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done. While he denies the theory of gravitation, and all the influences of such a force, he supplies its place in the universe by other potencies of equal extent and influence. He attempts to prove that there is a transferable, diffusible, independent and indestructible force in every thing, sufficient to secure the harmony of motion. He meets the theory of gravitation with many objections, which he thinks cannot be urged against his theory of force. In this connection he quotes from NEWTON :
Would it were permitted us to deduce the other phenomena of nature from mechanical principles, and by the same kind of reasoning ; for many things lead me to suspect that all these phenomena depend on certain forces by which the particles of bodies are either urged toward each other, through causes not yet knowii, and cohere according to regular figures, or are repelled and recede from each other, which forces being unknown, philosophers have hitherto made their attempts upon nature in vain. Our author adds: “We are disposed to believe that the ultimate particles of bodies have an orbital or rotary motion, intense in proportion to the circumscribed space in which they move. In every mass, also, and at times extending beyond the mass, as especially the object of perception in the magnet,) this motion exists, the phenomena of which are those of polarization, and the result of which is cohesion together with the phenomena of friction, and perhaps of chemical affinity. The force revolving in the mass is cohesion, out of the mass friction or pression, and the change of the structure of the mass is chemical action.'
He goes on to develop these ideas, and to prove the correctness of his theory, and closes this chapter with the following language:
"It may be objected to this view that the generalization is too far extended. But we can hardly err on this side. The present state of philosophy seems to demand generalization - the grouping together of the heretofore isolated action of nature. Nature has been too much parcelled out - too much separated into artificial departments. There have been too many tribunals set up, each with its own code of laws. Such divisions are not characteristic of the simplicity of truth, but have beea made from the necessity of the case. There is an error in the theory which relates to general principles. Gravitation cannot be brought down to the particulars; it will not apply to the minute. It has to be addej to, or taken from ; it has to be modified for every class of phenomena. Thus have we gravitation, attraction, elective attraction, capillary attraction, attraction of cohesion, attraction dynamic, attraction statical, attraction between elements of one kind, attraction between masses of different kinds, and so on, almost without end; and in place of science giving method to the mind, clearness and distinctness to thought, the intellect is embarrassed in its attempts to assign to nature the modicum of order which the theory itself may have in minds of the greatest strength.
Our author finds great, indeed insurmountable difficulty, in trying to reconcile different phenomena with the action of particular laws. Thus in reference to the gravitation of the atmosphere, and its density and weight, he finds it necessary to reject the theory of GALILEO, TORRICELLI and PASCAL, because it does not fully explain the atmospheric phenomena. If the force of attraction, he thinks, acted on the whole atmosphere as one volume, it would be of as uniforin density as a mass of granite; and that if it operated on each particle according to its distance from the centre of attraction, the difference in the weight of different strata would be far less than that apparently indicated by the barometer. Again, he writes: “It is supposed that heat always rarefies the air, and that cold condenses it, yet it is contended that the lower strata of the atmosphere are not only more dense than the upper, but that they contain more heat.' This, he thinks, is directly opposed to the law as stated. And if it is true, he argues that there should be an upward current of wind to correct the action of gravitation.
If the intelligent author of this work would stop to consider the many necessary special provisions in the universe, beautiful in themselves, and indispensable in the economy of nature, we think he would attach less importance to all arguments of this character. Experiments have shown us that the exception to which he refers does exist; and more, that it is indispensably necessary to the life and growth of animate nature. Water is also expanded by heat, and condensed by cold, but there is an important exception to this general law. Water is condensed to a certain point only, after which it is expanded by cold, and it is owing to this provision that our lakes and rivers are kept liquid during the winter. We might refer to many other
instances of this character, but it would be useless. There are limits to the action of every natural law, as well as exceptions to their operation. All nature appears to be full of these provisions, and it is these which make it so difficult to establish general laws.
But we must dismiss this interesting and scholar-like work. We do so, however, with reluctance. We would say more of an original and laborious argument like this than our space permits. We do not agree with the author. We prefer the NEWTONIAN theory to his, because it is venerable with age, has been proved by the experiments and calculations of centuries; because it accounts for most, if not all of the natural phenomena, and because it has received the approval of the greatest minds the world ever contained; men who stand as beacon-lights in the history of the human mind and of its achievements, and to whom the world is more largely indebted than to its statesmen and warriors: but we do not think that all is yet known, and that no farther discoveries are to be made. The field has been but partially explored.
We sincerely hope that Mr. CORIEs may be encouraged to continue his labors, and to publish a more elaborate work; for which he has the materials already collected. He is a ripe scholar, and is well acquainted with the subject; and as he works beyond the surface of things,' he will prepare the way for others, if he fails himself; and while he induces farther thought on subjects and theories which are now received as settled, he will either contribute to confirm us in our present opinions, or force us to strike out new ones for ourselves.
The LADIES OF THE COVENANT. În one volume : pp. 346. Published by J. S. Redfield, Clinton-Hall Buildings, corner of Beekman and Nassau-streets.
This is a reprint of an English book, ‘got up'in admirable style. It consists of a series of biographies of some of those noble women who suffered in the cause of religious and civil liberty during the great struggle of the Scottish Covenanters; a field which has been trodden by no other writer, and which has all the freshness of novelty. Most of these sketches are historical, and give a vivid picture of the zeal and sufferings of those female martyrs, who, although they repel somewhat our sympathies by something too masculine and stern in their characters, yet fill us with admiration for their patient endurance of trials and unfaltering adherence to the cause they espoused. It was not merely from the natural impulse of woman's heart to stand by a husband when proscribed and hunted down for opinion's sake that they braved torture and even death, but they acted from a deep sense of religious obligation, a conscientious belief that the form of church government the STUARTS were attempting to force upon them was contrary to the Word of God, and that for which they were contending vital to the interests of Christianity. Never did a severer trial pass over the Church of Scotland than during this persecution. Previously she had fought, with various success, many a battle against kings and statesmen. Often defeated, she soon rallied her forces, and recovered the ground lost. But during this long persecution it was all disaster. She was not destroyed, but she was cast down and trodden under foot. All she could do was to exercise patience and fortitude under the fury of her enemies. These women form a part of the great cloud of witnesses' with which we are encompassed. Though belonging to past generations whose bodies are now sleeping beneath the heather, and whose spirits have gone to the eternal world, 'they yet speak'
MORE 'LAST WORDS' FROM `Carl Benson.'— Our friend Benson, before 'going down to the sea' (we hope not into it) in one of our noble steam-ships, has had barely time to correct a few errors, partly his own and partly the proof-reader's, which crept into his last buried letter to the EDITOR. Ep. KNICIERBOCKER
DEAR KNICK.: There is just time to bid you good-bye again, as we are standing, so to speak, with one foot on land and the other on board. Two or three little typographical slips in my last I want to correct. Cento(r)ism is obvious; occidus and amplexa any one's knowledge of metre would enable him to rectify into occiduo and amplexu; teneatis (in the ‘Anna') might perhaps be recognized, though stripped of its initial; but nemini for memini (in the third line of the same) may have puzzled some. In the quotation from Ovid, parte should have been latere : that I believe was my fault. Also there was a sentence left out to this effect: that the non-use of cano as applied to singing birds was rendered more extraordinary by its use in reference to croaking birds ; corvus canit, parræ recinentis omen, etc. Talking of misprints and your by percritical friend who found fault with you for writing sobriquet, do you know that that is one of the most commonly mis-spelt French words? People are misled by the more familiar and somewhat similarly-sounding word bouquet, improperly written by some boquet. I had written soubriquet myself the other day, and it would have gone forth so to the world but for CRAIGHEAD's foreman, (who is a very sharp man at his business, by the way, and has all his wits about him.) That evening I tried experiments among my friends, and found that most of them (including one who was actually born in Paris) spelt the word with the superfluous u.
Apropos of the American-Parisian above mentioned. He said rather a good thing the other day, me judice. Two stout · Union men,' who would go out of the way any day to catch a ‘fugitive' for a “Southern brother,' were driving in a gig, and nearly all but pitched into one of those carriage-traps that our corporation and contractors are in the habit of sprinkling about the avenues. They were detailing their inkling of adventure' very circumstantially. “So,' quoth HENRI, “you came near changing your politics.' 'How so?' asked one of the almost sufferers. Because you had like to become sewered men.' I call that not bad for an impromptu. Do you know if this is old! An acquaintance says it is, but I never heard it. What is the cheapest way to get a musical instrument? Buy a shilling's worth of physic at the druggist's, and they 'll give you a vial in.' At any rate, I am sure this one is n't old; it's bad enough to be bran-new. “Why ought a ballet-girl to be good at philosophy! Because she has been accustomed to play-toe. Beat that if you can: and so goodbye!
SCENE: THE EDITOR'S SANCTUM. -TIME: PART TWELVE O'CLOOK AT NIGHT,
EDITOR. — ELIZABETH BARRETT is a great woman.
EDITOR. — ELIZABETH BARRETT. She has written no less than eighty-seven Bonnets !
MOUSER (stretches first one wing and then the other, with an expression of intense weariness): Whoo!
EDITOR. — Yet Dulot, a French poet, even went beyond that. He lost his papers, and with them, as he complains, three hundred sonnets! What!' exclaim his friends, three hundred?' 'Yes, blank sonnets; bouts-rimés : all they wanted was the filling up!' By the way, I have somewhere a letter on this very subject, from an old friend, a poor clergyman and poet, as yet unpublished. It is in the following words:
MOUSER. — To-whit:
EDITOR (reads): Sonnets I take to be the last remnants of that species of invention which formerly sprouted out th numberless petty devices, such as anagrams, charades, chronograms, lypograms, acrostics, and the like. They belong to the age of powder and periwigs, clipped hedges, and yews trimmed into monsters; when men, in order to be elegant, were obliged, as Ben Jonson writes,
"To pump for those hard trifles Anagrams
A pair of scissors, and a comb in verse.' 'Byron says, in a letter to MOORE,' I never wrote but one sonnet before, and that was not in earnest, and many years ago, as an exercise ; and I will never write another. They are the most puling, petrifying, stupidly platonic compositions.' To which I subscribe. I do not mean to say that good sonnets have not been written. I have seen such ; it is the school that is bad. They are like Flemish pictures, or as the painter said of the sardines, 'Little fishes done in oil! But as I have been requested to write a sonnet, I will not refuse you, yet I am sure I would not do so
again even for a friend ; that is, a friend for whom I had an especial regard: sonneteering is too nice a matter; the better done, the worse; and I think, with DISRAELI, • Extreme exactness is the sublime of fools.' Nevertheless here is the thing. If you wish to put it among your • KNICK ’- knacks, you have my consent thereto, thinking that it may do some good :'
"A SONNET?' well, if it's within my ken,
I'll write one with a moral. When a boy,
Blamed’ if we didn't meet one Pat McCoy,
Who four more gave, which made fourteen together.
A pretty pocket-wallet; like a feather
"You 're smart,' says he; you've got a heap of leather,
But where's them cents you wanted to put in it?'
GOSSIP WITH READERS AND CORRESPONDENTS.—Here is an extract from a letter written by a lady-friend of ours, resident in San Francisco, to another lady-friend
of ours' in New York, which seems to us to present a graphic picture of life in the former'diggings. The letter was written soon after the last destructive fire, which consumed, for the second time, the best part of the great California capital:
Before this letter reaches you, you will have heard that we have again been nearly burned up. Just one week ago to-day I was nearly all ready for church, hat on and tied, when the alarm of Fire' was given; and an alarm here has a very different effect from one in New-York. Every body is at once panic-struck, and run immediately to the hills for protection. In five minutes our house presented a singular scene. Every body was picking up his own.' My
your clothes, and let every thing else go!' He said this because ladies' garments are the most difficult things to obtain here. I concluded to make a frolic of the matter, thinking all the while that it was ridiculous to be in such a hurry; but only for a short time was I laboring under this impression. I never in my life saw such flames as roared, and surged, and licked with crimson tongues the open sky.' The atmosphere of our house soon became so hot that I was glad enough to vacate it. Just fancy Mr. H — and myself running up a high hill, I with a copy of Tasso and DANTE in one hand, and my jewel-box in the other. Before I left I took a hasty glance into the kitchen; saw our dinner lying on the table; hesitated a moment as to whether it would not be more sensible to leave the books and take the beef, but finally concluded the beef could stand the fire best, and so left it, not expecting to see either our dinner or our house again. I begged very hard to be permitted to remove some of our fur niture, but my husband said, 'No.' I did, however, secure my beautiful curtains. Twenty-five dollars a load (the fire price' at San Francisco) makes people rather reluctant to try to save their goods from conflagration. From the house to which we had fled upon the hill, we could look down upon the whole scene. By three o'clock the fire had been so far subdued that it was considered safe to return. We found our faithful old cook in the kitchen, shelling peas, with the fire raging all around her. She had n't moved a peg. The building was as hot as if it had actually been on fire; but the old woman said she kind o'mistrusted 't was n't a-goin' to burn up that time!'
Now I keep all my clothes packed up, ready to move at any moment. Had this fire originated a block from us, I should have had no time to save any thing. After this I shall be prepared, unless it comes next door; then I shall consider it fortunate if I get away myself. At the first toll of the bell there are thousands of people rushing into the streets, looking on, and letting the fire take its course. They can do nothing, except to do what I saw done, take up rich car pets and hang them over the fronts of houses. They are in truth perfectly powerless here: no water, no engines, and every thing so dry; and yet the broad Pacific is all around us. I think if a few more enterprising Yankees were here it would be put to some use.