Mirror of Literature,  7 (1826), 405–07.

Mons. Chabert.—Ordeals by Fire





Exhibitions, Heat, Physiology, Miracle, Chemistry, Imposture

People mentioned:

Denis Dodart , St Albertus Magnus

Publications cited:

St Albertus MagnusDe Mirabilus Mundi

    Chabert having recently 'received public attention to certain curious powers', the author thinks some account of those phenomena will be interesting to readers, especially as 'there appears so much philosophy mixed up with common show in the exhibition of this professor of the pyrotechnic art' (406). The article reviews the history of the 'power of resisting the action of heat', before describing Chabert's recent exhibitions. The writer observes: 'Much of the power possessed to resist greater degrees of heat than other men may be a natural gift, much the result of chemical applications, and much from having the parts indurated by long practice; probably all three are combined in this phenomenon with some portion of artifice'. Some of the 'recipes for rendering the skin and flesh fire-proof' are detailed. Habit is considered most likely to be the 'principal agent in the attainment of the very considerable insensibility to heat'. (407)

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