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Bn the New System, which admits the Electric Fluid as the Caue of the . Congelation of Water. By the Abbé L. G. Robert of Liege.
TF the opinion of the learned re- present by people who, doubtless, find 1 specting the formation of ice ap- it more convenient to adopt it n; on pears still to leave a more extensive reasoning than from experiene, held for reasoning than for the experi- which, in natural philosophy, is the ments of the philofopher, he ought mother of just notions, and the only rather to subscribe to the received source of truth. opinion than become a partizan of a According to this new systemi doétrine absolutely hypothetic, which congelation depends upon the electric contains more novelty than instruc- fluid, which combines with water ia tion.
order to harden and crystallize it. The opinions of Boerhaave and Bat how can this fubtle matter, which Muschenbroek respecting congelition, philosophers have agreed to diftin. have been long received as the most guilh by the name of an igneous plausible. The first aigus as the fluid, elementary fire, &c. because cause of the condensation of water, the they find in it all the properties of absence of the igneous matter; and real fire, and which accumulaies in the second, considering this absence large quantities on the hardest metals, as insufficient, adds to it the con- and which is capable of putting them course of certain particles which he into a state of ignition, and of melts diftinguishes by the name of frigorific ing them, be the principle of a phe. parts.
nomenon in a body where we know Though the opinion of the latter fire cannot refide, and which it cine be supported by reasoning and expe- not even touch without destroying rience sufficient to make us admit that hardness of which we wish to this frigorific matter, it is, however, make it the principle! physically ackn wled, ed that the pii. To support this opinion, s me have yation of the igneous flaid is the first mentioned the great quantity of elec, ant principal cause of the congelation tricity which prevails in the atmofand condensation of water ; and phere during very cold weath:1. I this opinion has been adopted by confess that in dry froft, experience the Abbé Nollet and many other en demonstrates this ; but does it thence minent philosophers. But as the ex. follow that it is the principal cause plantati n of a system far from being of freezing, whilft observation proves established still leaves mankind at li. in the most convincing manner that berty to account for this phenomenon this igneous fluid can neither be con. according to what they think they fined nor alloyed, that it cannot be observe, different opinions, more or combined even with air, and that in less agreeable to reason, and more the absence of the latter fluid, it ex. or less ridiculous, have at different ists with more force and energy? If times been formed respecting this electricity manifests its presence in objeet. Among other systems on the hard frosts, it is because the air being formation of ice, a Memoir was pub- then rarer, purer, and much less lithed in the beginning of the year loaded with heterogeneous bodies, 1789, which admitted the electı ic fiuid which form so many obstacles to this * the principal cause of it; and fluid, it consequently acts with rore though this system is calculated only force, traverses the atmofphere at to propagate doubt and perplexity, more liberty, and accumulates more We vre surprised to see it received at easily, as it is then less dislipated, he
cause the air is not so much imprego to the temperature of the second and pated with moisture, which is one third degree of Reaumur's thermos of the grand conductors of the elec. meter, you will see this water tric fluid. It is this moisture which congeal, though it may be infulated the coli generally causes to descend and surrounded by any substance to the earth under the figure of fmall ever so little calculated to transmit Stars or stalactites united, and forming the electric fluid to it. According Aakes of snow, which are so much to Muichenbroek, the privation of the larger in calm weather, as they the igneous fluid is not alone fuffimeet wiih more congealed matter io cient to convert water from a fluid their fail; and it is this moiffure also to a solid state, and according to this which fills on the nights of sumnier, princi: le, which he has supported under the appcllation of dew, and by experiment, we must admit a subwhich in those of winter, forms what stance, which, combining with wa. we call boar frost, because these small ter, hardens it, and causes it to globules of water make an innune crift.llize. This subitance he calls rable multitude of crystallizations, the frigou ic. In the supposition which reflect so many rays to our therefore, that we muk allow of any eye.
substance whatever as the cause of To judge of the justness of Boer. congelation, the system of Muschen, baave's theory, it were to be wished broek gives us less reason to receive that experimental philosophy, which the ele&ric matter as the congealing has got a machine to free matter from principle, than a nitrons and vola. a part of the air it contains, had one tile lubitance, which, according to allo to free bodies from their fiery many philosophers, prevails in the particles; the causes of many phe atmosphere, but in greater abundance domena would then appear to the during cold than warnı weather. A philosopher; and this apparatus, by proof that the atmosphere abounds depriving water of these particles, with a nitrous and faline matter when which alone can render it liquid, ice is formed, is, that the globules might enable us, without the help of of congealed water affume figures electricity, to obtain a hard and that appear constant and fimilar, and compact matter, which would form which make them resemble crystalli. habitations more folid even than Zations-a phenomenon ascribed to t e:-I say more solid, because cryllallized falts. these pieces of ice would unite in The following fact, which is an. their contact, so as to inake only one Qually renewed, appears still to fabody: and to render edifices con- vour this system much more than Atructed of it durable, it would be that founded on the electric fluid. necessary to remove from them all In the year 1788, the ground in the phlogisłon, as well as every princi- neighbourhood of Liege having been ple of hea:, and consequently all e. covered with snow, there arose a Ictricity, which owes its existence to north wind which swept away a part clementary fire alone.
of this snow into the valleys, and As it is certain that electricity does places which by their local Gluation not penetrate and pass through vitri- were most sheltered from it. On the fied bodies, we may demonstrate by return of spring, the farmers faw experiments that congelation is affect. with pleasure and afton. Shment that ed independent of ele&triciiy. If you these valleys were more fertile and fill a very thick crystal globe with luxuriant than the res of the country, water, seal it hermetically, and ex- which had not been overloaded pole it, flaking it every now and ihen, with snow. This beneficent virtuo, which has been long Gince acknow- ries with it into the bofom of the ledged to reside in snow, can be at- earth on the return of warm wea. tributed only to the nitrous salts it ther. contains, and which the water car.
Transated from tis
Mort Account of Georgia, and its Inhabitants.
n EORGIA, which the Persians It is imposible to find better or more
U call Gurguítan, and the Turks beautiful pastures ; the rivers teem Gyrthi, contains the ancient Iberia; with fibh, the mountains contain rich Colchis, and perhaps a part of Al treasures of minerals, and the clibania, face the country of Kacketi, mate is pleasant and mild ; in short, in the ancient Georgian language, nature seems to have poured forth was known by the name of Albon. her richest gifts on this fortunate
The inhabitants are Chriftians of country, and to have entertained a the Greek church, and it is probable peculiar favour for its inhabitants. that they were called Georgians, on The rivers of Georgia are not account of the great veneration which proper for navigation, sometimes on they entertained for St George, the account of their rapidity, occasioned tutelary faint of the country. by torrents which fall from the moun
Georgia is divided into nine pro- tians and often on account of their vinces, five of which are subject to Thallowness. The navigation of the Heraclius, , and compute that part Black Sea, which might have introcommonly named the kingdom of duced commerce and European man. Georgia. The other four provincès pers into these countries being still are under the dominion of David, exclusively in the possession of the and form the kingdom, or rather Turks, the internal trade of Geor. principality of Immeretta.
gia is very much limited by the All these countries are in general so mountains of Caucafus, and this inbeautiful and fertile, that fome enthun convenience continues, daily to in haftical travellers have imagined that crease, on account of the numerthe ancient garden of Eden was fituat- ous bands of plunderers who inhabit ed in the middle of them. The moin- them. tains are.covered with oaks, chefnut In the fifteenth century, the Georand walnut-trees, birches, and an im- gians were conquered and made llaves, mense number of trees, of every partly by the Turks and partly by kind, inter mixed with vines, which, the Persians. Since that epoch, have though little cultivated, do not fail to ing at different times, very inconaproduce abundance of grapes. The derately, and without support, ate inhabitants make as much from them tempted to recover their liberty, they as is sufficient for their annual con- have on that account seen their counfumption, and suffer the rest to perish. try often ravaged and threatned with Corton grows here without any care, entire ruin. It is said, the Schah and great plenty of our European Abbas the Great, in one campaign, fruit trees may be seen, which thrive carried with him eighty thousand much better than among us. Rice, families, and the merciless Nadir kemp and Dax are easily cultivated. exercised against the inhabitants of th se rich countries every cruelty residence of Prince Heraclius, is that the most trocious barbaritv a.id Telis ; the inhabitants call it Tyblise a thi to blood could infpire into a Cacar, or the l'arm City, on account 0.0 fter lik: hins. H y would it or the warin batbs which are found have been or these wreiched peos in its neighbourhood. This city pl: had they then get rid of their was tuk in the year 1063 by enemies; but the initit ne wars which Prince Lierang, according to an ins fo losed, aid the great luids, it.il scriprion teen on the front of the castle: added in th. ir mis urrunes.
The city of T iis is no more than Toele numerous bodies of idie, two English miles in circumference ; haugi tv, ani cuul men, had unii. it con.ains 20,000 fou's, the greater Inited pwr over the lives and pos. part of whom are Armenians, and serions oi their vasluis. Not being the rest Georgians and Tartars. acqua ned with any other exercise There are reckoned to be in this
that of arms, and no other city twenty Armenian churches, tifmeans of aggrundiling themselves teen Greek, and three M tichedsa but by Hunicrins, they carried on The widert streets are only feven Co doval wirs with one another ; feet in breadth, and some of them ad as the fate of arms naturally in are so narrow that a man on horse. clined different ways, the multitudes back can scarcely pais along them. of peasants made prisoners, and fold It may therefore be readily imagined to ihe Turks and the Persians, vis. that they are far from being clean. bly diminished the number of the in. The houses are built with fiat roofs, habitants. They carried their ha- upon which the Georgian ladies tred so far as to form alliances with walk to enjoy the fresh air when the plunderers of the mountains; the weather is fine. Thele houses and the larter, attracted by a desire are all regular, the greater part of the for booty, r. adily embraced this walls are wainscotted in the infide; oportunity of indulging their incli and the floors are covered with car: nation. These formidable allies ha pets. There is an iron foundery ving gradually acqu red a knowl dye at Tellis, in which a confiderable of the country, and being throughly quantity of mortars, bullets, and canacquainted with the weakness and noos are cast every year, but the pufillanimity of the inhabitants, car. cannon, which are all of the same Pied every where desolation along calibre, are inferior to thole of the with them. A few unfortunate Turks. The powder made here is wretches, half naked, oppressed by excellent. The Armenians, natuthe tyranny of their lords, dispersed rally industrious, have establimhed themselves into fome of the beauti- here the greater part of the manufacful countrig of Georgia. The re- tories established by their country. volutions of Peilia, and the weak- men in Persia: the most Hourishing ness of the Turks, have, it is true, of all is that of printed cottons. placed the princes of the country in Tefiis has a mint of its own; but a Gruation that might enable them belides the money which is coined to recover their liberty; but the small there, Persian and Turkish pieces ness of their revenues, arising froin employed for purchasing honey, butthe despotism continually exerciled ter, cattle, and cloth, are also current. by the nobles, has hitherto prevent. The subjects of prince He-aclius ed them from ealing that heavy load are said to amount to 60,000 famiof raxes which the poor inhabitants lies; but notwithitanding the depoRil suítain.
pulation under which the country The capital of Georgia, and the languishes, it is proved that the third
of that number are omitted in col- hair, beard, and nails red. The lecting the taxes. The peasants, Georgian women rub over their who are valfals to the queen, as well hands with the same colour, and they as those of the patriarch, pay no wear a kind of bandage round their taxes to the prince, and are conse beads, from which their black hair quently not enrolled among those falls over their forehead: their hair' who pay subsidies. The prince has behind is formed into tresses. They permitted his sons in law, as well as paint their eye-brows black, in the his favourites, to free their vaffals form of a semi-circle, and their from every burden whatever. It is faces are daubed over with red and to be observed that, as the peasants white. Their tunics are open as are taxed by fires, and not by the far as the girdle ; so that when they head, it often happens (and this con- wish to conceal their breasts, they fequently tends to diminilh the reve- are obliged to cover them with their nues of the sovereign) that they carry hands. Their carriage is noble, the most valuable effects of several their conversation easy and volupbats into one, and burn the rest ; so tuous, and the greater part of then that they pay no tax, and the money can read and write, which are quawhich they thence fase, enables them lifications rarely to be met with, to acquire more. The whole popula. even among those Georgians who are tion of Georgia is reckoned to be of the firit distinction. The Georabout three hundred and fifty thou.. gain women are indebted for their sand fouls.
instruction to the cloisters in which The goveroment of Georgia is they are educated. The greater despotic; and notwithstanding this, part of the marriages here are a kind the prince would be very much em- of bargains; and girls are often bes barrassed to get his orders executed trothed at the age of four or five. without the asistance of the Russian Women of rank never go abroad troops. Corporal puoishments here without veils, and a man would be are barbarous, but fortunately exe- accused of rudeness, did he accost cutions are rare ; for criminals find them in the street; the case would it extremely easy to escape, as they be the same did he in company enare so near foreign powers; belides, 'quire after the wife of another. the prince is sensible that it is more Though this kind of etiquette seems, advantageous to confiscate the wealth to be in some measure a prejudice, it of the guilty; and on that account, is excusable. The cruelties which, he is not too strict in enforcing the the Persians commitied against the laws against them. Regular process Georgians, under the reign of Nadir sựs form a part of the privileges of Shaw, are fill too fresh in their the nobility, and are never employed memory, though handed down from except when the case is very complex, father to son, not to make us forgive or when the power and influence of them for being very fufpicious of the parties are equally great, or rather strangers. when the court is afiaid of embroil. Many travellers have accused the ing itself with one of the parties. Georgians of cruelty, laziness, avaThis manner of proceeding is called rice and cowardice. These vices, the judgment of God.
which generally belong to Naves and The Georgian dress has a great tyrants, are abhorred in Georgia. resemblance to that of the Cofracks: The vassals of the colonies establishpeople of any consequence dress, ed by Shaw. Abbas at Perea, near however, after the Persian manner. Ifphahan, as well as the inhabitants The greater part of them dye their of those of the Mesendran, have gain
VOL,XII. No. 67 F