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EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
FOR JANUARY 1810.
Description of FLEURS, the Seat of the scription of the rocks in that district, Duke of ROXBURGH. (which consist of mica-slate, and clayslate, with an overlying conglomerate, formed at a lower level from the debris of primitive mountains) tended to illustrate one branch of the Wernerian. doctrine, respecting the order of formations in the mineral kingdom. It also appeared, in confirmation of another. principle in the Geognosy, that the di-: rection from SW. to N E. of the strata composing the Highland mountains, corresponds to what has been observed in general relative, to the bearings of the primitive strata in the crust of the earth. Such an uniformity of direction, it would seem, could have resulted only from the action of powers in nature that are slow and regular in their operation; and must be referred to some original law, which, later discoveries render it probable, will be found to depend on the constitution of the terraqueous globe, with regard to magnetism and electricity.
HIS noble mansion is situated on THIS a rising ground immediately above Kelso. It overlooks that beautiful town, with all the range of pastoral, scenery along the Tweed. Thus situated in one of the finest districts of Scotland, this edifice forms one of its chief ornaments. In point of extent and magnificence, it has few rivals in Scotland. The beauty of the present view of it, taken from Ednam, must be obvious, from the representation which accompanies this Number.
At a small distance is situated the ancient castle of Roxburgh, a place of considerable celebrity in Scottish history. It was in besieging this castle, that James II. lost his life; and a holly is still shewn near Fleurs, where that prince is said to have received his mortal wound.
At the same meeting the Secretary laid before the Society a communica
Proceedings of the Wernerian Natural tion from Mr William Scoresby, jun.
AT the meeting of this Society on Saturday the 13th January last, the Rev. Dr Macknight read a mineralogical account of Ben Ledi, and the environs of Loch Katterin. The de
of Whitby, comprising a meteorological journal of three voyages to Greenland, with remarks on the effects of the weather on the barometer in those seas, and on the different crystallizations of snow to be observed, at various temperatures, in high latitudes.
Monthly Memoranda in Natural His- shewed some blossom about the middle of November, and now the fruit is fairly set, or has begun to swell.
1810, Jan. 3, A Number of cuttle-fishes (Sepia Loligo) have of late been cast on the shores about Leith. They are gregarious animals, and a large drove seems to have come up the frith.
- 14. A period was suddenly put to this untimely spring-weather, by a sharp frost, which was followed next day by a heavy and rapid fall of snow. On the morning of the 16th, the snow lay 18 inches deep around Edinburgh. So much has not fallen in so short a space of time for fourteen years past, since the remarkable winter of 1795. The fall was but local, extending little beyond Dunbar on the great south road, and having been but slight at Glasgow on the west side.
-20. An uncommonly thick frosty
-24,-27. A thaw has prevailed,
8. The Jamaica shrub Solandra grandiflora being remarkable for the size and fragrance of its flowers, but backward in producing them, it has long been the object of gardeners to discover means of hastening their production. A plant in the upper stove of the Botanic Garden, Leith Walk, has flowered for two years past, and has now a couple of blossoms formed, and apparently ready to expand. The only peculiar treatment it has met with has been, that (owing chiefly perhaps to want of room) it has been regularly cut down, and prevented from running to wood. The Drace na ferrea, Aletris fragrans, and Arum seguinum, are all in flower, at this time, in the same small hot-house. In short, the plants are in better trim than the poor and scanty accommodation for them would lead us to expect. This is to be ascribed to the care and vigilance of the attendants; for nothing has yet been done in the way of repairs or improvements in this much neglected public garden.
13. Down to this date the wea. ther has continued uncommonly mild. Wall-flower has been out for a fortnight; with Christmas roses, and pelyanthuses. Indian roses and carnations have continued in flower all winter, in the open border, against south walls. In a garden at Canonmills, with no favourable aspect, the shoots of white bryony are already two inch. es above ground: they did not use to appear till April. The snow drop is just now coming into flower, and the winter-aconite is ready to expand. Sparrows are pairing. In a garden near Newhaven, a jargonelle pear-tree
Proceedings of the HIGHLAND SOCIE-
William Smith, Esq. for Norwich, was elected an honorary member, on account of his active and zealous exertions in promoting the improvements and interest of this part of the United Kingdom, particularly in his capacities of one of the parliamentary commissioners for the Highland roads and bridges, and deputy governor of the British society for fisheries; Mr Smith, for the purpose of more effectually forwarding these important objects, ha
ving twice travelled through the north and west Highlands of Scotland.
The secretary then submitted to the consideration of the society the proceedings of their directors since the general meeting in June last, and the premiums voted by them for raising green crops, improving waste lands, meliorating the breed of black cattle, improving the art of ploughing, by competitions of ploughmen in various districts, and for other objects; also to authors of essays on different subjects; such as the best means of introducing into Scotland a knowledge of the stapling of wool as a trade, the management of woods and plantations, &c. The meeting approved of the continued exertions of the directors, in promoting the objects of the institution, and were itution, and were gratified to find, that every attention had been given by the conveners and the members of the society resident in the country, to the ploughing and black cattle competitions in the different districts. A list of these premiums was directed to be published; and as it appeared that a number of essays and communications, containing useful information, had been received since the publication of the 3d volume of the society's transactions in 1807, the meeting recommended the publication of a 4th volume.
Mercer, clothier at Wilderhaugh, for raising the pile of wool on cloth and blankets, and also on an improvement in the common cranks used in Machinery. The society remitted to the directors to investigate the merits of Mr Mercer's inventions in machinery, with power to bestow such mark of the society's approbation as they should see proper.
A drawing and description of a new plan of fences for pleasure grounds, made of wire, by Mr Pilton of Chelsea, was laid before the meeting by Mr Braidwood, jun.
The secretary stated, that several communications had been recently received from the board of agriculture, through its president Sir John Sinclair, from the farming society of Irelandfrom the Bath and west of England agricultural society, who had compli mented this society with a complete set of their published transactions.The meeting recommended that a communication with these respectable institutions should be carefully kept up, and authorised their secretary to communicate the thanks of this meeting to the Bath society. The meeting also directed, that a complete set of the corrected county reports of England and Scotland, drawn up for the board of a griculture, and now publishing by Sir R. Phillips, should be added to the library of the society.
The society resolved to subscribe to a new work, now nearly ready for the press, to be published by the Reverend Mr Irvine of Little Dunkeld, entitled "The Lives of the Caledonian Bards."
Mr Macdonald, the treasurer, congratulated the society upon its flourishing state, and the increase of its funds, as appeared from a state prepared by Mr Wilson, accountant, the society's auditor, and, on the treasurer's motion, the thanks of the meeting were unanimously voted to Mr Wil. son, for the trouble he takes in the society's affairs, without fee or reward.
The sum of 30 guineas was then voted to Mr Andrew Meikle, the inventor of the threshing machine.
The secretary laid before the meeting, a letter from the Reverend Dr Douglas, of Galashiels, a member of the society, with an accompanying drawing of a machine, invented by Mr
A letter from Mr Currie, secretary to the committee for managing a chapel lately opened in London, where divine service is to be performed in the Gælic and English languages, for she benefit of the poorer classes of Highlanders, accompanied with the plan and regulations for said chapel, was laid before the meeting. The society, although precluded by the terms of its charter from contributing from the
the funds to this object, unanimously expressed, their approbation of the establishment.
Among a variety of other matters referred to the directors for consideration, were a drawing and description of an improved method of yoking horses in threshing machines, by Walter Samuel, West Lothian, and a communication from the Rev. Dr Singers, on the most likely means of facilitating and extending the progress of improveaments in rural affairs.
Memoirs of the PROGRESS of MANUFACTURES, CHEMISTRY, SCIENCE, and the FINE Arts.
HE case of Mr Meikle, the inventor of the threshing machine now in general use, has been warmly taken up by the landed interest of East Lothian, in consequence of a letter from Sir John Sinclair, Bart. president of the board of agriculture, to the Earl of Haddington, lord lieutenant of that county, a copy of which we subjoin. No implement has hitherto been discovered of one half so much benefit to agriculture, as the threshing mill; and though machines for separating corn from the straw were often attempted, previous to Mr Meikle's invention, yet the mill constructed conformably to the principles devised by Mr Meikle, and specified in a patent which he obtained in 1788, are the only ones at present generally used.
Copy of the letter from Sir John Sinclair, Bart. President of the Board of Agriculture, to the Earl of Haddington, Lord Lieutenant of the county of East Lothian.
MY LORD-In the course of some excursions which I have been induced to make for the purpose of examining the system of husbandry adopted in some of the more improved districts of Scotland, I have found a very general
wish expressed to concur in a senti ment, which I understand has been long entertained in the county of East Lothian, that of manifesting, by some public mark of attention, the sense so generally entertained of the services performed by Mr Andrew Meikle to the agriculture of these kingdoms.— Several ingenious men had previously directed their attention to the construction of threshing mills, but none have hitherto stood the test of experience but those erected on the principles which Mr Meikle originally suggested. It is unnecessary for me to dwell on the importance of this invention to the agricultural, and to the general interests of these kingdoms.It would far exceed, indeed, the boundaries of a letter, to detail the advantages, which, in various respects, have resulted therefrom. The increasing number of these valuable machines, is the best proof of the high idea entertained of their importance. If, therefore, the county of East Lothian, in consequence of your lordship's recommendation, at any meeting where you may happen to preside, would take this subject into its consideration, and would suggest the best means of conferring some appropriate marks of gratitude and respect on Mr Meikle, for his services to the cause of agriculture, (for this ingenious machine has contributed to the improvement of other implements of husbandry besides the threshing mill,) I have every reason to believe, that it would meet with the cordial support of the most enlightened proprietors and farmers in the united kingdom.
Charlotte Sq. Edin. Dec. 7. 1809. A subscription has accordingly been set on foot, and is proceeding with alacrity. It is intended, as may seem most eligible, either to give the money to Mr Meikle, or to employ it in bestowing upon him some honorary mark of respect.
Two curious Clocks have been invented and executed by Mr Smith, Clock