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The writer of the pamphlet observes "As the forte of American militia consists in their superior skill, in their direction and management of firearms—as from their local knowledge, and from their habits, they will always exceed as a light troop—and as the most important advantages may be derived from their ability, under proper arrangements, of quickly assembling, and moving with rapidity to any required point, these guns are most excellently adapted for them.”
Mr. Andre, an Italian artist, who was sent some time ago to Italy, to have the caps of the columns executed, which are to stand in the representative chamber, has arrived in this city, and brings with him the capitals he was sent to procure. The marble is that of Carara, which is esteemed the most beautiful in Italy, and which the ancients denominated marmor lunense. It is susceptible of an exquisite polish, and is distinguished by its brilliant whiteness. These capitals are intended for columns of the Corinthiap proportions, which are to be made of a species of marble found at a small distance from Washington. This stone is extremely variegated, and would let autiful, if the colours were more brilliant, and less difficult in receiving a polish.
We would suggest to the architect the propriety of analysing the stone before he proceeds farther, and of submitting it to the test of acids, as we have every reason to believe it is what the Italians call briccia, and, if so, will, in a few years, crumble to atoms. If it be good marble, it will be a most important and valuable discovery, as, we learn, the mass extends to a considerable depth, and covers a surface of seven miles, which will render it sufficiently abundant to supply a great portion of the southern Jivision of the United States.-Wash. City Gaz.
Talents of Machiavel.-No writer, certainly, either in ancient or modern times, has ever united, in a more remarkable degree, a greater variety of the most dissimilar, and seemingly, the most discordant gifts and attainments;-a profound acquaintance with all those arts of dissimulation and intrigue, which, in the petty cabinets of Italy, were then universally confounded with political wisdom;--an imagination familiarized to the cool contemplation of whatever is perfidious or atrocious in the history of conspirators and of tyrants-combined with a graphical skill in holding up to laughter the comparatively harmless follies of ordinary life. His dramatic humour has been often compared to that of Moliere; but it resembles it rather in comic force than in benevolent gaiety, or in chastened morality. Such as it is, however, it forms an extraordinary contrast to that strength of intellectual character, which, in one page, reminds us of the deep sense of Tacitus, and in the next, of the dark and infernal policy of Cæsar Borgia. To all this must be superadded a purity of taste, which has enabled him, as an bistorian, to rival the severe simplicity of the Grecian masters, and a sagacity in combining historical facts, which was afterwards to afford lights to the school of Montesquieu,
Eminent, however, as the talents of Machiavel unquestionably were, he cannot be numbered among the benefactors of mankind. In none of his writings does he exhibit any marks of that lively sympathy with the fortunes of the human race, or of that warm zeal for the interests of truth and justice, without the guidance of which the highest mental endowments, when applied to moral or to political researches, are in perpetual danger of mistaking their way.--Stewart's Introduction to the Encyclopædia.
Swedish Horses. I was surprised to find, in the royal stables in Sweden, that there was no straw or other bedding for the horses. The animals stand or lie on perforated boards. This is an universal practice. It has been approved by the veterinary colleges of both Stockholm and Copenhagen, and adopted by the royal and other great families, on account of its salutary effect on the foot of the horse. În countries where the horses stand in a hot bed, produced by their own litter, their feet become tender and subject to divers disorders; but you seldom see a lame or foundered horse in Sweden or Denmark. If this should prove a good substitute for straw, it might bring about a reduction in the price of hay.-Acerbi's Travels through Sweden, &c.
Gray Eagle. -The large gray eagle shot on the morning of the 7th January, 1817, near Philadelphia, was taken alive, and upon examination, it appeared his wounds were very slight, and that he previously had, by some means, lost one foot, the stuinp of which had perfectly healed over. This rare bird, called by the Latins “rex avium est aquila,” or the king of birds, has made its appearance, for the first time, in the township of Moorland, and county of Montgomery, fifteen miles from the city of Philadelphia: the old inhabitants of this vicinity have no recollection of a similar fact. The wings of this uncommon bird being extended, in presence of several spectators, measured seven feet one inch and a half between the two extremities, and its weight was eight pounds and four ounces. Its colour is a beautiful mixture of white and black, or dark brown; but no one yet is able to make any discovery as to its age.
PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS. At a late meeting of the New York Historical Society, Dr. Hosack, chairman of the committee on Botany and Vegetable Physiology, presented an interesting view of the subjects referred to them. The Hortus Siccus, says the report, consists of several thousand plants in a very good state of preservation, and well calculated to illustrate both the generic and specific cbaracters of the plants which it contains. Some of these too, they perceive, have been preserved and designated by the hands of the illustrious Swede himself, being duplicates taken from the original collection now in the possession of Sir James Edward Smith, by whom they were presented to the chairman of this committee. Others again, were collected and preserved by the late celebrated Professor Vahl, -of Copenhagen, and are named by the hand of that · Prince of Botapists.' Some of his original letters accompany the plants, wbich he from time to time transmitted. Since his death, his successor Professor Hornemann, and Mr. Hoffman Bang, of that city, have kindly continued their correspondence and contributions of dried plants. Another valuable part of this Herbarium, more especially consisting of the gramineous and herbaceous plants growing in the neighbourhood of London, bas been communicated by the late Mr. William Curtis, the author of the Flora Londinensis. Mr. James Dickson, the celebrated British Cryptogamist, has also enriched this collection by a most valuable assemblage of the Musci, and some of the other orders of the Cryptogamous class. The collection of the plants of Scotland, made by the President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York, Doctor Samuel Bard, when a stu.. dent at the University of Edinburgb, and for which he received the hono
rary medal conferred by Professor Hope, constitutes a part of the cabinet. Many of the plants of New York and the neighbouring states, preserved and arranged by Cadwallader Colden, formerly lieutenant-governor, have also been recently added by his grandson, Cadwallader D. Colden, Esq. Much also has been done in collecting the vegetable products of this is.. and, more particularly those plants which grow in the vicinity of this city. The names of Doctor Mitchill, Frederick Pursh, the author of the North American Flora, Michaux, the historian of the “ American woods,” Casper Wistar Eddy, M. D. John Le Conte, Esq. Dr. Rafineau, Alire Delile, the learned editor of the Flora of Egypt, and who, while finishing his course of education at the Medical School of this city, industriously collected the native plants of our island, frequently appear as the contributors to this collection.
The Committee also take this occasion to observe, that since the purchase made of the Elgin Botanic Garden has become extensively known, many persons distinguished for their knowledge and love of botanical science, have directed their attentiou to the state of New-York, as taking a decided and pre-eminent station in the cultivation of this department of Natural History; looking too, to the climate and the advantages of local situation as peculiarly favourable to the cultivation of this branch of knowledge, they have most liberally sent us large collections of seeds, particularly of such plants as they conceived would be most useful, either as articles employed in the healing art, which enter into the diet of mankind, are cultivated as food for cattle, or are made use of in agriculture, or in the various arts and manufactures which contribute to the comfort of man.
The committee acknowledge, with great pleasure, the reception of a large collection of seeds from Monsieur Thouin, the Professor of Agriculture and Botany at the Jardin des Plantes of Paris, and another from Mr, Jefferson, as lately received by him from his European correspondents.
The committee conclude by quoting the language of a late British wri. ter,-“ No region of the earth seems more appropriate to the improvement of botany, by the collecting and cultivating of plants, than that where the Elgin Botanic Garden is seated. Nearly midway between the northern and southern extremities of the vast American continent, and not more than forty degrees to the north of the equator, it commands resources of incalculable extent; and the European botanist will look to it for additions to his catalogue of the highest interest.
“ The indigenous botany of America possesses most important qualities, and to that we trust the cultivators of this science will particularly turn their attention. It can hardly be considered as an act of the imagination, (so far does what has already been discovcred countenance the most sanguine expectations,) to conjecture, that in the unexplored wilderness of mountain, forest, and marsh, which composes so much of the western world, lie hidden plants of extraordinary forms and potent qualities.”
New-York Historical Society.--The mineralogical Committee of this Society, have prepared an apartment for the purpose of receiving and displaying a collection of the minerals and fossils of the United States. The progress of the science of mineralogy in the United States has been very satisfactory to its friends in this country, and the labours of American mineralogists have met with great applause in Europe. Several new species, and many varieties of minerals have been discovered here, and the increasing attention to this science premises many interesting and valuable discoveries. But in a country so vast and so recently settled as the United States, we can hardly expect to find many who have visited, for mineralogical objects, any very large portion of its territory. The researches of most of them have been limited to their own state or the district in which they live. A great number of valuable specimens remain in the hands of persons, who, either ignorant of their value, preserve them for temporary gratification, or, who having no object in making a collection, would be very happy to place them where they would become useful." To collect these scattered materials of our natural history, to display the riches of the mineral kingdom of each of our states; to inform the scientific traveller and citizen; to encourage the growing taste of this science in our country; to communicate discoveries and invite researches; are objects so useful, so important, that it would be impossible to doubt of the public favour being shown to this undertaking
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. We are glad to find that our chief magistrate has been treated with the respect that belongs to his exalted station, in the tour which he is now making through the United States.* The mayor of Baltimore saluted him, it is true, in rather vulgar English; and in this city, the corporation did not wait upon him, from a persuasion, it is said, that the visit was unnecessary-non hoc ista sibi spectacula poscit. This may be true; but he is the president of the United States, and is the representative of the country. We have heard some oily auguries respecting his future political career; but on this subject we have had many soft promises from his predecessors. Hope has been deferred until the heart is sick. We, however, have not lost all confidence. May he brighten our brows with cheerfulDess, and lift up the dejected countenances of his countrymen. May he sustain the weight and dignity of his station, by a persevering rectitude of principle, unmoved by fear, and unshaken by flattery; and may the conclusion of his public labours be such, that we shall remember him only as he was at the period when he was exposed to the severest criterion! Finem dignum et optimo viro et opere sanctissimo faciant.
• The story about the motto on his coach must be one of those bugbears, called federal falsehoods, which formerly excited so much terror among the sovereign people. Principia non homines is arrant nonsense; and if the royal vehicle really bear such an inscription, it must be ascribed to some capriccio on the part of the artist. It has no more resemblance to what it is intended to be, than one of the Talks of the tawny chiefs, which are preserved among our national archives.