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48. WATER PROved TO BE COMPRESSIBLE. Mr. Jacob Perkins relates (see the Royal Inst. Journal, vol. x., p. 399), that he has contrived an instrument, which he calls a Piezometer; and that by filling this with water, and placing it in an hydraulic pressure of 326 atmospheres, he had succeeded in increasing its density 35 per cent.-Parkes's Chemical Catechism, p. 90, note b. 11th ed.

I am surprised that Mr. Parkes omitted to mention the successful experiments made between the years 1777, and 1779, by a German philosopher, of the name of Abich, who not only satisfactorily proved the compressibility of water and other fluids, but also ascertained the quantity of the compression. The particulars of M. Abich's various experiments, are to be found in “Traité de l'Elasticité de l'Eau,” &c. by Dr. Zimmerman, published at Amsterdam, in 1782. M. Abich constructed a brass cylinder of one inch and a quarter in thickness; and which was found to resist, effectually, the immense power employed in compressing the several fluids with which it was successively filled. The different degrees of compres. sion were produced by means either of a screw, or of a long lever, to which different weights were successively appended; and the quantity of the compression was ascertained by the contraction of water in bulk, as indicated by the descent of the piston ; means having been taken to shew in the most satisfactory manner, that no change of dimensions in the cylinder had taken place. From one of the most successful of these experiments, it appears, that 26% cubic inches of water visibly lost by pressure no less than 1 cubic inch and $, a diminution in the bulk of the whole volume nearly equal to the 1-24th part.

49. LAWYERS IN CHINA. No attornies are authorized by law in China ; those self-constituted, are thus defined and described by a Chinese classic writer: " Villainous and perverse vagabonds, who are fond of making a stir, and who, either by fraudulent and crafty schemes, excite discord; or by disorderly and illegal proceedings, intimidate and impose upon people!"

50. Comets. According to Bodin, comets are spirits, which have lived on the earth innumerable ages, and being at last arrived at the confines of death, are recalled to the firmament like shining stars. Ste his Theatro Natura, lib. ii. p. 221.

The head of the comnet of 1811, according to some curious and elaborate calculations of M. Schröter, measured in diameter 2,052,000 geographical miles; and the tail in length, he says, was 131,852,000 geographical miles. See Annals of Philosophy, June, 1818, p. 465.

51. ADULTERY. “ In Gombroon, if a woman shall be discovered to have committed adultery, the busband of that woman is obliged to pay a fine to the governor, if able; if not, the wife is taken from him by the officers of justice, and sent to a compion stew; there to remain, till she has, by a repetition of the same offence, earned as much money as will discharge the fine; after this, she is returned to her husband again, who inay keep her or not, as he thinks proper.“ Ives's Voyage from England to India, &c. p. 219.

W.

OLD ENGLISH DRAMATISTS.

No. III.

THE ENGLISH TRAVELLER. This very excellent play is the production of Thomas Heywood, who, according to his own account, given in the preface of it, had “ an entire hand, or, at least, a main finger," in no fewer than two hundred and twenty plays. He was himself a player_"a hireling," as those were termed who received a salary for their performance, and not a share of the profits. Little is known of his history, and but few of his plays have come down to us; but those we have bear ample testimony to the superiority of his genius, and prove him to have been a worthy compeer of his better known contemporaryShakspeare.

The English Traveller was published in the year 1633, and is, perhaps, one of the author's best productions. The story of it turns chiefly upon the fortunes of young Geraldine, who, in early life, was upon terms of close intimacy with a young lady, to whom “it was once voic'd” that he was to be married. During the absence of young Geraldine upon his travels, this lady consents to become the wife of a very worthy old gentleman, a friend of young Geraldine, named Wincott. After some years' absence, the traveller is most kindly welcomed

upon his return, and by no one more so than by old Wincott, who being childless himself, treats Geraldine as his son, is delighted with his account of foreign countries, and invites him to

“ Think this your home, free as your father's house,

And to command it as the master on't." Thus caressed and intreated, Geraldine becomes a constant inmate of Wincott's house, and the play opens with his introducing there his friend Dalavall, a gentleman and a scholar. The following scene, which occurs early in the play, shows what chaste and beautiful simplicity adorns Heywood's dramas. Geraldine remarks to Wincott's wife, “We now are left alone:” she answers,

Why say we be, who should be jealous of us?
This is not first of many hundred nights
That we two have been in private ; from the first
Of our acquaintance, when our tongues but clipp'd
Our mother tongue, and could not speak it plain,
We knew each other; as in stature, so
Increas'd our sweet society ; since your travel,
And my late marriage, through my husband's love,
Mid-night hath been as mid-day, and my bed chamber
As free to you, as your own father's house,
And you as welcome to it.

Y. GER. I must confess
It is in you most noble courtesy ;
In him a more than common confidence,
And in this age can scarce find precedent.

Wire. Most true--it is withal an argument
That both our virtues are so deep impress'd
In his good thoughts, he knows we cannot err.

Y. GER. A villain were he to deceive such trust, Or (were there one) a much worse character.

WIFE. And she no less, whom either beauty, youth,
Time, place, or opportunity, could tempt
To injure such a husband.

Y. Ger. You deserve
Even for his sake to be for ever young;
And he for yours, to have his youth renew'd,
So mutual is your true conjugal love.
Yet had the fates so pleas'd

WIFE. I know your meaning,
It was once voic’d, that we two should have match'd ;
The world so thought, and many tongues so spake;
But heav'n hath now dispos'd us otherwise ;
And being as it is (a thing in me
Which I protest was never wish'd nor sought)
Now done, I not repent it.

Y. GER. In those times,
Of all the treasures of my hopes and love
You were th' exchequer, they were stor’d in you ;
And had not my unfortunate travel cross'd them,
They had been here reserved still.

Wife. Troth they had,
I should have been your trusty treasurer.

Y. Ger. However, let us love still, I intreat ;
That, neighbourhood and breeding will allow;
So much the laws divine and human both,
'Twixt brother and a sister will approve ;
Heav'n then forbid, that they should limit us,
Wish well to one another.

WIFE. If they should not,
We might proclaim they were not charitable,
Which were a deadly sin but to conceive.

Y. GER. Will you resolve me one thing?

Wire. As to one,
That in my bosom hath a second place
Next my dear husband.

Y. GER. That's the thing I crave,
And only that : to have a place next him.

Wire. Presume on that already ; but perhaps
You mean to stretch it farther.

Y. GER. Only thus far ;
Your husband's old, to whom my soul doth wish
A Nestor's age; so much he merits from me :
Yet if (as truth and nature daily teach,
Men cannot always live, especially
Such as are old and crazed) he be call'd hence,
Fairly, in full maturity of time,
And we two be reserved to after-life,
Will you confer your widowhood on me?

WIFE. You ask the thing I was about to beg;
Your tongue hath spoke mine own thoughts.

Y. GER., Vow to that.
WIFE. As I hope mercy,

Y. GER. 'Tis enough; that word
Alone instates me happy; now, so please you,
We will divide ; you to your private chamber,
I to find out my friend.

WiFE. Nay, Master Geraldine,
One ceremony rests yet unperform'd ;
My vow is pass'd, your oath must next proceed ;

And as you covet to be sure of me,
Of you I would be certain.

Y. GER. Make ye doubt ?

Wife. No doubt, but love's still jealous, and in that
To be excus’d; you then swear by heaven,
And as in all future acts you hope
To thrive and prosper; as the day may yield
Comfort, or the night rest; as you would keep
Entire the honor of your father's house ;
And free your name from scandal and reproach,
By all the goodness that you hope to enjoy,
Or ill to shun

Y. GER. You charge me deeply, lady.

WIFE. Till that day come, you shall reserve yourself
A single man ; converse, nor company,
With any woman; contract, nor combine,
With maid or widow ; which expected hour
As I do wish not haste; so when it happens,
It shall not come unwelcome ; you hear all;
Vow this.

Y. Ger. By all that you have said, I swear,
And by this kiss confirm.

Wife. You're now my brother ; But then my second husband. In Wincott's house there resides Prudentilla, a sister of his wife; and Dalavall, under pretence of an affection to this young lady, but, in truth, to aid a passion he conceives for Mrs. Wincott, contrives to instate himself as one of the family. The presence of young Geraldine is of course a great obstacle in the way of his unhallowed attachment, and he therefore contrives to insinuate into the mind of old Geraldine, that his son's visits to Wincott's house were in furtherance of an illicit connection already subsisting between young Geraldine and Mrs. Wincott. The scene between Dalavall and old Geraldine is most admirable, and may be fairly put in competition with the best managed scenes of duplicity in our language. Dalavall thus commences:

Worthy sir,
I cannot but approve your happiness
To be the father of so brave a son,
So every way accomplish'd and made up,
In which my voice is least; for I, alas !
Bear but a mean part in the common choir,
When with much louder accents of his praise,
So all the world reports him.

OLD Ger. Thank my stars,
They have lent me one who, as he always was,
And is my present joy, if their aspect
Be no ways to our goods malevolent,
May be my future comfort.

DAL. Yet must I hold him happy above others,
As one that solely to himself enjoys
What many others aim at, but in vain.

OLD GER. How mean you that?
DAL. So beautiful a mistress!
OLD GER. A mistress, said you ?

DAL. Yes, sir, or a friend,
Whether you please te style her.

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OLD GER. Mistress! Friend!
Pray be more open languag'd.

Dal. And, indeed,
Who can blame him to absent himself from home,
And make his father's house but as a grange,
For beauty so attractive ? Or blame her
Hugging so weak an old man in her arms
To make a new choice, of an equal youth
Being in him so perfect ? Yet, in truth,
I think they both are honest.

OLD Ger. You have, sir,
Possess'd me with strange fancies.

DAL. For my part,
How can I love the person of your son,
And not his reputation ? His repair
So often to the house is voic'd by all,
And frequent in the mouths of the whole country ;
Some, equally addicted, praise bis happiness;
But others, more censorious and austere,
Blame and reprove a course so dissolute ;
Each one, in general, pity the good man
As one unfriendly dealt with, yet in my conscience
I think them truly honest.

OLD Ger. "Tis suspicious !

Dal. True, sir, at best---but what when scandalous tongues
Will make the worst? And what good in itself
Sully and stain by fabulous mis-report?
For let men live as chary as they can,
Their lives are often question'd; then no wonder
If such as give occasion for suspicion,
Be subject to this scandal. What I speak
Is as a noble friend unto your son,
And therefore, as I glory in his fame,
I suffer in his wrong; for as I live,
I think they both are honest.

OLD GER. Howsoever, I wish them so.

Dal. Some course might be devis'd
To stop this clamour ere it grow too rank,
Lest that which yet but inconvenience seems,
May turn to greater mischief. This I speak
In zeal to both, in sovereign care of him
As of a friend, and tender of her honor,
As one to whom I hope to be allied
By marriage with her sister.

OLD GER. I much thank you,
For you have clearly given me light of that
Till now I never dreamt on.

Dal. 'Tis my love,
And therefore I entreat make not me
To be the first reporter.

OLD GER. You have done
The office of a noble gentleman,
And shall not be so injur'd.

The father, thus awakened, as he imagines, takes the first opportunity of charging his son with his breach of old Wincott's hospitality. The son justifies himself warmly; we have not room for the whole scene, which is very good, but the following is an extract from young Geraldine's protestation of innocence.

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