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which it may draw a sufficient quantity of moisture, to supply that which exhales from its substance, and is carried off continually by the air. Perhaps, however, if it were buried in quicksilver, it'might preserve, for a considerable space of time, its vegetable life, its smell and colour. If this be the case, it might prove a commodious method of transporting from distant countries those delicate plants which are unable to sustain the inclemency of the weather at sea, and which require particular care and attention.
I have seen an instance of common flies preserved in a manner somewhat funilar. They had been drowned in Madeira wine, apparently about the time when it was bottled in Virginia, to be sent to London. At the opening of one of the bottles, at the house of a friend where I was, three drowned flies fell into the first glass which was filled. Having : 13
heard it remarked that drowned flies were capable of being revived by the rays of the sun, I proposed making the experiment upon these. They were therefore exposed to the sun, upon a sieve which had been employed to strain them out of the wine. In less than three hours two of them began by degrees to recover life. They commenced by some convulsive motions in the thighs, and at length they raised themselves upon their legs, wiped their eyes with their fore feet, beat and brushed their wings with their hind feet, and soon after began to fly, finding themselves in Old England, without knowing how they came thither. The third continued lifeless until sun-set, when, losing all hopes of him, he was thrown away.
I wish it were possible, from this instance, to invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they might be recalled to life at any period,
however diftant; for having a very ar. dent desire to see and observe the state of . America an hundred years hence, I should prefer, to an ordinary death, the being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country! But since, in all probability, we live in an age too early, and too near the infancy of science, to see such an art brought in our time to its perfection, I must, for the present, content myself with the treat, which you are so kind as to promise me, of the resurrection of a fowl or a turkey, cock. .
PRECAUTIONS to be used by those who are
about to undurtake A SEA VOY AGE.
W HEN you intend to take a long voyage, nothing is better than to keep it a secret till the moment of your departure. Without this, you will be conti. nually interrupted and tormented by visits from friends and acquaintances, who not only make you lose your valuable time, but make you forget a thousand things which you wish to remember; so that when you are embarked, and fairly at sea, you recollect, with much uneasiness, affairs which you have not terminated, accounts that you have not settled, and a nunber of things which you proposed to carry with you, and which you find the want of every moment. Would it not be attended
with the best consequences to reform such a custom, and to suffer a traveller, without deranging him, to make his preparations in quietness, to set apart a few days, when these are finished, to take leave of his friends, and to receive their good wishes for his happy return?
It is not always in one's power to choose a captain ; though great part of the pleasure and happiness of the passage depends upon this choice, and though one must for a time be confined to his company, and be in some measure under his command. If he is a social sensible man, obliging, and of a good dispo. fition, you will be so much the happier. One sometimes meets with people of this description, but they are not common; however, if yours be not of this number, if he be a good seaman, attentive, care. ful, and active in the management of his vessel, you must dispense with the rest, for these are the most effential qualities.