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it to be merely a modification of acetic acid. The question is now, however, settled in the affirmative, and lactic acid promises to become a valuable therapeutic agent. One of its most remarkable properties is that of dissolving phosphate of lime, especially that which is contained in the bones. Majendie has used it with advantage in dyspepsia, and observes that it would be rational to try its powers in cases of white gravel consisting of phosphate of lime.
Oil of Mustard.—This is a volatile oil distilled from the seeds of black mustard. When mixed with equal parts of spirits of wine and rubbed upon the skin, it is an excellent rubefacient, and may be added to the long list of external stimulants.
Creosote, which is obtained from tar water, or from the destructive distillation of wood, has been used with great success in a variety of diseases. Internally it has arrested violent hemorrhages, and externally it has proved of great benefit as a lotion. If used without dilution, it is a caustic.
It would be easy to add many other new substances to this long catalogue: such as santonine, obtained from the artemisia santonica (Tartarian southernwood); colchicine, from the colchicum autumnale (meadow-saffron); hyoscyamine, from the hyoscyamus niger (common henbane); daturine, from the datura stramonium (thorn-apple); atropine, from the atropa belladona (deadly nightshade); and delphine, from the seeds of the delphinium staphisagria (stavesacre). It would be equally easy to enter into more details concerning the medicines previously enumerated; but we refrain from doing so: for the account which we have given will probably be thought sufficiently long by the general reader. Those who wish for farther information will find much interesting matter on most of the new remedies in Majendie's Formulaire, a work to which we have been indebted for the greater part of the preceding abstract.
LXXXI. BRUCE BEATEN.
Certain readers who do not place that implicit reliance in the veracity of travellers which they ought, are startled at Bruce's account of the Abyssinians' cutting beef-steaks from living cows and bullocks, that after the operation go to graze as if nothing had happened. What will sceptics like these say to the following story, told by an Eastern traveller of high reputation?
A Well-known Tact.—Every year there arrives in these parts of the river a great quantity of fish; the peo
file cut off all the flesh on one side of them, eat it, and et them go. Well! the year following, the same creatures return and offer the other side, which they had preserved untouched: it is then discovered that new flesh has replaced the old. — Travels of Abou-el-Cassim.
For the sake of those who are fond of geographical precision, we may mention that this river of marvellous fish is set down as one that flows from Mount Caucasus into the Euxine or Black Sea.
LXXXII. DOCTOR DALE.
•' This makes me think on that famous civilian Doctor Dale, who, being employed in Flanders by Q, Elizabeth, sent in a packet to the secretary of state two letters, one to the Queen, the other to his wife; but that which was meant for the Queen was superscribed, To his dear wife; and that for his wife, To her most excellent majesty: so that the Queen having open'd his letter, She found it beginning with Sweet-heart, and afterwards with My Dear, and Dear Love, with such expressions; acquainting her with the state of his body, and that he began to want money. You may easily guess what motions of mirth this mistake rais'd; but the Doctor by this oversight (or cunningness rather) got a supply of money. * *
And since I am fallen upon Doctor Dale, who was a witty kind of drole, I will tell you, instead of news (for there is little good stirring now), another facetious tale of his; and familiar tales may become familiar letters well entwgh. When Q. Elizabeth did first propose to him that foreign employment to Flanders, among other encouragements she told him that he should have 20s. per diem for his expenses: ' Then, madam,' saidhe,' I will spend 19s. a day.' 'What will you do with the odd shilling ?' the Queen reply'd. 'I will reserve that for my Kate, and for Tom and Dick;' meaning his wife and children! This induc'd the Queen to enlarge his allowance."—Epistolm Hoeliance.
LXXXIII. A LEGAL DEFINITION.
"There was one arraigned before me at Cambridge for burglary, and upon the evidence it appeared that he crept down a chimney; I was doubtful whether this were burglary, and so were some others; but upon examination it appeared, that, in his creeping down, some of the bricks of the chimney were loosened, and fell down in the room, which put it out of question, and direction was given to find it burglary; but the jury acquitted him of the whole fact."—Hale's Pleas of the Crown, i. 552. N.B. This would be a good interpretation now.
Dr. Woixaston says that in the natural and healthy state of the human ear there seems to be no limit to the power of discerning low sounds, whereas acute ones are often inaudible by persons not otherwise deaf. His attention was called to this circumstances by finding a person insensible to the sound of a small organ-pipe, which was far within the limits of his own hearing. This person's hearing terminated at a note four octaves above the middle E of the piano-forte. Others again cannot hear the chirping of the grasshopper, the cricket, the sparrow, and the bat; the latter being about five octaves above the middle E of the piano. The limit of Wollaston's own hearing was about six octaves above the middle E. The range of human hearing includes more than nine octaves, the whole of which are distinct to most ears, though the vibrations of a note at the higher extreme are six hundred or seven hundred times more frequent than those which constitute the gravest audible sound ; and as vibrations incomparably more frequent may exist, we may imagine, says Wollaston, that animals like the grylli, whose powers appear to commence nearly where ours terminate, may hear still sharper sounds which we do not know to exist; and that there may be insects hearing nothing in common with us, but endued with a power of exciting and a sense that perceives, the same vibrations which constitute our ordinary sounds, but so remote that the animal who perceives them may be said to possess another sense, agreeing with our own solely in the medium by which it is excited, and possibly wholly unaffected by those slower vibrations of which we are sensible.
[If there be no limit to the power of discerning low sounds, the " gravest audible sound'' is a nonentity, and we ought to read " the gravest known sound."]
LXXXV. VESTEIS THE GOD OP DANCING.
The first Vestris the founder of a mighty dynasty of dancers, was a native of Provence, or, according to others, an Italian. Be this as it may, he could never pronounce French properly; and when he modestly took to himself the title of the " God of dancing," he always called it " le Diou de ladanse." There were innumerable anecdotes current in Paris, all showing the sublime conceit and self-satisfaction of this hero, who really considered dancing as the first of human arts and sciences, and himself as the greatest dancer that had ever been created to enchant the world. The following are told in Baron de Grimm's correspondence.
When young Vestris made his debut, his father, le Diou de la danse, dressed in the richest and strictest court costume, with his sword at his side, and hischapeaubras under his arm, presented himself with his son at the front of the stage, and, after having addressed the pit, in terms full of dignity, on the sublimity of his art, and the noble hopes inspired by the august heir of his genius, he turned with an imposing aspect to the young candidate, and said to him, "Now then, my son, show your talent to the public; your father sees you!"—( Voire pere vow regarde.')
In consequence of being engaged in one of those insurrections against managers and cabinet ministers which were frequent among the dancers of the Opera in the times of Louis XV. and Louis XVI, Vestris junior was sent to Fort l'Eveque. Nothing so pathetic was ever seen as the parting of father and son : "Allez," said the Diou de la danse, " go, my son! This is the most glorious day of your life. Take my carriage and ask for the apartment ot my friend the King of Poland: I will par all I"
We forget whether it was on this or on an earlier occasion that Vestris senior said, " Well! this is the first difference that ever took place between the house of Vestris and the House of Bourbon!"
Young Vestris was the son of the Diou de la danse by Mademoiselle Allard, also a dancer at the Opera, and hence the Parisians gave him the compound name of Vestrallard. One night he excelled himself in a new ballet, on which his father, who was watching every new step and turn, exclaimed in rapture, "If he goes on in this way 1 have a great gift in store for him—I will allow him to bear my own name!" The Diou de la danse, like certain other gods we read of, was not a cons.ant lover. Dauberval, another artiste of reputation, who had shared his favours with Mademoiselle Allard, was also forcibly struck with the young prodigy, and was heard to say wilh a mixture of spite, regret, and admiration,