Imágenes de página

ren propounders of an ordinary ing soberly on his lips. There was theme, by the treasures which he nothing of effort indeed, or impadrew from the mine which they had tience, any more than of pride or unconsciously opened. He general. levity, in his demeanour; and there, ly seemed, indeed, to have no choice was a finer expression of reposing of predilection for one subject of strength, and mild self-possession in discourse rather than another, but his manner, than we ever recollect allowed his mind, like a great cyclo- to have met with in any other person. pedia, to be opened at any letter his He had in his character the utmost associates might choose to turn up, abhorrence for all sorts of forward. and only endeavoured to select from ness, parade, and pretensions; and his inexhaustible stores what might indeed never failed to put all such, be best adapted to the taste of his impostors out of countenance, by the present hearers. As to their capa. manly plainness and honest intrepicity, he gave himself no trouble; dity of his language and deportment. and, indeed, such was his singular • In his temper and dispositions he talent for making all things plain, was not only kind and affectionate, clear, and intelligible, that scarcely but generous, and considerate of the any one could be aware of such a feelings of all around him, and gave deficiency in his presence. His talk, the most liberal assistance and entoo, though overflowing with infor- couragement to all young persons mation, had no resemblance to lec. who showed any indications of taturing or solemn discoursing, but, on lent, or applied to him for patronage the contrary, was full of colloquial or advice. His health, which was spirit and pleasure. He had a cer- delicate from his youth upwards, tain quiet and grave humour, which seemed to become firmer as he ada ran through most of his conversation, vanced in years : and he preserved, and a vein of temperate jocularity, up almost to the last moment of his which gave infinite zest and effect to existence, not only the full command the condensed and inexhaustible in- of his extraordinary intellect, but all formation wbich formed its main the alacrity of spirit, and the social staple and characteristic. There was gaiety which had illuminated his hapa little air of affected testiness, and a piest days. His friends in this part tone of pretended rebuke and con- of the country never saw him more tradiction, with which he used to full of intellectual vigour and colloaddress his younger friends, that was quial animation, never more delightalways felt by them as an endearing ful nor more instructive, than in his mark of his kindness and familiarity, last visit to Scotland in autumn 1817. and prized accordingly far beyond Indeed, it was after that time that all the solemn compliments that ever he applied himself with all the arproceeded from the lips of authority. dour of early life, to the invention of His voice was deep and powerful, a machine for mechanically copying though he commonly spoke in a low all sorts of sculpture and statuary, and somewhat monotonous lone, and distributed among his friends which harmonised admirably with some of its earliest performances, as the weight and brevity of his obser- the productions of a young artist just vations, and set off to the greatest ad- entering on his 83d year. vantage the pleasant anecdotes which “ This happy and useful life came he delivered with the same grave at last to a gentle close. He had brow and the same calm smile play- suffered some inconveniences through

the summer; but was not seriously to write an elementary course of indisposed till within a few weeks of mathematics for the youths of the his death. He then became perfectly naval service; but, from a motive aware of the event that was approach highly honourable to his memory, ing; and with his usual tranquillity he invariably refused to comply. and benevolence of nature, seemed « Bezout,” said he, “ has left a wi. only anxious to point out to the dow with no other fortune than her friends around him the many sources late husband's works, and I do not of consolation which were afforded wish to take away the bread from by the circumstances under which it the widow of one who has rendered was about to take place. He ex. important services to science and to pressed his sincere gratitude to Pro- his country." The only elementary vidence for the length of days with work which he published was his which he had been blessed, and his Traité de Statique, which is a moexemption from most of the infirmi- del of logical precision, clearness, ties of age, as well as for the calm and and simplicity. cheerful evening of life that he had In 1792, when France was mena. been permitted to enjoy, after the ced with invasion, and when the puhonourable labours of the day had blic distress called for the talents been concluded. And thus, full of and courage of the superior classes, years and honours, in all calmness Monge was created Minister of the and tranquillity, he yielded up his Marine. In this new and difficult soul, without pang or struggle, and situation, he spent his days in giving passed from the bosom of his family instructions and superintending the to that of his God!

workmen, and his nights in writing

his Treatise on the casting of artil. GASPARD Monge, so celebrated lery (Fonte de Canons,) a book infor his mathematical talents, and tended for the use of the directors useful practical discoveries, was of the public founderies. born at Beaune, in the province of Monge's next great work was Burgundy, in the year 1746. At the planning a system of education, age of nineteen, he had so much im which should combine a general proved the stock of knowledge which course of Natural Philosophy with he received at the school of the the more practical studies of engipriests of the Oratory, at Lyons, that neering, and which ultimately led to he was appointed teacher of Natural the establishment of the Polytechnic Philosophy in the Military School of School. In the execution of this proMezières, and soon afterwards made ject, Monge spared neither time nor a Professor. In order to bring him exertions, delivering lectures and gito Paris, Monge was in 1780 ap- ving drawings, with rules for the repointed assistant to Bossut, Profes- gulation of conduct, of time, diffesor of the Hydrodynamic Course, rent kinds of study, &c. As fellow. instituted by Turgot. The same labourers in this design, we discover year he was admitted into the Aca- the names of Laplace, Berthollet, demy of Sciences; and on the death Fourcroy, Chaptal, and others. of Bezout in 1783, he was chosen to After completing the arrangesucceed that celebrated examiner ments of the Polytechnic School, of the naval service. In this situa- Monge was sent into Italy with his tion Monge had been several times friend Berthollet, now a Count and invited by the Marquis de Castries Peer of France, to superintend the

transportation of the prints, pictures, fell into disgrace with the new governstatues, &c. plundered under cover ment, which expelled him from the of the treaty of Tolentino; but these French Institute, in opposition to an monuments had hardly entered Pa. express ordonnance, which enacted ris, when Monge was appointed to that every member of the ancient preside in the Commission of the Academy of Sciences should be of Sciences and the Arts destined 10 right a member of the newly regulataccompany the expedition to Egypt. ed Institute. Monge, already sevenHere he was indefatigable in his ex- ty years of age, was so struck by this ertions; visited the Pyramids twice; pitiful outrage, that he sunk into a saw the obelisk, and the grand ruins state of mental depression, and soon of Heliopolis ; studied the remains after expired. He appears to have of antiquity scattered round Cairo been a man of original talents, and Alexandria; and during a tedi. great activity, and indefatigable ap

. ous march through the desert, dis. plication; and in a political point of covered the cause of that wonderful view, his gratitude to his fallen masphenomenon known by the name of ter renders him infinitely more rethe mirage

spectable than many of his contemAfter pursuing his labours, for poraries, who had the dexterity to some time, with unabated vigour lay aside their old principles and haand enthusiasm, Monge returned to bits when the tide of fortune turned, France with Napoleon, who, when and to reconcile themselves to the First Consul, created him succes. Bourbon Dynasty, by traducing and sively a Senator and Count of Pelu- vilifying the man to whom they had

a sia in Egypt.

so often offered up the incense of When Napoleon abdicated, Monge the most servile adulation.

• It would have been fortunate for our army had their commanders been aware of this singular appearance. On the 13th of March the troops were prevented from advancing, and taking up an advantageous position, by imagining they were on the confines of a lake, or sheet of water; and the delusion was not dispelled ill the French were observed descend. ing and marching across the imaginary lake to attack our regiments in the front. This ignorance occasioned a severe and needless loss of lives; the men being obliged to fight, under every possible disadvantage.




Light.- Heat.-Hyposulphurous acid and its compounds.-Discovery of

Hyposulphuric Acid.Experiments of Sertürner, Vogel, and Gay Lussac, on the action of sulphuric acid on alcohol.-Mineral waters.Mea. surement of the height of the Himalaya Mountains.-Curve of permanent congelation.

[ocr errors]


position of his needles; for, if they

had been placed nearly in the magOn the interesting subjects of Light netic meridian, a certain temperaand Heat, no great quantity of ad- ture preserved for a certain time ditional information was brought may be conceived to be capable of into view during the course of this inducing permanent magnetism. year. It will be recollected, that, The most remarkable paper on some years ago, Morichini had per. the subject of heat is an early proformed a set of experiments.' by duction of Professor Leslie, On which he professed to have discover. Heat and Climate,” which had been ed that steel wire, when exposed for read at two meetings of the Royal a certain time to the violet rays of Society as far back as the year 1793, the sun, becomes magnetised. These but was first published in the " Anexperiments have been repeated nals of Philosophy" for July 1819. by various philosophers, general. The novelty of the views developed in ly without success; though there this ingenious performance, its total are some who affirm that they have deviation from the opinions general. verified Morichini's discovery. The ly received at the time, and the disreality of this power of the violet regard of authority evinced by the rays was, therefore, very generally author, appear to have startled the called in question, till it was an- Committee of the Royal Society, and nounced in the Bibliothéque Univer- prevented them from inserting it in selle, that the late Professor Playfair their Transactions. As far as Mr had witnessed a successful experi- Leslie was concerned, this was perment of this kind. Since the iime haps fortunate. It induced him to of this announcement, various other re-consider the subject, and proba. persons, and, among the rest, M. bly led to most of the investigations Dhombres Firmas, have tried this afterwards given to the world in his experiment, and have uniformly fail- • Inquiry into the Nature and Proed. The success of Morichini's ex- pagation of Heat ;" a work which periment must, therefore, have, in has deservedly raised the author to all probability, been owing to the the highest rank in science as a pro


found thinker and original discoverer. plates ; and when this number is Into the peculiar doctrines develop- very great, as in Deluc's column, the ed in this ingenious paper, it would calorific effects become evanescent. be obviously superfluous to enter at The caloric is evolved, by the inpresent; but there is one operation crease of surface; and he has shown which we beg leave to notice, be that it may be very intense, even cause we consider it inaccurate in when only a single pair of plates is point of fact. Professor Leslie says, used. Upon this principle, he conthat, on descending into the deepest structed a battery, which produced mines, no sensible increase of tem. intense ignition without any electriperature is ever observed. Now, cal phenomena. the fact is, that, in the copper mines of Cornwall, it is no uncommon thing HYPOPULPHUROUS ACID AND ITS to find the air hot enough to raise

COMBINATIONS. the thermometer to 100° ; and that, in the salt mines of Cheshire, the · But one of the most important inminers work without their clothes, vestigations connected with experiand rather complain of heat than mental chemistry, which this year cold. Dr Thomson supposed the produced, is that of Mr Herschell, temperature of the air in the salt on the hyposulphurous acid and its mine at Nantwich to range between compounds. An accident first led 80° and 90°; and it will be seen him to the prosecution of the inquiry, from a lable published by Mr Bald, which has conducted to some intethat the air and the water at the resting results. Having set aside, for bottom of the deep coal mines in a few days, a solution of hydrogu. Durham, Cumberland, Northumber. retted sulphuret of lime, he was land, and Stafford, are from 19° to struck by observing a bitterness in 19° higher than at the surface of the the liquid when almost wholly de-' earth. Whether we attempt to ex- composed and colourlese, similar to plain this difference by the theory that of magnesia, the presence of of subterranean or central fire, or which he at first suspected, but was by any other hypothesis, the fact it- soon undeceived.

The liquid had self is undoubted; and we are rather lost its property of precipitating. surprised that a philosopher so re- iron or copper from their solutions markable as well for the accuracy of in the state of sulphurets, though it his information, as for the delicacy still gave a copious precipitate to the of his experiments, and the origina- carbonated alkalies, and of course lity of his views, should have fallen retained lime in some state of uniony into such an error.

with an acid, which could not be

either the sulphuric or sulphurous, GALVANISM.

neither of these forming double

salts with lime. The inquiry now Dr Hare, of America, has publish- became interesting, and was pured a theory of galvanism, differing sued with great success by the inconsiderably from all those hitherto genious chemist we have just nam. started. According to him the gal. ed. vanic fluid is a compound of electri. The hyposulphurous acid not becity and caloric. The electricity is ing capable of a separate existence, increased by the number of pairs of or at least not being procurable in

« AnteriorContinuar »