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: Beside the advantage of destroying insects, the suds appear to be productive of other good effects. When applied just after the fall of the leaf, they contribute much to preserve the wood of the delicate and tender kinds of peaches. I account for it thus : It is allowed that our summers are, in general, too short to perfect the wood of the tender kinds of peach and nectarine trees without artificial means, and when the wood of these trees is imperfectly ripened, it is very subject to the canker, especially if, in the succeeding winter, there happens a succession of rain and frost. This the nurseryman, as well as the gardener, often woefully experiences.
• I constantly have observed that the canker originates at, or close adjoining to, the buds of the last year's wood. The caufe seems to be this. Wood imperfe&ly ripened is always soft and spongy, and therefore admits of imbibing a large pore tion of moisture in rainy weather. The bud and the fine capillary vessels adjoining it being surcharged with moisture in a wet evening, when the frost comes at night, it freezes the moisture in the vessels, and causes it to expand; which, by tearing the vessels alunder, brings on a decay of the parts. Now the Soap-suds seem to leave a glossy kind of coat or covering on the branches, and the oily particles contained in the suds, by penetrating them, prevent their being overcharged with moisture.
• But here it may seem strange that oil fhould act this friendly part, when it is well known to be so highly pernicious to plants in general. That it is fo, in its genuine ftate, is proved by daily experience. The general and received opinion of wool being poisonous to plants, is from no other cause than from the oil contained in it.
• But notwithstanding that oil has this pernicious effect on plants, when in its original and genuine state, still, when made miscible, perhaps nothing is more nourishing and friendly to them. This brings me to consider soap-suds as a manure to the borders, for it is evident that by the rains and dews, the principal of it does terminate there at last, and this important consideration alone is sufficient to recommend the practice. It may seem unnecessary to observe, that soap-fuds contain a larger portion of oily particles after a common washing, than in the original state.
• I lhall conclude this digressional note with observing, that Soap-suds keep trees clear of moss, and render the bark clear and healthy.'
The branch of gardening which has of late received the greatest improvements, is that which relates to the management of hot-houses, hot-walls, and hot-beds. A general treatise oa these subjects, explaining the particular modes of cultivating the various plants that are raised or brought to perfection by these artificial methods, would be a valuable acquisition to the gardener's library. It is needless to say by whom we wilh to see it executed.
Art. VI. Observations on the Doctrine laid down by Sir William
Blackstone respecting the Extent of the Power of the Britif Parliament, particularly with relation to Ireland. In a Letter to Sir William Blackstone ; with a Poltscript addressed to Lord North, upon the Affairs of that Country. 8vo. 1S. 6 d. Almon. 1779.
E have suffered this pamphlet to number peaceably on
our shelf beyond the time in which we generally announce political publications, because we apprehended that it turned less on political than on legal topics, and because we consider that law will, in general, keep longer than politics, which are of a more fleeting and transitory nature. On a more attentive perusal, however, of the arguments it contains, we are rather inclined to class it under the latter description.
Though we entertain no doubt that this publication comes from a lawyer's pen, it will be found that the positions which Sir William Blackstone has advanced, and which this Writer has chosen to discuss, are independent of legal inferences, and admit of little legal controversy. Our laws certainly acknowJedge no higher authority than that of parliament. Here refides the absolute power of “ making, confirming, enlarging, restraining, abrogating, repealing, reviving, and expounding laws concerning matters of all poffible denominations, ecclefiaftical or temporal, civil or military, maritime or criminal *.” Whatever epithet be thought descriptive of this high power, it cannot alter its essential properties; much less can its existence be disproved by asserting a possibility of its being abused. If Sir William Blackstone, in displaying its nature and extent with a laboured pomp of words, has unfortunately provoked this Writer's spleen, we must observe that the learned Commentator is safely entrenched behind the authority of the most respectable Whigs, and warmest admirers of the constitution. It is an instance of the caprice of all sublunary things, that the same language which was popular in one age becomes in another sure pected and obnoxious. In the last century, the power of parliaments was the palladium of English liberty, and the favourite theme of Englishmen. It was not imagined that a parliament could ever be faithless to the interests of the people, and therefore the constitution has not provided any check in such a cafe, beyond the ordinary remedy placed in the hands of the elective body, on every new election of representatives. A change of situation may, no doubt, induce a change of language, along
• Black. Comm, Book S. C. 2,
A a 4
with a change of doctrine; but they who adhere to the old ought not to incur the ceníure of those who adopt new systems or opinions. There is so much wisdom displayed in the frame of our government, and the different parts of legislation are adjusted to each other with such a happy nicety, that the highest encomiums will not seem byperbolical. They who wish to see it perpetuated, can hardly be blackened by all the eloquence, and more than all the argument which this Gentleman has em ployed against Sir William Blackstone. We trust the people of this country will always have sense to feel, and spirit to defend their rights, under whatever forms the attack may be masqued. But if ever they should be so far exasperated at the conduct of their parliaments, as to strike them out of the book of political life; what they would gain by such a revolution is rather matter of experiment than of theory. Whether the constitution would be reformed, or whether it would be subverted, is an arduous point, at which the wiseft men may well pause, and about which the most patriotic may be divided. The Commentator on the Laws of England has a right to pronounce bis opis nion, and may surely be pardoned “ for venturing to affirm, that as long as the English constitution lasts, the power of parliament is absolute, and without controul.” The motives, however, on which he is supposed to have espoused this doctrine, are discovered by our Letter-writer with a great deal of good. natured penetration. • You and I, Sir William, know, that the doctrine of the omnipotence of parliament is a very favourite one in the quarter of promotion : and it was very natural you shoul prefer a seat on the woolíack to one in the House of Commons.” This is one of the tritest artifices of controversy Sir William Blackstone is here accused of a base and infamous design to mislead the understandings of his countrymen, on the most important of all subjects, merely because it gives spirit and poignancy to the style of a disputant to suppose it: as it to confute a man's arguments it was necessary to wound his character, We are more surprised to find occasion for this remark given by a writer of learning and genius (for such the Author of this letter discovers himself to be), as he appears to us to have gone out of his way to make the attack. His favourite object, which is to prove the independency of the Irith parliament, stands clear of this part of the learned Commentator's positions. He might have admitted, consistently with the tenor of his arguments, that the power of the English parliament is fupreme and unbounded within this kingdom (as invested with all the powers which the community it represents can bestow), and at the same time have denied, as he afterwards does, its legislative power over a different community which has a parliament of its own. This latter position he endeavours to establish by a long and elaborate investigation of the principles of government; but the subject has been so completely exhausted in the American controversy, that we find no new light here thrown upon it. --Mr. Burke somewhere says, that “it is not easy to make a monopoly of theorems and corollaries :” The Irish are too quicksighted not to perceive that the arguments employed by America are ready made to their hands; and if they do not apply them to their own case, it certainly is not the fault of their writers.--Among the able advocates that have started up in their caufe, what precise degree of rank and estimation the Author of this pamphlet may have obtained, we are not sufficiently informed to pronounce t.
Whether he be the first in point of popularity or not, he has a claim on the national gratitude, as first in the order of time; having appeared in print before the letters signed Guatimozin, and other popular publications, forced themselves into notice. We lament the mistake which has so long postponed our account of his performance,
+ We have heard this publication ascribed to Chr Sh-d-n, Esq.
ART. VII. Experiments and Obfervations made with the View of im
proving the Art of comparang and applying calcareous Cements, and of preparing Quickl: me : I beery of theje Arts; and Specification of the Author s cheap and durable Cement for building &c By Bry. Higgins, M. D. 8vo. 5 s. unbound. Cadell 1780.
HE Author of this performance availing himself of the
lights thrown on the nature of lime-Itone and calcareous earths, and their change into quicklime in the process of calcination, by Dr. Black, and those who have succeeded him in this inquiry, was led to apply these discoveries to the useful purpose of improving the mortar used in our buildings; on the goodness of which their itrength and durability chiefly depend : --a matter, as he observes, of great importance, in this country particularly; where the weather is lo variable and trying, and the mortar commonly used is so bad, that the timbers of houses last longer than the wails; unless the mouldering cement be frequently replaced by pointing.'
Seeing however, the Author adds, that 'many years are requisite for the greatest degree of induration, which cementitious mixtures like mortar can acquire, or for our discovering the imperfections of them; and that the life of man is too short to allow any considerable improvements of them to be derived from such experiments as had hitherto been made; I resolved in the beginning of the year 1775 to investigate more closely than I had hitherto done, the principles on which the induration and ftrength of calcareous cements depend; not doubting that this would lead me by an untried path to recover or to excel the
Roman cement, which in aqueducts and the most exposed structures has withstood every trial of fifteen hundred or two thousand years.'
Dr. Higgins accordingly first made several experiments, with a view to ascertain the changes which lime-stones or calcareous earths undergo in the several stages of calcination ; particularly with respect to the essential part of that process—the expulsion of the fixed air combined with them; the presence or absence of which constitutes the principal difference between limestone or chalk and quick-lime.
Among many other observations deduced from these experiments, we learn that lime-stone or chalk exposed only to a red heat, how long loever continued, fill retains so large a portion of its fixed air *, (or acidulous gas,' as the Author denominates it) as to effervefce strongly with acids; and to lose no more than one-fourth of its original weight; and that, in this state, it Nakes fowly and partially, and with little heat:--and that exposed to a he at barely fufficient to melt copper, it loses about one-third of its weight in twelve hours, and very little more in any longer time; that this lime effervesces but Aightly in acids, heats much sooner and more strongly than the foregoing, when water is sprinkled on it, and lakes more equably, and to a whiter powder.--- In a variety of trials, this lime appeared to be in the fame state with the best pieces of lime, prepared in the common Jime-kilos.'
From fucceeding experiments we learn further, that a white heat, fufficient to melt fteel, preceded by a long continued red heat, is requifite to expel all the fixed air from pure lime-stone and calcareous earths; so as to render them perfectly non-effer. vescent, and to give them the properties of flaking initantly on the addition of water, growing hitling hot, and falling into a fine white powder. In the process thus conducted, 48 ounces of lime-stone, after the total expulsion of its fixed air, loses 21 ounces of its weight.
The Author nexe Thews, that the perfection of lime, pre. pared for the purpose of making mortar, consists chiefly in its being totally deprived of its fixed air. He ascertained the truth of ihis proposition, by making several parcels of mortar with Jime which had been more or less strongly calcined ; and had accordingly retained a less or greater quantity of its fixed air. He spread each specimen, as soon as it was made, to the thickness of half an inch, on a plain tile previously soaked in water ; and exposed them equally in an open place to the influence of the sun and rain. Comparing them at the end of fourteen or
For reasons that we have formerly assigned, we chuse to retain the old term, ii!l cutiom has given a complete fanction to a better.