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“The times of the beginning and ending of this eclipse were noticed by four observers. The beginning, 24 23 14 17.2 by W. C. Bond, with a 5-foot refractor.
20.7 “ G. P. Bond, with a 46-inch refractor.
35.2 “ Prof. Peirce, with a 20-inch Var. Transit. End, 25 01 52 23.0 by Prof. Peirce, with the same instrument as before."
14.6 “ W. C. Bond, “
Professor Peirce also communicated, from Mr. William Cranch Bond, Director of the Cambridge Observatory, the following
NOTES ON METEORS.
“ 1845. August 10th. Watched for the meteoric shower of this period; but no meteors whatever were seen. The moon shone quite brightly, while the sky was about half covered with cirro-stratus cloud.
" August 11th. A brilliant meteor was seen from the Sears Tower, in broad daylight, at 6h. 05m. Altitude, 250 30'. Azimuth south, 75° east. It described an arc of about seven degrees in one second of time. The color was white, appearing to increase in brilliancy; the form irregular, the estimated diameter less than five minutes. The sky was nearly clear in the direction where the meteor was seen, the sun shining dimly at the time through cirrus cloud. The intensity of the light of this meteor was such as to render it a more conspicuous object than the moon at full would have been. The same meteor was probably seen in Essex, Connecticut, and in the vicinity of Cincinnati, Ohio ; but the accounts are not sufficiently precise to enable us to determine its course and distance.
“ August 25th. A meteor was seen from the vicinity of the College buildings, at about eight o'clock. It appeared of one half the diameter of the moon. By a comparison of the different accounts, its altitude, when first seen, seems to have been about 45°, azimuth south 10° west, and it crossed the meridian in a path inclined fifty degrees to the horizon; its course being towards the southeast, through an arc of ten or twenty degrees. The colors were red and blue. This same body was also seen from New Haven, Connecticut; and, from a comparison of the New Haven and Cambridge apparent positions, it appears that the distance of the meteor, when first seen, was about one hundred and fifty miles from our station, and its height above the earth one hundred miles. It passed over Newport, Rhode Island, Taunton and Quincy, Massachusetts, descending to the earth near Boston Bay. Meteors of large size have been of frequent occurrence in different parts of the world during the months of August and September of this year.
“ 1846. Telescopic meteors have frequently passed the field of view of the comet-seeker during this season, sometimes as many as five or six on a single night. From their comparative velocities, these would seem to be more distant than those visible to the naked eye.
“ July 20th. At 9h. 55m. a meteor was seen from the Observatory, in brightness equal to Venus; its course from 77 Cygni to near a Cassiopeæ ; its color preceding was a dark red, inclining to purple ; the following, a yellowish white. The position was well determined by two observers; but we have no other observations of it for comparison.
“ Several attempts have been made to ascertain the amount of parallax of the smaller shooting-stars, but the evenings selected for the purpose have proved unfavorable. In some instances, however, the results seem to indicate a closer proximity than has usually been assigned to these objects.
“ August 10th. Evening cloudy, with rain.
“ August 11th. This evening, shooting stars were abundant, averaging about one in a minute, in a space occupying one quarter of the heavens. The head of Perseus was the principal radiating point. At 105. 10m. a meteor, brighter than Venus, passed from a Cassiopeæ, through the square of Pegasus, to about 80 Pegasi. The colors were blue preceding, followed by red and white; it had a cometary tail of dense white light."
Mr. Emerson, in behalf of a committee appointed at a former meeting to consider the subjects of “the relation between the Chinese language, and the languages of Northwestern Europe,” and “of Phonotypy and Phonography,” remarked, that the committee were not prepared to offer any formal statement on the first-named topic, further than to recommend that Mr. S. P. Andrews, who had been present at nearly all the meetings of the committee, be invited to present his views in a memoir, to be laid before the Academy. Upon the subject of Phonotypy, Mr. Emerson made the following report.
"Few subjects can present stronger claims to the attention of all persons interested in the advancement and perfection of the arts of writing and printing, than Phonotypy and Phonography.* Phonotypy has for its object a reform in the existing modes of representing language by printed types. Phonography has the higher object of bringing into use a mode of representing sounds by written characters, which shall be more scientific, more exact, more easily acquired, and four or five times more rapid, than any now in general use.
“ The necessity of a reform in the received mode of representing the sounds of our language has occurred to very many persons,t at different times, within the last two or three hundred years. Indeed, this necessity must have been apparent to every philosophical observer who has altentively considered the extreme inadequacy of the small and very imperfect Phænician alphabet, however modified by Greek and Roman usage, when adopted to express the sounds of a language derived from so many sources, and having so broad a compass and so
• Phonotypy is the art of printing, Phonography of writing, according to sound.
+ Sir John Cheke, appointed professor of Greek at Cambridge by Henry the Eighth, in 1540, and knighted by Edward the Sixth, in 1551, made some attempts to improve the orthography of the language. One of his devices was the one so often proposed, of expressing long vowel-sounds by double vowels. His friend and associate in the reform of the pronunciation of Greek, Sir Thomas Smith, also proposed a reform in the orthography of English. Both these were among the most learned men of their times. Many others have appeared, from Mulcaster, in 1582, to Rich, of Troy, New Hampshire, in 1844.
great a variety of sounds, as the English.• The most distinguished of those who have gone so far as to propose a reform are Bishop Wilkins, Sir William Jones, and Dr. Franklin; all of them eminently conspicuous for their strong common sense, and two of them for practical, every-day wisdom. Bishop Wilkins made a most elaborate analysis of the sounds of spoken language, and proposed two very distinct modes of representing them. His essay was received by the Royal Society and ordered to be printed, on the 13th of April, 1668. This analysis was unfortunately proposed as a part of An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language, and therefore did not attract all the attention to which it was entitled.†
“Dr. Franklin did not apparently go so fully into the subject as Bishop Wilkins; fully enough, however, to show his conviction of the importance and feasibility of the reform. He proposed eight vowels, including h, and eighteen consonants. He invented a character for sh, one, y, for ng, a modification of a for au, and separate characters for th whispered and th vocal. He recognized the natural division of consonants by pairs ; but had not distinct signs for the long vowels, but expressed them by the short vowels doubled. He omitted c, j,9, w, x, and y; considering j as compounded of d and sh, ch as compounded of t and sh, and zh as compounded of z and sh. He evidently left the work incomplete.
“Sir William Jones, in a dissertation published more than fifty years ago, and prepared with that thoroughness of research for which
• The English language must be made up of the languages of the Celts, who occupied the island before the inroads of the Romans, and who have left dialects of their tongue among the Welsh, Cornish, Irish, and Gaelic; of the Latins of the times of the emperors; of the Danish and Norwegian invaders, many of whom made permanent settlements and spoke Scandinavian dialects; of the Saxon and Danish or Angle invaders of a later age, who formed the Saxon octarchy, speaking German languages; of the Normans of the Conquest, speaking the old French; of the modern French; of classical Latin, introduced with literature by learned men; of Greek, introduced in the same way, as the language of science; of Italian, as the language of the arts; and of words from various other sources.
Bishop Wilkins recognizes the binary division of consonants, and applies it to all the consonant-sounds, making twenty-six consonants, six letters of a middle nature, and five vowels, e, a, å, o, u. In his arrangement he begins with sounds formed in the throat, or “ inmost palate," and comes out to those formed by the lips. He speaks of possible gutturals and lip sounds which do not occur in any language, and are not therefore to be provided with a symbol.
The following is his arrangement of the letters, which is here presented as
Letters may be considered according to
Breathing through the
of a mid. Vowels.
- Made by
mouth. mouth tongue. dense. sublle.
tip, 3 ate or root of < t, d; nh, n; th, dh lh, 1; rh, r; sh, zh; s, z;
the teeth. )
(The other lip, p, b; mh, m; One lip,
Tops of the teeth,
has been published in English. probably the earliest philosophical analysis of the sounds of our language which
of Asiatic words, a new system of vowels and consonants, which were he was remarkable, proposed, for the purpose of representing the sounds