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The chief design of the writer, in compiling the present work, was to supply a School Book at a low price, which might contain a series of Readings on Scientific subjects, as well as a selection of Poetry calculated for Elocutionary Exercises.

It had been for a considerable time a subject of regret amongst the scholastic profession, that while Scientific and Literary Societies are so universal, and afford adults such opportunities for acquiring information, there was no school book of cheap price, whose object was to initiate the more juvenile part of society into the science of Natural Philosophy. The “ SCIENTIFIC READER,” it is presumed, will form this desideratum ; so that while the pupil is acquiring a correct method of reading, he will at the same time become acquainted with the principal facts and general phenomena of Philosophical Science.

The writer begs to acknowledge, that in drawing up the Scientific Readings, he has availed himself of assistance wherever he could obtain it; his principal aim has been to condense as much information in as few words as possible, and in language which cannot but be understood.

The POETICAL PART contains a new collection of the choicest poetry; Dramatic Scenes, Orations, &c., and those pieces which are more directly intended for Recitation, have notes and directions to guide the pupil in their delivery.

Under the head of Elocution, the youthful tyro will receive advice for the management of his voice and general deportment, in reading and speaking, together with an anatomical description of the organs of speech ; while in the Poetical part, he will be introduced to the principal metres used in poetry, with appropriate Examples.

The GLOSSARY of SCIENTIFIC Terms, it is hoped, will be found of considerable utility, as it is both copious and comprehensive.

The Questions for ExAMINATION also, which are numerous, and comprise the chief facts contained in the “READINGS,” are in accordance with the Catechetical system which has been so long and so successfully practised.

In conclusion, the writer begs to observe, that although he is aware that the “ SCIENTIFIC READER” must, in the Elocutionary and Poetic department yield the palm to the “ RHETORICAL SPEAKER,” yet he trusts that it will not be either an unworthy or an unprofitable Companion to its elder brother.

8, Upper Fountain Place, City Road.








ATTRACTION -Attraction defined_Different kinds of attraction-

Gravitation, particular and general Law of falling bodies Elec-

tric, Galvanic, and Magnetic attractions-Attraction of Cohesion

-Capillary attraction-Chemical affinity, Simple and Com.

pound, &c. . . . . . . . . . . . 10

CALORIC, HEAT, FIRE. Definition and properties of Fire-Conduc-

tors of Caloric-Expansive power of Caloric in different sub.

stances-Caloric divided into two kinds, Free and Latent–Sun

the chief cause or source of Caloric--Affinity of different colours

for Caloric-Condensation of Solar Heat by Mirrors and Lenses

-Caloric produced by Combustion, Percussion, Friction, Che.

mical Mixtures, Electricity, &c. . . . . . . 14

COMBUSTION.—Simple and Compound Combustibles-Supporters

of Coinbustion - Theory of Combustion-Result of Combustion

-Combustion simply decomposition-Sir Richard Phillips's

Theory of Combustion-Different states of Combustion . . 19

Light.—Action of Light in the Animal and Vegetable Kingdoms

-Nature of Light-Its Velocity-Direction-Refraction-Re-

flection—The Eye described-Vision explained-Colours, &c. 23

Cold.-Effects of Cold—How produced artificially-Fatal results

from exposure to extreme Cold, &c. . . . . . 30

PNEUMATICS.-Air a compound body-Figure, Height, Weight,

Pressure, &c. of the atmosphere-Air the supporter of animal

and vegetable life-Expansion and condensation of air-Refrac-

tive and reflective power—The Air-Pump-Air-gun-Condens-

ing Syringe- Barometer, &c, explained.


WATER.-A compound body-Different states of water - Water

universally diffused-Salt-water-Snow-water-Rain-water-

River-water — Spring-water - Expansive power of Steam -

Theory of boiling, &c. &c. . . . . . . . 40

HYDROSTATICS AND HYDRAULICS-Hydrostatics and Hydraulics de-

fined--Pressure of Fluids and peculiar properties—Specific gra-

vity of bodies—Motion of water in pipes—Sucking pump-

Forcing pump-Siphon-Jets, &c. . . . . . . 43

ACOUSTICS.—Sound defined and explained-Air chief conductor of

Sound-Intensity of Sound depending on the density of the

media-Cause of the vibrations of a sounding body-Velocity of

Sound-Conductors of Sound-Echo-Speaking and Hearing

trumpets—Invisible Girl, &c. . . . . . . . . 47

METEOROLOGY.-Constituent parts of the Atmosphere-Evaporation

-Rain-Fog or Mist-Dew-Snow-Hail-Coronæ, or Haloes

-Parhelia, or Mock-suns—Fiery Meteors-Aeroliths-Aurora-

Borealis-Ignis Fatuus, or Jack-with-a-Lantern-Wind-Me-

teorological Instruments, &c. . . . . . . . 51

ELECTRICITY AND GALVANISM.-Origin of Electricity~ Electrics-

Conductors, or Non-electrics—Mode of exciting Electricity-

Electric Macbine and Apparatus described-Electric Battery-

Electrophorus Electrometer Electricity identified with Light-

ning-Paratonneres, or Conductors - Electric Fish-Galvanism,

or Voltaic Electricity-Voltaic Pile described—Galvanic Excite-

ment of the Body, &c. &c. . . . . . . . 56

MECHANICAL Powers. --Origin and advantage of Mechanical

Powers—The different kinds of Levers—Wheel and Axle-Pulley

-Inclined Plane – Wedge and Screw, each explained, with the

principle of its action . . . . . . . . 64

Gaseous Bodies.—Nature of Gaseous Bodies—Component parts of

Atmospheric Air-Oxygen-Nitrogen, and Carbonic Acid Gas--

Peculiar properties of each—How obtained for experiment, &c.

Component parts of Water-Oxygen and Hydrogen- Properties

of Hydrogen, &c. &c.-Carburetied Hydrogen-Sulphuretted Hy-

drogen-Phosphuretted Hydrogen-Chlorine-Nitrous Oxide,

or Laughing Gas—Their properties—How obtained for experi.

ment, &c. . . . . . . . . . . 69

GEOLOGY DEFINED.-Arrangements of the various Strata of the

Earth—Divisions of Strata.- Primitive Class-Subdivided into

the orders, Silicious, Aluminous, Calcareous, and Ponderous-

Metals in Primitive Class—Tin-Silver-Quicksilver-Platinum

-Gold.—Secondary Class—Subdivided into Silicious, Alumi-

nous, and Ponderous-Metals in Secondary Class-Copper, An-

timony, Zinc, and Lead.-Transitive Class--Subdivided into Alu-

minous, Calcareous, and Ponderous.—Metals in Transitive class

-Iron, Cobalt, and Manganese.-Flat, or Flætz Classe Subdi-

vided into Aluminous, Calcareous, and Ponderous—Coal for-

mations.-Allurial ClassSubdivided into Aluminous, Calcare.

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