[THE BOTANIC GARDEN. PART I. THE ECONOMY OF VEGETATION.][Page xi]
Argument of the First Canto.
THE Genius of the place invites the Goddess of Bo tany. 1. She descends, is received by Spring, and the Elements, 59. Addresses the Nymphs of Fire. Star-light Night seen in the Camera Obscura, 81. I. Love created the Universe. Chaos explodes. All the Stars revolve. God. 97. II. Shooting Stars. Lightning. Rainbow. Colours of the Morning and Evening Skies. Exterior Atmosphere of inflammable Air. Twilight. Fire-balls. Aurora Borealis. Planets. Comets. Fixed Stars. Sun's Orb, 115. III. 1. Fires at the Earth's Centre. Animal Incubation, 137. 2. Volcanic Mountains. Venus visits the Cyclops, 149. IV. Heat confined on the Earth by the Air. Phosphoric lights in the Even ing. Bolognian Stone. Calcined Shells. Memnon's Harp, 173. Ignis fatuus. Luminous Flowers. Glow-worm. Fire-fly. Lu minous Sea-insects. Electric Eel. Eagle armed with Lightning, 189. V. 1. Discovery of Fire. Medusa, 209. 2. The chemical Properties of Fire. Phosphorus. Lady in Love, 223. 3. Gun-powder, 237. VI. Steam-engine applied to Pumps, Bellows, Water-engines, Corn-mills, Coining, Barges, Waggons, Flying-chariots, 253. Labours of Hercules. Abyla and Calpe, 297. VII. 1. Electric Machine. Hesperian Dragon. Electric kiss. Halo round the heads of Saints. Electric Shock. Fairy-rings, 335. 2. Death of Professor Richman, 371. 3. Franklin draws Lightning[Page xii] from the Clouds. Cupid snatches the Thunder-bolt from Jupiter ▪ 383. VIII. Phosphoric Acid and Vital Heat produced in the Blood ▪ The great Egg of Night, 399. IX. Western Wind unfettered ▪ Naiad released. Frost assailed. Whale attacked, 421. X. Buds and Flowers expanded by Warmth, Electricity, and Light. Draw ings with colourless sympathetic Inks; which appear when warmed by the Fire, 457. XI. Sirius. Jupiter and Semele. Northern Constellations. Ice-islands navigated into the Tropic Seas. Rainy Monsoons, 497. XII. Points erected to procure Rain. Elijah on Mount-Carmel, 547. Departure of the Nymphs of Fire like sparks from artificial Fireworks, 585.
THE ECONOMY OF VEGETATION.
When Love Divine. l. 101. From having observed the gradual evolution of the young animal or plant from its egg or seed; and afterwards its successive advances to its more perfect state, or maturity; philosophers of all ages seem to have imagined, that the great world itself had likewise its infancy and its gradual progress to maturity; this seems to have given origin to the very antient and sublime allegory of Eros, or Divine Love, producing the world from the egg of Night, as it floated in Chaos. See l. 419. of this Canto.
The external crust of the earth, as far as it has been exposed to our view in mines or mountains, countenances this opinion; since these have evidently for the most part had their origin from the shells of fishes, the decomposition of vegetables, and the recrements of other animal materials, and must therefore have been formed progressively from small beginnings. There are likewise some apparently useless or incomplete appendages to plants and animals, which seem to shew they have gradually undergone changes from their original state; such as the stamens without anthers, and styles without stigmas of several plants, as mentioned in the note on Curcuma, Vol. II. of this work. Such as the halteres, or rudiments of wings of some two-winged insects; and the paps of male animals; thus swine have four toes, but two of them are imperfectly formed, and not long enough for use. The allantoide in some animals seems to have become extinct; in others is above tenfold the size, which would seem necessary for its purpose. Buffon du Cochon. T. 6. p. 257. Perhaps all the supposed monstrous births of Nature are re mains of their habits of production in their former less perfect state, or attempts towards greater perfection.
Through all his realms. l, 105. Mr. Herschel has given a very sublime and curious account of the construction of the heavens with his discovery of some thousand nebulae, or clouds of stars; many of which are much larger collections of stars, than all those put together, which are visible to our naked eyes, added to those which form the galaxy, or milky zone, which surrounds us. He observes that in the vicinity of these clusters of stars there are proportionally fewer stars than in other parts of the heavens; and hence he concludes, that they have attracted each other, on the supposition that infinite space was at first equally sprinkled with them; as if it had at the beginning been filled with a fluid mass, which had coagulated. Mr. Herschel has further shewn, that the whole sidereal system is gradually moving round some centre, which may be an opake mass of matter, Philos. Trans. V. LXXIV. If all these Suns are moving round some great central body; they must have had a projectile force, as well as a centripetal one; and may thence be supposed to have emerged or been projected from the material, where they were produced. We can have no idea of a natural power, which could project a Sun out of Chaos, ex cept by comparing it to the explosions or earthquakes owing to the sudden evolution of aqueous or of other more elastic vapours; of the power of which under immeasurable degrees of heat, and compression, we are yet ignorant.
It may be objected, that if the stars had been projected from a Chaos by explosions, that they must have returned again into it from the known laws of gravitation; this how ever would not happen, if the whole of Chaos, like grains of gunpowder, was exploded at the same time, and dispersed through infinite space at once, or in quick succession, in every possible direction. The same objection may be stated against the possibility of the planets having been thrown from the fun by explosions; and the secondary planets from the primary ones; which will be spoken of more at large in the second Canto, but if the planets are supposed to have been projected from their suns, and the secondary from the primary ones, at the beginning of their course; they might be so influenced or diverted by the attractions of the suns, or sun, in their vicinity, as to prevent their tendency to return into the body, from which they were projected.
Is these innumerable and immense suns thus rising out of Chaos are supposed to have thrown out their attendant planets by new explosions, as they ascended; and those their respective satellites, filling in a moment the immensity of space with light and motion, a grander idea cannot be conceived by the mind of man.
Chase the shooting stars. l. 115. The meteors called shooting stars, the lightening, the rainbow, and the clouds, are phenomena of the lower regions of the atmosphere. The twilight, the meteors call'd fire-balls, or flying dragons, and the northern lights, inhabit the higher regions of the atmosphere. See additional notes, No. l.
Cling round the aerial bow. l. 117, See additional notes, No. II
Eve's silken couch. l. 119. See additional notes, No. III.
Where lighter gases. l. 123. Mr. Cavendish has shewn, that the gas called inflam mable air, is at least ten times lighter than common air; Mr. Lavoisier contends, that it is one of the component parts of water, and is by him called hydrogene. It is supposed to afford their principal nourishment to vegetables and thence to animals, and is perpetually rising from their decomposition; this source of it in hot climates, and in summer months, is so great as to exceed estimation. Now if this light gas passes through the atmosphere, without combining with it, it must compose another atmosphere over the aerial one; which must expand, when the pressure above it is thus taken away, to inconceivable tenuity.
If this supernatural gasseous atmosphere floats upon the aerial one, like ether upon water, what must happen? l. it will flow from the line, where it will be produced in the greatest quantities, and become much accumulated over the poles of the earth; 2. the common air, or lower stratum of the atmosphere, will be much thinner over the poles than at the line; because if a glass globe be filled with oil and water, and whirled upon its axis, the centrifugal power will carry the heavier fluid to the circumference, and the lighter will in consequence be found round the axis. 3. There may be a place at some certain latitude between the poles and the line on each side the equator, where the inflammable supernatant atmosphere may end, owing to the greater centrifugal force of the heavier aerial atmosphere. 4. Between the termination of the aerial and the beginning of the gasseous atmosphere, the airs will occasionally be intermixed, and thus become inflam mable by the electric spark; these circumstances will assist in explaining the phenomena of fire-balls, northern lights, and of some variable winds, and long continued rains.
Since the above note was first written, Mr. Volta I am informed has applied the sup position of a supernatant atmosphere of inflammable air, to explain some phenomena in meteorology. And Mr. Lavoisier has announced his design to write on this subject. Traitè de Chimie, Tom. I. I am happy to find these opinions supported by such respect able authority.
And bend the twilight. l. 126. The crepuscular atmosphere, or the region where the light of the sun ceases to be refracted to us, is estimated by philosophers to be between 40 and 50 miles high, at which time the sun is about 18 degrees below the horizon; and the rarity of the air is supposed to be from 4,000 to 10,000 times greater than at the sur face of the earth. Cotes's Hydrost. p. 123. The duration of twilight differs in different seasons and in different latitudes; in England the shortest twilight is about the beginning of October and of March; in more northern latitudes, where the sun never finks more than 18 degrees, below the horizon, the twilight continues the whole night. The time of its duration may also be occasionally affected by the varying height of the atmo sphere. A number of observations on the duration of twilight in different latitudes might afford considerable information concerning the aerial strata in the higher regions of the atmosphere, and might assist in determining whether an exterior atmosphere of inflam mable gas, or Hydrogene, exists over the aerial one.
Alarm with Comet-blaze. l. 133. See additional notes, No. IV.
The Sun's phlogistic orb. l. 136. See additional notes, No. V.
Round the still centre. l. 139. Many philosophers have believed that the central parts of the earth consist of a fluid mass of burning lava, which they have called a subterra neous sun; and have supposed, that it contributes to the production of metals, and to the growth of vegetables. See additional notes, No. VI.
Or sphere on sphere. l. 143. See additional notes, No. VII.
Hurl innocuous embers. l. 152. The immediate cause of volcanic eruptions is believed to be owing to the water of the sea, or from lakes, or inundations, finding itself a passage into the subterraneous fires, which may lie at great depths. This must first produce by its coldness a condensation of the vapour there existing, or a vacuum, and thus occasion parts of the earth's crust or shell to be forced down by the pressure of the incumbent at mosphere. Afterwards the water being suddenly raised into steam produces all the explosive effects of earthquakes. And by new accessions of water during the intervals of the ex plosions the repetition of the shocks is caused. These circumstances were hourly illustrated by the fountains of boiling water in Iceland, in which the surface of the water in the boiling wells sunk down low before every new ebullition.
Besides these eruptions occasioned by the steam of water, there seems to be a perpetual effusion of other vapours, more noxious and (as far as it is yet known) perhaps greatly more expansile than water from the Volcanos in various parts of the world. As these Volcanos are supposed to be spiracula or breathing holes to the great subterraneous fires, it is probable that the escape of elastic vapours from them is the cause, that the earth quakes of modern days are of such small extent compared to those of antient times, of which vestiges remain in every part of the world, and on this account may be said not only to be innocuous, but useful.
Confine with folds of air. l. 174. The air, like all other bad conductors of electricity, is known to be a bad conductor of heat; and thence prevents the heat acquired from the sun's rays by the earth's surface from being so soon dissipated, in the same manner as a blanket, which may be considered as a sponge filled with air, prevents the escape of heat from the person wrapped in it. This seems to be one cause of the great degree of cold on the tops of mountains, where the rarity of the air is greater, and it therefore be comes a better conductor both of heat and electricity. See note on Barometz, Vol. II. of this work.
There is however another cause to which the great coldness of mountains and of the higher regions of the atmosphere is more immediately to be ascribed, explained by Dr. Darwin in the Philos. Trans. Vol. LXXVIII. who has there proved by experiments with the air-gun and air-pump, that when any portion of the atmosphere becomes mechanically expanded, it absorbs heat from the bodies in its vicinity. And as the air which creeps along the plains, expands itself by a part of the pressure being taken off when it ascends the sides of mountains; it at the same time attracts heat from the summits of those mountains, or other bodies which happen to be immersed in it, and thus produces cold. Hence he concludes that the hot air at the bottom of the Andes becomes temperate by its own rarefaction when it ascents to the city of Quito; and by its further rarefaction becomes cooled to the freezing point when it ascends to the snowy regions on the sum mits of those mountains. To this also he attributes the great degree of cold experienced by the aeronauts in their balloons; and which produces hail in summer at the height of only two or three miles in the atmosphere.
Diffuse phosphoric light. l. 177. I have often been induced to believe from observation, that the twilight of the evenings is lighter than that of the mornings at the same distance from noon. Some may ascribe this to the greater height of the atmosphere in the even ings having been rarefied by the sun during the day; but as its density must at the same time be diminished, its power of refraction would continue the same. I should rather suppose that it may be owing to the phosphorescent quality (as it is called) of almost all bodies; that is, when they have been exposed to the sun they continue to emit light for a considerable time afterwards. This is generally believed to arise either from such bodies giving out the light which they had previously absorbed; or to the continuance of a slow combustion which the light they had been previously exposed to had excited. See the next note.
Beccari's shells, l. 182. Beccari made made many curious experiments on the phos phoric light, as it is called, which becomes visible on bodies brought into a dark room, after having been previously exposed to the sunshine. It appears from these experiments, that almost all inflammable bodies possess this quality in a greater or less degree; white paper or linen thus examined after having been exposed to the sunshine, is luminous to an extraordinary degree; and if a person shut up in a dark room, puts one of his hands out into the sun's light for a short time and then retracts it, he will be able to see that hand distinctly, and not the other. These experiments seem to countenance the idea of light being absorbed and again emitted from bodies when they are removed into darkness. But Beccari further pretended, that some calcareous compositions when exposed to red, yellow, or blue light, through coloured glasses, would on their being brought into a dark room emit coloured lights. This mistaken fact of Beccari's, Mr. Wilson decidedly refutes; and among many other curious experiments discovered, that if oyster-shells were thrown into a common fire and calcined for about half an hour, and then brought to a person who had previously been some minutes in a dark room, that many of them would exhibit beautiful irises of prismatic colours, from whence probably arose Beccari's mistake. Mr. Wilson from hence contends, that these kinds of phosphori do not emit the light they had previously received, but that they are set on fire by the sun's rays, and continue for some time a slow combustion after they are withdrawn from the light. Wilson's Expe riments on Phosphori. Dodsley, 1775.
The Bolognian stone is a selenite, or gypsum, and has been long celebrated for its phosphorescent quality after having been burnt in a sulphurous fire; and exposed when cold to the sun's light. It may be thus well imitated: Calcine oyster-shells half an hour, pulverize them when cold, and add one third part of flowers of sulphur, press them close into a small crucible, and calcine them for an hour or longer, and keep the powder in a phial close stopped. A part of this powder is to be exposed for a minute or two to the sunbeams, and then brought into a dark room. The calcined Bolognian stone be comes a calcareous hepar of sulphur; but the calcined shells, as they contain the animal acid, may also contain some of the phosphorus of Kunkel.
In Memnon's fane. l. 183. See additional notes. No. VIII.
The lamps nocturnal. l. 189. The ignis fatuus or Jack a lantern, so frequently alluded to by poets, is supposed to originate from the inflammable air, or Hydrogene, given up from morasses; which being of a heavier kind from its impurity than that obtained from iron and water, hovers near the surface of the earth, and uniting with common air gives out light by its slow ignition. Perhaps such lights have no existence, and the reflection of a star on watery ground may have deceived the travellers, who have been said to be bewildered by them? if the fact was established it would much contribute to explain the phenomena of northern lights. I have travelled much in the night, in all seasons of the year, and over all kinds of soil, but never saw one of these Will o'wisps.
Shine round Calendula. l. 191. See note on Tropaeolum in Vol. II.
The radiant Worm. l. 193. See additional notes, No. IX.
The dread Gymnotus. l. 202. The Gymnotus electricus is a native of the river of Surinam in South America; those which were brought over to England about eight years ago were about three or four feet long, and gave an electric shock (as I experienced) by putting one finger on the back near its head, and another of the opposite hand into the water near its tail. In their native country they are said to exceed twenty feet in length, and kill any man who approaches them in an hostile manner. It is not only to escape its enemies that this surprizing power of the fish is used, but also to take its prey; which it does by benumbing them and then devouring them before they have time to recover, or by perfectly killing them; for the quantity of the power seemed to be determined by the will or anger of the animal; as it sometimes struck a fish twice before it was suf ficiently benumbed to be easily swallowed.
The organs productive of this wonderful accumulation of electric matter have been accurately dissected and described by Mr. J. Hunter. Philos. Trans. Vol. LXV. And are so divided by membranes as to compose a very extensive surface, and are supplied with many pairs of nerves larger than any other nerves of the body; but how so large a quantity is so quickly accumulated as to produce such amazing effects in a fluid ill adapted for the purpose is not yet satisfactorily explained. The Torpedo possesses a similar power in a less degree, as was shewn by Mr. Walch, and another fish lately described by Mr. Paterson. Philo. Trans. Vol. LXXVI.
In the construction of the Leyden-Phial, (as it is called) which is coated on both sides, it is known, that above one hundred times the quantity of positive electricity can be condensed on every square inch of the coating on one side, than could have been ac cumulated on the same surface if there had been no opposite coating communicating with the earth; because the negative electricity, or that part of it which caused its ex pansion, is now drawn off through the glass. It is also well known, that the thinner the glass is (which is thus coated on both sides so as to make a Leyden-phial, or plate) the more electricity can be condensed on one of its surfaces, till it becomes so thin as to break, and thence discharge itself.
Now it is possible, that the quantity of electricity condensible on one side of a coated phial may increase in some high ratio in respect to the thinness of the glass, since the power of attraction is known to decrease as the squares of the distances, to which this cir cumstance of electricity seems to bear some analogy. Hence if an animal membrane, as thin as the silk-worm spins its silk, could be so situated as to be charged like the Leyden bottle, without bursting, (as such thin glass would be liable to do,) it would be difficult to calculate the immense quantity of electric fluid, which might be accumulated on its surface. No land animals are yet discovered which possess this power, though the air would have been a much better medium for producing its effects; perhaps the size of the necessary apparatus would have been inconvenient to land animals.
In his Shining claws. l. 208. Alluding to an antique gem in the collection of the Grand Duke of Florence. Spence.
Of devouring fire. l. 212. The first and most important discovery of mankind seems to have been that of fire. For many ages it is probable fire was esteemed a dangerous enemy, known only by its dreadful devastations; and that many lives must have been lost, and many dangerous burns and wounds must have afflicted those who first dared to subject it to the uses of life. It is said that the tall monkies of Borneo and Sumatra lie down with pleasure ruond any accidental fire in their woods; and are arrived to that degree of reason, that knowledge of causation, that they thrust into the remaining fire the half-burnt ends of the branches to prevent its going out. One of the nobles of the cultivated people of Otaheita, when Captain Cook treated them with tea, catched the boiling water in his hand from the cock of the tea-urn, and bellowed with pain, not conceiving that water could become hot, like red fire.
Tools of steel constitute another important discovery in consequence of fire; and contributed perhaps principally to give the European nations so great superiority over the American world. By these two agents, fire and tools of steel, mankind became able to cope with the vegetable kingdom, and conquer provinces of forests, which in uncul tivated countries almost exclude the growth of other vegetables, and of those animals which are necessary to our existence. Add to this, that the quantity of our food is also increased by the use of fire, for some vegetables become salutary food by means of the heat used in cookery, which are naturally either noxious or difficult of digestion; as potatoes, kidney-beans, onions, cabbages. The cassava when made into bread, is perhaps rendered mild by the heat it undergoes, more than by expressing its superfluous juice. The roots of white bryony and of arum, I am informed lose much of their acrimony by boiling.
Or fix in sulphur. l. 226. The phenomena of chemical explosions cannot be accounted for without the supposition, that some of the bodies employed contain concentrated or solid heat combined with them, to which the French Chemists have given the name of Calorique. When air is expanded in the air-pump, or water evaporated into steam, they drink up or absorb a great quantity of heat; from this analogy, when gunpowder is ex ploded it ought to absorb much heat, that is, in popular language, it ought to produce a great quantity of cold. When vital air is united with phlogistic matter in respiration, which seems to be a slow combustion, its volume is lessened; the carbonic acid, and per haps phosphoric acid are produced; and heat is given out; which according to the ex periments of Dr. Crawford would seem to be deposited from the vital air. But as the vital air in nitrous acid is condensed from a light elastic gas to that of a heavy fluid, it must possess less heat than before. And hence a great part of the heat, which is given out in firing gunpowder, I should suppose, must reside in the sulphur or charcoal.
Mr. Lavoisier has shewn, that vital air, or Oxygene, looses less of its heat when it becomes one of the component parts of nitrous acid, than in any other of its combinations; and is hence capable of giving out a great quantity of heat in the explosion of gunpowder; but as there seems to be great analogy between the matter of heat, or Calorique, and the electric matter; and as the worst conductors of electricity are believed to contain the greatest quantity of that fluid; there is reason to suspect that the worst conductors of heat may contain the most of that fluid; as sulphur, wax, silk, air, glass. See note on l. 174 of this Canto.
Vitrescent sparks. l. 229. When flints are struck against other flints they have the property of giving sparks of light; but it it seems to be an internal light, perhaps of electric origin, very different from the ignited sparks which are struck from flint and steel. The sparks produced by the collision of steel with flint appear to be globular particles of iron, which have been fused, and imperfectly scorified or vitrified. They are kindled by the heat produced by the collision; but their vivid light, and their fusion and vitrification are the effects of a combustion continued in these particles during their passage through the air. This opinion is confirmed by an experiment of Mr. Hawksbee, who found that these sparks could not be produced in the exhausted receiver. See Keir's Chemical Dict. art. Iron, and art. Earth vitrifiable.
The pale Phosphor. l. 232. See additionable notes, No. X.
And close an airy ocean. l. 242. Gunpowder is plainly described in the works of Roger Bacon before the year 1267. He describes it in a curious manner, mentioning the sulphur and nitre, but conceals the charcoal in an anagram. The words are, sed tamen salis petrae lure mope can ubre, et sulphuris; et sic facies tonitrum, et corrusca tionem, si scias, artificium. The words lure mope can ubre are an anagram of carbonum pulvere. Biograph. Britan. Vol. I. Bacon de Secretis Operibus, Cap. XI. He adds, that he thinks by an artifice of this kind Gideon defeated the Midianites with only three hundred men. Judges, Chap. VII. Chamb. Dict. art. Gunpowder. As Bacon does not claim this as his own invention, it is thought by many to have been of much more antient discovery.
The permanently elastic fluid generated in the firing of gunpowder is calculated by Mr. Robins to be about 244 if the bulk of the powder be I. And that the heat gene rated at the time of the explosion occasions the rarefied air thus produced to occupy about 1000 times the space of the gunpowder. This pressure may therefore be called equal to 1000 atmospheres or six tons upon a square inch. As the suddenness of this explosion must contribute much to its power, it would seem that the chamber of powder, to produce its greatest effect, should be lighted in the centre of it; which I believe is not attended to in the manufacture of muskets or pistols.
From the cheapness with which a very powerful gunpowder is likely soon to be manufactured from aerated marine acid, or from a new method of forming nitrous acid by means of mangonese or other calciform ores, it may probably in time be applied to move machinery, and supersede the use of steam.
There is a bitter invective in Don Quixot against the inventors of gun-powder, as it levels the strong with the weak, the knight cased in steel with the naked shepherd, those who have been trained to the sword, with those who are totally unskilful in the use of it; and throws down all the splendid distinctions of mankind. These very rea sons ought to have been urged to shew that the discovery of gunpowder has been of public utiliy by weakening the tyranny of the few over the many.
Delighted Savery. l. 254. The invention of the steam-engine for raising water by the pressure of the air in consequence of the condensation of steam, is properly ascribed to Capt. Savery; a plate and description of this machine is given in Harris's Lexicon Technicum, art. Engine. Though the Marquis of Worcester in his Century of Inventions printed in the year 1663 had described an engine for raising water by the explosive power of steam long before Savery's. Mr. Desegulier affirms, that Savery bought up all he could procure of the books of the Marquis of Worcester, and destroyed them, professing himself then to have discovered the power of steam by accident, which seems to have been an unfounded slander. Savery applied it to the raising of water to supply houses and gardens, but could not accomplish the draining of mines by it. Which was after wards done by Mr. Newcomen and Mr. John Cowley at Dartmouth, in the year 1712, who added the piston.
A few years ago Mr. Watt of Glasgow much improved this machine, and with Mr. Boulton of Birmingham has applied it to variety of purposes, such as raising water from mines, blowing bellows to fuse the ore, supplying towns with water, grinding corn and many other purposes. There is reason to believe it may in time be applied to the row ing of barges, and the moving of carriages along the road. As the specific levity of air is too great for the support of great burthens by balloons, there seems no probable method of flying conveniently but by the power of steam, or some other explosive material; which another half century may probable discover. See additional notes, No. XI.
Feast without blood! l. 278. The benevolence of the great Author of all things is greatly manifest in the sum of his works, as Dr. Balguy has well evinced in his pamphlet on Divine Benevolence asserted, printed for Davis, 1781. Yet if we may compare the parts of nature with each other, there are some circumstances of her economy which seem to contribute more to the general scale of happiness than others. Thus the nourishment of animal bodies is derived from three sources: 1. the milk given from the mother to the offspring; in this excellent contrivance the mother has pleasure in affording the suste nance to the child, and the child has pleasure in receiving it. 2. Another source of the food of animals includes seeds or eggs; in these the embryon is in a torpid or insensible state, and there is along with it laid up for its early nourishment a store of provision, as the fruit belonging to some seeds, and the oil and starch belonging to others; when these are consumed by animals the unfeeling seed or egg receives no pain, but the animal receives pleasure which consumes it. Under this article may be included the bodies of animals which die naturally. 3. But the last method of supporting animal bodies by the destruction of other living animals, as lions preying upon lambs, these upon living vege tables, and mankind upon them all, would appear to be a less perfect part of the economy of nature than those before mentioned, as contributing less to the sum of general happi ness.
Mona's rifted crest. 279. Alluding to the very valuable copper-mines in the isle of Anglesey, the property of the Earl of Uxbridge.
With iron-lips. l. 281. Mr. Boulton has lately constructed at Soho near Birmingham, a most magnificent apparatus for Coining, which has cost him some thousand pounds; the whole machinery is moved by an improved steam-engine, which rolls the copper for half-pence finer than copper has before been rolled for the purpose of making money; it works the coupoirs or screw-presses for cutting out the circular pieces of copper; and coins both the faces and edges of the money at the same time, with such superior excel lence and cheapness of workmanship, as well as with marks of such powerful machinery as must totally prevent clandestine imitation, and in consequence save many lives from the hand of the executioner; a circumstance worthy the attention of a great minister. If a civic crown was given in Rome for preserving the life of one citizen, Mr. Boulton Should be covered with garlands of oak! By this machinery four boys of ten or twelve years old are capable of striking thirty thousand guineas in an hour, and the machine itself keeps an unerring account of the pieces struck.
So mighty Hercules. l. 297. The story of Hercules seems of great antiquity, as appears from the simplicity of his dress and armour, a lion's skin and a club; and from the nature of many of his exploits, the destruction of wild beasts and robbers. This part of the history of Hercules seems to have related to times before the invention of the bow and arrow, or of spinning flax. Other stories of Hercules are perhaps of later date, and appear to be allegorical, as his conquering the river-god Achilous, and bringing Cerberus up to day light; the former might refer to his turning the course of a river, and draining a morass, and the latter to his exposing a part of the superstition of the times. The strangling the lion and tearing his jaws asunder, are described from a statue in the Museum Florentinum, and from an antique gem; and the grasping Anteus to death in his arms as he lifts him from the earth, is described from another antient cameo. The famous pillars of Hercules have been variously explained. Pliny asserts that the natives of Spain and of Africa believed that the mountains of Abyla and Calpè on each side of the straits of Gibraltar were the pillars of Hercules; and that they were reared by the hands of that god, and the sea admitted between them. Plin. Hist. Nat. p. 46. Edit. Manut. Venet. 1609.
If the passage between the two continents was opened by an earthquake in antient times, as this allegorical story would seem to countenance, there must have been an im mense current of water at first run into the Mediterranean from the Atlantic; since there is at present a strong stream sets always from thence into the Mediterranean. Whatever may be the cause, which now constantly operates, so as to make the surface of the Mediterranean lower than that of the Atlantic, it must have kept it very much lower before a passage for the water through the streights was opened. It is probable before such an event took place, the coasts and islands of the Mediterranean extended much further into that sea, and were then for a great extent of country, destroyed by the floods occasioned by the new rise of water, and have since remained beneath the sea. Might not this give rise to the flood of Deucalion? See note Cassia, V. II. of this work.
Ethereal floods amass. l. 335. The theory of the accumulation of the electric fluid by means of the glass-globe and cushion is difficult to comprehend. Dr. Franklin's idea of the pores of the glass being opened by the friction, and thence rendered capable of attracting more electric fluid, which it again parts with, as the pores contract again, feems analogous in some measure to the heat produced by the vibration, or condensation of bodies, as when a nail is hammered or filed till it becomes hot, as mentioned in ad ditional Notes, No. VII. Some philosophers have endeavoured to account for this phe nomenon by supposing the existence of two electric fluids which may be called the vitreous and resinous ones, instead of the plus and minus of the same ether, But its accumulation on the rubbed glass bears great analogy to its accumulation on the surface of the Leyden bottle, and can not perhaps be explained from any known mechanical or chemical principle. See note on Gymnotus. l. 202, of this Canto.
Cold from each point. l. 339. See additional note, No. XIII.
You bid gold leaves. 1. 345. Alluding to the very sensible electrometer improved by Mr. Bennett, it consists of two slips of gold-leaf suspended from a tin cap in a glass cylinder, which has a partial coating without, communicating with the wooden pedestal. If a stick of sealing wax be rubbed for a moment on a dry cloth, and then held in the air at the diftance of two or three feet from the cap of this instrument, the gold leaves seperate, such is its astonishing sensibility to electric influence! (See Bennet on electricity, Johnson, Lond.) The nerves of sense of animal bodies do not seem to be affected by less quantities of light or heat!
The holy Halo. l. 358. I believe it is not known with certainty at what time the painters first introduced the luminous circle round the head to import a Saint or holy person. It is now become a part of the symbolic language of painting, and it is much to be wished that this kind of hieroglyphic character was more frequent in that art; as it is much wanted to render historic pictures both more intelligible, and more sublime; and why should not painting as well as poetry express itself in metaphor, or in indistinct alle gory? A truly great modern painter lately endeavoured to enlarge the sphere of pictorial language, by putting a demon behind the pillow of a wicked man on his death bed. Which unfortunately for the scientific part of painting, the cold criticism of the present day has depreciated; and thus barred perhaps the only road to the further improvement in this science.
With new sensation thrill'd. l. 365. There is probably a system of nerves in animal bodies for the purpose of perceiving heat; since the degree of this fluid is so necessary to health that we become presently injured either by its access or defect; and because almost every part of our bodies is supplied with branches from different pairs of nerves, which would not seem necessary for their motion alone. It is therefore probable, that our sen sation of electricity is only of its violence in passing through our system by its suddenly distending the muscles, like any other mechanical violence; and that it is general pain alone that we feel, and not any sensation analogous to the specific quality of the object. Nature may seem to have been niggardly to mankind in bestowing upon them so few senses; since a sense to have perceived electricity, and another to have perceived mag netism might have been of great service to them, many ages before these fluids were dis covered by accidental experiment, but it is possible an increased number of senses might have incommoded us by adding to the size of our bodies.
Palsy's cold hands. l. 435. Paralytic limbs are in general only incapable of being stimulated into action by the power of the will; since the pulse continues to beat and the fluids to be absorbed in them; and it commonly happens, when paralytic people yawn and stretch themselves, (which is not a voluntary motion,) that the affected limb moves at the same time. The temporary motion of a paralytic limb is likewise caused by passing the electric shock through it; which would seem to indicate some analogy between the electric fluid, and the nervous fluid, which is seperated from the blood by the brain, and and thence diffused along the nerves for the purposes of motion and sensation. It probably destroys life by its sudden expansion of the nerves or fibres of the brain; in the same manner as it fuses metals and splinters wood or stone, and removes the atmosphere, when it passes from one object to another in a dense state.
Prints the Fairy rings. l. 370. See additional note No. XIII.
When Richman reared. l. 373. Dr. Richman Professor of natural philosophy at Petersburgh about the year 1763, elevated an insulated metallic rod to collect the aerial electricity, as Dr. Franklin had previously done at Philadelphia; and as he was observing the repulsion of the balls of his electrometer approached too near the conductor, and receiv ing the lightening in his head with a loud explosion, was struck dead amidst his family.
You led your Franklin. l. 383. Dr. Franklin was the first that discovered that lighten ing consisted of electric matter, he elevated a tall rod with a wire wrapped round it, and fixing the bottom of a rod into a glass bottle, and preserving it from falling by means of silk-strings, he found it electrified whenever a cloud passed over it, receiving sparks by his finger from it, and charging coated phials. This great discovery taught us to defend houses and ships and temples from lightning, and also to understand, that people are always perfectly safe in a room during a thunder storm if they keep themselves at three or four feet distance from the walls; for the matter of lightning in passing from the clouds to the earth, or from the earth to the clouds, runs through the walls of a house, the trunk of a tree, or other elevated object; except there be some moister body, as an animal in con tact with them, or nearly so; and in that case the lightning leaves the wall or tree, and passes through the animal; but as it can pass through metals with still greater facility, it will leave animal bodies to pass through metallic ones.
If a person in the open air be surprized by a thunderstorm, he will know his danger by observing on a second watch the time which passes between the flash and the crack, and reckoning a mile for every four seconds and a half, and a little more. For sound travels at the rate of 1142 feet in a second of time, and the velocity of light through such small distances is not to be estimated. In these circumstances a person will be safer by lying down on the ground, than erect, and still safer if within a few feet of his horse; which being then a more elevated animal will receive the shock in preference as the cloud passes over. See additional notes, No. XIII.
Intrepid Love. l. 389. This allegory is uncommonly beautiful, representing Divine Justice as disarmed by Divine Love, and relenting of his purpose. It is expressed on an agate in the Great Duke's collection at Florence. Spence.
Transient heat dispart. l. 401. Dr. Crawford in his ingenious work on animal heat has endeavoured to prove, that during the combination of the pure part of the atmosphere with the phlogistic part of the blood, that much of the matter of the heat is given out from the air; and that this is the great and perpetual source of the heat of animals; to which we may add that the phosphoric acid is probably produced by this combination; by which acid the colour of the blood is changed in the lungs from a deep crimson to a bright scarlet. There seems to be however another source of animal heat, though of a similar nature; and that is from the chemical combinations produced in all the glands; since by whatever cause any glandular secretion is increased, as by friction or topical imflam mation, the heat of that part becomes increased at the same time; thus after the hands have been for a time immersed in snow, on coming into a warm room, they become red and hot, without any increased pulmonary action. BESIDES THIS there would seem to be another material received from the air by respiration; which is so necessary to life, that the embryon must learn to breath almost within a minute after its birth, or it dies. The perpetual necessity of breathing shews, that the material thus acquired is per petually consuming or escaping, and on that account requires perpetual renovation. Per haps the spirit of animation itself is thus acquired from the atmosphere, which if it be supposed to be finer or more subtle than the electric matter, could not long be retained in our bodies, and must therefore require perpetual renovation.
Thus when the egg of Night. l. 413. There were two Cupids belonging to the antient mythology, one much elder than the other. The elder cupid, or Eros, or divine Love, was the first that came out of the great egg of night, wich floated in Chaos, and was broken by the horns of the celestial bull, that is, was hatched by the warmth of the spring. He was winged and armed, and by his arrows and torch pierced and vivified all things, producing life and joy. Bacon, Vol. V. p. 197. Quarto edit. Lond. 1778. At this time, (says Aristophanes,) sable-winged night produced an egg, from whence sprung up like a blossom Eros, the lovely, the desirable, with his glossy golden wings.Avibus. Bryant's Mythology, Vol. II. p. 350. second edition. This interesting moment of this sublime allegory Mrs. Cosway has chosen for her very beautiful painting. She has represented Eros or divine Love with large wings having the strength of the eagle's wings, and the splendor of the peacocks, with his hair floating in the form of flame, and with a halo of light vapour round his head; which illuminates the paint ing; while he is in the act of springing forwards, and with his hands separating the elements.
Of the Western Wind. l. 430. The principal frosts of this country are accompanied or produced by a N.E. wind, and the thaws by a S. W. wind; the reason of which is that the N.E. winds consist of regions of air brought from the north, which appear to acquire an easterly direction as they advance; and the S. W. winds consist of regions of air brought from the south, which appear to acquire a westerly direction as they advance. The surface of the earth nearer the pole moves slower than it does in our latitude; whence the regions of air brought from thence, move slower, when they arrive hither, than the earth's surface with which they now become in contact; that is they acquire an apparent easterly direction, as the earth moves from west to east faster than this new part of its atmosphere. The S. W. winds on the contrary consist of regions of air brought from the south, where the surface of the earth moves faster than in our latitude; and have therefore a westerly direction when they arrive hither by their moving faster than the surface of the earth, with which they are in contact; and in general the nearer to the west and the greater the velocity of these winds the warmer they should be in respect to the season of the year, since they have been brought more expeditiously from the South, than those winds which have less westerly direction, and have thence been less cooled in their passage.
Sometimes I have observed the thaw to commence immediately on the change of the wind, even within an hour, is I am not mistaken, or sooner. At other times the S.W. wind has continued a day, or even two, before the thaw has commenced; during which time some of the frosty air, which had gone southwards, is driven back over us; and in confequence has taken a westerly direction, as well as a southern one. At other times I have observed a frost with a N.E. wind every morning, and a thaw with a S.W. wind every noon for several days together. Sec additional note, XXXIII.
The Fiend of Frost. l. 439. The principal injury done to vegetation by frost is from the expansion of the water contained in the vessels of plants. Water converted into ice occupies a greater space than it did before, as appears by the bursting of bottles filled with water at the time of their freezing. Hence frost destroys those plants of our island first, which are most succulent; and the most succulent parts first of other plants; as their leaves and last year's shoots; the vessels of which are distended and burst by the ex pansion of their freezing fluids, while the drier or more resinous plants, as pines, yews, laurels, and other ever-greens, are less liable to injury from cold. The trees in vallies are on this account more injured by the vernal frosts than those on eminencies, because their early succulent shoots come out sooner. Hence fruit trees covered by a six-inch coping of a wall are less injured by the vernal frosts because their being shielded from showers and the descending night-dews has prevented them from being moist at the time of their being frozen: which circumstance has given occasion to a vulgar error amongst gardeners, who suppose frost to descend.
As the common heat of the earth in this climate is 48 degrees, those tender trees which will bear bending down, are easily secured from the frost by spreading them upon the ground, and covering them with straw or fern. This particularly suits fig-trees, as they easily bear bending to the ground, and are furnished with an acrid juice, which se cures them from the depredations of insects; but are nevertheless liable to be eaten by mice. See additional notes, No. XII.
In buds imprison'd. l. 460. The buds and bulbs of plants constitute what is termed by Linneus the Hybernaculum, or winter cradle of the embryon vegetable. The buds arise from the bark on the branches of trees, and the bulbs from the caudex of bulbous-rooted plants, or the part from which the fibres of the root are produced, they are de fended from too much moisture, and from frosts, and from the depredations of insects by various contrivances, as by scales, hairs, resinous varnishes, and by acrid rinds.
The buds of trees are of two kinds, either flower-buds or leaf buds; the former of these produce their seeds and die; the latter produce other leaf buds or flower buds and die. So that all the buds of trees may be considered as annual plants, having their em bryon produced during the preceeding summer. The same seems to happen with respect to bulbs; thus a tulip produces annually one flower-bearing bulb, sometimes two, and several leaf-bearing bulbs; and then the old root perishes. Next year the flower-bearing bulb produces seeds and other bulbs and perishes; while the leaf-bearing bulb, producing other bulbs only, perishes likewise; these circumstances establish a strict analogy between bulbs and buds. See additional notes, No. XIV.
Viewless floods of beat. l. 462. The fluid matter of heat, or Calorique, in which all bodies are immersed, is as necessary to vegetable as to animal existence. It is not yet determin able whether heat and light be different materials, or modifications of the same materials, as they have some properties in common. They appear to be both of them equally ne cessary to vegetable health, since without light green vegetables become first yellow, that is, they lose the blue colour, which contributed to produce the green; and afterwards they also lose the yellow and become white; as is seen in cellery blanched or etiolated for the table by excluding the light from it.
The upper surface of leaves, which I suppose to be their organ of respiration, seems to require light as well as air; since plants which grow in windows on the inside of houses are equally sollicitous to turn the upper side of their leaves to the light. Vegetables at the same time exsude or perspire a great quantity from their leaves, as animals do from their lungs; this perspirable matter as it rises from their fine vessels, (perhaps much finer than the pores of animal skins,) is divided into inconcievable tenuity; and when acted upon by the Sun's light appears to be decomposed; the hydrogene becomes a part of the vegetable, composing oils or resins; and the Oxygene combined with light or calo rique ascends, producing the pure part of the atmosphere or vital air. Hence during the light of the day vegetables give up more pure air than their respiration injures; but not so in the night, even though equally exposed to warmth. This single fact would seem to shew, that light is essentially different from heat; and it is perhaps by its combination with bodies, that their combined or latent heat is set at liberty, and becomes sensible. See additional note, XXXIV.
Electric torrents pour. l. 463. The influence of electricity in forwarding the germination of plants and their growth seems to be pretty well established; though Mr. Ingenhouz did not succeed in his experiments, and thence doubts the success of those of others. And though M. Rouland from his new experiments believes, that neither positive nor nega tive electricity increases vegetation; both which philosophers had previously been sup porters of the contrary doctrine; for many other naturalists have since repeated their ex periments relative to this object, and their new results have confirmed their former ones. Mr. D'Ormoy and the two Roziers have found the same success in numerous experi ments which they have made in the last two years; and Mr. Carmoy has shewn in a convincing manner that electricity accelerates germination.
Mr. D'Ormoy not only found various seeds to vegetate sooner, and to grow taller which were put upon his insulated table and supplied with electricity, but also that silk worms began to spin much sooner which were kept electrified than those of the same hatch which were kept in the same place and manner, except that they were not elec trified. These experiments of M. D'Ormoy are detailed at length in the Journal de Physique of Rozier, Tom. XXXV. p. 270.
M. Bartholon, who had before written a tract on this subject, and proposed ingenious methods for applying electricity to agriculture and gardening, has also repeated a numerous set of experiments; and shews both that natural electricity, as well as the artificial, in creases the growth of plants, and the germination of seeds; and opposes Mr. Ingenhouz by very numerous and conclusive facts. Ib. Tom. XXXV. p. 401.
Since by the late discoveries or opinions of the Chemists there is reason to believe that water is decomposed in the vessels of vegetables; and that the Hydrogene or inflam mable air, of which it in part consists, contributes to the nourishment of the plant, and to the production of its oils, rosins, gums, sugar, &c. and lastly as electricity decomposes water into these two airs termed Oxygene and Hydrogene, there is a powerful analogy to induce us to believe that it accelerates or contributes to the growth of vegetation, and like heat may possibly enter into combination with many bodies, or form the basis of some yet unanalised acid.
Thus with Hermetic art. 1. 487. The sympathetic inks made by Zaffre dissolved in the marine and nitrous acids have this curious property, that being brought to the fire one of them becomes green, and the other red; but what is more wonderful, they again lose these colours, (unless the heat has been too great,) on their being again with drawn from the fire. Fire-screens have been thus painted, which in the cold have shewn only the trunk and branches of a dead tree, and sandy hills, which on their approach to the fire have put forth green leaves and red flowers, and grass upon the mountains. The process of making these inks is very easy, take Zaffre, as sold by the druggists, and digest it in aqua regia, and the calx of Cobalt will be dissolved; which solution must be diluted with a little common water to prevent it from making too strong an impression on the paper; the colour when the paper is heated becomes of a fine green-blue. If Zaffre or Regulus of Cobalt be dissolved in the same manner in spirit of nitre, or aqua fortis, a reddish colour is produced on exposing the paper to heat. Chemical Dictionary by Mr. Keir, Art. Ink Sympathetic.
With stars unknown. l. 515. Alluding to the star which appeared in the chair of Cassiopea in the year 1572, which at first surpassed Jupiter in magnitude and brightness, diminished by degrees and disappeared in 18 months; it alarmed all the astronomers of the age, and was esteemed a comet by some. — Could this have been the Georgium sidus?
On ice-built isles. l. 529. There are many reasons to believe from the accounts of travellers and navigators, that the islands of ice in the higher northern latitudes as well as the Glaciers on the Alps continue perpetually to increase in bulk. At certain times in the ice-mountains of Switzerland there happen cracks which have shewn the great thickness of the ice, as some of these cracks have measured three or four hundred ells deep. The great islands of ice in the northern seas near Hudson's bay have been ob served to have been immersed above one hundred fathoms beneath the surface of the sea, and to have risen a fifth or sixth part above the surface, and to have measured between three and four miles in circumference. Phil. Trans. No. 465. Sect. 2.
Dr. Lister endeavoured to shew that the ice of sea-water contains some salt and per haps less air than common ice, and that it is therefore much more difficult of solution; whence he accounts for the perpetual and great increase of these floating islands of ice. Philos. Trans. No. 169.
As by a famous experiment of Mr. Boyles it appears that ice evaporates very fast in severe frosty weather when the wind blows upon it; and as ice in a thawing state is known to contain six times more cold than water at the same degree of sensible coldness, it is easy to understand that winds blowing over islands and continents of ice perhaps much below nothing on Farenheit's scale, and coming from thence into our latitude must bring great degrees of cold along with them. If we add to this the quantity of cold pro duced by the evaporation of the water as well as by the solution of the ice, we cannot doubt but that the northern ice is the principle source of the coldness of our winters, and that it is brought hither by the regions of air blowing from the north, and which take an apparent easterly direction by their coming to a part of the surface of the earth which moves faster than the latitude they come from. Hence the increase of the ice in the polar regions by increasing the cold of our climate adds at the same time to the bulk of the Glaciers of Italy and Switzerland.
If the nations who inhabit this hemisphere of the globe, instead of destroying their sea-men and exhausting their wealth in unnecessary wars, could be induced to unite their labours to navigate these immense masses of ice into the more southern oceans, two great advantages would result to mankind, the tropic countries would be much cooled by their solution, and our winters in this latitude would be rendered much milder for perhaps a century or two, till the masses of ice became again enormous.
Mr. Bradley•••ribes the cold winds and wet weather which sometimes happen in May and June to the solution of ice-islands accidentally floating from the north. Treatise on Husbandry and Gardening, Vol. II. p. 437. And adds, that Mr. Barham about the year 1718, in his voyage from Jamaica to England in the beginning of June, met with ice-islands coming from the north, which were surrounded with so great a fog that the ship was in danger of striking upon them, and that one of them measured sixty miles in length.
We have lately experienced an instance of ice-islands brought from the Southern polar regions, on which the Guardian struck at the beginning of her passage from the Cape of Good Hope towards Botany Bay, on December 22, 1789. These islands were involved in mist, were about one hundred and fifty fathoms long, and about fifty fathoms above the surface of the water. A part from the top of one of them broke off and fell into the sea, causing an extraordinary commotion in the water and a thick smoke all round it.
Threefold train. l. 537. The river Niger after traversing an immense tract of populous country is supposed to divide itself into three other great rivers. The Rio Grande, the Gambia, and the Senegal. Gold-dust is obtained from the sands of these rivers.
Wide wastes of sand. l. 545. When the sun is in the Southern tropic 36 deg. distant from the zenith, the thermometer is seldom lower than 72 deg. at Gondar in Abyssinia; but it falls to 60 or 53 deg. when the sun is immediately vertical; so much does the approach of rain counteract the heat of the sun. Bruce's Travels, Vol. 3. p. 670.
Ten thousand points erect. l. 551. The solution of water in air or in calorique, seems to acquire electric matter at the same time, as appears from an experiment of Mr. Bennet. He put some live coals into an insulated funnel of metal, and throwing on them a little water observed that the ascending steam was electrised plus, and the water which de scended through the funnel was electrised minus. Hence it appears that though clouds by their change of form may sometimes become electrised minus yet they have in general an accumulation of electricity. This accumulation of electric matter also evidently con tributes to support the atmospheric vapour when it is condensed into the form of clouds, because it is seen to descend rapidly after the flashes of lightning have diminished its quantity; whence there is reason to conclude that very numerous metallic rods with fine points erected high in the air might induce it at any time to part with some of its water.
If we may trust the theory of Mr. Lavoisier concerning the composition and decom position of water, there would seem another source of thunder-showers; and that is, that the two gasses termed oxygene gas or vital air, and hydrogene gas or inflammable air, may exist in the summer atmosphere in a state of mixture but not of combination, and that the electric spark or flash of lightning may combine them and produce water instantaneously.
Argument of the Second Canto.
ADDRESS to the Gnomes. I. The Earth thrown from a volcano of the Sun; it's atmosphere and ocean; it's journey through the zodiac; vicissitude of day-light, and of seasons, 11. II. Primeval islands. Paradise, or the golden Age. Venus rising from the sea, 33. III. The first great earthquakes; continents raised from the sea; the Moon thrown from a volcano, has no atmosphere, and is frozen; the earth's diurnal motion retarded; it's axis more inclined; whirls with the moon round a new centre. 67. IV. Formation of lime-stone by aqueous solution; calcaneous spar; white marble; antient statue of Hercules resting from his labours. Antinous. Apollo of Belvidere. Venus de Medici. Lady Elizabeth Foster, and Lady Melbourn by Mrs. Damer. 93. V. 1. Of morasses. Whence the production of Salt by elutriation. Salt-mines at Cracow, 115. 2. Production of nitre. Mars and Venus caught by Vulcan, 143. 3. Production of iron. Mr. Michel's improvement of artificial magnets. Uses of Steel in agriculture, navigation, war, 183. IV. Production of acids, whence Flint. Sea-sand. Selenite. Asbestus. Fluor. Onyx, Agate, Mocho, Opal, Sapphire, Ruby, Diamond. Jupiter and Europa, 215. VI. 1. New subterraneous fires from fermentation. Production of Clays; manufacture of Porcelain in China; in Italy; in England. Mr. Wedgwood's works at Etruria in Staffordshire. Cameo of a Slave in Chains; of Hope. Figures on the Portland or Barberini vase explained, 271. 2. Coal; Pyrite; Naphtha; Jet; Amber. Dr. Franklin's discovery of disarming the Tempest of it's lightning. Liberty of America; of Ireland; of France, 349. VII. Antient[Page 58] central subterraneous fires. Production of Tin, Copper, Zink, Lead, Mercury, Platina, Gold and Silver. Destruction of Mexico. Slavery of Africa, 395. VIII. Destruction of the armies of Cam byses, 431. IX. Gnomes like stars of an Orrery. Inroads of the Sea stopped. Rocks cultivated. Hannibal passes the Alps, 499. X. Matter circulates. Manures to Vegetables like Chyle to Ani mals. Plants rising from the Earth. St. Peter delivered from Prison, 537. Transmigration of matter, 575. Death and resuscitation of Adonis, 585. Departure of the Gnomes, 611.
THE ECONOMY OF VEGETATION.
From the deep craters. 1. 14. The existence of solar volcanos is countenanced by their analogy to terrestrial, and lunar volcanos; and by the spots on the sun's disk, which have been shewn by Dr. Wilson to be excavations through its luminous surface, and may be supposed to be the cavities from whence the planets and comets were ejected by explosions. See additional notes, No. XV. on solar volcanos.
When from its vaporous air. 1. 17. If the nucleus of the earth was thrown out from the sun by an explosion along with as large a quantity of surrounding hot vapour as its attraction would occasion to accompany it, the ponderous semi-fluid nucleus would take a spherical form ▪ the attraction of its own parts, which would become an oblate spheroid from its diurnal revolution. As the vapour cooled the water would be preci pitated, and an ocean would surround the spherical nucleus with a superincumbent atmo sphere. The nucleus of solar lava would likewise become harder as it became cooler. To understand how the strata of the earth were afterwards formed from the sediments of this circumfluent ocean the reader is referred to an ingenious Treatise on the Theory of the Earth by Mr. Whitehurst, who was many years a watch-maker and engineer at Derby, but whose ingenuity, integrity, and humanity, were rarely equalled in any station of life.
While ocean wrap'd. l. 34. See additional notes, No. XVI. on the production of cal careous earth.
Her hardening strata spread. l. 35. The granite, or moor-stone, or porphory, con stitute the oldest part of the globe, since the limestone, shells, coralloids, ond other sea-productions rest upon them; and upon these sea-productions are found clay, iron, coal, salt, and siliceous sand or grit-stone. Thus there seem to be three divisions of the globe distinctly marked; the first I suppose to have been the original nucleus of the earth, or lava projected from the sun; 2. over this lie the recrements of animal and vegetable matter produced in the ocean; and, 3. over these the recrements of animal and vegetable matter produced upon the land. Besides these there are bodies which owe their origin to a combination of those already mentioned, as siliceous sand, fluor, alabaster; which seem to have derived their acids originally from the vegetable kingdom, and their earthy bases from sea-productions. See additional notes, No. XVI. on calcareous earth.
Raised her primeval islands. l. 36. The nucleus of the earth, still covered with water, received perpetual increase by the immense quantities of shells and coralloids either annually produced and relinquished, or left