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CAVES

OF

THE

NOMER.

and ninth days of the decade, this gal, country, were treated by those bare lery is open for such only as are de- barians in the most inhuman and confirous of studying natural history, temptible manner. The mortal part

" The excellent Lacepede, who is of that great general lay in the munot less kind and obliging than eminent feum, thamefully exposed among the for erudition, gave me a letter to skeletons of quadrupeds and birds ; till Lucas, keeper of the gallery, who, it was removed by the orders of Francis with great civility, showed me every de Neufchateau, and placed in an thing that was curious and remarkable , apartment of the amphitheatre, where in this museum, and particularly the, it is fet upright in a glass case. collection of quadrupeds, which is “ Before I take my leave of the never exhibited to the public. Here Museum for Natural History, I muft I had a fecond view of some fingular observe, that it contains a great num- : objects, which I had seen at the Hague ber of chests still unpacked, which are one and twenty years before, in the full of curious objects brought hither. Stadtholder's collection, such as the from conquered countries. I have been sea-horse, zebra, elephant, orang-ou- told by men who had every opportutang, and a variety of monkeys. There nity of being well informed, that thofe are likewise to be seen in this museum, chests enclofe a collection as interesting a lion, a tiger, a leopard, an uncom- and extensive as that already deposited monly large dog from the Pyrenées, in the museum, in which there is no and a fine keleton of a cameleopard, · room for more objects without addiwhose height from his fore-foot to the tional buildings.” P.15& top of his crown is fixteen feet.

“ All these and many other quadrupeds, and some large birds, are ex

OBSERVATORY hibited to view in an apartment on the

CASSINI THE CELEBRATED ASTROthird floor, or rather on a part of the garret formed into an apartment. The

« CASSINI went down with us to remaining part of the floor has the ap- the caves of the observatory, which are pearance of a large hall; above are sky- very remarkable. The descent is by lights, and on each side are dens for one hundred steps, to the depth of wild beafts." P. 148.

forty feet beneath the surface of the “ Juft below the entrance from the earth. The caves particularly consist city into the botanical garden, and on of several labyrinth passages of four the left hand, there is to be seen a feet in width, and five or fix in height. plantation of trees and shrubs, which In most places those subterraneous palrise up to a considerable height, and fages are walled; but in several the have a beautiful appearance. In this natural stone or rock forms the ceiling, fine grove formerly ffood, under a in some places the fides, and in others noble cedar of Libanon, a marble bust the floor. These caves are in general of Linnæus, the Swedish naturalift, very dry, but in some places, either and the inventor and founder of the the ceiling or the foor are moist. In, modern system of natural history. This several parts of the ceiling, drops are buft was destroyed at the time when cryftallized into stone and ftalactites, the peuple souverain amused themselves and the moisture on the floor is covered, with spreading ruin and devaftation. with a ftony scum or membrane. I The cedar of Libanon, either by a have seen at Stevens's Cliff, Zealand, cannon-ball or some other violence, the water issuing in this manner out then loft its majestic top. Those Van- of a chalk rock, form a concretion, dals destroyed every memorial and which seemed to be fint covering soft monument, without any discrimina- chalk. tion whatever. They even demolished " When Cassini was director of the the tombs, and dug up the bodies of observatory, he caused two apartments the most meritorious of their country. to be constructed, and feparated from men; not exempting that of the great the labyrinth by a wall: one of these Turenne himself, who had been, more, apartments was designed for observing than once, the deliverer of France. the variation of the compass under His facred remains, in which was still ground. In the years 1783 and 1784, vifible the wound of the cannon-ball Cassini found no fenfible difference bew by which he fell in the service of his tween the variation above and under

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ground grourid." See De la Declinaison et des: was obliged to conduct them through Variations de l'Aiguille aimantée, par all the caves, and the inextricable wind Casini, à Paris, 1791, p. 240

ings and meanders of those caves; and «In the other apartment was a Reau- this brave band found them, as Callini mur's thermometer, made by Barry, had prediéted, totally empty. They under the direction of Lavoisier." finally approached the iron door, which

• Every degree of this thermometer they found had been forced open, prowas four inches three lines. Cassini bably by some masons and smiths bemade obfervations by it for three years, longing to the troop, while the rest and found that the temperature of the went in quest of Caffini. They deearth, or heat of the air under ground, manded that he Mould conduct them did not undergo a greater change than down into the fubterraneous passages thre: tepths of a degree.

in the rock: but he reminded them " These labyrinth caves and large of what he had before faid; adding, passages under ground, lead to a grate that he was perfectly in their power, or iron door, from which there was, but that he had rather fuiter death on in ancient times, à communication the spot, than conduct them or into with the quarries: but no man knows those unknown passages, for which he how far, or in what precise direction neither would nor could be anlime ratle, this paffage extends. This grate was and that he coolly waited for their defet up when the observatory was firft cifion, even if his deruthuuld enfue. built. In taking notice of it, Callini The most important anong this corps related to us fome of his bisory in the then lield a council of war, the result time of the revolution, when his going of which was, that Cailini, gi rdeci by regularly every day down to these fix mon armed with pike , hould recaves, in order to observe the magne- turn to his apartments, and that the tic needle and thermometer, gave rise reft should go down into the passage to a rumour among the then ruling Ja- or cavein. After they had proceeded cobins and fans-culottes, and which, a good way in, and found nothing, as usual, acquired in its propagation they became tired, returned back again, considerable alterations and additions. and spared the observatory for that It was, in short, concluded, that pro- time. But that edifice has since been vilions, arms, ammunition, and aristo- often searched, and the instruments, crats were concealed in the caves of astronomical constructions, and apartthe observatory. One morning Cassini ments of the astronomers very much was very early taken out of his bed, injured by such visitations. by three or four hundred Jacobins and « C. Bouvard, though a staunch and sans-culottes, armed with firelocks, zealous republican, told me, that those fwords, pikes, and cudgels, and forced Vandals once took it into their heads half-naked to conduct them down to to sell the observatory, and actually the caves of the observatory, in order wrote in large characters, over the to examine those subterrancous re- door, Propriété nationale à vendre* ceffes. Caflini told them that he “ The Caflini, whom I have so often obeyed them the more willingly, as he mentioned, began, in 1784, to improve was certain the caves contained none the observatory, to procure new and of those articles which they expected superior instruments, and to conduct to find in them; yet he must tell them the observations on a better and more beforehand, that the caves of the ob- accurate plan. He published yearly, servatory led to a fastened iron door from 1785 to 1791, a number or voor grate, which opened into a hither- lume of his aftronomical observations to unexplored fubterraneous passage, on the fixed stars, sun, moon, and plawhich, for aught he knew, might com- nets, calculated and compared with municate with places in the city; that the best aftronomical tables, in order he was totally uracquainted with those to ascertain and correct the errors of pallages, and of course could not be those tables. He fent those numbers answerable for what might be found in annually to other aftronomers, and he them. Not half drefter, and surrounded bad the goodness not to forget me, with bayonets, fwords, and pikes, he He did every thing, in short, that could. * “ National property to fell."

be

be reasonably expected from an able,' ere&ted in the time of Louis XIV. It induftrious, and experienced aftrono- . reprefents, as far as I could collect, mer.

Parnassus with Apollo and the Muses, “ In the midft of Calfini's celebrated, and several attributes applicable to the : career, the revolution took place." æra of that monarch. There are also Having been suspected by the terrorists, in the library some busts of celebrated he was driven from the obfervatory, French literati, and of others who have which he had fo honourably conducted, contributed to the improvement and and not only deprived of his office and augmentation of the library. income, but confined in prifon above « In the other wing of the library, a year; and he has faved nothing but a very large perforation in the floor his life, and a small property, which presents two large globes, the celestial he inherited from his anceftors, where and the terrestrial, which ftand on the this worthy man, with his numerous floor below, and their upper parts profamily, exists upon a fcanty income. ject above the floor of the library, In the opinion of some people, the These globes are thirty feet in dias ambition, envy, and égotism of certain meter: the meridians and horary circles other aftronomers, have greatly con- are gilded. On the terrestrial globe, tributed to drive both Caffini and the water is coloured blue, and the Jeaurat from the observatory." P.235. land white. Cities are painted with

red and gold colours, and the moun

tains with a green ground, and shaded THE NATIONAL LIBRARY,

with brown. The ground colour of the * FORMERLY the King's Libra- celestial globe is a light blue, and the ry, is fituated in Rue de la Loi, figures of the constellations of a darker formerly Rae Richelieu, opposite to blue; the fixed stars are inserted acthe great Opera Houfe. The fouth cording to their right ascenfion, de.. fide faces the Rue Neuve des petits clination, and magnitude, and all very, Chomps, and its north fide is in the thickly gilt. These globes are very Rze Colbert. The building of the lin well executed, and are the largest I brary, with its appurtenances, is very have ever seen. They are a piece of large ; its length in Rue de la Loi being art characteristic of the clofe of the last no less than eighty-five toifes, and its century, when they were made, and breadth between the two streets above when large globes were in great rementioned, twenty toifes. In the court pute: but they are, in fact, nothing of the National Library is a 'fine statue more than an astronomical luxury, a of bronze, representing a woman stand- piece of scientific profusion of no real ing on one foot, in a very eafy and na- effectual service ; though they must tural attitude. The principal floor of have coft a very considerable fum of the building, which furrounds this large money. court, is entirely filled with books, “ Caperronnier, the present librafrom the floor to the ceiling; it is sur- rian, supposes the library to contain rounded by a flight gallery, from which about 300,000 volumes. It is very inone can reach the books on the upper complete in modern literature ; for, shelves. At thewindows,and in different fince the year 1789, no new books have parts of one of the wings, tables have been added to it, hot even French, been placed for the accommodation of and much less foreign productions. readers. While the weathercontinued' of this last description, several capital mild, and fair, I always found from works seem wanting ; so that in the forty to frxty persons, fome of them midst of this great opulence, a kind of ladies, reading at those tables. The, literary penury is still felt. The nalibrary is open every day, except the tional and other libraries have received decade days, from ten to two, for the considerable augmentations from the accommodation of readers; but no'libraries of monasteries and emigrants. books are lent out. For fuch as only This is an easy and a very cheap mer wish to see the library, it is open from thod of increasing a stock of books. ten to two, every third, fixth, and “ The manuscripts, to the number, ninth day of the decade.

of 80,000, are in more retired apart.. “In a small recess of one of the four ments. The oriental manuscripts are fides of the library, is a group of about kept by Langlés; those in Greek and five feet in height and lix in breadth, Latin by Laporte Dutheil; and those

OF THE

in the modern languages by Legrande. year, -or reign, down to the time of The manuscripts are divided agreeably Louis XV." P. 291. to this classification, and are well arranged. Since these subjects are foreign to my sphere of study, I shall only re

MEETINOS

INSTITUTE late such obfervations as I made, in a:

MERCURY FROZEN. cursory manner. Here is a complete “AMONG the transactions of the collection of Colbert's letters, in about meeting on the 11th Nivôse, 7th year, fixty volumes. A volume of letters, or 31st of December 1798, I Mall only fome in English and others in French, mention the very remarkable experia written by Henry VIII. of England, ments made on artificial cold by Fourin a good, legible hand. A volume of croy and Vauquelin. These experiletters from King Henry IV. of Francements, which were formerly made on to one of his miftreffes: his hand, a small scale by Lowitz at Petersburgh, writing is tolerably neat and legible, have not only been repeated, but very and he has expreffed himself with much considerably extended at Paris. Withvivacity and gallantry. To indicate in a large tub was placed a smaller one, the ardour of his amorous attachment, and the interval between them was he says, "Je vous aime plus, que vous filled with a mixture of snow and salt, 'aimez vous meme.' I love you more which produced a remarkable degree than you love yourself. Here is a large of cold. Within the second was placed collection of the French king's beures, a third, and the interval between the or missals, all written very beautifully second and third was filled with a comon the finest vellum, and embellished pofition consisting of eight parts of with elegant borders and fine drawings, muriate of lime, and fix parts of snow. most of them fcripture histories. On In the inner tub was very soon proevery leaf of one of those misrals is a duced an intense degree of cold, which beautiful drawing of a flower, with its funk the common thermometer of name in Latin and French, so that it. Reaumur to 32° below zero. In order forms a collection of botany as well as to keep out the external warm air, the religion. Vanquished Italy has been whole apparatus was covered with a obliged to contribute her mite to the glass case. By these interesting experitreasury of the National Library; for ments, 20lb. of mercury was made to all the most valuable printed books freeze in thirty seconds into a solid mass, and the scarceft manuscripts have which assumed a cryftallized form *. been taken from the Italian libraries. Spirits of wine, the strongest vinegar, Among those Italian manuscripts, I nitric acid, pure ammonia, and æther, particularly observed two Codices in froze in like manner. A finger applied parchment, a Terence, and a Horace, to this mixture or folution, in four from the library of the Vatican. I am seconds lost all sense of feeling, becama no hunter after various readings; yet frozen, and as white as paper, with a it is possible that these Codices have very acute sensation, refembling a vio, no critical merit, but are remarkable lent pinch. Most liquors froze, in ą only for their external beauty and ex- platina crucible, in thirty seconds ; but, cellent preservation.

in a crucible of porcelain or clay, they “ Two rooms belonging to the li- required about two minutes, which brary are filled with a large collection is easily accounted for, from metals of prints, which are under the super- being more capable of conducting heat intendence of Joly. Some pieces are than clay. hung to the walls, but most of them “ The atmospheric cold, when those are in port-folios and cafes. Here in experiments were performed, was go particular is a collection of about fixty by the centigrade thermometer, or volumes of prints of remarkable tranf- s: 6° of Reaumur's. Decimals being actions and events in the history of quite fashionable in France, thermoFrance, arranged according to the meters are used, in which the distance

* « In the Philofophical Magazine, vol. iii. we have an account of sólb. of mercury having been frozen in London, the fame winter, by Mellrs. Allan and Pepys, who produced the artificial cold by mixing muriate of lime with dry uncomprefied snow.-Translator."

between

between the freezing and boiling points end of these pipes, and is then inserted is divided into 100°, instead of Reau- in the lid of the copper or vessel, half mur's divifion into soo. The Swedes filled with water, and fo air-tight that have long used this divifion, under the the steam can only find its way through name of Celsius's, or Chriftiernin's the red-hot tubes in the furnace. From thermometer.” P. 310.

the opposite end of these red-hot tubes, which run out of the furnace, a small

tube goes into the vessel, which is fill. THE AEROSTATIC SCHOOL AT ed with a solution of caustic lye, or MEUDON.

alkali, and then it passes to the tube "THE Aeroftatic School in Meudon which conveys the hydrogen gas into was established by a decree of the Com- the balloon. mittee of Public Safety, the 31st of “ The whole apparatus, caldron, O&ober 1794. This feminary confifts furnace, &c. may be erected and worko of a director, fub-director, a fecretary, ed in two days. A balloon of about a magazine-keeper, and lixty pupils, thirty feet diameter may be filled in who are instructed in all that relates to two or three days. When a balloon the aeroftatic science, especially such of this fize is newly filled, it will carry parts of it as may be directed to military up a weight of 2000 pounds, and twenoperations. There are two rooms set ty men at least. In two months, it lorer apart in the old castle for the construc- so much by evaporation, that it will tion of the air-balloons, with all the only bear 300 pounds, and ten men. I apparatus necessary for that purpose. have feen the experiment tried in the The pupils, with Conté the director, Champ de Mars on the feast of the new lodge in the new caftte. M. Conté is year, in the 7th year of the republic. an able phyfician as well as a chymist; Such balloons are always found ready he cannot be too highly praised for his filled on the terrace at Meudon, where unremitting attention to the regula. they stand in the open air without retions and management of the school. ceiving any apparent injury, in confeHe is well known for his inventions, quence of the peculiar texture of the such as the aerostatic telegraph, and taffety, and the excellence of the var. his factitious black-lead pencils, which nith. The upper part was covered are brought to fuch a degree of perfec- with a coat or case of fine leather, from tion, as to rival the best in England: whence the ropes defcended, to which they are not prepared from the native the car was attached. All these millore, but a composition which consists, tary balloons are tied together, and as far as I have learned, of iron and aerostatic soldiers taught to manage sulphur.

them. « The balloons in Meudon are made

* In mild or serene weather a num. of a peculiar kind of thick taffety, ber of these foldiers afcend, always acwove for that purpose. When fewed companied by an officer or subaltern. they are varnished over: so that the Two companies of aerostatic foldlets pores are closed in such a manner as to are always quartered at Meudon. Eạch prevent the evaporation of the gas in a consists of one captain, two lieutenants, very confiderable degree, which is the two fergeants, two corporals, one reason that those balloons hold the drunmer, and forty privates.” P. 351. hydrogen, or inflammable air, many months; whilf others that are not prepared in the same manner are found to IV. Sketches of the State of plasmens be exhausted in a few days. To the and Opinions in the French Republic, improvement of the gas, M. Conté has

towards the Close of the eighteoutla not a little contributed to the manner of filling the air-balloons. The mode

Century. In a Series of Letters is to erect a small furnace, through

By HELEN MARIA WILLIAM$.! which several large iron pipes pafs

2 vols. Svo. pp. 677. 125.(commonly from four to fix), which

Robinsons. are filled with iron filings. The ends

CONTENTS. of these tubes extend out of the furnace, and are furnished with a cock, LETTER 1. Points of Comparison which may be opened or shut at plea

, farc. A smaller tube is joined to the rolurion at Bafil. ---Il. Remarks on

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