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"The second species of thermoscope was a curved tube, ABCD, through the open orifice of which, D, rectified spirit of wine was poured, tinged of a blue colour, so that (as happened of itself by the narrowness of the tube) the bulb A, remaining full of air as far as B, would not admit the ascent of the fluid. The instrument being thus prepared, and the hot hand moved towards the bulb A, the spirit B C ascended step by step from C towards D (by a motion contrary to its first motion); and when it was taken away, or anything cold applied, the fluid not only returned again to C, but even descended, being raised up at the other extremity, B, almost even to the middle of the bulb A."
He then proceeds to describe the process of shutting up the open end by the bulb D, and remarks that the indications of the thermometer then become much less sensible. He notices the use of this thermometer for measuring small variations of temperature, such as, "daily, or even horary variationsand instances as one possible application, the regulation of furnaces for hatching eggs after the Egyptian method. Sturm was a native of Hippolstein, and died about 1703; and the first edition of the Collegium, &c. was published as far back as 1672.
VIII.— The Book of Knowledge, both necessary and usefid for the benefit of all people, printed for the booksellers of London and Westminster, 1729. This publication, which seems to have been a sort of stock book, was, as we see, printed after the death of Newton, nearly a century after the death of Galileo, and nearly two centuries after that of Copernicus. A brief view of its contents will serve to show how much profit had been derived from a century at least of rational investigation. Unfortunately, this class of books is not quite extinct; we have still treatises of astrology, and all kinds of stupidity besides; but not published in the name of the booksellers of London and Westminster. The Book of Knowledge contains predictions for the year, depending on the day of the week on which the Nativity falls; directions what to undertake, and what to avoid on each day of the moon; the effect of thunder in each month of the year; a great quantity of astrology; some geography, the correctness of the proportions of which may be guessed from the coast of Surrey being called 65 miles long, while the "compass of England round about," is 4390 miles, and Venice is said to be 80 miles from Flanders;—prognostics for the weather, and for husbandry; among which every man is advised in March tor " advise with the honest and able astrological physician." Then follows a "brief discourse of the celestial part of the world," in which the motion of the earth is not considered, but the heaven is violently turned about once in 24 hours by the motion of the primum mobile. Here followeth the manner of making all manner of Bonds, Bills, Leases, &c. very necessary for those who live in the country. Then follow some "pleasant questions in arithmetic," one of which is so very pleasant and curious a puzzle, that we shall give it.
"A certain man having three daughters, to the eldest he gave twenty-two apples, the second he gave sixteen apples, and to the third he gave ten apples, and sent them to the market to sell them, and gave them command to sell one as many for a penny as the other, namely, seven a penny, and every one to bring him home so much money as the other, and neither change either apples or monies one with another. How could that be done? This to many seems impossible, but to the arithmetician very.easie." The resources of the arithmetician were greater then than now: the matter is managed in the following way, 1. By sending a lady's steward to market, who buys twenty-one of the first, fourteen of the second, and seven of the third, at three-pence, two pence and a penny, leaving the sisters with one, two and three, apples. 2. By making the lady, who was a perfect Eve in the matter of apples, so fond of them as to send the steward back for all that were left, at any price. 3. By allowing the sisters to break their father's injunction, to sell for seven a penny, and to demand for the remainder a penny a piece; by which means all had four-pence.
Thus the Gordian knot was cut: the lady had her apples; we are not told that the father objected to this sort of breach of his commands; the farmers and thenwives were amused in 1729, and the years next following; and we, in 1836, have an opportunity of showing what sort of books were in circulation among our progenitors. What would any one have more?
We end our account of this book with a rule which may be as useful now as then. It is true that Latin is now gone out of fashion, but (see Moore s Almanac) English does as well, or better, if it be done fasting. To find whether a husband or wife shall die first, write the numbers in order opposite to the letters of the alphabet; add together all the numbers opposite to the letters in the Christian names of the man and woman, (in Latin, says our original,) and divide the sum by seven. Then if the remainder be even, the woman shall die first, if odd, the man shall die first.
IX. Geometry and Gunpowder. If the reader have a tolerably good notion of Geometry, such as might be got in the first six and the eleventh books of Euclid, he could not, if he like the subject, find a more interesting occupation than reading the Proprietes Projectives des Figures of M. Poncelet, Captain of Engineers, published in 1822. This work was composed in a Russian prison, in the year 1813, without books, or any kind of facilities. Some one, Labaume we believe, has mentioned, that the French prisoners in Russia got no ink except what they made themselves, by diluting gunpowder with some water. The real use of this compound having been thus discovered, it is shameful that all the countries in Europe have been allowed to consume it in pursuits of less utility.
To suit the glitter and pageantry of the stage, and to introduce the picturesqueness of Oriental costume, (which, by the way, is never Oriental or correct in English theatres,) our melodramatists have converted Blue-Beard into an Eastern story. In the old nursery tale it is nothing of the sort; and a recent inquirer and examiner (for more important purposes) into foreign libraries and dusty archives, thinks he has discovered a French origin for this renowned wife-killer.
"At Nantes, there is a considerable collection of records relative to the Duchy of Bretagne. One of them,' though foreign to your purpose, I cannot help mentioning.
VOL. I. P
It is the entire process of the Duke de Retz, of the old race, better known in our story-books as Blue-Beard. He was tried and executed at Nantes, about 1450, for the murder of several wives." See Memoir upon the Materials for British History in Foreign Libraries and Archives, in "Proceedings of His Majesty's Commissioners on the Public Records of the Kingdom, 1833."
XXXIV. LE SOUTERRAIN.
The celebrated French Romance, entitled "Camille, ou Le Souterrain," which treats of a wife who was thrown into a subterranean vault, or dungeon, and kept there during many years by her husband, is only an amplification of a melancholy fact that really happened in a noble Neapolitan family at the early part of last century. Madame de Genlis says she saw the heroine at Rome, after her liberation; but this is one of the many occasions in which we doubt that lively writer's veracity.
XXXV. TRAITS OF ITALIAN MANNERS.
The natives of Southern Italy, even of the lowest class, make a familiar use of classical names, although they at times misapply them in a curious manner. Castiglioni relates the story of a peasant, whose ass had been stolen, and who, while complaining of his loss to the Podesta, and at the same time expatiating on the merits of the animal, concluded its praises by saying " that his ass, when decorated with its pack-saddle, looked quite like a Cicero," An inhabitant of the district of Tran