Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

after being read to the Royal Society. Of the articles Affinity, Age, and Air*, we are happy to be able to recommend them generally to our readers. They are perspicuous, concise, yet sufficiently copious and complete for their respective subjects.' They possess, moreover, the merit of being perfectly intelligible to all persons of com. nion capacity.

The second part of the Pantologia extends from Air to AnatonıyIt is, perlaps, more complete in words than the first, and so far the authors improve as they advance. Still, however, many are omitted which should have a place in such a work. The editors seem to have undervalued the importance and utility of brief biographical sketches, as if they were not the easiest and best means of conveying some knowledge of the history of science, and the progress of the human mind. Thus, we do not find the name of Album querque, although his victories contributed directly to extend the the limits of human knowledge, and opened the way to all the subsequent discoveries of Europeans in the East and in the West. In like manner justice is not done to the merits of that able mathematician, T. Allen, whose talents were so advantageously employed by Sir Walter Raleigh on his voyage of discovery. These and many similar defects we hope the authors will endeavour to remedy in an addenda to each letter. It is not true that the mountains in Granada, called Alpujarras, are still inhabited by Christianised Moors, who “retain their old way of living,” and speak a mixture of Arabic and Spanish. Most of the Granada mountaineers are descendents of the Greeks, and not of the Moors. The species of tinder called Amadow is very unphilosophically and erroneously defined; it is not always black, neither is the process of preparing it justly described. In describing Alexandretta as the port town of Aleppo, it should have been stated that it is now called Scanderoon. This is afterwards mentioned improperly under the bead of Alexandria. The zoologist is gratified at the expence of the mythologist, in the word Amphitrite; who is not noticed as the daughter of Neptune, but only a genus of worms of this name. Neither do we find the me. dical term Anastasis, and many others, which we deem it unnecessary to particularise at greater length

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

* We were surprised however to find the visionary power of vegetables to purify air still asserted, without any regard to receut experiments or rational observation. Rep.

[ocr errors]

Among the articles which deserve approbation, we may enumerate Air-pump (a luminous and concise statement of many curious facts), Albumen, Alcohol, Algebra (the introduction to which we read with much pleasure, but the operations are so illegible, so scandalously printed, that they injured our eyes, and exhausted our patience), Alkali, Altitude (a very interesting, useful, perspicuous, simple, and coniplete explanation), Alum, -Amalgam and Amalgamation, Amber, Analysis, and Anatomy. Under these words thé reader will find much information condensed into a reasonable compass,

in a manner very suitable to such a work, although too brief for a distinct treatise. This, however, is the true design of a dictionary, as no person who wishes to become an adept in any one branch of human knowledge will ever rest contented without more works than an ency: clopædia.

As we have censured the Pantologia for its defective biography, it is but just that we should notice the account of the life of D'Alembert, the conclusion of which is very properly devoted to a salutary reflexion on his infidelity and atheism. It is a proof that some attention will be paid to the interests of society, and a laudable respect to religion, which we did not expect from the biographer of Dr. Geddes.

" It is deeply to be regretted,” (observe our Partologists,) " that the admiration which will ever be excited by genius and acquirements such as those of D'Alembert, must be chilled by the reflexion that they were too frequently prostituted by endeavouring to disseminate the comfortless and restless principles of infidelity--priaciples which, under a fair garb of philanthropy and good-will, tend ultimately, if not directly, to rob the fair face of nature of the inpression of Deity, to ontwist the bonds of society, and to convert mankind into a den of despairing mortals, or perhaps a horde of assassins."

Would biographers always express their reprobation of that petty vanity which stimulates men to boast of their infidelity, and not unfrequently to belie their own conscience, such a pernicious vice might soon be expelled from society. In the life of Alexander of Macedoni, the editors or printers have omitted a sentence or fact, whence an inference is drawn, which is now unintelligible to the reader. The account of Ali, the founder of a Mahometan sect, and fourth caliph or successor of Mahomet, exhibits a curious specimen of vanity, imbecility, and puffing. This sanguinary monster, also called Lion of God, composed

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

verses, in which he declared that the blood of his enemies was the most pleasant beverage, and that his cups were formed of their sculls. On this subject we have the following “puff direct."

« A literary gentleman, connected with the Eclectic Review *, exo claimed, on reading these verses Bravo! Lion of God, true sont of Apollyon! Tisiphone herself cannot match this saying. The man whose ruthless soul was capable of framing it, bids fair to be • devil when Satan dies !!!

On this we shall only observe, that the man who was capable” of inserting such silly nonsense in a scientific work, will never deserve any higher honour than that of scavenger to philosophers. Against these insidious "arts of puffing, which a man of honour would not, and a man of genius could not, submit to, we shall ever enter our protest, and hold them up to the contempt and scorn of the more worthy part of mankind.

We shall now state our opinion candidly of the commercial value of the first two parts of this work. Each number is embellished with four elegantly coloured plates of subjects in natural history, which might be sold for four shillings. In addition to these, there are four neatly engraven plates of works connected with the arts or manufactures: Thus every number is illustrated by four coloured and four plain engravings, which are very nearly worth the whole price of the part. The coloured plates are executed by Mr. S. Edwards, and are highly honourable to his talents

. It is proper

that we should here state a fact, which proves his skill in colouring: the numbers before us have lain loose above six months in an apartment where oxymuriatic acid and other gases were frequently disengaged, yet the colours are very little if any thing injured. Those who are acquainted with coloured plates of natural history, will know that this is no common recommendation. The talents of the editors, as far as we may judge from their previously published works, are by no means ill adapted to their undertaking Mr. Gregory is very advantageously known to

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

* This statement unfolds a mystery: it is now evident how a most extraordinary and fulsome puff (to use the language of the day) appeared in the Eclectic Review of a certain oration. The exclamation here quoted is no doubt from the same source; and although it might be tolerated in a certain society where brutally obscene songs were applauded, it will not be very acceptable to the


[ocr errors]

the public as the author of some of our most useful works in natural philosophy; and Mr. M. Good is a man of indefati gable industry, somewhat omnivolent, but sufficiently sup: plied with that general knowledge, which qualifies man for editing a universal dictionary. In a word, we know of ne? work, which has hitherto appeared, so useful as the Pantologia, to those who wish for a slight knowledge of all the arts, sciences, and general literature.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Jones's History of the County of Breckrock.

[Continued from P. 248 of this Volume.] IN the preface to his second volume, Mr. Jones makes some remarks on the few critics who had noticed his first volume with any attention; and in doing this he fully exposes the incapacity and carelessness of the “ Annual Res viewers," against whose "animadversionshe scruples not to throw down the gauntlet in bold defiance, though with all the respectful courtesy due to a champion of “ Dr. Aikin's" prowess. Our author, however, proceeds on a false ground, when he refers the historical misrepresentations he complains of to the renowned doctor, for it is not him, but his son, "Arthur Aikin," who is the avowed editor of the Annual Review. In the latter part of his preface, Mr. Jones refutes some erroneous opinions that are prevalent respecting the extent of Clanodd Offa, or Offa's Dyke, and describes its entire course as far as it can now be traced.

This volume is much less interesting to general readers than the former one, yet it will doubtless attract its full share of local inquirers. We learn from it that Brecknockshire contains sixty-seven parishes, the history and account of each of which form a distinct section. Into descriptions so very miscellaneous as those of parishes, we cannot be expected to enter at length, and shall therefore content ourselves, for the present, with selecting a few of the more important passages, reserving our opinion of the whole work, as well as our observations on some particular parts, for our next number.

In the account of Garthbrengy, or Galltbrengy, we find the following particulars of the Gàm family, whose principal residence was at Peytyn Gwin, in the above parish, and of whom the famous David Gain gave the celebrated answer, “Enough to be killed, enough to be

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

surnamed the Scabby, subscribes himself Llewelyn ap Gwilym

taken, and enough to run away,” to Henry the Fifth, whet questioned by that nionarch as to the amount of the French army previous to the battle of Agincourt.

“ Hence, then, it appears, that one of the Peytyns at least was in the possession of this family long prior to the birth of Llewelyn, who therefore must either have purchased the Peytyns from one of his owy relations, or., else, if any one of the descendants of Sir Richard Peyton sold them, he must have taken a Welsh name and bad long lost his Norman appellation; be this as it may, David ap Llewelyn, though the third son of the purchaser, certainly resided during the early part of his life at Peytyn Gwin: the precise year of his birth cannot be ascertained. Pennant says, his competitor Glyndur was born in 1350: Sir David was probably soilie "years his junior, or he would have been of too advanced a period in life to have appeared as a warrior at Agincourt in 1415, when personal strength was of essential consequence in battle. At the same time it must be observed, that it is probable he could not have been under fifty or sixty years of age at this memorable' victory; for he had several children and even grand children, at the time he embarked in the expedition to France: be, was athletic in person, bis hair red, and he squinted; front whence he was called Dafydd Gam; Ĉam generally means crooked*, but from long habit and a perversion of the language, when applied to the person, it implies any defect in the limbs or features. Powel, in his history of Wales, has taken care not only to record this deformity, but he wishes his readers to believe that mature has perpetuated it, and that all his family continue to squint to this day!! It is unnecessary to deny so absurd an assertion; from portraits of some of the family still remaining, it appears, that so far from being distinguished by this unfortunate obliquity of vision, many of thein were remarkably hardsome and their features perfectly regular: it is however not a little extraordinary that the Welsh should, in this instance, as they have in many others, seize upon this peculiarity, and preserve it as a memento in the family, of the imperfection of the person of their ancestor; yet ilius it is perpetually, and while the common names of Morgan, Thomas, Gwilym, &c., are ringing the changes and shifting places continually, the names of Gwyn, Llwyd, Coch, Cam, fair, grey headed, squinting, &c. &c. remain steadily in the respective families to which they have been applied, as long as they remain; nay, we have an instance where even a filthy disease has conferred a surname which the descendants of the person amicted seem to feel no anxiety or wish to conceal t.

is * From hence (as I conceive) the vulgar Bnglish phrase of game leg, meaning a crooked or bandy, leg.

16. Thus Llewelyn,, the son of William, the son of Howel, ap Hywel y grach, and Sir David Gam's wife is always called, in the pedigrees, Gwenllian the daughter of Hywel y grach, by which no mark of disrespect is intended to the memory of her father,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »