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DECIMAL WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. The consideration of Decimal Weights and sent weights and measures could be calculaMeasures seems so naturally to follow the ted in decimal coinage very easily; but I think question of decimal coinage, that we make it would be very convenient that they should no apology for devoting a little space to it, by bear a relationship to the money calculaway of appendix to our previous papers. tions, and be regulated by the same princi

There seems to be no question that decimal ple, and the sooner the better. Every year coinage once in force, decimal weights and increases the evil, and makes the change measures must follow. Mr. James Laurie more difficult.” The various witnesses exsays, “ The introduction of decimal weights amined by the Decimal Coinage Committee and measures certainly ought to be simulta expressed different opinions upon the best neous with a decimal currency;" and he time for the change. holds it to have been one of the greatest We foresee much greater difficulty in the civil glories of France, when her rulers de- introduction of decimal weights and meaclared, " that all monies, weights, and mea sures than in decimal coinage; and if it were sures should be determined on the basis of a attempted to introduce both simultaneously decimal calculation, on a defined and simple great confusion would ensue, and the public principle."*

mind might be turned against the decimal Some advocates for decimal weights and system before its real advantages had been measures hold this change to be even more obtained or appreciated. With our coinage, important than the introduction of decimal at least, the same standard of value exists coinage. Thus Mr. Wood, Chairman of the throughout the entire kingdom; but with our Inland Revenue, said, at a recent meeting of measures, almost every county has its own the Institute of Actuaries, if a system of peculiar valuations of quantity and denomidecimal weights and measures were adopted, nation; and our weights are equally anomadecimal coinage must follow,—thus making lous and fluctuating. weights and measures the first step. Mr. What we have said with respect to coinage, Bennoch, when interrogated by the Com- we may say with stillgreater emphasis respectmittee as to whether both systems should be ing weights and measures,-it is astounding changed at the same time, said, very reason to what inconsistencies custom reconciles us. ably, “I think it would be well if we could If we would fully recognize the incongruities manage it, but it is not essential; our pre- of our present system, if system we may dare

to call it, we must look through eyes which * "The foundations of the French system of have not from infancy been dimmed by the weights and measures, and of coinage, as depen- constant glare of the absurdities we seek to dent upon them, are purely scientific, and not subject to arbitrary change. The standard of

discover. In the early part of the present Measures was the dimension of the earth-i.e., century the Americans were desirous of the distance from the Equator to the pole, which, availing themselves of the experience of other being divided into 10,000,000 parts, gave the metre

countries with a view to the adjustment of =39-371 inches; which, being subjected to decimal multiplications and divisions, establish all the their system of weights and measures. In legal measures of length of France.

furtherance of this project, Mr. John Quincy “For the standard of weights, a cube of pure

Adams, a gentleman who was certainly well water, at the temperature of melting ice, measuring in each direction the hundredth part of this

suited to the task, was deputed to cominence metre (called a centimetre), gave a weight which a series of observations and inquiries into was named a gramme, whose decimal divisions the systems of other countries; and, in 1821. and multiplications are the standard of all authorized weights. The gramme is equal to 15 435

6 15 435 his report was completed, and presented to troy grains.

Congress. We have only to do with this re" By a decree of the 28th Thermidor, an. iii. port so far as it relates to English weights August 19,1795), the five-franc piece and its divisions were introduced at the rate of 200 francs to and measures; but it has been held to be a the kilogramme-9-10th fine; and in 1803, the production unequalled for the extent of indeviations of permitted fiueness were limited to formation it conveys on the subject to which 10o above or below the standard; so that a coin

it relates." is not allowed to exceed 903 in fineness, or 897 in alloy."-Dr. Bowring, p. 179.

"In the English system,” says Mr. Adams,

“ every weight and measure is divided by mean an ounce of 480 grains, wbilst eight different, and, seemingly, arbitrary numbers, drachms, fluid measure, are but 437] grains, -the foot into twelve inches; the inch, by still called an ounce. If a receipt is given law, into three barleycorns-in practice some-to mix, it is necessary to learn to what protimes into halves, quarters, and eighths; fession the writer belongs before it can be sometimes into decimal parts, and sometimes | made out—what kind of drachm is intended, into twelve lines; the pound, avoirdupois, into and even then there is no certainty. It may sixteen ounces; and the pound, troy, into be 60, 27-34375, or 54-7 grains. A pint of twelve, so that while the pound, avoirdupois, apothecaries' measure may contain sixteen is heavier, its ounce is lighter than those of ounces, or twenty ounces, avoirdupois. In the troy weight. The ton in the English other cases, the apothecary uses the troy system is both a weight and a measure. As ounce of 480 grains. In short, so vague is a measure, it is divided into four quarters, the term pint, and so differently measured, the quarter into eight bushels, the bushel that it has frequently become necessary to into four pecks, &c. As a weight, it is divi- abandon it, and reckon by the fluid ounce." ded into twenty hundreds, of 112 pounds- Again, he says, “Suppose we turn to the 2,240 pounds, avoirdupois. The gallon is trade in corn-how are the uninitiated to divided into four quarts, the quart into two make out the relative prices of our London pints, and the pint into four gills.” and provincial markets? A cursory inspec

In drawing a comparison between the Eng- tion of a few provincial corn lists and circulish and French systems, Mr. Adams speaks lars will show quotations of prices made in still more strongly. “ The nomenclature of every variety of way, from the Mark Lane the English system is full of confusion and quarter to the Scotch boll, the firlot, the absurdity, chiefly arising from the use of the load (of different kinds), the coomb, the last, same names to signify different things; the the barrel (of various weights), the ton, the term pound, to signify two different weights, cwt., the pound. Wheat is quoted somea money of account, and a coin; the gallon times per quarter, per 20 stone, per 14 and quart, to signify three different measures; stone, per 480 lbs., 70 lbs., 60 lbs., and 62 and other improper denominations, constantly lbs. Barley, by the barrel of 14 stone, per opening avenues to fraud. The French no. 400 lbs., and 392 lbs. Oats, per barrel of 14 menclature possesses uniformity in perfec- stone, per 312 lbs., 420 lbs., and 45 lbs. tion, every word expressing the unit weight Indian corn, per quarter, per ton, per cwt., per or measure which it represents, or the par- 20 stone, per 480 lbs., and 196 lbs. Beans, ticular multiple or division of it. No two per quarter, and per 65lbs. Flour or meal, words express the same thing; no two things by the sack, the ton, per 280 lbs., 196 lbs., are signified by the same words.” Dr. Bowring or 240 lbs. Oatmeal, per boll, per 240 lbs., endorses these comparisons with the weight and 261 lbs. Seeds, even of the same kind, of his testimony. He says: “Nothing can are priced in a variety of ways; as the quarbe more striking than the contrast between ter, the cwt., the ton, the last, the barrel; and the uniformity, precision, and significancy in some of these mean different quantities eren the French system of coins, weights, and in the same market." In a foot note to the measures, and the irregularity, vagueness, above paragraph, Mr. Taylor gives an inand confusion of the English system.” stance in which five different ways of mea

Mr. Henry Taylor, who has paid great suring, or computing, a single cargo of imattention to this question, and a few years ported wheat were employed in one port. since published a little book on the subject, And he says, properly, if we have no reves which went through several editions, asks rence for the declarations of Magna Charta," for an intelligible reason “why bullion, drugs, we ought at least to compassionate the groceries, and wool, should continue to be foreign merchant, now that we permit him to estimated by as many different scales and send us bis corn. weights? Who can (continues he) fathom It was declared, in Magna Charta, that there the mysteries of pharmacopæia ? Ounces shall be one weight and one measure" in Eny. and drachms may signify, in a druggist's land. It was also declared, in 27 Edward !!!!.. shop, quantities varying in two or three ways.

nearly 500 years ago, “ We will and establis,

that one weight, one measure, and one yard be Eight drachms of apothecaries' weight may I used throughout the land."-Taylor, p. 41.

Lastly, by way of example, “In the meat penalty for using illegal weights, by an unmarkets, also, much variety and confusion ex- derstanding between the salesman and the ists; the farmer selling in one place by the butcher, the word ' stone' is dropped, but the stone of 14 lbs., and in another of 8 lbs. In terin eight pounds' is retained as its subSmithfield, the latter only is known; and it stitute. In the same way, what are called is curious to find how the Act 5 and 6 Wil- I long and short weights, and several other liam IV. is set at nought. To evade the local terms, are continued, contrary to law."

C. W., Jun.

The Suquirer.

nty persons ich is made. The British marbh it," " not so often howeverum is always

QUESTIONS REQUIRING ANSWERS. 1 few lines of Latin occasionally, and to point out

his errors of pronunciation. The present is an 247. Would some of the readers of the Contro- age of sympathy with intellectual effort, so that I Tersialist inform a young man, who has a great should imagine “Enitor"inay easily find in his desire to begin painting, the best course to pursue circle of acquaintance some one who would grant in order to become acquainted with the art? I him so slight a boon. Perhaps, however, his have not done anything in painting at present circumstances may be peculiar, or his modesty but suppose it would be best to begin with too strongly developed; I will endeavour, therewater colours before attempting oil paints. I fore, to frame a few hints on the subject. The have a fair kuowledge of drawing, and think by pronunciation of ancient Rome has perished; perseverance I shall be able to execute my draw- hence, when its language is uttered by a modern ings with paints. I should be glad if any one tongue, its sounds are generally strongly imcould inform me of a good work on easy painting. pressed with the phoretic character of the -R.F.

speaker's native language. The nearest approach 218. How is it that gold always maintains its to verbal instruction in the general English mode standard, and is not so valuable in New York as of pronouncing Latin which I can devise may be it is in Great Britain ?

stated in three rules:-1. Pronounce the conso219. I shall be greatly obliged by any of the nants as in English. 2. Never drop a vowel readers of your valuable Controversialist inform- sound; thus, bone, fine, sine, are English monoing me the price, with the name of the maker, of syllables, the same letters in Latin are dissyl. the following apparatus :-"A bollow 12 inch lables. 3. Endeavour distinctly to mark the globe is pierced for stars, and a lamp is placed quantity of every syllable, giving to each long inside the globe. Through the holes in which syllable twice the time of utterance given to a short the globe is pierced the light of the lamp is thrown oue. A common mode of meeting the requireon a hollow hemisphere of paper or calico, of ments of this rule, is by giving to a long or short from four to six feet in diameter, allowing from Latin vowel the long or short sound of the same ten to twenty persons to see the representation, vowel in English; thus in mērēri, civium, of the starry heavens which is made."-J.C. honorus, the sequence of sounds in the vowels

250. Will any of the subscribers of the British marked is the same as in tbe phrases “her tree," Controversialist confer a favour on a young man "nigh it," “not so." The vagaries of English by informing him what course of study it would pronunciation are often however imitated in be best to adopt in order to obtain a thorough defiance of this illustration; bellum is always knowledge of cotton spinning? I wish not only pronounced with the short sound of our English to learn the art of cotton spinning, but to becoire "e,"_bóně, though sometimes pronounced like the acqainted with the principles of mechanics, so as Scotch “bonnie," is more frequently pronounced to be able to understand the various mechanical with the long sounds, like our adjective “bony." operations in a cotton mill. In short, I wish to “Enitor" must, however, keep closely to the rule acquire that knowledge which will enable me to as to the time of utterance, and utter a short vowel procure a livelihood by the management of one. very rapidly if he ever gives it a long or open If any of your correspondents know of any sooks sound, and vice versa. Perilīs, mandamus, with that treat upon the subject, I should be obliged the vowels sounded as in “it," "at," or celeriter, Il you would mention them, stating the price, and with the"i" sounded as in “light," would raise an where to be had.-A YOUNG MAN.

unpleasant laugh at his expense. Perhaps he

may have heard of the orator who concluded a ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS. glowing speech by quoting the motto on our title

page, unfortunately giving the "e"in prævalebit 226. Latin Pronunciation and Poetry-I can. a short souud, so that to English ears it appeared not pass by the appeal of“ Enitor" (vol. v., p. 232) like “prevail a bit," whereupon some wag moved Without showing my sympathy for his difficul as an amendment, “ Magna est veritas, et prevail ties, and tendering him a little assistance.

for ever!" The anecdote is told of a living 1. Pronunciation."--By this I presume that speaker. "Enitor" means the phonetic power of the letters in a few cases an Italianized pronunciation is and their various combinations. I would strongly adopted, and I believe that it is gaining ground urge him to seek oral assistance and advice from slightly. But the varieties and vagaries on this some one who has studied the language, or to get subject are infinite ;-the style I have imperfectly some intelligent schoolboy to hear him read a indicated above will be intelligible to all English

nolline, is an obstinate contemner of ruces, and conta

scholars, and with due attention to rule 3, will pre- of idle curiosity, he will be able to distinguish serve “Enitor" from any smile-provoking mis. the poetical composition by the shape of the lines takes.

on the page, and by the capital letters at the com2. Quantity.- A knowledge of quantity (as we mencement of each line. The same remarks hold have seen) is necessary to him who would venture good throughout the whole range of literature, in to quote Latin, whether his quotations are from any language. In our appreciation of humourous prose authors or from poets. Nay, it is even incident, it matters not whether the incident is the pecessary to a certain extent to the study of gram- narrative of the duel in “ Peregrine Pickle," or mar (e. g., to distinguish between the 2nd and the dramatic exploits of Bob Acres in “The 3rd conjugations). Now prosody is to a know. Rivals," any more than whether an amusing ledge of quantity what rules of spelling are to blunderer in speech is named Dogberry or Malaorthography,-a system of mnemonics to enable prop; the same shadow of coming calamity imus compendiously to store up a knowledge of pends over the first appearance of the heroine in arbitrary results of usage. “Enitor" therefore the “ Bride of Lammermoor," and over the bridemust study some clear and compendious form of elect of “Hanulet." He who can appreciate prosody. I know of none myself which so effec- | Milton's “Areopagitica," and Chatham's burning tually combines both these qualities as the chapter words on that memorable night when his dying on Quantity at the end of Kenrick's translation plea for the oppressed rang through the Halls of of “ Zumpt's Grammar;" it may be transcribed Westminster, will be able to estimate the speech by one whose pen is quicker than his purse is of Antony over Cæsar's body in Shaks pere's play, deep, in little more than an hour. I am not or the address of Satan to his confederates in acquainted with Alwary's “Prosody;"but if (as “Paradise Lost." I presume) be is the same wiib “Emmanuel | Again, there is the “beauty" of style. The Alvarus de quantitate, &c.," I should fear his terseness of Tacitus is far removed from the rhebook partakes too strongly of the characteristics torical fulness of Cicero—as much so as the of the age in which he lived, when unhappy stu- simplicity of Paley from the gorgeousness of dents had to wade through“ propria que mari. Burke. Lucretius is perfectly distinct in style bus," and such like Serbonian bogs, to a dim from Virgil, though both wrote in the same metre; perception of the rules of Latin grammar. Quan the satires of Horace are unlike those of Juvenal, tity, however, like irregular verbs, genders, and yet both the metre and subject are the same. So spelling, is an obstinate contemner of rules, and of our own poets-Cowper is unlike Crabbe; few other additional means must be resorted to in wonld fail to distinguish between Southey and order to arrive at a tolerable knowledge of this Wordsworth; and (though both are in blank subject. For this purpose“ Enitor'' must accus verse) perhaps no one could inistake the epigramtom himself to treat Latin quantities like English matic point of the “Night Thoughts" for the full spelling, and apply to the dictionary whenever he majestic swell of the music of " Paradise Lost." is doubtful; the labour will be ungrateful and Hence, this species of appreciation is as much tedious at first, but time and perseverance will needed to enable us to know poet from poet as prevail—“ Via Crusis via Lucis," is a truth in | poetry from prose. matters secular as will as sacred. Few diction I have not made the above remarks simply to aries, I believe, fail to mark the quantity; if show the want of precision existing in “ Enitor's “Enitor's" is an exception, and economy is an words, nor the probable indefiniteness of thought object, Riddle's “ School Dictionary," (75.), or in his mind at the time he penned them; but to “ Diamond Dictionary" (43.), or an old second point out to him that he need not distress himself hand Gradus, will cheaply supply its lack of with the difficulties of prosody and metre in order service. The use of a grammar in which the to enjoy the advantages and pleasures of classical quantities are marked is also a great help to the literature, and to endeavour to illustrate the true student. I may mention as instances, Professor nature of poetry. Poetry and prose are two Key's Grammar (op the crude form system), or as classes of composition,-two modes of putting a smaller one, Moody's edition of the “Eton thoughts into words: the one is a dress suited Grammar."

to the wear and tear of every-day life; the other 3. Poetry and Scanning.-How shall“ Enitor") is a jewelled robe, and as such is especially know poetry from prose? This opens the ques.adapted for the festive hour or the solemn pageant. tion as to what constitutes poetry. “Enitor" As admiring spectators, we instinctively know wishes to “be able to appreciate the beauties of the one from the other, and our pleasure is not Latin poetry;"- what does he mean? Can he the less because we may happen to hare no appreciate the beauties of Latin prose? If he can; other means of distinguishing them. Few, per. that is, if he has trained his reasoning, imagina-haps, more thoroughly enjoy “the concord of tive, and other faculties, so as to possess a critical sweet sounds" than myself'; yet I have but the judgment, and has also mastered the language most distant idea of the theoretical nature of "a then, he is equally capable of judging (i.e., appre fugue," or of" couuterpoint," and can attach no ciating, setting a true value upon the intellectual meaning to “the resolution of fifths." I can disbeauties of Latin poetry. A fine thought, a striking tinguish an anthem from a glee, and enjoy both; simile, a hold antithesis, or a group of beautiful but cannot give any theoretical reason for the imagery, will be neither better or worse because distinction. Or, to take an illustration from poetry it is found in Horace and not in Livy, or in Cicero itself, instead of its twin-born sister, let“ Enitor and not in Virgil. If“ Enitor" can appreciate assemble all his friends, and read that thrilling Cicero's letters he can also appreciate the epistles song-"Ye Mariners of England," -- not an Eug. of Horace; and the fact that the one is in prose, lish soul amongst them will fail to pronounce it and the other in hexameter verse, is of no more poetry, and to express bis“ appreciation" of its importance than the fact that the one is addressed worth ; but if" Enitor" proceeds to take his audito Atticus and the other to Mæcenas. As a matter lence one by one, and pertinaciously to press the inquiries—“How do you know that it is poetry?"] (i.e., in point of duration) is fixed, and the return u Can you explain its metrical construction?"-I regular, we have metre or poetry. The proporfancy he will meet with a considerable number of tion which the Arsis bears to the Thesis is called replies of the class ungallantly termed “ladies' | the rhythm; metre, therefore, is an artificial sucreasons."

cession or combination of rhythms. In Latin The possession of an instinctive power of dis-poetry the Arsis falls on the long syllable, and is tinguishing prose from poetry, however, forms no either in the proportion 1:1 or l:}; the dactyl valid reason against seeking a more scientific test, ( uu) being in the former proportion; and the based upon an inquiry into the nature of their trochee ( v) in the latter: these are called de. distinguishing characteristics; and in the case of scending rhythms, and to this class the spondee the dead languages some such additional know- generally belongs, the second syllable being un. ledge is generally considered necessary to the accented, and the foot being rhythmically regarded student. “Enitor" must judge for himself of the as equivalent to the dactyl. The Anapast and truth and value of the position I have already Iambus give us the same proportions in the reverse adyocated (pp. 193-4) to the effect that the sole order ;--they are called the ascending rhythms, necessary and distinguishing characteristic of because we pass through the Thesis before poetry is metre. Proceeding, therefore, on this arriving at the Arsis. A combination of any two assumption, I will now endeavour to offer a few of these simple rhythms, and the suppression of hints for his assistance in the study of metre. a Thesis, give us a compound or artificial rhythm ; We have seen that in Latin every syllable has its thus, the Cretic foot (-u ) is formed of a double quantity, which (with very few exceptions) is tixed Trochaic rhythm, with the suppression of the and unchangeable. Every sequence of two or Thesis in the second Trochee. Viewed in this more quantities is called a foot. Now, since a light, Latin metre addresses itself to the ear, and long syllable is to occupy twice the time of utter- becomes to a great extent accentual in its characance of a short one, let the former be indicated by ter, though it still is based on quantity, and can the figure 2, and the latter by 1 ; every possible | only be thoroughly understood by those who have foot, therefore, may be briefly indicated by this studied quantity. Accent naturally owes much notation. The dissyllabic feet are the spondee of its effect to its harmonizing with the vocalized (2, 2), the pyrrhic (1, 1), the iambus (1, 2), and the articulations of a language; hence, I imagine that trochee (2,1); examples,-princeps, brevis, preces, we never can feel the beauty of Latin poetry as primus. The trisyllabic feet are the Molossus

poetry(i.e., metrical composition), and independent 12.2. 2). the Tribrach (1, 1, 1), the Dactyl (2, 1, 1). of its subject matter and graces, in the way that the Anapest (1,1,2), the Amphibrach (1, 2, 1), the the Romans themselves did. We can have little Amphimacer or Cretic (2, 1, 2), the Bacchius (1, idea of the effect produced by the constant clash2, 2), and the Anti-bacchius (2, 2, 1); examples, ing of an accent of speech independent (as a rule)

mayum. rapidus, sedulus, vigilans, fidelis, carpi- of quantity, and an accent of metre based upon fex. honestas, cantator. We need not mention quantity. The few instances occurring in our any others; every sequence of four syllables is necessarily a combination of two dissyllabic feet: a simple calculation will show that they are 16 in regularity. This kind of reading has received the number, and their names may be found in most very apt title of " sing-song,'' i.e., singing prose so grammars. A moment's consideration will show

as to turn it into song. By disregarding punctuathat Latin prose is composed of feet, but they fol.

tion, and natural and explanatory accent, I be. low each other as accident may determine; in lieve we might uiterly uproot prose from cur poetry, ou the other hand, they follow in a re. language, and speak horrible poetry instead. As gular artificial order, and this artificial arrange an illustration of this point, our editors will excuse ment is named metre. When “Enitor" has an attempt to make an essentially prosaic passage mastered the art and mystery of quantity, the from their pen (see the “ Notices to Correspon.

will be understood with | dents" on the cover of the June No.) sound like ease and recognized at a glance. Thus the Hex- pentameter verse, by the force of determined sing. ameter verse has six feet; the first four may be song. I have marked the feet, and accented cereither dactyls or spondees, the fifth is generally a

tain syllables in accordance with the view of Latin dactyl, and the sixth always a spondee. This metre, in its accentual aspect, given above in the and the quantity of each syllable being known, text. To produce the oral effect required, the the first line of the Æneid is at once seen to be

reader must dwell upon the syllables accented an Hexameter.

with a strong emphasis, and pass over the others

rapidly and lightly. Armă vy | rūm qúe că | no Tro I jæ qui

“There' must be i negʻligence | on'll the part primús åb oris.

of your booksel | ler' The marking off each foot by a dividing line, or Or his i'a'gent I as' || most of the 1 back' numby a sensible pause of the voice, is called scanning.

bers | ot' Latin metre, therefore, from its very nature, is Our' maga | zine' may | be' || had' upon / or'. apparent to the eye of every one acquainted dering them" thoroughly with “ quantity."

I have just altered the two last words in order to Again, in speaking or reading, the voice natu

eke out the requisite syllables for the last line. rally rises and falls. This is called by the Latin

On the other hand, by reciting poetry at a uniform grammarians Arsis and Thesis ; and in prose it

pitch we may metamorphose it into prose. Let occurs without any regular proportion, and at

any reader recite the strongly marked truchaic indefinite intervals.* But where the proportion

couplet quoted vol. v., p. 195, and keep his voice

at a uniform pitch by the aid of a piano, and I . In the case of children, and bad or inex- think he will find that they are undistinguishable perienced readers, there is often an approach to l from prose.

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