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INVISIBLE COMBUSTION.-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
A DISCOVERY BY SIR HUMPHREY DAVY.
Dr. Bollman has transmitted to a correspondent here, a description of a new experiment of sir Humphrey Davy's which is so curious and amusing as to deserve to be better known. Hitherto it is unpublished. It is a kind of invisible combustion.
Put two or three tea-spoonsful of ether into a wine-glass. In the blue or lower part of the flame of a candle heat some very
thin platina wire coiled up in two or three folds at one end. The coiled end must be heated. While red hot, hold it at about an inch distance over the ether, moving it slowly about. The incandescence will continue while any pure ether remains. Should the ether take fire, cover it immediately for an instant with your hand, to extinguish it. If this be done dextrously and the wire again brought immediately over the ether at the same distance, the incandescence will be renewed, and so on repeatedly, till all the pure part of the ether be consumed.
Gold, silver, or steel wire will not answer. The platina wire must be about the thickness of the finest harpsichord wire. Platina produces the effect, because it does not oxyd; and because it radiates heat slowly. The flame of the ether while the wire continues red hot over it, and before the ether actually takes fire in the glass (which can always be avoided by a thin wire, and a small quantity of ether) is not visible even in the dark.
The wire must not be so near the ether, as to be enveloped in an atmosphere of ether alone, nor so far above it as to be enveloped in an atmosphere of atmospheric air alone. The presence of air, together with the vapour of ether is necessary to the success of the experiment, which requires very little management to be performed with uniform success.
THE ADVERSARIA. FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
FLECKNO. Why Dryden was so severe upon Fleckno does not appear in any of the literary annals of that time. Fleckno had endeavoured to propitiate his kindness by an epigram; but it is probable that the resentment of the poet was excited by his invectives against the licentiousness of the stage, to which Dryden contributed. But Fleckno is by no means the despicable writer that we might suppose him to be from the niche in which his enemy has placed him, as the following verses will amply proves
Stay daring man, and ne'er presume to draw
Her picture, till thou may'st such colours get
Nor e'er were known by any painter yet.
And from the sun the beams that gild the skies,
Nor paint the radiant brightness of her eyes.
In vain the whilst thou dost thy labour take,
Since none can set her forth to her desert;
Much more's above all can be made by art.
Yet be n't discouraged, since whoe'er do see't,
At least with admiration must confess,
Much more than others, though than her's much less.
So those bold giants who would scale the sky,
Although they in their high attempt did fall,
Than those who never strove to climb at all.
Comfort thee then, and think it no disgrace,
From that great height a little to decline,
Her too great excellence and no fault of thine.
Speaking of his book of epigrams this writer says, “ they are chiefly in praise of worthy persons, of which none ever had a more plentiful supply than I, having been always conversant with the best and worthiest in all places where I came; and amongst the rest with ladies, in whose conversation, as an academy of virtue, I learnt nothing but goodness, saw nothing but nobleness, and one might as well be drunk in chrystal fountain, as have any evil thought whilst they wore in their company, which I shall always remember as the happiest and innocentest part of all my life.”
The following germ of a common epigram, I transcribe from this writer, for the assistance of those of my female friends who want consolation in the terrible state to which the lines have reference.
SHEPHERD. Since you are resolved, farewell,
Look you lead not apes in h-I.
Thither be led by man.
The Night Mare visited Richard de Haverings, archbishop of Haverings, in 1306, to some purpose. Stunihurst (in 6. Holinshed, 446,) relates, that this prelate, “ after that he had continued well-near the space of five years in the see, was sore appalled by reason of an estrange and wonderful dream. For on a certain night he imagined that he had seen an ugly monster stand. ing on his breast, who, to his thinking, was more mighty than the whole world, insomuch that being as he thought in a manner squeezed or pressed to death with the hef” (Qu?] “ of this huge monster, he would have departed with the whole substance of the world, if he were thereof possessed, to be disburthened of so heavy a load. Upon which wish he suddenly awoke. And as he beat his brains in divining what this dream should import, he bethought himself of the flock committed to his charge, how that he gathered their fleeces yearly by receiving the revenues and perquisites of the bishopric, and yet he suffered his flock to starve for the lack of preaching and teaching. Wherefore, being for his former slackness sore wounded in conscience, he travelled with all speed to Roine, where he resigned up his bishopric, a burthen too heavy for his weak shoulders, and being upon his resignation competently beneficed, he bestowed the remnant of his life wholly in devotion.”
THE BIBLE. Anthoby Purvcr, a poor Quaker carpenter, conceived that the spirit impelled him to translate the Bible. He accordingly learnt Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and published a literal version of the Old and New Tastaments, in two vols. folio, 1764. This book is curious for its Hebrew idioms. By adhering to these, Anthony has, in some rare instances, excelled the com