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Curious Account Of The Electric Effects Of A Russian Climate








Mr. AEpinus in a letter to Dr. Guthrie, relates the following
phenomena, which took place in Russia, when a severe frost had
continued for several weeks.

Mr. AEpinus was sent for to the palace to see an uncommon phenomenon.
On going into the apartment of Prince Orloff, he found him at his
toilet, and that every time his valet drew the comb through his hair,
a strong crackling noise was heard; and on darkening the room, sparks
were seen following the comb in great abundance, while the prince
himself was so completely electrified, that strong sparks could be
drawn from his hands and face; nay, he was even electrified when he
was only powdered with a puff.

A few days after, he was witness to a more striking effect of the
electric state of a Russian atmosphere. The Grand Duke of Russia sent
for him one evening in the twilight, and told him, that having briskly
drawn a flannel cover off a green damask chair in his bed-chamber, he
was astonished at the appearance of a strong bright flame that
followed; but considering it as an electrical appearance, he had tried
to produce a similar illumination on different pieces of furniture,
and could then show him a beautiful and surprising experiment. His
highness threw himself on his bed, which was covered with a damask
quilt, laced with gold; and, rubbing it with his hands in all
directions, the young prince, who had then reached his twelfth year,
appeared swimming in fire, as at every stroke flames arose all around
him, darted to the gold-laced border, ran along it, and up to that of
the bed, and even to the very top.

While he was showing this experiment, Prince Orloff came into the
room, with a sable muff in his hand, and showed us, that by only
whirling it five or six times round his head in the air, he could
electrify himself so strongly, as to send out sparks from all the
uncovered parts of his body.





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