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to guide me in their continuation, de- ened, like those I had the pleasure of laying the final calculation until my knowing ; * and even if I could have return. In doing so I doubtless acted suspected their existence, which some well, for although I have since devoted kind service, some delicate attention much time to them, they are not yet would doubtless have disclosed, I should entirely finished. Nevertheless, the not have experienced the charm which agreement of those observations, of could retain them in that foggy, rocky, which the calculations are completed, pathlessi region, without a tree on the shows the accuracy which may be ex- mountains or plains for the eye to rest pected of them; and the results which on; kingdom of the rain, of the wind, are deduced from them, being combin- and of the tempest, whose atmosphere ed with those of Formentera of the constantly impregnated with chill moisarch of France, give for the flattening ture, only softens to a certain degree of the earth exactly the same value the roughness of the winter, under the which is deduced from the theory of sad condition of giving no summer. the moon, and the measurement of the That which attaches them to it is the degrees compared at great distances. profound and unalterable peace which This perfect agreement between deter- they enjoy, for the pleasures of which minations so different, shows at once they have a perfect relish. the certainty of the result, and the During 25 years in which Europe was sure method which science employs to devouring herself, the sound of a drum obtain it. It will be seen from this had not been heard in Unst, hardly in notice, that it is not without trouble Lerwick ; during 25 years the door of that this point of precision has been the house I inhabited had remained reached, and it will not excite much open day and night. In all this insurprise when it is known, that the va- terval of time, neither conscription riation of the length of the pendulum, nor press-gang had troubled or afflictby which the flattening is measured, ed the poor but tranquil inhabitants is in all, from the equator to the pole, of this little isle. The numerous but four “ millimétres,” that is to say, reefs which surround it, and which less than two lines; and from For- render it accessible only at favourable mentera to Unst, one “ millimétre” seasons, serve them for defence against
nd a half, or less than three-fourths privateers in time of war ; -and what of a line. It is these three-fourths of is it that privateers would come to a line however, which, appreciated as seek for there? These people receive can now be done, exhibit and measure, news from Europe in the same way even with great accuracy, the flattening as they read the history of the precedof the whole terrestrial spheroid, and ing age; they recall no personal misprove to us, that in spite of slight acci- fortune ; they awaken no animosity, dents of composition and arrangement, of course they have neither that interwhich this exterior and slender surface est, or to express it better, that moon which we move presents to us, the mentary delirium which produces the interior of the mass of our planet is mad exaltation of all the passions, and composed of strata perfectly regular, they tranquilly philosophise on events and subjected to the laws of super-po- which seem to relate to another world. sition, density, and form, which a pri- If there were only trees and sun, no mitive state of fluidity had assigned to residence could be more pleasant : but them. The advantage of having com- if there were trees and sun, every body pletely performed my operations, how would wish to go thither, and peace great soever it necessarily appeared to would there exist no longer. me, was neither the only nor the most This calm, this habitual security, precious I experienced in the family gives to their social relations a charm which had so kindly received me. If elsewhere unknown. Every one here, I had remained upon the rocks of Bal- in the class of gentlemen, is relation, ta, I should, without doubt, have quit- connexion, or friend; and friendships ted these isles with all the prejudices are like relationships. But as in this of a foreigner. I should only have seen the dreariness of their situation,
* I cannot here recall all the persons who the poverty of their soil, and the in- have loaded me with obligations ; I shall clemency of their sky; I should not
add at least to the names of MM. Edmon. have known that they contained beings stons, those of Mr Mowat of Unst, and Leisk sensible, kind, virtuous, and enlighte of Lunna. VOL. III.
world evil necessarily accompanies uncovered boat against its fury, till good, this very pleasure of living in a they have saved their lines, the loss of great family is sometimes dearly pur- which would be the ruin of themselves chased. It causes them to feel with and their families; then they row and extreme pain, every death which visits sail in the direction of the land, in the this little circle of individuals, in whom midst of waves rising to the height of their affections are concentrated : such houses. The most experienced of them, an event, and it must arrive, is a family placed in the stern, holds the helm, and, affliction, and possesses all its bitter- judging of the direction of every wave
, ness. They but too commonly expe- eludes its immediate shock, which rience almost equal grief, when their would be sufficient to swallow them brothers or some oneof their friends de- up. At the same time he gives orders part to seek their fortunes elsewhere; as to the sails, which he causes to be the isle, and all the isles together, not lowered every time the boat mounts furnishing sufficient employment for on the top of a wave, and hoisted every the upper class of the population. This time she descends, in order that the departure is regarded as a death by those wind may cause her to fly over the top who remain, and it is in effect almost of the following wave. Sometimes ena death to them, since it is but too veloped in profound darkness, these probable that they will never again see poor men cannot see the mountain of those who depart. People often quit water which they would avoid ;-they the Shetland isles to establish them
can only judge of its approach by the selves in a better country, but they noise of its howling. In the mean seldom return to them. The friend- time, women and children are upon ships even which their kindness leads the coast imploring Heaven ; watching them to contract with the foreigners the appearance of the boat which bears whom they oblige, become to their their only hopes ; sometimes expecting affectionate hearts, subjects of regret to see it upset or swallowed up in the and sadness, which the far distant roll of the waves ; striving to assist voice of gratitude can but imperfectly their husbands and fathers, if they arsoften. The necessity of leaving their rive near enough to enable them to native country arises among the high- succour them; and sometimes calling er classes of the Shetlanders, from the loudly to those who will hear them no narrow extent of commerce and of ag- more. But their lot is not always riculture, occasioned by the want of dismal. By means of skill, hard lacapital, and the want of exportation bour, coolness, and courage, the boat for the produce of the soil. A small is victorious in this terrible struggle ; portion only of the estate of each pro- the well-known sound of her shell is prietor is cultivated, the rest is occupied heard ; she arrives; tears are then in the pasturage of flocks of sheep, and followed by embraces ; and the joy of horses in a half wild state, without a seeing each other is increased by the keeper and without shelter. The recital of the frightful danger which people grub up around their huts such has been escaped. a bit of ground as is merely sufficient for Nevertheless, the ruggedness of their subsistence, and they pay the rent their country has charms for these of it by the perilous but attractive poor people.
They love those old profits of fishing. This they all prac- rocks, whose bold shape and welltise with unexampled boldness
. Six known aspect point out to them the men, good rowers, and confident of narrow
passage which their boat each other, agree to possess one boat, must follow, when, returning from a light canoe, entirely uncovered
prosperous fishing, with a fathey take with them a small provision vourable wind, she enters the proof water and of oat cake; and in this tecting bay, greeted with the cries to frail skiff, with a compass, they go of the sea birds. out of sight of the isles and of all land, deep caverns where they have often the distance of 15 or 20 leagues : launched their boat into the middle of there they cast their lines, and pass a the waves, when setting out to surday and a night in fishing. If the prise the seals. Even i myself
, feelweather is good, and the fishing suc- ing calm under their guidance, have cessful, they may each gain ten or contemplated with admiration those twelve francs by such a trip. If the lofty cliffs of primitive rocks, that ansky is overcast, and the sea becomes cient structure of the globe, whose tempestuous, they struggle in their strata lay inclined towards the sea,
They love those and, undermined at their base by the dice. I witnessed village farmers fury of the waves, seemed threatening meeting in clubs to deliberate upon to bury under their ruins the frail the interests of politics and agriculbark which bounded at their feet. At ture, and formed into societies for the our approach clouds of sea birds issued purpose of buying useful books; among in thousands from their retreats, sur- the number of which was the Encycloprised to find themselves troubled by pædia Britannica, which is known to man, and making these solitary places be digested at Edinburgh by learned resound with their confused cries; men and philosophers of the first order. some darting into the air; others Finally, I witnessed the higher classes plunging into the waves, and shooting of society suited to this high degree of upwards, almost as quickly, with the civilization, and truly worthy to occuprey which they had seized; whilst py the first place in it, by their intelporpoises and seals, here and there, ligence and the loftiness of their sentiraised their blackish heads above waves ments. I observed them exciting transparent as crystal. Every where and directing all enterprises of public life seems to abandon a cold and hu- utility,-in unceasing communication mid soil, to take refuge in the air and with the people, and never confounding in the waters. But, soon as the even- themselves with them; anxiously eming spreads her veil over these wild ployed in displaying their information retreats, all re-enter in peace and si- to enlighten them on the subject of lence. Sometimes a gentle breeze of their duties and of their true interests; the south tempers the chillness of the knowing how to comfort them in their air, and allows the planets of the night necessities, without depriving them of to shine with the purest light on this those virtues, and that independence, tranquil scene, whose profound peace no which are produced by the care of noise interrupts, except,at intervals, the providing against them; thus every distant murmur of the dying waves, or where procuring their respect, without the soft and plaintive cry of a' moëtte,' exciting their envy, and enjoying, as skimming rapidly the surface of the tide. the reward of so many exertions, peace,
After a stay of two months, I quit- union, reciprocal esteem, mutual confited these isles, carrying with me re- dence, and even a very lively affection, collections for my whole life. An founded, on the one hand, on the haequinoctial gale carried me back to bitual exercise of the kindness and the Edinburgh in fifty hours. This abrupt gentleness of an intimate relation, and, transition from solitude to the bustle on the other, upon gratitude and respect. of the world,- from patriarchal sim- On quitting Scotland, I visited the plicity to the refinements of civiliza- most industrious counties of industrition and luxury,—is not without at- ous England. There I beheld antraction. Colonel Elphinston, by the other spectacle : I saw the powers of kindest reception, convinced me that nature employed in the service of man, friendship had not altogether retired to under all imaginable forms, and himthe Shetland islands. It was then that, self reserved as a mechanical power entirely at leisure from my observa- of a more expensive, and more delicate tions, I could contemplate at my ease construction, for these intermitting every thing which the most social or accidental operations only, which state of this country presents to us, of his divine reason render him more peinstitutions and of men,--a spectacle culiarly fit to execute; and whether · at once consoling and sad for whoever it was that the considerations of sohas spent his life amidst the troubles cial morality, with which I had been of the Continent. I witneseed a peo- so much struck, had left too deep ple poor, but laborious ; free, but res- traces on my soul; whether it was pectfully submissive to the laws; mo- that a great manufacturing system ral and religious, without sternness; ought to be appreciated rather in its tolerant, without indifference. I saw national results, than in its local and peasants learning to read in books particular influence, I admired that imwhich contained essays of Addison and mense display of manufacturers, rather Pope. I saw the works of Johnson, than wished to see it established in my and Chesterfield, and of the most a- own country. After having paid my regreeable English moralists, offered as spects to Oxford and Cambridge, those a relaxation to the middle ranks of the ancient and tranquil abodes of learning people. In the passage-boats, as else- and of science, I proceeded to rejoin Mr where, there were games of cards and Arago at London, and again to associate
myself with him, for the measurement gratitude, a pleasure so much the more of the seconds pendulum, no longer pure, that all these favours are still, in in a desert island, but in the mag- his eyes, new gifts from his country. nificent Observatory of Greenwich. M. Humbolt, who had accompanied Note. What I have said in this him, assisted in this operation, and was notice of the social virtues of Scotland, desirous, while it lasted, to forget the and of the Shetland Isles, presents multitude of his other talents in his these countries under an aspect so diflabours as an excellent observer. Mr ferent from our Continental modes of Pond, the astronomer royal, was pleas- life, that I would not be surprised, ed to offer us all imaginable facilities, that in France, and even in England, with that generous eagerness which many persons should suppose that men truly devoted to the sciences can there is some exaggeration in the picalone feel for every thing which con- ture, and that I have yielded involuntributes to their progress. After hav- tarily to the predeliction which a ing enjoyed the pleasure of observing foreigner always conceives for a new the heavens, and of studying one of country, where he has been received the greatest phenomena of nature with with kindness. They will perhaps fine instruments, all already consecrat- believe me so far as regards Scotland; ed, if I may so express it, by so many but for the Shetland Isles, where shall observations, and in a place renowned I find witnesses ? Although they be for so many astronomical discoveries, not far distant, the difficulty of the I once more beheld my native country, navigation, the inclemency of the cliwith that happiness at return which mate, and the want of commerce, rethe hearts of Frenchmen feel so keen- pel travellers from it ; and those whom ly, and of which the charm was ren- necessity occasionally carries thither, dered still more agreeable, by the in- hasten to depart from it as soon as ternal feeling of satisfaction and grati- their business is done. Perhaps a retude of which I brought her back the sidence of two months, in a free and homage. It is truly in a voyage un- disinterested capacity, has permitted dertaken for the advancement of me to see these isles more intimately science, that a Frenchman can learn than many of the Scots who live near still more to honour, and still more them. Even in Edinburgh, very erto cherish, his noble country. Placed roneous ideas are entertained respectwithout the circle of political passions, ing them. But, generally speaking, it not attracted to it by interest or am- is a pleasure which one may procure bition ; without rank, without the from one end of Europe to the other, riches which support it, there only to hear every one railing at his neighexist for him those titles which his bours of the north. in Italy, they country has acquired to solid glory,- look upon France as having a rude to that which consists in doing good and severe climate ; see what Alfieri to mankind. He is exalted by the re- says of it. Here we find our country collection of the many services whieh very beautiful; but England appears she has rendered to the civilization of to us the abode of fogs. In London, the world, by the universal admiration
no one complains of the climate; which she has excited by the many they speak of Scotland as a country almasterpieces with which she has en- most deprived of the sun.
The Scots riched literature, the sciences, and the look upon this opinion as very ridiarts. Like Minerva, that country ac- culous, but they regard with much companies him in a foreign land ;- pity the poor Shetlanders.
These she speaks for him, introduces him, again, in their turn, pretend that they protects him, disposes all hearts to have much less cold than in Scotland, him, and claims in his favour a hospi- but that Iceland and the Feroe Işles tality, which she herself has so often and are truly miserable. I am convinced, so nobly bestowed. Thus, after having that even the Icelanders look upon reached the end of his toils
, and while Spitzbergen with some disdain. The relating to his countrymen the reception, truth is, that in all the climates of the the assistance, the kindness, and even world, a man may have very nearly an the friendship, which he received froma equal share of happiness, if he carries justly celebrated nation, he experiences with him the social virtues, and the rein manifesting the expression of his sources of commerce and civilization.
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
We stated in our last Number that CAPT. tion alone, and without taking from obser. KATER had been appointed by the Board of vations any thing but arbitrary elements, Longitude to measure the length of the se- tables of the movement of the moon, as conds pendulum at the Shetland Islands. exact as the best tables in existence. The The expedition originated with his Majes- prize is a gold medal of 3000 francs value, ty's ministers, who have in the most liberal which is to be awarded in March 1820. manner provided the finest instruments, and The utmost period allowed for the reception every thing that is necessary to promote the of papers, 1st January 1820. object in view. Captain Kater, accompanied Astronomical Prize Medal.- The Royal by LIEUT. FRANK of the navy, arrived Academy of Sciences at Paris, have awardin Edinburgh on the 27th of June, and set ed their own gold medal to the Astronomer off for Shetland on the 1st of July in the Royal, John Pond, Esq. That which was Nimrod sloop of war, commanded by CAPT. before voted to him was the one founded by DALLING. After measuring the length the astronomer De Lalande. of the pendulum at Unst, Captain Kater Harvest Moons. This year is the third proposes, if the weather is favourable, to go of a series of 10 years in which the moon as far as the North Cape in Norway, with will prove the most beneficial to the farmers the view of determining the length of the for reaping and gathering in the fruits of pendulum in the latitude of 70° or 71°, and the earth, viz. from 1816
to 1825 inclusive. to repeat the same measurements in Norway The preceding nine years, namely, from in the latitude of 65° or 66°. He then re- 1807 to 1815 inclusive, were in the class of turns to the trigonometrical survey at Cow- those in which, from natural causes, the hithe, near Banff; and having determined harvest moon has been least beneficial. Such the length of the pendulum there, he per- will also be the years from 1826 to 1828. forms the same experiments at Leith Fort, Telegraphs.--Intelligence can be received Clifton, Arbury Hill, and Dunnose. If from Calais at Paris, between which places the weather shall prove favourable, so as to there are twenty-seven telegraphs, in three allow Captain Kater to make his observa- minutes ; from Lisle, twenty-two telegraphs, tions in Norway, we shall have a series of two minutes ; from Strasburg, forty-five teresults of the greatest importance in the de. legraphs, six minutes and a half; from termination of the true figure of the earth. Lyons, fifty telegraphs, nine minutes; and
The Polar Expedition. We understand from Brest, thirty telegraphs, eight minutes. letters have been received from the North Blight in Apple-trees.—The American Polar expedition, dated in the first week of farmers are said to adopt the following pracJune, opposite to Magdalena Bay, Spitzber- tice to prevent the blight or mildew from gen, when all were well and in high spirits. injuring their orchards. In the spring,
The celebrated Professor Mohs has just they rub tar well into the bark of the applereturned from a long tour through the trees, about four or six inches wide round Highlands. We understand he has been each tree, and at about one foot from the highly gratified with the magnificent and ground; this effectually prevents the blight, striking
displays of stratification so frequent and abundant crops are the consequence. in this country, and that his attention was Fly in Turnips.--The following has been particularly arrested by the island of Arran, given as a method of preventing destruction that wonder of the mineralogical world. He by the fly in turnips. Divide the seed indid not fall in with any of those volcanic tended for one day's sowing into two equal phenomena which are said to occur every parts, and put one part to steep in soft pond where in the tracts of country he investi- or ditch-water the night previous to its being gated.
used. Mix the whole together, adding to Mathematical Prize Question for 1820. each pound of seed two ounces of flour sul-The Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris phur. This will ensure two successive have again proposed, as a question for 1820, growths, and the fly will not touch the plants. the following theorem of Fermat : “ Beyond Gottingen Chemical Prize for 1819. the second degree, there exists no power The Royal Society of Gottingen has offered which may be divided into two other powers a prize of fifty ducats for “ An accurate exaof the same degree.” The reward is a gold mination, founded on precise experiments medal of 3000 francs value, and the latest of Dalton's theory of the expansion of litime allowed for the reception of memoirs, quids and elastic fluids, especially of mer1st January 1820.
cury and atmospheric air by heat.” Astronomical Prize Question for 1820.- The authors are to pay attention to the The question proposed by the Royal Aca- necessity alleged by Dalton for changing the demy of Science at Paris, is as follows: progression of the degrees of the present To form by the theory of universal gravita- thermometrical scales. The memoirs must