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obje&t towards wkich the Parmer may direct his peculatit declamation We are, Sir,
Your ill used Encomieji's,
The Reviewers of the Agricultural Department
in the Monthly Review. . P.S. Common sense dictates that, as we have behaved gen teelly toward you, in the Monthly Review, and only diffented from you in one material point in your two large volumes, the real motive to the fcurrility with which you have treated us, cannot be a fincere persuasion, on your part, that we are your foes. Your inadvertency, . however, having caused you to drop the masque joft before you dropped your pen, we are no longer at a loss to discover your design; and, at a more proper season, we may compliment you upon it. C. T HE thort historical account of the origin of a modern theory
formed to explain the nature of Evaporation, which we were lately induced to draw up, in confequence of a fimilar hypothesis having been presented to the public as a new idea proper to one of the writers in a late miscellaneous publication, has been the occasion of our having been favoured with a letter on the subject of that article, from Mr. Ja. Hill, fargeon at Dumfries ; who chere claims the right of being considered as the first publisiser,' at least, of this hypothesis in Britain or Ireland.' Though we cannot exhibit the letter-writer's proofs at large, we shall so far promote his intention in addressing us upon this occasion, as briefly to observe that the priority for which he contends is founded on a paper sent by him in 1763, and consequently before the publication of Dr. Hamilton's theory, to the editors of the Medical Museum; and which was published in the 22d number of the ad volume of that work. Our present correspondent there confiders · Air,' as the universal mensiruum,' by which animals, vegetables, and most part of minerals, but especially mercury and water, are diffolved. We mall only add that, though we readily admit the letter-writer's claim of priority of publication, she reasons specified in this letter do not appear to us sufficient, co induce us to adopt with equal readiness his conclufion--that Dr. H. most probably derived the hint of this theory from the aforesaid paper in the Museum: as we think it requires no great stretch of candour or charity, to suppose that the contents of the said paper Inight then, and may ftill, be as perfeélly unknown to Dr. H. as they certainly were to the writer of the historical account abovementioned,
After all, Dr. Franklin's paper on this subject was written, prior to boch these publications; and M. Le Roi's, published long before all of them.
* In the account of Mr. White's paper on the Rise of Vapours, pub. lished in the second volume of Georgical Elays. See Monthly Review for November lait, page 394.
. E RR AT U M. The reader is requested to correct the following transposition, in the account of Father Beccaria's experiments, in our last Appendix, page 556. line 12; where, for this it does, in the common manner, even • after it has been discharged.'-he is desired to read, this it does, • even after it has been discharged in the common manzer.'
For M A RC H, 1772.
Article PAPER be Review of the Pro
ART. I. CONTINUATION of the PhiloSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS;
from the Review for December last, Page 455.
PAPERs relating to NATURAL HISTORY. Article 1. An Account of a Journey to Mount Etna, in a Letter
from the Honourable William Hamilton, his Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary at Naples, to Matthew Maty, M. D. Sec. R.S. T HE public owe to the very intelligent Author of this
1 article many curious and interesting observations, relative to the eruptions and natural history of Mount Vesuvius, which have been published in the preceding volumes of the Transactions *. The present paper contains an account of a visit which he made in the year 1769 to another, probably more ancient, and still more considerable volcano; that of Mount Etna. He had here the sa:isfaction of meeting with many convincing proofs of the justice of bis former opinion, concerning the origin and formation of very confiderable mountains, merly in consequence of large and frequently repeated subterraneous explosions. The cavities which muft neceflarily be formed in the earth, by the immense quantities of matter thrown up by volcanos, are no where, perhaps, so numerous and remarkable as in the neighbourhood of Etna. In its lower region, a new mountain was thrown up by the terrible eruption in 1669, which is no less than half a mile perpendicular height, and at least three miles in circumference at its basis. At the foot of this new mountain, the Author, by means of a rope, descended through a hole communicating with several of these cavities, branching out in variou, directions, and extending much farther and deeper than he chose to venture,
• See Monthly Review, vol. xxxix. December 1768, p. 418; vol. xlii. February 1770, p. 105; and vol. aliv, March 1771, p. 201. VOL. XLVI.
One fingular reason prevented him from prosecuting this fubterraneous expedition. In those parts of the earth from which undoubtedly those fiery torrents formerly issued forth, forming a river of melted lava 14 miles in length, and, in many parts, fix in breadth, which extended to the sea, and destroyed part of Catania, there now rages the most excessive cold, accompa, nied with á violent wind, that frequently extinguished some of the torches. Some of these cavities, which have been discovered in different parts of Etna, are now used as repofitories for snow; and the whole islands of Sicily and Malta are from thence supplied with that article, deemed essentially necessary in those climates.
In the second or middle region of Etna, which is covered and adorned with the most beautiful and majestic woods, are mountains, or fragments of mountains, on every side, that have been thrown up by explosions of ancient date, some of which are nearly as high as Mount Vesuvius. Now it is certain that a confiderable time is requisite to convert lava and alhes into a substance proper to support even the smallest plants. In the space of two or three miles round the mountain raised by the eruption in 1669, there are as yet not the least appearances of vegetation. The high antiquity therefore of the explosions, which have formerly ravaged this part of Etna, is very juftly deduced by the Author from the present state of its surface and products; there being now a sufficient depth of vegetable mould over the lava to support the largest oak, chesnut, and fir trees be ever faw any where. But the very ancient date of these eruptions is still farther ascertained from hiftorical information; from whence it appears that this part of Etna was celebrated for its timber, so far back as the time of the tyrants of Syracuse. These ancient woods therefore grew on places either originally forined of lava and ashes, or at least formerly covered with these substances, in consequence of explosions which must have happened in times anterior to all history.
Our inquifitive Traveller, not fatisfied with exploring the Jower, and this last mentioned or middle region of this refpectable mountain,' where he pitched his tent for the night, attempted its summit; and was gracified at fun rising, after reaching and feating himself on its very highest point, with the splendid view of an extensive and beautiful landscape that baffles all description. This apex, we should observe, is the top of a smaller mountain, about a quarter of a mile perpendicular in height, and nine miles in circumference, which has been thrown up from the great crater at the top of Etna, within the last 25 or 30 years.' His enlarged horizon being gradually lighted up," he discovered the greater part of Calabria, and the sea on the other kde of it: the Phare of Meslina, the Lipari ilands, and Stromboli with its smoaking top, though at ** ve 70 miles distance, feemed to be just under his feet. He faw the whole island of Sicily, its rivers, towns, harbours, &c, as if he had been look, ing on a map.' In short, as he has since found by measuring on a good chart, the eye took in, from this one point of view, a circle of above nine hundred English miles. The pyramidal Dhadow of the mountain was likewise seen, reaching across the whole island, and far into the sea on the ocher side. Here he counted no less than 44 little mountains (so called only in com, parison with their great and ancient common parcnt, Mount Eina; though they would appear great out of her company) in the middle region, on the fide of Catania ; together with many others on the opposite side, all of a conical form, and each have ing its crater; without, and even within which, many timber trees were seen flourishing.
A Canon who accompanied the Author in this excursion, ale fured him that the perpendicular height of this remarkable mountain was something more than three Italian miles : a meafure which nearly corresponds with that which may be cola lected from the Author's barometrical observations, made at the foot and the top of it. In the firft of these stations, the mere cury stood at 27 inches 4 lines; and at the latter, funk to 18 inches 10 lines. In short, the Magnificent and the Terrible are displayed here on a larger scale than in Mount Vesuvius. The most extensive layas which have flowed from the last-mentioned volcano have not exceeded seven miles in length : whereas those of Etna are very commonly 15 or 20 miles in length, fix or seven in breadih, and so feet or more in depth. Nay, on his return, the Author saw the whole course of an ancient eruption, where the lava ran no lefs than 30 miles, from the crater whence it issued, to the sea near Taormina, extending in many parts 15 miles in breadth.
The last circumstance which we shall extra&t from this article is, that the same kind of Aashes resembling lightening, which the Author noticed as a phenomenon attending the last great eruption of Vesuvius, and which, as we formerly obo ferved, Father Beccaria considers as electrical appearances, are frequently seen to proceed from the great crater of Etna. To ibis circumstance Mr. Hamilton supposes Seneca to allude, when, treating of one of its eruptions, he adds, illo tempore aiunt plurima fuisse tonitrua & fulmina. Quæst. Nat. Libr. 2. Article 2. On the Inhabitants of the coast of Patagonia ; in a
Letter from Philip Carteret, Esq; Captain of the Swallow Sloop, to Matthew Maty, M. D. Sec. Ř. S.
In criticising an opinion of the lively and ingenious Author of the Recherches Philofophiques sur les Americains *, we pleaded • See Appendix to our 42d volume, page 527 and 528.
somewhat earnestly-format inn allowance of two or three feet exd traordinary, to the inhabitants of Patagonia, above the usual ftandard of us and the other homunciones dispersed over the rest of the globe. To this we were induced by confiding, in the fimplicity of our hearts, in the testimony of the gentlemen of his Majesty's ship the Dolphin ; and particularly on the seemingly tober and explicit asseverations contained in a very circumftantial letter of Mr. Charles Clarke's, addressed likewise to Dr. Maty, and published in the 57th volume of these Transactions t. We now more than suspect that our former informants have somewhat abused the acknowledged privilege of travellers, and that we must accordingly make very confiderable abatements in the measures for which we lately contended. On a subject which has made so much noise throughout Europe, we willingly embrace this oppor:unity of acknowledging our fallibility, and of extracting the most essential particulars relating to these people, from the present letter; which was written on the spot by the commander of one of the ships employed, 10gether with the Dolphin, in the subsequent expedition to the South Seas I ; and who undoubtedly here describes the very fame people, who were seen by the officers of that ship, during its first voyage in 1764. From the present account however it appears, that these Patagonians, though not of the superlative dimensions before ascribed to them, are a very extraordinary race of men, with respect to fize; especially when it is confidered that they inhabit, or rather perhaps, as we formerly fuge gested, wander over one of the most desolate and barren regions of the habitable earth. Such, at least, are those parts of it, we presume, where they have hitherto been seen by voyagers.
In many of the circumstances here related concerning these people, Captain Carterer's account confims that before given of them. They were first seen to the number of 60 or 70, riding upon horses about 14 or 15 hands high, near the mouth of the river Gallegoes, which is not far from the easternmoft entrance of the Straits of Magellan. In the space of a day they were increased to several hundreds, men, women, and children, • We measured, says the Captain, many of thele people; they were, in general, all from fix feet to fix feet five inches, al though there were some who came to fix feet seven inches, but none above that.' Upon the whole, he represents them as the finet set of men he ever saw any where before. They are well proportioned, have large and pretty regular features, and com
+ See Monthly Review, vol. xxxix. December 1768, page 417, • I The prelent article is a copy of the Author's original letter, sent froin Port Famine, by the storethip, to Dr. Mary', but which did not come to hand.