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has been added is sufficient, if the syrup, when held up against the light, is perfectly transparent, while the charcoal floats in it in grains or clots. If the syrup does not exhibit this appearance, more blood or eggs must be added. When perfectly clarified, it must be filtered through woollen cloth, and kept as warm as possible that the filtration may be more rapid.
“The deposit which remains on the filtre, and which is composed of animal charcoal, of the albuminous substances which have been employed, and which have been coagulated by the effect of heat, and of matters separated from the syrup, is impregnated so strongly with sugar, that it is found advantageous to separate it, by washing this residuum. The animal charcoal which has once served to clarify syrup, can be made useful again by employing it in the first boiler, (as we have already mentioned) to aid in freeing the juice from its fecula ; from this boiler it is thrown away with the scum.” p. 187, et seq.
Several modes of applying the animal charcoal to the syrup are mentioned, but none of the variations are important. M.Chaptal throws this substance gradually into his boilers, and finds it sufcient to clarify the liquid without blood or eggs. The syrup when clarified and cooled, marks 30° on the areometer. This density is not sufficient to cause the sugar to cristallize, nothing, or scarcely anything, however, at this stage of the process remains mingled with the saccharine particles but water, and this, in other vessels, is soon made to evaporate. In this operation, if any scum appears, it is carefully removed, sometimes if it should seem necessary, the white of an egg is added, the heat is raised to 89°-91° of Reaumur, (about 250 Fahrenheit), and the evaporation continued until about 40 per cent. of the fluid which entered these last vessels has been dissipated. Care is necessary after the heat is increased to 85° to prevent, by moderating the fire, the syrup from burning. The syrup is now emptied into coolers and permitted to cristallize.
To promote the cristallization, or as it is called, the formation of the grain, when poor syrup has been obtained, a thin layer of brown sugar is sometimes placed on the bottom of the cooler before the concentrated syrup is poured in. It is well known that a solid body placed in a solution, serves as a nucleus, around which the molecules of a cristallizable substance will readily collect.
The draining presents nothing which it is necessary to notice. But the molasses which drains from the sugar is concentrated and clarified anew to extract from it all the cristallizable sugar which it has retained, and which amounts sometimes to onesixth part of the whole quantity. The molasses which is obobtained after a second cristallization, is only fit for the distillery.
The important functions which animal charcoal performs in all the recent processes for the purification of sugar, has rendered it interesting to ascertain the manner in which it acts. It is to Lowitz that we are indebted for a knowledge of the antiputrescent properties of charcoal, and its power in destroying or at least abstracting all colour from the substances with which it is mingled. At first, it was supposed that charcoal from wood was the most efficient, but M. Figuier, an apothecary of Montpelier, in employing animal charcoal in the refining of vinegar and some other articles, proved its superiority, and Mr. Derosnes, in 1812, applied it to the refining of sugar. The most happy results crowned his efforts, and since this time the use of this clarifier has been universally adopted in the refineries, and has even passed to the apothecaries and confectioners.
To induce men of science to direct their attention to the operation of this charcoal, the Society of Pharmacy in Paris, offered a premium in 1821 for the best dissertation on this subject. In the essay of M. Bussy, to whom the premium was adjudged, we are informed, that “animal charcoal contains only 10 per cent. of carbon, which alone exercises a discolouring power, the remainder consists of phosphate, carbonate and sulphate of lime, sulphuret and oxyde of iron, and a little silex ; that the discolouring property is inherent in carbon, but can only be made manifest under particular circumstances, among which, porosity holds the first place; that the superiority of aniinal charcoal arises from its great porosity, which may be increased by the influence of the substances with which it is calcined, as putash; that potash in this connection does not merely augment the porosity of the carbon by the subtraction of the foreign matters which it may contain, but that it acts on the carbon itself, and attenuates its particles. For this reason, a discolouring charcoal may be obtained from vegetable substances if treated with potash.”
While it is stated that the use of animal charcoal has entirely superseded that of vegetable charcoal, which was previously employed, the comparative effect of these two substances is no where mentioned. If the carbon of vegetables prepared in the usual manner, possesses at all the discolouring principle, the quantity required would be of little importance in a country like this where it can be so easily obtained.
The latter portion of this manual is devoted to the refining of sugar in its technical meaning, or the manufacturing of loaf sugar. Into these details we shall not enter. We have yet to surmount the first steps in this pursuit. In all of these operations, however, the effects of animal charcoal are constantly conspicuous. In the debates in Congress, during its late session, on increasing the drawback on refined sugars, it was strenuously maintained that the New-Orleaps sugar was not fit for the refineries, but that the manufacturers were obliged to import for their business, dry sugar from the West-Indies.The following observations on this subject merit attention:
“ The operations of the refinery, (say our authors) have been greatly simplified by the application of animal charcoal to the purification of the sugar. Before this substance was used, it was not every kind of sugar which came from the colonies that could be employed in the fabrication of loaf sugar, and of those which were used, each kind was treated separately. It would even happen that there were several shades in the same bogshead. It was, therefore, necessary to open and separate as exactly as possible the different qualities of sugar, and put each apart. Now this operation has become altogether useless." p. 230.
We have entered into many details in following this work, perhaps, we may have been tediously minute, but it appeared to us, that at the present moment, when the attention of so many persons are directed to the culture of the Sugar Cane, a statement of the different operations by which sugar has been separated from the substances with which it is naturally mingled, might be beneficial. If it has been found useful to acidulate the juice of the beet, as well as to treat it with alkalies, the same process may, perhaps, be advantageously applied to that of the cane. The conteuts of these fluids are, as we have seen, very various, and must be neutralized or abstracted by different agents. Charcoal may correct many of those principles which obstruct the perfect cristallization of sugar in our country. Indeed, while science continues to pursue and analyse all the modifications of matter, we can feel no surprise at the daily improvements of which we hear, and even in this very occupation, of which we have been treating, it will not be extraordinary if, by some skilful application of re-agents, the phrase "sugar not cristallizable,” should be obliterated from our vocabulary, and all the saccharine portion of any and every vegetable be readily obtained, in its pure and cristalline form.
Of this work itself, as to composition and manner, we bare not much to say. It is incorrectly written, and not always clear. Still we wish that books, containing this species of elementary knowledge, were common in our language, and were generally diffused through our country.
Art. V.-Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. A Novel, from the
German of Goethe. 3 vols. 12mo. Wells & Lilly. Boston, 1828.
This is a novel of striking interest and great power: confessedly the work of no ordinary genius. The author appears to have exhausted in its preparation, the resources of a mind prolific in invention, and replete with all that learning, a familiarity with the fine arts, and an acute and matured criticism could furnish to the perfection of a favourite enterprize. No one at all acquainted with the greater or lesser mysteries of elegant composition, can fail to pronounce it, morañs MÈv osipas Tshsurasov Šavyévnua. Accordingly, it is not surprising that critics of every name and degree in Germany, have united their suffrages, with those of the universal public, in pronouncing this work a classical production. In a question of literary reputation, such a decision is final and sovereign, and leaves the breathless reviewer, panting after disquisition, no other alternative than to enlarge or contract his rules to the dimensions of the object before him. When the canons of the losty epic depart from Homer, it is quite as fair, certainly much safer to condemn the former to the bed of the torturer, rather than the latter, from whom they have derived their very being, their form and features.
With all this humility and condescension on our part, we are yet obliged to confess that we are not very sanguine in our expectations, that Wilhelm Meister will ever become popular with the mere English readers of either hemisphere. There are circumstances in the plot, which, however artfully combined and wrought into a whole, are essentially abhorrent from our manners and prejudices. It is true that nature is separate and above every thing that is merely conventional, and when fairly exhibited to view, will triumphantly assert her supremacy. Nevertheless, it is too much to hope, that the mass of such persons, as are interested in tales of fiction, will previously undertake the hardest of all tasks—that of unlearning all their early associations and predilections, for the purpose of enjoying any literary performance, however bruited. To most readers, all the great productions of Attica, for it is she who has chiefly monopolized the admiration of mankind, are as sealed books. It is impossible for any one, who has not made a study of the French character, to entertain any strong affection for the offspring of the French muses. Goethe, with his rich and varied, and glorious Teutonic dialect, must not expect a more indulgent fate. He is aware of this, for although aspirants of every quality and degree, have attempted to transfuse the spirit of his genius, they have only diluted it, until it became vapid. With every disposition to be grateful and courteous to his admirers, the secret has been reluctantly wrung from him, that he cannot discover his own features in their imitations. He does not complain of this, but good humouredly ascribes it to some idiosyncracy of mind, which must for ever prevent the English from thoroughly imbibing the peculiar thoughts of his country, men. He might have extended his observation ; for we hold it not too much to assert, that all master pieces in literature are untranslatable. It is not to be denied indeed, that productions of great merit, may occasionally result from these abortive attempts at translation ; for the most part, however, in such imitations, the deformities may be traced to the original with much more precision, than the excellencies.
What will our readers say of an attempt to excite interest and convey instruction in the example of a hero, who neglects the business and the duties of life, to attach himself to a company of strolling players, and who, with such frail coadjutors, attempts to revolutionize and reform the drama? Whether it be from an overwhelming conviction, that the realities of life are sufficient, and more than sufficient, to weigh down the energies of the stoutest and the wisest of us all, or from an avidity of power, which clings to aristocratical distinctions, as proofs of superiority, the more valuable, because they confer a cheap eminence upon those who have no chance of elevation in any other way, we cannot exactly decide. Certain it is, howerer, that whilst the stage has furnished a favourite amusement to the inhabitants of all civilized nations, the profession of an actor, even in the most exalted perfection of his powers, has never been regarded in any other light than as a pis aller. From Roscius to Garrick, the craft has been tolerated, but never recognised as one of the legitimate departments of human exertion. Johnson always considered the latter as a “shadow," and laughed at his style of living, as too “splendid for a player." Of the former, Cicero says in one and the same breath, that he was the only actor fit to be seen on the stage, and yet so respectable a man as to be alone worthy of not appearing there.*
Even the levelling influence of our democratical institutions, has not availed so far as to confer on those, who minister to the
*« Est enim, cum artifex ejusmodi sit, ut solus dignus videatur esse, qui in scena spectetur, tum vir ejusmodi est, ut solus dignus videatur, qui eò non accedat." Pro P. Quintio, xxv.