Imatges de pàgina

pital than in other places; and our author thinks that an observation of Dr. Bryan Robinson will contribute to elucidate this variation. The heart of children is larger, he observed, and the quantity of blood greater in them proportionally, than in adults. The quantity of blood which passes through the lungs in a given tiine, in proportion to the whole mass, is also greater in children; so that their blood, the reason of which we now sufficiently understand, is more florid. This peculiar state of the blood is probably connected with the growth and well-being of the child; in other words, children probably require a larger proportion of vital air than adults. An abstract of the register of the lying-in hospital is added, by which it appears, that the proportion of males to females born in the hospital is as 9 to 8; of children dying as 1 to 7; of children still-born as I to 19 nearly; of twins and triplets as I to about 58; of women dying as about i to 90; of triplets and quadruplets as about i to 5050. The register is from the 8th of December, 1757, to December 31, 1788.

Art. V. Description of a Steam Engine. By John Cooke, Esg. M. R. I. A.--An ingenious conuivance to obtain, by means of steam, a continuous and rotative motion, of which it is impossible to give the fainteft idea without the plate.

Art. VI. The Use and Descrip:ion of a New-invented Instrument for Navigation, by which every Cafe in plane, middle Latitude or Mercator's Sailing may be performed without Logarithms, Tables, or any numerical Calculations whatsoever. By John Cooke, Esq. M. R. I. A.-This instrument appears to be truly advantageous; and as the errors become obvious in proportion to their magnitude; as its use does not depend on tables, but is within the reach of the common failor, it deserves very particular attention.

Art. VII. Observations made on the Disappearance and Reappearance of Saturn's Ring, in the Year 1789, with some Remarks on his diurnal Rotation. By the Rev. K. Ussher, D.D. M. R. I. A. and F. R. S.- These observations we need not abridge. Saturn, diverted of his ring, appeared oblate ; and, from the difference of his diameters, which, reduced to his mcan distance, were respectively 18.12 and 15.855, our author computes his sidereal rotation to be 10h 52'. By taking the density of Saturn, as computed by De la Lande, it was 12" 55'}; with M. Bouguer's ratio of the diameters of the-earth, 14" 441.

Art. VIII. Account of two Parhelia observed February 25th, 1790. By the Rev. Henry. Ussher, D. D. M. R. I. A. and F. R. S.–This article offers nothing worth recording. -'

Art. IX. An Efsay towards ascertaining the Population of Ireland. In a Letter to the Right Honourable the Earl of


Charlemont, President of the Royal Irish Academy. By Gervale Parker Bushe, Esq. M. R. I. A.-From this account, the population of Ireland seems to exceed four millions. Our author's observations on the errors, and the difficulty of ascertain ing the different facts, deserve great attention.

Art. X. Lettre de Monf. Pouget à Monf. Kirwan, F.R.S. & M. R. I. A. sur les Condensations produites par L'Alliage de L’Alkool avec L'Eau.–Our author attempts to ascertain the different proportions of alcohol in spirits of various strength, by the diminution which takes place when they are mixed, and has brought this mode of ascertaining the strength to some cera tainty; but various circumstances fill require consideration. It is not, to mention one particular instance, yet ascertained how far some peculiar impregnations will affect this mode of hydrometrical computation. The dilatations of mixtures of alcohol and water are also not fully ascertained. "I believed (observes M. Pouget) that the total augmentation of bulk produced by the dilatation of any given temperature, was the sum of the dilatations of the ingredients, minus the diminution of bulk which takes place on mixing them. But this seems not to be exact. Admitting this theory, it is not easy to determine in a general manner the dilatations of all the mixtures, because thofe of water are not equal, nor even fimilar; and their scales are not proportional. The change of temperature which makes the fluid in the spirit thermometer run through half its scale, dilates water only so much as to make it run through to of its scale. It follows, therefore, that the mixtures of alcohol and water are neither equally nor similarly dilatable ; and it is necessary to determine for each, not only its absolute dilatation, but its particular scale of dilatation compared both with alcohol and water separately.'-To lessen the difficulty, however, it is added, that those spirits which do not differ above 0.or in their specific gravity, dilate so equally and proportionally as to occasion no actual error; and as the thermometer and the hydrometer are employed so constantly together, our author has united not only the instruments but their scales.

The first article in the department of polite literature is Thoughts on the History of Alphabetic Writing. By Michael Kearney, D. D. M. R. Í. A. and of the Etruscan Academy of Cortona. – It adds, however, lictle to our knowledge. , Dr. Kearney adopts Warburton's System of the Priority of Hieroglyphics, or picture-writing, and only adds to it an hypothesis respecting the introduction of syllables and consonants. They arofe, he thinks, from uniting the single sounds to form compound ones, when it was necessary to form new terms. In process of time these syllabic sounds would be distinguished by peculiar marks, and these would be chiefly the consonants; for the


vowels, or simple breathings, are fo few, that the more striking component parts would be first noticed. This system, it is supposed, is supported by lord Monboddo's opinion, that, in the primeval languages each syllable has but one consonant; and in the Hebrew and other oriental alphabets, there are no marks for vowels. The whole is, however, hypothetical, and totally inconsistent with those languages which we are able to examine, formed by people in the earliest æra of civilization. It is opposed also by the consideration, that the different inflections of the voice are acquired only by frequent habit; that the lingual founds of Savages are few, and chiefly distinguished by toties by accent, and quantity.

Art. II. Brief Strictures on certain Obfervations of Lord Monboddo, respecting the Greek Tenses. By Arthur Browne, LL. D. Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, Representative in Parliament for that University, and M. R. I. A. The object of this author's attention is an assertion of lord Monboddo, that the second future and the second aorist mean nothing different from the first tenses of the same name, and are only obsolete presents and imperfects formed after the verb was modernised, merely to vary and enrich the sound of the language. Our author, on the contrary, shows that the senses were certainly different. We do not think that the argument is supported faa tisfactorily. In the best Greek writers there is so much confusion in these respects, that no definite ideas on the subject seem to have been entertained by authors of the most distinguished character.

Art. III. Evil Effects of Polytheism on the Morals of the Heathens. By a Young Gentleman, an Under-graduate in the University of Dublin. Communicated by the Reverend John Kearney, D. D. S. F.T.C. D. and M. R. I. A.-Polytheism, in the under-graduate's opinion, strikes at the root of all morality; for if morality depends on the divine will, the unity of God can be the only' basis of a pure unchangeable system of morals. This may appear a bold affertion, and is certainly supported too loosely. It is an argument of importance to a certain extent, in a more collective view of the whole subject : by itself, it is trifling and superficial ; nor does the rest of the essay deserve a better character.

We shall next proceed to the antiquities, though we cannot help regretting that polite literature has so few supporters; for. the whole department furnishes but three articles, and to one of these only we can assign a respectable character. Antiquaries appear almost equally scarce.

Art. I. Account of a singular Custom at Metelin; with some Conjectures on the Antiquity of its Origido By the Right


Honourable James, Earl of Charlemont, P. R. I. A. It is a curious custom pleasingly related. In the modern Lesbos, the eldest girl is the heir, and the wives reign supreme. It is more singular that the second daughter is almost a slave to the first, and the next in their parents' regard ; the next heiress, if any thing can be preserved, is the third daughter, to whom the fourth is a servant. Even the parents depend on the haughty charity of the eldest girl. Lord Charlemont does not satisfactorily elucidate the origin of the custom, though he has adduced instances of a similar one, occasionally practised in Lycia, and even in Egypt. From Lycia, indeed, Lelbos was peopled; but from whence did the Lycians derive it?

Art. II. Observations on the Description of the Theatre of Saguntum, as given by Emanuel Marti, Dean of Alicant, in a Letter addressed to D. Antonio Felix Zondadario. By the Right Honourable William Conyngham, Treasurer to the R.I. A.

Art. III. Letter to Joseph C. Walker, Esq. M. R. I. A. &c. from the Right Honourable W. Conyngham, Treasurer to the R. I. A. being an Appendix to his Memoire on the Theatre of . Saguntum.- Mr. Conyngham describes the remains of this celebrated theatre with great accuracy, and points out the errors in the description of the dean of Alicant, published in Montfaucon's work. In some respects this structure deviated from the usual plan; but the description and variations would be unintelligible without the plates, which are numerous and accurate.

Art. IV. Letter from Mr. William Beauford, A. B. to the Rev. George Graydon, LL. B. Secretary to the Committee of Antiquities, R. I. A.--Our author very properly observes, that the information which Ptolemy derived from navigators, must chiefly relate to the maritime parts; and in comparing his defcriptions with the modern accounts, he finds the names often exact, and the appearances sufficiently near the present state. This, however, proves nothing respecting the antiquities of Ireland, or its early civilization. The mariners caught the sounds, and faithfully transmitted them.

Ait. y. Ą Memoir respecting the Antiquities of the Church of Killofly, in the County of Kildare; with some Conjectures on the Origin of the ancient Irish Churches. By Mr. William Beauford, A. B.--In this last article Mr. Beauford gives a history of the Irish churches, and traces their origin from the Spaniards, who drew the models from Italy, and in their progress corrupted and debased them. The church itself is a stone building, distinguished by a stone roof; a circumstance not pesuliar to this building, or indeed to Ireland. It was built about

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the end of the tenth century. Our author describes also the Caves of Hibernia, which, in the middle ages, were used as gra. naries. We would not offend our neighbours by considering them as the dwellings of the first inhabitants; and perhaps they would not be offended if they reflected that similar habi. tations were possessed by the Aborigines of Sicily and of Egypt,

The Hedaya, or Guide; a Commentary on the Musulman Laws.

Translated by Charles Hamilton. (Concluded from Vol. III.

New Arrang. p. 329.) TN resuming our consideration of this work, we shall first, + according to our promise, present an abstract of Mr. Haz milton's general review of the contents.

Book I. concerns Zakat, or the alms imposed by the law. This impost originated with Mahomet himself, who at first employed the revenue arising from it, according to his discretion, in the support of his needy adherents, but the objects of it were afterwards ascertained by various passages in the koran, At present, however, what was intended as a relief to the poor is carried to the exchequer of the prince, who endeavours to fatisfy his conscience by a sort of commutation, in the erection of mosques, as the support of a few indigent and idle fakeers about his palace. Let us add, that this book explains the laws concerning Zakat from herds and flocks, personal effects, mines, treasures, &c. and the modes of collecting and disbursing it.

Book II. Marriage. To the political and fpeculative enquirer the most curious features in this book are chapters II. and III. from which it appears that the female sex are, among the Muffulmans, invested with many personal rights and in dependent privileges, such as certainly in some measure eompensate for the various hard conditions to which law, or custom, has subjected the daughters of Isam.

Book III. Fosterage. By the people of Alia the nursing is supposed to partake of the very nature of her from whofe blood he receives his earliest nourishment. An affinity is therefore created by this circumstance, which operates to render marriage illegal, in the same manner as actual consanguinity.

Book IV, Divorce. The Mahometan laws, on this subject, approximate to those of Mofes ; but the extreme facility with which a Mussulman may break the bonds of matrimony is sur, prising: * Book V. Manumission. On this subject the laws are not a little humane.

Book VI. Vows. A book of small moment. * Book VII. Punishments. This book treats only of the pu.


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