Obrazy na stronie

sits were designed to extend. The term fixed for the transmission of these questions was till the end of February last, and before Christmas he had received five hundred. Among the learned bodies by whom they were sent, were the academies of Petersburgh, Copenhagen, and Turin, with several universities of Russia, Germany, Holland, and Italy. Several statesmen had also contributed their inquiries.

The first volume of a Dictionary of the Teutonic language has lately been published by M. le Camp. It forms more than one thousand pages in quarto, containing 26,735 articles, and yet includes only the first five letters of the alphabet. The author admits all the dialects of the Teutonic tongue, and the technical terms of every art.

Among the new works published at Munich, one, entitled, Gemahlde aus dem Nonnenleben, Pictures of Monastic Life, has lately excited considerable sensation. It is compiled by M. Linpowsky, from the archives of the suppressed nunneries

in Bavaria.

A projector at Paris has offere to construct a press capable of printing, in twelve hours, 1200 copies of a work, not exceeding twenty four sheets, either in the common way, or in stereotype. He further announces a press capable of working 30,000 sheets, with ordinary types, in twelve hours, and also a new method of composition, much more expeditious than that now in use.

ten upon papyrus.

ly to be in time completely filled up by the accumulations of futh thrown into it.

M. Michaux, whose travels through the United States are not unknown to the English reader, has recently been sent a second time by the French government to explore the forests of the vast American continent. He is actively engaged in fulfilling the objects of his mission, and has transmitted to e Professors of Natural History in the French Institute, several specimens of seeds, with a view to the cultivation in France of the American oak, and other useful trees.

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MR R DAVY, in the concluding Lectures of his Course at the Royal Institution, gave a distinct and very luminous exhibition of his grand discovery, the decomposition of the alkalies. His first experiments were with potash and soda, which, in their dry state, are non-conductors, but when moistened, have the property of conducting electricity. In both instaăces, he clearly produced metalline substances, by bringing them within the action of the Voltaic battery.Oxygen was given out at the positive side of the battery, and at the negative little globules of the metallic base were instantly formed. The metaline bases of the alkalies, he named potassium and sodaium, chusing the termination um, in compliance with the

The Abbe Gaetano Marini, first librarian of the Vatican, has lately published at Rome 146 documents of the middle ages, written on papyrus, accompanied with historical and diplomatical illustrations. The first is a bull of Pope John III. for finishing the church of the Apostles, about the year 570. It ap. pears, that to the end of the 11th century, the papal bulls were always writ-present nomenclature of metals, in ortury, the papal bulls were always writ- der that they might agree with platinum, plumbum, &c. &c. These new metals, to appearance, are precisely like mercury, but very different from that metal in their various properties, which he enumerated and demonstrated to the satisfaction of every one present. He showed the great inflammability of the new metals, by touching them with the smallest quantity of water, when they instantly took fire.

Don Juan Manuel de Arejula has lately published, at Madrid, a short De. scription of the Yellow Fever, which reigned some time since in Andalusia. He considers it as highly contagious. A contrary opinion is maintained by Don Francisco Salva, who studied the disease at Barcelona, and describes it as not

contagious, but attributes it to exhala. tions from the port of that city, which is daily becoming shallower, and is like


They are both malleable at the com-
mon temperature, and may be spread
into very thin leaves on a plate of
glass, by mere pressure. So great,
however, is their attraction for the
Oxygen of the atmosphere, that they
almost instantly became tarnished.
Before the discovery of these new me-
tals, only two bodies of this class,
viz. iron and platinum, were capable
of being welded, and that at a very
great heat; whereas separate parts of
the potassium and sodaium, can be
united readily at the common tempe-
rature of the atmosphere. The speci-
fic gravity of the potassium is to that
of water as about six to ten; in the
case of sodaium, it is as ninety-three
to one hundred. Mr Davy showed,
that the metals which he had spread
on glass were easily fusible again by
the heat of a spirit lamp, by the ap-
plication of which they almost in-
stantly ran into globules. The attrac-
tion of these new metals for oxygen,
was shewn by their burning at a red
heat, when the alkalies were again re-
vived. In analyzing them with great
accuracy, he found the potash con-
tained fourteen parts of oxygen, and
eighty-four of metalline base, but the
soda contained twenty parts of oxygen
to eighty of base. These metals in-
troduced into a jar of oxymuriatic gas
spontaneously took fire, and the white
fune collected on the glass, was in the
one case muriate of potash, in the
other, muriate of soda, or common cu-
linary salt. Particles of the new me-
tals put into water, decomposed the
water, and gave out a brilliant light.
The water used was pure distilled wa-
ter, which instantly after the decom-
position of the metals, shewed by means
of turmeric paper, that it was become
highly alkaline. The same sort of ac
tion was exhibited by the nitric acid;
and the potassium acted also on the
sulphuric and other strong acids. Mr
Davy placed small particles of the me-
tals on ice, and they immediately de-
composed the water and gave out a

bright light: alkali was likewise formed on the ice. These metals unite with mercury and form solids: thus, one part of sodaium and three of mercury being mixed, the two fluids united in a state of solidity. Several other experiments were made, and the professor felt no hesitation in giving his opinion as to the great importance of these discoveries in their application to the arts; and even to an art, which he doubted if he should venture to mention, the art of war, as the destruction occasioned by these metals, if they could be brought into action, would be incontestibly greater than by those now in use. In reference to the detail of his own discoveries, he said the present state of knowledge was more likely to produce in him humility than exultation. The experimentalist was not the hero of his own tale, but he could not avoid being the subject of it; and he hoped the experiments and facts exhibited, would be considered independently of any opinion which he had divulged in connection with them. In the present imperfect state of enquiry, it would be presumption to expect that any thing would be permanently established. Alluding to the great powers of the Voltaic battery*, he said, some might imagine that the desideratum of the alchemists was accomplished, and that the delusive hopes of those visionaries vere, at length, realized: but it ought to be remembered, there was an immense interval between the processes of combination and decomposition, that the proper province of chemistry extended but to inorganic matter, that in the powers of combination other agents were employed, with whose nature we were wholly unacquainted, and to whose operation we might for ever remain strangers. Mr Davy, having shown his experiments on the fixed

* Mr Davy's battery contains thirtyeight thousand square inches of metal plates.

fixed alkalies, proceeded to ammonia, which, from the manipulations of Priestley and Steele, was regarded as a compound of hydrogen and nitrogen: he had do doubt in his mind, that it contained also a portion of oxygen. This he attempted to demonstrate by experiments, particular ly by passing some ainmonia, in a state of gas, through a porcelain tube, heated to a white heat; the hydrogen and nitrogen were collected, and in the glass vessel through which they passed, moisture was very apparent, which he felt satisfied was water, formed by the oxygen contained in the ammonia. Hence he inferred, that though oxygen had hitherto been considered as the acidifiable principle only, it would be found to be the alkalizing principle likewise. From the alkalies, he proceeded to the earths, which he enumerated and described, and which he considered as the link between the alkalies and metallic oxides, and he had no doubt that they would hereafter yield to some higher powers of the Voltaic battery, and exhibit the parts of which they were composed. On Barytes he then made an experiment, shewing very decisively that it contained an inflammable principle. He was next led to consider the phenome na of Meteoric Stones, and the light occasioned by them; which, Mr Davy said, were now perfectly explicable by the facts just discovered; but as to the place whence these bodies came, gave no opinion, only that from the curves which they described, it was certain that they came from some other world, and were travellers only in our atmosphere; for if they had been formed there, their descent raust be perpendicular to the surface of the earth, which, it was known, was not the case. The professor then referred to the several substances that had hitherto been deemed simple, supposing that all might, hereafter, be decomposed. In sulphur and charcoal, it was How known there was hydrogen: he


seemed to suspect that the two great principles operating in nature, were the principle of inflammability and a metalline principle.

Dr Joseph Reade has published an Account of an Experiment, the result of which is in direct contradiction to the received opinion, that the agi tation or friction of fluids cannot excite sensible heat. It is as follows:The temperature of the apartment being 40°, half a pint of water, at a similar heat, was poured into a tin bottle-shaped vessel, into the aperture of which was inserted a thermometer surrounded with chamois leather, and made to fit accurately, with its bulb nearly in the axis. After briskly agitating the vessel for a few minutes, to his great surprise he found that the temperature of the water rose eight degrees: and, even after the apparatus was uncovered and laid at rest on the table, the water continued to rise for several minutes; proving the ori gin of the heat to be inherent in the fluid, and independent of any external causes. Anxious to obviate every source of fallacy or objection, Dr Reade prevented the communicationt of caloric by his hands, or of radiation from his body, by coating the tin vessel with many layers of woollen cloth carefully wrapped round it, over which there was a tin case, the entire nearly two inches in thickness, and covered externally with three wet towels. In the course of the experiment he dipped his hands frequently in snow water, and also sprinkled the towels. The Rev. Mr Hincks, lecturer on chemistry in the Cork Institution, to whom the experiment was communicated, on repeating it in a glass bottle, found the heat of the vessel, by means of a thermometer placed between it and the covering, to be inferior to that of the inclosed fluid, and on a par with the atmosphere, which proves in a most satisfactory manner, that there could be no communication of caloric from the hand.

Experiments lately made at Venice shew that the oil of the Chinese radish is preferable to any other kind known, not only for culinary purposes, and giving light, but also as a medicine. From the experiments lately made by Dr Oliviero, it is found to be extremely useful in rheumatic and pulmonary affections, and has been employed with much success in convulsive coughs. It is not liable to spoil by keeping, like other oils, nor is the plant injured by the hardest frosts. The seed, which is very abundant, is gathered in May and June.

Improvements in Aberdeenshire. A Commodious harbour has been e

rected at Burghead, of which a gentleman, travelling through the county of Moray, observes, "I was conducted to the new Harbour of Burghead, where I had the pleasure of seeing the very best situation for a harbour, upon the whole range of the south coast of the Murray Frith. Its piers are built of large blocks of fine freestone, admiably calculated for such an underta king, and, in the erection of which, a sufficient attention has been paid to elegance as well as durability. As it frequently happens, during the boisterous winter months, and where the northerly gales blow right on shore, that vessels are compelled to run for Cromarty Frith, but, from the long narrow formation of that Frith, and the stupendous mountains surrounding it, the winds are often drawn so much from the west, that after entering the bay, many ships have again been for ced into the Moray Frith, exposed to the greatest danger, and no place of safety was to be looked for nearer than Peterhead or Aberdeen: but now, in all such cases, they will have Burghead harbour completely in their power, and where every small vessel may ap proach, even at low water, those of a

moderate size at half-tide, when laden, and the largest trading ships at high water. Houses, of large dimensions, are erecting on the pier, the lower part of which to be occupied as warehouses for merchandize in general, and the upper stories as extensive granaries. There is also a turnpike road immediately to be completed, from the harbour, to the great road leading be tween Elgin and Forres, by which the town of Elgin, and that populous and highly-cultivated country in its vicinity, will be most materially benefited. Several most respectable and patriotic gentlemen in that neighbourhood have already advanced large sums of money for this harbour, and they are in expectation of considerable assistance from the reversion of monies, still in the hands of the trustees for the forfeited estates: this they are well entitled to; such a harbour having been much wanted on the coast, is of general utility, and in such a state of forwardness as now to admit vessels with perfect safety. It is situated on the east side of a clear and spacious bay, of easy access with any wind, and capable of containing, when completed, sixty or seventy sail."

A set of baths has been recently erected at Fraserburgh, and their completion is announced. They consist of two cold baths, cut out of the solid rock, filled every tide from the sea; four warm baths, and a shower bath, with drawing-rooms and pump-room. The mineral water at Fraserburgh is said to have all the qualities of the chalybente springs, and to be lighter, than most springs of that quality in this country.

The Aberdeen bridewell will, it is expected, be fit for the reception of delinquents against the month of December next.

The foundation stone has been laid of a new bridge over the Dee at Ballater. Aberdeen Journal.





Spoken at the Royal Academy, INVERNESS, 4th JUNE, 1808.

Written by MR DAVID CAREY, Author of the Pleasures of Nature," " Reign of Fancy," &c. c.

HARK! ye who Genius love, from Learnning's fane,

Symphonius bursts the rapt unbidden strain: "Come to these shades and Academic bowers,

And twine the garland of unfading flowers, Ye in whose ear, as dawn'd Youth's smiling day,

Prophetic Hope has sung her winning lay. Lo sudden bursting o'er your native north, The young Auroras fling their radiance forth;

So by thy banks, O Ness, and silver streams, The sun of Science sheds his brightening beams.

Sons of the rugged North, sedate and brave, For you the prospect wakes as from the grave.

O'er all your fields, no more the haunts of strife,

The liberal spirit breathes creative life; Wealth's ample tide flows fraught with blameless spoils,

And Fame applauding waits to crown your


There busy Industry his labour plies,
And rears the lofty fabric to the skies.-
Or bids the waste in new-born beauty shine,
Or forms the long Canal's unrivall'd line;
Here in the shade which hallow'd hands
have rear'd,

To Virtue's sons by no vain charms endear'd, Young Genius sits and culls the seeds of thought.

With struggling energies sublimely wrought, And meditates with rapt aspiring mind The deeds that shed a lustre on mankind.

"Does Fame enchant thee with the smiles of Peace?

Thy honours, Rome! and thine, unrivall'd Greece!

Shall bid the smiling Arts go hand in hand

And bloom on Caledonia's farthest strand. -Has Science trimm'd her lamp at midnight hour

To watch o'er Mind's illimitable power, Or fondly mark, by chemic art refin'd, New scenes that claim the wonder of mankind?

Here shall the studious mind be richly fed And sweet enchantment close around his head.

Or, eager still in nature's book to pry,
Wilt thou the Astronomic tube apply,
And trace with Fancy thro' the wide inane
The Comet's blaze and planetary train ?
Here shalt thou mark the various systems

And learn the laws which regulate the whole.

"Do Nature's fairest charms, in summer bower,

Sweet task! awake the Pencil's mimic power?

Thy scenes, O Ness! shall prompt the pleasing toil,

So oft hy Beauty view'd with raptur'd smile. Or wake sublimer transports in thy soul To trace her mountain walks when torrents


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