« PreviousContinue »
loft its natural hue, and affumed a light yellow. At first the colour ing matter fwain on the furface; but afterwards the whole fluid became uniformly transparent. Its acidity was diminished, and a flight degree of fweetnefs was perceptible in it. The piece of lead, when taken out, weighed only feventeen grains and a half; and the furface of it was covered with a black pigment which stained the fingers.
Another piece of lead, exactly fimilar in form and weight, was immerfed, during the fame period of time, in two ounces of white-wine vinegar, with the lofs only of half a grain.
From the refult of thefe experiments I think we may conclude, that the acid of tar would be preferable to vinegar, both in the preparation of faccharum faturni, and acer. lithargyrites; perhaps if it could be freed, by farther diftillation, from the pitchy matter which it contains, the manufacture of cerufs or white lead might be greatly benefited by it. For the pigment, communicated to the piece of lead, fufpended in the acid of tar, probably arofe from the fuperabundant phlogifton of the menftruum. A fimilar phænomenon occurs in the operation for making lunar cauftic. The cryftals of filver, when fufed, affume a black colour, which Mr. Macquer afcribes to the inflam mable principle of the nitrous acid, that attaches itself fuperficially to the filver. Perhaps the acid of tar might be employed, in a puri
Since this paper was written, I have been favoured with a letter from Mr. Charles Taylor, an eminent callico printer, and a competent judge of the fubject, who expreffes himself in the following terms: "The acid of tar, I am confident, might be rendered of great confequence in various manufactures, particularly in the callicoprinting bufinels, in which a very great confumption is made of folutions of iron in the vegetable acid,
as well as of folutions of lead in the fame acid. I think the folution of lead in the acid of tar, though the liquor may not be perfectly clear, would be an excellent fubftitute for the faccharum faturni, ufed in that branch of bufinefs; more par ticularly as the expence of the cry. ftallization would be avoided."
The acid liquor which is procured from pit coal, when diftilled for tar, is at prefent thrown away, as I have been informed by a perfon who is much engaged in this bufinefs." See bifhop Watfon's Chemical Effays, vol. II. page 353.
HISTORY of the VIRGINIAN MOUNTAINS.
[From JEFFERSON's Notes on the State of Virginia.]
T is worthy notice, that our mountains are not folitary and fcattered confufedly over the face of the country; but that they commence at about 150 miles from the fea-coaft, are difpofed in ridges one behind another, running nearly pa. rallel with the fea-coaft, though rather approaching it as they ad ance north-eastwardly. To the fouthweft, as the tract of country between the fea-coaft and the Miliflippi becomes narrower, the mountains converge into a fingle ridge, which, as it approaches the Gulph of Mexico, fubfides into plain country, and gives rife to fome of the waters of that gulph, and particularly to a river called the Apalachicola, probably from the Apalachies, an Indian nation formerly refiding on it. Hence the mountains giving ife to that river, and feen from its various parts, were called the Apalachian mountains, being in fact the end or termination only of the great ridges paffing through the continent. European geographers how ever extended the name northward ly as far as the mountains extend ed; fome giving it, after their feparation into different ridges, to the Blue ridge, others the North mountain, others to the Alleghaney, others to the Laurel ridge, as may be seen in their different maps. But the fact I believe is, that none of thefe ridges were ever known by that name to the inhabitants, either native or emigrant, but as they faw them fo called in European maps. In the fame direction generally are the veins of lime-ftone, coal and other minerals hitherto discovered;
and fo range the falls of our great rivers. But the courfes of the great rivers are at right angles with thefe. James and Patowmac penetrate through all the ridges of mountains caft ward of the Alleghaney; that is broken by no watercourfe. It is in fact the fpine of the country between the Atlantic on one fide, and the Miffiffippi and St. Laurence on the other. The paffage of the Pa towmac through the Blue ridge is perhaps one of the most ftupendous fcenes in nature. You ftand on a very high point of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain an hundred miles to feek a vent. On your left approaches the Parowmac, in queft of a paffage alfo. In the moment of their junction they ruth together against the mountain, rend it afunder, and pafs off to the fea. The first glance of this fcene hurries our fenfes iuto the opinion, that this earth has been created in time, that the mountains were formed first, that the rivers began to flow afterwards, that in this place particularly they have been dammed up by the blue ridge of mountains, and have formed an ocean which filled the whole valley; that continuing to rife they have at length broken over at this fpot, and have torn the mountain down from its fummit to its base. The piles of rock on each hand, but particularly on the Shenandoah, the evident marks of their difrupture and avulfion from their beds by the most powerful agents of nature, corroborate the impreffion. But the distant finishing which naK 2
ture has given to the picture is of a very different character. It is a true contrast to the fore-ground. It is as placid and delightful, as that is wild and tremendous. For the mountain being cloven afunder, The prefents to your eye, through the cleft, a fmall catch of fmooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring around, to pass through the breach, and participate of the calm below. Here the eye ultimately compofes itself; and that way too the road happens actually to lead. You cross the Patowmac above rhe junction, pafs along its fide through the bafe of the mountain for three miles, its terrible precipices hanging in fragments over you, and within about twenty miles reach Frederic town and the fine country round that. This fcene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic, Yet here, as in the neighbourhood of the natural bridge, are people who have paffed their lives within half a dozen miles, and have never been to furvey thefe monuments of a war between rivers and mountains, which must have fhaken the earth itself to its centre. The height of our mountains has
not yet been estimated with any degree of exactnefs. The Alleghaney being the great ridge which divides the waters of the Atlantic from thofe of the Miffilipi, its fummit is doubtless more elevated above the ocean than that of any other mountain. But its relative height, compared with the bafe on which it stands, is not fo great as that of fome others, the country rifing behind the fucceffive ridges like the fteps of ftairs. The mountains of the Blue ridge, and of these the Peaks of Otter, are thought to be of a greater height, measured from their bafe, than any others in our country, and perhaps in North America. From data, which may found a tolerable conjecture, we fuppofe the highest peak to be about 4000 feet perpendicular, which is not a fifth part of the height of the mountains of South America, nor one third of the height which would be neceffary in our latitude to preferve ice in the open air unmelted through the year. The ridge of mountains next beyond the Blue ridge, called by us the North mountain, is of the greatest extent; for which reason they were named by the Indians the Endless mountains,"
Of the SETTLEMENT of the PHOCEANS at MARSEILLES. [From Governor PowNALL's Notices and Defcriptions of Antiquities of the Provincia Romana of Gaul.]`
"MASSILIA, properly fo command throughout the Mare
called, was a fettlement made by a body of Phoceans migrating from the Ionian coaft, from a civilized and polifhed people. This country, where they fettled, abounded with grain, herbs, and fruits, productive of food, health and even luxuriant enjoyment, proportioned to the fate of civilization in which the natives lived. Thefe colonists brought with them the meliorated grain and fruits which cultured lands, of a fruitful foil and genial clime, had brought forward, wheat, the vine, the olive, the fig; I might add to thefe, the quince, the plum, the pear, the apple, the aprica, the peach, the piftachio, the almond, the cherry, the grenadine, the laurel. Many other fruits, as the orange and citron, as well as flowers, all exotics, brought at various periods, might be here noted, were I writing the natural history of the country. I mark only thofe which ftand on record, and are found on the monuments of the firft and early Greek inhabitants. They brought with them the commerce of the Eaft, and combined it with that of Gaul. They fettled pofts and fac tories in the feveral ports of the Mediterranean fea from the maritime Alps to the Pyranefe. With their fhipping they held a naval
Maffilienfe, afterwards called Sinus Leonis, from the enfign of their flag, which dominated there: which enfign, as may be seen in the fe ries of their coins, was the lion. In procefs of time, various colonies proceeded from them, as thofe of Antibes, Hieres, Toulon, Emporia, and the Ephefion of the Pyra
"They were great navigators, and made by long voyages many investigations of diftant countries, The voyages of Pythæus and Eumenes are astonishing examples of this. They were fitted out at the public expence, and paffing the Straights, the ne plus ultra of the ancients, purfued their rout and difcoveries; the one to the north, as far as Thulé; the other along the African coafts fouth, as far as the river Senegal. Thefe were
voyages, in those days, and in the imperfect state of their navigation, equal in enterprife at least to the voyages of Cook.
"The academy at Marseilles, deriving a worthy pride from this fpirit of enterprife in their anceftors, animated with a liberality and noblenefs of fentiment, which nothing but an inward consciousness of kindred merit could give, have this year, in a manner that does them great honour, proposed as a
fubject for a prize, the euloge of the British navigator Cook.
"The Phoceans brought with them the religion and conftitution of government obferved in their mother country. They brought not the depraved and luxurious, but the corrected and fevere manners of a people forced to emigrate from home by misfortunes and distress. Domestic œconomy was a habit which they guarded by fumptuary laws. They retained this to their latest times, as is mentioned by Tacitus. They brought with them not only the religious worship, but a confecrated image and priestess of Diana of Ephefus, and built the Ephefion, as they did alfo a temple to Delphic Apollo, in their Acropolis. Their church was a member of the metropolitan church at Ephefus; and their chief prieftefs a fuffragan of the pontiff of Ephefus, and one of thefe actually fucceeded to that facred dignity. They brought with them an opinion common to their ancestors; that fuch was the perfect purity and infinite justice of the Deity (their gods) that divine juftice must be destroy ed, if the death and blood of the finner did not expiate and make atonement for it; that however, their priests could fo compromife the matter, that fome one man, for the whole might become a reprefentative finner, making, by his facrifice, atonement and expiation for the whole people; and on this principle they ufed human facrifices, choofing fome wretch, on whofe head they heaped every execration, and whom, as a fcapeman, they facrificed, in events of public calamity; this fallacious principle, and this horrid practice excepted, their fyftem of police was
of a fpirit of wisdom and prudence.
Their government was ariftocratic; being governed by a council of fix hundred as chief magiftrate. They were rigid maintainers of feverity in manners, and ftrict difcipline in public conduct. On the one hand, they permitted no fcenical rhimes on their ftage, which tend only to inflame the inflammable paffions, and to corrupt the morals by the exhibition of bad examples: on the other hand, they fuffered not to enter their gates, any fanatic or hypocritic religioni, impoftors, who ufe their mytteries to the deriving of a maintenance in idleness, feeding on the folies of the people.
"The fword of juftice, which,
was fuppofed, they brought with them at their firit fettlement, hung, though eaten through with ruit, and unequal to its office, in their public hall, as a fymbol that ftrict and fevere execution of juftice was, as the original, fo the continued fpirit of their judicature.
They used the service of flaves, and had a peculiar, and, as it feems to me. unlefs it was regulated in fome way which I do not underftand, an arbitrary law refpecting their manumiffion. If the flave manumitted, and become a libertus, could be charged with ingratitude to his patron; this pa tron, his former master, could refcind the manumiffion, and fuperfede the liberty, and this even the third time after a third manumiffion; but if, after this, the matter again, a fourth time, manumitted his flave, he could not claim benefit of this law. The law imputed the error to the fault or the folly of the mafter, not to the flave.