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and having thrown his arm half round Madame Bertrand's neck, he exclaimed, addressing himself to me, “ This is my Mistress! O not Mistress-yes, yes, this is my Mistress !' while the Lady was endeayouring to extricate herself, and the Count her husband bursting with laughter. He then asked if he had made a mistake, and being informed of the English interpretation of the word, he cried outo, no, no-I say, My friend, my love; No, not love; my friend, my friend.' The fact was, that Madame Bertrand had been indisposed for several days, and he wished to rally her spirits, as well as to give an unreserved ease to the conversation. In short, to use a well-known English phrase-He was the life of the party." (P. 180.)
We now take leave of Mr. Warden, with many thanks for the very correct delineation he has given us of the character of Napoleon Buonaparte, who really does seem, after all, to be one of the best-tempered, most companionable, easiest, kindest, pleasantest ellows we ever neard of; rather indolent, it must be owned, and a little too like the character of Will Wimble in the Spectator, being much more suitably armed with a pruning knife or a fishing rod, than with the sabre or the pike; in short, a man that it would be impossible to quarrel with, and difficult not to love; but scarcely with enough of animation to season the intercourse of life, or of ambition to call the active virtues into wholesome exertion.
ART. VIII.-WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. 1. Metrology, or an Exposition of Weights and Measures, chiefly
those of Great Britain and France ; comprising Tables of Comparison, and views of various Standards, with an Account of Laws and Local Customs, Parliamentary Reports, and other important Documents. By Patrick Kelly, LL. D. 8vo, pp. 154. Lackington and Co. London, 1816. 2. Rees's New Cyclopædia, art. STANDARD. If a speculatist were to form a judgement of what was likely to be the case with respect to the use and regulation of weights and measures, without any reference to facts, and looking only to the obvious expediency of the thing, the advantages that would result from uniformity, the ease with which uniformity might be obtained, and the comparative simplicity of the principles which would tend to ensure it; he would at once conclude that invariable measures of length, weight, and capacity, were adopted in all civilized states. And yet, so far is this from being the case, that it is hardly possible to name any subject of general concern in which greater
diversity and irregularity, and a more absolute
disregard of scientific, or, we might say, rational principles, have always been evinced than in that of weights and measures.
In all ages the necessity of assigning some standard seems to have been perceived; yet scarcely any thing can be imagined more ludicrous than many of the standards that have been actually adopted. The first lineal measure of which we read is the cubit, supposed to measure the distance between the elbow and the extremity of the middle finger. This, since men are of different sizes, and have their arms of different lengths, is a standard which must be arbitrarily assumed. The common cubit, or “ cubit of a man,” as it was denominated, was equivalent to about 21% of our inches; but, besides this, there were two varieties, “ the king's cubit,” longer than the former by three fingers' breadths, and " the sacred cubit,” nearly double the common cubit, or exceeding it in the ratio of 35 to 18 (1 Kings, vii. 15. 2 Chron. iii. 15.) Of the same nature are the fathom, the span, the hand, the thumb, the nail; all equally vague in their origin, though some have become fixed by convention. Such measures evidently had their birth in the rudest states of society; and owe their continuance to the same blind influence of habit which keeps in existence so many usages below the intelligence of the times.
Classical associations might induce us to expect in the stadium of the Greeks a more scientific origin. Yet it is described as being the invention of Hercules, and derived from an athletic exertion of his own; it comprehended “the distance which he was able to run without taking breath!” He established this as the measure of the avaos, or foot-course, at the Olympic games;
and it thence became the standard of itinerary computation.
The hero who introduced this standard measured it again by the length of his foot, which repeated 600 times made
Thus originated those classical measures, the Olympic stadium and the Olympic foot ! From these were deduced the parasanga and the schænus, both described by Herodotus as multiples of the stadium, and as employed conjointly with it. Rude as was the origin of the stadium, it was adopted, though not avowedly, by the Romans. The distances in Antoninus's itinerary, though expressed in Roman miles, correspond with the proportionate number of Olympic stadia given by other authors; and Livy expresses many distances in mille passus, which, as has been often remarked, were copied from Polybius, and reduced at the rate of eight stadia to a Roman mile.
If from ancient times, and foreign nations, we pass to modern times and our own country, we shall not be able to take credit to ourselves upon any essential improvement. The unit of the English standard of length is the barley-corn! This was to be
pe taken out of the middle of the ear, and being well dried, three of them in length were to make one inch; and thence the rest.” With commensurate precision, the original of all weights used in England was “a corn of wheat gathered out of the middle of the ear: which being well dried, 32 of them were to make one pennyweight, 20 penny-weights one ounce, and 12 ounces one pound troy.” Measures of capacity, both liquid and dry, are referred to standards equally invariable, for it has been enacted that
eight pounds troy weight of wheat, gathered out of the middle of the ear, and well dried, shall make one gallon of wine mea. șure; and that there shall be but one measure for wine, ale, and corn, throughout this realm.”
Nor is the extreme vagueness of the original standards the only subject of surprise. The strange neglect, as well of general sentiment as of scientific principle, in the augmentations and divisions of measures, is equally astonishing. The process of augmentation by successively doubling, and
of division by successively halving, is not merely natural to the vulgar, but patural to men of science, who in their theoretic computations employ the decimal notation, that in all the requisite measurements that usually occur, they voluntarily adopt it, notwithstanding their scientific predilections. And when convenience of computation is taken into the account, since 2 and 5, their products, powers, and multiples, when employed as divisors, give finite quotients, the ratio of augmentation or diminution most natufally to be chosen will be either the binary or the denary. Now, how stands the matter in point of fact? Instead of a regular progression either upwards or downwards, we have all possible varieties. We reckon two cloves 1 stone, 2 stones 1 tod, 2 weys 1 sack, 2 pints 1 quart, 2 quarts 1 pottle, 2 gallons 1 peck. Then we allow three feet to 1 yard, 3 scruples to 1 dram, 3 bushels to 1 sack, 3 sacks to 1 vat. But, that no number may have an undue preference, we make four quarts equal to 1 gallon, 4 pecks to 1 bushel, 4 bushels to i coom, 4 roods to 1 acre. Then we allow five quarters to 1 wey, and to 1 English ell. Then 54 yards to 1 pole; 6 feet to 1 fathom; 64 tods to 1 wey of wool ; 7 pounds to 1 clove; 8 furlongs to 1 mile. Then, as if “ nature placed us on a rolling sphere" for no other purpose than that we might court variety in all ways, we must change the magnitude of the same nominal measure when it is applied to different things. Thus, we allow 8 gallons to a firkin of ale, 9 to a firkin of beer ; 8 drams to an ounce apothecaries' weight, 16 to an ounce avoirdupois; 12 ounces to a pound troy, or apothecaries' weight, 16 to a pound avoirdupois; 5 lb. to a stone of glass, 8 lb. to a stone of fish, 14 lb. to a stone of wool; 281 cubic inches to the wine gallon, 268} to the Winchester
VOL. IX. NO. XVII.
gallon, and 282 to the ale gallon. And more than all, we have for the bushel, by the coal act, 221747 cubic inches, by the malt act 2150°42 cubic inches, the Winchester bushel 2145.6, from the wine gallon 1848, from the Guildhall gallon 1792, and Queen Elizabeth's bushel 2124 inches; besides all the varieties occasioned by the different practices of heaping and striking the bushel.
These strange diversities and anomalies do not terminate here, even with respect to the weights and measures of England. In some counties a stone of butcher's meat weighs 8 lb., in others 14. In some a pound of butter weighs 16 ounces, in others 18, in others 24. İn London a fother of lead is 194 cwt., at Newcastle 21, at Stockton 22. In some parts of the country the chain for land surveying is 22 yards long, in others 24, and the acre varies accordingly. In Scotland the matter is still worse, as will be seen from the following varieties in the boll or usual dry measure. Aberdeenshire : bolí for wheat 10754 English cubic inches, for barley 14068. Argyleshire: boll for wheat 10218 inches, for barley 13753. Ayrshire : boll for wheat 8601, inches, for barley 17202. Banffshire : for wheat 9265 inches, barley 13476. Berwickshire : for wheat and barley 12902 inches. Buteshire : for wheat 11512 inches, barley 17268. Dumbartonshire : for wheat 10251 inches, barley 13668. burghshire: wheat 8789 inches, barley 12822. Fifeshire : wheat 9100 inches, barley 13236. Inverness-shire: wheat 10060 inches, barley 14077. Kincardineshire: wheat 9927 inches, harley 13650. Nairnshire : wheat 10721 inches, barley 14295. Perthshire: wheat 9052 inches, barley 13356. Selkirkshire : wheat 9225 inches, barley 12925. We refrain from enlarging this list; but in the remaining Scotch counties, the infringements upon
order and principle are equally striking. What obstructions must be thrown in the way of the usual transactions among agriculturists, by such extreme irregularity as this, it is not difficult to conjecture.
If we were not fearful of rendering the detail tiresome, we might trace the varieties which exist between the weights and measure of different countries. Let it suffice if we select only a few of the weights. For example, 100 avoirdupois pounds of London are nearly equal to 914 of Amsterdam, 96 of Antwerp, 81, of Geneva, 93of Hamburgh, 96 of Leipsic, 1374 of Genoa, 1534 of Milan, 1544 of Naples, 97 of Seville and Cadiz, 112 of Russia, 107 of Sweden, 89, of Denmark. In this contracted list, the extreme measures of what ought to be the same thing are nearly in the ratio of 2 to 1.
Before we proceed to consider by what means these and other such anomalies may best be corrected, we shall select some interesting information as to the actual state of the authorized standards in this country, and the means by which inaccurate : weights and measures get into use.
In order to this, we shall extract a few passages from the evidence of Mr. John Warner, brass founder, given before the Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1814. Mr. Warner is employed to make standard brass weights and measures, from those in the Exchequer, for country corporations. He states that
“ There is a public office at Westminster, where they stamp all weights that are brought to them, whether just or not; and have been in this practice for many years. I have now in my possession many weights of different sizes, . some too heavy, others too light, all stamped at the Westminster Office, without their being put into the scales; they charge three-pence per dozen for marking them: these weights were made on purpose to try if they would starnp defective weights ; it is not their practice to adjust them. When the man at the Hall was questioned as to the legality of the office, it being within the limits of the Founder's Company's Charter,* he replied, “ they had an act for it.” It certainly is not the intention of the Act, that weights or measures should be stamped by any person without being adjusted, and afterwards examined by another person.”
"" The scale-makers size and seal all hollow weights, avoirdupois and troy. The troy weights, which are used for drugs, silver, and gold, and which ought to be very accurate, are not sent to any legal office."
6 The makers of brass weights in Birmingham, and other places": in these kingdoms, stamp and seal them themselves, which leads to many inaccuracies."
- At the Westminster office the wine measures are not correct, as no standards are to be found in the kingdom that theirs agree at the Exchequer they have only one wine measure, which is a gallon ; at Guildhall they have all the sizes under, from 2 quarts to half a gill, regularly divided by the Exchequer standard gallon. At the Westminster office it is not so; they have all the sizes under a gallon, but they are much too large; the quart measure is nearly a quarter of a gill too large ; and the smaller ones are equally incorrect: great inconvenience to the public arises from this circumstance.'
“ The wine measures at Guildhall are much smaller than the Westminster standard measures, yet they are agreeable with the gallon measure at the Exchequer ; although there is this difference, both Halls are used for sealing the pewter wine and spirit measures that are sold to the public, and if those who sell these pewter measures buy them at different places, they will be found to vary in size. Some country iron-mongers deal with pewterers in the City, and others in the same town deal with pewterers at Westminster. When the inquest in a
* This charter was granted to the Founder's Company by James I. in 1614, and it directs that all brass weights made in London, or within three miles of it, shall be sized by the Company's standard, and marked with their mark. Rev.