Argument of the Second Canto.
Address to the Gnomes. I. The Earth thrown from a volcano of the Sun; it's atmosphere and ocean; it's journey through the zodiac; vicissitude of day-light, and of seasons, 11. II. Primeval islands. Paradise, or the golden Age. Venus rising from the sea, 33. III. The first great earthquakes; continents raised from the sea; the Moon thrown from a volcano, has no atmosphere, and is frozen; the earth's diurnal motion retarded; it's axis more inclined; whirls with the moon round a new centre. 67. IV. Formation of lime-stone by aqueous solution; calcareous spar; white marble; antient statue of Hercules resting from his labours. Antinous. Apollo of Belvidere. Venus de Medici. Lady Elizabeth Foster, and Lady Melbourn by Mrs. Damer. 93. V. 1. Of morasses. Whence the production of Salt by elutriation. Salt-mines at Cracow, 115. 2. Production of nitre. Mars and Venus caught by Vulcan, 143. 3. Production of iron. Mr. Michel's improvement of artificial magnets. Uses of Steel in agriculture, navigation, war, 183. 4. Production of acids, whence Flint. Sea-sand. Selenite. Asbestus. Fluor. Onyx, Agate, Mocho, Opal, Sapphire, Ruby, Diamond. Jupiter and Europa, 215. VI. 1. New subterraneous fires from fermentation. Production of Clays; manufacture of Porcelain in China; in Italy; in England. Mr. Wedgwood's works at Etruria in Staffordshire. Cameo of a Slave in Chains; of Hope. Figures on the Portland or Barberini vase explained, 271. 2. Coal; Pyrite; Naphtha; Jet; Amber. Dr. Franklin's discovery of disarming the Tempest of it's lightning. Liberty of America; of Ireland; of France, 349. VII. Antient central subterraneous fires. Production of Tin, Copper, Zink, Lead, Mercury, Platina, Gold and Silver. Destruction of Mexico. Slavery of Africa, 395. VIII. Destruction of the armies of Cambyses, 431. IX. Gnomes like stars of an Orrery. Inroads of the Sea stopped. Rocks cultivated. Hannibal passes the Alps, 499. X. Matter circulates. Manures to Vegetables like Chyle to Animals. Plants rising from the Earth. St. Peter delivered from Prison, 537. XI. Transmigration of matter, 565. Death and resuscitation of Adonis, 575. Departure of the Gnomes, 601.
THE ECONOMY OF VEGETATION.
The Botanic Garden A Poem in Two Parts. Part 1: The Economy of Vegetation: Canto II.
AND NOW THE GODDESS with attention sweet
Turns to the GNOMES, that circle round her feet;
Orb within orb approach the marshal'd trains,
And pigmy legions darken all the plains;
5 Thrice shout with silver tones the applauding bands,
Bow, ere She speaks, and clap their fairy hands.
So the tall grass, when noon-tide zephyr blows,
Bends it's green blades in undulating rows;
Wide o'er the fields the billowy tumult spreads,
10 And rustling harvests bow their golden heads.
I. "GNOMES! YOUR bright forms, presiding at her birth,
Clung in fond squadrons round the new-born EARTH;
When high in ether, with explosion dire,
From the deep craters of his realms of fire,
15 The whirling Sun this ponderous planet hurl'd,
And gave the astonish'd void another world.
When from it's vaporous air, condensed by cold,
Descending torrents into oceans roll'd;
And fierce attraction with relentless force
20 Bent the reluctant wanderer to it's course.
[From the deep craters. l. 14. The existence of solar volcanos is countenanced by their analogy to terrestrial, and lunar volcanos; and by the spots on the sun's disk, which have been shewn by Dr. Wilson to be excavations through its luminous surface, and may be supposed to be the cavities from whence the planets and comets were ejected by explosions. See additional notes, No. XV. on solar volcanos.]
[When from its vaporous air. l. 17. If the nucleus of the earth was thrown out from the sun by an explosion along with as large a quantity of surrounding hot vapour as its attraction would occasion to accompany it, the ponderous semi-fluid nucleus would take a spherical form from the attraction of its own parts, which would become an oblate spheroid from its diurnal revolution. As the vapour cooled the water would be precipitated, and an ocean would surround the spherical nucleus with a superincumbent atmosphere. The nucleus of solar lava would likewise become harder as it became cooler. To understand how the strata of the earth were afterwards formed from the sediments of this circumfluent ocean the reader is referred to an ingenious Treatise on the Theory of the Earth by Mr. Whitehurst, who was many years a watch-maker and engineer at Derby, but whose ingenuity, integrity, and humanity, were rarely equalled in any station of life.]
"Where yet the Bull with diamond-eye adorns
The Spring's fair forehead, and with golden horns;
Where yet the Lion climbs the ethereal plain,
And shakes the Summer from his radiant mane;
25 Where Libra lifts her airy arm, and weighs,
Poised in her silver ballance, nights and days;
With paler lustres where Aquarius burns,
And showers the still snow from his hoary urns;
YOUR ardent troops pursued the flying sphere,
30 Circling the starry girdle of the year;
While sweet vicissitudes of day and clime
Mark'd the new annals of enascent Time.
II. "You trod with printless step Earth's tender globe,
While Ocean wrap'd it in his azure robe;
35 Beneath his waves her hardening strata spread,
Raised her PRIMEVAL ISLANDS from his bed,
Stretch'd her wide lawns, and sunk her winding dells,
And deck'd her shores with corals, pearls, and shells.
[While ocean wrap'd. l. 34. See additional notes, No. XVI. on the production of calcareous earth.]
[Her hardening srata spread. l. 35. The granite, or moor-stone, or porphory, constitute the oldest part of the globe, since the limestone, shells, coralloids, and other sea-productions rest upon them; and upon these sea-productions are found clay, iron, coal, salt, and siliceous sand or grit-stone. Thus there seem to be three divisions of the globe distinctly marked; the first I suppose to have been the original nucleus of the earth, or lava projected from the sun; 2. over this lie the recrements of animal and vegetable matter produced in the ocean; and, 3. over these the recrements of animal and vegetable matter produced upon the land. Besides these there are bodies which owe their origin to a combination of those already mentioned, as siliceous sand, fluor, alabaster; which seem to have derived their acids originally from the vegetable kingdom, and their earthy bases from sea-productions. See additional notes, No. XVI. on calcareous earth.]
[Raised her primeval islands. l. 36. The nucleus of the earth, still covered with water, received perpetual increase by the immense quantities of shells and coralloids either annually produced and relinquishied, or left after the death of the animals. These would gradually by their different degrees of cohesion be some of them more and others less removable by the influence of solar tides, and gentle tropical breezes, which then must have probably extended from one pole to the other; for it is supposed the moon was not yet produced, and that no storms or unequal winds had yet existence.
Hence then the primeval islands had their gradual origin, were raised but a few feet above the level of the sea, and were not exposed to the great or sudden variations of heat and cold, as is so well explained in Mr. Whitehurst's Theory of the Earth, chap. xvi. Whence the paradise of the sacred writers, and the golden age of the profane ones, seems to have had a real existence. As there can be no rainbow, when the heavens are covered with clouds, because the sun-beams are then precluded from falling upon the rain-drops opposite to the eye of the spectator, the rainbow is a mark of gentle or partial showers. Mr. Whitehurst has endeavoured to show that the primitive islands were only moistened by nocturnal dews and not by showers, as occurs at this day to the Delta of Egypt; and is thence of opinion, that the rainbow had no existence till after the production of mountains and continents. As the salt of the sea has been gradually accumulating, being washed down into it from the recrements of animal and vegetable bodies, the sea must originally have been as fresh as river water; and as it is not yet saturated with salt, must become annually more saline. See note on l. 119 of this Canto.]
"O'er those blest isles no ice-crown'd mountains tower'd,
40 No lightnings darted, and no tempests lower'd;
Soft fell the vesper-drops, condensed below,
Or bent in air the rain-refracted bow;
Sweet breathed the zephyrs, just perceiv'd and lost;
And brineless billows only kiss'd the coast;
45 Round the bright zodiac danced the vernal hours,
And Peace, the Cherub, dwelt in mortal bowers!
"So young DIONE, nursed beneath the waves,
And rock'd by Nereids in their coral caves,
Charm'd the blue sisterhood with playful wiles,
50 Lisp'd her sweet tones, and tried her tender smiles.
Then, on her beryl throne by Triton's borne,
Bright rose the Goddess like the Star of morn;
When with soft fires the milky dawn He leads,
And wakes to life and love the laughing meads;--
55 With rosy fingers, as uncurl'd they hung
Round her fair brow, her golden locks she wrung;
O'er the smooth surge on silver sandals flood,
And look'd enchantment on the dazzled flood.--
The bright drops, rolling from her lifted arms,
60 In slow meanders wander o'er her charms,
Seek round her snowy neck their lucid track,
Pearl her white shoulders, gem her ivory back,
Round her fine waist and swelling bosom swim,
And star with glittering brine each crystal limb.--
65 --The immortal form enamour'd Nature hail'd,
And Beauty blazed to heaven and earth, unvail'd.
[So young Dione. l. 47. There is an antient gem representing Venus rising out of the ocean supported by two Tritons. From the formality of the design it would appear to be of great antiquity before the introduction of fine taste into the world. It is probable that this beautiful allegory was originally an hieroglyphic picture (before the invention of letters) descriptive of the formation of the earth from the ocean, which seems to have been an opinion of many of the most antient philosophers.]
III. "You! who then, kindling after many an age,
Saw with new fires the first VOLCANO rage,
O'er smouldering heaps of livid sulphur swell
70 At Earth's firm centre, and distend her shell,
Saw at each opening cleft the furnace glow,
And seas rush headlong on the gulphs below.--
GNOMES! how you shriek'd! when through the troubled air
Roar'd the fierce din of elemental war;
75 When rose the continents, and sunk the main,
And Earth's huge sphere exploding burst in twain.--
GNOMES! how you gazed! when from her wounded side
Where now the South-Sea heaves its waste of tide,
Rose on swift wheels the MOON'S refulgent car,
80 Circling the solar orb; a sister-star,
Dimpled with vales, with shining hills emboss'd,
And roll'd round Earth her airless realms of frost.
[The first volcano. l. 68. As the earth before the existence of earthquakes was nearly level, and the greatest part of it covered with sea; when the first great fires began deep in the internal parts of it, those parts would become much expanded; this expansion would be gradually extended, as the heat increased, through the whole terraqueous globe of 7000 miles diameter; the crust would thence in many places open into fissures, which by admitting the sea to flow in upon the fire, would produce not only a quantity of steam beyond calculation by its expansion, but would also by its decomposition produce inflammable air and vital air in quantities beyond conception, sufficient to effect those violent explosions, the vestiges of which all over the world excite our admiration and our study; the difficulty of understanding how subterraneous fires could exist without the presence of air has disappeared since Dr. Priestley's discoveries of such great quantities of pure air which constitute all the acids, and consequently exist in all saline bodies, as sea-salt, nitre, lime-stone, and in all calciform ores, as manganese, calamy, ochre, and other mineral substances. See an ingenious treatise by Mr. Michel on earthquakes in the Philos. Trans.
In these first tremendous ignitions of the globe, as the continents were heaved up, the vallies, which now hold the sea, were formed by the earth subsiding into the cavities made by the rising mountains; as the steam, which raised them condensed; which would thence not have any caverns of great extent remain beneath them, as some philosophers have imagined. The earthquakes of modern days are of very small extent indeed compared to those of antient times, and are ingeniously compared by M. De Luc to the operations of a mole-hill, where from a small cavity are raised from time to time small quantities of lava or pumice stone. Monthly Review, June, 1790.]
[The moon's refulgent car. l. 79. See additional notes, No. XV. on solar volcanos.]
[Her airless realms of frost. l. 82. If the moon had no atmosphere at the time of its elevation from the earth; or if its atmosphere was afterwards stolen from it by the earth's attraction; the water on the moon would rise quickly into vapour; and the cold produced by a certain quantity of this evaporation would congeal the remainder of it. Hence it is not probable that the moon is at present inhabited, but as it seems to have suffered and to continue to suffer much by volcanos, a sufficient quantity of air may in process of time be generated to produce an atmosphere; which may prevent its heat from so easily escaping, and its water from so easily evaporating, and thence become fit for the production of vegetables and animals.
That the moon possesses little or no atmosphere is deduced from the undiminished lustre of the stars, at the instant when they emerge from behind her disk. That the ocean of the moon is frozen, is confirmed from there being no appearance of lunar tides; which, if they existed, would cover the part of her disk nearest the earth. See note on Canto III. l. 61.]
"GNOMES! how you trembled! with the dreadful force
When Earth recoiling stagger'd from her course;
85 When, as her Line in slower circles spun,
And her shock'd axis nodded from the sun,
With dreadful march the accumulated main
Swept her vast wrecks of mountain, vale, and plain;
And, while new tides their shouting floods unite,
90 And hail their Queen, fair Regent of the night;
Chain'd to one centre whirl'd the kindred spheres,
And mark'd with lunar cycles solar years.
[When earth recoiling. l. 84. On supposition that the moon was thrown from the earth by the explosion of water or the generation of other vapours of greater power, the remaining part of the globe would recede from its orbit in one direction as the moon receded in another, and that in proportion to the respective momentum of each, and would afterwards revolve round their common centre of gravity.
If the moon rose from any part of the earth except exactly at the line or poles, the shock would tend to turn the axis of the earth out of its previous direction. And as a mass of matter rising from deep parts of the globe would have previously acquired less diurnal velocity than the earth's surface from whence it rose, it would receive during the time of its rising additional velocity from the earth's surface, and would consequently so much retard the motion of the earth round its axis.
When the earth thus receded the shock would overturn all its buildings and forests, and the water would rush with inconceivable violence over its surface towards the new satellite, from two causes, both by its not at first acquiring the velocity with which the earth receded, and by the attraction of the new moon, as it leaves the earth; on these accounts at first there would be but one tide till the moon receded to a greater distance, and the earth moving round a common centre of gravity between them, the water on the side furthest from the moon would acquire a centrifugal force in respect to this common centre between itself and the moon.]
IV. "GNOMES! you then bade dissolving SHELLS distil
From the loose summits of each shatter'd hill,
95 To each fine pore and dark interstice flow,
And fill with liquid chalk the mass below.
Whence sparry forms in dusky caverns gleam
With borrow'd light, and twice refract the beam;
While in white beds congealing rocks beneath
100 Court the nice chissel, and desire to breathe.--
[Footnote: Dissolving shells distil. l. 93. The lime-stone rocks have had their origin from shells formed beneath the sea, the softer strata gradually dissolving and filling up the interstices of the harder ones, afterwards when these accumulations of shells were elevated above the waters the upper strata became dissolved by the actions of the air and dews, and filled up the interstices beneath, producing solid rocks of different kinds from the coarse lime-stones to the finest marbles. When those lime-stones have been in such a situation that they could form perfect crystals they are called spars, some of which possess a double refraction, as observed by Sir Isaac Newton. When these crystals are jumbled together or mixed with some colouring impurities it is termed marble, if its texture be equable and firm; if its texture be coarse and porous yet hard, it is called lime-stone; if its texture be very loose and porous it is termed chalk. In some rocks the shells remain almost unchanged and only covered, or bedded with lime-stone, which seems to have been dissolved and sunk down amongst them. In others the softer shells and bones are dissolved, and only sharks teeth or harder echini have preserved their form inveloped in the chalk or lime-stone; in some marbles the solution has been compleat and no vestiges of shell appear, as in the white kind called statuary by the workmen. See addit. notes, No. XVI.]
"Hence wearied HERCULES in marble rears
His languid limbs, and rests a thousand years;
Still, as he leans, shall young ANTINOUS please
With careless grace, and unaffected ease;
105 Onward with loftier step APOLLO spring,
And launch the unerring arrow from the string;
In Beauty's bashful form, the veil unfurl'd,
Ideal VENUS win the gazing world.
Hence on ROUBILIAC'S tomb shall Fame sublime
110 Wave her triumphant wings, and conquer Time;
Long with soft touch shall DAMER'S chissel charm,
With grace delight us, and with beauty warm;
FOSTER'S fine form shall hearts unborn engage,
And MELBOURN's smile enchant another age.
[Hence wearied Hercules. l. 101. Alluding to the celebrated Hercules of Glyco resting after his labours; and to the easy attitude of Antinous; the lofty step of the Apollo of Belvidere; and the retreating modesty of the Venus de Medici. Many of the designs by Roubiliac in Westminster Abbey are uncommonly poetical; the allegory of Time and Fame contending for the trophy of General Wade, which is here alluded to, is beautifully told; the wings of Fame are still expanded, and her hair still floating in the air; which not only shews that she has that moment arrived, but also that her force is not yet expended; at the same time, that the old figure of Time with his disordered wings is rather leaning backwards and yielding to her impulse, and must apparently in another instant be driven from his attack upon the trophy.]
[Foster's fine form. l. 113. Alluding to the beautiful statues of Lady Elizabeth Foster and of Lady Melbourn executed by the ingenious Mrs. Damer.]
115 V. GNOMES! you then taught transuding dews to pass
Through time-fall'n woods, and root-inwove morass
Age after age; and with filtration fine
Dispart, from earths and sulphurs, the saline.
[Root-inwove morass. l. 116. The great mass of matter which rests upon the lime-stone strata of the earth, or upon the granite where the lime- stone stratum has been removed by earthquakes or covered by lava, has had its origin from the recrements of vegetables and of air-breathing animals, as the lime-stone had its origin from sea animals. The whole habitable world was originally covered with woods, till mankind formed themselves into societies, and subdued them by fire and by steel. Hence woods in uncultivated countries have grown and fallen through many ages, whence morasses of immense extent; and from these as the more soluble parts were washed away first, were produced sea-salt, nitre, iron, and variety of acids, which combining with calcareous matter were productive of many fossil bodies, as flint, sea-sand, selenite, with the precious stones, and perhaps the diamond. See additional notes, No. XVII.]
1. "HENCE with diffusive SALT old Ocean steeps
120 His emerald shallows, and his sapphire deeps.
Oft in wide lakes, around their warmer brim
In hollow pyramids the crystals swim;
Or, fused by earth-born fires, in cubic blocks
Shoot their white forms, and harden into rocks.
[Hence with diffusive salt. l. 119. Salts of various kinds are produced from the recrements of animal and vegetable bodies, such as phosphoric, ammoniacal, marine salt, and others; these are washed from the earth by rains, and carried down our rivers into the sea; they seem all here to decompose each other except the marine salt, which has therefore from the beginning of the habitable world been perpetually accumulating.
There is a town in the immense salt-mines of Cracow in Poland, with a market-place, a river, a church, and a famous statue, (here supposed to be of Lot's wife) by the moist or dry appearance of which the subterranean inhabitants are said to know when the weather is fair above ground. The galleries in these mines are so numerous and so intricate, that workmen have frequently lost their way, their lights having been burnt out, and have perished before they could be found. Essais, &c. par M. Macquart. And though the arches of these different stories of galleries are boldly executed, yet they are not dangerous; as they are held together or supported by large masses of timber of a foot square; and these vast timbers remain perfectly sound for many centuries, while all other pillars whether of brick, cement, or salt soon dissolve or moulder away. Ibid. Could the timbers over water-mill wheels or cellars, be thus preserved by occasionally soaking them with brine? These immense masses of rock-salt seem to have been produced by the evaporation of sea-water in the early periods of the world by subterranean fires. Dr. Hutton's Theory of the Earth. See also Theorie des Sources Salees, par Mr. Struve. Histoire de Sciences de Lausanne. Tom. II. This idea of Dr. Hutton's is confirmed by a fact mentioned in M. Macquart's Essais sur Minerologie, who found a great quantity of fossil shells, principally bi-valves and madre-pores, in the salt-mines of Wialiczka near Cracow. During the evaporation of the lakes of salt-water, as in artificial salt-works, the salt begins to crystallize near the edges where the water is shallowest, forming hollow inverted pyramids; which, when they become of a certain size, subside by their gravity; if urged by a stronger fire the salt fuses or forms large cubes; whence the salt shaped in hollow pyramids, called flake-salt, is better tasted and preserves flesh better, than the basket or powder salt; because it is made by less heat and thence contains more of the marine acid. The sea- water about our island contains from about one twenty-eighth to one thirtieth part of sea-salt, and about one eightieth of magnesian salt. See Brownrigg on Salt. See note on Ocymum, Vol. II. of this work.]
125 "Thus, cavern'd round in CRACOW'S mighty mines,
With crystal walls a gorgeous city shines;
Scoop'd in the briny rock long streets extend
Their hoary course, and glittering domes ascend;
Down the bright steeps, emerging into day,
130 Impetuous fountains burst their headlong way,
O'er milk-white vales in ivory channels spread,
And wondering seek their subterraneous bed.
Form'd in pellucid salt with chissel nice,
The pale lamp glimmering through the sculptured ice,
135 With wild reverted eyes fair LOTTA stands,
And spreads to Heaven, in vain, her glassy hands;
Cold dews condense upon her pearly breast,
And the big tear rolls lucid down her vest.
Far gleaming o'er the town transparent fanes
140 Rear their white towers, and wave their golden vanes;
Long lines of lustres pour their trembling rays,
And the bright vault returns the mingled blaze.
2. "HENCE orient NITRE owes it's sparkling birth,
And with prismatic crystals gems the earth,
145 O'er tottering domes in filmy foliage crawls,
Or frosts with branching plumes the mouldering walls.
As woos Azotic Gas the virgin Air,
And veils in crimson clouds the yielding Fair,
Indignant Fire the treacherous courtship flies,
150 Waves his light wing, and mingles with the skies.
[Hence orient Nitre. l. 143. Nitre is found in Bengal naturally crystallized, and is swept by brooms from earths and stones, and thence called sweepings of nitre. It has lately been found in large quantities in a natural bason of calcareous earth at Molfetta in Italy, both in thin strata between the calcareous beds, and in efflorescences of various beautiful leafy and hairy forms. An account of this nitre-bed is given by Mr. Zimmerman and abridged in Rozier's Journal de Physique Fevrier. 1790. This acid appears to be produced in all situations where animal and vegetable matters are compleatly decomposed, and which are exposed to the action of the air as on the walls of stables, and slaughter-houses; the crystals are prisms furrowed by longitudinal groves.
Dr. Priestley discovered that nitrous air or gas which he obtained by dissolving metals in nitrous acid, would combine rapidly with vital air, and produce with it a true nitrous acid; forming red clouds during the combination; the two airs occupy only the space before occupied by one of them, and at the same time heat is given out from the new combination. This dimunition of the bulk of a mixture of nitrous gas and vital air, Dr. Priestley ingeniously used as a test of the purity of the latter; a discovery of the greatest importance in the analysis of airs.
Mr. Cavendish has since demonstrated that two parts of vital air or oxygene, and one part of phlogistic air or azote, being long exposed to electric shocks, unite, and produce nitrous acid. Philos. Trans. Vols. LXXV. and LXXVIII.
Azote is one of the most abundant elements in nature, and combined with calorique or heat, it forms azotic gas or phlogistic air, and composes two thirds of the atmosphere; and is one of the principal component parts of animal bodies, and when united to vital air or oxygene produces the nitrous acid. Mr. Lavoisier found that 211/2 parts by weight of azote, and 431/2 parts of oxygene produced 64 parts of nitrous gas, and by the further addition of 36 parts of oxygene nitrous acid was produced. Traité de Chimie. When two airs become united so as to produce an unelastic liquid much calorique or heat is of necessity expelled from the new combination, though perhaps nitrous acid and oxygenated marine acid admit more heat into their combinations than other acids.]
"So Beauty's GODDESS, warm with new desire,
Left, on her silver wheels, the GOD of Fire;
Her faithless charms to fiercer MARS resign'd,
Met with fond lips, with wanton arms intwin'd.
155 --Indignant VULCAN eyed the parting Fair,
And watch'd with jealous step the guilty pair;
O'er his broad neck a wiry net he flung,
Quick as he strode, the tinkling meshes rung;
Fine as the spider's flimsy thread He wove
160 The immortal toil to lime illicit love;
Steel were the knots, and steel the twisted thong,
Ring link'd in ring, indissolubly strong;
On viewless hooks along the fretted roof
He hung, unseen, the inextricable woof.--
165 --Quick start the springs, the webs pellucid spread,
And lock the embracing Lovers on their bed;
Fierce with loud taunts vindictive VULCAN springs,
Tries all the bolts, and tightens all the strings,
Shakes with incessant shouts the bright abodes,
170 Claps his rude hands, and calls the festive Gods.--
--With spreading palms the alarmed Goddess tries
To veil her beauties from celestial eyes,
Writhes her fair limbs, the slender ringlets strains,
And bids her Loves untie the obdurate chains;
175 Soft swells her panting bosom, as she turns,
And her flush'd cheek with brighter blushes burns.
Majestic grief the Queen of Heaven avows,
And chaste Minerva hides her helmed brows;
Attendant Nymphs with bashful eyes askance
180 Steal of intangled MARS a transient glance;
Surrounding Gods the circling nectar quaff,
Gaze on the Fair, and envy as they laugh.
3. "HENCE dusky IRON sleeps in dark abodes,
And ferny foliage nestles in the nodes;
185 Till with wide lungs the panting bellows blow,
And waked by fire the glittering torrents flow;
--Quick whirls the wheel, the ponderous hammer falls,
Loud anvils ring amid the trembling walls,
Strokes follow strokes, the sparkling ingot shines,
190 Flows the red slag, the lengthening bar refines;
Cold waves, immersed, the glowing mass congeal,
And turn to adamant the hissing Steel.
[Hence dusky Iron. l. 183. The production of iron from the decomposition of vegetable bodies is perpetually presented to our view; the waters oozing from all morasses are chalybeate, and deposit their ochre on being exposed to the air, the iron acquiring a calciform state from its union with oxygene or vital air. Where thin morasses lie on beds of gravel the latter are generally stained by the filtration of some of the chalybeate water through them. This formation of iron from vegetable recrements is further evinced by the fern leaves and other parts of vegetables, so frequently found in the centre of the knobs or nodules of some iron-ores.
In some of these nodules there is a nucleus of whiter iron-earth surrounded by many concentric strata of darker and lighter iron-earth alternately. In one, which now lies before me, the nucleus is a prism of a triangular form with blunted angles, and about half an inch high, and an inch and half broad; on every side of this are concentric strata of similar iron-earth alternately browner and less brown; each stratum is about a tenth of an inch in thickness and there are ten of them in number. To what known cause can this exactly regular distribution of so many earthy strata of different colours surrounding the nucleus be ascribed? I don't know that any mineralogists have attempted an explanation of this wonderful phenomenon. I suspect it is owing to the polarity of the central nucleus. If iron-filings be regularly laid on paper by means of a small sieve, and a magnet be placed underneath, the filings will dispose themselves in concentric curves with vacant intervals between them. Now if these iron-filings are conceived to be suspended in a fluid, whose specific gravity is similar to their own, and a magnetic bar was introduced as an axis into this fluid, it is easy to foresee that the iron filings would dispose themselves into concentric spheres, with intervals of the circumnatant fluid between them, exactly as is seen in these nodules of iron-earth. As all the lavas consist of one fourth of iron, (Kirvan's Mineral) and almost all other known bodies, whether of animal or vegetable origin, possess more or less of this property, may not the distribution of a great portion of the globe of the earth into strata of greater or less regularity be owing to the polarity of the whole?]
[And turn to adamant. l. 192. The circumstances which render iron more valuable to mankind than any other metal are, 1. its property of being rendered hard to so great a degree and thus constituting such excellent tools. It was the discovery of this property of iron, Mr. Locke thinks, that gave such pre-eminence to the European world over the American one. 2. Its power of being welded; that is, when two pieces are made very hot and applied together by hammering, they unite compleatly, unless any scale of iron intervenes; and to prevent this it is usual for smiths to dip the very hot bar in sand, a little of which fuses into fluid glass with the scale and is squeezed out from between the uniting parts by the force of hammering. 3. Its power of acquiring magnetism.
It is however to be wished that gold or silver were discovered in as great quantity as iron, since these metals being indestructible by exposure to air, water, fire or any common acids would supply wholesome vessels for cookery, so much to be desired, and so difficult to obtain, and would form the most light and durable coverings for houses, as well as indestructible fire-grates, ovens, and boiling vessels. See additional notes, No. XVIII. on Steel.]
"Last MICHELL'S hands with touch of potent charm
The polish'd rods with powers magnetic arm;
195 With points directed to the polar stars
In one long line extend the temper'd bars;
Then thrice and thrice with steady eye he guides,
And o'er the adhesive train the magnet slides;
The obedient Steel with living instinct moves,
200 And veers for ever to the pole it loves.
[Last Michell's hands. l. 193. The discovery of the magnet seems to have been in very early times; it is mentioned by Plato, Lucretius, Pliny, and Galen, and is said to have taken its name of magnes from Magnesia, a sea-port of antient Lybia.
As every piece of iron which was made magnetical by the touch of a magnet became itself a magnet, many attempts were made to improve these artificial magnets, but without much success till Servingdon Savary, Esq. made them of hardened steel bars, which were so powerful that one of them weighing three pounds averdupois would lift another of the same weight. Philos. Trans.
After this Dr. Knight made very successful experiments on this subject, which, though he kept his method secret, seems to have excited others to turn their attention to magnetism. At this time the Rev. Mr. Michell invented an equally efficacious and more expeditious way of making strong artificial magnets, which he published in the end of the year 1750, in which he explained his method of what he called "the double touch", and which, since Mr. Knight's method has been known, appears to be somewhat different from it.
This method of rendering bars of hardened steel magnetical consists in holding vertically two or more magnetic bars nearly parallel to each other with their opposite poles very near each other (but nevertheless separated to a small distance), these are to be slided over a line of bars laid horizontally a few times backward and forward. See Michell on Magnetism, also a detailed account in Chamber's Dictionary.
What Mr. Michell proposed by this method was to include a very small portion of the horizontal bars, intended to be made magnetical, between the joint forces of two or more bars already magnetical, and by sliding them from end to end every part of the line of bars became successively included, and thus bars possessed of a very small degree of magnetism to begin with, would in a few times sliding backwards and forwards make the other ones much more magnetical than themselves, which are then to be taken up and used to touch the former, which are in succession to be laid down horizontally in a line.
There is still a great field remains for future discoveries in magnetism both in respect to experiment and theory; the latter consists of vague conjectures the more probable of which are perhaps those of Elpinus, as they assimulate it to electricity.
One conjecture I shall add, viz. that the polarity of magnetism may be owing to the earth's rotatory motion. If heat, electricity, and magnetism are supposed to be fluids of different gravities, heat being the heaviest of them, electricity the next heavy, and magnetism the lightest, it is evident that by the quick revolution of the earth the heat will be accumulated most over the line, electricity next beneath this, and that the magnetism will be detruded to the poles and axis of the earth, like the atmospheres of common air and of inflammable gas, as explained in the note on Canto I. l. 123.
Electricity and heat will both of them displace magnetism, and this shows that they may gravitate on each other; and hence when too great a quantity of the electric fluid becomes accumulated at the poles by descending snows, or other unknown causes, it may have a tendency to rise towards the tropics by its centrifugal force, and produce the northern lights. See additional notes, No. I.]
"Hail, adamantine STEEL! magnetic Lord!
King of the prow, the plowshare, and the sword!
True to the pole, by thee the pilot guides
His steady helm amid the struggling tides,
205 Braves with broad sail the immeasurable sea,
Cleaves the dark air, and asks no star but Thee.--
By thee the plowshare rends the matted plain,
Inhumes in level rows the living grain;
Intrusive forests quit the cultured ground,
210 And Ceres laughs with golden fillets crown'd.--
O'er restless realms when scowling Discord flings
Her snakes, and loud the din of battle rings;
Expiring Strength, and vanquish'd Courage feel
Thy arm resistless, adamantine STEEL!
215 4. "HENCE in fine streams diffusive ACIDS flow,
Or wing'd with fire o'er Earth's fair bosom blow;
Transmute to glittering Flints her chalky lands,
Or sink on Ocean's bed in countless Sands.
Hence silvery Selenite her chrystal moulds,
220 And soft Asbestus smooths his silky folds;
His cubic forms phosphoric Fluor prints,
Or rays in spheres his amethystine tints.
Soft cobweb clouds transparent Onyx spreads,
And playful Agates weave their colour'd threads;
225 Gay pictured Mochoes glow with landscape-dyes,
And changeful Opals roll their lucid eyes;
Blue lambent light around the Sapphire plays,
Bright Rubies blush, and living Diamonds blaze.
[Diffusive Acids flow. l. 215. The production of marine acid from decomposing vegetable and animal matters with vital air, and of nitrous acid from azote and vital air, the former of which is united to its basis by means of the exhalations from vegetable and animal matters, constitute an analogy which induces us to believe that many other acids have either their bases or are united to vital air by means of some part of decomposing vegetable and animal matters.
The great quantities of flint sand whether formed in mountains or in the sea would appear to derive its acid from the new world, as it is found above the strata of lime-stone and granite which constitute the old world, and as the earthy basis of flint is probably calcareous, a great part of it seems to be produced by a conjunction of the new and old world; the recrements of air-breathing animals and vegetables probably afford the acid, and the shells of marine animals the earthy basis, while another part may have derived its calcareous part also from the decomposition of vegetable and animal bodies.
The same mode of reasoning seems applicable to the siliceous stones under various names, as amethyst, onyx, agate, mochoe, opal, &c. which do not seem to have undergone any process from volcanic fires, and as these stones only differ from flint by a greater or less admixture of argillaceous and calcareous earths. The different proportions of which in each kind of stone may be seen in Mr. Kirwan's valuable Elements of Mineralogy. See additional notes, No. XIX.]
[Living diamonds blaze. l. 228. Sir Isaac Newton having observed the great power of refracting light, which the diamond possesses above all other crystallized or vitreous matter, conjectured that it was an inflammable body in some manner congealed. Insomuch that all the light is reflected which falls on any of its interior surfaces at a greater angle of incidence than 241/2 degrees; whereas an artificial gem of glass does not reflect any light from its hinder surface, unless that surface is inclined in an angle of 41 degrees. Hence the diamond reflects half as much more light as a factitious gem in similar circumstances; to which must be added its great transparency, and the excellent polish it is capable of. The diamond had nevertheless been placed at the head of crystals or precious stones by the mineralogists, till Bergman ranged it of late in the combustible class of bodies, because by the focus of Villette's burning mirror it was evaporated by a heat not much greater than will melt silver, and gave out light. Mr. Hoepfner however thinks the dispersion of the diamond by this great heat should be called a phosphorescent evaporation of it, rather than a combustion; and from its other analogies of crystallization, hardness, transparency, and place of its nativity, wishes again to replace it amongst the precious stones. Observ. sur la Physique, par Rozier, Tom. XXXV. p. 448. See new edition of the Translation of Cronsted, by De Costa.]
"Thus, for attractive earth, inconstant JOVE
230 Mask'd in new shapes forsook his realms above.--
First her sweet eyes his Eagle-form beguiles,
And HEBE feeds him with ambrosial smiles;
Next the chang'd God a Cygnet's down assumes,
And playful LEDA smooths his glossy plumes;
235 Then glides a silver Serpent, treacherous guest!
And fair OLYMPIA folds him in her breast;
Now lows a milk-white Bull on Afric's strand,
And crops with dancing head the daisy'd land.--
With rosy wreathes EUROPA'S hand adorns
240 His fringed forehead, and his pearly horns;
Light on his back the sportive Damsel bounds,
And pleased he moves along the flowery grounds;
Bears with slow step his beauteous prize aloof,
Dips in the lucid flood his ivory hoof;
245 Then wets his velvet knees, and wading laves
His silky sides amid the dimpling waves.
While her fond train with beckoning hands deplore,
Strain their blue eyes, and shriek along the shore;
Beneath her robe she draws her snowy feet,
250 And, half-reclining on her ermine seat,
Round his raised neck her radiant arms she throws,
And rests her fair cheek on his curled brows;
Her yellow tresses wave on wanton gales,
And high in air her azure mantle sails.
255 --Onward He moves, applauding Cupids guide,
And skim on shooting wing the shining tide;
Emerging Triton's leave their coral caves,
Sound their loud conchs, and smooth the circling waves,
Surround the timorous Beauty, as she swims,
260 And gaze enamour'd on her silver limbs.
--Now Europe's shadowy shores with loud acclaim
Hail the fair fugitive, and shout her name;
Soft echoes warble, whispering forests nod,
And conscious Nature owns the present God.
265 --Changed from the Bull, the rapturous God assumes
Immortal youth, with glow celestial blooms,
With lenient words her virgin fears disarms,
And clasps the yielding Beauty in his arms;
Whence Kings and Heroes own illustrious birth,
270 Guards of mankind, and demigods on earth.
[Inconstant Jove. l. 229. The purer air or ether in the antient mythology was represented by Jupiter, and the inferior air by Juno; and the conjunction of these deities was said to produce the vernal showers, and procreate all things, as is further spoken of in Canto III. l. 204. It is now discovered that pure air, or oxygene, uniting with variety of bases forms the various kinds of acids; as the vitriolic acid from pure air and sulphur; the nitrous acid from pure air and phlogistic air, or azote; and carbonic acid, (or fixed air,) from pure air and charcoal. Some of these affinities were perhaps portrayed by the Magi of Egypt, who were probably learned in chemistry, in their hieroglyphic pictures before the invention of letters, by the loves of Jupiter with terrestrial ladies. And thus physically as well as metaphysically might be said "Jovis omnia plena."]
VI. "GNOMES! as you pass'd beneath the labouring soil,
The guards and guides of Nature's chemic toil,
YOU saw, deep-sepulchred in dusky realms,
Which Earth's rock-ribbed ponderous vault o'erwhelms,
275 With self-born fires the mass fermenting glow,
And flame-wing'd sulphurs quit the earths below.
[With self-born fires. l. 275. After the accumulation of plains and mountains on the calcareous rocks or granite which had been previously raised by volcanic fires, a second set of volcanic fires were produced by the fermentation of this new mass, by which after the salts or acids and iron had been washed away in part by elutriation, dissipated the sulphurous parts which were insoluble in water; whence argillaceous and siliceous earths were left in some places; in others, bitumen became sublimed to the upper part of the stratum, producing coals of various degrees of purity.]
1. "HENCE ductile CLAYS in wide expansion spread,
Soft as the Cygnet's down, their snow-white bed;
With yielding flakes successive forms reveal,
280 And change obedient to the whirling wheel.
--First CHINA'S sons, with early art elate,
Form'd the gay tea-pot, and the pictured plate;
Saw with illumin'd brow and dazzled eyes
In the red stove vitrescent colours rise;
285 Speck'd her tall beakers with enamel'd stars,
Her monster-josses, and gigantic jars;
Smear'd her huge dragons with metallic hues,
With golden purples, and cobaltic blues;
Bade on wide hills her porcelain castles glare,
290 And glazed Pagodas tremble in the air.
[Hence ductile clays l. 277. See additional notes, No. XX.]
[Saw with illumin'd brow. l. 283. No colour is distinguishable in the red-hot kiln but the red itself, till the workman introduces a small piece of dry wood, which by producing a white flame renders all the other colours visible in a moment.]
[With golden purples. l. 288. See additional notes, No. XXI.]
"ETRURIA! next beneath thy magic hands
Glides the quick wheel, the plaistic clay expands,
Nerved with fine touch, thy fingers (as it turns)
Mark the nice bounds of vases, ewers, and urns;
295 Round each fair form in lines immortal trace
Uncopied Beauty, and ideal Grace.
[Etruria! next. l. 291. Etruria may perhaps vie with China itself in the antiquity of its arts. The times of its greatest splendour were prior to the foundations of Rome, and the reign of one of its best princes, Janus, was the oldest epoch the Romans knew. The earliest historians speak of the Etruscans as being then of high antiquity, most probably a colony from Phoenicia, to which a Pelasgian colony acceded, and was united soon after Deucalion's flood. The peculiar character of their earthern vases consists in the admirable beauty, simplicity, and diversity of forms, which continue the best models of taste to the artists of the present times; and in a species of non-vitreous encaustic painting, which was reckoned, even in the time of Pliny, among the lost arts of antiquity, but which has lately been recovered by the ingenuity and industry of Mr. Wedgwood. It is supposed that the principal manufactories were about Nola, at the foot of Vesuvius; for it is in that neighbourhood that the greatest quantities of antique vases have been found; and it is said that the general taste of the inhabitants is apparently influenced by them; insomuch that strangers coming to Naples, are commonly struck with the diversity and elegance even of the most ordinary vases for common uses. See D'Hancarville's preliminary discourses to the magnificent collection of Etruscan vases, published by Sir William Hamilton.]
"GNOMES! as you now dissect with hammers fine
The granite-rock, the nodul'd flint calcine;
Grind with strong arm, the circling chertz betwixt,
300 Your pure Ka-o-lins and Pe-tun-tses mixt;
O'er each red saggars burning cave preside,
The keen-eyed Fire-Nymphs blazing by your side;
And pleased on WEDGWOOD ray your partial smile,
A new Etruria decks Britannia's isle.--
305 Charm'd by your touch, the flint liquescent pours
Through finer sieves, and falls in whiter showers;
Charm'd by your touch, the kneaded clay refines,
The biscuit hardens, the enamel shines;
Each nicer mould a softer feature drinks,
310 The bold Cameo speaks, the soft Intaglio thinks.
[Illustration: H. Webber init J. Holloway sculpt Copied from Capt. Phillip's Voyage to Botany Bay, by permission of the Proprietor]
[Illustration: AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER]
"To call the pearly drops from Pity's eye,
Or stay Despair's disanimating sigh,
Whether, O Friend of art! the gem you mould
Rich with new taste, with antient virtue bold;
315 Form the poor fetter'd SLAVE on bended knee
From Britain's sons imploring to be free;
Or with fair HOPE the brightening scenes improve,
And cheer the dreary wastes at Sydney-cove;
Or bid Mortality rejoice and mourn
320 O'er the fine forms on PORTLAND'S mystic urn.--
[Form the poor fetter'd Slave. l. 315. Alluding to two cameos of Mr. Wedgwood's manufacture; one of a Slave in chains, of which he distributed many hundreds, to excite the humane to attend to and to assist in the abolition of the detestable traffic in human creatures; and the other a cameo of Hope attended by Peace, and Art, and Labour; which was made of clay from Botany Bay; to which place he sent many of them to shew the inhabitants what their materials would do, and to encourage their industry. A print of this latter medallion is prefixed to Mr. Stockdale's edition of Philip's Expedition to Botany Bay.]
[Portland's mystic urn. l. 320. See additional notes, No. XXII.]
"Here by fall'n columns and disjoin'd arcades,
On mouldering stones, beneath deciduous shades,
Sits HUMANKIND in hieroglyphic state,
Serious, and pondering on their changeful state;
325 While with inverted torch, and swimming eyes,
Sinks the fair shade of MORTAL LIFE, and dies.
There the pale GHOST through Death's wide portal bends
His timid feet, the dusky steep descends;
With smiles assuasive LOVE DIVINE invites,
330 Guides on broad wing, with torch uplifted lights;
IMMORTAL LIFE, her hand extending, courts
The lingering form, his tottering step supports;
Leads on to Pluto's realms the dreary way,
And gives him trembling to Elysian day.
335 Beneath in sacred robes the PRIESTESS dress'd,
The coif close-hooded, and the fluttering vest,
With pointing finger guides the initiate youth,
Unweaves the many-colour'd veil of Truth,
Drives the profane from Mystery's bolted door,
340 And Silence guards the Eleusinian lore.--
[Illustration: The Portland Vase]
[Illustration: The first Compartment, London Published Dec'r 1st 1791 by J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard.]
[Illustration: The second Compartment]
[Illustration: The Handles & Bottom of the Vase. London Published Dec'r 1st 1791 by J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard.]
"Whether, O Friend of Art! your gems derive
Fine forms from Greece, and fabled Gods revive;
Or bid from modern life the Portrait breathe,
And bind round Honour's brow the laurel wreath;
345 Buoyant shall sail, with Fame's historic page,
Each fair medallion o'er the wrecks of age;
Nor Time shall mar; nor steel, nor fire, nor rust
Touch the hard polish of the immortal bust.
[Fine forms from Greece. l. 342. In real stones, or in paste or soft coloured glass, many pieces of exquisite workmanship were produced by the antients. Basso-relievos of various sizes were made in coarse brown earth of one colour; but of the improved kind of two or more colours, and of a true porcelain texture, none were made by the antients, nor attempted I believe by the moderns, before those of Mr. Wedgwood's manufactory.]
2. "HENCE sable COAL his massy couch extends,
350 And stars of gold the sparkling Pyrite blends;
Hence dull-eyed Naphtha pours his pitchy streams,
And Jet uncolour'd drinks the solar beams,
Bright Amber shines on his electric throne,
And adds ethereal lustres to his own.
355 --Led by the phosphor-light, with daring tread
Immortal FRANKLIN sought the fiery bed;
Where, nursed in night, incumbent Tempest shrouds
The seeds of Thunder in circumfluent clouds,
Besieged with iron points his airy cell,
360 And pierced the monster slumbering in the shell.
[Hence sable Coal. l. 349. See additional notes, No. XXIII. on coal.]
[Bright Amber shines. l. 353. Coal has probably all been sublimed more or less from the clay, with which it was at first formed in decomposing morasses; the petroleum seems to have been separated and condensed again in superior strata, and a still finer kind of oil, as naphtha, has probably had the same origin. Some of these liquid oils have again lost their more volatile parts, and become cannel-coal, asphaltum, jet, and amber, according to the purity of the original fossil oil. Dr. Priestley has shewn, that essential oils long exposed to the atmosphere absorb both the vital and phlogistic part of it; whence it is probable their becoming solid may in great measure depend, as well as by the exhalation of their more volatile parts. On distillation with volatile alcaly all these fossil oils are shewn to contain the acid of amber, which evinces the identity of their origin. If a piece of amber be rubbed it attracts straws and hairs, whence the discovery of electricity, and whence its name, from electron the Greek word for amber.]
[Immortal Franklin. l. 356. See note on Canto I. l. 383.]
"So, born on sounding pinions to the WEST,
When Tyrant-Power had built his eagle nest;
While from his eyry shriek'd the famish'd brood,
Clenched their sharp claws, and champ'd their beaks for blood,
365 Immortal FRANKLIN watch'd the callow crew,
And stabb'd the struggling Vampires, ere they flew.
--The patriot-flame with quick contagion ran,
Hill lighted hill, and man electrised man;
Her heroes slain awhile COLUMBIA mourn'd,
370 And crown'd with laurels LIBERTY return'd.
"The Warrior, LIBERTY, with bending sails
Helm'd his bold course to fair HIBERNIA'S vales;--
Firm as he steps, along the shouting lands,
Lo! Truth and Virtue range their radiant bands;
375 Sad Superstition wails her empire torn,
Art plies his oar, and Commerce pours her horn.
"Long had the Giant-form on GALLIA'S plains
Inglorious slept, unconscious of his chains;
Round his large limbs were wound a thousand strings
380 By the weak hands of Confessors and Kings;
O'er his closed eyes a triple veil was bound,
And steely rivets lock'd him to the ground;
While stern Bastile with iron cage inthralls
His folded limbs, and hems in marble walls.
385 --Touch'd by the patriot-flame, he rent amazed
The flimsy bonds, and round and round him gazed;
Starts up from earth, above the admiring throng
Lifts his Colossal form, and towers along;
High o'er his foes his hundred arms He rears,
390 Plowshares his swords, and pruning hooks his spears;
Calls to the Good and Brave with voice, that rolls
Like Heaven's own thunder round the echoing poles;
Gives to the winds his banner broad unfurl'd,
And gathers in its shade the living world!
[While stern Bastile. l. 383. "We descended with great difficulty into the dungeons, which were made too low for our standing upright; and were so dark, that we were obliged at noon-day to visit them by the light of a candle. We saw the hooks of those chains, by which the prisoners were fastened by their necks to the walls of their cells; many of which being below the level of the water were in a constant state of humidity; from which issued a noxious vapour, which more than once extinguished the candles. Since the destruction of the building many subterraneous cells have been discovered under a piece of ground, which seemed only a bank of solid earth before the horrid secrets of this prison-house were disclosed. Some skeletons were found in these recesses with irons still fastened to their decayed bones." Letters from France, by H.M. Williams, p. 24.]
395 VII. "GNOMES! YOU then taught volcanic airs to force
Through bubbling Lavas their resistless course,
O'er the broad walls of rifted Granite climb,
And pierce the rent roof of incumbent Lime,
Round sparry caves metallic lustres fling,
400 And bear phlogiston on their tepid wing.
[And pierce the rent roof. l. 398. The granite rocks and the limestone rocks have been cracked to very great depths at the time they were raised up by subterranean fires; in these cracks are found most of the metallic ores, except iron and perhaps manganese, the former of which is generally found in horizontal strata, and the latter generally near the surface of the earth.
Philosophers possessing so convenient a test for the discovery of iron by the magnet, have long since found it in all vegetable and animal matters; and of late Mr. Scheele has discovered the existence of manganese in vegetable ashes. Scheele, 56 mem. Stock. 1774. Kirwan. Min. 353. Which accounts for the production of it near the surface of earth, and thence for its calciform appearance, or union with vital air. Bergman has likewise shewn, that the limestones which become bluish or dark coloured when calcined, possess a mixture of manganese, and are thence preferable as a cement to other kinds of lime. 2. Bergman, 229. Which impregnation with manganese has probably been received from the decomposition of superincumbent vegetable matters.
These cracks or perpendicular caverns in the granite or limestone pass to unknown depths; and it is up these channels that I have endeavoured to shew that the steam rises which becomes afterwards condensed and produces the warm springs of this island, and other parts of the world. (See note on Fucus, Vol. II.) And up these cracks I suppose certain vapours arise, which either alone, or by meeting with something descending into them from above, have produced most of the metals; and several of the materials in which they are bedded. Thus the ponderous earth, Barytes, of Derbyshire, is found in these cracks, and is stratified frequently with lead-ore, and frequently surrounds it. This ponderous earth has been found by Dr. Hoepfner in a granite in Switzerland, and may have thus been sublimed from immense depths by great heat, and have obtained its carbonic or vitriolic acid from above. Annales de Chimie. There is also reason to conclude that something from above is necessary to the formation of many of the metals: at Hawkstone in Shropshire, the seat of Sir Richard Hill, there is an elevated rock of siliceous sand which is coloured green with copper in many places high in the air; and I have in my possession a specimen of lead formed in the cavity of an iron nodule, and another of lead amid spar from a crack of a coal-stratum; all which countenance the modern production of those metals from descending materials. To which should be added, that the highest mountains of granite, which have therefore probably never been covered with marine productions on account of their early elevation, nor with vegetable or animal matters on account of their great coldness, contain no metallic ores, whilst the lower ones contain copper and tin in their cracks or veins, both in Saxony, Silesia, and Cornwall. Kirwan's Mineral. p. 374.
The transmutation of one metal into another, though hitherto undiscovered by the alchymists, does not appear impossible; such transmutations have been supposed to exist in nature, thus lapis calaminaris may have been produced from the destruction of lead-ore, as it is generally found on the top of the veins of lead, where it has been calcined or united with air, and because masses of lead-ore are often found intirely inclosed in it. So silver is found mixed in almost all lead-ores, and sometimes in seperate filaments within the cavities of lead-ore, as I am informed by Mr. Michell, and is thence probably a partial transmutation of the lead to silver, the rapid progress of modern chemistry having shewn the analogy between metallic calces and acids, may lead to the power of transmuting their bases: a discovery much to be wished.]
"HENCE glows, refulgent Tin! thy chrystal grains,
And tawny Copper shoots her azure veins;
Zinc lines his fretted vault with sable ore,
And dull Galena tessellates the floor;
405 On vermil beds in Idria's mighty caves
The living Silver rolls its ponderous waves;
With gay refractions bright Platina shines,
And studs with squander'd stars his dusky mines;
Long threads of netted gold, and silvery darts,
410 Inlay the Lazuli, and pierce the Quartz;--
--Whence roof'd with silver beam'd PERU, of old,
And hapless MEXICO was paved with gold.
"Heavens! on my sight what sanguine colours blaze!
Spain's deathless shame! the crimes of modern days!
415 When Avarice, shrouded in Religion's robe,
Sail'd to the West, and slaughter'd half the globe;
While Superstition, stalking by his side,
Mock'd the loud groans, and lap'd the bloody tide;
For sacred truths announced her frenzied dreams,
420 And turn'd to night the sun's meridian beams.--
Hear, oh, BRITANNIA! potent Queen of isles,
On whom fair Art, and meek Religion smiles,
Now AFRIC'S coasts thy craftier sons invade
With murder, rapine, theft,--and call it Trade!
425 --The SLAVE, in chains, on supplicating knee,
Spreads his wide arms, and lifts his eyes to Thee;
With hunger pale, with wounds and toil oppress'd,
"ARE WE NOT BRETHREN?" sorrow choaks the rest;--
--AIR! bear to heaven upon thy azure flood
430 Their innocent cries!--EARTH! cover not their blood!
VIII. "When Heaven's dread justice smites in crimes o'ergrown
The blood-nursed Tyrant on his purple throne,
GNOMES! YOUR bold forms unnumber'd arms outstretch,
And urge the vengeance o'er the guilty wretch.--
435 Thus when CAMBYSES led his barbarous hosts
From Persia's rocks to Egypt's trembling coasts,
Defiled each hallowed