Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

the level of the surface. The Flesk is crossed by a upon Killarney, as Mr. Wright says, is the distance bridge over which runs the road to the town of Kilo of the town from the lake. It was not possible to larney, bordered by tall lime-trees. From the river have fixed, in all the neighbourhood, upon a worse Flesk to the road leading from the town to Ross situation for the site of a village; the backs of the Castle, the flat is occupied by small fields, bare of houses are turned towards the lake, the view of which trees, and mostly divided by stone fences, and on the is totally excluded by Lord Kenmare's woods, and opposite side beyond the road, are the gardens and but for the supply yielded by a few wells, there would pleasure.grounds attached to the mansion of the Earl not be any fresh water in the village, although there of Kenmare.

These pleasure-grounds are not, however, wholly on are pot far from the town, two small rivers, the Deanagh

[ocr errors]

a low level surface. The Aat ends at the little stream and the Flesk, fall into the lake. If the town had called the Deanagh, which, running from the north been built at the mouth of either of these streams, and passing almost close to the town, bends suddenly and especially at the mouth of the latter, it would off and cmpties its waters into the lake. Beyond, or have enjoyed advantages of which it is now deprived, on the north of this river, the ground is diversified and visiters would have then had little ground of with gentle knolls covered with verdure, and adorned complaint. The inns in the town are generally with some fine trees, beneath which there are walks crowded during the lake season. Mr. Barrow gives commanding very charming prospects of the lake. an amusing picture of the scene which one of them

Upon the low flat which we have thus described as presented. stretching inland for some distance from the eastern

I had no sooner (he says) taken my seat in the coffeeshore of the Lower Lake, stands the town of Killar- room, than I found myself in the very midst of tourists. ney, about a mile from the water. It is comprised In one corner sat half-a-dozen noisy and merry looking within the parish of the same name, in the barony of fellows, clustered together, with an array of maps stretched Magunihy, in the county of Kerry, and in the province out before them, talking over the exploits of the day, and of Munster; it lies to the south-west of Dublin, at be seen some solitary tourist (like myself), poring over a

making arrangements for the morrow. In another might a distance of 224 miles; its distance from Cork is well thumbed “Guide to the Lakes," and ever and anon only 45 miles. It boasts of two broad streets, called seeking information or explanation from the waiter. Some respectively the Old street and the New street, besides were busily employed with their knives and forks, in dif. several smaller ones, more deserving of the appella- ferent parts of the room; while others were amusing themtion of lanes. The public buildings are not worthy selves with reading over the names of the numerous

visiters of any particular notice. Mr. Wright mentions à contained in the book that is kept for their insertion, and in public reading-room, to which strangers are politely I once peeped into this general consignment of experi

which may be found what are intended for flashes of wit. invited by a singular announcement, to the effect that mental efforts of genius, and having discovered amongst none but members or strangers are admitted. The some other equally valuable information, "that the port at mansion of Lord Kenmare, with its park and grounds, the Kenmare Arms was," in the opinion of the writer, of which we have already spoken, adjoins the town,

“finer than any port on the lakes," I felt satisfied, and and generally attracts some of the attention of the hastily closed the volume. visiter. The linen manufacture has made considerable On account of its low situation, as well as the progress under the patronage of the noble proprietor intervening woods, the town of Killarney commands of the town, and the inhabitants derive great benefit no prospect of the magnificent lake scenery; indeed, from the visits of strangers during the Summer and from no part of the flat in which the town stands, Autumn.

can any considerable portion of the lake be seen. The first object (says Mr. Barrow,) that catches the eye But if the spectator advance inland across the flat of the stranger on driving into the town, is the prodigious and ascend the hills which bound it, he soon obtains number of idlers lounging at every corner of the streets. some very charming views, perpetually varying in the The town itself, at least the main street, is pretty enough, but most striking manner. The contrast between the on either side the lanes and alleys have a dirty appearance, confined glimpses obtained from the low plain and and the people strolling about were not at all prepossessing the broad expanding prospects which the rising hills Kenmare Arms Hotel, where the coach stopped ;' here I command, will impress him with increasing force the found myself instantly surrounded, jolted, and postled by a

higher he mounts. From that part of the flat which set of hungry-looking fellows, who all at once began to lies adjacent to the river Flesk, the small patches of assail me with open mouths. One offered himself and his the lake which he beholds appear like the windings boat, the best in all Killarney,—another his pony to take of that stream. On ascending the rising ground, the me to the gap,-a third slily recommended the other two wooded islands become more distinct; and the lake, * to get out of that, for shure the gintleman knows what he likes best,' and then confidentially whispering in my ear,

instead of appearing like a dilution of the Flesk, -Shure, your honour, mine's the best pony in the world rather wears the aspect of "a majestic navigable to carry you to the top of Mangerton.' Escaping from this river, which received its tributary stream while rolling troublesome group comes a fellow directly in front, with his on through a spacious valley." Higher still on the pockets full of divers-sized packets of Arbutus-seed, which hills, the view opens wider, and the actual form of he assures, there's niver the gintleman comes to Kil: the lake is fully displayed. From several positions larney that doesn't buy some to take home wid him.' Add to all these some dozen or two beggars, male and female,

on the hills, particularly from parts of the extensive who fill up the outer circle, and the whole time chime in deer park of Lord Kenmare, the prospect of the flat with their pious ejaculations, blessing, and praying, and shore between the spectator and the water is effectually preserving his honour's long life, and his honour's father excluded by the trees on the slope beneath him ; his and mother, and his wife and children ; and these again eye therefore looking over his own wooded foreground, are interrupted by a heap of ragged errand-boys, offering and lighting in the distance upon the woods of Muto go to the post-office for his honour's letters, or, in short, to do anything in the world for sixpence; and, lastly,

cruss on the one side, and those stretching along the come the pressing and polite invitations of the waiters of

western border of the lake to the river Laune on the the respective inns, which, however, is not peculiar, to other, he might imagine that the shores of the lake Ireland. From this specimen you may form some slight were covered with a vast forest from end to end. idea of the hearty and welcome reception a stranger meets The river Laune is the only outlet of the Lakes of with on his arrival at Killarney.

Killarney, their superfluous waters flowing through The greatest inconvenience, however, chargeable lits channel into the Atlantic at Dingle Bay. Its

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

source, or rather commencement, is at the north- | mountains on each side rise perpendicularly. At a western corner of the Lower Lake, whence it runs short distance within is a little wild romantic glen, in a rapid course between the end of the hills on containing a small lake, the waters of which, from the northern bank, and the end of the vast moun the shade cast upon them by the enormous mountain tain mass which lies on the western bank. Soon which hangs above, assume a peculiarly dark hue. after leaving the lake it is crossed by a bridge; As the visitor penetrates further into the defile, his near which stands Dunloh Castle, the remnant of an admiration of the wild and savage scenery which ancient fortress, which seems to have been originally surrounds him gradually gives way to a feeling of erected for the purpose of guarding the river, and a awe. At one point the defile becomes so narrow that defile in the great chain of mountains. It stands on there is space merely for the scanty road and the the summit of a small conical hill, whose apex has little dark gloomy lake beside it; on either side are been cut away to afford a more convenient space for steep precipitous crags, while in every direction are building; and its position must have rendered it, seen enormous masses which have been detached until the introduction of cannon into modern warfare, from the body of the mountains. Such, indeed, is a place of great strength. It suffered considerably the fearful sublimity of the pass at this particular in the wars of the Earl of Desmond, during the reigns spot, that instances have been known in which persons of Henry the Eighth and Queen Elizabeth ; but it became so paralyzed with terror on reaching it, that was rebuilt about the period of Sir George Carew's nothing could induce them to advance further and administration in Munster. Subsequently, when the brave the apprehension which had seized them, that forces of the Parliament came into this part of the mountain might fall and overwhelm them. There Ireland, the castle was again attacked, and a great are two small bridges thrown across the stream which part of it demolished by a bombardment. The only runs through the defile, at the narrowest parts of the part of the edifice now standing is a square tower, channel; they are of very simple though solid strucwhich constituted but a small portion of the original ture, and are in good keeping with the character of fabric; this has been converted into a dwelling-house, the scenery. One of them situated at the head of a "which affords more room and convenience than cascade, and resting at each end on a single stone, could be expected from the exterior aspect.” Owing has a very romantic appearance. The object of the to the extraordinary thickness of the woods covering bridge is to carry the road from one side of the defile the hill upon which the building stands, no part of to the other, where the obstacles on the former happen the lake or of the surrounding country is seen from to be insurmountable. The road itself has been the area in front of the castle, and even the windows formed with considerable skill. In some places it afford but a very confined view; the battlements, passes along the edge of precipices where the way however, command a noble prospect of the lake, and has been with difficulty cut through the solid stone; of the windings of the river Laune. Our engraving in others between immense detached rocks which represents the castle as it appears from the banks of have fallen from the mountain, and which are just the river ; in the distance appears the defile or open- sufficiently separated from each other to admit a ing in the mountains already mentioned.

single carriage, thus affording a natural passage that This defile, which lies between Tomies Mountains could not have been opened elsewhere without proand Macgillicuddy's Reeks, is called the Gap of digious labour and expense. At one particular part Dunloh. The entrance is formed by the Holly of the pass the road runs along the margin of a Mountain and the Bull Mountain, which are shoots black pool, “and is so unprotected as to inspire the from the two larger masses above mentioned. equestrian traveller with fears that should his horse

Amidst the vast mountainous region on the western trip he might be precipitated into the lake." side of the county of Kerry, there is no scene which But a scene of this description (says Mr. Wright), defies exhibits a more varied and sublime combination of the address of the most expert tourist and the pencil of the the boldest features of uncultivated nature than the ablest master: it must be seen to be understood. Those Gap of Dunloh. By some terrific and mighty opera

who have visited the passes of Borrowdale, in Cumberland, tion, the chain of mountains at this place seems to Dunloh; but the pass of Llanberris in North Wales, bears

may form a faint idea of the chilling dreary grandeur of have been abruptly severed, and the stupendous rocks

a still greater resemblance, and he who has seen the Gap of which it was formed rent asunder and dispersed of Dunloh will not be over-awed by the sublimity of Llanin wild disorder through the chasm. On the brow berris, nor will the deep-rooted iniage of Dunloh be eradiof the mountain which guards the entrance on the cated by the combined beauty and grandeur of Borrowdale*. right hand, immense projecting masses of stone, The defile is three miles in length, and at the tersuspended in their lofty beds, overhang the pass, mination of it a view of the Upper Lake is to be had. threatening destruction to all who approach this It opens into the vale of Comme Duff, through which savage solitude; and the vast fractured stones which the road proceeds. Nearly opposite the termination are observable at the base of the cliff, plainly indicate of the gap is a beautiful waterfall of considerable that the danger has not always been imaginary. height, and always plentifully supplied. The waters

One almost shudders at thinking of the horrible crash of this fall flow into a succession of small lakes, which must have been produced by these ponderous stones occupying the whole length of the valley; in some Tumbling all precipitate down dashed,

of these are islands bearing shrubs on their surface Rattling round loud thundering to the moon,

and decorated with water-lilies. whilst the echoes in the still of retirement repeated the

* “ The scenery,” says Sir R.C. Hoare, " is truly Alpine, and on tremendous sound through the windings of the vale. A a grand scale : the track rugged, but well worth the trouble of asclear stream at the bottom of the defile winds amongst the cending. The horrors of the black surrounding rocks are much rocks,

heightened by their reflections in the different lakes at their base, ...now rapid and now slow,

The scenery resembles that of the Pass of Llanberris under Snow. Now murmuring soft, now roaring in cascades.

don in North Wales, but the vegetation amongst the rocks is much

more luxuriant. I his valley and pass afford many good subjects for This stream forms a communication between a chain of the pencil, and are highly worthy the artist's attention." small lakes, some of which are very deep, but others seem only to be a dilatation of the stream, where it has been obstructed in its course by the accumulated ruins of the

It is the virtue of few words, to render plain that which impending precipice.

thousands have obscured; as one glass will transmit a

bright image of the sun, where hundreds produce but darkThe entrance to the gap is very narrow; and the ness and confusion. ---MACCULLOCH.

[ocr errors]

ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIBLE FROM THE a common article of food, the stem supplied materials MONUMENTS OF ANTIQUITY.

for small boats like canoes, and a variety of domestic No. IX.

utensils, while the inner rind of the plant, or, as EARLY HISTORY OF MOSES.

some think, a certain preparation of the pulp, fur

nished materials for paper. It is well known that Many readers of the Bible are confused by finding the byblus plant grows also in Europe, though only the same name given to very different persons; in in one spot, namely, in the rivulet of Cyane, near the earlier ages of the world proper names were not the ancient city of Syracuse, in Sicily, but there it is applied with the same regularity that they are now, produced in great abundance. titles of rank were frequently used in their place, The byblus, or papyrus, grows in shallow water, and more especially the national titles of sovereigns. and shoots out a stalk of nine or ten feet high; the Pharaoh was the Egyptian designation of a king, and trunk is composed of a number of long straight hence we find it given as the name of the monarch fibres, which produce small flowers; the leaves are who received Abraham, of him to whom Joseph was like the blades of a sword, and are frequently used minister, and of the foreign conqueror who so cruelly to keep wounds open; the ancient Egyptians empersecuted the Israelites. This usage has not quite ployed the ashes of the root as a cure for sores, and disappeared ; in works of modern history we find the attributed to it great healing powers. The length of term Sultan, employed to designate the ruler of the stalk, the natural hollow when the pulp was Turkey, without the addition of his proper name; removed, and the ease with which it was worked, and the name of the Great Mogul similarly applied pointed out the byblus as a proper material for boatto the emperor of Delhi; and some writers omitting building. Herodotus tells us that large boats were to mention changes in the succession have frequently formed from planks cut out of the root, which is led historical students into serious errors. To avoid frequently fifteen feet in length; that the light stem such mistakes, we shall designate the Pharaoh who furnished a mast, and the manufactured papyrus persecuted the Israelites, Pharaoh the Third, not supplied ropes and sails. But the smaller boats, or because he stands third in the order of succession, canoes, were probably formed from the light stem, but because he is the third mentioned in Holy Writ. like the wicker cots which are now used on the Upper

Pharaoh the Third found that the severe tasks he Tigris. There are many delineations of the Nileimposed on the Israelites did not prevent the con boats on the monuments; some are evidently of very tinued increase of their numbers, "The people mul heavy burden, and are impelled both by ropes and tiplied and waxed very mighty.” (Exod. i. 20.) The sails: some are so small that they can only contain tyrant, therefore, had recourse to the barbarous ex.

one person, who appears to be very careful in adjustpedient of extermination, and ordered all the male ing his equilibrium, lest he should overset the frail children to be slain. Several sceptics have sneered vessel. In the accompanying engraving the fisherman at the improbability of such cruelty, though it is far is represented in one of these boats, which seems to from being without a parallel even in modern history. be particularly intended for shallow waters where fish We have shown that Pharaoh the Third was the might easily be speared. sovereign of an intrusive race of conquerors, whose The papyrus boat in which Moses was exposed, position in relation to the native Egyptians and the was daubed with slime and pitch," that is, both with Israelites was very similar to that of the Turks with mineral and vegetable substances, to stop the chinks respect to the Greeks and the Armenians. It is not and keep out the water. A mineral tar, frequently generally known that, though Turkey in Europe employed for this purpose, is produced abundantly contains more than eight millions of inhabitants, the on the coasts of the Red Sea, and is so remarkable Turks themselves do not amount to half a million, for its antiseptic properties, that it has been successbut their position as a dominant caste enables them fully applied to the manufacture of mummies. In to rule over fifteen-sixteenths of the population. the Museum of the Royal Asiatic Society of London, Turkish sultans have been as much alarmed by the there is a human hand preserved by this mineral tar, increase of their hostile subjects as Pharaoh the so very perfect that the shape of the nails can be Third, and though they never have completely adopted clearly seen. When the mother of Moses, therefore, his plan of extermination, they have sanctioned par. had staunched the boat with this or some similar tial massacres, and more than once prepared to follow substance, she had reason to hope that it would float the system of destroying the Christian males to its in safety, until some charitable person should take fullest extent. When we read of the massacres per compassion upon the child. But in her immediate petrated by the Spartans on the Helots, whenever neighbourhood concealment was necessary, and "she the increase of their numbers rendered them for- laid it in the flags by the river's brink." From the midable, we cannot doubt that a dominant caste, such monuments we find that the water-plants of the as that which ruled Egypt under Pharaoh the Third, Nile, especially the lotus-lily, grew sometimes to such will hesitate at no act of cruelty, however atrocious, a height that they formed lurking-places for fullto ensure and continue its superiority.

grown men.

We see large nets fo catching birds In the midst of this cruel persecution Moses was set in the marshes, watched by trappers who hide born, and was concealed three months by his mother; themselves in the lotus beds, and remain undiscovered when she could no longer hide him, “she took for until there is sufficient prey in the net. him an ark of bulrushes," or as the words may probable that the sister of Moses availed herself of more properly be translated, “ a boat made out of

some such place of concealment, where she could the papyrus," and placed him by the brink of the watch the fate of the child without danger of river. The papyrus *, from which we have derived the detection. word “paper," was anciently named byblus, and is The daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash the origin of the word “ Bible,” which properly sig. herself at the river ;" we can find no examples of nifies a paper book. It is called al bardi by the baths on the monuments, and it seems probable that modern inhabitants of Egypt, who do not, however, ladies bathed as freely in the Nile as they now do in pay any attention to its cultivation. But in the early the Ganges. ages no plant was more important; the soft pith was When the daughter of Pharaoh beheld the weeping • See Saturday Magazine, Vol. IV. p. 208,

child, she had compassion on him and said, “ This is

It is very

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

one of the Hebrews' children.” We find from the of the latter appear to have been a pastoral as well monuments that the Israelites were marked by the as a commercial race; they seem to have left the peculiar physiognomy which characterizes the Jews care of their flocks to women, which will account of the present day, so that the instant the princess for the circumstance of the introduction of Moses beheld the child, she was quite certain of its parent to the daughters of Jethro. It may be added, that age. This is one of the minute traits which at once in this part of Arabia, the duty of attending the stamps the authenticity of a narrative, for it is one flocks is still regarded as a degrading employment which at the first glance seems improbable, but being by men, and generally falls on the female part of the confirmed by undesigned coincidence, becomes the population. very strongest corroborative evidence.

During the interval between the birth of Moses and “She called his name Moses, (which signifies, his appearance before the sovereign of Egypt to drawn out); and she said, Because I drew him out claim permission for the children of Israel to go and of the water." The circumstance of naming persons worship God in the desert, the persecution of the from some striking peculiarity must be familiar to Hebrews seems to have relaxed. A new Pharaoh every reader of the Old Testament.

most probably filled the throne, whose attention was Though “ Moses was instructed in all the wisdom not directed to the condition of his subjects in the of the Egyptians,” we find that he never forgot his land of Goshen until this application was made to parentage. It is probable, that in spite of the exalted him by Moses and Aaron. Pharaoh the Fourth repatronage he enjoyed, the courtiers of Pharaoh failed vived the cruel policy of his predecessor : “ Behold not to remind him that he belonged to a degraded the people of the land now are many, and ye make caste. This, indeed, is evident from the reproach of them rest from their burdens.” (Exod. v. 5.) The the Israelite whom Moses reproved for injuring one respite, however, was doomed to be of no long conof his brethren, “Who made thee a prince and a tinuance, and the tyrant soon invented a new refinejudge over us?". In this passage, the word translated ment of oppression. “ Ye shall no more give the prince more properly signifies man. Now, in almost people straw to make brick as heretofore : let them every example of a dominant caste established in a go and gather straw for themselves." (Exod. v. 7.) country, we find its members exclusively arrogating Straw is not used in the modern manufacture of to themselves the title of man, as if their inferiors bricks, but anciently it was to connect and compact were below the ordinary level of humanity. Indeed, bricks dried in the sun. Bricks thus formed of straw our English title baron, simply signifies man, and was and mud are still made in Egypt, and their ancient introduced at the time of the Conquest, when the use is proved by the numbers found in the ruins Normans reduced the Saxons to a state nearly as of the brick pyramids. degraded as that of the Israelites during their Pharaoh' the Fourth having thus depriveu the Egyptian bondage. Nothing more forcibly proves labourers of the materials necessary for the manuthe miserable condition of the Hebrews, than the facture in which they were engaged, insisted that they readiness with which this delinquent adopted the should still perform their allotted tasks.

" And the reproachful language of the oppressors, and denied tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye the title of man to the most exalted of his own shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought nation.

thereof : for they be idle : therefore they cry, saying, The reigning Pharaoh "sought to slay Moses ; " an Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there be injury to one of a ruling caste is never forgiven. more work laid upon the men, that they may labour Were Pharaoh inclined to pardon Moses, it is probable therein ; and let them not regard vain words.” (Exod. that he would have found such an act of clemency v. 8, 9.) The unfortunate Israelites were thus forced beyond the limits of his power; even at this day, the to undertake a new labour. “ So the people were sultan of Turkey would find it a very hazardous ex scattered throughout all the land of Egypt, to gather periment to spare a Raya who had struck, much less stubble instead of straw.” (Exod. v. 12.) Many slain a Turk.

persons judging from our agricultural habits, might Moses fled into the land of Midian. There are be led to suppose that Pharaoh required impossibilitwo countries known by this name in Scripture; one ties; but as we have already observed in a former eastwards of the Asphaltic Lake, on the confines of article of this series, the Egyptian reapers only cut Moab, the other which afforded shelter to Moses, on off the ears of the corn, leaving the greater part of the Elanitic Gulf of the Red Sea. The inhabitants the stem untouched, so that the straw remained for

Arsenic posa

waste. Consequently, though the task imposed upon white powder, in which state Arsenic is commonly the Israelites was very severe, it was not wholly im- sold at the shops. possible.

In its metallic state Arsenic is used in the arts, The Israelites were unable to fulfil the double task, but not to any great extent. It forms an alloy with And the officers of the children of Israel, which copper which is very malleable, and when plated with Pharaoh's task-masters had set over them, were silver susceptible of a fine polish. This alloy enters beaten." (Exod. v. 14). This is a trait of govern- into the composition of the specula of reflecting ment belonging to the oriental nations, both in ancient telescopes. Arsenic is also used in the manufacture and modern times, but especially to such as have the of shot; a small quantity being mixed with the misfortune to be ruled by a dominant caste. The melted lead is found to impart to it the property of Turk in the west of Asia, and the Mantchew Tartar granulating in spherical drops. Arsenious acid is in the remote east, make the stick the chief agent of employed for purifying flint glass, whilst in a state of administration. The highest officers of state are ex fusion, and for preparing colours used in painting. posed to this infliction, which is never supposed to But for this latter purpose it is not so well adapted degrade the sufferer ; on the contrary, we find many as the sulphurets of Arsenic already mentioned, examples of viziers and nobles bastinadoed by order namely, realgar and orpiment, to which we are inof their sovereign, for some slight offence or ground-debted also for some very beautiful pigments used in less suspicion, subsequently restored to favour and dying and calico-printing. rank, without any one feeling that public punish Arsenic (arsenious acid) is one of the most virulent ment had weakened their respectability.

poisons with which we are acquainted, and as its There are some who pretend to believe, that the cheapness renders it accessible to all classes, it has accounts given by the sacred historian of the tyranny i obtainea an unfortunate celebrity by its frequent of the Pharaohs must be exaggerated; but the Fel- | association with deeds of murder and suicide. Until lahs of Egypt are, at the present day, subjected to very lately this dangerous substance has always been oppressions similar to those described by Moses, and described as acrid and nauseous to the taste, prothe remembrance of the Israelites is recalled to the ducing a sharp burning sensation in the mouth and mind of modern travellers, by the sufferings and the throat. This description is erroneous. cruelties with which he is shocked at almost every sesses hardly any taste, and what it has is sweetish, step in that unhappy country.

so that it is possible to swallow it without exciting suspicion or alarm. It is but slightly acted on by cold water, requiring four hundred times its own

weight of that liquid for its solution. Of boiling ARSENIC.

water only thirteen times its weight is required; but Arsenic is but rarely found in a state of purity. on being permitted to cool the Arsenic separates from It commonly occurs in combination with the ores

the water in the proportions just mentioned. Its of cobalt, silver, lead, iron, and nickel. The minerals solubility is greatly impaired by admixture with known by the names of realgar and orpiment, con vegetable or animal substances, as coffee, tea, milk, sist of Arsenic and sulphur in different proportions. and other similar materials. The former of these native products seems to have Arsenic is very commonly used for destroying been known to the ancients, and used by them in vermin, especially mice and rats, a practice which we painting and for medicine.

think cannot be too strongly discountenanced, since Metallic Arsenic is exceedingly brittle, of a crys- it is never resorted too without considerable risk, and talline structure, and so volatile, that at a tempera- has often been attended by consequences the most ture of 356 degrees it is vaporised without melting. unexpected and distressing. It is only a few months Its colour is a grayish-white, very much resembling since that a poor boy lost his life by eating a piece of that of polished steel, to which also its lustre bears poisoned bread and butter, which had been incaua close analogy. This metal speedily tarnishes on tiously left in an exposed situation as a bait for rats. being exposed to the action of air and moisture, its And we know of numerous instances in which valusurface becoming covered with a film of black able animals have been destroyed whilst the vermin powder, which is sometimes superficial, whilst at have escaped. Another objection to the use of other times it extends throughout the whole mass. Arsenic for the purposes just mentioned is, that it It is said that some specimens of metallic Arsenic, facilitates the means of obtaining it; thus placing it which are supposed to have been in a state of extreme within the reach of persons who are too often excited purity, have been kept for years in open vessels with by malice, revenge, or despair, and who, being familiar out losing their characteristic brilliancy.

with its poisonous effects, resort to it as a ready inArsenic is highly inflammable, burning with a blue strument of destruction to themselves or the objects flame, and emitting fumes, the odour of which is of their hatred. Hence it is that the number of very much like that of garlic. The Arsenic of deaths from poisoning by Arsenic, both by accident commerce, commonly called white Arsenic, and by and design, very greatly exceed those occasioned by chemists arsenious acid, is a compound formed by the any other substance. union of the metal with oxygen. The greater part For medicinal purposes Arsenic has long been enof it is obtained from Bohemia and Saxony, where it ployed, but it requires to be administered with extreme is prepared by submitting the arsenical ores, with caution, and in very minute doses; and its effects which those countries abound, to a strong heat in an apon the system being vigilantly watched. In the oven, or reverberatory furnace, to which is attached hands of the ignorant or inexperienced it is scarcely a horizontal flue several hundred feet in length. In possible to estimate the mischief it may produce'; this flue the vaporised Arsenic is condensed, in the whilst under favourable circumstances it is acknow. form of a dark gray powder, which is again heated, ledged to be, for certain diseases, a safe and valuable but in close iron vessels, when the impurities are remedy. separated, and the arsenious acid obtained in dense Arsenic is an active ingredient in several quack solid masses possessing a vitreous (glassy) lustre. medicines. Let it be particularly noticed that all By exposure to air, however, these semi-transparent preparations containing Arsenic are poisonous ; masses gradually become opaque and fall into fine whether intended to be taken internally, or to be

« PoprzedniaDalej »