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ate admiration of Hogarth to have not only exaggerated some of his merits, but to have made the critic unconsciously unjust to the genius of Reynolds. He speaks of the '■ staring and grinning despair which Reynolds has given us for the faces of Ugolino and dying Beaufort," and asks if in them there be any thing
•• Comparable to the expression of the broken-hearted rake, in the last plate but one of the ' Rake's Progress, where a letter from the manager is brought to him to say that his play will not do?'
Yes; there is in those direful countenances something far beyond that to which Mr Lamb considers them so much inferior. Ugolino, in that hungry cell, is past the yearning tenderness of paternal love—past sorrow for the dying or dead corpses at his feet—past the steady consciousness of his own horrible doom—it may be said, past despair. He is a skeleton in which there is yet a heart, but through which no blood seems to flow. In that face, there is no fluctuation—no shadow of change,—only a fixed stare that betokens a wild dream of horror preying on an unstruggling victim. In that figure, the idea of life is lost in that of misery. The madness of lean famine has overcome and killed all the passions. He is a father, for these are his children. But hunger and thirst have disinherited them in Ugolino's heart; it is childless, and, first hardened into stone, it seems next to be mouldering into clay, dust, and ashes.
Nor is the countenance of the dying Cardinal much less terrible. True, that it is, as Mr Lamb says, a grinning countenance. It indeed grins horribly, a ghastly smile. Sin ia there, more convulsive than pain, more ghastly than death. It would almost seem the face of one beyond redemption. It is the face of one possessed, bought, tormented, by an evil spirit. And there is the evil spirit. That fiend is privileged to stand visibly before us. It is such a fiend as our soul might, in its fit of fear, conjure up beside the death-bed of such a sinner. Nature, in such a mood prone to superstition, saw the grisly phantom; and genius gave it that mean, hideous, cruel, devilish "leer of hell." There is nothing in all Hogarth so terrible as this. Had
there been, Mr Lamb would neither have past it over in silence, nor would have sneered at the " grinning de» spair of the dying Ugolino"!
We must also dissent from Mr Lamb when he speaks so rapturously of Hogarth's sense of beauty. That admiration, he informs us, was given to him by Mr Coleridge, a man whose opinions always bear the stamp of genius, but are, not seldom, fantastic and sophistical exaggerations. Hogarth had but one idea of the loveliness of a female face. That one idea is far from being very beautiful. The beauty may indeed be considered as perfect in its kind,—that is, so far as it goes. It is the beauty of well-formed features, clear skin, sparkling eyes, healthy complexion: it ia the beauty of fine temper, youthful spirits, and health, which last is of itself, beauty in one sense of the word. But there is not in any female of Hogarth a single trait of expression undefineable, a single look which we cannot analyze to its elements, a single breathing of that inspiration, whose workings are felt, not criticised. Look, for instance, at his Sigismunda. Here is passion, strong passion, but it is polluted with the intermixture of essential vulgarity. Or look at his Garrick in Richard. We are not old enough to have seen Garrick, but surely he never so debased Shakspeare's idea of a royal villain,—or, if he did, it is the privilege of art to adorn, and Hogarth has either not known, or despised the finest part of his birthright. The truth is, he had not the divine spark, the 6u< n, within him. When we turn from such beauty as he could create to that imagined—loved—worshipped, by Raphael, we feel how much was wanting in Hogarth's soul, of the divine and angelical nature of man,—that there is a sphere of thought and feeling which he never dreamt of; and that, with all his power, and all his passion, it is, notwithstanding Mr Lamb's strenuous efforts to prove the contrary, true that his works do not belong to the very highest provinces of the art.
We must now reluctantly take leave of Mr Lamb and his many speculations, with gratitude for the pleasure he has afforded us, and not without hope that, ere long, that pleasure may be renewed.
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
Echinite in Obsidian—Dr Mitchell of New York, in the American edition of Pro lessor Jameson's Illustrations of the Theory of the Earth of Cuvier, announces that he has seen a specimen of obsidian containing an echinite, a fact which militates against the volcanic origin of that substance.
Professor Jameson's System of Mineralogy has been translated into the Italian.
Dr Murray's System of Chemistry has been translated into the German.
The third edition of Professor Jameson's Translations and Illustrations of Cuvier's Theory of the Earth, has been reprinted in America. To the American impression, the Honourable Dr Mitchell has added, "Observations on the Geology of North America."
Sugar of the Bat-root—The endeavours that were made in France, during the war, to produce sugar from the beet-root in sufficient quantity to satisfy the demands of the population, were very successful, and it was procured of excellent quality. The peace, however, by re-opening the ports, and allowing the introduction of the canesugar, tended to paralyze that branch of agricultural industry, for which, however, some strong exertions have since been made by the philosophers of France.
The following is given as the statement of the expense and returns of the manufactory of M. Chaptal, and if there are no unstated objections to its introduction, it is difficult to account for the preference given to cane-sugar.
Forty-five French acres were sown with beet-root; the produce equalled 700,000 lbs. Charges, francs.
Sowing, pulling, carnage, and expenses of the manufactory for seventy-nine days of actual work 7000 Workmen ... 2075
Fuel . - . 4500
Animal Charcoal • - 1100
Repairs, interest of capital, &c 4000
ly known. It was communicated by At. Arfwedson. Liberate hydrogen in contact with chloride of silver, as by mixing the chloride, zinc, sulphuric acid, and water together, and the silver will be reduced to the metallic state; the zinc is easily dissolved out by excess of acid, and the metal obtained by filtration or decantation.
Boiling point of Fluids—M. Gay Lussac has, in a late Number of the Annales de Chimie, shewn that the boiling point of water and other liquids varies independently of atmospheric pressure. The circumstances which influence it appearing to be the nature of the body which is in contact with the boiling fluid, the cohesion of the fluid, and the resistance which is opposed to a change of state, as in the cases of every other equilibrium of forces.
Water boiled in a glass vessel rises to a temperature of more than one degree of the centegrade thermometer higher than when boiled in a metallic vessel; and the effect appears to be due to the nature of the surface in contact with the fluid; this is rendered evident by placing a metallic surface in contact with water boiled in a glass vessel. If a flask of water be placed over a lamp until its temperature be raised to the point of ebullition, and it be noticed, and then a portion of iron filings thrown in, the temperature will fall, and the boiling wilt go on, as in a metallic vessel.
It is to be observed that this effect of difference of temperature appears to be not so much a constant and specific effect as the apparent result of other circumstances. Water boiled in a glass vessel and open to the air, is continually changing its temperature, sometimes rising and sometimes falling within a certain minute range, and these changes accord with the evolution of vapour from the fluid. Either water or alcohol, when boiled in glass vessels, do not generally give off vapour in a regular uniform way, but whole torrents rise at once from the under surface with great force, producing a kind of explosion; the fluid is then quiet for a moment, and then another gust of vapour rises up. Now, during the tune the vapour rises the temperature falls, and whilst the fluid is quiet the heat rises, so that it is continually changing; and as the lowest point is the true boiling point, it is evident that the mean temperature of water boiled in a glass vessel must be above that point. In a metallic vessel, on the contrary, as soon as the water or fluid has at. tained the boiling point, the conversion into vapour commences, and if the heat is continued, the steam is constantly and regularly generated and given off.
M. Gay Lussac seems inclined to account for the effect in glass vessels by the cohesion of the fluid to the surface of the vessel. It is evident that when vapour is formed in the interior of a liquid body, one force to be overcome is the cohesion of the particles of the liquid; this force will of course be constant for the same liquid in vessels of every material. An analogous force is that exerted between the liquid and the substance of the vessel, and this will vary with the substance; and as the vapour is generated at the point of contact between the fluid and the vessel, the variation of this force will vary the temperature at which vapour will be formed.
M. Gay Lussac also gives, as another power which has influence in these phenomena, the resistance to a change of state; but observes, that it is difficult to analyze and describe; and he concludes in this part, that the conducting power for heat, and the nature of the surface, appear to exert an influence on the boiling point of water; and that every thing else being equal, water boils more readily on a metallic surface than on a glass surface, and more readily in a glass vessel containing glass in powder, than in a glass vessel containing nothing but the fluid.
The application which M. Gay Lussac proposes to make of the property which metals have of inducing ebullition before glass or earthen ware vessels, is to prevent those sorts of explosions which take place in distillations. If into a retort, or flask, containing alcohol, water, or particularly sulphuric acid, some little pieces of platinum wire be put, the concussions, which are so violent as sometimes to break the vessels, will be prevented, and the vapour formed and liberated in a regular manner. This mode has been adopted for some years in this country by the makers of vitriol, where glass vessels are used to distil in. Where the retort is made of platinum, it is obviously unnecessary.
M. Gay Lussac observes, that an important consideration in the graduation of thermometers arises from the above facts, and that the variation pointed out ought to be guarded against, as a source of error.
Crystallized Iodine Some curious observations on the forms of crystallized iodine have been published in the Bibliotheque Universelle. Crystals had formed on the surface and at the bottom of a solution of iodine, by slow evaporation, and were all of them cubes. In another solution they had formed in great abundance on the surface, and in the upper part of the bottles; and with the exception of a single crystal, which was rhomboidal, were perfect cubes; some of them were as much as half a line in the side. The crystals increased rapidly in size, although the temperature of the place was never above 45°,5 of Fahrenheit, and was frequently at the freezing point of water.
Chinese mode of making Sheet Lead...- Two large tiles perfectly flat, are covered on
one side, each with very thick paper; they are then placed horizonally with the paper surfaces together. The workman lifting up one angle of the uppermost plane, introduces a sufficient quantity of melted lead to make a sheet, and immediately lowering the tile, jumps upon it, and presses it strongly with his feet; the metal is thus extended into an irregular sheet.
To prevent the oxydation of the lead, they employ a kind of resin called dnmmer.
Meteoric Iron There is a character first
pointed out in Germany, belonging to meteoric iron, which is, perhaps, not very generally known. It consists in the production of regular figures and crystalline facets on the polished surface of the iron, when moistened with nitric acid, analagous to those produced in the moire metalliquc This character has been found to belong to all the well-known specimens of meteoric iron that have been tried, and as distinctly in the grains found in meteoric stones, as in larger masses of the metal; but it has been looked for in vain in the native iron of Charlesdorf, of Veiben, of the hill of Birandi (de Chladni) of Peru, and in the mass at the Cape, first made known by Barrow and Dankelmann.
Pompeia, Herculaneum, gV—The idea that Pompeia and Herculaneum were destroyed by an eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79, has been very generally received. A new opinion however has been advanced respecting the destruction of these two cities, which attributes it to a rising of the waters of the sea, and a deposition of finely divided matter from them. It is asserted, that a formation similar to that which covers Pornpeia is daily forming on the shores at Naples, and that Herculaneum is covered by a mass of tufa, and not by lava. There is little doubt but that Herculaneum has been buried in consequence of the action of water, but whether by a wave of the sea, or by torrents thrown out from the volcano, is uncertain. Pompeia has probably been covered by a gradual fall of ashes.
Method of making Salt in the Great Loochoo Islands —Near the sea, large level fields are rolled or beat so as to have a hard surface. Over this is strewn a sort of sandy black earth, forming a coat about a quarter of an inch thick. Rakes and other implements are used to make it of B uniform thickness, but it is not pressed down. During the heat of the day, men are employed to bring water in tubs from the sea, which is sprinkled over these fields by means of a short scoop. The heat of the sun in a short time evaporates the water, and the salt is left in the sand, which is scraped up and put into raised reservoirs of masonry about six feet by four, and five deep. When the
• Extracted from Captain Hall's "Account of B Voyage of Discovery to the West Coast of Corea, and the Great Loo-choo Island."
receiver is full of the sand, sea water is poured on the top; and this, in its way down, carries with it the salt left by the evaporation. When it runs out below at a small hole, it is a very strong brine; this is reduced to salt by being boiled in vessels about three feet wide and one deep. The cakes resulting from this operation are an inch and a half in thickness.
Mr Gough has favoured the public with the following account of a child nine years old, at present residing in Kendal. Thomas Gasking is the son of an industrious and ingenious journeyman shoemaker, of Penrith; and 'I now proceed to notice his literary attainments, which he has acquired in the course of two years. He has learned to read correctly and gracefully; he writes a good hand with surprising expedition; and he has made some progress in the English grammar. The boy went through this part of his education in a day-school at Penrith; but he is indebted for his mathematical knowledge to the tuition of his father, who, though in low circumstances, has laudably dedicated his hours of leisure to scientific pursuits, as I am informed. Little Gasking seems well acquainted with the leading propositions in Euclid; he reads and works algebra with the greatest facility, and has entered upon the study of fluxions. I am aware that this report will appear incredible to those who are acquainted with the different subjects which have been enumerated; but the following instance of his wonderful proficiency will, in all probability, remove any doubts that competent judges may entertain. A stranger gentleman, who was invited, with myself, to examine the boy, requested him to demonstrate the thirteenth proposition of the first book of Euclid ; which he did immediately. The demonstration of the twentieth proposition of the one book was next proposed: he drew out the figure; and though he failed in his first attempt, he soon recovered the train of reasoning, and went through the demonstration correctly. Being asked, if he had two sides of a triangle and the angle included given, how he would proceed to find the third side? the process appeared quite familiar to him, and we found, upon inquiry, he was acquainted with logarithms, and was able to use them. In spherical trigonometry, he solved two cases of right-angled triangles by Lord Napier's rules. His skill, and the rapidity of his operations, in algebra, created more surprise than his knowledge of geometry ;—he solved a number of quadratic equations with the greatest ease, and extracted the square roots of the numbers which resulted from his operations. Several questions were put to him which contained two unknown quantities; these he also answered without difficulty. Being asked if he had been taught the application of algebra to geometry, he answered in the affirmative, and immediately solved the following problem :—Given one leg of a right-angled
triangle, and the excess of the hypothenusa above the other leg, to construct the triangle. He answered two or three problems relating to the maxima of numbers and of geometrical magnitudes with ease, and took the fluxions, which were not difficult, correctly. When the age of this child is compared with his scientific attainments, we can look on him in no other light than as a literary phenomenon, who promises to become an ornament to one of the British universities, unless his progress should unfortunately be checked by indigence, or the vigour of his mind should be enfeebled by some sinister accident.
New South Wales. —A discovery has been made in New South Wales, which must materially affect the future advancement of that colony. "A river of the first magnitude" has been found in the interior, running through a most beautiful country, rich in soil, limestone, slate, and good timber. A means of communication like this has long been anxiously searched for without success, and many began to entertain an apprehension that the progress of colonization in New Holland would be confined to its coasts.
Mr Oxley, the surveyor-general, was sent out with a party in an expedition to the westward of the Blue Mountains, to trace the course of the lately discovered river Lachlan, and to ascertain the soil, capabilities, and productions, of the country through which it was expected to pass in its course to the sea. Mr Oxley left Bathurst on the 30th April 1817. He proceeded down the Lachlan until the 12th May, the country rapidly descending until the waters of the river rose to a level with it, and, divided into numerous branches, lost itself among the marshes. Mr Oxley quitted the river on the 17 th May, taking a S.W. course towards Cape Northumberland. He continued this course until the 9th June, when he was induced to change his course to north. On this course he continued till the 23d June, when he again fell in with a stream, which he could with difficulty recognise as the Lachlan, it being little larger than one of the branches of it where it was
auittcd on the 17th May. He kept along lc banks of this stream till the 8th July, when the whole country became a marsh altogether uninhabitable. This unlookedfor and truly singular termination of a river filled the party with the most painful sensations. They were full 500 miles west of Sydney, and nearly in its latitude; and it had taken them ten weeks of unremitted exertion to proceed so far. Returning down the Lachlan, he recommenced the survey of it from the point on which it was made the J3d June. The connexion, with all the points of the survey previously ascertained, was completed between the 19th July and the 3d August. It was estimated that the river, from the place where first made by Mr Evans, had run a course, taking all it* windings, of upwards of 1200 miles, a length of course altogether unprecedented, considering that the original is its only supply of water during that distance.
"Crossing at this point," says Mr Oxley in his Report, " it was my intention to take a -V E. course to intersect the country, and if possible to ascertain what had become of the Macquarrie River, which it was clear had never joined the Lachlan. This course led us through a country to the full as bad as any we had yet seen, and equally devoid of water, the want of which again much distressed us. On the 7th August the scene began to change, and the country to assume a very different aspect. We passed to the N.E. of the high range of hills which on this parallel bounds the low country to the north of that river. To the N. W. and V. the country was high and open, with good forest Ian'; and on the 10th we had the satisfaction to fall in with the first stream running northerly.- This renewed our hopes of soon falling in with the Macquarrie, and we continued upon the same course, occasionally inclining to the eastward, until the 19th, passing through a fine luxuriant country well watered, crossing in that space of time nine streams, having a northerly course through rich valleys, the country in every direction being moderately high and open, and generally as fine as can be imagined.
*' No doubt remained upon our minds that those streams fell into the Macquarrie, and to view it before it received such an accession was our first wish. On the 19th, we were gratified by falling in with a river running through a most beautiful country, and which I should have been well contented to have believed the river we were in search of. Accident led us down this stream about a mile, when we were surprised by its junction with a river coming from the south, of such width and magnitude as to dispel all doubts as to this last being the river we had so long anxiously looked for. Short as our resources were, we could not resist the temptation this beautiful country offered us, to remain two days on the junction of the rivers, for the purpose of examining the vicinity to as great an extent as possible.
"Our examination increased the satisfaction we had previously felt As far as the eye could reach in every direction, a rich and picturesque country extended, abounding in limestone, slate, good timber, and every other requisite that could render an uncultivated country desirable. The soil cannot be excelled; whilst a noble river of the first magnitude afforded the means of conveying its productions from one part to the other. Where I quitted it, its course was northerly, and we were then north of the parallel of Port Stephens, being in latitude 32° 45' S. and 148° 58' E. longitude. The course and direction of this river is to be the object of an early expedition. Destructive Watcr-Sjmit,—On the 18th
June, a water-spout of immense diameter inundated great part of the arrondissemcE: of Auxerre. The rain, accompanied by large hailstones, fell in torrents for thirty minutes. The whole harvest in nineteen communes is destroyed. In some quarters the water was six feet deep; at Fontenai a house was thrown down, and four children killed, and several other edifices were much damaged.
Area, Discovery in Optics.—A very interesting and important discovery is said to have been made on the increase and projection of light, by Mr Lester, —*p*rrr
Mr Lester being engaged at the West India Docks for the purpose of applying his new mechanical power, The Converter, to cranes, by which the labour of wenches is performed by rowing, tec.; on taking a view of the immense spirit vaults, he was forcibly struck by the inefficient mode adopted to light those very extensive and wonderful depots.' which is by a cast-iron cylinder of about two feet in diameter, and two feet deep, placed in lieu of a key-stone in the centre of each arch;—these cylinders are closed at their tops, and each furnished with five plano-convex lenses (bull's eyes) of Messrs Pdlatt and Green's patent, which are admirably adapted to the conveying of light in all situations, except down a deep tube or cylinder, where the refraction they produce (in consequence of their convex form) betwixt the angles of incidence and reflection, prevents the rays from being projected into the place intended to be lighted. This refraction throws the light upon the concave sides of the cylinder, where it is principally absorbed, instead of keeping the angles of incidence and reflection equal.
From these observations Mr Lester concluded, that a lens might be so constructed as to prevent this refraction, and commenced a course of experiments for that purpose. He succeeded by obtaining the proper angle of the incidental rays with a mirror, and finding the scope of the cylinder sufficiently copious to admit the reflected rays into the vault, provided the refraction of the lens did not intervene. The same angle produced by the mirror he endeavoured to retain upon the sides of the lens, by giving it a different form, a peculiar part of which he intended to foliate. But having met with insurmountable difficulties in this process, he concluded, from the striking appearance of silvery light upon the interior surface of that part he intended to silver, that metal would represent the light by retaining that form. and, brought down below the edges of the lens, might produce the desired effect. In his attempt to accomplish this purpose, by holding the body in a vertical position between
"One of which is nearly an acre and am half in area, and it is supported by 207 groined arches and 207 stone pillars.