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?ox Library 

weft CjtXI^citim. 











PHILADEIiPHIA ... • . " 



Entered according to Act of Congrefls, in the year one thousand 
hundred and forty-eight, by William H. Fcrness, in the Clerk's 
of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 


Crissy Ac Markley, Printers^ 
No. 4 Minor Sureet 

• 4 

•• • • 

• - • 


The author of this work, known in his own country as an 
eminent naturalist, a veteran devotee of science and philosophy, 
and a traveler in the East, in a brief and modest preface, states 
it to be the design of this volume to furnish "riper youth" with 
important elementary knowledge, and in as pleasing a manner 
as he was able. A friendly and religious spirit breathes from 
its pages. Like all works of its kind, it tends to elevate the 
reader's apprehensions of the Infinite wisdom. To all young 
inquirers, in whom the appetite to know is awakened, this 
translation is dedicated. Two or three chapters, which seemed 
not to be important^ have been omitted. The accurate and 
thorough scientific knowledge of a young friend, to whom this 
translation has been submitted, authorises the anticipation that 
no material errors will be found in the scientific phraseology 
of the work. 

W. H. F. 
December, 1848. 

\ » 




1. All want somewhat 1 

2. What every one doth want may be had without count . 3 

3. The housekeeper 5 

4. Living fountains 7 

5. The Universal refectory 10 

6. Home-sickness SiO 

7. Instinct S4 

8. The Compass 38 

9. The impulse of the mind to wander forth .... 41 
10. Valentine Jameray Duval 63 

Past II. the forecovbt of the knowledge of nature. 

11. The getting rich without trouble 109 

13. The Almanac-sign 112 

13. The Elements 115 

14. Simple substances 116 

15. The meUls 119 

16. The prodigal poor man 134 

17. The transmutation of the lower into a higher • . 140 

18. The metallic bases of the alkalis and earths .... 143 

19. A chapter on cleanliness 148 

39. An eye-manu&ctory on a large scale . i . . . . 156 

81. The bases of the acids 180 

38. Sulphuric add and muriatic acid 186 

33. Chemical polarisation \9l\ 


24. The bases of orgsDic bodies 

25. Aerial navigation 

2G. Vital air and nitrogen gas 

27. Great results from little causes 

28. Pressure and counter-pressure 

29. Heat 

30. The conduction of heat ........ 

31. The Thermometer 

32. The formation of steam by heat 

33. The gcneratbn of heat 

31. The heat of living bodies 

35. The generation of heat by electricity . . • . 

36. Thunder storms 

37. Lightning rods 

38. Lightning rods in agriculture 

39. VegeUblc Ufc ; 

40. Ghilvanism ; 

41. Electrotype j 

42. The nerves j 

43. Animal electricity j 

44. Electro- magnetism l 

45. Electric telegraph j 

4G. Heat and magnetism J 

47. Northern lights j 

48. The earth's light 4 

49. Heat of the sun 4 

50. The Sun 4 

51. Temperature of the Earth 4 

52. Daguerreotype and Photography 4 

53. The Prism 4< 

54. The Moon and its light ^ 

55. The relation of Light to Colors 4> 

56. The Phosphorescence of bodies 4{ 

57. Conjectures in regard to Light 4I 

58. Inworking and Aflcrworking .4^ 

59. Paternal and Maternal influence 4^ 

60. Proportions in which substances combine 4{ 

61. The steps in the development of life 4S 





Vqen we consider parlicularly the living creatures on this 
Ih, animals and plants, we may say of ihem: "These arc 
igs in continual want of somtithing." Not so is it wilh a 
rble slalue; it neither hungers, nor thirsts; is neither too 
nor too cold J il needs no brealh to draw, it sufiers in none 
e members. And so would every atone, if it had power and 
lerslanding to speak, soy to us; 'I am conlenl, and desire 
ing.' To us, human beings, on iho contrary, like the 
lals, now one thing, now another is wanting. The ever- 
e bird of the wood has always sonnelhing necessary to do; 
it is driven JVom its nest by hunger, and then again by 
It; thousands of times in a day it must inhale I'resh air, or 
iSbcated; at evening, when the sun goes to rest, the bird 
I the darkness and the refreshment of sleep, and again 
I night terminates, it is allured by the morning light and 
delight of waking day. And to (his daily and lesser pres- 
i oT want, comes a much greater pressure every year; for 
pring the bird has to provide for its young, in autumn it 
t wing its way over the waters to far lands, and seek sub- 
ir the winter. 


As with tho bird of the wood, so is it with every animal, an 
even every plant. For even plants require nourishment froi 
the air and the ground; they must have warmth and light, i 
they are to live and flourish. The weed of the field, the animal 
and man, are herein alike, that they all together have to bea 
their proportional weight of bodily wants and necessities. 

But although this weight sometimes becomes a burthen, y€ 
none of us would be without it; no one would be always con 
tent and without any want, like the stone. For when I fee 
nothing more of winter's frost and summer's heat, when I m 
longer hunger, nor thirst, when my lungs no longer crav 
breath, then I cease to live. As the hand of the clock stand 
still, when the weights, which set the wheels in motion, ar 
taken away or have run down, so too the course of life stand 
still and is at an end, when no need is felt of a somewhat whicl 
satisfies the want of life; life supports itself only by a constan 
alternation of asking and receiving, of desire and gratification 
To all living beings, now this, and now that is wanting; but i 
is also richly provided that they all, each according to its mea 
sure, receive what they require. 



Were the question to circulate: What does every one neec 
for the support of life? how various would be the answers 
The rich inhabitant of the city, used to a hundred conve 
niences and enjoyments, would think he could not possibl} 
live without various dishes of flesh and vegetables, wine an^ 
other drinks, without pillows and matrasses at night, and stll 
and wool for his clothing, and a comfortably furnished room 
for his usual dwelling. The poor inhabitant of a mountaiii 
village asks much less; he is content if he has bread and 
potatoes, water on work days, and perhaps a draught of beei 


S holidays. On his bed of straw he sleeps more soundly than 
the rich man; under a coarse frock hia heart beafs as cheerily, 
yea, and ofteolimes far more so, than the heart of the great 
man covered with rihhons and badges of honor. 

But if now, these two, the poor mountaineer and the effemi- 
nate citizen, were on sliiphoard together, and the vessel were to 
be wrecked, and they were to be thrown upon a rock in the sea 
with nothing to eat or drink, nevertheless sustained by the hope 
of rescue they would be cheered for awhile, for ihey would 
still have that which is more necessary to the support of life 
than meat and drink, bedding and clothing, namely, the air, 
which no human being, be he rich or poor, young or old, can 
go without even for a few minutes. 

ti regard to other animals, the variety of things which Ihey 
rally prefer, is much more striking. The eagle and the 
in a garden full of line fruits and vegetables, or on a mea- 
dow of grass and clover, would starve ; they require fresh meat 
and blood for their nourishment; and must often seek far and 
wide, and with Irouhle, the food which the lamb in his grassy 
garden finds close by, and without trouble; the stork prefers 
the flesh of frogs, oflizards, snakes, field mice and grasshoppers, 
before all other food; his kinsman, the crane, on the contrary, 
values a vegetable diet, with small insects. The thorny plants, 
on which the camel regales in his poor wastes, would not, if 
they grew in our vicinity, be touched by horse or deer. The 
huge whale contents himself with those tender and gelatinous 
iJwcllers of the sea, which the greedy shark, and even inferior 
fishes of prey pass without notice. And thus animals difier in 
regard to their food as much as they differ in liind and form, in 
dwelling and birth-place, but there is one clement of subsistence 
which Ihey all, without exception, require, without which the' 
lion can no more live than the mouse, the deer than the snail, 
and that is the air, which like meat and drink, is not first intro- 
o the slcmach, in order thence to pass mtn U\e \i\ooi. 

^feed into the 


but penetrates dircclly to ihia elemeot of anirr 
ajumals, call them what you will, seek they llieir nourishmd 
in the fields or forests, in ihe sea or on Ihc laod, — all mu! 
breathe, if they are to have power lo move — lo eat aiid I 
driok, — in a word, to live. 

But lo that indispensable element, which animala as well s 
men, not only gladly enjoy, but miiSl have for their li(u|l 
■upport, ihe old saying directly applies, ^^H 

Holp 0> 


If the people of Naples, who think they can gel through lu 
day in eummer unless fresh ice is brought to them over Ibe baj 
from the mouolaina, had to wail as long for the fresh air whicl 
fills their lungs at every breath, as for the Ice, llierc would soon 
be an end for Ihem, not only of al! enjoyment, but of life itself. 
Indeed, if the swiftest bird had to fly as far for a breath of air, 
as he does for a drink from tlie brook, which flows through the 
wood, he would perish before he got half way. But for Ibis 
neceaaily, returning not daily and hourly, but every instant, 
the moat thorough and ample provision is made in the grand 
economy of nature. For air is everywhere, where dwell living 
beings, upon the heights and in the depths; it rushes of itself 
into the lungs of the new born child, it linds admission to the 
little ball in the egg through the fine openings al ihe thick end 
of the shell ; it sinlis down in the waler to the lowest deeps of 
the sea, aud is there breathed in by water-animals ; in all hol- 
lows and open caverns of the earth, and evon into the inlerior 
of vegetable and animal substances, the air penetrates, and filltt 
the same. 

Thus the air, which surrounds and penetrates all living be- 
ings, reminds us, like an image in a mirror, of the all-uphold- 
ing Providence, in and by whose ministration, the whole crea- 
tion aubsials, in whose creative power we all live and movfii 
have our being. 


ADother image in ihe mirror of Nature: the image of a good 
house-keeper, presents itself lo ua to Water. Without water 
tlie mliole surface of the oarlh would soon become a waste, like 
ihe African deseris in the dry seuaoo of the year; ail vegeta- 
tion would wither, all animals perish. But like a careful 
mother, who visits, without ceasing, all parts of her house, 
now the cellar, now the upper store-rooms, in order to provide 
tor her household whatever Ihey need, — so Water flows in 
brooks and rivers down into the sea, thence ascends afler a 
apace into ihe nir as vapor, divides itself into the drops of Ihe 
ddw, pours down its blessing in rain upon Ihe thirsty land, 
collects itaelf on Ihc cool mounlains or on the wooded hills, in 
Bprings and brooks, and again dislribuling its gifls as it passes, 
luns into the sea. Water follows the miner into his mines, 
the crystal-digger upon his bald mountain heights; for just as 
air penetrates water and mingles with i1, so wafer, in an airy 
fbmi, penetrates the atmosphere and gives drink to Alpine 
plants and mosses in such fulness (hat the midday sun can 
scarcely drink up the pearly drops. There only, where no 
weed flourishes, and no thirsty life can be supported, on the 
c-oid heights, which only aeronauts and bold mountain travel- 
lers reach, does water appear !o be relieved of its maternal 
ra res, there water hardly comes; there it is that the air is more 
void of water than elsewhere. 

As in a mother's lap, the tenderest and finest creatures are 

Knd hidden in the water, the polypus, who construckj the 

\\ fabrics, and the manifold forms of the medusa or sea- 

The most imperfect forms of the animal kingdom, 

'hich apparently the higher and completer forms of land* 

Is are produced, are folded in the maternal bosom of the 


Wntor itidcod abounds on the eaMh, for more than thn 
(|iiarU;rH of the surface of the globe are covered by the oceai 
niid Htrcums; lakes and swamps also are fbond in difierei 
n^^iotiH in great numbers. Nevertheless this benefioent ek 
mrint d<;os not come of itself, like the air, to the land-animali 
who thirst for it. It must be sought out by them, oftoD 8 
fr,rpAii distances and with difficulty. For the vaporifbrm watei 
whi(;h floats in the air, does not slake their thirst, and the sal 
watcir of the ocean, which would only increase it, is roostl; 
unpalatable. But for this purpose the bird has his wings, th 
land-animul his strong feet, that, with these helps, they ma^ 
sock what they want; and in a few moments the swallow, tha 
has its nost in the rocky clcfls of Arabia Petacea, may, when 
impelled by thirst, reach the pool in which, from the time oi 
the rainy season, water has been preserved; the herds of the 
swifl-footcd African gazelle go from place to place, following 
the rain-cloud as it now here and now there pours down its 
abundance, and every morning as well as every evening they 
find themselves, however far they graze, at a watering place. 

Quite otherwise than with the animals, is it ^ith the pro- 
ductions of the soil. Plants cannot leave the spot where they 
exist, to go in search of water, they must wait until it comes 
to them. And yet they need water more than animals. For 
the latter partly find wherewith to allay their thirst in the 
juices of their food ; the bird of prey finds it in the fresh flesh 
and blood of its victim, the ox and the goat in the stems and 
leaves of weeds. In the case of plants, on the contrary, water 
is not merely an addition to their food, but it is the chief means 
of nourishment, like its mother's milk to the suckling. The 
tender babe, how wretched were it, if it had itself to seek out 
its nourishment, the babe, who can neither stand nor go, but 
must wait in its swaddling clothes, until its mother gives it to 
drink. And it does not wait in vain ; love impels its mother 


Sit, more powerfully ihan it ia impelled by hunger towarda 

As with Ihe inrant, so is it with plania, not only does the 
water. Bowing on Ihe ground, penetrate to their fine rool-fibresj 
but like milk to the new born child, so ia the vaporiform water, 
which, with other aerial nourishment, floats in the atmosphere, 
nnd siipiilies (he plants that are fed hy il. Aa the mother, 
uncalled and of herself, seeks her bohe, so water comes down 
to the plants from the air; where woods abound and the ver- 
dure is rich, there springs and brooks abound, and the roin- 
crloud moves always towards countries rich in vegetation: but 
where man, in hia impatient cultivation or in his barbarism, 
has stripped the hills and valllcs of their woods and shrubbery, 
1 apriogs and streams dry up, and the land becomes an 
8 'waste, 

T'Tbus that Providence, which cares for al! creatures, — the 
love of this good mother, — cannot withhold itself from Ihe 
plants, which, without eye or ear, or any recognising sense of 
their nourisher, can do nothing but vigorously suck in the 
food she oilers them. As the eagle carries to her young (he 
food which they cannot of themselves obtain, so long as they 
fl weak and unfledged in the nest, so He, who gives lo all 
r being, sends to bis most helpless creatures that which 
d in its time. It is rightly said : 



■ a supplement to what we have just said of the gill, which 

Htowed upon the vegetable kingdom to attract the water 

r and convert it info sap and strength, we will ad- 

: instances, from which il appears tliat that . 

invisible uourishuimil, wliich (ilaiils rocuivd, becomes < 
other living beings a visible nnd refreshing gift. 

In Iho hot coasts of Sierm Leone there is a plai 
winds itself round other plants, "tAe drinkingjuessd ^ 
( Titracera jMatoriUt) which the natives use as a living wate 
fountain. For when the fresh stem or leaf of ibis plant is ci 
through, there Hows out an abtindanl quantity of clear, piM 
. water. In the great water-fountain-tree {Phgtacreiu g 
gantea,) in tlic East Indies, the people (here hare a aimit 
sQif-lilled drinking cup, and a similar property is observed j 
various other plants. In the leaves of the bag-bearing NefM^ 
the, which grows in Ceylon nnd the Moluccas, there are loq 
eack-ahaped vessels, which arc filled with a pleasant tastuif 
refreshing water. Six to eight of these bags suOice to qirand 
very great thirst. From the young twigs of a Brasilian OsMJ 
pinia there trickles water without cessation, like rain. 

But the most wonderful of all is the power of changing thi 
vapor of the air into liquid water, possessed by some of thosi 
plants, swollen with sap, of the family of the loreh4hutU 
which grow upon lava rocks and other soils, in which not thi 
smallest drop of moisture exists for their roots. The tneloa' 
shaped torch thistles (Melocaclus) grow and flourish in Ibt 
hottest portions of America. When in the dry season every 
other green thing is withered and dead, when the beasts ol 
he desert pant in vain for water, and far and wide not a drop 
s to be found, then in the interior of the Melocactus watet 
exists in abundance. The fleshy texture of its stem is com- 
pletely filled with a watery sap. The herds of wild horsea 
and oxen seenl the refreshing draught, and know bow to pro- 
cure it, while, before ihcy touch their mouths to il, they en- 
dcovour to break away with (heir hooves, the strong sharp 
thorns with which the surface of the plant is covered, in which 
attempt indeed many of the thirsting animals become for 4 


Livrac POUNTAINB. 9 

feie lamed, Ihe thoms penetrating their flesh. But these 
innoyiog to the animals, appear to be ruvnished to 
the plant that, in the dry season, and on the arid anil in which it 
grows, it may not itself sufler for want of water, for these sharp 
points, which stand forth like little conductors, are in all pro- 
bability of easemial service in attracting and appropriating the 
aloiospheric vapor. 

Bdlany plants, through the quality of their sap, may be re- 
^■Bented as the sucklings of Nature, The American Uba-hya 
^Pe, when an incision is made in its young growth, affords a 
Buid which, in taste and quality, so closely resembles rich milk 
Ihal il may be used as cream with coffee or tea. Even in the 
common Cow-lree, (Galactodendron utile) there is a milky sap, 
which contains, however, instead of a hutterish fat, a waxlike 
substance. Without any trouble man receives from the fruit 
of the Oil-palm, {l^is and AJfonsia oUifera) a pleasant last- 
ing oil ; from the fruit of the butter-tree a butter is obtained, 
useful like that obtained from the cow; the bare sap of many 
palms becomes after a few hours an exceedingly refreshing, 
wholesome, wine-Uke drink. As the above mentioned Hoa-hya 
tree afibrds cream to the lovers of tea and coiTee, so there is 
5 hot regions of America, another plant {Xt^ia (/Kfcis,) 
ich secretes from its surfiice a sugar, which is so pure 
It further trouble one can have it, equal to the best 
kficially refined juice of the sugar cane. 

' the preparation of those nutritive substances for man 

k'tieast, of which besides those just mentioned, the vegetable 

d produces yet many thousands more, no material is nced- 

) we shall hereafter more parliculwly consider, but the 

Ttlbrin or liquid water from the air or soil, and a few other 

a contained in the air or soil or mingled with the water, 

JDg which the most important is Carbon, lo be described in 

With our art and science we are not able 1 

U^ ^^.^ nr 

^■n:^ li nm tXM""*- 

W '■ ' ...w ^... ^*». ...^ ... ;jjr rxttnibn and enteili 

»\ •-•.Tj'ffl-fi. wiih those wn 
V. ,s ,.v ,xs.^ ^-i. r.-T^n«-f^ for his ca«tnr 
w; .* .- : >\ , ;.•..«,-.- .•^•. ii:.r and nicbl, ^ 

"'^ " •• ^« -,% - » .X < «-^Tvr^ 'TKi: the food, oe» 

' *' '• '^' •' ^-' ^ -^iv -.— '^s-f^. i.«* a: the roonient 

\ " ** ^ ^ vA> .^v. *t> Thf small, the strong 

»• «|m n\,«,s . ^ ,. ;^ ^^.^j. jj^^. gjpi^ find ever 

^"*' '» ' "^ N-v' Vm -•%. ^.v... r>.ar<h\ near ai hand 

^^ !,.». \x , .,> .K, .-. -..^ ,, s,v,-»mtu=V palace to the 
'» '»n ,.,.,,..1 o,-,.,x...,^ „ .'nv;:i.-ki,. nnci vet nothing 
" ' '••' ••■•' ^ 1-. ■.-.,»?» ,x.^ . ^r,.^, ^,.^ iiniK«ed: for eve 

"'* '""" ' '* N-'M'N .,. .rM>stimor is found;' 

' ''"'• •'" ""»•»' »-s - INS, m: : uhni one rejects, 

'' ■ ^Hi.,« I o*»:.,>N. X, ,^ rv^is.-knotTs to sonie, serves : 

*•••.„,. ,1,. ,„^.,l.MMi>h ,% In.ha. whrstii: adhere to 

'•'• '■"' * - » ft' ( ,.x-N. iKn. no onc, who is not of t 

'*'■'" '"'• *» HiMlMnin oni. mih-.h l«!S eat with hi 

**" ' '• • ''.ink iVoni the snmo cup. There 

**' **•• •*••*"' «»' llviuj, boincs who keep the time 


■Wing secret from the eyes of other beings, and who lake ibeir 
J|Aod from a piale which olhera never share. This order, as 
■ *e have already seen, ia Ihe vegetable kingdom. Mora care- 
l||&lly than ever Biahmio concealed his ealing-room from curious 
I, the tree hides its food-taking roots in the depths of the 

I, and what eje of n 
lerial substance, on whicl 
lislle feeds when it unfok 
|Dwers, and its fleshy frui 
rbidden lo man and beaa 

1 the 

r falcon has power 
as wo have just seen, the torch- 
its leaves full of sap, its beautiful 
on the dry rock? Obviously is it 
n and beast to eat from one and the same dish 
pth the tall palm, for neither of ihem could be satisfied with 
' the damp mouldy earth. The table, at which, 
Btrough the kindly powers and juices of the earth, the vege- 
I world is feasted, so that the grape produces wine, the 
It its grain, is and remains for guests of our order inao- 
ble and hidden. 
fBut to most of the tables of the animal kingdom access is 
1 permitted to our observing eyes, and here the arrange- 
Mts oi" the great refectory are more intelligible. Here the 
fifst [hJng to be noted is, that to the small and the frail, who 
ronaol go of themselves for their food, food is brought, and 
placed in their mouths. To the young bird, who lies weak and 
tiLfledged in the nest, the love of its parents renders this ser- 
'ice; /or such animals, who must go without parental care, 
"111 yet ivho c«nnot move from place to place, a love cares, 
"hJch is mightier and more comprehensive than the love of any 
pareui. The oyster, like many oihei-s of similar species, sits 
iwi 6ound to its rock ; it has neither eyes nor any other organ 
iliarly belonging lo a body, nothing but a mouth which 
;>'-3 food, antl a body which needs nourishment; nevertha- 
■•"' il has only to open its shell to receive what it wants. The 
''"le Worm whence comes the hazel-nut beetle, would he poorly 
"^ifil hod to go **"■ "''•' its small stumps of feet for its food. 



duce any thing thus; we cannot like the Mdocaclt 
onreelves a water fountain out of the air 
All such works of the vegelahle kingdom ai 
ative Power, and science performs no miracles, 
here confess, 


What human preparations for the comfort and entertainment 1 
of guests are at all to be compared with those which < 
Creator has established and arranged for his creatures here , 
upon earthi Every moment by day and night, miilio 
living beings are feastedj many guests come late, others a 
early, and always it is so arranged that (he food, destined for 
each, stands ready and prepared just at the raort 
pears. Here the great as well as the small, the strong as well 
as the weak are filled; aiid even the sick fiod every thing 
which can strengthen and hea), placed near at hand; before 
ihe want is felt the supply is provided. 

What was all the fulness of Solomon's palace to the fulnesa 
of the grand economy of Creation, and yet nothing is ever 
wasted; not a crumb, nor a drop goes unused ; for every, e' 
the smallest gill of Nature, a consumer is found; what the 
great leave, the small find a use for ; what one rejects, another 
seizes, what is offensive or poisonous to some, serves for sub- 
stantial nourishment to others. 

Among (he inhabitants of India, who still adhere to Ihe old 
idolatry, a custom exists, that no one, who is not of the same 
caste, shall see a Brahmin eat, much less cat with him from 
the same plaie or drink from the same cup. There is upon 



ing secret from the eyes of other beings, and who take Iheir 
] from a plate which othcrB oever share, Thia order, as 
we have already seen, is Ihe vegetable kingdom. More care- 
fully than ever Brahmin concealed his ealing-room from carious 
eyes, the tree hidea its food-taking roots iu tiie depths of the 
soil, and what eye of man or falcon has power to discern the 
aerial siibstaDce, on which, as we have just seen, the torch- 
ihistlo feeds when it unfolds its leaves full of sap, its beautiful 
flowers, and its fleshy fiuits on Ihe dry rock? Obviously is it 
forbidden to man and beast to eat from one and the same dish 
with the tall palm, for neither of them could be salisScd with 
the dew or the damp mouldy earth. The fable, at which, 
througli the kindly powers and juices of the earth, ihe vege- 
table world is feasted, so that the grape produces wine, the 
wheat its grain, is and remains for guests of our order inac- 
cessible and hidden. 
^^Put to most of the tables of the animal kingdom access is 
^Heed permitted to our observing eyes, and here the arrange- 
Hrats of the great rerecfory are more intelligible. Here the 
first thing to be noted is, that to the small and the frail, who 
cannot go of themselves for their food, food is brought, and 
a their mouths. To the young bird, who lies weak and 
ledged in (he nesf, the love of its parents renders this ser- 
. for such animals, who must go without parental care, 
I yel who cannot move from place to place, a lova cares, 
his mightier and more compi'ehe naive than the love of any 
The oyster, like many others of similar species, sits 
i bound to its tock ; it baa neither eyes nor any other organ 
irly belonging to a body, nothing but a mouth which 
I food, and a body which needs nourishment; neveriho- 
b it has only to open its shell to receive what it wants, The 
e worm, whence comes the hazel-nut beetle, would be poorly 
if U lifid to go far with its small stumps of feci for its food, 


but, like ihe boy in (lie story, who was enclosed in a huge pan- 
pie, Dpon whose sweet walls he fed at pleasure, until he ate 
himself out into daylight, so the little worm sits io the centre ■ 
of the sweet kernel, and needs only to gnaw, without moving . 
from the spot. And in similar ways U their daily food placed 
right before the mouths of most of the larvEe of insects, or 
easily within their reacii. 

Bat not merely for the helpless among the so-called lower 
orders of animals is an arrangement made by which help comes 
to them of itself, but even for creatures of a more perfect 
structure, with difficulty going on foot, or in any other way 
prevented froAi obtsining their food as easily as other animals, 
infirmaries and other provisions are made, by which they are 
greatly assisted. The sloth is a bad walker, and would sufler 
greatly from hunger and thirst, if obliged to seek his nourish- 
ment on tlie ground. And for him trees uf abundant foliage, 
upon which with his long claws ha can easily cbmb and fasten 
himseif, are provided as hospitals, where the plenty of leaves 
that serve for hia food lie close to his mouth. The Ant-bear, 
or Tamandua, requires for his support neither leaves nor fruits, 
— he lives on insects. But what would it avail him if he had 
to run after those little lively creatures with his clumsy, long- 
clawed feet? For this invalid are set, in the midst of the desert, 
many tables, and so richly Irjaded with food, that he has only 
to place himself at them, to eat his fill without trouble. T 
are the ant-hills, which he digs up with his long claws, 
then extends bis sticky tongue into the swarm of little, exi 
creatures, and when in a few moments it is thickly covered 
with ants, he draws the living mouthful into his mouth, where 
they instantly cease to live, and consigns them to his stomach. 

Even among birds, which, however, are provided with wings j 
as well as feet, the obtaining of their food is, for many species, j 
assisted in a very remarkable manner. How convenient, for J 


jstancc, for (he heron, who needs much, and in comparison 
with the Spoon-bill has bul little skill in fish-ctttching, is (his 
operation made, by the fact that the small fish, for whom the 
natural secretions of this bird area dainty, aa soon as the heron 
enters a pond collect in schools around his feet, and offer them- 
aelres voluntarily to their hungry guest. 
I The animals who go in search of food by night, or in Ihe 
twilight, also enjoy their privileges. The bat has but liUle 
lime for its chase, for during the long winter nights it sleeps, 
and in summer, when it has to provide for itselfand its yoimg, 
the nights are short. But its nightly hunt ia all the more suc- 
cessful than that of other animals who live upon insects, and 
seek their prey by day. For in the twilight and nighliy gloom 
there is provided the fat, substantial meal of Ihe tivilight or 
nighl-bulterflies, the mollis, as well as a variety of beetles. The 
owl, whose hunting district is overrun during the day by many 
oiher birds of prey, comes forth only when the other guests 
have ealen ond betaken themselves to (heir homes. Never- 
theless regard ia had for [his late guest, and for him, whose eye 
mcbes not lilce the falcon's into the distance, the best and 
most wholesome morsels in the neighboring fields and meadows 
KK reserved in such abundance, that the brief period of twilight 
■offices for him to obtain sufficient food for himself and his 
JWung. For just (hen, at nighlfaU and in iho grey of day, or 
by Dioonlighl, the most delicate game, the herds of field mice, 
oocne abroad, and fall nn easy prey to the screech-owl, while 
llie grcal-horncd ow! with equal success hunts the wild rabbits, 
nnd wen the young roes. 

It is not indeed the audible sound of a bell that summons the 
jQMts at the appointed hour to their iable^to the prepared 

1 feast, but the call which draws the animals whither provision 
is made ready for thom, must bo far more powerful and per- M 
I trptilile than any addressed to our_senses, for it extends '"^'J J 


over land-and sea, ihrough all tlie regions of Ihe earlh. It is 
uoderslood by them not through the ordinary, external senses, 
but by another and inner sense (see ch. 7), For although (he 
bird of passage has eyes which see far into the distance, together , 
with acute powers of hearing and smelling, yel his senses can ' 
help him little or nothing when the winter comes, which sweeps 
away from his dwelling every thing which is necessary to his 
support. When ha sits upon the top of the highest tree or rock 
on the sea shore, and looks far out over the waters, he cannot 
descry the land which ts lo be his abode for the winter. Even 
Ihe bird in his well-kept cage, where he has nothing to su%r 
from the autumnal coolness of the air or the disappearance of I 
his means of subsislence, is so seized whh llie impulse to wan- 
der thai night and day he has no rest; the young cuckoo, that 
has never seen its own parents, so soon as he can escape from 
the confinement in which man holds him, flies, led by Ihe mi- 
gratory impulse, straight toward the south, to a warmer land. 
Surely this impulse to the feast of life, reaching the wanderer 
in a distant region, extends over much wider spaces than that 
which opens Ihe shell of the firmly fixed oyster to its food, and 
directs the food lo it; but both the bird and the oyster blindly 
obey the call which comes from no other than that creative 
power which called both into being. 

As to the difierent dishes wherewith, in the grand relbctory 
of Nature, the several kinds of animals are regaled, they 
in their quality and composition as various as the guests that 
partake of them. To the animals particularly, who live o 
land, the vegetable world is first and in general assigned, ibr 
their nourishment. For, if there were no plants, then the 
means of subsistence would shortly disappear even for those 
animals who live upon the flesh of animals fed on vegetables. 
It is plants especially, that communicate to animals the juices 
and powers of life which ihey obtain at their own hidden and. 


hysterioua meals, (see p. 11,) and not only on land, but also 
a the vegetable kingdom, in the various kinds of sea 
I, has this use for the animal world, 
• Plants, if they are only in (he element adapted to them, in 
the water or the air, and enjoy the degree of warmth and of the 
bud's light which is beneficial to them, find everywhere what 
is necessary to iheir support. For water and the other sub- 
stances of the air and soil, which serve the vegetable world for 
nourishment, are everywhere the same, in the norlh and the 
south, the east and the west, and there ia no further prepara- 
lion of them necessary than that which light and heal effect. 
'I'he aaimal world makes other demands on the means of nour- 
ishment. Almost every species of animals requires to have 
the food of which it is to partake, first prepared in a particular 
way, in the vessels and rhe kitchen of a vegetable or animal 
body. Let there be set before ua human beings, or even be- 
fore ihe dogs and sheep, instead of (he usual midday meal, a 
Boop made of water and the substances, (such as carbon and 
■ |Tattrogen, ch. 24,) found in the earlh and air, and neither of 
^Bhe three, man, dog, or sheep would touch it, but starve before 
BIMI dishes. Hut when the same articles are cooked in the 
I Vdics of vegelables, into the leaves and stems of grass and 
I clover, into the mealy substance of Ihe potato, into the grains 
I of wheat, or the fruit of the vine and fruit tree, or when in the 
still further process of transmutation in the stomach, perhaps 
of ihe cow, they become blood and (lesh, milk and cheese, 
then sheep, as well as doga and men readily become fed and 

isfied therewith. 
rMony kinds, particularly of the less perlect animals, require 
mly one and the same kind of food, as perhaps the 
l^nves and fruits of ihis or thai vegetable, and only when hard 
pressed do they resort to any other plant, in which they find 
1 prepared similar to those of iheir favorite vegetable. 


Other animals have a nicer tasle; they love and seek the alter- I 
nation of several dishes, find Iheir food in the most opposite 
kinds of herbage growing in the fielda and meadows ; 
man desires, together with various vegetables, grains and juicy 
fruits, which serve him Tor refreshment, oftenar still an ad- 
mixture of animal food, flesh, milk and eggs. 

In satisfying such manifold desires, man succeeds indeed 
very easily, he uses not only the hands of other men who 
gather, cook, and bake for him, — and the civilized European 
receives from all quarters of the world what he needs from 
strange hands, — but even animals must help to procure 
man, what he requires for his kitchen. For him the falcon 
hunts in the air; for him the cormorant catches fish, with a 
metal ring placed round his neck to prevent his devouring the 
prey ; for him the dog hunts game or searches for the trufTIe- 
nuts hid in the ground, the bee must yield to man a portion of 
his honey, and the littlo four-footed forestallcr, the hard hearted 
marmot, give up his granary. Bui not only man, evei 
animal here and there supports his life hy making other ani- 
mals cook, or at least labour and gather for him. The herds 
of the leaf-louse sit on the tender bark, on the leaves and hulls 
of the buds of many plants as on a green meadow, and suck 
so dihgently thnt their tender bodies, like the udders of the 
milch cow m a spring pasture, are distended with juice. This 
abundance furnishes the ants with nourishment for their young. 
Touching gently with (heir feelers the Hltle tubes which pre 
ject from the end of the back of the leaf-louse, the Utile milkers 
gather the nourishing fluid in their mouths and convey it to 
their hungry foster-children. There are among ants, as among 
men, a certain species (of another rank as it were,) which are 
taken into the service of others, laboring and building for 
them, and even having the care of their young committed to 
them. The honey-cuckoo of Southern Africa makes even 


man Lis servant in laying open for him the closed [reasurc- 
chambers of ihe wild bee. Even among ihe birds, who feed 
on fish, there are some who employ other walcr-birda lo fish 
for ihem, rnnding the prey from these their servBnls, even 
nller the latter have transferred it to their own maw. 

Such eases, in which one animal uses Ihe superfluous gains 
or the powers of another for its own subsistence, produce no 
disturbance in that wonderful order which reigns in the grand 
and beautiful nursing institution of Nature. There, to every 
guest his own table, as well as his own mealtime is appropria- 
ted ; while the long-necked Giraffe finds his food high from 
the ground in the leaves and branches of the Acaccia free, the 
tender, timid gazelle is nourished by the herbage which grows 
at hia feet. For the latter the juicy leaves of the high-grow- 
ing trees grow green in vain. He cannot reach them; for 
i Giraffe, on the contrary, to bend down to the ground for 
t food would be insupportably irksome, while in aid of ita 
^h-plnced head, which renchcs into tbo leafy shelter of the 
I, comes the long tongue with which the animal, as with 
I extended hand, draws down the higher branches to its 
■DUth< How entirely undisturbed by other guests dooa the 
V bird, that sometimes visits us in the winter, lake its food, 
1, obeying the impulse of its nature, it wings its way in 
mmer to the sea clilfs of the far polar regions, on which, 
■ring the brief warm season a millet-grass grows, and blos- 
ons, and ripens its seeds, of which the swarms of snow birds 
B almost the only consumers. When the cross-bill, moved, 
1 perhaps as is supposed in regard lo many birds of passage, 
irm air blowing towards him, not by a scent which 
Mts hia organs of sense, but by an impulse 

9 of his own being, is led in the winter from afar It 
me smoDg Ihe piues where now the seeds, still enclosed in 


the cones of llie firs or pines, aro ripening, then is he too, «* 
such a season, almost the only boarder at his table. 

It would seem desirable that, along with iheae harmloal 
guests, to whose nourishment the supcrabundDnce of the v^o- 
lable kingdom is assigned, there should be uo plunderers, that 
rude not only upon their meals, seizing a portion of the 
ne, but also upon iheir eggs, their young, and upon these 
innocent creatures themselves. In the vicinity of the sn 
bird, near the polar ice is found the northern falcon, in the 
neighborhood of the cross-biQ, the martin, of the giraSe the 
Everywhere the war-cry is raised by the flesh-eating 
animals. Neverlheiess this also belongs to the order of the 
great economy. For apart from the fact that a great part of 
living animals, who resort as guests lo the table spread with 
animal foud, choose only the dead and mouldering, the family 
of the beasis of prey must serve as dams and bulwarks against 
those other parts of the animal world, in which a constant 
tendency exists to superabundance. .lust as dams and dykes 
guard lowlands from the overflow of streams and seas, so beasts 
and birds of prey are appointed for the protection of fields and 
meadows, and indeed of Iho whole vegetable world. The dis- 
proportionate increase, here of this, and there of another 
species of forms and beings is thus kept within due bounds, 

a that always at the right lime and place a devouring animal 
sppears, which discharges its ofiice, like the owl for instance, 
that, with its associate guests al the same table, seta limits to 

be excessive miilliplication of field mice. 
In the building of a temple, reared and completed by inan, 

he masses of wood and alone, destined to compose its parts, 
are hewn by human hands, and to every piece the proposed 
«hape is given which shall fit it lo ihe other parts of the edifice. 
One piece is taken from) this rock or forest, another from that, 


one is vroiighl 8d<1 rashioced here, and one there, and when 
the lime comes alt the parts are carried by human hands to 
I'Uie place of building, Biid through human art filled together. 
Quite otherwise is it in the building of the grand temple of the 
Creation, which, in its conslaol renewal, leslifiea without ceas- 
ing that the master-builder who laid its foundations in the be- 
ginning, slill lives and is busy in the midst of his work. In 
this great edifice the parts fashion and measure themselves, 
inasmuch ns the eater sets his limits to the superabundance of 
thai which he consumes; they move from their places and 
unite themselves together, aller a wisely arranged plan, be- 
cause thai, which id the inanimate atone announces itself as 
the force of gravity, in Ihem has become a force impelling the 
individual towards the collective life of Nature, For the stone, 
as soon as it is removed from its restinj;; place, continues falling 
or rolling down until it has again found repose in harmony 
with nil ; so the motion of living beings continues, without ces- 
sation, until every individual Jinds the place which, for its 
support and nourishment, is assigned it in the creation. In 
the various expressions of the force which guides the animals, 
al the right time and place, to the food prepared for them, we 
nwy in a manner discern what the source of all enjoyment is. 
Il is as if every living being, in the moment when it is thus 
guided to its end, felt the nearneaa of ila Creator, who opens 
liis kind hand and satisfies all that live with blessing. 

When we rightly consider these, and all the other cha- 
racieristics of iho wise adaptations of the great structure of 

■ visible world, the want, which, as wc said in ch, 1. every 
Utvidual being eufTers, appears in another light. All beings 

ml somewhat, but it is well for them that they do, for Want 
I Ihem, like the controlling force of that power, which 
s and holds together all things, and brings them, each 
ing to its measure, into n kind of communion of their 

«ir ■ 


being with the power and love of Ihe Creator himselC In s 
r, iodeed ooly figurative, we see here presented in animal 
I something similar lo that which is expressed for the 
Q the proverb : Want leaches prayer. 

When the stone, or nny other inanimate body is taken from 
the place where it rested, anti then set in motion in another, 
perhaps far distant place, it continues in that motion liK it has 
again found a halting and resting place. To the force of 
gravity it remains indeed indifferent whether the point of resl 
be near or far from the rock from which Ihe stone was broken, 
whether it be at the bottom of the sea, or in Ihe human hand 
that holds the stone, or on (he firm surface of the earth ; the 
stone will never of ils own power return lo ihe spot whence it 

iih those living beings who, by 

own power are removed from 

id carried lo far distances. The 

lulhs of great streams and from, 

[lers of brooks and rivulets, in 

There, when it issues from the 

the most appropriate element and 

Quite different is the c 
an indwelhng force and by lliei 
the place where they a 
Salmon is l>orn, far from ihe n 
the sea-coasts, in the fresh n 
Ihe vicinity of their sources, 
egff, it finds for the first ti 

the most fitting nourishment. When it becomes somewhat 
larger and stronger, it leaves this place of its birih, swims down 
the stream and goes lo the sea-coast, and deeper into the sea 
oiler ils prey, — which consists of other water-animals. Bui 
when the lime approaches for it to bring forth, then iti the 
midsl of the nourishment that surrounds il, the longing for 
home leaves it no rest ; the egg-laying females, in company with 
their partners, swim in schools up Ihe rivers and Iheir branches, 


lo introduce iheir brood into life on the same spot where Ihey 
ibemselves Arst came from the egg. If you catch a female 
Salmon in the spot where il has spawned, and moke a mark on 
one of its fins, you may convince yourself that inslinct lends 
the fish back every year lo the same place, and when you lake 
[he eggs, which (he same Gsh has laid, out of ihe water aod 
cajry them in a. vessel of water lo another place in another 
river, in which Salmon have never been known, you lay the 
Iwsis of a gradual population of Salmon in a new spot. For 
allliougb fishes, as ihey increase io size, leave their birlh place, 
and take up their usual residence at a great distance, yet, when 
they are ready lo produce a new, young generation of their 
kind, lliey return every year back to the same spot where they 
themselves were young. And so is it known lo be in regard 
lo all fishes ihat, at the time of spawning, seek a certain region 
of the shore, that they yearly return to the same place, the 
B of their own nalivily. In such cases certainly the wan- 
nog impulse toward home, a]ipears to have a holding-point 
I guiding thread in the memory of the animal, for the old 
1 returns homeward by the same way he went forth. 
But even without such a leading ihi'ead, the destined goal is 
i by that force which connects the iwo ends of life and 
Imogs its course iKick lo the starting point. A aea tortoise was 
eaught near the Island of Ascension, and brought on ship- 
board. On its under shell certain letters and ciphers were 
branded. The design was to carry it lo Europe, but growing 
sick on the voyage and appearing nearly dead, it was thrown 
overboard in the British chancel. Two years afterwards, the 
i tortoise, sound and well, was again caught in the uuigh- 
od of the same island of Ascension, Led by the long- 
■r home, it had made its way through the water a distance 
re than eight hundred miles. Over as great or not inferior 
iBDoes the journies of the bird of passage extend; and yet) 


at Ilie lime of pairing, tliey all rclurn wliiiher they 

were born, and, in the vicinity of the nest, in which they 

emerged from the egg, build their nests Tor their young. 

Not merely from quite ditTerent lands and climes, but also 
from quite diflerent elements, the out-running circle of animal 
life returns to its starting point. The horse-fly and the gnat 
come forth from the maternal egg in water, and in water the 
first period of their life is spent. Ailerwarda they become 
dwellers of the air, and enjoy the pleasure and freedom of a 
winged condiiiou. Nevertheless, when she is to lay her egga, 
the mother returns to the water ; and so the female of the 
may-beetle forsakea the lop of the high oak for the ground ; 
and even the tree-frog leaves her green house in order to pro- 
duce her young in the same place where she first saw the 
light — in the water. On the other hand, (he helpless aea-tor- 
toisc, at the fit timo, ventures out upon the land to lay its egga 
in the sunny sand-bed, in which itself was born. The butter- 
fly, who hovers, in its beautiful day, from flower to flower, and 
Bucka Iheir honey, seeks nevertheless, when its 
unsightly nettle in order to lay its eggs on the leavea, from 
which it first drew its own nourishment, 

In a somewhat changed form appears the attracting Ibrce, 
which chains the living to a certain abode, in the case of those 
mammalia which man has taken under his care and culture. 
Even among these it is indeed often the being accustomed to a 
certain feeding place or stall which draws them from far dis- 
tances, or which makes the herds leap and low with joy when 
Ihey return from their beautiful summer abode on the Alps to 
the neighborhood of their native village. Even the attractive 
society of their own brute companions works so powerfully that 
those goats, that have escaped from man and enjoyed for years 
Ihe free life of the chamois, cannot resist the charm of old 

and the accustomed stall, when once again they heal 


the (inkling of the bells worn by their former herd. Id many 
other cases a deeper reason for this home-longing is to be dis- 
cerned. It is not merely the crib, but the crib of his master 
which the generous Bleed loDga for ; and the faithful dog, es- 
caped from confinement, hastens back, mnny days march, not 
only to the dwelling of his master, but lo his master himself, 
to whose person he is bound by grateful love. Thus may that 
force, which among all living animals, leads them back lo the 
yiarental home or to [he places where, without parenlal help 
lilb received ils first care, be related lo those emotions, which, 
u Ihe bosom of man, are fashioned to gratitude and love. 
Even man himaelf, in many cases, is overpowered by a long- 
; for (he place of his birth, for the residence of his early 
Jlldboocl. He is, however, less bound by the force which 
I him with an eslernal homo than any other living 
Hiture. Rather goes he, in obedience to his inclination, like 
ft wandering dove, to such places of abode as best alford him 
iubsislence. Hut in his inner spiritual being ho 
nly at homo only where those are whom he loves. There- 
I, Jacob de Vries, in the midst of the earthly paradise of 
) Colony, felt a continual home-sickness for poor cold 
nland, because there he had enjoyed the love of human 
■rts, dearer and more precious to him than al! the perfumes 
^ihe flowers, and all the doliciousness of the fruits of a warm 
tatiful land. Finally, from the case of human beings, whose 
e borne and spiritual birlli-place is not in (he visible world, 
it clearly evident that the longing for home among atl 
e creatures is the aspiration of gratitude, conscious or un- 
Bcious, to the origin and spring of life and all its joys. In 
it heart-sickening desire of home, which affects the wanderer 
a barren Lapland, as well as the Swiss, amidst Ihe bustle of 
I, there mingles unmarked, with Ihe longing for the holy 
e which childhood possesses, the remembrance of the love 

first enjoyed by 
his ID ol tier's arm 


3 into life, when he lay i 

ing his arm 
m to remain 

The word Instinct, Impulse, has been used Trom of old to 
designate particularly that disposition of the human mind, 
which results not from consideration and forethought, but from 
a higher suggestion; hence the oncienis spoke not of an im- 
pulse merely, but of a divine impulse (^instinctus divimis.) 

An acquaintance of the celebrated French wriler, Mad, Beau- 
mont, desired lo make an excursion upon the river with some 
friends. When all was ready, and he was about lo enter the 
boat wiih the rest, his deaf and dumb sister 
anxious hasle, and sought to hold him fasi, 
and hia garments, and when this did not moi 
on shore, she threw herself at his feet, embraced his knees 
and gave him, by the most imploring gestures, lo understand 
her entreaty that he would give up the excursion. The ex- 
pression of pain in the looks and gestui-es of the deaf and dumb 
touched several persons in the company, and they begged the 
brother to yield lo the wish of his poor sisler, and relinquish 
the idea of going with them. Fortunately for him he com- 
plied, for the boat was upset, and several of the pasaengeis 
were drowned; a lot, which would have befallen him likewise, 
as he could not swim, had he not been warned, as through a 
divine impulse, by his deaf and dumb sisler. 

That child of threo years of age, that, at the siege of Vienna 
by the Turks in 1683, exlinguished with earlh a bomb, which 
had fallen into the city on a spot where it would have done 
much harm, also acted from such 9 divine impulse, for the 
safely ofmany, 


A rich proprietor, once al a lale Iiour of the night, felt him- 
self urged to send various articles of food to a poor family in 
his neighborhood. " Why at this momenl?" aslted his people, 
•'will there not be time enough in the morning?" "No," 
said the gentleman, " it must be done now." He knew not 
how urgently his benefaction waa needed by the inmates of 
Ihe poor hul. There, the father, the provider and nourisher, 
had suddenly fallen sick, the mother was feeble, the children 
had been crying in vaio, since the day before, for bread, and 
the youngest waa al the point of death ; ot once the distress 
waa relieved. So also another gentleman, who, if I mistake 
not, dwelt in Silesia, felt himself impelled by an irresistible 
impulee to rise in the night and go down into his garden, Bo 
rose, wenl down, (he inward impulse led him through Iht! 
gate in his garden into the field, and here he was just in time 
to save a miner, who in ascendiog from the mine had slipt, 
Hn<l in falling had caught hold of the tub of coal which his 
son was drawing up by a windlass, but which, on account oif 
its sudden increase of weight, be waa no longer able to holcf 
without assistance. A worthy clergyman in England felt 
himself also on a certain occasion urged late at night to visjt 
a friend, sulTering from melancholy, who dwelt at a consider- 
able distance from him. Fatigued though he was with the 
I labors of the day, yet he could not resist the impulse; he look 

Pljbe way to his friend and came upon him just as he was about 
klay violent hands on himself; he was saved from this dao- 
|cr forever by the visit and consolatory words of his midnight 
Many such cases might be related, in which individuals by 
I a sudden impulse have become the saviors of others, or even 
(1 oTtheir fulherland, like Arnold VVinkcIried, when at Ihe battle 
,| orSempach, with heroic resolution he caught the hostile spears, 
Mhem down with his piercedbod^^h^ 


and so broke Ihe firm rnuks of llie foe. Bui the gr 
does not always concern [he welfare and rescue of aooilier's 
life, but as often, and perhaps still oflener one's own life. So 
I'rofijssor Boelimer, in Marburg, once, when seated in a circle 
. of friends, felt himself inwardly moved to go home and move 
away his bed from the place where it Blood. When he had 
done this, he waa able to relurn to the company, but at night 
while he was asleep Ihe ceiling over ihat part of hia room 
where his Ijcd had previously stood fell down, and had it not 
been for Ihe change, which an inward impulse had prompted, 
he would have boon crushed. 

How, in a case of imminent danger, one is prompted to seize 
a means of preservation, which is shown in the sequel to be 
the very best, many have experienced in themselves, and we 
shall hei'eafter mention some instances in jtoinl. And thus in 
Ihe nature of man, phenomena are prescnti'd which are very 
similar to those suggestions and prom[)lings of Instinct which 
guide animals in iho choice of the means which serve for tlie 
support and preservation of Iheir own lives, for (he welfare of 
their young, and for the weal of the great whole, of which every 
individual animal is a part. 

Besides, the animal cannot be guided in its action, like man, 
by intelligent consideration, and as little by experience, because 
it plays Iho part which Instinct assigns it, immediately upon 
its entrance into life with perfect promplitude, A chicken, 
which had been hatched, not by a mother, but in a little aril' 
ficial brooding-oven, descried, just as it had broken out from 
the shell of the egg, a spider, which it sprang at and seized aa 
skilfully as if it had been long practised in the art of catching 
insects. When (he young of the sea-lorloiso in the bed of 
sand, which is their birth-place, have crawled out of the egg, 
they hasten immediately in a straight line to the sea. You 
may turn them from this course any way you please, you may 

■ INaxlNCT. _ *i 

Lotisirucl llieir woy wi.h sloQes and saiid-liiils, wliich cut off 
fclbeir path, sliil they will always furn straight towards the sea, 
^Dd the other hand,- the young or the I and -crab, which first 
^Eome out of the egg under water, sooo afler iheit birth make 
Ijfor the land, and there seek out for themselves the situation 
I'^best adapted to their subsistence. Scarcely has the ant crawled 
^^t of its chrysalis, or pupa-state, (commonly called the aiit- 
fc-gyg^ when, if it is of ihe sex of the workers, it immediately 

■ iMiis its elder associates in the business of gathering and carry- 

■ Jpg food for the helpless little larwiB of the community, and 
nasisls with all diligence in the work of building, as well as in 
■iffansferring hither and thither the pupro and the eggs. And it 
Mjm not, 33 might be thought, only a bliad imitation of the acti- 
Eiity of the rest, which leads the novice on the path of his 
BiKtural desliaation, for when the new-born anl is not of llio 
[iex of the workers, but is a male, or one of the more perfect 

females, then it does not permit itself lo be hurried away by ilic 
busy stream, it goes directly ihe way of its own calling, through 
ihe troops of the rest, out into the open space, where it rises 
into the air on the lender wings which are furnished to tlio 
males and the perfect females for the purposes of swarming. 
That it is not the imitation of the insliactive actions of others 
le Bame species, which directs each individual lo its ov,-n 
i of pixjceeding, is evident in every way. Nightingales 
i Lhrushea, which have been taken from the nest youn^, and 
I far from their species, when they are lot loose in the 
aring, hulld just such nests for their young as olher birds of 
jne kinds. A beaver, which had been taken from 
s before its eyes were open, nnd which had been support' 
I Iiy a woman's milk, until it was large enough lo lake the 
d of its race, arranged the broken twigs, from which 
f_had eaten Ihe bark, in a corner of its cage, one over the 
er, and when some earth was given h. It formed it 

ke the 
which M 
lei the M 


tion. Tlie troops or dancers with iheir partners, that a little 
while previously wcro seen, on many a plain near the sea- 
coast ascending like clouds or pillars of smoke, now siak down 
to the earlb, the males die, or become with many thousands of 
the troop, a prey to insect-devouring animals, but the snrviving 
females, as if they were sshamed of their mad merry-makings, 
crawl away lo some ant hive of their own species. Whether 
it be the one in which they were born and brought up, or an- 
other, they now bear, in the hope of a new race which they 
bring with them, the insignia of a mnjesty and royal authority, 

'ercd by all beings of ihcir kind, and received with loving 
homage ; every where, in such a place, they are sure of a cor- 
dial reception and liberal support. But the tender, finely- 

ven wings, in the possession of which a little while beforp, 
the highest joy of life consisted, have now become, at the pre- 
eent stage in the little creatures destination, instead of a delia;bt, 
a burthen. The monitions of instinct teach her this, and by 
her own eSbrts and limbs she tears the brilliant ornament from 
her back, and creeps wingless, in among the class of uawinged ■ 
■workers, never again to leave ihem in the hive. 

The beautiful fiction, not without meaning, that the pelican, in ; 
the ardour of its love for its young, in order to save them from 
death, tears open its own breast, and feeds and re-animates its 
fainting brood with its own blood, is indeed not to be taken to 
the letter, for the blood, with which the white breast-feat here 
of this bird are sometimes seen to be sprinkled, when it is feed- 
ing itg young with the fish which it brings in its pouch, comes 
from the wounded iish, or, if in rare cases, it is its own blood, 
from the slight wounds which the young pelicans make with 
tbeir sharp beaks in the pouch of their parent, into which, 
while ihcy arc yet young, they reach as into a dish. But for 
the rest it la no fiction, but experience daily shows, that mater- 
Dsl afTectioD in the animal world is stronger than the necessitkra 


orihe body and ihe pain of death. That it is not, so to sny, a 
relations (lip of bodily elemenla, of flosh and blood, perhaps, 
which subsists between the mother and the young, born of her, 
but the impulse, the instinct of a iove, coming from another and 
higher source, which gives its force to maternal alTection, wo 
are taught by the tenderness of animals towards those helpless 
litlle ones which a higber, a divine Providence has committed 
to their charge. Between the wag-iail and the poor little mother- 
less cuckoo, which came in the egg into her nest and tinder her 
wings, there is no flesh and blood relationship; nevertheless the 
tender foster mother wearies herself almost to death in seeking 
to satisfy her hungry foster child, A celebrated naturalist, 
(Bechstein) once saw, in the autumn, when it was so late in 
the season that there was frost and even ice o' nights, a wag- 
tail at a sunny brook, running and flying to and fro with great 
diligence. Whoever knows how irresistibly the migratory im- 
pulse seizes this bird, when the time is come when all its tribe 
departs, and when, at the approach of winter, its food begins to 
fail, he will perceive that there was something unusual in the 
prolonged tarry wjth us, of a bird that lives upon insects, far 
into October, when in the open air scarcely a solitary fly is to 
be seen. Accordingly, it appeared singular to the above men- 
tioned observer, and he followed the little animal as it bore 
•way an insect in its beak, as ifil were foraging for ils youug. 
He sow from the opening in a hollow tree, the head of a tole- 
rably large bird extended eagerly to seize the food which its 
(bster parent brought. It was a young cuckoo, whose real 
mother had by some means deposited ils egg in the wag-tail' 
nest in the tree. The young bird hod grown, had become com 
pletely fledged on the head and neck, but at the same time ha 
become a prisoner, for the opening was too small to let his 
body through. But the tender foster mother would rather hava 
died with ber nursling than forsaken it in its need. 


What maternal care and fidelity can exceed that which Ihe 
working cliiases of bees and anls show lowarda the eggs odd 
the young of their queens; what patience of a human instruc' 
tor can exceed that which the female turkey exercises towards 
■he cliickens of a strange family, which she has been made to 
hatch. In the great Nursery of Nature, those creatures are 
not to be pitied, which, in our eyes, seem the most helpless and 
forsaken, for it is precisely these which are cared for the tnotl 
generously and tenderly. 

In a quite otherwise remarkable form does instinct appear, 
aa the impulse and instrument of an all upholding Providence, 
when the object sought is not the welfare of individuals or 
famiiiea, but the well-being of living creatures collectively. 
The force, which then moves the animal world, stands in so 
opposite and contradictory a relation lo the instinct of self- 
preservation, that it often leads myriads of individuals, for the 
welfare of a whole country, to (heir own sure destruction. 
the powers of men and of those animals which come to the nid 
of man, in keeping down the multiplication of the while cab- 
bage-butterfly, so destructive to our vegetable gardens, are 
oHen insufiicient ; if the increase went on without interruption, 
our cabbage crop would be utterly annihilated. For this mis- 
chief, however, Nature has her powerful remedies. Whole 
clouds of those butterflies, which produce Ibis deslruclive caler- 
pillar may be seen quitting, all at once, the region of which 
they were the plague, and taking a course which, for the most 
part, terminales in the ocean. Such a caravan, giving itself lo 
the fishes for food, continued, according lo the observations of 
Lindley, several days, and kept its direction unchanged toward 
ihe aea. Kalm saw bullerllics of (his descriptii 
ters of the British channel. The swarms of locusts, when 
their number have grown formidable, lake ot last their way 
towards the sea or the desert, and Ihe same has been remarked 


ITother kinds of injurious insects. The leinings loo, the field- 
mice of the high north, when they have become loo numer- 
oua for their home, collect in immense flocks and move in a 
straight line, often towards an arm of the sea or to rivers, in 
which Ihey find their grave. Even in the most ftivoroble cir- 
cumstances, only a very small portion oflhese emigrants return 
home. As a living body, in the growth of its limbs, sets, by 
its own, inward power, certain limits to itself; so is this done 
also by the animated whole, by means of the force of instinct, 
ios|iifiog ils members. The water of a fountain rises, through 
the pressure of a higher column of water, to a certain point, 
but when the agency of this pressure ceases, it tumbles cease- 
iriy down to the ground. 

The force, which as instinct connects individuals in relations 
tnulual service, and with them, lends to the weal of the 
!e, not only controls the individual parts of the external 
Id, but shows itself active also in the interior of every ani- 
I body, fashioning every element and organ of the same 
o collective purpose of its life. As every part serves all 
r psrts, so all at last help the activity of the animating 

Tie same thing which instinct achieves in obvious ways in 
krd lo beings of external nature, is accomplished by the 
Wng principle in its more hidden and inner circle. The bird 
t build B nest for the eggs which she is to hatch ; a nest, 
Kaiore carefully made, the mors lender the situation of (he 
kng is, who come fnrih from her eggs. Aa the youi 
m ringing bird come blind and unfledged into the world, lh( 
I'Inrda must obtain for ihem such nourishment as is beat 
a to their first stage of life, and in this coae, a remarka- 
B delicacy of instinct developcs itself in birds fed from 
9 the food which the parent birds bring to their 
) young is different from that which they provide sevi 

, the 

beat j 


,h= ] 

new J 



Jays alter, aod lliis again differs from that whit-h they procure 
ibr them at a moro advanced period. All lliese obvious ex- 
presaions of a building instinct, and of the Instinct of maternal 
lovo disappear in the casa of ihe quadrupeds; an BDimal of 
this class needs not the arrangeinent of a nest for the hatching 
of eggs, for its young become ready for birlh, not without, but 
within, its own body ; it requires no inslioct lo lead it to seek 
Iheir first nourishment for its young, for that nourishment with- 
out its own outwardly visible aid is prepared, as mother's milli, 
in the vessels of its own body. 

But 00 the other hand, man, highly endowed as he is, nitisl, 
through the thoughtful industry of his hands, provide himselT 
clothing for his body, which shall cover him only lightly in tte 
hot season of the year, and protect him from the cold in winter, 
while the plumage of the goose and the duck, as well as tie 
Air of many quadrupeds, takes an increased thickness at Ibe 
approach of winter, which in spring is exchanged for a lighter 
natural garment. What dress of man, prepared of the choicest 
stufls and fashioned with the highest art, can compare in beauty 
and splendour with the plumage in which many birds, spark- 
ling in all the colors of jewels, appear at the lime of Iheir nup- 
tials, and how poor, besides, would man's winter wardrobe espe- 
cially look, if for the fabrication and decoration of his garments 
he could not avail himself of the wool and fine furs with which 
the forming power of Nature furnishes animals without their 
co-operatioD. Man must take great pains to form the weapons ' 
he uses in war, or lo prepare the tools with which wood and ■ 
atone are wrought ; the weapons of the slag grow out of his own 
body, and so is it with ihe woodaawing wasp and the shell-fish, 
which, with its file-shaped mouth, works its way into the rock. 
That which is accomplished in man and in the animal, in the 
former by understanding, and in the latter by instinct, in ways 
outwardly perceptible, enters still more fully into the hidden, 


^Btiner circle or Torming and fashioning forces Iq the plant. The 
^HRant noods no artificial arrangemenl of storerooms, no galhcr- 
^^Bif; of (bod for the seed or the germ which it leaves behind it 
^^ntlien il dies, but lo the grain of wheal and the eye of the potato 
' is furnislied from its first formation an nhundnnce of nourish- 
ment that fully suffices for the development of the germ. 

Here llio agencies of instinct, which manifest themselves 
among animals in an impulse to wander forth for food, and to 
nnnual migrations, and in the art of preparing their abodes, 
are transferred to the inner parts and elements of ihe indivi- 
dual plant or animal body, without suffering any change of 
ihpir nature and purpose. For when every substance which 
the animal takes for food, so soon aa it enters into the circle of 
its lift', finds its way through all the regions of the body to its 

k destined place; the lime to the bones, the silica lo the hair, the 
boa to the bl[>od, the sulphur and phosphorus to the brain and 
krvea, and thence to the bones — shall it he less wonderful than 
Be migrations of the swiftly and lightly moving bird to the place 
I of its birth and its food ? When whole masses of material ele- 
ments that have become worthless, press toward the surface of 
'he body in order to escape by the perspiration of the skin, and 
la lose themselves in the ocean of air, is it not the same impulse 
»hich collects so many hurtful insects (see p. 33) lo whole 
I'louds, and guides ihem ofT into the sea, so that the land may 
' be freed from the burthen of iheir excess^ We admire the 
' tfenerous cxcilemt'nt which is communicated to an ant hill or a 
Ix-chive llie inslanl any external force has broken into it, or 
"lien any danger ihreatens the same from internal enemies. 
liul when, upon a limb's being wounded, or a bone broken in 
iIm) body of an animal, all the forces and fluids of the same 
"itantly in flaming haste unite to heal Ihe wound or the frae- 
'!i?Ci find when this endeavor is successful, when in the dla- 
•-bodv, the slorm of a fever is raised, which. 


when it is powerful enougli, decomposes and drives a,\iaj Ibe 
morbid parliclea — shall this, in a leas degree, command our 
admiration 1 The spider prepares ingenious nets to catch the 
prey, which serves it for food ; is the structure of the several 
secretive organs, which fashion themselvca in the body, in 
order to produce bile in the liver, and bone in the membrane 
of the bones, out of the elements which have been introduced 
through the blood — is col this structure as ingenious, and are 
the fine webs and formations of wliich (he animal body ia 
made, and which are perpetually renovated, inferior to the web 
of the spider or lo the buildings of the bee or the beaver? 

Every where, as wc have seen in the foregoing chapter, (6.) 
instinct is the agency of that creative power, by which all visi- 
ble beings are adjusted to one another, like the parts of a house 
or a temple by an intelligent master builder and his subor- 
dinate laborers. Every living being is, in the ranks of Ihesa 
laborers, employed in the construction of the whole. The 
solitary workman who places the lop-stones on the pinnacle, 
and featens them there wiih mortar, attends on!y to this work 
of his hands, he heeds not what the hod-carriers are doing^ 
below Bs they prepare the materials, which come from the 
earth, the stones and the morlar, and carry them up lo (he 
laborer who ia helping lo complete the great slruciure. Only 
the master-builder, to whom the care of the whole ia devolved, 
goes with his all-ordering eye, lo llie humblest laborer below, 
who ia digging out and preparing the materials of the edifice, 
and adjusis the labor of all the workmen, of those who carry 
the brick and stones, as well as of those who are at work at 
the lop, to the general plan of the whole. 

When the morsel of nourishment, or ihe refreshing draught 
has entered the mouth and passed into the stomach, Iheit 
we take no heed how, out of the same, the gastric juice and' 
the blood is prepared, nor how by (he breath from ths 

blood the animating flame is kindled and kcgt alive upon the 
nluir of life ; we remark nothing of the rortnaliona and dissoJu- 
lions of single pnrts, which Inhe place in our bodies. The 
working of the eoul in the body and on all the elements oftha 
same, resembles a mighty motion, which carries along with it 
in its own direction, every thing moveable that comes into ils 
vicioity. The beam of the sun, wherever it reaches, can only 
Lllumiuate and warm, the flame of Arc can and must produce 
in every thing combustible, which it louchea, only a similar 
Hamc, So in the soul's life, which is a working and moving 
towards a certain aim, dwells a power of malting every thing 
which comes within ils spherci help to the accomplishment of 
mil, and in its career, carrying it along with it lo the ap- 
Kiinled goal, 

J The blowing of the wind carries all light bodies with it in its 
n direction. When an eagle, usccading from the ground, 
^ites Uiia motion of the air by the powerful force of its wings, 
e light dust, which lies on tho ground, whirls away afler him, 
^t the eagle, who has in his eye only the aim of his flight, 
aervcs it not, for the dusl ia ealernal lo him and below him. 
le animating principle of the anima! and of the plant 
■Bpartii the direction of its own life to the material substances 
It it forms into a body, to be the instrument of its activity, 
lets in motion for its service. The material is brought lo 
kfrom without, and handed to it, for the advancement of the 
■.grand edifice of the whole, from a depth vvliich ils eye cannot 
biioin. But He, whoso work both the material is, and its 
Miration, by whose act and whose will the same mnlerial 
I tniDsmitted from hand to hand, until we behold it upon the 
itEe pinnacle of ihe building, sees and knows the w bote 
tbod of IhP plan, already prearranged in his ralud. ^^H 


The lirst man who niai^e ihe (discovery that there is an 
tone — l!ie magnet, which atlracls other iron, may hove "W 
ered not a lillle at this quality in an unsightly stone. Aa the 
animal seizes Ihe Cooi, so the magnet seizes the iron, but it 
3 not consume it, it converts it into ita lilce, for if a steet 
needle (a common sewing needle,) remains for a space of time 
in union with the magnet, then after it is withdrawn, it is 
only attracted more powccfuily by [lie magnet, but it now also 
allracts other needles or small particles of iron. With an iron 
die, thus become magnetic, the experiment was probably 
ie in the first instance merely by way of amusement, by 
ing it float, like our little artificial magnetic fishes, in a dish 
of water on a little chip of wood or cork, or by suspending it 
by a thread, in order the more easily to observe the readiness 
with which it followed the magnet. In this case it must have 
been remarked that the magnetic needle with its two t 
constantly stood when at rest in Ihe same direction. In » 
way of this sort, the compass was invented, which, in its earll- 
esl form, was a simple magnetic needle, suspended by a thread 
r floating upon some light substance in water, which, by ita 
constant position, north and south, even under the cloudiest 
;s, pointed out ihe situation of countries, and thus, especially 
when a better and more convenient form was given to it, ba- 
;ame a sure guide to travelers by land and sea. 

When the migratory bird, or when other animals are led by 
he ruling force of Nature, out of their previous sphere of life 
iir over land and sea to a distant goal, they indeed have 
lo need of our compass; but when we, wilh our inquiring 
reason, wish to follow the instinct of the nuimal upon its dim 
and circuitous paths, then the knowledge of the nature of the 
compass comes to our aid. 


The quarlers to which tho freely moving mognelic needle 
turns of ilself, are in general the regions of the earth's poles, 
the Dorlh and the south ; each of the two ends of the needle 
represenla in little a pole of our globe, and is attracted in ils 
motion towards the pole which befriends it. The property on 
which (hat motion rests is called polarity. When two such 
needles or two magnets of equal strength arc brought near to 
each other, it is observable that those ends which in both are 
turned towards the north or the south do not mutually attract 
but repel each other, the north pole of the one attracting the 
south pole of the other, and the reverse. So that it may be 
said that each poleofa body of equal polaric properties attracts 
noI thai which it is itscir, but rather that which it is not. 

When we now further ask, on what is all polarity in nature 
based, (he answer is briefly this: On the presence of a Creator 
in opposition to his creations; upon Ilia continuous energy of 
s creating and upholding divine power, in the whole creation. 

The Creator has placed in every one of his creatures, in 
the mighty stars of heaven and in the grain of sand, in tho 
spirit of man and in the forming life of the smallest moss, a 
certain measure of his own power, a creative force and energy, 
by which the individual being exists and continues. This in- 
dwelling derived power it is, which, as we saw in the preced- 
ing chapter, repeats, in every living body, a work of creation 
io little, inasmuch as it unites the single elements and parts 
to a well-ordered whole. As tho magnet communicates ils 
jnagnetic property or polarity to every atom of iron which it 
Ittmcts, the same is done by tho creative power of the soul of 
iMi^ to the substances which it draws within the sphere of 
k Mliviiy ; each of these receives a certain measure of 
; it becomes polaric. For polarity consists in 

tl B thing) by virtue of its implanted power, can place itself 




lo another ihing in the relalioD of the moving to the maVed, 
like the Creator lo bia creations, while again it can tahe to 
yet another thing, a subordinate position, that of a moved to 
its mover. 

The activity of that polarity which is called forth in all 
fiarts, in every drop of blood and in every fibre, from the lUe 
of the same, is just that we iiavc described above (p. 35,) as 
the business of the carrier working from below upwards. The 
beginning and the continuance of all their living action and 
motion, in nil eouls, comes from the power of the Creator 
himself, and this it is, whose all -con side ring foresight ap- 
points lo the impulse or instinct, that takes its origin from llie 
all-embracing power, its sore path. The north pole of the 
earth, or that magnetic efficacy which comes from the depfha 
of the planet, is far removed from the needle of our compass, 
and yet the impulse of motion towanls the pole always finds 
again its right direction, whatever external powerful influence 
may endeavor lo interrupt it ; the same thing lakes place in 
reference lo Ihe impulse of instinct, which has its origin from 
a power, before whose might the distances of space and of 
time arc as nothing. 

Thus (he compass, with which the seaman ventures boldly 
upon the great deep, gives ns, in its little measure, an image 
not only of our globe and its polarity, but also of Ihe general 
arrangement of all the being and life of the created worid. 
As the creation only is and continues through the influence 
of a forming, ordering and upholding Creator, so every single 
thing is and continues only through the creative power which 
dwells in its being, and every one thing represents in itself the 
opposition between a creating and a created ; every one of the 
myriads of beings is a compass, whose beginning and end 
continually point each Co one and Ihe same point. But this 

one right point, to which all the being and life of things turns, 
is God, who has made ua and all things, and works through 
all with his almighty word. 

9, THE ihfulbe of the mimd to wandbk forth. 

The cotnpaRioDs of the great Columbus were not to be blam- 
ed when, upon theit bold voyage in the midst of iho Atlantic 
ocean, just where it is the broiidesi, they gave themselves to 
anxiety and fear. Their confidence and their hopes wont not 
much beyond what their eyes saw ; their thoughts and imagin- 
ings were not directed to the achievement of a bold deed, to 
the attainment of a high intellectual aim, but to a speedy ac- 
quisition of riches, to sensual enjoyment, lo bodily well-being. 
The eastern shores of India, tho land of gold, they hoped (o 
reach, there to enrich themselves with pearls and precious 
stones, 10 revel for a lime nmid the fruits and natural gids of 
Uie land, and then to return home and enjoy in poace their 
treasures. But now when they saw themselves in their crazy 
fessels in the midst of the sea, when tho trade wind from the 
east caught their sails and so hastenad their voyage over the 
jhoundless expanse of waters towards the west, that they would 
i jBon be many hundreds of leagues from their country, when 
Jbe hope of [and, which the appearance of sea birds and single 
Miips of green sea-weed had excited, still remained unfulfilled, 
lud more than a moalh passed and the wished for land ap- 
peared not, their confidence was so prostrated they thought 
only of returning, and only the unshaken firmness of their 
leader could suppress the outhreak of open mutiny. 

Here the flesh rose against the spirit, for while his com- 
panions saw only with the eyes of tho Hesh, and trusted and 
b(^ only with the heart of flesh, the great Columbus, with 
ihs eye of the spirit, descried far over the waters the goal of 


llie voyage, which waa hidden from the oThers. He had a 
■urer guide than the compass, the strong trust of a pious heart 
in God's favor anil help, in an enterpHze, which was deslined 
to ntlest the irresistible impulse of the human tnind lo iavestU 
goto the unknown, and to spread the light from the east over 
Ilia darkness of the western hemisphere. That which filled 
hia associates with dread, Ilie speed with which, by winds and 
waves, the voyage was extended over more than nine hundred 
miles — thai inspired him with joy and strengthened his spirit ; 
for his thoughts were not backward but forward, hence tho 
favorable wind led him on like a messenger from Heaven; 
his firm hope rested already on the land which his eye had 
never seen and from which no tidings had yet reached him 
or his companions. 

The flocks of swallows pass from the north-western coast 
of Europe, almost by the same broad path over the sea, and 
not one of thorn on this great journey is seized with despair, 
not one is disposed to turn back, because in all a true force 
rules which fastens its guiding thread at one end to the distant, 
as yet unreached goal, and holds it there as strongly as to the 
home just forsaken to which the other end is bound. The 
force of instinct everywhere appears as a search which is led 
astray by no obstruction, because that towards which the out- 
ward nature of the animal moves, has already become in its 
inner nature an object of enjoyment, akin, according to its 
measure, to the enjoyment with which hope inspires us human 

There is a migratory impulse of a much higher and mightier 
kind than that which lends the bird over the ocean or the in* 
sect from one element and sphere of life into aoolher, an im- 
pulse which leads the sou! that it moves, not only from one 
end of the eartb to another, but above the moon and stare, 
beyond the boundaries of llie visible immensity into an invisi- 



ble world orihe spiritual and eternal. This migratory impulse 
dwells in the spirit of man, it is an impulse toward an orderly 
knowledge, an understanding of the connection of visible things 
with one another, and especially of their meaning in relation 
to us; an impulse towards the investigation of the invisible 
origin and end of our awn being, towards acquaintance with 
other human minds, as well as on inwnrd longing after spiritual 
association with them in the way of wisdom and knowledge. 
At Ihe foundation of this moring force rests a hope, stronger 
than that which animated Columbus on his voyage, a hope 
ihnt extends beyond Ihe grave into an efemal life, and whose 
anchor rests ona ground which remains firm amidst all storms. 
To the force of animal instinct the bodily limbs are given 
as its tools ; the migratory bird has hia quick-moving wings ; 
iho diligent bee those basket-shaped additions to its feet in 
which the blossom-dust is collected and carried; the beaver 
his chisel-like teeth for tho cutting of Ihe trunks and branches 
Df trees, and hia trowel-formed tail; tlip spider the glands 
Trom which the viscous fluid comes, which hardens in the air 
In a thread. Instinct stirs itself oftentimes before the bodily 
implements through which it afterwards announces itself aro 
folly fashioned; the young goat tries to butt ere he has horns; 
' a little crocodile, just from the ogg, instantly endeavored, in 
fore-feeling of its future strength, to bite a slick which was 
Id w» it. The sou! besides precedes the body, and the latter 
beomos only gradually subjected to the efforts of the former ; 
I tn Ibis account even instinct awakes before it is fully furnished 
I ^rith the means of expressing itself. 

In general the peculiar privileges which animals have over 

^flODts, namely, the faculty of sensuous perception and volun- 

r toy Dloliou, depends upon the possession of organs of sense, 

id above nil of sight and hearing, as well as moving muscles; 

to ftrther the eye of an animal sees, the farther it can move. 



as a gcDeral rule; (be greater ihe strength of its limbs and tlie 
commaad it has over them, the more decisive is its destinatioa 
lo overpower other aoitnals, and to feed itself on their flesh. 

In man all the organs of sense are foshioaed in such pro- 
portion, the limbs are so perfectly moveable, that his bodj 
becotnes thereby a most perfect instrument of the all-investi- 
gating spirit and the iotelligent will. His eye beholds all 
the beauties of the Creation, whose harmonious sounds bis 
ear perceives ; his hand, with its cunningly working fingers, 
imitates everything which his eye beholds, and gives to a dead 
instrument a power of tone, by which it rivals all the melodies 
of birds, aiid the human voice itself. To the inward impulse 
of human nature towards a knowledge of the works of God, 
and to an exercise of its powers in hartnony with the divine 
order of the world, is united a body, with all its limbs and 
powers perfectly correspondiog. Nevertheless we can here 
plainly perceive that the inner spiritual power, with its impul- 
ses towards intelligent understanding and activity, comes af& 
from the perishable body and the arrangement of its parts, but 
that this power belongs to the spirii and is one with its easenca. 
For this reason it ei:ists, and the impulses dwelling thereiti 
manifest themselves, even when the condition of the body is 
unfavorable to Its activity, and in a high degree obstructivo; 
and we may thereby ace that the spirit will continue, when Ibe 
body is no more, even as it is active before the body exisla. 
We will endeavor to illustrate this by an example. 

In Hanover, in the State of New Hampshire, (U. S, A,,) in 
the year 1829, was born Laura Briilgman, Ihe daughter of 
respectable parents, whose case shows, as in many instances 
of the blind, that the human spirit remains the same in its 
powers and indications even when the avenues of external 
knowledge, the higher senses, are entirely closed to it. Until 
she was twenty months old, Laura seemed to be on the brink 

of the grave, Tor almost from her birlh, she suffered from vio- 
lent conviil&lons, and was, in all respects, very feeble. Not 
until she was twenty-ooe months old did she gain any strength ; 
before the end of her second year she had learned to speak 
some words. Bui this apparent bodily improvement was onlj 
the commencement of stil! greater suffering. The internal 
disease, which previously afTccIing ihe very springs of life, had 
produced those dangerous convulsions, ceased to affect Ihe 
brain, and fell upon Ihe organs of sighl and of hearing, which 
«here wholly destroyed ; the life of the child was saved, but 
Liiura was from that time entirely blind and deaf, and, as it 
afierwards appeared, deprived also of the sense of smell and 
le, for it was foimd ihat she was unable to distinguish 
^barb Trora tea. The poor child's life was preserved that 
might teach others that there is in Ihem another being and 
^ ftian that of this changing perishable fiesh. 
ItJling her last severe illness and for a short lime al>erwards, 
t slill spoke some of the words she hud learned, but as 
b no longer heard her own voice, she soon became entirely 
Ihib. She gained strength alowly, and only at the beginning 
lier fifth year was she, apart from the loss of her senses, to 
Qfllled perleclly well. But scarcely had she attained to 
phb) when Ihe mind of the child, inwardly richly endowed, 

I outwardly so impoverished, announced itsdf, with all its 
a powers and efforts, in a manner as evident as if nothing 

d happened that could injure it from wilhout. Immediately 
appeared, in ihe same strength as in intelligent children 

II sound organs of sense, the inslinct toward knowledge, and 
iuriosity. Laura began to run eagerly about Iho 

e and to examine all objects with her hands. In parlicu- 
W^ followed her mother at every step, endeavored with her 
b lo understand what her mother was doing when the lal- 
I busy, carefully imitated her, and in this way learned 



several female employmenls. Like other girls of her agSi she 
understood how to play with dolis nnd other objects of childish 
umusemeDt ; but her delight vma the greatest when she I 
learned any thing new, or discovered the use of any object, or 
the purpose of any labor. 

In the cotnmeDcement of her ninth year, (1837,) LaarB 
went to Boston, to the Blind [nstitution, under the care o 
excellent principal, Dr. Howe, When the child felt herself at 
once separated from her most devoted and dearest frienil and 
nurse, among strangers, and in b. strange place, she was f 
time timid and embarrassed, but it was manifest even in these 
circumstances that the deepest, inmost impulse of our being, 
existing in (he very essence of the mind, is mightier than Ibe 
longings of our bodily nature. The craving lo know and [o 
inquire, found in its new surroundings, increased nourishment; 
Ihe thirst for spiritual fellowship was much more abundantly 
Riel than in the paternal home ; the little creature, therefor< 
was soon as happy, or even happier in her new abode than at 
home. When the lively, intelligent child, as gentle and ca 
ing as a lamb, was approached by all the inmates of the Insti- 
tution with love, and when her blind foster-sisters played with 
her, when even Dr. Howe, on one occasion, played with her, 
and made believe that her doll was sick, and thnt he via: 
nurse, feeling its pulse, and laying a plaster on its wuodea 
head, (hen she laughed and leaped for joy. 

The child, so much pitied by others, nevertheless how happ7 
wfts aha in herself, how cheerful and serene! She knew that 
she was destitute of what others possessed, but at the s 
time she felt that she still possessed what is more than the out- 
ward senses, and which put her on a level with all others ; she 
was happy in the activity of an inquiring mind, and in the love 
of other human beings, Slie soon became so well acquainted 
with her new residence, that she ran up and down stairs like a 

seeing child, snd distinguished al! the forty inmates or the liouse 
by Ihe touch. At lable, as on every oilier occasion, she bore 
herselfwilh a propriety, which was doI learned from seeing the 
example of others, but which came from within ; she dressed 
and undressed herself without assjstijnce, and manifested, in the 
braiding of her hair, the love, peculiar to her ses, of nealnesa 
and ornament; in the female employments of embroidery, 
knitting and sewing, she showed as much industry and skill as 
her companions who, though blind, couid yet hear. Thus was 
she in the most favorable element for the development of (he 
impulses of our interior nature, and it suited her well. 

But in the midst of intellectual excitements, the germs of 
natural love and grateful dependence towards her first protec- 
tor, her mother, were not destroyed, but they grew with her 
spiritual development, and became ever more powerful and 
more elevated. About six months aiier Laura's entrance into 
the Blind Inslilution, she received a visit from her mother, 
'liie little deaf, dumb and blind girl's recollection of persons 
] been overlaid with so many new impressions that she did 
I recognise her mother in her probably strange clollios, 
pthough she fell inquiringly of her hands and dress. She soon 
rned away as from a stranger, and even resislcd the caresses 
t her mother, although a well known siring of beads, which 
e child had worn at home, and which her mother had brought 
: her, gave her great pleasure, and she inlimaled to 
Ir. Howe, when she received ihem, (bat they came from her 
The mother next put into her hands onoiher well 
D object from the paternal dwelling. Laura was greatly 
I moved, esamined her mother more closely, and gave Dr. Howe 
I iBnndfiraland that the lady certainly come from Hanover, per- 
I iritted herself to be caressed by the slranger, and then e 
I Hea Bway from her. Her mother, painfully affected, a 
I her, and Ihcn nil at once the force of filial 

igain J 



nwoUti with all ils recollections ; she felL very eagerly ihe hank 
of tho supposed slrangor, soon became pale aad then red, uiil 
wlieu her mollicr drew her to her, all doubt vaoished, she threw 
herself with the liveliest expressions cif delight in the arms of 
l«r mother, nnd loil hor no more; neither of Iter playthiagi 
nor of her playmates did she take any further notice. 

The spiritual life, struggling within her to uofold ilaelf. 
showed itself most decisively in relation lo the maternal visJL 
When her mother was about to leave her again, the child 
aticompaaied her lo the door, iiolding her fast, felt round with 
hur free liand to ascertain nhelhcr any one were oear, end 
wlwQ she discovered that one of her best lovod loachera was 
present, slie seized her hand, aace more pressed her tnolfaer 
close to hor heart, then lei her go, and threw herself sobbing 
into the arms of the teacher. 

Tliat, as wo have said, those natural affections which belong 
rather to the anirnal nature, were by no means weakened by 
the growth oflho higher faculties, but only elevated, and bylhe 
spiritual element which they received, only rendered the more 
strong, became most strikingly evident in Laura, when she hud 
learned to express herself, not indeed by sounds, but by signs 
addressed to the sense of touch, in a language of the thoughts 
made perceptible in written letters. Willi the gid of language 
grow also the power of distiocliy recollecting persons and thin^ 
of the esternal world; the expression of love and aversion 
became better dcfineil. So soon as she had learned to form 
words with her fingers, her mother and her desire for hor, 
hocame a more frequent subject of conversation; her first 
letter was written lo her mother; and when by chance tlie 
c.^ilc teacher whom she loved, caressed any one of (he other 

,rm m^'^ ^ ^, which perhaps stirred a lillle jealousy in the 

blind chil^ hujegifing Laura, then her little fingers would spjj 

poor, love-V ""t will love me." 

" My nv the 


D nid of Ihe instiact, by which the animal is guided, come 
I peculiar forms of those bodily members by which Ihc 
mrd impulse is able to express itself; this imptiisc fash- 
a its appropriate organs. The instinct which leads ihe ani- 
mal to its ibod, ia served, in the bird that lives on flesh, by ihc 
swift wings with which it rushes on its prey, by the feet wiili 
talons, as well as by the beak for seizing and rending its food, 

tby the stomach and intestines in which the food is dissolved, 
ibe vessels in which it is further prepared to nourish the 
ous parts. Also ihe spiritual impulse in man towards what 
is to be known, and to the fashioning of the same into an inner 
form of intelligent understanding, and making it thct means of 
rational action, forms for itself its peculiar organ, language, 
the words of which are first an inward, super-sensuous elemenl, 
and then are transformed into external aDd perceptible signs. 
J flight of the eagle, when it rushes on its prey, or of the 
dlow, wheo it traverses the ocean, is swift; but the language 
Ihuman thought is incomparably swifter, for scarcely is the 
i thought or uttered, when the discerning spirit, upon the 
s of language, has reached the object, of which the word 
3 are in spirit with a friend, whom we name, or 
B places once visited and seon by us, although bodily we 
distant region of the earth. With the thought 
i ibe utterance ofthe word, the human spirit possesses at the 
e time the power of transforming what has been seen and 
k bodily, into a being of a spiriluul essence, which, as such, 
9 its inalienable property, as imperishable as ihe spirit 

\l ihat a bee comes forth in its perfect winged 
n into the light, it is placed under a glass, suppUed abun- 
^j with its means of nourishment, il cannot rest, but flies 
J to and fro in its prison, and as soon as it is let out, 
lely uses its wings and other limbs in searching^ 



collecting inalerials and in the construclion of ilie 
which, with the other bees of the swarm, it prepaies for ibe 
youQg brood. The ionate force of the humaii spirit likewiact 
like a higher kind of inechanit^al instiact, prompts man, with- 
out delay, to aid in the structure of a fabrii^ whose completion 
ia Ihe common work of all human beiiigii, — the coDstmclion of 
a language or speech intelligible to every individual. This ia 
the mighty edifice, in which long- gone generations have already 
laid up for us the materials of thought and knowledge, and to 
which we also commit fruitful seed for the coming lime. 

The living power, which rules in the nature of the bee, can- 
not but exert itself; it must manifest itself in the formation -ef 
the wings and other parts of Ihe insect, which the governiog 
impulse toward gathering and building requires for its service. 
So also the rationally discerning and willing mind of man can- 
not do otherwise ; it must form for itself a language far thought, 
and by means thereof, comprehend the world of knowledge, 
standing open before it, and by the communication of its 
thoughts to other human beings, work together with them 
in constructing the common fabric of knowledge. The soul of 
our poor deaf, dumb and blind girt, resembled in its bodily limi- 
tations, through the want of the higher organs of sense, that 
bee, which at its first coming forth from the pupa state, is kept 
confined under a glass ; this human spirit struggled eagerly to 
escape into the sphere of that free action, where it could obtain 
a language for its thoughts, so tiiat il might recdve knowledge 
from without, and communicate its own emotions to others. 

When the human soul begins the work of forming an instru- 
ment for itself, partly spiritual and partly material, as thia of 
language is, it follows, Qrst of all, the course which the brealii 
of the body lakes. As breathing is an inhaling and exhaling 
of the vital dement of the air, so speech establislies a receiving 
and giving out of the elements of knowledge. The impulse to 


speak, as essenliaily implanled in the mind as the impulse to 
breathe in the hody, makes, on this account, common cause 
with its physical companion and copy: it avails itself of tlia 
voice to saliafy ilaelf. Even the born deaf, who has never 
beard the human voice, feels himself prompled involuntarily 
to espreaa his sensations and ideas by sounds. An individual 
born dumb, who had been so far taught that he could make hia 
thoughts known by words, said of himself that, before he had 
learned words, he had always been impelled, in addition to the 
gestures, by which he wished to disiingiiish individual objects, 
to use his voice, and that, for every person that he knew, he 
hnd indeed, at first, had a certain utterance of the voice, or, as 
it were, a name, intelligible only to himself. 

Id the case of the blind Laura, this necessary connection 
between the emotions, and ideas of the mind, and the voice, 
waa observable in quite singular ways. When she entered a 
room, in which were a number of her blind companions, she 
'■mbraced every individual, giving at each greeting a peculiar 
sound, which the blind children, more attentive and practised 
ilian the seeing, learned to distinguish as readily as an articu- 
late name. Even when she was alone and thinking of some 
e of her friends, -whom she especially loved, she uttered an 
iMttieulale sound, by which that friend was designated ; and 
»as asked why she did not express the name of a 
was thinking of, as well as ihe names of the objects 
f which she thought, by Ihe fineer-nlphabel, she answered, 

|| do tint think of printing her name, , because I am 

inhing how much she loves me and how much 1 love her." 
kThe human being who possesses in the lowest degree, the 
city of speech, the iininstructed deaf and dumb, for io' 
I like the bird or other animals endowed with voice, 
t seeic lo express ihe feelings of bodily pleasure or pain, of 




love or dislike, of anger or terror, by tones of the vcHoe; Bu 
even afterwards, alter inairuction, the organ of the voios^ ■ 
every lively emotion of the spirit, seeks to represent the truth, 
and be the herald of the affeclions. 

In the case of the deaf and dumb, and even of the blind, the 
impulse of the human soul lo speak, mnkes way for its^f ia 
another direction, through the language of gestures, which is 
just as instinctive aa the movement of the hand towards tlie 
object which one wishes to clutch. Many birds, ss the a 
mon starling, accompany the tones of their song with measured 
movements of the wings ; some kinds of cranes are e 
moved, when they hear music in the neighborhood of th^r 
cages, to dancing motions of tbdr feet and wings. Such hu- 
man beioga as are outwardly defective, not only the dumb but 
the blind also, can imitate no gestures which seeing persons 
make before them ; they cannot learn their language of signs 
from others, and yet they invent for themselves a language of 
this sort, perfectly adequate to all Iheir wants. A blind person 
ofOslend, Anna Zimmermanns, was able to express herself so 
intelligibly by her language of gestures that every seeing child 
understood her, and she was employed to make little purchases 
out of the house. Another, who had been blind from his birth, 
like Anna Zimmermanns, the Scotchmaa, James Mitchell, « 
able to relate little stories from the narrow circle of his expe- 
rience, by the language of signs. Laura, too, converse^ with 
persons, who were ignorant of the finger alphabet, very fluently 
by gestures, and when strangers were introduced to her, her 
Crst question usually was, whether ihey were blind or could 
see, so that she might choose her method of communication 
occordingly. Besides, the countenance of this lively child 
expressed, in the most striking manner, all her inward e 
lions, hope ami, pleasure and pain, self-satisfactioii and 

Although, however, even in the deaf nnd dumb and the 
blind, the discerning spirit is not destitute of the innate impuisfi, 
which prompts to the formation of speeeli, but manifests the 
same in a powerful manner, it happens willi it in these cases, 
before a knowledge of words ia obtained, ns with a stray beo 

or the wasp, which 
finement, where ev 
nolivity. So long 
itself still in the sa 
liie hive, but yet i 
nre formed withont 

is taken from its swurm, and put into con- 
erv tiling elne is provided for ils life nnd 
as the insect ia vigorous, instinct shows 
me way in which it acts in the swarm and 
inly very rudely ; ihe liule drops of honey 
otijecl, scattered here and there ; the WHsp 
Ljnaws, indeed, the rotten wood, and worlds up its fibres to a 
substance resembling blotling-papcr, but there comes no com- 
plete work from his labor. In language, which man, in com- 
inoa with his fellow men, has received from Ihe primeval limes 
of his race, 03 a common inherirsnce, there reigns a spirit of 
iiiiivorsal, intelligent knowledge, which acta upon all human 
ueings with on influence as animating and coutrolling as the 
nrer of thetjueen bee over all Ihe bees of ihe hive. With lan- 
t, a light rises upon the darkness of human nnlure, which 
jhiminates ihe whole esierual as well as the internal kingdom 
iFecealion. The wanderer who al night sees only a solitary 
B or rock nenr him, beholds at once, when the day breaks 
a him. ihe whole landscape with its woods, mountains and 
; he discerns its single parts as a harmonious whole, and 
bels himself now attracted and strengthened to join cheerfblly 
B the common labors of humanity. So is it with the deaf and 
mb, when he passes from the narrow circle of the language 
E signs, into Ihe wide sphere of the language of words ; and 
tmore striking than to him must be ihe benefits which the 
B of words bestows upon the deaf and blind. 
L We possess various accounts of deaf and dumb persons, who 
! learned In express themselves in written language, and) 


ing to llie object, book, bread, lettf, and which have been plaeed 
under his Tingers, but this eftploymeot appears to him a mere 
play, the use of which he does not understand, and which per- 
haps soon becomes irksome, as was the case with Jamos Mitchell, 
whose education waa not begun until his nineteenth year. 

This danger did not befall the intelligent little Laura. Wb«l 
for the first time she placed the written word key, not along 
side the key, which had been previously used, but by another, 
never before used, and taken from the door, then a delighted 
expression of self-content appeared on her countenance; Iba 
mBBaing and purpose of ivrilten signs as a means of tinder* 
standing the thoughts of others, and of communicating one's 
thoughts, was DOW made clear to her; a rejection of human 
intelligence beamed from iter features. 

That, which comes forth wholly from the spirit, alwajra itp^ 
]>eara to the bodily eye as a miracle, for it starts forth at once 
and slanda perfect before ua there, without our observing the 
hidden source from which it came; its goes ila way in many- 
aided activity through the material world without our seeing 
whither. Such a daily miracle, repciiled before every sound 
human child, is the apparition of human speech out of the singlo 
elements whicli the spirit receives from without. Who would. 
nnderlake to teach grammar, and the combination of single 
words into intelligent speech to a child possessed of all tbft 
n order to render it capable iif speaking perfectly ? An4 
who would be able to do this in ihc case of a blind and deaf mula 
like Laura? Nevertheless, in this little girl the same creativ« 
power of the spirit showed itself, which we remark in our own 
perfectly formed children in the formation of speech, althougbi 
it does not strike us in them, because we are apt to conclude 
that iho remarkable modes of speaking, wilh which Ibey 
often surprise us, have been caught from others. But this could 
not possibly be the case with Laura, when she at once put 


r words, whose formation and meaning hod been taught | 

her by wrilteo signa and Iho movemenis of the finger, and 
formed sentences which were perfectly intelligible, although 
wauling in many necessary words. Thus, when Dr. Howe i 

had gone upon a journey to visit olher Institutions of education, 
Laura asked, "are dumb hoys and girls in the schools?" 
" Will Doctor be very tired?" And when her bliad companions 
were talking with her, in the language of the fingers, of the ap- 
proaching vacation, and of traveling then, she said to her 
leacher, " I mual go to Hanover to see my molher, but now I '. 

shall be very weak to go ao far ; I will go to Halifax, if I can 

go with you; when doctor is away, I will go with J ,, ' 

when doctor is at home, I cannot go, because he must not be 

nlooe, and tf J . is away, he cannot mend his clothes and h 

lake care of all things." I 

With the language of words, the peculiar language of the 
ihoughls, man receives at the same time dislinct, clear know- 
ledge of himself, self-feeling and self. consciousness. Even this 
Mcquiaition of the spirit, through the organ of communication 
■ihich had become adapted to it, becomes apparent to us in the 
instance of Laura. Thus, one day this remarkable child said 
to her teacher, " Doctor will conne in fourteen days, I think in 
my head," and to tlie question whether she did not think in her 
heart, she answered, " No, 1 cannot think in the heart, I think 
in the head," When she was further asked, why she did not [ 

^■link in the heart, she said, "I cannot know there; all little j 

^irls cannot know in the heart," On the contrary she said, 
when she was once melancholy, " my heart is sad. When 
beort is sad, flows then blood 1" Again at another time, when, 
ta il appeared, she was tired with learning, she put the re- 
marltable question, " Why can I not stop thinking? Do you I 
atop thinking 7 Does Harrison cease to think, as he is dead V 1 

£nz to the President whose death was, at that lime, a sub- ^fl 


when her leacher found herself incapftble of making Uie 
iog of a word intelligible, Ilien ihe ardor of her desire to kaa» 
assumed Ihe form of impatience. " 1 will ask the Doctor," i 
ahe, " for I must know it," 

The DBlural desire for communicatioD, which belongs lo 
nature, showed itself in Laura, particularly in the pains she. 
look to assist other chiidrea who were deaf and blind like her„ 
and who were brought to the Institution, in understanding andt 
using the language of words. Here she showed herself so iiiti 
geoious and so active that (he teachers found her aid realist 
valuable. The little deaf and blind Oliver Caswell, by not 
means without talent, and the older hut much less giAed Lucy, 
Reed, caught, through a happy device of Laura's, the first light, 
in regard to the relation in which written words stand 
objects which they represent. To assist the former, 
senses of smell and taste were unimpaired, in understanding 
the word bread, she put a piece of bread to his mouth 
nose, and she did the same with a fig in the case of Lucy. 

In the same measure in which the soul uses its powers la 
acquire knowledge of external things, it learns to perceive thoett 
powers {as already mentioned) in itself, and so arrives at a 
consciousness of itself. Little children, when they begi 
talk, as well as persons of defective intellect, always apeak of 
themselves as of strangers, in the third person. This Launb 
did when she first began to use words, and when she was 
gry or thirsty she said : " Give Laura bread" or " Laura drink 
water." As soon, however, as she had become more practised 
in words, and the circle of her knowledge of the outer world 
extended into the world within, her more perfect self-i 
sciousness showed itself, in that she now said, I will or J 
must go here or there, or write this or (hat letter. When tba 
wisely discerning spirit of man thus takes possession of itself, 
it immediately attains lo a power over Ihe external behavior' 


ind the whole conduct, by which (his receivea the impress or a 
noral order. The maidenly grace, the fine sense of ihe proper 
>r the improper, the right or Ihe wrong, came lo Laura not 
through inutation of other rationally acting human beinga, not 
liy instruction from without, but from her own nature, from Ibd 
innate (feeling of the mind, thus perceiving and ejercising its 
will, rationally. How deeply was the lively child grieved, how 
did her regret speak from every feature of her countenance, 
when she found that one of her playmates had been hurt by her. 
The maidenly modesty of the little dumb and blind girl went so 
fiir that she would never undress her doll, when she wished to 
put it to bed, in the presence of Dr. Howe, but always waited 
imtil she was alone with her female (eaeher. While she grale- 
fully reciprocated every token of sympathy shown her by per- 
sons of her own sex, she demeaned herself with a careful re- 
serve towards the other sex, declining even to give her hand 
by way of greeting. As has been observed in other persona 
afflicted like her, she had a conscientious regard for properly. 
At [able she conducted herself with great propriety and modero- 
lion. With a perception of the becoming, she had also the 
sense of Ihe bcauiiful and pleasing which is characteristic of 
Even in the arrangement of her hair and in her dress 
\ manifest aim to study ornament, and in new dresses 
Mn every little trifle which belongs to the decoralrou of Ihe 
e form, she testified great pleasure, and could not conceal 
ish to show herself to others who could see. 

. this and similar instances of blind mutes who have 
n themselves in their e.xterna! destitution, as cheerful and 
f and intelligent as persons possessed of perlecl senses, 
I that (he spiritual wealth of human nature cannot be 
lulated even though all those noble treasures are lost which 
lirnished through the bodily senses. Under these infirmi- 
I may be compared to an opulent individual, whose 



wealth is not eGtruated lo a single ship, far off upon (he sea, 
□or does it consist in splendid edifices which the lightning may 
strike or a conflagration reduce lo ashes, but whose riches are 
all found ia a single cosily diamond, which he always cariiea 
with him, and who, therefore, always escapes from the wrecked 
vessel or the hurning house, a rich mnn. Without the senses 
of sight, of hearing, of smell and of lastc, he is destitute of a 
world of external perceptions and enjoyments, hut he keeps ibe 
deed of possession, the patent right to the outer world in his 
interior being, and of course holds possession of the same, for 
there dwells in him a creative power which builds up within, 
what he gathers from without. The inslioct of the animal 
turns to Bomelhing near or distant, something present or fututfl 
in the visible world, but the indwelling force, which moves man's 
nature, is directed nol to a visible but to an invisible, spiritual 
world. What the mechanical instinct of the animal weaves or 
builds, is, however beautiful it may bo, nevertheless easily des- 
Iructible, like the animal which has produced it ; hut that which 
■he inner force of man builds and creates, is, like the spirit 
itself, in and out of which it is generated, of an indestructible, 
eternal nature, and cannot disappear with the senses or the 
limbs, or waste away in the grave. For as the quail, when it 
journies over the sea, rests indeed upon many an island, hut 
nowhere tarries long until it has ended its flight toward the goal 
of its wandering on the other side of the ocean, so the strong 
desire of knowledge, inborn in the human soul, nowhere finds 
a resting place and entire content, until it reaches the end of its 
strivings, the knowledge of a Divine Being, the Creator, in the 
midst of the beautiful works of his creation. And that, which 
can exalt itself lo the knowledge of a divine being, must itself 
be of a divine species and 


10. valentine jah£ea£ duval. 

^ We will consider another instance which may teach ub how 

B force, which urges onward the human mind, as the tnigra- 

' instinct urges the bird, and leads it from the home of 

«ble perception into the world oC a spiritual knowledge, 

s its way through all obstacles and outward obstructions, 

and at last reaches its distant goal, as surely as the stork his 

nest, when he returns from Africa. 

In the be fore- mentioned case of Laura Bridgman, as well aa 
Jn other cases of blind mules, one might suppose that the sim- 
ple circumstance of their being deprived of all the pleasures of 
llic higher senses, may have kindled the thirst for inward, spiri- 
iiiul activity, and the desire of knowledge. Had Laura, like 
ijiher sound children, been able to see and hear, then, so it may 
be thought, her inquisitive spirit would not have showD itself so 
IHjwerfuliy as it did ; she would have been satisGed with iha 
usual measure of knowledge, 

III is indeed to a certain extent true that the spiritual force in 
mm developes itself the more easily and the more powerfully, 
the less it is dissipated by the enjoyments of the senses, or 
iliverled from its true path. The hovel of poverty has indeed 
ollen been the birth-place of great and world -renowned men, 
hut neither the hovels nor the poverty of Ihoir parents have 
made them what Ihey became, but the inward call of the spirit 
r the Creator in their spirits. Laura, even though she had 
Tossessed the usual faculties of the senses, would have been a 
I'.tnarkable child. The celebrated Italian painter, Giotlo, who, 
..- a poor herds boy drew figures with charcoal on the rocks, 
iiould have been a great artist, even had hia master Cimabue 
found him, not in the field with the cows, but as the son of a 
nobleman in n rich mansion. For the inward call regards 
ticiibcr rank nor place of birth. It can raise the son of a 



peasant slave uji lo the rank of a distinguished soldier, the son of 
a poor man lo the station of a prime minister. Whosoever is 
called to a great work in Art or Science, cannot be diverted 
from his destiny by noble birth, with all its sensual dissipa- 
tions, nor by the poverty of the paternal abode. The Creator, 
who feeds the young ravens when they cry, knows also how at 
the right time to awaken the poucr which he has placed in human 
beings, and in the desert, which surrounds them, to fuToish It 
with ihe necessary nourishment. The great variety in planls, 
trees and animals, corresponds, in the race of man, intellectually 
considered, lo the great variety of talents and giAs; and as all 
things are so arranged, that every animal finds its appropriate 
food and abode, so the tender core of eternal Wisdom Is seen 
still more strikingly when it endows and prepares individual 
men, each for his future career in life. ' 

With special interest, therefore, will every one who finds plea- 
sure in observing the ways of God among men, contemplate 
the history of Valentine Jameray Duval, who by the rcmai^- 
able guidance of his native spiritual force became, from an 
ignorant, starving beggar boy, the highly respected librarian 
and keeper of the collection of coins of a great emperor, and 
through the energy of bia own mind, a celebrated scholar. 

Th& lime of Jameray Duval's birth, the year 1695, fell in 
the brilliant days of French conquest under Louis XIV., a 
period noted also for the great internal distress which France 
then suffered. Heavy taxes oppressed the land. The flower 
of its youth were dragged away to battle and there sacrificed; 
in many places the soil lay untilled for want of laborers, the 
crops failed, trade and commerce were ruined by war; every 
where were families mourning for a son or a brother, or father 
who had fallen in the war which was waged lo gratify the am- 
bition of the king. The soil of Champagne is one of the 
poorest in nil France. There lies the little village of Artenay, 


9 which the house of Duval's parents was one of the n 
For the father, a poor peasant, died when Valentine > 
ten years old, and lefl to the mother the care of a n 
ail)!', for whose subsistence, the small me: 
^ widow, did not suffice in the then great scarcity. There 
; daily lamentation in the poor household, the younger 
1 crying for bread, and the elder one's becoming har- 
dened to hunger and toil. Yet in Valentine there was a native 
power which became only the more indomitable, tlie sorer the 
necessity was. What was wanting without was richly sup- 
plied from within by a cheerful temper, for he was the liveliest 
boy in the village, delighting the other children with his fun, 
and animating Iheir plays with his merry devices. He had 
barely learned to read in the village school, when in his twelfth 
year he entered the service of a peasant. The care of young 

I beys entrusted to him by his master, during the summer, was 
her an irksome business for his lively spirit. It may not 
refore he wondered at that the boy fell upon methods of 
nmosing himself, which were not always happily chosen. 
Among olher things he had heard that red colors drove turkies 
mad. He wished to try the (rulh of Ibis saying, and accord- 
ingly he lied a piece of red cloth round the neck of one of his 
flock. The animal fell into violent rage, struggled in vain lo 
free himself from the cloth, and then, not allowing himself to 
Ijc caught or held, fluttered about until he fell dead. His mas- 
ter immediately drove the boy from his service, and as no olher 
mployment was to be found in the village, and his mother was 
rpoor to support him, he set off lo find subsistence abroad, 
[I wae in the winter of 1709-9, unquestionably the severest 
f for d century, when the boy Duval commenced his first 
lering in the broad world. The cold, which reached its 
Blest intensity after Epiphany, January 5l!i, 1709, was so 
Etilfiil that no one ventured to Icnvc his house or his fireside 


, without the most urgent necessity, for accounla were daily 
heard of persons found frozen to death on the highways and Id 
houses. All places of public ssaerablies, the courts of justice, 
and even churches were deserted. Wine and water could not 
be kept in a fluid state for the service of the altar. Wine in 
cellars hardened into ice. The cattle in their stalls perished, 
ihe animals in the forests, quadrupeds and birds approached 
[he dwellings and hearths of men to seek protection ih&K 
against the terrible cold, and food, which was elsewhere buried 
deep under the snow. Birds fell powerless from Ihe air, 
Ihe lish died in Ihe ponds, which were frozen to their lowest 
depths. The seed in the fields and the vines were ruined, trees 
iu gardens and even the trunks of forest trees enapt wilh the 
cold, rocks were split and thrown down. It was several years 
before (he traces of the desolation which that winter had caused 
were in any degree obliterated. Vineyards and olive planta- 
tions had lo be laid out anew. For more than a generatino 
maimed people were to be met wilh on crutches, who had lost 
ihcir limbs not in war, but in consequence of freezing, under 
the knives and saws of the surgeons. 

Even in those days when the winter began to be the hardest, 
young Duval wandered, from place lo place, along the deserted 
roads, to seek service and a refuge from frost and hunger. To 
both these perils, there came a third, the hardest of all, which 
threatened lo put a sudden end to bis life, and which was never- 
theless sent to his rescue from the otherwise inevitable death 
by freezing and starvation. On the way between Provence and 
Brie, near a farmer's house, he was seized with so terrible a 
pain in his head that it seemed to him as if the bones of his 
scull would break apart, and his eyes start out of their sockets. 
With difficulty could he drag himself to the door of the neigh- 
boring house, and implore the person who opened it to him, 
(o show him a corner where he might worm himself and 



from llie tliatressing paia. He was shown the barn 
among the sheep, and the gentle warmth which wag diffused 
ihere by the breath and perspiration of the numerous animals, 
was more beneficial Id him ihan a heated room in the best 
dwelling house could have been. His limbs soon lost their 
slifTness, but the pain in his head became so violent thai it rob- 
bed him or his senses. When, the next morning the former 

itered the barn and saw the boy's eyes sparkling and inflamed 

rith fever, liis swollen countenance covered with red pustules, 
a little startled. He instantly told the poor sick 

itld that he had the small-pox and must certainly die, because 
was too weak and wretched to go or to be carried to a place 
Vhere he would be better taken care of, for there in that poor 
bouse there was no means of affording him the scantiest. sub- 
■Wfltence during so long a sickness. The sick boy was unable 
to apeak a word. His condition touched the farmer; he went 
into his house and brought ihcnce a bundle of old linen rags, 
to which, atler he had with difHcully undressed Duval, be 
wrapt him as a mummy. There In the barn lay the dung of 
(he sheep heaped up in rows ; between these the farmer made 
n couch of tlie chaff which had fallen from the winnowed oats, 
laid the boy upon it, covered him to his neck with chaff, and 
then with layers of the manure. As when a dead body is 
deposited in the grave, the compassionale farmer, when he bad 
finished the work of covering the boy up, placed a cross over 
bim, commended him to God and his saints, and as he de> 
ported repealed several times the assurance that only a miracle 
could save him from the death, to all appearances, so nigh at 

It needed not this assurance to (ill the mind of the sick boy 
'Vith thoughts of bis end ; lie felt himself at the point of death, 
the benumbing of his senses, which, from time to time, 
crept over him, appeared to him already ihe beginning of the j 


(Icalh-slurnber, which, in his halfdcams, be saw approsffl 
without dismay or fear, Dut the miracle of divine Providence, 
which alone, as the farmer had said, could save hiin, hnd 
already begun. He hod found just at the right moment this 
healing covering, and a sort of instinct had suggested to the 
farmer this mode of taking from the disease its fatal power, a 
mode, singular indeed and most offensive to the senses, but bI 
the same time most serviceable in Iho present instance. 
warm breathing of the sheep that lay around his grave, the 
warmth which his grave ilscif diffused all over him, cscited a ■ 
salutary perspiration and mitigated the virulence of the disease. 
The violent headache and the stupor were removed ; to the aye 
of another, his situation was loathsome to look at, but to the 
boy himself, it wos quite tolerable. 

While Duvat thus lay buried in the sheep-stall, and had no- 
thing to complain of but estreme weakness and a gradually 
returning appetite, the winter raged without with ever increas- 
ing violence. Several limes, at night, he was awakened by a 
noise like thunder or a discbarge of artillery, and when he 
iniguired of the farmer, in the morning, the cause of this nightly 
alarm, he told him that the frost had spht one or more of the 
walnut or oak trees that stood near, from the root up, or that 
by the freezing of the moisture in the crevices of the rooks, tb% 
rocks had exploded as if by gunpowder. Without, i 
roads as in the hovels, men daily froze to death. The farmer 
himself in his poor dwelling could scarcely, by the flaming 
hearth, keep himself from freezing; while Duval was as com- 
fortable in his strange situation, and among his brutish attend- 
ants, as the king or a prince of France, in his well guarded 

Neverllwless, this good forliine was not wholly uninterrupted, 
for in the midst of his comfortable feeling of repose and the 
moderate warming of his feeble iimhs, ns (he disease abated, 


e plague at hunger set in. The shepherd who had lakea on 
mseir according to hia ability Ihe charge of the boy, waa a 
try poor man. The exorbitant taxes which the rich King of 
ranee had imposed on his poor subjects, had taken from the 
inner almost all his household utensils, his cattle, and the things 
ispcusable to the culture of his flclds. The sheep alone 
gained, because they were not his, but belonged to the pro- 
rielor of the estate. The good man did, however, what he 
puld. He gave his poor patient twice every day a thin water 
rolh, which had no condiment but salt, and even this so spar- 
ry thai it was scarcely to be tasted, for even salt ivas taxed 
I heavilyi that poor people could hardly supply this want. A 
srked bottle was the vessel in which the oat -broth waa 
■ought — the only way in which it coulJ be kept from freezing 
p-Ihe boy keeping the bottle close to him in his warm bed, and 
ilting a draught from time to time. The water which was 
toughl to him was frequently half frozen. 
For some weeks this food sufficed to allay hunger, but soon 
fi increasing strength of the boy demanded more nutritious 
But the poor farmer could afford nothing but a watery 
Wp and some pieces of black-bread, which were frozen ao 
trd that they had to be cut with an axe, and only the warmth 
[ the mouth or of the bed made them eatable. As trifling as 
I gifts of a love, which received not its reward on earth, 
■y have been in the eyes of men, they soon exceeded never- 
i the ability of the poor farmer, who saw himself com- 
Ued to apply to the clergyman of the village for help for hia 
patient. Ilia application found a hearing. The abode of the 
pastor was almost a league distant from the sheep-fold. Thither 
Oural was carried alter being taken from hia grave, wrapt 
in rags and hay, and sealed upon an ass. The cold was 
elill BO Kvere, and the change so great, that he arrived at his 


Den- shelter half dead and with every limb aliS. To prov»t 
the ipjurious effects of the frost, his body was rubbed with 
anow, and he was placed in a situaiion which, in its chanvcter 
and fitness lo create a moderate warmth, was as well adapted to 
him as that from which he had been taken in the sheep-fold. 
Only after a week, when the cold had considerably decreased, 
was the patient, again becoming strong, carried to a cbarober 
and laid in an ordinary bed. The care and food which he re- 
ceived in the piiraonnge, were indeed much better than the poor 
shepherd had been able to afford him. Duval soon felt himadf 
as well and as strong as he had been Iwsfore liJs sickness. With 
the return of health came also the inclination to wander. The 
good pastor could employ no additional servant in hiii little 
household. He intimated to the now vigorous lad that he 
should look about him for employment, gave him a little tra- 
veling money, and dismissed him from his kindly care with 
his aSectionale blessing. 

Just at that period there was the greatest difficulty in finding 
employment in Champagne. There would indeed have been a 
demand every ivhere for laborers, for the reckless, violent levy- 
ing of recruits for the army among the youth and men had 
taken from the herds their keepers and from the land its tillers, 
but, as useful as the labor of a robust young man would have 
been, it could not be taken advantage of: every master of a 
family, where any such were, had trouble not only in securing 
bread for himselfand his dependants, — he could share the little 
yet to be obtained, with no new comer. As we have already 
said, the extraordinarily severe winter had annihilated almost 
all hopes of a harvest for this year either for the farmer or the 
vinc-dresser. The collectors of the taxes, the forestallers of 
grain, who refused to sell in hopes of yet higher prices, asked 
not about the distress of the poor people, they were almost aa 
hardhearted as their king, Louis XIV, Like him, they thought 



f oC satisfying iheir greed, even though thousands perished, 
J the suckling died at the breast of its starving molhor, 
baineray Duval, as he thus, without finding emplojmenl, 
tut from village to village and from farmyard to farmyard, 
and every where saw nothing but bitter want, and heard of 
nothing but scarcity, dearness and slarvaljon, asked at last, 
whether there were not any other country, where the grain was 
not frozen. He was told that, perhaps, towards the East and 
the South, there might be regions which the warmer influence 
of Ihe sun had protected against the devastations of the winter. 
This intimation filled the heart of the young wanderer with 
joy and hope. In his apprehension the world appeared, as it 
seems on a serene day to the inhabitants of a plain, to be a 
dish-shaped expanded surface, upon whose rim the crystal con- 
cave of the sky rests, over which the sun passes by day, whilo 
e stars are lighted like lamps at night, to be extinguished in 
B morniug. The aun, itself, as it is represented in the alma- 
a human head, the boy held to be a living being of 
t, of which it seemed to him altogether probable that it must 
i the most warmth where it was nearest to the earth, and 
in the eastern horizon, at its rising. Resting in this 
ir Valentine now directed his course to the quarter 
ere the sun rose. The commencement of hia journey did 
it appear titled to animate bim to its continuance ; it led him 
tnrough the poorest parls of Champagne. The low, clay-built 
huU, covered with reeds or straw, with their inmalea clad in 
rags, whose withered countenances, pallid with want and trou- 
ble, seemed, like the wasted features of their half naked child- 
ren, capable of no glad smiles, but only of weeping, were well 
adapted to appal his love of wandering. In addition to these 
things there was the want of the most ordinary 
tisteDce, a want shared alike by the vagrant and Ihe inhabitant 
of ifae load. Instead of what might properly be called 

ibitant V 
hreaA. ^ 


a baked compoail ion of crushed hemp-seed appeased the hunger 
of the people, Duval had need to be thankful, ir he could only 
procure enough of this unwholesome food to allay his appetite. 
But the benefit was only apparent; he actjuired no strength, 
but a disagreeable sensation in the head was produced by this 
diet, of which he was not free for years afterwards. All ibis, 
however, could not obstruct the career upon which he lind 
entered, impelled by a mighty inward impulse ; he pursued his 
way, with all possible speed towards the East. Traveling in 
this direction, he came one day to (he top of a hill, at whose 
foot lay a not very attractive looking district (Bourbonne les 
Bains). A thick vapor, which rose from its midst, appeared to 
the young wanderer to be the smoke of a conflagration just 
being extinguished. He was not a little astonished when be 
was told that it came from the hot springs, which there rise out 
of the earth. Such an unexpected piece of inrormation excited 
his curiosity in a high degree. He ran to the springs, laid 
himself down on the ground, put his hand several times i 
the bubbling water, but had to withdraw it (juickly, as 
heat was too great to be borne. Thereupon, in childish igno- 
rance, he pursued his further inquiries. Nowhere was a stove 
or fireplace to be seen, which might make the water boil so. 
" What," he thought, "could any one suppose but that this was 
the neighborhood of hell, and only great levity could have 
thought of building and dwelling on such a spot," 

From this supposed vicinity of hell, our young wanderer 
came the nest morning upon a landscape which, by its bloom- 
ing appearance reminded him of the neighborhood of Heaven. 
The annoyances and troublesome inquiries, which now obstruct 
the traveler aa he passes from one little country to another, 
were then unknown, Duval had, without knowing it, passed 
the boundaries of oppressed, exhausted, France, and had come 
into Lorraine, which at that lime was still under the mild 



Igovernmenl of its German princes. What a diflerence was 
Ihera already between [he first village of Lorraine, SeDQJde, 
and ihoee parts of Champagne through which his direct roola 
from west to east, had led him ! Here were no longer to be 
aeen those poor, low, rush-covered clay huts, with their pale, 
wasted inmates, but high and well walled houses, roofed with 
tiles, and occupied by beings, whose well fed persons and fresh 
complexions spoke of ease and comfort. How merry, round- 
cheeked and beautiful were tho well clothed children, in com- 
pariaon with the children of the French borders, half naked, 
and pining away in dirt and misery. 

It was Sunday ; the sound of hells called the people to public 
worship in the well built spacious church ; even Duval, thank- 
fully glad as he had hardly ever before been, hastened thither. 
Here every thing that he saw seemed new and beautiful, the 
armorial double eagle over the door of the vestibule, the dress 
of the people, so grand in hia eyes, the multitude of young men, 
whom no tyrannical force tore from their homes and families, 
10 be sacrificed to the insatiable ambition of an oppressive 
king. Instead of the poor frocks of coarse ticking and sack- 
cloth, which his countrymen wore, our young wanderer saw 
the men of Senaide clad in becoming clothes with silver but- 
tons, and the women with short sleeves and ruffles, as richly 
dressed as the best ladies of the cities of Champagne, Here 
ihe clatter of the heavy wooden shoes was unheard, in which 
the country people of Champagne put their bare feet, for even 
the poorest were provided with shoes and stockings. And not 
only the eager eyes but the famished stomach of the stranger 
ibund food here. Instead of the nauseous hempaeed bread, 
there was sweet wheaten bread, whh meat and other articles of 
food, all which the liberality of the villagers offered lor almost 
Kilhing. It was good to be here, so Duval thought, hero was J 

Jb land lo which the warming sun w«a nearer at its rising J 


"^"^ ailKUUll Ol' MATURE. 

ihao to Ihe rest of the earth, liere lie wished to remain. And 
the wish waa gratified. The people were able to eniB^ 
and support laborers. The shepherd of Ihe near village of 
Clezantaine look the robust, active boy into hia service. 

Two years long Duval fended the sheep on the bilk of 
Clesantaine, and was comfortably supported. He was ; 
sixteen years old, and tail and strong for his age. That 
inward force which had led him hither, as the bird ia led 
by instinct, began to stir anew ; but not in a mere mni 
way, impelling him to seek the stilling of hia hunger and 
a place of bodily well-being, but in a human, spiritual way, 
and on this account he was moved all the more powerfullyi 
This impulse, which left the youth no rest, aimed al other satis- 
factions, was directed to a higher repose, than the physical world 
could furnish. It was directed to ihe unfolding, not of the o 
ward but of the inward, spiritual man. Our herds-boy fell 
that something was wanting, but what, he knew not. When 
alone in the fields, he saw the trees and flowers, the beasts and 
stones ; when the moon stood, now in the evening sky, as a 
sickle or growing disk, and showed him his way home, and 
now again, in its waning, when it brightened the morning 
hours, then he fell into deep thought about all these things, 
the changes they underwent, till he could find no beginning 
and no end. Where the little brook, which flowed by the vil- 
lage, had its beginning, he knew, for in summer he visited its 
Ibuntain almost daily, but whence the water came, that always 
rose out of the earth, he could not ascertain; and that ibe 
brooks united in rivers, then into bays, and then ran into the 
sea, — tliis he knew from hear-say, but lie would gladly see and 
know it wilh his own eyes. When the neighbors sometimes 
came together at the herdsman's, or when, on Sundays and 
holidays. The villagers, and perhaps a stranger among them, 
into talk before the church, he listened with the utmost atten- 


' tfon lo alt Ihey said about war and peace, of events taking 
plnce here nnJ there, of oilier lands and places. He had ever 
lo ask, wished always to learn more ; but what iheso good peo- 
ple told him only sliniulated inslenj of appeasing his curiosity. 
Prom tlie height, on which Duval odea tended hia sheep, a 
landscape was to be seen, among the most frultftil that com- 
prehended Lorraine, green meadows and fields, amidst which lay 
a multitude of little farms, extended as far as (he eye reached, 
from Iho norlh toward the south, lo the fool of the blue moun- 
tains of the Vosgcs, which bounded the prospect to the east. 
There, on those blue mountains, Duval longed to stand and see 
what lay beyond, for this much he had learned, that the world 
wasmuchgrealernndmoreextenBivelhan the circle of his vision. 
Thai, which had been sometime before only a pleasure to 
his eyes, now became the joy and desire of his heart, Duval 
could no longer resist the impulse which urged him lo quit 
hia [irescnl place. He parted from his employer, and once more 
resumed hia wandering towards the east. There, at (he fool of 
ihe Vosges, not (ar from Deneuvre, a pious hermit, brother 
Palemon, had, about that time, his hermitage, called by the 
country people by the name of La Rochelle. A more delight- 
ful abode for a solitary, who wished to live with his thoughts on 
God, far from the noise and disquiet of the world, could 
kirdly be found. From ihe top of the rock, on which the 
hermitage stood, one could see the sun descend behind e 
green undulating plain, through which wound a river, which 
floated the ship timber, bound in long raAs, down to the 
sca-conel. On the opposite (the eastern) side, the beams of the 
■citing luminary fell upon the slope of mauntains divided by 
teaaliful vallies and ravines, and adorned up to their tops with 
fine villages and country. seals. With the fragrance of blos- 
soming trees and shrubs, the tones of the nightingale rose to 
the wanderer sealed on the rock. Duval cou'd not quit the i 


s|)ot ; at ieasl one nighl and tbe next morning he resolved lo 
spend in this place, he begged the hermit to give him a resting 
place in his hut, and his request was granted. 

It was thai all -considering Pruvidence, which brings together 
what belongs together at the right time and place, that bad 
directed Duvul's steps lo the hermitage of La Rochelte. Bro- 
tlier Palemon had need of just such a young useful assistant, 
who could help him in his garden, and in various other things. 
The true-hearted lad, whom God himself had led to faim, 
pleased him well, and nothing could please Duval more than to 
enter into the service of brother Palerooa. 

We have said already that Jameray, when the great poverty 
of bis mother compelled him to quit the village school and go 
into service as a keeper of poultry, had barely learned to read, 
This art, obviously one of (he most important among all the 
arts which man can make his own, was, and always continued 
to he, highly valued by him. He ha^-iflipaljentiy/vnited for an 
opportunity to practise it. But such opportimiliea had hitherto 
been very few. What of readable matter was lo be found in 
the house of his former master, the shepherd, consisted only 
of an almanac and a mass-book. The lively curiosity of the 
boy found therein little nourishment. But here, in brottier 
Palemon's dwelling, there was a whole library, of books never 
before seen, which numbered more than twelve volumes. Be- 
sides one or two parts of a then popular work, which bore the 
namejof the " Blue Library," the literary food of the pious her- 
mit consisted only of such works as contained directiooa to 
a contemplative life, prayers and meditations, lives of saints, 
and accounts of monks and hermits. 

With a burning desire Duval seized this spiritual nourish- 
ment. He applied himself earnestly to become the companion 
of the good Palemon, not only in the labor of the hands, 
but also in prayer and a devout life. Upon a spring morn- 


ing, when llie dew reslod in pearls on the flowers, and the 
song of the nightingale was heard, as he sate upon a point 
of the rook above the hermitage, and the sun rose above iha 
Iieights of the Vosges, his mind rose to an unwonted elevation, 
Bui he had now to learn what many before and since have 
experienced, when in this exaltation of mind, they have forgot- 
len the wisdom -of the lark and the eagle, who, in their ascend- 
ing flight direct their eyes upwards and not below. Whoever 
rises on the wings of devotion like Ihe lark, sees clearly, that, 
although he hovers above the roofs of human dwellings, and 
even the pinnacles of towers, he is still far below the mountain 
lops, still farther beneath the clouds, and much farther again 
from Ihe starry heavens. But whosoever, as be rises, looks 
only below and not above, and perceives below him the oaks 
nf ihe forests, which are slil! high, as low shrubs — to such an 
one it may easily happen, Ibal, seized by the dizziness of pride, 
he is in danger of tumbling to the earth. Our young novice 
in the hermit's life hftd this experience. Because his youthful 
srdor was more lively than the feelings of his older com- 
panion, because the outward expressions of his devotion were 
more imposing than those of the quiel, gentle brother Pale- 
moD, Duval fanced bimsolf exalted above his friend. When 
Poleinon gave him something (o do in the garden, or sent 
him on an errand to Dencuvre, the lad, instead of comply- 
ing, gave himself up to his devout meditations in the shade of 
ifie rock or under a tree, and to the well-merited reproof of his 
neglect, he replied only by bitter remarks on ihe lukewarm- 
neia and worldlinoss of his elder brother. The giddiness oi 
pride wos cerlninly not to be mistaken hero. Experiences, 
fitted to set him right, our young hermit would not indeed have 
wanted, had he only been always open to such instruction. 
Thus, on ft certain evening, when four canons from Deneuvre 

i [^rtook of relreshmentfi whici 

— IT w ^ ■** "*^ remains of which wen 

««n » Ow< 6r *« Sm time it, his life he learned [be 
• mmm «f mi^ !*■ iOkt of wbkli he considered as iba in 
M^a» Amtiaa, unUI the feeliog of 

« conliiyied only a short 
• of ibB Kwoiile-association sent one of 
*M HM^ to U Ractale. to whom Duval had (o submil. 
■• tei Mrttr^M kiM ■ J«I« oommendiDg him to ibe ber- 
«* rf St Aon. M L»«iO». Oor youog eremite had nol 
f«^Mlibf»*iAt^<irUBewDiDiiM)aDd inclination, but m 
^ •» •• Jh«*J fas *• dfreedon in which he himself 
I ««««hwt»««wlw«««*t*e east,*) it was a higher IittDd 
I *ift.« Aik a«9t of bi* c«««, led hiin against his own wish 
"'*"— ^ " "' Vf«^ TTie wrrow which he felt in psrt- 
■^ "ftw of La R«cheOe and irom brother 
.__K w tfei which he felt when ho was 
■(ft kni a the slwep-foid, and ca rried, wrapt 
(hBhoMBof Ihepiodpuior where be waa 
IkMe ■»!■ of ProTidMice, which beat 
Al^M* fMnaOirappaBie to our wishes; the; 
• Mpa^wijiichai to peace, while the ways we 

i ■ 1 ■ — ;_ TBi^g^ wastes. 

i tbim^ ihe forest of 

._ . , _. »l«y before him the flourish- 

«^«i9 «r Vi -'"- «tt W >l— tiW castle, the residence of 
^JM»«f UatiM. Vma^ as a «iM kud, bniughl Ibr the 
ton tin* te Ite a«w fp o am «f his cage ialo the crowd of a 
^l^lgMtM^WVt JNiMg Wml toii^ed tbyly with the well- 
^mati AMH «r <te WIM itiiifci. asd hanllr dared to (urn his 


le the Deighborliood of beings of a higher kind. He 
hrenlhed freely again, only when he found himself again clear 
of the city on the road to the west, which had been shown him 
SS the way lo St. Anna. 

The hetmilage of this name lies a half league on the other 
of Luneville, on the southern side of a hill, near the spot 
re the Meurfre and Vesouze unite Iheir waters. The forest 
Vitrimont, which borders Ihem to the north, much thicker 
than now, increased the beauty of the country, while in 
iter it kept off the cold wind from the north, and in summer 
ihade and coolness. But a few years before, the spot 
highly cultivated had been a waste of thistles and thorns, 
[ch still showed traces of the desolating times of the thirty 
IBTs' war. A former lieutenant of cavalry, who, severely 
Minded in battle, had been lefl for dead under the hoofs of the 
3, and had been restored to life, without any desire, how- 
to return lo its active pursuiL-i, was the founder of the 
nnitage of St. Anna ; and only a few years before had died 
iviy a hundred years old. Brother Michael, so the founder 
called, had purchased an old mansion named Alba, near 
brest of Vitrlmoul, had associated with himself some other 
ividusls, and with their assistance had transformed the bar- 
spol, which comprised twelve acres of land, into an estate, 
produce of which supported six cows, and four or five men, 
bo, without needing assistance, were able to give charity to 
ters. In several other quarters, also, the good brother Mi- 
ad bad made himself useful by similar establishments, in 
fMnoling the culture of the land and the improvement of in- 
riduals; for several of the companions of his lonely life 
previously been vagrants, who, first led by necessity, be 
I bound to him by love; and the influence of his example, 
orx of his sincere piety, transformed ihem into belter meo. 




Duval, in anxious expectation of his fate, presented himself 
nt the door of ihc Hermitage. Brother Martinian, one of tho 
four inmates received him, and relurning his greeting, look 
Trom his hand hia letter of recommend alien, introduced him to 
his brolhera as a future servant of the house, bade him be seat- 
ed and partake of the rustic fare which he placed before him. 
The now-comer soon felt himself at home among these good 
people. They were men of peasant-like appearance, but of 
true hearls. They had indeed, not that finely cultivated sense 
which (caches politeness and grace, but the yet more tender 
feeling of hearls under divine discipline, which tells ua what 19 
right and guides our steps in a straight path. Duval beare 
witness particularly iD regard to three of these individuals; 
that Ihey never indeed talked about virtue, but practised it un- 
seen by the world, Hia five years residence among them 
showed him in these simple souls no ti'ace of impurity or hypo- 
crisy, hut only the ordinary foibles of our nature. The heart 
of old brother Paul, who had then dwelt two and thirty years 
in the hermilngo, had become a temple of humility and love; 
and the inward peace which such a temper gives, showed ilsdf 
in his whole deportment. He spake less, but did more than 
the others, for, as he said, it happens with us, with ihe best 
will that wo more easily and oflener sin in words than in deeds. 
He was gentle, patient, tender-hearted, and so invariably chee^ 
ful that it seemed as if no emotion of human passion could 
disturb his spirit. Nothing look him by surprise ; in Ihunder 
and lightning as in the stillness ofa spring morning, in cold as 
in the heat of summer, he remained in the same even state. 
He did not seem able to comprehend how one could hale, and 
when Duval once asked him in jest, whether one might not si 
least hate the devil, the good man replied with grave BimpHclty, 
" We must hale no one," 



^ The first business which llie old Iiermits inlrusled lo their ro- 
t young mate was the care of the cows, which lie had to 
drive to pasture in the forest. This employment was not en- 
lirely to his taste. From all such mean occupations he had bo- 
lieviid himself free from the time he had quitted Clezantaine. 
His residence with brother Palemoo had produced and nurtured 
in him the notion that he was destined for something better than 
tending cattle, Yet a glance at Ihe kind brother Paul and the 
grave face of brother Martinian taught him silence and obe- 
dience. VVith whip in hand, he drove his cows to the forest. 
Self-conquest, the victory gained over a proud self-will is always 
a rich source of peace. Our young herdsman soon performed 
with pleasure the service, which at ilrst he had undertaken with 
no good will. 

Tlie honest fathers wished, not only lo train their pupil 
lo rustic employments, but also to educate him for their 
society and make a scholar of him also. One of them, who, 
in comparison with the others, represented the learned man, 
and valued himself somewhat on the score of this privilege, 
had learned the art of writing, and when he remarked the ex- 
traordinary curiosity with which Duval's eye followed his pen, 
be resolved lo make the lad a sharer of his art. With a hand 
trembling with age and daily toil, he wrote for the youth the 
biters which the latter faithfully copied, forming them as rudely 
L- ihey were represented. But the zeal of the pupil exceeded 
li" ability of his old teacher. The one rarely had time to 
w.ich, Ihe other thirsted continually to learn. Duval invented, 
Iberelbre, a method by which he might practise himself in writ- 
ing without assistance. He took a pane of glass fram the win- 
ilow of his cell, laid it over a written paper, and with the ink, 
ithich was easily washed away, traced the letters on the glass, 
until at last he was able to write a stiff, old fashioned hand 
p his teacher. In the religious exercises of the place, wb)^ 



■LUBWMii of sis €fioB of devotkas, tAacTTed in common every 
dar, ibe blaie tnewie ««• sbo regnlar, except when the caie 
«f lbs cows ke|4 him awsy. 

But Dv*al*s edncatioti to ibe beiiuitage or St. Anna was not 
eoa&mtd to tke ut of wiidi^ He fbnncl other means of feed- 
iag hi> duly latHMiag apfMiie for knowledge. The gooit 
frilwn pMaaned Mrcml bmAs. The cover of one of these 
was a ridi pin to oid' jouog inquirer. It coDislned 
■he &m fimr raias of Anilunetic. The delight which a poor 
maa feds, wben be aaexpededly iligs ap in hia little garden whal 
seeais to kin an tmnieaM nea^ure, could cot be greater ihan 
Dutal's, wbea be found the key to an an, which justly appear- 
ed lo him as one oC the gates which open ioio an immeasura- 
ble realm of knowledge. Sums appeared and vanished before 
his eyes, as they were united by addition, or ye! mor« increas- 
ed by multiplication, and again diminished by subtraction, or 
still Tarlher lessened by division — what enjoyment was thas 
afforded to a mind which in the signification of numbers difr 
cerned the means of comprehending in material pbenonMnir 
the powers or properties with which the all-creating spirit b» 
endowed the same. The young hermit had alwoys during Ul 
herdsman's life found a special pleasure in the stillness of & 
woods and quiet pastures. Here at St. Anna ha could eiijoy 
this pleasure in a high degree; for scarcely any other (oittk 
resembled in loneliness and quiet this of Viirimont, with its little 
valtiea and ravines. At his favorite spot, a sort of grotto, tba 
remains of an old quarry, the diligent arithmetician was oAea 
found, even in the hours of the summer night, busy withllw 
solution of self-imposed tasks, or with weaving those thougbU 
—hich germinated in the narrow, but so much the more fruilfol, 
least I." his daily experiences, 

' W^ •" powerfully Ihan by all that he saw around him, was be 
viScd by (he spectacle of the slarry heavens. The frequent 


g m the Almanac bad ali'endy at ClGzuuIuirie alibrded 
lifD an indescribable pleasure, because Ibe course of the moon 
or a whole year waa therein foretold io a way to him incon- 
eivable and pro|>hetic. Then loo, he learned something of 
hose heavenly signs of a ram, a bull, a lioQ and a crab, into 
irhich at certain seasons the sun and mooo entered. Brother 
^alemon had loid him, that ihose signs of which the Almanac 
peaks, were to be found among the stars of heaven, but how, 
r where he knew not. Even liio hermiI»of St. Anna could 
>ve him do informatioD. But our Duval had no rest, he must 
iquire and know where the goal or the bull kepi ihemselvea 
lidden among the stars of heaven. On one of the highest oaka 

Ihe edge of the wood he built for himself out of willow-twigs 
nd ivy, a sort of throne like a stork's nest; the throne itsnlf 
pon which he there sal, was the remains of an old bee-hive. 
lere in clear nights he spent many an hour, during which he 
xarained with the closest attention every (juarler ofthe Heaven, 
a order perhaps to discover among the stars the form of one 
if ihose celestial animals. It happened with him, however, as 
tith the deaf and dumb child, for whom the word 'tree' has 
leen written down, while the meaning of the word is defined in 

1 picture or by the language of signs, and who in vain endea- 
'ors to discover a resemblance between the written sign and 
he form of a tree. 

a in the material world, at ihe right time hunger finds its 

L and every awakened want its supply, so is tt in the spi- 

1 world. The sound and honest impulse towards know- 

s under the care of the same Providence that direcis the 

>f aolmal instinct to its goal. Whatever helps to invigor- 

infold, is furnished at the right time. It was just at 

i of the great annual fair of St. George, at Luneville, 

B hermits sent their young servant into the city, 

%rlain commissions. While curiously gazing at the 

sville, J 
' exe- ^^1 



tiful Ihiogs exjKised for sale, he discovered, to his inexpressible 
jo^, a celeslial chart, a representation of the earth and four 
mapa representing the four quarlera of the globe. The wages 
he had earned at Clezantainc, remained almost entire ia Iiis 
possession, and this treasure, amounling to five or six francs, 
he had with him always in his pocket. The moment had now 
come to make a right investment of this hitherto dead and use- 
less capital. With joy he gave it all to secure possession of 
the precious charts.* 

In a few days the happy Duval had got so far in the celes. 
tial chart that the relative siluaiion of most of the constellations 
was known to him ; it became plain to him, also, that the pic- 
tures on the charts were not drawn on the heavens, but that to 
every picture a group of stars belonged, which had little to do 
with the form of a bull or a ram. Had there only been some 
one to describe and name to him one of these groups, it would 
have been easy for him, according to iheir relative places on 
the chart, to find out the other pictures also, but he had himself 
to devise a means of escape from this embarrassment, and his 
reflections soon led him the right way. 

He had learnt that the pole-star, which designates the north 
pole of the heavens as well as the earth, always occupies the 
same place. Could he only find this, so he inferred, then he 
would have at all hours of the night, in summer and in winter, 
a. fixed point from which the relntivc places of theconstellalionB 
would be ascertained. But who was to tell him where to find 
in the heavens the north pole? In this uncertainty, a piece of 
information he had got by hearsay became of service. Ho 
had heard that there is a steel needle which always turns one 
end toward the north, and might therefore serve to ascertain 
the different quarters of the world. Elis earnest desire to see 
such a wonderful needle and make use of it, was gratified 
by one of ihe old hermits who had in his possession 


ijkel compass, and willingly lent it to ihc eager Duval. The 
direction in which the pole-alar is to be seen, now became known 
lo him, but how high or low the north star stands, he knew 
not. This important discovery, however, was made arter seve- 
ral vain inquiries a.nd failures. He first tried Co find (he pole- 
star by means of a straight branch directed towards a star of the 
third magnitude, standing in the norlh, Dyboringthis branch, 
he made it a tolerably large fube ; if the star to which this 
instrument was directed was the true one, then it must always 
be seen through the lube. But alas ! the tube was scarcely 
bored when (he star, lo which it was directed, passed from the 
field of vision ; and not more fortunate were other experiments 
uniU at last the lube broke. Yet the curiosity of our young 
inquirer was not diverted from its path by such disappoinl- 
menls. A reed of elder, from which the pith was removed, 
was next fastened to the (op of the large oak, (hat served 
for an observatory, in such a way that it could be (urned 
at pleasure, up and down, (o the right or to the left. This con- 
trivance led at last to success ; (he pole-star was found, and 
(herewith (he key to (he gradual esplanation of the starry 

8ups, and to a knowledge of the consleliations, 
Vhen the living (hirst for knowledge is awakened in man, 
lever rests satisfied with inquiring into what lies before 
ejres. Even the salmon, when ihe migratory impulse be- 
gmB to urge it, is not diver(ed from its course, when at one lime 
it ascends to the source and at another descends lo the moulh 
1. So themindofraindof man,inlhe mids(or(hc 
! world, is bent upon knowing (he beginning and end 
ill phenomena. What are these stars, Duvnl asked himself, 
■how far is it (o Ihern from my oak? More fruitlessly 
I when before he possessed (he charts he tried to find 
lats in the heavens, did hia eye exert itself (o 
uw for the things above; on all sidi 

nd the jj 


end relrealed beibre him ; the nearer he appeared to come to it, 
ihe farther did it retire into the deptha of inGDity, which no 
inquiries of the souses, but only the inward eye of Ihe s[Hrit 
can penetrate. 

Whatever may be ihe size of the earth, that would be mora 
easily ascertained, so thought our advancing scholar, if ibe 
representation of the earth, which he had lying before him, 
couid only be understood. Hia charts were his constant com- 
panions. In the lonely woods he spread Ibem on Ihe ground 
before him, while the cows grazed around him. What the 
many lines, some straight and some curved, which were drawn 
upon the representation of tho globe — what they meant, he 
thought deeply for days. At last the broad girdle drawn 
around the middle of the earth, and divided into three hundred 
and sixty lillle black and white spaces, led him lo tjiink thai 
they were intended !o represent distances. A light rose upon 
him, which at once made all clear j the riddle was solved ; the 
little spaces signified miles (he knew as yet no olhcr measure 
for earthly distances,} and consequently he considered that the 
circumference of the earth consisted of no more nor less than 
three hundred and sixty French miles or leagues. 

He could scarcely wail for dinner time to communicate his 
grand discovery to the hermits. The learned brother shook bis ' 
head, but had nothing to say. One of the others had been, in 
his youth, at St. N holas de Ba } n Calabria. He staled 
that on that Journey he had ra cicd mo e ban three hundred 
and sixty leagues, but th I land and water extended farther; 
a. distance of three h nd ed and ty n les could not reach 
round the earth. 

The poor Duval stood there now with his discovery, ashamed 
and at a loss ; either tho charts, for which he bad sacriiiced his 
whole property, were good for nothing, or the key lo them lay 
so entirely hiJden from him, that he must give up the hope of 


iding it, Bui even on t}iia occasion, as it always opportunely 
ippens in the animal and in the spiritual world, his awakened 
sire Ibund tla gratification. Our young hermit was accus- 
to attend mass at Luneville every Sunday, and on these 
lasions to execute various commissions for the brethren. 
)li the nest day after the disheartening event, which had be- 
illen him in the career of his invealigaiions, he made his Sun- 
) the city, and at the close of the mass, walked a 
rhile in the garden of (he monastery. There he saw Mr. 
tetny, the gardener, sealed at the end of a walk, reading. 
lis curiosity, always awake, prompted him lo ask what the 
entleman was reading, and to his joyful surprise, he learned 
It the book was an Introduction to the learning of Geography, 
was De Launai's litlle geography, very popular at the time. 
or Duval burned with desire to read the book ; he ventured 
i entreaty, that Mr. Remy would lend it to him, and his 
]UC8t was complied with. With ihe jnlenlion of transcribing 
he took the book with many Ihanks, but could not resist the 
sire immediately to know its coutenls. Already on his way 
me, he learned that the little black and white spaces on 
! central line of his representation of Ihe globe, denoted 
, every one of which was twenty-five French miles, 
een German geographical miles, and in every country, 
wording to the difference in the length of its miles, a cer- 
n number of that common measure of distance. He im- 
(dialely learned also, what the other lines meant, which cut 
! central line or the equator, from the north lo the south. 
! thought now of nothing but making himself a globe, in 
ter to the better understanding of what he had learned. 
izel-sticks bent to represent one way the length, and the 
ler the breadth of the earth, were fastened together hori- 
iltilly and perpendicularly, and then notched with a knife to 
irescnt three hundred and sixty degrees in one direction, BUf 


ninety in the other. Now first was the distinct underataD^ 
iDg of his charts laid open to our inquiring young hermit, whea 
be spread them out upon the ground under the shelter of tin 
wood, and by aid of llie compass which he had borrowed, 
arrauged (hem in the due directions. Then his iDquinag spiril 
could wander forth from the point where LuQeville lay aow to 
this country, now to that, in this, or the other quarter of ibe 
globe, and shortly he could answer promptly and with cer- 
tainty any question about the siluation of this or that place; 
Not content with this, he sought out in Dc Launai's Geography, 
the coarse of the rivers and the outUoes of the sea coast, noted 
oa both, the situations of remarkable cities, especially of the 
capitals. Hia success was such that, aller a while, he was 
as familiar with the several cities on his charts, as their own 
citizens, and as he was with the different parts and trees of the 
woods near St. Anna. Olher thoughts also came into hia 
mind, whtcb attracted him on to still further investigations. 
The broad expanse of water on the globe, in comparisou with 
the much smaller portion of inhabited land, Slled him with 
astonishment. What kinds of hving creatures, so he asked 
himself, are moving in the depths of the sea, and for what aie 
they created, since man, the lord of the earth, cannot see nor 
know, much less make use of them. 

The longing for knowledge in Duval had risen to a pas- 
sionale heighth.' It was now directed especially towards other 
countries, of which he thought all day and dreamed by night; 
the circle of his knowledge had extended in other direction. 
In every house, whither the errands of his old masters led him, 
he inquired for books ; and where books were to be got, if he 
could not find one, he took another. In this way a translation 
of Plutarch's Lives and the history of Quinlus Curtius had 
come into his hands, and became his amusement in the retired 
grotto of the old quarry. Rul all these now elements of know* 


iJge were the sparks which kindled (he deaire to know 
ore. The whole earth with its cotintriea, not only aa they 
6 now, but as Ihey formerly were, when other races inhabi- 
i Ihem, he longed to koow. Before every old wall, before 
Bry monument of past times, he paused with reverential 
Dugbts; he contemplated every atone, every inscription, and 
mid gladly have understood their language, to learn who had 
relt there, and what were their fortunes. 
Hooka, in his innocent over-estimnto of human wisdom, 
to teach and tell all things. But how was he to pro- 
ire books, alter he had spent all his wealth in the purchase 
' his charts? The booksellers, old and new, whose shops 
( ojlen visited, devouring with greedy eyes, the titles of the 
nks, when nolbiog more was permitted, would not bo 
bch as lend their treasures. What one wished to obtain from 
Kn, could be had only for money, but money, — where was 
ia lo be gotten 1 

A spiritual force, like that which stirred in Duval, breaks for 
IsU* a path through all external obstructions, and powers are 
Weloped unknown to one who has grown up surrounded 
f abundance. Duval had learned that the skina of certain 
Qd aninjals, as well as the flesh of others, were sold in 
e city, at greater or leaa prices. In thai portion of Ihe 
test belonging to them, the proprietors of St. Anna had the 
j^t, not only to pasture their cows, but also lo hunt and catch 
p game, birds and quadrupeds. The former owners of the 
■06 bad exercised the latter right lo its full extent ; but since 
M resort of the huntsman had become, by brother Michael's 
Irchitse, occupied by quite other inmates, and the forest, with its 
Id animals, was the property of pious, peace loving hermits, 
bad fallen under ihe power of those four-fooled tyrunla of Ihe 
jnd, which the huntsman justly pursued as hurtful. Martenji^ 
li (K>le-cat9, foxes and wild cats, here perpetrated ihei 


Ucrous deeds undisturbed, for the good old brothers had nolbei 
guns nor other lire-arms, (hey made use of neither snarea nor 
poison, in order to execute justice, as would have been their 
duty, upon Ilic robbers and murderers in (heir domain. When 
Duval saw the nightingale, whose song delighted him, bleeding 
in the talons of the wild cat, or the young of the thrush or the 
robbin carried olT and destroyed by a nightly attack of the 
blood-thirsty marten, he was not disposed to nllow such things 
to be. The lament, which the parent birds raised the next 
morning over their empty nest, touched him deeply. The 
birds uttering their melancholy longing for that which ibey had 
loved and possessed, stirred in him a melancholy longing for 
that which he too loved but did nof possess. Both might be as- 
sisted. The cries of the ianoccnt sufferers called for relribu* 
tion, and (he murderers must atone for (heir guilt with life 
wealth, and upon whom could the office of avenging the birds 
better devolve than on him who exercised the authority of 
judge and avenger with a powerful liand. No other transfer- 
able property was found on the guiKy (han (heir fur, and this 
Duval appropriated to himself. 

The old fathers of Si, Anna, although they lived on terms of 
neutrality and peace with the wild inhabitants of the neighbor- 
ing wood, somelimes experienced an emotion of irritation 
against their bold, four-footed neighbors, when they discovered 
sometimes of a morning that their geese had been robbed by 
the fox, and the poultry murdered by the mar(en and the pole- 
cat. They made no objection then, when their young atten- 
dant joined to his ofGce of herdsman, (he business of a hunter 
and camo home, now with the trophy of a fox-skin, and now 
with the felt of a marten. How the strange lad, without gun, 
lead or powder, armed only with bow and arrows, succeeded 
with various ingenious traps in catching the cunning fox andlhe 
shy marten, the brethren heard oflen with admiration. But his 


was nol always without its dangera. One day lie en- 
tered the common room, bleeding with many wounds and 
covered with blood, with n dead wild cat borne on a stick 
as a trophy. He had boldly chased this murderous animal 
until, wounded on iho head by his club, it took refuge in a 
bollow tree. There, in its hiding hole, he worried it so with 
his stick, that ihe auima! at last rushed fearlessly out and 
sprang upon his head, which it lore with its talons and its teeth, 
until the stout youth tore it aS and dashed its head against 
the trunk of the tree. He called quietly to the terrified fa- 
thers: "Don't be frightened, reverend fathers, no harm has 
happened to me. You see here the murderer of our singing 
JflitdB, 1 have conquered him, and washing with a little water 
■bd wine will soon heal my wounds." 

H.To the oiCcer of justice, who inflicts the punishment of death 
"^n criminals, rightfully belongs, not only their. moveable posses- 
sions, but also all their remaining property and income, as their 
natural heirs are like them outlawed, and have fled the country, 
^gte revenues of the foxes and martens consisted particularly in 
^B fiesh of hares and woodcocks, and in the autumn, now and 
^^pa, of snipes. Of these Duval appropriated, in his trade 
^HQ) the furriers, hatters and cooks, as many as fell into his 
^^bs. And in the mistaken idea that all the game found in the 
^Kpd-district of the former hunting-house of Alba and present 
^^nnitage of St. Anna, belonged to the latter, he would have 
^Brapped even the deer and the roes, that were reserved for the 
^^hce, if they had been more abundant, and could have been 
^Hb out and smoked out and caught as easily as the fox and 
^B^ msrten, or as that shameless foe of the harmless, playful 
^^Bes, the sea-oiter. 

^KTbe sale of the hares and woodcocks to the furriers, 
^Bten and cooks was lucrative beyond our young hunter's 
^^toOBt expectations- In a few months he had made from 


ihirly to forty dollors. Wirh ihia large sum, aa it seemeil 
to him, he ran, with llio permission oF the hcrmils to Nan- 
cy, the city of learning and (he arts, some six leagues 
off. For ho had heard that there, more valuable books 
and in grealer ahundance were to be bought ihan in 
Luneville, where the patronage of the court was more eager- 
ly sought than thul of the Moses. For him, every booli 
that could teach him anything, hnd a priceless value; but 
what ils value might be, commercially regarded, he knew not. 
A'noviee in trade, he used, therefore, to lay his money on tlie 
counters of the booksellers, begging them to take no more from 
his poverty ihon the books selected by him, according to a rea- 
sonable, christian estimate, were worth. There was alas I but 
one among these tradespeople, who honestly resisted the temp- 
tation of the money thus offered, and who took no advantage 
of the unbounded confidence of the inexperienced youth. This 
gentleman waa Mr. Truain, who, born in Brelogne, had esta- 
blished himself in Nancy. He treated the true-hearted lad as 
a generous friend, let him have all the books he desired at ibe 
lowest possible price, and when his money gave out, trusted his 
honest countenance for several books which ho wished. Mr. 
Truain guessed not at this time that the rustic youth, who stood 
there before him, would in a few years have in charge ihe royal 
library of Lorraine, and would then be in a situation richly [o 
reward his kindness by selecting him as chief purveyor fbitlw 

Among the literary treasures, which, at this time Duval pro- 
cured were translations of Pliny, Theophraslus and Livy with 
notes by Vigenere, and also the history of the Incas, Las Cases' 
description of the cruellies practised by the Spaniards in Ame- 
rica, Lafontaine's fables, Louvois' Testament, Rabulin's letters, 
and several maps. The bunks above named, with some 
others, formed a dear burthen for our hermit io more 


s ihoD one. He had joyfully given all Ihe money he had 
obtained by huuling for these books, and laken yel olhors from 
Mr. Truain on credit. With joy he took (he burthen on his 
stout shoulders and bore it, resting from lime lo time, on the 
same day to his he/mitage, distant a good journey from Nancy. 

The cell which had been given lo Duval for his sleeping and 
sitting room, was almost too small to hold both its inmate and 
his property at the same time. It now bccttme a world in little, 
for the ceiling was ornamented witii the representation of the 
heavens, the celestial chart, and the walls were adorned with ' 

llie maps of the difierent quarters of the globe. 

Among Ihe four old residents of the hermitage, there was 
ooe who dilTered in many rcRpects from the other three, 
aod especially from the gentle brother Paul. This indivi- 
dual, Antony by name, was a native of Bar, whoso inhabi- 
tants are generally reputed to be easily irritated and quar- 
relsome. Although he was the oldest in years and the most 
zealous in the exercises of devotion, he had not wholly con- 
quered his naturally irritable disposition. He was severe and I 
strict in the treatment and care of his own body, and at the , 
same time severe and strict in hia judgment of others, so that 
when he spoke, brolher Paul liked best to be silent. This some- 
what stormy brother, aa Ihe oldest of the little company, exer- 
cised a sort of authority over the rest. He perceived with ' 
great vexation (hut Duval was less zealous in the social reli- 
^us exercises, since he had become so much taken up with 

PS and maps, and that he was employed about things, 
h appeared to be neither necessary nor wholesome for i 

Idus person. He reproached himself for having lent i 

yoang man his compass, and thereby perhaps contrt- ! 

bated to his errors, yet he hoped that his admonitions would on I 

tfau account have more influence with him. As he saw, how- M 
^■r, that Duval gave himself up from dny to day ever mote ^^1 


devotedly lo his ihirst for knowledge, ho was resolved lo get ai 
the bottom of his cmpioymenls, ond so took the o[>portunily 
when Ihe young J ack-al -all -trades was absent, to penetrate into 
hia closed cell. How amazed was good brother Antony, when 
he descried things, such as he had never before seen in the cell 
of a devotee, and which, therefore, might well seem to him 
altogether suspicious. What was meant by Ihe celestial glole 
made of pasteboard with its white and black circles, which 
Duval had with great pains made to represent the PtolemBie 
system; what signified the terrestrial globe prepared of beni 
hazeUtwigs; what were the strange (geometrical) figures aod 
numbers, which the curious Duval had copied and trnnscribei 
from a borrowed mathematical book? But more than atl thesa 
things, brother Antony was horror-struck at i 
which he read upon a large chart of Tycho Brahe's, fiHef 
with astronomical figures and calculations. The iiiscriptioi 
ran thus; CalenilaTivm naiurale niagicum, , , . "Ma^ 
ruml" murmui'cd ourold hermit full of fright. "Hereic 
consecrated to God, will he study magic, that is, 
witchcraft? It must not any longer be allowed." 

In the first ebullition of his horror, the old man betook faitn 
selfto Luneville, to tho confessor, a man of distinguished cha 
racter and learning. To him he gave so strange a descriptioi 
of the pursuits of Duval, and of what he himself had seen in hi 
cell, that the Confessor became curious to look into the a&i 
with his own eyes. Duval, who, in the mean lime, had ci 
home, allowed the intelligent father confessor lo see and 
amine every thing in his cell, answered freely every ques 
put lo him, and the end of the examination was, that the goo 
father showed brother Antony, with a smile, his ignorance, nn 
the groundlessness of his sus]>icion3, while he commende 
Duval, encouraged him to persevere, as such learning m^ 
sometime he of use. 


wtiile peace appeared lo be restored, bui brother 
Anlony could not get over being laughed at on Duval's account 
by the father confessor. In every look of the free-hearled 
youlh) he fancied he saw a reflection of that reproach, and an 
he cherished a real dislike of Duval. In this unhappy state of 
mind, the threat once escaped him thai he would tear up the 
ma[)S and take away Duval's books, a threal, which the blind 
zealot looked as if he meant to put to execution. To allow these 
treasures, the possession of which had cost so much care and 
trouble, lo be destroyed — what warm young blood could hove 
endured the thought without violent excitement ! For the first, 
and so far as known, for the last lime Duval fell into such a vio- 
lent rage that he lost all conlro! of himself. As a weapon of de- 
fence against such a barbarian assault upon his beloved books, 
be seized the fire-shovel, and presented himself with such a wild, 
determined aspect before brother Antony, this imilalor of the 
destrpyer of the Alexandrian library, that the old man cried 
aloud lor help. The three brothers, who were at work near by 
in the field, came to his assistance. The young man, still in 
tear lor his books, drove them with ihe mere threat of his Grc- 
sliovel out of Iheir own dwelling, locked the door, and then 
watched the movements of the enemy through the window. 

It was a fortunate coincidence, that just at this moment the 
Prior oC the Eremites arrived on a visil at St, Anna. He saw 
■od beard ihe tumuli, heard the complaints against the young 
rcl^l agninsl the authority of age, but Duval told his story at 
the snme time from the window. The Prior listened with a 
quietness which restored to the youth his composure, who re- 
ceived ihe grave reproof which the Prior administered lo him 
ta Bileolly as brother Antony received his. Nevertheless, 
Ouml, like a commandant about to surrender his fortress lo 
Ijcsiegers, declared that, before the door was opened, he must 

■ntre Bocurily on the following points ; 1. An entire am* 

JiiBntre oocurily 


nesly for the pasi, 2, An allowance or two hours every ^y 
for his scienlj'lic labors, an indulgence which he would relin- 
guish at seed time and harvest. On the olher hand, be 
promised on his part lo serve ihe community of bennila Tof 
ten years, simply for board and clothing, with nil his powers, 
and with conscientious fidelity. This treaty was accepted, the 
doors were opened, and on the following day, the agreement 
reduced to writing was signed by one party with hia written 
name, by the others with a cross. 

Peace was now completely restored among the inhabitants of 
St, Anna, and with peace flourished again for Duval the usual 
fruits of peace, th? arts and sciences. His ioquisiiivenei 
hira idileed, not infrequently in wrong paths, which conducted 
him to no goal of true knowledge, for with uncommon perse- 
verance he read through works, such as Raymond Lullyi 
several times, word for word, and tormented himself for weeba 
long lo find a rational meaning where no meaning was. The 
books purchased at Nancy and elsesvhere, he had not only 
read, but as far as it was possible, thoroughly digested. 
He began to think how he should procure additional nutriment 
of the same sort. The game of the forest were partly ar 
laled, and had partly strayed away. While he was seeking some 
olher method of supplying hia necessities, a way of obtaining 
what he wanted, opened itself before him unsought. One day 
ill autumn as he was walking in the wood, pushing before 
him I ho fallen leaves with his foot, he saw something 
shining. It proved to be a finely wrought gold seal, with 
an uncommonly beautiful coat of arms. Duval, who knew 
that stich armorial bearings ollen related to family 
dents, and who had made himself familiar with the principles 
of Heraldry, through Menestrier'a Introduction, examined ibo 
different parts of the escutcheon, without being able lo inter- 
pret them. On the nest Sunday he caused the seal lo be ad- 



Ttised from Ihe pulpit at Luncvillei and after a few days, an 
(llglishman, equally rich in outward and in inward goods, pre- 
Bted himself as the lawful owner of the seal. Mr. Forster, 
kllie gentleman was called, had resided some years in Lunc- 
, devoting himself to scientific inquiries and honorable 
Duval was ready lo give up the seal, but he first 
rotjuircd as a condition, that the meaning of the coat of arms 
should be explalaod to him. How this young man, in a poor 
peasant's frock, should take any interest in such matters, Mr. 
Forsler did not understand. He accounted the request an ex- 
pression of ignorant curiosity. He complied, however, with 
ihe condition of the honest tinder, and was not a little aston- 
id, when he perceived, from the questions and observations 
Blhe young hermit, that he was thoroughly acquainted with 
lory and its auxiliary sciences, and even with heraldry, 
I better skilled in these things than most boys of his 
1 were taught in the schools, Tho curiosity of this 
^h was indeed touching. It proceeded from such a pure, 
j^rd longing for knowledge and truth, it received so grate- 
f what was offered to it, that the kind Englishman, instantly 
! very first interview, look a hearty liking to Duval. He 
tardcd him with a generous sum of money, and invited his 
; friend to visit him every Sunday and Friday, at Lune- 
In these visits, Duval, with his quick apprehension, 
1 more in an hour than many students in weeks' and 
piha' attendance in the schools, for Mr. Forsler had seen the 
as not only a lover and promoter of science, but 
^ himself versed in history and antiquities. Besides, the be- 
[olent Englishman, was not satisfied wttb bestowing (he 
taal gills, with which he enriched hia eager pupil, but at 
(t every visit presented him with money. 

nil at once, was again opened to Duval a rich source 
ue, not a cent of which did he ever spend on himself 



or his cloilies, but all went to gratily his ihirst for knowleclgc. 
As ho never went in any dress but Jiis hermit's frock, never, 
, even on his long day marches to the bookstores of Nancy and 
. bach, ale any thing but the bread which he took with him, 
the food taken by poor people, \m library grew to contain 
four hundred volumes, and among ihem, since Mr. Forsler had 
directed the selection, works of considerable intrinsic value. 
Id wood find field, by day and parity by eight, our young her- 
mit was busy with his books and maps. How thankfully now 
did he esteem the privilege of having always been employed 
chiefly in the tending of the cows of the hermitage, just llie 
employment the most favorable to liis scientific pursuits. In 
(lie quiet ol the woods, and tn the grotto of the deserted quarry, 
there was nothing that could distract him, or divert his allen- 
lioQ from the subject of hid studies. Hero he Icarot 
ccntratB his thoughts iu a way, that, for his whole subsequent 
life, gave him an advantage over thousands of others, so called 
scholars. For Duval read then, not with a divided attention, 
like others, whose minds are wandering In the 
directions among the distractions, cares and pleasures of [l>e 
world ; but his whole soul, all his thinking and imagining, 
fixed upon tiial which appeared to help liim to penetrate into 
the domain of knowledge. The edifice of his knowledge realed 
not on the sand, but un the foundation of a love, o 
vor, for truth and a rational apprehension of things. 

But in the midst of the still enjoyment of his present iiap- 
pinesa, there stirred in the young solitary, a desire (hat drew 
him forth into communion with men, into the world. The in- 
ward impulse which had hitherto moved him, had not yet 
reached its resting point. Through the Ibod wliich he found in 
books, his wings had only grown and become strong. Ht 
would go further and further on. Formerly, when that impulas 
Lhim ttway from the sheep-fuld of Ciczaiitainc, did tho 



Bndering licrJs-boy know, why il was lie wished to go forlh 
d ODwards 1 But now lie knew more dislinctly what the 
D of his inclinations, what his true calliag, was. He would 
wote himself wholly to sciencr?. 

How distant, how unattainable must such an aim have ap- 
ared to the poor lad, had he listened only to his own under- 
inding, and not rather rested in the devout failh of his heart ! 
; deliverance from death by slarvation and cold, which he 
, experienced just at the right moment in the sheep-fold of 
B poor farmer, (he happy restoration from severe illness by 
Ch strange and yet most snlulary means, the childish and 
it fortunate device (bat had led him to Lorraine, the good 
ind of his God, which here in n slrangc land had wonderfully 
t nnd bleat him in all hia ways, made it clear to him that his 
(mrd as well as hia outward life was under a Providence that 
how best lo complete every work that it has begun. 
ifa Providence had supported him in scarcity and hunger, 
I provided for his body, on his painful wanderings, shelter 
I aid; why should it not also furnish means to allay (he 
iger and longing wants of (he mind, which it bad itself 

i and ooijnsbed ? 
Amidst these thoughts, Duval felt like one who crosses over 
Sleep abyss upon a narrow trunk of a tree, and dares not 
E down inlo the depth, lest he should become dizzy. For 
I years' service for board and clothes, he had bound himself 
: liermits. At the end of this time, he would have os 
ie money for books as he had now. His honest heart 
lid imagine no poasibiliiy by which that written contract 
lid be cancelled. Nevertheless, ibis thought caused him no 
PB or trouble. When he niedita[ed over the many years 
Ich must elapse before the agreement was fulfilled, they 
d lo him but as so many days. It did not occur to him 
1 he would Ix- older also. His entrance into a school or 



college, where he could form himself for the calling lo whicli 
he felt himself destined, appeared to him as a thing thai would 
happen of itself, and prove as easy as his journey from Cham- 
pagne lo Lorraine, or from Clezantaine to La Rocheile. His 
vivid imagination Tcpresented that, which was yet distant, as if 
it were to take place to-morrow or to-day. The hope of a 
youth is liko a good powerful telescope, which brings the dia- 
taDt object so close within the sphere of vision, that it seems as 
if one could seize with his hand the mark, which a t>all from n 
gun could hardly reach. 

In such a happy state of mind, knowing nothing of to- 
morrow and its sorrow, but only of to-day and its plays, a cer- 
tain beautiful spring morning, in the year 1717, found him 
lying on the ground in the wood with his out-spread maps, 
studying them with the grealest attention. Suddenly, he heard 
a man's voice which bade him good day. He looked up and 
saw a gentleman, on whose countenance a noble dignity joined 
with gentleness was expressed, and who asked why he was 
here so busy with the maps. " I am searching for and con- 
sidering the way," said Duval, " from the coast of Prance to 
Quebec in Canada." " To Quebec?" asked the gentleman fur- 
ther. " And what have you to do with Quebec?" " I have read," 
replied Duval, " that there is a French Seminary or High 
School there, where many gotd things are laughl, and where 
the children of poor people are received and instructed for 
nothing, and, therefore, I am thinking of traveling thither, lo 
study in Quebec." " Indeed !" said the gentleman, " to learn 
something good, and thorough, one need not go so far ; free in- 
struction for young people, who have the will and the talent to 
study, may be had here loo in our Seminaries and High 

During this conversation, several other gentlemen had ap- 
proached Duval, who-iie dress and bearing showed them lo be 


r no common rank. They asked ihe High Steward, 
Count von Vidampiere, for this genlleman il was, who was talk- 
ing with ihe young hermit, about the subject of the conversa- 
tion and the remarkable hoy with whom he talked, and then 
ftddreaaed several questions lo Duval, which he answered with 
jiropriely and a noble openness. He dreamed not of what im- 
portance, of what consequence for his whole life, the eiamina- 
lion would prove, lo which he was then submitting; and per-, 
haps this ignorance was to his advantage, for thus his sound 
understanding, his wit end good humor, the wonderful extent 
of his rending, (his station in life considered) were manifested 
with Il^at freedom from constraint which rendered ihcm all the 
more pleasing. 

The high assembly, in the midst of which an examination 

WHS held, which, for this time signified more than any doc- 

'ir's examination in Paris or London, consisted chiefly of per- 

■ i.s from the court of Lorraine, The two young princes, Leo- 

|ijld Clement and Francis, together with their high officers. 

Count von Vidampiere and Baron von Pfutachner, represenled 

the examiners, who proposed questions to their candidate in a 

twor's frock, and received from him answers by which a young 

- - hool-educaied pupil could hardly have gained greater honor 

.rin Duval, the nursling of nature; for in the simplicity of 

s whole manner it shone forth that he uttered nothing that 

, did not truly fee! and honestly believe. 

Baron von Pfulschner, the tutor of the two princes, asked 
:iiival whether he would like to continue his studies in the 
-liool at Pool a Mousson. Duval inquired whether in that 
[ablishment, which resembled a monastic iiislilution, liberty 
■v.juld be granted lo go out into the woods and fields, for he 
"uld nol always remain in doors. They aatisl 
lint, auil at parting the Baron promised lo visit him again 

Oa rcturDJDg liome, the princes Uilil iheir lallicr, the mild, 
huiTiQDe Diikc Leopold, wbal strange game ttiey liad met with 
in their hunt, in the acquaintance they had made with a young 
cow-herd who had astonished ihcm all by his Itcowledgc of geo- 
graphy and history. It required but a few words to win the 
good Dulte to the plan, of which tlie baron had apoken, Hia 
Grace consented that Duval should enter the institution of Poni 
a Mousson at his expense, and be maintained there so long as 
was necessary. At the duke's espensa also, he was to be 
clothed and liberally provided with whatever might be required 
tor his residence there and for the advantages of hia education. 

Duval was now twcnty-lwo years of age. Now, in May, 
1717, it was almost eight years, since, as a poor boy, he had 
come to Lorraine in wooden shoes and dressed in coarse sack- 
cloth ; four years had passed since heentered the service of the 
hermits of St. Anna as a cow-herd. 

With the thought of quitting St, Anna, now bo dear to 
him, and its friendly inmates, he felt for Ihe first time in all its 
strength what he had here enjoyed and received. He hod 
communicated to the brethren the strange adventure he had 
met with in the wood. They congratulated him, but also, in 
Iheir simple undisguised way, gave him to perceive their regrel 
at their probably near separation, a regret awakened by tbeit 
truly hearty love for their young friend. Here brother Aotoay 
was not behind the rest. The love was without hypocrisy, 
with which, he silently and with a tear in his eye pressed Du- 
val's hand, and urged upon him as a gift, the only scientific 
treasure which he possessed, the pocket compass. In such 
violent natures as brother Antony's, the Creator, together widi 
the repulsive characteristic which not unfrequenlly breaks forth 
in them, implants in like measure an opposite and attractive 
capacity oflove; so (hat oflentimes, when a warming auubeam 
from above falh into the darkness of iheir hearls, their hatred 


i into fervent love. This excitable power resembles in 
I working the wine which, in good hours stronglhens the soul 
noble deeds, while in evil hours il hurries il to its fall ; but at 
1 times it brings with It its dangers. 

The school-rooms, ia which we usually receive instruction, 
; at one time too cold, at another loo hot; the dampness 
iheir gray while walls seems as if it would symbolise thai 
Kious perspiration which we suffer in those confining spaces. 
'hea we would listen to the instructing words of the teacher, 
f nest neighbor on the school-bench is puliing or pushing us, 
lother is coughing, a third whispers in our ear or speaks two 
: three words to us on a bit of paper ; outside is spring or 
Fely autumn weather, and we sit and perspire there within 
pr walls. Wilh a more than unusually awakened sympathy 
» then learn, how formerly Plato, and Arislolle, and Theo- 
irastus inspired their hearers wilh their eloquence in the open 
t, in the shade jof porches and of trees. In aflcr years one 
Inks, perhaps wilh pleasure, of well-spent school-hours, and 
Bssea with grateful love the memory of beloved teachers, but 

\ not to dwell on the recollection of the black or white 
Dcbes, on the diogy stoves and walls of tiie old school- 
mis. They had not the fragrance of the woods or of the 
tea fields which the Lord has blessed, 
.QuilB otherwise was it whh Duval. The sublime stillness 
' nights, only rarely broken by the sounds with which the 
rl and the billern accompany their labors, ihe silence of the 
lOdSi and the refreshing air of their shades, must needs have 
d another charm for memory than our buildings with stoves 
A diimneys. The voice of instruction which we receive 
lough Ihc outward ear, had been to Duval an inward voice, 

jn ihat account, penetrating the more deeply inlo his aoul. 

I such tears as we shed, when we embark on ihe broad 

1 and hid farewell to the shores of our fatherland, Dan 


looked once more on hia seal in the liigh oak, so like a slork's 
nost, where the rolling stars of the night awoke ia his breast 
the BspiralioD for an infinite and eternal world, surrounding us 
everywhere. With similar emotions he took leave of the grotto 
in the old quarry and of every old oak or beech, ia whose shade 
he had been at school to the invisible and yet present leocbera 
of ancient and modern limes. 

Baron von Pfufschner had not forgotten his promise. Only 
a few days elapsed since his acquaintance with Duval, when 
be came, according to the custom of the time. In a coach and 
six, and took the young hermit with him to the Residence, Be 
had pa39ed his examination with success. Now he was to be 
promoted in the presence of the Duke and a number of ladies 
and gentlcmon of the court assembled out of curiosity. Here 
also our Duval bore himself with honor. Here were no aoch 
dangers or paina to be feared as in battles wilh wild cats or 
with biting foxes and weasels. He spoke and answered wilh 
child-hke openness, and his remarks gave at least as much 
cause for admiralion as for amusement. They found the pea- 
sant youth beyond all expectation intelligent, and in his way, 
amiable. Some ladies, who after iho promotion, on which Iho 
gracious assurances of the Duke had placed the crown, foil 
into conversation with Duval, admired his white teeth, "ll 
is only an advantage," said the honest lad, " which I have ia 
common wilh all dogs." 

Duval, the history of whose youth is adapted above that of 
all others, to disclose to us the inborn instinct of llie hutnail 
i.iind in ila whole force and activity, had now arrived at a rest- 
ing point, beyond which his career becomes less remarkable 
and unusual. Like a river, which has its source in a. rocky, 
mountainous region, and at the beginning of ila course delighta 
the eye wilh many a picturesque waterfall, but which only 
when it descends into the plains, where its flow becomes quiet 



I scarcely perceptible, spreads abroad its blessings ihrough 
fields and meadows — this remarkable man became nole-worlhy, 
on his cnlrance into Ihe world, more for bis influence on the 
fortunes of others, than for the changes of his own. The kind 
Duke Leopold took him into bis special favor, advanced him a 
year's income during the two years spent at Ponl a Mousaon, 
and afforded him opporiunity to visit Paris and (he Netherlands. 
And to such a lover of books as Duval was, what office could 
have been better adapted and more agreeable than that of libra- 
rian, lo which, upon his return to Luncville, he was appointed 
by ihe Duke. He was at the same time appointed teacher of 
History and Antiquities in the high school at Luneville, This 
institution was at that time the resort of many foreigners, par- 
ticularly of the sons of rich English families, Duval's instruc- 
tions were, from their vividness and originality, so attractive, 
ihc whole manner of the man inspired such love and confi- 
dence that he exercised a very great influence on the young. 
Among the young Englishmen, who, not only took the deepest 
inlere-sl in his public instructions, but also delighted in his so- 
ciety, was one, of whom Duval prophesied that he would act 
icoosiderable part which he afterwards look in the 
birs of his own country. This was the statesman afterwards 
^celebraled, llie English minister, Lord Chatham. 
■ Por (he supply of his own wants, our former hermit needed 
f little. In the place of all other pleasure, the delight of an 
sasional visit to the quiet and lonely woods and fields, ever 
the dearest to him. The country was more beauti- 
1 than all Ihe splendors of Paris. IIo could never 
z himself to give up the retirement and independence of a 
gle life, ilis scholars and the poor were his children. A 
^ful friend, of similar tastes and fortunes, gladdened with hia 
iety hia hours of study. This friend was Mr. Varinge. 
a Ihc noble Duke Leopold had taken from the work-s' 


in which he was rouiid uith a Euclid in his hatiiJ, and gave 
him opporlunily to quality himseir as a teacher of malbemadcs 
in Lunevillc. 

One porlion of the considerable properly which Duval pos- 
sessed through the liberality of his prince and hia weollhy 
pupils, he devoted lo acts of pure gratitude for those early 
favors, the living remembrance of which never forsook him. 
Especially did he remember his beloved St. Anna. Instead at 
llie decaying wooden dwelling of the hermits, he caused a re- 
spectable stone building tviih a chopel lo be erected at his own 
expense, and at Ihe same lime purchased a considerable iracl of 
land, which, divided into pastures and orchards, afforded abun* 
dant support to the brotherhood. To Ihe new arrangemenla 
which according lo his plan were made at St. Anna belonged a 
nursery of Iroes, In regard to this he directed that the hermits 
fihould devote themselves lo Ihe culture of trees not merely for 
themselves, but also for their neighbors. They were required 
lo furnish young trees gratis from their nursery to the inhala- 
lanls of the country round to llie dislntico of three leagues from 
St. Anna; and if it was wished, to set out the same for nothing. 
They were not even to accept anything lo eal, unless the dis- 
tance was loo great for them to go homo lo dinner. A capllal 
of thirty thousand franca was in this way bestowed upon SL 
Anna, which long afterwards, particularly by ihe cullivalioa 
of irees, yielded a large income. 

Two miles westward from Nancy at St. Joseph of Meaaina'S) 
Ihore still HviJd In a hermitage, built by the before-mentioned 
brother Michael, the aged recluse who had formerly taught 
Duval the art of writing. His hut was so ruinous, that it 
threatened lo go to decay before the frame of the old man that 
bowed with the weight of ninety years, Duval, out of grnli- 
lude, caused a house lo be huiil for this aged man and his suc- 
cessors, which, by its respectable exterior and its inward eon- 


;, stood i[j as striking contrast with the befiutiful couii- 
Iry as the decayed liut. His birtti-pliice also, Arlcuny, and Jiis 
yet surviving relatives received rich tokens of hia generosity. 
[Qstend of the poor dwelling of his parents, which had passed 
iolo strange hands, he built a spacious building whose stone 
walls and tiled roof contrasted strongly with the thatched clay- 
hovels of the barren landscape. This building he presented to 
ibe town to be used as a school-house and a residence for the 
teacher. A lillle village not far from Artenay, stood in need 
of a fountain to the great distress of the inhabitants. Duval 
caosed a well to be dug; and if the poor tenant, who had taken 
him into his sheep-fold in the winter of 1709, as well as the 
good pastor of the place, had still been alive, the gratitude of 
their former nursling would certainly have been manifested to- 
wards them. 

Duval bad, in his first wandering into a strange land, given 
himself up to an instinctive impulse which was to him, as 
he thought, into the country nearer to the sun, upon which the 
winter could inflict no suffering so severe as that which visited 
his own poor fatherland in 1709, To the east and the south, 
so had he been told, these regions, favored by nature, might bo 
found, and his former course from west to east had confirmed 
hia previous opinion, and moreover had had happy conse- 
quences for his whole life. The force, however, which led him, 
in bis forly-aecond year, from his beloved Lorraine, at the 
beginning of his course, towards the south, but allerwards lo 
(he east, to a residence as pleasant as Luneville had proved lo 
be, was dilTerent from the first impulse, which resembled the 
natural instinct of a hungry animal. The father-in-law of the 
French King Louis XV., King Stanislaus of Poland was lo be 
indemnified for his tost throne; the influence of France and 
llic powers in nlliaiice with hor, compelled the reigning house 
) an exchange, which, in many respects, 

diaadvantageous one. The Duke of Lcrraine was required lo 
give up his throne, (which was in fact cootinually threatened 
by the unquiet and dangeroua neighborhood of FniDce,) fot ihe 
government of the rich and beautiful Tuscany. Sorrowful as 
was the separation on both sides, of the Duke from his sub- 
jects, and of his subjects from the Duke, the forced exchange 
took place in 1737. Duval's paternal friend, Duke Iieopold, 
had died ; his successor, Duke Francis, set out lor Florence, and 
Duval and his friend Varinge, allowing no foreign oflers to pre- 
vent ihcm from remaining faithful to the Ducal house, to which 
ihey owed all their success, departed with the Duke for Italy. 
Duval held tlie same office at Florence that he held at Lune- 
ville. When a few years afler, the Duke marrif;d the heiress 
of the house of Austria and went lo Vienna, and when shortly 
afterwards Duval's most intimate friend, the mathematician 
Varinge, died, beautiful Florence lost all its charms for Duval. 
He gladly obeyed the summons of the Duke, who had at- 
tained to ihe imperial dignity, and became the founder and firrt 
superintendent of the imperial collection of coins at Vienmu 
Solilary and unpretending, Duval lived and labored at the Im- 
perial Court. Hia investigations in Ihe whole circk- of know- 
ledge grew ever more earnest. His mind was emancipated 
from all the prejudices which could obstruct his progress, 
his energies, his whole property was at tlie service ofJiia neigh- 
bor. He lived to a serene old age of eighty -one years, retaine^t 
full command of his faculties to the last, and departed upon hi( 
journey info the world beyond the grave aa cheerfully and wfth 
even better hopes, than when he set out in his boyhood from im- 
poverished Champagne for the beautiful, peaceful Lorraine. 



^Bow must the good Duval have labored merely lo obtain 
ttwt, which every city-child learna at schnol ; how many slcep- 
\eas nights did it cost him, bcroro he could understand what and 
where the constellalionB are, and what the degrees on the equa- 
r of a globe mean I Worthy persons of the same stamp with 
i.ival, who earn the treasure of their knowledge with difficulty 
.1 1 have lo dig it out of the depths, may be likened to those 
■ ll-lo-do- people, who, leaving home poor, accumulate properly 
;- tlieir own diligence and frugality, while we, to whom every 
liing comes at school thai can gratify our desire of knowledge, 
resemble Ihoae who have never earned their wealth, but inherit- 
ed it from rich parents. 

How much harder than to Duval and his friend Varingo is 
Iho supply of the thirst for knowing, implanled deeply in the 
toul, Id case of those who lack, perhaps from birlh, that sense 
which furniahca us the most information respecting the world 
uf knowledge, the sense of sight. But this difficulty is un- 
it uestiona hi y greatest in the case of those individuals, so much 
' .' be pitied, who like Laura Bridgmaii, are wanting, not only 
I ihc sense of sight, but also in hearing, smell and taste. 
. ':ivul, when, like the builders of the tower of Babel, he sought 



to penetrato into the starry heavens by building his atork's-nest 
on the high oak, sdw indeed those shining worlds with his eyes, 
and every ray of the same caused him lo feel something of 
(heir power in himself; but when (he poor Laura read, with her 
finely -feeling fingers, in one of the books printed for the blind, 
something about (he stars, how would she be compelled lo task 
all her powers to the uttermost, to form an idea of the nature of 
things which she had never seen ! And yet, in such cases, bei 
efforts were never wholly without result and reward. The es- 
sential nature of what is ciipable of being known, the Qund of 
man may apprehend, without having any knowledge of it, ob- 
tained through (he senses; the impulse towards knowledge in 
the mind is ullimatoly directed to something which is of the no- 
ture of the mind ; the aim of its endeavor is a certain confir- 
mation of that, which it hopes for and inwardly apprehends, 
even without seeing it with the external eye. 

The blind mule, James Milchell, had a great advantage over 
Laura in (his respect, that he not only possessed very acute 
senses of smell and taste, but that a faint glimmer of day-tiglit 
still penetrated his organs of vision. What curiosity, and 
what delight in knowledge was often limes expressed in all hia 
looks and gestures, when he changed bis position for one, in 
which a ray of the sim fell directly upon that point in his eye, 
no( entirely closed against the light, and when, by means of a 
piece of looking glass he could catch the reflection of a Bun's 
ray on that point, or could bring a burning light into the neigh- 
borhood of hia eye. A devoted friend of Astronomy can haw 
no greater pleasure, when the telescope opens to him an en- 
trance into the raysterioijs depths of the starry heavens, than 
James lelt, when for him likewise, a faint ray broke into his 
perpetual night, from the world of perceptible things that was 
shut against him. The more entirely cut off' and lonely the 
situation of the mind is, in relation to the external visible 


wid, ihe more eagerly does it seize at every Ihing which 
comes wilbia the range of its recognition. The companions of 
the celebrated Parry, on Ilia voyage to (he polar regions, gazed 
ni the water-fowl flying over Ihem with the curiosity, with which 
we, perhaps, look at a rare animal from Africa, because upon 
the great floating ice-islands, over which Ihey drew their sledgc- 
boat, there was no other living thing to be seen, A man, who 
is placed alone upon a desert island, looks curiously at every 
little wave of the sea that rises above the rest, because in every 
yuicb appearance, be fancies a sbip that shall bring him tidings 
|ni] the world of other beings. 

Hl'9'be greater the distance, through which a falling slono has to 
^Hbs, before it finds its firm resling point on the earth, so mueh 
llie more rapid and powerful is its descent ; when part of a 
mountain falls, those pieces of rock roll the farthest, which de- 
scend from the greatest height. Thus, in such cases as are 
; resented lo us in the histories of the intellecluai development 
' '.' Uuval and Laura Bridgmao, we cannot but see plainly that 
precisely the great obstacles, which the intellectual impulse has 
to overcome, give lo that impulse a quite peculiar and unusual 
force. But that impulse urges every human being ; we all have 
IVnatural desire of knowledge, whether the satisfaction of this 
■ire be made easy or difficult. To us, indeed, in comparison 
I Duval, and still more with the blind mute Laura, it is 
I amidst the many means of obtaining knowledge placed 
a our reach, to get rich without great trouble ; but should 
n this account, because it is made easy for uh, leave those 
a unused? 
i- think not. It is good to get and to gain ; and if we ne- 
t the opportunity thereto, it must be, thai we regard our- 
s as already rich and satisfied, not as needy, while, how. 
; it ia hunger alone which gives to the food of life its relish 
I its nutrilioiisneaa. I hope that Ihe following pages, wl 


like little cup3 or dishes ere lo oSsr various viands to Ilie desire 
of knowledge, may awaken in many a young mind, a desire to 
help itself, and an appetite to partake of the feast. 


When Duval, in his younger years, while still at service in 
zantaine as an ignorant shepherd, took up the Almanac, which 
always gave him so much to think of, bis curiosity was i 
excited by those signs, which mark the sun and the planets as 
well as the several days of the week. That the moon-siekle 
represented the moon, and among the days of the week, Mon- 
day, and the circle with a point in the centre, the sun, and in 
the week, Sunday, soon became known tu him. The evening 
star and the morning star, these too his employment as a berda- 
boy soon brought him acquainted with, and, at the same time, 
he learned that the little circle, which has a cross below it in 
the Almanac, represents these stars. Before, however, he 
learned to know the other more remarkable planets, Jupiter, 
Mars, Saturn, and (heir signs in the Almanac, a long time 

The insatiable curiosity of Duval did not permit him, ns we 
have seen, to stand still with the knowledge of the constella- 
tions. Soon he wished to know how our earth loolts, what is i 
its size, and what lands and seas it consists of. Could the eager 
youth have had a loolc at such a globe as Charles Wllliain- 
Kummer made in Berlin, (a relief-globe) on which all thS' 
elevations and depressions, the mountains, vallies, and plains, , 
are represented, with what delight would it have filled him I 
How at once would much have become plain, over which be 
long racked his head in vain. But such heaufifu! helps to 
learning, as are now so richly provided for the young, were not 
to be found then even tn the school-rooms of royal princes. 

ALMANAC-Slr.NS. 1 13 

£veii wilh ihe study of Geography, allhough hs long as he 
it was one of his most favorite employments, the inquir- 
ind of the young hermit was not satisfied. He procured 
iks of ihe most oppoaile kinds, and precisely those, whose 
itents and language were the most mysterious and dark, es- 
i his curiosity the most ; with an admirable perseverance he 
nented himself in trying to understand the writings of Ray- 
id Lully, a celebrated scholar of the middle ages. In such 
iks of the same period, which, by their pompous titles, and 
their prefaces, promise to introduce the reader to al! the 
iteries of nature, — the case especially with the works that 
t of chemistry (then styled Alchemy,) — one finds Ihe same 
la again, which in the Almantic represent the sun and 
lets, but here they are used very differently. For what in 
Almanac stands for the auo, in those writings represents 
I ; the signs for the Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, 
jrn, are by the old chemista used to denote silver, copper, 
tkailver, iron, tin and lead, 

Ve should not regard wilh entire contempt these double signs 

■the almanac-makers and the chemists. They merit a cer- 

. respect for their high antiquity; for they have passed 

lugh the hands of many people, and through a long line of 

ilufies, ere they have reached us and taken their places in 

almanacs. Astronomy is a primeval science. To the 

fathers of our race, who, in mind and body enjoyed the 

th of youth, who were not then distracted by the thousond- 

influeoces of our modes of life and the daily tidings of the 

8, but lived in still communion wilh nature like Duval, Ihe 

Is-boy and hermit, — to ihem it happened as to him: the 

it for knowledge which was in them, turned first, above, to 

alarry heavens. As children, so soon as Ihey 

r haads, turn must eagerly to the light and ihe moon, 


ove, to I 
1 move J 
in, and ^ 


struggle joyously wilh iheir little liands, when they see any 
ihing shining, ao also wag the curiosity or men in the eariiol 
limes, ftllracled most powerfully by the shining stars of heaven 
and the glittering stones and metals of earth. 

When Duval had become acquainted with the lands and 
on the surface of the globe, how gladly would he have learned 
still further what is known of that which is hidden ii 
depths. When an Indian or a poor boy takes in his hand for 
the first lime in his lile, a watch, and has for a long time won- 
dered at the moving of the hands and the ticking of the me- 
chanism, he would next gladly know what is inside the watch, 
and he ofien gratifies his curiosity to the great detriment of iha 
work. So is it with the desire to know, which moves the hu- 
man mind. It seeks to penetrate the depths as well as ascend 
the heights of all visible existence, Man seeks to know not 
merely that a thing is, and hmtr it is, but he also inquires, 
whence and by u-hat means it exists. 

But to return once more to the almanac-signs, which have 
the double signification of the stars of heaven and the metals. 
The interest which man takes in the metals did not arise 
dentally from the use which could be made of them, or from 
the value gradually attached to them in exchanging them with 
other things ; but that interest may have been created in another, 
natural way, which it would lead tta too far aside to cxplaio. 
Physicians and other observers know that the meiab have a 
certain influence upon the internal organs of sensation (ihe 
nerves,) and that in many conditions of disease, the attracliOD 
of metals is so great that the individuals afflicted are aware of 
the vicinity of metals, even when ihey do not see them. In 
such cases, it has appeared that some metals, especially gold, 
beneBuial, while others, such as iron and zinc, exert a 
disBgreeabic, painful iniluence. The morbid affection for ifae 



wbicli we justly condemn as avarice, finds no excuse 
here, as we can in eome degree underslaod the exlernal cause 
of il, whence il proceeds. 

We are speaking here, however, not of the relation in which 
Ihe metals directly stand to ihe physical nature of man, but 
only of the relation they bear to the advancement of our know- 
ledge of visible things. And in this view it rany be said that 
these shining bodies, which do not indeed give out light of 
themselves like the sun, but like the planets, like the beautiful 
eventng and morning star, powerfully reflect the light received 
from the sun, are as important to a knowledge of the earth its 
the celestial bodies, whose signs the science of antiquity has 
Impressed upon them, are to Astronomy, The metals belong 
lo those truly simple elements, out of which the terrestrial 
bodies of nature are composed ; (heir examination prepares the 
way for us lo a knowledge of the elements strictly so called. 
And, instead of directing our curiosity upwards (o the slars, let 
us take the opposite path in the first place, downwards, to the 
elements of our earth, and then, from a firm foundation, we 
nhall be able lo ascend all the more successfully. 


; ELEUEitrs. 

s recognised, as is known, four Elements: fire, 
I water, and eorlh. Of these original substances, according 
cir opinion, all material bodies are formed. With our pre- 
\ scientific modes of speaking, the idea of four elements in 
^se of original substances, is no longer admitted, for our 
inistry has brought us acquainted, not with four, but with 
I limes four original substances of material bodies;" 
1 thai which we name, earth, according as we make a trial 


of it licrc or there, is composed of a greater or lees nrnnbef of 
Bubatancea ; water of two ; atmospheric air, when we take inlo 
view iho vapor usually c 
subslaoces. And wilb the ihreo Bo-called elements, definabie 
by weight and nieasure, the fourth, fire, is classed with as much 
propriety ns virtue would be, if it were ranked with three arti- 
cles of food or furnilure, or if, with our present ideas of origi- 
nal substances, one should number fire among them, it would 
be as if ha were to aay thai the human body consists of bones, 
flesh, skin, and motion. For fire ts not, in the ordinary » 
a substance, but it is, in its nature, a motion of substances, as 
Iho tone of a piano-atring, which the ear perceives is not brass 
wire nor air, but a motion of the stretched wire aud of the air, 
whose agitation acts upon our organs of hearing. 

However, with our present insight into the nature of simple 
subalances, we must nul too severely condemn the ancient divi- 
sion of the four elements. There lies i 
Irulh, as we may perhaps hereafter see, when we have first 
explained what is to be understood by siniple substances. 


A statue of marble, fashioned after the likeness of the hu- 
man form, contains neither veins, nor flesh nor bones, but wlien 
an accident or a barbarian hand breaks it into pieces, we find 
in all parts of it, from the head to the foot, from the surface to 
the centre, everywhere in and on it, nothing but white, gronu- 
lous limeslone or marble. When we break- it into still smajler 
pieces, it remains everywhere and throughout the samei every 
grain, like the whole, is awhile marble, and, examined by ■ 
powerful microscope, there are seen in the grain the si 
foces, the same brightness, the same colors that appear to the 
jinked eye in a much larger fragment. 



Nevertheless, the innumerable parllclea and grains, inio 

ich ihe block or limeslone, lo which ihe arlial has given ihe 
form, is broken, are by no means Ihe substances of the 
but every one of those grains is composed of several 
]ces. That this is so, every lirae-burner knows, when 

puis the marble into the fire. The lime loses then the water 
carbonic acid with which this earth was combined, and this 
lins, as so-called pure calcarious earth or quick lime. But 
1 this earth is no pure substance, but, aa the further inves- 

itioDS of later times have shown, consists of a metal and a 
tance of atmospheric air, of which wc shall soon have 
s to any, oxygen gas, or vital air, 

ermilion, that beautiful, red, coloring material is known to 
y one conversant with painting. When by rubbing and 
>ing, a piece of vermilion is reduced to a powder, every 
icle of the same remains what the whole was, vermilion. 
if one mingles with this triturated vermilion a quantity of 
filingS) and exposes this mixture to heat, two different sub- 
ces are immediately disclosed, sulphur and mercury; for 
sulphur, which has a stronger attraction for the iron than 

;the mercury, combines with the iron, and makes sulphuret 
roc, and the mercury is set free from its previous combina- 

'be copper, from which a portion of the Russian copper 
M, called kopecs are made, comes from the rich Ural mines, 
ofien contains in its combination a certain proportion of 
I. Copper of this kind, which is found also, particularly in 
ID) is distinguished from common copper by its beautiful 
color, and great ducliilly, but when a bit of it is pulverised 
> BO finely, still every particle contains the same mixture of 
»cr and gold as exists in the original mass. When, how- 
, sulphuric acid, diluted with water, is put upon it, the cop- 
'» aeparnled from the mixture, which becomes blue vitru 


and UiG gold remains as n fine sediment in its metallic puiity, 
and may be mclled back again into a combined mass. 

In all Ihcsc cases we observe that (here is a two-ibld fbrce 
that brings together and unites the smallest parts or aloms or 
bodies. When birds of passage, moved by a common impulse, 
set out upon their far journies, Ihey collect in great multitudes. 
In spring loo, before the lime of pairiog has arrived, they still 
keep togelher in large flocks. But when the time to build Ihor 
nests has come, then the great mosses separate into rarailies. 
The natural instinct, which is ihe basis of this union by pairs 
and of the tender care of Iho young, is much stronger than the 
gregarious impulse, and Iho laller can only avail, when ibe 
stronger instinct releases the individuals from its ties, and then 
the power of that universal world-life seizes the flocks of in- 
dividuals, and converla Ihe union of individual beings into ■ 
union for the spaces and regions of the earth. 

In a similar way, a universal attraction works in the union 
of the homogeneous parts of vermilion or of the gold mixod 
with copper; but in the union of the sulphur wiih Ihe iron, or 
of the copper with the vilriolic acid, a peculiar and stronger 
altraclion is Iho universal force. The power of cohesion, which 
causes the more or less firm connection of single parts, is of 
like nature wifb that universal atlraclive force, which, as gravi- 
ty, unites Ihe single masses of physical bodies into the globe. 
It may be neutralised by what are called mechanical meansjU 
when, for example, a large stone fiy Iho force of ils gmvitp'< 
crushes another and smaller one, or when the pressure, cs 
in this instance by gravity, is produced by the force of n 
arm, or by his art. Chemical relationship (affinity) is based 
upon that polarisation (sexual opposition) in which the spedtil 
life and creative working of things every where has ils b 
ning, because it proceeds from the very source of life and cxet,* 
yjfib. 9.) The power of cohesion has for its end and 



t preservalton of things as they aro; cliemical aSinity, on llic 
other baud, a new formalion. We have not yet arrived at the 
explanation of what ia to be understood by simple substances. 

Ibis end we must make an apparent digression by consider- 
e closely the metals. 


tuldwe transport ouraelv^s at once away from the earth to 
e great spaces, which separate our globe from the sun and 
its planets, we should find there, at mid-day no day-light. For 
here, upon the surface of the oarlh, the light of the sun is re- 
liecled from all bodies, even from the air, as the morning and 
cTening hvilight shows us, whose light comes merely from the 
atmosphere before the lops of the mountains are illuminated. 
Bat there, in the planetary spaces, there is neither air, nor 
mountain, nor any other body to reflect the sunlight and there. 
by diffuse in all directions the light of day ; for if the planetary 
■paces were capable of such reSeclion, we should never have 
complete night upon the earth. On that account, the human 
eye, turned in that immense space towards the sun, would see 
li OS a bright liiak standing on a dark, black back-ground, and 
"iiea turned in an opposite direction, it would see the stars 
ipoD the same dark ground. The beneficent, illuminating, 
ing influence of the sun can make itself manifest only 
it meets bodies, which, by the polaric variation of their 
being from that of the sun, are the most susceptible of 
I influence, especially such bodies as unite the greatest 
with opacity. 

bodies are especially the metals. In themselves d{ 

light, and more than any other bodies, of heal of thei 

I, ihey are, on this account, susceptible of being afiecled b 

It Kod heat; but not only by light and heat, but also by a 



the other powers of material life which are nwakened by po- 
larity, by magiielism and chemical affinity. The collected 
stone-maaaes of the mountains, which we see around ua, have 
proceeded, in their formation from a coodition, originally we- 
lallic; a metallic substance is their basis, which, united with the 
universal opposite of metallic natures, with the oxygen gas of 
the air, then becomes a kind of earth ; the first movements of 
a self-dependent formation and fashioning take Iheir beginning 
in the kingdom of the metals. 

The sun in the heaven lias in the terrestrial material world 
its opposite sun, in Gold. Its remarkable color, its great brighl- 
ness, showing itself on the rude surface of a lump of the 
metal by a slight polish, its great weight, its pliability, (mol- 
leablencss and ductility) under the liand of man, must have at- 
tracted attention to it in the earliest limes. Gold was at 6t«l 
much more easily obtained than in our days, and it was 
wrought with much more ease than iron or copper. For only 
by a high degree of heat can iron be melted out of iho ore, in 
which it ia found, not in a pure state, but mixed with oTbet 
substances, while gold, on the contrary, came to hand in full 
purity, and might l>e hammered and wrought just as it was; 
the heat, required to make it fluid, is a great deal less than that 
required by iron. Besides, gold invited men to its use by the 
way in which it presented itself. For, ahliough this precious 
metal was originally, like other metals, enclosed iu rocky sub- 
stances, yet by the crumbling to pieces of its original beds, it 
came to be found among boulder stones, and the sands of vallies 
and plains ; and then its pliability saved it from being brolcea 
and crushed, while its peculiar gravity prevented it from being 
as easily washed away as the stony fragments and sand in 
which it lay bedded. The man, therefore, who came upon a 
rich spot of this sort, frequently found gold in lumps of con- 
siderable size, lying o|icn to the day, or when, in the courso 


F centuries, turf and forest had spread over a stone or sand 
field originally rich in gold, the discovery of the treasure was 
soon made, in the digging of a dilch, or by any other process 
which was calculated to ejtpose the gold. In a way similar to 
ihis, iho gold riches of a large, sandy surface in the Ural 
mountains in Russia, remained undiscovered until some years 
ago, and then a significant idea could be formed of what 
ihe ancients say of the gold weahh of India and Arabia, 
and modern writers tell us of South America. In that Ural 
gold district was found in the year 1825, a lump of gold 
weighing elghteea pounds, and nine other pieces, each of which 
weighed several pounds. At Miaesk, in (he government of 
Orenburg, a lump of gold was found, seven pounds in weight. 
Although these masses are not lo be compared with that piece 
of gold which was discovered in the year 1730, in Paz, in 
America, which weighed forty-five pounds, and out of which five 
thousand six hundred and twenty ducats were coined, nor with 
diat again, dugup at Gahia, In theBrazils, in 1785, whose weight 
^M two thousand five hundred and sixty pounds, and which 
^B estimated In money-value at also a million and a quarter 
^Pguildcrs, ycl the lumps of gold found in Russia were the 
most considerable, so far as history informs us, ever dlscoverod 
in so northern a region. For when we consider what the ancients 
1 us of India or Ethiopia, or of the gold of Arabia, which 
■ Ibund in pieces of the size of a cliesnut, and what is told 
B masses of this metal found in hotter America, we como 
Btly to the opinion that the countries between the tropics, or 
at neighborhood, are the almost exclusive home of Gold. 
jbldi even in the countries In which it is moat abundantly 
|d, is indeed, In comparison with other metals, a rarity. 
rallhough Ihe amount of gold obtained yearly for the 
J three centuries from the rich Spanish and Portuguese 
Bsions in America may bo estimated at something morr 


than n hundred and HRy cwt., yet this is not even the hun- 
dredth part of the silver which these countries produc 
the course of a yenr, and, if we take only one country into 
the a(^counl, not the thirteen hundredth part of the Hmount of 
the copper, scarcely the sixteen hundredth part of the lead, 
nor the three thousandth of the iron, produced every year ir 
the comparatively little country of England, 

On account of its rarity, but yet more for ita other advan- 
tageous qualities, this beautiful and shining metal has, from 
ancient times maintained a value in exchange and trade, which 
exceeds about twelve times that of silver, indeed in our days 
somewhat more than fourteen limes. If one of us were to 
upon a desert island, or in Ashing in the sea a lump of gold, so 
heavy that we could not carry it a league without great exer- 
tion, he would have enough for himself and his for his 
lime, for every pound of gold is worth four hundred and fineen 
Prussian dollars or seven hundred and twenty-seven Rhenish 

Nevertheless, let us mention in passing, there are some thin^ 
to be considered in regard to finding a prize of this sort. There 
is something tempting and perilous in thus getting rich without 
trouble. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries many people in 
Bohemia set to work to wash out of the sand of one of their 
rivers the gold contained therein: Many of them gained more 
than could be got then by agriculture and the raising of cattle. 
But what happened 1 When the other inhabitants of the coun- 
try saw that hundreds and at last thousands earned more by this 
easy business than they with their hard labor, many of them, 
thinking they could do as well as others, left their land unlilled. 
There arose a great scarcity and severe famine in the land. 
Of what avail was their wealth then, to the most fortunate 

d-washers, who in a year's space had procured a pound and 

B of the noble metal? They could not for hard money 



_ purchase bread enough for themselves and their familiea ; maay 
Liperished of atarvatiou, and the governmeiit. in order to prevent 
^(^he recurrence of similar unhappy consequences, forbade the 
' Ixi^ness of gold-washing under heavy penahies. (H. v. Hage- 
ciu9 in his Bohemian Chronicle, translated by Sandel, p. 329.) 
And has not thai, which then impoverished a little country 
and its inhabitsals, been repeated also on a grand scale in the 
history of mighty kingdoms? In our days what has poor 
Spain, what has Portugal kept in actual possession, of all the 
thousands of hundred weight of gold, which tbey took from 
the harmless people of Peru, from the nations and rulers of 
Mexico and Brazil? To what beirs did the wealth of the Sul- 
tan Ackhar (the Grand Mogul) who died in 1603, descend, 
amounting in value, chiefly in silver and gold, to three hundred 
and forty-eight millions of guilders 1 

Among the European powers Russia stands nest, whose gold 

i from the Ural mines were estimated from 1814 to 1634, 

A Iwenty-four mitlioos of Prussian dollars. Austria, from its 

I Hungary and Transylvania chiefly, obtains a yearly 

rerage of four thousand seven hundred marks (sixteen half 

a each,) from Bohemia twenty-three, from Salzburg about 

B hundred and sixty-five marks, France obtained formerly, 

ially from its gold-washing in Languedoc, about two hun- 

t dred marks. England has indeed no gold mines. Since the 

abolition of the slave-trade she receives from SenegamUa over 

three thousand four hundred marks, and her iron and steel 

i&brica, exclusive of all other sources of profit, bring her a 

ime than Portugal and Spain formerly obtained in 

ptce gold from their American possessions, 

■ We have here, in our consideration of the metals, been 

ly as il were by the attraction which gold has for 

r bumaa nature. We are slill, however, on the path which 


leads lo our proposed aim, the considenilion of wliat simple 
substances consist in, 

Morc than any other material body, gold Is adapted to show 
lis what an original substance or element, incapable of being 
further decomposed by chemical action, is. An element, by iis 
combination with other elements, may furolsh the ground-work 
for other products of nature and art ; but to its own origina* 
tion, it needs no clemeal but thai which is actually its own; 
all the cornbinalioDs into which it enters with other bodies, 
always remains the same and comes forth again unchanged 
and ever the same out of such associations. 

How entirely difTerent is it with those other natural bodies 
which are not pure substances. Vermilion or sulpfauret of 
mercury, and galena or sulphuret of lead, when crushed by 
mechanical force, accm to remain the same even in their 
Braallest particles ; under the microscope one sees in the dost 
of galena, Ilie same cubic forms and shining surfaces which 

! present lo the naked eye in its larger masses. But when 
the two bodies, the vermilion and the galena are exposed ti 
certain degree of heat in company with iron, Ihen the appe 
ance of simplicity soon vanishes, for, in the former, the sulphur 
forsakes its connection with the quick-silver; and in the fatter 
it separates from Ihe lead and unites itself with the iron 
becomes sulphuret of iron. It is apparent that these two 
bodies are not simple substances, but only combinations of 

When men began to use gold in buying and selling in order 
to obtain articles the most various, and learned that for gold all 
the gratifications of the senses could be procured, they strove 
all the more eagerly to possess this precious metal. In Ihe 
course of lime gold censed lo be found in its beds of boulder 
stones and of sand, which had been examined in all directions. 


It had IheD to be melted out from its peculiar bJrih-pluces — llie 
mouDlatD rocks. Men knocked, therefore, at every stone, ex- 
posed all aorta of stones lo a melting heat, to ascertain if per- 
chance any gold were hidden therein. There was not then as 
now any need to be sparing of fuel when whole regiona were 
covered with primeval forests. Smelting- furnaces, those little 
types of volcanoes, men learned early enough to build, and the 
earliest nations, like our children now, soon found a special 
pleasure in melting stones which contained metal, and which 
were lo be distinguished chiefly by their weight. By these ex- 
periments very soon all kinds of metals, tin, zinc, and even 
copper and iron, were obtained from stones, which possessed a 
quite different form and color from that of their metals. And 
by further experiments it was found, for example, that from Iho 
melting together _of zinc and copper, brass arose, a metal, 
which, in color snd brightness, has a certain resemblance to 
gold. The question next arose, whether gold also could not be 
made, either by the discovery of a body which might be changed 
into gold, like calaoiine into zinc, or by the admixture of ano- 
ther and more easily procured metal with some other sub- 

The noble gold has in its way many qualities in common 
with great and noble minds, namely, patience and gentleness. 
Without losing its composure, that is, its peculiar material co- 
hesion, it allows itself (o be drawn out into wire, and to be 
beaten into leaves, like no other body. The Nuremberg gold- 
beaters have a saying that with a ducat one may guild a rider 
and his horse. While it bears itself so gently and yieldingly 
to the cutting knife, gold lets iisnlf be, bent and drawn like no 
other body in nature. For this reason, it has never lost ils 
equable bearing under any experiraenis, to which doubts of the 
simplicity and purity of its nature gave rise. It was thrown 
into vinegar, which so readily attacks copper and iron ; it was ' 


brought into company with common sulphuric ticid and many 
other artificial productions which have broken so many strong 
affinities, but gold disdained to mingle its ancient cobility with 
this newly-made creation of humnn art. In vinegar, in sul- 
phuric acid, and in a melting heat, it preserved its purity and 
simplicity. Even heal which changes so many spetaes of twe 
into oxydes and dross, served only to purify gold, inasmuch 
OS it volatilised and dissipated whatever was opposed to that 

The chemistry of modern lime has indeed gone much far- 
ther. Il has invented quite other and stronger weapons which 
even the most steadfast melals, the costly diamond and ruby 
have been unable to resist. Tl has succeeded in changing 
gold into ihe form of vapor, and in dissolving it in acids of 
vastly greater strength than any which Ihe ancients could com- 
mand. With its ingenious electrical and electro -magnetic in- 
struments, il has borrowed the power of the lightning, and 
it has become possible lo chemistry to decompose into several 
substances, water, formerly always ranked among the simple 
elements, as well as lime, and other earihs. But with all these 
advanced methods it has not been possible to bring the purs 
simplicity of gold into suspicion. From mgst of its artificially 
forced admixtures, it has emancipated itself in the heal of fire, 
which gives it power to repel foreign matter. Il lias kept itself 
as an original substance, aa one of those simplest primal fbnns 
of polarity, which the power of the Creator called forth in the* 
beginning in terrestrial things. 

Substances of the same sort are all the metals proper, oV 
which, exclusive of the metallic bases of the earths and allm- 
lis, there are numbered already thirty. Many of these are 
found rarely and in very small quantities, and some indeed 
only as little admixtures in other metals, like the living animals 
found in the intestines of oilier living animals, as may be aaJd 


of the metais Jilwdium anU Palladium when they exial, min- 
gled in small quantities with Platinum. 

ir great rarity only were regarded, and not rather other val- 
uable quali^es, very many of the metals would possess a higher 
money worth, or as high a value as gold. Such was for a 
time the case with Platinum, For, in addition to its fitness in 
mposilion with iron for Damascus razors and metallic reflec- 
rs, &C., this metal, by its eslraordinarily difficult fusibility and 
J its resistance to our slrongeat acids, proved itself so useful 
1 (he preparation of chemical apparatus, that it at once com- 
manded a high price. Even now, when It has been discovered 
in the Ural mountains in Russia, the price of Platinum, on ac- 
count of its utihly, is four times that of silver ; for this dear 
metal ia wrought even into stills for the preparation of sul- 
phuric acid. There are other metals just as rare or even rarer, 
which are not of so great utility, and among which two, found 
in and with Platinum, Iridium and Osmium* may be reckoned, 
whose names, in connection with any purposes of human econo- 
my, are as little heard of as those of Vanadium, Cerium, 
and Lanlhamim, or even as those of Tantalum, THianiwm 
or 7hlluriu?n, while perhaps Cadmium, which is found in some 
kinds of zinc-ore, is worthy of mention, on account of ils use 
in the preparation of a gold-color for fresco-painting. 

Nest to gold, which has been appreciated from the earliest 
ijQliquily and lo platinum, which has recently been discovered, 
man has ascribed the highest money-value lo Silver. Ils bright- 
ness, its while color, its malleability, and, when it is not allayed 
nilh copper, lis property of keeping itself pure from rust, have 
^iven it a value in commercial transactions. It comes iu 
h larger masses than gold, and it is reckoned that ihe qoan- 

^Duch larg 

A (ompoMlion of IriJium unil Osmium baa Ix-cn ubcJ for tipiiing goIJ 


lity of silver, brought rrom America from Ihe be^iaiiing of 
tniaing operations itiere in 1493 lo 1803, would suffice lo fill 
a room fifty feel high, fiAy feel long anil filty leet broad, 
fact, the amount of sitvnr found in America esceeds that ob- 
tained during the same lime in Europe and Northern Asia. 
more than tenfold, although even Germany has had its fortu- 
nate mining periods, when it was able to fill, after a more 
modest measure indeed, the treasure- vaults of its princes, anil, 
at the same time enrich a large portion of its people. Of pure 
Bilver, the mark (sixteen half ounces) stands in value at Iwen- 
ly-four guilders. As, however, a piece of silver money of llie 
same size with a piece of gold, is not more than half as heavy 
as the gold, so would the latter, if, for example, it was of the 
size of a silver guilder, be worth twenly-seven guilders. F< 
gold, fourteen and one-third times more valuable than silve 
weighs nineteen and a half times heavier than water, silver I 
only ten and a half times. 

As to the value of the other metals, useful for human pur- 
poses, — it is estimated, not by marks and pounds but by hun- 
dred weight. Thus do we reckon the value of mercury, so I 
variously useful, which is between thirty and forty times [ 
cheaper than silver, and of copper, which is more than eighty 

les, and of iron, which is more than a thousand times 

cheaper. Next lo iron and copper, the metals, which have ' 

been most used by man from the earliest times are tin, Uad, 

i zinc. For Ihe use made of antimony, particularly in 
medicine, was not known till the middle ages, and till these 
modern limes, to which we owe also the knowledge of the pro- 
perties as well as of the application of other useful melala, 

;h as chromium for painting on glass and porcelain, 
TitangaTiese, used for coloring glass, and also for obtainmg [ 
jxygen gas with ease, which is procured by merely healing ' 
the most ordinary manganese ore (gray brown-stone ore.) 


a melting muss of glass, with which a small quanlity of pul- 
verised manganese ore has been mixed, ihe oxygen deatroys 
the color of ihe staining parts, and when the manganese ore, 
mingled with common muriatic acid, is exposed to heat, then, 
from this acid is formed Chlorine gas, which, combined with 
water, ruroishes Ihe bleachers with ihe means of whitoning all 
cJotbs and other stuffs which have been colored with animal or 
regetable substances, as it destroys those colors. Such a mis- 
lure of chlorine gas with waler, even gold canool resist; it is 
dbsolved therein. The calcination or oxyde of the tolerably 
rare metal cobalt is used in the manufacture of a very enduring 
Llue color, (smallz, silicate of cobalt,) of which one kind is as 
beautiful as ulira-raarine. The yet rarer melal nikel, which 
is Ibund in most meteoric stones, keeps ns pure from rust as 
a precious metal, afibrda in combination with other ores, val- 
oabte compositions (such as- argentine, German silver, and 
others) and is very susceptible of rnagnetism and can bo used 
in the preparation of a very beautiful, green color. The easily 
Ibsible biamtith shares, with some of its metallic compositions, 
with the tin-solder of the tinkers, such a great fusibility that it 
can be melted at the boiling point of water. The very rare 
toetal Wolfram requires, on the contrary a very great heat to 
■Hell it. It ia distinguished by several remarkable properties, 
•s its gravity, which approaches that of gold. In a red heal, 
it burns (is oxydised) almost like cinder. Molybdanum also 
is melicd with great difficulty and Uranium is still less fusible, 
tlie yellow and light green oxyde of which is used occasionally 
■s a porcelain color. The above-named ores, however, are of 
■o little importance for practical purposes that they are com- 
Miooly placed, in the small quantities in which they arc found, 

Jie cabinets of the scientific, where Ibey have in their rude 

B the most value. 



Were it the miause alone, made or any gift of nature, ihal 
should make it oDenaive to ua, one might wish in regard t< 
lenic that it were as rarely to be found, and as hard to be 
got as many of the jusl mentioned melals. Still arsenic 
Besses, with its highly poisonous property, several valuable 
qualities. It causes platinum, so difficult of fusion, to be easily 
melted and so fits it for alloys. Then agnin in common 
many other metals, with copper, for instance, it forma remark- 
ably beautiful compounds, and its acid, (arsenic acid,} de- 
stroys coloring substances, on which account it has become 
useful in many trades in taking out ihe colors of many lex- 1 
lures. The magnetic power of altraclion and repulsion, which 
belongs peculiarly to iron and nickel, and in a less degree to 
cobalt and platinum, shows itself analogous to vital force ia that, 
by a slight application of arsenic to the magnetic metal, tbe 
magnetic power is as completely destroyed aa animal life is by 
arsenic. Even the fine sound of seme melals is destroyed \ij 
an addition of arsenic. It is the poisonous property of tlus 
metal, however, which man has made use of as a strong 
weapon against the ravages of the animal world. Wolves and \ 
snakes, as well as the destructive bore-worm, must yield to tl 

There are still, even among the most useful metals, and the 
most easily to be obtained, some which, with all their good 
quahtiea, may prove hurtful, and even deadly to the well-being 
of mankind. Such is the case with copper with its eaalj 
generated verdigris, and with lead and its oxydes and i 
bioations with carbonic acid, likewise easily generated, 
shall copper, Ihe richest treasure of so many mounlain dialricto, 
be, on this account, esteemed less voluahle, attesting its utility 
as it does by its ductility, and by being converted into bronze 
in composition with tin, and into brass with zinc, and by ibe 


the grealeat nciivity and capacity for trade, it gives also !he 
most abundant means for iho exercise of their peculiar facul< 
ties. An example in point is given us in the busy English, 
who are wonderfully rich in those metals, which arc most ser- 
viceable to trade. For England alone produces sixty thousand 
ewl. of tin, more than twelve limes as much as thai produced 
by all the rest of Europe taken together, besides iwo hundred 
and fiAy thousand cwt> of lead, more than half of the whole 
European produce ; of copper, England produces two hundred 
thousand cwt. ; of iron, a third of the whole amount produced 
by Europe ; of calamine, (carbonate of zinc,) filly thousand cwt. 
The possession of such a treasure of useful metals, which 
one cannot take in his hand and put into his mouth like other 
gifls of a prolitic soil, but which must be first wrought in various 
ways, in order 10 convert labor into money and money into bread, 
may indeed be adapted to awaken the powers and the activi- 
ty of a people ; much, neverlbcleGs, depends upon the natural 
gifts and genius of a nation. For in bow many countries, 
\vhere there is want and starvation enough, as for instance, in 
the Turkish dominions, do the richest treasures of useftil 
materials lie all unused in the earth. But the English, of 
whose commercial genius, abundant coal mines come in aid, 
know so well how to put to use the iron which their own island 
yields, and which is brought to them in part from other coun- 
tries, that the value of their sleel and iron fabrics, may be esti- 
mated at one hundred and nincty-lwo millions of guilders 
yearly, a sum of which the greater part goes to the capilalisle, 
who advance the needed monies, and are the possessors of the 
factories, but of which, nevertheless, two hundred and seventy 
thousand operatives, employed tn iron manufactures, have a 

In England, and in other lands, in which the manufactuR of 
iron is pursued with special success, it might seem as if de^u^ 

THE METALS. 133 ^ 

fis melal had an animating elTcct upon the induslry of a j 
i And iron, of all the metals, may be said to stand nest 
[■ For in iron,fir3tof all, is manifesled a molionof seek- ' 
Bd avoiding, of attracting and repelling', similar and | 
^ (he rudimenlal phenomena of animal life. Iron, as a * 
jt, is capable of being affected by the force of a universal ' 
i) like the animal when it yields to the power of instinct. I 
II, although it combines substances now thus and nnw so, 
|)y any means able to generate from these substances 
jpmbiaed elements as are styled organic. Because tho 
|of organised beings, plants and animals, are for the most \ 
ftmed of them, we can produce no gelatine, no white of 
p butter, and no cheese from the original substances, into 1 
mo separate the material world by analysis. Iron, how- ] 
Jicroaches in a slight degree upon the more exclusive do- 
|f vital force, for the sediment obtained from cast iron, 
l^g carbon, when dissolved in nitric acid by ammonia, 
ppKia beiug boiled out in water, a mouldy kind of si 
Wimilar to that which comes at last from the dissolul 
^yed plants and animals, — certainly only an npproxima- 
\ tlis process of organic creation from elements, at 
liption from the lowest, deepest step. But further, ii 
p yet another way, to stand in a nearer relation than the 
taetals to the processes of life : it enters as an actual and 
linfluential part into the blood of man and the more pei 
Imals, and especially gives it its red color. 
" e substances thus far considered are easily known a 
Lproper, and were known as such to the ancienla. For I 

r them, gold, silver, platinum, quicksilver, copper, and J 
I, at least in the here and there not inconsiderable masses 

h it falls from the air, are found in a quite pure (metallic) 
I nature, as also bismuth, arsenic, antimony, &c. And 
1 these just named, and other metals strictly so called, j 






: found, not pure, but as ores, combined with stilphur 
some other metal, or as oxydes, united with the oxygen of 
, yet, accordJRg to the laws of ordiDBry chemical affi- 
nity, they may mostly without great ditficully be obtu'oefi 
1 their peculiar metallic forms. Besides, all metals, in the 
strict sonse, ore distinguished by their specific gravity, which 
exceeds that of water at least five limes. For, excepting 
Titanium and Tantalum, whose weight is not much over 
times that of water, of the belter known metals only Arsenic 
and Chromium are not quite six times the weight of that com- 
mon measure. Tellurium and Antimony not seven times; 
Zinc, Tin, Bismuth and Tron, not eight limes ; While Hanganeso 
is more than eight ; Ladmium, Molybdcenum, Cobalt, mow 
than eight and a half; Nickel and Copper, almost nine; Ura- 
nium, nine; Silver, ten and a half; Rhodium and Palladiom, 
over seventeen; Gold, nineteen and a half; Platinum and 
Iridium, twenty-one lo twenty-three times heavier than water. 


The mention of gold-making in the foregoing chapter reminds 
lie of an account of a man who indeed only wasted gold, he 
did not make it. But the old gold-makers, had they been dis- 
tinctly aware of the How and the When of this waste, would 
not only have made a respectable profit for Iheir pockets, but 
also have gained some important information in regard lo their 
falsely celebrated art. 

On the borders of C — lived a trader, of whom it may jaet- 
ly be said that he gave away in his life time more than many a 

rich count, more than the good bishop of . And further, 

man made bis presents not in copper or silver, for these he 
not readily give away for nothing, but in pure gold. In his 
daily giving, like a magnanimous benefactor, who does not care 


)w what he ia doing, he never looked to see in whose 
hands his gifts were placed, whether friend or fuc. Christian or 
Jew, rich or poor, but he practised his liberality towards 
natives and foreigners, and especially was every one, who 
exchanged a crown with hinn, presented with a gill of gold. 
My young readers will justly ask ; Was the man then ao rich 
Jr was he only heedlessly prodigal ? 

^v] can affirm with truth that the trader was neither rich nor 
Htxlless, and that no one who ever kTiew hitn considered hin) a 
'^Irodigal, On the contrary, he was accounted in his village and 
the country round, a man, wbase JVugality rather exceeded than 
fell short of the right measure, and who, in matters of trade, 
where his interest was concerned, was rather over-cautious. 
The man was no gambler, nor drinker ; into his house or even 
into his mouth there seldom went a glass of the cheapest 
Preach wine. For although he possessed a little vineyard, yet 
such was the quality of the grapes that he deemed it more ad- 
visable to sell them lo the vinegar-makers, than to make a 
drink out of them for himself and his family. And so in other 
things, the economical trader spared as little as possible. He 
indulged neither himself nor his household in dress or in any 
expense in eating and drinking, for, as he often said, repeating 
nn old proverb, " Fine bits make beggar's bags," His frugali- 
ty was hardly to be blamed, for the man had a wife and eight 
children, and supported also his wife's parents, and from the 
income of his shop, he could save nothing. Had the chests 
■nd boxes of the man, who in his life time had given away 

^ lands of gilders in gold, been examined, the spare-penny, 
I there, would scarely have amounted to a few hundreds, 
t this sounds very singular, and yet there is something to 
be added more singular slill. It apjiears as if, in the strange 
liberalty of this trader, there was something very captivating 
fur others, for al! the people to whom he gave gold, gav< 



away again lo other people, without making any use of it, oniil 
at last al! these preaenla passed from hand to hand into Ihe 
royal mint, which gave ihe gold to nobody without an equiva- 
lent, but yielded a good proitt lo the government. Let me tell 
how the matter stood. 

In an adjoining country little sliver pieces had been coined, 
of the vaiuo of six and three kreuzers, which, when they had 
been for a long time in circulation, were distinguished by a quite 
peculiar color. Perhaps The Princes, whose impress these coins 
bore, wished their likenesses, stamped thereon, to bear witness 
to their comfortable condition, for, instead of growing pale with 
age, these faces on the coins assumed a rosy cheeked hue, like 
the hearty young fellows from the mountains, as blooming, as 
we say, as a Bavarian Johnny-cake. The art by which this 
rejuvenescence was accomplished consisted in (his, that with 
the silver of these little coins somewhat more copper than usual 
was mixed ; and as the world then, as now, attached less value 
lo Ihe art and the likenesses than lo the quality of the raw ma- 
terial of which the coins were made, the people of Ihe neigh- 
boring countries, and afterwards of the country itself, would no 
longer take the money al the value stamped upon it, and accord- 
ingly the six kreuzer pieces fell lo four, and the three kreuzer 
pieces lo two. Our trader, living on the borders, had been paid 
for his tobacco and snuff, for his coffee and sugar, almost en- 
tirely in these coins, and he himself bonghl again what he 
needed, wilh the same money. But when the lime of its de- 
preciation came, first in one country, and then in several others, 
the same profit was to be made by the exchanges which look 
place ; and our tradesman, wilh others, look an active part in 
this exchange business, satisfying himself often times wilh a very 
small profit. The good man did not know what a treasure 
passed through his hands, neither did the others gtiesa il. 
Had they boon aware of it, thay were not in a situation lo 



s themselves of ihe hidden wealth, as ihe \ve\l iaslructeil 
chemists aflerwards did in the mint. 

The case stood thus : those rosy cheeked, so called silver 
coins, were aRer all not so much to be despised, as people 
thought. For ordinary use in trade they had not indeed their pro- 
fessed value, and it was necessary that they should be withdrawn 
from circulation, but the silver, which was taken from them 
when they were re-coined at the mint, was found to contain, as 
is ollen the case with silver, and even copper, a portion of gold, 
which, in a large number of these coins, yielded no ioconsider- 
able profit. The chemists went to work ; they threw these 
coins broken up (granulated) into strong boiling sulphuric acid, 
and immediately it dissolved the silver and copper; but it had 
DO efiect upon the gold, which fell 1o the bottom as an unsight- 
ly Mack powder, and could be washed almost entirely pure out 
of ihe solution. 

But how — what became of the silver T Was it lost? By 
no meoiis, not a particle. The liquid was poured into leaden 
troughs, and bo large a quantity of old copper added to it that 
the sulphuric acid was insufficient to dissolve it all, The sul- 
phuric acid, which had united itself with the silver, instantly 
foraook it, and threw itself wholly on the copper; the eilver, ill 
a beautifully pure state, like the so-called native silver, was 
separated ; the sulphuric acid, so far as the quantity used ad- 
aiitted, formed with the copper, blue vitriol, which yields an 
excellent coloring material, that stands at a pretty high value 
ufl price among our tradespeople. 

Bo^ere is much to be learned here, which may be made clear 
H|lhB understanding by a very simple similitude. Water is 
fending in our Adds, we dig a ditch aod the water, by its gra> 
vity, flows immediately into the ditch. Near Ihe hi'st, we dig 
Q aecond dilcb, and the water leaves Ihe first and (lows into the 




second. Tlius a ilozen <litches may be made, one deeper than 
the other, and the water wiil flow down into the deepest, 
only return, nlien the deepest is full, and then it will fil the 
next deepest and so on. 

As the force of gravity affects the water and its motions, in 
a similar way the force of cliemical allraction acta upon difit 
rent subslances. When iron and lead mixed with sulphur aie 
melied together in a crucible, ihe sulphur immediately combines 
with Ihe iron and forms sulphiiret of iron. So long as a trace 
uf the iron remains in the lead, not a particle of sulphur unites 
with ihe latter; only when all the iron is penetrated and taken 
up by the sulphur, does the sulphur Ihat remains combine willi 
the lend and form sulphurct of lead, 

. As the sulphur operates in this case, so is it in the above- 
mentioned process of separating gold and silver by sulphuric 
acid. As a piece of wood, lying in the ditch, into which 
opening has been made for the water to run in, is moved from 
its position by the water, and because it cannot sink js bomo 
up upon the surface, so the gold is removed from its connectioa 
with the copper and silver by the sulphuric acid which lolls 
into combination with Ihe last named substances. It is 
this process of separation appears to the eye just Ihe revei 
what lakes place in the case of iho piece of wood and the 
water, inasmuch as the wood is lifted from its resting-pia 
the bottom of the ditch and thrown upon the surrace, while the 
gold in the liquid, falls as a heavy powder to the bottom, 
stead of swimming on the top. Bui it is to be considered ihal 
in the department of what are called chemical attractions, wc 
have to do with a power, which uhimalely indeed acts accord- 
ing to the same universal law as the mechanical action and re- 
aclion of gravity, but which nevertheless is of a quile other 
and different nature and origin, so that the phenomena, which 




it colla forth oftentimes cross those which ihe c 

specific gravity, and which gravilalion in general produces, and 

lake a quite opposiie direction. 

As overflowing water pours itself over fields and meadows, 
so at first Ihe sulphuric acid, healed lo hoiling, spreads itself 
over the metals, susceptihle of its influence. It dissolves the 
copper and the silver. But when the solution is put into leaden 
(roughs, and copper is offered to the acid in ahundance for its 
saturation, then wb do, as the farmer does, who digs a deep 
ditch lo carry off the water which overflows his land. The 
sulphuric acid flows, with a downward pressing force, through 
alt Ihe parts of the copper, and will dissolve the silver only 
when copper enough is not offered lo it, with which it may 

We roturo once more to the consideration of the gold, which, 
in being separated from the two other metals in the solution, 
(ell to the bollom. As, alter being washed out, it presents it- 
Belf to the eye as a black powder, no one, ignorant of the pro- 
cess that had taken place, would hold it for what it is, for the 
precious metal, now retaining, of all its obvious qualities, only 
its gravity. Yet by a further exposure to fire it resumes its 
brilliancy and color, as well as that cohesion of parts, which 
fils it for being wrought in so many ways. (chap. 15.) 

In our days every well-inslrucled goldsmith knows that, 
besides copper, in almost every piece of silver, which our mines 
produce, some gold is contained. The copper in this raw sil- 
TCT forms three-fifths and sometimes one-half of the whole 
weight, the gold is indeed mostly only the onc-lhousandth, or 
tlie iwo-thousandlh part of the weight of the silver, Never- 
ihekas, such is Ihe high value of gold, that this small propor- 
jufficient to pay the chemists for the trouble of 

irifyiug the silver from the copper; we receive back from , 
I just as much silver and copper as we hand to them jn 


plate or bars, the small quantity of gold which falU to j 
torn JQ the solution, serves lo pay them Tor iheir trouble. 

All (his is now, aa I have saiil, a well kcown matter in our 
<layB. But ir, a hundred or a hundred and My years ngo, a 
chemist, full, aa almost all ciiemists then were, of the chimera 
of making gold, had, by chemical agency, obtained such a 
black powder, becoming in his hand, upon further treatment, 
pure gold, he would have hcvn not a little confirmed in the idea 
that one mclal might be changed into another, that gold might 
be made out of copper by mixing the copper with a « 
poisonous ingredient. 


17. TUB thansmutation of the lowbk into a hici 

Although 1 have spoken of the impossibility by any tamut 
yet known, of changing one melal into another, let me neve^ 
thcless relate a case to my young readers in which, instead of 
iron, copper at once appeared, and if Ihey will go to the place, 
they mny now, by the throw of a fisher's net, instead of an 
old rusty iron horse shoe, have a beautiful bright copper one. 

A miner, so the story goes, in ascending from a mine, drop- 
ped an iron scale, of Nuremberg manufacture, provided with a 
very exact division into inches, lines and tenths of lines. The 
poor man set a special value upon it, as il had long been in his 
possession ; but though he searched very carefully, it was not 
to be found. To all appearances it had fnllen into the waler in 
the mine. After some time the water was drawn otT, and ibea 
the scale was fuund ; but, strangely enough, it had become cop- 
per; and the same was the case with some of the nails origi- 
nally iron, which were found upon the drawing off of the water. 
There was still water enough in the mine, the experimeBt woa 
repeated, old iron horse shoes, iron cups, and all kinds of arti- 
cles made of iron, were thrown in, and after a time, instead of 



Miy iron horse shoe, one of copper was drawn out, and ihe 
I cups became copper ones. Who would not now agree 
I Ihe Alchemists, and boUcve in the tracamutalion of one 
tal into another, of iron into copper? 

i yet the cose was quite otherwise and quite as simple as 

ses mentioned in ch. 16. Water of such a kind, by de- 

1^ iron in which, pure metallic copper is obtained, is found 

in several places, particularly in Hungai'y near Neusohl. In 

general these waters are to be found where sulphurct of copper 

I obtained in abundance. For when the water flows over the 

Ulered ore, or remains standing upon it, Ihe sulphur and the 

pper combine with ihe o.iygen gas, (of which hereafter,) and 

is produced sulphate of copper (blue vitriol) which is dis- 

I in Ihe water, which thereby receives a sharp taste (of 

ligris). When iron is placed in this blue vitriol water, its 

iger afEnily for sulphuric acid immediately shows itself, 

iron ia dissolved in ihe sulphuric acid and water, and dls- 

ars from its place, which is filled by the copper in its per- 

ly pure metallic slate. And because the place of every 

[1e panicle of iron, as it goes into solution, is taken by a 

icle of copper, the copper in the main, lakes the shape 

sfa belonged to the metal which it dispoBscsscs, although 

lurface ia often very uneven, and its mass not uniformly 

'e see here, therefore, not a transmutation of one substance 
ooother, but only an exclusion of one metal by another. 
etal, standing at a higher value, has put itself in the place 
more common and lower prized metal, and the lower metsl 
disappeared. In the spiritual world such ennobling pro- 
te, by which a higher and belter clement of thought lakes 
place of a lower, are not unusual. In thai invisible king- 
ihere are phenomena which bear witness to a real trans, 
ilion (transfiguration) of the low and ihe base into the hifjh 


nnd the Doble, for there reigns ibere a spirit creating all things 
new, nhich worlcs whal nnd where it will. 


The abundance and universality of iron upon our earth and 
in lis depths must arrest our attention. But there are yet other 
metallic bodies which present themselves, at least upon the sat- 
iace of the cartb, in masses beyond all proportion greater than 
those of all the metals strictly so called, put together. 

Up to the commencement of this century, no student of na- 
ture would have thought of regarding the so called earths, 
auch as Lime, Magnesia, Bai-yUs, and Alumina, as anything 
else but elements or simple substances. The same may be 
said of the caustic Alkalis. When our chemisia decomposed 
garnet into clay and silica, and into the oxydea of iron and 
manganese, when, in Bohemian ^rttf^t, in additioo to the 
just named earllia and melala, they founi! also lime and mag- 
nesia and chrome, they supposed that they had reached the 
last and deepest basis of the chemical composition of that stotK. 
Of the possibility of a still further analysis of this substance 
' DO one dreamed. In addition to the previously known earths, 
there had also been discovered in the emerald and beryll, Ghi- 
cina, in the hyacinth, Zirconia, iu sironile, Sl.ronlia, and in 
some other kinds of stones, Yttria and Tharina, and a new 
alkali LitMa had been distinguished ; and all these, just at 
lime and alumina, were held to be simple elements. In lie 
year 1807, by the discoveries of a great English chemist, Kc 
Humphrey Davy, a gate was opened through which a. deep 
glance might he cast into the secret nature of substancei. 
These apparent or real substances are lliroughout nothing bul 
polarizations of matter, through a natural power which ia kin- 
dred to that of life, and even one with it. As life itself, so also 


R use of Ibis nnliiral power ia given to ninn, in a certain mea- 
sure, especially iu elcctro-magiieliwil agencies, among which, 
as we shall see in the sequel, belongs galvanism. The one 
pole of a voltaic pile, which, on this account, may bo desig- 
Dated as the acid pole, every where brings forth the substance 
of all substances, oxygen gas, from its concealment ; the other 
pole makes apparent the peculiar opposite, (the base), which, 
just io the particular material body under examination, has as- 
sociated ilseifas an external body to the oxygen, that universal 
centrum of material existences. When, therefore, the usual 
metallic osydes are exposed to the influence of the two poles of 
a Tohaic pile, there appears at one pole the metal in its pure, 
so-called elementary form. 

A combination of polassa with water, was exposed by Davy 
to ihe action of a very strong voltaic pile, and immediately the 
supposed simple substance was polarised or decomposed ; at one 
pole of the pile (the negative) appeared n brilliant metal, Po- 
(iissium. In a similar way a metallic base has been disclosed 
ri the two so.called fire-proof Alkalis ; the vegetable and Ihe 
iiiDcral nivalis, and likewise in lime, magnesia, baryles, 
-.ironlin and alumina, in a word, in all the above mentioned 
tarlhs and alkalis ; so that now all those supposed elementsap- 
j-ear as oxydes, (metallic combinnlions with oxygen) ; and in- 
deed tin-stone, magnet iron stone, and red iron stone, or blood- 
stone, according to their external character, are also oxydes, 
peculiar only in this, that, io their case, the oxygen gas incor- 
porntRS itself with its metallic bases in a way, in which the 
combination could not take place with any of the metals do- 
Bcribed in ch. 15. For among the metals proper, a consider- 
able difference is to be found in that some of Ihem, aa platinum, 
gold, silver, mercury, iridium, palladium, rhodium, take the 
oxygen gas, by combination with which they become oxydes, 
not only with great didiculty, but they give up again this asso- 

I'll Hianoa of nature. 

elation, when furccd to it by human art, and let Ihe osygor 
go, wlien they nro exposed to only a moderate heat, which, 
with most of them, does not need to bo a red heat, much less a 
melting ooe. Oo the other hand, nickel must be subjected to 
the heal of a porcelain furnace, in order to set its oxygen Bt 
liberty, and, in other cases, some other dainty must be oflered 
tolhis winged, airy guest, loioduce it !o forsake its combinalioD 
with the mclal. In many cases, carbon suffices for this pur- 
pose. When carbon is brought into contact with the red h 
metallic oiydes, the oxygen naturally manifests a greater affi- 
nity for the combustible carbon Ihan for the mere oxydisable 
metal. In Ihe case of the oxydes, however, the oxydeof Tan- 
talum, for instance, il is not enough to bring the red hot metal- 
lic osyde into contact with pulverised coal ; a still greater 
gree of chemical polarisation is required to overcome the affi- 
nity of the oxygen for the metal. 

But Tantalum and Titanium, approach also the metallic bases 
of the earths in that they are much lighter than iho other metals 
strictly so called. And in a still higher measure la this the 
case with the metals of the earths and the alkalis, 

A few years ago it would have been an occasion of ridjculs 
had any one ventured to conjecture that there are several 
metals which are lighter than water, and can float on it hke 
wood. The idea of a metal thus light was ao entirely contradic- 
tory to the early and established notions which men entertained 
of metals, that one would liave been disposed beforehand to 
deny a metallic nature to the light bases of the earlhs sad 
alkalis. But it could not be questioned, when one considered 
Calcium or Ibtassuim; or any other body of (his kind. T 
silver or tin-white color, which some of them possess, the n 
taUic brightness which they all have in a greater or less degree, 
the property which belongs lo them of combining (amalgama- 
ting) with Quicksilver, or with a metal of their own family and 


ma whh auiitnooy, tin, bismuth and lead, their fusibilily, and, 
I some, ihoir malleability testifies loo plainly to Ihcir metallic 

It may be aoid that hardly any otiicr department of natural 
slence oilers to the nalurnl desire of penetrating to the founda- 
m of ihiogs, such nutriment as Chemistry. A youthful curi- 
lily, fresh and earnest, like that of Duval's, must pause over 
ered world of the 
srest with which the 
n their glass retorts, 
jubjecled lo the fire. 
What pleasure to 

Tlhs and alkalis with the si 
[<1 Alchemists mixed their compositions ii 
nd watched the substances which the; 
e play of their colors, and their motions. 
illow the threads of analogy which lead from this domain of 
sture into others. We lay a ball of silver while, shining Po- 
lasium upon lite surface of a mass of mercury, lo which wo 
»ve previously imparted a slight moisture by breathing on it, 
ad immediately the ball begins a rotatory motion, and describes 
path on (he quicksilver, the surface of which is immediately 
irified of the moisture, and becomes covered with another fine 
tsing, which consists of a combination of the potash and wa- 
r, drawn in the first place from the mercury and then from 
pe air. The ball of Potassium, which, in its motion, has be- 
wne an oxyde (Potash), and its watery combination (a hy- 
!tite,) describes, as the casing sticks to it, a circle growing 
ps and less, and at the moment at which the ball entirely dia- 
ipears, the quicksilver is covered wholly with a thin laj'er of 
atassa. When a metal ball of the same kind is laid upon 
!!«•, it instantly begins to move quickly, developing great 
M with a reddish flame, on the extinction of which a little 
Bar pearly ball remains, which, however, appears but for an 
Btanl and then cjcplodes with a cracking noise. The Potas- 
■m has thus, by being burnt with the o.xygen gas of the 
Uer, boen changed into an oxydo (Polassa,) and the he^jj 


the same time readies so high a degree Ihal even [be hydrogen 
(of which hereafter) ihal escnpes ia inflamed. By similar plic- 
nomeoa ia ihcosydaiion of several of Ihe mdala accompanied, 
and we meet here for Ihe first time llie agCDcy of those n 
powers, which, njlhoiigh varying according to their e 
nevertheless, produce by one and ihc si 
the celestial bodies round ihcir ascs and in their orbits. 
There is nnnlher metallic body which appears to us s 
enigmatical than the nature and properties of the alkalis and 
alkaline earths, viz: the base of the volatile ulkal 
this account called ammonium. So far aa experim 
bilherlo gone, we hold that ihe metals are simple substances or 
elemenla incapable of further decomposition, Horc, in 
nium, we find a metal capable of a polarisation, a clecomposilioa 
into two opposite substances, nitrogen and hydrogen. What 
new views and changes may await us in regard to Ihe elemenla 
and (he peculiar condition of their exislcnce and of their per- 
sistence, science at its present stage can form no conjecture. 

The metallic bases of the alkalis and earths diSer also from 
the metals proper in that they cannot i 
mixed with anolhcr, if water or air comes in contact with then), 
but they must in ibis case immediately combine with the oxygen 
gas and become oxydised. Herein they are akin to water, 
that important element, which everywhere enters, as medialot 
and participator into the processes of organic life, as well oa 
into the polaric agencies of the unorganised material world. 
For that basis of water also, which corresponds to Ihe metal of 
the osyde. Hydrogen gas, cannot bo kept in its purity in 
esIerioF world, but speedily becomes water again in compoa- 
tion with oxyget 

Water on the one hand, and the mountainous ranges with 

which ibo whole habitable land is connected on Ihe other, con- 

, Btitute the surface of our earth. But that which gives to Ihe 



earlh its chief solidity, and to the sea its peculiar consis- 
, are the oxydes of (he mcItiUic earths and alkaline metnls, 
other words, the earths nnd olkolis themselves. Alumina 
jasis of clay) is a chief ingredient of the primitive high 
Jntn ridges; an immense portion of the mountain ranges, 
! hills as well as of the plains, consists of lime ; the mineral 
i or soda, as a main ingredient of common salt, fills the 
I as well as (he salt lakes and solt heds of certain coud- 
Even in the kingdom of organised nature, in vegetable 
inimal bodies, lime and the alkalis are found; the former 
i itself into bones, while of the alkalis, soda, in the form of 
non salt, is mingled whh ihe secretions of the body; in- 
of soda or the mineral alkali appears in most plants the 
able alkali (potash). 

I an extraordinarily strong attraction for Oxygen shows it- 
in the metals of this order, the same attraction is found 
le oxydes, arising from their combinalinn whh oxygen. 
iQ fact in an increased degree, inasmuch as it no longer 
a sufficient supply in the finer, aerial osygen gaa, but 
I to the denser acids. The oxyde of calcium is the caus- 
■r BO called, undaclced lime, the oxydes of kalium and na- 
1 are the caustic alkalis. The burnt or unalacked lime 
els not only the water with such violence that great heal is 
rated iherchy, but also ihecarbonic acid, or, with yet greater 
rness, the sulphuric, phosphoric and fluoric acids; very 
lently it is found united also with silicic acid (ch. 21). The 
le of natrium, the caustic mineral alkali, as it occurs in 
-naterial world, has found opportunhy to combine with a 
:ancB of interesting properties of which we shall speak 
he next chapter, chlorine, or what was earlier called 
iatic acid. Without the result of this combination, with- 
»mmon sail, it would go ill with the economy of indi- 
lls and of whole nations. 



The oxydea of Uie alkalis and of the four alkaline 
Lime, Baryles, Sironlia and Magnesia, have before iheir com-' 
binalion with wtitcr and llic difTbrent acids, a destructive (caus- 
lic) effocl upon organised bodies, wliich, especially in the case 
of the oxyde of Baryles, is so powerful ihal Loth in relation lo 
men and animals, it may be ranked among deadly poisons. 
The oxydea of the other above named earths exist, without any 
further combination with acids and water, as eelf subsistent 
bodies, and show no caustic qualify. 

Even Blill, in their concealed and disguised condition, ihe 
metals of the alkalis and the alkaline earths act with great force 
in the relations of the earth and its living beings. Yet more 
powerful must their agency have been, when ihey first appeared 
pure in their decided metallic polarity. What an intense heat 
miist have been generated in the combination of the immense 
quaotities of calcium with oxygen, what motions must have 
been produced by this process in cerlain parts as well as in ihe 
collective mass of the surface of ihe planet I There may yet 
be now in the depths of the solid earth, here and there, single 
masses of metallic earths, which, by the fixed and firm nalureof 
the matter around Ihem, have been locked up against the water 
and the air, and which now, when in any way, water is let in lo 
them, produce quakings of the earth, and, where it ia possible, 
many of those fiery outbreaks from the upper rind 
planet, which wc call volcanoa. 


In my travels and during my short I'esidence in Egypt, I 
often looked with great pity upon the lilllo children of Ihe Fil- 
lafts or peasants of that country, who live in a condition of 
great want and wretchedness. These poor little creatures sit 
quite naked, or wrapt in a few rags before their clay hovels, oDd I 



r faces as well aa their bodies are so covered with dirl that 
it is impossible lo distinguish the color of iheir complexions. 
The dust and dirt adhere so ihickiy to the lids and corners of 
ihelr eyes, that they appear lo be in danger of losing their 
sight. Their eyes look so red and inflamed, and must be so 
painful thai the lesser annoyance caused by the multitudes of 
(lies seems not lo be regarded, for ihey seldom make any at- 
tempt lo drive (ho insects away. They slaro eagerly, half- 
Ijiinded as they are, at the slmnger, with Ihe hope that he may 
^toss them a bit of bread. A benevolent European lady took in 
■rge several of ihcso unfortunale children, had them wasbed 
i clothed, taking special care to clenuse their eyes, and when 
■o fairly freed from Iheir misery and fiilh, they became 
id pretty and lively that in a few weeks they could hardly be 

s in which 

3 water, to cleanse (heir children and the rt 
Kj are clad, those Egyptian Fellahs stand in n 
id. They have the Nile and ils canals, or, a part of iho 
■r through, quantities of water Icf\ in the vicinity of tha 
■ nfler ils overflow, in ihe hollows of Ihe land. Bat the 
tvjr burthens which oppress the people, the labor to which they 
[ farced, harder even than thai under which ihe Israelites 
merly groaned on (he same spot, makes them insensible lo 
Brylhing but their animal wants and bodily fatigue; they 
ink only of satisfying their hunger, and take no further care 
[ their bodies. 

fcn Ihe Bedouins, who guided 

I and then to Acaba, as well { 

[DUgh the deserts of Arabia, rubbed (hemsolvos otf, during 

h journey, chiefly whh sand, instead of washing wilh water; 

fe they had good reason iherofor; the water which ihoir camels 

H'icd in leathern hollies was hardly sufficient lo satisfy iheir 

And when those people, upon whom no hard j 


IS IhroDgh the desert t 
i those who conducted i: 


pniBBed as upon (he Egyptian Fellahs, but wh 
breathed freely iti their deserts, found opportuiiily to cleanse 
themselves with water, ihey gladly availed themselves of it. 
When one met people of this description, it could be ascertain, 
cd by their cleanliness, whether they belonged lo a free and 
prosperous tribe, or lo a less favored race. 

BBgacious and justly celebrated man of science, J.Liebig, 
in his Chemical Letters expresses the opinion that (he greater 
c of soap affords a standard whereby to ascertain the 
condition and culture of States; for tho use of this mes 
purification " depends not on fashion, not on a whim c 
palate, but on the feeling of the beautiful, of well-being, and of 
the comfort springing from cleanliness," A country, in which, 
with the same number of inhabilnnla, n greater quantity of 
soap is used, confirms us in the conclusion, that the c 
dition of its population is externally more prosperous and 
civilized than that of another, where less soap is used. And 
DUt only as to external culture, but also, in reference t 
well-being of the inner man, external cleanliness enables us to 
draw conclusions. S, divine of the last century once affirmed 
that an uncleanly man is no Christian, and that a good Chris- 
tian cannot endure any dirt upon his outer man. And ii 
that Ihe human body is destined to become and lo he a temple 
of God is urged upon us not as an exlernal, arbitrary law — 
is written deeply, in the living necessities of our being. There 
are poor huts in which the greatest cleanliness reigns, because 
there dwells also in the hearts of their inmates a spirit of purity 
and order, and there are well built houses, whose interior con- 
dition testifies lo the reverse. 

To the cleansing of our clolhcs, our chamber-floorsj and espe- 
cially of our bodies, soap afibrds the most effectual i 
It consists in the combination of a caustic alkali with an oily 
or fatly substance, but ihe caustic, dissolving, property is b 


e that it is cnpablo of readily removing any superficial 
iinpurily. Not only to us, but lo the nations of the remotest 
antiquity, the use of soap, as supplying an acfual necessity, 
was koowD. VVe find it mentioned in the Old Teslameni, 
(Jcrem. ii. 22, Malachi iii. 2.) In the time of the Roman na- 
turalist, Flinij, it was understood that the ancient Gauls among 
all llio nations of the wssl were the first acquainted with the 
preparation and use of soap, (Plin. H. n. xxviii. 12, 2.) And 
even our German people appear to have been famous, accord- 
ing to the same author, for furnishing tlie nations of Italy with 
soap. The descendants, or at least so far as their places of 
abode are concerned, the successors of both the above named 
nations, the French, and among iho German branches, the 
cleanly Netberlandera and the inhabilanls of the countries bor- 
dering on ihc North Sea, are still distinguished in the same way. 

Q universal use of soap they are in advance of all the na- 

of Europe. 

Not only to the higher ranks, but also to the middle classes, 
among nil civilized nations, the use of soap has become indis- 
pensable. When formerly the heavy faxes imposed on soap- 
boilers, rendered it difficult for the poorer sort of people to 
Bbia ordinary soap, the country people in England invented 
HMibslitute from the ashes of the fern, the potash of which 
^py mixed with animal fat, and so produced a good article for 

Hpur soap-boilers Etill use the vegetable alkali (potash) for the 
^■paration of soap as it was formerly used by the English 
^BBonls. It is obtained by washing out the lye of various 
Hnta and then the lye evaporates, until at last a blueish or 
^n>ish white sediment remains, which is known under the name 
^botashes. Out of very many dilferenl kinds of plants, trees, 
H shrabs, from the ashes of our fuel-wood, and also from our 
Hte-wood and straw, this article may be prepared, and in those 



coiinlrioa in which there slill esist extensive ToresU, where 
superabundant wood must decay unused, great quaitlilies of 
wood are burn! merely to obtain [Kilashes, Id such a way an 
immense quanlily oC potashes was formerly and is slill pro- 
duced in North America, From New York alone lens of thou- 
sands of barrels have been exporled to Europe yearly. The 
wooded districts of the Russian Empire and of Norway, like- 
wise produce great quantities of potashes, and even in Ger- 
many and elsewhere, this article is prepared in no inconsidera- 
ble measure from the ashes of the household hearth and from 
the large fire-places of manufactories. But polashes are not a 
pure vegetable alkali ; they contain of litis at the highest only 
sixty to sixty-three per cent., indeed less than half of their 
weight, for besides the water and carbonic acid which are com-, 
bined in Ihcm, they contain earthy parts, especially silica and 
sulphuric acid. Besides, the soap which is prepared directly 
from the lyo of wood ashes (vegetable alkali) is much inferiof 
in solidity and usefulness to that which is obtained from a 
mineral alkali (soda) ; on which account, lo the mixture of 
wood ashes, lye and fat, when they arc being boiled down lo 
make soap, in order to give it more consistency, common salt is 
added, the mineral alkali or soda of which unites in part with 
the fat, while its muriatic acid combines with the vegetable 
alkali of the lye. 

This trouble might be spared, and a much belter soap ol>- 
tained into l!io bargain, if a solutioo of soda, instead of tlio Ija 
of wood-ashes, were used. This strongly caustic alkali exists, 
as we have said, in immense quantities, for with the murialia 
acid there is formed common salt and the sea-salt, which nukst 
the ocean saline. An ounce and more of cooking salt may ba 
obtained by evaporation from water from the ocean, if no large 
rivers empty themselves into the ocean in the neighborhood 
and where the climate permits, the heat of the sun is sufficient 

bLBANLmBS^. 153 

t produce Ibc reqiiisile evaporation in Ihe shallow inlets or 
Brlificial hollows inlo which ihc sea waler flows. And not only 
the sea, even the land, in some mountainous regions, contains 
immense masses of common salt, which is obtained just as 
H^p, partly by washing out the clay, and sea-slimc com- 
^pd with it. 

VSut all this abundance of soda in common salt is in itself 
useful Deither to the soap-boilers nor the glass makers, if it is 
united with chlorine, and must first be separated wilb much 
labor from this combination. Soela, or iho impure mineral 
alkali, is more readily obtained in easier ways. The same 
substance, in some countries, especially in Egypt, in the natron 
lakes of that land, and in Hungary between Debrezin and 
Grosswardein and in other salt lakes, is found as carbonate of 
Boda, which is tolerably easily cleansed of the sulphate of soda 
and common salt mixed with it, and is freed by heat from its 
carbonic acid as well as the carlwnale of lime and potash. But 
even a portion of the vegetable kingdom produces from ils 
ashes the mineral alkali or soda ; of this character are some 
families of the plants that grow on the sea coast or in soils in 
lbs interior, abounding in suit, especially the different speoiee of 
I eprig, and salt corn or grain plants, and many sea weeds 
I sea grosses. On the Spanish const such a quantity of 
i is obtained by burning these plants, (Barilla,) and extract- 
Kthcir lye, that mony ship loads are c.\potled yearly lo Hol- 
Soda is obtained in etjual abundance in Sicily, and 
cially in the little island of Uslica. In Astrnchan and 
i OD the coasts of Norway sca-wecd is used for Ihe same 

mind of man, with ils invenlivo faculties, was not, how- 

, to be salisfied wilh half ways. What nature aocom- 

s in the living bodies of plants, namely, the separation of 

I salt from ils union wilh chlorine, man's art was 

' 154 


destined lo achieve 

try people in Engl; 
the Fern, wliicb sen 
the [fading people 
la, which indeed 

o. Ab necessity formerly led the coun- 
to discover b substance in the rciols of 
for the preparation of soap, so liliewisc 
France found out a method of obtainiag 
9 not unknown, but had previously been 
neglected. France, the country of the greatest soap manufac- 
ture, had yearly lolieii, especially from Spain, twenty lo thirty 
millions of francs' worth of soda, although the price per cwt. 
did not amount to more than twenty-four or thirty fiancs, Bui 
when, during the war, which Nopoleon waged wilh England, 
the importation of this article was cut of!', many soap and glass 
makers had lo suspend their business, and the price of soep 
and glass rose immensely. But although the free commerce of 
the ocean was interrupted, the ocean itself remained to an in. 
venlive people. It had long been known that soda caa be ob- 
tained from common salt by expelling l!ic chlorine of the same 
by a strong acid. When one hundred pounds of common salt 
are mixed with about eighty pounds of concent rated sulphuric 
acid, the chlorine escapes in the form of vapor, and sulphate 
of soda, or Glauber sails remains. This new combination of 
soda with sulphuric acid is dissolved by mixing potashes, or 
still better, chalk with the Glauber sails, and exposing the mix- 
ture lo heal in a reverberalory furnace until it begins to grow 
soft, when it is drawn out in iron or stone plates and broken 
into pieces. Instead of chalk, four-fifths chalk and two-fillbs 
carbon may be added to the Glauber salts. The carbonic.acid, 
which existed in the cholk combined with the lime, or in the 
other process, was formed by the oxygen, which it drew ftoni 
the sulphuric acid, unites, in this process, with the soda, while 
the iinw, from which the carbon has likewise withdrawn its 
oxygen, and which is liereby restored to a metallic stale, be- 
comes sulphuret of calcium which is with difficulty dissolved 
Thus {t method visa at once found, instead of 



Staining the soda from abroad, of gelling it in the country 
lie, and while, during ihe interrupljon of commerce the price 
soda had risen to one hundred and sisly francs per kUogram, 
wnk immediately to eighty franca Tor pure carbonalo of soda, 

later period even to twenty francaj- 
The manufacturers of aoda found the clilorine gas produced 
the preparation of natron or sodi\ very troublesome, and 
ly do so slili. Only very recently has its value been disco- 
Wherever ibis gas escapes from the furnaces and 
ironeys of (he above mentioned manufacturers, it spreads 
ilalion in the vegetable world, causing every leaf, every 
ido of grass to wither. Even to animals and men it is in- 
js, yet its lalal influence can be more readily averted from 
than from plants. The buildings used for the manufac- 
of soda from common salt and sulphuric acid are erected 
uninhabited spots ; and in southern France they are placed 
ing the mountain ravines of Septicme, from whose barren 
hardly a blade of grass springs. 
LfODg before Ihe suspension of trade, about 1791, the same 
imist, Le Blanc, who some years afterwards opened to all 
cheap method, above described, of obtaining soda, erected 
»da-factory at St. Bonis, and was aided with a considerable 
ii ID this useful undertaking by the Duke of Orleans, Many 
er countries besides France have now taken part in this use- 
business, and to mention here only those of Germany, there 
( soda- factories nt Schoenbeck near Magdeburg ; and even 
BO at Wolfrathshausen near Munich, are not inferior in iho 
oant they yield to the French. 

[a the preparation of soap, by boiling fat with a solution of 
^ the lye under the influence of licat combines with the 
ly acids, oleic, stearic, and margaric acids, forming oleates, 
id margarates of the alkali. For the polaric oppo- 
of the alkali of the lye is Ihe acid ; every substance with 



which an nlkali or nn alkaline earth Js to be chemically uniteil, 
must combine with tL io tho relation of an acid. In those a 
tries, where the olivc-lree flourishes and ripens its fruit, the oil 
has bcea used for ages, instead of animal fat, in the prepara- 
tion of sonp. Formerly, before Russia had closed its borders 
against foreign importation, England drew from that country 
hundreds of thousands of cwl. of tallow and flax-seed oil. 
Now lier ships bring her hundreds of thousands of cwt, of 
palm and cocoanul oil, end thus as good and even a finer 
material for soap is aflbrded than tho Russian tallow. 

Some plants produce a soapy substance, which, in its 
position and properties is very similar to our arliGcial soap. 
Especially ia this soapy substance found in tho sap of the rools 
as well as of the other parts of the common soap wc«d, {Sape- 
naria officinalis,) and of a Begonia, which is an article of 
trade under the name of Egyptian soap root, and tho slimy 
soopy sap of which is recommended for the washing of sheep 
before shearing. 


The eye is the light of the body, and if the eye ia not clesr 
and loses its brighlaess, then is the whole body dark. 
wondrous organ is the eye in its whole structure, and in all lis 
powers. Through the little round opening, (the pupil) which 
the iris, or rainbow membrane, surrounds like a blucish or 
brownish circle of rays, one can look into the inmost, farthest 
wall of the eye-chamber. That which glimmers toward ua 
out of this depth, with an almost silver white light, and which, 
in the eye of the cat, and of many other animals, sheds forth 
a faint light even at night, — that is a visible coming forth of 
the inmost life of our material nature, everywhere t 
cealed from us. It is the marrow of the seeing or optic nerve, ] 



Huch there spreads itself out with its delicate little lubes, hs 
texture of the nel-work membrane or retina. Nowhere 
but at this part of llie body, does a nerve, a difecl efflux 
he mass of the brain and spinal marrow, lie disclosed to 
sight. The brain and spinal marrow lie deeply eaclosed 
their bony vaults, and under the cover of the flesh and skin; 
d in all the other members, the tender threads of the nerves 
B concealed by the flesh of the muscles and the manifold 
tturea of the ekia. It is here, in Ihe eye, that the inner li^ht 
She body meets the outer light of the world, where the otil- 
Ird becomes recognisable to the inward, and the inward to 
f outward. 

When we consider the structure of the eye somewhat more 
•ely, we find that Ihe glimmer of light which is perceptible 
us, coming from the retina at the remotest back ground of 
i eye, and the ray of light, which, coming from whhout, 
b in upon the nervous marrow of llie rdlioa, and there 
Iducea vision, must pass, not only as in the clear water of 
' B lake, through a single transparent medium, but, as in Ibc 
case of the achromatic glasses, hereal\er to be mentioned, 
through several. For first (here is Ihe transparent, wntery- 
^kar horn -membrane, (^cornea,) whose arched window is inge- 
^Busly 6(ted into the opaque, while, hard membrane of the 
^n; behind this, between it and the circular iris, which is 
^Bui in the middle, is a watery fluid which flows out through 
^B open centre (the pupil) of the iris, and also behind this, 
^Hireen it and the crystalline lens, so that Ihe iris, spread out 
^Bttiis 6ne fluid, can regulate its motions unobstructed, e.'itend- 
^■1 or contracting itself, and thus, when Ihe light is too strong, 
^B diminish and close the entru nce-galo of the seeing opening, 
^^HKtpil, and when less light is present, can enlarge it. On 
^ft other side of this front chamber of the eye, and its watery 
^HM in which the iris floats, is the firmer crystalline lens; in 


the humnn eye, and in thai of the more perfect animals, Ihis 
\aa3 is a ball, flaltencd somewhat towards the back part; 
the eyo of the fish, when it has become white and hard by 
being cookeJ, it is almost eniirely round. This loo in a per- 
fect eye is transparent, as well as ihe lialf-flaid mass, 
so-called glass substance (or vitreous humor) which fills up 
the whole back-ground of the eye, and in which llie crystalline 
lens lies embedded, like ihc kernel of a nut in the cup of the 
half open shell. A ray of light, when it falls from without 
in upon the sensitive retina and there produces vision, must, 
besides the fine membrane, which, like a capsule, surrounds 
the crystalline lens and the membranous vitreous body, pats 
through four transparent media of various Ihickriess; 
cornea, Ihe watery (or aqueous) humor, the crystallino b 
and ihe vitreous substance. 

This is the way in which life everywhere goes to work. 
It is simply one indwelling soul, which forms and moves the 
body, and recognises and perceives the external world by 
means of the body; but !hia one soul generates and rashiona 
for itself in the substance of its corporeality a great variety of 
members, every one of which represents on a small scale the 
relation of the soul to its body, of the Creator to his creation; 
while the soul, in the realm of being appropriated to it, is 
everywhere the grouod-tonc, the key-nole, but He, the Creator, 
is all in all. 

What the eye is to the individual body of on animal or man, 
that ihe air is and the water, for all living beings ; in tnucb 
simpler ways il is true. When the air is thick and foggy, then 
a great part of the light of the sun and stars is lost to us. The 
cloud, which envelopes us at midday when high up on Iho rocky 
heights of the Alps, or on Ihe fields of perpetual winter, or on 
the glaciers, instantly renders it impossible for tis to proceed 
any further on the dangerous way ; and the smoke which 

THE EVE. 159 

■omelimcs rises at Ihe great eruptions or llie Icolnnd volcnnoa, 

and even Ilie coal ainolie from the ehimnoys of trint great 

European capital, London, malics it bo durk in valley, and 

plain and street, that people itnve to kindle lights at midday. 

Vhat would become oC us, and what would become of moat 

biimala and plants, if our planet were not surrounded by this 

kusparent atmosphere, which lets the rays of light nod heat 

n lo the lowest plains. What would become of the inhabi- 

ttnls of the ocean, if the sunlight did not descend lo them, or 

miy at least down into the great deep. 

It appears, it is true, very dark down in the depths. In (ho 

sombuation of bodies, (of which we will speok further on,) Ihe 

air tnny certainly become a sun on a small scale, a fountain 

of light and heal, but ordinarily iho water and the air resemble 

only an eye, which must first, by an external light, be prepared 

and strengthened for vision. Below, in the caverns of iho 

- earth, as Baker learned, when he, with his family, strayed into 

the gi"eol cave at Levinglon, no ray of sunlight penetrates, 

f;»llhough Ihe alroam of air which filled the place was warmed 

^Ptf one end by the daylight. Tho greater portion of the rock 

lh(f which tlie outer rind of our pinnct is formed, and the earthy 

^Hpil which covers the mountains, is, to the light, at least to ihe 

^H^t perceptible to our eyes, wholly impenetrable. For the 

B^n: transparent or translucent stones and salts therein. He for Ihe 

most part concealed in such dark masses, that no ray of light 

can reach them. The great Eye of the Earth, Ihe atmosphere, 

leather with Ihe water, possesses the power of receiving and 

ieing the sunlight, chiefly for the benefit of living beings, 

nring the service of that power everywhere where ihere are 

[ *beioga wlio arc in need of light. 

But within the opaque walls of our houses there are living 
beiDgs who need the light of day, and who find joy 

1 *beioea 


no. 1 

160 Minaoa of natore. 

shine — we and our children. Wo have built ourselves these 
houses, that they may proteet us from heat, rain, wind and 
frost. If here and there, besides ihe door, we make opening 

lor the day light, then with the lig 
wind, rain and frost, and like the 
when they prepare ihcmsclves for tlicir wii 
compelled lo close all these openings and rei 
Wo must think of giving to the dark rooms 
eyes, which shall receive and diffuse the light 

i the heat or the 
or the dormouse. 
Iter rest, we are 
TIB in in darkness. 
of our dwellings 
within, A body, 
Lghl, but impenetrable to the air and the wet, 
and in some degree lo the heat, is best fitted to servo our room 
and chambers in the place of eyes. 

AnimnI born, split into Ihiti leaves, allows the day light to 
shine through ; but Ihe liglit shining through horn is only a 
weak twilight, and the horn is so much affected by the light 
nod the weather, that it loses its iranslucency. Nevertheless, 
in old times there were horn windows in the hula in which men 
lived, as well as lanterns of horn. The inhabitants of Siberia 
have an easier way of providing iheir dwellings with eyes. In 
some mountains of that region there aro large masses of a kind 
of stone, called Mica, which is easily split into plates and thin 
leaves, and which, especiaily when it is of a light color, is 
translucent in a pretty high degree. But out of Siberia, there 
are very few places in which mica can be found of a sufficient 
size to admit of plates being cut from it several inches square ; 
if we had no other substances to give light to our dwellings, 
ninety-nine houses out of a hundred would have to remain 
without eyes. The evil would be yet greater, if, instead of 
mica and horn, we had to depend upon the translucent shell of 
the windotrpa7ie muscle, {Placutia placenta^) which is found 
particularly in the Chinese sea. This material is so rare that 
scarcely the thousandth, or rather the hundred thousandth part 
of human dwellings could be furnished with eyes. 

■ GLASS. 161 

The Phenicinna, it is said, first succeeded in discovering a 
way of meeting this urgent and universal want. The inven- 

. tion was so nearly made by the Egyptians, that they may 
have known and, although only partially, practised, the art of 
making glass, even before the Phenicians. For the specimens 
of glass, found with their mummies, which have been buried 
Ihree, and perhaps four thousand years, show that the Egyptians 
were originally masters of that art. It required only the fine 

^ Bond of the valley of the Nile together with the mineral alkoli 
or soda, which exists in their lakes, and which, in many places 
on ihe northern coasts of Africa, as at Tripoli, can be scraped 
from the rocks (the Trona-Soda,) to be subjected to a strong 
licat, and a combination is formed in which Ihe silica takes in 
opposition to the alkali the place of Ihe acid ; this combination 
was and is Glass. And not merely soda, but vegetable alkalis 
also, such as potash, and even common wood ashes mixed wiih 
silica, and subjected to vitrltication in fire, give a more or 
less traosparcnt glass. For in the mass, from which our dark 
colored bottles, arc here and there made, there is no pure alkali, 
but it consists chiefiy (apart from the common salt or lime 
uuxed sometimes with the fluid at pleasure) of one hundred and 
sisiy parts of wood ashes, one hundred parts of quarz-saud, 
and fifty parts of basalt. When in these combinations of silica 
■nd the alkali, the latter predominates, when, for instance, five 
parts of Ihe caustic alkali are united with one part of silica, 
there arises the silicious fiuid, which is easily mixed with water, 
(soluble glass.) In the preparation of pure glass, when pure 
alkali is used, si,^ parts of silica and one part of the alkali are 
employed. To the fusion which gives us the so-called mirror- 
glnes, is generally added saltpetre, and a small quantity of 
manganese ore, and in the manufacture of Hint glass, even a 
slight addition of white arsenic and a large portion of red oxyde 



of lead, ia order to render the mnss colorless and clear, ara 
found advantageous. 

Before all other subsianccs, besides the silica, which ia every 
where found in great abundance, it is Potashes, and ospectally 
soda, which renders it possible fur human art to introduce light 
intolLedarknesaofourdwelliQg3,and whichis tobeusedfortho 
universal and daily want of windowpanes. This application of 
the old invention, the Romans understood and practised, aa has 
been discovered through the single windowpanes found in the 
houses of the cily of Pompeii, which, in the year A. D. 79, 
was buried at an eruption of Vesuvius under a shower of ashes. 
Glass, formed inlo square plates, the lighter ihe better, allows 
Iho light lo pass through it, but presents a screen against the 
heal, of n stove for instance, in like manner with opaque bodies 
that are not melailic. On this account glass possesses all those 
cjtialilies which a medium ought (o have, which is calculated lo 
guard against ihe weather and lo communicate light. 

In its use for windows, whereby Ihe largest portion of human 
dwellings were rendered truly habitable, the invention of glass 
brought a great advantage to the nations of the earth. This 
use of it was in its consequences vastly more important, Ihnn 
'be oiher uses made of the art, such as the making of colored 
glass in imitation of precious stones, or the manufacture of 
vai-jous kinds of vessels which are recommended by the oase 
, with which ihcy f^f" bo kept clean, as well as Iherr transpa- 
rency and form. ^'^^ another use of the art of glnss-making 
*as reserved to ^ ''"'^'^ "S^' "^'"='1 "ot only gave lo our dwel- 
''"ea Ihorr ligj,t b"t to man himself new and higher powers of 
vision, ' 

The f5rg[ ^ -^ this domain of invention was that by which 
I ^n Jearnei] tv -^ f' ''''='"• means lo restore to old ago the power 


negro king to be almost a hundred fold greater than it actually 
was. Nevcrtbeless, ihia prince, so opulent in gotd-dusi anil 
ivory, hesitated not a mometit to pay the price. Perhaps he 
espectud that wiih the artifit:iol resloralioQ of the noblest organ, 
the vigor of youth might bo restored also to his whole body. 
Of all the ship's company, the sailor boy had made the most 
profitable business, when he returned, according to bis rank 
quite a rich man, to the bouse of his father, the old speclocles- 

More intelligible still than the joy of the old negro prince at 
such a renovation of his eyesight was the rapture of the 616 
brahmin when the excellent spectacles, which an Englishman 
had presented to him, at once enabled him to read the sacred 
books of hia Law, which he had not been able to do for many 
years. It is precisely in ihia business of reading that the old 
perceive most painfully the loss of sight for near objects, their 
power of seeing at a distance remaining the same, and when 
ihB aged man, who is unable to distinguish any writing wilh 
his naked eye, puts on his spectacles, he can read at once. 
However, one must not carry his espectaliona of the specta- 
cles-maker's art quite so far as that peasant who went to a Fair 
to purchase what was needed lU home. He stood at the stall 
of a dealer in spectacie-a, and saw how several people made 
their purchases. A book, with fine print was handed to them, 
they put on one pair or another of spectacles and then looked 
attentively on the book. "Can you read well with ihosel" 
the dealer asked, and when they answered in the affirmative, 
the bargain was soon struck. The peasant then conceived a 
desire to purchase a pair. Ho approached the counter, took 
the book, put on a pair of spectacles and looked inla the book, 
but put off one pair afier another wilh a shake of his head. 
The trader, wishing to assist him in his choice, oflered him 
various pairs, which he thought would suit : the remark of [be 


isant remained always the same : " I cannot read wilh 
m." At last a person, who had come to huy, said fo the 
:saiil, "Friend! tell mo pray, do you know bow lo read!" 
'Tod fool!" replied the peasant, "if I could read, I would not 
buying specfaclea." 

FamiHar as we are with spectacles, they were not invented 
bnediately upon the ioventian of transparent glass. A writer 
old Rome, Seneca, has indeed remarlted that through a 
BSS-balJ, filled wilh water the letters of a book were seen in 
magnified form ; and an Arabian writer of the eleventh 
otury, named Alhazen, states, that by means of a glass 
ill, all kinds of small objects may be seen enlarged. There 
Ib a long interval, however, between the knowledge of this 
el, and the represenlation of such flattened, round (convex) 
Ound glasses, as render the same service in n much belter 
Id more convenient way. The use of such glasses, raised on 
kh sides, for eye-glasses or spectacles, was taught to modern 
itions by the Italians. The first inventor of spectacles was 
Bobleman of Tuscany, named in the inscription on his grave- 
)no in the Church of Maria Maggioro at Florence: Salvino 
^i Armati, He died in 1317. According to others, to the 
toinican monk, Akxander de Spina, who died in 1313, he- 
1^ a part of the glory of the invention, or at least of its 
jre common application. For when Spina had seen and 
piired a pair of spectacles and had in vain inquired of the 
lOt in whose possession they were, how they were made, he 
look himself to work, and without further delay, fell upon 
» plan of giving a convex surface to a round disk of glass 
''placing il in a saucor-liko concave cup, and by rubbing or 
Ending it down for a long lime with a fine powder of rotten 
Be or emery. Two glasses of this description, were at first 
lead in a frame, at a distance from each other corresponding 
the distance between the eyes, and fastened to a cap whj 


was drawn over ihe brows when the spectacles were lo be used, 
and alierwards pushed back. Soon the bows or arms of the 
speciaoles were added, made or liorn, and Ihe spectacles were 
bent in front so as lo rest upon Ilie nose. It wilt liere be 
place lo speak of the contrivance and effect of magnifying 
glasses and of the reason of Iheir effect in general. 

Besides the properly of magnifying objects, we all know Ihat 
(bean or) lens-shaped glasses have another properly, by virlui! 
of which they serve as burning-glasses to set on fire combusti- 
ble bodies : the properly of directing all the rays of the sua, 
which fall upon the dilTerent parts of the glass lens, to one point, 
the burning point, (or focus.) The greater the surface of a 
burning-glass, and (he nearer, by virtue of the convexity of ils 
surface, the focus lies lo the glass, so much the greater is ila 
power. This can yet be seen in the large burning-glasaes 
which Tichirtiliattsefi, a German nobleman of Upper Lusatiai 
caused to be made by means of a mill made for the purpose. 
Two of these gigantic glasses, made about the year 1696, and 
weighing more than a hundred weight, are yet in Paris, Ibeif 
diamelcr is Ihirly-three inches ; the focal distance of one is 
seven feet, of the other twelve feel. Wood thoroughly wetia 
set on fire, and even pine-wood lying in water is instantly 
charred, metals melt, water boils, when placed in the focos 
such a glass. Tschirnhausen was at a great expense in tha 
preparation of these burning-glasses, which however render iw 
particular service to science ; he would have done vastly mote 
good by glasses of a cheaper kind. When for instance tvw 
concave glasses (somewhat similar to large walch-crystala) a» 
joined together at their rims and the space between them 'li 
filled with turpentine, we have an instrument, in whose foctu 
the effect of the sun's rays here concentrated is immenEety in- 
creased above thai of a glass lens. Two French men of scieaMi 
Brisson and Lavoiiitr, prepared such a burni 



could be fused. Copper t 
hauseu's tens look three 
in hnlf a minute, iron ii 
see sODjetbiog of the sam 

■ 1774, Glled with turpentine oil, which was four feet in 
diameter aad eight inches thick in the middle. Connected with 
a common glass lens, wliich was placed between this great in- 
strument and its focus, and which collected the sun's rays that 
passed through the same to a nearer and smaller focus, this 
nmon power thai ihe hardest metals 
ins, which in the focus of Tachirn- 
ninutes to become fluid, melted here 
d on a coal almost instantly. We 
kind on a small scale when the sun 
shines through a round bottle filled with water, and the focus 
falls OQ a combustible body ; conflagrations have been occa- 
sioned in this way. 

The aocienl G reeks, who were very well acquainted with the 
properly of sei^ng inflammable substances on fire, possessed by 
crystal balls, such as are found in many rivers {as the so-called 
Rhineflints in the Rhine,) wondered at the relation between the 
crystal and Ihe fire which it occasioned ; the crystal remain- 
ing cold, while it set other bodies out of itself ia a flame. 
The reason of this lies tolerably near at band, and becomes 
e*-i(Jent when we consider a so-called concave mirror. If the 
form of a shallow broad basin is given for instance to a mirror 
of metal or glass, and the same is placed with its centre in a 
Biraight line with the sun, ail the rays of the sun are reflected 
buck in a direction, the reverse of that which water poured into 
a tunnel lakes, towards a common point which lies in a straight 
line with the centre of the mirror. Every single point of the 
Ivirning mirror is Ihus heated no more by the ray which strikes 
;i Jian any other piece of metal or looking-glass, but the power 
.-r the light, reflected by them all to a common point, is so 
great that the hardest metals may be fused, and the diamond 


In the case of the transparent glass, however, to which the 
ibriDGofmagDiryingand burning glasses are given, there cc 
before all things, to the aid of human art, an essential universal 
property of iransparent bodies, (he reacting power of the 

Every child may Temark that when a stick b partly inserted 
into Ihe clear water of a lake or river in a slanting direction, 
and when it is looked at side-waya, it appears as if it were 
broken at the surface of llie water, as if it consisted of t 
sticks, oae of which extends straight to the water, and Ilie 
other, somewhat sideways from the former, begins at the surface 
of the water, and takes a direction not in a straight line with 
the part above Ihe water. When one Inys any heavy, shining 
body in the bottom of a vessel, and lakes a position at sach a 
distance from the vessel that the body, deposited in it, is hidden 
by the rim of the vessel and cannot be seen, then if the vessel 
is filled with water, the shining body will again become v; 
ble, as if it had moved from the place where it lay towards 
Ihe Side of the vessel farthest from the eye, and yet this is 
only apparent, it remains unmoved in its place. An illusion 
similar lo this was esperiencod by the Dutch voyager, Jierms, 
and his companions in suffering, when, surviving the fei 
hardships of a long polar winter night, ihey saw morning dawn 
again. The sun appeared over the ice and snow fields of the 
horizon nineteen days earlier than it was expected by exact 
calculation; but this visibility of the sun's disk, which was 
stil! actually below the horizon, was occasioned by the retract- 
ing power of the thicker strata of the atmosphere. 

When one takes a slick, as mentioned above, and plao 
standing upright iti the water, and then looks down in a straight 
line from the upper end to the lower, no breaking of the lio' 
apparent. The slick continues to our eye under the water in 


the same direction, wliich it hna nbove in (he air. When now 
a ray of light, proceeding from a luminoua or illuminated body, 
passes in an oblique direction under a greater or less angle from 
one transparent medium into another, it wil! to our eyes appear, 
if the second medium is denser than the Grst, to be broken in 
a direction which lies towards the line perpendicular to the sur- 
face of the second medium at the point where the ray passes ; 
as it is with the example which we have mentioned, where a 
shining body, lying at the side of a vessel, afler water is 
poured in, is at once seen nearer to Ihe centre of the vessel. 
The reverse takes place, when we employ a vessel, the upper 
half of which is filled with water, while the lower part, sepa- 
rated from the upper by a transparent partition, contains air, 
A shining body, lying in the lower part, will appear to us, 
when we stand at a proper distance from (he imaginary perpen- 
dicular line drawn from above downwards through the centre 
of the veasei, to be at a greater distance from that line, and 
moved toward the side of the vessel nearest to us. 

When the ray of a body illuminated by the sun, falls from 
vacuum in an air-pump into the common air of our room, 
iflers a refraction of the last mentioned kind; on the con- 
mry, if it passes from water into a solid transparent body, it 
-iillers the opposite refraction. The density of bodies is not 
:lie only circumstance which causes the higher or lower degree 
of the refracting power of the light; the quality of the trans- 
parent substance exerts an essential influence. Combustible 
bodies, which on being ignited become a source of light, 
cxcTciae upon the light, which passes through them, the 
Mnmgest influence. When the great Jsaeu: Neivton inferred, 
from ihe strong refraclion of the light in the transparent 
diamond, that this stone of stones, this hardest body of tlie 
torlh, is ofa combustible nature like oil and wax, ond published 
his conjecture of Ihe combust ibi lily of the diamond in his 



Optics, many of his scientific cotemporaries may have laughed 
at the idea; aaJ yel, his supposition was shortly aflcrwards 
confirmed, when Kosmus 1I[,, at Florence, in the year, 1 
conaumed for tSie first lime a diamond in the focus of o 
Tschirnhauseii's large burning glasses. As among all solid 
bodies, the diamond, phosphorus, sulphur, and Iho combiaaliona 
of carbonic acid, and of sulphur with some of the metals when 
they attain to transparency, manifest the strongest refracting 
power, so, among the fJuidg, the easily inflammable essential 
oils, and spirits of wine, and among the gaseous bodies, hy- 
drc^n gas or inflammable air, possess the same property. 

The same thing, which occurs, in the appearance of a slick 
when held in on oblique direction in water, takes place 
case of every ray of light, which posses from the air 
denser transparent body, whose surface is, not flat, but a 
glass ball or lens of glass, bent and rounded. The rays of 
light fall towards the thinner rim of such a lens, i 
more obliquely upon the surface, and, according to the law 
which regulates the passage of light from a rarer, transparent 
medium into a denser, become broken or bent, towards the line 
passing through the centre or axis of Ihe lens. When 
through such a lens, not merely do the unchanged, straight 
rays, which an illuminated body sends through the middle of 
the lens, fall on the eye, but those rays also which strike upon 
the curved parts of the surface ; and the body appears to u> 
magnified in a high r 

In the way thus generally indicated, do those artificial eyae 
operate, which man has obtained Ihe use of since the employ- 
ment of glass in the preparation of spectacles and hurniag 
glasses. We propose here lo mention a few facts tending to 
show how the sphere of our knowledge has been enlarged by 
these great ii 


Tlie power oC cooves burning glasses lo collecl the mys of 

light and magnify objects was long known nnd nsed for objects 

near at hand. A magnified body appears lo the eye to be im- 

mediultily brouglil near. When the means liad been found of 

ipplying magnifying lenses lo the examination of remote 

ijects in such a way Uiat the rays of light passing from an 

ibject into the lenses and refracted by them, could be collected 

the eye, undisturbed by ihc stronger ligbt, reflected from 

ubjecis, then lo the human eye as to the human mind was 

Eren Iho powerof converting remote space ns well as the 

tmole past into a near present. Tho glory of the precise 

ivenlionof the telescope at tho beginning of ihe 17tb century, 

my fairly be given to Hans Lijipershcim, a spectacles-maker 

t Middlcbiirg, a native of WcscI, not, as was formerly sup- 

:o Zacharias Jansen. The former, it is said, was led 

I ibc discovery by his children, who, when at j>lay, put some 

' their father's prepared spectacles -glasses inlo a paper lube, 

id so saw the weaiher-cock of the lower greatly magnified. 

s more remote objects reflect a weaker light than those that 

:e nearer, the impression, which they make on Iho eye, is 

alroyed by the light of near objects, jusl as the light of the 

an is eclipsed by Ihe rising sun. Hence, when we wish to 

» distant objects more distinctly, wc are accustomed to look 

; them through the hand; and the ancients, long before the 

ireDlion of the art of glass -grinding, observed the stars 

irough long tubes, by looking through which, tho light com- 

g from other quarters is shut off from Ihe eye, which is 

>y bolter filled for the undisturbed reception of the light 

Ing from iho object under observation. So from a mine 

well ft star may be seen at midday, when it stands directly 

tho well ; the sides of such a deep hole kcop off the rays 

he sun, and of other objects illuminated by the sun, so 

iplctely from tlie eye, that the star can be distinguished at 


noon as distinclly aa il may be seen ia the morning twilight 
before Ihe rising sun has touched the mountain lops. 

In a simple tube, which rendered it easy lo fix llie gks 
firmly in the right direction, a eonvcx ground glass was placed, 
and then another glass was placed in the focus of the first glasi^ 
which threw ihe image received apd magnified by the fiist 
upon Ihe eye, still further magnified ; end thus ihe means 
obtained of seeing dislanl objecis as large as if ihey had been 
brought twenty or thirty times nearer to the eye, As the con- 
vex lenses represent Ihe image of Ihe olijecl in an inverted 
position, there was at first added to the object-glass (i. e. Ihe 
glass which at the farthest end of the tube receives the rnys of 
light from without,) a concave ground eye-glass at that en 
the tube at which the eye is placed, This eye-glass has the 
opposite effect of convex lenses in representing objects; i 
gives back its right position to the image which is presented by 
Ihe object-glass inverted. Instead of the concave lens, how- 

T, there were employed afterwards, in telescopes for ter 
Ifiat objects, several, perhaps three or four eye-glasses, by the 
alternate elTect of which the object becomes upright to the eye. 
For the observation of the stars there was, besides, given to 
llie eye-glass the strongly magnifying flal-ball form. 

The application of magnifying glasses lo the examination of 
remote objects lay so near to the inventive faculty of man, I 

r ingeuious man who had once sceu a telescope, or only 
heard of its construction could make one for himself. Hence 
pith Lippersheim almost immediately came his fellow-citizen 
and associate in art, Jansen, with telescopes made by him ; 

fas vain that Prince MoHt^ of Nassau, who discerned the 
importance of the invention in war, endeavored, as is said, lo 
keep the invention secret. In the year 1608, a telescope made 
1 Holland, at Frankfort on the Maine, was offered for sale at a 
moQStroits price at the Fair. A distinguished man from Ana- 

bach, Ihe privy counsellor Fuc}i^ of Bimbacli, saw the same, 
and upon his relucn home describeii ils constniclioii lo Ihecelo- 
braled astronomer, Simon Marius (Maier.) Common speclacio 
glasses were too convex, but the glasses of a flat round form 
which Marius liad ground accordiug to his directions at Pfurem- 
berg, did not naswer the due purpose, which was attained only 
by glasses from Venice, wherewith Marius constructed that 
telescope that enabled him, in November, 1009, to see the four 
satellites of Jupiier. But in the same year the celebrated 
Galileo made a telescope, according lo a di-scriplion he iiad 
heard at Venice, and carried it nfienvards to such perfection 
ihat some of iho instruments of this sort, prepared by him, 
possessed the power of magnifying an object more than sixty 
fold. The English also, in ihe year 1610, were in possession 
of telescopes, made probably by themselves, by which they 
could distinguish Jupiter's salelliles, fur which, however, no 
very powerful instrument is requisite. A year aAerwards 
(1611) the great German mathematician and astronomer, J, 
KepplcT, in a work upon this subject, gave tho first strictly 
scientitic account of the construction of a genuine astronomical 

The desire lo investigate the unknown miracles of ihe visible 
world, received from this time a powerful stimulus. What a 
delight must it have been to the eager Marius, to discover that, 
u Ihe earth had one moon, Jupiter had four! With what 
astonishment and rapture must Galileo have been Ulled, when 
he looked nt Saturn through his telescope and saw on the sides 
of ils disk two bodies, which he at first took to be two great 
mooHB, never moving from their places, but which he alter- 
wards found lo bo parts of a remarkable ring, which, alone of 
its kind, surrounds this planet, and revolves with a swift mo- 
llon. This celebrated man immediately discovered also through 



his (elescope, Ihal ihe planets. Mercury anil Venus, becstise 
ihey stand, at a pari of llieir orbits, in a line with us and llie 
sun, or on ons side of lliis line, samelimcs appear, just like the 
moon, full, sickle-sliBped, or bitir-Full, with a waxing or waning 
light, accordingly as ihey turn to U9, with a porlion of their 
tlislts illitrainaleil, Ibe unlMumiDBted pari also. Quite new aoA 
unexpected discoveries were made also in regard to the huh, 
when, in the years IGIO and 1611, almost at Ihe same time, 
CkTistopher Scheiner in Ingolstadl, John Fabricius in East 
Friesland, and Thoniai Harriot iu England, discovered and 
ohserved in the pure fiiunlain. light of our planetary world, dark 
spots, whicli, as we shall seo hercafler, are phenomena, gene- 
rated in the atmosphere (ff the gigantic body of the sun ; not 
stationary on the sun's disk, but moving over it from west to 
east. A sun-apot which first becomes visible to-day moves on- 
ward until, in about 14 dnys, it reaches the eastern rim of the 
sun, when it disappears ; and again, after the liipae of the same 
period of time, is seen on the western ; whence the above 
named, first discoverer of spots on lire sun, drew the correcl 
coQclusion, that the sun moves round its axis, lil;e our earth, 
from weal lo east, but, not in 24 hours, hut in a period of 
nearly four weeks. With what a far nobler and more elevated 
sympathy did civilized Europe receive intelligence of Ihe con- 
quests made by science in the starry heavens, than, at a later 
period, it read the newspaper accounts of victories obtained hy 
some warlike king in the domains of his neighbors! 

And yet the grand discoveries of that ago were only the first 
step towards the enlargement of our knowledge of Ihe heavens. 
With what delight would a Duval have heard what astronomy 
now tells us about the slara, — the inlelli^ence, that there, in the 
upper, remoter regions of the universe, auna are moving round 
suns, like our moon round the earth ; that, not only (he pale 


light of our milky way consists of ihe beams from many mil- 
liona of diatant stars, but that, at immeasurable (Jistaiicea, be- 
yond Iho region of (he milky way, liiere are yet other hosts of 
stars, millions strong, whose united light falls, from that great 
(tislance upon the eye, only as a dim nebula of light. For the 
distance from us even of the nearest fixed stars is so great that 
a ray of light, which passes over a space of about 192,000 
milea in a second, can reach us, from those stars, only in 3, 
9 and 12 years ; indeed, from those remotest realms of space, 
whose shining worlds are visible to us only by a scarcely dis- 
tinguishable glimmering of light, a ray would arrive at our eyes 
only after the lapse of ihousauds of years. 

And not less worthy of attention than Ihe spectacle of the 
heavens, unveiled to us in those distant quarters, is the know- 
ledge which the telescope gives us in regard to the nearer 
heavenly bodies. Upon our neighbor, the planet Mars, the 
telescope shows us the while masses of snow, which, in winter, 
cover lis polar regions. When, at a certain part of its annual 
course, its northern hemisphere is turned towards the sun, and 
when it thus becomes spring and summer there, then the great 
while spots upon it are seen gradually to diminish, for the snow 
is thawed by the euq's heat. But at the same time winter 
takes place on the southern hemisphere of the planet, and 
there Ihe while zone of snow grows larger and spreads itself 
out ; and bo again when the southern hemisphere has its sum- 
mer, the northern is visited by winter. So that we can almost 
tell, when our neighbor Mars has, upon its norihern hemisphere 
cat responding to that part of our earth where lie Europe, Asia, 
and a part of America, a long or a mild winter. But besides 
liie snow. masses a good telescope shows upon the planet 
Mara the dark colored portions of water and the lighter co- 
lored regions of the land ; and some observers i 
I believed that they discerned the clouds in the atmospha 


that planet, so thot we may suppose that Mars is very simikr 
to our carlh. 

On Jupiter and Saturn also the telescope has made singular 
discoveries, which, however, do not harmonise, like those made 
in regard lo Mars, with the arrangemenla of things on our 
earth. For around the surfaces of these great planets pass 
grent belts, apparently of clouds, which do not, like our clouds, 
come lo day and disappear to-morrow, but, as it ia by no means 
comfortable to think, remain stationary with Hltle change for 
more than a hundred years, so that if people, like us, dwell 
there, many an aged man, if ho has always remained in the 
same place, sees the sun hardly once in hia whole life, On 
the other hand, the inhabitants of Venus and Mercury hare 
littlo reason to complain of too much rain, as there the sktei 
appear to be almost always serene. 

As the lelescopo has led lo the discovery, by means of the 
ajMls on the sun, that the noble king of day does not Bland 
fixed and immoveable, but revolves round his a.tb once in 
nearly four weeks, so has a similar discovery been made, by 
the same instrument, in regard to the other bodies of the solar 
syslem. Mercury, Venus, and Mars revolve on their ases in 
about the same time with the earth. From noon to noon, their 
inhabilanls, if they are inhabited, have not to wait much more 
or less than 24 hours. The space between midday nnd mid- 
day OD the planet Jupiter is only hours and 56 minutes, on 
Saturn only 10 hours and 10 minules. It would seem as if 
this swift ahernaiion of day and night were intended lo com- 
pensate for the slow alternation of the seasons, for on Jupiter 
winter lasts almost 9 of our years, on Saturn almost 15; while 
the lively little population of Mercury have to wail, at the be- 
ginning of winter for the beginning of spring, only 3 weeks 
(22 days,) although indeed the spring there passes as 
into summer, and the summer into autumn. 




Our oeareat neighbor, the Moon, has indeed ils year or the 
same length with ours, for it accomplishes the journey round 
the sun in company with the earth, but at l!ie same time it lias 
a day 28 times longer than ours, so that (here for 14 of our 
days the sun stands in the moon's sky, hut then again the 
darkness of night lasts there through an equal period. In re- 
gard to the nature and condition of this nearest world, whither 
a good walker, were there a road to the moon, might arrive, 
supposing he travelled every day 10 leagues, in 28 years, (ho 
would not reach (he sun at the same rate in 11,000 years) — the 
greatest discoveries may be expected by means of the teles- 
cope. Yet these expectations must not be carried too high. 
The Moon is 238,000 miles distant from us; if now one of our 
telescopes possess the power of magnifying four or five thousand- 
fold, we should gain simply this, that the moon mif;ht be ex- 
amined as distinctly as if it were some 50 miles distant. No 
jr get so near the earth aa to look 
fectly clear atmosphere our seas, 
ranges might be distinguished. On this 
'kable facts, as we shall state hercallcr. 

into our windows, but 
lakes, and mountain i 
account, mai 



the Moon. 
new eyes, which man has obtained hy melting 
alkali and silica, the sphere of his vision, as we have 
just seen, has been extended a thousand fold into the distant ; 
and in the same proporlion has his power of vision been 
sharpened for things near him, Aa the glass-grindur knows 
how to make spectacles for the eyes of such old people as see 
well at a distance, hut poorly what is near, and at the same 
lime, other spectacles, made for those whose defect of sight is 
precisely Ihc reverse, so has Art turned the telescope (or distance 
lube) into the microscope, which for the world lying close to us, 
penetrating a power that one can distinctly discern, 
igh Ihia instrument, objects several thousand times fiiy 


■ Imndiitl 1 

i smaller that 

that! a fj- 

When ihe eyes of llie shorl-sighlei) are cinsely eMimined 
and compared wiih those at the far-sigh led, it is rcud'ily per- 
ccived ihnt rlie former are more rounded and prominent, while 
the lallcr are much Hiiiter. When eyes of both kinds, the high 
and round, and the flattened, are otherwise sound and strong, 
Ihe former serve best to see what is near, the latter, what is 
distant. As ihe human eye, by increasing age, when all the 
vital fluids of Ihe body lose their exuberant fulness, grows 
flatter, becomes less round, it frequently happens ihat people, 
who were very short-sighted in their youth, become far-sighled 
with increasing years, without having their sight for neor 
objects seriously impaired. On ihe contrary, very far-sighlod 
eyes must in old age be assisted by spectacles, when a near 
object is to be closely looked at, and indeed by spectacles with 
glasses ground convex, while the glasses with which the sbort- 
sighled examine distant objects must be somewhat concave. 

The inventors of Ihe telescope have, in the shape of their 
glasses, imitated ihe form of the far-sighled human eye, and 
the inventors of Ihe microscope, the form of the near-sighted. 
Those microscopes, which were made just after the lelescopa 
became known, by Zncbarins Jafisen nod his son, were not by 
far so powerful in magnifying very small, near objects, as those 
constructed later (somewhere about IBfiO,) by ^ooi, because 
the latter used glasses almost round, while flnlteued convM 
lenses were previously made use of. 

Thus were obtained also arliBcial eyes, by which ihe advan- 
tages, possessed by tlie sound short-sighted eye, through iO 
acute vision for near objects, were increased a thousand fold) 
just as the peculiar sharp sight of the far-sighled was aided by 
the telescope. By the invention of ihe microscope, a depth in 
the Divine Creations, iho before uiilinown little and minute, luw 



been opened (o ihe appelilc of knowledge, a doplh, as immea- 
surable and Tull of miracles as the great world which has bfeen 
disclosed by ihe lelescopo. In every drop of wafer, in every 
animal or vegetable substance, when decomposed or dissolved, 
there is presented to us through the microscope an animal 
world, which, in variety of form and hind, is os manifold as 
that of the great land and wnler-animala that we see with the 
naked eye. Everywhere, where there is a nourishing fluid, 
growth is going on, life stirring; even on the aoow dwell, here 
and there, millions of microscopic animals, a space as large as 
Ihe square of a line may contain many thousands of the same ; 
a distance as great as the breadth of a hair is for many of these 
animalcula aa much as a quarter of a league for us; through 
Ihe finest, most delicate vessels of the human body, which are 
too small for the finest hair, these minute creatures could pass, 
as easily aa we, through the doors and gates of our cities. 

But not only in the wide spaces of the external world, even 
in the inner world of our own bodies, and of the bodies of ani- 
mals and plants, the microscope has revealed things, of which 
the learned of former times had no guess. Thus the form and 
quality of the little, lena-shaped particles of Ihe blood, and the 
fine lubes of the nerves are found filled with a Huid, in which 
the powers of life work all their miracles. Through the micro- 
scope may be seen the motion of Ihe nourishing fluids in the 
transparent wing of a fly, the structure of the intestines of a 
cheese-mite, Ihe course of the nerves and the arrangement of 
the muscles in the foot of a spider, ihe gradual formation of 
i!ie young in the egg of a flea. 

All this has resulted from the invention of Glass and its ever 
intending uses ; but we could not have glass from silica, had 
wo not the alkalis; had we nol potash and soda-ash, or Ihe 
wida obtained from it. Thus even the process in the develop- 
mtal of our knowledge depends on threads, Ihe end of which 


ivith aa inctdeot, wliich perhaps occurred at a 
shepherd's hearth, in the fire or which a lump of natron, from 
an Egyptian lake, was melted with sand into a Iranspareol 


Tlie elements, which we are now to consider, have been in 
part comprehended under the name of combuslible bodies. 
Selenium, which is ranlted under this head, has several quali- 
ties in common with the melala proper, especiolly a melallic 
brightness, and a gravity, which exceeds that of water four 
times. Through other properties it approaches, nearer even 
than arsenic, to sulphur. As a substitute for this it exists in 
Tellurium ore, combined with the mclal, (Teilurium,) and with 
iron in pytitea {sulphuret of iron,) as also, here and there, in 
company with volcanic sulphur. Like all those existences in 
nature, which nre neither entirely one thing nor another. Sele- 
nium plays among material substances, a very ambiguous part. 
Its combination with hydrogen gas appears to belong among 
the strongest poisons ; and we need not by any means regret 
that selenium is so rarely found. 

Vastly more deoiaivcly than the just mentioned substance, has 
Sulphur taken to itself the nature of a combustible body. On 
account of the abundance in which it exists, it maintains abo a 
vastly higher rank among the constituent forces of the earth. 
It is found in a. puce stale and in whole masses, especially in 
Italy and Sicily, and also in Spain and Poland. At Scansaoo, 
in Tuscany, the mass of sulphur, dug up in eight months, 
amounted to four millions of pounds. Sicily exported only a 
little while since, between 20 to 30,000 cwt. yearly. At the 
craters of volcanoes, especially iu South America and Java, it 
is found in a pure state; it is also frequently obtained fton 


Iphitrel of iron. Sulphur in its combinalioDs wilh the metals 
takes ihe place of o.'sygen, and when a sufficient quaotity of 
ibis suffices to produce an oxyde, a double weight of sulphur is 
required to supply the place of the oxyde in the ore. In the 
combination of sulphur wilh metals, an emission of light is in 
many cases perceptible, as in the combustion of bodies with 
oxygen gaa. 

But sulphur also enters readily in combination wilh oxygen 
gas. Il ignites in contact wilh fire, and becomes then sulphur- 
ous acid, the ofTonsive auffocaliog smell of which is known to 
us all. When oxygen gas, in yet great quantities, unites with 
sulphur, there is produced sulphuric acid of a higher degree, 
which, in a slate combined wilh water, is called oU (f vitriol. 
Sulphuric acid has been formed in great quantities in the con- 
simclion of the earth ; and whh lime becomes gypsum ; il is 
met witii, here and there, dissolved in water, in the vicinity of 
volcanic craters. Sulphur is ofien found among the component 
parts of plants, and constantly, even in the human body, where 
it betrays its presence in the interior as well as in the exterior 
parts — in the brain, and even in the hair, 

Pluapliorus, however, enters still more essentially than sul- 
phur into the composition of the human body and of the more 
perfect animals. In the mass of the brain and the nerves, it is 
uiiilei], as in the form of an acid, with lime. It is found in the 
■ nes, and even in the urine. Kunkel, a. chemist, who foliow- 
] ihe art of gold-making, discovered this remarkable, easily 
-jH^mmable body, which, itsdf, whhout actually inllaming 
tticm, communicates to bodies rubbed wilh it, the property of 
shining by night. Man has had it wiih him and carried it 
about wilh him in the inmost parts of hia body, ever since his 
race esisted, from birth lo the grave, without ever having been 
conscious of this possession. So much is there that is 
snd goes wilh us, of which wc linow nothing. 

[>een J 


In exicrnal nature, Ihc easily inflammable phosphorus is nt 
found ia a pura slale, but only in its union with oxygen gas, a 
phosphoric acid, and even as such, not pore, but uniled wilh 
metnls, as, for example, lead, iron, and with lime. Although 
it exists among the component parts of the human body, yet it 
can act upon the body as a strong poison. A very small quan- 
tity oi' phosphorus, introduced inio the stomach, is ralnl. 

Phosphoric acid, in many of its properties, reaembles Fluorw 
acid, which, combined with lime, forms the for tlie most pari 
vari-colored Fluor spar, Derbyshire spar, and with alumina 
silica, the Tt^az. The nature of its base is still very lillle 
linown; one of its remarkable properlios is that it readily at- 
tnclca and dissolves silica, so that one may etch with it in glass. 
Upon most of the metals it acts as a solvent. It must be kept 
therefore, in order to preserve it pure, in hollies of platinui 
gold. Hydro-fluoric acid, of a high degree of strength and 
purity, belongs among those bodies, which occasion great dan- 
ger and pain to those who discover and examine them. When 
a finder is touched with the point of a needle, which has b 
dipped in this acid, a sleepless night and a light attack of fever 
are the consequences. When a finger is only exposed to tl« 
fumes of hydro-fluoric acid, festering and malignant sorei 
form, after violent pain, which are healed only slowly and with 
difficulty. And the parts of the band near these sores assume 
a death-like hue. 

The chemis^ts reminded by these and many other facts, ihit 
by his art, ho removes the veil, under which the ultimates of 
the origin and cod of material forms lie hid ; the beginnings of 
whatever is assuming a determinate corporeal existence, and 
which cannot unfold itself, without destroying, so far a 
power in relation to the same extends, that which has stready 
taken form, when it cornea within its vicinity. There is > 
in water (ch, 23) a constituent, which, by its polaric slate, is 


kept ic such happy hnrmony in this element thai, in this com- 
binalion, it serves to nourish all living creatures. This con- 
siiiucnt, knowa as hydrogen gns, gives Tor the most purl, to 
fruits iheir flavor, to wine ils cxbilaratino power; it la an in- 
dispensable ingredient in most of the articles of foud that we 
relish. Nevertheless, hydrogen gas, when it is fnsed from its 
connection with water, and comes forth as a pure primal ele- 
ment, becomes a fearful power ; mingling with atmospheric air, 
it kiadles like gunpowder, and shatters everything around it. 
Even in its moro unusual combinations with carbon, phospho- 
rus, and sulphur, it forms dilfercnt kinds of air, which, being 
inhaled, arc injurious to life ; in an unmixed statp, if taken into 
Ihe lunss, instead of common air, it suspends the vital powers. 
There is a higher order of being and of continuance in being, 
in accordance with which all individual, material existences are 
luited to subserve the maiutenance and continual renovation of 
the whole. By his art, man can change that higher order, and 
release the elements from the laws to which ilicy are subjected, 
but these emancipated forces arc no longer, as in their previous 
combinations, in the service of life, but of that dissolving force, 
which oftentimes extends its contagious icfluenco to the ele- 
ments of a living body coming within the sphere of its actioa, 
releasing them also from their subjection to the laws of life and 
ils constructive agencies. 

Of the release of Cldorine from that union with sodium, 
which, as common salt, Js almost no indispensable article of 
human economy, we have spoken generally above. When n 
mixlurc of common salt, manganese ore, and sulphuric acid, 
diluted with water, is exposed to heal in a retort, the sodium is 
imhcd with the oxygen gas of the manganese, and an oxyde is 
funned, the mineral alkali, soda, which is immediately taken 
of by the sulphuric acid, while the chlorine, ex- 
eluded from its possession of the metal by the more powerful 

k eluded frc 


acid, appears as a greenisli yellow vapor, Allhodgh a burning 
wox-light, iiilroiiucod info this vapor, cool in ues to burn on wilh 
n xrnfiking (Inmc, ye! this gas is very dangerous to man and 
beaat who inhalo il, and, if it is mixeil with atmospheric 
the inhalation of such a mixture produces violent spasms of the 
wind-pi[Jo, and opprcasive pains in tbe breast. Many combusti- 
bk bodies, and even most metals, are ignited, when exposed ii 
a pulveriacd stale to chlorine gas, and combine during th«r 
combustion, and form chlocides. While many of the above- 
mentioned properties remind us of those of oxygen gas, chlo- 
ritio gas resembles also vital air, in that, being mixed with 
hydrogen gas, il forma an esplosive gas which explodes with 
violence on being exposed to the sun's rays. Under (be ef!bct 
of a weaker light it unites grnduolly ivilh tbe hydrogen and 
liecomes colorless hydro-chloric acid gas, which is taken np. 
with extraordinary eagerness by common water, and forms 
with it one of tho strongest acids, Muriatic ocid. This acid 
ohtnined, by decomposing common salt wilh sulphuric aci 
Our own, living bodies require no such orrangcmenls. In its 
hidden laboratory, tho animal system releases the chlorine from 
common salt, and uses it as an ordinary component part of ite 
gastric juice, for the decomposition of our food, in states van- 
ously indeed combined. 

Of incomparably less importance than chlorine are two other 
Iwdies, ranked also among the elements or simple substances, 
and having the sea for their special dwelling place: Sromine 
nnd Iodine, Bromine, although only in quite small quantities, 
is found united with (he salt of sea-water, and is, like Todine, 
obtained also from the ashes of some sea-plants. At the ordi- 
nary temperature of the air, this substance forms a fluid, whose 
easily disengaged, offensive vnpors, are considered as useful 
chlorine in dissipating the infectious influences of animal sub- 
stances, and other miasmala which are contained in the atmo- 


Iodine Is found in various sca-aaimQls and sea-planls, 
and io some mineral springs ; it shows ilself through Ihe in- 
Auence of boal as a violet hlue vapor, thai, upon cooling, 
forma small, sleel-gray crysials, shining wiih a metallic bright- 
ness, and which, when moislencd, evaporule emilling a smell 
similar to that of chlorine. In larger doses lodtno acts as a 
poison, while it is used as a medicine without injury, in goiire, 
for esamplc. Tho comhuslJble base of BoraHc acid, also 
colled by the chemists £aron, has in the lower material world 
a very limited difTusion and innuencc. 

Quite diflereot is the case with the base of that earth, which 
forms indeed the predominant consliluent of our mountains, the 
base of Silica, This appears as a dnrk brown powder that 
does not admit of fusion, but is inflammable in the air, and 
burns with a lively flame. The osyde, thus produced, although 
it has no acid taste to the tongue, has all the other qualities of 
an acid, and would on thdt account be more correctly called 
iiticic acid than silica. Aa an acid, silica unites with the. most 
diverse earths and alkalis, and a great part of the different 
species of rocks belong among these combinations. As pre- 
viously remarked, man has, from primitive limes, availed him- 
^'i If of this relation of silica to other substances, for purposes 
.' practical life, manufacturing by the melting together of silica 
^iih alkalis, glass, by mixing iho same with lime, morlnr, and 
by combining silicious substances with clay and lime, producing 
nil sorts of fire-proof or alone-ware vessels for the kitchen and 
tlie cellar. Silica is found also among the elements of the 
■ ■jtnaD body, although in very small quantities, especially ii 
:■■ hair. In diflerent vegetable bodies it occurs much more 
irc'juently nnd more widely diffused. 



la a small couatry school, a school director asked the boys 
vehnt is the use of the air, what purposes did it serve in natarei 
One of the boys who were quesliooed was readiest with on an- 
swer, BDd he said: It servca la cool things. A second said: 
To blow the fire. And when the questioner was satisfied with 
neither of these answers, a third said: The air drives the saila 
of the wind-mill round, where the corn is ground for bread. 
A fourth brought an answer from a yel greater distance, and 
said : The air moves the ships on the sea. Not one of the 
young people thought of that office of (he air which lay nearest 
to ihem, and which is the most important. They did not con- 
sider that, without air, all nature would be cold and dead. Only 
by means of the air does Iho sound of bells become percepli. 
ble ; above, at the greatest heights which man has reached, 
where the air is very rare, the human voice, at the distance ol 
only a few steps, is no longer heard, and ihe discharge of a 
pistol gives only a faint report ; and in a perfect vacuum, the 
sound of a bell cannot make itself audible. Bui the loss to the 
car, if there were no air round the earth, would be the less 
evil. The eye too would suffer, in more ways than one. 
Woro there no atmosphere, there could be no twilight, morn- 
ing and evening, coming, as it now does, from the light of the 
sun, reflected by the air. In the morning, at sunrise, daylight 
would suddenly break upon the dark night, without annour 
itself, and at evening, when the last point of the sun's rim sank 
below the horizon, daylight would vanish without farewell, 
without casting one friendly look upon us at parting, from (ho 
golden clouds and the evening-red, leaving us instantaneously, 
and the darkness of the night would come in like manner, so 
that the wanderer on mountain ways would have to pause at 
sunset, wilhout taking anotlier aVe^, Kwi eNen v'ws would not 

be tho moat terrible consequence, which must follow the wilh- 

^'lidmwnl of the air. The air, and above all, that substance 

xitained in the air,.which we have oHeti mentioned, and 

ibhich we propose to consider 
everything (hat li 
lentJal use; without air there 
, And not indeed in the sens 
1 he said that the air served 
! oxygen of the nir is just 
ninaling flame us the ris 

particularly, osygen gas, 
loves on earth a yet more 
dd burn neither fire, nor 
in which the boy meant it 
blow the fire, but because 
necessary to the warming and 
of the sun is lo the light of 

un poured its beams down upon our world, we 
K>uld have no day; if the oxygen did not rush with its in- 
pining power, into the mass of the combustible body, in order 
e itself with it, there would be no light for our chambers, 
I fire for our hearth, from hops and malt no beer could be 
tade, from the juice of grapes no wine, and no vinegar from 
y of the produclious of nature. But this is not all. Were 
i air taken from us, especially the oxygon gas, which is in 
r, it would be all over with you and me in n few mo- 
; not a frog nor fish, neither tiie badger in his hole, nor 
; bird in the air could live a moment. And not only the 
Bygcn, — but even if the other gas of the atmosphere, nitro- 
I, were taken away, we and other living beings could not 
in Ihe flesh that we eal, and in the brend that 
and in the milk that the child takes, in most of 
9 drinks, wilh which we are all refreshed, nitrogen is quite 
n essential, forming element. 
Thus besides cooling things, and blowing (he fire, and turn- 
ing the windmills, and impelling the ships, air serves yet very 
many olher purposes. 

But not merely when we nsk about the uses of the nir, ore 

we likely lo receive such unsatisfactory answers. Still mate 

^ttikJagly would this be the case, if one wete lo \TH\\nic ^cc«B 


the uses of certain other Bubslances. If, several gem 
agQt one had asked even a learned man, and not the mere pupil 
of a. country sehool, of \^'hat use Soda (natron) is in the tna- 
lerial world, he would scarcely have been able to indicate, ir 
his reply, any other imporUint uses than those we have already 
ntioncd, the making of Glass and Soap, But since Chemis- 
try baa ascertained thai soda is a component part of common 
salt, which is one of tiie most important elements, not only ii 
human economy but in all nature, a quite different and much 
more comprehensive answer may be given lo the question just 

In speaking of the principal properties of some of the acids 
mentioned in the foregoing chapter, we would not forget a n 
who made a somewhat strange, but nevertheless happy, use of 
his rare gills. This was the German physician, John Rudolph 
Giaiiber, who was born at Carlstalt, in the year 1604, and who 
ale the bread of many masters, traveling first to the Nelher- 
lande, but planting his pilgrim's statT in other quarters, resii 
now in Salsburg, and then in Frankfort on the Maine, in E 
ingen, in Cologne, and in many other places, and at last finding 
a resting-place for his weary limbs in Amsterdam. In 
experiments in alchemy, which aimed at nothing less than the 
discovery of Ihe art of making gold, and of (he elixir of life, 
Glauber formed so intimate an acquaintance wilh several of 
the most powerful acids, Ihat, by (heir help, he opened to science 
more than one before hidden depth. We will gladly pardoa 
this singular man, that he allowed himself lo be somewbat 
carried away, like many others of his colemporaries and asso- 
dales in art, by a hankeriog after Ihe fruit of the Iree of lifsi 
the panacea that was (o conquer all diseases and even death 
itself, (he philosopher's slone, "by which gold maybe ir 
from other metals and substances," For although the Iree of 
life remained guarded against his hands as well as the hands of 

other men, yet in hia wandering in search of il, he fouod, by 
ihe sweat of his btow, many a useful thing. His merits, in 

mprovement of the chemi- 
covered various ways nnd 
lore profitable (he labors of 
s which the chemist needs 
: acid, or oil of vitriol, 

regard to chemistry, ( 
cal furnace ; 

means of lightening and re 
the chemist. Among the 
for his services, concentrated sulphu 
was one of Glauber's moat trusted favorites, with which he was 
wont lo accomplish much. Among other things he poured (his 
strong acid on common salt ; (here arose a very remarkable 
degree of heat, the vitriolic acid possessed itself of the alka- 
line base of the salt, but the chlorine, combining with hydrogen 
gis and becoming muriatic acid, escaped in the form of vapor. 
After this expulsion of the strong by means of a stronger, there 
^ Rraiained lo the busy man a salt, generated by his art, sulphate 
f sodn, which ho used against many of the annoyances and 
g of human life with such success, (hat he as well as 
lamed il "wonderful." Il is still held in honor aad use 
liber's wonderful salt (" Sal mirabile Glauberi") and 
many of my young readers probably know its good and bad 
iHialilics by personn.1 experience. 

We have here come upon one of the uses of Sulphur and Ks 
acid, of which indeed we have already spoken in passing, but 
which we will now consider more fully. 

To a question in regard to the use of sulphur, many of our 
Leountry people, old as well as young, would return as unsalis- 
etory answers as were given at (he above mentioned esaml- 
kion concerning the uses of air. There would not be 
tnting those who know no use of sulphur for practical pur- 
I, but that matches are miidc of it, that the casks, in which 
), and in many places beer, is (o bo kept, are cleansed by 
^phur, or that this substance is used in ihe preparation of 
iDpowdcr, To (hese uses of sulphur many better inslrucleil 


would add, that sulphuric acid is used in coloring, to dissolve 
indigo, and in the preparalion of nlum and blue vitriol, and by 
the purifiers of oil to get rid of the scum. To some also it 
would be known that soda is obtoiced, us we have iilread; 
staled at length, by means of sulphuric acid, for the fabrica- 
tion of soap and glass. 

Yet after all, we have mentioned only a very small pari of 
the uses made by human art of sulphur and sulphuric acid. 
In the subterranean realms of nature, especially in regard to 
metals, it occupies the place of that sovereign among ihe 
substances i. e. of oxygen gas, of which wo shall shortly 
epcak more at large. Just as a combustible body burns in 
oxygen gas, in like manner, a silver or copper-piatc as well as 
an iron wiro with a clear flame, when esposed to the vapor, 
which is formed from sulphur in a closed vessel at a heal of 
114 degrees Reaumur, 250. 5. (Fahr.) Put sulphur on red hot 
copper or iron, the metal, so hard to be fused, immediately 
begins to melt, and trickles down, like wax from a candle. 

But alibough sulphur plays among metals the imperial office 
of oxygen in the whole kingdom of substances, it submits ilself 
willingly and easily to this yet more powerful masfcr. It lakes 
to oxygen the relation of a combustible body, and both united, 
sulphur and oxygen, form a power, to which chemistry is 
indebted for its greatest victories, for most of its achievements 
in the world of matter. Not only murialic acid, most of ito 
other acids also, especially nitric acid, would never have come 
within the power of man, or at least not so easily, without the 
help of sulphuric acid, which separates its weaker sisters from 
their associations with other substances. The most singular 
effects are produced in art by means of sulphuric acid ; even a 
conversion of starch, and many other organised substances, 
into sugar, is effected by the use of this same acid. What were 
chemistry, what mo^ of the trades, from soap-boiling up to lie 


working in Ihe precious mctala and the purifyingof gold, with 
out sulphuric acid? 

In the preparnlion of this important substance, no people 
have done so much as (lie English. We sometimes hear the 
proverb: Amsterdam is built on herrings,m allusion to the 
fact that Holland owes her early prosperitjf to the herring 
fishery, and to the skill of her people in sailing and selling 
tlicm. In like manner one might say that the flower of Eng- 
land's manufactures and trades has grown for the most part out 
of those gigantic Lead chambers, in which sulphuric acid is 
prepared. When, some lime ago, the Neapolitan government 
thought to prevent the purchase of sulphur in Sicily, by the 
establishment of a monopoly of the sulphur trade, it came near 
producing a war between England and Naples. The pure sul- 
phur, which is found in the greatest quantities in Sicily, was 
carried in whole shiploads to England, and was there consumed 
with such advantage, that, from one cwl. of sulphur, three cwt. 
of sulphuric acid were oblaJncd. This, used merely in separa- 
ling soda from common salt, (ch. 19,) gave the glass and soap 
manufacturers such an impulse that the English were enabled 
with ilieir cheaper products to supply Portugal, Spain, a great 
part of America, Egypt, Turkey in Asia, Persia and India. 

But to the above named countries, England furnishes not 
only soap and glass, but for them and many other countries, 
her enormous machinery spins, and her ingenious factories 
weave, press and color an immense quantity of woollen and 
colton goods. The bleaching of these goods is a very essen- 
tial part of their finish nnd perfection. The common mode of 
bleaching is to spread out and expose the cloth, made out of 
vegetable fibres, to the sunshine and the air, while it is kept 
lamst by constant welting. If we wish to know exactly what 
effect this process has, we have only to expose any piece of 
loar manufactured textures to the some influences for a longer 

time ihan usual. Wc shall find that it cuDtiDually loses in 

weight until its fibres give way and it resembles the loose lex- 
lure of paper, rubbed to pieces by the fingers, until at last it 
falls apart and is scattered by the wind and roin. Every rag 
of worn-out cloth or linen, when acted upon by air and i 
ture under only a quite moderate heat, will aalisfy ua, by its 
gradual decay, that the fibres of Rax. or cotton are Just as much 
subject to dissolution as mouldering wood. We shall by and 
by seek lo show (hat carbon, which is the principal ingredient 
of the vegetable fibre, is steadily combining, when favored by 
air and moisture, with the oxygen, and that in Ihia way, no leas 
than by fire, carbonic acid is formed. In the ordinary bleach- 
ing of our stuffs, therefore, we take to our aid a power, whose 
eifect is indeed at the first slowly destructive, but which never- 
theless serves our purpose, because those natural impurities, 
and admislures, which are already in the process of decom- 
position, and which give ihe fibre a dirly color, are first 
allacked and removed, whereby indeed the cloth itself suffers 
some loss, perceptible in the diminution of its weight. That this 
cleansing influence may have its duo effect, weeks and evea 
months are needed, and space is reijuircd according to the size 
and number of the pieces of cloth which are submitted (o the 
process. For our domestic economy the means of bleaching 
are sufficient, but what would the manufacturers do, who have 
to weave and bleach, not for single families or even for a single 
country, but for whole nations and regions of the earth 1 What 
would bo Ihe price of a bleaching ground upon which 10,000 
pieces of cotton goods were to be spread out for months, in 
populous England where every square foot of soil is in usel 
How high would the wages go for the laborers who were lo lend 
all these pieces and keep them well But the same amount of 
goods is bleached {Lieliig's chemical letlers, p. 107,) in s 
bleachery near Glasgow, in loss than eight days, and upon SO 

eighth of the space; for those factories bleach 1400 piecea per 
day, and besides can be carried on, not only in summer, but in 
winter also, when the ordinary mode of bleaching must be 

Is it asked what has procured for the English bleacheries 
ihis extraordinary advantage? The answer is: The art of 
bleaching so rapidly, and at the same time so perfectly, would 
not have been learned without the art of preparing sulphuric 
acid. When in ihe process of obtaining soda from common salt, 
four parts in weight of concentrated sulphuric acid are added to 
five parts in weight of common sail, there is formed, from the 
union of the sulphuric acid with the soda, the sail already men- 
tioned, and taking its name from Glauber, But in this transfer 
of the soda, which is formed from theoxydationof the metallic 
I sodium, to the sulphuric acid, the clilorine is released from its 
previous combination with it, and, united with the hydrogen, 
forms hydro-chloric or muriatic acid. 

The chlorine gas, of the destructive properties of which we 

|Bve spoken, was formerly let off from the conduits of the 

, oflontimes to the great injury of (he neighboring 

);etation. Soon, however, man learned lo convert this hostile 

r into a friendly one, taking it into his alliance, when other 

d more injurious substances were lo be speedily destroyed. 

lat Ibrmidable poison, oftentimes not at all perceptible to our 

I, which is generated as contagious matter (miasma) in 

where numerous patients lie aOecled with malignant 

er, the miasma of pestilence, the exhalations, rising from the 

r pits in which tho dead arc thrown at limes of great mortality, — 

I these doslruclive forces, against which human art formerly 

sited nothing, we have learned how lo conquer by means of 

■s of chlorine. In its own gaseous form, it pursues 

8 oi^nised vapors wherever they are to be found, and, by 

lung from thrm ihdr hydrogen, deprives Ihem of Ihoir power. 


Clilorine acta still more remnrkably upon those coarser sub- 
stances, which, in ihu form or dirl, attach themselves to gooils 
woven frotn the vegetable fibre, to our linen, cotton or woollen 
■ cloths. Wherever its vapors meet such admixtures, they dissi. 
pate them wilh extraordinary rapidity. It pursues substati. 
lially the same process of destruction as the light, the air and 
the water upon our bleaching grounds, but it is more under o; 
control. Chlorine may be kept und sent to great distances by 
being combined with lime, as the so-called chloride of lime, aail 
! sent far and wide from the soda Taclortes to the bleacheries, 
to which it has rendered great service in the ways we have 

^ntioned. In a few hours, and besides, at a much less cosi, 
cotton stuffs are cleansed of all those discoloring substances 
that adhere to them, by means of chloride of Hme and its si 

IS ; and under (his mode of bleaching, the cotton sufiew 
much less than by the old process; ao thai, here and there, 
even the country people use chloride of lime for bleaching. 

Among the many uses of muriatic acid, Liebig (Cbem. 
letters, p,.108,) mentions one, which could not have been thought 
of before (lie acid was so easily procurable. The bones of ai 
mals, estimated by weight, consist of about three parts of phos- 
phate of lime to one part of animal gelatine or glue. When 
bones are put into muriatic acid, diluted with water, the acid 
immediately dissolves the bone earth or phosphate of lime, and 
leaves the glue combined with it, in the shape of the bones, as 
pliant as leather, and after being cleansed from what remains 
connected with it of the acid, the glue can be used like any 
other glue. So that muriatic acid is of extraordinary utility 
to workers in all kinds of substances from the metals down to 
refuse bones. But only by means of sulphuric acid has it come 
into this universal use. 

This acid, (sulphuric acid,) which in many respects msy 
claim llie rank of queen among all other acids, was first 


plained in Germany, from an iron ore found in almost all 
hir mouDlaina: the solplmret of iron (pyrites,) wliich we arc 
fet to apeak of, and wliicli consists of about live parts iron willi 
nx parts sulphur, Ln the places where tliis sulphuret of iron 
' IS been brought out from the miuea in great abundance as at 
orslar, in the Harz mountains, and in Bohemia, it was placed 
I grates, over a lire. In the long continued heat, a part of 
e sulphur was consumed, and a part of Ihe iron formed wi(h 
;ygen the red oxydo of iron. The ore, thus roasted, was 
leaped up on strong floors, somewhat inclined, and esposed for 
il years to (he air, rain and snow. Gradually (here was 
irmcd sulphate of iron or green vitriol, which, easily soluble in 
'Bter, wos led off by the rain through gutters into reservoirs from 
rhich it was frequently poured anew over the roasted ore, until 
le solution attained a certain strength, when il was evaporated 
1 kettles over lire, and Iheu first was obtained the green harsh- 
Sting vitriol, which is used in many ways for coloring. From 
lis green vitriol, sulphuric acid is obtained by means of heat. By 
raporation kept up over lire, sulphuric acid is more and more 
' from the water combined with il, and is thus made very 
trong. But (he sulphuric acid, obtained in such a troublesome 
id ledious way, could not supply the demand in Europe, and 
Specially of the English, ahhough the vitriol works at Beier- 
)fld alone, in the Saxon ore-mountains, produce yearly upwards 
^ 1400 cwt. of sulphuric acid, or oil of vitriol.* Far less 
lundtint was the sulphuric acid obtained in the same way in 
Iher countries. Hence that first ejtperimenl, which, it is said, 
ts made by a German immigrant in England, by the name of 
<Kller, lo generate the acid by a speedier progress, from the 
re sulphur, must he considered as the beginning of a new 
bqnilse given to the activity of Irade.f 

I This neul is geariBlij kaann as tlie NordbauBen suliihuric aclJ. 

I Tlio credil of lhi» mrllmi is mate grneridlj iiccord«l to Dr. Roebuck^ 

. Roebgck^ 

Wonder, mingled ivilh a stoTt of horror, seizes ihe simnger, 
who, for the first lime, looks into one of those gigantic 1 
chnmbers, and, ao fur as may be, sees how ihe sufTocating 
phurous vapor is transformed inio ibe acid. Man appears here 
to be contending with the powersof a volcanic crater. Spacei 
are presented 120 feet long, 40 broad, and 20 high, and even 
atill larger, in which a two storied house of moderale i 
might be put. These enormous chambers are lined entirely 
within with leaden plates, soldered closely together with lead ; 
on the floor below stands water several inches deep. The 
sulphur is consumed on a stone plate in the chamber itself, ot 
in a furnace beneath, connected by a tube with the chamber. 
But the combustion of the sulphur gives only sulphurous 
lo which a large proportion of osygen gas most be Turn 
to make it properly sulphuric acid. And this it rec 
through the right of Ihe stronger over the weaker. In (lie 
same furnace with the burning sulphur is placed an iron pen, 
containing about a tenth of nitrate of potash, {common saltpe- 
tre) or nitrate of soda, mixed with sulphuric acid. The etil- 
phurio acid liberates the nitric acid from its combination with 
the potash or soda, which, coming in contact with the sulphur- 
ous acid from the burning sulphur, is reduced to nitrous aciil 
by the sulphurous acid, which takes a portion of Its osygen, 
and becomes sulphuric acid. The nitrous acid is again 
deprived of another portion of oxygen by a fresh portion ol 
sulphurous acid, and is reduced to nitric osyde, the sulphur 
ous acid becoming sulphuric, this nitric oxyde now com 
ing in contact with lbs air of the lead-chamber, takes 
oxygen from it, and becomes nitrous acid again, which ii 
again reduced lo nitric oxyde hy the sulphurous acid, which 
is transformed into sulphuric acid, which combines eagerly 
with the vapors of the water, and trickles down from the 
ceiling and iraNs into the water o-n vViu floor of the chamber, 
or of the nHjoining chamber, ^mv, \\fj\;o\'i\, ■aw "vtnifn- 



^at point remains lo be accomplished by chemical an : t!ie 
ovaporalion of the water by a high degree of heat, and 
iho ullinaote production of sulphuric acid in its grealeal pos- 
sible strength, and free from water. Here platinum comes 
into honor and special use, which it deserves above all other 
materials of vKhich chemical apparatus is made. This metal is 
not melted by the heat thai tears away from the sulphuric acid 
Ihe water which it holds so powerfully; even the strongest 
sulphuric acid is not able to affect it, on which account the pro- 
prietors of sulphuric acid works have no hesitation in paying 
for a single still made of this 
florins, for as (according to Licbig's 
manufacturers produce 60,000 c 
standing, 20,000 cwt. of sulphuric acid in the c 
the capital employed brings in a high ialercsl. 
H We, of liie present day, enjoy at a cheap rate a supcrabund- 
^bce of conveniences which ouc fathers were unable to procure 
^■C solid gold. We owe our advantage in great part to sul- 
^■nric acid, and to its power over other substances. As is the 
Hjpidity with which we now produce a flame by merely rubbing 
Ifriaatch, of which sulphuric acid furnishes the material, com- 
pared with the old way, by steel, flint and tinder, so is the ease, 
.■.ith which many of the most important pursuits are now carried 
L,ii, compared with the methods of former times. 

s metal, 10 or even 20,000 
s statement,) some of these 
d even those of middle 
n the course of a year. 



Powerful as is the force which moves sulphuric acid wnffl 
, Hied with common salt, to combine with the soda, and pre- 
['•mdernling as the attractive power of this acid shows itself 
over the force of the muriatic acid, there is nevertheless a 
means of again drawing away this victorious agent from the 

which it has seized so firmly. Yet is this (osaibla . 

only in llio ordinary way: by ofiering lo the sulphuric t^ 
another substance, to combine with which it lias a still stronger 
disposition than with the soda. This is effected by acting on 
Glauber's salts or sulphate of soda, by the vegetable alkali or 
potashes. Exactly na in the way mentioned of refining silver, 
the sulphuric acid lets go the silver with which it is united, and 
sinks into union with the copper, so the strong acid gives up \ia 
poasession of the soda and seizes the alkali, whose cn^rtMrtie 
acid now associates itself with the soda. 

Following Liebig, we must hero say a word respocting b 
mode or speech, some timo sioca introduced into the domain sT 

In two magnetic needles, those ends are unquestionably rela- 
ted in' their nature and properties, which have both the same 
direction north or south. Nevertheless these similar ends do 
not mutually attract, but repel and avoid one another, while 
those, whose direction is directly opposite, the one lo the ollwr, 
seek to attract each other and unite. Just so we remark also, 
in the chemical intercourse of substances, that in a. solution 
composed of various elements, one acid does not attrarl 
another and combine with it, nor one alkali another alkali, but 
rather those substances unite with one another which are of n 
wholly opposite nature and character : the acids with the alkn- 
lis or alkaline earths, nod the reverse. Of that mutual re- 
pulsion and avoidance of similar substances, which may be 
compared with the repulsion of the corresponding poles of two 
magnets, the processes which we have described, afford several 
remarkable examples, 

For this reason, the common expression, which designates 
the associated action of substances polarically opposed, the 
acids and alkalis, as chemical aflinity or relationship, and dc> 
scribes the greater or less strength, with which a substance 
seeks to be combined with this or thai other substance, as 


Bferer or remoter degrees of relationship, must be understood 
in anullier sense than that which we connect with the word, 
affinity or relationship, in common life. The children ol" Ihe 
same parents, resembling one another in their features and 
characters, are related; there is a natural affinity hetween 
ihem ; such as are of different families and races are not simi- 
larly related. If one would use the word in the same sense in 
reference to the substances and their combinations, then he 
must consider the adds as near relatives, and just so again 
with the alkalis and alkaline earths. That, however, which 
lies al the bottom of this tendency to chemical union and gives 
it its peculiar strength, is nnt a common descent, and near 
agreement of powers and properties, but directly the reverse. 
The farther in this respect, substances stand removed from one 
another, the stronger is the tendency, which, under favorable 
circumstances, leads to their union, and as, on the other hand, 
Ihe fall of a body from a less height is less forcible and swift 
Uian it is from a greater, so the mutual attraction of substances 
m/gya weaker and weaker, the nearer they approach one ano- 
Hk in their peculiar qualities. 

^^Q'here is here, moreover, something that reminds us of the 
natural relations that stand nearer to our own being. The 
friendship of man for animals can never be so grent as that of 
roan for man, (or as that of animals for their own kind.) Thus 
oxygen gas and hydrogen gas stand, in their properties, at a 
great distance from gold and platinum, but in these opposilcs 
there is no natural disposition to union, while gold on the con- 
^Kry easily enters into combinations with mercury, oxygen gas 
^B|i carbon, when the latter has, by means of Ihe forces 
^^nized life, approached nearer the gaseous condition, 
^^B> Ihe quickly evaporating phosphorus and sulphur. 
^B%e same substance, which may stand in relation to another 
^^fetgnce as an acid, in relation to a third substance, oftentimes 


ibslanccs, which priocipally form llie orgnDiEeil b 
vegetable and animal Itiogdoms, are four: carbon, hy^ 
'nitrogen, and oxygen. We shall consider here, fira 
the first iwo, devoting to the latter two a special chapte 
\y rarely is carbon found pure and unnii:it, and the p 

'hich it Ihen presents, ore ao remarkable, thai, froi 
Krliest times, they have arrested attention. The pi 
'bich carbou appears, namely, as diamond, give 
riden crowns and diadems of princes (heir highest valnf 
(illiancy. That conl and diamond are in substance one ' 

same, — what wise man of antiquity would have held 

ipporent contradiclion for truth ! Noverlheleas, so it is. 

'diamond, this hardest and most solid of stones, with the 

splinters of which, even the sapphire can be cut, and the 

L surfaces of which, even the hardest English file cannot 

the diamond cannot resist ibe beat of the sun's rays 

ilraled in the focus ofa reflecting mirror; it is consumed 

a faint light, and is dissolved into carbonic acid, through 

bmbl nation with oxygen. 

at, which gives to carbon in the form of diamond its 

»r form, its wondrous brilliancy, ila extraordinary hard- 

ia the power of cryslallisalion, which it is no more in our 

T, through art, to give to the coal which we burn, although 

rttain the carbon from it in the greatest possible purity, 

ill 18 to give the powers of life to those elements, of which 

djijust a moment ago living, but now dismembered by our 

bi consists. 

m wbslance of coal (carbon), so to speak, takes a cryslsU 
'•late, wiih extraordinary difficulty and only under condi- 
oT which we are ignorant. This fact ia especially favor. 
fo organic life ; for if this substance could bo as easily 
rted into diamond as chloride of sodium into rock-salt, 
«te of lime into little crystals of calcareous spar, ' 

iodine into its peculiar crysttilliae forms, what [lOWcr of diges- 
liQD and decornposilinn would then su(7ice to draw the indls- 
ponsablc means of nutrition within the circle of life and 
growth ! 

One of the commonest and most abundant forms, ia tvliicli 
carbon presents itself, as a component part of the earth, is 
alone-coal. When in some kinds of the same, among wliicb 
the shining coal (anthracite) belongs, carbon predominates in 
greater purity; these kinds of coal prove to be vastly mofe 
difficult of combuation than those ordinary speciea of black 
and brown coal, in which the carbon is combined with bitumen 
which abounds in hydrogen gas and oxygen gas, and part!}', 
as in charcoal, in metallic substances, the olkalis and earths. 
Bedfi of stone and brown coa! (peat) are found in all quarters of 
tliB globe, in the farthest north, where scorcely a straw flourislica, 
and in the countries of the torrid zone with their lusurianl 
vegetation, Eoglaod alone produces yearly about 150 millioi 
cwt. of stone coal, whose value is eslimaled at 48 millions i 
guilders, and 150,000 persons are employed in its coal trade. 
The consumption of this article is everywhere considerable, 
and it has been reckoned, that supposing the coal of England 
to continue 1o be mined at the same rate, it could be exhai 
in 350 years. Should it really happen so, the still hidden 
vaults, in which this treasure is stored and which elsewhere 
exist, would soon open to man, the ruler and investigator of 
the earth. 

In other forms also than in (hat of stone coal, is carboD 
found among the component parts of the earth, namely, i 
bitumen, petroleum, naphtha. There are places, where these 
inflammable, solid, or fluid substances, come forth of them- 
selves from below, as in the springs of petroleum and naphtha, 
which exist on the western side of the Caspian sea, and ir 
Bjman Empire, whose inhabitants, without any trouble, yearly 

tsliccl pelroleum to the amoutit of 400,000 hogsheads. Also 
on the surrace of ihe Dead Sea, asphall (pilch) ia frequently 
found io floating masses and fragments. Among those fossils, 
which are rich in carbon, belongs also amber, a production of 
the antediluvian vegetable world. 

Carbon, in union with oxygen, and forming carbonic acid, ia 
found still more extensively diffused, and poasesaing a greater 
aclivity, than the above named forms of combustible fossils, 
The by far greatest part of onr lime mountains consists of a 
combination of carbonic acid and lime. The water of our 
springs very generally contains, and in part in sufficient quan- 
tities to be perceptible to the taste, the carbonic acid, which 
here and tlierc, in a vaporiform state, fills Ihe hollows and 
depths of the earth. Even in our atmosphere, carbonic acid is 
indicated aa one of the more uniform constituents, although its 
quantity, in comparison with the principal gases of the air, is 
very small. It is dislioguished from the other gases of the 
atmosphere particularly by its much greater specific gravity, 
by reason of which it coilecta, wherever it can do so, at the 
lowest points. 

To the breathing animal, carbonic acid, in a gaseous form, 
ia fatal. After a few inhalations the animal is auffbcated ; and 
■be flame of a burning candle is extinguished in this gas. On 
the other hand, when it comes, united with water, within reach 
of plants, it contributes in an especial manner to their life, the 
plants taking up the carbon as nourishment and exhaling the 
oxygen combined with it, when Ihe sun shines on their green 
leaves. Animals also, and especially man, takes no food, whose 
truly nourishing power is not to be ascribed particularly to the 
carbon, which it contains, united with nitrogen and hydrogen. 
There ia no part of the human body wholly without carbon ; 
every breath that we draw, every pulse of the blood receives 
'he impulse of motion from the egress or ingress of thia aub- 


'•ivi UlSBOa OF NATURE. 

stance, because, in the hi<{hor circle of created Gxieteiic^ it 
serves to keep up the fire oa the altar of life, as coal keepa up 
fire on the hearths of huts and palaces. 

Water, in ils all-nourishiDg, all-supporting office aa nurse 
and houae-mother, we have already considered (cb. 3). Many 
of its properties have been known in earliest times. It hud 
been declared, as a sort of prophecy, that water can be pro- 
duced from air, and become oir again. But there is a great 
dilTerence between such a surmise of the human mind and ac- 
tual knowledge, founded on sure experience. How quickly is 
the flash of a cannon, discharged at a distance, visible to the 
eye, and how much longer is the interval before the sound of 
the report reaches the ear ; just so the prophetic thought of the 
mind, the intention directed to any act, exists in us at once, but 
the realisation of the thought, by actual inquiry and experiment, 
has for the most part still a long way to pass through manifold 
difEculties and obstructions, to reach its consummation. 

Water actually consists of air, but not of one kind, but, aa 
it has been made to appear since the year 1766, by Watt, 
and llie chemists Cavendish and Lavoisier, of two kinds of air, 
into which it can be separated by human art, and of which It 
can anew be composed. With the fact, with which every child 
may be acquainted, and according to which water presenta it- 
self as the readiest and most natural means of putting out fire, 
hardly anything could stand apparently in more direct contra- 
diction than the discovery, that in water itself esists a sub- 
stance, inflammable and burning with a powerful flame. But 
when water is separated into its two oppositea by electricity, in 
other words, polarised, then is obtained the inJlammaiM axf, 
of whose destructive force weTiave spoken (ch. 21), Miners, 
especially in coal-mines, are familiar with this under the name 
of fire-damp. It has destroyed numbers, shivering them into 
pieces by its explosive power, similar to that of gunpowder. 

and similar eflecta have been produced, when in cellars or other 
close places, in which vessels of fermenting fluids were kepi, 
inflammable hydrogen has been developed by ihc process of 
fcrmcDtalJoD, combined with carbon. To spirits of wine, as lo 
oil and all fatty or resinous bodies, inflammability- is given by 
b^drogeo in union with carbon. Carburet of hydrogen affords 
us the material for lighting our houses and streets. On a yet 
larger scale, it is made lo furnish fuel to those natural hearths, 
where fire is always kept going, and which exist in the neighbor- 
hood of naphtha springs andof many salt beds, by merely boring 
into the earth and lighting the gas which issues therefrom. 

Besides electricity, by which in fact the purest hydrogen gas 
is obtained from water, there are yet various other means at 
our command of procuring infiammable air with ease and in 
tolerable abundance. The element, which ofieoest holds it and 
draws it to the ground in the form of water, is ox7/gen gas or 
vilal air, the sovereign among all the substances known to us, 
furnishing the basis in all chemical combinations, in all physi- 
cal formations, for whose society and alliance, most other sub- 
stances manifest a lively desire. For while gold, for example, 
stands, like a hermit, amid the primal elements of the upper 
world, and voluntarily enters into union, neither with water 
nor air, but only with its fellow inhabitants of the subterranean 
world, as with mercury, for instance ; the easily rusting iron, 
■, and most other metals seize opportunity to abstract the 
^geQ from the water or the air and lo become oxydes. When 
which about a fifth or sixth of its weight in concen- 
trated sulphuric acid is added, is poured upon iron filings or 
pulverised zinc, the acid produces a polarisation or decomposi- 
tion of the water, eimilar to that produced by the electric spark, 
the disposition of one pole to union with the iron becomes so 
much increased, that, with the iron, it presents the oxyde, and 
n the same proportion, the opposite polaric action is jncrea seA 
IS ^ 


dIso, which exists in the nature of the water, and there is pro- 
(iuoed hydrogen gas, which, ia combination with carbon, of 
which almost all tron contains a small proporlioD, rises btm 
[he water. 

When the two kinds of gas, produced by meana of the pdlitr- 
isalton of water, are compared in reference to their weight, it 
is found that oxygen gas weighs 8 limes more than hydro- 
gen. To speak exactly, (he proportion between them, in this 
respect, is as 8891 to 1109. But when the space is consider- 
ed, which both occupy in their gaseous form, it is observable 
that the hydrogen fills double the space held by oxygen, so 
that a cubic foot of hydrogen is 1 6 times less in weight than a 
cubic foot of oxygen. When, tlierefore, water is to be com- 
bined from these two gases, eight times the weight of oxygen 
must be joined with once the weight of hydrogen, or, if the 
space, which ihey respectively occupy, be regarded, a volume 
of hydrogen must be employed double that of the oxygen. 
When mingled in this proportion, and a burning light or sparb 
is brought near to the mixture, it is inflamed with a violent re- 
port, and so suddenly expanded by the heat generated in the 
combustion, that the vessel, in which the combination tabes 
place, if of a fragile nature, is shivered into atoms. 

The influence exerted on water by electricity, which, afler 
all, is only a faint type of the vital force which reigns in ani- 
mated beings, is exerted also much more generally in the sphere 
of organic life ; here the water becomes polarised without 
ceasing, indeed so, that each of the two polaric substances is 
immediately used for the fashioning of the fluid or the more solid 
parts. In every, even the smallest part of the human body 
especially, hydrogen is contained at the same time with the 
carbon already mentioned. But in addition to these two, there 
are yet other two substances, by the mixture of which particu- 
larly is formed the atmosphere that encompasses our planet on 


sides. But in passing to a more particular considcralion of 
the coDSIiluenls of the atmosphere and the properties of the 
some, a brieC nulice of aerial oavigalion will atTord us an 
opporlunily to take a general glance, as a bird might, at the 
atmosphere, and at some of the formations which arc going on 


^tAn iron anchor let down into the sea immediately sinks, 
drawn tiy its own weight into the flood helow, and drags down 
with it eveo the cahle to which it is fastened, until it reaches 
^^e Orm ground which will not let it sink any deeper. The 
^fa|ter of the Dead Sea, by virtue of the many saline parts 
^Hijch it contains dissolved in it, is so thick and heavy that a 
^881), who has never learned to swim, can keep himself up upon 
it without any trouble, while a piece of chalk, although its pro- 
portionate gravity is much less than that of a pebble-stone, 
fks in the same water to the bottom. But even a piece of 
a docs not sink in fluid mercury, but floats thereon as easily 
a piece of cork on water. As a little piece of elder pilh, 
ded at one end with lead, to the amusement of our children, 
always takes a position with the heavy end down and the light 
end up, so in all duids, the body which is lighter than the fluid 
^■hs, and that which is heavier sinks to the hotlom. 
^^B'he art of traveling on water was invented and practised in 
^^K earliest times; for tlie method of traveling thus wns very 
^^■ious. The means of navigating the water were ofiered by the 
^^Bple vegetable world, by almost every tree; for titere are hut 
^^^w kinds of wood, such as boxwood and magohany, so much 
'■ heavier than water, that they sink in it. Most other kinds 
(loal, because the solid parts, of which they are 

I 90 closely and firmly united ns the component parta 


d, are M 


slone. Yet even a vessel made of iron, beaten out thin, flosla 
on the water, because its cavily contains chiefly only almos- 
plierio air, which is 770 times lighter than v 

The wish to sail about, not only on the water, but in and on 
the airy ocean of the atmosphere, must have often been 
awakened in man, when he saw the inhabitants of the air 
birds and winged insects, hovering and flying about with k 
much ease in that element. To the birds especially, this ii 
made possible, because their bodies within as well as without 
contain a multitude of cavities, which are filled with a 
the quills of their feathers, and even their bones, disclose sucii 
cavities, and, in the interior of their bodies, there are spaces 
connected with the lungs, which fill with air by n 
process of breathing. In addition to these facts there is tiiG 
admirable arrangement of the wings and lail-fealhers, i 
when spread out, not only form a natural parachute, but ihelr 
steering movement is preserved, efibcled as it is by the force of 
the muscles, — on arrangement, whose perfection human art bus 
striven in vain to imhate. What, however, the hand has failed 
to accomplish, has been all the more successfully achieved by 
the imagination with its fabulous inventions; for as Dsedalin 
and Icarus were snid to have escaped from the prison of Minos, 
by means of waxen wings ; so it was fabled also of a great 
mathematician of antiquity, Archytas, that be invented o 
wooden dove that flew in the air like a living bird. 

These and similar fictions afterwards invented, nevertheless, 
found people here and there who held them for true, and were 
accordingly templed to experiments which cost several of 
them their lives. Whether the Italian, Giovanni Battista 
Dante of Perugia, at the end of the 15th century, by means of 
his flying machine, really passed several times across the 
Trasimenian lake, ere he fell in attempting to take wing from a 
■, remains a question. At least the bold adven- 




Qme off with liis life, allhough he broke hia leg, because 
forluDaCely fur him he fell upon a tower; while a similar 

k atlempt to fly cost the learned Olivier de Matmesbury, ia Eng- 

uid, and Backwell, in Padua, their lives. 

To Bwim in the water ia quite a different thing from swim- 

n (he air. The human body is not heavier, indeed it is 

I little lighter than water, while its specilic weight is to that of 

■ almost a hundred limes greater than that of iron is to 

It'that of water. In con aide ration of this fact, some learned men, 
MS Za/M in Brescia, and Sturm at Alldorf, (near Nuremberg,) 
Ihe former in 1670, the latter in 1678, declared that the eleva- 
tion of a solid, shiji-shapcd, body in the air, could be effected 
only fay connecting with it hollow balls, weighing less than the 
air, and on this account rising in the air of themselves. The 
iDventioD of the air pump by Olto von Guericlc, twenty years 
before, appeared to furnish iho means of carrying out this idea. 
For a hollow ball exhausted of air, if the material were not too 
heavy, must needs, so it appeared, ascend in the air. But of 
what should such a ball be made, in order to be strong enough 
to resist the enormous pressure of the atmosphere ? This pres. 
sure amounts to 3,316| lbs. on every square foot of Ihe earth's 
surfnce; a thin metal plale is collapsed by it, and the thickest 
bladder, stretched over a vacuum, is burst in. Hence not 
altogether out of the way was the idea of father Galien ot 
Avignon, stated in J755, that such balls must be, not empty, 
hut filled only with a specifically lighter kind of air, whose 
elasticity may resist Ihe externa! pressure ; adventurous as tfiay 
apg^e-ir the proposal, that the needed kind of air should Wi 
brought from the upper and rarer regions of the atmosphere. 
We are not reduced to the necessity of attempting such a trip, 
ia order to fill the hollow balls or air-tight bags according to 
Galicu's proposal with a gas, resembling common air in elasti- 
city, but as much lighter than Ihe air as wafer is in comparison 



with mercury. The celebrated English chemisi, Henry Caem- 
dish, (bora at Nizza, in 1731, died 1810, in London,) aroBn 
dike rich in mind and fortune, in the year 1760 discovered the 
great levity of hydrogen gas ; and thus a new era waa opened 
in the history of aerostation. Soap-bubbles filled with inflam- 
mable air, Kralzenstein saw in 1776 ascend with estraordinary 
swiftness into the air; Cavalld's experiments in 1782 Gtiled, 
however, because silk paper let the air escape, and bladders 
were too heavy. 

There yet remained, comparatively speaking, only a slight 
difficulty to be overcome, which lay in the preparation of bq 
air-tight material, of which the balloon was to be made. This 
last remaining step was soon taken by two individuals, who, 
although not professionally men of science, have thereby won 
for themselves an enduring name in the history of inventions, 
the brothers, Stephen and Robert Mongolfier, proprietors of a 
paper factory at Annonay, in Vivarais. In the year 1782 
ihey succeeded on a small scale, simply by means of heated 
air, in raising balloons to the height of the ceihng, and then to 
the height of a house; and these experiments, the simplicity of 
which would now excite a smile, created far and near a great 
excitement, and this excitement rose still higher when the 
brothers succeeded in preparing a balloon, tolerably air-light, 
of linen, the inside of which was lined with paper, and ths 
diameter of which was 110 feet. This balloon had an opening 
below, into which heated air passed from a fire, kept up below 
by straw and carded wool, set on fire. The comparatively 
greater levity of the air, rarefied by the heat, caused the bal- 
loon, when it was filled, not only to ascend, although its weight 
was 450 lbs., but also to carry up an additional weight of more 
than 400 lbs., and indeed with such rapidity, that in the space 
of 20 minutes, it reached a height of 6000 feet, and was car- 
ried by ihc wind, which that day (the 5lh of June,) was 



J strong, a distance of three quarters of a league, when it 

ihe earth. 
s newspapers were full of aocounla of this first victory, 

Sieved by man over an obstacle, which places him below the 
bird ; but a few months later, the public prinla had much more 
important triumphs to tell of. Prof Charles in Paris, availing 
self of the aid of the brothers, Mongolficr, in preparing his 
in, which was made of taffeta, and rendered apparently per- 
bly- air-light by means of a resinous varnish, was the first to 
^loy, instead of rarefied air, hydrogen gas, to fill the balloon, 
9 only 12 feet in diameter, and which, at the first 
^I, made August 27, 1783, on the Champ de Mars, rose 
Kit 3000 feef, then was lost from sight in the clouds, but 
■ three quarlers of an hour, began to descend towards the 
leroal bosom of the earth, and alighted five leagues from the 
e of its ascent, 

Scientific men, and all the friends of the newborn art of aail- 
^in the air, would have preferred that the balloon, like the 
E let loose from the ark, should not have returned, but con- 
1 ila course unseen by human eye — who knows how long? 
9 upper regions of the atmosphere, for thus it would have 
n proved that the sides of the hollow taffeta ball were sufR- 
(ntly air-tight to permit no escape of the inflammable air, 
St have the effect to cause the balloon to descend. 
b obtain this quality of impermeability, M. Remain of Paris 
ployed a newly-invented varnish, by means of which, a bal- 
i, which the brewer Caps made at Danlzick, appears ac- 
lUy to have resembled Noah's dove, for after being kept filled 
1^ three months with inflammable air, without suffii ring any 
inution, upon being removed into the open air, it escaped 

1 the light cords, by which it was held, and what di 
a taken over land and sea, no one knows. 



As yet no living being haJ mouoled into ihe air wilh the 
aeroslatic ball, and Ihe first, who enjoyed ibis honor could 
tell nothing of any experiments made during the air-voyage 
although ti barometer was placed in their basket ; for these Rra 
voyagers of the air, whom the younger Mongolfier cansed lo 
WEcend on the 1 9th September, at Versailles, ia the presence of 
the king, were a ram, a cock, and a duck. The excursion 
which these three look, by no will of Iheir own, however, suc- 
ceeded perfectly. They descended unhurt lo the earth about a 
league from Paris. What the ram, the cock, and the duck had 
succeeded in doing, might safely be attempted fay man. The 

t trial, however, was made with great caution. The bol- 
loon, which 4 weeks after the ascent of the aforesaid animals, 

i wilh iHlairc de Rozier, a man of science, was held so 
firmly by corda that he ascended only lo the height of 84 feet, 
was drawn down again afler a lapse of 4 miiiules. A 
somewhat bolder atlempl, made by the same gentleman 4 days 
afterwards, (Oct, 19,) was successful, although the cords of ihe 
balloon caught in some trees. The spirit for such an adven- 
ture now rose to such a height, (hat the Marquis d'Arlandes 
ofiered himself as a companion to tho young Rozier, in the next 
somewhat bolder excursion, which was made on the 21st of 
November, from the caslle La Muette, on which occasion the 
two adventurers were in the space of 25 minutes borne lo a 
considerable height, and to a distance of nearly 3 leagues from 
La Muelle. They came unharmed lo Ibe ground, and not a 
little delighted at the success of the journey. Their example 
instantly excited the emulation of others. Charles especially, 
who had been one of the first among the inventors of aerosta- 
tion, and who was resolved not to be left behind in the application 
of the new art, now undertook (Dec. 1.) Q voyage into the air, 

»mpany wilh one of the brothers Mongolfier, which. In its 


iplendii] and successful eTecuIion, left all previous allenipis Tar 
behind. The most dislinguished point in (he copitol, the Tui!- 
leries, was selected for the ascent. Twenty minutes before two 
o'clock, P. M,, the beautiful ballooD, in n blaze of sunlight, and 
made of vari-colored taffeta, waa seen to rise, carrying with il, 
hung by cords, a sort of triumphal car, in which the two cloud- 
slormers were seated. They soon rose to five or six times the 
heighib of the steeples of the city, and, at this height, of nearly 
1800 feet, they surrendered the balloon to the moderate wind 
that was blowing, which bore them to a distance of nine leagues 
from Paris into the neighborhood of Ncsle. Moos. Robert, 
having had enough of the cool journey, in order lo cause the 
balloon to descend, opened certain valves, by which a portion 
of the light, inflammable air escaped, and an equal quantity of 
the heavier, atmospheric air was admitted. The balloon sank 
to the earth ; Mons, Robert alighted on terra firma, and Mons. 
Charles, closing the valves, again rose. The balloon, now 
lighter by 130 lbs., rose once more to a hcighth of 9000 feet, 
the heighlh of the summit of Mt. jGtna, The annoyances of 
the icy coldness and rarefied air in thai region of perpetual 
frost were outweighed, not only by the enjoyment aflbrded by 
the grand outlook over the country under the light of the set- 
ting sun, but even more by the thought that hitherto no dcni- 
xen of earth had ever attained lo so bold a flight. The car in 
which the happy mortal sale, had not in vain the form of a 
triumphal chariot; when a^cr 5 and 30 minutes, it descended 
near a wood not far from Tour du Lay, and Mons. Charles 

P embarked unharmed and in fine spirils, the art of man celc- 
Hed one of its most imposing victories. 
But now another man, one of the most fortunate advcnlurera 
of his time, appeared upon the slage, Prancis Blanchard, who 
made a greater talk in all countries, than ail his predecessors 
}ad companions on this new career of glory. Blanchard, born 



173i5, at Aiidely in the department d'Eure, was a mechanic Ly 

profession, and from hia youlh up had busied himaelf with nil 
sorts of schemes und experiments, having for their aim, the in- 
vention of a flying machine. Without ceasing, asleep or awal(c, 
his lively imagination was practising the art of flying. At last, 
ofter laboring twelve years lo realise his dreum, he fancied ho 
had succeeded. He went lo Paris in 1783, some months before 
Mongolfier showed his balloon in that city, and first requiring 
money to enable him lo prepare his flying ship, he announced 
in pompous terms his approaching excursion in the air, | 
mising to rise into the highest regions of the atmosphere b^ 
means of the four wings of his strange ship. Arriving there, 
he would achieve an immense distance in a short time, would 
descend, here and there at pleasure, and even alight on 
water, as his machine was lo be so arranged as to be fitted lo 
navigate the ocean, lie was to dart through the air sw 
than the raven, wiihout losing breath, as he would be provided 
with a mask, ingeniously constructed to obviate that difficulty. 
Even against the wind, but only not in a storm, he would pur- 
sue his course, more slowly indeed, but nevertheless with 
greater rapidity than the best sailing ship with a fair wind. 

This boastful announcement appeared in the widely-read 
Daily of Paris, and in thousands of ignorant heads awakened 
the liveliest agitation of interest and curiosity. The delirium 
spread among all classes; so that the great mathematician and 
nstronomer. La Jjande, considered it a duty lo address a letter 
to Ihe editor of the daily print, in which he abundantly showed 
the absurdity of Blanchard's scheme of flying in Ihe air by 
mechanical means. The seducing influence, however, which 
the folly of one man, when it is accompanied with unusual self- 
confidence, exercises upon other men, manifested itself in this 
instance. Many indeed doubted, some sneered, while others, 
among whom was the engineer and engraver to the li 


Martinet, miiintained the possibility of Bl an chard's sclieme, and 
were as anxious as the credulous mass to witness the proposed 
.■speriment. When the day came which the half foolish me- 
chanic appointed to ahow his winged air-ship to the curious 
public, the crowd was so great and the space for the spectacle 
K) small, that the affair had to be postponed. The universal 
curiosity was, however, to be gratified on another day, the 26lh 
of August, and public notice was given by Martinet, that, if no 
serioua obstacles intervened, Blanchard would ascend into the 
air before the eyes of all Paris, But such obstacles did ac- 
tually iulorvenc. Mons. Blanchard, having succeeded so well 
in raising the wind, on the appointed day, allowed much to bo 
beard but nothing to bo seen of him. The show-loving public 
might hold itself indemnified for its disappointed expectations 
by the sight of four copper plates, by Mons. Martinet, rcpre- 
eeatiag the adventurous air-ship in front and behind, outside 
and in. 

Blanchard, with bis boastings, retreated into oblivion, and 
he would scarcely have emerged again, had not the discovery 
amde shortly afterwards by the brothers, Mongolfier and Prof. 
Charles, CO ine to the help of this true child of fortune in the 
realisation of his dreans. Suddenly, after a number of air- 
voyagea had been made by the help of the balloon, Blanchard, 
over befriended by the wind, again appeared before the public 
with an air-ship of his own invention, in which, however, the 
balloon was the principal part, while it presented in addition a 
couple of wings on each side, a rudder, an anchor line, and 
below a huge parachute. The man was resolved to outstrip 
ail his predecessors, not merely by ascending into the air, but 
aiao by going where he pleased in the sky like a bird. 
^^erbaps the accident that befel this artificial contrivance 
^Ep the occasion when it was first to be tried, in the beginning 


or March 1784, happened not wholly in opportunely . A Btit- 
dent who was resolved lo press himself oa Blanchard as a 
companion of the voyage, in his furious zeal broke the wings 
and parachute of the machine, and when Blanchard, neverthe- 
less, prepared to ascend, provided merely with the rudder and 
the anchor line, the promised bird's flight was of course not 
to be expected of him. The spectalora had to be satisfied with 
the assurance of the self-satisfied air-sailor that he would 
mount just as high as Rozier did, and that was 9000 feet. 
the same month Blanchard delighted the inhabitants of Rouen 
with an air-voyage, when an accident again occurred, the wind 
breaking the rudder and leaving only the wings uninjured. 
Once again in Rouen, but several times aflerwards, in quick 
succession, in England, he carried on his lucrative trade, and 
thus his confidence in his good fortune grew so, that he raised 
himself to his boldest deed : crossing the channel from Eng- 
land lo France. A balloon, tilled with hydrogen gas, which had 
ulreody made five ascents without any accident, bore the oar, in 
which, together with Blanchard, an American, Dr. Jeffries, was 
seated. In the presence of an immense multitude the two 
heroes of the oir rose, Jan. 7, 1785, at Dover, and mounted, 
borne by the wind, several steeples high over the tossing sea. 
But they soon found cause to rue their boldness. The gas escaped 
Bo ropidly that the balloon threatened to fail into the water. 
The aeronauts threw out their 30 lbs. of ballast, and then 
all the articles they had taken with them, and even a. part 
of their clothes, into the ocean roaring beneath them, They 
would have been lost, however, if the wind hod not borne them 
just at the right moment toward the French coast, in the vicini. 
ty of which the balloon again rose and floated on without 
injury into the forest of Guienne, a league from Calais- 
monument erected there in honor of Blanchard, was 

W R021EE. 217 

■ib presefvi! ihc memory of his exploit, llie success of which ihe 

■king or France rewarded with a present of 12000 francs, and 

KHth the assurance of on annuity of 1200 francs, 

^f This ignorant adventurer, who was destitute of all know- 

Htsdge, scientilic or mathematical, who in his cstravagant self- 

^MMimatioD announced himself everywhere as "aeronaut of both 

^Hemispheres, citizen of the principal cities of both worlds, 

Bpiember of foreign academies," thus succeeded without con- 

HUeralion or duo foresight in an enterprise, which was shortly 

^^Berwnrds undcriaken at the cost of his life by on excellent 

^^BD, thoroughly instructed, who vealured not upon the attempt 

^H^l aOer all care had been taken, and all the helps secured, 

^Bnich science could afford. Blanchard's history shows us how 

^Brtooe can raise a man, even when understanding is wanting. 

■Q shows us that the admiration of a crowd of colcmporarics 

furnishes no standard of real merit. With all his fortunate 

ejccursions into the upper sky, of which at his death, in 1809, 

he numbered 66, he rendered no essential service to science or 

lo posterity, although some have wished to ascribe to him the 

iaveniion of the parachute which properly belongs to Stephen 

Mongolfier, — that parachute, by means of which he lei himself 

dawn several limes from considerable heights, for t!ie amuse- 

meol of spectators, in diiTerent counlries of Europe and Ame- 

I, and a knowledge of which was of no use to his wife, who 

is trade nder his death, when in July, 1819, she 

1 at Paris, in order on a beautiful summer night lo de- 

rt the crowd with a discharge of il re- works from the balloon, 

by whicli the balloon caught fire and the poor heroine fell to 

Ihe earth and perished. 

i While Blanchard's name and achievemeols everywhere ex- 
gd Ihe greatest admiration, and appeared to cast in the shade 
■ sinnilar enterprises, the scientific and enlightened authors 
I promolcrs of the new art were silently cngngcd in cndcn- 
L : 


voring to perfect il and render it more secure. The chemist 
RozUt had gone to Lyons lo ihe elder Mongolfier, and, in 
company with him, had prepared a balloon of more than 12,000 
cubic feet contents. In an ascent made with this balloon, 
end in which Rozier was accompanied wilh 7 olher persons, it 
was proved tlial the danger increased with the size of the bal- 
loon, for the gigantic ball, when il had risen to a height of 
3000 feel, suiTercd, after 15 minutes, a rent. It rortunately de- 
scended, hotvcver, without injury, to the earllu All the altempis 
of Mongolfier and of MM. Alban and Vcdlet, to regulate the 
horizoQiul molion of the balloon by means of a rudder, proved 
fruitless; and their repetition by others has had no successful 
result. On the other hand, Rozier, and after him, severftl 
others, especially Count Zambeccari, succeeded by a very sim- 
ple method, in regulating the rising and descending of the 
raongulfiere. A spirit lamp was connected with the balloon, end, 
by the opening and closing of certain valves, the lamp could 
he kindled or cxtinsuishcd. The heating, and consequent ei- 
pansion of the air in the balloon could be increased or dimin- 
ished hy a slight increase or diminution of the flame of the 
lamp, so that in a few seconds Ihe balloon could be driven to a 
greater height, or be made to descend in a few minutes to the 
ground. Although, however, the greatest possible care WM 
taken in adjusting such a circular, ring-formed lamp to the 
mouth of the mongolfiere below, yet this arrangement was at- 
tended wilh great danger, as the spirits were liable to be shaken 
by Ihe frequent and sudden gusts of wind to which the hallooa 
was exposed, and thus the balloon itself might be set on 6re, 
An accident of this sort probably led to the unfortunate result 
of the second allcmpt to cross the British Channel, made by 
the French aeronauts. This second attempt to pass through 
the air over the sea promised a result at least as favorable na 
that of the former attempt by Blanchard, for the person who 


uaderlDolc it was a thorough chemist, the season most favor- 
able, and all ihe proparalions for the voyage were made with 
the greatest care. In order by means of liis lamp apparatus 
^ Jo regulate his asceQl or descent, Rozier provided himself with 
umongolfiere in addition to, and placed below, the balloon which 
fclW filled with hydrogen. Like Blaiichard, Rozier took a com- 
^^uioti with him: the parliamentary advocate domain, from 
^^bogne. Blanchard had passed from England to France, 
^^pi present escursjon was the reverse, starting from Calais for 
^»Ver. The 14ih of June was appointed for the ascent. Soon 
after 7 A. M., the balloon rose majestically with Ihe two men 
ofscieoce ; the south east wind, into whose current they passed 
ai some Leighl, appeared to bear them straight towards their 
goal. But soon the wind set in east, and this change was fol- 
lowed by one still more unfavorable; a current of air carried 
the balloon from the sea back again towards the French coast. 
The two gallant men were at least to find iheir graves on their 
native soil, and not in the waves. The inflammable air of the 
upper balloon in the dangerous vicinity of the montgolfiere 
probably took fire; Ibe whole machine fell from a great height 
with indescribable rapidity and violence to the earth, and the 
fragments lay scattered on the ground a league and a half from 
Boulogne, only a few hundred steps from the sea ; the bodies of 
the aeronauts were so mangled, that the human form was hardly 
lo be recognised. Their remains were buried at Vimile. Thus 
perished a man, for whom one would have wished a better fate, 
tccause, among all, he was the first to intrust his own person 
: .< aa oir-ship, and to rise with It into the uncertain element, and 
,::c4iuse he had done so much for the advancemeitl of that art, 
!j which his life was sacrificed. 

This was Ihe first instance in which the newly invented art 

Sod hod so frightful a result. For, with the exceplion of the 

I Pteocti painter, Bouchc, who, however, when his ballooa at 


Aranjuez toolc Sre, had saved himself by a leap, llK 
taken place up to Ihnt lime {17S5) 33 asceols by 58 dilTerent- 
])crsans, and no accident had occurred. Among these adven- 
turers was Mad. Thihlf, at Lyons, llie first of her sex who 
trusted herself to a balloon, and who achieved the ejtcursion 
June 4, 1784. The chorm of the novel and beautiful art Vi 
ao powerful, and so heightened by the continued sucrftss 
BInnchard and others, that the fate of Rozler and Itomaia 
could not prevent these aerial excursions from becoming more 
frequent and general. Among the most interesling adventures 
of this kind is that of Croshie especially, who ascended at 
Dublin, with the design of crossing tha channel between Ire- 
land nnd England. His cnr was adapted equally ti 
and to the water, and to this construction he owed hts rescuo 
from destrucliou. For the wind, at first favorable, and prorais- 
ing to bear him straight to England, changed to the north-enat; 
the bold man soon found himself 40 Hnglisli miles from the 
Irish const, at a heighth, from which he could see indeed both 
England and Ireland, but where the pleasure, which this grand 
prospect would have given him under other circumstances, \ 
very much lessened by the eflect of the surrounding air upon 
his body. For nllhough below, on the earth, the hot July sun 
shone with full power, at the heighth at which the aeronaut 

I found himself, it was so cold that the ink which he look with 
hini was frozen, and tlie quicksilver in the thermometer sank 
into the ball. This, however, was not the greatest calamity of 
that excursion, Crosbic had let olT a portion of the 
order to descend into a lower, milder region ; when he hod 
reached which, he was borne by a north wind through a cloud, 
in which he saw lightnings nnd heard thunder, his air-ship 
gradually sinking lower and lower, until the waves beat into 
{lis car, the balloon driving all tho while before the wind, and 
■agging Ibe c-ar along with it towards the English coast, where 


; vessel came lo tiie assiatunce of the aeronaut, and look hira 
nd his balloon safely into port. 

aeronaut, whose bold adventures by air and water excited 
I the lime great interest in several countries of Europe, was 
! Italian Count Zamheccari. In 1783, he had sent up a 
ililoon of considerable size in Loudon, and alicrwards had 
ntributed much to advance the new art. When, at a later 
iriod — October, 1803, he ascended with two companions at 
totogna, the balloon rose (o such a height, that the aeronauts 
we well nigh frozen, and the Count himself aHerwards lost 
Weo fingers, in consequence of being frost-bitten ou this ocea- 
DD, From this great height, they let the balloon descend. 
It it came down on tlio Adriatic sea, where the three men 
pre saved, but the balloon was carried by the wind to the 
Urkish fortress, Vihacz, where the commandant cut the sup- 
ned gill of Heaven into lillle pieces and distributed them 
NODg his friends. Upon a second attempt, in August, 1804, 
unbeccari rose again into the re^'ion of intense cold, and 
piin descended upon the Adriatic. Nevertheless, his zeal for 
W trials suffered no abatement until in 1812, at Bologna, ho 
eished in one of his favorite enterprises, 
rAs to any advantages afforded by the art of sailing in the 
r. Of any knowledge obtained by these excursions into the 
iper regions, — men have not advanced in sixty years much 
fthei than they had got in the first five years after the inven- 
|b of Mongolfier, No safe means has yet been found ofcon- 
^ILng the movemenls of the balloon at pleasure, like a ship 
k the water. All that has Lccn obtained is the power of ris- 
I or descending at will, and thus of passing from one current 
Mf) unfavorable perhaps, to another and more favorable one. 
It the -whole, the aeronaut is at the mercy of the wind, upon 
I direction and speed of which, (he swiftness of his traveling 
pends. The greatest horizontal speed, observed in a balloon, 


s 17i German milea per hour. Suuh was Ihc rate traveled 
by Garnerin in company wilh Capt. Sowdon, id 1802, from 
Loodon to Cokhesier. The great balloon, sent up Dec, ] 
1804, at Paris, fell the nest day, aller being up 22 hours, not 
far from Rome, the moderale speed, which it observed in pass- 
ing this distance of 230 ntileg, crossing the high Alps, amount- 
ed to more than 10 geographical miles in an hour. At about 
the same ra;e RobertsoD'a aJr-shlp at Hamburg sailed, 
small balloon, aiu\. olT June 16, 1B04, at Grdningen, fell after 
12 hours al Halle, and had run almost five milcB in an hour. 
Seventeen and a half miloa an hour gives 110 feet in a second. 

nilea 64 feel in a second ; the eagle flies 95 feet ic 

The rate at which well made balloons rose perpendiculariy, 
»as in many eases estimated at 30 and even 50 feet i 
lecond. As the eye of ihe aeronaut has no alationary object 
lear, by which it can measure the rate of the progress made, 
jut as it seems to him, even when he is going quickest, as ii 
were standiug etill, so the ordinary degree of speed car 
reckoned only by the lime taken lo reach a certain terminating 
point of his course, which can be ascertained in ascending only 
by observing the barometer. When the way upward leads 
through the clouds, the clouds do not appear as to us Leiow bb 
iixed masses, hut as ragged, torn textures, hanging downwards, 
and falling down, as the balloon ascends. The highest point, 
ascertained wilh scientific accuracy by the barometer, to which 

n aeronaut has risen, is that which the celebrated French n 
of science, Guy Ltissac, reached in his ascent, Sept. 10, 18W, 
It amounted to nearly 23,000 feet, exceeding the height of llw 
summit of Chimbornso 2,000 feci. The olservalions made \a 
regard to Ihe gradual decrease of the density of Ihe air, and of 
the law of ihis decrease, ore in general the same which have 
been made upon very high mouwain-'i, of which we shall speak 


in the sequel. At present, some less genernl phenomena are to 
be noted, which many neronaula havo observed, ivheo ihey have 
reached great heights. 

Birds, accustomed to live only in the lower regioas of the 
air, in the neighborhood of the earlh'a surface, show themselves 
very susceptible of the influence of the cold, rarefied air of ibe 
higher regions of the atmosphere, When taken up and set 
free at a great hcighlh, they manifest great distress, clinging 
with their feet to the cords or the rim of the car, or if thrown off", 
ihey foil, as if disabled, and probably continue falling, until they 
reach, in a lower region, that degi-ee of density in the atnnos- 
phero in which they are accustomed to live and fly. The con- 
version of water into vapor or the boiling of water depends, not 
merely on ihe degree of heat to which it is subjected, but also 
on the pressure of the atmosphere. Thefarlherwo descend, 
so much the greater is this pressure, and so much the greater 
must be the heat employed in order to make water boil ; Iho 
higher one rises over the surface of sea and land, so much the 
less ia the pressure of tho superincumbent column of air, and 
ao much loss heat is needed to convert water into vapor, or, in 
in other words, to make it boil. Upon the summit of Dhava- 
lagiri, water would boil, and in boiling possess comparatively so 
low a degree of heal, thai an egg could scarcely be boiled hard 
iu it. 

Tho Tapor, which, especially from violent molion, escapes 
from ihc surface of the human body as perspiration, nnd shows 
ilselfin part inaduid stale as sweat, is occasioned by theintor- 
nat warmth of the body, in a way akin to that in which Ihe 
vapor rises from water, when water is made to boil. Although 
below, in tho neighborhood of the earth's surface, Ihe pi 
of Iho air upon Iho body ia much leas than at a great height, 
yet in Ihe thin cold almoaphcro of mountain-lops, we fall 
^^|&|MBrapi ration upon slight cser'ion,even when the 



warmth is bo litlle increased, that below on Ihe plains, scarcely 
a change in the usual etale of ihe skin would be observed. 
BirA. and Gay Lussac fell lillle of this annoyance, because, 
reclining quietly in their car, they scarcely moved, except per- 
haps a finger or a hand. Nevertheless, a certain Teeling of 
oppression, connected with a shortness of breath and an accele- 
ration of Ihe pulse, la a necessary consequence of the rarefied 
stale of the air ; because the lungs, in the act of inhalation, lake 
in indeed the same quantity of oxygen gas or vital air, in 
I'espect of bulk, but the amount of the same in regard to weight is 
less than suffices to support life in its vigor. At the same time 
also, in the proportionate degree, in which the external pressure 
is diminished, the expansion of the internal fluids is increased, 
so that there arises towards the surface of the body a swelling 
and a strong determination of the blood, which breaks out, 
like perspiration from the delicate skin of the eyelids, the nose 
and the mouth. Aeronauts, who have ascended to great heights, 
have been found upon liieir return to be swollen and discolored 
in their faces. Some have complained of being attacked with 
deafness attended with pain ; when in the higher regions of the 
air, they have sufiered a painful feeling in the drum of the ear, 
as if it would break through an internal pressure, and while the 
sound of a loud voice, or the report of a pistol, or of fulmina- 
ting powder, is much more faintly perceptible in a very rarefied 
nir, the auditory nerves were much more strongly attacked thao 
in lower regions. Even the impressions, received by the eye 
at very considerable heights, are, in part, difTerenl from whot 
one might perhaps expect. It is (rue, the aeronaut may easily 
and rapidly rise, if his balloon is well constructed, beyond the 
region of the thicker clouds, which are seldom more ihao 
14,000 feet above the earth, (although Gay Lussac saw clouds 
at a height over one and a half times as high,) and altliough 
Ihe people of the country below the aeronaut, have a cloudy sky, 


or raia, he may enjoy perhaps unobstructed the light of the 
suD and the stars, but yet, at those great heighths, the full clear- 
neaaorthe atmosphere is obscured as if by a l\ne streaky cloud, 
and uhea it is not so, the stars are secti with a brightness painful . 
to the eye as upon a blueiah black ground. The appearance of 
the earth lying far below is, hero and there, even in clear 
weather, dimmed as by a glassy veil. 

The excursion, which shortly aOer the invenlion of the 
balloon, was made by the Mongolfiers over a space of 50 
leagues, from Paris to Bcuvry, in two hours lime, and many 
other similar ones, have been cast into the shade in more recent 
limea by the ascent of the aeronaut Green, who ascended in 
LoodoD and remained 46 hours in tho air, passing over the sea 
and then over Holland and Belgium, unlil he reached Nassau, 
where he descended, Aa attempt to apply aeronautics to public 
purposes was made in the wars of the French Republic. Bal- 
loons went up, in wiiich intelligent observers were seated, who 
were to reconnoitre the posiiion of the hostile army. Thus, in 
1795, on the day of the ballle of Flcurcs, French officers 
ascended as high as an ordinary steeple, in order to examine 
ihe encampment of the Austrian army. The balloon used on 
this occasion was tho same with which Robertson afterwards 
made an ascent at Hamburg. It was 57 feet in circumference, 
and of an elliptical form. The force with which the strong 
wintry current of air strove to tear it from its position, was so 
great Ihat from 30 to 40 horses were harnessed to it by means 
of a line, let down lo the earth to hold it fast. The scouts, 
hovering in the air, wrote their observations on tickets, which, 
loaded with lead, were transmitted by a cord lo the earth. In 
the course of the war about 34 balloons were employed on ihia 
service. Against one of them a battery of 17 pieces waa 
opened al Waubege, June 13lh, but without eflecl. The u 
linllooRs for such purposes was, howeverj relinquished, probt^ 


bly on account of the length of time required to fill ihetn with 
inflammablo air. For although, within Ibe first ten years after 
Ihe invention of the art of sailing in the air, such insprovemraits 
were made, that, from iron filings and diluted sulphuric acid, 
K sufficient quantity of gas to fill a tolerably sized balloon could 
be obtained in a few hours, a matter which previously took 
whole days, it yet appeared that, in the rapid changes in the 
course of a batlie, the space of several hours proved to beui 
hour too long. 

The difficulty, just mentioned, the English neronnut, Green, 
learned to ohvinte by filling his balloon was gas oblnined from 
coal, which is procured easily, and in great abundance, and is 
used for gas-lighting. The so-called coal-gas is indeed some- 
what (almost in the proportion of 1^ to I,) heavier than the hy- 
drogen obtained from iron filings, but it has the advantage that 
it escapes through the sides of the balloon with much greater 
difficulty, and is very much cheaper, and more speedily pro- 
cured. In the cities of England, where gas-lighting is used 
OQ the largest scale, there are always considerable supplies of 
gas, which Green was enabled to obtain at once. 

To remove anolher and still greater obstacle in the way 
of aerial navigation, which lies in Ihe choice of materials 
for the manufacture of the balloon, several things have 
been lately proposed which appear adapted to that end. As 
boats have been made out of thin metallic plates, of iron, for 
example, it has been suggested that balloons might be made of 
thin copper plates, which, of proper size, might hold such R 
quantity of inflammable gas, that the comparatively greater 
levity of the gas would suffice to elevate into ihe air both the 
weight of the balloon and the car with its contents attached to 
the balloon. From such a balloon the gas could not escape, 
but it is doubtful whether thin metallic plates, like the much 
more yielding material of which balloons have hitherto bean- 




lade, would sustain tho changes in the pressure of the air at 
diSerent lieighls of (be afmosphero, without becoming bent or 
perhaps rent. However, we may not doubt, that human saga- 
city will find means to overcome all Ihe obstacles, which up lo 
ihe present day, obstruct the completeness and general utility 
of air-ships. 


^BAinong simple substances, the most influential, and therefore 
^PS most important, is Oxygen. By itself alone, in its pure 
Blale, it never appears otherwise than \a the form of air, and in 
Ihis form it is diffused, as oxygen gas or vital air, throughout 
Ihe atmosphere. With much greater right than to gold, would 
ihe chemico-aslrological sign of the sun belong to vital air; 
for what the sun is among the ixidies of the solar system, 
oxygen is in relation lo all Ihe substances of this planetary 
world. It is the allracti»e power of Ihe sun which keeps the 
planets and cornels in their orbits, which irradiates over all 

it is oxygen that gives to the 
'der and its firm outlines, and that, 
into powerful combination with its 
n earthly sun, diffiises light and 

light and heal; in 

lerial world its internal 
•ywhere, where it enter; 
tDinable opposite, like 

tPhe owring and upholding influence, as well as the warming 
I enlightening power of the sun, acts from a great distance. 
ngrai requires for its activity to bo at hand, and in reciprocal 
ibinatioa with other substances. As the nerve-fluid, {ncrven- 
tr,) which is Ihe means of all motion and sensation, and 
D of ihe determinate shaping of the living body, bul cannot 
thereby itself become a forming and fashioning substance, is 
rdaled to ihe blood, in which, together with the life supporting 


principle, all ihc substances nccissary to the rormiog of the 
several parts are found, so ihe planetary (sidereal) influence of 
the suD upon terrestrial things is related lo that influence, 
which is exercised by oxygen in the world of mailer. 

All the parts of the body seek union with the blood, seek lo 
take it into their composition; and that, which gives to thi 
demand for the blood, its power and its permanence, is particu 
larly Ihe oxygen which esista in the pulsating veins or arteriML 
Just so is there in the elements of Ihe material world a more 
less greater demand Tor combinalioa with oxygen gas, which 
presents itself to thorn partly as a main constituent of water, 
and partly as an actual ingredient of atmospheric air. 

Oxygen gas is most easily and purely obtained from those 
bodies which are formed by the combination of oxygen with 
metals — from oxydes ; particularly by heating manganese ore, 
which contains osygen in a comparatively much greater cjuan- 
lity than other metallic oxydes. Also from the red oxyde of 
mercury oxygen is obtained by heal. The fresh leaves of 
plants, when the sun shines on them, exhale vital air.* Bui 
near at hand as the discorery appeared lo lie, it was not unlil 
1774, that two chemists, Scf^eele and Pi-ieslley, Ihe one in En- 
gland, and the other in Sweden, in fact at the same time, ob- 
tained pure osygen gas, and noted its peculiar oh aracleri sties. 

Pure oxygen is without odor or taste. While, among sll 
transparent bodies known to us, hydrogen gas refracts the light 
the most powerfully (turns its rays from their straight direc- 
tion,) oxygen possesses the weakest and least power of refrac- 
tion. Of its specific gravity we have spoken, (p. 205). Osygen 
shows itself as the generator and giver of flame in the most 
striking manner, when it is pure and when an inflammable 
body is set on Are in it. Pliosphorus burns in pure oxygen 

• M(wt ftiaily Dblnincd from llie tiilorKlo of polassn hy licaling it. 


with a Hame, which, in strength and brightness, rcscniblea 
I . the light of the sun ; a lighted coal or lighted spunk, in oxygen, 
^ve forth a clear flame, and even a steel waich-spriog, or an 
ITDD needle begins to burn, when a light coal or piece of spunk 
is fastened lo one end of the needle and then inserted into pure 
Qxygea gas. In this case the iron, gradually burning off, melts 
to a ball from which bright sparks are emitted in a star-like 
fasLion, attended with a ioud, hissing noise. The ball of 
melted iron when it haa acquired a certain gravity, falls off, 
and its heat is so great that it remains red hot for a long time 
even in water, and melts itself deeply into the bottom of a ves- 
sel of glass or porcelain, and even burns a hole through it, if 
it is not protected by a layer of sand. Pure oxygen is wholly 
consumed in the combustion of a proportional quantity of phos- 
phorus, whilt! this combustible body, if set on fire in a closed 
vessel filled with atmospheric air, takes up about a fifth part 
of the same, and leaves the remaining four parts frefi, because 
they are not oxygen but nitrogen. 

WheD phosphorus is burnt in this manner, an acid is pro- 
duced which, in a dry state, appears in delicate white flakes, 
and greedily attracts water with a hissing noise. Mixed with 
water it lias a strong, but not disagreeable taste, its weight is 
exactly that of the phosphorus and the oxygen consumed in 
the process. In the same way, the combustion of sulphur pro- 
duces sulphurous acid, the combustion of carbon, carbonic 
acid, which, when present in sulTicient quantities, communi- 
cates to many of our medicinal springs their agreeable acid 
lasle. In the fermentation of the sap of many plants, a kind 
of slow combustion, a combining of carbon with oxygen gas, 
H^tnkes place, in which a portion of the hydrogen escapes. As 
^B^ sweet taste of the juice of grapes is thus turned into the I 
^umrish lasle of wine, and, by a still higher degree of ferment- M 
^■iODi into the complete acid of vinegar, oxygen gas shows ![• ■ 


Bclf here also, as in the Bttnple combustion of carbon, to be Ibe 
efficient cause of acidilj, and this is (he reason wh; lo this 
important kind or air, the Germans have given the name of 
Sountiiff gas, {Saner stoffgas). The word oxygen, of Greek 
derivation, is expressive of the same quality. 

Bui under the name also of vital air, it is known by another 
of its essential properties. When a small warm-blooded ani- 
mal ia confined under a bell-glass, filled with atmospheric air, 
it must after a while be suffocated, when it has, as far as possi- 
ble, consumed, in breatlifng, the oxygen contained In the glass. 
When the same vessel is filled with pure oxygen instead of 
atmospheric air, then the animal will live four limes as long 
therein. Only so long as it is surrounded by oxygen gas in a 
stale, chemically unmixed, does a light continue to burn, or an 
animal to breathe. For that which lakes place in the breath- 
ing of an animal, with the consequences which follow, may be 
considered as a process of combustion, by which the internal 
heat of the living body is brought out, and with it, like the 
light, various other forces, all subserving the activity and con- 
Thus is it oxygen gas, that, among all the elements of mat- 
ter, appears to bo the most necessary to the support of the ex- 
ternal economy of man's condition and lo his internal corporeal 
being. Without this king and sovorcign in the domain of aim- 
pie substances, we should have no light lo illuminate our nights, 
or the darkneaa of the depths, no fire to protect us from the 
frost of winter, or from the cold on mountain heights, no 
means of cooking our food. By means of the flame caused 
by oxygen gas, man possesses power lo melt and work the 
metals, and may dwell, in domestic comfort, in the neighbor- 
hood of the conlinual ice of the polar regions and the snow- 
crawned Alps, Only by ihe help of ihe fire, which vital air 
affords, is man master of Iho e.tlernal world ; without its con- 


Hant and generous offices the living soul and central life of 
him would soon lose the power to move the body and to use it 

How, by means of Ihe mutual agency of oxygen and the 
lier elements in Ihe domain of inanimate nature, those motions 
id activities are generated, which are eimilar and akin to the 
livilies of the vita! principle, and which are comprehended 
ider the name of electro-chemical forces, we shall speak 
:. That Ihe mountain-masses, of which, the surface 
r the earth ia composed, — that most of (he ores and various 
inds of stone, which exist in the beds of those masses, consist 
liiefly of a metallic base, which, by its combination with 
lygen, first receives its present enduring consistence and its 
efinite form, we have mentioned above, (ch. 18). 
Down into the greatest depths known to us, up to the greatest 
eighls of our ptanel, (he empire of oxygen gas extends. There, 
) a component part of water and of solid bodies, it has settled 
self down to rest as in a more abiding dwelling-place; here, 
t the atmosphere, it exists in a state of freedom and unreslrict- 
i activity. Although it should bo supposed, Ihat all the 
lygea gas, which is daily consumed by the mtillitude of flam- 
Ig volcanoes and by the fires kindled by men, by the countless 
reathing lungs of living animals, and by all the processes of 
tydation and of other slower forms of combustion, is never 
gain separated, and returned to the atmosphere, the ctrcum* 
nbient air of the globe may, nevertheless, be considered a^ 
1 inexheuslible store-house of vital air. According lo a csl- 
ihttion of science, the amount of oxygen in our atmosphere is 
I great, that all the above mentioned processes, whereby a 
Wion of it is consumed, would scarcely occasion any per- 
ifMible diminution of it in many thousands of years. For 
Itbough ft healthy, grown tip man daily consumes in breath- 
g something over 26 cubic feet, and in the course of a year | 


0505 cubic feet, aoU coasequGnlly ihe whole collected raca of 
man on earlh, taking Ihcir number at 1000 milUoDs, consumes 
yearly j of a cubic mile, yet, if sucli a number of men were 
to be breathing on ihe earlb Tor len thousand ofyears, only the 
thousandth part of the atmospheric supply of vital air would 
be used up. But not only this, but a vastly greater consump- 
tion of this life-element, may tie 3up[>lied in the wuy already 
menliooed, by Ihe green vegetable kingdom, whose woods and 
fields cover so considerable a part of the earth's surface, every 
ray of sun-light calling forth from ibis living green an incal- 
culable quantity of the purest vital air. 

Next to carbon, oxygtm, according to its weight, forma the 
most considerable substance of organic bodies. Even ia the 
human body, leaving out of view the oxygen contained in the 
water, which amounts to three quarters of the collected weight 
of the body, the amount of oxygen in the solid parts is 7 Ibe,, 
an amount which is exceeded only by the weight of carbcw, 
(10 lbs.) 

We have now considered three of those elements, of which 
the material for the wondrous structure of the bodies of plants, 
animals, and even of man, is prepared. A fourth yet remains 
to be considered, which esists very rarely among the compo- 
nent parts of vegetable bodies, but all the more generally 
among those of the animal body, viz : nitrogen, which, by it* 
self alone, in a pure state, never appears otherwise than in tin 
form of air, — as nitrogen gas. 

When phosphorus is burned under a bell-glass, filled above 
with atmospheric air and placed over water, and no more phos- 
phorus and no less Chan is necessary is used, (about 1 grain to 
12 or 13 cubic inches of water) the oxygen, which is in the 
air, is entirely consumed, the phosphoric acid thus produced 
dissolves in the water, and the yet remaining atmospheric gas, 
if not alloyed perhaps by a small admixture of vaporiform 



phosphorus, is nothing but nilrogen. A IJghled spirit lamp 
slloweci to float on the water in the lower part of the bell-glass, 
goes out only when the oxygen of the air is almost entirdy 
consumed, and when the carbonic acid gas, formed by the 
burDJDg of tho fipirita of wine, is got rid of from the portion of 
the air remaining unconsumcd, by mixing caustic ammonia 
with the wnler in the glaas, there remains only nilrogen, in a 
stale olmost entirely pure. 

Nitrogen is sepiirated from atmospheric air in a yet purer 
form than by either of the abovo mentioned methods, when an 
amalgam of lead and mercury is placed in a well closed ves- 
sel, 4d of the metallic mixture with §ds of common air, and is 
shaken up for several hours, the lead, in fine particles, al- 
tracts the oxygen and becomes oxydised, and what remains is 
pure nilrogen. 

When the water, that, in the first two methods just men- 
tioned, fills the lower part of the glass, stands in connection 
with a tub of water, so that the water can pass under the glass, 
it 19 observable that, during the combustion of the phosphorus 
or alcohol, the water rises higher in the glass cylinder, because, 
by tho diminution of the oxygen, a vacuum is produced to the 
extent of a fifth of (he whole volume. For the nilrogen is 
almost a seventh part lighter than the oxygen, so that, accord- 
ing to the space which these gases occupy in the atmosphere, 
the oxygen formsonly 21, the nilrogen 79; according to weight, 
the oxygen forma 23, the nitrogen 77 hundredths of tho atmo- 
sphere. This proportion is throughout uniform. As high as 
mao has risen, ns low as he has descended into tho depths, lo 
which the air has access, chemical examinnlion has always 
!hown that, apart from those foreign gases, which are found 
and which displace in a degree the peculiar atmospheric gases, 
with 21 parts in volume or 23 parts in weight of oxygen, there 
exist 79 parts in volume, or 77 parts in weight of nitrogen. 


Indecil liie rarity of the air at very greal lifiglils, or lis deasily 
at very great depths, may be such, that (he air in a beU-glasa, 
which mfiy be auHicienl on a plain to consume a certain qtian- 
tily of phoaphonis, atid to convert it into phosphoric acid, al a 
greater height may not suffice, and that a part of the combus- 
tible' remains unconsomwl, although the oxygen, which wi 
the air, is entirely taken up. For, although in the ait which 
esisla in the higher regions, the two atmospheric gasea, it 
gard to weight, are. both present tn the same proportion a: 
low, on the plain, both gases ore dxpandcd into a much larger 
volume, so that a vessel of a cubic Toot in measure can coi 
in weight only two-thirds or even half so much air as below, 
upou the surrace of the sea, or al the sea coast, (ch. 28.) 

The two just named chief gases of the olmoaphere are uoiled 
therein, not in the way of chemical combination, like oxygtti 
ond carbou in carbonic acid gas, or hydrogen and oxygen in 
water; neither can the mixture of these two gases in tb 
be considered as a mechanical union, because if so, the oxygen 
gas, on account of its greater specific gravity, would sink and 
fill the lower regions of the atmosphere, and there predominate, 
while the nitrogen would jirevail in the higher spaces. The 
two must be united, therefore, part for part by a polaric attrac- 
tion of a difiarent sort, resembling mBgnclic or electrical more 
than chemical aitraclion. That attraction also, which the 
waters of the earth manifest towards the air, by which their 
depths are penetrated by air, must be of a similar kind, for the 
water takes in the gases of the atmosphere, not in the rdatioa 
in which ihey present ihemselves to its surface, but with a 
of selection or choice, absorbing a third more of oxygen (ban 

The relation in which the nitrogen, predominating as it 
in quantity, in our atmosphere, slnnds to the oxygen which it 
. envelopes, appears everywhere as a beneficent relation, m 


sai'y lo Ihe support of things as Ihey are. If Ihe atmosphere 
coDsisted only of oxygen, every fiaine lighted on our hearths 
would become an inextinguishable conllagrnlion, and the course 
of animal life would be deranged. Animals, allowed lo breathe 
oxygon gas for a length of time, appear at Iheir ease at 
first, but soon become distressed, and their lungs are aflbcted 
with a kind of inHammation ; Ihe collecled mass of the blood 
bet:omes unuaually red. Persons with weak lungs su&br pain 
nimost immediately upoa inhaling pure o\ygen gas. 

We are chiefly considering here, however, only tho praper- 
lies of nitrogen and some of its combinations. Towards 
oxygen, nitrogen stands in the relation of a combustible body, 
iv'liich fortunately indeed does not enter into combinalion with 
oxygen so readily as most other combustible substances. For 
while good, refreshing water is formed in the cnmLuslion of 
hydrogen with oxygen, from the cliomicnl union of nitrogen 
with oxygen there arise combinaliooa which are liunfid and 
dangerous to animal lite. 

One of our sirongcsl acids, nitric acid, which, in ils some- 
what diluted stale as an article of commerce, is called aqua- 
jbrlis, (strong water) is nolliing but a combinalion of nitrogen 
with oxygen, consisting of one atom of Ihe former and five 
atoms of the latter. The destructive power with which thia 
acid acts upon organic bodies, is known, The reddish vapor 
dIao, which is generated in the preparation of nitric acid, for 
example, by means of the dislillntion of sollpclre with sul- 
phuric acid, ia !!□ acid containing less oxygen than nitric acid, 
and llicrefore not so strong; nevertheless it ucls upon the lungs 
as a deatruclive poisou. The same is true even of nitric osydo 
gas, which is chemically composed of two atoms of oxygun 
and one atom of nilcogen, for in this gas also tights ore extin- 
giibhed, and animals ccosc to breallic. Among oil Ihe com- 
bioations of the two atmospheric gnscs, the most hurtful, nod 


on accounl of some of its propcrlies, the moal seductive, ia Ihe 
nitrous oxyde or laughiag gaa, in the preparalion of which one 
part of osygen ia combined wiih one part of nitrogen. In rhi» 
gas, which is obtained in the purest stale from nitrate of am- 
monia, and further, by dissolving iron or zinc in nitric acid, 
greatly diluted with water, tiie flame of an inQammable, lighted 
body, ia increased almost in the same degree as in pure OJcygen, 
Even carbon aud iron burn in nitrous osyde gas wilh a bright 
flame, yei there is needed to set them ou fire a higher degree 
of heat than in pure vital air. Small animals, confined in a 
vessel filled wilh nitrous oxyde gas, manifest for a. lime greal 
iivelioess. Persons who draw this gas into their lungs, pre- 
viously discharged of air by a strong expiration, become aware 
of an agreeable and sweetish taste, and fall into a pleasing stale 
of intoxication, which, by a long continued inhaling of the gas, 
may increase to delirium. These phenomena in human beings, 
however, are attended by no injurious consequences, while 
small animals, who breathe this gas, without any intermission, 
die at last as if &om into.x icalion. 

Nitrogen may indeed be combined with oxygen and conBum- 
ed by means of the electric spark, but only with very great 
difEculiy, and by often repealed electric discharges, because in 
the process of that combination, only a comparatively slight 
degree of heat Is developed. When almosplieric air is raised 
with four times the quantity of damp oxygen gas, and an dec- 
trie spark is then communicated to it, only that small porlioQ 
of nitrogen which is struck by the spark is consumed, and 
more than a hundred diacliargos of a common electrical ma- 
chine are required to generate only so much nitric acid as may 
indicate its presence by the red color of litmus tincture, or by its 
forming saltpetre by combining with a solution of the caustic 
alkali, potash, thus forming nitrate of potash. Nevertheless, a 
portion of nitric acid may fjc generated in this manner also in 



Ihe atmosphere, either in thunder slorms, or by imperceptible 
electric dischargtis, for not unfrcquetilly a trace of the same is 
round in rain nnl<jr. 

Only iu a somewhat dificrent way from carbon, does nitrogen 
also set certain limits to human art in the ireHtment of it. We 
know that iht; costliest of Ihe precious stones, the diamond, 
consists of nothing but pure carbon, and yd we cannot make 
diamonds from carbon, because, we are as unable by our art to 
reduce carbon to a crystalline slate, as to awaken to life the 
elements of which the body of an animal consists. Id like 
manner we see nitrogen combinini? with oxygen by means of 
the vital power, which dwells in plants and animals, and this 
loo, readily and without censing, while we can only with ex- 
Irome difllculty imitate this process by our science. On this 
account we can produce on a laige scale nitric acid, and all its 
varieties from (he combination of the atmospheric gases, only 
by availing ourselves of ihe previous agency of the power of 
life in organic nature. For in the slow decomposition of 
vegetable, and still more of animal bodies, there is generated 
without great trouble, Ihe nitrate of potash or saltpetre, from 
which nllric acid is obtained by separating the alkali from this 
stronger acid by means of sulphuric acid. In our saltpetre 
laboratories, saltpetre is obtained in a very simple way. Under 
a roof, to keep off the rain, a quantity of loose earth, of ashes and 
marl, and all kinds of animal and vegetable refuse, is deposited 
Slid frequently turned over to bring it into contact with the a 
nnd watered occasionally with urine. In this way, in the coui 
of two or three years, the (organic) nitrogen is converted into 
nitric acid, which becomes saltpetre by combining with the 
potnssa, conlained, in part at least, in the decomposed organic 
mass. But saltpetre is found also in a prepared slate in many 
limc-slone quarries and siraia of Ihe earth in hot countriea, 
which are covered with a luxuriant vcgctnlion and thickly i 

, the Sorago 
cinaHs, contain sallpetre in perceptible quanliliea m 


ilh animated life. Some plants, 

^ In the decay and decomposition of organised bodies, nitn^en 

inters also into a combination with the other clement of w t 

lydrogen, three parla of hydrogen with one part of nitroR^ 

i„,. which »»» '" 

g ilie volniiie alliali, o 

nimal matter, 

' presence by its sharp slinging smeil, wherever 
of a kind containing nitrogen, is undergoing decomposi'"' • 
this combination, a quality is found to belong to nitrogen, w 
- we observe in no other inflammable body. While ihe eoto 

I tolions of phosphorus and sulphur, for example.Vith hydT0g»i 
fiirm acids, the union of nitrogen with the same presen ^^ 
perfect alkali, which, by the addition of a yet further portion ^ 
liydrogen gas by means of electrical polarisation, beco 
metallic body, amalgamating with mercury, and sinii 
bases of other alkalis. We have here all the usual '^ * ' ^^ 
reversed. In other cases the melaliic base is made "fP^" 
by the withdrawal, by means of hydrogen, of the osyge , 

A- A In ttii^ ca»j 
combioation with which (he metal is oxydiaeo. ^ 

the hydrogen enters into the combioalvon, and °** 
metallic substance is presented. But there conimoe to ^^^^ 
doubts respecting the nature of the basis of n>"ogcn.^ an rc^^ 
many observations it would appear Ihat it consists ongitia y 
a eombinalion of a base as yet little known, and oxyi 
In every respect, this remarkable almosphoric gas seems to 
the point at which the dominion of other and higher forces 

those of our laboratories, the powi 

jjing. From the domain of the hoses which form u. 

l^odies, nitrogen is in a manner expelled 

jjiSwhore evinced any disposition to uni 

! their begim 
J and excluded. Here 
( with it, Bod even th( 

• The solution of il 

piritB of harEsfaora- 



to Iho nalurnl hislorian, but also to the inquirer iuto the history 
of the rormalioti of Ilie carlli's surface, and of the permaDcncy 
of the relations subsisting between tlie atmosphere and tlie 
cxlerual condition of llic globe. It is found hy the microscopa 
that huge beds of the silicious earths, which make so large a 
part of the earth, arc composed of a heap firmly baked to- 
gether of ionumerable shells, in which infinitely small nni 
once dwelt, for in these atomlike animalcules, a perfection and 
delicacy of structure, a beauty and proportionate strength of 
outward form and defence are apparent, which fill the observer 
with the deepest wonder. At the period when these silicious 
beds were formed, living beings must have stirred in every drop 
of the fluid element. 

The attenlioQ of the natural hislorian has been drawn ii 
recent times in yet another way to these minute animals, and' 
lo Iheir importance to the economy of material nature. We 
spoke in the former chapter of the consumption of the oxygen 
of the atmosphere by animals, by fire, by manifold processes of 
fermentation and o.xydation. There is developed, it is true, from 
the living vegetable world, by (he decomposiliou of carbonic 
acid, under the influence of the sun's light, a considerable 
quantity of oxygen gas, but another, and,perhaps not less abun- 
dant source of supply is in the onimal world itself, and in the 
department of microscopic animals. We will dwell on this 
fact for a moment. 

Several years ago, a celebrated inquirer. Count Rumford, 
observed, that from various organised bodies, such as i 
woollen and the Iike,'when exposed in a vessel filled with 
water to the light of the sun, a quantity of the purest oxygen 
gas was developed. At the same lime the water look a green 
color, which, as appeared by the microscope, proceeded from a 
countless multitude of little round shaped animals, Iii ihc pans 
used in salt works is seen a slimy transparent mass forming, 




which covers the botlom lo Ihe depth of one or two inches, and 
on the surface of which large air bubbles rise. When the 
slimj skin-like substance of these bubbles is broken with a 
stick, there issues forth an air, which, upon full experiment, is 
ascertained to be oxygen gas, perfectly pure. But when still 
further the thick slicky fluid, from which Ihe gas proceeds, is 
examined by the microscope, it is discovered lo consist almost 
entirely of a mass of Just such living animalcules as those of 
the shells of which the hill, KieselguhT, at Franzenbad in Bohe- 
mia, and other similar strata of our mountain regions are com- 
posed. Even in the while ashes, which remain after exposing 
the thick fluid mass to the fire, we may distinguish the silicioua 
skeletons of the animalcula of which it is composed. These 
skeletons show so distinctly the form of the animals to which 
they belonged, that it appears as if one were still looking at the 
fresh slime which (hey fill, but only in a dead, motionless state. 
Other waters also which contain organic substances are, accord- 
ing to various repealed experiments of a recent date, animaled 
with thick heaps of hllie red and green animals, visible only 
through the microscope ; and a species of air comes from the 
water, in which, when it is collected under a glass, a burn- 
ing shaving gives forth a clear flame aa in oxygen gas, and by 
aod other signs it is proved to be pure, or almost wholly 
pure, oxygen. 

When we consider, in this connection, the extensive pools 
in shallow sea coasts, filled with saline particles, mixed with 
« mass of the organised remains of sea animals, when we 
remember still further the numberless eoUections of standing 
water in swamps and ditches, with which also Ibo remains of 
animal and vegetable bodies are mingled, it will bo easy to see 
the important ofiice which these animalcules discharge in th i 
material world. They consume without ceasing the substances 
held in solution, which, if Ihey decayed in the ordinary n 



would poisan llio air with the exhalalioD of Ihelr corruption. 
And oIlhougK these aoimalculcs caonot entirely reroore the 
evil ID Bwampy regions, yet iheir services in this respect are by 
BO means inconsiderable. But not only is this work of puiili- 
cation and clearing away, committed lo these animated atoms, 
ihey perform the much more imporlanl otEce of separating the 
oxygen in entire purity from (he water in which it is ooniained. 
Here tho weakest and smallest are oppoioled lo supply that 
which is essential lo the life and activity of (he strongest. 
What, to our ordinary view, seems contemptible, opon a ntore 
lliorough and penelraling inquiry is found worthy of reco{!;ni- 
tion and honor. 

We shall hereafter, at the close of the chapter on the light- 
ning rod, come to speak again of the significance of the dimiau. 
live in the material world in relation lo the great and the la^e. 
The great, according to its weight and ruling influence, always 
remains great, but that which strikes our eye in the great aad 
appears of weight, — that would not exist, if there were oat 
around, below and above it another uorld of things which out 
eyes see not. 

28. pRBssnaK and covn: 

We have now taken a general view of the so-called simple 
substances, or the eiemcnls, which human art has not yet been 
able lo decompose, and out of which material bodies are formed. 
In unorgimiaed nature these elements are directly applied, like 
rough-hewn build ing-stonos, to the formation of rocks, water, 
and other bodies in which no animating life or soul dwells i the 
vital principle of plants and animals, on the other hand, makes 
uses of these same substances, as the material, hy working and 
mixing which, like the architect with his mortar and bricks ud 



Stucco, il obtains llie perrecl organised substance for the vege- 
table or animal structure. 

As (he building stones, lying unused on the ground, or the 
heaps of earth and sand, not yet baked into bricks, attract but 
JitUe notice, as on the olher hand, every passer-by willingly 
pauses and looks on with interest when whole troops of laborers 
Bte putting the dead materials in motion, and gradually a grace- 
ful edifice ia rising under the hand, so it is when we pass from 
the less attractive consideration of simple substances to those 
processes by which the grand fabric of our globe is constructed 
and arranged. The builders who show Iheraselves busy on 
ifais edifice, are partly the farces of an electrical and chemical 
attraction, and partly the forces of a living principle or soul; 
the means which both call to their aid, as the mason and the 
cnrpeDter their tools, are partly of a mechanical kind, depend- 
ing upon pressure and counter- pressure, and partly of a mole* 
cular nature, grounded on polarisation. We will consider first 
those means which appear to belong rather to the mechanical 
class, although in (heir agency is manifested also the self-active 
energy of peculiar powers. First of all comes that influence 
which the pressure of the atmosphere exercises on the organi- 
zaiion and persistence of the material world. 

When a child is asked : Which weighs heavier, a pound of 
lead or a pound of air, in most cases the answer is : The pound 
of lead. The child does not consider that a cwt, is a cwl., that 
an ounce is always an ounce in the scales, whether we bo 
speaking of water, air or gold. The horses harnessed to a car 
containing a keg full of ducats have lo exert as much strength 
in drawing il as two other horses, whose load is a barrel in 
wliicli 19 kegs of water are contained And yet the child, 
in giving that apparently wrong answer, is not altogether 
wrong; he should only express himself otherwise, and say < 
pertiapa : a pouud of lead is harder lo carry than a pound of air. 


The porter who carries 400 lbs. or lead on his back, mnal 
be a very stroag man, such a one perhaps as we may flad 
among the Turkish porters in Conslantiaople. A niaa cele- 
brated for his strength ia aocient times, who vain gloriously 
slyled himself Atharaas the inviocible, went beyond this ; be 
bore on his person a suit of armor which weighed a thousand 
pounds, and moved in and with this burthen. But we have 
examples close at hand of much stouter porters, and I myself 
know one, who carries a weight, almost thirty times heavier 
than ihat of Athamas, and with so much ease, that he never 
once lays it off at night, and by day waoders about with it over 
mountain and valley. Aye, and this porter, when a little boy, 
ran and leaped with a weight many times greater than that 
which Alhamaa bore on his body, clambering up on trees and 
walls, and swimming without sinking in the water. 

The individual, of whom all this can be said without esagg&- 
ration, is not only myself, but every one of us. Every man of 
full growth and well formed limbs has to bear by day and by 
night a pressure of the air acting upon the whole surface of his 
body, which corresponds to a weight of 15 lbs. -upon every 
square inch, accordingly 2,160 lbs. upon every square foot, and 
upon the whole body, if ihe whole surface thereof amounts to 
from 10 to 11 square feet, lo a weight of as many tons. 

That in a tube, in which a tight Atting piston is drawn upi 
the water, into which the lower end of the tube is plunged, will 
ascend, was known from the earliest times to every child, for 
squirts and syringes are not playthings of yesterday's Inven- 
tion. Every water-pump, which is the same thing on a large 
scale that a squirt is on a small one, every siphon, in nhich> 
when the air is di-awn out of it by the mouth, the fluid, in 
which it is inserted, rises, teaches precisely (he same Ihin^ 
namely, that water and every other fluid, when it can &id 
admission into a space emptied of air, immediately ru^ieaia^^ 


The Tact was long and well known, but not ihe cause or it. 
Ii celebrated philosopber of nntiquity, Aristotle, gave out the 
abhors a vacuum, for which reason, water, 
s gravity, ascends into lubes devoid of air. In 
) strange dogma, because it came from a great scholar, the 
terld quietly rested for almost two thousand years, without 
ring the mailer any further. 
As, however, a vacuum always remains the same, and of 
course must produce the same elTects, whsthcr it be great or 
small, as, on the other hand, the abhorrence of Nature for a 
vacuum, should be expressed only the more strongly, the 
greater the vacuum is, it is remarkable (hat the water in a 
suction pump, however perfectly the pump is made, never rises 
in Ihe artificially generated vacuum higher than 31 leet. A 
gardener in Florence became acquainted with ihis fact in a 
remarkable way. He caused a pump lo be made, with due 
skill, 40 palms high. The water followed the air-tight piston, 
when it was drawn up to the height of 18 ells, or 3i English 
feel, but at this height it remained standing, without rising any 
higher into the vacuum. The celebrated Galileo, one of the 
most koen-sighled philosophers of modern times, heard of this 
fnct, but, although bis indcjtendent mind had in many respects 
released itself from Ihe authority of Aristotle, he was not able 
to shake it olTon this occasion ; he judged, that (he abhorrence 
of a vacuum, which made the water rise in the pump, had cer- 
Inin limits. And yet to no one could the correct view of this 
phenomenon lie so near as to the keen and searching mind of 
IS not only acquainted with the weight of the 
ir which he estimated, ahhough still too highly, at 400 times 
i than the weight of water, but who also oppears to have 
■ floosidered (he ciTects of the pressure of the air upon the sur- 
[fcce of the earth. In the present case, the truth was seen by 
■Um tt9 from the great distance to which the aeronaut riscsfTi 


lacked \he dislincl observalion of a nearer staml-poiiit, for Ibe 
dil!icuUy of producing n perfect vacuum in a tube 34 feet in 
length was too great. But his pupil and successor in the chair 
of physica at Bologna, TorrictUi, succeeded in finding that 
nearer stand-point from which the phenomenon of the pressure 
of (he air could be easily and conveniently observed, because 
it was limited with its elfects, to a small space, and was made 
to appear with but little trouble. If, go reasoned Torricelli, it 
ia the pressure of the air, which, acting upon the surface of 
the water, in which the lower end of the pump is inserted, 
drives the fluid into the vacuum, ihen must this pressure act 
upon every point of Ibe earth's surface upon fluids and solids 
with equal force. The height to which a fluid riees into a 
vacuum, by means of the pressure of the air, will, ao he con- 
cluded further, be in proportion to its specific gravity. Splrils 
of wine, or oil, will riso higher than water, because they an 
lighter, mercury, because it is much heavier than water, will, 
in the same proportion, rise not go high. At this step in his 
reasoning Torricelli paused. He filled with quicksilver a glass 
lube which was melted togelber and closed at one end, put hia 
finger over the open end, and Ihen placed it, the open end down- 
wards, in a vessel tilled to (he depth of 3 inches with quick- 
r. Removing his finger, he found that the quicksilver 
in the tube, at about the height of 29.5 inches in the lube, 
leaving the space between this height and the closed end, a 
acuum. But the height of S9.5 inches is to the height of 33 
proportion of the gravity of water to that of 
mercury, namely, almost as I to 14. In the glass tube, with 
its vacuum at the upper end caused by the position in which 
.he lube was placed, the same fact was shown that occurred in 
;he gardener's pump, 40 palms high at Florence, In ihe pump 
ihere had been a vacuum proportionally as large, and yei Uia 
water had not been able la rise above a certain height t so like> 

AiR-pmHP. 247 

wise the quicksilver, in the vacuum of the Torricellian tube, 
or as we now call the instrument, the borometer and wealher 
glass, remained standing at a certain height. This great 
discovery, so important in its conse(]Uences, was made in 1643. 

The truth, when published, as so oAen happens, was doubled 
by many. Two of the deepest thinkers of the lime, Des Cer- 
Us and Fascal, deemed it worthy of further examination. If 
it is really Ihe weight of the superincumbent column of air, 
which raises the water and the quicksilver into the vacuum, 
then the higher man ascends above the surface of the lowest 
plains or Ihe level of the sen, the more must that weight dimi- 
nish. Tlie quicksilver in the Torricellian vacuum, on the top 
of a high mountain, will not rise so high as below by the sea 
coast. Thus reasoned, and in 1648, his brother-in-law, 
Ferrier, at Clermont, in Auvergno, ascended the Puy de Dome, 
4541 feet high with a barometer, in order to observe the height 
to which the quicksilver rose, Pcrrier found that on the lop 
of the mountain it stood about 3 inches lower than below at 
the fool of the mountain. An experiment on a small scale, 
made by Pascal himself, established the same fact, A barome* 
ler, which he took up on the tower of the church of St. Jacques, 
showed the quicksilver in that position, standing several lines 
lower than in the street below. Independently of those changes, 
perceptible in the height of the quicksilver in the barometer, 
and occurring every day, of which we shall speak hereafter, 
il became obvious from these experiments that the rising of 
fluids in a vacuum is uniformly proporliooal to the height, and 
of course also lo the weight, of the atmosphere, resting on the 
earth's surface. 

What the almosphcric pressure and its cSecIs are, was shown 
in a way still plainer to the great mass of men, by Olio von 
Guericke, burgomaster at Magdeburg, when in 1654, at Ihe 
Imperial diet at Regenshurg, he performed his experinrbenis witb 


Tho nir.pump invented by him, in llie presence of ibe Emperor 
Pordinond III., his son, the King of Rome, (Ferdinand IV,) 
several high princes, and a large number of the nobility and 
throngs of people. As water is pumped up by means of aj 
air-ligbl piston, so Guericke drew the air from a faollow metal- 
lic ball, BO fixed that after every draught, the air, which wa 
pumped out, was prevented from entering the ball again b 
means of a valvej he succeeded in producing almost a perfect 
vucuitm. The vessel which he eshausled of air, whose diame- 
ter was an ell (Magdeburg measure,) consisted of two hollow 
copper hemispheres, which filled exactly together, and which 
were made air-light by a ring of wax and leather soaked in 
turpentine, placed around them where thdr edges came Ii 
iher. Metallic rings were fastened to these cups, through 
which lines could be drawn, and to which horses could be a^ 
tached. Before the air was exhausted from these half balls, 
put together and making one ball, they could be separated from 
each other without any exertion of strength. But when 
internal sir was, as far as possible, pumped out, the externa) 
pressure of the air upon the two hemispheres held (hem so 
firmly together, thai the united exertions of several strong hh 
could not separate them. To each of the two cups a couple ■ 
horses were attached, then 4, and then 6, and the animals were 
goaded to the utmost exertion of their strength, hut were not 
able to tear the hemispheres apart. Only when 8, and at an- 
other experiment with a somewhat larger ball, 12 horses w 
attached to each holf-ball, were the half-balls separated ; thus 
a 16 or 24 horse power was required to effect what the slrenglh 
ofa child could accomplish before the air was exhausted. ] 
perimenls were repeated with every variety of form and ar- 
rangement of (he vessel to be exhausted, and all tended to 
illustrate the extraordinary force of the pressure of the air, 
and to show that this pressure acts upon a surface of aboofS 



square foot wiih (he same power as, for example, a heavy nielallic 
mass of the same superGcial conteats, neighing nearly one ton. 

The inveolor of Ilia air-pump waa led lo his invention by the 
Torricellian vacuum in the gloss tube of the barometer. There 
is no doubt that Torriixilli observed the changes which the 
height of the quicksilver ia the barometer underwent, even 
when the instrument was kept in one place; he had thus ascer- 
tained also that ihe weight, with whicli the air presses on the 
surface of the earth, is ilaelf variable. The first, however, who 
discovered ihe connection of those changes of the barometer, 
not only with a changeable slate of the atmosphere, but also 
with changes of the weather, and who turned the barometer 
into a weather glass, was Ono von Guerike, who describes in a 
letter, written in 1661, the amusing contrivance of his weather 
glass, in which a little wooden figure of a man was placed upon 
the quicksilver, rising and sinking with it, and pointing with his 
finger to the supposed changes of weather, which were noted 
doDgside of the glass lube. 

Thus the barometer serves as a herald of the weather for 
seaooen, when it warns them by ihc falling of the quick- 
silver, of the approach of storms, and also for dwellers on (he 
land. But of yet greater importance is this instrument in its 
Bpplicalioo lo the admeasurement of heights, because here the 
service it renders is more decisive. Air is about 10526 limes 
rarer than quicksilver. When, iherefore, two barometers are 
placed, one below on ihe ground, the other on the roof of a build- 
ing, which is about 87.7 feet above the ground, it is found ibat 
llio quicksilver in the baromelcr on the roof is about one tenth 
of an inch lower than in ihe other. For 87.7 English feel are 
about ID526 tenths of inches ; so much the shorter must ihe 
eoluino of air be, when its pressure shall so far decrease that it 
•qittls ft column of quicksilver which is lessened a tenth of an 
If now, ibis proportion continued uniformly, so that with 


every 67<7 lect Id height, ihe quicksilver sank about a tenth of 
an inch, ihe measuring or the elevations of mountains, of piscea 
nbove the level of the sea, would be very simple and easy. 
But there are other ihinga lo be considered. It is not with iha 
sirala of oir, which we suppose lo lie one above another from 
the surface of the earth up to the highest limits of the atmo- 
sphere, as it is with layers of solid bodies. If, for instance, r 
certain number of stone plates, each two inches thick, aad 
weighing a cwt., are laid one upon another, and one or tnoie of 
these plates are then taken away, the whole bulk or pile will 
become, at the withdrawal of every plate, a cwt. lighter and at 
the same time two inches lower. But the strata of the a 
equal weight are not like such solid strata, each unchangeable 
in its size, and not allowing themselves to be pressed o 
another by a weight laid on them, but like the elastic featben 
of our beds and pillows, the air, by a pressure acting upoQ it, 
may be compressed into a narrower space than it previously 
occupied, and it expands, in the same measure in which ti» 
pressure is relaxed, into a larger space. 

The same bulk of air in weight, which below, at the levd of 
the sea, where the barometer ordinarily stands at 30,0 inches, 
is compressed into a stratum, the thickness of which is about 
87.7 feet, will expand to a stratum of double the dimension above 
at a height where the barometer slands only 15.0 inches, and' 
where, consequently, the weight and the pressure of the upper 
column of air is become less by one half. There, at that height, 
which equals the top of Chimborazo, in order to see the baro 
meter again fall about -^^th of an inch, one must ascend twice 
87.7 i. e. 175.4 feet, and could we rise to a height where the 
pressure of the superincumbent column of air only equalled 
the weight of a quicksilver column of perhaps 7.5 inches, then 
we must rise four times 87.7 or 330.8 feet higher, in order to 
see the barometer fall j^ih of an inch. 


i Jd this way llien is the height of any point of the earth's 
surface above the level of the sea measured. Al the level of 
the sea the barometer stands 30 inches high. At a height of 
877 feet, the quicksilver stands about a whole inch lower, 29 
inches ; at a height of 1784 feet, nhout 2 ipches ; at 2723 feel, 
about 3 inches ; at 3698 feet, about 4 ; at 4709 feet, about 5. 
Thus, aa 30 is to 29, or 28 is to 27, &c., in the same propor- 
tion is the dimension in height of a single stratum of the air 
increased, the weight of which is equal to that of a layer of 
quicksilver of the height of an inch ; it has increased from 877 
to 907, 940, 974, 1012, When the barometer stands at the 
height of 22.75 inches, the pressure of the air is lessened 
about a quarter of its amount at the level of the seo, there also 
the expansion of the air-coin rein, which according to its weight, 
corresponds to a column of quicksilver of an inch, amounts to 
over a 1100 feet. 

To give now some examples : thus on the top of Hecla in 
Iceland, the height of the barometer is 24.70 inches. Calcula- 
tion shows that this corresponds to the pressure oC tlie air at a 
height of near 5025 feet, for from inch to inch of tho quick- 
silver level the column of air has expanded from 877 to 
907, 940, 974, 1012, then the descent of Ibe barometer from 
25 inches to 34.7, corresponding to an ascent of 315.7 feet, 
ihese sums added together give 5026. At the monastery of St. 
(iotthard, in Switzerland, the barometer stands at something 
over 23.2 inches, hence the height is reckoned el 6822 feel 
sbovo the sea; upon the summit of the Lomnitz point of the 
Carpnlhian mountains, the barometer stands at 21.5 inches, 
which gives a height of 8720 feet. 

On account of the rarity of the air, ever increasing as we 
rise, it happens that a small balloon, made air-tight and only 
bulf filled with air, and of course loose and flaccid, when taken 
up to a considerable elevation, at once swells out by the elasti* 


city of the air enclosed within and expands to such a fulness 
Ihftt it bursts ; like a bladder, which, after the air has been 
expelled from it by the hand, and the neck lied up, is placed 
under ati air-pump. A circumstance which has often periled 
the lives of aeronauts ; for what uncommon strength there is 
in the elasticity of compressed air is shown by our air<guoa in 
which it is only air greatly condensed, and confined in a hollow 
ball screwed to the gun, which, when allowed suddenly to 
escape into the barrel, rushes in with such violeDce as to send 
a ball with great force and swiflness. 

In air so dense as that at the Dead Sea, the level of which is 
more than 1300 feet below the Mediterranean, and where 
accordingly the average height of the barometer is aboat 80 
inches, we eulter no inconvenience, on ihe contrary, when (lie 
barometer is high, we have a sensation of bodily comfort. 

Vastly greater are (ho inconveniences experienced when we 
remain long in the rarefied air of the higher regions of the 
atmosphere, apart from the cold, which increases with the 
height. The unfavorable influence of such rarefied air is shown 
by the shortness of life, the pale looks, the sickliness, the diffi- 
cult healing of wounds, observable in the inmates of St. Ber- 
nard, At a height of 9018 feet, the average height of the 
barometer being lillJe over 21J inches. Higher up, 7 to 
8 miles, an animal would hardly be able to live and brealhR. 
At a height of about 20 miles above the level of the sea, the 
rarity of the air reaches a degree, which we are unable to pro- 
duce with our best air-pumps. 

In regard to the habitableness of the high regions of tlw 
atmosphere, heat has a no inconsiderable influence. TherCi 
where (between the tropics) the whole year through, a high 
degree of heat prevails, the column of air musj, through tho 
expanding power of heal, (of which hereafter) be higher than 
\ a colder climate, although the pressure of Ihe air remains 



Ihe same. On this account the inhabitants of tho high valley 
of Quito Bufier none of the inconveniences experienced by Ihe 
inmates of St. Bernard, although their place of residence Ilea 
upwards of 9000 feel above the sea, the barometer standing 
below 80 inches. For Quito lies almost under the etjualor, St. 
Bernbard more than half way from the equator lo the north 
pole, in 47° north latitude. An answer has been diligently 
sought to iho question ! How high is the atmosphere, and what 
is its utmost hmit? According lo the law of Mariotte, tho 
space, which any weight of air occupies, increases in the aamo 
proportion as the pressure on it diminishes. At tho level of 
the sea, the pressure of the superincumbent air on (he lowest 
stratum is equivalent to a column of mercury 30 inches high, 
and we have to rise through a stratum of air about S77 feet 
(hick, that the mercury in the barometer may fall one inch, or 
sink lo 29 inches. At the height where the mercury in the 
barometer is only 15 inches, or the pressure of the air only 
one half what it is at the level of the sea, wo have to rise 
through twice 877, or 1754 feet in order (hat the mercury may 
iitll one inch or sinic to 14 inches. At (he elevation where the 
barometer stands only one quarter as high, or at 7,5 inches, we 
have lo rise through a stratum four times 877 or 3508 feet thick, 
that the mercury may fall one inch ; and so on. Thus we seo 
that the atmosphere grows continually rarer, or the same 
weight occupies a continually increasing space, in proportion 
u we rise higher, aad this would seem to go on without limit. 
But it is probable that the distance (o which the atmosphere 
eileDds from the surface of the earth is limited, and that the 
limit of this is to be found where the peculiar elasticity of the 
air exactly balances its gravity, which, according to calcula- 
tion, is, under the equator, at a height of 161 miles, (in the 
Deighborhood of the pole, 159 miles above the surface of ihe 



earlh.) The air, however, at that height must be so rare that 
il CAD reflect no light lo the eye ; for, aa we know by the c- 
cuIalioDs, which moraing and evening twilight enables us 
make, the height, at which the air still possesses eudicienl ec 
lerial consistency to reflect a dim sunlight upon the darkened 
surrace of the earth, extends to about 45 miles. The density 
of the air in ihot region, if its decrease follow the rule of Ma- 
riotte, above stated, would be scarcely the 3000th part of the 
density of the lower strata. 

In the pressure, which the whole column of air exerts upon 
the surface of the globe at the level of the sea, and which h 
equal to Ihe weight of a column of ((oicksilver of 30 inches, 
not only do the two main gases of Ihe atmosphere, nitrogen 
and oxygen, take pari, the first of which corresponds 
column of mercury of more than 23.05 inches, the latter, 
almost 6.95, but there are two other gaseous substances which 
are lo be considered, and which are found very generally n 
gled wiih the air. One is watery vapor, the other carbonic 
acid, the former composing on an average about fourteen thou- 
sandths, the latter a ihousnndth part of the atmosphere. The 
pressure of the former, however, is scarcely equal to three- 
eighths, that of the latter about Ihe fortieth of an inch of the 
barometer. Yet these proporlions nowhere remain bo uniform 
OS the proportion of the iiuanlities of oxygen and nitrogen. 
The carbonic acid gas, especially, on account of its great den- 
sity and specific gravity, is incapable of rapid and uniform 
diffusion, but it readily and chiefly collects wherever, by the 
combustion or fermcnlation of bodies, it is produced, and e 
in other regions of Ihe atmosphere ; it is remarked that in 
general the quantity of this gas increases in dry weather and 
diminishes in wet, and that in still weather and over flat coun- 
tries and the sea, there is jess of it than in windy weather, and 



ia mountainous regions. The quantity of vapor in (he atmo- 
sphere ia subject to slill greater variations, depending much on 
Ihe temperalure, and ihe ailualion of ihe country. 

Wiih this variation in the quantify of atmospheric vapor are 
coDnecled in part those daily and monllily chnngea observable 
JQ the barometer. But these are not the barometrical chaoges, 
by which approaching changes of the weather are determined ; 
those changes of ihe barometer which prognosticate the weather 
are such as are produced by a disturbance of Ihe equilibrium 
of ibe columns of air, resting on different parts of the earth's 
surface. This equilibrium is disturbed especially by diflerent 
degrees of heal. The warmer column of air expands and 
rises lo a greater height, and pours itself out over ihe adjoin- 
ing lower and colder regions; but the column itself becomes 
thereby lighter, and its pressure on the earth's surface dimi- 
nished. Into the warmer and rarer strata of the air, the den- 
ser, colder masses of the air sinlt, according to the law of 
equilibrium, and thus is produced an upper current of the air 
of the warmer zones towards ihe colder, and a lower current 
from the cold zones to ihe wanner. The latler comes from a 
region of Ihe earth, where the velocity of any point on Ihe 
BuHace of ihe earth arising from ihe rolation of the earth on 
ila axis is less considerable than al the equator ; on this account, 
the more it approaches the regions of the tropics, where the 
earth's rotation has the highest influence, it is more retarded, 
■0 tJiat by reason of the motion of the earth from west to easi, 
it becomes a prevailing current in the opposite direclion, or an 
east wind, generally known by the name of the Trade winds; 
just as it is with us, when we are seated in a staiioaary or 
slowly moving carriage, as soon as it starts or accelerates its 
nration, we fall backwards. 

The air, moving swiftly, cxerls a less pressure downvards 
Ihaa when it is in a state of rest, for the same reason that 

rds I 



driven powerfully ihroiigh n narrow lube exerts its elastidljr 
less against the sides of ihe tube than in the direction in which 
it is impelled. On this account the barometer falls oflencsl 
during and before (lie prevalence of a strong wind.* The 
changing currents of air, as a consequence of the difierent 
degrees of heat which set lliem in moliori, give occasion lo rain 
which forms in the atmosphere and falls to the earth. Vapor 
preserves ila form only through that elaslicity, which heat cora- 
municales lo it. There may be a great quantity of vapor or 
steam in the atmosphere, increasing the pressure of the air very 
sensibly, as ihe barometer shows us, and yel, at the same lime, 
there may be the greatest draught. But when a mass of warm 
air, the heat of which is sufficient lo give lo the vapor with 
wliich it is filled to saturation Ihe elasticity necessary lo pre- 
serve it in Ihe form of v«por, is mingled with a cold stream of 
air and thereby becomes cooled, then a greater or less quanlliy 
of the vapor loses ila elasiicily and forma lillle drops which 
either remain floating in Ihe air and only becloud the heavens, 
or, when they have attained a more considerable size and gra- 
vity, fall lo the earlh as rain. The ceasalion of (he elasticity 
of vaporiform water essential to its existence as such is in- 
slantly to be perceived by the dampness of ihe air. 

When water, in boiling, passes into a gaseous form. It expands 
to 1700 times its bulk, and becomes, of course, so much the 
lighter. Almosplieric air at Ihe boiling point expands only SO 
much as to be 1050 times lighter than water, the vapor of 
which, of course, still always remains perceptibly lighter, hav- 
ing only Iflhs of the weight of the surrounding hot air. But 
vraior is converted into vapor, not only at ihe boiling poini, but 

* The CDnnrxion tictwcen the licighl of the baTomctcr, and the direelinn 
of the wind TBries in diSerenl parta of Iho warlJ. It has l*en generally 
aliKrved at Faria, thai the biTomeler ie higher nhen Ihe wind ia rram (bo 
N. Of N. E, than when il «lfl rrora the S. or S, W. 


■Iso at a d^ree of cold, far below [he freezing point ; in Ihe 
state of ice aniJ snow, water is subjected lo evaporation. Vapor, 
fbrmed at such low tempera lures, has not indeed that elasticity 
wliich the temperature of the boiling point communicates to it. 
Vapor forms rapidly in tho vacuum produced by the air 
pump, and if our earth were deprived of its atmosphere, (here 
would be an envelope of vapor formed around it from the 
vapor of its waters. The rapidity of Ihe production of vapor 
by the application of heat to water, — by boiling, is manifestly 
dependent on the pressure of Ihe almoaphere. While at the 
level of Ihe sea 80 degrees of heat, according lo Reaumur's 
scale, (213° Fahr.,) aro required to make water boil, at the 
summit of the Puy de Dome, (4841 feel,} a heal of 76 degrees 
suflices for this purpose, at a height of about 10,000 feet, 72 
degrees ; and even the good fathers of the Hospice of St. 
Bernard and Si. Golthard, and the herdsmen of the high 
Alpine regions, are never able lo cook the meat which they 
prepare for their guests or for Ihemselves, as Ihoroughly as Ihe 
iahabitanls of low-lying countries, because it is not possible at 
those heights lo give to boiling water ihe heat necessary to the 
thorough cooking of many articles of food. In the monastery 
of St. Bernard, water boils al 73J degrees, Reaumur, (173° F.) 
To return, however, to the consideration of the influence 
which the pressure of ihe air exerts upoD the human body, it 
may be reckoned, that the weight of Ihe atmosphere, under 
which we, at the level of the sea, live and move, increases or 
diminishes, with every -j'^^lh of an inch that the barometer rises 
or falls, nearly 70 lbs. At a height of 7402 feet, where water 
in a pump, instead of rising 34 feet, rises only 25.5, and the 
average stand of the barometer is only 21) inciies, the atmo. 
spheric pressure on the surface of the body is lessened about one 
(juBrter of its strength, and where water in a pump rises only 
17 feel, at a height of 18,000 feet, the bold mountain-climbef, 


who roaches (hat height, has only half the atmospheric weight 
resting on him Ihat rests on the inhabitant of the sea coast 

Nevertheless, such a diminution of the pressure of the air 
does not by any means assist, but rather obstruct life and all lu 
movements. Our corporeal being is penetrated with air, and is 
in a manner, a being of air, on which account it resists the 
external pressure of the air with its elasticity, by which itrnflin- 
taina an equilibrium to a certain extent. This extent reaches la 
the point where the nir, however rarefied, still possesses that 
quantity of oxygen, which is necessary, at every breath <re 
draw, to the vitality of the blood. Where breathing tabes place 
with difficulty, the pressure of the external air is diminished lo 
such a degree that the balance can no longer be maintaiaed 
between the gaseous or fluid and the solid parts of the organised 
body ; the elasticity, or expansive power, of the former is ia< 
creased to such an excess, thot it breaks through the hulls or 
membranes in which the fluids are contained and finally destroys 
them. For all organised bodies, on the surface of the earth, 
composed of solids and fluids, the atmospheric pressure la indis- 
pensable lo the condition of life and health allotted to them. 

Even in the spiritual world there is an analogous arrange- 
ment. Every human soul is placed by the Creator in a school 
which now here, now there imposes externa! restraints, like the 
atmospheric pressure upon the elasticity of the physical system. 
Under this restraining pressure, the mind remains sound and 
joyous, BO long as the peace-giving spirit which ordains the 
external pressure, lives and reigns within, nay more, the inward 
elasticity or resisting energy of the mind is strengthened in 
the same degree in which the outward burthen increases. 
Were man given over at once (o all the motions and cravings of 
^ r:--^j_qf ure, without that influence from above which orders and 
IwtrmoooH!' all its aspirings, its whole activity would end in 

hint 'u *'^^°^^- '>ei'ig would sink into nolhingnesa. DutlM* 



Wy nbove, and withoul, but within also, in the inner sphere of 
the raind, (here reigns, so long as the inner life is sound, like 
the niry fluids, which are contained in the struclure of the body, 
thai Bpirit which prevccls the ascent of the lower, animal nalure, 
into the higher and more peculiar heritage of the spiritual 
nature. Where this interior power gives up hs authority, then 
it is with man as with the lube in which, by the rising of the 
piston, a vacuum is produced, in which the water from the mtad 
and slime of the deep ascends; the animal and the 
s the place of the human and the spiritual. 


M'We here become acquainted with another assistant of life ii 
B construction of the visible world, vastly more important and 
) general in its influence than the pressure of the atmo- 
lere, but found continiially connecled with this pressure and 
ictivity of the gases which generate it. This power- 
agent in the fabrication and maintenance of material things 
i Heat. What would the world be if there were no light with 
Bternal power to awaken life in it, no maternal warmth to pre- 
) and nourish that life! Light and Heat come, h is true, 
e earth, from the mighty centre of the system — from the 
[ nevertheless, the earth itself contains within its mountain 
. buroing volcanoes, and naphtha-fountains, many 
9 'fire-altars, never extinguished. 

on the Caspian Sea, where naphtha gushes in dif- 
places from the ground, and where, in the neighborhood 
je springs, out of every hole dug in the earth a gas 
», which takes fire when a flame is brought near it, and 

trna steadily o 

s cut ofl", perhaps by heaping up the 

Wh over it, from all connection with the o 

e oxygen 
e slill found several lillle communities 

if the atmo- 

Persian fire worshipers. Through a natural error, fire, with 
ils light and heat, appears nol only as a symbol of the all- 
animating, all-upholding power of the Creator, but as the very 
God himself, before whom they bow in adoraiion. 

Indeed it was an important addition to the dominion of man 
over external nature, when power was given to him over the 
heat, which the sun radiates during the day, to produce it by 
nighl and use it for his service. When fire was once kindled, 
it was easily kepi by being fed with combustible substances, 
most easily, and without any effort on man's part, wherever 
fuel was at hand, as at those naphtha springs or where fire 
came forth spontaneously over the beds of rock-salt. 

We will not ask, who was the first discoverer of fire. Now 
and at all times one Rre is kindled by another ; so that it may 
well be said, that the discovery of fire arose naturally and 
originally through the force of human intelligence, which comea 
itself from the source of light, or, in other words, the use of 
fire in human economy is as old as that economy itself. His- 
tory, which aims to narrate only the outward visible facts of 
life, not the interior germinations of the same, tells us the name 
of (he first discoverer or conqueror of fire. A stroke of ligh^ 
ning, so some ancient authors say, set a tree in flames, or a 
strong wind rubbed the dry trees of a forest so long and so 
violently against each otbei, that the wood became heated and 
caught fire, and the flame, once kindled, was preserved by un- 
sleeping care and vigilance as a sacred thing. Even a tnuu- 
parent crystal, rounded on opposile sides, such as are found 
among the boulder stones, stones rolled down by mountain 
streams, may have been used, according to the opinion of 
others, as a natural burning glass, in order to make Ihe first 
fire, by the beams of the sun, on the hearth of man. 

Some nations, to whom the arts of Europeans are unknown, 
still obtain fite in the same way in which one of the primeval 


perors of China, according to the legetnl, taught hia people 
produce it : by rubbing togellier pieces of dry wood, hy in- 
■fcog one piece into a cavity made in another piece, and then 
ning it rapidly round. It must have been obvious, — one of 
ifirst facts presenled to the primeval inhabitants of the earth, — 
it every sudden and violent pressure, every collision of solid 
ilies, every quick motion produces d degree of heat, and 
entitnes a degree of light also. 

The discovery, which the Chinese emperor made, according 
Ibe legend, that a piece of wood, put into a hole in another 
as and turned swiftly round, may produce fire, has been 
de also, to hia terror, by many a wagoner when he haa not 
Bcienily greased the aslea of his wagon, and the friction has 
9D so great ihnt the healed wood haa caught fire. Thus the 
B of the wheels of machinery may be heated red hot. The 
b of a wheel in going down hill, by the weight and friction 
ich it bears, and an augur, or a saw, aAer long continued 
I, may become very hot. The heat, generated by friction, 
does not depend upon the quality of the substances submitted 
Co this sort of action ; plates of metal, of marble, and of wood, 
by means of an equal pressure, and when rubbed together with 
il force, become heated, almost to the same degree. The 
It also, which two bodies give out by friction, does not di- 
iah, let the experiment be repeated ever so oden and with 
ihortest intervals. It is thus clear that it is not the bodies 
ves, which give out the heat, as a wet spunge by being 
gives out the water ; but il is the externa! motion which 
]unicaled to the individual parts of the bodies used, even 
i|heir inmost substance, that produces therein that peculiar 
on and disorder of the mutual attraction of the minutest 
which we name Heat. 
ben a flal-pressed rod of pure tin is bent by the fingera, 
perceived a peculiar sound, the so-called cry of the 



lin (Schreien des Zinnes.) When the rod is bent backwards 
and forwards for a considerable lime, it grows warmer and 
warmer, until the heat becomes too great to be borne by ibe 
hand. By being thus bent, Ibo connection of the separate parts 
of the lio is disturbed, and the changed stale of the metal, in 
relation to that connection, is commuDicated from one point to 
another of the whole mass. 

When two plates of metal, stone, or wood, are laid, one o 
the olher, and frLclion is produced by moving one quickly and 
powerfully over ihc other, it becomes manifest that the genera- 
tion of heat is caused precisely in the same way as in ihe 
rod when it is bent as above mentioned. In the two bodies 
there is occasioned a mutual allraclion of the near surfaces, a 
ehange in the cohesion of their component particles, whose 
agitation becomes a vibratory mo'.ion tike that of stretched, 
musical strings. Even the circumstance, that of two plates 
rubbed together, that is more heated whose surface is roughen* 
ed than that whose surface is smooth, renders it perhaps pro- 
bable that the heat produced is more easily taken up by 
unevennesB of the former plate, like electricity by metallic 

That vibratory motion, which is caused by rubbing Ihe finger 
on the glass bells of an harmonica, and which, by being ci 
municated to the air, is transmitted lo the ear, so that we ] 

/e il as a musical sound, may also be produced by striking 
the glass or metal bell. For a blow acts precisely like friction 
upon the cohesion of the atoms of the glass or metal. In the 

le way, heat is generated by striking. An iron rod, by 
being merely hammered on an anvil, may be heated red bod 
When steel and Bint are struck together, so great a heat is pro- 
duced (hat the little particles of steel which are broken off, Hi 
inly become red hot, but melt, for the Utile black particles 
which are thrown ofi' and may be gathered up, when examined 


by a magnifying glass, appear as little naeKcd balls of sleel, 
Whea Iwo stones are struck against one another, the minutest 
pieces which are struck off, are red hot. Fulminating powder 
explodes at one powerful blow. 

In most of those cases, in which heat is generated by a blow 
or by pressure, it is evident that the bulk of the body, struck 
or pressed, is lessened. A copper plate, which was used in the 
making of coin, showed after the first pressure of the stamp an 
increase of beat of almost 9|, after the second 14j- degrees. 
But at the same time it had also suSered a diminution of its 
bulk, for its density and its specific gravity had increased in 
comparison with the specific gravity of water from 6.86 to 
8.91. A silver plate, submitted, in the same way, to the coin- 
ing process, was heated only about 8 degrees, but its density 
had increased also, only from 10,467 to 10,484. Gold under 
the pressure of the die undergoes a less change of density than 
silver, but it is also healed still less. On the other hand, in the 
sudden compression of the air in the tube of the fire-pump into 
about a fiAh of its original bulk, a heat is produced, which sets 
fire to a piece of spunk placed therein ; and in a similar way 
heat is produced by the compression of a gas. 

In the case of ihe^e gaseous fluids, the generation of heat by 
compression is especially related to their elasticity. Water has 
but a very small degree of elasticity, and under the strongest 
pressure can be condensed only very slightly; for which rea- 
son, pressure upon water and similar fluids produces no per- 
ceptible amount of beat ; very ditferent, however, is the case 
when water has passed from its liquid form into the form of 
steam. When this change has been effected 1^ the boiling 
beat of 80° Reaumur, (212° F.) it is observable that Ihe hot 
steam cooled again by the cooler bodies surrounding it, so as to 
lose the gaseous form and again become water, communicates 
to ih© surrounding air a heat, which corresponds to 424^V ^^ 


grees R. (1000° P.) (531 of the centigrade scale.) This Tacl 
has been made use of, Dot only in the construction of the b< 
houses of the gardeners, but also in the warming of rooma b 
whole buildings by the steam of boiling water which is carried 
in cast-iron pipes through different rooms under floors and in 
the walla ; and Ihe water, which, in its conversion from ateato, 
is still at the boiling point, is caused by pipes, arranged for that 
purpose, to return again to the boiler, which it reaches still 
tolerably warm. With a pound of steam continually foriiied 
anew, the rooms and halls of a building, compriBing a epace of 
1000 to 1200 feet, may be warmed in winter. 

But water is converted into vapor not only by boiling, hut it 
also passes into the form of gas at the lower temperatures o( 
our autumn and winter days. But in order to this, there must 
be Ihe influence of hoal, as in boiling ; and when it returns It 
a liquid state it also gives out heat. This is manirest in winter 
by the diminution of the cold previously lo or at the c 
meocement of a fall of snow, and in summer by the oppressive 
heal of Ihe atmosphere before a gust and shower. Out in 
open air, however, when steam is generated, there are quite 
other spaces to be healed than the rooma of our dwellings. 
There the heat, produced by the conversion of a pound of steam 
into a pound of water, is communicated not only lo hundreds, 
but to ibousauds and hundreds of thousands of cubic feet ; and 
the process itself takes place so gradually, and is so distributed 
in space, that we perceive its effect upon tiie temperature of the 
atmosphere less by our senses than by our calculations. 

The reverse process, however, the taking up of heat from the 
surrounding Ynalerial objects, in (he conversion of water into 
vapor, comes more distinctly wilhin the range of our senses. 
The seaman, when he wishes to know, in an apparent calm, 
which way the wind is, moistens bis finger in his mouth, and 
holds it up in the air. The sensation of coolness, stronger on 

WAXfeR) HOW COOtBD. 205 

ir ihe other side of his finger, lell him whence the wiod 
blows, whicl^evaporates the moiature. Thus, whenever water 
evaporates, whether when it rains or when we bathe, or whan it 
s aa perspiration, wc cxperiencj! a sensation of cooloess 
en of cold, and we can produce a lower temperature on 
r bodies by a conversion of water into vapor or gas. For 
i» ivfter every shower, a feeling of coolness is experienced by 
JB evaporation of the rain that has ftdlen ; bo, on a small scale, 
k may moderate the oppressive heai of the sun, by sprmkliog 
3 floors nf our rooms with water. In the hottest season of 
the year, the inhabitants of Egypt coo! the water which they 
drink, by filtering the luke-warm water of the Nile, in a kind of 
earthen vessel of great antiquity. The clay of which these 
jars are made, and which hardens in the sun, is not water tight, 
like our glazed vessels, but the water permeates through its walls 
by nicans of innumerable lillle openings, imperceptible to the 
eye. The surface thus remains in a constant slate of mois- 
ture i and, while a pari of the watec forming the moisture, 
s into vapor, nod a proportional degree of heat is taken up 
n external objects, such a coolness of the vessel and its con- 
nta is cfiected, that ths drops, which gaiher od the outside and 
run down into a vessel placed underneath, afford a drink as 
cool as the water in which the Neapolitan puts bis piece of ice. 
In ihe East Indies, wine and other liquors are cooled, by being 
Ukal in bolllea over which is drawn a cloth of the quality of our 
Hnitled stockings. By keeping this cloth constantly moistened, 
^^b evaporation is kept up, by which s very considerable degree 
^B coolness is produced. In a similar way iho inventive Euro- 
^HIkD( dwelling in those countries, cools his room, by hanging 
^Bblbre the openings of his door and windows, mats, woven of 
^Bk iiweet smelling Cuscus, (a sort of cypress grass,) and kept 
HrhsI by being coaslantly sprinkled with water, and thus pr» 
IbcUiDg a steady Qva porn lion. By another conlrivgnce ojso by 
B 23 


wliich wet layers of rice-straw upon a frame work of poles 
rods create a fresh draught of iho cool night air, tie inhabitanls 
of the hottest regions of the East Indies obtain a means of cool- 
noas, similar in its effect to that of the snow kept in arliScial 
ice houses, by which the affluent classes in Europe are e 
lo procure the refreshment of their so-called "ices." 

It is a fact of daily observation, that, in passing Jnin a 
greater degree of density to a less, a body becomes cooled) and 
thai, when the bulk of a body is reduced in size, heat is gene- 
rated. The air which we compress ii 
pump, lo a lidh of its previous bulk, and which tbereby gives 
out heat sufficient to set a combualible body on fire, would 
seem lo show that heat is a substance, like the water in a 
spuDge, contained in the little interior invisible spaces between 
the atoms of bodies, and that by mechanical moans, it may be 
driven out from this its residence, and n-ade perceptible by w 
senses. It even seems to indicate that it is from the essenlial 
substance of heat that material things receive and i 
their respective forma. There is, however, in Ibis represeala- 
tion, when we lay aside this mode of expression, and employ 
another and more appropriate way of speaking, as much of 
error as truth. This will be more evident in the sequel, when 
wo have first considered more particularly some other proper- 
lies and eiiecls of heat, and ihe most common and most eSec- 
loal methods of generating the s 

When a pound of water of 212° F. in temperature, is mi*ed 
with another pound of water which has been reduced to 
the freezing point, then Ihe temperature of the mijiturs 
Iween the two, 123°. When, on the conlrnry, a pound of iron 
filings, heated to 212°, is put into a poutid of water standing 
at 32°, the water receives only 18° of heat, and the iron must 
be heat 1976°, if the temperature of an equal weight of water 
is to bo raised to the boiling point. In a mixture of Jicated 

HEAT. 2C7 

mercury and cold water ihe proporlion is yet more slrikiiig, for 
if ft pound of mercury healed to 167° is tnixejl with a pound 
of WQler, whose temperature is 32°, only a heat of 4" is com- 
municaled to the water by (he hot metal. Still more sparing 
than in the ease of mercury, is the communication of heal by 
heated gold and rolled platinum, or even by lead, or bismuth, 
for, while a pound of ice may be melted by a pound of water 
at 172°, it requires 30 lbs. of mercury, healed to the same 
degree, to melt a pound of ice, but of gold, platinum, lead, bis- 
muth, about 31 to 33 ibs. Nevertheless, it is not density alone, 
and ihe specific gravity connected therewith, upon which 
depends the greater or less degree of heat, which bodies can 
lake up from without, and in their turn communicate to other 
and colder bodies, for, in its capacity for heat, lead is inferior to 
gold and platinum, and the much lighter metal bismuth stands 
below gold, and lead also. In like manner tin, and still more 
anlimouy, have a lower capacity for heal than silver, although 
thoy are both perceptibly lighter. On the other hand it ts 
well known that neither lead nor tin experience any change 
in this respect from being hammered, because they do not, by 
this operation, become denser or specifically heavier, like cop- 
per, silver, and even gold. That in one and the same substance 
the capability of taking up heat is greatly dependent on its 
condition, or the arrangement of its particles, is shown from a 
consideration of carbon. This qualily in pure crystalline car- 
boo, in the form of diamond, does not amount to |ths of the 
capacity of heal of plumbago, nor to fihs of Ihe capacity of 
charcoal. Between the diamond, however, and common carbon, 
tlicrc esists a real difference eslending to the inmost nature of 
llieir composition, but thai the mere increase or diminution of 
density or bulk affords no test of capacity of heat, but that 
oilier things are to be taken into consideration, is best seen ilt 
bodies, which of all bodies are susceptible of the liighes^ 



degree of change in regard lo density, llie gaees. The capacity 
of gases to receive heal changes with their elasficily. And os 
every compression disengages heat, it follows that the capacity 
diminishes according to a certain law, according as the pres- 
sure increases. 

One of the most familiar and thorough changea of form, 
produced in bodies by the influence of heat, is the melting of 
the same. When a pound of ice is put into a pound of boiling 
water, the ice mellB and the heat of the water that is produced 
rises 22,5 degrees, 135° of the heat of the water are of course 
used in the melting of the ice; such a quantity of heat has just 
Bvifficed to give to the newly formed fluid the temperature of 
32", the superfluous 46" of heat increase Iha temperature of 
the two pounds of water lo 22,5 degrees' throughout. A piece 
of ice, while melting in the hand, always keeps the sbme cold- 
ness, because all the heat, which it receives from the band, is 
employed to change it from a solid to a iluid state. For this 
reason a leaden ball, wrapt smoothly in paper, may be held 
over a lighted candle unlit it melts without setting fire to the 
paper ; Ihe influence which the heat of the florae exerts on the 
fusible body is all taken up by it until the moment tliatil 
changes its form and melts. 

The reverse is the result In (he change of a body from ft 
fluid to solid. When so much Glauber salts is dissolved in 
boiling water as the watm- is able To take up at a temperature 
of 212^, and this saturated solution is sealed up air tight, and 
placed in a quiet place, it remains fluid unlll it is shaken, or 
brought into contact with a solid body. But Ihe moment this 
happens the fluid passes into the alate of a solid, and thus a 
very perceptible dej^rco of heat is generated. A similar fact ia 
observable when chloride of calcium passes from a fluid to a 
solid state. In the slow freezing of wafer, we are not indeed 
sensible of the rise of the temperature, which, in a quicker pro. 


of change, would amounl to 135°, nevertheless, that ihere 
is such an increase is manifest in the fact, that water, which 
before becoming ice is cooled about 9° below the freezing point, 
(32°) in the instant of freezing rises again about 9°, and keeps 
at this temperature during the process of changing. 

That heat which a body lakes to become fluid is denoted by 
the name of latent iceat, which, in the solidifying of the body, 
is again delivered from its bondage. 



When a piece of metal is exposed at one point to a melting 
heat, the metnl begins to become fluid, or to melt at that point, 
but the change of form soon extends to the whole mass ; while, 
on the other hand, a piece of sugar applied on one side to a 
flame, me!ta on that side, without the communication of heat, 
in any perceptible way, to the other side. A shaving of wood 
may be burning at one end, while the other end is held in the 
hand with ease. A piece of iron of equal length, on the con- 
trary, one end of which is made red hot in the fire, receives a 
high degree of heat at the oilier end, and in a rod of gold, the 
extension of heal from the end heated in the fire to the other 
end, is still more observable. In like manner, if we put one 
rod of iron, or still belter, of gold, into snow or ice, ihe 
jf end very aoon lakes a very low temperature, while a rod 
'wood, in a similar case, only very slowly, and scarcely per- 
b\y, cools at the upper end, Tliis difference in bodies ia 
upon their power to communicate the heal which they 
s in one part to their other parts and io all around Ihorfi, 
itber words, upon their power of conducting heat. A body 
;h quickly and easily transmits Ihe heat (and the cold) 
ih it receives from without, through all its parts, and to 
■r objects coming in contact with it, is called a good con- 



ductor of heat, while other bodies, ihal possess tfais pofll 
yery lirailed degree, are cjillecl bad conductors. 

If, inalead of our clothiog of lioca or woolien, we shoald 
wear garments of melal, ihe cold air in winter, the bud's beams 
in summer, would in iasijp[>ortablE!. Such a coveriog wonld 
quickly carry off and dissipate in the surrounding air, Ihe ani- 
ma! warmth of the skin, at the same lime afTording as ready 
ndmission of the externa! heal and cold. This influence of the 
best conductors may be witnessed in the allies of those builJ- 
ingg, the roofa of which ore covered with lead ; [he prisoners 
who were formerly confined in Venice under euch leaden roofB, 
had to bear a summer's heat, which drove many of them itrnd. 
Roofs covered with shingles or straw, instead of liles or slate, 
afford a belter proteclion against heat and frost, because they 
are bad conductors. 

Those natural coi-eringa which are provided for aniinalB in 
their feathers, or their hair, and those stuffs from which n 
baa learned lo prepare his garments, are more or less imperfect 
condiiclora of heat, according to the season and the climate ; 
and even snow is, In a degree, of this character, ant! thu» be- 
comes a protecting cover to the seed against the severe cold of 
winter. To protect the feet from cold, the rider wraps hifl sllr- 
rups in straw. We put wooden handles lo metallic vessels. 
We cover the floors of our rooms wilh woollen. The gardener 
protects his plants from Ihe co!d by wrapping them in straw. 
That which guards against cold, prolecis from heat also. On 
the burning sand-plains of Persia, Ihe horseman guards himsalf 
Cram the parching glow of the summer's heat by clothing him- 
self in a light Bkin,— the same means are used by (he inhala- 
tant of Siberia, against the cold of winter. 

On the whole, bodies of (he greatest density, the metala, * 
the beat conductors of heat, yet there is a great di&reni 
among ihem in this respect. GnUl conducts heal 2^ limes 


letter than iron, about 6 times better [lian lead. Still greater, 

iwever, is the difTerence, when we compare the non-metallic 

Ddies with gold. Marble J9 42 times inferior to gold in con- 

iliug heat, porcelaio 80, burnt clay (brick) SO. The organ- 

i bodies formed out of gaseous substances are, for the most 

pri, incomparably worse conduclora of heal than melals and 

Ijones, yet it ia observable of the different kinds of wood that 

By transmit heat somewhat belter lengthwise of the grain 

an across, whence it comes thnt plants more readily attract 

tBt from the soil than the surrounding air. 

In the tase of liquids and gaseous fluids, which belong com- 

iratively among the bad conductors of heal, there ia another 

trcumslance to be considered, which has an efiect upon the 

(occss of the transmission of heal, thus far considered. By 

irtue of the greater mobility of their parts, wherein the chief 

luliarity of fluidity consists, the lighter particles mingle with 

be heavier, the less dense with the more dense. Aa now, as 

D shall yet further see, the heat acts with an expanding iu- 

lencc especially upon fluid bodies, and consequently makes 

em at the same lime lighter ; not only does the heated air, 

1th which we fill a mongolfior, rise into the Colder and consc- 

lently heavier air, carrying up the air-ship along with it, but, 

hen we mix any pulverised substance with a transparent 

lid, wc may see rising before our eyes hundreds of thousands 

f little mongolficrs. When the fluid is healed from below, the 

irticles of the powder rise in whole rows with the particles of 

I fluid, which have become lighter by the heat, like the air- 

bbles which the carbonic acid forms in champagne wine, 

le fluid contained in a vessel standing over the lire and heat- 

at the bottom, rises from below upwards into the colder and 

ucr portions, through which il carries the heat along with it, 

til at last Ihe whole has reached the boiling point, and then 

I conversion of the liquid iolo air is the result. 

en jj 



easiest w^y to communicalc lieat to all fluids Trom one layer or 
portion of the fluid to another, water, like every other fluid may 
lie made to boil more quickly when the flame, or healed luetnl 
piate, by which the heat is generated, acta from below upon the 
bollom of the vessel, ihan when the heal acis on one side from 
s fire kindled on the hearth on which the vessel stands. But 
the most diflicult thing of all always is to heal a fluid from 
above downwards, because the porlion of water at the top to- 
mriina, as [he lighter at the lop, and the low capacity of fluids 
lo conduct heat extends the heal to the lower strata only ntj 

Something similar to the case of water, which is heated from 

below, we experience every winter day, in the warming of our 
rooms. The air, which is warmed in the vicinity of a stove 
and so rare6ed, rises towards ihe ceiling, and the cold air, 
which is also heavier, sinks down. When the latter, colder 
stratum has reached the heat of the former, it also ascends, 
and, if we are not sitting where we can feel the heal radiated 
irom the atove, wc feel little of the warming of the room, until 
all the portions of the air have reached thai degree of beat and 
expansion, at which the descending of Ihe cold, dense strata of 
the air loses its chilling influence. When public places, thea- 
tres (or instance, are healed by common stoves, the spectators 
who sit in the galleries arc oppressed by Ihe heat, while those 
below suffer the opposite sensation of cold, from a continual 
draught of the colder and heavier air. 

The constant slreaming of warm air upwards and of colJ 
air downwards, has been taken advantage of in a mode of heal- 
ing our dwellings, which is well known, as it has come inW 
very general use. In a small chamber built for the purpose, 
{the air-chamber) the air is heated by means of a cylindrical 
stove, and then carried by tubes or flues into the rooms, which 
are lo be warmed. The flue commimicales with the elr^haiB- 


r at a height of from 4 to 5 feet from llie ground, but below, 
t the bottom, there arc other openijgs by which cold air is 
itroduced; when a tube or pipe is carried through an ordinary 
!, both openings of which, one below and the other abovp 
ed into the room, then a similar draught of the cold air up- 
rards Is produced, and the warming of the room is not a little 

Id the consideration of this subject, the conduction of heat 
f fluids, we come to a property of heat which, for the under- 
anding of ihe phenomena of nature and for manifold purposes 
r human economy, is of the greatest importance. Thia pro- 
arty is, the expansion even of solid bodies, but of (loids more 
iTlicularly, under the influence of boat. In the case of several 
Bbatances this expansion takes place in such a steady propor- 
o a gradually increasing heal, up to the boiling or to the 
eezing point, that they have long been used in the construction 
f heat- measurers, or thermometers. The use of the uisiru- 
leal, now mentioned, is of such value to science and the prac- 
pal purposes of lUe, that its consideration claims of us a 
pedal chapter. 


Id Egypt, as is well known, chickens ate hatched out, not 
y the mother-hen, but in ovens arranged for the purpose, in 
rhich the floor, as well as the air of the oven, is moderately 
nnned by a small fire kindled at diflerent points at different 
DCS. If, in this business of hatching eggs, the powerful heat 
the sun were wanting, ihu Egyptian peasants would find all 
eir labor lost. They would be compelled (o give up all Ihe 
ofil and all the pleasure which thoir lirooding ovens afford 
hem, in which, ol>enlimes, several thousands of eggs are 
:hed at once. The roof and the walla of the clay-built 


ovcD are warmi?d oulside by ihe sun's rays as much aa lasiie 
by the air which is healed by the fire, and the regular heat of 
the sun is at least as much reckoDed upon as Ihe heat which 
the fire gives. On this account the brooding ovens are not 
prepared Tor use earlier than towards the end of March, or in 
April, because then the days are Bufficiently warm. And when 
now from one division of Ihe oven, which was first filled with 
eggs, then from a second and a third, &c., oncntimea hundreds 
of chickens are taken out on llie 21st day of the artificial brood- 
ing, and after being kept a day perhaps in the lower rooms of 
Ihe brooding house, are let out into the open air, then, tliero 
alao the sun must eupply the place of the warm maternal 
feathers, and this place it fills ao effectually, and with so great 
a degree of heat, that in Ihe holiest hours of the day, the tender 
crcalures are as eager for the shade as the chickens raised 
among us in tlie natural way are, when a raw wind blows, for 
the proteclion of the malemal v 

It any one is disposed to try the experiment and hatch eg^ 
artificially, which may be accomplished by a spirit-lamp, placed 
under a small brooding oven, or, if the oven is large, by several 
lamps, care must be taken that the eggs maintain a warmili 
which la neither too great nor too little. The due heal is about 
the temporalure of our blood; on which account, persons who 

1 compelled by a broken leg, or some not dangerous acci- 
dent, to lie in bed for a space of lime, may amuse themselves 
with hatching an egg, by placing it perhaps in the pit of the 
The warmlh which the body of a brooding hen give* 
9, however, somewhat greater Ihau the vilat heat of the 
human body. Hence it is not injurious to the developeraeni 
in the eggs deposited in our small brooding ovens, if ths 
temperature is a little higher than that of the body. 

icisely Ihe due warmlh — how shall we determine and 
measure it? By our feelings? Bui how different at different 



inder different conditions of the skin, is our feeling 
in regard lo ouo and the same degree of temperature! The 
air of our rooms on a winter's day, seems almost too cold to 
allow us to remttin in it with comfort; we go out into the open 
air and take exorcise, and then return to our rooms, and the 
air la fell to l>e ngreeahly warm, perhaps too warm. Or we 
|.«|ep out of the inmost aparlmenlof a Turkish bath, in the water 
i steam of which we have been bathed, — we step out into 
9 ndjoining room, and the air strikes us as pleasantly cool, 
(though it is in fact so warm, (hat in another conditioo of the 
uld seem to be intolerably hot. That deception lo 
his case the whole surface of the body is subjected, 
lall way, put upon us when we try to esiimale heat 
merely by the finger or hand, as the nurse may know, who in 
preparing water for a child's bath, measures the heat by the 
jpling of her hand, and learns from the quick and sudJen cry 
f Ihe child, that what is warm to her ia cold to the child. 
iam perilous would it be to the sick, who depend upon being 
uniform temperature, if the due temperature cfluld 
I- delermined only by the feelings of the healthy; or how 
ibuld it fare with the eggs in a brooding oven, if we had only 
this uncertain measure of heat. In these and thousands of other 
cases, it was long a desideratum lo ascertain a method of mea- 
luring heal, which ia liable to no such errors. 

L countryman of Alkmaar, in North Holland, Cornelius 
', whose great ingenuity had previously been shown in 
appears lo have been the first who came out before 
llie world with a Heat- measurer, invented by him in 163S. 
IJi^ thermometer was simple enough, and had various defects. 
tsiated of a glass ball at the top of a lube, the lower and 
n end of ihe lube being placed in a vessel filled with water, 

red by a solution of nitra 

! of c 

i copper. 
[ure, the fluid rose, through the nitraclion 

At the usual tem- 

of the glass, to 

a certaJD point in the tube, but when the air in the ball above 
expanded under an iacreaae of heal, the fluid was pressed 
down; when the air in the ball was contracted by cold, the 
fluid mounted higher ia the tube. But apart from the circum- 
stance Ihat the degrees of heat of the rising or falling of the 
fluid were very imperreclly delermined, the fluid in the vessel 
was also exposed (o the changing pressure of the atmosphere. 

These defects were removed by an improvement upon the 
thermometer made by iho Florentine Academy del Cimenio, 
some years aAer, and which came into general use in 1693, 
The Florentine thermometer ia substantially the same now 
use. It consLsled of a glass tube, the upper end of which w 
closed and melted together, the lower end terminating in a ball. 
Instead of mercury, which is now employed, the Florentine 
iherinomeler contained, and still contains, where it conlinues 
in use, colored spirits of wino. In an increasing heat this fluid 
expands, in cold it contracts, and thus indicates both chaogei 
of temperature by rising or falling in the tube. To this 
provement a professor in Padua, Renaidi?u, in ihe year 1694, 
added yetanother. The thought occurred to him of employing 
the freezing and boiling points of water as the two limits, be- 
tween which the rising or falling of the spirits of wine was 
measured by a scale of degrees. Another celebrated man of 
science, Halley, proposed the use of mercury, or of the a 
enclosed in a bail, which, by its expansion acts upon the quick- 
silver, which is contained in a long tube terminated with a bulb. 

All the inconveniences to which ihia and pther thermometers 
then in use were liable, were obviated by Daniel Fuhrenhal, 
an ingenious mechanician, born in Dantzick, and afterwarda 
citizen of Holland. The same severe winter of 1709, \ 
occupiea such a place in the account of Duval, heljied ihii 
ingenious man to the invention of a thermomelrical scale, 
*ljich is used by tlje English to tbis day. The cold, which 


t that lime prevailed so long, even in countries wliere ihe in- 
ueoce of the vicinity of the sea tempers to a considerable 
^ree the severity of winter, Fahrenheit learned lo produce 
rtificially. He had remarked that in a mixture of sal-am- 
toniac and snow in equal quantities, even in a warm room, 
K spirits of wine in a Florentine thermometer sank just as 
iw as it did in the open air in the winter of 1709, Thus a 
zed point for the division of his therm ometrical scale was 
tuad, which every one could certify whh but little trouble. 
y, second point for graduating the rising of the thermometer, 
l^^erably certain, was still more easily to be had in nature, 
se every heallhy man carried it in himself. This second 
is the natural warmth (blood lieal) of the human body, 
vhich is most easily discovered by placing the bulb of the 
iiermometer under the tongue and allowing it to remain there 
9 or 15 minutes. The observations made in regard to this 
jioilit upon the inhabitants of different regions and climates, 
IKve shown only n very slight difference. The Malays in 
Seylon, the inhabitants of Siberia, the Hottentots in Southern 
Ekfrics, and the Esquiraeaus in Greenland, Ihe wild, naked 
faidas, who inhabit the forests of the Indian peninsula, and 
be well clad European in his palace, all have, with only slight 
sriaiiona the same blood heat, from a little below to a little 
bove B7i° F., 29° Reaumur. And if some scientific men are 
jsposed to ascribe to the coBlioued effect of a hot climate the 
ower of raising the warmth of the blood a degree of the ther- 
Kmeter, there are others again, who maintain that the Ksqui- 
peaux show a higher blood heat than the negroes on the gold 
paat, 8 dUTerencG of opinions which can only be settled by 
Hbjecling to examination, not the external heal given out by 

1 body, but the internal temperature as aaceclaincd i 
fodo above mcnlioncd. Tlie skin of the negro, under a degree 



of heat insupportable to the European, feds cool, 
inlcmal blood heat is tempered) by the increased evaporation 
from the surrace. The skin of the Esquimeaux, and the esha- 
lalion of his breath diffuses in the enclosed space of a smail 
room a heal, which, wiien several of these people are together, 
innkes a slove unaeccssary; but the blood beat in bodi is 
scarcely perceptibly differenl; and even in (he case of the nek 
in the most violent fevers, the heat of the blood rises at the 
highest about 9° F„ 4° Reaumur, But, afler all, ihia second 
natural degree of Fahrenheit's thermometer is far from being 
as fixed as the first; as we have said, it is only tolerably certain. 
For slight variations of the ordinary degree of blood heat slioir | 
Ihemselves, even in the same person, in unmisiakeable ways. 
Tb'' ■■■">e of lue, internal or external escitemenl are not with- 
out influence, and the fact that Fahrenheit divided the distance 
between Ihe cold of his mixture of sal-ammoniac and snow, aod 
the heat of the human blood, into only 96 degrees, (instead of | 
9S and 90) shows that he has placed the heat of the human 
body too low ; probably because he applied the thermometer 
by which he sought to measure it only to the palm of the dosed i 
hand, or to other parts of the external surface of the body. ( 
Three other standard points for the division of the scale were | 
regarded by him as universally true: the melting point of 
ice, the boiling point of water, and as the extreme limit, the 
heat at which mercury boils, or is converted into air. From 
the average degree of cold in the winter of 1709 to the tem- 
perature at which water freezes, Fahrenheit counted 33 degrees 
of his thermometer, to the boiling point, 212°, to the boiling point 
of mercury, 662". To discover this highest degree of heat 
ascertainable by the mercurial thermometer, we do not have 
occasion for the help of such a frail standard ; accordingly, for 
ftry use a shorter glass tube, showing the increase of boat 


only to Ihe boiling point of water, or not much higher, haa been 
prefejfred to (he tube so inconveniently long, whose scale counla 
upwards of 660°, 

The great advantage posaeaaed by mercury next to air, as a 
fluid for Ihe tube of the thermometer, was justly recognized by 
Fahrenheit. Mercury, as an excellent conductor of hent, is 
vastly more susceptible to the changes of the temperature than 
other fluids. It is much more easily obtained in a perfectly 
pure Blale than perhaps spirits of wine, which, even when pre- 
pared with the greatest care, often contain air as well as other 
admixtures, A great degree of cold renders it thick, and under 
(he higher degrees of heat it expands inordinately. It is true 
mercury freezes at a cold which Is 72° P. 31-J° of Reaumur 
below the freezing point of water, and can then no longer be 
used to ascertain siill greater degrees of cold, but, in freezing 
it does not expand to a greater bulk like water, and in such a 
case also the reliance upon alcohol for the measurement of cold 
does not go beyond a certain degree. 

With all these decisive advantages which air and mercury 
hare, as measurers of heat, over spirits of wine, Ihe latter 
Ibuod nevertheless, a new advocate in the French philosopher, 
Reaumur. As the name of Americus Vespuccius has been 
given to the world, Ihe glory of whose discovery belongs rather 
to Columbus, so is Reaumur's name given to our thermometors, 
atlbough they are made according lo Fahrenheit's method, and 
filled like his with mercury. The careful and exact Fahrenheit 
all his knowledge to his own observation ; he was not 
jrly a man of science, but simply a mechanic. Reaumur, 
r other hand, had the reputation of learning. He took 
t pains, however, in determining the two extreme points of 

b thermometer, which required that the precise moments 
d be fixed, when water changes its form, the melting and 

Bing points. In a glass tube 2 feet long, with a bulb over 2 


incliea in diameler, ho put Rpirils of wine, Ihe strength of irtWi 
had been proved by its kindling gunpowder, and which had 
ihea been diluted with a Rfth part of water. This fundameDtal 
thermometer was Euuk to a vessel of water, surrounded by a 
mixture of sail and ice. A[ (he momenl when the water in 
the vessel was so far cooled as to begin to freeze, the point, at 
which the spirits of wine stood, was carefully marked, 
boiling point was delertniaed by putting the ihermometer in 
boiling water. With the greatest exactness, the alcohol ii 
instrument, was, in the stale of expansion in which it we 
the freezing point, measured otf with little cups, and in 
way divided into 1000 equal parts. In order that, at this low 
temperature, and in this slightly expanded state, it might 611 
Ihe glass tube just so higli as at its greater expansion at the 
boiling point, 80 little measures or cup-fulls had lo be added, 
increasing ihe whole quantity from 1000 to 1080. This fur- 
nished the basis of the division of Reaumur's scale into 6 
equal degrees. 

It was in the year 1730, that the celebrated Reaumur & 
Bcribed the thermometer, named from him, in the most widely 
circulated publications of France, and immediately e 
that smaller thermometers should be made for commor 
scale of which might suffice to determine the temperature of 
differeiiC countries and seasons, as well as that of fluids i 
the conversion of water into steam. The natural advantage of 
his fixed point, which is obtained without artificial n 
iher with the great reputation of the man and of 1 
obtained him an easy, although not strictly a universal victory 
over his rival, Fahrenheit, lo whose artificial zero point there 
is certainly much to be objected. The countrymen of Reau- 
mur, mindful of their national honor, spared no pains to hido 
and keep out of sigJiI the great defects caused by the use 
spirits of wine instead of mercury. Among other thii^ il 


s sought lo conceal the unequal expansion and cnntraclion 
spirils of wine in comparison wilh quicksilver by lessening, 
»prding lo no very exact calculation, the degrees which were 
^ve 40 and below 0, on the 80 degrees scale of ihermome- 
xs, filled wilh mercury. The honest tnilh, however, at last 
eared a way for ilseil'. It was found necessary lo make Iher- 
ometera, and to fill them according lo Fahrenheit's well iried 
lethod. Reaumur's division, nevertheless, still kept its ground 
id for those great degrees of cold, at which mercury becomes 
ilid, alcohol was still used. 

The degrees which Fahrenheit established and employed in 
n thermometers, admirable for Iheir exactness, are less than 
lose of Reaumur's scale. Nine degrees of Fahrenheit amount 
< only 4 of Reaumur ; 2i degrees of the former scale are equal 
( 1 degree of Ihe latter. Fahrenheit's zero falls upon a de- 
ree of cold, which lies somewhat more than 14 degrees below 
IB zero of the scale of 80 degrees ; h la he melting 

»nt of ice, corresponds to a heat of 3 d s ol Fnhren- 

ait. If, therefore, a degree of heat s nd a d by Fahren- 
sit, which exceeds 32, 32 must be sub a d f om and the 
bo divided by 2J, and thus (he o e pond g degree 
Reaumur will be ascerlained. Thu lo a nple 77° F. 
ptrrespond to 20° R. for 32 subtracted f m 77 I a es 45, and 
ided by 2J gives 20 ; 50 F a e H R 122° F. 
ipond to 40° R, On the olher hand, when the degrees of 
B F. scale are below 0°, 32 must be added and Ihe remainder 
vided by 2J. So it is found that 13° below 0° F. are equal 
20° R„ 22° below 0° F. to 24° R. For 13° lo 33 give 45, 
t lo 32 give 54, and these sums divided by 2i give respcc- 
rely 20 and 24. 

These two methods of determining degrees of heat, have 
BiDlained themselves in use, dividing their popularity in the 
ide domain of national customs, A third method of dividing 


tho acntc, however, has more receotly won soch genent oim- 
lion, llral perlinpa it will allain lo eiclusive empire, and cobw 
lo be Diloptcc] by all European oalious. h is ibe metbod of iho 
JeanieJ Swede, CeUiu*, who divides Ihe intenal betwm 
rnelring point uf ice, and ihe boiling point of water,* iafo 100 
parU instent) of 80, bo that 50° of heat on Ihia scale coms- 
pnnd lo 40° R. and 132° P., 4° Reaumur are equal b> 5° Ol- 
siiin, and 8° Fahrenheit. 

[n order to measure a greater beat than that at wUcli Mer- 
cury is converted into sleam, and becomes iocapable of mea- 
■uring heat furlhcr, which ia the case at 350° of Celsius, 280= 
R. and 662° P., allentJoD has been turned lo the expanaibilily ot 
Platinum by heat, because this metal is one of the most infasi- 
ble. The points at which the metals become Huid, have also 
been taken as fixed points, in order (o determine Ihe strengih of 
lire, and in this way many points, instead of one, have beeo 
obtained for pyrometry, or the measuring of the heat of fire. 
A little piece of nnetnl,or the size of a pin's head, which can 
be used, not only once, but in the case of gold, silver and pla- 
tinum, Iho metals with difTicully oxydized, upon every new trial, 
suffices for Iho purpose. The meliing points of silver andgoW 
lie about 10° apart, the first of these degrees is that, at which 
a mixture, parts silver and 1 of gold, the second that, at 
which a mixture of 9 parts of silver with 2 of gold, is fused. 
Between ihe degree, at which pure gold, and that at which 
pure platinum melts, 100 degrees arc divided off, and these so 
made that 1, 2, 3, 4, &i.c, hundred parts of platinum are miaeil 
wiih 99, 98, 9", Bfl per cent, of gold. Besides this, there are 

• Then are the two rcliaUlo painta for grndunting tiiermomclerB. The 
hclgbt of Itie Ijarnnioter sboulil be oliijeTvcd when the Iwiling [mint ii HihI, 
u till! prcHure of tbe air has an iaSuence on the temperature, at wbicli 


scales extending still fnrlhcr Tor the easily Tusible metals. SiU 
Vtto ore melts at 362° of the Fahrenheit scale, tin requires 443, 
lead 612, nine 773, copper IB96, gold 2016, cast iron 3786 

We have dwell somewhat at length on arlificinl measures 
of Heat. The Thermometer, together with the Barometer, 
ig all the inventions of science, has, not only become of 
general use in the practical pursuits of life, it has proved man's 
inluable attendant through the various climes and countries of 
the world. To it alone wo owe the knowledge we have obtain- 
ed of llie differences of climate in dilTerent regions and heights 
if the earth, the information possessed of the variations in the 
tverage heat of seasons and days; and what we are able still 
arther to say respecting heal and its effects would greatly lack 
recision, if the means were not at hand to measure its power, 


Two centuries have now elapsed since, by the invention of 
w barometer and thermometer, a wholly new path was opened 
1 the invesligafion of the heights and depths of nature, as 
rell ss to a more intimate knowledge of that natural power, 
ihich may be regarded as the great mother and nurse of phy- 
\cm\ lile. We are now so accustomed lo the use of those two 
uenlific instruments, that we can hardly understand how man 
Dt oQ in old times in the domain of science wilhout those aids, 
ind yel then, when neither the Barometer nor the Thermome- 
ir was known, ihc air by its pressure formed just as happy an 
qnilibrium with the elasticity of material bodies as now, the 
«n's raya called forth the verdure of the meadows wiih the 
Ime force, and rijiened the seeds of the grain and the berries 
r the vines. These inventions have operated directly only 
|K>n llie inlellcctuni activity of man, animating and elevating 



human science. They have wrought no change upon the phy- 
sical conUitions of man and of nations. But there are other 
inventions of modern times, which, in their ^lalion to daily 
life, have exerted auch an iniluence, that herealler men will find 
it difficult to understand how men could have lived on the earth 
without the helps now at our command. Among the inventions, 
which have aprung out of the soil of science, and spread Iheir 
branches over all the employments and pursuits of man, be- 
longs especially that of Bleam engine, by means of which, man 
has gained power over one of the strongest moving forces of 
nature. Fahrenheit, when ho invented the artiticial zeTo-poiat 
of his ihcrmomelor, learned his art from the severe winter of 
1709, by which land and water were filled with the horrora of 
frost. The inventors of steam engines have made their own 
the art of the volcano, by which the stone masses of the depths 
are hurled upwards to a height of thousands of feet, rocks are 
shivered, and in the centres of plains, new mountains are formed, 
and piled up to the regions of perpetual snow. 

One of the profoundcst and most comprehensive philosopher; 
of Germany, Leibnitz, amused himself in his leisure hours with 
inventing all kinds of mechanical contrivances, to set carriages 
in motion without horse-power, merely by the agency of some 
internal machinery. His acute mind (ailed of the discovery, 
which the inhabitants of every liltle American village have, 
in these days, at their command: ihe discovery of the means 
of forming an alliance with the power of steam that rises 
unused and unmarked from every boiling pot, from every wash- 
ing kettle, by which it becomes possible for human art to surpass 
Ihe horse in speed, and to overtake the wind in its awiH career. 

In the middle ages, when most of our rivers were scantily 
provided with bridges, and the mountains and hills were covered 
with forests, the vallies and plains, filled with moors and quick* 
sands, the wagoners, who traversed Bohemia, or who came from 

'rance lo Gosslar, occupied weeks ere after many circuits and 
tousandfold difficulliea I liey reached llieir journey's end. Even 
1 laler times, when roads were mado over mountains and 
[trough forests, over land and stream, but not having Ihe ex- 
ellence of our present highways, a long journey by land was 
lore a toil Ihan a pleasure, while the traveler now-a-days, 
kninfortahly seated in a steam-car, accomplishes in a few hours 
I journey which would take a fool Iraveler several days. And 

.vcliog by water has been slil! . 
(y the use of steam. The succc 
I earlier limes almost entirely 
Bssage from Smyrna lo Alcxandi 
'ilh a good wi 

e facilitated than by land 
^f a sea -voyage depended 
wind and weather. The 
vas formerly accomplished 
5 days, at other times in 
culm or with a contrary wind it took 80 days. The seaman 
and himself in sight of land, expected every moment to reach 
but could not run into the harbor because the wind had lel^ 
tn, or setting in from the land had driven him out again lo 
a. Nosv men embarking in a vessel whose progress depends 
ion DO external force, but upon the internal impulse of steam, 
,rt like the sea bird, against ihe wind, and are impeded by 
I calm, they can determine with great certainty beforehand 
B time it will lake to pass from one harbor and Trom one 
nlinenl to anolher- 

these days we find steam performing 
labors which formerly demanded Ihe 
the power of many horses. If we ask 
nd the metal from the deplhs for ihe 
T, who sets the wheels of Ihe weaver in molion, the answer 
I is sleam. Steam helps us lo pull down and build up, lo 
lad to carry. Il is sleam also that gives motion lo our 


;aglh of many arms, 
o draws the water e 

How enormous is the elaslicily of gaseous bodi 

Bsed from the pressure which holds Ibem in check, ihej 

in, re- J 

ntedialely become frf», as when any solid or liquid substance 
takes the gaseous form, the eSect of gunpowder long ago 
showed. Saltpetre is, as we have already said, a combioatioa 
ofpolassa with oiiric add, but this, on its part, consists or a 
combioatlon of the two tnain ingredients of the atmosphere, 
Dilnigen and oxygen, (which through mutual cohesion have 
parted witli their original form as gases, and taken a Hqnid 
state.) Saltpetre forms in weight ibe main ingredient of gun- 
powder. To make 100 Ihs. of gunpowder, 76 lbs. of saltpetre 
must be mixed with 15 lbs. of carbon and 9 lbs. of sulphur. 
If, instead of weight, we consider the volume of the two atmo- 
spheric gases before they take a liquid form, we shall be re- 
minded of the oriental tale of the giant who was confiaed by 
magic in a little box, and whom a fisherman, having dragged 
the boK out of the sea lo his own immineol peril, released from 
his narrow prison. Human art, in the preparation and use of 
gunpowder has to do wllh sucb a giant force, confined in llie 
little space of a particle of the powder, a force whicli only toe 
ollen when least expected, has exerted against man its destruc- 
tive energy. For when gunpowder is inflamed perhaps by ■ 
spark of fire, the carbon and sulphur combine, not as tfaey do 
in the open air with the oxygen of the atmosphere, but with iho 
oxygen which in combination with the nitrogen formed the 
nitric acid of the saltpetre. The powder lakes fire, therefore, 
instantaneously; sulphuric acid and carbonic acid are formed; 
the first remains in combination with the potassa of the salt* 
pelre, but a part ol^ the carbonic acid immediately take a gaseous 
form with the nitrogen, and these two gases whose ordinuy 
average volume is increased by means of the beat produced 
by the combustion of carbon and sulphur, now expand in M 
instant to many thousand times the bulk of their solid atalSL 
As to the part taken by the several ingredients of gunpcnidii^ 
ia tho viofenl agency oE ll\e same, \.\ve ^mN^Vsk oervea 


Ihe powder easily inflammable, while (he carbon contributes 
essentially to the force of the explosion by partly taking the 
rorm of carbonic acid, A mixture of carbon and saltpetre 
simply would give a gunpowder of still greater strength, but 
not ao easily and certainly inflamed. Thus It is only the con- 
version of the solid and fluid states of some of the components 
ofihe powder into gases, and their powerful expansion by heat 
which mainly produces the explosion. 

How much man is indebted in war apd in peace, to this ally 
that his art has secured, it is scarcely necessary to menlioa. 
The terror which renders man the master of (he animal world 
has been greatly increased since the introduction of fire-arms, 
for a bullet passes through space in its full force ten times 
quicker than the eagle, thirty times quicker than a race-horse, 
and the speed of a cannon ball in the first second of lis dis- 
charge is more than one-half greater than the ball of a good 
muskel, the former amounting to nearly 2,300, Ihe latter to 
about 1,400 ft. And with the speed communicated to the ball 
of a musket or cannon there is connected the enormous force 
with which Ihe ball or stone penetrates the body which it strikes. 
If iho pebble, ihe weight of which resting in the hand could 
scarcely be felt, when hurled by (he shepherd boy from his 
sling, had power to prostrate to the earth the giant into whoso 
forehead it sunk; how much greater must be its force when 
impelled by gunpowder. The human arm can communicate 
to a stone thrown from the hand with its utmost force, a speed 
equating that of n gale of wind, (53 feel in a second,) and a 
eiiag may double this speed ; hut the riipidily with which the 
ball is discharged from a musket is ten and even fourteen ti 
greater; and that it is that gives to a tallow candle, discharged 
from a fowling piece, power to penetrate a board ( 
lliicknesses ofleaiher. Thus in the mora! world, the rapid and 

girerfuL resolve, ihe mighty inspiratLOD of oa<i \D,$m&>raX>^ 


work wonders when it seizes and eels in moliou the slnggisk 
masses of a nation. 

Still although the fire-giant that sleeps in gnnpowder must 
toll la the service of man, blowing up rocka and dischargii^ 
the destructive offices of war, yet we have here a terrible aus- 
iliary. A common musket even may peril limb and life, 
in loading it we carelessly leave a space between the powder 
and the wadd, because then not only the powder explodes 
uncommon violence, but the air also in the vacant space 
denly expands wiih the heal and the barrel of the piece is burst, 
and the frajrineDts are, like so many balls, discharged in all 
directions. And what desolation has been caused in the midst 
of cities by powder wagons, when the axles have become heated 
by friction and the powder thereby ignited. How often hu 
the magazine of a man of war caused deslruction far and wide, 
or as in Ley den, the destruction of a whole cily-quarler ! 

Saltpetre, especially in hot countries, is diffused in such 
abundance, its use from the early times has been so manifold, 
the occasions on which it comes into contact and mixture with 
carbon are so ol\en occurring that the observation of its effects 
when inflamed in connection with carbon, lay close at hand to 
the ancients. We may readily concede to the student of Asiatic 
history that the Chinese were acquainted with the composilioa 
and effect of gunpowder long before the nations of Europe, and 
that this knowledge passed from China to other nations of ihe 
east. Many an alchemist and fire-worker of the middle ages 
in one country or another, as the Greek Marcus in the 9lh 
century, the Englishman Roger Bacon, and the German Albert 
the great, and his countryman, the well-known Bcrlhold 
Schwarz, in the 13th century, have fallen upon the discovery, 
of the combustible material which burns with the violence sod 
with the crashing sound of thunder, and which, according to 
Soger Bacon's assertion, had the ^oNict \ji iesXro^ citi 

armies. Tho minors in Rammelsberg, at Goaalar, employed 
gun|>owder in the 12t[i century to blow up rocks, and by ihs 
same means tho Count palatino Henry, son or Henry itie Lion, 
ia the year 1200, destroyed tho walls of a strong castle at Tyre, 
in the war of the Crusades. For centuries, nations have had 
ihe suddenly released elasticity which dwells in gunpowder for 
Iheir friend aod foe, without obtaining such a mastery of it as 
10 use it as a faithful servant. This strange power may be 
compared to a lion, driven in among Ihe hostile ranks of an 
army, spreading (error and destruction, but afterwards turning 
its untamed fury upon those who drove him forth ; while the 
lamed hound, watchful of (he voice of his master, now opens 
upon the enemy or the game, and then, at the word of com- 
mand, crouches at rest on the ground. 

Another body, not first formed by Art, but everywhere to bo 
had without trouble in the greatest abundance, is vastly bettor 
fitted to subserve human purposes by the expansive power of 
il9 vapor, and that is, water. We have already spoken of this 
element with its motherly nourishment, and of the substances 
into which il may be decomposed, and out of which it may bo 
formed. Bui it will bo well to notice here some of Ihe remark- 
able properties, by which this elemental fluid is distinguished 
from most other bodies. 

We know water in three diflerent forms ; in the solid form of 
ice or snow, in the common liquid form, and in that of gas or 
■team. When water passes fram its ordinary slate, in which 
wJkis cognizable to the eye, the palate and the hand, into (hat of 

I, it withdraws itself, like a spiril, which has taken leave of 

t ddcaying body, from the notice of our senses. Water, in 
Hirely gaseous state, is no longer visible to the eye, no 
.sible lo (he touch; i( has retired from iho circle of 
J material existences, and only returns withiu tt\ia tudift 
s vapor, it again takes a Vic^uid a\».1s. 



The fluid sbilc of water, like ihut of raercury, is maiatalneil 
only by o certnin degree of bcal. Wheo the due heat is 
ing, both these fluids pass iolo a solid form. To melt mercury 
a lompomture is required, which feels lo us as an almost iasup- 
portable cold, and at wliich land and water become sltlf wiih 
SDOW and ice. To melt water there is needed a heat which is 
about 31° R., 7^° F, higher than the melting poiDt of mercury. 
Sulphur re«juire3 Tour liines the beat ; aud to melt most of tbs 
metnls, the hcnt must be increased meiny hutidrcd and e«eii 
ihousaud times. These last named bodies, when thoy pass into 
a fluid slate, occupy, very generally, a larger space than whea 
solid. !a solidifying, on the other hand, Ihey contract mt 
less perceptibly, Consequently Ihey become at the same lime 
denser and heavier: Ihc solid metal sinks id the melted to tin 
bottom, because the latter is lighter. 

Quite otherwise is the case in this respect with water. Water, 
when frozen, is greater in volume than when fluid : By its ex- 
pnnsion, when freezing, it spills rocks and trees, as iu the 
winter of 1709. At the same time it is also lighter. The ico 
does not by greafer weight sink in ihe water that remains fliml, 
but is formed upon lite surface, as a light covering, which bfr 
comes gradually thicker only by accessions from below. This 
remarkable element has its greatest density and weight, when 
it is cooled lo 6° K. above the freezing point. U may be cooled' 
to 8° below the freezing point without congealing, but as 
as it begins to become solid, so much heat is developed thai the 
surrounding temperature rises. 

Very noteworthy are the consequences of this peculiarity 
with which infini!e wisdom has endowed the primal elementof 
water. If, in freezing, water became denser and heavier, like 
other fusible bodies, and the ice sank on this account, as it 
/brmed in water, to the bottom of our seas, then would tlicse 
collections of water freeze V\ttou%\i<iu>. ^xon\\«\5)-N ,i«id become 

WATEK. 201 

r-like maaaes, even in llic more tomperafe coiiiilrica, nnd 
fill the whole space occupied by water. When tlie warm sea- 
son relumed, Ihe ice would hardly meit at the bottom, because 
I the influence of the sun, penetrating through the water, the 
I deeper it goes, must grow weaker. But even if a shallow lake 
juld be melted through and through by Ihe sun's heal, it wonld 
of its interest for ua, for no fish could live in it. The 
bh would have been frozen to death. But as it is, the up[)cr 
of the water, when cooled by Ihe winter air to S" above 
«-point, sinks, as the heavier layer, lo the bottom ,■ it ia 
plowed by a second, and a third, and so on, until about Ihe 
Be of cold is communicated to the whole, and now 
s formation of Ihe ice-covering begins, which affords a good 
oteclion against the cold air, while Ihe average temperature 
flhe bottom, which, in the Icmpcrale zone, is about 18° to 36° 
tove the freezing point, communicates lo the water from below, 
iht degree of warmth, necessary to the life of the animal popu- 

a of the water. 

iln the ocean, where the depth of the water ia many times 
Mler than in our lakes, the life and activity of the inhabitants 
is assisted by another properly of water, by the fact 
iBl il3 elasticity, in its ordinary fluid state, is throughout very 
[ht. The elasticity of atmospheric air is the cause of the 
splibly increasing density of the several strata of air from 
|bvo downwards. Could we dig a shalt which should extend 
W miles below Iho surface of the earth, the air at that depth, on 
»UDt of the pressure of the immense column of air resting 
I it, would have the density of water. At the depth of 51 
I, BO it has been calculated, the air would be as dense as 
^tinum. If water were as elastic as air, its density at the 
^rage depth of the ocean, would be so great thai a stone 
Mid scarcely sink in it, but remain resting in it Uta ^ ^«i& 
I of hcnipsecJ in honey; fishes, even the al.tong'is\,'''OM\i "move 



through it with more difficulty than a waler rot through thick 
slime and mud, and at a certain deplh would be unable to work 
through (he floods, Eianding like solid walls. As it is, on the 
contrary, water, by virtue of its slight elasticity, is as easily 
penetrable above as near the surface by the aDimtUs that live in 
i(; at the same time all bodies are aflecled by a greater pres- 
sure due to the increased weight of the column of water. 

The properties which announce themselves in water in its' 
third state, as a gas, when, like a spirit that has left the body/' 
it is withdrawn from the sphere of our senses, and of the coarse 
corporeal world, are for us here, in the consideration of the 
power of heal, the most Important, When nitric acid, in many 
of its chemical combinations, undergoes a gradual decomposi- 
tion, whereby the nitrogen is set free, no e^tplosion takes place, 
03 in the case of gunpowder. The gaseous steam also, which 
is gradually formed in the evaporation of water, effects no per- 
ceptible change on surrounding objects. But as a stone, so 
long as it lies in the hand, is scarcely fell, but when discharged 
from a gun, receives a power, by which it may shatter not only 
the hand, but the whole arm of a man, so, by the rapidity, with 
which it is developed at the boiling point, steam has communi- 
cated to it a force like that of gunpowder, raising heavy bur- 
thens and bursting the sides of the vessel by which its expan- 
sion is obstructed. But the great elasticity manifested in steam 
thus suddenly generated, may be immediately controlled by the 
will of man; a proportionably slight and sudden cooling pro- 
duces a return of tho gaseous substance to the form of liquid 
water. The steam, rising from a pot of boiling water, when it 
ascends into the cold wintry air, is converted before our eyes 
into a watery cloud, or into water running together in drops. 
When, therefore, into a vessel, filled with steam, a small quao- ' 
tity of cold water is allowed to pass, (he steam immediately 
yields up its elastic power, anA TcXmtva 


liarmlc^ stulo of repose, from which it came. By this simple 
ineaas, and by the exercise of some care, steam, like a huge, 
tamed elephant, may be led- and used for the service of man. 

Water, converted into steam nt the boiling point, expands to 
1700 limes the volume of llie water at a moderate temperature, 
and the elasticity of the steam increases, in a closed vessel, with 
an increase of heal. The elaslicily of water, wliea suddenly 
converted by heal into steam, exceeds that of burniag gunpow- 
der, for by the steam produced from a pound of water a weight 
of 550 lbs. can be raised, while the explosion of a pound of 
goDpowder will scarcely raise a weight of 22fl lbs.* As the 
tame elephant, when seized with frenzy, disregards the faint 
resistance of man, tearing down his huts, and breaking into 
whole crowds of human beings with his destructive strength, 
ao oftentimes has steam, when not kept in careful subjection, 
laid buildings in ruins and destroyed numbers of men. 

The difference between the motions caused by vital force and 
those pr-iduced by mere mechanical means, lies especially in 
this, thai the latter immediately cease when the mechanical 
cause by which it is produced ceases lo act, while the former 
are always again renewed, by ihe alternation of the condition 
of fulness at one point with the condition of want at another 
point, polarically opposite. The two vessels at the fountain of 
liie, — ihe right and left vonlricles of the heart and their auri- 
cles, stand io regard lo their motions in such a. regular relation 
(o one another, that when the ventricle contracts its walls and 
empties itself, the auricle opens, sad when the lell ventricle 
drives out the blood, received from the lungs through its auricle, 
through ihe arteries into all parts of the body, then at the same 
lime the right ventricle opens to receive the blood which flows 
towards it through its auricle from the veins. While one of 

at the same 
Lvhich flows I 
'hile one of I 

these cavities is emptying ilself of ihe supply of its BtodMO- 
Itinta, ibe other receives it ; now here anil aow there the nUno- 
lion becomes a repulsion, and the reverse. 

This self-renewing allematioQ between attraction and repol- 
sioQ, receiving and giving, is immediately obvious io oninrnted 
beings in comparison with inanimate, unorganised bodies. The 
animal not only inhales, but exhales also ; carbon, so to speak, 
also inliHles the oxygen, while it is burning, and becomes car- 
bonic acid, but it cannot again expel by its own power, the gas 
which it has taken in, it cannot, if, before being burnt it was 
diamond, again lake the form of a diamond, and so allernalely 
become carbonic acid, and again diamond. When the caustic 
lime produced from the metal calcium is saturated with car- 
bonic acid, and has then become solid limestone or marble, it 
connot again by its own force give up tliis nutriment that i 
taken, otherwise it would be a serious matter for Ihe solidity of 
our mountains and the permanency of their forma and outlines. 
Only an external force, as Ihe presence of a stronger acid, or 
a. higher degree of heat, increasing Ihe expansive power of the 
corbonic acid so that it may lake the form of a gas, can tarmi- 
nale the solid combination, and deprive the lime of ihe sub. 
stance with which perhaps it has been saturated for many 
ihousanda of years. 

To refer again to the last mentioned process, familiar from 
the earliest limes in the burning of lime for the preparation of 
mortar. The preponderance, which the increasing elasticity 
the carbonic acid, obtains over llie attraction by which il 
coheres to its earthly substance, is the reason of its develop- 
ment, the cause of that change by which the attraction at 
becomes repulsion. When we consider somewhat more dearly 
Ihe vital processes in the interior of an animated living body, 
it 13 clear that the succession ot vVae ^itncesses rests upon row 


^g/m increase, and Ihen a decrease of the elastic force of - the 
organised structure, upon a change of the peculiar activity at 
one momeut latent and at the next developed, upon the alferua- 
_,Iion of a pressure, as it were, from withoul, and a counler- 
e from wilhin. The atmosphere resting on the surface 
r the human hody, is, in relation to the whole body, an exter- 
kal pressure, acting upon it and defining lis form, Again, in 
I to ihe nerves, all the other parts of the body form an 
ixternal pressure, and in relation to Ihe soul or living principle, 
s system constitute another external force. 
is of digestion, of the preparation of blood, 
f the formation of diSerent parts, the vital power is given up 
on with matter, externa) and opposite to it, it appears, 
re, latent, and suppressed by the counter weight of the 
}xtemal substance ; when, on the other hand, instead of supply, 
J comes demand, Instead of rest, a striving, when the vital 
ttinciple turns away, in a manner, from what has become old 
t Ihe Ibrming of the new, then it is awakened again to free 
■Btlvity. To the carbonic acid in limestone we give again its 
isticity by the heat of our lime-kilns, what in this instance is 
ifiected by heal, jn the living body is accomplished by the soul 
or principle of life. 

The contrivance and working of our steam-engines imitalo 
in a manner ihe processes of life, the continual alternation 
between pressure and counter -pressure, between the activity 
(ind the repose of elasticity. In a slcam-engine of that con- 
slruction, which alone was formerly used, the steam, evolved 
from the water of a boiler, passes into a metal cylinder, and 
■here, by its elastic force, rajaea a closely fitting piston, until 
at a certain point, as il rises, the piston moves a piece of me- 
chanism by which the valve of the lube by which the atoam 
caters is closed, and at the same time the coclt of a tube is 
turned, fmm which a sirenm of cold water \a ^jow^ei 'wMa "Jwi I 


cylinder. Tlie cold wnler converts liie Gteain inlo water, and a 
vacuum is produced into which the pressure ol' the ntmosphera 
drives down ihe piston, until, in its descent, an entrance is ogaia 
opened to the steam inlo the cylinder, and the piston is agaia 
raised by the power of Ihe steam. Thus the pressure of the 
olmosphere and the counter-pressure of the steam act aitomate- 
ly, and, by the rising and falling of the piston, the various ma- 
chinery is set in motion which serves to lift Ihe heaviest weights 
or to keep in motion llie paddles of steamboats or the wheels 
of locomotives. 

A later and very valuable improvement in the construction 
of steam-engines does away with the pressure of Ihe atmo- 
sphere, causing the piston to fall and to rise in ihe cylinder 
closed at the top by the force of the steam, which is admitted 
first into the upper and then into the lower part of the cylinder, 
and then let out of that part of the cylinder, rn which it bss 
duly exerted its force on the piston, inlo a reservoir (the so- 
called condenser,) which is surrounded with cold water, the 
low temperature of which instantly laltea from the steam its 
gaseous form, and converts it again into water. By thus letting 
otr the sleam inlo a cool place, there is produced in the cylin- 
der, first below and (hen above the piston, the vacuum, without 
which the falling and rising of the piston would not be possible. 
By this contrivance, by which both the pressure and the counter- 
pressure are produced entirely by the steam, a moving power 
can be applied to machinery, which alone time is less than 
that of the atmospheric pressure, and at another, the power can 
be increased, by an increase of heat, to a degree many time* 
greater than the externa! pressure. This increased elasticity 
(high pressure) is used espet^ially for locomotives. 

In our days and in our regions, wherein hardly n country Is 
/bund in which, in the apace of a few miles, n steam-engine cannot 
be seen serving some purjioac oC \wmnn \ni\w.\.T^ , >« cijTrt\ftcW4 



with rail -road Imins, either fixed to one spot, or from time to time, 
a coming or a parting guest, it is as unnecessary to describe ' 
mioiilely ihe structure and particular parts of this valuable 
machine, as the conslruciion of a waler-mill. We all know 
that the water in the boiler is heated, not directly by the fire 
under the boiler, but by metal lubes inside (he boiler, through 
which the hot nir passes, by which arrangement, a much greater 
extent of hot surface is presented lo the water. We have all 
heard ihe snorlingof the air aa it is exhaled and iohaled — we 
have all seen the volume of smoke, which gives to the swifl loco- 
motive or steamboat, in the eye of uncivilized nations or of 
children, Ihe appearingof a wildanimal, and puts to flight the 
c&llle in whose neighborhood the spectacle passes, filling them 
with terror. 

To (he English, (and to the descendants of Englishmen,) the 
masters to mechanical invenllons and arts, belongs, before all, 
the merit of inventing and perfecting the steam-engine, and 
applying it to its manifold uses. Once and again some idea of 
the application of steam to purposes of human labor may have 
been naturally suggested by the description given by Hero if 
Alexandria (120 years B. C.) of a melal ball, filled with 
steam, which, by the force of the vapor issuing from a small 
tube, was made to revolve on its a.tis. The first, certain 
vestige, however, of the application of steam lo the raising of 
a stream of water 40 feet high, we find in 1G55, in the work of 
an Englishman, the Marquis <f Worcester, Another English- 
man, Sir Samuel Moreland, it was, who, in 1G83, proposed to 
Louis XIV,, a very well contrived plan, by which water could 
be raised from a great depth by means of steam. FiOeen years 
nJlerwards, (1698,) the English captain, Savary, obtained a 
patent for his invention of a steam-engine lo yiump water. The 
whole contrivance consisted in conducting sleam into a pipe 
(Uie chamber of the pump,) and then, \yj cooVw^ \Ve 'sj\^ tkr^ 


condensing ihe sleam a vacuum was generated, into 
water rose. An English handicrndsmnn, Ihe smith Tieucomen, 
in 1705, laught the way of condensing the stenm, and of cnuj- 
ing the piston to descend by the pressure of the atmospheric 
air in a shorter time by throwing in water. In 1720, the Ger- 
man Leupoid, lo whom the science of mechanics owea much, 
made known hia plan for n more effective application of steam; 
mechanics of later limes have found much that is useful in Lis 
methods. Still, however, iho use of steam-engines remained 
limited lo a few purposes; except that ihey rendered service 
hero and there in drawing olT water from mines, they were 
employed almost entirely by the opulent in the construction of 
artificial fountains. 

The Scotchman, James Wait, opened the way lo the general 
and easy use of this important invention. From his factory) 
eslabhshed in 1769, in partnership with the machinist, MaaheV) 
Ballon, steam-engines of regular c-onslruction were sent Jbrtfa, 
with which all parts of Europe were provided. He it was, who 
showed how to avoid the direct introduction of cold water into 
the cylinder hy leading off the steam into the condenser men- 
tioned above. Previously, by the elasticity of steam, only the 
rise of the piston was elTected, and accordingly the machine 
was irregular in its motion. By his invention, already referred 
to, Watt made such movements possible as require a steadily 
acting power. 

There was now only one step wanting to the invention t^ 
the steamboat, and yet another to the invention of the stesn 
car. For the first, we are indebted to Robert Fulton, by birth 
a Pen n sylvan i an, who first, as a goldsmith's apprentice in Phila- 
delphia, won reputation as a good draftsman. Trusting too 
much to his talent in this department, he betook himself to 
London, in order to become a great painter in the school oftlie 
celebrated West. But the excellent American drailsman was 


not capable of sliiniug as a painter in EnglanJ. Of this lio 
became aware, and gave himself lo mechanics, aud, in company 
wilh Ramsey, who was engaged in Uiia employment, to the 
making of steam-engines, destined for Virginia. While Ibus 
occupied, he conceived the thought of applying the steam- 
engine to vessels on the water. With scanty means, he ven- 
tured upon the carrying out of this idea. His experiments, 
however, in France and England, attracted no great attention. 
Twelve years long the genius of the man struggled with the 
obstacles, which tho want of pecuniary means laid in the way 
of executing his ingenious and well-considered contrivances. 
" Finally, in 1807, he got so far as to be able to build in New York 
a steamboat of 160 tons, moved by a 30 horse power engine, 
and which went up the Hudson, from New york to Albany, a 
distance of 150 miles, in two and thirty hours. The successor 
this enterprise dissipated in the minds of FuUon'a countrymen 
the distrust occasioned by the unfortunate esperimenl made in 
1788 by the watchmaker, JVtoA, in Philadelphia, the boiler of 
whose steamboat burst at the first trial. But Fulton, the 
author of a new and signal era in navigation, received no out- 
ward compensation for his great invention. He received, it is 
true, from [he United States, a patent, securing to him the right 
of steamboat navigation on the Hudson river; but he was 
deprived of ibis right, the grant being adjudged unconstitu- 
lional, and he auflered the vexation of having the glory and 
advantage of the first invention made a matter of dispute. He 
died in 1 815, at the age of 48 ; he did not live to see the entire 
conqtlelion of his plan of building a large steam frigate. Many 
others have been made rich by means of his invention, tts 
steamboats soon began to be built in all the countries of Europe, 
io accordance with his plati, He himself was not able to cancel 
(be weight of debt incurred in the necessary expense of his 
grand undertaking, 


What services steam novigalioii has rendered to the inter- 
I. course of nations, is now apparent to all. Vasco de Gama'^ 
I renowned enterprise oC sailing from Europe to the East Indies, 
I has indeed been nccompiished by thousands, since he led tho 
L way. Nevertheless, the voyage to the East Indies, apart from 
I the ordinary perils of the sea, is most tedious and dilTicuU; now 
^ the English steamboats pass to the Egyptian coast, then throngli 
the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to the E^st Indies, in Itom 
a to 6 weeks, while sailing ships formerly reached the same 
goal scarcely in as many months. By their steamboats, Euro- 
peans, vastly more efieclually than in former times, have 
become the rulers of the seas, and the protectors of sea-coasts 
against the murderous ravages of sea-robbera. How difficult 
it was formerly to overtake the Malay or Chinese pirates in 
their junks, when, before the very eyes of Europeans, they had 
set fire to cities and villages on the coasts of the Philippines, 
murdering their harmless inhabitants, or when their hordes hod 
seized a European merchantman, destroyed her crew, and 
plundered her cargo. Now these robbers fear the steamboats 
of the Europeans as much as the swift-footed hare fears the 
Bwiller-winged eagle ; and soon all seas traversed by steam- 
boasts will be cleared of pirates, and the inhabitants of that 
borders be secure against their murderous attacks. 

A similar revolution in the intercourse of cities and nationa, 
has been effected by the invention of the steam carriage. It 
was brought to its present slate of completeness, and into gene- 
rai use, at a somewhat later period than the steamboat, allhoogb 
in 1759, an Englishman, Robinson, communicated to Jamea 
Watt, whom we have already mentioned as the famous maker 
of steam-engines, a plan for the construction of steam carn- 
ages, liut he commanded little attention, and the experimeaU 
made by him and others either wholly failed, or disappoiotEd 


GxpcclntioD, Besides, Ihe invention of steam carriages, if it 
were lo be successful, required another, mucli older invention, 
that of ratl-roada ; for our ordioary ronds, are not suited to 
such vehicles. And here England possessed great advantages. 
Although the use of level wooden roads with fixed tracks for 
the conveyance of heavy burdens, had been originally intro- 
duced into England by the German miners, (whom Queen 
Elizabeth called into the country,) and had been conlined only 
to the mines, yet the foundaiion for Ihe present rail-roada was 
laid in England in 1776, when Curr placed plates, or rails of 
iron over the wood, and in 1797, when Barfis, instead of wood, 
in many countries so dear and difGcult to bo had, employed 
stone on which the iron rails were laid. Since 1825, iron 
roads of this descripliou were to be found, first in England, 
then in France, Austria, and America, These roads were used 
to facilitate the transportation of goods to and from various 
centres of trade. Upon a -road of this character, the first 
steam carriage of complete construction, made by Stephenson 
in 1629, obtained the prize of 6000 guilders ($2400,) which 
was offered for this new method of transporlation. Stephen- 
son's locomotive carried 250 cwt. at a rate of eleven miles an 
hour; a speed which is far excelled by the more perfect loco- 
motives of the present day, which run at a rate of double and 
even more than li'eble the velocity of the first experiment. 

Ill order lo generate steam rapidly, the boiler of the locomo- 
tive engine is constructed with tubes of copper or iron passing 
through il, and through which tubes the hot air and fiame passes 
lo the chimney. Tiie boiler is supplied with Iho necessary 
water by a contrivance, which is kept in action by the ma- 
chine itself. The sleam, formed by contact of the water wilh 
The numerous tubes, exposed to the heat, collects in the steam 
chest, and thence sets the pistons of two cylinders ii 
■'wbich motion is communicated to the w\\c«\5. ^j^oxis 


^Bce and weight is a Bpccial conaideralioa in the toccxncitive. 
On Ihis account the high pressure engine has necessarily been 
Applied, by whiuh great power is obla'med within a smalt space. 
The steam, however, when used, is let off into the air instead of 
being conducted into a heavy condenser. 

The increase of steam -Ira asportation on lail-roads has been 
immense. In England rail-roads run io all directions, ovex on 
extent in all or about 2200 English miles, aod in the United 
States of America, the length of all the rail-roads, taken toge- 
ther, ia double that amount.*^ In Germany the first rail-road 
vas made in 1835, from Nuremburg to Fiirth. Now almost 
all parts of Germany share in (he advantages of the great In- 

We may mention hero, in passing, the so-called almospheitc 
rail-road on which the locomotive is impelled, not by steam but 
by atmospheric pressure. Otto von Guerike, the inventor of 
the air-pump, excited the wonder of the sjieclnlors at the impe- 
rial diet at Regensburg by that experiment, by which a close- 
fitting piston in a cylinder, from which the air had been pump- 
ed, was, by the pressure of the air, raised with such power, 
that a number of strong men attempted in vain to hold it down. 
As the force of the pressure of the air amounts Io about 3000 
lbs. to every square foot, a piston of IJ feet surface, must be 
raised in a cylinder, exhausted of air, with such force as to 
carry with it a weight of 3000 lbs. In Ireland, between Dal- 
key aod Kingstown, the first successful experiment of a rail- 
road about 4 miles long, upon the principle of atmospheric 
jjressuro, has been made by Clegg and others. Between Uw 
^,7g of the road lies a cast iron cylinder 9200 feet in lengthj 

jjjip Bniil of rail-roaJs in tliis country niiJ elsewhere, as Burtenii] 
Qges. tatinn of [he American Colonics. If wc estimate their DUmlM 

made f'/'' '"''''*^t''«rii'cu1a(ion iagoingon,lhee«nggeralioncMs««. IlM 

feil-Toada in lliia counWj BHioat\i IWft miw*. 


ifcloBeil with valves at the ends, connected by a suction tube, 
with nn air-purap over 5 Teet in diameter, which is set in mo- 
tion lo esliaust the air from ihc cylinder by a steam engine of 
a hundred horse power. In 6 or S minutes, the exhaustion of 
ihe air in the cylinder, which is 15 inches in diaineter inside, 
is so far effected, that when the air is lei in behind a piston, 
moving in this cylinder, the piston is driven by a force capable 
of carrying a weight of more than 2000 lbs. connected with it, 
with the speed of more than a league a minute. The flat 
shaped rod of the piston runs in an opening made in the upper 
part of the cylinder through its whole length; this oponing, 
which is covered with a lid or valve of leather and sheet iron, 
is opened and closed by a contrivance altached to the piston. 
Although this short almospheric rail-road renders good service 
ai the place, being used for the conveyance of stone for the 
construction of a harbor, there are yet such serious objections 
to an imitation of the same on a large scale, that it has never 
been undertaken, 
^Heat, Ihereforo, remains the sole generator of steam for our 
^KOmotives, and it is heat alone that renders possible the ox- 
^BustioD of the air required in the atmospheric rail-road. What 
is the uncertain speed of balloons, even under the most favorable 
circumstances in comparison with (he swiftness of our locomo- 
tives, which already in several places accomplish a league in 4 
minutes, 15 leagues in an hour. Could we travel at such a 
speed without interruption for 30 days, we should pass over an 
nit equal lo the circumference of the earth. A journey 
ich formerly took days, has now become equivalent to a 
f a few hours. One friend invites another living some 
s off to dine with him, and Ihe invited guest allends to 
kdaily affairs, arrives at the right time, dines, and sleeps the 
night under his own roof. The number of travelers 
I iha rail-roads of England, leaving ouV ot accoxivA ft« 



baggage ond goods carried witli them, amouDls annually lo 
some 20 millions. Whole masses of goods and human beings, 
previously in a slate of repose, have been thrown by s 
lively and ever-renewed activity. Grey old men, who, demoted 
lo their several avocations, had bidden farewell (brever lo the 
frienda and companions of their youth, on account of the great 
distance at which they lived, have now, not once, but often, 
- renewed their early associations; space no longer produc 

When we consider all the services rendered by steam, since, 
by the invention of steam-engines, this powerful agent was 
made the servant of man, we perceive especially how impor- 
tant is the saving which is made of human power. The power 
of a steam-engino ia ordinarily estimated by ihe weight of 
ivater which it U able to raise in a certain time. If it raises 
550 lbs. a fool high in a second, it accomplishes as much as 
one horse. If it raises a double, treble, or four-fold weight, tbe 
same height in the same time, it does the work of 2, 3 or 4 
horses, and ihe same may be said of it when it raises 550 lbs. 
in i, i, i of a second a foot high. It may be staled on au 
average that about five men are equal in power to one horse. 
Hence it may be estimated Ibat the steam-engines in England 
in 1833, achieved as much labor as 2i millions of horaea ot 
12J millions of men; in France the steam-engines there em- 
ployed in that year, performed the work of 1,785,500 horses, 
consequently of more than 8 millions of men. In Prussia 
steam supplied the labor of 915,000, or of more than 4i mil- 
lions of men. 

From some passages in the writings of antiquity, it has been 
supposed Ibiit the Egyptians were not only acquainted with the 
moving power of steam, but also applied it to various purposes. 
Were this the fact, and if they had command of the power 
fyhicli we have possessed since ftve KAtuiwOiaii oC steam-en- 


gines, lliey would not have been compelled, in builrfing iheir 
huge pyramid not far from Ghizeh, lo employ 100,000 men 
for a space of 20 years, for i! has been reckoned that this giant 
structure, estimated to weigh 186 millions of cwt„ might, by 
means of sleam-en gines under the management and with the 
aid of 36,000 men, be moved from the place where it stands 
and set up on another spot in tlie space of IS hours. But we 
do not now apply the powers gained by art, to the building of 
pyramids, like tlie Egyptians, who lived on onions and lentils 
(beans,) hut, rather to the preparation of the means of getting 
lea, coffee, and sugar. 

The excellence of the construction of a ateam-engine is de- 
termined, not merely by the force it exerts, but also by the 
greater or less expense of means required to generate the power. 
To produce steam enough in an engine of Wall's construction, 
which was used in America in 1811, there was required, to 
obtain power sufficient to raise 15 millions pounds of water, a 
bushe! of coals per minute. By subsequent improvements the 
consumption of coal in 1915, was reduced to not much over 
|ds of that quanliiy; and a high-pressure engine, built upon 
the plan of Wooif, with the same means, possessed three times 
the power. In England also, since recent improvements have 
been made in Ihe stenm-engine, only |ds, and indeed only half 
ihe fuel is used, that was required in the best works of the 
kind thirty years ago. But as great as this expense may he, 
together with Ihe interest of the original outlay, and cosily as 
may be the construction of railroads {under the most favorable 
circumstances, «240,000 per mile (German,) about 41 English 
miles, in less favorable, several millions of dollars) still the 
^nrofits. which steam -enginery produces lo the capital istrM^J 
^|faK increase it has given to the activity of trade, are everj^^^^H 


We have thus considered aa efTect of heal which has become 
serviceable in our times to an eQinent degree. 
liowever, IJroni the eSect to the cause, and going a few steps 
further, we will take a view of the most commoD means, by 
which, with or without our agency, heat is generated 1 
material world. 



To kindle a fire, two material opposites are necessaryi of 
which one is styled the supporter of combustion, the other, i 
combustible substance. In our wood and coal fires, the carbon 
and the hydrogen, for the most part, combined with it, form 
the combustible substance, the oxygen of the atmosphere, 
kindling material, or supporter of combustion. In some c 
one and llie same body tills both oflices. Thus, when red hot 
copper la burnt in sulphur vapor, sulphur is the supporter of 
combustion, and the copper the combustible; and in such o 
hinatious of sulphur with metala, the same phenomena of fire 
are presented, as in Ibe ordinary process of burning in atmo- 
spheric air. But the same substance, sulphur, when it burns 
in the usual way, and of course combines with oxygen, ads 
the part of a combustible, and leaves to the oxygen gas the 
office of supporting the combustion. 

Ib cotisidering steam we observed that there is a great dif- 
ference between the eSect of this agent when gradually formed, 
and when more quickly generated by heat ; the application ol 
high-pressure teaches that the elasticity of steam can be greatly 
increased by an increased degree of the heat used to generate 
steam. It is not the motion alone, but the rapidity of the same, 
that determines the measure of its eifect. 



r bustioD, 

What we have said of the activity of ateam generated in 
I'diflerent ways, and what is taught ua by every hurricane, when 
mass of air, whose pressure, while resiing upon and 
t, we scarcfily remark, uproots trees in its swift mo- 
prostrates houses, is true also of Ihe process of corn- 
er of ihe combination of a combustible body with 
Dry wood, split into small pieces, inslanlly catches 
the approach of a flame, and we then have the pheno- 
mena of complete combustion, light and bent. The carbon of 
ihe wood, in combination with the atmospheric oxygen, is con- 
verted into carbonic acid, the hydrogen into watery vapor, 
which, upon being cooled, takes a liquid state. When Ihe 
burning of the dry pieces of wood takes place in a closed ves- 
sel, and when Ihe oxygen is wholly or in great part taken up 
in the formation of the carbonic acid, then a burning shaving 
is estinguished, if it is held in the vessel, for the carbonic acid 
gaa can neither support combustion, or Iho breathing of an 
animal. The case is the same also, when we put a burning 
shaving into the air contained in a closed vessel, in which there 
19 wet saw-dust, or damp wood. After a few hours, the osygen 
of the almoapliere, has entered into combination with the car- 
bon of the wet wood, just as if we had burnt the dry wood 
IB the vessel ; the burning shaving goes out as quickly as if 
,W« had dipt it into water. The light of the sun undoubtedly 
:erl8 a disturbing influence on the process of this slow com- 
istion or decay, as appears in the bleaching of linen. In which 
combination of oxygen spontaneously takes place with the 
ily decomposible parlicles of the vogelable texture, or with 
ither substances of an organic nature, which, by the 
disengagement of carbon, discolor the material. Although 
influence of sunlight promoles, in bleaching, and other 
liar processes, a slow combuslion or decay, just as the Same 



of a candle produces a speedy combustion, yet it 
that the linen be diimp. 

That that gradual combination of the combustible with ihei 
supporter or combustion, which takes place especially in the 
decay of organized bodies, cannot properly be called combus. 
tion, is intelligible to every child. The beginning and 
tinuance of combustion depends, as we see upon our hearths, 
upon a degree of heat, which water, sprinkled upon the fire, 
or the dampness of the burning woo<l reduces, inasmuch as the 
evaporation of the water goes on at the expense of the henl. 
We have already noted it as the chief cUcct of lieat that it de- 
stroys the cohesion of the particles of bodies. The commen- 
cing dissolution of that cohesion announces itself in the in>' 
creased expansion of bodies, in their further progress in bfr' 
coming fluid (melting, ) or in their evaporfit'on, 

In the case of those solid bodies, which have been pulverised 
io the finest possible manner by mechanical means, the nalural 
historian has made a remarkable observation. When these 
minute particles, invisible to the naked eye, are placed, floating 
on a drop of oil or water, under a microscope, a motion among 
them, to and from one another, is apparent, which cannot be 
explained by the evaporation of the fluid. For it is grounded 
upon a polaric attraction and repulsion, upon a mutual revola- 
lion of one around another, by which it greatly resembles the 
motion of little microscopic animals. With the dissolution of 
the cohesion of bodies, even by mechanical force, the particles 
of the same become capable of a mutual motion based upon 
the universal cause of all motion, polaric opposition. 

The combustion of bodies consist in a lively motion, one 
towards another, of the particles of the combustible and sup- 
porting substances, in a motion which is communicated to our 
senses as light and as heat, and, in this form, acts npon SU^ 


rounding objects. Wlien plalinum is separated from a 8uid in 
which it has been chemically dissolved, then its finely pulverised 
particles no longer show a metallic brightness, but appear as 
a black powder. When it is dried and exposed to the air, it 
attracts oxygen so powerfully that it lakes up 252 times its 
volume. The attraction of the metal for oxygen, is excited with- 
out producing an actual combustion. But when h3'drogen is al- 
lowed to pass over platinum powder, thus filled with 252 fold of 
condensed oxygen, the metal begins to glow, for now a combus- 
(ioa of hydrogen arises which diffuses its heat through the 
whole l^neiy pulverised mass ; water is formed. This process 
can be recalled at pleasure, for whenever the stream of infiam- 
mable air is checited, and thereby the combustion is checked 
also, the platinum powder again takes up oxygen, and may be 
iguilcd by a new stream of hydrogen. The same property 
observable in the above mentioned metallic powder, is found 
also in the so-called spongy platinum, which is obtained by 
heating chloroplatinaie of ammonia, and the easy ignition of an 
artificially prepared powder, shows us what means of promoting 
combustion are ofTercd by the pulverising of bodies, by the 
destruction of the cohesion of iheir substances. 

As we promote rapid combustion with iiapie, so also we may 
promote gradual combustion, that is, the combination of fer- 
menting fluids with the oxygen of the air, and their conversion 
thus into vinegar by mechanical means, by causing the ferment- 
ing fluid to spread as much surface as possible to the contact of 
the Bir. Formerly, when vinegar was to be made out of the 
dregs of beer, or out of bad wine, or brandy, or other simitar 
fluids, the liquor was partially exposed to the air in casks, and 
it look weeks or months to complete the process. Now vinegar 
cua be mode out of brandy in the course of a single day, by 
allowing the brandy, diluted with water, to trickle through casks 
filled with shavings, through the loose layers ot wVivtiV ft\e wx 


rrom without may pass gently. The surface of the (ermenling 
fluid \a, by this process, spread more than a thousand fold, i 
parts, previously near each other, are separated, their cohesion 
is destroyed, but only in a mechanical way, it is true; a s 
what similar effect, however, is produced, aa by the dSssolutiou 
of the cohesion of the parts of a combustible body by heat. 

Even in those mixtures which kindle spontaneously, as sood 
as they are exposed to the air or to oxygen, of which sort is 
that which is made by triturating together B parts in weight of 
red lead, (peroxyde of lead,) and 2^ parts of tartaric acid, free 
from water i by pulverising the mass, inflammability may be 
promoted ; and in fact, we avail ourselves with the same r 
of the mechanical process of pulverising in the manufacture of 
gunpowder. Here also come those cases, in which, without 
even a strong mechanical pressure powdered coal has spon- 
taneously ignited to the fatal injury of houses and wholo cities. 

As a single spark kindles gunpowder, so the burning of one 
combustible body is communicated to another; from everr 
burning part that heat radiates, which lends to destroy the cohe- 
sion of the adjoining parts, and consequently to prepare them 
for tke stale of combustion. 

Although, as we said, the fermentation of substances, where- 
by they attract oxygen much more slowly than in the procosa 
of combustion, can only in an indirect sense be called combus- 
tion, yet it is interesting to remark an agreement that exists 
between these two processes. Just as, in burning, the Bome 
with its intense heat spreads from one point of the ignited mass 
to another, so is it also in the fermentation of organic bodies 
susceptible of this kind of decomposition. In most of these 
bodies a strong disposition to combine with oxygen appears, 
even at an ordinary temperature, directly that they com 
contact with a fermenting or decaying substance. In order to 
ignite hydrogen, to effect ila covtv\i\na\tfi'a vjaV ^vj^a and pro- 


duce water, with ihe phenomena of light and heal, there ia 
re(]uired a degree of heat of 240° R., 540° F., (300° Celsius.) 
When, nl (he usual teni[ieralijre of the air, a mixture of oxygen 
and hydrogen is kept in a bottle or any other well closed vessel, 
both maintain their pure slate, unlil the heal of a flame, with 
which Ihey come in contact, or the electric spark, eflects their 
union, (ignition.) When, on the other hand, in a bottle filled 
with atmospheric air, and a mixture of hydrogen, a linen bag 
18 suspended, containing damp saw-dust, bark, mouldy earth, 
ir any other substances, susceptible of a son of fermenting 
lecay, then the decay proceeds just as in the open air. The 
>xygcn of the surrounding air is partly converted into carbonic 
icid, but al the same time, the hydrogen also lakes part in the 
iroces9 of decay, it combines, as in combustion, with the oxy- 
;en, and wafer is the result. In precisely the same way, and 
or the same reason, the vapor of spirits of wine also, in a 
pace, in which rotting wood or other decaying substances are 
ontained, enters into union with the oxygen, the last product 
if which is acetic acid, or acid of vinegar. 

Although in the fermentation and in the decay of bodies, dia- 
•osed thereto, especially when in large masses, an increase of 
leat is observable, yet this heal, affecting our feelings and our 
hcrmomcters, is by no means that which exerts the principal 
afiuence in the transmission of fcrmenlalion or decay from one 
lody to anoUier. In the cool weather of our damp autumn 
lays, a decaying apple communicate* decay to other apples in 
rhich it cornea in contact, and liio decay spnyids rapidly, 
iccording to the quantity of fruit heaped together. In vaults 
ilso, at a low temperature, decay takes its course. SiiU exter- 
lat heat operates to hasten these processes, by which inflam- 
nable substances are combined with oxygen, but al the same 
ime other changes occur also. 

313 MniaOtt OF IT&TDBE. 

EvcD the different appearances or stales of combustion, pro- 
perly so called, depend upon llie degree of heat which exists. 
The slow extinguishing of a combustible body goes on of itself 
under a mere red heat; complete combustion with a clear flame 
is connected with a while heal. When a platinum wire, spirally 
wound, or a glass ball covered with platinum, is fastened over 
the wick of a spirit-lamp, and the lamp is allowed to bum 
until the plalinum has become red hot, and is then extinguished, 
the spirits continue slowly burning, not indeed that it emils any 
clear flame, but ihe platinum shows in the dark a red heat, 
until the spirits of wine is all consumed. 

Accordingly as combustible bodies require a greater or len 
lieat for Iheir ignition, the continuance of their combustion, in 
the same circumstances, is greater or less. When a wax taper, 
a stream of hydrogen, a piece of sulphur, and a piece of phos- 
phorus, arc ignited in a closed vessel, filled with common air, 
in the gradual decrease of the oxygen the taper first goes ool, 
then ihe hydrogen, next the sulphur, and at last the phosphorus. 
Phosphorus requires, for its ignilion a heat of only 108" F. 
Sulphur 527°; hydrogen 560". Phosphorus, cased over with, will ignite at an ordinary temperature, and like the 
■latinum mentioned above, will also show a slow process of 
. ibustion. 

The force of the attraction, subsisting between a combustible 
body and oxygen, is affected by the proportions in which the 
two substances are present. As combustible bodies require, as 
already staled, their several degrees of heat for ignition, in like 
order they require, to support combustion, a proportionate siiii> 
ply of oxygen. Ligbled tapers, set in the sun, burn weaker,DOt 
only in appearance, but in reality, because the light of tlie sun 
expands and rarefies the surrounding air. In the shade the 
combustible subalace of a taper combines more copioualywitb 


jxygen oC ihe air, and the flamo becomes more lively, but 
the combustion is most perfect in a dark place, where Ijoth itic 
combustible body and llie supporter of combustion, are, at the 
same lime, most liilly consumed. WbcQ the mixture of hydro- 
gen and oxygeD, which is perfectly adapted to the formalioo of 
ivater — two parts in volume of hydrogen and one of oxygen — 
is rarefied about 18 fold, it cannot be ignited even by the elec- 
tric spark, and when rareScd 8 fold, it is no longer susceptible 
of ordinary ignition. Phosphorus, on the other hand, when 
wrapt in cotton, or sprinkled with sulphur, with charcoal, salt- 
petre, or some metallic substance, ignites even more easily in 
rarefied, than ia condensed air; it continues burning at a 63 
fold rarefaction of the air. 

The degree of heat, required by bodies, which are ignited with 
more ditHculty, to maintain them in a stale of combustion, is 
instantly reduced, when the oxygen is not supplied in sufficient 
quantities, and with a certain activity depending on the swift- 
Bess of its current. In order to burn stone-coal, i I must be 
laid on a grate, and be exposed to a draught of air which must 
be directed towards, as welt as under it; while wood, which 
is so easily ignited com para lively, burns readily on the open 
ground, because that draught ia sufficient, which is produced by 
the ascent of the warm, and the rushing of the cold air, to sup- 
ply itself. In atmospheric air, condensed 5 fold, a red hot iron 
wire, or steel spring bums as vividly as in pure oxygen, for as 
atmospheric air consists of 4 parts in weight of nitrogen and 
one of oxygen, the wire or steel has access, in air thus con- 
densed, to just as much oxygen, as when, under Ihe ordinary 
pressure of the air, it ia supplied with pure osygen. 

The more or less sudden extinction of flame ia a necessary 
consequence of all those circumstances, by which osygen is cut 
off from the combustible body, or of the reduction of the heat 
rigrB sudden cooling, and a process of c vapor nVvon. Ks&ift cnn. 



be prevented from spreading, by the sprinkling or water or earth, 
by ihe same means also a combustible body can bo preveoied 
from catching fire even when in contact with flnme. By means 
of a dress, mode of sheep's wool, which has been dipt in salt- 
water, (Salz soole,) over which ft fine meshed network is 
drawn, a man may venture into a flame, without injury. Be- 
sides, a network of this sort has the remarkable properly of 
impeding ihe communication of flnme from one combustible 
to nnother. A lantern, surriiunJed with wire-work, and can- 
laining a lighted taper, may sarely be placed in hay or straw; 
v^ith the safety lamp of Davy — a small lantern of fine wltE- 
work, like a sieve, having very small interstices, one inny go 
into coal mines or vaults full of fermenting fluids, where explo- 
sive gas has formed, without fearing thai Ihe easily inflammable 
mijfture of hydrogen and carbon will take fire from Ibc taper 
in Ihe lantern. 

In the combustion of bodies, composed of several infliimiM- 
ble auhstances, that element first unites with iho oxygen, which 
has the strongest disposition to this union, and for the reason, 
mentioned in ch, 16., only when the more inflammable sub- 
stance is saturated with oxygen, does the less inflammable take 
fire. Thus when carhuretted hydrogen is burned, the hydrogea 
first appropriates to itself from the surrounding air so much 
oxygen as is required to form with it water, and only when 
there is oxyg<;n enough, does the carbon unite with it, flod 
make carbonic acid gas, but if o.^ygen is not present in suffi- 
cient quantity, the carbon is separated unmixed. VVlieo atsOi 
in the combustion of a body, wliich contains carbon and hy- 
drogen, Ihe heat is not great enough, the carbon is separated, 
uncombinedj from such a body, not thoroughly ignited, llio 
carbon rises, in union with watery vapor, as rmoke. 

The sensible diffusion of heal, in Ihe combiistian of bodiu, 
ia not only on the chaiaclct ot x\ie ai>aii\js,>;'Mi^ 


l^nd Iho quantity of oxygen taken up, but also upon tlie rapidity 
with which ihe combusiion goes on. Generally, three limes as 
much licat is obtained from one pound of charcoal, us from a 
pound of dry wood, A still greater heal is obtained from white 
wax and gaseous and fat oils, while spirits of wine is nearly 
equal (o coal, in the heat given out.' The light, which nccom- 
panieg the heal produced by a buroing body, is generally 
stronger in proportion to the quantity of oletiant gas contained 
in il. The weak light, given out by a hydrogen gas flame, is 
^■inKidialely increased by previously conducting the gaa through 
H^ oil of turpentine, and thereby mixing it with the vapors of 
^Bte same; the finme of our spirit lamps shines much stronger 
than usub! when the cotton wick is steeped in carbonate or sul- 
phnte of soda, or when a little oil of turpenliae is mixed with 
ihe spirits of wine. When a combustible body, like thorough- 
ly charred wood, has a disposition to volatilize, it glows without 
flame; the wood (brows ofT fugitive particles, and it therefore 
flames and glows at the same time. 
US What nil these phenomena of Light and Heat, accompanying 
^hmibustion, teach us concerning the peculiar nature of these 
Biro material forces — whether they are substances, but of a 
B%hGr order, uniting with substances of a lower order, which 
H^ subject to the gravitating force of our planet, from which 
^Ptose two higher substances, under certain circumstances, be- 
Hhne free, or whether they are on\y motions of material bodies, 
^Bcnmunicatcd from one substance to another, we will not here 
^■deavor to decide. Tho answer to these questions appears to 
^K connected with an understanding of the relation subsisting 
^■hraen the body and the soul. The soul indeed is not a body 
^p ihe sense in which Ihe flesh, the blood, and the bones arc so, 
^■at its being and working proceed not from a mulual action of 
Hpe flesh and blood, the bones and Ihe skin, hut itia & ^(\\v>% i 
^mhlencsr as, according to its sphere, the tod^ » a\so. "V^ I 


con ilcration of Light and Heat oSers to the mind n ridilie, 
deeper nod more comprehensive thaa ever Sphinx proposed. 


We have already spoken of the heat of the living human 
body. But not only is heat generated and diffused by the 
processes of JbrmalioD, and by the motion of the human body, 
but wherever a soul or living principle is fashioning and ani- 
mating malter, to subserve the purposes of its activity, there is 
active, also, heat in a certain degree. 

Many plants, such as water cresses, not only keep them* 
selves unfrozen under the snow, but they form a hollow in tha 
snow around ihem, and w!ien the water in which they stand 
has become ice, thai portion of the water nearest lo these plants 
remains fluid. Precisely when the temperature of the air has 
reached ila lowest point, there ia found by the thermometer in 
the morning towards sunrise, a heat in the interior of trees 
greater than that of the average temperature of March; while 
at midday, when the evaporation Is ihe greatest, the heat falls 
below the average degree of the month. During the processes 
of blossoming and of the first germination of the fruit, an in- 
crease of heal has been observed in several plants. 

The source of vital heal is in animals, still more strikingly 
than in plants, similar to that which in combustion consists in 
Q more or less rapid and active combination of combuslible 
substances with oxygen. The animal needs for the support of 
life, not only food, but, above all, Ihe inhalation of air, sod 
indeed the more perfect the animal is, so much the more does 
it consume of oxygen, or vital air. 

How warm it is even in winter, or in the cold spring and 
autamn days in a populous beehive, is known to every one 
who keeps bees. W\ien in \\ve o^ti liw \W WwuvOTwtter 


inJs only one degree above freezing, fho heal in a beehive 
stands ul 12° F; in spring, when the ihermometer in the open 
air does not reach 54°, the heat tn a beehive reaches 81°. 

The increase of heat here and throughout the animal world, 
depends of course in a great measure on motion. When, in 
May or June, at the time of swarming, a universal excitement 
reigns among the population of the hive, the heat rises to such 
a degree that the ceils of wax begin to melt. More striking, 
however, than (he influence of motion is the influence of nolri- 
ment in developing animal heat. The lemperalure of a bee- 
hive falls, and a perceptible coolness takes place when the 
bees suffer a want of food, while the heat again rises when the 
hungry creatures, unable to procure suflicient nourishment of 
themselves, are supplied with abundant food. A similar re- 
mark made in reference to all insects living in the open uir, — 
Damely, that they possess a peculiar warmth, which increusee 
or decreases with the increase or decrease of their food, leads 
us to a further conclusion as to the cause of this heat. The 
To III upon which insects live, and all organised bodies, consist 
chiefly of combustible substances, particularly of carbon and 
hydrogen, which, together with the nitrogen and oxygen con- 
flocled wiih ihcm, enter into the juices and solid parts of the 
living body. The consumption of atmospheric oxygen by the 
breathing of insects is very considerable, anil the Deed of it so 
urgent, thai a bee dies of suffgcalion when nil the air-passages 
lying on each side of its body are closed W'iih varnish, or some 
aimtiar substance, just like a warm blooded animal which is 
(irevenlcd from breathing. The product of the combinalion of 
the oxygen which is inhaled, with the carbon and hydrogen of 
the corporeal components of the animal body, is, as an exami- 
DaitoQ of the eshaled air shows, carbonic acid gas and water, 
just as in combustion. The process of breathing admits of 
■Hing regarded, much more than ferracnlaVvQ>n,iia q.s^«kXrs cS. 


combustion, iho invisible flame of which ia indeed a 8cur« of 
Bcosiblo hetii, 

Wet wood, as wo well know, burns much worse than dry, 
nnd, the quantity being ihe same, gives oul mucli less heat, Ibo 

ison of which is very plain j in the case of Ihe wet wood 
much of Ihe heat la consumed in converting the water Into 
sleam or vnpor, and thereby a great reduction of the heal is 
produced. Fresh hewn wood contains 42, dry wood only 26 
per cent, of water. A great part of the animals who live in 
water, and who breathe, not through lungs, but through gilis, 
for a similar reason manifesl only a small degree of animul 
heat, even when supplied with sufficient air and nouriahmeiil. 
The air inhaled by land animals is indeed never free from 
watery vapor, but il stands relitted to thnt which Ihe fish draws 
into its gills wilh ihe water, and takes into the blood vesiels, 
just as in combuRlion well dried wood ia related to wet. 

; only tlie presence of water in the air which they inhale, 

; also the slower and more imperfect course which the breath 
takes in fishes and amphibious animals, explains the low degreo 
of animal heat which they show. Young alligators are able 
olive tolerably long without inconvenience, in nitrogen; i 
it is weH known of other amphibious animals that the^ can 
live in air which is very deficient in oxygen, and incapable of 
sustaining life in the higher animals. The formation of car- 
bonic acid is also in like measure very slight in amphibious 
and water animals, in comparison with mammallB, birds, and 
even insects. Nevertheless a certain, though very small amounl 
of vital heal, is observable in fishes, amounting in the stomaeli 
of a trout taken from the wintry cold water of Slave Lake, lo 
4i° higher than that of the surrounding clemcnl, and in awhile 
fish to 9°, and in the tunny-fish even to 18° above the exlernnl 
/cmy^eralure. In the bodies of many thick-scaled snakes, ( 
Iieat is perceptible eKccod\ng \\\n,V o^ \\\c a\i ii\\t^ ^ wiore ie- 


; while on the olher lianil, in Ihe case of amphibious 
niiima!s devoiil of hair, as of frogs for example, (he great 
evaporation of the moisture of their bodies conlinually going 
OD, causes a perceptible diminuliou of warmth, and thus (heir 
animal heat h olteo much below that of the atmosphere. A 
similar fact is found in the cose of snails. 

In respect of animals who breathe through lungs, il is appa- 
rent that their vital heal depends upon Ihe quantity of osygen, 
and ihe rapidity with which the carbon and hydrogen of their 
fluids combine with oxygen, to form carbonic acid and water. 
The more of these two substances is generated in breathing, 
GO much the more does the degree of vital heat increase, wiiich, 
on that account is greater by several degrees in birds, than in 
Ibu mammalia. The latter, whose internal structure approach- 
es nearest to that of man, possess also a blood-heat, very near- 
ly as great as that of man, amounting generally from 97° P. 
to almost 104" F. That particular specimen of the armadillo, 
which showed a heat of only 8(i° F. was aflecled by the sickly 
condition in which it was. That the temperature of the human 
body, in comparison wilh that of otiicr mammalia, is rather 
lower tiian higher, may perhaps be owing to tho quality of the 
human skin, and the evaporation from the same. But that, 
in the most perfect of earthly forms, tho human body, the 
peculiar internal heat is evoh'cd by the process of breathing, 
appears from observations upon ihe sick. When, during a 
protracted fainting fit, or in catalepsy, the breathing is ob- 
slrucled, then a deadly coldness seizes the limbs. The case 
is somewhat similar in i-egard lo many warm blooded animals, 
who spend the winter in sleep, and whose breathing is very 
slow, or for a time wholly suspended. Tho warmlh of an 
animal of this description sinks almost to the temperature of 
die season, and although perhaps no internal heat of 2° to 3" 

jve that tcwpcralisre may Ijc obsccvciJ, \l is doviMvX -wVeiwis 


it ia the hett occompanjriag the vital process of fbrmatioQ and 
i]ecom[iosition, or whether il arises merely rrom lite mau of 
animal matter. 

The process, just alluded to, of a continuous fbrmalion and 
decomposition going on, as long as life endures, in all parts oT 
the body, is, aubsianlially, nothing else than s breathing, Tor it 
depends throughout only upon a constant inlercbajige and ooiii- 
bination of carbon and hydrogen with oxygen. 

The more exact observitlion of anrmal heal, of its origin, lis 
increase, or its diminulion, confirms a previous conjectuie ibat 
this fire, which appears, not as a visible dame, but as a moving 
force upon the fire-place of life, is generated and maintained 
by the same law as that Are in the neighborhood of the naphtha 
springs, in which the Parnee, on the borders of the Caspian sea, 
sees a symbol of ihe creative power. The more oxygen a 
hing animal lakes up and applies to its physical formation 
and decomposition, Ihe greater becomes ils vital heat. But 
inimnl heat is generated by the inhalation of air, not 
only in the lungs, but in all the parts and spaces of the body 
} which the blood can penetrate, which, combining with 
oxygen in the lungs, is collected in the leR ventricle of Ihe 
heart, and thence diffused by the arteries in all directions over 
the body. There is not a fibre, not a particle of the flesh of 
the living body, which is not directly ot indirectly visited by (he 
life-giving stream of oxygen, and as the carbon, which has 
become aeroform in the combustion of a solid body, (as car- 
bonic acid gas,) rises from the hearlh, ao Ihe blood, when, at 
Ihe ferminniion of llie arteries, it has eflecled the union of ibo 
ixygcn will) the combustible substances, rises in Ihe veins from 
the feel, the abdomen and the hands, again up to the bearlr 
and flows into its right chamber. 

But wood, like every other combustible on the fcce of Ihe, 
earlh, existed, and the a\mQa\i\\cTc Wwti \\a w^-^gati floated 


lund if, and yet no fire arose wherewith man could warm 
himself and dissipale the darkness of his dwelling, until, ac- 
cording to an old legend, Prometiieua hrought down the ignit- 
ing spark. The poor musician, whose friends, when they 
visited him in his chamber, were well nigh frozen without a 
fire, sought to cheer his visiters with the assurance that he had 
put several dollars worlh of wood into liis stove, and that there 
was no want of kindling material. But when one of the 
guests, at (he termination of the short visit, peeped into the 
stove, he saw a violin lying on one side, and on the other, 
apart from the violin, stood a lighted lamp. 

So, also, the combustible substances in the animal body would 
have just as little power to combine, through the process o( 
breathing, with oxygen, and so to become a source of animal 
heat, as the trees of the wood have to catch fire and spread 
around ihem light and heat, A Prometheus of a higher kind, 
(he vital power itself, must bring the kindling spark from above, 
out of a realm of spiritual motion, down into the depths of 
material existence. This relation of the igniting 
the warming flame may be made somewhat more intelligihli 
another picture in the great mirror of external nature. 




HjSFe have first a ihv/ words to say respecting the origin and 
Pbrnature of ekctricity itself, 

"The beautiful, shining, sweet scented substance, often trans- 
pnreot, for the most part of a yellow color, and of a resinous 
nature, called amber, which is principally brought from ihe 
roasts of the Baltic, is well known to my young readers. It 
is wrought into various articles, such as beads, as an ornament 
for ladies, and as mouth-piecea for pipes, and in many other. 

ihle J 


^mm. Urn liiirnnd oh a perfume, or dissolved in spu 
••* ^ ^ nnd ill viirinuN oIIh, it furnishes a good varnish. 
• ••^^^«- |HMt|ilo of niioirnl times, like us, took pleasure i 
*' ^ f ' in«U»r, niul attached to it the value, although i 

»«* -. g" iKo htinluowi nor th« weight, of a precious stone, 

rit^^ --- ^^ <h»">t thi* stulvdtnnco was known among the ol 
tiNi^-* .^r,^« ihAt It i» mentioned perhaps by Isaiah, ch. 54, 

V* '■"=**''''\^ -v^v-Vr *^* antiquity, the Greek, Tholes^ who live 
.**- ^>.- '^v i"h«*;. was struck by the property, which 

>%< ;>« v^Si^rvt'* ill ninber, sealing wax, glass 
»^-- S.v\vr^ 5h<» prv^^rty of attracting light substi 
?-^iN ,s' ?*t^xvr^ *?raw^ ashes* drc. But a ball of a 
, ^.'«e«^sc^^^, «rv>n a sFr^ht (Vict ion, the power noi 
■ji'*» NvX'T^ bcc *!;^'fc to repel the same, as rn 
_^f vN\t.: >«. ;s^ y^NAvX* of rho pith of the elder, an 
^ riv K^vttv;?^ *re U55*rd tor the purpose. Altl 
^ ,^ Kv AVi^'sft^ *v.x^ as jec» precious stones, and 
. ^. -^ ^ K> At.\ j<v<t Sn:t^ rubbed, pK*:9ent the phenc 

,^. — • — •■ »** SI, .-5*.:t Nv r^s» -s i^? old rank, beca 

-=^ *^v'' **^ ^ Vc-> 5;.^"> ,^os5«rnr3i:^'*ns were i 
i^.i xM >. t -:.>v:etf Sxi-r. of 2in attmctin 

^ " --- ^''^ "■^" >•>- ^'^ ^^ t iissf:! -!?>? ::r rr»Tic^: 





k • 


^ .- 


■ ^. 

K^*. • 



■ ' 


IX ' 

• ■ 


The agreemenl of electricity with magnelism is espcciiilly 
sinking. Magnetised iron allracls other Lion. But there is 
observable at the two ends of a magnetic needle, an opposing 
influence. One end of the needle, when it can move freely, 
lurnH to the north, the othfr to the south ; when two magnetic 
needles approach one another, those ends, which point the same 
way, repel one another, while ihe north pole of one attracts the 
south pule of the other, and ihe south pole is drawn towards 
ihe Dorth pole. There are here, of course, the two opposite 
{lolcs connected in one and the same iron rod or needle. In 
electrised bodies the case is otherwise. When a pilh-ball, 
suspended by a fme silk thread, is brought near a rubbed stick 
of sealing wax, or an amber ball, it is attracted by these 
bodies, during their electrical excitement; it does not remain 
attached to the wax or umber, but aller a time it is re- 
pelled. It has consequently received the same kind of electri- 
city ; and it separates itself from the wax or amber, just as the 
south |>ole of one magnet flies off from the south pole of an- 
other. Let another electrised stick of jet, of sulphur or amber, 
be brought into Ihe vicinity of the piih-ball, while the ball, by 
virtue of the mutual mpulsion, is at some distance from the 
wax or amber, and it will be repelled by jet or sulphur also, 
but not b)' an electrised rod of glass, towards which it imme- 
diately flies, remaining attached to it, until the ball has taken 
from the glass also iho same polaric excitement, when it quits 
the glass and rushes to the electrised sealing wax, as often as 
the mutual play of repulsion and attraciion, from the wax to 
the glass, from this to that, is repealed anew. The experiment 
may be tried directly with slicks of glass and scaling wax. So 
noon as ihey have become electric, one stick of wax or an 
nmber-ball repels annihcr, but is altmcied towards a glass slick, 
which hller is repelled in like manner by other electrised glasa 
sticks, but attracted by Blicks of wax. In this case, iherefoniij 


Ilic two opposite polarised slates appear Dot in one and tbe 
same body, as in the magnet, but io two bodies of quite difTe- 
rent kiods. It ia not, however, the composition of the elec- 
trised bodies, nor the degree of iheir solidity, neither the c 
buatibie nature of resin, nor the incombustible nature of the 
precioua alone, upon wiiich the polario condition is grounded, 
that to one of the two kinds of polaric aclion the d 

electricity can be given, while the other kind of elec- 
tricity is called the vitrtaiis. But the production of Ilie t> 
difleront states depends on other circumstaoces. When gla 
is rubbed with woollen, silk or leather, upon which ia spread a 
combination (an amalgum) of mercury, tin and zinc, that 
electric condition is produced which is directly opposed to that 
of sealing wax ; on the other hand, let the glass be rubbed with 
a cat's fell, then this last takes the vitreous electricity, but the 
glass assumes the resinous. Just so the resinous electricity 
manifests itself in the sealing was, when rubbed with woollen, 
hut when sulphur is used instead of'^wooUen, then the sulphur 
shows the resinous, and the sealing was, contrary apparently 
to its nature, the vitreous electricilj: an inversion which lakes 
place even in the case of the amber, when it is rubbed wilh 
sulphur. The character of the electrical state, conaequenlly 
depends, not alone on the quality of the body in which it ii 
produced, but also on the nature of the influence which ha: 
produced it. Two bodies, sustaining a certain mutual relation, 
form a polaric opposition, like that of oxygen and a combusti- 
ble body, an opposition, in which one appears as the mover, 
the other as the moved, the former as giving, the latter as 
receiving, or, to speak scientifically, the one as positive, the 
other as negative. 

In regard to the production, as well as the communication of 
electricity, a very remarkable difference exists in difiercnl 
bodies. The bodies already mentioned become electric byfric- 


lion, always however in that part of Uieir surraces, which is 
«ubjecled fo Ihe exciting influence. Metals, on the ollisr hand, 
become, not perceptibly, or only under certain circumslaaces, 
electric, by friction, yet they are, however, in a high degree 
'Capable of communicaling electricity, the action of which is 
liot confined to that part of the surface of these conductors 
;;whtch is in contact with the electric body, but is spread over 
the whole. 

t This difference of bodies in regard to the susceptibility and 
ieondaction of electricity recalls what has been said respecting 
(be capacity of diiTereiit bodies to conduct heiit. Precisely 
itbose bodies which are most fitted, by conibuslion with the 
oxygen of the atmosphere, to give out heal, are the worst con- 
iductora of heal, while incombustible bodies, or bodies which 
^are hard to bo ignited, such as stones and metals, are the best 
'jConduclors of heat. In the same way the metals readily con- 
Suet and difluse electricity, while the substances already wen- 
.tioned, which are easily rendered electrical by friction, such 
^ae gloss, amber, jet, silk, are so little capable of conducting 
^leclricity, that they are employed to confluc tho electric fluid 
jot to collect it at a certain point. By means of these insula- 
lors it becomes possible to exhibit these remarkable phenomena 
JD all their power and activity. When a metal or any other 
good conductor of electricity, such as coal, damp earth, most of 
"the salts, living plants or animals, water, and many other 
fluids, is placed on glass or silk, that is, upon a substance, 
Jirhich opposes ao impediment to the rapid communication of 
electricity, a very high degree of electricity may be impartej 
_Jo Ihe surface of ihe body thus insulated. For glass or resi- 
Sous substances, which readily become electric by friclio 
Other means, transmit electricity to the metal, or any other good 
Sooduclor, over Ihe whole surface of which it is immediately 
%Sused, while it is either conHned to a portion of the surface of I 

the non-conductor, or passes from a single point lo the n 
body. What is here seen is similar to what happens ii 
case of a burning piece of wood and a metal wire. The wood, 
from llie end at which it is burning, communicates its red heat 
a the melal wire, which, if not so long, that the heat it receives 
s dissipated in a measure, in the surrounding air, becomes red 
hot throughout, while the wood, burning at one end, can easily 
be held al the other by the hand, without inconvenience from 
the heat. For wood is as bad a conductor of heat, as glass or 
jet ia for electricity, only that part of the wood, which is on 

■; receives the heat, and communicates the same to other 
objects, or, to use another, and yet more familiar comparison, 
a drop of ink, which falls on highly varnished wood, or glazed 
paper, remains standing, until it gradually evaporates, but when 
B piece of blotting paper is brought into contact with it, the 
blotting paper immediately imbibes the drop which spreads far 
around. Good blotting paper, a wick or a sponge, fills rapidly 
with the fluid, into which only a part of it is dipped, which may 
bo expelled from the wick or sponge by pressure. When a 
melal wire, made red hot, is placed with one end in cold water, 
in a few moments it communicates all its heat to the water, and 
becomes cooled throughout, while a piece of wood, sltick in ice 
at one end, will burn on at the other. 

An insulated metallic ball, which hns been made electric, by 
means of glass that has been rubbed, gives up its electricity, 
when touched by a good conductor, not only from the point of 
contact, but also from its whole surface, while the glass, which 
has become electric, communicates lo the fingers, when touched 
by it, only that portion of the electric fluid present at the point 
of contact. It thus becomes possible, at once to produce very 
powerful electrical cITccts, and this has been the aim in the con- 
struction of the so-called electrical machines, and of the receiv- 
ers of the fluid connected therewith. Here another diflerence 



PTielween good and baJ conductors comes to be noted. In the 
' case of the former, as the melals fur instance, the electric fluid 
spreads itself only over the surface, while, in the latter, as in 
^ase of glass, it produces an excitement that extends to a 
certain degree lo the whole mass. When, therefore, (he two 
surfaces of a glass disk are covered with metal or tin foil, leav- 
ing a space at their rims, which is covered with varnish or 
sealing wax, so that the layers of mctai are completely insula- 
ted from one another, then, by the communication of electricity 
from one surface to the other, there is produced an electrical 
condition, polarically opposed ; so that the one surface shows 
itself as negative, and the other positive, or the reverse. The 
same phenomenon is seen in glass jars, covered without and 
wilLin with tin foil, excepting the upper part, where a resinous 
solution takes the place of the tin foil. When, by means of a 
metallic conductor, the tin foil in the inside is brought into com- 
municalioQ with a glass cylinder or disk, rendered electric by 
friction, the tin foil lakes the positive eleclriciiy of the glass, 
while the exiernal coating of tin foil becomes in the same 
degree negatively electrical. That these two opposite electrical 
slates are produced, is attributed to the capacity of the glass to 
take an electric polarity on ils two opposite surfaces, but that 
these two conditions co-exist in such close proximity, without 
caDceling each other by their reciprocal action, — this is possi- 
ble only by means of the glass, which keeps the two eleclrici- 
tiefl apart. While (he outer coating, in opposition to ihe inner, 
becomes negative, as the north-pole of a magnet creates a 
south-pole in the iron wire which is brought near it, so the 
external, negatively electrified coaling produces positive electri- 
city io non-eleclric bodies, and in the measure in which It does 
this, the strength of its own electricity increases. Through 
the opposing relation, thus existing between the two surfaces of ' 
a coated glass disk or bottle, the one electrical slate, whether 

328 MinitOa OP NATURE. 

negative or posilive, serves, the more powerful it is 
the other; both mutually produce each other, and to such a 
degree that, Gometimcs, the glass lying hctneeo them is Dot 
capable of resisting Iheir polaric tendency to unite and balance 
one another: the spark Trom the one strikes to the other 
through the insulating partition, and perforates or breaks the 
glass. But when the polaric action is not increased to this 
excess, and when several bottles or jars, coated outside and in, 
as above mentioned, are so united, that all the inner surfaces 
are in connection one with another, and all the outer surfaces 
are united in like manner, then we have an electrical battery, 
as it is called, by the uncommon power of which, human art 
has imitated the lightning. We will here mention briefly the 
phenomena, which have been observed in connection with elec- 
tricity thus powerfully excited. 

When the ball-lipped wire, connected with the esternal coat- 
ing of an electrical battery, is brought close to the similarly 
lipped wire, connected with the interior of the jars, then we 
have thunder and lighlning on a small scale. A tigbt of great 
brilliancy flashes from the two ends of the wires, that are 
brought near to one anollier, and an explosion is heard accord- 
ing to the strength of the charge. When an animal is put in 
connection with the wires of a powerful battery, and the stroke 
passes through it, it is killed as suddenly as by a stroke of 
lightning. When one takes in each hand the wire of a lew 
powerful battery, he suilers a peculiar spasm of the joints of 
the arms; and this sensation may be felt by any number of 
persons taking hold of hands, the person at one end taking OM 
wire in his hand, while the person at the other end is io con- 
tact with the other wire. The electric spark, even when it is 
weaker, inflames the above mentioned combination of oxygen 
and hydmgen, and converts into water these polarically op- 
\'Osed gases, which, by tbe suMentieas q^ fee Si^TO-faxmation, 


T into pieces even strong glass vessels ; and conversely, by 
an increased degree of electricity, water is decomposed into its 
gaseous elemeuls. Paper may be perforated by a weak elec- 
tric apar!(, and, by a stronger spark, even plates of wood and 
glass; bodies easily inflammable are set on fire, and metallic 
wires are made red hot by the electric spark. 

And here first we meet with (hat property of electricity, by 
which, like the tire of a burning body, it is seen to be a source 
of heat. Ad affinity was perceived in ancient times between 
electricity and heat, in the circumstance that electrical bodies, 
such as amber, are most easily electrised by friction when Ihey 
are heated. 

As heat promotes the growth of plants and animals, so like- 
wise does electricity. The process of vegetable growth has 
been accelerated by subjecting the seeds of plants to a gentle 
current of the electric fluid, and even human beings have ex- 
perienced a healing influence in various diseases from being 
subjected to the repeated action of electricity, — the patient 
being insulated upon glass or jet. 

A peculiar forming power is disclosed in electrical currents, 
when they pass through a pulverised substance, which becomes 
arranged under their influence in figures, which take a regular 
ray-like or feathery shape, when the electricity is positive. 

The rapidity with which an electric stroke passes through 
a wire from place to place is so great, thai it exceeds the swift- 
ness of light. Light traverses a space of nearly 192,500 miles 
in a second, (he electric stroke passes through more than 
280,000 miles in the same time. Although the spaces in 
which the latter measure has been ascertained, are not, as in 
the case of light, diameters of the earth's orbit, of many mil- 
lions of miles, but only distances on the earth's surface, yet 
the extraordinary perfection of the instruments devised to mea- 



sure lime and space, makes up for what is wanting in respect 
of an external basis of observation. 

We liavo in the first place referred only to that analogy to 
beat which is found in tlie polaric properties of the common 
electricity, produced by friclion. Before wo pursue the topic 
any further we must first notice in passing a grand pheaome- 
non of nature, which, both in its origin and effect, i 
nature of electricity. 



Tlmt artificial storm with lightning and thunder which n 
caused, to ihe amazement of all beholders, by a certain Anthe- 
mius, & skilful mechanician and architect, in the times of the 
emperor Jusliniao, in the 6lh century, may have reeem! 
pei-haps, those artificial storms produced in our theatres by a 
peculiar machinery, and the sudden ignition of various ( 
bustibles. This kind of imilation has as little real resemblance 
to a natural storm as a wax figure to the living human shape 
of which it is a copy. Somewhat otherwise is it on the other 
hand with those storm-like phenomena which are presented by 
the electrical apparatus. When the model of a house, accord- 
ing to Lilliputian measure, formed of paper or wood, is set on 
fire by the electric spark, and when the wires of a charged 
electric jar are brought in contact whh another similar model, 
provided with a lightning-rod, through which the electric fluid 
passes without setting tho house on fire, then we arc dealiog, 
ollhoLigh upon a very small scale, with the same natural pow- 
er, which, io the upper regions of the atmosphere, geoerutts 
lightning and thunder. 

The same electric condition which we produce by frictioo, 
or, as we shall see hereafter, by merely laying melallic plalea 


one upon another, and ugain separating them, lakes place con- 
tinually helween ihe atmosphere and the surface of tiie earth. 
It goes on increasing to a certain height, so that the electricity 
of the upper stratum stands for the most part in alronger oppo- 
1 ttlion to Ihe electricity of the earth's surface, than that of the 
I lower strata. Id clear weather the electricity of the atmos- 
phere is generally positive, that of the earth negative. In a 
cloudy sky the electricity of the air is sometimes positive and 
soRielimes negative, about as often one as the olher. The air 
is not, as a whole, electrically opposed to the earlh, hut even 
single strata and masses of vapor may be more or less opposed 
to one another. 

All these electrical relations between the earth and the air, 
and between the different masses of vapor ond air in the higher 
regions of the atmosphere, are usually regulated by imper- 
ceptible discharges, and a tendency to equihbrium; the ascend- 
ing vapors, the descending water of the atmosphere, the low 
floating mists and clouds, give out their eloclricity to the ma- 
terial substances which arc in an opposite electric coodiiion, 
and, as the explosion of gunpowder ceases so soon as its com- 
bustible ingredients have combined with oxygen, so every trace 
of electrical action vanishes when one of the two opposite 
movements has, like a hall falling into the hand, come to a still- 
stand. Yet in this gentle flowing of the electric fluid from 
ttbove downwards, and from the earth into the atmosphere, 
perceptible to the eye in those phenomena which are some- 
times seen at night on the pinnacles of steeples, on the masts 
ofships, and other perpendicular objects, and even under cer- 
tain circumstances, on the tips of the fingers held up in the 
air, — a phenomenon which the people of ancient times allribu- 
led lolhe propitious viciniiyof the Dioscuri, Castor and Polli 
but which our ancestors named St. Elmus fire. 



Vegetation, also, has a vcrjr considerable infloeace an 6a 
duvclopment of electricity, and it ia reckoaed ihat the electri- 
city which is called forth by a field of 25 square fathom would 
Builice to load a battery, heavy enough to kill an ox or a. horse. 
The evaporation of the waters of the sea also has a great in- 
fluence in increasing atmospheric electricity ; for not pure, 
distilled water, but water with an admixture of foreign, and 
especially sally particles, is very favorable, while evaporating 
to electrical activity. The electricity of the air, however. Is 
equalised by every shower, by every breath, by the shadow of 
every cloud, producing coolness as it passes. The eleclricat 
I of the air around us may be changed more than 
twenty limes in a day, and may be indicated as a positive and 
then as a negative excess by our instruments, when it ia itt- 
perceptible to our senses. 

s remarked, that, when the north or cast winds 
prevail, the electricity of the air is more positive, during the 
prevalence of south and west winds, more negative. It ia 
found, however, in the same latitudes to be much stronger in 
itill weather than in windy, by day than by night, when the 
deposition of watery vapor causes the equalization of the oppo- 
e states. Manifold as are the ways by which this equaliza- 
lion is effected, Ihey do not always sufSce to prevent that acco- 
mulalion of electricity in the clouds, which occasions the pheno- 
a of thunder-storms. 

'hen, in the warm days of summer, the vegetable world 

stands clothed in its full green, the rising vapor becomes more 

abundant, and fills the upper regions of the air with its positive 

'tricity, when, at the same lime, ihe clouds Host at such a 

'Sht ,^t the electrical equilibrium between them nnd the 


gradually take place, under which storms are moat eafiilj 


generated. The dry strata of the air act as insulalors, like thi; 
I between the tin foil coatings of a Leyden jar, and go 
e electric charge is increased. 
In llic winter months, from November to February, thiinder- 
storma are rare. The low hanging clouds, the moist air, the 
diminished heal of the earth, the greatly leaaened evaporation 
of water, permit no considerable degree of electrical action to 
be produced. In October and March on!y a few thunder-storms 
occur. In April they are, one year reckoned with another, five 
times more frequent than in March ; in May they are twice as 
frequent as in April; in June more than three times; in July 
almost four times; in August more than fhrice, and (hen Iheir 
frequency diminishes, and they are about as numerous in Sep. 
lember as in April. In cold countries, for the same rejisons, 
ihuoder- storms are rarer than in hot countries, yet even under 
lAte 75lh degree of north latitude, in the climate of New Sibe- 
Bh and Spitsbergen, violent thunder-storms have been known. 
^ Thunder-clouds are generally distinguished by their dark 
color, and round, distinctly defined outline, circumstances which 
go to show their high degree of condensation. The height at 
which they stand, reaches, in hot countries and in the neigh- 
borhood of mountains, sometimes to 9000 feel, in the plains of 
central Europe, to from 3 to 7000 feet; in the cold climate of 
Tobolsk, lite height of the clouds is oHen only 6 or 700 feet. 
Before a thunder-storm breaks forth, the air is, for the moat 
part, very sultry, its electrical condition sulfers sudden and 
great changes- The discharge begins, so soon as the moisture 
of the air has formed a communication from one side of ihis 
great battery to another; the electric stroke, whose spark here 
takes the form of lightning, and whose sound becomes thunder, 
darts most often, only from one cloud, from one over-charged 
Eiralum of air, lo another. As, however, ihe electric condition 
e higher regions of the atmosphere calls forth in the lower _ 

^lite hi 


rcgioDs and in oil objects on Ihe earth's surface, the opposite 
electrical slate in the same strength, the electric discharge takes 
often a direction downwards and towards the earth. The light- 
ning strikes especially such bodlns, as are good conductors of 
electricity, as metals for instance, nest to the metals, however, 
are living organised bodies, plants, and animals. For this rea- 
Bon, it is dangerous to seek protection in a [hiinder-slorm under 
high trees. In regard to the exposure of the vegetable world 
in a thunder-storm — it is said that the lightning never strikes 
the birch-tree, and the same was anciently maintained of ihs 
laurel ; hence a crown of laurel was placed on the head as a 
protection against lightning in a thunder-storm. Also the 
house-leek, (sempervivum teclorum) which ja planted on the 
roofs of houses, is held by the country people to be a good tie- 
fence against lightning. 

It depends chiefly upon the force of the electricity of the 
ground, whether and with what violence the discharge of the 
cloud will take its direction towards the earth; whether the 
lightning will strilte. The warmth of the earth's surface and 
the capacity of the intervening strata of the atmosphere to 
conduct the iighlning, are of great influence. On which ac- 
count, in some regions of the torrid zones, thunder-storms are 
BO dangerous that, according to the account of Azara, in a 
single storm in the year 1793, in the space of acarcelj an 
hour, the lightning struck 37 times, and 19 persons were killed 
in the city of Buenos Ayres in South America. 

When the lightning strikes the earth, there is not unfre- 
quenlly a returning stroke observed, not only during great 
volcanic eruptions, but, on a small scale, in the action of our 
electrical apparatus. In this case, the lightning passes from 
the earth to the air, or spreads itself far and wide from a point 
on the earth. Such earth-strokes sometimes hurl stones and 
earth into the air, and in some cases, have produced effects 


destructive as those alrokea that proceed from the air to the 
earth. The taller, when they fall upon a sandy soil, cause 
here and there a melting of the quarz-sand, producing the so- 
called fulgurites. 

The lightning does not always ignite the combustibles which 
it strikes. In such cases, it appears lo act like the electric 
spark of our powerful artificial batteries, which heats metallic 
wire red hot, and even melts it, but passes through gunpowder 
without exploding it (perhaps, because ihe power of Ihe carbon 
to conduct it does not give it sufficient lime.) By using a wet 
string as a more imperfect conductor, by which the electric 
spark is commuaicatod to the powder, the powder immediately 
explodes. A ship, called the New York, was struck by light- 
ning twice in one thunder gust. It spread through the whole 
vessel without setting it on fire, and wilhout injuring any one. 
Indeed one of the passengers, who had sufTercd for a long 
from lameness, all at once regained the use of his limbs, 
I consequence cither of the fright or of the electric influence. 
, All the knives and forks on board became magnetic through 
effect of the lightning. It was observed of the magnetic 
dies, which were all in one room, that some of them be* 
more powerfully magnetic, while others had become 
aker. In other instances, the electric influence confines it- 
sir 10 the melais in the vicinity of the place struck by light- 
Thus a house has been struck, wi'.hout being set on 
fire, or without injury lo its inmates, while the metallic works 
of Ihe clocks in the house, and even the wire on the (hatched 
roof, was melted. In another case, Ihe gold upon a gilt watch- 
hand was melted and transferred to the lead, of which the case 
was made, and which thus became gilt. 

It is true it is the conducting power of the moist air, by 
means of which the lightning strikes Ihe earth, for through ft 
stratum of the air of one or more fathoms thick it would hard' 


ly be able to pass, yet rain contributes a[ tlie same time 
to diflbse the discharge of electric clouds, for every drop or a 
heavy shower brings with it a considerable porlion of llie dec- 
Iricily of.lhe air to the ground, and there an eqollibriuni is 
established beliveen it and the opposite electrical state of the 
earth. Hence the violence of a thunder-storm is gradually 
lessened, when the rain accompanying it is long continued. 

Inour latitudes it happens not seldom that ihunder-doudfl form 
below the tops of mountains. Above, the sky la clear, while 
it thunders and lightens below. The observer, howflver, who 
contemplates this imposing phenomenon from above, is not 
always safe, for the lightning sometimes strikes through the 
ascending mists. Several years ago, an Englishman was 
killed in this way. He was sealed on the rocky precipice of 
Rigiculum, watching a thunder-storm over the lake of Zug, (in 

Generally those clouds, that discharge hail, float the lowest 
of all storm-clouds. Hail is not an infrequent attendant of a. 
thunder-storm. Hail-clouds, which are distinguished by iho 
irregular, jagged look of their outlines, and by their whiter 
color, when they lie so low, (for there are hail-clouds that float 
very high,) appear to form the lowest stratum or bed of a mass 
of clouds in which is generated, on a giant scale, a series of 
mutually opposed electrical conductors, similar, as we slial! see 
hereafter, to the plates of a voltaic pile. It has often happened 
that wanderers on mountain heights have found themselves in 
the midst of hail-douds, the hail being in the process of forma* 
lion, and still floating in the air. A close observer (Lecocq,) 
remarked, on such an occasion, that the hail-stones had a td4b- 
tory motion. The cold, occasioned by such masses of ice, in a 
tolerably high lemperalureof the surrounding air-,can hardly he 
caused, according to the opinion of some scientific men, bylha 
evaporation of the water alone, so that other co-opernting forces 


of polaric action miiat be supposed. Hail-slone9, for the most 
pari, appear to be formed of different layers, ono over another, 
huviog in the centre a snow-like nucleus, or some foreign solid 
substance, borne by the wind from the soil or the mountain 
crngs. Their size ia from several lines to several inches. In 
the hail-slorm at Maestricht, in 1827, hail-slones were picked up 
6 inches in diameter. At Clermont, in 1335, ellipsoidal hail- 
stooes of the size of a hen's ogg were found, and when a quan- 
tity of these stones adhered together in falling, great masses of 
ice were formed. As the greyish white hail-clouds, below and 
between the dark black storm-clouds, form only thin strata and 
strips, so also Iheir desolating elfect is often confined to a space 
pf country, not over some thousands, and even some hundred 
bet in breadth, although it may extend in length one or several 
There are, however, hail storms that greatly exceed 
tieseiimits, of (his kind was that fearful hail shower that in 1788 
upon France, extending over two separate strips of land, 
length of which amounted to more than a hundred miles, 
breadth of ono strip being from 2 to 3 miles, that of the 
ir more than a mile. The country between and outside, 
iped. Hail rarely falls in the night, still more rarely in 
ler. Even the coimtries within the tropics are almost never 
fmted with hail, and the cold regions near the pole very 

Like rain, hail also brings the electric fluid to the ground and 
f ps to equalise it. The electric action, however, is, not seldom, 
Utralized in a still more imperceptible manner by a gentle 
insmission of the opposite kinds or states of electricity from 
e cloud to another, or from the air to those pointa on the 
Srth's surface, which readily attract and transmit the fluid. 
From such a ijuiet ond less violent passing of electricity from 
doud (o cloud, ihe so-called Hcnt-Ughlning may arise, although, 
most cases, this is nothing but the reflection of a flash of 


338 miUROa OP NATUOB. 

lightning sirikiag at a great distance below our horizon. Tlje I 
possibililj of clfecting a gradual, or even a harmless discharge 
of atmospheric electricity, hae heen rendered easy 1o human I 
science, since a closer knowledge has been obtained ofL 
caI phenomena. 

37. LiuHT^tiNG-sODe. i 

When tho coaling on both sides of a heavily charged Leyden 
jar or battery is touched with glass rods, no discharge takes 
place. The charged coadudor of an electrical machine may 
be touched by the hands when they are protected by thick silk 
gloves, without producing a spark, or giving any shock to the 
arms, while both the sparii ia seen and a shock felt, when the 
conductor is touched wilh a metal wire having a ball of metal 
at the end. Since it has been known thai certain substances 
possess this quality of warding off and confining ihe influence 
of Ihe electric fluid, there have not been wanting those who 
have sought to avail themselves of such substances as a pro- 
tection against the danger of a ihunder-storm, A rich noble- 
man, in old times, who was excessively afraid of lightning, 
caused all the walls, floors and ceilings of his country seat to 
be covered with silk ; all vessels of silver, or any other metal, 
were banished from the building. He ate out of glass dishes 
and plates; his knives, forks and spoons, were made of ivory, 
which was at least not reckoned among the best conductors of 
the electrical fluid, lie himself went di'essed in silk, sale upon 
insulated chairs, slept in silk in a hammock of the same sluiT, 
suspended by silken cords. Neverlheless, so it is related, Ihe 
timid man came to a violent end, not indeed by hghtning, but 
by a means somewhat similar. Upon a iiuoliug party in au- 
tumn, when no storm wns to be feared, he was killed bji 
accidenlal discharge of his own fowling piece. 

FRANKLIN. ^^'-i 

Every means of defence, which man can devise for himself 
and his dwelling, against the lightning, it is to be approved, if 
used wilh due wisdom. There is oeed neither of silk nor glass, 
:h are very limited in the protection they afford, but we 
must deal boldly with the fearful power of nature itself, by 
ns that deprive it of its power, and give it a direction, by 
which, without periling the lives or possessions of men ; it can 
lursue its way from the air to the earth or the waters. 

A learned Frenchman, the Ahhe Nollet, had, before the mid- 
dle of the last century, observed that a heavily charged Leyden 
jar, or electric battery, was discharged gradually and impercepti- 
bly when an iron point was brought near to the ball of the 
; connected wilh the inner coaling; the electric fluid was 
! drawn off and diffused without a shock, A leaden tube, 
18 feet long, which was so suspended by silken cords that one 
faalfcxtended out of a window inlo the open air, became power- 
fully electric, during a ihunder-slorm. The flashes of fire, 
observed on certain iron crosses and metallic knobs on steeples 
*nd towers, before and during thunder-slorms, were found to be, 
in accordance with the doctrine of the ancients, a favorable 
tilgn for ihe people dwelling in Ihe neighborhood, for wherever 
and whenever these signs showed themselves, no danger was to 
be apprehended from the lightning. These elements of know- 
Jedge were thus at hand, and it needed only that they should be 
.«iBdeuse of, in order that the purposes and wants of man 
. «hould be met. 

At the lime NoUel, in Franco, made his observations upon 
.riectricity, there lived in America a man, whose memory not 
,'4inly stands in high regard among us of Ihe present day, but 
rill also find honorable recognition in a far distant future, Ben- j 
ktmin Franklin. The distinguished career of this rcmarkaUe 1 
iitnau bod its humble beginning in the peninsular, A merican city I 
of Boston, where his father was a poor soapboiler. Until his I 


twelfth year, Benjamin was compelled lo work wilh liia father 
at his fracle. At that early age, hrs strong thirst for knowledge 
drove him away from tallow and lye-vats, to a calling which 
hetter corresponded wilh the bent of hia genius. Ad older 
brother, a printer by trade, just at that time returning from 
England, Benjamin became hia apprentice. But reading books 
was more attractive to him than printing them. Every leisure 
hour of the day, and often a part of the nighf, was employed 
with a diligence, like Duvai's, in the study of useful books. 
Benjamin had just reached bis I4th year, when hia brother, ihc 
printer, proposed to publish a kind of newspaper, or periodical 
of entertainment. But the main thing, an appropriate selection 
of articles, at once entertaining and instructive, was wanting i 
the outset. Benjamin determined to supply the want, and h 
youthful labors met willi such general approbation, that the 
governor of the province, William Keith, encouraged him to set 
up a printing establishment of his 
sufficient to enable him to go to England, and purchase there 
all that was needed for the purpose. This took plat 
17 24, but not until I7S6, did Franklin, then 20 years old, sue 
ceed in carrying out his plan. The richly gifted young man 
did not, however, content himself with printing foreign books! 
he wrote works for his own press, when nothing of the kind 
had proceeded from America. In these writings, and in his 
Pennsylvania Gazette, and in the Almanac which he published 
annually, there was evinced an insight, and a 
try, which everywhere found entrance to the understandings 
and hearts of men. In such books as his sayings of poor 
Richard, a vein was struck which was of service lo all classes, 
high and low. He knew how to stimulate the desire of knc 
jedge, and to furnish means, whereby the wants and difficulties 
of life may be relieved, and the welfare, external and internal, 
of the people, promoted. Even the invention of fuel-saviog 


sloves occupied him. He took especial pleasure in searching 
,the itepllis of science. A lliorougli knowledge of electricity 
appeared to him to tiSbrd the key to many natural phe- 
jiomena, then unexplained. His inquiries spread a new light 
jover the nature and operatioDs of this power of nature. He 
:wa3, for instance, the first to present a clear view of the ground 
^f electrical polarity, for from him we have a theory of positive 
l^ad negative electrical action. He loo, Ihis rare man, who was 
'deslined by Providence to serve as a conductor for his country 
||n the dark storm, which then lowered over the English colo- 
jjlics, and who, by his wisdom and moderation, did bo much to 
Jessea and avert the calamities of the period, became the inven- 
jlor of those lightning- rods which are now seen on steeples and 
ibouses almost everywhere. In the year 1751, he coramuni- 
i^ted bis views of the construction of these safeguards against 
Ibe destructive force of lightning, in a letter, which) with other 
Jelters of a similar character, is addressed to his English friend, 
fCbliinson. The first experiments, by which the force of the tbun- 
^derbolt was drawn down from the clouds, nnd put in the power of 
inan, and it was made plainly to appear that it was of the same 
.jBSture with the electricity, which is allured from glass by fric- 
tion, were made, partly with iron rods set up perpendicularly, 
>|loiiiIed at the lop and insulated ut the boilom, partly with paper 
I, the playthings of children, furnished at the lop with a 
linetal point, and with a cord or string, mostly of hemp, at the 
,'|ower end of which was fastened a key, or similar piece of 
To avoid all danger, this lower end was held by a 
^kUken string, and drawn towards the observer. When the 
ipaper kite was raised in stales of the atmosphere indicating a 
lunder gusi, the metal at the lower end of the string i 

the presence of electricity in a very striking way. A 
ipd) pointed at ihc (op, showed the same power of leading ofF j 

die electricity of ihe air ; and in this case, Fmnklin ' ^ 

^^ 20* 

that ihe rod was not always aiTected in the same way, but vaa 
sometimes positive (like glass,) aad at other times negative 
(Llie amber and jet.) Upon the bursting forth of the Ibuoder- 
storm, it waa remarked that, as oAcn as the atmospheric elec- 
tricity was discharged b; tighlning and thunder, (of course 
within a certain space,) the electrical influence showed itself 
diminished in the rod, but soon appeared again, and increased. 
These first experiments with the electricity of the atmos- 
phere in storms, did not always pass off without danger and 
hurt to the observer. In Petersburg, on llie 6th August, 1753, 
Professor Hichman atlempled to test the strength of an iioa 
rod as a coaductor of electricity, and was killed by the stroke 
received through the rod from the atmosphere — struck dead, 
by lightning. Others remarked that such insulated rods, 
certain slates of the air, received charges of electricity more 
powerful than those of our largest batteries, 

Franklin, in his high calling, as fosterer of the independence 
of the American Free Slates, whose people he had already in- 
structed by his writings in the worthy use of Freedom, delayed 
not to render his invention of the lightning rod as perfect as 
possible. When, in 1700, be died, the conviction everywhere 
existed, not only iQ all the Slates of North America, but ov 
the whole continent of Europe, that this great American h 
not labored in vain, peacefully to allay the excitement subsi 
ing between the earth and the sky ia thunder-storms, just 
he had helped, in his character of a statesman, to allay ths 
perilous agitation that rose between the expanding freedoin 
his country, and the power of the great mother state.' 

The construction of our lightning rods is briefly tluBKi 
iron rod, of about half an inch iu diameter, and the pointa 
end of which is either gilded, to keep it from rusting, or mi 
of platinum, is raised to a heighth of from 3 to 4 feel above 
roof of the building, which is to be protected, and 



■downwards by the wall of the building into the damp earth or 
i%ilo the water. When iho rod is 4 feet above the roof, the 
'^arcle of ita influence extends to a distance of 8 feet ; on which 
5 buildings, which it is particularly desirable to 
■ guard, should be provided with several such rods placed at due 
'"aislancea. In most cases, conductors of this sort will prove 
'eflectual, and at least, lessen the violence of the discharges, 
• when a number of these rods stand united within a small space. 
'In this connection it must have been remarked that thunder- 
, passing over cities provided with lightning rods, are 
".'inuch less destructive than formerly, when these safe-guards 
■*ere not used. There are cases, however, in which all human 
md art prove in vain. The electric fluid may be 80 
^werful that tho rod is insufficient to conduct it off; it may in 
se dart off to some oilier metallic or organised body in 
inily of the rod, and, as experience has shown, seriously 
■injure a person who should be seated at a window near tho 
(lightning-rod, and chance to be employed with some metallic 
'inslrument. The melting of the conducting wire or rod, may 

interrupt the passage of the electric fluid, and sometimes a 
■Tiolent shower may attract the stroke, not to the rod, but to 

the building, in which case the danger of conflagration is slight, 
' because the moisture of the roof, by diffusing the electric force, 
'weakens il, and carries it off to the ground with the water that 

nins down. 
In regard (o the form and efficacy of the pointa of the rods, 

IS well as of the rod itself, we may remark the power existing 

in a small space or quantity, contrasted with mere magnitude. 
i^The fine metallic particles in platinum -sponge exerts against 
rirtie elasticity of the air, a force, many limes greater than the 
rpreaaurc of the atmosphere, the influence of which is universal 
rlmd unlimited, producing a condensation of the gas, which ih^^ 
itake into their interstices, which iho pressure of severs 


dred atmospheres can scarcely effect. In a similar way, tbe 
line pulverised particles of the upper layers of the soil, in our 
fields QDd gardens, attract ihe moisture, and especially the car- 
bonic acid and oxygen ; and thus communicate a quickening 
influence to the vegetable germs deposited among them. 

A striking example may here teach us, how nnuch, in other 
respects, the secret, attractive force of mioute particles effecls, 
in comparison with the power of iarge masses, or of mechani- 
cal pressure. Human art has attempted, with tbe instrumenlB 
designed to prodiico compression, to apply to several gaseous 
bodies a pressure, which should exceed several times the pres- 
sure of the atmospheric column upon the surface of the eanh 
and sea. By a condensatiou six times greater than that to 
which it is exposed in the atmospheric air, ammoniacal gas is 
converted almost entirely into a liquid, which, however, in- 
stantly expands again into a gaseous form, aa soon as the pres- 
sure is removed. Such an uncommon condensation is easiest 
obtained when a gaseous acid, combined into a solid body by 
being united with a metallic or earthy base, is expelled from 
nion by a stronger acid in an air-tight vessel, and so little 
is thus furnished in the vessel, that the expelled gas has 
:o occupy only a small part of its usual space. When sulphuric 
acid and common carbonate of lime are mixed in a well closed 
vessel, the sulphuric acid combines, as in Ihe open air, 
with the lime, and the carbonic acid escapes, with a violent 
effervescence, in the form of gas. When the mixture is large 
enough, several pounds of carbonic acid can, in ibis way, be 
disengaged in a space, which, under the ordinary presGtire of 
the air, would be completely filled with some ounces of the 
same acid gas. When one portion of the carbonic acid, which 
is disengaged, presses after another into the confined space, 
and it becomes so compressed, that it has only about the 36tli 
part of its natural bulk, a remarkable change takes place in 



e carbonic acid gas. It now takes the form of a liquid, btil, 
e instant the necessary space is given it, it expands with such 
imense power and rapidity to its natural balk, that we are 
iquainted with only a few instances of so violent an escape 
If a substance from the confinement, lo which human art has 
Ebnsigned it. At first, in the extraordinary rapidity of the 
lange from the liquid lo the gaseous form, the heat is 
awn ; and so Rreal a degree of cold is produced, that a por- 
>u of the artificial fluid is stifiencd Into a white, snowy mat 
nils degree of cold, when ether is mixed with this solid cs 
nic acid, is, so far as our ihermomelrical iostrumenlB g 
imense. A mass of mercury of many pounds weight, when 
irooght into contact with this mislure, is, in a few moments, 
Tozen so hard that it may ho hammered. On the other hand, 
iben solidified carbonic acid, under other conditions, is 
iually converted into a gas, it may be taken in (he hand, with- 
it any inconvenience but a sensation of great cold. It is only 
B liquid, condensed carbonic acid, which, by being suddenly 
Bcbarged from a glass lube, shivers the tube, and which some 
ne ago caused an accident in the laboratory of ihe Polytech- 
c School in Paris, that has been variously described in the 
iblic papers. An assislanl of the professor of chemistry had 
repared some liquid carbonic acid, in the above mcDiioncd 
By, in a cast iron cylinder 2} feet in length, and 1 foot in di- 
neler, which had often been used fiir such esperimenis. The 
indensed gas broke the cylinder, and threw the fragments 
mot with such violence, that the assistant was killed, bolh his 
gs being broken. Had the explosion occurred a quarter of 
I hour later, in the crowded lecture room, it would have 
luaed the loss of many lives. 

The little tender hoirs and bristles, which cover the surfaces 
' many plants, especially such as grow on the mouDtaina, at- ^ 
Rcl, like the broken, pulverised soil of our cullivaled lands 


the atmospheric gases, which are subjected in the interior or 
the plants to a degree of coniiensnlion which art can scarcely 
reach. There is, however, no evidence of violent action, wiien 
the substance, so powerfully condensed, returas to ils originnl 
stale as a gas, but the change goes on as gently aod impercep- 
tibly as the condensation. 

In like manner, the metallic points of the lightning rod lake 
the electrical fluid from the aimosphere and from otiier bodies 
in Iheir vicinity, in a way scarcely perceptible, or rather p 
feclly harmless ; they thus destroy the violent character of the 
discharge, and communicate the electrical influence to the 
ground in iho greatest fulness. The more quiet, hiJden 
melhod, by which the minutest means apparently are £ 
motion, is here seen to be also the most effectual; it i 
method by which most is obtained, and Ihe end is reachsdin 
the safest and easiest way. 

Science, in our tinies has, by its inventions, made things 
possible, of the practicability of which, the keenest-sight 
the ancients never dreamed. We have adduced many instances 
of this sort in the foregoing chapters. We proceed now to an- 
other case which, when verified in practice, will redound to the 
advantage of the husbandman, and the honor of science. 

The lightning, when it descends in its majesty and power, 
is so mighty and destructive, that no living being can withstand 
it ; on the other hand, when it comes in soA, gentle streams, si 
a continuous flow of electricity, it is changed from a destroyer 
into a kindly nourisher and presen-er of life. The thunder- 
gust, with ibc terrors of ils lightnings and thunders, scls before 
our eyes a condition of nature, in which the lower, tbo earlb, 


yfi la opposilion to the liigher, or the hoavcD, by meaaa of that 
electric state which caa be equalised only by a violent dis- 
charge. On the other hand, io the process of slill transmis- 
sion, these two opposites, the earth and the air, the lower and 
the upper, mutually give and receive, in a steady and peaceful 
interchange, accompanied by no violence. 

Such a quiet inlcrchango is going on continually between the 
living green vegetable world, and the atmosphere, penetrated ns 
il is with electric forces. Every tree, every weed, is, in ils 
place, through all its leaves and branches, a hghtuing rod. 
That an influence is thus exerted upon the growth of plants, 
rendering ihe germination of their seeds the more or less rapid, 
has been known for a hundred years. The two myrtle trees, 
which Maimhrai,a\ Edinburgh, in October, 1745, electrised for , 
several weeks, put forth buds and fresh branches, while other 
trees of the same kind yielded to the approaches of winter. 
The learned Abbe Bartfiolon declared, with great confidence, 
that electricity has the moat powerful effect upon (he nourish- 
ment and growth of plants. Besides, the curious organism of 
plants takes nourishment from the atmosphere, in a way un- 
known to us. The idea, therefore, conceived and carried out 
by the intelligent Scotchman, Mr, Fbster, at Findrassie, about 
hundred years after the experiment of his countryman, 
Maimbrai, was natural enough, viz: to apply electricity at 
once on a largo scale for the promotion of the growth and 
fruitfulness of our useful vegetables, not indeed that electricity 
which we generate in our machines, and not even the current 
of a galvanic or magneto-electric apparatus, but the cleclricity, 
produced from that inexhaustible source which exists in the 
relation between the air and the surface of our planet. The 
experiment, which was made, and by which the inrtuence of 
atmospheric electricity was directed to this end, was the &1- 

34B Mianoa OF NATURE. 

A piece of land 60 ells lung and 56 broad was laid off from 
a barley field, lying in llio north of Scolland, which had been 
ploughed, planted, and manured uniformly, all over. The 
piece of land, thus measured, was exposed to the continuous 
influence of atmospheric electricity, by means of pegs driven 
down at the four cornera, ihe longest sides of the parallelogram 
lying exactly north and south. To these pegs, a strong iron 
wire, going from one to the other, was fastened, and laid three 
inchBs below Ihe surface of the soil. In the middle of ihe 
shorter sides, (at iho north and south) poles 15 feet high were 
raised. From the tops of these poles a wire passed lengthwise 
over the piece of land to the foot of (he opposite poles, and was 
there connected with the wire passing under the surface of the 
ground. The influence of the atmospheric electricity by such 
a contrivance may be still further increased by burying in the 
earth, outside the two longer sides, (at the east and west) on 
the one side a bag of charcoal, on the other a bag containing 
zinc-plates ; and by connecting by a metal wire these two sub- 
stances, which are peculiarly disposed to strong polaric action. 
This third wire is placed at the same heighth with the wire 
fastened at the tops of the poles, and carried through Ihe air 
by means of poles erected at the points where the two bags are 
buried. Just in the centre over the field, wires cross, one run- 
ning north and south to conduct the atmospheric electricity, 
the other, going from east to west to conduct the galvanic 
stream. Thus, by means of the wire running round the field, 
a constant stream of electricity is flowing below, which takes 
its origin from the mutual influence of the earth and air, going 
on at>orc, as well as from the two polarically opposed galvanic 
elements; so that in this way the field is wrought all over, 

^L and penetrated above and below, as by a network of electric 

^M influence. 


The cffijct of this arrnngement upon the seed sown, was 
everywhere perceptible. The acre, liius experimenled upon, 
bore 13i qrs. of barley, while llic rest of the field bore only 
ihe usual quantity of from 5 to 6 qrs. fo the acre. The ker- 
nels also, upon the piece of land submilled to electrical in- 
fluence, were so large and sound, that a bushel of the same 
weighed 2 !bs, more than a bushel of the other. 

Upon a small scale also, a similar esperiment was made with 
a like favorable result. Two garden-beds were sown wi(h 
mustard seed, and to one of these beds electricity was applied ; 
and in the same time the plants grew in ihia bed 3J- inches 
high, while in the other they attained to a height of only 1 
inch. Although ihe eRbct of the above described raelhod of 
promoling vegetable growth by means of atmospheric electri- 
city, is not so extraordinarily rapid, in comparison with that of 
an electric stream, artificially generated, by which a French 
man of science and a lover of horticulture, won his wager, that 
he would raise cresses from the seed, and produce them (it for 
ihe table in the same time that it would take to roast a leg of 
veal, yet ihe process we have mentioned is much more power- 
ful and lasting. 

The expense of the contrivance we have described was esti- 
mated at 85 per acre. Yet this expense decreases in pro- 
portion to the space surrounded by the wires, and the apparatus 
once provided, will last from 10 to 15 years, if the wir^ are 
taken np every year, when they have discharged their office, 
and replaced again at seed lime. 

These singular experiments of fructifying fields by a means 
which the art of man obtains from the atmosphere, were cer- 

Elkinly worth being repealed, and there is much to be said in 
HiTor of ihe possibility, and even probability, of their success, 
Utbough there is much also to be said on the other side. In 
OTder the belter to tmderstand the mer'iVa ot V\vacawi,"«&A!^ I 



, here rnake a slight digression, anJ consider somewhat more 
parlicularly the process by which plants are nourished and 


When the eye oC man has rested with delight and wonder 
on the beauty which a rosebush in bloom presents, or an ap^ 
tree puts on in spriog or iu nulumn, when he has gazed, wilfa- 
out being satisfied, on the tall lily or the gorgeous tulip, there 
yet remains a greut part of this doily repealed miracle un- 
known, until a look through a magnifying glass, opens the doers 
to the treasure chamber of this hidden wonder. A little frag- 
ment of a leaf or blossom, placed within the field of view of a 
microscope, represenis in its inner texture a work of high att, 
the spectacle of which holds our wilting attention no leti 
powerfully than that of the delicately formed leaves and many 
colored flowers. There we see plainly how the forces of life 
consort with Ihe minute and the tender, how they have their 
sphere in a manifold variety of parts, which are united into an 
organised whole that is subservient toihe working of a universal 
soul. In such a specimen of vegetable structure one sees a 
colleclion of cells, of tube-shaped and screw-like vessels, of 
the ingenious arrangement of which, the naked eye knows 

Id the internal structure of the less perfect plants, such as 
the mosses and sponges, only such sap-vessels .aa resemble 
little cells, such as the cells in a beehive, and which are 
arranged along-side and over one another, compose the body of 
the plant. In the external surface of more perfect plants, and 
in the leaves and stems of the same, numberless similar cells 
are observable, frequently expanding into a tube-shape, into 
bag-like sap-vessels, the sides or walls of which, scarcely dis- 



tiDguishalilo lo llie naked eye, possess, taken together, such 
solidity and alrenglh, that the under layei" of Ihe bark of many 
trees may be manufaclured into rope; and the fibre of Has, 
liemp, the nettle, and liie poper-mulberry tree, may bo spun into 
thread and used in various binds of weaving. But among all 
Ihese cell-shaped and cylindrical structures, appear the above 
mentioned, screw-like, spiral vessels, which seem lo be designed 
more for ibe sake of communication with the gaseous suh- 
stnnces, which piaiils require for Iheir nourishment, than for ihe 
of earthy or sally particles, rendered liquid, and 

By the long, cell-shnped sap-vessela, one is led lo imagine a 
sort of polarisation of Ihese delicate structures, upon which, 
ullimalcly, the whole vital activity of material things is baaed. 
The several sacks, or little tubes, do not open one Into another, 
ihey do not, like Ihe veins of an animal body, form one continu- 
ous canal, but they are closed al their ends with a fine membrn- 
nons leKlure, through wfiich the sap must transpire from one of 
little sacks into another. 
►■ Within, inio the minutest parts, as well aa on the largest 

FWale, Ihe life of the plant, its nourishment and formation, all 
rest on Ihe poJaric opposition of a higher and a lower, by which 
A constant ascending and descending of sap, a kind of circuit 
is efiecled. The tree receives its nutriment, receives water, for 
instance, carbonic acid and nitrogen, not out of the ground 
ulone, but also from the air; the ascending sap, derived from 
(he earth, requires, if il is to receive the peculiar properlies, by 
means of which the dilTerent kinds of plants are distinguished, 
Ihe pularic influence, which comes from above and is generoled 
and mninlaiDed by the sunlight, and those substances received 
from Ihe air. If the trunk of a tree is cut round and deprived of 
u portion of ils bark, il becomes apparent ihal ihere is an eflblt 

e to form new bark, by the issuing of the sap from the upp€ 


well as iKe lower edge of the cut, the tree, however, dies if the 
cut is so broad as lo oiislruct the polaric iolercbange betweeii 
the sap Trom above and the sap from below, and thus to break 
the circuit. 

That the green leaves of plants attract the chief means of 
vegetable life, carbon and water, from the atmosphere, is proved 
by many obstirvations. ll may be seen, on a small scale, how 
vine leaves, when enclosed in a glass globe, withdraw from the 
air that passes through the globe, nil the carboaic ncid which 
the air contains, even though the air passes through with the 
greatest rapidity. And not only carbon, but nitrogen also, in 
so far aa it esista as a component part of the sap, fruits, of 
bark, of plants, is drawn by Ihem from the air, and incorpora- 
ted into their own substance. 

/. Liebig, in his cltcmical letters, points us lo those facts by 
which this consumpiion of air by vegetables i 
Our belter sort of meadow land, without i 
carbon or nitrogen, yields yearly a rich produce in hoy, among 
the component parts of which, chemistry discovers 46 per cent. 
of carbon and 14 per cent, of nitrogen. The amount of nitro- 
gen in the produce of a meadow of this sort, which receives no 
manure, containing nitrogen, is much larger than that of a 
wheal field, which has been manured in the usual way. For 
centuries, in Hungary, tobacco and wheat are obtained from onn 
and the same field, without the use of manure containing nitro- 
gen. That substance, tlio plants obtained not from the soil, but 
from the air. Every year our beech, chesnut, and oak foresls 
put forth leaves ; the leaves, sap, chesnuts, oak and beech 
acorns, the cocoanut, and the fruit of the bread tree abound ii 
nitrogen, not obtained from the ground. From an acre of 
land, which we plant with mulberry trees, we get, in the form 
of the silkworms and their produce, the nitrogen of the leaves 
on which the worms were fed ; the silk alone contains o 


sr cent, of nilrogen, and this crop is renewed every year with- 
it the necessity of furnishing the soil with nitrogen from 
lanure. In Virginia, on one field so much wheat was raised 
lat the proportion of nilrogen in the grain mighl be estimated 
;, at least, 22 lbs. to the acre. If the nilrogen had come from 
le soil, many ihousand pounds of animal manure would hardly 
ire sufficed to produce this 22 lbs. With the consumption of 
itrogen through the leaves, proceeds also the consumption of 
trbbn, the latter, the proportion of which, in our oriSinary cul- 
tvated fields, exceeds more than thirty and even forty limes the 
oportion of nitrogen, can as little proceed from the ground as 
s nitrogen. When, therefore, in iho case of beets anJ pota- 
ss, we bring into account the carbon and nitrogen, not mere- 
of the roots, but also of the leaves and stems, it appears 
it in these vegetables, with all the carbon and nitrogen con- 
ined in Ibc manure, no gi'eater quantity of these substances 
found than in the grasses and weeds, which are produced 
rithin tbe same space, and which have received for their 
lurisbment no manure at all, but only atmospheric substances, 
id ihe particles of n mineral nature in the soil. 
While from these facts it appears thai these plants imbibe in 
irt, at least, from the atmosphere, the nourishment which they 
quire, which certainly may be aided by the electric agencies 
' the atmosphere, we must nevertheless not overloolc the un- 
loubtedly favorable influence, which the supply of nourishment 
trough the rools, has upon the growth of plants. The con- 
Umption of the carbon of the atmosphere depends entirely on 
!ie superficial size of the leaves. A plant, the superficies of 
4iose leaves is only half as large as that of another and more 
ourishing plant of the same kind, probably imbibes only half 
B much atmospheric carbon as the oilier. The young plant 
rf our fields, if it had to receive its support merely from the 
lir, could lake, in proportion to its small green surface, only 


very small quantity of carbon, and ila growth would be very 
iw, if ii did not, at tlic same lime, receive carbcmic acid fratn 
) more or less richly maDurcd soil. But as, with the aid of 1 
s richer source of nourishment, its superficies is calerged, its 
power also of imbibiog that means of nourishment from the air, 
increases, and thia power it preserves after the supply of car- 
bon through the roots decreases, or ceases altogether. 

Besides the power of the leaves to imbibe nourishmenl, there 
is the power of the soil to do the same, which must not heOTer- 
looked. The c!od, broken up and crumbled by ihe plough aod 
other instruments, allracls ihe gases of the atmosphere 
considerable force, especially the heaviest first, and condenses 
the same ; the nitrogen combines, not only in Ihe atmosphere, 
hut also in the little interstices between the particles of earlhi 
with hydrogen, and by this combination it becomes capable, as 
smmonia, of being taken in an especial degree into the substance 
of plants, and into the circulation of their sap. 

But the carbon, although, in respect of weight, it appears to 
be, as a component part of vegetable bodies, far more consider- 
able than nitrogen, which is much more rare, nevertheless, re- 
ceives its virtue to nourish and unfold vegetable life, onl^ 
through a polaric connection with other substances, > 
come chiefly, not from the air, but from the soil. The produce 
of our meadows may be doubled, by being strewed v 
and gypsum, and by being copiously watered at the same time. 
In a similar way quick-lime has been used as a raaourQ in En- 
gland for a century. AHer October, the fields there may be 
seen to be while, as with fresh fallen snow, covered with slack- 
ened lime, which, during the wet winter months decomposes 
and mingles with the soil. To one unacquainted with the 
effects of this mixture, it can hardly seem otherwise than that 
the caustic lime should act injuriously upon the soil, because it 
destroys that in it, whick hoa eilws.ya been considers 

only means of fruitfuinesa, the mould, composed of organic 
elements, and coQlaining carbon and nitrogen. In direct oppo- 
sition lo this previous auppoaition, the produce of land, to whicli 
lime has been applied, is everywhere increased. How thia 
happens, J. Ltebig has clearly explained in l\\s chemical let- 
ters. All our vegetables, the different kinds of grain, turnips, 
peas, and clover, require for their growth, as already men- 
tioned, besides water and the atmospheric elements, certain 
peculiar substances in the soil, A field, that yields wheat 
plentifully, and peas only scantily, with the same manuring, 
will prove well adapted for turnips, but not for clover or to- 
bacco. The same land, that has borne a good crop of wheat, 
or other grain, for years, will gradually become less productive, 
although furnished with (he same or even a greater quantity of 
manure. The reason is, thai the supply of mineral substances 
in the soil, so far as it is capable of decomposition, is exhaust- 
ed. What these mineral components are, which take such a 
part in (he nature of certain plants, may be ascertained by a 
chemical examination of the ashes lefl aller burning these 
plants. It is thus discovered that the different kinds of grain 
are composed in part of silicic acid (silica,) and that besides 
this acid, in lis easily soluble combinations with the alkaline 
earth, lime for example, various salts form essential parts in 
the structure of many of our grains. Some kinds of sUicioua 
soils are more readily decomposed by (he influence of the air, 
and the rain, and of mineral substances, in their vicinity, than 
others. In some parts of Hungary there has boon sown, 
since the memory of man, one year wheat, and another to- 
bacco, without any diminution of the crop. The granite of 
Corsica crumbles to powder, many kinds of sand-stones are 
while other rocks of the same kind, exposed lo 
influences, remain solid and unwasted. Wherever 
I c^composition of the silicious parla of itw 9o\V,mA 'Jwaa l 

ComUination with alkalies, tlius fitting ihem to nourish vegeta- 
tion, goes on sleadily bul slowly, it is necessary that ibe land, 
berore being used Tor grain, should lie fallow from lime to time, 
or be planied alternately with potatoes and turnips, which do 
not lake from the soil a particle of the silicious matter, but 
render a supply of the same possible for the next year. But 
Ihe generation of such a supply may be cSecIcd without HiesB 
mean.i, if human art comes in aid of Hie decomposition which 
is going on. Thus the heavy, clayey soils, contain &n abun- 
dance of silicious and alkaline substances, and yet the beds of 
potter's clay are very unfavorable to many plants, because 
those mineral substances are in a state not adapted lo vegeta- 
tion. By burning tfae clay into bricks this state is changed; 
the burnt clay is, in contact with the air, exposed to a oonliau- 
ous decomposition, by which salts, formed from the alkalies, 
and carbonic or sulphuric acids, appear on the surface of the 
burnt clay, and are highly favorable to vegetable growth. A 
decomposition of this sort shows itself chiefly in those parts of 
walls, where lime, as morlar, comes in contact with bricks, and 
this indicates the advantageous effect which the mixing of lime 
with a clayey soil has upon the decomposition of the latter. 
A man, whose merits are equally great in science and in civil 
affairs, because in all his profound scientific inquiries, be 
never loses sight of utility, the ceiebraled chemist, ^itchs, 
of Munich, hag discovered that a solution of potter's clay or 
pipe-clay, when mingled with milk of lime, is immediately 
converted into a thick fluid, and that after some time Ihe alkalis 
mingied with the clay are disengaged, and the clay itself pos- 
sesses the power to form a gelatinous substance in union with 
acids. The same thing which the silicious particles, frequently 
found in clay, undergo, happens to Ihem, when, in the mode of 
entioned above, employed in England, the slack- 
imo remains a longer Vime \a tnwact with the 


silica of ihe soil. There goes an a tlecom position which Is 
aided by the lireaking up of tiie earlh by the plough and olhcr 
inslrumeals; the dec omposi lion of such kiniJs of stones as 
conlain silica aod alkalis is accelerated, and thus, just as hy 
strewiog ashes on the land, the necessary supply of mineral 
substances is afforded for vegetable growih. But the transmis- 
sion of ihtise substaocea into the bodies of plants, is rendered 
passible only by Ihe water contained in the damp soil. From 
the surface of leaves the evaporation of water goes on without 
ceasing ; the greater the heat is, tho stronger and more rapid is 
the evaporation, while at the same time the root-fibres work 
like suction pumps, into whidi there rises from the damp soil 
as much water as suffices to fill the vacuum caused by the 
evaporalioo.* In the water that rises from the ground mineral 
substances exist in a state of solution. They are not evapo- 
rated, but they remain in the plant as component parts of its 
substance. When with these mineral substances, the substance 
of organized manure is taken up in a stale of solution, and 
contributed to the plant, the growth of the latter is, of course, 
still further accelerated. 

From the account here given of the process of vegetable 
growth, it appeors probable that the electric fiuid must act 
beneficially upon plants. The variety of their nourishment, 
coming also, as it docs from the earlh and the air, must be the 
basis of a polarjc opposition, necessary to vital activity, upon 
which electricity cannot be without iailuence. 


Among nil material bodies, llio metals, as a general rule, a 
llie most efficient as conductors of electricity, heat and mag- 

• The n'l'iv enlcitainei] by Licliig, liul nul WcW cAayixivvii. 


netlsm. Id llieir pure state, they are impenetrable to the lighfi 
and if not completely opaque, as gold sometimes, for exam- 
ple, when beaten into very thin leaves, yet at the same time, 
Ibey arc, of all bodies, the most capable of reHecling ligbt, for 
the mirror-like, smooth surface of polished metals reflects the 
sun's light in almost its full strength. The relation which they 
sustain to light, and also to electricity, is considered as author- 
izing us to regard the metals as mere receivers, not as genera- 
tors of the electric fluid, and here is based the division of bodies 
iDto electrics and conduclars. The discoveries in the depart- 
ment of Galvanism have, in this connection, formed the basis 
of another system or view, and led lo large coaclusiona re- 
spcciing the importance and influence of the melals among 
material bodies. 

When two polished metal plates, one perhaps of zinc, the 
oilier of copper, each fastened lo a rod of sealing wax, or pro- 
vided with some other insulating handle, are brought together, 
upon being separated, one plate (the zinc) is found to be posi- 
tively, the copper, negatively, electric. The electricity, gene- 
rated thus by mere contact,* may be, like that which is pro- 
duced in glass by friction, communicated to an insulated metal 
plate, and there increased lo a very great strength. Two plates 
of the same metal, when brought into contact, take no electric 
condition, but if, of two zinc plates, exactly alike, one is rubbed 
by a silver plate, or placed for some lime in contact with it, 
then this zinc-plate becomes susceptible of an electric slate in 
relation to the other zinc-plalc, to which, after contact with il, 
it takes a negative relation. 

The electric action which is produced in two metals, or other 
substances, by mere contact, presents, however, a peculiflr 

* It is nutv cDii)ii[J?rcJ Uiat nteiE contoct ia not cnnugb, h\ 
icaJ action must take ;ilncc, in oiilei loi\5ivit'o>.'nBE\ciA™B!i«i 


haracler, by which il is essenlially disliaguishcd from com- 
aon electricily produced by friclioo. When a plale of zinc is 
aid by itself iu diluted sulphuric acid, the decomposition of the 
valor immediately commences. For the metal in its chemical 
■elalion to the acid, attracts the oxygen of the water, in order, 
n Ihe form of the osyde produced thereby, to combine with the 
iulphuric acid. Thiia the hydrogen is disengaged, and rises 
n innumerable bubbles in the lluid, and the surface of the plate 
s dissolved in the same measure. But this ordinary process 
lakes place very differently, when, with the zinc plate, a copper 
plate also is put into the acid, and both metals are directly, or 
by a conducting wire, brought into contact. In this case also 
Ihe zinc is dissolved in the acid, tho water is decomposed, but 
the bubbles of hydrogen appear no longer, as before, on the 
zinc, but on the surface of the copper plate, from which, as 
ordinarily from ibe zinc, they disengage themselves and rise. 
The potaric activity of the two metala may be considerably 
increased, by piling up between rods of glass or wood, as in 
the pile, invented by, and named after, Volta, a great number 
of round or four-Gornered plates in alternation with pieces of 
clolh moistened in salt water, or q solution of sal ammoniac, or 
in water, aligiilly acidulated with sulphuric acid, in such a 
manner that first comes a copper plale, then a zinc plale, ihen 
a damp cloth, and so on, in a threefold order of copper, zinc, 
and damp clolh. To the uppermost zinc and the lowermost 
copper, a wire is allached. The upper zinc end manifests posi- 
tive electricity, Ihe degree of which is in direct proportion to 
iho size and number of the plates, the lower copper exhibits 
negative electricity ; and every plate nearest to the bottom 
becomes negative to ihe plates which are nearest to the top, 
which, on the other hand, are positive. When the wire or polo 
of one end of the pile is brought into contact with the oute,i 
:, and the wire or pole of the olhet eni mfc vV-a w 


coatirg of q Leyden jar, a very strong charge of electricity 
mny be communicated to a pretty powerful ballery, such a 
charge as could he generated perhaps by a certain number of 
revolutions of the largest glass disks of our electrical uiachiDC!'. 
Thus it is apparent that the electricity, produced by the contncl 
of metals, polarically apposed, is essentially accordant witb 
that which is produced by friction. 

A more convenicnl and more powerful contrivance is that of 
the so-called trough -apparatus, in which the acid is poured into 
a small vessel, made of sheet copper, and in this vessel, the 
zinc plates are so arranged that they are separated from the 
bottom and sides of the little vessel, and come nowhere in 
contact with the copper. From the copper and the zinc pro- 
ceed wires, which eshibil polaric phennmenn, just like the wires 
at the ends of a voltaic pile, com])csed as above described, and 
several such vessels or troughs, bo connected that the wire of 
the zinc plates is always in contact with the copper, generate a 
very high degree of electric force. 

That phenomenon, which we mentioned in describing the 
simple experiment, which consists in pulling a plate of zinc and 
a plate of copper in diluted sulphuric acid, is presented, in a 
much more striking manner, by the voltaic pile, or any othet 
contrivance of equal power. The zinc is decomposed in the 
liquid, and the water is resolved into its two elements, but in 
such a way that the oxygen is attracted by the positive pole, 
the zinc, and the hydrogen by the negative, the copper. Or, 
in other words, the negative pole, which, in the action of the 
pile in relation to the positive pole, represents the oxygen, calls 
forth in the water its natural opposite, i. e. the hydrogen; but 
the olher pole, which represents, by its chemical character, the 
hydrogen, occasions, by its polaric action, a disengagement of 
oxygen from the water, in combination with which that action 
may be equalised and neMltoWaeft. T\i& ripmslw^ dt ^^^^ 


disengaged at one pole amounts lo exactly as much as ihe hy- 
drogen ihat at the other pole would require, ia order, in union 
thcrenitli, again lo become water. 

That this is so, may be most readily ascertained by causing 
the poles of a pile, such as has been described, to terminate in 
platinum wire, because this metal enters into no combination 
with the oxygen that is disengaged. From the platinum wire, 
which is connected with the negative (copper) end of the pile, 
bubbles rise into a vessel filled with water, just as from the 
other, which proceeds from the positive (zinc) end. The 
bubbles at the latter, when collected, amount to one measure of 
pure oxygen, those at the negative (copper) pole lo two mea- 
sures of pure hydrogen, or, according lo weight, iho former to 
88,94, the latter to 11,06 per cent,, accordingly, lo just ao 
much of bolh gases as arc required to effect their transforraa- 
into water by the electric spark, 
jThis power of the Voltaic pile so lo decompose not only 
but all bodies that arc composed of several substances, 
which oxygen is one, or some substance corresponding in its 
lical relations lo oxygen, the other being hydrogen, or if a 
;rent substance, also similar to hydrogen in its chemical 
relations, as the metals, for instance, — provided bodies so com- 
posed are in a stale of solution, — the power, I say, of the voltaic 
3 decompose them that (he oxygenous element is disen- 
the positive pole, and the element polarically opposed 
,Ihe oxygen ot the oilier, has led to those great discoveries 
rred to in-ch. 18, Muriatic acid is separated into chlorine 
hydrogen, the alkalis or alkaline earths into oxygon and 
ir metallic bases, which were previously unknown. 
A phenomenon, which lirst attracted the attention of the 
lirer into the nature of this form of electricity which wo 
considering, ia the influence which Ihe contact of two 
rlcally opposed metals has upon ll\e imTViiB ol 


body. Tliis peculiarity was discovered in the year 1789, hj 
Galuani, professor of snulomy in Padua, nod thus electricity, 
produced liy the contact of metals, received from him the name 
of Galvanism. When a copj«r liook, which was inserted iolo 
the body of a frog just killed, camo in contact with the iron 
nail upon which ihe frog was hung, a contraction of the mus. 
cles was perceived, a strong spasmodic action, and these spasms 
wore repealed as often as the contact of the metals was repealed, 
until with the cntiro death of Ihe limb, its cxci lability ceased. 
The convulsions were the strongest when one of (he melals 
was applied to !he nerves, the other to the muscles, or to the 
extremity of the limb opposite (ho nerves, and the two metals 
were put in connection by a good electrical conductor, a metal 
wire, for instance. The effect did not cease when the exciting 
influence of the metallic contact was kept at some distance from 
ihe nerve; and the Voltaic pile, as well as Ihe single plate, pro- 
duced the phenomenon also on such limbs and parts of the 
animal, where the nerves were not laid bare, but lying deep 
below tho flesh i and most strikingly, when the surface of the 
part selected for the experiment was moistened. Through Iho 
Ko-called Galvanic influence of metallic pelarily every nerve is 
excited to the peculiar action, for which it is designed in the 
living body: the nerve of feeling to sensations corresponding to 
its ordinary function, the nerve of motion to the activity of the 
muscles. If one pole of the column is brought into contact 
with the forehead, and the other with the hand, a flash of light 
is perceived before the eyes, while the Rogers are efiected spas- 
modically; upon the tongue, the positive pole produces an acid 
taste, the negative an alkaline; also in the ear & tone is per- 
ceptible through the galvanic influence, which is higher or 
lower, according lo the difference of the two poles. The body 
of a slaughtered animal falls into convulsions, reseftibliog those 
observed in violent fits of epilepsy ; and by experiments on Ihe 


body of an exccuieJ criminal, Jl was found ihat all ihe nerves, 
ihoao by which breathing is aSecled, were set in'aclion 
Ihrough the electric stream of a Vollaic ballery some lime aller 
ilealh, for a corpse, on which iho experiment was made, began 
lo breathe anew. Tbia appearance of restored liTe, how- 
teer, vaniahea with the d'xay of the nerves, in the case of man 
KD<1 other warm blooded animals, in one or a few hours aller 
death; while it lasts longer in animals of cold blood. liven 
trbeo the excitability seems lo be wholly gone, it may be re- 
newed for a time by the application of adds or alkalis. 

In the way in which the electricity of the voltaic pile acta 
||[Km animal life, it was at 6rst supposed that there was reason 
consider Galvanism as essentially diHerent from common 
qleclricily. The difference of the <wo, however, consists in the 
■X that the electricity of [he voltaic pile 19 continually equal- 
ised and renewed, — il is in a constant alternation of dying 
LWay and again reviving; while the eloctricily, which is pro- 
luced by friction, increases in one body to a certain slrengih 
ud then is suddenly discharged into another body, which is 
n the opposite electric state. The former is more like the 
itiuiel light of a burning lamp, the other like tiie ignition of a 
body which is suddenly consumed. 

That that quiet burning is essentially of a nature not less 

j^werful than that of the lightning, which suddenly breaks 

(brth, is evident from the property of generating light and heal, 

^ which the galvano-eleclric current is distinguished. Cy 

teans of a simple I rough-apparatus, such as has been des- 

rihed, in which only one zinc plate and only one cnpper vessel 

lied with acid, are used for the experiment, a fine platinum 

ire, through which the electric current passes, may be made 

)d hoi, and even be melted. In a pile which consisted of 20 

juble plates of 6 feet long and 2^ 

1 inch thick, and IB inches long, i 

25 feet broad, a wire U'ffth of j 
long, of plalinum, a mntal ex- I 


iremciy linrd to be melted iu an ordinary fire, became »o white 
hot that the eye could hardly bear it, and the wire was fused. 
In the glowing heat of such an electric current even Indium 
was melted, Tlie heat produced depends, however, not on 
strength of the pile alone, but as much on the quality of the 
conducting wires. A silver wire allows the current to ] 
through it without becoming heated, but it instantly grows hot 
when it is composed alternately of platinum and silver. 
Iween the currents of a strong voltaic battery, (there is one in 
England which consists of 3,000 double plates of 32 square 
inches in superficies,) charcoal became so intensely bright that 
it dazzled the eye; and when (he gradual discharge took place 
ihroui^h two pieces of charcoal several inches apart, both 
became glowing hot, and an arc of light was formed between 
Ihem, BO hot that all fusible bodies were melted in it, olbcrs, 
6Ucli as (juarz, lime, and even sap;)hire, evaporated. 

The phenomena of light and heat in the current of the 
Voltaic pile differ, moreover, from those which accompany the 
discharge of a high degree of electricity, generated by friclicn, 
in the fact that the galvanic sparks are a great deal shorter 
and narrower. The sparks produced by the huge voltaic pile, 
which was just referred to, in England, were only ^ih of an 
inch in length, and were exceeded almost a hundred fold by 
the spark of the great electrical machine of Van Marum: the 
power of which, in breaking in pieces vessels and other bodies, 
is estimated at 9,940 lbs. 


Who of us that has seen and admired the works of our cele- 
brated masters in engraving, in lithography, and their kindred 
branches, has not wished that he too might do something for 


'art? Many a one who haa busitd himself wilh the study and 
description of natural objects, and ia of course familiaf with 
drawings, has probably attempted, not merely to draw the 
object of his aludy upon paper, but also to etch his drawing 
with his own hand on copper or steel, because it could hardly 
be done with sufficienl exactness by any one wiio had not 
studied the subject with the same interest. But such attempts 
have succeeded only in a few instances, and that has been 
when the votaries of science were artists also, as was the case 
in the last century of the admirable Mdsel von Rosenhojf, in 
Nuremberg, and of bia ingenious successor, J. Sturm: or to 
refer to another instance, dislinguisiied for early talent and 
iadustry, the excellent observer and comparative anatomist, 
I'rof. Michael Erdl, in Munich. The work of engraving on 
copper or steel, of cutting in stonc,Dnd preparing dies for coins 
and medals, ia one of the most laborious offices of art, aad the 
tools of the engraver or the lapidary must make many iboiN 
sands of lines and incisions in order to bring a single specimen 
10 perfection. 

In our days, when in all departments, the object is to accom- 
plish the greatest ends in the shortest possible time, and with 
the cheapest means, a variety of ways has been come al, by 
which Art is at least divested of much of its former labor. 
- Among these is the invention of the Daguerreotype, by which, 
■Ijlhout pencil or brush, light becomes the artist, and completes 
Bk&b the greatest esaciiiude, and with extraordinary celerity, 
a representation of any object which is placed in the right 

When the Bedouins, under whose guidance travelers tra- 
verse Arabia, and other regions of the East, are asked concern- 
ing the ruins which are the remnants of former limes, rrom 
whom they had their origin, the reply is, if they ore not afraid 
to speak lo the enlightened European : " The Dsciieni (Genii) 

3GG Minaoii OP nature. 

built them in old time." The iuhabitaot of the E^ast hdds 
firmly to (he belief that there is a world or spirils sufroonding 
man, with which, wlien be uDderstands magic, 
into alliance, and by the aid of whicb he is able to aehiere 
things wonderful and superhuman. The natural philosophy 
of our days has, by natural methods, practised this magic. 
has drawn the laws and forces of nature into its alliance] and 
by their help, it has achieved miracles. Among these n 
forces is that of steam, which Hfls and carries burthens for 
hundreds of thousands of humaa hands, and for many thou- 
sands of horses; hammers iron, priots books, spins thread, 
and performs a hundred other odices. Electricity and electro- 
magoelbm, render to him who knows how to use them, s 
no less wonderful. For instance, by means of a mere galvanic 
stream, without any thing else but a certain mixture of acids, 
copper plates, die-alamps, medals, and other similar things, o 
the work of gilding, may be most successfully imitated. Wi 
propose here to offer a remark or two respecting this singular 
art, which has been brought to a high degree of periectionbj 
Jacobi, and still more ao by F. V. Kobd. 

In ch. 17, we mentioned an apparent conversion of oneiwul 
into another, iron into copper. What we ore i 
is similar to that process, both in ita nature and even la lis out- 
ward apj>earance. 

If any vessel be divided into two comparlmenla by a poroui 
partition, such as bladder, or a piece of unglazed porcelain, 
known as biscuit, and zinc and sulphuric acid be placed ti 
and a sheet of copper and blue vitriol in the other, the hydro- 
gen which is disengaged does not rise as gas in bubbles, but 
immediately passes through the porous partition, and combinM 
with the osygen of the osyde of copper, which is contained ia 
the blue vitriol, and forms water, and the copper, restored to 
its pure metallic stale, is deposited on the copper plate. When 



the coaling forma not too rapidly, but under the influence of a 
moderate electric current, the minute particles of copper form a 
thick and uniform mass, and attach theraselvea so firmly and 
regularly to all the elevations and depressions of the plate, 
that when the surface, to which the copper thus formed adheres, 
is esamined, the finest marks on that surface are found to be 
exactly copied, and impressed on the copper. It is cot neces- 
sary that the plate should always be copper, any substance will 
serve the purpose, if it only stands in polaric opposition to the 
zinc. Hence coins or medals of gold and silver, as well as 
copper or steel plates, may be used with equal success, and 
impressions may be thus taken from them perfectly faithful to 
the smallest particular. It is not even necessary to use the 
"'Original coins or medals, impressions of medals, taken in a 
c mixture, composed 8 parts of bismuth, 8 of lead, and 3 
or impressions in plaster of Paris, or was, or other non- 
letallic bodies, first furnished with a thin coating of graphite, 

e as good for the purpose as the originals themselves. The 
Ipper solution is best adapted to this galvano-plaslic art, 

:»use it allows the coating of copper to be so readily re- 


In Iho same way, in which any given substance is, by means 
of electrical influence, coaled with copper, silver, brass, or steel 
may be gilt or plated with platinum, by mixing a proportion- 
ally very small quantity of these metals combined wilh chlo- 
(chloride of gold and chloride of platinum,} in water, in 
which common salt has been dissolved, or a solution of cyanide 
of potassium. The body, which is to he gilt or plated wilh 
platinum, is dipped several limes into the liquid, and thus put 
in connection with the copper pole of the galvanic apparatus. 
After being kept a while each lime in the liquid, it is lakcn out, 
dried, and the cjuanlily perhaps of silver used for the purpose 
iji observed to have received n new coaling, precisely of 

ase I 


appearance ol'gold; a piece of steel, thus treated, becomes 
just like platinum, except in weight. - In this way, by me 
of this galvano-plastic art, copper or iron vessels may be coal- 
ed with tin or zinc. When we consider the great trouble aad 
unhealthy influence to which gilders are subjected, who have 
to spread a cotnbiaation of gold and quicksilver (gold amal^ 
gam) over the body to be gilt, and then evaporate the quick- 
silver by heat, so that the gold may remain in full purity, we 
cannot but wish that this process of the electrotype may come 
into extensive use. 

Other remarkable formations have also been produced in a 
similar way, by electricity. Thus, when the ziac-pole termin- 
ates in a point, and a metal disk, of silver, for instauci 
attached to the copper pole, and both poles are put in a fluid 
mixture of acetate of copper and saltpetre, the metai, separated 
from the mixture, is very soon deposited, by means of a weali 
electric current, in regular and beautiful concentric rings tipoii 
the metal plate. 

When a very weak electric current passes by a fine wire 
into a solution, which is to be decomposed, it often happens 
that the substance, which is separated from the solution, takes 
a perfectly regular (cryslalline) form. In this way many sub- 
stances have been crystallised, wliich could not be brought to 
a stale of crystallization under any other conditions. 

We retUL'n once more to the first mentioned use of galva 
plastic, namely, to multiply copper-plate engravings, medals, 
&c. What is represented on the original plate or medal in 
basso relievo, is first obtained in a sunken form, from which, 
on impression may be taken corresponding exactly to the ori- 
ginal. Even manuscripts may in the same way be taken off 
upon a copper-plate with great esaclness, and improasions of 
the same, in great quantity, be multiplied, by simply wnahmg 
I over the letters with some substance, which the weak acid of 

the fluid does not attack, aod printing off by a press, the wri- 
dog upon a copper-plate, which is put in connection with the 
positive pole of the electric stream, by means of which the 
Oopper round the letters is dissolved, and the letters are lefl 
jatsed. This process is still more successful with printed 
books, because the blackness of the letters is more easily and 
ffircclly transferred by the press to the copper-plate. 

From what has been said, it may he seen what the electro- 
type can and cannot do. Art, properly so-called, the creative 
power of the human spirit, must first, however, prepare the 
sbanuel in which the electric current is to flow, that it may 
los, by the will of man, who has drawn into his alliance a 
jwer wonderful indeed, but not rational, follow its clearly de- 
ned path. Thus a rivalry may easily take place between 
lose natural forces, which we have taken into our service, 
■d such works of the huunan hands as are simply of a me- 
^nical kind, like spinning and weaving, or the laying of 
!s, one upon another; but where material nature enters 
the lists with the spirit that is in man, it soon becomes 
i^iarent which is master, and which the nimble and devoted 
rvant. ^^ 


In our consideration of the world of matter, we have several 
bnes made mention of the nerves of animals, and of man, 
id it will be necessary to allude to them yet again, in the nest 
lowing chapter. It seems to be required, therefore, that we 
ould say something respecting the nerves, as well as con- 
roing the structure and action of our electric and magnetic 

A long lime elapsed before the inquirer into nature, and espe- 
illy the physician, who occupies himself with the study of 


the intorior siruciure of the human body, arrived at the know- 
ledge lliat it is not the flesh that possesses the power of feeling 
and voluntary mullon, but that this power resides in the little 
whitish fibres {called oerves) which, on account of iheir deli- 
cacy aod fineness are so difficult to be distinguished in the mass 
of the Qesh, the skin and the intestines, that they are often 
wholly overlooked. The probability, therefore, was that the 
muscles (the flesh) felt any wounds that were inSicIed, and so 
ttie opinion prevailed that the seal of feeling was the Sesh, 
while the hair, and nails, and exterior skin, had no feeling. 

Dut further study taught that, when the soil, tender branchei 
of the nerves of a limb are divided, or lied up, ihs muscle be- 
comes as destitute of feeling ns the nnils or esterior skin. A 
limb, the nerves of which are injured, or deprived of tbeir 
functions by violent means, may be cut and pierced or burned 
or crushed, without feeling it, and it is then no longer able to 
obey the will. The palsied man can no longer use his hands 
or his feet in iheir accustomed offices, he can neither clutch 
nor walk, however willingly he would do so. If the injury 
has affected the optic nerve within the eye, His sight U lost, 
and midday is as midnight. 

And yet such a lamed limb often preserves outwardly a 
sound appearance, [n the eye, when affected by amaurosis, 
noihing unusual is observable. In the palsied limb the blood 
in most cases still circulates and flows from the wound, to the 
pain of which it is insensible : not the mass of ihe limb, but 
only a very small part of it is affected, the thread of the nerve, 
and yet its chief function is lost. 

And hero we are reminded of the great power which, as we 

have already said, belongs to the small, to the minute. And 

not only the nerve, but the whole body of an animal or a, man, 

in its internal structure, points us to the power of many 

. >f united to a common end. When we examine a drop 

KCltVES. 371 

f blood ihfough a nucroscope, wo discern a counllesa mulli- 
ludd of liltle, bean-shapod corpusciila which swim in Ihe water 
of the blood. They are so small, thiit 5 or 6 when placed 
lengthwise, and 20 or 30, when placed side by side, equal the 
thickneaa of a human hair. The diameter of these Utile par- 
ticles varies from -^\j; to ^j'ijj- of an inch, the thickness of n 
hair equals the jJ-5 part of an inch. Every one of these Utile 
blood. globules cotisista of an almost crystal clear bodyj sur- 
rounded by a red coloring substance, hke an atmosphere, and 
composed, in part, of iron, united with a combustible element. 
Thu red envelope alone gives to Ihe blood its red color, for in 
ihe fluid in which these minute particles float, similar particles 
are discernible, which want the red colored atmosphere. Thus 
we discern in Ihe blood of the living animal a collection of 
■ minute individuals, millions of which, in their constant, living 
rtion, serve the work of forming and nourishing the whole 

The muscles, or animal flesh, is of a composition the charac- 
f of which is more apparent than that of the blood. With 
imon knife, flesh may be cut into filaments or fibres, 
Irhich are connected together by a delicate membrane. But 
> are far from having completed the dissection of a muscle, 
b this way. Pursuing the examination further by the aid of the 
bicrascope, we come to the original, ultimate rudiments of the 
mposition of fleah, filaments, the thickness of which scarcely 
|OdIs the 401h part of the thickness of a human hair. And 
[ is these, minute delicate fibres, of which many millions 
Hist conspire, to effect the movement of a finger, that achieve 
II those wonderful and powerful motions, by which the invisible 
e or soul manifests itself Like the exciting stroke of the 
sctric fluid, the nerve operates in the fleshy muscle, and those 
Ibres, invisible to the naked eye, acting in the zig zag, or ser- 
mtine direction of the lightning, contract and work with a 


power, which far exceeds the mechanical force of huge n 
of matter. How small, in coraparisoa with the whole huinaii 
body, are the muscles of the jaw, and yet with these w 
crack a nut with a force, much exceediog the dead w^ght of 
the whole body. 

Again, another curious method of composition by taa 
minute particles ia observable in the nerves. The nerrea are 
iiot, like the muscles, compOBed of little fibres, but of miaute 
lubes filled with a fluid, oily substance, and runmog from the 
brain or spine to that part of the body, where their service is 
appointed. Si?i of these tubes, ranged in a row, are only eqaa! 
to (he thickness of a fine hair ; their diameter amounting onl; 
to the SOOOlh of an ioch. When one of the msia branches of 
the nerves is divided into its separate and smaller branches, it 
is found that an arrangement exists, diflbrent from that fouad 
in the case of (he veins and blood vessels, where from a branch 
of larger diameter, a branch of less diameter proceeds. In tiie 
ease of the nerves, the little tubes, of which their branches 
each composed, are separated at the branching point, and a cer- 
tain number of them, greater or less, unite to form a branch, 
until, at last, at the final and finest sub-division, only a fen of 
these tubes are found combined, of which every single one 
finds at a determinate point, the end of its course, unless that 
opinion is confirmed, which supposes that most of these little 
tubes of the complete nerves return to their point of departute, 
thus indicating a double arrangement of the nerves, for the pro- 
duction both of muscular motion and sensation. In this course 
through the parts of the body, the several tubes of the nervefi 
suffer no perceptible change^ each remains the same in form, 
that it was in connection with the branch in which it originated. 
On the other hand, in the mass of the brain and the spine, 
where all the nerves, (12 pair in the brain, 30 in the spine) 
directly or indirectly, take their beginning and their end, Iheie 


are found, liere and thero, bladder-like enlargemenls, nnd olher 
rorms of liltle vessels, partly filled with roundish, half fluid 
corpuHclca. We have already mentioned the elements, of 
which the brain is composed. Among these elements, phos- 
phorus and sulphur may be of esEential importance ; but what 
gives to the web of the nerves, composed of myraids of little 
tubes, and of which the brain is made up, and to these delicate 
bladdor-like vessels, which are scattered through this web, and 
into which a part of these tubes are enlarged — what gives them 
ihe power lo communicate the impressions of the outward 
world, received through the senses, to the mind in the form of 
sensation and perception, and lo carry to all the members of 
the body the decisions of ihe will, — that is not discoverable by 
the structure of the nerves and muscles, nor can it be con- 
jectured by means of chemical combination. All that wc 
can say at this point is, that a. polaric opposition, with its 
ceaseless alternation, lies at the basis of these man i festal ions of 
life. The unmoved nerve and the moved muscle form an 
opposition of this sort, the nerve occupying the place of the 
higher, (of a creating and moving power.) In visible magni- 
tude ihe muscle excels the thread of the nerve very greatly, 
indeed, the manner, in which the end of the nerve is connected 
with the muscle, is in many cases wholly withdrawn from our 
senses. Yet more does the moving of the muscle, which, of 
course, proceeds out of the nerve, where it is invisible, become 
an invisible process in the nerve, just as the incitement lo 
bodily perception and sensation withdraws itself from our sen- 
Bitous cognisance by retiring into the nerve. Finally, all visible 
motion and form, all the intercourse of the body with (he ma- 
terial world, haa its beginning and its end in a somewhat, not 
only the working of which, as it goes on in the nerves, but the 
swence of which is not within the grasp of our understanding, 
fc'ts beyond the sphere of our knowledge. It is in the soul, 

(or spirit,) which prec«ded ihe visible body, and wiU oontinuo 
to be, when tlic body is dissolred, because to it, a reat, neces- 
sary existence belongs, in comparison with which, the cxisleace 
or the body, without the guiding and determining influence or 
the Boul, is but a shade. 


Not only the metals and other solid bodies, but even very 
many liquids, when they come in contact with one another, or 
with solid bodies, show electric action. That even the action of 
the living nerve is related very nearly lo the agency of an 
electrical polarisation, appears Trom the phenomena which have 
been mentioned, and which show that Ihe galvanic fluid, fikc 
the living nerve, produces motion and sensation. This ia ap- 
parent, however, much more strikingly in the case of certain 
fishes, that possess the power of communicating at will, electric 
shocks, more or less strong, to men and animals and other 
bodies. This electricity, proceeding from a living animal body, 
like common electricity, can be used to charge a Lcyden jar, 
to give forth a spark, presenting all the appearances produced 
by our artificial electrical machines. 

One of the most widely known electrical flshes is the torpedo 
or cramp-fish, which is found in the Mediterranean, in the 
North Sea, the British Channel, in the Atlantic and Indian 
Ocean, a singular animal, whose body has nearly Ihe shape of 
a fiddle, and the soft flesh of which ia no very agreeable dish. 
The ancients were acquainted with the power of this animal, 
by which it so benumbs fishes and other sea animals, that they 
become incapable of moving for some time, — a power employ- 
ed partly in self-defence, and partly to secure prey. When 
this animal is touched by the hand, an electric discharge is felt 
'hrough the whole arm, producing a tremor and Ihroblnng, and 


f (wme limes also a sudden shock like that of ihe Leyden jar. 
Thia effect, however, is not always felt upon coDtact; it evi- 
dently depends on the will of tho animal, whether it will use 
this weapon or not, and only when it is excited, does it mani- 
est its power. The electric action, of which this fish is capa- 
evidenlly a compensation for a defect under which ita 
fuffers in comparison with other fishes of the same ape- 
Bs. Its soft body is not protected by a strong skin, or by 
i hard projections and apcars, with which the surface of 
3sl fishes of the same kind is protected. Its movement in 
B water is rendered diificult by iho weakness and shortness of 
a breast-fins. The cramp. fish is no active swimmer ; it com- 
Km\j lies in the sand or mud at the bottom. But its deficien- 
1 in these respects are supplied by its peculiar physical 
Ipwer ; by which it palsies, in the midst of their rapid course, 
viftest of its fellow-inhabitants of the sea, when they do 
xcel il loo much in size. This faculty depends upon a 
sculiar arrangement in ihe interior of its body. Just in the 
forepart of the body, near the neck, there lies on both sides, 
under [he skinny exterior, a quantity of 4 lo 6 cornered cells 
oboul 1200 in mitnber, filled with a mixture of gelatine and 
albumen. Strong branches of nerves arc spread among thcso 
cells, which resemble honey-comb ; and it is these nerves, by 
' which, the animal sends forth from the brain an 
illuencc into the solid and fiuid parts of the cells, 
L The most powerful among the electrical fishes, (hos far 
nowD, ia tho electric eel, (gymnotus electricus,) found abun- 
kally in the streams and standing waters of South America. 
) powerful animal sometimes reaches the length of a man, 
1 the thickness of a strong man's arm. As much as it 
sembles the common eel in other respects, it differs apparently 
ft its own great disadvantage, in being very obviously marked 
rith one defect : the long dorsal fin ia wanting in lliia animal. 



and at iho same time oil those little muscles by which that fin is 
moved are wanting also, This curious animal is deGcient also 
in a body, the tail being the chief part of its length. Yet theae 
defects are supplied by a faculty which it possesses, sad which 
ia more powerful than fios or muscles. Down the back and on 
both aides are found a countless muUilude of hllle, irregular 
cells, which are formed by the sinewy skin running horizon- 
tally and cutting ihem perpendicularly; tliese cells are filled 
with a thick gelatinous substance. Considerable branches of 
nerves are spread among these cells. It is this peculiar struc- 
ture, with which the great swimming bladders of the animal 
are happily adjusted, that gives it Iliat strong electric power 
which makes it a terror to man and other auimals. The inha- 
bitants of those countries, [he swamps and pools of which 
abound with the electrical eel, dread the mysterious power of 
this fish so much, that they will scarcely venture, even for a 
large reward, to attempt to catch it, and when they undertake 
the enterprise, they go to work with the greatest caution. 
Their fear is not groundless. Powerful horses fall paralysed, 
when they pass through water which the electric eel inhabits. 
This formidable animal places itself with its bock under the 
body of the beast of burden as it swims or wades through the 
water, and gives out so powerful an electric shock that the 
beast either sinks motionless in the water and is drowned, or, 
if it reaches the land, stretches itself benumbed on the ground 
aad recovers its strength only slowly. Men swimming have 
been destroyed in this way. [t often happens, therefore, that 
in those countries, where the electrical eel ia found, and where 
there are no artificial roads and only here and there a bridge, 
the traveler is compelled to make a circuit, to avoid guiding his 
mules ond horses through liie water. For on such occasions, 
these animals with their burthens, and oAentimes with their 
riders, have been thrown down, as the electric eel, even when 

\ undisturbed, assaults dl aoiinals that enter its ivalcrs. Aa a 
venomous snake, however, by repeated biting, e.\hausts its 
venom so much, that it becomes almost harmless, the electric 
eel, likewise, by several discharges of its battery, becomes so 
jiveak that one may lake him without any fear of his strokes. 
.On this account, therefore, when Europeans wish to amuse 
,Uiemselvcs with catching these animals, they drive a number 
pf wild horses, which may be obtained at a very cheap rate, 
into the water, that the eels may exhaust their power upon 
. Ibem. But even when the (ish has become so weak that be 
. swims with his body half out of the water, avoiding contact 
with the horses and seeking the vicinity of the shore, it is not 
wholly deprived of its electric influence. Europeans, unskilled 
in the hunt, by seizing the little harpoons which have been 
burled at the eels, and which remain sticking in the prey, have 
experienced a shock, exceeding that of the most powerful Ley- 
den jar. 

The effect of the shock of the eel is, as observers report, 
very dilferent in diilerent cases. Jt depends much upon tho 
size and condition of the tish. When the animal is exhausted 
in a great degree, then its contact excites only a tremor in the 
nerves of the arm to the elbow, and a aimiiar vibratory sensa- 
tion has been frequently remarked as an eflect, produced by the 
cramp-fish. When, on tho other hand, the animal is largC and 
fresh, then is the stroke which it communicates to the feet or 
hands that touch it, so severe through all the limbs and parts 
of the body, that the individual thus affected, can hardly hold 
himself up, and for days afterwards he suffers from weakness 
and pain in his limbs, numbness in the head, and a feeling of 
geiteral discomfort. When a net is used in catching the elec- 
tric eel, and only one is caught of full size, and there happens 
to be caught at the same time a young alligator, perhaps, half 
the length of a man, the alligator, and any other fishes that 


may accidentally be cnught with llie eel, are, when talten out, 
found to be dead, and only the eel, the destroyer of the rest, 
remains, thougb somewhat weakened, still alive. 

All those eiperimcnts have been tried with these fishes which 
go to show the essential agreement of their polaric action wilii 
cominon electricity. The electric spark has been seen, although 
in size and brightness less in proportion to the violence of the 
shock than the spark of a large voltaic pile. When the fish 
is touched with a rod of glass or with the hand wrapt in silk, 
the glass and silk prove to be as good protectors aa in the case 
of common electricity. On the other hand, the shock of the 
eel is communicated by metals in all its strength. The eel can 
give a shock from any part of its aiimy cKlerior, but not from 
the interior of its mouth. The galvanic fluid, when acting 
continuously rather than by a sudden shock, is more nearly 
related to the vital activity of the animal nerves than commoa 
electricity. The same ia much more sirikingly true of the 
electric strokes of the fishes we have named, of the tetraodoH 
tlectricv* of the Indian Ocean, and the silurics eledricus, 
which inhabits the Nile and certain streams of middle Afnco. 
The excitement and manifestation of the electricity of these 
animals is communicated from the brain to the nerves, and de- 
pends entirely on the will. The electric eel, the most poweriu! 
creature of this sort, whose electric influence extends a 
derahle distance in the water, when kept in a vessel of water, 
and in a manner lamed, is able to give a certain direction to 
the shock or to retain it altogether, making use of his power 
not every time he is touched, but only when he is excited. It 
oflen seems as if the electric fish, before it discharges a shock, 
first paused to ascertain whether the way was clear, for it some- 
times places itself for awhile in contact with the hostile animal, 
'«fore the latter Is made to feel the stroke. The weaker crnmp- 

ih show still greater care and delibenition. It is the natural 



distinct of self-preservation, that moves the animal to proceed 
(rith caution in the use of its electric power. When it is Gtim- 
Ulated to a frequent discharge of electricity within a brief 
ot only its electric force, but the very vitality of the 
jBrealure, ia so exhausted that death enauea. Of two electric 
fishes it has beeo observed that by cutting in two the nerves of 
Ihe electrical organ of one, and thereby destroying the connec- 
tion with ihe brain, the animal, thus treated, could give out no 
more electric shocks, but it lived longer than the other, which 
was subjected to no such experiment, but only irritated to fre- 
'quent discharges of electricity. 

Another species of electricity, more nearly related perhaps 
o common electricity, ia that which has been observed as pecu- 
liar to certain persons. In many individuals the hair, upon 
being combed or rubbed, gives out electric sparks, the same ia 
Ibe case with ihc hair of the lion, the lynx and other animals 
lof the cat kind. In other persons, sparks aro observed when 
fibc skin is rubbed, or upon the talcing off of the garments, 
TAeodoric t/ie Great, and duirles Gonzaga, duke of Mantua, 
3 Slated to have exhibited this peculiarity. Possibly tho 
Btrange and rore cases of a sudden aelf-com bus lion that have 
been known, are to be accounted for in this way. 

In regard to those pitiable diseases, happily not always in- 
curable, which flesh is heir to, as epilepsy, convulsions, &c., 
r'lrliich resemble the effects of the Voltaic pile, or of common 
' electricity, we are led to conjecture that the electric influence, 
f-connccled with the nerves, ordinarily imperceptible and always 
^equalising itself, is In these particular cases obstructed in its 
(healthy course, until, suddenly overcoming all obstruction, 1 1 
I poura itself with accumulated force over all the nerves of Ihe 

44. KAONETisH Ann electricity as forms of essemtialli 


The phenomena of which we now propose to apeak, have 
been comprcheaded under Ihe name of EUctro-magnelism, by 
which that unity of tlie electric and magnetic iofluencea is de- 
signed lo be indicated, which is directly known by cbserr^ioo. 

Jn speaking of the eficcts of lightning, we referred to in- 
slances that show that electricity becomes a magnetic force in 
the iron, to whicli it is communicated. Id the ship, which, on 
account of a dereclivc arrangement of the lightning tod, was 
Biruck by lightning, all the iron knives and forks became nug- 
nelic, some of the magnetic needles became more powerfull; 
magnetic, others less so, and others again lost their power. The 
effects thus wrought by atmospheric electricity, are produced 
also, under other circumstances by artificial electricity and ihe 
voltaic pile. A small rod of iron or steel immediately becomes 
magnetic when an electric current is conducted over it oblique- 
ly, and still more when it passes over the iron, at right angles 
to its length. While, however, magnetic polarisation can be 
produced by stroking a bar of iron or steel lengthwise, and 
always in the same direction, with a powerful magnet, a mag- 
netic needle can be deprived of its power by causing the dis- 
charge of a strong electric battery to pass through it ; whereby 
it would appear that the direction given lo the electric fluid is 
an essential circumstance. The unity of magnetic and elec- 
trical polarisation is apparent also from the fact that Ihe wires 
of a voltaic pile, even when consisting of a substance, which, 
under other circumstances, appears wholly incapable of com- 
municating magnetism, attract iron like a magnet, acting indeed 
upon iron filings somewhat differently from the common mag- 

t, attracting thorn through their whole length. This n 

netic property of Ihe wires lasts, however, only so long aa the 
electric curreol lasts. 

The fact above inentioQed that a rod of iron or steel U 
nugnelised by ao electric current passing obliquely over it, 
and the fact also that the magnetic power increases with the 
)f the electric fluid, have given occasion to another 
important experiment. Around an unmagnetised piece of iron, 
of the shape of a rod or a horse shoo, was wound a wire, per- 
haps of copper, in such a way that the electric fluid from a 
Voltaic pile passing through (he wire took an obliijiie direction 
the iron. But by this arrangement the electric fluid as 
iftich could not be communicated to the wire apart from the 
Eton, the iron being an equally good conductor; either the wire 
.or the iron, therefore, was covered with a varnish or with sillt, 
troolleo and other insulating substances, or the wire was wound 
round a glass tube, within which the iron to be magnetised 
placed. For the action of magnetic polarity differs atrik- 
bgly from that of electricity in the fact that through all those 
. which insulate and obstruct the electric fluid, it passes 
ily as if they were not present, and only in passing 
Arough iron plates does it suffer a sensible diminution of force. 
frhile, therefore, this insulating contrivance keeps the influence 
if the electric current, in its electric form, from the iron, it 
llffords free passage to its magnetic form, and thus furnishes a 
ans of increasing (he magnetic power of (he iron to a degree 
rer attained by the natural magnet, or a magnet prepared in 
common way. Although in the department of magnetism, 
elsewhere, the eslrnordinary power of the small and the 
minute is evident by the fact that a magnet of only a few grains 
in weight, will sustain a weight 40 times greater, (a magnet of 
[7 gr. sustaining li oz.)* and this power can be increased 

•Sit iBBac NflWton Ib bdI 
pMe of lifting 230 times iti 

a mugaet in a ring whieb 

hieb was I 


maoirold by arming its poles with flat pieces of iron Ihick at 
the ends, yet larger magnets, weighing a pound and more, can 
rarely be increased in power to sustain more than tenfold that 
Bmount. Tho sustaining power of the largest known magaet, 
the magnet in the Teyler Museum, does not even equal its own 
weight, for this amounts to 307 lbs,, and the weights bung 
upon it do not exceed 230 lbs. On the other hand a horse- 
shoe magnet, prepared in the way above described, and weigh- 
ing 50J ]\i3., has been made to bear 2063 Iba. Another, flat- 
shaped piece of iron, weighing 16 lbs. sustained 2500 lbs.; a 
hollow iron cylinder, S Inches long, surrounded by several in- 
sulated wires, held 2775 lbs. The strength of the magnetic 
power, thus communicated to the iron, depends upon the 
sireoglli of the electric fluid, and on the number of the electric 
currents which pass obliquely over the iron, or glass lube in 
which the iron is enclosed. Steel holds it the strongest, but 
soil iron, cast iron is most susceptible of the electro- magnetic 
power, and manifests it in the highest possible degree. The 
power of the electro- magnet, while it% polarisation lasts, tnay 
be applied to the magnetising of steel by stroking, and a steel 
rod, when placed red hat at the pole of a powerful dectro- 
magnet, and allowed in this situation to cool, receives a cond- 
derablo magnetic power. 

A further consideration of the influence, which the windings 
of the wire have upon the iron bar or needle, has led to still 
further conclusions in regard to the co-operation of electricity 
and magnetism. The position of the magnetic polea vacies 
according to the manner in which the wire is wound round the 
iron. If the wire ts wound from right to lefl, that end becomes 
the south pole which is the north pole when the wire passes 
round in the reverse direction. But an intelligent man of 
science of the present day, Scktceiggi, going yel a step far- 
ther, has considered the windings of the electric current arouodl 


magnet In a alill nioie inleresliog relation. By an ingeni- 
coDlrivance he has mado it apparent that a magnetic needle, 
Uirough which an electric current passes, when left to move 
Freely, makes a circular motioQ, round the pole of a magnet 
brought into its vicinity. By varying the experiment, he has 
Succeeded also in showing a circular motion of the magnet 
ioiind an electric conducting wire lying in the centre of the 
^rcle. In this experiment, small but powerful magnetic bars 
fare employed, being placed in a vessel filled with mercury, in 
centre of which the two wires of an electric apparatus 
onite their currents. As the steel magnet-rods would of them- 
!s float in the mercury, like wood on water, at one of their 
ends is attached a small piece of platinum, which is Ij limes 
Heavier than the mercury, and therefore answers the end de- 
ligned i the metallic rods assume the position which a piece of 
Vood, loaded with lead, takes in water ; they float perpeadicu- 
iarly. They are then observed to describe a circular path 
lund the point at which the electric currents meet. And not 
Mmly the magnetic bar, but even the heavy mercury takes a 
^rcular, undulating motion, when the poles of a powerful vol- 
taic pile are introduced, at some distance from one another, into 
a vessel filled with the fluid metal, and a strong magnet 13 held 
in the centre between the ends of llie poles, or in the neigfabor- 
Tiood of one of them, and over the quicksilver. Circular 
movements in opposite directions, one from the lefl to the right, 
Ibe other from the right to the lefl, immediately commence in 
■the mercury, or more obviously in the water, mixed wiib a 
liule acid, which ia pot on the surface of the mercury. At 
fint, in trying this experiment, ilie north pole of a strong mag- 
net was brought to the surface of the mercury. When thn 
south pole was thus adjusted instead, the motions in the quick- 
rilver at once were reversed ; that which before went from 
"right to left, now took the opposite direction, in like manner, 


: moveineoi was leversed also. The same cbao^ 
oocuriwl when the magnet was placed uadenieath the vessA 
and brought near to the two points o( the electrical diadioige. 
In tbene pli«nonienn we see in miniature, and as in a mirror, 
the copy of a work of iho Creator's, the mystery of whicli 
Btaods written in characters of starry tight. There, among 
those shining worlds, there is no stand-slill, all, like a man, 
walking towards his goal, — ail arc in motion. And tn Iculb it 
■I ooly one and lbs same living power that wings die steps or 

1 the movements of the stars. This power, as roan 
L two modes ; first the advancing foot is raised, 

I, obedient to the law which direct all things to a ceD- 
ira, it descends again. Thus also, as we shall herealler see 
more clearly, operates the power of life in the motion of the 
moon around tito earth, the planets around the sun, and all the 
suns around we know not what mysterious middle-point. la 
all, one and the same power is manifeated in a two-fold form 
and direction, in one case towards communion with a centre, 
but in the other, in harmony with the peculiar relation, which, 
according to its measure, everything sustains to the atl>coii>- 
prehending origin of all being and motion. 


It may scorn that we follow a singular arrangementr wheD, 
with a description of the electricity of fishes, we connect an ac* 
count of a method, which science has invented in our days, (o 
communicate the Hioughts of one mind to another at a remote 
distance with a rapidity, which may almost be compared wilh 
the rapidity of thought. Something, however, may be said in 
favor of the arrangement. 

When the electric fish, the electric eel, for instance, wishes to 
kill or paralyse another animal, it is not compelled to attack its 



with the usiiiil weapons of other fishes; i[ docs not even 
need to come iu contact with the enemy, nor to have him in its 
immedinle neighborhood, but it has only to make use of the 
invisible magic of its electric power, in order, with the quickness 
of lightning, to put its will into execution. 

What is given lo ihis nnimal by a singular arrangement of 
its nerves, man has received in a vastly greater measure in the 
gift of intelligence, in the power of which, he is lord of himself 
and the whole material world. Not only by the audible word, 
but elso by the visible sign of this word, he is able lo trnnsmit 
his volitions, his thoughts and the light of his knowledge to 
other intelligent beings. He guides by his word the trained 
dog, the awift horse, the powerful elephant. His speech, in the 
form of letters, speaks to one living in a distant region of the 
earth, as if he stood bodily at his side, speaks still, when his 
body has been for centuries reduced to ashes, lo a living mce 
of men. 

Prom the earliest times, men have known how to communi- 
calo with those living at a distance, especially in limes of 
urgency, by means of the fire-signal. When, however, from hili 
to hill, over a whole landscape the beacon flames arose, these 
sigoals could communicate no very definite information. It 
could only bo learned that some great event had occurred. 
Vastly more useful, therefore, were the telegraphs, which most 
of ns moy have seen, and which by varying the positions of 
(heir arms represented letters, syllables, and whole words, and 
eo rendered a regular conversation possible between individuals 
separated by a hostile army, or other insurmountable obstruc- 
tioDs. Still the language, which these telegraphs exchanged 
with one another from one tower, or steeple, lo another, before 
Ihe eyes of the enemy, or thousands of the curious, depended 
irpoa an agreomenl between those, who had to converse by 
these means; lo them alone was it intelligible. Others, who 


lacked the key, could only guess at the meaning of the quickly 
changing positions of the machine. 

These common telegraphs came first inlo use in Spoia bihI 
France. The first telegraphic post was made (by M. Chappei) 
from Paris to Lille, a distance of 30 miles, and consisted of IS 
telegraplis. The erection of Ibis line of leEegraphs was aoon 
followed by many others, in and out of France. The advan. 
tagc, which they alfordBd for the speedy transmission of intelli- 
gence, was unquestionable. The conquest of Queanay, was 
by this means made known in an hour's time in Paris. By the 
present, greatly improved construclion of the telegraph, oaly 
half that time would be required to convey intelligence orer 
the same distance. At night telegraphic commimications are 
made by iiluminating the apparatus, or by a preconcerted dift- 
posirion of lights. It is apparent, however, how crflen the sl»le 
of the wealhcr must interrupt such oporalionxi and how easily 
a blunder at one of the stations, might occasion mistake. 

Of a quite difierent characfer are the telegraphs, of wlHcli 
we now propose to speak. By their means the apparently im- 
possible has been made easy. Two persons, living fifty, or 
indeed hundreds of miles apart, may now communicate ibeir 
thoughts in words, not, as in the case of the ordinary telegraph, 
in the space of an hour, or a half hour, but instantly, aa if 
tliey were seated at the same table. And could a connection 
by copper wire be established between St. Petersburg and 
Pekin, and the loss of power, which (he electric fluid would 
sustain in such a space, be avoided, then might a person in the 
capital of China receive intelligence from Russia in li'", 
and even die man in the moon, if our electric fluid could 
be carried hither, would hear hoai the earth in the space of a 
second, for the transmission of thought by this method is 
swifter than light. The electric fluid travels in this way about 
388,000 miles in a second, a ray of li/bl only 192,000 miles. 

electhic telegraph. 387 

But in addition to this all-surpassing speed, such a in<>de of 
commuDicalion has quite other advantages over the ordinary 
telegraph. That which is to be communicated to a diston 
point, is not seen by thousands of eyes, but only at the destined 
place does it make itself known. The course which the word, 
thus expressed, takes in the invisible form of aa electric dis- 
charge, ia hidden under the earth, or enclosed in the metal of the 
wire, passing high over the roofa of cities. But when it reaches 
its goal it announces itself, not only to the eye by the common 
telegraphic sign, but also to the ear. He, with whom another 
communicates in the still, midnight hour, ahs perhaps sunk in 
thought at his desk, or has fallen asleep, — the sound of a little 
bell arouses him; he listens, the sounds now of a lower, then of 
a higher, loned bell are repeated, the number of bell strokes, and 
tlio diiference of the sounds have meaning ; first a deep sound, 
than quickly succeeding, o. higher, and then again a low note, 
represent an A ; a low note succeeded by 2 high notes and 
again a low note signities B ; a low note, followed by no high 
note, and a high note followed by no low note signify, the first 
E, the last J; three low notes, following one upon the other, 
itand for D. Thus, by the number and variety of sounds, 
every letter of the alphabet ia expressed. Between Ihe letters 
occurs a short pause, between the words the Interval is longer. 
Thus rapidly, as an intelligent child may make out words by 
spelling, does it become possible by practice to understand the 
htDguage of bells. 

But suppose that the person to whom the distant intelligence 
comes, ia not awakened by the first stroke of the bell, and has 
lost the first part, or the whole even, of what is thus communi- 
cated. Stilt the loss is not irreparable. He finds, upon ap- 
proaching the table, at which his magical telegraph ia arranged, 
that everything, which he had failed to hear, is set down there 
in visible characters. He finds a letter, written not indeed in 


ordiDary characlera, but ia points, the peculiar poeition of 
which, (corresponding to the difTercDt noles of the bell,) aod 
their combination represent alphabetical signs, marked, like 
the sounds, with regularly occurring intervals between the 
letters and the words. 

It is hardly necessary to remark that ibis mode of commoni- 
cation is in a much greater degree than the ordinary telegraph, 
independent of the stale of the weather. There is indeed yet 
more iu ihe power of the individual who thus communicates his 
thoughts. By dilfercnt wires, connections may be formed with 
various points, of which one may be only 2 miles, another 5, 
a third 8 miles distant towards the east, and still others may lie 
towards the south, or the west. A communi cation may bo 
made to one living 5 miles to the eastward, which concerns 
neither those at 2 or 8 miles distance, nor those at the south or 
west. It is only necessary to keep up the connection with the de- 
sired point, while the connection is suspended with all the other 
paints, and the design is accomplished; just as an individual 
may personally visit another friend in his chamber, and hold 
with him there a confidential conversation, of which no one 
else, far or near, has any knowledge, bo may he, who speaks 
through the electric current, direct his speech to an individual 
5 miles off, and at all other points connected with the station 
not a bell shall sound, or a mark be made on the pa[ier. 

It will bo asked, how and where such a many-sided eontri* 
vance has been arranged t It has been completely achieved by 
C. A. V. Steinlieil, in Munich, wiiose ingenious telegraphic 
apparatus has commanded the admiration of friends and 
strangers. The means, by which the telegraph is set at work, 
and kepi going, is very simple, but at iho same lime estraordi- 
narily powerful. It is based entirely upon ihe diversion of a 
magnetic needle or rod from the direction which il lakes from llie 
magnetism of the earth, by being subjecled to the influence of 



Mhe electro-magnetic nclion of a coil of copper wire. The 
movement varies according to the direction in which the cur- 
rent passes, in the one case the motion is from lefl to right, in 
the other from right to left ; end this motion is quiclier and 
stronger, the more powerful the current. When the current, 
from the paint where its discharge terminates, has run through 
a longer or shorter apace, it sets the ends of the lillle magnetic 
rod oBcillaling quickly and powerfully towards one or the other 
direction, and the ends of the magnet strike on little bells of 
glass or metal, and thus produce a perceptible sound, and mo- 
tion is also given (o a !ill!e vessel, filled with ink, and termina- 
ting in a littie tube-shaped beak. Through the attraction of the 
sides of this little lube a small drop of the colored fluid, or ink, 
presses continually toward the mouth of the tube. A strip of 
paper, ruled with lines to distinguish the higher and lower tones, 
is attached to the apparatus, and by means of clock work, in 
constant motion, rolled off one cylinder and on to another, the 
paper coming in contact with the motion of the little marking 
iDBtrumenl, fastened at the end of the magnetic rod, in such a 
way that the rod, whose moving end projects beyond the rim of 

L the apparatus, makes a black mark upon the paper, according 
1 the direction and place of the motion, now higher and now 

Upon the same principles in general are the telegraphs con- 

mcted which connect London with Windsor and Soulhamp- 

, rendering instantaneous communication between those 

s possible. In order to send a current from one place to 

pother, one wire only is necessary, if the wire be connected 

bitli (he ground at its terminations. Along a line of rail road, 

iron rails may be used instead of the ground. For the 

trrent, which passes along llie wire, will return by the ground 

f iron rails, which are good conductors. • 




In such phenomena as ihe motion of ihc electric fluid and of 
light, which Ihe mind of man has lakcn inio his service and 
learned lo use at will, we have a type of the dilTeronce belween 
the action or the mind and llie body. Eleclricily and Lighi, 
although posscBsing power to penetrate space Ip an eirtent 
almost immeasurable, are indeed both material agents, and yet, 
dislBQce and time are almost annihilated by Ihem ; ihe eonaec- 
lion ihey establish, although by the material means of a metallic 
conductor, is miraculously direct and intimate. But what must 
that uniting attraction of souls be, which requires no corporeol 
medium, but darts instantaneously through an oil-uniting 
spiritual element from one disembodied spirit lo another ! Even 
now the director of an electric telegraph, although confined by 
the burthen of a body to a certain spot, is able at pleasure to 
converse with a distant friend, and be present with him in 
thought and will. What will not be possible when this oon- 
finement to the conditions of our planet shall full away ! 

In llio course of our consideration of the nature anil proper- 
ties of heal, it has happened to us, as lo travelers, who, pro- 
ceeding to an appointed goal, now through this landscape or 
city, and now through that, tarry a while at many a point and 
yield themselves to the examination of curiosities to the right 
and to the left. In this way we have been occupied, nllhougli 
only as passers-by, with the department of electric and electro. 
magnetic phenomena, and now again we will pause for a few 
moments over the indistinct inscviplion of a milestone, which 
indeed leaves us uncertain of the distance we stilt have to 
accomplish lo reach our journey's end, but creates no doubt 
(Aflt we are still on ihe vighl Toud. 



To the action of magtieiic polarity, heal does not appear to 
be favorable. Observation shows that the sustaining power, 
and coDsequenliy the strength of the polarisation of our com- 
moa Tnagnets, is, in the temperature of a hot summer's day, 
when the thermometer stands at 104° P., in our attics facing to 
the west or southwest, remarkably diminished, and still more 
so when in dry rooms, the heal reaches 122° F, A weight 
hanging then to an artificial magnet, and firmly held under an 
ordinary temperature, suddenly falls. Thus it ia known also 
that even the most powerful magnetic rod, by being dipped into 
boiling water again and again, and then cooled gradually, loses 
its power. If heated red-hot, it suddenly loses its whole attracl- 
iDg and repelling force, and also its property of being attracted 
and repelled by the poles of the earth. It is true, a great 
degree of cold is understood to weaken the magnetic force, yet 
the diminution by cold is by no means so great as by heat. 
Light, on the contrary, according to several observations, ap- 
pears to increase magnetic polarisation, and this especially 
seems to bo the influence of the violet ray of the prism. 

Thai electric action is excited and increased in bodies, adapt- 
ed thereto, by heat, we have already staled, so thai we propose 
to illustrate the fact in this place only by some peculiar in- 
stances, presented by the electro-magnetic activity of many 
crystallised stones, and especially of the metals. 

The observers of nature in ancient times, were acquainted 
with the fact that tourmaline, when heated, attracts light sub- 
stances, for the fossil, which an old Roman writer (Pliny) de- 
scribes under the name of Ionia, appears to have been such a 
stone distinguished by its various colors, and its beautiful, three- 
sided pillar-shaped forms. When a crystal of tourmaline, espe- 
cially if clear in color, with no crack or fissure, and somewhat 
transparent, is exposed to a moderate heat of 86° F., it becomes, 
ilike a small magnet, polaric, only wilb U>e 4\K«e\\cti'^\B.\\\s 



polarity takes an eieclric form. The one half, taking it lengOh I 
wise, shows itself decidedly positive, the other, negatively CISC' 
trie, and this polarisation increases with the increase of the 
heat, but gradually vanishes, when the heat remaios stationary 
at the same point. And not only heating, but also the cooling 
of a heated tourmaline crystal, renders it electric. Whan a 
stone of Ihia sort, heated to the moderate point above men- 
tioned, is again cooled, its polarisation returns, although pre> 
viously lost by the heat's remaining stationary, but aavf, the 
end, which was previously positive, becomes negative, and the 
reverse. If, while thus polarised, the crystal ia divided into 
several parts, every single part manifests two-fold electricity, 
even the smallest splinters are still susceptible of being pola- 
rised by heating and cooling. The regular form of this 
remarkable stone, evidently has a peculiar influence upon its 
electrical properly, for it is only when its little, oflentimes 
almost needle-shaped columns, are three-sided in farm, that Ihey 
become polaric ; with six-sided crystals, the experiment does 
not succeed. 

Tourmaline -crystals of the above description, mostly como 
from Brazil, Siberia, &c. There is in Germany, in Luneberg, 
another kind of slone called Borazite, which in this respect is 
more remarkable than tourmaline, Borazite, mostly of a 
grayish or yellowish while color, and of a diamond^like, 
though not very great brightness, is found in the shape of littlo 
dice embedded in gypsum, with their corners all or in part 
broken off, and their edges having two surfaces. When ooo 
of these little dice is subjected to heat ; then, not one pair of 
electrical polarities as in tourmaline, but four pairs are mani* 
fesled, the two diagonally opposite corners of the upper and 
lower back and front sides exhibit one pair, the one being posi> 
live and the other negative, and around the upper and around 
the lower aides, one positive corner allernales with a negative. 


!■ CBlamine likewise (carbonate of zinc) shows, when crystallised, 
BR electric polarity, and ihis in an ordinary, moderate state of 
the almospherc. Even in crystallised Epsom salts and cryslal- 

1 iiae<J sugar, a (weak) electric polarity may be called forth by 

B Still more than in these cases, is the influence of heat ob- 

aervable in generating electrical action in the metals. When 
of two pieces of the same metal, copper, or silver, one is heat- 
ed and the other not, and both are brought in contact, there 
instantly lakes place an electric action between them. When 
a copper wire is bent in a spiral shape, with one end projecting, 
by Gubjecling ihia end to heat, a perceptible electric action is 
produced, which lakea its direction from the heated-end to the 
other end, which is bent inwards. When Iwo rods, one of 
bismuth and the other of antimony are soldered to a larger rod 
Httd the poinl where they are united is healed, the electric fluid, 
HBnch is generated, passes from the bismuth to the antimony, 
IM^ in cooling the direction of the fluid is reversed. Thus a 
number of little rods of these two metals, alternatiag with each 
other, may be soldered together and so form a collective column 
or pile, (he electric activity of which may be raised by mere 
} such a degree, that the limbs of a frog, duly prepared, 
my be made by its means to exhibit spasmodic motions, water 
I Bails may be decomposed, and even the connecting wires 
p heated. While, to produce H vastly more powerful galvanic 
aion, the co-operalion of zinc, tin, or iron wilh copper, silver, 
^ appears to be the most efficient; stilt thermo-piles, formed 
F bismuth and antimony, are the most advantageous, for in 
t series of polaric opposition, generated by mere changes of 
mperature in dilTcrent melals, the two just named form the 
rente ends, and only tellurium appears to escel antimony as 
f opposite to bismuth or nickel. Fine, delicate little rods of 


from 1 lo 2 inches in length, composed of many allernating 
pieces of bismuth and antimony, — several of Ihese little rods 
Dg arranged in the shape of a star radiating from one sno- 
ther, — arc so susceptible of the bflueDce of even & slight 
change of temperature, that they show an electric power UQilei 
amount of heat or cold eslimaled lo equal the SOOOdth part 
a degree of Reaumur. In fact such a slight electrical ac- 
tion becomes perceptible only by means of those artificial, 
electro -magnetic instruments, constructed as already described. 
As the weakest electric current, by means of the many wind- 
ings of the wire, obtains so increased an influence upoo the 
magnetic power that it causes the magnet to deviate from its 
directioQi instruments of this sort are styled eleclro<multi- 

An exact observation of ihe influence of heat upon electrical 
polarisation and mutual action of bodies, is, on account of the 
consequences, to which we are led, of great importance. Tha 
variation of the degree of the sun's heat on the earth's surface 
and of the inlernal heat of (ho globe occasions, without 
electro- magnetic currents which, like the stirring of a common 
principle of life, traverse the whole body of material nature. 
And even in the living bodies of animals and men, made up of 
fluids and solids, of vessels, nerves, muscles, membranes, and 
organs of digestion and secretion, the change and ceaseless 
fluctuations of the outer and inner temperature may produce a 
constant excitement and diminution of polaric altemalion, 
whereby, as in the case of tourmaline when it is cooled, the 
different poles may change their opposite positions and lite 
direction of their power, bo that what was before positive, be- 
comes negative and the reverse. 


' Wiih ihe same propriety with which we connecled theoofr 
sideration of lightniog and tho phenomena of storms by which 
it ia attended, with the mention of the light and shock-giving 
action of electrical discharges, we may he permitted at this 
point, where we have been speaking of the influence of changes 
of temperature upon electro- magnet ism, to give some account 
of the northern, or rather the polar light. Besides, the pheno- 
mena of both, ihose of our ordinary thunder storms, and those 
of the polar lights, stand in a relation to one another, similar 
to that of electricity and magnetism, so that a celebrated na- 
tural historian, A. v. Humboldt, has named the northern lights, 
"magnetic storms," in opposition to electric, or common thun- 
der storms. 

Both the thunder storm and the polar light stand in many 
respects, in opposition to one another. The polar lights occur 
in regions, in which an electric storm ia a great rarity. The 
points of the most common appearance of the polar light fall, 
not indeed, as was formerly said, upon the two poles of the 
earth, but not far from the polar circles, namely, upon the 
northern hemisphere between 60 and 70 degrees of latitude. 
Although it ia probable, according to Capt, Franklin's opinion, 
Ib&t northern lights occur in summer, but are not visible on 
account of the length of the day ond the brightness of the 
twilight, yet one cannot help thinking that this opposition exists 
between the northern lights and thunder storms, namely, that 
the former prevail in the coldest months of winter, and the 
latter ia the hottest months of summer. For although Capt. 
&ost, in 66° 30' N. L., observed the northern lights in Septem- 
bor and October, nevertheless, only in mid-winter were they 
frequent that Henderson, in Iceland, saw the heavens 



illominaled by them every clear night; and their brillisncyis 
then 80 great that Liiwenoern saw, on the 29th of January, the 
northern light in clear sunlight. Our electrical stonna ore 
generally Qllended by a great sultriness of Ihe air; the nug- 
netic slorm of the polar light, on the contrary, at least when it 
is most brilliant, is eccampanied by that fearful winter's cold 
which makes even Ihe ice crack. To these co-incident efTecIs 
of the cold, mo9t of our more recent observers attribute the 
hissiDg and cracking noise which was previously ascribed I 
the magnetic storm itself and supposed to belong to it, like ihe 
light to the lightning, and the sound to the thunder. 

Not only in the vicinity of the north pole, but also in the 
polar regions of the southern hemisphere, magnetic stonns o: 
polar lights occur, and the reason why southern lights ore ob- 
served much less oden than northern may be, not memly 
because they are more rare, but also because opportunity and 
place arc wanting for careful observers. The practised eye of 
Dalian has often perceived even in England, Ihe distant re- 
flected gleam of a southern light, as others again (January 14, 
1931) have seen the light of a northern aurora even k 
south as the 46th degree of south latitude. The visibility of 
the polar lights at such immense distances, is not to be explain- 
ed by Ihe supposition thai this meteor extends to a height of 
several hundred miles, as it is known that it is scarcely ever 
more than three times as high as our highest mountains, and 
can generally be estimated at some thousands of feel. Just ai 
violent thunder storms, although in a decreasing degree of 
strength, may burst at the same time over a large cxtec 
country, so that an observer in Presburg has thunder clouds 
rolling over his head at the same hour, in which other clouds, 
of the same far-spread, electric character, are discharging Ihem- 
jlves over Vienna and Lintz; in like manner also, according 
I the opinion of A, v. Humboldt, the stronger and wo 



npfiearnnccs o( ihe northern light are at the same time exhib- 
ited out or Ihe higher regions of llie atmosphere, in the neigh- 
borhood of Ihe polar zone in their highest hrilliaocy, while 
appearing farther from it, as a less striking illumination. In 
this way even the aerial reflection, perceived under other cir- 
cumalances, may render a wide diffusion of such a meteor 

For what we know particularly of the polar light, we are 
indebted chiefly to Ihe observation of one of its modea of inani- 
feslalion, uamely, the north light. What we have suit) thus 
far refers especially to this. 

Both electric and magnetic storms arc considered as essen- 
tially analogous in the fact, that both depend upon a distur- 
bance of their equilibrium, the former in regard to the distribu- 
tion of the planetary, atmospheric electricity, tho latter, in 
relerence. to Ihe magnetism of the earth. The equilibrium of 
this distribution, the balancing of the superflux and the defi- 
ciency, is, in both cases, restored by a discbarge, which is 
connected with an appearance of light, in Ihe one case, of 
lightning, in tho other, of (he polar light. There is indeed in 
the strength and in the direction of these discharges e remark- 
able difference. The ordinary thunder storm acts upon all our 
senses ; we see, feel, hear, the power of its shocks, even our 
sense of smell is addressed by Ihe lightning, which sets houses 
oa fire, shatters walls and trees, destroys animals and men. 
The electric storm is a force of nature, fearful (o man, destnio- 
tive to the inanimate world. 

Quite otherwise is it with magnetic storms. These act only 
|lpoD one sense, the eye, for the old reports of a hissing and 
nariog sound, accompanying Ihe northern light, are, to say 
tlie least, very doubtful. Capl, Franklin, who, with his com- 
pasioiis, observed the northern lights more than 200 times, and 


in B cnosl Tavomble postlion, very often rouod himself in the 
midst of ooe of these magoetic slorms, and neilhor be nor i 
olhora fell the least shock, or heard any sound or smelt BOJ 
Kulphuroua odor, such as accompanies an electric discharge; 
the eye alone, undistracted by any other sense, yielded itself 
In the full enjoyment of the incomparable beauty of this grand 
phenomenon. No decisive influence of the northern lights ia 
|)erceplible upon the weather. The electric state of ihe atmo- 
sphere, upon which storms, rain, and snow, depend, appears lo 
1)0 not without etTect upon the height, and consequently the viai- 
bilily, of the northern lights. 

And yet it may be said that the action of magnetic storms 
is far more extensive than that of electric storms. The latter 
generally eslend only over a small space, over a city and ils 
neighborhood ; or over a wooded mountain valley, the light- 
ning flames and darts, Ihe thunder crashes and the rain comes 
down liko a flood, while, a few miles distant, Ihe heavens are 
clear end the electric equilibrium is undisturbed, and only 
rarely does a great electric discharge, like a continuous row of 
storms, estend at the same time over several degrees of lali- 
ludo. On the other hand, the action of magnetic storms is 
spread out over thousands of miles, over whole hemispheres. 
Not rarely the northern lights have been seen at the same lioie 
in England and Pennsylvania, in Rome and in Pekin. And 
although the eye may not be aware of the phenomena of the 
northern lights, yet their far spreod presence may be discerned 
in another way, by the disturbances of magnetic oeedles. 
Such disturbances are observable at the same lime in the most 
various regions. A storm-current of magnetic ejEcitement, 
which is perceptible by our senses in no other way, alTecls aJI 
magnetised stcel-n-^dles, from Iceland and the north ofSwedeo 
down to the ma 'netic observatories of the southern countau i 


r Europe,— man i Tests ilaeir in tiie east and the west, and is 
communicated, probably e.xhausting itsell'lhcre, to other masses 
of iroD on the earth's surface in its still career. 

The consideration of this remarkable diSerence between 
electric and magnetic Etorms leads us to a comparison between 
light and magnelism, and between electricity and heal. The 
light of the (lame of a fire is visible at a great distance, the 
heal is felt only id its vicinity. Light passes silently through 
plates of glass and all translucent bodies, without injuring 
them, be it ever so bright; but heal, raised to the melting 
point, destroys the cohesion of the parts of mclala and other 
solid substances, and converts them into liquids or gases. 
Light, in its all-animating, nil-fashioning activity, would, how- 
ever, be insuificienl for the support of living beings, if unac- 
companied by the agency of heat ; so ihc influence of electri- 
city Blands much more nearly related to the vital power, even 
of the most perfect organizations, than the influence of mag- 
nclisni. An analogy, only incidental and supcr6eial, may be 
sought between magnetism and light in the fact, that both pass, 
without any considerable impediment, or loss of strength, 
through transparent glass and amber and dry air, while these 
bodies have an insulalJng clfect in relation to electricity, and 
even interrupt the transmission of ordinary heat. An iron 
table, on the other hand, conducts heal and electricity, but 
diminishes the attractive power of the magnet. jl from mag- 
net to magnet, through the magnetised needles of a whole 
quarter of the earth, the esciiemeot of a magnetic storm 
passes, just as a ray of the rising sun passes through the 
broad spaces of Ihe atmosphere, the water, and all translucent 

The two meteors are alike in this that they disappear in 
lighl. With and by the lightning the disturbed equilibrium of 
(he eleclrtc fluid is restored, and with the appearance of ihc 


nortliem light, the distribulion of (he earth's magnetism ^» 
ogain equalised. The fcirm of this appearance is indeed very 
irregular. Not when, as in a slorm, dark heavy masses of 
clo'ids hang low in the atmosphere, but when (here appear, 
high up, those delicate feathery clouds, which are so transpa- 
rently ihin, that their presence is discernible only as they fDHn 
a court round the moon, may the presence of a high and bril- 
liant ourora be coajecturcd. A prognostic of this meteor is 
commonly found in the irregularities exhibited by the magnetic 
needle the morning before the night in which the northern lights 
appear. Instead of thunder clouds, there rises first a farownbh 
or violet vapor, through which the northerly stars shine as 
through a fog, and which extends to 16 or 20 diameters of the 
moon's disk. The cloud soon assumes a rounded shape, which 
in the high north becomes of a while color, a broad bright 
bow, first while, then yellow, arches itself over the darkness 
beneaih, and the whole now appears as a segment of a huge 
ball, just emerging above the horizon, and stationary there. 
This dome of light does not preserve the same form and color 
for a moment, but it is constantly surging and oscillating. Its 
color, flashing up now here and now there, changes from vio- 
let and blueish white to yellow and sapphire, and then to red 
and green, and all iheso colors alternate and play without ceas- 
ing one into another. This bow of light remains sometimes 
for hours before the beautiful meteor takes that highest and 
most perfect form, which it owes to very powerful magnetic 
discharges. In this last stale, rays or columns of fire rise 
from the circumference of the dome, of unequal length, mostly 
straight, though sometimes taking an undulating form, and 
reaching at limes to the zenith. Sometimes the fire-columoa 
alternate wiih dark spaces like smoke. When the northern 
1 lights are very bright, ihese c(Avinn\a \iteo.k forth, not only from 
' I arch of light, but a\so Ttom ivSetcoX ^\vSa dv ■ft>aVs*\-u3&, 


oa if from the earlh, and form, as ihey appear and disappear, 
a sea of flame, which delights the observer with its perpetual 
changes of form and color. The brightness, like the color of 
this majestic phenomenon, seema closely connected with ita 
motions, the quicker these are, the stronger is the brilliancy, 
the greater the play of colors. At last, when (his appearance 
has continued for a longer or shorter time, the bases of iho 
fiery rods or pillars move towards a common point of the hori- 
zon, which corresponds it is supposed lo Ihe magnetic pole of 
ihe earth while the upper ends, separating from one another, 
form a starlike, radiating appearance, which is what is called 
the crown of the northern lights, and which is rarely seen in 
its perfect shape, as we sometimes see it represented. With 
the completion of this pinnacle- form, the whole phenomenon 
puts on an appearanco of repose and stability which was before 
wanting. The crown, which like a pediment formed of golden 
rods, over-arches tlie glittering pavilion, sends forth a quiet 
iight, which undergoes no change, except a decomposition into 
its prismatic colors. The undulations in the bow cease also, 
for with the formation of Ihe crown, a way of discharge ap- 
pears lo be found for the magnetic fluid- Soon one fiery 
column aller another vanishes, as if broken off by invisible 
Imnds, the light grows pale, and there in the heavenly vault, 
where just before stood a palace of fiery rays of indescribable 
beauty, are seen only pale grayish, scattered flecks, like frag- 
ments of paper reduced to ashes ; and when these ash-gray 
spots disappear, there shortly becomes visible again, like the 
blackened wail of a burnt house, the same brownish cloud or 
fog, over which the bow of the northern lights arched itself. 
When finally, all that belonged to the grand spectacle has vau- 
iahed, there are still seen io the heavens the delicate, feathery 
clouds, which appear to fill the place in relation to the magnetic 
tlar light, that is held by heavy, datV l\\«i\4ci c\om44\u'3ot 


tin (Schreien det Zin 
and forwards 
warmer, until the heat I 
hand. By being thus 
of the tin is disturbed,! 
relation to that connticlioii 
another of the whole ti 

When two plal 
the other, and friclion is { 
powerfully over ibe other 
tion of heat is caused | 
rod when it is bent aa ^ 
there is occasioi 
change in the cohesion ^ 
agitalion becomes i 
musical slrings. Even 1 
rubbed together, thai is 
ed than that whose ei 
bable that the heat pra 
unevenness of the form 

That vibratory motioiiifl 
on the gloss bells of an I 
municated to the air, i 
ceive it as a musical s 
the glass or melal bell, 
upon the cohesion of ihei 
same way, heat i 
being merely hammered I 
When sleel and flint a 
ductid that the little parti^ 
only become red hot, 
which are thrown off a 



^„ .1.. -«"■"" 

" I 

3 not M 

■com •« 



ing, was, for some days, prevented from all egress into day 
light, and who, as he declared, found after some lime that 
when he held up his hand, a faint light proceeded from it. In 
ail material things, in every stone even, still more in the col- 
lected mass of a planet, dwells, although imperceptible to gur 
eyes, a power of self-illumination. The temperature of [be 
coldest winter days of a northern climate, which seems to us 
an almost insupportable cold, is still in relation to mercury so 
high a temperature, that this racial la melted by it. The cloudy 
autumn night of a rocky valley appears to us the deepest dark- 
ness, while the night-birds there find a light, which, for Ihe 
illumination of their way, and of the goal to which that way 
leads, is all sufficient. 


Of what avail were (he influence of all the other sources of 
heat, which we have thus far considered, for the nourishraenl of 
the trees and seeds that grow in our soils, without that splendid 
witness of the majesty of God, the Sun, that, with its light, 
pours forth at the same time also a life-giving heat over all 
the plants and animals of earth. Seamen, who have spent a 
winter on the coasts of an island, lying in the midst of the ice of 
the polar zone, could hardly keep themselves from freezing, even 
at the huge fires which they kindled in iheir huts; red hot 
cannon balls sent forth their heat in the ice-cold room in vain; 
they could give out no comfortable warmth. Nova Zembla and 
other similorly situated points on the earth's surface are thus 
inhospitable for men and unfavorable to vegetation, not only 
through the fearful cold of their wintera, but also by the scanti- 
ness of heat in summer. While in many other coasts and 
islands of the polar zone, the brief, but powerful heat of sum- 
mer gives to animals, to the soil and ila productions, a vigor, 

HEAT OF THE sirN. 405 

"(rhich ihey do nol wholly lose in winter; over Nova Zembia 
and Spitzbergen, even in summerg, rests a conatanl mist, which, 
rising from the thawing masses of ice, spreads over the hills of 
these regions. A country, which, in the course of a whole 
year, receives (he influence of the sun, perfectly free from 
heavy vapors, only for a few days or hours, can never give us 
the pleasant sensation of comfort. The effect, produced on 
our bodies by a moclh of foggy weather, or by weeks of steady 
rain, follows also upon the almost constant absence of a clear 
aunny sky. 

The inhabitant of Arabia, in the abundance with which some 
parts of his country are enriched, can scarcely believe that our 
regions are occupied by fine, vigorous, cheerful creatures. And 
yet we all know it is so, and thank Heaven for our richly en- 
dowed dwelling, to which the light of the sun, in its life-awake- 
ning and warming power, is afforded in such measure that all 
necessary plants and animals may live and grow. But in the 
midst of all our plenty and gladness of heart, it is only when 
we visit lands on which the sun looks down with a yet stronger 
power, that we learn to know the full beauty and magnificence 
of this earth. There, where the pure blue of the sky is, for 
the greatest part of the year, dimmed by no cloud, no mist, 
where even the moon radiates its pale light with such bright- 
ness, that seated on his camel the traveller can distinguish Ihe 
smallest flower on the ground, where, by the side of fragrant 
orange groves, the majestic palm ripens its fruits, and a host of 
bright coloured birds glance among the tree-tops, there, if the 
attraction of one's country lay only in visible beauty, one could 
easily forget for a while his dear native home. When one sees 
there, for the first time in hia life perhaps, the blossoms of tho 
plantain unfolded in iheir full beauty, and, arrayed in their 
wondrous and fragrant flowers, a hundred other kinds of the 

lUost beautiful plants, of which he has seen only single slintitd 


specimens in our hot houses, or painted representations, when 
a vast variety of fruits are afroTdud to our taste, which in tbeir 
spicy flavour or rerresbiog influence Tar excel all our nntiie 
fruits, and which we hardly knew before even hy name, wIkq 
at the same time from the lop of the palm or the tama- 
rind tree, the oriental nightingale {the Bulbul,) pours forth its 
full toned song, and a troop of lively, graceful animals frolick 
around us there, then our souls are intoxicated with a delight, 
such as we scarcely ever before experienced. The spirit 
within us is raised from the sight and enjoyment of the works 
of nature to the thought of the Creator, and to the delight 
which belongs to this thought. 

The German is indeed seized with a new sense of the beauty 
of nature when he passes for the first time over the neighbor- 
ing Alps, into aland where the olive trees and groves of citrons 
and oranges grow in the open air, where the blooming myrtle 
(wvers the declivities of hills, and rocks and walls are hung 
with huge flowers, and the vine, hardly needing the care of 
rnan, swings itself from tree to tree. And all this fulness of 
vital power, these delicious fruits, and all the strength and 
vigor of Iho animated world, are due to the influence of the 
sun. It will be proper, therefore, before we proceed to eslimale 
this influence upon us and our planet, to say a few words about 
this huge fountain of the light of our day, the Sun. 

50. THE BUN. 

What is the poor, pale light of our earth, (ch. 46,) Bhowing 
no trace of being accompanied by heat, to the light of the sun; 
what is our planet, lo whose immense masses of land and 
water, man is in the comparison so diminutive, what, in 6ne, 
is all the material magnitude that we know to the grandeur of 
the sun ! More than all other bodies, the sun is a type of the 

TIIB SUN. 407 

jeslic, all-penelraiing power of [he Crcnlor. Could on eagle 
ihroogh llie spaces cif our ayslem, allhough it were lo 
iplish a hundred feet every second, it would hardly reach 
in in a hundred and fifty years, for the apace, which 
separates our planet from this controlling centre of its orbit, 
extends nearly 100 millions of miles; the orbits of Jupiler, 
fiptura and Uranus are at dislsnces of about 500, 1000, and 
10 millions of miles from the sun, and yet the alt animating 
rer of the sun's light penetrates through all these spaces, 
i as starlight, even into spaces a thousand fold greater. 
)ut this power corresponds to the magnitude of this ruler in 
centre of his worlds. The brick, which, in the building of 
ouse, is handed from one workman to another, stands in the 
le relation to the size of the whole editice, of which it is to 
a. part, as our globe to the gigantic ball of the sun, for 
million and a half, (l,38'l,472) globes, each of the 
e of the earth, must be piled up to make a world to equal 
magnitude the sun, whose superficial contents exceed those 
our earth 12,598 times, and the diameter of the earth 112} 
les. Our little companion, the moon, stands 
im us of almost 237,000 milt 
How ball and the earth were 
tuld still be abundantly more th: 
the moon, the distance of the 
ce being 441,000 miles. If a 
iin Mercury, which liea nearest to the 
met known, with all their satellites, w( 

aced in the centre, lite re 
enough room for the orbit 
m's centre to its circumfer- 
the plaiicls of our system, 
1, to the remotest 
collected in one, 

would stand io proportion to the mass of the sun, as a 
in of a few ounces in weight to a ball weighing a. hun- 

If a child, or any one who looks at things as they appear to 
p eye, be asked, which is above and which below, the sun or 
B earth, the answer immediately isi the sun is above, for it 


icr our heads in the sky, and the earlh is lelow. 
And yet ibe Tact is direcily Ihe reverse. As cerlainly as il is 
not the sua, that courses daily and annually round the earth, 
bul the motion of the earth round its own axis and in its owa 
orbit which produces llie appearance of the daily rising and 
selling of the Bun, and Ihe annual apparent course of the sua 
through the signs of the Zodiac, so certainly is the appearance, 
which makes the earth below, or at the centre, and the Rim 
above, an illusion. Just as a man walking on Ihe surface of 
Ihe earlh, or the ship sailing on the sea, are, in relation tt 
planet that sustains ihem, above and outside, so our earth, and 
all the planets are above and outside in relation to the sun 
around which ihey revolve. The centre of the earth il ia, t 
which, in the whole terrestrial world, (he force of gravity leoda, 
What the centre of the earth is as a lower, a beloio, to things 
on the surface of Ihe planet or the masses which lie between 
the centre and the surface, the sun is to the orbits of the planets 
and to Ihe planets themselves. Herein is the superiority of the 
aun, the ruler 6f the worlds, over the mighty host subordioaled 
to it, that it is Ihe sun which sustains, not which ia sustained, 
it is the sun which is Ihe foundation, but which is not founded,— 
it does not rest on (he dust- particles that fly around it. Let il 
be understood therefore that Ihat world, which is elevated high 
over all the rest by its powers and prerogatives, stands, i 
ference to its mass, below ell others. 

Of the peculiar nature, and the efficient cause of the shiniag 
of the sun and its warming properties, we know about as liltle 
as we know of the interior of our earth, to the centre of which 
our approaclies are very insignificant. If we consider the heal 
of the water of Artesian wells, and the heat which increase* 
as we descend into mining shails, as evidence of a consiaiit 
generation of heat in Ihe interior of Ihe earth, an analogy 
presents itself between iho centre of a single planet, and the 


itre of (he planetary system, the bub, a resemblance, which 
is to be aure somewhat like the reaemblance of the earth's light 
(ch. 48,) and the sun's. 

The only phenomena, that give ua any insight into the 
nature and quality of the sun's mass, are the spots, which, 
varying in magnitude and in the duration of their appearance, 
pass over the sun's surface, always in the direction from west 
lo east, and accomplishing their course from one edge of the 
sun's disk lo the other in about 14 days, circling round the sun 
in 271 days. We are thus made certain that the mighty mass 
is noE immovable, but that it moves on its own axis from west 
[Q east, like our earth and all the other planets. And ahhough 
the sun requires for such a revolution, (making allowance for 
the apparent retardation which, seen from our earth, it suffers, 
because our planet is at (he same time advanced on its path 
from west lo east,) 25i times more than the earth needs for its 
daily revolution, still the sun's revolution on its axis, whea the 
relative motion of (he surface is considered, is not to bo called 
a very slow movement; every point of the earth's equator, in 
its daily revolution passes over 1041) miles in an hour, but a 
point in (he sun's equator accomplishes in the same time 4560 

The i5pola on the sun, formerly regarded as a species of 
volcanic mailer floating on the surface of ihe fiery fluid mass 
of the auD, or as smoke ascending from (hot fire sea, are, as 
the more exact observation of more recent times has shown, 
openings or local rents in ^ihe luminous atmosphere, which 
envelopes the body of the sun. How opposite is the relation 
of ihe sun lo its atmosphere, compared with that of the earth ! 
When, in the case of our globe, the higher region of the almo. 
sphere is dimmed by meteoric masses of clouds, and a rent 
appears here and (here in this dark covering, we descry 
iferough the opening the clear blue sky, and (he light of tho 



sun breaks inlo the darkened space ; bul wlten the lumimiM 
covering of iho sun is rent aod opened, n passage is opened 
indeed Tor the titya of ilie nightly stars, down upon the surface 
of the gigantic body, but the poiDl, lying direcily under ihe 
opening, suffers a diminution of its daylighl; ihe light, that 
comes to it, not as it comes lo the planets, from a vast, luniiD- 
ous, centraL body, but from a part of itself, is ihcn wilhdrawo 
from it in a measure. For ihe flaming atmosphere of the sua 
appears to be a fountain of light and heat, not only to all the 
vforlds thai circle round it, — but the sun itself, were it divested 
of this sphere of light, would be a dark mass. When at times, 
upoB iho appearance of very large spots, openings have been 
made, extending over spaces of from 33 to 45,000 miles in 
diameter, observers have supposed that Iheysaw the dark body 
of the sun, through powerful telescopes. Mountains, of a 
lieighl proporlionaio lo the magnitude of the sun, (450 miles 
high) and doaiing between the solid mass and the luminous 
atmosphere, dark, cloudlike meteors, Uko those of our atmo- 
sphere are imagined to have been seen. The height, to which 
the sphere of light extends above the son's surface, has, on 
such occasions been estimated at 2300 miles. 

Scanty and uncertain enough is the information obtained 
from the sun's spots. Other results in relation lo the actioa 
and motion of our central world have been oblmDe^l, Dot by 
direct observation of ihe sun itself, but by the study of other 
bodies of the starry universe. As the rate, at which a vehicle 
or steamboat moves may be easiest estimated by the apparent- 
ly opposite motion of the trees, houses, mountains which we 
pass, so, in the case of the sun, its motion in an immeasurably 
greater apace may be ascertained, by llie apparent'molion which 
has been observed in the so-called lixed stars. For these s 
which were anciently held lo be motionless, have " no rest 
no haale," but move in curved orbits, around we know not what 


invisible centre. It is true, seen Trom our carlh, the progress 
of those sun-like worlds, on account of their vast distances, 
seems so small that it is scarcely perceptible in a period of a 
hundred years, yet it is so coosidcrEtble, in the course of time, 
in the case of some of the awifler moving fixed slurs, that if 
the famous Egyptian osironomers, who lived some 1700 or 
SOUO years ago, could once again survey the starry heavens 
from the watch tower of Alexandria, ihey would find (he place, 
of the great star, for instance in Bootes, (Arcturus) wonderfully 

If there, in those remote spaces, which the fixed stars occupy, 
a human eye beheld our beautiful sun, shining like a star 
among other stars, it would appear to that eye, like a fixed 
point of light in the heavenly domo; for what is the small 
amount of the motion of most of ihc fixed slnrs, seen even from 
a neighboring world, according to human standards of time and 
space. How slight the difference made there by 70 or 60 
years. Nevertheless, the stride which our sun lakes through 
space is by no means slow; it amounts hourly to 159,850 
miles. Of course the distance, which the sun has to measure, 
to make up its great year, is incomparably greater than that of 
our planet in its annual revolution. The earth, although one 
of the swiftest planets of our system, accomplishes hourly only 
about 68,500 miles. When, however, the little span of space 
of 95 millions of miles which lies between the earth and the 
sun is compared with the distance of that unknown centre, 
whoso influence sets the sun in motion, one has reason enough 
to suppose the presence of nn atlructivo force which exceeds 
immeasurably every thing similar to it, which we find in the 
material world around us. The motion of our sun is toward 

e apparently inconsidemble constellation of Hercules. Where 
Ibe centre of its immense orbit is we know not. Our planer, 
upon it are moving along, without perceiving the daily 




motion of our solar sysTcm; we move here as in the whole 
course of our morlal being, without seeing whence or whither, 
ns securely as an infant borne in the orms of a loving mother. 
In the influence which the aun exerts on our earth and all 
the worlds of our system, we recognise, on a gigantic scate) 
the modes and forms in which, in our terrestrial sphere, the 
polaric opposition between a self-moving agent, and a material 
movable body is manifested. As the lightning darts from the 
clouds and discharges itself on metallic points, so everywhere 
powers of life and motion break forth out of on uppfer, all- 
comprehending world of Life, when some material element, 
disengaged from the confinement and dead repose of materLil 
combinations is put into a stale, in which it becomes an active 
agent, a forming power instead of merely being susceptible of 
formation. Such an intcr-penctraling power, proceeding from 
an upper, super -physical source, was recognised by the wise 
men of antiquity from the time of Thales, the Milesian, in 
action of the magnet, although it consists, as we see, only in a 
moving and a being moved, having its origin in the polaric op- 
position of the revolving earth to the iron in which, under 
certain conditions, a like polaric opposition appears. When 
modern science found means by a spiral wire around a magnet 

nbine the electric current with the magnetic, and catsed 
the electro-magnetic influence to act upon the magnetic iron 

bar, then the movement of a second, higher law or order, 
was manifested ; a rotatory motion round a moving centre, i 
floating up and down of fluid mercury, the rudiment, as it wen 

rotation on an axis. In early limes, men were aC' 
qiiainled with the fire of Lightning, which, darting forth with 
instantaneous quickness, strikes a tree or other combustible 

, and sela them on fire, while it vanishes itself as quickly 

appeared out of the darkness of the stormy night. 
I later limes, obtaining command of the forces of the lightning 


by means of electric, galvanic and electro-magnetic instmmGols, 
foen have Ixtcii able to accomplish what do philosopher of 
ibrraer ages supposed possible. They have succeeded in arrest- 
itig the lightning in the midat of its immeasurable speed, and 
t^Bverting it into a steady fire. The glowing current, that 
VB from the ends of the polar wires of a strong voltaic pile, 
of a powerfui electro-magnetic apparatus in a moderate 
<«tceatn, la like n flood, whose course never ceases, while the 
JIghlning-like, electric discharge, but faintly resembles a shower 
suddenly falling and as suddenly suspended. While the people 
of the primeval ages, kindle the fire of their hearths directly 
ifrom (he lightning, and sought with nnxious care to nourieb and 
rpreserve this gifl of heaven, now, (in the voltaic apparatus,) iho 
(Same of the lightning haa become a. sort of household fire, 
iirhich requires neither wood nor oil, and no priests are needed 
t|o watcti it day and night. 

I And how .iltogether ditreronlly docs this fire of a higher 
^(der, although as yet obtained only in an imperfect degree, 
.operate in comparison with the fire of our coal and our wood I 
^Jfslala, which can hardly be sofiened by a common fire, arc 
elted in a few moments by the current of our eleclro-mag- 
ilic apparatus ; other substances, which we are accustomed 
regard as firo-proof.are vitrified or turned into gases; while, 
the heat of our furnaces, we are only nhle to disengage Iheir 
:ygeD from the osydes of the metals, producing it in its pure 
III8 Ibrm, or, in combination with carbon, in the form of 
irbonic acid ; by the power of the galvanic fire, oxygen is set 
ee from its incomparably closer union with the metallic bases 
flho alkalis and the earths. What is the glare of all tho 
irchos and fires that man may kindle to the dazzling sun-like 
rightaess of a metal wire, through which the fire-current of 
alvanic or electro-magnetic battery passes; or how could Iho 
sslruclive flame, which rises upon the combustion of bodicst 




ever rival human art, like (he galvanic or electro- magnetic cur- 
rent, as in the case already meotioiied of the galTano-plattic 
art, (Electrotype.) 

For the various forms in which the fire of a oniversal Hfe 
and molloa penetrates the elemenis of the material world, 
science has iaveoled various names : Magnetism, Electricity, 
Galvanism, and Electro- magnetism. For that conslaiit inter- 
course of the sua whh the planetary worlds, from which come 
light and heat and the tendency to motion round an axis and In 
an annual orbit, wc arc yet as far from having any fitting 
name as we are from possessing a key to a thorough under- 
standing of the actual nature of this intercourse. But this we 
know, that the moving force, which, as universal gravity, act- 
ing from the sun, preserves the planets in their places, and 
from the planets, keeps their moons in their orbits and gives 
them, in proportion to the squares of their distances, ibrir 
different degrees of swil\ness, shows itself, by several of its 
properties, as a polaric agency of a yet higher order than that, 
with which we are acquainted in electrical and magnetic pheno- 
mena. Although the speed of light and yet more of the elec 
trie current appears, according to all human standards of 
motion, to be immense, it is yel measurable, for, from the 
earlier or Inter visibility of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites, 
at nearer or remoter tlislancea from the earth, the space which 
r light travels in an hour, has been reckoned at over 710 milltont 
of miles, that of the electric current in the same time at 1100 
millions of miles. On the other hand, the agency of the al- 
trading force of the sun is subjected !o no measurable space 
of time. The swiftness of the space- penetrating influence of 
gravity might still be estimated by us by means of the gradual 
acceleration of the annual course of the planets, although it 
were ten times greater than that of light, but with ali USB-' 


. the end t 


cause it lies beyond the limits of liuman calculation. As n 
thought, at the same instant in which it is cooceived, is with 
ils object and apprehends it ; as a living arm, at every moment 
is a limb of the body to which it belongs, bccau:3e it haa never 
ceased, nor, while life is, will or can ever cease to be a limb of 
ihe body, so the moving power of the sun is co-insianianeously 
at the sun and at the planets; for this power the limits of lime 
and apace cense to be. It is ali-present like the all-compre- 
hending, all-penetrating agency of the Creator himseif. 

Nevcrlheleas, the great sun, visible reflex as it is of the 
majesty of its Maker, must submit to the law of our human 
intelligence, when we compare the rotatory and revolving mo- 
tions of the worlds, on which ihe sun exerts its power, wilh 
those which the electro- magnetic current produces in a magnet. 
When we wind round a magnetic iron bar, an insulated copper 
wire almost at right angles, we do the same thing in miniature, 
that the Creative Power has done in so laying the mountain 
masses and substances of our planet, ring-shaped around Ihe 
axis thai passes through the two poles, that hence arises the 
globular form of our earth. The globular shape of the earih, 
may with equal reason bo regarded as a cause, as well as an 
effect of its rotatory motion. The eleclrico-polaric opposition 
between the parts and points of the earth's surface, reaching 
its highest activity, where the section, passing obliquely within 
a right angle from the circumference of the globe lo (he axle 
of the poles, is the greatest, appears lo be the couso of the daily 
revolution of the earth from west to east ; while upon the mag- 
netic opposition, connected wilh the direction of the poles, may 
depend its steadiness in ils orbit, the inclination of ils axis, and 
ils annual course round the central body. The sun itself lakes 
pari in Ihis formation, and in those motions of the earth, of 
which our electro-magnelic apparatus, Lolh in its construction 

I its working, gives us a faint copy; the rotating motion of 



the solid mass of the sun, in cortneclion mth the character ol 
its aliDDsphere, may have no incoDsiderable influence in the 
gcneralioD of light and heat ; but from what source comes thit 
current of power which sets the whole vast alructure, with all 
its parts nai spring-wheeis In molion, and keeps it moviag with 
imperlurbable exactness, that, mortal senses, formed of tha dust 
of earth, cannot descry. 

There arc, however, besides the power of motion, wiucb ftcis 
from the suo without ceasing, other qualities of the great lumin* 
sry which lie nearer to the daily observation of our senses. 
Let US proceed then to consider these properties of the ai 
especially, which arrest the notice, even of the child, and of all 
nations Btunding in the condition of childhood. 

That at that lime of the year, when the days lengthen o 
sidorably by the increased duration of the light, the heat also 
increases, is a fact, familiar every spring to the wildest Indiso 
who inhabits the forest swamps of North America. That the 
heat of a country, however, depends, not on the longer or 
shorter duration of the sun's daily light alone, but also oi 
higher or lower position of the sun, and in some measure 
hapa, even on iho rotatory motion, which is the greatest under 
the equator, is taught us by more e^act observation. If the 
only thing to be taken into view were the dvlTerenco between- 
day and night, daylight and darkness, it might be asserted that 
the inhabitants of the icy polar regions were equally favorably 
situated with the people of the ton'id itone, where the vanilla 
grows and palm-groves flourish, nay, (hat they were even some- 
what belter off than the latter, for in the course of a year, day- 
light, directly at Ihe pole, endures not only as long, but on 


it of the twilight preceding the rising and succeeding (he 
Mling of the sun, even longer than in the hot countries, which 
I under the equinoctial line, or the equator. TharG is only 
1 difference — under the equator ihe day, nt the poles the 
r, is divided into two equal parts, of which one enjoys the 
tt of the sun and the other is wrapt in darkness. Under the 
'equator the sun stands 12 hours in the heavens every day, at 
the poles 6 months every year. At the latter point a twilight 
precedes the vernal and follows the autumnal equinox of several 
weeks durationj but at llie equator, there is a twilight every 
morning and every evening, but very brief. 

But when the sun makes its daily course over the sky at the 
equator, its rays fall not askant, weakened by the lower and 
thicker strata of the atmosphere, and, in great part, lost therein, 
hut they strike the earth at midday perpendicularly, and with 
their full power. And on this fact, the generation of heat by 
the radiation of (he sun chiefly depends, as the twofold signifi- 
catioii of Ihe word climate depends. Originally this name was 
given to circles, supposed to be drawn north and south at equal 
distances from the equator, and the limits of which were deter- 
mined by the difference of the length of the longest day and of 
the longest night. Where the length of the longest day is not, 
as under iho equator, just 13 hours, but 12 hours and a half 
was the boundary of the first climate; where the longest day 
was 13 hours, was the boundary of the second climate. And 
so with the increase of about half an hour in the length of the 
longest day, a new climate was indicated ; the number of cli- 
mates, from the equator to the pole, where the longest day is 
84 hours, i. e. where tlie sun does not set, was 24; so that 
those countries, for instance, where the longest day is between 
16 lo IflJ ho,ur3, and the shortest night from 8 to 7i hours, 
lay in the ninth climate. The duration of that long polar day, 
on which the sun does not set, from the limit of the polar circle 


under 66° 32' lo ibe pole, (unJer 30°) and conswjuently 
through tlie whole 24tb climate, is very different. For in Lap- 
land uoder 66i° L. [here is only one day in the year, (21st 
June,) when the sun docs not set. Some days journey to Ibe 
north under 67° 18' L. a country ia reached, where the sunis 
above the horizon in summer, and below it in wiiileri for n 
whole monlli ; in Wadaoe, (765°) ihe lime in which the sun a 
always visible extends to more than 2 months, and just asiong 
a time it never rises ; ol Melville's island (76°) the same lime 
ia 3 months and 12 days, at BU" more than 4, at 63°, 5, and 
at 90°, 6 moniha. Although, however, iho point of time, at 
which, at the end of the long solar day, the sun should sini 
below the horizon, must fall upon the day of the autumnal 
equinox for the region of the poic ; and at Nova Zembla (70° 
L.) the beginning of the 3 months night must hethelastof 
October, and the polar-night, and the reappearance of the aun 
must begin for the former region, on the 21st of March, ond 
for N. Zembla, on the lllh February, nevertheless, by maims 
of the refraction of the atmosphere, the sun's disk is visible 
several weeks longer, and appears several weeks earlier, atiove 
the horizon, and also, both before its disappearance or its a|i- 
pearance, the twilight is so long that even at the pole the dark- 
ness of the night, which ia very much lessened by the light of 
the long moonlight nighls, conlinuea onlylSj weeks, it may, 
therefore, be affirmed, as already mentioned, that the division 
of daylight and night is rather to the advantage of the polar 
regions, in comparison with the equatorial countries. But we 
justly connect with the word climate the prevailing degree of 
heat, and hold it for settled beforehand, that the region of the 
first climatea (1 to 3) are the warmest, and thai those of tbe 
last, the 33d to the a4ih climate must bo the coldeal. 

Thus tbe average lemperalure of the whole year ia brought 
into cousidcration, which is not Ilie medium between the greateot 




5 heat and the severest cold of winter, but is obtained 
from the sums of the degrees of heol, ascerlained every day of 
the year by tliree daily obsetvalions. Although this average 
lempcralure of the whole year upon the surface of the eorlh at 
(liferent seasons of the year, and indeed of every day, is sub- 
ject to great changes, yet at a certain depth, in cellars and wells, 
and ID most springs, both in summer mid winter, there is a 
uniformity of heat, so that the temperature of the springs of a 
country can with a degree of certainty decide its annual aver- 
age heat. 

It is found in general that the annual average heat of the 3 
first climates, from the equator to something beyond the tropics 
amounts to, from 77° F. lo 82 5° F. At Cairo, situated in 30" 
2' N. L., the average temperature reaches only 72°; in Naples 
(41''N.L.)64''; in Paris (46° 50' N.L.) something over 53°; in 
London (5H°N.L.) 50°; in Copenhagen {55° 41' N. L.) only 
a little over 45.5° ; in Moscow (55^° N^. L.) only 40°; in 
Wadsoe (704° N. L.) 35°. At the North Cape, although 
laled not a whole degree north of Wadsoe, the earth does 
t thaw at a depth of a few feet even in summer, the average 
)erature of the earth is the freezing point, (32°,) while at 
Iflviirs island, it liills 2° below the freezing point. 

I on (heieeand snowfields of the polar regions, at 80° L,, 

) observable at the season, when the sun does not set, a 

Btiderable influence exerted by its higher or lower position. 

though still above (he horizon at midnight, not only is its 

|ht very much paler than 12 hours before at midday, but the 

ing power of its rays is so much weaker, that when it 

jnds towards the horizon, the snosv, which had thawed when 

n stood higher, grows hard again. On which account the 

bold adventurers, who seek the north jiolc, avail themselves of 

tbe hours in eummer, when it is night with us, to drag their 

3 over the driving ice-maases, and hall the longest 



when ii is about 7 or 8 A.' their watches, because about this 
time the aEcending luminary acts the most powerfully to thaw 
the snow. Still more perceptible is the influence of a higher posi- 
lion of the sun, when we consider the relation, already referred 
to, of the a?erage annual temperature of a country to its silua- 
tioo from the equator, where the sun every midday paasea 
perpendicularly, or almost so, over the zenith, to the frigid zone, 
where it always remaias far below the zenith. Nevertheless, 
only one general law alTecls this rolation which is subject to 
manifold exceptions and variations. Only some of these, to- 
gether with the causes that occasion themi will we here con- 

Eren the artificial heat of ou r rooms rises in ell parts of a 
chamber to a certain height, only when the wails, ceiling, and 
all ihe objects in the chamber have taken a certain clegree of 
heat, and the temperature of the room, which corresponds to onr 
feelings, continues when the fire is gradually diminished or 
wholly put out. A stove built alter the Russian fashion, when 
its thick stone structure is thoroughly healed, communicates beat 
for hours aAer the fire is extinguished. In a similar way, as a 
collector and diffuser of Heat, does the surface of tho earth 
act, especially the solid portion. The mare the soil is warmed 
through by the sun's rays, the more powerfully does it giye out 
heat, so long as it is kept at a certain degree of heat. For 
which reason the highest temperature of any one day does not, 
generally speaking, take place directly at midday, nor the 
greatest heat of the year on (he longest day, and when the sun 
is the highest, hut, in the first case, one o 
noon, and in the latter case, in the i 
the lowest temperature of winter occu 
when the days have begun to lengths 
of the day in the hours before sunrise 

: two hours aller 

lonlh of July. Just so, 

B generally in Jonuary, 

i; and the greatest cold 

And further, the tima 

at which, on an average, the greatest cold and the greatest 



occurs, even ia counlriea whose meridians lio not Tar 

from one another, is very diflbrent. In Paris the grealest cold 

generally occurs on the ITlh, in Padua on the 15lh, in Romu 

^m the nih, in Turin on the 3d of January ; the grealest heat 

^■pes place in Paris, generally, on ihe 15th, in Padua on the 

Hfeh, in Turin the 27lh of July, but in Rome about the Ist of 

^Sugust, Evea between the tropics, the iwo-fold highest staod 

of the thermometer does not coineide with the highest position 

of the sun, when the day and night are exactly equal, but 

le 19lh or 20th of April, and on Ihe 22(3 or 23d of 

Itober; ihe lime of iho coolest days is the 19ih or SOlh 

buary, and on the 22J or 23d of July, la the southern 

nisphere also, the greatest heat af the summer comes aAcr 

I sun has been at its highest point ; thus at Capetown, the 

Bsl day is the 2d February, the coldest the Glh July. 

Mot only the solid earth, even the water, which covers so 

I pari of ihe globe, and the air, which rests over il, are 

i by the sun's rays, although the elevation of their lem- 

Blure is continually modiGed by ihe motion, already descri- 

Tho atmosphere stands here in a two-fold relation to the 

Ih's surface. While il weakens Ihe powerof the sun's rays, 

t must pass through it, it yet operates favorably to increase 

r heat of the earth, for, like a garment with which we protect 

teelves from the cold, it affords some check to the radiation 

1 dissipation of the heat, and unites in the warming process, 

ngon from the earth's surface below, and the sun's inducnco 

Itve. But while the air near the earth ia heated, it is also 

■Biuled, and thus becomes lighter; it ascends. In thus rising 

[> regions, where the pressure of the air lessens in direct pro- 

Uton to Ihe height, the air, coming from below, becomes even 

(tr, occupies an increasing space, and by this rarefaction, the 

■perature is lowered, josi as in the formation of slcam; and 

■ feci is shown in the falling temperature of surrounding 



objects. But on (he contrary, when in the placeor the ascend- 
ing healed layers of [he air, the colder sirala descend rrom iho 
upper regions, ihea Ihese volumes of air, through the pressure 
of the higher columns, EUffer a. condensation, aod then, as 
always when an clastic fluid body is compressed iolo a narrow 
space, heat is generated and commuoicaled to the aurroundlng 
world of matter. 

Here is found, in part at least, the reason of the decrease of 
heat at great heights above the level of the sea. If we agree 
with Schmidt, (hat at a height of 334 feet above the sea ctwst, 
the avenige annual heat is about one degree lower, then in the 
region of Cairo, whose average annual temperature is over 70°, 
a mountain of the height of the Finsleraarkorn, in Switzer- 
land, (13,205 A.,) must have, at its top, a prevalent tempera- 
ture, somewhat below that of North Cape, below the freezing 
point. Yet the decrease of heal, in ascending to great haghls, 
is found to vary greatly, whether it be on a single mountain, or 
chains of mountains, or extensive highlands. On a mountain, 
standing by itself, at the same elevation above the level of the 
sea, a greater decrease of heat is observable than where the 
land forms n larger and a more extended mass. On which 
account, and for other reasons, the notion was a fallacious one, 
according to which a ditference in the situation of places above 
the level of the sea, amounting to from 260 to 270 (eet, was 
supposed to have the same influence on the average tempera- 
ture of the year as the distance of a degree from the equator, 
so that the annual heal of a place lying at the level of the sea, 
in 50° L., must be equal to that found in the latitude of 40° nl 
a height of about 2,600 feet. This idea was founded on the 
supposition, that the heat decreases regularly from one degree 
of latitude to another. But this is by no means the case, 
/or the average temperature ?io«v (.ha eo^ualor to lO^L., re- 
maina almost exactly the some, ^rom \y ^q \\\ewstft«.^ii\\wf«.. 


)t amounts on the cast coast of America, without decrease for 
every degree of latitude, in general to only Jlh, from the tropic 
a 33° L. to something more than J of a degree (R.,) thence to 
43° L. lo near ^ths of a degree of Keamur'a scale, while, 
Ibearer to the pole it slowly increases again, uuiil at last from 
lieyond 79 to 80° L., the surface of the sea or of the solid 
land, is uniformly covered with constant ice or snow, so that 
'tf>ere a degree of latitude, nearer to the pole or farther from it, 
•fcardly produces any perceptible difference of lemperalure. 
■ Middle Europe alone shows in regard to the decrease of the 
itverage temperature, a steady relation to geographical position, 
'fer here, as A. v. Humboldt stales, from 38° to 71° L. the an- 
'Atial heat, for every degree of latitude falls about fths of a 
'degree of Reamur, The average temperature of the monaate- 
fty of St. Bernard, which is at an elevation of 8,460 feet, 
'inust accordingly be that of 77° L. on the level. 

Upon the decrease of heat, as we gradually rise above the 
level of the sea, depends especially the height of the limit of 
terpetual snow. It may be slated as a general fact that, in ^ 
reading a mountain under the equator, ader those regions are 
passed, the temperature and vegetation of which correspond 
first to those of the temperate, and then of the frigid zone ; at 
I height of from 15,000 to 17,000 fl. (the Cordilleras of Quito 
ire almost 14,800, the Cordilleras of Chili, 17,960 ft.) the . 
temperature is reached, beyond which the enow lies the year 
Ihrough; between the 42° and 43° L. on the Pyrenees, and on i 
ihe Caucasus, those eminences are covered wilh continual | 
^TOOw, which are only about 8400 ft. high ; in the Swiss Alps, | 
ffAGP L.) the region of eternal snow reaches down lo below J 
teOO ft.; in the Carpathian mountains (50° L.) snow Is found | 
Vll summer at a height of 7000 ft. The inhabitants of Nor- i 
I latitude 62° procure snow and ice at midsummer from I 
it height of 6000 SI. Mountains only ^2W h.\\\^\u'\'S'V.l 


are covered with snow iIjc year through; and slill ncai 
the pole, the oblique raya of llie sua do not melt the sdc 
the low liills, and il would remain unmelled oq the topa of 
lowera and iolly houses, iT there were any buildings of that 
sort. Fiaally, we teach n (Kiinl whore sea and land are 
bound in perpetual frost. 

The further descent of continual winter from the mountain 
heights downwards to ibe plaioa stands in no uniform relalioii 
to the distance from tho equator, but depends, like the average 
temperature of countries, on quite other influences. The 
line retreats indeed, according to observations made in Ameri- 
ca, northwards from the equator, with the distance iherefrom, 
so considerably, that in 19° L., in the highlands of Mexico, 
the snow line is about 960 ft. lower than on the Cordilleras of 
Quito; on the other hand it stands, as already menlioncii, in 
Chili, where the mountains approach the sea to the westward, 
more than 2000 ft. higher than under tiie equator, allhough 
they lie in 16° — 18°S. L. The most considerable exception to 
the apparent rule is found in the situation of the snow-line 
the mountains of the Himalaya in 31° L. On the south, to- 
wards India, they reach the height of only 12,180 ft. which » 
only a little above one of the mountain peaks of Iho Tyrol; 
on tho other hand, on the heights lying under almost tho aaiM 
degree of latitude and forming the northern declivity towntda 
Thibet, the snow-line retreats to a height of 15,600 ft., si 
on Ihe northern sides the land is cultivated at a height wWcfc 
on the Indian descent ia covered with perpetual snow. Tfe 
fact, first stated by Humboldt, questioned by Hutton, but esta- 
blished by Batten, bears witness particularly to the power of 
Ihe solid parts of the earth's surface in diffusing heat, for tlie 
high land of Thibet, to the north of the Himalaya, rises 10,8M 
(l., so that its heat, radiated from the sun, must have a gfetf 
eSect in driving back the snow-line upon the adjoining r 


The highland of Thibet enjoys so mild a lemperalure 
that around H'Lassa, 9000 ft, ubove the sea, the vine is culti- 
vated, aided perhaps by the depth of the vallics. 

Although, in comparing the annual temperature of different 

counlries, we confine our attention only to the plains, or to 

slight elevations above the level of the sea, we meet with very 

remarkable esceptions to the rule, thai the heat lessens in direct 

proportion to the distance from tlie ecjiialor. The first settlers 

in N, America, within the borders of what are now the United 

Slates, and travelers on the coasts of eastern Asia, were long 

ago struck with the fact, that, ia both these quarters of the 

globe, the winter's cold is much severer, and even the summers 

oD the whole were much cooler than in European countries 

lying in the same latitudes, or even more to the north. When, 

according to Humboldt, we compare the annual temperature of 

L places on (he eastern coast of America, with that of the same 

KlMtiludes in Europe and northern Africa, we find, the more the 

ialance from the equator increases, the more remarkable ia the 

Hvantage in respect to mildness of climate, which Europe has 

r America. Nain, on the coast of Labrador is in 57° 6' N. 

, while Christiana in Norway is distant 59" 55' from the 

Niator, and yet at the former place the average temperature 

. below the freezing point, while in Christiana it is 

tnrly 10.7'' F, above thai point. The average temperature of 

lebec amounts to only 42°, although it lies about 61° south 

f Amsterdam, whose average temperature is nearly 52°, Hali- 

thc same latitude with Bordeaux, New York with 

fapies. But the average heat of the livo American places is 

ipuch lower than that of the European, that of Halifax more 

', thai of N. York about 1" lower than the temperature 

ja. As we approach the equator, these differences 

uilijr vanish, and in 30° ti. L,, St, AuguBtine and CairO) 


having the same geographical posiliorij enjoy almost the sane. 
degree of warmth. 

And Dol only in relation to the west coast of Europe, but 
dIso when compared with (he west coast of the same part of 
the world, the caalern coast of America stands at a disadvan- 
tage in r^pect of mildness of climate. New Archangel or the 
west coast of N. America ilea almost in the same latitude with 
Nain in Labrador, and yet ihe annua! heat of the former ex- 
coeds that of the latter about 19°, for not only does the sum- 
mer's heat in Now Archangel rise 13° higher, but its winters 
also are milder. The same relation subsists between the west 
coast of Europe and (he east coast of Asia, Pckin is some- 
what south of Naples, yet its average temperature is more (ban 
'J° lower than that of Naples. The winter in Pekin is very 
severe, for the average temperature of the season is nearly 5° 
beiow the freezing point, the cold is consequenily several de- 
grees greater than at Copenhagen, wliich yet lies about 17° 
more (o the north. 

The vicinity of an ocean obviously has a moderating in- 
fluence on the climate, and its effect is moreover considerable 
upon the temperature of the earth. Water, as a less suscepti- 
ble conductor of heat, takes neither heat nor cold in the same 
degree wilh the solid land. Heat, even that, generated by the 
direct rays of the sun, is, besides, diminished by constant eva- 
poration; the influence of the winter air is moderated, beeanse 
the cooling of the water is communicated to its whole mass, to 
its lowest depths, and thus only gradually is a steady and low 
degree of temperalure readied, while, at (he same time it ^ves 
out but little heal by radiation. Further, the influence of the 
evaporation of the water of the ocean is more observable in 
the air, resting on ils surface, than in iho icmpcrature of [he 
surface of the water ilsclf. The laller, from the equator lo 



N. and S, L., ia found to bo always somewhat higher than 

eighboring sirala or air. In all these ways the ocean 

lo equalise temperatures ; it moderates both the heat and 

cold of the adjoining land, so that soa-coosts and islands 

suffer no such remarkable differences as the countries lying fur 

from the ocean, in the interior of conlineotg. Thus, as Hum- 

ildt remarks, some cilies in the interior of northern Asia as 

.lak, (58^ 12' N. L.,) Barnaul at Obi, (53° 19' N. L.,) 

Irfcurlsk, (52° 17'), in regard to temperature, have just 

■3 as Berlin, {52° 31'), Munster, (51- 5.7'}, and 

irbourg in Normandy, (49= 38'). In the first mentioned 

the thermometer stands for weeks sometimes at 8fi° 

almost 88° F. ; but these summers are followed by winters, 

for a month at a time, there prevails a temperature 2' 

below zero. 

ly the mildness of the winter, the average temperature of 
y places may Uo high, while their situation is not conscquent- 
fcvorablo lo the growth oflhose plants, for which they would 
seem to bo fitted. In the north cast of Ireland, in 54° 56' N. 
L., of course in the same latitude with Koiiiabcrg in Prussia, 
the average temperature of the winter is almost 8° abve the 
point, consequently higher than in Milaa, Padua, and 
whole of Lombardy, where the average stand of liie iher- 
leier in winter only rises about 4° above the freezing point. 
although now, if this mildness of half the year wcro alone 
lide the matter, Dublin in Ireland would have a yet milder 
lale than Milan, yet the apparent advantage is quite neulra- 
by Ihu low temperature of the summer, which averages 
only 59° in such a region, almost always wrapt in mist. The 
average annual heat of Milan is 55°, that of Dublin not much 
over 46°. Ofen in Hungary affords an example of the con- 
Irory. There the winter is usually bo cold, that its tempera- 
falls to over i° below the freezing point, consequently 



more than 11° lower than in the above mentioned parts o[ 
Ireland ; the average heat of the Gummer in Hungary rises 
over 68°, and even over 70° F. Still more striking is the con- 
trast between the average temperatures of winter and summet 
at some poiDts of the north-west coast of £uro]>e. On the 
Orkneys, (e. g. Siromness,) not a half degree south of Stock- 
holm, the winter is (according to Flumboldt,) milder than at 
Paris, almost as mild as in London. Even on the Faroe islands, 
in 62" N. L., the waters of the interior never freeze. On the 
lo»ely coast of Devonshire, where the harbor of Salcombe has 
been called, on account of its mild climate, the Montpellier of 
the north, the American aloes (Agave Americana) is seen 
blooming in the open air, as in the south of France and Italy. 
There, and at Pozana and Gosport, and on the coasts of Nor- 
mandy at Cherbourg, the average wiuler-lemperalure is over 
42°, i, e. scarcely a degree below that of Montpellier and 
Florence. And yet we should err, if we should expect the 
same effects that follow ihe climateof Montpellier and Florence. 
While in the environs of London, (he strawberry-tree and 
myrtle endure the winter, and tiear their blossoms in the open 
air as freely as in the botanical gardens at Montpellier, while 
in Ireland also, the New Zealand S&s can be raised in the open 
air, yet the vine never fuily ripens lis fruit, and The same is 
true of all those fruits which require a high and continuous 
heat, which, of course, must be accompanied by a certain miid- 
nesa of winter, that the plants may not be destroyed by frost. 

On both summer and winter, it is not merely the position of 
the sun that acts, but also the situation of a country in relatioa 
to ihe sea and other lands. The perpendicular rays of (he sun 
at the equator and between the tropics, act much more power- 
fully upon the land than sea. From the land, especially when 
dry, stony, and without shade, like the African and Asiatic 
sand-deserts, there arise, when the sun is at lis height, hot 


s of air, which pour llieniselves inio (he colder regions 
lowards the poles, while heiivier, colder air rushes in from the 
last named regions, and from above. The soil of the stony 
niid sandy wasles between the tropics is not infrequentiy healed 
to 126°, and even more than 140° F. This last degree of heat 
was observed by A. Ilumboldl, in the while granite sand at the 
filllsof the Orinoco, while the heat of the air scarcely amounted 
n the other hand, J, v. Roth, the companion of Capt. 
;, on the English espedilion to Schoa, saw in the stony 
desert in 9° L., ihe thermometer rise to nearly 124° in the 
shade. So great an escosa of heat cannot, however, in pro- 
portion lo the colder strata of the air of the upper and the poiar 
Prions long be kept up; ordinarily the nights, on such hot 
isles, are sensibly cooler. 
The line of the highest position of the sun, the tropic of 
Cancer, passes over land only a sixlh pari of the sun's course, 
the remaining Jths, it pusses over water. That sixth falls 
almost entirely on those portions of Africa, over whose land 
masses the equator passes; also over some regions of Ihe con- 
tinent, and larger islands of Asia and Australia, the sun 
stands twice a year in the zenith, while only |lha of tho land, 
lying under the equator belong to America. Herein lies a 
cause of that greater annual heal that distinguishes Europe for 
MJBBtance from the greatest part of the other countries. The 
■beams of warm air, generated by the sun over the soil of 
^KfHca between the tropics, have, at some points, only a 
short space to pass over the Mediterranean, and where tho 
Mediterranean is broader, it weakens the healing power of the 
south winds so little that they are felt as a hot Sirocco through 
I Italy up to (he Tyrolese Alps. The westerly countries of 
■ middle degree of latilude ore warmed in the same 
ipcciaUy the East Indian peninsulas, will 
bnds near them. 


The directly oppoaile, cooling elTecl is produced by ihe sir- 
currents coming from Ihe polar regions, upon a conlJDeQt that 
extends without interruption fur up towards the pole. Europe 
is bounded on its most northerly coast by a sea, whicb, within 
iho polar circle, is mostly free from ice, while the nortbernniost 
continent of Asia extends in part over Ihe polar circle, and like 
Ihe moat northerly coast of America, is girdled by a s 
which is only in part free from ice. Hence come those raw 
currents of air, which bring eve;i to the winters in the more 
outherly regions of Siberia, a so higli degree of cold. 

From the rotalioo of the earth on ils axis, points near the 
poles have a much less velocity than those at the equator, 
Hence the currents of air coming from Ihe north towards the 
equator, having far leas velocity than the swifter moving bodies 
it the equator, the Isller are pushed against those currents, they 
become a conalanl wind tn the direction contrary to that in 
which the earth revolves, that ib, from east lo west, or an 
wind, (the trade winds.) The equilibrium of the columns of 
air, being thus disturbed, is restored by the west and south-* 
winds which prevail in Ihe temperate zones the greater part of 
the year. When this predominating current of air passes over 
a broad expanse of water, before it reaches land, it shares the 
mild winter-temperature of the ocean, and imparts the sar 
the coasts over which it passes ; when, on the contrary, it 
travels far over continents, it is so cooled by the wintry cold 
of the land, that it diminishes considerably the annual heat of 
the countries, which it traverses. Here is the main reason o: 
the mild winters of the western coasts, and the harder wimers 
of the eastern coasts of our continents. 

But further, the ocean, as already remarked, effects an equa- 
lization of the tempcrnlures of summer and winter, hence 
peninsulas, or bays running far into the land, and the e.xistence 
of large inland seas, everywhere contribute lo moderate 


climate. The currents of the ocean, when Ihey are of an 
elevated femperalure, communicate to the countries, whose 
shores they wash, ihc ndvnntngo of ao increase of warmth, as 
Sabine has shown in the case of the Gulf stream, which lakea 
its course from the coast of Mexico, lowarda the west coasts of 
Africa and Europe, In all these respects, Europe and western 
Asia, bordering on the Mediterranean, the Black and the Caspian 
seas, appear to be especially adapted both to the comfort and 
well-being of their inhabitants and to the intercourse of nations ; 
and almost the same advantages are enjoyed by the countries 
of southern Asia, situated on peninsulas and penetrated by 
long arms of the sea, and by several portions of central 

A local influence of an opposite kind, tending to lessen (he 
annual heat, is exercised, in the temperate and frigid zones, by 
swamps and shallow waters, covered in winter with ice that 
melts lale in the spring, by the vicinity of high mounlains, 
standing alone, from whose snowy peaks currents of cold air 
flow down, and by extensive forests, which, by the evaporation 
of ihe moisture ihcy imbibe, and by shading the soil, keep it 
cool, and finally by the direclion of long mountain chains, 
Lg|rhicb obstruct the currents of warm air. 
^ft When we consider the expanse of the different zones, formed 
'^va they are by reference to the position of Ihe aun and the pre- 
vailing annual heat, a very favorable fact is shown in regard 
lo the earth's surface. The torrid zone, which stretches from 
the equator to the tropica, embraces a space of 77,700,000 
square miles, each of Ihe two temperate zones, from the tropics 
lo the polar circles, 50 millions, both logelher 100 millions of 
M, each of the inhospilablo frigid zones only 8 millions 
Only for the eleventh part of the earth, there- 
iwcr of the sun's rays too weak to dissipate In 
e and snow of winter. 


At tho two extremes, in llie torrid tind polar zonea, in llie 
soiiio latitudes, the greatest agreement of overage temperaturea 
IB fouod; wheD, on the other liand, we compare Ihe annual 
heal of countries under equal parallels from the coasts of 1 be 
Atlantic, from France through Germany, Poland and Rossis, 
eaatward to the Ural chain, we find it steadily decreasing. Be- 
yond the Ural mountains, the mild west winds become cold 
land winds; the climate of western Siberia h 
the disadvantageous iofluences, lo which a continent far es- 
lended, with uniform steppes, and covered with salt lakes and 
swamps, is exposed. On the coafrary, when wc imagine 
drawn over Ihe surface of the glohe, along side and between 
the lines that represent tho degrees of latitude, other lines, in- 
dicating the equal degrees of the year's heat {isothermal lines) 
wo lind lliat sui'h a line bends upward considerably, passing 
from the east coast of America to tiio west coast of Europe, 
inasmuch as at 70° L., the same average temperature is found 
on the European coast, tliat prevails on tho American coast 
scarcely at 57° and 60°. But if we follow lines of the same 
sort from Laplund eastward towards Asia, we see them at once 
bend considerably downwards, so that in Ihe farthest e 
Asia in 57° 60° L., the average temperature does not stAnd 
higher than in northernmost Lapland. This isothermal line,. 
however, again rises when we follow it across the Pacific to tho 
western const of N. America; the average temperature hero 
approaches that which distinguishes places on the western coast 
of Europe, in the same latitudes. Upon these bendings of the 
isothermal lines, upon their depression below and their eleva- 
tion above the fines of latitude, the direction of which they 
follow on t!ie whole, an obvious influence is exerted, at many 
points, where they pass over oceans and islands or portions of 
land, by this variety in the forms of the earth's surface, so llial 
[ wjcre an iaolhermal line pjsses from tho ocean or from BiftaH 


[□ds llirgugh a long strip of land, or a larger island, an 
elevation or deprcssloa of the temperature, according to the 
circumstaaccs mentioned above, takes place. 

In some neighboring places even of one and the same conti- 
nent, in places whose latitude is precisely the same, and which 
are at an equal height above the sea, a considerable difierence 
of temperature Is observable, when one place is situated on the 
declivity of a mountaia, the other upon an extended, high 
pisiu. The latter site presents in the Cordilleras aa increase 
of the annual beat of 2° lo nearly 31° F. 

That, for centuries, the general average heal of our planet 
has sufiered no perceptible change appears, not only from his- 
tory, but even from the exact calculations of astronomers. 
Had the earth's heat decreased, there would have been a 
change also of those other and inlimatc relations of things, 
with which is connected the lime of the earth's rotation on its 
axis, and ihe length of the day, which, however, has remained 
ihe same for ages. The decline in the lemperature of single 
years, or even of series of years is as local as it is temporary, 
mid while one quarter has an unusually severe winter, or 
suSers from long continued heal and drought, another expe- 
riences a damp warm winter, or its soil is flooded with rain. 
At Ibis present time the northern hemisphere has an advantage 
Qver the southern, in that its midsummer coincides nearly with 
that lime in its annual course, during which Ihe earth is farthest 
from the sun; our midwinter, of course, according with the time 
when the sun is nearest. As, according to the law of univer- 
asl gravity, or of the polaric relations between the central body 
and the bodies subordinated to it, ihc rote with which one of 
these bodies moves in its orbit increases as the square of Ihe 
distance from the centre decreases, so is it the consequence of 
that coincidence of ihe two main points of the year with IhR 
1 itiflerent distances from the sun, that the winlcr half o£j^h 
1 ^^1 

year b almost B days (7 days 18 hours) shorler Ihan the sum' 
mer hair, the latter being of course so much the longer. As, 
however, ihia relation is variable, ioasmuch as the points in the 
earth's orbit, where the sun's greatest nearness and greatest 
distance, fall, (the perihelion and aphelion,) do not always re> 
main the same, but advance annually about 61 j' (almost the 
29thparlorihediameier of the moon's disk,) hence it follows: 
that the difference between ihe length of the summer and the 
winter, on both hemispheres, was not always the same, nor can 
it be. Already now the time of Ihe perihelion no longer occurs 
precisely at ihe beginning of winter, hut on the Isl of January, 
and the aphelion occurs after the middle of the summer half 
of the year, (after the summer solstice) not until ihe 3d of 
July, and about every 5S years, these points of time advance 
about one calendar day. If, therefore, we reckon back, it is 
found (hat almost 6000 years ago, the perihelion occurred at the 
beginning of autumn, the aphelion at the beginning of spring, 
and that then the two great divisions of the year were exactly 
of the same length in both hemispheres. But, therefore, st 
that time, the northern hemisphere was neither warmer nor 
colder than it is now. For besides that, as already stated, 
astronomy has proved, from the uniforni rate of the daily revo- 
lution of the earth on its axis, that the average heat of ihe 
earth for ages has been the same, the revolution of the earth 
round the sun, or the year, has kept exactly Ihe same length, 
the mean distance of the enrlh from its central body is still 
precisely the same as formerly. The illumination and wann- 
ing of the solid land between the tropics, by the sun standing 
perpendicularly or almost so, has, on ihe whole, remained un- 
changed both in duration and power ; ihe warm columns of air, 
ascending from the land, the ocean -currents, which, coning 
from the torrid zone north and south of the equator and wash- 
ing the west and north-west shores of the eastern hemispberei 


axe spscially ihe same ; the relation or ihe periodical equaliza- 
tions of Ihe heat of one region with (he cold of anolher was 
ihe same thousands of years ago, and will be Ihe saniQ ihou- 
saDda of years hence thai it is now, Ei'en ihe increase and 
the decrease of Ihe ice of [he polar seaa and of mounlain lops 
ia subject lo certain limilalions of atlernale, periodical equnliza- 
tian. The advantage, which the narihern hemisphere has over 
the southern, especially in respect of its warmer summers, is 
founded chiefly on the larger mass of land, existing in it. The 
predominating quantity of water on the southern hemisphere 
helps indeed to soden its winters, but it also gives occasion for 
the collectiou in the atmosphere of watery vapor, which im- 
pedes the access of the sun's rays to the earth, and delays the 
approaches of summer. In comparison with the polar laud of 
the northeru hemisphere, fearful, therefore, must be the siiua 
lion of the lately discovered polar land of the south. The 
Ibrmer is connected in part with continents from which warm 
aif-currents may rise, without losing their temperature over 
the sea. But the southern polar land is cut off from these 
Leon tri but ions of warm air by a broad ocean and by the ice 
which (ills its waters. 

Nevertheless, in the neighborhood of these cloud- wrapt, never 
thawing masses of ice, there yet stirs a world of microscopic 
animals, in such variety of kind, and in such countless num- 
bers, that Capl. Itoss brought home from his voyage to the 
south pole, under 78° 10' S. L., from pieces of floating ice over 
15 species of these animals with their flinty shells. In some 
of these specimens the greenish ovaries leR, no doubt that these 
animals belonged not to a long dead, but to a yet living race, 
^^i>B inhabitants of the coldest zone of the earth, 
^b But although this little throng of the animal kingdom, by the 
^Bpountless numbers in which it peoples the northern and southern 
^Holarzooes, gives proof that, in the wintry gloom of those regions 




as well Bs in [he depths of the earth, lire is possible, yet it talfm 
only in relation to these imperfecl forms of life. Other, higlier 
animals, as Humboldt remarks, require, not only the influence 
of a higher, average heat, but also ihe clear, unclouded heaven, 
and ihe sun's light streaming down from a certain higher poial. 
A mislure of chlorine and hydrogen does not take fire at the 
same temperature of the air, when the sky is overcast, and 
the sun's rays are somewhat weakened. It ignitea with a violent 
e:<plosion the instant the light breaks forth in full brightness 
from Ihe atmosphere. Thus we find also that in many places, 
under a higher average annual lemperaiure, the myrlie and 
laurel flourish in the open air, and yet many fruits will not 
lipen, because a clouded sky only rarely suffers the sunlight to 
break through, and the geographical position of such places is 
such that the sun's rays fall only obliquely. We are here led 
from the consideration of the sun's heat and its influence on 
the earth to the consideration of the light of the sun and it> 

52. TDE DAGr: 


We pause here, for a few moments, over one of the most 
remarkable discoveries of modem times, because it brings us 
acquainted with a properly of light, by which it diaclosea Its 
relationship to those electro- magnetic forces which we have 
already considered. 

It was long ago known that the vibratory motion of sound- 
ing bodies, which is communicated as an audible sound to lite 
air and so to the ear, possesses a certain power of producing 
forms. When a finely pulverised substance, such as rosin, is 
spread upon glass tablets, which give forth various tones by the 
drawing of a violin bow over their edges, it is observed that ns 


many figures ofS formed in the rosin as there ai^ tones, by Ihe 
vibrations of the glass, or of any bodies set in audible motion in 
a similar way. The vibrating motions, communicated lo bodies 
by the electric and electro-magnetic currents, produce similar 
rarmalioDs, and Ihe difference between the forms, produced by 
|iOQ!tive and negative electricity, was early recognised. In 
light, and especially io the light of the sun, observation must 
early have discovered a coloring and fashioning agency. 
Those stunted, ogly-colored Anomia, (a species of bivalve 
muscle,) drawn up by ahipa anchors from a depih, lo which 
only ilie wealfeat glimmer of light reaches, show us how ani- 
mated bodies are dependant for their formation on daylight. 
The same influence of light appears also in the sprouts of pota- 
toes, and other vegetables, which have attempted to germinate 
and grow in cellars and dark caverns. It is true, the crys- 
tnllioe formations of unorganised bodies do not appear to 
require the influence of light ; it is of the utmost importance, 
however, to many chemical actions. 

The sunlight acts with a decomposing power, especially on 
the combinations of gold and silver with different substances ; 
these metals may bo separated, by means of light, in a me- 
lallic Ibrm, or in a condition of imperfect oxydation. We have 
spoken of Iodine, which is obtained from the ashes of several 
aea>planta. It is mixed, besides, in minute quantities, with the 
^nlerof various springs. This substance, insoluble in water, 
Euluble in spirits of wine, of an almost metallic brightness, 
^sbingiog by heat into a violet blue colored gas, enters, like 
Chlorine and Bromine, (its fellow inhabitants of the sea and of 
sea-plants,) into combinations with silver, from which this me- 
tal is immediately separated by the influence of light. Upon 
i decomposed rests the 
sovery made in the year 1839, by Niepci and Daguerre, 


A copper plale is covered (plated) wilh silver, and carerully 
polished, JD order to obtain as pure and smooth a surfacs as 
possible. It is then placed in the dork in a vessel, at the bollom 
of which is put iodine, which, by being lieated from below, is 
converted into vapor, and in this form combioea with the silver 
on the surface of the plate which then becomes of a light 
yellow color. As soon as this coinbiaation is completed, the 
metal plate with its fine covering of iodide of silver is imme- 
diately taken out and placed in a camera obscum in which (he 
image of the object, illuminated by the sun, is formed by a 
lens in diminished proportions upon the metal plate, as upon 
any other surface, placed in the focus. Id a few motnents the 
light, passing from the illuminated body into the camera ob- 
Bcura, and upon the iodide of silver, acts upon this compostlion: 
the silver is separated from the iodine. But still, when ihe 
plale is drawn quickly out, (before the weaker light of Ihe sur- 
rounding air has exerted its decomposing iDfluence,) not a trace 
of a picture is discernible on its surface, but it becomes visible 
when the plate is taken from the camera obscure, and placed 
for some moments in a dark bos, filled with the vapor rising 
from mercury healed lo 149 or 158 degrees, which in (his 
form unites with the silver, which is disengaged from the 
iodine by the effect of the light. There now remains nothing 
lo be done but lo gel rid of the thin film, consisting of iodide 
of silver undecomposed, in order lo prevent the further nctioii 
of light upon the plate. This is done by dipping the plate in 
a solution of hypo. sulphite of aoda in wnler, or in a boiling hot 
solution of common sail, the iodine ihtis quilting the silver and 
uniting wilh the soda. The plale is then washed in perfecliy 
pure, distilled water. The quicksilver amalgam formed in Ihe 
places where (he silver has separated from Ihe iodine, is aih 
afTected by the weak hypo-sulphite of soda solution^ or the boil. 


ing sail water. This amalgani stands now, raised upon the 
bright silver plale, forming the lights of the picture, and the 
silver, cleansed wholly from the iodine, reflects light bo per- 
fectly as lo appear dark, thus forming the shades, and the 
picture is done. 

This method, first employed and thus described by the inven- 
lor of Photography, may be varied in diiferent ways, by using, 
instead of iodine in a solid form, a solution of the same, diluted 
with water, in spirits of wine ; to gel rid of the iodide of silver 
covering, a cold solution of common salt suffices, if the plate, 
which is dipped into Ihe sohilion, be touched by a small rod of 
zinc, and the chemical action be accelerated by galvanic in- 
fluence. The sensibility of the silver solution to the influence 
of light may be atill further increased by the use of a combi- 
nation of iodine and chlorine, instead of pure iodine, or by 
adding a pqrtion of bromino to the solution, or by holding the 
plate, when the formation of the iodide of silver film is com- 
pleted, for some moments, over a weak solution of chlorine, by 
which its yellowish color becomes red. By means of these 
improvements has it become possible to seize the swiftly flitting 
spectacle of Ihe visible world, and fix it as a picture. 

Instead of plates, covered with silver, paper is also used, 
wet in a weak solution of nitrate of silver, (If drams to 18. oz. 
of water) then dried, next dipped into a watery solution of 
iodide of potassium, and linally drawn through water, and 
again dried. The paper is kept from the light ; Just before it 
is used, a mixture of nitrate of silver with fth of acetic acid 
and a saturated solution of gallic acid are spread over it. Afler 
Ihe paper thus prepared has been exposed for a short time in 
the camera obscura to the action of light, Ihe above mentioned 
mixture is again spread over it, it is gently heated, and finally 
a solution of bromide of potassium is applied to it, to fix the 
—Jimits of the picture. Il is true, what is dark in Ihe object 



represenled ia light in the ligbt-d rawing, and the reverse, bU 
this is avoided by laying the light-drawing between two glan 
plates upoD another paper, prepared in the same way, aud ei> 
posing bolh to the action of the sunlight. For thea ihe ligbt 
Ghining through the light places of the lighl-drawing, produces 
on the paper beneath it that decomposition, by which ihe dark 
colored silver cotnes out, and where the darker places of the 
light-drawing are, bright spots appear, according to the greater 
or less opacity of the same. In this way, copies of drawings 
and copperplates may be produced by doubting the paper. But 
the preparation, as well as the use of the paper, called by Tal- 
bot, ils inventor, kaiotype, is stieaded by much greater difficul- 
ties than the employment of ihe metal ]ilales, covered wllb 
ailver, according to Daguerre's nielhod, and is less exact. 

It is indeed marvelous what can be done by the invention of 
the Daguerreotype, this simple combinalioa of B camera ob- 
scura, and a metal plate covered wiih a tincture of iodide of 
silver. The traveler, whose way lies through a country never 
represented by human hand, while lie rests in the shade of a 
rock or tree, has only to let the image of the landscape, illu- 
minated by the sun, fall upon his Daguerreotype plate in a 
camera obscura, or he may direct his apparatus to a master. 
piece of ancient architecture, and he has a copy of the land- 
scape or the edifice, with the fidelity of which to the minutest 
particular, the art of man can enter into no rivalry. To obtain 
copies of the inscriptions, scarcely legible and as yet undeci- 
phered, which are found on the sites of ancient ruins, formerly 
required hours and days of learned labor; they may now be 
prepared at once by llie method of Dagucrre. The hierogly- 
phics on obelisks or pillars of Btoue, the epitaphs inscribed on 
marble, may nil now be copied in a few seconds with an exact- 
neas, which leaves nothing to be desired. The man of science, 
traveling in the luxuriant regions of the torrid zone, and n 


■ tag with a multitude of animals never before Been, may, io an 
hour's lime, obtain oumerous drawings of ihelr outward form, 

and inlernal siruclure. 

It is indispensable, in order thai the outlines of the light- 
drawing shouM be well defined, that the object repreaenled 
should, at least for Eome seconds, keep its position unchanged. 
The waving motion of a flag in the open air makea it impossi- 
ble to represent such an object distinctly; the object continually 
changing its place and form, the drawing is rendered indistinct. 
Yet even in this respecl, since an increased sensibility Io light 
has been given to the metallic mixture, what seemed impossible 
has become practicable. The present writer has seen a metal 
plate, on which was a drawing made by a photographer of 
Vienna, at the moment when the emperor Ferdinand made a 
grand entry into Linlz. Not only the buildings and all other 
fixed objects, but the people looking out of the windows, Iho 
immense throng in the streets were represented with ihe 
grealest distinctness. Had there been a near acquaintance in 
ibe crowd at the moment when Ihe sunlight fell upon it, and 
itie reflection fell upon the Daguerreotype, he could easily have 
been recognised in the drawing. 

The light-drawings of the Daguerreotype certainly want ths 
charm of color. These pictures are only in black and white. 
Even with this defect, the forming power of light, through de- 
composiiioo thus revealed to us is most wonderful. This action 
of light may be likened in a manner to the imagination and 
memory in the living soul, A light-ray of that Universal In- 

lelligence, e 

videnlly divine, falls 

into the darkness of our undor- 

standing, i 

caught by this ( 

s the silver by the mercury, 

uniled with 

it,) and thus come 

Io be an enduring properly of 

our nature. 


Before we proceed to apeak further of the properties oflighl, 
let us refer to a fact universally known : ihe separation of Ihe 
suu'a ray into several bright colora, when it passes, under ibe 
due conditions, through a transparent three-sided rod of ground 
glass, (the prism,) and falls upon a wall, or any reflecting 
•urface. The color-picture or spectrum, which under these 
circumstances, becomes visible, is essentially, although on a 
small scale, a repeiition of the splendid spectacle of the rain* 
bovr. Both phenomena have their origin in a separation of the 
Bun's light in consequence of the refraction which it sufiera in 
passing through a transparent body. 

The refraction thus undergone by the rays of light, is difli- 
rent from ordinary refraction. Were a perfectly even plate of 
glass, of the same thickness as ihe prism, placed in a little, 
window-like opening, that opens out of an otherwise darkened 
room into the open daylight, it would, (iu proportion to its 
size,) serve the same purpose as a window. As we looked out 
through it at the sun, we should see the sun's disk in its oalural, 
round form, and the light, coming in through this opening, 
would appear on the wall opposite in the same form wilh this 
little window. But if, instead of a glass plate, we hold a three- 
sided prism before this opening in a horizontal position, so that 
one edge is turned towards the fioor, the light falls upon one 
surface of the prism, and takes its way through ihe transparent 
gtass towards the opposite surface. Rut as, in this direction, 
the prism is not of equal thickness, but below, where the two 
surfaces terminate in the sharp edge, it is much narrower than 

above, where 
of light have 
through the diffcreol di 


owards the third surface, the mys 
a shorter, and above a longer way 
!rs t»f Ihe three-sided gls 




. They accordingly suffer a very diBerenI refraclion, Ihe lower 
rays being less, and the upper rays more, refracted. On this 
stronger or weaker refraction depends, not only the direction 
which the ray lakes when il emerges on ihe other side of the 
I -transparenl body, but also the measure of illuminating power, 
1 'which the light, ailer passing through (he glass, still retains. 
1 the most transparent body takes from the light that 
I through it a portion of its illuminating power; the 
kicker it is, the more it diminishes the power of the light, 
knter consequently mare than air, and glass still more than 
The form of the light, therefore, thrown by a prism, 
s above, on the opposite wall, appears, not only on ac- 
luot of the different degrees of refraclion, oblongated from 
above downwards, but parts of the spectrum are of various 
degrees of light, the upper part, which is most refracted, being 
the faintest, the lower part the brightest. Herewith a remark- 
able change lakes place in the appearance of the light. It is 
Ho longer the colorless light of day, but it is separated Into 
L rAKrent strips of different color, not indeed sharply defined, 
K "fciit one color melting at its edges into another. The colors 

■ from below upwards (or in the rainbow from above downwards) 
I .*re in ihe following order, first red, over red, orange, then 

■ •yellow, green, blue, and lastly, at the top, violet, or if, with 
I -Newton we distinguish seven colors, the blue is followed by 
I 'Indigo blue, and then follows the violet. Of all the colors the 
I ' violet is ihe least bright, in weakness is the blue, the yel- 
■3'low gives the strongest light, and the orange exceeds Ihe tight 
1 — of Ibe green and red rays. 

t^ But Ihe activity of the rays is not confined lo the limits of 
Ijflhe diRerent colors; it extends beyond into Ihe light and color- 
^Pfcss vicinity of the spectrum. When a daguerreotype plate, 
Htor even the most carefully prepared pliolographic paper, is 
H^exposed to the rays of a prism, it is observed that the red ray 



has no activity ; the paper and the plate remain unacted. 
The yellow cay also manifests scarcely a (race of cbemicnl 
ioflueocc; only at the edge of the blue does such an infiuence 
begin to he perceptible, and it is stronger in the blue ilaelf, ami 
slill more in ihe violet, and even beyond the violet, at n pdnt 
where no color and no light are visible. We attributed ibe 
decomposition, which ihe iodide of silver in our daguerreotype 
apparulus undergoes, to the light, and to the eommon li^ of 
day, and preBumed, of course, that, where the light is grratesi, 
its chemir^al activity is strongest. But we are here taught the 
contrary, for not only is the violet ray, whose light is tba 
weakest, most powerful in its chemical influence, but a light 
still weaker, invisible to us, shows itself most active, chemically 
regarded. This appears also from the influence of the prisma- 
tic colors on other chemical processes, A mixture of dry 
chlorine gas and hydrogen, which undergoes no change when 
kept in (he dark, remains unchanged when exposed to the red 
and the yellow rays, its conversion into muriatic acid takes 
place gradually, as in ordinary daylight, when it ia submitted 
to the blueish green, but the change ia sudden when the violet 
ray falls on it. 

In connection with the iaOucnce of the different colors of the 
prism, may be mentioned, in passing, Ihe insensibility of the 
daguerreolype plates and of photographic paper to the green 
color of foliage, which, on this account, even when immova- 
ble, ia at beat only imperfectly represented in light drawings. 

Not only Ihe chemical power but the warming property of 
light is found to reside at one end of the spectrum, and even 
beyond the limits of (he same. But it is (he red ray, nol the 
viole(, that gives the grealosl heat. Whea a piece of thin 
paper is blackened on one side by a weak, smoky flame, and 
spread with this blackened side upon a board, and the while 
side is wet with strong spirits of wine, and the apeclmm is 

THE MOON. 445 

lowed to Tall on it, it mny he plainly seen ihat (he paper dries 
B quickest under the red ray, and the slowest under the vio- 
t, and Ihat of course, the greatesi heat must be in ihe former, 
ong all transparent bodies, the crystalline, water-clear, 
|[ salt allows ^eat to pass through the least diminished, with- 
It reflecting it or relainini; any perceptible degree of it to 
) the temperature of ita own mass. When the form ofa 
i-sided prism is given to a piece of this mineral salt, we 
in by it not only a perfect spectrum, but are also able to 
ark the difference between the heating and non-heating por- 
1 of the light. By a delicate thermometer one may be con- 
i that the temperature under the violet ray remains undis- 
rbed, while it rises as we approach the red ray. And even 
: the red ray the heat ia not so great as beyond it, at a 
ice from the border of the red, equal to a third of Ihe whole 
gjth of the spectrum. Consequently the light manifests its 
iivity, and most strikingly, where to our eyes no light is per- 


The consideration of the warming property of the sun's light 
Js US to that of the non-warming quality of that luminary 
ich, next to the sun, is the most important to our planet. 
long with the apparent revolutions of the sun, the course and 
if the moon afford the inhabitants of the enrih the 
wns of dividing and determining time. The long enduriiiij 
rkness of the polar zone, in winter, is, in some degree, allo- 
ited by (he steady shining of the moon ; and wiili us also, 
d even in the most highly favored climate of the warmer 
oea, the mild light of the moon gives (o the night a special 
urn. In those lands, whose skies, almost always clear, are 

410 MlhaOR OF NATURE. 

much more transparent than ours, iho moonlight is so bright 
that we may read by it without difficulty. Yet i[ la calculated, 
and, by direct admeasurement of the strength of the light, 
ascertained, ihnt the light of the moon Is 800,000 times weaker 
than [hat of the sun. The light of the moon ft only the reflec 
lion of the sun's light, which must certainly find upon ihe 
lurfnce a substance highly capable of reflection, for the 
moon's light is like the brightness of a snowy mountain-top, or 
glacier seen from a distance. 

If the surface of the moon were of a whitish stone similar to 
our limestone, one would think thai we here on the earth must 
feel aomelhiog of the boat of the sun's reflected light. But the 
moonlight communicates no perceptible heat to the earth, and 
even a thermometer, placed in the focus of Ihe most powerlbl 
burning glass or reflecting mirror, shows no measurable 
increase of heal. One might, indeed, almost he inclined to 
attach weight to certain, as yet indeed only isolated observa- 
lions of Lichten berg's, and consider the moon a col d-difTu sing 
body. When this celebrated philosopher observed with special 
nllcniion the overage lemperature of those days on which our 
earth in the palh of its orbit occupied the exact place where the 
moon had been a few hours before, he found that once (in 
June) it was a time of unusual cold, and another time, in 
autumn, that ihe weather was very stormy. Nevertheless, 
since the use of such inslruments for Ihe measuring of heat as 
have been described in the chapter on the importance of heal 
to magnetism and electricity, it has been ascertained that the 
light of the moon is not wholly without the power of producing 

The light of the moon, as well as that of the sun, may be 
separated in a similar way into Ihe colors of ihe rainbow, 
although the colors are a great deal weaker ; the pale, Bcsioelj' 


itinguishabli; red and the violet of ihe lunar raiiibov and of 
tfie speclrum, cast by the prt^m, are as little capable of die- 
of jiroducing heal. 

so far as ihe telescope 
10 great idea either of its 
ie same. On our earth, 
s of equalizing the es- 
;urrenls flowing towards 

The whole characler of the r 
brings us acquainted with it, gives 
of its power lo communic 
•irater discharges the beneficent 
tremes of lemperatui 

northern hemisphere from the south and southwest, and at 
■ north, from the north and northwest, carry a porlion of 
ir heat lo regions remote from the equator ; and at the same 
le the heat of the tropics is moderated by the currents of 
il air from the colder zones. What a useful covering our 
losphere forms for our planet, ao Ihiit it does not lose by 
lialioD the heat received from the sun, is seen from the cold, 
availing at those heights where the air is rare, and hy the 
d of those nights in the winter and early spring when the 
r ia cloudless, and no warm air-ctirrenl from the south pre- 
its the temperature's falling. In enumerating ihe advan- 
which our fair earth haa over the moon, if we wish to go 
Y further, we may note the no inconsiderable fact, that, with 
I exception of the polar zones, in all climates, in the short 
ice of 24 hours, the sun rises and sets once, once midnight 
id Ihe inhabitants of the temperate 
among the denizens of the earth, 
body and mind, experience every 
year the wholesome influence of the changes of the seasons. 

What a quite difTercnl lot, in these respects, ia appointed to 

the companion of our earth, the moon! There there is 

lither 9ca nor wind, no morning nor evening red, but accord- 

ir measure of time, every month has a summer of 14 

lys, when the sun, mounting to the zenith of the equator, or 

descending to the lower position at the polar regions, neither 

Iternates with midday, 

ad the most vigorous i 




rises nor sets once, and ihen follows just as long a winter nighl. 
Were there upon the moon an ocean, or a sea of the aiza of 
one of our inland seas, it woulci have been distinguished by Iha 
lelescope, but though art has multiplied the power of our vision 

thousand fold, nothing meets the eye in the moon but s man 
of heights and depths, mountains rising high above the mea- 
Bure of our Alps and Cordilleras, and abysmal cavities, so 
broad and deep that a Mount Blanc or Chimborasso would 
hardly suffice to till them. Not only is there no sea, not a 
drop of water exists on the moon. If a single stream flowed 
there, or if springs gushed from the declivities of mountains) 
aa with ub, then here and there those fearful caverns would 
have been tilled ; water, if it existed there, or even the snow, 
would have risen in vapor under the influence of the sun, and 
formed an atmosphere round the moon, which, although it ori- 
ginated on the other side of the moon, would immediately, by 
the law of gravity, be difliised over all parts of the surface of 
the moon. Such an atmosphere would be visible to us through 
the lelescope, not only by its changes arising from changes of 
temperature, but also by other consequences of the refraction 
of light; were there any kind of atmosphere, like ours, there 
would be at least a brief twilight ; but the latest observations 
have discovered nothing of the kind. The idea of a very rare 
almoaphere around the moon, lacks confirmation. The poor 
moon, in a higher degree almost, than a mountain 8 or 9 miles 
high on the earth would be, is exposed without protection to the 
sun's rays during its long day, and to the escape of the heat 
during its equally long nighl. 

The heavens aa seen from the moon are of course clear 
enough, never overcast by cloud or misl, no storms rage there, 
but one day is like another — and what profound silence reigns 
there on that lillle neighboring world I 



■Aye indeed, a stillness like that oY Ihe grave, Ihe deep, un- 
ci stillness of nature. There no bird sings, no flule, nor 
Dor jEolian harp sounds ; air is wanting for music as for 

sathing. When in ascending a loHy mountain, or in mount- 
ing in a balloon, we reach a region, in which there is still air, 
but very much rare6ed, Ihe strongest tone of the human voice 
sounds like a faint, muflled noise; even ihe discharge of a 
musket is inaudible at the distance of a few hundred feet. But 
where Ihere is no atmosphere whatever, the fall of a mountain 
could be perceived only by tho shaking of the solid ground ; 
the corpse, buried deep in the grave, would be more sensible of 
it than the erect, living man. And with the ear, the eye also, 
and all ihe senses, were they like ours, would suffer the conse- 
quences of the absence of air, for without air there would be no 
flame h?re on the earth, without oxygen gas and its access to 
the oxydisable metals, or to a combustible element, there would 
be no green of llie plant or the emerald, no red on the cheek 
or of the ruby, no decorative colors of blossoms or insects, 
indeed, with few exceptions, no colored stone. If water and 
air were withdrawn, our earth would have neither animals nor 
plaatH, nor even n particle of mould, in which the seed might 
germinate and unfold ; (he mountains would not indeed crum- 
ble by Ihe action of air or water, but naked and dry thoy would, 
like a bleached skeleton, reflocl the sunlight. 

But we may spate ourselves the vain endeavor of portraying 
the moon in the colors which our human understanding fur- 
nishes us with. These colors are like those which we let fall 
through a prism upon a heap of baker's flour. lu the light of 
lliese colors the wholesome flour appears as a strange roaaa of 
red, yellow, blue and violet dust, whose conversion into bread 
would be beyond the scope of our imagination. We lay aside 
Ihe prism and lo! the brightly colored dust is nothing but a 
ell known, useful meal. Our human judgment separates the 



light of knowledge ihat ftrfis within (he circle of ils conlpninn- 
aioD, into the colored rays of ila own sensuous experience ; and 
these colors do as little belong to the real nature of the objects 
which we contemplate as the coloring thrown by the prism oi 
the flour. Before the investigations of travelers liad disclosed it, 
who could have surmised the existence of that immeasurable 
fulness of animalcula rejoicing in life in the icy masses and the 
never-melting snow of the polar region 1 Although we can 
conjecture hut little, and know with certainty still less of the 
moon, one thing we know, that that heavenly body, with all 
that ia thereon and therein, is made the care of the same ere 
tive power, which everywhere generates motion and vital a 
tivity, because it is itself Life. That there on ihe white, field 
of death, aa it appears, of the moon's surface, transformations 
and vicissitudes of decay and birih are going on, seems t< 
the case even from some observations of science. But lo wbal 
purposes and for whom those cavernous depths, so frightful K 
our eyes, are there, by which Lhe surface of the moon is 
broken; upon what beings falls the blinding brilliancy of ibe 
sun, and the pale ash-gray light, that comes from the huge disk 
of the earth, standing immovable in one place ia the mc 
sky — these things, so long aa we are bound to this terrestrial 
world, we can never know. 

The sunlight, so it is understood, is divided by the prim 
rays of different colore, because it is composed of these colors, 1 
for the prismatic colors, as the oft rcpeoted experiments of I 
Newton seem to leach, make the impression of while light, 
when coliecied into one. It is customary lo prove (his, by I 
giving a swill swinging molion to the prism, which is comm 
cated lo the speclroni, and causes the separate rays of the si 


flow together in so plaja a manner, that they appear together 
only as a white, clear, strip of light. In a lens, the several 
colors of the jirismatic figure unite ao completely that no colors, 
^aly the clear common light of day is perceived. 
^kThe reflected sunlight, which from the illuminated disk of 
Hb of the planets, especially of Venus and Mars, falls into a 
"prism, produces a spectrum, similar to that of the ruya of the 
sun. In the spectrum, caused by the flame of a burning body, 
several colors are generally visible, but sometimes one color 
prevails so that the others are scarcely distinguishable. When 
alcohol is much diluted, it burns with a yellowish light ; the 
same color predominates in the spectrum, aod ihe same appear- 
ance is presented in the case of bodies imperfectly combustible. 
Even in Ihe spectrum of a common taper, when its light falls 
upon the prism through a narrow slit, there appears, between 
the red and yellow, a light strip, which intimates the predomin- 
ance of yellow. On the olher hand, when phosphorus is burnt 
with saltpetre, a spectrum is produced, in which no single color 
prevails ; and the same is true of the light given out by plali- 
uum at a white beat, and other heated subslances. 

A remarkable phenomena, tn the light of the spectrum, into 
which light is decomposed by the prism, is presented in those 
dark, partly black lines often seen by the naked eye, when, 
iiwteiid of fulling on the wall, the spectrum is caught at the 
proper distance from the prism, but still better, when the spec- 
trim is examined through a telescope. Of whatever iranspa- 
leDt substance the prism is made, these lines always appear in 
proportionally equal strength, and in the same order; the 
magnifying power of the telescope is of considerable impor- 
tance to the distinctness of the phenomenon. In the red, the 
smallest lines comparatively are seen, although atiU tolerably 
disliuct ; in the green is found the blackest line of all, in the 
blue, several, and among them one lino composed of many 

45y MlRROll OF NATL'RB. 

fine lines. The number of fine lines, ainoog which is one, 
composed of mnny crowded lines, increases towards and in the 
indigo blue; in ihe violet, follow aevcral limes, at longer inter- 
vals two broad stripes, very striking, and standing at a little 
ce from one another; then come four groups of lines, in 
the first and second of which only three, then five lines can be 
plainly distinguished. Many of ihe lines which appear single 
from an ordinary telescope, are seen with a more powerful 
instrument, to consist of several lines ; Fraunhqfer counted 
nearly 600. 

Although this phenomenon, to which Fraunhofer, in Munich, 
irsl drew attention, may signify but little, and even the way, 
n which it has been explained, may not be satisfactory, it is 
still worthy the most careful consideration, as it promises some 
explanation of the variety in the sun-like light of the fixed 
stars. In the light of Sirius, for instance, three broad stripes 
are seen, of which two ore in the blue, and one is in the green, 
and the same is the case with the spectrum of Castor. But in 
the spectrum of Pollux, as in that of the sun, a great number 
of very delicate lines is discerned ; in Procyon only a few. 
Instead of these dark lines in the spectrum of the sun and 
several of the fixed stars, many bright lines appear in the 
spectrum of the eleclrio spark, the number and arrangement 
of which differ with the metals from which the spark is drawn. 
In every respect it appears worthy of note that even in the 
centre of light, the brightest we know, the light of the sun, 
there is still found an allernalion of light and darkness, in- 
crease and decrease. This allernalion, this rising and falling, 
s the common characteristic of all nature and its forces. 

The colors existing in the light are distributed in manifold 
gradations and mixtures, one with another, in terrestrial bodies. 
Where Ihey are connected with the quality of Iransparenc^t -i 
(be daylight shows liie some cfTecl which is observed inH 


of the prismatic spectrum. Thus ihe chloride of silver quickly 
grows black when subjected lo light passing through a violet 
colored glass, while it remaiDS unchanged under a red light, or 
takes merely a rosy hue, (ns by heal.) 

Id the colors, presented id the terrestrial world, we remark 
a great difference in respect to refliicling the light and heat 
which they receive. Black is the perfect opposite of light and 
all ita colors; it is the entire absence of both. All the more 
powerfully does (he attraction of the opposite show itself. It 
lakes the light that falls on it, without reflecting it, it is, there- 
fore, more powerfully affected by the heal of the sun's rays. 
When several pieces of cloth of the same web and size, but of 
difierent colors, are laid in the snow and exposed lo the light, 
the snow under the black cloth melts soonest and most, and 
under the white it thaws the least, Ne:>ft to black cloth, the 
dark brown and the blood red (blackish red) show the greatest 
power of receiving and communicating heal. 

This property of black lo promote beat by light has given 
occasion to the invention of a photometer, (lighl- measurer,) 
lliQ use of which has indeed been superseded by otlter instru- 
menla, that fulfil its main purpose belter, — it is still, however, 
valuable as making evident the heat-giving power of light. 
Two thermometers are chosen for the experiment, which rise 
and fal! exactly alike ; when the ball of one of them is black- 
ened, and so long as both are kept in the dark, they indicate 
tha external temperature in the same way, but as soon as the 
lighl is let in, Ihe mercury or spirits of wine in the ibormome- 
ler with a blackened ball inslantly rises higher than the other. 
This difference becomes greater, the stronger the light. J^ie 
made this experiment, which I^ctet had first tried in order lo 
measure the lighl of ihe sun in comparison wiih that of an 
ordinary flame, ile found that in causing the mercury in a 
llackcneJ ihermomeler to rise, the light of the sun is 12,000 


times more powerful ihan thai of a candle, so Ihal a portion of 
the sun'a disk, of the size of a taper, radiated a degree of heat 
equal to that of 12,000 wax candles. Other observationa have, 
however, taught that the rays of a fire, in proportion to their 
illuminaling power, give much less heat than the rays of ibe 
sun, but thai, at the same time, the heat of a fire is more 
quickly consumed, in raising the temperature of transparenl 
bodies, through which its light passes, than the beat of the sua, 
on which account when the rays of a. Hame are collected in s 
burning glass, the latter is made warm ; but while the light bI 
its focus has a greatly increased brighlDess, it produces only s 
very slight heat. On the other hand, when, for the same ex- 
periment, a burning glass is used, of so dark a color that il 
lets no rays of tight through, (ia no ti -I ran spa rent,) the heat at 
the focus is increased greatly; so that it would seem that, in 
the first case, the warming power of the fiame is consumed 
and left in the glass, while its illuminating power passes with- 
out obstruction through the glass, and, in the other case, that 
the reverse ia the fact. 

We will mention here, only in passing, that other mode 
which has come into more general use, of estimating the light 
which a luminous body gives ; a method based very simply 
upon the strength of the shadow which a metallic rod for 
instance throws on a white ground. If one wishes to compare 
the light of two such bodies, he has only to let the shadows of 
the rod, caused by their light, to fall upon a white ground, and 
if, for example, one light proceeds from a plate of platinum, at 
a while heat, and the other from a wax candle, bolh lights 
must be placed at such distances that both shadows are equally 
dark. In comparing the light of the sun with any other light, 
a little glass ball iilled with mercury may he used, on which a 
ray of the sun's light is allowed to fall, and then the strenglh 
I of the reflected ray of sunlight is compared with that of i 


ftftodle, for instance, by obaerving Ihe Tormer through a lele- 
Kope, aad the ktter through a convex lens, and then adjusting 
Bk distancea until both lights are equally bright. In ihia, iind 
^tarious other ways, the light emitted by luminous bodies has 
B^n so Dicely tletermined, that it has been found that 5,563 
Max lights are, al the distance of 1 foot, equal to the light of 
Kb 8UD. The light ofSirius is 30,000 millions of times weaker 
Bpan that of the sua, and nine times greater than that of Vega, 
Ki Ihe Lyre. The light of the moon is calculated to be about 
W,000 (24,966) limes greater than that of Sirius, although it 
Koutd take 800,000 moons to diffiiae over Ihe earth the light 
Bf midday. As the earth is at the same distance from Ihe sun 
Ktith the moon, we may measure the light, which, sa a star 
Bmong Ihe stars, it irradiates as wcl! from those parts of its 
B|i&ce most favorable lo reflection, as from the ocean, allow- 
^BBce being made for the elTects of the density of the atmos- 
Hbere on ibis reHeclion. It is found that, in proportion to their 
^Kxe, Mercury reflects a light 6^, Venus a light twice as great 
Ki that of the earth ; while the planetary light of Mars is only 
■ths as bright. When further, the light of the remotest planets 
Ba compared with that which they should reflect according to 
their distance from the sun, if they are physically like our 
earth, it is found ihat the light of the farthest planets is greater 
than calculation fixes it. These bodies, therefore, must have 
Bome peculiar power of producing light, besides that which 
they receive from the sun. Without such power, which is 
probably accompanied also with a peculiar power of gene- 
rating heal, those remote suburbs of the solar system must be 
quite uninhabitable for beings like us, 

Let us turn, however, again to the color-giving power of 
light. Not only the colors of the prism, but also what we ordi- 
narlly name colors, the coloring substances with which our 
garments, pictures, glass vessels; and other works of art, are 


reodered pleasing to the eye, are ell children of Ihe light, and 
show in all their stages their entire dependence on light. 

When those two most common combustible substances, eit. 
bon aod hydrogen gna, htb burnt with oxygen, the light of the 
flame is not only specially bright, but the new combinationa, 
carbonic acid and water, arc also transparent and clear, with- 
out any decided color. When on the other hand, we mis witli 
these more complete combustibles other substances of a metal- 
lic or earthy nature, which impede the process of combustion, 
the flame shows those bright colors which we give to our fire- 
works. A lillle addition of pulverized stronlia in spirits of 
wine gives to the flame a bright purple red colour. The addi- 
tion of such a substance, obstructing the process, acts here in 
the same way with the prism, when ihe prism comes with 
its weakening and diverting influence between the sunlight and 

. Ihe body to be illuminated. 

The color which we thus give lo the flame, is a traagient 
appearance, it can however, according lo the nature of the sub- 
stance which combines with the oxygen, undergo a sort of 
combustion, become more or less fixed. The production of the 
metallic o.'syde resembles, according lo its nature, a species of 
combustion ; hut it stands to ordinary combustion, which is 
attended with flame, as the gentle, imperceptible passing to and 
fro of electricity between the earth and the atmosphere, to the 
lightning of the (bunder -cloud. Thai inner, vibrating motion, 
which produces on the eye ihe effect of light and color, be- 
comes, in imperfect combustion or oxydalion, particularly of 
the metala, a continuous and steady motion, and is communi- 
cated in this state to transparent, solid bodies. On which 
account the beautiful green of oxyde of chromium has shone 
forth with unchangeable power from the emerald for thousands 
of years, and its red, from the ruby, and the green of oxyde of 
nickel from the chrysoprnsc. It is the oxvdes of iron wfcict' 



to organized natures, 

a its different shades, 

it is to be TBma.rked 

ited by a metallic 

in most inGlaDccs give lo stones an 
their great variety of colors, such 
and yellow, green, blue and violet, 
ihat oHentimes the bright colors, 
•element to transparent bodies at different stages of its imperfect 
suluralion with oxygen, disappear and become white when the 
saliirnlion (or, as it were, combustion) is complete. The same 
is the case with carbon, when in its imperfect combustion it 
presents those dark colors which we often see in its mixture 
with other bodies, for when converted into carbonic acid, it has 
the waterlike clearness of the gases. Here is the cause of 
that eSect, which an admixture of manganese ore has in destroy- 
ing the colors of our glass which is colored somclimea by iron, 
in one state of osydation ; the oxygen gas, which this ore has 
so abundantly, is used up in this process in sattirating Ihe 
imperfectly oxydized coloring substances ; they become clear 
and colorless, and the pure molten silica of glass, and mountain 
crystals even, are so also. 

Id organic nature we ofien see the whole process reversed. 

The leaves of a plant, which puts forth in a warm, dark cellar, 

^^do not have the natural green color, but are a pale white, but 

^Bxpose them to the sunlight, ihey soon become of a fresh green. 

^RTbe effect of the sun upon the leaves of plants is to disengage 

^^beir oxygen. The carbon of carbonic acid is hsrchy put into 

a state of imperfect oxydnlion, and instantly becomes colored. 

The more powerful the development of the vital activity of tho 

plant is, the more actively and steadily does the disengagement 

of its oxygen go on. And this may be the reason why the 

■young leaves of the plant give litmus paper a reddish color, like 


* The peculiar, green -coloring substance of plants resemhles in 

bony of its qualities the resins; carhon, and with carbon, hydro- 

e a predominant part in its chemical composition. The 

458 Miniioa OF nature. 

vpgelable green dissolves just like (he resins, not in water,but 
in alcohol, and slilt more readily in oils, bill preserves its color 
in this Bolution only while liept from the light ; directly the sun 
shines on it, it become first brown then white. This decoloris- 
ing influence shows itself on the green tincture, extracted by 
means of alcohol from cherry and elder leaves, in the space o( 
20 rninutes. On the contrary, indigo, which is obtained rrom 
the leaves of the indigo plant, is while so long as oxygen hoa 
no access to it, but when it is exposed to the air, it eagerly 
attracts the oxygen, and becomes blue. Upon the coloring 
substances, oblained from the vegetable world, ihe light, espe- 
cially that of the direct rays of the sun, has a powerful in- 
fluence, changing, and at last destroying their colors. Even 
a high degree of heat can produce auoh changes. Many vege- 
table colors, which are only slowly decolorised by the sun, are 
bleached in a few minutes, when exposed to a current of air 
heated to tlie boiling point. The yellow color, given to paper 
by the tincture of Quaja, when put under the violet my of the 
prism is changed into green by imbibing oxygen, but it i 
stored by a moderate degrei of heat. 

As colors have a very obvious influence on ihc inanimale 
world, they affect animated beings in a still higher degree. 
Apart from the chemicai action of the violet ray on the vitality 
of the vegetable leaf, s prcfcrenco for, or an antipathy to, certain 
colors is manifested by many animals. A tame crane, which 
was long observed by H. v. Sdtaurolh, showed the greatest 
dislike of some other domestic animals, obviously because ihey 
were black ; for lo other animals of the same species, which 
were of a difTerenl color, he manifesled no such antipathy. 
Red is known to exert an almost maddening influence upon 
some animals. Cowa of a red color, are continually cxposeil 
in our Alpine herds to Ihe persecutions of their companions, so 
ihal they have to be kept apart. It is dangerous to approach 


^■e homed cattle on the Alpa in a red dress; even a red cloth 
H|ill irritate tbem to attack the unconscious stranger. To onr 
Hirkies, particularly of American origin, red is an object of 
Hnrror, they will assault it, when they fee] themselves equal to 
rthe conflict. We read in the account of Valentine Duval, 
Urhal an eSecl a red rag, hung around (lie neck of a young 
^■rkeycock, had upon the poor animal, an effect, which, but ibr 
^■fljood providence, would have had just as sad consequences for 
^■b herdsboy as for his feathered nursling. In the south of 
^Hrance, lurkies are governed, not by a whip or staff, but by a 
^Kck with a piece of scarlet cloth fastened to the end. In this 
^■by whole flocks are driven to market. 

^B Even on Ihe temper of man, the prevailing colors that sur- 
Hpind him, exercise perhaps a greater influence than, amidst Ihe 
Bfctractions of daily life, he is aware of. The nations of anti- 
^kiily have said and fabled much in regard to the influence of 
^■llors and the brilliancy of precious stones. We need not their 
Kuthority to say, much less to believe, that the sight of the 
beautiful violet-colored amethyst inspires pleasant dreamings; 
the brilliancy of the diamond or the ruby may give valor and 
firmness to the soldier in battle, or the mild green light of the 
emerald may compose the passions. The foliage of trees 
soothes the spirit. By gazing long on a yellow color, the mind 
may be aHected with disgust. Red, according to its degree of 
mixture with yellow or blue, or its perfect purhy in carmine, 
may have an influence on the afTections. In the pure white of 
Ihe lily, there lies that which appears akin to the serene activi- 
ty and life of the soul. 


We would gladly establish for so sublime an element as 
Light, and even for Heat also, agents, so wide and ao penetra- 



ling in Iheir power, Ihe well-deserved glory of esening n 
transitory influence. The bcU, when struclc by the hammer, 
continues to sound on audibly, and Jong after we cease to hear 
it, the vibralions of the melal, which the stroke of the hair 
bns produced, may slill continue. So also the influence nf 
Light still operates, in its coloring and illumiaating properties, 
when the sun which radiated it has set, the flame, which gene- 
rated it, is exiinguished. 

How astonished was that shoemalier in Bologna, Vincent 
Caneariolo, when he saw those stones, which he had healed, 
several hours before, in his cooking stove, slill glowing red, 
allhough the fire had long been extinguished, and the slove and 
the shining stones were quite co!d! It was not indeed any kind 
of Blonc that would have exhibited to him this remarkable ap- 
pearance, hut only that ash-gray, sulphurous spar which he 
chanced lo pick up on Mount Paterno, near Bologna, Neither 
would every shoemaker, or indeed every scholar of those times, 
have made the curious discovery which Vincent made in regard 
lo the so-called Botognese light-stone. And had any distin- 
guished man been led to it under the same circumstances with 
our Bolognesc shoemaker, he would have been ashamed per- 
liaps to tell the simple truth. But that was by no means 
case with Vincent Cascariolo, He confessed, and all his ndgh- 
bors knew, that his desire " to make gold," prompted him to Ihe 
first esperjment with this stone. It was only too well known 
that the man, instead of laboring industriously lo support him- 
self by his trade, gave himself up day and night lo the longing 
to find "the substance of all substances," the " prima materia, 
of which Ihe Creator made all things, and parlicularly gold, 
which man might imitate the dear God in making, if he only 
had tiiat original sub:ilance in his possession," The carniagof 
Lkreuzer by kreuzer, seemed to him altogether loo trifling— 
H'^ld guilders, thousands upon thousands, and to-morrov 


I thousands, willi five liolidays every week, wilh feasting 
merry- makiogs — ihat sounded much heller." But this 
sound, which rung continually in hia reveries in his ears, 
long while deluded Vincent, and was bringing him only 
want and care, when one day, (in the year 1630,) he picked up 
on Mt. PateraOj a. gray atooo, shaped like u fiitttened ball, with 
i^ surface ghltering hens and there, and observed ihat it was 
heavier than other stones. Immediately his beloved substance 
of substances occurred lo him. Perhaps he had got it now in 
t'tis stone, so he thought. He filled his pockets, went home, 
and kindled a good iire in his little alchemislical furnace, heated 
and roasted the stone, witich yielded indeed no prima materia, 
but proved lo be a curiosity with which the lover of natural 
science has loved to please hia eyes from lliat day to this. For 
the fragments of the Bononian or Bolognese light stone, (as it 
is called from the place where it was first found,) continue to 
give out a colored light like the glow-warm in the dark, not 
only ailer being subjected to fire, but also when exposed for 
some moments to the sun. 

Cascariolo made some profit even in money from bis disco- 
very, as he not only communicated it to (he moat distinguished 
men of science in his native city, but the friends of scietice 
throughout Italy and in other countries, spared no expense in 
obtaining a specimen of this remarkable stone. But the profit 
was much greater ihat Science itself drew from the knowledge 
of the fact that, without any sort of combustion, the motion 
IB in light, is communicated to a solid body, and con- 
for a time those vibrations which appear lo us as a 

The diamond, indestructibly aoiid as it appears, yet consist- 
ing of pure carbon, is a combustible body. But every one 
knows what an extraordinary degree of heat, either in the 
focus ofa burning mirror, or in the greatest power of a melting 


Turnnce, ia required lo ignite this cosOy fuelt wlucb yet, 
burning, gives out no clear flame, but is decomposed with ool] 
an emiuioD of sparks. But many diamonds, (ibe 
does Dot succeed in all cases,) when e^iposed for the time 
the sunlight, and Ihfn carried into the dark, continue to ^cUa 
08 if llicy were healed red hot. Near Nerlschinsk, in Siberii 
R vnriely of fluor spar is found, (cnlled chlorophane) whiei 
possesses in a very high degree the property of shiaiog in iba 
dark, upon being previously ciposed to the light; and 
native fluorspar has the same ijuality, more or less. 
Bologna lighlatone consists, as has been said, of a comfaiaRtioo 
of burytes with sulphuric acid, and on Ibis combination 
majnly its ijuatjly of conlinuous ahioing. On which accoAl 
our common heavy apar, (sulphate of barytes,) which is 
in many parts, even of Germany, presents the same ph< 
non OS ihc Bologna stone, which is found, moreover, not' 
at Bologna, but near Amberg, in Bavaria, and in other 
And not only the heavy spar, but the sulphate of stronlia, til || 
n number of simple and compound bodies possess lbepn|M4Bli1 
of continuing to shine when carried into the dark. Bejonii' 
others, the moat readily prepared is iho Conlonian phos 
(so styled from its inventor, John Cantotiy an EngliehlP' iil|| 
which is made by roasting oyster shells, and then puivaa bi^^ 
them, and after mixing with ihom a fourth of their 
flowers of sulphur, exposing them again for an hour in 
to a strong heat. A still belter mixture, more sensilifB* 
light, is burnt oyster shells and suphurct of antimony. I 
there are a number of natural and artificial substanceani 
possess the property of the Bologna stone, which can t<l 
better prepared for the oxperimont by being pulverlwi) 
mixed with gum Iragacantb, and formed into little p1aU(|i 
then heated for an hour. 




^Were our sense of sight, as 
ght as that of many animals, ■ 
gilt given forth in Ihe dark by rr 
t have been shone upon durir 
hrpetttier ia the case o^ sev 
And not only solid bodi 

Bensilive to weaker degrees of 
»e should probably perceive a 
any species of rockaandslones 
ig the day, as was observed by 
eral specimens of granite and 
es, but the fluid element of the 

~i when iiluininnled during the day hy a tropical sun, gives 
I at night a light, which is not wholly of animal origin, 
n [he German lakes, a weak phosphorescence has been 

1 old times, marvellous stories were told, which had iheir 
bn in the east, the land of the sun, of a wonderful stone, 
V ca/buncle, that gave light of ilaeif, as bright as that of a 
illuminating the darkness of subterranean caverns nod 
These stories wore fabulous of course, but they had a 
mdation in trutli, as the diamond and other precious stones 

1 regard to al! bodies which coniinuo to givo in the dark 
light which they have received, it ia to be remarked that 
quality is shown by means of the light of the sua or any 
ling body, but not the light of Ihe moon. Noteworthy also 
be fact, that the violet ray is chiefly favorable to this pro- 
ly, while it instantly ceases to be manifested, when the 
noos substance is exposed to the red ray of the spectrum. 
ith the species of illumination which we have here de- 
ed and which Is caused by a continuance of Ihe vibrations 
Indulations produced in bodies by light, we must not con- 
d that light which is the consequence of a slow combino- 
with oxygen, or which is, in its sphere, like the electric 
it, Ihc indication of an equalizing (discharge) of the electric 
I, between the atmosphere and the earlh. To phenomena 
bis sort, belong those fire rains, the terrors of which alTect 
but the eye. A dislingiiislied and trustworthy man 


of science, T. Hergmann, saw two such fire showers 'm Sep- 
tember 1759, the heavy drops of which, when they fell upon 
the earth, gave out n stroog spark, so that in the darktieas of 
the night the fields had tlie appearance of being covered with a 
ftintiy shining fluid fire. It is hardly necessary to add, that 
this fire neither diffused heal nor possessed any destructive 

Kolten wood, putrid flesh and fish, shine in the dark, but 
mBDifeet no heat. This light is connected with a sort of slow 
oombuslioD. When these phosphorescent substances are ex- 
posed to those gases, in which a candle goes out, they also 
cease to be luminous. Even mrtny living animals, marine aoi- 
nnalcula, (sea blubber) shine at night. Id the glow-worm nai 
fire-fly, the light they give is dependent upon the vital power 
and will of the insect, as in the case of the electric eel. A sim- 
ilar connection of a phosphorescent power with the will of the 
animal has been observed in (he eyes of the cat. 


From the remotest times, no visible object has more power* 
fully excited the activity of human thought than light. The 
question concerning Ihe nature of light, Science has sought to 
noswer in two ways. Either, so it has been thought, light is a 
subtile material fluid, continually emanating from the sua, and 
diffused llirough space, repelled (reflected) when it strikes a 
non-translucenl body; or it consists in a vibrating motion, 
excited by the sun and all luminous bodies, and communicated 
to the ether, and propagated to our optic nerve, and to every 
other body susceptible of illumination. The first theory is 
designated as the theory of emanation, the latter as tiis u 
tory theory. 



The firsl pbilosapliei' known, who fashioned Ihe idea of llie 
[ of light as a malerinl lluid into a system was, so much 
k know, Etnppdocles, who lived in the middle of the 5ih ccn- 
' before Christ, at Agrigenlum, a city in Sicily, a spot 
^re man might rejoice in the light and ite brilliaacy as in 
» other parts of the earth. For tlila Agrigenlum, which in 
I palmiest days, lield a population of 800,000 souls, contained 
erylliiag that could delight the eye, and even now the tra- 
ler may spend a whole day and night in visiting the magni- 
Biit ruins of the old city, which like a jewel set in gold, lies uncommonly beautiful country. Scarcely any where 
s there, does one feel that the eye is never satisfied wilh 
J, It is no strange thing, therefore, that the deep-thinking 
Wpedocles took such pains to apprehend tho suhtils nature of 
9 light, in a land where the light loves to linger, and where it 
wkeng on!y pleasure in every genial human heart. 
Twenty-one hundred years afterwards, as great a philoso- 
ar as Empedocles, the illusfrious Englishman, Isaac lieiumn, 
bomted the doctrine that light is a material emanation, with 
»t acuteness, 

^The doctrine which regards light as a materia! emanation 
18 opposed by one of the acutest thinkers of al! limes, Arix- 
le, in the 4lh century before Christ. He expressed the opin- 
I, which just two thousand years later was maintained with 
sat power by a kindred genius, Huygens, a native of Hol- 
id, and by a German mathematician, Euler, namely, that 
Jit is an all-penelrating motion, not a substance, but a power 
loDging to substances, (imdulation.) This theory has been 
I confirmed by the profound investigations of modern timea 
lit it may now be regarded as tlie prevailing one in this de- 
Tlment of Physics. 
•Sound is communicated by a sounding body to Ihe ear, be- 
inse Ihe air takes part in the vibratory motion into which that 


body is Ihrown. Although no olher IciTeslrial body is so pene- 
trable 10 the ligUl, so lianspareni, aa the air, yet it caonotbe 
the air, which communicates Ihe undulations excited by a 
lumiDOua body to oilier objects or to the eye. While sound la 
destroyed in a vacuum, a dinmond or any reHecling body, 
ahines just as clearly as in the air. The light comes to us 
from (he sun and stars through spaces, in which nothing tike 
i lo be found. If it be held that motion can be com- 
municuled by one body to anelher at a distance, only through 
a material medium, the mulinn of which at one end produces a 
like motion at the other, as in the case ot a row of biNiad 
balls, we must then suppose (he existence of a subslaace or 
Huid diifusetl throughout space, which is designated by the 

mprehensive nature of Eliter. Everywhere present like 
gravitation, which, however, is no substance, but only a force 
pcneirating all bodies, the ether must, in the celestial spaces, 
i the transparent crystal and the solid diamond, in the 
human eyo and the optic nerve, in the gases when they cocn- 
hioe and ignite, and in every (]<ime, be ceaselessly capable of 

I undulating motion, transmitted apparently in a straight 
direction from one part of the ether to another. Jn the sua 
and the sun-like fised stars, a constant excitement of the vibrs- 
lions of the elherial medium must be going on, aa excitement, 
which from immeasurable distances is felt as Light. 

We have just said that the undulatory motion of light is 
propagated in an apparently straight direction, for, that it is 
apparently and only apparently straight has been ascertained 
by the exact observations of recent times. A belter and more 
distinct acquaintance wilh a phenomenon, which wns formerly 
known by the name of the bending of the light, has 
an explanation of this point, satisfactory to most. When the 
light is let into a darkened room through a small opening 
. crack in a window shutter, falling upon an upright piece of 


irire, (a. k oil ting- needle will serve llie purpose,) Ihis fine, opaque 
body does nol cast a uoirorm, dark shadow upon a screen, — a 
shadow, the breadth of which is exactly proportioned to Ihe 
Jistance or the screen and the opening whence the light comes, 
33 one would expect upon the supposition that light is propa- 
^alcd in straight lines, but the shadow is much broader than it 
ihould be, according to the calculation, and exactly in the 
centre, where, according to the doctrine of the straight line 
radiation, there should be Ihe greatest darkness, a bright stripe 
ippears, bounded on both sides by dark lines, several of which 
ire perceived, when the screen stands near the wire, but when 
t is removed farther otT, only two lines are visible, and outside 
jf them certain colored edges. The latter indeed become 
really visible only by means of a magnifying glass. By the 
same means, and by looking towards the wire, the whole 
phenomenon can be seen, without the screen, in the air; the 
shadow then appears as a number of oqui-diataut dark lines 
jeparatcd by fine, clear stripes. Around the circumference of 
Ibe shadow of broader bodies, as, for instance, of small disks, 
when the light falls upon them in the same way, colored edges 
ue visible, and, on a large scale around the shadows cast by 

PI moon, in the case of total eclipses of that luminary. 
The experiment has been tried in other ways, first proposed 
by Fraunh^er, The light which passes into a dark room 
through one narrow slit is examined with a telescope through 
n second narrow slit, which is made, perhaps in a screen, in a 
straight line with the first and at some distance from it. There 
is then seen a light, running through the middle of a clear 
white stripe, just as long as the slit, through which the light 
enters, but its breadth increases, the narrower the crevice 
through which the observer looks. On each side of this clear 
middle light, are seen three prismatic spectra, in the two of 
B which border on the light to the right and led of the light, 

■faeae v 



all I'ae colors of llie prism (ihe violet Ilie iamost) are visible, 
while in the iwo remaining spectra the violet is wanting so ibal 
Iho indi^^ blue on each of them adjoins the red ray of Ida 
spectrum next lo it. In the two outermost spectra, with the 
violet rays, the blue also are wanting, so that here Ihey com- 
mence with the green rays. The innermost spectrum 19 be- 
sides the most distinct, the uulermost the faintest, and the whole 
belt of light, white in the centre, and three colored, towards 
the sides becomes broader, the narrower the crevice in the 
screen ia, through which the eye is directed. 

The explanation of this phenomena could hardly be ^ren 
with any completeness without mathematical signs. It must 
suffice to say that through the narrow opening, waves of light 
pass, not only in straight parallel lines, but also in other lines, 
of which those, that have to take paths of equal length from 
the sides of the opening, coinciding in the centre, are strength- 
ened in their illuminating power, while the other rays, tailing 
in at both sides of the centre, must lake paths to the point of 
their meeting, which ore of unequal length. But here now, 
the same thing happens thot may be remarked in the case of 
musicol strings, and indeed of any Huid, parts of which are put 
nt the same time in unequal motions. When a current of air, 
uniform in direction and force, rushes into the flute-like sound- 
ing holes of a certain instrument which bears the name in 
physics, of Siren, and which is made to sound by being rapidly 
turned, a tone is heard, clear and distinct; but if the vibration 
is caused by two currents of air, different in direction and 
power, then, on account of the difference in the rapidity of the 
vibration, which they produce at the same time, their effect ia 
neutralised ; no tone whatever is heard. The experiment may 
be varied so that, in one case, two tones, e. g. octaves, in Iha 
other, only ono is heard, while the other is inaudible. The 
fOSc may be illuslraled in VP.vy different ways with tubes, which 


Kre made to sound by means of a plate ae£ vibrating, accord- 
^■gly as the moulh of the lube is submitted to one or another, 
H|> or down, more or less vibrating point of itie plate. 
^B Id similar ways it has been oliempled to explain a fact with 
^Miich sailora must have become acquainted at sea from experi- 
Hoce, namely, that the waves of the sea, when violently agito- 
^fed, are quieted by oil poured upon ibcm. The same inler- 
^BrencB produces in the two fluids, unequal as they are in 
^■eight and cohesion of pttrls, unequal undulations which mu- 
Hsally neutralise one another. 

^p Thus from the hint caught from the phenomena of the so 
^klled bending of light, observed tvro centuries ago by Gri- 
^Ktaidi, the conclusion has been drawn that rays of light meet- 
^bg from paths of unequal lengths, like unequal audible vibra- 
^■Dns, mutually neutralise one another, and thus become 
^■visible; while parallel rays strengthen each other. We see 
^Berelbre only the latter; with the others, and with their 
^Blulual neutralisation, we obtain some ncquainlance by means 
Hpsuch coDtrivancGs as have been described. 
HP Science comprehends this whole class of phenomena, by 
ribe observation of which the theory of undulation is confirmed, 
I under the name of the interference of the rays 
I m«y speak of the interference of light and sou 
vibratory motions in the material world. 

These phenomena have led the men of scier 
to take a bold step beyond what is required i 
I confirm the theory of undulation. They have 
I asiimale (he number of vibrations of the light 
time, Were this as easily done as in the casi 
attempt would not appear so bold. For, lo count the vibra- 
tions of sound, ii is only necessary to stretch an elastic steel 
_fod, wilh one end fastened by a screw, and set it vibi 

L to 

, and 

of all 


r lime 


n and 

dertaken lo 

bin a given 

f sou 

nd, the 

3 Steel 


pendulum-fashion, at ihe olher end. When the vibraliooa ate 
counted, so far aa Ihey are distinguishable in a long rod, it is 
easy to see that a rod of the same character in other respects, 
bul hair ihs length, makes 4 times as maoy vibrations, a third 
rod, one third iho length, 9 times as many vibrations as ifaa 
long rod. The rapidity of ihe succession of the motion in- 
creases thus in inverse ratio lo the square of the length. Jii 
like manner going backward, by exact observation of the length 
of a aleel rod, whose vibrations give indeed an audible sound 
but are not dislinguishahlc to the eye, one may ascertain lbs 
number of vibrations in a second, using rods ofever-incrensiog 
lengths, until at last ihe vibrations may be seen and counted. 
ThuB in stretched strings the number of vibrations may be 
found out. In this case it is known, that, if the vibratory 
motion remains the same, but the length of the siring ia 
shortened about one hnlf, Ihe number of vibrations is doubled, 
and Ihe same is true of organ pipes. Considering this as 
settled, it is calculated that the lowest note which the ear can 
perceive consists of 16 vibrations in a second. (Chladni adopt* 
just double this number.) This low note corresponds to that 
produced by an organ pipe, 32 feet long and open al both ends- 
With every octave the number of vibrations doubles. The 
note of ihe highest string of our modern pianos consists of 
3073 vibrations. 

We come now to see how the undulations of light may be 
calculated by the analogy of vibrations of sound. We must 
imagine how sound is transmitted to the car through the air — 
by a succession of waves, (when greater, longer, and when 
smaller, shorter also.) Sound travels 1130 Paris feet ta a 
second. When at this distance we perceive Ihe deepest tov 
of a 32 fool organ pipe, which makes 16 vibrations in a second, 
ithen every wave of sound wliich is excited by this tone must 



' te equal in length lo the 16th part of 1120, i. e. to 70 feet, 
while the wave of the highest dislinguiahable notes is only a 
few lines, hardly even a line in length. 

Immense aa ia the difference in speed of sound and light, 
must be the difference also in the number of the vibratioaa made 
by one and the other in a second. Fraunhofer measured the 
length of the undulations caused by the different colored rays 
of the prism, by hundred thousandths of a Paris inch. It is 
by such miaute measures that Science has achieved her prob- 
lem in regard lo the undulations of light, and determined that 
the number of undulations made by tiie light of the sun is not 
less than 576 billions in a second. According to Sir J. Hers- 
cheli's calculations, the undulations of the red ray of the prism 
are less in number and of the violet ray, greater; so that the 
red my is found to correspond to the lowest, the violet to ihe 
highest note of an octave. 

Thus has human intelligence here, as everywhere, passed 
beyond the limits of that knowledge which is obtained by the 
direct instrumentality of the senses, and entered upon a world 
which ia discerned not visibly hut by the spirit. Although the 

' I lermination of its path does not always fall within the circle of 
Mear, sensuous knowledge, although we oHen remain in un- 
■ertainty, whether an end has been reached, we are neverthe- 
sured thai the impelling force which urges the mind on 
tfaia career, dwella ineradicably in our nature. 


A large bell, on which the hammer has just struck the hour, 

■ounds so loud, thai it may be heard through a wide circle. 

^Cut when it ceases to bo heard at a distance of a few hundred 

hBtcps, a person standing close to ihe tower, still hears Ihe 

I' sound, and when even to this person it ceases lo be audible, J 


a Ihinl individual, slationed on tlie lower, near the bell, aUll 
perceives the lone. The vibrations produced by an exletfial 
impulse, may conlinue long afler our sense of hearing has losi 
every iraoe of ihem ; to organs of grealer sensibility they would 
still be perceptible; as the track of the game is lo the Bcenl 
of Ihe hound, when the game has wholly vanished from our 

When two voices sing together, ihe sound is of course louikr 
than that of only one voice, nnd ten voices are louder than 
two. A room that has already been warmed is more speedily 
and effeclually healed than a room which is heated for llm 
first time. So the greater Busceptlbilily which any body haa 
for a parlicular motion, produced by an external impulse, 
appears often to depend upon the fact, thai llie motion which 
Ihe liody haa previously received, has not wholly ceased, hoi 
is conliaued as a sort of echo, and therefore contributes eaeeH' 
tially lo a new motion. 

This remark la parlicularly illustrated by those phenomena, 
addressed to the most discriminating of our senses, the sense of 
sight. The diamond, by means of friction, not only manifests 
a more or less electrical light, but, through the light of the 
sun or of a candle, receives the power of shining, for some 
time afterwards, in the dark. All diamonds are not capable of 
this power; and it has been remarked, that those diamonds that 
give out no light after friction, show no phosphorescent quality 
in ihe dark, after being exposed to the sun's raya. But when 
two diamonds of this tatter kind have been struck powerfully 
together, they not only both give light, but they obtain the 
power of becoming luminous in the dark through friction, and 
by means of son light. With a finely polished diamond, tho 
espcrimenl has been made, of rendering it self-luminous by 
repeated strokes of a file. For Iwo days the esperiment seemed 
fruitlesa; only on Uie third day did Ihe first signs of a phos- 


Iftbresccnce become manifest, but ihese signs became more 
apparent, end were called forth with increasing facility, so that 
not only was the phenomenon of light produced by a piece of 
wood instead of a file, but the light of the sun had the effect of 
showing a properly of shining in the diamond, of which it pre- 
viously appeared incapable. 

That motion in the interior of a material body, still going on 
after it had ceased to be perceptible to our senses, is sometimes 
styled, in popular speech, " disposition," (^Stimmuvg.) Essen- 
tially, the magnetic power, produced in a steel rod by continu- 
ous strokes of a hammer in the same direction, and the crys- 
talline arrangement of the parts of a body, caused in a similar 
way by mechanical means, is (o be denominated such a dispo- 
sition. The friends and masters of stringed instruments of 
music, especially of the violin, know, not only that the repeated 
ngilation of a steel rod by a hammer generates in Ihe same n 
magnetic disposition of a certain harmonious character, but 
Ihal there may be generated in a violin also, the Bymphonious 
wood-work of which is often set vibrating in harmony by means 
of the vibrations of the strings, a musical disposition, or temper, 
ijf, thai in every airing, in every bell of an harmonica, such 
musical tendency may be awakened, founded on the conlin- 
e of that vibrating motion, which the musician has called 
1 repeatedly in the strings or the bells. 

a crystal is formed out of a liquid or gaseous solution, 
ippears to be complete ; the arrangement of the several parts 
.!e magnet, with their attracting and repelling ends, 
s to be finished. But this is by no means the case. As 
arc hard of hearing quicken their dulled sense by a 
isring-tubo, so, with our art, we can bring those motions, 
Inch were active in the formalioa of Ihe crystal, and which, 

lew within the sphere of our observation, by putlin 



crystal, which seemod lo be fmislied, iulo a solution of at 
substances as are fitted to promote crystal lisalioc. The oxyfe 
or cliroBiiuin, mixed in a certain proportion with sulphuiic 
acid, and with an alkali and parts of the water in which, along 
with it, these subatancca were dissolved, forms, when the * 
is evaporating, dark green, eighl-sided crjstala. When these 
crystals, after being formed and kept dry for years, are ploced 
iu a watery solution of common alum, the crystallising move- 
ment immediately commences, and goes on where it had pre- 
viously been compelled to come lo a still-stand through went of 
material. The regularly shooting particles of the alum place 
themselves, one by anollier and over another, on the already 
formed surfaces of (he ocloliedron, which resumes its previous- 
ly interrupted growth, like a living vegetable, to which aflcr 
long languishing, water is again given for its nourishmenl- 
There arise eight-sided crystals, which, in their interior p 
a dark green nucleus of the same form around which, as a cap- 
sule, the common transparent alum salt has deposited itsefr, 
Centuries, nay, milleniums do not weaken this power of i 
ing the motion originally active in the formation of the cryslnl. 
The masses which fill up the rlits of mountains may have been 
formed at periods very far remote from one another. Crystals, 
from solutions of a later period, have, however, been deposited] 
on the surfaces or ledges of crystals formed long before, in a' 
order, which shows plainly that the motion, which was active 
at the formation of the crystal upon which the deposit is 
was still working on it. We known not how many Ihousands 
of years ago, the beautiful green or yellow was formed in iho 
six-sided crystals of fluor spar in the ore-veins of our primitive 
mountains. It was token perhaps a century ago out of the 
depths of the earth, anJ has since lain under glass in a rainera- 
logical cabiner. But its power of growing, and in a eerlBin 
ft/orm, has by no meatia l!otsT» it, as it soon shows, when ve 

AFTF.n-WORKlNR. 475 

I solution of muriate of lime, jusl taken perliaps 
from llie walers of the Dead Sea. As the wnter evaporates, 
its surface immediately begin lo grow in due form, not, indeed, 
*i(h the same color, or the same hardness or brilliancy, but 
itfa the same shape. In the same way the crystal of eulphale 
f lime, (aelonile,) formed, it is true, quite otherwise than fluor 
|rowth, when brought into contact with su!- 
wlieo in process of crystallisation, 
^ There have been found in (he coffins of the Egyptian mum- 
les, and io the shrivciled hands of the dead, the dried up 
^nken bulba of garlic, and similar vegetables, and the ripe 
Irnels and ears of groin. Several thousands of years ago, 
ere these bulbs or kernala deposited ivilh the embalmed corpses 
btbe lombs, and during this long time their power to germinate 
I grow has not been destroyed; placed in a rich damp soil, 
iey have sprung up and yielded a rich increase. The same 
I proved to be the case with seeds, which have lain hidden 
K centuries under the stones and foundations of old buildings. 
Even on a grand scale, in whole masses of mountain rock, 
(. continued working on may be observed of that internal mo- 
, which caused their original formation. A distinguished 
EKveler and excellent miner, Russeggcr, has made on this sub- 
Mt some very interesting observations, to which he was led by 
8 mining investigations on Mt, Taurus. From the character 
tad form of certain mountain strata in that region, together 
■ith the form and position in which (ho ore-masses, containing 
ma stone, are there found, it may be plainly seen that attract- 
hlg forces have wrought and globular formalions been carried 
a for long periods after their begioning. In the motion of 
ich a continuous formation, only one kind, not all the rocks 
lok pari, so that the layers of atone, in the midst of which 
lese foreign components pursued the work of mutual com- 
ioatlon, fell thereby into a state of disorder, which plainly 


shows, that Ihe process of Ihe continued rormation of the on- 
deposiles look place at a lime when they had already assumed 
their perfect solid form. Thus many other substances formlDg 
atone, as for inetance, the silica has carried on the work of 
mutual attraction and arrangement of parts in a lime si 
mountain already formed. There, especially where exists any 
cavily or vacant space in the interior of the mountains, llie 
atrange substances, dwelling scattered therein, form associatione 
with others, barytes with barytes, aulphuret of lead with other 
lead of its kind, oxyde of iron, or sulphuret of iron with il 
like. There arc ties similar to those of blood or friendship 
among men, which esist, in thctr peculiar way, even in 
reatma of dead substances, by which the scattered forces of 
many individuals, united in a common agency, may receite 
the all forming, all upholding inFtuence of the universal Life. 


As of a maternal, forming character may that inauenoo bft 
regarded which the character of the elements has upon the 
form of a forming crystal. That this influence la very import* 
not and decisive, soon becomes obvious. For wherever sliica 
can crytallize, be it in the depths of the earth or on Ihe heights 
of mountains, in the vicinity of the pole or between the tropics, 
it always takes a. form derived from that primitive form which 
lies at the foundation of its doubled sis-sided pyramids, united 
with the six-sided column proceeding from its corners or edges. 

In the case of crystals, composed of a great numher ofsulj- 

stances, the form remains the same, even when, instead of one 

substance, another enters into ihc formatioD, the particles uf 

which possess the power of enlering into the same polaric r 

^ion, iv/ii?h is the basis of the regular arrangement of pans: 



nilar relalion, perhaps, (o Ihat whicli may Le seen in a chain 
ide of lillle magnetic iron bars, when one of these bars is 
I out, anil a bar of nickel of the same size is put in its 
ice, the north pole of which has just such an attraction for 
( south pole of the nearest iron bar, oa the bar taken out. 
the same reason, the form of ibe granite, ordinarily com- 
i of silica, clay and oxyde of iron, remains the same, when 
instead of clay, lime; instead of lime, magnesia, instead of 
oxyde of iron, osyde of manganese has taken part on the cora- 
ilialion. Those substances, of which, one can take the place 
t anolher, without producing any change in the effect of ihe 
tariial forming influence, are termed iaomorphous ; and most 
cidly has this whole procesa been illustrated hy Justus 

a his chemical letters. 
But the same eminent writer has called attention to another 
very considerable influence in the formation of crystals, the 
peculiar effect of which is not determined by the character of 
i component parts, and which, in opposition to the cle- 
wntary or maternal inSuence may be distinguished as a pater- 
J power. In this way, independently of chemical aid, heat, 
tght and electricity, and other kindred physical forces act 
Mil the peculiar direction of crystallisation. 
PrOn'e of the best known among the examples which might he 
Mntioned here, is afforded us in two Itinda of stone of the car- 
mile of lime species: in arragonite and common calcareous 
ar. The first, found particularly in Arragon, and formed in 
six-aided columns, mostly of a dingy amethyst color, in gmp- 
sum, ia distinguished essentially from common calcareous spar, 
by greater hardness and a greater specific gravity. When the 
mtnon crystallised carbonate of lime, e. g. Iceland spar, is 
Brieclly transparent, it is remarkable for its power of double 
motion, i. e. letters, hnes, and other objects, seen through it, 
uxt not single but double. In the transparent arragonite 

47ft MIltnOR OF NATURE. 

(rrora Bobemia, &c.) Ihia kind of rerraclton is wauling. 
essenliml form, which ils crystals take, is quite tjifferent from I 
that to which the manirold forms of calcareous apar maybe 
trnced, which may be broken into simply square fragments. 
In this entire diiTereoce between these two kinds of stone, ihe 
character of tlie chemical constituents has no share, for upon the 
most careful analysis, the lime is found in both, united in ihfl 
same proportion with the carbonic acid. But what the coasli- 
tuenta would not do, that is eSected by the influence of best. 
For if carbonate of limo is permitted to crystallise from a solu- 
tion in cold water, the crystals preeent the form and all tbc 
other qualities of common calcareous spar, but, if warm water 
is used, the crystals become arragonite. But yet once agaiis 
and indeed in an wholly opposite way, the elevation of the tem- 
perature shows its fashioning influence on this remarknbic 
stone. When a crystal of arragonile is exposed to a weul: 
heat, all its parts fall into lively motion ; it swells oi 
foaming blister-like form, and is converted into a heap of little 
crystals which are nothing but common calcareous spar. 
Something quite similar is seen in sulphur, which, at 
temperature, shows crystals of a rhomboid, eight-sided shape, 
but, in crystallising from a melted state, takes a very different 
form. In the same way, copper crystallising under a meltin; 
heal, and sulphate of zinc under a higher temperature, lake 
forms very different from the ordinary ones, and the s 
true of magnesia and arsenious acid; and sulphate of nickel, 
under three different degrees of temperature, presents a three- 
fold variety of form. 

When, to mention an instance nearer at hand, common salt 
is made to crystallise in ils solution in water by the evapo- 
ration or cooling of the dissolving liquid, it lakes the form of ( 
cube, or the kindred eighl-sided figure (octoUedron,) or even the 
square Iwelve-svded sha^c, in both which the cube is the fundn- 


ntal form. Yet this occurs only vihea llic cooling of the 
Fluid does not reach the freezing point. When, on the other 
hand, a saturated solution of common salt is exposed to the 
winter's frost or to an artificial cold even of only 32° below 
the freezing point, there are produced, instead of cube-shaped 
crystals, large, beautiful columns, as clear and transparent ns 
lyater, belonjiiag to quilea diflereni family ofcrystalg from the 
cube. At ihe slightest touch of the finger, these clear crystals 
became milk-while and opaque, and, when laid in the palm of 
a warm hand, they melt into a thick liquid, in which lillle 
common salt crystals of the ordinary cube form, are generated. 
To this remarkable change of form, which takes place also in 
the sail, consisting of chlorine and sodium, the temperature hns 
obviously coDtributed most essentially, although this influence 
has also the efiect to cause a combination with the chloride of 
sodium, of a considerable quantity of Water, (about 30 per 
cent,) which, in the mixture of common, cube-shaped crystal- 
line salt, is wholly wanting. 

Of cases of this sort, in which one and the same substance, 
one and the same mixture of elements appears in quite differ- 
oat form and character, and thereby indicates a difference in 
the paternal influence, active on ihe formation of Ihe body, 
(hero are still several, for of ibis kind are especially those 

BS'like or metallic fossils, which were represented ns dimor- 
ut not only in the inorganic combinations of substances, 
but also in those produced by the force of organic lile, the 
forming influence of heat and light is manifest. The white nf 
a hen's egg is, in its ordinary stale, fluid, soluble in water, and 
at a tolerably high temperature, transparent; but when ex- 
posed to a heat of 167", and more, it becomes white like porce- 
in, it loses its fluidity and transparency, and its solubility in 
The roots of the manihol plant, growing in hot couii- 


Iries, are, in lliRir raw stale, not only unpalalabte, but 6 
poisonous; but wheo subjected to heal, when roasted in 
ashes, Ihey become not oply pleasant in tasle, but a wholesoma 
article of food, (tapioca or cassava.) What useful changes the 
potato uodergoea when roasted or boiled, we all know, 
such a change that wo communicate lo most vegetables. When. 
the people inhabiting tbe hit;h land of Persia have made a 
dough or Q brolh, by mixing wiiU water the meal of the edible 
ncorns, which they obtain by grinding the dried fruit belweea 
rwo stones, they have a very agreeable nutritious aRicle of food 
which may bo kept several days, without undergoing fermeata- 
tion or any injurious change. The whole provision, which oi 
of these people takes with him for a fool journey of several 
weeks, consists in such a dough of acorn-raeal, which he ca^ 
ries in a leathern bottle. If we wished to keep a dough of our 
meal for several days in as warm an air as (hat of middle Per- 
sia, without any addition of yeast or leaven, there would s 
commence a fermentation, which is delayed in ihe acom-tnenl 
by the astringent substance contained in it. But even when oar 
dough is fermenting, or is made to ferment by our artifidsl 
additions, and has thereby become wholly unpalatable, i 
give it, by means of heat, that quality which renders It I 
pleasant means of nourishment, which may bo kept for a Ion 
time, as ship bread. 

The fermentation of grape juice and the Fouring of aS 
we can likewise prevent by a boiling heat, and both mayt 
kept some time from fermenting, by being repeatedly bMis 
down. By this increase of temperature, however, wo can onl] 
interrupt or delay the fermentation of these fluids, whicb N 
renewed by the continued access of the air, in the moden) 
temperature of our climale. The flesh of animals, the n 
c/ecom posit ion of which is prevented by roasting, for the s 
reason lends again \n fccn-j. WcwevW a^ijlicotion of boiliq 


it to articles of food in order to preserve ihem only lirGt 
KUne really useful when Gay Litssac, in a very simple way, 
ghl European cooks how meat, witti vegetables and all hinds 
sweel fruits, may be so cooked and prepared, that, after Ihe 
se of a year, tliey are aa fresh as if cooked only a few 
Jrs before; consetiuently ihey can be carried and used iu 
f deserts of Africa or on distant seas. This was an inven- 
I which for its usefulness and simplicity, appeared worthy of 
diatioguished a philosopher. Now in every house it has 
»me possible to obtain for the nexi winter or Ihe next year, 
[ when they are best, the fine vegetables of the garden, the 
ih of young fowls, or other perishable viands of food. It 
uld even be possible, by Gay Lussac's method, to entertain 
, guests at the bridal of a granddaughter with a dish of which 
guests at the wedding of her grandmolher partook. But 
lit from (his method on a small scale, by which the aged 
) the sick may be provided at all seasons of the year with 
ing fresh peas or beans, not from the hot-houses of ihe rich, 
I from their own lillle gardens, the utility of this invention, 
B. large scale, is worthy of attention. Those huge cooking 
itutions, for instance, in Scotland and in France, which 
ly prepare vast quantities of the most nutrilioua soups, vege- 
les and roasted and boiled meats for hundreds, not of guests 
lome, but of guests at remote distances, — these institutions, 
: as they provision ships and whole fleets and even caravans 
reling in remote countries, could also furnish garrisons for 
Ts with wholesome food. Starvation, and the danger of 
iase from unhealthy nourishment is averted, in all such 

^B we have considered somewhat al length so many of those 
BDlioDs, which are adapted to promote Ihe subsislenco and 
(rcourse of nations, Gay Lussac's plan may claim here to 
briefly described. Meat or vegetables arc first cooked aa 


tlioroughly ns if deeigned Tor immediate use. Then wIuIg still 
hot, they aco put tn lin boxes, and the boxes are packed full. 
When Ihis is done, the covers of the aatno material are soldered 
down, and the boxes made air-light. Eiit they are not jEt 
prepared to be sent over land and sea, or to be kept for yeats. 
The nicely closed boxes are placed in a large kettle of boiling 
water, and hero in proportion to their size, subjected ibc hours 
to a boiling heat, so that the whole may be thoroughly pene- 
(rated with the heat. 

In the case of carbonate of lime and chloride of sodium ot 
common salt, and many other substances, susceptible of crys- 
lalliaation, the paternal influence of heat operates, as the in- 
stances first mentioned sliow, to produce a change of fomii 
The change produced in the cases, to which we have laet K 
furred, may be designated as a change of disposition rather 
llian of form. How nearly related, however, in Iheir power 
and action, form and disposition are, the contents of ch. 58 
show. For the continuous eifect of a crystal, already formed 
upon another substance, disposed to crystallisation, has iK 
foundation in a disposition, similar to that which manifests 
itself in the afier-tone of a bell that has just been struck, and 
in the increasing capability of a musical instrument to produce 
music, the whole fabric of the instrument often being set vibra- 
ting harmoniously by a master hand. 

Like heal, so do those other motions of ihc external world, 
proceeding from the mutual action of polarised opposites, effect 
changes in the dieposilion of individual bodies. What m 
cnl motion, and still more what electricity and magnetism msy 
effect, we have already mentioned, Bccqucrel produced thfi 
same change in carbonate of lime with electricity, as with heat. 
Of the influence which light has upon the disposition of bodies, 
in addition to the instances already adduced, we will give oi 
more. Phosphorus, which, in its ordinary state, is of a tniw- 


lenl, yeUow color, and fusible under 95° F. (28° R.,) when 
posed io a vacuum for some lime to the eflect of light, is 
jiged into a red, opaque body, hard to be fused, and no 
Iger so readily inflamed as before. The violet ray is as 
fective in producing ihis change as the ordinary light; Iho 
t ray is the feeblest in this respect. 

There are at hand, hoivever, other facts, illustrating the 
irelopment of organic beings, which show how the univereal 
plion in the material world, especially in the form of heat and 
ht, acts upon the disposition and form of things. Although 
I character of the different species of animals and plants is 
linclly and sharply defined, yet Ihe inlluence of climate pro- 
ees such changes, that oftentimes we can only with difficulty 
rtinguiah differences in these departments. Even man, by 
ig sojourning in the tcmperalc, frigid or torrid zone, suffers 
'-' many changes In form and temperament that groundless 
ttbts have been awakened, whether the Negro, the Mongolian, 
id the European are all descended from the same slock. In 
B present condition of things, the influence which (he deler- 
itiate form of a plant has upon the form of the new plant, 
weloped from its seed, is in such equilibrium with the more 
beral influence of climate, that the climate is able to effect no 
IsDge in the main character of the species ; the considera- 
In, however, of the abundant remains of a former animal 
Id vegetablo world, teaches us that there has been a lime 
L this relation was different, n lime, when the might 
' that universal motion, of which light and heal are forms, 
J 80 powerfully over ihe germs of individual beings that 
L those essenlial features of form and disposition were 
iged, upon which the difference of species depend* 



A drop or ink, lei TaU into a wine glass of pure water, b 
gradually dilfuaed through the whole liquid, aod so with a 
second and a third drop ; the water takes as much of the color- 
ing GuhslancG as we give il, and when we assist the difiusiun 
of the ink by mechanical means, by shaking the glass, the dif- 
fusion becomes so uniform, that every drop of water takes jusl 
ns much ink as another. The same is the case when a grain 
nf salt is thrown into a glass of water. The more salt we give 
to the liquid the more il takes in all its parts the taste of saiti 
for the salt is spread uniformly through the water. In these 
cases the combination cannot be called chemical. 

The case is diiferenl when substances enter Into a chemical 
union with one another. When a drop of vitriolic acid is put 
into water in which lime is mechanically dissolved, the acid 
does not distribute itself uniformly in the fluid, but the sul- 
phuric acid unites with a certain portion of the lime, and foniiB 
sulphate of lime or gypsum, which falls to ihc bottom as a 
powder, while the rest of the liquid without showing a trace of 
the sulphuric acid, remains what is was, caustic lime water. 
With another drop of vitriolic acid, the same process is re- 
peated, until at last all the lime in the water is saturated wUK 
the acid and becomes gypsum. But when now, after every 
jiarticie of lime water has taken its determinate portion of the 
acid, a new portion of the acid is added, it is not taken up by 
ihe powder at the bottom, as the ink was by the water, hut it 
remains mixed with the water, in which the lime was diasolvedt 
without the exhibition of any attraction of the acid for the lime, 
or of the lime for the acid. In this case, the two elemeuISi 
imiling to form gypsum, have become altogether difierent in 
iheir qualities. In the union of the two in gypsum, neither the 


1 of ihe acid nor of the lime is to be recognised. Tho 
iJifiereDl eifecls which they both had oa the sense of taste, on 
lilnius paper, and other substances, readily a^ected by acids 
and alkalis, are wholly lost ; a body is formed which is Deilher 
lime nor an acid, but a wholly new and third subetance. Tho 
gypsum, thus artilicially made, is found as one of the common 
constiluenia of mountain masses in the most opposite countries 
and quarters; but when the gypsum from Persia and Egypt, 
from America and New Holland is chemically analyzed, it is 
always found to be a combination of iime and sulphuric acid, 
united in tho proporlion, to speak in round numbers, of 13 in 
weight to 19 ; while in all kinds of minerals, in all the varie- 
lies of carbonate of lime, from whatever region ibey come, 
whatever may be their form, the relation of the earth to the 
acid is, in round numbers, as 13 to 10. The amount in weight 
of carbonic acid, which lime requires for its saturation, is con- 
sequently proportioned to the amount of sulphuric acid required 
therefor, as 5 to 9. Baryiea requires indeed a less quantity of 
the acid to saturate it than the lime; but the proportion of the 
baryles remains the same, for something more than 17 parls 
of barytes take up 5 parts of carbonic acid, or 9 parts of sul- 
phuric acid. But these acids are not simple substances, but 
are composed of carbon or sulphur and oxygen. And here also 
lere Is a fixed proporlion in weight, for 6 parts of carbon wi(h 

I- {>arta of oxygen form carbonic acid; 10 parts of sulphur 
I 24 parts of oxygen, sulphuric acid. Hydrogen also 

mbines with these threo substances ; with carbon in the pro- 
portion of 1 to 6, wilh oxygen, 1 to 8, with sulphur, 1 lo 10. 
Here as there, between carbon, osygen and sulphur, Ihe same 
proportion is presented in the numbers 3, 4, 8. Copper and 
zinc combine with much smaller quantities of oxygen and sul- 
phur, but the weight of the last two substances, which are 

Dcssary (o their saturation, have the same ratio, for 4 pirls 



of copper or zinc lake up one part of osygen, or two parts of 
sulphur. In a Bimilar way, ihe osyde of molybdoenum con- 
sists of 6 parts of ihe metal and I pari of oxygen ; of sulphur 
this nielal takes jusl double, namely, a ihird. In the caBc of 
WoUVam, the proportion to these two subslnnces are as 12 and 3 
to 1. And thus, when the weight is known, by which any one 
of the substances mentioned in ch. 14, enters into cbemicsl 
combination with another, it may be calculated exactly what 
quantity of one of the othnr substances it requires for its satu- 
ration. If, for example, it is merely known from the analysis 
of chloride of silver, that the silver is united in it as 3 to 1 of 
chlorine, it may be ascertained that ihts substance combines with 
lead in almost the same proportion, but with copper as ITT lo 
160, with soda in common salt, almost as 3 to 3, with sulphnr 
nearly as 1 (o 2, with oxygen as 44 to 10, finally, with hydro, 
gen as 354 lo 10, All this results, on the other side, from 
knowing that in iheoxydc of silver 13i parlsof metal are com. 
bined with 1 part of oxygen, in sulphuret of silver G| ports of 
metal with 1 of sulphur. 

But substances are not restricted to combinations in singk 
proportions, but two substances frequently combine in seve- 
ral, forming bodies of separate, independent properties. But 
it is always observed, that the proportion of any substance, 
in its higher combioaliona, is always a multiple of its propor- 
tion in a lower combination. Thus 14 parts of nitrogen unito 
with 8, 16, 24, 32 and 40 parts of oxygen, respectively, form- 
ing bodies all differing in their properties. The higher com- 
bining proportions of oxygen are, in this case, all multiples of 
Ihe lowest, S, by 2, 3, 4 and S. 

The first discovery and scientific confirmation of the doclriiw 
of determinate proportions of elements. Science owes !o two 
German chemists of the last century, Wemel and Ric/Uer. 
Not Jess important, however, is another discovery* ofwhidi^we' 

9T0ICllI0MF-TRy. 4S7 

propose now to speak, the credit of which is due to the l''rcncli 
philoaophor, so oilcn mentioned, (iay Lussac. 

By tlie analysis of water, the proportion is known with great 
exactness, in which its two elements combine. It is Udowq 
that 11.09 graiaa of hydrogen, in combustion with 89.91 of 
oxygen, give 100 grains of water; one port in weight of the 
Ibrmer gas suiBces to furnish B parts of the latter with the 
necessary basis for the formation ofa new liquid body. When, 
however, the two gases of which water is composed, are com- 
pared according to their volume, it is seen that the apace occu- 
pied by ihe hydrogen, before its union with the oxygen, is 
exBClly double of that occupied by the latter; if Just so much 
drogen is to be given to a cubic inch of oxyden as it needs 
Eombustion to compose water, two cubic inches of hydrogen 
I requisite thereto. Not only in regard to the gaseous sub- 
Dces of water, but as respects ail substances, which, before 
ir chemical combination with one another, are of a gaseous 
lure, it has been observed that tho space which they occupy 
M" their combination, is simply related to the spaces occupied 
each before combination, and both may be referred to a 
nmon unity. If wc caU this unity a cubic inch, we find 
I, in many chemical combinations of the gases, one cubic 
fa of one kind with one, or two or four cubic inches of 
)ther kind, forms the new body, whose volume may be one, 
I, or three cubic inclies, in which the peculiar properties of 
Ih of the constiluenls are lost. When the carbon in the 
Drnoa fuel of our hearths is to be burnt, chemically com- 
Bd with oxygen, it must first be converted by heat into r 
Bons form. A cubic inch of this gaseous carbon forms. 
It a cubic inch of oxygen, the so-called carbonic oxyde gas, 
1 that carbonic acid may be formed, a second cubic inch of 
■1 air must be added. For the chemical penetration of these 
o measures, one measure of the carbon evaporated by ihn 

488 MinaOR OF NATURE. 

heal sulliccs, all the rest of the oxygen coming inio ihe vicinity 
of the burning body, remains unchanged, lahiog no part in tlw 
comhinatioo. Like the oxygen, so also ihe gaseous carbon 
enters into a chemical union with hydrogen, under the name 
of carboreied hydrogen gas. But while, for the saluralion 
of one cubic inch of oxygen, two cubic inches of hydrogen 
suffice, four measures of hydrogen are requisite to saturate one 

The space, which, in all these caaea, the new chemical com- 
bination occupies, allows us sometimes lo determine very clear- 
ly the expansion which the gns previously possessed. If only 
one cubic inch of vital air is at hand to combine with a cubic 
inch of gaseous carbon, the newly formed carbonic oxyde 
without auflering any conlraction, occupies the full space of 
Iwo cubic inches ; but when to Iho flame, which furnishes the 
necessary supplyof vital air for the formation of carbonic acid, 
two cubic inches, instead of one, are given, a condensation 
lakes place, ihe gaseous fluid has the volume of iwo cubic 
iuches instead of three. From the combinBtion of two parts of 
hydrogen and one of oxygen, there can be formed nol only 
liquid water, but also a gaseous body, (literally speaking, i 
gas,) steam. In the formation of this water gas, the three 
parls of the two gases, which are consumed in its composition, 
contract to the volume of two parts; and the four cubic inches 
of hydrogen, which combine wilh one cubic inch of carbon to 
form carbureted hydrogen, occupies, after the combinalion, 
only the space of 3 cubic inches, because ihe hydrogen has 
condensed thereby lo half its original bulk. In virtue of a 
similar condensation of Ibe same lo one third of its usual 
volume, or of two substances to J, three measures of hydra' 
gen and one of nilrogen, in combining lo make nmmonial gas, 
give only 2 measures, instead of four. With the conlraction 
inlo a smaller volume, the specific graviiy of the new comlii- 

9T01CH1OMETRV. 489 

lationa increases, and whea the specific gravity of water is i 
lomparcd with that which ihe two parts of hydrogen, together 
Mth [he one part of oxygen had before Iheir cliemicol union, 
hero is found (o bu, between the average weight of both gases, 
lod that of water, a proportion of 1 to almost 1300. Furlher- 
Eiore, the gravity of substances always manifests itself as an 
iDchangeablo indestructible condition of tlieir being, for the 
ew combinations have precisely the sum of the weights which 
separate substances had, taken together; water, formsd out 
if 11 oz. of hydrogen and 86. S oz. of oxygen, weighs exactly 
I Iba. 4 oz. or 100 oz. When chlorine, in combination with 
has lost its volatile nature, its whole destructive power, 
thea sodium is deprived of its inflammability and its resem- 
ilance to a metal, and both have become wholesome salt for 
nan and beast, then not a trace is discoverable of the proper- 
ies which its consfituenls possessed, but it weighs precisely the 
tame. For the chlorine weighed 60}, the sodium 39f per cent., 
be weight of Ihe salt is exactly the sum of both. Thus, amidst 
ill external changes which the visible form of material things 
es, that band (gravity) which connects individuals to a 
ligher whole, remains an influence, which resembles thai of the 
ill upholding might of the Creator. 

Even upon the mutual chemical attraction of substances, 
gravitation appears, at (irsi sight, to have in itself alone a cer- 
tain influence. If instead of the much inferior mass of the 
moon, another body, like Venus, which approaches the earth 
in size, were placed at the same distance from the earth, they 
would ottract each other more powerfully than the earth and its 
present attendant; the motion of such a great moon would be 
much quicker, its revolution much shorter than that of the 
present moon. Two polished metal plates, when laid upon one 
another hang together vastly more powerfully, through Iheir 
mutual attraction than 2 polished tables of wood ; a mountain j 


of iron would attract the vibraliog plumb line much more 
strongly than a rock, just as large, of granite or limestane. 
In iho Slime way it might perhaps be shown that the henvy 
metals, such as mercury and gold, or mercury and silver, al. 
tract each other, and chemically combine much more power- 
i'ully, and of course in greater masses (almost as 1 to 1) than 
a heavier and a lighter substance, (silver and oxygen.) Upon 
more exact consideration, however, we soon find that it ia not 
specific gravity alone, which determines the measure of chemi- 
cal atlraction; for a rule, which one should base upon this idee, 
would slumUe at every step upon esceptions. On which 
nccouni, Gay Lusaac's discovery, according to which a 
substances, whose gaseous form admits of admeaauremcnt, 
combine in proportions in which bulk and expansion are of 
special importance, appears (o us lo point nearer lo (he truth. 
There is a certain proportion of form and size, on which iho 
measure of chemical atlraclion may be based; a proportion 
which extends to the infinitely small particles, (the so-ct 
atoms,) of substances, and is connected with susceptibility of 
polarisation. If, according to the most intelligible idea, the 
atoms arc supposed to be of different sizes, and consequently of 
different gravities, their chemical atlraclion is then analogous 
to the laws of universal attraction and gravity. The inorganin 
world is at once the domain of regular, well-defined form, of tlie 
prevailing force of gravity, and of electro -magnetic polanttes. 
In many kind of crystals, the ground-form of ihsir shapes nwy 
be recognised by mere mechanical divison of their parts, as Iho 
cube in galiua, the rhomboid in calcareous spar; electric im- 
larisation needs often only a slight excitement from without ti 
awaken it. If in this department we attribute an espeoal 
worth to the form and size even of the elementary-particles, 
then may these views loy claim to probability. 



mailer has an advantage over unorganised, in 

I its chemical composition, it is prevailingly formed out 

(0 substances ivhich form the kingdom of the Diiid and 

livable: water and air. The air and water are ceaselessly 

d throughout by the light and heat of the sun, and by clec- 

c forces. Organised bodies, born of the air, by virtue of their 

jrigin and kindred nature, take part in the motions which the 

e of the sun, chiefly, communicBtes to the almospbere; 

iath every breath of air, with every inhalniion of the leaf of a 

1 without penetrates into the interior of the 

aitig body. 

m The power by which Ihe living body is deveioped is indeed 
mdred lo the light, but yet it is a much higher power, for no 
bnbeam is able lo form out of water, air and earth, the organic 
lemciils of bread, wine, blood, flesh and nerve, and still less is 
i able to produce a self-moving being or a plant in which 
nuBts the power to generate seed after its kind. With the en- 
e of the vital principle into the visible world, there begins a 
|bw creation, proceeding, not like the light from the sun, from a 
isible, but from an invisible, super-sensuous cause. Our art haa 
ipt yel learned from the vital principle its rnost common and 
nblic secret, the production of organic elements from inorganic 
stances; our intelligence tracks in vain the mysterious soul 
t life of things; we can seize Ihe Instrument by which it jets 
jelf be perceived, we can destroy its visible body by phyaicai 
s cannot, however, affect or change itself. Like* a 
bild who tries lo clutch the reflecliou of the light as it glances 
torn a mirror on the wall, philosophy in all times haa in vain 
itempted to detain the soul in its fugitive career, and make il 
D object of direct examiDation. 


Mmuoit or hAtl'HK'. 

As we accompany the priaciple of life from the lower stages 
of its ilcvelopment upwards lo higher steps, and at last lo the 
highest in the nalure of man, it appears !o us, the higher we 
go, less and less at home in the terrestrial world; it is related 
lo the luller ever more as a passing guest and stranger, who 
has his home in a higher kingdom of being and motion. Kspe- 
cially does the duration of lifo and the resistance which (he 
vital power makea to its separation from the body, decresK 
from step to step. 

That huge Indian fig-tree (Banana tree) nn the shores of the 
Nerbudda iu India, whose outspread, giant branches, bending 
ever downwards and taking root in the soil, are sui&cienl, it 
is aaid, to give shade lo a company of 7000 pilgrims, is willl- 
out doubt, according to a modem English traveler, the same 
which the Greek JVearckus tella us was an object of wonder in 
the time of Alexander of Macedon. And nn age of yet more 
tlian two thousand years must be attributed to the giant trunk 
of the old Adansonia or Ape-bread -tree in Africa. The great 
planlaln at Cos (Slanco) every year produces its leaves and 
ripens its seeds as freshly as, according to a not improbable 
tradition, in the lime of Hippocrates. In the neighborhood of 
many of our old lindens the race of man has been renewal 
)«rhaps thirty limes; Ihousamls have been born and have run 
the course of life through joy and sorrow to the grave, but the 
tree, plonted beyond the memory of man, slill mainlains its 
place in fresh vigor. So intimately has the vital principle, upon 
Ihia apparently low step of organic development, allied itself 
with the dead mass of the planet, that it holds fast lo Ihia dwell- 
ing-place almost with the tenacity, with which the cryslailisiag 
principle, which has shaped the stone, clings to the elements of 
the stone; the tree emulates in duration the sand stone rock, 
into which it strikes its roots, and thus impressively carries eo, 
^ OUl of lis own indwe\lins force, the work of creation. AmoDg 


lowest forms of ihe animal world also, the duration of tlic 
,1 power is almost invincible. 

iuite otherwise is it will) the higher forms of animal develop- 
Jt. These, tinlike plants, are rooted not immediately in 
elements of (he planetary mass, but they obtain their con- 
led subsistence chiefly from the department of organic being 
IBding below them, from the vegetable world, and even from 
.1 life most nearly rclaled to them. They requi^p .for 
nourishment, elements already organised, and with these 
life, subject in themselves to continual change and 
imposition, these higher forms of organic life share the lot 
aiutalHlity; they are, in respect to their vita! power, of far 
9 duration than the Indian fig-tree or even the soft-wooded 
den. But at the same lime a new fact is herewith presented. 
■ ihe nature of the perfect animal other roots are furnished 
in to the plant, roots, which do not, like the tree, strike 
irnwards and fasten themselves in the soil of the planet, but 
£ch spread out in a sphere of higher natural powers, and 
ITB find their hold. Such roots are the organs of sense, 
veh receive the impressions of the light, the vibralions of 
Uea, mechanically, elect ro-magnetic«lly, or chemically af- 

Ilence oawards the creative power of ihe vital principle (or 
0) shows itself in a wholly diHerent and higher mode than 
■the sphere of vegetable life and in the work of mere matc- 
I formations. A miracle which our art cannot imitate, our 
t futbom, is exhibited in the change of the planetary elements 
> Ihe juice of grapes, the oil of the olive-tree, or into the 
Vr ofthe grain. A miracle is thai web, so beautifully woven 
I the purpose of life, of vessels, fibres, of breathing leaves, 
llungs, and the production of the vital germ, the fruitful seed 
>,R future generation. But in all these works of formation 
psoul appears confined to Ihc little circle of its own embod: 

49 1 HmROn OF NATURE. 

meat i tlio material, which it collects from without an<l applies 
lo its creations, serves only to complete the structure of q cer- 
Iain form ; the whole vital activity remains limited in the direc- 
lion oud moaaure of that motion which was commuoicated to 
il at its generation ; the soul, however, advancea to now mim- 
cles of its creative power in Ihe animal giAed with the mate 
perfect organs of sense, and especially in the nature of man. 
It hero receives power to take a self-active share in other 
works of the Creator besides that which gave it its body snd 
life. When in the darkness of the night 1 recall the impres- 
sion which a bright landscape or a visible object, that Ime 
deeply iuteresied me, made upoD my eye, how could I do a 
but by n sort of re-creation by my owo soul of the world of 
things of which I think, and of a light like that of the sun, 
which illuminates (his interior world. 

With the power of perceiving and knowing Ihe works of liio 
Creator, lb o human soul receives the power of imilaliDg these 
works in the sphere of its inner activity, and of creating the 
same according lo its measure. The world c 
brances and ideas appears indeed, in reference lo the outer 
world, whose forms and motions it comprehends, only aa a 
reflection in a mirror lo the actual form that stands before ihe 
mirror, but it is nevertheless a world by itself, of vaslly longer 
duration than Ihe Indian fig-tree on the shores of the Nerbudda, 
or the dried bulb which has been taken from Ihe hand of an 
Egyptian mummy, and which, afler the lapse of thousands of 
years again produces loaves and blossoms when placed in a 
moist soil. Of all Ihe elements, of which the soul forms its 
body, not one remains unchanged in the course of a year or a 
day; new nutriment enters the body, is converted, under iho 
influence of the vital principle into new blood, new flesh; 
old is diaaoived and removed from the body; even the solid 
bone is not excluded from lliis continual change nnd n 



%e have iadeed (he same eyea and (he same hands, bul the 
material of which they are composed, ia, afler a short apace, 
by new material. The stuff or which our remem- 
5 made up, on the other hand, rernains ever the 
id it is specially remarkable that the recollections oC 
Tliildhood are precisely the most vivid and strong in the mind 
of the old man. And the miracle of this inner creation goes 
yet further; in the world of our thoughts and recollections 
^welt creatures and beings, older than the Egyptian pyramids, 
Qlder than the thick stemmed Adansouia in Senegal, and dea- 
jmain unchanged when those pyramids and trees ore 
no more. The working of such miracles is made possible to 
ihe mind through language. By words, written and spoken, 

B become acquainted with the life and works of the patriarchs 
of our race, wjiii the fortunes of the kings who built the pyra- 
mids. What we hear and read of the deeds of an Alexander 
1 Augustus, takes in our minds Ihe substantial form of 
ideas and recollections, and continues as freshly there as if it 
bad passed before our eyes yesterday or to-day. The lapse of 
thousands of years cannot affect it. Achilles lias there re- 
mained a youthful hero, Astyanax a blooming boy, such as 
iJhey were when the fight raged round the walls of Troy. And 

t only things human, not only the perishable in its material 
body endures in the inner, spiritual creation of our thoughts, — 
(his creation embraces yet another, infinitely higher domain of 
fceing : it comprehends the knowledge of the Creator and of his 
itblernity itself. In the power of the mind to cherish these 
thoughts of eternity, to know God according to the measure of 

r creaturely intelligence, lies the surest pledge of the con- 
'linuance of our being aAer the death of the body, of an eternal 
'Jife of the spirit. For only that which is of a kindred nature 

□ comprehend its like. Were there not a sort of fountain o 
light in our seeing nerve we could see no light j wore not tl 


tliinking spirit lUelf of an elernnl and divine nature, it conlil 
know and apprehend nothing of God and elernily. Thus wo 
find, that iho soul, in the higher spheres of its unfolding, from 
the plant and the lower animal up lo [lie form of man, appears 
in the material world only as a swiftly paatiing stranger and 
guest ; ihat the bands, hy which it is connected with its body 
grow ever frailer, and its life in time more transitory, bul Itial 
with ibo perishable body of clay, i[ has received yet another 
body, the world of its ideas, which is formed not of a perish- 
nble but of an incorruptible malorial. The visible body may 
ihen waste away allcr a short life-lime, there yet remains lo in 
an invisible and eternal body. 

The relation of the soul lo this higher body of its thougbts, 
its slrivings, ils aspirations and its hopes, is a faithful represen- 
tation of the relation in which the Creator himself stands lo 
Ibe agencies and works of creation. The ideas and recollec- 
tions, which form Ibe inner world of Ihe mind, are not the 
mind itself. They are the work of a creation, to which indeed 
nn impulso and material are supplied from without, but which 
receives its shaping and inner arrangement through its own 
]>owcr. The same discerning spirit that produces this its pecu- 
liar creation when and as it wills, the recollection now of thii 
particular, and then of ihaC incident of its experience, holds il 
all together; it gives to every thought, to every word the power 
lo bear seed and to generate its like. 

Over the world of the spiritual as of ihe material, tlMM 
reigns a God and Creator of all. lie, the uncreated beginiriiig 
of all being, needed and needs no impulse from without, no 
material for the work of his creation ; his thoughts ever have 
been and are realities, every thought of hb has become a being 
and a creature. But this majestic visible creation is not the 
Creator himself; but all the hosts of heaven, all the suds which 
the eye beholds, are related to him only aa the imageofa 


field of flowers, which the mind recalls, to the mind itself. But 
these countless hosts of stars are not the most exalted of the 
realised thoughts and volitions of God, but higher yet are those 
acts of mercy and love, in which the Creator descends to this 
minute creature, man, and offers himself to be known as a 
friend to a friend, and embraces the poor child of humanity as 
a mother her babe. 

The instinct after knowledge is so deeply rooted, and stirs so 
strongly in the mind, because, when it once starts on its way, 
it leads, even after many aberrations, to Him, the knowledge of 
whom, even with the weakest of its rays, awakens love for 
Him as the sunlight wakens warmth. And only in this love 
of God is true life and blessedness. 




JUN 2 9 1937