Imagens das páginas

the liberty of the press is not entirely extinguished in England, not withstanding

the withering hand

Of bigot power upon this hapless land,'

for we have never heard of the attorney general making any advances towards an acquaintance with this witty family, or with that sombre ill starred gentleman, the domestic tutor, whose asterisks, added to his most lamentable effusions, express such unutterable things.

Conscious rectitude can suffer such assailants to pass by unnoticed; but how would "the calm and easy grandeur of the Imperial bird" have borne a similar provocation? This question is best answered by the single monosyllable, PALM! A stanza of Horace will best express the feelings of an able, firm and upright minister, attacked by licentious petulance, who neither fears the malice, or [nor] wants the aid of such auxiliaries.

Integer vitæ, scelerisque purus
Non eget MAURI jaculis neque arcu,
Nec venenatis gravidâ sagittis,
FUSCE, pharetra.

which may be thus translated for the benefit of such town or country gentlemen whose classical learning is grown rusty, and who may not have Smart or Francis at their elbow :

At thee, pert profligate Toм BROWN,
The idle laugh, the grave ones frown,
Whilst he who just and wise is,
Defies attacks from wits or dolts-
And e'en the sharp, envenom❜d bolts

Of M-himself despises.'-pp. 163, 164.

Four of the Fables in the present selection are, it seems, from the pen of a friend.' As upon recurring to our extracts we find that we have pitched upon two fables, in the same metre ; we will endeavour to make room for a third, in which there is some variety of measure, and which will at the same time serve as a specimen of the talents of the author's coadjutor.


A dire disease, which Heaven in wrath
Devis'd, to work wide woe and scath,
For crimes committed here on earth,
A sickness sore,—a frightful evil,

More grievous far than war or dearth,
Consigning myriads daily to the devil:
In one short word,-the plague, with dreadful ravage,
Broke out amongst the brute creation,
Assail'd all animals both tame and savage,
And widely spread around it devastation.




VOL. XXIII. NO. 46.-Q. R.

[blocks in formation]

If some died not, they scarcely lived,
Nor seem'd aware they had surviv'd,--
Their instincts gone,-and vanished quite
Propensities and appetite.
Nor hens nor geese the fox allure,
And Isgrim's jaws are sinecure.
All mop'd in melancholy mood,
Reckless alike of fight or food.
The sometime gentle turtle-dove
Indiff'rent now to life and love,
(For life and love to her were one)
Her pining partner fain would shun-
The lion in this sad conjecture,
Whose conscience had receiv'd a puncture,
Resolv'd to hold a bed of justice,
And state to all in what his trust is.

[blocks in formation]

As his majesty's confession is rather prosy, we shall take the liberty of cutting it short. He acknowledges a strong fancy for mutton,' and admits that he has occasionally made a bonne bouche,' of the shepherd himself, whose guilt, like that of his flock, seems to have consisted in running away.'





The monarch ceas'd and judgment begs.
The fox was quickly on his legs,
And having caught the lion's eye
He hasten'd thus to make reply:
“Ah! sire, indeed you're much too good
To take account of such vile blood-
Too scrupulous and delicate
For one of your exalted state!
Your Majesty is much too nice,
To deem sheep-slaughter such a vice!


This for the brutes ;-then, for the man,-
I think your Highness said-he ran.
Desert his flock !-a precious pastor!
I'm glad your majesty ran faster.

[ocr errors]

This is truly humorous and characteristic.

After a few words

more in condemnation of the poor shepherd, who to the crime of attempting to save his life, is stated to have added that of 'holding crooked rule over his charge,'

The fox sat down loud cheers resound,
And hear, hear, hear! was echoed round.





The tiger and the bear follow; but as they are beasts of rank, and confess nothing but a few peccadilloes akin to those of the lion, they are absolved as a matter of course:

Can crime exist in such high station?
All that had teeth, or tusks, or spirit,
Absolved at once from all demerit,
Were guiltless found by acclamation !
At length the ass came to confession,
And thus denounced his own transgression :
"On thorny thistles starv'd and sad dock,
I chanced to pass the parson's paddock;
The sacred sward seem'd sweet and green,
My appetite I own was keen,

And fair occasion urg'd to revel—
Or might it not have been the devil?
Whate er it were-I cropp'd a blade-
I own 'twas wrong-we must speak out:
I was a trespasser, no doubt !"'

A general roar of indignation.
Follow'd the donkey's declaration-
"What crop the close the parson's too!
For this can less than death be due ?
When thorns and thistles grew so plenty
Could nothing but the glebe content ye?
From such a sin but death can purge ye-
Death without benefit of clergy!" "

This is a spirited version. The three others, by the same hand, are equally good; though the style and the finishing are sometimes a little too laboured and overloaded.

Upon the whole this is an entertaining volume. The author has new dyed the stuff of La Fontaine, preserving much of the beauty and lustre of the original tint, and he has worked in some fresh flowers of his own, in order to adapt his pattern to the taste of the present times.


ART. VIII.-The Gas Blow-pipe, or Art of Fusion, by burning
the Gaseous Constituents of Water: giving the History of the
Philosophical Apparatus so denominated; the proofs of Anal gy
in its operations to the Nature of Volcanoes; together with an
Appendix, containing an Account of Experiments with this
Blow-pipe. By Edward Daniel Clarke, LL.D. Professor of
Mineralogy in the University of Cambridze, Member of the
Royal Academy of Sciences, at Berlin, &c. 8vo. pp. 109.
London. 1819.

F the converse of the proposition μεγα βιβλιον, μέγα κακον,
were true, we might welcome this little tract, as the produc-
tion of a writer who, in this instance, at least, has endeavoured,
in the words of Addison, to practise in the chemical method, and
give the virtue of a full draught in a few drops.'-But, alas! it has
been cast among the chemists, to whom it is more particularly ad-
dressed, as the apple of discord was cast among the gods, and set
them together by the ears!

The opinion of Macquer, that There does not exist in nature any substance which may be considered as essentially and vigorously infusible.* is as old as the time of Theophrastus. When that eloquent philosopher delivered lectures in the Lyceum at Athens, as the successor of Aristotle, the number of his auditors amounted to two thousand; and that they were instructed in many facts considered as of modern discovery, may be seen by reference to the very small part of his writings which has descended to our time. His observations shew that he had attended as carefully to the changes which bodies sustain in consequence of the action of heat as if he had been acquainted with the use of the common blow-pipe. He notices an opinion which had been maintained in Greece, that all stones, excepting marble, were fusible, and holds this to be true of the greater number; and it is a very remarkable confirmation of the exception he made respecting the carbonate of lime, that-after a lapse of above two thousand years, with all the aid afforded by the advancement of science-if a chemist were asked what substance more than any other resists the action of heat, he would adduce the purest carbonate of lime, in the example of Iceland spar, the fusion of which can hardly be effected even by the gas blow-pipe.

An ardent and insatiable curiosity in chemists has in every age prompted them to augment, by every means in their power, the

* Macquer, Dictionnaire de Chimie, article Apyre.
†Theophrastus Παρί των λίθων βιβλιον κ' p. 8 L. Bat. 1647.

# Οίδα και όλως λείεσι πάντας τηκεσθαι, πλην το μαρμαρο και το λαTheophrast. ad


[ocr errors]

action of heat; the difficulty of melting some substances having always presented obstacles to metallurgists, and tended greatly to retard many important improvements in the arts. It is foreign to the undertaking we have in view, or it might be easy to shew with what perseverance the ancient alchemists so long laboured in pursuit of an universal solvent for all bodies. This solvent is now found, since there is no substance whatsoever that is not capable of being held in solution by the fluid matter of heat. A series of brilliant experiments, resulting from the discovery of oxygen gas, by Priestley and Scheele, has gradually led to the introduction and use of the gas blow-pipe, or Art of Fusion, by burning the Gaseous Constituents of Water,' by means of which the most refractory bodiest may be melted, and in many instances, entirely volatilized.


As to many of our readers the subject is altogether new, and very important facts are likely to accrue to the science of chemistry, from the further use of the extraordinary means of decomposition offered by the philosophical apparatus here alluded to, we shall endeavour to make them acquainted with its real nature by a brief description of the instrument itself, before we proceed to state the effects produced by it.

This blow-pipe, literally calculated for 'setting the Thames on fire,' consists of a small square box, usually made of thick sheet copper, into which, by means of a piston, are compressed the gaseous constituents of water; afterwards, by turning a stopcock, the mixed gases are allowed to escape through the narrow aperture of a capillary tube of an inch in diameter, and exposed to combustion at the orifice, by lighting the gaseous mixture, exactly as we light a common gas lamp. A small flame continues to burn at the extremity of the jet of the tube, to whose powerful heat are exposed all substances submitted to the test of this blow-pipe. Dr. Clarke has devised an apparatus, represented in a frontispiece to the volume, by means of which a continual supply of the gaseous mixture may be forced into the reservoir during the most protracted experiments; the machine is also supplied with a safety cylinder invented by his friend, Professor Cumming, to prevent the consequences of explosion.

The first account of Dr. Clarke's experiments with this blowpipe appeared in the Journal of the Royal Institution, No. III.

In August, 1774. Scheele discovered the same gas in 1777, without any previous knowledge of what Dr. Priestley had done. Lavoisier first gave it the name of Oxygen



The fusion even of charcoal has been accomplished by it.

Mixed in the proportion of two parts by bulk of hydrogen gas, and one part of oxygen


« AnteriorContinuar »