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for 1786, the current year; together with some neceffary dire&tions for the candidates.
The choice of the fubjects fhews the learning and the genius of the academy, and how perfectly they keep pace with the most advanced progress of the sciences.
The substance of the question for 1785 was, “ To invent or lay down an accurate and natural method, that is, a fyftemor claflification of the stones which form the crust * of the earth, according to their genera or kinds, their species, and their varie ties or differences, in such a manner as that not only the fingle stones, whether in a state of conglomeration or mechanical mixture, that are found either in beds, on plains, or on the mountains, may be more easily and certainly diftinguished from one another, than heretofore by sure criteria, or marks both external and chemical, or internal; and by fixed and appropriated names (care being taken to avoid all unnecessary innovation in language, which tends to confufion); but also in such a manner, that their different origins and ages, according as they are produced sooner or later, by the different
operations of nature and revolutions of the earth, may be referred to certain classes; and that notice be also taken of the particular metals which are most commonly found in the different rocks and stones as in their matrix : mineralogical observations of undoubted accuracy and credibility, being also added for the purpose of justifying and confirming the divisions or classes that are made, and other particulars advanced as matters of fact.
Of the different dissertations which were transmitted to the academy on this subject, one written in the German language, diftinguithed by the motto, A vulsa faxis faxa distincta, and the number IV. gave the highest satisfaction to the judges, and came the nearest to the scope and drift of the question : Wherefore the academy, assembled on the anniversary of the 27th of December, adjudged the palm of victory to its author, with the appointed premium of one hundred Flemish ducats. On opening the sealed paper, annexed to this differtation, there appeared the name of the author, CHARLES HAIDINGER, of the Imperial Museum of Natural Productions at Vienna.
The second honours, after thofe conferred on this victorious differtation, were decreed to a paper written in the French language, which contained a very complete arrangement or classification of stones, both simple and mixed. This dissertation is die ftinguished by the number III. and the following sentiments from
* The Latin word is very happy, corticem tellurisa Clarificationes.
Seneca « Sane multum illi egerunt qui ante nos fuerunt sed non pere gerunt. Multum adhuc reftat operis, multumque reftabit +.
Another discourse, written also in the French language, diftinguished by the motto “ Rerum cognoscere fines & caufas te. Although this discourse rests upon hypotheses, which the academy cannot admit ; yet, on account of several refined and ingenious ideas, it has been judged worthy of being printed. The authors therefore of both these dissertations, but para ticularly of the first, are invited by this public paper, either to give permission to publish their names to the world, or to withhold them.
The following problem, which had been given as a subject for prize dissertations for the last year, is also proposed, ja second time, for the year 1786. “ Since the equal and uniform nourishment of every portion and point of animal bodies, to which the fingle veins and vessels do not extend, particularly the nourishment of the epidermis or scarf-skin, the nails, the hair, the horns, which are without veins, and other phenomena, Thew, that though the nutritive juices are indeed carried at first through the vessels of the heart, they are afterwards : spontaneously moved to parts beyond the reach of the veins, by some peculiar power, different from the propelling power of the heart : and, in like manner, as in plants, which have nothing analagous to the heart in their construction, a similar mode of nourishment takes place, and a similar distribution of of jucies, a question arises--By what power is this dist: ibution of the fluids in plants, and in the parts of animal bodies just mentioned, affected and what is the nature of that power?
Although the discoveries and reasonings of philosophers on this subject should not go to the full length of a solution of the question concerning this unknown action and process of nature; yet it is expected that all that is advanced on it fhall be supported by clear evidence : nor does it make any difference, whether the solutions proposed depend upon new experiments, made by the authors of these folutions themselves, or on truths already proved and acknowledged."
A premium of one hundred ducats will be given to the person who Thall give in the best and most satisfactory soluti of this question, before the first day of July, 1786.
Although no comet has hitherto approached fo nearly to the earth as to influence, as far as can be discovered by the most minute observation, the state and situation of the earth; yet some comets have been seen, which have revolved around
† Much has been done by our predecessors, but not finished. A great deal remains to be done, and a great deal will remain. # To know the ends and the causes of things.
our planetary system, not at a greater distance than thit. teen times the distance of the moon from the earth : nay the comet of 1770, in its course, passed by the earth at a nearer distance. But since, from the instance of the comet seen in 1759, it appears probable that the elements of the orbits, in which the comets revolve, those especially which perform their revolutions in planes nearly the same with the plane of the ecliptic, are not a little influenced or affected by the action of the heavenly bodies. It seems probable that some comet may, in process of time, after a series of revolutions, approach fo near to the earth, that both of these masses may mutually exert influence on one another; the great Euler, whose memory will ever be held in veneration by all mathematicians, in the 19th volume of his New Commentaries, with his usual fagacity, has stated a case in which the comet, moving in the very plane of the ecliptic, is supposed to be carried directly into the sun; and, by calculating the perturbation that must arise from the comet moving in such a course, has prepared the way for the solution of a more general problem, which is proposed to the learned for the year 1787.
If any comet should approach so near to the earth, as that their mutual action on each other should become sensible to determine,
First; What inequalities would result from thence in the motion of the terraqueous globe?
Secondly ; What appearances might from thence be expected in the ocean? and
Thirdly; How, or in what manner, would both the comet and the earth, after their mutual influence on each other had ceased, pursue or hold on in their respective courses ?
Learned men of all nations are invited to send their thoughts and solutions of these questions before the first day of July, 1787 : and that solution which shall appear the best and most fatisfactory to such members of the Imperial Academy as are inhabitants of Petersburgh, (who are never candidates themselves for the prizes) will be honoured with the reward of one hundred golden crowns or ducats.
The dissertations are to be written in a fair hand, in the Ruffian, Latin, German, or French languages ; and to be marked, not with the name of the author, but by a motto'; and a sealed paper, appended to them, must contain within, the name of the author, and on the outside the same motto or symbol that is inscribed in the dissertation. The difsertations are also to be transmitted to John Albert Euler, fecretary to the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petersburgh, before the date abovementioned. This being done,
the author will receive, from Mr. Euler, an acknowledge ment in writing of its receipt, and intimation of the number under which his differtation is deposited; provided that he will signify the place to which a letter from Mr. Euler may be directed. Discourses, coming to hand after the time prescribed, cannot obtain the prize.
The decision of the academy will be declared at their first public meeting, after the day already specified, in the year 1787.
It is remarkable, that among the languages which are prescribed to the candidates for the prizes, the English is not included. That the Ruffian language should be pointed out as one of the vehicles of communication by the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petersburgh, is natural; and that the Latin should be another, is proper. The German is the native tongue of the Empress, and the French has become, as it were, the common language of Europe. The obligations which literature and the sciences owe to the English tongue and nation, certainly intitled it to a place among those languages, which were deemed fit channels for literary intelligence and discovery. But perhaps with this language the members of the Imperial Academy residing at Petersburgh, who are constituted judges of the differtations that aspire to the prizes, are not generally acquainted. Perhaps the English language is considered by a literary society as a branch of the German : and perhaps it is on a similar principle, that they have passed the best modern languages in Europe, the Spanish and the Italian, which are branches of the Latin.
- The French have been at great pains to cultivate and fix their language, and to circulate and give it stability in all parts of the world. The court of Versailles, it is faid, have fent French teachers, in great numbers, to Petersburgh, and to prepare the way for their reception and encouragement. The English language is yet in a state of fluctuation : and 'novel idioms, and affectations disgrace the · stile of some of our most applauded writers. England possesses the mighty advantage of having given a language to America and Ireland. It is not a fameness of government and laws alone that unite and bestow sameness to different tribes and na. tions : men are
more cordially attracted to one another by uniformity of language and manners. The Greeks in Afia Minor, in Italy, and the islands of the Mediterranean, were long attached to the parent state of Greece ; and even fought her battles, after they had been disunited by other laws, in terests, and forms of government. It is certainly a political object to the English nation, to institute, in imitation of the French, an academy for improving and fixing their language.
[ For FEBRUARY, 1786. ]
ART. 22. 'ANAAEKTA EMAHNIKA. Sive Collectanea Gréca; ad
usum Academicæ Juventutis accommodata. Tom. I. CompleElens exertita ex variis oratione foluta Scriptoribus : cum Notis Philologicis ; atque Tabula Geographica. London, Payne. Edinburgh, Dickson. 1785
HE question, whether or no it be desirable that the Latin and affording a specimen of the different ftiles of each ; or, whether they fhould be studied upon a larger scale, is, we apprehend, already sufficiently decided upon by those persons to whom the question is interesting. Taking for granted, for a moment, that the former is to bè preferred, we hesitate not to pronounce, that the volume before us is conducted upon the plan, which, of all others, will beft approve itself in practice.
One of the circumstances by which it is distinguished, is its exclafion of the antidote to all taste, exertion, and proficiency, à literal Latin translation. For ourselves, we are satisfied, that no circumItance has contributed fo much to the decline of that nobleft of all branches of literature, the Grecian language. We have seen, in striking examples, the most miserable ofcitancy and ignorance confequent upon the plan in vogue, which has, in a manner, been inftantly fucceeded by clearness of apprehension, and facility of progress, where the plan recommended by our editor has been intro. duced. And yet, to the disgrace of our country be it spoken, it is with the utmost difficulty, and at the most exorbitant prices, that editions of the Greek claffics, unaccompanied with a Latin version, can be procured.
It must, however, we believe, be acknowledged, that the Greek language is, of all others, the most difficult in its acquisition, the most changeable and various in its construction, and the moft replete with difficulties, formidable and discouraging to the tiro. Thefe may, 'with some inconvenience, be surmounted by the preceptor ; but feldom will the fpirit and resolution appear that shall carry forward the folitary student, though fure of the most ample reward. With a view to this objection, our editor has annexed to his work a copious collection of philological notes; an addition, which, as it seems to us, is calculated to take away, from the abertor of versions, the last shadow of an excuse for his absurd and ruinous.practice. Art. 23. The Errors of Innocence. A Novel. izmo. 5 vols. 125.6d.
fewed. Robinsons, London. 1786.
We are informed, in the preface to this novel, that the author of it is a lady; and, from the promptitude of her pen, and the fertility