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Flash sincerity of speech,
Sing who will of Orpheän lyre,
CLXXVI. — PHOTOGʻRAPHY, OR LIGHT-DRAWING. 1. The sunlight acts with a decomposing power, especially on the combinations of gold and silver with different substances; these metals may be separated, by means of light, in a metallio form, or in a condition of imperfect oxydation. Iodine is a substance obtained from the ashes of several sea-plants. It is mixed, besides, in minute quantities, with the water of various springs, This substance, insoluble in water, soluble in spirits of wine, of an almost metallic brightness, changing by heat into a violetblue colored gas, enters, like Chlo'rine and Bro'mine (its fellow inhabitants of the sea and of sea-plants), into combinations with silver, from which this metal is immediately separated by the influence of light. Upon the facility with which iodide of silver is decomposed rests the discovery made in the year 1839, by Niepciel and Daguerre.FI
2. A copper plate is covered (plated) with silver, and carefully polished, in order to obtain as pure and smooth a surface as possible. It is then placed in the dark in a vessel, at the bottom of which is put iodine, which, by being heated from below, ix converted into vapor, and in this form combines with the silver on the surface of the plate, which then becomes of a light-yellow color. As soon as this combination is completed, the metal plate, with its fine covering of iodide of silver, is immediately taken out and placed in a cam'era kl obscu'ra, in which the image of the object, illuminated by the sun, is formed by a lens in diminished proportions upon the metal plate, as upon any other surface placed in the focus. In a few moments the light, passing from the illuminated body into the camera obscura, and upou the iodide of silver, acts upon this composition; the silver i. separated from the iodine.
3. But, still, when the plate is drawn quickly out (before the weaker light of the surrounding air has exerted its decomposing, influence), not a trace of a picture is discernible on its surface; but it becomes visible when the plate is taken from the camera
obscura, and placed for some moments in a dark box, filled with the vapor rising from me roury heated to one hundred and forty. nine or one hundred and fifty-eight degrees, which, in this form, unites with the silver which is disengaged from the iodine by the effect of the light. There now remains nothing to be done but to get rid of the thin film, consisting of iodide of silver undecomposed, in order to prevent the further action of light upon the plate.
4. This is done by dipping the plate in a solution of hyposulphite of soda in water, or in a boiling hot solution of common salt, the iodine thus quitting the silver and uniting with the soda. The plate is then washed in perfectly pure, distilled water. The quicksilver amalgam formed in the places where the silver has separated from the iodine is unaffected by the weak hypo-sulphite of soda solution, or the boiling salt water. This amalgam stands now, raised upon the bright silver plate, forming the lights of the picture; and the silver, cleansed wholly from the iodine, reflects light so perfectly as to appear dark, thus forming the shades, and the picture is done.
5. This method, first employed and thus described by the inventor of Photography, may be varied in different ways, by using, instead of iodine in a solid form, a solution of the same, diluted with water, in spirits of wine ; to get rid of the iodide of silver covering, a cold solution of common salt suffices, if the plate, which is dipped into the solution, be touched by a small rod of zinc, and the chemical action be accelerated by galvan'ic influence. The sensibility of the silver solution to the influence of light may be still further increased by the use of a combination of iodine and chlorine, instead of pure iodine; or by adding a portion of bromine to the solution; or by holding the plate, when the formation of the iodide of silver film is completed, for some moments over a weak solution of chlorine, by which its yellowish color becomes red. By means of these improvements has it become possible to seize the swiftly-flitting spectacle of the visible world, and fix it as a picture.
6. It is indeed marvellous what can be done by the invention of the Daguerreotype, this simple combination of a camera obscura and a metal plate covered with a tincture of iodide of silver. The traveller, whose way lies through a country never represented by hunan hand, while he rests in the shade of a rock or tree, has only to let the image of the landscape, illuminated by the sun, fall upon his Daguerreotype plate in a camera obscura, or he may direct his apparatus to a master-piece of ancient archi. tecture, and he has a copy of the landscape or the edifice, with the fidelity of which, to the minutest particular, the art of man
can enter into no rivalry. To obtain copies of the inscriptions scarcely legible, and as yet undeciphered, which are found on the sites of ancient ruins, formerly required hours and days of learned labor; they may now be prepared at once by the method of Daguerre.
CLXXVII. -IHE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. 1. On the second of July, 1776, the resolution of Independence was adopted by the old Congress; and, on the ever-memorable Fourth of July of that year, the Declaration reported by the Committee, with some slight alterations, was agreed to and promulgated. It is now a nation's creed. Let it not be supposed that the measure was carried without opposition. Assaults it did encounter, resistance it did suffer; not from the ene. mies only of our country, but from her most sincere friends. The timid were alarmed. The minds of men of ordinary constancy were possessed with doubts and hesitation at this final, this irretrievable step. Heroic courage and patriotism were what the occasion demanded, and what — let us be thankful for it! — the occasion found.
2. It was, indeed, a fearful question. At the last moment, when it was about to be put, a celebrated member of the Congress, a gentleman of undoubted patriotism, rose and spoke against the proposed measure. He stated the consequences of it in alarming colors. Silence and doubt ensued. It was then that John Adams, the “pillar of its support,” as Mr. Jefferson has styled him, rose in reply. His fervid eloquence silenced every doubt. The question was settled, and the vote of the States was unanimous. In what language he made this last and powerful appeal, we may judge from the triumphant burst of patriotic exultation and pious emotion with which he wrote to a friend on the following day.
3. “Yesterday the greatest question was decided that was ever debated in America ; and greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided by men. A resolution was passed, without one dissenting colony, that these United States are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.' The day is passed. The Fourth of July, 1776, will be a memorable epoch 1 in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It sught to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God.
4. “It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows, games,
sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever. You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cosi to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States; yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means; and that posterity will triumph, although you and I may rue, — which, I hope, we shall not.”
CLXXVIII. —THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS AMONG
THEMSELVES. 1. Hoping to reach the camp of the rangers before nightfall, we pushed on until twilight, when we were obliged to halt on the borders of a ravine. The rangers bivouackedel under trees, at the bottom of the dell, while we pitched our tent on a rocky knöll near a running stream. The night came on dark and overcast, with flying clouds, and much appearance of rain. The fires of the rangers burnt brightly in the dell, and threw strong masses of light upon the robber-looking groups that were cooking, eating, and drinking, around them.
2. To ld to the wildness of the scene, several Osage Indians, visitors from the village we had passed, were mingled among the men. Three of them came and seated themselves by our fire. They watched everything that was going on round them, in silence, and looked like figures of monumental bronze. We gave them food, and, what they most relished, coffee; for the Indians partake in the universal fondness for this beverage, which pervades the West. When they had made their supper, they stretched themselves, side by side, before the fire, and began a low nasal chant, drumming with their hands upon their breasts by way of accompaniment.
3. Their chant seemed to consist of regular staves, every one terminating, not in a melodious cadence, but in the abrupt interjection, huh! uttered almost like a hiccup. The chant related to ourselves, our appearance, our treatment of them, and all that they knew of our plans. This mode of improvisingel is common throughout the savage tribes; and in this way, with a few simple inflections of the voice, they chant all their exploits in war and hunting, and occasionally indulge in a vein of comio humor and dry sătire, to which the Indians appear to me much more prone than is generally imagined.
4. In fact, the Indians that I have had an opportunity of Beeing in real life are quite different from those described in poetry. They are by no means the stoicgel that they are represented; taciturn, unbending, without a tear or a smile. Taci. turn they are, it is true, when in company with white men, whose good will they distrust, and whose language they do not understand; but the white man is equally taciturn under like circumstances. When the Indians are among themselves, however, there cannot be greater gossips. Half their time is taken up in talking over their adventures in war and hunting, and in telling whimsical stories.
5. They are great mimics and buffoons, also, and entertain themselves excessively at the expense of the whites with whom they have associated, and who have supposed them impressed with profound respect for their grandeur and dignity. They are curious observers, noting everything in silence, but with a keen and watchful eye; occasionally exchanging a glance or a grunt with each other, when anything particularly strikes them, but reserving all comments until they are alone. Then it is that they give full scope to criticism, satire, mimicry, and mirth.
6. In the course of my journey along the frontier, I have had repeated opportunities of noticing their excitability and boisterous merriment at their games; and have occasionally noticed a group of Osages sitting round a fire until a late hour of the night, engaged in the most animated conversation, and at times making the woods resound with peals of laughter. As to tears, they have them in abundance, both real and affected ; at times they make a merit of them. No one weeps more bitterly or profusely at the death of a relative or friend; and they have stated times when they repair to howl and lament at their graves. As far as I can judge, the Indian of poetical fiction is like the shepherd of pastoral romance, a mere personification of imaginary attributes.
CLXXIX. — DRAMATIC EXTRACTS. 1. EFFECT OF ORATORY ON A MULTITUDE. – Rev. George Croly.
His words seemed oracles