Page images
PDF

#on caur la jalousie et l’humiliation ; yuand il ne voit point dans ses camarades des rivaux, ni dans ses maitres des juges/ La verite, la bonté, la confiance, l' affection entourent les enfants: c’est dans cette atmosphere qu'ils wivent et pour quelque temps du moins ils restent etramgers à toutes les passions haineuses, a tous lesprejugés orgueilleur du monde.” Whether it be more salutary to preserve the mind as long as possible in this happy state of innocence and tranquillity, or early to exercise it in those trials and 'combats to which it must be exposed at some time or other, may admit of doubt. -o- . S. To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. SIR, INVITE some of your readers to furnish through your Magazine— A catalogue of useful books for the serwants' hall of large families. And another for an hospital library. They might be productive of much good, by employing usefully those hours of leisure, which are often worse than wasted.

Birmingham. J N.

To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. 81 R, BEG leave, through the medium of your miscellany, to complain of what I think to be an abuse of tie solemnity of an oath. I mean the practice of those people who, being the proprietors of some patent inedicine, newspaper, or other article in great demand, are in the habit of appearing before the lord mayor, or some other magistrate, for the purpose of making affidavits as to the ingredients used in their nostrums, or the quality and sale of their goods, copies of which affidavits are usually prefixed to their hand bills or advertisements. Now, Sir, in my humble opinion, this is a practice which ought not to be allowed. An oath should not be administered except in cases of necessity, for the sake of justice, &c. For my part I should be more inclined to purchase goods of a man who gave one his simple word respecting their quality, than of him who should offer me his affidavit of the same thing, GULIELMUs. London, April 1, 1813.

MEMOIRS AND REMAINS OF EMIN ENT PERSONS.

account of the Life and LABOURs of the COUNT DE FOURCROY; abstracted from the Eulogy delivered by Cuvier in the Imperial Institute. A NToi NE FRANgois DE Fou RCROY, Count of the French Empire, Counsellor of State, Commander of the Legion of Honour, Member of the Imperial Institute, and of most scientific societies in Europe, Professor of Chemistry at the Museum of Natural History, Professor of the Faculty of Medicine at Paris, and Teacher in the Polytechnic School, was born at Paris on the 15th of June, 1755. His family had long resided in the capital, and several of his ancestors had distinguished themselves at the bar. His father exercised in Paris the trade ef an apothecary, in consequence of an office which he held in the house of the Duke of Orleans; but the Corporation of Apothecaries having obtained the general suppression of all such offices, he was :. to renounce his employment; and his son grew up in the midst of poverty roduced by this monopoly of the privileged bodies in Paris. IIe felt this situation the more keenly, because he possessed from nature an extreme sensibility

aftemper. When he lost his mother, at 1

the age of seven years, he attempted to throw himself into her grave; and the care of an elder sister alone preserved him, till he reached the age at which it was usual to be sent to the college. Here he met with a brutal moister, who conceived an aversion to him, and treated him with cruelty. The cousequence was a dislike to study, and he quitted the college at the age of fourteen, less informed than when he went to it. He now endeavoured to support himself as a writing-master. He had even some thoughts of going upon the stage; but the advice of Viq. d’Azyr, induced him

to commence the study of medicine. This great &natomist was an acquaintance of the elder Fourcroy. Struck with the appearance of his son, and the courage with which he struggled against fortune, he conceived an affection for him, and promised to direct his studies, and assist him during their progress. The study of medicine to a man in his situation, was by no ineans an easy task. He was obliged to lodge in a garret, so low in the roof that he could only stand upright in the centre of the room. Beside him lodged a water-carrier, with a family of twelve children. Fourcroy acted as physician to this numerous filmily;

.** *ily; and, as payment, was supplied with abundance of water. He contrived, however, to soport himself by giving lessons to other students, by facilitating the researches of wealthier writers, and by some translations which ke sold to a bookselier. For to:se lattor he was paid but half, but the garae books...}{er oiered, thirty years afterwards, to clake up the deficiency, when his author had become J)irector Genoal of Public 11,6truction.

Fourcroy studied with so much zeal and ardour, that he soon became acouainted with the entire science of mo(ticine. But this did not answer his purpose. It was necessary to get a Doctor's degree; and the expenses amounted to 2501. Sue, ling. An old physician, JOr. Diest, had left funds to the faculty to confer a gratuitous degree and license, every two years, o, the poor student who should best deserve them. Fourcroy was the most conspicuous of this description at that time in Paris; and he would therefore have reaped the benefit of this benevolent legacy, had it not been for the unlucky situation in which he was placed. A quarrel existed between the faculty charged with the education of medical men who granted degrees, and a society recently established by government for the improvement of the medical art. This dispute was carried to a great length, and had attracted the attention of the frivolous and idle inhabitants of Paris. Viq, d'Azyr was secretary to the society, and of course one of its most active champions, and was in consequence particularly obnoxious to the faculty of medicine, Fourcroy was golnckily the acknowledged protegé of this eminent anatomist, and this was sufficient to induce the faculty of medicine to refuse him the gratuitous degree. He would have been excluded in consequence from entering upon the career of medicine, had not the society, cnraged at this treatment, and influenced by violent party spirit, formed a subscription, and contributed the necessary expences,

It was not possible to refuse M. de Fourcroy the degree of Doctor, when he was enabled to pay for it; but above the simple degree of Dector, there was a higher one, that of Docteur Regent, which depending on the votes of the faculty, it was unanimously refused. This violent and unjust conduct of the faculty of medicine, made a deep impression in the mind of Fourcroy, and contributed not a little, by his subsequent influence, to the downfall of that powerful body.

Memoirs of the Count de Fourcroy.

[ocr errors]

Being thus entitled to practise in Paris, his success depended entirely upon the reputation which he could establish. For this purpose he devoted himself to the sciences connected with medicine, as the shortest and most certain road by which he could reach his object. His first writings showed no predilection for, any porticular branch of science. IHe wrote indifferently upon chemistry, anatomy, and on natural history. He publis!.cd an Ah, idocht of the History of insects, and a 12-scription of the Bursae \fucosa of the Tondons. This last piece gave him the greatest celebrity: for in 1735 he was admitted, in consequence, into the Academy of Sciences as an anatonist; but the reputation of Bucquet, which at that time was very high, gradually led him to direct his principal attention to chemistry, and he retained this predilection during the remainder of his life, becoming the first and most celebrated chemist of his age.

Bucquet was at that time professor of chemistry in the medical school of Paris, and was greatly celebrated and followed, on account of his eloquence. Foureroy became in the first place his pupil, and soon after his particular friend. One day, when an unforeseen illness prevented him from lecturing as usual, he ontreated M. de Fourcroy to supply his place. He at first declined, and alleged his total ignorance of the method of addressing a popular audience. But, overcome by the persuasions of Bucquet, he consented; and in this first essay, spoke two hours without disorder or hesitation, and acquitted himself to the satisfaction of his whole audience. Bucquet soon after substituted him in his place, and it was in his laboratory and in his classrocm, that Fourcroy first made himself acquainted with chemistry. He was enabled at the death of Bucquet, in consequence of an advantageous marriage, to purchase the apparatus and cabinet of his master; and although the faculty of medicine would not allow him to succeed to the chair of Bucquet, they could not prevcut him from succeeding to his reputation.

There was a college established in the King's garden, which was at that time under the superintendance of Buffon, and Macquer was the professor of chemistry in this institution. On the death of this chemist, in 1784, Lavoisier stood candidate for the chair. But Buffon receiving more than a hundred letters in favour of Fourcroy, and the voice of the public was so loud in his favour, that he

Węż

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[blocks in formation]

continued always upon the increase: so

£reat also were the crowds that locked to hear him, that it becate twice neces* to enlarge the lecture-room.” . He was elected a member of the National Convention in the autumn of 1792. That assembly, and France herself, were in a state of terror, produced by a vile conspiracy of despots to subjugate the country and overturn the government; and so sanguinary was the executive committee, that it was almost as dangerous for the members of the Convention to remain silent, as to take any active art in the business of that assembly. ourcroy, notwithstanding his reputation for eloquence, and the love of fame, which appears to have been his prevail. ing passion, had prudence enough not to open his mouth in the Convention till after the death of Robespierre. This is the more to be wondered at, as it is well known that he took a waría part in saYour of the revolution, and that he was a determined enemy to the order of things from which he had suffered so severely st his entrance into life. He had influence enough to save the life of some men of merit, till at last his own life was threatened, and his influence of course utterly annihilated. After the 9th Thermidor, 1794, when the nation was wearied with destruction, and when efforts were making to restore those institutions of science and education, which, during the reaction of the revolution, had been overturned and destroyed, Fourcroy was particularly active in this period of renovation, and it is to him chiefly that the entire system of sehools established in France for the education of youth is to be ascribed. The Convention had destroyed all the colleges, universities, and academies throughout France. Three new schools

* His style was precisely similar to that of his books, flowing and harmonious, but very diffuse, and destitute of precision; and his manner was that of a petit maitre, mixed with a good deal of pomposity, and an affectation of profundity.

were therefore founded for educating medical men, nobly endowed, and coinnected with the University of Paris, The term Schools of Medicine was however proscribed as reviving the detested ancient regimen, and they were distinguished by the appellation of Schools of Health. The Polytechnic school was next instituted, as a kind of preparation for the military profession, where young men could be instructed in mathematics and natural philosophy, to qualify theira for entering the schools of the artillery, the engineers, and of navigation. The central schools was another institution for which France is indebted to the efforts of Fourcroy. The idea was to establisia a kind of university in every department, for which the young men were to be prepared by means of a sufficient number of inferior schools scattered through the department. But these inferior schools have never been generally established or endowed; and even the central schools themselves have never been entirely supplied with proper masters. Indeed it would have been impossible to have furnished such a number of masters at once. On that account an institution was established at Paris, under the name of Normal School, for the express purpose of educating a sufficient number of masters to supply the different central schoo!3. Fourcroy lived however to see the whole in as good a train of establishinept as the extent of the undertaking, and the wars in which France has been ol.liged to defend her existence, would addit. As inctober of the Convention, or of the Cotocil of Arcients, Fourcroy took an active part in all those institutions. He was also concerned in the establishment of the Institute, and of the Museum d' listoire Naturelle. This last was endowed by the imperial government with the utmost iiherality, and Fourcroy was one of the first professors; as he also was in the School of Medicine, and in the Polytechnic School. He was equaliy concerned in the restoratiou of the University of Paris, which constitutes a splendid part of Bonaparte's reign, and which will be long remembered with applause. The violent exertions which M. de Fourcroy made in the numerous situations which he filled, and the prodigious activity which he displayed, gradually undermined his constitution. He was himself sensible of his approaching death, and announced it to his friends as an event which would speedily take place. On the 16th of December, ". ai sco

40

after signing some dispatches, he suddenly cried out, Je suis mort, and dropt lifeless on the ground. He was twice married: first to Mademoiselle Bettinger, by whom he had two children; a son, an officer in the artillery, who inherits his title; and a daughter, Madame Foucaud. He was married a second time to Madame Bellville, the widow of Vailly, by whom he had no family. The character of M. de Fourcroy was exactly fitted to the country in which he lived, and the revolutionary government in which be finished his career. His occupations were too numerous, and his elocution too ready, to allow him either to make profound discoveries, or comose treatises of great depth or originality. he changes which took place in the science of chemistry were brought about by others, who were placed in a different situation, and endowed with different talents; but no man contributed so much as Fourcroy to the popularity of the Lavoisierian opinions, and the rapidity with which they were propagated through France, and most countries in Europe. His eloquence drew crowds to hear him, and he persuaded his audience to embrace his opinions. He possessed an uncommon facility in writing, for his literary labours are exceedingly numerous. Besides his Essays, he published five editions of his System of Chemistry, each gradually increasing in size and value; the first edition being in two volumes, and the fifth in ten. The last edition, written in sixteen months, contains a vast quantity of waluable matter, and contributed considerably to the general diffusion of chemical knowledge. Perhaps the best of all Fourcroy's productions is his Philosophy of Chemistry, which is remarkable for its conciseness, its perspicuity, and the neatness of its arrangement. Besides these works, and the periodical work called Le Medicin Eclaire, of which he was the editor, there are above one hund.ed and sixty papers on chemical subjects, with his name attached to them as the author, in the Memoirs of the Academy, of the Institute, in the Annales de Chimie, or the Annales de Museum d’Histoire Naturelle, of which last work he was the projector. The following is a summary of his chief labours and discoveries, according to Dr. Thomson. 1. He repeated the curious experi

[merged small][ocr errors]

ments of Berthollet upon the evolution of azotic gas from animal substances. 2. He ascertained that ammonia is decomposed by the oxides of manganese, mercury, and iron; and that these oxides, at the same time, lose either the whole or a portion of their oxygen. 3. He ascertained that the most common constituent of biliary calculi, is a substance very similar in its properties to spermaceti. 4. He found that vegetable juices frequently contain a substance which coagulates when the juice is exposed to a gentle heat. 5. He ascertained the properties of several triple salts, which magnesia, and ammonia, and an acid, are capable of forming. 6. He published a very elaborate analysis of the quinquina, a species of bark from St. Domingo, which was considered at the time as a model for vegetable analysis. 7. His experiments on the brain coatain several valuable facts, and his opinion approaches to accuracy. 8. The analysis of tears, and the mucus of the nose, by Fourcroy and Vauquelin, is valuable. 9. The analysis of urine, and of urimary calculi, by the same gentlemen, has been much admired. 10. A method of obtaining barytes in a state of purity, by exposing the nitrate of barytes to a red heat in a porcelain crucible. 11. He and Vauquelin ascertained by experiment that the three liquids, known by the names of pyromucous, pyrolignous, and pyrotartarous acids, are vinegar holding in solution a portion of empyreumatic oil. 12. They ascertained the presence of phosphate of magnesia in the bones of all animals. 13. They discovered a quantity of uncombined phosphorus in the melts of fishes. They showed, likewise, an analogy between the pollen of the autherae of some flowers, and the seminal fluid of animals. 14. They detected in the common onion the presence of a considerable quantity of saccharine matter, and showed by experiment that this saccharine matter was converted into manna by a spontaneous change. 15. They ascertained the properties of animal mucus, ans showed that it differed from all other animal substances.

onigiNAR

ORIGINAL or NEGLECTED DOCUMENTS, - ILLUSTRATIVE of ENGLISH HISTORY: From Letters, State Papers, Scarce Tracts, &c. &c. found in Public or Private

Libraries at Home or Abroad.

To be continued Occasionally.

[ocr errors]

LAN SD OWN IAN A.

[It is well known that the late William, Marquis of Lansdowne, employed part of his active life in collecting AISS. and Papers illustrative of English History, and that after his death they were brought to the hammer, and the greater part of them purchased by the Trustees of #he British Museum, at a cost of upwards of 6000l. The account of them, as prepared for the Record Commission by Mr. Ellis, we have printed at page 25 of this Number; but we here present our readers with solice specimens of their contents, and propose to repeat a similar article two or three times per annum, till we have evtract, d the essence of the 1000 volumes of which they consist.]

I. The Earl of Leicester to the Earl of Susser; upon his Invitation of the Queen in her Progress to his House at Nezohal, in the Year 1577; the strange Infection at Oxford Assizes. Vol. 25. My good Lord, HAVE shewed your letter to her Majesty, who did take your great care to have her welcome to your house in most kind and gracious part, thanking your lordship many times; albeit she saith very earnestly, that she will by no means coine this time to Newhal; saying it were no reason, and less good manners, having so short warning, this year to trouble you; and was very loth to have come into these parts at all, but to fly the further from these infected places; and charged me so to let your lordship know, that by no means she would have you prepare for her this time; nevertheless, my lord, for mine own opinion, I believe she will hunt, and visit your house, coming so near. Herein you may use your matter accordingly, since she would have you not to look for her. And now, my lord, we all do what we can to persuade from any progress at all, onely to remain at Winsor and thereabouts. But it much disliketh her not to go somewhere to have change of air. So what will fal out yet I know not, but must like to go forward, since she sancieth it so greatly herself. The infection in Orford and the county falleth out to be onely at the assizes gotten, for none Month RX MAG, No. 251,

others of the town or country are touched but those present there at the gaol deivery, and of al that fel sick few recovered. Nor any that keepeth them, or cometh to them take any infection at all. And so God help your lordship, as I wish mysels. In hast this xxx July, Your lordship's assured, it. LI.Y. ESTER. I I. Device on the Banner of Henry VII, after the Battle of Bosworth. King Henry VII. alter the battle of Bosworth-field, with great pomp and triumph rode through the cotty of Łondon to the cathedral church of St. Paul, where he offered his three standards; in the one was the image of St. George; in the second was a red fry (irogoji, done uppoil white and green sarsnet; the third was 3. yellow tarteran, in which was printed a dun cow: and after Prayels Te Deum was sung, and he departed to the bishop's pi,j]ace, and there sojourned a season. I I I, Minute of a Signet of Charles the First, for the Title of his Son Henry Duke of {} /oi/cester. Right-trusty and well-beloved cozen and counselior, we grete you well. Whereas we are purposed (by God's permission) hereafter to create our dear and entirely beloved sonne Henry, (lately borne at our mannor of Oatlands) }}t:ke of Glouceste... we have to refore thought good to decla e our royal, wiil and pleasure, that in the meane time he shall uppoin all occasions be called and styled }}uke of Gloucester; and we will and require you to command our oùicers of armcs to take notice thereof, and that they forthwith register in their office these our royall commands, to the end that all our lovinge subjects, of what degree soever, may the better be informed and take knowledge thereof, our royali pleasure being given and deciared concerning the title of our deare and entirely beloved sonne James IXuke of Yorke. And for so doing this shall be your sui:icient warrant and discharge. Given under our signete at London. To our right trusty and right well-beloved cozen and counsellor,Thomas, Earle of Arundell and Surry, Earle-Marshall of England. ." G Anecdotes

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »