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phorus was burned, you observe it to be pervaded with snow-white particles, which, gradually depositing on the sides of the jar, cover it with a crust, and which, by falling into the water, dissolve and disappear.
tion been a corrosive powder, it would soon have killed us by penetrating into our lungs.
"But the result of combustion is most strikingly exemplified in the jar, where the iron-wire was burned. There, instead of a gas, or a vapour, or a powder in distributed particles, little fused beads are seen, to the existence of which I have already directed your attention. They are ot iron, nor, if you come to regard them ttentively, do they look like iron. All he metallic splendour of the original fire is gone, and the little beads look ery much like the black scales which Over an iron- bar when taken from a lowing blacksmith's forge. They are, deed, the very same. And now for a urious circumstance. These fused beads, omposed of oxygen and iron, therefore rmed oxide of iron, if collected and eighed, would be found to be heavier han the original iron consumed by the xact amount of oxygen which has disppeared. Thus you see the result of urning a combustible body may be a gas, vapour-may be a powder, may be solid mass. Generally, and most fortuately, as we shall hereafter discover, all e ordinary combustibles do not yield olids or powders when they are burned, ut gases or vapours; and, consider what fortunate circumstance this is. Supjose, for instance, a candle so constituted, s it might have been-consider it so contituted, that, instead of the results of its ombustion consisting of invisible gases vapours, floating away in the passing air, pidly, insensibly-suppose the results f its combustion had been a powder, uch as phosphorus yields -a powder hich is intensely sour and almost corrosive -suppose that, like iron, it had yielded a olid,-what, then, would have been the onsequence ? Why, it is terrible to eflect on the necessary result of uch an alteration. We could not have sed candles of this kind. Had the reult of their combustion been solid, not only ould their light have been too feeble for he purposes of useful illumination, but we hould soon have become enveloped in shes. Had the result of their combus
"The results of useful ordinary combustion could not then have been different to what they are without disturbing the whole economy of the world; so beautifully have all these things been calculated and provided for, so wisely have all consequences been foreseen by an all-wise Creator.
"Of course, when the result of burning a substance is a liquid or gas, there must be more difficulty in collecting this result, in catching it, so to speak, storing it up and examining it, than when the result is a solid. For this reason it was that chemists in bygone time actually considered that bodies burned were bodies destroyed. Had they been accustomed to weigh the substances which they experimented upon, and likewise to weigh the results, this opinion could not have been long entertained; but the operation of weighing, which we modern chemists think SO essential, ancient chemists neglected altogether; and see what a beautiful truth they lost by this same neglect; the true principle regulating the combustion of bodies was totally unknown to them.
"Well, time admonishes me to be brief with this element, oxygen,-admonishes me to pass on to the consideration of other subjects. Proceeding, therefore, with our investigations, it is very natural for us to try to discover, and I am sure you would like to know, since oxygen is the virtue, the power of atmospheric air, what the other part of atmospheric air consists of. I did not introduce oxygen to you for a long time by name, but went on describing quality after quality; now I shall follow the opposite plan with its associate, and term it nitrogen at once. Some chemists term it azote, meaning the life destroyer; but there are many other gases equally capable of destroying life, although none else are capable, when united with oxygen and potash in a particular way, of forming the substance nitre; therefore, surely the term nitrogen which expresses this quality, is more appropriate of the two. How shall we generate nitrogen? Think a little, and I am sure the principle will occur to you. If the air consists of oxygen and nitrogen, and if oxygen alone is burned away by
combustion, is it not evident that nitrogen, mixed with the product of combustion, must remain? On this principle we obtain nitrogen, and the mode of obtaining it as follows:
"An empty bell
in itself, is possessed of the most extraordinary powers.
Very few elements, perhaps, can dis play such numerous qualities—can do, as we may term it, so many different things as nitrogen can. In certain proportions it can associate itself with oxygen, and constitute the atmosphere we breathe,whilst, in other proportions, the very same elements generate, by their union, the powerful corrosive liquid, called aquafortis. Is not this extraordinary? We all know how bland, how innocent, how harmless is atmospheric air, how it bathes our skin, and pervades our lungs, although we are scarcely conscious of its presence; consider, then, what the effect would have been had we been surrounded with aquafortis ! If you are engaged much in chemical experiments, you will, as the chances are, soon have evidences of its corrosive action on your fingers and dress. One does not, however, purposely seek for this evidence, for which reason, I find a substitute in a sheet of dry parchment. Upon this I pour a few drops of nitric acid (aquafortis), and you see the result. The parchment becomes yellow and shrivelled, crumpling up, smoking—and eventually it is destroyed."
glass, as in ordinary language we should call it, that is to say, a bell glass containing atmospheric air, is inverted over a little flame, containing ignited phosphorus, and placed swimming on the surface of some water. The phosphorus burns as usual, and in the operation of burning removes the whole of the oxygen present, combining with it and forming these white, flocculent, particles, which, perhaps, you may remember as being composed of phosphoric acid, and which may easily be removed by agitation with water. This being done, nitrogen remains. Nitrogen is, altogether, a very peculiar body. I can show an experiment illustrative of its power, as I did with oxygen. All I shall show you is an experiment which you will perhaps say, shows nothing at all, although, it is an experiment which really shows a great deal. In the first place, you see it will not allow the combustion of a taper immersed in it to proceed, but immediately puts out the flame. In this it does not differ from the gas developed by burning charcoal in oxygen; therefore, for anything we know at present to the contrary, they may both be the same. We shall soon prove, however, that they are not the same, because, if I throw a portion of lime water, perfectly clear and transparent, into the jar in which the charcoal was burned, and shake the whole together, the lime-water turns white; whereas, if I do the same with nitrogen gas, no white-calculable service to mankind. Fix your ness results. By this simple test, then, may mind closely and intently on what you we distinguish these two invisible gases. undertake; in no other way can you have a reasonable hope of success. An energy that dies in a day is good for nothing; an hour's fixed attention will never avail. The inventions that bless mankind were not the result of a few moments' thought and investigation. If you, then, have a desire to bless your species, or to get to yourself a glorious name, fix your mind upon something, and let it remain fixed.
"If this is the only thing nitrogen can do, you may, perhaps, say with yourselves, If it can only not whiten lime-waterthis nitrogen must be altogether a powerless substance, and its glorious associate, oxygen, is called the virtue of atmospheric air to some purpose. Arrive at no such rash conclusion; it would be very wrong. Nitrogen, although seemingly powerless
And here we must conclude our present sketch, leaving the subject of atmospheric air to be again adverted to hereafter.
FIX YOUR MIND.-Lay it down as a sound maxim:-Nothing can be accom plished without a fixed purpose-a concentration of mind and energy. Whatever you attempt to do, whether it be the writing of an essay, or whittling of a stick, let it be done as you can do it. It was this habit that made Franklin and Newton, and hundreds whose labours have been of in
Hell holds it dear, yet precious 'tis in heaven,
3. My first includes the human race, Of every age, and time, and place,
Down to this moment from the fall; My second was a Roman camp, And still it wears its ancient stamp,
The gate, the peristyle, and wall.
Are dreaded rather than admired.
With less than half its virtue fired.
I am a small volume, and frequently bound,
My worth, and my praises the females resound,
My leaves are all scarlet, my letters are steel,
To the poor they spell lodging, and fuel, and meal,
To the rich, entertainment and pleasure.
The sempstress explores me by day and by night,
Not a page but she turns o'er and o'er; Though sometimes I injure the milliner's sight, Still I add to her credit and store.
'Tis true I am seldom regarded by men,
Yet what would the males do without me? Let them boast of their head, or boast of their
Still vain is their boast if they flout me! Ans.-A Needle-book.
1. Why is a drunkard hesitating to sign the pledge like a sceptical Hindoo? Ans.-Because he is in doubt whether to give up the worship of Jug or not (Juggernaut).
2. If an awkward fellow upsets your best teaservice, what flower does he remind you of? Ans.-China a-stir (China Aster).
With what young children love to play, A bird that's never seen by day, A serpent, and a beast of might, And he that oft steals in the night,These five initials, well combined, A famous town you then will find. Ans.-Doll, Owl, Viper, Elephant, RobberDover.
A part of the head to a consonant join'd,
ANSWERS TO FAMILY PASTIME. PAGE 359.
PUZZLE-The counters being placed eight in s row, take the fifth from the left hand, and place it on the second; then take the third and place it on the seventh; then place the first on the fourth; and lastly, the sixth on the eighth.
ENIGMAS-1. Shades, Hades. 2, Nail. 3. Tenet. 4. Mole. 5. The five vowels.
QUERIES-1. Because manors (manners) make the man. 2. Because he kept Good Friday. 3. Because a queen's head was not worth a penny during his reign. 4. Because both are employed in an elegant mode of wa(i)sting time.
CHARADES-Fox-glove. 2. Madam. 3. Spin4. Star-ling. 5. Can-did.
THE EDITOR AND HIS FRIENDS.
Editor's Address:-London, 69, Fleet-street. The Editor of "The Family Friend."
IN commencing the Third Volume of our NEW SERIES, let us as usual impress upon our Friends that our Appendix is devoted not merely to Editorial answers to Questions put by Correspondents, but to useful Facts, Hints, and Suggestions, supplied by Correspondents themselves, -as Friends of our great Family. We cannot too highly prize the many useful treasures communicated to our first Series by numerous co-operators, and we earnestly invite not only a continuance but an increase of this friendly feeling, which prompts the possessor of any useful and practical information to publish it through our pages for the benefit of others.
All letters of inquiry should be written as briefly and legibly as possible; and but one Query should be submitted by one Correspondent at a time.
Correspondents should avoid troubling the Editor for information which may be easily obtained by reference to works usually accessible. Thus, the meaning and pronunciation of English words; the dates of well-known events, &c., &c., &c., are not fair matters for Editorial interrogation, since all parties, with less delay and trouble than would be occasioned by addressing the Editor, may obtain the required information for themselves.
Inquiries which are merely of individual interest will seldom be replied to; and queries of a trifling character, unless they are of a nature to afford amusement, and thus relieve the more solid matter of the Appendix from the disadvantages of dulness and monotony, will seldom be regarded. Legal and medical questions, except such as relate to established general principles of jurisprudence and medical science, must necessarily be set aside. We assume that every paragraph inserted in the Appendix should be useful to many persons, which would not be the case if matters of a merely local or private nature were introduced.
1-Acuteness of Hearing in Animals. L.-Your observations are just. Cats and dogs can hear the movements of their prey at incredible distances, and that even in the midst of noise, which we should have thought would have overpowered such effects. Rabbits when alarmed, forcibly strike the earth with their feet, by the vibration of which they communicate their apprehensions to burrows very remote.
next, a coarse towel, but of loose texture, and highly absorbing quality, should be passed more gently and slowly over the skin until perfect dryness is produced.
2- Morocco Leather. J. C. S. Is not so called from its being brought from Morocco, but from the art of dressing it being originally introduced from that country. The true Morocco leather is made of goat-skins tanned and dyed on their outsides; sheep-skins are also similarly treated. The goat-skins are not only more pliant, but their surface is smoother; they are also more durable than those of sheep, but their employ-by domestics. In olden times tradesmen as well ment is restricted on account of their high price.
4-Cold Weather. E. W.- Keep away from the fire as much as possible. Those who generally occupy warm apartments, cannot well imagine how much more brisk and happy the feelings are, and how far more clear and vigorous is the intellect, while one is kept warm by exercise on a cold day, than by sitting in a hot room; nor how lax and listless, in comparison, are we rendered by artificial heat. Abundance of exercise, respiration, and good food, is the great receipt for keeping comfortable in cold weather.
5-Liveries. G. R. W.-We cannot tell you the precise period when liveries were first worn
as servants wore these badges. Anterior to Richard the Second, tradesmen who served a nobleman's family wore his livery, and the placing of royal and noble arms over tradesmen's shops to this day is a relic of such a custom. The livery of London, besides the dress of their companies, often wore on great occasions, from com
3-Towels for Drying the Skin. W. H.-The roughness of the towel must be proportioned to the sensitiveness of the skin. Some will bear a coarser cloth than others. Two towels should be used, the first of sufficient roughness to produce an agreeable glow after the necessary friction;