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passing from thence, in the form of existence of which, in that situation, rays, to the extremity of the disk. the naturalist was very much puzzled The progress of this animal is there. to account. A collection of observafore performed, as the reader will un- tions like the foregoing, would probaderstand from the foregoing remarks, bly enable us to solve this difficulty. by a species of spinning ; and the I have only farther to remark on kind of organization by which this is this article, that, as the substance of effected, has always appeared to my- the Medusa is gelatinous, and as this self to be one of the most pleasing in- matter is soluble in coinmon water, stances of the wisdom of nature with any person may procure the filaments which I am acquainted, and adapted I before noticed, by placing one of the most happily to illustrate the remark, animals possessing them in a bason of that some of the finest speciinens of river water during forty-eight hours. what is exquisite in structure, may be At the end of that time, the substance discovered in animals of the very low- of the animal will be found to have est order.
become entirely dissolved, and the I am not certain whether any other filaments will be obtained floating on of the species of this class possess the the surface. same organ to which I have now al- 2. My next observation relates to a Inded. °Indeed, I think we have rea- remarkable appearance produced by son to believe, that most of the species the refraction of the rays of light. possess a power of locomotion, though It an observer is seated on a ledge of not apparently of so fine a construc- rock which has a gentle declivity totion, yet certainly capable of accelerat- wards the sea, and if the tide is in such ing their progress to a much greater a state that the wave, after having addegree. I remember, indeed, to havevanced upon the rock, rests precisely been once remarkably struck with this at its margin when the water is at its fact, while bathing with a companion utinost retreat, the following amusing in one of those arms of the sea which appearance will be remerked. As the intersect the western shores of Ar- wave alternately advances and retires, gyllshire. We had been in use, dure that part of the rock which is subject ing the greater part of the summer, to
to the inundation, will appear to be bathe in the same spot. One day, alternately lifted and depressed with however, we were astonished on ail- something resembling " a living moyancing farther into the water, to per- tion.” The solid stone, in short, will ceive myriads of the Medusa in rapid appear as if transformed into someprogress from the head of the loch, thing either enulued with spontaneous apparently towards the open sea. They activity, or at least so light and movecontinued to float by us in countless able in its texture, as to be agitated numbers, during the whole of the with the same facilitv, and very much time we continued in the water; and in the same way as the floating fuci though I was aware of the effect which which may happen to be attached to some of the species are said to produce it. npon the skin when handled, we yet
There are few of your readers, I ventured, in youthful wantonness, and, dare say, of those at least who shall I dare say, to the no small annoyance actually observe the appearance, who of the “ emigrants,” to pelt one an- will find any difficulty in assigning other with them for a very consider- the cause of it. Every person knows, able time, without afterwards experi- that if a shilling be put into a bason, encing any disagreeable sensations. so as to be covered from the view of Next day, no appearance of the Me- an observer by its margin, and if water dusa could be seen; and I inferred at be then poured into the bason, the the time, that the animal was accus- piece of money is seen gradually to tomed, at certain seasons, to make rise in the water, so as to become long and rapid migrations, probably completely visible to the eye of the from the quiet and shelter of the in- spectator. It is evidently in precisely land bays, towards the open sea. Those the same way that the alternate apwho are acquainted with the late voy- pearance of elevation and depression age of Humboldt across the Atlantic, in the margin of the rock is produwill indeed recollect, that one part of ced. When the advancing wave grathat vast sea is completely covered by dually makes its way up the slopmany species of this animal, for the ing surface, that part of the stone which is covered by the water, of the production of mist is chiefly de course, appears to be affected with a pendent upon the agency of this fluid, gradual elevation; as the wave retires, I am satisfied, among other considerathe rock necessarily sinks to its proper tions, from a fact which I have frelevel; and if the ebb of the wave does quently noticed upon the sandy shores not go beyond the boundary of the of the Firth of Forth. When the air rock, the appearance of motion is of is in that state which is productive of course uninterrupted ; and when it mist, that is, when an east or northhas once attracted the notice of the east wind has been blowing for some observer, will be found to present a time, I have frequently remarked, that phenomenon which it is both amusing the water which was left upon the and instructive to contemplate. sands of the beach, and in every basin
3. I have now to direct the atten- and pool which was near the shore, tion of your readers to some particu- is carried off by evaporation, with a lars respecting the production and dif- celerity and power which gives to the fusion of fogs. It has been stated as whole coast the appearance of a vast being now decisively proved, that fogs smoking furnace. And that this is are not to be regarded merely as va- not merely the effect of the temperapour suspended in the air by the ture of the air at the time, must be simple circumstance of the inferior evident from this consideration, that, specific gravity of their particles, but on many of our most splendid and as moisture so combined with electri- sultry days, when the wind happens city, as to assume that inferior gravi- to blow from any of the south or west ty by which its suspension is affected; points, no trace of evaporation can be and, as a proof of this, it is said, that, perceived, and the atmosphere is inon one occasion, a fog having been deed remarkable for a very peculiar carried very near a tree, the electrici- degree of transparency. ty of the fog was attracted by the tree, An east wind, in this climate, thereand the moisture thus deprived of its fore, I apprehend, is to be considered electricity was so immediately convert- as connected with important changes ed into snow, as actually to tear up, by in the electrical state of the atmoits overwhelming impulse, the roots of sphere, as might indeed have been long the tree upon whose branches it had ago suspected from the known increase rested. Now, although the fact, when of pressure in this fuid when the thus stated, certainly possesses no slight wind blows from any of the eastresemblance to some of those which ern points. These electrical changes, the renowned Munchausen observed which probably take place at the same in the course of his journeyings, I time in the atmosphere and in the have yet long been convinced that the earth, appear to be peculiarly favourtheory which it supposes is perfectly able to the elevation and suspension of correct. Indeed, considering how far vapour; and hence it happens, that, our knowledge of the properties of when the wind blows from the east, electricity has been extended, and are immediately plunged in a how certainly we are now informed of cloud of haze or fog, while those geits universal diffusion, it is not a little nial breezes, which have traversed the astonishing that philosophers should Atlantic, and which might have been persist, with such obstinacy, in exclud. expected to come to us with wings ing it from their explanations of those profusely bedewed with the moisture ordinary appearances, with which it of their way, pour only around us that cannot'he doubted that it has the beautiful transparency, through which most intimate connection. Who, for all the hues of nature are seen to ada instance, can doubt that snow, and vantage. rain, and dew, in all their varieties, 4. I have one further remark to are not merely dependent, according make. It often happens, in very calm to the prevailing theory, upon the weather, that the sea has the appearmeeting and intermixture of currents ance of being very beautifully varied, of air of different temperatures,—but, from portions of its surface being far more, upon changes taking place gently agitated, while other portions in that activc fluid, which seems to are in a state of perfect repose ; and pervade and cominunicate their most these alternations are commonly so important properties to every thing gracefully disposed, as rather tó reupon and around this globe. That semble the effect of some moving body
ACCOUNT OF A REMARKABLE AU
DIENCE OF A POLISH AMBASSADOR
which had passed in a winding direc- you in the attainment of this object, tion over its surface, than of any so far as my ability may extend, I am, cause existing in Nature itself. No- Mr Editor, yours very respectfully, thing is more common, indeed, than
P. to hear this appearance ascribed to a Fariety of causes,--to the oily matter deposited by vessels which had sailed in the direction of the more placid portions,—to something in the bottom of the sea which rendered the surface
BETH IN 1597. more easily agitated in some parts than
The arrival in 1597 of an ambasin others to the influence of clouds salor from Sigismund the Third, exerting a composing energy on those King of Poland, at the Court of Elizatracts of water which lie beneath beth, is mentioned by all the historithem,-or to the effect of promonto- ans of her reign. This ambassador, ries and other partial irregularities in whose name was Paul Dzialenski, was interrupting the natural direction of sent to complain of some interruption the wind. The simple account, how- of the Polish commerce by the Engever, of these appearances seems to lish cruizers; a measure to which, be, that, besides those greater and according to Carte, * his master was more extensive agitations to which instigated by certain Jesuits at his the atmosphere around us is constant- Court in the interest of the King of ly liable, its lowest stratum is also oc- Spain. Elizabeth granted him a pubcasionally subject, especially where it lic audience, at which he addresis in contact with the surface of the sed her in a harangue of uncommon sea, to a tremulous agitation of a far boldness and vehemence, to which she less perceptible character; which seems immediately made a suitable reply in to originate in causes somewhat dif- Latin, in which tongue the Pole had ferent from that by which wind is spoken. The substance of both their produced ; and the existence of which speeches is given in Camden's Ancould only be discovered by its effect nals, and in Carte's History; but we upon a surface so easily agitated as have procured an extract from the that which a very placid sea presents. Burghley Manuscripts, preserved in It is to this slight tremulous agitation the British Museum, of a letter froin in the lower surface of the air, a mo- Sir Robert Cecil to the Earl of Estion, I may remark, which is probably sex, which, as it contains much more not very easily propagated, which minute details of the circumstances seems, as I have already said, to de- attending this remarkable audience pend upon causes of a peculiar nature, than are to be found in these histories, and not necessarily to be carried foró cannot fail, we should think, to prove ward like wind, in a continued stream, interesting to our readers. that I am disposed to attribute those The letter is not a little curious in variations of the surface by which several respects. Elizabeth's partialieven the calmest sea is commonly ty for handsome men is well known to marked ; and I am persuaded, that any all who are acquainted with her hisperson who will take the trouble of tory and character ; and it appears remarking the manner in which these from this letter, that she was induced agitated and calmer portions of the to grant the Polish ambassador a pubwater are gradually varied and inter- lic and splendid audience, from the mingled with each other, will readily very favourable accounts she had reacquiesce in this solution of the phe ceived of the beauty and elegance of bis nomenon.
person and manners. She seems to have Whatever, Sir, may be the truth of been prepared to hear an address from these explanations, I apprehend, how- him, couched in those romantic terins ever, that your miscellany can seldom of love and admiration in which she was be better employed than in giving sometimes accosted by lier courtiers ; currency to such views of the appear who, when they wished to ingratiate ances of Nature as may lead your themselves, always contrived to mingle readers to a more intelligent observation of the beauteous order which prevails around us, and, with assurances Carte's History of England, Vol. III. of my being always ready to assist p. 665.
the praises of the woman with the adu- upon her, by mandat, to prohibite lation of the Queen ; and her disap- him and his countries, assuming therpointment and indignation were there- by to her self a superioritie (not tol. tore proportionally great, when she was lerable) ouer other princes, nor he deso roughly attacked by a young and termined to endure, but rather wished handsonne foreigner. The courtly her to knowe, that yf there were no writer of the letter, however, swears, more than the auncient ainitie bethat she did not lose her dignity in ad- tween Spaine and him, it were ministering the deserved reprimand to reason to looke that his subiects the Pole; and he takes care to enjoin should be impedited, much lesse now, Essex to praise her when he should when a strickt obligation of bloud had write to court, for the temper and elo- so conioyned him with the illüstrious quence she displayed on the occasion. house of Austria:” concluding, that It is evident enough that such praises if her Matie would not reforme it, he from her favourite were expected, and would. would be grateful to her.
“Tothis I sweare by the liuing God, “ There arrived three daies since that her Ma'ie made one of the best in the cittie an Ambasst out of Po« aunswers, ex temporc, in Latin, that land, a gentleman ot'excellent fashion, euer I heard, being much mooued to witte, discourse, language, and par- be so challenged in publick, especialson ; the Queene was possessed by ly so much against her expectation. some of our new coursellors, that are The wordes of her beginning were as cunning in intelligence, as in decy- these : Suerlie, I can hardlie bephering, that his negociation tendeth leeue, that yf the King himself were to a proposition of peace. Her Malie present, he would haue used such a in respect that his father the Duke of language, for yf he should, I must Finland had so much honored her, haue thought, that his being a king besydes the lyking she had of this not of many yeares, and that (non de gentleman's coinmelinessand qualities, jure sanguinis
, sed jure electionis imò brought to her by reporte, did resolue novitèr electus) may happilie leaue to receaue him publickly, in the him vninformed of that course, wch Chamber of Presence, where most of his fauther and auncestors hauetakthe Erles and Noblemen about the en with us, and wch peraduenture Court attended, and made it a great shal be obserued by those that shall day. He was brought in, attired in a liue to come after him ; and as for long robe of black veluett
, well jeweld you, (saied she to the Ambass",) aland buttond, and cam to kisse her though I perceaue you haue redde Mats hands where she stood under many bookes, to fortifie your arguthe state, from whence he straight re- ments in this case, yet am I apt to tired, tene yards of, and then beganne beleeue, that you haue not lighted his oration aloude in Latin, with such upon the chapter, that prescribeth a gallant countenance, as in my lyte I the forme to be used between kings neuer behelde. The effect of it was and princes; but were it not for the this, that “ the King hath sent him place you hold, to haue so publickly to put her Mato in minde of the aun- an imputation thrown upon our juscient con: deracies betweene the Kings tice, wch as yet neuer failed, wee of Poland and England, that neuer would aunswer this audacitie of yours a monarche in Europe did willinglie in an other style ; and for the particuneglat this is friendship, that he had lars of y' negotiations, wee will apeuer friendlie receaued her marchants point some of our counsell to conferre and subjects of all qualilie, that she with you, to see upon what ground had suítered his to be spoilet, without this clamer of yours hath his fundaresiiiution ; not for lacke of knowledge tion, who hane showed y'self rather of he violonces, but out of meere in- an heralde than an ambassador." I iustice, not caring to minister reme- assure your L", though I am not apt die, notwithstanding many particular to woniler, I must conti sse before the petitions and letters reccaueri ; and to living Lord, that I neuer heard her coniirms lier disposition to avowe (when I know her spirits were in pasthese courses, (violating both the law sion) speake with better moderation of nature and nations,) because ther in my lyfe. were quarels between her and the “ You will think it strange that I Kirg of Spaine, she therfor tooke am thus idle, as to use an other bo
ON THE PROPER USE OF TERMS IN
dies hand: I assure you, I haue hurt the terms octavo pages of water, duomy thumme at this hower, and be- decimo pages, &c.---till the most insigcause the Queene tould me, she was nificant pond should have a distincsortye you heard not his Latin and tive name that should represent its hers, I promised her to make you relative size to the mind with suffipartaker of as much as I could re- cient accuracy. To the public the inmember, being as I knew the worst troduction of this plan would be of you would expect from her, and yet essential service ; and if it were once the best could come from any other; generally adopted, no one could be at yf therefore this my lettre finde you, a loss to conceive the meaning of anand that you write backe, I pray you other. Few persons who read books take notice that you were pleased to are ignorant of the comparative sizes heare of her wise and eloquent an- into which paper is folded ; and it the swer."
appointed standard were to be fool'se Burghley Papers, 1587.
cap, many respectable authors would Mus. Brit. Bibl. Lansdown, find themselves at home. Vol. 85.
Another expression of unrestricted meaning frequently met with in books, is “ an arm of the sea.” The writers who first used this term had certainly their reasons for doing so.
Perhaps MR EDITOR,
they metaphorically supposed the sea The use of appropriate terms to an animal ; but if they took the idea convey information with effect, or to from the human species, and gave the describe objects with accuracy, is one name of arm to places relatively siof the first beauties in written compo- tuated in the ocean, there is an insition; and I trust I shall have your congruity in the expression which is indulgence, and that of the realers of really ludicrous; for no analogy can the Edinburgh Magazine, while I reconcile either an arm or the bottom point out one or two incongruities of the sea to the corresponding parts which are to be met with in the works in the “human forin divine." Simeof many respectable authors.
times we find the phrase, arm of the No expression in descriptive writing sea, put for a na inlet 100 miles is more frequent, than that such or in length:---at other times a creek such a lake is a “beautiful sheet of warm not extending so many yards is so deter;"—and yet no term is more inde- nominated. If the sea is to be a mefinite or worse understood than this. taphorical monster, (and so it must be, To a stranger to the object described, for it has more than a hundred arms it may imply an extent of water fifty in Scotland alone,) why do not geomiles in diameter ; while perhaps to graphers lay down the position of its another, it does not suggest a space legs as well as its arms ? or, if it has larger than a mill-pond. It is evident no legs, may it not have fins and a that, unless the author who uses a tail? term so undefined, specifies the actual A ridge or chain of mountains runlength and breadth of the water he ning across, or traversing an island or describes, no person can form the a continent, is another phrase in very slightest idea of the dimensions of this common use among our geographical said sheet of water. As an improve writers; whereas the fact is, that the ment on the expression, I take the said ridges, luckily for the stability of liberty to suggest a plan by which the earth's surface, continue, and have such indefinite description may be continued since the creation, in their avoided, without changing the word accustomed places. Knowing of no now in general use. I would term good reason, either moral, political, or all the largest lakes or expanses of orthograplıcal, for using these misapwater, say, for instance, not less plied metaphorical terms, may I beg than fifty miles in length and ten in to suggest, that authors ought to embreadth, a sheet of water ;-those ploy words which, in their meaning, of less dimensions, or twenty-five include the immovcability of these miles in length and five in breadth, fixtures of nature. I know not, Sir, a half sheet ;---those of smaller size a what you may think on this subquarter sheet ;---and lakes still smaller ject; but it is certainly a serious than these may be distinguished by thing to unsettle all our notions of