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Mag. Surprising Instances of Suffocation. 535
these it is certain, that either Homer that those who maintain that Hefiod
imitated Hesiod, or, vice versa, He- was the more ancient of the two,
siod Homer. Which of them was fay that his language is much more
the imitator is, 1 believe, a difficulty antiquated than that of Homer, too hard to solve. I shall only add, , - 1 am, &c.
Surprising Instances of Suffocation, occasioned by the nitrous Vapours of a Cellar1. From the History of the Royal Academy of Sciences.
ABaker of Chartres put into his blood did not come out, and she cellar, which is thirty-fix steps died on the spot, deep, and- well vaulted, seven or The next day a countryman, who eight stiovel-fulls of live coals out was a friend to the baker, said, that of his oven. His son, a strong and he would bring out all the bodies histy young man, gning down with with a grappling-iron; but, for fear a candle in his hand to carry other of being taken ill without being live coals, the candle went out on able to come up again, he desired the middle of the stairs: he came to be let down into the cellar with up, and, having lighted it again, ropes, upon a wooden pulley, and went down. When he came into to be brought up again, as soon as the cellar, he cried out that he was he sliould cry out. He quickly almost suffocated, and called for cried; but, as he was drawing up, help, and then was no longer heard, the rope broke, and he fell down His brother, as strong as he, went again. The rope, which broke down immediately, cried out in the pretty near the upper part of the fame manner, and then left off cry- cellar, was tied again with all pofliing. His wife went down after him, ble speed; but he came out dead, a servant-maid followed her, and it His body being opened, the brain proved the fame thing. Such a was found almost- dried up; the strange accident put thewhole neigh- oieninges extraordinarily stretched, bourhood into a great confterna- the lungs stained with black spots, tion; but nobody cared to go down the intestines swelled, and as large into the cellar. At last a neigh- as a man's arm, inflamed and red tour, more zealous and bold than as blood; and what was most finothers, not believing that those four gular, all the muscles of the arms, persons were dead, went down to thighs, and legs, were separated from give them his hand, and help them the parts they adhered to. to come out. He cried, and was no The magistrate took cognizance longer seen. A very lusty man, of the accident, and ordered, that who went by, asked for a grappling nobody should go down into the iron, to bring up one of those peo- cellar, till the physicians, surgeons, pie without going down to the bot- and even masons should be consulted torn. He let down the grappling about it. The result of the coniron, and drew out the maid, who, sulfation was, that the live coals, breathing the air, fetched a sigh. She tvhich the baker had laid in the tuas immediately blooded, but the 'cellar, were not quite extinguished;
3 Z z that At Account of a remarkable Darkness at Detroit in America. Bj Mr. J. Sterling.—From the Philosophical Transactions.
53^ Account es a remarkable Darl that, as there was a great deal of saltpetre in all the cellars of Chartres, the great heat had raised in that cellar a malignant vapour, which had occasioned so many dismal effects; and that a great quantity of water should be thrown into the cellar to j,ut out the sire, and Jjring down the nitrous vapour. Thi> was executed, and some days after a dog, fastened to a board with
tess at Detroit in America. British a lighted candle, was let down into the cellar. The dog did not die, neither did the candle go out, which plainly (hewed that the danger was over. The d. ad bodies were taken out, but so putrisied by the water, that they could not be dissected. They were very much swelled; asd one of them had his tongue out of his mouth, as if be had been strangled.
/~\N Tuesday the 19th of October, 1762, we had almost total darkness for the most of the day. I got up at day-break: about ten minutes after, I observed it got no Jighter than before; the same darkness continued until nine o'clock, when it cleared up a little. We then, for the space of about a quarter of an hour, saw the body of the sun, which appeared as red as blood, and more than three times as large as usual. The air all the time, which was very dense, was of a dirty yellowish green colour. I was obliged to light candles to fee to dine, at one o'clock, notwithstanding the table was placed close by two large windows. About thiee the darknesi, became more horrible, which augmented until half an hour past three, when the wind breezed up from the south-wtst, and brought on some drops of rain, or rather sulphur and dirt; for it appeared more 3/ke the latter than the former, both , in smell and quality. 1 took a leaf of clean ^aper, and held it out in
the rain, which rendered i: black whenever the drops fell upon it; but, when held near the fire, turned to a yellow colour, and when burned, it fizzed on the paper like wet powder. During this shower, the air was almost suffocating with a strong sulphureous smell; it cleared up a little after the rain. There were various conjectures about the cause of this natural incident. The Indians, and vulgar among the French, said, that the English, which lately arrived from Niagara in the vessel, had brought the plague with them; others imagined it might have been occasioned by the butning of the woods: but I think it most probable, that it might have been occasioned by the eruption of some volcano, or subterraneous fire, whereby the sulphureous matter may have been emitted in the air, and contained therein, until, meeting with some watery clouds it has fallen down together with the, rain.
An Account es the Inset! tailed the Vegetable Fly. By Dr. W. Watson:
'TP H E Vegetable Fly is found in * the island of Dominica, and (excepting that it has no wings) resembles the drone both in size and colour, more than any other English insect. In the month of May it buries itself in the earth, and begins to vegetate. By the latter end of July, the tree is arrived at its full growth, and resembles a coral branch; and is about three inches high, and bears several little pods; which, dropping off, become worms, and from thence flies, like the English caterpillar. Such is the extraordinary account, which hath been repeatedly transmitted to England concerning this infect: Dr. Watson, however, (or rather Dr. Hill in a letter to the former) gives a very different account of its imaginary vegetation. There is in Martinique, fays Dr. Hill, a fungus of the clava
ria kind, different in species from those hitherto known. It produces soboles from its sides. I called it therefore Clavaria Sobolifera. It grows on putrid animal bodies, as our fungus ex pedt equine from the dead horse's hoof.—The Cicuda is common in Martinique, and in its nympha state, buries itself under dead leaves to wait its change ; and when the season is unfavourable, may perish. The seeds of the Clavaria find a proper bed on this dead insect, and grow. This, continues the doctor, is the fact, and all the fact; though the untaught inhabitants suppose a sly to vegetate ; and though there exists a Spanish drawing of the plant's growing into a trifoliate tree; and has been figured with the creature flying with the tree upon its back.
she following is the Manifesto published hy the Court of Petersburgh en Occasion of the Death of Prince Ivan.
CAtharine the Second, by the Grace of God, Empress and Sovereign of all Russia, Sec. Sec. to all whom these presents may concern:
When, by the Divine Will, and in compliance with the ardent and unanimous desires of our faithful subject, we ascended th: throne of Rutiu, we were not ignorant that Ivan, son of Anthony, prince of Brunswick Wolsenbuttle, and the princess Anne of Mecklenburg, was stil 1 alive. This prince, as is well k nown, wa?, immediately after his
birth, unlawfully declared heir to the Imperial crown of Russia, but, by the decrees of Providence, he was soon after irrevocably excluded from that high dignity, and the scepter placed in the hands of the lawful heiress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, our beloved aunt of glorious memory. After we had ascended the throne, and. offered up to heaven our just thanksgivings, the first object that employed our thoughts, in consequence of that humanity that is so natural to us, was the unhappy situation of that prince, who was dethroned
5 38 Manifesto publijhed on Occasion of tht Death of Prince Ivan. British Mag. Manifesto puhlijbedon Occasion ofthe Death of Prince l<rtn. 539
throned by the Divine Providence, and had been unfortunate since his birth, and we formed the resolution of alleviating his misfortunes, as far as was possible. We immediately made a visit to him, in order to judge of his understanding and talents, and, in consequence thereof, to procure him a'n agreeable and quiet situation to his character, and the education he bad received; but how great was our surprize, when, besides a defect in his utterance, that •was uneasy to himself, and rendered his discourse almost unintelligible to others, we observed in him a total privation of sense and reason 1 Those, who accompanied us during this interview, saw how much our heart suffered at the view of an object so proper to excite compassion ; they were also convinced that the only measure we could take, to succour the unfortunate prince, was to leave him where we found him, and to procure him all the comforts and conveniencies that his situation • would admit of. We accordingly gave our orders for this purpose, though the state he was in prevented his perceiving the marks of our humanity, or being sensible ot our attention and care; for he knew nobody, could not distinguish between good and evil, nor did he know the use that might be made of reading, to pass the time with less weariness and disgust; on the contrary, he sought after pleasure in objects that discovered, with sufficient evidence, the disorder of his imagination.
To prevent therefore ill intentioned persons from giving him any trouble, or from making use or his name or orders to disturb ihe public tranquillity, we gave him a guard, and placed about his peisun two
officers of the garrison, in whose fidelity and integrity we could confide. These officers were captain Wlaffeiff, and lieutenant Tschtkin, who, by their long military services, which had considerably impaired their health, deserved a suitable recomptnee, and a station in which they might fast quietly'the reft of their days. They were accordingly charged with the care of the prince, and were strictly enjoined to let none approach him. Yet all these precautions were not sufficient to prevent an abandoned profligate from committing at Schlusselburg, with unparalleled wickedness, and at the risk of his own life, an outrage, whose enormity inspires horror. A second lieutenant of the regiment of Smolensko, a native of the Ukraine, named Basil Mirowitz, grand son of the first rebel that followed Massepa, and a man in whom the perjury of his ancestors seems to have been infused with their blood; this profligate, having .passed his days in debauchery and difSpation, aad being thus deprived cf alt honourable means of advancing his fortune; having also lost fight of what he owed to the law of God, and of the oath of allegiance he had taken to us, and know in; prince Ivan only by name, without any knowledge either of his bodily ir mental qualities, took it into his bead to make use of this prince to advance his fortune at all events, without being restrained by a consideration of the bloody scene that such an attempt was adapted to occasion. In order to execute this deferable, dangerous, and desperate project,he desired, during our absence in Livonia, to be upon guard, out of hit turn, in the fortress of Schussclburg, where the guard is relieved every eight days, and the 15th of last
month, about two o'clock in the of the unfortunate prince. Confi
morning, he, all of a sudden, called deiinjj also, that if they set at liberty
up the main guard, formed it into a a prisoner, whom this desperate party
line, and ordered the soldiers to load endeavoured to force with siich
with ball. Berenikoff, governor of violence out of their hands, they
the fortress, having heard a noise, ran the rilk of being punished ac
came out of his apartment, and ask-
cording to the rigour of the laws, they assassinated the prince, without being restrained by the apprehension of being put to death by a villain reduced to despair. The monster (Mirowitz) seeing the dead body of the prince, was so confounded and struck at a fight he so little expected, that* he acknowledged at that very instant his temerity and his guilt, and discovered his repentance to the troop, which, about an hour before, he had seduced from their duty, and rendered the accomplices of his crime.
Then it was, that the two officers, who had nipt this rebellion in the bud, joined with the governor of the fortress in securing the person of this rebel, and in bringing back the soldiers to theirduty. They also sent to our privy counsellor Panin, under whose orders t>Vy acted, a relation of this event, which, though unhappy, has nevertheless, under tbt rage and despair, he ordered a piece protection of heaven, been the occasion of cannon to be brought from one of preventing still greater calamities, of the bastions, which order was im- This senator dispatched immediately mediately executed. Captain Wlas- lieutenant-colonel Caschkin, with
his lieutenant Tischekin,
seeing that it was impossible to refist such a superior force, and considering the unhappy consequences that must ensue from the deliverance of the person that was commited to their care, and the effusion of innocent blood that must follow from the tumults it was adapted to excite,
sufficient instructions to maintain the publi; tranquillity, to prevent disorder on the spot (i. e. uhere the efsajstnation noai committed) and sent us, at the same time, a courier with a circumstantial account of the whole affair. In consequence of thi«, we ordered lieutenant-general Weymarn of the division of Sr;
Took, after deliberating together, Peterlburgh, to take the necessary
the only step that they thought pro- informations upon the spat: this
per to maintain the public tranquil- he has done, and has sent ur, ?coord
lity, which was to cut short the days ingly, -the interrogatories, deposi
*■ 5 tijnj,