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To Mr. Byrne's share of the work much commendation is due; a congenial spirit seems to have animated both artists. The neatness of the engraving will recommend the 'Antiqui ties of Great Britain' to those who are not capable of relishing their other merits; and the connoisseur will seldom find that force and freedom have been facrificed to high finishing.
The other artists, who have been employed in a few of these views, have exerted themselves with commendable emulation, and executed their tasks much to their credit.
The work consists of fifty views, with a beautiful frontispiece of the west-front of Malmsbury Abbey, and Stonehenge as a tail-piece. A short historical account in French and English accompanies each plate.
ART. XIII. Foreign Literary Intelligence. THE German chemist, Mr. Weftrumb, has made fome ..
1 beautiful discoveries with regard to spontaneous inflammation. If the filings of antimony, arsenic, bismuth, nickel, cobalt, tin, lead, copper, or lead, be mixed with volatile alkali, and thrown into oxygenated muriatic acid, they will inttantly emit a stream of fire. Mr. Weftrumb considers this curious fact as favourable to the doctrine of phlogiston. But it happens unfortunately that few of the late discoveries can be reckoned decisive. The experimentum crucis has not yet been made, and the facts admit of a plausible explanation from either hypothesis. The present is an instance of double affinity. The attraction of the volatile alkali for the muriatic acid enables the metals, in the common temperature of the atmosphere, to absorb the excess of oxygen, and during the combination the caloric, or matter of heat which was latent in the gas, is evolved, and produces, by its rapid motion, the luminous appearance. ,
M. Geanty, member of the Royal Society of Sciences and Arts established at Cape François, in the island of St. Domingo, transmitted vitriolic gas through milk, and by this means .converted it into cheese. He reversed the experiment, and restored the cheese to milk, by the application of alkaline gas. In his first trials the milk thus procured had an intolerable smell, but, by conducting the operation gradually, he was able to restore it to its original sweetness and inodorous quality. Hence he de rives an explanation of the effects of alkaline cataplasms in removing pains and inflammations froin the breasts of nurses.
M. Proust has discovered that camphor exists in considerable proportions in the essential oils of several plants growing in
Murcia, in Spain. He detected this concrete substance by gently evaporating the oil of lavender, of fage, of marjoram, and of rosemary; but if these be carefully distilled in a fand-bath, the different products may be obtained without any sensible loss. He conceives that the cultivation of lavender might become an object of national importance, and that the Spanish peasants could be instructed to separate the camphor with sufficient accuracy and attention. To communicate whiteness and hardness, M. Proust advises the careful and gradual sublimation of the camphor; and this is the process he is assured which the Dutch employ.
Le Pere Cotte has published "Memoires sur la Meteorologie,' in two volumes quarto, intended as a continuation of an useful work which he gave to the world in 1774. - Captain de M. Donadæi has observed that ambergrease is frequently thrown, by the tide and violent storms, upon the coasts of Guyenne. The sea-birds discover a great fondness for that substance. The foxes also devour it greedily, and, being unable to digest it, discharge it unaltered. In this state ambergrease is sometimes found in the woods, or at a distance from the water-mark.
M. de la Vieville, manufaêturer at Marseilles, has discovered a dye, preferable to Prussian blue, for staining paper. He offers to fell it at a livre the pound, and affirms that the faving would amount to one third.
M. Gengembre made the beautiful discovery that phosphorus, diffolved in hydrogenous gas, spontaneously inftained from the contact of air. Messrs. Donadei and Pelletier distilled calcareous phofpate, and, to the phosphoric acid thus obtained, they added the oxygenous and nitrous gas, and an instantaneous explosion was produced. The experiment must be repeated, and the circumstances that accompany it accurately noted, before we can venture, with confidence, to give an explanation. It is probable, however, that, in this case, one portion of the nitrous gas imbibes oxygen from the oxygenous gas, and forms nitrous acid, and, its capacity being thus diminished, it evolves a quantity of heat. At the same time, another portion of the nitrous gas abftracts the oxygen from the phosphoric acid, leaving phosphorous, which is inflamed by the heat now generated, while the combustion is fed by the oxygenous gas.
Le Pere Cotte has published, in Rozier's Journal, à table of the mean diurnal variation of the magnetic needle, observed at Laon in 1789:
Hours. I Mean Variation.
51 501 7° 59' 311
0 44' 4u
The greatest variation during the year was 11° 24' on the 27th of March, when there was an aurora borealis; the least was 4° 20', on the 16th of July. It appears that the greatest diurnal variation is at two o'clock in the afternoon, and the least at eight o'clock in the inorning. It is curious that there are also nearly the maximum and minimum points of heat.
Dr. Dutrône la Couture has published at Paris a treatise, in octavo, upon the sugar cane, and the method of extracting the essential falt; which, from the account we have seen of it, seems to be an excellent work. The Chinese were acquainted, from the most remote ages, with the cultivation of the sugar-cane, and the process for obtaining the faccharine substance. Sugar seems to have been unknown to the Egyptians, the Phænicians, and the Jews. The Greek physicians are the first who mention it, and under the name of Indian salt. It was imported along with the spiceries and other luxuries from the other side of the Ganges, to gratify the taste of the opulent Romans. The sugar-cane was introduced, in the thirteenth century, into Arabia, and fucceffively into Egypt, the kingdom of Morocco, Syria, Sicily, the island of Madeira, the island of St. Thomas, and in 1506 it was cultivated in St. Domingo. It is a native of the torrid zone, flowers in November or December, and continues in blossom for eighteen or twenty months, when it perishes. Dr. Detrône examines particularly the structure of the sugar. cane, and traces the progress and gradual elaboration of the juice. The essential fält is disturbed in its crystallisation by the intermixture of mucilage, which it is the great object of the
sugar manufacturer to separate. For this purpose alkalis and lime have been employed. Bergman supposed the use of this application was to saturate the acid, which he conceived abounds in the sugar. But Dr. Detrône shews that these substances only purify the liquor, and that they combine with the mucilage and fæculæ, and detach them from the juice. The impurities which still adhere to the liquor are destroyed by the application of an heat, rising sometimes above 250°. Dr. Detrône proceeds to describe the process of boiling, crystallising, &c. He next points out the improvements which he has made on the common practice, and which he has introduced with success into the island of St. Domingo; but we shall probably have another opportunity of taking more particular notice of the subject.
ART. 14. Julia; a Novel, interspersed with some poetical Pieces. By '. Helen Maria Williams. 12mo. 2 vols. 6s. Cadell. Lone
don, 1795. T HE author of these volumes has already recommended herself
I to a considerable share of the public favour by several fpecimens of poetry. The work before us detracts nothing from the good opinion so generally entertained of her genius. The images of nature with which it abounds are affecting. · The story is simple, not long, no where interrupted by foreign matter, and worked up by a chain of events finely invented and connected by a charm which cannot but fascinate every reader of sensibility. Here, as is often the case in modern novels, we are shocked by no gross pictures of immorality, characters that have no originals, or groups of monsters to intimidate the weak, or fill the vulgar with wonder. The whole relates to an affair of love, which is managed throughout with simplicity and innocence, though it may prohably, in modern estimation, be deemed not the more natural for that circumstance. Indeed no courtship was ever better conceived, or conducted with more address. To fome the parties may appear too virtuous; but, from the delicate point of view in which they are presented to our attention, they do not possess more than is neceffary to give us an interest in their fate. We cannot help also remarking, that the particular which of all others strikes us as the least probable is, the ignorance of Charlotte, who is the only injured person, and who, though constantly witnefs to the infidelity of the man The loves, even with the friend of her heart, fufpects nothing of the
matter till made acquainted with the fact by the good-natured impertinence of a female friend.
The following short extract will give the reader no unfavourable fpecimen of Miss Williams's descriptive powers. The object is common, but not always seen through the medium of genius. (Page 78, Vol. I.)
. On the evening of their arrival at the family seat Julia walked out with Charlotte, and felt with peculiar sensibility the beauties of nature. She had till now only seen the rich cultivated landscapes of the south of England, but her ardent imagination had often wandered amidst the wild scenery of the north, and formed a high idea of pleasure in contemplating its folemn aspect; and the found that the sublime and awful graces of nature exceed even the dream of fancy. The setting fun painted the glowing horizon with the most refulgent colours. Immediately above its broad orb, which was dazzling in brightness, hung a black cloud that formed a'ftriking contrast to the luxuriant tints below; some of the hills were thrown into deep shadow, others reflected the setting beams. When the suni sunk below the horizon, every object gradually changed its hue. The form of the surrounding hills, and the shape of the darkening /rocks that hung over the lake, became every moment more doubtful; till at length twilight spread over the whole landscape that pensive gloom so soothing to an enthusiastic fancy. Every other sound was loit in the fall of the torrent; a sound which Julia had never heard before, and which seemed to strike upon her soul, and call forth emotions congenial to its solemn cadence.
Miss William's unwarily discovers the fources of her reading and information by confining her quotations to plays and novels. We are not fond also of feeing even the best verses employed in eking out compositions in profe. The lines of Miss Williams are by no means despicable, though they appear to us misplaced. Such picadillos, however, if she will permit us for once to copy her manner, are but as the most trivial specks on a diamond of the first water. Art. 15. The Young Widow; or, The History of Cornelia Sedley. 12mo.
4 vols. 125. sewed. Robinsons. London, 1789. Here are groups of lovers, a world of distresses, much wickedness, and some religion. No medley can boast greater variety in the materials of which thefe volumes are composed. The fable discovers invention, and the conduct of it proves the author not to be deficient in the powers of execution. The virtue which the beautiful Cors nelia preserves with so much fortitude and tenderness, exhibits to the young and giddy of her own sex a molt interesting and impressive example of that divine triumph of wh ch true piety only is capable; and the most volatile and romantic of ours may derive much valuable caution, in running the frantic career of pleasure, from the sufferings and fate of her lover. The whole of this very interesting novel is worked up with great address, and every where detailed in language glowing and nervous.