Imágenes de páginas

committed to the custody of the town of Edinburgh; a standard pint jug for regulating liquid measures was deposited in Stirling; a standard firlot for dry measure was conmitied to the care of the magistrates of Linlithgow; and a standard flone weight to Lanerk: exact duplicates of all which measures were carefully deposited in the king's exchequer at Edinburgh, and it was ordained that all merchandise should be bought and sold according to these standards, under very severe penalties,

- Thụs stood the law before the Union in 1705. It had good effe&s, in so far as it clearly established what were che tandard weights and measures : but as care was not taken to ascertain and publish the proportions which the customary weights and measures, bore to the standards, the former were not laid atide; and it could not be otherwise. Even the use of the Trose weight, though expressly discharged t by the act of 16 , was continued as before. :! The divertity of the whole at this day, not only in the different counties, but in different paris of the same county, is well known, and appears in a Itriking light in the annexed tables.

. By the 17th article of the Union, io 1707, it was enacted, “ That the same weights and measures thall be used throughout the united kingdom as are now eitablithed in England; and that stand. ards of weights and measures thall be kept by those boroughs in Scotland to whom the keeping the llandards of weighis and me.sures does of special sight belong : all which itandards thall be sent down to such boroughs from the itandards kept in the exchequer at Westminster, &c.” .. They were sent down accordingly; and they added to the number of our different weights and measures, but did not supersede any of them ; probably for the season above given, that no pains, was taken to make the people in general acquainted with their pro. portion to the Scorch weights and mcasures.'

He then mentions some glaring instances of misconduct in the legislature, by enacting laws directly subversive of that uniformity aimed at in the 17th article of the Union, for which we think no apology can be offered.--Shame! that our lawgivers should be so ignorant, or careless, as to pay no attention to a circumstance of such capital importance to the nation !

He concludes the introductory part of the work with some obfervations on the most proper means of enforcing the present laws so as to obtain an uniformity of weights and measures in Scotland, which he thinks might, in a great measure, be effected without the aid of any new law. We suspect that a new law will be necessary, were it only to give a fresh fpur to those who ought to see the laws put into execution. It is certainly a defect in the British constitution, that more effectual means are not adopted for executing the laws that are enacted ; for it is from this circumstance that laws are unnecessarily multiplied, and trespasses more common. It is not, says the em. dress of Russia, the severity of the punishment, but the cer† Another Scoiticism. The Writer means prohibited.


jainty* of it, which prevents crimes.-With equal justice may it be laid, that it is not the multiplicity of statutes, but the due enforcing of them, that establishes order in a state.

The greatest part of the volume before us consists of tables for reducing the different weights and measures employed in Scotland to one common standard; and this is naturally divided into two parts. The first consists of general tables of the standard weights and measures in England and Scotland, and the proportions they reciprocally bear to one another; the second, of tables Mewing the contents of the several provincial weights and measures, and the proportion they bear to the legal standards..

'That our readers may have a clear idea of the great utility of this work, we shall collect, for their fatisfaction, an alstract of the account here given of the several measures of capacity, which go under the same denomination in different parts of the country: these are indeed much more diversified than we could eafily have imagined.

The boll is the common term employed as an unit for mea. sures of capacity in Scotland. But we have already shewed that there are two sizes of the standard boll,- one for barley, oats, and malt; the other for wheat, peale, &c.- It appears that this distinction is universally adhered to through all Scotland. We shall only exhibit the variations of the first of these bolls.

The standard boll being 100, the other county bolls will be as under: Aberdeenshire bull 109.677 Bamfshire

ICS.103 (Inverary 107.258 Berwickshire I i 104.838 Argyleshire, Campbeltown Bute and Arran 134.677 128.709 Caithnessshire

106.280 Byle and Carrick Dumbartonshires 106.597 112.985 Dumfrieshire |

2 8.339 Another for Tiends Edinburghshire

101.613 Ayrshire te 125.784 (for bear

105.256 Cudoingham Elgin for oats

131.570 127.015 (in some cases 210.512 ( Another 134.169 Fifeshire



• The certainty of punishment, please to note that, ye who só frequently (through mistaken leni!y) interpose between the judgment of the law and its due execution ; and so often, to the irreparable detriment of the Public, turn apde the hand of justice!

† N. B. In some parts of this county ché wheat boll is 15.80$ per cent, better than fandard ; in others it is 2.135 per cent. less than Aandard,

I N. B. The wheat boll in this county is 52.941 jer cent, above Atandard. $ The wheat boll in this county is 16,63 per cent. above flandard. The wheat boll in this county is 202.184 per cont, above standard.


103.629 Perthshire

104.164 Haduingtonshire 103.024 Renfrewshire

106.250 Invernessshire barley 109.786 Rorshire *

103.225 Loats 137,232 Roxburghshire

133.064 Kincardin shire 106.451 Tivioidale +

366.1 28 Kinrossihire 103.024 Sukirkthire

1 26.08 Kirkcudbright flewartry 181.483 Stirlingshire

107.258 Lanerk Thire 104.176 Sutherlandshire

110.644 Nairnshire . 139.354 Wigtonihire |

201.254 Pсeblesshire

104.459 While such different measures go under the same name (and the same diversity is observable in all other weights and measures), it must occasion great confusion in the ideas that different perfons form of the price of different kinds of grain, and the amount of the produce of different fields, when there subjects are mentioned in conversation, or in looks; an attempt there. fore to reduce these mealures, &c. to one standard, must be considered as very laudable. And as the present performance puts it in the power of every person, who may so incline, easily to compare these different measures with one another, it highly merits our approbation; and we wish to see other performances of the same kind with regard to England, France, and all the other countries in which a spirit for improvement prevails.. For want of such tables as there, many of the experiments recorded by Du Hamel, and others, are alto ether useless, as it is imposible to form any adequate idea of the extent of ground, or rcal amount of the produce mentioned in their experiments.

In forming an estimate of the value of money at different periods, it is a common practice, and seemingly a very natural one, to compare the price of a measure of any kind of grain which we find incidentally mentioned in any transaction, with the common price of the same nominal measure of grain in modern times: but here we are liable to err in two ways; first, by not knowing exactly what proportion the particular measure spoken of bore to the legal standard at that time ;--and secondly, from our forming an improper estimate of the fize of the legal standard at the period mentioned: for there is no doubt that the legal measures have varied at different periods both in England and Scotland, and probably in every other country, so that we ought to be extremely cautious about drawing important con

* The wheat boll in this county is 12.941 per cent. better than standard. it in the north of Eng'and the boll is a measure for grain, as well as in Scotland. About Sunderland and Newcaitle two Wincheller buthels, we are informed, are called a boll. The boll in Tiviordale, therefore, is more than ten times the lze of the Newcalle boil. 1 In the north of Engiand,


10 1.57, and year 1587

elusions from data that are so suspicious. Our ingenious Author, although he professes not to be an antiquary, has, in an appendix, thrown some light on the contents of the standard weights and measures of Scotland at different periods. We with we had an equally authentic account of those of England, and the nations with which we are,, or were formerly, much connected.

It appears from our Author's account, that from the reign of David I., about the year 1130, to that of James I., anno 1426, the boll contained 4044 cubic inches ; so that it was somewhat less than half of the present standard wheat boll, and also less than one-third of the present standard boll of oats or barley, being to the wheat boll as i to 2.1735, and to the barley boll as I to 3.1953. * From the year 1426 to 1457, the boll contained 5283.26 cubic inches, and was to the present standard wheat boll as I to 1.663, and to the present standard boll of barley as I to 2.426.

From the year 1457 to 1587, the boll contained 5594.04. cubic inches, and was to the present standard wheat boll as i to 1.57, and to the boll of barley as I to 2.222.

From the year 1587 to 1618'(at which time the present standards were fixed), the boll contained 7910.4 cubic inches, and was to the present standard boll of wheat as I to 1.11, and to the boll of bear' as I to 1:62. Thus have the measures been gradually increased to more than double their fize in wheat and pease, and to more than three times their original dimensions as to oats, barley, malt, &c.; other measures and weights were liable to similar variations, some greater and others less than the original standards. But we have chosen to follow out the measures of capacity for things dry, thať the reader may have a connected view of one branch of the subject.

We shall take leave of this very respectable Author; after making one remark that naturally arises from the foregoing facts; 'viz, that we ought not to entertain such an extravagant idea as is usually formed of the poverty of Scotland, or the exceeding high value of money in that part of the kingdom, from the notices that sometimes occur, of the prices of grain in old times being reckoned immoderately high, when, 'at first sighi, it appears to have coft but very little money.” The size of the boll we see has gradually increased, as above, to niore than double or three times its original dimensions, while the weight of a pound in money has decreased to about the thirty-seventh part of its original weight; so that without making allowance for these variations, we may naturally enough form an idea that filver, at a certain period, was about eighty or a hundred times of higher value than it really was at the time,

boll contained 7.9 as 1 to 1:11

Το To conclude, we consider this as a most useful performance, and hope the author will be rewarded for the pains he has taken to promote the benefit of his native country. Art. V. ISAACI NEWTONI Opera Que Erfiant Omnia. Commentariis illuftrabat Samuel Horsley, LL. D. R. S. S. &c. 4to. 5 l. 5 s. Subscription for the whole Set. Nichols, Conant, &c.


A S this publication is only the first volume of an intended

A complete edition of Sir Isaac Newton's works, in five volumes, illustrated with a commentary by the Editor ; we think it sufficient for the present to enumerate the contents of it, and to specify the order in which the Editor has thought proper to arrange the different pieces; which, norwithstanding their value and importance, had never yet been collected together. The work is, with propriety, dedicated to the King.

The present volume is divided into two parts. According to the learned Editor's proposals, all the tracts of Newton which relate to pure Mathematics, were intended to be first given. In conformity to this plan, the Arithmetica Universalis forms the first part of this volume. This tract is accompanied with very few notes; for which circumstance the Editor ac. counts, by informing us that he had digested bis principal explanatory comments (comprehended in nineteen chapters, the titles of which are here given) into a separate article, which he originally intended to have added as an appendix to this tract: but the great bulk of the present volume not allowing of its insertion, it is omitted. The Editor hints, however, that it may appear hereafter, either in one of the subfequent volumes, or in a separate publication.

The second part comprehends those valuable tracts that relate to the higher geometry; particularly to the doctrines of feries, and Auxions. The first of these pieces is the section on Prime and Ultimate Ratios, which the Editor has thought fit to detach from the beginning of the Principia, as being a proper introduction to the doctrine of Auxions contained in the succeeding pieces. This is followed by the tract intitled, De Analysi per Æquationes numero terminorum infinitas; which is succeeded by the Excerpta ex Epiftolis Newtoni, formerly published by Jones at the end of the last mentioned tract; but which are here placed in a somewhat different order. The piece De Quadratura Curvarum, and the Geometria Analytica, next succeeu; and are followed by the Methodus Differentialis, and the Enumeratio linearum tertii Ordinis, which is the last of Newton's tracts contained in this volume.

The manner in which our Editor and Commentator has ful. filled his talk in these two capacities, with respect to these Opufcula, will be most concisely exhibited by giving his own


« AnteriorContinuar »