of 2 /2
139 surfaces of contact. Thus, alloys with large grains, do not afford mortars so solid as the pulveru- lent ones, because there are spaces filled with pure lime, which do not present the same resistance to fracture as the other parts. On the contrary, alloys in powder, though they present the greatest surface, yet require a very large proportion of lime. To obtain, then, with the smallest possible quantity of lime, mortars possess- ing the -greatest solidity, alloys must be used, containing particles of’ different sizes, avoiding always the mixture of argillaceous sub- stances, which form a paste with water, hut have no coherence. These opinions have been put to the test of experiment on a large scale, the .sand usually employed at Paris affording a better mortar when merely washed, than when the fine particles are removed by a sieve. Volcano of Barren Islands.- This volcano was visited by Cap- tain Webster in March last. When entering the bay they were assailed at the distance of’ 100 yards from the shore, with puffs of warm wind, and on dipping their angers into the water it was found to be quite hot. The stones on shore were also warm, and the water bubbling all around them, Having landed, he ascended the precipice towards the cone, which appeared to be about a quarter of a rnile distant. The diameter of’ the base of the volcano is about 300 yards, and about 30 at the top, and there issued from it con- tinually a white thin smoke. In order to examine the crater, Cap- tain Webster ascended 30 or 40 yards, sinking anele deep in ashes at each step, but he found it im- possible to reach the mouth. Matrix of tlae Brazilian Dia- mond.—In Mr. Henland’s collec- tion there is a Brazilian diamond imbedded in brown iron ore. An- other in the same matter is in the possession of’M. Schuch, librarian to the Crown Princess of Por- tugal. Eschwege has in his cabi- net a mass of’ brown iron ore, in which there is a diamond in a cavity of a green mineral, ; supposed to be arseuiate of iron. From these facts, he infers that the matrix, or original repository of the diamond of Brazil, is brown iron ore, which occurs in beds of slaty quartzose micaceous iron ore, or in beds composed of iron glance and magnetic iron ore, named by him Itabirite. TABLE TALK. Dreadful Accident from Fire- damp.— Thirty-two Persons kil- led.-It is this weeli our painful duty to record one of those heart- wounding events, which, notwith- standing the luminous discoveries and improvements lately made in the sciences, and particularly in that which is more immediately connected with the art of mining, seems inseparable from those ill- fated mortals whose province it is to explore the bowels of the earth. On Monday night last, the town of Whitehaven was thrown into the utmost agitation, by an awful ex- plosion of fire-damp, from the VVilliam Pitt (a name of disastrous import)--a coal-mine belonging to the Earl of Lonsdale, where it was known, that a considerable number of’ colliers were at the moment employed in the work-

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139

surfaces of contact. Thus, alloyswith large grains, do not affordmortars so solid as the pulveru-lent ones, because there are

spaces filled with pure lime, whichdo not present the same resistanceto fracture as the other parts. Onthe contrary, alloys in powder,though they present the greatestsurface, yet require a very largeproportion of lime. To obtain,then, with the smallest possiblequantity of lime, mortars possess-ing the -greatest solidity, alloysmust be used, containing particlesof’ different sizes, avoiding alwaysthe mixture of argillaceous sub-stances, which form a paste withwater, hut have no coherence.These opinions have been put tothe test of experiment on a largescale, the .sand usually employedat Paris affording a better mortarwhen merely washed, than whenthe fine particles are removed bya sieve.

Volcano of Barren Islands.-This volcano was visited by Cap-tain Webster in March last.When entering the bay they wereassailed at the distance of’ 100

yards from the shore, with puffsof warm wind, and on dippingtheir angers into the water it wasfound to be quite hot. The stoneson shore were also warm, and thewater bubbling all around them,Having landed, he ascended theprecipice towards the cone, whichappeared to be about a quarter ofa rnile distant. The diameter of’the base of the volcano is about300 yards, and about 30 at thetop, and there issued from it con-tinually a white thin smoke. Inorder to examine the crater, Cap-tain Webster ascended 30 or 40yards, sinking anele deep in ashes

at each step, but he found it im-possible to reach the mouth.Matrix of tlae Brazilian Dia-

mond.—In Mr. Henland’s collec-tion there is a Brazilian diamondimbedded in brown iron ore. An-other in the same matter is in thepossession of’M. Schuch, librarianto the Crown Princess of Por-tugal. Eschwege has in his cabi-net a mass of’ brown iron ore,in which there is a diamondin a cavity of a green mineral,

; supposed to be arseuiate of iron.From these facts, he infers thatthe matrix, or original repositoryof the diamond of Brazil, is browniron ore, which occurs in beds ofslaty quartzose micaceous iron ore,or in beds composed of iron glanceand magnetic iron ore, named byhim Itabirite.

TABLE TALK.

Dreadful Accident from Fire-damp.— Thirty-two Persons kil-led.-It is this weeli our painfulduty to record one of those heart-wounding events, which, notwith-standing the luminous discoveriesand improvements lately made inthe sciences, and particularly inthat which is more immediatelyconnected with the art of mining,seems inseparable from those ill-fated mortals whose province it isto explore the bowels of the earth.On Monday night last, the town ofWhitehaven was thrown into theutmost agitation, by an awful ex-plosion of fire-damp, from theVVilliam Pitt (a name of disastrousimport)--a coal-mine belongingto the Earl of Lonsdale, whereit was known, that a considerablenumber of’ colliers were at themoment employed in the work-

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140

iags. It was impossible to ascer-tain the extent of the calamityimmediately, but the fatal cer-

tainty soon became apparent. Noless than fourteen men, sixteen

boys, and two girls, have come toa premature death by this catas-trophe. That the pit was over-charged with fire-damp in somepart of the workings is now tooevident; but it is doing no morethan justice to those who have themore immediate superintendenceof those very extensive concerns,to say, that no precaution wasomitted by them to guard thecolliers against any sudden acci-dent. The workmen, it appears,were employed in removing somepillars, in a part of the pit wherethe ventilation was extremelygood, and where there was not,consequently, any reason to ap-prehend danger from the existenceof fire-damp ; and, indeed, theair was in general supposed to begood, except in some recesses

into which the colliers had nooccasion to enter. They were,besides, every one furnished witha safety lanip, and were understrict orders from the superin-tendents to keep their lamps pro-perly secured. When the mis-fortune happened they had allnearly finished their work for theday, and by what or whose ne-glect or mismanagement it wasoccasioned, scarcely a conjecturecan now be formed. It is gene-rally supposed that one of theworkmen had been using someimproper liberties with his lamp,and had removed the cylinderwhen in a place where the fire-

damp was present. There werealso 17 horses killed, but some oftheir drivers escaped. In record-ing the above melancholy event,

it may not be irrelative to mentiona remarkable coincidence of namesand circumstances which occurredsome years since in the county ofDurham. On the 25th of May,1812, a tremendous explosion tookplace in the William Pitt, a coal-mine at Felling Colliery, by which92 persons out of 124 lost theirlives, and 32 were saved, beingthe exact number of those whohave perished in the William Pittat Whitehaven.—Carlisle Journal.

Workington.—The inhabitantsof this town have lately beenmuch amused, about five or sixo’clock in the mornings, by a drumand fife beating and playing roundthe town very lively tunes, forthe purpose of procuring all theshearers Mr. Curwen could collect

upon the Schoose farm. The de-sired effect was produced, for theyoung lasses followed the musicin great force, sometimes the num-ber employed at once, amountingto three or four hundred people.Upon entering the field, they weremarshalled into companies of fortyeach. About eight or ten activefemales immediately came tor-ward as captains, with each a dif-ferent coloured flag, mounted upona long staff. The companies pro-ceeded to work with the captainsat their head : and as the wholemust move together, the more ex-pert and active the leader, themore the honour; thus the workwas done in the most expeditiousand regular manner, and had theappearance at a distance of a

regiment of soldiers. Mr. Cur-wen was in the rear, mounted uponhis charger, and the whole scene

produced, as the painters say, afine effect.

[Correspondents in our next.]