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a large quantity of water; provided that the water 'contain pure er atmospherical air: the air contained in the water gradually artracting the phlogifton of the metallic falt, and consequently reducing the latter to the state of a calx. This obfervation, which may be extended to various other substances, naturally accounts for the dephlogistication of the vitriols, when dissolved in a large quantity of water, even in close vials : especially as it is found that no decompofition of the vitriols is observed, if the water has previously been deprived of its air *. Article 7. Experimenta quædam novum Acidum Animale spectan
tia: Auctore F. L. F. Crellio, M. D. &c. The new animal acid which is the subject of this Article was discovered some years ago by M. de Segner ; who procured it from beef fuet distilled in a glass retort. From the different results of the present Author's reiterated distillations, rectifications, &c. it appears that two pounds of this substance contain 34 ounces of pure oil, 7 ounces and 2 fcruples of acid, and 10 ounces 6 drams and a scruple of coal.
We must refer the chemical Reader to the Article itself for the account of the particular experiments which the Author imade on the oil, as well as on the acid; which Jast he combined with fixed and volatile alcalis, calcareous earth, magnesia, and earth of alum. It would not act upon filiceous earth. Speaking of a particular method of procuring it in a concentrated state, he observes, that the acid thus concentrated possessed the fingular property of, fingly, dissolving leaf gold ; and proposes to treat hereafter more particularly on this subject, and on the action of this acid on metals.
We have already [M. R. Appendix to our last volume, pag. 508] given our Readers a general account of the process of M. Scheele (which is here however ascribed to M. Gabn) of procuring the phosphorus of urine from bones. The present Author, in the course of his experiments, detected the presence of the phosphoric acid in beef suet. From 2 ounces of its coal, reduced by calcination to 3. drachms, he procured by folution in water, and evaporation, 41 grains of a falt of a particular taste. To this falt, diffolved in water, he added a few drops of vitriolic acid ; and then proceeding nearly in the same manner as when the phosphoric acid is procured from bones, he had the pleasure of observing the phosphoric light, which laited above an hour, at the neck of the retort. But the small quantity of matter on which he operated prevented him from obtaining any solid phofphorus.
• Bergman. Opufcul. Physic, & Chemic. Tom. I. pag. 105.
M EDICINE. Article 8. Account of a Woman who had the Small Pox during
Pregnancy, and who seemed to have communicated the same Difease to the Fætus: By John Hunter, Esq; F. R. S.
A person who supposed herself to be in the sixth month of her pregnancy, was seized with the small pox on the 8th of December; and was delivered of a dead child on the 31st of the same month. An eruption was observed over its whole body, which resembled the small-pox; and several of the puftules were filled with matter. This case leads the Author into a variety of dil cussions relative to the subject, which will not easily admit abridgment. Article 13
A new Method of treating the Fistula Lachrymalis :
By Mr. William Blizard, Surgeon, F. A. S. This method appears to be equally fimple and ingenious, and to be attended with little pain and no danger. Its efficacy has been experienced by the inventor, who principally recommends it in recent obstructions in the nasal duct. These obstructions are proposed to be removed by the weight and pressure of a column of mercury, poured into a glass tube, to which is cemented a fine steel pipe, the extremity of which is introduced into one of the puncta lachrymalia. Article 11. Memoria sopra il Veleno Americans, &c.; An Esay
on the American Poison called Ticunas : By the Abbé Fontana. With a Translation.
We cannot, without both feeling and communicating pain, dwell long on these cruel experiments made with the American and other poisons applied, in various modes of torture, to rabbits, pigeons, and other animals. Many of the qualities of the American poison were made known to the Public by M. de la Condamine. The most merciful of all the present Author's trials is the following; which we select for that reason, ftill more than for its fingularity, and for the medical reasonings deduced from it.
On opening the jugular vein of a rabbit, and injecting a 'quarter of a drop, by estimation, of the American poison, first dissolved in, and then diluted with water ; the animal fell down dead, before the poison could be supposed to have reached the heart; and indeed as sudenly, as if it had been struck by lightning. . The Author does not believe that half a drop of the diluted liquor in the fyringe had been injected, when the rabbit fell motionless and dead.
On applying the very famne poison to nerves laid bare, no sens sible disorder was produced in the economy of the animal.
By death taking place immediately,' says the Author, on introducing the poison into the blood, we may be induced to sufpect, that there exists in that fluid a very active, subtle, and
volatile principle, which eludes the acuteft fight, and even the microscope itself. This principle may, on this hypothesis, appear necessary to life; and against this principie the poison may be supposed chiefly to direct its operation.'
The Author's deductions from these and various other trials fuggest to him the following observations.---- Before my experiments, no person would have doubted but that the action of the American poison was immediately on the nerves. All the external signs declared it to be so. These signs then are equivocal, and they are falsely' [erroneously] * adopted by physicians for the certain proofs that a disease is purely nervous. All these fymptoms may exist without the nerves being in the leaft affected: the alteration of the blood alone is fufficient to produce them in a moment. The principal physicians have attributed the disease produced by the poifon of the viper, and by the Amesican poison, to an alteration in the nerves: it belongs to them now to examine whether other diseases, supposed generally to be nervous, be not rather diseases of the fluids, than * (or) diseases of the blood. The suspicion is great, the signs equivocal; the principle is shewn not to be general. I would not here assert, that no disorder could ever be derived from the nerves; this would be running into one extreme in order to avoid another. There is no doubt but that many diseases are nervous in their origin, and that many other's become so from disorders which have began in other parts, and those merely fiuid. The illnesses which arise from mental uneasiness Thew us the power of the nerves on living bodies. But all this does not prove, that all the diseases attributed to the nerves are nervous; and that the ordinary figns of this disorder are not equivocal. And it is certain that the poisons we have examined have no immediate action on the nerves, as has been commonly believed hitherto.'
Some experiments follow, which were made by the Author with laurel water ; which was neither found to act on the blood, or the nerves: and yet proved mortal, and that too in an instant, when introduced into the stomach by the mouth.
MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES. Article 4
An Account of an Eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which happened in August 1779 : By Sir William Hamilton, K. B. F.R.S.
In this Article, this intelligent and well-informed historian of Mount Vesuvius, relates some of the most striking phenomena which attended the last violent eruption of that mountain ; after having paid fifty-eight formal visits to its crater, and having
• Malattie dei fiuidi, malattie del sangue.-The sense is here greatly altered from its true meaning by the Translator,
been 'four times as often on parts of the mountain, without climbing to its summit.'
After some previous eruptions, the phenomena of which are here described, that of the 8th of August is particularly related ; which the Author, at Pausilipo, in company with several of his countrymen, observed with good telescopes ; by means of which they could distinguish what paffed in the crater of the mountain, as well as if they had been actually seated on the summit of the volcano.- In an instant,' says the Author, 'a fountain of liai quid transparent fire began to rise, and, gradually increasing, arrived at so amazing a height as to strike every one who beheld it with the most awful astonishment. I shall scarce be credited,' he adds, when I affirm, that the height of this ftupendous column of fire could not be less than three times that of Vesuvius itself,' which is elevated near 3700 feet above the level of the sea.
• Puffs of smoke, as black as can possibly be imagined, succeeded one another hastily, and accompanied the red hot, transparent, and liquid lava, interrupting its splendid brightness here and there by patches of the darkest hue. Within these puffs of sinoke, at the very moment of their emission from the crater, I could perceive a bright, but pale, ele&trical fire, briskly playing about in zig-zag lines.'- The Author mentions this last circumstance to prove, that the electrical matter, which manifested itself on many occasions during this and other eruptions, 'actual. ly proceeded from the bowels of the volcano, and was not attracted from a great height in the air, and conducted into its crater by the vast volume of smoke.'- These and other phenomena forinerly noticed by the Author have undoubtedly shewn, that the electric matter is put in motion, during the times of volcanic eruptions : but, such is the velocity with which that matter moves, that its direction, upwards or downwards, has not yet, in any instance, not even in the phenomena exhibited on this grand scale, been satisfactorily ascertained.
The light diffused by the above-mentioned huge column of fire was so strong, that Mr. Morris, an English gentleman, informed the Author that, at Sorrento, which is 12 miles from Vesuvius, he read the title-page of a book by that volcanic light.
A shower of cinders projected from the Volcano, during the eruption of the 8th of August, alarmed the Duke of Popoli, then at Monte Mileto, at about 30 miles distance: some of these he sent to Naples, which weighed two ounces. Stones weighing an ounce had fallen upon an estate of his ten miles farther off. A shower of minute ashes fell the same night at Manfredonia, at eleven o'clock, and at the distance of 100 miles from the volcano; which space they must have traversed in two hours: as the great eruption happened at nine o'clock.
One of the stones thrown out from the volcano, to the dif-. tance at least of a quarter of a mile, measured in circumference no less than 108 English feet, and was 17 feet in height;. a folid block, much vitrified. Another block of solid lava was thrown much farther; which was found to be 16 feet high, and 92 feet in circumference: though it plainly appears, by the large fragments that lie round it, and which were detached from it by the shock of its fall, that it must have been twice as large when in the air. Article 6. An Account of a Method for the safe Removal of Ships
that have been driven on Shore, and damaged in their Bottoms, to Places (however distant) for repairing them : By Mr. William Barnard, Shipbuilder, &c.
The ingenious expedients used by the Author of this Article, in conveying safe to the dock at Deptford the York East Indiaman, and a Swedish vessel, stranded near Margate, cannot be rendered intelligible without a reference to the plates which accompany it. Article 9. Ett kort ut drag, &c. Extraft of a Journal, kept
during a Voyage to, and Residence in, the Empire of Japan : By C, P. Thumberg, M. D. &c. With a Translation.
The Author of this Article was sent out by the Directors of the Botanic gardens at Amsterdam, and some other eminent persons of that place, first to the Cape of Good Hope, and from thence to Japan, in order to investigate the natural history of these countries, and to transmit from thence seeds and living plants of unknown kinds, for the use of their collections in Holland. So little is known concerning the empire of Japan ; that even this short account of what the Author was permitted to observe there, must be acceptable to the curious.
He embarked, from Batavia, in 1775, on board a Dutch fhip; and on the 13th of August · failed into the harbour of Nagasacci, with colours flying, and faluted the Papenburg, the Emperor's and Empress's guard, and the town itself.' Two Over Banjoses came on board, who resemble the Mandarins of China ; and who reside in a place prepared for them fhip's deck. Here they exhibit the following instances of jeaJousy, with respect to articles that enter or go out of the fhip.
Bedding is ripped open, and the very feathers examined. Chests are not only emptied of their contents, but the boards of which they are made are searched ; left contraband goods should be concealed in their substance. Pots of sweet meats and of butter are stirred round with an iron skewer. Our cheeses had a more narrow inspection : a large hole was cut into the middle of each ; and a knife thrust into the sides of it in every direction. Even the eggs were not exempted from suspicion; many of