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to which the Italian steam-wheel could be applied with advantage. “ The celipiles,” says the bishop," are concave vessels, consisting of some such material as may endure the fire, having a small hole at which they are filled with water, and out of which, when they are heated, the air doth issue with a strong and lasting violence, are frequently used for exciting and contracting of heat in the melting of glasses and metals; they may also be contrived for sundry other pleasant uses, as for the moving of sails in a chimneycorner, the motion of which may be applied to the moving of spits or the like."
The idea broached so ingeniously by Porta, did not escape the research of the laborious Kircher, a Jesuit, celebrated for his profound reverence for antiquity, and who taught philosophy with applause at Rome. But mingling the greatest prejudices of his age with valuable facts and sagacious inference, the air of trifling which was given by this means to otherwise meritorious discussion and research, impressed his own works with a premature old age : even in his lifetime, his immense folios had nearly become obsolete ; and now when they are alluded to, it is more from the circumstance of his literary voracity being discovered to have preserved something which was either thought to have been lost, or which was not known had been in existence. From one of his gorged and neglected volumes a which may be made in that part of the pipe which passeth along the stove. I feer that this is but a meer conceit, because the steam of water will not extend far; but if the cover to your pot be of metal, and made so close that no air can breathe out, saving at the pipe, which is soldered or well closed in some part of the cover, then it seemeth probable that this cover may be put on after the pot is scummed.” p. 19. Garden of Eden. 1660.
37 beautiful experiment is drawn forth, in which he applies, in a direct and masterly manner, the power of steam to raise water.
In this particular instance, too, the evidence is complete, of his having applied the speculation to practice. The model he describes in 1656, in terms of admiration, was stated by Bonnani, many years after his death, as existing in the museum which Kircher had collected.*
A boiler, a, (fig. A,) containing water, is connected by a pipe, c, with another vessel, e; from this vessel, which is well closed, another pipe, 0, rises into the atmosphere. The fire being kindled under the lower vessel, containing water, steam issues from the pipe, and, filling the upper part of the superior vessel or cistern, its expan.sion forces the water it also contains up the pipe into the atmosphere. The scheme in Branca's book also receives a farther extension. Branca employed one head to vomit forth the steam ;
* Kircher employed a mechanic, called George de Sepi, to construct his models. Sepi printed a catalogue, at Amsterdam, of his master's museum. Moreri, vol. iv. p. 59.
“ Út his elementorum magnetismus, magis magisque pa. teat cum artificiosis, machinis demonstrandum duxi, quæ quidem machinæ quintuplici ratione instituenda sunt, ita ut aliæ despulsiva quædam attractiva nonnullæ rarefactiva ali. quæ condensativa cæteræ compressi aëris violentia operationes suas instituant, quas qui 'moverit quaslibet sibi ingeniosas machinas ad exemplar naturæ fabricatas conficiet, cum nulla machina hydraulica aut meteorologica, assignari possit, quæ non aliqua harum facultatum instituatur, atque ut hæc omnia clarius innotescant a machina depulsiva vi operationes suas perficiente inchoabimus." The action of the steam on the water in the upper vase is correctly described :
verum alio jam liquore stationem vasis occupante in intolerabiles angustias redactus aliisque identidem rarefactis partibus subtilior es subtilior factus gravum init cum aqua ]uctam, aut igitur vas rumpatur aut aqua cedat recesse est.” p. 413. Magnes sive de Arte Magnetica. Coloniæ. 1643.
ELIPILES. Kircher greatly increased its effect, by employing two, and if Branca's was picturesque, so is Kircher's.
The use made of steam from ælipiles by Branca, Wilkins, and Kircher, will excuse a brief notice of the fact of their being employed in England in very early times to excite the heat of a fire. Dr. Plot, in his account of Staffordshire, describes a manorial custom, which he supposes had continued from the age of Godiva, the famous wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. “ Jack of Hilton," says the doctor, a little hollow image of brass, about twelve inches high, with his right hand on his head, and his left on pego,” blows the fire in Hilton-hall every new year's day, while the lord of Essington drives a goose three times round it, before it is to be roasted and eaten by the lord of Hilton," or his deputy ;” and in 1594, Sir Hugh Platte gave a good figure of a “rounde ball of copper, or latton, that blows the fyre verie stronglie, by the attenuation of water into àyre.”