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XXXVI. • An easy and expeditious Method of diffipating the noxious Vapour commonly found in Wells and other subterraneous Places ; by Ebenezer Robinson, of Philadelphia.”
This method is certainly very easy ; for it consilts only in conveying air to the lower part of a well by means of a pair of bellows, and a long tube reaching to the bottom.
XXXVII. A Method of draining Ponds in level Grounds, by Jesse Higgins, of Delaware.'
This is nearly what Dr. Anderson styles tapping the ground, viz. forming a communication between the water and the stratum of land which usually lies under clay. The water then drains off, and finks through the sand.
XXXVIII. - Observations on the Severity of the Winter, 1779, 1780 ; by the Rev. Matthew Wilson of Lewis, dated 228 June, 1780.'
The moles, bees, frogs, thell-finh, bugs, musquitos, grasshoppers, and a great proportion of the snakes, died. The hth were found dead or dying on the water with the airbladders greatly diftended. In the vegetable kingdom, the cold was equally destructive.
XXXIX. - A Description of a new Standard for Weights and Measures; in a Letter froin Mr. John Cooke, of Tipperary in Ireland, to Thomas Jefferson, Efq.'
Our author thinks that the pendulum, as a standard of measure, is uncertain and incorrect ; and he therefore proposes the following plan.
• Theorem. If there be a cubic vessel with an aperture in the bottom, which aperture is in a given ratio to the base of the veffel; and if the ratio between the weight of the water which this vessel contains when full, and the weight of the water discharged from it, through this aperture, in a given time be given, the cube itself is given.' P. 330.
The disadvantages of the pendulum are well known and guarded against or corrected: those of the present plan must be immediately obvious.
XL. Description of a Spring-block, designed to assist a Vefsel in failing. By Francis Hopkinson, Ésq. of Philadelphia. Honored with the Magellanic Gold Medal, by an Award of the Society in December 1790.'
This paper we need not abridge.
XLI.A Botanical Description of the Podophyllum Diphyllum of Linnæus, in a Letter to Charles Peter Thunberg, M. D. Knight of the Order of Wafa, Professor of Medicine and Botany in the University of Upfal, &c. &c.'
There were some doubts whether the second species of padophylluin was not a species of sanguinaria. That doubt is
now removed; the supposed P. diphyllum is found to be a new genus. It occurs on the west of the Alléganey mountains, and belongs to the octandria monogynia of Linnæus. "The root is purgative, and occafionally emetic. Perhaps, as our author suggests, it may at last be found a hybrid, a mixture of the fanguinaria and podophyllum.
Some short extracts from the observations of M. le Roy, on the construction of hospitals, and the usual list of prefents, conclude the volume.
Observations on the Western Parts of England, relative chiefly
to Picturesque Beauty. To which are added, a few Re, marks on the Picturesque Beauties of the Isle of Wight.
By William Gilpin, M. 4. &c. 8vo.' il. 55. Boards. Cadeil and Davies. 1798.
MR. Gilpin seems declining in the west, with the mild radiance of a setting fun, which, though pleasing, leads us to regret his meridian beauty. Without a metaphor, these .ob. servations are greatly inferior to the other works of our author. The picturesque scenery is lost in a crowd of heterogeneous remarks ; and the technical terms, so long hackneyed by their application to every inconsiderable view, fatigue and dílgust the reader. In our traveller's steps we have often trodden'; and we recollect many beautiful fcenes which he has not described. He proceeds from Epsom to Winchester and Salisbury. Wilton, Fonthill, Stourhead, Maiden-Bradley, and Longleat, Thare his attention in the way to Wells. Thence his route extends to Glastonbury Abbey, the Quantoc Hills, and along the northern coasts of Somerset and Devon. After a survey of Torrington, Oakhampton, Tavistock, Launceston, and Bodmin, Plymouth and its neighbourhood occupy a great share of his attention. From Exeter he passes through Honiton, Axminster, Bridport, Dorchester, Blandford, and Lymington, to the Ile of Wight. Southampton and Bagshot close his tour.
These various places, he has examined with very unequal attention. Norbury-house, its beautiful situation, and its fingular drawing-room, attract his particular notice, and receive, what is not very usual, his warm commendation. Of the drawing-room, the four sides represent as many scenes of nature's choicest representations. Those at the two ends reach from the cieling to the base : that, on one of the sides, is natural-the view from the windows. Many remarks on the statues, &c. are subjoined; but these are too trite to add to the value of the work. - The rafts of timber, floating down the Wey, lead to a de
fcription of those of Adernach, and the fragile foats of jars down the Nile. Farnham castle, and the cathedrals of Winchester and Salisbury, are described at some length ; and we meet with a few judicious and appropriate observations on Gothic ornaments. In the survey of Stone-henge, all the idle tales about the Druids and their worship are repeated. That Stone-henge was not the work of the Druids, seems to be clear from one circumstance, that those priests confined themselves to the shades of forests, and particularly the groves of oak; but this tree either never grew in that plain, or, from the hallowness of the soil, on a chalky ftratum, it never could have grown there to any confiderable size. Barrows undoubtedly abound there'; but these appear to be of a later date than the existence of Druidisın ; for they are unsuitable appendages to a Druidical temple.
The writer treats copiously of Wilton, and enlarges on what it inight have afforded, as well as what it offers. He also exainines the sources of the numerous statues from Greece and Italy, and describes the various pictures with critical minuteness.
He gives what history and legends have preserved respecting the abbey of Glastonbury; fumming up with propriety the advantages and disadvantages of fimilar institutions. The plain was probably, in former times, under the water either of the fea or of a lake; but we suspect that it was only occasionally inundated. A subterraneous passage is said to exist from the abbey to the Tor. The revenues of this institution were very great ; and its charities and hospitality kept pace with them.
Instead of a description of Bridgewater, we find only an account of admiral Biake, who was born there ; and, at Enmore castle, we are told how ancient castles were built. The description of the view from the Quantoc-hills will furnish a specimen of the manner in which Mr. Gilpin escapes from the country to his common-place book.
• From Enmore-castle we ascended Quantoc-hills. Our views from the heights of Pontic were chiefly inland; but from the high grounds here, as we now approached the sea, we were entera tained with beautiful coast-views, which make a very agreeable species of landscape.
• The firft scene of this kind was composed of Bridgewaterbay, and the land around it. We saw indeed the two islands of Flat- holms and Steep-holins, and the Welsh coast beyond them; but they were wrapped in the ambiguity of a hazy atmosphere, which was of no advantage to the view. Haziness has often a good effect in a picturesque scene. The variety of objects, Ihapes, and hues which compose an extensive landscape, though inbarmonious in themselves, may be harmoniously united by one
CRIT. Rey. VOL. XXIV. Dec. 1798. Ff
general tinge spread over them. But here the land bore so smail a proportion to the water, that as we could not have a picture, and expected only amusement, we wished for more distinctness, We had it soon ; for before we left our station, a light breeze arising from the west swept away the vapours : the distant coast became distinct, and many a little white fail appeared in different parts of the channel, which had been loft before in obscurity.
The going off of inifts and fogs is among the most beautiful circumstances belonging to them. While the obscurity is oniy partially clearing away, it often occafions a pleasing contrast between the formed and unformed parts of a landscape ; and like cleaning a dirty picture, pleases the eye with seeing one part after another emerge into brightness. It has its effect also, when it goes off more suddenly. P. 161. Another instance follows:
As we approached Barnstaple, the view from some of the high grounds is very grand, composed on one side of Barnstaple-bay, and on the other of an extensive vale; the vale of Taunton carrying the eye
far and wide into its rich and ample bofom. It is one of those views which is too great a subject for painting. Art, confined by the rules of picturesque composition, must keep within the compass of inch, foot, and yard. But such flender confines cannot rouse the imagination like these extensive scenes of nature. The painter, jealous of his art, will fometimes deny this. If the picture, he tells us, be well painted, the size is nothing. His canvas (however diminutive) has the effect of nature, and deceives the eye. You are affected, says he, by a landscape seen through the pane of a window. Why may you not be equally affected by a landscape well painted within the fame dimenfions ?
• It is true, the eye is frequently imposed upon. It is often purposely miiled by tricks of deception. But it is not under the idea of deception, that the real artist paints. He does not mean to impose upon us, by making us believe that a picture of a foot long is an extended landscape. . All hé wishes is, to give suclr characteristic touches to his picture, as ihay be able to rouse the imagination of the beholder. The picture is not so much the ultimate end, as it is the medium, through which the ravishing scenes of nature are excited in the imagination.-We do indeed examine
picture likewise by the rules of picturesque composition : but this mode of examination we are not now considering. The rules of composition serve only to make the picture answer more effectually its ultimate end. We are now considering only the effect which the picture produces on the mind of the spectator, by carrying him forcibly, and yet willingly, with his eyes open, into those senes which it describes,' p. 175.
It is only
If the description of the natural bridge, in the back settles ments of Virginia had a connection with our author's subject, we should have selected it. The whole is an aniinated picturesque descripțion, which, however, suffers from being physically erroneous. We shall copy humbler features, and Introduce the description of the falls of the Lid.
• In our way, we were to pass a bridge, which, we were informed, was thrown over the rocky fides of two frightful precia pices of the Lid, each eighty feet high. The idea was terrific; and
we expected a very grand scene. But we were disappointed, from the omission of a single circumstance in the intelligence, which was, that the separation between these two tremendous precipices is little more than the crevice of a rock; and, in fact, we had pafled it before we knew we had been upon it. seen by looking over the battlements of the bridge. If the day be clear, you just discover the river foaming among rocks inaný faa thoms below. If not, you must be content with listening to its roar. The music, however, is grand; for if the river be full, the hotes swell nobly from the bottom, varied, as they are, by afcenda ing so nariow and broken a funnel.'
P. 179.. • The channel of the Lid, though contracted at the bridge, foort widens, both below it and above, and would afford many beautiful scenes to those who had leisure to explore them. This river rises about three or four miles above Lidford, on the edge of Dartmore, and flowing through a barren plain, finds a small rocky barrier, through which it has, in a course of agés, worni a whimsical past fage. As it issues from the check it meets with here, it falls about thirty feet into a small dell, which was not represented to us as a scene of much beauty. But a little farther the banks rife on each fide ; vegetation riots, the stream defcends by a winding and tapid courfe; and the fkreens, though small, are often beautifully adorned with wood and rock. * By this time, the river approaches the bridge, where it is lost in the narrowness of the channel, and, as I have just observed, becoines almost fubterranean.
• From the bridge we proceeded directly to what are emphatically called the falls of Lidford, which are about three miles below, . We alighted at a farm-house, and were conducted on foot to the brow of a stiep woody hill, from which we had a grand view of Lidford-castle, which appeared now, at a distance, more proudly feated than it seemed to be when we rode past it. Of the river we saw nothing but could easily make out its channel, under the abutments of grand promontories, which marked its course.
• Having viewed this noble landicape, we descended the hill by a difficult winding path, and at the botion found the Lių. The appearance which the river and its appendages made here from tije