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Art. VII. Chemistry anpilied to Arts and Manufactures: By M. J. A.
Chaptal, Member and 'Treasurer of the French Senate, Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour, &c. &c. &c. 4 vols. 8vo. price lk. 168. bds.
Phillips, 1807 “WHAT signifies philosophy that does not apply to some
use ?” exclaimed the philosophic Franklin ;, a man, whose habit of applying his knowledge and discoveries to good purpose was as familiar to him as that of thinking or breathing. A work expressly formed to gratify the large proportion of readers who would echo this question, and especially coming from a writer so well known to the public as Mr. Chaptal, by his present official station, and his former labours in the department of chemistry, both in the laboratory and the study, is intitled to respectful notice. The objects he sought, and the views which guided' him in the execution of his performance, are thus stated in the preface.
"A Treatise on Chemistry applied to the arts, çanpot be a treatise on each art in particular. An undertaking of that nature would not only exceed the ability of an individual,, but such a work mụst necessarily abound with tedious repetitions. The air, water, heat, light, act according to the same laws in the hands of every class of artists; and it is sufficient to point out the respective properties of all these agents, and the laws of their action, to give every artist a competent idea of the cause, motive, and principle of his operations. “The best
way of illustrating the arts consists not so much in describing their processes with accuracy, as.in reducing all their operations to general principles. The description of an art, however correct it may be supposed, is nothing more than the history, the picture of the existing practice. It may, indeed, raise all artists to the same level in point of knowledge, by the communication of the same processes, but it does not enable ingenuity to advance a single step; while science reflects a light on every operation, elucidates all their results, makes the artist perfect master of his processes, varies, simplifies, and improves them, foresees and calculates all their effects.
A Treatise on Chemistry applied to the Arts, is therefore an elementary work; and I shall think that I have attained the object I had in view, if every artist finds in this performance the cause of all his results, and the fundamental rule of his conduct.'
iii.V. • Exclusive of the consideration that this method of treating chemistry applied to the arts, is the only one that allows the subject to be compressed within proper limits, I was induced to adopt this plan by the opinion I have long entertained, that the intelligence which elucidates practice must succeed the latter. I am, in fact, convinced by my own experience, that the man who is already acquainted with the mechanical and practical part of an art, receives instruction with much more advantage than another who is neither in the habit or practice of its operations.
For the latter every thing is abstract, because the principles he is taught apply to nothing that he already knows, and are either soon obliterated from his memory, or take a wrong direction there. The first, on the contrary, reflects on his own ex
perience all the light that is transmisted to him, he sees in his practice the confirmation of all that is told him ; fie refers all that is said to all that he does; he compares the theory w.th his owa operations, and in a manner Identifies it with them; in a word, the doctrine which is taught him is like a new soul which animates all the labours of a man actory, where before he only beheld movements without knowing their principle, and effects without being sensible of their cause.'p 1v. ii.
This preface, beside a farther developement of the plane contains some excellent cautions to the manufacturer, whom Mr. Chaptal represents, not in the most perfect style of rhetoric, as being placed between two rocks; that of blind credulity, which risks his fortune in hazardous speculations; and that of obstinate mistrust, which underinines the foundation of his establishment by preventing the introduction of methods that are capable of improving it. Our author not oniy teaches his reader to avoid these extremes, equally prejudicial to the interest of a manufactory, but poits out the circumstances that contribute to its success: these are principally, the good quality of the articles; the economy of the fabrication, the local situation of an establishment with regard to the facility of obtaining primary materials, workmanship, and fuel, and to the readiness of conveyance, and of sale; and, lastly, the encouragement and protection of the state. All governments, he observes,
Are, doubtless, willing to protect the arts and commerce, but there are few whose conduct, in this particular, comes up to their good intention. Expedients to facilitate the developement of the arts, and to insure their prosperity, are --- the following. To render the supplies of primary mate. rials easy, and to facilitate the consumption; to grant premiums on exportation, that the productions of the national manufactures may find their way into all the markets of Europe (why not the world ?); to employ its credit with other governments for the purpose of obtaining a knowledge of improvements, and new pro esses wherewith to enrich its own country ; to determine, and to maintain with energy, the relation which ought to exist between the workman and the master; to consult the soil, the climate, the character of the inhabitants, and the interests of agriculture, that it may grant none but a judicious protection, &c.'
He then censures the old French government for having established the cotton manufacture in France, to the neglect of those of wool, silk, fax, &c., the distillation of wines, the making of earthen-ware, and all those articles for which the primary materials are abundantly supplied by the soil. Afterwards he proceeds to discuss the question relative to the system of regulations for manufactures, particularly that adepted by the great Colbert; and contends that such regulations could only be resorted to with advantage when the arts were either unknown or in a state of i: fancy, and that their farther advanges require a liberation from leading-striugs' and are pro
moted best by a perfect independence. On each of these topics the reader will find a number of ver
interesting and judicious remarks suggested by observation and confirmed by experiment. We cannot, however, dismiss M. Chaptal's preface without protesting against the stylish manner in which his English publisher has chosen to print it. Though it is extended to LXII pages, the letter-press, in a large type, occupies scarcely more than one fourth of the surface of the said pages. The manner of printing the treatise itself, is exposed, though in a less degree, to a similar censure. In publications that are intended, and calculated, for general perusal and uti. lity, such an exbibition of literary foppishness cannot be too highly reprobated. It is either a restriction of their circulation, or an unnecessary tax upon the purchaser. It is especially requisite to oppose this extravagant practice, now that the price of paper has risen so enormously as to render it difficult for booksellers to publish or readers to buy; and to confine diffusive printing to those works which derive their principal value from breadth of margin and splendour of embellish
T'he extracts we have already made will suffice to give a general idea of our author's plan. As it is not possible to include, within our usual limits, any tolerable analysis of the work, and as this is the less needful from the necessary connecțion which must subsist between many of its parts; we shall merely sketch an outline of its contents and deliver our opinion as to the propriety of its execution. It is divided into three books, parts, or titles; for these three terms are applied respectively to the three principal divisions. Book į treats of Chemical Action; and includes the consideration, Ist, of the natural causes that produce modifications in chemical action; and 2dly, of the means employed by the chemist to prepare the particles of bodies for this action ; -with the requisite illustrations and subdivisions. Part II treats of Those Bodies which are the Subjects of Chemical Action-gaseous fluids, minerals, metals, combustibles, simple and compound, vegetable extracts and compounds, acids. Under Title Ill, we find the Mixture, and Combination of bodies with each other-'gases, earths, metals, separation of metals, combination of oxygen with metals, of oxygen with hydrogen, of sulphur with other bodies, of hydrogen with other bodies, combinations of sulphuric acid, nitric, muriatic, oxygenated muriatic, tartareous, acetic, oxalic, þoracic, prussic, gallic, and carbonic acids, of tannin with gelatine, of alkalies with oils, of alcohol, and of fixed drying oils. Then follows the art of Dyeing, and the work concludes with a short chapter on Fermentation.
Such is the brief outline of M. Chaptal's performance; and VOL IV.
it is in general well filled up by the application of these numerous subjects to the more numerous processes of the arts and manufactures in which they are employed. There are a few instances, however, in which facts are announced as important discoveries, which, in Britain at least, have long been familiarly known. Our author informs us, that within the last thirty years' he has formed many establishments, and visited a far greater number ;' it was natural therefore to expect that the results of so much experience, in conjunction with such talents for observation and discovery as he is known to possess, would contribute very materially to enrich a production so congenial to his habits and taste : in this expectation we have not been much disappointed, for the work is, certainly the most complete and satisfactory, as to the objects it avowedly embraces, that has come within our notice. Excepting a small number of errata both in the plates and the references to them, the description of apparatus is highly perspicuous, and the selection good. The work would have been much more convenient and useful, if it had been furnished with a correct and copious index ; the omission' of which is peculiarly grievous, where the objects of reference are so numerous and diversified. One absurdity in the English publication deserves particular notice; the running-title, at the head of the pages, instead of expressing the subject of the chapter, or, what is better, the contents of the page over which it stands, is neither more nor less than a repetition of the general title of the book; so that wherever we turn, whether we are considering caloric, or acids, or tanning, or gases, or soap, we are continually pestered with the unvarying superscription of “ Chemistry applied to the Arts," necessarily implying either the obscurity of the book, or the stupidity of the read
But this impropriety is not peculiar to the work be. fore us, or to its far-famed publisher.
Ant. VIII. A System of Divinity, in à Course of Sermons, on the
first Institutions of Religion ; on the Being, and Attributes of God ; on some of the most important Articles of the Christian Religion, in Connection ; and on the several Virtues and Vices of Mankind, with occasional Discourses. Being a Compilation from the best Sentiments of the Polite Writers, and eminent, sound Divines, both Ancient and Modern, on the same Subjects, properly connected, with Improvements, particularly adapted for the Use of chief Families and Students in Divinity, for Churches, and for the Benefit of Mankind in general, By the Rev. William Davy, A.B. Lustleigh, Devon, 8vo. 26 vols.
1795-1807. IT ought to console us under many vexations and discomforts
which are peculiar to people of our occupation, that
we have also peculiar enjoyments and privileges. Among these it is certainly not the least, to be ranked in any respect with Prelates and Universities, to be complimented with the civilities of so industrious a writer as Mr. Davy, and furnished with so agrecable an amusement for our leisure hours as the study of a Systein of Divinity in twenty-six volumes octavo, And in the first place, we cannot resist the gratitude which impels us to thank him, for distinguishing us so far from the literary populace, as to oblige us with the loan of a work, cer. tainly one of the greatest of modern performances, and su“. perior in solid and substantial weight to the collective productions of the most celebrated ancient authors, a work, in short, of which only fourteen copies are printed! We should next apologize to the author for denying' his very reasonable request, that we would continue our critique of his work through several successive numbers, for which he has kindly furnished us with suitable instructions. One objection strikes us as decisive against this plan, and he will acknowledge its force no doubt, on principles of humanity: we are confident that, in the present degraded state of the moral taste in this country, no extracts that we could give from Mr. Davy's work, and no panegyric that even the eloquence of Burke could frame, would procure subscribers enough to defray the expence of reprinting it; and yet we are persuaded, that the hundred or two hundred readers, whose virtue and discernment enabled them to relish it at all, would be so desperately enamoured of its charms, that the most dismal consequences might ensue when they found it impossible to procure a copy, To avoid all chance of suddenly filling the Lunatic Asylums with desponding admirers of Mr.-Davy's performance, we shall describe it as briefly as possible, and point out some uses which may be made of the present scanty edition, without incurring the enormous charge of republication.
The plan and nature of this work are intimater in the title, It consists of twenty-six volumes; part of the 25th and the wbole of the 26th are occupied with the Index. The sub. stance of it is composed of extracts from various divines and other writers, arranged, combined, and modited by Mr. D.; he does not however specify the passages which they respectively furnish, nor even give their names. These mate* rials are divided into the form and size of serinons. The doctrinal character of the compilation is in essential points orthodox ; and in minor respects is that of the English Church, as understood by the Arminian Section of ir at the beginning of the last century. A considerable part of the work is wretchedly printed, on bad paper, and is abundantly de formed by contractions, such as x't
, wh, 3', &c. A great