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The average annual decrease for the century preceding 1821 appears, from the most authentic observations, to have exceeded 3'. On examining the series of observations made on the dip in Paris since 1798, by MM. Humboldt, Gay Lussac, and Arago, the author had a corresponding indication of a recent diminution in the yearly decrease of the dip; it appearing, by those observations, that the average yearly decrease in the first half of the period between 1798 and 1828, exceeded 4'.75, and in the second half fell short of 3'.

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piston, a volume of air equal to six hundred and forty-five cubic centimetres (21 feet 2 inches cubic). With the ordinary machines, 200 men would be required to produce the same effect.

NEW COMPRESSION PUMP.

At the sitting of the Academy of Sciences of the 16th May, 1500 francs, as the Monthyon prize for mechanical inventions, were awarded to M. Thilorier, for the best contrivance for a compression pump. M. Navier, in making the report of the committee, described the object and mode of operation of the invention. From these it appears that, with the machine of Thilorier, six men are able to compress, to the thousandth part of its bulk, at each rising and sinking of the

MODE OF PRESERVING STUFFED
ANIMALS.

It is stated in the last Number of the Journal des Connaissances Usuelles, that a bladder filled with rectified essence of turpentine, closely tied, and placed in the cupboard in which are stuffed animals or birds, will effectually secure them from the ravages of insects. The smell of the turpentine, evaporating through the bladder, destroys any insects which may already exist, and will prevent the approach or production of others.

PROPORTION OF POWER TO VELOCITY

IN STEAM-BOATS.

The following table of the power necessary to give a steam-boat different velocities, has been published by Mr. Tredgold.

3 miles per hour, 5 horses' power.

4

13

5

25

43

69

PRESERVATION OF SPECIMENS OF
PLANTS.

6

7

8

9

The directors of the French Museum of Natural History, in their report on the specimens of plants col-lected in 1827, in Senegal, after observing that the plants collected by M. Leprieur, apothecary to the Navy, 10 had arrived in a very bad state of preservation, recommend travellers, if they would not lose the valuable objects they have gathered, to steep all plants in an alcoholic solution of corrosive sublimate.

102

146 200

ASSURANCES AGAINST HAILSTORMS.

The injury sustained from violent hailstorms by the agriculturalists of France, and more particularly by the cultivators of the vine, are so frequent and so serious as to induce them to have recourse to societies of assurance, similar to the original institutions for assurance against loss by fire in England. An association of this kind has accordingly been formed in Paris for mutual protection against damage done by hailstorms in the 14 departments around the capital.

VACCINATION IN HUNGARY. There were vaccinated for the cowpox in Hungary, during the seven years preceding 1826, 1,144,539 per

sons.

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THE STUDY OF NATURE.

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66

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In these days of scepticism and scrutinizing, it may appear no easy matter to diffuse a belief in the existence of a universal elixir, capable of arresting or retarding the wane of life, so that youth,' as the scriptures beautifully express it, shall be "reG newed like the eagle's." Yet, that such an elixir not only exists, but may be procured with small difficulty and at little expense, we think we can (upon premises granted) bring plausible argument to show. We mean not to assert indeed that the wane of manhood may be brought back thereby to the bloom of infancy, nor the decrepitude of age to the standard of adolescence; but it will C —as we can aver upon the testimony of our own experience-impart a ruddier tint and a warmer glow to the blood,-enkindle a brighter expression in the eye,-and call up in the mind a train of thoughts fresh, lively, beautiful, and rapturous

Such as youthful poets dream,

On summer's eve by haunted stream. The elixir we allude to, is the study of nature-embracing the whole range of the visible creation, from the almost invisible mite, to the huge leviathan who maketh the deep boil like a pot;-from the hyssop that groweth on the wall, to the cedar of Lebanon ;-from the dew-drop, to the broad thunder-cloud that o'ercanopies the horizon;-and from the grain of sand on the seashore, to the planet which hangs self-balanced in empyrean. This study is as inexhaustible as it is delightful; it never tires, because it is always new,—and, what is more, it can be pursued in all circumstances and in all places; for examples are not wanting to prove that even in the crowded city-(witness Mr. George's investigation of dry-rot,) and, still more wonderful, in the nar

row prison cell (witness Trenck's tame mice and musical spiders)—the study of nature has been pursued with no less ardor than in the woods and fields-where to the enthusiastic naturalist

Not a breeze Flies o'er the meadow,-not a cloud imbibes From all the tenants of the warbling shade The setting sun's effulgence,-not a strain Ascends, but whence the bosom can partake Fresh pleasure.

If it be granted, therefore, that the pleasures of childhood are more exquisite and contain less alloy than those of riper years, it must be because then everything appears new and robed in all the fresh beauties of infancy,-whereas in adolescence, and still more in manhood and old age, whatever has frequently recurred, begins to wear the tarnish of decay, or to be tinged with the fading colors of sun-set. That there are minds tuned to the quiet apathy of reposing, like the imaginary gods of Epicurus, without a wish for a new feeling or a new idea, is no reason why those who "are not altogether of such clay" should

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self, or injury to others, man can enrich the scene before him with ideal beauties, he is foolish to examine too minutely the objects of which it is composed. The cottage, with its broken thatch and shining piece of water in the foreground, is picturesque and beautiful in a landscape ;-but what is the reality? The dwelling of misery, decorated with a horse-pond! The splendid pageants, that dazzle the lesser children at a theatre, are but dirty daubs of paint and tinsel; and it is the same with the stage of the world. It never answers to be behind the scenes. In life, I have met with but two things equal to what I fancied them-sunrise from a mountain, and a draught of water when I was thirsty.

PARISIAN PERIODICALS.

A correspondent at Paris has kindly favored us with a complete list of the periodicals published in that capital; adding a detail of their objects, their periods of publication, prices, &c. Classing them according to their character, it appears that there issue at present from the Parisian press, on subjects connected with Bibliography, 4 journals; Commerce, Industry, and Finance, 16; Husbandry, 3; Juris prudence, 20; Administration (customs, prisons, domains, &c.), 6; Military Science, &c., 3; Religion, 9; Education, 6; General Sciences, 13; Medicine, 22; Literature, 18; Music, 5; Fashion, 2; Freemasonry, 1; the Lottery (!) 1-independently of seven annual publications, and thirtytwo daily papers. Of a truth, if the "march of intellect" among the Gauls keep pace with the march of letters, every other competitor must rapidly be put hors de combat. Our correspondent, however, bids us take comfort, and allay our apprehensions; for, says he, "l'imagination gallope; le jugement ne va que le pas !"

DEATH OF SIR HUMPHREY DAVY.

The name of this distinguished philosopher, it is now certain, is to be associated with those of the two other celebrated Englishmen, benefactors of science, who have departed from the

theatre of their labors in the course of the last six months. Even as one of a trio so illustrious, if the important results which attended his scientific observations alone be considered, Sir Humphrey Davy must be undoubtedly regarded as preeminent. Το him the scientific world is principally indebted for its acquaintance with the powers and properties of the Voltaic battery; while his discoveries of sodium and potassium, and the invention of the Safety-lamp, are deservedly class ed among the most valuable presents which philosophy ever made to art, and will not fail to transmit his name to posterity. The removal from amongst us of so eminent a man, however complete his career, cannot fail to excite melancholy feelings. He died at Geneva, on the 29th of May; and every honor was paid to his remains by all the residents of that city in any wise distinguished either in science or literature.

LATE INSTRUCTION.

Socrates, in his old age, learned to play upon a musical instrument. Cato, aged 80, began to learn Greek; and Plutarch, in his old age, acquired Latin. John Gelida, of Valentia, in Spain, did not begin the study of belles-lettres, until he was 40 years old.-Henry Spelman, having in his youth neglected the sciences, resumed them at the age of 50, with extraordinary success.-Fairfax, after having been the general of the parliamentary army in England, went to Oxford, and took his degree as Doctor-ofLaw. Colbert, when minister, and almost 60 years of age, returned to his Latin and his law, in a situation where the neglect of one, if not both, might have been thought excusable; and Mons. Le Tellier, chancellor of France, reverted to the learning of logic that he might dispute with his grandchildren.—Sir John Davies, at the age of 25, produced a poem on "The Immortality of the Soul," and in his 62d year, as Mr. Thomas Campbell facetiously observes, when a judge and a statesman, another on dancing.

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