« EdellinenJatka »
consequence. Some attempts have consequently been made to facilitate and increase the supply, by combining the acid with lime, in those countries where this valuable fruit is indigenous, that it might be imported into this country in a less bulky form, and in a state not liable to be injured by the voyage, or by keeping. An attempt of this kind Mr. P. informs us, was made in Sicily a few years ago by a person who went thither from England for the purpose of conducting the operation, and Mr. P. has had access to bis correspondence on the subject, with permission to avail himself of it for the public information. The undertaking, though apparently of very easy execution, seems to have been conducted with considerable difficulty; chiefly from the inconveniences which were met with in bringing the citrate into a perfectly dry state, and except this was accomplished, it was liable to heat, and was consequently not in a state fit for exportation. It was found necessary too, to send the carbonate of lime from England, and the operator met with unexpected <mbarrassments from the jealousy of the merchants, and the stupidity of the people, and their total inaptitude in all operations to which they had not been accustomed.
Mr. P. has given ample directions for the detection of any adulteration which may be practised on parcels of the liquid acid, and which those who consume it largely, will find extremely useful. Indeed, those who are interested in the preparation or employment of this acıd on a large seale, will find much valuable information in this essay, which will repay them for the trouble of a careful and attentive perusal. It contains also several useful tables for ascertaining the proportion of pure acid, which may be obtained from different parcels of fresh juice, from which those who employ it in large quantities, and who have not much knowledge of chemistry, may derive great assistance.
The essay on the fixed ulcalies, though less full and laboured than some of the others, contains a large proportion of useful information, communicated in a perspicuous manner. The different sources from which the alcalies are obtained, their employment in various manufactures, especially in the formation of glass and soap, the means of bringing them into a caustic state, the most direct methods of determining the proportion of alcali contained in the barilla of commerce, are stated in so clear and plain a manner, that a person not conversant with scientific chemistry, may readily avail himself of the information which the essay affords, and apply it to its particular object, or to his own individual pursuits. naturally laments, as every one must do, that our impolitic duties on salt, should, prevent us from availing ourselves of
the means which chemistry has unfolded for obtaining an ample supply of soda, by the decomposition of common salt, at a rate which would entirely supersede the importation of barilla; but it is lamentable to reflect how frequently capital and ingenuity are turned aside from their natural direction towards pursuits which would be equally beneficial to the public, and the individuals engaged in them, by the operation of injudicious taxation. Mr. P has not entered minutely into a consideration of the processes which have been adopted with more or less success, for preparing the alcalies by the decomposition of those neutral salts of which they form the base, though it is a subject of considerable importance, and one upon which, his acquaintance with the practical operations of chemistry we should expect, would have enabled him to offer some judicious remarks.
We have already trespassed so far on the time and attention of our readers, that we must bring our remarks to a close. Those who have occasion to consult or to study the work, will find in the other essays a pretty large proportion of pleasing or useful information. The essay on specific gravity contains very plain and ample directions for determining the specific gravity of bodies, whether solid or fluid ; and that on edge tools contains some judicious discussion on the best means of giving the requisite temper to different cutting instruments. Mr. P. recommends the employment of metallic baths as the most accurate means of giving the requisite degree of temperature to the instrument to be hardened ; and he has taken considerable pains to determine the melting point of different metallic mixtures of lead, zinc, and tin, that the artizan may be enabled to regulate the temperature of the bath in the most accurate manner to the precise object he has in view. Indeed we must do the Author the justice to say, that he has taken great pains to make his work really useful to those who are engaged in the different departments of useful industry on which he treats; and we believe he will be found to be with very few exceptions an intelligent and candid instructer. His style is easy, familiar, and free from affectation ; and though there is reason to wish that the work had been more compressed, and that all the really useful notes had been incorporated into the respective essays to which they belong, yet Mr. P. has provided against one of the inconveniences which they necessarily produce, by a very copious and accurate index. Towards the poetical portion of the notes, we are inclined to be more severe, and to enter our protest against them entirely. We think they are misplaced in works such as this. The Plates of Apparatus, of which there are several in each volume, are executed with peculiar neatness and fidelity. ,
Art. V. The Siege of Corinth, a Poem. Parisina, a Poem, Svo.
pp. 90. Price 5s. 6d. Murray, 1816. IF F Lord Byron can produce nothing better than Tales of
this description, we care not how many of these we get from him. But with regard to the public, who are apt to mistake the recurrence of obvious traits of style, and similarity of sentiment, for the sameness of impoverished genius, and to grow, in consequence, fastidious, and at length unjust, towards the productions of their favourite, we fear that his Lordship will gain little reputation by such publications. It is requisite that an Author should, on every fresh appearance, exceed himself, in order to keep pace with the expectations of the public. Still each successive poem will be inquired for with eagerness, and it may be a matter of indifference to his Lordship, what the many may think of their purchase.
We profess ourselves pleased to obtain productions like these from Lord Byron, provided he can do nothing better: and the repetition of similar publications, at uncertain intervals, would seem to betray in the Author a consciousness of not being able to achieve greater things. When, by a series of such performances as these, a writer has shewed us all he can do, we begin to be let into the secret of what he cunnot accomplisli, and this discovery must tend to lower the estinate of his genius, drawn from the promise of his first pro:luction. We do not scruple however to pronounce " the Siege of Co“rinth," one of the most successful of bis Lordship's efforts. The first ten stanzas are, indeed, tame, common-place, and wordy; the structure of many of the sentences is involved, and the rhymes are not infrequently absolutely Hudibrastic. The character of the wbole is feebleness, and we are led to conclude, either that these stanzas were supplied at the Printing office, or that Lord Byron purposely framed them of this unpretending description, in order to give more striking effect to the exquisite passage which they serve to produce.
• 'Tis midnight on the mountain's brown
And scarce their foam the pebbles shook,
Wakes, though but for a stranger's knell.' Stanza xi. The poem ought to commence with these lines : what precedes them may be gathered from the sequel. Alp, a renegade, the convert of revenge,' is leading on the Turkish host against Corinth ; a breach has been effected in the walls, and the morrow is fixed for taking the town by storm. The classic scenery of the tale adds considerably to the beauty and interest of the poem: the description of the snow-clad summit of Delphi, is particularly fine. The renegade, unable to sleep, is represented wandering on the beach, till he arrives within a carbine's reach of the leaguered city, and sees
•—the lean dogs beneath the wall
Hold o'er the dead their carnival.' The following lines describe, with horrible minuteness, the disgusting spectacle, which the Author assures us, he himself belield under the walls of the Seraglio at Constantinople. What follows is quite in the spirit of our Author ; it is exceedingly touching.
• Alp turn'd him from the sickening sight : Never had shaken his nerves in fight;
But he better could brook to behold the dying,
The scene between Alp and Francesca. is equal to any thing of the sort that we remember to bave read. We prefer giving as specimens, passages which will better admit of being detached from the story, but we are tempted to particularize the following lines in the description of the Venetian maid, as being eminently happy.
He looked on the face, and beheld its hue
Stirred by the breath of the wintry air.' p. 33.