Page images
PDF
EPUB

upon them.

fession, they fancied they already saw the mountains rolling and heaped

The alarm was such, that it was not till the 23d of the month that they resolved to dig out this prodigy, of which they knew neither the form, the nature, or the substance. They deliberated for a long time, whether they should go armed to undertake this operation which appeared so dangerous; but Claude Serre, (sexton) justly observed, that if it was the devil, neither powder or arms would prevail against him, that holy water would be more effectual, and that he would undertake to make the evil spirit fly; after which they set themselves to work, and after having sunk nearly six feet, they found the aerolite, weighing rather more than 202 pounds (English). It was covered with a black bituminous varnish, and some parts of it had a sulphurous smell. It was requisite to break it to get it out : there still remains a mass weighing about 100 pounds.

All the facts above stated are proved by all the inhabitants of the hamlet of Libonnez; and especially Delmas, sen. and jun.; James and Claude Serre, Peter Charayre, John Chaudouard, Anthony Dumas and his child; and also by Mary Ann Vidal, a young girl of about 14

years

of

age; the two latter, who were less frightened, followed the direction of the stone, and actually found the place where it was buried. Concerning all which, we have drawn up the present proces-verbal as a continuation of the history of these phenomena, a copy of which we shall send to M. the Prefect.-(Drawn up and agreed upon at our house, the 25th of June, 1821.)

We, the Mayor of Juvinas, certify, that three days after, on the 26th of June, on visiting the place where this stone fell, another was found at a short distance from it, which weighed about two pounds and a quarter ; it was covered with a similar varnish, and entirely distinct from the first. (A true copy delivered by us, the Mayor of the Commune of Juvinas, the 3d of July, 1821.)

DELAIGUE. The Master of Requests, Prefect of Ardêche, certifies that the present extract from the proces-verbal, written the 25th of June, 1821, by the Sieur Delaigne, Mayor of the Commune of Juvinas, agrees precisely with that which was sent officially to the prefecture, and that the fragments of the aerolite, which were brought by the Sieur Claude Fargier, are of the same nature, and present the same characters as that which has been deposited in the Museum of Ardêche. Privas, 5th of July, 1821.

TEYSONIER.

IV. Analysis of the Aerolite which fell at Juvinas. M. Laugier states that he has performed four analyses of this stone, the first by means of acid, the second by potash, the third by nitric acid, with the intention of determining the quantity of sulphur ; the fourth by means of nitrate of barytes, for the purpose of determining the quantity of the potash, which M. Vauquelin had found in this stone, although he did not employ this method, the only one which can be relied upon. These several analyses, all agreeing as to the nature of the elements of stone, varied slightly with respect to their proportions ; a variation which must be attributed to its being deficient in homogeniety in all its parts.

The second analysis, that by potash, which appeared to M. Laugier to be the most correct, gave the following results :

[blocks in formation]

M. Laugier observes, that the loss of four or five per cent. which always occurred in his analyses, instead of the increase which, in these kinds of analyses, usually results from metals which the aerolites contain, renders it probable that in the aerolite of Juvinas, the iron and manganese exist in the state of oxides. No portion of this aerolite reduced to powder was attracted by the magnet, which renders this conjecture more probable.

M. Laugier endeavoured to discover whether this loss was owing to carbonic acid, but the stone did not appear to contain any : in a subsequent analysis he found, however, that it yielded rather more sulphur than stated in the analysis. He afterwards observes that this areolite resembles one which fell at Ionzac in its analysis, and especially in the absence of nickel; and also with an aerolite which fell in 1813, in the environs of Lantola, a village in the government of Wibourg, in Finland. These are the only areolites which have been hitherto found destitute of nickel.

V. Magnesian Minerals of Hoboken. It appears from the observation of Mr. Nuttall, that magnesian earth pervades not only the mass of serpentine rock, which occurs at Hoboken, in New Jersey, but all the concomitant minerals, in a manner hitherto unexampled. Among the latter is the hydrate of magnesia, which contains 30 per cent. of water, * and a minute proportion of iron, the latter ingredient being found even in the purest specimens which are perfectly colourless and diaphanous. tiguous to this is found a species of magnesian marble, forming a continuation of the same veins which afford the magnesian hydrate. It contains in 100 parts 44 magnesia, 50 carbonic acid, and variable proportions of lime, silica, and protoxide of iron.

In veins of the same rock a mineral occurs, which, from its silky lustre, and flexible fibrous texture, was at first mistaken for amianthus. It was found, however, to dissolve entirely without effervescence in acids; and, in fact, to be a hydrate of magnesia constituted of the same proportions as the foliated variety, with about five per cent of protoxide of iron. In other veins of the Hoboken serpentine, and in that of Bare Hills, near Baltimore, a mineral also has been found, which has received the name of marmolite. Its texture is foliated with the laminæ, thin, and often parallel as in diallage ; its colour pale green or greenish grey ; lustre pearly; soft enough to be cut with a knife, and almost perfectly opaque and inflexible. Spec. Grav. 2-470. It was found on analysis to contain Magnesia..

* This, as well as the similar mineral found in Shetland, by Dr. Hibbert, appears to be the proto-hydrate, consisting of one atom of magnesia, 18.5 + 1 atom of water = 95.

46:0 Silica.

36.0 Lime

2:0 Water

15.0 Iron and Chrome.

0•5

[blocks in formation]

100.0

(Silliman's Journal.) VI. Analysis of Sulphuret of Molybdenum, found near Chester, Delaware

County, Pennsylvania. By Mr. Seybert of Philadelphia. In internal characters it resembled so closely that of Saxony as to render any description needless. It consisted of Sulphur

39•68 Molybdenum

59:42 Loss

0.90

100.00

(Ibid.) VII. Analysis of the Chromate of Iron from Bare Hills, near Baltimore.

By the Same. Its constituent parts are, after roasting, Silex

10:596 Peroxide of iron

36.004 Alumina..

13.002 Protoxide of chrome..

39:514

Loss

99.116

•884

100 000

(Ibid.) VIII. Progress of Mineralogy in America. The volume of Professor Silliman's Journal which has just been received, shows that this branch of science is becoming a favourite object of pursuit in America. It announces the discovery of some minerals not before found in that country, and of several new localities of the rarer minerals, such as beryl, chrysoberyl, chlorite, fluor spar, satin spar, epidote, yellow oxide of tungsten, both pulverulent and

massive, micaceous iron ore, of great beauty ; actynolite, rose quartz, red oxide of titanium, sulphate of strontia, sulphate of lead, &c. as well as of several minerals of importance to the arts, as oxide of manganese, white granular marble, plumbago, and hematites.

IX. New Test for Arsenic. Dr. Cooper, president of Columbia College, finds a solution of chromate of potash to be one of the best tests of arsenic. One drop is turned green by the fourth of a grain of arsenic, by two or three drops of Fowler's mineral solution, or any other arsenite of potash. The arsenious acid takes oxygen from the chromic which is converted into green oxide. To exhibit the effect, take, he says, five watch glasses ; put on one, two, or three drops of a (watery) solution of white arsenic; on the second, as much arsenite of potash; on the third, one fourth of a grain of white arsenic in the substance; on the fourth two or three drops of solution of corrosive sublimate either in water or alcohol; in the fifth, two or three drops of a solution of copper. Add to each three or four drops of solution of chromate of potash. In half an hour, a bright, clear grass-green colour will appear in numbers 1, 2, 3, unchangeable by ammonia ; number 4 will instantly exhibit an orange precipitate: number 5, a green, which a drop of ammonia will instantly change to blue. Dr. Cooper, however, does not recommend that this test should be exclusively relied on, but merely that it should be used in conjunction with others, of which the most unequivocal is certainly the actual exhibition of arsenic in a metallic form.

(Silliman's Journal.) X. Conversion of Cannon Balls into Plumbago. In July, 1779, a British squadron from New York invaded the coast of Connecticut; and, in order to favour the movements of a military force which had landed, kept up a cannonade in the town and redoubts of Newhaven. During a violent storm in September, 1821, part of a low bank near that town was undermined by the sea, and a cannon ball discovered which must have lain undisturbed 42 years. The ground in question, where the ball lay, is little else than a salt morass, so that it must have been constantly kept moist by sea water. Its diameter is 3.87 inches. By means of a common saw, a section was easily made through the plumbaginous coat, which, at the place of incision, was half an inch deep, but varied in thickness in different places. The plumbago is cut with the same ease, gives the same streak to paper, and has in every respect the same properties as common black lead.

The same article recounts another instance in which a cannon ball, covered by oysters, adhering firmly to it, was taken from the wreck of a vessel, which appeared to have lain many years under water. When the oysters were knocked off

, the external part of the ball was found converted into plumbago, but the central part remained unaltered. It does not, however, appear that this change always happened to cast iron when thus exposed; for an old cannon, found covered with oysters, did not, in the renewal of its coating, shew any signs of such a conversion.*-(Ibid.)

* In the Annals of Philosophy, vol. v. p. 66, (Jan. 1815) may be found a paper by Dr. Henry, on the conversion of cast iron pipes into plumbago. The change seems to have been effected by the action of water containing muriate of soda, and muriates of lime and magnesia.

ARTICLE XVI.

NEW SCIENTIFIC BOOKS

PREPARING FOR PUBLICATION. In the press, A Treatise on the Use of Moxa as a Therapeutical Agent, by Baron Larrey; translated from the French, with Notes, and an Introduction containing 3 History of the Substance, by Robley Dunglison, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

A Succinct Account of the Lime Rocks of Plymouth, with 10 Lithographic Plates of some of the most remarkable of the Animal Remains found in them, by the Rev. Richard Hennah. 1 vol. roy. 8vo.

A new Edition of Newton's Principia Mathematica, from the best Jesuit's Edition.

A History of a severe Case of Neurelgia, commonly called Tic Douloureux, occupying the Nerves of the Right Thigh, Leg, and Foot, successfully treated, with some Observations. By G. D. Yeats, MD.

JUST PUBLISHED.

The Scottish Cryptogamic Flora, or coloured Figures and Descriptions of Cryptogamic Plants growing in Scotland, and belonging chiefly to the Order Fungi. By Robert Kaye Greville, Esq. FRSE. MWS. &c. Royal 8vo. No. I. 4s.

The Philosophy of Zoology, or a General View of the Structure, Functions, and Classification of Animals. By John Flemming, DD. Minister of Flisk, Fifeshire, FRSE. MWS. &c. 2 vols. 8vo. With Plates. 11. 10s.

The Naturalist's Repository, or Monthly Miscellany of Exotic Natural History. By E. Donovan, FLS. FWS. &c. Royal 8vo. No. I. 35. 6d.

ARTICLE XVII.

NEW PATENTS.

P. Erard, Great Marlborough-street, musical instrument maker, for improvements on harps. Communicated to him by a foreigner residing abroad. - April 24.

E. Dodd, St. Martin's-lane, musical instrument maker, for improve ments on pedal harps---April 24.

J. Delvean; Wardour-street, musical instrument maker, for certain improvements on harps.-April 24.

R. Ford, Abingdon-row, Goswell-street-road, chemist, for a chemical liquid or solution of annotto.-April 24.

R. Knight, Foster-lane, Cheapside, ironmonger, and R. Kirk, Osborn-place, Whitechapel, dyer, for a process for the more rapid crystallization, and for the evaporation of Auids, at comparatively low temperatures, by a peculiar mechanical application of air.- May 9.

« PreviousContinue »