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IMPROVEMENTS IN THE PROCESSES.
art, magnificent triụmphs of the pencil, / some of the processes have been simpliin the gallery, to which, on account of fied, its applications have been extended the freedom exercised in their design and increased, and the effects rendered and execution, particular allusion cannot more permanent. In consequence of the be made. One of two things must be description of the art, given in former admitted, either that the general con numbers of this work, many of its readception of modesty and propriety enter ers have probably attempted to contained by the Christian world, is too struct the necessary apparatus ; and those strict, or that painters in their principles who have done so, can scarcely have and practice are too free. Without any failed, after a few experiments, to use it affectation, I am quite inclined to think with ease and success. To them it will that the latter is the more just, and cer be interesting to know what improvetainly the more safe conclusion of the ments have lately been introduced, and it two. The morality of a painting reaches is for their amusement and instruction that the judgment only by passing through the following brief summary of the printhe lengthy avenues of reason and re- cipal discoveries, made by philosophers flection, while its immorality influences in various parts of the world, has been the passions instantaneously through the prepared. eye. Hardly can I persuade myself that my error is to be too precise and severe in judging of the thoughts, words, or Many attempts have been made to deeds of my fellow-men, though I do discover some substances which might be oftentimes fear that I fall into the oppo- used instead of silver plates and iodine, site error.
so as to present a surface equally capable Many of the paintings are from Scrip- of being acted upon by the rays of light. tural subjects, and beautifully do they The objection to these substances is the embody them; so that he who is a Bible expense of the silver plate. No others, reader, as he' regards them, cannot fail however, have been found to present a to go in his thoughts to the blessed surface equally delicate for the reception volume of Divine instruction.
of an image thrown by the solar rays; Even here, while gazing on the whirl- nor is there much hope that any future wind energy of Michael Angelo; the efforts will be more successful. fiery vigour of Rubens; the rich and The clearness and beauty of the imglorious colouring of Titian; and the pression formed upon the plate is now deep and grand dark-green masses of found to depend greatly upon the purity Gaspar Poussin's pencil, we ought to ac of the silver. A silver wash upon a plate knowledge an adorable Creator, in these of copper is not sufficient. When a suitimitations of his works, as well as in the able plate has been obtained, it must be wonders of his creation, and the wisdom made quite clean, and free from any spot and goodness of his holy word. The or mark, before it receives the film of sun-lit sky, with all its glorious hues; iodine, the application of which, it will the hills and vales; the endowments of be remembered, is the first process. It mind and body, and all the pleasure- was imagined that the plate should be giving faculties of man, spring from the used immediately the coating of iodine is same Almighty source. God is wise : formed; but it now appears proper to “ There is no searching of his under- keep the plate in this state for several standing,” Isa. xl. 28.
" Great is the hours before it is placed in the camera, Lord, and greatly to be praised," Psa. care being of course taken to prevent the cxlv. 3. God is good : “full of compas- access of light. When the prepared plate sion; slow to anger, and of great mercy,' has received the image, the mercurial Psa. cxlv. 8.
vapour brings out the picture, and that part of the iodine which does not constitute a part of it is to be removed. For this
purpose it was customary to wash DAGUERREOTYPE.
the plate with a solution of common salt, In the Visitor for March, 1840, a or some other preparation. In the perdescription was given of that wonderful formance of this process, care is required, invention, the Daguerreotype. To its and there is some danger of injuring the improvement the attention of philoso- delicate picture. Dr. Draper, professor phers, in all countries, has been directed of chemistry at New York, has discoverduring the past year ; by which means / ed a method of removing the iodine by
IMPROVEMENTS IN THE
an application of electricity; and the increase its power, that even a moving mode is so simple and so extremely in mass may be instantaneously copied, and genious, that it will be readily adopted by that it will not be impossible thus to every experimenter. When the plate obtain a perfect representation of a field has been dipped into cold water, it must of battle, or the crowded streets of Paris be placed at the bottom of a vessel con and London. Should this anticipation be taining a solution of common salt of mo- realized, the value of the invention will derate strength. In this state it will be greatly increased. The impression is remain without being acted upon at all ; now made upon the iodide of silver, “but if it be touched on one corner with when the metal is pure and the light a piece of zinc which has been scraped strong, in an exceedingly short space of bright, the yellow coat of iodine moves time-in forty seconds, if all the circumoff like a wave, and disappears. It is a stances be favourable. The duration of very pretty process. The zinc and sil- the necessary exposure must be considerver forming together a voltaic couple, ably shortened before the Daguerreotype with the salt water intervening, oxida- can be used to take the representation of tion of the zinc takes place, and the silver moving objects. surface commences to evolve hydrogen M. Jobard, of Brussels, has succeeded gas; whilst this is in a nascent condition, in taking portraits with the Daguerreoit decomposes the film of iodide of silv type; but his experiments were congiving rise to the production of hydriodic ducted with less ingenuity and neatness, acid, which is very soluble in water, and and in a less convenient and accurate hence instantly removed.”
manner than those of Professor Draper, There are some of our readers who of New York. The following is his dewill not be able to understand the reason scription of the process : “ Paint in dead that is given for the effect, and perhaps white the face of the sitter ; powder his may not have been before acquainted hair ; and fix the back of his head bewith the existence of the substances that tween two or three planks, solidly atare named. But it is far from difficult tached to the back of an arm chair, and to understand the chemical change. Hy- wound up with screws. The colour of drogen gas is given out from the silver the flesh not reflecting sufficiently the surface in consequence of the contact of rays of light, would require a powerful the zinc; and this hydrogen gas decom- sun, whereas a whitened face will be proposes the iodide of silver, and forms hy- duced as well as plaster figures by difdriodic acid, a substance consisting of fused light.” The operations of whitenhydrogen and iodine.
ing the face and hair, and fixing the In clearing the silver plate by this head between planks, are by no means process, after the application of the mer- pleasant in anticipation, and would not cury, care must be taken not to allow the be submitted to by the greater number zinc to remain in contact too long, or the of those who are even anxious to have picture will be injured; but if the plate their portraits taken by the Daguerreobe large, it may be desirable to apply a type. Nor is there any necessity; for by piece to each corner.
the ingenious arrangements of Professor Draper, the art is rendered so simple,
and may be executed in so short a period DAGUERREOTYPE.
of time, that any person exercising the When the Daguerreotype was first necessary care and precaution, may take discovered, it was chiefly applied to the accurate Daguerreotype portraits. purpose of taking landscapes, but it can Professor Draper was of opinion, when now be used to obtain representations of he commenced his experiments, that it all objects that remain at rest for a suf- would be necessary to dust the face of ficiently long period to impress the de- the sitter, but soon discovered his error, licate film of iodide of silver with its and found that there was no difficulty in form.
It has also, we are assured, taking a portrait with the Daguerreobeen used with success, by the assistance type even when the sun was shining of strong microscopes, to take the image dimly. of animalculæ and other small animals. With a double convex lens, that is, Nor are its powers to be confined to the convex on both sides, four inches in diarepresentation of still life ; for it is re meter, he obtained perfect images in the ported that Daguerre, the discoverer, has open air. After many experiments, he expressed his confident expectation so to I found that he succeeded best by using
two mirrors, as the direction of the light | not only be moved from one place to falling upon the sitter, could be arranged another, conveniently, and without daas might be found most convenient. mage, but would be ready for engraving; The light was first received on a plane and the advantage would be still greater mirror or looking-glass, by which it was if, by, any etching process, the image reflected to another, which threw it at could be formed without the aid of the the most convenient angle, upon the per- graver,
That all this will be accomson whose portrait was to be taken, plished at no very distant period, there The intensity of the light was an objec- is every reason to hope. Much has been tion; for the sitter could not bear its already done, and if the statements of glare without some contortion of coun- experiments can be fully trusted, which tenance. This was corrected by passing there is no reason to doubt, little more the light through a blue glass, which remains to be accomplished than to make absorbs the most intense heating rays. the various processes as simple as possi
The head was rested against the back of a ble. chair, so that it might be kept as steady M. Donne has read a paper before the as possible, and the back ground was ar French Institute, the most learned soranged to suit the taste of the artist. In ciety in Paris, in which he explains a this way portraits were taken in a method of engraving Daguerreotype period varying from forty seconds to plates, but has not succeeded in obtaintwo minutes. One thing, however, must ing more than forty impressions from be remembered; by those who repeat the one plate. When the image has been experiments; the colours of the dress formed, the edge of the plate must be must not be too much contrasted; for, covered with a layer of engraver's varotherwise, one part of the picture will nish. It is then laid on a basin, resting be injured before the other is perfectly on its four corners, and is covered with formed.
diluted nitric acid, three parts of acid to The strength and beauty of the por one of water. In three or four minutes, traits thus produced, can scarcely be the action of the acid commences, and imagined by those who have not seen the plate is soon covered with bubbles of them. Even the moles and freckles of gas from the chemical action. When the the face are copied with the greatest ac- plate has been sufficiently acted upon, curacy. A portrait of a freckled person, which will be in a few minutes, the acid when thus obtained, is, however, some is allowed to run into the basin. The what ludicrous, for the white face is plate is then well washed with water, and mottled with as many black spots as the gently wiped with fine cotton, after which sitter has yellow ones. The eye is given it may be handed to the engraver, either with great sharpness, and the white dot to be more deeply cut with the tool, or to of light upon it is so strong, and has so be printed, according to the number of much life and reality as to produce an impressions required. effect not to be obtained by any other
Dr. Berres has described another meart. This application of the Daguerreo- thod, which we extract from a paper read type is one of great importance, as en before the Imperial Society of Vienna. abling us to obtain correct representa- This gentleman having obtained his Dations of those we esteem at a trifling guerreotype. picture in the usual manner, cost, and in a few moments of time. It held it for some minutes over the vapour will also be useful in enabling us to take of nitric acid, and then placed it in the the portraits of many inferior animals, acid, at a temperature of about sixty deand will no doubt be applied to the re grees, having previously dissolved in that presentations of anatomical subjects. fluid a considerable quantity of copper
A precipitate of the metal
was soon formed upon the plate. The We have next to consider the progress picture, coated with metal, was then that has been made in fixing the Da- thoroughly washed in water, and afterguerreotype image. The great objection wards polished with fine chalk or magto the Daguerreotype has been the want nesia with a soft leather. Through this of permanence in the figures formed coating the picture may be seen. This upon the silvered surface. The slight. is the process by which the Daguerreoest touch obliterates the fairy scene. To type image is fixed. The author then fix the image is, therefore, of the first proceeds to explain the method by which importance; for the plates could then the etching process was conducted; but
THE DAGUERREOTYPE IMAGE.
as we do not clearly perceive how it can the officer who is entering upon his be made effective for the purpose re- duties, or to a couple about to be united quired, it would be folly to attempt an in wedlock; a third and a fourth are explanation for others.
unpropitious to the same parties ; a fifth Another means of fixing the Daguer- is untoward for the bather; a sixth to reotype is that proposed by M. Fuseau, the general who leads forth his army; a specimens of which have been presented seventh to the gardener who plants or to the French Institute. M. Daguerre's grafts under its influences. The third drawings are considered defective in vi- leaf contains an astrological diagram, gour, and want a greater breadth of light, not easily understood except by those who which faults are admirably corrected by shall be at the pains of prying into the seM. Fuseau :-“Evidently in this case, crets of Chinese philosophy. After these photography seems to cast off the veil follow two large tables, occupying thirtywhich shaded her so mou
nournfully, and one leaves, which show the time of sunappears worthy of the light that created rise and sunset, and the time when each her. Beside' those eminent qualities half-monthly period commences in the seabove-mentioned, let us add some not veral provinces and dependences of China. less estimable; such as being less shin- The ephemeris follows next, and occupies ing, glaring, and unalterable, since they twelve or thirteen leaves, according as can be preserved between two sheets of the current year consists of twelve or paper, and a glove passed over the thirteen months; for the Chinese endeapicture without causing any damage." vour to make the solar and lunar years
These results are obtained by washing agree by intercalating a whole month, the plate, when the picture has been after the ancient custom of the Jews. formed, with the hypo-sulphate of gold The details of the ephemeris comprise and soda, and afterwards gently heating the characters by which each day is disthe plate, by placing it for one or two tinguished in reference to the cycle of minutes over a spirit-lamp, upon an iron sixty years, the moon's quarters, the plate prepared for the purpose. The places of several stars, the anniversaries cause of the change is, probably, as of births and deaths of the emperors and stated by the author : the gold is preci- empresses of the reigning dynasty, and pitated on the silver, and makes it finally a specification of what ought and darker, giving more vigour to the shades, what ought not to be done on each day while the other parts of the picture are, of the year. A table of 120 years to by the same means, rendered less shin- show the age of an individual born in ing, and in its arrangement with the any year of that cycle follows. A conglobules of mercury, form the lights, trivance of this sort is necessary, as the and gives them more fixity and bright- Chinese do not reckon from any particu
H. lar epoch, as the Greeks did from the
period of the first Olympiad, the Romans from the foundation of their city,
the Alexandrians from the battle of ACThe Imperial almanack is published in tium, the Mohammedans from the flight two forms, one containing fifty leaves, of the false prophet, and the Christians the other about twenty. Upon the first from the birth of our Saviour. The perleaf of the larger edition, is a table of son who consults this table knows the the twenty-four zodiacal periods, into cyclic characters for the year in which he which the ecliptic is divided by the Chi- was born, and for the year then current; nese, marking the time of the sun's by noting these and reckoning the years passage over each first and fifteenth de- between, he ascertains his age. Another gree in his annual apparent revolution, table of astral influences completes the calculated for the meridian of Peking. book, of which the Chinese government The second leaf is occupied by a table is so proud, that it cannot confer on any which exhibits some of the more import- nation a more gracious gift than a copy ant of the stellar aspects, as they are of it. While European astronomers were considered to be lucky or unlucky for employed in the observatory at Peking, certain acts and enterprises. One is they were required to attach their signaauspicious to all undertakings, and de- ture to the astrological as well as to the structive to every baneful influence; a astronomical tables of the almanac. And second favourable to the man who pre. as the superiority of foreigners in the sents a memorial to the government, to science of astronomy is acknowledged in
ALMANACKS IN CHINA:
China, the astrological predictions work- / tute of its “ 'power :" nor from an oced after the European method gain more casional impression of the importance faith than those which are merely of na of true piety; for there are many who tive composure. Several popular alma- endure for a while, but fall away in the nacks lay claim to an excellence of this season of trial. sort, that they may secure a better sale That the inquiry proposed may be set among the common people.
at rest, recourse must be had to different The popular almanacks are larger than evidences; and in so doing, the aposthe imperial, and contain a more ample tle James will furnish us with an infallishare of astrological detail. A variety ble standard. Associating those he adof rules are given to enable the person dresses with himself, and referring to who is curious about the future to augur
" the Father of lights,” he says, “Of well or ill respecting it from certain his own will begat he us with the word signs in the heaven, or in the things of truth, that we should be a kind of about him. The nature of man is sup- firstfruits of his creatures,” James i. posed to be so closely interwoven with | 18. “The word of truth” is therefore planetary and atmospheric influence, that the instrument of the new creation, and no change can take place in the aspect all have experienced it, who have reof the heavenly bodies, or in the phe- ceived that truth "in simplicity and nomena of the weather, without pro- godly sincerity," and whose hearts and ducing a correspondent change in his lives are subjected to its influence. corporeal or mental frame. Sometimes No one, before whom this passage is these embrace a few items of useful in- brought, can therefore be ignorant of a formation, as a map of China, an atlas scriptural test of character, or of his own of stars, a very imperfect tide-table, etc. personal condition before the great One of these, now open before the writer, Searcher of hearts. Reader, what then descends still lower in the region of thé is yours ? Are you still unbelieving, unpractical ; and, after a rude figure of the renewed ? Let the new year begin, in the spring kine, or buffalo, proceeds to state exercise of the deepest solicitude. Acthe dimensions, colours, and peculiar cept the offers of that gospel, which, till characteristics of the animal most worthy now, you have neglected. Believe in of the husbandman's choice.
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He The Useful Knowledge Society in is the only refuge for ruined man; the China contemplated the publication of a only Deliverer from the wrath to come. “ purified almanac,” after the model of It is his Holy Spirit alone, that can the “British, Christian," etc.; but the cause old things to pass away, and all present unhappy state of things in China things to become new. Oh, guard against has delayed their purpose, which, it is delay. The longer you indulge in sin, hoped, will be taken up again as soon as
the harder it will be to break from it, a more propitious day shall have dawned and the greater risk is run of an eternal upon that vast and interesting country.
union with it. The more you transgress G. T. L. against God, the more you call for his
judgments, which, if they fall, will hurl you into ruin.
The more time you
waste, the greater is your work, and the It is usual for many inquiries to be briefer its opportunity of performance. proposed at this season ; but assuredly, By how much longer you make the day one of supreme importance is, “Am I of sin, by so much shorter you make a new creature ?” Let this, then, dear the day of grace. It is high time to reader, have your immediate and most awake out of sleep. The soul, once lost, serious attention.
is lost for ever. . Arise, then, and seek It is obvious that an affirmative can its salvation, lest the things that belong not be given it from your having a full to your peace be eternally
hid from your cup of worldly good; for many who eyes ! prosper,” whose " eyes stand out with
66 tasted that the Lord is fatness, and who have more than heart gracious ?" Examine yourself as to the can wish,” are described as “ungodly:" reality of your religion, and as to your nor from a profession of religion ; 'for advancement in it. Call yourself to acmany have "aname to live,” who are still count for the past year--for your past “dead in trespasses and sins ;" they have life. Recollect your various infirmities, “the form of godliness,” but are desti mourn over them, and resolve, in the
A QUESTION FOR THE NEW YEAR.