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THE CHARACTER OF PLINY THE

NATURALIST.

Boccacio all his graces and his beauties. having committed a great many more. With respect to his judgment, that is a Every wise man who considers the imfaculty he least excels in, for it very often mense extent of his design, the prodigious fails him: he makes women,, whom he quantity of knowledge, and of curiosities calls virtuous, hold conversations which which it contains, the infinite number of would be shameful in the most infamous books from which he was obliged to take places; at other times, he makes them his materials, and that in the midst of speak as Epicureans, without considering considerable occupations, military as well who are the persons whom he introduces as political, must be struck with ajustad, on the scene; and even his description of miration of the excellence of his history. the plague of Florence, pathetic as it is, He will say with the candour of Horace : does not appear to me quite in its proper Verum ubi plura nitent in carmine, non ego paucis place.

Offendar maculis, quas aut ineuria fudit,
Aut bumana parum cavit natura.

But in a poem elegantly writ,
What respect is not due to the memory. Such as our nature's frailty may excuse.

I would not quarrel with a slight mistake, of Pliny? He is without exception one of

He will laugh at those literary bullies, the greatest men of antiquity: he is an author who has received praises from all who, incapable of perceiving the solid the truly wise, and who is only despised think themselves great persons for disco

beauties with which a work abounds, by the volgar literati, as iż has been remarked by one of our most formidable vering some trifling defects. In fact, he critics, Plinius tantus vir ut non mirum will say, with one of the most judicious sit, si vulgus illum improbet, quum minime critics of the last century, that whoever sit Auctor vulgaris. Gibbon has inge.

of Pliny, hurts that great man's

speaks niously described his work as “the Li- reputation much less, than he does his

own: Non tantum Pliniano detraxit nobrary of the Poor Man." Nevertheless,

mini those who have praised him the most,

quam suo, have discovered in hini many defects; but,

PETRARCH'S WILL. for the greater part of these defects he

There is a Life of Petrarch, published by ought not to incur censure. Was he Jerome Squarzaficus of Alexandria, very obliged to know more of Physic,Medicine, scarce, but printed in the curious edition or Astronomy, of the virtues of plants of Petrarch's Latin works, in folio, at Veand minerals, or of other things of the nice, in 1501, It also contains his will, same nature, than was known in his time? which is rather singular, for the whimsical If he has appeared too credulous with and good-humoured satire with which he respect to some facts, which have the air disposes of his legacies to his friends and of the marvellous, has he not acted in the domestics. same manner as all the illustrious histori

He bequeaths to Lombardus Asericus ans of his age; and amongst others, Livy, his silver gilt goblet, out of which he is to whom I could on this subject turn into drink water, which he likes better than ridicule, as easily as Pliny has been?

wine: cum quo

bibat I have always thought, and I do still, ter bibit, multo libentius quam vinum;" to

aquam, quam libenthat great men ought not to be con- John de Bochetta, vestry-keeper of his demned so inconsiderately: Modestè et church, his great breviary, which had cost circumspecto judicio de tantis viris pro him a hundred francs; to John de Cernunciandum. I allow, that we should not taldo seu Boccatio, fifty gold forins, of copy their errors; but before we pro- Florence, to buy him a winter garment, nounce judgment against them, we fit for his studies and his vigils ; " to Thoshould consider well whether some ex- mas de Bambasia de Ferrare, his lute, cuse might not be offered for them; sea- that he might make use of it to sing the son and equity command it, and so does praises of the Lord, non pro vanitate the self-interest of those who ever attempt sæculi fugacis ; to Barthelmi de Sienne, to write.

called Pancaldus, twenty ducats, with After all, though Pliny committed some the proviso, that he does not game them faults (which we cannot deny), we ought

away, Quos ludat. to be less surprized at that, than at his not

non

ORIGINAL

ORIGINAL POETRY.

rol gay,

own.

TO EURILLA IN ADVERSITY. For Sympathy, blest instinct of our kind,

'Is purest opium to the tortur'd mind. FROM CARLO MAGGI.

Seek, then, some Friend, who early learn'd ALONE and pensive in those wilds I stray,

to grieve Where, save the feather'd choir who ca

At others' woe, who lives but to relieve ; No sound obtrudes; where Silence rears her Some breast so much in concert with thy

throne, By mute Oblivion's poppies overgrown,

As,' when thou smilst, or weep'st, to joy or

groan; And with such sway despotic rules the soul,

With sweet Mimosa be her temples crown'd, As e'en the starts of Sorrow to controul ; As e'en to bid the fears of Friendship cease,

By patient Prudence let her lips be bound;

Of all thy griefs let her have felt the smart, And make me fancy all my cares at peace. Yet, wheresoc'er my wand'ring footsteps And shew where once they rankled in her

heart; tread, My thoughts, by some spontancoue impulse When to check tears, and when to bid them

Let her (rare gift!) possess the skill to know led,

flow; Fly fast to thee; nor will I pause to own,

Thus will her hand be competent to spread Thou most art with me when I'm most alone.

Comfort's soft roses o’er thy thorny bed. But if my Muse, too sedulous t'impart

But, once again, dear suff'ring Saint, taks The balm of comfort to thy anguish'd heart,

heed Hath oft disgusted by officious zeal,

This Friend be deck'd with Caution's choicest And widen'd wounds she fondly hop'd to

meed; heal,

For Grief unlocks the soul, and brings to More irksome now thou'lt deem th'obtrusive

view lyre,

Each thought, each merit, and each failing Whose notes I waken with increas'd desire;

too. Thy woes to soothe-forgive th’advent’rous

Seek then a Friend, sage, cautious, faithstrain,

ful, kind Which dares the rigours of thy fate arraign ; Which dares lamenc-(0 pardon, righteous if some good Angel such a Friend bestow'd,

But hold !-I know the temper of thy mind, Heav'n!)

To rescue thee from Grief's o'erwhelming That Peace to thankless A pathy is giv’n;

load, Whilst Virtue's self, in human form en.

Thy soul wou'd doat on her's and should'st shrin'd,

thou lose To cruel, hateful Warfare seems consign’d.

This first of blessings-Hold! ah, hold, my Full well I know repruach were vainly

Muse! hurl'd

Nor paint a scene which Nature cou'd not Against the unfeeling baseness of this world:

bear. Full well I know how imputent each art

Yes-seek a Friend! a firmer Friend than To melt, with Pity's drops, the flinty heart;

e'er To check the bitter taunts of scowling Pride, Adorn'd our mortal clay—a Friend, whose Make ranc'rous Envy throw her snakes

mind aside,

Not all the malice of this world combin'd Compel curs d Falsehood at Truth's shrine to

Can e'er wean from thee-a celestial Guard ; kneel, Or rob the hand of Malice of its steel:

Who, from thy breast each stroke of Fate to

ward, Yet, thothy woes, with my upbraidings O'er Fate herself presides, o'er Time, o’er

join'd, In vain wou'd strive to meliorare mankind,

Space,

And all the myriads of the Human Race; Still are there means all potent to confound

Who knows no change, whose love will never The iron breasts thy suff'rings fail to wound; Still to their pow'r superior mayst thou rise, Whose voice is comfort, and whose paths are And ev'ry arrow of their wrath despise. Too just, too ample is thy cause for woe; O turn to him, to God! the only Friend,

peace. Then check nut tears, but freely let them

On whom thou may’st, without a fear, deflow; Amfiction's ride, by constant force repress’d, And learn, that, mid Adversity's dark maze,

pend; And closely pent within a single breast,

Or gay Prosperity's seductive blaze, There rages fierce, with direst inischiefs rife,

He only knows our erring steps to guide, Dethroning Reason, and o’erwhelming Life.

Where spotless Truth, and deathless Joy preThen give it' way; and, to some kindred

side. heart, Thy év'ry care, thy ev'ry thought impart; Exmouth,

M, STARKI.

cease,

MLR.

IMPROMPTU LINES TO SIR JOIN CARR, Of murder, villainy, and teeming acts, AFTER READING HIS NORTHERN SUM- That call for bell and vengeance! Could

these bones,

The slender relics of thy little strength, THo much you've honour'd martial men,

Once dare to stretch their feebie nothingness The triumph is not their's alone; You, by your pencil and your pen,

Against the fiats of Omnipotence ? Make every realm you reach your own.

Of tardy justice mock th' impending bolt ?

Or clip the thread of gratitude and love, The wreath, for which the hero sighs, Inwoven in thy nature? Rather say,

Is staind with blood, however bright; Thou could'st forget the splendour of thy But you bring home a spotless prize,

birth of rich instruction and delight.

And bend thee supple, fraught with lies, and Your Northern Summer seems a day,

smiles, As we retrace its varied hours;

In the loy'd sunshine of a patron's grace. Well pleas'd and proudly we survey

Say rather, thou didst busy thee in vain Your graceful wreath of “ Polar Flowers.” Amid the phantom scenes of luxury

H Irresolute; or, with extended arms,

Didst follow the receding, vagrant blaze

Of pleasures gross, as fatal. Yet, how grin, THE SKULL.

How bare thy joys have left these worthless “ Mors sola fatetur

bones! Quantula sint hominum corpuscula !" Juv.

Might the dread seal of secrecy be burst,

What noble converse could the charnel'd [The following Lines were occasioned by the

dead accidental discovery of a Skull, by the Plough, at no great distance from a populous Couldst weave a fit discourse to curb the rage

Pour in the list'ning ear! And truly thou town in the West of England.]

Of frantic man. Perhaps to thee was given WITHIN this earthy barrier confin'd To reach the depth and treasures infinite

Once breath'd a heav'n-born soul, long Of sacred lore; to commerce with those since remov'd

bards To bear the tale and story of these bones, And rev'rend sages of far distant times, When yet the streams of life cours'd over

Whose sense

unhallow'd still directs to them. Mean dwelling of that wond'rous guest! To trace the myriads of shining worlds, Couldst thou

That compass this mean speck ; to spurn the Unfold the narrow volume of thy span;

sway Could that unseemly feature of grimace And endless throne of space; to name and That sneers upon its former state and that

range Which now I wear, relax, and break the The hidden and disclosed stores of things,

That croud the earth, and give a zest to life! Ofits ordained silence, how intent

Perchance in thee the lamp of genius buru'd, Would I the thousand scenes eventful change And thou could'st tread the steepy heights of Of thy unknown mortality record,

verse, Th'instructive lessons of a friend deceas'd! Or wind the maze of raptur'd thought, and

To thee, poor, tenantless, exhausted case pore Of man's frail compass, once belong'd the With wonder and delight upon the worlds rule

Of sportive forms, thou didst thyself create. Of passions headstrong as the wint'ry tide : Celestial joy !-Now, those rich day dreams To thee the helm and steerage uncontrould fied, Of that slight pinnace, man; the sov’reign Have left this monument, this clay.cold ash will

Of fire extinct. To brook the buffets of an adverse wind;

Immortal man! the care To dare the rocks, and struggle under storms And nursling of a Sire all provident, Of seas untried; or (happier lot!) to bask Th’inheritor of weakness, sin, and death, In moorings of some enviable port!

Suspended from the moment by a hair, Haply thy days are pencild by the hand Whose big designs, and lordly acts, embalm Of living fame, or stand enrollid above Thy name within the frail survivor's breast; Within thy page alone of mortal doom, These are the base memorials thou shalt Whom nor ambition sway'd, nor empty glare of praise.-Oh! the flesh creeps upon my This the vile shell, in which that mighty bones,

soul When Yancy paints thee some black harden'd Once quickened, and infcom'd thy proud exwretch,

ploits, Distain'd in heart with spots of unwashid Must be the goal of beauty, rank, and fame, crime,

A. B. E.

AMOR

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organisation seems to be rather to com. of a substance, possessing the whiteness bine substances into more complicated of silver, formed at the negative point. and diversified arrangements, than to re- A inixture of baryres and red oxide of duce them to simple elements."

mercury, in the saine proportions, was From the fixed alkalies, the professor electrified in the same manner. A small proceeded to the earths, which are non- mass of solid amalgain adhered to the neconductors of electricity. The alkalies gative wire, which evidently contained a become conducting substances by fusion: substance that produced barytes by expothe infusible nature of the earths, ren- sure to air, with the absorption of oxygen; dei rd it impossible to operate upon them and which occasioned the evolution of in this state: the strong affinity of their hydrogen from water, leaving pure mere bases for oxygen would not admit of their cury, and producing a solution of barytes, bodies being acted upon by solution in Mixtures of lime, strontites, magnesia, water; and the only methods that proved and red oxide of inercury, treated in the successful, were those by which they were san:e manner, gave similar amalgams, operated upon by electricity in some of froin which the alkaline earths were ratheir combinations, or of combining them generated by the action of air and water. at the moment of their decomposition by While Mr. Davy was pursuing these electricity, in metallic alloys, so as to ob- experiments, he heard that Professor Bertain evidences of their nature and proper. zelius, and Dr. Pontin, of Stockholm, had ties.

succeeded in decomposing barytes and On this plan, Mr. Davy undertook a lime, by negatively electrifying mercury series of experiments on Barytes, Stron- in contact with them, and that in this way tites, and Lime,'employing upon then they had obtained amalgams of the mea the same methods as he had used in the tals of these earths. Mr. Davy repeated decomposition of the fixed alkalies. Gas the experiments with a battery of 500, and was, in each case, copiously evolved, obtained the most perfect success. The which was inflammable; and the earths, mercury gradually became less fluid, and where in contact with the negative metal- after a few minutes was covered with a lic wires, became dark-coloured, and ex- white film of barytes; and when the amal. hibited small points, having a metallic gàm was thrown into water, hydrogen was lustre, which, when exposed to air, gra- disengaged, the mercury remained free, dually became white: they became white and a solution barytes was formed, likewise when plunged under water, and The result with lime was precisely analowhen examined by a magnifier, a green- gous, so also was that with strontites; ish powder seemned to separate from with magnesia it was with more difficulty them.

obtained. All these amalgams may be He then made mixtures of dry pot-ash preserved a considerable period under in excess, and dry barytes, lime, stron- naphtha, but in a length of time they betites, and magnesia, brought them into come covered with a white crust. When fusion, and acted upon them in the vol- exposed to air, a very few minutes only taic circuit, as he had done in obtaining were required, for the oxygenation of the the metals of the alkalies. He hoped, by bases of the earths. this means, that the potassium, and the In several cases, Mr. Davy exposed inetals of the earths, might be deoxygen- the analgams of the metals of the earths, ated at the same time, and enter into containing only a very small quantity of combination in alloy. Metallic substan- mercury, to the air, on a delicate baces appeared less fusible than potassium, lance, and he always found that, during which burnt the instant after they had the conversion of metal into earth, formed, and which, by burning, produced there was a considerable increase of a mixture of pot-ash, and the earth em- weight. He also found that, when the ployed. He had found, that when a mix- metals of the earths were burned in a ture of pot-ash, and the oxides of mercury, small quantity of air, they absorbed oxytin, or lead, was electrified in the Voltaic gen, gamed weight, and were in a highly circuit, the decomposition was very ra-. caustic or unslaked state; for they propid, and an amalgam or' an alloy of potas- duced strong heat by the contact of water, sium was obtained. He tried the same and did not effervesce during their solue on a mixture of two parts of barytes, and tiun in acids. Hence it is inferred, that one part of oxide of silver very slightly the evidence for the composition of the moistened; when it was electrified by iron alkaline earths, is of the same kind as that wires, an effervescence took place at both for the composition of the common mepoints of contact, and a minute quantity tallic oxides; and the principles of their

decomposition

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PROCEEDINGS OF LEARNED SOCIETIES. ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. It combines with sulphur iu close ves

of Mr. Davy's discoveries with re- with great vividness, with light, heat, and gard to potash, we shall proceed, as we afterwards with explosion from the vaporiproposed, to consider the properties and zation of a portion of sulphur, and ihe disnature of the basis of Soda. The basisor engagement of sulphuretted hydrogen gas. metallic substance obtained by decompo- The phosphuret has the appearance of sition, is a solid at the common temper- lead, and forms phosphate of soda, by exature. It is white, opaque, and it'ex- posure to the air, or by combustion. amined under a film of naphtha, has the The basis of soda in the quantity of 16 lustre and general appearance of silver. part, renders ır.ercury a fixed solid of the It is exceedingly mallcable, and is softer colour of silver, and the combination is than any of the common metallic sub- attended with a considerable degree of stances. It is a good conductor of elec- heat. It makes an alloy with tin, withtricity and lieat, and small globules of it out changing its colour, and it acts upon inflame by the voltaic electrical spark, lead and gold when heated. and burn with bright explosions: its spe- From some very accurate experiments, cific gravity is something inore than 93. Mr. Davy has found that 100 parts of pot. It becomes fluid at about 180° of Fahren- ash, consist of 86.1 of the basis, and heit, but the exact degree of heat at 13.9 of oxygen : and in 100 parts of soda, which it becomes volatile, has not been there will be 80 parts of the basis, and 36 ascertained.

of oxygen. • The chemical phenomena produced by To the question whether the bases of the basis of soda, are in many respects, potash and soda should be called metals; analogous to those produced by the basis Mr. Davy says, that the greater number of potash: when exposed to the atmo- of philosophical persons answer in the sphere, it immediately tarnishes, and by afirmative. They agree with metals in degrees becomes covered with a white opacity, lustre, malleability, conducting crust, which deliquesces much more powers as to heat and electricity, and in 'slowly tk the substance that forms on their qualities of chemical combination; the basis of potash, and which proves to their low specific gravity does not appear be pure soda. The basis combines a sufficient reason for making them a new slowly with oxygen, and without lumi- class;

for ainong

the metals themselves, nous appearance, at all common tein- there are remarkable differences in this peratures; and when heated this combi- respect, platina being nearly four times nation becomes more rapid, but no light as heavy as tellurium; and in the philosois emitted, till it has acquired a tem- phical division of the classes of bodies, perature nearly that of ignition. In the analogy between the greater number oxygen gas, it burns with a white light: of properties must always be the foundain oxymuriatic acid gas, it burns vividly tion of arrangement. Hence the bases with a bright red light; saline matter is of the alkalies are denominated, Potassiformed, which proves to be muriate of and Sodaum. soda. When thrown upon water,

it
pro-

In reference to his own discoveries, Mr. duces a violent effervescence, with a loud Davy observes, that,“ In the common prohissing noise; it combines with the cesses of nature, all the products of living oxygen of the water to form soda, which beings may be easily conceived to be eliis dissolved, and its hydrogen is disen- cited from known combinations of matter. gaged.

The compounds of iron, of the alkalies, The basis of soda acts upon alcohol and earthis, with mineral acids, generally and ether in the same manner with the abound in soils. From the decomposition basis of pot-ash. The water contained of basaltic, porphyritic, and granitic, in them is decomposed, soda is rapidly socks, there is a constant supply of earthy, fornied, and hydrogen is disengaged. alkaline, and ferruginous materials to the When thrown upon the strong acids, it surface of the earth. In the sap of all acts upon them with great energy, if the plants that have been examined, certain nitrous acid is employed, a vivid inflam- neutrosaline compounds, containing potmation is produced, with muriatic and ash, or soda, or iron, have been found. sulphuric acids, there is much heat gene- From plants, they may be supplied to rated, but no light.

animals. And the chemical tendency of

organization

um,

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