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individual is placed in his condition by infinite wisdom, and ought to rest contented in his station. Young people are too apt to feel D., and often to impugn the conduct of their parents and friends, if not even Divine Providence itself. Their attention is directed to this subject in order that they may, by the contrast which it affords, learn in early life the practice of C., and to avoid the evils of D. And I will venture to affirm, that every youth who acquires this, will derive greater benefit than a thousand pounds could afford him.

I was now about to cite a few circumstances recorded in the scriptures on this topic, but as they would swell this paper to an undue length, I will make them the subject of another essay, meanwhile I give the reader a few quotations from different writers.

"The discontented man is ever restless and uneasy, dissatisfied with his station in life, his connexions, and almost every circumstance that happens to him. He is continually peevish and fretful, impatient of every injury he receives, and unduly impressed with every disappointment he suffers. He considers most other persons as happier than himself, and enjoys hardly any of the blessings of Providence with a calm and grateful mind. He forms to himself a thousand distressing fears concerning futurity, and makes his present condition unhappy, by anticipating the misery he may endure years to come." Dr. Stennett.

"Well coloring every cross she meets,
With heart serene she sleeps and eats;
She spreads her board with fancied sweets,
And strews her bed with flowers.

We take strange pleasure in our pain,

And make a mountain of a grain,
Rather than pass an easy day,

We fret and chide the hours away.
Then too our native land we hate,
Too cold, too windy, or too wet;
Change the thick climate, and repair
To France or Italy, for air,

In vain; if this diseased mind

Clings fast, and still sits close behind."

"Learn from hence,

It argues want of common sense,

Watts's Lyrics.

To think our trials and our labors
Harder and heavier than our neighbours';
Or that 'twould lighten toils and cares
To give them ours in change for theirs
For whether man's appointed lot
Be really equalized or not,

(A point we need not now discuss,)

Content makes ours the best to us.


June Taylor.



"The word heat has been used with so much precision by Doctors Black, Irvine, Crawford, and others, that the word Fire seems to be rendered of little use, except to denote a mass of matter in a state of combustion, which is indeed its vulgar acceptation. The term has, however, been used by many eminent writers to denote what these great philosophers call the matter of heat, now generally termed CALORIC."Nicholson's Chemical Dictionary.


THE term Caloric from calor L. having been thus defined, we shall employ it in the present essay for the following reasons: -1. Because it is now commonly used by scientific writers to express the general principle of heat as a substance occupying space, and as an active and permanent agent operating on the constitution of every known body, and producing many of the most common phenomena of nature. 2. Because it expresses in one word all the forms and conditions of fire, as close fire, open fire, hidden or latent fire, &c., none of which express the principle or simple identity of this agent, but which caloric does most perfectly.

We might easily fill a small volume with the various phenomena observable in bodies when under the action of caloric, and the subsequent changes which that action produces. This, however interesting in itself, is foreign to our present purpose, which is to state plainly and briefly the several properties of this principle, and the general effects it produces.

1. It expands bodies. If we look at a body while under the action of caloric, we shall find it is considerably enlarged in its dimensions. Thus a kettle or saucepan not quite filled with water, will, when it boils, swell and run over-at the same time the tendency of the generated steam, which is composed of minute particles

of water overcharged with caloric, to ascend and expand, will cause the whole mass to rise, leaving the bottom quite dry, which, if touched with the finger, will be found almost cool. This is most evident if water be made to boil in an oil flask suspended over a candle or lamp. Here then are a number of effects all produced at one time, by the action of caloric, which is the cause. 1. The water is expanded. 2. It is overcharged and condensed steam, which instead of being motionless and heavy, is lighter than the atmosphere, and highly elastic and active. 3. The caloric, following the direction of the charged body, rises with it to the top of the vessel, leaving the bottom empty.

Again. An iron rod heated to a red heat, will expand and become much longer and larger than it was before, so that it will not pass the same orifice which admitted it with ease before it was heated. This effect is produced by caloric as its cause, which entering and pervading the pores of the iron, expands them to their full extent, thus shewing itself to be matter. It is upon this principle that the walls of buildings are prevented from spreading, when exposed either to great weight, as in warehouses, or to frequent strong concussion or shaking, as in the belfries of churches. When any tendency of this kind is observed in a building, the surveyor proceeds to prevent its further consequences by the following contrivance. Iron rods are made, which are of just sufficient length to go through the building from front to back within the walls, or a little more; these rods are cut into the form of a screw near the ends. They are then made red hot for some distance from the ends, and are passed through holes in the walls made to receive them, when they will be found so much lengthened, that instead of the ends being within the walls, the screws project a short distance beyond them; large round iron plates are now placed over the ends against the walls, and secured by nuts screwed over them on the screws at the ends of the bars. On the iron cooling, the bars return to their original length, drawing each wall with them, and thus restoring them to the perpendicular, and preventing their future separation. Examples of this ingenious contrivance may be seen at Spode's china warehouse, Portugal-street, Lincoln's Inn-fields, and in the tower of Islington church. E. G. B.

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THERE would appear to exist naturally in the human mind, from the mutual influence of the different organs of the brain, and the consequent association of ideas, a disposition to attach notions of good or of evil to those objects which have been observed to precede, or to accompany pleasurable or painful occurrences: hence the origin of many superstitious opinions. From such association of ideas many animals were anciently worshipped, either as gods or evil spirits; and even at a later period, when their worship was rejected as profane or useless, they were still considered as indicators of evil or of good. Many of these superstitions originated in the observance of facts, ascribable to atmospheric influence. Thus, certain birds being affected by peculiarities of the air, previous to thunder storms or other terrible events, and shewing signs of their feelings by peculiar habits or motions, were found to be the indicators of tempests, hurricanes, and other dangerous atmospherical commotions; and they were subsequently considered as evil omens in general; gaining, as it were, an ill name by their utility as monitors. So the crow, garrulous before stormy weather, was afterwards regarded as a predictor of general misfortune. Many animals, too, were considered by the ancients as influenced by human prayers and supplications. In this manner the observance of many real facts laid the foundation for superstitions, which terrified the ignorant, and which the designing made use of in order to acquire respect, and to aggrandize themselves. Hence the rise of sorcerers, augurs, interpreters of dreams, omens, portents, and other impostors, who pretended, in the peculiar flight and songs of birds, to read the destinies of individuals and of nations. It is probable that out of a number of such predictions, some might happen to be true, where the sagacity of the augur penetrated farther into probable events than the ignorance of the multitude; and this fortuitous coincidence enhanced the public credulity, strengthened the empire of superstition, depressed the mental and physical energies of the people, and became a fatal impediment to the progress of science throughout succeeding ages. It may be interesting to examine a few cases in point for the sake of illustration.


Among all the birds of evil report among the ancients, the owl stands foremost, as being the one most generally regarded as the harbinger of mischief and of death. Pliny, the natural historian, represents the large eared or horned owl, strix bubo, as a funeral bird, the monitor of the night, the abomination of human kind. And Virgil describes its death howl from the temple by night; a circumstance introduced by the poet as a precursor of the death of Dido. Ovid constantly speaks of the presence of this bird as an evil omen; and the same notions respecting it may be found in the effusions of most of the ancient poets; indeed, there is scarcely a poet, ancient or modern, who does not speak of the owl in this point of view. The superstitious opinion that this bird is the harbinger of death, still prevails among the ignorant of many parts of Europe. The striking, sapient, mysterious, and peculiar look of this bird, the strangeness of its habits, its occasional and uncertain appearance in towns, and its loud and dismal cry, uttered often when all other birds are quiet, as well as its being the bird of night, are the circumstances which, aided by an occasional coincidence of events, have caused the owl to be regarded as an evil omen. This and similar superstitions will appear less surprising, when it is considered that crafty and designing persons had a direct interest in their propagation.

The dread attached to the owl seems to have been extended to other birds of the night; a circumstance which rather corroborates the idea that they were dreaded, in a great measure, from being the companions of darkness and obscurity. Spencer has given us a most woful catalogue of harmful fowls, in the second book of the Fairie Queene. The hollow booming of the bittern, from the pool, on a still evening, and the hoarse sound of the nycticorax and fern-owl, are equally striking; may be easily imagined plaintive, and seem capable, when uttered in the stillness of the evening, of exciting ideas of melancholy, and of inducing in the minds of the vulgar and ignorant a notion of their being connected with misfortune.

It was long ago observed, that the frequent immersion of certain fowls in the water portended rain; and they were, consequently, considered unlucky alites; while others, who

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