Billeder på siden

the whole. The foundation of the building was laid on the 26th of February; and on the 17th of March it was erected and covered in. The fummer and the beginning of the winter were employed in the interior work of the building and the news-room was opened for the ufe of the fubfcribers on the 1st of January 1799. Before the room was opened, the whole of the fubfcription was paid, amounting to 36751.

The area of the building contains a fpace of 50 feet in front to the ftree, and 51 feet in depth: and the whole of the ground-floor is appropriated to the newsroom, except a portion on each fide, extending from the back 20 feet into the room, one of which portions is converted into a bar, and in the other, is the staircafe to the library and other apartments, which leaves a large recefs in the back of the room, feparated from the main part of it by two handfome fluted Doric columns. The room is 18 feet in height, and is lighted by three chandeliers. Over one of the fire places is a clock, and over the other oppofite, is a wind dial. The ornamental finish of the room is plain and £imple, but neat and elegant. In this room are admitted all the reviews, feveral other periodical publications and pamphlets and arrangements are now making for furnishing it with a collection of the best maps that can be procured of every country on the globe, to be attached to the walls on fpring rollers. When the whole of thefe arrangements fhall have been finished, there is reason to believe, that it will be the most complete inftitution of the kind, that is to be met with in this ifland.

The library, which is over the front of the news-room, will not be ready for the reception of books until the ft of July. The dimenfions of the library are 50 feet in front by 30 in depth, and 23 feet in height. It is lighted by a large sky-light, and galleried all round, at nearly an equal distance between the floor and the cieling.


Behind the library and over the receffed part of the news-room and the bar, is a very commodious room intended as mufeum for the reception of fuch specimens in natural hiftory, as may be prefented to the inftitution. And over the museum are three good lodging rooms for the ufe of the librarian and the fervants of the house. A part of the cellar room is converted into kitchens and properly furnished; from which, the fubfcribers may be at all times accommodated with

tea, coffee, or foup; but no liquor of any kind is allowed *.

The whole of the inftitution is under the direction of a committee of 21 gentlemen, each of whom is to ferve the of fice three years. Its annual revenue is 700 guineas: the expenditure of which is limited and arranged according to the mode pointed out in the outline of the plan †.

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.


N croffing Woburn Park laft Saturday

evening about 36 minutes past 10, I faw a very brilliant Meteor-its apparent courie was nearly in a line from the north pole; in duration about 2 seconds: it made its first appearance about a degree from

[ocr errors]

Cygni and paffing between a and Delphini: leaving Antinoi about 10' to the fouth, and became invifible about 4° below & Antinoi: its light was remarkably fplendid, very similar to the electrical spark on the difcharge of a large jar. Its apparent diameter was 5 or 6', its whole course an arc of about 48°; at firft there was no vifible tail, but one began to appear about the middle of its courfe, and at the end it was very lucid, extending about 3°:-the latitude of the place 51° 54 long. 25' weft from Greenwich.From thefe obfervations compared with fimilar made at another place, its magnitude and distance may be known. Your obedient Servant,

Woburn, June 26. B. BEVAN. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.

[blocks in formation]

For the Monthly Magazine. HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY, for the year 6, [1798] read at the commencement of the fit ting of the COLLEGE of FRANCE, the 29th Brumaire, year feven, by JEROME LALANDE, Inspector and Dean of the College, and ancient Director of the Obfervatory. [Concluded from p. 206.]

THE HE 11th Floreal, (April 30th) I requested of General BUONAPARTE, 10,000 francs, to place the mural and the meridian telescope of the obfervatory, and to make obfervations at Paris correfponding to his own. He fet out too foon to effect this object, but the minifter FRANCOIS (DE NEUFCHATEAU) is the best capable to remedy this inconvenience, and he has given us reason to hope for the aid we ftand in need of. Citizen LE FRANCOIS has obferved the folitices of this year, by the entire circle, and I have remarked with pleasure the obliquity of the ecliptic agreeing, to one or two feconds, with the table which I inferted in my Afronomy, for 1792, and which moft aftronomers make ufe of.

The 12th Meflidor (June 20th) the inftitute decreed the prize for the marine watches, proper to find the longitude at fea, to two chronometers of citizen LOUIS BERTHOUD; citizen MESSIER, and I had obferved their going for about fix months. I took one with me to Gotha, and I had the fatisfaction to obferve that 200 leagues travelling in a carriage did not affect the motion a fecond per day. The inftitute will propofe, on the 15th Nivôfe, for the fubject of a prize to be given at the end of two years, the theory of the comet of 1770, which the academy had already propofed in 1792. This comet has only been calculated hitherto, in an orbit of 5 years, and a revolution fo very fhort appears fcarcely probable..

The memoirs of the Institute for the year 6, have appeared; they contain my lalt Theory of Mercury, the refult of 40 years researches; this was the first memoir read at the first fitting of the first clafs of the Institute, January 1, 1796.

The bureau des longitudes has published two volumes of the "Connoiffance des Tems" for the years 8 and 9, the additions to which I was the compiler of. It has been determined that for the future, this work fhall contain 500 pages, that there may be more room in it for our obfervations and calculations. Thefe two volumes abound with a variety of interesting articles, new catalogues of the ftars, tables of the horary movement of the moon, by MONTHLY MAG. No. XLVI.

DELAMBRE; obfervations of Mercury by VIDAL, the great and aftonishing ob ferver of Mercury, to whofe labours we are indebted for obfervations of that planet, (fo rare and difficult before him) now as common as thofe of the other planets, and in fact leaving little more to be defired; he himself has done more towards perfecting our knowledge on this fubject, than all the other aftronomers in the world, ancient and modern put together; and we may all difpenfe with our taking a part in this employment: citizen VIDAL, in this refpect, muft excite despair in all others.

An interefting memoir has appeared, accompanied with a large trigonometrical chart, having for its object, to reduce the apparent diftance of the moon from the fun, or a star, to the true diftance, and to refolve other questions of pilotage, by J. R. MAINGON, lieutenant de fregate.

This ingenious chart, useful for marine operations, has been engraved by order of the minifter, and published au depôt: it may be fubftituted for the large charts of Margetts, and furnishes pilots with the means of abridging or sparing calculations, by fubftituting for them the operation of the compass.

The geographical ephemerides, undertaken by M. DE ZACH, at Gotha, in the beginning of the year, is a very remarkable and useful work. It appears every month, and contains curious obfervations, announcements of books and charts, new voyages, geographical charts, as thofe of Ireland, Africa, and the Black Sea, when the public attention was directed that way: portraits, as thofe of HERSCHEL, DELAMBRE, BANKS, &c. in a word, whatever can intereft aftronomers, geographers, and navigators. A moft extensive correfpondence in foreign countries enables M. DE ZACH to concentrate the communications of learned men, the moft diftant from each other. The only inconvenience is, that the German language is not culti vated enough in the fouth; but many aftronomers are already beginning to learn it: they could fcarcely difpenfe with the. work of M. DE ZACH, and confequently with a language the moft fertile of all others in important fcientific treatifes. I have folicited the establishment of a profeffor of German in the college of France, from a conviction of the utility of that language in all kinds of instruction. Aftronomy and geography had no journal, and we had no reafon to expect one. ADELBURNER and BERNOUILLI, had attempted

3 K

attempted one without fuccefs, but the high estimation and popularity which M. DE ZACH enjoyed have given fufficient reputation to his work, to infure its fale, and confequently the continuation of that useful undertaking.

M. MARTONFI, has published, in Tranfylvania, the defcription of the obfervatory which the count-bishop Batthiani had erected at Carlfburg, Alba Julia, called alfo Weiffemburg, and Alba Carolina.

M. TRIESNECKER, at Vienna, has publifhed a confiderable work on the eclipfes of the fun and ftars; he has calculated more than 150 obfervations, which muft neceffarily be a voluminous work; fcarcely any were made before 1760, the time when I began to give the example of

thefe fort of calculations.

We learn that a volume has been publifhed at London, of " Obfervations," by Dr. BRADLEY, a work which has been long expected.

M. DE MENDOZA, has published at London, in 1797, Confiderations on the Solutions of the principal Problems of Nautical Aftronomy, with tables of verfed fines from 10 to 10 feconds, and an auxiliary table which reduces the investigation of the true distance to an addition of five verfed


We have received the ephemerides of Bologna, for 12 years, from 1799 to 1810, by citizen MATEUCCI, affifted by citizens ALAMANNI, GUGLIELMINI, SACCHETTI, and CANTERZANI the fon. Since the commencement of the century, the academy of fciences had published ephemerides 10 years before. The last volumes are by DESPLACE, LACAILLE, and me. I had finished at 1800, old ftyle; the embarraffments of commerce had prevented me from finding a bookseller to enable me to proceed with the feries, and I defifted from the calculations. The aftronomers of Bologna, more fortunate than I, have fupplied this defect, and we fhall have an ephemerides 12 years in advance, for the ufe of fuch as fhall make almanacks for a number of years to come. The ephemerides of Milan, for 1798, contain the continuation of a great work of citizen ORIANI, on the method of correcting the elements of the tables of Mercury, by obfervations; as alfo many interefting obfervations by citizens REGGIO


M. SCHROETER, at Lilienthal, has published the fecond volume of his " Afromijche Beytrage," in which, among other things, we find the apparent diameters

of the fatellites; nine-tenths of a fecond for the fecond, and a second and a half for the third.

M. BODE, at Berlin, has published a new volume of ephemerides for 1801, and a third volume of fupplements for the preceding volumes, which contain many aftronomical obfervations and memoirs, by the aftronomers of Germany, France, and England. This work is like that of M. DE ZACH; it is a repertory which aftronomers will find indifpenfible.

We have received alfo a volume in folio of tables of logarithms, published in 1794, by M. VEGA, officer of artillery in the fervice of the emperor. The tables of Wlacq, both for the hundred thoufands, and for the fines from ten to ten feconds, with eleven cyphers, publifhed in 1628, and 1633, had become very scarce; they had never been reprinted, and yet were frequently wanted. M. VEGA has therefore rendered a fervice to the public, by procuring this valuable edition.

M. SCHUBERT has published at Peterfburg, in German, a large treatise on aftronomy, in 3 volumes quarto, making in all near 900 pages.

In the Geneva "Bibliothèque Britannique," for the months of March and April, we find interesting details on the method employed by M. BLAIR to correct the difference of refrangibility in profpectiveglaffes. Effential oils, folution of corrofive fublimate in fpirits of wine, with the addition of a little fal-ammoniac; butter (muriate) of antimony diluted in a little ether, or alcohol, mixed with some drops of marine acid, have fucceeded perfectly well, by putting thefe fubftances between two lenfes of crown-glass (Edinburgh Transactions, vol. iii.). He has made a very good object-glafs with folution of fal-ammoniac and of fublimated mercury, (muriate of ammoniac and of mercury.) He has afcertained that the different fub ftances have not a fimilar difpofition to colours, which BoscowICH had already noticed in 1765. Laft, he has calcu lated the curvatures of glaffes, fo as to correct alfo the aberration of fphericity. This curious memoir has been tranflated into French; but citizen LEROY has retained the manufcript for three years paft. We are indebted to citizen PICTET for having given it in detail in his excellent collection of "La Bibliothèque Britannique;" the author calls thefe glaffes aplanatic, (or without error.)

I have published a new edition of the fphere and of the calendar of RIVARD, an


excellent elementary work, which has been ufeful for 50 years paft. I have added to it the Republican Calendar, protesting against the defects of intercalation; the decree of Oct. 3, 1793, not having been in this refpect conformable to what I had tranfmitted to citizen ROMME.

Citizen FRANÇOIS DE NEUFCHATEAU diftinguished his firft entrance into the miniftry by giving an order for the impreffion of an attronomical bibliography. I have collected, during my tour into Germany, a great number of notices for this work; and it appears to me, that no kind of bibliography can be complete unless by the union of a number of perfons in different countries. The date of the death of the great Copernicus was till lately a problem. I refolved it in my tour. Copernicus died on June 11, 1543, although GASSENDI and WEIDLER date this circumftance on the 24th of May, and PLANCHE on the 11th of July. In the interesting collection of ephemerides, in which we find the memorable events of every day, I have caufed an examination to be made of more than 60 manufcripts in the "Bibliothèque Nationale." Citizen LEGRAND, one of the confervators of that famous depot, has given me a notice of many other manufcripts ; fo that we are at length making advances towards this part of aftronomical erudition.

We have received fome obfervations from citizen DE BATTE, at Montpellier; from citizen THULIS, at Marfeilles; and from citizen VIDAL, at Mirepoix: thefe laft are of a very extraordinary kind.VIDAL faw Mercury at three-quarters of a degree from the Sun. The beauty of the climate, the perfection of his inftrument, and the excellence of his fight, have enabled him to produce obfervations as valuable as extraordinary. Of this I have spoken before.

The obfervatory at Amfterdam, belonging to the fociety of Felix Meritis, has been put under the care of M. CALCOEN; he has been repeating his aftronomical exercifes at Gotha, jointly with M. DE ZACH, and he is commencing a course of obfervations which will be very ufeful in a country where none have ever been made, although the wants of the marine fhould long ago have opened the eyes of government to an object fo neceffary to navigators. It was in vain that I went in 1774 to Amfterdam: the Stadtholder, and the Grand Penfionary, promifed me every thing I could defire, but performed nothing. M. VAN SWINDEN has, fince then, given an impulfion

to aftronomical ftudies, the effects of which are now beginning to be felt.

Citizen HENRY, who went from Manheim to Peterburg, has been enabled to re-establish in freth vigour the obfervatory of that capitol; he has caufed a large mural of Bird to be placed, which lay a long time in the chest, and which RUMOUSKI never made use of.

M. PIAZZI, aftronomer at Palermo, is preparing to meafure a degree. I have fent him an exact metre, and they are working at an entire circle.

The minifter PLEVILLE-PELEY has augmented the ftipend of the aftronomers of marine at Marieilles, where THULIS is making connected and important obfervations.

The territorial admeasurement of Corfica, or the defcription of that island, begun thirty years ago, has been lately terminated. The great triangles were fet up by citizen TRANCHOT; the details have been made by a multitude of co-operators. The minifter of finances having appointed me to examine it, I have had reafon to acknowledge that this labour has been completed with an accuracy worthy to be exhibited for a model, if as many fuch were to be und taken for all the departments of France; which would indeed be rendering the public a useful fervice.

Citizen PERNEY, who had been fent into Belgium, and who, fince 1795, had formed forty triangles at Bruges, Ghent, Oftend, Antwerp, Middleburg, &c. has fet out for the Batavian republic, wherethey have engaged to furnith him with the means neceffary for the continuation of this labour.

On the 5th Pluviose, (Jan. 24th,) the inftitute propofed to the Directory to demand of foreign powers learned men, who fhould come to affift and take part in the eftablishment of the new measures, and fanction their establishment. Twelve have come from Spain, from Italy, and from Holland.

From Denmark, M. BUGGES, director of the obfervatory at Copenhagen, celebrated for fome important works. From Spain, Meflrs. GABRIEL CISCAR, and AUGUSTIN

PEDRAGES. From the Batavian Republic, citizen VAN SWINDEN and ÆNEE, the

former well known for fome excellent works in phyfics. From Tufcany, M. FABRONI. From Sardinia, M. LE COMTE BALBO, minifter at Paris. From Helvetia, citizen TRALLES. From the Ligurian Republic,. citizen MOLTEDO. From the Cifalpine Republic, citizen MASCHEVONI, from whom General BUONAPARTE brought us what

might furnish a leflon to our most able geometers. From the Roman Republic, citizen FRANCHINI.

On the 5th Meffidor, (June 23,) the legislative body made a law, which gives to the Bureau des Longitudes the keeping of the original standard of the metre, or of the new measure, deftiued to be in future the type of all meafures, and to prevent for ever the confufion which has hitherto prevailed in the measures of all countries.

Aftronomy has fo few profelytes, that it is a fatisfaction to me to be able to fay that M. the Dr. BURCKHARDT, who came from Gotha laft year, continues ftill to labour at Paris with us, and that he is already one of our best astronomers.

DELAMBRE has had for co-operator in his immenfe labour, citizen TRANCHOT, already celebrated for the great works he has completed in Corfica; and young citizen POMARD, who is devoting himfelf to attronomy, and who cannot fail to make rapid progress therein under fuch a mafter. Aftronomy has certainly need of fresh recruits, and I neglect no means to procure them; but the career is painful and not lucrative; this will fuffice to explain the penury we labour under.

BLANPAIN, born in 1779, who first faw the comet of 1797 at Marfeilles, evinces at the age of nineteen as much zeal as knowledge; he poffeffes a rich fund of literature, and is alfo distinguished by his moral qualities. Under, the neceffity of applying himself to commerce, he cannot as yet give full fcope to his paffion for aftronomy; he nevertheless calculates obfervations, and even makes fome himself.

Young BERNIER, of Montauban, is alfo applying himself to thefe ftudies with fuccefs. I wished him to embark in the expedition under General BUONA PARTE, but my measures for that purpofe were taken to late.

Citizen CATILON, although occupied in the management of the domains, is come to lodge in the College of France, to labour with us. His intelligence and his zeal are often useful to us.

The 21ft Brumaire, the year 7, (Nov. 11,) citizen LEFRANCOIS caufed the firft obfervation to be made in the obfervatory of the College of France, by citizen CASSINI V. aged 16 years, who is come to inhabit the obfervatory, following the steps of his illuftrious ancestors, and announcing a zeal worthy of his name. He will replace MARALDI IV. who has deferted us.

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.



S one object of your valuable mifcellany is to diffufe ufeful information, and unveil the merit of the modeft and neglected, I take the liberty to communicate the following article, requesting, that if you find it worth your notice, you will give it early a place in your magazine.

When I confider the great usefulness of the mathematics, in the arts of both neceffity and accommodation, efpecially in a country, that gradually affumes a character wholly military, I am forry to find, that, on one fide of the Tweed, fo little attention is bestowed on them. Although there are feveral academies, and fome universities in Scotland, yet the mathematical knowledge, which ftudents there learn, is in general extremely fuperficial; and, in courfe, the number of mathematicians which Scotland produces, very small indeed. In thefe circumftances, we may, no doubt, find fomething valuable more widely diffused; but it is to be feared, there is no ftimulus to more vigorous exertions in this fcience.

My attention has lately been directed to this fubject, in the courfe of my enquiries after the best mathematical feminary in this part of the ifland; the result of which, as nearly as I recollect it, I shall concitely lay before you.

At the university of Edinburgh, all the branches of the mathematics are well taught, by the very able profeffor Playfair, in the fpace of two feffions, of fix months each, the clafs meeting one hour every day to hear the prælicteons. This excellent mathematician has adorned his chair by feveral valuable papers in the Philofophical Tranfactions of the island, and likewife by his new "Elements of Geometry, according to the Method of Euclid," with a fimple treatife of trigonometry annexed. At Glasgow, the mathematics are taught in a very diftinct and popular manner by the profeffor JAMES MILLAR, fon of the ingenious and celebrated profeffor of law in that univerfity. At St. Andrews they are accurately and fully taught both in theory and practice, by Mr. DUNCAN, an able affiftant, employed by the learned profeffor VILANT, a man of great talents, who, although the state of his health has obliged him to retire from his public functions, continues indefatigable in profecuting his ftudies, and has, inter alia ready for the prefs a complete and valuable Syftem of Mathematical Analysis demonftrated, the outlines of which are lately


« ForrigeFortsæt »