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Edinburgh Magazine,

OR

LITERARY MÍSCELLANY,

FOR AUGUS I 1796.

With a View of CLUNIB, in Aberdeenshire t.

CONTENTS:

83

Page

Page Regider of the Weather for Aug. 74 Dr Girtanner on Irritability, con State of the dead Bodies in the lidered as a vital principle in Cemetery of the Innocents at organized Bodies,

108 Paris in 1786 and 1787, 75 Account of fuch. Stones found in General defcription of the Roads

Scotland as are fit for ornamentand mode of travelling in Swe

al Architecture,

114 den,

81 Memoirs of the Life of the late Sir

On the Origin and Formation of Alexander Dick, Bart. of Pref

Coal,

I12

Of a King's behaviour in indiffertonfield, Sketches of the Life of Soame

ent things: By King James the VI.

12 1 Jerryns, Esq; Memoirs of the late Sir John

An Interview with Fajd an AbyfLackbart Rfs, Bart.

finiai Chief: From Bruce's On the Origin of the German

Travels,

128 Towns, and of the German No- Review of Dr Erskine's Sketches bility,

94

of Church Hiftory and TheoAccount of some extraordinary

logical Controversy, Stru&ures on the tops of Hills Gyron the Courteous : A Tale, in the Highlands,

(concluded),

137 Account of the Progress of Bo. Poetry,

143 tany in Scotland,

104 Monthly Regifter. : VOL. XII. No. 68. K

State

85

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133

96

+ Situated in what is called the Garrioch, a diftrid celebrated in remote times for the Ecids carried on betwixt the Farbafes, Lebies, deci

( 74 ) Side of the BAROMETER in inches and decimals, and of Farenheit's TALK

MOMETER in the open air, taken in the morning before sua-rise, and at noon ; and the quantity of rain-water fallen, in inches and decimals, from the 30th July 1790, to the 30th of August, Rear the foot of Arthur's Seat.

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60 60 59 60 64 67 53 59 63 60 58 62

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11 12

13

53 53 53

68 58 66

14

61

56 56 51

29.225 29.53 29.425 29.25 29.575 29.7 29.275 29.535 29.2125 29.55 29.775. 29.825 29.8125 29.775 29.65 29.575 29.76 29.8125 29.5 29.489 29.45 29.5 29.475 29.3 29.425 29.5 29.625 29.675 29.5 29.65 29.65

0.42 0.19 O.IT 0.75 0.04 0.04

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

62

Rain and thunder
Rain.
Showers.
Ditto.
Rain.
Clear.
Rain.
Ditto.
Showers
Clear.
Rain.
Clear.
Ditto.
Rain.
Ditto.
Ditto.
Ditro.
Dirto.
Ditto.
Clear.
Rain.
Clear.
Rain.
Ditto.
Clear.
Ditto.
Rain.
Clear.
Ditto.
Ditto.
Rain.

51 32 54 54

0.05

63 60 62 62 63 63 61 57 56 64

53 53

0:35
0.07

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50 49 48 47

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59

27
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TH

On the Different Stutes of the Dead Bodies found in the Cemetery of the In.0

cents at Paris in 1786 and 1787. Read at the Royal Academy of Sciences ; By M. de. Fourcroy. *HE spontaneous decomposition the place they occupied, and their

of animal matters buried in disposition with respect to one anoheaps io the eartha has presented to ther. The oldest exhibited nothing us results as singular as unexpected. but portions of bones p'aced irreguWe could not have furetold the con- larly in the soil, which had been oftents of a foil surcharged for centu- ten removed in consequence of the ries with bodies undergoing putre. frequent turning up of the ground in faction, although we might" well fo vaft a cemetery : it was difficult to have imagined that such a foil would ascertain exactly the time of the inbe very different from that of com. bumation, and we could only examine mon burying places, where each the difference berween them and huCorpse has its own space, in which man bones that had never been innature may, and does separate the terred. elements with ease and promptitude It was on the state of the soft

parts The ideas of naturalists with respect particularly, situated between the skin to the period of the entire destruction and the bones, including the teguof bodies, which according to some ments, that we had occalion to ob. was six years at the utmost, could not serve two general differences whicha indeed be applicable to the soil of the attracted our attention; in some bou cemetery of a great city, in which se- dies which were always found fin;:ic veral successive generations of its in- and detached, the skin, the musch so habitants had been deposited for more tendons, and aponeuroses were dry, than three centuries, but nothing brittle, hard, of a colour more or less could have made it be presumed that grey, and like what are called mumthe entire decomposition did not take mies in some vaults where this change place for forty years, aor could it has been observed, such as the calda have been fuspected what a fingular combs of Rome, and the vaults of difference nature presents between the Cordeliers at Toulouse. the deftruction of bodies deposited in The third, and most fingular statę heaps in subterraneous cavities, and of those fofc parts was observed in that of bodies placed asunder in the the corpses accumulated in the conia grouod. It was also impolible to mon pits.

These are cavities of divine the nature of a ftratum of earth thirty feet in depth, and twenty in several fathoms thick, perpetually length and breadth, which are dug in exposed to putrid exhalations, and the cemetery of the Innocents, and faturated as it were with animal flu- contain the bodies of the poorer peovia ; or what influence such a foil ple in their coffins in

very would have on a body newly placed 'The necessity of crowding a great in it. These were the objects of our number together, obliged the people inquiries, and the source of the dif- employed in this business to place the coveries which prompted them. coffins so near one another, that a

The remains of the bodies depo- perfon may conceive these pits as one fited in the Cemetery of the lanocents, mass of carcaffes, from a thousand to were found in three different states fifteen hundred in nun'er, separate i according to the time they had lain, only by a board of hali in inch thick K 2

Whca Aonales de Chymic. Tore.sme.

clore rows.

76 State of the Dead Bodies in the Cemetery of tha Banocentse When thesepits were full, a covering of whotestified po repugnance at touching carthone toor in thicknesswas laid over it) had not encouraged us, the cover to close them, and a new one dug at ty and fingularity of the spectacle. fome distance. It took about three would have removed from us all idea years to fill such a pit, during all of fear or disgust; and we therefore which time it remained open. The endeavoured to acquire the necessary fame pits were opened again at lon information with regard to this code ger or shorter intervals ; these inter. verfion. We learnt from the grave, vals were from fifteen to thirty years, diggers, that this fubitance they cal.' according to the necessity ariling from led grease, was hardly ever found in the proportion of deaths to the ex. bodies buried by themselves; but only tent of the cemetery. Experience had in those heaped together in the pits: taught the grave-diggers that these Wę paid particular attention to a periods were not sufficient for the en, great number of bodies in this ftare ; tire destruction of the bodies and we found that all were not equally þad made them acquainted with the advanced in this fpecies of converfion; alteration I am about to mention. in many, portions of the muscles were The first cut which we ordered to ftill visible by their fibrous ftructure be made in a pit that had been filled and reddish colour. From an atteg. and closed up for fifteen years lħew tive examination of bodies entirely, ed us this change; we found the cof. converted into this greasy matier, we fins preserved, but a little sunk down faw that the males enveloping the upon one another; the wood was bones were all of the fame aniform sound and tinged with yellow. Up- substance, that is, a greyish mass geon lifting the lid we faw the body nerally soft and ductile, sometimes lying upon the bottom, having thrunk dry, always eafily feparable into por to fome distance from the upper rous fragments, pierced with holes, board, and fo Hat that it seemed to and the wing no traces of membranes, have suffered a strong compreffon, muscles, tendons, 'veffels, or serves ; The linen in which it was wrapped one would have said at firft look that adhered strongly to the body, and these whitish maffes were only cellu. being removed, thewed nothing but lar substance which they very much re. irregular maffes of a soft matter, duc. sembled ; and accordingly fome of us rile, and of a whitih grey colour'; supposed that the ręte mucojum was these maffes enveloped the bones the true basis of this fingular fubitance round and round; they had no foli. Following this white matter ibro dity, and broke with a quick press the different regions of the body, we Ture. The appearance of this mat. were convinced that the cellular subter, its texture, and softnefs, made us stance of the kio always suffered at first compare it to common white this change; that the ligamentous cheese ; the juftness of this comparis and tendinous parts which connect son ftruck us, especially from the and retain the bones no longer exit. marks or prints which the crossed, or at l'eaft, having lost their texthreads of the linen had formed on ture and tenacity, they left the artis its furface. This white substance culations without support, and the yielded to the finger, and grew foftbanes to their own weight, so that upon being rubbed a little.

there was now among these nothing These carcases thus changed had but a juxta-position, and accordingly no very disagreeable smell; even tbe leaft touch was fufficient to sepa. though the grave-diggers (who had rated them, as the grave diggers been long acquainted with this fub- knew, who, in order to remove theię Hapse which they called grease, and bodics from the piss we wanted to

cmpty,

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