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P. Hold! hold! you are going too far. Governor of the Institution. We can't allow further time for logic; proceed, if you please, to
P. Pray, sir, what is a salt-box?
S. It is a combination of matter, fitted, framed, and joined by the hands of a workman in the form of a box, and adapted to the purpose of receiving, containing, and retaining salt.
P. Very good: what are the mechanical powers concerned in the construction of a salt-box?
S. The axe, the saw, the plane, and the hammer. P. How are these powers applied to the purpose intended?
S. The axe to fell the tree, the saw to split the timber.
P. Consider; it is the property of the mall and wedge to split.
S. The saw to slit the timber, the plane to smooth and thin the boards.
P. How? Take time, take time.
S. To thin and smooth the boards.
P. To be sure; the boards are first thinned and then smoothed. Go on.
S. The plane to thin and smooth, and the hammer to drive the nails.
P. Or rather tacks. Have not some philosophers considered glue as one of the mechanical powers?
S. Yes; and it is still so considered; but it is called an inverse mechanical power; because, where it is the property of the direct mechanical powers to generate motion; glue, on the contrary, prevents motion by keeping the parts to which it is applied fixed to each
P. Very true: what is the mechanical law of the sar?
S. The power is to resistance as the number of teeth and force impressed, multiplied by the number of strokes in a given time.
P. Is the saw only used in slitting timber into boards?
it is also employed in cutting timber into
P. No lengths. A thing cannot be said to have been cut into lengths.
S. Yes lengths.
S. Into shortnesses.
P. Very right: what are the mechanical laws of the hammer?
Governor. We have just received intelligence that dinner is nearly ready; and as the medical class is yet to be examined, let the medical gentlemen therefore come forward.
P. What is a salt-box?
S. It is a body composed of wood, glue, nails, and hinges.
P. How is this body divided?
S. Into external and internal.
P. Very good: external and internal; very proper: and what are the external parts of a salt-box?
S. One fundamental, four laterals, and one superlateral.
P. And how do you find the internal parts of a saltbox?
S. Divided by a vertical membrane or partition into two large cavities or sinuses.
P. Are these cavities always equal?
S. They used to be so formerly; but modern joiners have found it best to have them unequal, for the more convenient accommodation of the viscera, or contents: the larger cavity for the reception of the coarser viscera, and the smaller for the fine.
P. Very true, sir; thus have modern joiners, by their improvements, excelled the first makers of saltboxes. Tell me now, what peculiarity do you observe in the superlateral member of the salt-box?
S. Whereas all the other members are fixed and stationary, with respect to each other, the superlateral is moveable on a pair of hinges.
P. To what purpose is it so constructed?
S. For the admission, retention, and emission of the saline particles.
Governor. This is sufficient. Let us proceed to
SURGERY, AND THE PRACTICE OF PHYSIC.
P. Mention a few of the disorders to which a saltbox is liable.
S. A cracked and leaky fundamental; gaping of the joints in the lateral; laxation of the hinges; and an accession and concretion of filth and foulness, external and internal.
P. Very well. How would you treat these disorders? Begin with the first.
S. I would calk the leaky fundamental with pledgets of tow, which I would secure in the fissure by a strip of linen or paper pasted over. For the starting lateral points, I would administer powerful astringents, such as the gluten cornuosa, and would bind the parts together by triple bandages, until the joints should knit.
P. Would you not assist with chalybeates?
S. I would attack the disease with prepared iron, in doses proportioned to the strength of the parts.
P. How would you manage the laxation of the hinges? S. I would first examine whether it was occasioned by the starting of the points which annex the processes the superlateral or its antagonist; or by a loss of the fulcrum; or by an absolute fracture of the sutures. In the first case, I would secure the process by a screw; in the second, I would bring the sutures together, and introduce the fulcrum; and in the last, I would entirely remove the fractured hinge, and supply its place, pro tempore, with one of leather.
P. Very well, sir; very well. Now for your treatment in case of accumulated foulnesses, external and internal. But first tell me how this foulness is contracted.
S. Externally, by the greasy hands of the cook; and internally, by the solutions and adhesion of the saline particles.
P. Very true; and now for the cure.
S. I would first evacuate the abominable vessel, through the prima vie. I would then exhibit detergents and diluents; such as the saponaceous preparation, with plenty of aqua fontana.
P. Would not aqua cœlestis answer better?
S. Yes; plenty of aqua coelestis with the marine sand. I would also apply the friction brush, with a brisk and strong hand, until the excrementitious concrete should be totally dissolved and removed.
P. Very proper. What next?
S. I would use the cold bath by means of a common pump. I would then apply lintal absorbents; and, finally, exsiccate the body by exposition, either in the sun, or before the culinary or kitchen fire.
P. In what situation would you leave the superlateral valve during the exsiccating operation?
S. I would leave it open to the extent, in order that the rarified humidities might escape from the abdominal cavities or sinuses,
P. You have mentioned the saponaceous preparation : how is that procured?
S. By the action of a vegetable alkaline salt upon a pinguidinous or unctuous substance.
P. What is salt?
S. It is a substance sui generis, pungent to the taste, of an antiseptic quality; and is produced by crystallization, or the evaporation of the fluid in which it is suspended.
P. How many kinds of salt occur in a salt-box?
P. You have said that the saponaceous preparation is procured by the action of an alkaline salt upon a pinguidinous or unctuous substance. Describe the process.
S. If a great quantity of strong ye be procured by passing water through the wood-ashes, and if a very large body of a pinguidinous habit should be immersed
in this lye, and exposed to a considerable heat, the action of the lye, or rather of the salts with which it abounds, upon the pinguidinous body, would cause the mixture to coagulate into soap.
Notice was given at this instant that dinner was on the table: the examination was concluded, and the parties separated; the examiners rejoicing in the anticipation of a feast, and the examined happy in finding the fiery trial over.
THE LAST SONG.
MUST it be? Then farewell,
Thou whom my woman's heart cherish'd so long:
The last, wherein I say " I loved thee well."
Many a weary strain
(Never yet heard by thee) hath this poor breath Utter'd, of love and death,
And maiden grief, hidden and chid in vain.
Oh! if, in after years,
The tale that I am dead shall touch thy heart,
But shed over my grave a few sad tears.
Think of me, still so young,
Silent though fond, who cast my life away,
The passionate Spirit that around me clung.
Farewell again, and yet,
Must it indeed be so,-and on this shore
Together see the sun of summer set?
Never; for soon the wind
Will waft your barque over the Biscay foam,
Far from your early home,
Your friends, and can you leave us, then, behind?