« PreviousContinue »
more unendurably annoying, than a positive obligation to hold one of the free colonies by force, or the menace of force; and yet if the Nova Scotians will not hear reason, what help? We are not going to surrender the only nexus of the Empire- the right of the Imperial Parliament in the last resort to legislate for every human being who claims the protection of our flag. We are 1776) is a man about whom all who haunt JAMES FERGUSON (1710-Nov. 16, not going to alter Imperial laws of the high- the bookstalls know scraps; and many est importance under orders from Halifax. have read the autobiography which is here We have not the means of compelling a reprinted. He was a mechanist of great compromise, for Canada cannot give up her power, whose life was subdivided into orretariff suddenly without bankruptcy, and ries, eclipsareons, whirling-tables, cometaria, must have under any scheme of Confedera- trajectoria, rotulæ, mechanical paradoxes, tion greater power than Nova Scotia. In astronomical fact, as it seems to us, we have only to use pamphlets, portrait-painting, with a dozen explanations, controversial diplomacy or force; and we strongly trust, etceteras. but strongly doubt, that the needful ability portraits in Scotland, where he was born at For many years he painted may be found at the Colonial Office. The a farm-house called the Core of Mayen, in negotiation is one which will sorely tax all Banffshire. He sat in the room at Merchisthe skill and all the knowledge of the Duke ton Castle in which Napier calculated the of Buckingham, and may require the inter- logarithms, and there he painted Lady vention of statesmen of much stronger Jane Douglas, the heroine of the mater powers than any his Grace has yet been nity question known as able to display. The first necessity, how- cause.' the 66 Douglas ever, is that both Parliament and the Colo- When about eight years old, he saw his But he was always an inventor. nial Office should realize clearly the seri- father raise the sunk thatch of the roof ousness of the colonial agitation. with a lever. He took to trying levers, generalized the instrument into the wheel and axle, and was much delighted to find that his invention was already in printed books. So it is with juvenile discoverers; they are proud to find that they have had full-grown predecessors, when they grow up, they are mortified unless, which gener
THE CORONATION STONE. I am told that a short time ago some Continental savans were allowed to chip off a portion of the Cor-ally happens, they can establish to their own onation Stone in Westminster Abbey, with the satisfaction some point of superiority in their view of determining its geological character. own doings. The result was such as entirely to upset our national tradition that it once formed the pillow of Jacob at Bethel, inasmuch as its geological formation does not exist in Palestine; but I shall be glad to know, as will many other of your readers, what its constitution really is. M. D.
miscellaneous career: we could not do it We do not intend to trace Ferguson's justice in any allowable space. He was a man of genius, without sufficient education. He came to London in 1743: his last resiIdence was No. 4, Bolt Court; Samuel Johnson began to live at No. 8 in 1776, the year of Ferguson's death. We shall select one or two points, and then leave the work to our readers. There is so much miscellaneous matter, and the index is so good, that most of those who are concerned with the last century will find something they want to know.
[From a "Geological Account of the Coronation Stone" by Professor Ramsay, printed by Dean Stanley, in Memorials of Westminster Abbey, pp. 499, 500, it appears that the stone is a dull reddish or purplish sandstone, strongly resembling that of the doorway of Dunstaffnage Castle, which was probably built of the stone of the neighbourhood. It is extremely improbable that it was erected from the rocks of the Hill of Tara, from whence it is said to have been transported to Scotland; neither could it have been taken from the rocks
of Iona. That it belonged originally to the rocks round Bethel is equally unlikely; while Egypt is not known to furnish any strata similar to the red sandstone of the Coronation Stone.] N. & Q.
From The Athenæum.
Life of James Ferguson, F. R. S., in a brief Autobiographical Account and fur ther extended Memoir. By E. Henderson, LL.D. (Fullarton & Co.)
could not endure Euclid, and preferred Ferguson was not a mathematician: he measurement with a ruler and compasses. Dugald Stewart remembered his saying that he "found himself quite unable to entertain that species of reasoning." stumbled at the second proposition of the first book, which he said appeared capri
cious and ludicrous to any one who had ever seen a pair of compasses. He wanted teaching; and Dugald Stewart could not teach him. It is only in our own day that an edition of Euclid has noticed that Euclid's compasses are not distance-carriers, but only circle-drawers: they are never to be open when both points are off the paper. Let a young student try I. 2 with this warning, and he will see that Euclid keeps to his postulate, and uses the compasses only to draw a circle with a given centre, and a distance from that centre (not from elsewhere) as a radius. The object is to do with the least possible amount of assumption; and the abjuration of the compasses as distance-carriers, in the very earliest work on the subject, is a marvellous trick of rigour; great, because so small.
In 1745 Ferguson exhibited his method of showing a lunar orrery which drew the moon's actual orbit round the sun upon a plane. This orbit, it is well known, is everywhere concave to the sun; though at first sight it might be supposed that there would be loops in it, as in the orbits of the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. This was new to the President and Fellows of the Royal Society: but Ellicott the watchmaker took Ferguson home, and showed him constructions of his own to the same effect, done long before, with a part of the machine he had used. Dr. Henderson thinks that Ferguson was the first who had communicated the fact: but it is not so; though he was the first who is known to have announced it to a public body, and the first to have proved it by machinery.
The reason of the phenomenon is, that the force of the sun upon the moon is greater than that of the earth upon the moon. To a person versed in the theory it is immediately obvious that the moon's orbit round the sun is therefore always concave. Newton, we believe, mentions the excess of solar force, but we cannot at once find the place: the Principia, which ought to have a concordance, has not even an index worthy of the name. We thought that Newton had also mentioned the unvarying concavity; but we cannot find that either; and persons better versed than ourselves in the Principia do not remember it. Maclaurin, who died in 1746, had, years before his death, met with some persons who thought that, since the moon is more strongly attracted by the sun than by the earth, she ought to change primaries, and bid the earth adieu for good and all. In answer to this notion Maclaurin wrote a letter to Benjamin Hoadly, physi
cian to the royal household, which letter the editor of the posthumously published (1748) account of Newton's discoveries inserted in its proper place in that work. Maclaurin's letter to Dr. Hoadly is probably the first publication in the scientific sense
on the subject. Ferguson constructed an ingenious machine to verify a suspicion which he had already formed.
About the time of this construction was born his daughter Agnes, whose melancholy fate-though he never knew the worst was the darkest shadow which ever crossed his path. All that was ever published until now was that she disappeared at the age of eighteen, and was never heard of again. From some subsequent evidence it seems probable that she withdrew her arm from that of her father in the Strand, while he was absorbed in thought, and that he imagined she had gone home on household affairs. He never saw her again; but her fate has been recently ascertained in a curious way. In the blank leaf of a copy of
The Female Jockey Club,' now in the Museum, the former owner, Mr. Blake, surgeon in St. Martin's Lane, has written the account of a poor fallen woman, whom he attended (1792) in her last illness, in Round Court, off the Strand. She acknowledged that she was the daughter of James Ferguson; that she had been inveigled from home by a nobleman whom she had seen at her father's lectures, and who took her to Italy; that she had been abandoned in due course, had tried to subsist by writing, and - being determined not to face her family had been upon the streets for many years. Garrick tried her as an actress, but of that she could make nothing. How many times the poor wretch, when pursuing her vocation, must have crossed the street to avoid her father, her mother, or her brother! Mr. Blake exercised a wise discretion in not communicating with her remaining relatives; perhaps he would have done as well to have left no record at all. But the plan he chose was most efficacious: we have reason to know that nothing secures a fact which is to be wanted so well as writing it in the fly-leaf of a book.
Two contemporaries, James Ferguson and Benjamin Martin, exercised an influence which has lasted in some degree down to the present time. Their works are frequently to be found on the stalls at the lowest prices. We have now a good record of the first we wish we could have as good a one of the second; but we doubt the existence of materials.
Louis, the ex-King of Bavaria, died on 29th | English friend had his remains removed to February at Nice. He is remembered in Eng. England, where it was intended a monument land chiefly as the King whose fancy for Lola should be erected to him. The doctor states Montes, the dancer, caused an émeute in Mu- that the last he knew or heard about the matter nich, and cost him his throne. His claim to be was, that Paine's bones were left with Cobbett, remembered in Bavaria is, however, a better and he thinks that they were with Cobbett when one. By extreme economy he saved enough he died. Is this statement true, and was any money out of the revenue and his own income monument ever erected to Paine in England? to rebuild Munich and convert it into a capital Dr. Ludlow communicates many interesting of Art. Not possessed of any originality, his particulars about Paine, with whom he was rebuildings were failures, and Munich is a city acquainted, and which have never appeared in full of poor imitations of Italian capitals, a print.-W. W. MURPHY, regular cit's show place. The King did, however, collect art treasures of value, and attract artists by his patronage, till it is believed that there are more sculptors in Munich than beersellers. He would have made a very fair noble of the Italian sort, but as a King he will be remembered only for his galleries.
[ON the day after the decease of Thomas Paine, his body was removed, attended by seven persons, to New Rochelle, where he was interred upon his own farm. A stone was placed at the head of his grave, according to the direction in his will, bearing the following inscripTHE American Government has again ordered its diplomatic agents not to put on Court Sense, died June 8th, 1809, aged seventy-two Thomas Paine, author of Common dress, to the extreme annoyance of all who are thereby compelled to be conspicuous at Court years and five months." In the year 1819 receptions as the only gentlemen in black them to England; but instead of arousing, as Cobbett disinterred his bones, and brought swallow-tails. It is stated that Mr. Adams he expected, the enthusiasm of the republican avoided a "Court held this week to escape the annoyance, which will probably be averted in future by a compromise. Any recognized uniform is en règle, and there are very few Americans of standing who have not the right to wear some uniform. Perhaps before the next difficulty arises the barbarous absurdity of compelling everybody who attends Court to put on a footman's livery will have been abol
Ir old John Walter were alive what would he say? Here is the Times, which for half a century has beaten every journal in Europe in energy and enterprise, actually publishing the latest news of a British expedition per favour of a London correspondent of the New York Herald. According to a message received by that gentleman on Wednesday, and apparently ten days later than the latest official intelligence, Sir Robert Napier reached Antalo on February 15, was to meet the " Prince" of Tigré on the 20th, and was then to press on to Magdala, 15 marches off. The telegram is a little confused, but the statement that Sir R. Napier has reached Antalo is confirmed by a subsequent telegram from the Times' own agent. Spectator, March 7.
party in this country, he only drew upon him-
A BUILDER in Philadelphia makes fire-proof ceilings with a flat arch of corrugated iron backed by concrete. The arch is supported at each end by what is technically known as a Hiron girder. A nailmaking machine has been brought out, which, of nails from half an inch to two inches long, will cut 3600 lbs. a day; of larger nails, 5000 lbs.; and of 'spikes' weighing from a quarter to three-quarters of a pound cach, it will cut 2500 lbs. in an hour. - Printers will doubtless take interest in the fact, that inking-rollers made of a mixture of glue and glycerine, are better for their purpose than those at present made of glue and treacle.
FROM China we hear news of mechanical projects: at some of the principal ports, the government are establishing engineering schools and engine-works, with a view to build steamers for their own coasting-trade. So the lun bering old junks are to be superseded at last, and who shall say that the steamship will not be improved by so practical a people as the Chinese ?- Chambers's Journal.
POETRY: - The New Nostrum for Ireland, 258. Free-will and First-choice, 258. Andromache, 301.
NO NEW BOOKS received this week; but there is a pleasant harbinger of Spring, in the shape of a beautiful present of Garden Seeds, from our old friend, Mr. Landreth of Philadelphia. How often is it the case, that "the more you have, the more you want!" So this parcel of seeds awakens the desire that we had land enough to plant them in.
BROWNLOWS, by Mrs. Oliphant, has been published at this office, price 37 cents. Sent by mail, prepaid, for that price.
Preparing for Publication at this Office
LINDA TRESSEL. By the author of "Nina Balatka.”
THE BRAMLEIGHS OF BISHOP'S FOLLY. By Charles Lever.
PHINEAS FINN, THE IRISH MEMBER. By Mr. Trollope.
Just Published at this Office
THE BROWNLOWS. By Mrs. Oliphant. 37 cents.
THE TENANTS OF MALORY. By J. S. Le Fanu. 50 cents.
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY
& GAY, BOSTON.
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION.
FOR EIGHT DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the Living Age will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage. But we do not prepay postage on less than a year, nor where we have to pay commission for forwarding the money.
Price of the First Series, in Cloth, 36 volumes, 90 dollars.
The Complete Work,
Any Volume Bound, 3 dollars; Unbound, 2 dollars. The sets, or volumes, will be sent at the expense of the publishers.