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to be of yours; I am only somewhat tired of the
little cage in which, since it has been alone, it
ruffles its plumes against the flimsy wires that
confine it from wider space. I shall take up my
home for a time with the new-married couple:
they want me. Ashleigh Sumner has come into
Parliament. He means to attend regularly and
work hard, but he does not like Jane to go into
the world by herself, and he wishes her to go into
the world, because he wants a wife to display his
wealth for the improvement of his position. In
Ashleigh Sumner's house, I shall have ample scope
for my energies, such as they are. I have a curiosity
to see the few that perch on the wheels of the
State, and say, 'It is we who move the wheels!'
It will amuse me to learn if I can maintain in a
capital the authority I have won in a country
town; if not, I can but return to my small
principality. Wherever I live I must sway, not
serve. If I succeedas I ought, for in Jane's
beauty and Ashleigh's fortune I have materials
for the woof of ambition, wanting which here, I
fall asleep over my knittingif I succeed, there
will be enough to occupy the rest of my life.
Ashleigh Sumner must be a Power; the Power
will be represented and enjoyed by my child, and
created and maintained by me! Allen Fenwick,
do as I do. Be world with the world, and it will
only be in moments of spleen and chagrin that
you will sigh to think that the heart may be void
when the mind is full. Confess, you envy me
while you listen."

"Not so; all that to you seems so great,
appears to me so small! Nature alone is always
grand, in her terrors as well as her charms. The
World for you; Nature for me. Farewell!"

"Nature," said Mrs. Poyntz, compassionately.
"Poor Allen Fenwick! Nature indeed
intellectual suicide! Nay, shake hands, then, if for
the last time."

So we shook hands and parted, where the
wicket-gate and the stone stairs separated my
blighted fairyland from the common thoroughfare.

FIRE.

The seasonable amusement of watching the
gas-jets that burst from a blazing lump of coal
naturally gives rise to the question, What is
Fire?

There were once four elements; now, there
are either manynamely all the substances
which the present power of chemistry is unable
to reduce to a simpler formor one only, an
ether much rarer than hydrogen gas, by the
compression or condensation of which all known
forms of matter have been produced. We know
what Air is composed of; the combination of
gases which constitute Water is no longer a
mystery. Earth is a mixture of all sorts of
things, every one of which is an acquaintance
more or less intimate, personal, and familiar;
but what is Fire?

Three of the four ancient elements of the
Peripateticians are substantive and specific entities.
Earth is a thing, Air is a thing, Water is a thing;
Fire only is now no longer a thing, although,
previous to 1778, it was considered to be a
material substance. Bold speculators, who
questioned the right of Fire to take rank as an element
(admitting only the claims of Earth, Air, and
Water), still never doubted its material nature.
Philosophers at that time, attributing to Fire
all the phenomena produced by heat of different
degrees, whether in nature or in the arts,
defined it as a very subtle fluid, very active,
always in motion, susceptible of great expansion,
extremely elastic, dilating and rarefying all bodies,
penetrating them and modifying them more or
less violently and completely, capable even of
combination with them, and then losing all the
properties which it presents when at liberty.
To Fire in this state of combination with other
bodies, Stahl gave the name of Phlogiston,
whilst others adopted the term Fixed Fire.

Phlogiston, in its day, was a great success.
It was the intangible essence and principle of
Fire, but not a bit the less real for that.
Supposing even that Fire which burns is nothing
more than matter put in motion; still, every
material is not fitted to receive and to maintain
this movement of ignition, which is the proximate
cause of heat. It was therefore requisite
to acknowledge the existence in nature of a
substance essentially gifted with this property,
and of bodies more or less charged with the
inflammable principle, namely Phlogiston.
According to some, Phlogiston was a secondary
principle, composed of the element of Fire and a
verifiable earth; others regarded it as the pure
matter of Fire.

There is no dissolution of solid bodies without
the intervention of a fluid; but Fire was the
greatest dissolvent in Nature; therefore, Fire
was a fluid, the sole essential fluid. Water
itself derived its fluidity and its dissolving
properties from Fire. A just idea of Phlogiston
might be formed by saying that it was to metals
and all bodies of which it is the special solvent,
what every other composite solvent is to the
substances it attacheswhat mercury is to gold
in its amalgamation, what water is to salts in
their dissolution. Phlogiston, therefore, or
Fixed Fire, was most decidedly a thing which
necessarily entered, as a constituent part, into
every composite body. It was especially abundant
in sulphur, oils, charcoal, and other
combustible matters. But no one examines these
substances for Phlogiston now.

Boerhaave distinguished Fire into two kinds:
elementary Fire, as it is in itself, which alone is
purely and properly Fire; and culinary Fire, as
joined with other bodies and excited by the
former kind of Fire in combustible matter.
According to him, the first effect of elementary
Fire is heat. Heat is inseparable from Fire.
The measure of heat is always the measure of
Fire; and that of Fire, of heat. The second
effect of elementary Fire is the dilatation of all
solid bodies and the rarefaction of all fluids. An
iron rod, being heated, increases in all its
dimensions; and the more so as it is further and

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