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SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY INTELLIGENCE.
The EMPURIUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCEs-Several numbers of a new series of this work have appeared in Philadelphia. The present editor is Mr. Thomas Cooper, Professor of Chymistry, &c. in Dickenson College. The talents and information of this gentleman are calculated to render this work highly useful both to manufacturers and men of mere theory. The form of the work is altered from a monthly publication to a larger size, which appears eve ry two months The chief contents of the numbers of the present series already published, are several papers written by the editor, purporting to be treatises on several of the most interesting branches of the useful manufactures, and their auxiliary machines. We cannot help thinking the editor is treading on dangerons ground in attempting to compress systematic articles of this kind into the limits of a periodical publication, and might have been more useful in merely publishing such part of his articles as is new, or scarce and difficult to be procured The bulk of the articles will prevent their being read for mere amusement; and the mixture of old and well known processes will render them heavy and uninteresting to the adept. Still, however, they con tajr a mass of information, which is extremely valuable from its compression and the list of authorities which is given the other papers, on miscellancons subjects, are, on the whole, well drawn up, although a few inaccuracies occur, and the whole work is well deserving of the public favour.
R Bruce's JOURNAL.-We are happy to notice the publication of a fourth number of the American Mineralogical Journal, 'y Archibald Bruce, M D of NewYork This work, which is principally devoted to the development of the mineralogy of this country, and the promotion of general and local mineralogical information, has been perused with great interest and approbation b, the scientific cirrles of Europe. The vast and varier tracts of natural history in this country have as vet been but partially explored, and, perhaps, no:ie so slightly as that of mineralogv. Naturalists, therefore, still look to it as, in some degree, a terra incognita, and hail with satisfaction all works like the present, which serve to throw anr light on its almost untrodden regions. The present number completes the first volume, and contains, among other interesting articles, a paper on the geology and mineralngy of the Island of New York, by Dr. Ake lv Another on the minerals in the vici. nity of Baltimore, Irv Robert Gilmore. jnn Esq. and a third on some of the or é of Titanium, discovered within the (United States, 1 v Dr. Bruce. What we chiefly lament about this valuable work, is the extreme slowness of its growth: the present volume having been a verv long time attaining its full size. It is obse ved, however, that those natural productions which are of slowest growth, are longest lived; if there be anv analogy between those and the productions of the mind, we may augur to Dr Bruce's work an extreme and tenacious old age.
Colles's TELEGRAPH. It is with pleasure we learn that the attention of government has been attracted to the very simple and excellent telegrand of Mr. Colles. Orders have been received by him from the war department to hare tele. graphs erected at San-ly-Hook, the Narrows, and New-York, on experiment Wr. C. has improved his plan still further, and we have no doubt that it will yield the most perfect satissa, tion.
BRITISH POETS.- Part of the manuscript of a new work, from the nen of Thomas Campbell, antho” of the Pleasures of llope, &c has been received, and is in the hands of Messrs. Eastburn, Kirk & Co. for publication. This work will consist of selections from British poets, from the reign of "dward III to the present time, with critical and biographical notices. It is the fruit of a great deal o study and labour, and will present, in the compass of three octavo volumes, a general, and at the same time a luminous and critical view of the whole region of Britih pretrv. Something of the kind has been presented in Ellis's Specimens; but that work
comes down only to the end of the sixteenth century; whereas this will reach to the end of the eighteerth century, and will likewise contain more speciniens from the stock of steriing oldi pietry. A work of this kind, executed by such a pen, has long been a desideratum in our literature; but is peculiarly desirable in this country, where every one is so engaged in the hurry of business as to have little of the quiet leisure necessary to extensive and critical research; and when also the collections of rare books and old authors are so scarce, as to atford but little access to those remote fountains of elegant literature.
E.J. Coale, of : altimore, has in press Demetrius, a Russian romance.
A new poem has appeared in England, from the pen of Robert Sonthey, entitled Roderiek, the Last of the Goths. It is expected shortly to be republished in this country.
REPORT OF THE PROGRESS OF CHYMISTRY.
[From the Monthly Magazine for November.] Mr. Brande, the ingenious successor of Sir Humphrey Davy in the chymical chair at the Royal Institution, has read before the Royal society a second paper on the state in which al ohol, or pure ardent spirit, exists in fermented liquors. It has been usually supposed that alcohol was a product of the process of distillation, and the experiments of Mr. B have been instituted with a view to ascertain the correctness or incorrectness o' this opinion. ile had previously concluded that any new arrangement of the ultimate elements of wine, which cou d occasion the formation of alcohol, would constantly be attended with other marks of decomposition, and that carbon would be deposited, or carbonic acid evolved; neither of which circumstances does actually take place. ile has succeeded in showing that alcohol inay be separated from wine without the intervention of heat, and that the same proportion may be thus procured as that yielded by «istillation. His plan is as follows He first separates the colouring matter and the acid of the wine, by means of a concentrated sojution of sub. acetate of lead, and then, by sub-carbonate o potaslı, he finally disengages from it the alcohol. He answers the assertion, that a mixture of alcohor and water, in the same proportion in which it exists in wine, is much more intoxicating than the same quantity of wine itself, by proving that the union is incomplete ; and he states also, that he acid and extractive matter blunt very mich the real strength of the wine. Mr. B. therefore, again concludes, that the whole quantity of alcohol which is found after distillation, had actually pre-existed in the fermented liquor operated on.
Mr. Gay-Lussac has now de nonstrated that there are only three different oxides of iron which are perfectly distinct from each other; and that the various colours which some of them assume arise from their different states of aggregation The first oxide, which is white, and which is obtained whenever iron decomposes water by means of an acid, the acd not furnishing the oxygeu by being itself also decomposed, consists of 100 parts of iron, and 28 of oxygen. The second oxide which is produced by burning iron in oxvgen, or in atmospheric air, at a very elevated temperature, or where water is decomposed by iron without the an iliary presence of an acid, contains 38 per cent. of oxygen. Chis second oxide, when in a mass, is of a blackish grav colour, and when precipitated, is of a deep brown, but when very minutely di. · vided, it is green. It is also very magnetic. The third, the red oxide, is composed of 100 parts of iron and 42 parts of oxygen. In a natural state the white oside does not exist, except in combination with carbonic acid.
The celebrated hypothesis of Sir tumphrey Davy, which assures that muriatie acid is a compound of chlorine and hydrogen, and not a compound, as has bitherio been supposed, of oxygen and some unknown base, is still unsanctioned by the opinions of many of our first chymists. Among these, professor Berzelius, of Stockholm, says, although it is difficult, experimentally, to demonstrate the incorrectness of Sir Humphrey's hypo'hesis, that, according to the very lumino's doctrine of definite proportions, which was first given to the chymical world some years ago, by the celebra. ted Mr Dalton, of Manchester, and of the truth of which air Humphrey himself, with e ery o her scientific chymist, entertains no doubt, there are many combinations of muriatic acid, which, if explained accoriling to Davy's hypothesis, are quite inconsistent with well-ascertained chymical proportions At any rate, he at least thinks that all the facts at present known concerning muriatic acid and its combinations, may be equally well explained upon our old opinions.
THE LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY OF
This distinguished society has just published the second volume of its second series, containing, among others, the foilowing papers :
An uccount of some Lcperiments to uscertain whether the Force of Steam be in proportion to the generating Heat, by John Sharpe, Esq.-Mr. Sharpe's experiin its have ascertained two things: That water heats equably, or in the same time (supposing the heating cause the same) from 120 deg up to he highest temperature that it can reach without boil ng, (and that temperature depends upon the pressure.) Suppose, for example, that it is heated 10 deg. or from 120 deg. to 100 deg. in three minutes; it will be heated from 270 deg. to 280 deg in the same time. This is a very curious fact, and not easily explained, unless the thermometer is an inaccurate measurer of heat ? i hat six ounoes of steam of 212 deg condensed into water, give out as much heat a six ounces of steam at the temperature 275 deg ; but the second six ounces come over in a much shorter period han the first. Therefore the density of ste n ai 212 deg is 150 times greater than at 32 deg ; and its dens ty at 25deg. is twice as great as at 2 % deg. Hence we have the specific gravity of stcam at dil: ferent temperatures as follows:
2.7584 This explains the elasticity of steam in a satisfactory manner, and brings it under the same law as common air, and all the other elastic Huids.
On Respiration and Animal Heat, by John Dalton, Esq.-The phenomena of respiration described by vir. Valion in this paper, are as follows:--A portion of the oxyge i of the air inspired disappears, and is replaced by an equal bulk of carbonic acid gas. he air espired is saturated with moisture, and its temperature is raised to about 99 deg so that respiration is the source of animal heat.
On the Meusure of vloving Force, by Mr. Peter Ewart.- A question has long been agitated, whether mechanical force is to be measured by the mass multiplied into the velocity, or joto he square of the velocity. The last of these opinions was adopted by Hooke and Huygens, in consequence of their observations on the mo. tions of pendlelams. It was also adopted by Smeaton, in consequence of his experiments on he mechanical action of water. Mr Ewart supports the opinion of Smeaton with great force of reasoning. The essay is remarkable for the extensive knowledge of the subject which the author displays, and for the great perspicuitv of his reasoning, which is the consequence of this extensive knowledge. He gives a num. ber of examples, which he considers as inconsistent with the common notion, discusses these examples, and gives us a very full history of the opinions of mechanical vriters on the subject
On the Theories of the Ercitement of Galvanic Electricity, by William Henry, M. D F R. SC.--Sir Humphrey Davy has given a theory of the galvanic energy, in which he conceive y, that when the battery is composed of copper, zinc, and solution of common salt, the zinc becomes positive, and the copper negative; therefore the zinc attracts the oxytren and acid), which are negative ; and the copper, the hvdrogen and alkali, which are positive. But this equilibrium is immediately destroyed by the for nation of mariate of zine, and the evolution of hydrogen gas Hence the action of the zine and copper is again repeated, and this goes on as long as the chymical action continues. Dr. Henry is also of opinion, that the primary excitement of electricity is owing to the chymical changes; but he conceives it to be essential to the activity of the battery, that one set of elements of the finid should have no afinity for one of the metals. Thus, in the preceding example, the oryren and the acid combine with the zinc; but the hydrogen and alkali, having no affinity for the cop. per, deposite a portion of their clectricity on it, and thus the accumulation proceeds. He accounts for the evolution of the two constituents of a substance decomposed by the battery at the two poles, though at a distance from each other, by supposing a series of intermediate decompositions to go on Suppose water to be the substance decomposed, we may conceive a series of particles of water arranged between the two poles. In atom of oxvgen gas escapes at the positive pole. The hydrogen previously combined with this atom, unites with the oxygen of the next particle of water; and this successive decomposition goes on till it reaches the negative pole, when the atom of laydrogeo remaining, makes it escape in the form of gas.
Essays on the Sources of the Pleasures received from Literary
Compositions, second edition, 8vo. pp. 390.
Whoever has had occasion to think much upon metaphysical subjects, knows the difficulty of expressing such thoughts to others. This arises frequently, no doubt, from a want of precision in the thoughts themselves, but frequently likewise froin the deficiency of language. Languages were formed when men were hunters, fishers, warriors, husbandmen, any thing but metaphysicians; and, as might therefore be expected, they furnish words for every thing rather than the faculties and operations of the mind, its properties, and the ways in which it is affected. When philosophers arose, who wished to turn the attention of their followers to such like subjects, they had no words to express themselves by, and were, therefore, reduced to the alternative of either inventing new words, or employing old ones in new senses. may judge from the present state of languages, they chose the VOL. JII. New Series.
latter method, and finding, or fancying, some similarity between certain operations of body and mind, made use of the words which had been set apart for the former to express the latter. Thus, guiding themselves by analogies more or less whimsical, they spoke of apprehension, and comprehension, and conception, of laste and feeling, of weakness of mind and strength of judgment, of subtle reasonings, of sublime notions, and obscure arguments -pressing in this manner substantial forms into the world of shadows.
What uncertainty must arise from this accommodation of old words to new meanings is sufficiently evident. The word was familiar to the ear, and it was forgotten that it was used in an upcommon sense; the name was known, and so the necessary introduction of a definition was dispensed with. Thus, some have suffered themselves to be imposed upon; and some, it is to be feared, have been dishonest enough to impose upon others. We shrewdly suspect that, if some honest person would but take the trouble of expunging from Mr. Hume's metaphysical works a few magical words, and substituting for them others of a less familiar sound, some of his essays would wear a much less imposing shape than they do at present.
But if this inconvenience has been felt in the severer metaphysics, a study which only philosophers approach, who, by explaining their meaning, might tie down their words to a definite signification, in the metaphysics of taste it is much more to be dreaded. Here every one thinks himself a judge; every one has his feelings, and his taste, and his notions of what is beautiful, and grand, and pathetic; and as each man uses words in his own sense, the night-scenes in Macbeth, with some, are very pretty, and “Fluttering spread thy purple pinion” is highly sublime ;till every thing is a confusion worse confounded.” Hence, strange theories, contradictory opinions. One man uses words in the vague sense of the multitude; another mounts up to their etymon to get at their true meaning; and both are equally in the wrong. In venturing our opinion upon subjects such as those of which the work before us treats, we shall endeavour to use no word of the meaning of which we have not formed ourselves, and cannot give to our readers, a definite notion.
The first of these essays is “On the Improvement of Taste.” By taste we would be understood to mean sensibility with respect to every thing that addresses itself to the imagination. That a diversity of tastes exists it would be ridiculous to go about to prove; and, in speaking of the improvement of taste, it is evident that we suppose some tastes to be better than others. A previous question, then, proposes itself at the very outset. How is it to be proved that one taste is better than another? or, in short,