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truth, and obtain that immensely wide and extensive view which is spread out below the feet of the as, tonished beholder. This road has been shewn to us by the great Bacon,—and who can contemplate the prospects which it opens without almost falling into a trance similar to that in which he allowed his imagination to wander over future ages of discovery.
From amongst the political sciences it has been attempted in modern times to detach one which admits of being severed from individual political opinions, and of being reduced to abstract laws, derived from well authenticated facts. I mean political economy based upon general statistics.
A new association has lately been formed, imitating our perambulating habits, and striving to comprehend in its investigations and discussions, even a still more extended range of subjects in what is called “social science." These efforts deserve our warmest approbation and good-will. Our own association has since its meeting in Dublin recognised the growing claims of political economy to scientific brotherhood, and admitted it into its statistical sec. tion. It could not have done so under abler guidance and happier auspices than the presidency of the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Whateley, whose efforts in this direction are so universally appreciated. But even in this section, and whilst statistics alone were treated in it, the association, as far back as 1833, made it a rule that in order to ensure positive results, only those classes of facts should be admitted which were capable of being expressed by numbers, and which promised when sufficiently multiplied to indicate general laws. If, then, the main object of science—and I beg to be understood henceforth as speaking only of that section which the association has under its special care, viz., inductive scienceif, I say, the object of science is the discovery of the laws which govern natural phenomena, the primary condition for its success is accurate observation and collection of facts in such comprehensiveness and completeness, as to furnish the philosopher with the necessary material from which to draw safe conclusions. Science is not of yesterday; we stand on the shoulders of past ages, and the amount of observations made, and facts ascer. tained, has been transmitted to us, and carefully preserved in the various storehouses of science. Other crops have been reaped, but still lie scattered on the field. Many a rich harvest is ripe for cutting, but waits for the reaper. Economy of labour is the essence of good husbandry, and no less so in the field of science. Our association has felt the importance of this truth, and may well claim as one of its principal merits, the constant endeavour to secure that economy. One of the latest undertakings of the association has been a compilation of scientific memoirs, which, by combining under one lead the titles of all memoirs written on a certain subject, will, when completed, enable the student wiio wishes to gain information on that subject, to do so with the greatest ease. It gives him, as it were, the plan of the house, and the key to different apartments in which the treasures relating to his subject are stored, saving him at once a painful and laborious search, and affording him, at the same time, an assurance that what is there offered contains the whole of the treasures yet acquired. While this has been one of its latest attempts, the association has from its very beginning kept in view, that its main sphere of usefulness lay in that concentrated attention to all scientific operations which a general gives to the movements of his army, watching and regulating the progress of his impetuous soldiers in the different directions to which their orders may bave led them, carefully noting the gaps which may arise from their independent and eccentric action, and attentively observing what impediments may have stopped, or may threaten to stop, the progress of certain co
lumns. Thus it attempts to fix and record the position and progress of the different labours by its reports on the state of sciences published annually in its transactions. Thus it directs the attention of the labourers to those gaps which require to be filled up, if the progress is to be a safe and steady one. Thus it comes forward with a helping hand in strive ing to remove those impediments which the unaided efforts of the individual labourer have been or may be unable to overcome.
Let us follow the activity of the association in these three different directions. The reports on the state of science originate in the conviction of the necessity for fixing, at given intervals, with accuracy and completeness the position at which it has arrived; for this object the general committee of the association intrusts to distinguished individuals in the different branches of science the charge of becoming, as it were, the biographers of the period.
Having noticed the great genius and labours of the deceased philosopher, Humboldt (the anniversary of whose birth, by a singular coincidence, happened that day), his Royal Highness thus concluded: Philosophers are not vain theorists, but essentially men of practice; not conceited pedants, wrapped up in their own mysterious importance, but humble inquirers after truth, proud only of what they may have achieved or won for the general use of man. Neither are they daring and presumptuous unbelievers—a character which the ignorant have affixed to them—who would, like the Titans, storm heaven by placing mountain upon mountain, till hurled down from the height attained, by the terrible thunders of outraged Jove; but rather the pilgrims to the Holy Land, who toil on in search of the sacred shrine, in search of truth, God's truth, God's laws, as mani. fested in His works in His creation.
"WHAT TIME IS IT?” AN ACCOUNT OF TIME-KEEPERS, OLD AND NEW.
MR. W. H. BAILEY.
[Tue following interesting lecture on Time-keepers, old and
new, was delivered at Elland, Yorkshire, under the pecu. liar circumstances stated at the close. The Rev. H. Coghlan presided, and introduced the lecturer with some appropri. ate remarks on punctuality. We had the gratification of inspecting the large clock made by Messrs. John Bailey and Co., Albion Works, Salford, for the turret of Elland Parish Church, and must say that it was an admirable specimen of horological mechanism.]
WHAT TIME IS IT? This is a question often asked and answered; and various and ingenious have been the means employed in different ages, to enable that response to be given correctly.
The Sun-dial, the Clepsydra, the Sand-glass, and the Clock with weights and wheels, have in turn been used to indicate the lapse of time. And we may easily arrive at the conclusion that before these artificial means were employed, nature gave abun. dant proof of the time of day by means of the length of the shadow of men, rocks, and trees, caused by the reflection of the sun. In the short space of time I have to deliver a few remarks upon teresting and fruitful subject, I hope to be able to give a summary of the rise and progress of time indicators. All writers seem to agree that the first description of time indicators were sun-dials, and that the first upon record is that of King Ahaz, mentioned in the 20th chapter of the Second Book of Kings, although nothing is known of its form. The Prophet Job says “the servant shall long for the coming of his shadow.” The earliest sun dial of which there is any authentic record, is that of a Chaldean philosopher, by name Berosus, who flourished about 540 years B.C.
Aniximander probably became acquainted with sun-dials through the intercourse he had with the Chaldeans,—he having introduced the first to the Greeks. An ancient sun-dial mounted upon
the shoulders of a Hercules, was discovered at Ravena about 150 years ago. A sun-dial was found at Tusculum, near Rome, in the year 1726, and this dial forms the subject of a dissertation by an Italian antiquarian, who supposes it to have been the one Cicero speaks of, who in a letter mentions his having sent a horologium to his villa near Tusculum. There is a dial in the Elgin Collection of the British Museum, which indicates upon four sides; and is supposed to have been fixed up at one of the cross-ways of Athens, it having been found in that city.
The ancients made sun-dials of many curions forms. Several have been discovered bearing the form of a ham; one of which was found at Herculaneum in the year 1754. It has not been discovered what antiquity they bear, but it will be very evident that this form could not have been used by the Jews, as it represents a limb of that quadruped which every true Israelite holds in abhorrence.
Another dial, similar to this, was discovered at Portico in 1755. A sun-dial taken from the Samanites by Pappirus Cursor, was set up at Rome B.C. 301. Valerius Mesela, the consul, placed in the forum a dial which had been brought from Catana, in Sicily, in the first Punic War, B.C. 261. The Romans were not at that time aware that a dial constructed for one latitude, was not suitable for that of another;—which, of course, rather puzzled them.