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48. WATER PROVED TO BE COMPRESSIBLE. Mr. Jacob Perkins relates (see the Royal Inst. Journal, vol. x., p. 399), that he has contrived an instrument, which he calls a Piezometer; and that by filling this with water, and placing it in an hydraulic pressure of 326 atmospheres, he had succeeded in increasing its density 35 per cent.--Parkes's Chemical Catechism, p. 90, note b. 11th ed.
I am surprised that Mr. Parkes omitted to mention the successful experiments made between the years 1777, and 1779, by a German philosopher, of the name of Abich, who not only satisfactorily proved the compressibility of water and other fluids, but also ascertained the quantity of the compression. The particulars of M. Abich's various experiments, are to be found in “Traité de l'Elasticité de l'Eau,” &c. by Dr. Ziminerman, published at Amsterdam, in 1782. M. Abich constructed a brass cylinder of one inch and a quarter in thickness; and which was found to resist, effectually, the immense power employed in compressing the several fluids with which it was successively filled. The different degrees of compression were produced by means either of a screw, or of a long lever, to which different weights were successively appcnded; and the quantity of the compression was ascertained by the contraction of water in bulk, as indicated by the descent of the piston ; means having been taken to shew in the most satisfactory manner, that no change of dimensions in the cylinder had taken place. From one of the most successful of these experiments, it appears, that 26% cubic inches of water visibly lost by pressure no less than 1 cubic inch and $, a diminution in the bulk of the whole volume nearly equal to the 1-24th part.
49. LAWYERS IN CHINA. No attornies are authorized by law in China; those self-constituted, are thus defined and described by a Chinese classic writer : “ Villainous and perverse vagabonds, who are fond of making a stir, and who, either by fraudulent and crafiy schemes, excite discord; or by disorderly and illegal proceedings, intimidate and impose upon people !"
50. Comets. According to Bodin, comets are spirits, which have lived on the earth innumerable ages, and being at last arrived at the con: fines of death, are recalled to the firmament like shining stars. See bis Theatro Natura, lib. ii. p. 221.
The head of the coinet of 1811, according to some curious and elaborate calculations of M. Schröter, measured in diameter 2,052,000 geographical miles; and the tail in length, he says, was 131,852,000 geographical miles. See Annals of Philosophy, June, 1818, p. 465.
51. ADULTERY. “ In Gombroon, if a woman shall be discovered to have committed adultery, the busband of that woman is obliged to pay a fine to the governor, if able; if not, the wife is taken from him by the officers of justice, and sent to a compion stew; there to remain, till she has, by a repetition of the same offence, earned as much money as will discharge the fine; after this, she is returned to her husband again, who may keep her or not, as he thinks proper." Ives's Voyage from England to India, &c. p. 219.
OLD ENGLISH DRAMATISTS.
THE ENGLISH TRAVELLER. This very excellent play is the production of Thomas Heywood, who, according to his own account, given in the preface of it, had “ an entire band, or, at least, a main finger,” in no fewer than two hundred and twenty plays. He was himself a player" a hireling," as those were termed who received a salary for their performance, and not a share of the profits. Little is known of his history, and but few of his plays have come down to us; but those we have bear ample testimony to the superiority of his genius, and prove him to have been a worthy compeer of his better known contemporaryShakspeare.
The English Traveller was published in the year 1633, and is, , perhaps, one of the author's best productions. The story of it turns chiefly upon the fortunes of young Geraldine, who, in early life, was upon terms of close intimacy with a young lady, to whom “it was once voic'd” that he was to be married. During the absence of young Geraldine upon his travels, this lady consents to become the wife of a very worthy old gentleman, a friend of young Geraldine, named Wincott. After some years' absence, the traveller is most kindly welcomed upon his return, and by no one more so than by old Wincott, who being childless himself, treats Geraldine as his son, is delighted with his account of foreign countries, and invites him to
" Think this your home, free as your father's house,
And to command it as the master on't." Thus caressed and intreated, Geraldine becomes a constant inmate of Wincott's house, and the play opens with his introducing there his friend Dalavall, a gentleman and a scholar. The following scene, which occurs early in the play, shows what chaste and beautiful simplicity adorns Heywood's dramas. Geraldine remarks to Wincott's wife,“ We now are left alone :” she answers,
Why say we be, who should be jealous of us?
Y. GER. I must confess
Wire. Most true-it is withal an argument
Y. GER. A villain were he to deceive such trust, Or (were there one) a much worse character.
Wife. And she no less, whom either beauty, youth,
Y. GER. You deserve
Wife. I know your meaning,
Y. GER. In those times,
Wife. Troth they had,
Y. Ger. However, let us love still, I intreat;
WIFE. If they should not,
Y. GER. Will you resolve me one thing?
Wire. As to one,
Y. Ger. That's the thing I crave,
Wire. Presume on that already ; but perhaps
Y. GER. Only thus far ;
WIFE. You ask the thing I was about to beg;
Y. GER. Vow to that.
Y. GER. 'Tis enough; that word
WIFE. Nay, Master Geraldine,
And as you covet to be sure of me,
Y. GER. Make ye doubt ?
WIFE. No doubt, but love's still jealous, and in that
Y. Ger. You charge me deeply, lady.
WIFE. Till that day come, you shall reserve yourself
Y. Ger. By all that you have said, I swear,
WIFE. You're now my brother ;
In Wincott's house there resides Prudentilla, a sister of his wife; and Dalavall, under pretence of an affection to this young lady, but, in truth, to aid a passion he conceives for Mrs. Wincott, contrives to instate himself as one of the family. The presence of young Geraldine is of course a great obstacle in the way of his unhallowed attachment, and he therefore contrives to insinuate into the mind of old Geraldine, that his son's visits to Wincott's house were in furtherance of an illicit connection already subsisting between young Geraldine and Mrs. Wincott. The scene between Dalavall and old Geraldine is most admirable, and may be fairly put in competition with the best managed scenes of duplicity in our language. Dalavall thus commences:
OLD GER. Thank my stars,
DAL. Yet must I hold him happy above others,
OLD GER. How mean you that?
DAL. Yes, sir, or a friend,
OLD GER. Mistress! Friend!
DAL. And, indeed,
OLD GER. You have, sir,
DAL. For my part,
DAL. True, sir, at best---but what when scandalous tongues
OLD GER. Howsoever, I wish them so.
DAL. Some course might be devis'd
OLD GER. I much thank you,
Dal. 'Tis my love,
OLD GER. You have done
The father, thus awakened, as he imagines, takes the first opportunity of charging his son with his breach of old Wincott's hospitality. The son justifies himself warmly; we have not room for the whole scene, which is very good, but the following is an extract from young Geraldine's protestation of innocence.