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ony redress gott there, all the Lords "being still present, by which the "Parliament was so overawed, that "not ane decreit amang a hunder "was reduced."

This curious history is attested by the subscriptions of the heritors, minister, and other members of the kirk session of Dalry.

Tuesday, April 5th.

THE planet
HE planet MERCURY will be sta-
tionary in longitude 113..24°..22.
On the same day the planet VENUS
will be in conjunction with q Aquarii,
a star of the 5th magnitude, situated
in the Cascade. The nearest approach
of their centres will be 13 minutes,
and the planet will pass to the south
of the star.

Tuesday, April 19th.

The planet MERCURY will be at CELESTIAL PHENOMENA for APRIL his greatest elongation from the sun, and may be seen in the morning before sunrise. He rises a little to the south of the eastern point of the ho



Thursday, April 7th.

The planet VENUS is at present situated in longitude 11..160.49', and latitude 1o..19' south. Her declination is then 6o..25' south, and the time of her southing 10"..5' in the fore


Sunday, April 10th.

The Moon will be in conjunction with Spica, or a Virginis, a star of the first magnitude, at 38 minutes past 11 o'clock in the evening.

Monday, April 11th.

The Georgium Sidus is at present situated in longitude 7..3°..29', and Jatitude 31 minutes north. Its declination is 12o..11' south, and he comes to the meridian at 40 minutes after 12 o'clock in the evening.

the equator is 9o..18' north, and he comes to the meridian a little after Noon.

Wednesday, April 13th.

MARS is at present situated in 0.. 24°..59′ of longitude, and 24 minutes of south latitude. His distance from

Saturday, April 16th.

JUPITER will be in conjunction with Aquarii, a star of the 4th magnitude, situated in the Cascade, and will pass

to the south of it at the distance of 33 minutes.

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into a white powder, having the impalpable fineness of a precipitate. The operations of grinding and levigating are thus suspended. See Phil. Mag. No. 117. p. 94.

A new method of scouring wool has been discovered by M. Allaire. The wool is dipped repeatedly in a ley of quick lime, so that the chalky earth

forms an animal soap with the grease. On the character of the different ITALIAN By this means the wool is speedily and economically scoured, without changing its quality.


A new Calorimeter has been in

vented by Joseph Reade, M.D. drawing and description of it may be seen in Nicholson's Journal, No. 83. p. 197.

From Mad, de Stael's" Corinne."

AT is so true that governments form IT the character of nations, that in the same Italy you see remarkable differences of manners between the different states which compose it. Piedmontese, who form a little nation The by themselves, have a more military spirit than the rest of Italy; the Florentines, who have either enjoyed liberty, or had princes of a liberal chaVenetians and Genoese shew themracter, are enlightened and mild; the selves capable of political ideas, because among them there is a republican aristocracy; the Milanese are nations have long ago introduced this more sincere, because the northern character among them; the Neapolitans might easily become warlike, because they have been united, for many ages, under a government, very imperfect indeed, but still a government of their own. The Roman nobility having nothing to do either in a military or political capacity, are naturally ignorant and lazy; but the understanding of the ecclesiastics, who have an occupation and a career to run, is much better unfolded than that of the nobles; and as the papal government admits no distinction of birth, and is order of the clergy, there thence results on the contrary purely elective in the a sort of liberality, not in the ideas but in the habits, which makes Rome the most agreeable residence for all, who have neither ambition nor power to act a part in the world.


It has been found by Douett Richardott, a French agriculturist, that cattle whose stomachs have been swollen with eating grass or clover highly charged with dew, may be cured by administering the twentieth part of a pound of gunpowder mixed in a pint

of milk.

A Society has recently been established in Edinburgh under the title of the "Wernerian Society," with a view to the advancement of mineralogical knowledge. Professor Jameson President. For farther particulars see Scottish Literary Intelligence.

La bonte, le courage, et la delicatesse.
Puis-je encore desirer ? oui; l'Auteur pour


Query respecting MAJOR WEISS.

To the Editor.


IF any of your ingenious correspondents are acquainted with any of the circumstances of the life of Le Major de Weiss, du Conseil Souverain de la Republique de Berne, commandánt de ses Gardes, et Membre de diverses Académies Author of "Principes Philosophiques, Politiques et Moraux:" and of whom the Marquis de Chévigne has written the following lines:

Tout dans ton Livre, Weiss, me parait reuni;
J'y trouve le savoir, l'esprit, et la sagesse,

By communicating them through the medium of your valuable maga zine, they will very much oblige, Sir, Your most humble servant, GLOTIANUS.

Monthly Memoranda in Natural History.

IN N the end of February the mercury in the barometer stood for several days at 30.7 inches high, which is rather an uncommon circumstance.

March 2. Smelts, or Spirlings, appeared, for the first time this season, on the stalls of the fish-market. Cynoglossum Omphalodes, or Comfreyleaved Hound's-tongue, is in flower in the gardens.

March 4. The Chamaerops humilis, Dwarf Fan-Palm, or Palmetto, is at present in flower in the large stove of the Botanic Garden, Leith Walk, having four large bunches of bright yellow blossoms. This palm is seldom known to flower so early in the season, its usual time being June and July; but its earliness may be ascribed to its being here kept in the stove instead of the green-house, in which last it generally stands in English collections. Some plants of this species bear hermaphrodite flowers; but in this specimen all are males, abounding in pollen; so that no berries will be produced.

Having mentioned the Botanic Garden, I cannot help taking notice of the deplorable consequences that have resulted from one of the hot-houses having last summer fallen in ruins, and not being renewed owing to want of funds. In this hot-house was contained a very fine old plant of Ficus stipulata, or Trailing Fig-tree, which had been placed here nearly thirty years ago, or soon after the introduction of the species from China, and which now covered the whole back-wall of the house, so that it was perhaps the largest and best specimen of the plant in Britain. This plant, not being capable of removal, necessarily became exposed to the open air; and, as might have been expected, it has proved unable to withstand the rigorous cold of a Scottish winter, and has now (March

1808) irretrievably perished. Surely the wants of this Royal Garden must not be fully known to Government, else a pittance would be spared, even in these times of unexampled difficulty, to preserve alive the few valuable full-grown exotics which it contains. A very fine Camphor-tree (Laurus Camphora) was lately cut over, chiefly in order to avoid the expence of raising the roof of the shed in which it is contained; and as this shed is also becoming ruinous, the specimen is likely to be lost by exposure to the cold.That such things should happen in a National Garden, solely owing to want of pecuniary aid, (for the garden is otherwise kept in most excellent order,) is certainly little else than a national disgrace.

March 6. Bignonia aequinoctialis, or Cayenne Trumpet-flower, is in blossom in Messrs Dicksons' nurseries, Leith Walk, for the first time it is be lieved in Scotland.

March 12. Vegetation has proceeded rapidly within these few days. The hardy perennial herbaceous plants are peeping above ground, and displaying their various vernations. The leaves of the gooseberry bush are nearly expanded, and crocuses, bulbous fumitory, and other spring plants, are coming in flower.

March 15,-20. Continued frost and slight snow-showers, with very cold S.E. winds, have almost entirely suspended the progress of vegetation. Within a few miles of Edinburgh, several fields of wheat have been cut off by the severity of the weather, especially where the land is wet, so that the ground must now be ploughed for oats, or some other crop. On the night between the 24th and 25th, a heavy fall of snow took place, and has again produced, in the country around Edinburgh, all the appearances of mid-winter.


Edinburgh, 26th March 1808.

Discovery of and Queries concerning a species of River SHELL-FISH.

To the Editor.


IF I may judge from the papers on subjects of Natural History, that sometimes appear in your Magazine, you seem to possess some able correspondents in that agreeable department of science. Liberality ought to be inseparable from the mind and actions of a man of talents. And he who has a fund of observation, a faculty of retention, and an ability to explore and lay open the works of creation, should be willing to communicate the results of his labours to enquirers. Emboldened by these considerations, I come forward with a query or two respecting facts which lately presented themselves to me, and of which before I had no conception. I need hardly apologise for thus intruding upon your pages: you are, I hope, a friend to the diffusion of knowledge. Without further preface I shall proceed to my point.


You will remember, that last September was a very rainy month. was in the country till the end of that month, and wondered at the ravages which the rivers had made during that flow of water called in this country a speat. I returned to Edinburgh at the end of the month, and being fond of a rural walk, I determined, that amongst the first of my peregrinations I should make one up the course of the Water of Leith, and mark what had been the consequences of the speat there. Having proceeded about a mile and a half from the village called the Water of Leith, I came to a dam for the purpose of conveying the water from its course into a mill-lead. I found the adjacent banks much in the same state as before the speat; but examining the March 1808.

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alluvion which the river in its retreat had deposited at the foot of this bank, I was surprised to find shells lying very common, some without the fish, and others which were close and felt heavy I put in my pocket. When I came home I opened one of them, and found it full. I put another on the fire, in order to discover what appearance it would have after being roasted: when ready for ascertaining this, I found as near as I can remember the smell to be something like musty corn. I was not hardy enough to taste it, but threw it away; however, two persons to whom I shewed it chewed a small bit, and the taste was so nauseous as to make them spit it out. I shall endeavour to give some idea of its appearance: the shell resembles a large cockle in its shape, has none of the linear indentations common to the cockle, but is plain; the valves are also more elongated than those of the cockle, the polish and colour resembling a greenish coloured horn; the substance seems to be composed of laminæ, which is discovered by the irregularity of the surface. Curiosity prompted me to preserve some of them, which I have still by me. I would propose the following queries:

cies of fresh water shell-fish? 1st. What are the different spe

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2d. Are the shell-fish in rivers different from those in lochs?

3d.-Have any of their habits been observed ?

4th.-Do any fish or any river animals feed on them?

I have seen several otters which have been shot in the Water of Leith, and judging from the size and corpu lency which they seemed to have attained, it is matter of wonder to me that the trout is not altogether extirpated, which however is not the case. On the contrary, I have seen them in plenty,

plenty, and at a good size, caught in

the Water of Leith. Indeed I am almost certain, that if the otters which inhabit that small river had really no other food than trouts, they would have gone far to extirpate them.As I said before, this is not at all the case; they may, therefore, feed upon the kind of shell-fish which I saw. It would be difficult to ascertain this, but not impossible. Before concluding, I must observe, that 1 never before saw any shell-fish on the banks or in the stream of a river. During the stay I made in the country at the period above mentioned, I had every opportunity of making discoveries of the kind; as after the great rains, one small rivulet in particular, (Biel, in East Lothian) seemed to have exported all its secrets, and left them far out of its accustomed limits. I have, however, found a species of muscle in the stomachs of perch which were caught in the small lake near Edinburgh called Lochend. They were small and black, resembling in all respects the sea muscle. The shells were whole; they must have been swallowed, not masticated, by the teeth. The gastric juice in the stomach of this fish must possess a strong dissolvent power, if we suppose that these muscles were to be digested.At least, this fact confirms the opinion of some naturalists, that the voracity of the perch is at times so great as to make it rush upon and swallow whatever has the appearance of being edi, ble. What is stranger, I have found black snails in the stomach of the same fish.

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On Poetic Character and Literary Fame.

To the Editor.


IT is a general observation, that

poets are poor and unfortunate, and perhaps no observation was ever. more just. I question much, however, if the real causes of their penury and bad fortune are rightly understood, and it is with a view to explain them, that I now take up the pen to address a short essay to you and your readers on this subject. It may perhaps surprise both you and them, when I assert that poets are poor in consequence of a superabundance of riches, and that their misfortunes arrive 'pot till after their death. A very few words will convince you, that what I maintain is perfectly well founded. The riches to which I allude are such as fall not to the share of mankind in general, and are indeed the portion but of a very few.They consist not either of silver or gold, neither are they composed of bank notes, East India bonds, Stock dividends, landed property, houses, jewels, or precious stones-they are infinitely more valuable to the posses sor, although they very often are insufficient to procure him a dinner.In a word, Sir, they consist of a mental mine, that is inexhaustible, and may be considered as possessing charms even superior to Fortunatus's purse; for while they starve, they delight; and while every thing else is at a stand, they cease not to pour out their refreshing stores, and diffuse their vivifying beams daily and hourly. To speak in less figurative language, the mind of a poet is so constituted, that, despising the little sneaking sordid arts of the world, he necessarily neglects the means that procure wealth and independence; and, dwelling on whatever is generous, noble, elevated, and refined, he continues to feast on splendid phantoms, in defiance of accumulating wants and difficulties around

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