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reservoir of water, and the tar and mechanical purposes, had not the some other ingredients are here de- chemist in his experiments upon waposited. It next passes through a ter discovered an easy and safe reservoir of lime-water. This takes method of applying it. The discovup the sulphurous acid gas which is ery also of gas as a substitute for oil apt in the first instance to be mixed is one of which all equally partake. with it. The gas after this immersion To enumerate, however, the individis sufficiently pure for use. A recentual instances of improvements, our discovery has shown that a gas can be limits render impossible, their ramifiobtained from oil which is even more cations are so widely extended. From commodious than what is obtained the more potent drugs of the physifrom coal. The mode of obtaining it, cian, to the lock of the sportsman, * as adopted by Messrs. Taylor, is as its influence is felt. The study of follows. Oil is suffered to fall in chemistry must then be considered as drops into a furnace wherein are most valuable. When the alchemist, fragments of brick and tile heated buried in his cell, sought in vain for red hot. An iron pipe conveys away the universal menstruum, or the elixir the gas from the furnace ; in the fur- of life, the study was productive of nace nearly pure carbon is deposited. but slight benefit to any ; but now, The gas which is produced is very when it extends its influence to every fine carburetted hydrogen. The great department of the arts, the prospect advantage of this latter plan arises is far different. Nor should the study from its economy.
of this science be neglected from the The circumstance of these gases supposition that it has reached its being used for lights pre-supposes height ; on the contrary, many are that they are inflammable. On this the phenomena unexplained, many account, in coal mines and other the theories uninvestigated. But to places where they are produced by return to our subject. nature, they are very dangerous, ow
Carbon unites also with nitrogen, ing to their taking fire when the and forms a gas called cyanogen.lt miner's candles are carried through may be obtained from heating prusit. It was, however, discovered that siate of mercury in a small glass tube, hydrogen could not pass in a state of to a dull redness. It must be collectflame through a very small pipe; on ed over mercury. It has a smell very this principle, (which seems but im- much resembling bitter almonds. It perfectly accounted for,*) Sir Hum- burns with a beautiful blue flame. It phrey Davy constructed his justly cel- unites in different proportions with ebrated safety-lamp. In this a cylin- water and alcohol. Cyanogen and der of wire gauze is fixed over the chlorine combine ayd form an acid light, each separation in which an- designated the chlorocyanic acid. swers to the orifice of a small tube, Cyanogen and hydrogen unite and and thus no conflagration is caused, form hydrocyanic or prussic acid. though the whole covering of wire This also has a strong smell, much frequently becomes red hot. resembling that of bitter almonds. It Here let us pause for a moment, is in a liquid form.
It is highly and consider the wonderful benefits poisonous. A single drop of this experienced by society at large from acid, when much concentrated, placed the discoveries of chemistry. We upon the tip of the tongue, produces need not allude to the more obvious instant death. If a quantity be rubimprovements in medicine, which bed upon the bare arm it is said to have resulted from a more extensive produce death. It volatizes so rapidly knowledge of this branch of science. as to freeze itself. This acid is used The astonishing power of steam might in medicine. It was called
prussic never have been applied to common
* A new method of making the locks of guns bas
been adopted. By this the use of fint and steel has The explanation commonly offered is, that the been dropped, and a fulminating powder has been wire when in such close contact with the gas, ab nsed in its stead. This has many advantages: rain stracts from it a sufficient portion of caloric to ex. does not prevent its discharge, and it goes oft much tinguish the fame,
quicker than in the old method,
acid upon the discovery that the The boracic acid, which consists of beautiful colour so long known by boron and oxygen, yields up its oxy. the name of Prussian blue, was the gen to the potassium, or potash, and result of the union of this acid and the residue is boron. It is then in iron.
the shape of a brown, insipid, insoluCarbon unites with iron, and forms ble powder, which burns with much carburet of iron or steel. How this brilliancy if raised to a considerable effect is produced is not known ; heat. Boracic acid is generally obwhether by insinuating itself into the tained from the salt called borax. pores of the metal, it makes it more This is dissolved in hot water, and compact ; or by some other chemical sulphuric acid is added : as the solu
tion cools, white scaly crystals apThe last body mentioned in our pear ; these are the boracic acid. list is BORON. The method generally Little is known of the base or its comused for obtaining it is the following. pounds, and if we except borax, which Two parts of the metal called potas- is much employed as a flux, they sium, and one of the boracic acid, have as yet been but little used. are heated together in a copper tube.
ACCOUNT OF THE CITY OF MEXICO, &c.
BY Wm. BrLLOCK.
(Lond. Lit. Gaz.)
ain in the affairs of South A. Some writers have conjectured that it merica, and which, besides its own was used as a cemetery or burialmerit, has induced us to take so much place ; others, that it was intended as notice of this volume, is demonstrated a place of defence, or for the perby the fact that the whole first edition, formance of public worship. We as(1500) was subscribed for by the cended by a steep winding road, partLondon booksellers on the first day ly cut into steps, to a level area of of publication. Thus warranted in 140 feet long, on which stands a pretour course of review, we continue to ty church, 90 feet in length, with two extract the most useful information towers and a dome: from this exaltwith regard to commerce, and the ed platform, the spectator enjoys a most striking passages connected with most lovely landscape. The city of manners or description. Of the latter Chollula, its great square, or marketclass the following is a new example: place, crowded with Indians (resem
“ We arrived at Chollula after a bling what it was in the time of Corpleasant ride over plains covered with tez,) with its numerous churches, garcorn-fields, interspersed with plantı- dens, &c. lay at our feet, and as the tions of the Agava Americana. This delighted eye ranged over the extencity was, before the conquest, one of sive plain, countless churches, hacienthe most considerable belonging to das, plantations of aloes, and cornthe Mexicans. It was famed for its fields, met the view, which was boundidols, its sanctity, and its idolatrous ed by the blue mountains, among worship. The Teocalli or Temple is which rose the gigantic Orizaba, and composed of alternate layers of clay the majestic snow-crowned Pepocataand sun-burnt brick, forming an im- taph. After enjoying this delightful mense pyramid, divided into regular scene as long as our time would constrata stages or platforms; but time, veniently permit, we visited the neat and the growth of the prickly pear, place of worship, built in the shape the tuna, or nopal, and other vegeta- of a cross, and kept remarkably clean. bles, have left but little of its original Its silver and gilt ornaments were form visible, and it now resembles a surrounded by a fine display of living natural hill; the high road from Pue- flowers, (amongst wbich the carnations bla is cut through a part of it, which were the finest I had ever seen,) the
peace-offerings of the poor Indians, ury, may be placed within one centuby whom the place was crowded, as ry from its conquest by Cortez. The mass was celebrating at the time. present internal decorations but ill The fervent piety and decent behav- accord with the magnificent houses iour of this little congregation would and palaces on which thousands have have formed a fine contrast with the been lavished, and prove at once the gaily dressed bustling assemblages in poverty of the present Mexicans some of the churches of France and and the wealth of their ancestors. Italy. Before the building were two The massive silver tables, staircases noble cypress trees, of great size and and chandeliers, &c. &c. have all disantiquity : at the top of the steps of appeared. The profusion of jewels the entrance is a rich-sculptured cross, and the extravagant equipages are no of stone, with the date 1666 inscribed longer to be seen in the streets, and on it, and near it a short hymn in the ensemble even of people of the Spanish, to the Virgin is engraved on highest rank, of the present day, rea tablet.
minds us in nothing of the authenticated “ We descended with reluctance descriptions of the inhabitants of the the side of this pyramid, whose base same place by writers 200 years ago." is more extensive than that of the
Taking a cursory view of the chief great pyramid of Egypt. It is covered objects of curiosity still remaining in with trees of great variety, some of the city of Mexico, our author obwhich I had not seen before, but they serves had evidently been planted there. “Of the myriads of pictures with On our descent to the plains we visit- which the churches, convents, cloised two detached masses, constructed, ters, &c. &c. are crowded, I saw few like the great pyramid, of unburnt worth the expense of removing. The brick and clay. The one to the churches and cathedrals may, amongst north-east had been cut or taken the great numbers with which they away ; its sides were broken, and so
are encumbered, have some good, and perpendicular as to prevent access to I am inclined to think they have, but its summit, on which a cross had been the quantity of light admitted into erected. The other was easy of as- these superb temples is too little, cent, and appears to me to have been even in the brightest day, to render a fortified place, with a ditch and a it practicable to discover their merits: wall on the top, forming an enclosure they are lost to the world in the saresembling the figure , and about cred gloom that pervades the place. 100 feet in length : here I found a- The public, too, are prevented from mong the loose earth many human
a near approach by clumsy railings ; bones; pieces of red earthenware ; but, from what information I was enand fragments of obsidian–the knives, abled to obtain by peeping through, spears, and arrow-heads of the ancient it appeared to me that some of the Mexicans. An excavation of this pile finest productions of the Italian and would probably prove an object of Spanish schools may be here buried in high interest to the antiquary-I oblivion. I visited the homes of many know of no engraving of it: the other of the nobility, but found little worthy detached piece has been engraved by of notice. The Count of Valenciana's Humboldt; whose figure of the great drawing-room has a set of prints from pyramid conveys no idea of its pres- Claude, which, with the exception of ent state, nor is the church on its a few fine things in the palace of the summit at all like the original.” Bishop of Puebla, are the only works
The city of Mexico itself is not worth mentioning connected with the half so interesting as several of the old masters, that came under my inother places visited by our author. spection.
“ The existing state of this city ex 6. In the many rambles I made hibits only a shadow of the grandeur through the city, I often examined it had once attained. The period of the brokers' and furniture shops ; as, its greatest splendour, wealth and lux- amongst the countless number of
statues and pictures of saints and “ In the fine evenings, during the martyrs, I expected to have found dry seasons, the environs of the city something worth bringing home : but present a scene of bustle, gaiety, and all my researches in this way only pleasure, scarcely to be paralleled ; produced me two small pictures ; one hundreds of canoes, of various sizes, on copper, (the Adoration of the mostly with awnings, crowded with Shepherds,) an early picture, or a native Indians, neatly dressed, and copy, of Corregio ; the other a Holy their heads crowned with the most Family, somewhat in the style of gaudy flowers, are seen passing in Carlo Maratti. --
every direction : each boat, with its “Of carvers in wood there are musician seated on the stern, playing many, as every house has a statue of on the guitar, and some of the party a saint or madonna painted and gene- singing or dancing, and often both rally superbly dressed. The art of united, presents such a picture of en zraving on stone is unknown in harmless mirth as I fear is rarely to Mexico; but the Indians greatly ex- be met with at the fairs and wakes cel in the modelling and working in of our country.” wax. The specimens of different 6 Domestic water-fowl are almost tribes with their costumes, with the unknown in this part of New Spain. habiliments of the gentry of the coun- I never saw a tame duck, and geese try, which I have brought over, will but twice, in the whole country. Turamply testify their merits in this de- 'keys, fowls, pigeons, hares, and rabpartment. They also model fruit and bits, are in great plenty, and venison vegetables in a beautiful manner. A is occasionally met with at table. lady at Puebla de los Angeles exe- Fish is scarce and dear, the lakes cutes, in a singular style, from pieces producing but few species : the pesca of old linen cloth, groups of comic blanca, or white fish, resembling in figures, some of which I have also appearance and taste our smelts, is brought to England. Such was her the best. Tortoises, frogs, and the skill, that, from having only seen me axolate, a species of salamander, (an for short time, on my first passing aquatic animal much resembling a through the city, I was surprised to water-newt or lizard,) are abundant find, on my return, that she had exe- in the market, and all good eating ; cuted a portrait of me in this style, the latter have been the subject of which was immediately recognized by dispute among naturalists since the my friends."
discovery of America, and we are still There is but one theatre,
in obscurity with respect to their “ The house is lighted from above doubtful history. They were so plenby sconces, each holding a number of tiful in the time of Cortez that his glass lamps ; and is more pleasing army principally subsisted on them, than might be expected. It is open and I have seen them by thousands every night, and twice on Sunday, on in the markets of Tollucca ; yet they which day, and on holydays, the price have never been discovered in a is double ; but this establishment paid young state, nor has any sexual difso ill, at the time of our visit, that its ference yet been noticed. I brought final close was announced from the several home in spirits, which are stage while we were present so that now under the inspection of Sir Eve the capital of New Spain is now with rard Home, from whom the public out any dramatic entertainment. may shortly expect much information
“ With very few exceptions, all respecting this obscure species. present, of either sex, pursued their “ The Indians also bring to market favourite habit of smoking; the la- a considerable quantity of a small delidies, even in the boxes, with a fan in cate fish, not more than two or three one hand and a cigar in the other, inches long, which they take in nets enveloped in a cloud of smoke that in the canals and ditches near the rendered it difficult to see from one lakes. They are enclosed in the side of the touse to the other. leaves or capsules which surround the
head of the Indian corn, and then unequal to contain the quantity, daily roasted. In this state they are ex- exposed for sale : the ground is enposed for sale at a very reasonable tirely covered with every European rate : we thought them excellent, but kind, and, as I have already sa ted, they are seldom seen at the repasts of with many the very names of which the rich. They have also a small we have scarcely heard. I was never crustaceous animal resembling our tired of examining these fruits and shrimp, but not so well tasted. The vegetables. I have taken casts and meat market is well supplied with drawings of all I could procure of beef, mutton, and pork, and in the the former during my residence : spring kid is plentiful and cheap ; they are very numerous and extraorveal is prohibited by law. The beef dinary.-.. and mutton are by no means equal to “How few persons in Europe have what we have in the markets of Eu- any idea of the form or appearance, rope ; but, though these meats are not when in a state of life and vegetation, of the best quality, they are by no of the various kinds of bananas, planmeans bad. Perhaps the fault is in a tains, pawpaws, custard-apples, sour great measure owing to the butcher, sop, citrons, shaddock, ackee, sopotas, and we are always partial to our own avocata, tunnals, pitalli, ciayotte, chenmethod of preparing animal food. Of nini, genianil, granadilla, pomegravegetables and fruits there are few nates, dates, annonas, mangoes, starplaces that can boast such variety as apples, melons, gourds, tomatas, &c. Mexico, and none where the con- with which, and many others, this sumption is greater in proportion to market abounds in succession at varia the inhabitants. The great market is ous seasons of the year. larger than Covent Garden, but yet
SKETCHES OF SOCIETY.
my mamma,” said a pretty curl- the same roof, she will conscientiously ed headed boy of about four years of discharge her common duty to both, age, laying great stress upon the pro- and make but one heart and feeling noun, and bursting into tears, as he prevail with all the children alike. addressed a beautiful young woman, The scene which had just passed bewho had become the wife of a rich fore my eyes filled my mind with widower ; “ but,” continued he, “I deep reflection, and I could not help told her that you was my ma, and thinking how momentous a thing it is, Nanny's too." “ You did right,” said to introduce a wife, who is not the the Countess, “ I hope to prove my- parent of her husband's family, into self a mother to you both; for, in it. What jealousy! what injustice ! marrying your father, I made a vow what strife does not occur from such to have no separate interest or affec- a union ! how many struggles to tions, to love what he loved, and to alienate prior affection, what poutings honour and obey his will," then kiss, and strivings to do away with claims ing the child, and giving him an apple, of a former date ! A man and woshe dismissed him, smiling out of the man ought to think thrice, before room, and she never looked so en- they give a nominal mother to mothchanting. “This is admirable, this is erless children. Purity is compromisas it ought to be," said I to myself, ed, delicacy is robbed of its celestial “ but she is only the wife of a few bloom, and justice wavers when the months, and I sincerely hope that she buxom widow spurns her lone pillow, will continue as she has begun, and to give her children to a father-in