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Pup. But what is a sirup?
Tut. That is, when so much sugar is dissolved as sensibly to thicken the liquor, but not to separate from it. Well —now to your question about tea. On exposing it to considerable heat, those fine particles in which its flavour consists, being as volatile or evaporable as the water, would fly off along with it ; and when the liquor came to dryness, there would be left only those particles in which its roughness and colour consist. This would make what is called an extract of a plant.
Pup. What becomes of the water that evaporates ?
Tut. It ascends into the air, and unites with it. But if in its way it be stopped by any cold body, it is condensed, that is, it returns to the state of water again. Lift up the lid of the tea-pot, and you will see water collected on the inside of it, which is con
densed steam from the hot tea beneath. Hold a spoon or knife in the way of the steam which bursts out from the spout of the tea-kettle, and you will find it immediately covered with drops. This operation of turning a fluid into vapour, and then condensing it, is called distillation. For this purpose, the vessel in which the liquor is heated is closely covered with another called the head, into which the steam rises and is condensed. It is then drawn off by means of a pipe into another vessel called the receiver. In this way all sweet-scented and aromatic liquors are drawn from fragrant vegetables, by means of water or spirits. The fragrant part being very volatile, rises along with the steain of the water or spirit, and remains united with it after it is condensed. Rose-water, and spirit of lavender, are liquors of this kind.
Pup. Then the water collected on
the inside of the tea-pot lid should have the fragrance of the tea.
Tut. It should-but unless the tea were fine, you could scarcely perceive it.
Pup. I think I have heard of making salt-water fresh by distilling.
Tut. Yes. That is an old discovery lately revived. The salt in sea-water, being of a fixed nature, does not rise with the steam; and therefore, on condensing the steam, the water is found to be fresh, And this indeed is the method nature employs in raising water by exhalation from the ocean, which collecting in clouds, is condensed in the cold regions of the air, and falls down in rain.
But our tea is done; so we will now put an end to our chemical lecture.
Pup. But is this real chemistry ?
Pup. Why, I understand it all without any difficulty.
Tut. I intended you should.
Mr. B. was accustomed to read in the evening to his young folks some select story, and then ask them in turn what they thought of it. From the reflections they made on these occasions, he was enabled to form a judgment of their dispositions, and was led to throw in remarks of his own, by which their hearts and understandings might be improved. One night he read the following narrative from Churchill's Voyages.
“In some voyages of discovery made from Denmark to Greenland, the sailors were instructed to seize some of the natives by force or stratagem, and bring
In consequence of these
orders, several Greenlanders were kidnapped and brought to Denmark.--Though they were treated there with kindness, the poorwretches were always melancholy, and were observed frequently to turn their faces towards the north, and sigh bitterly. They made several attempts to escape, by putting out to sea in their little canoes which had been brought with them. One of them had got as far as thirty leagues from land before he was overtaken. It was remarked, that this poor man, whenever he met a woman with a child in her arms, used to utter a deep sigh ; whence it was conjectured that he had left a wife and child behind him. They all pined away one after another, and died miserably.” Now, Edward (said he,) what is
your opinion of this story?
Edward. Poor creatures! I think it was very barbarous to take them from home.