« PoprzedniaDalej »
thing like positive pleasure, may, alas! too transiently, perhaps, be nobly enjoyed. He, with fevered frame, who is anxious to allay his fervours in the crystal wave, he who is studious with the scrutinizing eyes of Botany to explore the secrets of the shrub, and detect the latent essences of the flower; he, who has been harassed by the din of commerce, and of crowds, the
fumum, opes, strepitumque Romæ,
may find, at Bristol, the blandishments of beauty, the fragrance of foliage, the loneliness of solitude, the interchange of society; vivid verdure and perennial flowers.
The public spirited proprietor of the hotel and baths of this vicinity, has been alike liberal of his time and his property to effectuate every purpose of public accommodation. The mansion for the reception of travellers, the offices for the accommodation of domestics; the larder, for the luxury of the gourmand: and the cellar for Bacchus's hoard, all testify that anxious wish to please, which liberal men of the world cannot fail to appreciate generously
Of the character of the mineral springs in this neighbourhood, which has conferred so much celebrity on their site it would be impertinent on the part of the writer of this crude article to expatiate. Accurate analysis* made by accomplished chymists, demonstrate the salubrious powers of the Naiades of Bath and Bristol. Drs. Rush and Denormandie, with all the weight of authority and science, have, correctly, inclined to the conclusion that our Bath waters are decidedly chalybeate; and that their boldest and most liberal exhibition to the debilitated, the hypochondriacal, the dyspeptic and paralytic patient will be followed up by effects of the happiest augury.
* The Editor understands that his friends, Dr. James Cutbush, and Dr. Benezet have very ably investigated the properties of these salutary streams, so eagerly quaffed by many an invalid. To the researches of such men, ardent to pursue, and liberal to impart truth, the houest inquirer, the nervous valetudinarian, the votary of science, and the victim of pleasure, are equally indebted. Too much praise cannot be conferred upon those, who, amid the importunate cares of professional life, still d, or create intervals of leisure, which are devoted to the promotion of all that can be salutary to the species, or honourable to the individual
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
BEDFORD MEDICINAL SPRINGS.
Continui montes, nisi dissocientur opaca
The town of Bedford, in the neighbourhood of which those springs have their source, and from which they receive their name, is situate on the great Pennsylvania-road, leading from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, two hundred miles from the former, and one hundred from the latter. The site of the town is healthful and beautiful beyond description. Built upon an eminence formed of limestone and silex, it is always clean. Almost enveloped with mountains, which pourtheir limpid streams into the vallies, and which are deeply shaded by forest-trecs, the inhabitants of this village enjoy delightful summers: never incommoded by heat, they are refreshed by pure and cooling breezes, which either play on the hill, or sport in the dale.
West of the town, is Will's mountain, which begins a little north of Bedford, and runs a few degrees to the west of south. Its altitude is more than thirteen hundred feet. On the east is Dunning's mountain, which runs parallel to Will's mountain and is eleven hundred feet in height. These ranges of mountains are about one mile and a half distant from each other at their bases. The numerous fountains to which those ridges give birth, generally discharge waters remarkably pure and transparent; but not so very cold as might be expected, in so deep and narrow a valley. It is well known that the air, cæteris paribus, in those regions, where the forests have not been disturbed, is purer than in those, where they have been partially tamed by the hand of cultivation, an advantage which the atmosphere around these springs possesses; and for ages to come,
it must continue to be richly supplied with oxygen, or vital air, from the extensive forests which cover the surrounding mountains. The summers in these regions, especially in the mornings and evenings, are cooler, than they are either east or west on the same latitude. A large volume of air along the western side of Dunning's mountain, not heated by the rays of the morning sun before ten o'clock: a similar volume along the eastern side of Will's mountain, begins to cool two hours before night: hence the heat is never intense—cool breezes generally prevail. The mercury in Fahrenheit's thermometer rarely rose, in June, 1810, above 65° at 8 o'clock, A. M.: July of the same year, was but a few degrees warmer, and in August, the mercury did not often rise to 800 before noon, in the shade.
The mountain scenery around Bedford, though picturesque, stately, and possessing much to charm the eye of the beholder, is not remarkably grand, or magnificent. One mile and a half south of the town, in a charming and romantic valley, are the
This valley is formed by a spur of Dunning's mountain, and a ridge running nearly parallel to Will's mountain. The spring most celebrated and improved, arises from the base of the mountain, on the south-east side of the valley. It has a north-west exposure.
In the year 1804, a mechanic of Bedford, when fishing for trout in the stream which runs near the mineral fountain, had his attention drawn by the beauty and singularity of the waters flowing from the bank, and drank freely of them. They operated as a purgative and sudorific. This man had been distressed for
many years with rheumatic pains, and formidable ulcers on his legs. On the ensuing night he was much less disturbed with pains, and slept more tranquilly than usual. The unexpected relief obtained, induced him to drink of the waters daily, and bathe his legs in the running fountain. In a few weeks he was perfectly cured. The happy effect which they had on this patient, induced others labouring under this, and various chronic diseases, to visit these springs. On the summer of 1805, a great number of valetudinarians, came in carriages, and encamped in the valley, to seek, from the munificent hand of Nature, their lost health. A dense copse of shrubs, had cnveloped the springs until about
this time, and rendered it difficult to approach them. The inhabitants of Bedford, now began to make improvements. Upon digging away the bank, it was found, that about twenty feet from the spot where the waters first issued, they poured themselves through the fissure of a limestone-rock. This limestone-stratum, lies nearly parallel with the surface of the mountain, of which it forms a part; making with the horizon, an angle of about 35°; and is covered with a mixture of clay and freestone gravel, about three feet in depth.
About fifteen perches south of this, there is another mineral spring, which discharged on the 16th of last March, six gallons of water per minute; the sensible qualities of which differ but little from those of the other. At present it rises sixty feet from the base of the mountain. It once rose twenty-five feet higher on the hill than at present. Between its original source and the bottom of the hill, there is a large bank, manifestly of secondary formation. It would seem that from the first ages
of the world to the present time, this bank has been forining by deposite from the stream. It is highly probable that, at some distant period, a much larger quantity of water escaped from the mountain at this place; that, by its own deposite, the channel was partly blocked up; and that the waters which originally burst out here, found a new passage, through the fissure of the limestone-rock, mentioned above.
There are many hundred tons of this deposite. Its colour is grayish, and it is easily pulverized. With the stronger acids, it effervesces violently; and there is a copious evolation of fixed air. Its composition, however, has not yet been perfectly ascertained.
About forty perches north-east of the principal fountain, at the base of the same mountain, is a rich SULPHUR SPRING, which, hitherto, has been covered by the waters of the creek, in the bed of which it rises. It is expected, that this spring will be improved before the warm season of the ensuing summer. There are also in the same valley, copious fountains of cool and beautiful waters, which are not distinguished by any peculiarity of mineral quality.
The spring which has chiefly engaged the attention of the public, and which is more highly improved, discharged on
the 16th of March last, twenty gallons of water per minute; the temperature of which by Fahrenheit is 55°. It emits no smell when issuing from the fountain; is perfectly transparent, and its taste is very soft, but agreeable to most palates. When exposed in a clear glass vessel, there is seen floating in it, a pellucid mineral substance, which, after standing a few days, is solved, so as to become invisible. It deposites in the troughs, which convey it to the baths, a large quantity of oxydized iron. A glass tumbler exposed to the water in the fountain two weeks, was found to be enveloped in a coat of oxyde of iron. The presence of iron is also detected by tincture of galls, with which it strikes a black colour. After being heated to 212° of Fahrenheit, no change is produced in its colour by the tincture; indicating the solvent of the iron, to be sulphuric acid.
A few grains of pure vegetable alkali, added to one half pint of the water, changes it to nearly the whiteness of milk. The white particles which produce this colour, in one hour fall to the bottom; and when filtrated and dried, there remains a white powder, slightly caustic. Two ounces of alcohol added to the same quantity of the water, precipitated, in one hour, every mineral substance, which it contains. When this precipitate was filtrated and dried, there remained a gray powder, the taste of which was similar to that of an equal mixture of phosphate of soda and magnesia. Tincture of galls added to the water, after it had been heated to the boiling point, did not, as was remarked, strike a black colour. Muriatic acid was now added, the temperature still 212°, which produced no visible change; but, upon adding a few grains of pure vegetable alkali, a violent ebullition succeeded,--white fumes arosema highly offensive smell was emitted-and a copious precipitate immediately fell down. The unpleasant smell resembled that of sulphuretted hydrogen. The precipitate was not analyzed, so as to ascertain its composition.
Three pints of the water were reduced, by slow evaporation, to a half pint: and a solution of carbonate of ammonia, which had been prepared by the exposure of pure ammonia to the action of the atmosphere, was added to the water thus reduced, which became turbid; and a solution of phosphate of soda was now