Page images

This, however, does not in the least degree invalidate your statement. You are not obliged to account for everything you saw.

One sees many things which one cannot wholly explain.

Still, if on mature thought you can recall any more details, I shall value them highly. Believe me, yours very truly,

P. H. GOSSE, F.R.S. We are not aware that this letter of Mr. Gosse has before been printed, but the views of several well-known naturalists have been laid before the public. Mr. Henry Lee ridicules the idea of the impossibility of new monsters being introduced to science; witness the gigantic cuttle-fish, sonie of them fifty feet in length, which have been taken within the last few years, fully accrediting the popular legends of older mariners. He says :

I therefore think it by no means impossible-first, that there may be gigantic marine animals unknown to science, having their ordinary habitat in the great depths of the sea, only occasionally coming to the surface, and perhaps avoiding habitually the light of day; and, second, that there may still exist, though supposed to have been long extinct, some of the old sea reptiles whose fossil remains tell of their mag. nitude and habits, or others of species unknown even to palæontologists. The evidence is, to my mind, conclusive that enormous animals, with which zoologists are at present unacquainted, exist in the “great and wide sea.

Dr. Wilson, one of the highest authorities about reptiles, land and marine, says:

As far as I have been able to ascertain, zoologists and other writers on this subject have never made allowance for the abnormal and huge development of ordinary marine animals. My own convictions on this matter find in these the most reasonable and likely explanation of the personality of the sea-serpent, and also the reconciliation of such discre. pancies as the various narratives may be shown to evince.

I think we may build up a most reasonable case both for their existence and for the explanation of their true nature, by taking into account the fact that the term serpent,” as ordinarily employed, must be extended to include other forms of vertebrate animals which possess elongated bodies ; and that cases of the abnormally large development of ordinary serpents and of serpent-like animals will reasonably account for the occurrence of the animals popularly named “sea-serpents."

Whilst to my mind the only feasible explanation of the narrative of the crew of the Pauline must be founded on the idea that the animals observed by them were gigantic snakes, the habits of the animals in attacking the whales evidently point to a close correspondence with those of terrestrial ser. pents of large size, such as the boas and pythons ; whilst the fact of the animals being described in the various narratives as swimming with the head out of the water would seem to indicate that, like all reptiles, they were air-breathers, and required to come more or less frequently to the surface for the purpose of respiration.

It will be observed that Dr. Wilson leaves it an open question whether the sea-serpent of popular language may not include Saurian monsters as well as gigantic Ophidians proper. Mr. Gosse concludes his treatise on the subject in the following words: “I express my own confident persuasion that there exists some oceanic animal of immense proportions, which has not yet been received into the category of scientific zoology, and my opinion that it possesses close affinities with the Enalosauria (marine saurians) of the lias.”

The idea of the survival of some animals once regarded as wholly extinct and only found in fossil state, is now familiar to men of science. Such

animals as the Lepidosiren, the mud-fish of the Gambia, and the semi-aquatic platypus of Australia, show that strangely anomalous forms are to be found, which, like fossils, connect, to a certain extent, orders at present widely sundered in the natural scale. Catherine Hopley, one of the highest authorities and most recent writers on serpents, says that, instead of wondering at these reported monsters, “the wonder rather might be if there were not one 'great sea-serpent,' but many unsuspected species of reptiles, compound ophiosaurians or saurophidians, or who shall say what, in these inaccessible depths.”

We conclude our article by quoting part of a clear and sensible statement by Mr. Bartlett, of the Zoological Society's Garden

When we consider the vast extent of the ocean, its great depth, the rocky, cavernous nature of the bottom-of many parts of which we know really nothing—who can say what may be hidden for ages, and may still remain a mystery for generations yet to come ? for we have evidence on land that there exists some of the largest mammals, probably by thou. sands, of which only one solitary individual has been caught or brought to notice. I allude to the hairy-eared two-horned rhinoceros (R. lasiotis), captured in 1868 at Chittagong (where it was found stranded in the mud), and now known as an inhabitant of the Zoological Gardens.

This animal remains unique, and no part or portion was previously known to exist in any museum at home or abroad.

Yet in India for many years collectors and naturalists have worked and published lists of all the animals met with, and have hitherto failed to meet with or obtain any knowledge of this great beast.

May I not therefore presume that in the vast and mighty ocean animals, perhaps of nocturnal habits (and therefore never, except by some extraordinary accident, forced into sight), may exist, whose form may resemble the extinct rep. tiles whose fossil remains we find in such abundance ?

As far as I am able to judge from the evidence before me, I have reason to believe that aquatic reptiles of vast size have been seen and described by those persons who have endeavoured to explain what they have witnessed.

One thing is certain, that many well-known reptiles have the

power of remaining for long periods (months, in fact) at the bottom, under water or imbedded in soft mud, being so provided with organs of circulation and respiration that they need not come to the surface to breathe. The large crocodiles, alligators, and turtles have this power, and I see no valid reason to doubt but that there may and do exist in the unknown regions of the ocean creatures so constructed.

It may be argued that if such animals still live, they must from time to time die, and their bodies would float, and their carcasses would be found, or parts of them would wash on shore. To this I say : however reasonable such arguments may appear, most animals that die or are killed in the water, sink at first to the bottom, where they are likely to have the flesh and soft parts devoured by other animals, such as crus. tacea, fishes, etc., etc., and sinking in the deep, the bones, being heavier than the other parts, may soon become im. bedded, and thus concealed from sight.

From the authorities and opinions cited it is evident that the time has passed when “the great sea-serpent” can be treated merely as a matter of merriment. When so treated by newspaper writers and in light conversation, it is from sheer ignorance of what men of science have written.*


* For those who wish further to study the subject, the following refer ences will be useful :-Gosse's “ Romance of Natural History," Chapter on "The Great Unknown (Nisbet and Co.); Miss Hopley's book on Snakes, chapter on the “Sea-Serpent" (Griffith and Farran); “ Illus: trated London News," Oct., 1848; Prof. Silliman's Journal of Science," 1835 ; and various journals of the years 1848 and 1875, following the Dædalus and Pauline reports by Captain McQuhæ, R.N., and Captain Drevar ; also in Mr. Frank Buckland's " Land and Water" for 1877.


trial substance, but having a general resemblance to those seen in the spectrum of the electric discharge through rarefied dry air. The most probable theory of the aurora is that originally due to Franklin, namely, that it is due to electric discharges in the upper air in consequence of the differing electrical conditions between the cold air of the polar regions and the warmer streams of air and vapour raised from the level of the ocean in tropical regions by the heat of the sun, for evaporation of water containing saline matter is a source of electrification, the escaping vapour becoming positively electrified.” According to Nordenskjöld, the earth is perpetually surrounded at the poles by a ring of pale light, which he calls the “auroral glory," and which gives ont streamers during magnetic storms. The above facts are taken from the student's excellent little hand-book of Professor Sylvanus Thompson, published by Messrs. Macmillan and Co., under the title of “ Elementary Lessons on Electricity and Magnetism." We are indebted to Messrs. Macmillan for kindly permitting us to use an illustration from the book in our popular series on “ Electricity and its Uses."

A Pertinent Question. -In 1767 six undergraduates were expelled from Oxford for attending prayer meetings in the town and other irregular conduct. At the trial, after judg. ment was pronounced by Dr. Durell, the Vice-Chancellor, one of the heads of houses shrewdly observed, “ As these six young gentlemen are expelled for having too much religion, would it not be proper to inquire into the conduct of some who have too little ?”

[ocr errors]

Leon Gambetta.-A correspondent of the “Times” remarked, as regards M. Gambetta's death, that no French statesman having reached so high a position as he did has trer died so young-at least, within the last two centuries. Robespierre must be excepted; but he was only by usurpa. tion supreme ruler of France. M. Casimir Périer, who was Prime Minister in 1832, died at the early age of forty-nine ; and this is the only instance nearly approaching to that of M. Gambetta, whose age was forty-four. As a general rule, Frenchmen having held the office of Prime Minister have been remarkable for longevity. Eight French ex-Premiers are now living-MM. Rouher, Emile Ollivier, Duc de Broglie, Buffet, Waddington, Jules Simon, De Freycinet, and Ferry; but every one of them is older than M. Gambetta was. When M. Gambetta became Minister of the Interior in 1870 he was the 106th politician who had filled that office since 1789; fifteen others have held it after him, and M. de Fallières, the present holder, is the 121st Home Minister since the Revolution.

Chrysanthemums.-At a meeting of the Royal Horticul. tural Society during the chrysanthemum season, the Rev. G. Henslow stated that the plant was first introduced from China to the Chelsea Botanic Garden in the middle of the eighteenth century. After being lost, the plant was re-introduced in 1790, since which time the number of varieties has been increasing, till a volume would not suffice to describe or delineate them,

The Aurora Borealis.—The following facts concerning the "northern lights” have acquired fresh interest since the recent auroral display : “The appearance of an aurora is usually accompanied by a magnetic storm, affecting the compass-needles over whole regions of the globe. This fact, and the position of the auroral arches and streamers with respect to the magnetic meridian (the arch spans the magnetic north and the streamers radiate from it) directly suggest an electric origin for the light-a conjecture which is confirmed by many analogies found between auroral phenomena and those of discharge in rarefied air. Yet the presence of an aurora does not—at least, in our latitudes-affect the electrical conditions of the lower regions of the atmosphere. On September ist, 1859, a severe magnetic storm occurred, and aurora were observed almost all over the globe ; at the same time a remarkable outburst of energy took place in the photosphere of the sun, but no simultaneous development of electricity was recorded. Auroræ appear in greater frequency in periods of about eleven and a half years, which agrees pretty well with the cycles of maximum of magnetic storms and of sun-spots. The spectroscope shows the auroral light 10 be due to gaseous matter, its spectrum consisting of a few bright lines not referable with certainty to any known terres

Cardinal Newman's First College Essay.-In the year 1821, together with Henry Bodin, he published first one canto, then a second, of “St. Bartholomew's Eve.” In a note to the second canto he explains that he had been much surprised to find by the remarks of his academic readers that the learned university knew nothing about St. Bartholomew's Eve. So he undertook to enlighten it with a brief narrative, beginning : “The year of our Lord 1572 will ever be branded with infamy, and recollected with horror, as the date of this most barbarous and cold blooded massacre. The queen mother, Catherine de Medici, actuated by zeal or ambition, conceived this design, so pleasing to the Court of Rome,” and so on. Does the cardinal still brand with horror this cold blooded massacre, or does he echo the jubilate of the infallible pope over the murder of Coligni and the Strages Ugunotorum ?

Mr. Gladstone and Bishop Wilberforce. - In the recently published third volume of the Life of Bishop Wilberforce, there is much about Mr. Gladstone. The following notice of a visit to Hawarden will be read with interest in connection with the article in our present number. Writing to his son Reginald, the bishop says (August 31st, 1864), “I came here on Tuesday to visit Gladstone, and am leaving him today after a very pleasant visit. It is so full of interest to see a man like Gladstone at leisure, and with his family, all so united and affectionate. It is really a beautiful place.” In the bishop's diary is this entry : “Up betime; wrote; a walk with Gladstone along ridge of stone quarries and on the shoulder of Penmanmaur Mountain ; curious to see his strong mind so unbend ; his head easily giddy ; cannot bear even the near approach to a precipice; kind to all his children, and loved by them.” In 1868 he met the doctor on a visit to



[ocr errors]

read or write in 1871 (not including children under six years of age) was 42 per cent. of men and 53 per cent. of

These relative proportions have now decreased to 35 for the men and 47 for the women, or at the rate of 17 per cent. for the former, and in for the latter. The ages at which the greatest improvement is seen are be. tween 20 and 25. The progress of education has not been very equal throughout the land. For instance, the number of children between six and twelve who could not read or write in Placenza diminished exactly one half; whereas in Cosenza, a town of Calabria, there were 78 per cent. in 1871, and still 73 in 1881, while at Girgenti (Sicily) the numbers were only reduced from 84 per cent. to 77. Among those who were drawn for the conscription in 1866, the number of illiterates was 68 in the hundred, but in 1880 these had decreased to 52. Though things are much altered for the better in this respect, lialy is still behind other countries. In Germany there are few illiterate conscripts ; in France 14 per cent., Austria 39, Hungary 51.

Lord Salisbury, and says, “I have very much enjoyed meeting Gladstone. He is so delightfully true and the same, full of interest in every good thing of every kind. We (i.e., he, Cardwell, Lord Salisbury, and myself) had a walk about the park, and he took as much interest in the trees as if he had nothing else to think about. He said he never saw a more perfect host than Salisbury.” In his diary the entry is : · Gladstone as ever ; great, earnest, and honest.” Five years later, in 1873, he records a conversation in London : **Gladstone much talking how little real good work any Premier had done after sixty ; Peel ; Palmerston, his work really done before ; Duke of Wellington added nothing to his reputation after. I told him Dr. Clarke thought it would be physically worse for him to retire. He replied that Dr. Clarke does not know how completely I should employ myself,” etc. It is curious to read this now, and to think of the age of Gladstone as Premier at seventy-three ! Those opposed to him will say that the dictum is true, nevertheless, as to "little real good work” being done by a Premier after sixty !

Inns of Court Address to the Queen.-The following address from the treasurers, benchers, barristers, and students of the four Inns of Court, signed by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, was presented to the Queen during the ceremony of opening the new Courts of Law :—“May it please your Majesty— The four Inns of Court venture to approach your Majesty with an expression of their gratitude for the honour your Majesty has conferred on the nation by gracing with your august presence the opening of the Royal Courts of Justice. Scattered as they have hitherto been, the courts of law will in the future be assembled under one roof, to the material advantage of all your Majesty's subjects. Regret may arise at the severance of the ancient legal connection with Westminster Hall; but this will give place to satisfaction that the distinctions which formerly prevailed between the two great branches of Law and Equity have now ceased, and that the fusion will henceforth be symbolised by their administration as one in this magnificent building. The Inns of Court gratefully avail themselves of this opportunity to express those feelings of devotion and loyalty to the Crown which the members of these institutions have at all times cherished."

The Manx Census.-The Isle of Man census return shows that on April 4 the population numbered 53,492, 3 decrease, as compared with 1871, of 550. The number of summer and autumn visitors during 1871 was about 75,000 ; last year the number was about 130,000.

Wilberforce's Weight.-In the “Life of William Wilber. force" not much is said about the appearance of the great man. In the life of Christine Alsop, by her niece, Mrs Braithwaite, one curious fact is recorded. Wilberforce came to Stoke Newington to dine with William Allen, the well-known chemist of Plough Court. They all walked to inspect the cottages and other sights connected with Mr. Allen's agn. cultural experiments. Several of the party were weighed, and the result in regard to Wilberforce gave striking illustration of the saying that “the mind is the measure of the man.” He weighed, including the glb. for the iron stays which he wore to support his spine, 761b., or less than five stone and a half! [Is this possible? What is the weight of very light jockeys? What was John Wesley's weight?]

Bitter Beer.—A firm of brokers in Mincing Lane lately wrote to the “Times,” saying that owing to a partial failure of this season's English hops, together with a large demand to supply the American market, the price of hops has in. creased to such an extent that substitutes are eagerly sought for in the markel, and drugs of a bitter nature suitable for the fabrication of beer have in some instances risen from 300 to 400 per cent. in value. Colombo root, well known for its tonic qualities,” has advanced in price from 225. to 955. per hundredweight ; camomiles from 40s. to 1205. ; quassia from £5 to £40 a ton; “guinea grains " from 325. to 6os. ; while “cheretta," a drug which a month since was unsale. able at threepence a pound, has now sprung by “ leaps and bounds to 3s. 6d. Some brewers sent indignant denials of their using anything but hops for bitter beer. Very pos. sible; but the public-houses, supported by the brewers, may sell “doctored” compounds, while the names of celebrated brewers are on their signboards. If all the “drugs” were as harmless, or rather as wholesome, as camomile, there would be less cause of complaint. Land now waste might profit. ably grow camomile and other “bitter herbs.”

Saved by the Bagpipes.-Captain James Clerk, of the Honourable East India Company's Service, a well-known naval officer in his day, played well on the bagpipes, and had his favourite instrument in his cabin when his ship was wrecked in the Hooghly. The captain reached the shore with the help of the bag of his pipes used as a float or swimming bladder. On getting to terra-firma, he played an unco' fit,” the strains not only cheering the stranded sur. vivors, but frightening the tigers away. These very pipes were preserved at the family house of Glenlair, and used to be shown with other relics by the captain's grand-nephew, James Clerk Maxwell, the illustrious man of science, who inherited the property, and in whose memoir, recently published, the story is told,

Families Connected with Commerce.--"I know not why commerce in England should not have its old families, re. joicing to be connected with commerce from generation to generation. It has been so in other countries ; I trust it will be so in this country. I think it is a subject of sorrow, and almost of scandal, when those families who have either acquired or recovered station and wealth through commerce turn their backs upon it, and seem ashamed of it. It certainly is not so with my brother or with me. His sons are treading in his steps, and one of my sons, I rejoice to say, is treading in the steps of my father and my brother."- Mr. Gladstone at Liverpool.

The Italian Census.-From the report recently issued by Signor Bodio, Director-General of the Statistical Department, it appears that the census of the kingdom of Italy, taken on the last day of 1881, shows a total population of 28,452,639, being an increase during the previous decade of 1,651,485. This increase, however, is less than that of the ten years 1861-1871, which is accounted for by the much greater tendency towards emigration, at least 350,000 having left the country since 1871. Hitherto the inhabitants of Liguria, Piedmont, and Lombardy have been, par excellence, the emigrants of Italy, the majority bending their course to South America ; but the movement is now becoming much more general, and is extending to the southern provinces. The educational features of the census are encouraging. The number of persons who could not

Unhealthy Camping Ground.-Miss M. L. Whately, of Cairo, thus wrote in December about the health of our troops in Egypt :-“The camp at Gezireh is placed on a sort of peninsula below the river level, stagnant on one side, and a canal on the two others, only one narrow passage being land. Not an Egyptian of the poorest class would dwell there ; it is only fit for crops. But here, of all places, our poor soldiers are made to live in tents not even provided with camp bedsteads. Kasasses (stands of wicker-work palmfibre used to place native beds on) are dirt cheap'all round; but the soldiers lie on damp earth with only a blanket. Then the papers complain of bad climate! Even the natives avoid lying on the ground after the inundation, which was very late this year ; for Europeans it is simply madness." She adds that in the part of the camp pitched on the dry, desert sand they appear to have good health. It was in this part she was allowed to place the coffee-room she opened for the troops.

[The same wretched mismanagement occurred in the Crimea, with what Earl Russell called “horrible and heartrending." scenes, not from war but from disease and exposure. Cobden's pamphlet was entitled “Whom shall we hang?” Is the blame of such blunders as Miss Whately describes to be laid to the military or the medical department?]

Sunday in the London Suburbs.-A clergyman says: “One Sunday morning last autumn I had occasion to walk from the top of the City Road through a part of Hoxton into the Kingsland Road. I found myself one of an unbroken stream of people-boys, girls, young men and women, fathers of families, clerks, artisans, labourers-all out for their Sunday stroll. So far as I could observe, no one attempted to enter any place of worship, although we passed the head-quarters of the Salvation Army, many churches, chapels, mission, temperance, and gospel halls. It is vain to think that religion, as generally understood, has any real influence upon that multitude. They have not even the decency which leads many of the same class on the Continent to attend an early service.

Balfe's Music.—The characteristic quality of Balfe's music was never so little esteemed, or at least so scantily exhibited, by composers as at the present hour. Whatever may be the merits of those laborious innovators who are building up the music of the future, it is certain that the mantle of his abounding melodiousness has fallen upon none of them. But while educated opinion claims for Balfe his niche among the worthies of Westminster Abbey, we cannot forget the right which he derives from his immense and well-earned popularity. Like his great contemporary, Charles Dickens, also enshrined here, he has been a minister of purest delight and recreation to the masses of his countrymen. Sterling artist though he was, he had those popular gists which appeal to all. We require no “ Balfe Society" to interpret him. It is that inexhaustible tunefulness of his, that sund of bright spontaneous song, which has endeared his work to hearers of every class; and his simple flowing ballads, with their mingled sunshine and pathos, will be the delight of “other hearts and other lips” than those of this generation. They have found their place in the affections of the English people as "things of beauty," and will remain “a joy for ever. Canon Duckworth at Westminster Abbey.

John Henry Newman as Violinist.At Blanco White's lodgings there were frequent trios,Reinagle, Newman, and Blanco White, where I was all the audience, Most interesting was it to contrast Blanco White's excited, and indeed, agitated, countenance with Newman's sphinx-like immobility, as the latter drew long rich notes with a steady hand. Jozley's Reminiscences.

Euphrates or Tigris Valley Railway.-In a brief discussion last Session in the House of Lords on this project, the Earl of Derby said he did not approve of making a line through “a burning desert, 700 miles in length. He also said that “if a regiment of Europeans were sent by this line it was extremely probable that very few would arrive at their destination. There was a great difference between travelling in a steamer, where it was possible to get a breath of air, and being penned up in a railway carriage ;” and his lordship further stated that he “ did not think the construction of such a line was rendered necessary at present, either on military or political grounds.” Lord Derby's statements are usually so judicious, and his opinion so weighty, upon questions of which he has knowledge, that we can only suppose he had no information about this proposed line. Mr. Campbell, an Australian, who happened to be in London at the time, published a letter in the “ Times,” giving a very different opinion. He said that from having travelled on railways in Europe, America, Australia, etc., and also from having travelled thrice through the Red Sea, he ought to be able to know something of the merits of this question. As to Lord

Derby's “burning desert,” it should be easily crossed in an ordinary railway train in about twenty-four hours in comfort in properly-ventilated carriages. " In the end of the month of May last,” says Mr. Campbell, “I travelled by railway through Arizona, California, and New Mexico, under the latitude of the Euphrates, where the line crosses a 'burning desert,' a portion of which is 264 feet below sea level, with out suffering in health, and that in part of a continuous jour. ney of about 4,000 miles by railway. The difference in travelling in a steamer on the Red Sea' is very great, as there often only ‘a breath of air' is obtainable by punkah, and travellers are driven from their cabins to try to sleep on deck. The Red Sea is about eighteen degrees nearer the equator than the Euphrates, and the heat there for three or four months of the year is very trying. This would be avoided by the Euphrates Railway route, which compara. tively would be a pleasure trip. In a military and political point of view, it could not be otherwise than advantageous to the British, and commercially it should be a success. There is the whole of Europe and America at one end of the line, and Persia, India, Java, China, Australia, and New Zealand at the other; and the mail and passenger traffic would be immense. The cost of construction should be very moderate, because in a level, dry country the works are trising. In similar level, dry tracts in Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico the railways are laid without ballast, only a little earth put between the sleepers, and without fences. In fact, on level, dry plains railways, even fenced and properly ballasted, should be constructed for about £3,000 a mile; but, as the country between the Mediterranean and the plains is more difficult, it may be estimated that the 700 miles could be built for £4,500 per mile, or three millions altogether. Compensation for land through the desert should not cost much ; if Turkey sanctioned it and guaranteed protection it should be a commercial success without any subsidy; and it would, no doubt, be a civilising benefit to Eastern nations and an expeditious route. As to the railway being more vulnerable than the Canal, it may be said that both are liable to obstruction if within reach of an enemy; but a railway is more easily repaired. It is not, however, as an alternative route for military purposes alone that I advocate the construction of the railway, but it is because it would bring the East within half the time distance of Europe, as the line would ultimately be connected with the Indian railways. But should British capital and influence delay establishing such expeditious communication with India, Russia will probably extend her annexations by railway through Persia, and thereby anticipate our action."

Scotching the French Language.-John, Lord Campbell, during a trial, was reading aloud some French evidence, “How he murders it !” whispered Judge Blackburn to Lord Chelmsford. “No,” said Chelmsford ; "he is only scotch. ing it.”

Labour Generously Self-Imposed.-One of Bishop Wilberforce's Oxford clergy, seeing him look pale and worn, asked him why he did not keep a secretary. The bishop answered that it would certainly be a great relief to do so, but then many people would be disappointed. “For instance,” he remarked, a clergyman at Huddersfield asks me, at Cud. desdon, to go north to preach on some special occasion. I cannot comply with his wish, but I write a few kind words with my refusal, which makes it less annoying. Whereas, my secretary would say it was 'impossible,' and the poor man would feel that he had made a mistake." This kindly feeling kept the bishop a slave to his desk, and he was often overwhelmed with correspondence.

Speed of Railway Trains.-In connection with the paper on the “Speed of Express Trains,” in the part of the Leisure Hour” for June, 1882, a correspondent calls atten. tion to a report in the “ Illustrated London News” for August 10th, 1844, alluding to an event four days previously, i.l., the 6th of that month, one paragraph of which runs thus : "On the above day also were performed some wonders of railway travelling. The journey from Slough to the Paddington terminus was accomplished in less time than the distance had ever before been traversed by a special passenger train on the Great Western line. The eighteen miles and a quarter only occupied fifteen minutes and ten seconds. (The

[ocr errors]



of contrasts being perfectly kept. The best modern deco. rator might learn of the ancient Egyptians. Their portraitpainters, too, are very true. The Egyptian who represented a face in terra-cotta or stone does not seem to have fattered his “sitter,” if we may judge from his works in the Boulak Museiim, but he hits off the countenance and character of the man in a way which speaks much for a love of honesty in those days. The modern visitor is entertained in eiv. ing how conscientiously the work was done, and feels sure that he looks upon likeness after likeness, which perhaps was less appreciated by the personage thus celebrated than by his friends; and yet they are not caricatures, but only unfeelingly just. When the thing was finished there was nothing more to be said, though the critics smiled while they approved. — Pottery Gazette.

Photography from Trains.- Instantaneous photography, in its more familiar aspect, supposes motion of the objects photographed; but another form of it is that in which it is the camera, more especially, that has motion of translation, as in photographing from balloons or trains. The practic ability of photographing landscapes from the window of a train running at a rate of even forty miles an hour has been recently proved by Dr. Caudèze, who uses what he calls a gyrograph for the purpose. The apparatus comprises a copper tube similar to that which carries the lenses in ordinary cameras, but the lenses are placed on opposite sides parallel to the axis. Within is a shutter similar to the box of a stopcock; it presents two quadrangular apertures, which, according to the position of the shutter, do or do not let pass the light-rays in making a quarter of a turn.

This rotatory movement is obtained by means of a spring liberated from a catch. An exposure of only 1-100th of a second may be had. With a little practice wonderfully distinct views, it is said, can be obtained with the apparatus.

column then speaks of another quick journey.) The paper mentions a speed equal to over seventy-two miles per hour. If the statement is correct, it is certainly a startling fact that, in spite of the many mechanical and scientific appliances for railways invented since 1844, that no progress whatever in the speed of express trains has been made for thirty-eight years.”. (Our correspondent appears to put speed as the first object in travelling; we think safety of more consequence to most people, and are glad that no attempts are made to multiply expresses of the Wild Irishman and Mad Scotchman class.]

A Great Man.—A tourist in the Isle of Wight came near the house where the Poet-Laureate then lived. “Mr. Tennyson lives here, does not he?" he said to one whom he

“Yes, he does.” “ He is a great man?” “ Well, I don't well know what you call great, but he only keeps one man-servant, and he does not sleep in the house.” This is as good as the witness in a famous criminal trial, who, being asked why he called a man “respectable,” replied, " He keeps a gig"—the origin of Carlyle's pet phrase, “gig respectability.”

Not Slothful in Business.-A correspondent (the Rev. W. D. Shepherd, St. Thomas's Vicarage, Preston) referring to the “ Business Card” in our “ Varieties ” for September, says

that the quotation from St. Paul has nothing to do with worldly business as such. The Revised version gives the passage thus : 'In diligence not slothful ; fervent in spirit ; serving the Lord.' In Alford the note stands thus : In zeal not remiss' (not in business,' as the Authorised version reads, referring apparently to secular business, whereas the apostolic counsel refers to Christian duties); 'servent in spirit, rejoicing in hope,' and so on.” This may be perfectly true in regard to the first use of the words, but it is a fair and profitable application of them to enlarge the use so as to include the affairs of this life as well as spiritual concerns. The true Christian makes no broad distinction between secular and sacred work, and seeks to do all to the glory of God. He is diligent in the duties and lawsul business of this life, while not remiss but zealous in regard to things spiritual.

The Number of the Beast. A journal published in Lon. don, devoted to the craze that the English are Israelites, inserted a letter from a correspondent in Yorkshire, identify. ing Mr. Gladstone with the Beast in the prophetic vision, whose number was 666. He says: "For more than two years past I have felt confident in my own mind that Mr. Gladstone, our prime minister, was the great deceiver who is to deceive all those carnal professors whose names are not in the Book of Life. Here is his word and the number. In the Greek language every letter stands for a number. G stands for 3, L for 30, A for

1, D for 4, S for 200, T for 300, O (short) for 70, N for 50, E (long) for 8—666. Now here you have it, and we know that Gladstone is a Puseyite. What is a Puseyite but in spirit either a Greek or a Roman Papist? Therefore, he who bids Mr. Gladstone God-speed, bids in truth the wicked-one God-speed. Working-men,

rest till you have driven this wicked Puseyite, Gladstone, from being the prime minister of Great Britain.” A collection of identifications of the Beast from numerals would form a chapter in human solly. Many of our readers may remember the humorous demonstration by Lord Macaulay that the British Parliament is the Beast, the enu. meration of its members, along with certain officials, making up the required 666 !

Ancient Egyptian Art.—Though grand, their art was imperfect in many respects. Their pictures often exhibit a childishness of delineation which contrasts strongly with the perfection of their workmanship. While carefully observant of the laws of geometry and anatomically exact, they are grotesquely defiant of perspective. When, moreover, the Egyptian artist wanted to portray a great personage, such as a god, king, or hero, he drew him twenty times as big as the ordinary men by whom he is surrounded; and his ships, with their crews and cargoes, are drawn with total disregard to the laws of statics. However heavy the load, however unequally distributed, the boat is always level and buoyant. But Egyptian artists understood the harmony of colours, and decorated their buildings with admirable skill, the balance

Frozen Salmon.-No more delicious and well-flavoured fish have ever been seen in London than some of the frozen salmon from Labrador. It comes into the cook's hands as hard as adamant, requires to be soaked for twelve hours in cold water, and then to be left for as long again in the kitchen. At the end of twenty-four hours it may be cooked in the ordinary way, and, properly dressed, no fish that ever came out of the Severn, the Tay, or the Shannon is more palateable. Many of the salmon brought over last year were taken out by steamers of the Orient line to Australia in their frozen chambers, and brought back in the same fashion. Nine or ten months after they had been caught in Labrador, and having in the interim made a voyage to the Antipodes and back, some of them were consumed in London with a gusto to which none but a Brillat-Savarin, a Francatelli, or a Mary Hooper could do justice.Daily Telegraph.



Newspaper Proprietors and the Law of Libel.-Mr. T. Hughes, Q.C., Judge of the Nantwich County Court, and better known as the author of “Tom Brown's School Days,” gave an important decision on the law of libel, by deciding that an editor might alter an advertisement to prevent a libel

. An application had been made by Dr. Mackie, of the “War. rington Guardian,” for a small account, the payment of which had been refused on the ground that he had changed “machinations” to “doings.” This was brought forward as a test case, and decided in favour of the newspaper.

The Sloth and the Squirrel.--Of all known quadrupeds, the unhappiest and vilest yet alive is the sloth, having this characteristic—that what activity he is capable of is in the night. It is a creature the fiends delight to exhibit, like that nightmare monster, the megatherium, which they are only permitted to exhibit in death. Now, as of all quadrupeds there is none so ugly and miserable as the sloth, so, taking all nature, there is none so beautiful or so happy as the squirrel. Innocent in all his ways, harmless in his food, playful as a kitten, but without cruelty, and surpassing the dexterity of a monkey, with the grace of a bird, the little dark-eyed miracle of the forest goes from branch to branch, more like a sunbeam than a living thing. The chamois is slow to it, and the panther clumsy. It haunts you, listens for you, hides from you, looks for you, loves you, as if it were a plaything invented by the angel that walks by your children. -Ruskin.

« PreviousContinue »