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him: "Yes, madam," answered Munnich, firmly; "could I do less for the prince who delivered me from captivity? But it is now my duty to fight for your majesty, and this I shall fulfil with the same zeal." Catharine had sufficient generosity not to be offended at the old warriour's noble sincerity. She even suffered him to appear at court in mourning for his murdered master; and she constantly availed herself, for the good of her empire, of Munnich's transcendant faculties, which remained unimpaired to his death. This event took place October 16th, 1767, at the age of eighty-four years, five months, and six days.
Not having the German original before us, we are unable to ascertain the degree of credit to which the anonymous French translator is entitled; but we may recommend this volume as interesting, both by the subject itself, and by the manner in which it is treated.
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA.
A philosophical Inquiry on the Cause, with Directions to cure, the Dry Rot in Buildings. By James Randall, Architect. pp. 66. Price 3s. London.
EVERY profession has a somewhat connected with it, which is a source of mortification to those engaged in it, and stands as a boundary to their science and skill. The investigating mind is not satisfied with superficial appearances, but desires to comprehend the whole of what it examines, if possible, both cause and effect. Sometimes it traces effects up to their cause; sometimes it conjectures the cause, and establishes conjectures by experiments; yet it often finds itself baffled by the constancy with which the subject of investigation maintains its properties and eludes detection. Such has been the character of the Dry Rot. Professional men have been vexed with it, times out of number; and those who thought themselves nearest to a cure for it, have been foiled when at their utmost skill. Mr. Randall, nevertheless, steps boldly forth, and explains the cause of this dis ease. He also proposes an infallible remedy: and if his remedy justifies his prediction of its powers, we freely forgive him for all the pains it has taken us to endeavour to understand some parts of his pamphlet; the philosophy of which appears to us to labour for utterance through a multiplicity of words. He observes:
The rot is known to builders by the prodigious quantity of fungus formed on every part of the decaying wood. Its appearance often varies, depending wholly on the situation where it is engendered. That which is most commonly found is fleshy to the touch, adheres firmly to the wood, walls, and every contiguous substance, and branches out into, apparently, strong fibrous roots. It occasions a gradual decom> position of the wood, beginning at the surface, and, finally, proceeding through the whole mass. If any portion, however, remains exposed to the atmosphere, the destroying principle of the fungus is arrested. Thus, floors often appear perfect to the eye, when nothing is left undestroyed but the part immediately in view. Painted wood work is wholly decomposed; the paint preventing a spontaneous oxydation of its surface.
That this is a subject of importance to builders, and to tenants also, appears from the following instances of it.
I saw it in a house at Whitehall, built by Sir J. Vanbrugh. The house is, I think, only two stories high. The plant had ascended to the upper story, committing devastation on the wainscot all the way. It will destroy half-inch deal in a year, says Mr. Johnson.
It is a well known fact, that the great dome of the bank of England, as originally built by the late Sir Robert Taylor, was destroyed by this rot, while no other part suffered. The timber framing of this dome was of good sound oak.
This decomposition is, in some instances, effected so rapidly, that I have seen new wood in a few weeks utterly destroyed, leaving nothing but dust as a proof of its existence.
Mr. R. considers as the cause of this evil, a plant, the seeds of which "float in the air, and constantly pervade all matter, vegetating wherever they find a pabulum, and an elevation of temperature."
As this phenomenon appears to to be the result of temperature and liberated gases, it will be necessary to examine the changes that they undergo in places affected with fungus rot. These changes being considerable, and owing to a volatilization of some of the vegetable principles, or of their parts, and these being very pernicious, and assuming various aspects, arising either from an absorption of part of the oxygen, or a combustion of the hydrogen, or probably from the formation of a certain quantity of carbonick gas, while these processes are going on, a part of the hydrogen may escape, carrying with it a small quantity of carbon, which being divided into minute particles by the aëriform solution, burns either at the same time or immediately afterwards. Thus the air, at the last term of its alteration, may be entirely deprived of its oxygen, contain also, a large portion of water, the greater part of which, not being preserved in a dissolved state, is precipitated, and becomes charged with a portion of vegetable matter in a state of vapour. Hence the formation of fungus, which this vapour impregnates in greater or less abundance, according to the quantity of seed that is present.
This fatal destroyer proceeding only from one cause, it may be removed by means of an artificial preparation. And, as it should act not only on the sap, but the wood also, it appeared to me, that the most effectual remedy would be oxydation. With this view, I oxydated several pieces of wood, both with nitrick acid and fire, and placed them in the most favourable situation among this pile. Portions of the same plank, and of similar dimensions, were placed constantly near them. During the first twenty days, no particular change was visible in either of the pieces. At the expiration of this period, on removing one of the unoxidated portions, I discovered particles of mould forming between the lamella of the wood, but not the least alteration was perceptible in the others, although surrounded by wood covered with and producing fungus. In sixty days, the pieces, and all that were near them, excepting the four previously oxidated, were entirely decomposed, exhibiting nearly the same appearances as have before been detailed.
From these facts, it is obvious, that oxydation is a certain remedy for the Dry Rot.
Mr. R. infers, that the whole superficies of any piece of wood being oxydated, whether by burning or by acids, no plant of any kind will grow on it; consequently, it may bid defiance to the dry rot fungus, as to all other. The practical remarks of practical men are always well entitled to attention; and we greatly prefer the experimental rescarches of this gentleman, to his theoretical reasonings.
FROM THE LITERARY PANORAMA.
The Shepherd's Guide, being a Practical Treatise on the Diseases of Sheep, their
MR. HOGG'S talents as a poet, together with a sketch of his history, have been submitted by us to our readers already; but the present work shows, that in paying his addresses to the muses, he did not forsake the immediate line of his duty and profession. Part of this volume is original, expressed in a simple style, and evidently the result of observation. Part of it is collected from good authorities. By the addition of these Mr. H. has made a volume; whereas his own materials would barely have composed a pamphlet.
As we are favourable to original and practical remarks, we do not hesitate to wish, that some of those before us were extensively known. They
are, indeed, derived from the North, and are calculated for Scotland; but they might be of service elsewhere; and, on a subject so important as the sheep, we need not fear a superfluity of knowledge-but then, let that knowledge be real. We insert the following as a specimen of the author's
Of the Hydrocephalus; or Water in the Head; alias Sturdy.
This is the next disease which attacks them, and is commonly known by the latter denomination. A sheep affected by it becomes stupid; its eyes stare, and fix upon some different object from that which it is in fear of. It soon ceases from all intercourse with the rest of the flock, and is seen frequently turning round, or traversing a circle.
The water settles sometimes in one corner of the skull, sometimes in another; but whenever it begins, it continues to increase and gain upon the brain, until it is either extracted, or the animal so much wasted, that it dies as lean as wood, at which period the brain is commonly half wasted away, and the skull full of those noxious fluids. Somtimes it concentrates in the very middle of the brain, when it is very difficult to cure; and sometimes in the hinder parts, where it joins with the spinal marrow, when it is quite incurable. If this water is not extracted by some operation, the disease invariably terminates in the death of the animal.
In promoting the cure, the operator must feel for the part of the skull that is soft, and lay his thumb flat and firm upon that; then taking the wire in his right hand, push it up that nostril that points more directly for the place that is soft, where the disease is seated; and if he feel the point of the wire below his thumb, he may rest assured that the bag is perforated; and that if the brain do not inflame, the creature will grow better: but if he does not feel the point of the wire press against the soft part of the skull, on which the thumb of his left hand must be placed, it will be necessary to try the other nostril.
I have always observed that a sheep, on being wired, is sick, in proportion to the stiffness of gristle below the brain. If the wire is hard to go up, it is always very sick; but if it goes easily up, it puts it little off its ordinary. This I conceive to be occasioned by the wire taking a wrong vent, and perforating the most delicate and inflammable part of the brain. When one is wired, it is proper to take hold of it with both hands behind the ears, and shake its head loosely. This empties the blad der, and the water must find its way by the nose afterwards; for they will frequently grow quite better, though no water be seen to issue from the nostrils at that time. This makes them sicker for the present, but they are more apt to amend afterwards. If it were really necessary to extract the sack, or small bladder, which generally contains the water, the operation of trepanning would be, of all others, the most feasible; but if the water can be extracted, the sack is of little consequence, else so many could never be cured by wiring.
Another way is, to raise up, with a sharp knife, about the breadth of a sixpence, of the skin immediately over the part of the skull which is soft, then to raise about the half of that size of the soft skull, taking care not to separate them altogether, but let them keep hold of one side, folding them and keeping them back with the thumb, until the water is extracted; then fold them neatly down again, seal them, and cover all with a wax cloth, to defend them from the weather, &c.
FROM AIKIN'S ANNUAL REVIEW.
The Posthumous Works of Mrs. Chapone, containing her Correspondence with Mr. Richardson; a Series of Letters to Mrs. Elizabeth Carter; and some Fugitive Pieces, never before published. Together with an Account of her Life and Character, drawn up by her own Family. 2 vols. Foolscap. London.
A MODEST preface ushers in this work, apologizing for troubling the world with particulars of a life so little varied, so much spent in retirement, as was that of Mrs. Chapone. But for the appearance of certain false and spurious memoirs, in which unpardonable liberties were taken with her character, this view of it would never have been presented to the publick. That so unpleasant a circumstance should have occur❤
red, we regret; but we congratulate our readers on its consequence. It will surely be considered as a matter of general interest, especially to her own sex, to learn all that can be known, much or little, of so sensible a writer, and so respectable a woman. Mrs. Chapone was the daughter of T. Mulso, Esq. of Tavywell, in Northamptonshire. Born at a period in which female education was at a very low ebb, she does not appear to have enjoyed, in early youth, even its usual advantages. Her mother, partly from ill health, partly through an unworthy jealousy, neglected to give her daughter the instruction which it was otherwise much in her power to have afforded, and during her childish years, Miss Mulso's reading was chiefly confined to the romances then in vogue. Just as she arrived at womanhood, her mother died.
From this period (says the writer of her life) might be dated the commencement of the most important circumstances of Miss Mulso's life. At the same time that she took upon herself the management of her father's house, she also undertook the cultivation of her own understanding; and by dint of active exertion, and successful application, gained those mental improvements, that secured to her that subsequent distinguished and admired rank in the literary world, which she was universally acknowledged to support. Though chiefly self-taught, she was nearly mistress of the French and Italian languages, and even made some proficiency in the Latin tongue.
Her studies were useful as well as elegant. She not only read, but reflected. And so acute was her judgment, that no disguise of flowing diction, or ornamented style, could mislead it. At an age when, perhaps, few readers are capable of very deep discrimination, she would scrutinize and controvert every point in which her own opinions did not acquiesce. That she read the Holy Scriptures both with delight and benefit to herself, her excellent directions for the study of them, in her letters, is a sufficient testimony.
She had a turn for both poetry and philosophy; but whether it were, that from the sanguineness of her temper, she loved to look on the bright side of every object, and consequently shrank with dissatisfaction from the unpleasing picture of human nature that truth exhibited, or from some other unknown cause, certain it is, she never, till towards the latter part of her life, could bring herself to relish the reading of history.
She was careful to select her acquaintance amongst persons from whom she could derive profit as well as pleasure; and it was probably owing to her enthusiastick admiration of genius, and desire of seizing every possible opportunity of improvement, that she became, for a time, one of the worshippers of Mr. Richardson. But even the acknowledged authority of the celebrated writer of Clarissa, could not obscure the clearness of her perception, nor check the ardour of investigation. The letters on the subject of parental authority and filial obedience, which make part of this publication, will prove with what ingenuity she could assert, and with what dignity, tempered with proper humility, she could maintain her own well grounded opinions.
Among the friends of Mr. Richardson was Mr. Chapone, a young student of the law, between whom and Miss Mulso a strong and mutual affection soon arose. An engagement was consequently formed, though pecuniary difficulties long opposed their union.
Miss Mulso passed this period of her life in a state of content and tranquillity, for which she never failed to express a pious gratitude, both in her conversations with, and her letters to, all her intimate friends. Excepting the circumstance of a weakly constitution, which seldom allowed her the enjoyment of full health, she had little interruption to her happiness.
She lived with a father whom she tenderly loved, and was, with his consent and approbation, frequently indulged in the society of a lover, for whom the ardour of her affection never experienced a moment's abatement from its earliest com
Miss Mulso, both from her natural talents and elegant acquirements, was peculiarly qualified to shine in society, and her company was coveted by all who had ever shared in the charms of her conversation. Added to the superiority her excel
lent understanding gave her, she was mistress of so ample a fund of humour, joined with an innate cheerfulness, as rendered her a most entertaining and desirable companion to all ages, as well as to both sexes.
Her musical talents, also, were such as occasioned her to be eagerly sought after by those who were lovers of real harmony. Though totally uninstructed, her voice was so sweet and powerful, her natural taste so exquisite, and her ear so accurate, that without any scientifick knowledge, she would give a force of expression to Handel's compositions, that long practice, and professional skill, often failed to produce.
Towards the end of 1760, Miss M's thirty-third year, she married Mr. Chapone. Short was her dream of happiness. In ten months time her husband was suddenly carried off by a fever. After this melancholy event, the life of Mrs. C. scarcely offers an incident. She spent her winter in London lodgings; for the narrowness of her circumstances no longer allowed her to keep house. Her summers were divided among the country residences of several opulent and respectable friends, to whom her many excellent and agreeable qualities rendered her an ever welcome guest. In 1773, she published her " Letters on the Improvement of the Mind;" a work replete with judicious, moral, and religious sentiments, with excellent remarks, to form the manners of young women, and direct them in the conduct of life. A work, in short, of practical wisdom and practical utility, which none of the numerous systems of female education since poured on the world, should be allowed to supersede in publick estimation, or to banish from the young lady's library. Two or three years afterwards appeared her little volume of " Miscellanies, in verse and prose, which," says the editor, "though allowed inferiour to her first publication, contains many specimens of the elegance and ingenuity of her mind." The remaining years of this excellent woman are only dated by her sorrows and losses. One by one, her friends dropped off. Her elder relations, her female friends, her nephew, her favourite niece, her beloved brother; all went before her. She and Mrs. Carter were almost the last relicks of a circle of intimates once large, once brilliant, once viewed with envy by the lettered and polite, and graced with the names of Montague, of Burrows, of Boscawen, and of Mulso.
The circumstances of the times would have added pecuniary difficulties to her other troubles; but these there were some still living who were eager to remove. Mrs. Chapone long bore up against misfortune with pious fortitude and native cheerfulness. Finally, she benefited by nature's last kind provision, and sunk into a gentle childishness. She expired in peace, on Christmas day, 1801, in the arms of her surviving niece, and "unremitting friend, Mrs. Amy Burrows." The friendship of Mrs. Chapone and Mrs. Carter began early, and endured full fifty years. The extracts from Mrs. Chapone's part of their correspondence, which these volumes contain, are for the most part interesting, even without the help of anecdote or incident, by the strong sense, the ingenious, liberal, and inquiring mind, as well as the affectionate disposition which they exhibit. We present a few extracts, to whet the appetite of our readers.
Miss who wrote to you from Northend, I suppose gave you some account of our delightful party there. How earnestly did we wish you with us. Mr. Richardson was all goodness to us, and his health being better than usual, enabled him to read and talk to us a great deal, with cheerfulness, which never appears more amiable than in him. We had a visit whilst there from your friend Mr. Johnson and poor Mrs. Williams. I was charmed with his behaviour to her, which was like that of a fond father to his daughter. She seemed much pleased with her visit; showed very good sense, with a great deal of modesty and humility; and so much patience and cheerfulness under her misfortune, that it doubled my concern for her. Mr.