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A PAPER has been presented to this Society, concerning the influence of lime stone, chalk, and some other strata on the atmosphère, by Wm. Alex. Mackinnon, Esq., F.R.S., in which this hypothesis is advanced; and the results are said to be, that the dryness or dampness of the air, and, consequently, the sprightliness and vivacity, or sedateness, not only of individuals, but even of a whole people, may depend more on the substrata than is commonly imagined. The following is the summary of the leading points:

Mr. M. begins his paper by stating that, residing in the vicinity of Southampton, about seven miles from the great bed of chalk that runs through part of Hampshire, and the neighbouring counties, he was struck with the difference of the air when on the chalk, to what it was when going towards the New Forest, though both were equally distant from the water: that, in consequence, experiments were tried with the hygrometer, (De Luc's Whalebone, and Daniel's), and the result of these was, that invariably a greater degree of dryness was found in the atmosphere over the chalk than over clay or alluvial substance. Mr. M., however, adds, that the hygrometer is an instrument so very uncertain in its results, and so liable to inaccuracy, that little reliance ought to be placed, or experiments made with it, unless confirmed by other observations.

He says,

however, that every subsequent observation confirms the hypothesis, that if chalk is laid on a field as a dressing, it will, at the end of some hours, become damp, even if no rain, or little dew has fallen, which dampness can only arise from the atmosphere; also, that turf grass over chalk or lime-stone, even in the hottest summer, always looks green and healthy, which must, Mr. Mackinnon

thinks, arise from the absorption of atmospheric moisture, by a sort of capillary attraction from the chalk or lime-stone, which moisture, passing through the slight covering of the mould, keeps the roots of the grass sufficiently moist to look green; whereas the same heat burns up turf-grass over clay or alluvial substance, or gravel, in a remarkable degree. Mr. Mackinnon brings forward many other arguments in favour of this assertion. He also says, that from this absorbing power, or capillery attraction of atmospheric damp, by certain strata, a house built on a chalk foundation, or of chalk materials, will commonly be damp; and for the same reason, if lime-stone or sea-sand be used. The paper farther states, that if the dryness or dampness of the atmosphere is affected by the stratum, that must affect the spirits or health of the inhabitants, and even some other qua lities of individuals or nations may depend more upon the sub-stratum than is commonly imagined,


A PAPER was lately read at the above Society, by Christopher Lyell, Esq., on some fossil bones of the elephant, and other animals found near Salisbury."

Bones and teeth of the elephant, rhinoceros, and ox, have been found for many years past in the brick. earth at the village of Fisherton Anger, at the distance of about three quarters of a mile from Salisbury cathedral. Several pits sunk in this brick earth show that it varies in thickness in different places from about ten to twenty feet. It bears every mark of a tranquil sedimentary deposit from water, but the lamina are sometimes divided by thin layers of fine sand, or occasionally, but rarely, by a layer of small flint pebbles. There are no marine remains; but land-shells are said to occur sometimes in this deposit. The brick

earth rests upon a bed of chalk flints, the greater part of which are not water-worn: and beneath these is chalk, which is loose and rubbly in the upper part.

This brick-earth is not connected with the alluvial soil of the present valley, but appears to have been deposited when the valley was at a higher level; for it forms a low terrace, along the side of the river Wily, between Salisbury and Wilton, rising thirty or forty feet above the present

water meadows. It is necessary at least to suppose that when these beds were accumulated, the water rose much higher than, it now does.

The bones are in a very decomposed state, but have no appearance of having been rolled: they are found in the lower part of the brickearth, and not in the subjacent flint gravel. And in one spot there is reason to believe that the remains of an entire skeleton of an elephant might have been procured.


THE ancient Romans divided their high-ways into Consular, Pretorian, Military, and Public: of these we have four in our own country, which are still in some places nearly perfect, and which merit the attention of the antiquary. The first is Watling-street, or Watheling-street, leading from Dover to London, Dunstable, Towcester, Atterton, and the Severn; extending as far as Anglesea in Wales. The second called Hikenild or Ikenild-street, stretches from Southampton over the river Isis at Newbridge; thence by Camden and Lichfield; then passes the Derwent near Derby, and ends at Tinemouth. The third called Fosse-way, because in some places it was never perfected, but lies as a large ditch, leads from Cornwall through Devonshire, by Tetbury, near Stow in the Welds; and besides Coventry to Leicester, Newark, and so to Lincoln. The fourth, called Erming or Erminage-street, extends from St. David's in Wales, to Southampton. There are also in this island some other Roman ways of minor importance, that have been noticed by various writers, and which are interesting to the lovers of antiquity, but are still not to be compared to the four just described.

THERE is an extensive stratum of feruginous lime-stones, called the Stone Ridge, lying about four miles off Harwich, which is considered to

C. M.-VOL. VIII. N. 70.

be the line of conjunction between the opposite cliffs of Walton and Harwich. The collection of these stones, for the purpose of forming Roman cement gives employment to numerous small vessels, one of which lately drew up, in four fathom water, a beautiful fossil specimen of the sea turtle, incrusted in stone, of the weight of one hundred and eighty pounds, which was afterwards purchased by a gentleman of the University of Cambridge, who intended to present it as a donation to the Norwich Museum.

It is, unfortunately, an established fact, that paintings in fresco generally fail in this country. Witness among others, the works of Sir James Thornhill within the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral; we could also point out a very recent and lamentable failure of the same kind, but it is unnecessary to cite proofs. It cannot, however, be the effect of our climate, as the full glow of colour is still preserved in some fresco paintings which have been executed for at least one or two centuries. For example, the ceiling of the chapel at White Hall. It is well known how scrupulously particular the painters in fresco of former days were in the preparation of their stucco, preparatory to washing in the colour; whereas our modern artists are satisfied with painting upon mere lime and sand


made into mortar: may not this in a great measure account for the destruction, and peeling off of the colour in some modern specimens of the art?

THE celebrated Duke of Buckingham, the favourite of two kings, was the first person who rode with a coach and six horses, in 1619. To ridicule this new pomp, the Earl of Northumberland put eight horses to his carriage. The same duke, according to Hume, used the first sedan-chair seen in England, in the time of James I., to the great displeasure of the people, who exclaimed that he was employing his fellow-creatures to do the service of beasts. At the magnificent court of Duke Ernest Augustus of Hanover, there were, in the year 1681, fifty gilt coaches, with six horses each. The first time that ambassadors appeared in coaches on a public solemnity, was at the Imperial Commission held at Erfurth, in 1613, respecting the affair of Juliers.

AMONG others of the absurd laws enacted by the late Emperor Joseph, the pseudo philosopher, was one promulgated in 1781, by which it was enacted, that for the future no dead body should be interred in a coffin, but that they should be buried in bags, and covered with quick lime. This severe regulation, however, met with so universal and decided an opposition, that he was speedily induced from prudential motives to repeal it.

IN 1660, the House of Commons claimed the privilege of letters coming free of postage to and from members of parliament: this was at the time when the first legal settlement of the present post-office was made. the claim was afterwards dropped in consequence of a private assurance from the crown, that this privilege should be allowed members; a warrant was accordingly constantly issued to the Postmaster General, directing the allowance thereof to the extent of two ounces in weight: at

length it was expressly confirmed by 4 Geo. III. c. 24, which added many new regulations, rendered necessary by the great abuses in the practice of franking; whereby the annual amount of franked letters had increased from twenty-three thousand six hundred pounds in the year 1715, to one hundred and seventy thousand pounds in the year 1763. Other regulations subsequently took place; notwithstanding which, the revenue still lost eighty thousand pounds per annum, until the passing of the Act of 35 Geo. III., the provisions of which are now in force.

THE total amount of Stock at present standing in the names of Commissioners for the redemption of the National Debt, on behalf of Savings Banks, is seven millions, eight hundred and thirty-three thousand, three hundred and fifty nine pounds, three per cents.; and six millions, nine hundred and three thousand, two hundred and twenty nine pounds in the three-and-a-half per cents.

THE natural history of frosts furnishes very extraordinary effects.The trees are often scorched and burnt up, as with the most excessive heat, in consequence of the separation of water from the air, which is therefore very drying. In the great frost in 1683, which lasted thirteen weeks, the trunks of oak, ash, walnut, &c. were miserably split and cleft, so that they might be seen through, and the cracks often attended with dreadful noises, like the explosion of fire arms. In very cold countries meat may be preserved by the frost six or seven months, and proves tolerably good eating.

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therefore, not only Turks, Jews, and Infidels are tormented in the fire which never goes out, but Papists of all HERETICs the most vile and infamons." This Whitaker was Regius Professor in the University of Cambridge.

FORM OF ADMINISTERING OATHS IN SCOTLAND.-The form of administering oaths in Scotland is infinitely superior to ours. In the Criminal Courts, the judge rises, desires the witness to hold up the right hand, and repeat deliberately after him"I solemnly swear by Almighty God,

and as I shall answer for it at the great day of judgment, to speak the truth, so far as I know, or shall be asked." The judge then enquires, has any body instructed you what to say? Do you bear any malice or illwill against the prisoner? Do you expect any fee or reward? In other respects their proceedings differ from ours. Executions, even for murder, do not take place so soon after conviction. The prisoner is not anly allowed counsel, but an advocate is employed and paid for him, if he have not the means. The jury consists of fifteen, who decide by majority.




MADRID. The authorities of this city have instituted an inquiry concerning the authors and cause of the commotion which took place on the 16th of August, on the departure of Becacho. Several persons of notoriety are accused, by the public voice, of having taken a direct and ostensible part in it. It appeared that the inquiry failed of producing any results.

The Marquis of Campo-Sagrado, captain-general of Catalonia, issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of that province, in which he notified to them, that conformably to the orders which he had received from the king, every rebel who should be taken with arms in his possession was to be shot.


THE political situation of this place becomes every day more afflicting. Many strangers have been massacred, particularly those employed in the mines. The latter days of the presence of Bolivar and Caracas have been days of terror and consternation. Every one was in search of a place of concealment, as no safety

was to be found in the houses. Bolivar resided in a house near the Capuchins, and opposite that of the bishop. He was escorted and guarded by fifty gentlemen in his confidence.


THE usual course of Meetings of the Academy of the Catholic Religion at Rome, have taken place this year in the same manner as they did in the preceding. The first occurred on June 10, and was opened by a discourse from the Cardinal Odescalchi, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, and honorary censor for the Academy. His excellency showed how necessary it was that concord should exist among those who undertook to defend religion, and that to them, above all others, a spirit of party was useless, unseasonable, and dangerous. The importance of the subject at the present time, and the manner in which the illustrious prelate treated it, contributed to produce a great effect on the audience. On the 5th of July Father Tadini, assistant-general of the Carmes, and professor of theology, demonstrated that the humility which is recommended by religion, and which is opposed to the pride of philosophy, conducts mankind to true happiness. The

orator compared sound philosophy to that which had but assumed the name of it, and drew the distinction between them in their object, means, and effects. On the 19th, Father Orioli, definitor-general of the Conventual Minors, and secretary of the Academy, imposed on himself the task of refuting, as false and nugatory, that pretext, of which heterodox persons avail themselves to impugn the known truth, persuading themselves that to change one's religion is not to act the part of an honest man. The learned and religious gentleman set forth his argument with elegance and precision. He insisted, that if such a pretext were admitted, we must likewise admit that all religions are equally true and equally good, or that they are neither the one nor the other. We must suppose that man can be indifferent to truth or to error, to good or to evil. He showed that, on the contrary, there was an innate sense in man which strongly disposed him, even in the common concerns of life and intercourse with his neighbour, to that which was true and good. In our studies, we search for what is best, and conceive ourselves obliged to adopt it. In religion alone, in our duties towards God, we should not be influenced and decided by the prejudices of birth or education, of country or family.


IT is a praiseworthy deed, to found establishments for the education of poor children; but, to be useful, such institutions should not exclude religious instruction. The establishment of the Count de Recke, near Dusseldorf, in the Prussian territories, would deserve the praises of the philanthropist and the gratitude of families, if a spirit of injustice and uncharitableness were less prevalent there than it is. Though the greater part of the province is Catholic, yet for many years past religious Catholic instruction, if not entirely prohibited, has met with every possible opposi tion on the part of the count. length his system has quite developed itself. The Count de Recke has an


nounced, that hereafter no other instruction but what is purely Protestant is to be admitted. As might be expected, many of the parents, poor as they were, resolved on withdrawing their little children from Dasselthall. Several of those more advanced in their age and studies, were intent on doing the same, when a system of intolerance and cruelty was observed towards them, as shameful in itself as dreadful in its consequences. We will refrain from stating particulars, unless Lord Farnham and his crew have become tired of telling tales, and wish to be amused in their turn, Suffice it to say, that they can and will be produced if required,-cases in which bribery, the dungeon, and the torture were resorted to. Was such violence used in any Catholic establishment, no terms would be thought strong enough to express their horror; what a hue and cry would be instantly raised against the spirit of fanaticism, proselytism, and intolerance! The Count de Recke would probably be the foremost and loudest in his complaints.



STRASBURG.-A society has been formed in this city for the purpose of encouraging the labouring class of the Jews; this society, which is now in the second year of its existence, held a general assembly on the 12th of June last. M. Augustus Ratisbonne, the vice-president of the Consistory; Theodore Ratisbonne, lawyer; and one Isidore Goschler, addressed the assembly. The lastmentioned recounted in his speech the exertions of the society, the schools which it had established, the encouragement which it had afforded to the young artificers of the different professions, in fine, the great success which it had obtained. There is nothing but what is praiseworthy in all this; nevertheless, we should hardly have mentioned the society in these pages, had not some passages in the discourse of M. Theodore Ratisbonne appeared deserving of remark. Not only do we discover in it none of the declamation which is to

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