Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

to answer; by correcting the present unequal distribution of landed property, by imparting to the poor some portion of what the rich enjoy (or rather pofless than enjoy), and by increasing the number of independent cultivators of the soil, who are in general the most virtuous and most healthy part of the community, increase the quantum of public happiness.

We shall content ourselves with a short enumeration of the principal objects of this Essay; in the discussion of which the writer shews that he wants neither solidity of judgment nor bold. ness of imagination. After investigating the right of property in land, first as derived from the law of nature, and next as founded in public utility, he delineates, in a masterly manner, the abuses and pernicious effects of the monopoly allowed and established by the municipal laws of Europe. He then proceeds to treat of the circumstances and occasions favourable to a complete, or, if that cannot be attained, a partial reformation of the present system, and likewise of the means calculated to promote a gradual and falutary change in this respect, either under the direction of public boards, or by the generous efforts of individuals : and he concludes with exhibiting the scheme of what he calls a progrefjive Agrarian law (in opposition to those sudden and violent changes that were incident to the Agrarian laws of antiquity), as the basis of so desirable a reformation.

These objects are, it must be confeffed, great and dazzling : and the Author owns, with a becoming modesty, that the opinions he has advanced may appear at first fight visionary, and perhaps erroneous. It is natural to the mind, says he, when new ideas arise on important subjects, to open itself with fondness to the pleasing impression which they make. Yielding to this feducing enthusiasm, the Author has been led to speak with freedom of great changes suddenly to be accomplithed, as practicable in some cases, and to be desired in many. Yet he is well aware that great changes, suddenly accomplished, are always pregnant with danger and with evil; and ought, on almoft no occasion whatever, to be defired or brought forward by the friends of mankind. Partial reformation, gradual progressive innovation, may produce every advantage which the most important and sudden changes can promise, yet without incurring those dread. ful hazards, and those inevitable evils with which great and sudden changes are still attended. The passage that follows conveys a handsome and manly tribute of relpect to the land: holders of England ; and as it will give our readers a favor:ra able impression of this Writer's style and spirit, we Mall insert it, by way of conclusion to the presene Article.

. With the greatert Satisfaction of mind the Writer of these pages avows his perfuation, that were great and important innovations, res

Specting

[ocr errors]

specting property in land, as pra&icable and safe as they are difficult and full of danger, there is no country under the sun which Stands less in need of such reformation than England. Although, indeed, the principles of jurisprudence respeeting property in land which the laws of England recognize, are derived from the same source, and partake of the same absurd and pernicious nature, with those maxims which prevail almost every where on the continent of Europe ; yet such has been the generosity of Englih land. holders, such their equitable conduct towards their tenants and dependents, and such che manly spirit of the lower classes, foftered by a sense of political rights, that, in England, the comfortable independence of the farmer, and actual cultivator of the soil, is established on as secure a footing as the most refined syltem of property in land: deduced from the genuine principles of public good, and natural right, can propose to render effectual and permanent. It is to be re. gretted only, that this comfortable independence which the farmers enjoy cannot be extended to a fill greater proportion of the community. English landholders, and English farmers, are superior in all respects to the same class of men in other countries: in their manly vigour, their plain good fense, their humane virtues, conlists the true basis of our national pre-eminence. Their blood circulates in every rank of society, their domestic manners have given the tone to the English character, as displayed in all the various departments of business and enterprize; nor can any with be formed more favourable to the prosperity of the public, than that the numbers of this class of men may be increased. To increase the number of landholders, by advancing farmers to that more independent situation, can never be made the object of legislative care in this country, as it might in the absolute monarchies of the continent; but to increase the number of farmers, by favouring the advancement of day.labourers and manufacturers, to the more animating and manly occupations of cultivating a small farm for their own aecount, is an object very

fimilar to many branches of enlightened policy, which che Britith legil. · Jature (more than any other) has pursued with atreation and success.

• To the worthy and humane English landholders, and more parricularly to those who of late years have voluntarily granted to their tenants an abatement of rent, this short Effay is inscribed by the Author, as to men whom he regards with high esteem, and from whom he may hope that his speculations, thould they ever come to their knowledge, would meec with no unfavourable reception. Why Tould he not flatier himíelf with this hope, however seemingly vain, since uninformed by theoretical reasoning, and prompted only by the innare candoor and humanity of their own minds, there respectable landholders, truly worthy of their station and of their trult, have habitually acted in conformity to those principles of public good and natural sight, which tie is defrous to elucidate and establiin.'

ART. VIII. An Account of a Method of preserving Varer, at Sea, from Putrefaction, & c. by a cheap and easy Process; to which is added, a

Mode of impregnating Water, in large Quantities, with fixed Air, for
Medicinal Ujes, on board Ships, and in Hojpitals, &c. Bc. By Tho-
mas Henry, F. R. S. and Member of the Medical Society of
London. Svo. 2 s. Johnson. 1781.
THIS little Performance, which is dedicated, by permis-

fion, to the Lords of the Admiralty, deserves particular notice; as it contains matters that greatly concern the health and the well-being of a numerous and deserving class of men-the sea-faring part of the community-who, from their situation, are too frequently exposed, not only to the inconveniences, but to the very great evils that attend the drinking of putrid water.

The Author's scheme to avoid there inconveniences and evils is founded on the modern discoveries relative to fixed air: it is now well known that calcareous earths or · stones, which are naturally insoluble in water, are, in consequence of having their fixed air expelled from them by calcination, converted into lime; that is, into a falt-for it has all the characters of a falt-10tally, though Iparingly soluble in that fluid. The water saturated with this falt is called lime-water.

The Author, having found great inconveniences, in distillation, from the putridity and fotor which were foon contracted by the water in the tub, through which the worm of the still passed, thought that the addition of lime to it might preserve it from putrefaction; and the event greatly exceeded his expecta. tions : so that he was not obliged to renew the water in the worm-tub, vill after it had been used above 18 months; whe: he thought proper to change it, merely because it was become foul from dust.

Though the water, however, in which the lime is diffolved is thereby enabled to resist putrefaction, it cannot be considered as a proper beverage for a ship's company : but the lime-stone, which had, by the expulsion of its fixed air, been rendered foluble in water, will greedily attract fixed air, and will again become insoluble in that fuid, if fixed air be introduced to it : accordingly the salt, now become an insoluble earth, will be precipitated from it. In thort, while it remained diffolved in the water, it prevented its putrefaction ; and when precipitated from it, it leaves she water in the same state of purity as when it was first diffolved in it.

Though no doubt can be entertained with respect to the rationale of this process, or of its practicability when small quantities are to be operated upon; it may nevertheless be apprehended, that it cannot conveniently be executed on board of a fhip, and on a large scale. The method, however, here mi

nutely

nutely described by the Author, does not appear to us to be clogged with such difficulties, as juftly to deter those, under whose cognizance this matter naturally falls,from ordering a public trial of it. The following is a short sketch of the Author's process.

To preserve the water from putrefaction, two pounds of good quick-lime are directed to be added to each cask contains ing 120 gallons. To free the water afterwards from the lime with which it has been impregnated, it is to be drawn off into a strong caík containing about 60 gallons, with an aperture at one end large enough to admit a vessel which is to be let down into it by means of strings, and which contains a proper quantity of effervescent materials, that is, of marble or chalk, and vitriolic acid. The mouth of this last vessel is to be stopped with a cubulated stopper, through which the fixed air, let loose, from the marble, passes up through the body of the water. The lime is thus rendered insaluble, and is soon precipitated in the form of an impalpable powder of chalk: the water being thus restored to the same state of purity as when it was first shipped on board ; or, as the Author has reason to believe, to a state of ftill greater purity; several hard waters having, in consequence of this process, been rendered as soft as rain water, and freed from different impregnations.

The Author's method of effecting these purposes is illustrated in three plates; in one of which is delineated an apparatus, formed on a similar large scale, for impregnating water with fixed air ; so as to impart to it the properties of mineral and other medicated waters, for the use of the sick on board of thips, and in hospitals. This is an extension of Dr. Priestley's oria ginal plan, communicated some years ago to the Lords of the Admiralty. We scarce need to add, that the execution of it cannot fail, on numerous occasions, of being attended with the most salutary effects, particularly in putrid fevers, dysenteries, scurvy, and other diseases of the putrid class, to which seamen are peculiarly liable ; especially if the efficacy of the waters, and its power of absorbing fixed air be increased, by previously dir. solving in it a proper quantity of alcaline falt, particularly of the mineral alcali.

We should not omit mentioning a less material, indeed, but still desirable application of fixed air, to the making of fresh fermented bread at sea. This is to be effected by impregnating flour and water with fixed air, so as to form an artificial yeast, with which the Author affirms, that he has made very good bread without the aslistance of any other ferment. . The flour and water are first boiled together till the mixture acquires the consistence of creacle, and is then to be saturated with fixed air. · Being placed in a warm fituation for about two days, such a degree of fermentation will have taken placc, as to give Bb

the

the mixture the appearance and the qualities of yeast; a quart of which mixed with a proper quantity of warm water will be sufficient to convert fix pounds of four into a dough; which, after standing about twelve hours, is to be formed into loaves and baked.

In a Poffscript, the Author confiders fome objections that have been, or which may be, made to his general scheme. These objections appear to admit of very satisfactory answers. Proper trials, however, will best ascertain to what extent it may be realised at fea, and on large quantities of water; nor fhould flight inconveniencies be regarded in the acquisition of objects of such importance, as the stopping up one source at least of distemper among our mariners, and the counteracting the effects of other diteases already exifting, and arising from other causes.

[ocr errors]

Aat. X. Duplicity: A Comedy. As it is performed at the Theatre.

Roval, in Covent Garden. By Thomas Holcroft. 8vo. is, 6 d.

Robinson. TN a Preface to this Comedy, the Author enters into a vindi

cation of his piece against the objections which he conceives to have been made to it; none of which seem to have touched him more nearly, than those which glance at his protellion. On this head he speaks as follows:

I have likewise been accused by some of imitation, and want of originality. It is said, I have folen an incident from one piece, and a character from another, and that it is evidently the play of a player. This last remark, I believe, would never have been made, had I not been known to be a player. The accusations, which have the greatest appearance of truth, are, that Le Dilipatear of Monsieur Dellouches, and the Tragedy of Tbe Gamefter, have furnished the great outlines of the plot. To there I anfwer, that, were it so, I would make no fcruple of avowing it, because I should not think myself degraded by the avowal; but I declare che plot was finished, and almost the co. medy, before I ever read Le Dillipatcur : and if I have pillaged the Gamester, it was from latent ideas, of which I am unconscious; for I have neither read, nor seen che Gameller for many years. A parallel circumflance to that of Sir Harry lofing bis fifter's fortune, is found, I am told, in the Gamefier; but this incident was added to Duplicity fince it was first written, by the advice of a friend, to give a ftrength to the Denouement. But there is a llory told in the life of . Beau Nah, which, had chese critics known, would have immedi

ately pointed out the place whence, they might have sworn, withoac the lealt fufpicion of perjury, I had folen my plot; and yet, had they sworn, they would have been perjured, for I never read that story till I had written my play, and then, I confess, I was amazed at the timilarity.

Conscious, or Unconscious, we cannot but perceive that a thea. trical education, or some latent ideas, have wonderfully difpofed

the

« FöregåendeFortsätt »