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healthy man, aged thirty-six years, and vomited twice; in a short on being seized as a thief by the time it recovered. In five hours' police officers, snatched a small time eight drops more were given sealed phial from his pocket, broke to it, when the animal instantly off the neck of it, and swallowed experienced the following sympthe greatest part of its contents. toms : cough, flow of saliva, A strong smell of bitter almonds quickened respiration, weakness soon spread around, which almost of the hinder extremities, plaintive: stupified all present. The culprit cries, purging, bending of the body staggered a few minutes, then, backwards, dilatation of the pu-. without a groan, fell on his knees, pils, rigidity of the muscles, and and sunk lifeless on the ground. in less than five minutes, paralysis: Medical assistance being called in, of the hind feet first, then of the not the slightest trace of pulse or fore feet; general insensibility, exbreathing could be found. A few cepting of the rump, which was minutes afterwards, a single and occasionally agitated; accelerated violent expiration occurred, which pulse, from 72 to 150 in the minute, was again repeated in about two great mobility of the eyes and eyeminutes. The extremities were lids, and at last complete stupor. perfectly cold, the breast and ab- Fifteen minutes after this the anidomen still warm, the eyes half mal arose, voided its urine, bent open and shining, clear, lively, full, the body backwards, and in half almost projecting, and as brilliant an hour was restored. On the folas those of the most ardent youth lowing day, sixteen drops of the under violent emotion. The face same poison were again given to was neither distorted nor convuls- this animal. Instantly, quickened ed, but bore the image of quiet respiration, very violent cries, consleep. The corpse exhaled a strong vulsions, opisthotonos (bending of smell of bitter almonds, and the the body forwards), then emprosremaming liquid being analyzed," thotonos (the contrary motion), the ** was found to be a concentrated fore feet placed on the head, genesolution of prussic acid in alcohol.: ral tetanus, dilated pupils, ears: Several cases are also on record of stiff, urine copious, general parapoisoning by the distilled water of Jysis, -lapping of the tongue, eyes' the cherry laurel, the leaves of this fixed, eyelids in motion. Five or plant, and the essential oil of six minutes afterwards, respiraa almonds, which we have not room, tion difficult, trismus irregular to insert.* All of them, however, and unexpected movements. At show the dreadful effects which the end of half an hour the animal substances containing the prussic raised itself, and appeared to suffer: acid are capable of producing. The in the stomach; was frightened at modus operandi of hydrocyanic acid the least noise, sought the dark, 'appears to be through the medium and greatly trembled. One hour of the nervous system; and we will' after, it ate with a voracious aphere relate one or two of the ex- petite periments made with this sub. Erperiment 2d. When thirty or stance on animals, by M. Orfila,t forty drops of prussic acid were to show the symptoms it produced. administered to dogs or cats, they
Experiment Ist. Two' drops of put forth cries more or less violent, prussic acid were given to a young had convulsive motions, and exdog; immediately afterwards the pired six, twelve, or fifteen minutes
respiration was accelerated, its after taking the poisonous sub* step became uusteady, the animal stance. fell, made water in abundance, On examining the bodies of
<- animals or persons poisoned by - * Vide Paris and Fonblanque on Me.
this acid, no traces of inflammadical Jurisprudence, vol. ii. p. 400...
tion are to be observed; there is ** * Traité des Puisons, par M. P. Orfila,
congestion of the veins, whilst the tom. ii. p. 168,
arteries are empty. We are not
aware that any antidote against 2. Add a solution of sulphate of this poison has been successfully iron with a small quantity of alum: employed; vinegar, or the yege- a precipitate, as in the former metable acids, coffee; a solution of thod, will fall down, which, if chlorine in water, camphor, emoltreated by free sulphuric acid, will lient drinks, and bleeding, have also become blue and pulyerulent, all been recommended, but their During this latter part of the expower in counteracting the effects periment there is a disengagement of this poison has not yet been of carbonic acid. proved.
Evidence may be pushed still The chemical processes by which
farther, and the existence of the the presence of hydrocyanic acid
prussic acid proved in a most pomay be detected require careful
sitive manner, by decomposing consideration, as in cases where
the precipitate above described, this poison is suspected to have
and which is a true prussian blue, been given with intent to kill,
so as to separate the acid. For the life of an individual may
this purpose, heat the precipitate depend on the nature of the testi
with an equal quantity of tartaric mony which is given respecting it.
acid in a glass retort, at the temDr. Grapville, in the treatise which
perature of 150°, when the hydrowe quoted above, gives the follow
cyanic vapours will soon exhale ing directions in conducting the
from the mixture, and may be reexperiments, which should be strictly observed :- After collect
ceived in water. ing the blood contained in the ven- A test by which the presence of tricles of the heart, a portion of the a smaller quantity of this acid than contents of the stomach and of the can be discovered by the two presuperior intestines, together with ceding experiments, has been lately a certain quantity of any fluid suggested and tried by M. Laswhich may chance to be present saigne, at Paris. The test made within the cavity of the head, chest. rise of consists of the sulphate of or abdomen, and having agitated copper instead of the sulphate of the thixture for some time in dis- iron, and the experiment is contilled water, and filtered the liquid, ducted in the following manner :-taking care to keep the whole at 1. Into the liquid supposed to a low temperature, proceed to the contain the hydrocyanic acid some following experiments :
potash is to be put, so as to slightly 1. To a small quantity of the alkalize it. liquid supposed to contain the acid, 2. To this a few drops of a soluadd a few drops of a solation of tion of sulphate of copper arc to caustic potash in alcohol.
be added. 2. To this a few drops of a solu, 3. On the addition of sufficient tion of sulphate of iron must be hydrochloric (muriatic) acid to readded, when a cloudy and reddish dissolve the excess of oxide of precipitate, of the colour of burnt copper which has been precipitated terra siennu, will fall down.
by the alkali, the liquid instantly 3. Some sulphuric acid is now assumes a milky appearance, more to be introduced into the tube, or less intense, according to the when the colour of the precipitate hydrocyanic acid which it contains, will instantly change to that of a · The advantage of the sulphate of bluish green, which, by a perma- copper consists in its detecting nent contact with the atmosphere, much more minute quantities of becomes gradually of a beautiful the acid than the sulphate of iron, blue, assuming at the same time a and with greater rapidity. We pulverulent aspect, if there be any cannot conclude this article withacid present. Or,
out stating that the nitrate of silver 1. Treat the filtered liquid with will be found a very delicate test carbonate of potass.
for discovering in distilled water the existence of the hydrocyanie · blood equal to the whole blood acid; but as the product which is within the body passes through the obtained possesses properties which heart fourteen times in one hour; are common to it and the chlorate which is about once every four of silver, with which it may be con- minutes. Only consider what this founded, the copper is to be pre- is in very large animals. The aorta ferred.
of a whale is larger in the bore than the main pipe of the water
works at London Bridge; and the CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD. Waterroar
water roaringin its passage through The following eloquent descrip- that pipe is inferior in impetus and tion of the circulation of the velocity to the blood gushing from blood, by Dr. Paley, may not be un- the whale's heart.” According to acceptable to the youthful readers Dr. Hunter, ten or fifteen gallons of The Chemist, particularly as its of blood are thrown out of the pages have lately contained a dry, heart of a whale at a stroke, with but we hope correct account of the an immense velocity, through a process of respiration and animal tube of a foot diameter. The whole heat.
idea fills the mind with wonder! See "There is provided in the central Dr. Hunter's account of the dissecpart of the body a hollow muscle, tion of a whale, in the Philosophi(the heart) invested with spiral cal Transactions. . tubes, running in both direotions. “ It was necessary that the blood By the contraction of these fibres, should be successively brought in the sides of the muscular cavities are contact or proximity with the air; necessarily squeezed together, so therefore, as soon as the blood is as to force out from them any fluid received by the heart from the which they may at that time con- veins of the body, and before that tain: by the relaxation of the same it is sent out again into its arte. fibres, the cavities are in their turn ries, it is carried by the force of dilated; and, of course, prepared the contraction of the heart, and to admit every fluid which may be by means of a supplementary arpoured into them. Into these ca- tery, to the langs; from which, vities are inserted the great trunks, after it has undergone the proper both of the arteries which carry change, it is brought back by a large out the blood, and of the veins vein once more to the heart, in · which bring it back. This is a ge- order, when thus prepared, to be neral account of the apparatus: from thence distributed anew into and the simplestidea ofits action is, the system, that by each contraction a portion of " An anatomist, who understood blood is forced as by a syringe into the structure of the heart, might the arteries; and at each dilation say beforehand that it would play: an equal portion is received from but he would expect, I think, from the veins. This produces, at each the complexity of its mechanism, pulse, a motion and change in the and the delicacy of many of its mass of blood to the amount of parts, that it would always be what the cavity contains, whicb in liable to derangement; or that it a full-grown human heart is about would soon work itself out. Yet an ounce, or two table-spoons full, shall this wonderful machine go, Each ventricle will at least contain night and day, for eighty years toone ounce of blood. The heart gether, at the rate of a hundred contracts four thousand times in thousand strokes every twentyone hour; from which it follows, four hours, having at every stroke that there pass through the heart a great resistance to overcome; every hour four thousand ounces, and shall continue this action for or 350lbs. of blood, troy, weight. this length of time without disorNow the whole mass of blood is der, and without weariness." about 25lbs.; so that a quantity of Paley's Natural Theology.
and the art of distillation therefore og svo Art. IV. etorrit consists in separating the alcohol · platilo ALCOHOL. Brot from the other substances in the
We now come to that part of cheapest and best manner. It is this complicated process which is an established fact, that alcohol properly speaking, the distiller's boils at a temperature at least art, viz.-the art of extracting the forty degrees below the boiling greatest possible quantity of spirit, point of water, and consequently it of the most agreeable flavour, from is volatilized much sooner than any : the fermented liquid, whether that of the other ingredients, except, is obtained from ripe fruits, vlor perhaps, the peculiar volatile oils from the process of malting and to which the different spirits owe fermenting grain. It has been also their flavours, with which it is comready mentioned, both in the first bined. The object is, to apply article on distillation, and in the this degree of heat, and no more,69 lasts that the alcobol exists ready to the mixture containing the alco-o formed in the wine and in the wash, hol, so that it may be separated, combined with other substances; and nothing carried over with it. In
general, however, this. principle with a greater degree of heat than has not been strictly attended to, necessary to separate the alcohol; and, a far greater degree of heat first wompelling him, as already has been applied than is necessary stated, to make a more concento vaporize ihe alcohol. Thus, ac-, trated wash than is proper for cording to the mode of distillation making a mild, bland, salutary at present in use in England, the spirit, and then inducing him to process has to be repeated. What disti: that with the greatest possi., is first obtained is termed low ble rapidity, and with as much wines, which, on being again dis-, heat as he dared to apply. Nay, tilled, yield raw spirit, and this. after the impolicy of these regugives, by a third distillation, the lations has been shown, after a rectified spirit. . All the writers on more economical and better systhe subject, and all practical men tem has been invented, and patents agree in opinion, that the applica- taken out to carry it into effect, the tion of heat should be gradual, and excise regulations, we have been not be increased beyond the degree informed, interfere, and absolntely necessary, to separate the alcohol. compel the manufactorer to proTwo evils, in fact, arise from the ceed in an unskilful manner, wast- employment of too much heat. Thc ing both time and money, and profirst is to separate some empy- ducing a bad commodity. . reuma with the spirit, giving it as The liquors resulting from dis. harsh, burnt, disagreeable taste, tillation are known to most of our from which it can never be entirely readers under the various names of freed; and the second is the greater brandy, rum, gin, hollands, whisky, quantity of time and trouble re- arrack, &c., as they are procured quired to condense the spirit. These from different substances. Brandy principles being admitted, our is obtained by distilling wine, rum readers will hear, with wonder that by distilling the fermented juice of the excise laws of England have the sugar-cane, whisky, gin, and been so framed as to make it for hollands, as well as what is called the interest of the distiller 10 work, coro brandy, schnaps, agua rita, &C...