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trouts and of trout-takers, was in season. They were fluttering by thousands over the stream, and dropping every moment into it, where many a luxuriating mouth was ready to receive them. The anglers were half as numerous as they ; from the bottom of Dove-dale to Berresford Hall, the whilom residence of Cotton, and the resort of Walton, scarcely a hundred yards, but “maintained its man.” I pleased myself with fancying I saw amongst them many a face which belonged to a disciple of Izaak worthy of the master and the art, and, had I not entered into talk with them, I might have thought so now. But, I asked one if there was not once a very famous angler, who frequented the Dove. “Oh aye!" said he, “I know whom you mean; you mean old Dennel Hastings. For fishing and shuting he was the cob of all this country!” Alas! poor Izaak | I thought; but I gianced at the man's fish-basket as I passed. It was empty, and I set him down as a fellow not more ignorant of Izaak than of the patient mystery. But soon after, I cast my eye upon an old and venerable figure. His basket was stored with beautiful trouts, till the lid would not shut down. His grey hair clustered thick and bushily beneath his well-worn hat, as if it was accustomed to grow in the sun and the breeze, and to be “wet with the dews of heaven." His features were such as the father of anglers himself might have worn,good; and apparently accustomed to express a mixed spirit of bonhommie and simplicity, but were then sharpened into the deepest intensity of an angler's vigilant enjoyment. This, thought I, is surely the man, and I asked him if he had read “Walton's Complete Angler.” Yes, he had it, and he had Major's new edition, too: and, turning to me with an air of immense knowingness and importance, said—“If he was alive now he could not take a single fin.” “No," I replied, “how is that? He could take plenty in his day; and though I do not deny that there may have been great improvement in the art, yet, skill then successful would be equally so now, unless there has been a revolution amongst the fish, and they have grown wiser. “Ay, there you have it,” he added, the fish, are wiser: they wont take the same baits.” I instinctively glanced at the bait then upon the hook of my Vol. II.-77.
Now, as the sun declines, may be seen, emerging from the surface of shallow streams, and lying there for a while till its wings are dried for flight, the (misnamed). May-fly. Escaping, after a protracted struggle of half a minute, from its watery birth place, it flutters restlessly up and down, up and down, over the same spot, during its whole era of a summer evening; and at last dies, as the last dying streaks of day are leaving the western horizon. And yet, who shall say that in that space of time it has not undergone all the vicissitudes of a long and eventful life? That it has not felt all the freshness of youth, all the vigour of maturity, all the weakness and satiety of old age, and all the pangs of death itself? In short, who shall satisfy us that any essential difference exists between its four hours and our fourscore years"?
To THE MAY FLY.
Thou art a frail and lovely thing,
• Mirror of the Months.
Monsieur Chabert (the celebrated continental salamander) exhibited his power in withstanding the operation of the fiery element, at White Conduit Gardens, yesterday evening (June 7, 1826). In the first instance, he refreshed himself with a hearty meal of phosphorus, which was, at his own request, supplied to him very liberally, by several of his visiters, who were previously unacquainted with him. He washed down this infernal fare with solutions of arsenic and oxalic acid, thus throwing into the background the long-established fame of Mithridates. He next swallowed with great goist several spoonsful of boiling oil, and, as a desert to this delicate repast, helped himself with his naked hand to a considerable quantity of molten lead. There are, we know, preparations which so indurate the cuticle as to render it insensible to the heat either of boiling oil or melting lead, and the fatal qualities of certain poisons may be destroyed, if the medium through which they are imbibed, as we suppose to be the case here, is a strong alkali. We cannot, however, guess in what manner Monsieur Chabert effected this neutralization; and it is but fair to state, that the exhibitor offered to swallow Prussic acid, perhaps the most powerful of known poisons, the effect of which is instantaneous, if any good-natured person could furnish him with a quantity of it. During the period when this part of the entertainment (if entertainment it can be called) was going on, an oven, shout six feet by seven, was heated.
For an hour and a quarter, large quantities of faggots were burnt in it, until at length it was hot enough for the bedchamber of his Satanic Majesty. “O for a muse of fire 1" to describe what followed. Monsieur Chabert, who seems to be a piece of living asbestos, entered this stove, accompanied by a rumpsteak and a leg of lamb, when the heat was at about 220. He remained there, in the first instance, for ten minutes, till the steak was properly done, conversing all the time with the company, through a tin tube, placed in an orifice formed in the sheet-iron door of the oven. Having swallowed a cup of tea, and having seen that the company had done justice to the meat he had already cooked, he returned to his fiery den, and continued there until the lamb was properly done. This joint was devoured with such avidity by the spectators, as leads us to believe, that had Monsieur Chabert himself been sufficiently baked, they would have proceeded to a Caribbean banquet. Many experiments, as to the extent to which the human frame could bear heat, without the destruction of the vital powers, have been tried from time to time; but so far as we recollect, Monsieur Chabert's fire-resisting qualities are greater than those professed by the individuals who, before him, have undergone this species of ordeal. It was announced some time ago, in one of the French journals, that experiments had been tried with a female, whose firestanding qualities had excited great astonishment. She, it appears, was placed in a heated oven, into which, live dogs, cats, and rabbits, were conveyed. The poor animals died, in a state of convulsion, almost immediately, while the fire s. bore the heat without complaining. n that instance, however, the heat of the oven was not so great as that which Monsieur Chabert encountered. If Monsieur Chabert will attach himself to any of the insurance companies, he will, we have no doubt, “save more goods out of the fire” than ever Nimming Ned did.”
As regards the taking of poisons by this person, the “Morning Chronicle” account says, “Monsieur Chabert's first performance was the swallowing a quantity of phosphorus, which, we need not inform our readers, is one of the most violent poisons. , Happening to stand near the exhibitor's table, he invited us to weigh out the phosphorus, and taste the pure water with which he washed down the aconite. We accordingly administered to the gentleman a dose of sixty-four grains, enough, we imagine, to have proved a quietus to even Chuny himself. We observed, however, that the pure water was strongly impregnated with an alkali (soda), and we need scarcely observe, that any of the fixed alkalies would have the effect of neutralizing the phosphorus, and destroying its pernicious effects in the stomach. There was a similar exhibition of swallowing a quantity of arsenic, some of which was fused over charcoal, to convince the bystanders, by the smell, that it was the real poison. To us, however, it appeared that it was merely metallic arsenic, the swallowing of which might be done with impunity—at least, to the extent to which Monsieur Chabeit received it into his stomach. We thought this part of the exhibition rather offensive and silly, for it was obvious that the quality of the drugs, professed to be poison, was submitted to no fair test; and there were several links deficient in the chain of reasoning necessary to convince an intelligent person that the professed feat was really performed.” Supposing this statement correct, there is nothing surprising in Monsieur Chabert’s trick. “But,” the same writer adds, “it was different with the pyrotechnic exhibition.—Monsieur Chabert first poured nitric acid upon metallic filings, mixed (we suppose) with sulphur, to form pyrites; these he suffered fairly to ignite in the palm of his hand, and retained the burning mass some time, although a small quantity ignited in our hand quickly made us glad to plunge it into water. Monsieur Chabert then deliberately rubbed a hot shovel over his skin, through his hair, and finally upon the tongue. This was very fairly done. The next feat was that of swallowing boiling oil. We tried the thermometer in the oil, and found it rose to 340 degrees. Monsieur Chabert swallowed a few table spoonsful of this burning liquid, which perhaps might have cooled to about 320 degrees, between the taking the oil from the saucepan and the putting it into his mouth. A gentleman
* The Times, June 8, 1826.
in the company came forward, and dropping lighted sealing-wax upon Monsieur Chabert's tongue, took the impression of his seal. This we suppose is what is called sealing a man's mouth.” There is nothing more astonishing in this than in the trick with the poisons, The little black-letter “Booke of Secretes of Albertus Magnus, imprinted at London by H. Iackson,” which discovers many “merveyis of the world,” happens to be at hand, and two of them may throw some light on the kind of means by which Monsieur Chabert performed his pyrotechnic exhibition; viz. 1. When thou wilt that thou seeme a inflamed, or set on fyre from thy head unto thy fete and not be hurt. Take white great malowes or holyhocke, myxe then with the white of egges; after anoynte thy body with it, and let it be untill it be dryed up; and, after, anoynte the with alume, and afterwards caste on it smal brymstone beaten unto poulder, for the fyre is inflamed on it, and hurteth not; and if thou make upon the palme of thy hand thou shalt bee able to hold the fyre without hurt. 2. A merveylous earperience, which maketh menne to go into the fyre without hurte, or to bere fyre, or red hote yron in their hand, withoute hurte. Take the juyce of Bismalua, and the whyte of an egge, and the sede of an hearbe called Psillium, also Pulicarius herba, and breake it unto powder, and make a confection, and mixe the juyce of Radysh with the whyte of an egge. Anoynt thy body or hande with this confection, and let it be dryed and after anoynte it againe; after that, thou mayest suffer boldely the fyre without hurt. This, without multiplying authorities, may suffice to show, that a man may continue to work great marvels in the eyes of persons who are uninformed, by simple processes well known centuries ago. The editor of the Every-Day Book was once called on by a lady, making tea, to hand the boiling water in his “best manner:” he took the kettle from the fire, and placing its bottom on his right hand, bore it with extenaed arm across the roeim to his
fair requisionist, who very nearly went into fits, and some of the female part of the company fainted : they expected his hand to be thoroughly burned ; when, in fact, no other inconvenience will result to any one who chooses to present a teakettle in that way than the necessity of wiping the soil from the hand by a damp cloth. Some of the most common things are wonderful to those who have never seen them.
As to M. Chabert, the “Morning Chronicle” account says, “But now came the grand and terrific erhibition— the entering the oven—for which expectation was excited to the highest pitch. We had the curiosity to apply the unerring test of the thermometer to the inside of the oven, and found the maximum of heat to be 220 deg. M. Chabert, being dressed in a loose black linen robe, rendered, he assured us, as fireproof as asbestos, by a chemical solution, entered the oven amidst the applause of the spectators. He continued like a modern Shadrach in the fiery furnace, and after a suspense of about 12 minutes, again appeared to the anxious spectators, triumphantly bearing the beef-steak fully dressed, which he had taken into the oven with him raw. M. Chabert also exhibited to us the thermometer, which he had taken into the oven with him at 60 deg., and which was now up to 590 deg. We need not say that the bulb had been kept in the burning embers, of which it bore palpable signs. This was a mere trick, unworthy of the exhibition, for Mons. Chabert really bore the oven heated to 220 deg. for full twenty minutes. Whether we were emulous of Paul Pry, and peeped under the iron door of the oven, and beheld the beef-steak and leg of mutton cooking upon a heap of charcoal and embers concealed in the corner of the oven, we must not say, “it were too curious to consider matters after that manner.' We are only doing justice to Monsieur Chabert in saying, that he is the best of all fire-eaters we have yet seen, and that his performance is truly wonderful, and highly worthy of the public patronage. A man so impervious to fire, may “make assurance doubly sure, and take a bond of fate.’”
Stay, stay ! Not quite so fast. M. Chabert is a man of tricks, but his only real trick failed to deceive; this
was placing the bulb of the thermometer in burning embers, to get the mercury up to 590, while, in fact, the heat he really bore in the oven was only 220; which, as he bore that heat for “full twenty minutes,” the writer quoted deems “really wonderful.” That it was not wonderful for such an exhibitor to endure such a heat, will appear from the following statements. About the middle of January, 1774, Dr. Charles Blagden, F.R.S., received an invitation from Dr. George Fordyce, to observe the effects of air heated to a much higher degree than it was formerly thought any living creature could bear. Dr. Fordyce had himself proved the mistake of Dr. Boerhaave and most other authors, by supporting many times very high degrees of heat, in the course of a long train of important experiments. Dr Cullen had long before suggested many arguments to show, that life itself had a power of generating heat, independent of any common chemical or mechanical means. Governor Ellis in the year 1758 had observed, that a man could live in air of a greater heat than that of his body; and that the body, in this situation, continues its own cold; and the abbé Chappe d'Auteroche had written that the Russians used their baths heated to 60 deg. of Reaumur's thermometer, about 160 of Fahrenheit's. With a view to add further evidence to these extraordinary facts, and to ascertain the real effects of such great degrees of heat on the human body, Dr. Fordyce tried various experiments in heated chambers without chimneys, and from whence the external air was excluded. One of these experiments is thus related.
Dr. Blagden's Narrative.
The honourable captain Phipps, Mr. (afterwards sir Joseph) Banks, Dr. Solander, and myself, attended Dr. Fordyce to the heated chamber, which had served for many of his experiments with dry air. We went in without taking off any of our clothes. It was an oblong square room, fourteen feet by twelve in length and width, and eleven in height, heated by a round stove, or cockle, of cast iron, which stood in the middle, with a tube for the smoke carried from it through one of the side walls. When we first entered the room, about two o'clock in the afternoon, the quicksilver in a thermometer, which had been sus.
pended there stood above the 150th degree. By placing several thermometers in different parts of the room we afterwards found, that the heat was a little greater in some places than in others; but that the whole difference never exceeded 20 deg. We continued in the room above 20 minutes, in which time, the heat had risen about 12 deg., chiefly during the first part of our stay. Within an hour afterwards we went into this room again, without seeing any material difference, though the heat was considerably increased. Upon entering the room a third time, between five and six o'clock after dinner, we observed the quicksilver in our only remaining thermometer at 198 deg. ; this great heat had so warped the ivory frames of our other thermometers, that every one of them was broken. We now staid in the room, all together, about 10 minutes; but finding that the thermometer sunk very fast, it was agreed, that for the future only one person should go in at a time, and orders were given to raise the fire as much as possible. Soon afterwards Dr. Solander entered the room alone, and saw the thermometer at 210 of: but, during three minutes that he staid there, it sunk to 196 deg. Another time, he found it almost five minutes before the heat was lessened from 210 deg., to 196 deg. Mr. Banks closed the whole, by going in when the thermometer stood above 211 deg. ; he remained seven minutes, in which time the quicksilver had sunk to 198 deg. ; but cold air had been let into the room by a person who went in and came out again during Mr. Banks's stay. The air heated to these high degrees felt unpleasantly hot, but was very bearable. Our most uneasy feeling was a sense of scorching on the face and legs: our legs, particularly, suffered very much, by being exposed more fully than any other, part to the body of the stove, heated red-hot by the fire within. Our respiration was not at all affected ; it became neither quick nor laborious; the only difference was a want of that refreshing sensation which accompanies a full inspiration of cool air. Our time was so taken up with other observations, that we did not count our pulses by the watch; mine, to the best of my judgment by feeling it, beat at the rate of 100 pulsations in a minute, near the end of the first experiment; and Dr. Solanders made 92 pulsations in a minute,
soon after we had gone out of the heated room. Mr. Banks sweated profusely, but no one else: my shirt was only damp at the end of the experiment. But the most striking effects proceeded from our power of preserving our natural temperature. Being now in a situation in which our bodies bore a very different relation to the surrounding atmosphere from that to which we had been accustomed, every moment presented a new phenomenon. Whenever we breathed on a thermometer, the quicksilver sunk several degrees. Every expiration, particularly if made with any degree of violence, gave a very pleasant impression of coolness to our nostrils, scorched just before by the hot air rushing against them when we inspired. In the same manner our now cold breath agreeably cooled our fingers, whenever it reached them. Upon touching my side, it felt cold like a corpse; and yet the actual heat of my body, tried under my tongue, and by applying closely the thermometer to my skin, was 98 deg., about a degree higher than its ordinary temperature. When the heat of the air began to approach the highest degree which the apparatus was capable of producing, our bodies in the room prevented it from rising any higher; and, when it had been previously raised above that point, inevitably sunk it. Every experiment furnished proofs of this: towards the end of the first, the thermometer was stationary: in the second, it sunk a little during the short time we staid in the room: in the third, it sunk so fast as to oblige us to determine that only one erson should go in at a time ; and Mr. nks and Dr. Solander each found, that his single body was sufficient to sink the quicksilver very fast, when the room was brought nearly to its maximum of heat. These experiments, therefore, prove in the clearest manner, that the body has a power of destroying heat. To speak justly on this subject, we must call it a power of destroying a certain degree of heat communicated with certain quickness. Therefore, in estimating the heat which we are capable of resisting, it is necessary to take into consideration not only what degree of heat would be communicated to our bodies, if they possessed no resisting power, by the heated body, before the equilibrium of heat was effected; but also what time that heat