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tion in the rich endowments, as to make them a competency. He proposed a curious scheme, also, for the abolition of the national debt, which was, that every person should give up for this purpose a certain portion of his property. These schemes, as his biographer observes, indicated less refined notions respecting political economy than might have been expected from a writer possessing so much general knowledge on so many subjects, and so conversant with the best writers of his time.' But no where does Dr. Watson appear in a more favourable light, than in his chemical writings. He was made a member of the Royal Society, and wrote five papers for the Transactions, principally on chemical subjects. He published Chemical Essays in five volumes, which were at the time of their publication highly popular, and contributed very materially to produce that taste for chemical science, which afterwards increased so rapidly. Good judges do not hesitate to call this the most elegant work, which has ever appeared on chemistry. No attempt has probably ever succeeded so well to combine the beauties and elegances of composition with the accuracy and detail of science. Although the science has since undergone two complete revolutions, and received immense improvements, yet many parts of these essays may at this time be read with delight and profit. It is perhaps to be regretted, that he did not devote himself more exclusively to these subjects, to the investigation and improvement of which his mind seemed peculiarly adapted.
Sansom's Sketches of Lower Canada.-Joseph Sansom, Esq. member of the American Philosophical Society, author of letters from Europe, &c. has, during the last summer, made a trip to Quebeck, an account of which has been published in a moderately sized volume at New York, by Kirk & Mercein. We should be sorry to be thought among those, who countenance the growing fashion of making short tours and returning home and writing long books, filled with minute descriptions of the national character, the political, civil, and literary institutions, and the peculiar manners and customs of a people, of whom the writer knows nothing, except what he has learned at country inns and city hotels; and giving elaborate accounts of the climate, soil, agriculture, and aspect of a country, which he has scarcely seen, except by an occasional peep through the window of a stage coach. Yet we must allow, that we did not think the evening unprofitably spent, which we devoted to the Sketches of Canada. There is a sort of liveliness in the style and descriptions, which leads us along without much effort, and if we can pass over the author's reflections, when he finds himself in a Catholick church, or when he falls on the subject of the political relations between England
and the United States, we must be a little fastidious not to be pleased, and a good deal knowing not to be somewhat instructed with what remains. He confines himself principally to Montreal and Quebeck, and gives a lively picture of the objects, which he deemed most worthy of notice in these cities. He disagrees with Heriot respecting the height of the celebrated and beautiful falls of Montmorency. Heriot makes it two hundred and forty six feet; but Mr. Sansom says it is at least one hundred feet less. We cannot help pitying the traveller's ill luck at not seeing but one handsome woman in Canada, and she a White Nun, • tall and without colour.' We presume, however, there were others, although not fortunate enough to come within the author's observation. He is displeased, and we think very justly, with surveyor general Bouchette's book on Canada. As a topographical work, which seems to be its chief design, it may perhaps be depended on, and its maps and views are executed with great elegance; but in other respects it gives a very partial account of Canada, and raises it to an importance in the British empire for above that, which it actually holds. He makes the total population of Canada three hundred and fifty thousand, of whom two hundred and seventy five thousand are native Canadians and this, our traveller believes to be double the real number. The historical sketches, which the author has made from La Hontan and Charlevoix, form a valuable addition to his work. We hope few travellers, after a tour of four weeks, will think it incumbent on them to write a book when they return; and if they do, we can only wish they may succeed no worse than Mr. Sansom.
Linnean Society of New England. This active society, whose unostentatious labours deserve to be more generally known, at a meeting in August last, appointed the Hon. Judge Davis, Dr. Bigelow, and F. C. Gray, Esq. a committee to collect evidence, with regard to the existence and appearance of the sea serpent, said to have been seen near Gloucester. The report of this committee has been recently laid before the society, who have given it to the publick. The first part contains the declarations and depositions of several respectable men with regard to the appearance of this, and similar animals. The depositions generally, agree with the popular reports inserted in the newspapers in describing its serpentine form, apparent protuberances, immense size, and rapid motion. But the statements, that two or more of these animals were seen, one a male and the other a female, the former having three white rings round his neck and attended by two sharks and other such interesting assertions, derive no corrobo
ration from these depositions. The deponents differ much in estimating its size; but when it is considered that different individuals may have seen different parts of the animal, some estimating the circumference of the neck and some that of the body, and also that the size of a distant object cannot be very exactly determined by a view merely, especially if the distance is not well known; these differences cease to be objections to the credibility of the witnesses. To one of them the animal seemed to move by horizontal sinuosities, to the others, by vertical; but it is not improbable that it is capable of both these motions. There is some doubt whether it was smooth or rough, but this might arise from its being seen in different lights or from different points of view.
Some weeks after these depositions were in the hands of the committee, a serpent about three feet long was killed on Cape Ann not far from the sea, and was thought by those who had seen the great serpent, to bear so strong a resemblance to that animal, as to excite a conjecture that it was its progeny. Under this idea, it was brought to Boston by captain Beach, and submitted to the examination of the committee, who found it to be a nondescript, and on account of its external appearance and internal structure, accompanied by two drawings, forms the second part of their report. It has received from them the name of Scoliophis Atlanticus. The report of the committee is concluded by a few remarks on the grounds of the conjecture that the Scoliophis is the progeny of the great serpent.
Memoirs of General Wayne.-Thomas R. Peters of Philadelphia, Counsellor at Law, is preparing for publication a Biographical Memoir of the late Major General Anthony Wayne.
This work will be compiled from an extensive collection of original and hitherto unpublished documents, committed for the purpose to Mr. Peters, by Isaac Wayne, Esq. the son of the late general, consisting of an original correspondence with the most eminent and conspicuous characters of the revolutionary war, and of other valuable papers relating to that interesting period of American history.
Mr. Peters solicits the communication of materials subservient to the design now announced, from those who regard it as a duty to rescue from oblivion, and record in a permanent form, every memorial of those illustrious men, to whom we are indebted for our independence.
Mineralogy of Boston and its vicinity-We understand that a work on the Mineralogy and Geology of Boston and its vicinity, is
preparing for the press, by J. F. Dana, M. D. and S. L. Dana, A. M. It is intended to be to the mineralogical, what the Florula Bostoniensis is to the Botanical student. The character, locality, uses, geological situation, the results of the chemical analysis of the most remarkable specimens, together with the synonymes of approved authors will be given. The geological part will be accompanied with a map, exhibiting the structure of the country around Boston, the islands in the harbour, &c. The whole will probably comprise 150 or 200 pages, octavo.
Lady Morgan's France.-The title of this book was probably suggested by that of Madam de Stael on Germany. Its subjects are the French character, and state of society-literature, manners, morals, and the arts in France, all of which seem to have made a very favourable impression on the mind of lady Morgan. She seems to have exalted notions of the character of Buonaparte, and is not sparing of anecdotes illustrative of what she esteems his nobler qualities. Her political prejudices are strong and undisguised, but her means of obtaining information were ample, and she has certainly made a very intertaining book. With the chapter on literature and literary characters, we have been particularly pleased. It contains a good deal of information, respecting the present literary state of France, which we believe can be found no where else. The style, perhaps, is occasionally disfigured by too much false glare, and a profusion of sparkling fineries; yet there are many pleasant descriptions, and some good writing.
Werner and Ebeling-In the death of these celebrated men, Germany has lost, during the present year, two of her brightest luminaries. They both died on the saine day, 30th of June,--the former at Dresden, aged 67; the latter at Hamburgh, aged 76.Werner has long been distinguished as the head of the Neptunian system of Geology, and of the German school of Mineralogy. He very early showed a strong predilection for the studies, in which he afterwards became so distinguished. He was educated at the University in Leipzig; and immediately after his education was finished, he fixed himself at Freyberg, as the best place in Germany for pursuing his favourite studies. It is surrounded by a vast number of mines, and a little before he took up his residence there, an Academy had been founded for instruction in the art of mining. Not long after, he delivered a course of lectures in the Academy on geology, which, together with other courses on mineralogy, he continued till his death. To him geology owes its ex
istence as a science; and from the lectures which he delivered, his pupils have made his system known to the world. No account of it was ever published by himself. His science has been of great practical use in the mining operations of his country. Werner himself published very little. His great fame is to be principally attributed to the writings of his pupils. The gentleman, from whose account we make this abstract, and who was acquainted with Werner, says, many of the best works in Geology and Mineralogy, which have appeared during the last thirty years, not only in Germany, but in other parts of Europe, (for he had pupils from every quarter,) are compilations from notes taken at his lectures.' Nor did his favourite studies engross all his attention. He was particularly distinguished for his knowledge of languages, ancient and modern-of history and politicks. In his private character Werner was uncommonly amiable-he had a heart, which loved every thing human, and which every thing human loved. This showed itself in all his manners. I never saw a stranger, who took me so completely captive by the first reception as he did; he had a politeness of the heart, if one may so speak; his civility did not appear so much an accomplishment, as a virtue; he did not treat you well, because it would be rude to treat you ill, but because he loved to make you happy.'
Of Ebeling we regret, that we have it in our power to say but little. We have not been successful in our attempts to obtain much further information of him, than the very imperfect notices, which have already appeared in some of our papers; and it is a problem we shall not attempt to solve, that a man in the first rank of literary eminence in Europe, and who, as a gentleman of the highest respectability writes from Hamburgh, has passed his life for the last fifty years in labouring for America,' should be so little known in this country. His geography of America is said to be the best that has ever been published. It has already gone through two editions in Germany, and there are probably few ways in which an individual, qualified for the task, can be doing greater service to his country, than in translating and preparing it for the American press. Ebeling's collection of books and materials relative to the antiquities, history, geography and statisticks of America is said to be the most complete, beyond all doubt, that can be found in either continent. It is a treasure of inestimable value to this country, and one which every friend of its honour or its literature, must greatly lament, that it should not possess. Literary institutions, societies, wealthy individuals, should be eager to grasp a prize so rich and so rare. Nor should
our national government be the last to feel the importance of such an acquisition. But our hopes are far from being sanguine,-the king of Prussia we understand has long had his eye on it, and we