« AnteriorContinuar »
manna in the wilderness! I strolled about, not to get an ap
APOLOGUES AND FABLES, petite, for that was ready, but to kill time. My excellent, hospitable, long-tailed friend was punctual to the moment;
IN PROSE AND VERSE, FROM THE GERMAN AND OTHER I joined him, and proceeded towards his residence. As we were bending our steps thither, we happened to pass
(Translated for the Irish Penny Journal.) a luganigera's (a ham-shop), in which there was some ħam ready dressed in the window. My powdered patron paused, - it was an awful pause; he reconnoitred, examined, and at
No. III.-THE STORY OF THE OLD WOLF. last said, “Do you know, Signor, I was thinking that some of that ham would eat deliciously with our capon :-I am Sir ISEGRIM, the Wolf, was grown old. The years that had known in this neighbourhood, and it would not do for me to passed over his head, too, had brought with them changes be seen buying ham. But do you go in, my child, and get two hardly to be expected in a wolf at any season of life.. All his or three pounds of it, and I will walk on and wait for you."
fierceness and ferocity were gone; he was no longer the slayer I went in of course, and purchased three pounds of the of sheep and terror of shepherds : no; he had lost his teeth, ham, to pay for which I was obliged to change one of my two and was now a philosopher. To superficial observers, perhaps, zecchinos. I carefully folded up the precious viand, and re- the alteration in his character might not have been very joined my excellent patron, who eyed the relishing slices with obvious ; but he himself knew that he was no more what he the air of a gourmand ; indeed, he was somewhat diffuse in had been—that his lupuline prowess had departed from him. his own dispraise for not having recollected to order his ser- He resolved accordingly on showing mankind what a reformavant to get some before he left home. During this peripatetic tion had overtaken him. “One of my brethren,” said he, lecture on gastronomy, we happened to pass a cantina, in plain “once assumed the garb of a lamb, but he was still a wolf at English, a wine-cellar. At the door he made another full heart. I reverse the fable; I seem outwardly a wolf, but at stop.
heart I am a lamb. Appearances are deceptive; whatever "In that house,” said he, " they sell the best Cyprus wine prejudices may be excited against me by my exterior, with in Venice--peculiar wine-a sort of wine not to be had any which I was born, and for which I am not accountable, I have where else; I should like you to taste it ; but I do not like to
that within which passeth show. I trust that I feel an exembe seen buying wine by retail to carry home; go in yourself; plary horror for the blood-thirstiness of my juvenile instincts, buy a couple of flasks, and bring them to my cassino ; nobody and the savage revellings of my maturer years. I am deterhereabouts knows you, and it won't signify in the least.”
mined, therefore, to accommodate my way of life in future to This last request was quite appalling ; my pocket groaned the usages of society-to march with the spirit of the age—to to its very centre; however, recollecting that I was on the cut no more throats-to become in short quite civilized—and high road to preferment, and that a patron, cost what he might, set an example which may have the effect of eventually bringwas still a patron, I made the plunge, and, issuing from the ing all the wolves of the forest into the same reputable posicantina, set forward for my venerable friend's cassino, with
tion as my own.” three pounds of ham in my pocket, and a flask of wine under
Full of these thoughts, and possibly some others, which he each arm. I continued walking with my excellent long-tailed patron, kept to himself, he set out upon a journey to the hut of the
nearest shepherd, which he soon reached. expecting every moment to see an elegant, agreeable residence,
Shepherd,” said he, “I have come to talk over a little smiling in all the beauties of nature and art; when, at last, matter with you, personal to myself. You have been long the in a dirty miserable lane, at the door of a tall dingy-looking object of my esteem; I entertain a special regard for you; but house, my Mæcenas stopped, indicated that we had reached our journey's end, and, marshalling me the way that I should You think me a lawless and sanguinary robber. My friend,
you requite my esteem and regard with suspicion and hatred. go, began to mount three flights of sickening stairs, at the you labour under a deplorable prejudice. What have I done, top of which I found his cassino : it was a little Cas, and a
at least for many years back, worse than others ? The head deuce of a place to boot ; in plain English, it was a garret. and front of my offending is that I eat sheep., Suppose so: The door was opened by a wretched old miscreant, who acted
must not every animal eat some other animal ? I have the as cook, and whose drapery, to use a gastronomic simile, was
misfortune to be subject, like all quadrupeds (as well as bi. “ done to rags." Upon a ricketty apology for a table were placed a tattered hunger; and upon my honour, Shepherd, I will never even
peds), to hunger. Only guarantee me from the attacks of cloth, which once had been white, and two plates ; and pre- dream of pillaging your fold. Give me enough to eat, and you sently in came a large bowl of boiled rice. “Where's the capon ?" said my patron to his man.
may turn your dogs loose, and sleep in security. Ah! Shep
herd, believe me, you do not know what a gentle, meek, sleek. “Capon!" echoed the ghost of a servant ; "the “ Has not the rascal sent it ?" cried the master.
tempered animal I can become when I have got what I think
enough." “Rascal !" repeated the man, apparently terrified.
“When you have got what you think enough!" retorted the “I knew he would not,” exclaimed my patron, with an air Shepherd, who had listened to this harangue with visible impa. of exultation, for which I saw no cause. * Well, well, never
tience ; ay, but when did you ever get what you thought mind, put down the ham and the wine; with those and the enough? Did Avarice ever think it had got enough?. No; rice, Idare say, young gentleman, you will be able to make you would cram your maw as the miser would his chest, and it out. I ought to apologise, but in fact it is all your own when both were gorged to repletion, the cry would still be, fault that there is not more ; if I had fallen in with you earlier, More! More! Go your way; you are getting into years; but we should have had a better dinner."
I am even older than you; and your cajolery is wasted. Try I confess I was surprised, disappointed, and amused; but as matters stood, there was no use in complaining, and accor
somebody else, old Isegrim !” dingly we fell to, neither of us wanting the best of all saucesappetite.
I see that I must, thought the Wolf; and prosecuting his I soon perceived that my promised patron had baited his journey farther, he came to the habitation of a second sheptrap with a fowl to catch a fool ; but as we ate and drank, herd. all care vanished, and, rogue as I suspected him to be, my “Come, Shepherd !” he began stoutly, “I have a proposal long-tailed friend was a clever witty fellow, and, besides tell to make to you. You know me, who I am, and how I live. ing me a number of anecdotes, gave me some very good ad- You know that if I choose to exert my energies, I can dine and vice; amongst other things to be avoided, he cautioned me sup upon the heart's blood of every sheep and lamb under your against numbers of people who in Venice lived only by duping care. Very well : now mark me; if you bestow on me half a the unwary. I thought this counsel came very ill from him. dozen sheep every twelvemonth, I pledge you my word that I “ Above all,” said he, keep up your spirits, and recollect will look for no more. And only think what a fine thing it the Venetian proverb, A hundred years of melancholy will will be for you to purchase the safety of your entire flock at not pay one farthing of debt.'”_Řeminiscences of Michael the beggarly price of half a dozen sheep !" Kelly.
“ Half a dozen sheep !" cried the Shepherd, bursting into a
derisive laugh; “why, that's equal to a whole flock!" Poets often compare life to the sea ; and the truth is, that, “Well, well, I am reasonable,” said the Wolf; "give me however bright the surface may be, thoy are both of them, five." whenever analysis is used, salt water.
"Surely you are joking," said the Shepherd. “Why, if I
“ I'll keep
were in the habit of sacrificing to Pan, I don't think I should myself-ay, and on second thoughts, let me add for you too, offer him more than five sheep the whole year round.” Shepherd. You have me exactly in the nick of time. "It's just
“Four, then, my dear friend,” urged the Wolf, coaxingly; the nicest thing that could have happened !". “ you won't think four too many?"
“What do you mean?” cried the shepherd.“ Nicest thing " Ah," returned the Shepherd, with a sly glance from the that could have happened! I don't understand you." corner of his eye, “don't you wish you may get them ?" “I'll enlighten you, my worthy,” cried Isegrim in high spi
The selfish scoundrel, how he mocks me! thought the Wolf. rits. “What would you think? I have just had the blood" Will you promise me three, or even two ?”
iest battle you can imagine with my brethren in the forest; “Not even one-not the ghost of one !" replied the Shep- they and I quarrelled upon a point of etiquette; so I tore herd, emphatically. “A pretty protector of my flock I should a dozen and a half of them to pieces, and made awful examprove myself, truly, to surrender it piecemeal into the claws ples of all the rest. The consequence is, that the whole of the of my inveterate enemy! Take yourself off, my fine fellow, brute world is up in arms against me; I can no longer herd before you chance to vex me !"
with my kind; for safety sake I must make my dwelling
among the children of men. Now, as you have lost your dog, The third attempt generally creates or dissipates the charm, what can you do better than hire me to fill his place ? Depend cogitated Isegrim. May it be so in this present instance! As upon it, I shall have such a constant eye to your sheep! And, he mentally uttered this ejaculation, he found himself in the as to expense, I shall cost you nothing ; for as employment, presence of a third shepherd.
and not emolument, is my object, I shall manage to live on a “Ah! my worthy, my excellent friend,” cried he, “ I have mere idea—in fact, I don't care whether I eat or drink; I'll been looking for you the whole day. I want to communicate a feed upon air, if you only take me into your service !" piece of news to you. You must know that I have been “Do you mean to say,” demanded the Shepherd, " that you struggling desperately of late to regenerate my character.
would protect my flock against the invasions of your own breThe enormity of my past career, haunted as it is with phan thren, the wolves?" toms of blood and massacre, is for ever before my eyes, and
“Mean to say it! I'll swear it,” cried Isegrim. humbles me—oh, dear! how much nobody can guess. I have them at such a distance that no eye in the village shall see grown very penitent, and very, very soft-hearted altogether, them; that their very existence shall become at length matter Shepherd.” Here Isegrim hung his head, overcome for a mo- of tradition only; so that people shall think there is only oue what want you to understand_sh kihara.cat make after ai
“And pray," asked the Shepherd, "while you protect my but slight progress by myself. I go on smack smooth enough sheep against other wolves, who will protect them against you? for a while, and then my zeal flags. I require encouragement Am I to suppose that though you hold the place of a dog, you and sympathy, and the companionship of the good and the
can ever forget that you inherit the nature of a wolf? And if gentle, who could give me advice, and point out to me the path I cannot suppose so, should I not be a madman to employ you? of rectitude continually. In short, you see, if—if you would be What! introduce a thief into my house that he may forestall by but generous enough to allow a sheep or two of enlightened his own individual industry the assaults of other thieves an my principles to take a walk out with me occasionally, in the cool
property? Upon my word, that's not so bad! I wonder in what of the evening, along some sequestered valley, sacred to phi- school you learned such precious logic, Master Isegrim ?" losophic musings, I feel that it would prove of the greatest
“You be hanged !" cried the Wolf in a rage, as he took his advantage to me, in a moral and intellectual point of view. departure; “ a pretty fellow you are to talk to me of schools, But ahl I perceive you are laughing at me : may I ask whe- you who were never even at a hedge-school !" ther there is any thing in my request that strikes you as ridiculous ?" “ Permit me to answer your question by another," said the
“What a bore it is to be superannuated !" soliloquized the Shepherd, with a sneer. *" Pray, Master Wolf, how old are
Wolf. “I should get on famously, but for these unfurnished
jaws of mine;" and he gnashed his gums together with as much something of the ferocity of old days in his tone and eye; cloth. "'Tis not in mortals to command success.”” “Old enough to be fierce enough,” exclaimed Isegrim, with apparent fervour as if he had got a mouthful of collops be
“ However, I must cut my coat according to my
With “ let me tell you that, Master Shepherd.”
“And, like all the rest you have been telling me, it is a lie,” which quotation from an Engļish poet, Sir Isegrim made a halt was the Shepherd's response. 66 You would be fierce if
before the cottage of a fifth shepherd.
you could; but, to your mortification, you are grown imbecile
“ Good morrow, Corydon," was his courteous greeting. you have the will, but want the power. Your mouth betrays
The accosted party cast his eyes upon Isegrim, but made no you, if your tongue don't, old deceiver! Yet, though you can
reply. bite no longer, you are still, I dare say, able to mumble ; and
"Do you know me, Shepherd ?" asked the Wolf. on the whole, I shouldn't fancy being a sheep's head and
Perhaps not you, as an individual,” said the Shepherd, shoulders in your way just now. What's bred in the bone will
but at least I know the like of you." never come out of the flesh, says the proverb ; and I believe
"I should think not, though,"suggested Isegrim. “I should
think you are one of the last animals one could expect to falsify it.
I should think you never saw the like of i'll take right good care to keep you at crook's length, my
me, Corydon." crafty neighbour ; make yourself certain of that!"
“ Indeed !” cried Corydon, opening his eyes; “and why not,
"Because, Corydon,"answered Isegrim,"I am a singular sort The wrath of the Wolf was excessive, but after some time of wolf altogether-marvellous, unique, like to myself alone. it began to subside. Mankind, it was evident, at least the pas- I am one of those rare specimens of brute intellectuality that toral portion of them, did not appreciate as they ought the visit the earth once perhaps in three thousand years. My dawn of intelligence among the lupuline race—the first faint sensibilities, physical and moral, are of a most exquisite orefforts of the brute intellect to attain emancipation from ig- der. To give you an illustration-I never could bear to kill norance and savageism. However, he would try again. Per- a sheep; the sight of the blood would be too much for my severance might conquer destiny. The Great, thought he, are nerves; and hence, if I ever partake of animal food, it can not always thus unfortunate. Certainly it should not be so only be where life has been for some time extinct in the natuin my case. Ha! here we are at the door of another shep- ral way. I wait until a sheep expires at a venerable old age, herd, and methinks a man of a thoughtful and benevolent and then I cook him in a civilized manner. But why do I aspect. Let us see how we shall get along with his new mention all this to you? I'll tell you frankly, my admirable crookship.
friend. My refined susceptibilities have totally disqualified So he began: “How is this, my dear friend ?” he asked; me for living in the forest, and I want a home under your hos" you seem rather depressed in spirits. Nothing unpleasant, pitable roof. I know that after what I have said you cannot I hope ?--no domestic fracas, or thing of that sort_eh ?" refuse me one, for even you yourself eat dead sheep; and I pro
"No," returned the Shepherd, sighing, “but I have lost test most solemnly that I will dine at your table. my faithful dog—an animal I have had for years—and I shall “And I protest most solemnly that you shall do no such never be able to supply his place. I have been just thinking thing,” returned the Shepherd. “ You eat dead sheep, do what a noble creature he was.”
you? Let me tell you that a wolf whose appetite is partial to "Gadao ! that's good news!" cried the Wolf—“I mean for I dead sheep, may be now and thon persuaded by hunger to
my skin ?”
mistake sick sheep for dead, and healthy sheep for sick. Trot
THE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE. off with your susceptibilities elsewhere, if you please. There's a hatchet in the next room.”
The Jerusalem artichoke affords a plentiful supply of winter
food for sheep and cattle, and is highly serviceable in situaHave I left a single stone unturned to carry my point ? tions where, owing to the unfitness of the soil, or a deficiency demanded the Wolf of himself. Yes, there is a chance for me
manure, turnips, carrots, mangold wortzel, or potatoes, yet. I have it! And full of hope he came to the cottage of can be cultivated only to a small extent
. Mr Morewood, in
the “ History of Inebriating Liquors,” p. 399, thus treats of “ Look at me, Shepherd l” he cried. “Am I not a splendid the north of France the root of the Jerusalem artichoke
the advantages attending its cultivation :-“ In some parts of quadruped for my years? What's your opinion of ** Very handsome and glossy indeed,” said the Shepherd. of distillation. The wash from this vegetable is found to
(Helianthus tuberosus) has been introduced for the purpose " You don't seem to have been much worried by the dogs.”
“No, Shepherd, no," replied Isegrim, “I have not been much yield a very pure strong spirit, which resembles that obtained worried by dogs, but I have been and am worried, awfully been tried. As the root grows readily in Great Britain, and
from the grape more than any substitute that has hitherto worried, Shepherd, by hunger. Now, the case being so, as you admire my skin, you and I shall strike a bargain. I'am might be cultivated abundantly, it would be well to try the grown old, and cannot live many days longer : feed me then experiment here, as we have no medium spirit between genuine to death, cram me to the gullet, Shepherd, and I'll bequeath French brandy and the fiery produce of grain sold under the
donominations of gin and whisky. In Ireland the cultivation you my beautiful skin !" “Upon my word !” exclaimed the Shepherd. “ You come
of this plant would be attended with great advantage, since to the person of all on earth most interested in compassing there are so many unreclaimed and waste lands, its culture
it thrives well in a boggy soil; and in a country like it, where your death, and you demand of him the means to enable you would be a profitable speculation, for while the roots would to live. How modest of you! No, no, my good fellow, your afford a fine material for distillation, the tops would yield skin would cost me in the end seven times its worth. If you more fodder than the same space of ground, if sown with really wish to make me a present of it, give it to me now. Here's a knife, and I'll warrant you I'll disembarrass you of
ordinary grain." it before you can say Trapstick.”
In Scotland this plant is only to be found in the gardens, But the Wolf had already scampered off.
the agriculturists of that country being, it would seem, as yet unacquainted with its value as a fodder. According to Mr
Tighe, in the “ Survey of Kilkenny,” p. 342, it has been par. “ Oh, the bloody-minded wretches !” he exclaimed, “ give tially introduced into that county. He says, “ The Jerusalem them fair words or foul, their sole retort to you is still, the artichoke has been tried as a food for sheep by the Rev. Dr hatchet ! the cleaver! the tomahawk! Shall I endure this Butler ; he found them very fond of the roots, which agreed treatment ? Never! I'll return on my trail this moment, well with them; the quantity produced in ground without and be revenged on the whole of the iniquitous generation.”
manure was calculated to be at the rate of one hundred So saying, he furiously dashed back the way he had come, barrels per acre (a barrel is five bushels or twenty stones). rushed into the shepherds' huts, sprang upon and tore the eyes Being very hardy plants, they will thrive in a poor soil without of several of their children, and was only finally subdued out any manure, and are extremely productive: pigs may be and killed after a hard struggle, during which he managed to fed with them as well as sheep ; and as horses are said to be inflict a number of rather ugly wounds upon his captors.
fond of the tops, it is surprising that their use in agriculture It was then that a venerable shepherd of five score years and has not been more general. One advantage attends their ten, the patriarch of the village, spoke to them as follows:- cultivation—they are not liable to be stolen like turnips, cab“How much better, my friends, would it have been for us if bage, young rape, and similar plants; they are not with more we had acceded at first to the terms proposed by this reckless difficulty extirpated from ground than potatoes, though this destroyer! Whether he was sincere or not, we could have had been objected to them, and will perish soon when the field easily established so vigilant a system of discipline with re- is laid down with grass." spect to him that he should not have had it in his power to injure us. Now, too late, we may deplore the evil that we cannot remedy. Ah, believe me, my friends, it is an unwise EARLY STRUGGLES OF MEN OF GENIUS. policy to drive the vicious to desperation : the hand of the
ANECDOTE OF ROOKE, THE COMPOSER. outcast from society becomes at last armed against all mankind; he ceases after a season to distinguish between friends We do not know if it be stated in the Life of Sir Walter Scott and enemies. Few, perhaps none, are so bad as to be utterly write a work on the early difficulties to which the most illus.
that several years previous to his death he had proposed to irreclaimable; and he who discourages the first voluntary trious men of genius in the British islands had been subjected, efforts of the guilty towards reforming themselves, on the pre- but it is within our own knowledge that during his visit to Iretence that they are hypocritical, arrogates to himself that dis- land he avowed this intention, and for this purpose collected crimination into motives which belongs alone to the Supreme Judge of all hearts, and becomes in a degree responsible for facts relative to our own most distinguished countrymen, the ruinous consequences that are almost certain to result from that great man would have written it, would be of inestimable
some of which were obtained from ourselves. Such a work, as his conduct."
value; and it is deeply to be lamented that the difficulties in
which his own latter years were involved should have preTO KATHARINE.
vented him from undertaking it. We have been reminded of
this interesting fact by the following anecdote, which bas been BY J. V. u.
communicated to us by a friend, illustrative of the early diffi. Believe not I forget thee : not for one
culties with which one of our most eminent countrymen had to Dark moment have I been thus self-divided
contend, and from which he succeeded in extricating himself, From that deep consciousness which is for ever
no less by persevering energy of mind, independence of spirit,
and propriety of conduct, than by the possession and cultivaThe light of all my thoughts; it were to lose
tion of talents of the highest order—we allude to the author My own existence--a chill blank in life:
of the opera of “ Amilie, or the Love Token.” We give the For all is colourless when love deserts
anecdote in our friend's own words :The heart—sole centre of all joy and woe ;
“ William M. Rooke, the composer of the delightful music Whose light or gloom all nature wears. Believe
of · Amilie,' an opera which has spread his musical fame far
and wide, had in early life to contend for years, in his native My breast still weary till it turns to thee,
city, Dublin, against difficulties which would have broken the The load-star of its constant faith-unchanged spirit of any one, save a man endowed with the strongest men. By distance or by time. For thee it cares :
tal powers: indeed, many men of great talents have sunk under For thee its joys are treasured up untasted,
trials which the genius and perseverance of Rooke have at
longth overcome, placing him at his present height of celebrity As scattered sweets which the home-loving beo
as a British composer. None can so truly estimate his merits Hoards for its mossy dwelling far away.
as those who are aware of the hard fortune of his early days,
and what he had to struggle against previous to his visiting leave the former, and attach itself altogether to the latter London in 1821.
substance. The combustibility of hydrogen is about equal to In reference to these struggles, the following singular fact that of iron. It is inferior to carbon and to many other bodies ; may not prove uninteresting to those fond of the marvellous; but it is superior to that of copper, silver, gold, and others. and had not the circumstance occurred in my presence, i If, therefore, we take water in the state of steam, and bring it should have doubted its truth:- - One morning during the into contact with red-hot charcoal or coke, the oxygen of the summer of 1818, I called at Rooke's lodgings, and on entering water goes to the most combustible body, and the hydrogen the room found him in a state of great dejection. How are is set free. In this way charcoal may be made to burn brilyou, Billy?' said I (my usual salute). As well as a man can liantly without air, but not without oxygen. A red-hot bit of be,' he replied, “who has not yet had his breakfast, and who charcoal burns in steam, because it decomposes the water; it has not a farthing in his pocket to procure one. This was at takes the oxygen, and turns the hydrogen out, which assuming eleven o'clock. At the very moment that this reply was ut- the form of gas, may be collected by means of peculiar chemical tered, our eyes were attracted by a light piece of paper, which apparatus. for a short time floating over our heads, finally settled upon Iron and hydrogen are, as mentioned above, about equally the floor ; and our astonishment may be imagined on disco- combustible : in fact it depends upon the degree of heat, vering it to be a bank note! It would not be easy to describe which is the more combustible. If the iron be bright red, it my feelings. I gazed on the object intently, scarcely believing decomposes water, taking away the oxygen; but if it be only it a reality, although I could plainly see the prominent features dull red, then hydrogen is the more combustible; and if of its value_ Thirty Shillings! We both remained for some there be a compound of oxygen and iron ready formed (oxide minutes motionless, except that our eyes were cast alternately of iron, rust), the hydrogen will decompose it, and water being from the object of our wonder to the various parts of the room, formed, the iron will be set free. If, therefore, a gun barrel seeking a cause for so unexpected but welcome a visitor. This be laid across a fire, and heated to bright redness, and a apparent mystery, however, was soon explained. Some months little water be poured into it at one end by means of a tunprevious, Rooke had missed a thirty-shilling note, and sup- dish with a stop-cock soldered to it, hydrogen gas will issue posed it to have been stolen from him. On the morning of my from the other end, and may be burned, or collected for vacall he had been seeking some manuscript music stowed away rious purposes. in a press near the window, the upper sash of which was down; Hydrogen gas may be prepared more easily by other proand in his search the long-lost note had thus been exposed to cesses, which do not show, however, so clearly the fact of its a strong current of air, which ultimately dislodging it from being derived from the decomposition of the water. The proits place of concealment, restored it to its owner at a moment perty which iron acquires at a bright red heat may be given to when it was so much wanted.
it without any heat, by means of some oil of vitriol (called in When last in London, during an evening's chat with my the language of chemists, sulphuric acid). Iron quite cold will friend, casting our thoughts back upon old times and circum- decompose water, if the water be previously mixed with some stances, I brought to his recollection the fact here related, sulphuric acid. The oxygen goes to the iron, which dissolves, the singularity of which principally rests upon the strange and the liquor contains green copperas. The metal zinc, chance of the mislaid notê re-appearing at such a time and which is now so very much used in the arts, may also be em, in such a manner; and I question whether, in all its rambles ployed with sulphuric acid and water to decompose water, and before or since, the said thirty-shilling note ever came to hand it gives a purer hydrogen gas than iron, the latter metal conso opportunely.”
B. W. taining always a little charcoal, which mixes with the hydrogen
and contaminates it.
In all of these processes, although the water is decomposed, THE NATURE OF WATER.
yet we obtain only one of its elements; the other, the oxygen, We concluded a previous notice of some of the uses to which remaining combined with the iron, the charcoal, or the zinc. water is subservient in nature, by mentioning that modern We may, however, produce the separation of water into its science had fully proved the incorrectness of the ancient idea elements, so as to exhibit both. This is done by passing a of the elementary nature of water; and that by the processes current of electricity from the apparatus termed the galvanic which chemistry places at our disposal, we are now able to battery, through the water. One of the grandest and most resolve water into its elements, or, having obtained these ele- fruitful discoveries ever made in chemistry was that by Sir ments from other sources, to cause them to unite, and to pro- Humphry Davy, who proved that electricity possesses the duce water in combining. In the present article we shall point power of separating compound substances into their elements ; out the manner in which this may be accomplished, and de- and by that means he succeeded in decomposing numerous scribe some properties and uses of water which the space at our bodies which had resisted all processes known before that disposal did not allow us to notice before.
time, and obtained new substances of a simple nature, and of Water consists in great part of the substance to which is most curious and important properties. To decompose water due the power the atmosphere possesses of supporting life and by means of electricity, the wires from the galvanic battery combustion, and of which we have formerly spoken under the are made to dip into a little cup of water, and over each wire name of oxygen. Every nine ounces of water contain eight there is hung à bell-shaped vessel, inverted, full of water. ounces of oxygen, the remainder being made up of another and When the current passes, pure oxygen gas is disengaged from very peculiar substance, termed hydrogen. "Hydrogen is a one wire, and pure hydrogen gas is liberated at the other, and gas, invisible, colourless, and transparent, and consequently being received as the bubbles rise in the bell-glasses, the gases in all external characters precisely like the air we breathe. But are collected for use. it differs from it very much in other respects. If a lighted So much for the separation of water into its elements; the candle be placed in hydrogen gas, the candle is extinguished, production of water by the union of its elements is still easier, for hydrogen does not support combustion, but the gas itself | The simplest way to show this is to take a little bottle, and takes fire, where it mixes with the air, and burns with a pale put into it the zinc, water, and sulphuric acid, by which the yellowish flame, scarcely visible in broad day-light. Hence hydrogen is to be obtained, to fit to the mouth of the bottle a hydrogen is in its properties the very reverse of oxygen: it cork, through which passes a little glass or metal tube, endburns, which oxygen does not; oxygen supports combustion, ing in a fine jet. The gas may be set on fire as it issues from which hydrogen cannot do. When hydrogen burns with the jet, and by holding a cold plate or a tumbler over the oxygen, water is always formed.
flame, and at a little distance, a copious dew of water will be Now, to decompose water it is only necessary to act upon deposited upon it, which after a few moments will increase the principle of hydrogen being a combustible substance. All so much as to run into large drops. This water is formed substances are not equally combustible; that is to say, they do by the hydrogen gas combining as it burns with the oxygen of not burn or combine with oxygen with equal facility or quick- the air. ness. Thus charcoal is more combustible than iron, iron Hydrogen gas in burning produces very little light : one is more combustible than copper, and copper than gold or cause of this is, that the product of combustion-formed water silver, whilst phosphorus is still more combustible than char- being in a state of steam, there is no solid substance in the coal. Now, oxygen will combine with any of these combus- flame; and it appears to be always true that no bright light tible substances, but if it have a choice, it will take that can exist without a solid material. In order to produce a which is most combustible--that which it likes best. And great light with the flame of hydrogen gas, it is only necessary even if the oxygen be already united with one body, and that to place a wire or a bit of flint, or any solid substance, in the another more combustible be brought into action on it, it will I Hame. The solid immediately becomes intensely bright, and by using lime or magnesia, which are peculiarly fitted for the improvement of the new art of the navigation of the air ; the purpose, a light so intense as to be only surpassed by and after having ascended from Versailles frequently, and the noon-day summer sun, may be obtained. This lime light gained a considerably greater height than any of his predeces. has been introduced for experiment into lighthouses, and has sors, he resolved to cross the British Channel, and pass from been particularly serviceable in the trigonometrical surveys France to England in a fire-balloon. He ascended from a of these kingdoms, in consequence of which it is generally village about half way between Calais and Boulogne, on Sepknown as the Drummond light, from the eminent philosopher tember the 16th, 1784, with a gentleman of the town as a comwhose recent melancholy loss every Irishman must deplore. panion; and having attained a considerable height, was car. The heat produced by the flame of hydrogen is thus most in- ried by the favourable wind over the sea in his proper course. tense; substances which are inattackable by the strongest The balloon however continuing to rise, got into a current of furnaces melt like wax in the jet of oxygen and hydrogen, air in an opposite direction, and was brought again over the and in the Drummond light the lime appears gradually to land ; at this moment the spectators on shore were horrified evaporate.
to observe that the balloon, half lost in the clouds, was on fire, A mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, or of hydrogen and and after a moment the car was observed to fall. The remains air, may be thus set fire to by a candle; and when previously of the car and of the unfortunate aëronauts, in whom scarcely mixed, a terrific explosion is produced. Persons should there- a vestige of human form could be traced, were found in a field fore be very cautious how they perform experiments with by, on the road to Abbeville ; and a stone bearing the simple indrogen, as even skilful chemists have occasionally suffered scription of the fate of Pilatre de Rozier and his companion severely from accidents of this kind. When a young person marks to the present day the place, close by the road-side, makes hydrogen for the first time, he is naturally curious, and where the bodies were inhumed. hastens to satisfy himself by seeing that it burns: he applies The substitution of hydrogen or of coal gas for the firethe candle before all the common air has been expelled from balloon, has deprived aërial navigation of its greatest dangers. the apparatus, and the mixture inside being still explosive, No good means of steering or tacking a balloon having been the flame passes back, and the whole is shattered into pieces discovered, the art has not yet fulfilled the expectations that with the noise and violence of a bombshell. At the same were at first formed of it: the balloon is at the mercy of the time, therefore, that we would be happy if this article induced winds; and although the voyagers travel in ease and safety, many of our young readers to satisfy themselves of the com- and often with rail-road speed, yet as it cannot be foretold in position and decomposition of water by actual experiment, what direction the balloon must go, voyages in the air have yet we trust they will do so prudently, and with the guidance been as yet only an exciting and not very dangerous amuseof some older person who has previously seen how chemical ment.
K. apparatus are employed. If a wide tube of glass be held over the jet of burning hy
THE THEATRE. I approach a subject, on which a great drogen gas, a very curious result is produced : a powerful variety of opinion exists, and that is the theatre. In its premusical sound is heard, which changes according as the jet is sent state the theatre deserves no encouragement. It is an moved
and down in the tube. The nearer the jet is to the accumulation of immoral influences. It has nourished intemorifice, the graver, the higher up in the tube it is, the more acute, is the sound heard. The cause of this is, that the flame, perance and all vice. In saying this, I do not say that the which to the eye appears uniform and continuous, is in reality theatre which would be the noblest of all amusements, and
amusement is radically, essentially evil. I can conceive of a a number of very small explosions of mixed air and gas. would take a high rank among the means of refining the taste These succeed one another so rapidly
, that the intervals of and elevating the character of a people. The deep woes, the darkness which intervene are not perceived, and the quantity mighty and terrible passions, and the sublime emotions of of gas which explodes is too small to produce any audible genuine tragedy, are fitted to thrill us with human sympanoise ; but on bringing a tube, the air in which is capable thies, with
profound interest in our nature, with a consciousof vibrating with the same quickness as the little explosions
ness of what man can do, and dare, and suffer, with an awed are produced, the air is thrown into
vibrations which reach feeling of the fearful mysteries of life. The soul of the specthe ear, and produce the peculiar musical tone.
tator is stirred from its depths, and the lethargy in which so selection of gas jets and tubes a variety of notes may be pro- many live is roused, at least for a time, to some intenseness of duced, so great that a musical instrument has been constructed thought and sensibility. The drama answers a high purpose by their means. Hydrogen gas is the lightest substance in nature, and it is striking events of human history, and lays bare to us the
when it places us in the presence of the most solemn and consequently used to fill balloons, by which men have been human heart in its most powerful, appalling, glorious work. carried to a height in the air much exceeding that of the lof- ings. But how little does the theatre accomplish its end! tiest mountains. When balloons were first made use of, they How often is it disgraced by monstrous distortions of human were of the kind which are now termed fire-balloons: the bag nature, and still more disgraced by profaneness, coarseness, of the balloon was open at the bottom, and in the car was a furnace, the chimney of which terminated at the aperture of indelicacy, low wit, such as no woman, worthy of the name,
can hear without a blush, and no man can take pleasure in the balloon. The hot air and gases generated by the burning without self-degradation !—Dr Channing on Temperance. of the fuel in the furnace ascending into the bag, expelled the heavier cold air, and a sufficient power of rising was thus
CONSECRATED IRISH BELLS.-Consecrated bells were forobtained, by the difference between the weight of the heated merly held in great reverence in Ireland, particularly before and of the cold air, to enable the balloon to take up a very “Both the laity and clergy in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales,
the tenth century. Cambrensis, in his Welsh Itinerary, says, considerable weight. Hydrogen gas being, however, at least ten times as light as the hot air, was much more convenient, held in such great veneration portable bells, and staves crook't as it required only a much smaller balloon; and the unfortu- at the top, and covered with gold, silver, and brass, and similar nate death of the most remarkable experimenter of the fire- relics of the saints, that they were much more afraid of swear. balloon, Pilatre de Rozier, contributed also very much to show ing falsely by them than by the gospels, because from some
hidden and miraculous power with which they were gifted, their great danger, and prevent their being used.
Although many persons had proposed from time to time to and the vengeance of the saint, to whom they were particularly ascend by means of balloons filled with heated or rarified air, pleasing, their despisers and transgressors are severely pun. or with hydrogen gas, it was reserved for the brothers Mont- ished. Miraculous portable bells were very common;
Giral. golfier of Lyons to realize this bold and singular idea. These dus speaks of the Campana fugitiva of O'Toole, chieftain of brothers had originally been destined to science, but on the Wicklow; and Colgan relates, that whenever St Patrick's death of an elder brother who had been an extensive paper portable bell tolled, as a preservative against evil spirits and maker at Lyons, they abandoned their former pursuits to con- magicians, it was heard from the Giants' Causeway to Cape tinue the manufacture, They made large paper balloons, Clear, from the Hill of Howth to the Western shores of Conwhich, whether filled with hydrogen gas or heated air, as
nemara.-Hardiman's Irish Minstrelsy. cended, and one brother ascended to a small height at Lyons. On introducing their invention to the notice of the public and Printed and Published every Saturday by Gunn and CAMERON, at the Office
of the General Advertiser, No. 6, Church Lane, College Green, Dubthe royal family at Paris, the greatest enthusiasm was excited, lin.-Agents :-R. GROOMBRIDGE, Panyer Alley, Paternoster Row, Lonand personages of the highest rank accompanied the adventu- don. SIMMS and DINHAM, Exchange Street, Manchester. C. DAVIES,
North John Street, Liverpool. J. Drake, Birmingham. M. BINGHAM, rous brothers in their aërial voyages. Pilatre de Rozier, then
Broad Street, Bristol. Fraser and CRAWFORD, George Street, Edine director of the king's museum, devoted himself completely to burgh. DAVID ROBERTAON, Tropgate, Glasgow