Imatges de pÓgina


was a convention which deposed James II. place, according to the meaning given National convention was the name of the to it among the civilized nations of the assembly of the delegates of the French na- West. Our rules would not, indeed, be tion; so, in the U. States, there have been, applicable to some nations ; e. g., the of late years, various conventions to amend Chinese, among whom the better classes the constitutions of the several states re- are said to converse often by alternate spectively, as the Virginia convention, &c. improvisation. Conversation is an art

CONVENTION MONEY (in German, Con- which must be learned like every other ; ventionsgeld); money coined according to and, as is the case in other arts, there are the 20 guilder standard of 1753. The individuals and whole nations who have courts of Vienna and Munich made a con- peculiar talents for it. Yet, as it is pracvention, in that year, to coin 283 guilders tised by every accomplished man, it is 5 kreuzers and 344 pence (Pfennige) of the duty of every such man to perfect one fine mark of gold; and 20 guilders, or himself in it as much as possible." It is, 13} convention dollars, or Species-Thaler, however, as in the case of every art, much of one fine mark of silver. This standard easier to say what should be avoided, than was afterwards adopted by all the states what is to be done. A friend of ours, of Germany excepting Holstein, Lübeck, whose servants were Methodists, gave Hamburg, Mecklenburg, Bremen, Olden- them leave to invite a party of their burg and Prussia. The 24 guilder stand- friends, which they did. Males and feard, so called, is not another actual stand- males of their sect came, but seated themard, but only a nominal division of the selves apart from each other. Not a word coins coined according to the above stand- was spoken. At last, recourse was had to ard. 20 kreuzers of convention money, the Bible. Who of us has not witnessed according to this, are counted as 24, &c. the reverse of this ?—some noisy company,

CONVERSATION. With all civilized na- where every one spoke, and no one could tions, agreeable conversation has been distinguish even his own voice. These considered as one of the most important are the two extremes of unskilfulness in productions and promoters of social inter- conversation. The intermediate shades course. The standard of good conversa- we need not describe. The object of tion must be different in different ages, conversation is to afford entertainment or countries, individuals, and even sects. A agreeable information; and one of its first sober Quaker's idea of good conversation rules is to allow every body to contribute is probably very unlike what a gay man his share; at the same time, we should not of the world would term such. The mo- be entertained passively, but exert ournotonous life which is led in Asia indis- selves for the gratification of the company. poses the natives to the quick interchange Egotism is the very bane of conversation, of thought, and makes them patient listen- the purpose of which is not to please ourers to long narrations, or the endless crea- selves, nor to obtain admiration, but to tions of a fertile imagination ; while the please others. We must carefully avoid diversities and rapid changes of life in tediousness in narration, and any display Paris afford a vast stock of subjects, so of self-conceit. We cannot, however, asthat a ready converser may touch on twen- sent to the rule of the venerable Franklin, ty different topics in the course of five never to contradict in company, nor minutes. When Leibnitz returned from even correct facts, if wrongly stated, bea learned dinner, and said he had been cause difference of opinion is the soul of entertained with fine conversation, he conversation. To adapt yourself to the meant something very different from what company, and your conversation to your an officer in the London horse-guards talents and information, is another rule ; would designate by this phrase. În the as, also, to keep the conversation flowing; same way, the conversation must always to seize upon points which can turn it into bear the impress of the age. A conver- new channels; and, above all, not to talk sation at the frivolous courts of Louis about the weather. The English and XIV and XV, or in the dissolute circle Americans talk more on this subject than of Charles II, must have had a different any other nation. Perhaps this may be character from that which prevails at partly owing to their variable elimate. If present in the courts of Versailles and St. you see that your hearers understand James. Notwithstanding the numerous already all you are going to say, proceed varieties of character which conversation to something else. If you relate an anecassumes under different circumstances, dote, be quick: avoid episodes, and oblige there are certain general rules, which others to support you: don't laugh at your ought to be followed, wherever it takes own wit—it takes away all the point. Nothing is more disagreeable than a les Moyens de plaire dans la Conversation ; speaker's laugh outlasting his joke. Good and Chazet's L’Art de causer. Diderot and sense and good feeling should guide in the madame de Staël have given us at once selection of topics for conversation, and rules and examples for delightful converprevent you from touching subjects un- sation. We will, therefore, willingly take pleasant to your companions. Conversa- the French as our masters in this art, betion, moreover, is not a parliamentary de- lieving in the old maxim-que les Franbate; and, if the demonstration of what çais seulement savent converser et que les you have said becomes tedious, let it go. autres nations ne savent que disserter et disWhen you are inclined to complain of a cuter. The Encyclopédie Moderne contains dull conversation, remember that two are the following passage, which we insert as necessary for a lively exchange of ideas, containing some truth in the midst of its and consider whether you were not the extravagance:-Les Allemands ne causent party in fault. This complaint of tedious- pas, ils argumentent: la conversation des ness is too often made by ladies, who for- Italiens est une pantomime mêlée d'exclamaget that it is their duty to contribute to the tions. Chez les Anglais, ce qu'on nomme conversation. The natural tact and po- conversation est un silence syncopé par des liteness of the French, founded on a hu- monosyllabes et interrompu de quart d'heure mane feeling, have made them distin- en quart d'heure par le bruit de l'eau qui guished above all other nations for spark- s'échappe de l'urne à thé. We must obling, fluent, animated and delightful con- serve, that the English have no word preversation. The Encyclopédie Moderne cisely corresponding to causer. It might gives the following definition of its char- be as difficult to find a word in any other acter:-La conversation n'est point une language corresponding to prosing. Golcourse vers un but, une attaque régulière sur doni, in his comedy called the Coffeeun point, c'est une promenade au hasard House, has characterized the different nadans un champ spacieux, l'on s'approche, tions of Europe by the nature of their on s'évite, on se froisse quelquefois sans se conversations. It is surprising that the heurter jamais. Rousseau justly remarks, Western nations have never been sensible that “the tone of good conversation is how important it is to instruct children in neither dull nor frivolous. It is fluent and the art of agreeable narration. A large part natural; sensible, without being pedantic; of their time in schools is spent in acquircheerful, without being boisterous ; ele- ing facility in written composition; and gant, without being affected; polite, with- yet, have we not occasion to relate a hunout being insipid, and jocose, without dred times where we have occasion to being equivocal. It deals not in disserta- write once? If we look around us, how tions nor epigrams; conforms to the de- few persons do we see who know how mands of good taste, without being bound to relate, properly, any thing of length! by rule; unites wit and reason, satire and Among the Asiatics, the art of relating is in compliment, without departing from the high estimation, and properly taught. We rules of a pure morality, and allows all to ought to imitate them in this respect. speak on subjects which they understand. Convex (from the Latin converus, Each one expresses his opinion, and sup- vaulted, arched); rising in a circular form; ports it in as few words as possible; and the contrary to concave. Thus the inside

one attacks that of another with of a watch-glass is concave, the outer surwarmth, or upholds his own with obstina- face convex. The mathematician defines cy. All impart information, and all are a curved line convex on the side on which entertained." The middle of the last cen- the point of intersection of two tangents tury, when the most polite and refined falls, and concave on the opposite side.circles collected around ladies of polished Convexity and concavity are of particular minds and graceful manners, such as L'Es- importance in catoptrics and dioptrics, as pinasse, Du Deffand and Geoffrin (q. v.), applied to mirrors and lenses. (to the last of whom we are indebted for CONVEYANCE, in law, is the transfer of an excellent treatise on conversation), may the title to lands or hereditaments. There be justly regarded as the flourishing period are different kinds of conveyance at comof refined society in France. Though the mon law; as by feoffment and livery (makart of conversation can be learned very ing a deed of the land in fee, and putting imperfectly from books, yet these sources the grantee into possession); by lease of information are not to be despised. We and release (granting a term of years, or would, therefore, refer our readers to De- other limited right of possession of the lille's poem entitled La Conversation; mad- land, and then relinquishing the remainder ame Vannoz's Conseils à une Femme, sur to the lessee, after he has taken posses


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sion); by grant, which was first used in They have the examining and censuring regard to incorporeal hereditaments (such all heretical and schismatical books and as the right of receiving a certain per- persons, &c.; but there lies an appeal to petual rent, or appointing a clergyman to the king in chancery, or to his delegates. à particular church), where no livery of The clergy in convocation, and their serseizin and actual possession could be vants, have the same privileges as memgiven, but was subsequently applied to bers of parliament. In 1665, the convocorporeal hereditaments; or, finally, by bar- cation gave up the privilege of taxing gain and sale, which is, in fact, a species themselves to the house of commons, in of grant. (See Bargain and Sale.) Such consideration of being allowed to vote at were the modes of conveyance by the the elections of members for that house. common law; but the introduction of uses Convoy (from the French convoyer, to and trusts made a great revolution in the accompany), in naval language, signifies a modes of conveyance in England. The fleet of merchantmen, bound on a voyage feoffment to uses was first introduced, to some particular port or general rendezwhereby the fee of the land was granted vous, under the protection of a ship or to one person, for the use or benefit of ships of war. It also means the ship or another. The statute of 27 Henry VIII ships appointed to conduct and defend was passed to prevent this species of them on their passage thither. In miliconveyance, by enacting, that, where it tary language, it is used for escort. (q. v. was made, the fee should pass to the per- Convoy, or brake, is a crooked lever, apson for whose benefit the grant was plied to the surface of the wheels of made, so that the effect should be the carriages, so as to retard their motion by same as if the conveyance had been its friction. made to him directly. To evade this CONVULSION (Latin,convulsio; from constatute, trusts were invented, whereby the vello, to pull together); a diseased action land was conveyed to one, for the use of muscular fibres, known by violent and of another, in trust for a third; and involuntary contractions of the muscular the courts, favoring this evasion of the parts, with alternate relaxations. Convulstatute, held that, in such case, the fee sions are universal or partial, and have would pass to the second, to be held for obtained different names, according to the the use and benefit of the third ; thus parts affected, or the symptoms; as the effecting, by the intervention of another risus sardonicus, when the muscles of the party to the conveyance, what the statute face are affected; St. Vitus's dance, when was intended to prevent. This contri- the muscles of the arm are thrown into vance has rendered the system of con- involuntary motions, with lameness and veyancing very intricate and complicated rotations. The hysterical epilepsy, or in England. It is more simple and direct other epilepsies, arising from different in the U. States, following, substantially, causes, are convulsive diseases of the unithe transfer by bargain and sale, as has versal kind. The muscles of the globe of been already remarked under that head. the eye, throwing the eye into involuntary

CONVOCATION ; an assembly of the distortions, in defiance of the direction of clergy of England, by their representa- the will, are instances of partial convultives, to consult on ecclesiastical matters. sion. The muscles principally affected, It is held during the session of parliament, in all species of convulsions, are those and consists of an upper and a lower immediately under the direction of the house. In the upper sit the bishops, and will; as those of the eyelids, eye, face, in the lower the inferior clergy, who are jaws, neck, superior and inferior extremirepresented by their proctors, consisting ties. The muscles of respiration, acting of all the deans and archdeacons, of one both voluntarily and involuntarily, are not proctor for every chapter, and two for the unfrequently convulsed; as the diaphragm, clergy of every diocese; in all, 143 divines. intercostals, &c. The more immediate The convocation is summoned by the causes of convulsions are mental affecking's writ, directed to the archbishop of tion, or any irritating cause exciting a each province, requiring him to summon great action in the arterial system of the all bishops, deans, archdeacons, &c. The brain and nerves. After muscles have power of the convocation is limited by a been once accustomed to act involuntarily, statute of Henry VIII. They are not to and with increased action, the same causes make any canons or ecclesiastical laws can readily produce the same effects on without the king's license; nor, when those organs. All parts that have muscupermitted to make any, can they put them lar fibres may be convulsed.

The sensain execution but under several restrictions. tions in the mind most capable of producing convulsions, are timidity, horror, ardous service of taking soundings in the anger, great sensibility of the soul, &c. river St. Lawrence, opposite the French

CONVULSIONISTS. (See Jansenists.) encampment. He also made a chart of

Conway, Thomas, major-general in the the river St. Lawrence below Quebec, in army of the U. States, and knight of the a very satisfactory manner. After the order of St. Louis, was born in Ireland. capture of Quebec, he assisted at the At the age of six years, he went with his taking of Newfoundland, and afterwards parents to France, where he was edu- made a survey of the harbor of Placentia. cated to the profession of arms, and ac- At the end of 1762, he returned to Engquired considerable reputation as an land; but, the next year, he went again to officer and a man of sound judgment. Newfoundland as marine surveyor. After Having come to America with strong again visiting England, he went out in the recommendations, he was appointed by same capacity with sir Hugh Palliser, apcongress a brigadier-general in May, 1777, pointed governor of Labrador and Newand soon rendered himself conspicuous foundland. In this situation, he made for his hostility to general Washington, himself known to the royal society by the . and used every endeavor to substitute communication of an observation on a general Gates in the station of com- solar eclipse, in 1766, with the longitude mander-in-chief. In this he was support- of the place deduced from it. In 1768, ed by some members of congress. He he was appointed to the command of the was appointed by that body inspector- Endeavor, a vessel destined to convey to general of the army, with the rank of the Pacific ocean persons employed by major-general, but was soon obliged to government to make observations on the resign his commission, in consequence of transit of Venus. He sailed from Depthis unpopularity with the officers. The ford, June 30, 1768, with the rank of lieubrigadiers, in particular, had taken great tenant in the navy. He was accompanied umbrage at his promotion over them, and by Mr. (afterwards sir Joseph) Banks, and remonstrated to congress against the pro- the Swedish naturalist doctor Daniel Soceeding, as implicating their honor and lander. The transit of Venus, June 3, character. His calumnies against Wash- 1769, was advantageously observed at ington at length became so atrocious, that Otaheite ; the neighboring islands were general Cadwallader challenged him to explored, and lieutenant Cook then sailed answer for them in a duel. The parties for New Zealand, where he arrived in met, and Conway received a ball through October. Six months were employed in the lower part of his head, but the wound examining the shores of the islands; after was not mortal. Conceiving, however, which he took his departure for New that it was, he wrote a satisfactory letter Holland, the eastern coast of which he of apology to Washington, for the injury attentively surveyed. On his return, Cook he had endeavored to inflict upon his was raised to the rank of master and comcharacter.

mander in the navy. An account of the Cook, Jarnes ; an English seaman, voyage, drawn up by doctor Hawkesworth, highly celebrated for his maritime dis- was speedily published, and a second excoveries. He was born at Marton, a vil- pedition was planned to explore the antlage in the north riding of Yorkshire, in arctic regions, for the purpose of ascer1728, of sober and industrious parents, not taining the existence or non-existence of above the rank of peasantry. After hav- a circum-polar southern continent. On ing learned reading, writing and a little this occasion, two ships were employedarithmetic, at a country school, he was put the Resolution, of which captain Cook apprentice to a shopkeeper at Snaith, a had the command, and the Adventure, unsmall town on the sea-coast. Here he der captain Furneaux. Doctor John Reinacquired such a taste for the occupation hold Forster and his son went out as natof a sailor, and so much consequent dis- uralists, Mr. Hodges as painter, and Messis. like of his business, that his master gave Wales and Bayley as astronomers. The up his indentures, and he soon after voyage was commenced in July, 1772; bound himself to two brothers, ship-own- and, after proceeding as far south as the ers of Whitby, for three years, and con- latitude of 71°, where a barrier of ice optinued in their employ for some time after. posed any further progress, discovering At the commencement of the French war the island of New Georgia, in 54° south in 1755, he entered the royal navy. In latitude, and visiting Otaheite and other 1759, he was made master of the Mer- places, captain Cook returned to England cury, which belonged to the squadron sent in 1775. So successful were the means Against Quebec, and performed the haz- employed by captain Cook for the pre




vention of disease among his crew, that quite in his element ; and, after having only one man was lost by sickness during acquired a competent acquaintance with the expedition. The captain having com- stage business, he became the hero of the municated to the royal society a paper scene at York, Newcastle, Chester, Mandescribing the regulations and remedies chester, Liverpool, and other places. He which he had adopted, he was chosen a acquired so much fame, that, in 1794, he fellow of that body, and his experiments was engaged by the manager of the Dubwere rewarded by the Copleian gold lin theatre ; and, after performing that medal. Government rewarded him with season with great success, he returned to the rank of post-captain in the navy, and England. In 1797, he went again to Dubthe appointment of captain in Greenwich lin, and continued there three years. At hospital. The narrative of this voyage length, he made his appearance at Coventwas drawn up by captain Cook himself, garden theatre, Oct. 31, 1800, in the charand merely arranged for the press by acter of Richard III. His reputation was, doctor Douglas, afterwards bishop of at once, established, as a histrionic perSalisbury. In July, 1776, he sailed on an former of the first class; and, after reexpedition to ascertain whether any coin- peating the part of Richard III several munication existed between the Atlantic times, he acted Iago, Macbeth, Shylock, and Pacific oceans in the arctic regions. sir Giles Overreach, sir Pertinax MacsycoIn this voyage, he again commanded the phant, Kitely, &c., with at least equal apResolution, which was accompanied by plause, if not with equal skill and discrinithe Discovery, and explored a considera- ination. The talents of Cooke were ble extent of the western coast of North obscured by indulgence in pernicious America. He also discovered the Sand- habits of intemperance, which ultimately wich islands, and to Owhyhee, one of this destroyed his popularity. Owing to the group, he returned from his American irregularity of his conduct, Cooke at survey, to pass the winter of 1778. In length became the plague and terror of February, captain Cook sailed for Kam- English managers, few, if any, of whom, tschatka, but was compelled by an acci- probably, regretted his removal to the U. dent to put back to Owhyhee. A boat States, where he had formed a theatrical having been stolen by one of the island- engagement. In America, he displayed ers, the captain went on shore to seize the same powerful abilities, and the same the king of Owhyhee, and keep him as a vicious weakness, which had distinguishhostage till the boat was restored. The ed him in his native country. Death, people, however, were not disposed to hastened by intemperance, put an end to submit to this insult : their resistance his career, March 25, 1812. brought on hostilities, and, in attempting COOKERY. It is not great things, but to reach his boat, captain Cook and some trifles, which principally make up the of his attendants became victims to the sum of human happiness. Who would fury of the irritated islanders. The death not think a dull razor, which draws tears of this great seaman took place Feb. 14, from the eyes every morning, or a creak1779. A medal in commemoration of him ing tavern sign, which disturbs us every was struck by order of the royal society; night, a much greater evil than the single his eulogy was pronounced in the Floren- sharp pang occasioned by the drawing of tine academy, and was made a prize subject a tooth? An act, therefore, like eating by one of the French scientific societies. which is repeated several times every day

Cooke, George Frederic; a theatrical by the millions who inhabit the globe, is performer of great eminence. He was a subject worthy of serious investigation. born in Westminster, April 17, 1756. His The scientific pride, which disdains to father was a subaltern officer in the army, dwell on the ordinary affairs of common who, dying when young, left his wife life, is rapidly vanishing; and, in an age in straitened circumstances. The youth when utility is the great object of the phievinced an early taste for his future pro- losopher, cookery may hope to engage a fession; and, being apprenticed to a print- share of his attention. It has been asked, er, he neglected the labors of the office, Why does man cook? Why does he, unlike and engaged his companions to assist him the lower animals, transform the materials, in performing plays. His indentures were which nature gives him for nourishment, consequently cancelled, and he was dis- at least with the exception of some savage missed. He was then tried in the navy; tribes? Some philosophers have ascribed but his inclination for the stage overcame it to a desire innate in man to make all restraint, and he at length joined an changes in every thing that he meets. itinerant company of actors. Here he was But however philosophers may solve this

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