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^' I. " 





i. Extract of two Letters from Captain Von Kuusen- 
STERN, Commander of the Rusiian Expedition to Japan, 
dated the Harbour of' St. Peter and St. Paul, July 1{>, 
and August 20, i 804 3 

II; Some Account of a terrible Hurricane ivliich began to 
the IVindward of the Caribbce Islands on the 3d of Sep- 
tember 1804, and proceeded North-ivesfivardli/ over the 
Virgin Liarids and Bahamas on the 4th, bih, and Gth, 
until it reached Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, on 
the 7tk, 8th, aild Qth; and of a furious Gale from the 
Nortli-'east ivhich prevailed at the same time, and pro-' 
ceeded South-icestiiardly until it met the former : show-' 
ing that Stor7ns of the most destructive Violence some- 
times arise to IVindward^ and bear down every Thing be- 
fore them in their Passage to Leeward 14 

III. Twenty-second Communication from Z)r. Thornton 
relative to Pneumatic Medicine 25 

IV. On the Action of Platina and Mercury upon each 
other. By Richard Chenevix, Esq. F.R.'S. M.R.LA. 
&c 26 

V^. yln yicconnt of some analytical Experiments on a mineral 
Production from Devonshire, consisting principally of 
Alumine ai.d tVater. By Humphry Da\y, Esq. F.R.S. 
Pr(fessor of Chemistry in the Royal Institution 33 

Vl. Experiments on IVootz. By Mr. David Mushet 40 

V^If. An Essay on Medical Entomology. By F. Chau- 
METON, Physician to the Army 49 

VlII. Short Account of TraveL between the Tropics, by 
Messrs. Mumboldt and Bonpland, in 1799> ISOO, 
1601, 1802, 1S03, and 1804. By J. C. Delame- 


JX. An Account of Sutton Spa, near Shrewsbury. By 
Dr. Evans 6 i 

X. On the Blight or Mildew of IVheat 68 

XI. On the Origin of Stones that have fallen from the 
Atmosphere. By Charles HuttoNj LL.D. and 
F.R.S 71 

XII. Description of a Plough- ear which offers the least 
possible Rc',istnnce, and luhich may be easily constructed. 

. By Mr. Jefiersox, President of the United States of 

America , . i , . 79 

Vol. 2-2. No, S8. Sept, IBOa, a 


XI II. Proceedings of Learned Societies Page 85 

XIV. Litelligcnce and Miscellaneous Articles 93 

XV. Lefler lo M. Lacepkdk, of Paris, on the Natttral 
History of X)rth yimerica. B>/ liKXJAMiN Smith 
JiAHTox, M. D. Prtfessor of Materia ISledicd, Natural 
History, and Botany, in the University of Pennsyl- 
vania . . .■ 97 

XVI. On the ylctiuii of PLatina and Mercury upon each 
other. By Hichakd Chenevix, Esq. F.R.S.M.R.I.J. 
6-tc 103 

XVII. Observations on the polishing of Glasi, and on the 
yhnalgam mcd for silvering JSIirrors. By B.G. Sagk 1 12 

XVIII. E.rtra(f of tuo Letters from Captain \oy Knu- 
sENsiERN, Cinnmander cf t/ie Russian Expedition to 
Japan, datrd the Harbour of St. Piter and St. Panly 
July 1 9, and Jagust 20, 1804 113 

XIX. Extract from a Memoir of M. Paysse, principal 
Preparer of Medicines at the Camp of Utiecht, on the 
manuficlaring, on a large Scale, of some Oxides cf 
Mercury. I',y M. Parmkxtieu 123 

XX. Second T'jXtract from a Memoir of ]\L Payssk, prin- 
cipal Preparer (f Mfdicinef at the Camp of i'frecht, on 
the JMethoJ of manufacturing, on a large Scale, some 
Oxides of Mercury. 75?/ it/. Pap.mkntier 132 

XX I. Facts relative to a nondescript Aquatic Animal. By 
]\Tr .ToHx Sn ».rt, Optician 13,i 

XXII. On Elasticity. By Aukxandkk Tilloch. An 
Essay read before the Ashesian Siniety in the Sessiofi 
IS02-;-? 138 

XX II I. 0'} the Produrtion of Muriaffs bij the Galvanic 
Deaanponlion (flVater: with a second Letter on tly. 
Subject from Mr. W. Pickl, of Canibrichje 1.5-2 

XX tV. Memoir on some zoological P'licts applicihle to tli£ 
Theory of the llorfJi. Read in the Physical and Maihc- 
■n.atital Class rf the French National InsJitale on the 22(^ 
of October 1801. Bij M. Pkuon, Naturalist to the Ex- 
p.'d'/t'iin for niaL-ing Discoveries in Australas'a .... ? 55 
XXV. Short ylccouut if the Life of the late Dr. 

I'kiesti.ev 166 

XXV^I. Nutives rejipeding Neta Publications 171 

XXVI (, Proceedings of Learned Societie; 1 7iJ 

XXVI n. Intelligence a.ial .Miscellane<nv< .Articles .... 179 

X\ ' \ Srcinint of Experiments made on. a Mineral called 

Cerite, avd on the particular Substance which it couluius, 

and u'h'ch has been consiJered as a 'lew Mttil. By 

, i\L VAlJttbKMX U)3 

XXX. iV«^ 


XXX. Memnh on some zoological Facta appUcahle to Ike 
Theory of the Earth. Read in tlie Physical and Mathe- 
matical Class of the French National Institute on the Q2d 
of October 1S04. By M. Peuon, Naturalist to the Ex- 
pedition for making Discoveries in Australasia .... 200 

XX.XI. Letter to M. Lacepede, of Paris, on the Natural 
History of North Ayncrica. By Benjamin Smith 
Barton, M.D. Professor of Materia Mcdicay Natural 
History, and Botany, in. the University of Pennsylvania 


XXXII. On feeding Cattle nnfh green Food; together 
with other ingenious and valuable Observations in Agri- 
culture. By Mr. Edward Powrs 212 

XXXIII. New Process for decomposing Sulphate of Baryfes 
in order /« prepare the Muriate of that Earth ; with a 
Method of preparing the Muriate. By M. Goettlixg 


XXXIV. Report on the Means of measuring tlie initial 
Velocity of Projectiles thrown from Cannon, loth in an 
inclined and a horizontal Direction. Read in the Phi/- 
sicat and Mathematical Class of the French National 
Institute in the Month of December 1604 220 

XXXV. On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants ; the 
Birth of these Organs, and th& organic Relation between 
tlie Trunk and the Branches: in a Letter from G. L. 
Koeler, M. D. Professor of Botany and the Materia 
Medica in the Provisional School nf Medicine at Mentz, 
to M. Ventenat, Member of the French National In- 
stitute 231 

XXXVI. Method of obviating the Necessity of Uftin<r 
Ships. By Mr. Robert Seppixgs,o/ Chatham Yard 242 

XXXVH. On the Variations of tlie Teires^trial Magnetism 
in different Latitudes. By AJessieurs Humboldt and 
BioT. Recui by ^L Bior, in the Mathematical and 
Physical Class of the French National Institute 26/4 
F'rimaire, An 13. {11 th December 1504.) 248 

XXXVII I. Account of a Case of Flydrophobia siiccessfull'sf 
treated by copious Bleeding and Mercury. In two Let^ 
ten from Dr. Robert Burton, of Bent, in the State 
of Virginia, to Dr. Eexjamin Rush, of Philadelphia 

XXXTX. Hints respecting a speedy Decomposition of IVater 
by Means of Galvanism. By i\lr. William Wilson 

XL. New Observations on Volcanoes and their Lava. Btf 

G. A. Deluc 26ii 

I XLI. P/o- 


?(Lr. Proceed} PCif; nf Learned Soriefies ^ji 

XLH. Intelligence and MbceUaneous Jrtirles 279? 

XLIII. Exlracl from a ISlemolr entitled " Cons'idcratioiis 
on Colnurs, and several nf their singular appearances.'* 
Read in the Matheviatical and Physical Class of the 
French National Ins/itnte, Fentosc !■<, jln 13. Bif 
C. A. PuiKUR 28'(> 

XUV, On the Far iat ions nf the Terrer.trial Islugnetisid 
in different Latitudes. Bij Messrs. Hdmroldt ajid 
BroT. Read by M. Bior in the Mathematical and 
Physical Class of the French National Institute 26th 
Frimaire, An 13. [Wh December J 804.) 29g 

XF..V. Concerning lite State jn which the true Sap of 
Trees is deposited during IVintcr. In a Letter froffi 
'I'ho>i.\s Andrkw Knight, Fsq. to the Right Hon^ 
Sir .](>;kph Banks, Bart. K.B. P.R.S 309 

XLV^I. Description of the Cnming-vp Glass Telescope, a? 
made bif Mr^ ThoxMAS Jones, Mathematical, Optical, 
and Philosophical Instrument Maker -^ Pupil of the late 
Mr. Ramsdkn 319 

XLVII. On the Ends and Ramifications of Plants', the 
Birth of these Organs, and the organic Relation bettveeri 
the Trunk and the Branches : in a Letter from G. L. 
KoEi-KR, M. D. Professor rf Botany and the Materia 
Medica in the Provisional School of i\ledicine at Mentz, 
fo M. Ventknat, Member of the French National In- 
stitute ;••:••: : ^^ ' 

XLVIII. Progress of Faccination in India 327 

XLIX. Memoir on a new Genus of Mammalia called lly- 
dromis. 7J// K. Ohofkroi (Saint-FIilairk) .... 328 

L. Phi/sico-mechanical Experiments and Discussions of the 
Phfcnoniena observable in that carnal Product of yfrt the 
hland Granade, Prince Rnpert's Drop, or Glass Tear: 
By Mr. .ToHN Snart, Optician 334 

LI. I'u euty-third Communication from Dr. Thorn ion 


LI I. A simple Method of making Tube^ of Elastic Chun or 
Caoutchouc, to avoid the Expense of Solution in jKiher 


LTII. Notices respecting New Books SHJf 

LIV. Proceedings of Learned Societies 3')3 

LV. Intelligence and Miscellaneous Artich s 3(T3 




i. Extract of two Letters from Captain Von Krusen- 
STERN, Commander of the Russian Expedition to Japan, 
dated the Harbour of' St. Peter and St. Paul, July I9, 
and ylugust 20, 1 SO-l. 

We arrived here on the 15l.h of July, and are aow ac- 
tively employed in unlading the ship and taking in ballast. 
Agreeably to our original plan, we ought to have proceeded 
directly to Japan ; but as it appeared to me impossible that 
the business of the embassy could be termmated soon 
enough to return in the course of the same year to Kamt- 
chatka, as several mouths would be necessary only for 
transporting the presents from Nangasaki to jcdo, I re- 
solved to proceed first to Kamichatka in order to unload 
the vessel there, and then set sail for Japan^ where we 
otherwise must have remained the whole winter. The dif- 
ference of two months later could be of little importance 
to the embassy ; while, on the other hand, if the lading, 
respecting the value of which I had formed an improper 
idea, as fronl 1000 to 2000 per cent, may be gained on some 
articles, had remained a whole year in the ship, the half 
of it at least nluSt have been lost ; for already some of the 
articles have been spoiled bv dampness. In regard to my 
voyage from Brazil to Kauitchatka^ which took up five 
months and a half, during which, nme days excepted, we 
were continually under sail, and which in every respect 
was exceedingly fortunate, 1 intended to have transmitted 
to you a complete journal of it; but as Dr. Espenborg has 
told me that he proposes to send you one, and as there is 
reason to expect that his information will be more interest- 
ing than mine, which would contain rather nautical than 
historical ev^ents, I am happy to think that vou will be in- 
formed by him of every thuig distinguishes our expe- 
dition from others of a similar kind. The account of our 
residence at the island of Nukaliivah, respecting the nature 
and inhabitants of which nothing has yet been known in 
Europe, is the only thing new that you can expect. The 
Vol. 22. No. 85. Jnne^lSOo. A 2 Sandwich 

4 Russian Expedition to Japan. 

Sandwich Islands are too well known for mc to regret 
having been prevented by want of time from touching at 
them. The changes, however, which have taken place in 
these islands since the time of Vancouver, and which must 
be considerable, will be accurately described by capt. Lisi- 
anski, as he undertook to remain there at least a fortnight. 
It appeared to me of some importance to examine Easter 
Island : the information which Roggewein and La Perouse 
have given us respecting it (for the Spaniards have published 
no account of it) proves that it has experienced grcatchange^. 
I consecjuently was desirous to ascertain whether the bene- 
volent views of the French voyage of discovery in regard to 
this island had been accomplished, and therefore resolved 
to come to anchor there for some tinic ; but the strong 
north winds rendered this impossible, or at least prevented 
us from doing it v.ithout considerable loss of time, — a sa- 
crifice which in my present situation I could not venture to 
make. Capt. Lisianski, from whom we separated when we 
doubled Cape Horn, remained some days in the ncighbour- 
liood of it, but without coming to anchor, and without 
having any communication with the inhabitants, who pro- 
bably, for want of canoes, of which they had some in the 
time of Cook and of La Perouse, did not come on board. 
My passage from this place to Japan will exhibit no variety, 
for on account of the lateness of the season I must use cis 
much dispatch as possible to arrive in proper time at Nan- 
gasaki. But, if circumstances permit, I hope that my re- 
turn from Japan will prove of some benefit to gcograph)'. 

Journal of the Voyage from Brazil to Kayntchatka ; ex~ 
traded from a Letter of Dr. Espenbeug, dated the 
Harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul, August 21, 1804. 

That we were obliged to remain at the island of St. Ca- 
tharine from the 21st of December to the 4th of February, 
because the Neva stood in need of two masts, is already 
known to you. On the 4th of February we hove up ou) 
anchors, and as soon as we had got to a sufficient distance 
from the land we directed our course southwards. On the 
23th we saw land at a great distance : it proved to be Cape 
St. John, the eastern extremity of Staatcn Land. 'I'his land 
is exceedingly high, and in consequence of tlie great di- 
stance looked like a cloud. I'eople unacquainted with nau- 
tical affairs, to which class our naturalists belong, were ex- 
tremely sorry that the ship did not approach the land. I 
myself was at first in the same situation ; but the captain 
assured me that the u inds near the lam! arc very changea- 

Russian Expedition to Japan. 5 

ble, and that gales and calms often take place. In conse- 
quence of these calms, vessels are often in danger of being 
driven on shore by the currents and breakers, and therefore 
it was not advisable without necessity, and merely for the 
sake of gratifying curiosity, to run such a hazard. At 
Staaten Land the current is rcmarkablv strong. I was toW 
by the captain of an American ship at St. Catharine, that 
he was once carried by the current through the strait of 
Le Maire in one night, contrary to his intention, and with- 
out knowing it. At one time he saw, to his great terror, 
the land on both sides ; but not long after he found himself 
again in the open sea. If this be true, he was truly for- 

We did not pass through this strait^ but sailed to the 
eastward, around Staalen Land. From St. Catharine to 
this place nothing remarkable occurred. Between lat. 46** 
and 53^^ south, we saw a great number of whales. One 
night the Neva struck against something, which in all pro- 
bability was a whale. The greatest southern latitude to 
which we were obliged to proceed on account of the wind 
was 60 degrees. Whether we really doubled Cape Horn, 
or not, in the proper sense of the term, I cannot with cer- 
tainty affirm. On account of the north-west winds, which 
blow here so incessantly, and with so much violence, the 
captain is of opinion that navigators cannot be sure of con- 
tinuing their voyage with safety in the ocean till they have 
sailed round the whole of Terra del Fuego. It is well known 
that capt. Bligh, who advanced so far as 78"^ west longitude 
from Greenwich, was obliged to return and steer for the 
Cape of Good Hope, in order to reach the Sandwich islands. 
On the 20th of March we were opposite to Cape Victoria 
and the Straits of JMagellan. Cape Horn is not entirely 
undeserving of its bad name : it was stormy enough, and 
the land very high. How often we experienced storms I 
cannot exactly say. The eye becomes accustomed to heavy 
seas, and, by habit, the howling of the winds ceases to excite 
alarm. During these storms the heavens were filled with 
clouds ; in the course of one of them we were separated 
from the Neva, and did not see. her again till we reached 
the Marquesas, where she arrived three days after us. The 
captain mtended to remain some days at anchor at Easter 
Island, but the wind prevented us ; and, as we had resolved 
to proceed first to Kamtchatka, he was unwilling to lose 
time to no purpose. We therefore directed our course to 
the Marquesas. 

On the Gth of May, early in the moruing, we saw Hood^s 
A 3 Island, 

6 Russian Expedition to Japan. 

Island, discovered by Cook : towards noon we came in sight 
ot the island called bv Hcrgest Rious Island, which belongs 
to the group ot" the New Marquesas, and which Ingrahani, 
an American, the ilrst discoverer, called Washington's 
Island, and Aiarchand, a month later, Isie de la Revolu- 
tion. The largest ot" all these islands, that to which we 
properly steered, and which by Marchaud is called Isle 
Baiix, but in the language ot" the natives Nukahiva, we 
saw towards evening. 

On the 7ih, at noon, we \yere pretty near to the shore. 
Our expectation Was on the stretch as we approached it, 
but no canoe appeared ; which was rather a disappointment, 
as, according to the accounts of all navigators, these islan- 
ders venture a great way out to sea. The captain suspected 
that the master of son>c American ship must have behaved 
ill to the natives, and that this might serve to account for 
their timidity. At length tw^i boats were dispatched to ex- 
plore the bay of Anna Maria, so called by Hergest. When 
these boats were about a verst distant from us, we ob- 
served a canoe making towards them. Our expectation was 
now at its height ; we saw the canoe approach the lirst boat, 
and in a few minutes both of them rowed off together : our 
boat proceeded forwards, and the canoe, which steered for 
the ship, approached the second boat. W^e could now plainly 
perceive that all the people in it were naked ; one of them, 
who was of a somewhat lighter colour, we took to be their 
chief or king; for we are told by navigators that the higher 
ranks have a whiter colour. 1 his person stepped into our 
boat, and the crew of our ship all exclaimed, " The king \ 
the kinii; !" The boat and the canoe then both rowed to- 
wards iTie ship. We now observed something in the water 
near the canoe, which we at lirst be|ieved to be an islander 
swimming; for we knew from books of voyages that they 
are very expert at this exercise. " A nian suinnning! a, 
man swimming !" was repeated both in Russian and Ger- 
man. All hurried to the head of the ship, and one clinibeil 
up on the shoulders of another. On, their nearer approach 
we dlscf.vered to our regret that the excellent swimmer who 
had afforded us so much sailsfaetion was an outrigger or 
cross pole placed' over the canoe, which was not above a 
foot in breadth, to defend it from being injured by the 
rocks, \yhen the islanders got close to the ship, the light- 
coloured person climbed up, and, to our astonishment, ad- 
dressed us m English. Wc soon found that he was an 
Knglishman, who had alreadv .-pent five years in the island: 
lie was alfijost entirely naked, having only a narrow girdle 

Russian Expedition to Japan. 7 

tied round his middle, and was tatooed on the breast. The 
canoe rowed past the ship, and the men addrepsed to us a 
kind of speech. The index finger of tlieir risjht hand was 
ahvays stretched out, and they moved it towards us nearly 
in the same manner as when a person threatens. Mr. Ro- 
berts, for such was the Enghshman's name, informed us 
that this motion was an assurance of friendship. 

At length one of the natives in the canoe took courajie 
and clambered up the side of the ship : he was the kintj's 
brother. He was exceedingly timid ; sat down at the Enir- 
Jishman's feet, grasped one of his le&s, looked round with 
great fear, and pressed Iiis face, as if ashamed, a^^ainst the 
back part of the Englishman's thigh. He was followed bv 
another. We endeavoured to inspire him with couraire; 
patted him, and called him our taijo. We firmly believed 
that this word signified friend ; but this is not the case. 
M. Fleurieu, the editor of Marchand's Voyage, must there- 
fore pardon me for suspecting that he copied the followino- 
passage, — Fous tics nos arni.s, et vans nous tuez, from Bou- 
gainville. Their attention was much attracted by our fowls, 
and some small papajays from Brazil : they squatted down 
before them and stared at them with their mouths wide 
open. These people have limbs remarkably pliable. Very 
old men will often sit down on the ground without ever 
assisting themselves in the least with their hands. Thev 
do not stretch out their legs when they sit, but squat dov.u 
with their knees bent like young eliiklrcn. This may be in 
some measure owing to the frequent use of coco-nut oil, 
with which they besmear their skin to keep it soft and 

TiOwards noon we came to anchor in Anna Maria Bay, at 
the distance of about a verst from the nearest shore ; whicii, 
however, was only a barren rock. The shore on the other 
side, which was about two versts distant, was covered with 
beautiful trees, and exhibited a mo?t charming prospect, 
especially to people who for thirteen weeks had not seen 
land; for the view of Cspe St. John scarcely deserves to 
be mentioned. We np\v saw two groups which had the 
appearance of waterfowl, not far from the inhabited part 
of the coast. As they approached us we perceived them 
to be natives; and among them were some small children, 
who sometimes laid hold of their stronger neighbours with 
one h^nd, again let them go, and continued swimminf 
alone. They surrounded the ship, and their number gra- 
dually increased till the whole place swarmed with them, 
'I'hey seemed highly gratified, kept couliuually lauohing\ 

A 4 aP.'A 

8 Rttssihn Expedition to Japan, 

and did every thing in their power, by gestures and tricks 
of every kind, to attract our attention. They threw them- 
selves into all sorts of postures, lay sometimes on one side 
and sometimes on their back, elevated their legs, Sec, The 
women in this respect did not yield to the men ; and the 
object of their pantomime might easdy be comprehended. 
When a piece of a coco-nut was thrown at them from the 
ship, or when any of the sailor^ spat down upon one of 
them, the astonished savage inuiiediatcly l)ecame an object 
of laughter to the rest. The natives brought us coco-nuts, 
bread-fiuit, and bananas. The two latter articles, at this 
season of the year, were scarce. When any ct them had 
obtained, as the pr^ce of their wares, a small piece of iron, 
or an old nail, ihey burst out into an immoderate fit of 
laughter; the reason of which, as appeared, was, that they 
thought we had been n^ost egregiously cheated. When 
they received nails from us, they stuck them into the laps 
of their ears, the holes in which were so susceptible of ex- 
tension, that they d;d not seem to be incommoded by a 
large rusty nail. Mr. Roberts told us that there was a 
Frenchman in the island ; but he cautioned us against him, 
as a man of a very bad character. 

While we lay at anchor the king or chief of the bay, 
Tapeka Ketenue, came to us in a canoe, and among his 
retinue was the Frenchman. As I do not understand 
English, I was extremely glad; but this Frenchman had so 
much forgotten his mother tongue, that he was become a 
real savage. All that he was able to say was, — Old moi 
leavcovp Francois, Americanish ship, all dansons la Car- 
magnole ! He would then lauah like a native of Nukahiva, 
to whom he had a great resenil^Iancc, as not onlv his body 
but the greater part of his face was tatooed. He understood 
English pretty well, as he had been accustomed to converse 
with the Englishman in this language. He told us, that" 
. he had come to the Marquesas in an American ship ; that 
this sh p had been on the whale fisherv ; and that from the 
whales coco-nut oil was obtained. The person called by 
the Englishman the king, though that title did not seem 
at all suited to him, \\as a man of about fortv or fifty 
years of age, tatooed over his whole body, except on the 
palms of the hands and the soles of the feet : he viewed his 
corpulent person with great satisfaction in the captain's 
looking-glass, and was highly delighted with the presents 
which he received. 

Next dav, tlie 8<h, we went on shore : we were all armed ; 

and the sailors, who had muskets, pistols, and sabre^, kept 

6 the 

Hussian Expedilmi to Japan. g 

the natives in awe. Having landed with great difficulty, 
on account oF the strong surt, the peoplv surrounded us 
with every token of joy : they ran rv)und us sinking and 
dancing, while Ketenue's paternal uncle, who, however, 
was always called his father, kept them in order with a 
long pole, but without ever striking any of them. We 
entered Ketenue's house and saw his wh .le family, con- 
sisting of his wife and daughters. He then conducted u5 
into another house adjacent, but as it was iaahooed none 
of the natives durst follow us. The place on which this 
house stood was elevated, and paved with stones. We here 
remained unmolested, and were regaled with the kernel of 
the coco-nut, and had some of the liquor to drink. Ke- 
tenue often paid us a visit, and alwavs received a present: 
but ihe natives set so much value on their swine that we 
could obtain from them only five, which were all of a small 

On the 9th we received information that a ship was In 
sight; and on t!)e 10th the Neva arrived. On the 13th a 
large body of us, for we were accompanied bv some of the 
crew of the Neva, went on shore well armed ; and after 
viewing the vmrai, which is here called wauiiaaboo, we 
paid a visit to Roberts and Ketcnue. By an accident I lost 
a great manv of mv papers, among which were three sheets 
respecting Nukahiva. This, I know, is no serious loss; 
but I must make an ;ipology for presenting you onlv with 

I cannot comprehend w'hy the beauty of the women of 
the Marquesas has been so nuich extolled. In regard to 
the face in general, 1 shall say nothing; but their persons 
are altogether ugly. They are small, and of low stature: 
their arms arc proportionally thin, and the lower extremities 
thick and clumsy. When a female has attained to the i'ull 
growth, that is to say, the age of fourteen or fifteen, ner 
breasts are quite flaccid, and hang down. Children of tl;e 
age of nine or ten came on board our ship, manv of whom 
were married. All those who came on board were quite 
naked. vSome of them had a cord tied round their middle, 
from which were suspended two leaves, one before and the 
other behind. On shore we saw several who had fastened 
round them a piece of cloth made from the bark of the paper 
mulberry tree ; and others were painted yellow with the 
juice of the curcuma root. They were not much latooed, 
and only on the arms and shoulders, with some transverse 
strokes above the lips. 

The males are very fine men^ of a £:ood stature, and have 


li\ Russiun Expcd/ilon to Japan. 

'wvfll proportioned Unihs. Ihoufrh tlicy do not exhibit pro- 
niiuent and athletic muscles, and their arms are rather like 
those of a well made woman, they gave proofs of very great 
5-trensrth. Thev ornament thenisdvc? in the most romantic 
manner. Many of them have a circle of feathers aiound 
their head, or of swine's teeth strung on a cord, on their 
toes and fingers ; feathers, or sniall hunctics of human hair, 
and other kinds of ornaments, around their neck. Most of 
them are mor£ or Ic-i; talooed. The figuri s are regular, and 
have each a dctcrmiiute name : some of them are attended 
with particujar privileges; thus, for exampl'..', the Knglishmau 
had a figure on his breast which gave him a right, on certain 
festivals, to form part of Ketennc's suite. Those who have 
not this mark are not entitled to receive any pork. Some 
of the officers and most of the sailors on board our ship 
caused themselves to be tatooed. The natives, for the most 
part, go entirely naked. 

Their chieifood is the bread-fruit, which to me did not 
appear to be vcrv savoury : but it was then miripe, and not 
in season. The tree has ^ s^cod deal of similarity to the 
wild chcsnut tree. They eat also bananaS;, a>co-nuts, yams, 

rork, fish, and even human tlcsh. However incredulous 
was in regard to the last point, it is certain that these 
people, who according to everv appearance are so friendly 
and so mild, arc real cannibals. The Englishman, and 
afterwards the Frenchman, who certainly had not entered 
into an ao-rcement to deceive us, concurred fully in their ac-p 
counts of this circumstance. We have several sculls, two 
of which I purchased, which were those of enemies whom 
they had defeated in battle and afterwards eaten. Sonic 
vears, when the bread-fruit is scarce, a famine takes place: 
and on such occasions many of them kill their wives or 
children, and eat them ; others undertake a warlike expedi- 
tion against the enemv ; that is to say, several of them 
creep imperceptibly in the night-time to the neighbourhood 
nf the houses of the enemy, or conceal themselves behind 
trees or amcmg the grass, and as soon as they discover any 
of the enemy, wiiether men, vvomen, or children, they 
immediately attack them, carry them off, and devour them. 
Kvcn when there is no scarcity, their expediti(;ns against 
the eniMny are continued, partly because they delight iu 
ihcm, and partly because they Cwnsider human llesh as a 
creat delicacy, antl prefer it to that of their hogs. They 
tight also battles in which onp party is regularly pitched 
again.-t another. 'I'hiir weapons are slings, lances, and 
clubs. Tiie two last arc made of casuarino wootl ; one of 


Russian ETpedltion lo Japan. II 

these clubs I have iti my possession. As soon as a couple 
of the enemy have tallen, the battle immediately ceases, 
because somethiiiir has been obtained to eat. The Enflish- 
man, Roberts, cautioned us not to place any confidence m 
these islanders ; to be always on our guard, and, when anv 
of them offended us, to shoot them immediately: he assured 
us that this would produce no bad consequences, and that 
the rest would give themselves no trouble about it. Such 
are the islanders of the South Seas, so celebrated for their 
mildness and humanity ! On the most friendiv of these 
islands they are no better; and Cook, after being ntassa- 
cred, was publicly eaten by the natives of the Sandwich 
isles : nothing is clearer, notwithstanding the pains which 
capt. King and M. Fleurieu have taken to contradict it. It 
is mere folly to consider the man of nature, as he is called, 
as better and more benevolent than the man who has been 
civilized. Fortunately we had no disagreeable disputes with 
them. They feared us on account of our tire-arms, and 
considered us as a/uasj or gods. None of them were ever 
struck by our shot, though we sometimes fired muskets or 
some of our cannon in the night-time, to frighten those 
whom we heard swimming around us, and to prevent them 
from injuring our cable. 

These islanders spend their time properlv in a state of 
indolence, and employ themselves only in dancing or or- 
namenting their persons. When anv of them set about 
making tackle for catching fish, a girdle, or club, the work 
is speedily completed. On the whole, none of them, pro- 
perly speaking, have anv particular occupation. \Mien we 
gave any of them work to perform, it was a kind of festival 
to therji. They draj^ged away for us the wood which we 
had cut down ; but they were most useful to us in filling 
our water casks. I do not know how other navigators 
could convey, without their assistance, large casks throucrh 
the violent breakers ; but it required five or six of our sailors 
to accotnplish what one of these natives could do seemingly 
in sport. When a large wave came and threatened to dash 
the cask and man to pieces on the shore, the latter dived 
into the water, forcing down the cask along with him, so 
that the wave passed over both ; after which the islandf r 
swam on quietly as before : on the approach of the next 
wave he did the same; and before we could believe it pos- 
sible he arrived with the cask at our boat. The piece of 
iron which he obtained as a reward for this service he 
showed with a great deal of laughter to his companions 
standing on the shore, who then burst out into loud laughter 
i also. 

12 Russian Expedition to Japan. 

also. They are remarkably fond of dancing, which forms 
the principal part of all their festivals. The most essential 
part of their dancins; consists in a quivering motion of the 
hands : it is not disagreeable, and has in it something sin- 
crular, which to me at least was new. Their music consists 
in beating in time with the right hand on the left arm. The 
sound was much louder than we were able to produce in 
the same manner. When they sing, they clap their hands 
in time in such a manner that the fingers cross each other 
and produce a full tone. A drum made of fish-skin was 
xised also on these dancing festivals. 

Their moraljs are of a piece with the rest. Parents and 
husbands sent their daughters and wives on board our ship 
to display their charms ; and a piece of iron or a nail was 
sufficient to remove all their scruples. Those who have 
wives keep also a fire-maker, because this business is some- 
what laborious. This fire-maker is the woman's second 
husband, and he pays great attention to her because his own 
interest is interwoven with hers. I was told afterwards by 
the Frenchman that the men are very jealous. This seems 
to be a contradiction, but it may nevertheless be explained. 

Their expertness in swinmiing is really wonderful. 
Many of thcni swam off' early in the morning to the ship, 
with tjicir Ibrenoon's repast, consisting of coco-nuts, which 
they ate in the water, and returned on shore late in the 
evening. Others had both their hands full of different arti- 
clrs, which they wiilied to barter with us, or which they 
had procured from us. These they held up, and swam for 
several hours merely with their feet. Some of them, for 
the greater convenience, had a piece of board w ith tliem. 
This board they held before them, and suffered themselves 
to be driven on shore by the surf: however dangerous this 
experiment may appear, none of them ever experienced any 
hurt by it. 

Taahon is the magic word here, in which arc comprehended 
all their reliiiious, political, and moral laws. Eut a clearer 
idea of the importance of this word will be conveyed bv a 
few examples. When one says that this or that place is 
dedicated to the spirit of his father, the spirit Atua inhabits 
the place, and no person dares to pass over it ; it is taaboo. 
When a person gives his name to a tree or to any other 
man, the tree or man is taaboo to all others : the spirit 
resides in both. In al! the liouses the place set apart for 
eating is taaboo to the women ; and when any of the na- 
tives have got any thing which they are desirous to eat un- 
molested, they sit down in the place which is taaboo. 


Russian Expedition to Japan. \A 

Swine's flesh is taaloo to the women ; but they eat huiiian 
flesh when it is given to them. Ketcnue and his whole fa- 
mily were taaloo : those who bore Ketenue's name were 
taaloo. 'J'he case was the same with the Enghshman; so 
that no one durst do him any hurt. There is a particular 
ceremony by which people can make themselves taaloo. It 
consists in bindino; feathers around the head, dancinij and 
singing, and declaring that they desire to have Ketenue's 
name. While this ceremony lasts, they are safe from all 
harm. One day it was taaloo for all the islanders to come 
on board the ship, those only who brought hogs to the 
ship were excepted. Those who break taaloo will be eaten 
on the first opportunity by the enemy. This they so firmlv 
believe, that it keeps them in order. When it is discovered 
that any one has broken taaloo, he must make atonement 
for his fault bv giving presents, such as hogs, 8cc. which 
the priest applies to his own use ; or he is deprived of his 
land: if he has nothing, he becomes kil<i?io; he is then 
unprotected, and always in danger of being eaten by the 

Tapeka Ketenue is said to possess a great deal of land ; 
he does not go to war, but there is nothing to prevent him 
if he chooses it. In times of scarcity he maintains a great 
many of the natives ; for, as he possesses abundance of bread- 
fruit trees, he has large pits filled with fermented bread- 
fruit, which in this state will keep a long time. I cannot 
say much in favour of this kind of food ; it has a disgust- 
ing sour smell, similar to that of fermenting wheat used 
for manufacturing starch. He has no power to command 
any person, but he and his family are taaloo; and as he is 
able to give maintenance to a great many, for the sea be- 
lon2;s to him, and all those who fish in it must brinjr him 
part of what they catch, he is still an important personage. 
He has also several houses. Roberts, who was well esta- 
blished, had received from him a house with coco-nut aud 
bread-fruit tree?. 

[To be continued ] 

II. Seme 

[ 14 ] 

ir. So)}ie Account of a terrible Hurricane irhuh iegnn to 
the fVindward of the Carlbhee Islands on the 3d of Sep- 
lemlnr 1804, and proceeded North- west icardly over the 
rirg'in hlands and Bahamas on the 4th, 5th, and 6th, 
until it reached Florida^ Georgia, and South Carolina, on 
the "J til, 8th, and Qth; and of a furious Gale from the 
North-east which prevailed at the same time, and prO' 
cecded South-west nardly until it met the former : show- 
ing that Storms of the most destructive Fiolence some- 
times arise to IVindward, and hear down every Thing be- 
fore them in their Passage to Leeward. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

DEAR SIR, New York, April 2, 1805. 

X INCLOSE you a copy of my letter to baron Humboldt on 
the hurricane of September 1S04. It is intended to furnish 
facts for a more satisfactory theory of the American winds 
than we possess at present. My situation at Washington, 
the seat of our national government, and the great amount 
of ship news contained in our gazettes, have enabled mc to 
make the collection of facts very extensive; 

Yours truly and respectfully, 

Samuel L. Mitchill. 

Mr. Volney, when he was in North America, sought 
information concerning its atmosphere, with 4n intention 
of forming a theory of the winds prevalent in the territory 
of the United States. At that time I was not able to furnish 
any facts worthy to be communicated to that able observer. 
Since his return to Europe I have had an excellent oppor- 
tunity to collect the facts afforded by a most violent snow 
storm from the north-east, on ihe 21st, 22d, and isd days 
of February 1802. These were published in the first Hex- 
ade, vol. v. p. 405, of the Medical Repository. From that 
inquiry ii appeared that our most boisterous winter storms, 
accom]")anied with snow and a north-east wind, began to 
leeward, and progressed to windward from South Carolma to 
IMaine, at the rate of about one hundred miles in an hour. 

Since that collection of facts was printed, Mr. Vohiey 
has given to the public " his Picture of the Climate and 
Soil of the United States," in two octavo volumes, at Paris, 
in 1803. In the nintli chapter of this work he has ven- 
tured to give " a system of the winds within the United 
Slates," Herein he has treated of the winds from the 
norlh, north-east, and east ; from the south-cast and south; 


Accoinit of a Hurricane in the JVest Indies. f i 

from the south-west ; and from the north-west, in distinct 
sections. But finding there are some considerations in mv 
piece on the gale of February 1803 which are not contained 
in his treatise upon our north-east wind, I take the present 
Opportunity of inscribing it to yon. In his short essay upon 
the south-east wtnd he closes his observations, for want of 
more facts, not choosing to supply their place by conjec- 
ture. T believe that, by reason ^f a hurricane which laicly 
happened in the southern latitudes, bordering on countries 
m North and South America which you have visited, it is 
now in my power to communicate to yon some additional 
facts on the south-east wind of the western hemisphere, 
and some very important infomiation relative to its north- 
east and east winds. 

Between the 3d and Qth of September 1804, there oc- 
curred in the Caribbee Islands, in the Bahamas, on the 
ocean to the north-east of these, and on the coasts of Flo- 
rida, Georgia, and South Carolina, one of the most d€^' 
structive storms that had ever raged within the memory of 
man. The agitation of the atmosphere and of the sea was 
so dreadful as to overwhelm and destroy an uncommon 
number of vessels, cargoes, and crews, both on the ocean 
and in port, and also to work great damage on shore. A 
current from the south-east swept all before it in its pro- 
gress from the Caribbees. It had, however, various turn- 
ings, whirlings, and eddies, blowing in the most opposite 
directions, and veering almost all round the compass. An- 
other current from the north-east met the former in about 
tlie latitude of Charleston or Beaufort. The two streams 
formed for a while an east wind, which continued until the 
south-east sale triumphed bv its superior force. This con- 
flict of the V. inds was accompanied by torrents of rain, bv- 
a retardation of the Gulf Stream, and by such an accumu- 
lation of water in the curvature of the coast between Florida 
and North Carolina, as to lay a great portion of the low 
shores and islands of Georgia and South Carolina under 
water. This storm, unlike the former one which I de- 
scribed, began to windward, and by violent propulsive force 
worked its way to leeward. I have reduced to something 
like method, the relations and facts as stated by navigators, 
and gathered from cotem{3oraneous publications. 

A gale or hurricane of this sort happened in September 
1782, as far north as lat. 42*^ 15', and in long. 48= 55\ It 
began on the iGth, and destroyed many English ships, be- 
longing to a fleet of ninety sail, then oil' the banks of Nevv» 
foundland, and bound homewards from Jamaica. It began 

16 Account of a Hurricane 

at east-south-east on thai day, and prevailed with greater 
violence than was ever before known on that part oF the 
ocean, unfil about three o'clock ihe next morning, when, 
without the least warning, it shitted ia an instant, and blew 
with such fury troni north-north-west, that the oldest sea- 
man in the fleet had never s-een the like. The Ramillies, 
the Centaur, L'Hector, the Ville de Paris, and manv other 
ships, the spoils of Ilodne\ 's victory in the West Indies, 
all perislied. 

The particular accounts will be given under distinct heads, 
classnig the occurrences accorduig tv) their appearance. 

1st, In till' Caribbce Llnmh. — On the 3d of September 
there was a hard gale at Martinique, so as to make vessels 
quit their anchors, drive ashore, 8cc. A number of vessels 
were driven ashore at St. Croix. Of thirty-two sail at St. 
Bartholomew'^;, only two rode it out. At St. Pierre's 
(Martinitjue), Mr. J. Anderson stated the wind to have been 
fi-om the north-west and west-north-west. At St. Bartho- 
lomew's it becran from the north-west, then blew from 
north, and at last got round to the south-west. On the 
3d, 4th, and 5th of September, capt. Henry, on a voyage 
from Poit\t-Petre to I'hiladelphia, was obliged to lie-to under 
Dcseada for lifty-six hours. The gale was heavy, with rain 
and thick weather. 

Captain Jones related that at Point-Petre there was, on 
the 4th of September, the most drcadiul gale known for 
twenty years. There happened to be no vessels at Basse- 
terre. Bui at Dominique every vessel had been lost. 

On the 4th of September tw) brigs, commanded by cap- 
tains Lovell and Glazier, were driven out of their ports ; 
pue at St. Croix, and the other at St. Thomas. The gale 
was so violent as to make them slip their cables with the 
loss of their best bowers. It lasted thirty-six hours, and 
was as severe as any ever recollected. At St. Thomas thirty 
sail were driven oi^ shore. 

Capt. Smith sailed from Dcmarara on the 21st of Au- 
gust, bound for New York. He was overtaken by the hur- 
ricane on the 4th of September. It blew from the south- 
ward and eastward. After being thrown on his beam ends, 
and losing his foremast and bowsjirit, she was rendered so 
leaky as to be abandoned on the 8th as a wreck. 

Capt. Boardman, on his passage from Guadaloupe to 
Newbury Port, experienced the gale from the 4ih to the 
7th of September. Capt. Day, on his passage from Ber- 
bice to the same place, was Qvertaken by the gale to the 
leeward of Tobaco. 


in the JVest Indies in Sept. 1804. If 

Capt. Mountfort, from Demarara, gave information that 
the hurricane had not been felt there. Capt. Wood deelartd 
the Hke of Grenada. 

'i'he gale commenced at St. Thomas on the 4th of Sep- 
tember, in the afternoon, and lasted three days. Dur>.ng 
this time it destroyed forty-two sail of vessels. Accounts 
from the windward staled that the British packet from Fal- 
mouth to Barbadoes had been lost. Guadajoupe, St. Bar- 
tholomew's (where thirty sail were driven on shore), Tor- 
tola, St. Kitts, Antigua (four sail driven on shore, a packet 
foundered at anchor, and much damage done to estates in 
the mountains), Eustalia, St. Martin's; and, in short, all 
the Caribbee Islands experienced a like fate, \vi(h the loss 
oF manv vessels, and much other property. There were 
four wrecks at Anegado. 

At St. Kitts the hurricane began on the afternoon of the 
3d of September. It blew at first from the ntjrth and north- 
west. On the 4th it shifted to tlie south-west, and changed 
frequentlv to the south, blowing with equal fury in all these 
directions. It was reckoned to be nearly as fatal in its ef- 
fects, to shipping and to property on shore, as the ever- 
memorable one in 1 772, and ot much longer duration. The 
quantitv of rain which fell was great and sudden, so as al- 
most to deluge the mountains. 

2d, In the Bahama Islands. — The gale was experienced 
at Turks Islands on the 4th of September. It prevailed in 
the Bahamas with extreme violence. No severer one was 
ever known. At Turks Islands all the vessels ran ashore 
except two, which put to sea. Most of them were totally 
lost. Capt. Rhodes, \\ ho put to sea, returned thither oti 
the third day after, havmg sustained no other damage than 
the loss of one of his boats. l"he sea had broken into the 
salt-ponds, injured the dykes and canals, and melted large 
parcels of the salt in stacks. 

But capt.Waite informed us that the gale was severely felt 
at Nassau, in New Providence, on the oth and Gth of Sep- 
tember. About thirty sail of small craft v>ere driven on 
shore, but not much damage done to square-rigged \'essels. 
Capt. Bakus, who was on his passage From Ragged island 
to New Providence, experienced the gale on the 7th. The 
wind came first from north-east, then hauled to the west, 
and afterwards blew north-north-west, and then west again. 
3d, r On the Atlantic Octaii, to the Xorfh-east and North, 
of the Bahamas. — Capt. Johnson encountered tliC gale oil 
the Oth of September, ni lat. Sl*^ 5', and long. 81°. It firs^ 
blew from the north-east, and from that veered to west- 
; Vol. 22. No. 8 5. Ji^^ze iSOJ. B south- 

18 Account of a Hurricane 

:?nuth-\vest, north-West, and south-west. It was terribly 
furious, so as to damage his rigging very much, loosen his 
masts, and render his ship very leaky. 

Capt. King, from Demarara, was invaded bv tlic gale on 
the evening of the 6th, in lat. 21" 31', and his vessel was 
thrown on her beam ends. He Was forced to'cnt away her 
main-iTiast* Lost a man, who wac. washed overboard. 

Capt. MessrooJi took the gale in the Gulf Stream, lat. 
€0°, on the 6th of September. The wind was then east- 
north-east, and continued so imtil the 7th, then it shifted 
to south-east. It was very severe, though he escaped with- 
out material damage. 

In lat. 22", long. 64°, capt. Beard was wrecked in the 
gale. It began on the 3d of Septen)l)er, continued during 
the 4th, and did not end before the 5th. He and his crev/ 
were taken off the wreck on the 9th. 

On the 7th, 8th, and 9th of September, capt. Jenne, 
bound from Kingston, in Jamaica, to Baltimore, suffered 
a tremendous gale in lat. 33", long. 74°. The wind varied 
between north-east and south-east. 

Capt. Mood, on a voyage from Alexandria (Virginia), 
to St. Mary's (Georgia), was, on the night of the 7th, in 
the Gulf Stream, to the eastward of Charlston : the wind 
there was east-north-east, and so hard as lo throw his vessel 
on her beam ends. She lay several hours in this situation. 
Several of his crew were washed overboard. 

Capt. Miller, on a vovage from Martha-Brae, in Jamaica, 
oound for Wilmington (North Carolina), experienced the 
same gale the same night, on the inner edge of the Gulf 
Stream. It was so violent as to heave his vessel on her side 
as she was lying-to under lier jib, to unstep her masts, aud 
to tear up her deck. In this torh^n cemdition the crew were 
fortunate enough to save themselves by geltting on board 
another vessel. 

Capt. Andrews, on his wav from Charlston to Nassau 
(New Providence), encountered the n7(^st formidable part of 
the gale on the night of the 7th of September, in lat. 26**, 
■long. 77°. She was thrown on her beam ends, her boom 
brok^n to pieces, her main-topsail and rigging carried away, 
and two men washed overboard. 

The brig Autcusta was on her passage from Savannah to 
New York when the gale began. She had saiUd on the 
3 1 St of Auoust, and had progressed no further than the 
Frying-pan Shoals, ofl"Cape Fear, on September 7lh. Being 
there exposed to its vehemence, they stood oft' shore as long 
•as she could carry sail j but at half p.'st t^'.o P. M. they were 


in the IVest Indies in Septi 1804. \g 

obliged to lie-to. » The weather was turbulent all the night. 
On the morning of the 8th the rage ot the storm was ex- 
cessive, bcvond what any person on board had ever expe- 
rienced. It increased until two P.M., and continued all 
night with unabated fury. At day-light on the ^-th she 
was about three and one-half leagues from the breakers on 
the Roman shoals at Cape Carteret. Thev were lucky 
enough to escape these, and to arrive about noon at 
Charleston bar, which was one continued breaker, so thac 
no pilot could get out. They were forced to cast anchor 
on a lee shore, and with the help of two cables and anchors 
rode it out until the 10th, wlien she got into Charleston. 
Capt. Davidson, of this vessel, related, that in the fore part 
of the 7th, before the gale began, he plainly saw a brilliant 
star in the zt^nith. 

4th, I?i the Latitudes South of the Bahamas. — Capt. Jag- 
gart, who left Jcremie> in St. Domingo, on the I4th of 
September, declared, tiiat the gale was not felt or known 
at that place at all. The captain of a Spanish schooner 
from Matauzes said, the gale was felt there, but not much 
damage done. 

The British armed ships Theseus and L'Hercule took the 
gale first in north lat. 22° 12% and west long. 63° 44', on 
Wednesday, September 5, about eight o'clock P.M. They 
■\\ ere then about sixty miles north-east of the " Square 
Handkerchief," and about one hundred miles north of the 
'' Silver Quays. '"' The gale was in the beginning from the 
north-east, and by degrees came roinid to the south-east. 
Its violence reduced them to the utmo:*t distress. It lasted 
until Friday the 7th, at five P. M. They afterwards got 
into Kingston harbour, in the island of Jamaica. 

Capt. Howe, froin Porto-Rico, related, that the gale v/as 
experienced there on the 4th of September, and drove ashore 
every vessel at the west end. 

Capt. Bennet sailed from St. Thomas on September 3. 
On the 6th, about thirty miles southward of Porto-Rico, 
he was assailed by a tremendous hurricane. The wind was 
south-south-east, but frequently varying. The Jamaica 
papers of the &ih contained accounts of considerable da- 
mage done on the south-east side of that island by the gale 
of the 4th. The north side did not feel it. 

5th, In the Latitudes North of Ccpe Fear. — It appears 
that the gale did not prevail much to the northward of 
Wilmington (North Carolina). It was but slightly felt 
there. On the 9th, a small schooner and periago were 
driven on shore, but not materiallv injured. 

B 2 ' The 

£0 ylccount nj a Ilurrhane 

The brig Wilmington packet, from New York, had been 
ashore on the Frying-pan, but, after taking out the cargo, 
was got ofl\ The crops in the neighbourhood of Wil- 
mington liad not been injured. 

Capt. Tiltord, on a voyage from London to Baltimore, 
felt tlie gale on the 3d of September in lat. 3ij", and long. 
05"; it blew from cast-north-east, and continued in the 
form of a stronii and favourable wind until the 8th, when 
he made the Capes of Chesaj)eake. As soon as the gale 
reached land it grew more violent, and seems to have parted 
into two streams. By the assistance of one he then ran up 
the bay to the mouth of Patapsco in twenty hours. The 
other branch turned touthw arc! along the land toward Cape 

Vessels from Europe, which had not got further south 
than lat. 3J)'', seemed to have escaped the hurricane. 

6th, On the Coritint'nt of North Americay and the adjacent 
Islands. — (A) In Florida the gale was excessively hard ; at 
St. Augustine the tide rose to an xmcommon heiiiht. Of 
nine vessels in the harbour oulv one rode out the storm. 

( B) In Gcoroia. At Savannah the gale began on Satur- 
day morning the Sth. The wind was from the east, yet 
varying between south-east and north-cast incessantly. It 
was more dreadful than any that is recollected to have ever 
happened there. It commenced by slight wind and rain 
until about ten A. M., when it blew with uncommon vio- 
lence. It was accompanied bv hcavv rain, and went on 
increasing until between six and seven in the evening. It 
did not cease until three o'clock in the morning of the 9th. 
The continuance was seventeen hours. The water rose to 
between eight and ten feet above the level of common spring 
tides. Houses and stores were blown down by the wind, 
and undermined by the w ater. Fences and trees were pro- 
strated. Ships and vessels w ere stranded, and left high and 
dry u))on the Lops of the wharves. CJreat damage was done 
on the island opposite the town, and on \\ ihmngton and 
Skidawa Islands. Fort Green, on Cockspur Island, was 
completely levelled ; thirteen lives were lost, and all the 
buildings destroyed. The water was supposed to have risen 
from fifteen to twenty feet abo\e the le\'el of the fort. The 
surface of the land was considerablv lowered and washetl 
awav. One of the national gun-boats was carried ab(iut 
eight miles froni her moorings, and landed in a corn-field 
upon Whitemarsh Island. A cannon weigliing 4,800 lb, 
was carried thirty or forty feet from its position. A bar of 
lead of 300 lb. was carried one hundred feet. Cases of 
7 cannister 


m the IVcst Indies in Sept. 1804. 21 

cannister shot were carried from one hundred to two hun- 
dred feet, and muskets were scattered all over the island. 

Such was the beating of the ocean aijainst the shores^ that 
at Savannah the rain which fell was of a saline taste. An 
experiment made by evaporating son)e of it, proved it to 
be highly impregnated with sea salt ; this was probably de- 
rived from the spray of the sea. The water in the river was 
saltish at Savannah, and for fifteen miles above. Sand was 
blown into the upper stories of houses thirty feet higher 
than the surface of the earth. 

At St. Simon's Island great damage was done by inun- 
dating; the crops and drowning the negroes. The like hap- 
pened on St. Catharine's, aaid on the other islands along 
the coast. At Sunbury the bluft* was reduced to a perfect 
beach, and almost every chinmey was levelled with the 

Mr. Isaac Briggs, who was in the interior of Georgia, 
about twenty-three miles from the high shoals of Apalachy, 
on his way to Hawkins's settlement, on Tallapoosa river, 
arrived at the house of an Indian trader there on the 8th of 
September : here he was detained two days by severe stormy 
"weather. In his letter to Mr. Jefferson he remarks, " that 
sometimes his ear could scarce distinguish an interval be- 
tweeii the sound of one falling tree and that of another." 
The wind was north -cast. 

The gale was distinctly felt in the upper country as far 
as it is settled, which is to the distance of three himdred 
miles from the ocean. It was felt there as a strong wind 
which blew down the corn, hut was not hard enough to 
■prostrate trees. There it blew from the north-east, and 
began on the afternoon of Saturday the 8th. The rain did 
not beo;in until in the evening. 

(C) /// South Carolina. — At Charleston the gale was 
more furious and long continued than was ever known 
since the hurricane of 1752. It prevailed there on the 7th, 
8th, and Qth of September, and exceeded, in violence and 
duration, the great storm of 1783. It began at Charleston 
on the 7th, about eleven P. M., and continued until Sunday 
morning, the 9th, at one. The wind was at first north-east. 
In the course of the morning of the 8th it shifted to the 
«asl, and in the afternoon to south-east. It lasted for 
nearlv thirty-six hours. But three or four of the vessels in 
the harbour escaped without injury. Many were much 
damaged, and several wholly lost. The whole of the 
wharves, from Gadsden's, on Cooper River, to the extent 
/)f South Bay, received considerable damage. Many stores 

B 'i ^vere 

23 Account of a Hurricane 

were washed or blown down, and much propertv lost. 
Numerous houses were unroofed, and trees overturned. 

On Sullivan's Island fifteen or twenty houses were un- 
dermined by the water, and carried away. Fort Johnson, 
which had been long in a tottering condition, was destroyed, 
so as not to admit the mounting a single cannon. The 
breast-work and pallisadoes of Fort Pinckncy were washed 
away. From Fort Moultrie, near which the bfca made a 
clear breach to the cove, every spot was covered with 

At Jacksonburgh the crops of corn and cotton were much 
injured. The bridges were carried away between Charleston 
and George Town, and so many trees blown across the 
roads as to obstruct the stages for several days. 

At May River all the crops, cotton, and negro houses, 
machines, &c. were completely swept off. The tide rose 
nine feet higher than the highest spring rise. On Hutchin- 
son's Island many negroes, and some white people, were 
drowned. The like happened at Dawfousky and Brough- 
ton's Islands. 

At Coosabatchie trees were thrown across the roads, 
and bridges carried away, so as to prevent intercourse 
through the country ; that village was entirely surrounded 
by sea water. In Prince William's parish, Beaufort di- 
strict, the storm was experienced in an awful manner. 
The sea formed a junction through the streams of Pocota- 
ligo. Stony Creek, and Huspa rivers, in such a manner as 
to turn Scotch Neck into an island. Through the fields, 
at Sheldon to Motley, the water covered the plantations 
four feet deep on the high road and causeway leading to the 
meeting-house, rendering the roads impassable. Great de- 
struction was made upon the crops of rice and cotton, and 
many animals of various kinds were drowned. Nothing 
but the high ground was visible on' the roads of the Fish- 
pond and Horse-shoe savannas. 

The gale began at George Towri (South Carolina), be- 
tween three and four A.M. on the 8th of September. The 
wind was at north-east, and blew with increasing violence 
until midnight. It then changed to soutii-south-east, and 
abated little of its fury before the evening of the 9th. The 
rain descended in most profuse quantity the greater part of 
the time. 

The gale extended to the upper part of the country as far 
as the mountains, to a distance of tuo hundred and fifty 
miles. It blew from the north-east, and was so violent at 
one hundred miles from the sea board, as to blow down 


in the IFcst Indies in Sept. 1€04. £3 

forcb't trees in great numbers, so as to render the roads im- 
passable for carriages. 

From a consideration of all these details it appears that 
the gale extended from beyond the latitude of Tobago, hi 
12° north, to the latitude of Wilmington (North Carolina), 
northward of lat. 34°, sweeping a tract of ocean at least 
twentv-two degrees in extent. It probably exceeded by far 
these limits, as capt. Tilford felt it as far north as 39°. It 
appears also that it reached from the longitude of the wind- 
ward islands, in 60° west of Greenwich, to tlie mountains 
and back settlements, travelling over a surface of as many 
degrees in that direction. And its prevalence wasg In all 
likelihood, much more wide and diffusive than has come 
to my knowledge. 

The gale in the islands blew from north-north-west, and 
even from the south-west, but, as it approached the coast, 
got round to the eastward, and varied between north-east, 
east, and south-east. It iirose to windward in both the 
north-eastern and south-eastern quarters. In this respect 
it widely differed from the great north-east snow storm de- 
scribed in Med. Rep. Hex. i. vol. 5. p. 465, whi<:h began 
to leeward *. It seems to have taken about four days for 


* So did tlie one which is described in the fnlIo\vin<T account : — But these 
snow storms from the north-east do not seem always to blow the whole Icno^tfk 
of the coast between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Mexico, 'riie 
winter of 1804-5 v.-as the most rigorous that had happened since that of 
1779-80. One of the snow storms which occurred during' the latter winter, 
illustrates at once the fact of their beginninj^ to leeward, and of their limited 
€xteut in certain cases. It also shows that thev prevail at different places 
with very different degrees of violence. 'I'he weather had been intensely cold 
during January ; the quicksilver had sometimes been as low as 3° above 0. 
and frequently down to II and 14". After this uncommonly severe weather, 
tlie atmosphere j-apidlv became warmer, th^ mercury rose to -KJ" in the 
course of a few days, and immed-iately a thick and heavy fog over5pread the 
ice on the rivers, and the snow on the earth. This continued until the 'J<jth. 
when the cold increased again. About four in the afternoon of that dav, 
snow fell at Washington, and there was a mingled fall of snow and rain at 
George Town (Maryland). This storm was felt at New York citv in the 
■fore part of the evening, and not until eight P. \I. bv the ship Favourite, 
then off Boston harbour. At Newbury port the newspapers state it to have 
begun on Sunday morning, tlv-^ 27l]i. Bv a comparison of the facts it will be 
found that this storm began at least four hours sooner on the Potowmac than 
in Boston harbour. The difference of time was no less remarkable on it-; 
cessation ; for it h;id ceased so entirely at Washington on Sunday night, that 
the weather had cleared up on A'londay morning the L^th. In New York 
it continued until Tuesday morning, and lasted at Boston until Tuesdav 
evening. Though the storm was not of long duration at Washington, i»rid 
the fall of snow was moderate there, yet it was far otherwise in Ntw York 
and Massachusetts. The quantity of snow which fell in both tho?e places 
was uncommonlv great. Manv vc^-^els were wrecked and lost on the coast 

Bl ot 

24 Hurricane in the IVest Indies in Sept. 1804. 

the south-east current (froin the 3cl to the 7th) to force its 
way along from Tobago and Barbadoes to Augustine, Sa- 
vannah, and Cliarlcston. In like manner, by comparing 
the limi'S of its commencement along the Fredish coast, it 
is evident that the north-east current ble-jv violently near 
the Fryi .g-pan shoals at half past two P.M. on the 7tli; 
that it began at Charleston at eleven the same night, and 
did not become formidable at Savannah before ten in the 
inorjiing of the 8th, conscquenily it did not begin at 
Charleston until eight hours and a half after it began at 
the Frying-pnn, nor at Savannah sooner thun the nine- 
teenth hour and a half subsequent to its commencement 
at the same place. I^ence, on comparing this storm with 
the one before aiiudct! to, it is evident that this, which h id 
its rise to windward, was not near so rapid in its progress 
as that one which took its origin to leeward. 

From all thos? facts and considerations there is reason to 
believe, that this gale, consistini.'; chiefly, as it advanced 
toward the Crntiuent, of currents from the north-east, east, 
and south-east, 'vas the trade-wind diverted from its ordi- 
nary course, and blowing with a torcc prodigiously aug- 
xneiited over a tract consic'erably to the nonlnvard of its 
usual limits. The two cplumi^'s of agitated atmosphere 
Hioi.'ing: obliquely toward each other, appear to have met 
and expended their combineii iovces upon that bend of the 
coast which forms the front of Aorth Florida, Georgia, and 
Smith Carolina. At present i know too little of atmo- 
spiieric movements to del rmine what \\as the particular 
rarefying or expanding cause that, on this occasion, put 
the windward air into such destructive commotion, made 
it rush with such resistless impetuosity to leeward, and 
more particularly determined it to quit the intra-tropical 
regions, -uid exert its whole strength upon a part of the 
Continent so far to the northward as that which lies be- 
tween St. Augutine and Wilmington, betwixt the latitudes 
of 29° and 34° north. 

of Massachusetts in pa: ticiihr ; rind in tlie latter, this snow storm from tlic 
aiorth-cast lasted thrice twenty-four iiours, wliiie in Maryland it did not at 
furthest continue more tliaii half the time, and certainly with less hy far 
than half tlie violence. 

ill. Tnevtu- 

[ 25 ] 

III. Twentij-sccond CommunJcatioji from Dr. Thornton 
rclutiuc to Pneumatic Medicine. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 
Case of Consumption cured ly Hydro-azotic Gas. 

June 18, 1R05, 
Y No. IjHinde-street, Manchester-square. 

J OHN Hughes, let. 1 8, helper to Mr. Cozens, livery stable 
keeper. City Arms, London-street, had all the marked 
symptoms of a decline. He had a very had cough; used 
in ^-'4 hours to spit up near half a pint of discoloured mat- 
ter j had colliquative sweats ; hectic fever; great debility: 
appetite good, and yet reduced in flesh to a mere shadow. 
These strong criterions of consumption had been progres- 
sively increasing for more than half a year, when he applied 
to me for advice. I pursued in this case the same plan as 
had saved Mr. Gregory, (jf Berners-strect *, viz. the in- 
halation of hydro-azotic gas, with tonic medicines ; and in 
two months all these alarming symptoms vanished, and the 
lad was restored to health. 

Ohservations on this Case ly Dr. Thorrifon. 

1. Consunij)tion is deemed a fual disease; and the prac- 
tice universally pursued in England has rendered it, 1 be- 
lieve, still more destructive. 

2. In Dr. Rush's works, the able professor of Medicine 
in Philadelphia, the best plan of treatment is laid down. 

3. Bark (at which our practitioners arc so alarmed) is re- 
commended, with other tonic medicines. 

4. Consumption must be considered either as a defluxlon 
of the lungs, or as an abscess, or ulceration thereof. 

5. If a detiu.xion, as in other gleets, bark is advisable: 
,if ulceration, the treatment of the constitution should be as 
in other wounds. — Bark is there universally recommended. 

6. Dr. Rush has recorded some eases where persons shot 
through the lungs have recovered. Captam Christie, of 
Liverpool, lately applied to me for advice. In a sharp en- 
gagement with ihe French, a ball entered the sternum, and 
lodged under the scapula. The wound in the lungs healed, 
and he felt afterwards only debility from the great loss of 
blood sustained. 

7. The objection against bark, myrrh, and wine, is the 
cough. Colds are, I confess^ aggravated by such treatment, 

* This cure is recorded in Number 13 of our Magazine, p. 95. 

7. The 

26 On the Action of 

and the incipient stage of phthisis; but la the subsequent 
stages the only chance is, I speak from wide experience, 
the practice I have here rerommended. 

8. Inflaiimiation of the lungs is prevented by the hydio- 
azotic gas. 

The lad is now before nie; is fat, looks well, and has 
been cured a twelvemonth. 

IV. On the ylction of Plaiina and Mcrcvry upon each 
other. By Richard Chenkvix, Esq. F.R.S. M.R.I.A. 



Frcyberg^, June 3, 1804. 

N the 12th of May 1803, 1 had the honour of presenting 
a paper to the Royal Society, the object of which was to 
discover the nature of palladium, a substance just then an- 
nounced to the public as a new simple metal. The experi- 
ments which I had made for this purpose led mc to conclude 
that palladium was not what it had been stated to be, but 
that it was a compound of platina and mercurv. 

It was natural to suppose that a subject so likely to spread 
its influence throughout the whole domain of chemistry, 
and which tended even to the subversion of some of its ele- 
ments, would awaken the attention of philosophers. We 
find accordingly, that it has become a subject of inquiry in 
England, France, and Germany ; but the experiments which 
I had recommended as the least likely to fall, liave been 
found insufficient to insure the principal result ; and I have 
had the mortification to learn that tliey have been generally 
imsuccessful. I have even reason to believe that the nature 
of palladium is still consldeied by chemists, at least with a 
very few exceptions, as unascertained ; and that the fixation 
of mercury by platina is by many regarded as visionary. 

The first doubts were manifested in England ; and Dr. 
Wollaston very early denied the accuracy of my inquiries. 
But as he has not published his experiments, I have had no 
opportunity of discussmg them. Uis opinion, however, 
must have such weight in tlie learned world, that I should 
have neglected a material fact in the history of palladium if 
I had not mentioned it in this place. 

In France the compound nature of palladium has been 
piore generally credited. When the National Institute was 
infoimed of my experiments, a report was ordered to be 

• From the Ttc'isactiom of the Ro'^cU Sucicty for^05. 


Platlna and Mcramj upon each other, 27 

Blade upon them, and M. Guyton was the person appointed 
for the purpose. He lepeated some ot" the experiments, and 
produced some of his results. His general conclusion was 
the same as mine. 

Messrs. Vauquelin and Fourcroy then undertook the sub- 
ject, and they were led by it to the confiruuitiou of the re- 
cent discovery of M. Descotils. The existence of a new- 
metal which that chemist had found in crude j;!atina, re- 
ceived great sanction from their experiments; and thus the 
discussion upon palladium has established a fact which will 
be considered as interesting, but which would be much 
more so, were we not already overburthened with substances 
which our present ignorance obliges us to ackn()\vk'do;e as 

No sooner were these celebrated chemists convinced of 
the existence of a new metal in platina, than thev coneludLd 
that it must play a principal part in the composition of pal- 
ladium. Shortly after this, in a note to a letter from 
M. Proust to M. Vauquelin, in which M. Proust expresses 
his astonishment concerniug all he has read upon palladium, 
Messrs, Fourcroy and Vauquelin further declare, as their 
opinion, that this compound metal docs not contain nier- 
icury, but is formed of platina and the new metal. Whe- 
ther this new substance does or does not play a principal 
part in the formation of palladmm, could not be ascertained 
at the time my ex'^criments were made, because the new 
metal itself was not then known. But from all that Messrs. 
Fourcroy and \''auquelin have stated, in such of their dif- 
ferent memoirs upon this subject as I have seen, the grounds 
of th.^ir supposition have not ajjpear'.d. May v\e not refer 
their opinion, then, to that common propensity of the 
mind, against which M. Fourcroy has himself warned us 
with equal justness and eloquence on another occasion, 
namely, a proneness to be allured by novelty beyond the 
bounds of rational belief, and to convert principles which 
are new into principles of universal influence. 

Messrs. Rose and Gchlen * were the first among the 
German chemists who instituted expeiiments upon palla- 
xlium ; and M. Richter. has also published a paper on the 
same subject. 

The first attempt of Messrs. Rose and Gehlen to form 
palladium was by the precipitation of a mixed solution of 
platina and mercury by green sulphate of iron. Their re- 

* Neues Algfmeines Journal der Ckemie heraiisf^egcben vmi Ilcrinstadt, Klap- 
roth, Richter, Scherer, Tromsdorf, iind Gchlen. Ersicii laiidcs funftn 

6 suit 

2S On the Action of 

suit was precisely tliat which I had observed when my ope^ 
rations failed altogether, and which of course was the most 
trequcnt. This method was repeated twice. The second 
time the precipitate of platina and mercury was l)oiled with 
muriatic acid, in order to free it from iron ; but the latter 
trial was not more siiccessfid thai-; I he fornter. 

Their tliird experiment was v. hat thev have called a re- 
petition of that in which [ had obtained palladium by pass- 
ing a current of sulphuretted hvdrogen gas through a mixed 
solution of platina and mercury. Their method was the 
following: — They dissolved 130 grains of platina with 450 
of mercurv, and added a solution of hvdro-sulphuret of 
potash. They obtained a precipitate which, at first, was 
black, afterwards gray; but the \^ hole became black by 
being stirred. To be certain that all the metal was preci- 
pitated, they added an excess of suljihuret of potash, and 
perceived that a part of the precipitate was redissolved. The 
liquor was then iiltered, and to that part of it which con- 
tained the redissolved precipitate an acid was added. From 
this process they obtained a yellow precipitate weii:hing 91 
grains ; and 50 grains of this, exposed to a strong heat, 
left 3-8ths of a grain of platina. 'I'hev obtained no palla- 
dium from that part of the precipitate which had not been 
redissolved ; and the result of the experiment was complete 

I shall not make any observation upon the issue of this, 
process, since, in this case, the best conducted is but too 
liable to be unsuccessful, and that v.ithout any apparent 
lault in the operator. But as it has been given as a repeti- 
tion of one of mine, it may not be fruitless to examine how 
far the repetition was exact. 

I had passed a current of sulphuretted hydrogen gas 
through a mixed solution of platina and mercury, by which 
means they were precipitated together. My object was so 
intimately to combine sulphur with these metals, that when 
exposed to heal they might (if I may be allowed the ex- 
pression) be-in chemical contact with it at the moment of 
their nascent metallic state; and as a low temperature suf- 
fices, as well to reduce those metals as to combine t)alla- 
dium with sulphur, I hoped that those effects might be 
produced before the total dissipation of the mercury. How 
far my expectation was hilfillcd has been stated in mv former 

'I he su'phuretfed hvdrogen gas uhich Messrs. Rose and 
Gehlen presented to those metals was combined with pot- 
ask. Now, in the course of docimastic lectures annually 


Plalina and Mercury upon each other. ?9 

delivered bv M.'Vauqucliu at the Ecole des Mines in Parii<, 
when he was professor at that establishment, it was his 
constant custom to exhibit an experiment to prove that 
mercury, precijMtated from its solution by many of the al- 
kaline and earthy hydro-sulphurets, was redissolved by 
adding an excess of them. 

It is moreover well known tliat there is a strong affinity 
between potash and the oxide of platina, and also that when 
those substances are brought together in solution, a triple 
salt, but little soluble, is the result. It was to avoid these 
difficulties that I had employed uncombined sulphuretted 
hydrogen gas ; for the method adopted by Messrs. Rose 
and Gehlen appearing to me to be the application of two 
divellent forces, I presumed that it would produce a sepa- 
ration. The result of their experiment, which, it appears 
from their paper, they had not anticipated, shows the ne- 
cessity of the precaution I had used. The operation which 
they performed to unite platina and mercury was, in fact, 
nearly the reverse of tl.iat Vvhlch they supposed they had 
repeated from me, and might have been applied perhaps 
with a better ])rospect of success towards the decompositioii 
of palladium. ij 

Messrs. Rose and Gehlen seem, in many parts of their 
paper, to question mv having fused platina : and inform 
us, that although they had exposed this metal in the furnace 
of the roval porcelain manufactory of Berlin, in which 
Wedgewood's pyrometer ceased to mark the degree of heat, 
they could not accomplish its fusion. iVlany of mv friends 
in England have, however, seen the buttons which I ob- 
tained, and which were not few in number. The flux which 
I had used was borax. Eut no mention is made in any one 
of the operations of Messrs. Rose and Gehlen of borax hav- 
ing been employed. 

In many oi their attempts they obtained an irregular and 
porous niass, v.-hich of course vvas of a speciiic gravity much 
inferior to that of platina; and it might be inferred from 
their paper that the diminution of speciiic gravity, which I 
had observed, was owing to the same cause. It is true, 
not only that I had very often obtained such a mass, but 
that I had frequently also observed no diminution whatsO'- 
ever in the speciiic gravity of the button which resulted 
from my operations. But all those upon which I had 
founded the conclusions alluded to by Messrs. Rose and 
Gehlen were performed in the following manner, and have 
been repeated since. A Hessian crucible was filled with 
lamp-blacky and the contents pressed hard together. The 


30 On the Attiort of 

lamp-black was then hollowed out to the shape of the cru- 
cible a^ lar as one-third from the bottom, leaving tiiat much 
filled wiih the compressed materials ; this linmg, which 
adhered ?trongly to the sides of the crucible, was made ex- 
trcmelv thin in order not to obstruct the passage of caloric. 
Acvlindrical piece of wood, as a pencil, was then forced inta 
the centre of the thick mass of lamp black at the bottom, 
and the diameter of this rod was determined by the quantity 
of metal to be fused, or varied according to other circum- 
stances at pleasure. In general the axis of the cvlindrica! 
hole v/as about three or four times the diameter of the basis* 
After withdrawmg the rod, the crucible was about half filled 
with borax. Upon this was placed the metal to be fused ; 
and if it had been before melted into a cylindrical form, the 
axis of the metallic cylinder was placed horizontally, anfl 
was of course perpendicular to the axis of the cyhndrica! 
excavation ai the bottom of the cover. More borax was 
then added to cover the piece of metal, and another quan- 
tity of lamp-black was presssed hard over the whole in order 
to keep it tight together. An earthen cover was finally 
luted to the crucible, and in this state it was exposed to heat 
in a forge, in which, upon another occasion, I had, in th« 
presence of Messrs. Hatchett, Howard, Davy, and others, 
completely melted a Hessian crucible lined and prepared iu 
the samo manner. The fuel v.hich I used was the patent 
coke of Messrs. Davey and Sawyer. In the present expe- 
riments T moderated the heat so as not materially to injure 
the crucil)lc, and, upon taking it out of the tire, the lining 
was generally found so coiDpact and so firm that it remained 
in a solid mass after the crucible was broken. When the 
metallic cylinder occupied the space at the bottom, it was 
natural to suppose that it had been fusesJ ; because in no 
othi r state but that of liquidity could it have run into the 
mould. In order, however, to prevent all objection^, I had 
the precaution to make the hole of a different diameter from 
the metallic cylinder, and to observe whether the necessary 
change in the shape of the latter ensued. If, after such a 
test, repeated as often as required, I perceived that the metal 
did not vary in its specific gravitv, I thought myself autho- 
rized to conclude that it was exempt from air. 

M. Kichter savs that he had hoped to have put iiimself in 
possession of a considerable piece of palladium by repeat- 
ing, uiih minute accuracy, the process which I had recom- 
mended as the best. He precipitated a mixed solution of 
platina and mercury by a solution of green sulphate of iron ; 
and, after varying the subsequent operations, to whicli he 


Vlatina and Mercury Upon each other, 3 1 

submitted the product he had obtained by this method, he 
was led to the foUowing imjxirtant conclusions, amongst 
others of less consequence: — 1st, That two metals, the se- 
parate solutions of which are not acted upon by a third 
body, mav be acted upon, and even reduced to the metallic 
state, by that same body when presented to them in one 
and the same solution. 

Sdiv, That n)ercury is capable of entering into combina- 
tion with platina, so that it cannot afterwards be separated 
by fire. From the (irst of these conclusions it is evident 
tiiat metals in their metallic state are not incapable of che- 
mical action upon each other; and from the second, that 
mercury can be fixed (it is purposely that I use the alche- 
mical expression) by platina. 

In addition to the chemists above mentioned, T must 
name two more who in Germany have been occupied bv 
palladium. M. TromsdorB', in a letter to the authors of 
the journal alreadv quoted, mentions his having- made some 
fruitless attempts to form this combination ; and M. Klap- 
roih. in a letter to M. Vauquelin, published in the Annak'^ 
de C/u"/n/<? lor Ventose, an 12, likewise says that he could 
not succeed in producing palladium. 

Messrs. Rose and Gehlen, as well as M. Richter, had 
conceived from my i>aper a reliance on the success of their 
experiments, which no words of mine had authorized, and 
have accused me of euforcing the truth of my results with 
a degree of certainty which their observations do not coun- 
tenance. M. Richter supposed that the formation of pal- 
ladium was attended with no difficulty; and in general 
they have laid so much stress upon this charge, that I should 
be inclined to think my paper had not been read by these 
chemists. In referring to it again, I find there is hardly a 
page iq which I do not mention some failure; and no ex- 
periment-, of the very few which occasionally succeeded, is 
related without my stating at the same time that it was re- 
peatedly unsuccessful. As far as regards palladium, it is 
rather a narration of fruitless attempts than a description of 
an infallible process, and more likely to create aversion to 
the pursuit than to inspire a contidence of success. Tiie 
course of experiments which I had made, as well before as 
after reading my paper to the society, took me up mo'e 
than two months, and employed me from twelve to sixteen 
hours almost every day. I had frequently seven or eight 
operations in the forge to perform daily, and I do not ex- 
aggerate the number of attempts I made during this time, 
as well in the dry as in th.e humid v/ay, in statmg thqm to 


32 On the Action of 

have been one thousand. Amongst these, I had four sucr 
cesshil operations. I persevered, because, even in my fail- 
ures, I saw sufficient to convince n)e that 1 should quit the 
road to truth if 1 desisted. After all my labour and fatigue 
I cannot say thai I had come nearer to my object, of ob- 
taining more certainty in my processes. Their success was 
still a hazard on the dice, against which there were many 
chances ; but till others had thrown as often as 1 had done, 
they had no sohd right to deny the existence of such a com- 
bination. On this foundation none, I believe, have esta- 
blished such a right. Messrs. Rose and Gehlen do not say 
how often their experiments were repeated ; but it is pro- 
bable that if they had been performed very often, iliese au- 
thors would not have neglected to mention it. M. Riehter 
states his merely as preparatory to more extensive researches ; 
and M. Tromsdorti", as well as M. Klaproth, mention little 
more than the fact. If the German chemists have con- 
cluded against my results, they have done so without just 
gruund«, and without having bestowed upon them that 
lal)our and assiduity for which they are usually so remarka- 

In this state of unccrtahity the compound nature of palla- 
dium received an indirect, but a very able, support trom 
some experiments of M. Ritter, the celebrated Galvanist of 
Jena. IVl. Ritter had ascertained the rank which a great 
innnbcr of substances hold iu a Galvanic series, arranged 
according to the j)roperly they possess of becoming positive 
or neoative when in contact with each other. He had 
estabhshed the following order, the preceding substance 
being in a minus relation to that whi''h comes next: 
Zinc, lead, tin, iron, bismuth, cobalt, antimony, platina, 
gold, mercury, t^iKer, coal, galena, crystallized tin ore, 
kupfer nickel, sulphur pyrites, copper pyrites, arsenical 
pyrites, graphite, crystallized oxide of manganese. lie had 
the iioodness to try palladium in my presence, and found it 
to be removed, not only from w hat I believed to be its con- 
stituent jiarts, but altogether from anujng the metals, and 
to stand between arsenical pyrites and graphite. This re- 
sult led iSl. Ritter into a new and general train of reasoning, 
and induced him to undertake the examination of a great 
niunber of alloys, and of a variety of amalgams. He con- 
sidered the subject as a philos()j)her, and his operations were 
those of a consumnuUe experimentalist. It would be doing 
him an injustice to attempt an extract of his ingenious 
paper, which contains a series of the most interestuig ex- 
periments. I shall merely observe for the present purpose, 


Platina dnd Mercury npojt each other. 33 

that It very rarely happened that ihe mixture of two metals 
bore anv determinate relation to the same u\etals when se- 
parate ; that in every case the smallest variation in the pro- 
portions produced the most marked etfects ; and that 
M. fiitter has furnished us with an instrument calculated 
to detect the presence of such small quantities as have hi- 
therto been considered as out of the reach of chemistry. 
As palladium [;resents a ver\ sliiking instance of the ano- 
maly, to which all compounds seem to be more or less sub- 
ject, by being removed altogether from the series of simple 
metals, this may serve to support the other proofs of its 
compound nature. 

One of the principal objections of those who dispute the 
truth of my conclusions uith respeet to palladium, is 
grounded upon the repeated failure of all t-rie methods I 
had made use of in forming it ; but this cannot be of verv 
great v/eight, when v/e consider the uncertainty of many 
other operations of chemistry. Tlic most simple are some- 
times liable to fail ; and the easiest analyses have often given 
different products in the hands of different chemists, who 
yet enjov indisputable and equal rights to the title of accu- 
racy. The progress which v/e have made in some parts of 
the science has not removed tlic obstacles wliich impede 
our advancement in others. We have no method of pro- 
ving the truth of an experiment except by repeating it ; yet 
this often tends 1e show nothing n)ore than contradictory 
results, and consequemly the fallibility of the art. 

But a recent case has occurred which is perfectly analo- 
gous to that of palladium. A few year^ ago, professor 
Lampadius, in dist»illino- some substances which contained 
sulphur and charcoal, obtained a liquid product of a pecu- 
liar nature. He repeated his experiments, but in vain; and, 
after manv fruitless attempts, abandoned his researches, and 
confined himself to stating the fact to the chemical world. 
Little notice was taken of it^ and not much interest was 
excited bv an experiment so likely to fail. Some time after 
this, Messrs. Cleiiient and Dcsornies obtained the same re-» 
suit, and attempted to produce the substance a second time. 
They performed a vast number of e^:periment3 ; but their 
;<uccess bore no proportion to their diligence and zeal. 
They publislied an account of their process and its conse- 
quences, but gained little credit, as no person v/a5 fortu- 
nate enough to produce the same substanco. Many disbe- 
lieved the experiments altogether, and denied the existerice 
of such a combination ; whilst otiiers, less inclined to 
doubt, attributed its formation to fortuicous ciEcumstance? 

Vol. i??. No. S3. June 1605. C which 

Til Action of Plaium and ^lerairy iipon cava other. 

\vhich iniirht never again occur together. In February ISO'f, 
firolessor Lanipadius, in distilling some pvritizcd wood;, 
tiioni^h with a different intent, obtained the same substance. 
As he had it now in his power to obyervG the ph:e>>omena 
tiiat attended its formation, he discovered, and has com- 
municated to the world, a method o-f producing rt which 
never fails. Since his late paj)cr upon the subjecty as the 
necessary precautions can be followed bv every chemist, 
Messrs. Clement and Dcsorjues have obtained that credit 
to which their experiments had, in truth, always been en- 
titled ; and the fornuilion of what professor Lampadius 
terms his sulphur-alcohol is no loncrer a result of chance, 
or accounted for bv being supyroscd one of those subtcriuges 
to which human pride resorts, in order to spare itscll th;^ 
confession of human weakness. 

l"he observatif)n of any new fact becomes a matter of 
general concern, and trulv worthy of philosophic contem- 
plation, then only when its inftnence is hkelv to be extended 
beyond the single instance to which it owes its discovery. 
Whether \\ater were a simple body or a compound, could 
have been of little importance as an insulated fact; but, 
connected with the va;st chain of reasoning it gave rise to. 
It opened a new lield for genius to explore. If in the pre- 
sent case our researches were to bcconfuied merely to ascer- 
taining wliether palladium were a simple metal or a com- 
pound, all the advantages likely to arise from the facts ob- 
served during the incpiiry would be lost ; and an object ot 
the most comprehensive interest wou'd thus sink into a 
controversy concernino; the existence of one more of those 
.substances v.hich ue have dignified with the name of ele- 
ments. It was in this point of view that Messrs. Richtcr and 
Kitter considered the Hubject as far as they went, and a few- 
facts arc Slated in my first paper in support of the opinion 
tluit palladiuni is but a particular instance of a general truth. 

VjV taking; the reasrining on subject, then, in its widest 
extent, we shall be led, 1 think, to the following conclu- 
sion, — that metals may exercise au action upon each other, 
even in tlu.-ir metallic state, capable of so altering some of 
their principal properties as to render the jiresenee of one 
or more of tliem not to be detected by the usual methods. 
In this is contained the posfcibility of a compound metal 
ajipearing to be sim))lc ; but to jirove this must be a work 
of great time arul perseverance, and can only be done by 
considering singly and successively the diirerent c.nses which 
it contains, and by inslitutinu" experiments upon each. 
When an a'.llnity w hieh unite-: luu bodies, and so blende 
4 their 

On a m'ineral Product ion from Devonshire. 33 

their difterent j^ropcrtics as to make them apparently one, 
has taken its hill etFcct, it will not be easy to separate them ; 
and this will be more particularly the case when neither ot" 
those substances is remarkable for exercising a powerful 
action upon others. 'J'he niediod of- analysis, therefore, 
does not promise much success ; and the labour of syn- 
thesis is suflicient to deter any individual from the under- 

[To l)e continued.] 

V. An ylvconul of some analii ileal Experiments on a mineral 
Production from Deconsldre, consisting principally of 
uJlamlne ar.d /later. By Humphry Daw, Es(j. F.R.S. 
ProJ'essor of Chennstry hi the Royal Institution*^ 

T. Preliminary Observations. 

X HIS fossil was found many years ago by Dr. Wavel, in 
a quarry near Barnstaple : Mr. Hatchett, who visited the 
place in 1796, described it as filling some of the cavities 
and veins in a rock of soft argillaceous schist. When first 
made known, it was considered as a zeolite; Mr. Hatchett, 
liowever, concluded, from its geological position, that it 
most probably did not belong to that class of stones ; and 
Dr. Babington, from its physical characters, and from some 
experiments on its solution in acids, made at his request bv 
.Mr. Stockier, ascertained that it was a mineral body as vet 
not described, and that it contained a considerable pronor- 
tion of alununous eartli. 

It is to Dv. Babington that I am obliged for the oppor- 
tunity of making a general investigation of its chemical 
nature; and that gentleman liberally supplied me with spc- 
cnnens for analysis. 

II. Se}islijle Characters of the Fossil. 

Tlie most conmion appearance of the fossil is in small 
hemispherical groups of crystals, composed of a number of 
filaments radiating from a connnon centre, and inserted ou 
the surface of the schist; but in some instances it exists as 
a collection of irregularly disposed prisms forming; small 
veins in the stone : as yet, I believe, no insulated or distinct 
crystal has been found. Its colour is white, in a few cases 
with a tinge of gray or of green, and m some pieces (appa- 

• From tliC Tia?i<iaciions of the Roval Societu for 1-30j. 

C 2 ' ' rently 

36 Analytical Experiments on 

rently beginning to decompose) ot" yellow. Its lustre is 
silky; some ot" the specimens possess semi-transparency, 
bui in general it is nearly opake. Its texture is loose, but 
small tVagments possess gre^t hardness, so as to scratch 

It produces no effect on the smell when breathed upon ; 
has no taste; does not become electrical or phosphorescent 
by heat or friction; and does not adhere to the tongue till 
after it has been strongly ignited. It does not decrepitate 
before the flame of the blow-pipe ; but it loses its hardness, 
and becomes quite opake. In consccjuence of the minute- 
ness of the portions in which it is found, few of them ex- 
ceeding the size of a pea, it is very difiicult to ascertain its 
specific gravity with any precision ; but from several trials I 
am disposed to believe that it does not exceed 2-70, that of 
water being considered as I'OO. 

III. Chemical Characters of the Fossil. 

The perfectly white and semi-transparent specimens of 
the fossil are soluble both in the mineral acids and in fixed 
alkaline lixivia by hca,t, without sensibly effervescing, and 
without leaving any notable residuum ; but a small part re- 
mains undissolved when coloured or opake specimens are 
exposed to the alkaline lixivia. 

A small semi-transparent piece, acted on by the highest 
heat of an excellent forge, had its crystalline texture de- 
stroyed, and was rendered opake ; but it did not enter into 
fusion. After the experiment it adhered strongly to the 
tono-ue, and u as found to have lost more than a fourth of 
its weight. Water and alcohol, whether hot or cold, had 
no effect on the fossil. When it was acted on by a heat of 
from 212** to 600^' Fahrenheit in a glass tube it gave out an 
elastic vapour, which, when condensed, appeared as a clear 
fluid possessing a slight cmpyreumaiic smell, but no taste 
different from that of pure water. 

I'he solution of the fossil in sulphuric acid, when eva- 
porated sufficiently, deposited crystals which appeared in 
thin plates, and had all the properties of sulphate of alu- 
niine ; and the solid matter, when redissolved and mixed 
with a little carbonate of potash, slowlv deposited octaedral 
crystals of alum. The solid matter precipitated from the 
solution of the white and semi-transparent Ibssil \n muriatic 
acid, was in I'lO manner acted upon bv solution of carbo- 
nate of ammonia, and thercibre it could not contain any 


a mineral Production fyoyn Devonshire. 37 

gluciiie or ittria; ami its perfect solubility without residuum 
in alkaline* lixivia showed that it was alumine. 

When the opake varieties of the fossil were fully ex- 
posed to the agency of alkaline lixivia, the residuum never 
amounted to more than l-'20th part of the weight of the 
whole. In the white opake variety it was merely calca- 
reous earth ; for, when dissolved in muriatic acid, not in 
excess, it gave a white precipitate when mixed with solu- 
tion of oxalate of ammonia, and did not affect solution cf 
prussiate of potash and iron. 

In the green opake variety calcareous earth was indicated 
by solution (jf oxalate of ammonia; and it contained oxide 
of manganese; for it was not precipitated by solution of 
ammonia; but w'as rendered turbid, and of a gray colour, 
bv solution of prussiate of potash and iron. 

The residuum of the alkaline solution of the vellovv va- 
riety, when dissolved in muriatic acid, produced a small 
quantity of white solid matter when mixed with the solu- 
tion of tlie oxalate of an)monia, and gave a light yellow 
precipiiaie bv exposure to ammonia; but after this, when 
neutralized, it did not aficct prussiate of potash and iron, 
so that its colouring matter, as there is every reason to be- 
lieve, was oxide of iron. 

IV. Analysis of the Fossil. 

Eighty grains of the fossil, consisting of the whitest and 
inost transparent parts that could be obtained, were intro- 
dviced into a small glass tube h.aving a bulb of sufficient 
capacity to receive them with great ease. To the end of 
this tube a small glass globe, attached to another tube com- 
municatlnfrwith a pneumatic mercurial apparatus, was joined 
by fusion by means of the blow-pipe. 

The bulb of the tube was exposed to the heat of an Ar- 
gand lamp, and the globe was preserved cool by beine: placed 
in a vessel of cold water. In consequence of this arranjje- 
ment, the fluid disengaged by the heat became condensed, 
and no elastic matter could be lost. 'I'he process was con- 
tinued for half an hour, when the glass tube was quite red. 

A very minute portion only of permanently elastic fluid 
passed into the pneumatic apparatus, and when examined 
jt proved to be common air. The quantity of clear fluid 
collected, when poured into another vessel, weiy;hed I9 
grains ; but, when the interior of the apparatus had been 
carefully wiped and dried, tb.e whole loss indicated was 21 
grains. The 19 grains of fluid had a faint smell, similar to 
that of burning peat ; it was transparent, and tasted like 

C 3 distilled 

38 Analiji'ical JLxpcrhnents on 

cllstliled water ; but it slightly reddened litmus paper. It 
produced no cloudiness in soUuions of nuu'iate of barytes, 
ot" acctite of lead, of nitrate of sdvcr, or of sulphate of iron. 

The 59 grains of solid matter were dissolved in diluted 
sul[)huric acid, which left no residuum ; and the solution 
was mixed with potash in sulTicienl quantity to cause the 
alumine at first precipitated again to dissolve. What re- 
mained undissolved bv potash, after being collected and 
properly v»ashed, was heated strongly and weighed ; its 
quantity was a grain and quarter. It was while, caustic to 
the taste, and had all the ])roperties of lime, 

The solution was mixed with nitric aeid till it became 
sour. Solution of carbonate of ammonia w;is then poured 
into it till the effect of decomposition ceased. Tise whole 
thrown into a filtrating apparatus left solid matter, which, 
when carefully washed and dried at the l)eat of ignition, 
weighed 56 grains. They were pure alumine : hence tlio 
general results of the experiments, when calculated upon, 
indicated for 100 parts of this specimen, 

Of alumine - - - 70 

Of lime - - - 1-4 

Of fluid - - - 26-2 

Loss -• - - 2--1 

The loss I am inclined to attribute to some fluid remain- 
ing in the stone after the process of distillation ; for I have 
found, from several experiments, that a red heat is not suf^^ 
fieicnt to expel all the matter capable of being volatilized, 
and that the full effect can only be produced by a strong 
white heat. 

Fifty grains of a very transparent part of the fo^?ii, by 
being exposed in a red heat for 1 j minutes, lost 13 grains ; 
but when they were heated to whiteness, the dencieucy 
amounted to 15 grains; and the ca.-e was similar in other 

Different specimens of the fos.sil were examined with grc.U 
care, for -the purpose of ascertaining whether any nunute 
portion of fixed alkali existed in them ; but no indications 
of this substance could be observed : the pnK'esscs were 
conducted by means of solutic^n of the unaltered fossil in 
nitric acitl ; the carth^j and oxides were precipitated troni 
the solution by being boiled witli carbonate of ammonia ; 
and after their separation the fluid was evaporated to dry- 
ness, and t!ie nitrate of amniouia decomposed by heat, w hen 
no residuum occurred. 

A comparative analysis of 30 grains of a very pellucid 
spcclinen was macie b)- solution in lixivium of potash, '1 bis 


<7 miticrid Production from Devonslnre. ,3p 

Fpccinicu lost eight grains bv long continued ignition, after 
which it easily dissolved in the lixivium by lieat, leaviny.- a 
residuum of a quarter of a grain only, which was red oxide 
of iron. 'J'he precipitate from the solution of [lotash, made 
!)y means of muriate of aannonia, weighed, wlicn properly 
treated, 21 arains. 

Several specimens were distilled in the manner above de- 
scribed, and in all cases the water collected had siunlar pro- 
pel ties. The only test by which the presence of acid matter 
in It could be detected was litmus paper j and in some cases 
the effect upon this substance was barely perceptible. 

y. General Ohserrnl'ions. 

T liave made several experiuicnts with the liope of ascer- 
taining the nature of the acid matter in the water ; but, 
irom ih-e impossibility of procuring anv consi'derable quan- 
tity of the fossil, they have been wholly unsucccL^sful. It 
«, however, ■evident, from the experiments already detailed, 
tiiat it is not one of the known mineral acids. 

f am disposed to believe, i^om the minuteness of its pro- 
portion, and from the ditterenc<: <if this proportion in dif- 
ferent cases, that it is not essential to the con)position of 
the stone ; and that, as well as the oxide of niantianese, that 
of iron, and the hme, it is onlv an accidentid ingredient; and 
on this idea the pure matter of the fossil must be considered 
as a cheniic;al combination of about thirty parts of water 
and seventy of alumine. 

The experiments of M. Theodore de Saussure ou the prc- 
cipitat-ion* of alumine from its solutions, have demon'strated 
■the allinitv of tins body for water; but as yet I believe no 
aluminous stone/ except that which I have jnst described, 
has been found, containing so large a pro]).artion of water 
as thirty parts in the hundred. 

The dias|X)re, which has been examined by M. ^''auquc- 
lin, and which loses sixteen or seventeen ))arts in the hun- 
tlred by isuition, an.d which contains nearly eighty of alu- 
mine, and only three of oxide of iron, is supposed by that 
excellent chemist to be a eompound of akmjine and water. 
Its physical and chemical characters differ, however, very 
much from those of the new fossil, and other researches are 
wanting to ascertain whetiier the part of it volatilized bv 
iieat is of the same kind. 

T -have examined a fo.-sil from near St. Austle, in Corn- 
wall, very similar to the fossil from Barnstaple in all its 

* Journal de Phv«iq;ie, tuni. lii. p. 'i80. 

C 4 genera! 

40- Experiments on IP'ootz. 

general chemical characters; and I have been informed that 
an analysis of it, made by the Rev. William Gregor some 
months since, proves that it consists of similar ingredients. 
Dr. Babiugton has proposed to call the fos?il from Devon- 
shire IVovellile, Irom Dr. Wavel, the gentleman who dis- 
covered it ; but if a n'me founded upon its chemical com- 
position be preferred, it may be denominated hydrargillitCy 
from vc-j;p water, and aV/;A/.o^ clay. 

VT. Experhients on JJ'oofz. By Mr. David Mcshet*. 

1. HK following experiments were made at the request of 
sir Joseph Banks, on five cakes of wootz, with which he 
.supplied me for that purpose. As the cake?, which were 
numbered i, 2, 3, 4, 5, were nor all of the same quality, 
it will be proper first to describe the differences observable 
m their external form and appearance. 

No. 1 . was a dense solid cake, without any flaw or fungous 
appearance upon the fiat, or, what I suppose to be, the upper 
side. The round or under surface v>as covered uilh sn)aU 
pits or hollows, two of which were of considerable depth ; 
t)ne throuoh which the slit or cut had run, and another 
nearly as Targe towards the edge of the cake. These de- 
pressions, the eifects, as I suppose, of a species of crystal- 
lization in cooling, vere continued round the edges, and 
even approached a little way upon the upper surface of the 

The cake was a quarter of an inch thicker at one extre- 
mity of the diameter than that at the other; from winch I 
infer, that the pot or crucible in which this cake had been 
made had not occupied the furnace in a vertical position. 
Its convexity, compared to that of the other five, was se- 
cond. Upon breakino- the thin fin of steel, which connects 
the half cakes together, I found it to possess a very small 
dense wliite grain. This appearance never takes place but 
with steel of the best qualiiv, and is less fre(]uent in very 
high steel, though the quality be otherwise good. 

Upon examining the break with attention, T perceived 
several lamina; and minute cells filled with rust, which in 
working are never expected to unite or shut together. The 
grain otherwise was uniformly regular in point of colour 
and size, and possessed a favom-able appearance of steel. 

• From the Tran.-actions of the Royal t'ocirti/ for 1905. 

No. 2. 

IL.Tper'imcJits on IVootx. 4! 

No. 2. This cake iiad two very different aspects ; one 
side was dense and regular, the other hollow, spongy, and 
f>rotuberant. Tlic under suruice was mo^e uniformly honey- 
combed than No. 1 : the convexity in the nnddle ^^ as greater, 
but towards the edges, parlicularlv on one side, it became 
flaller. The grain exposed by breaking was larger, bluer 
ill colour, and more sparkling than No. 1. In breaking, 
the fracture tore but sli^htlv out, and displayed the same un- 
-connected laminai, with rustv surfaces, as were observed in 
No. 1. Beside these, two thin fins of malleable iron pro- 
jected from the unsound side, and seemed incorporated 
with the mass of steel throughout. Towards the centre of 
the break, and near to the excrescence common to all tliC 
cakes, groups of malleable grains were distinctly visible. 
The same appearance, though in a slighter degree, mani- 
fested itself in various places throughout the break. 

No, 3. The upper surface of this cake contained several 
deep pits, which seemed to result from the want of proper 
fluidity in fusion. They differed materially from those de- 
scribed upon the convex sides of No. 1 and '2, and were of 
that kind would materiallv affect the steel in forging. 

The under or convex side of this cake presented a few 
crystalline depressions, and those very small ; the convexity 
was greater than that of No. 1 and 2, the fracture of the fin 
almost smooth, and only in one place exhibited a small 
degree of tenacity in the act of parting. In the middle of 
the break, about half an inch of soft steel was evident; and 
in different spots throughout niunerous groups of malleable 
sjrains and thin laminae of soft blue tough iron made their 

No. 4. was a thick dense cake possessed of the greatest 
convexity; the depressions upon the under side were neither 
so larsie nor so numerous as those in No. 1 and 2, nor did 
they approach the upper surface of the cake further than 
the acute edge. This surface had the most evident marks 
of hammering to depress the feeder, or fungous part of the 
metal, which m the manufacturing seems the gate or orifice 
by wliich the metal descends in the act of crravitation. 

The break of this cake, however favourable as to external 
appearance, was lar from being solid. Towards the feeder 
it seemed loose and crumbly, and much oxidated. The 
grain divided itself into two distinct strata, one of a dense 
whitish colour, the other large and blucish, containing a 
number of small specks of great brilliancy. Several irre- 
gular lines of malleable iron pervaded the mass in varioua 
8 placas. 

42 ILxperimcnls on IToofz. 

places, which indicated a compound too heterogeneous for 
good steel. 

5th cake. This was materially different in appearance 
from any of the former. It liad received but httle ham- 
mering, vet was smooth, and free from depressions, or 
honev-coml) on both surhaces. The feeder, insieai.i of being 
an excrescence, presented a deep concave beautifully cry- 
stall ized. 

In breaking, the fracture tore out considerablv, but pre- 
sented a very irregular quality of gram. That towards the 
under surface was small and uniform, but towards the Hat 
or upper surface it increased in size, and in the blneness of 
its colour, till it passed into tne state of malleable iron. 

Tlie break of tiiis steel, though apparently soft, was the 
least homofieneous of the v.hoIe, and tbrouehout it [iresented 
a very brilliant arrangement of crystal, w hieh in other steel 
is always viewed with suspicion. 

General Fievuirk. 

Uniformly the iyin\ and density of the wootz are homo- 
geneous, and free from malleable iron towards the under 
or round surface ; but alwa}-s the reverse towards tlie feeder 
or upper side. 

Remarks in Forging. 

No. 1. One-half of the cake 'was heated slowly, hv an 
annealing heat, to a deep red, and put under a sharp broad- 
mouthed chisel with a small degree of taper. It cut with 
ditliculty, was reheated, and cracked a little towards one 
end of tlie slit or cut originally in the cake. 

The heat in this trial was so moderate that I was afraid 
that the erack had arisen from a want of tenacity, oceasumed 
bv the heai being too low. 

Tl>e other half v\as heated a few shades higher, and sui)- 
jeeted to the same mode of cutting : before the chisel had 
half way reached the bottom, the piece parted in two in the 
direction of the depression made by tlie cutting instrument. 
The additiomil heal in this instance proved an mjury, whde 
the cracking of the steel in both eases, particularly the 
former, was a certain proof of the abundance, or rather of 
the excess of the steely principle. 

The fractures of both half cakes, now obtairicd for a se- 
cond time, were materially diRerent from that oi)taiMed bv 
the simple division of the cake, 'i'he grain w as nearly uni- 
form, distinctly marked, but of too gray a colour for ser- 
viceable steel. Two of the ipiarters being diawn into neat 

bai < 

Experiments on JVuotz. -11 

bars under lianJ-hammers at a low heat, one of them con- 
tained a number of cracks and fissnres. The fracture was 
gray, tore out a little in breaking, but was otherwise yolkv 
and exeessiv'clv dense. A small bar, of ])enknifc size, wa.> 
improved greatly in drawing dovvn, and had onlv one crack 
in thirteen inches of length. The grain and fracture were 
both hiohlv improved liy this additional labour; the tena- 
city of the steel was greater, and it stood lirmly under the 
hammer at a bright red heat. 

'i'he other two quarters of this cake were squared a little, 
and successively put under a tilt hammer, of two hundred 
M'eio;ht, goino: at the rate of three hundred blows per mi- 
nute, and drawn into small penknife size. One of the bars 
from an outside piece, ah-, avs the most solid, was eutirely 
free fi'om cracks, and had only one small scale running upon 
one side. 

These bars cxliibitcd a tougher hre.ik than those drawn 
by hand ; tlie colour \a as whiter, and the grain possessed a 
more regular and silky appearance. 

Foririn<r ]\'o. t?. 

One-half of this cake was heated to a scarlet shade, and 
put under the cutting chisel ; it was at first struck liuhtlv, 
then reheated, and cut comparativelv soli; but a small crack 
had over- run the progress of the ctiisel. Its softness in 
cutting was attributed to an evident want of solidity. Tlie 
other half cake felt harder under the hammer, but proved 
afterwards spongy throughout the mass. In the act of cut- 
ting, a loose pulverized matter was disengaged iron) some 
of the cells, possessed of a shining appearance. 

The fractures obtained in consequence of the division of 
the half cakes presented a llattish crystallized appearance, 
jnore resembling very white cast iron than steel CL^pable of 
being extended under the hammer. One of the middlccuts 
was entirely cellular with crystallized interiors, and, inca- 
pable of drawing; the corresponding cut of the other half 
cake was drawn into a straiglit bar three quarters of an inch 
jn breadth and three-eighths thick, but was covered witii 
cracks and flaws from end to end. The colour of the break 
\vas one shade lighter than No. l ; it tore less out, was 
tqually yolky, and possessed on the whole an aspect very 
imfavourable tor a'ood steel. 

The other two outside quarters were also drawn into shape, 
one vmder the tilt hammer, and the other bv hand. These 
were more solid m the fracture, possessed fewer surface- 
^cracksj stood a li'ghcr degree of heat, tore cut more, and 


44 Expcrimpnts on Wootz. 

exhibited a silky glossy grain, at least two shades lighter 
in the colour than the centre pieces. 

Forging 3d Cake. 

One-lialf of this cake, first subjected to be cut, was found 
sotter than any of the preceding, and exhibited no svmptoni 
of cracking. The other half was cut at three heats, but 
found loose and hollow in the extreme. A considerable 
portion of the same brilliant powder, formerlv noticed, was 
here agair. disengaged. It was carefully taken up for exa- 
minaiion, and found to be very fine ore of iron in a pulvc- 
rescent state, very obedient to the magnet, and without any 
doubt an xuMnetallized portion of that from which wootz is 

This curious circumstance led me to examine everv pore 
and cell throughout the v. hole fragments. On the upper 
surface of two of them I found small pits containing a por- 
tion of the ore, which had been slightly agglutinateJ in the 
tire, but still highly magnetic. The upper surface of the 
present cake, close by the gate or feeder, contained a large 
pit filled with a stratum of semi-fused ore, surmomited by 
a mass of vitrified niatter, which bore evident n)arks of con- 
taining calcareous earth. 

Those who have devoted sufficient attention to the affi- 
nities of iron and earths for carbon, will be surprised to find 
thar, on this paiticidar subject, the rude fabricators of steel 
in Hindostan have got the start of our more polished coun- 
trymen in the manufacture of steel. 

Two bars of wootz v.cre formed from this cake, and 
these, in point (jf quality, inferior to any of those formerly 

f)roduced. The appearance of the metal was nvire varied, 
ess homogeneous, and contained more distinct laminae with 
rnstv t^urfaces than either of the two former cakes. 

It appeared highly probabh;, from the observations that 
occurred in forging, and in the examination of the cake, 
that the original proportion of mixture was such as \\ould 
have formed a" quality of steel softer than No. 1 and 2; but 
as steel of such softness requires a greater heat to fuse it 
than when more fully saturated with carbonaceous matter, 
it is probable that the furnace had not been sufficicntlv 
povv'erful to occasion complete fusion of the whole mass, 
and generate a steel homogeneous in all its parts. 

Forging 4(h Cake. 

Both halves of this cake cut pleasantly, and with a degree 
of tenacity and resistance, nuxcd at the ^ame time with soft- 

lExper'i merits on Jlcafz. 45 

ness beyond what was experienced in any of the former 
cakes. Two quarters of this cake were drawn under the 
tilt hammer, and one by hand. The resuhing bars were 
nearly perfect. A shght scale was observable upon the bar 
from that quarter which contained the figure. The fracture 
was solid, though not homogeiiecus as to quality and c<i- 
lour, and it appeared pretty evident that a considerable por- 
tion of one side through the whole bar was in the state of 
malleable iron, and of course not capa'ole of being hardened. 
It was a subject of considerable regret that the cake the most 
})erf»;ct and the most tenacious of the whole, in the procet;^ 
of forging, should get an imperfection which rendered it 
useless for the perfect purposes of steel. 

Forging 5th Cake. 

The first half of this cake cut uncommonly soft for wootz, 
but by cracking before the chisel still exhibited a want of 
proper tenacity. The next half cut equally soft, but with 
more tenacity. Two quarters of this cake drew readily out 
under the tilt hammer, and a third was drawn by hand at a 
bright red, sometimes approaching to a faint white heat. 
iS;one of the bars thus obtained were uniformly free from 
cracks and scale, although the fracture exhibited a fair break 
of a light blue colour, and the grain was distinctly marked, 
and free from yolks. 

General Remarks. 

The formation of wootz appears to me to be in conse- 
quence of the fusion of a peculiar ore, perliaps calcareous, 
or rendered highly so by mixture of calcareous earth alom^ 
with a portion of carbonaceous matter. That this is per- 
formed in a clay or other vessel or crucible, is equally pre- 
sumable, in which the separated metal is alloued to'cool ; 
hence the crystallization that occupies the pits and cells 
tound in and upon the under or rounded surface of the 
wootz cakes. 

The want of homogeneity and of real solidity in almost 
ever}' cake of v/ootz, appears to me to be a direct conse- 
quence of the want of heat sufficiently powerful to efilct a 
perfect reduction ; v.hat strengthens this supposition much 
is, that thoie cakes that are the hardest, i. e. that contam 
the greatest quantity of carbonaceous matter, and cf course 
form the most fusible steel, are always the most solid and 
homogeneous. On the contrary, those cakes into which 
the cutting chisel most easily finds its wav, arc in general 


46 Experiments on IJoofz, 

rtllular, replete with lani'uue, and abound In veins of ma!-- 
ica'ole iron. 

It is probable, had the native of Ilindostan llie means of 
rcnderinn his cast steel as ikiid as water, it would have oc- 
curred to him to have riui it into moulds, and bv this means 
have acquired an article uniform in its quality and conve- 
uient for those purposes to which it is applied. 

The hammering, which is evident around the feeder and 
>ipv)n the upper surface in general, may thus be accounted 
for: — Wiien the cake is taken from the pot or crucible, the 
feeder will n)ost probably be slightly elevated, and the top 
of tile cake partially covered with sn'iall masses of ore and 
steel iron, which the paucity of the heat had left either im- 
periectly separated or unfused. These most probably, to 
make the product more marketable, are cut oft' at a second 
heatinjT, and the whole surface hanjmtred smooth. 

I have observed the same facts and similar appearances 
in operations of a like nature, and can account satisfactorily 
for it as follows : 

The iirst portions of metal that are separated in experi- 
ments of this nature, contain the largest share of the wlioie 
carbon introduced into the mixture. It follows, of course, 
ihat an inferior degree of heat will maintain ihis portion of 
uietal in a state of fluidity, but that a much higher temj)e- 
ralure is requisite to reduce the particles of metal, thus for 
a season rolibed of their carbon, and bring them into con- 
tact with the portion first rendered fluid, to receive their 
proportion of the stcelv principle. Where the heat is lan- 
guid, the descent of the last portions of iron is sluggish, 
the mass below begins to lose its fluidity, while its disposi- 
tion for giving out carbon is reduced by the gradual addition 
of more iron. An accumulation takes place of metallic 
ma.sses of various diameters, rising up for half an inch or 
jnore into the glass that covers the metal ; these are neailv 
welded and in:..ertcd mto each other, and dinfuiish in dia- 
meter as thsy go up. The length or even the existence of 
li'iis iw.der or excre^eence de[)end3 upon the heat in gene- 
ral, and upon its temperature at ditierent periods of the 
same proce-is. If there has been sufncient heat, the surface 
will be convex, and uniformlv crystalline; but if the heal 
has been urt'cd, alter the leeder has been formed and an 
allinity estr^bli^hed between it and the steelilied mass below, 
it will only partially disapjKMr in the latter, and the head 
or part of the upper end of tlic feeder will be ibuiid -urpended 
iu the i^lass that covers the jLccI. 


Experiments on IVoolz. 47 

Tlic same or similar plicenomena take place in separating 
crude iron from its ores, when highly carbonated, and diffi- 
cult, from an excess of carbon, of being fused. 

The division of the wootz cake by the manufacturers of 
Hindostan, I apprehend, is merely to facilitate its subse- 
(juent appiicatlou to the purposes of the artist ; it may serve 
at the same time as a test of the quality of the steel. 

To ascertain, bv tlirect experiment, whether wootz owed 
its hardness to an extra quantity of carbon, the following 
experiments were performed with various portions of wootz, 
of conmion cast steel and of wiiite crude iron, premising 
that, in operations with iron and its ores, I have always 
found the comparative measure of carbon best ascertained 
by the quantity of lead which was reduced froui flint glass. 

\st Cuke. 

Fragments of wootz - - G5 grs. 

Poun<ied fliuL glass three times the weight IQj 
This mixture was exposed to a heat of J 60° of Wedgc- 
^vood, and the wootz fused into a well crystallized spherule 
of steel. A thin crust of revived lead was found below the 
wootz, which weighed 9 grains, or VuvV *-^^*2 weight of the 

2d Cake. 

Fragments of wootz - - SO grs. 

Flint glass, same proportion as above - 240 
. The fusion of the mixture iir this experiment was pro- 
ductive of a mass of lead weighing 10 grains, equal to 1-Sth 
the weight of the uootz. 

3d Cake. 

Fragments of w ootz - - "Jb grs. 
Flint glass - - - 225 

The mass of lead precipitated beneath the steel in this 
♦experiment, amounted to 9 grains, or y\jS_ the weight of 
ilic wootz emploved. 

Ath Cake. 

Fragments of wootz - - 93 2:rs. 

Flint iilass - - - 279 

Lead obtained, precipitated from the glass by means of 
the carbon of the wootz, 1-1^ grains 3 equal to ^^j^'^^- the- 
weight of the wootz. 

btJi Cake. 

Fragment? of w ootz - - 69 cfrs. 
Flint glass - - - 207 "^ 


4S JExperiments on tVoolz. 

The lead revived in this experiment amounted to ^ grain?, 
which is equal to yV^o ^^^ weight of the wootz. . 

Ctk. Cast Steel formed with \-6oih Part its weight of 
Fragments - - 90 grs. 

Crvstal glass - - 270 

Lead revived 8-^ grains, equal to -rohs the weight of the 
steel introduced. 

"Jth. IVhite cast Iron dropt while Fluid into JVater, 

Fragments - - 103 grs. 

Crystal glass - - 30,4 

The fusion of this precipitated <23\ grains of lead, whicU 
is equal lo -^^^^ the weight of the cast iron. 

Recnpilulatioii of these Experiments. 

1st Cake of wootz revived of lead - -139 grs. 

2d ditto - - - 'isi 

•>d ditto - - - -leo 

4th ditto - _ - '\5Q 

5th ditto - - - M02 

Steel containing 1 -^Goih of its weight of carbon '09 1 
Cast iron - - - - -223 

It would appear to result from these experiments, that 
wootz contains a greater proportion of carbonaceous matter 
than the common qualities of cast steal in this country, and 
that some particular cakes approach considerably to the na- 
ture of cast iron. This circumstance, added to the imper- 
fect fusion which generally occurs in the formation of 
woot:^, appears to me to be quite sufticient to account for 
its refractory nature, and unhomogeneous texture. 

Notwithstanding the many imperfections with which 
wootz is loaded, it certainly possesses the radical principles 
of good steel, and impresses us with a high opinion ot" the 
ore from which it is formed. 

Tiie possession of this ore for the fabrication of steel and 
bar iron, might to this country be an object of the highcat 
importance. At present it is a subject of regret that such 
2 source of wealth cannot be annexed to its c;ipit^l and ta- 
lent. Were such an event practicable, then our East India 
company might, in their own dominions, supply their stores 
with a valuable article, and at a much inferior price to any 
they send from this country. 

VIT. An 

■ [ -iy ] 

\'If. An Essay on Medical Entomology . By F. Chau- 
METOx, Physician to the Army. 

[Conchidcd from p. 351.] 

X* oiiiMiCA — The Ant. — These insects, ou the pedicle of 
their abdomen, have a small vertical scale, a large head, 
small eves, broken antennae, and strong n)andibles. Each 
species consists of three kinds ; inalcs and females, provided 
with long wings, and neutrals or labourers, who arc desti- 
tute oF them. The two last kinds have sharp retractile 

x\nts live like bees in large societies. The government 
of both is founded on injustice, ingratitude, and barbaritVi 
There is no difference bat in the choice of the victims j in 
a bee-hive the niales are banished or cut in pieces after thev 
have si'iven birth to a numerous fannlv ; in an ant-hill the 
females are cruelly expelled as soon as their eggs have been, 

The strong penetrating emanations which escape from an 
ant-hill, have given reason to suspect that the insects which 
inhabit it possess medicinal properties, and this conjecture 
has often been veritied bv experience. A cataplasm of 
bruised ants, with their nvniphce, connnonly called eogs, 
and a portion of their habitation, has been sometimes ap- 
plied with success to limbs attacked with rheumatic pains^ 
oedema, or palsy. The same cpithem has increased the 
energy of the organs of generation. Baths rendered stimu- 
lating by the expressed juice of a larije quantity of ants, have' 
been found very etiicaeious in similar cases. The desire, 
no doubt, of having at all seasons a medicine proved to be 
so useful, gave rise to the invention of oil of anls. In re- 
gard to Hoffman and Kunrath's watov of magnanimity, its 
pompous title was' never justified by experience. It may be 
readdy conceived, that in such compositions t\^ virtue of 
the ants is altered or destroyed, when it is considered that 
it resides essentially in the acid, of which these insects fur- 
nish, bv mere lixiviation or distillation, a quantity equal to 
Iialf their weight. 

I'he formic acid, diluted with water, is agreeable to the 
palate, and with the addition of a little sugar forms excel- 
lent lemonade. Ardrissou and Q^hrne have proposed to 
substitute this acid in the room of vinegar for domestic 

* 1 am of opinion, however, that these animals die a natural death, like 
the dories. 

Vol. £2. No. S5. June 1S05, D purposes. 

50 On Medical Entomology. 

purposes. Alcohol, with which it perfectly mixes, ouglil, 
as we may say, to give it wings; to multiply its virtues, and 
in particular, to increase that of rou.'»ing the palled organs. 

The formic acid unites so easily with alkalis, that, if a 
piece of linen imbibed w ith these bases be presented to an 
aiit-hill, you will obtain forniiates of soda, potash, or 
ammonia. I have strong reasons for believing that these 
two salts are preferable to the acetites of potash and am- 
monia ; and if the formic acid has a great analogy to the 
phosphoric, as Thouvenel thinks, the formiate of soda 
would furnish the healing art with a gentle purgative, much 
cheaper than the phosphate. 



Scorpio — The Scorpion.'^-Thc scorpion is di.'*tinguished 
by characters so striking that it is impossible not to know 
it on the first view. It has a long articulated tail, termi- 
natinfT in a sharp moveable hook, which to this animal ia 
both a defensive and offensive weapon. Under its man- 
dibles there are enormous feelers, terminating in pincers, 
like those of crabs. These feelers, which Spieiman calls 
cheliform antennae, are much longer than the feet. The 
latter are eight in number, as well as the eyes. At the 
posterior part of the breast also there are two dentated 
scales in the form of combs, the use of which has not yet 
been discovered*. 

Scorpio Eurof,^us. — The European scorpion lives like 
the other species in the warm or very temperate climates. 
It is commoij in Spain, in Italy, and in the south of 
France. Its length varies from one to two inches : it^ 
pincers are oval and angular : its combs have sixteen or 
eighteen teeth. 

If the sting of the European scorpion were mortal, as ha? 
been asserted, it would be a powerful cause of depopulation 
in certain towns, in which I have seen this insect inhabit- 
ing without molestation the greater part of the houses, and 
infesting even the beds. We must not, therefore, give 
implicit"belief to the tales circulated on this subject. I wa:i 
stung at Lodi bv a brown scorpion an inch in length, and 
of the size of a goose quill. The result was only a slight 
pain, and a superficial phlogosis, which was soon dissi- 

• It is supposed that they serve a* organs of respiration, and that thtj 
have an analogy to the branchix- of the Crustacea, for scorpions in their 
form approach to that order of animals. 


On Medical Entomology . 51 

pated*. Several soldiers were also stung in their lodgings, 
and at the military hospital, which swarmed with these 
animals. Some of the patients came to me with the in- 
sects still adhering to the part of the body which they had 
wounded : none of them experienced any accident more 
serious than I did. G. Fabbroni of Florence, G. Vasi of 
Rome, and G. L. Targioni of Naples, assured ine that the 
Sling of the scorpion is scarcely ever accompanied with 
alarming symptoms in these cities, though the temperature 
there is much warmer ihan in Lombardy. These imaginary 
dangers, however, have given rise to the preparation of oil 
of scorpions, which, notwithstanding the present improved' 
state of science, is classed in several new works among the 
alexipharmacs : we must not, however, reject with con- 
tempt the testimony of Monardcs, who pretends that he 
found benefit in the plague from liniments of this oil, as 
the horrid effects of that terrible scourge have often been 
prevented by frictions with olive oil f. 

The Arabs injected oil of scorpions into the bladder to 
dissolve the stone, and it is needless to add that their at- 
tempts were always fruitless. Ttie moderns have severely 
reproached the Arabians for their stupid contidence ; but 
they have not been less credulou.- cr more successful : we 
have seen them extol saponaceou.. and alkaline preparations, 
lime water, the interior bark of the lime tree, and, in par- 
ticular, the trailing arbutus, arhdiis uva ursi. This shrub 
has in turns heated the imagination of Barbeyrac, Quer, 
Girardi, Murray, de Haen, 8cc. The last does not hesitate 
to propose it as a real lithontriptic. But no one is igno- 
rant that this man, so haughty and so passionately fond of 
fame, has not always impressed his writings with the seal 
of truth. If there exists a solvent of the stcme in the 
bladder, it must be discovered by chemistry, and the phi- 
lanthropic labours of Fourcroy seem already to hold out a 
consoling prospect. But still our hopes are very feeble, 
and it is much to be apprehended that the resources of me- 
dicine will be always confined to one infallible lithontriptic, 
namely cystotomy. 

Cancer-^ TAe 6Va?'.— The numerous species which con- 
stitute this genus have forms exceedingly various. Their 

• I caused myself to be stun^ at Florence, and with the same result, in 
the presence of F. Fontana, who had been employed in analysing chemically 
the European Scorpion, and who had found in ihe juices of that insect an 
acid completely formed, and a gumhiy viscid matter, analogous to the poisou 
of the viper. 

f Desgenette's Hist. Med, de TArmte d'Orient. 

D 2 internal 

■^'-J 0>i Medical EnLomolosh'. 

internal and external organization seems to remove them. 
tVom all other insects except the monoculi, to whicJr thev 
liave a great aflinity. On this account several naturalists 
have united these two gericra under the name ot" Crustacea. 
But was it necessary to make ol' them a separate class, and 
will naturaHsts never become sensible of the inconvenience 
ot those endless divisions which render zoology an inexpli- 
cable chaos ? 

C^rabs have a head and breast confounded in one piece, 
which bears tive pair of legs, the first of which terminate 
generally in pingers. The tail is of greater or less size, and 
formed of dilVerent articulations ; their eyes are compound- 
ed, and supported by a moveable pedicle: they have for the 
most part four antennas formed of threads, sometimes 
double or treble : the branchiie are very complex : thev 
liave a muscular heart, from which proceed a great manv 
vessels; a stomach supported by an osseous structure, and 
containing three hard stony pieces, which pound theic 
aliments. The organs of generation arc double in each 
sex, and have their exit at the bottom of one of the pairs 
of legs. 

All crabs are aquatic, and change their shell every year : 
at the same time also they throw up the stones from their 

The eray-jish {Cancer aslacus) is commonly served up at 
our tables. 

The great horse crab (Cancer pagurf/.'<), the lobster (Can- 
cer gauunanis), the prawn (Cancer serratus), the white, 
shrimp (Cancer sc/ailla), and the spiny lobster (Cancer 
ho?nara.s), have a more delicate taste. They all furnish an 
abundant quantity of gelatine, which renders broth nutritive- 
and detergent. It is by the first of these properties that it 
acts in phthisis : it develops the second in cutaneous dis- 
eases, and Pinel reconnnends it in leprosy f. 1 am of opi- 
nion with Biehat, that, notwithstanding the sarcasms 
sometimes just thn^w n out atjainst the humoral medicine, it 
rests on a real foundation ; and in a nuikitudc of cases 
L-verv thing ought to be referred to a viti.ited slate of the 
humours :{;. 

At the period when the cray-fish easts its shell, to 
assume a new (;ne, tliere are found on the sides of its 
stomach, between the nu-mbraues of that viscus, two cal- 
careous concretions, which are emi»loved as absorbents, 

* Cuvler Tab. lilemcnt. dc I'Hist. Nat, des Aiiiin. p. 'IJG. 
f MosojjT. Phi los. deux. edit. n. 85S. 
i Anat. ContT. jmrt I p. 'J:\C. 


On Medical Entomology. 53 

Tinder the litliculous denomination of crab's eves. A simi- 
lar virtue is ascribed to the pincers of ihe larger species, 
t'anctr pagurus, gatinuarus, Ike. These inert and hurtful 
substances have, houever, been long since proscribed bv 
sound chemistry. Were it proved tiiat a morbific affection 
was produced by the presence of an acid in the primary or 
-ccoiularv pass.i2;es^ pure and not carbonated magnet ia 
^ould be the most ))roper remedy. 

()xis€i;s — The JJlx-^d-loitsc. — The body of this insect is 
oval, and formed of articulated segments, the lirst seven ot 
which have ea-ch a pair of leirs ; their eyes are compounded 
.and •lixed, -and their antennoe setaceous. 

The conmion wood-louse, Oniscus astUa<:, the tail of 
which is terminated by two filiform appendages, or the 
armadillo, whicli is indebted for its denomination to the 
property it has of folding itself double on the least danger, 
is the one chosen for medicinal purposes. 

The trials made bv Lister, Neumann, and Cartheuser, 
to determine the constituent principles of wood-lice, were 
only rude sketches. Thouvenel tlirew some light on the 
chemical analyses of these insects, and on the use of thcni 
in the art of healing. When distilled alone in a balneum 
niarife, thev gave a water sufficientlv alkaline to render 
syrup of violets greenish. Being then treated with water 
and alcohol, thev furnished a fourth part of their weight of 
extractive. and civons matter, which ether separated from 
each other, dissolving tlie latter without touching the 
former. The expressed juice of wood-lice contains muri- 
ates of lime and of potash, in which reside the dissolvino- 
and aperient qualities, which cannot be refused to these 
insects. Dioscorides and Entnuiller extol the efficacy of 
them in obstructions of th<i abdominal viscera. Riviere has 
<onlirnied the utility of them in arthritic affections, foul 
\dcers, and tvmors o-f the breasts of v omen. Thev are 
killed by the -steam of alcoho^, kxiA are tiicn dried and pul- 
\erised. This preparation is superfluous, and even preju- 
dicial, when these insects are "employed in disorders of the 
))reast. 1 have observed the good etlccts of the juice of 
these insects in two chronic pulmonarv catarrhs. The 
preparation I prescribed in spoonfuls was as follows : 

\\. Infusion of creeping ivv five ounces. 

Expressed juice of 1.50 wood-lice, bruised alive. 
Retined, pulverised, one ounce.' 
Syrup of poppies one ounce. 
Ethereous sulphuric alcohol twelve drops. 

D 3 \TII. Short 

[ 54 ] 

VITI. Short Account of Trnveh hetueen the Tropics, lij 
Messrs. Humboldt and Bonpland, in 1799, l&OO, 
1801, 1802, 1603, and 1804. By J. C. Delame- 


[Concluded from p. SG'J.j 

XJuRiNG bis residence at Quito M. Humboldt received a 

letter from the French National Institute, informing him 

that captain Haudin had set out for New Holland, pursuing 

an easterly course by the Cape of Good liope. He found 

it necessary tlicrefore to give up all idea of joining him, 

though our travellers had entertained this hope for thirteen 

months, by which means they lost the advantage of an easy 

passage from the Havannali to Mexico and the Philippines. 

It had made them travel by sea and bv land more than a 

thousand leagues to the south, exposed to evcrv extreme of 

temperature, from summits covered with perpetual snow to 

the bottom of those profound ravines where the themio- 

nieter stands night and day between 25° and 31^ of Reau- 

nmr. But, accustomed to disappointments of every kind, 

they readily consoled themselves on account of their fate, 

They were once more sensible that man must depend only 

on what can be produced by his own energy ; ana Baudin's 

voyage, or rather the false mtelligence of the direction he 

had taken, made them traverse immense countries towards 

which no naturalist perhaps would otherwise have turned 

his researches. M. Humboldt being then resolved to pursue 

his own expedition, proceeded from Quito towards the rivec 

Amazon and Lima, with a view of making the important 

observation of the transit of Mercury over the sun's disk. 

Our travellers first visited the ruins of Lactacunga, 
Hambato, and Kiobamba, a district convulsed by the 
dreadful earthquake of the year 1797. Thev passed through 
the snows of Assonay to Cuenca, and thence with great 
difficulty, on account of the carriage of their instruments 
and packages of plants, by the paramo of Saraguro to 
Loxa. It was here, in the forests of Gonzanama and Ma- 
lacatcs, that they studied the valuable tree which lirst made 
known to man the febrifuge qualities of cincliona. The 
extent of the territory w hich their travels embraced, gave 
them an advantage never before enjoyed by anv botanist, 
namely, that of comparing the different kinds of cinchona 
of Santa Fe, Popayan, Cuenca, Loxa, and Jaen, with the 
fuspa and cusparc of Cununa and Kio Caronv, the latter 
of which, named improperly Corlcxa^iginn/rcv, appears to 


Account of TraveU Ictween the Tropics. - 55 

belong to a new genus of the pent andria inonogijma, with 
alternate leaves. 

From Loxa they entered Peru by Ayavaca and Gounca- 
bamba, traversing the high summit of the Andes, to j)ro- 
ceed to the river Amazon. They had to pass thirty-Hve 
times in the course of two days the river Chamaya, some- 
times on a raft, and sometimes by fording. They saw the 
superb remains of the causeway of Vnga, which may be 
compared to the most beautiful causeways in France and 
Spain, and which proceeds on the porphyritic ridge of the 
Andes, from Cusco to Assonay, and is furnished with 
taviho (inns) and public fountains. They then embarked 
on a raft of ocliroma, at the small Indian village of Cha- 
maya, and descended by the river of the same name, to that 
of the Amazons, determining by the culmination of several 
stars, and by the difference of time, the astronomical posi- 
tion of that confluence. 

La Condamine, when he returned from Quito to Para and 
to France, embarked on the river Amazon only below 
()uebrada de Chucunga ; he therefore observed the longi- 
tude only at the moutli of the Rio Napo. M. Humboldt 
endeavoured to supply this deficiency in the beautiful chart 
of the French astronomer, navigating the river Amazon as 
far as the cataracts of Rentema, and forming at Tomependa, 
the capital of the province of Jaen de Bracamorros, a de- 
tailed plan of that unknown part of the Upper Maranon, 
both from his own observations and the information ob- 
tained from Indian travellers. M. Bonpland in the mean 
time made an interesting excursion to the forests around 
the town of Jaen, where he discovered new species of cin- 
chona ; and after greatly suffering from the scorching heat 
of these solitary districts, and admiring a vegetation rich in 
.cew species of Jacquinia, Godoija, Portei'ia, Bougai/ivillea, 
Colletia, and Pisonia, our three travellers crossed for the 
fifth time the cordillera of the Andes by Montan, in order 
to return to Peru. 

Thev fixed the point where Borda's compass indicated the 
zero of the magnetic inclination, though at 7 degrees of 
south latitude. They examined the mines of Ilualguayoc, 
where native silver is found in large masses at the height of 
2000 toises above the level of the sea, in mines, some 
metalliferous veins of which contain petrified shells, and 
which, w ith those of Huantajayo, are at present the richest 
of Peru. From Caxamarca, celebrated by its thermal 
waters, and by the rains of the palace of Atahualpa, they 
descended to Truxillo^ in the neighbourhood of which are 

D 4 found 

56 Account of Travels between the Tropk';. 

I^ound vestiges of the immense Peruvian city of Mansicho, 
ornanicnted with pyramids, in one of which was discovered, 
in the eighteenth centurv, hammered gold tu the value of 
more than 1 50,000 1. sterlinir. 

Ox\ this western deejivity of the Andes our tra^elk■rs en- 
joyed, for the first time, the striking view Ot' the Pacilic 
Ocean; and from that long and narrow vallev, the inhabi- 
tants of which are unacquainted with rain or thunder, and 
where, under a happy cjiniate, the most absolute power, 
and that most dangerous to man, theocracy itself, setnis 
to imitate the beneficence of nature. 

From Truxillo the\' followed the dry coast? of the South 
Sea, formerly watered and rendered fertile hv th.e canals of 
the Ynga ; nothing of which remains hut melancholy 
ruins. Whoa they arrived, by Santa and Guarmey, at Lima, 
they remained some months in that interesting capital ot 
Peru, the inhabitants of which arc distinguished bv tlic 
vivacity of their genius and the liberalitv of their sentiments. 
JNI. Humboldt had the hajininess of observing, in a prettv 
.complete manner, at the port of Callao at Luiia, the end 
of the transit of Mercury : a circumstance the more fortu- 
nate, as the thick fog which prevails at that season often 
prevents the sun's disk from being seen for twenty days, 
lie was astpnisheil to find in Peru, at so immense a distance 
from Europe, the newest literary jiroductions in clvemistrv, 
mathematics, and physiology ; and he admired the great 
intellectual activity of a people whom tjie Europeans accuse 
of indolence and luxury. 

In the month of Janiiarv 1803 our travellers embarked in 
the king's corvette La Castora for Gnyacjuil ; a passage which 
is perforjued, by tl^e help of the winds and the currents, in 
three or four days, whereiis the return from Guvatjuil re- 
quires as many months. In the former pr)rt, situated on 
the banks of an ijnnicnse river, tlie vegetation of which in 
palms, pljniieria, faternceniofilana, and sellam'wea', is ma- 
jestic beyond all description, 'i'hcv heard growling everv 
momefvj: the volcano of Catopaxi, which made a dreadtul 
ML-xplosion on the Gth of January 1S03, 
->, Ihcy immediately set pvit that they might have a nearer 
view of its ravages, and to visit it a second time ; but th<' 
unexpected news of the $udden departure of tiie Atlanta 
frigate, apd the fear of not finding another oj)portunity for 
geveial mo.nlhs, obliged them to return, afler being tor- 
jncntcd fof §even days b}' the uioii^quitoes of Jjaba<jyo auil 

Tlicy had a favourable navigaijoji of liiirty davs on tl;e 


Account of Travels lelween the Tropics. 37 

Pacinc Ocean to Acapulco, tlie western port of llie krncr- 
dom of New Spain, celebrated by the beautv of its bason, 
which appears to have been cut out in the granite rocks l)v 
the violence of earthquakes ; celebrated also by the wretch- 
edness of its inhabitants, who see there millions of piastres 
embarked for the Philippines and China; and unfortunately 
celebrated bv a climate as scorching as mortal. 

M. Humboldt intended at first to stay only a feu- months 
in Mexico, and to hasten his return to Europe; his travels 
])ad already been too long ; the instruments, and particularlv 
tlie time-keepers, began to be irradually deranged ; and a[l 
the efforts he Jiad made to get new ones had proved fruit- 
less. Besides, the progress of the sciences in Europe is 
so rapid, that in travels of more than four years a traveller 
mav see certain pha^nomena under points of view which arc 
no longer interestiug when his labours are presented to the 

M. Humboldt flattered himself with the hopcofl)cing 
in England in the months of August or September 1SI)3; 
but the attraction of a country so beautifsd and so varieoated 
as the kingdom of New Spain, the great hospitality of its 
inhabitants, and the dread of the yellow fever at V'era Cru^, 
which cuts off almost all those who between the months 
of June and October come down from the nioimtains, in- 
duced him to defer his departure till the iniddle of winter. 
After havin<]!; occupied his attention with ))lants, the state 
of the air, the hourlv variations of the barometer, the plue- 
nomena of the magnet, and in particular the longitude of 
Acapulco, a port in which two able astronomers, Messrs. 
Espinosa and Galeano, had before made cbjcrvations, our 
travellers set out for Mexico. Thev ascended grauuallv I'rtnn 
the sc(;rchin<i; valleys of Mescala and Papagavo, A\here the 
thermometer in the shade ?lood at 32"^ of Reaumur, and 
Hhcretiiey passed the river on the fruit of the crescenfia 
p'innatu, bound together bv ropes of agave, to the high 
plateaux of Chilpantzingo, Tehuilotepec and Tasco. 

At these heights of six or seven hundred toises above the 
level of the sea, in consequence of the mildness and cool- 
ness of the climate, the oak, cvprcss, fir, and fern, begin 
to be seen, together with the kmds of grain cultivated in 

Having spent some time in the mines of Tasco, the oldest 
and formerly the richest in the kingdom, and having studied 
the nature of those silverv veins which pass from the hard 
calcareous rock to micaceous schist and inclose foliaceous 
gvpsum, tiicy ascended, bv Cuernaraca and the cold regions 


5S Account of Travels lehieen the Tropics, 

of Guchilaqiia, to the capital of Mexico. This city, which 
has 150,000 inhaljitants, and stands on the bite of the old 
Tenoehtitlan, between the lakes of Tezcuco and Xochiniilo, 
which have decreased in size since the Spaniards, to lessen 
the darij^er of inundations, have opened the mountains of 
Sincoc, is intersected by broad straight streets. It stands 
in »\':ih\ of two snowy mountains, one of which is named 
Popocatepcc ; and of a volcano still binning; and, at the 
lieight of 1 160 toises, enjoys a temperate and agreeable cli- 
mate : it is surrounded by canals, walks bordered with trees, 
a multitude of Indian hamlets, and without doubt may be 
compared to the llnest cities of Europe. It is distinguished 
also by its large scientific establishments, which may vie 
with several of the old continent, and to which there are 
none similar in the new. 

The botanical garden, directed by that excellent botanist 
M. Cervunles ; the expedition of M. Scsse, who is accom- 
panied bv able draltsnien, and whose object is to acquire 
a knowledge of the plants of Mexico j the School of Mines, 
established by the liberality of the corps of miners and by 
the creative genius of M. d'Elhuyar ; and the Academy of 
Paintinix, Engraving, and Sculpture; all tend to difiuse 
taste and knowledge in a country the riches of which 
S€'em to oppose intellectual culture. 

With instruments taken from, the excellent collection of 
the School of Mines, M. Humboldt determined the lon- 
gitude of Mexico, in which there was an error of nearly 
two degrees, as li:is been confirmed bv corresponding ob- 
servations of the satellites made ai the Ilavarmah. 

Atter a stay of some months in that capital, our travellers 
visited tlie celebrated mines of Moran and Real-del-Montc, 
where the vein of Ea Biscayna bar- given millions of piastres- 
to the counts l^e Kegia ; they exan;uicd the obsidian stones 
of Ovamel, which form strata in the pearl stone and por- 
phvrv, and served as knives to the antient Mexicans. The 
whole of this country, lilled with basaltes, amygdaloids, 
and calcareous and secondary formations, from the large 
cavern <>f J^anto, traversed by a river to the porphyritic 
rocks of Aciopan, presents piuenomena interesting to the 
ueohxjue, whicli have been already exanmied byM. del Rio, 
the pupil of Werner, and one of the most learned minera- 
logists of the present dav. 

On their return from their excursion to IMoran in July 
lh03, they undertook another to the northern part of the 
kingdom. At lirst they directed their researches to Huc- 
hueloca, where, at the expense of six millions of piastres, 

• an 

Account of Travels letween the Tropics. 5$ 

an aperture has been formed in the mountain of Sincbc w 
drain off the waters from the valley of Mexico to the river 
Montezuma. They then pa7?sed Querctaro, bv Salamanca 
and the fertile plains of Yrapuato, to Guanaxuato, a town 
which contains 50,000 inhabitants: it is situated in a narrow 
defile, and celebrated by its mittes, which are of far greater 
consequence than tl*ose of Fotosi. 

The mine of count de Valenciana, which has given birth 
to a considerable town on a hitl which thirty years a^jo 
scarcely afforded pasture to goals, is already 1810 feet "in 
perpendicular depth. It is the deepest and richest in the 
world ; the annual profit of the proprietors having nevtr 
been less than three millions of livres, and it sometimes 
amounts to five or six. 

After two months employed in measurements and geo- 
logical researches, and after having examined the thermal 
waters of Comagillas, the tempcraiure of Vihich is U® of 
Reaumur higher than those of the Pluilppine i>lands, which 
Sonnerat considers as the hottest m the world, our travel- 
ler? proceeded through the valley of St. Jago, where tliey 
thought they saw in several lakes at the summits of the ba- 
saltic mountains so many craters of burnt-out volcanoes, to 
Valladolid, the capital of the antient kingdom of Michoa- 
can. They thence descended, notwithstanding the con- 
tinual auturmial rains, by Patztjuaro, situated on the margin 
of a very extensive lake towards the coast of the Pacific 
Ocean, to the plains of JoruUo, where in the cnxirse of one 
night in 17^9, during one of the greatest convulsions which 
the globe ever experienced, there issued from the earth a 
volcano 1494 feet in height, surrounded bv more than 
2000 mouths still emitting smoke. They descended into 
the burning crater of ihe great volcano to the pcrpeiidculaT 
depth of 258 feet, jumping over fissures which exhaled 
flaming sulphurated hydrogen gas. After great danger, 
arising from the brittlencss of the basaltic and sienitic lava, 
they reached nearly the bottom of the crater, and analysti 
the air in it, which was found to be surcharged in an extra- 
ordinary manner with carbonic acid. 

From the kingdom of Michoacan, one of the most agree- 
able and most fertile countries in the Indies, they returned 
to Mexico bv the high plateau of Tolucca, in which thev 
nieasured the snowy movmtam of the same name, ascendinnr 
to its highest summit, the peak of Fraide, a\ hicli rises i\l64 
toises above the level of the sea : they visited also at Toluc- 
ca the famous hand-tree the chtiranthostternoji of M. Cer- 
vantes, a genus which presents a phafnomenon almost 


60 Account of Travels Ictwern the Tropics. 

miiqiTC,' — that oi' there being only one individual of it, 
v.'hich hasexistcd since the remotest antiqaitv. 
• On their return to the capital of Mexico ihev remained 
there several months to arrange their heihal-s, abundant in 
gTaniineoiis plants, and their geological collections; to cal- 
culate then- haruinetrie and trigonometrical njcnsnremenls 
performed in the coin\sc of that vear; and in particular to 
make fair drawings ()f the geological atlas, wlncii M. Hum- 
boldt proposes to publish. ; 

Their return furnished them also with an opportunity of 
assisting at the erection of the colossal equestrian statue of 
the king, which one artist, JNI. Toisa, overcoming diffi- 
culties of which a propter idea cannot be formed in Europe, 
modelled, cast, and creeled on a very hiiih jK-destal : it is 
wrought in the simplest style, and would be an ornament to 
tlie (inest capitals in Europe. 

*' In .January IS04 our travellers lel"t Mexico to explore the 
eastern declivity of the cordillera of JSIew Spain : thev mea- 
sured geometrically the two volcanoes of Pucbla, Popoca- 
tepec and ItzaecihuatL According to a I'abulous tradition, 
Diego Ordaz entered the inaccessible crater of the former 
suspended by ropes, in order to collect sulphur, which mav 
be found every where in the plains. 

M. Humboldt discovered that the volcano of Popoeatcpec, 
on which M. Sonnenschmidt, a zealous uiincralocist, had 
the courage to ascend 2557 toiscs, is higher than the peak 
of Orizaba, w hich has hitherto been considered the highest 
colossus of the country of Anahuae : he measured also the 
great pyraniid of C-holula, a mysterious work constructed 
of unbaked Lnick by the l^iltequas, and fronj the summit 
of which there is a mo;?t beautiful view (iver the snowv 
summits and smiling plains of Tla.xeala. '.: 

. After these researches thev descended h\- Perote to Xa- 
Japa, a town situated at the height of 674 toiscs above tho 
l^vel of the sea, at a mean heiglit at which the inhabitants 
CDJuv the fruits of all climates, and a temperature equally 
mild and beueticial to the health of man. It was here that, 
by the kindness of .Mr. '1'homa.i Murphy, a resjjeetable in- 
d>vidual, who to a large fortune adds a taste for the sciences, 
rur travellers found every facility inuiginable for perf(jrminir 
llteir operaiioni> in the neiiihbouring mountains. 
1 The level of the horrid road w hicl> leads from Xalapa to 
J\rote, through almost impenetrable forests of oaks and lirs, 
a«d which has htgiiri to be converted into a magniiicent 
<:miscwav, was three times taken with the barometer. 
^Ivilninboldt, notuuhstaiiding the quamit)- of snow wiiicU 
.• f 1 ^ ' h id 

liad falli^a tiic evening before, ascended to the sumijiitpf 
the lUnioLis Cofre, which is lG2 toises higher than the peak' 
ot" Tenerifie, and ijxed its position by direct obscrvatioas, 
Ife measured also trigononietrically the peak of Orizava, 
which the Indians call Sillaltepetl, because the luniinou*- 
exhalalious ot". its cniter resemble at a distance a falling star,' 
and respecting the longitude of which M- Ferrer jiublislicd; 
veiT exact operations. . • s^; ., rjjr. :;,;•, : ..» rj 

After an interesting residence in these coulitries, wherCj^ 
under the shade of the Ikjaldamhar and ami/ris, are found 
growino; the tpuIeudr/Dn. vundla and cuuvoIvhIhs jahippUy ■ 
two productions equally valuable for exportation, our tra- 
vellers descended towards the coast of \'era Cruz, situated, 
between hills of shifting sand, the reverberation of which 
causes a sullbcating heat ; but happily escaped the yellow- 
fever, which prevailed theve at the time. 

They proceeded in a Spanish frigate to the Havannah to 
get the collections and herbals left there in 1 SOO, and, after 
a stay of two months, embarked for the Laiited States : but 
thev were exposed to great danger in the channel of the Ba- 
hamas from a hurricane which lasted seven days. 

After a passage of thirty -two days thev arrived at Phila- 
delphia; remained in that city and in Washington two 
months; and returned to Europe in August \Si)A by the 
way of Bourdeaux with a great number of drawings, thiriv- 
ii\'Q. boxes of collections, and COOO species of plants. 

IX. An Account of Sutton Spa, near Slircwslmrij. Bij ' 
Dr. Evans*. 

OuTTON Spa is .situated within two miles south of Shrews- 
bury, on the slope of a gentle eminence, and close to a vil- 
lage of the same name, the property of the right honourable 
lord Berwick. The spring issues from a rocky stratum of 
ash-coloured clav, or ariiillaceous schistus, containing (as_ 
appears by its effervescence with nitrous acid) a small por- 
tion of lime ; and, in its present unimproved state, yields 
bat a scanty stream. In the neighbourhood are several beds 
of soft limestone and coal, the latter mineral accompanying 
nearly the whole course of Meo'e-brook. In the Sutton 
pits it is mixed with so lartjc a proportion of p\ritcs, or sul- 
phuret of iron, as to be used only for inferior purposes. 

* This is a continuation of Mr. Plymley's Account of t1i2 Mineral Pro- 
ductions of -Shropihiri. — See our la^t Number, p. 304. 


62 Account of Sutton Spa, 

Fresh from the spring, the Sutton water is dear and co-' 
lourlcss, and exhales a slightly sulphureous smell ; which 
is most perceptible in rainy weather *. It sp:irkles little 
when poured into a glass, having no uncombined carbonic 
acid in its composition. When first drawn, its strong salt 
taste is evidently mixed with a chalybeate flavour ; but the 
iatter is wholly lost on expos\ire for a few hours, bubbles of 
air separating slowly, and a reddish sediment lining the sides 
and bottom of the vessel. 

Its temperature, the thermometer in the open air stand- 
ing at about 70^, varied from 53" to bS'* of Fahrenheit ; but 
at another time, the thermometer in the air being at 55°, 
sunk as low as 48°. 

The infusions of litmus and red cabbage were not red- 
dened by it when fresh, nor greened after boiling, or long 
iexposure; showing the absence of any disengaged acid or 
alkali, or of any material portion of earthy carbonate. 

When fresh, it instantly struck a reddish purple with 
tincture of galls ; but no change was produced when it had 
been boiled a few minutes, or exposed some time to the 
atmosphere. The former circumstance dearly proves the 
presence of iron, and the latter, that it was wholly held in 
solution bv a fugacious acid. 

JV'lixcd with iuue water it deposited a reddish sediment 
of the carbonate of lime and iron oxide ; and with caustic 
anmionia, a reddish cloud, formed by the above metal, with 
probably a small portion of magnesia. 

The saccharine or oxalic acid threw down a larce and 
inn"nediate precipitate of oxalited lime. With mild kali, a 
copious dirty sediment was instantly formed of earth "and 
irf)n, separated front their acids by the superior affinity of 
the alkali. 

The marine and nitrous acids produced no change, or 
rendered it more transparent ; but a few drops of sulphuric 
acid produced instantly a copious deposition of selenite. 

^JlIriatl;d barytes did not show the presence of any sul- 
phuric compound. 

A solution of acetitcd lead caused an immediate milki- 
ness in the water, which, however, became perfectly trans- 
parent on the addition of distilled vinegar. This also proves 
the absence of any sulphuric acid, which would luave formed 
with the lead an insoluble compound. C'har.acters traced 

• The dccon po'iition of pyrites, and consequent evolution of hepatic air,_ 
or siilpluir.-Ued hydrogen gsi, b>;iii)r in propt>rticin to the quantity of water 


Account of Sutton Spa, 63 

on paper with the above solution, and exposed to the vapour 
of the fresh water, became visible, of a light brown colour, 
by the action of licpatic air or sulphurated hydrogeu gas. 
Some silver leaf exposed to its vapour became faintly yellow, 
and a globule of bright quicksilver was slightly tarnished. 
But a solution of nitrated silver produced nicrelv a white 
precipitate, turning blue on exposure to light ; the usual 
effect of the muriatic acid ; the quantity, therefore, of he- 
patic air is probably very small. 

A portion of the water, evaporated slowly, formed 
beautiful cubic crystals, which, with a drop of sulphuric 
acid, gave out the peculiar smell and gray fumes of the mu- 
riatic acid. 

From a gallon of the water fresh from the well, were ob- 
tained eight ounces, or about 14. ^Vd^ cubic inches of vola- 
tile contents, of which about one-eighth part extinguished 
flame, precipitated lime water, and was evidently carbonic 
acid. On applying to the remainder (which was not soluble 
in water by repeated agitation) the flame of a candle, a 
slight combustion took place, and afterwards the flame 
burnt nearly as well as in common air. One measure of 
this air, mixed with an equal bulk of nitrous air in an ac- 
curate eudiometer, was diminished from 200 to l.Jjta_^ 
while the common air of the room, added to nitrous air in 
the same proportion, was lowered to \'-^-^^tj, its purity being 
In a direct ratio to the degree of diminution. It was there- 
fore atmospheric air, with a slight mixture of sulphurated 
hydrogen gas, and somewhat more than the usual portion 
of azote, as is always the case with the air of chalvbeate 

A wine gallon of the fresh w^ater being evaporated to 
dryness, there remained of residuum 2 ounces 3 drachms, 
or 1320 grains ; this, mixed with 12 ounces of cold distilled 
water, left on the filter 1 2 grains of a reddish brown sedi- 

Caustic ammonia added to the clear solution did not 
precipitate any magnesia worth collecting; but mild kali 
threw down a copious sediment of aerated lime, which, on 
exsiccation, weighed 206 grains ; and must, according to 
Bergman and Kirvvan, have been produced from 22G grains 
of muriated lime, the former containing -^^'^ parts of pure 
lime, and the latter ■^^-^- of muriatic acid. 

Subtracting this, and the twelve grains of brown resi- 
duum, from the whole, there remain in a gallon of the 
water 1082 grains of muriate of soda or common salt. The 
12 grains of residuum, treated with diluted marine acid, 

3 and 

6t Account of Sutt6n Spa. 

and asaiii precipitated bv caustic ammonia, produced nearly 
hah a crraiu of iron oxide, which, fused with charcoal bv 
the blowpipe, was i^trongly attracted by the magnet, and 
assmiied some dearecot metalHc lustre. The remaining 
11-V grains, insoluble in the acid, evidently consisted of 
c!av, mixed, as appeared in amagnitier, with several crvstals 
of silcx, which were probably merely suspended, and not in 
a state of solution, in the water. 


We have tlien, in a wine gallon of the Sutton 

water, of muriate of soda - - ISOtJ 

Muriate of lime, witli an admixture of muriatcd 

magnesia _ _ _ _ 226 O 

Carbonate of iron - - - 3 

Clay and silex - - - 113 

Total of solid contents 1320 o 

Cubic Inche'i. 

Carbonic acid - - ^ 1 SO.'i 

Conmion air contaminated with azote and sul- 
phurated hydrogen gas - - 12 C)c,a 

Total of volatile contents 14 440 

This, in common with mo?t mineral waters, varies not 
a little in the (piatititv and proportions of its mgredients at 
diiferent seasons and in diiicrent states of the atmosphere. 
At one time, the caustic annnonia produced no etleet on 
the water; at another, it deposited a very considerable por- 
tiou of mairnesia; and the hepatic smell is sometimes not 
in the least perceptible, particularly in dry weather*. Bur, 
however provoking these variations may be to the accurate 
chemist, they are luckilv of little moment to the practical 
phvsician. A considerable latitude, in this respect, makes 
no niaterial diflerence in the medicinal efi["ccts ; much more 
depending on the quantity of the water, as a dilueut and 
dctero-cnt, than on any other circumstance. 

I am greatly indebted to my ingenious friend Mr. Du- 
gard, hmise- surgeon to the Salop Inlirmary, for ins kind 
assistance in making the above analysis. 

• In tl\c present exposed state of the opening of the well, this must parti- 
cularly happen, rainy weather weakening the saline impregnation, and a 
warm air exhaling the gases and prccip'itaung the iron, 'i'he well knuwn 
etlVct of salts in operating mure powerfully as they are the more dilutetJ, 
cuuipeiiiattb for tlie dimiuished ttreni^cii of the sjluiion. 


Account of Sutton Spa, 65 

The Sutton water has by many been compared with that 
of Cheltenham, and supposed to contain nearly the same 
ingredients. It bears, however, a much closer resemblance 
to sea water, as will be evident from the annexed table*. 

We have accordingly found it most benelicial in those 
cases for which sea water is usually recommended. It 
yields the same salutary stimulus to the stomach in chronic 
weakness of that organ, and obviates, both mildly and ef- 
fectually, the habitual costiveness of hypochondriac patients. 
Diluted in a large portion of liquid, the saline ingredients 
serve to wash out any acrid sordes collected in the (irst pas- 
sages, which I believe to be one of the most important uses 
of mineral waters. On no other principle can we explain 
the uniform good effects produced on the digestive organs 
by waters so various in the nature and proportion of their 
contents, and in the degree of their impregnation. 

Conveyed by the lacteals into the mass of circulating 
fluids, and thence through the difterent secretory organs, 
this water has proved highly serviceable in a great variety 
of glandular affections; and, being disposed to pass off with 
the finer parts of the blood, promotes the excretions of 
urine or perspiration, according to the attendant circum- 
stances of clothing, temperature of the air, he. Absorbs d 
by the lymphatics, the acrid muriates stimulate the torpid 
vessels, and wash out any acrimonv accumulated in conse- 
quence of that inirritabllity. We hence may readily explain 
their efficacy in those disorders to which the poorer classes 

nate of 


of Soda. 

Muriate Muriate ,Sii.phate 
of Lime, of Mag- j ot J^me 
ucsia. ;and Mag- 
1 nesia. 

* In a wine gallon 
of Cheltenham 
water, as ana- 
lysed by Dr. Fo- 






Sutton water. 





— 1 — 

Seawater,taken up 
60 fathoms deep, 
in latitude of the 
Canaries, andan- 
alysed by Berg- 







It must here be observed, that the sea, being- more strongly impregnated 
with salt in proportion to the warmth of the chmate, contains on our coastjt 
not more than l-30th its weight, instead of l-23d of saline contents, 

, Vol. 22. No. 83. June 1805. E are 

66 Account of Sutton ^a. 

are particularly liable, chronic diseases of the skin, aircl 
scrophula. Tn the former, which have so improperly been 
termed scorhitic^, this water has been found a very valua- 
ble remedy, both externally and internally applied. 

In the cure of scrophula, the superior merits of sea water, 
first introduced to public notice by Dr. Russel, have ever since 
been uniformly and universally acknowledged f. A simi- 
larity of ingredients would naturally lead us to expect si- 
milar effects from the Sutton water j and I am happy to bear 
testimony, that a twenty years' attendance at the Salop In- 
firmary, as well as in private practice, has furnished mc 
with abundant proofs of its success in the treatment of 
scrophulous aflections. Yet I will frankly own, that in 
this deceitful, and, I fear, increasing malady, the effects 
of medicine are frequently but too fallaciour*. At certain 
seasons of the year, and particular periods of life, the sym- 
ptoms will subside spontaneously, and the credit due to 
Nature be given to the remedy last employed. 

In addition to the above properties possessed by the Sut- 
ton spring in common with sea water, it enjoys one evi- 
dent advantage, in containing iron. Though the minute 
portion of it, in this and many other mineral springs, may 
be thought inadequate to any useful purpose, — experience^ 
our surest guide, has amply proved the contrary ; and it is 
now well ascertained, that small and repeated doses of this 
valuable metal produce far more beneficial and permanent 
effects on the constitution than the much larger ones for- 
iiierly prescribed. 

It ha? been variously administered, either as a calx or 
oxide, or as already combined with an acid solvent ; but in 
no form has it pro\ cd so uniformly efficacious as when pre- 
pared by Nature herself, and existing as a carbonate in 
chalybeate springs. Winged, as it were, by its aerial acid, 
it pervades the remotest vessels and minutest capillaries of 
the system, invigorating every fibre, and rendering evacua- 
tion by the saline ingredients both safe and salutary. Of 
the external use of this water as a cold or tepid bath, I care- 
speak from theory alone, no sucli conveniences having been- 

* I say impropprly, because the real scurvy is connected with a stato of 
the system the most opposite of any to the diseases here mentioned. 

f It is worthy of remark, that almost evory popular remedy for this com- 
plaint contains tlie marine acid in its composition. At one time, ihemiiri- 
atcd harytcswas in high celebrity, and tiow themuriatcd lime is risinjj inta 
eijiiaf credit. 1 have often prescribed with success, t!ic tinct. ferr. muriat. ar 
combininfr tlic tonic of iron with tlie stimulus of the acid ; but I 
think I have found the simple marine acid full as eflicaclou;. as any of its. 

Account of Sutton SpOi 67 

is yet provided. But analogy fully warrants us to suppose 
it nearly as powerful as sea water, and applicable to the 
same useful purposes. In cutaneous foulnesses, in scro- 
phula, in chronic rheumatism, paralytic affections, and, 
above all^ in tlie cachexies of young females, attended with 
uterine obstructions, we have every reason to expect the 
greatest advantages from its applications as a warm or tepid 

This being by no means intended as a medical commu- 
tiication, I have given merely a faint sketch of the virtues 
to be expected from the Sutton water. The outline may be 
readily tilled up hereafter, whenever the improved state of 
the Spa shall require a more accurate description of its best 
modes of exhibition, and the diseases to which it is appli- 

Though its value has been long felt and acknowledged 
by the immediate neighbourhood, the spring still remains 
in a very rude and neglected state ; an iron spout attached 
to a piece of wood stretched across the opening, forming 
the only channel for the water's exit. Entangled iu its 
passage to the brook below, it has produced an artificial 
morass, its surface being abundantly covered with ochery 
scum, from the deposition of iron oxide. Some time since, 
it was held in contemplation by the noble proprietor to erect 
baths, &c. for the accommodation of invalids ; but the mi- 
litary avocations of the day postponed the truly benevolent 
institution. With the return of the blessings of peace, it 
will, I trust, be resumed, and an inestimable benefit thereby 
conferred on an extensive and populcjus district. The mo- 
rass might easily be drained by channels communicating 
with the brook ; and baths erected on this site would have 
both a constant supply from the well, and a regular dis- 
charge of the refuse water. 

While almost every fishing village on the coast is pre- 
paring conveniences for sea bathing, how desirable would 
it be to extend similar advantages to the interior parts of 
the island, where poverty or infirmity renders it impossible 
to visit the distant- sea ! In this county, abounding in mi- 
nerals, whose subterraneous wealth is beyond all calcula- 
tion, there is probably scarce a parish that would not supply 
a mineral water for the benefit of the neighbouring poor, 
were the springs properly examined. 

The air of Sutton, as might be expected from its open 
elevated situation, is dry and wholesome. The site com- 
mands a rich and highly variegated prospect ; bounded 
on one side bv the maonificcnt ffroup of Frevddin and. 
^ i: ■:■ ^ ' Moel 

68 On the Blight or Mildeic- of Wheat. 

Moel y Golfa, with a long range of Welsh mountains rising 
in full majesty beyond them ; and on the other, by their 
no mean rivals, the Wrekiii and Strcilon hills. The view 
of Shrewsburv, betwixt the branches of the adjoining wood, 
particularly when the setting sun gilds every object with his 
mellowest light, is greatly and most deservedly admired. 
The walk from Shrewsbury is pleasant and picturesque; and 
the neighbourhood of a reasonable and abundant market 
can be considered as no trifling object, when compared 
with the extravagant prices and scanty accommodations of 
many of our remote watering places. 

X. On the Blight or Mildew oflVJieat^. 

x5uT the most remarkable effect of the seasons of the pre- 
sent year (1800) is that of wheat being, in particular 
situations, injured by blight or mildew — in a dry sunnner. 
In this district (the Vale of Exeter) many fine looking 
crops were, in a manner, cut off by this malady : the straw 
becoming black as soot, and the grain shrivelled and 
light. In one instance which I particularly attended to, it 
was barely worth the labour of thrashing out ; even at the 
present prices I owing, however, in some considerable de- 
gree, I apprehend, to the imprudence of the grower, who 
suffered it to stand to ripen after the blight had seized it ; 
while a more judicious manager in this quarter of the 
county t^ by cutting his wheat as soon as he perceived it 
to be struck with the di&ease, preserved it, he believes, 
from material injury. This precaution, however, it is very 
probable, ninety-nine growers in a hundred did not take ; 
and the country may have lost, in the most alarming hour 
of -carcity, some hundred tliousand quarters of v/heat by 
this one defect in English a^riculuirei ! 

1604. A similar, but more universal effect took place this 
summer, which has likewise been characterized by dryness, 
at least in those parts of the island in \vhich my observa- 
tions have been made. 

On mv return from South Wales to London, earlvin this 
September, wheat crops evidently appeared, bv the dark 

• From Mr. Marshall'.-, new edition of the Rur.d Lcvromy of' the //«i ojs 

f iMr. Smith, of Axmlnster. 

\ Hce the Rural Economy of Olouccstersliirc, for romarks ou this iin» 
portant point of management. 


On the Blight or Milden of JVheat. 6p 

hue of their straw, or their stubbles, to have been more or 
less blighted; exceptiiig in a few instances in Gloucester- 
shire, and others in Oxfordshire, in which instances only 
strong, yellow, healthy stubbles were observable. 

The cause of the disease in the county in which I had 
the best opportunitv of observing it (Caermarthenshire), 
appeared, verv evidently, to proceed from some cold rains 
which fell about the middle of August. Before that time 
wheat cr )ps in general looked healthy, and v/ere beginning 
to change to a bright colour. But presently after a few cold 
vi'et days the malady became obvious to the naked eye. The 
straw lost its smooth varnished surface, being occupied 
by innumerable specks, which changed in a few days, in 
less than a week^ to a dark or blackish colour, givino; the 
«traw a duskv appearance*. 

A gentleman of Caermarthenshire, who is attentive to 
agricultural concerns, is of opinion that this destructive 
disease may be prevented bv sowing old seed ; namely, 
wheat of the preceding year's growlh, instead of new v. heat, 
agreeably to the practice of the Cotswold Uitls of Glouces- 
tershire. I am much inclined to tliink, that by sowing 
early, agreeably to that practice (sec Gloucestershire, II. 
5].), this fatal disease might freqr.enily be avoided, early 
ripe crops being, from all the observations that I have 
hitherto made, the least subject to its baleful effect. Corn 
which ripens under the hot summer sun of July, is not so 
liable to told chillmg rains as that which remains unmatured 
until the sun begins to lose its power, and the nights .to 
increase in length and coolness. 

A certain preventive of this disaster would be a disco- 
very worth nhllion? to the country. Until this be made, 
let the grower of wheat not only endeavour to sow early, 
but let him look narrowly to his crop during the critical 
time of the fdhng of the grain ; and whenevei- he; may per- 
ceive it to be smitten with the dis>-2a3e, let him lose no time 
in cutting it, suffering it to lie on the stubble unlii the 
straw be firm and crisp enough to be set w^ in sheaves, 
without adhering in the binding places ; — allowing it to 
remain in the field, until the grain shall have received the 
nutriment which the stiaw may be able to impart. Where 
wheat has been grown on " lammas land," and the ground 

* Devonshire had its rains in the ripeninj^ serson cf If 00, A third in- 
■stance of the blight of wheat succeedinjT rain, vas observed in the same 
county, in 1794. And a fourth was equally obvious, in 1785, in the Mid- 
land Counties, as may be seen in the Rural Economy of that department, 
miiiute 74. 

E 3 oblioed 

70 On the Blight or Mildew of Wh^at. 

obliged to be cleared by the first of August, crops have been 
kuown to be cut " as green as grass," and to be carried off 
and spread upon grass land to dry. Yet the grain has been 
found to mature, and always to afford a fine-skinned beau- 
tit'id sample. Raygrass that is cut even while in blossom, 
is well known to mature its seeds with the sap that is lodged 
in the stems. Ifence there is noticing to fear from cutting 
'.vheat or other corn before the straw be ripe. 

1S03. April. That the operation of this disease is car- 
ried on by the fungus tribe, evidently appears from the 
ingenious and persevering labours of botanists*. But 
fungi, it is equally evident, are a,n effect, not the cause o^ 
the disease. They are tlie vermin of the more perfect ve- 
getables; and fasten on them, whether in a dead or in a 
diseased state ; but seldom, I believe, while they are in full 
health and vigour. Their minute and volatile seeds may be 
said to be every where present — ready to produce their kind 
wherever they may find a genial matrix. Such at least ap- 
pears to be the nature of the fungus, or fungi, of wheat ; 
for it may be liable to the attack of more than one species. 
In a dry warm summer, which is well known to be favour- 
able to the health, vigour, and productiveness of the wheat 
crop, the seeds of fungi are harmless, so long as the fine 
weather continues. On the contrary, in a cold wet season, 
which gives languor and weakness to the wheat plants, few^ 
crops escape entirely their destructive effects. A standing 
crop not unfrequently escapes, while plots that arc lodged 
in the same field, especially in pit> and hollow places, be- 
come liable to their attack. And bv the facts above stated, 
we plainly see, that even strong Ircalthv crops may, in a 
few days, or perhaps in a few hours, be rendered liable to 
be assailed — not progressively, as by an infectious di-iease, 
but at once, as by a blast or blight. In the state of the 
.itiTiosphere we are to look for the cause of the disease in a 
standing crop; and nothing is so likely to bring on the 
fatal predisposition of the plants as a succession of cold 
rains while the grain is forming The coolness necessarily 
gives acheck ti) the rich saccharine juices which are then 
rising towards the car; and the moisture may, at the samu 
time, a.-sist the seeds of the fungi to germinate and take 
root. Thus reason and tacts concur in pointing out the 
cause and the operation of the diseasef- The natural event 


* As tbcy arc f ct forth in a paper ju'it published by Sir Joseph Banks, 
f There appear rn be reaaom ,-»'iiy corn which l>appens to be struck with 
ihii disease iu :i ili'y wan-.T ?ij:Tii".ei' ij t^po'cd to ixccsisvf ii)j»i!y, as (aci* 


On Stones thai have fallen from, the Atmosphere, /"l 

is loo well known, and it is the business of art to endeavour 
to prevent it. 

If by cutting down the crop, as soon as it is found to be 
diseased, the operation can be stopped — as experience, in 
different instances, has shown that it may — the remedy is 
easy *. 

A probable means of prevention is that of inducino- eariv 
ripeness (for reasons above offered), either by sowino- earlv, 
or by forcing manures^ or by selecting and establishing 
early varieties— of wheat most especially ; — as early varieties 
of pease and other esculent plants are raised by gardeners : 
a work which only requires ordinary attention, and which 
it is hoped will, without delay, be set about and encou- 
raged by every attentive grower of wheat, and every pro- 
moter of rural improvements in the united kingdom- 

For the method of raising and improving varieties of 
wheat, see the Rural Economy of Yorkshire, vol. ii. p. 4. 

XI. On the Origin of Stones that have fallen from the 
Atmosphere. By Chables Hutton, L.L.D. and 

J. HE following observations are copied from a note by 
Dr. Hulton on Dr. Halley's Paper on Extraordinary Me- 

■pretty evidently sb.ow that it is. The habits of the plants render them more 
susceptihle of iniin-y, their rich juices more lialile to be checked, and tho 
seeds of fungi, it is probable, are more widely, if not more plentifullv, 
distributed, by such a state of the air, than they are by a cool moist 

* It may be asked in what manner the remedy is thus eiTected. But to 
the practical farmer the fact is all thr.t is required. To him it is cjually as 
indifferent to know the operation of t^.ie remedy as the operation of the 
disease. Those who have profited by the remedy here recommended, be- 
lieve that it " kills the mildew." (See Gloucestershire, vol.ii. p. 54.) And 
if it shall appear that the fung-us of v,'heat requires a free supply of air to 
keep it alive, or in a state of health and vigour, the effect of cutting down 
the crop will be explained. It will perhaps be found, by experience, that 
the closer it is allowed to lie upon the ground, and the sooner it is bound 
up in sheaves (provided the natural ascent of tlie sap to the ear be not 
thereby interrupted), the more efFectual and complete will be the remedy. 

Further, it may be su^rgested, on the evidence of attentive obser^'at'ion, 
that if wheat which has been attacked by this disease be suffered to remain 
in the field v.'ith the ears exposed, until it may have received the amelio- 
rating influence of dews or moderate rain (to soften, relax, and assist the 
natural rise of the sap), the more productive it will probably become. See 
Minutes of Agriculture, in Surrey, No. 4. 

And it may be still furtlier added, that grain which is cut while under 
ripe, is less liable to be injured in the field by moist weather, than that 
ivhifh has stood until it be tuiiy or over ripe. 

E 4 teors, 

72 On the Origin of Stones 

teors, given in the sixth vokinie of the Abridgment of the 
Philosopiiical Transactions, now pubhshing. 

Dr. Halley takes it for granted that the luminous bodies 
sometimes seen in the atmosphere are merely unkindled 
vapours. Dr. Huttoa observes, that '^ the difficulty, not 
to sn,v impossibility of conceiving how anv exhalations 
could be raised so high, ought to have hinted the idea of 
some other origin," and then proceeds as follows : 

'^ Later observations have induced a belief that these 
luminous appearances are allied to, if not the same as, the 
stones which have frequently been known to tall from the 
atmosphere, at different times, and in all parts t)f the earth. 
Several of the phaenomena are common to both. These 
luminous bodies are seen to move with very great velocities, 
in oblique directions descending; commonly with aloud 
hissing noise, resembling that of a mortar shell, or cannon 
ball, or rather that of an irregular hard mass projected 
violently throue;h the air; surrounded by a blaze or flame, 
tapering off to a narrow stream in the hinder part of it ; are 
heard to explode or burst, and seen to fly in pieces, the 
larger parts going foremost, and the smaller following in 
succession; are thus seen to fall on the earth, and strike it 
with great violence ; that on examining the place of the 
fall, the parts are found scattered about, being still consi- 
derably warm, and most of thenrentered the earth several 
inches deep. After so manv facts and concurring circum- 
stances, it is dilTicult to refuse assent to the identity of the 
two pha'nomepa : indeed it seems now not to be doubted, 
but generally acquiesced in. And hence it is concluded, 
that every such meteor-like appearance is attended by the 
fall of a stone, or of stones, though we do not always see 
the place of the fall, nor discover the stones. 

" This conclusion, however, has contributed nothing 
towards discovering the origin of the pha?nomenon, at least 
as to its generation in the atmosphere: on the contrary, it 
seems still more difficult to account for the production of 
stones, than -gaseous meteors, in the atmosphere, as well 
as to inflame and give them such violent motion. In 
fact, it seems concluded as a thing impossible to be done 
or conceived; and philosophers have given up the idea 
as hopeless. This circumstance has induced them to 
endeavom- to discover some other cause or onjzin for these 
phaenomena. But no idea that is probable, or even 
possible, has yet been started, excepting one, by the 
very celebrated mathematician Laplace, and that of so 
extraordinary a nature, as to astonish us with its novelty, 


that have fallen from the Atinosphere. 73 

and boldness of conception. This is no less than the 
conjecture that these stony masses are projected tVotn 
the moon ! a conjecture which none but an astrononi-^r 
could have made, or at least have shown to be probable, 
or even possible. Any ordinary person mi2;ht at random 
utter the vaoue expression of a thing coming from tlie 
moon ; but no one, evcept the philosopher, could propose 
the conjecture seriously, and prove its possibility. This 
M. Laplace has been enabled to do by strict mathematical 
calculation. He has proved that a mass, if project<;d by a 
volcano from the moon, with a certain velocity, of about a 
mile and half per second (which is possible to be done), it 
will thence be thrown beyond the sphere of the moon's 
attraction, and into the confines of the earth's ; the conse- 
quence of which is, that the mass must presently fall lo the 
earth, and become a part of it. 

'' To prepare the wav for a calculation, and a comparison 
of this supposed cause with the phsenomena, it will be 
useful here to premise a short account of the late and best 
observed circumstances in the appearance of fireballs, and 
the fall of stonv masses from the atmosphere, extracted 
from the last published accounts of some of the more re- 
markable cases. 

[The greater part of the facts adduced by Dr. Hutton 
havinff already appeared ni the Philosophical Magazine, we 
omit them here, and confine ourselves to the remarks he 
has subjoined to them.] 

*' Having now given a summary of the facts and evi- 
dence, as well with regard to the circumstances attending 
these singular bodies, as tlie ip.gredients thev are composed 
of, and their outward appearance and structure, we are now 
to consider what inferences respecting their prt)bab'e origin 
may be draun from this mass of information. And indeed 
we may safely conclude, as it has been inferred from the 
whole, by the philosophers best qualified to judge of the 
circumstances, as follow, viz. that the bodies in question 
have fallen on the surface of the earth; but that they were 
not projected by any terrestrial volcanoes ; and that we have 
no right, from the known 1 iws of nature, to suppose that 
they were formed in the upper regions of the atmosphere. 
Such a negative conclusion has been thought all that we 
are, in the present state of our knowledge, entitled to 

'^ In this embarrassing predicament, the total want of 
any other possible way of aceoimting for the oriirin of those 
bodieSj an idea has been started, perhaps at first merely at 


r4 On the Origin of Stones 

random, that since there is np other possible manner of 
accounting for them, then they must have dropped from 
the moon. Ar.d, indeed, this singular thought has now 
advanced into a serious hypothesis, which it must be 
allowed is unincumbered with any of the foregoing difficul- 
ties; having i^t least possibility in its favour, which no other 
hypothesis yet proposed can claim. . 

" As the attraction of gravitation extends through the 
whole planetary system, a body placed at the surface of the 
moon is afi'ected chiefly by two forces, one drawing it 
toward the centre of the earth, and another drawing it to- 
ward that of the moan. The latter of these forces how- 
ever, near the moon's surface, is incomparablv the greater. 
But as we recede from the moon, and approach toward the 
earth, this force decreases, while the other augments, till 
at length a point of station is found between the two 
planets, where these forces are exactly equal ; so that a body 
placed there must remain at rest : but if it be removed still 
nearer to the earth, then this planet would have the superior 
attraction, and the body must fall towards it. If a body 
then be projected from the moon towards the earth, with a 
force sufficient to carry it beyond this point of equal attrac- 
tion, it umst necessarily fall on the earth. Such then is 
the idea of the manner- in which the bodies must be made 
to pass from the moon to the earth, if that can be done, 
the possihditij of which is now necessary to be considered. 

" Now supposing amass to be projected from the moon, 
in a direct line towards the earth, by a volcano, or by the 
production of steam by subterranean heat, and supposing 
ior the present those two planets to remain at rest, then it 
has been demonstrated., on the Newtonian estin)ation of 
the moon's mass, that a force projecting the body with a 
velocity of 1 2,000 feet in a second, would be sufficient to 
carry it beyond the point of equal attraction. But this 
c,-;iimate of the jncon's mass is now allowed to be much 
abnvc the truth; and on M. Laplace's calculation it appeari; 
that a i'orce of litile more than half the above power would 
V»e sulhcient to produce the effect, that is, a force capable of 
projecting a bouy with a velocity of less than a mile and a 
iidlf per second. But we have known camion balls pro- 
jccteil by the forte of gunpowder, with a velocity of '2500 
feel per second, or upwards, that is, about half a mile. It 
folio'A s theretore, that a projectile force, connnunicaling a 
velocity about three limes that of a cannon ball, would he 
sufficient to throw the body from the mooix beyond the 
•point of equcil attraction, and cause it to reach the carih. 


tliat have fallen from the Atmosphere, 75 

Now there can be lillle doubt that a force equal to that is 
exerted by volcanoes on the earth, as well as by the pro- 
duction of steam from subterranean heat, when we consider 
the huge masses of rock, so many times larger than cannon 
balls, thrown on such occasions to heights also so much 
greater. We may easily imagine too such cause of motion 
to exist in the moon as well as in the earth, and that in a 
superior degree, if we may judge from the supposed sym- 
ptoms of volcanoes recently observed in the moon, by the 
powerful tul)es of Dr. Hcrschel ; and still more, if we con- 
sider that all projections from the earth sutler an enormous 
resistance and diminution, by tlie dense atmosphere of this 
planet, while it has been rendered probable, from optical 
considerations, that the moon has little or no atmosphere 
at all, to gh'c any such resistance to projectiles. 

" Thus then we are fullv authorised in concluding, thai 
the oiposiibt/iti/ is completely made out ; that a known 
power exists in nature, capable of producing the foregoing 
efl'cct, of detaching a mass of matter from ihe moon, and 
transferring it to the earth, in the form of a flaming meteor 
or burning stone ; at the same time we are utterly ignorant 
of any other process in nature by which the same phceno- 
nicnon can be produced. Havin"; thus discovered a way in 
which it is possible to produce those appearances, we shall 
now endeavour to show, from all the concomitant circum- 
stances, that these accord exceedino-ly well with the natural 
effects of the supposed cause, and thence give it a very high 
flegree o( prohah'/lu?/. 

" This important desideratum will perhaps be best attained 
bv examining the consequences of a substance supposed to 
he projected by a volcano from the moon, into the spliere of 
the earth's superior attraction ; and then comparing those 
W4lh the known and visible phcenomenaof the blazing me- 
teors or burning stones that fall through the air on the earth. 
And if in this comparison a striking coincidence or resem- 
blance shall always or mostlv be found, it will be difficult 
for the human mind to resist the persuasion that theassunied 
cause involves a degree of probability but little short of 
certainty itself. Now the chief pha^nomena attendmg these 
blazing meteors, or burning stones, are these : 1 . That 
they appear or blaze out suddenly. 2. That they move 
with a surprising rapid motion, nearly horizontal, but a 
little inclined downwards. 3. 'I'hat tliey move in several 
different directions, with respect to tlie points of the com- 
pass. 4. That in their flight they yield a loud whizzing 
ijound. 5. That they commonly bur^t with a violent ex- 


76 On the Origin of St ones 

plosion and report. 6. Tliat they fall on the earth with 
great force in a sloping direction. 7. That they are very 
hot at first, remain hot a considerahle time, and exhibit 
visible tokens of fusion on their surface. 8. That the fallen 
stonv masses have all the same external appearance and 
contexture, as well as internally the same nature and com- 
position. 9. That they are totally different from all our 
terrestrial bodies, both natural and artificial. 

" Now these phaenomena will naturally compare with 
the circumstances of a substance projected by a lunar vol- 
cano, and in the order in which they are here enumerated. 
And first with respect to the leading circumstance, that of 
a S'ulden blazing meteoric appearance, which is not that of a 
small bright spark, first seen at immense distance, and then 
gradually increasing with the diminution of its distance. 
And this circumstance appears very naturally to result from 
the assumed cause. For the body being projected from a 
lunar volcano, may well be su()posed in an ignited state, 
like inflamed matter thrown up by oi:r terrestrial volcanoes, 
which passinjT through the comparatively vacuum, in the 
space between the nioon and the earth's sensible atmo- 
sphere, it will probably enter the superior parts of this 
atmosphere will- but little diminution of it's original heat; 
from which circumstance, united with that of its violent 
motion, this being 10 or 12 times that of a cannon ball, 
and through a part of the atmosphere probably consisting 
chiefly of the inflammable gas, rising from the earth to the 
top of the atmosphere, the body may well be supposed to 
become suddenly inflamed, as the natural effect of these 
circumstances; indeed it would be surprising if it did not. 
From whence it appears that the sudden inflammation of 
the body, on entennof the earth's atmosphere, is exactly 
what might be expected to happen. 

" <2. Sccondlv, to trace tlic bodv through the earth's 
atmosphere, we are to observe that it enters the top of it, 
with the G,reat velocity acquired by descendmg from the 
point of efr^ual attraction, which is such as would carry the 
body to tl'.e eart-h's surface in a verv few additional seconds 
of time, if it met with no obstruction. But as it enters 
deeper in the atmosj'heie, it meets with t>iill more and 
more resistance from the increasing density of the air ; by 
which the <ireat velocity (^f G miles per second must soon be 
iireatiy reduced to one that will be uniform, and only a 
small part of its former great velocity. This remaining 
part of its motion will be various in different bodies, being 
mor.- or less as the body is larger or smaller, and as it is 


that have fallen from the Atmospliere. 77 

more or less specifically heavy ; but, for a particular in- 
stance, if the body were a globe of 12 inches diameter, and 
of the same orravity as the atmospheric stones, the motion 
would decrease so, as to be little move than a quarter of a 
mile per second of perpendicular descent. Now while the 
body is thus descending, the earth itself is alTected by a 
two-fold motion, both the diurnal and the annual one, with 
both of which the descent of the body is to be compounded. 
The earth's motion of rotation at the equator is about 17 
miles in a minute, or -^ of a mile in a second ; but in the 
middle latitud^-s oi Europe liitle more than the half of that, 
or little above half a quarter of a mile in a second : and if 
we compound this motion with that of the descending body, 
as in mechanics, this may cause the body to appear to 
descend obliquely, thf)ugh but a little, the motion being 
nearer the perpendicular tlian the horizontal direction. But 
the other motion of the earth, or that in its annual course, 
is about 20 miles in a second, wh;ch is SO times greater 
than the perpendicular descent m the instance above men- 
tioned ; so that, if this motion be conipounded with the 
descending one of the body, it must necessarily give it the 
appearance of a very rapid motion, in a direction nearly 
parallel to the horizon, but a little declining downwards. 
A circumstance which exactly agrees with the usual appear- 
ances (jf these meteoric bodies, as stated in the 2d article of 
the enumerated phaenomena. 

^^ 3. Again, with regard to the apparent direction of the 
body, this will evidently be various, being that com- 
pounded of the body's descent and the direction of the 
earth's annual motion at the time of ihe fall, which is itself 
various in the different seasons of the year, according:: to the 
direction of the several points of the ecliptic to the earth's 
meridian or axis. Usually, however, frcnn ihc great excess 
of the earth's motion above that of -the falling bodv, the 
direction of this must appear to be nearly opposite to that of 
the former. And in fact ihis exactly agrees with a remark 
made by Dr. H alley, in his account ot the meteors in his 
paper above given, where he says that the direction of the 
meteor's motion was exactly opposite to that of the earth in 
her orbit. And if this shall generally be found to be the 
case, it will prove a powerful confiri7iation of this theory of 
the lunar substances. Unfortunately, however, tlic ob- 
servations on this point are very few and mostly inaccurate: 
the angle or direction of the fallen stones has not been 
recorded ; and that of the flying meteor con)monly mistaken, 
all the various observers giving it a different course, some 
7 even 

7S On Siones that have fallen frotn the Atmosphere* 

even directly the reverse of others. In future, it will ber 
very advisable that the observers of fallen stones observe 
flnd record the direction or bearing of the perforation niado 
by the body in the earth, which will give us perhaps the 
course of the path nearer than any other observation. 

" 4. In the flight of these meteoric stones, it is com- 
monly observed that they yield a loud whizzing sound< 
Indeed it would be surprising if they did not. For if the 
like sound be given by the smooth and regularly formed 
cannon ball, and heard at a considerable distance, how ex- 
ceedingly great must be that of a body so much larger, 
which is of an irregular form anil surface too, and striking 
the air with 50 or 100 times the velocity. 

" 3. That they commonly burst and fly in pieces in 
their rapid flight, is a circumstance exceeding likely to 
happen, both from the violent state of fusion on their sur- 
face, and from the extreme rapidity of their morion through 
the air. If a grinding stone, from its quick rotation, be 
sometimes burst and lly in pieces, and if the same thing 
happens to cannon balls, when made of stone, and dis- 
charged with considerable velocity, merely by the friction 
and resistance of the air, how much more is the same to be 
expected to happch to the atmospheric stones, moving with 
more than 30 times the velocity, and when their surface 
may well be supposed to be partly loosened or dissolved by 
the extremity of the heat there. 

'^ 6. That tiie stones strike the ground with a great force, 
and penetrate to a considerable depth, as is usually ob- 
served, is a circumstance only to be expected, from the 
extreme rapidity of their motion, and their great weight, 
when we consider that a cannon ball, or a mortar shell, 
will often bury- itself many inches, or even some feel in the 

" 7. That these stones, v/hen soon sought after and 
found, are hot, and exhibit the marks of reeenf fusion, are 
also the natural consequences of the extreme degree of in- 
ilammatifin in which tlielr surface had been put during their 
flight tlirough the air. 

<^' 8. That these stc;ny masses have all the same external 
appearance and contexture, as well as internally the same 
nature and composition, are circumstances that strongly 
point out an Identity of origin, whatever may be the cause 
to which they owe so generally uniform a conformation. 
And when it is considered, Qthly, that in those respects 
they differ totally from all terrestrial compositions hitherto 
known or discovered, they lead the mind slmngly to 


Description of a Phugh-ear. ^g 

ascribe them to some other origin than the earth we in- 
habit; and none so likely as coming from our neighbouring 

** Upon the whole then it appears highly probable, that 
the flaminsi; meteors, and the burnino- stones that fall on 
the earth, are one and the ?ame thing. Jt also appears im- 
possible, or in the extremest degree nriprobable, to ascribe 
these, either to a iormation in the superior parts of the 
atmosphere, or to the irruptions of terrestrial volcanoes, or 
lo the generation by lightning striking the earth. But, on 
the other hand, that it is possible for such masses to be 
projected from the moon so as to reach the earth ; and that 
all the phaenomena of these meteors or falling stones, having 
a surprising conformitv with the circumstances of masses 
that may be expelled from the moon by natural causes, unite 
in forming a body of strong evidence, that this is in all pro- 
bability and actually the case." 

XII. Description of a Ploiigh-eor ichich offers the least 
possible Resistance, and ivliich rnay be et/si/y constructed. 
By Mr. Jefferson, President of the United States of 

JL II E body of a plough ought not only to be the continua- 
tion of the wing of the sock, beginning at its posterior edo"e, 
but it must also be in the sime plane. Its t^rst function is 
to receive horizontally from the sock the earth, to raise it 
to the height proper for being turned over ; to present in 
its passage the leust possible resistance, and consequently to 
require only the 77iinivnim of moving pov/er. Were its 
functions confined to this, the wedge would present, no 
doubt, the properest form for practicef; but the object is 
also to turn over the sod of earth. One of the edges of the 
ear ought then to have no elevation to avbid an useless 
"w asting of force ; the other edge ought on the contrary to 

* From A'vniU; du Miattim National d^Hisfoire A'lture/le, no. 4. 1802. 

f 1 am seniiLie thac ii.che object were mere!)- to raise the sod of earth to 
a given height by a determinate length of ear, v;ithout turning it over, the 
form v.'hich would give the least resistance would noi; be exactly that of a 
wedge wiih two plane faces ; but the upper face ought to be curvilinear, 
according to the laws of the solid of least resistance described by maiherna* 
ticians. But in this case ti.e difference between the effect of the wed-j-e with 
a curved face, and that of a wedge with a plane face, is so small, and it 
^^'ould be so difhcuh for workmen to construct the former, that the vvedo-e 
witn a plane face ought to be preferred, in practice as the first element of 
cur method of construction. {Noie oj' the Av raoiv.) 

i go- 

80 Description of a Plough-car. ^ 

go oa ascending until it has passed the perpendicular, in^ 
order that the sod may be inverted by its own weight; and 
to obtain this effect with the least possible resistance, the 
inclination ot the ear must increase gradually from the mo- 
ment that it has received the sod. 

la this second Inaction the ear acts then like a wedge 
situated in an obliijue direction or ascendino;, the point of 
uhich recedes horizoutallv on the earth, wliile the other 
end continues to rise till it passes the perpendicidar. Or, 
to considc^r it under another point of view, let us place on 
the ground a wedge, the breadth of which is equal to that of 
the sock of tne plough, and which in length is equal to the 
sock from the wing to the posterior extremity, and the 
height of the heel is equal to the thickness of the sock: 
draw a diagonal on the upper surface from the left angle of 
the point to the angle on the right of the upper part of the 
heel ; slope the face by making it bevel from the diagonal 
to the right edge which touches the earth : this half will 
evidently be the properest form for discharging the required 
functions, namely, to remove and turn over gradually the 
sod, and with the least force possible. If the left of the 
diagonal be sloped in the same manner, that is to say, if 
we suppr)se a straight line, the length of which is equal at 
least to that of the wedge, applied on the face already sloped, 
and moving backwards on that face, parallel to itself, and 
to the two ends of the wedge, at the same time that its 
lower end keeps itself always along the lower end of the 
rijrht face, the result will be a curved surface, the essential 
character of which is, that it will be a combination of the. 
prniciple of the wedge, considered according to two di- 
rections, which cross each otlier, and will give what we 
require, a plough-ear presenting the least possible re- 

This ear, besides, is attended with the valuable advantage 
that it can be made by any connnon workman by a process 
so exact that its form will not vary the thickness of a hair. 
One of the great faults of this essential part of the plough is 
the want of precision, because, workmen having no other 
guide than the eye, scarcely two of them arc similar. 

It is easier, indeed, to construct with precision the 
|t)lonoh-ear in question when one has seen the method which 
furnrshes the means once put in practice, than to describe 
the method by the aid of language, or to represent it by 
fio-iues. I shall, however, trv to give a description of it. 

"L»-t the proposed brcailth and depth of the furrow, as wj:ll 
a^ the length of the head of the plough, from its junction 


>CJl^l lUllUlO \JI U. X tUlCiill'CUt 

with the wing to its posterior end, be given, for these data 
will determine the dimensions of the block from which the 
ear of the plough must be cut. Let us suppose the breadth 
of the furrow to be 9 inches, the depth 6, and the length 
of the head two feet : the block then (Plate I. fig. 1.) must 
be 9 inches in breadth at its base bcy and IS-i- inches at its 
summit ffrf; for, if it had at the top only the breadth ae 
equal to that of the base, the sod, raised in a perpendicular 
direction, would by its own elasticity fall back into the 
furrow. The experience which I have acquired in my own 
land, has proved to me that in a height of l^ inches the 
elevation of the ear ought to go beyond the perpendicular 
4-i- inches, which gives an angle of about ^O-l"^, in order 
that the weii2;ht of the sod may in all cases o ercome its 
elasticity. The block must be 12 inches in height, berause, 
if the height of the ear were not equal to twice the depth of 
the furrow, when friable and sandy earth is tilled it wouljd 
pass the ear, rising up like waves. It must be in lengtli 
3 feet, one of which will serve to form the tail that fixes the 
ear to the stilt of the plough. 

The first operation consists informing this tail by sawing 
the block (fig. 2.) across from o to Z' on its left side, and 
at the distance of 12 inches from the endy^; then con- 
tinue the notch perpendicularly along be till within an 
inch and a half of its rhj}n side ; then taking di and eh, 
each equal 1^ inch, make a mark with the saw along the 
I'mede, parallel to the right side. The piece abcdefg 
will fall of itself, and leave the tail cdehi k, an inch and a 
half in thickness. It is of the anterior part abcklmn of 
the block that the ear must be formed. 

By means of a square trace out on all the faces of the 
block lines at an inch distance from each other, of which 
there will necessarily be 23: then draw the diagonals km 
(fig. 3.) on the upper face, and ko on that which ;s situated 
on the right ; make the saw enter at the point ?/?, directuig 
it towards k, and makino; it descend along the line vi L 
until it mark out a straight line between k and I (fig. 5.) ; 
then make the saw enter at the point o, and, preserving the 
direction ok, make it descend along the hne oZ until it 
meet with the central diagonal kl, which had been formed 
by the first cut : the pyramid kvniot (fig. 4.) will fall Qf 
itself, and leave the block in the form represented by fig. 5. 
It is here to be observed, that in the last operation, in- 
stead of stopping the saw at the central diagonal k I, if we 
had continued to notch the block, keeping on the same 
plane, the wedge Imnokb (fig. 3.) would have been taken 
' VoL 22, No. 85. June 1805. F away. 

82 t)escriptio7i of a Plotjgk-car. 

away, a\id there would have remained another wedge 
lokbar, which, as I observed before, in speaking of the 
principle in regard to tl>c constrnction of the ear, would 
exhibit the nif)rit perfect form, were the only object to raise 
the sod ; but as it nuist also be turned over, the left half oJE' 
the upper wedge has been preserved, in order to continue,on 
the same side, the bevel to be formed on t)ie right half of 
the lower wedge. 

Let us now proK^ecd to the means of producir>g this bevel, 
in order to obtain which we had the precaution to trace out 
lines around the block before we ren)oved the pyramid 
(fin-. 4.). Care must be taken not to confound these lines, 
now that they are separated by the vacuity left by the sup- 
pression of that pyramid (fig. 5.). Make the saw enter in 
the two points of the fir^t line, situated at the places where 
the latter is interrupted, and which are the two points 
where it is intersected by the external diagonals ok and mk, 
continuing the stroke on that first line till it reach on the 
one hand the central diagonal k /, and on the other the lower 
right edge oh of the block (fig. 5.) : the posterior end of 
the saw will come out at son)c jjoint situated on the upper 
trrace in a straight line with the corresponding points of the 
edge and the central diagonal. Continue to do the same 
thing on all the paints formed by the intersection of the 
exterior diagonals and lines traced out around the block, 
taking always the central diagonal, and the edge o k as the 
term, and the tr.tces as director.-^ : the result will be, that 
when vou have foru)ed several cuts with the saw, the end 
of that instrument, which came out before at the upper 
face of the blocks \^ ill cOiue out at the face situate*! on the 
left of the latter ; and all these ditVerent cut* of the saw wilF 
have marked out as many straight lines, which extending 
from the lower edge ok of the block, will proceed to cut 
the central diagonal. Now by the help of :mv proper toal 
remove the sawn parts, taking care to leave visible the traces 
of the saw, and thi"* face of tlic ear will be finished*. The 


* The figures 9 arid 10, whtcli we \\x\'e added lu-r? to tUose which ac- 
fOmpaiiv Mr. Jefleison's niemoir, were drawii in perspective by M. Valen- 
ciennc, assistant naturalist belonjring to the museum, atid mav serve to give 
a better idea of the result of tlie operation here de.-crilnd. het us suppose 
tliat the saw cuts the liiu-s nik, u k (lig. 9 ) in the points s and t, taken in 
the traces ,r { and t s ^ilniited in tJ»? same plane parallv?! to /• a re, aiid the 
prolongations of which on the triaii,;lcs w <c I and okt are the hues .it and 
f i; the saw must then penetr.iie the block remaining in the plane in ijuoo- 
tion until iis edge has arrived at the point .1, and at the ^amctime touch the 
point : of the central diagoi»al k /. 'I'he same edge of the saw will come out 
■u some point y of tiie. fac' m k t , so that tlir three points ', r, y, viU ts in 


Description of a Plovgh-ear, S3 

Traces will serve to show how the wedi];e which is at the 
right angle rises gradually on the direct or lower iaee of the 
wedtre, the inclination of which is preserved in the central 
diagonal, die may easily conceive and render sensible tlie 
manner in which the sod is raised on the ear. which wc 
have described, by tn^cing out on the ground a parallelogram 
two feet long and nine inches broad, asYi/rJ (fig d) : then 
placing in the point /' the end of a slick 27-^- inches in length, 
and raising the other end 1 '2 inches above the point e: (the 
line de, equal to 4.]- inches, represents the quantity which 
the height of the car exceeds the perpendicular). When 
tliis is done> take another stick 12 inches in length, and, 
placing it on ab, make it move backwards, and parallel to 
itself from ah \.o cd, taking care to keep one of its ends al- 
ways cm the line ad\ while the other end moves along the 
stick he, which here represents the central diagonal. The 
motion of this stick of 12 inches in length will be that of 
our ascending wedge, and will show how each transverse 
hue or the sod is carried from its first horiiiontal position 
until it be raised to a height which exceeds the perpendicular 
so much as to make it tall inverted bv its own weight. 

But to return to our operation : — it remains to construct 
the lower part of the ear. Invert the block and make the 
saw enter at the points where the line ul (fig. 9.) meets 
with the traces, and continue your stroke along* these traces 
Until both ends of th.e saw approach within an inch, or any 
other convenient thickness, of the opposite iace of the ear. 
When the cuts are ilnished, remove, as before, the sawn 
pieces, and tlie ear will be linishcd *. 


the same straight line. Eut if this operation be repeated in diiferent places 
of the lines m k, o ^ b from k to a ceruia iieigl-.t, tl'>e points oi the fare m k b, 
at which tlie saw comes oiit, will torm a curve k y n. Bey(jnd this height 
the saw, always directed iq such a n.anner tliat at the end of its motion it 
shall touch at the same time the edge oh and the central diagonal k L, will 
coiie out at otLer points sicua;ed on the posterior face a c in I, and the series 
■of ihese points will form a second curve ii I, which will meet the first in the 
point 7/. These two curves being traced out, let us suppose stra'j^ht lines 
drav/n to the places where the stopped each time that it touched the 
diagonal k !, and of which one, as already said, ]5asse5 through the points 
s.,z,y; and let us conceive a surface touching all these straight lines, and 
■who^e limits, on the one hand, shall be the curves kyn, al, and on the oth^r 
the edge o/i, this surface, wliich must be tmcovered by sections made with 
u proper insirunicnt, v/ili foim one of the faces of the The latter is re- 
presented fig. 10, and the face in question is that which fippears before, and 
whicli is indicated by tulor. IcwJlIbe remarked that the angle situated to- 
wards h (fig. 9) on the part kcdich of the block has a'so been cut olTby a 
section made from d to r, agreeably to what will be said hereafter. — I'l'ijit uf 
the I'ltnch Edttur. 

* We sl;ail here add tp this description an lUustraUQH similar to that given 

f 2 in 

8^ Description of a Plough-ear, 

It is fixed to the plough by morticing the fore part ol 
(fig. 5 aiid 10.) into the posterior edge of the sock, which 
must be made double, like the case of a conjb, that it may 
receive and secure this fore part of the ear. A «crc\v-nail 
is then made to pass through the ear and the handle of the 
hiock at tlie place of their contact, and two other screw-nails 
pass through the tail of the ear and the right handle of the 
plough. The part of the tail which passes beyond the han- 
dle nuist be cut diagonally, and the work will be finished. 

In describing this operation I have followed the simplest 
course, that it may be more easily conceived ; but I have 
been taught by practice, that it requires some useful modi- 
fications. Thus, instead of beguming to form the block as 
represented abed (fig. 7-)> ^vhere ab is 12 inches in length, 
and the angle at b is a right one, I cut ofi' towards the bot- 
tom, and along the whole length be of the block, a wedge 
Ice, the line / being equal to the thickness of the bar of the 
sock (which I suppose to be 1^ inch) ; for, as the face of the 
wing inclines frou) the bar to the ground, if the block were 
placed on the sock, without taking into the account this, 
inclination, the side ab would lose its perpendicular direc- 
tion, and the side ad would cease to be horizontal. Be- 
sides, instead of leaving at the top of the bk)ck a breadth 
of 13-i- inches from w to 7i (fig. 8.), I remove from the 
right side a kind of wedge nk'icpn of 1 ,y inch in thickness; 
because experience has shown me that the tail, which by 
these means has become n)ore oblique, as ci in>lead of k'ly 
fits more conveniently to the side of the handle. The dia- 

in re;nirrl to the anterior ftice of the car. The thickne.-.s of the Litter being 
detcrmuK d by that of the part kcdich {f[^.9.), or, what nnioiints to the 
s::me thin;r, by t fie lono-tli of tlie lines c k, iH, eh, let ui ilrst conceive 
there has been traced out, proceeding; from the point c, the curve cu]i pa- 
rallel to ky n, and tlien, proccfding- from tfie point p, the curve [> 3 parallel 
to /;/. Let us next suppose that the saw cuts the edge 'i / of the face ab mt 
in the point J, situated in the same plane as r ^ ;ind / i-, which plane has been 
taken for example in regard to the anterior face of the ear. The saw must 
be directed along the traces Jf aud X'.v in such a manner that its motion shall 
•Stop at the tei*in where its edge on the one hand shall touch the curve ( /> iu 
the point u situated on the trace ir, and on the other shall he situ.tted pa- 
rallel to the line vii/ at v.hich the saw stopped on the other side of the ear. 
The edge of the saw will then cut the face a I or in sonu* piiint s, so situated 
that the straight line drawn through that point and the |ioint << shall be pn- 
rallel to the straight line which passes through the point s.z,y. h yon con- 
tinue in the same manner cutting with the saw dilTererit point:> of the edge a/, 
those by which it comei out will form on the face it lor a curve «,u&; and 
if through these points and those corresponding to theM\ in the lines c p, /»&, 
there be drawn straight lines,' such as that which passes through the points 
«, ?/, and which we have taken as an example, the surface touching these 
straight lines, and uncovered by means of any sharp instrument, will form 
with the remainder ( li'>i^;.t.^ of the plane a/or,the posterior face of the ear, 
sucJi as is repreoeir.ed fig. lo-^Ac/i cfthe Freiuk hdilor. 


London Institution. 85 

f^nal oF the upper face is consequently removed back from 
jt to c ; and we have mc instead of w/f, as above. These 
modifications may be easily comprehended by those ac- 
■quainted with the general principle. 

In the different experiments to which ears have been sub- 
jected to determine the quantity by which the right upper 
bide of the block passes beyond the perpendicular, and to 
fix the relation between the height and the depth of the 
furrow, they were made only of wood ; but since my ex- 
periments have convinced me, that for a furrow 9 inches 
broad and 6 in depth, the dimensions I have given are the 
best, I propose in future to have these ears made of cast 

I am sensible that tliis description may appear already too 
long and too minute for a subject which has hitherto been 
considered as unworthy of furnishing matter of application 
to science-; but, if tlie plough is really the implement most 
useful to man, the improvement of it can never be thoucrht 
a vain speculation. However, the combination of a theory 
satisfactory to the learned, with a practice which falls within 
the reach of the most unlettered labourer, must meet with 
a favourable reception from two classes of men who render 
most service to society. 

XIII. Proceedings of Learned Societies. 


J\t a very numerous and respectable meeting at the Lon- 
don Tavern, May 23, 1803, Sir F. Baring, M.P. in the 
chair, the following resolutions were uiianimousiv adopted ; 

1. That it is expedient to establish ai3 institution upon a 
libera'! and extensive scale, in s«uie central situation in the 
city of London, the object of which shall be to provide — 

1 . A library, to contain works of intrinsic value. 

2. Lecturer for the diffusion of useful knowledo-e. 

3. Reading-rooms for the daily papers, periodical pub- 
lications, interesting pamphlets, and foreitin jt)urnals. 

2. That this institution shall consist of a. limited number 
-of proprietors, and of life and annual subscribers. 

3. That the interest of the proprietors shall be equal, 
permanent, transferable, and hereditary, and shall extend 
to the absolute property of the whole establishment; they 
?iiall be entitled to 5uch extraordinary privileges as may be 

P 3 consistent 

86 London Institution. 

consistent witli general convenience, and upon them shall 
devolve the exclu;rive right of the management of the insti- 

4. That the life and annual subscribers shall have the 
same use ol, and access to, the ins^titution as the proprie- 

5. That the qualification of a proprietor be fixed for the 
present at seventv-five guineas. 

6. That the subscription for life be for the piescnt twenty- 
five guineas. 

7. That ladies shall be received as subscribers to the lec- 
tures, under such rccrulations and upon such terms as may 
hereafter be determined. 

8. That as soon as one hundred persons have declared 
their intention to become proprietors, a general meeting of 
all such persons shall be convened, who shall proceed as 
they see occasion, to 'carry the plan into eflect, to appoint 
a committee to draw up regulations for the institution, and 
to submit the same to a general meeting of the proprietors 
for their approbation. 

9. That this institution be denominated the London In- 
sfltution, for the yidvanccnwnt of Lifrrnture and tin; Df- 
fiision of us(fid Knowledge. 

10. That the following persons be a connnittee to receive 
the names of such gentlemen as may desire to become pro- 
prietors or life subscribers, and to conduct the progress of 
the proposed establishment, until a general metling of the 
proprietors can be held : 

Sir F. Baring, hart. M. P. John Smith, esq. M. P. 
J. .1. Angerstein, e';q. Robert W'lgram jan. etq. 

Richard Sharp, esq. Samuel Woods, esq. 

George Hibbert, esq, 

1 1 . That one-third of the sums subscribed be paid on or 
before the 10th of .Tune, one-third on or before the 1st of 
October next, and the remaining third on or before the 1st 
of January next. 

Resolved unanimously, 
That the thanks of this meeting be given to those gentle- 
men with whom this desicn originated. 

That the thanks of this meeting be given to G. Hibbert, 
esg. and R. Sharp, esq. for niovmg and seconding the fore- 
going resolutions. 

F. Baiung, Chairman. 
The chairman having left the chair, 

Resolved utianimouslv. 
That the thanks of this meeting be given to sir F. Baring, 

H barl. 

London Institution. 87 

bait, for taking ihe chair, and for tlie ability and Impartia- 
lity with which lie has conducted the business ot" this day. 

The subscription having proceeded with unexpected ra- 
pidity, a ceaeral meeting ot the proprietors will be held on 
Tuesday next, at the London Tavern, when the chair will 
be taken at one o'clock precisely. 

London Tavern, May 28, 1805. 

At a meeting of the proprietors of the London Institu- 
tion, Sir F- Barinof, Bart. M. P. in the chair. 

7"hat the subscription for the names of proprietors be now 

That before any measures arc taken for carrying the plan 
into execution, a petition be presented to his majesty, pray- 
ing that he would be graciously pleased to grant a charter 
to the institution. 

That an outline of the plan be laid before the right ho- 
nourable the secretary of state for tlie home department. 

That for these purposes it is expedient to elect a com- 
mittee of managers to continue till a charter shall be obr 

That the following prnprietors be now elected as tempo- 
rary managers of this institution : 
Sir Francis Baring, bart. William Manning, esq. M. P. 

M. P. president William Heseltiue Pepys, 

John Julius Angersteln, esq. esq. 
Thomas Baring, esq. Sir Charles Price, bart. M.P, 

Thomas Bodley, esq. alderman 

Harvey Christian Combe, Job Matthew Raikes, esq, 

esq. M. P. alderman John Rennie, esq. 

Richard Clarke, F. R. S. Matthew Raine, D.D. 

chamberlain Richard Sharp, esq. F.A.S. 

George Hibbert, esq. John Smith, esq. M. P. 

Benjamin Harrison, esq. Henry Thornton, esq. M. P» 

Henry Hoare, esq. Samuel Woods, esq. 

Sir Hugh Ingliss, bart. M. P. Robert Wigram jun. esq. 
Becston Long, esq. 

That the plan, after it has received the approbation of a 
general meeting of proprietors, be laid before his majesty's 
secretary of state, for the purpose of soliciting a charter for 
the institution. 

That the subsequent proceedings of the managers be laid 
before a general meeting of the proprietors for their appro- 
bation ; and that, in the mean time, the committee ot ma- 
nagers are hei-cby authorized to adopt such measures and 

F4 * to 

88 British Institution Jhr promoting the Fine Arts. 

to defray such expense as may be necessary for the esta- 
blishment ot this uisiitution. 

That sir Wiiliain Curtis, hart, be appointed treasurer to 
tliis institution j and that those gentlemen who have de- 
clared their mtention to become proprietors and life sub- 
scribers be requested to pay one-third of their subscriptions 
into ihe banking-house of Robarts, Curtis, and Co. on 
account of the said treasurer. 

That any person neglecting to pay the first or succeeding 
instalments on his subscription within fourteen davs after 
the date fixed by the eleventh resolution of the general meet- 
ing, shall forfeit his right to any share or privilege in this 

That the foregoing resolutions be printed, together with 
those adopted at the general meeting of the 23d instant, 
and transmitted to everv proprietor. 

That the thank j of this meeting be given to sir F. Baring, 
hart. M. P. for his conduct in the chair. 


At a meeting of subscribers to the plan for a British In- 
stitution f(^r promrting the Fine Arts in the united king- 
dom, held at the Tiiatehed House Tavern, the 4th of June 
1805, present, 

Tht; Earl of Dartmouth in the chair, 
The earl of Aylesford Henry Hope, esq. 

John Julius Angerstein, esq. Thomas flope, esq. 
'J"he duke of Bedford Lord viscount Lowther 

Sir Georiic Beaumont, bart. Edward L. Loveden, esq. 
Thomas Bernard, esq. Samuel Lysons, esq. 

Rt. hon. Isaac Corry, M. P. l^hilip iMetcalfe, esq. M. P. 
Rev. William Carr William iVJorland, esq. M. P. 

James ChriKtie, esq. Lord Norlhwick 

The bishop of Durham Lord Henry Petty, M. P. 

Lord De Dunstanville William Smith, esq. ^LP. 

Charles Duncombe, esq. Richard Troward, esq. 

M. P. Samuel Whitbread, esq. 

Sir Wm. Elford, bart. M. P. M . P. 
Sir Abraham IJume, bart. Caleb Whiteford, esq. 

It was moved by lf)rd viscount Lowther, and seconded 
by the duke of Bedford, and ynanimously resolved. 

That the British Institution for promoting the Fine Arts 
in the United Kingdom, under his majesty's most gracious 
patronage, do commence and take place this day, being 
his majesty's birth-dav. 


Keiv Institutions in America, 89 

It was moved bv the right honourable Isaac Corry, and 
seconded by John JuUus Angerstein, esq. and resolved. 

That the earl of Dartmouth, lord viscount Lowther, tiie 
right honourable Cliarles Long, sir George Beaumont, hart, 
sir Abraham Hume, bart. sir Francis Baring, bart. Thomas 
Hope, esq. William Smith, e»q. and Thomas Bernard, esq. 
be a select committee to prepare a draft of regulations for 
the British Institution, to inquire after a local situation for 
it, and to make their report to an adjourned meetino- of 
subscribers of fifty guineas or upwards, to be held at the 
Thatched House Tavern, on Tuesday next, at half past 
twelve o'clock : the chair to be taken at one o'clock pre- 

It was moved by the earl of Aylcsford, and seconded br 
Henry Hope, esq. and resolved, 

That subscribers of one guinea a year, or of ten guineas 
in one sum, have personal admission to the rooms of exhi- 
bition : that subscribers of three guineas a year, or of thirty 
guineas in one sun), have personal adniission, and the right 
of introducing a friend each day : that subscribers of five 
guineas a year have the same personal admission, together 
with the right of introducing two friends each day : that 
subscribers of fifty guineas have the same privileges for life, 
and be governors of the institution : that subscribers of one 
hundred guineas or upwards have the same privileges in per- 
petuity, and be governors of the institution, their risihts to 
be transmissible on death^ subject to :he regulations here- 
after to be adopted; and that the institution be under the 
government of a committee of directors, consisting of the 
president, four vice-presidents, and twelve other persons, 
from time to time to be elected bv and out of the governors. 

DARTMOirrH, Chairman. 

And the earl of Dartmouth having quitted the chair. 

Resolved unanimously, That the thanks of the meeting 
be presented to his lordship for his great attention to the 
business of the day. 

Persons disposed to promote the Institution are requested 
to address themselves, by letter, to any of the select com- 
mittee; or to send their names to Mr. Hatchard's, No. 190, 
Piccadilly, where the books of subscriptions are left. 


A lettter from New York, dated April 1st, savs : — 

'* Among the numerous institutions which have been 

formed in this country in the course of 1804, there are 

threein particular in which the public take a warm interest. 

7 The 

§0 Society nf the Scienrrs at Flushing. 

llie first is a Societv of Agricullure established at \Va.-1i- 
jngton under the special protection of government. I'iie 
pref^ident of the United Stales, the chiefs of ad'.ninistraticm, 
the senators and deputies to eongrcss, arc menibers of it in 
right of tl»eir situation. 'I'he society have already acquired 
a. convenient edirice, with a Held of thirty acres ; the coni- 
jnencenient of a librarv, and that excellent collection of 
ploughs and other agricultural implements which formerly 
belonged to general Wa.>hington. The form of its admi- 
nistration, the capital which it can possess (specified in. 
bushels of wheat), and its whole organization have been 
fixed by its cl>arter of incorporation, which constitutes the 
society into a political bodv, and ensures the existence of 
jt for ever. The answers to the numerous questions which 
it sent, soon after its formation, to the societies of different 
countries, form, it is said, an interesting work, which will 
be published. 

The second institution is a Botanical Garden in the neigh- 
bourhood of New York, for which the subscribers have ob- 
tained also a charter. As soon as the large green-house is 
completed, the most curious productions of the souther^ 
provinces will be sent to it. 

The third institution is an Acadeniv of Fine Arts. The 
first idea of this establishment originated with Mr. Living- 
ston, the American minister at I'aris : and the public were 
so sensible of its importance, that lono beibre tho arrival of 
the plaster casts, which that gentleman presented to it, the 
subscribers, of iwenty-flvc piastres each, amounted to ISO. 
Mr. Vandeline, a native of An»erica, who has resided se- 
veral years at Paris, where he has become an eminent 
painter, has sent to the academy some fine paintings. 

The president, by the support of the I'riends to this in- 
stitution, has purchased for it that beautiful edifice which 
forms the centre of the circus lately built on Hudson's river, 
the large hall of which is lighted by a rotunda of cast iron 
entirely filled with panes of glass. It is here that Mr. Li- 
vingston's plaster casts, among which there is one of the 
celer)rated Laocoon, have been deposited : and seventeen 
pupils are already employed in makmg drawings from these 
fine models. 


In the meeting of November 2, last year, at the Museum 
in Middleburgii, the society proposed again the two follow- 
ing questions, announced in the vear iS03, and to which 
no ans\\crs had been received. 

L What 

Sociefy of the Sciences at Flushing. 91 

I. What Hte the natural causes that the bottom of the 
harbours in iMiddlcburgh and the Welzinge channel has 
been so percci^tibly raised, during a series of years, bv an 
accumulation of the mud ? What are the simplest, most 
effectual, and least expensive means of remedying this evil? 
and is it possible to give a sufficient depth to these harbours 
and channel, and to maintain them in that state? 

II. A history of the influx of the current of the sea ac- 
cording to llxed laws, and in a determinate line? What are 
these laws ? Is the course of these currents prejudicial to 
our dykes and to the strand, and in what degree? What 
are the practicable means of giving to this prejudicial cur- 
rent another direction, and of conducting it to other places, 
so as to ohviate its destructive efi'ect ? 

Th.e prize is a gold medal ; and the answers must be sent 
in before the 1st of January ISOC. 

The two followino; questions also, announced last vear, 
are again proposed tor the same reason as the prccedimr: 
the first tor a vear, the second for an indefinite tmje. 

I. As the utility of pouring; out oil and other fat sub- 
Stances during storms at sea, is established by sufficient 
proofs ; but as the objection, that this mean mav be preju- 
dicial to ships which follow, has not been entirelv obviated, 
the society requires to know : What is the physical prin- 
ciple of calming the waves by pouring out fat substances? 
and, Can the above objection be entirely done away by an 
explanation of this point? 

II. What was the geographical state of Zeeland in re- 
gard, in particular, to rivers and streams, i'rom the earliest 
periods to the commencement of the government of Counts ? 
What changes took place in it between the latter period and 
the end of the fourteenth century ? Has it continued the 
same, or have evident alterations taken place? and what are 
these alterations ? 

The society has proposed also three new questions, the 
prize for which is a gold medal ; the first to be answered 
before the 1st of August 1805, the other two before the 
1st of January 1806. 

I. As we have no general history of the sciences and fine 
arts in this country, which would be both agreeable and 
useful ; and as such a history is not to be expected until 
histories of each branch be composed, the society has re- 
solved in turii its attention to this object, and to announce 
one part annually as the subject of a prize question, with a 
view that materials may be collected for a general history, 
and that our countrymen may in the mean time enjoy the 


92 Sockti/ of tJie Sciences at Mushing^ 

benefit of particular histories. But as it appear? necesj^arv 
to the socictv that the compass of this fertile subject shoulii 
be treated iu nieihodical order, for the jiurpose of avoiding 
confusion and needless prolixity, and that not only a proper 
distinction should be made between the sciences and fine 
arts, but that a proper distribution of them should be pre- 
viously established, according to which the society may 
propose its annual questions : and as it appears also that 
several men of letters who have written on the division of 
literature, science, and the fine arts, which, according to 
the opinion of the antients, are so intin^ately connected 
with each other, evidently differ, the society considers it 
necessary first to propose the following question : — Is there 
any connection between the sciences and'the fine arts? Is 
it possible to ^ep/arate them from each other, and to distri- 
bute and arrange both in a regular series ? What is the best 
order, and at the same time the best adapted to make the 
literary history of the various branches of the sciences and 
fine aits serve as materials for prize questions ? 

II. As the Pythagorean philosopher, Apollonius of Ty- 
ana, has, by many of the pagan and other writers, been 
placed in the same rank with our blessed Saviour Jesus 
Christ, ihe society requires to kjiow : '' What real or pro- 
bable inforniaiion is to be obtained in regard to this man? 
And what prooi's of the truth of the evangelical writings can 
be deduced from a comparison of the accounts given us of 
AjioUonius bv Philostralus and others, and of Jesus Christ 
by the evangelists ; together with a comparison of the ex- 
ternal relation of these writers? 

II I . As the bloody feuds known under the name of Hneksek 
and kalrljaautvsch form ll)e i)nncipa1 part of the earlv historv 
of this country, and as different opinions ha\'e been enter- 
1au)t:d in regard to various circumstances relating to them, 
the society wishes for a more satisfactory account of the 
origin of these two parties. Was it not earlier than the 
destructive quarrel between Margaret of Hennegau and her 
son William V? WHiat gave occasion to the apptllation<; 
Hockseli and Kabcljaamtsch ? Is the real etymology of these 
words established, and what was the principal objex^t of these 
parlit's from their origin to the time when they became ex- 

The answers, written in the Dutch, Latin, or French 
languages, but in a legible hand, must be transmitted, 
sealed up in the usual manner, to A. Dryfhout, the se- 
cretary, at Middleburgh, before the periods above an- 

XIV. /«- 

[ 93 ] 
XIV. Inielli^rence and Miscellaneous Article^ 


X HE king of Prussia has proposed the following prize 
question in regard to the yellow fever : — " Are there suffi- 
cient grounds, founded on indubitable faets, for believing 
that the contagion of the yellow fever can convey its infec- 
tion to substances destitute of life, without losing; any of its 
force, and in such a manner that the contact of these sub- 
stances can communicate the infection Co sound persons, 
and by these means convey the fever to other countries ? 

The prize for the best answer is 200 ducats, and tVjr the 
second best 100 ducats. The answers must be written in 
Latin, German, or French ; and transmitted to the Supe- 
rior College of Medicine before the 1st of January 1S07. 


Dr. Richter, of Berlin, has discovered in the cobalt ore 
©f the Saxon mines a new metal which has properties com- 
mon to cobalt and nickel, but which diiTers frum both. H<5 
has given it the name of nkcolun. A particular account of 
this metal has been published in Gehler's Journal of Che- 


A table of the right ascension and declination of Ceres 
and Pallas. 











m s 







July 28 


24 8 













1 3 





Aug. 3 


33 52 



J 3 







38 40 










43 28 



' 4 







48 8 










52 48 










5 7 24 




















C 32 










11 4 








15 28 







4 7 

Juno is not yet visible. 


94 The fidcs.—bcnth. 


A corre*;pondent remarks, that from the peculiar position 
of the two grand luininarics, the sun and the riiuon, on the 
lOth day of August next, a great increase of tide maybe 
expected on the three following days; and that a very good 
opportunity will then oHcr to ascertain the moon's influ- 
ence over the ocean, by observing the height of the tide at 
the principal maritime ports, particularly at Chepstow, the 
liristol channel, and at London bridge. 


On tlie 9th of March last, al the age of about 76, the 
celebrated Felix Fonlana, director of the Royal Museum a^ 
Florence. *' He died," says Fabbrorii, " full of <>"lory." 
Being attacked twenty-seven days before bv an apoplexy, 
he was assisted during the fit by the duke De Bonelli, who 
was accidentally passing at the time. After this accident 
his mental faculties were Sf) weakened that he was scarcely 
able to make the necessary disposition of his property in 
favour of his relations, friends, and domestics. 

The physical sciences have lost in Fontana a man by 
whom they were cultivated with unremitting ardour. Italy, 
in particular, regrets in him one of its briuhtest ornaments. 
He possessed the rare talent of an observer. He had great 
boldness of conception, uncommon strength of judgment, 
and an obstinate perseverance in every thing he undertook. 
The numerous and laborious experiments he made on the 
poison of the viper arc a proof of it, as well as those by 
which he threw great light on the animal oeconomv. The 
cabiiAct of Florence is indebted to his persevering courat^e^ 
thwarted bv diP.icuIties and obstacles, ibr the immense and 
Valuable coilcetion, to which there is notliinti; equal in Eu- 
roj)e, of wax models of every kind executt'd under his assi- 
duous and minute direction, it is also indebted to him for 
two wooden statues which can be taken to pieces : one of 
them could not be finished in Iiis lite-time, and perhaps 
will never be completed after his death. The reader will 
he astonished to learn that it consists of six thousand dif- 
ferent pieces, and is destined to >\\o\\ in its deeoniposiiion 
the \\ hole system, the bowels and membranes of the humart 

These labours, tliough assiduous, left him sufficient time 
to cultivate the other branches t-f the physical sciences, on 
which he has left works written both in Italian and in 
French, liis .style is perspicuous and elei^.uit, valuable 


List of Patents for New Inventions. 93 

<^ualities, in which he participated with hts brother Gregory 

His obsequies were celebrated with great soleranilv in his 
parish ; his body was opened betore the most celebrated 
professors, and the features of his face w Lire taken off bv a 
plaster cast. His remains were deposited in a leaden coffin, 
with the principal circumstance.'^ of his life written on parch- 
ment inclosed in a metal tube closely soldered. This coffin, 
put into another of fir, was interred three davs after under 
the public chapel of the noviciate of the minor conventual 
brothers of Sainte-Croix, close to the ashes of Galileo and 
Viviani, Michael Angelo and Machiavci. One of his ex- 
ecutors, M. Fetter Ferroni, a celebrated mathcmatican, will 
make known to the republic of letters the valuable matiu- 
scripts left by this eminent philosopher, as well as those of 
Gregory Fontana, found aiiiong liis pliilosophical collec- 


Richard Jubb, of Bridge-row, in the parish of St. Georoe, 
Hanover-square, in the county of Middlesex, whitesmith j 
for improvements in making and tuning the musical instru- 
ment called the pe<lal harp, by which the half-quarter note 
is produced thereon with peculiar sweetness and harnuniv; 
and the further addition of an harmonic stop made thereto j 
and also certain improvements in tuning the violin and othex 
stringed instruments. 

Barrodall Robert Dodd, of Ci-;ango-al!cv, in the city of 
London, civil engineer ; for various improvements in the 
construction of lire-place?, and adapting stoves and grates 

Joseph Bratnah, of Plmlico, in tire county of Mlddlesejr., 
engineer; for sundry improvemenls \ii the art of making 

Tiiomas Rowntree, of the par?sh of Christ Church, in 
the county of Surrey, engine- maker ; for an axletree anJ 
box for carriages on an improved plan. 

Charles Hobson, of Sheffield, in tlie county of York, 
plater, and Charles Silvester, of the same place, chenust ; 
lor a method of manufacturing the mctval called zinc intc 
wire, and iiito vessel? and. iltensils for culinary and other 




meteorological table 

By Mr. Carey, of the Strand, 

For June 1805. 

Days of the 


Height of 

the Birom. 


4j >■ O 


May 2; 



June 1 


24 1 















































































3 '2 





N. B. The barometer's height is taken 5t noon. 

[ 97 ] 

XV. Leftei' to M. Lacepede, o/" Petri's, on the Natural 
History of North America. By Benjamin Smith 
BarTOX, M. D. Professor uf Materia Medica, Natural 
History, and Botany, in the University of Pennsyl- 
vatiia *. 

XT is a long lime since I have received a letter from you. 
I have anxiously expected one, as I am very desirous to 
know what progress you have made in your workf on 
Fishes. I should, indeed, have been very glad if my leisure 
had permitted me to have transcribed for your use a very 
considerable number of facts relative to the lishes of North 
America, especially of the United States. These facts will, 
however, be published in two works in which I am en- 
gaged, viz. my Fragments of the Natural History of Penn- 
sylvania, and my Travels through various Parts of the 
United States. I shall only observe at present, that many 
of our fishes are undescribed by the diH'ercnt writers whom 
I have had an opportunity of consulting; and I believe I 
may assert that much very interesting matter relative to the 
manners, the migrations. Sec. of various American species 
is entirely unnoticed. 

I exceedingly rejoice to find, by the French and other 
foreign publications, that all the branches of natural history 
are making so much progress in your country. On this 
side of the Atlantic we also are doing something; as much, 
perhaps, as could be expected from us. The museum, 
founded by our countryman Mr. C. W. Peale, is very re- 
spectable, both for the number and value of the articles 
which it contains. Within the last three or four years se- 
veral new species of quadrupeds, or mammalia, have been 
discovered, and our knowledge concerning other species 
has been greatly extended. You arc, doubtless, well in- 
formed that two pretty complete skeletons of the mannnoth 
(as it has long been called) have been discovered. One of 
these has been sent to Europe, and it is probable that you 
will have an opportunity of seeing it at Paris |. 1 think you 
will have no hesitation in agreeing with me, that this mon- 
strous animal must be referred to the genus elephas. As 
far as we are enabled to judge from the bony fabric of the 
animal, (and I take this to be an excellent foundation upon 
which to construct generic characters,} the American niam- 

* Communicated by the Auilior. f This has been published. 

\ Mr. junior, after exhibiting; the m.immoth here spoken of in 
I-oudon, returned witli it for America %vithjut visiting' the Conunent of 
Europe. — Edit. 

Vol. 2e. No. S«. July 1S05. G moth. 

98 On tlie Natural History of North America. 

moth was a true elephant. If in the form of his grinder:^, 
in the curvature of his clcfenee< or tusks, and in several 
other circumstances, he differed considerablv frcni the hvinji 
elephants that are now known \o us, those diflerences do no 
more than assure iis that the American animal constituted 
a species distinct from the (living) elephants of Asia and 
Africa, 'ihe American species is untjuestionaUlv lost; for 
nature, it uould seem, is nnich less anxious to preserve the 
whole of her created species than some illustrious naturalists 
have supposed. The skeletons or bones of some other large 
animals, more or less allied to the family of elephants, have 
also been discovered in diflerent parts of No; th America. 
Among these I recognize the grinders of a species which, 
if not the same as the elephant of Asia, must have been (as 
to the form of its grinders at least) more hcarlv allied to 
that species than is the manmioth. The bones of another 
large animal have been discovered. These appear to have 
belonged to a species of trickeclius ; perhaps to the irlchcclius 
Tosmarui, or morse. We occasionallv find the bones of 
some of the largest of the ceiacea in situations very remote 
from those in which the living animals are at present to be 
seen. T\iv. scapula .of a species of whale has been found at 
a considerable distance beneath the surface of the earth 
within the limits of the citv of i'hiladelphia. Several years 
ago, the tooth of the monodon, ox narwhal, was found at 
the distance of a few miles from the citv. These last-men- 
tioned facts, however, need not excite much surprise, since 
very extensive portions of the present dry country exhibit 
the n)ost unccpiivocal proofs of an antient covering by tlic 
sea. I mav add, that uithin the mcuior\- of our histoiy 
whales were not uncommon in some of our bars and rivers, 
w ht re llicv are no longer seen *. 

You have, I suppose, heard of the large bones which 
have been found, in a nitrous cave, in the back parts of 
Virginia. Mr. Jeflcrson, ihe president of the United States, 
lias given an interesting nxemoir on the subject of these 
])one£ in the fourth volume of the Transactions of the Ame- 
rican Pli;los<:)|)hical Sociciv. lie supposes them to have 
belonged to a large animal o'i the genus J('li>'- Btit these 
remains must be referred to a very different family of ani- 
mals; to some one of the sjenera in tlie order turd'ii^rada : 
the iriita of LiniKeus. I ha\c little doubt that they and 
the bones found near the i'lata, in Soulli America, belong 

" Since ih- abovo was written a wha'c [laUvna inusciihi>) about thirty- 
five leit in le n.'th wasciujjht in the river L»Lia\\urc, ni the Uiktauec of »e- 
veral iiiUei below PhiJjdelphi.i. 


On the Kaiiiral History of North America. 99 

to the same species : at all events, to an animal of the same 
genu.-* ; {he. me^athcriftm of your countrvman Al. Cuvicr. 
Many similar discoveries may be expected from the coun- 
tries of the United States when it shall be our lot to possess 
men of more leisure than we do at present ; or even when 
our labourers shall more generally know that subjects of 
this kind are interesting to philosophers both here and 

In the fourth volume of the 'I'ransactions of the American 
Philosophical Society, f have given an account of a new 
species of dipus or jerboa, which 1 call dipus Atnffricanas . 
I have discovered some other species of this oenus, parti- 
cularly one, which I call dipus mellivorus. It is very de- 
structive to our bee-hives, eating the honev : hence the 
specific name. We aie very rich in small animals of the 
order n^/i/-6',s^ of Linnaeus. There has lately been discovered 
a species of nms, somewhat larger than the conmion house-r 
mouse, wiiich some of the smgular habits of the opos- 
sum tribe. This animal is a native of Virginia and other 
parts of the United States. Vou liave seen Dr. Shaw's ac- 
count of the mm hursarius, or Canada rat. Either this 
species (which was discovered in Canada), or another verv 
nearly allied to it, is common in the state of Georgia and 
other southern parts of the United Stales. In Georefia it is 
known by the ridiculous name oi' salconander. I take it to 
be the tozan^ or tuza of Clavigero. If the Canada and 
Mexican animal be the same species, its range throuoh the 
continent is very great. But I have long since discovered 
that the quadrupeds of America have a verv extended <xeo- 
graphical ranae. I mav sav the same of the trees and other 
vegetables of this portion of the world. 

I must now return to some of our large animals. The 
animal best known in the United States by the name oi' elk 
is essentially different from the cerviis alces, or ttioos, and 
has not hitherto been described by anv of your systematic 
naturalists. I call it cervus wapiti [wapiti beino; one of its 
Indian names), and shall give a pretty ample account of it 
in my Fragments, part ii., now in the press. This is not 
the only North American cervus with which the naturalists 
of Europe appear to be unacquainted. But what will you 
say, when I inform you that there has lately been disco" 
vered an American species of sheep ! You know that some 
of the missionary Jesuits, who visited California towards the 
end of the 17th century, inform us that they found in that , 
country two sorts of deer, which they call sheep, from their 
resemblance, in make, to the sheep of Europe. The first 

G 2 sort 

100 On the Natural History of North America. 

sort is said to be as lar2:e as a calt" of one or two vcars oM ; 
its head is much like that of a stag, and its horns hke tiiose 
of a ram. Both its tail and hair ai'c speckled, and shorter 
than a stag's. Its hoof is lunre, round, and cleft like that 
of an ox. The flesh of this animal is said to be very tender 
and delicious. The second sort difiers le?s from the sheep 
of Europe. Some of them are white, and others bla<:k. 
They are larger than the common sheep, have much more, 
wool, which is ver\' irood, and easy to be spun and wrought*. 
In the Ilistorv of California, by Venegas, there is a tigure 
of oi^e of these animals, which the Moncpii Indians, inha- 
biting that cofintry, call tai/cf. Mr. Zinmicrmann seems 
to entertain no doubt that the taye (or tage, as he calls it.) 
is the same aiiimal as the argali, or wild sheep, which in- 
habits the nnrt}i-ca?t parts of Asia and the cauBtr/ of 
Kamtschatka J. Mr. Pennant, though less positive, is of 
the same oj)iTiion §. 1 hi-, however, appears to me to be a 
doubtful point. Vcnca^s's figure rather forbids the idea 
that the Asiatic and An)erican animal arc the same. The 
horns of the former are less iucurvated than those of the 
latter. The abbe Clavigero says the tavc is '^ unques- 
tionablv the ibex of Pliny, described by count de BufTou 
urider the name of IniKjiiclln j|." This cannot be; p>dgin^ 
by the (igure of the Californian animal, it appears to be most 
essential I V diRercut from the bou(pietin, which is the capra 
ibex of Linnxus. 

[ have lately received some additional information con- 
cerning the existence of a large horned animal, probablv 
the taye, in the country adjacent to the river Missouri, the 
great western branch of the Mississippi. This animal is a 
native of the Stonv mountains, about the he;ul waters of the 
Missouri. It is nearly of the size of an elk, and of the 
colour of a fallow deer. Its horns rescnjble those of a ram, 
but are turned, in a spiral form, like a trumpet, and arc of 
an enormous size, some of them measuring eio;!it (French) 
inches in diaineter. The animal is said not to live longer 
than ten or twelve years, because its bonis, advancing for- 
ward in proportion as the creature grows, finallv pass the 
mouth in such a tiianner as to prevent it from eatine urass, 
upon which alone it lives ; and thus it falls a victim to it-^ 
hunger. The Indians of the country make of the horns 

* Philosophical Transactions Hlv.iclp^cd, &c. vol. v. part 2 p. 1P4. 

\ Noticiu cic la (Jalitoniia, ikc. tonii) primcro, p. -J.t, 1-1, Madrid 17o7. 

r S;»ciiiii-n /,oc>!')gi.r (Jci'jiniphic.T, <Sc.c. p. C:!-, ();!:>. 

<' .\rctir /.nolo(;j% vol. i. p. 1:1, II. 

l i he Ili'tu;; of Mcxicd, Cvc. vol. xi. p. "''24. 


On the Xatural History (f Nurfh America. 101 

jypoons and cups, sonic of the last of \vhich are large cnf)iieU 
to contain a sufficieacy of food for tht; breakfast or dinner 
of lour men. 

I have been well assured that a small species of goat, 
tjpotted black and white, inhabits the co-uutrv beyond the 
Mississippi, to the south of the Missoud. Tiiey are said 
to be numerous. They have also been seen, but less pljcii- 
tifully, about the mouth of the Arkan=aw river, which emp- 
ties itself into the Mississippi nearly in tlie latitude of 33^ 
50' . Thev are said to be niuch sm.dJcr than the common 
J<iiid of goat, and extremely wild. Tliis is pojsibly a va- 
riety of l!i« common goat ; but it is n-iore p/fobable that it 
is a distinct species, or pcrha]is a species of tlic genus an- 
telope. Francis Ximencz, in his Account of New Spain, 
■of which the country that is watered by the Arka-n-'-aw is a 
part, savs there are in this coun;ry great numbers of rock 
g(iats, which the savages call niaza/ !''•'. These rock goats 
niav be the same animal as the small pied goat which 1 have 
iiieutioned. But this is conjecture, f must add that I have 
received the most undoubted information of the exislence 
of great herds of a small horned animal in that part of New 
iSpain which is watered by the Red river, a considerable 
western branch of th-e Mississippi t. From llie description 
which has been communicated to me, I think there can be 
little doubt that the animal is either a specie? of goat or 
antelope, and very probably the 7/iazatl of Ximenez. Cla- 
vigero's confident assertion, that the taye of theMonqni In- 
dians is the bouquetin or capra ibex, renders it iprobable that 
this last-mentioned animal is actually a native of the western 
parts of North America. In that case, perhaps the mazatl 
and the Red river animal are no other than the ibex. Cer- 
tain I am, that the tave cannot be the same as the ibex. 

The ursus mariihnuii or polar bear {oun; dc mer of Bnf- 
fon), is said to be a common animal in the country adja- 
cent to a river called the Plata, which empties itself into 
the Missouri about four hundred leagues above the junction 
of this latter river with the Mississippi. As the Missouri, 
from its source to its mouth, pursues a course nearly due 
cast, wc find that the white bear is common twelve hun- 
dred miles west of the Mississipjn, nearly in tl;ie latitude of 
40": this being about the latitude^of the mouth of the Mis- 
souri. To the north of this the animal is much more 

• Francis Ximenez, as quotrd by De Laet, in his Novu$ Orbis, p. 232. 
f "I'he mouth ol tliis river is nearly in !atit«jd<; .'3i°. 

. G 3 common. 

102 On the Kuturnl History of North America. 

common. T have seen a number of tlie claws ot one of 
these animals from tlie Plata, and tlu-y appeared to me to 
be the cla\v.= of the great polar bear. 

if the animal which I have just mentioned should prove 
to be the ursus niaritimus, we shall be obliizcd to assign to 
this species, in a geographical view of animals, a much 
more southern climate than it is supposed to exist in. And 
we should not forget that manv facts conspire to render it 
probable that various species of quadrupeds were once more 
extensive ■.■ dilVused over the earth than they are at present. 
With respect to the verv animal of which I am speaking, 
it -A ould appear to have bet n formerly an inhabitant of se- 
veral countries in which it is at present unknown. It is 
not certain, however, that the white bear of the river Plata 
is the ursus maiiiimus. Perhaps, it will prove to be a new 
species. The claws which 1 have seen lead me to suppose 
that the animial to which they belonged could not be infe- 
rior in size to the large white bear of the pole. 

Permit me in this place to tjive vou some account of the 
travels of an intelligent Indian who lately returned Irom a 
very long journey m:my hundred n)iles to the norih-w est of 
Detroit. Tliis Indian had left his countrymen (the Mo- 
hawks) for tlu' purpose of hunting, but was not inattentive 
to many of ihe objects of natural liistory about him. He 
reports, that the game of the country which he visited was 
the bufFaloc [bos Americanus) yhXacV. bear {ursus y1 nur'iainus) , 
white bear {nrsvs mar/fhwsP), the latter much larger than 
the former, with a remarkably broad foot furnished with 
nails or claws as long as a man's finger : moos {renms 
alces), elk (my cerinis wapiti)^ " goats which chmb up the 
rocks;" a kind of " sheep with a hairy back, much like 
a deer, but furnished with long wool over the bellv, and 
\^ uh large horns," one of which he saw that weighed seven 
pounds ; a kind of deer which the French in some parts of 
America call caprec; the fisher (I believe a s))ecies of nms- 
tela), the otter, the heaver, and a species of fox. lie met 
with various kinds of birds which he had never seen before. 
The country which he passed through is covered with ex- 
tensive plains, or praives (as thev are frequently called in 
the United States), and has verv few trees. TIkjsc which 
he saw were principally aspen [pnpufvs treinulohJtsr), birch 
[bctiiln), -and a species of pi/ii/s, or pine. Diu'ing two 
winters that he resided in this remote part of our continent, 
it never rained once. The rains of the summer are very 
uncertain. Those which do fall arc precipitated in heavy 


Action of Piafuia and Mercury upon each other, 103 

gusts. Our philosophical Indian travelled in a canoe, but 
met with no less than seventy-six carrying-places in the 
course of his long journey. 

[To be continued.] 

XVI. On the miction of Plafina and JMircun/ upon each 
other. By Richard Chene\ ix, Esq. F.R.S. M.RJ.A. 

[Concluded from p. 35.] 

AT is my intention now to exhibit one example of mv po- 
sition, and to prove that platina and mercury act upon each 
other in such a manner as to disguise the properties of both. 
I shall therefore waive for the present all consideration of 
palladium, which is in fact but a subordinate instance of 
the ease before us. 

When a solution of green sulphate of iron is poured 
a solution of plalina, no precipitate nor any other sensible 
<;hange ensues. This I had already observed, and it has 
since been contjrmed by all who have written upon the 
subject. But, if a solution of silver or of mercury be added, 
a copious precipitate takes place. This precipitate contains 
metal lie platina and metallic silver or mercury ; some n:u- 
riate of one or other of the latter metals is also present, as 
it 'is not easy to free the solution of platina from al! super- 
fluous muriatic acid. But these salts are of no importance 
in the experiment, and can be separated by such methods 
as a knowledge of their chemical properties will easily suf^- 
gest. TIk- proper object of consideration is the reduction 
of the plalina to the metallic state, which does not happen 
when it is alone. I have tried to produce the same efi'ect 
with other meials and platina, but I have not observed any 
thing similar. It is therefore fair to conclude, that when 
a solution of platina is precipitated in a metallic state bv a 
solution oi green sulphate of iron, either silver or mercury 
is present. 

The precipitation of a mixed solution of platina and silvef 
requires no further caution than to free the salt of platina 
as much as possible from muriatic acid ; for, as I observed 
in mv former paper, the eflect of nitrate of silver poured 
into muriate or' platina, is to produce :. precipitate, not of 
muriate of silver, but of a triple mu:. .te of platina and 
silver. It was bv this experiment that I then proved the 
affinity of these two metals ; for, when silver is not present, 

G 4 muriate 

104 On the Action of 

inurlate of platlna is among the most soluble salts. The 
best metliod of presenting the three solutions of platina, 
silver, and green sulphnle of iron to each other, is first to 
pour the filtered solution of the last into the solution of 
platina, and then, after mixing them thoroughly together, 
to add the solution of silver by degrees, and to stir them 
constantly. In this, as in all similar operations, the pre- 
sence of all acids, salts, 8cc. excepting those necessary for 
the operation, should be avoided ; and if proper proportions 
have been used, and all circumstances attended to, the pre- 
cipitation of these two metals will be very complete. 

But the precipitation by a solution of mercury requires 
to be further considered, as the state of oxidizcment of this 
metal, as ucll as the acid in which it is dissolved, produces 
a conoiderable modification in the result. In the first place, 
the oxide, at the minimum of oxidizement, dissolved in 
muriatic acid, is unfit for the experinicnt; and even the red 
oxide dissolved in the same acid, or corrosive sublimate,is not 
the most advantageous. When a warm solution of the latter 
is poured into a mixed solution of platina and green sulphate 
of iron also warm, as in the case of silver, these substances 
are brought into contact under the most favourable circum- 
stances. Yet even thus the precipitation is slowly and im- 
perfectly formed, often not till several hours have elapsed ; 
and sometimes a very great deficiency of weight is observed 
between the quantities used and those recovered directly by 
this method. If a solution of nitrate of niercury be used, 
the effect is produced more rapidly, and the precipitate is 
more abundant. The precipitation of murfate of platina by 
iiilrate of silver, and the combination which ensues from it, 
suggested to me an experiment which I must slate at length, 
as from the result of it consequences are deduced which 
modify some of the experiments of my former paper. 

It occurred to me that a method of uniting platina and 
mercury without the intervention of any other metal, or of 
any substance but the solvents of these metals, might be 
ucconiplished as in the case of silver and platina. I there- 
fore poured a solution of nitrate of mercury, which solu- 
tion, beins: iit the minimum of oxidizement, consequently 
formed an insoluble muriate with n)uriatic acid, into a so- 
lution of muriate of plitina. The result was a triple salt 
of platina and mercury, which, when the mercury was cora- 
pleiely and totally at the minimum of oxidizement, was 
nearly insoluble. To procure it in this state it is sufficient 
to put more metallic mcrcurv into dilute nitric acid than the 
nitric acid can dissolve, and to boil them together. This 


Platina and Mercury 7tpon racli other. 105 

tnple salt of pl;itina and nicrcurv shall be presently cxa- 
itjined. From this it is esidcnt that to product- the union 
of platina and mercury, the latter being at its minimum 
of oxidizement in nitric acid, the addition of green sulphate 
of iron is superfluous. 

But if mercury be raised to its maximum of oxidizement 
in nitric acid the case is ditferent, for no precipitation occurs 
till the oreen sulphate of iron is added. The most advan- 
tageous method for precipitating platina and mercurv by 
green sulphate of iron is, I believe, the following. Mix a 
■solution of platina with a solution of green sulphate of iron, 
both warm, and add to them a solution of nitrate of nier- 
cury at the maximum of oxidizement, also warm. It is 
necessary to avoid excess of acid, salt, 8cc. in this as in al! 
such cases. With due care the precipitation of both metals 
will then be complete. 

By comparing the experiments made with mercury and 
platina with those made with silver aiul platina, a striking 
resemblance will be found. This induced nje to pursue the 
analosfy, and to examine whether, independently of the ac- 
tion of platina, mercury had not the sariie property of being 
precipitated by green sulphate of iron as silver. Nitrate of 
silver is precipitated bv green sulphate of iron, but muriate 
of silver is not sensibly acted upon by the same reagent. 
The insolubility of muriate of silver might be alleged as the 
cause of this, if I had not tried tlie experiment by pouring 
nitrate of silver into green muriate of iron, m w hich case 
all the substances were presented to each other in solution. 
The result was not reduction, but nnn-iate of silver and ni- 
trate of iron. This fact rests upon a much more extensive 
basis than mere mechanical circumstances ; and, if pursned 
V.'ith the attention it de;:-rves, it would lead us into the 
wide expanse of complicated jrT.r.iiies and their relations. 
From reasoning; alone we should he disposed to thmk lliat 
an acid, so easdy decoinposcd as tbc rntric, would be suf- 
ficient to prevent the reduction of a niLtal which it can dis- 
solve. But on the one hand it can spend its oxygen upon 
a part of the oxide of the green sulphate of iron, while on 
the other its atfinitv for oxide of silver is not powerful 
enough to retain it, when there i? a!-;other part of the oxide 
of iron present to deprive it of oxv^en. But the athnity of 
muriatic acid for oxide of silver, one of the strongest at pre- 
sent known, is sufficient to counterbalance all the other 
<%'orces. There are many other instances of the same kind. 

If then a solution of frrcen sulphate of iron be broujiht 
into contact with either soluble or insoluble muriate of 


J06 On the Action of 

mercury, no reduction takes place; hut if niercurv, whe- 
ther at the maxiniun) or the minimum ot" oxidizcment, be 
dissolved in nitric acid, and green sulphate of iron be added, 
the mercury i? precipitated in the melallic state. 

I'hese experiments arc mucii stronger examples than the 
former of the efl'ects r-roduced by complicated aHinities. 
They are of imj)orlance not onlv as objects of general con- 
sideration, but in their apj>lication to tiie present subject. 
I hey most materially modifv and are indispensable to the 
accuracy of the results 1 foiincrly stated; but 1 was not 
aware of them at tlic time I first engaged in the investiga- 
tion of this subject. I can also now explain a verv material 
diflercnce between some proportions observed by M. Uichter 
and mvself in an experiment which thit chcnnst had made 
as a repetition of one of mine. 

I had poured a solution of green sulphate of iron into a 
solution of 100 parts of gold and 1200 of mercvir\', and had 
obtained a precipitate consisting of 100 of gold and 774 of 
mercury. M. Hichter repeated, as he terms it, this expe- 
riment ; that is, he used 100 of gold and 300 of mercur\-v 
and obtained a precipitate weiglnng 102. lie is sm-priscd 
at the diflercnce of wei^lit between our results, which mi<iht 
he owing to his method of repeating the experiment; but 
the real cause of this diifercnce Ijes, as I suppose, in my 
having accidentally used nitrate instead of nniriate of mer- 
cury. I had never observed that with mercury and silver 
this operation had Jailed, and it must have been, because, 
on account of the known eflcct of nmr:atic salts upon those 
of silver, 1 had naturaliy avoided using a muriate of mer- 

En; tlie state of the nitrate of mcrcurv which is used with 
a solution of gold is not indifierent. As green sulphate of 
iron reduces mcrcurv when dissolved in nitric acid as well 
as gold, it is necessary to mix the solutions of those metals 
before the green sulphate of iron is added, in order that 
both inav be, acted npim toiiether. if the nitrate be at 
the minlnnmi of oxidiz<nnent, a precipitate is innnediatelv 
formed upon niixino; the solutions oi gold and mercury. 
Calonal is produced by the muriatic acid of the solution of 
gold and the oxide of mcrcurv ; whilst the gold is reduced 
to the metallic state by a portion of the oxide of mercury 
bcconiino- niore oxidized, and forming the sohible nniriate. 
TIk- precipitate conr-isls of calomel, of metallic gold, and 
of a very small portion of mercury, which I believe to h# 
•in the same state: my reas( ri 'or thinking so is, that I have 
often obsei-vcd, that a glass vessel, in which I had sublimed 


Plathia and Merairy vpon each other, 107 

some of it, was lined with a thin gray metallic coat. If, on 
the contrary, a nitrate of mercury be highly oxidized, no 
precipitate nor reduction of gold takes place until the green 
sulphate of iron is added. But at any rate the preeijiitation 
of g'^Id and mercury, or of silver and mercury, by green 
snl|)hate of iron, cannot be adduced as an argument to sup- 
port the affinity of these metals, since the effect is the same 
whether thev are separate or united. 

These preliminary considerations were necessary, as well 
for the rectification of mv former experiments, as for the 
pursuit of my present object : and now to return to piatma. 

Ex}). 1. If a solution of highly oxidized nitrate (jf mer- 
cury be poured into a mixed solution of platina and green 
sulphate of iron, the tirst action which takes place passes 
between the nniriatic acid of the solution of platina and tha 
oxide of mercurv, by which a muriate of mercury is formed, 
but retained in solution. This effect makes it advantageous 
to use a iireater quantity of the solution of mercury than is 
merciv capable of drawing down the given quantity of pla- 
tina along with itself in tiie form of a metallic precipitate. 
When this precipitate is washed and dried, it will be found * 
to weigh much more than the original quantity of platina ; 
and the augmentation of weight has no limit but those of 
the mercurv and the green sulphate of iron employed. But 
even after nitric acid has been boiled for a long time and 
in great quantities upon this precipitate, until it no longer 
dissolves any part of it, there still remains more undissolved 
matter than the original weiglit of the platina used ni the 
experiment. By exposure to heat, litlle more is kit in ge- 
neral than the original platina; and sometimes even a di- 
minution maybe observed; for, as the experiment is not 
attended with uniform success, it does not always happen 
that the whole of the platina is precipitated, but a portion 
of it u ill sometimes resist the action of the green sulphate 
of iron, even when sufficient mercurv has been useil. Be- 
fore the precipitate has been exposed to heat it is dissolved 
more easily than platina bv nitro-muriatic acid; and the 
solution, when nearly in a neutral slate, gives a copious 
metallic precipitate (yet not equal to the quantitv employed) 
when boiled with a solution of green sulphate of iron. 

-E.r/;. 2. When a mixed solution of platina and mercurv 
is precipitattd by metallic iron, a quanlitv equal to the sum 
of the former metals is generally obtained. After nitric 
acid has been boiled for a long time upon the precipitate so 
formed, the original wei2;ht of platina, together with a con- 
siderable increase, remains behindj nor can nitric acid sen- 

108 On the yicfmi of 

siV)lv dimmish It. It yields more easily tlian platina to thi 
action of nitro-muriatic acid, and its solution in that acid, 
wlievn neutralized, gives a precipitate, ;.s in the former ex- 
periment, by grcea sulphate of iron, h this precipitate be 
exposed to a strong heat after it has been boded with nitric 
acid, it loses a great part of its weight, and the platiiia alone 
"U'ill gencrallv l)e found to remain. 

Exp. 3. When a <]uantity of ammoniacal muriate of pla- 
tina is treated according to the method of count IMus.-in 
Pushkin to form an amalgam, and, after being rubbed for 
a considerable time with mercury, is exposed in a crucible 
to a heat gradually increased till it becomes violent, a me- 
tallic powder reiT)ains in the crucible. This powder is acted 
upon by nitro-muriatic acid, and when the solution is neu- 
tralized a copious precipitate is formed upon ihc addition 
of frreen sulphate of iron. This eflect takes place even after 
the metal has been fused in the manner described in the 
iormer part of this paper. 

£.r/>. 4. If sulphur be added to the ini>,redients recom- 
mended by count IVIussin Pushkin, and the whole treated 
as in the last experiment, the quantity of precipitate caused 
by careen sulphate of iron in the nitro-muriatic solution of 
the button which results from the operation is gcnerallv 
more considerable. 

Exp. 5. If sulphur be rubbed for some time with ammo- 
niacal muriate of platina, and the mixture be introduced 
into a small Florence flask, it can be melted on a sand-bath. 
If mercury be then thrown into it, and the whole be well 
stirred tO(i;ether and heated, it may afterwards be exposed 
to a very strong fire and melted into a button. If this be 
dissolved in nitro-mm-iatic acid, it will give a precipitate, 
as in the former cases, by green sulphate of iron. 

E-rp. G. If a current of sulphuretted hvdrogen gas be 
sent through a mixed solution of platina anil mercury, and 
the precipitate which ensues be collected, the metal may be 
reduced bv heat; and with the addition of borax it may be 
melted into a button which will not contain any sulpluu'. 
Green sulphate of iron causes a precipitate in the solution 
of this metal also. 

Erp. 7. If to a mixed solution of platina and mercury 
phosphate of anmionia be added, a precipitate takes jilace. 
If this be collected and reduced, it will be acted upon by 
ereen sulphate of iron poured into its solution, in the same 
in. inner as the metallic buttons in the preceding examples. 

Exp. S. I ha\e already nienlioned that v.heu a soiuiion 
of" nitrate of mercury, at the miuiaumi of oxiUizenxent, is 


Platina and Mercury upon each other. \og 

povircd into a solution of muriate of platina, a mercurlil 
muriate of platina is precipitated. The supernatant li(juor 
may be decanted and the residuum washed ; If this be re- 
Jueed and afterwards dissolved in nitro-niuriatic acid, it 
will yield a precipitate with green sulphate of iron. This 
method appears to me to be the neatest for conii/inin>j; pla- 
tina and mercury, as the action which takes place is inde- 
pendent of every substance except the metals themselves. 

Exp. 9. One of the most delicate tests that I have ob- 
served in chemistry is recent muriate of tin, which detects 
the presence of the smallest portion of mercury. When 
a single drop of a saturate solution of neutralized nitrate or 
muriate of mercury is put into 300 grains of water, and a 
few drops of a saturate solution of recent muriate of tin are 
added, the liquor becomes a little turbid, and of a smoke- 
gray colour. If these 500 grains of liquid be diluted with 
Ten limes their weight of water, tlic eliect is of course di- 
minished, but still it is perceptible. I had on a former oc- 
casion observed the action of recent muriate of tin upon a 
soliuion of platina. If a solution of recent muriate of tin 
be poured into a mixed solution of platina and mercury, 
not tQO concentrated, it can hardly be diitinguished from a 
simple solution of platina. But if too much mercury be 
present, the excess is acted upon as mercury ; and the liquor 
assumes a darker colour than with platina alone. 

From all these experiments it is evident that mercurv can 
act upon platina, and confer upon it the property of being 
preei])itated in a metallic state by green sulphate of iron. 
By Experiments 1 and 2, it is proved, 1st, That platina can 
protect a considerable quantity of mercury from the action 
of nitric acid : and, 2dly, That mercury can increase the 
action of nitro-muriatic acid upon platina. From Experi- 
ments 3, 4, 5, C, 7, 8, it appears that mercur\- *;an ei)m- 
bine v ith platina in such a manner as not to be separated 
by the degree of heat necessary to fuse the compound, since 
after the fusion it retains that property, which is essentially 
characteristic of the presence of jnercury in a solution af 
platina. The eighth Experiment proves that the action of 
mercury upon platina is not confined to the metallic state; 
but that these metals can combine and form an iascluble 
triple salt with an acid which produces a very soluble com- 
pound with platina alone. The ninih Experiment shows 
that platina can retain in solution a certain quantity of mer- 
cury, and prevent its reduction by a substance uhieh acts 
most povv-erfully to that effect, when platina is not present. 
That pan of the general position, therefore, which is the 
3 object 

110 Oit the Action of 

object of this paper is proved, if these experiments, upon 
being repeated by other ciiemists, shall be found to be ac- 

One or two of the above experiments seem to be in con- 
tradiction to some that I have stated in my paper upon pal- 
ladium ; for in the present examples plaiina protects mer- 
cury aijainst the action of nitric acid ; whereas in palladium 
the mercury is not only acted upon itself, but it conduces 
to the solution of plaiina in the same acid. I am well aware 
of this objection ; but, contining myself to my present ob- 
ject, I shall waive all finther discussion of it till another 
opportunity. In the mean time, however, it may be laid 
down as an axiom in chemistry, that the strongx'st affinities 
are those which produce in any substance the greatest dt^- 
viation from its usual properties. 

When a button of the alloy of platina and mercury, as 
prepared by any of the above methods, is dissolved in nitro- 
iiniriatic acid, and afterwards precipitated by green sulp'iate 
of iron, the entire quantity of the allov used is seldom ob- 
tained. A considera!)Ie portion of platina resists the action 
of oTcen sulphate of iron, and remams in solution. This 
may be K)oked upon as the excess of platina, and can be 
recovered bv a plate of iron. Hence it appears that less 
mercury is iixcd than can determine the precipitation of 
the entire quantity of platina ; yet in this state it can draw 
down a greater quantity of the latter than when it is merely 
poured into a mixed solution of platina, not before so treated. 
Indeed the whole of these experiments tend, not onlv to 
show that these two metals exercise a very powerful action 
upon each other, but that they are capable of great varia- 
tion in the state of their con)bination; and also, that sub- 
stances possessing different j)roperties have resulted from 
my attempts to combine platina with mercury. 

This observation furnished me with a method of ascer- 
taining, or at least of approaching to the knowledge" of, the 
quantity of mercury thus iixcd b\' platina, and in eon)l)ina- 
tion with it. 'I'he experiment, houever, having been seldom 
attended with full success, 1 mention the result with the 
entire consciousness of the uncertainty to which it is sub- 
ject. I observed the increase of weight, which the orijiinal 
quantity of platina had acquired in some cases after it iiad 
been treated with mercury, and fused into a button. 1 
counted that au'j;menuition as th,e quaniitv of mercury lixed. 
I then determined how nuich was precii)itated b\' green sul- 
phate of iron from a solutu^n of this allov, and supposed it 
to contain the whole quanlit\' of mercurv found as above. 


Platina and jMenunj upon each other. 1 1 1 

Bui, even if attended with eunipkte i^uceess, there is a clie- 
mical reason which must make us refuse our assent lo this 
estimate. It is possible, and not unhkelv, that a portion- 
oi" mercury niay be retained in sokition by the platina, as 
well as that a portion of the platina njay be precipitated bv 
means of the mercury. The mean result, however, was 
that the precipitate by green sulphate of iron consisted of 
about 1 7 of mercurv and 83 of platina, w hen the specific 
gravity was about ]6. 

With reo;ard to palladium, left it should be supposed that 
eitljer my own observations or tJiose of others Isave i^iven 
me caux to alter njy opinion, I will add, that 1 have as 
yet seen no arguments of sufHcient weight to convince me, 
in opposition to experiment, that palladium is a simple sub- 
stance. Kepe-ated failure in the a! tempt to form it, I am 
too well ilecubionied to, not to believe that it mav happen 
iii well conducted operations ; but four successful trials, 
which were not performed in secret, are in my mind a suf- 
Hcient answer to that objection. Ey determining the pre- 
sent question we may overcome the prepossession conceived 
by many against the possibility of rendering mercury as 
lixed, at an elevated temperature, as other metals; we mav 
be led to see no greater miracle in this compound than in 
a melallic oxide, or in water, and be compelled to take a 
middle path, between the visions of alchemy on the one 
hand, and the equally unphilosophical prejudices on the 
other, which they are likely to create. In the course of 
experiments just now related, I have seen nothing but what 
tends to coutirm my fornu r results ; yet tlie only nieans 
which I cs\\, after all, prescribe for sticceednig, is perse- 

To ascertain w hether the opinion of Messrs . Fourcroy 
and Vauquelin, tiiat the new metal was the principal in- 
gredient in palladium, had any just foundation, 1 observed 
the njcthods tlicy have recommended for obtaining pure 
platina; but I did not perceive any dirlerence in the facility 
with which either kind of platina combined with mercury. 

I might have added some more experinients to corrobo- 
rate the evidence I have adduced to pre^ve my assertion of 
the fixation of mercury by platina; but jMessrs. Vauqueliu' 
and Fourcroy have promised the Institute of France a ct)n- 
tinuation of their researches, and M. Richter concludes his 
paper with saving that he will, return to the subject. From 
the labours of such persons some great and nnportant fact 
must issue, and I ho]K' ibat the present subject will not S)e 
excluded from their consideration. The fads contained in 
7 this 

112 On fhc polishing of Glas.J, and on 

this paper cannot be submitted to toO' severe a scrutiny; 
and no judge can be more rigid or more competent thin the 
very person who was the first to doubt my toriner experi- 
ments. But it is" necessary to be o!)^erved bv whoever shall 
think them worth the trouble of verirVing, that even these 
expiTuueiits are liable to fad, unless proper precautions arc 
linked; that I have never ajKjrated upon less ihan one hun- 
dred grains ; and that the results which I have stated, how- 
ever simple they may appear, have been the constant labour 
of some weeks. 


Since this paper was written, Dr. Wollaston has pub- 
lished some experiments upon platina. Me has found that 
palladium is contained in very small quantities in crude 
p'atina. This fact was nientioned to me more than a vear 
ago by Dr. Wollaston. I have not vet seen a copy of his 
paper; but I shall merely observe here, that, whatever be 
the quantity of palladium found in a natural state, no con- 
elusion can be drawn as to its being simple or compound. 
Nolhinir is more probulile thiiu that nature may have formed 
this alloy, and formed it much better than we can do. At 
all events the amalgamation lo which platina is submitted 
before it reaches Europe, is sufHcient to account for a small 
poi lion of palladium. 

XVn. Olscrval'ioris on tlic pnUshing of Glass, and on t he 
Amalgam lued for silvering Minors. By 13. G. Sage*. 

aIavixg been consulted in regard to the bad effects of 
some calces or r^d oxides of iron, Avhich alter the surface 
of iilass by rendering it dull and yellowish, T analysed these 
calces of iron, and found out the cause on which tliis defect 
depends. lied calx or (jxide of iron, called eoltolhar, is 
cmplf)ved with water for giving the last pcdish to glass in- 
tended for mirrors. 

Were not the oxide or calx of tin, commonly known bv 
the name oi' piifh/, so dear, it would be far preferable to red 
calx or oxide of iron, obtained by the decomnc-jition of mar- 
tial vitriol, either by calcining it in a lire pre per for disen- 
gaging the acid or dcconipo-ing the sulphate of iron by 
marine salt. In t!ie latter case, tiic red oxide or calx of 
iron retains a little of that salt, wliuii is of no hurt in thu 

* From ihe Journal dc Vhytiquc,, an 1?. 


the Amalgam used for silvering Mirrors, 113 

polishing of glass t but the case is not the same if the col- 
cothar or red oxide of iron retains martial vitriol. This 
salt, when dissolved in water, is decomposed, and the 
yellow ochre which results from it penetrates the glass, 
forms a crust on it, and renders it greasy, dull, and yel- 
lowish ; a tint which is communicated to the image of the 
object presented to the mirror. 

Glass when smoothed and polished does not acquire the 
property of reflecting objects till it has been silvered (as it 
is Cdlled), an operation elfccted by means of an amalgam. 
The tin leaf employed must be of the size of the glass, be- 
cause, u hen pieces of that metal are united by means of 
mercurv, they exhibit the appearance of lines. Tin is one 
of those metallic substances which become soonest oxi- 
dated bv the means of mercury. If there remains a portion 
of that calx, of a blackish gray colour, on the leaf of tin, it 
produces a spot or stain in the mirror, and the part where 
It is cannot reflect objects presented to it : great care, there- 
fore, is taken in silvering glass to remove the calx of tin 
from the surface of the amalgam. 

The process is as follows: — The leaf of tin is laid on a 
very smooth stone table, and mercury being poured over 
the metal, it is extended over the surface of it by means of 
a rubber made of bits of cloth. At the same moment the 
surface of the leaf of tin becomes covered with blackish 
oxide, which is removed with the rubber. More mercury 
is then poured over the tin, where it remains at a level to 
the thickness of more than a line, without running off. The 
glass is applied in a horizontal direction to the table at one 
of its extremities, and being pushed forwards it drives be- 
fore it the oxide of tin which is at the surface of the amal- 
gam. A number of weights are then placed on the glass 
which floats on the amalgam, in order to press it down. 
Withixut this precaution the glass would exhibit the inter- 
stices of the crvstals resulting from the amalgam. These 
crystals have the form of large square laminae irregularly 

To obtain leaves of tin, which are sometimes six or seven 
feet in length, with a proportionate breadth, they are not 
rolled but hammered. The prepared tin is first cast between 
two plates of polished iron, or between two smooth stones 
not of a porous nature, such as thunder stone. Twelve of 
these plates are placed over each other j and they are tben 
beat on a stone mass with heavy hammers, one side of 
which is plain and the other rounded. The plates joined 
together are first beaten with the latter : when they becoine 

Vol. 22. No. 86. Jail/ 1605- H extended 

!I4 Observations on the polisldng of Glassy &'c. 

extended the number of the plated is doubled, so thai they 
amount sonRtinies to eiehtv or more. "^lliev are then 
snioothcd with the flat side ot" the hammer, and are beat 
till they acquire the length of six or seven feet, and the 
breadth of four or five. The small block of tin from which 
they are formed is at lirjt ten inches long, six in breadth, 
and a line and a quarter in thickness. 

When the leaves are of less extent, and thin, from eighty 
to a hundred of then» arc smoothed together. 

Tin extracted from the amalgam which has been em- 
ployed for silvering glass, exhibits a remarkable peculiarity. 
When fused in an iron pan, its whole surface becomes co- 
vered with a multitude of tctraedral prismatic crystals two 
or three lines in length and a quarter of a line in thickness, 
l^he interior of these pieces of tin, when cut with a chi- 
sel, have a grayer lint than pure tin, which is as white a? 
silver. The latter crystallizes also by cooling; but it re- 
quires care. \\'hen it begins to be fixed, decant the ]:>art 
which is still in fusion, and there will remain at the bottom 
of the crucible beautiful crystals of a dull white colour, 
which appeared to me to be cubes or parallelopipedons. 

The peculiar and constant crystallization of tin taken 
from the amalgam of mirrors, the leaden gray colour which 
the mass of this metal had, and the mv.-terv made of the 
preparation of this tin, induced me to try whether I could 
not discover by analysis the substance mixed with it. 

Having calcined this tin in a test, it was reduced to a 
powder of a delicate red colour, and increased in its weight 
l-25th. The magnet attracted particles of iron, the result 
of the hammering. Jt appears that this metal concurs to 
produce the crystallization of the tin, and the singularity 
exhibited by the solution of its oxide in nitric acid. At 
lirst, nothing is manifested but a slight effervescence, which 
soon subsides ; but four or live niiniites after, the niixturcs 
become very hot, and a stronger eft'crvescenee takes place, 
accompanied with a great deal of nitrous gas, which n dis- 
engaged with an explosion, and there remains in the glasa 
a mairma of a pale red colour. 

The white oxide of tin, mixed also with nitric acid at 3*2", 
exhibits neither effervescence nor disengagement of nitrous 

I fused this reddish calx of tin with three parts of black 
fluK and a little charcoal powder, and extracted from it 1» 
pounds of tin per quintal. This metal was brittle, a pro- 
perty arising from tlie lead, which contributes also to at- 
tenuate tlie colour of the tin. li the lead is found there in 
4 larger 

Russian 'Expedition to Japan. 115 

Infgcr quantltv, it is because there are four-fifllis of tin ab- 
sorbed by the alkahne fhix. 

To clcterniine the quantity ot lead contained in the tin 
extracted iVoni the amalgam of mirrors, I deconiposed a 
hundred parts of it by four hundred parts of nitric acid at 
32°. A great deal of nitrous gas was disengaged^ and there 
remained at the bottom of the. matrass a white magma. I 
washed it with distilled water, and evaporated the ley, which 
produced a twenty-fifth of nitrous anmioniacal salt mixed 
with nitrate of lead, which predominates, and forms nearly 
two-thirds of the saline residuum ; a proportion which 
would indicate tliat the tin employed for silvering mirrors 
contains three pounds of lead per quintal; 

I now return to the mercurv extracted by distillation from 
this anialgam. It volatilizes a portion of tin, which remains 
there so intimately combined that it cannot be separated by 
a second distillation of the mercurv. I was able to disengage 
from it the tin by shaking the mercury with nitric acid^ 
which attacks and oxidates the tin. I washed the mercury 
and strained it throuLih a piece of linen. In this state it 
may be employed for gildinir, but when it contains the 
smallest quantity of tin it stains the articles. 

What I have related in this memoir shows that red oxide 
of iron, known under the name of colcothar, is not proper 
for polishing glass when it contains vitriol ; that the tin 
employed for silvering mirrors contains lead and iron ; that 
when this tin is separated from the mercury by distillation 
this metal crystallizes with the greatest facility and without 
any precaution ; and, in the last place, it is shown that a 
portion of tin is volatilized bv the mercury during the di- 
stillation of the amalgam, and that it cannot be separated 
but by the nitric acid. 

XVIir. Extract of tnv Letters from CapfuhiYo's KvAi- 
SKXSTEKN, Cunnnander of the Russian Expedition /'> 
Japan, dated the Harbour of St. Peter and St. Paul, 
Julif \d, and August 20, 1804. 

[Concluded from p. 13] 

X HE Frenchman i:', now at Kamtcliatka. I shall mention 
hereafter by what accident he remained on board the ship* 
This man is a singular pluenomenon : he had forgotten his 
own name, those of his father and mother, and that of the 
place from v,-hlch he came. He sung to us some patriotic 

II i? sone:s. 

U6 Russian Expedition to Japan. 

songs, which he, iiovvcver, mutilated very much. He at 
length recovered his French; and then remembered that he 
came from Bourdeaux, that his father was named John 
Cabrit or Joseph Cabrit ; but instead of Cabrit he some- 
fimes said Cadiche ; and Hoberls called him John. As he 
now saw that he could no more get back iVom the ship to 
his dear Nukahivaii, he exhibited a wondi rful mixture of 
UK-Ianeholy and levity. Sometimes he would fall a-laugh- 
in?r, and afterwards say in a whining tone : ]\loi Icaucoi/p 
iri^te la madame, la r.wdfmoiscUe. lie had a wife who 
liati brought him a son or a daughter ; and his father-in- 
law had given hin\ a house \\\\\\ coco-nut and bread-fruit 
trcfs. It was curious to observe in what manner his ideas 
were expanded. One lime, recollecting some of his joyful 
scenes at Bourdeaux, he suddenly exrlaimcd, as if he had 
seen a vision, — Beniiconp dc chandcllcs, Icuiianip do. vioIonSy 
beancohp de wn.slquc, !<js viadcnne^, les madejnoisfd/es ! A* 
may be rcadilv supposed, we did not know what this meant; 
but we at lengtli conceived that he might remember his hav- 
ing been at the play. JTe still thought of Xukahivah, and 
he has not yet given up tiie idea of returning thither. He 
soon recovered his French, and made use of expressions 
which he could not liavc, learnt from us, as we were not ac- 
quainted \v\\\\ theui, such as the names of the different 
sails, &c. lie oi'ten aflbrdcd us subject of laughter. Hav- 
ing asked bun in what the natives of Nukahivah showed 
acuteness, he replied , — Bcancoiip d'csprit, ill nc covchera 
■pas CLvec sa socur, un autre haisera sa soeur et il couclitra 
av(.'C un autre fiU:', heancoup d' esprit ! I here quote his own 
words. From these oxprgssions it is seen that certain dc- 
itvces of consaniuinily are in that island forbidden. I once 
gave him a <iood new shirt, but he immediately bartered it 
\\ itii one of ihe t;ailr)rs for a red tlannel jacket. Wlien I 
told him that he had suffered himself to be ciieated, he 
would not listen to me. As soon as he went on shore he 
put on the jacktt, and with feathers on his head and a 
lance in his ha.nd danced on an eminence, cajxring and 
jumping in a. nK)>t cxtiaoidinaiv manner. Several til the 
n.iiivis then w ishtcl to acQomjiany him, in order that they 
nii-iht go K) war. fic n()w showed them how they would 
creep along and cci^ceal tlicniselves behind busiies or among 
the ^^irjss, laxl m mariner, wlsen they fell in with any 
oFxlit- cncmv, thev nould beat the:u and ccrry them off". 
He see:m.d to be uispirtd -A-ith an cnthusinstic spirit of war- 
iart-j and cxt^jllcd v.hat givej these peonjc 5:0 n'.t.fli fjcasure. 
\i^i]ch psktti vvIvctluT iic would itim?cu.t;*t anv-'.)\',ihc flesh 

■ ' -■ ■ ■ " " ■' ' of; 

Russian Expedii'wn to Japan. 1 1 7 

bf their enemies, he replied '* No, I have never done so :" 
he added, that tlie siglit of others eating it had made him 
siek : he had killed three enemies, but liad exchanged them 
for swine. The latter circumstance was confirmed by the 
Eno;lishman. From this it appears that war among these 
people is a kind of amusement, as hunting is among us. 
Ketenue is very averse to it, but is not able to prevent il. 
When I asked him why he did not prevent it, Joseph an- 
^vered, When five or six seize an enemy and put him to 
death, they carrv him into the woods and there devour him. 
How then can Ketenue prevent it? Having spoken so much 
of their enemies, I must now mention who they are. All 
the islands in the South Seas arc exceedingly mountainous, 
as is the case with the iVIarquesas and Nukahivah : the fer- 
tile and inhabited valleys are separated by high, steep, and. 
barren mountains. Tapeka Ketenue was the chief man at 
the Bay of Tavohoa;, where we lay at anchor; and other 
vallevs are in the pDssession of other chiefs. With the in- 
habitants of manv of these valleys the former are in a state 
of warfare. Tiiese are their enemies. The hostile parties 
are alwavs separated by high mountains, and at each expe- 
dition these must be claiubered up. They have few war 
canoes, for the purpose of undertaking expeditions by water. 
Ketenue's daugliter was married to the chief of anotlierbav, 
and, as she was conveyed thither by sea, it was agreed that 
during her life no \\ ar should be carried on at sea with the 
inhabitants of that hy.w Should she come to Tayohoce on 
a visit and die, her spn-it would remam there, and no naval 
battle could be fouglit between the two bavs. Hogs are 
killed on all their festivals and occasions of solemnity. 
When any one dies a banquet must be given ; and therefore 
it is so ditlieult to procure any of these animals. 

Their god Atua is the bodv of their deceased priest. The 
body is lirst besmeared with coco-ruit oil, and toasted in the 
sun till it becomes hard and drv : it is then wrapped up ii^ 
a piece of cloth, and being suspended in the priest's hoii.-e» 
in the nK)rai or wahitaabo, becomes fheir ood. Sometimes 
it is consulted as an oracle ; and Joseph is still convinced 
that the answers it gives are intallible. Kobcrts tlrndy be- 
lieves that the natives here are well acquainted uilh the art 
of witchcrat-'t. .loseph considers himself as an acftpt m it, 
and asserts that bv means of certain knots he can make a 
siek person so ill that he must die. 1 had the eourai^e to 
suffer him toil)' ilie experiment on mvielf; but unfortu- 
nately there is iiere no morai, w here the string with the 
kjiots upon it must be buried. \V ben- the priest dies, uar 

H 3 inuueduteiy 

118 Rwi^lan Expedition to Japan. 

immediately ensues j and they then endeavour to find out 
some enemies, who are either eaten or merelv hung up, I do 
not exactly know which, in honour of the deceased. When 
the priest dreams that he has eaten human flesh, he tells 
whether the person was tatooed or not, and gives nearly a 
correct description oi' him. A state of war now ensues ; 
tiiat is to say, some of them creep tow ards the enemy to 
endeavour to find a person answering this description, and, 
according to their opinion, the person of whom the priest 
dreams, will always fall into their hands : the person is al- 
ways a kikinOy that is, one who has broken iaabno. The 
Frenchman had been in several of the Marque?a islands ; 
first in Santa Christina. The people, manners, and cus- 
toms, arc in all the same, 

On the 16th of Mav we took advantaL^c of a light breeze 
to get out of Anna Maria or Tayohoie Bay. On this oc- 
casion the Frenchman remained on hoard. We had for- 
gotten to send him on shore. When we were out in the 
open sea, the wind was so strong and so fresh, that, though 
an excellent swinmier, he would not venture to swim back 
to the shore. Our pa'^sagc to the Sandwich islands, as is 
always the case between the tropics, was pleasant and agree- 
able, the weather being always fine. 

On the 8th of June, in the afternoon, we were opposite 
to the south-east coast of the island of O-why-he, at the 
distance of about three or four Italian miles, The natives 
broi-ieht off to us a dish of sweet potatoes and a small hog ; 
one of the women also came on board the ship. Towards 
night we stood off from the land, and next dav were at tho 
{southern extremity at about the same distance as the pre- 
ceding day. We purchased a small hog ; a larger one they 
carried back with them because wc could gi\e them no 
cloth, of which they wanted a large quantitv. A frock 
which we offered them was too small for them. On knives, 
axes, and mirrors, they set no value ; and tlK^xfore we sup- 
posed that they nuist have been supplied with all these arti- 
cles by the English and the Americans. Several of then» 
spoke a little English : a woman who was among them held 
out her hand to us, and kept coalmually repeatmg, — " How 
do you do ? Very well." 

On tlic 10th we were opposite to the \ve.>tern coast. W^c 
here saw the large mountain Morno Roa, which is said to 
be as hiiih as the Peak of Teneriffe. As the sumnut of it is 
very broa(^ it does not appear to have the same elevation. 
Wc were a great way from the shore, and no boats came 
off to ns. 


Russian HxpedUion to Japan. lly 

We now parted from the Neva and proceeded south- 
west, while the Neva determmed to coiue to anchor in 
Karakakua Bav, where the eelehrated Cook was kilkd. 
The natives ot the Sandw ich isles are more industrious than 
those of the jSlarquesas. Tlieir canoes are exceedingly 
neat, and fully secured from heinc; overset, hv outriggers 
applied to them. The sea was very rough at the time when 
they visited us; but they snifered no damage. The cloth 
wjiich they make of the bark of the p»per-mulberry is 
very beautiful, and of bright colours. The broad girdle 
M'orn by the woman was of a lively red colour. The men 
are smaller than those of the Marquesas, and seem to be 
artful and deceitful people. In most of them the incisor 
teeth are wanting. These thev are verv careful to knock 
out. The women are larger and more elegantlv made than 
those of the Marquesas. Both sexes have a darker colour 
than the natives of the Marquesas, tliough the climate in 
the latter is nnich warmer. Many of them also are tatooed, 
but not so stronelv : some of them had several figures on 
their legs ; and one had the figure of a musket and bayonet 
on the arm. This is nearly the whole of the intercourse 
we had with them. When we return from Kodjak we shall 
pay them another visit. 

To be sure of the trade wind we again approached the 
equator, and proceeded west on the parallel of ] 7°. I he 
weather was fine, and the wind as favourable as possible ; 
50 that we advanced more than two degrees evcrv day. As 
we turned towards the north we began to be sensible of the 
effects of custom ; the temperature of lb** of Reaumur was 
eomewhat disagreeable to us. I asked Joseph whether it 
was ever so cold in Nukahivah, " .7«?;?o/.?, jamai'i" re- 
plied he. In the latitude of 36° nortli, and longitude 191® 
west from Greenwich, we proceeded some degrees towards 
the we>t, but saw notliinii of the Silver islands. 

On the evening of Julv 13 we saw tlie high mountain? 
of Kamtchatka. On the l^th we entered the harbour of 
St. Peter and St. Paul, and came to anchor. Wher* we 
saw the fine prospect which here presented itself, we couM 
not believe our own evee : there was still a little snow to be 
seen on the summits of the highest mountains, but the 
lower ones were covered with beautiful verdure; and the 
smell of the birch-trees was percei\x'd on board the ship. 
The only scorbutic patient in the ship was sent on shore, 
where he soon recovered. We were extremely fortunate, 
when it is considered that we were five months at sea, and 
for the last four months had lived entirely on sailed provi- 

H 4 sions. 

120 Russian Expedition to Japan. 

jions. Our sour crout had become spoilt at St. Cathe- 
rine's, and was thrown overboard. A pthisicky Gcnuan 
cook, who would not remain in Brazil though every kind 
of support was offered to him, died three days after we had 
crossed the line. The heat of Nukahivah had entirely ex- 
hausted him. He would certainly have died in Europe, 
but perhaps some months later. 

The arrival of the Nadeshda was a very fortunate circum- 
stance for this country. The beneficial effects of it are al- 
ready felt by all Kamtchatka. Many necessary articles could 
no longer be obtained, and others had risen to a most ex- 
orbitant price. This evil has been remedied. Brandy, for 
example, at certain times had been sold for fifty rubles per 
can : from eighteen to twenty rubles was the conniion 
price; and at present it is six rubles : all other things were 
in the same proportion. The ambassador, Kesanof, and 
general Koschelef, a fine young man, settle the price, and 
superintend all public transactions. 

In regard to the Kamtchatdales I have little to say ; few 
of them now remain. All those in Paratunka have become 
extinct. Those left have, in a great measure, lost their 
originality of character : the only thing by which they are 
at present distinguished is, that- they are excellent bear- 
hunters. There are here a great many bears, which feed 
on fish. I was told that above forty of them were seen 
round a whale lately cast on shore : this, perhaps, may be 
exaggeration, but it is nevertheless certain that they are 
very numerous. 

I lately was present at an original Kamtchatdale dance : 
it represents the courtship of a bear. The bear, animated 
by the passion of love, gesticulates with greiit violence; 
emits wild tones, which die awav almost in the throat: 
the female, by no means insensible to the^e strong indica- 
tions of tenderness, answers with a kind of growling and 
snarling ; her motions, however, were much more mode- 
rate. The whole was exceedingly disgusting, and a re- 
main, no doubt, of the antient Schamans, as well as the 
dance of birds. 

We lately received a visit on board ship iVom two of the 
natives. As we gave them a good recef)tion they were 
highly pleased, and praised us much ; telling; us that we 
were very good men, just like the Kamtchatdules. 

All the houses here, without exception, smell like stock- 
fish. The decree of the smell is determined by the greater 
or less cleanhness of the inhabitants, 'ihe p.eople eat 
scarcely any thing but fish. The howling of the dogs, 


Russian Expedition to Japan. ICl 

which are a kind of shcphfids' dogs, is heard here almost 
every evening. Ihey are very nun]erou.s ; hut tame, and 
never hurt any one. This harnik-ssness ol'' disposition arises 
from their being fed by all tlie inhabitants; for everyperson 
who catches fish, as soon as the nets are drawn, throws a 
few to the dogs, which are accidentally present, and there- 
fore they are iond of frequenting the sea. shore. In winter 
thev are chained up. 

Captain Clark's grave is below an old birch tree. The 
epitaph La Ptrouse caused to be engraved on a plate oi 
copper, and under it was inscribed, — " Ey the order of 
count de la Pennise, chef d'escadie" &:c. The copper plate 
was fixed up with nails, but was nevertheless stolen. i\fter 
this circumstance a voice heard every night demanding 
it back ; and it was at length restored. It is not nailed up 
at present, vet no person touches it. 

The ship Slava Kossic, in which Billings performed his 
voyage, lies here sunk in the harbour. 

Great complaint havinoc been made here that there was 
no establishment for taking care of the sick, and that many 
perished for want of proper assistance, general Koschtdef 
proi'josed a subscription, which was seconded by the am- 
bassador ; and each having subscribed 1000 rubles, the sum 
or 4000 was collecicd in the course of less than an hour. 
On its being remarked that this circumstance would give 
great satisfaction to the emperor, the enthusiasm became 
general. All this was done on board the ship, and it is 
not improbable that something has been collected on shore. 
I shall send \ ou a further account of Kamtchatka when I 
return from Japan. 

Our water continued sweet, and never became corrupted: 
for this we were indebted to the care of the captain, who 
always caufcd the casks to be charred. When at Copen- 
hagen he had read in a journal, edited by Pfaif and Fried- 
lander, that water would keep a long time uncorrupted in 
charred casks ; and this ue have found perfectlv confir;ned. 

The following trait will serve to sho^v .losejdrs way of 
thinking, and what he considered allowalde in Nukahivah. 
When the ship was unloaded here, it was found that a great 
deal of mischief had been done by the rats ; they had en)p- 
tied several pipes of wine, or at least gnawed the casks in 
such a njanner that the wine had runout. As the whole 
almost ot o'lr provisions were (>n shore, thev became very 
restless, and appeared in great numbers. I recollected that 
J had among my medicines y^/zx ivmu-a, some of uliich I 


122 Jin^sian II,xpeditnm to Japan. 

mixed with dough. When Joseph heard that this wonld 
destroy rats, he a^ked if it would kill n-»cn also. Ifavincr 
answered in the aflirniative, he requested nic to give hini 
some of it. On asking hiui he meant to do with it, 
he replied, that u hen lie returned to Nukahivah and ate with 
any of the natives, he would mix it, privatclv with the food, 
so that the person .should die. When I represented to him 
the atrocity of tins idea, and told hnn that he might perhaps 
poison us also, he replied, that it would he highlv criminal 
to poison us, hut that in Nukahivah it was nothinir ; the 
natives, he said, hewitched eaeh other in such a manner 
that thev must die, and poisoning; was not worse. 

It is mentioned in Cot)k's Voyages that he frequently 
interehangt d name^; with some of the kings or chiefs. Cook, 
in all probability, was taabooed hv assuming the king's 
name; and the king took Cook's name in order to he 
taabooed agaitkst the English. But Cook, perhaps, laboured 
\mder a mistake; for Ketenue gave his name to captain 
Krusenstern, but assumed none m return. The same cus- 
tom prevails in almost all the islands of tlie South Sea : it is 
to he supposed that Cook and other navigators must neces- 
sarily have fallen into many mistakes ; tor of this circum- 
stance we should have been entirely if^uorant, had it not 
been for the information given to us by Joseph and Roberts. 
There have been English missionaries at Otaheite, Santa 
Christina, and even in Nukahivah. The one who was in 
Nukahivah was called Crook, and had the name of Kete- 
nue 's son : he was not able, however, to convert anv of the 
natives, and soon quilted the island. These missionaries 
will have it in their power to eomnnmicate the most certaiji 
infornuilion respecting the natives of the islands in the 
SoutJi Sea, for some of the accounts given by others are 

I have had an op{)ortTinitv of makiuLT a vcr\- droll observa- 
tion. Wherever wc touched where we did not understand 
the lanunaee, each person endeavoured to remcdv that de- 
fect bv the language of which he understood the least. One- 
of our naturalists spoke Russian to the inhabitants of Nu- 
k.ihivali ; the sailors spoke I'cjrtuguese : bu* in Brasil thev 
had spoken English and Danish. A droll fellow, of the 
name of Kurganon, endeavoured to make his wav with 
German, of which he understood onlv two words ; IJ'o/lcn 
sic r' Will vou ? 

'J'he Kamtehatdales of Paratunka are said to hnvc had the 
yellow fever. The imder surgeon here called it Fvhi.^ yiuu-, 


On the manufacturing^ nf some Oxlde<i of Mercury . ] 23 

rhana flaua. In iiKjuinug the symptoms I committed a 
fault ; tur, instead ot waiting ior Ins answer, I said, " Were 
they nijt so and so?" And all his answers were in the at- 
lirmative. 1 need hardly remark, that on our arrival hero 
we diti'ercd one day in our reckoning: to us on board the 
blup it was Sunday ; on shore it was Monday. 

XIX. Extract from a Memoir of M. Pavssk, principal 
Preparer of Medicines at the Camp of iJtrecht, on the 
manufacturing, on a large Scale, of some Oxides of 
JMcrcuri/. By M. Pakmhntiku *. 

J\l, Paysse, to whom we are indebted for the following 
jntormation, m regard to the manner m wliieh the Dulch 
prepare, on a large sealc, red sul|iluirated oxide of niercm-v 
and red oxide ot mcreurv bv nitric acid, does not lose a 
moment to take advantage of his stav in Batavia. He seizes 
every opportunity of visitino- the manufactories, so nume- 
rous in that country, as well as the cabinets of the curious, 
which may contribute towards his instruction. The diffi- 
culties of every kind which he encountered before lie could 
get admission to these manufactories are a snflicient proof 
of his ardent zeal for the arts and sciences ; but amidst the 
disappointments which the traveller cx))eriences on his route 
while making researches, he often obtains an indemnity for 
the care he takes, and the sacrifices he makes, when he is so 
happy as to meet with any objects proper for seconding the 
desire he has to add to his knowledge, and to enrich his 
country with the discoveries of the industrious nations he 
is so fortunate as to visit. Such is the advantageous situa- 
tion of M. Paysse, who has alreadx" procured us dctaclicd 
mformation in regard to many interesting objects. Tii« 
reader will easily form an opinion of them Irom the follow- 
ing extract from the last memoir addressed to me by this 

Red sulphurated Oxide of Mercury (Cinnabar). 

This matter is prepared only in two manufactories nt 
Amsterdam. The most considerable is that which bclont;ed 
to the late M. Brand. Jvl. Paysse assisted at an operation 
in which 800 pounds were prepared, divided into two por- 
tions. He observed all the detaiU \\ ith every possible at- 

• From the inni'cs dc Chimir, Iso. 152. 

tention ; 

124 On the rnanufacturhig, on a large Scale, 

tcntion -, and, after comparing them with those published 
by M. Tuckert in the fourth volume of ihit Annahs dc Chi- 
mic, for the year 1790, he found only a very slight differ- 
ence ; so that the description of the clicmist of Amsterdam 
may be considered as nearly exact. The following is what 
he has omitted. He docs not speak of the duration of the 
tlame, nor of its colour, whicii arises from the combustion 
of the union of the sulphur and mercury previously pre- 
pared and introduced into the apparatus. This flame, the 
disengagement of which is exceedingly rapid, exhibits the 
most various colours ; first of a bright dazzling white, rising 
at least twelve decimetres above the dome of the furnace ; 
then yellow and while orange yellow ; blue and yellow, giv- 
ing birth to the tureen and violet shades, and at last to blue 
and to sreen. Its discnf?a2;ement is overcome towards the 
end by a sort of register of iron plate, whoi it no longer 
rises but to the height of some centimetres, and its colour 
becomes indigo or sky blue. The apparatus is then her- 
metically sealed, and luted on the outside with a mixture 
of clay and sand. 

There is no doubt, from the loss experienced in the result 
of the operation, that the shades so various of this flame, 
the disengagement of which lasts about half an hour with 
COO kilogrammes of matter, arise from the union of the 
sulphur with varied proportion of mercury at different de- 
grees of oxygenation. The 400 kilogranunes, or about SOO 
pounds of red sulphurated oxide of mercury, were reduced 
to 37y or 322 kilograumies, or between 738 and 7-15 
pounds, which form a loss of from 27 to 31 kilogranmu'S. 

In speaking of the vessels employed in litis operation 
M. Tuckert forgot also to describe exactly their form. The 
principal vessel is not a jar, but a kind of crucible, round 
which the heat circulate^, and which has over it an iron 
dome, through the sumnut of which the matter is intro- 
duced after the crucible has been brought to a red heat. 
The success of the operation depends in an essential manner 
on the management of the fire during the sublimation. The 
fuel employed is turf, and, according to M. Paysse's ob- 
servation, none is better calculated for ilie purpose when 
a constant and moderate heat is required. This uniformity 
of temperature during the thirty hours of lieai maintamed 
in the furnace is, no doubt, one of the causes which contri- 
butes most to the success of the operation. Besides, ex]te- 
rience, according to the acknowledgment oi the workmen, 
speaks in favour of this opmion. 

When red sulphurated oxide of mercury is \ r -pared, a 


of iome Oxides of Mtrcurij. 125 

very large quantity of it is pulverized to be converted into 
vermilion. This preparation is still a secret among the 
Dutch. In every work oi' chtnn.^try, however, the process 
for obtaining it is described. They merely say that the 
cinnabar is to be reduced to powder, then washed in water 
and dried. This method, which M. Paysse often employed, 
gave him always, indeed, for product a very beautiful red 
powder ; but it must be allowed that it is inferior in beauty 
and the splendour of its colour to that manufactured ia 

China furnishes painting with a kind of red sulphurated 
oxide of mercury in powder (vermilion), much more 
esteemed than that of the Dutch. It is of a beautiful red 
colour, with a shade, the splendour of which nothing can 
equal. For some years, therefore, the Dutch have endea- 
voured to imitate it. JVI. Paysse saw some prepared in the 
manufactories of that country, the process of which is an- 
other mystery. This oxide rivals in beauty that of the 
Chinese. He is of opinion that in a little time it will at- 
tain to the same degree of perfection. 

As he was not able to obtain any information in regard 
to the means employed to imitate this particular preparation, 
and suspecting that the splendour of the Chinese sulphurated 
oxide of mercury could arise only from the state of oxygena- 
tion, more or less advanced, in which the mercurv may be 
in that combination, he made the following trial : — He took 
a hundred parts of Dutch red sulphurated oxide of mercury, 
and having pulverized them, put them into a glass capsule 
sheltered from the impression of the solar rays, and covered 
this powder with some cubic centimetres of pure water, 
taking care to stir the mixture for a month with a glass 
tube. At the end of seven or eight days he saw the oxide 
sensibly change, and assume a very agreeable shade. During 
about twenty-five days the splendour of the red increased 
gradually and acquired the utmost beauty. Having ob- 
served that the matter remained in the same state, and that 
it no longer underwent any apparent change, he decanted 
the water, and dried in the shade and in a gentle tempera- 
ture the red sulphurated oxid:: of mercury. He compared 
it in this state, and u'hcn very dry, with that of the Chi- 
nese and that of the Dutch manufactories prepared by their 
secret process, but did not find any sensible difference in 
the splendour or beauty of the red ; so that this very smnple 
experiment puts us in possession of a process advantageous 
to the arts, and particularly that of painiing, and whiclt 
the Dutch will long keep a secret. 


1'2() On ihc mannfacturt}i£r^ on a large Scale, 

Being desirous to ascertain whether the air and liffht alone 
iniirht ]in)duce a siuiilar effect on this sulphurated oxide, 
S^l. l^avssc put a luuidred i)arts of the same substance, in 
powder, into a vessel oi the same kind, and exposed thcni 
to the action of a strong li'jht tor more than a month. He 
look care, as before, to renew the surfaces very frequently 
by stirring the matter, in order to innltipK- the points of 
contact of the sulphurated oxide witli the air v.hieh served 
it as an atmosphere ; but instead (jf acquiring a more agree- 
able red, it assumed a brick colour inclining to brown. After 
this experiment, there can be no doubt that light has a sen- 
sible iuliuence on this substance, and tends to reduce the 
sulphurated oxide of mercury by taking from it a portion 
of oxygen, as it docs from most matters of this kina exposed 
to inmiediate couract. 

Red Oxhlc of Mtrciin/ hij Xitrk Arid (Red Precipitate). 

This oxide, so generally known in commerce by its bril- 
liancy and its beautiful colour, was also one of the prepara- 
tions which M. Pavsse had the curiosity to see made in 
flolland, in order that he might learn the means employed 
by the manufacturers to obtain always a brilliant red of a 
crystalline appcaranc^e, similar to that manufactured m Ger- 
many, and wliic}\ to us in particular from Xurem- 
bersr, Franconia, lialc in vSwisserland, and from Trieste. 

Every work on chemistry gives a process for preparing 
this oxide} but few of them agree in regard to the means 
of t)btainin^r a beautiful, lively, and brilliant red. Some, 
after dissolviuir the niercury in nitric acid, evaporate the 
liquor and expose the matter to a pretty violent heat for 
Some hours, in order to decompose the nitrate of mercurv 
and convert it into red oxide: others pour a certain quantity 
of nitric acid over the lirst solution when dried and distilled. 
By repeating this operation several times M. Chaptal ob- 
tained red precii^itate very beautiful and crystallized*. 
.St)mc also, after liaving dried the nitrate of mercury, in- 
corporate with it a new quajititv of fluid mercury ; and ex- 
pose thv mixture, when well forujed, t(j a brisk heat of a dark 
ltd colour, between two crucibles luted toirethcr. \'an 
jvlons asserts, that in this n)anner he obtained, with great 
ease, red oxide of mercury perfectly crystallized f. 

All these processes, though exactly described, are not 

• F.Ur;oi's tie Chiniie, art. Mtrfirr. 

I Ji'iiriiM' (ir i'livsiqiii- (.t dc Cliiniic de VanMons; MemoirP'; «lc M. 
Fischirr vi l.iobtLTiIierjj, 15 I'hiviose, an JU, p. •_'!! ; ct I.I Bnim.-iire, .m !'_', 
fi. i7S. 

of some Oxides of Mercurij. 12* 

sufficient to the clicuiist who is desirous of undertaking 
operations on a luroe scale, or who wishes to appiv che- 
niistrv to the arts which depend on it. Unless one has ac- 
fjuired experience in extensive manufactories, and heen ha- 
bituated to the operations us^d iu large laboratories, it will 
be impossible to succeed, even after many expensive and 
discouratring attempts. 

M. Pavsse has often employed the different methods here 
spoken of, and proceeded with all the care of one desirous 
to succeed ; yet he never ol)tained results so satisfactory as 
he wished, lie, however, adds, that the means proposed 
by M. Chaptal are those which were attended with the 
most constant success, though it was not complete. , He 
varied his processes, employing nitric acid in diflerent 
proportions, and of a ditferent density and purity: but, 
notwithstanding the quantity of crystallized oxide which 
he obtained, it was not possible for him to account exactly 
for the pliKuoniena which occasion so many variations iu 
the results of this operation, which is apparentiv nothinc:, 
and which, however, is uot performed without great diffi- 
culty. So much care is required in the application of the 
heat necessary to be employed, that in two operations where 
every thing is arranged iu the same manner, and where all 
the circumstances appear to be absolutelv similar, Ids re- 
sults were almost always different. Son)etimes one of the 
vessels contained a crystallized portion of oxide, while the 
other part was a red powder of a brick colour; sometimes 
the whole of the oxide in one of ihe vessels was converted 
into a beautiful crvstalline precipitate (red oxide of mercury), 
and that in the next vessel, which had been treated the 
same, exhibited only a mass- half yellow and red, without 
anv appearance of crystallization ; sometimes both vessels 
exhibited this oxide converted, in part, into a brilliant ox- 
ide, and the rest (jf a disagreeable red ; and sometimes this 
oxide exhibited three very distinct colours, bright red, red 
inclinins to brown, and orange red. 

The second vessel exhibited only an oxide with two co- 
lours very distinct, orange and brick red without brilliancy. 
•* Where (says M. Paysse) shall we seek for the cause of 
these anomalies but in the manner of evaporating the solu- 
tion, and particularly in that of decomposing; the metallic 
nitrate during the whole course of the operation?" Wc 
shall see, however, that the purity of the nitric acid con- 
tributes also very strongly to render difficult thccon\*ersion 
of the mercury into crystallized red oxide, and that the 
muriatic acid, with which the former is constantly mixed in 


128 On the vimuif act lain g, on a large Scale, 

the shops, presents a powerful ohstacle when hi too strong 

By ilissolving mercury in nUric acid mixed with njuriatic 
acid there is ahiiost always formed a white precipitate, which 
is the more abundant as the quantity of that acid is greater. 
Without attempting at present to determine the real nature 
of this precipitate, M. Pay?se considers only the part which 
this combined substance performs in the oxidation proposed 
to be given to the mercury by decomposing the nitrate of 
that basis by the action of heat. 

If crvstallized nitrate of mercurv, arising from a solution 
of that nnetal in nitric acid mixed with muriatic acid, be 
exposed to heat, this salt first begins to lose its water of 
crystallization; it is then decomposed, suffering to escape 
a portion of acid which it contained in excess, and which 
may be collected by means of a proper apparatus, because 
it has experienced no alteration, lliis disengagen)enf is 
succeeded by that of ga.-<eous nitrous acid, which is mani- 
fested by verv elastic red vapours. This acid gas is almost 
always mixed with oxide of azote, or the latter follows the 
disengagement of the former. These two gases indicate 
the decomposition of the nitric acid, which gi\es a portion 
of its oxygen to the mercur\-, and is thereby brought to the 
nitrous state, or to that of oxide of azote. By continuing 
the heat, the last portions of the nitric acid abandon the 
mercury, and the latter is converted into an oxide more or 
less saturated with oxvgen ; indeed, its production seems to 
depend on the quantity of caloric which is accumulated 

on that substance durino; its passage to the state of red 
r> r o 


When the vapours of the nitrons gas cease, the oxide 
changes its colour, passing successively Irom white to yel- 
low, from yellow to orange, and from orange to red, more 
or less intense. It is generally when the red is very bright 
;\x\d beauiiful that the vessel is taken from the fire, and the 
mass is then preserved as it is, or reduced to powder. 

It would seem, on the first view, that an operation con- 
ducted as above ought to give, for constant product, an 
oxide well er\siallized. This, indeed, is the case, 1st, When* 
the nitric acid is iree fro\n uuu-iatlc acid, or when the latter 
is in very small quantity ; 2d, When its density is equal to 
34 or 3S degrees; 3d, When the desiccation and decompo- 
sition of the metallic nitrate have been effected slowly and 
in an uniform manner; 4ih, And when the heat employed 
t'jwards tlie end of the operation, and while the last por- 
tions of the acid disunite, has been graduated and niain^r * 
2 tauifd 

of some Oxides of Merairy. 129 

tallied nearly at the same degree : for if, as many chemists 
are used to do, and as sometimes happened to M. Paysse, 
the oxide be exposed to too sudden a heat at the moment 
when it acquires its beautiful colour as v/ell as its brilliancy, 
it loses not onlv its crystalline appearance, but it assumes 
also a disaofreeable shade of reddish brown : it the heat were 
carried furlher, it would even be partially or completely de- 
oxygenated, and the mercury in this case would assume its 
primitive form, as the author, on several occasions, had an 
opportunity of observing. 

If the quantity of muriatic acid with which the nitric acid 
ina\' be mixed is too great, and if it rise to several hundredth 
parts of the dose employed, the particular combination re- 
sulting from its union with the oxide of mercury assumes 
not the characters of a simple hyper-oxygenated muriate, 
as might at first be presumed, but that of a new compound, 
which dissolves only in very small quantity in water, and 
the latter must even be boiling ; which becomes sublimed 
alone in close vessels, taking or rather retaining its parti- 
cular colour; which is brownish red, without an appearance 
of crystallization ; and which M. Paysse considers as a mu- 
riate of mercury with excess of oxide, according to the re- 
sults it gave when subjected to some experiments. 

When this compound is found in too large proportion 
in the oxide of mercury which has been prepared, it always 
opposes the formation of the crystallized red oxide, as he 
several times remarked in his experiments. On the other 
hand, if the proportion be small it may be neglected, and 
it ev^en insulates itself from the rest of the oxide in the vessel 
in which it is prepared: it occupies a line, and forms a se- 
parate stratum towards the uppe<- part of the mercurial mass. 

What M. Paysse has here mentioned in regard to the 
advantage there is in the preparation of the red oxide of 
mercury by nitric acid — that an acid, as free as possible 
from muriatic acid, should be employed — he had remarked 
in the experiments which he made every year in his course 
of chemical lectures ; but not being able to form a v^ery just 
opinion as to the results of some trials made on a small 
scale, and almost always uncertain, he was desirous, before 
he developed it, to observe with attention what takes place 
in the large operations performed in manufactories where 
considerable masses are used at one time. Now that all his 
doubts on this subject are removed, and since he knows the 
pha?nomena which take place when several hundreds of 
kiloirrammes of mercurial oxide are treated in one opera- 

Vol. 22, No. 86. July 1805. I tion. 

130 On the mmififuchiring, on a large Scale, 

tion, what is the quality of the nitric acid employed, and 
the process to be followed in thi' application of heat during 
the whole time of tlie operation, the author can with cer- 
tainty indicate a process for obtaining this oxide provided 
Nviih all the qualities required in it, and which are sought 
for in manufactories. 

Take mercurv, free from every other metallic matter, 50 
kilogrammes ; nitric acid, deprived as much as possible ot 
nuiriatic acid ■■^, and of from 34 to 3S degrees, 70 kilo- 
granmies ; dissolve the metal in the acid, and assist their 
reciprocal action by a gentle heat in a sand-bath f; evaporate 
by distillation, and take the receiver from the retort when 
the vapours of the nitrous gas begin to manifest themselves, 
as they announce the decomposition of the mercurial ni- 
trate. The point here is to employ a constant and mode- 
rate temperature, if you wish to ensure success to the ope- 
ration J: it is raised a little towards the end, that is to say> 
when the di&eugagement of the gaseous nitrous acid is no 
longer manifested, but in a manner not very sensible : the 
vessel must be exposed to this degree of heat till it is ob- 
served that the mass of red mercurial oxide is of a bright 
and brilliant red colour in all its parts. Eight hours of heat 
are in general sufticient for '200 kilogrannnes of this sub- 

• It may be tried bv nitrate of silver, aud if the quantity of muriatic acid 
appears weak it is neglected. It sometimes happens, however, and particu- 
larly when the nitric acid is too weak, or wlien the quantity is not sufficient, 
that the mercury is precipitated in a white oxide in proportion as it is formed, 
because it cannot be lield in solution eitlier by the water or by the remaining 
acid, and that tlie unoxidatcd mercnry besides continually exercises a che- 
mical attraction on one of the principles of the acid, and that the latter tends 
rather to be decomposed than to dissolve the mercury, already saturated with 
oxygen to a certain degree •, so that care must be takfn not to confound this 
property with that of the muriatic acid : moreover the precipitate, which is 
not the effect of the oxidation of the mercury, dissolve? entirely in the heated 
nitric acid, while the other can dissolve only in very small quantity : this 
property alone would be sutTicicnt to distinguish it. 1 might have dispensed 
with making this observation, since in my process I require a very pure and 
highly concentrated acid ; but as it often happens that acidsutiiciently strong 
cannot be procured, this deticiency may be supplied by quantity, and my 
remark in this case cannot be here misplaced. — Xule of M. PiUf^st'. 

■f This solution must be made in a glass retort, the bottom of which is 
broad. This -.essel is preferable to the matrasses employed in Holland, bc- 
cauoc the only question hero i^ to ;ulapt to it a receiver, aud to dl,>tii in order 
to collect the acid which is not decomposed on the metal. 'I'his object is by 
no means to be neglected in operations on a large scale. — Xolc ofM. Payssv, 

\ The author wisiied to have been able to determine in a precise manner 
the degree of heat which ought to be applied to the oxide of mercury to give 
it the red colour as well as brilliancy ; but this was impossible, because he 
was not provided witli a pyrometer. 


of some Oxides of Mercury. 1 3 1 

It has been already said that the turf employed in the 
manufactories of this couTitry has some advantages over the 
other kinds of fuel ; and this remark is true, for an equal 
heat may be easily and for a long time obtained, because 
this matter burns slowly and in a verv uniform manner. 

As charcoal, or the coals found in the bowels of the 
earth, are the two combustibles employed most commonly 
in France, none of the circumstances here mentioned must 
be neglected when they are used. 

By strictly observing all the precautions here indicated, 
one will rarely fail to obtain oxide of mc;-cury by nitric acid 
of a brilliant red colour and well crvstallizcd. 

If the mercurial mass, notwithstanding all the care taken, 
be not brilliant, or does not exhibit the crystalline aspect 
required, it must be reduced to coarse powder and again 
put into a new earthen vessel, at the bottom of which have 
been placed some cubic centimetres of nitric acid onlv, in 
order that the whole of the oxide which is not brilliant may 
he slig'uly nnpregnated by heating it in a sand-bath. One 
or two hours' exposure to heat under this apparatus will be 
sufficient to convert the oxide into crvstallizcd precipitate. 

Resuming what has been said on the method of preparing 
T^ii oxide of mercury by nitric acid, we see that the condi- 
tions absolutely necessary for obtaining it constantly bril- 
liant and crystallized are : 

1st, To make choice of nitric acid without mixture of 
muriatic acid. 

2d, To employ this acid at the degree of concentration 
already indicated. 

3(\, To evaporate the metallic solution in a moderate 

4th, To employ a vessel, the bottom of which is suf- 
ficiently broad to make the oxidated mass of mercury pre- 
sent a great deal of surface, and that it may be equally 
heated with the greater ease in every point at the same time, 
that the nitrate may be uniformly decomposed and may 
pass as speedily as possible to the state of red oxide. 

5ih, Tiiat the heat may be gradually increased, and in 
proportion as the decomposition of the nitrate advances. 

6th, That this temperature may be maintauied the same 
during the whole time of the operation, that is to say, during 
the passage of the yellow to the red oxide required. 

" I am very far," says M. Paysse, " according to my 
experiments and those I have seen performed on a large 
scale, from believing that crystallized red oxide of mercury 
is indebted for this brilliant appearance to a stat'.,' of semi- 

I 2 vitrification. 

132 On the maniifa^ luring, on a large Scale, 

vitrification, as M. Van Mons thinks*; for it would fol- 
low, if this oxide were really half vitrified by this ope- 
ration, that a hiiihcr temperature would be capable and 
ought necessarily to convert it into glass : but nothing of 
the kind takes place; for I have exposed to a very strong 
heat, and at several times, four grammes of this oxide, well 
crystallized, in two crucibles luted together, and, instead of 
vitrifying, it lost not only its brilliancy but also its fine red 
colour, and acquired one of a disagreeable brick red. Ex- 
posing it to a still greater heat, a great part of it was reduced, 
and the rest of the o.xide acquired a dark brown colour, 

*^ I know, however, that there arc bodies which are not 
susceptible of passing to complete vitrification, and which 
nevertheless experience,, at a certain degree of heat, a paatc- 
like fusion which is called semi-vitriform ; but by heating 
the oxide of mercury in transparent vessels nothing similar 
is seen to take place, not the least vestige of a partial or 
general softening of the mass is observed. Besides, I have 
strong reasons for believing that the crystalline state ot the 
mercury oxidated by nitric acid arises only from the degree 
of the oxygenation of that metal, and the uniform manner 
in which the oxidating principle combines with the mer- 
cury during the decomposition of the nitrate of that base, 
and its conversion into red oxide." 

XX. Second Extract from a Memoir of M. Paysse, prin- 
cipal Preparer of Medicines at the Camp of Utrecht, on 
the Method of manufacturing, on a large Scale, some 
Oxides of Mercury. By M. PARMENXiERf. 

INoTHTNG remains, in order to make known the memoir 
of M. Paysse on the oxides of mercury, but to give a short 
view of the other experiments he made in regard to the red 
oxide of mercury by nitric acid (red precipitate) : they form 
the complement of his process given in the preceding ar- 
ticle. If this process be followed, it will remove all the un- 
certainty of manufacturers who hitherto have not been able 
to prepare this substance as is done in Holland. Every 
thing is easy in theory ; hut in the arts facts speak much 
better than the most brilliant reasoning. 

To ascertain that the crystalline state of the red oxide of 

* Journal dc Physique et de Chinve, annccs 10 et I'J, pr.^^es 178 et 1211. 
f From the Jowaal de Chimk, No. 154. 


of some Oxides of Mercnry. 133 

mercury does not arise from a seml-vitrificatlon, as M. Van 
Mons asserts, M. Paysse made a solution of mercury in 
nitric acid mixed with some hundredths of muriatic acid. 
Having evaporated the sohition to dryness, he treated this 
matter with the same care and caution as the former ; and 
when the operation was finished the mercurial oxide exhi- 
bited a red aspect, sufficiently beautiful in some parts and 
dull in others, but without any appearance of brilliancy or 
crystallization. This mass was pulverized, and again in- 
troduced into another glass vessel, into the bottom of which 
he took the precaution of pouring a small quantity of nitric 
acid, that the mercurial powder might be slightly impreg- 
nated. He then proceeded as before, exposing the vessel 
to a gentle and graduated heat. But, notwithstanding all 
the precautions he observed during the operation, the oxide 
which was the result of them had passed to red without 
exhibiting the least vestige of crystallization or brilliancy. 
This experiment was repeated three times, but with no 
better success. It is evident, however, that if the red oxide 
of mercury is indebted for its brilliancy only to the semi- 
vitrified state it experiences when heated, there is no reason 
•why this matter should not be constantly in the same state 
€very time it is prepared, since nothing is necessary, ac- 
cording to Van Mons, but to apply to it a violent heat be- 
tween two crucibles luted together. 

In preparing crystallized red oxide of mercury, M. Paysse 
made observations which gave him reason to suspect that 
the brilliant state of this substance is owing rather to the 
constant degree of the oxygenation in which the mercury 
is, than to any other cause, ami that the presence of the 
muriatic acid in the nitric acid is an obstacle to the forma- 
tion of that brilliant state by the new combinations to which 
it gives birth during the operation. What he supposed is 
now become certainty, as the following experiments will 

He took a hundred parts of red oxide of mercury, brilliant, 
and prepared by nitric acid mixed with muriatic acid ; and. 
having introduced them into a long-necked matrass fur- 
nished with a bent glass tube communicating with a pneu- 
matic apparatus, they were gradually heated till the bottom 
of the vessel became red. He suffered to escape the whole 
of the atmospheric air contained in the apparatus, that he 
might obtain, free from mixture, the oxygen gas furnished 
by the oxide. Having exposed the mutmss to heat for a 
sufficient time, and waited for the complete reduction of 

I 3 the 

134 On the manufacturing some Oxides of Mercury . 

the mercurial oxide, he sutFered the whole to cool, and 
diluted it. He then decanted the mercury, and collected the 
whole which adhered to the neck oF the matrass : its total 
weight was O'Sl. The receiver which had served to collect 
the oxygen gas was obscure, and indicated that a small 
quantity of mercury taken trom the gaseous state was con- 
densed on its Ulterior sides. To force the oxygen gas to 
abandon all the metallic particles which it might contain, 
he surrounded the receiver with pounded ice; and when the 
receiver had cooled for an hour he conveyed the jras into 
another vessel, and collected with care the vvhole of the mer- 
curial oxide which lined the inside of the vessel. Slight 
friction with the finger against the glass was sufficient to 
effect the reduction of it, and to collect it in globules in a 
brilliant state. Its weight was 0-02, which with the 0-81 
found iu the matrass gave 0*83. The neck of the latter 
vessel exhibited small white crystals, Vvhich he collected 
with care: their weight amounted to about 0-01 ; and their 
taste and other chemical properties convinced him that they 
were hyper-oxygenated muriate of mcrcurv. A reddish 
powder inclining to brown lined also a part of ihe dome of 
the matrass, which it was necessary to break before it could 
be collected. When carcfulh' examined he found in it the 
characters and properties of this new combination, already 
mentioned in the beginning of this memoir, and which he 
calls muriate of mercury with excess of oxide: its weight 
was 0-03. By these results it is seen that the quantity of 
oxygen was 0'13. ITie same experiments being repeated 
several times in succession, the results were alwa)s the 
same as the preceding. 

A hundred parts of red oxide of mercury, very brilliant 
and well crystallized, and prepared with nitric acid free 
from muriatic acid, were treated in the same manner as in 
the preceding experiments : the reduction of the oxide was 
complete, and the products were exactly 0*82 of mercury 
and 0*18 of oxygen. 

M. I'aysse; treated in the same manner red oxides of mer- 
cury prepared in the Dutch manufactories and those he ob- 
tained by his own trials : the proportions of ihe principles 
which constituted these oxides, all verv brilliani, exhibited 
variations very lillle sensible. The\' amounted only io nearly 
a hundredth part ; so that it mav be considered as certain 
that crystallized red oxides of mercury are indebted for this 
state to a combination of oxygen with the mercury, the 
proportions of the former being always between IS and 19, 


On, a nondescript Aquatic Animal. 135 

while those of the oxides which have not brilHancy contain 
at most from 13 to 14 of that principle. 

Two incontestable advantages result, then, from the pre- 
paration of crystallized red oxide of nurcury. 

1st, An increase of the product of that oxide, the mean 
term of which is live per cent, more than when it is not 

2d, The impossibility or at least great difficulty which 
avarice niay experience in adulterating this product of art 
by red oxide of lead. 

XXI. Facts relative to a nondescript Aquatic A?iimal, 
By Mr. John Snart, Optician, 

To Mr. Til loch. 


XIerewith I send you the exact drawing of n very sin- 
gular aquatic creature 1 have lately discovered residmg in 
ponds in which the frog, &c. is generated from the first 
rudiments or spawn of the parent and brought forth in the 
tadpole state; in which stage of being it becomes the prey 
of the said creature ; without the persecution of which, I 
am persuaded frogs would infinitely more abound than at 

The creature in question is of a most curious construc- 
tion ; having six legs, with the feet armed with talons, two 
palpi or feelers, and four antennae with a bifurcated plu- 
mated tail. The body is divided into ten scmi-crustaceous 
lobes somewhat like the armadillo (exclusive of the head 
and neck, which form two more), bv means of the joints of 
which he is enabled to inflect himself into almost any posture. 
The head is flatted like the scollop, and broad ; the mouth 
is of the whole width of the head ; and proceeding from the 
sides of the superior mandible or upper jaw spring two ten- 
tacula-like forceps, which it opens or closes at pleasure ; 
these are curved and pointed like those of the forficula or 
common earwig, and with these it seizes its prev, of which 
the tadpole seems to be the principal favourite. Though 
tadpoles are frequently found much larger than it, yet it 
pursues thenj with the greatest conndcnce. When it over- 
takes them it punctures their skin with its forceps, and, 
after lacerating them so as to fetch blood, drags them 
towards its mouth, into which it receives the effusion, 

J 4 So 

136 On a nondescript Aquatic Animal, 

So insatiably voracious is this little water dragon (If I may 
use an appropriate epithet for want of a name), that in the 
space of a few hours (and that in the night), out of about 
eighteen, it had killed, and withal much maimed, no less 
than eight or ten tadpoles, most of which were bigger than 
itself; and could ii iiave made tlie same rapid progress in 
the water which tadpoles do, I have no doubt they would 
all have fallen a sacrifice to this litile sanguinary tyrant, 
who (with short intervals of rest after a full meal) is inces- 
santly roving in search of blond ! 

At first sight it appeared to be of the binocular class ; but 
taking a good magnifier, I observed the eves to be com- 
posed of two annular clusters, not reticulated, but each 
containing six distinct, rouridish, bright, black orbs, at 
small distances from each other; the intermediate spaces, 
as well as more considerable ones, in the centre of each 
cluster, being of a piece with the colour and texture of the 
skin of the other parts of the body, which, with some little 
varicffatcd exceptions on the back of the head, is of a co- 
lour resembling the mud of the Thames water, of the tex- 
ture of that of a conmion shrimp, and like it (when alive) 
of a semi-transparent nature. Indeed the divisions ol the 
whole body are more like this than any other creature I 
have yet seen. But its conformation in all other respects 
is quite as dissimilar as I have stated. 

When it seizes its prey, if exceedingly vulnerable like 
the tadpole, it lacerates it so dcitr) as to make the forceps 
meet and even cross in the punctures, when it amuses and 
gratifies itself by working them in and out imtil the blood 
flows from the wounds, at which time they are alternately 
withdrawn and applied to the mouth, as if to taste the gore 
with the one, while the captive is detained by the other; 
w^hich if it approves, the poor struggling victim is drawn 
there too ; but if otherwise, it contents itself by repeated 
lacerations until its imaginary enemy is dead, as was the 
case with a conmion earth-worm I threw into the water, 
and several flies, which were never drawn towards the 
mouth at all ; while the tadpoles are exhausted of their 
blood until they become a mere skin with a small propor- 
tion of gelatinous matter left in it; for their adversary seems 
not to have convenient organs for entire degkilition, or he 
would no doubt quickly destroy the v hole subject: but 
owing to the narrowness of the neck, and its crustaceous 
texture, the ccsophagus is incapable of expansion to any 
considerable degree; yet this incapacity on his part is no 
6 security 

On a nondescript Aquatic Animal. I37 

security to the otlier, seeing they are ahnost cut in two by 
their being brought into so close contact with the mouth of 
their destroyer, and quite drained ot their very vitals. 

Thus nature, as it' to counteract her wonted profuse fe- 
cundity in this diminutive scale of beings on the one hand, 
seems on the other to have made this formidable nonde- 
script adversary to thin the race. So tenacious is he of his 
prey, that, having once fastened on, he will bear to be 
drawn quite out of the v.atcr, and held for some minutes 
suspended by the hold he has taken bv the forceps ere he 
will let go his victim ; and so determinately undaunlLd as 
to bear to be lashed with a small uvig, wiiich he has the 
hardiness to endure. The opening of his forceps seems to 
fascinate his victims ; they become, as it were, transfixed 
by torpor, and riveted to the spot, though naturally capable 
of swimming much faster than their enemv. 

One particular more which I observed niav not be ami.-s 
to notice, which is, the ebbing and flowing of the blood, 
which does not appear to circulate through all the parts, but 
by a kind of unduiatorv motion, or rather pulsation, pro- 
ceeds and recedes towards and from the head to about half 
way dovv'n the body in one entire mass. Though without 
doubt the whole frame is visited bv this vital principle, yet 
it is in such small quantities as to elude the most minute 
inspection I could bestow upon it; and if the quantilics ' 
were not, indeed, very minute, it could not but be visible 
through the semi-transparency of the body; for it is not 
limpid like water, but of so sanguine a tint as to give the 
middle part of the body a black appearance. 

Notu ithstraiding these minute partic\ilars which I have 
made myself acquainted with, I shall not venture to deter- 
mine what class it ranks in, because it seems to participate 
of several, or at least to possess members and faculties in, 
common with two or three; and as I could not gain any 
information on this head from my books, though there seems 
somewhat very characteristic in this creature, I thought it 
might not be impertinent or displeasing to some of your read- 
ers to have the best information I could extract iron) strict 
observation of its functions and amusements, Andalthouoh 
it comes without the minuteness and accuracy of zoological 
classiiication, yet I believe T am perfectly correct in every 
particular stated, in which if I meet your concurrence it is 
very much at the service of your readers. 

Description of the Drawing. (See Plate II.) 

Fig. 1. View of the back parts, magnified. 


I3S On Elastic! f)/. 

Fig. 2. 7'he animal of its natural size, the belly upwards. 

Fig. 3. Under part of the head as seen in a strong light, 
by means of whieh not only the outward but also the in- 
ward direetion of its members is discernible ; thus we see 
the roots of the antennae join together and comnmnicate 
with the two great canals aa, which cairy the blood to all 
the parts ; and I am persuaded the forceps join issue there 
too ; but the parts are too glandular to allow of this being 
(distinctly seen. 

Besides, upon the creature eating some mackrel liver, a 
great quantity of blood was discharged from the under fis- 
sures near the tips of these forceps a great number of times. 
Meeting with a medium of nearly the same density as it- 
self [i. e. the water), it diffuses itself in the form of a thick 
smoke issuing from a furnace chimney when fresh fuel is 
added ; after which the forceps became so close that no 
magnifier I could use upon him would enable me to see 
them : yet this affords a presumption that thev are each a 
kind of proboscis. Some blood was discharged from the 
mouth at the same time. 

Fig. 4. The eye of its natural size. 

Fifif. 5. The same maojnificd. 

London, 215, Tooley-street, 
20th June 1805. 

XXII. On Elasticity. By Alexander Tilloch. yin 
Essay read before the Askesian Society in the Session 

J.T is not my intention in the present paper to enter upon 
any inquiry respecting the laws by which elasticity acts, as 
they have often been investigated already, and are well 
known to every one acquainted with the first elements of 
mechanics. I mean merely to confine myself to a few 
thoughts on the physical cause of elasticity, or that pro- 
perty of bodies which enables them, after any external pres- 
sure, to restore themselves to their former figure. 

The cause of elasticity has been proposed to be accounted 
for in various ways. The Cartesians held that it was a ne- 
cessary consequence of their viateria suhtilis, or matter of 
the second element, making an effort to pass through pores 
too narrow for it. Thus, when a straight clastic body is 
bent by any force, the pores become contracted on the con- 
cave side, and, if they were before spherical, become for 
instance elliptical, or of some other form 3 and the materia 


On Elastlc'itrj. 139 

subtllis, hindered in its attempt to pass, makes an efTort 
to restore the body to its first state. Jn this theory there is 
something like the effort of a strong mind when first seizing 
upon a new truth, and endeavouring to reduce it to a de- 
pendence on and connection with known or admitted facts; 
but the defects in the reasoning ought to have convinced 
its supporters, that a more sa.tisfactory way of accounting 
for the phaenomenon was still a desideratum. It must be 
obvious to anv person who will take the trouble to ana- 
lyse the argument, that if the materia subtilis in a spherical 
cavity could bv pressure (being hindered at the same time 
from passing off) accommodate itself to the same cavity 
rendered elliptical, that in doing so it has in fact become 
smaller in volume than it was before. The materia subtilis 
is thus assumed to be compressible ; and, as it makes aa 
effort to restore the body, or, in other words, its cavities, to 
the first form, it is assumed to be expansive. But what 
does this amount to ? Merely that a body is elastic because 
it contains elastic matter. 

Other philosophers, disliking the materia suhtilis of the 
Cartesians, have adopted an cZ/^ereaZ «z«Zni7«. Their mode 
of reasoning, however, is so similar to that of the former, 
that they leave the mind as unsatisfied as before. Indeed, 
the mere change of a name can throw no new light upon 
the subject. 

Some account for elasticity by supposing that when an 
elastic body is bent or compressed a number of little vacui- 
ties are formed in it, and that on removing the force the 
pressure of the atmosphere, endeavouring to destroy the 
vacuities thus formed, restores the body to its first figure. 
■ This doctrine, however plausible, is inadmissible, if for no 
other, for this one reason: — Many bodies require a greater 
force to bend them to any given degree than can be iound 
by multiplving the number of square inches in their surface 
by 14 pounds, the force exerted by the atmosphere on a 
square inch ; besides, the phtenomena of elasticity manifest 
themselves in vacuo. 

Others assume that all bodies contain air in their vacui- 
ties, and ascribe their elastic property to that of the air in- 
closed in them. This is httle more than a substitution of 
air for the materia suhtilis, and the ether assumed by others. 
But whence has air itself the property of elasticity ? This 
is a part of the general inquiry, and as necessary to be 
solved as the source whence other bodies derive the same 

Others account for elasticity from the law of attraction, 


140 On Elasticity. 

applied with so much success, since the time of Newton, 
to the solution oi' many other of the phienomena of nature ; 
and we are inclined to think that the more this subject is 
investigated the more will it appear that it acts an important 
part in producing those effects ascribed to elasticity. Ac- 
cording to this theory, when an elastic body is struck or 
bent so that the component parts, or portions of them, are 
moved a little from each other, but not bevond their spheres 
of attraction, they must, on the cessation of the applied 
force, spring back to their natural state. 

Repulsion also has been held to be the cause of elasticity 
in the case of aeriform fluids, and this repulsion is ascribed 
to the presence of heat. In this case repulsion is not made 
use of as the last term of our knowledge, but merely as 
expressive of a certain state of action ascribed to another 
cause. Some, however, make use of the expression with- 
out so defining it, and, if they mean anv thing at all, use 
it to express an abstract property of which thev know not 
the cause. Wa may therefore observe, in passing, that 
this term should be used as seldom as possible in philoso- 
phical subjects, and never unless the author has defined the 
sense in which he employs it. 

Another theory has been proposed, which has been ad- 
mitted by many as sufiicient to account for all the pheno- 
mena, not of the elasticity of bodies only, but of matter in 
general. This theory, which has the celebrated Boscovich 
for its author, supposes that the whole matter of the uni- 
verse consists of a great but finite number of simple, indi- 
visible, iNEXTENDED atoms, cuducd with repulsive and at- 
tractive forces, which vary and change from the one to the 
other according to circumstances pointed out in his Svstem 
of Natural Philosophv, of which a good account mav be seen 
in the Supplement to the Encyclopa-dia BritaiivAca, under 
Boscovich. The most singular part of the system is, that 
his atoms, in their least and innermost distances, repel each 
other, and this power of repulsion increases as the distances 
are diminished : in sensible distances they attract each other, 
and this power decreases as the squares of the distances in- 
crease, constituting universal gravity : between the inner- 
most repulsive force and the outermost attractive one, in 
the insensible distances, many varieties occur ; at a certain 
distance the repulsive force vanishes — increase that distance, 
and attraction begins, increases, lessens, and vanishes, till, 
at a certain increase of distance, the force bcconics repul- 
sive; and so on altcrnatc'iy, always cbanging from the one 
to the other with the increased distances 3 sometimes more 


On Elasticity. 141 

^owly, sometimes more rapidly, and sometimes one of the 
forces mav come to nothing and then return back lo the 
same kind without passing to the other. And for alt this, 
-it seems, there is full roovt, in the distances that are in- 
sensible to us, seeing the least part of space is divisible 
in infinitum. 

Assuming all this, and exhibiting a curve and other ne- 
cessary appendages to assist the mind in comprehending his 
theory, the author applies it to explain all the phsenomena 
of the material universe, assuming also in his progress such 
forms and arrangements as are required to make the system 
apply to the properties possessed by matter in those modi- 
fications which distinguish and divide it into classes : thus 
solid bodies are formed of parallclopipides, fibres, and of ir- 
resrular figures, occasioning a greater cohesion than in fluids, 
and preventing the motion of the parts round one another; 
so that when one part is moved the rest follow. Those 
bodies whose particles are placed in limits which have strong 
repulsive arches within them are harder; those are softer 
whose particles have those arches of repulsion weaker. 
When the particles are placed in limits that have weak 
arches of repulsion and attraction on each side, the body is 
flexible ; and, if those arches are short, the particles may 
come to new limits of cohesion, and remain bent : but if 
the arches are longer the repulsion and attraction mav act, 
and restore the bt>dy to its former position ; nav, in doing 
this with an accelerated velocity, the parts will pass their 
former limits, and then vibrating backwards and forwards 
exhibit that effect which is called elasticity. 

On this theory we shaH only observe, that whatever con- 
viction it may carry to minds habituated to profound ma- 
thematical investigations, it can convey but little informa- 
tion to a man who merely aims at a knowledcre of the pro- 
perties of matter, as consisting, not of inextcnd':d atoms, 
but of such moleculcB as occupy sensible space. What tlie 
wiser is such a man for being told that certain forces exist, 
and that some idea may be formed of their mode of ope- 
rating by conceiving them to act in the directions of certain 
curves, and with powers varving according to circumstances? 
He may assent to this ; but as his w^eak mind can conceive 
nothing of matter inextended, either in itself or in its atoms, 
he cannot consider his diiTiCulties as solved by merely hav- 
ing them stated to him in a new form; for to him the whole 
of this system appears to be no more at best but a regular 
mathematical statement of those operations of matter, the 
causes of which he still wishes to explore. . 


142 On Elasikifi/. 

C. Barruel has proposed a theory different in aoine re- 
spects from any ot" those f have mentioned, — more in ap- 
pearance, however, than in reahty. He contends that ca- 
loric acts a great share in the phaenomena oi" elasticity, and 
maintains that it /'v itself elastic in consequence of the pro- 
perty winch the moleculae of this fluid have of repelling each 
other : a property, he says, the more probable as it is ob- 
served in the electric fluid, with which caloric has so great 
an analosiy. '' Tn a word," says Barruel, " we may be 
satislied with admitting its elasticity as a fact from vvhich 
we may set out as from an incontestable principle/' To 
enter at great length into this theory, an account of which 
may be seen in the sixth volume of the Philosophical Ma- 
gazine, p. 52, would encroach too much on our present 
time. The author presents, in his memoir on this subject, 
some curious thoughts, and well worthy of a perusal. It 
is only necessary here, however, to state in few words the 
substance of his reasoning. 1st, Every body in nature is 
porous, and tiiese pores are proportioned to the density of 
the substance : 2d, These pores are filled with different 
fluids, and principally with caloric. But caloric possesses 
a strong repulsive force ; from which it follows, that, when 
an elastic body is compressed, the caloric in its pores drives 
back, by its repulsive power, the displaced parts, and brings 
them to their former state. 

On this theory it may be observed, that however true it 
may be that caloric acts a distinguishing part in the phse- 
nomena of elasticity, the autlior seems to have made hardly 
any other use of the fact than to put that substance in the 
place of the materia sid'tilis and ether of the earlier philo- 
sophers. He assumes too that it necessarily possesses elas- 
ticity ; but he ought either to have first proved it, or at 
least to have demonstrated, that if that property be not in- 
herent in calorie, there could be no elasticity in other mat- 
ter. In short, were it even proved that caloric is naturally 
and essentially elastic, and the cause of elasticity in other 
matter, still' the main question would remain unsolved, 
which would then be — What is the physical cause of elas- 
ticity in caloric ? 

Libes makes elasticity to depend on caloric interposed 
either between the moleculifi of bodies or combined with 
them, and at the same time on the attractive force of these 
molee\iloe. *' This being premised," says he, " I say that 
the restoration of solid Ijodies after compression is a com- 
bined effect, which depends in part on the repulsive force 
which their integral inoleeulx have received from ca- 

On Elasticity. 143 

loric, and in part from the attractive force of these mo- 

I should have been glad to have been able to have given 
something more of Libes's theory than this short notice, 
especially as this little seems to approach nearer to ray ideas 
of the true theory than any thing I have yet noticed; but 
I know not in what work it is given. This notice is from 
the Journal de Physique, vol. 1. p. 10. an 8. 

Thus have I given a short account of all the theories that 
have been advanced to account for the phaenomena of elas- 
ticity ; or, at least, of all I recollect worthy of notice. Some 
of them, we have seen, in passing, fall entirely short of the 
object they aim at, and are therefore unworthy of further 
notice. In others, however, the mode of argument is so 
well managed, that had their authors attended to a sin«yle 
fact or two, which they have overlooked, it is probable that 
the subject would, before this time, have received that full 
elucidation of w hich I believe it is capable. 

Like those who have gone before me, I may fail in the 
task I have imposed upon myself; but I hope to avoid in- 
consistency or unfair assumptions. It does not appear neces- 
sary to admit even that elasticity belongs to matter consi- 
dered simply. Indeed,! think the contrary is the fact. But 
that my meaning may not be mistaken, I shall explain in 
as few words as possible this part, which may be considered 
as fundamental, of the doctrine I mean to propose. Bv 
simple matter I mean the prnnitive moleculas, or atoms, of 
which bodies are formed. However complex mav l)e the 
state in which we find bodies, they consist of elementary 
principles, which principles themselves are formed perhaps 
of others, but ultimately oi inelastic atoms of simple mat- 
ter. Let us, for example, take some matter considered as 
simple and elementary, say caloric, I would aflirm of it that 
it is not necessarily elastic ; and so of any other simple 

But if elasticity be not essentially necessary to matter 
considered simply, whence do bodies derive that property ? 
I answer. From the sam.e source whence they derive almost 
every other quality that belongs to them — from their com- 
position and internal arrangement. 

I would have said all their qualities, instead of limiting- 
the expression to almost all of them, but that they possess 
one property which mav, and probably does, depend on some 
other cause, I mean that of attraction. Of the cause of 
this we know nothing ; but its existence and the laws bv 
which it acts being known, philosophers do not fail to avaU 


144 On Elast'icitij. 

themselves of them in explaining those phaenomena Into 
which the)' enter. 

In our present inquiry, then, I mean to derive from at- 
traction the help it criers in explaining the cause of elasti- 
city ; and I hope to make it evident, by a due considera- 
tion of attraction as common to all matter, and of the laws 
by which caZoric constantly endeavours to mamtain an equi- 
librium, no't only among systems of bodies, but throughout 
each individual mass, that the eftbrts of these two, to main- 
tain their respective powers over matter, and, in doing so, 
aetino; according to known and invariable laws, produce all 
those phaenomena to which the term elastic has been applied, 
whether in solid or in aeriform substances. 

I would say, then, that attraction, which pervades all mat- 
ter, and caloric, which also pervades all matter, by their pre- 
sence, and by an action in which both participate, occasion 
elasticity wherever it exists. Not that elasticity must follow 
as a ncccssarv consequence of their presence, for then every 
substance in nature would be elastic, which many are not 
in the common sense of the word. Certain other conditions 
are necessary to elasticity ; but without these two it could 
not exist. 

It is admitted by all that attraction is the cause of the 
aggregation of the niolecula; of bodies. When the state of 
aggregation is such, that on the application of a given degree 
of mechanical force to the body the attraction of the mole- 
culcc is overcome (or the body broken), it is called brittle : 
if the attraction is only partially deranged, the body will be 
found to have changed its form, and is then called Hexible : 
when the body springs back, or, after certain vibrations, 
recovers its foim, it is called elastic. 

JMany metallic bodies which are flexible in the sense just 
meiitioned, may however by hammering be rendered clastic; 
that is, by merely bringing their moleculoe into niore inti- 
mate union, or by bringing them reciprocally more within 
the spheres of each other's attraction. This is a circum- 
stance which ought not to be lost sight of. Let us for a 
moment then inquire what takes place in the process, be- 
sides bringing the particles of the body more nearly into 
contact, or more of them into actual contact than were in 
that state before ? When a bar of metal is hammered thin- 
ner than it was before, a quantity of caloric equal in volume 
to the diminution of volume imposed upon the bar has been 
expelled or driven out of it. I need not, however, insist 
on its being exactlv equal in volume, as my argu- 
ment only requires that a certain quantity of caloric should 


On Elasticity » 145 

be driven out of the mass by the operation ; and I believe 
in the present state of our knowledge that few will be in- 
clined to dispute it. As it is, however, of some importance 
to establish this point, I shall, before proceeding further 
with the main argument, briefly point out some of the cir- 
cumstances which seem to prove the escape of caloric : The 
bar becomes heated by the operation, and where heat ma- 
nifests itself, it must be either passing otf from or into the 
body. If the capacity ot the body be dunmished at the 
same time, and the chemical properties of the body remain 
unaltered, which in the instance under consideration is the 
case, how can we mistake the direction in which the caloric 
moves ? 

I am aware of what has been advanced respecting friction 
by men whose names stand high in the philosopliical world, 
and that hammering is a species of friction : but names and 
opinions should never be substituted for facts; for, if It be 
true, which I deny not, but maintain that hammering is a 
species of friction, it would not be dithcult to show that it 
is equally true that friction is a species of hammering. But 
if by hammering such a quantity of heat may be driven 
from the interior to the surface of a bar as will produce 
effects similar to those of a combustible body in a state of 
ignition, the caloric in this as in every other case must be 
something else than mere motion. It is subject to certain 
laws of motion, like every other species of matter ; and like 
every other species of matter too, when moved from its 
place by any force, putting other matter in the space or 
spaces before occupied by it, it must take up another resi- 
dence. To produce an accumulation of heat bv hanmier- 
ing, repeated and a long continued succession of strokes 
are not necessary : proportion the mass of metal to the im- 
pulse to be applied, and wuh one stroke you may produce 
such a heat as will make the part of the metal where it is 
accunuilated visible in the dark — hot enough to set tire to 
a combustible body. 

It may here be also observed that heat is propagated even 
through what is usually called a vacuum, that is, thnvj-h 
spaces absolutely void of every other species of matter, 
which could not possibly take place if caloric were not sub- 
stantial ; for motion is a non-entity when we attempt to con- 
ceive of it as distinct from matter — it is an accident of mat- 
ter, and when we speak ot its existence the presence of 
matter is always implied. This is an argument in proof of 
the substantiality of calorie which no powers of argument 
can overturn ; for, whatever semblance of truth may attach 

Vol. 2-:. No. 86. J^//]/ 1803. K 'to 

140 On Elasticity. 

to reasonings on motion as connected with matter, It ra- 
nlshes entirely when the continuity of matter is broken, as 
in the case we have stated. But it in the case of the trans- 
mission of caloric through a vacuum, caloric is proved to 
exist independently ot" motion, why in any other case should 
the two be contbunded ? 

But to return. — A bar of metal by being hammered has a 
quantity of caloric expressed from it by mere mechanical 
means, without undergoing any chemical change. In other 
words, its capacity for holding caloric has been abridged, 
without its affinity for that substance being lessened ; and 
the aggregation of the mass has been increased in a ratio 
bearing some proportion to the diminution of its capacity 
for caloric. 

When the hammer is first applied to the metal, the latter 
is, comparatively speaking, plastic, and gives but little re- 
sistance; but as the parts are brought into a closer state of 
aggregation the resistance increases, and the hammer recoils 
in proportion to the force with which it is applied and the 
degree of aggregation the mass has acquired : in other 
words, the metal has acquired a degree of elasticity propor- 
tioned to the time it has been subjected to the mechanical 
process. It appears then that by diminishing the capacity 
of the metal for heat, while its natural affinity remains un- 
altered, it acquires the property of being elastic. 

Let \is attend a little to the case beiorc us. When the 
metal has received a certain degree of compression from the 
hammer, it refuses to receive more, and the hanmier recoils; 
that is, by mechanical means a certain degree of caloric may 
be expressed from the metal, but as its affinity for caloric 
cannot be destroyed, the last portions of it cannot be ex- 
pelled by any such process ; and even a portion of what 
may be expelled can only be momentarily separated, viz. 
only durins; the continuance of the impulse. It is this last 
circumstance that occasions in the instance under examina- 
tion an exhibition of what is called elasticity. That I may 
be the better enabled to convey my ideas on this point, 1 
shall here call in the assistance of a liguie to illustraie my 

Let A BCD (Plate II. fig. 6.) be a mass of metal that 
has received all the density of which it is susceptible by 
hammering, or let it be a mass (as an anvil) hardened by 
any other process, in such a manner that it can receive no 
more permanent compression from the action of a hammer. 
If a stroke of a hannner be applied on the surl'ace ABC, 
a momentary depression of the surface will lake place, pro- 

On Elasticity. 147 

portioned to the force that has been applied. Say that the 
carved hue AaC represents this depression, and the area 
A B Ca its quantity : a quantity oi" caloric equal to the space 
ABCa is monientarilv displaced by the blow. 

But in this case an attempt is made to separate, by me- 
chanical means, a portion of that caloric which the mass 
demands by its affinity ; and this law, exerting itself to re- 
store the equilibrium, takes back the quantity thus violently 
attempted to be taken away, and with such rapidity thai 
the hammer is no sooner at a than it is instantlv pushed 
out by the reimbibcd caloric. Nor is this all : caloric, being- 
matter, must, when pat in motion, obey the same laws 
that other matter would in similar circumstances. The re- 
servoir that furnishes the supply (viz. the surrounding at- 
mosphere) being inexhaustible, instead of the caloric ceasing 
to operate when it has brought the surface again to coincide 
with ABC, it carries it to ?>, a distance as far above B, or 
nearly so, as a was below it ; and it is not till after repeated 
vibrations between these points that the surface at last comes 
to rest in its first position. Any one n)ay satisfy himself 
of this fact by letting a hammer fall upon an anvil while 
lie holds the handle easily in his hand ; it will not give one 
but several strokes, proportioned to the force cmploved. 

When the recoil of the stroke, as it is called, has carried 
the surface to I, why does ncU the mass retain the caloric 
(represented by the space A^'CB) which it has received by 
the effort thus made by its affinity for caloric? — Because the 
atlinity of aggregation of the mass forbids it. The two af- 
linities — that of the whole ma?s for caloric, and that of the 
moleculje for each other — find their powers balanced when 
the surface comes to rest in the line ABC. 

From what has been stated respecting the effect produced 
by the blow of a hannner on a hardened mass of jnetal, it 
will not be difficult to trace the etTect that will follow if a 
soft bar of metal be interposed. We have seen that a quan- 
tity of caloric is momentarily expelled from a hardened mass 
of metal when struck by a hammer,and a&^uickly reimbibed 
with an increase of quantity. When such a bar is struck 
on an anvil with a hannner, there is a displacement of the 
caloric from the part struck ; and at the same time an in- 
crease in the aggregation of the moleculce in the same part, 
that is, an increase of its elasticity. The quick return of 
caloric into the part makes the hanmicr recoil ; but the mo- 
IccuUe having been brought closer together by the blow, the 
caloric finds less lodging-room than befiMv, and of course 
an increase of temperature follows; l'..u' the affinity of the 

K iJ mass? 

148 On Elasticity. 

mass for caloric is lessened as its molcculae arc brought 
closer together. A secoiul blow is followed by a like efleet, 
which is in like manner increased by succeeding blows. It 
is necessary, however, that these be siven in such quick 
succession that the bar may not have time between to give 
off its caloric to surrounding bodies. If this be attendecT to, 
an accumulation of caloric must take place in the bar ; for 
by the second blow a larger quantity of heat is displaced 
than by tlie first, and consequently a larger quantity is im- 
bibed to be afilcted by the third blow ; the quantity dis- 
placed by each blow^ being proportioned to that which was 
l>efore present, and the quantity newly imbibed being pro- 
portioned to what was displaced by the last blow. This 
fact, with some latitude, will alwavs be found to hold true. 
Need v.'e wonder then at seeing a dexterous artisan lightino; 
his ibrge without any other heat than what he can furnish 
to himself by means ot his hammer and an iron rod ? 

In the case which we have just examined the ph^enome- 
non appears to depend on the displacement of caloric in a 
bodv by an external force, while the affinity of aggregation 
endeavours to retain it. Will this be found to hold in other 
cases ? — YeSj making allowance for the diiference of cir- 

Let AD (fig. 7-) represent a spring of steel or any other 
metal. By any external force let it be bent into the form 
CD. It is plain that one side of the spring has been elon- 
gated and the other shortened. 

But the spring before flexure had its moleculs respec- 
tively at those distances or in that arrangement in which 
th.ey best balanced each other ; that is, the mutual effort of 
all was to kecj) the spring in the state it exhibited before 
anv external force was applied ; and the quantity of caloric 
resident in the mass was distributed throughout in propor- 
tion to the affinity of all the parts. 

Let the proportion of caloric proper to anv part of the 
mass in any common temperature be represented by the 
space comprehended between the two parallel lines a b and 

When the bar is bent, the lines ah and cd are made to 
approach each other, as at e on the concave side, and to re- 
cede on the convex side, suppose toy and g, so that they 
no longer remain parallel. In other words, a quantity of 
caloric has been dis^Jaeed from the one side, and has found 
lodfring-room in the other side of the bar ; and what is said 
of tliis is understood of every other part of the spring. But 
the affinity olall the parts for caloric iiaving undergone no 
J change. 

On Elasticit)/. 140 

change, it is plain that when the external force is removed 
it must resume its first position in the mass, and, by doing 
so, restore it to its former figure, in effecting which the af- 
finity of aggregation co-operates ; for we have been sup- 
posing such a force only applied as could change the form, 
while applied, without overcoming the aggregation of the 

The vibrations which follow, if the spring be left (juite 
free after force has been applied, may be explained in a way 
perfectly similar to what we have already laid down when 
speaking of a bar struck by a hammer. The caloric being 
put in motion, a larger quantity of it runs from the plus 
side to the side that was minus than the atfinitv of the latter 
demands, and is therefore driven back ayiin, and so alter- 
nately, till by little and little it ceases its motion as equili- 
brium comes to be established. 

After the bar AB has by any applied force been brought 
into the form CD, the caloric, which in the natural state 
of the bar resided between b and d, having been forced to 
find lodging-room towards ac on the side now rendered 
convex, and the lines ah and cd, or the portions of metal 
which they represent, being brought into contact in the 
point e; or, if the possibility of the perfect contact of the 
moleculas be denied, as nearly into contact as possible in 
the point e; then the said point e (and so of any other point 
of the concave surface) becomes a fulcrum over which the 
bar may be broken if an increased force be applied ; for 
all the caloric that can be removed by mechanical means 
from the concave side having been transferred to some more 
convex part of the bar, it must follow, as a consequence, 
that any attempt to make the metallic matter enter spaces 
already occupied by metallic matter must be vain, and can 
only operate to draw the moleculae on the convex side to 
such a distance from each other as to admit foreign matter 
between them, viz. the atmosphere or other surrounding 
medium, after which it will be impossible for them to coa- 
lesce again. 

In this way would we account for that effect which has 
hitherto been ascribed to the moleculre being removed to 
such a distance from each other as to place them bcvond 
each others sphere of attraction. It is true they are brousilit 
into such a situation that their attractive affinity cannot 
again unite them as an aggregate ; but we think their attrac- 
tion is not annihilated, as the common mode of expression 
may suggest to those who do not propcrlv examine the 
matter. There is only a new affinity brought into play, 

K 3 Yiz, 

150 0)1 Elastkitn. 

viz. that of the metallic moleculae for the newly interposed 
body; for, ooukl thai new affinity be destroyed, or, in other 
wordo, could the interposed substance be entirely removed, 
it is probable the affinity of the tnolcculae would again be 
exerted. Of this some idea may be formed by attending to 
what takes place when two spheres of lead, a little flattened, 
arc pressed together. In proportion as the air has been ex- 
cluded will be the adherence of the two balls. 

We would not wish, however, to be understood to assert 
that in every case a disjoined mass would unite but for the 
newly interposed substance, for several conditions are re- 
quisite to this efiTeet which can rarely exist. Among these 
niay be mentioned, that there should be no new arrange- 
ment of portions of the broken surfaces by the metal havnis; 
by its tenacity drawn itself out into fibrous ligaments and 
protrusions ; for in that case the points of contact upon 
joining the masses are so limited that the very weight of 
either part, that is, its gravity for the common centre of 
attraction, will act as a sufficient force to destroy the affinity 
which exerts itself to keep them united. We may also here 
remark, that in the confused crystallization of melted masses 
of metal, some of the portions mav alwavs be conceived to 
be under some restraint, as it were, and this must hold also 
after the metal has been hammered. Therefore on breaking 
the mass some of these will always protrude, or in some 
way or other change their position a little, so as to produce 
an effect similar to that before described — reducing to a 
con)paratively small number the points that can be brought 
into contact. Therefore what we mean to suggest is only 
this — that if every interposed substance could be entirely 
removed, and it were possible to bring the original nuniber 
of points into contact, the affinity of aggregation would act 
to unite the parts of the mass. 

I might apply the reasoning emplovcd in the case of the 
spring AB to other cases of solid bodies ; but, from what I 
have said, I think any person may apply my reasoning in 
the same way as I would mvself, whether he be convinced 
of its truth or not; to enlarge further appears therefore un- 
necessary, It is proper, however, that I should endeavour 
to show how the same doctrine applies to aeriform fluids. 

When air is compressed, on removing the force it regains 
its first volume. This, however, is conditional. If the 
compressed air be of a niven temperature, say SO*^, and if 
it be afterwards reduced to a lower temperature, say 32"^, it 
may so happen that the diminutioji of volume by reduction 
of tcn)peral'.ire may more than counterbalance the com-- 

On Elasiicity. 1.51 

pressing force thai was employed. In this case, then, a 
mere abstraction of caloric annihilates a certain quaniity 
of elastic force which belongs to the air when the common 
temperature is higher. 

Again : Inclose a given quantity of air, not compressed, 
in any proper vessel, when the common temperature is 30^', 
and it will be found when the temperature becomes hif^h, 
say 80", that it has acquired an elastic force which it had 
not before. 

The cause is obvious. The air inclosed at 30" has as 
strong an affinity for caloric when the common temperatur 
comes to 80^ as the air not inclosed, but is prevented h\ 
want of room from satisfying itself to the extent of its affi- 
nity. On opening the vessel, however, the caloric finds an 
easy admission; the volume of the mass becomes increased, 
and a quantity equal to this increase discharges itself. 

But when by force we compress air which is to be again 
liberated without waiting for any remarkable chaage of tem- 
perature, we only accomplish by mechanical means what 
nature effects by a mere change of temperature. We ex- 
press a certain quantity of caloric from the air, while its 
affinity for that subj.stance remains undiminished. Remove 
the restraint, and, the affinity exerting itself, a sudden in- 
crease of volume takes place, exhibiting that phaenomenon 
which is usually called elastic force. 

Again : When a foot-ball is struck (and so of similar 
cases) there is a displacement of caloric proportioned to the 
force applied and the nature of the covering. But this is 
only momentary ; for, the affinity of the air for caloric re- 
maining unaltered, a quantity of the latter, more tlian equal 
to what was displaced by the blow, is, for the reason before 
pointed out, instantly taken in by the air, and with such 
rapidity as to cause the ball to recoil from the foot in the 
^ame manner as a hammer does when struck on an anvil, 
but in a much more remarkable degree; for the recoil will 
always be proportioned to the force employed, compared 
with the affinity of the bodies for caloric. 

Before concluding, we may observe generally, that every 
body in nature may be considered as in some measure 
elastic, though many of them cannot manifest that property 
to the extent which those bodies usually called elastic can: 
that is, a certain force may be applied to all of them with- 
out destroying their form, and by the application of that 
force a certain quantity of caloric may be first accumulated 
in and then given off from them. In every case of this 
Kind (and thev include every species of friction) caloric is 

K 4 first 

152 On the P-roduction of Muriates 

first expressed from, and then imbibed, with a surplus 
quantity, into the parts of the body which undergo the 
mechanical action, and it is this circumstance which has 
so much puzzled some philosophers in certain experiments 
on friction. But as we may possibly lay before the society 
at a future period a few thoughts conlined principally to this 
object, we forbear entering further into it at present. 

XXTII. On the Production of Muriates ly the Galvanic 
Decomposition of Water : with a second Letter on the 
Subject from Mr. W. Peel, of Cambridge. 

Xn our last volume, page 279, we laid before our readers 
a letter from Mr. Peel, of Cambridge, announcing the y^xo- 
dnchon oi muriate (f soda by the Galvanic decomposition 
of water. That communication we considered as extremely 
important, and we suggested that such experiments as Mr. 
Peel was engaged in, nught possibly lead to some know- 
ledge of the composition of soda and the base of the mu- 
riatic acid. 

The letter alluded to was dated the 23d of April last, and 
published in our number- for that month. We have been 
not a little gratified since in finding ihat our suspicion has 
been in some de2;ree confirmed by M. Cuvier's report ot^ the 
labours of the Class of the Mathematical and Physical Sci- 
ences of the French National Institute from the 20th of 
June 1804 to the 20th of .June ISO"), published on the 23th 
of the last mentioned month *. One of the articles of this 
report states, that M. Pacchiani, of Pisa, has discovered 
the radical of the acid in question, which he states to be 
hydrogen. By taking from water, by means of the Gal- 
vanic pile, a portion of its oxygen, he asserts that the water 
was converted into oxynuiriatic acid; and that, conse- 
quently, " muriatic acid is hydrogen at its minimum of 
oxidation t;- the oxymuriatic acid, hydrogen in the middle 
State ; and w ater, hydrogen at its maximum of oxidation." 
The following letter was intended for our last number, 
but did not reach us in time. It will be found as interest- 
ing to our philosophical readers as Mr. Peel's former com- 
nuinication. The result of his new experiment, so far as 

• Part i)f this report 5s given in our present Number. 

f Iiiour6ihvo) p. I.5.S, vveann<iunced iliat Girtanncr maintnincd hydro- 
gen to bo llie radical of the muriati.; acid, ;ind thai this acid contained less 
oxygen tlian water. 


ly the Galvanic Decojhpositmi of [Vafei-. 153 

ibe muriatic acid is concerned, is the same as that before 
communicated ; but in this instance he has obtained a dii- 
ferent alkah, — a kind of proof that the alkahs, as has for 
some time been suspected, are not essentially very different 
from each other. 

Cambridge, June 4, 1805. 
^^ SIR, 

" Acccording to my promise I send you another letter, 
which I hope will be as favourably received as niy last. 
Permit me to say, I feel myself much indebted to vou for 
your suooestions *, which have led me to the discovery I 
now send you. 

*^ Having proceeded to the formation of water from its 
elements, with which to repeat my former experiment, I 
found, when the ox\'gen and hydrogen gases were quite 
pure and exactly in due proportion, tliat no residuum of 
air was left, and that the water formed was not in the 
slightest degree acidulous. When the process was not 
conducted with great accuracy, or any precaution to have 
it accurate was omitted, I then found the water acidulous, 
and the acid that caused this acidity to be the nitric acid. 

'* The acidulous water thus obtained T neutralized with 
lime, from \\ hich I disiilled the water, and this water I de- 
composed by the Galvanic process, as in the experiment 
detailed in my former letter. 

" I did not imagine the using water so obtained could 
make the least difference on the result of the expei;iment ; 
but as you had expressed a wish to have the trial made, I 
again undertook that interesting but very tedious labour. 

*^ When I came to examine the residuum, to mv great 
astonishment I found that 7iot muriate of soda hut muriate 
of potash was produced ! 

*' 1 must own I feel myself entirely at a loss how to ac- 
count for this, nor shall I attempt it. All I can say is, 
that this, as well as my former experiment, was conducted 
with the greatest care and accuracy that I could bestow. 
Perhaps v"wr, or some of your readers', superior sagacity 
may furnish some hint that may lead to a satisfactory ex- 
planation of the phaenomena. I am, 8:c. 

" To Mr. Tilluch. « W. Pekl." 

Our readers, we are persuaded, will agree with Mr. Peel 
in thinking the result, indeed, very singular. Some may, 
perhaps, be inclined to believe there must have been some 

* See Note, vol. xxi. p. 250. 


151- Oil the Production of Muriate. 


mistake m ihc experiment detailed in this or in the former 
letter; but till some person possessed of as much ingcnuiiy 
and patience as Mr. Peel shall prove his experiments to be 
erroneous, we shai' not question their accuracy *. Indeed, 
\\c had a suspicion that the result might possibly be aflTected 
by usinsi water obtained from difierent sources, or distilled 
from difierent substances, and it was this suspicion that 
induced us to recommend to Mr. Peel a repetition of the 
experiment under new circumstances. 

We may remark here, that Guyton suspects potash to 
be composed of lime and hjdrogcn. In the present expe- 
riment lime was employed to neutralize the acid in the 
water made use of; and though the water was distilled 
froTi the lime, it does not appear to us impossible that a 
sn,.<irl portion of it might be carried over. Indeed, if Guy- 
ton's opinion be well founded, it is very probable this was 
the case. Hydrogen the water would furnish by its de- 

We have not i)ccn informed of the nature of the residuum 
fcft ])v distilling the water made use of in Mr. Peel's first 
experiment ; that is, what substances were held in solution 
by it — if spring water. It would be a curious circumstance 
if it should prove to have been combined with a little mag- 
nesia.., as it would go some length in proving the truth of 
another opinion of Guyton, that s"oda is composed of mag- 
vr.'tia and hydrogen : for it would only be necessary to sup- 
pose that in the distillation of the water there w-as carried 
over some of the magnesia, a very minute portion of which, 
other circumstances coinciding, might be all that was wanted 
to determine the kind of alkali to be formed. 

Could the result depend at all on the circumstance of 
nitric acid having been previously in mixture with the 
water ? In the production of nitre (nitrate of potash) from 
the corruption of animal and vegetable substances, possibly 
the previous formation of the acid from its elements has 
some share in determining the formation of that alkali for 
which it has the greatest affinity. 

If the acidulous water employed in the last experiment 
had been distilled per se, or from some other substance 
than lime, would the result have been different ? From Mr. 
Peel's experiments it seems extremely probable that very 
small and seemingly inappreciable difltrcnces in the way of 

• Wc wish Mr. Peel hsd mentioned the tests and methods he msde 
use of to ascertain the iKiiure of tlie products he obtained. We arc certain 
snch infornintinn, in addition to lie has already given, would prove ac- 
ceptable lu our philosophical rcadei», 


Facts appllcallc to the Theory of ihe Earth. 155 

conductino- such labours may dL'tcraiiue the production of 
vcrv d 1 ffcrcnt substances. 

In short, it probable that some of those substances 
which in the present state of our knowledvre we are obli'^'ed 
to consider as the most simple elements, such as oxvgcn, 
hydrogen, and azote, arc, in fact, compcmnds ; and it ^-o, 
the formation of one or more of these may take place under 
circumstances in which we should not expect them to be 
present, nnd may produce such results as those now under 

This subject is extremely interesting, and we hope Mr. 
Peel and other philosophers will conlinue to give it that 
attention which its importance seems to demand.- — A. T." 

XXIV. jMemolr on some zoological Facts nppVicnl'le to fJw 
Theory of the Earth. Read in the Physical and Mat he- 
matical Class of the French \ational Institute oh the 1'2d 
of Octoher ISO J. By M. Ferox, Naturalist to the Ex- 
pcdltlon for making Discoveries hi Aitstralasla^'. 

Colics exire videntnr; 

Suiget humus; crescunt loci, dccrescentibiis undis. 

Oi\.:. M, i. hb. i. ver. 342. 

Xf excursions confined to the countries of Europe can fur- 
nish matter for so manv useful works and for so many va- 
luable comparisons, and if slight ditrerences in the physical 
constitution of the soil, in its temperature, and in its pro- 
ductions, could give, rise in all ages to grand ideas and im- 
portant theories, how fertile in the n^ost valuable results of 
everv kind must be distant navigations I 

The traveller in voyages of this kind, transported, as we 
may say, on the wings of the wind, traverses in a few 
months the niost different climates; distances vanish, and 
small differences disappear along with them. The large 
masses alone can strike him ; and they are every where re- 
produced with an opposition, and contrasts so great and so 
numerous, that the coldest imagination cannot fail to be 
interested in such a spectacle. In one place, the summit 
of the Peak of Tenerit^e, which has been rendered celebrated 
by the valuable researches of M. Humboldt, seems to un- 
fold before him. the history of the grand catastrophes of na- 
ture _, and of their effects ; while in anotl^erhe sees rising at 

• From the Journal de Plsyil'^ttc, Friir.airc, an 13. 


1 56 On some zoological Fads 

the extremities of the Austral world those bulwarks of gra- 
nite which she seems desirous of opposing to the fury of 
the boundless orean. He soon arrives on the barren coasts 
of the west and north-west side of New Holland, where 
the phcenomenon of the acquisitions made by the land pre- 
sents itself with all the interest of which it is susceptible. 
In vain docs he pass along coasts of two or three hundred 
leagues in extent ;• he every where observes eternal downs 
of white sand, which extend into the country as far as one 
can penetrate. The numerous islands he meets with exhibit 
to Itim a similar constitution ; and the banks of sand, so 
frequent in these dangerous seas, have no other. But the 
fertile mountains of Timor already begin to appear; an 
eternal vegetation every where covers them with its rich 
productions : they are continued in large gradations, which 
rise more and more towards the interior ot the land. Every 
thing is new in its aspect : he no longer sees those lacerated 
forms, those blackened peaks, and those threatening craters 
ofTeneriHc, and of the Isles of France and of Bourbon; 
those striking and majestic masses of South Cape, Cape 
Pele, and Cape Frederick- Henderick in Van Diemen's 
Land ; much less that monotonous and tiresome aspect of 
the sandy coasts of New Holland. None of these pictures 
are applicable to the mountains- of Timor. Their forms, 
though large, are softened; their prolongations are regular; 
their summits are broad, and sink down gradually by slight 
undulations, which disappear on the sea shore: in a word, 
every thing announces here the tranquillity of the tropics, 
and the peaceful action of nature and of time. 

Amidst objects so grand, with terms of comparison so 
prodigious, the study of nature then more striking, is also 
more "easy : all the petty objects of detail, the modern effects 
of a mukitudc of secondary causes, disappear, as we may 
say, before the grand ensemble of nature, and cease to oc- 
cupy in our annals the too important part which they 
have been sp many times made to perform. But we may 
safely afiirni, that we shall have no real theory of the earth 
till the glorious period when the sciences can reckon among 
their votaries men desirous of emulating Humboldt. What 
be has done in regard to America ought to be done in re- 
gard to many distant countries and so many archipelagos 
still unknown. At the head of the latter appears New 
Holland, an inmiense country, hitherto little explored, but 
woriliv of tlie attention of the governait:nts much more than 
the naturalists of Europe. 


applicable to the Theory of the Earth, 157 

Section I. 

Zoological Ohservatio^is luhich may excite Doubts in regard 
to the primitive Union of New Holland and Van DiemeJi's 

Of all the observations which may be made in proceeding 
from Van Diemen's Land to New Holland, the easiest, no 
doubt the most important, and perhaps ako the most in- 
explicable, is, the absolute difference of the two races who 
inhabit these two lands. If we except, indeed, the meagre- 
ness of the extremities, which is observed equally among 
both people, they have scarcely any thing common in their 
manners and customs, in their rude arts, in their imple- 
ments for hunting or fishing, in their habitations or piro- 
guas, in their arms or language, in the whole of their phy- 
sical constitution, in the form of the cranium, or in the 
proportions of the face. This absolute dissimilarity appears 
also in the colour : the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land 
being browner than those of New Holland ; it appears also 
in a character hitherto considered as exclusive, namely, the 
nature of the hair. That of the inhabitants of Van Die- 
men's Land is short, \\ oolly, and curled ; that of the New 
Hollanders straight, lank, and stiff. 

Now how can it be conceived that an island of 60 leagues 
in extent at most, so near to an immense continent, situ- 
ated also at the extremities of the Austral world, and sepa- 
rated from every other known land by the enormous di- 
stances of five, eight, twelve, and even fifteen hundred 
leagues, should have a race of men altogether different from 
that of the neighbouring continent ? How can we conceive 
this exclusion of all relation, so contrary to onr ideas in 
regard to the communication and transmigration of nations ? 
How can we account for the darker colour, and curled 
woolly hair, in a country much colder? It appears to me 
difficult, I confess, to assitrn a satisfactory reason for these 
anonialics. All these curious facts, which will be detailed 
in the general account of our long voyage, will be new 
proofs of the imperfection of our theories, which are always 
suited to the state of the knowledge of the age which gave 
birth to them. At present I must be contented with de- 
ducing from this first part of my observations tiic important 
consequence, that the separation of Van Diemen's Land 
from New Holland is not one of the modern operations of 
nature ; for it is probable that if these two countries had 
been formerly, joined they would have had the same race 
for inhabitants, and it v^O'ild no doubt have been that which 


158 On some zoological Facfs 

occupies, with its ferocious tribes, the whole of the im* 
Miense coasts of New Holland, from Cape Wilson to the 
burning coasts of the land of Arnheim and the great gulf 
of Carpentaria. 

Another zoolo<i"ical fact tends still further to confirm this 
distinction, if not primitive at least ver\' old, between New 
Holland and \'an Dicmen's Land. Tl)e dog, that animal 
so valuable to man, the faithful companion of his mi.-ifor- 
tunes, his travels, and dangers, the indefatigable instrument 
of his distant hunting excursions, every where so conmioa 
oil the continent, and which we found on all its coasts with 
the different liordes we had an opportimity of seeing, does 
not exist in Van Diemen's Land ; at least we could observe 
no traces of this animal. W^e never saw anv of them with 
the inhabitants, notwithstanding our daily inlcrcourse with 
th.em. The case was the same with M. Labillardiere during 
Dentrecasteaux's voy;igc; and it does not appear that any 
other traveller ever saw any. 'J'he English whale fishers, 
■u'hom 1 consulted on the subject, confirmed this circum- 
stance, that the dog is not found in Van Diemen's Land. 

Section IL 

Zoolorr'ical Oliurvatlons which seem to indicate that the 
S//mmi/s of the Mountciius of Fun Diemen's Land, Neii/ 
Holland, and Timor, were J'onnerhj covered bij the Sea. 

One of the noblest and at the same time most incontest- 
abie results of modern geological researches is, the certainty 
of the sea having once stood at ver\' consirierable elevations 
above its present level. In almost cvcrv point of the oltl 
continent the proofs of this fact are as nnmerou? as they arc 
evident. They appear w iih ii:j(crest in dilferent parts of the 
new world ; and JVl. Humboldt has lately connnunicated to 
\is a verv curious circumstance of this kind. In this point 
of vieu', as well as in many others, New Holland and Van 
Diemen's Land remained to be exaniined ; as ihev might 
liavc formed an exception of suflieient importance to Induce 
a very rig')rous ])hilosopher to deny the universality of the 
anlient domination of the oceaii, however favourable reason- 
ing and analogy might be to it. Fortunately this deficiency 
was one of those which, depending only on the existence of 
a fact, could be casiK' sup|)lied ; it appears to me that it is 
completely so at present. On Vim Diemen's Land indeed, 
on several points of New Holland, atul on the summits of 
the mountams of 'i'imor, I every where met with those va- 
luable remains, which may be considered as irreiV.igable les- 
timunies ot the revolutions of naluie, 


applkalle to tHe Theory of the Earth. 15') 

Tn the rapid view which I am going to take of in\: ro.suhs 
in tl)is respect, I shall treat iu tiuccession of what relates to 
fossil shells and zoophites. One of the principal reasons 
of this distinction, the importance of which I shall soon 
have occasion to prove, is the almost absolute exclusion of 
every large kind of solid zoophites after the 34th degree of 
south latitude, beyond which I observed only the difficult 
and orbicole tribes of the sponges, the alcyons, flustres, and 
some millepores. 

A. Petrified Shells. 

It would be too tedious and useless to enter here into the 
details of all my observations on this subject : it will be 
sufficient for me to give an account only of the principal 

At Van Diemen's Land, towards the bottom of the 
North River, I observed, at the height of six or seven 
hundred feet above the level of the sea, large masses of 
petrified shells, all belonging to the I'mie genus of Lamarck, 
and constituting a species to which I could find none hvino- 
analogous in the same places. 

On several points of the east coast of the island Maria 
there are seen regular horizontal strata^, consisting of a 
kind of whitish shelly freestone resting on granitic rocks^ 
at the height of four or five hundred feet above the level of 
the sea. 

At Kangaroo Island, those of St. Peter and St. Francis, 
and that portion of the continent situated behind them, I 
made similar observations : I found always some remains 
of petrified shells, at a greater or less distance, in the in- 
terior of the country, and at heights mo/c or less consi- 

Vancouver and Mainzies had before observed some in 
Port King George, and in that point also I n)yself collected 
several specimens. 

During the interesting excursion which my friend M. 
Bailly made into the interior of New Holland, ascending 
Swan's. River for about twenty leagnes, he found everv 
where, as he told me, the ground covered with qnartzy 
sand mixed with the remains of shells. 

At the Bay of Seals this pbaenonienon occurs with more 
decisive characters. The whole substance of the barren 
isles of Dorre and that of Dirk-Hartog consist of freestone, 
sometimes reddish and sometimes whitish, filled with, 
shells of different kinds. 

This con)position becomes still more striking at Timor. 
7 On 

loO On some zoological Facts 

On the summit of those mountains, already mentioned, 
there is found, at the height of more than J 5 or ISOO feet 
above the level of the sea, a great nun)ber of siiells inevusted 
in the middle of the madreporic masses whieh they form. 
The most of these shells are in the siliceous state: some of 
them, still in the calcareous state, are more or less altered 
and friable. There are some monstrous ones among them. 
I have seen several individuals, and every person belonging 
to the expedition might have seen them also, which were 
not less than four or five feet in length. All these large 
shells evidently belonged to the genera luppope and tr'idacne 
of Lamarck ; and, what is more important, the fossil in- 
dividuals have such a resemblance to those of the same 
genus lound alive on the sea shore at the bottom of the 
mountains, that I have thought proper to consider them as 
the same in my General Topography of the Bay of Cou- 
paug. Even the gigantic proportions of the fossil tridacncs 
are found in the living ones. I myself saw a valve which 
served daily as a trough to five or six hogs. In the Dutch 
fort there is another in which the soldiers' of the garrisoa 
wash their linen. The absolute want of colour, common 
to the fossil and living tr'idacnes, is another reason for 
their identity. The case was the same with several kinds 
of zoophites, wliich, existing still on the coasts, seem to 
be so identic with some of those forming the mountains of 
that part of the island, that I made no hesitation in con- 
sidering them as such. Since n)y return to Europe, how- 
ever, having had occasion, in examining the bcauiiiul col- 
lection of M. Defrancc, to remark how easy it is to be 
mistaken in this respect, I mast freely confess that I can 
no longer venture to warrant this identity, however pro- 
bable it may appear, as n)y observations were not made 
with that mmute attention which the subject deserves, and 
as whole specimens are not to be found in our collccti ,ns* 
While I regret tliat I suffered so valuable an observ. ion 
to escape me, I must mark Timor as the place most p oper 
for determining the delicate and interesimi); questiini in 
reti'ard to analogous living individuals, at least in the last 
classes of the animal kingdom. 

jjelbrc I terminate what relate? to petrified shells, it 
seems to nie indispensably necessary to say a word of in- 
ousied bhells, which arc too ofteu confounded with the 

V,. Of 

xipplicalle to the Theory of the Earth. I6l 

B. Of Incrustations of different Kinds, and particular li/ the 
incrusted Slwlls found in different Parts of New Holland. 

One of the particular advantages of extensive navigations 
and long voyages is, that the theatre of observation is so 
much varied, and objects so multiplied, that nothing is 
often wanting but a sound judgment to make the most 
difficult comparisons, and to deduce from them important 
consequences. What man, for example, can see, with 
indifference, around him that succession of beautiful in- 
crustations so frequent on the shores of Kangaroo Island, 
on those of the Archipelago, of St. Peter and St. Francis, 
and on the shores of the immense Bay of Seals ? In one 
place whole trunks of shrubs are entirely covered with a 
mixed stratum of freestone and calcareous matter, and in 
others are accumulated branches of trees, roots, shells, 
zoophiles, the bones of animals, and excrements of qua- 
drupeds, concealed under the same covering. '' One 
might be tempted to believ^e," said the unfortunate Riche, 
^' that a new Perseus carried the head of Medusa over these 
distant coasts." 

On the sight of so many striking singularities, how can 
we forbear inquiring into the cause, and how is it possible 
that it should not be discovered in the particular nature of 
the sand on these shores ? The numerous shells, indeed, 
produced in these seas being continually rolled by the 
action of the waves on the neighbouring shore, are thus 
reduced to very small fragments, which being afterwards 
mixed with the quartzy sand, soon form with it a calcareous 
cement of a superior quality. In carefully examining its 
materials one might be tempted to believe that Dr. Higgins, 
in his ingenious Essay on Calcareous Cements, had stolen 
the secret of nature. The proportions, indeed, which he 
indicates as susceptible of forming the most solid combina- 
tion, that is, one piirt of lime and seven of quartzy sand, 
are those which nature seems to have adopted for her ce- 
ment. But whatever this composition may be, it is the 
only agent of those remarkable incrustations of which I 
have spoken. On the shore it soon incrusts every body 
thrown upon it; testacea, zoophiles, galets, are all agglu- 
tinated by it. The observer sees, as we say, formed before 
his eyes, thebreches and puddingstones of which the neigh- 
bouring rocks are composed. Transported by the winds, 
this active matter deposits itself un the nearest shrubs. At 
first it is only a light kind of dust, which soon becom.ea 
solid around the stem which it embraces. From that mo* 

Vol. 22. No. 86. Ja/y 1805. \^. ment 

1 62 On some zoological Pads 

nient the mode of the nutrition of the vegetable becomes 
changed ; it soon languishes, and, tbough still alive, a 
sccnis to have undergone a kind of general petrification. 
I have bronght home a great many fine specimens of this 
sort, and the diflficully of transporting them alone prevented 
me from bringing back a more considerable number. 

What is most singular in this operation of nature is, 
the speed with which tfiis kind of metamc^rphosis is effected. 
I have reason, indeed, to believe, from my own observations, 
that a shell, a month after its being cast on the shore, caii 
no longer be distinguished. The force of the solar rays, 
the vivacity of the lii>;ht reflected by the white sand of the 
coast, are sufficient m a few days, with the sea water, to 
deprive it of its colour, and to disorganize it in such a 
manner, that in the middle of the calcareous stratum which 
has already seized it, the most experienced eye might mis- 
take it, and range it in the class of the oldest petrified shells. 
One may judge of these alterations by the ditferent speci- 
mens — how easily this mistake n)ay be eonmiitted, and how 
impossible it would be to assign to the most of these shells 
a character proper to distinguish them from real fossils. 

C. Of Zoophiles observed at great Heights above the pre- 
sent Levtl of t lie Sea. 

I have now concluded what relates to petrified shells, or 
those merely incrusted : it is seen, that from the most 
southern extremitv of the eastern hemisphere to the middle 
of the equatorial regions they are found in greater or less 
numbers, and at greater or less heights. The case is not the 
same with solid zoophiles : as already said, I coidd not find 
large species beyond the 34th degree of south latitude ; and 
it docs not appear that any other traveller observed any con- 
siderable number of these animals beyond the same point, 
cither in the northern or the southern hemisphere. Driven, 
as we may sav, from the one extremity of the world to the 
other, it is in the bosom of the warmest seas that this in- 
numerable familv of animals seem to have tixed their habi- 
tation and their empire :- it is the latter zone in particular 
which gives birth exelnsivelv to those formidable reefs, 
■those numerous islands, those vast archipelago'^, prodigious 
monuments of their power. All the Society Isles, JV'laitea, 
Toncataboo, Eona, Anamooka, Turtle Island in the l*a- 
cific" Ocean, New Caledonia, Chain Islands, Tethuroa, 
Tioukea, Palliser's Isles, Tupai, Moopehea, the Isle of 
Cocos and that of Pines, Norfolk Island, How's Islusid, 
Palmerstori Isles, severed <<f the New Hebrides, Mallieolo, 


the archipelago of the Low Friendly Isles, Bougainville's 
Island, several points of New Guinea, all the islands scat- 
tered on the eastern side of New Holland, and in particular 
the formidable labyrinth which had like to have proved so 
fatal to the vessels of Bougainville and captain Cook ; in 
a word, almost all those innumerable islands dispersed 
throughout the great equinoctial ocean, seem some of 
them entirely, and others only in part, to be the work of 
these feeble animals. The accounts of all the navigators 
who have traversed these seas are filled with expressions of 
the terror inspired by their labours. All of them, almost, 
were exposed to the greatest dangers in the midst of the 
reefs which they raise up from the bottom of the ocean to 
its surface, and no doubt the unfortunate navigator, the 
loss of whom France as well as all Europe deplores, was 

one of their numerous victims 

^* The danger they present," says M. Labillardiere with 
great reason, '* is the more to be apprehended as they form 
rugged rocks covered by t))e waves, and which carmot be 
perceived but at vcrv short distances. If a calm comes on, 
and the ship is driven towards them by a current, her loss is 
almost inevitable : in vain would the crew attempt to save 
her by dropping their anchor; it would not roach the bottom 
even quite close to these wall? of coral, which rise in a 
-perpendicular direction from the bottom of the \vaters. 
These polypiers, the continual increase of which obstructs 
more and more the bason of the seas, are capable of 
frightening navigators : and many shallows, which at pre- 
sent afford a passage, will soon form shoals exceedingly 

Though less common in the seas which we traversed, 
these animals furnished me nevertheless with subject oi' 
observations the more valuable, as the general consequences 
deduced from them may be applied with more niterest and 
more evidence to the history of the revolutions of our 

Thus, as I have said, from the 44th to the 34th degree 
south, no large species of solid zoophytes are found. It is 
at Port King George, in Nuyts Land, that these animals 
appear, for the first time, with those grand characters which 
they aflect in the midst of the equinoctial regions. Aly 
particular observations, indeed, are reduced in this point to 
mere fragments, found here and there in the interior parts 
of the earth. The case is not the same with those of Main- 
zics and Vancouver. The details, for which we are indebted 
to these navigators, are too valuable of themselves, and par- 

L 2 ticvdarly 

164 Uii sojne zoologicat racis 

ticularly on account of the consequences with which they 
will furnish us, that I cannot here forbear transcribing what 
Vancouver has said on the subject. 

*' The cv)untry," says he, " is formed chiefly of coral, 
and it seems that its elevation above the level of the sea i^ 
of modern date ; for not only the shores and banks which 
extend along the coast arc in general composed of coral, 
since our lead always brought up some of it, but it was" 
found also on the highest hills we ascended, and in parti- 
cular on the summit of liald Head, which is at such a height 
above the level of the sea, ihat it is seen at the distance of 
twelve or fourteen leagues. The coral here was in its pri- 
mitive state, and especially on a level iield of aijout eight 
acres, which did not produce the least blade of grass amidst 
the white sand with which it was covered, but from which 
arose branches of coral exactly similar to those exhibited by 
beds of the same substance al)o\e the surface of the sea, 
with ramilications of ditkrent sizes, some half an inch at 
least, and others four or five inches in eircumferenee. Many 
of these coral fields, if I may use that expression, arc to be 
met with : a large quantity of sea shells, some i)erfect and 
still adhering to the coral, and others at different degrees of 
dissolution, are observed in them. The coral itself was more 
or less friable; the extremity of the branches, some of which 
rose more than four feet above the sand, was easily reduced 
to powder. In regard to the parts which were near or below 
the surface, a certain degree of force was necessary to de- 
tach them from the foundation of rock from which they 
seemed to arise. I have seen coral in many places at a con- 
siderable distance from the sea, but 1 never saw it any 
where else so high and so perfect*." 

This, no doubt, is one of the most curious facts of this 
kind, as well as one of the most important to be verified 
and to be examined. Will it now be believed that the two 
vessels belonging to oiu" expedition, the Geographe and 
the Caauarina, remained for nearly a month at anchor in 
Port King George, at the foot, as we may say, of this J>alc) 
Head, so valuable to be visited, without any of the three 
naturalists, \Vho still remained on board these vessels, being 
permitted to go thither? 

Fortunatelv the larire island of Timor presented a field 
ftill wider and more striking for observations on zoophvtes. 
There every thmsi atti:sts their power, and the revolutions 
effected bv tbeni in nature. They are found on the sunnnils 

• Vaii«:ouver'i Voyajjp, vol. i. 


(jppUcalle to tlic Thcoiij ()f Out \uarth. 165 

rif tlie highest nioimtains of Coupang, and tliey arc easily 
distinguished: in the deepest cavx'rn.>, and the widest fis- 
sures, they present a tissue, the eharactcrs of which cannot 
escape notice. In the excursion, so painful and so laborious, 
undertaken bv me and my friend Lesueur, to huntcrocodlIe^ 
at Olinama, we every where observed the same compo^si- 
iion j at Oba, Lassiana, Meniki, Noclxiki. Oebelio, and 
Olinama. At the last-mentioned point w-e found ourselves 
opposite to tlie grand chain of mountains of Anmfoa and 
Fatelou, the back of which is uninhabitable on account 
of the prodigious number of crocodiles which live in the 
•marshes of that part of the coast. TJais broad plateau, 
which commands all that portion af Timor, is entirely 
composed of madreporic matters. From Oeaua to J'aeoula 
the whole country, according to the inhabitajits, ic lime«- 
stone ; and this is unanimously contirjued by the Dutch^ 

It is not only in this slate of death aud inactivity that the 
zoophytes of Timor ought to excite admiratitm and interest : 
they encumber, in the living state, the bottom of the sea; 
every where in the Bay of Babao they raise up reefs and 
islands. Tiu'tle Island {Rea Pouiou), Birds Island {Bourou 
Poulou), and Monkey Island {Code Poiduu), are exclusively 
their work. Long narrow reefs, which proceed from Point 
Simao, confine more aud more the entrance of the bay in 
that quarter. They render iuaecessible the coasts of Fa- 
toume and Soulama, and promote the increase of the 
land gained from the sea in all these points. On the coast 
G-f Osapa one mav already, at lew water, advance to the di- 
stance of more than tbree-foLUlhs of a league on the shore 
abandoned by the waves: it is there that, with a mixture of 
astonishment and admiration, one mav enjoy at ease the 
wonderful spectaoie of thousands of these animals inces- 
•santly employed in the formation of the rocks on which 
one advances. AH the genera are assembled at the same 
time at the feet of the observer; they press around him ; 
their singular and fantastical forms, the different modifica- 
tions of their colours, and those of their organization and 
■their structure, attract, in turn, his attention and me<]ita- 
itions ; and when, provided with a good magnifying .glass, 
'he contemplates these beings, €o weak he can scarcely con- 
ceive how nature, by means so -small in appearance, should 
be able to raise up from the bottom of the sea those vast 
ridges of mountains which are continued over the face of 
the island, and which seem to form almost its whole sub- 
stance. At Timor ;t would be easy to make a long series 
<)f observations on these interesting animals : the profound 

h 3 c£^miiess 

1 6Q Short Accoimt of the Life 

calmness of the sea, its high terpperaturc, the nature of the 
shore, on which one may advance at low water, as already 
mentioned, to a very great distance*, having the water 
scarcely up to the knee ; the great ahund;uice of tlicse ani- 
mals, and their varictv, are all favourahle to researches of 
this kind : they may be observed, described, and drawn in 
their natural state, as the water does not ri:?e above them to 
the height of more than a few centimetres, or sometimes 
only nnllimetres ; they may he seen in their state of con- 
traction or extreme development ; one may observe, also, 
their progre&sive increase, and its boundaries : in a word, 
there can be no doubt that a labour of this kind, undertaken 
by one or more enlightened naturalists, would contribute, 
in the most cHectual manner, to the advaiKcuient of this 
part of natural history so frttle known, and which deserves 
so much to be careiully examined. 

[To be continued.] 

XXV. Short Accovvt of the Life of the late 
Dr. Priestley. 

Joseph Priestley, LL.D. F.K.S. and member of many 
foreign literary societies, was born at Field Head, near 
Leeds, in Yorkshire, on March 13, old style, in the year 
1733. His mother died when he was very young; and his 
father, who was ensraged in the cloth manufactorv, marry- 
ing again, and having a large family, Joseph, wliiii eight 
years of age, was taken into the house ot a near relation, a 
lady eminent for piety and benevolence, who adopted and 
educated him as her own son. 

He acquired the rudiments of the Latin and Greek lan- 
guages under the instruction of Mr. Hague, a respectable 
clergyman, master of a free grammar school in the neigh- 
bourhood, and durinc; the vacations he applied to the study 
of the Hebrew, Chaldee, and other orieniui languages. By 
the assiitauce of Mr. Haggerston, who liad been a pupil of 
the celebrated Maclaurin, he made a considerable proiiciency 
in geometry, both speculative and practical algebra, and 
natural philosophy, lie acquired also some skill in modern 
languages, in order to qualify himself for a merchant's 
counting-house, the delicacy of his constitution rendering 
it at one lime doubtful whether he would be able to pursue 
Jlis studies for a learned profession. 

Ju his nineteenth year he entered as ^ student of divinity 


of the late Dr. Priestley, lO'/ 

at the academy of Davcntry, which was th« successor of 
tliat kept by Dr. Doddridiie, at Northampton, and was con- 
ducted by Dr. Ash worth, whose first pupil yoiuig Priestley 
is said to have been. When about the age of twenty-two 
he was chosen assistant minister to the independent con- 
gregation of Needhani-market, in Suffolk ; and after a 
stay of three years at that place, he accepted an invitation 
to be pastor of a small congregation at Namptwich, in Cl)e- 
shirc, where he opened a day school, in the management of 
which he exhibited that turn for ingenious research and that 
spirit of improvement which were to be his distinguishing 
characteristics. He enlarged the minds of his pupils by 
philosophical experiments, and drew up an English grant- 
mar on an improved plan, which was his earliest pul.dica- 

On ihe death of the reverend Dr. Taylor, the tutor in 
divinity at Warrington academy, Dr. Aikin was chosen to 
supply his place, and Mr. Priestley was invited to under- 
take the vacant department in the belles lettres. He ac- 
cordingly removed to Warrington in the year I761, and 
soon after married a" daughter of Mr. Wilkinson, of Ber- 
sham foundry, near Wrexham, a lady of an excellent heart 
and a strong understanding, and the faithful partner of all . 
the vicissitudes of his life. 

At Warrington the literary career of this eminent person 
properly connnenccd, and a variety of publications soon an- 
nounced to the public the extent and originality of his ta- 
lents. One of the first was a chart of biography, in which 
lie ingeniously contrived to present an ocular image of the 
proportional duration of existence, and of the chronological 
])eriod and synchronism of all the most eminent persons 
of all ages and countries, in the great departments of sci- 
ence, art, and public life. The favourable reception which 
this work experienced suggested a second chart of history, 
which exhibited in the like manner the extent, time, and 
duration of the different states and empires. 

Having long amused himself with an electrical machine, 
and taken an interest in the progress of discovery in that 
branch of physics, he was induced to undertake a History 
of Electricity, with an account of its present state. It ap- 
pears from his preface, that while engaged in this design he 
had enjoyed the advantage of personal intercourse with some 
eminent philosophers, among whom he acknowledges as 
coadjutors Dr. Watson, Dr. Franklin, and Mr. Canton. 
The work was first published at Warrington in 17G7, 4to ; 
and so well was it received that it underwent a fifth edition 

L 4 in 

168 Short Account of the Life 

in 4lo in 1794. Tc is, indeed, an admirable model of sci- 
entific history; full without supcrlluity, clear, methodical, 
candid, and unaffected. Tlie original experiments detailed 
in it are highlv ingenious, and gave a foretaste of that fer- 
tility of contrivance and sagacity of observation by which 
the author was afterwards so much distinguished. 

His connection with Warrington ceased in 1768, at 
which time he accepted an invitation to officiate as pastor 
to a large and respectable congregation of protestant dis- 
senters at Leeds. The favouraijle reception his History of 
Electricity had experiencerl uiduced him to adopt the grand 
design of tracing; out the rise and progress of the other sci- 
ences in a historical I'orm, and much of his time at this 
place was employed in his second work of this kind, enti- 
tled ^* The Llistorv and present vStatc of the Discovi.'ries re- 
lating to Vision, Light, and Colours;" which appeared in 
two vols. 4to, 1 77'2. This work, though possessed of con- 
siderable merit, did not attain to the same popularity as the 
History of Electricity, and proved to be the termination of 
his plan : but science was no loser by this circumstance, as. 
the activity of his mind was turned from the consideration 
of the discoveries of others to the attempt of making disco- 
veries of his own ; anid nothing could be more brilliant than 
his success. It appears that at this period he had begui^ 
those experiments upon air which have given the greatest 
celebrity to his name as a natural philosopher. 

In 1770 Dr. Priestley quitted Leeds; and having been 
recommended by his friend Dr. Price to the late marquis 
of Lansdown, then earl of Shelburne, he lived with his 
lordship in the capacity of his librarian, or rather as his li- 
terary and philosophical companion. During this period 
his familv resided at Calne, in Wiltshire, adjacent to the 
countrv-seat of lord Shelburne. Dr. IViestley frequently 
accompanied his noble patron to London, and mixed at 
his house with several of the eminent characters of the lime, 
bv whom he was treated with every respect due to his cha- 
racter and talents. He also attended his lordship on a visit 
to Paris, where he was introduceil to most of the celebrated 
men of h't|ers and scietic-e in that capital. 

To give a detailed account of Dr. Priestley's philosophical 
labours would require far more rc-om than can be allotted 
to such an important object in a miscellany of this kind : 
we must therefore content ourselves with the following short 
notice. In the I*hiI()sophical Transactions for 1 773 he pub- 
lished a paper containing observations on different kinds of 
iir, which obtained the honorary prize of Copley's medal. 
3 These 

of the late Dr. Piiestley. IG9 

These wore reprinted, with many important additions, in 
the first vohime of his Experiments and Observations on 
different Kinds of Air, 8vo, J 774. A seeond vohniie of 
this work appeared in 1775, and a third in 1777- Some of 
the most striking of his discoveries were those of nitrous 
and dcphlogisticated air, or oxygen gas ; of the restoration 
of vitiated air by vegetation ; of the influence of h^ht o\x 
vegetables ; and of tlie effects of respiration on the blood. 
By these pubhcations Dr. Priestley's fame was spread 
throughout all the enlightened countries of Europe, and 
jTiost of the scientific bodies of Europe were ambitious to 
rank hiiii among the number of their members. 

The term of his engagement with lord Shelburne having 
expired, Dr. Priestley, with a pension of ]5J)I. per annum, 
was at hbertv to choose a new situation. He gave the pre- 
ference to the populous town of Birmingham, induced chiefly 
bv the advantages it aft'orded from the nature of its manu- 
factures to the pursuits of chemical knowledge. It was also 
the residence of several men of science, among whom the 
names of Watt, Withering, Bolton, and Keir, are well 
known to the public. With these he was soon upon terms 
of friendly intercourse; and their Lunarian Club presented 
a constellation of talent which would not easily have been 
collected even in the metropolis. 

He had not resided loug at Birmingham when he was 
invited to undertake the office of pastor to a congregation of 
dissenters near that town, upon which he eniered towards 
the close of the vear 1780. The disgraceful scenes which 
took place at Birmingham in 1 7'.'1 ^and which compelled ])r. 
Priestley to leave this situation as a fugitive, are well known 
to the public, and it is not our intention to revive the re- 
membrance of them by entering into particulars. Suffice it 
to say, that the doctor's house, library, manuscripts, and ap- 
paratus, became a prey to the flames; and, though he re- 
ceived ail indemnity for this loss, it was far from being an 
adequate compensation. The result of many years' painful 
research and scientific labour perished by this shameful out- 
raixe, which every friend to good order and justice deplored. 
For some time after this event Dr. Priestley lived as a wan- 
derer, till he was invited to succeed Dr. Price in a congre- 
gation at Hackney ; but the persecution he had experienced 
from the infatuated rabble, added to some family reasons, 
induced him to leave his native country, and to embark for 
America in 1794. The place he fixed on for his residence 
in the new world was Northumberland, a town in Penn- 
6}lvania, v/here having collected, by indefatigable pains, a 


170 Account of the Life of the late Dr. Priesthij. 

valuable apparatus and well chosen library, he returned tohis 
former pursuits. By many new experiments on the consti- 
tution of airs he became more and more fixed in the belief 
of tiie phlogistic theory, and in his opposition to the new 
French system of chemistry, of which he lived to be tiie 
sole opponent of note. The results ol" several of his inqui- 
ries on these to))ics were given both in separate publications 
and in the American Philoso])hical Transactions ; and it is 
but Jair to add, that the new theory is indebted to this op- 
position for some of the strongest proofs on which it is 

Dr. Priestley declined the offer of the ciiemieal professor- 
ship in tlie college of f Philadelphia, which was made to him 
soon after his arrival in America ; and likewise anotlier ofl'er, 
of succeeding the late Dr. Ewing as principal ot the same 
college, in the spring of 1803; preferring a life of retire- 
ment and leisure, that he might devote himself entirely to 
philosophical and theological inquiries. While he lived at 
Norlhumberlaud he had the mist'ortune to lose an excellent 
wife, and a beloved and dutiful son. These afflictions, 
though severely felt, he bore with becoming fortitude and 
resignation. Till the year 1801 he had eujoved uninter- 
rupted good health, having scarcely ever known what sick- 
ness was; but at that period he was attacked at Philadelphia 
by a constant indigestion, and difficulty of swallowing any 
liuul of solid food. From about the beginning of Novem- 
ber 1S03 (o the middle of January 1804 his com[)]aint grew 
more serious, and at one time he was incapable of swallow- 
ing any thing for thirty hours. In the last fortnight of Ja- 
nuary his legs swelled nearly to his knees, and his weakness 
inereasmg very much, he expired on the 9th of February 

As theology is entirely foreign to the object of the Phi- 
losophical Magazine, we have not thouiiht proper to say 
any thinii in regard (o Dr. Priestley '.s writnigs on that sub- 
ject, which are very numerous, nor the the(.)'ogical disputes 
ui which he .was engaged. His religious opinions are well 
known to the public, and therefore it is the less necessary 
for us to enter into any observations on them. The prin- 
cipal part of liis other works are : — ^The Histon,' and present 
state of Electricity, with original Experiments, 4to : a fa- 
miliar Introduction to the Study of Electricity, Svo: the 
History and present State of Discoveries relating to Vision, 
Light, and Ctjiours; two vols. 4to, with many plates : Ex- 
periments and Observations on different Kinds of Air, and 
other Branches of Natural Philosophy connected with the 
6 Subject, 

I^otices respecting New PulUcalmis. 171 

Siihject, 3 vols.: Experiments relating to the Decomposi- 
tion of dephlogisticatcd and inflanmiable Air, and on the 
Generation of Air from Water — a pamphlet: Heads of a 
Course of Lectures on Experimental Philosophy, including 
Chemistry : a familiar Introduction to the Theory and Prac- 
tice of Perspective, with copper-plates : a new Chart of 
History, c(mtaining a View of the principal Revolutions of 
Empire that have taken place in the World ', with a Book 
describing it, containing an Epitome of Universal History: 
a Chart of Biography, with a Book containing an Explana- 
tion of it, and a Catalogue -of all the Names inserted in it : 
the Piudiments of English Granmiar, adapted to the Use of 
Schools ; the same Grammar for the Use of those who have 
made some Proficiency in the Lringnage : Lectures on His- 
tory and general Policy, to which is prefixed an Essay on a 
Course of liberal Education for civil and active Life, 4to: 
Observations relating to Education, more especially as it 
respects the Mind ; to which is added an Essay on a Course 
of hhcral Education for civil and actixii Life: a Course of 
Lectures on Oratory and Criticism, 4to. 

The follow ing were published after the doctor went to 
America : — Experiments and Observations relating to the 
Analysis of atmospherical Air and the Generation of Air 
from Water: the Doctrine of Phlogiston established, and 
that of the Composition of Water refuted. Reprinted with 
additions 1803. 


XXVL Notices respecting New Publications. 

R. Barton, professor of materia medica, natural his- 
tory and botany, in the university of Pennsylvania, has 
announced his intention to publish, in America, anew pe- 
riodical work, to be entitled " The Philadelphia Medical 
and Physical Journal j" to be published every six months. 

Dr. Young's Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy 
and the Mcchtnncal Arts, delivered two years ago in the 
Theatre of the Royal Institution, is now printing, with con- 
siderable additions and improvements. The work will con- 
sist of two volumes, quarto ; the first containing the text of 
the lectures nearly as they were delivered, but with such 
alterations as are calculated to make them still more intel- 
ligible to the most uninformed readers. The lectures are 
followed by a copious series of plates illustrative of every 


I'i French Nalioual Inst'iiitte. 

department of incchanical and physical science. The se- 
cond volume will contain, in the first place, the mathema- 
tical elements of natural philosophy dedueed from first prin- 
ciples, and in many instances extended bv new investiga- 
tions : secondiv, a methodical catalogue of works relating 
to natural phdo?^ophy and the arts, with about ten thousand 
references to particular memoirs and passages, and a num- 
ber of useful tables, and of concise abstracts and remarks : 
and lastly, a collection of the author's miscellaneous papers, 
reprinted, with some alterations, principallv from the Phi- 
losophical Transactions. The work is expected to be com- 
pleted early in the next winter. 

XXVII. Proceed} ng<! n/' lAfirneil Socieiics. 


^4n Accc.ini! of the Labours of the Class of the Mafhrrna- 
tical niul PhifS'cui, Sc'icjires of the Frenrh Kalional Insfi- 
tvte from the 20th of Jtini- 1804 lo the same Day 1805. 
By 3L CuviER, perpetual Secretary. 


Ali^iost all the sciences which engage the attention of the 
s^ociety have this year made curious and important acquisi- 
tions ; and, as is usual, chemistry has obtained the most 
considerable and n)ost numerous. 

Count Kumford has examined heat under a new point of 
view. He has endeavoured to determine the force of the 
polar rays to produce it. The degree to which it is carried 
wlien its rays are concentrated bv means of a burning glass 
is well known : but is their real power thereby augmented? 
or does the eficct arise from their acting in greater number 
on a smaller space? Toasceitain this, count Humford in- 
vented a reservoir of heat, which is nothino; else than a 
metal vessel tilled with water having a thermometer im- 
mersed in it : it receives the solar rays on cme of its faces, 
which is blackened, and the water it contains acquires a 
certain degree of heat. Count Kumford suflers these ravs 
lo arrive sometimes in a parallel direction and sometimes 
concentraled by a magnifyin<>; glass ; but bringing the latter 
nearer or making it recede in such a manner that the ravs 
fhall strike on a greater or less space of the surface of the 
vessel, thout:!! their quantity contiuues alwavs the same. 

Prench National Institute. 173 

The water In the reservoir always acquires the same degree 
of heat nearly in the same time. Hence the power ot" the 
rays to produce heat is always proportional to their quantity 
whether they are concentrated or not ; or, what amounts 
to the same thing, the heat produced is proportional to the 
light absorbed. 

It has long been believed that the heat of the earth does 
not all come from the sun, but that it is indebted for a great 
part of it to some focus concealed in its interior part ; this 
IS the old liypothesis of Descartes, which Bufl'on after-' 
wards made the basis of other systems, M, Peron, sent 
by the Institute, as naturalist, with captain Baudin during 
his voyage of discovery, has made an extensive series of 
researches to ascertain the truth of this fact. He examined 
with an ingenious apparatus the ten>perature of the sea at 
different depths, and he every where found that it is colder 
the greater the depth. This result, agreeable to that before 
obtamed by English navigators in other seas than those 
traversed bv M. Peron, seems to destrov entirely the idea 
of a central fire. It is even probable that the deepest abysses 
of the sea are always frozen, even under the equator, in the 
same manner as the summits of the highest mountains *. 

M. Biot has made a curious experiment in regard to the 
heat forced from bodies by compression. Oxygen and hy- 
drogen a;as, wh<*n merely mixed at the ordinary degree of 
the pressure of the atmosphere, have need, in order to com- 
bine, of the action of the electric spark. When jKit toge- 
ther in a condensing machine they combined merely by the 
heat which was disengaged, and abandoned one so consi- 
derable at the time of their combination that the machine 
burst every time the experiment was repeated f. 

Common air, the medium in which not only the grcatev 
part of the phcenomciia of chemistry but those also of or- 
ganic life take place, cannot be studied too carefully by 
philosophers. Its degree of purity, that is to say, the pro- 
portion of oxygen it contains, is ojie of the most important 
points that can be examined. Messrs. Humboldt and Gay- 
Lussac have compared the different means hitherto invented 
for measuring this proportion, and have shov/n that the 
best of all is that of Volta, which consists in burning hy* 
drogen gas. A hundred parts in volume of oxygen are nc- 

• This reasoning is very inconclusive. For, if the eartli contains fieat that 
does not come from the sun, the water which it warms must ascend to the 
lurface, being- displaced by that wiiich is colder^ and cu-isequently more 
dense. — Ed: r. 

t See I'hilosophical Magazine, vol. xxi. p. ;3G2. 


174 French National Institute, 

cessarv to saturate two hundred of hydrogen, whatever be 
the pressure and temperature. In this manner one may 
discover the hvdrogen contained in any air whatever, even 
if it form only a three-thousandth part. 

Messrs. Humboldt and Gay-Lussac have ascertained that 
there does not exist a sensible [portion of hydrogen in the 
lower part of the atmosphere; and tiic ai-rostatic excursion 
of Messrs. Hiot and Gay-Lussac, and that of M. Gav-Lus- 
sac alone, during which he rose to a much greater height, 
have conlirmed that there is no more at the greatest eleva- 
tion to which it is possible to rise, and far above that where 
the clouds are formed. Thus all the systems in which the 
formation of rain and other meteors was ascribed to the 
combustion of hydrogen gas, fall of themselves. 

There still remains some uncertainty in regard to the 
number of the new metals which are mixed with platina. 
Were anv confidence to be ])laced in the results hitherto 
announced, there would be, besides iron, copper, chrome, 
and lead, the metal discovered last vcar by Messrs. Fourcrov 
and Vauquelin, as well as by M. Descotils; two others 
found in it by Mr. Tennaut, and two discovered by Dr. 
Wollaston called rhodium and pnlladiinn. 

Dr. Wollaston, indeed, according to letters from Lon- 
don, discovered palladiuni, of which mention was made in 
my two last reports, and kept the discovery secret, as if to 
entrap chemists. He pretends that they have fallen com- 
pletely into tl^e snare, by imagining that this metal was a 
comi)oi'.nd of platina and mercury ; and, indeed, not only 
have the attempts of M. de Morveau lo imitate paUudiiim^ 
accordingto the procesi-of Mr. Chenevix,been unsuccessful, 
but the case was the same with three Geru'ran chemists, 
Messrs. Rose, Gehier, and llichter, This palladium, there- 
fore, ought to be a real metal. Is the case the same with 
rhodium, osmium, and iridium P or do these substances 
enter into the composition of each other, or into those 
discovered by Messrs. Fourcroy, Vaucpielin, and Descotils ? 
This question can be determined only bv time. 

Chemistry, however, ajipears to have acquired a new 
metal named cerium, from the planet Ceres. It was the 
oxide of this metal which M. Klaproth considered as a new 
earth, and named ocltroite. Two Swedes, Messrs. Hcssin- 
ger and Bezelius, have supposed it to be a n)etallic sub- 
stance ; and M. Vauquelin, who re])eated their experiments, 
is of the same opinion. Nevertheless, as be was notable 
to reduce it conq)K idy, some doubts still remain. 

We must leave also to lime the conlirmalion of a disco- 

French National Institute, 1 75 

very said, in a letter from Florence, to have been made by 
M. Pacchiani, profe:»sor at Pisa, of the radical of the mu- 
riatic acid, one of the most important questions, without 
doubt, that still remain to be resolved in chemistry. M. Pac- 
chiani asserts, that he transformed water into oxygenated 
muriatic acid by taking from it a part of its oxygen by means 
of the Galvanic pile. The muriatic acid then will be hv- 
drogen at its minimum of oxidatien; the oxygenated mu- 
riatic acid, hydrogen in the middle state; and water, hydro- 
gen at its maximum of oxidation. 

Of all the objects of chemistry animal matters are the 
most embarrassing to it, on account of the great complica- 
tion of their elements, and because the simplest agent that 
can be applied to them produces in them a thousand move- 
ments and transformations, the play of which escapes us, 
and of which we judge onlv by the results. This is what 
takes place, for example, when these matters are treated 
with nitric acid, — a method tirst employed by Scheele and 
Bergman, and from which M. Berthollet obtained so inte- 
resting results, 'ihe most apparent ph:eaomenon, then, is 
the development of a great quantity of azote. Those next 
observed are an alteration of the acid; the production of a 
great deal of ammonia, of carbonic, oxalic, and malic acid ; 
and the transformation of a part of these matters into tallow» 
and of another into a yellow bitter substance. But these 
effects vary, according to the strengtli of the acid, the dura- 
tion of its action, and the nature of the matters subjected 
to it. 

Messrs. Fourcroy and Vauquelin, by directing their re- 
searches to these variations, and the circumstances which 
attend them, have found that nitric acid applied to the 
muscular fibre, that is to sav, flesh, transforms it by a first 
impression into a yellow matter, little s'^pid, little soluble, 
and vet acid ; by a longer continued action, into anothe:- 
matter, also yellow and acid, but very little soluble and ex- 
ceedinglv bitter; and, in thu last piace, into a third matter, 
soluble out inflammable, and, what is verv curious, deto- 
nating, not only in heat, like common gunpowder, but also 
by percussion. 

Indigo furnishes a similar matter, and still more abun- 
dantly than animal matters. Messrs. ilaussman and Wal- 
ther had observed it for some time. iVIessrs. Fourcroy and 
Vauquelin suppose it to be produced by the di.jappearatice 
of azote, and by the combination of the hydrogen and carbon 
of the flesh with a superabundance of oxygen furnished by 
the acid. They suppose that the yellow matter v.hieh tinges 


17^ Prcnck Xational In<!titutei 

the bile, and that which colours the r^kln and the urine during 
the jaundice, is produced also by some combination of oxy- 
gen with the fibrine matter of the musclcSj or with that of 
the blood. 

Messrs. Fourcroy and Vauquelin have employed them- 
selves also on the analysis of milk ; and their researches have 
greatly sin)plifled the theory of it. They have discovered 
that the acid which is developed in it, and which was con- 
sidered to be of a particular nature, is notViing but the acid 
of vinegar modified by some animal substances and some 
salts which it holds in solution. Milk, according to them, 
must be considered as a mixed liquor, consisting of a great 
deal of water and of two kinds of matters, some of thein 
really dissolved, as sngar, mucilage, muriate and sulphate 
of potash, and acetic acid ; others merely suspended, as the 
Hiatterof cheese, that of butter, and the phosphates of iron, 
lime and magnesia. 

Considering the infinite complication of this first aliment 
of young animals, these gej^tlemen give us new motives for 
admiring the providence of nature, which has deposited in 
it all the materials of speedv growth. The caseous sub- 
stance is ahriost the same as that of the muscles ; the phos- 
phate of iron is one of the elements of the blood ; and that 
of liiTie forms the earthy basis, and is the cause of the hard- 
ness of the bcMies. 

These scentlemen also have made a remark which may be 
interesting to medicine : it is, that the whey does not con- 
tain phosphoric salts, but when it can dissolve them in an 
excess of acid, and that it contains none when it is sweet. 

There are in chemistry some questions, which though on 
the first view thev seem entirely particular, yet ihe solulion 
of them may extend to so many difl'crent objects that it 
might produce a revolution- in the whole system of our 
knuwledire. Such, for example, are the deposits formed 
bv organized bodies of substances which we consider as 
simple, and which, as appears, these bodies, under several 
circumstances, could not acquire from without, but must 
have produced by combination. 

i)o animals form lime, and vegetables argil and silex, as 
some naturalists assert ? The generation of stones and that 
of mouiitains, and the whole history of our globe, depend 
in some measure on this problem. It is to it we may refer 
the analysis of the tabasheer, a kind of stony concretion 
which is formed in the bamboo. 

Messrs. i'ourcrov and \'au(]uelin have found, as was said 
some years ago, thai it is ahnool pure silex. But how could 


Prench Nationai institute, 177 

silex be dissolved, and absorbed by the plant ? How could 
it circulate in the sap ? For ail this must have been neces- 
sary before it could be deposited in the; knots of the stem. 
Messrs. Fourcroy and Vauquelin are of opinion that potash 
has served as the solvent, and that it has carried with it into 
the sap these particles of silex. According to them, there- 
fore, taha^heer proves nothing in favour of those who be- 
lieve that silex can be produced merely by the act of vege- 

These indefatigable chemists have carried their researched 
lo a phenomenon of disease in vegetation, interesting by 
its singularity, and long known by the damage it occasions. 
They have endeavourecl, in consequence of a memoir pre- 
sented to the Institute by M. Girod-Chantrans, to deter- 
mine the nature of the smut in wheat. They have found 
in It an oil of a green colour and o^" the consistence of but- 
ter; phosphoric acid, in part combined with magnesia, and 
lime, and ammonia ; charcoal, and a vegeto-animal sub- 
stance perfectly similar to that produced by the decomposi- 
tion of the gluten of wheat by putrefaction. They thence 
conclude that the smut is a residuum of farina decomposed 
by putrid fermentation, and suppose that it arises from a 
superabundance of animal manure, and a too hot and moist 
temperature at the time of sowing, or when the grain is in 
flower. If agriculturists should ackjiowledge that these 
circumstances dcternnne in realitv a greater quantity of 
smut, it might be possible to prevent, in s(;me cases, this 

Messrs. Fourcroy and Vauquelin have analysed likewise 
a mould found at the depth of more than fifty feet in some 
desert islands of the South Seas, and which is employed as 
manure on the coasts of Peru, where it is called guano. 
This analysis has so great a resemblance to that of pigeons' 
dung, that there is reason to believe, with Mr. iHumboldt, 
who brought this guava to Europe, thai it is nothing but 
the excrement of birds, which frequent these islands in im- 
mense numbers. 

This substance, as may be seen, is an object of very li- 
mited utility ; but chemistry has long endeavoured to pro- 
cure one to agriculture which would be of more universal 
importance, namely, sugar extracted from indigenous plants. 
We gave an account, at the time, of the efforts of M. Achard, 
of Berlin, to obtain it from beet-root. M. Proust, a cele- 
lebrated Spanish chemist, has extracted it from grapes; he 
has given a detail of the whole process in a niemuir sent to 

Vol. 22. No. SG. Juki IS05. M u« 

178 Formation of muriatic Acid hy Galvanism. 

i\s from Madrid : hitherto, however, his sugar has neither 
the whiteness nor the hardness, .ind has not entirely the tasle 
of the sugar made from the sugar cane. 

According to recent intelhgence from Germany, the pro- 
cess of M. Achard has been there much simpUtied ; and 
this problem, so interesting in the present state of society, 
and which can scarcely fail to change the state of nations, 
is not far from being solved. 

M. de Cossigny, a correspondent, has endeavoured to 
get mere directly to this result. He is of opinion that the 
sugar cane might be cultivated in the southern provinces of 
France. It has, indeed, been cultivated at Nice for some 
time without producing sugar; but he asserts that this was 
owing to the juice being extracted too late, and to its hav- 
ing already undergone fermentation when boiled. He made 
very good sugar from canes cultivated in the Jardiii des 
Plantesy but in a liot-housc. 

We have already spoken several times of the labours of 
IM. Seguin in regard to the chemical arts and medical che- 
mistry. He has continued them this year, and treated three 
important branches. 

He first employed himself on the analysis of opium, in 
order to determine which of iti5 component principles it is 
that gives it its medical properties^. This celebrated juice 
exhibited three very distinct substances : a little acetous 
acid ; another acid, which may be only the acetous or malic 
modified ; a crystalline matter which appears to be new ; an 
extract soluble in water and in alcohol ; another extract so- 
luble only in alcohol, acids, and alkalies ; a vegetable oil a 
little concrete, aiKJ a sort of starch. Nothing remains but 
to try separately each of these substances, and to determine 
their respective effects on the animal body. M. Seguin is 
employed on this at present, and he has promised that he 
will soon communicate to us tlie result of his observations. 
[To be continued.] 

XXVni. Inlelligencc and MisceUaneons Jlrticl^s. 


xYftf.r that part of our present Number which contains 
the article respecting Mr. IV-el's experiments was at press, 
^tc received Number HI. of the Edinburgh Medical and 

7 Surgical 

Forynatlon of muriatic Acid lij Galvanism. 179 

Surgical Journal, published on the 1st of July, to which 
was subjoined the following- 


*' Containing an Account of the Discovery of the Com- 
position of Muriatic Acid. By Prolessor Pacchioni, of 

** Since this number of our journal was completed, and 
indeed part of the inipression sent to London, we have re- 
ceived a latter, dated 15th May 1805, from our valuable 
and eminent correspondent Fabbroni, of Florence, in which 
he says, " a brilliant discovery has been made by one of 
my friends. I have inclosed an account of it, which you 
will transmit to my respectable and dear friend Kirwan, 
after having communicated it to the philosophers of your 
country through the medium of your journal." We there- 
tore gladly take this means, though somewhat irregular, of 
complying with his request, and of giving to our readers 
the carKest possible notice of the discovery alluded to. 

*' Letter of Dr. Francis PacchiOxM, Professor of Philo- 
sophy in the University of Pisa, to Laurence I'ignotti, 
Historiographer to the King. 

*' To you, my much respected friend, both on account of 
the spontaneous impulse of innate kindness with which you 
deigned to take so much care of my talents, such as they are, 
as to receive me among the number of your pupils, and on 
account nf vour havins; paved the way for niy obtaining that 
very chair which was filled by you for many years with so 
much applause and honour to our country, rather than to 
any other person, shall I give an account of a discovery 
which I have made and satisfactorily verified. But these 
are not the only reasons by which mv conduct is intluenced. 
I wish, at the same time, to show mv gratitude cowards you, 
and to give you a proof that I am endeavouring to render 
inyself more worthy of your esteem and friendsliip. 

" It is perfectly known to you that, since last year, on 
account of the premiums proposed bv that excellent general 
and philosopher Bonaparte, emperor of the French, for the 
advancement of that new and fertile branch of experimental 
philosophy discovered by the celebrated professor of Bologna_, 
Galvani, and afterwards wonderfully extended by the sub^ 
lime genius of V^olta, I have contrived a great number of 
experiments, which I have performed with much care, and 
almost completed. These experiments have revealed to me 
many facts, which I ani collecting for a memoir to be pre- 

M 2 sealed 

ISO Tormation of muriatic Acid I y Galvanism, 

sented to the Soc/eta Italiajta ; and have ltd me to a know- 
ledge of the constituent elements of an acid which has hi- 
therto proved refractory to all the efforts of chemistry. I 
speak of the muriatic acid, hitherto tortured in vain* with 
the electric spark, caloric, and all the play of affinity. You 
are perfectly acquainted with the different and discordant 
opinions of the most recent and approved writers concern- 
ing the nature of this acid ; some of them considering it as 
a simple comhustiblc body, others as formed of an unknown 
base combined with oxygen; and, lastly, others as a simple 
subiitance naturally acid. But these opinions have not con- 
tributed to the advancement of science, and are justly 
esteemed as mere hypotheses destitute of proof. 

^' H':iving, however, neglected these hypotheses, and 
considered the means by which the discovery of the nature 
of this acid has been hitherto attempted, it appeared to me 
that one had not yet been tried, viz. the continued action 
of the pile of the celebrated Volta, and I suspected that it 
might assist in leaditig me to discoveries which htid hitherto 
escaped the research of experimental philosopher.^. As far 
as I can judge, my endeavours have been crowned with 
success, and have furnished me with satisfactory evidence 
of Uie nature of the constituent principles of muriatic acid. 

" The simplicity of the apparatus, and of the means 
adopted to attain my views, the care with which I endea- 
voured to avoid every source of error, have, I hope, suffi- 
ciently secured me against those illusions which frequently 
deceive young men ardent in the pursuit of science, and 
even those practised in the art of extorting from nature her 
secrets. Want of ti)ne prevents me from relating the series 
of experiments by which I arrived at the discovery I have 
mentioned ; but you may sec it by perusing the manuscript 
of mv memoir, which will be innnediately published, to 
submit my researches and their results to the judgment of 
the learned. For the present, I shall select from the expe- 
riments and i'aets therein described those which are decisive, 
and which establish, in an evident manner, the following- 
truths ; 

" I. IVlurJatic acid is an oxide of hydrogen, and conse- 
quently composed of h\drogen and oxygen. 

'"' it. In the oxygenated nuniatic acid, atid therefore, a 
fortiori, in muriatic acid, there is a much less proportion 
of oxygen than in water. 

• Professor Piicchioni could not pos-.ibly know hi» discoveries hr»d 
been in some measure anticipated by Mr. Pcd, ot Cambridge. — Nott of the 
EditvTs oj' the Edinburgh Medical Jouvtial. 

8 «' HI. Hy- 

Formation of muriatic Acid by Gatvanhm. 181 

^"^ III. Hydrogen is susceptible of very many and dif- 
ferent degrees of oxidation, contrary to what iij universally 
believed by pneumatic chemists, who assert that hydrogen 
is susceptible only of one invariable degree of oxidation, 
that in \\ hich it forms water. 

" Having" at first examined the phccaomenon of the de- 
composition of water by the Galvanic pile, and tiaving, bv 
accurate experiments, ascertained the true theory, I readily 
discovered a verv simple and exact apparatus, in which I 
could distinctlv perceive the changes which happen to water, 
which, from the continued action of the Galvanic pile, is 
continually losing its oxygen at the surface of a wire of very 
pure gold immersed in it. 

*' I therefore proceeded to examine these gradual changes 
of water thus losing its oxygen; and I at last observed a 
very singular fact, which unequivocally indicated the forma- 
tion of an acid. In other atitecedent experiments I had ex- 
amined the nature of the air obtained before arriving at this 
remarkable point, and I always found, by means of the eu- 
diometer of Gtobei t, that it was very pure oxygen *, as the 
residuum scarcely amounted to one-sixtieth. 

** Having thus examined the nature of the air formed in 
various exptrimeuts from the first moment of decomposi- 
tion, until there were evideiit indications of the formation 
of an acid, I began to endeavour to determine, in a more 
positive manner, the existence and nature of this acid. 

*' When the water, or, to speak more accurately, the 
residual fluid, occupied about half the capacity of the re- 
ceiver, v/hich at first contained the water, this residual fluid 
presented the following charact(;rs : 

" Its colour WHS an orange yellow, more or less deep, 
according as the bulk of the residual liquor was greater or 
less, and it resembled in appearance a true solution of gold. 

" From the inferior orifice of the vessel, which was closed 
with a piece of taffety, and then with double bladder, there 
escaped a smell which was easily recognised to be that of 
oxygenated muriatic acid. 

" The gold wire had in part lost its metallic lustre, and 
its surface appeared as if corroded by a solvent. 

*' The bit of tatiety which had been in contact with the 
coloured fluid, in consequence of its action, was easily torn, 

* In all experiments we are acquainted with, hydrogen gas was al- 
ways evolved; but as we have no information concerning the arrangement 
of professor Pacchioni's apparatus, we cannot adduce this fact as conclusive 
against he accuracy of V^ experiments.— .Voie of the Editors of the Edi7iburgk 

M^ditul Journai. 

Ms as 

183 Formation of muriatic Acid ly Galvanisnii 

as Is usual wuh similar bodies when half burnt (semi- 

" Around the edges of \\v^ vessel, on the bladder, there 
was formed a deep purple ring, which surrounded a circular 
space rendered entirely colourless, or white. 

'* A drop of this fluid tinged the skin of the hand, after 
some houis, with a beautiful rose colour. 

" Having obtained, in various successive experiments, 
the sanne liquid, possessing constantly the same properties, 
I chose that obiained in the last experiment to subject it to 
chemical examination. The very able chemist of this uni- 
versity, Sig. Giuseppe Branchi, had the goodness to enter 
7-ealously into my views ; and in his laboratory we easily 

*' 1. The existence of a volatile acid by the white va- 
pours which were formed bv ammonia placed near it. 

" 2. 1 hat this acid was certainly oxygenated muriatic 
acid, since it formed in nitrate of silver a curdy precipitate, 
the luna cornea of the antlents, or the muriate of silver of 
the moderns. From these lacts we may draw the following 
positive and undeniable results : 

" ] . Muriatic acid \-, an oxide of hvdrogen, and is there- 
fore composed of hydrogen and oxygen. 

" 2. Oxygenated nuiriaiic acid, and of course muriatic 
acid, contains less oxygen than water docs. 

" 3. Hydrogen has not one degree of oxygenation, but 
manv. One of these constitutes water, another below it 
oxygenated muriatic acid, and, below this, there is another 
which constitutes muriatic acid. 

" I shall mention the other degrees In another memoir, 
which will be published inniicdiately. 

" These, my much esteemed friend, are the decisive facts 
and experiments, which exclude every doubt, and which 
confirm my fortunate conjectures. It is long since experi- 
mental philosophy may be said to have become a source of 
wc>nders. The transmutation of azote into nitrous acid, 
and of hydrogen into water, appears to me truly wonderful, 
a id your genius will enable you readily to juiigc whether 
the same epithet may be applied to the metamorphosis of 
water into tlie true solvent of gold and platinum, into that 
volatile substance which attacks and neutralize.- p'.-stilenlial 
mia:-mata, and presents so many resources to \ hilosophy 
and the arts. 

" Alter having thus discovered the elements of this re- 
fractory substance, 1 am engaged in dciermming their pro- 
portions by experiment and calculation, 
■. ''To 

Formation of muriatic Acid ly Galvani^vi. 3 S3 

" To ine it appears, that, the origin and nature of muriatic 
acid being now known, tiicre is no longer any mystery in 
its formation, nor in that of the muriatic salts in the vast 
extent of the ocean. But these and other deductions will 
be explained by me in another place. They will have al- 
ready occurred to you, and I should exceed the limits of 
this letter, if I were to enter further into the subject. With 
the most profound esteem and sincere attachment, I ha^^e 
the honour of subscribing; myself 

" Your much obliged serv'ant and friend, 

Pisa, May 9, 1805. " FuANClS PaCCHIONI.'^ 

*' Contrary as the results announced in this interesting 
communication are to analogy, there are some facts from- 
which they receive at least such a degree of confirmation 
as to entitle them to the attention of every one zealous in 
the cultivation of science. In 1601 IVIr. Cruickshank dis- 
covered that infusion of litmus w3s reddened by the one 
end of the pile, and infusion of Brazil wood rendered purple 
by the other; but he supposed these efi'ects to be owinsc to 
the formation of nitrous acid and ammonia; and only a 
few days before professor Pacchioni's letter was publislied 
at Pisa, the formation of muriatic acid by the Galvanic 
.iction was announced in London*, in a Ij Iter from Mr. 
I'eel, dated Cambridge, April 23, 1805." 


After the preceding was in the hands of the printer, we 
received the following interesting communication. 

To tJw Editor of the Philosophical Magazine. 


The very important discovery, announced in your Ma- 
gazine for April last, by Mr. Peel, of Cambridge, has been 
lately confirmed by the .evidence of professor Pacchioni, of 
Pisaf, who, without any knowledge of the experiment!? 
made in this country, attained similar results by the use cf 
precisely the same means. There is one considerable point 
of difference, however, between the English and the Italian 
chemist, viz. that by passing a continued current of the 
Galvanic fluid through water, Mr. Peel obtained muriate of 
soda; while professor Pacchioni, having employed an in- 
terrupted gold wire for the same purpose, produced mu- 

* Philosophical Magazine for April 1805, p. 279. 

j- See a letter from Fabbroin, of Florence, to the editors of the Edinburgh 
Medical and Surg-ical Journal, No 3, published July J. — H, 

^I 4 ' riatc- 

184 Formation qf^nuriatic Acid ly Galvanism. 

riate of gold. These experiments cannot fail to have excite4 
an ardent interest in the mind of every chemist in this coun- 
try, and an anxious expectation of the issue of the process 
in liie hands of other experimcntahsts. For this reason I 
conmiimicale to you the following account, though not 
pertectly conclusive, with a rcquesi that you will suppress 
It if more satisfactory testimony should reach you Irom any 
other quarter. 

" The apparatus which I employed was such as would 
occur to any person having the same object in viev/ ; viz. 
a glass tube ^ih inches long and -35 inches diameter, in 
which were secured, by means of corks, two sHps of platina 
(cut from a piece which was given to me, long ago, by Mr. 
Tennant) with their extremities at a proper distance from 
each other. The u^ater, at the outset, amounted to two 
drachms; and was reduced, by six days' exposure to the 
current, (in part probably by evaporation, though carefully 
covered with pasteboard,) to a quantity which li;ft half an 
inch of the tube untilled. It had been most attentively pu-» 
rifled, first bv sin)ple distillation, and again by a second 
distillation, after the addition of nitrate of silver. At the 
close of the expeiiment it was found to become opalescent 
in a few seconds by the mixture of nitrate of silver, and 
afterwards to undergo, when exposed to the light, the usual 
chanse of colour, indicating the presence of muriatic acid. 
To ascertain whether muriate of platina were j)resent, I 
added a solution of muriate of ammonia to one portion, 
and to another carbonate of soda; but no precipitation en- 
sued. This, however, might possibly be owing to the very 
dilute state of the solution; and 1 was proceeding to reduce 
the remainder bv evaporation, with the view to further ex- 
periments, when the whole was unfortunately lost by acci- 

'* The repetition of this process requires the careful ob- 
servance of one precaution, w hich is extremely likely to be 
overlooked. The water em)ilo\'ed must, on no account, 
come into contact with the (ingeis of the operator ; fori 
have found that from the surface of the skin there is a con- 
stant and copifuis excretion of muriate of soda, with, per- 
haps, a little muriate of ammonia. Of this any one niay 
be satisfied bv observing liie change etVected by nitrate of 
silver on pure distilled water atter being poured on the })ahn 
pf the hand ; and if a glass tube, containing distilled water, 
be frequently inverted in a cup of the same, bv means of the 
thumb or a finnfcr, the water will be found to be precipitated 
by nitrate of silver. Suspecting that the corks might havo 


Formation ofmurlalic Acid ly Galvanism, 185 

furnished some muriatic salt, I added nitrate of silver to por- 
tions ot pure water in which corks had been kept immersed 
24 hours ; but instead of opalescence being produced, the 
colour of the liquid passed through successive shades to that 
of Port wine, and the tingeing maUer remained in solution, 
instead of sct'liiig to the ijottcjin like nuiiiate of silver. In 
tuture experiments on the syn'iiesis ol njui:atic acid it will 
therefore be expedient to employ an apparatus in which the 
water shall neither come into contact with the fingers nor 
with corks. For transmitting the metallic wires, perforated 
glass stoppers, one of which has an aperture large enough 
to allow the water to escape as the gases are generated, 
would answer the purpose sufficiently. It is desirable also 
that the water em|)loytd should be well freed from air, and 
that the atmosphere should be excluded ; for, if muriatic 
acid be generated, it will otherwise remain to be proved that 
azote is not one of its components ; and this presumption 
is even confirmed by the extreme minuteness of the portion 
of muriatic acid which seemed to be produced in my expe- 
riment. If water contain all the elements of that acid, and 
nothing more be required to eff'ect its transmutation than a 
change of iheir proportion, we might expect a considerable 
and unequivocal production of muriatic acid by the process 
of Galvanism. Another circumstance suggesting the pre- 
sence of azote in this acid is, that on examininff the liquor 
obtained by detonating in^pure hvdrogen and oxvgen gases 
in close copper vessels, Mr. Keir found that a small quantity 
of niuriatic acid accompanied the nitrous acid thus formed. 
—-See Keir's Dictionary, p. l lo. 

*' The precautions which I have suggested will not be 
thought trivial by any one who recollects that one of the 
iTiQst accurate and celebrated chemists of this or any other 
time * was misled to a belief that he had effected the syn- 
thesis of muriatic acid, by a circumstance which was neg- 
lected solely from its apparent insignificance. The source 
of fallacy, in the instance alluded to, shows how unaccount- 
ably that acid may find its way into the subjects of our ex- 
periments, and introduce uncertainty into their results. 
I am, sir, your obedient humble servant, 

Manchester, ' « WiLLIAM HeNRY.'* 

July 2-6, 1S05. 

* Berthollet. The error aro-e from the employment of iron filings con- 
tarrinatcd with muriatic acid, from wliich it rrq-aircd repeated ^^mshingwith 
<i'--:t!lled water to free them, and which was even pre&ent in thera when fresh 
made for the purpoiC. — Annalcs de Cluime, xxxix. 15, 15. 

1 86 Travels. 

Mr. TTenrv's suggestions arc oi great iir.portancc, and 
we doubt not will receive clue attention from experimen- 
talists. From all that has yet occurred on this subject, a 
strong presumption is furnished that we are on the viirz^ 
of {jerhaps more than one important discovery in chemistry. 
At sucii a crisis, in particular, every phyenomenon that by 
even the most remote analogies n)av appear connected with 
this inquiry, should !)c comnmnicated bv chemists for the 
bcneilt of science. Vox ourselves, we can only say we shall 
faithfully discharge the duty which devolves on us, to lay 
them carefully and correctly before the public. 


Dr. Boij^choi, who, in the quality of physician, accom- 
panied a Kuisian and Bucharian caravan, v/hich in the year 
I SOS, on its way from Troizk to I^ucharia, was plundered 
by the 'IVuchmcns and l\aral:alpaks, and who on I'lat oc- 
casion was taken prisoner, returned to Petersburgh about 
the becinning of November 1804, alter undergoing various 
vicissiuides and sufierings. The following particulars re- 
specting ti>e KirgiMan Cozaks, communicated by this gen- 
tlen>an, are worthy ol j)articular notice, as they relate to a 
jAople interesting to the Ilussian trade, but who have hi- 
therto been highly prejudicial to it., 

When the Kirgitians had divided by lot the booty which 
they obtained from this rich caravan, Dr. Bolschoi was esti- 
mated at the value of a camel, 'i'hese plunderers cut to 
pieces the n»alhematical instruments, watches, telescopes, 
and other things cf the like kind, that each nught have a ' 
i,haFe of them. 'I'hcy did the same in regard to the medi- 
cines. The roots, [jowders, pills, and inixtures, were all 
ilividcd into equal parts. Each person then threw liis por- 
tion together into a vessel ; and this they <:on>»dered as the 
most valuable p;)rt of the plunder. ^V'hen the Kirgisians 
ioimd that tlielr prisoner was a phvsician, and ccaisequentlv, 
according to fheir idea, a kind of !>orcerer, the\- throuiicd 
in. crowds around him, that he niiglit feel their pulse, in 
order to icU ilicm, from the nature of it, whether the horse 
tliev hail lost, the cow that had strayed, of the camel that 
wanj iTiiosing, would be again found : nay, sonve of ihem 
even wi>htd him to tell from the nature of their pulse whe- 
ther their absent sick mother, wife, sister, Sec. would re- 
cover. If his answer turned out to be true, the pro|)hct was 
rewarded ; but in the contrary case, he was often subjected 
to the discipline of the whip. 

A viuknt ttorin having once taken place, the whole body 

Travels. 187 

began to murmur ; and a general suspicion fell on tlie captive 
doctor, who was con.^iclcrcd as an adept in the art of witch- 
craft. It w as immtdiaicly resolved that the sorcerer should 
be put to death: and this wouid certainlv have been the 
case had not the storm fortunately subsided ; so that the 
supposed sorcerer escaped with a slight correction. 

As Mr. Bolschoi was considered as a n}an of a higher 
order, he was not sold into Bucharia with the other cap- 
tives, but kept in the steppe. During his capti\ ity he served 
as a connnon domestic, exposed to cold and hunger, and 
obliged to perform all those mei)ial services which are al- 
lotted to the slaves of the Kirgisians. As he did not un- 
derstaird the language of his tyrants, he was beaten till he 
was able to tell the names of the most necessary articles in 
Kirgisian. He, however, did not long remain with one 
master, but was transferred from one person to another till 
he came into the service of the kan. With him he remained 
three months, but was exposed to no less hardship thaii 
under his former masters. 7 he kan, however, in the hope 
of obtaining for him a large ransom, carried him to the 
Orenburg lines; at the distance of ten versts from which 
he gave him a rich Kirgisian dress, and in that state he w as 

As some incorrect accounts of the Russian enibassv to 
Ohina have been publibhed in various journals, the iullow- 
ing particulars, which appear to be correct, are taken irom 
an extract of a letter written bv a naturalist who was des- 
tined some time ago h)r a journey to Thibet, but who now 
is to accompany the embassy : — " Count l^otocki, well 
known by his historical works, has been appointed the 
chief of this important mission. 1 he principal naturalist 
is Mr. Adams, who accompanied count Musjin-l^ischkin 
on his tour to the Caucasian mountains ; Kedot^ky, for- 
merly botanical gardener to count Alexis liazumolskv, is 
appf)inted physician, botanist, and entomologist j Pansner, 
mineralogist and geologue ; Schubert, astronomer; and 
Klaproth junior, philologue. The whole of the scientific 
men, w'ith their assistants, draughtsmen, artists, and a de- 
tachment of fifty soldiers, were to set out on the 4th of 
May : the endjassy w as to sei off somewhat later. The 
route of the former was to be through Mosco, Nishnev- 
Novgorod, Rasan, Ekaterinenbourg, and south 1 rom To- 
bolsk to Omsk, Kolywan, Irkutsk, to Kiachta, the Russian 
staple on the frontiers of Chinese Taifary. Hue they will 
v/ait for the embassy, and fur the Chinese Ta-tschms who 


188 Antiquities. 

are to escort the embassy, which will now consist of more 
than a hundred persons, through the desert oi RoKi and 
Yellow Mongolia to the city of Pekin. 

M. Bergman, who has lately communicated to the public 
an interesting account ol his long residence an)ong the Kal- 
mucs, is now preparing- for another journey in the little 
frequented districts of Asia, which he has been invited by 
government to undertake, with the most liberal allowance 
for his support. M. Bergman has been appointed an as- 
sessor of the colleges ; and leave has been given him to 
choose a physician, naturalist, and draughtsman, to accom- 
pany him. The benevolent Alexander has made provi<;ion 
for the wives of the travellers, in case any of them should 
die in the course of their journey. 

M. Herman, professor of natural history at Dorpat, who 
last year made a tour through a part of Russian Finland, i* 
about to return to that country with a drauo-htsmnn. It is 
supposed that on his return he will publish a journal of 
these two tours. 

M. Giesecke, a Prussian mineralogist, has been for some 
time at Copenhagen. It is believed that the government 
proposes to send him to Greenland, where he will spend 
some years in examining that country in a mineralogical 
and geological point of view. Hitherto the Mora\ ian mis- 
sionaries have been the only persons who have ventured to 
reside for several years in Greenland. 


One of the houses of the city of Pompeii, buried under 
the lava of Vesuvius in the 79th vear of the Christian cera, 
has been discovered by clearing away the lava, and a great 
many antique vases, coins, nuisical instruments, and a 
brazen Hercules, with several excellent paintings in fresco, 
have been found in it. 

Some further account of this discovery is contained in the 
following letter, dated Naples, May 1, 1804: — "During 
the course of a search by digging, begun about seven vears 
ago, the workmen discovered the capital of a pilaster, which 
was supposed to be the lateral face of a large gale. Last 
winter, the labour being resumed, the corresponding pi- 
laster was found. The brazen hinges of the gate were 
trans])0rtc(l to the Museum at Portici. The house to which 
this gate conducts is large and commodious, and richly or- 
namented with paintings and mosaic. It is surrounded by 

a beautiful 

Faccinaflon. i8c» 

a beautiful wall of cut stone, the joinings of which are so 
close, and the cement so pci feet, that it has the appearance 
of a soHd mass. The alley -.vhich serves as an entry is 
twelve palms in length and ten in breadth ; it leads to a 
court, the walls of which are covered with stucco of diffe- 
rent colours. The capitals and cornices are in very fine 
preservation. I remarked on them a large rose, which is 
a master-piece of elegance and de-;ign. All the chambers 
are ornamented with beautiful paintings on a red, blue, or 
yellow ground. They exhibit small exceedingly delicate 
columns, with flowers, candelabra, and other ornaments 
in the best taste. On the left are two apartments which 
in all probability were those of the master and mistress of 
the house. 

** The painter had given full scope to his imagination in 
the composition of all these pieces, which I beheld with 
inexpressible pleasure. Nothing can be more attracting 
than a dance of masked personages; nothing more eleganl 
than a small bird pecking at a basket of figs. In the mid- 
dle of the court is a cistern, or hnpluviuvi of the Romans. 
On a marble pedestal is a young Hercules seated on a small 
fawn of bronze. These two pieces, one of which mav 
weigh about twenty and the other forty pounds, are of the 
finest workmanship. From the mouth of the fawn water 
fell into a beautiful conch of Grecian marble. Behind the 
pedestal wzs a table, the feet of which, of antique yellow, 
represent the claws of an eagle. These works have also 
been conveyed to the Museum. A lateral corridor, on the 
right hand, conducts to a second court, which was sur- 
rounded by a portico, as appears by octangular colurons 
coated with stucco." 

Near the town of Fiesole, not far from Florence, a beau- 
tiful amphitheatre has been also discovered. The earth has 
already been cleared away from the greater part of it, anJ 
it appears that it was capable of containing at least 30,000 


We hear that Dr. Jcnner is engaged in collecting reports 
from the different states of Europe, and from many of the 
other quarters of the globe, respecting the effects of vaccine 
inoculation on the mortality occasioned by the small -pox. 
In several of the largest cities on the continent, we are in- 
formed that he has already received the pleasing intelligence 
of the small-pox being either nearly or totally subdued. 
Among them is Vienna. But how melancholy is the re- 
flection, that while the great and populous city of Vienna, 
which for tjrne^ immemorial had been subjected lo the in- 

iga PaUad'mm. — yhtronomij. — List: of Palerifs. 

cessant ravages of ihe small-pox, exhibited two deaths only 
by that disease in the year lb04, the city of London should 
even at this moment have to deplore the untimely fate of 
near fifty persons weekly by thi^ horrid pestilence 1 a pesti- 
lence which it is obvious, from this and other similar ex* 
aniples, might not only be speedily banished from the me- 
tropolii^, but from every part of the British empire. 


This new metal, recently discovered by Dr. Wollaston, 
may now be bought at Messrs. Knights' warehouse for che- 
mical apparatus, Fosler-laue, Cheapside, London. 


A Tal'lc of the rigid ylscension Q7id Dcclbiali07i of Ceres 
and Fullai. 






. N. 














Sept. 2 





































- 4 








































































;^ John Slater, of Liverpool, in the county palatine of Lan- 
caster, gentleman ; for certain im]")rovements ujion sawing- 
imlls, or niacbiiies~for sawing all kinds of timber. 

Marc Lambard Brunei, of l\)rlsea, in the county of 
UantS;, gejuleman ; for saws and n)achincry, upon an im- 
proved construction, for sawing timber in an easy and ex- 
peditious nianner. 

«J(>hn Edwards, of the parish of St. Raul, Covcnt Garden, 
in the country of Middksex, currier and harne>s-maker; 
tor certain improvcnunts on bridles. 

Obadiah t .lliot, of the parish of St. Mary, Lambelh, in 
the county of Surrey, coach-maker ; for certain improve- 
ments in the construction of coaches, chariots, barouches, 
Uud^uSj and various other four-wheel carriages. 

;-j«. Juha 

List of Patents for New Invevilons, I or 

John Edwards, of the parish of St. Paul, Covcnt Garden, 
m the county of Middlesex, currier atiil harness-maker; for 
a machine Or apparatus upon an improved construction, for 
the purpose of preventing persons being drowned, which lie 
tlenominatts the life buoij. 

WiUiam Ilorrocks, of Stockport, in the county of Ches- 
ter, cotton manufacturer; for further improvements to a 
machine for the weaving of cottoii and oiher goods b\- 
hand, steam, water, or otner power. 

Charles Hobson, of Sheuield, in the county of York,, 
silver plater, Charles Sylvester, of tb.e same place, eliemist, 
and John Moorhouse, of Sheffield aforesaid, surgeon ; for 
a method of sheathing ships, rooting houses, and hni'.ur 
water-spouts, with a material not heretofore used ^or tho?e 

Thomas Pidgeon, of the parish of St. Pancras, in the 
county of Middlesex, gentleman ; for a saddle upon an im- 
proved constmction. 

Abrahanj Ogier Stranshurv, of the city of New York, in 
the United States ; for locks and keys upon an improved 

John Bevans, of Little Queen-street, Llncoln's-inn Fields, 
in the county of Middlesex, carpenter and joiner; for a 
window-frame and sashes upon a principle whollv new, 
applicable to frames and sashes aheadv made as to new 
ones, which conceal the sash-lines and exclude the air. 

John Blunt, of the borough of Warwick, in the countv 
of Warwick, surgeon ; for an improvement to stirrups now 
in use, which is to be fixed thereto, and by means of which, 
whenever the stirrup happens to be in a reversed direction, 
by a horseman falling from ins horse, the stirrup will im- 
mediately fall from tlie leather, by which means the same 
is suspended. 

Sanmel Miller, of the parish of St. Pancra^, in the county 
of Middlesex, engineer ; for an improvement upon^ and ma- 
chinery to be attached to, coaches and variioi^s otlier car- 
riages, for the better accommodation of piiesengers. . 

John Cox Stevens, of New York, Norlih An)er;ca, hut 
now residing in New Bond-street, in the county of Mid- 
djesex, gentleman ; for a new method of generating stean). 

Alexander Brodie, of Carey-street, in the hbenyoftlie 
rolls, and county of Middlesex, iron-master and founder ; 
for an improved method of making steam-engine boilers 
and steam boilers, for various other jjurposes ; and of con- 
structing the flue for the conveying the heat to the same, 
whereby the coasumplion of fuel is considerably les-cned. 



Days of the 


^feteoro logical tablb 
By Mr. Carey, o? the StranO, 

For July 1805. 

u — 

Bcis^rh: of 

;ne Batom. 


u 1) _ 


June 27 



July I 












5 7 













5 7 

















Thuiv!"r ana 

hail showers 

Fair, rain at 


N. B. Tl.c h?.romct£T's hcigl-,t is taken zi ncon. 

[ 193 ] 

XXIX. Account of Experiments made oft a Mineral called 
'Cerite, and on the particular Substance which, it contains, 
and which has been considered as a new Metal. By 
M. Vauqlelin *. 

jS/L. Klaproth wrote to me, about eight months ago, 
that he had discovered, iti a mineral of Batsnaes, in Swe- 
den, a new earth to which he had given the name of ochroilj 
on account of the red colour which it assumes by calcina- 
tion. He even sent me in a letter a small specimen of thi.9 
substance; and having discovered in it, by several trials, 
the presence of a considerable quantity of oxide of iron, I 
started some doubts, in a note which I read in the Insti- 
tute, in regard to the colour of that earth. I observed ako 
in the same note, that this substance had as many metallic 
properties as earthy characters ; but that the small quantity 
of it which I had in my possession did not allow me to give 
any decisive opinion on this subject f. 

Some time after, Messrs. Berzelius and Hisenger, having 
been informed, by their correspondents at Paris, of M. Klap- 
i"oth's labour, wrote to me to claim a priority, stating that 
they had sent to M. Klaproth the specimens of that mineral 
whicli he had employed for his experiments, and that at 
the same time they had announced to him that they had 
found a new metal in it. I can give no opinion on this 
difference. I shall only observe, that the well known de- 
licacy of jM. Klaproth, and the high reputation he has justly 
acquired by his numerous and important discoveries, render 
it very improbable that he would appropriate to himself the 
discovery of another. M. Klaproth must, no doubt, have 
received from another quarter the mineral in question ; and 
his labour was perhaps terminated before he acquired any 
information respecting that of the Swedish chemists. What 
seems to justify this opinion is, that they obtained results 
entirely different. 

Eveiy thing, therefore, seems to show that M. Klaproth 
of Berlin, and Messrs. Berzelius and Hisenger of Stock- 
holm, made experiments at the same time on the same 
mineral without having any communication with each 
other ; and that each may have had the honour of the dis- 

The Swedish chemists transmitted to Paris a memoir on 

* From Annales du Museum National d'Histoirc NatureHe, No. SO. 
f See Annaks de Chimin, No. 149, Floreal 30, an 12. 

\o]. 22. '^0, 87. August 1805. N thi* 

1 94 Account of Experiments 

this subject written hi Swedish. M. Limdbon undertook 
a translation ot" it, and caused it to be printed in the An- 
nates de Cliimle'-^. In this niemoir they give a history of 
the mineral, and point out the places where it is found, and 
the substances which accompany it : they then give aii ac- 
count of the methods they employed to ascertain the na- 
ture of it : they give the characters of the new substance it 
contains, and which they consider as a peculiar metal, ta 
which they give the name of cerium j a denomination taken 
from the planet Ceres, discovered by M. Piazzi : thev have 
thence formed that of ceritc, ta denote the natural ore of 
that metal. 

About the end of November, that year, I received, by 
the care of Messrs. Uisenger and Berzelius, specimens of 
this fossil ; with an invitation- to repeat their experiments, 
and to determine whether the substance in question ought 
to be classed with the earths or the metals. 1 charged my- 
self the more readily with this labour, as it furnished me 
with an opportunity of subjecting to experiment a new sub- 
stance, and of pronouncing in regard to the opinion of re- 
spectable philosophers, whose sole object is truth. 

It will be seen by this memoir that the force of facts has 
obliged me to adopt the opinion of the Swedish chemists, 
I must not omit to mention that I have been seconded in 
my experiments by Messrs. Tassacrt and Bergman, both of 
whom are well versed in practical chemistry. 

Physical Properties of Cerife. 

This mineral is of a slight rose colour: it Is suRiciently 
hard to scratch glass: its specific gravity is 45-30, and its 
dust is grayish : it becomes reddish by calcination, and loses^ 
twelve per cent. 

There are some varieties which contain martial pyrites^ 
and which are traversed by veins of green actinote. 

Prelnn'mary Trials on Cerite. 

This mineral, when pulverized in a mortar of silcx, does 
not increase in weight, which indicates that its hardness is- 
not very great : its dust is of a rust gray colour. 

When exposed to heat in a retort there are obtained some 
drops of water, which are condensed in the neck of the 

The dust of cerite is powerfully attacked by the nitric 
muriatic and nilro-nmriatic acids; caloric is developed, and 

• No. 150, Prairial 30» an 12. 


made on a Mineral called Cer'ite. 1 95 

there is disensjaged carbonic acid as well as nitrous gas 
when nitric acid is employed. 

After ebullition of half an hour the action of the acids 
appears to be exhausted, and there remains at the bottom 
of the vessel a dust more or less coloured, which is the silex 
contained in the mineral. 

When cerite is treated with eight or ten times its weight 
of acid it is entirely decomposed by one operation, and 
without the necessity of be2;inning a second time ; yet it 
is impossible by these means to obtain silex perfectly pure : 
it always retains a certain quantity of metallic oxide. It is 
only by fusing this earth with an alkali, and then combining 
it with an acid, that it is possible to obtain it pure, and free 
from all colouring matter : it generally forms about seven- 
teen hundredths of the mineral. When the solutions of 
this matter are evaporated to dryness and the residuum is 
dissolved in water, there is formed a slight white precipi- 
tate, which appears to be a little silex which the acid held 
in solution. 

Solutions of cerium are of a yellowish red colour, like 
that of the oxide of iron at its maximum of oxygenation ; 
but when cerium is little oxidated they are only of a rose 
colour, similar to those of manganese and cobalt. 

These solutions, decomposed by ammonia, furnish a very 
voluminous precipitate, which has the appearance of alu- 
mine mixed with oxide of iron, but which greatly differs 
from it in its properties: when dried in a gentle heat this 
precipitate is reduced to a granulated powder of a paie yel- 
low colour, which becomes of a brick red by calcination. 
The matter simply dried in the air redissolves readily in tiie 
nitric and muriatic acids ; but the red oxide, that which 
has not been calcined, is scarcely attacked, and does not 
dissolve in muriatic acid without producing a very consi- 
derable quantity of oxygenated muriatic acid. 

The nitric solution readily crystallizes : the salt which it 
furnishes is soluble in alcohol : in regard to the muriatic 
solution it is very difficult to obtain crystals : this salt when 
dried is deliquescent. 

The nitric and muriatic solutions are decomposed by al- 
kaline sulphates, phosphates, borates, oxalates, tartrites, 
and carbonates : with sulphates there are formed yellow pre- 
cipitates too soluble in water to be subjected to analytical 
experiments : besides, a part of the iron oxidated to a max- 
imum is precipitated at the same time. The precipitate 
formed by the borates is still more soluble in acids : that 
produced by oxalates is attended with the inconvenience of 

JN 2 carrying 

196 Account of Experiments 

carrying with it a little iron, which gives it a slight firrt of 
a rose colour : it is soluble in acids. The tartrites form % 
precipitate much less soluble, which does not contain iron; 
but it is entirely soluble in caustic alkalies as well as in an 
excess of its concentrated acid, from which it is afterwards 
separated by water. Phosphates oecasioil a precipitate 
which is not soluble in acids witliout the aid of heat : iron 
remains in intimate combination with it. Prus^iatcs preci- 
pitate solutions of cerium while, even when they contain evi- 
dent traces of iron. All the precipitates here spoken of are 
white, and retain that colour after desiccation, except the 
phosphate, which becomes grayish. Sulphurets and hy- 
dro-sulphurets precipitate solutions of cerium white : the 
precipitates when washed retain their white colour in dry- 
ing, and dissolve in acids with eft'ervescence : carbonic acid 
is disengaged, but not an atom of hydrogenatcd sulphuret ; 
which proves that cerium does not unite wiih sulphurized 

Zinc, tin, and Iron, immersed in a solution of muriate 
of cerium, do not effect a reduction of it. They precipitate 
a black matter, which is in too small quantity to be ana- 
lysed : there is deposited at the same time a white powder, 
which appears to be an oxide of the precipitating n^ietal. 

An alcoholic solutionof gall-nuts produces in muriate of 
cerium a yellov.'ish precipitate hot very abundant. The ad- 
dition of a few drops of anmionia determines a very volu- 
minous one of a brown colour, which becomes black and 
brilliant by desiccation : by the action of heat it resumes a 
beautiful brick red colour. 

When the silex extracted from ccrlte is fused with an 
alkali, it is observed that the mixture assumes a beautiful 
jtale straw colour, w hich soon passes to brown : if the sur- 
faces be often renewed the whole matter becomc^s brown, 
bat by adding a little charcoal this colour vanishes entirely. 
Having made these preliminary trials on ceritc, and ascer- 
tained the principal properties of the particular substance 
which it "contains, I undertook to analyse it, in regard to 
(juantity, in the following manner : 

A hundred i)arts of this mineral in fine powder were 
mixed with ten times their weight of nitro-nujriatic acid, 
and subjected to ebullition for an hour: the mixture being 
diluted with water, and filtered, left on the filter a brown 
dust, which was dried, and fused with caustic potash. The 
mixture being diluted with water, and then dissolved iu 
muriatic acid, evaporated to dryness, and redissolved in 
water, left a powder \\hich when collected on a filter, 


made on a Mineral called Cerlie. 1 97 

wsshed, and calcined, weighed seventeen parts : it was 
silex, still slightly coloured yellow. 

Tlie nitro-muriatic solution being evaporated to dryness, 
and its residuum redissolved in water, left about one part 
of silex coloured bv a little oxide of cerium. 

The same solution freed from silex, and united to the 
washings of the silex, was decomposed by ammonia : the 
oxide of cerium and the oxide of iron precipitated by these 
means, were separated from the liquor by tiltration. The 
oxalic acid added to this liquor formed a precipitate which 
by calcination gave two parts of iime. 

The metallic oxides, united and calcined, v/eighed seventy 
parts : they had a beautiful reddish brown colour, 'i'o se- 
parate the iron of the cerium the whole was dissolved in 
muriatic acid : the solution being concentrated to evaporate 
the excess of acid, then diluted with water and decomposed 
by tartrite of potash, there was formed a very abundant 
white precipitate, which being washed till it contained no 
more foreign salts, then dried, and calcined^ gave sixty- 
seven parts of oxide of cerium. 

The water from the washing of the tartrite of the cerium, 
being united and mixed with hydro-sulpharet of potash, 
gave a precipitate wliich became black in the air. It was 
oxide of iron, the weight of which after calcination w;is two 

Thus 100 parts of cerite subjected to analysis furnished, 
J St, Silex - - ' 11 

2d, Lime - t 2 

3d, Oxide of iron - € 

4th, Oxide of cerium - ■67 

b\.\\j Water and carbonic a.cid 1 2 


Though the specific gravity of cerite, tiie varied colours 
assumed by the particular matter it contains, and the oxy- 
gen disengaged durin2; its solution in muriatic acid, afforded 
great probabilities in regard to the metallic nature of this 
substance j yet, as it was possible that these properties and 
these phcEnomena might be owing to the presence of some 
known metal, to manganese for example, I endeavoured 
to discover it by all the means v/hich appeared to me proper 
for accomplishing that end ; but I did not tind any sensible 
traces of it. It ttiercfore appears to me altogether impro- 
bable that manganese should contribute any thing towards 
the properties exhibited by the matter of cerite. The case 

' N 3 is 

198 Account of Experiments 

is not the same with iron. I must confess that when any 
traces of it remain in the cerium it communicates to it a 
darker rec colour ; but as this matter, when disengaged 
from iron, as far as chemical means will allow, assumes 
still a reddish colour bv calcination, and as in this state it 
furnishes as much oxygenated nmriatic acid as before, it is 
equally impossible to ascribe these phaenomena to the iron, 
which, as is well known, produces no oxygenated muriatic 

Thus as cerium, in which the slightest sign of the pre- 
sence of iron, or of any other foreign matter, could not be 
detected by anv means whatever, aKvavs assumes a red 
colour by calcination, and then gives oxygenated muriatic 
acid during its solution, I am forced to consider it as a 
metallic oxide rather than an earth, as M. Klaproth has 
done. Hitherto, indeed, chemists were not acquainted 
with any earth weighina: five times as much as water, which 
has a colour of its own, which absorbs oxvgen, and which, 
dissolving in common muriatic acid, produces oxygenated 
muriatic acid. 

I had great hope that the reduction of this matter to the 
metallic state bv the action of a strong heat would confirm 
the above probabilities, and convert lliem into certain truths 3 
but this operatiuu was not attended with all the success I 

In the first attempt, in which I had put into a charcoal 
crucible oxalate of cerium reduced to a paste with oil, the 
whole was volatilized by the violence and duration of the 
heat : at the bottom of the crucible I found only a metallic 
grain scarcely so large as the head of a pin, and which was 
an alloy of iron and cerium. This experiment, if it fur- 
ni'^^hed no metal, proves at least that oxide of cerium is vo- 
latile ; and I do not know that an earthy substance was ever 
thus volatilized. 

in the second operation I put into a luted porcelain retort 
a paste made with lartrite of cerium, a little ]an)p-black and 
oil, in order that J might collect the metal if it should be 
volatilized as before; but as the form of my apparatus did 
not permit me to give as much heat, the matter was not 
reduced : it remained in its natural slate mixed with the 

There v^^ere seen, however, on the sides of the retort a 
great number of small globules which had metallic bril- 
liancy, and the substance of which had been manifestly 
volatilized. Some of tlic largest of these globules having 
been detached and broken, exhibited in the inside a white 


•made on a T^Tiiieral called Cer'ite. 1 q^ 

colour and a foliaceous texture. There was also in the neck 
of the retort a slight reddish covering, the taste of which 
was exceedingly acrid and metallic ; the quantity of the 
matter which formed this covering was too small to be sub- 
jected to experiments capable of determining its nature. 

Three of these small metallic globules, w^hich weighed 
together scarcely a fourth part of a grain, being put suc- 
cessively into nitric and muriatic acid, were not sensibly 
attacked : to effect the solution of them the union of these 
two acids was necessary. The solution being evaporated, 
and its residuum dissolved in water, had no colour ; its taste 
was sensibly saccharine ; and by the oxalate of ammonia 
and the prussiate of potash it gave white and flaky precipi- 
tates. It appears, then, that these globules, which I sus- 
pected to be iron, are really cerium. What is certain is, 
that these globules are much more fragile, whiter, and less 
liable to be attacked by acids than cast iron. 

These experiments prove that cerium is volatile at a hisjh 
temperature, and that it is probably only at the moment of 
its volatilization that it is reduced, unless we suppose that 
it is rather volatilized in the state of oxide. This I prpposc. 
to ascertain by new trials. 

Recapitulating what has been said in the course of this 
notice, it is seen, 1st, That cerium, freed from the foreign 
matters which accompany it in the mineral, is a substance 
susceptible of uniting with two quantities of oxygen very 

2d, That with the first quantity it forms a white sub- 
stance, soluble in acids, without any disengagement of ox- 

3d, That with the second portion it assumes a slight red 
colour, combines only with difficulty with acids, and con- 
stantly produces a considerable quantity of oxygenated mu- 
riatic acid by dissolving in common muriatic acid. 

4th, That these oxides do not dissolve in alkalies ; but 
that when boiled together they no longer become coloured 
by the contact of the air ; and that those which are red be- 
come white by a slight heat, without, however, combining 
with the alkalis. 

5th, That their combinations with the sulphuric, phos- 
phoric, oxalic, tartareous, and prussic acids are white, and 
msoluble in v/ater. 

6th, That, on the other hand, those which they form with 
nitric, muriatic, and acetic acids are very soluble in water 
and in alcohol, and are even deliquescent. 

N 4 7 th, That 

200 On 6otne zoological Facts 

7th, That all these salts have an astringent and highly 
saccharine taste. 

8th, That a good process for separating the iron of ce- 
rium is, to precipitate the latter from its nitric or muriatic 
solution by oxalate of ammonia or tai trite of potash, put- 
ting into the liquor a slight excess of acid ; or, what is 
better, is, to calcine the muriate of cerium, to redissolve its 
residuun) in the muriatic acid, to calcine again, and to re- 
peat this three times, in order to sublime entirely the mu- 
riate of iron ; which succeeds very well. 

9th, That cerium does not unite with sulphurated hydro- 
gen, like the other metallic oxides. 

J 0th, That it appears irreducible by those means whic?i 
generally succeed with the most refiactory oxides, but that 
it is volatile, and that it is probably at this moment that iti 
reduction is effected. 

11th, That if, contrary to every appearance, cerium is 
not a metal, it has, at any rate, much more analogy and 
relation with that class of bodies than with any other; and 
for these reasons we shall place it, with Messrs. Hiscnger 
and Berzelius, in that class, till it has been proved that it is 
better fitted to any other kind of matters. 

12th, In the last place, that by some lucky chance, or 
means better combined than those hitherto employed, wc 
shall obtain it in the metallic state ; and 1 do not despair 
myself of meeting with this success. 

XXX. Memoir on some zoological Facts appHcalle to the- 
Theory of the Earth. Read in the Physical and Mathe- 
matical Class of the French National Institnte on the 22<i 
(f October 1804. By M. Peron, Nnf7/rar/st to the Ex" 
pcdition for making Discoveries in Australasia^ 

[Concluded from p. 166.] 

JL HAVE now terminated the general history of petrified and 
living zoophytes ; we have seen them cantoned, as wc say, 
in that zone of the globe comprehended between the 34th 
degree of north and south latitude, where they fill the sea 
with dangerous reefs, form new islands, enlarge the old 
tjnes, and every where increase the domain of the land at 
the expense of the ocean which nourishes then) in its bo- 
som : wc have seen their antient labours rising over the sur- 
face of the waves, and appearing again at great heights above 
their present level. The last phaenomenon deserves our at- 

cppllcalle to the Theory of the Earth, 201 

tention for a moment ; and two questions here present 
themselves to be resolved. Have the madreporic moun- 
tains been formed in the bosom of the scar and, supposing 
this to be the case, what revolutions were capable of effect- 
ing so prodigious a change^ either in their antient state or 
in'that of the waves ? 

There can be no doubt that the former of these questions 
may, and ought to be, answered in the affirmative. Ob- 
servation, — indeed experience, reasoning, and analogy, all 
unite to prove that these pelagian animals, the vast remains 
of which cover our continents with an organization similar 
to that of families now existing, have had the same origin 
and the same country. No objection has yet been made 
against this general assent. But if any doubts of this kind 
had been formed in regard to the different banks of testacca, 
or even of zoophytes, disseminated throughout the large 
continents at considerable distances from the sea shore, the 
consequences could not be extended to those reefs, thosg 
islands, and those archipelagoes, several of which still de- 
clare their origin by the little elevation they have acquired 
above the place where they were formed. It may therefore 
be considered as an incontestable fact, that all the madre- 
poric productions we have seen raised more or less above 
the present level of the sea, were formed in its bosom. 

The second question, it appears, may be resolved with 
as little difficulty. I shall here observe, to make use of an 
expression of the Nestor of the French navy in regard to the 
enormous bones seen at the Malouines at a considerable 
distance in the interior, — the land has cither been raised upy 
or the sea has sunk down. In the first supposition, we can- 
not conceive any other cause susceptible of raising up si- 
milar masses, but volcanic eruptions as frequent as energetic. 
But independently of a multitude of other reasons which 
tend to make us reject a cause of this kind, do we not know 
that these grand convulsions of nature always leave behind 
them indelible traces of the disorder and confusion by which 
they are exclusively characterized? But nothing of this kind 
is observed in the madreporic countries. I have already 
spoken of the regular forms and insensible gradations of 
the island of Timor, an image and production at the same 
time of the calmness of nature : I have already quoted the 
ingenious observations of captain Vancouver, which alone 
are sufficient to show how peaceable was the cause which 
left these madreporic eminences luicovered, whether its 
action was slow, rapid, or even instantaneous. Labillar- 
Uiere made similar observations : the tv. o Forsters have tur» 


202 On some zoological Facts 

nished us with valuable facts on the same subject : and 
M. Fleurieu himself, having given the opinion of these 
two naturalists, expresses himself as follows: — "To which 
of our common systems can we refer the origin of that pro- 
digious number of small spots, either scattered or formed 
into groupes, or united into archipelagoes, which, accord- 
ing to the most accurate researches, appear to be still in a 
state of increase ? These islands are met with at the di- 
stance of 1500 leagues from the continent and from large 
islands, and in the middle of a sea the depth of which can- 
not be measured with the sounding-line. The attentive 
eye of the enlightened observer has discov^ered nothing in 
these low islands which indicates the former existence, re- 
mains, or traces of burnt-out volcanoes, or volcanoes swal- 
lowed up by the sea ; nothing which can show that they were 
pioduced bv any convulsion of the globe: every thing, on 
the contrary, announces that they have been the production 
of ages ; that the work is not yet completed ; and that a 
gradual increase in them must take place: but tliat a long 
succession of years is necessary to render it sensible." The 
unanimous opinion, therefore, of all observers, while it re- 
jects every idea of volcanic origin, destroys thereby every 
other opinion which ni'ght suppose that the earth itself 
could rise above the surface of the waves. Tliis immediate 
consequence then results, that the water must have sunk 
down below its anticnt level. 

A very delicate but interesting question here occurs: 
What became of the water of the sea when it abandoned 
the sunmiits of the mountains formed in its bosom? The 
soluticjn of this question appears to me to have an imme- 
diate dependence on another of the same nature, and no 
less difiicult : — Whence arises that enormous quantity of 
calcareous matter, which, as we see, performs so extensive 
a part in the revolutions of the earth ? Here, also, an im- 
n^ense field is opened to imagination and hypothesis. Sa- 
tisfied myself with having collected, com})ared, and ar- 
ranged the most correct obscrvalions, that I might deduce 
from them the most general and most certain consequences, 
I shall give, in a few words, those which I conceive to re- 
sult from the numerous facts here stated. 

1st, From the absolute difference of the two races in 
New Holland and Vau Diemcn's Land, as well as from the 
absence of the dog in the latter, I think myself authorized 
to conclude that the separation of these two countries nmst 
have taken place at a period much more remote than may 
at first be supposed. 

2(1, The 

applicable to the Theory of the Earth. 203 

2cl, The exclusion of all relation between these two races ; 
the darker colour of the inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land ; 
their short, woollv, and curled hair, in a country much 
colder than New Holland, where the contrary is the case; 
appear to me to be new proofs of the imperfection of our 
systems in regard to the intercourse of nations, their trans- 
migrations, and the influence of climate on man. 

3d, From the petrified shells and zoophytes which I ob- 
served in diflferent places and at different heights in Van 
Diemen's Land, New Holland, and Timor, I infer that the 
sea formerly covered that part of the Austral lands which 
reaches from the 44th degree of south latitude to the Qth, 
over an extent of 700 leagues from south to north : a result 
the more valuable, as this immense region was the only one 
which remained to be knov/n under this point of view. 

4th, Having given this explanation as simple as satisfac- 
tory in regard to the formation ot those beautiful calcareous 
incrustations so frequent on the south-west and north-west 
coasts of New Holland, I have taken an opportunity of 
proving how difficult it is, in certain cases, to distinguish 
bodies altered in this manner from those which are really 

5th, In my observations on solid zoophytes I have con- 
firmed their almost absolute exclusion from the most Austral 
seas of the Antarctic hemisphere ; I have proved that this 
important family of anin)als is banished by nature to the 
middle of the warmest seas, to the most peaceful equi- 
noctial regions, and those which border on them. 

6th, We saw them there, in the state of petrifactions, 
forming all the low islands of the great equinoctial ocean, 
and some, at least, of the highest in that sea and in the 
Indian Ocean. 

7th, We found them there, in the living state, inter- 
spersing the sea with new dangers, multiplying the reefs, 
enlargmg the islands and archipelagoes, encumbering the 
harbours and ports, and every where throwing up new cal- 
careous mountains. 

While man, therefore, who styles himself the k'nia; of 
nature^ rears, with labour, on the surface of the earth those 
frail monuments of his pride, which the breath of time 
must soon destroy ; feeble animals, which have so lonjr 
escaped his observation, and which he still disdains to no- 
tice, multiply at the bottom of the ocean those immense 
testimonies of power which brave ages, and which our 
imagination itself can hardly conceive. 

XXXL Letter 

C 204 ] 

XXXr. Letter to M. Lacepede, of Pmis, on the Natural 
History of North America. By Benjamin Smith 
Barton, M.D. Professor of Materia Medico, Natural 
History J and Botany, in the University of Pennsylvania, 

[Concluded from p. 103.] 

vJuR coimtr7, as you know, is very rich in birds. A 
considerable number of these have been described, or men- 
tioned, by Buffon, Pennant, and other writers. But the 
ornithology of the North American continent is very im- 
perfectly understood. Many of our birds have never been 
correctly, if at all, described. Some of these undescribed 
species are large birds ; such as a species of plotus, called 
in Carolina the snake-bird; not to mention others. But it 
is a matter of more consequence to study the manners of 
those birds that liave already been discovered, than merely 
to detect new species. I flatter myself that I have made 
considerable progress in the study of the mores of our birds. 
I have been particularly attentive to their instincts as we 
call them, and have even digested my collection of facts on 
this subject into order. These facts will form a part of a 
large work on the Instinct of Animals. It is now com- 
pletely ascertained that gome of the American species of 
swallows remain among us in a torpid state. They retire 
into the crevices of rocks, into the lioUows of trees, and 
other similar situations, and rest, for some months, in a 
lethargic sleep more or less profound. The species con- 
cerning which I have the most correct information, as to 
what regards their torpidity, are the purple martin {hirundo 
purpurea), and the chimney-bird {/lirundo pclasgia). Both 
of these species, I repeat it, do sometimes become torpid 
in the climate of Pennsylvania. It is probable that the 
other species do the same. But I still adhere to my former 
opinion : I contend that the great body of American swal- 
lows, of different species, are really migratory birds ; that 
is, they leave the climates of the United States on the 
coming on of cold weather, and retire southward, to more 
favourable latitudes. 'ITiese facts show us how nnich birds 
can accommodate themselves to different situations, and 
give weight to an opinion which I have long entertained, 
that all animals are capable of the torpid condition. Even 
the little humming-bird (trochilus coli/bris), which is un- 
questionably a (generally) migratory bird, is sometimes 
overtaken by the colds of our chmatc, and, on such occa^ 
£:ons, has been known to fall into the torpid state. 

I lately 

On the Nalural History of North America. SOS 

I lately ascertained a fact in ornithology, at once singular 
and interesting. It is well known that the anas sponsa of 
Linngeus, called in the United States summer duck, breeds 
ill the hollows of trees, on the banks of rivers, or in islands 
at a considerable height from the ground. The young ones, 
iooii after they are hatched, descend the sides of the tree, 
and thus make their way into the water. 1 do not know 
of a similar fact in the history of birds. 

I have read, with much pleasure, count Morozzo's letter 
to you rcspectinir a parrot hatched at Rome*. I am sorry, 
however, to find so sensible a writer adhering to the para- 
dox, that " the parrots both of the old and new continent 
never pass the tropics, and seem confined to a zone of 23* 
on each side of the ecpiator ; and tliat " in their wild state , 
they never pass these limits, which nature seems to have 
prescribed to them." The parrots of An'.erica are, I assure 
you, much greater voyagers than count Alorozzo supposes. 
They sail far beyond the tropics. They are frequently found 
in immense flocks upon the river Ohio as high as the lati- 
tude of 40" : nav, a very large flight of these birds has been 
seen, on the eastern side of the United States^ as high as 

the latitude of 42° t. 

From the birds I pass to the oviparous quadrupeds and 
other amphibia. The American animals of this class have 
been very imperfectly investigated. Notwithstanding your 
labours in your inestimable work on the Q/iadrupedes Ovi- 
pares, and the labours of Schoepf, we possess several spe- 
cies of testudo which have entirely escaped your attention. 
In the western parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, &c. there 
is a species of this genus considerablv allied to, but still 
different from, the one which you have called la molle. The 
-new species is called by some of our Indians pi-sl-lt-Tul-pe, 
which literally signifies " the soft-shelled turtle." They 
are very prolific, and both their flesh and eggs are deemed 
excellent eating. Our western rivers, such as the Ohio and 
its branches, hkew-ise possess a very remarkable undescribed 
species of lacerta, if, indeed, it be not entirely a new genus. 
It is sometimes seen near twenty inches in length. By the 
white people it is called alligator, though it is very different 
from the southern animal of this name. Its whole body, 
but in particular the head, contains a milk-like fiuid. This 
animal lives upon fish, frogs, See. It is often taken with 
the line and hook. The Indians say it is poisonous : but 

• Seo Philosophical Msjrazine, vol. xvi. p. 318. 

I bee my Fra^ents of the Natural History of Pennsylvania, part i- 


206 On the Natural Hisionj of North America. 

this is a doubtful point. Several of our species of rana arc 
entirely undescribed by naturalists. 1 may, with great con- 
fidence, make the same observation concerning our ser- 
pents. The little black rattlesnake, which inhabits the 
marshy grounds, is, I think, a new species. This species 
is seldom more than a foot in length, and is deemed ex- 
tremely venomous. I suspect the ipecies described by Mr. 
dc Beauvois (in the Transactions of our Society), and which 
he calls crotahis adamantmus, is the same as that which is 
found in South America. I think it is not quite certain 
that the crotalus horridns, the most common species of 
North American rattlesnake, extends to South America. 
But [ do not wish to be understood as speaking positively 
on this subject. 

The history of the rattlesnake is by no means complete. 
I have, within the last two years, devoted a great deal of 
attention to this curious subject. I have had a number of 
living rattlesnakes under my immediate care. I have made 
a considerable number of experiments to ascertain the ef- 
fects of the venom of this reptile upon dltferent anim.als. 
It is unquestionably a most powerful poison. Tt often kilU 
in a very few minutes. The effects of the poison are very 
various, not only in different species of animals, but even 
in different individuals of the same species. It sometimes 
induces most violent pains, which, if we may judge from 
the cries of the bitten animal, continue nearly to the close 
of its life. At other times, the poison induces death with- 
out creating any or but very little pain. Hitherto my prin- 
cipal expcrnnents have been made with warm-blooded anl- 
inals, such as dogs, cats, and rabbits. I am inclined to 
think that the venom exerts very inconsiderable effects upon 
cold-blooded animals. Warm-blooded animals that have 
been most violently affected by the poison, sometimes strug- 
gle through the danger, and perfectly recover, although no 
remedy has been applied. This may serve to show how 
many inert vegetables have acquired the reputation of curing 
the bite of the rattlesnake. 1 have ventured to apply a por- 
tion of the undiluted venom of a rattlesnake, recently 
thrown from its fang, to my tongue. I made this experi- 
ment in the presence of several gentlemen. But 1 do not 
think I shall venture to repeat the experiment. I did not 
find the venom insipid, aa the abbe Fontana and his servant 
did the venom of the viper. It had, on the contrary, a 
peculiarly pungent taste, and left, for a considerable time, 
a pretty strong sense of licat upon my tongue and fauces. 
My observations have extended to every thing that nught 
7 tend 

On the Natural History of North America. ^dT 

tend to illustrate the history of this wonderful reptile. I 
have found that its powers of digestion are very strong. 
Even the bony fabric of the animals which it devours is 
completely digested, or reduced to the state of a fluid mortar. 
This I have several times observed. Great, however, as is 
the faculty of digestion in this reptile, it is capable of living 
a very long time without any food, unless, perhaps, a smalt 
quantity of water. One of my rattlesnakes lived, without 
having ate one grain of any solid food, froin the 28th of 
April to about the Qth of March following. It then died j 
but upon examining it 1 found it very fat. I have now two 
of these reptiles in mv possession. One of them has eatca 
nothing since the middle of October last. The rattlesnake 
sheds its skin at least once every year. During the two 
summers that I have been making observations upon these 
animals, the old ones have shed their skins only once each 
year, viz. about the end of July. A yoimg one, however, 
shed its skin twice in the course of the year, and that with- 
in five weeks. A rattle, or bell, is tbrm.ed with each cast- 
ing of the skin. It appears, therefore, that the full grown 
reptile generally acquires one bell annually. But 1 have 
elsewhere shown* that we cannot, with confidence, calculate 
the age of the animal from the number of its bells. I have, 
after much inquiry, ascertained the period at which these 
reptiles copulate. The Indians are my authorities. They 
assert that it is when the Indian corn {zea onaijs) is in 
flower; that is, about the lOih or 15th of July, between 
the latitudes of 3(f and 4 \°. 

I have had a number of very fine drawings made to repre- , 
•»ent the anatomical structure of the crotalus. These draw- 
ings it is mv intention to have engraved, by some of the best 
of your artists, for my Anatomy and Physiology of the Rat- 
tlesnake; a work Vvdiich I hope to publish in three or four 
vcars. It will contain everv tiling I have observed, or have 
been able to collect, relative to the structure, the functions, 
the manners, See. of the crotalus horridus ; together with 
observations on some other species of the same genus, and 
on various species of coluber, 8cc. all natives of the United 

Perhaps no country of equal extent is richer in insects 
than the United States. In no country is it an object of 
more importance to attend to the history of these animals; 
for among them are enlisted some of the greatest enemies 
to the labours and industry of man. The heats of our cli- 

* Supplement to a Memoir, &c. 


50S On tlic Natural History of North Amerkd. 

mates are extrcmch'' favourable to the generation and in- 
crease of insects : our colds are not sutficient to destroy* 
them. We do not cultivate one important vegetable that 
is not exposed to the devastations of some higlily injurious 
species of insect. Our wheat, you know, has for n)any 
years greatly suflered bv a species of tipula, called by us 
the Hessian flv. This, at present, is much less formidable 
in its ravages than it has been. The curculio, or weavil, 
which it is highly probable we received from Europe, is 
still very destructive in the southern parts of the United 
States. A species of cimex, not, I think, described, as- 
sists other insects in destroying the finest of all the cerealia ; 
I mean the zca mays, or Indian corn. Partly ov.'ing to the 
ravages of insects, it is to be feared that, in the course of 
a very few years, there will be a great scarcity of that fine 
fruit the peach in our country*. I could mention a hun- 
dred other insects of the most pernicious kinds. It is a 
melancholy fact, that the industry of my countrymen has 
been much more exerted in destroying the insects which 
infest one of the vilest of plants, I mean the tobacco, than 
in endeavouring to stop the ravages of any of those species 
which lav waste the most useful of our crops 1 

You must not, however, suppose, from what I have said, 
that the study of entomology is entirely neglected in the 
United States. On the contraryj this very important branch 
of natural history (for such, when it is properly cultivated, 
it unquestionably is,) has several votaries, some of them ar- 
dent votaries, in our country. The principal of these is 
the reverend Mr. Valentine Melscheimcr, a clergyman, who 
employs a portion of his time in the cultivation of this sci- 
ence, which has always been deemed favourable to religion. 
This gentleman has discovered several hundred new species 
of American insects, a catalogue and description of which 
may, perhaps, be published. I must still regret, however, 
that it is chiefly the nomenclature of the North American 
insects that is attended to. Other more important parts of 
their natural history are loo much neglected. Some pro- 
gress, however, has already been made in discovering re- 
medies against the ills which result from these animals. 
IVioreover the useful properties of several other species have 
been discovered. \'arious species of the genus lytta of Fa- 
bricius inhabit our country. The Ii/tia vittata of this en- 

• The unripe fruit of tlie peach is fjreally injured by a species of curculio ; 
but the insects motl pcnruious to thio tret are two lepidopterous insects, ot 
the genus zygifna of rabilcius. Thes^e, v>hilein the larva state, destroy the 
bark of the root. 


On ike Nalural History of North America. £09 

tomologist is called potatoe-fly, because it abounds upon 
the stems and leaves of the solarium tuberosum, or potatoe. 
It inhabits various other species of vegetables ; such as the 
flax {liniun), the beet {beta), black snake-root [actcea ra- 
cemosa), Sec. This insect has been found to be a very effi- 
cacious substitute for the cantharides of the shops, and is 
now employed, with this view, by many of our physicians. 

I shall conclude this part of my letter by observing, that 
I still continue my inquiries into the natural history of the 
Korth American tribes. On this subject I have read before 
our Philosophical Society a discourse, which it is my inten- 
tion to publish in a much more enlarged and perfect shape. 
Since the publication of my New Views, I have made great 
progress in collecting and comparing the languages of the 
American tribes with one another, and with the languao-es 
of Europe and Asia. Every step I take only serves to con- 
firm me in my opinion, that the (known) radical 
languages of North America are very few in number, .and 
that all the Americans are of Asiatic origin. I have lately 
received from Mexico an inestimable treasure, — a collection 
of a number of vocabularies of the old Mexican dialects. 
Between these and the dialects of Asia I find great affinities, 
sufficient to convince me that the Mexican nations (con- 
trary to the paradox of Camper) are not of European ori- 
gin 5 much more than sufficient to excite in me the greatest 
surprise that the learned abbe Clarigero, after leisurely 
comparing the Mexican languages with those of the old 
world, should have found no affinity between them. The 
affinities, I repeat it, are very great. 

Of all the branches of natural history, none, I think, is 
so little cultivated in tlie United States as mineralogy. This 
is the more remarkable, not merely by reason of the great 
utility of this branch of the science, but because its sister 
science, I mean chemistry, is ardently cultivated in dif- 
ferent parts of the country, particularly in Philadelphia. 
Mineralogy, however, is not entirely neglected in the United 
States. It possesses, aniono- other votaries, an ingenious 
cultivator in Dr. Adam Scybert, to whom we are indebted 
for the discovery of a mineral which is supposed to be co- 
rundum or adamantine spar. This is found to be abundant 
in the neighbourhood of Philadelphia. Mineralogy and 
chemistry, and T may add the other branches of natural 
history, have lately sustained a loss, not perhaps easily to 
be repaired, in the death of Mr. Thomas P. Smith, a young 
man of the most capacious mind, and of the warmest en- 
thusiasm for the attainment and promotion of science. 

^'ol . 2 2 . No . S 7 , August 1 SO j . O Mines 

810 On the Natural tlistory of North Americd. 

INIincs of various kinds are very abundant in the UnitecJ 
States. Wc are extremely rich in iron, copper, and lead. 
The iron mines of Pennsylvania are, perhaps, inexhaustible. 
Prodigious quantities of copper, nearly in a native state, 
have been discovered near Lake Superior. A bed of cin- 
iiabir has been discovered in Virii;inia; and several veins of 
plumbago have been delected ni Pennsylvania and othey 
parts of the Union. As to gold and silver, these, as yet, 
arc jyrincipally to be found in the fields that are cultivated 
by the virtuous hand of agriculture. Our country is ex- 
trcmc'ly rich in coal. This useiul article has hitherto beer> 
found in the greatest abundance in the weF^tern parts of the 
United States, beyond the Alfeghaney mountains. It is in 
this same part of the continent tliat the principal salt springs, 
and mines of sal-gem or rock-salt, are fomid. In a few year* 
we shall, in all probability, Ikt able to do without the salt 
of Europe. Hitherto very little sal-gem ha* been detected 
within the limit.? of the United State!?. I am not, indeed, 
certain that any has been detected. It must, however, 
abound at no great distance fron) the immense salt springs^ 
which arc now found in t<o manv parts of our country. Of 
sal-gem, however, prodigious quantities have been disco- 
vered in the co^mtry that is watered by some of" the branchei^ 
of the Mis-^ouri, west of the Mississippi *. 

I have lately returned from a three months tour (which 
had been principally undertaken for the recovcrv of mv 
health) through the western parts (jf \'iro;inia. 1 have visited 
manv of the most interesting natural objects in that part of 
the United States, and have brought home a very considera- 
ble collection of vegetables, \i\ travelling over some of the 
principal ranges of our mountains, particularly the Bluer 
Kidge and the North Mountain, I have not observed that 
any of them are purely grai-;itical. The stone composing 
these mountains is, indeed, various ; but I think the pre- 
dominant species is a petro-silcx, of different degrees of 
hardness. Veins of schistus arc son>etimes found upon 
some parts of tliese mountains ; but such veins are princi- 
pally abundant about their bases. I have paid particular 
attention to the declivities of the mountains. These I fnul 
to be much less regular than ]\Ir. Kirwan's ingenious ob- 
servations (conceiuing mountains in general) would lead us 

* since Wrltiii_e^ the above, I iiave learned tliat very I.irgc quantities of sul- 
phate of majjnc^ia, or E[)Soni salt, have been tiiscovered in some of the cal- 
careous c.ives in the ■\veiitern parts of Virj^inia. It is also said that the borate 
fii soda, or eommon borax, ha. been found in others of these eaves. But tliis 
hrf report rci];i;irt»s liinhtr ctiiilirin.ition'. 


On the Xutural History of North America. 211 

to suppose. The general range of these American moun- 
tains is north-east and south-west. In some places the 
north-west and in others the south-east side« are the 
steepest. The valiey which is comprehended between the 
North Mountains and the Blue Ridge is principally calca- 
reous. Very generally the veins of limestone run parallel 
with the mountains, that is, north-east and south-west. 
When the nearest mountain varies from this direction, I 
observed that the adjacent strata in the valley do the same. 
These strata are sometimes perpendicular m their position, 
but never horizontal. It is remarkable, however, that most 
of the strata in the country west of the great Alleghaney 
mountains (which are to the west, of the North Mountains) 
are arranged horizontally. This observation applies to the 
strata of limestone, schistus, freestone, and even to the 
stone coal and iron ore. This difference in the disposition 
of the strata east and west of the Alleghaney mountains is 
well entitled to the attention of naturalists. I have made 
it the subject of an express memoir. 

It has long been conjectured that the calcareous valley 
which I have mentioned was once an arm of the ocean. 
This opinion has been maintained by Mr. Jeftcrson in his 
Notes on the State of Virgin'ia. 1 entertain no doubt as to 
the antient covering of this vallev by the sea, especially 
since my late researches have convmced me that the calca- 
reous strata abound with marine exuvias of various kinds. 
It is a circumstance very remarkable, that marine vestiges 
are much less abundant in the calcareous strata that are 
nearest to the present ocean, than in those which are at a 
much greater distance from it. Thus, although immense 
quarries of marble have been opened in the neighbourhood 
of Philadelphia, 1 have never yet been able to discover, 
though I have for several years been in search of them, 
the most distant semblance of a shell, or any thing of the 
kind, in hundreds of masses of this marble that I have exa- 
mined. I do not, however, assert that such vestiges do not 
exist in the eastern Pennsylvania marble. 

This very long letter was written principally for the 
amusement of my learned friend, who, following the foot- 
steps of the immortal French Pliny, cannot but be interested 
in hearing any thing that relates to the progress of the great 
-science of natural historv. The letter is at your free dis- 
posal. I am, with very great respect, my dear sir. 

Your friend and humble servant, 8cc. 
To M. Lacepede. Benjamin Smith Barton. 

Philadelphia. October 31, 180-J. 

O 5 XXXII. On 

[ 212 ] 

XXXII. On feeding Cattle with green Food; together 
ivith of her ingenious and valuable Observations in A^ri- 
culture. By Mr. Edward Powys*. 

X CONCEiVR the principal object respecting agriculture in 
the present state of this country, is to procure the greatest 
possible supply of the necessaries of life within the kingdom 
itself, and one principal means of doing this is, to raise the 
greatest produce from a given quantity of land. 

To effect this, every encouragement should be given by 
land-owners ib the cultivation of grain and turnips ; be- 
cause I look upon the produce of an acre of grain to be, to 
the produce of an acre of grass, in the proportion of at least 
fifteen to two, in furnishing the necessaries of life. I sup- 
pose the grain made into bread, and the grass digested by 
a feedino; beast, and chano-ed into an increase of \veio;ht. 

One great means of increasing the growth of grain and 
turnips, I think, would be to encourage the farmer to make 
as much manure as possible. This would be efic-ctcd by 
allowing him to sell all his wheat and rye strau-, with the 
restriction of laying out the whole price in manure ; and by 
gentlemen, who have land in their hands, trying the expe- 
riment of keeping their cattle and horses in the house upon 
green food great part of the summer. 

For these last six years I have sold all the wheat straw T 
did not want for thatching and the beds of certain kinds of 
horses, and can assure you that the same farm has pro-< 
duced for some years back one-third more grain, and keeps 
double the live stock it did six years ago. 

As a proof that what I say of keeping cattle in the house 
in summer upon green food is not matter of theory oniy, 
but of practice, I shall mention my own experience. 

For these last five years I, have kept eight or ten wag- 
gon horses in the stable upon clover, cut and carried for 
them once a day ; the small waste that they made was 
thrown into a low cratch (or receptacle, with staves on each 
side) for my pigs, which have generally been from 23 to 
40. My horses and pigs, thus fed, have eaten, between the 
beginning of May and corn harvest, from <2\ to 3^ acres, 
according to the goodness of the clov<r. My horses have 
been, bv this means, in much better condition than if turned 
into a field ; there has been a saving of at least eight or ten 
acres of clover for other slock ; a great deal of the richest 

• From Cciuraf i'iew of tlie A^ricultuTC of Shropshire. 


On feeding Cattle with green Food. 213 

manure has been made (much more, and richer, than In the 
same time in winter), and tlie addiiional daily expense has 
been, one man less than half his time, in catting, raking, 
and carrying with a horse and cart, one load each day. 


Dr. £. s. (1. Or. £. s. d. 

One man half a day for 13 Eigfht arrei of clover saved 

weeks, at 4s. per week 2 12 by this experiment, at 

One horse 13 weeks, at 6s. 3 13 50s. per acre - 20 

Manure, at least, - 10 10 O 

G 10 

2 12 

3 13 

G 10 

SO 10 

30 10 O 

The first year I tried the experiment the manure made 
was estimated bv a good farmer at 20l. ; but 1 wish to make 
allouance for the value of the straw, and the manure that 
would have been made by the horses standing in the stable 
the usual hours in sunimer. 

I must endeavour to remove an objection that may per- 
haps be made to this e.spcriment, by observing, that I can- 
not think land injured any more bv the green food being 
cut by the scythe, than by cattle or liorses ; and as to the 
dung that is dropped in sunnuer, it breeds ilies, and does 
more harm than good. I have ever thought land exhausted 
infinilelv more by its prodiice being sufiered to ripen and 
seed, than by its being cut in a green state. The advan- 
tage I had derived from this experiment, induced me last 
summer to try whether cattle might not be treated in the 
same wav. 

I began with putting into stalls 19; I afterwards increased 
my stock fed in, this manner to 50, consisting of horses, 
feeding cattle, milking cows and colts, besides a la'gi quan- 
tity of pi^s. 

The horses, as usual, answered well. 

The feeding cattle came on much faster than I ever saw 
•them in summer. The milking cows fed very much, and 
milked very well. The colts did well, and lived chiefly 
upon the refuse of the cattle. The pigs, as usual, ate the 
refuse of the horses. 

The quantity of land run over with the scythe for this 
purpose was : 

Fourteen acres of trefoil, very moderate, on account of 
the clover root having died in winter. 

Two acres of vetches, very moderate;, on account of ihe 
severe winter. 

Five acres of verv good grass. 

^O 3 Th? 

214 On feeding Cattle with green Food. 

The cattle were turned out late at night for about six or 
seven hours. 

The trefoil caused some trouble, on account of the catllft, 
sometimes swelling, but brought them on very well, though 
they throve best upon the wmter vetch or tares, and upon 
the grass. The daily expense was one old man of more 
than 70, to feed and clean them, another young man to 
cut, rake, and carry the food with a smgie horse cart. 

If this stock had been turned out I should suppose they 
would have run over at least 60 acres, if the crop had been 
good, and much more, if the indifferent trefoil is consi- 


Dr. /, s. d. Cr. £. s. d. 

Two men IS weeks, at 1 4s. 9 2 Twenty-nine acres saved, 
One horse ditto - 7s. 4 11 at 50s. - - 97 10 

13 13 O 
Profit - - - 88 17 

97 10 97 10 

Any person that intends to practise this method should 
begin to cut his green food so eaiiv m spring that he may 
be able again to mow the sanje ground Irom hay to corn 

I have before observed, thai T never saw cattle in summer 
come on so tast. I speak this, noi oidv from my own obr 
servation, but from that also of several farmers and Init- 
chers, who came through curifisity or businesj; frequently 
to visit them. 'I'he most feeding green food is winter 
vetclies ; and the most advantageous m.ode of cultivating 
them, r think, is to plough up a clean stubble (that is in- 
tended for turnips), manure it, and sow it with vetches 
soon after corn harvest. When the vetches are all cut in 
May and June, or rather in the latter month, the Held may 
be picuiihed and sown witli tuvnips for a winter crop. 

From corn harvest till Sejitember 'l'-2, my cattle were all 
out in the fields at grass. I then took up thirty mto stalls, 
and fed them with turnips which had Ixen sown early in 
May, and which had arrived at a very good size. IVly fir^t 
field of turnips has been carried off, ploughed and sown 
with wheat, which has been above the ground spme time, 
and looks very promising. 

I have practised this scheme of so\\ing titrnip^ in May, 
carrying them ofl' before the beginning or end of the fol- 
lowing November, and then sowing the piece with wheat, 
jor these last t,hree years. And I have found this, wfieat 


On feeding Cattle with green Food. 215 

TDiich more productive than any sown after any other crop 
or fallow. 1 am speaking of dry sown land. 

Cue year 1 got up all^the tvirnips of a iield, topped and 
butted them (throwino; the tops and butts in heaps by thca)-, carried the top* imincdiaiely as they were cut to a 
i)are stubbie for mv caLtle and sheep, and laid the butts up 
in large heaps either vmder euver ov in my stack-yard, with 
straw over them. Where there was no straw in layers be- 
tween them, they kept for two or three months ; some that 
had layers of straw every foe. or half yard perpenduular, 
soon beoan to decay near the straw, which was made to 
heat bv tlie moisture from the turnips. 

Trom these experiments ujion turnips, and irom observ-^ 
jng that dry land of my own, tiiough it produc:jd crops of 
grain or turnips for many years together, with the change 
of •clover (mown twice in the same year) only oiice in tive 
years, did not lose any of its power, I have conceived that 
much more grain might be produced upon well cultivated 
farms. Wet land that is well cultivated might bear, in 
regular succession, crops of turnips, wheat, and barley or 
oats. Dry sound land may also bear the same succession 
when an early crop of turnips is wanted ; and when turnips 
are wanted to stand the winter, a succession of turnips, 
barley, and wheat. 

I think it is much more advantageous to carry all the 
turnips to cattle in stalls (except a very few left tor sheep) 
than to eai thera on the land, because they furnish much 
more food and manure. I am aware that many gentlemei) 
of landed property \y\\\ object to this constant tillage : in 
answer to which 1 shall only observe, that it has been my 
opinion and practice never to have any grass land that is 
not worth 40s. an acre j never to plough iny grass land, 
but to till the rest constantly, with the intermission now and 
then of turnips and clover, the latter only for one year. 

The farm I have show alluded to is about 24p acres, of 
which I have in grass land about 90 ?xres .; in tillage for 
grain and turnips about lt?() acres. The rest is generally 
clover, unless I have a single fallow for wheat upon a field 
of w et land. 

I repeat it once more, that the interests of the public, of 
.the landlord, and tenant, (for i know of no distinction when 
many years are taken into consideration) are united in the 
greatest produce of the necessaries of life ; and that if arable 
land is kept clean and full of manure, it receives no injury 
from producing the greatest quantity of grain. The in- 

O 4 creased 

216 On feeding Cattle with green Food. 

creased produce ot land benefits the public in too obvious a 
nianner to enlarge upon. It benefits the landlord, bv his 
being able, at the expiration ot" certain fair intervals, to raise 
the rent of his farm ; and the tenant or occupier, by getting 
more profit from a given quantity of land, and with nearly 
a given capital. 

I have recommended turnips once in three years, because 
I think land requires cleaning once in that time, and be- 
cause it is thus effected without losing the benefit of a crop 
in any year. 

Much has been, b.tely said about the superior advantage 
of cattle over horses in fariners' teams. J think some horses 
must be kept for the farmer to take his grain to market, 
and to carry his coal and lime. If he is so near a large 
town that he can draw at least two load of dung in a day, 
he will also want them for that purpose. Other team-work 
may vcrv well be done by cattle. But I think cows are 
much more useful and beneficial than oxen, and that it 
would be an advantage to the kingdom if iew or no oxen 
were reared. The uses of cattle are to work, milk, and 
feed. I have seen barren cows work as well as oxen ; they 
require less keep, and walk faster. Oxen are of no use to 
the dairy, and they will not feed so fast as cows. 

When first I con)menced farmer I followed the example 
of my predecessor, in feeding chiefly oxen ; but I soon 
found that cows hd mucli faster and on le<s meat, and for 
some years past have carefully avoided having any oxen in 
my stalls. 


It should be considered as a great object of every land- 
lord, or his steward, to procure watered or flooded mea- 

The best means of doing this is, to place the farm -yard 
on such an eminence of the farm that a stream can be pro- 
cured to ran through it, and afterwards over the greatest 
quantity of meadow land. 

Conmion nieadows ought to be well manured once in 
three years, and will then produce one ton and a half of 
hay per acre, and a pasture from the middle of September 
^o Christmas. 

Good watered meadows will bear to be grazed from the 
beginnino; or middle of August till May following, and will, 
between That time and hay harvest, produce one-Iburth of 
hay more than the otlicr. 

On feeding Cattle until green Food. 217 

The cUfTerence of the profit of watered meadows over 
common, I think, is annually as underneath : 
One-third of 5l. (the expense of manuring an 

acre of land) _ _ _ 

One-half ton of hay additional 
Difference of the value of grazing 










But besides the produce and profit, there are two other 
very great advantages in watered meadows. The one, saving 
manure for arable land, the other keeping the pastures free 
from stock the beginning of spring. 

I have hitherto only mentioned a stream that runs through 
a farm-yard, but I have frequently observed very great ad- 
vantages derived from nothing but clear spring water being 
turned over grass land. 

If a farmer has a greater command of water than he 
wants for his meadows and pasture land, he may occasion- 
ally till some of them for two or three years, and they will 
produce great crops without manure. I saw this practised 
with great success, this last summer, by the late Mr. Bake- 
well, of Dishley, Leicestershire. 

S'lze of Farms. 

l^auch lias been lately said upon the size of farms, from 
ihe high price of grain being supposed to arise from the 
opulence of the farmer, and his being able to keep back 
his grain from the market. I might combat this assertion 
by the well known fact, that at the harvest of 1?94 there 
was not a fortnight's consumption of wheat in the kino- 
dom, and vet the price was moderate. I might also add, 
that there never was so much \\ heat brought to market be- 
fore Christmas as has been for these last two vcars, and that 
it has only been when wheat was plentiful that any of the 
stock remained in stacks at harvest^ but 1 think the high 
price is known by sensible thinking people to arise from 
other causes. I shall therefore proceed to observe, that 
farms of from 200l. to SOOl. per annum, and upwards, are 
much more beneficial to the public, the landlord, and te- 
nant, than farms of from 50l. to lOOl. per annum. The 
public are benefited by fewer people and horses being kept 
upon one farm of 300l. per annum, than upon six of 5ol. 
each to do the same work, and therefore by a greater pro- 
duce being left, after the supply of the families, for the 
consumption of the kingdom at large. 


218 New Process for decomposing 

The landlord is benefited by having fewer buildings to 
cr^ect and repair, and bv having more opulent tenants. The 
benefit of a large farm to the oceupier I need not enlarge 
upon. The misery of the small farmer, under 5()1. per an- 
num, is extreme. He has not constant employnient for 
himself and family (if at all large) upon his farm ; he is in 
general aV)0ve \vorkin<r day labour, is unable to exert him- 
self and improve his small tract of land, and sits bv the 
fire-side \vi(h his family great part of the winter, lamenting 
that his farm and his capital are not larger, and brooding 
nothing but discontent and indolence. 

B<.it while I am makins: these observations upon the ad- 
%'antage of large over small farms, let me notice the great 
benefit and comfort that the common ^^■orkman, in any 
line, derives from suificient grass land being atta' bed to 
his dwelling to keep a cow in summer and winter. The 
landlord will also receive benefit, as well as self-saii-faction, 
from being the cause of the plenty that the produce of a 
cow makes in a large and poor family. 

I can from experience assert, that the cottager can afford 
to give his landlord one-third, if not one-half, more for that 
small quantity of land than a farmer. The value of the cow 
is generallv more than one year's rent, and the addition of 
a small cow-house is a trifling expense. 

I cannot help reconnnending, this the more strongly, be- 
cause I know well, from experience, the astonishing com- 
fort and advantage that a poor family receives from the pro- 
duce of its cow, and that it is also for the interest as well 
as inward satisfaction of the landlord. 

XXXIII. Keiv Process for dcconi posing Sidphnte of Barijtes 
in order to prepare the ]\luriate of that Earth ; fiitk a 
Method of preparing the IShiriate. By M. Goettling*. 

iViuuiATE of barytes is now so generally used, that everv 
improvement in the mode of preparing it must be favoura- 
blv received, J\I. CJoettling's new method is as follows : 

Tlie decomposition of sulphate of barvtes by means of 
charcoal requires a strong fire continued a long time, ai>d 
Kcver succeeds completely. This is owing, on the one 
band, to the strongly oxygenated quality of the acidifying 
principle in the sulphuric acid, so that in its translation to 

• IVom Tasthcn-liiih Jii.1' S<hcnlk]nml<r. 


Sulphate vf Barytes. 210 

the charcoal it gives out but little caloric ; ana on the other 
hand, to the difficulty of imparting a certain df:i^ree of heat 
to a uuxture into which a large quantity of a body that is so 
bad a conductor of heat as charcoal enters. To remedy the 
first of these defects, I had already proposed to increase the 
proportion of charcoal a little, and to incorporate with the 
mixture of charcoal and sulphate of barytes a twentieth of 
nitrate of potash. To remedy the second, Mr. Goettling 
advices to add muriate of 3oda to the mixture, which serves 
at the ?ame time as a conductor of heat and a flux. The 
i'ollowing is his method: 

Four parts of native sulphate of barytes in fine powder 
are to be mixed with one part of muriate of soda and half a 
part of charcoal powder. This mixture is to be pressed hard 
in'o a ci.icible, and exposed for an hour and half 
to a red heat in a good wind-furnace. After it has grown 
col'!, the mass is to be reduced to a coarse powder, and 
boiled for a nmment \^ ith sixteen parts of water. The h- 
qiior IS then to be tiltered, and kept in w^ell stopped bottles. 

The time of exposure to heat may be shortened to one 
half, if the quantity of nun-iate of soda be doubled, and the 
matler occasionally stirred. In this case, too, double the 
quantity of water should be used to lixiviate the mass. 

To prepare muriate of barytes with tliis lixivium of sul- 
phuret of barytes, which at the same time holds in solution 
muriate oi soda, muriatic acid is to be added in separate 
portions till sulphurated hydrogen gas is no longer extri- 
cated. The liquor is then to be filtered, a little hot water 
is to he poured on the residuum, and the liquor is to be 
evaporated to a pellicle. The lixivium being then filtered 
afresh, is to be set to crystallize ; the mu nate of soda, which 
is much more soluble m water than the muriate of barytes, 
and not more soluble with heat than without, is not depo- 
sited by cooling, and the muriate of barytes crystallizes 

The remaining lixivium is to be evaporated and set to 
crystallize again, and this is to be repeated till no more 
crystals of muriate of barytes are formed. 

The barytic salt thus obtained, if care be taken not to 
employ an excess of muriatic acid, is perfectly white, on 
account of the hydro-sulphuret, by which the iron and 
other metallic substances are precipitated. To be more 
certain that it contains no muriate of soda, the different 
products of the crystallization should be mixed together, 
ilj^solvedj and re-cry^taUized. 


[ '220 ] 


XXXIV. Report on the Means of meamring ike initial 
Ftlociiy of Projectiles thrown from Cannon, both in an 
inclined and a horizo7ital Direction. Read in the Phy- 
sical and Mathematical Class of the Freiich National 
Institute in the Month of December 1804*. 

JL HE class charged Messrs. Bossr.t, Monge, and nnvself, 
to give ill a report on the means for iticasuring the initial 
velocity of projectiles thrown from cannon, proposed hv 
colonel Grobert, who constructed an apparatus of such cl - 
nrensions that we could employ it for our preliminary ex- 
periments. This apparatus was as follows : 

A horizontal revolving axis, of about 3 1 decimetres in 
leugih, has at each of its extremities a disk or circle of 
pastcI)oard placed perpendicular to the axis^ the centres of 
which are in the same axis, to which it is fastened in such 
a manner that the whole system can turn rapidly without 
the respective positions of its different parts being deranged. 

The rotary motion is Cv)mraunicated to the axis and to 
the disks by means of a weight suspended at the extremity 
of a rope, which, after passing over a pulley raised ten or 
twe'vc yards above the ground, rolls itself round the arbor 
of a wheel and axle fixed .at the same level as the disks. An 
eudie-s chain," which passes round on the one side the wheel 
of the axle, and on the other a pulley fixed on the axis of the 
disks, transmit to that axis the motion which the weight 
commuuica!es to the wheel and axle during its fall. 

This apparatus, as is seen, has the merit of being simple: 
and wilhout entering into further details it may be readily 
conceived how it can be employed for measuring hori- 
zontal velocities. Let us suppose that the two disks are 
at rest, and that a ball traverses them in a direction pa- 
rallel to the axis or the line passing through their centres ; 
it is manifest that this axis will be in the same plane with 
the holes made in the disks ; but if the disks turn around 
their axis while the ball passes from the one to the other, 
the plane containing the axis of rotation and the first hole 
v/iH not coincide with the second hole; and if a second 
plane be made 'to pass through the second hole and the axis, 
ihe angle formed bv these two planes will be the measure 
of the arc described by an\' ptiint of the disks, while the ball 
or bullet passes over the interval by whieh ihey are sepa- 
jaLcd. , 

' i'rum ihc Ju%rncl da Minn:, Fiorc:il, an 1'2, no. 92. 


rehdhj of Projectiles throivn from Ccuuion. £21 

The (juestiou then is, to measure the velocity of the 

1st, To impress an angular, ur.iform, and known velo- 
citv to the system ot' the axis and the two disks. 

2d, 'I'o mea'sure the arc comprehended between the two 
planes passing through the axis, and each of the holes or 
passages which the bullet has, opened through the disks. 

In the experiments which were made, the motion became 
sensibly uniform when the weight had arrived nearly at the 
half of the vertical space which it traversed : this was ascer- 
tained bv measuring at two periods the time elapsed during 
the third and fourth quarters of the fall, and then comparino- 
these times with the corresponding spaces passed over. Fcir 
these measures we employed two excellent time-pieces that 
beat seconds; one by Louis Eerthoud, and the other by 

In almost the whole of the experiments we substituted 
for the measure of the vertical space passed over by the 
weight, that of the number of turns and fractions of turns 
made by the arbor of the wheel and axle durino; a criven 
number of seconds, which in every respect was much more 
precise and convenient. 

Then, to measure the arc passed over by the disks while 
the ball went from the one to the other, we placed before 
each of these disks a screen or fixed piece of pasteboard, 
which was at a very small distance i'rom it ;* so that the ball 
during its passage first traversed the first screen, then the 
first disk ; then the second screen, and afterwards the se- 
cond disk. When the piece was discharged the hole o£ 
the first disk was brought opposite to that of the first screen, 
and these two holes were in the same straight line with that 
made in the second screen ; a wire, directed horij^onially 
through the centre of the latter hole, pierced the second 
disk ; and the arc, having its centre in the axis of rotation 
comprehended between the extremity of that wire and the 
centre of the hole made by the ball in the second disk, oave 
the measure of the angle described by the system of the 
two disks, while the ball had passed ever the lengthof the 

It may be readily seen that the fixed screci;", which give 
the absolute direction of the ball in space, furnish the means 
of niakino; an allowance for the want of parallelism, if there 
be any between that direction and the axis of rotation of 
the disks. 

■ The cannon employed for throwing the projectile v^ns 
placed horizontally and parallel to the arbor of the disks, at 

a sufficient 

S22 Means of measuring the initial Velocity 

a sufficient distance from the first disk, that the motion 
given to the air bv the explosion of the powder should nat 
hurt the motion of tliat disk. 

An a[)pnratus exactly similar to the above was established 
by colonel Grobert in a place belonging tcr the School of 
Bridges and Causew.-^ys, where, with the commissioners, 
he made, a few years ago, a great number of experiments, 
at whieli were present several officers of the engineers and 
artillery, amongf whom v/ere general Marescot and the se- 
nator La Maitillicre. 

This apparatus was far from having those dimensions and 
that perfection of which it was susceptible, and which the 
author proposes to give it. The object of the commis- 
sioners, therefore, was not so much to furnish results useful 
to the artillery, as to ascertain what advantage might be de- 
rived from it when constructed a> it ought to be. 

It is proper, belbre we speak of our experiments, that we 
should resolve a difficulty which naiurallv occurs to all men 
who are in the least acquainted with this subject, and which 
arises from the enormous difference supposed to exist be- 
tween the velocity of a projectile thrown from a cannon 
and the angular velocity that may be given to the disks. 
It is concluded, indeed, from the experiments already 
known in rc:-rard to nrlillery, that the time employed hy 
the ball or bullet in passing over the distance of three ov 
four metres between the disks must be smaller than the 
hundredth part of a second, and it can hardly be conceived 
that during so short a time the disks can describe a sensible 

The solution of this difficulty is as follows: — When the 
motion has become uniform, the v heel and axis make ge- 
nerally 0-B33 turns j)cr second, and the axis of the disks 
7'S75 turns, Vvhich thus made 6-50 turns per second, cor- 
respond to each turn of that wheel : therefore a point placed 
on one disk at the distance of a metre from the axis passed 
over about 41 metres per second, which gives for l-UMJdth 
second 41 centimetres, a length more than sufficient to 
furnish vcrv exact measures. 

The experiments were made with a common infantry 
musket and ; horse nmskeloon, the barrels of which were 
resspectively 1-137 metre and 0-7G5 of interior lengtli. 
They were chartrcU w ith cartridges furnished from the arse- 
nal. The first series of experiments liiiving been more re- 
gular th:m was presumed, tiiey were encouraged to employ 
more precision ui the charjics and njore care in the proofs. 
Tlie baib were wcigiied exactly: their mean weight wis 

i4'7 grammes, 

of Projectiles thrown from Cannon. 223 

£4*7 grammes, and each of them was projected with half 
its weiuht of powder. 

Thefollowing is the formula employed to calculate the 
velocity of the b.'Jld. 

The semi-circumference, which has unity 
for radius _ _ _ - 

The ratio between the respective numbers 
of the turns made at the same time by the 
wheel of the axle and the pulley of the axis 
of the disks _ - - 

The time employed by the wheel of the 
axle to make // niunber of turns 

The distance of the hole made by the ball 
in the second disk from the axis of the disks 

The arc passed over by that hole, while the 
disk goes from the one to the other 

The distance between the two disks 

Velocity of the ball between the disks 

We have then the following equation : 
2 tT rt r J 

= 7?= 3-14i 

= ^ 

= t 

— a 
= V 

V = 


As it may be of some use to add to this formula a tabic 
of some expcrinionts, we shall give the six following, made 
with the musketoon. 


of the 




































J\Iean velocity = 390-45. 
Constant value oi k — — ^ — . 

7 8 T a 

All the values of a are referred to that of r 

1 metre. 

224 Means of measuring the initial Velocity 

The mean velocity deduced from the ten preceding expe- 
riments is 390*4 7 metres, nearly the same which results 
iVom the whole of" the experiments. The mean value found 
for the velocity per second of bails thrown from the infantry 
musket was 428 metres, the ratio of which to the preceding 
is as n to \0. These experiments seem to indicate that the 
infantry musket might he shortened without much lessening 
its raniic ; but besides that the conmiissloners had no inten- 
tion of deducing from these first (rials any conclusions ap- 
plicable to artillery, it is proper to observe, that some mili- 
tary considerations, besides those of range, are in favour of 
leneth in an infantry musket. 

If we wished to select from the accurate experiments hi- 
therto published in regard to the projectiles of artillery some 
proper for being nearly an object of cumjiarison with those 
mentioned above, we might take from the work of doctor 
Hutton those winch he made with a cannon of the smallest 
dimensions, and which he marks No. 1, the bore of it 
being 7 decimetres in length and about 51 millimetres in 
diameter. The general results consigned to a table formed 
from ihe whole of the experiments, give for the case, when 
the weight of the charge of powder is, as above, one-half 
that of the bullet, an initial velocity of 43.5 metres per se- 
cond, which differs very little from the velocity found with 
the infantry musket. Dr. Mutton's pieces numbered 2, 3, 
and 4, and' which vv-ere longer, gave mean velocities more 

The commissioners made some trials with half charges, 
that is to sav, expelled the ball with the fourth part of its 
weiglit of powder: the mean value of the velocity of the 
ball tlms projected was found for the infantry nmsket to be 
954 nietres, and for the muskctoon 252. These two velo- 
cities are sensibly equal, and exceed the halves 214 and 195 
of those given by whole charges. 

There is reason to presume that these circumstances de- 
pend chiefly on the complete iuHammation of the powder 
which takes place when there is only half a charge. 

In the last place, the commissioners, to multiply their 
trials on the application of colonel Grobert's apparatus to 
horizontal firing, wished to obtain sonie data in regard to 
the resistance offered by the air to the motion of the ball, 
the diameter of which was 15 or 16 millimetres. The 
moutii of the barrel, which was first at the distance of 2*35 
metres from the first fixed sireeti, was removed to that of 
18'44 metres, l>v means of whieii its distance from the first 
fixed screen was 20*79 mctrL'S. hi this position the velocity 
1 with 

of Projectiles thrown ffom Cannon. S?25 

with which the ball thrown from the infantry musket passed 
over the interval between the one disk and the other, was 
found at a mean value to be 345 metres per second instead 
of 428. The diminution is in the ratio of 42 to 34. The 
experiments of the last kind are few in number, and we 
shall deduce from them no conclusion: we sball not say 
any thing either of some trials which were made to deter- 
mine the loss of velocity which the ball experiences in 
traversing the tv.o first leaves of the pasteboard; as the 
principal object of our trials was not, as already said, to 
employ this first apparatus for the advancement of the 
science of artillerv, but to acquire some idea of the advan- 
ta2;e which tliis science mi'zht derive from it when con- 
structed with that perfection of which it is susceptible. 

One of the most important changes which the author 
proposes is, to increase the diameter of the disks and the 
length of their axis in such a manner as to render them 
proper for determining the initial velocities of cannon balls 
of different calibres. It would be difficult to assign previ- 
ously, and without preliminary trials, the term of this aug- 
mentation compatible with the possibility and exactness of 
experiments ; but there is no doubt that the a])paratus we 
used might be made of much greater dimensions, and such 
as might render it fit to be employed for trials with cannon. 
Colonel Grobert proposes another change, which derives 
its principal utility from tliat already mentioned. 'I'he. ob- 
ject of it is to atford the means of traversing the disks bv 
throwing balls in different directions, from the horizontal 
to that which forms half a riglit angle with the vertical 
line. To accomplish this end he has invented the follow- 
ing mechanism, which is simpli^ and easily constructed: — 
He does not make the disks revolve around a common axis, 
but oivcs to each of them a particular horizontal axis, to 
which a pulley is affixed. The axis of the windlass has two 
equal wheels corresponding to two pulleys, and two endless 
chains, each of which passes round a wheel and a pulley. 
The rotary motion which the windlass receives from the 
descending weight is thus communicated to the disks, and 
the dimensions of the wheels and pullrvs must be well re- 
gulated to make the disks turn together and to perform ex- 
actly the same number of revolutions in the same period. 
This condition being tulfilltd, the supporter of one of the 
disks (that which is furthest from the cannon) is disposed 
in such a manner that it can rise vertically and fix itself at 
different heights, for each of which there are added some 
links to the chain corresponding to that disk, in order to 
Vol. 22. No. 87. yh:ghsi 1^03. P give 

22d Means of measuring the initial Velocity 

or'ive it sufficient length ; and by lowering the cannon it ia 
thus possible to traverse the disks in different directions in- 
clined to the horizon. It may be remarked that the pro- 
jection of the surface of the disks on the plane perpendi- 
cular to the line of tiring decreases more and more in pro- 
portion as that line inclines ; but this is a very small in- 
convenience, as the greatest decrease which takes place in 
the ratio of about 7 to 5, leaves still a sufficient field for 
pointing with all the precision requisite. 

It will not, perhaps, be so easy as might at first be be- 
lieved to adjust the wheels, the pulleys, and the engage- 
ment, in such a manner as that the two disks may turn ex- 
actly together ; we are, however, of opinion that there is 
nothing in this part of the apparatus \\ hich may not be 
made by any careful ingenious workman. Besides, if the 
machine be strong, and the parts well executed, there are 
means of avoiding the errors resulting from the want of co- 
incidence which might exist in the motion of the disks. 
These means consist in counting the turns of the wheels 
made from the moment when the piece is fired till that 
when the machine stops, and causing these wheels to make 
the same number of turns in a contrary direction, and in 
such a manner that the wheels shall be brought to the 
same respective positions in which they were when the 
piece was fired. 

Wc shall suppress several detail? relating both to the in- 
clined range and to different pieces of mechanism invented 
by colonel Grobcrt for supplying the attention and hand of 
man in the experiments. By means of these pieces of me- 
clianism the movino; power, when it arrives at that point of 
its course where its motion becomes uniform, rests on two 
trioocrs, one of which causes a pendulum that swings se- 
conds to oscillate in order to count the time, while the 
other establishes a conuuunication between the motion of 
the windlass and that of a system of toothed wheels and 
pinions, furnished with an index to count the revolutions 
of the wheels. The weiaht, when it arrives at the lower 
extremity of its course, presses on other triggers which 
serve to set fire to the cannon, and to stop the counted of 
time and that of the number of turns. These ditVerent 
means may be useful, but it is sometimes attended with 
inconvenience to add too many parts to a piece of mecha- 
nism, and to make it so complex that it becomes liable to 
be deransjjod. 

As the above explanation will be sufiicicnt to give an idea 
of the ulihty that may be derived from the apparatus of co- 

of Projectiles tliroun from Cannon. 227 

lonel Grobert, we shall now acid a short account of the me- 
thods hitherto employed in researches of the same kind. 

It is only about sixty years ago that mathemaiicians be- 
gan to apply to the theory of projectiles. Benjamin Robins 
appears to us to have opened the way, or at least to have 

f)ublished the first experiments worthy the attention of phi- 
osophers, and to have employed, for determining the initial 
velocity of musket bullets, a pendulum, against which he 
threw his projectiles, and the sought-for velocity was de- 
duced from the amplitude of the oscillation : the same ma- 
thematician, when about to make particular experiments on 
gunpowder, deduced his results from the recoil of a small 
cannon attached to the lower part of the same pendulum *. 

The chevalier d'Arcy, of the Academy of Sciences,, about 
eight or ten years after Robins's work appeared, published, 
in the Menioirs of the Academy for 1751, a paper on the 
theory of artillery, containing a series of experiments made 
with great skill and care, and for which he employed, nearly 
in the same circumstances, two pendulums; against one of 
these he fired the ball, while the other, from which the 
small cannon was suspended, served to measure the recoil. 
In this manner he made those important experiments re- 
lated in Essais d'uiie Theorie de I Ar tiller ie, published by 
the same author in 176O. 

Fifteen years after. Dr. Hutton, of the Royal Academy, 
Woolwich, made new experiments with the pendulum and 
projectiles, much heavier than those employed by Robins. 
An account of them may be seen in the Philosophical 
Transactions for 1778. 

About the same vear count Rumford resumed and im- 
proved the method of making such experiments by means 
of a pendulum. He discovered a very simple way of sus- 
pending the cannon, in such a nianner that the recoil took 
place without the axis ceasing to be horizontal. Dr. Hutton 
bestows great praise on these experiments, which are de- 
tailed in the Philosophical Transactions for 1781, and which 
have since been printed with considerable additions in a col- 
lection entitled Philosophical Papers, Sec. London 1802. 

In the last place. Dr. Hutton was employed during the 
years 1783, 1784, 1785, and 17B6, on a numerous series 
of experiments, made with great cure and expense, in regard 
to both kinds of pendulum. The collection of his memoirs, 
inserted in the Philosaphical Transactions, and lately trans- 

• See his Principles of Gunnery. 

P 2 l.-ited 

228 Means of meamring the initial P'ehcity 

lated into French by colonel Villantroys, may be considered 
as the most complete and most instructive treatise on ba- 
lislic experiments that ever appeared. 

The apparatus proposed by colonel Grobert, as may be 
seen, is very diflerent from those employed by the authors 
above mentioned ; and whatever merit may be due to expe- 
riments made with pendulums, it must no doubt be allowed 
that it may be of some utility to make new ones by a very 
ingenious method, in which simplicity and ceconomy are 
imitecl, and which leads to the proposed end in the most 
direct manner, as the velocities sought for are deduced 
merely from the observation of the time employed by a 
moving body to make a certain number of revolutions 
around a fixed axis : an observation free from those dynamic 
calculations which are required by the method of Robins. 

We have said nothing of the labours of Antoni in regard 
to the object of this report, and yet we cannot omit men- 
tioning a machine which he speaks of in his Essai snr la 
Poudre, a French translation of which was published by 
M. de Flavigni in 1773. This machine, which Antoni 
says was invented by a mechanician named Mathey, consists 
of a horizontal circle supported by its centre on the upper 
extremity of a vertical axis, and serving as a base to a hollow 
cylinder of paper. A rotary motion is given to this cy- 
linder by means of a weight affixed to a cord which passes 
over a pulley, and the projectile, thrown in a horizontal di- 
rection, when the angular velocity has become constant in 
the vertical plane of that axis, traverses the paper cylinder 
in two points. The distance of the second point from the 
diameter passing through the first, serves to measure the arc 
described by the svstcui during the passage of the projectile 
in the interior of the hollow cvlinder. 

It is incontestable, after this description, that the funda- 
juental idea of the process, by which a circular is con)pared 
with a rectilinear motion, belongs to Mathey ; but without 
entering into any detail on the inconveniences of this ma* 
chine, which no doubt have been the cause of its being 
little used, we shall content ourselves with observing that 
the apparatus of colonel Grobcrt difters i'rom it essentially. 

1st, By the horizontal position of its axis of rotation. 
The result of this difference is, that the axis can never be 
met by the projectile ; which makes it easy to ascertain the 
solidity and regularity of the position and motion of the 

2d, The projectile does not traverse a cylindric surface, but 


of Projeciiles thrown from Cannon. 229 

two vertical planes, the extent and distance of which may 
be considerable, and which therefore may give very accu- 
rate measures. 

3d, By the advantage it affords, not to be found in any 
other kind of apparatus yet known, of measuring the velo- 
city of bullets of different sizts thrown in directions in- 
clined to the horizon. 

It remains for us to give an account of some experiments 
made to ascertain that the ball underwent no sensible devia- 
tion in traversing the disks. It is manifest from the first 
principles of dynamics, that the moment when the ball is 
in the plane of one disk in motion, it receives perpendicu- 
larly to its direction an impulse which, according to certain 
mathematical hypotheses, would give it parallel to the plane 
of the disk a velocity aln»ost equal to that of the point 
where it meets (the mass of the ball being very small in 
regard to those of the different moving parts of the ma- 
chine) ; and then the velocity of the ball, calculated accord- 
ing to the fornmla before given, would he infinite. The 
effective phaenomena difl'er considerably from those deduced 
from similar hypotheses, considering the compressibility of 
the disks, their little hardness, and the prodigious rapidity 
with which thev arc penetrated* (the duration of the pas- 
sajre of the semi-diameter through the disk not beino; the 
40,000dth part of a second) ; but it is no less important to 
determine cxactlv the influence which they have on the re- 
sults. One of the conmiissioners is employed in analvsing 
a dynamic problem, from which this determination may he 
concluded a priori ; but as such a conclusion would not rest 
on physical data sufficiently certain, he preferred verifying 
by experiment whether the deviation was appreciable or not. 
For this purpose he placed three fixed screens at equal di-. 
stances from each other ; the second and third being placed 
respectively before the first and the second moveable disks. 

* It is here proper to give the reasoning; on which these assertions ar6 
founded. Every body in nature being more or less compressihle, the state 
of final motion, resultinj^ from the action of two bodies on each other, is not 
acquired even at the moment of contact, but after a fixed term, which is 
T.ery short; and bodies during their contnct pass through all the interme- 
diate states of motion between initial and final. From these incontestable 
facts, if one of the bodies escapes the action of the other before the moment 
when by the natural consequence of the shock they would have ceised ta 
press each other mnrually,the state of motion at which that body will really 
arrive in that case will differ so much less from its initial state, and so much 
more from that in which it would have been had the shock been consum- 
mated, as the contact has been of less duration, and this duration may be so 
short that the initial state is not sensibly modified. This is the case of the 
eiperiments mentioned in the text. 

P3 T-tr. 

230 Velodhj of Projectiles throtvn from Cannon. 

It may be readily conceived that in the hypothesis of devia- 
tion the hole made by the ball in the third fixed screen 
ought not to be in the same vertical plane with those n)ade 
in the first and second screens ; and thns this deviation be- 
comes easy to be ascertained and measured- 

Several balls were fired, the apparatus bei-nsr arran£];ed as 
here described. Each time a plumb-line was placed before 
the centre of the hole made in the first screen ; and taking 
in a line this thread and the centre of the hole made in the 
?econd screen, it was very easy to see whether the c entre of 
the third hole was in the vertical plane contaming the other 
two centres. These observations were made with care and 
precision, and yel it was nut possible to perceive the devia- 
tion estimable in the direction of the line passing through 
the centres of" the three hok"s : thus the motion of the ball 
through the moveable disks i- sensibly the same as if these 
disks were at rest. We are of opinion, fiowever, that it 
will be useful to employ alwa\ s three screens, disposed as 
above, in the experiments made in future on this subject: 
by these means we may either ascertain wliether there be 
any deviation, or discover whether it be sensible; and there 
can be no doubt that it wijl be so, either in the case when 
small velocities are communicated to the projectile, or, in 
general, in those where the ratio between that velocity and 
the resistance which the bullet experiences in traversmg the 
disks shall exceed certain limits. 

It is proper to add, that the distance of the cannon from 
the furthest distant screen uas about twelve metres, ami 
that there was no reason to apprehend the inflections ob- 
served by Robins in distances of about a hundred metres, 
which according to hint render rigorously the trajectory a 
curve of a double curvature. 

What we have said on the insensible effect which the 
action of the disk has upon the ball to make it deviate, 
proves that the re-action of the ball on the disk cannot di- 
minish its velocity by a sensible quantity : this conclusion 
might be deduced, besides, from other facts, relative both to 
tlie mechanism of the apparatus and to the daia furnished 
by the experiments, and particularlv by the measure of time 
before and after the discharge of the piece : — but it is need- 
less to enter into further details. 

To conclude: we are of opinion that the means to mea- 
sure the initial velocity of projectiles thrown bv fire-arms 
in directions both horizontal and inclined, proposed bv co- 
lonel (.irobert, and conformable to the siuninarv description 
found in the above report, merit the approbation of the 


On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants. 231 

class. We shall add, thai a series of experiments made with 
an apparatus of larger dimensions, and executed witli more 
care than that employed by the commissioners, might fur- 
nish results useful to artiller\'. 

XXXV. On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants \ the 
Birth of tlwse Organs, and tlie organic Relation hetiueen 
tlie Trunk and the Branches : in a Letter from G. L. 
KoELER, iV/. D. Professor of Botany and the Materia 
JMedica in the Provisional School of Medicine at Mentz, 
to M. Ventenat, Member of the French National In- 



ATURE seems to have thrown an impenetrable veil over 
the development of vegetable parts. In vain have botanijits 
made efforts to surprise her ; in vain do they watch her ; 
she eludes their efforts, and laughs at their indefatigable 
patience. If it has been impossible, however, to accom- 
plish by observations this end, which was the object of sc^ 
much care and labour, their researches have still conducted 
them to a multitude of other valuable discoveries, which 
have assisted us in the study of the structure and interior 
oeconomy of plants, and have shown to us the causes of 
several phoenomena before considered as inexplicable. 

The opinions of those who have endeavoured to discover 
in what manner nature develops one vegetable organ from 
another mav be ranged into two classes. 

Some have imagined that it is the pith, which makes its 
way through ev^en the hardest wood to produce the ramifi- 
cations of plants, and that it lengthens itself still to form 
the most es=eniial parts of the vegetable body. 

Others, and those the most recent, rejecting this opinion, 
have ascribed to the bark and cortical strata what their pre- 
decessors gave as the product of the pith. They have 
thou2;ht also that the increase in lensfth and thickness de- 
pends on the same organs. 

Placed between these two opinions, and though each of 
them was supported by great names, yet being unwilling 
jurafe in verba magistri, I resolved to examine both with- 
out prejudice, and to give an opinion supported by my 
own observations. I did so; and discovered that Linnaeus 
and Hales, who had maintained the former opinion, were 

• From the Journal de Physique, Floreal, an 13. 

P 4 UOt 

232 On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants. 

not far from the truth ; that their error was very excusable, 
for they uiioht easily take for pith the reproducing organ, 
which will be mentioned in the course of this letter, and 
the herbaceous substance of which ha-; a resemblance to 
that of this spongy organ. It m;iv be said further in their 
favour, that they had not before them the experiments of 
Dcsfontaines, Coulomb, Hedwig, JVlirbel, and JVledicus, 
and so many other philosophers who have thrown light on 
a great number of points hitherto inexplicable in regard to 
the interior ceconomy of vegetables. 

The observations which this study gave me an opportu- 
nity of making, have conduclrd me to results so unex- 
pected, that I did not think proper at first to trust to my 
own eyes. Convinced without being persuaded, and dis- 
trusting ray own senses, especially in an experiment the 
results of which were in open contradiction to what we are 
taught by the greatest masters, I resolved to submit to you 
these observations, and to give them at the same time pub- 
licity, in order to call the attention of the most enlightened 
botanists to the new phaenomenon which 1 think I have 
perceived. I must, however, say, that it is the force of con- 
viction, the desire of instruction, and not a vain spirit of 
controversy so unworthy of a real naturalist, which mduce 
me to think differently from several celebrated men superior 
to envy, and to whom I readily pay the tribute of my gra- 
titude for the benelit I have received Irom their works. 

Before I give my observations on the origin of buds, I 
shall first rectify some ideas generally adopted in regard to 
these organs. 

" The name of hud Is given in botany to small bodies 
more or less round or ovoid, and covered with scales hol- 
lowed out like a spoon, or with a down more or less thick. 
These organs are formed gradually in the spring season in 
the eyes of the leaves of most trees, shrubs, and plants of 
the dicotyledons, especially in climates where the winters 
are pretty severe. They contain and conceal the rudiments 
destined to be developed the following year into branches, 
leaves, and flowers. They have received from nature the 
faculty of resisting cold and humidity: several of them may 
be preserved, like a great many seeds, durino one or more 
years, by remaining in a state of torpor until the develop- 
ment of their parts is excited by favourable circumstances." 
These are the principles commonly received in regard to 
buds in general; but it appears to me that they are suited 
properlv but to one species, that of most trees and shrubs 
in count ries where the winter is pretty severe, 

6 I shal) 

On the "^iids and Ramifications of Plants. 233 

I shall now explain what, in my opinion, ought to be 
comprehended under the denomination ui the huds r.f pha- 
neguram plants. I give this name to all tlie o'-gans of these 
plants ivhlck contain the rudimmt'i or germs of stems, 
branches, leaves, fiowers, and even rooti : each of these 
parts separately, or several of them united ; or, in a word, 
the whole together. This name belongs to them whatever 
be their size; their number; that of the ditferent parts of 
which they are composed; the time of their appearance; 
their property of being preserved ; the species which pro- 
duces them, and the place of their insertion : modilications 
and peculiarities which depend on the different structure of 
the plants as well as the circumstances under which they 
are placed. 

The definition I have giv-cn seems to me to unite screral 
advantasfes : it embraces not only the whole of the organs 
together, even in regard to their origin ; it dispenses also 
with the inconvenience of adn)itting a great number of ex- 
ceptions in the uniform progress of nature; exceptions 
which no doubt prove that they have not been 5uflicieT)tly 
examined. It is pretended that shrubs are distinguished 
from bushes or trees by their ramiiicaiions n(U being the 
result of buds. This distinction is merely aihitrary, since 
these plants reallv produce them; but their buds aie ver/ 
small, exceedingly thin, destitute of dry scales, and some- 
times almost entirely concealed till tlje spring under the 
bark of the branches. 

Admitting the definition I have proposed, it will be ob- 
served that buds differ from each other by a great number 
of characters in the varioiis species oi plants. 1 shall here 
mention only those traits \Nhieh are inaispensably necessary 
to support my definition. 

In the ligneous monocotijledon plants the wh(^le course of 
life is confined to the development of the first bud. arising 
from the neck of the root or place where it is joined to the 
stem. This bud contains the germs of all the organs which 
appear above the earth, and the end of its developmtnt is 
the term also of the life of the same plant. These plants, 
however, generally live one, and even several, centuries. 

The propagation of plants by scions, by bulbs, and by 
other similar organs, which is very conmion to the herba- 
ceous monocotyledons, is not essentialh different from that 
by buds, as has been ccunpletely proved by M. Mirbel and 
-several other botanists. Scions and bulbs are real huds; 
they are organs which contain the principles of new stems, 
branches, leaves, flowers, and roots. The part of the plant 


234 On the Buds and Rdmijicafwns of Plants. 

tvhich produced them, and some modifications in their 
structure, make them, however, he considered as species 
difterent from every other. 

In the dicotyledon plants and the herlac€ou<> movocotyle- 
dons the summit of the root bears durine; the earlv agre of 
the plant a single hud, named then plumula. This bud 
differs from that of the monocotyledon trees, as its deve- 
lopment is ended before the death of the individual, and is 
followed by other buds, in consequence of the development 
of which the plant ramifies. Tiie moniicotylcdon trees 
produce also secondary buds, but with this difference, that 
these buds are pushed out by the primitive bud itself, and 
that they fade much sooner than that from which they pro- 

In annual plants the development of all the buds of (he 
individual is completed in the space of a v^ar. In the In- 
ennial plants it is terminated at the end of two years at most. 
Plants with a vmacious root but annual stem push out every 
year another bud from the neck of the root : from the de- 
veloped parts of this principal bud other buds then issue, 
which make the ramifications of the vegetable appear. 

7'/?€ buds of the three sorts of plants here mentioned are 
not all, or very rarely are, covered with other organs to pro- 
tect the germs against the intenjperance of the weather. 
Here nature, in general, may dispense with them, because 
these buds develop themselves in the course of a very short 
time, and almost always in the best seasons^ and the plants, 
or at least the stems, to which they are indebted for their 
birth, perish in the winter, or even sooner. 

In moft of these plants, as well as in Inishes and some 
shrubs^ the buds are small, thin, and pointed, as in the vi- 
I'ur?/U7n, i\\Q rhamnus (buckthorn), the /if //o/?7>/;^, the tor- 
vel tree, the gramineous plaiits, the artcmisia. See. 

The ligneous dicotyledon plants in general push forth 
their buds in spriu<r. Ilieir buds in winter remain in 
k State of inaction, ancl do not open till the return of 
spring. From this rule, however, are excluded all trees and 
bushes called evergreens, a great number of which perpe- 
tually send forth buds, so that the development of the 
leaves, branches, and even somctin)es the llowers, never 
ceases during the life of these plants. 

In almost all the dicntyledon trees and shrnbs of the cold 
and temperate climates, the buds are formed in the eyes of 
the leaves, and always before the approach of winter. Bo- 
tanists consider the most exterior foliolcs of these buds as 
aborted foliolcSy because they are dry and even sometrnK-s 


On the huds and Ramifications of Plants. 235 

sonorous under the fingers. They are called sral-es, on ac- 
count ot" their usual form. These organs arc almost always 
covered with a resinous matter, which cements them very 
closely to each other, and which conlribates not a little to 
defend the tender germs contained in the buds from the cold 
and moisture of the severe seasons. 

In a great mimher of lushes and shruhs these scales are 
entirely wanting; but their place is supplied in several 
species by a down, which sometimes is pretty thick, and 
which affords sufficient protection to the buds ae;ainst the 
rigour of the winter, as in the viburnnm and the ptelea. In 
other buds of similar plants the parts still herbaceous and 
tender have neither down, nor scales, nor resinous matter, 
nor anv other kind of covering, and thev nevertheless with- 
stand the intemperance of the seasons, unless it be exces- 
sive. An)oni2; the latter there are some the folioles of which 
cover each other firmlv, as in the common lilac, the hazle, 
&c.; and there are some also in which the exterior folioles 
are neither so thick nor so firmly applied to each other as 
to be able to oppose the entrance of humidity, as is the case 
in the cornel tree. 

The buds of several ligneous dicotyledon plants remain, 
in regard to their base and a great part of their body, con- 
cealed during winter under ilie bark, and their summit does 
not entirely open a passage ior itself till the following 
spring. Here the bark serves as bandages to the tender 
elements of the new ramifications, as we see in a great 
number of shrubs. 

Nature incloses the buds in several shrubs, as in the ler- 
leris vulgaris, with petioles very close to each other; it co- 
vers them also on one side by the branch from which they 
have proceeded, and on the other by the flat base of the 

In the last place, there are some Ugneons dicotyledon ve- 
getables the buds of which are concealed and sheltered from 
the pernicious influence of the weather in a manner as sin- 
gular as wonderful. The buds, unprovided with scales, but 
covered with a line and thick down, form themselves under 
the concave base of the supporters of the leaves. During 
winter these supporters remain in their place in several 
plants; but when the sap ascends, the eve, becoming lariier, 
rejects the tutor, of which it has no longer need. Some- 
times shocks, and other accidents, make them fall earlier: 
in this case, the bud, being still secured by its natural pe- 
lisse, escapes generallv the severe cold of winter. 

I have observed that the supporter in question differs ac- 


236 On the Buds and Ratni/ications of Plants. 

cording to its nature. In several plants it is a real petiohf 
as in the seringa ^ Sec; in others it is, as it were, an inter- 
mediate organ, hdueen the branches and the petioles, because 
it is not hollowed out in grooves at its upper surface, but 
entirelv round ; because its substance is more ligneous than 
herbaceous, though it falls annually; and because it forms 
internally a canal containing real pith, and closed towards 
the base of the petiole, so that the pith does not commu- 
nicate with that of the part to which this supporter is at- 
tached. Similar supporters are found in the rhus coriaria^ 
the aiir ne'jundo, the robinia, Sec. 

About three years ago I made this observation on the 
shuniac ; and 1 have reason to believe that no one ever 
made it befcjre me, since I in vain consulted on this subject 
all my books on botany. I proposed to make a series of 
researches on this subject ; and, indeed, they convinced n)e 
that nature covers in this manner the buds of several lig- 
neous dicotyledons considered hitherto as not bearing any. 
It was my intention not to publish mv observations until I 
had sufficiently repeated them, which could not be done 
till I had examined a much greater mnnber of vegetables. 
But a little while ago I found in the Mimoi res pour servir a 
I'yinatomie et a la Phijsiologie Fegctales,par M. Medicus-'', 
that this celebrated botanist had made the same observation 
on plane-trees. I immediately had recourse to other works, 
such as your excellent Tableau du Re^ne Vegetal; and, 
though I found nothing in the first volume under the arti- 
cles relating to that subject, I found in the third f tlvat this 
peculiarity of the plane-tree had not escaped you. I then 
consulted the Traitc des j4rhres et yirbustes, by Duhamel, 
where, under the article Platanns, this great observer makes 
mention of the same phasnomenon, without pointing out, 
however, whether it was known before ; but as it has been 
known since that time, how comes it that no botanist, in 
treating specially of buds, has rectified his definition ac- 
cording to this observation ? 

Shumac furnished me also with an opportunity of ob- 
serving several phienomcna in regard to the birth and deve- 
lopment of buds. I shall give you an account of them as 
briefly as possible. 

Almost all botanists have adopted the opinion, that the 
leaves in the eyes of which the buds shoot forth approach, 
towards the end of their life, to the ligneous state by the 

* Dct/traf;r zur PJIanztn anntomie und Pjianzcn physiologic, haft i. p. 24. 
t Page 572. 


On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants . 237 

influence of the rays of the sun and of the air, and that thev 
then no longer afford a free passage to the ascending sap. It 
is supposed that the fluids stop, and are accumulaied at the 
base of the.<e leaves, and that they thereby give birlh to 
caml'hon, which occasions the ring or swelling there ob- 
served. It is pretended also that this cunibium produces 
new vessels, which, obeying the impulse they daily receive 
from the ascending sap, become lengthened towards the 
surface of the bark, and force themselves to pierce it; after 
uhich thev give birth to the bud. 

This explanation, though ingenious, appears to me to 
be only a bold hypothesis, supported by facts which have- 
not been examined with sufficient care. Instead of becrin- 
ning by an explanation, it would have been better to discover 
first all the facts and all the circumstances by which this 
phaenomenon is accompanied. And still we shall succeed 
as little in penetrating into this operation as we have done 
in regard to all the rest, the secret of which nature seems 
to have reserved to herself: the formation of the individuals 
and of their organs will be always inexplicable to us. Na- 
ture, however, far from precluding us from researches, ex- 
cites us rather to watch her; and it is then that, by attend- 
ing with assiduity and without prejudice, we often discover 
facts which form one step towards the truth. It may bu 
objected to this explanation, that there are, indeed, buds 
which do not pierce the bark in the eves of the leaves, and 
that the eye shows itself already at the time when the leaves 
have lost none of their vigour. 

I shall now return to my own observations. In exa- 
mining with attention the ligneous dicotyledon plants at 
the different seasons, it will be observed that a body almost 
ahvays soft, herlaceovs, and green, when it issues from the 
wood, enters into the bud destined to develop flowers or a 
branch, and that this body forms in reality the centre or 
axis of the bud. The same observation will be made when 
the wood of the branch wliich throws out the bud is already 
formed of several annual zones. It will be perceived also 
that this herbaceous hody is rarely alone ; that it has, for the 
most part, on each side, and at a very small distance from 
it, another lady, and sometimes two, but of the same sub- 
stance as itself; these lateral herbaceozis bodies are smaller 
than it, and never penetrate into the substaiice of a bud 
which produces branches or flowers : they enter into those 
only of the leaves ; that is to say, into those a petiole or 
leaf of which is destined to develop itself, which we observe 
at the base of a twig in several shrubs and bushes. There 


23S On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants. 

is sometimes also at the base, and very near the largest 
herbaceous body, a similar bodv, which per>etrates with it 
into the same bud. ylll these htrhaceous bodies are produced 
each separately in a fiiednUary sheath, and never in the 
bark, the liber, or the alburmun, nor in the annual zone* 
of the wood. They are indeed the prolongations of' the 
lundles of tubes of the medullar y sheath*. 

The herbaceous bodies ot" which I here speak, in passing 
into the wood are not always in a horizontal direction : I 
mean, that they do not form in all the plants \\ hich I have 
examined a right angle with the medullary sheath : in se- 
veral trees and shrubs they leave it much lower than the 
place where the hud issues from the bark, as is the case 
in the shumac, plane-tree, willows, &c. 

When the bark, with the bud, has been removed, these 
herbaceous prolongations present themselves under different 
forms, accordhig to the species to which they belong, the 
age of the branch, the place even where they are, and the 
angle at which they have traversed the wood. This is the 
reason why the figure of their section in the exterior zone 
of the wood varies from the form of a line or stroke to that 
of a point entirely njuud ; sometimes there are several of 
them united, so that altogether they form scarcely a single 
line or oblong point. At the ]ilace where these herbaceous 
bodies traverse the wood, the ligneous fibres are separated 
from each other; and though they press them more or less, 
they still leave them a sufficient passage. This separation 
of the tubes and fibres of the wood is more apparent in the 
zones near to the medullary case, than in those which arc 
more distant, and consequently nearer to the bark. 

The thickness of these bodies differs also m the different 
species of plants. In those the wood of which is hard and 
compact they are smaller, and at the same timeless cylin- 
dric than in those the wood of which is light. Those de- 
stined to push forth buds for twigs and flowers have more 
volume than those which produce leaf-buds. 

They do not always remain green : they lose that colour 
as tliey chanire into wood. But they are found herbaceous, 
and filled \\ ifh green substance, at least, until the bud has 
expanded into a flower-bud ; and I have observed that they 
are still green and herbaceous, even in the twigs and young 
branches, if the wood of the species from which they have 
proceeded be white and light. 

• These vessels are porous tubes, large simple tubes, trachez, and faUe 

trachea:. See 'Iraiu' d'Anatom'.e et de Physiologic icgrtuUs, par Bifiseau Miihi, 
vol. i. p. Ibo', et seq.; and ihc same in Ditt. dti Sacnces NatuTcUes, vol. ii- 
p. 36tf. 

5 The 

On the Buds and Ramijicalions of Plants. 239 

The same prolongations are found in herbaceous plants 
tcilh a ramifed stem : for example, in the aduh stems of 
the common cabbage, &c., where one may be convinced 
that the branches have no otlicr origin there than that of 
the medullary sheath, and that they issue from real buds. 

It seems to result, from what I have here said, that the 
reproducing organ of buds in the dicotyledon plants, is 
effectively and exclusively the case or sheath which contains 
the pith: it is even in the herbaceous monocotyledon 
plants, the spaces between the knots of which form empty 
tulies : nature, to produce branches, has formed m these 
plants solid knots or articulations, the structure of which 
is almost the same as that of the stems of plants the canal 
of which contains pith. 

The opinion that the medullary case is the only organ 
which gives rise to buds, and consequently to branches, is 
confirmed by the observations which J made on the inser- 
tion of old branches even in trunks entirely dry. For this 
purpose I carefully examined the branches of the pine fir 
and pruniis spinosa (sloe-tree), shumac, oak, apple-tree, 
&c., and every v\here I observed the same result. It 
is true, that in the old branches the prolongations are more 
herbaceous, and on that account are difficult to be distin- 
guished, because the one which has penetrated into the 
principal substance of the bud, from which the branch has 
proceeded, has become ligneous : the small lateral ones are 
not even dried, and are still entirely covered and concealed 
both b}' the base of the branch, and by the annual strata of 
the wood, which had been formed after these prolongations 
had thrown out petioles or leaves. The perpendicular sec- 
tion of a branched trunk always shows, whatever be the 
number of the concentric strata of the ligneous body, that 
the medullary sheath of the branch proceeds from the 
medullary sheath of the trunk ; that the branch never forms 
in the trunk an inverted cone, the summit of which is con- 
cealed by the strata of that part ; and that the branch of a 
tree can never be compared, as has been done, to a plant 
the roots of ivhich are in a ligneous soil. The different an- 
imal strata of a branch never cover each other, in any case, 
at their respective bases ; and they are never separated from 
those of the trunk. These strata are in immediate com- 
nmuication with those of the trunk, in such a manner that 
the strata of the branch seem to have arisen from a pro- 
longation of those of the trunk. It is very difficult to di- 
stinguish Vkhether the medullary sheath takes its origin 


240 On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants. 

from that ot the trunk, when the medullary canal of that 
part is filled with ligneous strata, which is the case in se- 
veral bushes and shrubs where an interior liber is formed 
annually of the pith, until the canal which contains ii has 
altogether disappeared, as in the ash, the oak, shuniac, 
&c. ; but it is prmcipally in the latter that we may be con- 
vinced that it is never by the medullary sheath, nor by the 
interior cambium, that these internal zones arc produced. 

The increase in length of buds and twigs is ascribed to 
an erection of the tubes of the liber. If the bark of a 
young branch be separated as far as the terminal bud in a 
young poplar, for example, and particularly before winter, 
or in the following spring, it will be found that the inner 
bark has never become lengthened. The upper part of a 
branch and a flower-bnd is formed only by the pith, the 
medullary sheath, and the bark. I think I may conclude 
from this observation, that the increase of the stems or 
trunks, and tlie ramifications, depend* merely on the 
elongation of the vessels of the medullary sheath. The 
alburmim, the tubes of which have a direction perfectly 
straight, presents itself at the upper part of a branch under 
the form of separate fibres, which lose themselves at the 
surface of the medullary sheath, 'i'his observation explains 
to us also why the zones of the upper ])art of a branch are 
in number inferior to those of the base. It cf)nfirms also 
what I have said in regard to the i)irth of buds ; for, if we 
examine the bud of a small branch in any tree whatever, 
we shall be convinced that it is the medullary sheath with- 
out exception that coniposes alone the interior of that 

Explanation of the Jrcri/res lelonging to the alove article. 
See Plate III. 

Fig. 1, A vertical section of a piece of a branch of 

A, The bark. 

B, Ligneous zone of one year. 

C, The medullary sheath. 

D, A bud. 

E, The suelled-up part of the bark at the base of the 

F, Herbaceous prolongation of the medullary sheath, 
which has traversed the wood and given birth to the bud. 

G, The pith. 

Fig. 2, 

On the Buds and Puimijlcations of Plants. 24 l 

Fig. 2, A similar, cut obliquely at the place where the 
prolongation passes through the wood. 

A, A bud.' 

B, The bark. 

C, Ligneous zone of the year. 

D, Herbaceous prolongatitna of the medullary sheath 
passing through the wood and entering the bud. 

E, The swelled part of the bark at the sides of the bud. 

F, The pith. 

G, The medullary sheath. 

Fig. 3, The same piece seen in profile, to show the 
angle of the section. 

Fig. 4, Vertical section of a piece of shuniac of two years 
old, bearing a bud. 

A, The bud produced from an herbaceous prolongation 
of the medullary sheath, which prolongation has passed 
through the two ligneous strata. 

Fig. 5, Vertical section of a branched piece of shumac. 

A, The bark. 

B, Ligneous stratum of the second year. 

C, Ligneous stratum of the first year. 

D, Stratum arising from the lignificalion of the exterior 
part of the pith. 

E, Medullary sheath of a branch. 

F, Medullary sheath of a twig. 

G, Pith. 

H, Prolongation of the medullary sheath, become lig- 
neous, and confounded with t!ie wood produced by the 

Fig. 6, Vertical section of a branched piece of the pla- 
ta/ms occidentuUs. 

A, Pith. 

B, Medullarv sheaths. 

C, Ligneous stratum of the first year. 

D, Ligneous stratum of the second year. 

E, Lignified prolongations of the medullary sheath. 
Fig. 7, Vertical section of a piece of hazle, bearing a 

twig with false wood, which has only one ligueous zone, 
and which has arisen from a prolongation of the medullary 
sheath, which prolongation, in order to produce the bud 
from which the twig resulted, has passed through seven 
2ones of wood, and at length become ligneous, 

[To be concluded in our next.] 

Vol. 22. No. ST. Aumst 1805. O XXXVL Method 

[ 24^ ] 

XXXVI. Method of olviathig the Necessity of lifting 
Ships. By Mr. Robert Sepi^ings, of Chatham Yard*. 

J- HE following is a description of an invention by Mr, 
Robert Scppings, late master shipwright assistant in his 
majesty's yard at Plymouth (now master shipwright at 
his mrje&ty's yard, Chatham), for suspending, instead of 
lifting, ships, for the purpose of clearing them from their 
blocks, by which a very great saving will accrue to the pub- 
lic, and also two-tliirds of the time formerly used in this 

From the saving of time another very important advan- 
tage is derived, namely, that of enabling- large ships to be 
docked, suspended, and undocked, the same spring tides. 
Without enumerating the inconveniencies arising, and, 
perhaps, injuriLS, which ?hips are liable to sustain, from the 
former practice of lifting them, and which are removed by 
the present plan; that which relates to manual labour de- 
serves particular attention ; twenty men being sufficient to 
suspend a first-rate, whereas it would require upwards of 
500 to lift her. The situation which Mr. Seppings held in 
Plymouth-yard, attached to him, in a great degree, the 
shoring and lifting of ships, as well as the other practical 
part of the profession of a shipwright. Here he had an 
opportunity of observing, and indeed it was a subject of 
general regret, how much time, expense, and labour, were 
required in lifting a ship, particularly ships of the line. This 
induced him to consider whether some contrivance could 
not be adopted to obviate these evils. And it occurred to 
him, that if he could so construct the blocks on which the 
ship rests, that the weight of the ship might be applied to 
assist in the operation, he should accomplish this ver)' de- 
sirable end. In September ISOO, the shoring and lifting 
the San Josef, a large Spanish first-rate, then in dock at 
Plymouth, vvas committed to his directions ; to perform 
which, the assistance of the principal part of the artificers 
of the yard w as requisite. In conducting this business, the 
plan, which will l)e hereafter described, occurred to his 
mind; and from that time, he, by various experiments, 
proved h's theory to be correct: the blocks, constructed by 
him, upon which the ship rests, being so contrived, that 
the facility in removing them, is proportit)nate to the quan- 
tity of pressure; and this circumstance is always absolutely 

* From the Tianfactions of the Sotuty of Arts, who voted hiai the gold 
medal, 1804. 

8 under 

On olviatlng the Neceis^lty of lifting Ships. 243 

Under command, bv increasinn or diminishing the angle of 
three wedges, which constitute one of the blocks ; two of 
which are horizontal, aiKJ one vertical. By enlarging the 
angle of the horizontal wedges, the vertical wedge becomes 
of consequence njore acute ; and its power may be so in- 
creased, that it shall have a great tendency to displace the 
horizontal wedges, as was proved by a model, which ac- 
companied the statement to the society ; where the power 
of the screw is used as a substitute for the pressure of the 

Mr. Seppings caused three blocks to be m.ade of hard 
wood agreeable to his invention, and the v\edsi;es of various 
angles. The horizontal wedsies of the first block were 
nine degrees ; of the second, seven ; and of the third, five ; 
of course, the angle of the vertical wedge of the first block 
Was 16-2 degrees; of the second, 166; and of the third, 170. 
These blocks, or wedges, were well executed, and rubbed 
over with soft soap for the purpose of experiment. Thev 
were then placed in a dock, in his majesty's yard, at Ply- 
mouth, in which a sloop of war was to be docked : on exa- 
mining them after the vessel was in, and the water gone, 
they were all found to have kept their situations, as placed 
before the ship rested upon them. Shores in their wake 
were then erected to sustain the ship, prior to the said 
blocks being taken from under the keel. The process of 
clearing them was, by applying the power of battering- 
raiTis to the sides of the outer ends of the horizontal v^edges; 
alternate blows being given fore and aft ; by which means 
they immediately receded, and the vertical wedges were 
disengaged. It was observed, even in this small ship, that 
the block which w-as formed of horizontal wedges of nine 
degrees, came away much easier than those of seven, and 
the one of seven than that of five. In removing the afore- 
said blocks by the power of the battering-rams, which were 
suspended in the hands of the men employed, by their 
holding ropes passed throuo-h holes for that purpose, it was 
remarked by Mr. Seppings, that the operation w-as very la- 
borious to the people ; they havinai; to support the weiirht 
of the battering I ams, as well as to set them in motion. 
He then conceived an idea of affixing wheels near the ex- 
tremity of that part of the rams which strikes the wedges. 
This was done before the blocks were again placed ; and it 
has since been found fully to answer the purpose intended^, 
particularly in returning the horizontal wedges to their 
original situations, when the work is i">erformed for which 
they vvere displaced ; the wheels also giving a great increaseof 

Q 2 power 

24 t ]\felkod of olviafi/ig 

power to the rams, and decrease of labour to the artificers; 
besides which, the blows are given with much more exacts 
ness. The same blocks were again laid in another dock, in 
which a two-decked shipof llie line was docked. On exa- 
minafior. ihev were found to be very severely pressed, but 
were removed with great ease. They were again placed in 
another dock in whicli a three-decked ship of the hue was 
docked. I'his ship iiaving in her foremast and bowsprit, 
the blocks were put quite forward, that being the part which 
presses them with the greatest force. As soon as the water 
was out of the dock, it was observed that the horizontal 
wedo'cs of nitie and seven degrees had receded scmnc feet 
from their original situations. Tins atforded Mr. Seppings 
a satisfactor\' proof, wiiich experience has since demon- 
strated (though manv persons before would not admit of, 
and others could not understand, the principle), that the 
facility of removing the blocks or wedges, was proportionate 
to the quantity of pressure upon them. The block of five 
deirrees kept its place, but was immediately cleared, by ap- 
plvincv the power of tlie baitcrina;-rams to the sides of the 
outer ends of the horizontal wedges. The above experi- 
ments being communicated to the Navy Board, Mr. Sep- 
pings was directed to attend them, and explain the prin- 
ciple of his invention ; which explanation, further corro- 
borated by the testimonials of his then superior officers, 
was so satisfactorv, that a d;)ck was ordered to be fitted at 
Plymouth under his immediate directions. The horizontal 
wedges in this, and in the other docks, that were afterwards 
fitted by him, are of cast iron, with an angle of about five 
degrees and a half, which, from repeated trials, arc found 
ei] to any pressure, h;iving in no instance receded, and, 
when required, were easily removed. The vertical wedge 
is of wood, lined with a plate of wrought iron, half an inch 
thick. On the bottom of the duck, in the wake of each 
block, is a plate of iron of three quarters of an inch thick, 
so that iron at all times acts in contact with iron. 

The placing the sustainiirg shores, the fomn and sizes of 
the wedges, and battering-rams. Sec. ; also the process of 
taking awav, and again replacing, the wedges of which the 
block is composed, are also exemplified by a model. 

The dock being. prepared at Plymouth, in August ISOl 
the Canopus, a large IVeuch SO-iiun ship, was taken in, 
and rested upon the blocks ; and the complete success of 
the experiment was such, that other docks were ordered to 
be fitted at Sheerness and Portsmouth dock-yards, under 
^Ir. Seppings's directions. At the former place a frigate, 


the Kecesslty of Jifthig Ships. 245 

nnd at the latter a thrce-dcekcd ship, were suspended in 
iike manner. This happened in Deeeniber 1S05, and 
January 1803; and the reports were so favourable, as to 
cause directions to be given for the general adoption of these 
blocks in his majesty's yards. This invention being 
thought of national consequence, with respect to ships, but 
particularly ihose of the navy, government has been pleased 
to notice and reward Mr. Se])pings for it. 

The time required to disengaoe each block is from one to 
three minutes after the shores are placed : and a first-rate 
sits on about fifty blocks. \'^ariou3 are the causes for 
which a ship mav be required to be cleared frcjui her blocks, 
viz. to shift the main keel ; to add additional i'a&lt keel ; to 
repair defeels ; to caulk the garboard seams, scarples of the 
keel, Sec. Iniperfeetions in the false keel, vvhich aie so 
very injurious to the cables, can, in the largest ship, be 
remedied m a few hours bv tbds invention, without adding 
an additional shore, bv taking away blocks forward, amid- 
ships, and abaft, at the same time; and, when the keel is 
repaired in the wake of those blocks, by returning them 
, into their places, and then by taking out the next, and so 
on in succession. The blocks can be replaced m tlieir ori- 
ginal situations, by the application of the wheel battering- 
rams to the wedges, the power of which is so very great^ 
that the weight of the slup can be taken from the shores 
that were placed to sustain her. 'i'hcre were one hundred 
and six ships of different classes, lifted at Plymouth dock- 
yard, from the 1st of January 1798 to the 31st of Decem- 
ber 1800; and, had the operation of liftinLT taken less time, 
the number would have been very considerably increased ; 
for the saviuii; of a day is very frequently the cause of saving 
a spring tide, which niakes the ditlcrence of a foitnight. 
The importance of this expedition, in time of war, cannot 
be sufficiently estimated. 

This invention may be applied with great advaniaac, 
whenever it is necessary to erect shores, to support anv 
great weights, as, for instance, to prop up a building during 
the repair of its ioundation, &c. Captain Wells, of his 
majesty's ship Glory, .of gs guns, used wedges of jVJr. Sep- 
pings's invention for a fid of a top-gallanl mast of that 
ship. In 1803, the top-gallant masts of the Deicuce, of 
74 guns, were fitted on this principle by Mr. Seppings : 
and, from repeated trials, since she has been cruizing in the 
North Sea, the w edge fids have been found in every respect 
to answer. 

Bvit Jt is Air. Seppiugs's wish that it sl^-oukl be under- 
Q 3 stood. 

246 Method of obviating 

stood, that tVe idea of applying this invention to the fid of 
a top-gallant mast originated with captain Wells, who 
well understood the principle, and had received from him a 
model of the invention. 

When it is required to strike a top-gallant mast, the top 
ropes are hove tight, and the pin which keejis the horizontal 
wedges in their place is taken out, by one man goino; aloft 
lor tluu purpose; 'he other horizontal wedge is worked in 
the fid, as shown in the drawing and model that accompany 
this statement. The upper part of the fid hole is cut to 
form the vertical wedge. The advantage derived from fid- 
ding top-gallant masts in this way is, that they can be 
struck at the shortest notice, and without slacking the rig- 
ging, which is frequently the cause of sprincjing and carry- 
ing them away, particularly those with lono- pole heads. 
The angle of the horizontal wedges for the hds of masts 
should be about t\\ enty degrees. 

The above account was accompanied with certificates 
from sir John Henslow, surveyor of the navy ; Mr, M. 
Didram, master-shipwright of Portsmouth-yard; and Mr. 
.Tohn Carpenter, foreman of Shetrnets dock-yard, con- 
firming Mr. Seppings's statement. 

Reference to the Engraving of Mr. Seppingb's method f 
ohviat'nig ihe neiessity of If ting ships. Plate W . 

This plan and section of a seventy-four gun ship dcr 
scribes the method of obviating the necessity of lifting ships, 
when there may be occasion to put additional false keels to 
them, or to make good the imperfections of those already 
on; also, when it may be necessary, to caulk the garboarij 
seams, scarples, the keel, See. ; by which means a very con- 
siderable part of the expense will be saved, and much time 
gained. The blocks are cleared, and again returned by the 
following jirocess. A sufficient number of shores are placed 
under the ship to sustain her weiglit, and set taug-ht, sta- 
tioned as near the keel as the working of the battering- 
rams fore and aft will admit. Avoid placing any opposite 
the blocks, as they would in that case hinder the return of 
the wedges with the battering-rams. A blow must theni 
be given forward on the outer end of the iron wedges with 
the b.Uterinir-rams in a fore and aft direction, which will 
cause them to sliile aft, as shown in tl.c plan. The batter- 
ing rams abaft then return the blow, and the wedges again 
come forward ; bv the repetition of this operation, the 
wedges will be with great ease cleared, and the ansrular 


the Necessity of lifting Skips. 247 

block on the top will drop down. When the work is per- 
formed, the hlock must be replaced under the keel, and the 
wedges driven hack b\v working tlie rams athwart-ships, 
as described in the section. 

N. B. In returning the iron wedges, to avoid straining 
the angular blocks, it is proposed to leave a few of them 
out forward and aft, and stop the ship up, bv laying one 
iron wedge on the other, as shown at Fig. 1, Plate IV. 

To facilitate the business, blocks may be cleared forward 
and aft at the same time, sufficient to get in place one 
length of false keel. If the false keel shouTd want repairing, 
it may be done without any additional shores, by clearing one 
block at a time; and when the keel is repaired in the wake 
of that block, return the wedges, as above directed, and 
■clear the next. Sec. 

Section and Plan, Plate IV. Fig. 2. 

A, Keelson. 

B, Ceiling. 

C, Floor timber. 

D, Dead or rising wood. 

E, Plank of the bottom. 

F, Ktel and false keel. 

G, Angular blocks with a half-inch iron-plate bolted to 

H, Cast-iron wedges. 

I, Iron-plate of three-fourths of an inch thick on the 
bottom of the dock. 

K, Battering-rams, with wheels, and ropes for the 

L, Cast-iron wedges, having received a blow from for- 

M, Shores under the ship to sustain her weight. 

Fig. 3. represents part of a top-gallant mast fitted with 
a wedge fid, 

a, Top-gallant mast. 

li. Fid, with one horizontal wedge worked on it. 

c, Moveable wedge, with the iron strap and pin over it, 
to keep it in its situation. 

d, Trussel trees. 


.• - C 248 ] 

XXXVTI. On the J'uriation^ of the Terrestrial Magnetism 
in different Latitudes. By Messieurs HuMBO^nT and. 
BiOT. Read by M. BiOT, in the Mathematical and 
Physical Class of the French Na'ionul Institute 9.tth 
Frimaire, An 13*. {17 ih December [SOi.) 

An inquiry into the laws of terrestrial magnetism is no 
doubt one of the moh't important questions that philoso- 
phers can propose. The observations aireadv itiade on this 
subject have discovered phaenomena so curious, that one 
cannot help endeavouring to solve the difEcultie> they pre- 
sent; but nolwithstondmg the efforts hitherto cmphned, it 
must be confessed that we arc absolutely unacquanited u ith 
the causes of them. 

It was difficult to obtain on this point any precise know- 
ledge at a time when the construction of the compass 
was still imperfect ; and so little time has elapsed since 
the discoveries of M. Coulomb have taught us to render 
them completely exact, it needs excite no astonishment that 
so few facts in the observations of travellers have been 
found worthy of confidence. 

The expediiion which M. Humboldt has terminated has 
procured for this part of philosophy a collection no less 
valuable than iho-->e with which he has enriched the other 
branches of humiui know led'^e. Furnished with aii excel- 
lent dipping-needle, constructed by Le Noir on the princi- 
ples of Bei'da, M. Humboldt has m^tde more than three 
hundred observations on the inclination of the magnet, and 
On the intensity of the magnetic force in that part of Ame- 
rica which he traversed. By adding to these results those 
which he had already obtained in Europe before his de- 
parturcj we shall have for the first time a series of correct 
facts on the variation of the magnetic forces in the northern 
part of the globe, and in some points of its southern 

The i'ricndship which M. Humboldt has testified for me 
since his return having given me an opportunitvof commu- 
nicating to hini some experiments on this subject, which 
T made this yeai- in the Alps, he immediately offered tg 
unite his to mine in a memoir. But if frien(l>hip ancj a 
desire of making known new facts induced ine lo accept 
this offer of M. flumboldf, justice forbids me to take ad- 
haulage of it to his prejudice ; and I must here declare, that 
a very small part of it belongs to mc. 

• From th" i/'o;irn«' Ji f/.i/iw'Uf, Frimr,irc, An 13, 

.. • . To 

On the Variations cf the Terrestrial Magncti'im. 249 

To place in order the facts and consequences which may 
be deduced from them, it is necessary to consider the ac- 
tion ot terrestrial magnetism under different points ot" view, 
corresponding to the different classes of the phaenomena 
which it produces. 

If we consider it first in general, we find that it acts on 
the whole surface of the globe, and that it extends beyond 
it. This last fact, which was doubted, has been lately 
proved by one of us, and particularly by our friend M. Gay- 
Lussac, during his two aerostatic voyages. And if these 
observations, made with ail the care possible, have not 
shown the least sensible diminution in the intensity of t'tie 
magnetic force, at the greatest height to which man can 
attain, we have a right to conclude that this force extends 
.to an indefinite distance from the earth, where it decreases, 
perhaps, in a very rapid manner, but which at present is 
unknown to us. 

If we now consider magnetism at the surface even of the 
earth, we shall find three grand classes of pliaenomena, 
which it is necessary to study separately, in order to have a 
complete knowledge of its mode of action. These phaeno- 
jnena are; the declination of the magnetic needle, its incli- 
nation, and the intensity of the magnetic force, considered 
either comparatively in different places or in themselves, 
paynig attention to the variations which they experience. 
It is thus that, after having discc^vered the action of gravity 
aa a central force, its variation, resulting from the figure of 
the earth, was afterwards ascertained in different lati- 

The declination of the magnetic needle appears to be 
that phcenomcnon v.hich hitherto has more particular!? 
fixed the attention of philosophers, on account, no doubt, 
of the assistance which they hoped to derive from it in de- 
termining the longitude; but when it Vvas known that the 
declination changes in the same place, in the course of 
time, when its diurnal variations were remarked, and its 
irregular traversing, occasioned by different meteors ; in a 
jvord, the difficulty of observing it at sea, within one de- 
gree nearly, it vi-as necessary to abandon that hope, and to 
consider tb.e cause of these phaenomena as much more com- 
plex and abstruse than liad been at first imagined. 

In regard to the intensity of the niagnetic force in diffe- 
rent parts of the earth, it has never yet been measured in a 
comparative manner. The observations of M. Humboldt 
on this subject have, discovered a very remarkable phfcno- 
menon ; it is the yarialion of the intensity in different lati- 
1 tudes. 

S50 Variations of the Terrestrial Mag?jetism 

tudes, and its increase proceeding from the equator to the 

The compass, indeed, which at the departure of M. 
Humboldt gave at Paris 245 oscillations in 10 minutes, 
gave no more in Peru than 211, and it constantly varied in 
the same direction ; that is to say, the ntmiber of the oscil- 
lations always decreased in approaching the equator, and 
always increased in advancinii towards the north. 

These differences cannot be ascribed to a diminution of 
force in the magnetism of the compass, nor can we sup- 
pose that it is weakened by the effect of time and of heat ; 
for, after three years' residence in tlie warmest countries of 
the earth, the same compass gave again in Mexico oscilla- 
tions as rapid as at Paris. 

There is no reason, either, to doubt the justness of M. 
Humboldt's observations, for he often observed the oscilla- 
tions in the vertical plane perpendicular to that meridian ; 
but by decomposing the magnetic force in the latter plane, 
and comparing it with its total action, which is exercised in 
the former, we may from these data calculate its direction, 
and consequently the direction of the needle*. This in- 
clination, thus calculated, is found always conformable to- 
that which M. Humboldt observed directly. When he 
made his experiments, however, he could not foresee that 
they would be subjected to this proof by which M. La 
Place verified them. 

As the justness of these observations cannot be contested, 
we must allow also the truth of the result which they indi- 

* Let K O C (plate V. fig-. 1.) be the plane of the mag^nctic meridian pa";s- 
ing' through the vertical O C; let OL be the direction ofihe needle situated in 
that plane, and OH a horizontal. The angle LOH will be the inclination 
of the needle, which wc shall denote bv 1. If F reprcicnt the total mag- 
netic force which acts in ihe direction OIj, the part of this force, which acts 
according to OC, will be F sine of I: but the magnetic forces which deter- 
mine the oscillations of the needle in any ]>lane, are to each other as the 
squares of the oscillations made in the same time. If wc denote then by M, 
the nmnber of the oscillations made in 10' of time in the niagnetic meridian, 
and by P, the number of oscillatiwns made al^o in 10', in the perpendicular 
plane, we shall have the following proportion. 

F sin. I P^ 


from which we deduce 

Sin. I = 

The inclination then may be calculated by this formula, when wc hare 
oscillations made in the two planes. 

In like manner, by making a needle oscillate succes-sivtly in several vertical 
|>!ancs, wc might determine tlie direction of the magnetic meridian. 


in d'iffermt Latitudes. 251 

cate, and which is tlie increase of the magnetic force pro* 
ceeding; from the equator to the poles. 

To toHow these results with more facility it will be proper 
to set out from a ilxed term, and it appears natural to make 
choice for that purpose of the points where the inchnation. 
of the maonctic needle is null, because thev seem to indi- 
cate the places where the opposite action of the two terres- 
trial hemisoheres is equal. The series of these points forms 
on the surface of the earth a curved line which differs very 
sensibly from the terrestrial equator, from which it deviates 
to the south in the Atlantic Ocean and to the north in the 
South Sea, This curve has been called the magnetic equa- 
tor, from its analogy to tiie terrestrial equator, though it is 
not yet known whether U forms exactly a great circle of the 
earth. We shall examine this question liereafter ; at pre- 
sent it will be sufficient to say, that M. Humboldt found 
this equator in Peru about 7*791i3'* (7° l') of south latitude, 
which places it, for that part of the earth, nearly in the 
spot where Wilke and Lemonnier had fixed it. 

The places situated to the north of that point may be di- 
vided into four zones; the three first of which, beinir; nearer 
the equator, are about 4*3° (4^) of breadth in latitude; 
while the latter, more extensive and more variable, is 16" 
(14°). So that the system of these zones extends in Ame- 
rica from the magnetic equator to '■25'b33Q° (23°) of north 
latitude, and comprehends in longitude an interval of about 
bQ" (50"). 

The first zone extends from 7" 79^3" (7" l''') of south latitude 
to 3-22° (2" 54'). The mean number of the oscillations of 
the needle in the magnetic meridian in lO' of time is there, 
2n*9: no observation gives less than 21 1^, or more than 
214. From M. Humboldt's observations one might form 
a similar zone on the south side of the magnetic equator, 
which would give the same results. 

The second zone extends from 2-JG30'' (2" 13') of south 
latitude to 3*61'' (3° 13') of north Uuitude. The mean term 
of the oscillations is there, 217'9: they are never below 
£20, or above 226. 

The fourth zone, broader than the other two, extends 
from 10-2778" (9" 13') to 25-7037° (23° 8'j of north lati- 
tude. Its mean term is 23/ : it never presents any ob- 
servation below 229, or above 240. 

We are unacquainted, in regard to this part of the earth, 
with the intensity of the magnetic force beyond the latitude 
of 26" (23") north ; and on the other hand, in Europe, 
where we have observations made in high latitudes, we 


252 I'uriciions of t'le Terrestrial I\Tagnethm 

have none in the neighbourhood of the equator : but wc 
will not venture to compare these two classes of observa- 
tions, which mav belorig lo cliiTerent systems of forces, as 
will be nieutioned hereafter. 

However, the only comparison of results, collected in 
America by M. Ilamboldt, appears to us to establish with 
certainty the increase of the magnetic force from the equa- 
tor to the poles; and, without wishing lo connect theui 
too clos2ly wiih the experiments made in Europe, we must 
remark, tliat the latter accord so i'ar also \\ith the preceding 
as to indicate the phifiuomenon. 

If we have thus divided the observations into zones pa- 
rallel to the equator, it is in order that we may more ea-=ilv 
show the truth of the fact which results from then), and 
in particular to render the demonstration independent of 
those small anomalies which are inevitably mixed with 
these results. 

. Though these anomalies are very trilling, thev are, how- 
ever, so sensible, and so iVequently occur, that they cannot 
be ascribed entirely to errors in the observations. It ap- 
pears nuM'e natural to ascribe them to the influence of local 
circuaistances, and tlie particular attractions exercised by 
collections of ferrugineous matters, chains of mountains, 
or by the large masses of the continents. 

One of us, indeed, having this, summer earned to the 
Alps the magp.etic needle employed in one of his late aerial 
excursions, he found that its tendency to return to the 
magnetic meridian was constantly stronger in these moun- 
tains than it was at Paris before his departure, and than it 
has been found since his return. This needle, which made 
at Paris 83-y" in 10 minutes of time, has varied in the fol- 
io^^•i^g manner in thediffeient places to which it was car- 
ried ; 

N.iniber of cscillations in 
P1.1CCS of observation. ten minutes of time. 

J'aris before his departure - 83*9 

7'urin _ - _ ^7.0 

On JNfohiit Cencvre - 8S'2 

Grenoble - - - ' 87*4 

3>yons - - - 87-3 

Geneva _ _ _ tKj.^ 

Dijou _ - _ 84.5 

Paris, on his return - 83*9 

Tlie::;e experiments were made with the greatest care, con- 
jointly with excellent observers, and always employing ihfc 
same watch verified by small pendulums, and takliiw ih^ 


in different Latitudes, £53 

mean terms between several sericscs of observations, which 
always diftered very little from each other. It appear* 
thence to result that the action of the Alps has a sensihk 
influence on tlie intensity of the magnetic force. M. irium- 
boldt observed analogous ctfccts at the bottom of the Pv- 
renccs ; for example, at Perpiguan, It is not improbable 
that they arose from the mass of these mountains, or the 
ferrugineous matters contained in them ; but whatever may 
be ihe cause, it is seen by these CAamples that the general 
action of terrestrial magnetism is sensibly modified by local 
circumstances, the ditferences of which may be perceived 
in places verv little distant from each other. Tliis truth 
wiU be further contirmed by the rest of this memoir. 

It if< to causes of this kind, no doubt, that we must 
ascribe the diminution of the magnetic forces observed in 
some mountains ; a dirainutioi\ which, on the first view, 
might appear contrary to the results obtained during the last 
aerial voyages. This conjecture is supported bv several ob- 
servations of M. Humboldt. Byniaknigiiis needle to oscil- 
late on tb.e mountain of Guadalouj-se, which rises 67ti metres 
(338 toises) above Santa- Fe, he found it in 10 minutes of 
time oive two oscillations less than in the plain. AtSilla, near 
Caracas, at the height of 2C32 metres (l,3lG toises) above 
the coast, the diminution went so far as five oscillations; 
and, on the other hand, on the volcano of Antisana, at the 
height of 4934 metres (i2l67 toises), the number of oscilla- 
tions in 10 minutes was :23{) ; though at Quito it was onlv 
21S: which indicates an increase of intensity. I observed, 
indeed, a similar efieet on the sunnnit of JNIount Genevre, 
at the hcigh.t of IdOO or ISOO metres (S or 900 toises), as 
maybe seen bv the numbers which I have already given; 
and it was on this mountain that I found the greatest in- 
tensity of the magnetic force. T saw on the hill of La Su- 
perga, in the neighbourhood of Turin, an example of these 
.variations equally striking. Observing, with Vassali, oti 
this hill, at the elevation of -about 600 metres (300 toises), 
we found 87 oscillations in 10 minutes of time. On the 
side of the hill we had 88*8 oscillations ; and at the bot- 
tom, on the bank of the Po, we obtained 87*3. Thoush 
these results approach very near to each other, their differ- 
ence is, however, sensible, and fully shows that their small 
variations nuist be considered as slight anomalies produced 
bv local circu instances. 

This exannnation leads us to consider the intensity of 
magnetism on the different points of the surface of the 
globe, as subject to two sorts of differences. One kind are 

2'eutTal : 

254 Variations of the Terrestrial Magnetihn 

general : they depeiid merely on the situation of the places 
in regard to the magnetic equator, and belong (o a general 
phceaomcnon, which is the increase of the intensity of thei 
iiiai'Jietic forces in proportion as we remove from the equa- 
tor : the other kind of variations, which are much smaller 
and altogether irregular, seem to depend entirely on local cir- 
cumstances,andmodify either nioreor lessthegeneral results* 

If we consider terrestrial magnetism as the efi'ect of an 
attractive force inherent in all the material particles of the 
globe, or only in some of these particles, which we are far 
from determining, the general law will be, the toral result 
of the system of allraction of all the particles, and the small 
anomalies will be produced by the particular attractions of 
the partial sy^^tcms of the magnetic molecular, difiused irre- 
gularly around each point ; attractions rendered more sen- 
sible by the diminution of distance. 

It now remains to consider the inclination of the mag- 
netic needle in regard to the horizontal plane. It has long 
been known that this inclination is not every where the 
same: in the northern hemisphere the needle inclines to- 
Avards the north; in the southern towards the south; the places 
where it becomes horizontal form the magnetic equator; and 
those where the inclination is equal, but not null, form on 
each side of that equator curved lines, to which the name of 
magnetic parallels has been given from their analogy to 
the'terrcstrial parallels. One may see in several works, and 
particularly in that of Lemonnier, entitled Lois du Mag- 
nietiwi^ the figure of these parallels and their disposition on 
the face of the earth. 

It evidently results from this disposition that the inclina- 
tion increases in proportion as we recede from the magnetic 
equator ; but the law which it follows in its increase has 
not vet, as far as appears to us, been given. To ascertain 
this lau ■, however, would be of great utility ; for the in- 
clmation seems to be the most constant of all the magnetic 
phacnomena, and it exhibits much fewer anomalies than the 
intensity. Besides, if anyrule, well confirmed, could be dis- 
covered on this subject, it jTiight be employed with advan- 
tage at sea to determine the latitude when the weather does 
not admit an observation of the sun ; which is the case iit 
various places during the greater part of the year. We 
have some reason to expect this application when wo 
«?ee the delicacy of that indication in the observations of 
M. Humboldt, Where we find 0-65° (35' Q'') of diflerence 
between two towns so near each other as Nismes and Mont-» 
pcllicr. These- motives have induced us to study with great 


in different Latitudes. ZS^ 

interest the series of observations made by M. Humboldt 
in reiiard to the inclination ; and it appears to us that thev 
may be represented very exactly by a mathematical h\po- 
thesis; to which we are tar from attaching any reality ia 
itself, but which we offer merely as a commodious and sure 
mode of connecting the results. 

To discover this law, we must first exactly defcrmine the 
position of the magnetic equator, which is as an interme- 
diate line between the northern and the southern inclina- 
tions. For this purpose we have the advantage of being 
able to compare two direct observations ; one of Lapev- 
rouse, and the other of M. Ilumboldr. The former found 
the magnetic equator on the coasts of Brasil at 1 '2* 1066*^ 
(10*" 57') of south latitude, and 28-2107'' (25'' 25^ of west 
longitude, counted from the meridian of Paris. The latter 
found the same equator in Peru at 7'7963° (7^* 1^) of south 
latitude, and 8{)-G4Sl° (SO" 41') of west longitude, also 
reckoned from the sam.e meridian. These data are siitfi- 
■cient to calculate the position of the magnetic equator, sup- 
posing it to be a great circle of the terrestrial sphere ; <ia 
hypothesis which appears to be conformable to observa- 
tions. The inclination of this plane to the terrestrial equator 
is thus found to be equal to 11-0247° (10° 5S' 5Q"), and 
its occidental node on that equator is at 133-3719" (120** 
2' 5") west from Paris, which places it a little beyond the 
continent of America, near the Gallijxigos, in the South 
Sea; the other node is at 66-6281° [a'f 57' 55") to the 
sast of Paris, which places it in the Indian Seas*. 


* To calculate this position let N E E' (Plate V. fi;^. 2.) be the terrestrial 
equator; NHL the maj^netic equator, supposed also to be a great circle; 
and HJL the two points of that equator, observed by iVIessrs. Humboldt and 
Lapeyrouse. The latitudes HE, LE', and the arc EE', which is the diffe- 
rence of longitude of these two points, is known : consequently, if we sut>- 
pose HE = /•, LE' = /•', EE' = v, EN = t, and the angle ENH = ;-, we 
shall have two spherical triangles N E H, N E'L,, which will give the two 
follov»'ing equations : 

tan^. h cot y . tar.o-. l' cot. v 
Sin. X = — ^ ^ sin. (I T- v) = ■ '— 

from which we deduce 

Sin. -t-^ 

tantj, ?•' 

and developing 

tang. Z'' 

tantr. li sin. v sin. r 

Let us now take an auxiliary angle <j>, so that we may have 

t'ang. b sin. i< 

tang. 4. ^ 

tang. // 


*5G Fanaiioiis of ihc TcryC^lrlal yiagnethni 

Wc do not give ibis dctcrminalidii as rigorously exact : 
some corrections might no doubt be made to it, had we 
a ii'rcatcr number of observations equally precise ; but 
ue"are of opinion tliat these corrections would be very 
siDall ; and it will be seen hereafter that, independently of 
the confidence w hich the two observations we have em- 
ployed deserve, wc have other reasons for entertaining 
this opinion *. 

It is very remarkable that this determination of the mag- 
netic equator agrees almost perfectly with that given long 
asio bv Wilke and Lemonnier. The latter in particular, 
w~ho for want of direct observations had discussed a great 
numbeV of corresponding observations, indicates the mag- 
netic equator in Peru towards 7°J- of south latitude ; and 
M. Humboldt found it in the same place at 7" 7903" (7° V) ; 
besides, Lemomiicr's chart, "as well as that of M. Wilke, 
indicates for the inclination of the magnetic meridian 1 0'Se" 
(about 1 1""), and they place the node about 155° 56' (140°) 
of west longitude, reckoned from the meridian of Paris. 

Can it be by chance, then, that these elements, found 
more than 40 years ago, should accord so well with ours 
founded on recent observations ? or does the inclination of 
the magnetic equator experience only very small variations, 
while all the other symptoms of terrestrial magnetism 
chanae so rapidly ? We should not be far from admittinii: 
the latter opinion, when we consider that the inclination oT 
the magnetic needle has changed at Paris 3** during 6o vears 
since it has been observed ; and that at London, according 
to the observations of Mr. Graham, it has not changed 2^ 
in 200 years ; while the declination has varied n)ore than 
20° in the same interval, and has passed from east to west : 
but, on the other hand, the observation of the inclination is 
so ditlicult to be made with exactness, and it is «o short a 
time since the art of measuring it with precision was known, 

end wc shall have 

sin. ?• sin. 4> 

tanjr.x = .. 

bill. ((■ — 4>) 

Bv tlvcse equations wc may find x, and then y-, by any of tlie first two. 

* Since tliis memoir read, we hnve collected nevf information which 
confirms "ihcpc first results. Lapeyrocse, after havino- doubled Cape Horn, 
fell in a second time with the niac^iie.ic equator in 18' north and 1 19'^ 7' 
of longitude v.-cst from Paris. He was therefore very the node of thr 
magnetic equator, such as we have deduced it from observations. ']"hi» 
fact establishes in a poMtive mi'.nner two important oonsequences: lirst, t!)at 
the preceding determinations require only very slight corrections ; and the 
second, that the magnetic equator is really a great circle of the earth, if not 
exactly at least very rtjaily.— .Vo^■ of ilie AiitLors. 


jiccount of a Case of Hydropliolia. 257 

that it is perhaps more prudent to abstain from any prema- 
ture opinion on phsenomena the cause of which is totally 
unknown to us. 

To employ the other observations of M. Humboldt in re- 
gard to the inclination,! first reduced the terrestrial latitudes 
and longitudes reckoned from the magnetic equator. The 
latter, bemg reckoned from the node of that equator m the 
South Sea, I could first perceive by these calculations that 
the position of that plane determined by our preceding re- 
searches was pretty exact; for some of the places, such as 
Santa-Fe and Javiia, where M. Humboldt observed incli- 
nations almost equal, were found nearly on the n)a.q:netic 
parallel, though distant from each other more than G-GGGe* 
(6°) in longitude *. 

When these reductions were made, I endeavoured to re- 
present the signs of the inclinations observed, and to leave as 
little to chance as possible. I first tried a mathematical 
hypothesis conformable enough to the idea which has hi- 
therto been entertained in regard to terrestrial magnetism. 

I have supposed in the axis of the magnetic equator, and 
at an equal distance from the centre of the earth, two cen- 
tres of attractive forces, the one austral and the other boreal, 
in such a manner as to represent the two opposite macrnetic 
poles of the earth : I then calculated the effect which ought 
to result from the action of these centres in any point of the 
surface of the earth, making their attractive force recipro- 
cally vary as the square of the distance ; and in this manner 
I obtained the direction of the result of their forces, wiiich 
ouoht to be that also of the magnetic needle in that latitude. 
[To be contmued.] 

XXXVII [. Account of a Case of Hydropliohia .mccessfiUy 
treated by copious Bleeding and Mercury. In two Let- 
ten from Dr. Robert Burton, of Bent, in the State 
of Virginia, to Dr. Benjamin Rush, of Philadelphia f. 



ELiKViNG that you are always disposed to encourage 
any thing which may throw light upon the treatment of 
diseases^ I take the liberty of addressing to you the follovv- 

* This confirms what we have already said, that the magnetic equator U 
sensibly a great circle of the earth. — A'o/e of the Autkors. 
\ From the American Medical Repusitory. 

Vol. 22. No. 97. Ausust 1805. R ing 

558 uUcount of a Case of Hijdropholra. 

ing case of hydrophobia, rcqucsiing a line or two, if yoii 
think it deserving your attention. 

On July 4, 1S03, at nine o'clock iu the evening, I vva* 
desired to visit 'Iliomas Brothers, aged 28 years. I was 
jntornied by the person who came tor me, that he had been 
bitten by a dog, which his friends suspected to be mad. I 
found him in the hands ot" four young men, who were en- 
deavouring to confine him, and thereby prevent him from 
injuring himself or friends. He recognised me, and re- 
quested me to give him n)y hand, which he made a violent 
effort to draw within his mouth. Conscious of his inclina- 
tion to bite, he advised his friends to keep at a distance, 
mentioning that a mad dog had bitten him. 

His symptoms were as follow: viz. a dull pain in his 
head, watery eyes, dull aspect, stricture and heaviness at 
the breast, and a liigh fever. 

Believing, as you do, that there is but one fever, I de- 
termined to treat this case as an inflammatory fever. I 
therefore drew twenty ounces of blood ; and, as he refused 
to take any tiling aqueous, I had him drenched with a large 
dose of calomel and jalap. 

July oth, four a. m. Finding the symptoms worse, I took 
away sixteen ounces of blood, and applied two large epi- 
spastic plasters to his legs, hoping thereby to relieve the op- 
pression of the praicordia and oth<:r symptoms. 

Twelve vi. Was informed that one of his friends had 
permitted him to take a stick in his mouth, which he bit 
so as to loosen several of his teeth. As he craved some- 
thing to bite, I desired his friend to give him a piece of 
lead, which he bit until he almost exhausted his strength. 

One p. m. Finding but little alteration, I drew eighteen 
ounces of blood, and had him drenched with the antima- 
nial powders. 

Two p. m. He slept until half after three, when l>e 
awoke, with the disposition to bite, o-ppression, &c., but 
not so violent. 

July 6th, eight a. m. Found him biting the bed-clothes; 
his countenance maniacal, his pulse synocha, with a stric- 
ture of the breast, difficult deglutition, laborious breathing, 
and a discharge of saliva. I took away twenty -four ounces 
of blood, gave him a dose of calomel and jalap, arid con- 
tinued the powders. 

Twelve //J. Drew sixteen ounces of blood, and gave him 


Account of a Case of Hydrophobia. 259 

Five p. m. Found him in a slumber ; his skin moist, and 
his fever and other symptoms much abated. 

Julv 7th, eight a. m. Was informed that he had only- 
two paroxysms during my absence, and that he had lost 
sixteen ounces of blood agreeably to directions. Notwith- 
standing the favourable aspect which the disease wore, I 
resolved to bleed him twice more, and then to induce an 
artificial fever by mercury, which would predominate over 
the hydrophobic. I therefore drew tea ounces of blood, 
and requested his friend to take eighteen ounces at night; 
to rub in a small quantity of mercurial ointment, and to 
give a mercurial pill every four hours. 

July 8th, nine a. w. Found him convalescent, but con- 
tinued the mercurial unction and pills. 

July Qth, ten a. m. Found his gums sore, and discon- 
tinued tile mercury. 

Julv 15th, one Found him well, but with a con- 
siderable degree of debility. 

It would be doing injustice to you not to mention that I 
was indebted to your lectures for the successful treatmeait 
of this disease. 

August 21, 1803. 


To Dr. Burton. 

Accept of my congratulations upon your rare triumph 
over a case of hydrophobia. I give you great credit for 
the boldness of your practice. You have deserved well of 
the profession of medicine. 

In order to render your communication more satisfac- 
tory, permit me to request your answer to the following 

1. On what part of the body of your patient was the 
wound inflicted ; and how long was the interval between 
the time of his being bitten and the attack of his fever ? 

2. Did he discover any aversion from the sight of water? 
and did he refuse to swallow liquids of all kinds ? 

3. What were the appearances of the blood drawn? Did 
it differ in the different stages of the disease ? 

Your answer to the above questions will much oblige 
your sincere friend, 
v>wuA ^r.v•„ Benjamin Rush. 

Au^st 29, 1803. 

Rg To 

260 Speedy Decomposition of JVater 

To Dr. Benjamin Rush. 


f regret that business of an indispensable nature pre- 
vented me from being more particular in my communica- 
tion. I drew it up in a hurr).', intending to transcribe it, 
and insert such other notes as would throw light on the 
case ; but bein^ called out a few hours before the post set 
out from this place, I was obliged to forward the commu- 
nication in the manner in which you received it. 

The part of the body of my patient on which the wound 
vi^as inflicted was a little above the union of the soleeus and 
gastrocnemius muscles, which form the tendo-achillis. The 
interval between the time of his beius; bitten and the attack 
of the fever was twenty-four days. 

He was, I was told, dull and solitary a few days previous 
to the attack. A few minutes before it, his friends found 
him two hundred yards from the house, apparently in a 
deep study. He has informed me, since his recovery, that 
he had a slight pain in the wound, attended with itching, 
and an uneasiness in the inguinal gland, several days before 
the fever. 

He refused to swallow liquids, and the sight of water 
threw him into a convulsive agitation. 

With regard to the appearances of the blood drawn, I 
am sorry to inform you, that after it became cold 1 did not 
rxamine it. 

lam, sir, yours, &c. 

Bent Creek, Virginia, RoBEKT BuRTON. 

September IS, 1803. 

XXXTX. Hints respecting a speedy Decomposition of JVater 
hy Means of Galvanism. By Mr. William Wilson. 

To Mr. Tilloch. 

sir, ■ London,Augnst22, 1805. 

zVt a tirnc like the present, when there is every appear- 
ance of some important discoveries in chemistry being made 
by the help of Galvanism, any experiment connected with 
this subject that is not generally known (and especially such 
as relate to the decomposition of water, and that in a more 
rapid manner than is usually done by Galvanism) must be 
accei)tablc to persons engaged in this branch of science. I 
therefore take the liberty of troubling you with the follow- 
1 " , ins? 

ly means of Galvanism, 26l 

ing account of some experiments I made, about a year and 
a half ago, with a Galvanic trough containing fifty pair of 
plates four inches square. If you think it worthy of a place 
in your Philosophical Magazine, you will insert it therein. 

Being desirous of ascertaining w hether water would be 
decomposed or no, if the wires, which were connected with 
the ends of the trough, were at a considerable distance from 
one another, I inserted two short silver wires through corks 
into the ends of a glass tube 36 inches long, and which was 
filled with water: the ends of the wires were about 34 inches 
asunder, which distance was too great for any visible de- 
composition of the water to take place; yet that wire which 
was connected with the zinc end of the trough, gave a very 
faint whitish cloud which descended *. With a shorter tube 
the decomposition of the water commenced when the ends 
of the wires were at the distance of 18 inches. It then 
struck me, that if a wire was interposed between the two 
end wires of the long tube a decomposition might possibly 
be effected at two places in the tube at the same time, and 
that the quantitv of gas evolved would be greater than if it 
was evolved at only one place. I therefore introduced a 
piece of iron wire between the end wires, in such a m.anner 
that its ends came within an inch of them. When a com- 
munication was made with the trough there was a very 
copious evolution of gas at both ends of the interposed wire, 
and at that end wire that was connected with the copper 
end of the trough ; and a red oxide of iron was formed at 
one end of the iron wire, while a black oxide was formed 
at the other. 

To try if any increased effect would take place if there 
was a greater surface of the wires opposed to one another, 
I pushed the end wires further into the tube till their ends 
passed about an inch beyond the «nds of the interposed 
wire : when a communication was made between them and 
the ends of the trough, a very rapid evolution of gas took 
place throughout the whole extent of the parts of The wire* 
that were opposed. 

Finding the quantity of gas much increased by this ma- 
nagement, I introduced a wire into each end of a tube about 
16 inches long. Each of these wires passed nearly the 
whole length of the tube without touching one another, so 
that the length of the opposed parts was 14 inches. When 
these were connected with the trough, there was a very co- 

* With a battery of troughs containing 400 pair of plates 4 inches square, 
the decomposition took place when the wires were withdrav.'u to the ends cf 
th? tube. 

II 5 pious 

262 Observations on Folcanoes and their Lava, 

pious evolution of gas through the whole length of the tube. 
The wires used in this were iron, and the red and black 
oxides were formed in eonsidcrabic quantitv. 

Seeing the quantity of gas evolved with a given power is 
in proportion to thequautitv of surface of the wires oppo- 
sed, nianv contrivances might he used to increase the effect 
to a considerable degree. If thin plates of metal v.-ere used 
instead of wires, as^reater surface would be opposed, and in 
all probahilitv the effect would be increased. Several wires 
or plates nught bo -^rianged in the same tube, and alternately 
connected with the ends of the trough ; or, if wire cloth was 
used instead ot plates, probably the effect would be still 
further increased. 

I am, sir, your obedient humble servant, 

William Wilson. 

XL. Neiv Observations on Volcanoes and their Lava. By 
G. A. Delix*. 

V OLCANOKS have been so numerous on the siirface of 
our continents, when they were under the waters of the 
antient sea ; and as this class of mountains, raised by sub- 
terranean fires, manifest themselves still on the shores of 
the present sea, and in the middle of its waters, it is of 
importai\ce to geologv and the philosophy of the earth to 
obtain as just ideas of them as possible. 

I have attended a ercat deal to this subject from my own 
observations ; and 1 have shown, at different times, the 
errors into which several geologists and naturalists, in 
treating of it, have fallen. 

This class of mountains, in particular, requires that we 
should see them, that we should behold them during their 
eruptions, that we should have traced the ])rogrcss of their 
lava, and have observed closely their explosions ; that we 
should have made a numerous collection of the matters 
which they throw up under their diHeri-nt circumstances, 
that we might afterwards be able to study them in the ca- 
binet, and to judge of their composition according to the 
ph?enomena which have been obsersci! on the spot. 

This study s highly necessary when we apply to geology 
and the philosophv ol the earth, in order that we may avoid 
falling into those mistakes which make us ascribe to sub- 
terranean fires what docs not belong to iheui, or which 
leads us to refuse them what really belongs to them. 

• Frcrn Jou-^'-iOl dp Mines, Thermidor, An. i?i. No. 95. 

Observations on Volcanoes and their Lava* 263 

We read in the Jojtrnal de Physique for January, 1 804, 
under the title. On the cause of Volcanoes, the following 
assertions : 

*' What is the nature of the matters which maintain 
these subterranean fires? We have seen that Chirabora90, 
all these enormous volcanoes of Peru, and the Peak of 
Teneriffe, are composed of porphyr}'. 

'* The Puy-de-D6me is also composed of porphyry, as 
well as the Mont-d'Or an-d the Cantal. 

*' yEtna, Solfatara, and Vesuvius, are also of the por- 
phyry kind. 

** These facts prove that the most considerable volcanoes 
with which we are acquainted are of porphyry." 

This opinion, that the fires of volcanoes have their cen- 
tres in such or such a rock, and that their lavas are pro- 
<iuced from these rocks, has always appeared to me not to 
be founded on any certain data. Opinions also on this 
subject have varied ; some having placed the origin of lava in 
horn rock, others in granite or schist, and at present it is 
assigned to porphyry. 

I have always been of opinion that nothing certain could 
be determined in regard to this point. It ever remains un- 
certain whether the seat of the matters of which lava is 
formed be in compact rocks, or in strata in the state of 
coftness, pulverulent, and muddy. 

Those who see lava issue from a volcano in its state of 
fusion and incandescence, and in its cooling, are convinced 
that the nature of every thing is changed, that it exhibits-a 
paste in which nothing can be known, except the sub- 
stances which the volcanic fires have not reduced to fusion. 
But these substances contained in the paste of lava, 
and those which are the most numerous, show us, that the 
strata from which they proceed cannot be similar to those 
exposed to the view, nor even to the most profound strata 
to which we can penetrate. 

The schorl of volcanoes, which was named augite, and 
then pyroxene, an octa^dral prism with two biedral pyra- 
mids, IS not found in the strata with which we are ac- 
quainted; and the case is the same with the leucitc or white 
garnet, a crystallization of a round form, v.ith twenty-four 
trapezoidal faces. And these crystals, which are observed 
perfectly inruiated in lava, are found there also, united in 
groups, which are likewise insulated, having no marks of 
former adhesion. 

Here then we have tuo species of crystals exceedingly 
numerous in several kinds of lava. Those of-^tna are 

R 4 iilkd 

264 Observations on Volcanoes and their Lava. 

filled with schorl ; and those of Vesuvius, particularly the 
■anticnt, contain schorl and leucites in great numbers*. 

I shall make no mention of other substances, such 
as chrysolites and olivins, because their form is not 
sufficiently determined to enable us to decide whether they 
are found or not in the exterior strata. 

It is not the lava of Vesuvius and ^tna alone which 
, contains one or other of these crystals, or both of them to- Most of the lavas of the antient volcanoes in the 
neighbourhood of Rome are tilled with myriads of leucites. 
Several of the lavas of the Briigau contain schorls in great 
quantity. The gravel of the volcanic lake of Andcrnach is 
filled with them. They are found in tbebasaltes of the circle 
of Lewtomeritz inBohemia,andin the scoriae of the crater of 
Puy-de-la-Vache in Auvcrgne. I mention only the lavas 
of which I pos-css specimens, most of them collected by 
myself on the spot, or which were sent to me by my bro- 
ther, who collected them in his excursions to the old volca- 
noes of Germany. 

Are these two crystals so numerous in lava, the schorls 
of volcanoes, and leucites, found in any porphyry, granite, 
or horn rock ? They are not found there : the question 
then is decided ; lavas do not derive their origin from por- 
phyry, nor Irom the two other rocks. 

What, in all probability, has led to the contrary opinion, 
is the appearance of several kinds of lava, which, by the in- 
sulated substances they contain, have a porphyroid appear- 
ance, though they are not porphyritic. 

Lcucite is said to have been found : — Is this crystal, of a 
round form, with twenty-four trapezoidal faces, really that 
substance ? If it is, in what kind of rock was it found ? Is 
it found there by myriads, as in lava? Were this the case, 
must it not have been long since known? And if it be 
foiuid only rarely, it is only an exception of ver\' little con- 
sequence, compared with the grand fact presented by lava. 

I have said that it is uncertam whether lava proceeds from 
solid rocks, or strata still in the state of softness, pulveru- 

• The biedral pyramids of schorl are subject to several varieties, but 
never to of ihe prism, which has always eight faces: these faces vary 
ill thtir size like those of rock crystal. Some are frequently seen which have 
two opposite faces broader thin the rest; a variety wj.ich is observed 
also in * he prisms of lurk TheirC perhaps are modifications which 
h:ive made these prisms be con'^idered by Dolomicii and Spallanzani as hex- 
aedra : they as much octaedral as rock crystal is hexaedral, and 
the roae leld-spar cf Biiveno tetraedral. 

I have in my po^^ession a leiicite which exhibits a very singular accident. 
It is united to a schorl, ')nc part of the length of which it embraces. This 
union has produced an elongalioii of the leucite to embrace the schorl. 


Observations on Volcanoes and their Lava. 265 

lent, and muddy. When we reflect, indeed, that these 
crystals, the schorls of volcanoes, and leucites, are found in 
such great number in their paste, all insulated, and without 
bearing any marks of adhesion to any rock ; when we con- 
sider also, that these schorls are found insulated one by one 
in myriads, mixed with the small scorice, thrown up by 
the mouths which vomited forth the enormous lava of 
JEtnsi in 1669; that this lava itself is filled with it, — it is not 
easy to conceive how they could all be contained in a solid 
rock. It is still more difficult to conceive that fires capable 
of fusing granite, horn rock, and porphyry, should spare 
schorls, leucites, and some other substances, which are 
fused and reduced to glass in our furnaces. 

The volcanic mountain of Viterbo exhibits lavas where 
the leucites are so near each other that they occupy 
between them more space than the paste of the lava which 
contains them. 

The lava of ^tna contains, besides schorls and some 
olivins, a multitude of cr^'stalline lamince, whitish, and 
semi-transparent. They are named without hesitation 
Jeld-sparj which appears to me not so certain as is sup- 

These laminae are two or three lines in breadih, and 
about half a line in thickness. They are found also sepa- 
rated from each other, mixed with the schorls and the 
small scoriae of Mount Rosso, or the crater of 1669. In 
the bed of a rivulet which runs down from Mount^tnal 
found rolled fragments of old very black lava, which contained 
some of these laminae in as great quantity as any marble can 
contain fragments of shells. It would be very extraordi- 
nary if these laminae proceeded from fcld-spars, such as 
those with which we are acquainted, and that thev should 
not be found mixed with any fragment larger or better de- 
termined, which might indicate in a certain manner that 

Admitting the hypothesis, that the strata from which the 
lavas proceed are in a pulverulent and muddy state, con- 
taining elements of all these small crystals, one may con- 
ceive how they are formed there, insulated, grouped, or 
solitary, and are found then in the lava in that state of in- 

The fragments of natural rocks thrown up by Vesuvius 
are not of the same kind as the matters of vv'hich the lava 
is composed. Most of these fragments are micaceous 
rocks, with laminae of greater or less size, and of a kind of 
granite called sieiiite. I have found some composed of 


266 Oh<:ervalions on Volcanoes and their Lav ft. 

white qiiart^y rock; it is found sometimes of calcareous 

The most probable idea that can be formed in regard to 
the origin of these fragments is, that they liave been carried 
from tlie border? of the strata through which the lava, that 
comes from great depths, has opened for itself a jxissage. 
These fragments src carried to the surface of the lava as far 
as the bottom of thechinmey of the crater, whence thev 
have been thrown out by explosions, mixed with fragments 
separated, or rather torn, from the lava; for it is not by the 
lava that they have been brought forth to view, but by ex- 

Some of these fragments of natural rocks have not been 
attacked by the fire; others have more or less; which de- 
pends, no doubt, on the place which they occupied in the 
volcano, and on the time which they renmined in it. The 
most of the latter have retained at their surface a crust of 
lava, and this crust contains substances which are iwt the 
same as that of the fragment it covers. 

On \'esuvius the strata pierced by eruptions are lower 
than the surface of the soil; in Auvergne and several places 
of Germany they are above ; for this reason there are seen 
there in their place schists or granites, which the eruptions 
have broken to form for themselves a passage. 

No volcano rests on natural strata ; thev sometimes show 
themselves on the exterior; but thev have been opened by 
eruptions, and their edges have remamed in their place. 

The focus of no volcano exists or has existed in the cone 
which appears above the surface of the ground. TIk-v have 
been raised by eruptions, which, proceeding from great 
depths, have thrown them up through the upper strata. 
When it is said, therefore, that the volcanic mountains of 
Auvergne rest on granite, this is a inistake, and an incor- 
rect expression has been used by those who have not form- 
ed a just idea of the phiEnomenon. Lava may have flowed 
upon granite or any other rock, and rested upon it ; but 
this is never the case with the volcano itself.: its bases are 
below all the. rocks visible. 

It is from the bosom even of the lavr., when in a state of 
fusion in the interior of the volcano, that all the explosions 
proceed. In that state of fusion they contain all the mat- 
ters which produce fernientations, and tl.c diseugagement 
of expansible flui<ls. 

I have been enabled to ascertain thi'-- on Vesuvius as far 
as was possible. 'I'he continual noise which was heard 
through the tv.o interior mouths of the crater which I haji 


Observations on Volcanoes and their Lava. 267 

fcefore my eyes, was that of an ebullition, accompanied 
with inflammable vapours, and the gerhes of burning mat- 
ters which they threw up at intervals were separated pieces 
of the lava in its state of Fusion. I saw several of them in 
the air change their form, and sometimes become flat on 
the bodies which they struck or embraced in falling. And 
among the most apparent of these fragments there are al- 
ways a miiltitude of small ones of the size of peas and nuts, 
and still smaller ones, which show at their surface, by their 
asperities, all the characters of laceration. 

The name o^ s cor ice has been given to these fragments to 
distinguish them from compact lava, though their compo- 
sition be the same as that of the hardest lava; and it is for 
want of reflecting properly on this point that it has been 
said that it is the compact part only that we must observe, 
in order to judge of their nature. The pieces which I took 
from the flowing lava with an iron hook, have at their sur- 
face the same lacerations and the same asperities as the frag- 
ments thrown up by explosions, and both contain the same 

This separation, bv tearing off the parcels of the lava 
effected by fermentations and explosions which proceed 
from their bosom, serves to explain those columns, some- 
times prodigious, of volcanic sand which rise from the 
principal crater. When seen with a magnifying glass, this 
sand exhibits nothing bat lava reduced very small, the par- 
ticles of which, rough with inequalities, have the bright 
black colour and the varnish of recent lava. 

Parcels of substances which exist in our strata, such as 
fragments of quartz, scales of mica, and crystals of feld- 
spar, are found sometimes in lava. Similar matters must 
no doubt be disseminated in the composition of our globe, 
without there being reason to conclude that the strata 
from which thev proceed are the same as the exterior strata, 
ft is neither in the granites, the porphyries, nor the hora 
rock, and still less in the schists and calcareous rocks that 
the schorls of volcanoes, the leucites, and perhaps olivins, 
will be found. These small crystals are brought to view by 
the lava, otherwise they would be unknown to us. 

These lavas contain a great deal of iron, which thev ac- 
quire neither from the granite nor porphyries. Might not 
one see in the ferruginous sand which is found in abun- 
dance on the borders of the sea near Naples, and in the 
environs of Rome, specimens of that kind of pulverulent 
strata from which lava proceeds ? 

1 have here offered enough to prove that it cannot be 

5 determined 

2GS Olservalkms on Volcanoes and tJieir Lava. 

determined that lava proceeds from strata similar to those 
with which we are acquainted. The operations oF volca- 
noes, those vast laboratories of nature, will always remain 
unknown to us, and on this subject our conjectures will al- 
ways be very uncertain. 

What is the nature of that mixture which gives birth to 
these eruptions, that produce lava and throw up mountains|? 
What we observe as certain is, that the introduction of the 
water of the sea is necessary to excite these fermentations, 
as containing marine acid and other salts, which, united to 
the sulphuric acid, the bases of wliich are contained in 
abundance in the subterranean strata, determine these fer- 
mentations, which produce the disengagement of fire and 
other fluids^ and all the grand elfecis that are the conse- 

Several naturalists have believed, and still believe, that 
fresh or rain water is sufficient for this purpose; but they 
are mistaken : this opinion is contradicted by every fact 
known. To be convinced of this, nothing is necessary but 
to take a short view of them. I have done it several times, 
as it is necessary to consider them ofte^n. I shall here enu- 
merate the principal ones : — No burning mountain exists 
in the interior part of the earth ; and all those which still 
burn are, without exception, in the neighbourhood of the 
sea, or surrounded by its waters. Among the deliquescent 
salts deposited bv the smoke of volcanoes, wo, distinguish 
chiefly the marine salt, united to different bases. Several of 
the volcanoes of Iceland, and Hcckla itself, sometimes 
throw up eruptions of water, which deposit marine salt in 
abundance. No extent of fresh water, however vast, gives 
birth to a volcano. These facts are sufficient to prove that the 
concurrence of sea-water is absolutely necessary to excite 
those fermentations which produce volcanoes. 

I shall here repeat the distinction I have already made 
between burnt cut volcanoes and the antient volcanoes, 
that I may range them in two separate classes. 

W^hen we simply give the name of burnt out or exiin- 
gn'ished volcanoes to volcanic mountains which are in the 
middle of the continents, it is to represent them as having 
burnt vvhile the land was dry, and inhabited as it is at 
present; which is not a just idea. These volcanoes have 
burnt when the land on which they are raised was under 
the waters (^f the antient sea, and none of them have burnt 
since our coiitinents became dry. It is even very apparent 
that most of them were extinct before the retreat of the 
sea, as we find hv numerous examples in the present sea. 


Ohservai'ions on Volcanoes avd their Lava. e6g 

Those which I denominate extinct volcanoes are such as 
no longer burn, though siurounded by the sca^ or placed 
on \k\Q borders of it. They would still burn, were not the 
inflammable matters by which they were raised, really ex- 
hausted and consumed. Of this kind is the volcano of 
Agde, in Languedoc. Of this kind also are many of the 
volcanic islands which have not thrown up fire since time 

M. Humboldt, in his letters written from Peru, speaks 
of the volcanoes which he visited, but what he says is not 
sufficiently precise to enable us to form a just idea of them. 
He represents Chimboraco as being composed of porphyry 
from its bottom to its summit, and adds, that the porphyry 
is lOOOtoises in thickness; afterwards, he remarks, that it is 
almost improbable that Chimboraco, as well as Picchiucha 
and Antisana, should be of a volcanic nature ; '' The place 
by which we ascended," says he, *' is composed of burnt 
and scorified rock, mixed with pumice-stone, which re- 
sembles all the currents of lava in this country." 

Here are two characters very different. If Chimboraco 
be porphyry from the top to the bottom, it is not composed 
of burnt and scorified rocks, mixed with pumice-stone; 
and if it be composed of burnt rocks, it cannot be porphvry. 
This expression, hunt and scorified rocks, is not even exact, 
because it excites the idea of natural rocks, altered in their 
place by fire, and they are certainly lava which have been 
thrown up by the volcano. But the truth must be, that 
Chimboraco, and all the other volcanoes of Peru, are com- 
posed of volcanic matters, from their base at the level of 
the sea to the summit. 

I have just read in the Annates du Museum d'Hhtoire 
Naturelle-^ , a letter of the same traveller, written from 
Mexico, on his return from Peru, where, speaking of the 
volcanoes of Popayan, Pasto, Quito, and the other parts of 
the Andes, he says, *' Great masses of this fossil {obsidian) 
have issued from the craters ; and the sides of these gulphs, 
which we closely examined, consist of porphyry, the base of 
which holds a mean between obsidian and pitch-stone;- 
{pechstein)." M. Humboldt therefore considers obsidian, 
or black compact glass^ as a natural fossil or rock, and not 
as volcanic glass. 

Father de la Torre, who resided at Naples, and has written 
on Vesuvius, believed also that the interior of its mouth 
•was composed of natural rocks and strata like every other 

. * No. 17. , 

mountain : 

270 Observations on Volcanoes and their Lava. 

mountain : he calls them strati nalurali, sassi naturali, 
thouiih every thing there be the work of fire. 

It" M. Humboldt had been a witness to the birth and 
fornjation of the craters of which he speaks, he would soon 
have given them up entirely to the volcanic empire, 'liie 
violence of the fire; the explosions and burning lava with 
which that empire would have reclaimed them, would soon 
have silenced all Neptunian pretension, and condrmed that 
these masses, which he calls porphyry, and tlicir bases, 
holding a medium between obsidian and pitch-stone, art; 
Java and vitrifications belonging to Vulcan. M. Humboldt 
derives his objection against the opinion that obsidian \% 
volcanic glass, fron) its swelling up and becoming spongv 
and fibrous by the least degree of heat of a lurnace, whence 
he concludes tliat it cannot be the production of fire. 

An attentive examinalion of volcanic productions shows 
that their state and appearance depend on tlie nature of the 
matters which have been subjected to the action of the 
fires, on the degree of heat, the time and place where it has 
been exercised. Therefore a degree of heat which has been 
able to reduce any substance to compact glass, would not 
be sufficient to put it into a state of ebullition, and at that 
moment could not be carried to a degree capable of pro- 
ducing that effect : to this the want of free air may contri- 
bute. But there are some circumstances, even pretty fre- 
quent, of volcanic fires giving fibrous and puffed-up glass. 
1 possess a vitrification from Lipari, the centre of which is 
compact ijlass, and the inside in laminae, bubbles, and 
threads, like pumice-stone. I have in my possession an- 
other, part of which is glass nearly compact, and part glast 
very much puffed up. I found on the sea-shore, 
near Messina, two pieces of four or five inches in diameterj 
formed merely of vitreous laminae, elongated, undulated, 
and full of putfed up places. I have two fragments of 
o!>sidian, or black compact glass of Ischia, one of the en- 
tire faces of which evidently shows by the circular undula- 
tions of the one, and the rounded inequalities of the other, 
that they have been in a state of fusion. I saw at Vulcano 
a vitreous mass, from which I broke a large fragment, the 
glass of which is compact in some parts, and full of putfed 
up places, some of them large and others small. Of this 
kind is the black compact glass of the volcanoes of Iceland. 

Another objection of M. Humboldt is, that oboidian Ls 
found in such large masses that it may be compared to a 
quarry. But why should this be an objection? Vitreoue 
lava does not diifer from any other lava^ but by more perl'ect 


B.oijal Society of London. 271 

vitrification ; and in regard to the size of the masses, it 
may be said that it has no bounds, since ^tna, a volcano 
much less considerable than those of Peru, throws up lava 
several leagues in extent, and of a ver^' great thickness. 

Obsidian, therefore, or the black glass of the volcanoes 
of Pern, is as certainly a production of their fires as the lava 
which is seen to issue from the bottom of every crater. 

[To be continued.] 

XLI. Proceedings of Learned Societies. 


Xn the sitting of 25th April last there was read an inte- 
resting paper on an artificial substance possessing the prin- 
cipal characteristic properties of tannin, by Charles Hat- 
chett, Esq. a member of the society. 

The author, after mentioning the labours of Mr. Deyeux 
and Mr. Seguin, the former of whom first separated this 
substance from galls, the characteristic property of which, 
to precipitate gelatin from water, was ascertained hv the 
latter J and after mentioning the experiments of Mr. Bicr- 
gin, Mr. Proust, and Mr. Davy, remarks that no one had 
hitherto supposed that it could be produced by art, unless 
the fact mentioned by Mr. Chenevix, that " a decoction of 
coffee berries did not precipitate gelatine, unless they had 
been previously roasted,'* might be considered as an indi- 
cation of it. Recent experiments have, however, shown 
him that tannin may be formed by very simple means, not 
only from vegetable, but from mineral and animal sub- 

In the course of his experiments on lac and resins, he 
observed the powerful effects of nitric acid on these sub- 
stances, and has since observed that by long digestion 
almost every species of resin is dissolved, and so completely 
altered that water does not cause any precipitation, and that 
by evaporation a deep yellow viscid substance is obtained, 
equally soluble in water and in alcohol. In his experi- 
ments afterwards, on the bitumens, he observed a material 
difference between their solutions and those of resins. 
With bitumens, nitric acid, by long digestion, formed a 
dark brown solution ; a deep yellow coloured mass was se- 
parated, which, by subsequent digestion in another portion 
of nitric acid, was completely dissolved, and, by evapora- 

272 Royal Society of London. 

tion, was converted into a yellow viscid substance similar 
to that obtained from the resins. Mr. Hatchett thcrt-fore 
concluded that the dark brown solution was formed by the 
action of the nitric acid on the uncombined carbon of the 
bitumens ; that the deep yellow portion constituted the 
essential part of the bitumens ; and therefore that the 
dark solution was in fact dissolved coal. He accordingly 
tried pit coal, and, by a similar treatment, obtained the 
same dark brown solution in great abundance, but not 
when he used coals which contamed little or no bitumen. 

Having by means of nitric acid obtained solutions from 
asphaltum, from jet, pit coals, and charcoal, he evaporated 
each to dryness, very slowly, to expel the remaining acid 
without burning the residuum, which in each was a glossy 
brown substance, exhibiting a resinous fracture, soluble in 
water and in alcohol, and highly astringent. Exposed to 
heat, they smoked but little, swelled, and yielded a bulky 
coal. Their solutions reddened litmus paper, and precipi- 
tated various metallic and earthy salts, and also glue or 
isinglass, yielding a precipitate insoluble in water, either 
hot or cold — and consequently possessing all the properties 
of tannin, uncontaminated with gallic acid. 

Mr. Hatchett then reduced some animal substances to 
the state of charcoal, and by a treatment similar to the 
above obtained from thcni tannin. 

Some kinds of. coal, which in their natural state yielded 
little or no tannin, on being brought to a red heat in a close 
vessel, and then digested with nitric acid, were almost 
wholly converted into that substance. The result was the 
same with various kinds of wood ; — when charred they 
) ielded a great quantity of tannin, though before under- 
going that process they would yield none. 

This ingenious paper contains other interesting details on 
matters connected with this subject, all tending to show 
that different substances yielded tannin in proportion to the 
quantity of their original carbon, and that substances re- 
duced into coal in the Immid way (as by the action of 
sulphuric acid) in like maner yield the tanning substance 
by nitric acid ; but we shall not enter more into this detail 
till the paper itself be published. 

On the 4th of July read a paper by W. Hyde Wol- 
laston, M. D. on the discovery of palladium ; with ob- 
servations on other substances found with platina. 

The author, havijig purified a great quantity of platina 
by precipitation, had an opportunity of examining 
the variou«! impurities usuallv mixeJ with the ore. 


Royal Society of London. 273 

This led him to the discovery of the new metal which he 
named ihodi/nyi, and also to the discovery which fonns the' 
principal sut)ject ot" this paper. He mentions also having 
found blended with platma the ore oi another mcial, Vvhich 
has hitherto passed unobserved iVoai its great resemblance 
to the grains of that metal. These grains he considers as 
the ore of iridium, the new metal discovered by Mr. Ten- 
nant. They are insolul)le in uitro-muriatic acid, are harder 
than platma, brittle under the hanmier, and break v/ith a 
kn)inated fracture. Mr. Tennant has undertaken the ana- 
lysis of a portion of this ore. 

The author mentions having separated from the ore of 
platina, by a cuneiit of water, some very minute red cry- 
stals, the quantity of which was too small to admit of ana- 
lysis ; but from such an examination as he could give them 
he concludes them to be h)acinths. 

Having separated these and other impurities from the 
ore of platina, as far as practicable by mechanical means, 
dissolved the ore, and obtained, in the form of a vellov/ 
triple salt, all the platina that could be precipitated by sal- 
ammoniac, clean bars of iron were used to separate the re- 
maining platina. 'I'his precipitate, consisting of various 
metals, was. subjected again to exactly the same treatmeiu, 
when the precipitate obtained by sal-aannoniac was found 
to be not of so pale a yellow as before : bars of iron were 
also again used to precipitate what remained suspended.. 
A repetition of the same process on tliis second precipitate 
led to the discovery of palladium ; for Dr. Vv'ollaston found 
that a portion of it resisted the action of the nitro-nuiriaiic 
acid, though this powder had been twice completely dis- 
solved before. The solution was verv dark in colour, yielded 
by sal-ammoniac onlv a small quantity of precipitate, and, 
instead of becomincr pale by the precipitation of the platina, 
retained the dark colour uhich it had acquired from tha 
other iTietals held in solution. The second metallic preci- 
pitate, therefore, became the subject of investigation. Lead, 
iron, and copper, were detected injt by muriatic acid. Di- 
lute nitrous acid separated a further portion of copper, forn?- 
ing, as usual, a blue solution ; but v.'hen a stronger acid 
was used for the purpose of separating the remaining cop- 
per, the dark brown colour of the solution gave evidence 
that some other metal had been dissolved. A small portion 
or the solution was put on a surface of -platina ; and on ap- 
plying a clean plate of copper a black precipitate was ob- 
tained, soluble in nitric acid, and consequently neither gold 
nor platina. The solution in that acid was red, therefore 
the metal was neither silver nor mercury; and having been 

Vol. 22. No. S7. --ie.'^'V'iM805. S' precipitated 

^^'^ French Natiunal Institute. 

precipitated by copper, it was none of i\\t 6thtr knowri 
metals. Mercury, agitated in a warm nitrous solution of 
this metal, acquired the consistence of an amalgam, which 
when exposed to a red heat left a white metal— palladium ^ 
which gave a red solution, as before, with nitrous acid, 
could not be precipitated bv sal-aninioniac or by nitre, but 
yielded a yellow precipitate with prus.-^iate of potash, and 
in the order of its affinities was precipitated bv mercury, but 
not by silver. The author, however, adopted atter\vard.-> 
another process for obtaining palladium, dcjiending on one 
ot its most distinguishing properties, bv means of wliich it 
may be obtained with the utmost facility. To a solution 
of crude platina, whether neutralized by evaporation of the 
redundant add, or saturated by any of the alkalies, bv lime 
or by magnesia, bv mercury, copper, or iron, and also whe- 
ther the phitina has or has not been precipitated from it by 
sal-ammoniac, it is only necessary for the separation of the 
palladium that prussiate of mercury be added to the solu- 
tion. In a short time it bccon)es turbid, and a flocculent 
precipitate is gradually ibrmed of a pale yellowish white 
colour. The prussiate of palladium thus obtained, when 
beuted, yields that metal in a pure slate. 


On the 23d of .Tune the (irst class of the French National 
Institute, that of the ]Mathe?natical and Physical Scieucei', 
held a public sitting, v\ hen the following papers were read ; 

1st, Chaptars report on the prize (question respecting the 
winter sleep of animals. 

2d, Delambrc^s eulogy of V. F. A. Mechain. 

3d, Memoir of Pinel on the treatment of lunatics in a 
large hospital, and on the re>uk of three yenu's'' experience 
at the Salpetriere. 

4th, Memoir on the terrestrial magnetism, bv Ciot. 

5th, Jussieu'^s account respecting the last vo\age of dis- 

6th, Cuvisr's eulogy on Dr. Priestley. 

The prizes also were adjudged for the papers on the last- 
prize questions. 

/in yfiiount of thr Lahnirs uj the Class of the Mnihcma- 
ticul and P/n/sical Sc}(*?iC('S of the Frciicli National Insti- 
tute fnun thn 2V)th of June 1804 to the same Day 1805. 
By M. Ct'Vir.R, perpetual Secretary. 
[Contiiuiod from p. Mi'.'] 

We have in comm(rce three kinds of strong ghic, those 

of Ki^gland, Flanders', ir.d Paris. The first islhe be^lJ and' 

8 the 

Pre7ich yattoual Inst'dute, 275 

Vhe third the worst. M. Scguin, havuig accurately com- 
pared their degrees of goodiiess), that is to sav, ot" tenacity, 
has examined the diBerence of their chemical principles. 
He has aKvavs found in the glue of Paris an insoluble mix- 
tlirc of gelatine and calcareous soap, which is deposited 
vihen the gluvi is dissolved : in that of Flanders, a coagu- 
lated albumen, which deposits itself also: that of England 
alone is fret; from this mixture and deposit. Nothing re- 
mained but lo discover a sure method of making glue si- 
milar to that of England. 

M. Seguin first saw, that of all the animal parts capable 
of giving alue, skins furnish the best, and particularly the 
skins of adult animals killed by the butchers. He then saw- 
that every thing depends on the method of freeing them 
from the hair. The worst glue is produced by skins freed 
fronj the hair by lime ; that of skins freed from the hair by 
alkalies is a little better ; but the most tenacious is obtained 
from skins freed from the hair by ga.llin, and particularly 
by the successive action of gallin and diluted sulphuric acid. 
But gallin is rare, and too dear for such an application. 
M. Seguin, therefore, did not obtain a complete solution 
of the problem which he proposed, but by finding out a 
substitvite for gallin, which is moistened malt. 

The name of degras is given to a matter employed for 
currying leather, and which is obtained in the preparation 
of shammy leather. There are two kinds of it ; that of 
the country and that of Niort, -which is better and dearer 
than the fornjcr. The ^^'o-rc/.^ of the country, according to 
Seguin, is composed of oxygenated oil, soap, and gelatin 
in particular states. The two latter principles hurt its ef- 
fect. The tiegras of Niort contains none of these sub- 
stances, and is only oil in a certain state. M. Seguin imi- 
tates it, the colour excepted, by treating oils with nitric 
acid ; and the product he obtains proves a substitute, at 
less expense, for the degras of Niort. 

M. Sage has shown us some singular products of the 
chemical art in foreign countries. The Chinese make fur- 
naces which are as light as pasteboard, and which are in- 
combustible, because they are made of amianthus. The 
same nation employ zinc for coin, a semi-metal which did 
not seem proper for such a ptirposc. The same chemist 
continues, with indefatigable ardour, to describe those ob- 
jects interesting to geology which are contained in his col- 
lection. He has shown us this year several curious fossils 
belonginrr, for the most part, to the class of shells, such as 
terebrAtulre, orthoc^jratites, nummulavia. Sec. 

S 2 The 

276 French National Imtituf.e. 

The voyage of M. Perf»n, among the infinite number of 
interesting objects it has procured, has furnished us with 
two proper for throwing light on the history of these fossils. 
The shell called by naturalists nautilus spirula was among 
those still found alive the nearest to the tormia aminonis, 
the spiral camerines, and nummularrar M. Pcron brought 
home the animal, and we have seen that it is not contained 
in the shell, hut, on the contrary, that it contains the shell, 
as the cuttle-fish contains its bone. This animal belongs, 
therefore, to the genus of the cuttle-fish. It gives us reason 
to believe that the cormia ummonis and nummularia belong 
to it also, and he explains every thing that remained em- 
barrassing on this subject. The same traveHer has brought 
back also an animal near a-kin to the medusae, which con- 
tains in its inside a cartilagmous disk entirely analogous in 
its structure to the concentric nummularia. M. Sage ob- 
served in a piece of coal the impression of a disk, which 
must have resembled that of this medusa still more than 
these nummularia themselves. 

M. Cuvier, who has made known to the class these two 
results of M. Peron's collections, presented to it also tv.o 
facts interesting to geolog\'^, discovered hv liimself. 

The first is, that among the numerous animals of un- 
known genera with the remains of which the plaster quar- 
ries in the neighbourhood of Paris are filled, there is found 
a kind of opossum, a genus still existing, but only in the 
new continent : the other is, that the remains of a hyaena, 
very similar to that of the Cape of Good Hope, are scattered 
throughout the earth in different parts of Trance and Ger- 

M. Desmarcts has contributed also to extend this curious 
part of the natural history of animals known only by their 
remains. He has presented to us two sorts of fossil shells 
of Angoumois hitherto unknown to naturalists : he has road 
to us also a treatise on the different sorts of vegetable earth, 
their characters, and their origin. We have had like- 
wise in mineralogy a Description of Cniadaloupe by 
IVl. TEscalicr. This island is in part volcanic and in part 

M. Humboldt has given us a view of the geologic com- 
position of the heights of the Cordilleras. M. Ramond haf 
added new observations to those which he before made on 
the l^yrenets. 

M. Lelievr*; has taught us that the kind of mineral called 
pinitc has been discovered in France by Cordier, who found 
k in minerals collected in the environs of Clermont in Au- 


Prench National Instihde. 277 

Ycrgne, by M. Lecoq, commissioner of gunpowder. Hi- 
therto it has been found only in Saxon\^ 

Botany continues to be enriched with an increasing num- 
ber of new species. The superb work on ihe. fardin dc Mal- 
77iaiscn, by M. Ventenat 5 the Flora of the Oware of Benbi, 
by M. de Beauvois ; that of the Isles de France ei de Bovr- 
hon, bv M. du Petit Thouars ; that of New Holland, by 
M. de BeHardiere, are prosecvited with success. Messrs. 
de Humboldt and Bonpland have published the first number 
of that of South America. 

M. Desfontaincs has published a catalosfue of all the ve- 
getables in the Jardin des Pluntes ; a valuable work, not 
only for those who frequent that celebrated school, but also 
for all botanists. M- Broussonet has also given that of the 
Jardin de Montpellier . 

Eotanv for a long time has been accustomed to honour 
t4iose who Ciiltivate and patronize it, bv giving their names 
to the new genera it discovers ; and experience hac proved 
that such monuments are the most durable of all. 

No person deserved this honour more than the empress, 
who takes so much pleasure in that agreeable science, and 
who promotes its progress so much. The Spanish bota- 
nists, Messrs. Ruiz and Pavon, had alreadv paid her this 
konour by giving the name of her family to a beautiful 
plant of South America. 

M. Ventenat, charged by her majesty with making; 
known to the public all the new species of the garden of 
Malmaison, has consecrated to her a second, the.Josephina, 
originally from New Holland, and near a-kin to the digi- 
talia and the pedalia. The elevation of its stem and the 
beauly of its flowers will make it be cultivated in pleasure- 

M. de Beauvois has dedicated to the emperor Napoleon a 
tree of the country of Oware, in Africa, distinguished by 
its splendour, and the size and singularity of its flower. 

M. de Humiioldt during his travels enriched the natural 
history of plants with general and very new considerations : 
he has traced out a sort of geography of them, in which he 
determines the limits of each species in latitude and in ver- 
tical height : it is the temperature which stops them in both 
directions ; but as the degrees which suit each are difl'erent, 
they extend more in breadth, or rise higher, on the moun- 
tains, according to this difference ; whicli may serve as a sure 
guide to agriculture in the choice of the plants which it 
destines to each position. 

This indefatigable traveller has enriched no less the his- 
S 3 tory 

27 S French National IiutUute. 

lory of animals. He has described several new species, 
among which we have to remark in particular one of the 
fish thrown nj) sonietiiDes by the volcanoes in South Ame- 
rica. Do tlicy live in subterranean lakes which have a 
communication with the sea? 

M. Peron has communicated to us two observations ex- 
ceedingly valuable in regard to the natural hisiorv of man. 
The first j elates to the celebrated apron of the Hottentot wo- 
iTien ; denied by some, and dififcrcntly described bv others. 
M. Peroii proves that it is a natural excrescence, which 
forms one of the characters of a particular race known 
imder the name of tlie Boschmen. 'ihc other observation 
relates to the strength of the savages. A number of expe- 
riments, made by l-{cgnier*s dynamometer, has shown that 
they are sensibly weaker, cceteris paribus, than the people 
of civilized nations. 

We lonsj ago announced the celebrated work of Berihollet 
entitled Statique Chnnupw. M. Pinel has written another, 
the title of which is Statique Anatomique. We have an- 
other of the same kind written in the century before last 
by the celebrated Borelli ; but mechanics and anatomv have 
both since that period made so much progress, that Borelli's 
work, excellent for its time, is at present superannuated. 

A particular object of anatomy, namely, the teeth, has 
been loni;; studied bv M. Tenon. This profcumd anatomist 
has made so many discoveries on this subject, that it is more 
indebted to him than to any person who preceded him. He 
lias lately read to us a uiemoir on a substance peculiar to the 
teeth oi" certain herbivorous animals, such as the horse and 
elephant, vhich envelops the enamel. 

The same ph\ sician has coninsunicated to us a great work 
on diseases of the eyes, which he will soon publish, and 
another on the diseases peculiar to hatters. The latter arise 
chiefly fron) the use which hatters make of mercurv to ren- 
der common hair fit to be manuiactured into felt, since we 
U'ere deprived of beaver skins by the loss of Canada. These 
diseases cannot be prevented but bv weakening as much as 
possible the mercurial liquor cmplovcd, or by endeavourin<x 
t I discover some other kind of hair which ma\' be converted 
in o fe't without that li(]uor. 

M. Tenon has read to us also several men)oirs on surgery, 
concerning the different methods hitherto used to prevent 
or correct those accidents winch are inseparable Irom our 
nature. Of this kind are instruments proper ibr extirpating 
polypes o*^" the nose; and a meilmd, by compression, ot 
Stopping hicmorrhngcs of the mouth. 
[To bu continued.] 

Jliccbie Inoculation, 



An in-titutiou has been lately established in London for 
the purpose of promoting a liberal and useiul intercourse 
among the different branches of the medical profession, and 
<ii affbrcHng a centre lor the recej)ti()n of conmuniications, 
and for tl)e formation of a select and extensive professional 
library. It is called the JsJedical and Chinirir'ual Socicti/ of 
London, and it comprises in it a considerable number of 
professional men of the first character. The meetings 
(which will commence in October) will be held at the So- 
ciety's apartments, Vcrulam Buildings, Gray's Inn, where 
any communications, or donations of books, are requested 
to be sent, directed to the Secretaries. 

The following is a list of the officers and council for the 
present year : 

President — Wm- Saunders, M.D. F.R.S. 
John Abernethy, esq. F.K.S. .lames Curry, M.D. F.A.S. 

Charles Rochemont Aikin, 

esq. sec. 
Wm. Babington, M.D. 

F.R.S. vice-pres. 
Mattthew Baillie, JNI.D. 

(Gilbert Blane, M.D. F.R.S. 
Sir Wm. Blizard, F.R.S. 

John Cooke, M.D- FA.S. 

Astley Cooper, esq. F.R.S. 


Sir Walter Fanjuhar, bart, 

Thompson Forster, e^q. 

Algernon Frampton, M.D. 

.John Heaviside, esq. F.R.S. 

Alex. Marcet, M.13. foreign 

Dav Pitcairne, M.D. F.R.S. 

Hen. Revell Reynolds, M.D. 

H. Leigh Thomas, esq. 

James Wilson, esq. F.R.S. 

John Yelloly, M.D. secre- 

XLII. InielUsence and JMiscellaneous Articles. 


i HE Jllgemcine Literafur-Zeitung, of 24th of July, re- 
marks that *' it has been shown in some of the German 
publications on the cow-pock, that this method of inocu- 
lation was known in Germany before it was reconmiended 
by Dr. Jcnner; and the case appears to be the same in 
France. M. Audouard of Castres, now at Paris, secretary 
to the society of the practice of medicine at Montpcllier, 
h55 discovered that the method of vaccine inoculation was 

S 4 practised 

260 Vaccine InocidatlcM. 

practised in some of the departments of France long before 
the attempts of Dr. Jenner. M.^Audouard will publish a 
work on this subject, in which it is expected he will give 
proofs that this method belongs originally- to France." On 
this we may observe, that we liavc no doubt of the fact, for 
it was also practised in England bv solitary individuals ; but 
this does not lessen at all the merit due to Dr Jenner, who 
was the first to point out the proper use that might be made 
of the fact ; nor of Drs. Pearson, Woodville, and others, 
wlio seconded his views, and have laboured with such inr 
cessant zeal to promote its general adoption, not only ia 
this country, but in every part oF the world — rand with so 
much success, that at no vcrv distmt period we may expect 
to see the small-pox, the most dreadful scourge with which 
the human race were ever afflicted, banished from the face 
of the earth. 

Ra,ca:sa, June 30th. 

The vaccine has at length been adopted at this place, 
owing to the exertions of that indefatigable physiciau 
Stulli, and the repeated instigations of Dr. deCsrro of Vi- 
enna, to whom we are indebted for this benffit. Dr. de 
Carro's Catechhm on the Vaccine, translated into the lllyric 
language, and distributed .in the town, apd by the country 
clergymen, has contributed greatJy to dispose the inhabi- 
tants for receiving it. The vaccine matter of Vienna has 
succeeded verv well : in the course of a few weeks Stulli 
has vaccinated a hundred children; a great many for thisj 
country, which in some late vears, and particularly in 1S02, 
lost a ffieat many children by the natural small-pox. Thi§ 
happy discovery is making great-progress among the Dal- 
matians and Turks. 

Manheim, July 28tb. 

According to the last accounts received by Dr. de Carro, 
at Vienna, respecting the progress of vaccination in the 
East Indies, the governor, by a public notice, dated Janu- 
ary J 9, 1 803, recjuestecl i he Kuropeans and natives belonging 
to the presidency of Fort St. George to take advantage of 
this salutary discovery. It results from the official reports 
of ihe board of medicine, that from the 1st of September 
1802 to ihe 30th of April 1804, there were inoculated with 
success 115,540 persons, najiielv Ifii Europeans, 4,141 
Branuns, 41,806 Malabarese, 40,022 Gentoos, 10,926 Ma- 
hcuictaus, 444 of mixed casts, 1,092 Portuguese, 35,975 
Parias^ 440 Mahrattas, 10,367 Canaputes, 462 Rajaputes. 


Proposal for encouraging Vaccination. 281 

The raja of Tanjore encourages \'accination as mucli as pos- 
sible, and the dewar of Travancore has himself submitted 
to It. 


The great number of persons who have taken the small- 
pox in die present year shows plainly tiiat so many have 
not been vaccinated as hath been represented. Indeed, v/e 
have long more than suspected that accounts given by 
many practitioners to the public of the number inoculated 
by each of them was not exact. A practitioner is too apt 
to assume consequence from the long list he produces, and 
this it is makes him apt to plume himself upon the credit 
given to h-m for the number rather than tor the accu- 
racy and novelty of his observations ; or it induces him to 
strive to swell his li>t of number, rather than to bestow the 
labour of ob-^ervation. Hence too it has happened that 
iTianv persons have taken the small-pox subsequently to 
the practice of such inexact inoculalors for the cow-pock. 
It is decisive that the numbers given to the pubhc are ex- 
aggerated, not only for the reason just set forth, but be- 
cause the total united sum irom the ditiercnt lists exceeds 
the sum on any reasonable calculation which the population 
affords to be inoculated. If we remove a cypher from the 
figures containing the numbers asserted, the sum remain- 
ing will be less remote from the most accurate calculation 
of the real number vaccinated : for instance, in some state- 
ments, instead of 10,000 say 1,000; lor 5,000 say 500, and 
so in proportion. 

The late prevalence of the small-pox has not onlv led to 
the above remarks, but to the consideration of the means 
of rendering vaccination cflectual for extinguishing the 
small-pox. Supposing that wiien the cow- pock is duly 
excited, a person has as great a chance of security as after 
due moculation for the small-pox, it was annovmccd at a 
public meeting — the ;mnual one of the original Vaccine 
Pock Institution, Broad Street, on the 7th February 1803, — 
that a plan would be brought forward to show the necessity' 
of laws for the inoculation of every subject within a cer- 
tain period after birth, as well as for the immediate prohi- 
bition of the inoculation of the small-pox. It was con- 
tended that the prohibition of the small-pox inoculation 
alone would be inadequate to the purpose of extinguishing 
the small-pox ; and it wa? maintained that it was not more 
an infringement of the liberty of the subject to render the 


■283 Proposal for encouraging Faccinaiion. 

cow-pock inoculation universal, than to prohibit, as already 
proposed, the small-pox inocuUuion*. The same gentle- 
man (Dr. Pearson) who made these observations, has lately 
explained to the Vaccine Institution that he had been dis- 
couraood and induced to lay aside his plan, from the opi- 
nion oi:" a great number of friends, who almost universally 
disa])proved it as impracticable in the execution, and im- 
prudent lor the author. He has accordingly lately pro- 
posed two things, by way of rendering vaccination less 
liable to failures, and more extensively practised. 

1. That each person Inoculated at the Institution shall 
have a ticket signed by three members of the medical esta- 
blishment, attestmg tliat the vaccination has been duly un- 
dergone; and tiiat if the person so attested shall suliscquent- 
ly take the small-pox, such person shall be entitled to ten 
guineas from the Institution. 

2. It is proj)osed that the medical establishment f shall 
grant certificates, which may have the eftect of diplomas to 
qualify pupils, by attending the practice and lectures at the 

It is remarkable, and indeed singular, that notwithstand- 
ing the Institution has been established near six years, not 
a. single authenticated case of small-pox subsequently to 
the cow-pock has occurred in the practice. 

Oft/ie inoculation of persons uho have under gciw the cou- 
' pock 30 fo 50 t/ears ago; with some anecdotes rf Farmer 
Jesty, the Vaccinator of his family in \11\. 

Mr. Benjamin .Testy, farmer, of Downshay, accompanied 
by his son Mr. Robert .Icsty, lately visited the Vaccine 
institution in Broad Street, where he proved, by authen- 
tic evidence of various kinds — 

1 . That he took the cow-pock from liis own cows about 
.^0 years ago, and although he had been often in the way of 
the small-pox, he had remained unsuscejitiblc. He has a 
scar on one hand from the cow-pock. 

2. That knowing many instances besides him?clf of 
persons never taking the small-pox who had taken the 
cow-pock in dairy farms; and that it was a harmless com-' 
plaint; also being of opinion that he should avoid ingraft- 
ing diseases of human subjects, such as evil, lues, mad- 

* Sec Philosophical Mnpazine, vol. xv, No. .57, p. 81. 

-f- The medical estabiishnieiit consists of — Doctoi".^ Peiirson, Nihcll, and 
JCeli^on ; Surgeons extraordinary, Thomas Kcate, 'I homas Payaic, and 
'J'hompson Fosttr, cstjiiires; Surgeons in ordinary, John (Junninjj, J. C. 
Carpiie, and J, Dor.itt, c-cpiirts; Visitinj^ apoth(Viiiit.'s, Trjiicis Rivers, 
Augustus Brandc, ar.d P.dc Briiyn, esipirci. 


Proposal for encouraging Vaccination. 283 

ness, 8cc., bv inoculating fronn the cow, he determined to 
prefer vaccination in his own faniilv. Accordingly, when 
the small -pox prevailed in the town and neighbourhood 
of Yetniinster, in 1774, where he then lived, he inoculated 
Jiis wife, Mrs Jestv, and his two sons Robert cud Benja- 
min, with matter from his covv's. Benjamin j^iiOwed a 
large cicatrix, on the middle of the upper arm, kit by this 
inoculation 31 years ago. The two sons were inoculated 
for the small-pox, vviihout effect, 15 years ago; and they, 
as well as Mr. Jesiv, have been often* m contact with per- 
sons in the small -pox in the course of 31 years. To give 
farther satisfaction, Mr. Robert JcstVj without hesitation, 
agreed to the proposal of being again inoculated while in 
town tor the sniall-pox. According! vvariolous limpid matter 
was verv carefully inserted l)y four punctured places in the left 
arm, inuuediately from a child in the Glh day of the erup- 
tion. Red pimples appeared \\\ th-c punctured parts the day 
after inoculation, which continued for two or three days, 
and then died away without anv attending pain of the arm 
or arm-pit, or any constitutional disorder. 

Mr. Jesty's aversion to the small-pox '■' humour," as he 
called it, cjcasioned him to prefer being tested with vaccine 
matter. Accordingly he was inoculated in tour places in 
one arm witii matter innnediately from a subject in the Qth 
day of vaccination. 

The farmer described how much he was censured by his 
neighbours for inoculating his family from " a bccst — a 
brute creature without any soul ;" and he was called '* a 
hard-hearted man :" but he answered that the brutes were 
free from many disorders of men ; and he saw that " there 
were many Christians who v>ere greater brutes than the 

It is worthy of notice, all the four parties in the cow- 
pock inoculation have enjoyed an uncommonly good state 
of health, and are all athletic subjects. Mr. Jesty, who is 
70 years old, is a fresh-looking man, and has the usual ap- 
pearance of a man of tivc-and-iiftv, or at the most of sixty. 
The indistinctness of his speech is from the loss of all his 

To gratify the public, and to preserve for posterity this 
interesting part of the history of cow-pock inoculation, the 
Vaccine Institution have had a whole length picture of 
farmer Jesty painted by Mr. Sharp of Suffolk-street. It 
has been executed in a caj)itally successful manner ; but it 
must be owned that the manly figure and fine countenance 
of the subject were in favour of the ingenious artist. 


SS4 Botami. 


A private individual in the government of Astracan, has 
sent to tlie Rusbian minister of the interior the roots and 
leaves of a plant which grows there in great abundance, to- 
gether with meal and bread prepared from these roots. The 
accompanying memoir states that these roots have been 
3ong used by the Calmucs as food ; that the bread mad? 
from them iti wholcsonit and well tasted ; that in case of ^ 
scarcity, occasioned by a bad crop, it might be einployed 
as a o"ood substitute for common bread, and that the plant 
is casilv propagated by seed. 

Further examination has shown that this plant is nothing 
else than the hutomiis iimhellaius , Linn. ; in English the 
fl-iiivering rush ov luaier gladiolc; in French lutome a. om-^ 
lellc jonceJleiLri; in T'i.n^r\c sussntok ; in Ostiak ru^a; in 
Russian smsac, solschnoj koren. It gro\A s in every part of 
Europe, in Siberia, and in the neighbourhood o\ Peters- 
burtih, and particularly in marshes and rivers. Tlie Cal- 
mucs roast the roots or dry them, and use them in that 
Eianner as food. According to the elder Gmelin, they arc 
vised also for the same purpose by the Ostiaks and neigh- 
bouring people. In former times a healing power was 
ascribed to this plant. 

Meal has been prepared at Petersburgh from the roots, 
and bread baked of it. We are informed that the meal in 
kneading has all the properties of common meal. The. 
dough rises very easily when leaven is added to it ; and the 
bread is very little inferior in colour, taste, or smell, to 
whcaten bread ; the only difference is, that it is not so 
tough, and readily breaks, in consequence of the fine fibres 
of the roots which remain in it, and it has also a little bit- 

From all these facts it appears that this plant may become 
a substitute for corn ; and if the bread be as wholesome as 
is asserted, this discovery deserves the utmost attention, 
and particularly in places which do not produce corn, and 
where this vegetable production can be cultivated. 

The minister of the interior has announced this discovery 
to the emperor, who was greatly pleased with it, and order- 
ed a present to be given to the person who transmitted the 
roots to Peiersburgh. 

Mr. Andrews's Work on Roses. — It is not unworthy of 

reni?rk, ihat the Hose, though it has ever been celebrated 

as the queen of flowers, has been yerv little an object 

6 ' of 

Lectured. 285 

of the attention of botanists. It is hoped tlurt this un- 
accountable defect, which has frequenlly beta objected 
to the science of botanv, will be in some deiirce renioveii 
by the new w'ork lately announced bv Mr. H. C. Andrews 
oi" Knightsbridge, the merits of whose Botanist's Reposi- 
tory, and Engravings of Heaths, are well known. Jt is to 
be a complete Monograph of the Genus Rosa, and will con-* 
tain coloured figures of all the known species of Koses, and 
their numerous arul beautiful varieties, drawn, cnojraved, 
described, and coloured, from the livnig plants, by Air, 


At the Theatre of Anatomy, Blenheim-street, Great 
Marlborough-street, the Autumnal Course of Lectures on 
Anatomy, Physiology, and Surgery, will commence on 
Tuesday, the first of October, at two o'clock in the after- 
noon, by Mr. Brookes. 

In these Lectures the structure of the human body will 
be demonstrated on recent subjects, and further illustrated 
by preparations, and the functions of the difierent on-rans 
will be explained. 

The surgical operations are performed, and every part of 
surgery so elucidated, as may best teml to complete the ope- 
rating- surjreon. 

Theart of injecting, and of making anatomical prepara- 
tions, will be taught practically. 

Gentlemen zealous in the pursuit of zoology will meet 
with uncommon opportunities of prosecuting their re- 
searches in comparative anatomy. 

Suraeons in the armv and navy may be assisted in rc- 
newmg their anatomical knowledge, and everv possible at- 
tention will be paid to their accommodation as well as in- 

Anatomical Converzationes will be held weekly, when 
the difterent subjects treated of will be discussed faailliarlv, 
and the students' views forwarded. — To these none but 
pupils can be admitted. 

Spacious apartments, thoroughly ventilated, and replete 
with every convenience, will be open in the morninv- tof- 
the purposes of dissecting and injecting ; where Mr. Brookes 
attends to direct the students, and demonstrate the various 
parts as they appear on dissection. 

An extensive Museum, containing preparations illustra- 
tive of every part of the human body, and its diseases, ap- 
pertains to the Theatre, to which students will have occa- 
sional admittance. — Gentlemen inclined to support- this 


283 Lectures. 

school by contribiUing preternatural or morbid parts, sub- 
jects in natural history, &c. (individually of little value to 
the possessor?,) may have the pleasure of seeing them pre- 
served, arranged, and registered, with the names or the donors. 
The inconvenienecs usually attendmp; anatomical inves- 
tigations are counteracted by an antiseptic process, the re- 
sult of experinients made by Mr. Brookes on hunjan sub- Paris in the year 1782; the account of which was 
delivered to t.he Royal Society, and read on the 17th of .June 
1784. This method has since been so far in)pro\'Ted, that 
the florid colour of the muscles is preserved, and even 
heightened. — Pupils mav be acconnnodatcd in the house. — 
Gentlemen established in practice, desirous of renewing 
their anatomical knowledge, may be accommodated with 
an apartment to dissect in privately. 

The first Mondav in October next will commence a 
Course of Lectures on J^hysic and Chemistry at the Labo- 
ratory in NA'^hitcomb-slreet, at the usual morning hours, 
viz. on Therapeutics at a quarter before eight, on the 
Practice of I'hysic at half after eight, and on Chemistry 
at a quarter after nine o'clock. 

These Lectures are delivered every morning, except on 
Saturdays, when at nine o'clock a Clinical Lecture is 
given on the cases of Dr. Pearson's patients in St. Gcorge'3 
By George Pearson, M. D. F. R. S. of the College of Phy- 

sicianSj raid Senior Physician to St. George's Hospital, 
8cc. &c. 

N. B. Proposals may be had at St. George's Hospital, 
and at No. 52, Leicester-square. 

The following Courses of Lectures will be delivered at the 
Medical Theatre, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, during the 
ensuing winter : 

On the Theory and Practice of ISIedicine, by Dr. Roberts 
and Dr. Powell. 

On Anatomy and Physiology, by ]\Ir, Abernethy. 

On the Theory and Practice of Surgery, by JNIr. Aber- 

On Comparative Anatomy and Physiology, by Mr. Ma- 

On Chemistry, by Dr. Edwards. 

On the Materia ^ied!ca, by J^r. Powell. 

On Midwifery and the Diseases of Women and Chil- 
dren, by Dr. 'Hiynuc. 


Llsi of Patents. — Trai'cJs hi Jfr'ua. 5S7 

Anatomical Demonsliations and Practical Anatomy, by 
Mr. Lawrence. 

The Anatomical Lectures will l)egin on Tiit'sday, October 
the first, at two o'clock, and the other Lectures on the suc- 
ceeding (.hws of the dame week. 

Further particulars may be learned by applying to Mr. 
Nicholson, at the Apothecary's Shop, St. Bartholomew's 


Malcohl) Cowan, of Gloucester-place, Portn)au->(]uare, 
in the county of JNIiddlesex, conniiander in the roval navy; 
for improvements in the constiuelion ;)f sails for sliips and 
vessels of all descriptions. 

Robert Barber, of Billborough, in the county of Notting- 
ham, gentleman ; for new and improved modes of making 
and shaping stockings and pieces, and also some new and 
improved kinds of sioeking-slitch and warp-work. 

'i'homas James Plucknett, of Huit-lane, Doptfonl, in the 
county of Kent, gentleman ; tor a method of njowmg corn, 
grass, and other things, by nieans of a machine movin" 
on wheels, which may be worked either bv men or horses. 

William Collins, lieutenant in the roval navy ; tor a 
ventilator, upon anew or improved construction, for the pur- 
pose of ventilating tents and marquees of every description. 


By letters received, we learn that the celebrated traveller 
Mungo Parke, with his companions Messrs. Anderson and 
Scott, who sailed from Portsmouth in the Crescent trans- 
port, about six months ago, having touched at the island:*- 
of St. Jago and Gorec, arrived at Kayay, ou the river Gam- 
bia, on the 14th of April, whence they were to proceed in 
a few days into the interior of Africa, to effect the business 
on which they were dispatched, and wiiich we believe to be 
of a very important and extensive nature. The heat was at 
that time so excessive, that the thermometer was constantly 
at 100 degrees and upwards in the shade, and for two or 
three hours after fiunset continued at from 82 to 92 de* 
grees. We are happy, however, to hear that notwith- 
standing this excess of heat the whole party had enjoyed 
perfect health : they had only lost one of the fifty men thev 
had receix'cd from the African corps at Goree, thougii 
they had been above fourteen days in the river; and thi» 
man had been unwell before they left the island. 

Mr. Seetzen, another traveller, arrived on the 4th of 
March at Aleppo ; but intended in fourteen days to set 
out for Damascus, whence he w,^3 to proceed througK 
ii^ypt to the interior parts yf AjlVi-»^a. ■ 


288 Mcfeorology, 


By Mr. Carey, of the Stra.vd^ 
For August 1805. 



Height of 

the Baiom. 


Q '4 i 

^ ^ H 

u ^ ■ '-* 

Days of the 



u • 


July 27 



















35 jShowery 















Aug. 1 


































Fair, with 
strong wind 




































































30^ 00 























Cloudy, and 
hea\y rain 
at night 

















































2C Q3 


58 1 




N. B. 



er's hciglit i 

'. Mkcn Tt 



[ 289 j 

XLIII. Extract from a JSIemolr entitled '' Conudcratlons 
on Colottrs, anil several of their singular Appearances." 
Read in the JMathetnatlcal and Physical Class of' the 
French National Institute ^ Pentose l<f, An 13. By 
C. A. Prieur*. 

J. iiK author of this memoir endeavours to account fgr 
several phaenoincini which appear to him not to have heen 
before properly explained : or, rather^ his object is to give 
a general theory, bv the help of which all the cases of co- 
loured appearance:?, and even the most singular, may be 
referred to certain principles. 

He sets out from known opinions in regard to the diffe- 
rent kinds of luminous rays; on the mixture resulting from 
several of these rays taken at different places of the solar 
spectrum, and anionix others on that very remarkable case 
when the rays are so chosen that their union produces on 
the organ of sight the sensation of whiteness, even if t\To 
kinds of rays only be employed. 

For these ideas we are indebted to the discoveries of the 
immortal Newton; and they flow immediately from the 
method which he proposed for determining what colour 
will be obtained from the mixture of any given quantities 
of other colours. 

If ue are desirous of comprehending fully what takes 
place in the vision of colours, it is first indispensably ne- 
cessary that we should be familiarised with knowing the 
shades composed of different simple rays, and with forming 
correct ideas of Z/t/r^ and white, and the complication which 
they produce in coloured appearances ; and in particular to 
make ourselves acquainted w ith the correspondence of co- 
lours, \\ hich, taken two and two in a certain order, are sus- 
ceptible of lorming, by their union, white or any other 
complex shade at pleasure. 

Two colours which have this kind of relation are called 
comphmtntarif colours ; one of them being given, the de- 
termination of the other may be made, with more or less 
precision, bv experience, calculation, or mere reasoning ; 
and the consideration of them may be applied with much 
utility to a great number of cases, as will be seen hereafter. 

Several details are here given, which those versed \n 
optics, or habitually acquainted with the mixture of co- 
lours, may readily supply : besides, the rest of the me- 

• From the Journal de Chiniie, No. IGO. 

Vol. ^2-2. No. 88. ^rpt. 1805. T moir. 

290 Considerations on Colours, 

moir, of which \vc have undertaken to give an account, 
will afford us an opportunity of iiientionmg what will i)f: 
most necessary for .ifldcrstanding the subject. 

These preliminary observations are followed by some re- 
marks on contrasts. The author employs this word to 
characterize the effect of the simultaneous vision of two 
substances of different colours when brought together 
•under certain circumstances. The contrast here, then, is a 
comparison, from which there results a sensation of some 
difference, great or sn)all. It is very generally known, 
and painters know it well, that a coloured matter which 
occupies a pretty extensive space, and brought near to, or 
surrounded by, some other colour, has iiot the same appear- 
ance as when it has near it other colours. But whence 
does this difference arise ? 

Before we answer this question, let us make an essential 
distinction. It either relates to homogeneous colours, that 
is to sav, formed of one kind of rays, or to complex colours, 
arising from a mixture of heterogeneous rays, that is to say, 
composed of different sorts. 

In regard to the first case, it must be confessed that we 
are ignorant whether the bringing together different simple 
colours would produce any alteration in their respective 
appearance. As one can rarely enjoy the sight of such 
colorations, and as it is not easy to dispose of them to our 
wish, no experiments have yet been made on their contrasts. 
Tliis subject, however, deserves to be studied. 

In regard to the cases of compound colours, (which is 
that of almost all the natural or artificial bodies, as the au- 
thor shows in the sequel of his m.emoir,) the new colours 
nranifesU'd by the contrast are always conformable to the 
-shade which would be obtained by suppressing from the 
colour proper to one of the bodies, the ra\s analogous to 
the colour of the other body. 

Thus, if we place on red pa-pcr a small slip of paper 
painted of an orange colour, it will appear almost vcllow. 
Removed then to yellow paper, the same orange slip will 
become ahnost red. After this-, if it be put upon violet pa- 
per, it will resume a yellowish shade, but different from the 
• preceding; and, in the hist place, applied to green paper 
jt will assume a new dviree of a red colour. 

The explanation of these examples according to the pro- 
posed rule is easy, if we suppose that the orange colour of 
""the small slip observed arises (as is commonly the case) 
from an union of all the kinds of ravs except tiie blues. 

A jiiuiltitude of combinations of colours placed thii=; 


and several of their singular Appearances . i?91 

above each other produce the colour of contrast indicated 
by the rule here given ; but there are several circumstance'^ 
which render the effect of it more striking^ or uiodifv the 

It sometimes depends on the degree of the brightness 
with which the observed bodies are affected : they may be 
uniformly illuminated, or one of them more than the rest. 
The quantity of light which has entered simultaneously into 
the eye by the whole field of vibion has also an influence. 
If the bodies consist of several rows, like a series of decreas- 
ing circles placed one within the other, the colours of each 
will re-act respectively on each other. At each junction 
there will be on both sides a border coloured by the con- 
trast of the neighbouring body : these borders will extend 
more or less according to the splendour of the objects. The 
effect of one may become dull, or extinguish all the rest. 

The colours of contrast show themselves also with more 
vivacity after some moments of observation, or if the ob- 
jects have been agitated a little, as if to make them move 
slowly over the retina. It would appear that a certain fa- 
tigue of the eye, either instantaneous in regard to the inten- 
sity of the light, or more slowiv by prolonged vision, con- 
curs to produce the appearances in question. But exces- 
sive fatigue of that organ would occasion a degeneration of 
the colours belongi/ig to another mode. 

We ought not, then, to refer to contrasts those impres- 
sions mentioned by Epinus, which are propagated in the 
eye with a certain duration and a particular period of shades, 
when one has looked \\\\\\ intensity at a very brilliant light, 
such as that of the sun. 

But the colours called by Buffon accidental, and respect- 
ing which Scherfer has given an interesting memoir, belong 
to the class of contrasts, or at least constantly follow the 
same law. 

Coloured shadows are also a phasnomenon of the same 
kind. Count Rumford has placed this truth beyond all 
doubt in two memoirs, in which he has treated this subject 
in an interesting manner*. 

The author of that which we here analyse is of opinion, 
that we must ascribe also to contrasts those appearances of 
the solar light received through a hole in a coloured cur- 
tain, which general Meusnier remarked in consequence of 
their singularitv. He assimilates to this also several cases 
of colours exhibited by opals, or more generally by bodies 

* riiilosopiiical Esspye, vol. i. p. 31P et '.cq. I80'J, I.ordon edir. 

T 'J coutainiTig 

292 Considerations on Colours^ 

containing sensibly opake parts disseniinated throughout a 
pellucid substance. Jjy the same reasons he explains the 
colours under which the grayish dust collected bv aofc on 
old paper or coloured stuffs shows itself, and deduces the 
same consequences in regard to the blueish appearance of 
the veins of the human bodv. 

lie proposes, likewise, a new method of rendering very 
sensible the colour? of contrasts more lively even than by 
the know n process of accidental colours, and y<-'t without 
occasioning extraordinary fatigue to the eye. The latter 
condition is of importance, for it is known that it is dan- 
gerous to expose to forced exercise an organ so delicate as 
the eve. 

This method consists fimply (when one is in an apart- 
ment and in the open light) in placing before the window 
thc painted pieces of paper c)n which you intend to observe 
the contrasts, as in the example before mentioned. As the 
coloured paper, then, which serves as a field has a semi- 
transparency, and by these means is more illuminated, 
while the small band of another colour placed over it is, on 
account of the double thickness, more opake and in the 
shade ; the colour arising from the contrast becomes thus 
more striking. 

It is this disposition w hieh produces the singularly strik- 
inj:^ effect of the contrast of a small piece of white card ap- 
plied successively to paper, glass, or stuff of any colour 
wliatever. When the transparent body is red, the opake 
white appears of a blueish green ; it is then seen decidedly 
blue if the ground be orange; then of a sort of violet on a 
yellow oround, or green on crimson, See; always accord- 
ing to the exact correspondence of the co)npl()ficn(ur>/ co- 
lour <;. 

It is here to be obi^ervcd, that according to the rule in- 
dicated, il from the white which is formed by the union 
of all th.e coloured rays we su|)press, for example, the red 
rays, the remainino- bundle ought to be seen under the co- 
lour of a verv pale blueish green j but as the small white 
piece in the preeedinu experiment is in the shade, the black 
which results from it may be of the degree proper for de- 
stroying the etfect of the while, and then the llut-.l'sh green 
appcats"^of a bright shade. The same reasoning is appli- 
cable to the cases of all the other colours. 

To produce \^■ell the effects here announced, in repeating 
these experiments, it is necessary, when the opportvmily ot 
clear weather has Ix^en obtained, to guard against tlic reUci"- 
tions of II! t''hbourine bodies, and avrainst double contra^l^•. 


and ssveral of their singular appearances. 203 

Thus, when the bright light conveyed through a window 
surrounds the transparent paper, it may increase very sensibly 
the splendour of the colour of contrast, or injure it bv pro- 
ducing another shade according to the colours of the bodies 
subjected to obsers'ation. In a word, one niav always re- 
move this inconvenience by concealing the troublesome 
objects by a piece of black pasteboard or stuff, or bv look- 
ing throusih a blackened tube which confines tlie field of 
sight to the extent necessary. 

This knowledge of contrasts may be applied vAth great 
advantaixe to tliosc arts which have a relation to colours. 
The painter knows that one cannot be placed indiflercntly 
in the neighbourhood of anotiicr. liut when one knows 
the law to which their re-action is subject, one knows bet- 
ter what must be avoided or done to increase the splendour 
of the colour which it is necessary to heighten : a successive 
comparison of them furnishes also valuable indications in 
rescard to their nature or their composition. This is what 
the author himself put in practice with advantage in his 
manufactorv of colours and paper-hangings. 

These considerations in regard to contrasts led him to 
the examination of a very singular case proposed and treated 
of by Monge with his usual sagacity*; namely, the white 
appearance under which a coloured body is sometimes seen 
when viewed through a piece of glass of the same colour ; 
some uncertainty remained in regard to the circumstances 
really necessary for producing this efiect. The author de- 
termines them by tlie help of his particular experiments, 
and enumerates those which have a favourable infiueuce, or 
the contrary, lie concludes that, wjien one experiences 
the sensation of whiteness in these cases, it arises merely 
from the action of contrasts, by whicli the impression of the 
colour is lessened or annulled, while that of a certain bright- 
ness still exists, and is remarked by the opposition of a 
greater degree of obscurity. This manner of considering 
the subject leads to a new definition of \vlntcn«-ss, in which 
there is certainly nothing repurrnant : ich'ilt to us is the sen- 
sation of Uglit ic/icit no panicular culoitr predominates or is 

In the subsequent part of his menioir the author employs 
himself in particular with the coloration of different opake 
or transparent bocHts ; that is to say, he endeavours to dis- 
cover what are those luminous rays which any coloured 
body is really susceptible of reflecting or transmitting. 

* Annaks de Chimic, torn. iii. 

T 3 Ills 

i>94 Considerations on Colours^ 

His means of making experiments are simple. If the 
body be opake, it is placed on a piece of black stuff' in order 
to be observed with the prism. He endeavours to o;ive it a 
rectangular form ; or, if it is not susceptible of being cut, 
it is covered w ith a piece of black pasteboard pierced with 
a hole of that form. The coloured frmges, then, manifested 
on the two opposite edges indicate the kind of ravs which 
are reflected, and consequently those which are absorbed 
when the nature of the illuminating bundle is known ; on 
which it is still to be remarked that, as the fringes them.- 
selves are of complex shades, we must separate the simple 
kinds. When a person has had some practice, a bare in- 
spection will be sufficient. He may be formed to this habit, 
and the want of it may be supplied by guiding himself by 
cards representing each kind of rays placed over each other 
in order, removing them gradually agreeably to the different 
refrangibility ; or he may employ a plate or board, con- 
structed according to Newton's method, for determining 
the shades composed of ditlerent elementary colours. 

If the body subjected to examination be diaphanous, it 
will be proper to view it through the aperture of the card 
before spoken of, in order to exclude extraneous light, in 
such a manner that the prism may show the fringes. Also, 
by placing yourself in the dark, a flame such as that of a 
wax taper will show through .the transparent body, and, 
by the help of the prism, a series of coloured images corre- 
sponding to the rays transmitted. 

By proceeding in this manner, the author found that 
many opake bodies which he had at hand of different kinds 
and of all colours, either yellow, orange, or red ; or green, 
blue, or violet, were indebted for their coloured appearance 
to the following conditions : 

1st, Each of the bodies always absorbs rays of the com- 
plementary kind of the prevailing colour. 

2d, The absorption, in regard to some of them, compre- 
hends, besides the complementary kind, other ravs colla- 
teral to that species, and more or less numerous. 

3d, The darker the same colour is, the fewer kinds of 
reflected rays it presents. 

It must here be understood that we do not allude to 
mixed colours, but only to those w hich form a homoge- 
neous compound or a real comhbwfion, according to the 
meaning attached by chemists to that word. It is also to 
be remarked, that we must not confound the colour reflected 
from the interior of the molecular susceptible of bright or 
(lark shades with the li^ht sent back from the anterior sur- 

and several (f their singular Appearances. 295 

face of the body. Though the latter overcharges more or 
less the proper colour, it is, however, easy to lessen the 
effects of it, and to distinguish them in experirijents. 

Another remark proper to be made is, that the expression 
predominating colour ought not to signify that the rays of. 
that colour are more abundant than the rest : this would be 
an error. Several kinds of rays may co-exist in the bundle 
which produces the colour, without any kind being, on 
that account, more abundant. Strictly speaking, all the 
elements of the bundle are dissimilar, and consequently 
none of them is in greater quantity. But the general tone 
of the colour ren)ains analogous to that of the rays distin- 
guished by the name oi predominating. Hence it is proper 
to retain this expression, provided an exaggerated significa- 
tion be not given to it. 

The author observed also transparent bodies, such as 
glass of different colouis, and liquors contained in a iiask 
having two broiid parallel faces. By these he found a law 
of absorption similar to that of opake bodies, but still more 
strd<ing, and without any ambiguitv. 

This law is constantly regular. It depends on the pecu- 
liar nature of the body which receives the light, and on its 
density and thickness. It is also determined bv the light 
of the illuminating body, either in regard to its force, or to 
the two kinds of rays which compose it. 

The absorption alwavs begins with the rays most opposite 
to the predominating colour of the illuminated body. It 
continues by those which are next in the order indicated 
by the spectrum. It thus extends gradually, and never by 
jumps, to the last kind : consequently the body becomes 
more and n)ore obscure, and always terminates by being 
black. Sometimes it extends from one side oiilv of the 
first rays absorbed ; sometimes on both sides at the same 
time; and it there proceeds either by an equal progress 
from the right and left, or by advancing more rapidly on 
one of the sides. 

If each element be scparatel\' varied, there will be in the 
effects a peculiar progression. That depending on the densi- 
ties is not alwavs similar to that arising from the changes 
of thickness. Bv receiving also on the same body different 
kinds of light, the progress of the absorption is differently 
modified, and consequentlv the colours changed. 

The aiuhor quole-^ examples of all these cases. He de- 
rives them from the numerous experinicnts which he made 
with coloured glass, with acid or alkaline metallic solu- 
tions, with the liquid tinctures of infusions or vegetable 

T 4 decoctions. 

x;g6 Considerations on Colours^ 

decoctions. They exhibited curious peculiarities ; but we 
shall not detail them, both for the sake of brevity, and be- 
cause they may be easily tried. 

In short, very important consequences in regard to the 
reciprocal action of bodies and light arise from the whole 
of these observations, and perhaps they will throw some 
light on the grand question of the cause to which their per- 
manent colours ought to be ascribed. 

After these researches the author concludes with an exa- 
mination of different phaiuomena of various kinds. He 
indicates the modificntions experienced in their coloration 
by burning coals at different degrees of incandescence. His 
remarks are applicable also to other bodies, such as iron iu 
a state of ignition, or a long scries of reverberated lan^ps 
seen during foggy weather, or a white light seen through a 
piece of glass blackened by progressive strata of smoke. 
In all these casrs, the colours necessarily pass through a 
b'eries of shades, w hich proceed from white to vellow, to 
orange and to red, more and more dark; the reason of which 
he explains. 

Metallic oxides have also a gradation of shades according 
to the proportion of oxygen. A certain continued altera- 
tion in vegetation produces one in some of the parts of 
plants, 'rhe arts or chemical processes present one also 
under a nudtitudc of circumstances. 

The manufactiirer may, with advantage, derive from them 
indications either in regard to the progress of combinations, 
pr to enable him to judge of the moment proper tor per- 
forming certain operations of his lai)ours. 

The author then dwells more particularly on the appear- 
ance of the coloured clouds, and especially those seen near 
the time of the rising and setting of the sun. 'iliis phae- 
nomenon, so generally known, had hitherto never been ex- 
plained, though the ablest philosophers had made it an ob- 
ject of their research. 

It does not arise from the refraction of the rays of the 
sun, but the successive absorption of these ravs when thev 
strike the lower parts of the atmosphere and those most 
phariTcd with vapours. 

This absorption follows laws analogous to those alreadv 
mentioned. As the ijuaiuity of the vapours, and even their 
nature, arc not similar for two days in succession, this irrcc 
gularity produces corresponding ditTcrenccs in their effects. 

Jii general, the first rays attacked by these vapours arc 

jjlue approaching tp violet. Soon after, they absorb the 

pontitruous rays, gajninu' with more rap.iditv the blue.^ pro- 

- ' ^ ^ p,,r!y 

and s(i:eral of their singular ^appearances. £97 

pterly so called, then the greens and yellows, and continuing 
thus to the red : lience the yellowish, cravgc, and red co- 
lours, under which the clouds appear. This period of 
shades, namely, the evening, maniiesls itself gradually in 
proportion as the sun approaches the horizon. Terrestrial 
ohjects, the part ot" the air near the 3un, and even that lu- 
rninary itself, are tinged with the same shades. When Ins 
rays can be received on a prism, it is seen that the ravs 
rcallv absorbed correspond to the general coloration of the 

In consequence of the successive increase and density of 
the vapours traversed by the light, clouds difiercntly placed 
must at the same instant be tinged of diflerent colours. 
The highest maybe white, while the rest, at a less elevation, 
will be yellow, and others siill lower will be propcnlionallv 
redder. At an equal elevation, the niost distant from the 
point where the sun sets will inchne to red, and the nearest 
to yellow. 

One may then sec on bodies naturally white, blue or 
green shadows, as Buffon and other philosophers have re- 
marked. They are only, as has been already said, the 
eflect of tile contrast of the aetual colour of the illuminated 
and the obscure part. 

Contrasts inay also render complex the colour of the 
clouds ; for example, when a great portion of the heavens 
shows a blue colour. There are some the colour of which 
arises merely from this cause, and some are observed some- 
times during the day by those who are on a high mountain, 
or in any other situation u hich secures the eye I'roin the too 
strong direct or reverberated action of the solar light; l)ut 
in this case the clouds have only a yellowish shade, exaetly 
of the conq:)len)entarv colour of the sky-blue. 

It is under a similar colour that the moon is sometimes 
seen, wTieu she is very high, a little before or after the sun 
has passed the horizo'Tl. It seems, also, that she appears 
thus, or even altogether while, when there exist at the samc 
time in the atmosphere clouds variously coloured by the 
vapours of the east or the west. Bv this concourse of cir- 
cumstances we have a new proof of tl\c ditfercnce of the 
pauses to which these colorations are owing. 

We must remark, in the last place, that bv the irregu- 
larity of terrestrial localities, and the state of the atmo- 
sphere, these phtenomena may be concealed, or sul)jcct to 
dinerent interruptions. In our climates, the eolovation of 
the clouds for the most part does not attain to its utmost 
term. On certain evenings, however, if the sky :s very se- 

298 Co }is icier at ions on Colours, c^c. 

rene towards the part corresponding to the sun; and if there 
be over our heads any of those light clouds which are ex- 
ceedingly high, they will be seen at a later period clothed 
with a brilliant red, heightened bv the diminution of the 
light on the earth, soon after darkened, and at length ex- 
tinguished in the shade. 


Notwithstanding the many line discoveries already made 
in regard to light, the theory of the production of colours 
has not yet acquired that generality which renders it appli- 
cable to all cases, and to that simplicity of principles to 
which we are always conducted when we discover the real 
laws of nature. Many phaenomena have never been ex- 
plained ; and the exjilanation given to several necessarily 
requires to be rectilied. The author proposes to establish 
changes in theory, the want of which he points out. lie 
founds his reasoning partlv on the doctrine and facts gene- 
rally admitted, and partlvon other information less diffused, 
though long known, and on his own observations. But he 
is far from flattering himself with the idea of having pre- 
sented these objects properly in a sketch such as this me- 
moir. He even was soon sensible that a subject so exten- 
sive and complex would require more time and labour. 

To fill up manv vacuities, lo develop several points, and 
to rectify and extend others by researches, new experi- 
ments, and profound reflection, — such is the ample task of 
improvement. If his health and occupations permit, he 
will endeavour to undertake it. 

It would be of utility, and also just, to give at the same 
time a short account of what we are indebted to the irreat 
Newton, who opened this career in so admirable a mau-ner, 
and to the philosophers who have discovered new points, 
and removed ditiicuhies. Greater precision oughi also to 
be employed in the language relating to colours, proportioned 
to the increase of our knowledge, and the present state of 
science and the arts. In a word, ii would not be too much, 
in such a branch of science, to add the resources of calcula- 
tion and ireometry to all the riches of experience, and, it 
possible, lo the advantages of the b^st metliod. 

XLI\ . Ofi 

[ 299 ] 


XLIV. On the Vanat'ions of tJie Tcireslrial MafT7U't'i<;m 
in dllf'ercnt LaUtiides. By Messrs. IlrMBOLDT and 
BiOT. Read I'll M. Bloc in the Mathrmadcal and 
Ph//sic(d Class of the French National Institute iGth 
Fnmalre, An 13. {Wh Dcctmler J 804.) 
[Concluded from p. 257.] 

JL HE calculation is as follows : — T suppopc that the point B 
(fig. 3.) is the north magnetic pole of the earth, aud that 
the point A is the south magnetic pole : I suppose also that 
there is in the point M, at the surface of the earth, a nio- 
lecula of the austral liuid which is attracted by B and re- 
pelled by A in the inverse ratio of the square of the di- 
stance ; and I require what will be the direction of the 
power resulting from these two forces acting on that mole- 
cula. If is evident that this direction will be that also 
which would be assumed in the pouit M by the needle of 
a compass freely suspended: for, inconsequence of the 
sniallness of the needle in comparison of the radius of the 
earth, the lines drawn from its points to one centre, Bor A, 
may be considered as parallel, especially if the points A 
and B are near the centre of the earth ; which is the case 
with nature, as mav be seen. 

I shall first suppose that the earth has a spherical figure, 
and that the two poles A and B are equal in force; I shall 
then examine how far the latter supposition agrees \\ ith the 
results observed. 

Let A M then = D', B M = D, C P = x ; P M = y, 
the angle MCP = w, CA = CB = r/, and 1 shall make 
a = Kr: r being equal to the radius of the earth, and K a 
constant but indeterminate quantitv. 

Let X, Y, also be the forces which attract M in a direc- 
tion parallel to the axes of the co-ordinates, and 3 the angle 
which the resulting force makes with the axis ABC. 

We shall first have the follot\-ing equations, in which 
F is the magnetic force, at a distance equal to unitv. 

X = -^ cos. MBD - ~- cos. MAD: 

D'^ — y^ + {x -f- q)- = r" -f 2 axis -f c* 
Y rr: -^- sin. MBD - -^~ sin. ^TAD; 
D- — y- + {x — a)~ = j-^ — 2 axis -fa-. 


30O Fariations of the Terrestrial Magnetism 

or by putting for the cosines their values : 
_. ¥(x-a) F(x+ a) 

~ D3 D' J 

y ^y % 

D3 D'3 ' 

and as we have 


tang. /3 = -^, 

we shall have also 

finer R -^ ^ 

- Ds) 

tang, p _ ^_^ a + a - X (D-*-D"') - 

- fl(D'^ +D3)j 

D^ D'^ 

and putting for x, y, and a, their values, r cos. u^ r sin. w 
tang. /3 = 

COS. a 


D'^ = r2 (1 + 2 K COS. « + K«) ; 
D^ = r« (1 — 2 K COS. u + K^); 

•which gives the system of the two equations, 

- sin. u 

tang. ^ = 

VD3 _D^' 

r / P'^+P' > _ (l-f 2Kcos.M4-K2)- + (i — 2Kcos.?/ + K0-, 

Id'"*— D^/ ~ ^^ 3~^' 

(1 +2Kcos.M + K'-)^— (1— 2Kco.s.«-f-K)- 

These equations determine the direction of the magnetic 
needle in regard to each point M, the distance of which 
from the magnetic equator is known ; but it is seen that 
this direction depends on the quantity K, which represents 
the distance of the magnetic centres from the centre of the 
earth: this distance being expressed in parts of the terres- 
trial radius, we must therefore first determine this quantity 
from observations. 

To do it in the manner of approximation, and thus ac- 
quire a first idea of the value of K, I have chosen an obser- 
vation made by M. Humboldt at Carichana in 7*'J<)78° (6° 
34' 5'^) of north latitude counted from the terrestrial equa- 
tor, and 78-111° (70° 18') west longitude reckoned from 


in different Latitudes. 301 

the meridian of Paris j which gives 16-526° (14° 52' 25") 
of latitude counted from the magnetic equator, and 53- 7390"* 
(48° 21' 53") of west longitude proceeding from the node 
formed by that equator with the equator of the earth. The 
inclination of the magnetic needle was observed in that 
place by M. Humboldt in the moxith of Messidor, year S, 
and found to be equal to 33*78" of the centigrade division*. 
A comparison of this result, with the other observations 
of M. Humboldt, shows that it may be indeed considered 
as agreeing to that latitude. 

To make use of it I have successivelv given to K different 
values in the fornuda : I have calculated the inclinations 
resulting from that latitude ; and, comparing these results 
with that which M. Humboldt really observed, the progress 
of the errors naturallv led me to the most proper supposi- 
tion. The following is a table of these trials : 

Values of K. 

Inclinations of the Needle. 


K = 1 



K = 0-6 



K = 0-5 



K = 0-2 



K = 0-1 



K = 0-01 



K = 0-001 



The first value of K would place the centre of the mag- 
netic forces at the surface of the earth and the poles of the 
magnetic equator. It is seen that this supposition cami(;t 
be admitted, because it would give an increase of inclina- 
tion much less rapid than that indicated by observ^ations. 
The case is the same with the following results, which 
place the centres of action on the terrestrial radius at 
diiVerent distances from the centre of the earth : but it is 
seen also, in general, that they approach more and more to 
the trutli in proportion as tliis distance becomes less; which 
evidently shows that the two centres of action of the mao"- 
netic forces a*e situated near the centre of the earth. All 
the other observations of M. Humboldt would also lead to 
the same consequence. 

The most proper supposition would be to make K null, 
or so small that it would be needless to pav attention to it ; 
which amounts to the same thing as to consider the two 
centres of action placed, as we may say, in the same mo- 
lecula. The result, indeed, obtained in this manner is the 
most exact of all ; it is equal to 31-0843° : this value is still 

* All the measures of inclination which I have given in this memoir Vv'ill 
b;- eiprejifid, like th©:? of M- Humboldt, in decimal parts of a quadrant. 

a little 

302 Variaiions of the Terrestrial Magnetism 

a little ]( 53 than that which M. Hamboldt observed, and 
the dirTcvcnce is equal to -_*6i) ; but it must be considered 
also that the formula from which we derive theie values 
supposes the position of the magnetic equator to be per- 
fectly determined ; but it may not be .so with the utmost 
exactness, according to the only two observations of Lapey- 
rouse and Humboldt, which we have eniployed. It is there- 
fore bv sludvinc; the progress of the formula, and comparing 
it with the observations, that we are able to appreciate it 
justly; after which we may think of remedying the small 
errors with which it may be accompanied. 

To obtain the result 1 have here mentioned, and which 
is, as it were, the limit of all those which may be obtained 
bv giving to K different values, it is to be remarked that 
the quantity 

(1 + 2 K COS. n + K-')^ + ( I— 2Kcos. M-l-K')^ 
y^ - 

(I + 2Kcos. ?i + K-)- — (1— 2KC0S.W +K-)- 

bcconies when K is null, but by applying to it the 

methods of known quantities it will be found that its value 

in this supposition is really determinate and equal to ;; . 

Ev substitutin<r this in the formula we shall have 

tang. ,S = 


3 COS. u 
an equation which may be reduced to this form : 

sin. 2 « 

tang. /S 

COS. 2« + 7 

which will easily cive the value of p : and when this value 
is known we shall have the inclination 1, by the following 

r = 100 -I- 7/ — p, 

which will serve throusiliout the whole extent of the two 

p'rom the progres-^ I have traced out ii is seen that the 
prcceduig IbrmuUi is not merely an em])vric construction (;{ 
observations ; on the contrary, it is totally independent, and 
only supposes the inclination of tlie luai^uetic needle to b. 


in difftront Latitudes. 303 

prbtuK^d bv a magnet, infinitely small, placed in the centre 
.of the terrestrial surface; but by calculating from this for- 
mula the inclination for the different latitudes, I have found 
precisclv the same numbers as M. Humboldt observed either 
in Europe or in America : and it is not his observations only 
that are represented in this manner; but those which have 
-.been made in Russia, and at Kola in Lapland, during the 
last transit of Venus, are also comprehended under the same 
law. This is proved by the table annexed to this memoir, 
in which I have calculated, the observations of Mallet and 
Pictet, with a part of those of M. Humboldt, which I took 
at random, but, however, in such a manner as to include all 
the rest in the intervals. ■ 

It is seen that the results of the formula deviate ver\' little 
from the observations ; but these differences may be rendered 
still smaller. By examining, indeed, the progress of the 
errors, it is seen that the numbers given by calculation are a 
•little too small in America for the low latitudes, and a little 
too great for the high latitudes; which shows that the whole 
may be allowed, with some slight modifications, either by 
changing, however little, the node and inclination of the 
magnetic equator, which two observations cannot determine 
with the utmost exactness, or by displacing ever so little 
-our small magnet, leaving, however, its centre in the plane 
of the magnetic equator, and placing it in such a manner 
that it shall be a little nearer America than Europe. It is 
by the obserxations ihemsel'vcs, w hen. we shall have a greater 
number, that we must be guided in these small correc- 

In a word, it must not be expected that we can represent 
in a rigorous manner, by a mathematical law, all the in- 
clinations observed ; for the phoenomenon of the inclination, 
• though more regular than the other magnetic effects, is not 
free from some anomalies : this may be easily seen on con- 
structing the curve given by the observations themselves. 
Thus, for example, the inclination observed .at. Po'payan is 
if 10' greater than at St. Carlos del Rio Negro, though 
the magnetic latitude of t-he latter is 0-(3S52^ (3^ '/) greater. 
The case is the same with observations made at Javita. and 
Santa-Fe. Other anomalies are discovered in the compara- 
tive progress of the observations and formula. This is the 
case in regard to Carichana, St. Thomas de la Guvane, and 
Carthagena. The increase of the inclination from the lirst 
to the second of these points is by no means in harmony 
with the increase from the second to the third ; and if we 


304 Variations f^f the Terrestrial Magnetism 

compare together the intensities observed in these dif- 
ferent places, the anomalies they exhibit announce in 
some measure those which the inclination ouo;ht to ex- 

The cause of these anomalies becomes evident from what 
has been already remarked ; they are merelv the effect of 
local ^rcumstances, and arise from the small systems of 
attraction hy whicli the general phenomena are modified. 
This must be sensible in particular for that part of America 
which M. riuniboldl travelled over, and which is traversed 
throughout its whole length by the grand chain of the Cor- 
dillera of the Andes. It is also in these places that the 
most coftsiderable differences exist. Popayan, for example, 
is situated near the volcanoes of Sotara and Pourace ; it is 
joined to basaltic mountains aboundmii with magnetic iron. 
Near SulunutOj to the east of Popavan, these basaltic co- 
lumns have very striking poles : in like manner Mexico is 
situated at the height of IHiO toises on the ridge of the 
grand cordillera of Tvenschtitlan : the oround there is co- 
vered with porous basaltes and amvgdaloids, which are 
almost all charged with niaonctic iron. Must not all these 
causes have a sensible iutiutnce on the inclination of the 
magnetic needle ; and must not the different dispositions of 
the ferruoipious masses, or their change of slate, in conse- 
quence of the action of nature, produce also variations ? 
M. HunTooldt made on this ponit a decisive observation : 
the earthquake of the 4fh of November 1799 changed at 
Cuuiaua the inclination of the needle. On the 1st of No- 
vember it was 43'' 65' ; on the 7th it was only 4i2° lb' ; and 
ten months after it returned to 42° 83' : but it did not re- 
gain its former value; the intensitv of the magnetic force 
was not changed by the eflect of this earthquake. 

It is proved, then, by these observations, that local cir- 
cumstances n)av have on the inclination a sensible influ- 
ence ; and this influence is remarked in the countries tra- 
versed bv M. Humboldt*. 

It ap[)e,;irs, therefore, that tlie mathematical hypothesis 
which we have emploved really expresses the law of nature 
at least to the north of the magnetic eqoator; for, though the 
first resultsobserved towards the south seem tobei>d to it also, 
the uncertaintv under which we are in reoard to the true 
cause of these phienomenu nuist stop our conjeeturey, and 

* We can observe that the anomalies are sensible in particular in the 
islifiils. — At<(f hy the Aullwrs of the Memoir. 


in different Latitudes. 305 

prevent us from extending too far the consequences of the 
laws which wc observe*. 

From the preceding resuhsj wc may calculate the points 
where the axis of .the magnetic equator pierces the terres- 
trial surface; for their latitudes are equal to the comple- 
ments of the obliquitv of that equator, and their meridian is 
at 100" of longitude from its nodes. The nortii magnetic 
pole is found also at 97' 7975° (79° I'O of north latitude, 
and at 33-3719'' (30'' 2' o") of longitude west from Paris, 
which places it to the north of America. The other mag- 
netic pole, synmictric to the preceding, is situated in the 
same latitude south, and at 66-G2SI° (149'' 67' 53'') of lon- 
gitude east from Paris, which places it amidst the eternai 
ice : indications entirely analogous to those of Wilke and 

If we could reach these poles, the compass would be seen 
vertical ; but if any confidence can be placed in the law 
which we have discovered, this would be the only difl'erence 
which would be observed in regard to the inclination, and 
we should be still as far distant as in Europe from the real 
centres which produce it. This result might appear to be 
of such a nature as to diminish the interest one might have 
in visiting these horrid regions, had we not also the hope of 
discovering there new phasnomena in regard to the inten- 
sity of the magnetic force, and the influence of meteors. 

These consequences do not entirely accord with the 
opinion pretty generally received, and which ascribes the 
increase of the magnetic effects towards the north to the 
great quantity of iron dispersed throughout these regions ; 
hut it appears to us that this opinion is not agreeable to the 
truth. The cordillera of the Andes contains an enormous 
quantity of magnetic iron : the native iron of Chaco, that 
problematic mass analogous to that of Pallas, and those of 
Xacateras in Mexico, is found even under the tropica f. 

* Since this memoir wa: read, we can advance something more positive. 
Observations made at the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Horn, and New Hol- 
land, by different navigators, ait very exactly represented by our formula ; 
and it follows, that it extends also to ihe austral hemisphere. We hope 
soon to have numerous and very exact observations on the inclination of 
the needle in that part cf the earth. But we have thought it our duty to 
add to our table such results as relate to it, and which we have been able 
tp procure. We have inserted also two observations on the intensity, made 
with great care bv IM.Rossel, during the expedition of d'Entrecasteaux, which 
are verv important, as tiiey prove that the terrestrial magnetic force in- 
creases also in the austral hemisphere in proportion as one removes from the 
equator. — .Vo/e b>j the Authors ofilis Memoir. 

f We raav now add to the preceding considerations this decisive fact, that 
the intensity also increases when one approaches the south poie. — Note Ly 
the Authors of' the Memoir. 

Vol. 22. No. 88. Sept. 1S05. I^ Oil 

:;oG Variat'ions of' I he Terrestrial Magnetism 

On scciiig the inclinations of the compass so exactly re- 
presented in our hypothesis, \vc endeavoured to discover 
whether it' could he applied also to the intensities observed 
by M. TTujinboIdt ; but we found that it did not apply. It 
gives, indeed, ati increase of the magnetic forces from 
the ecpiator to the pole ; but this increase, which at first 
is loo slow, becomes afterwards loo rapid : I have not yet 
been able to try whether the small displacement of the ter- 
restrial niagnet will contribute towards representing thcnj 
better : but it must be remarked, that the scries of the in- 
tensities is extremely whimsical, and 'con'tains an infinite 
number of anoiualies ; so that local phoenomena may ha^■e 
on this phcenomenon a much more sensible iniiu^ace than 
'o*ii the inclination. 

On reviewing the results which we have given in this 
memoir, it is seen that we have first determined the posi- 
tion of the magnetic equator by direct observations, which 
had never been done before; we have then proved t^iat the 
magnetic force increases in proceeding from that equator to 
the poles : in the last place, we have given a niafhcmatical 
hvpothcsis, which uhen reduced t(; a formula satisfies all the 
' inclinations hitherto observed. 

Supposing, as v e have done in this fornmla, the small 
corrections of which it is suscc])til)lc, its utility becomes 
evideiu, either for-tnaking known, i'l the course of time, the 
variations which may take place in the action of the terres- 
trial magnetism, or to ascertain or even foresee the value of 
the inclination, which in a great many cases is of great im- 

For example, near the magnetic equator, the increase or 
diminution of the inchnation will indicate to a vessel on a 
voyage whether she lias gained or lost in latitude by cur- 
rents. This knowledge of the latitude is sometimes as im- 
portant as ihat of Kmgitude. On the coasts of Peru, for 
example, the currents tend from Chiloe to the north and 
norih-east with sucli force, that one may no from Lima to 
(juayaquil in three or four days, and two, three, and some- 
limes five liionths are necessary to return. Jt is conse- 
quently of the great( St imporiance for vessels comins: from 
Cvhili which stretch along the coast cf Peru, to know their 
latitude. If they go btyond the port to which, they are 
l)Ound they nuisl work to ihc southward, and every day's 
progress requires often a month of return. Unl'ortunatelv, 
the fogs which prevail during four or live mo.nths on the- 
coasts of Peru jirevent na\ igators from dis.tiniiuisliinfr the 
form of the coast: nothing i-; seen but the summits (4" the 


l/i different LatUiuk^. Z6f 

Andes, and that of the peaks which rise ahovc thai stratum 
of vapouis ; but the figure of it is so uniform that pilots 
iall into mistakes. They often remain twelve^ or fifteen days 
without seeing the sun or the stars, and durino; that interval 
they come to anchor, being afraid of overshooting their port : 
but if we suppose that the inchnation of the magnetic 
needle in the ports to the south of Lima is known, for 
example at Chancay, Huaura, and Santa, tlic dipping needle 
will show whether it be, in regard to Lima, to the south or 
the north. It will sliuw at tlie same lime opposite what 
point of the coast a vessel is ; and this indication will be 
attended with more exactness than one could hope for, be- 
cause in these seas the inclination varies with extraordinaryv 
rapidity. M- Humboldt, to whom wc arc indelited for 
these remarks^ observed m these seas the following values : 

Places. bouth I-atitiides. Inclinations. 

Tluancey - 10° 4' - 6,60'^ 

Huaura - 113. - 9,00 

Chancay - 1 1 33 - 10,35 

These observations prove that the error of tliree or four 
degrees in the inclination in these seas wonld produce but a 
de2;ree of error in latitude; and, on account of the tranquil- 
jity of the Pacific Ocean, the inclination may he observed 
to within a degree nearly. Frccjucnt instances of such re- 
sults may be seen in books of voyages, hi like manner, if 
one knew exactly the inclination at the mouth of the Eio de 
la Plata, it would be very useful to navigators, who, when 
the i'amperos blow, remain fifteen or eighteen days without 
seeing the heavenly bodies, and go on different tacks for 
fear of losing the parallel of the mouth of that river. 

In a word, the inclination may indicate also the longi- 
tude in these seas : and this method may be employed when 
others fail. A vessel which sails there in the direction of 
a parallel could not find its longitude either by a chrono- 
meter or the declination of Llallev, unless a star could be 
seen in order to take an horary angle or the magnetic azi- 
iijuth. The dipping needle, then, throws light on the lon- 
gitude amidst the thickest fogs. We point out this method 
as one of those which have only a local application; but 
hitherto little attention has been paid to it. These ideas 
may be extended and rectified by able navigators. 

In general, if the inclination of the needle, and the law 
we have tried to establish, could be depended on, to observe 
fhc inclination and the terrestrial latitude would be suffi- 
cient to determine also the longitude : but wc have not yet 
.examined the extent of the errors of which this method may 

U 2 be 

308 On the Variations of the Terrestrial Magnetism. 

be susccntibic, and consequently we confine ourselves to a 
mere indica'ion of it. 

The phssnointnon of the inclination has in maritime ob- 
servations a parucular and very remarkable advantage, 
namely, that of not being subject to those crreat progressive 
variations which affect the declination. Without repeating 
what we have already said above on the supposed constancy 
of this phcenomenon, it may be remarked that our formula 
even affords a new proof that it may comprehend in the 
same law the observations made thirty-six years ago iri. 
Lapland, those w^hich Lacaille brought back in 1751 from 
the Cape of Good Hope, and those which M. Humboldt 
has lately made in America. 

In short, when we tried to represent the inclinations in 
differcn. latitudes by the supposition of a magnet infinitely 
small, very near the centre of the earth and perpendicular 
t(> the magnetic equator, we did not pretend to consider 
that hypothe.'is as any thing real, but only as a mathema- 
tical abstraction useful to connect the results, and proper ro 
ascertain in future whether any changes exist. In regard 
to the declination and intensity, we freely confess that we 
are entirely unacquainted with their laws or their causes ; 
and if any philosopher is so fortunate as to bring then) to 
one principle, which explains at the same time the varia- 
tions of the inclination, it will" no doubt be one of the 
greatest discoveries ever made. But this research, exceed- 
ingly difficult, requires perhaps before it be attcnipted more 
observatvons, and in particular more precise observations 
than have hitherto been collected. For this reason we 
thought we might present to the class the preceding re- 
searches, imperfect as they are, begging it to receive them 
\vith indulgence. Should we be so happy as to find that 
our results appear of any utility, we propose to unite all the 
exact observations which have been made on this subject, 
in order to give the utmost degree of precision to the law 
\vc have discovered. 


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[ 309 ] 

XLV. Cnncer7ung the State in ichich the true Sap of 
Trees is deposited during PVinter. In a Letter from 
Thomas Andrew Knight, Esq. to the Right Hon. 
Sir Joseph Banks, Bart. K.B. P.R.S."^ 


It is well known (hat the fluid, generally called the sap, in 
trees, ascends in the spring and summer from their roots, 
and that in the autumn and wii\tcr it is iiot, in any consi- 
derable quantity, found in them ; and I iiave observed in a 
former paper, that this fluid rises wholly through the al- 
burnum, or sap-wood. But Du Hamcl and subsequent 
naturalists have proved, that trees contain another kind of 
sap, which they have called the true or peculiar juice, or 
sap, of the plant. Whence this fluid originates does not 
appear to have been agreed by naturalists j but I have of- 
fered some facts to prove that it is generated by the leaf f ; 
and that it differs from the conmion aqueous sap, owing to 
changes it has undergone in its circulation through that or- 
gan : and I have contended that from this fluid (which Du 
Hamei has called the sncpropre, and which I will call the 
true sap,) the whole substance, which is annually added to 
the tree, is derived. I shall endeavour in the present paper 
to prove that this fluid, in an inspissated state, or some con- 
crete matter deposited by it, exists during the winter in the 
alburnum, and that from this fluid, or substance, dissolved 
in the ascending aqueous sap, is derived the matter which 
enters into the composition of the new leaves in the spring, 
and thus furnishes those organs, which were not wanted 
during the winter, but whicii are essential to the further 
progress of vegetation. 

Few persons at all conversant with limber are ignorant, 
that the alburnum, or sap-wood, of trees which are felled in 
the autumn or winter, is much superior in quality to that 
of other trees of the same species which are suffered to 
stand till the spring:;, or summer : it is at once more firm 
and tenacious in its texture, and more durable. This su- 
perioritv in winter-felled v.ood has been generally attributed' 
to the absence of the sap at that season ; but the apj}earance 
and qualities of the wood seem more justly to warrant the 
conclusion, that some substance has been added to, instead 
of taken from it, and many ciicumstauccs induced me to 

* From Ph'doXQpldcal Transactions of IRQ.), part i. 
f §ec Fhilesojiliical Transactions of ISO I, page 336. 

U 4 suspect 

-^10 &tafe tn ivkich the true Sap of Trees 

suspect that this substance i^- generated, and deposited williirt 
ft, in tlic preceding smnnicr and auiumn. 

Dit Haniel has remarked, and is evidently puzzled with 
the circumstance, that trees perspire mort in the month of 
August, when the leaves are hill grown, and wlien the an- 
nual shoots have ceased to elongate, than at any earlier 
period ; and we cannot suppose the powers of vegetation to 
be thus actively employed,, but in die execution of some 
very important operation. Bulbous and tuberous roots are 
almost wholly generated after the leaves and stems of the 
plants, to w hich they belong, have attained their full growth ; 
and I have constantly found, in my practice as a farmer, 
that the produce of my meadows has been immensely in- 
creased when the herbage of the preceding year had re- 
mained to perform its proper oHice till the end of the au- 
tunm, on ground which had been mowed early in the sum- 
mer. Whence I ha\e been led to imagine, that the leaves, 
both of trees and herbaceous plants, are alike emplovcd, 
during the latter part of the summer, in the preparation of 
matter calculated to aflbrd food to the expanding buds and 
blossoms of the succeeding spring, and to eivter into the 
composition of new organs of assimilation. 

If the preceding hypothesis be well founded, we may ex- 
pect to find that some change will gradually take place in 
the qualities of the acjueous sap of trees durino- its ascent in 
the spring; and that any given portion of winter- felled 
wood will at the same time possess a greater degree of spe- 
cific gravity, and yield a_ larger quantity of extractive mat- 
ter, than the same quantity of wood which has been felled 
in the sj)ring or in the early part of the summer. To ascer-j 
tain these points I made the experiments, an account of 
which f have now the honour to lav before vou. 

As early in the last spring as the sap had risen in the 
sycamore and birch, I made incisions into the trunks of 
those trees, some close to the ground,, and others at the 
elevation of seven feet, and [ readily obtained from each in- 
cision as much sap as I wanted. Ascertaining the specific 
gravity of th.e sap of each tree, obtained at the diHerent 
elevations, I found that of the sap of the sycamore with 
very little variation, in difierent trees, to be 1.001 when 
extracted close to the ground, and 1.008 at the height of 
eeven feet. The sap of the birch was somewhat lighter; 
but the Increase of its specific gravity, at greater elevation, 
was comparatively the same. When extracted near the 
ground the sap of both kinds was almost free from taste ; 
but when obtained at a greater hcieht, it vvas^ensiblv sweet. 


?,y iIepos'iit(J during IJ^intvr. 3t t 

The shoj-tnf'>s of the trunks of tlie svcauioi-c trees, which 
were the subjects of my cxperimeiUs, did not penmt me to 
extract the sup at a greater elevation than seven feet, except 
in one instance ; and in that, at twelve feet from the ground, 
I obtaineel a very sweet iiuid, whose specllic gravity was 

I conceived it prohabic, that if the sap in the preceding 
csases derived anv considerable portion of its increased spe- 
cific gravity from matter previously c.xistins; in the alburnum, 
I should lind some diminution of its weight, when it had 
continued to How so«ie days from the same incision, because 
tlie alburnum in the vicinity of that incision would, under 
such circumstances, liave become in some degree exluiustcd: 
and on comparing the speciiic gravity of the sap which iiad 
flowed from a recent and an old inci-ion, { found that from 
the old to be reduced to l .002, and that from the recent one 
to remain 1.004, as in the preceding cases,- t)ie incision 
being made close to the ground. Wherever extracted, 
whether close to the ground, or at some distance from it, 
tiie sap aKvavs appeared to contain a large portion of air. 

In ihe experiments to discover tl)e variation in the spe- 
cific gravity of the alburnum «f trees at different seasons. 
Some obstacles to the attainment of any very accurAte re- 
sults presented themselves. Tlie v>ood of different trees of 
the same species, and growing iu th.e same soil, or that 
taken from different patts of the same tree, possesses 
different de^rrees of solidity; and the weight of every part 
of the alburnum appears to increase witli its age, the ex- 
ternal layers being ihe lightest. The solidity of wood varies 
also with the greater or less rapidity of its growth. These 
sotirces of error minht appaientlv have been avoided bv 
cutting off, at different seasons, portions of the same trunk 
orbranch : l)ut tlie wound thus made might, in some degree, 
have impeded the due progres of the sap in its ascent, and 
the part below niight havy been made heavier by the stagna- 
tion of the sap, and that above lighter by privation of its 
proper quantity of nutriment. The most eligible method 
therefore, wiiich occurred to me, was to select and mark in 
the winter some of the poles of an oak coppice, where all 
are of equal age, and where many, of the same size and 
growing wiih equal vigour, spring from the same stool. 
One half of the poles which T marked and numbered were 
cut on the 3l3t of December, 1303, and the remainder on 
the 15th of liie following May, when the leaves were nearly 
half grown. Proper marks were put to distinguish the 
winter-felled fVcni the ^uinmer-fcllcd poles, tlie bark 


315 State in ichich the true Sap of Trees 

being left on all, and all being placed in the same situation 
to dry. 

In the beginnino: of Angnst I cut ofT nearly equal por- 
tions from a winter and sumnier-felkd pole, which had 
both grown on the same stool ; and botli portions were 
then put in a situation, where, during the seven succeeding 
weeks, they were kept very warm bv a fire. The smnmer- 
felled wood wa«, when put to dry, the most heavy ; but it 
evidently contained much more water than the other, and, 
partly at least, from this cause, it contracted n)uch more in 
drying. In the begumino" of October both kinds appeared 
to be perfectly dry, and 1 then ascertained the specific era- 
vity of the. wir.ter-fclled wood to be 0.6J9, and that of the 
summer-felled wood to be O.609; after each had been im- 
mersed five minutes in water. 

This diflTerence of ten per cent, was considerably more 
than I had anticipated, and it was not till I had suspended 
and taken off from the balance each portion, at least ten 
times, that 1 ceased to believe that some error had occurred 
in the experiment : and indeed I v/as not at last satisfied till 
I had ascertained by means of compasses adapted to the 
measurement of solids, that the winter-felled pieces of 
wood were much less than the others which they equalled 
in weight. 

The pieces of wood, which had been the subjects of these 
experiments, were again put to dr\-, w ilh other piece^: of the 
same poles, and I yesterday ascertamed the specific gravity 
of both with scarcely any variation in the result. But when 
I omitted the medulla, and parts adjacent to it, and used 
the layers of wood which had been more recently formed, 
I found the specific gravity of the winter-felled wood to be 
only 0.583, and that of the summer-felled to be 0.b33 j and 
Irving the same experiment with similar pieces of wood, 
but taken from poles w hich had grown on a different stool, 
the specific gravity of the v/inter-fclled wood was 0.5SS, 
and that of the summer-felled 0.534. 

It is evident that the whole of the preceding difference in 
the specific gravity of the winter and summer-felled wood 
might have arisen from a greater degree of contraction in 
the former kind, whilst dr\'ing ; I tiicreiore proceeded to 
ascertain v.hether anv given portion of it, by weight, would 
afibrd a greater (]u;mtity of extractive matter, when steeped 
in water. Havmg therelbie reduced to small fragments 
1000 grains of each kind, I poured on each porlion six 
ounces of boiling water; and at the end of tweiUy-four 
hours, when \iic temperature of the water had sunk to HO"*, 

I found 

is deposited during JVintcr. 313 

I found that the wuiter-l'clled wood had comnumicatcd a 
rnuch deeper colour to the water iu wliich it had been in- 
fused, and had raised its specific gravity to 1.002. The 
specific gravity of the water in which the summer-felled 
wood had in the same manner been infused was 1 .001 . I'he 
wood iii all the preceding cases was taken from the upper 
parts of the poles, ahoui eight feet from the ground. 

Having observed, in the preceding experiments, that the 
sap of the svcamore became specificallv lighter when it had 
continued to How during several davs from the same incision, 
I concluded that the alburnum in the vicinity of such in- 
cision had been deprived of a larger portion of its concrete 
or inspissated sap than in other parts of the same tree : and 
I therefore suspected that I should find similar eiiects to 
have been produced by the young annual shoots and leaves; 
and that any given of the alburnum in their vicinity 
would be found to contain less extractive matter than an 
equal portion taken from the lower parts of the same pole, 
where no annual shoots or leaves had been producecl. 

No information could in this ease be derived from the 
difference in the specific gravity of the wood ; because the 
substance of every tree is most dense and solid in the lower 
parts of its trunk : and I could on this account judge only 
from the quantity of extractive matter which cqu:^l portions ~ 
of the two kinds of wood would afford. IJavmg therefore 
reduced to pieces several equal portions of wood taken from 
different parts of the same poles, which had been felled in 
May, I poured on each portion an equal quantity of boiling 
water, which I suffered to remain twenty hours, as in the 
preceding experiments : and I then found that in sonic in- 
i^tances the wood from the lower, and in others that fron^ 
the upper parts of the poles, had given to the water the 
deepest colour and greatest deiz;rec of specific gravity ; but 
that all had afforded much extractive matter, though in 
€very instance the quantity yielded was much less than I 
had, in all cases, found ui similar infusions of winter- 
felled wood. 

It appears, therefore, that the reservoir of matter deposited 
in the alburnmn is not wholly exhausted in the succeeding 
spring : and hence we are able to account for the seve- 
ral successions of leaves and buds which trees are capable of 
producing when those previously protruded have been de- 
stroyed by insects, or other causes ; and for the extrcmelv 
luxuriant shoots, wdiich often spring fi'om the trunks of 
trees, whose branches have been long ui a state of decay. 

T have also some reasons to believe that the matter depo- 
sited in the alburnum remaius unemployed in some cases 
8 durintj 

:>li Stale in tchnh the intt- Sup of Trees 

during several successive years : it docs not appear pvobijDc 
that it can be all euipjoycd by trees which, alter havniir been 
traris[)iHiited, produce very tew leaves, or bv those which 
produce neither blossotus nor fruit. In making experr- 
ments in \hi)<2, to a?ccvi;iin the manner in which the bud:* 
of tr^;es are reproduced, f cut oi^" in the winter all th(v 
branches of a very large old pear-tree, at a sniall distance 
from the trunk; and f pared otf, at the same time, the 
whole of tlie lifeless external bark. The age of this tree, I 
have good reasons to lx;lievc, somewhat exceeded two cen- 
turies : its extremitic;? w^erc generally dead ; and it afforded 
few leaves, and no fruit ; and I had long expected everv 
successive year to terminate its existence. Afier beino- de- 
prived of its external bark, and of all its bnds, no marks t\f 
vegetation appeared in the succeeding spring, or carlv part 
of the sunnifier : bat in the beginning of July numerous 
buds penetrated through the bark in ever\ part, manv leaves 
of large size every where appeared, and in the autunm ever\^ 
part was covered with verv vigorous shoots exceeding, in 
the aggregate, two feet in lervgth. The number of leaves 
which, in this case, sprang at onee from the trunk and 
branches appeared to me greatly to exceed the whole of 
those, which the tree had borne in the three preceding sea- 
sons j and I camiot believe that the matter which coniposcd 
these buds and leaves could hiave-becn whollv prepared by 
the feeble vegetation and scanty foliage of the preceding 

But whether the substance which is found in the al- 
burnum of wintcr-fellcd trees, and which disappears in part 
in the spring and early part, of the summer, be generated in 
pne or in several preceding years, there seem to be strong 
grounds of probability, that this substance etitcvs into the 
composition of the leaf: for we have abundant reason to 
heUevc this onian is the ])rincipal agent of assimilation; 
atul scarcelv anv thing can be more contrary io everv con- 
clusion we ahould draw from analoL!:ical reasoning and com- 
parison of the vegetable with the animal economy, or in it- 
self more improbable, than that the leaf, or any other organ, 
shot>ld singly prepare and assimilate imniediatcly from the 
enulc aqueous sap, that matter which composes itS'»:lf. 

It has been contended* that the buds them.^elves contain 
the nutriment necessary for the n>inule unfolding leaves : 
but trees possess a power to reproduce their buds, and the 
matter necessary to form these buds must evidently be dc- 
rivtd from some other source: nor docs it appear probable 
that ihe young leaves very soon enter on this olHee; fcH' the 

♦ Thomson's Ciu-mistrv. 


is deposited during Winter. 315 

experiments of Ingenhousz prove that their action on the 
air which surrounds them is very essentially different from 
that of full grown leaves. It is true that huds in many 
instances will vegetate and produce trees, when a v^ery small 
portion only of alhurnum remains attached to them : but 
the first efforts of vegetation in such buds are much more 
feeble than in others to which a larger quantity of alburnum 
is attached ; and therefore we have, ia this case, no grounds 
to suppose that the leaves derive their first nutriment from 
the crude sap. 

It is also generally admitted, from tlie experiments of 
Bonnet and Du Hamel, which I have repeated with the 
same result, that in the cotyledons of the seed is deposited 
a quantitv cf nutriment for the bud, which every seed con- 
tains ; and til )U£h no vessels can be traced* which lead 
imiTiediately from the cotyledons to the bud or plumula, it 
is not difiicuU to point out a more circuitous passage, which 
is perfectly similar to that through which I conceive the 
sap to be carried from the leaves lo the buds in the subse- 
quent growth of the tree ; and I am in possession of many 
facts to prove that seedling trees, in the first *lage of tlieir 
existence, depend entirely on the nutriment afforded by the 
cotyledons ; and that thev are greatly injured, and in many 
instances killed, by being put to vegetate in rich mould. 

We have much more decisive evidence that bulbous and 
tuberous rooted plants contain the matter within themselves 
which subscquentiv composes their leaves ; for we see them 
vegetate even in dr\- rooms on the approach of spring; and 
many bulbous rooted plants produce their leaves and flowers 
w ilh nearlv the same vioour by the application of water 
only, as thev do when growing in the best mould. But 
the water in this case, provided that it be perfectlv pure, 
probablv affords little or no food to the plant, and acts only 
by dissolving the matter prepared and deposited in the pre- 
cedino; vear ; and hence the root becomes exhausted and 
spoiled : and Hassenfralz found that the leaves and flou ers 
and routs of such plants afforded no more carbon than he 
had proved to exist iii bulbous roots of the same weioht, 
whose leaves and fiowers had never expanded. 

As the leaves and flowers of the hyacinth, in the pre- 
ceding ease, derived their matter from the bulb, it appears 
extrenjcly probable that the blossoms of trees receive their 
nutriment froqi the alburnum, particularlv as the blossoms 
of many species precede their leaves : and as the roots of 
plants become weakened and apparently e>:hausted, ^vheu 


316 State in iikich the true Sap of Trees 

tkcy have afforded nutriment to a crop of seed, we may su** 
pcct that a tree, which has borne much fruit in one season, 
becomes in a similar way exhausted, and incapable of af- 
fording proper nutriment to a crop in the succeeding year. 
And I am much inclined to believe that were the wood of a 
tree in this state accurately weighed, it would be found t*pe- 
cificaliv lighter than that of a similar tree, which had not 
afforded nutriment to fruit or blossoms, m the preceding 
year, or years. 

If it be admitted that the substance which enters into the 
composition of the first leaves in the spring is derived from 
matter which has under2;ones')me previous preparation within 
the plant, (and T am at a loss to conceive on what grounds 
this can be denied, in bv.lhous and tuberous rooted plants 
<it least,) it must also be admitted that the leaves which are 
generated in the sunmier derive their substance from a simi- 
lar source ; and this cannot be conceded without a direct 
admission of the existence of vegetable circulation, which is 
denied by so many eminent naturalists. I have not, how- 
ever, found in their writings a single fact to disprove its 
existence, nor anv great weight in their arguments, except 
those drawn from two important errors in the admirable 
works of Hales and Du Hamel, which I have noticed in a 
former memoir. I shall therefore proceed to point out the 
channels, through which I conceive the circulating fluids to 

When a seed is deposited in the ground, or otherwise ex- 
posed to a proper degree of heat and moisture, and exposure" 
to air, water is absorbed by the cotyledons, and the young 
radicle or root is emitted. At this period, and in every 
subsequent stage of the growth of the root, it increases in 
length by the addition of new parts to its apex, or point, 
and tiot by any general distension of its vessels and fibres ; 
and the experiments of Boiuiet and Du Hamel leave little 
grounds of doubt, but that the new matter which is added 
to llie point of the root descends from the cotyledons. The 
first motion therefore of the f.uid? in plants is downwards, 
towards the point of the root ; and the vessels which appear 
to carry them, are of the same kind with those which are 
subscquer.tiy found in the bark, where I have, on a former 
pccasion, endeavoured to prove that they execute the same 

In the last spring I examined almost every dav the pro- 
gressive changes which tnke place in the radicle emitted by 
the horse chesnut : I found it, at its first existence, and 
until it was some weeks old, to be incapable of absorbing 


is deposited during IVlnter. 3 1 7 

coloured infusions, when its point was taken off, and I was 
lotallv unable to discover any alburnous tul)es, through 
uhicli the sap absorbed from the ground, in the subsequent 
growth of the tree, ascends: but when the roots were con- 
siderably elongated, alburnous tubes formed ; and as soon 
as they had acquired some degree of firmness in their con- 
sistence, they appeared to enter on their office of carrying 
np the aqueous sap, and the leaves of the pluniula then, 
and not sooner, expanded. 

The leaf contains at least three kinds of tubes : the f;rj-t is 
what, in a former paper, I have called the central vtjssel, 
through which the aqueous sap appears to be carried, and 
through which coloured infusions readily pass, from the 
alburnous tubes into the leaf-stalk. These vessels are al- 
ways accompanied by spiral tubes, which do not appear to 
carry any liquid : but there is another vessel which appears 
to take its ori«rin from the leaf, and which descends down 
the internal bark, and contains the true or prepared sap. 
When the leaf has attained its proper growth, it seeu's to 
perform precisely the office of the cotyledon ; but being ex- 
posed to the air, and without the same means to acquire, or 
the substance to retain moisture, it is fed by the alburnous 
tubes and central vessels. The true sap now appears to 
be discharged from the leaf, as it was previously from the 
cotyledon, into the vessels of the baik, and to be employed 
in the formation of new alburnous tubes between the base ijf 
the leaf and the root. From these alburnous tubes spring 
other central vessels and spiral tuljes, which enter into, and 
possibly give existence to, other leaves ; and thus by a re- 
petition of the same process the young tree or annual shoot 
continues to acquire new parts, which apparentlv are formed 
from the ascending aqueous sap. 

But it has been proved by Du Hamel that a fluid, similar 
to that which is found in the true sap vessels of the bark, 
exists also in the alburnum, and this fluid is extremelv ob- 
vious in the fig, and other trees, whose true sap Is white, or 
coloured. The vessels, which contain this fluid in the al- 
burnum, are in contact with those which carry up the 
aqueous sap ; and it does not appear probable that, in a 
body so porous as wood,- fluids so near each other should 
remain wholly unmixed. T nuist therefore conclude, that 
when the true sap has been delivered from the cotvlcdon or 
leaf into the returning or true sap vessels of the liark, one 
portion of it secretes through the externa! cellular, or more 
probably glandular substance of the bark, and generates a 

Vol. 22. No. 88. Sept. 180>5. X new 

.315 :^tacc oj tue true :::ap nj irees aiin/ig ty inter, 

new epidermis, where that is to be formed ; and that the 
other portion of" it secretes through the internal glandular 
substance of the bark, where one part ot" it produces the 
new layer of wood, and the remainder enters the pores of 
the wood already formed, ;• nd subse«]uently mingles with 
the ascending aqueous sap; whick thus btcomts capable 
of affording; the Jiiatter necessapv to form new buds and 

It has been proved in the preceding experiments on the 
ascending sap of the svcamore and birch, that that fiuid 
does not approach the buds and unfolding leaves in the 
spring, in the state in which it is absorbed from the earth : 
and therefore wc mav conclude that the fluid, which enters 
into and circulates through the leaves of plants, as the 
blood through the lune,s of animals, consists of a mixture 
of the true sap or blood of the plant with matter more rc- 
centlv absorbed, a-nd less perfectly assimilated. 

It appears probable tfiat the true sap undergoes a consi- 
derable change on its mixture with the ascending aqueous 
sap; for this fluid in the svcamore has been proved to be- 
come more seusiblv sweet in its progress from the roots in 
the f^pring, and the. liquid which flows from the wounded 
bark of the same tree is also sweet ;. but I have never beeifc 
able to detect the slightest degree of sweetness in decoction.- 
of the sycamore wood in winter,. I am tlicrefore inclined- 
to believe that the saccharine matter existing in the ascend- 
ing sap is not iujuicdia^'lv, or wholly, derived from the 
iluid which had circidated through the leaf in the prccediiig 
vear ; but that it is generated by a process similar to that of 
tlie germination of seeds, ami that the same process is al- 
w avs going forward during the spring and summer, as long 
as the tree continues to generat-? new organs. But towards 
the conclusion of the siuumer I conceive- that the true sup 
simplv accumulates in the alburnum, and thus adds to the 
ipecific gravity of winter-felled wood, and increases the 
quantity of its extractive mailer. 

I have some reasons to believe that the true sap descends 
through the alburnum as well as through the b:^k ; and I 
iiave been ir^forined that if the bark be taken from the 
trunks of trees in ihe spring, and such trees be suflered to- 
^j;row till the following winter, the alburnum acquires a great 
Jefree of fiardness and durability. If subsequent: experi- 
ments pro\ e that the true sap descends through the albur- 
vwniy it will be easy to point out the cause why trees con- 
tinue to veiJ-etatc alter all communication. between the leaves 
1 and 

Description of the Coymng-'Up Glass Telescope. 319 

and roots, through the bark, has been intercepted : and why 
some portion of alburnous matter is in all trees* generated 
below incisions through the bark. 

It was my intention this year to have troubled you with 
some observations on the reproduction of the buds and 
roots of trees ; but as the subject of the paper, which I have 
now the honour to address to you, appeared to be of more 
importance, I have deferred those observations to a future 
opportunity ; and I shall at present only observe, that I 
conceive myself to be in possession of facts to prove that 
both buds and roots originate from the alburnous substance 
of plants, and not, as is, I believe, generally supposed, from 
the bark. 

I am. See. 

Eiron, Dec.4, T. AnDRKW KNIOnx. 


XLVI. Description of the Coming-np Glass Telescope ^ as 
made by Mr. Thomas Jones, Mathematical, Optical, 
and Philosophical Instrument Maker ; Pnpil of the late 
Mr. Ramsden. 

As it is of much importance, especially in war time, du- 
ring the chase of a vessel, that the chasing ship should be 
able to ascertain whether she lessens or increases her di- 
stance from the object of which she is in pursuit, I am per- 
suaded the philosophical world will be pleased with a de- 
scription of an instrimient adapted to this useful purpose, 
invented by the late Mr. Ramsden. It consists in applying 
a micrometer to a refracting telescope of about two feet 
long, or to a day and night telescope ; and I have been in- 
formed by some who were furnished with them by Mr. 
Ramsden, (and by myself since his death,) that they an- 
swer the purpose remarkably well. 

To this combination the English sailors have given the 
name oi & coming-iip glass. To fit the telescope for this 
use, the third glass from the eye, in the drawer of the tek- 
scope, is divided in two by cutting it across its centre at 
right angles to its surface ; and, in using it, these two semi- 
lenses are separated from each other in the direction of their 
line of separation. By turning a finger-screw on one side 

* I have in a former paper stated that the perpendicular shoots of the vinp 
form an exception. 1 spoke on th:. authority of numerous experiments ; but 
they had been made late in the summer ; and on repeating the-same experi- 
ments at an earlier period, I found the result in conformity with my experi- 
toents on oth*r trees. 

X 2 of 

3-20 Description of the Cotuing^vp Glass Telescope. 

ol" the eye-tube^ each scmi-lcns forms an imaffe of the same 
object. These two images will be more or less separaud 
in the proj)ortion of the distance of the centres of the scmi- 
lenscs from each other, \\ hieh distance is shown in revolu- 
tions and parts of a revolution of a finger- screw tliat sepa- 
rates them. For this jjurpose a circular head is fixed on 
the finger-screw, the edge of which is divided into a hun- 
dred parts ; and in order to know the number of revolutions, 
a sirtall slip of brass (that passes over the graduated surface 
of the head, and serves as its index for showing thv cente- 
sin)al parts of a revohititui) is fixed to the eye-tube, and 
has its chamfered cO-^q also divided, each division beinj^ 
equal to one entire revolution of the screw. 

To adjust the Telescope. 

Having, by drawing out the eye-tube more or less, ad- 
justed the telescope to distinct vision, turn the finger-screw 
till the two iiiiages of the same object appear in one, and the 
edge of the head together with the division numbered lOQ 
will be found at the lirst division on the index that shows the 

The use of the Coming-vp Glass. 

Having directed the telescope to the vessel chased, turn 
tl'.e finger-screw till the two iuiages of some \\ ell defined part 
of the vessel appear to have their extreme edges in contact 
with each other ; llieu read off the number of revolutioirs 
of the screvv- shown oi^ the chamfered edge, also the parts of 
a rcvoU'.tion shown on the edge of the head: then if, after 
£f)mc time, it be required to know whether sve have gained 
or lost in the ctiasc, again bring the edges of the images 
of tho same object in contact as before. If the nunjbcr of 
revoKuions and parts of the screw be the same as was shown 
before, we have neither gained nor lost in the chase. But 
)f the number of revolutions and pans be less, the distance 
freni the chased ves.-el will be greater in the proportion of 
the (lifT-rencc of these numbers to the former. On the 
contrniy, if the number of revolutions and parts be greater, 
we come nearer the ve?:^ol in the proportion of the difference 
of these numbcrr, to the nuuibei of revolutions ar.d parts cf 
the first observation. 


Suppose in the chase of a vessel, bv turning the fingcr- 
serew, I bring the image of the main-top-yard to coincide 
with the Hjain-yard ; and, reading off the value, I find it to 
l;e thiee revolutions on the ehamlcred edge, and 20 parts of 

a revo- 

On the Bi/ds cmd Ranijji cat ions of Plants. S-l'l 

a revolution on the circular head^ which may be wrote 3-20 ; 
if, some little time atter, by bringing tlie two imacres of the 
same object in contact, I find the number of revolutions and 
parts to be 360, the difference of the two observation? i.-> \0, 
therefore 40 ; 320 : : I : 8 (that is, 40, the difference, is to 
320, the first observation, as 1 is to S) ; consequentlv,'\\ e 
shall have gained in the chase one-eia;hth part of the di- 
r.tance : but if at the second observation the number of re- 
volutions be less, for instance 2S0, or two revolutions and 
80 parts of a revolution ; then, as -40, the difference, is to 
320, the first observation, so is 1 to 8 : consequen'lv wc 
should have lost one-eighth part of our distance in the cba-;e. 

No. 1 20, Mount-rtrcct, 

KLVII. On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants ; the 
Birth of these Onj^ans, and the organic Relation let urea 
I he Trunk and Branches: in. a Inciter from G. L. 
KoELEK, ]\J. D' Prcfessor of Botany and the Materia 
Medica in the Provisional School of jMedicinc at ^Itntz^ 
to M. VENTE5r.\Tp JMeml'cr of the Frmch Xaiional In- 
st iiule^ 

[Concluded from p. 241.] 

JlSut it may be said, if these observations on the or!«riii 
cf buds are founded in nature, how comes it to pass that 
kerbaccous and so tender bodies should penetrate throuofh 
a considerable number of ligneous zones, which nuistloe 
the case in branches of two or three years *of age, which, 
though raj'ely, produce, however, sometimes buds? It ap- 
pears to me very probable, that at the perit)d when the hud 
becomes expanded, a period which corresponds with the 
elongation of the irvedullary sheath, a certain number of 
the bundles of the tubes of that sheath proceeds laterally 
from interval to interval towards the bark. Soon after, the 
first cambium of the bud appears between the niedullarv 
sheath and the bark, and separates these two parts from 
each other. This cambium does not long retain its*muci- 
latrinous form ; it is soon metamorphosed into the first liber 
or bark. The bent vessels of this first liber, in hardenino- 
and becoming every day straighter, proceed towards the 
medullary sheath, round which thev compress themselves, 
and form there the first alburnum, which becomes then the 
first ligneous zone. The prolongations of the medullary 
sheath are nut all pinched by the formation of this first 

X 3 stratum 

322 On the Buds and Raintji cations cf Plants. 

stratum of the word ; for the latter qu»!- its mucilagittous 
state slowly, and its tubes have not ^t'-aightened themselves 
by a great etlort : on the contrary, they retain ibeir curva- 
ture around the prolongations, as niay be readllv seen. The 
btraightening, however, and compression of the tubes of the 
liber one against the other, Qught to be attended with this 
necessary consequence, that the prolongations should be 
more or less pressed ; and as this is repeated every year in 
the formation cf the new ligneous strata, the result must be, 
thai not only a certain number of prolongations are at length 
stifled, but also thar the quantity increases in proportion as 
the twig becomes a branch, and as the latter acquires more 
size. This opinion appears to me to be very well founded, 
for we observe that the number of the buds is generally in 
the invert;e ratio of the age of the branch : nature will have 
it that this number should decrease more and more every 
year, and she fixes a period at which branches generally 
cease altogether to produce any. On this rule, modified 
according to the nature of each species of vegetable, and 
according to the particular circumstances under which the 
plants are placed, depends in a great measure the habitus of 
the vegetables. Nature rarely deviates from this law: there 
are, however, some exceptions ; and it sonietimes happens 
that it retains, in case of need, some of these prolongations, 
which have not expanded into buds during the first years of 
the branch. If, for example, the sap rises in too great 
abundance, or if it be too nourishing, especially when the 
tree cannot suf^ciently discharge it, such of these prolonga- 
tions as are not stifled acquire vigour, lengthen themselves 
towards the bark, pierce it, and give birth to gluttonous 
branches, or branches with false wood, which often preserve 
the tree from plethoric diseases which might become mortal. 
The birth of these twigs explains to us, in my opinion, why 
the buds from which they have been produced are always 
thin and herbaceous ; why they almost always expand very 
speedily, and often out of season ; and whv they do not 
adhere firmly to the tree. It appears besides, that my opi- 
nion on the question itself is confirmed by the considera- 
tion, that if nature forms more wood than usual, and very 
thick zones, the branches commonly give fewer buds the 
followmg year : but nature seems then to gain on the one 
hand ..hat it loses on the other ; for it multiplies then the 
nunibir of th*: young branches, which, as we know, produce 
more huds than any other part of tiie vegetable. Another 
observation, which renders my opinion still more probable, 
i;, that I have seen at the lower part of the branches, and 


On the Buds and 'Ramifications of Plants. :Mi:\ 

the twigs of several trees and phrubs, sueh as the vouno; 
branches of the common willow [sal'tx caprca), a considera- 
ble number of small herbaceous prolongations of the me- 
dullary sheath, which were as insulated and dispersed 
throughout the ligneous body, and which liad neither 
pierced nor raised up the bark that covered them. They 
appeared to me to be prolongations reserved to form, in 
case of need, leaves or branches. 

But how can we account for the origin of buds from a 
trunk the interior part of which is rotten, and the 
medullary sheath no longer exists ? and how comes it t(j 
pass that the branches of a hollow tree, or those grafted on 
another tree, vegetate with the greatest vigour? It appear.-; 
to me that the answer to this question presents no dilhculty. 
These phcenomena will soon be explained, if we shall be able 
to prove that the prolongations of the sheath may be pre- 
served, and live, when they are separated by art or by nature 
from the sheath whence they have arisen. In these cases 
the branches must receive the sap by other tubes than those 
of the sheath. But does not the observation made by 
Coulomb, that in sound trees the sap ascends chieflv bv 
the tubes which surround the pith, oppose what I have 
said ? I do not think it : on the contrary, I am of opinion, 
that, if the obsen^ation of that celebrated philosopher had 
still need of being corroborated, it certainly would be bv 
my experiments on the prolonijations of the sheath. It is 
in these organs indeed, more than in any other, that we 
are to search for the proof that the sap ascends chiefly in 
the vessels of the medullary sheath of a sound tree, because 
when cut transversely they are always found, as long as thev 
are not ligneous, more or less filled w-iih juices. But is the 
medullary sheath the only way by which the sap proceeds 
from the root to the extremities of the vegetable ? Has na- 
ture confined herself within so narrow limits, or has she 
established other canals to conduct the nourishing juiceb 
from the root to all the ramifications of the plant? The 
existence of so n)any hollow trees will furnish us with an 
answer. In hollow trunks it is only by the liber, and bet- 
fore the birth of that organ by the alhurnum, that nature 
makes the sap to ascend. It happens also, but more rarely, 
that the bark is provided with small tubes which convey a 
part of that limpid liquor. If we examine the hollow wil- 
lows on the approacl) of spring, it will be observed that the 
alburnum is full of juice. If we cut the stems, branches, 
and stalks of the vine, euphorbia, Sec. we shall see the tubes 
next the bark emit not onlv their own juices but also an 

X 4 aq\KJuus 

324 On the Eud^ and Ramifications of Plants. 

aqueous humour, which is the ascending sap. The liler, 
ailurnnm, medullary sheath, and sometimes the tubes of 
the bark, are the only organs which nature cniploys in the 
'otyledons to conVey the snp to tbe ramifications of tbc 
trunk. But aficr the sheaih has produced the prolonga- 
tions or germs of the buds, the liber and alburnum secure 
in preference the preservation of the individual ; for, when 
the new production of these organs is prevented, the plant 
infallibly dies : on the other hand, if nature destroys the 
siieath, the tree verv often vegetates as before ; and to be 
iuily convinced of it we need only mention the enormous 
boabab of the coast of Africa. Besides, tlie ingenious ex- 
periments of Mirbel have fullv shown how, by the help of 
the pcn-es and fissures with which almost all the tubes 
and cells of vegetables are pierced, the sap may be conveyed 
to all the parts; and how nature, to convey the juice from 
one organ to the other, may find ways which to us appear 
extraordinary. Hence we are obliged to believe, that in the 
case where the sheath does not exist, or a graft has suc- 
ceeded, and where the pith is converted into wood, the 
prolongaiions may receive the nourishing liquor with which 
they are fi;led,froin the living tissue with which they are in 
immediate contact. In plants, even the interior part of 
which is very sound, the sap cannot be conveyed imme- 
diately from the tubes of the sheath of a trunk to those of 
the sheath of an old branch. In this case, the prolonga- 
tions are not composed of tubes ; they have become entirely 
ligneous, and their vessels, changed into fibres, no longer 
convev the juices. There is no longer any organic com- 
iimnication but by means of the alburnum, the lihr, the 
medullary radii, and the bark: even the latter rarely serves 
for conveying the sap. It thence follows, that tbe sap of 
the trunk ascends in the sheath, passes thence into the 
liher, or the alburnum, to be conveyed to the sheath of the 
branch through the cellular and vascular tissue. When it 
reaches the sheath of the branch, it is conveyed to the fol- 
lowing ramification in the same manxier as from the trunk 
to the principal branch. 

The origin of buds, of which I have spoken, enables us 
to conceive the cause of the firm insertion of the branch 
into the trunk. The bud has been produced by a prolonga- 
tion of the medullary ;iheath : the first stratum of the wood 
is formed while that bud has been elongated into a branch : 
the trunk has produced one at the s^ame time; the ligneous 
i;ones have succeeded regularly from year to year in the 
trunk and in the branches^ and each zone of the branches 


On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants. 32i 

is In an uninterrupted relation with another zone of the 
trunk, and seems to be produced by the prolongation 
or increase of the latter. It appears to me that the cause 
is explained by the following observ"ation : — It is generally 
known that the canibiuni, of which the /il'er is formed, has 
its birth in the alburmnn and bark, and that the latter, 
during the formation of the cainhium, is altogether sepa- 
rate from the alburnum even at the base of the branch. By 
these means the cambium of the trunk and that of the 
branch are never divided ; on the contrary, they adhere to 
each other, and the result is, that the wood thence arising 
forms thus an uninterrupted zone. The old trunks of the 
pine, fir, oak, Sec. seem, however, sometnues to show the 
contrary; for it is not uncommon that the branches, even 
those covered with bark, traverse a greater or less part of the 
wood of the trunk, without being there united to the exterior 
zones. Nevertheless, if such a trunk be cut vertically, it 
will be seen that all the zones of the branch have an im- 
mediate reference to as many zones of the tiiink ; the reason 
of which is, that this branch has been cut, or has ceased to 
grow, and that the trunk, which has continued its zones, 
has surrounded and inclosed the branch sometimes even en- 

It may perhaps be asked, why all the germs of a twig do 
not pierce the bark at the same time the first year. This 
question I am not able to answ er, because I cannot vmveil 
the mysteries of nature, and, in regard to the birth of butls, 
know onlv the above phKnomena. It may, iiowever, be 
conjectured that in the expanded buds there w ere germs, 
that is to say, prolongations of the medullary sheath, dif- 
fering in size and vigour; and that, besides, the time of 
their respective development depended on external circum- 
stances, the most of which arc still unknown to us. 

It is observed sometimes in shumac, the plane-tree, Scc, 
tliat the lateral prolonsations are entirely dried and ligneous, 
though that in the middle be still perfectly herbaceous. In 
this ease the petiole which covered the great prolongation, 
and below which the bud th;?t produces the twig nuist have 
been formed, has been torn or dropped off the preceding 
tspring, or at least before the autumn. 

The means which nature has made choice of to nourish 
the buds during the winter have been the object of several 
hypotheses. 1 shall abstain from mentioning them all, in 
order that I may attach myself to the only one which merits 
particular consideration. The interior of the bud has been 
compared to the embryo of a seed; and it has been asserted 


326 On the Buds and Ramifications of Plants. 

that the body of this bud was nourished by the scales which 
cover it, as the embryo is by the cotyledons. I shall not 
here examine whether the embryo be really nourished bv 
tlic cotyledons ; but I nmst deny that the bud is nourished 
by the scales, sometimes very arid, which protect it. On 
the contrary, it is nourished bv the juice conveyed to it by 
the prolongations of the sheath ; for I have had opportuni- 
ties of remarking that the motion of the sap does not en- 
tirely cease in the interior of the tree bat when the cold is 
severe, and the buds are then preserved without having need 
of nourishment. To insure the conveyance of the sap to 
the buds, and by tnese means to shelter them as much as 
possible from the cold, nature, perhaps, has caused the pro- 
longations of the sheath to be traversed by one or more 
aones of wood. 

In regard to ihe symmetry which nature exhibits in the 
disposition of the prolongations of the sheath and the buds, 
it is as vet inexplicable to us : the hypothesis that the bud 
pierces the bark at tlie place where it is thinnest, as for ex- 
ample in the eyes of the leaves, is still very far from the 
truth. The question is, to know how the prolonged tubular 
bundles of the medullary sheath which is directed towards 
the bark, may meet that thin place without having crept 
along the interior side of that organ. A thousand other 
<]uestions might be added, which present difficulties equally 

It appears to me very probable that Hales, Linnsus, and 
several other observers who had adopted the hypothesis that 
the |)ith is the most active organ in the interior oeconomy 
of plants, the reproducing organ of the ramifications of 
the trunk, were not far from discovering the tubular pro- 
longations of the sheath, which I discovered by chance. It 
appears to me also that the green substance contained in the 
medullary sheath has a different origin from that ascribed 
to it ; and that in regard to the mcdullanj radii, to which 
Daubeuton has given the name of medullary prn!ofigatio/r<;, 
they are very different from the organs to which I have given 
the name of prolongations of the sheath. 

My researches iti rci^ard to these organs have made me 
perceive also some phasnomena respecting the origin of 
leaves, which were entirely unknown to me. These organs 
arc considered as expansions of the herbaceous tissue of the 
bark, and of the tu!)ular tissue of the liber. This opinion is 
among tlic number of those which cannot be admitted. A 
leaf, whatever be the place of itu insertion, can never be 
torn off without finding, exactly at the place where it was 


Progress of Vacchiation in India. 327 

fixed, one or more prolongations of the medullary sheath 
penetrating the wood, and sinking into the petiole, or into 
the base of the leaf to which tliey convey sap. In the spe- 
cies of the family of the pinnif'era one single prolongation of 
the like kind enters into ilie petiole: in all the other vege- 
tables which I have examined, 1 found two^ three, and even 

The fall of the leaves is explained, not only by the in- 
fluence of the air and the sun, but al*o by the mechanism 
of nature, which, according to the opinion most generally 
admitted, prevents the sap from ascending from the branch 
to the petiole. *' The tubes of the liber (it is said) in daily 
extending more press against each other, aiid by a nccessaiy 
consequence transport themselves towards the centre of the 
vegetable ; at the same time the bark, which dilates itself, 
recedes; and the necessary result of these two movements 
is, that the leaves no loiiger receive sufficient nourishment." 
There is no doubt that the influence of the air and the sxm 
contributes powerfully to harden the substance of the leaves, 
as well as to approach towards the ligneous slate, in which 
the passage of the juices ceases, and ilieu the leaves no 
longer transpire or absorb. But I do not believe that the 
mechanism in question can in any manner prevent the 
ascent of the sap. But do we not, indeed, see that in a great 
number of plants some leaves drop at the period when the 
liber has not yet been changed into alhirnum, and while 
the sap is still in full motion ? h\ a word, when the bark 
is separated at the place where the petiole has been iixed, it 
is seen that the prolongations of the medullary sheath, 
which have <;onveved the nourishing juice from the stem 
to the leaves, are still green and herbaceous, and have sus- 
tained no injury ; which seems to prove that they were not 
choked, nor attracted with force. They dry a long time 
after, and acquire verv slowly the consistence of the wood 
in which they are placed. 


XLVIII. Progress of Vaccination in India* 

EVER was a discovery corroborated by more numerous 
;ind distant evidences than the cow-pock. 

The bramins in India were accustomed to inoculate at 
certain periods of the vear ; now they vaccinate throughout 
the year 3 and the following tesiimony has appeared in the 

* Communicated by Dr, Thornton. 


S28 NfW Genus ryf Mammalia called Hydromh. 

government gazette at Fort St. George, Dec. 19, 1504, 
being a letter troni the head bramin to the physician-general 
at Madras. 

To Dr. James Anderson. 

I beg leave to assure you that I am an eye-witness, as 
well as many other bramins, ot that wonderful, healthtul, 
immortal vaceine matter, discovered on the nipples and 
tidders of some cows in England by that illustrious doctor, 
Jenner; whereby ihat loathsome, painful, and fatal small- 
pox has been prevented attacking persons in India as well as 
in England. Numbers of children and others have been 
inoculated bv us without any injury whatever, except a 
small blemish or spot in the place where the matter is ap- 
plied, generally on the arm. 

This preserving power should be experienced not only by 
the honorary but also those of the low cast. On whicli 
account permit me to observe, that the term cow-pox, adver- 
tised in our Tamul tongue by you, translated comary, should 
he altered, not to give room for the prejudices of the vcrv 
conimon people ; and it should be styled, no doubt, a drop 
<if Vfctar from the exuberant bidders of some cows in E?fg- 
land, and not by any appellation similar to the humour 
discharged from the feet ol diseased cattle in this country. 
I am, sir, with much respect, 
Your faithful, obedient, very humble servant, 

Dec. 19, 1804. MoO-PE-RAL S TEE-NE-VA-SA-CHA-BY. 

XLIX. Memoir on a new Genus of Mammalia called Hy~ 
dronus. By E. GnoFFnoi (Saim'-Uilaire).* 

J. HIS new genus, introduced into the system, is com- 
posed of three species, two of which have never been 
described, and the third sannot be exactly known but by 
rucans of the illustrations which 1 am about to give. It 
was first found in the waters of Chili by Molina, who pub- 
lished an account of it under the American name of coypou : 
it has since been met wiih c^nly by Felix d'Azzara, who has 
given a long description of itf under the name o't tjuovyioy 
by which it is known in the province of Tucnman. 

A long time, however, aker these travellers had disco- 
vered the coy pun, it had engaged the attention of Connmr- 

• From .Inanlc^ dii yiitscum d'JIistrArc NnhireUc, No. 31. 
f Hi«ioirc des Quadrupcdos du Paraguay, vol. ii. art. 2. 

son ; 

I^ew Genus of Mammalia called Hydroviis. 323 

son 5 and it would then have been more perfectly known, 
had that respectable and indefatigable naturalist hved lon;^ 
enough to publish the immense materials with which he 
enriched natural history. There was found, indeed, among 
Comnierson's papers, a drawing of this singular animal re-» 
duced only to half its size : he had been indebted for it to 
** M. Bougainville de Nerville, governor of the Malouine 
Islands, an enlightened amateur of natural history." These, 
are the words of the note which our respectable correspon- 
dent put at the bottom of the drawing which had been given 
to him. The name myopotaynus loriariensis, which he pro- 
visionally gave to this species, proves that he then consi- 
dered it as the type of a new genus. 

I have not employed the same denom illation as Com- 
merson. It appeared to me more proper to prefer that of 
kydromlSy composed nearly of the same radicals, because it 
presents the same termination as the names already em- 
ployed to denote the most of the analogous genera, such as 
those oi pteromis, phascoloinis, lagomis, cheirojuis, &c. 

We long neglected the drawing of the mijopo/amus^ 
either because, not having been executed bv Commersoii 
himself, it did not inspire us with sufficient conlidence, or 
bccauie our mistrust was authorized by the difficulty of 
comprehending it in the genera already established. 

It was only afcer exan)uiing the rich collection of furs of 
M. Bechem*, where I found a considerable quantity of the 
skins of an animal which appeared to me to be unknown to 
naturalists, that i recollected the drawing of Commerson. 
M. Bechem informed me that these skins had been intro- 
duced into cumraercc about nine or ten yeai"s before; that 
they were transmitted by the way of Spain ; that he never 
received fewer than a thousand at a time; and that in some 
years the number amounted to liftcen or twenty thousand. 
AJ. Bechem found that they had an affinity to the beaver 
skins, and could be applied to the same purposes : he sold 
them under the denominatlou of racouttda. which he derived' 
from tliat of racoon, the name given by the English to an 
animal of North America. Tliey are souob.t for in com- 
merce, and are employed in particular by the manufacturers 
of hats. Thus our arts were supplied with, and a part of 
our dress v.'as formed of, the hair of an animal with which 
we were unacquainted, and which, however, was sufficiently 
differeiit I'rom others of the same genus to deserve to be 
classed in a small particular tribe. 

It was so humiliating a condition for science to be thus 
• A fur-merchan; of Pi^.-is. 

. outstripped 

330 New Genus of Mammalia called Hyciromis, 

outstripped by commerce, that I could not help embracing 
the earliest opportunity of endeavouring to discover to what 
animal this useful fur belonged. Among the number of 
skins which M. Bechem possessed, I had the good for- 
tune to find a sufficient luunber entire, to enable me to hope 
that I should be able to determine this point. J soon per- 
ceived that the description of the qtwuyia of M. d'Azzara 
corresponded to them perfectly, and that this description 
could be exactlv applied also to the drawing of the imjopo* 
t(nmLS. 1 should have been sooner conducted to this com- 
parison, had I not found, in the French translation of 
M.d'Azzara's work, the epithet of red twice substituted for 
that of ruddy : the author, by the Spanish word rulro, had 
denoted only the latter quality. 

It was with reason that Comnierson had provisionally 
considered his animal of Bueiios-Avres as a new genus : it 
belongs to the order of iheroJentia by its two strong incioor 
teeth in each jaw ; but not to any of the genera of that 
order, in consequence of its tail and its hind feet. The 
conjecture of Conimerson is now fully justified by the ex- 
istence of two other species in New Holland, which have 
exactly the same combinations of form : such are the three 
animals which I comprehend under the same generic deno- 
mination of hydromh.. 

To be able to subdivide with 'more precision the order of 
the rodent ia, and particularly the numerous genus of rats, 
we have attended to the consideration of the molar teeth, 
the form of which has furnished us with excellent charac- 
ters, *vhich have gone hand in hand with the difibrcnt con- 
figurations of the feet and the tail. Thus, all the rats ana- 
logous to the field rat, the water rat. Sec. have the molar 
teeth formed of laminae placed one before the other, and 
the tail short and hairy: on the other hand, those which 
have a relation to the common rat, Sec. Norway rat, &c. 
are distinguished by molar teeth with a simple crown, and 
by their long tail, which is in part naked and scaly; others, 
such as the hamster, have these teeth single, and the tail 
short and hairy. 

My first care, after these observations, ought to be to at- 
tend to the molar teeth of my thn e species, and deduce 
from them characters applicable only to them. 1 was de- 
prived of the means of doing this in regard to the American 
species. M. d'Azzara neglected ti) speak of its molar 
teeth : Molina, however, has in part supplied this defi- 
ciency, if it be true that he cxteiided his remarks to their 
number. We have reason to believe this from the extract 

7 ia 

Keiv Genus of Mammalia called Hydromls. 33 1 

in regard to the mus coypus, which Gmclin made from the 
account of that Jesuit. M. Gruvel in the French transla- 
tion must, then, have omitted this important character. 

However, the following are the observations, in rctjard to 
the tceth^ which I made in the two species of Nevv Hol- 

These molar teeth present themselves first in a number 
worthy of remark : there are only two on each side, which 
carries the whole number to eight. Their form exhibits no 
less singularity : the length of each is double its breadth r 
the enamel traverses it in the middle, turning round in such 
a manner, thai the section forms pretty nearly the figure 8, 
which is rendered sensible in particular by two exca\'ations, 
pretty deep, corresponding to the vacant spaces which exist 
in that figure. 

The feet of the hydromis have Cixo. toes ; those of the fore 
feet are very short, and almost entirely enveloped : the other 
toes are free. On the other hand, those of the hind feet 
are engaged in a membrane : the external toe only is at 
liberty, because the general membrane which extends over 
It, and \\ hich borders the interior side, arises only from the 
extremity of the metacarpian bone of the annular toe j it 
forms on the last a small interior border, which does not 
retain it in its deviation. The nails are compressed, pretty 
Jonir, hooked, and very sharp. 

The head, as far as could be judged from the remains 
\i hich I examined, is broad and depressed like those of the 
beaver and the water-rat : the nmzzle appears to be less 
obtuse; the neck is thick and short j the cars small and 
round ; the whiskers long and thick. 

The hair is of two kinds, as in the beaver ; und-cr the loner 
silky hair is a short felt, thick, and exceedingly fine. 

The hydromis has a resemblance also to these anim.als by 
the proportions of its body, and particularlv bv the short- 
ness of its paws ; but they differ sensibly by the form of the 
tail, which is almost as long as the body, perfectly round, 
and terminating in a point. 

In general, there can be no doubt that in the natural' 
order these animals ought to occupy an intermediate place 
between the beaver and the water-rat: beino- destitute of 
membranes on the hind feet, they would naUirally belonw; 
to the tribe of the latter ; or, if their tail had the form ol' 
that of the beaver, they might be united with the species of 
tliat genus. 

1st, The Ilydromis Coypou. — I have said that it was first 


332 New Genui> <if JMuuimalia called Hi/dronils. 

made known by Molina. His description comprchctlc?3 
pretty well the cssentitil points, but is not sufficiently mi- 
nute. This traveller speaks of the coijpou as a species of 
water-rat, of the size and colour of an otter. Gmelin has 
confined himself, in wiiat he has said of the rmis coypus, to 
copying Molina. M. d'Azzara, on the other hand, has 
given a complete description of that species, with the mea- 
sures of the ditferent parts of the body ; and, in general, has 
not omitted what relates to the molar teeth. 

The coi/po2i is distinguished in particular from the two 
other species, of which we shall speak hereafter, by its 
great size. 

In. Lines. 

Length of the body - - * 9 6 

• of the tail - - - - 2 3 

of the head - - - 4 3 

of the extremities - - 4 6 

The general tint of the hair and on the back is a chcstnnt 
brown. 'J'his colour becomes brighter on the flanks, and 
passes to bright red ; under the belly it is only a dirty and 
almost dark russet. Yet this colour is sufficiently change- 
able according to tlie manner in which the coypou raises or 
lowers its liair. This mobility in the tone of its fur arises 
from each hair being of an ash-coloured brown at the root, 
•and bright red at the point. 

The felt concealed under the long hair is an ash brown, 
cf a brighter tint under the belly. The long hair on the 
back has the points only reddish, and that on the flanks is 
of the latter colour throughout the half of its lenti'th. 

As in all animals which go frequently into the water, the 
hair of tlie tail is thin, short, stitV^ and (jf a dirtv red colour; 
in its naked parts it is scalv. 

The contour of the mouth and extremity of the muzzle 
are white; the whiskers, which are long and stifi", are also 
white, some black haivs excepted. 

Among the great number of .'^kins which form part of 
the collection of M. Ceehem, I saw some belonging to ani- 
mals which had no doubt been afl"ectcd with the albine dis- 
ease ; in one of these tlie silky hairs were entirelv russet, so 
tliat the back api)ear(d of the same tint as the sides and the 
belly ; in another, the grand dorsal stripe, instead of being 
chestnut, had passed entirely to a red colour, the flnnks 
being of a very pale red. I cannot believe that these varie- 
ties, on the one hand, were the character of youth or of the 
femiile, because these accidcn.ts were rare, considering the 


Keiv Genus of Mammalia called Hydromis. 333 

great number of skins which I examined ; and on the other, 
because M. d'Azzara has expressly told us that the f(jmale 
is entirely similar to the malt. 

Molina and d'Azzara agree in recrard to tlie mild qualities 
by which tlie eoypou is dibtingui.slicd. It eats every thing 
given to it, and seems to atiacli itself to those who take care 
of it. It may be easily tamed, and soon becomes accus- 
tomed to the state of domesticity. It is never heard to cry 
but when harshly used -, it then emits a piercing cry. The 
female produces live young, which she always carries with 

The eoypou is vcrv common in the provinces of Chili, 
Buenos-Ayres, and Tucunian. On the other hand, it is 
rarely found in Paraouav. 

2d. The yellom-beUied Hydromis. — This species is nearly 
half as small as the eoypou. The length of its body is one 
foot, and that of the tail two inches six lines. 

Its long hair is not sensibly distinguished from the felt ; 
it is proportionally shorter and finer, which renders the fur 
of this hydromis more valuable tlian that of the eoypou : 
there are few furs thicker, or softer to the touch. The hair 
in its apparent part is above of a chestnut brown, and below 
of a most beautiful orange colour. At the root it is ash- 
coloured, and gray under the belly. The tail is entirely 
covered with very short and stiff hair: towards the root it 
is pretty large, and well furnished with hair: in three- 
fourths of its length its colour is tljc same as that of the 
back; but in the other fourth, towards the point, it is of a 
very pure white. The membrane which incloses the toes of 
this second species is not so extensive as in the eoypou ; its 
interior cut is a little deeper. 

This animal was killed by a sailor in one of the islands 
which form d'Entrecasteaux's channel, at the moment 
when about to shelter itself beneath a heap of stones : it 
was preserved to us bv the care of M. Levillain, one of the 
zoologists on the expedition to the austral lauds. 

3d. The white-l'L'Uit'd Hydrojnis. — This species has a 
great resemblajice to the preceding, and is of the same size. 
Its head, however, is a little longer, and its fur not so fine, 
and less soft to the touch. The hind-feet are only half 
palmated ; its hair is brown above, and dirty white below. 
The tail is also terminated with white, but for a more con- 
siderable extent : the white part forms a little more than a 
third of the whole length. 

Four individuals of the white-bellied Hydromis were 
transmitted to us, all of whicli had a great resemblance to 

Vol. 2-2. No. &6, .SV/;/. tso'i. Y each 

33^ Cxperlinents on the Hand Granade, 

eacli other : they were tound in the island Maria, which i~ 
not far from d'Entrecastc^uix's channel, by Messrs. Peron 
and Lcsueur, to whom we arc indebted for almost the whole 
of the zoological riches brought to u? from New Holland. 

I have comprehended in the fuUowing table all the cha- 
racters of the genus and species of these three animals. 


Nat. chap.. — Incisor teeth two in each jaw ; canine ; two 

molar teeth in each row, furrowed on the side, and with 

a double excavation on the crown. 

Feet pentadactyles ; the anterior free, the posterior pal- 

Tail round, and covered with short hair. 
EsSENT. CHAR. — Hind-feet pahiiated. Tml round. 

I. Species. Hydkomis covpou. Hydromis coypus 
(Plate Vf.) 

Hair chestnut brown on the back, red on the flanks, and 
bright bro'vn under the belly. 

Coypoii. Molina's Hist. Nat. du Chili, p. •-J.'5. French Translation. 
Mus ic'.pi:^. Gm. Sy^t. Nat. 
(laoluyi. D'Azzara, Hist, des Oiind. du P.;raguay, torn ii. p. 1. 

Country. — Chili, Paraguay, Tucuman. 

II. Species. Vf.llow-belmkd Hydromis. Hydro- 
viis chrysogffyfer (Plate VI H.)- 

Ilair chestnut br(nvn above, orange bcio^-. 
Country. — One of the islands in d'Kntrecasteaux's chan- 
in. Species, WnrTE-BKi-LTFD Hydromis. Hydro- 
mis leucogastt r. (Plate V^H.) 
Hair brown above, white belov/. 
Country. — The island Maria. 

L. Physico- mechanical Experiments and Discussions of the 
Phcenomcnn olservalle in that casual Product of Art 
the Hand. Granade, Prince Ru perils Drop, or GIuks 
Tear. Jiy A//-. John, Optician. 

A-LTMCUGH the subjectof this paper is very inconsi'.'crabie 
in itself, being, as wa.5 said above, " the casual and easy 
product of art j" yet as it tends, in my humble opinion, to 
develop fome very obscure and iniporiant phsenomcna in 
nature as well as the arts, I shall not t.ike an operosc route 
to apologize for ofl'cring mv explanation of it to the pu'.)lic : 
because every accurate account of tlic arcana natura', Sec. 


Prince Rupert* s Drop, or Glass Ttar. 33. '> 

is aiuays sutficienr. lo justify itsi-li', and consequenllv 'Iocs 
not need any apology. I therefore proceed. 

I'he pvromcier long ago has demonstrated to the satis- 
faction of every one in the least acquainted therewith, that 
all bodies, whether in a fluid or solid state, expand by heat, 
and contract by cold, and from a very obvious cause j viz. 
because the particles of that fluid element, (fi'"c,) bv insi- 
nuating themselves between the coinponent parts of such 
bodies, not only fill the most minute interstices, and per- 
vade every pore with t!ie greatest facility, but absolutely dis- 
unite or separate the constituent particles themselves," and 
thereby make them, in the aggregate, of a greater volume ; 
and ultimately render such substances (if capable of fusion) 
a fluid, or running mass : in which state such substances 
occupy their greatest possible extension, — unless tliey were 
volatilized, or changed into vapour. 

Thus much for the laws of fusi(m themselves. The ap- 
plication and inferences from them are quite appropriate. 

Tt is while the greatest possible degree oi" expansion of 
the vitreous matter exists, that the portion which forms this 
molten tear or drop I am about to treat of, is separated and 
made. In fact, its fusion is the radical consequence of its 
extreme rarefaction, or cxpansion_, being physically and me- 
chanically superinduced therei>y. For, by the in'troduciiou 
-of the accumulated igneous particles, a separation of the 
once continuous particles of the glass takes place, until the 
attraction of cohesion entirely ceases, and fluidity eventually 

Now, at this instant of extreme excitation it is, that, with 
a sudden and forcible jirk, the artist ejaculates or thr<jws it 
forth to he suddenly quenched in cold water ; when it is 
-evident, that the parts which first came into contact with 
the water will become cookd and indurated first, — which is 
the exterior surface. And this stratiuri (if J may so speak, 
and suppose the whole conipased of a nuuiber of strata) 
having taken its form and dimensions, nointer-nai mutation 
or exertion it is capable of can either alter or lessen its form. 
But as all bodies, as was said before, must contract in cooi- 
■iag, the interior parts (contrary to gradual cooling) must 
give way: they therefore become vacuous, of nccf-ssitv. 
And because the central parts cannot coalesce, they beiii;-/ 
the last whicli feel the refrigerating quality of the vv-atcu 
■they remain longest in a fluid state: and as there is not* 
sufficient quantify of matter, when cooled, to occupy aH 
the space it did when in an ignited or raicfiec] state, the 
parts which art; most fiuid^ being most easy to niove. and 

Y £ tindir.g 

336 Rxperhnvnts on the Hand Gra?iaJ/', 

finding they cannot fill the whole space, bv close union, 
on account of their paucity, make the best junction they 
can, by taking a lateral course, and a vacuum is the result 
of unavoidable necessity. 

And such a vacuum as cannot be produced by any other 
n)eans that we know of; — a vacuum only assailable by that 
subtle agent tluit knows no impediment, 

But walks alike tlirougli s'llid gates of brass, 
Or b;ns of steel, or do.irs of molten glass; 
This prim II m niol-iic M ionm pervades; 
Our cv'ry act depends upon its aid. 

It is true, the same event happens to other bodies, upon 
being brought into a state of fusion and suddenly cjuenehed, 
as to glass. 'Ihus, if a bar of steel be overheated in our 
attempts to harden it, we see upon breaking it that the in- 
terior parts have changed their position, and formed them- 
selves into a kind of irregular crystals, for the same reasons ; 
yet, as no substance but glass is so generally imper;neablc 
to all agents, except fire, the result is not so satisfactory 
as when this material is used ; because, on account of its 
diaphanous nature, or transparency, the appearances are 
morg ocular, consequently less doubtful. For here, with- 
out analogy or hyi)othetical inference, our senses are called 
to witness the most complete vacuum in nature ; and, as 
far as relates to lieterogeneous efiluvia, quite perfect. 

A vacuum nt^t of the Boylean kind, where that air 
which is driven out is ejected by means of that which re- 
mains behind ; but of the Torricellian kind, yet infinitely 
more perfect : the very formation of which precludes the 
possibility of the most subtle agent in nature (except lire) 
insinuating one particle of its substance therein. And, 
were it possible that we could make this vacuum subser- 
vient to our experiments on the mechanical pressure of the 
air, (whether mcumljcnt or lateral,) I am persuaded, from 
wliat I hare lierein discovered, that we should have a greater 
result than (the maximum allowed) 14 or 15 lbs. per inch 
for its energy, 'i'he excess of which energy wouhl be in a 
direct ratio to the perfection of this vacuum, in eoniparison 
with that (>f the barometer : and ihose of the air-j)ump 
cannot stand one moment in compciitit)!), ibr the reason 
assigned above. 

And yd so well grounded were llie autient philosoplier.- 
I* in all -^pace being occupied by some agent or other," that 
t}iey have, as it were, anticipated us in Qur mo.-t modcni 
discovery ; for it was one of the dogmata o\' the Peripate- 
tic or Aristotelian schools, " that Nature abhorred a va- 
, cuum.'* 

Prince Rupert's Dmpj or Glass Tear. 337 

cuuin.'' And although I will not take upon me to justify 
all their decisions, or even this dogma itscU" upon their 
principle ; yet as this seems the no plus vltra of human 
means to procure one, and uhich, after all, appears not to 
he ahsolutciv so, 1 think their assertion is not remote 
enough from truth to justify a rash contradiction on our 
part, or to arraign the profundity of their knowledge. But 
to return : How great must be the velocitv, liow great 
the mechanical collision, to rend asunder with such force 
so \\cll compacted a substance as the glass of which these 
granades are n)ade, even after making evcrv reasonable 
allowance for its want of annealing, which no doubt in- 
creases its IVagility, while it hardens the suiface ! There 
must be sometliing more than mere mechanical influx, or 
consequent collision, to rend asunder and reduce to powder 
an impregnable mass, which is capable of resisting the 
weight of many tons, sustaining the force of a large vice, 
or the rude strokes of a hammer (after allowing for the 
geometric resistance on the external attack, and the want of 
the same in the internal force) used in breaking them, he- 
lore this pha-nomenon will be satisfactorily explained. 

And without giving a more elaborate definition than the 
thing is obviously susceptible of, I conceive this cause to be 
electricity : and that, in the formation of the drop, after the 
caloric particles have pervaded the glass and subsided, this 
matter, like a lambent flame, attaches to and lines the inte- 
rior surface or cavities, as in the Levden jar ; and by this 
hermetic accident (for it is not properly art) mav remain 
prisoner for many centuries ; but yet, though pent up, (being 
perfectly insulated) is not diminished : therefore, upon 
opening the ccniduit pipe of communication in the tail, the 
afTinity the inclosed cfHuvixu-n has \Aith that in the air, our 
hands, or whatever else breaks them, causes that violent de- 
tonation, and the destruction thereof considered there\\ith to 
take place, an.d the force of thecx[)losion is fcfC-ieris parihusj 
in a compound, direct, ratio with the capacity of the cavi- 
ties, and the strength of materials. 

Thus is is, when a vacuum is induced of necessity, and 
of n)aterials which, while thev arc extremely friable on the 
one hand, are insperviou^ to both influx and efllux f)n the 
other; (hence the w:uit of these appearances in breaking 
steel, ScC.) and void of every other occupant tliaa this 
elastic vapour, which is-jieneraied in their Hrst iurmation, 
which, like seed in tiie womb, seems to he the very germ or 
rudiment o'i elcinentary fire, and only waits the iiivilation 
of excitation to manifest itself: and whenever this excita- 

Y 3 tion 

3S«5 Experlvzciits on the Hnvd Granado, ^c. 

tinn ir^ begrn, how irresistible ave the effects produced by 
it! I beheve nothing i.n nature ('f small things mioht be 
conipatcd with grtat) is more analogous to an earthquake 
than the bursting of one of therse little tears of glass, or 
more like it in its cause ; for both arise fiom a sudden 
combustion of a latent and inflannnablc principle contained 
in their interior parts ; and both alike cause a derangement 
of the parts which heretofore formed their orbicular prisons. 
To ascertain whethei they were charged/;///') or mi/i7{<i'-'\l 
placed tb.ein in an insulated situation^ on a large flint glass 
cond^'nsmg receiver; and with a hammer of the same kind 
ot glass (both being well excited) I broke some of them at 
the small end : but, contrary to my expectation, the result 
was the same as if broken in my hand. 

I next placed some of them on a tal)le, which I knew to 
be a good conductor, and with mv glass mallet or hammer 
I broke several more with precisely the same effect. - 

I also broke some with a conducting, i. e. a common 
hammer, upon the excited receiver, but there was no diffe- 
rence in the effect : for all the means I made use of (how- 
ever varied) were productive of the same appearances as 
when broken in my hand, or bv the collision of a conduct- 
ing substance, while they were placed upon another con- 

l^vA now, havinji" varied the experiment bv all the means 
I could devise, except I had tried tlie air-pump, (which I 
could not do, as I had not got an open receiver,) I began to 
doubt whether electricity had any share in this phoenome- 
ncjii or not, to conclude the effect must be purely me- 
chanical (for I would not call it a Iw^vs nalurce) ; when 
what compensated all my trouble, and put the matter past 
doubt, was this : 

I darkened the room entirelv, having previously furnished 
inyself with a clear strong oJasR receiver to prevent the ac- 
cident Of the pieces ffving into mveyes; then directing 
tiicse organs of vision bv the feel. I broke several in this in- 
closurc, where "they uniibrmlv produced a bri^^ht corrosca- 
tion like lightning; which, togeiiier x'ith the more than 
mechanical snap they make upon breaking, quite sati^fled 

* To tiiose v/ho arc unaccjur.inteH with the history of clectricitv, it .nay 
be iieedff.l to observe, that ihe teritis jtlus and mums, -t- — ; posi.ive and 
negative;'viireo'js and resinous; are not six difPerent electrical qualities; 
but three sets of oquiv:;leRt terms, in difTcrent svstems of the same clenco, 
indicaiivu of tiic iwo or contrary principles which reciprocally atiract each 
other, and cause what is Called the clertrir stwrk. There arc also other 
terni'-i by way of desij^nating the same principles, as lerrcut and atiify^plioir ; 
but these are not so corninoa. 


Tii cut y- third Connnunlcat'ujnfrom Dr. Thornton. 839 

me that it was not the iricrc mechanical co]]i^ioIl of the air 
striking the interna! surface which so forcibly rends them 
asunder, but a compound eftect of that and electrical affi- 
nily together: which, being corroborated by so many 
actual experiments, makes me believe the phenomenon of 
these Hi tie pliilosophical fenigmas is nearly ex))lored. And 
although I would not say the subject is entirely exhausted, 
vet this solution has so satislitd my mind, that 1 cannot 
think it any longer a desideratum. 

I remain, sir, 
Toolej-strect, '^'^'-^'' o^'ligetl SQXs&i\l at Command, 
Sept. 14, imL John S.vart. 

P. S. Since the publication of my paper in the 86th 
number of the Philosophical Magazine, from a comparison 
of the creature therein described with what I have met with 
in Dr. Shaw's work, I am inclined to think it is a larva of 
the genus diitlscns^ of the order coleoptcra. It n)ight not 
improperly be denominated ranama/gus, or frog-sucker. 

LI. Ticenty-tldrd Comviiailcatlon from Dr. Thornton. 
To Mr. TlUoch. 

Sept. 14. 180.T. 
DEAR SIR, No. I, Hindt-street, Manchester-square. 

EKiMiT me the honour of continuing, in vour excellent 


.magazine, facts confirming the propriety of employirig 
pneumatic medicine. 

Case of Consitrnptioii cured lij Hydro-azotic Gas. 

James Davis, set. 25, living with Mr. Chambers, tanker. 
Bond-street, as.^room, had all th-e marked symptoms of a 
Ci)nfirmed galU)ping consumption, violent cough, frequent 
pains in the side, shortness of breathing, the expectoration 
very copious, of an opaque appearance, night sweats con- 
stantly, wasted almost to a shadow, and extremely weak, 
arising from a cold proceeding from putting on a damp 
shirt, and being we^ through, in March 1 805. The vio- 
lence of tlr.s disease had existed two months. He was re- 
C(;mmended bv Joseph Workman, \\ ho iiad been similarly 
afi'ected, servant of captain Bond, also cured by the saqie 
plan. This patient inhaled the hydro-azotic gas, and he 
took at the same time tonic medicines, as bark, colaujbo, 
with mvrrh, with occasional aperients ; and, following 

Y 4 thia 

340 Notices respecting New Books. 

this plan for ?ix weeks, he was restored to perfect health. 
The patient is now hcfore mc, Sept. 14, 1805 ; and ia 
excellent health, looks well, is fat, has since had no com- 
plaint of any kind, and is an additional proof of the virtue 
of the aerial remedy. 

I have the honour to remain, 
Dear sir, 8cc. 

Robert John Thornton. 

Ohservationfi on this Ca^c. — The same opinions arise here 
as in other cases : but ihe pneumatic practice is more par- 
ticularly necessarv, as tonics \\'ould only augment the 
malady, if applied alone, as the lungs are locally inflamed ; 
and the lowering plaii would only have aided the debility 
Induced from this local cause, exciting an immoderate nior- 
bid secretion from the lungs. 

ITT. yl simple Method of making Tuhs rf elastic Gum or 
Caoutchouc, to avoid the Expense of Solution in jEther. 

OpLiT a stick of cane, and then apply together again the 
split pieces, but with a slip of whalebone interposed be- 
tween them. Cut the elastic gum into slips fit for twist- 
ing over the prepared cane, so as to cover it ; then, by duly 
heating the surf"ace of the cane covered with the caoutchouc, 
it will melt so as to form one piece. When cold, draw out 
the interposed whalebone from between the split cane; by 
which means, without difficulty, the whole substance of the 
cane may then be readily withdrawn from under the cover- 
ing, thus leaving the tube formed as desired. 

Some recommend winding small thread round the 
twisted gum clastic, to help to unite the joinings, and em- 
ploy the heat of boiling water. "^ 

LI II. Notices respecting New Books. 

Medical Sketches of the Expedition to Egypt from India, 
Bi/ James M'Grkgor, ^. M. Member tf the Royal 
College of Surgeons of London; Surgeon to the Royal 
B'^ginifiut of Horse Guards ; and lately Superintending 
Surgeon to the Indian yhiny in Egypt. 1801. 

x HE health of soldiers, and particularlv when engaged in 

distant expeditions, is of so murh importance, that cverv 

publication which can tend t9 proir.oie so desirable an ob- 

\ jecl 

Notices respeclbig New Books. -341 

jcct deserves to meet with a favourable reception. This 
observation, in our opinion, is very appUcable to the pre- 
sent work, as it relates chiefly to a countiy interesting^ to 
Great Britain, under various points of view, and which, in 
the present situation of public affairs, may again afford 
British soldiers an opportunitv of showing; what thcv are 
able to achieve, when connnanded by able and experienced 

These sketches are divided into three parts. The first 
gives the medical history, or rather the journal, of the expe- 
dition : in the second, the author, after attempting to as- 
sign the causes of the diseases which prevailed, proposes 
some modes of prevention : and in the third, some account 
of the diseases is given. 

*'' The first division of the army intended for the expedi- 
tion to Egypt, under colonel Murray, sailed from Bombav 
m January, 1801. Their vovage was rather a tedious one, 
and the small pox and a remittent fever broke oui among 
them. They touched for refreshments at Mocha and at 
Jedda, and on the l6th May, 1801, came to anchor in 
Kossier-bav ; the prevailing winds in the Red Sea, at this 
time, renderinir it impossible to get so far up as Suez. 

'* The second division of troops (orijinallv intended for 
another time), under colonel Beresford, sailed from Point 
de Galle, in Cevlon, on the IQlh February j and on the IQth 
May disembarked at Kossier. 

" The last division, under colonel Ramsay, sailed from 
Trincomalee, in Ceylon. They were later of arriving at 
Kossier, and were not able to cross the desert before July. 

. " At Kossier there is a fort and a town, if thev deserve 
the name. They are built of mud, and the Arabs inhabit 
them only at the season when caravans arrive with the 
pilgrims for Mecca, and with corn for that and the other 
ports on the opposite Arabian coast." 

Soon after the arrival of the troops at Kossier, they were 
all attacked with a diarrhcea, occasioned by the water, which 
contained much sulphate of niatrnesia. At first the men 
were greatly debilitated by it; but as they became used to 
the water, it ceased to affect their bevvcls : on the whole, 
however, it appeared to have produced salutarv effects, and 
the army for some time was uncommonly healthy. 

On the IQth of Julv, l&Ol, the 8Sth, with two companies 
of the 80tb regiment, under the command of colcmel Beres- 
ford, as the advance of the army, commenced the march 
across the desert ; hut as they had the digiiiug of wells, aivd 
other duties to nerform, they did not reach the banks of the 


I- J'!? 'Xntices rrspccthig, Neil Evdis. 

iMiie until the next month. The rest oi'Uic army marched 
on the tbllowing days, the iiiarcht\s being al-.vays periornjed 
by nightjand the ainiy. with very inconsitleral:>ic loss, reached 
the banks oi-' the Nile in a very heah'ny state. The course 
it pursued was nearly that travelled by Mr. Bruce. Durin<» 
almost the whole oi'Jnlv the army was encamped on the 
banks of the Nile, which now began to overflow its banks 
near Ghenne ; they, however, soon pr^-pared to move, and 
detachments went up to 'fliebes, Luxor, and the cataracts, to 
press all the boats; and about the tnd of the month the 
army becan to move to Lower Egypt. The lOlh regiment 
njarched to Girge, the capital of Upper Egypt, sixtv miles 
below (jhcnne, and on the 27th and following days the rest 
of the ariuy u'as embarked in boats. The ihermometer 
had a wide range at Ghenne ; in theauthor's marquee it va- 
ried from /I'^lo 108\ on the 20th it rose to 111", and in 
the open air the heat was from 70" to I \b^. 

By the {2th of August, the greater part of the armv, 
after a navigation on the Nile of nearly four hundred miles, 
arrived at Ghiza. As they landed, the troops were uncom- 
monly healthy ; but in three weeks the sick of the armv ex- 
ceeded one thousand. A considerable number of ophthal- 
mic cases occurred, but the prcvaihng disease was fever ; in 
general it was (/f short duration, of two, three, or five days 
at most, and rarely proved fatal. Tn the monih of Sep- 
tember the plague niade its appearance in the hospital of 
the S&th reoimcnt, in the neighbourhood of llosetta, which 
rendered it necessarv to adopt measures for preventing the 
farther j)rogress of this destructive scourge. Next to the 
plague, the most formidable disease in the army, from its 
general prevalence, ophthalmia. In the 10th and SSth 
regiments there were upwards of three hundred and iifty 
cases, and the total number in the army exxccdcd six hun- 
dred. Dvsenterv and hep??tuis prevailed very generally 
among all the Enrojx^an corps, and the mortality of the 
month was very consiiierable. In the montli of January, 
1802, the cases of piauue in the Indian arm\ amounted to 
72, in March the number uas 4fi, and in iMay 26. 

On the last day of April, orders arrived from England to 
teneral Baird, to return with his army to India, and to d^•- 
tach the 10th, fiist, and &8th regiments, which were placed 
c.a the British establishment. On the 3d, the Indian armv 
began to march to Ghiza, where it remained encamped by 
the pyramids for some davs, until water and other neces- 
saries for the passage over the desert were rcjiorted to be 
ready. They crossed the river, cncanipcd at J3culac, set oft" 


Notices respecting Ntw Books. 343 

Jrom Cairo, and, p.issing the ruins of Hciiopolis, made 
K\ Hadjo their first stage. Their marches over the desert 
of Suez, as in crossing the great desert, were rdl performed 
during the night, and they always encamped by sun-rise in 
the morning- By the end of the month, the whole corps, 
except the '( th Bombav regiment, had crossed the desert, 
and arrived at Suez. Part of the army was encamped near 
the town of Suez, and part at xvloses Wells, nine miles on 
the eastern side of the lied Sea. The march over the desert 
of Suez was performed w ith nmch greater case than that 
over tiie desert of Thebes. 'I'he weather was cool and fa- 
vmu-able ; the hot winds were less felt, and they f'>und 
abundance of good water provided at the different stations. 
On the 2d of .June, the embarkation commenced, and by 
the 15Lh the whole armv was embarked, and had sailcvl for 
the different presidencies, except the Jlli rerriment, which, 
on account of the plague still prevailing in it after the rest 
of 1 lie armv had embarked, was ordered to remain two 
months. Most of the corps of the army embarked in the 
most healthy state. 

" To conclude," savs the author, *' never, perhaps, was 
there an armv embarked for any service more healthy than 
the Indian army was when it re embarked on its return 
from Etrvpt. 

'^ Pre\'iouslv to the arrival of the army from Egvpt, in 
order to provide a^ainsLthe introd-iction of the plague into 
India, quarantines were established at the presidencies of 
Bombay, Bengal, and Madras, as well as at the island of 
Ceylon. The principal of these was at Butcher's Island, 
near Bombay, where there were pest and quarantine esta- 
blishments, of which, on my arrival in .June, I took the 
charge. At this period, letters from Dr. Short, at Bagdad, 
and from Mr. Milne, at Bassorah, described the plague as 
raging in Persia, and particularly at Ispahan and Bagdad : in 
consequence of this information, every vessel, both from 
the Red Sea .and Persian Gulf, was ordered lo Butcher's 

*' As the ships arrived, the troops from the Red Sea were 
landed; but the artilleiy, &6th regin)cnt, 1st Bombay regi- 
ment, and the commissariat department, were so uncom- 
monly healthy, that I detained them but a very feu^ days on 
the island. 

** The 7th Bombay regiment landed at Butcher's Island 
in August. As this was the corps in which toe jilague bad 
principally prevailed, though they were not unhealthy, 
I judged it p'.uiient to detain them a month. On my last 


344 Xoi'ices respecting New Books. 

inspection of them before they left the island, of a total of 
seven hundred, including sepoys, their wives, and the 
public and private followers of the corps, 1 feund only four 
sick, and these I believe were all catarrhs. 

*' Dr. Henderson, with the pcst-establishmcnt, and all 
those whom we had left at Suez, arrived at Butcher's Island 
on the I St September. The convalescents from the plague, 
as well as the guard, and the pest-house servants, were, on 
their arrival, all of them very healthy : hut T thought it safe 
to keep them in quarantine on the island till October; when, 
like all the others who had been in quarantine, they were 
provided with new clothing and sent over to Bombay. 

'• The company's packets from Bassorah, and the vessels 
which arrived from the Persian Gulf, had none of them the 
least suspicious appearance, and I found that their crews 
were all verv health v. 

*' 1 had likewise the satisfaction to receive accounts from 
the medical gentlemen employed in the expedition, after 
their arrival at Calcutta, Madras, and Ceylon : their ac- 
counts were so late as November, In none of the corps did 
any death occur from the time of embarkation at Suez." 

In part second, the author gives some observations on the 
climate of Egypt, as connected Vvith the diseases which pre- 
vail HI that country. 

" The cultivated part of 'F-gS'pt, particularly the Delta, is 
a very rich country; in fertility and luxuriance of soil yield- 
ing to none under the face of heaven. The art of husbandry- 
is there but impcrfectlv -known ; and at their harvests there 
is a verv great destruction of vegetable n)atter, from which 
hvdrogene gas, or hvdro-carbonate, is extricated in great 
quantities. Under siuiilar circumstances, in America as 
well as in India, I have seen a bad fever of the intermittent 
or remittent type appear. But in Egypt after the subsiding 
of the Nile, which in manv places had covered a great ex- 
tent of country, there is a great exlialation from the mud, 
and from the putrid animal and vegetable matters left be- 
hind. The efiUnia of these substances, ac'inir on the human 
body,wi]i readi'lvaccountformuch disease. If we add to these 
the extreme fillli of the inhabitants of Egypt, their pool diet, 
their narrow, close, and ill-venlilated apartments, generally 
much crowded, with the extreme narrowness of their streets, 
and the bad pf^icr of their towns, wc shall not be astonished 
if a fever, at first intermittent or remittent, should have 
symptoms denominated nvalicnani, superadded lo the more 
ordinary symptoms of the disease. If an imported conta- 
gion shoiilu Pi.tke its appcaranie at tlu- .-amc time, and 


Notices respecting New Books. 3-15 

under the above circumstances^ we expect a most terrible 

" The dry parciiing wind, which comes over the desert, 
a^id which at certain seasons blows in Kgypt and in Arabia, is 
well known, and was often severely felt by the army on their 
march, both across the desert and ■ the isthmus of Suez, 
The whirhviiids of sand roll with great ini})etuositv, are 
very troublesome, and insinuate fine sand and dust every 
where. It is hardly possible to keep the minute particles 
out of the eyes. 

^' The dews, which fall in Egypt, I always heard were 
very heavy, and were a cause of tlie diseases of the couuirv. 
1 had occasion too, more than once, to hear the natives at- 
tribute much to them as the cause of their diseases ; with 
what justice I will not pretend to decide. From some ex- 
periments which I made in India, on the Red Sea, and lastly 
in Egypt, I am inclined to think that thev are equally heavy 
in the two former as in the latter quarter. After weighing 
the matter carefuUv, I took a quantity of lint, twelve inches 
square, exposed it for a night to the dew, and, by weighing 
it in the morning again, ascertained the quantity which it 
had gained. I ani aware that this is by no means a nice ex- 
periment, and that in the performance of it several particu- 
lars demand attention ; but it is sufficient to our purpose, 
and I learned bv it, tliat, in the island of Bombay, on the 
Red Sea, and in Lower Egypt, the quantity of dew which 
falls is nearly equal. 

" It ought to be mentioned, that, during the year we 
were in Eoypt, the season was not the usual one. There 
was a greater overflow of the Nile. It rose higher, on the 
Nilometer than it had done for several former years, and it 
was remarked to be much later in subsiding at Rosetta. 

'' The fall of rain at Alexandria was greater than on for- 
mer years; and, at Rosetta, the rains were in setting-in later 
than usual. The season of the plague set-in much earlier 
than usual*. 

" In general, the Thebaid, or Upper tlgypt, is he:dthicr 
than the Lower, Never v.'crc troops niore healthy than the 
army when encamprd near Ghenne. 

" Ghiza, the anticnt Memphis, at the. time the army 
disembarked there from Upper Egypt, we found to be a 
very unhealthy quarter. For a considerable time, and im- 
mediately before the arrival of the Indian army, it had been 

* These circumstances T learned from a member of the French In=titu:e, 
and from the Pharmacien en Chif to the French army, who often related to 
nc the order which Bonaparte gave hini to poison the wounded with cpiinrj 


346 Notices respect big New Books. 

fhe station of large armies : alternately of Turks, Mameluke-4, 
French, and Engiish. From all these armies a number died 
at Ghiza, and there was much tilth and noxious effluvia. 
We saw there enough of putrid animal matter to generate 
contagion. Whether this was or was not the cause of the 
fever which prevailed, 1 will not attempt to decide. One 
circumstance may be mentioned : we were here joined by a 
detachment of the 86th regiment under colonel Lloyd, 
which, for some montlis before, had been doing duty with 
the vii^ier's army, which never was healthy. That the cir- 
cumstances which existed at the time of our occupying 
Ghiza were the cause of th(2 fever, is manifest from this, that, 
subsequently to the army going to the coast, the garrison 
left in it found Ghiza a most healthy quarter. The same 
objections are to be made to iihoda that are applicable to any 
niarshv situation." 

In the third ]>art of this work, which gives an account of 
the diseases of Egvpt, Mr. Macgregor has brought forward 
some new facts in regard to the plague, and particularly the 
treatment, which are well worth the attention of medical 
men in general, and of those in particular who may visit 
countries where this disease is prevalent. It is conmionly 
believed, that the progress of this contagion is stopped by ex- 
tremes of both heat and cold; but if this be true in regard to 
heat, it did not ajipear to be so in the army of Egypt in re- 
gard to cold; for the period at \\hich the plague raged most 
was in the c(-idest months. In regard to tlic treatment, 
nitric acid was gi\'en internally, and where the patients would 
drink it it sb.owed good efleets. Bark, wine, and opium, 
were largely administered, and at a certain stage the cold 
bath, lor the purpose of obviating that debility which always 
appeared to be very great. At first, calomel was used only 
as a purgative, but at last tlie use of this remedy was carried 
farther. " On the whole," says the author, " in mercury 
and the nitric acid we appear to have excelient remedies for 
the plague ; bfit they must be very early and very liberally ex- 
hibited. If the first sta^e is allowed to pass over before 
they are given, the season of doing it with advantage is in 
danger of being lost ." In regard to preventive means, the 
following observation seems so well calculated to remove 
that des])ondency which oenerally prevails when ti)e plague 
exercises its ravages, that we cannot help quoting it. 

" 'I'here was hardly a corps in the army,"" says the author, 
** where, at one period or other, the disease did not make its 
appearance; but it was always in our power to arrest its pro- 
gress. In well regulated corps, wheie a rigid d.scipline was 
8 enforced. 

Notices respecting IVew Books. 347 

etiforced, and proper attention to the interior economy was 
paid, it rarely happened, indeed, that much ditHcuhy was ex- 
perienced in eradicating the contagion. As our success in 
the prevention," adds he, " was so great, all that reniains 
for me is to mention the substance of general Baird's order to 
the army on the subject. 

** 1st, To everv hospital, an ob-";crvation-room, or in lieu 
of it a tent was attached ; and to it everv ca^e whatever with 
tVbrile symptoms was sent, as soon as discovered, and was 
there most strictly watched by the surgeon. 

" 2diy, On any symptoms ot" the plague appearing, the 
case was instantly sent to the pest-liouse from the obser\'^- 
tion-room of the regimental hos])ital : the patient was ac- 
companied bv the medical gentlemen of this corps who 
attended him, and who gave the medical gentlemen at 
the pest-house an account of the previous treatment of the 

'^ If anv doubt remained, the patient in the first instance 
was placed in the observation- room of the pest-house ; and, 
if the disease did not turn out to be plague, he was sent ta 
the quarantine. 

** 3dly, In every corps, and in every department, a minute 
inspection bv the surgeon was made twice a Vvcek ; and every 
person with the smallest appearance of ill -health was senC 
to the hospital. 

" 4thly, Everv corps or hospilal, where a case of plague 
had appeared, was put into a state of quarantine ; and, in 
such corps or hospital, an inspection by the surgeons wfis 
made at least two or three times a day ; and every case with< 
suspicious symptoms was ordered to ihe observation-roonr, 

" 5thly, In suspected coips it v.'as ordered, that, under 
the inspection of a comnussioned officer, every person 
should be bathed more frequenilv, and at stated periods j 
and, likev-.ise, that all their clothing and bedding should be 
frequently washed and baked. To all the hospitals, ovens 
and smoking-rooms were attached. 

'* Cihly, Quarters of corps, hospitals, and ground of en- 
campments, were frequentlv changed. 

*' 7thlv, Much is to he attributerl to the nitrous fumisa- 
tlon. In several instances it was attended w'ith the Lest 
effects, 'i'he laray)S, with this, were kept cons-lantly burn- 
ing in the observution-rooiris, and in the rooms from Vv'hich 
the cases of the plague had come. Vessels, with the ma- 
terials for the fumigation, were likewise placed under the 
beds, and in the corners of the room-:. When our stock of 
nitre wa- at length exhausted, we substituted marine salt 


34b Notices respecting New Books. 

for it; but this fumigation could not be kept up n\ room& 
where the patients were all confined to their beds." 

'i'he next inaladv which engages the author's attention is 
the ophlhaluiia, which in Kgypt at particular seasons is a 
must generally-j:>revailiug disease. It is not, however, con- 
fined to the human race ; the animals of the country, parti- 
cularly the dogs and camels, are subject to its attacks. In 
Egypt it proved most distressing and obstinate. The French, 
it was sard, sent from Egvpi to France 1000 blind men. 
The nun)ber sent home from the English armv was very 
considerable likewise. Of the Indian army .50 were sent 
home invalids from. bhndness; most of whom were from the 
10th and 68th regiments. 

" The disease, I think," savs tlie author, '^ might gcnc- 
rallv be resolved u)io, l^l, (.-iUier of CuUen's two species, 
the ophthalmia tarsi and tiie ophtliahnia membranarum ; 
Sdlv, to a combination of these two; or, 3dlv, to a species 
of ophthalmia, frei[ueut in India, symptomatic of disease iu 
the biliary secretion. 

" The appearance which the disease put on, particularly 
the two first species of it, was nearly what we have seen 
in other parts of the world ; except that the symptoms ad- 
vanced with alarming rapidity to the highest inflammatory 
stages. In most cases the attack was sudden, and \erv ge- 
nerally at nitdit. Speedily, the patient complained of a 
burning heat of the eye-ball, or of a sensation of needles 
being passed throuoh the eye. There was a considerable 
swellmg of the ball of the eye, of the eye-lids, and some- 
times of the neighbouring parts. Almost always, there was 
a copious flow of tears, which felt hot and sc^ldmn;, and, as 
thev flowed, excoriated the face down. Very frequently, 
there was a racking head-ach and general fever. GF^dema 
of the eve-lids was frequently met with in the early stage of 
the disease, and inversion of the cilia in the last stages. 

" 'Jlie disease very often continued two or three months : 
after it had continued some time, the general health became 
umeh impaired. It often terminated in diarrhoea or dyfcn- 
terv, and sometimes the patient became hectic. 

" In the third species of the disciiee, which I have men- 
lioned, there was not son)ueh active inflammation as in tlie 
other tv, () species ; and it was generally known by a yellow 
tinge of the adnata, or by dyspeptic symptoms being pre- 
sent ; though, sometimes, we have seen those appearances 
absent: and no topical apjiliealion had anv eifeci in re- 
moviiiir the oplithahnia, till the gums were aiiected by calo- 
mel, o: some niercuiial preparation. 

<' la 

Notices respecting New Books, 349 

^' Ja tlie two first species of ihe disease; the inflammation, 
in a great main' iii.nauees, induced fever of manv days du- 
ration, and the disease too frequently terminated in opacity 
of the cornea, or in suppuration of the eye-ball; 

" In the treatment, it appt^ars, from tlie reports, that dif^ 
ferent gentlemen followed very difTerjnt modes. We said, in 
{reneral, that the European practice did not succeed. Scari- 
Jication and astringent collyria, in the first stage, gave into- 
k'rabie pain, and generally aggravated the symptoms. 

*' The practice of the natives was, to apply, in the first 
stage, emollient decoctions of their plants, and poullict;s of 
the kali. In the last stage, they rely much on the frequently 
bathing of the eye in the cold water of the Nile ; thev are like- 
wise very fond of bleeding} and I understood that some- 
times they use the actual cauterv, burning behind the car 
w here we usually applv blisters. 

" The practice, which appeared to be by far the most suc- 
cessful, was the following: 

" For the first twenty-Tour or thirty-six hours after ad- 
mission, the eves of every patient were carefully syrintied 
w itli tepid water, w hich had been filtered carefully. ITe 
Syringing was performed from three to six times in the day; 
tlie light was carefully excluded, the patient kept cool, and 
every other pirt of the antiphlogistic regimen strictly en- 
forced. Alter the above period, a weak solution of sugar 
of lead, or of camphir, or vitriolated zinc, was applied. 
Where the pain was nmcli complained of, a solution of 
opium was added to the collyrium; opium was applied in a 
tataplasm, or two or three drops of laudanum were let fall 
into the eve* 

*^ If there was much swelling, a saturnine poultice, or the 
coaguhnn aluniinosum, was applied to the eyes. I ob- 
served, that blistering a large surface, and as near as pos- 
sible lo the seat of the pain, if kept discharging for some 
time, always atlorded great relief. 

'' To remove the fever and to alleviate the distressing pain, 
we often gave opium internally in a considerable quautit\', 
and with great advantage. 

" Setons in the neck and the free use of bark appeared to 
be of the greatest service^ when the disease was of long 

" In opacity of the cornea, and when there were specks, 
several gentlemen thought highly of the aqua phagodfeuicH 
of the old pharmacopceias, after having divided the vessels 
Ahicli went to the speck. It gave very pungent pain ; but 

VqI. Q?. No. 88. Sept. ).S05. Z I hav. 

350 Notices respecting New Books, 

I iiave seen great relief from it, and also from a solution of 
lunar caustic. 

** As H collyrium in Egypt, T often gave with considerable 
benefit what I found in the hands of the black doctors in 
India, viz, a tea spoonful of lime-juice to four table spoon- 
fuls of water, or a tea spoonful of arrack to two table spoon- 
fuls of water. In the first stage, I would have applied 
leech*. s, but never could procure them. 

''In Persia, Dr. Short inforuis me, that he was very suc- 
cessful iu the general use of an ointment, con)poscd of white 
vitriol, tuttey, and cinnabar, alter the application of leeches 
and scarification. 

" From the days of Prospet Alpinus, the salts contained 
in the soil of Egypt have been supposed to be among the 
principal causes of the opiilhalmia of the couutrv. Tiiough 
the various modificatioas of light and heat no doubt act as 
exi'r^tiug causes; yet to the particular soil of Egypt, and to 
the constitution of t)ie air there, we must look for the re- 
gular and the principal causes of this disease. 

*' In Egvpt several causes occurred, which in any country, 
separately applied, would be adequate to the production of 
violent ophthalmia : the dry, white, dazzling soil, and 
the fine sand and dust constantly thrown about in whirl- 
winds and entering every crevice. If an ophthalmia is epi- 
demical or is endemic in Egypt, the above causes will ren- 
der it a very violent disease." 

The other diseases mentioned by the author as prevalent 
in the Indian army, are, fever, hepatitis, or the liver com- 
pljtint, dysentery, pneumonia and rheumatism, small -pox, 
diarrhoea, scurvy, svphiiis, the guinea- worm, ulcers, and 
tetanus. In regard to the i£uinea-worm, it did not fre- 
quemJy apfxiar in the Indian army while they were ni 
Egypt, but on the voyage thither it pre\ailed very much. 
Soon after sailinii" from Ceylon, it made its appearance in 
the SStli reginjcnl, and by the time the army reached the 
straits of Babchnandel it was in the most alarming state. 
Of 3C)0 men whose services might be daily required, no less 
than li')l were crippled, and laid up with this loathsome 

. " The disea:>e was pretty unih)rm in the manner of its 
appearance, 'ihc patient was first sensible of an itching; 
and, on looking at the part, generally (observed a small 
blister : sometimes I have seen three or four small blisters, 
and the part having the ajipearance of being stung with 
riettlcs. .When tht. bli.-tcr uas '^nipped, a piece of mucu? 



Notices respecting New Books. 351 

of the breadth of sixpence was seen underneath ; which being 
removed, the head of the worm was seen. It was in ge- 
neral firmlv attached, and required force to detach it from 
the parts underneath. When detached uith the forceps, 
we twisted it round a ligature or piece of hut, and thus, 
often on the first day, succeeded in extracting a foot, or 
even two, of the worm. It resembled much what is called 
bobbin, and was about the same size. It was transparent 
and moist, a white liquid being seen in it. We continued, 
daily, extracting as nmch of it as would come out with gentle 
pulling. It was always dangerous to pull strongly, for fear 
of breaking the worm : it then occasioned the most acute 
pain, and there followed much swelling, with inflammation of 
the neighbouring parts, sometimes of two or three weeks 
continuance ; when the worm would show itself at another 
part, as at first, with itching and a blister. 

" It seldom appeared to be deeply seated ; generally, 
under the cutis, or among the tela cellulosa, when we could 
often trace it in its course, and sometimes see it : sometimes . 
it was under the fascia, and but seldom among the muscles. 
" If not ushered in with fever, it was almost always at- 
tended with it in its course : when there was considerable 
inflammation, it ran very high. In seven cases mortification 
took place, and very large sloughs were cast off. In a few 
cases, there was a very considerable and alarming hee- 

*' By presenting itself at different places, it would often 
leave two or three large, foul, and fistulous ulcers in dif- 
ferent parts of a limb. When the inuammation has run 
Tery high, as I have often seen of the whole leg or thigh ; 
and when a profuse suppuration followed ; the worm fre- 
quentlv has come out dead, often in pieces, with the sanies ; 
by which, probablv, it had been eroded and killed. 

*' Frequently, after extracting ot^e worm from a patient, 
a second, a third, or even a fourth, would appear : after get- 
ting one out of a leg, a second would appear in the other, a 
third in one hand, and a fourth in the other hand. 

" The guinea-worm, I believe, has been seen in every 
part of the body. Though the extremities appear to be its 
favourite seats, yet the face, breast, back, penis, &c. are not 
exempted from its visits. I heard of a gentleman in Bombay 
who had one in iiis scrotum and penis, and of a lady who 
had one in the pudenda. 

'"'" The followina I extract from my case- book and notes, 
taken on board the Minerva, by which it will be seen that 

Z 2 ' the 


Notices' )-cspcctbig New Books. 

the extremities arc as much more frequently its principal an'i 
first seat, is in the itch. 


- - 








Hands Arn-.s 


C e^ 





1 — . 





















39 ; 





. n 


2\ 7 



** As to the catwcs of the appearance of the guinea- worm, 
and the mode in which it is generated, I must confess thai 
I have no account that I could venture to ot^er here. 

" In dift'crent parts of the \AorId, the water drank is ac- 
cused of occasion ng i'ltestinal wornas, as the tceniain Swit- 
zerland, and tlic t;enia and the terctes in- the West Indies ; 
wiiere, likewise, I have heard the n-mcilaginous vegetabW 
eaten asbigued a* a cause of the frequent appearance of 
worms. In Russia:, there is a worm,, the lumbricus mih- 
tcnsis, common near svvampv grounds. In Russia and in 
Siberia, in the same situations, the taenia infcrnalis prevails-. 
But, after what has been here stated, we cannot bring the 
water, drank on board the IMinervij, or at Bombay, to ac- 
count for the guinea-worm which prevailed : in fact, the 
water came from diflerent and distant quarters, Bombay, 
Cevlon, and Madras. Besides, the officers of the S8th, 
and tlie artiilerv, drartk the s-auie water, and escaped. 

*' No case o-f giiinea-worm had bt-en known among either 
the I^afcars or Kuropean sailors in the Minerva, when the 
Stith and 6Sih embarked in her. 

" I have good rea.*on to think that the spreading of the 
guinea-worm nvav be sfopped, whenever it does appear. 
The means v.hleli w,* adopted appeared to succeed. Ex- 
treme atienliou to cleanliness is indispensably necessary. 

" la India the lialivc doctors are much more successful 
in gctlinuc out ll)e worm;, than lairopeans. After long 
i'celing wiih then- lingers, for the body of the worm, they 
make an incision as nearlv a- thev c;u\ judge over its mid- 
dle, and, pulhng the worm b>,' a dupllcalure of it, draw out 
both ends of the worm at one time, i have often endea- 
voured to imitate this pratiice. My sense of touch was next 
:'0 delicate, aud did not guide me so correctly as it did the 
J finduo doctor.- : but I always found thai when, on cuttinj 

dou a 

Royal Socidy of Londov. — Ttylermn Society, 353 

"d'own to it, I got on the middle of the worm, and by the 
forceps pulled this outj 1 could with ease extract a large 
portion, and, not uniVequently, tkc whole worm. 

" Leeches, astringent and seckuive lotions, cataplasms, 
fomentations, &c. were applied, as required by the circum- 
stances of the case. A good deal of attention was paid 
to the disease, in all its stages ; and several experiments were 
made tia the worm, which, however, it is needless to detail 

" After using a vavk tv of articles, in the treatment of 
the guinea-worm, and making them enter the system bv the 
absorbents, I think that unctuous substances succeeded the 
best, particularly mercurial ointment, l^assing an electri- 
cal shock throug'h the part had «o eflect." 

Wjc cannot conclude this article -without expressino- our 
tvianks to Mr. Macgregor, for the information he has added 
tq our stock of aiiedical know ledge. Having enjoxed op- 
portunities which seldom fall to the lot of uiedlcaf practi- 
-tloners, he seems to have exerted himself as much as the 
shortness of the time would permit, to collect everv obser- 
vation that might be useful either to himself or to others in 
the same department. Many of the facts which he presents 
are new, and therefore worthy of more attention; his re- 
marks on them are judicious, and appear to be the result of 
a sound judgment united to long experience. In a word, 
we do not hesitate to recommend these sketches to the notice 
of medical men iu general; and we have no doubt that they 
will be found of great utility to those whose employment 
may lead them to the same countries which were visited 
bv the author. 

J-.IV. Proceedings of Learned Societies. 


In an ingenious paper lately sent by Dr. Herschel to this 
learned body, that eminent astronomer announces a new 
discovery respecting Saturn. The form of that planet he 
.has discovered to be that of a cube with its angles and 
edjies truncated, which he ascribes to the attructlon of the 


This society, in the sitting of October 30, last year, pro.- 

posed as the subject of a prize the following question : — 

*'* To discover in history, and explain briefly, u hat have been 

'7.3 ' tke 

354 French National Institute. 

the revolutions in poetry, not only among the antient na- 
tions best known, but among modern nations, dating from 
the epoch at which they can be reckoned aniong civilized 

The society desires that the author will examine whether 
the revolutions, progress, and decline ofpoeiiy, as well as 
the. variations of its forms, amona; civilized nations, have 
followed the progress of their moral, civil, and rehgious 
knowledge, and of the other sciences, or have been inde- 
pendent of them ? 

The memoirs must be transmitted to the societv, with 
the proper address, before the 1st of April 1806. The 
prize is a gold medal value 400 florins. 

The society renewed at the same time, and with the same 
prize, another question, before proposed, to which no suf- 
ficient answer had been received : — " Does the history of 
the moral sciences prove that the application of metaphy- 
sical theories has been useful to their progress ? or does it 
teach u.^ on the contrarv, that no progress can be made in 
these sciences but by observation, experiments, the conse- 
quences deduced from them, and the scientiilc calculations 
established on these data ? And v/hat rules does the history 
of science prescribe in this respect, to those who wish to 
contribute in the most effectual manner to its progress? 

The memoirs for these two prizes may be written in 
Dutch, Latin, French, English, or German; but not in 
German characters. The address is, Aan T>/lers Fundatie 
Huiiy at Haerlem. 


Jn Account of the Lalours of the Class of the Mathema- 
tical and Physical Sciences of the French National Insti- 
tute from the 20th of June 1804 to the same Day 1S05. 
By M. CuviEii, perpetual Secretary. 

[Continued from p. 278.] 

M. Dessaerts has comnnmicated a singular medical fact, 
made known'to him by M. Burtiui, phvsician of Asti. A 
young woman, after a severe indisposition, accompanied by 
a tumour in the region of the liver, voided fourteen bladders 
of the size of an egg, the shells of which have not become 
hard, and tilled with a glutinous liquor a little yellowish in 
the middle. A report had been spread among the people 
that this young woman laid real eggs. These bladders, 
according to JVI. Rurtini, had no appearance of bodies that 
had ever been animated. 

• AI. Dessaerts, 

French National Inst it uie, 355 

M. Dtssierts, extending this latter observation to the 
bladders to which naturaUsts have given the name of hy~ 
datides, and which they consider as real animals, thence 
conchides that this opinion of naturalists is very doubtful ; 
and he announces that he proposes to combat it in a memoir 
■.vhich he will soon present : he flatters himself that he shall 
be able to show, from powerful authority, that the melan- 
choly decision of tiie hvdatidts being: an incurable disease, 
is void of foundation. 

A great and important work in medicine has appeared 
this year. It is the mecUcal anatomy of M. Portal, in 
which, besides a new and detailed description of the human 
body, he has given an account of every thing he has ac- 
quired by long and extensive practice in regard to laesions 
of the organs, and their relation to the apparent symptoms 
of different affections. 


By M. Delambre, perpetttal Secretary, 


Huygens has given in his treatise De Horologie Oscilla- 
torio the two following theorems, which may be applied to 
all solid bodies ; The centre qf'u^cillation and that of suspen~ 
sion arc always reciprocal one uith the other ; the same body 
is always isochronous to itself when it oscillates around pa- 
rallel axes taken at equal disfances from the centres of gra- 
vity. M. Biot has given to these theorems a remarkable 

All these parallel axes form the surface of a right cylin- 
der, the axis of which passes throuixh the centre of gravity. 
But the analytical expressiv)n under which M. Eiot presents 
the theorem of Huygeus showed him that an arbitrary in- 
clination might be given to this axis, provided that the radius 
of the cylinder should be also changed in a proper manner. 
Bv these means there will be obtained, according to the 
different values of the inclination, an infinite number of 
cvlinders the edges of which have the same propcriits as 
those of the primitive cvlindcr. But this is not all : the 
axis, without changing its inclination, may describe a coni- 
cal surface around its primitive position, which still multi- 
plies the numi^er of the c\ liivJi-.s already found, as many 
times as there n}ay be cniiCL-ived ridges on the surface ot 
the cone. 

The same analytical expression being of the second degree 
in regard to the radius of the cylinder, or, what amounts to 

Z -i thi 

356 French National Institute. 

the same thing, in regard to the distance of the ct-ntre of 
gravity from the porut of suspensioiij this consideration 
alone conducts to a theorem analogous to the tirst of the 
two, for which we are indebted to Huvsjcns ; — a new proof 
of the great fecundity of algebraical expressions, when one 
has the art of giving the most proper form to all their de- 

Pleasuring of Thights ly means of the Barmncter. 

The celebrated experiment devised by Pascal, and which 
proved that a colunm of mercury decreased in proportion 
as the barometer was carried to a greater height, after liav- 
ing proved the gravity of the air, must have made the mer- 
cury be considered as a scale capable of measuring the height 
to which it i? carried. But this scale being very small in 
comparison of the heights which it ouccht to measure, it 
was soon perceived that it would be nccessarv to improve 
the construction of the barometer so far as to render sensi- 
ble and appreciable the smallest changes in the height of 
the mercury. The necessity of avoidmg or of calculating 
the continual variations which the barometer experiences, 
even without changing; its place, presented another cbstacle 
much more formidable, and which seemed to take away all 
hope of approaching the truth, or coming near it. These 
diilrculties, however, philosophers have been able to sur- 
mount; so that barometric measures, properly employed, 
may vie in exactness v»'ith the trigonometrical measures, to 
which they are superior on account of their facility and the 
generality of the method. 

Among the different formub-e given for the solution of 
this problem, that of M. Laplace is distinguished by the 
manner in which it has been deduced from theory ; but the 
principal cu-etiicicnt, drawn from an observation whicli 
ajipears not to have been free from error, might have need 
of some modification. Thi^ M. Ramond has examined ia 
a' memoir, of which wc shall o^ive some acco\mt. B\- hi^ 
numerous experiments made on diflercnt mountains, he 
found what are the circunistancgs most {'ax'ourable to such 
observations, as well as the hours which ought to be chosen 
or avoided ; for there are some causes the effects of which 
must be very sensible, and which, however, it is impossible 
always to take into account in calculations. Such are the 
ascending or descending winds, which, according to Af. Ra- 
mond, prevail almost constantly at certain hours. Some, 
by lessening the weight of the column of air with which 
the mercury is in tcpiilibrium, must alio lessen that colunm, 


French Kat'wnal Insfltute. 357 

And make heights to be considered as too great : desccnd- 
inc; winds nece?3arilv produce a conlrarv eficct. 1 he ino- 
nicnt w hen the equilibrium of the atmosphere is not dis- 
turbed by either of these causes must therefore be chosg^, 
and that moment is the middle of the day. But M. Ra- 
mond observed also, that the descending winds prevail 
oftener than others ; and he cqnclndes tliat in general the 
ineat\ results of observations must give heights too small. 

To make a proper choice of tiie n)omerit is not all ; no 
less care and attention is requisite in the choice of 'he sta- 
tions : sinmltlmeous observatioiis, some made in t'r.e place 
the Iieight of which is required, and others in a fixed place 
the height of wliieh above the level of the sea is perfectly 
known, arc necessarv. Those also who wish to veriiy a 
formula must have the same knov\'ledge of the heiglit of the 
mountain to which the barometer is carried ; and that no 
phjectit)n may be made to the conclusion, it is necessarv that 
the two stations should be suPneientlv near, and that iiotliing 
interrupts the communication, so that the atmospheric va- 
riations which arise in the one may also take place in the 
other. ]M. Ramonxl found all these advantages united in the 
Peak of Bigorre, and the town of Tarbes, where M. Dann-os, 
a celebrated astrc^nomer, was pleased to take upon himself 
the corresponding observations. 

It was by these means, and with these attentions, that 
]\I. Ramond found the correction of the co-etBeicnt of La- 
place ; after which he applied the formula thus corrected, 
in conjunction with several other known fornnda?, to caJ- 
culate the aerostatic ascent of M. Gav-Lussac, who rose to 
the greatest height ever attained by man, since it surpasses 
that of all the mountans on the earth. 

He applies also all these formulae to the observations 
conmumieated to the cla^s by M. Humboldt, and wiiich 
were made on th-; highest mountains of Peru, and pariicn- 
Jarly Chimborac^-o, several hundreds of metres above the 
point at which Condamine, the most intrepid of ouracadc- 
jnicians, was obliged to stop. 

it results from all these formulas, that the formula of La- 
place forms a pretty exact mean between alii the other for- 
mulae ; that it gives errors always vers' small, sometimes 
jnore sometimes less; and that the sum of these errors di- 
vided by the number of observations scarcelv indicates 
l-]O0dth as the ulterior correction of the co-efficient de- 
termined by M. Ramond. 

This memoir is terminated bv an appendix, in which arc 
given models of all the calculation?, tables for shortening 


358 French National Institute. 

the operations, and reflections on some small corrections 
which may be neglected in the most common circumstances. 

Terrestrial Magnetism, 

The observations oFthe magnetic iieedle which iM. Hum- 
boldt made with great care in the cumtries which he vi- 
sited, have o;ivcn M. Biot the idea and the means of makinjc 
researches in regard to the mathematical theory of terres- 
trial magnetism *. 


The results of the attempts hitherto made by the society 
in England for making discoveries in the interior parts of 
Africa are well known. Bv the accounts of (he different 
travels it caused to be undertaken, the difficulties and danger 
which attend such expeditions are seen, and it mav therefore 
be rcadilv conceived why that part of the world is so little 
known. There was reason to think that the antients had a 
more extensive and correct knowledtrc- of it ; and in conse- 
quence of this idea the Class of the Moral and Political Sci- 
ences proposed, as the subject of a prize in the year 9, a 
comparison of the geography of Ptolemy concerning the 
interior of Africa with what has been since written on it by 
modern authors and thtrse of the middle ages. As no me- 
moir was presented, and as the subject of the prize was 
withdrawn, M. Buache thought it his duty to communi- 
cate to the class a detail of the researches which he had be- 
fore made on the sair)e subject. In 1 7&7> before the forma- 
tion of the English African vSocietv, he had announced his 
opinion in regard to it, in a memoir read in a public sitting 
of the Academy of Sciences ; and this opinion, contrary to 
all the idea? before received, was of such a nature as to ex- 
cite t lie attention of geographers, had it been developed as 
it is in the new memoir w hich M. I'uache presented to the 
class this year. 

In this memoir, which is entitled Researches in regard to 
the Interior of Libya of Ptolewy, the author exomines in 
succession, and in the order in which they are, all the de- 
tails contained in the sixth and fourth books of Ptolemy ; 
and acoordins; to the various infr>rmation he has found, and 
which he discusses bv presenting them uuvler their real 
point of view, he endeavours to indicate ncarlv (lie position 
of the dliVercnt objects described bv the anlient geograj)hcr. 
He presents this inmicnse labour onlv as a mere conmicn- 
tarv, uesiinexl to throw light on the knowledge which thc 

* See iiis p.^u-r on this subject in '.he last and jirestr.t Number. 


French National Institute. 359 

antients had acquired in regard to tiie interior parts of 
Africa, aud to furnish some infornmtion useful to new tra- 
vellers, and to the learned who are interested in the progress 
of discovery. By allowing to the knowledge of the antients 
much more extent than is generally supposed, he is obliged, 
by the gross errors which he corrects, and of which he 
shows the cause, to deny the exactness ascribed to them by 
some authors. As we cannot here give an idea of this la- 
bour, we shall confine ourselves to the principal results. 
According to the opinion of Al. Buache, the knowledo-e of 
the antients along tlie western coasts of Africa extended as 
far as the Cape of Palnis, and to the commencement of the 
Gulph of Guinea : they had only a vague idea (^f that (rulph, 
because they durst not enter it; but they sailed without dif- 
ficulty as far as Sierra Leone and the banks of St. Anne, 
which represent to us the Hi/pnciromos JEthiopice ; and all 
the coast to that place was well known to them. On this 
first point M. Buache agrees with Danville and major Ren- 

In regard to the interior of that countrv the antients di- 
stinguished two large rivers, the Niger and the Gir. Ac- 
cording to Danville, whose opinion has been hitherto 
adopted, the Niger was that great river which waters Ni- 
gritia, directing its course from west to east; and the Gir^ 
that which waters the kingdom ot" Bournon from north to 
south, and which then proceeds to tbe Nile. According 
to M. Buache, the Niger of Ptolemy is con:]posed of the 
river Senegal and that part of the Joliba discovered by 
jVIungo Park, and the G:r is a river which waters Nioriti'a 
along with the Joliba, M, Buache, therct'ore, establishes 
on the Joliba and the Senegal the people and tou'ns which 
Ptolemy has placed near the river Niger: and transports to 
Nigritia, on the Niger of Danville, the people and towns 
which Ptolemy indicates on the Gir. 

It appears to M. Buache, that the antients carried on 
along the coasts and into the interior of the same 
trade that they do at present, and in the same manner. 
They had establishments on the coast, and on the sreat n- 
vers which proceed thither, such as the Seneaarand the 
Gambia : ihey extended their commerce as far as the hanks 
of the Gir, but they did not penetrate beyond that river to- 
wards the south. Ptolemy speaks of no town bevond the 
Gir, but gives only the names of dilTerent tribes. 

A very curious observation, which is worthv of furtticr 
research, is that of several tribes whose names /are twice 
snentioned, and which are at considerable distances in I'to- 


.36(7 Trench National Instlinte, 

lemy's map. There are six in that part of the Barbani- coasfc 
comprehended between the two S\ rtes, and <icpci)ding oii 
jhe kingdom of Tripoli. Such are the Astacuri, the Dolo- 
pians, the ^liniaci, the Samamyci, the Kij;hcui, and the 
Esopici. It is wi^'ll known tliat this part ol" the coast of 
Africa is that by which a comnuinicaiiou may be most 
easily opened with the country of Nigritia, because there 
are fewer deserts to be traven^ed, and becavise the kingdoms 
of Fczzan, Aga.dez, and other?, \yl>cTe refresliments can be 
procured, are found on the route. It is to be remarked, 
that it is to the south of the sou;ccs of the Gir that the 
names of the abo,ve tribes are found; aad they 5:rc at a 
small distance from each, other, and near the coast of Bar- 
hary. M. B.uacbe prcis.umes, till further information be 
obtained, that these tribes were colonies of those on the 
coast of Barbary, aijd tiiat the coyntrieij whiiih they occupy 
to the gouth of the sources of the Gir, are the i»ost fertile 
and richest of the interior of Africa. This men)oir con- 
tains other observations equally interesting, which may af- 
ford encouragement to the prosecution of discoveries in this 
jxirt of the earth. 


M. Burckhardt, who received the first intelligence of the 
new planet discovered by M. Harding, has constantly fol- 
Jowcd, more than anv of our astronomers, the progress of 
this almost imperceptible body ; he has endeavoured also to 
determine the elcmenlp of its orbit. On the iCth Vende- 
miairchc presented to the class an ellipsis, the great semi- 
ax)s of which, or the mean distance from the sun, was 
nearly the same as that of Ceres and Pallas, and its cccen- 
tricitv greater than that even of Mercurv. In regard to the 
inclination, it is much less than that of Pallas, but greater 
than that of any other planet. M. Burckhardt, before he 
arrived at this ellipsis, had tried a parabola, and then a circle. 
Tw.ntv days after he read a new memoir, which confirnied 
all iiis former results ; but he gave to each element a more 
approximate value. On the 3d of Nivose he made kijown 
to us a third ellipsis, which differs from the second only 
by quantities almost insensible, and which cantiot be im- 
provetl but bv means of more numerous (jbservations, and 
made at more remote periods. 

M. Gauss, correspondent of the Institute, publi-hed also 
in Germany the elements of the same planet, fo'inded, in a 
great measure, on other observatinns, and whi.-h thiTervery 
htile from those of .M. Bur<"klKirdt. 

3 . This 

French National Institute. 561 

This new planet, therefore, so difficult to be seen, and 
the theory of which still announces greater difficulties to 
those who niav wisli to determine it, by calculating all the 
perturbations it may experience, seenis sufficiently known 
to be found without much trouble, when disengaged so far 
from the -^olar rays as r,o be again visible. 

Solstitial Equinoxes. 

Wc gave an account the preceding year of the observa- 
tions made with Borda's circle at the observatory Rue dc 
Paradis, to determine the equinoxes and the solstices. Since 
our last public sitting the same astronomer has observed two 
«evv equinoxes and two sol-stiees ; for the sky was too often 
obscured during the latter part u'i Prairial : yet, as he let slip 
no opportunity, we have already collected a great number of 
observations of tiic solstice which took place in the night 
between tlic second and tiiird of iMessidor, to be assured 
that the observations which we hope still to make may pro- 
duce great changes in the defmitive result-. 

The observation of the soisiices was employed by the an- 
4ient astronomers to determine the lengih of the longest 
day in everv climate, and the height of the pole for the 
place of observation. At jM-esent, we have means much 
more precise for ascertaining the height of the pole; and 
in regard to the length of the longest day, we already know 
it with more than sufficient exactness. But the solstices 
are still no less interesting to astronomy, which has no othei* 
method so natural of determining the obliquity of the ecli^>- 
lic ; that is to say, the angle formed, by the planes in which 
the annual and diurnal revolutions of tlie earth are effected 5 
the fundameutal element \\hich enters into ail our calcula- 
tions, and the Jixing of which is a matter of so much deli- 
cacy, that observations cannot be multiplied too much to 
determine properlv either the precise extent it had at a given 
period, or the variation which it annually experiences. 

It results from the observations of which we here give au 
account, that by a mcaii of twelve solstices, both of winter 
and summer, the mean obuquity must have been 23^^ 2?'' 
57" at the couimencemeut of the li)th century, and that 
it would be less by i" or -2" if we referred merely to tlxi 
last summer solstice. The annual diminuiion is still much 
more difficult to be known, since it supposes excellent ob- 
servations made at two periods sufficiently distant from each 
other. Theory would give it with more precision, were we 
uot obliged to ?uppost a ma^s rtspecting which there siiU 


36i; French National Institute, 

reniains some doubt. The observations of LacallTfe, Brad- 
ley, and Mayer, compared with those which we have men- 
tioned, and those of the niost celebrated modern observers, 
furnish quantities the extremes of which are A\" and 56^' 
for the present century; theory gives 52''; and this result 
has been adopted in tlie solar tables now printing. 

TIk' observation of the equinoxes furnishes the most na- 
tural and most exact nu:;ms of knowine; the lemjth of the 
year, the apparent motion ot the sun, and the pomt of the 
heavens from which the motion of all the stars is reckoned. 
The five last equinoxes, and more particularly those of the 
year 13, have fully confirmed the correction of from 4" 
to o", made some years ago, in the right ascensions of the 
star?, which serve as a foundation to all our ca'culations. 

JNI. Pictct, correspondc nt, has communicated to us the 
observation of an occultalion of the Pleiades by the moon, 
made at the obscrvat^rv of Geneva. 

An occultation of ■rr of Scorpio, observed on the 28th of 
Messidor, year 12, on the summit of Casuelta, a mountain 
in the kingdom of Valencia, has been found among the 
papers of M. Mechain, and will appear in the 6th volume 
of the Memoirs of the (Jla<?. This is the last observation 
made by an astronomer whose premature loss the luDtitutc 
will long regret. 

'ihere was found also among his papers a series of ob- 
servations of the comet which He discovered at Jjarcclona 
in 17L)3; it is also printed in the 6th volume of the Me- 
moirs, and will soon a})pear. 

M. Humboldt read in one of our sittings a n)emoir on 
the longitude of Mexico^ the capital of the kingdom of the 
same name. 

Geographers were little agreed in rcsiard to the positioti 
of that important point. The considerable diflcrenee which 
M. Humboldt found between his first observations and the 
last which were made by him, induced him to repeat them 
as often as he could, and by different methods. The di- 
stance of the moon from the stars, and the eclipses of se- 
veral satellites of Jupiter, constantly gave hiin the same re- 
suit ; which is incontesiably preferable to all tho^e which 
had appeared before. 

[To be continued.] 

IX. In- 

[ 363 ] 

LV. Iniell'igence and Miscellaneous Arildes. 


x\ LF.TTER from Italy, dated August 10, savs : " Mr. 
Hayttr, who obtained permission from the kinij of Naples 
to unroll the nianuscnpts found in Fferculaneum, begins now 
to reap the fruits of his labours and patience. The elevea 
young ni^n whom he emplovs for this purpose have become 
very expert, and labour with more dexterity than their pre- 
decessors. Mr. Hayter entertains hopes that he has found 
a whole Alenander, Ennius, and Polyhius. He has found 
a Greek writer named Colotos, whose philosophical works 
were before totally unknown. A valuable discovery is aa 
entire copv of Epicurus, of which we had before only frag- 
ments. There are still 600 manuscripts in the Museum of 

Naples, June 55. — x\ccording to the reports made to go- 
vernment of the state of the famous ruins of the antient 
city of Pcestum : and parlicularlv the larsrcst of the three 
temples, vxhich having been damaged by lightning was in 
danger of falling down, orders were given for its restoration. 
This design, however, having been prevented by different 
obstacles, the counsellor of state charged with the depart- 
ment of the fine arts, M. Seralli, sent to Pajstum, at the 
end of the last vear, don Felix Nicolassi, superintendant- 
general of the search for antiquities tliroughout the king- 
dom, in order to remove the rubbish from the lar^rest of 
the three temples, to examine it, and draw up a plan for 
its restoration. When the superintendant arrived along 
with Antonio Euonucci, he drew up a plan for the restora- 
tion of this monument of antiquity : which, being approved 
by government, was carried into execution in the course of 
the present year. During his stay at Peestum, while super- 
intending the works undertaken for removing the rubbish 
w4iich disfigured this antient monument, M. Nicolassi 
caused researches by digging to be made in several places, 
which were attended with the best success. He found, iu 
different tombs into which he entered, bronze arms, the 
sculpture of which \\a3 perfect, and which were highly in- 
teresting on account of the very remote period to which they 
belonged. He found there also bronze urns of the most 
elegant form ; some of baked clay, exceedingly curious, 
butli in regard to tlieir form, the subjects represented oa 


364 Earthquaki"^ 

theiM, and the perfection of the design : in a word, <i grcaS 
Tiuniber of military instruments and utensils, used foi* sacreJ 
as well as domestic purposes. Ex'act descriptions of these 
articles, as well as of the paintings found in these tombs, 
arc to be published. 

Governnicnt, no less attentive id the preservation of the 
objects of antiquity which exist in the environs of Pnz;^oli, 
lias charged M. Nicolasi to clear away the ruins which 
encumber the ttmple of Jiipiter Scrapie. The labour has 
been ail cad V beoun j and this antient temple \\ill soon be 
entirely di -covered, and frted from the stagnant water 
formed arounc! it, and which occasi(<ned the greatest incon- 
Veuicuce in rciiaid to the sitlubritv of the air in that countrv. 


Messrs. WomtnveH, Gautier, and Co., A highly resp?cftable 
mercantile firm in the city, have favoured us with the 
following particular account of the earthquake that took 
place in the kingdom of Naples, the 26th of July, and 
the erliption of Mount Vesuvius on the 12th of Augtisti 
as transmitted to them by Mr. Falconnet, a merchant of 
veracity, and much rei^pected at Naples : 

'* Naples, August 13,. — ^The following paHicuIars of the 
dreadful earthcjuake, on the 26th July, as received by go- 
vernment, dow n to the ^.Qth July, are the most accurate that 
have yet appeared. I procured a copy to be scut to you 
this post for ^•our information^ thai of your friends, and 
correspondents. Although I expressed to you bv mv former 
fetter my regret that no eruption of Mount \'csuviiis took 
place, and that, on the contrary, the little columns of fire 
that arose now and then were less since the earthquake, 
and how desirable it was that a vent should be given by an 
erupti(rn to the inflammable matter that seemed to exist in 
the bowels of the earth, I did not expect to have this day to 
announce to you, that mv wishes were aeeomi)l!shed last 
night, l)v an abundant eruption of lava iVom Mount W'su- 
vius ; which, though we did not feel any fresh shock of earth* 
quake since July •J6, yet now relieves us, in my liumble 
opinioii, from any further a))prehcnsion (rf new shocks. 

" In the course of yesterday, till seven o'clock in the 
eveniuir, Vesuvius was vcrv quiet, emitting but little smoke : 
it then increased, with flames at intervals : past nine o'clock, 
they became IVcquent, and T observed, when they fell, that 
the mouth of Vesuvius appeared still as a furiKice. 1 \^'a^ 
then on the terrace of mv countrv house, at St. .Icriv, west 
fnjm N'esuN iu<, and verv near it. Mrs. Falconnet iiad just 


EarthqTiake. 365 

left irie to sit down to supper in the dining-room next the 
terrace, and wished nie to come; — but the scene before me 
kept me some minutes longer. — [ joined her, and had not 
sat down a minute when her Enghsh maid called to us that 
the eruption was beginning. In an instatit we were on the! 
terrace, and observed its having oveVfloued on the same 
side as last year, and rushed down with such rapidity as to 
run more than a mile in ten minutes, and m a very short 
time it reached the valley towards Torre del Greco. This 
stream of lava was immense, and extended with aniazing 
rapidity over the country ; it divided itself in three branches, 
one of which, beyond the Torre del Greco, surrounded the 
country-house of the cardinal arclibishop of Naples, and be- 
fore mornino; reached the sea, and continued running into 
it. The stream of lava is much diminished ; but when it 
broke out last nieht, about tea minutes after ten o'clock, 
until twelve, it was a grand and splendid sight; and as it 
ran from north to south, and I was west of it, it repre- 
sented the back scenejy of Hell at an opera ; figure to your- 
self an immen'^e sheet of flames rising at least half a mile 
from the ground, and crowned by a black cloud which 
vanished by degrees. 

" Manv very valuable vineyards and have 
been destroyed ; and as tlie lava rushed out with very little 
noise and great rapidity, I am afraid some habitations on 
the brow of the hill will have been surrounded before the 
people were aware of the danger, or had time to escape : but 
a great part of the lava ran on that of liist year, 1779, which 
renders the mischief less. It surprises many strangers, how 
people will cultivate and live on sadi a spot, as the lava con- 
stantly takes that direction, south and south-east ; but the 
land is so very productive, that the temptation is not easily 

"All my family were perfectly composed during the 
whole of the eruption, and returned quieilv to bed at mid- 
night, as I had often taught them to wish ior it s^ince the 
earihquakt^, as a security from new siiocks. 

'' One cannot but regret that such a beautiful country as 
this, blessed with an admirable soil, fine situafioD, healthy 
chmate, and pure sky, >tu>uld be liable to sucli drawbacks 
?aid convulsicms of naiiite. But in this world we cannot 
expect enjoyments wuhout some alloy, and we must sub- 
mit to Providence, who has perhaps decreed in its wisdom, 
that a people too nmeh inclined to vices and immorahty, 
should be now and then recalled to a sense of its duties by 

\'ol. 22. No. S8. Sc'pl. 1S03. A a such 

366 Earthquake, 

such uncommon events, which happen when least thought 
of, I am truly, sir, your most obedient servant, 

(Signed) .1. L. Falconnet. 
*^ It is now eleven o'clock in the evening, and before 
closing this letter I looked at the lava : the stream cou- 
tinues, but it is nothing in comparison to lasl night, j 
heard a few hours ago, that there was an eruption ofVEtna 
in Sicily, but T could not trace that report to its source. 
Our last letters from Sicily make no mention of it, though 
much alarmed by an intense heat, that lasted five days, and 
in great apprehensions." 

Particular's of t/w Damaoes cawied ly ike Earih(///ake oj 
Friday, July 26, fmm Reports to the Secretary of' state's 
Office, down to the HQlh July. 



Towns and Villages. 








Castel Pctroso, 








Santo Massimo 





part destroyed 



St. Angelo in Grotta, 

, ditto 












entirely destroyed 

inhabitants lost 


become a lake 



Si. Angelo di Lombar 

di,part destroyed, 

no partici/lars 


a volcano opened 


1772 6329 
Other Plates, trith general Infonitation . 

Bassano, destroyed, and was the centre of the earth- 
quake, which extended in a circuit of 150 miles. The fol- 
lowing places were also destroved : — Kucca iViandolfi, Mac- 
chia Godena, Mirabello, Vinghiatura, and otlier villages 

The following places partly destroyed : — Campobasso, 
Saverna, Supino, Ducameno, Santa-buono, Colle Dan- 
chese, Castor Petrone, Civita Narva, Jiolino, and other 
villages round. 

N.B. Of the different places in Abruz?:o, and the Con- 
tado di Molise, that have suffered, no particulars are as yet 
given, no certain account having as yet been received of the 
number of farmlies or persons dead or missing ; but as* 
many are supposed to be dead that are missing, the num- 
ber is ftkely to be less, at least we hope so. 

3 ASTItO* 

Astrojtomy. — Faccinatlon. 



Talle of the right Ascension nvd DeiVmation of Ceres and 
Pallas for Ociober ] 805 , 



i Pallas. 



m s 



. X. 

1 h 


m s 


o ' 

Oct. 2 


5S 16 




8 24 

16 40 



1 32 


a 5 

)0 20 

17 37 


4 36 




18 34 


7 32 



13 28 

19 32 


10 16 



14 '40 

20 30 

1 ^' 

1 2 52 



15 JO 

21 27 

1 20 

15 16 



16 24 

22 25 


1 7 32 



16 4S 

23 23 


19 36 




24 1 9 j 


21 24 



IG 5-2 

25 14 


Certificate of the Evidence of Mr. Jef;fy^ the Inondalor of 
Ms Family for the Cow-pock in 1774. 

Mr. Benjamin Jesty, of Downsiiay in the isle of Pur- 
beck, having, agreeably to an invitation from the Medical 
Kiitablishment of the Original Vaccine Institution, Broad- 
street, Golden Square, visited London in August 1805, to 
communicate certain facts relating to the cow-pock inocu- 
lation : We think it a matter of justice to himself, and be- 
neficial to the public, to attest, that,- among other facts, he 
has atforded decisive evidence of his having vaccinated his 
wife and two sons, Robert and Benjamin, in the year 1 774, 
who were thereby rendered unsusceptible of the small-pox ; 
as appears from the exposure of all the three parties to that 
disease frequently during the course of 31 years; and from 
the inoculation of the two sons for the smali-pox 15 years 
ago — That he was led to undertake this novel pra;tice in 
1774, to counteract the small pox, at that time prevalent 
at Yetminster (where he then resided), from knowing the 
common opinion of the country ever aince he was a boy, 
now above sixty years ago, that persons who had gone 
through the cow-pock naturally, i. e. by taking it from 
cows, were unsusceptible uf the small- pox — liy himself 
being incapable of taking the small-pox, having gone 
through the cow-pock many years before — Trom haviiig 
personally known many individuals, v.ho, after the cow- 
' A a 2 pock, 

36s Vaccination. 

pock, could not have the small-pox excited — From believ- 
ing that the cow pock was an affection free from danger — 
A\\c\ from his opinion that by the cow-pock inoculation he 
should avoid ingrafting various diseases of the human con- 
stitution, such as " the ev'.l, madness, lues, and many bad 
humours," as he called them. 

The remarkablv vicorous health of Mr. Jestv, his wife, 
and two sons, now 31 years subsequent to the cow-pock ; 
and his own healthy appearance, at this time 70 years of 
age, aflbrd a singularly strong pioof of the harmlessness of 
that affection. But the public must with particular in- 
terest hear that, during the late visit to town, Mr. Robert 
J;;siy very wilimgly submitted publicly to inoculation for 
the small-pox in the most rigorous manner, and after the 
most etTicacious nicjde, without having been infected. 

The ciicumstances in which Mr. Jesty purposely insti- 
tuted the vaccine pock inoculation in his own family, viz. 
without any precedent, i)ut merely from reasoning upon 
the nature of the affection among cows ; and from know- 
ing its effects in the casual v/av among men; his exemption 
from the prevailing popular prejudices ; and his disregard 
of the clamorous reproaches of his neighbours, in our 
opinion well entitle him to the respect of the public for his 
superior strength of mind : but, further, his conduct in again 
furnishing such decisive proofs of the permanent an ti-varioious 
etHcacy of the cow-pock in the present discontented state 
of n}any fauiilies, by submitting to in(U'ulalion, justly 
. claims at least the gratitude of the country. — As a testi- 
mony of our personal regard, and to commemorate so ex- 
traordinary a fact as that of preventing the small-iwx by 
moculatinti- for the cow-pock 31 yea-s ago, at our request a 
three-quarters lenath picture of Mr. Jesty is painted by 
that excellent artist Mr. Sharp, to be preserved at the 
Original Vaccine Puck Institution. 

.loHx ITeavisidk,") r,, 
.p . „ ' > 1 reasurers. 

i HOMAS Favnk, J 

Ckougk Pkak:>on, '^ 

I.ALUKNCK NiiiELL, V Pliysicians. 

Thomas Nelson, J 

'I'homa.s Kkatk, 7 /- I.- c 

,,, ,, ' J- Consulting Surgeons. 


T i^ J- Sur<TCons. 

John J)()katt, J '=' 

Fn/. NCIS IJlVHRS, "^ 

EvjiiAiiD I'uANDK, Wisiling Apotliecarics. 
ViiiLiy De .BituyN,J 


Flnsbury Dispensary. — List of Patents. 36[} 


At the late election for Surgeon to this Institution the 
numbers were ; tor Mr. Taunton 330; for Mr. Smith 143. 
— Majority in favour of the formL-r, 207. 

Mr. Taunton's Lectures on Anatomv and Physiology 
will conirnence at the Finsbury Dispensary, on Saturday, 
October 5. 


James Noble, of Coggershall, in the county of Essex, 
worsted-spinner ; for a machine for discharging a wool- 
comb or conibs, by separatitiii; the tears from the noiles, 
and drawing what is commonlv called a sliver or slivers 
from the comb or combs after or before the combs are 
worked, or the wool is combed upon the same. 

William Kent, of the borough of Plymouth, in the 
county of Devon, merchant and agent ; for certain addi- 
tions and improvements in a sort of candlestick (in common 
use), which will be found to prevent accidental fires in the 
use of candles, by which so many valuable lives are lost, 
and such immense property consumed; and which will not 
be confined to chamber use, but, being made on a larger 
scale, will be found equally useful in shops, warehouses, 
oil and spirit cellars, and other places where the use of a 
candle is found necessary. 

Arthur Woolf, of Wood-street, Spa Fields, in the county 
of Middlesex, engineer; for certain improvements in steam- 

James Boaz, of the city of Glasgow, in Scotland, civil 
engineer ; for a new and improved method of raising water, 
and working machinery by means of steam. 

Alexander Wilson, of 'Pichborne-street, Piccadilly, in the 
county of Middlesex, gun-maker ; for certain improve- 
nsents applicable to shut-belts and pt)wdcr-0asks, and to 
fire-arms of all descriptions. 

Benjamin Batley, of Oueen-street, in the city of London, 
sugar refiner; for a nevv- and improved method of refining 

Henry Edward Wilherby, of Islington, in the county of 
Middlesex, gentleman ; for an apparatus for purifying and 
improving water and other liquors by filtration. 
., Johan Gottlieb Frederic Schmidt, of Greek-street, Soho, 
in the county of Middlesex, gentleman, and FJobert Dick- 
inson, of Tavistock-street, Covent Garden, gentleman ; for 
methods of sustaining animal life and combustion for a 
great length of time, at considerable depths beneath the 
surface of the sea, or other bodies of water, in such a man- 
A a 3 ner 

370 List of Patents for New Inventions-, 

ncr as to enable a person makuig use of such means, fo 
existj and to move from place to place, at the bottom of the 
sea, or at any rcquh-cd depth between the smface and the 
bottom, w itli much more facilitv and advantage than by any 
other apparatus or contrivance which has been hitherto in- 
vented for that purpose. 

Peter Marsiand, of iJcaton Norris, in the connty of Lan- 
caster, cotton spinner J for irt)provement3 in sizing cotton 

Peter Marsiand, of Heaton Norri*, in the county of Lan- 
caster, cotton spinner ; for a« improvement in the process 
of dyeing silk, woollen, worsted, mohair, furhair, cotton, 
and linen, or any one or more of them, as well in a part- 
manvifaetured as in an uniuanulactured or raw state. 

'rhou)a3 Chapman, of W^itham in Holderness, in the 
county of York, thrashing- machine-maker ; for a mill for 
tearing, crushing, and preparing oak-bark to be used by 
tanners in the process of tanning of hides. 

Henry Maudslav, of Mar(!;arct-st.Teet, Cavendish-square, 
in the county of Middlesex, mechanist : for a process, 
upon an improved construction, for printing of calicos, and 
various other articles. 

William Wilkinson, of Xcedham ISJarket, in the cautity 
of Suffolk ; for improved pantiles for covering houses and 
other buildings. 

William Scott, of the London Glass Works-, East Smith- 
field, in the county of Middlesex, glass manufacturer ; for 
certain imi^roveineuts in the nianufacturino; and workinji; of 
various kinds of glass. 

Thomas Johnson, laic of Stockport, in the county of 
Chester, but now of Preston in the county of Lancaster, 
weaver ; and James Kay, of Preston, aforesaid, machine, 
maker; for an improved machine or loom for weaving 
cotton and other goods ov power. 

W'llliam Deverell, of jilackwall, in the county of Mid- 
dlesex, engineer ; for certain improvements on the steam- 

Sanuiel Caldwell, of Ilathcrn, in the county of Leices- 
ter ; for new machinciy and apparatus to be attached or 
annexed to certain plain frames or machines called stoek- 
ing-fiamcF, plain piece-frames, or any other plain frames 
for the purpose of working, making, or manufacturing 
silk, cotton, mohair, worsted, or any other sort of stuff 
whatsoever, into plain hose, or anv plain sort of piece-work 
whatsoever, whercbv these frames will work, make or 
n»an\ifncture all kinds of plain stockings and plain piece- 
work b\ n!crliani( al maeh'nery and motion. 



Fiq.S . 




PkUo.Muj. n.L.VoL.UXR 




Ft^. jo. ^M 


d i e % 

Xl/H-, , , illlp. 


Xhilo.Mnq . Vol SUIL.IBL.m:. 
3uJ,r (Old 7-a?in/ix'nti^ruf of Tlants . 

A Fiq X 



J^kiJo . Ji^Lax, . Vol TTTT.Fl .IT 

3iT" Sejrpings IMedwd of 
siLspending Ships . 

\ L 

Jaiit: %- of an Inch, to a Foot . 


IhJlo.Ma^ Tol.JXR. Plate 












Bv Mr. Carey, of the Strand, 
For September 1805* 


1 vt 

Diy? of the 



Heioht of 

the BHrom. 




Aug. 27 01° 


































Sept. 1 














3: 61 






4 60 






5 63 






e f)Q 





Fair,with thun- 

der and rain in 

the morning 




































































2^9 -96 























Showery, with 
thunder at 

20i 57 



30- 1 2 



21 56 






22 5 5 






23 bi 






24 47 






25 41 






151 56 






N. B. 



ter's height 

s taken a 

t noon. 



C 373 ] 


Acid, f'lrmk. On, 49 

Africa, Travels In, '287 

Africa. On interior of, 3^8 

Agriculture. On, 68, 79, 90, 

America, North. Nat. hist, of, 
97, 2C4 
Amertcay South. Travels in, 54 
American Indians of Asiatic ori- 
gin, 209 
Analysis of a mineral from Der- 
byshire, 35; of milk, 176; 
of smut of wheat, 177 j of 
guano, 177; of opium, 178; 
of cerite, 1 93 
Animal Irfe. Patent for sustain- 
inn-, 3b9 
Animal substances. Experiments 
on, 173 
Antiqu'ties, 188,363 
Antoni on velocity of musket 
balls, 228 
Ants. On, 49 
Aptera. On the, 50 
Aquatic animal. New, 1 35 
Aicy {d') on velocity of projec- 
tiles, 227 
Art ilia J. On, " 220 
Arts, fine. Academy of, 90 
Arts, fine. A prize question, 92 
Astronomy, 93, 190, 353, 360, 

Atmosphere free from hydrogen, 

Axlctrees. Patent for, 95 

.R/7r^^/-'^ patent, 287 

Baronet IT. On the, 357 

Barton (Dr.) to M. Laccpede, 
97, 204 

Barytcs. On, 218 

Batey' s patent, 369 

Bergman's projected journey, 

Bcrzelius's discovery of cerite, 

BeV'in^s patent, if-^i 

Biot on formation of water by 
compression, 17^ ; on mag- 
netism, 248, 299 
Birds. On, 204 
Biography. Life of Priestley, 1 66 
Blight ofivheat. On, 63 
Blunt'' s patent, 191 
Bohihoi's (Dr.) captivity and 
ransom, 186 
Boa-zi's patent, 369 
B'wplaniV s travels, 5 j. 
Bossut on velocity of projectiles, 
Books. New, 171,284,340 
Botany, 90 
BramaUs patent, 95 
Bread made of the flowering 
rush, 284 
Bridles, r.iteut for, 190 
British Institution. The, ^8 
iiro^/;>'^ patent, 191 
Brunei's pntcnr, 190 
Burtons (Dr.) case of hydro- 
phobia, 257 

C'UduuiPs pntcnt, 370 

Lomhtstion. Patent for maintain- 
ing, 369 
Ccndiesticks. Patent, 369 
Cannon halls. Velocity of, 220 
Caout-houc. Tubes maile of, 340 
Carey's metecrological table, 96, 
icjz. 2S8, 371 



Carriages. Patent for ivhcd, 

190, 191 
Catl/e. On feeding, 2:2 

Ceres. Tables of, 95,190,367 
Ceri'e. Discovery and analyses 
of, ' 193 

Cerium. Anew metal, 174, 193 
Chapman S patent, 37 O 

Charcoal converted into tannin, 
Chaumeton on medical entomo- 
logy, 49 
Cherie'v'ix on pkitina and mer- 
cury, 26, IC3 
CiHuabar. Preparation of, 123 j 
na.'ivr, found in Virginia, 210 
Clouds, On stones from the, 71 
C'jbalt. New metal found in, 93 
Collf.'is's patent, 287 
Culnurs. On, 289 
Consummation cured by hydro- 
azotic gas, 25 
Co'isumptioji, Cure for, 339 
Copper found in America, 210 
Corn. Patent for reaping, 287 
Co'varis patent, 2^7 
Corpou. On the, 330 
Craie. On the, 5 1 
Currying of Uaihcr. On, 273 

Davy. Analyses by, 
De nl.s, 

Diluc on volcanoes, 
Devercll^s patent, 
Dickinson's patent. 
Diseases cured, 
DoJd'i patent. 
Dying. Patent for, 





Earth. On the theory of the, 

155, 2CO 
Earthquale at Naples, 364 

j?J<:ua;v/f'j patent, 19c, 191 

Elaitiuiy. Tilloch on, I 38 

Ei/ioi^s p'citeut, 190 

EntoT.ology, medical, 49 ; Ame- 
rican, 206 
Evanses (Dr.) description of 
Sutton Spa, 6r 
Farim. On size of, 217. 

Filtration of tvater. Patent, 369 
Fire arms. Patent, 369 

Fire-places. Patent for improv- 
Flushing. Society of Sciences 

at, 90 

Flfjivering ruih makes good 

bread, 284 

Fflitana. Death of, 94 

Formica. On the, 49 

FouT:rofs ai:alysis of milk, 176; 

of smut of wheat-, 177 ; of 

guano, 177 

Fraich Niitijval Ir.siituie, 1 72, 

274. 354 

Galvariism. Muriate of potasli 
produced bv, 153, and muri- 
atic acid, 179; speedy de- 
composition of water by, 260 
GeojJ'ro! 1)11 mammalia, 32 S 

Gi Ographj, 358 

Gii-seckc's projected journey, 188 
Glass. On pollrihing, 112 

Glass-iK'orkivg. Patent for, 370 
Glue. On, 274 

Goefling on barytes, 2 iB 

Grapes. Sugar made from, 177 
Gr chert" s way of measuring ve- 
locity of projectile.'^, 220 
Guinea 'zvorm. On, 350 

Harp. Patent for tuning, 95 
Hatckttt on artificial tannin, 271 
H i'^hts. Ba'.ometric measure- 
ment of, 346 
Hei,ry on the radical of muriatic 
acid, 185 
Herman's projected journey, 1S8 
Hisenger's discovery of cerite, 

J/is^^ow'j patent, 95, 191 

Horiock's patent, 191 

Humloldt's travels, 54 

I'lund'Oldt on magnetism, 248 
Hurricane. Account of a, 14 
Hutton (Dr.) on stones from 
the clouds, 75 

Huttcr. on vrlocitT of projectiles, 

2 2'' 




Hyihomis. On the, 33 1 

Bjdropbohia cured, 257 

Jnd'igo treated with nitric acid, 

hutituiinn. Formation of the 
London, 8 5 , 

Jnstitution, British, Foripation 
■ of, b8 

Inililu:io?is. New, in America, 

Iridium. A new meti'.l, 273 

Jron i;hundant in Nurth Ame- 
rica, 210 

yapan. Expedition to, l» !?> 
jfeff'erson (Piesident). On the, 

■ . 79 

Jesty the i;iocuIator, 367 

yvb'>''t patent, 95 

.7 i.K',sori's patent, 370 

J rus L»a the <.onnng-up glass, ^ 19 

Kay''s patent, 370 

Kcnt^s patent, 369 

Kttigbt on sap of trees, 309 

KocUr on plants, Zjji 

Ktus.nslern^s (^Vo») expedition 
to Japan, i> IJ3 

Lanouages of the Aiierican 
tribes, 2 09 

Lavn. On, 262 

Lead ft und in America, 210 
Learned SocieticSy 85, 172, 271, 


Lectures^ 285, 369 

Life-buoy. Patent, 191 

Loch. Patent for, 191 

London LisiilunoH.' Yormixi'iou of, 

Loom. Patent, 191, 370 

Lun:inc::s rajs. On, 289 

M'Grrgor's Medical Sketches, 

Ma^r.etism. Variations of, 348, 

Mammalia. N<;w genus of, 328 

Mav.iis:r'pts. Anticnt, 363 

'Marquczj, I.hftJs. The new, 6 
Marshal t)n blight of wheat, 68 
Marslnid's patent, 3 70 

Mathe vat'csy 3 55 

Ma'hey's machine for measuring 

velocity of miisket balls, 228 
Miiudslay'i patent, 370 

AL'dical and Chirurgical S'jctety, 

liistitution of, 279 

Ble.iual entomology. On, 49 

Miduiue, 355, 25, 63, 257, 339 
Mclidi, New, 174 

Alcnuij'. Action o*^, on pLtina, 

26, 103; o>:idcs of, to pr(N 

pare, 133, 132 

Mettorplogy, 96, 192, 288, 371 
M tali. New, 93,193,273 
Mildciv cftvheat. On, " 68 
iJ////' analysed, 176 

Miileri patent, 191 

Minerals. American, 210 

Mirrors, On the manufacturing 

of, 112 

Mubill (Dr.) on American 

winds, 14 

Mo?ige on velocity of projectiles, 
Moral Seiaues. A prize ques- 
tion, ... 354 
Mfoujitains. On declivities of, 
Mui i.iie of baryies. To prepare, 
Muri.'ite of potUib produced by 

galvanism, 153 

Muriate of soda excreted from 

the human skin, 184 

Muriatic acid. On the elements 

of, 153, 179, 183 

Mush el on wootz, 4O 

Musical instruments. Patent for 

tuning, 95 

Musket lalls. Velocity of, 2.3 

Natural listory. A prize ques- 
tion, 91 
NatuTid his'.ory of North Ame- 
eica, 97, 204 
AViv Holland. Facte respecting, 
IsohWi patent, 369 



J^'c'kd. New metal found in, 93 
Nicolau. A uuvv metal, 93 

p^ut'i piitent, 19 1 

(JnlsiMi. 0;i the", 53 

Ophthalmia. On, 3+9 

Opiiivi ctTialysedy 17^ 

Ornithology, 2C4 

Oiiparijus quadrupeds^ 205 

Pachmi'i on radical of muriatic 
acid, 1 79 

PiSsiu/n. Anticnt city of, 563 
FantlUi. Patei-t, 3 70 

FiilLis. Ascei:sion and declina- 
tion of, 9 J, 190, 567 
P./ILi'Ihin/ [or si'cy igo 
Paper. Patent for, 95 
Pann:nUer on oxides of mercu- 
ry, 133, 132 
Parleys travel?, 287 
Parroii. Oii, 204 
Paterts. List of, 95, 190, 287, 

Peel on production of muiiates 
from water by Galvanism, 

Ptr.n on ihc theory of the 

earth, 155, 200 

PldgCLii's patent, 191 

plague. Oil treatment of, 340 

Plants. Ph-siulogy of, 23 i, 3 2 I 

Plutina, Action ot, on mercury, 

26, 103 ; experiments on, 273 

Plough. Jefferson on the, 79 

Phuknett's patent, 2b7 

Pneumatic, 2 5, 239 

Poc.ry. A prize question, 3^53 

Poinpcd. Further discoveries at, 


Potaib produced by Galvanisii), 


Pcivys^s agricultural remarks, 

Priestlej. Life of, i 66 

Prieur on colours, 289 

Printing. Patent, 370 

Prismatic colours. On, 289 

Prize questions, 9 ' » 93. 3 >3 

Projectiles^ Measuring velocity 
of, 2i» 

Prussia. Prize qncslion by king 

of. 93 

Pullivatlons. ISiiw, 171,284 

Ranudcn's cominjj-up glass, 3 19 
Rattlesnakes. On, :0(5 

RhoJium. A new metal, 27^ 
Rollins' s method of determining 
the velocity of musket balls, 

Roivrjtree^s patent, 9 J 

Royal Sociay. London, 271,3^3 

Ruiiijurd on producing lical by 

solar rays, 172; on velocity 

of projectile?, 227 

Rupert's d ops. On, 334 

Russ-an embassy to Japan, 1,113; 

to China, iby 

Saddle. Patent, 19 1 

tiage on polishing and silvering 

mirrors, 1 iz 

Saturn. Form of, 353 

Saivlng mills. Patent for, 1 90 
Sde'ues and Jine arts, A prize 

question, 91 

Sivrpion. On the, 50 

S oti's patent, 370 

Segui:i's analvses of opium, 178 
Segi/rn on glue, 274. 

Seefze-i's travels, 287 

Seppaigi''s method of suspending 

ships, 24 i 

Sl.eatbing of ships. Patent for, 

S':ips. To siiFjier.d, 242 

Ship's sails. Patent, 2S7 

Silex. Origin of, in vegftabU\% 

Stlvcrnig of mirrors. On, I 1 2 
Slater'' s patent, iqo 

Smut of ivLeat zm\]\'Ai;(\, 177 
Start on a nondescript aquatic 
animal, 13 j 

—— on Rupert's drops, 334 
Societies, Learned, 85, 172,271, 

Solar rays. Force "of, in pro- 
ducing heat, 172 
Stea-'u Patent fcr generating, 





Steam-engine I oilers. Patent, 19! 
Stcam-eyig'mc. Patent for, 369, 

Stevens's patent, 191 

Stirrups. Patent for, 191 

Stockings. Pattitt, 287,370 

Stone in ihr- blidder. On, 5 1 

Stones Jrom the clouds. On, '; i 
Siarrtis. On allaying, by means 
of oil, 91 

Sugar made from beet-root and 
grapts, I ; 7 

Sug:37-f. Patent for refining, 369 
Sulphate of barytes. To decom- 
pose, 2 I 8 
Sutlon Spa. Account of, 61 
Siualloivs. Torpidity of, 204 

Tannin. To produce,by art, 271 

Taniing. Patent respecting, 370 

Telescope. A new, 319 

Tennant's discovery of iridium, 


Teylerian Society, Hacrlem, 353 

Tkorhion (Dr.) on pntnmatie 

■ medicine, 25,339 

Tillcch on elasticity, 138; on 

production of muriates by 

Galvanism, 152 

Tiv'ber^ Observations on, 309 

Ulvfoil. Manufacture of, I 13 

Irowh, 54, 186, 187, 287 

Trees. On sap of, 309 

Tulei of eLsiic gum. To make, 


Vaccination, 189, 2 7 9,. 3 2 7, 367 

F'an Dicmen't Land, On, 157, 


FauqueVni s analysis of milk, 176; 

ot smut of wheat, 177; of 

guano, 177; of cerite, 193 

Ventilator. Pdtent, 287 

Violin. Patent for tuning, 95 

V'.lcaiwcs. On, 262 

Voyage to Kamtschatka, 4, 1 1 5 

Water productd from its ele- 
ments by pressure, 173 
Water ■ ghzdiolt fmktsgooAh\ti\^ , 
JFdiuiS'ri^s patent, 370 
JVilion on Galvanism, 260 
WiliOii*s patent, 369 
Windo-'M-frame. Patent, 191 
Winds. Mitchill on, J4 
Witherlifs patent, 3^9 
Wolaston's discovery of palla- 
dium, 272 
Wood-k'use. On the, 53 
Wvof^s patent, 369 
WoolL-iomhing. Patent, 3^)9 
IVootz. Experiments on^ 40 

Telloiv fever. A prize question, 


Zink. Patent for manufacturing, 


ZorJf>gy,q'j, 155, 200, 204, 328 
Zooplytes. On, isj;, 200 


Printed bifE., la;<flijr auu Cu., iii, .Shot Leute, tUtlUhint. 

QC The Philosophical magazine 



Physical ^ 

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