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• Hence perhaps the winter of 1783-4, was more severe than any, that had happened for many years.
• The cause of this universal fog is not yet ascertained. Whether it was adventitious to this earth, and merely a smoke, proeeeding from the consumption by fire of some of those great burning balls or globes which we happen to meet with in our rapid course round the sun, and which are sometimes seen to kindle and be destroyed in paffing our atmosphere, and whose smoke might be attracted and retained by our earth; or whether it was the vast quantity of smoke, long continuing to issue during the summer from Hecla in Iceland, and that other volcano which arole out of the sea near that island, which finoke might be spread by various winds over the northern part of the world, is yet uncertain.
• It seems however worth the inquiry, whether other hard winters, recorded in history, were preceeded by similar permanent and widely extended summer fogs. Because, if found to be so, men might from such fogs conjecture the probability of a succeeding hard winter, and of the damage to be expected by the breaking up of frozen rivers in the spring; and take such measures as are possible and practicable, to secure themselves and effects from the mischiefs that attended the lait.'
"A Short Account of an Excursion through the Subterraneous Cavern at Paris. By Mr. Thomas White, Member of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, in a Letter to his father. Read Feb. 9, 1785. This very spacious and curious, and almost miraculous cavern, is formed by the quarries from whence the ftones were dug that built the oldest part of the city of Paris. As Paris was enlarged, the suburbs were insensibly built on the ancient quarries, so that it would not require a very violent shock to throw back the stones to the place from whence they have with so much difficulty been raised.
A Description of a new Instrument for measuring the specific Gravity of Bodies. By Mr. William Nicholson, in a Letter to Mr. J. U. Magellan, F. R. S. &c. Read May 4, 1785. It appears that Mr. Nicholson has made some small improvements on the hydrometer.
Memoirs of the late Dr. Bell, by James Currie, M. D. addressed to the President and Members of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester. Read March 23, 1785. This is a very pleasing and excellent specimen of biographical writing. Dr. Currie unites delicacy and respect to the memory of Dr. Bell, with a faithful description of the imperfections as well as the excellencies of his character.
The qualities of Dr. Bell's' mind required a state of action. He was eminently fitted for situations of difficulty or danger ; and had his lot been cait differently, the enthusiasm of his spirit, and the strength of his faculties, might have enrolled his name in the list of those which go down to future ages with honour and applause. It was his mif
fortune, that his situation did not always present objects of sufficient importance to excite his attention, and call forth his faculties; and that, like many other men of genius, he was often unable to originate those literary exertions, which sometimes bring fame, and which generally bring happiness. His fpirits indeed were not equal. He was often lively, cheerful, and familiar, and sometimes grave, inattentive and referved. Circumstances, which it would be painful and improper to relate, contributed to throw some degree of gloom over his latter days. But he was naturally subject, at times, to those ebbings of the mind, as an admired writer expresses himself, which generally accompany great sensibility ; a state, from which the transition is sometimes more easy to levity and mirth, than to the sober exercises of reafon.
• It is common to expect, even in the more minute parts of the conduct of men of allowed superiority of talents, some marks of intention and design, by which such fuperiority might be indicated. But this is, I think, an error.
The characteristic of genius is fimplicity. A lofty spirit submits, with difficulty, to restraint or disguise ; and the higher emotions of the mind are seldom compatible with a nice attention to little things. It is, however, to be lamented, that men of great endowments are often deficient in that felf-command, which should give regularity to conduct, and steadiness to exertion. But let us not too hastily condemn them. The powers of genius impose the feverest task on the judgment. The imagination, in which they reside, must always be ftrong ; the sensibility by which they are attended, must often be wayward. To restrain, to excite, and to direct, the exertions of a mind so constituted, according to the dictates of reason, muft frequently produce a moft painful warefare : and, if to succeed in such contests be not always given to the Itrong, let the weak rejoice, that they are seldom called to the encounter.
• Years and experience would, most probably, have remedied, in a great measure, the defects in Dr. Bell's character ; and, as he be. came more fully known, it may be presumed, that he would have acquired a degree of reputation suited to his great integrity and abilities. Yet it cannot be denied, that a temper so open, and a conduct fo little affected by the opinions or prejudices of others, were not perfectly calculated for success in a world, in which the most honeft heart must often be veiled, and the loftieit ípirit must sometimes bend.'
"Á Translation of Dr. Bell's Thesis, de Physiologia Plana tarum. By James Currie, M. D. Read March 30, 1785." Dr. Bell directs bis attention to the internal structure of plants; and from various analogies concludes that plants live, and fufpects that they feel.
· Some Observations on the Phänomena which take place between oil and water, in a Letter to Thomas Percival, M. D. F. R. S. and S. A. &c. By Martin Wall, M.D. Prelector of Chemistry, in the University of Oxford. Read November 17, 1784. Because certain bodies fhew no disposition to form a chemical union, they have been said to pofless ENG, Rey. Vol. VI. Feb. 1786, G
a repulsive faculty with respect to each other. To say, that a principle of repulfion has no existence in nature, Dr. Wall thinks, would be to presumtuous : but he is inclined to believe, that the species of attraction, which constitutes chemical affinity, is not counteracted by any principle of repulsion in those cases, where no affinity appears to take place, and that the apparent repulfion depends upon a perfe&tly different cause.
In order to illustrate this, he gives one example, the immiscibility of oil with water. . What, in this case is called repulsion, he thinks, is perhaps, only a cafe of that kind which is called elective attraction, if he may be allowed to adopt that expression; that is, that the particles of water attract those of water, and the particles of oil thofe of oil, more strongly than oil attracts water.
Facts and Queries relative to Attraction and Repulsion. By Thomas Percival, M. D. To the Literary and Philosophical Society. Manchester, December 5, 1784'. To these queries Dr. Wall of Oxford replies in a Letter, which was read before the Society, January 12, 1785.
« On the voluntary Power which the Mind is able to exercise over bodily Sensation. By Thomas Barnes, D. D. Read Nov. 3, 1784" This essay is not only very ingenious, but is full of consolation to mankind; and, as such, of high importance. It tends also, collaterally, to defend and illurtrate the truth and divine origin of the Christian religion, and, in general, to justify and maintain the cause of virtue. Dr. Barnes, having illustrated the strength and direct power of the mind over the body, fayg,
• But, whatever judgment we may form upon this question, as to the direct and immediate power of the will over the perceptions of sense,- its indirect and mediate influences cannot be disputed. Whenever we can divert the thoughts to the other subjects, or excite passions of different natures, both of which are certainly, in some degree, in the power of the mind, we so far lessen the pangs of corporeal pain. The mere diversion of thought, by whatever means, is of greał use. It is probable, that the mind cannot receive two perceptions at the same instant. Every moment, therefore, of such diversion, is a pause from suffering. Or, if it be admitted that they may be ifochronous, yet the effect of the one, if of a different kind, will be to diminish the other. If, indeed, both the perceptions be of the same nature ; if, to the torture of bodily pain, be added the di- . îtress of mental anguish; the one, compounding icfelf with the other, will exceedingly increase the sensibility. Compare the feelings of a perfon, fuffering under fome violent disease, from the confequences of his own guilt -- with those of another person, fuffering the same affliction, for the testimony of a good conicience, in the cause of liberty or virtue!
• When sensation is acute, thought will not easily be diverted. A stronger gale of affection, or of paffion, will be necessary to turn it from its course. And we have already said, that passions of every kind, whilft they continue in their strength, are able to produce this effect. For the moment, there is little difference between joy and sorrow, anger or fondness. The sudden coming in of a friend long unseen, or an alarm for his fafety, if we saw him in the instant of danger, will equally suspend corporeal feeling. The tooth-ach shall fly away, at the presence of the operator, or at the tidings of some happy event. A man, in the paroxysms of rage, shall be as insenfible to wounds and pain, as the pious martyr at the stake.
• But let us pass on beyond the moment of vehement excitation, and then, how great the difference! Among the passions, we must, firit, distinguish those which are of the longest continuance; because these will produce the longest, and consequently the greatest, effects. Anger and fear are short-lived impulses. And, when their violence is spent, they induce languor and depression. Hence, though sensation may be suspended by them for a moment, it will soon return with double pungency. On the contrary, love, joy, and hope, are passions which live longer in the human breaft; which leave behind them a firm and animating feeling ; and which, therefore, may be expected to produce effects more lasting and important.
• Again, we may diftinguish thole passions, which center themselves in a narrower, from those which expand to a wider, circle--- the self. ish, from the generous and sublime. Those of the former class, after their first agitation, are so far from blunting the sense of pain, that they irritate and increase it. Thus, fear and sorrow turn the mind inward upon itself, and aggravate all its painful sensibilities. Anger, which partakes of the nature of fear and of grief, and is, like them, selfish, has the same consequences. It makes the mind fore and irritable, and thus whets the edge of suffering. Love and gratitude, on the other hand, center the heart on other objects; and, if those objects are great, and amiable, and worthy, inspire fublimity and strength. Thus, during their whole continuance, they render the mind less paffively the flave of bodily impression. What has not pa. rental affection done, what has it not endured, for the support and defence of its offspring? How amazingly, how long, has it defied dan. ger, and despised suffering, in such a cause! What has not the love of country voluntarily consented to endure !
• The sublimest feelings which can govern the human heart, are those inspired by religion. For religion carries the foul beyond itself, and centers all its strongest affections upon our Creator, and a better world. If these be properly, that is, habitually felt, they will be most friendly to that self.poffeffion, which braces the mind in all its best, and most lasting energies. These feelings are permanent in their nature, and large in their object. And how wonderful are olten their effects! In that most awful hour of diffolving nature, when the body is racked with expiring agonies, faith and hope have often presented the most aftonishing spectacles of fortitude, yea even of triumph! The mind, borne upwards towards its Maker, has been able to imile in pangs, and to exult in dissolution. GZ
« The moral influence of this sentiment is highly interesting and important to us all. It furnishes an argument in favour of virtue and religion, too considerable to be paffed over in filence. For goodness not only inspires the purest satisfactions, both in the present mo. ment, and in future reflection, but it actually lessens the degree of bodily suffering It not only increases the mental enjoyment, but it dim nishes corporeal pain. It not only administers the sweetest confolations. under disease, but it renders the disease itself less afAictive.'
« A Narrative of the Sufferings of a Collier, who was confined more than seven Days, without Suftenance, and exposed to the Choke-damp, in a Coal-pit, not far from Manchester ; with Observations on the Effects of Famine; on the Means of alleviating them ; and on the Action of Foul Air on the. Human Body. By Thomas Percival, M.D.F.R.S. and S. A."
« On Saturday the 4th of December, 1784, about eight o'clock in the morning, Thomas Travis, a collier, aged twenty-seven, descended into the pit at Hurst, which is ninety yards in depth; and several other workmen were in readiness to follow him. But soon after he had reached the bottom, the sides of the pit fell in, and he was cut off from all supplies of the external air. The quantity of earth was fo large, that it required fix days to remove it: and, on Thursday, when the passage was compleated, the foulness of the vapours prevented any.one, for some time, from venturing into the works. On Friday, several men entered the coal mine ; but not finding Travis, they conjectured that he had attempted to dig his way into another pit, at no great distance. They followed him by the traces of his working; and on Saturday afternoon, about four o'clock, he heard them, and implored their speedy allittance. When they reached him, he was laid upon his belly, and raising his head, he looked at the men, and addressed one of them by his name. But his eyes were so fwoln and protruded, that they were shocked with the appearance of them; and they prevailed upon him to suffer a handkerchief to be tied round his head, alligning, as a reason, that the light might prove dangerous and offensive to him. Sal volatile was then held to his nostrils, and soon afterwards he complained of the handkerchief, and desired them to remove it. They complied with his requeit ; but hiseyes were then sunk in their sockets, and he was unable to distinguish the candle, though held directly before him. Nor did he ever afterwards perceive the least glimmering of light. He asked for something to drink; and was fupplied with water-gruel, that had been previoully provided, of which he took a table spoonful every ten or fifteen mi
When the men first discovered him, his hands and feet were: extremely cold, and no pulse could be telt at the wrist. But after he had taited the gruel, and smelled at the fal volatile, the pulsation of the artery became fenfible, and grew itronger when they had rubbed him, and covered him with blankets. He now complained of pain in his head and limbs, and said, his back felt as if it had been broken. Two men lay by his fides, to communicate warmth to him ; he put