Exhibition of the laughing gas.
Lettering continues: The nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, was discoverd by Dr Priestly, who produced it by abstracting a part of the oxygen from the nitric oxide. It is composed of equivalent parts of oxygen and nitrogen. Before the time of Sir Humphry Davy, it was considered irrespirable: but by some very interesting experiments, he proved this opinion to be incorrect; he also wrote a work, entitled, "Researches on the nitrous oxide." It is named Laughing gas on account of the very exhilarating emotions produced in those who respire it for a short time: laughing, dancing, jumping, acting, reciting, and (last but not least) fighting are amongst the prominent effects displayed by persons under its influence. The febrile miasma depresses and terrifies the mind as much as the nitrous oxide raises and enlivens it. The easiest way of making it is to dissolve crystals of the nitrate of ammonia in a retort, over a strong flame; after the atmospheric air has passed away, the gas will be given off in great abundance, and may be collected in bladders, or a gasometer, for use. Sulphur, phosphorus, red hot charcoal, or a taper, will burn with great brilliance when immersed in nitrous oxide.