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the house before the family were up. the whole animal creation. Every room It was to no purpose I took this oppor. door is doubly barred and locked ; belis tunity to throw out some reflections communicate from one room to another, upon nerves, not much to their credit. which has this happy advantage, that , My wife was not pleased that her any sleepless individual may disturb the favourite apprehensions were disappoint- whole house, by a single pull

. I once ed; " such things had often happened,” proposed fire-arms, but that must be and they had all heard “ the death- upon no account allowed, for as my, watch” the night before. My cousin wife very properly observes, “no one expressed his regret for being the in- can know what may happen, and they trocent cause of this confusion ; but, I may go off themselves.” As to danger know not how it was, the family looked from fire, beside being amply insured, as cool upon him for some time, as if every bed-room is provided with a firethey had doubted whether he was dead escape, upon a new construction, and walive.

which, from the state of nerves in my Those who consult their nerves do house, I am certain would answer very not like to be disappointed. If they little purpose ; for they who are too nerhear a noice, and determine that it pro- vous to walk down stairs, in case of ceeds from thunder, a thief, or a fire- alarm, would not do the business much engine, they are generally chagrined to better by going out of the window. find that it is only a cart, a cat, or a Such sir, are some of the inconveitage-coach. Now, as I am a lover of niencies I am subjected to from my peace and concord, I have long ceased family being poffesfed of nerves. I my opposition to the nervous starts and could increase the catalogue very conalarms of my family, however incon- fiderably, were I not afraid of swelling venient. In summer., indeed, I am my letter to an unwarrantable fize. I much less exposed to them than in shall only add, therefore, that it would winter, because they commence regular. not be amiss, if after providing for our by at sun-set, and therefore we have for safety by every proper means which fome years been strangers to the com- human skill or wisdom can suggest, we forts of long nights, and fire.fide mere were to go to sleep in quiet, trusting riment. What human wisdom could do, that all other protection shall be extendhas, indeed, been done. Our house is ed to us by the Giver of every Good. as regular a fortification as the laws of Let me add, too, that vain fears, and the city will permit. We have no continual apprehensions, are by no means bitions, nor outworks, nothing that the best possible proofs of Christian phiCochorn or Vauban would derive credit losophy, nor of Christian refignation ; from ; but all that bolts and bars can that the day of evil will come, if orda, has been constantly attended to. dained, whether we guard against it, or Our very cats, if they wish to carry on not; and that the loss of a few movea an intrigue without doors, must repair ables, which could be easily replaced, to the place of allignation before sun-set, is nothing, and less than nothing, when however disagreeable it may be to wait; compared with the miseries of a life for after the doors and windows are spent in the anticipation of misfortune, fut, all egress and ingress is denied to and in presages of evil.


EXPERIMENTS made to determine the positive and relative QUANTITIES of MOISTURE absorbed from the ATMOSPHERE, by various SUBSTANCES,

under similar CiRCUMSTANCES ;

BY SIR BENJAMINE THOMPSON, KNT. F. R. S. BEING engaged in a course of ex- of various bodies, with respect to heat, periments upon the conducting powers and particularly of such substances as Vol. LVIII.



are commonly made use of for clothing, the middle of a vault, where the air, in order to see if I could discover any which appeared by the hygrometer to relation between the conducting powers be completely saturated with moisture, of those substances, and their power of was at the temperature of 45° F. ; and absorbing moisture from the atmosphere, in this situation they were suffered to I made the following experiments : remain three days and three nights, the

Having provided a quantity of each vault being hung round, during all this of the under-mentioned fubftances, * in a time, with wet linen cloths, to render state of the most perfect cleanness and the air as damp as possible, and the purity, I exposed them, spread out upon door of the vault being thut. clean china plates, twenty-four hours in At the end of the three days I enthe dry air of a very warm room, (which tered the vault with the balance, and had been heated every day, for several weighed the various substànces upon the months, by a German stove), the last spot, when they were found to weigh fix hours the heat being kept up to 85° as is expressed in the third column of of Fharenheit's thermometer ; after the following table. which I entered the room with a very N. B. The weight made use of in accurate balance, and weighed equal these experiments was that of Cologne, quantities of these various substances, the parts or least division being ostio as expreffed in the following table. part of a mark; consequently 1000 of

This being done, and each substance these parts make about 521 grains troy, being equally spread out upon a very

I did not add the silver wire to the clean china plate, they were removed in bodies above mentioned from any

idea to a very large uninhabited rooin, upon that that substance could posibly imbibe the second floor, where they were ex. moisture from the atmosphere ; but I posed forty-eight hours, upon a table was willing to see whether a metal, placed in the middle of the room, the placed in air faturated with water, is air of the room being at the temperature not capable of receiving a small addition of 45° F.; after which they were çare- of weight from the moisture attracted fully weighed, (in the room), and were by it, and attached to its surface; from found to weigh as undermentioned. the result of the experiment, however,

They were then removed into a very it should seem that no such attraction damp cellar, and placed upon a table, in fublists between the metal I made ule

of Weight after Weight after weight aftur

being dried 24 being exposed being exposed * The various substances. hours in a hot 48 hours in a 72 hours in a

cold uninhabit- damp cellar.


led room.

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vapour, the

of and the watery vapour dissolved in the warmth of that covering is clear ; air.

for, the fame degree of warmth, proI was totally mistaken in my con- duced by wearing more clothing of a je&tures relative to the results of the ex- different kind, docs not produce the periments with the other substances. fame effect. As linen is known to attract water with The perspiration of the human body, so much avidity, and as, on the contrary, being absorbed by a covering of lanwool, hair, feathers, and ocher like nel, is immediately distributed through animal substances, are made wet with the whole thickness of that substance, so much difficulty, I had little doubt and by that means exposed, by a very but that linen would be found to at- large surface, to be carried off by the tract moisture from the atmosphere with atmosphere; and the loss of this watery much greater force than

of those


which the flannel sustains on the substances ; and that, under similar cir- one side, by evaporation, being immedicumstances, it would be found to con- ately restored from the other, in consetain much more water; and I was quence of the strong attraction between much confirmed in this opinion upon the flannel and this


of recollecting the great difference in the the fkin are disincumbered, and are conapparent dampness of linen and woollen tinually surrounded by a dry, warm, cloths, when they were both exposed and salubrious, atmosphere. to the same atmosphere. But these ex- I am astonished that the custom of periments have convinced me that all wearing flannel next the skin should not my speculations were founded upon er- have prevailed more universally. I am roneous principles.

confident it would prevent a multitude It should seem that those bodies of diseases ; and I know of no greater which are the most easily wet, or which luxury than the comfortable sensation receive water in its unelástic form with which arises from wearing it, especially the greatest ease, are not those which, after one is a little accustomed to it. in all cases, attract the watery vapour

It is a mistaken notion that it is too dissolved in the air with the greatest warm a clothing for fummer. I have force.

worn it in the hottest climates, and in Perhaps the apparent dampness of all seasons of the year, and never found linen, to the touch, arises more from the least inconvenience from it. It is the cafe with which that substance parts the warm-bath of a perspiration confined with the water which it contains, than by a linen shirt, wet with sweat, which from the quantity of water it actually renders the summer heats of fouthern hoids ; in the same manner as a body climates so insupportable ; but flannel appears hot to the touch, in consequence promoies perspiration, and favours its of its parting freely with its heat ; while evaporation ; and evaporation, as is well another body which is actually at the known, produces positive cold. I firit fame temperature, but which withholds began to wear fiannel, not from any its heat with greater obstinacy, affects knowledge which I had of its properties, the sense of feeling much less violently. but merely upon the recommendation of

It is well known that woollen clothes, a very able physician, (Sir Richard fach as flannels, &c. worn next the Jebb), and, when I began the experifkin, greatly promote insensible per- ments of which I have here given an fpiration. May not this arise princi. account, I little thought of discovering pally from the strong attraction which the physical cause of the good effects fubáists between wool and the watery which I had experienced from it ; por rapour which is continually issuing from had I the most distant idea of mentionthe human body?

ing the circumstance. I shall be happy, That it does not depend entirely upon however, if what I have said, or done,

Сс 2


upon the subject, should induce others these experiments, the discovery of the to make a trial of what I have so long relation which I thought might possibly experienced with the greatest advantage, sublist between the warmth of the fuband which, I am confident, they will stances in question, when made use of as find to contribute greatly to health, and clothing, and their powers of attracting consequently to all the other comforts moisture from the atmosphere, or, in and enjoyments of life.

other words, between the quantities of I shall then think these experiments, water they contain and their conducting trifing as they may appear, by far the powers with regard to heat, I could not most fortunate, and the most important find that these properties depended in ones I have ever made.

any manner upon, or were in any way With regard to the original object of connected with, each other.

From the Tranfa&tions of the Royal Society of London.

and arts,



whom the bare mention of the topic I should be happy if a few observa- will excite the livelieft attention to my tions that occur to me, upon a subject remarks. that I know to be extremely interesting Excepting the coins of the Romans, to many persons of taste throughout there has nothing occurred parallel 10 Britain, were deemed worthy of being these, within fo short a period, fince diffused through the medium of your during the æras of the ancient indepenliterary journal; as they are humbly in. dent ltates of Greece, when almost every tended to promote improvement in an city had its own distinct coinage, as is elegant art, intimately connected with elegantly illustrated by the engravings the Belles Lettres, and on which, I will and descriptions of Dr Combes. Our venture to say, the reputation of the modern coins of cities in Britain excel present times for industry, ingenuity, the ancient in neatness of finish, from

must in a great measure, de. the use of the mill, and invention of inpend at periods of the latest posterity. denting letters round the outer edge, as

Such of your readers as have not stu- much as they fall short of them in the died, or contracted a relish for the fub- high relief and boldness of execution, in ject, may smile when they learn that I the representations which they bear ; allude to the designs and execution of but in their great variety, and most cases, the most common current coins of the appropriate imagery, they approach the present day, known by the name of pro- nearest to the merit of the Roman revincial halfpence ; being issued by private verses, of any thing that has appeared traders for circulation, in Great Britain, in the mint ages of modern times. chiefly since the year 1786, and which, It is, however, deeply to be regretted, in some districts, have almost totally by every lover of the fine arts, that so fupplanted the prefent very.base and many of these pieces are degraded by barbarous national copper currency. To puerile and contemptible devices : such those who are not aware of the inspor- are all emblems of particular trades, or tance of the numismatic study, I would articles of dealing ; mere designations recommend, as introductive to their and sign-posts; and almost all morfels knowledge in it, Addison's Dialogues ; of heraldry, escutcheons, mottos, supthe Writings of Folkes, De Cardonnel, porters, &c. These can transmit no and Snelling ; but especially the late + Essay on Coins and Medals, London, excellent publication of the ingenious Edwards, 2d. Edit. 2 vols. 8vo. 1789. Mr Pinkertont. There are others, in # Num. veterum populorum et urbium

* This came too late for insertion last 4to. London, Cadell, 1782. month.


thought, no information to pofterity. The at Ketley : Thames and Severn canal amazing durability of coins should be piece, has a barge failing ; reverse, a ever remembered by those who are con- maffy acqueduct bridge : a Kent halfcerned in issuing them; and such designs penny, on the union of Appledore, has adopted as may reflect the most striking, a wind-miil, the miller, and bis house ; and important features of the present the great iron-works of Wilkinson are umez. Among several hundreds of differently pourtray'd on his currency. differently designed pieces in my possessi. It is to be lamented, that among the on, such only as come under some of few struck for Scotland, not one comes the five following descriptions feem to under this description. How ornamendeserve being, fignalized and recom- tal and honourable would it be, for mended to imitation :

fome of them to bear the figures, and I. Such as have fac fimiles of remark- perpetuate the dates of the ei ion of able buildings; e. g. The Canterbury ihe greatest foundery in the world at halfpenny, bearing the cathedral ; the Carron ; the north-bridge at EdinYork one, with the noble minster ; re. burgh ; the elegant bridges at Perth serse, Clifford's tower : the Leeds clotha and Glasgow ; the great quay at Aberhall appears upon one of the Leeds deen ; or the valt and useful aqueduct tokens; the west-front of St Paul's over the Kelvin, Supporting, at a stuchurch upon a London one; Ipswich- pendous elevation, one of the greatest cross, a neat relique of ancient architec- canals in Europe ! ture, graces the Ipswich halfpenny; as III. Striking emblems of that spirit an old tower, a very entire remain of of industry and commerce, which chagothic labour, does that of Dundee; the racterizes the present times, and especial venerable ruins of Bigod's castle in ly the British nation.

One payable at Suffolk is on that of Bungay ; one of Ipswich, has "may God preserve the Bedal, in Yorkshire, gives a Itreet in plough and fail ;" a team in a field, perspective, two inns, and a spire ; the and a ship in full fail, coming into view fplendid front of the new pump-room, behind a headland : a weaver is embellishes halfpence and farthings of work upon a Haverhill coin ; reverse, Bath, &c. These medals may exhibit a plough and shuttle : fhips in full fail to future times the forms of the struc- are meet insignia of the trade of Livertures which they bear, long after their pool, Yarmouth, Shields, Portsea, and the originals shall have faded and moulder- Cinque Ports ; as a theep, reverse, a ed in the dust :

woolen weaver, is of the manufacture Ambition figh’d-fhe found it vain to trust

of Rochdale; and a hop-plantation of I he faithless column, and the crumbling bust; the beit product of the county of Suffex ; Huge moles, whose shadows stretch'd from the rapid and useful, and exfhore to shore,

hibitions of whale-fishing, and hat-makTheir ruins perilh'd, and their place no more! Convinc'd, the now contracts her valt design, ing, are seen upon different London And all her triumphs shrink into a coin. pieces, &c.

IV. Ilustrious characters and reThe Abbeys of Melrose, Paisley, St markable men, in British history, have Andrews, Arbroath, &c. and the best now their features transmitted to modern buildings in Edinburgh and tant climes and ages," upon common Glasgow, would be desirable objects for currency; which, perhaps, conveys Scottish provincial pieces.

" the charge of Fame*," better than II. Others afford representations of expensive niedallions. Newton, Shakethe great and useful undertakings of the speare, Johnson, Howard, Howe; and present times ; such as the iron-bridge the founders, or greateít bencfactors of over the Severn, on the Colebrook- Dale

Pope.- Verses to Addison on his Diahalfpenny ; reverse, the inclined plane logues on Medals.



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