By Henry E Roscoe; Carl Schorlemmer; John Cannell Cain; Charles Henry Jeens; Bernard Mouat Jones

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Compound, and was therefore forced to ignore, or even to deny, the facb of combination of the elements in a small number of definite fixed proportions, which had been first distinctly proved by his countryman Proust. This led to a keen debate between the two French philosophers which lasted from the year 1801 to the year 1808. In the end, however, Proust proved conclusively that Berthollet's views were incorrect inasmuch as he showed that when one metal gives riso to two oxides, the weight of the metal which combines with the same quantity of oxygen to form the various oxides is a different but a fixed quantity, so that combination does not take place by the gradual addition of one element, but by sudden increments.

7 1 6 6 8 6 12 19 6 7 17 12 Nitronsacid { ° O ° } 26 Aceticacid {©0©} 26 These atomic weights, it is evident, are far from being those which we now accept as correct, indeed they are different from those given in his first table, for Dalton not only frequently BERZEMUS. 8? altered and amended these numbers, according as his experiments showed them to be faulty, but even distinctly asserts tbe doubtful accuracy of some. Chemists at that time did not possess the means of making accurate determinations, and when we become acquainted with the rough methods which Dalton adopted, and the imperfect apparatus he had to employ, we cannot but be struck with the clearness of his vision and the boldness of grasp which enabled him, thus poorly equipped, to establish a doctrine which further investigation lias only more firmly established, and which, from that time forward, has served as the pole star round which all other chemical phenomena revolve, Amongst those to whose labours we are indebted for advancing Dalton'8 atomic theory are Thomas Thomson and Wollaston, bat before all, the great Swedish chemist Berzelius, to whom we owe tbe first really exact values for these primary chemical constants.

Alcohol Sulphureous acid . Sulphuric acid . . Carburetted hydrogen, from stagnant water. Olefiantgas . . 13"7 144 15*2 15*4 15*3 10-1 19*9 25*4 6*3 5*3 Thus then, at the end of a paper on a physical subject, does JDalton make known a principle the discovery of which at once placed the science of chemistry upon its true basis, and has rendered the name of its discoverer second only to that of Lavoisier amongst the founders of the science. I t is not easy to follow in detail the mental or experimental processes by which Dalton arrived at this great theory.

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