural growth of the Lichens. Tournefort supposes, that the name Lichen was derived from their property of curing ringworms, which Galen taught in his days.

X So called by Professor Acharius in his description of neiv and little known Swedish Lichens, in honour of the Author or the present work, who first discovered that this Lichen produced a valuable genuine dye. See the transactions of the Academy of Sciences at Stockholm for 1794. p: 181, Rev.

Vol. III. U u

Professor Acharius; of these an exact engraving is added, on a separate plate in the first number; but in the 2nd and following numbers, they are inserted on the same plate with the Lichens and the coloured specimens.

. We have at present seen only the first two numbers; but we expect the continuation daily.

As our limits do not permit us, in the present instance, at least, to ( allot more space to this performance, we shall close our notice with a few remarks by the author. After having adverted to the great abundance of useful Lichens in Sweden, he observes,

"Many of these are substantial or effective dying materials, which, simply in water, impart their colours both to wool and silk; within one or two hours, beautiful and even precious colours may be fixed on the cloth. Others again are prefiarable materials, which require a previous process, for which the easiest method is always given. With the addition of different chemical salts, colours of the finest gloss may be procured, of which the greatest part become genuine. On silk they often obtain a firmness and lustre not inferior to the Chinese. Lastly, they may be used as compounded colours, when other materials are employed, either foreign, wHch thus become more durable, and may be used sparingly or domestic, as Barks, and Lichens of other kinds. Both the precious Cochineal and the Indigo, which cost us (in Sweden) yearly several tons of gold may, by the addition of proper lichens, be rendered in a gteat proportion unnecessary." Prcf. p. vii.

"J he gathering of the Lichens is best made after rain; with an iron scraper fitted for the purpose, they are easily loosened from rocks and stones; they ought to be well cleaned from pine leaves, &c. washed of all sand ami earth in cold water, afterwards dried in the shade with moderate heat, and then pounded or ground to powder. Within four or at most six years they have grown up again on the same place. The orn-laf, (L. Tartareus) is however one of those, which grow more slowly.

"It were well if they could be sown or planted, which probably might be done."

The author proposes in an other place to grind them and sow them on the first snow.

"l hey seem to come nearest to the Zoophyte species, and have, as it were, a polypus nature, not unlike the little animal •vorticella rotatoria, which, when dry, resembles sand, but revives again when sprinkled with water. Here we find that a piece of their leaves, which has stuck to any subStance, grows up by itself to a fall size. Some have thought that they vegetate only in winter, and indeed it seems as if their life was iiactive during the whole summw, however after a heavy rain or continuation of wet weather, we find them as brisk as in the cold season." p. viii.

But we must now refer our readers to the work itself; if any of them have the leisure and the inclination to study the Swedish language,* we can promise them that it is not difficult of acquisition nor barrren of utility.

* See Eel. Rev. Vol. I. p. 542.

Art. XXIX. SELECT LITERARY INFORMATION.

*#* Gentlemen and Publishers who have -works in the press, -will oblige the Conductors of the Eclectic Revuw, by sending information (tost paid) of the subject, extent, and probable price of such works; which they may depend on being communicated to the public, if consistent with its plan.

GREAT BRITAIN.

Proposals have been circulated forprint. ing by subscription, in octavo, price 10s. 6d. a volume of sermons, by the Rev. H. B. Wilson, M. A. Curate and Lecturer of St. Michael's Bassishaw, Lecturer of the united Parishes of St. Autholin and St. John Baptist, and one of the masters of Merchant Taylor's School, London.

It is proposed to publish by subscription Ten Sermons, as preached in Oxendon and Wobum Chapels, by the Rev. William Cockburn, A. M. Christian Advocate in the University of Cambridge, price to subscribers 7s. 6d. to be paid on delivery of the work.

Mr. J. Campbell, the author of " Worlds Displayed,'^ and several other works, will publish in a short time, the Voyages and Travels of a Bible.

It is designed to publish a third volume of sermons, by the late Mr. A. Swanston, preacher of the gospel in the Communion of the Secession Church.

Proposals have been circulated for publishing by subscription, in one volume, neatly printed in twelves, price to subscribers, 3s. An Essay on the Importance, of Evangelical Seminaries among Dissenters, as preparatory to the Work of tbe Ministry. By Ingram Cobbin.

Mr. T. D. W. Dearn, Architect to His Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence, will publish Sketches in Architecture, consisting of original designs for cottages and rural dwellings, suitable to persons of moderate fortune, and for convenient retirement, with plans and appropriate scenery to each; also some general observations. Elegantly engraved on 20 plates, large quarto, price 11 7s. in boards.

Speedily will be published by W. F. Pocock, Architect, elegantly engraved on 33 plates, royal quarto, pric« 11. lis. 6d. in boards, Sketches for Rustic Cottages, Rural Dwellings, and Villas, composed in the ancient English, the Grecian, and Roman Styles, with plans and descriptions; to which are prefixed, some practical observations on character, scenery, and situation, proper for such buildings, particularly as appropriate to castles, abbies, old English houses, &c. with practical remarks

on the execution of buildings in general, and the most general causes of the dry rot.

An Historical Essay on the Life of th» Great Conde, written by His Serene Highness the Prince of Conde, his descendant in the fourth degree, now in England, translated from the original manuscript, found at Chantilly, and published at Paris, is now in the press, and will be shortly published in one volume octavo.

Mr. Barrow, author of Travels in China, will publish, in a few weeks, his expected account of the public life, and a selection from the unpublished writings, of the Earl of Macartney, iiitwo quarto volumes.

With this month commences a new monthly periodical work, to be entitled, the Inspector, price 6d. per number, by Simon Peep, Esq.

AJso, another new work, entiled, The Compiler, or Literary Banquet.

Nicholas Carlisle, Esq, Secretary.of the Society of Antiquaries, hasjust sent to the press a work of great and general utility, to be entitled a Topographical Dictionary of England. It is to contain an accurate delineation of each county, as subdivided into hundreds, lathes, wapentakes, &c. an account of the population of each parish and township, as estimated in the returns made by order of the government in 1801; and a statement of the parochial assessments according to the returns made to parliament in 1803. An account will likewise be given of ecclesiastical benefices, stating who the patrons of them are, and the value at which they are set down in the King's books; to this part will be added an account, curious as it is desirable, of the tutelary saint of each church. Be sides these topics, it will include a vast variety of other particulars relative to the situation of post towns, markets, fairs, corporations, free schools, and religious houses, members of parliament, assizes, petty sessions, &i,c. &c. The whole of the materials, which have bean collected with great labour and pains from tbe most authentic sources, will for the convenience and facility of consultation, be arranged In alphabetical order.

Proposals have been issued for publish-
U u 2

ing by subscription, a histr ry of the County of Cardigan, by Samuel Rush Meyrick, A. B. of Queen's College, Oxford, which will be illustrated with 18 plates, from drawings made on the spot by the author, and engraved by the most celebrated artists in this country. The work will make one large volume in quarto.

In the course of the ensuing month will be published, in 3 vols. 12mo. Letters from England, by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella, translated from the Spanish.

Proposals have been issued for publishing by subscription, in quarto, a set of views, illustrative of Mr. Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel. The work will consist of twelve views on the rivers Borthwick, Ettrick, Yarrow, Teviot, and Tweed. To be engraved by James Heath, R. A. fr in drawings taken on the spot, by J. C. Schetky, of Oxford, with anecdotes and descriptions by Mr. Scott; to be accompanied with historical vignettes.

Mr. Byerley's translation of the celebrated Machiavei s great work, The Prince, is now in the press. Mr. B. has added notes to his translation, in which he attempts to prove that Bonaparte has invariably adopted the maxims of that great statesman in all his conquests, and that we have only to consult them to discover a clue to his past and future conduct. It will be printed in an elegant octavo volume, and enriched with a fine head of Machiavei.

A work of considerable importance, and aiming at nothing less than a total change in the study and practice of Eloquence, is now preparing for the press. It traces the revolutions of oratory, and the causes of its progress or decline indifferent countries, with a view of making the collected evidence of past times the test ofthe proposed, plan of academical improvement. The theory is illustrated by a great variety of the most admired specimens of popular, parliamentary, and judicial eloquence. It is to be intitled The British Cicero.

Mr. Pinkerton has undertaken to edit a work of considerable magnitude, nearly connected with the subject of his late publication—A General Collection of Voyages and Travels, forming a complete history of the origin and progress of discovery by sea and land from the earliest aces to the present time.

The new edition of Pope's works, by the Rev. W Lisle Bowles, will be published in a few weeks. This edition is not only enlarged by a series of notes and illustrations by the editor and other learned friends, bur by a volume of letters bet.veen Pope and his correspondents, never before

published, and which have been supplied from the library of a noble Marquis. There are also a considerable number of portraits, not hitherto engraved, of Pope's illustiious friends, which will form a valubleaddition to the English Series. The whole is comprised in ten volumes octavo, with an additional volume in quarto, and another in octavo, to suit Ruffhead's and Warton's editions.

A new edition of Robert Ferguson's Poems, handsomely printed, 8vo. with a true accouut of his life and writings, will shortly appear.

The first number of the Transactions of the Entomological Society of London, will appear early in the present month.

Proposals have been circulated for publishing by subscription, a Portrait of William Wilberforce, Esq. M. P. dedicated by permission to the Rev. the Dean of Carlisle, D. D. the picture selected for the engraving is from the crayon ofthe late John Russel, Esq. R. A: in possession of the Rev. the Dean of Carlisle: it is said to be a strong characteristic likeness. Mr. Heath has undertaken to engrave it in his first style c f elegance. Price to subscribers one guinea: to nonsubseribers the price will be considerably raised. The precise order of subscription will be rigidly attended to in the delivery of the prints. A list of subscribers will accompany each impression.

GERMANY.

M. J. T. Zauner has published a History of the Archducal House of Lorraine, intended to form an Introduction of the History of the Electoral House of Safzbourg. (flisiorische Uebersicht ties Lothringisch Oestreichiscken Erzhauses, 8vo.- Salzbourg. Zaurieth, 20k.)

At Schnecberg is published, Accounts of the Principal Authors of the fifteenth and sixteenth Centuries, with Extracts from their Works, and Details of the more Remarkable Events of their Lives. Darslellimg der vorziiglichsten Gelehrten, 8vo. 9 gr.)

At Goerliz, M. F. Otto has pub'ished a Biographical Dictionary of Authors and Artists who have lived in Upper Lusatia from the fifteenth Century to the present Date, including Authors now living. (Lexicon der sett dem Funfgehnien Jtihrhundert verstorbenen, 4 vols. 8vo. 8 rxd.) ft *

M. A. Fikenscher lias published at Er lang. a Work intitled, Literary Bayrentb, containing, Biographical and Literary Notices of ill the Authors born in the Principality of that Name, alphabetically arranged. {Gekhrtes Fiirttenthurn Bareuih, If vols. 8vo.)

« PreviousContinue »