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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
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,
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
More grievous far than war or dearth,
VOL. XXIII. NO. 46.-Q. R.
If some died not, they scarcely lived,
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.
This for the brutes ;-then, for the man,-
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,
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?
And fair occasion urg'd to revel—
A general roar of indignation.
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 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.
# Οίδα και όλως λείεσι πάντας τηκεσθαι, πλην το μαρμαρο και το λαTheophrast. ad
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