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Justice the founder of my fabric moved :
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I endure.


Such characters, in colours dim, I mark'd
Over a portal's lofty arch inscribed."

Amidst much that is personal and dramatic, many general, but not less impressive, delineations are found. Such as,


"From that air serene,

Into a climate ever vex'd with storms:

And to a part I came where no light shines.

Into a place I came

Where light was silent all. Bellowing there groan'd
A noise, as of a sea in tempest torn

By warring winds. The stormy blast of hell

With restless fury drives the spirits on,

Whirl'd round and dash'd amain with sore annoy.
When they arrive before the ruinous sweep,
There shrieks are heard, there lamentations, moans,
And blasphemies 'gainst the good Power in heaven."

In Canto xix., Dante beholds the punishment of those who had been guilty of simony. He finds among them Pope Nicholas V., who tells him that beneath himself some of his predecessors were suffering, and that he, too, would sink among them as soon as Boniface should come to take his place, and share his torments. The poet thus addresses him whose title on earth was His Holiness; and his language shows the manner in which even "good Catholics," long before Luther, could speak of the "Heads of the Church," "Christ's Vicars on earth," and whom Anglo-Catholics now represent as the only channels of covenant grace to men!

"Your avarice

O'ercasts the world with mourning, under foot
Treading the good, and raising bad men up.

Of shepherds like to you, the Evangelist (Rev. xvii. 1, &c.)

Was ware, when her, who sits upon the waves
With Kings in filthy whoredom, he beheld;
She who with seven heads tower'd at her birth,
And from ten horns her proof of glory drew,
Long as her spouse in virtue took delight.
Of gold and silver ye have made your god;
Differing wherein from the idolater,
But that he worships one, a hundred ye ?
Ah! Constantine! to how much ill gave birth,
Not thy conversion, but that plenteous dower,
Which the first wealthy Father gain'd from thee!"

But the limits of this paper are already exceeded. We must break off, and reserve for the concluding one the illustration of the other two books.*



Teacher. You wish to know something of chemistry, in the present state of the science; and that I may communicate to you what information on the subject I may myself possess, I have requested you to meet me. My addresses to you will have to be somewhat varied in form, partaking of the character both of lectures and conversations. As a matter of course, I shall have to be the chief speaker; but I shall be glad, particularly if on any point I do not succeed in making myself understood by you, to attend to any questions you may propose for the purpose of obtaining further explanation, and these I shall be also glad to answer. †

* One of the most affecting episodes is found in Canto xxxiii. Because of its length, we place it in our poetical department.

This observation is intended literally for such of our readers as may feel more particularly interested in the subject. The facilities of communication by post are now so great, and at the same time so cheap, that the proposal of questions on the part of our young friends will be attended with no difficulty, and they shall receive as much attention as we can pay to them. They will at once perceive that our task is by no means an easy one, and will require close and extensive reading. One of our Correspondents refers us, for the purpose of lightening our work, to Mrs. Marcet and Mr. Joyce. Admirable as were these productions when they appeared, and still excellent

Perhaps the best plan will be to devote this first conversation or address, whichever it may be, to some general observations leading to the science, together with some general account of the science itself.

You will be glad to receive, in the first place, some remarks on the words matter and substance, so frequently used both in physical and metaphysical speculations. For want of a due consideration of their real purport and character, they have often occasioned what have appeared to be insuperable difficulties. These, if not altogether removed, will appear to be far less considerable, if you keep in mind that the terms were only general onės. The first, matter, is intended to express that which constitutes whatever exists, so far as it is not spiritual, without any regard to its particular nature. You thus use other general terms. You say, a hat, meaning any hat; an animal, meaning any animal; but you never suppose that there is such a thing as a hat, an animal, in general, which is not a particular one. So as to matter, you are not to suppose that there is any general matter that is not particular; but when you wish to refer to the constitution of anything, possessing properties of a certain class, and which may thus become obvious to our senses, if you wish to refer to it generally,—not as that which constitutes iron, gold, salt, a stone, or anything else,-you employ, to express this general notion, the word matter. Early philosophers, if they had thus reflected on the meaning of the term, would have

as they are so far as general principles are concerned, yet the advances of the science have been so great, not only since the invaluable labours of Sir Humphrey Davy, but since the publication of the experiments (with their results) of Liebig, that it would not be safe to fall back on them. Organic chemistry is becoming one of the most important branches of the science: it is perhaps likewise the most difficult, because so complicated with the powers of life. Our space is limited, and we can resort for illustration to neither experiments nor diagrams. Besides, the task of presenting recondite facts and laws in a popular form, which is that now allotted to us, is never easy. Our more experienced readers must keep this in view. In a certain sense, popular phraseology, so far as it recedes from that which is strictly scientific, becomes, for that reason, at all events, somewhat less correct. However, we will do our best. We trust that our readers, at whose advantage we most seriously aim, will afford us the encouragement, not only of their own patronage, but of their recommendation. If we are doing any good by our labours, the more extensively the better.-ED. Y. I.

saved themselves the labour of many a puzzling disputation, leading to no useful end. I should say, not directly leading. In point of fact, chemistry owes much to this misapprehension. Supposing that there was some general matter which was no particular matter, they thought it possible to transmute some things of less value into others of greater; and thus entered on a course of experiments which, though they utterly failed as to their intended object, furnished many valuable discoveries and suggestions which issued, ultimately, in the noble, the invaluable, science we are now considering. You know, I suppose, to whom I allude?

Pupils. To the alchemists of a former age. Give us some account of them.

T. I do refer to them; and though we may smile at some of their fancies, we ought to respect their untiring labour and perseverance, as well as to acknowledge the vast amount of benefit which, though incidentally, their plans and proceedings have occasioned. In fact, the name which was applied to them, is still employed to denote the truer science. It was given at a time when science chiefly flourished among the Mohammedan orientals. There was a period when Christendom dwelt in what have been, in many respects appropriately, termed the dark ages, and science and literature, philosophical and elegant, appeared to be reviving among the subjects of the Mohammedan rulers of Bagdad and Spain. But this was only temporary. Wherever there is truth, sooner or later there will be light: error soon produces darkness. The splendour of the Caliphate was but the gorgeousness of sunset, and the very clouds which reflected such glorious hues, only served, at a later period, to deepen the darkness, and increase the horrors, of midnight. But the Arabians, some seven hundred years ago, reviving the ancient method of searching into nature by logic and syllogisms, and believing that all matter was at the bottom the same, set themselves to work to find the philosopher's stone, as it was called, by adding which to the baser metals, lead, for instance, they might be changed into gold.

P. Now you are upon the subject, did they not search for something else?

7. Yes. They argued that as some medicines cured some diseases, and as all diseases must be fundamentally the same, there must be some one medicine having the power to cure the very principle of disease, and by checking the progress of mortal decay, indefinitely to prolong life. This they called, elixir vitæ, the elixir of life.

P. Why were they called alchemists?


T. Various derivations have been given to the word. from the Greek.* But the Arabic prefix, al, seems to fix the origin of the word. It is generally believed to refer to the fact, that most of the experiments were performed by means

of heat.

P. You spoke of the word substance, as well as matter.

T. Yes; and often the words are used as though they had the same signification. Substance, however, from two Latin words signifying, that which stands under, is used to denote that which supports, as it were, certain qualities and properties. That of which things are composed, generally speaking, and looking at nothing else, is expressed by matter; but when it is intended to refer to certain properties also, substance is used, to express that which stands beneath them and bears them up. Substance is matter, when viewed in itself alone; matter is substance when viewed as supporting certain qualities. It is useful to observe not only the general meaning of words, and their agreement, but also their particular meaning, and thus their difference. It is thus that we are prepared for that true preciseness of speech which is such a valuable instrument both of the discovery and statement of truth.

P. Well; the alchemists being thus the fathers of the modern chemists, wherein do you, in a few words, place the superiority of the latter?

7. Just here. The first took for granted that certain things were possible, and endeavoured to realize them: the others, wishing to know the truth in this particular department of science, make experiments in order to find it out. The first, supposing that they already knew it, sought to bind nature to their own purposes; to make it their servant. The

Xnμia; argenti et auri præparatio.-Lexic. Roberti Constantini.

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