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lady benefactress became a poor and needy widow. Yesterday the two happened to meet in this city —the colored man seeking out the white lady. This time he was the benefactor, commencing with a handsome donation, and adding the assurance that so long as he is able to earn a dollar, sLe shall never need. The lady has one small daughter with her, to whom Smith made a present on parting of a ten dollar gold piece.—Lowell Citizen.
From Household Words.
The age of composite metals, which has given us so many false Dromios pretending to brotherhood with silver, seems likely to pass away. In a short time we shall be in possession of a new metal, which need not be ashamed to announce itBelf by a distinct name. A pewter-pot is simply an honest pewter-pot; he does not give himself out for a silver-tankard, a royal claret jug, a festive flagon, a would-be chalice, or any thing of that kind. There he stands on the clean dealtable, with his venerably-white busby wig of foam; andyou know that his heart overflows with generous stout, with bitter or dulcet ale, or with harmonious half and-half. Pewter is not a humbug metal. All substitute-silvers are humbugs and changelings.
But it seems at last as if grandmother Earth, being a little aided by human wit, had been gradually preparing for the banishment of her illegitimate offspring, by the advancement of those who are pure blood. One of Lavoisier's most remarkable prophecies was that, in the mineral substances designated by the common names of earths and alkalies, veritable metals exist. Guided by the piercing foresight of his genius, the illustrious founder of modern chemistry asserted that the fixed alkalies and the earths hitherto known by the designations of lime, magnesia, alumina, barytes, strontian, and so on, are nothing else than the oxides or rusts of special metals. Twenty years afterwards, Sir Humphrey Davy, by submitting these compounds to the analysis of the voltaic pile, justified Lavoisier's prediction. By the decomposing action of the electric fluid, he separated the metal and the oxygen which had constituted, by their union, the alkalies and the earths. Treating potash and soda thus, he isolated their radical metals, potassium and sodium; and, shortly afterwards, by operating on barytes, strontian, and lime, he obtained from those earths their radical metals. But, in consequence of the feeble conducting power of the terreous compounds, other earthy bases defied him to reduce them; and, amongst them, alumina.
Davy's startling discovery of the strange stores which he found hidden in odd corners of Nature's cupboard, are well remembered; and it required no marvellous acutencss to surmise that one
short-lived man had not -entirely completed the examination of the stock in hand. That many of his new metals were unstable equilibriums under the ordinary influence of the air and the weather, is nothing; the properties and affinities of no one metal are any rule for what shall be the properties and affinities of another. One modern metal, platina, has proved eminently and usefully stable. Since Davy's time, however, the crop of planets overhead has been more plentifuHhan that of metals underground. Many chemists—amongst others, Berzelius and Oersted —failed to extend their conquests in the same direction ; and, for twenty years, these substances could only be considered as metallic oxides, in a theoretical light founded on analogy. It was not till the year 1827 that a German chemist, Wohler, succeeded in reducing them.
But within the course of the last two years, in consequence of that first step, a treasure has been divined, unearthed, and brought to light, which it is as hard to believe in as a prosaic fact, as it is to feci assured that by descending through a trap-door in a ruined vault, you will enter an Arabian Night's garden, wherein the leaves are emeralds and the fruits on ever}' tree are rubies, amethysts, topazes, and carbuncles. What do you think of a metal as white as silver, as unalterable as gold, as easily melted as copper, as tough as iron ; which is malleable, ductile, and with the singular quality of being lighter than glass? Such a metal does exist, and that in considerable quantities on the surface of the globe. "Where? From what distant region does it come?" There is no occasion to hunt far and wide ; it is to be found everywhere, and consequently in the locality which you honor with your residence. More than that, you do not want for it within-doors at home; you touch it (not exactly by direct and simple contact) several times in the day. The poorest of men tramples it under his feet, and is possessed of at least a few samples of it. The metal, in fact, in the form of an oxide, is one of the main component elements of clay; and as clays enter into the composition of arable land, and are the material on which the potter exerts his skill, every farmer is a sort of miner or placer, and every broken potsherd is an ingot in its way. Our new-found metal is aluminium (of which alumina is the oxide,) originally discovered by the German chemist Wrohler.
Wohler was inspired with the happy thought of substituting a powerful chemical effect to the action of the voltaic pile as a means of extracting the earthy metals. Potassium and sodium, the radical metals of potash and soda, are of all metals those which offer tho most energetic chemical affinities. It might, therefore, be fairly expected that, by submitting to the action of potassium or sodium oneof the earthy compounds which it was desired to reduce to i:s elementSj the potassium would destroy the combination, and would set free the new metal which was being sought in its isolated state. The experiment justified the expectation. In order to obtain metallic aluminium, M. Wohlcr employed the compound which results from the union of that metal with chlorine; that is to say, chloride of aluminium. At the bottom of a porcelain crucible he placed several fragments of potassium, and, upon them, a nearly equal volume of chloride of aluminium. The crucible was placed over a spirit-of-wine lamp, and was continued there, until the action in the crucible was quite complete. Under these conditions, the chloride of aluminium was entirely decomposed; in consequence of its superior affinity, the potassium drove the aluminium from its combination with the chlorine, and laid hold of the latter substance, to form chloride of potassium, leaving the alum
Tessier, according to the conditions prescribed by M. Deville, was put into the hands of workmen in the employment of Messrs. Ohristophe and Co. The men report the new metal to be at least as easy to work as silver; they even state that there is no absolute necessity to re-melt it a second time. Hitherto, the means of soldering aluminium had not been found, simply on the Messrs. Tessier's authority, because alloys of the metal had not been tried. They declare that the desired result is the easiest possible. By alloying aluminium with zinc, tin, or silver, solders are obtained, whose point of fusion is much lower than that of aluminium itself, allowing the operat'on to be performed with a simple spirit-of-wine lamp, and even without any previous scraping or cleaning, exactly as if tlicy were soldering silver. The Minister of Commerce was applied to, to open a competition for the manufacture of
inium free in a metallic state. As chloride of I aluminium, and that the produce of such rivalry
under friction; but, according to M. Wohler, it refused to melt even at the highest temperature, and was essentially oxidizable. Other earthy metals were similarly obtained; all general sur
Greenland cryolite consists of aluminium thirteen per cent., sodium nearly thirty-three per cent., and fluorine, fifty-four percent. It is of a bright and shining white; intermediate between the
mises respecting their properties proved decep- I color of silver and that of platiua. It is lighter
. • i.l -I 1.1 1 . •. • -a LI. . Ii !.
tive; the only point they possessed in common was, to have hitherto remained unknown.
It is not surprising that Wohler, when he had got his aluminium, did not conceive a full or exact idea of what sort of creature ho had caught in his toils. The actual presence and existence, and the remarkable properties of the metal extracted from clay, have been known for more than a twelvemonth past; but the minds of the public, and even of learned men, have been filled with uncertainties and doubts as to the reality of the assertion and promises that have been made respecting this curious and novel production. In 1854 M. Deville, professor of chemistry at the Ecole Normale, at Paris, having attentively studied tho aluminium of which M. Wohler had only offered a transitory glimpse, found to his surprise that the metallic stranger displayed very different qualifications to those which its discoverer attributed to it. Its real attributes are so remarkable as to encourage a very high idea of the future prospects in store for it.
When M. Dumas presented to the Academy of Arts the specimens of aluminium obtained by M. Devillo, he called attention to the sonority of the metal, which rivalled that of tho most sonorous brasses,—that of bell-metal, for instance. This quality has not been hitherto found in any metal in its pure state, and is another singularity in the history of clay-metal. Aluminium prepared by Messieurs Ch. and Al.
than glass; its tenacity is considerable; it is worked by the hammer with the greatest facility, and it may be drawn into wire of extreme fineness; it melts at a temperature lower than the point of fusion of silver. Here is a list of characteristics sufficient to entitle this simple body to take rank with the metals of daily use in the arts; but its chemical properties render it still more valuable. Alumiuium is a metal completely inalterable by the atmosphere; it may be exposed without tarnishing, both to dry air and to moist air. Whilst our usual metals—such as tin, lead, and zinc—when recently cut, soon lose their brightness if exposed to damp air, aluminium, under the same circumstances, remains as brilliant as gold, platiua, or silver; it is even superior to the last of those metals as to resistance to the action of the atmosphere; in fact, silver, when exposed to sulphurated hydrogen gas, is attacked by it, and turns speedily black; and, consequently, silver articles, after a long exposure to atmospheric air, are dulled at last by the small quantities of sulphurated hydrogen which are accidentally combined with the air. Aluminium, on the contrary, offers a perfect resistance to the action of sulphurated hydrogen, and in this respect claims a notable superiority over silver. Again, aluminium decidedly resists the action of acids; azotic and sulphuric acids, applied cold, produce no effect whatever. Thin plates of aluminium may be kept immersed in azotic or sulphuric acid without suffering disso
lution or even injury. Chlorydric acid alone attacks and dissolves it. The advantages to be derived from a metal endowed with such qualities are easy to be understood. Its future place as a raw material in all sorts of industrial applications is undoubted, and we may expect soon to see it, in some shape or other, in the hands of the civilized world at large.
Nevertheless, its destiny may have been in some measure mistaken. It cannot replace gold or silver in precious alloys, in coin, and jewellery. The great value and merit of gold and silver as precious metals lies in the ease with which they are withdrawn from the combination in which they have been made to enter. By very simple chemical processes, gold and silver are with facility separated from the compounds which contain them. Aluminium, unfortunately, is devoid of that property ; it cannot be eliminated in its metallic state like gold and silver from its different compounds. Instead of aluminium you get alumina—that is to say, the base of clay—a worthless substance. Nor can a metal, whose origin is so widely diffused as clay is, ever hope to be accepted, in any case, as the representative of wealth.
Aluminium, therefore, will be exclusively reserved for manufacturing requirements. It will be applied to the fabrication of vessels and instruments of all kinds in which resistance to the action of the air and to chemical agents is indispenable. Surgeons, for instance, are hoping that it will render services of the highest class. For the decoration of interiors, where silver turns black, aluminium will shine transcendently. In proportion as the cheap production of aluminium becomes more and more an established fact, the more we shall find it entering into household uses—for travelling purposes, for instance, for which its lightness is no small merit. It may probably send tin to the right-about-face, drive copper saucepans into penal servitude, and blow up German silver sky-high into nothing. Henceforward, respectable babies will be born with aluminium spoons in their mouths.
Such anticipations would be open to the charge of exaggeration, if aluminium were now to be produced only by the orginal expensive method; but potassium is entirely dispensed with. Aluminium is obtained by treating its chloride with sodium,—a substance whose chemical affinities are very energetic, and which sets the aluminium free by forming chloride of sodium. Accordingly, the manufacture consists of two operations. First, the preparation of chloride of aluminium; secondly, the decomposition of chloride of alumina by sodium.
This is not the place for further details; but it may be noted that sodium, which was formerly dear, is now to be had at a reasonable price. It is no exaggeration to insist, for instance, on the extreme innocuousness of the metal, and its
suitableness for many purposes where tin is objectionable from the extreme facility with which it is dissolved by organic acids; there is no mistake about its superiority to silver in resisting solutions of salt, and to other kitchen utensils on which mixtures of salt and vinegar have a corroding effect.
M. Deville claims for aluminium no more than an intermediate rank between the precious metals and the oxidizable metals, such as tin and copper; but he feels assured that, even in that subordinate office, it will be found a most useful minister to human wants. The French Minister of Public Instruction has recognized the importance of the discovery, by recommending the promotion of the Messrs. Wiihler and Deville to be officers of the Legion of Honor; urging that the merit of the metallurgic chemist3 ought to be thus acknowledged, because, in his opinion, the moment had arrived when Science had already fulfilled her part, and it was the turn of manufacturing Art to begin. It is true that aluminium, in spite of its extreme profusion, and of the matters employed in its extraction, cannot yet compete in lowness of price with copper and tin, or practically even with silver. Long industrial practice alone will attain that object; but Science has nobly fulfilled her duty. She has discovered the metal, specified its properties, and organized the means of extracting it on a large scale. Scientific men have invented all, both apparatus and manipulations, and have made over to commercial manufactures the fruit of their industry with rare disinterestedness.
The latest news is, that aluminium is now made in quantities, in various Parisian laboratories, though not very cheaply. Wliat more ought we reasonably to expect from a chickling metal, that was only hatched the other day, and which has yet to attain to full growth and powers of flight?
A final word. If aluminium is hoping to replace either gold and silver, or copper and tin, or to take its own place without replacing any thing, it may do so in the arts and manufactures; but it never can in literature or popular speech, un
I less it be fitted with a new and better name.
| Aluminium, or, as some write it, Aluminum, is neither French nor English; but a fossilized part of Latin speech, about as suited to the mouths of the populace as an ichthyosaurus cutlet or a dinornis marrow-bone. It must adopt some short and vernacular title. There would be no harm in clay-tin, while we call iron-ware tin; loam-silver might plead quicksilver as a precedent; glebe-gold would be at least as historically true as mosaic gold. A skilful word-coiner might strike something good out of the Greek and Latin roots—argil, though a Saxon etymology, is far preferable. But something in the dictionary line must be attempted. Ishould like to know what will become of poor "Aluminium'' when it gets into the mouths of travelling tinkers or of Hebrew dealers in marine stores?
A BEAM HATH PASSED AWAY.
BT L. H. SIGOURNEY.
From a bright hearthstone of oar land,
A beam hath passed away, A smile, whose cheering influence seemed
Like morning to the day. A sacrificing spirit
With innate goodness fraught, That ever for another's weal
Employed its fervid thought.
That beam is gathered back again
To the Pure Fount of flame, That smile the Blessed Source bath found,
From whence its radiance came,— That spirit hath a genial clime;
And yet, methinks, 'twill bend Sometimes, amid familiar haunts,
Beside the mourning friend.
Yet better 'twere to pass away,
Ere evening shadows fell,
What here was loved so well;
When the last footsteps part,
Sweet memories for the heart.
TO A WAVE.
Of the mysterious deep,
Whose waters never sleep!
Thou who dost mingle with the depths
Of waters in the sea,
A wanderer new and free!
Answer me—where through ages gone
If chainless and unwearied still
Tell me the mysteries which thou
Hast in thy journey seen,
Thy sunless path has been!
Answer me—blue wave ! thou hast been
Where the lost jewel's rays alone
And of the many sleepers there
Upon that peopled floor,
What Earth ne'er knew before.
And a chiming tone was heard
Bearing an answer low—
Is enough for thee to know.
"And of the many mysteries
The treasures of its pearly depths
"But learn that He who governs all
Beneath the blessed sky,
7th mo. 1831.—N. E. Revitv,.
DESPISE NOT SIMPLE THINGS.
Despise not simple things;
The humblest flower that wakes In early spring to scent the air
Of woodland brakes, Should have thy love as well
As the blushing parlor rose, That never felt the perfect breath
Of Nature round it close.
Despise not simple things;
The poor demand thy love
Of splendor move.
Thou shouldst not e'er despise; For that may be a noble heart,
Which 'neath his tatters lies.
Despise not simple things;
An ant can speak of toil,
With its sweet smile;
That high thought to us brings; There's something noble and sublime ■ In the love of simple things.
CURIOU8 EFFECT OF THE SNOW STORM ON THE TELEGRAPH WIRES.
During the greatest intensity of the snow storm on Sunday night, the electrical effect on the wires of the magnetic telegraph, in the office at Chestnut street, near Third, was curious and striking. Thero was a continual snapping, crackling and flashing, like the noise when wood is burning briskly. At one place, on a covered wire, the stream of electricity suddenly appeared about the size of the flame from an ordinary gas burner, and continued to burn just like a gas light for more than five minutes. On examining the wire, it was found that half an inch of the covering was burned of that and the wire beneath it, with which it was in contact. Now, what caused this great development of electricity? Could it arise from the friction with the atmosphere of the snow flakes falling so thickly and over an extensive range of country, or that friction of the high winds which prevailed, or was the snow and tho wind themselves only the effect of a disturbance of the equilibrium of the magnetic fluid, which seems to pervade all substances upon the face of and within the globe, and which made these visible manifestations in its efforts to restore the balance and supply the deficiency of the magnetic element in this region? Whatever was the cause, the effect was striking enough to show that the subject of meteorology hitherto studied without much system and by isolated observers only, contains interest enough in it to science to induce a more thorough investigation, and a wider observation, with accurate instruments, than it has ever received.
A correspondent also calls our attention to similar electrical indications oberved elsewhere. He says his brother, who was on a visit at a friend's house, in the western part of Green street, observed on approaching the gas fixture and the register belonging to the heater, a spark of electricity was received, with a shock severe enough to be unpleasant. It was noticed that the same effect was produced by applying the knuckles to some persons in the house ; they appeared to be charged with electricity. He communicates the fact for the purpose of calling the attention of electricians to the subject.
CLOTHING AND COLD CATCHING.
Colds and coughs, catarrhs and croups, stiff muscles and neuralgic jaws, aching teeth and rheumatic twinges, with frequent inflammations and occasional fevers, are among the calamities usually looked for in " cold, frosty weather."— Indeed, the " dreary winter" season, as one-fourth of the year is most unjustly termed, is, to many minds, suggestive of frozen toes and sore noses, with a long catalogue of intermediate maladies, among which are influenzas, pneumoniasj jointracking rheums, and all bronchial difficulties.
And some doctors, as well as many people, are too apt to suppose that the prevention for all these ills and ailings is to be found wholly in the quantity of the clothing we surround ourselves with.
The Boston Medical Journal, in a late number, on the Hygiene of Dress, makes some judicious observations on the error of sudden and improper exposures, and advises thick shoes, heavy cloth, abundant furs, and plenty of garments, as the panacea in the matter of keeping the animal temperature above the cold-catching point.
But there is a physiological limit to dress as well as to every other hygienic agent or appliance. "Bundling up" is all very well and very necessary to a certain extent; yet excess of clothing is an evil, and is really one of the most frequent causes of a feeble, sensitive and morbidly susceptible skin, and consequent suffering from exposure to sudden or great alterations of temperature.
Of equal importance with the amount of our clothing are the quality of our blood and the state of its circulation. The skin is the great regulator of animal heat, and one of the principal organs of blood-purification. Hence, if we overelothe the body, we certainly lessen its power of self-protection, and, in the end, induce the very evil it is the object of clothing to prevent.
Instead of "piling on" all the clothing we can endure, a much better rule is to dress just as lightly as we can without actual discomfort.
The life principle within is our main protection against the elements without. And to have the best protection, under all circumstances of heat and cold, and of their ever-varying vicissitudes, we must keep the vitality in free and vigorous play.
The most prevalent error in dress is too little about the feet and too much about the neck and chest. Since heavy neckerchiefs have been in fashion, throatails and quinsys have multiplied correspondingly. We have known many persons entirely cured of a tendency to frequent attacks of quinsy by merely washing the neck each morning in cold water, and substituting a light ribbon around the shirt-collar for the repudiated heavy stock or thick cravat.
A morning bath or ablution with tepid, cool or cold water, according to the re-active energies of the superficial circulation, will so invigorate the whole surface as to enable us to dispense with much clothing otherwise necessary, while it wonderfully diminishes the liability to take cold, or to suffer serious consequences in any way from inclemency of the weather.
Another important consideration for those who are not willing to " freeze to death continually" in cold weather is the matter of bodily positions. We should never allow the assailing blast to take us at a disadvantage. Man was made to walk upright at all seasons of the year and in all states of wind and weather.
But the great majority of our overmuch "bundle up" people have a way of drawing their ponderous shawls and massive overcoats so tightly about the neck that, when walking, they do not more than half breathe. And in addition to this, instead of bravely facing and fairly conquering the fierce winds, by a rapid step and erect posture, and a broad expanded chest, they throw the head forward, crook over the trunk and draw in the shoulders, and thus, by impeding respiration and obstructing circulation, they prevent a due distribution of well-vitalized blood from performing its natural office of keeping up a permanent supply of animal heat.
Keep the feet warm, the head cool, the body evenly yet moderately clad, the skin well bathed, and accustom yourself to active out-door exercise, with "head erect, and face up-turned to heaven," and colds will never produce in you any very dangerous indispositions.—Life Illustrated.
EXPERIMENTS WITH THE COMPASS.
By advices from Melbourne, it appears that Dr. Scoreeby has accomplished his voyage, which, it will be remembered, was undertaken with a view to carry out a careful series of experiments on the compass in an iron ship. He sailed in the Royal Charter, an iron vessel, and now finds the views he announced last year at Liverpool confirmed in all essential particulars. Dr. Scoresby says that the only way to keep tho compass from being influenced by the magnetism of the vessel, is to elevate it above the reach of that influence, and that the compass was so influenced on board the Royal Charter without inconvenience. Should Dr. S.'s return voyage prove equally satisfactory, the principal cause of risk