Page images



Example of Asaying Gold. scale the standard weight, and in the

OBSERVATIONS. other the assay piece, and if deficient, put in as many ounces, pennyweights, The copples, made of bone ashes in a &c. as are sufficient to balance ; thus mould, for these processes, should be there is in the scale with the Silver i oz. about an inch over, and made fometime 3 dwts. and a half; then is your Silver before they are wanted.

A coppic reported worfe by 1 oz. 3 dwts. and a serves but once. half; on the other hand, if the assay is For fhort processes, half afsays are best, heavier than the standard, you put in being least trouble, and equally accurate

weight enough to make them balance, if done right. and report the Silver better by that ad In order to judge the goodness of Silditional weight which you put in. If ver, break it, that the grain may be seen ; they balance even of themselves, the Gold, if fine, or nearly standard, will report is standard ; and if you have only cut soft. 2 oz. left of your assay, then report To recover your Silver dissolved in it 'two ounces of fine Silver in the the Aqua-fortis, pour fix or eight times pound.

the quantity


pure water to it, and Gold is generally done this way in throw in a piece of Copper, and you the furnace; by mixing it with a pro- will soon see the Silver fall to the botper quantity of Silver, and adding Lead tom. . But there are other

ways of

preto refine it on the copple, may be done cipitating the Silver, as by fixed alcali's easily by this short process. Likewife and absorbent earths; hút by Copper it Gold partings and cominon partings is commonly performed. fhould be performed by these operations Much of the counterfeit Yorkshire and then finish the process as before, Gold was worth from 31. 12. - to 31, fùbtracting the Silver from the Gold. 155. per oz. by the assay, Also Metal assays, containing only 10 There are several other observations dwts. of fine Silver in a pound of Cop- in the art of aslaying, which can only per, are done in fixteen minutes ; Silver be learnt by a little practice, and which aflays nearly standard in eight minutes; will be no obitacle to a person who is Şilver, 2 oz. worse than standard, in inclined to learn this pleasing and useful ten or twelve minutes ; and Gold in twenty minutes.

By an attention to these instructions, Sometimes, for amusement, I have the refiners, who are liable to be daily taken a piece of uncertain Silver, juft impofed upon, may make their own 12 grs. and by a pair of fcales that will assays, and try any ingot; of Gold or only turn to the roth part of a grain, Silver in a fcw minutes. Artificers in have been enabled to ascertain the value Gold and Silver will not be obliged to by this short process a few minutes, wait thote tedious delays, lo destructive to the nicety of 2 dwis. in the pound. to business ; nor need the country shopSir John Petrus, in the first book of his keeper, who perhaps. lives one hundred Fleta' Minor on Silver Ores, says, “ If miles from an affay office, be any longer you are in a place where no assay ovens obliged to wait for several days before are, and yet would make a few assay he knows the value of any metal that trials in halte, you should place a few may be offered him, or purchased by tiles together in a square, leaving in him ; and a person who trades in foreign the sides wind-holes, and in the fore- countries may by this means easily know part a mouth-hole ; and with a pipkin the true value of his bullion, before he cut in. two, make a muffle in it. In brings it home, only by the help of a such furnaces, assays and trials inay be fmall apparatus. well performed.” How much easier is Thus have I given to the public the my method with a copple, a Imall cru- fimple process of trying Gold and Silver cible, and a handful of charcoal. in a few minutes.



Rochester says is very true, viz. “ A MYSTERIOUS PHILOSOPHER: charms are nonsense, nonsense has a

charm.” It certainly raised their spirits ROBERT Fludd, furnamed De by inspiring them with a greater confi. FLUCTIBUS, was a celebrated physician: dence in his skill, and thereby greatly and Rosicrucian philosopher. He was contributed to their cure. However, the second son of Sir Thomas Fludd he was not so well received at home as treasurer of war to Queen Elizabeth, abroad. The celebrated Gallendus, and was born at Milgate in Kent in had a controversy with him, which 1574. He received his education at thews at least that he was not considered St. John's College Oxford : and after in his day, as an insignificant writer taking his degrees in arts, attached him- among the learned foreign world. He self to phyfic, and spent about fix years died in Coleman-street, London, Sepin his travels through the principal coun tember 8, 1637. Wood has given an tries in Europe. He proceeded Dr. of exactlift of his works, which are mostly Phyfic in 1605, and about the same written in Latin. In these are some very time settled at London, and was made fingular prints,which a late celebrated cri, a Fellow of the College of Physicians. tie observed were not to be understood but He was a very voluminous writer in by a second fighted adept. His MOSAIC his

way, and of his fect almost the only PHILOSOPHY, which we have in Enge one who ever became eminent in this lith, is but a small part of his works, kingdom. He was, however, a man of and it appears that from this part of his great capacity and penetration, and the writings, the modern non descript sci. moft learned mathematician of his age. ence of animal magnetisin was revived His acuteness and extensive genius, after slumbering upwards of a century, which, at once penetrated the pro- It is said he pofféffed all the MSS. foundert secrets of nature, caused him of the famous Simon Forman she aftroto be deemed a magician in the age he “loger. lived in ; but the more judicious part of mankind who admired his ingenuity, gave him the appellation of the SEEKER, and which he well deserved for his application and industry to the John Hutchinson, an eminent Eng. most abstruse parts of the cccult sciences, lish writer, and who may be considered diving into the most mysterious obscu- as the founder of a sect, as some divines rities of the Rosicrucian philosophy, of the church of England have espoused and blending in a molt extraordinary his sentiments with great warmth. He manner the facred mysteries of divinity was born at Spennythorn in Yorkshire, with the abstract nature of Alchymy in the year 1674. His father intending and even Chymistry, natural philofophy to qualify him for being a steward to and metaphysics ; so that Bacon rightly some nobleman or gentleman, gave him files him Philofophica Miracula, for what learning the place afforded ; and he carried his myftical meanings even to while he was considering whither to send the bedsides of his patients, many of him, for his farther qualification, a gen. whom, and persons of quality, had tleman came into that neighbourhood, wonderful confidence in his kill, and and being desirous of boarding in some accordingly we find him in great repu- reputable family, was recommended to tation for his medical capacity. The Mr. Hutchinson the father, who findvulgar always admire what they do not ing that he was both a sensible and a understand, and with them what learned man, communicated to him his




H 2


The Strong Man. intentions concerning his son ; and the being then master of the horse to king

gentleman, who had taken a liking to the George I. made him his riding pur"youth, agreed to instruct him in every veyor, which is a kind of finecure, branch of learning proper for the em with a salary of 2001. per annum. He ployment for which he was designed, now gave himself up to a ftudious on condition that the father should en and sedentary life, and in the year 1724 tertain him in his house while he should published the firit part of his Moses's think proper to stay in those parts. Principia, in which he explains all fciThe father chearfully agreed to these ences by the discdveries he pretends to terms, and his guest instructed his son make from the Hebrew text of the in every branch of the mathematics, books of Moses, and not only ridicules and at the same time furnislied him Dr. Woodward's Natural History of with a competent knowledge of the cele the Earth, but Sir Isaac Newton's brated writings of antiquity. But the Principia. From this time till his gentleman to industriously concealed death, he continued publishing a volume every circumstance relating to himself, every year, or every other


which, that not so much as his name was known. with the manuscripts he left behind him, At nineteen years of age our author be were published in 1748, in twelve vocame steward to Mr. Bathurst, of Skut. lumes 8vo. On the Monday before terskelf in Yorkshire, from whose fer- his death, Dr. Mead urged him to be vice he afterwards removed into that of bled, saying pleasantly, I will soon the duke of Somerset. About the year feud you to Moses !” meaning to his 1700 he came to London to manage a studies ; but Mr. Hutchinson taking it jawfuit between the duke and another in the literal sense, answered in a mutnobleman ; and, while he was in town, tering tone, “I believe, doctor, you contracted an acquaintance with Dr. will," and was so displeased, that he Woodward, who was physician to the dismissed him for another physician. duke his inafter. Between the years He died on the 28th of Auguit, 1737, 1702 and 1706, his bufiness carried aged fixty-three. His works abound him into several parts of England and with ill language, and discover a violent Wales, and as he travelled from place propensity to perfecution and cruelty. to place, he employed hiinself in collecting fossils ; and we are told, that the noble collection of them which Dr.

THOMAS TOPHAM. Woodward bequeathed to the univer Thomas Topham, commonly called sity of Cambridge, was made by him. the Strong Man, was a famous boxer, Mr. Hutchinson is said to have put his remarkable also for his dexterity and collections into Dr. Woodward's hands, strength. He was bred to no mechawith observations on them, which the nical employment, but spent some years doctor was “ to digest, and publish with of his life as a failor before the mast on farther observations of his own; but board a man of war; and was not con. the doctor putting him off from time to scious of his own fuperiour strength till time with excuses, gave him unfavour one day, getting drunk, and quartelling able notions of his integrity; and he with the cook, he pulled out the iron complains in one of his books, that he bars of the grate by laying hold of them was bereft, in a nanner not to be men in the middle, and bending them viotioned, of those observations and those lendly forward, so as to force off the collections, may even of the credit of rivettings at each end. After this the being the collector. He resolved there. ship's company was continually solicitfore to wait no longer, but to trust te ing him to Thew some feat of his strength; his own pen; and, in order to be more and when they came to Portsmouth, the at leisure to prolecute his studies, quitted people that came with liquor in 2 the service of the duke of Somerset, who bomb-boat, having heard of his fame,


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


vrere very solicitous to see some of his ately letting him go, he went quietly performances, particularly an old Irish back to his leat without speaking a woman, who had handed him up some word, to the no small diversion of the beer in a large filver tankard ; when company, from which he was soon exthe tankard was empty, Topham held pelled by hoots of derifion and conit over the side of the vessel to be filled tempt, and the clamorous applause that again, upon which the woman cried was beitowed on the man he had inout, “ Tommy! do, God love you, let's sulted. lee what you can do !” “ Well, says He kept a public house at Ilington, Topham, take your tankard then;" which had for the fign the figure of and reaching it down, he pressed it be- himself. He there exhibited his untween his finger and thumb with such common feats of activity and prowels, force, that when the old woman received of which Dr. Delaguliers has given an it, it was flat as a pancake. “Tush now, account in a paper which he commulaid the old woman, and by Jelus, my nicated to the Royal Society, and which dear, why could not you tqueeze it may be read in the Transactions of that without marring the shap!"

learned body. He frequently exhibited in public, and one day as he was performing fome flights of hand in a large room at a public house near the city, an athletic hero who chanced to be JOHN Harrison, a'celebrated English among the spectators, with a kind of mechanician, was, from his earliest fullen discontent, broke out in a strain childhood, attached to any machinery of eloquence peculiar to his class : moving by wheels, as appeared while he “What fignifies this fellow's playing lay hick of the finall-pox, about the his legerdemain tricks! its all artifice; 6th year of his age ; when he had a. there's many a better man than he is,

watch placed open upon his pillow, to that walks the streets every hour in the amuse himself by contempi..ting on the day. I'll [hew you presently what he's movement. In 1700, he removed with made of !”–Upon which he goes down his father to Barrow in Lincoinshire, to Topham and gives him a formal where, though his opportunities of acchallenge to box him before the com- quiring knowledge were very few, lie pany: Topham surveyed him with eagerly improved every incident from some surprize and much contempt, but which he might collect information; yet without any malignity, “ Boxing, frequently employing all, cr great part lays he, is not my trade, and I have no of his nights, in writing, or drawing: quarrel with you, nor you with me, and he always acknowledged his obliwhy then should we fight?” the cham- gations to a clergy man who came every pion now became more vociferous than Sunday to officiate in the neighbourhood, before ; he mistook Topham's phlegm who lent him a MS. copy of Profeffur for cowardice, and insisting upon his Sanderson's Lectures, which he careaccepting the challenge not without fully and neatly transcribed, with all the fome terms of reproach, Topham, at diagrams. His rative genius exerted length, seemed to consent ; “ But, itself fuperior to these folitary disadvancocky, says he, as we fight for honour, tages ; for in the year 1726 he had conlet us be friends ; come, give me your structed two clocks, mostly of wood, in paw.!” the hero condescended to stretch which he applied the cícapement and out his hand, which Topham taking compound pendulum of his own invenhold of, griped it harder and harder, till tion: these surpassed every thing then after making many wry faces and con- made, scarcely erring a second in a tortions, the fellow roared out like a month. In 1728, he came up to Lonbull; upon which Topham iminedi- don with the drawings of a machine


[ocr errors]


Improvements by Mr. Harrison. for determining the longitude at sea, in which might be traced the graelacions expectation of being enabled to execute of ingenuity, executed with the most one by the board of longitude. Upon delicate workmanlip! whereas they application to Dr. Halley, he referred now lie totally neglected, in the Royal him to Mr. George Graham, who, dif- Observatory at Greenwich. The fourth covering he had uncommon merit, ad- machine, emphatically distinguished by vised him to make his machine before he the name of the Time-keeper, has been applied to the board of longitude. He copied by the ingenious Mr. Kendal ; returned home to perform this task, and, and that duplicate, during a three years in 1735, came to London again with circumnavigation of the globe, in the his first machine; with which he was southern hemisphere with Captain Cook, ia fent to Lisbon the next year for a trial answered as well as the original. The of its properties. In this fhort voyage latter part of Mr. Harriion's like was he corrected the dead reckoning about employed in making a fifth impr ved a degree and a half, a success that prov- Time-keeper, on the fame principles ed the means of his receiving both with the preceding one ; which at the public and private encouragement. end of a ten weeks trial, in 1772, at the About the year 1739, he compleated King's private Observatory at Rich. his second machine, of a construction mond, erred only four and half fecundsa much more simple than the former, and within a few years of his death, his which answered much better : this, conititution visibly declined, and he had though not sent to sea, recommended frequent fits of the gout, 1 disorder Mr. Harrison yet stronger to the pa- that never attacked him before his 77th tronage of his private friends and of year: he died at his house in Red-liop the public. His third machine, which square, London, the 24th of March, he produced in 1749, was fill less 1776, aged 83. The recluse manner complicated than the second, and super of his life in the unre.nitted pursuit of rior in accuracy, as erring only three or his favourite object was by no means four feconds in a week. This he con calculated to qualify him as a man of ceived to be the ne plus ultra of his at the world, and the many discouragetempts ; but, in an endeavour to im- ments he encountered, in foliciting the prove pocket-watches, he found the legal reward of his labours, still leis principles he applied to furpass his ex. disposed him to accommodate himself to pectations so much, as to encourage him the humours of mankind. In converfto make his fourth Time-keeper, which ing on his profession, he was clear, difis in the form of a pocket-watch, about tinct, and modest, yet, like other fix inches in diameter. With this mere mechanics, found a difficulty in Time-keeper his son made two voy- delivering his meaning by writing; in ages, the one to Jamaica, and the other which he adhered to a peculiar and unto Barbadoes ; in both which experi- couth phraseology. This was but too ments it corrected the longitude within evident in his defcription concerning the nearest limits required by the act of such Mechanism as will afford a nice or the 12th of Queen Anne : and the in true Mensuration of Time, &c. 8vo, ventor therefore, at different times, 1775 ; which his well kncwn mechanithough not without infinite trouble, re eal talents will induce the public to acceived the proposed reward of 20,000l. count for from his unacquaintance

with These four machines were given up to letters, from his advanced age, and atthe Board of Longitude. The three tendant mental infirmities; among former were not of any use, as all the ad- which may be ranked his obstinate refuvintages gained by making them, were sal to accept of any assistance whatever comprehended in the last : they were in this publication. This small work worthy, however, of being carefully includes also an account of his new preserved as mechanical curiofities, in musical scale; or mechanical divifion



« PreviousContinue »