Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small]

66

979

AND

JOURNAL OF BELLES LETTRES, ARTS, &c.

Published every Wednesday.-Terms, five dollars per annum, to be paid in advance. POSCENTES VARIO MULTUM DIVERSA PALATO"-Hor. Lib. ii. Ep. 2.

No. 1.-VOL. 1.

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA.

PROSPECTUS

OF A LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL,
To be published weekly, at the University
of Virginia, under the title of "The Virginia
Literary Museum, and Journal of Belles-Lettres,
Arts and Sciences, &c."

[ocr errors]

ral reader.

Whilst the Journal will be principally devoted to general topics of Moral or Physical Science, Philology and Polite Literature, the Editors will not be unmindful of our local and peculiar concerns. They will endeavour to collect and difuse what information they can, concerning the history of Virginia, and the other States-their first Settlement-their progress as Colonies and as Independent States:-their peculiarities in Laws, Manners or Dialect-their Statistical Details and Natural Phenomena. Such a Repository is much wanted. The information, which now lies scattered among individuals, if collected, would shed great light on the past history

and present state of our country. On these, and other subjects, they solicit contributions.

A part of the Journal will communicate information concerning the University-the course of instruction pursued by the several Professors -Meetings of the Visitors-Public Examinations-Statutes and Regulations of the Universi

JUNE, 17, 1829,

ty-lists of Professors and Students-honorary distinctions, and occasionally such productions of the Students as may possess unusual merit. This information, peculiarly interesting to the Parents and Guardians of the Students, will not be unacceptable to the Public. The Journal may also, by receiving and transmitting hints on the difficult subject of College government and instruction, render an important service to the cause of Education.

The objects of this Journal will be, to communicate the truths and discoveries of Science to the miscellaneous reader, and to encourage a taste for polite literature.

It will rely, chiefly, for its support on the Professors of the University, whose minds, kept in a state of active inquiry, by the Lectures required of them, may be expected to afford original and interesting contributions, on all the important branches of Learning or Science.

The Scientific portion of the work will, generails, be of a popular character: but, should it occasionally contain discussions, which, on account of their novelty or importance, may also interest the adept, it will be the aim of the Editors to make such articles, so far as may be pracCommunications, post paid, to be addressed ticable, intelligible and instructive to the gene--To the Editors of the Virginia Literary Mu

Party Politics and Controversial Theology will be excluded; but such exclusion will not extend to religious or political topics, of a general character, discussed with temperance and ability.

The Journal will consist of sixteen pages super-royal octavo, weekly, and at the end of the year, an Index will be furnished, so that it will form a considerable volume, annually.

The terms of subscription will be five dollars, per annum, payable on the delivery of the fifth number. The work to be commenced as soon as two hundred subscribers shall have been obtained.

seum, University of Virginia.
University of Virginia, Feb. 26, 1829.

INTRODUCTION.

From the first opening of this University, it has been thought by many of its most intelligent friends, that it presented a favorable occasion for the establishment of a Literary Journal. It was presumed, that eight or more Professors, who were daily occupied in communicating, in familiar lan guage, the fruits of their studies to others, would be qualified to make such a work, at once useful and interesting to the public. The central position of the University, both as it respects Virginia, and the whole Union, was regarded as a further recommendation. It was known, moreover, that the plan of the Institution was principally the work of Mr. Jefferson, and that it essayed

|

important innovations in its discipline, and its course of instruction, as well as the structure of its buildings; whence it was inferred that a lively curiosity would be felt to learn the progress of an experiment of this high character, made by the most popular and most philosophical statesman of his age.

prehension, and proved, from indubitable evidence, the general salubrity of the place. There may be some difference of opinion about the species of periodical that should have been selected. Some may think a monthly publication would have been preferable to a weekly, and others, that a quarterly review would have been preferable to either. But to the last there existed these objections: there are at this time three Reviews in the United States, all of which being conducted with ability, may be sup

The force of these considerations, as well as others which more peculiarly concerned the interests of the Institution, was duly felt by the Professors; but they did not think it advisable to undertake a periodi-posed to engross that portion of the public cal publication while they were engaged in patronage which is likely to be afforded to preparing courses of lectures for their se- this species of writing. The interest which veral classes: a duty which not only re- these periodicals once excited, is indeed alquires much reading, but also the labour of ready weakened by their multiplication, and adapting the result of their researches and it would necessarily be more so by their furreflections to the capacity of the learner. ther increase. Besides, they are suited onNor, coming as they nearly all have done, ly to long and grave dissertations on imfrom a distance, could they at first have portant subjects. From them all poetrytold, what would be most acceptable to the every species of fiction and other producpublic taste on their present theatre of ac- tion of fancy-all literary intelligence-all tion, or be best suited to its literary wants. articles not extending beyond a page or These preliminary obstacles being now re- two, whatever might be their character or moved, they engage in the work with alac- merit, are of necessity excluded. They rity, in the hope that while they are em- are adapted only to the reflective and ploying their hours of leisure in contrib- speculative class of readers, and are little at, of the public, and attractive to the young, the thoughtless and o the advancement of the gay. A weekly paper, on the other hand, also be able to pro- is fettered by no such restrictions. It may he Institution of which place by the side of the most serious disThey may thus, in quisition, a moral maxim, an insulated fact sate the disadvantage in physics, or the most minute verbal critipation, remote as it is cism. Poetry may here mingle with prose from any large town, and keep the Univer--historical facts and sketches of real life, sity in the minds of the public, although it cannot be placed before their eyes. They may also counteract the hostility with which the Institution has been sometimes openly, and more often invidiously assailed. Had the University always possessed the means now afforded, it might have met these injurious attacks in the threshhold. The peculiar advantages of its management and discipline, if the wisdom of a Jefferson, a Madison, a Monroe, and their able coadjutors can be supposed to have devised any, might have been communicated for the gratification of a liberal curiosity, and the benefit of other seats of learning and recently, when the University was visited by a disease, from which not only no College, but no neighbourhood, nor even any plantation or estate, however elevated its site, or healthy its general character, is always exempt, they might have allayed popular ap

with the wildest creations of the imagination-the phenomena of matter with those of intellect. Such a miscellany, in short, excludes no one of the thousand ways, in which one mind may act upon another, by addressing itself to the reason, the fancy, or the feelings. A weekly paper, possesses, too, some advantages over a monthly publication. The Post Office laws are more favourable to its circulation: and where the investigation of a copious subject is continued from paper from paper, as must be the case in both species, to secure the indispensable requisite of variety, or where different writers engage in controversial discussions, the shorter interval does not suffer the interest of the reader to flag, or his memory to lose the connexion of the separate parts. It is on these accounts, that such a periodical as has been chosen, is supposed to unite in a great degree, the ad

vantages of a newspaper, a magazine, and | beautiful of all gems, are composed almost solely of alumine or clay, yet we

a review.

nnot

An impression has gone abroad, the edi-form them from this ingredient, and they tors know not how, that the subjects of this remain as rare and are as highly valued, as paper, would be altogether of a scientific they were before their humble origin was or technical character. The Prospectus, discovered. they think, does not warrant this conclusion: to remove, however, all doubts, on the subject, they will here remark, that under the term 'Polite Literature,' they meant to comprehend every species of composition which may please or instruct, and which does not come under the denomination of <Science.' Their pages, therefore, are as accessible to the sportive effusions of fancy and wit, as to the most erudite disquisitions of the scholar, or the profoundest researches of philosophy. It will be their aim to give a portion of their paper to every department of knowledge: and though they should fail in communicating much that is new in Science, they trust they will be able to explain and illustrate what is already known-that they will at least add to the stock of harmless pleasure; and true to their motto, that they will, at the literary repast which they shall weekly lay before the public, be able to produce a variety of intellectual food to suit the diversified tastes of their readers.

If charcoal could be melted, it is very probable that it would assume a vitreous texture, and that its conversion into diamond would be thus accomplished. Unfortunately, however, for the success of this method, charcoal, when excluded from air, is found to resist the most intense heat to which it can be exposed. In the hottest furnace, and in the focus of the most powerful lens, it remains unchanged. Sir Humphrey Davy exposed it, in chlorine gas, to the heat of the great Voltaic apparatus of the Royal Institution, without sensibly altering its texture. Professor Silliman, indeed, thought, that he had succeeded in melting small points of charcoal, by Dr. Hare's deflagrator; but Mr. Vanuxem proved that the globules which Mr. Silliman supposed to be of diamond, consisted of an oxide of iron, and were even attracted by the magnet.

The editors take this occasion to inform the subscribers that their first number would have appeared several weeks before, but for the unforeseen delay occasioned by the publisher in procuring his paper and type. ૨.

These failures are certainly calculated to discourage any further attempts to produce diamonds by the fusion of charcoal; but there is another principle to which we may have recourse, and which may prove more successful. Charcoal enters into combination with many substances, such as oxygen, hydrogen, and sulphur, and, if it could be slowly precipitated from any of these combinations, it might form crystals of pure carbon, and the great chemical problem be thus solved. If the following account, taken from a communication made to the Institute of France, can be relied on, it would indeed seem as if this method had actually succeeded, in the hands of M. Gannal.

MANUFACTURE OF DIAMONDS.

After the experiments of Lavoisier and others had proved that the diamond was chemically identical with charcoal, it was natural that many attempts should be made The compound which he used was the to produce this most precious of gems, by carburet of sulphur, or sulphuret of carartificial means. The project presented bon, a transparent colourless liquid, renone of the absurdity for which the trans-markable, like the diamond, for its high remutations of the alchemists have been so fractive power, and which may be prepared justly ridiculed. We have at our command by passing the vapour of sulphur over fragthe material of which we know the dia- ments of charcoal, heated to redness, in a mond to be formed, and it is by no means tube of porcelain. M. Gannal's experiimpossible that we should be able to give ment is thus described. to it the state of close aggregation and the crystalline texture which render it so valuable. It is true that we are foiled in many analogous cases. Thus, though we know that the ruby and sapphire, two of the most

'If several rolls of phosphorus are introduced into a matrass containing carburet of sulphur, covered with a layer of water, the moment the phosphorus finds itself in contact with the carburet, it dissolves, and, be

coming liquid, is precipitated to the lower | part of the matrass. The whole mass is then divided into three distinct layers: the first formed of pure water, the second of carburet of sulphur, and the third of liquefied phosphorus. Things being in this state, if the matrass be agitated so as to cause the mixture of the different bodies, the liquor grows thick, becomes milky, and, after a little rest, separates anew, but only into two layers; the upper one of pure water, the under one of phosphuret of sulphur; and between those two layers, there is a very thin stratum of white powder, which, when the matrass is exposed to the sun's rays, exhibits all the colours of the prism; and which, consequently, appears to be formed of a multitude of little crystals.

which remained on its surface. Exposed to the sun's rays, this substance presented numerous crystals, reflecting all the colours of the rainbow. Twenty of them were large enough to be taken up with the point of a penknife; and three others were of the size of a grain of millet. These last, having been submitted to the inspection of an experienced jeweller in Paris, were pronounced by him to be real diamonds!"

We are sure that this notice of M. Gannal's discovery will be read with interest, especially if it be considered, that the diamond is not a mere article of luxury, but, like silver and gold, has many valuable properties independent of its rarity. Its use in cutting glass is familiarly known; and it forms the only tools for shaping and polishing the hard jewels used in chronometers and the best watches.

It appears that a M. Delatour, has also produced the diamond; but we have yet seen no account of his process. M.

Encouraged by this experiment, M. Gannal endeavoured, by the following process, to obtain larger crystals, and succeeded. He introduced into a matrass, placed where it would be quite undisturbed, first eight ounces of water, and then eight ounces of carburet of sulphur, and eight ounces of phosphorus. As in the preceding experiment, the phosphorus dissolved; and the three liquids arranged themselves in the order of their specific gravity. After fourand-twenty hours, there was formed between the layer of water and the layer of carburet of sulphur, an extremely thin pellicle of white powder, having here and there several air bubbles, and various centres of crystallization, formed, some by spars of very thin sheets, and others by stars. In the course of a few days, this pellicle gradually grew thicker. At the same time, the separation of the two inferior liquids became less complete; and in three months they appeared to form but one and the same substance. Another month having elapsed without any new result, the question was, how to find means of separating the crystallized substance from the phosphuret of In our own Newspapers, peculiarities ocsulphur, to which the inflammability of the cur, which are striking to the English travmixture presented great obstacles. After eller. The Subscriber has the honor' &c. several attempts, more or less unsuccessful, is never seen in the English Journals alM. Gannal determined to filter the whole though strictly correct, in the sense we emthrough a chamois skin, which he after- ploy it, both in etymology and by antient wards placed under a glass bell, taking care, custom, its acceptation, in recent times, from time to time, to renew the air. At has been, in England, almost entirely limthe end of a month, this skin becoming ca-ited to the Contributor to any Undertakpable of being handled without inconveni- ing and, where the expression would be ence, it was doubled up, washed, and dried. used here, the word 'Undersigned' would For the first time, M. Gannal was then en- be subtsituted in England. The underabled to examine the crystallized substance signed has the honor, &c.

Newspaper advertisements frequently exhibit the characteristic manners of a country more forcibly than any other kind of publication: hence the traveller turns anxiously to them, on visiting any foreign country; and hence, again, the pleasure which is experienced in referring to the files published by our Ancestors. The value of this kind of information, in depicting manners and customs, has, indeed, induced a late historian of New South Wales, Mr. W. C. Wentworth, to go so far as to publish, in his work, a literal copy of an entire Sydney Gazette !

"

AUSTRALIAN ADVERTISEMENTS.

In tenui labor

VIRGIL. Georgic.
Though low the subject, it deserves our pains.'

|

of London, unsullied by the name of Dr. Eady, the notorious successor of the Dr. Rock, so celebrated by Hogarth. The address, 39 Frith Street, Soho, has been forced upon our recollection in spite of the worthlessness of the subject. In an election, for Representatives in Parliament, for the City of London, some years ago, amidst the variety of electioneering placards, borne about amongst the populace, was one, exhibited conspicuously Vote for Dr. Eady, the friend to the Constitution.'

Yet man

The Virginia traveller, in Great Britain, would, of course, be impressed with these verbal distinctions, but, still more, by the false and inflated taste to which commercial emulation has given rise in that country. Every expedient is adopted to engage the attention of the reader, and, at times, the false colours are displayed in so attrac-kind are so prone to gullibility, have that organ so largely developed, in spite of the silence of Messrs. Gall and Spurzheim on the subject, that these impostors have succeeded, in a pecuniary point of view, the extent indeed of their desires, by their quackery. There is, at this very time, or there was, recently, in London, an association of Empirics who assumed the names of Cooper, Monro and Duncan, and succeeded in drawing patients to their establishment, under the belief, that they were really the respectable individuals, or relations of the individuals, whose names they bear. One patient left the country for the pur

tive and humorous a manner, as to compensate, in some measure, for the fraud which has been practised. The Comedian, Mathews, who is well known for his various caricature representations of National manners and customs, was in the habit of adducing one or two elucidations of this meretricious taste. We do not recollect his precise words, but the following is the sub

stance

Dreadful Accident.-Yesterday, as a man was employed on a high ladder, in cleaning the windows of a house in Charing Cross, a sudden gust of wind upset the ladder, when, shocking

to relate, the man fell at the door of Bish's For-pose of consulting Sir Astley Cooper, and tunate Lottery Office, where Tickets and shares, are now selling, &c'.

remained for some time, unwittingly, under the hands of the Empiric who had assumed his name. The discovery of the imposition gave rise to a judicial investigation.

Another trifling difference likewise exists in the use, with us, of the First person singular, in our advertisements, which is scarcely ever employed by the English, as I will offer for sale,' &c.

News from St. Helena.-Authentic Advices have been received from St. Helena; they state, that the Emperor Napoleon is in good health, and, that he is determined to use no other than Warren's Japan Blacking, prepared and sold at No, 39, Strand.'

more

The French advertisements are modest than those of the English, and, accordingly, it is customary, for the travellers from that country, in Great Britain, to ridicule the taste to which allusion has been made. Soon after the peace with Great Britain, in 1814, the afflux of English travellers to Paris excited every one to ex

Nothing however, can be more characteristic of the modern system of puffing, than the following extract, from a London Atlas of May 1827, now before us. 'Peculiar pens adapted for every person's wri-hibit his goods and possessions in the most ting, of twelve different Cuts. 1. General Cut. intelligible and alluring manner, and, 2 Hard Cut. 3. Extra-hard Cut. 4. Free Cut. hence, the English language was fre5. Strong Cut. 6. Broad Cut. 7. Medium Cut. quently selected for this purpose, by the 8. Elegant Cut. 9. Lady's Cut. 10. Gentle- adoption of which, if they did not sucmen's Cut. 11. Commercial Cut. 12. Fine ceed in the former object, they certainly Cut. Manufactured by T. T. Morrell, 10 Broad- accomplished the latter. way. Ludgate Hill, and may be had, of all Stationers, in town and country. Ask for T. T. Morrel's Peculiar Pens, and observe none are genuine, without his printed Label.'

We well recollect a handsome Parisian sign, with gilt letters on a purple ground, having, on one side, the French, and, on the other, an attempted English version.

'Ici on loue des jolis appartemens, petits et

Another system of more modern puffing and of attracting notoriety is, that of hav-grands.' the name and address of the advertiser, chalked upon the dead walls, of the Metropolis and its vicinity. We doubt whether there is a dead wall, within 40 miles

'Here one lets prettys apartments, smalls and larges.'

These remarks have been suggested, by the perusal of some advertisements, extract

« PreviousContinue »