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not so immediate, are scarcely less tion of the approaching abolition of certain, or less unfavourable. It in- | war. evitably introduces pride, arroganee,
That in the contingal fluctuations bigh and unjust assumptions, inordi- and ultimate improvement of human nate and ambitious views, systems of affairs, a period will arrive, when the rapacity against surrounding states, civilized world will unite in one great and a contempt for all those internal effort for the prevention of war, may, resources and useful pursuits, on nevertheless, be considered certain. which the real prosperity of a state Even at present, indications appear essentially depends.
of a disposition to that effect, on the In proportion to the extent of its result of which it would be prematuro territory abroad, is the relaxation of to judge ; but we cannot avoid porits political system at home. The in- ceiving, that whenever that moment fluence of a haughty soldiery over-arrives, it will be the crisis of the hupowers all civil authority, till at length man race,—the charter of its liberty, the mighty fabric, the work of ages, peace, and happiness-or the sentence falls into ruins, and the very seat and that consigns it over to ignorance, boncentre of empire becomes an easy dage, and disgrace. The general conquest to some of those despised concerns of the earth will then be agiand distant nations, which, so far tated-melted down into one common from inspiring terror, were considered mass, to rise in hateful deformity, or as almost below contempt.
to receive a new and more beautiful It is under circumstances of this impression, naturo, that the human race seems to “the genius and the mortal instruments fall from its proud pre-eminence, and Are then in motion; and the state of man, to exbibit itself under a servile, base, Like to a little kingdom, suffers then and degrading aspect. Sickening, at The nature of an insurrection.” length, at the horrors of war; suffer- Nor must it be presumed that the ing under continual calamities and struggle will be of easy decision. privations, terrified at reiterated in- Whenever these momentous decisions stances of unsparing cruelties, alarm- arise, the spirits hostile to their speed at the uncertainty of life and the cies are always at work, eager to grainsecurity of property, the inhabitants tify their ambitious, mercenary, or of once flourishing states and empires, unboly aims, and in the operative sink, an easy and unresisting prey, moment, to convert the healthful mass under the dominion of any ruler, who to poison. If, on other occasions, may be likely to afford them an asy- their efforts bave been attended with lum from evils which they can no too much success, is it not to be fearlonger bear. In the mean time, all ed that, at this most important mothe institutions of polished life, all ment, they will endeavour to establish the light of intellect and elevation of their power upon a permanent founcharacter, all love of independence dation ?-and under the pretext of and sympathy with others, are absorb- suggesting to the sovereigns of the civi. ed and lost in the mean and selfish lized world, the idea of a general and regard to immediate preservation and uninterrupted pacification, will proindividual security. Then comes the mote a league for the security of the universal gloom of ignorance, and individual authority of each against superstition, sweeping, like an un- the natural rights, established privihealthy fog, over the nations of the leges, and just claims, of their peoearth; whilst century after century ple? rolling on in almost undistinguished If such an event were possible, then succession, only serves to attest the indeed would the degradation of the debasement of the human race. The human race be complete; and the deplorable condition of Europe, dur- world itself would only be a mighty ing the long period of a thousand prison, of which every inhabitant must years, may surely be admitted as a wear a chain, the weight of which sufficient evidence of the fact.
must be according to the will of his On the other hand, the wonderful keeper. improvements, both intellectual and But such a result is impossible. political, as well as religious, intro- The friends of mankind look forward duced within the last century, may be to brighter prospects. They fear not adverted to as an infallible indica- to enter into the contest with their opponents, and anticipate their final days. The air in the receiver will triumph. They know that the period become gradually absorbed by the for such apprehensions is past. That compound, till only about threeknowledge has carried her torch into fourths remain of its original bulk. the remotest recesses of the earth,- The completion of the process may be that she has thrown her beams over readily ascertained by the ascent of the thrones of sovereigns, and called the water into the receiver. Upon to her aid those in whom she can con- examination, the residue will be found fide. Under her influence, every at- to be nitrogen gas. tempt to infringe on the common Procure a common glass vial, with rights of mankind, or to suppress the a good cork, through which fasten a independence of nations, could meet small wire; and fix a small piece of wax only with abhorrence, as the signal taper to the end of the wire. Light for new resistance, new excesses, and the taper, and introduce it into the new crimes.
vial. The taper will burn for some : It will then be perceived that the time, but will at length be extinfamily of an individual is sacred,- guished; the taper is to be thus rethat in matters of external arrange- peatedly lighted, and introduced into ment it acts by its chief, whose autho- | the vial till all the oxygen of the air rity is to be decided by those whom contained in the vial is consumed ; he represents, and not by those with which will be known by the lighted whom he is to deliberate and contend, taper being immediately extinguished -that for others to interfere in his on coming into contact with the air in domestic or internal concerns, either the vial. The vial may now be into extend his authority, or to excite verted with its neck into the water, resistance in those, who, by nature or in pneumato-chemical, till the nitroby law, are subjected to him, is equal- gen gas is wanted for experiment. ly criminal,--and that to suppose the Very pure nitrogen gas may be ob. peace of the world can be established | tained by treating fresh animal subon any other foundation than the per- stances with nitric acid. Cut muscufect independence of separate states, lar flesh into small pieces, introduce is to betray a degree of ignorance be- them into an earthenware or common low contempt.
glass retort, and pour very much diA PEACEMAKER. luted nitric acid upon them ; apply a
gentle heat, and collect the gas over
water. In like manner this gas may CHEMICAL ESSAYS.
be obtained from the crassamentum
of the blood, and also from the seEssay 2d.-Nitrogen Gas. rum, and white of eggs. Nitrogen
gas, like common air, is invisible, ( Continued from col. 28.)
colourless, and elastic; capable of The term nitrogen is derived from indefinite expansion and compresthe Greek language, and signifies the sion. generator of nitre.
Its specific gravity, as determined called also mephitic air, phlogisti- by Mr. Kerwan, is 120°, though Mr. cated air, and azotic gas, was first Lavoisier makes it only 1150. Acdiscovered by Dr. Rutherford, in cording to Mr. Kerwan's analysis, it 1772. Nitrogen gas may be obtained is, therefore, to atmospheric air, as by various means; but I shall, in this 985 to 1000. It is not absorbable of place, confine myself to the enumera- water. It is fatal to animal life; this tion of a few only.-1st. It may be may be proved by immersing a bird, procured by separating the oxygen mouse, or other small animal, into a from a portion of atmospheric air, in vessel of this fluid. Life will become the following manner. Make into a immediately extinct. It does not paste, with water, a quantity of either maintain combustion, for if a lighted the sulphurat of iron, or potass; and taper, or other combustible body, be place the mixture in a shallow vessel, plunged into a vessel of this gas, it over water, raised above the fluid by will be immediately extinguished. It means of a small stand ; invert over constitutes about 78 parts in every it a large bell glass, jar, or other suit- 100 measures of atmospheric air. able receiver, and allow the whole to We may convince ourselves of this remain in this state for two or three fact by mixing together three parts of
nitrogen gas, and one part of oxygen | bosides these two gases, atmospheric gas. The mixture will be found to air also contains a small portion of exhibit all the properties of common carbonic acid gas, generally estimated air ; it will support combustion and at 1 in 100, but Mr. Dalton has shewn animal life in an equality with atmo- that it does not constitute above i spheric air. It enters into the compo- in 1000. sition of all animal substances. It is Seeing, then, that the bulk of atnot fatal to vegetable life, for plants mospheric air is composed of two disthrive and even flourish in it. When tinct gases, of such opposite qualities, simply mixed with hydrogen gas, it and that nitrogen gas forms threeundergoes no perceptible change, but fourths of the whole, perhaps it may under certain circumstances it com- be asked, for what useful purpose can bines with hydrogen, and constitutes such a vast bulk of nitrogen gas serve, the well-known compound called vola- which, in a separate state, is incapatile alkali, or ammonia. United with ble of either supporting combustion, oxygen in different proportions, it or animal life?-A moment's considerforms, besides atmospheric air, the ation will be sufficient to convince us, gaseous oxyde of nitrogen, or nitrous that all things have been so formed oxyde, nitrous gas, and nitric acid. and arranged as was most likely to Atmospheric air consists of about 3 promote the happiness of man; and parts of nitrogen and 1 of oxygen. perhaps nothing is better calculated to Nitrous oxyde consists of nitrogen, 2 awaken us to a sense of the unerring parts; oxygen, 1 part. Nitrous gas wisdom of the divine mind, than the consists of nitrogen, 1 part; oxygen study of chemistry; a science which, 3 parts. Nitric acid, or aquafortis, to be admired, requires only to be consists of nitrogen, 1 part; oxygen, 4 known. parts. The production of nitric acid Had a larger quantity of oxygen by a combination of these two gases, gas entered into the composition of will be evident from the following ex- atmospheric air, it is true it would periment, mentioned by several wri- bave proved more stimulant, and we ters on chemistry:
should have enjoyed a more free reProcure a glass tube, of about one- spiration; consequently, the circulasixth part of an inch in diameter; tion of blood would have been greatly close one end of the tube with a cork, accelerated, but the whole system of through which passes a small wire, vessels must have been inevitably deboth ends of which are furnished with stroyed by over excitement; and coma metal ball. The tube is now to be bustion, now a regular and beautiful filled with mercury, and its open end process, have become a most insurimmersed in that fluid. As much of a mountable evil, insomuch, as the mixture composed of 87 parts of oxy- united efforts of mankind would prove gen gas, and 13 parts of nitrogen gas, abortive in putting the least stop to as will fill three inches, are to be in the destructive ravages of bodies in a troduced into the glass tube, and a state of combustion. number of electric explosions are to
Before we close this paper, perhaps be made through the mixture, by it will be necessary to give the origin means of the wire in the cork. The and signification of the term gas. mixture will gradually become dimi- Gas, or gaz, is derived from the Gernisbed, and in its place a quantity of man word Gascht:-an eruption of nitric acid will be found. This gas is wind. It was first introduced into capable of dissolving a small quantity chemistry by Van Helmont. By this of carbon. It also dissolves small word, chemists denote a permanently quantities of sulphur and phospho- elastic aëriform fluid, distinguishable rus; with the former producing a from vapour in not being condensible very fetid gas, called sulphureted ni- by the greatest degree of cold with trogen gas, with the latter phosphu- which we are acquainted. Gases are reted nitrogen gas.
solid substances, rendered permaWe have now shewn that atmosphe- nently aëriform by caloric; thus nitroric air is composed of oxygen and ni- gen gas does not exist in animals, but trogen gas, and have also mentioned, nitrogen in a solid state, which is the specific gravity of each of these converted into gas by addition of cagases, as determined by some of our loric, or the matter of heat. most accurate experimentalists; but
(To be continued.)
A LECTURE ON GEOLOGY,
know of that sublime matter may be Rend to the Philosophical Society, at *** expressed in a few words : In the
on Friday, October 5th, 1821.-By beginning God created the heaven Deluvianus.
and the earth,-like Moliere's Medecin
malgre lui (who, affirming that the “Nullius in Verba Magistri.”
heart was on the right side, was re
minded that it was commonly thought The ancients understood by cosmo- to be on the left) he will exclaim, “Ah! gony, the creation of the whole mate- oui, c'etoit ainsi autrefois, mais au, rial universe. But geology is a term jourdhui nous avons change tout cela" which is of course restricted to that - Why, yes, formerly indeed it was knowledge which we possess of the thought so, but we have of late changformation of that globe " which we ed all that.+ inherit," and on which we subsist.-- But we whose hearts are, we trust, It is obvious, that we cannot pretend in a better sense, on the right side, to observe or draw any accurate ana- shall not venture to assail the most logy of the nature of the internal and authentic and venerated truths, for subterranean parts of our earth ; for the sake of maintaining a few dashing no miner has succeeded in descending and sparkling hypotheses, which at into the bowels of the earth more than | best are founded on a dark and aba 30,000th part of its diameter; and if struse induction, on vague and uncerthe earth be represented by an orange tain analogies, without those connectas to its form, we cannot be said to ing links which are essentially neceshave penetrated below its rind.* Ge- sary to give them the force of facts, ology, therefore, cannot promise more and the authority of truths. than an investigation of the former Let a single instance of the futility and present state of the crust, or sur
and absurdity of such sweeping speface of the earth.
culations be a caution to us of theorizWhat were the physical causes ing from a few straggling and unconwhich gave the first impulse to mate. nected facts. To use an expression rial atoms, and coerced them from an of Lord Verulam's, it is as absurd as heterogeneous and chaotic mass, into the attempt to build a ship, without those interesting forms which the more materials than the rowing pins of earth presents, we know nothing, ab- a boat. I solutely nothing more than that there Mr. Brydone, a gentleman of reis a creation-at once sublime and spectability, made a statement that beautiful ! But, whether these form- seemed to cast into shadow the acoreations, which deeply excite our curi- dited belief, that the world was only osity, were called into existence by a few thousand years old :-He states the omnipotent fiat, independently of that, strata of lava requires several those laws and principles which now hundred years to be mellowed and regulate material particles; or owe softened into vegetative soil. And their being to the affinities and kindred hence, from this bold and suppositious attractions, to the curdling and intes- datum, he proceeds to apply the strata tine workings of substances obedient of lava ejected from some volcanoes, to the natural laws which now affect as chronometers of the antiquity of them; is a matter too high, too lofty, the globe. But most unfortunately for human scrutiny. At least, in the for this brilliant hypothesis, the city, infancy of geological science, too of Pompeii, which was engulphed by much care cannot be taken, lest, in an eruption from Vesuvius, in the the wantonness of unlicensed conjec- year 79 of the Christian Æra, is coture, we invade, with hostile step, vered by such a number of strata, as those sacred and hallowed inclosures, would, according to his mode of calwhich, unlike these extravagant and culation, carry back the date of the prophane speculations, are entrenched destruction of that city several thouand fortified by a barrier of divine and sand years !--Procul este profani ! unerring truth. Talk to one of your geological and On swelling columns heav'd, the pride of art!
“ As if upon a well-proportion's dome geognostical cognoscenti on the sub- A critic fly, whose feeble ray scarce spreads ject of creation, and tell him all we an inch around,
With blind presumption bold, should dare to well understood, I propose to premise tax the structure of the whole;
an explanation of some of the more And lives the man whose universal eye important terms, and which are more Has swept at once the unbounded scheme of frequently used. Some peculiar words things?
are absolutely necessary,to avoid much St. Pierre observes, that on apply- tedious circumlocution. ing himself to be the historian of na- Primitive Rocks. — Those formed ture, so lacking were his abilities, so prior to men and animals. scanty his stores, that he compared Transition.—Those formed during himself to a child who had made a the transit from the chaotic to the hole in the sand with a shell, as a re- habitable state. servoir for the waters of the ocean.* Floetz.—Those having horizontal The operations of nature are vast and or flat strata. magnificent: the whole is too mighty Alluvial formations.-As the term for the human intellect; but we may suggests, from fragments worn down be permitted to admire, to examine by attrition. parts,-rather to follow in her foot- Debris or Detribus.-The ruin, or steps, than rudely to approach her wreck of rocks. temple.
Exuvie Reliquiæ. — The remains The study of Geology may be turned of organized beings, as shell-fish, to great practical advantage, for mi- found in transition, floetz, and allunerals have always a certain relative vial. position and connection in the earth.t Strata.--Layers; broad extended Hence certain substances indicate tabular masses. proximity of others, which may be of Zoophytes. - Organization, semiimmense use to those, whose estates animal, semi-vegetable. abound in metallic veins; and this Lithophytes.
Vegetables found in knowledge may also save fruitless, a fossil and petrified state. laborious, and expensive search, We shall begin by enumerating the when it appears from the geological varieties of rocks and mountainous information presented by the rocks elevations. They are divided into, and strata, their expectations could primitive, or those which had existnot be realized.
ence prior to the creation of animals Lord Bacon's maxim, “knowledge and vegetables; which fact is supportis power,” is applicable to this sub- ed by their being destitute of organic ject; for, says the late President of remains. 2d. Into transition rocks; the Board of Agriculture, “a know- those whose formation took place ledge of our subterranean wealth, when the earth was in transitû from would be the means of furnishing its chaotic to its habitable state. 3d. greater sources of opulence to the Secondary, stratified, or floetz rocks ; country, than the acquisition of the those which have a flat or horizontal mines of Mexico or Peru."
direction. 4th. Volcanic rocks. 5th. The form of the earth seems, like Alluvial, viz. those which swell up that of other planets, to be affected from the destruction of other rocks, by revolving on its own axis, which by the action of tempests, currents, enlarged its diameter at the equator. &c. One would have supposed that if this We will consider them in detail. motion had been imparted when the Primitive, are-Granite; Gneiss ; planet was in a state of fusion, as some Micaceous Schistus; Argillaceous say, mountain ranges far more lofty Ditto; Primitive Limestone ; Primiand extensive than those of the south- tive Trap; Serpentine ; Porphyry; ern hemisphere, would have resulted Srenite ; Topaz Rock; Quartz Rock; from the exertion of the centrifugal Primitive Flinty Slate; Primitive forces, ere the earth had become so- Gypsum ; White Stone. lidified. There will necessarily be SeconDARY Rocks. Transition: many terms made use of in the follow- Tn. Limestone; Tn. Trap; Greying brief and elementary paper on woche; Tn. Flinty Slate. -- Floetz Geology, which have a restricted and Rocks : Old Red Sandstone; Clay technical meaning. To avoid per- Slate; Rock Salt; Coal; Chalk ; plexity, and to facilitate my being Lias-Limestone ; Oolite.
The primitive mountains, are those L'etudes de la nature. + Encycl. Britan. massive and colossal columns which No. 38.-VOL. IV.