« AnteriorContinuar »
small quantities that it was hardly noticed. delineated in the same work, as copied The radii of the stars were all of equal from the Miscellanea Berolinensia, vol. length, diverged in the same plane, and vi. and amount to seventeen. The basis at exact angles of 60°, the length of each of the crystal in these stellæ remains radius about the 1-7th of an inch. When the same in each, viz. a planular, hexthe snow fell in quantities, these forms angular star; and the varieties they exwere no longer visible, and it appeared, as hibit seem rather to have the appearance usual, in flocculi of minute needles irregu- of extrinsic decoration than any radical larly associated. The state of the atmos- mutation. The modifications refer either phere on both the days when I observ- to the radii or the centre. The followed these crystals was not materially dif- ing are those which came under my noferent.
tice on the days above mentioned. They By referring to the article Neige, in all seem to differ more or less from those the French Encyclopedia,* I found this delineated in the French Encyclopedia, subject there treated at large by Mons. except the first and second; but could I De Ratte,t the author of that article. have inspected them by the microscope, The varieties spoken of by M. De Ratte, it is probable I should have found a more are found most beautifully and minutely general analogy,
P. S. T. del.
A. Anderson, sculp. Crystals enlarged 11 from nature. Ist. The crystal here is a simple hexan- variety, forked into three prongs, which
gular star—the radii plain little needles are of the same length, and diverge as of equal length and breadth, and the in the last, at angles of 60°. Proceed, centre formed simply by their conver- ing from the centre of the star, and begence-the angle of convergence in tween every two radii, are petals of half this as well as in all the succeeding, the length of the radii. and in those given by M. De Ratte, 5th. The radii three-pronged as before, being uniformly at 60 degrees.
and after the same manner-pinnated 2d. The radii and centre are both so ex- about midway, towards the centre of the
panded as to resemble the petals and star, the pinnæ or collateral branches disk of a compound flower. Seen also being of equal length, and in the proin Feb, 1818, by the Rev. Mr. Schaef. portion to the main radius of about one fer, of New-York.
to eight, Seen also by Mr. Schaeffer, 3d. The same as the first, į. e. a simple 6th. A simple star, except a circular flat
star, differing from it only in having knob on the extremity of each radius the extremities of the radii bifurcated, the diameter of this knob about the these bifurcations being at angles of 60° 1-16th of an inch. to the parent radius, and about 1-4th 7th. Like the last, except that the radii the length of that radius.
converge also on a central knob, whose 4th. The ends of the radii are, in this diameter appeared double that of the
circumferal knobs. * Vide Encyc. des Arts et des Sciences.- 8th. The centre an equilateral hexagonal Folio, printed at Paris, 1774. (des planches Physiques.)
plane; with a succession of similar hex† Perpetual Secretary of the Royal Society
agonal figures drawn upon it, one within of Sciences of Montpelier.
the other. The radii proceed from each angle of the plane, and are about equal from them; resembling, as those the main, in length to its diameter, i. e. about the so these the collateral points of snow. But 1-7th of an inch; hence this star was the icicles of urine are still more near: larger than the rest, though the radij re- for in the salt of hartshorn, although the main of the same length in all. Each collateral shoots stand at acute angles with radius is supplied with pinnæ, which the main, yet not by pairs at equal height; branch off from near the place of insertion and in sal ammoniac although they stand of the radius. These pinnae amount to diametrically opposite or at equal height, four or five on each side, and gradually yet withal at right not acute angles. decrease in length towards the extre- Whereas in the icicles of urine they stand mity of the radius, towards which also at equal height and at acute angles both ; they all incline by angles of 60 degrees in both like those of snow. .* And it is obthe longest pair of pinnæ being nearly servable that the configuration of feathers of equal length with the radius. is likewise the same : the reason whereof,”
It will be remembered that all these he quaintly remarks, “is because fowls modifications are upon the same plane, and having no organs for the evacuation of that the radii are constantly six in number. urine” (an egregioụs error by the by,)“ the
This peculiar, extraordinary, and beau- urinous parts of the blood are evacuated tiful species of crystallization, as I have be- by the habit or skin, where they produce fore remarked, has been noticed but by very and nourish feathers." From all this reafew. Muschenbroeck saw two sorts only, soning he concludes, that the spiritous and viz. the six-petal’d-flower, and stars with aqueous particles of the drops of rain, delittle branches on each ray. M. Cassini scending into a colder region of the atsaw, in 1692, the last kind mentioned by mosphere, are apprehended in their de. Muschenbroeck, with this modification, scent by those of a nitro-urinous, but viz. the collateral branches had leaves chiefly urinous nature. The whole mass branching from them, Erasmus Bartho, then congeals into these
little starry cryslini assures us that he has seen pentagonal tals, which are variously modified as they stars; and that some have even seen oc- meet with gales of warmer air, or impinge tangular. But Dr. Grew* asserts, that and rub against each other. By these when they do deviate from the hexangular means, says he, “ some are a little thawed, it is always into the dodecangular forma. blunted, frosted, clumpered; others brotion.
ken; but the most hanked and clung in One solitary author, Beckman, declares several cels togethe which we call that he saw niveous crystallizations in the flakes of snow.” form of hexangular pillars, that they oc- Dr. Clarke too, observed the stellar curred at Frankfort, upon the Oder, in crystallization of snow, on the 2d of April, 1667.7 The analysis of these columns 1800, during his travels in Russia.t The would present a deposition of so many thermometer of Celsius stood at 5° hexagonal laminæ, so that the tendency to below the freezing point, (i. e. 27° Fahhexangularcrystallization is apparenthere renheit). The crystals were all precisely too.
alike, viz. of the shape of little wheels, of
about the diameter of a pea, each having How snow should take on this beautiful six spokes or radii. “ This appearance stellated crystallization, and by what ope- continued,” he remarks, “ during three ration the various modifications of these hours, in which time no other snow fell." stars are produced is not yet ascertained. He also states that the weather was calm; Grew, however, has endeavoured to clear “ the snow falling gently upon us as we up this matter by comparing the crystals drove along the streets”I [St. Peters: of snow with those of other substances, burgh). He has not particularized any modification So also Grew. “ He who wishes to excepting that wherein the radii of the learn the nature of Snow," says Grew, stars are pinnated with collateral branches "should observe it when it is thin, calm and diverging at acute angles. The following still.” The same is confirmed by Monge, are his own words : “ Nitre crystallizes in President of the late French Institute, the same slender spiculæ. Salt of harts- who has likewise noticed this beautiful horn, sal ammoniac, and some other vo- phenomenon. Dr. Black too, corroboJatile salts, besides their main and longer shoots, have other shoots branched out * See figures 5 and 8.
+ Vol. i. p. 6. * Vid. Trans. of Royal Soc. Lon. No. 92, by # Vague notices of niveous crystals have ocDr. Nehemiah Grew.
cassionally appeared in our newspapers ; but I | Vid. Trans. of Royal Soc. Lon. He called cannot discover any accurate descriptions of them it Nix Columnaris,
in these sources.
rates this fact, and remarks that the the difference of density. In like manweather should also be “ very cold."* ner he adds, the drops of rain from thun
We hence perceive, that the obser- der clouds are larger than those from vations of Grew, Black, Clarke and others. Monge, as well as my own, all tend to In the opinion of M. De Ratte, the the conclusion, that these crystals are agents to which these extraordinary phemore frequent and more regularly formed, nomena are ascribable, are the following: when the atmosphere is in a state of quies- “ the degree of cold, its mildness or its cence-a conclusion which might have rapid accumulation, (sa lenteur ou son been readily anticipated, when we call to accroissement rapide,) the direction and our recollection that a state of quiescence violence of the wind, the part of the atis considered essential to the crystalliza- mosphere from whence the snow falls, and tion of all other substances.
the various kinds of exhalation mingled with But Macquart informs us, that niveous the congealing water."* The agency of crystals are observed at Moscow, “when any extraneous matters, whether saline it snows violently and the atmosphere is or other exhalations, in the formation of not too dry !”+
these crystals, as suggested by this author Dr. Black declares that they are pure and Dr. Grew, must be doubted, after icy concretions. That they are oftener what has just been stated from Dr. Black. formed in the clouds than upon the earth, Monsieur De Ratte is, no doubt, right in Dr, Black very rationally supposes to be supposing the crystallization of snow to owing to the fewer obstacles which exist be more or less infuenced by the rest of there to oppose the peculiar crystallic these agents ; but in regard to the imdisposition of water. He thinks too, po- mediate cause of their production, as with larity has something to do with it. He all the other results of the minute affinities does not believe that an admixture of of matter, t it is impossible perhaps ever to saline or other particles is necessary to arrive at the truth. And it is as yet their formation, this being disproved on doubtful, whether philosophers have even experiment; for the water of these crys- approximated to this point. For without tals is purer than any other natural water. recurring to the less supposed influences, And hence he calls it a property of pure or taking any notice of Caloric, as conwater.
nected with the explanation of this subBeccaria supposest the crystals of snow ject, we see the question still asked, wheas well as the drops of rain attributable to ther or no, these phenomena are to be electrical agency. In snow
it acts with ranked in the great class of Galvanic or less energy than in hail, hence, says he, Magnetic agency:
P. S. T.
ART. 2. Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and Letters, during an Excursion in Italy, in
the years 1802 and 1803. By Joseph Forsyth, Esq. Boston, 1818. Wells and Lilly, 8vo. pp. 443.
NNUMERABLE are the books that syth united with his distinguished attain.
have been published on Italy, but none, ments as a man of letters, a soundness we conceive, more admirably calculated to judgment, keenness of perception, and geimpress just and lively conceptions of its neral capaciousness of intellect that fitted present state, than the volume before us. him peculiarly for the survey of a counDeeply imbued with the ancient and mo- try upon which so much has been said dern literature of a region interesting not and written, and so little to the purpose. merely to the scholar, but to the man of To be sure, there is Mr. Eustace, whose taste, and the lover of nature, Mr. For fine taste and classical enthusiasm have
supplied us with many and glowing pic.: * See his Chemistry,
tures of the remains of ancient art and 4" When it snows violently and the atmos- magnificence that are scattered over the phere is not too dry, the air is observed at Moscow surface of Italy. jo be loaded with beautiful crystallizations re
His descriptions of the
that enchantgularly flattened and as thin as a leaf of paper. scenery and climate, too, They consist of a union of fibres which shoot from the same centre to form six principal rays, * Encyclop. des Arts et des Sciences-art and these rays divide themselves into small Neige. blades extremely brilliant.” Macquart.-See + Vid. System of Chemistry by that truly loSullivan's View of Nature.
gical and accomplished writer Jno. Murray, | Dr. Hutton's Philosophical and Mathemati- Esq. of Edinburgh, vol. i. Art. Attraction; and cal Dictionary. Art. Snow. --Vol. ii.
ing land, can scarcely be surpassed in the malle du voyage, ready to be consulted richness and, we believe, truth of their among the scenes it so pictorially decolouring. His observations on paintings, scribes. It is the prejudice-the blind statues, cameos, &c. may also be read with prejudice--that pervades the pages of interest, nor are we at all inclined to quar- Mr. Eustace-his determination to lift up rel with the vehemency of his invective the Italians—the modern Italians-above against the late masters of Italy; neither all other nations—the unbounded venerais our spleen moved against him because tion for antiquity that makes him regard he was a catholic, and, of course, an ex- with a complacency truly amusing and treme admirer of the Pope and his cardi- edifying acts, which, had they occurred in nals, and a well-wisher to the order of modern times, he would, and very properthings that subsisted in that best of all ly, have branded with reprobation-his possible times, the period immediately absurd endeavours to underrate the value preceding the Reformation-an event of French literature, and to place the feewhich we had always been accustomed to ble triflers of Naples above VOLTAIRE, regard, -erroneously, no doubt,--as the MONTESQUIEU, and Buffon-together triumph of true religion, but which the with the affectation of archaiological senReverend Mr. Eustace has taken espe- sibility which frequently assumes the apcial care to leave us no excuse for longer pearance of a desire to impose himself upcontemplating as such, by informing us on you for an ancient Roman, and which that it sprang.
6 from consciousness of in one instance, he does not hesitate to power on one side, and the rage of innova- say, made him pass by, without visiting, a tion on the other,”- -a very luminous and spot (among the mountains in the vicinity satisfactory explanation, and one which of Verona) inhabited by a very singular we take the liberty of recommending, as race of people, totally distinct from the gea model of brief and oracular exposition, neral population of Italy, and supposed to be to the supporters of the true Faith, when- descended from the remains of the Cimbri ever they are so unfortunate as to become and Teutones, defeated in this neighbourentangled in controversy with Protestant hood by Marius ;-these constitute some prejudice and bigotry. Again, we say, it of the grounds on which we would take is not because Mr. Eustace looked upon our stand against Mr. Eustace as an Itathe French Revolution as the alpha and lian traveller :--the general aim and dedmega of human crime and misery, or sire evinced in his volumes, and not selbecause he was a staunch adherent of the dom with considerable ostentation, seems Romish Church, that we object to his lu- to be, the holding forth the Romans, and eubrations on a country where that Revo- pretty ụniversally the Italians as the only lution has left some of its deepest scars- people deserving the name of a civilized and where that Church is so 'maternally nation, or whose history and monuments attentive to the spiritual welfare of her ought to excite our curiosity and admirachildren, that all her ingenuity seems to tion. Now, we think that there were many be directed to the leaving them as little features in the Roman character worthy else to think about, as she well can. All only of unequivocal abhorrence :-sprung this we conceive, is very beautiful,-only from a race of robbers, the Romans appear rather late in the day, and not altogether always, more or less, to have retained the adapted to the darkness of the present undoubted tokens of their descent;—their age, which in spite of the benevolent re- arts—their literature-were borrowed monstrances of Mr. Eustace, and writers tastes—but for war and rapine they were of that genus, appears determined to per- cursed with an innate and almost savage sist in its own crude notions, and to reject, predilection ;-ambition in its simplest as something partaking of the ridiculous, grossest—form, was the true passion of all his pathetic dissertations and panegy. this unrefined and cruel people--the mere rics upon the divine origin, humbleness extension of their dominion furnished the and sanctity of the only saving faith.—No, single impulse by which they were actuait is for reasons substantially different ted in all their foreign enterprises ;-not from objections of a religious nature, that that they were a martial, but that they were we rank Mr. Eustace, as a writer and only a martial, people is it that we would observer, in a very inferior rank to point out the Romans as the very worst that which we would assign to the un- model for a nation to mould its manners prejudiced and eloquent author of the and habits after;—the Greeks were am* Remarks,” &c. a book which every bitious, but their ambition was not conperson intending to visit Italy, should pre- fined to the object which formed its ex, viously peruse we can assure them it is clusive motive with the Romans--havoc, ho undelightful task-and deposit in their fraud, and oppression always followed in the rear of a Roman force, and the lands pictures ;-these, as we have said, he dethat submitted to their arms became the scribes—and his remarks upon subjects victims of their tyranny;--the expeditions that had exhausted the eulogistic or deof the Greeks, most frequently justified by preciating talents of his predecessors, the aggressions of their enemies, generally have an animation and originality that ameliorated the condition of the people must excite the surprise of all who reflect against whom they were directed, and by upon the difficulty of saying any thing at the introduction of the useful and elegant once true and novel upon topics which arts, more than counterbalanced the tem- have been the themes of discussion for so porary evils unavoidably attendant on war. many centuries ;—but it would be doing In. their least civilized state, the Greeks this eloquent writer a great injustice to have always appeared to us a more lofty- suppose that he travelled merely as a congenerous-souled-and in many points, noisseur—that he was so steeped in virtû, a more refined-people than the Romans as to pass through a country like Italy in the proudest periods of the Republic. without bestowing a thought upon any Every success of the Romans was a curse object that did not make an immediate ap-every conquest of the Greeks a blessing peal to his taste or imagination,—that the -to mankind. With the praise to which character, the manners, the pursuits, and the primitive purity of their manners, and political condition of her improving, the intensity of their patriotism, unques- though still degraded population, should tionably entitle them, we cordially agree, not call forth any observations from a and unite with Mr. Eustace in his admira- writer so eminently and variously gifted, tion of their literati, and the mighty and would be a just cause of surprise, and to majestic monuments of their former power be accounted for only on the score of inand magnificence;—but here we stop ;- dolence, or by supposing him to have enwe are not prepared with him, to worship joyed too little leisure or opportunity for the purple either of the Cæsars or the the exercise of other powers than those Popes—we cannot forget that the guilty possessed by ordinary travellers. But if greatness of Rome was founded in the sub- Mr. Forsyth were deficient in affording us jection and plunder of the world—that information respecting the important and her eagles were the uniform harbingers of primary objects of enquiry to which we blood and destruction—that fraud and as- have alluded, he could not plead the want sassination were the steps by which she either of time or opportunity as a sufficient mounted to glory and that the triumphs excuse for his sins of omission :-a resiof her arms impeded, in an incalculable dence in Italy of two entire years would degree, the improvement and civilization enable an acute and active mind (and the of the human race. The countrymen of mind of Mr. Forsyth was active and acute Washington should ever remember that in the highest degree) to collect and comthe bases of true greatness are laid in the bine together a mass of usefel and instrucarts of peace, and that more real glory is tive intelligence on the actual condition derived from the noiseless labours of civil of the people—he had, besides, access to wisdom, than from all the false and glit- the highest and best informed society of tering pageantry of military or imperial the country, and as far as we can gather despotism.
from his own unostentatious language, the Too long has Mr. Eustace detained us esteem in which he was generally held from the interesting and, indeed, delight- afforded him every desirable means of obful volume which we are solicitous to in- taining, viva voce, information upon every troduce to the notice of our readers. Ne- topic which conversation was capable of ver perhaps, has Italy been sketched with elucidating—and now having stated to so elegant, vigorous, and masterly a pen- our readers what they have a right to excil ;-never have the vestiges of ancient pect from Mr. Forsyth, it seems but fair grandeur, or the labours of modern genius to inform them he has availed himself to and taste, been so clearly and vividly de- the utmost of all his advantages, and givlineated as in the pages of Mr. Forsyth- en us a book upon one of the most interyet it must not be supposed that the tal- esting regions of Europe, superior in nearents of the author are simply those of an ly every respect to the works that have archaiologist, or that he carried with him hitherto fallen in our way. His style is to Italy a mind intent only upon the beau- original in a very eminent degree-brief, tiful, but inanimate, objects of art ;-his vigorous, and animated-nothing of the intellect was too extensive in its grasp set air of regular composition about it his powers of observation were too various no laborious effort at effect ;--but in and independent-to be confined to the every page you meet with those unsought analysis of buildings, and statues, and graces of diction which captivate the at