« PreviousContinue »
going to dine with some friends, and consequently Arthur would be left quite alone.
"I'll be quite good," he had said, "if you will only let me choose what dress you are to wear and what jewels; and I shan't the least bit mind being alone if the kitchen cat may come up and sit with me."
Lady Amyott consented, as indeed she did to everything Arthur asked, and the boy came up to her room, where all her dresses were spread out upon the bed for his inspection.
"I wish you had got an orange dress," he said, regretfully, "like old Mrs. Snipe at our school." His black fingers were straying all the while over a white silk."I think the blue one will do best ; only you must wear lots of flowers and jewels." And he went to the dressing-case and pulled out handfuls of ornaments. "Here, these diamonds, and that ruby necklace, and those funny green stones; and then all those bracelets, and these big blue pins. I want you to look very grand."
And Lady Amyott, who could not find it in her heart to refuse him anything, submitted to his choice, with certain modifications, and went out
to her dinner-party dressed more like a Begum than a quiet retiring little lady. But she scarcely minded that. It was so long since any one had cared how she was dressed, or what ornaments she put on.
That night, when she returned, she went up gently to Arthur's room and opened the door. He was asleep in his little white lair, and the kitchen cat, who had gone to bed with him, was purring on his pillow. Lady Amyott softly removed the cat and then bent down and kissed him. He turned in his sleep, and muttered, "Dear, you are so like mother, dear;" and the poor forlorn little lady's eyes filled with tears, but they were, I think, tears of pleasure; for it seemed to her, as she stood by the child's bedside, that there might still be something for her which would make life worth living; that the boy's affection had thawed the snows which had lain so long on her heart, and that, in the new warmth and sunshine, her poor numbed heart itself might "recover greenness" and awake, after so long and drear a winter, to a spring of bright and hopeful days.
A Visit to Longfellow
If only one in every twenty of the Englishmen who "interviewed" Longfellow had written an account of their visits, a huge volume would be required for the record. Few of those records which have been published present much beyond the expression of the visitor's own feelings about the man and the poet. The latest that has come under our notice is in the recently-published memoir member of the Society of Friends, Stanley Pumphrey, who devoted some years to religious and benevolent work in America. In his diary he gives an account of his visit to Longfellow, one special interest of which lies in the venerable poet's generous admiration of his fellow-countryman and brother bard, Whittier. Here is the extract from the
"Eighth Month, 15th, 1876.-Yesterday I had the great pleasure of my promised visit to Longfellow. My kind friend, Augustine Jones, went with me, and we reached the poet's house about half-past ten.
"He had gone into Boston, but was likely to return at noon. We spent the interval in a visit to the Agassiz Museum. It is a very fine collection, and in fishes, Agassiz's specialty, it is far more complete than the British Museum. Indeed, I think I was told they have four times as many specimens. We strolled back at noon, and found that Longfellow was still out, but were informed he might return any moment, so we sat down under the shade of some trees in his carriage drive, and made up our minds to wait till one. We beguiled the time with reading 'The New England Tragedy of John Endicott,' a book Augustine Jones had kindly procured for me, as he found I had not read it. The time had almost passed, when, to our great delight, the poet drove in, accompanied by one of his daughters. I don't know whether it was Alice or laughing Allegra. But she is a little girl no longer. The house where Longfellow lives is histo
"Memories of Stanley Pumphrey." By Henry Stanley Newman. (Partridge & Co.)
rically interesting as having been once the home of Washington. They seem to have taken a pride in preserving the old style; the antique balusters, the heavy brass knocker and brass fittings to the door, and the old trees on the public avenue, are all preserved with care.
"When Whittier's note of introduction had been presented, he came out and gave us a warm and kindly greeting. He is an old man of about seventy, but sprightly, looking very like the portraits we have lately seen, long white hair, beard, and moustache, a pair of very bright eyes, and a pleasing face. He is a complete gentleman, and at once set us at our ease. He made kind inquiries for Whittier, for whom he has a warm regard. We are almost ready to wish your friend Whittier a few vices; perhaps then he would come amongst us a little more. I've tried hard to get him here, and never succeeded but once. I think he is a true poet, and a very lovely one. His writings are a great enjoyment to me. I was reading some of them yesterday— "Abraham Davenport" and "Amy Wentworth."""
"Then he opened the book and read a few stanzas from the latter that had specially pleased him. I said, "Abraham Davenport" is one of my greatest favourites; it has the right ring.' 'Yes,' he said, 'the right ring. A man who is doing his duty should never be afraid to meet his Maker;' and he quoted laughingly, Bring in the candles.'
"He spoke of the lines on Joseph Sturge as characterised by special strength. I was glad to be able to tell him that Sturge was my father's friend, and to say how truly the character was drawn,-that my father had taken me to see him when I was a boy, in order to impress a love of goodness on my heart.
"Then we spoke of Friends, for whom he has a warm regard, though not knowing many of them personally. 'They have left their mark on Pennsylvania very favourably -America owes them much. There is a saint-like beauty about the faces of their women which I have often loved to mark as I pass them in the streets. There was one who came over from England in early times, because she wanted to work for the Indians. I ought to remember her name,
for I wrote something about her.' * I suggested that it might be Elizabeth Haddon. 'Yes, that was the one;' and then we recalled her romantic history and marriage with John Esthaugh. The New England Tragedies' were next referred to, and he asked us if we thought he had described Friends fairly. Augustine Jones thought he had, but reminded him that his account had provoked a good deal of adverse criticism from Puritan sympathisers, instancing one individual in particular. Longfellow had not heard of this before, and I suppose this critic was not one he cared much about, for he said it reminded him of what the cow said to the fly which had settled on her horn: I didn't know you were there.'
"I said the early history of Friends was full of noble incidents. Whittier had done justice to one of these in 'Barclay of Ury,' and I could not help regretting he had not done the same by Penn. Longfellow responded, speaking highly of Penn, and saying that he thought Macaulay had done him great injustice. The worst of it is, when a mistake was proved against him, Macaulay stuck to it; that is not worthy of a great mind.
"Whittier's name kept coming up while we talked. I said, 'His works have not nearly so many readers in England as Longfellow's.' He replied, I am aware of it; his works are not appreciated by you at all as they ought to be.' Then I thanked him, and said I was sure I might do it in the name of very many of my countrymen, for the great pleasure his writings had given us. I added that there was one of his works that I had not yet found time to read, but which I looked forward to doing with great interest-the translation of Dante. I thought he must have greatly enjoyed the labour, though he would doubtless find some sentiments and many descriptions that would not be congenial. In talking to Whittier I found he greatly preferred the 'Purgatorio' before either of the other sections. Perhaps,' Longfellow replied, "the "Purgatorio" may be the greatest poem of the three; the closing cantos are very fine, but I enjoyed the "Paradise.' Take that interview with Peter, the twenty-seventh canto.' I spoke of some of the thoughts he presents to us of heaven; of that favourite passage of mine in the third canto, of the growing loveliness as we approach the Lord, and of the everlasting fountain of knowledge and truth opened to the redeemed in Him. Longfellow reached the volume and read part of the canto to which he referred. It was a treat to hear him. He reads well, and threw much animation into it as his bright eye kindled and sparkled more than ever. Peter's withering
denunciation of the vices of his successors in the chair, which made him who had glowed like Jupiter blush like Mars; all heaven reddened with shame as he spoke to Beatrice. 'To think of that being written in the days of the full power of the papacy!' exclaimed Longfellow.
"We had spent half an hour with him, and thought we ought not to trespass longer on his time. I said, May I ask one favour-that you will return me Whittier's note of introduction with your own autograph attached ?' 'Oh, certainly,' he said, 'I will endorse it with great pleasure, "Seen and approved, HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. Cambridge, August 24th, 1876." He accompanied us to the door and took a very cordial leave."
The Koh-i-Noor Lost.-At one of the early meetings of the Board the jewel was formally made over to the Punjab Government, and by it committed to the care of John Lawrence. Perhaps the other members of the Board thought him the most practical and business-like-as no doubt in most matters he was of the three; or they deemed that his splendid phy sique, and the gnarled and knotted stick which, fit emblem of himself, he always carried with him-and which the Sikhs, thinking it to be a kind of divining-rod or familiar spirit, christened by its owner's name, "Jan Larens "-would be the best practical security for its safe keeping. But in this instance they misjudged their man. How could a man so careless of the conventionalities of life, a man who never wore a jewel on his person, till the orders and clasps which he won compelled him to do so, and even then used to put them so remorselessly in the wrong place that the court costumier ex
• "The Theologian's Tale," "Tales of Wayside Inn."
claimed in despair, that he would lose reputation by him in spite of all his pains,-how, I ask, was it likely that such a man would realise the inestimable value of the jewel entrusted to him? And, again, what was the custody of a court jewel compared with that of the happiness of the millions for which he was also responsible? Anyhow, half unconsciously he thrust it, wrapped up in numerous folds of cloth, into his waistcoat pocket, the whole being contained in an insignificant little box, which could be thus easily put away. went on working as hard as usual, and thought no more of his precious treasure. He changed his clothes for dinner, and threw his waistcoat aside, still forgetting all about the box contained in it!
About six weeks afterwards a message came from Lord Dalhousie, saying that the Queen had ordered the jewel to be at once transmitted to her. The subject was mentioned by Sir Henry at the Board, when John said quietly, "Send for it at once. "Why, you've got it!" said Sir Henry. In
a moment the fact of his carelessness flashed across him. He was horror-stricken, and, as he used to describe his feelings afterwards, when telling the story, he said to himself, "Well, this is the worst trouble I have ever yet got into !" But such was his command over his countenance that he gave no external sign of trepidation: "Oh, yes, of course; I forgot about it," he said, and went on with the business of the meeting as if nothing had happened. He soon, however, found an opportunity of slipping away to his private room, and, with his heart in his mouth, sent for his old bearer and said to him, "Have you got a small box which was in my waistcoat pocket some time ago?" "Yes, Sahib," the man replied, "Dibbia (the native word for it), I found it and put it in one of your boxes." "Bring it here," said the Sahib. Upon this the old native went to a broken-down tin box, and produced the little one from it. "Open it," said John Lawrence, "and see what is inside." He watched the man anxiously enough as fold after fold of the small rags was taken off, and great was his relief when the precious gem appeared. The bearer seemed perfectly unconscious of the treasure which he had had in his keeping. "There is nothing here, Sahib," he said, "but a bit of glass!"
The Koh-i-noor was then quickly presented to the Board that it might be forwarded to the Queen; and when John Lawrence told them his story, great was the amusement it caused. The jewel passed, I am told on good authority, through one or two other striking vicissitudes before it was safely lodged in the English crown. But never, I feel sure, whether flashing in the diadem of Turk or Mogul, or in the uplifted sword of Persian, or Afghan, or Sikh conqueror, did it pass through so strange a crisis, or run a greater risk of being lost for ever, than when it lay forgotten in the waistcoat pocket of John Lawrence, or in the broken-down tin box of his aged bearer.-Life of Lord Lawrence, by R. Bosworth Smith (Smith, Elder, and Co.).
The British Association for 1884.-A proposal has been made that the meeting for 1884 shall be held at Montreal. The proposal was first made for going to Canada in 1883. This was lost on being put to the vote in the general committee. After some members had left, thinking the matter was settled, and having intended their vote to be against the proposal in toto, a motion to meet there in 1884 was carried. A protest against this, as an unconstitutional and unprecedented resolution, has been numerously signed, so that we hope the matter may be brought up and settled fairly on its merits at the Southport meeting. There is no objection to a deputation going to Canada, or even a "committee of the whole house." But this must be separate from and supplementary to the ordinary annual meeting. The majority of members look forward to the meeting at some place accessible, in brief time, within the United Kingdom. If it is argued that Montreal is not a foreign city, but in "Greater Britain," and only across a wider sea than the Irish Channel, then why not meet also at Calcutta, or Sydney, or Cape Town, or any remote place? Those who have ample means and time might enjoy this, but the majority of workers and students in science cannot afford the long journey to and from the place of meeting.
Light Gold Coins.-Under ordinary wear and tear it is known that a sovereign loses, on an average, about 043
grain per annum. The process of abrasion is greatest at first, as the sharp rim gets worn from contact with other metal; and the coin becomes light, or below current weight, in from sixteen to eighteen years. A half-sovereign becomes light in about eleven years, as it loses rather more than '043 grain yearly, while the limit within which it remains legal tender is smaller than the corresponding limit for a sovereign. If a recent coin has lost much, the probability is that it has been "sweated," or the gold feloniously taken by filing or by acid. The loss from light gold ought to fall on the Government, not on bankers or any special class. The Mint should supply new coins for old, and it is not difficult for experts to distinguish coins which are light from fair wear, from those which have been tampered with.
Clams. In the United States the clam divides the honours with that favourite bivalve the oyster. To show the enormous extent to which the former article is consumed, it may be stated that during the summer nearly 200,000 clams are sold daily in the Philadelphia market. In fact, a large percentage of the population are partial to the mollusc. In New York the consumption is also very great, ten clams being sold there to one in Chicago. This is partly accounted for by the fact that in Chicago the clam is neglected when the oyster comes in, whereas in New York it is patronised all the year round. While there is little or no sale for clams in Philadelphia in the winter, in New York they fetch higher prices then than in the summer. The clam is indigenous to the American coast from Cape May to Tuckerton, in Chesapeake Bay to Cherrystone, and in the Black River to Chicoteague. There are many varieties of the article. It is stated that the coarsest is the mud clam, or blue nose, which is dug out of the mud with tongs. Choicer ones are called sand clams, and these are caught by men wading in shallow water and feeling them with their feet. The best species is the sod clam, found at Chicoteague; it is considered bigger, better, fatter, and more tender than any of the hard shell species. A small clam, half the size of the other varieties, is found in Chesapeake Bay, and as this is the best for planting it commands a high price. The trade in clams is an increasing one, and finds employment for a great number of persons.
A Fever-proof Costume.-There was lately exhibited at the rooms of the National Health Society, 44, Berners Street, Oxford Street, a novel dress intended for the protection of sanitary visitors, nurses, and others, who have to enter the rooms of persons suffering from infectious diseases. The garment is of mackintosh, glazed inside and out, and made completely to envelop the wearer and with a hood to cover the head. Thus only the hands and face remain exposed -a matter considered of comparatively little importance as these can be easily washed with disinfectants. A not less important object proposed to be effected by the use of this dress is that by its removal when the wearer leaves the sick room the clothes which have been protected need not be changed, and the danger of the disease being carried from house to house or communicated to susceptible persons in public vehicles is obviated. A tight case for the fever-dress to be enclosed in is part of the invention. At the end of the day, or as often as may be convenient, the dress can be cleansed with disinfectants. Further protection is given by a simple form of respirator. This is made of two folds of thin washing-net, between which is placed a layer of medicated cotton-wool, through which the wearer can breathe though no germs can pass. The respirator has tape strings which tie round the ears. After use the wool is burnt and the net washed. (Medical men could hardly wear this dress, but the use of a cotton-wool respirator has long ago been recommended by Professor Tyndall.)
Life-Saving Gear.—In Mr. Reade's story of "Hard Cash," ine captain, expecting his vessel to founder, puts all his money into a bottle, with instructions to the finder, and then ties the bottle to an inflated bladder, but the sea unexpectedly washed it prematurely overboard, and it was found some time afterwards amidst floating wreck. Using this idea for saving life, which is infinitely more precious than treasure, I offer a practical suggestion. If a short piece of chain or rope were attached to the chest, and toggled to the bunghole of an empty cask, the cask would act as a bladder, and there would be a probability of its being picked up or drifting on shore in course of
time. Seeing that nearly all patent life-saving gear is useless, from sailors and passengers not availing themselves of it, I have devoted much time to the subject. I have come to the conclusion that such gear may be made out of materials which are invariably found on board ship or washed ashore from a wrecked vessel. I have nailed a life-line on to a ninetygallon cask, and attached with a short cord and toggle an anchor weighing five hundredweight to the bung-hole. All was then hove overboard, and eight men jumped after it and clung to the line. This is a capital life-buoy, as, when washed through the surf, the weight will anchor it, and prevent the drawback that is generally so fatal to boats, etc. This ought to be constructed in ten minutes. I next put a keel on a forty-gallon cask by bending a piece of iron hoop round a board, leaving a flange, which was nailed to the cask, and a similar board secured each side, half-way up the cask; then a hole was cut round the bung-hole large enough for a man to get in and sit down. Three men each side, with an arm through a becket, would have their legs and one arm each to propel it. An empty beef or pork barrel with the head out, and placed with its bottom on the deck, the tips of a pair of oars made fast with cord, and sprung open like a cobbler's last, and placed one-third down from the top, with similar oars placed on top of them crosswise, is a structure that will hold one person perfectly dry inside, and there will be four arms to support others in the water.
My attention was next given to empty cases, and I have constructed a boat out of an empty brandy case, with the bottom boards from a sailor's bunk, and four yards of canvas. It is six feet long, twenty inches wide, will outride the heaviest sea in the Atlantic, and navigate a stream four inches deep and six feet wide. It is propelled by four wheels; the side ones are cylinders, that is, half of a tengallon oil-can made tight. The boat can be used as a lifebuoy or lifeboat, that is, it can be lowered promptly, and a person can go and hold a drowning person up until succour comes. When placed on wheels, it would make a capital ice-boat, as when the ice broke it would float to the rescue. When a vessel is wrecked (like the German steamer on the Kentish Knock), a line should be rove through a block on the foreyardarm and made fast to a boat before lowering; the boat will then ride to a scope of several hundred feet with perfect safety. The invariable practice is to hold the boat's painter alongside, when the boat breaks it and capsizes, or is stove, and this disheartens the crew from launching others. If this is not the fact, how is it that, with eight or nine fine boats on board most wrecked steamers, few are ever safely launched?—George Drevar.
Sea-Serpents. A correspondent in Guernsey, H. J. M., sends an extract from a book published in the middle of the sixteenth century, "La Cosmographie Universelle," describing what seems a sea-serpent of vast size, together with a tracing of a curious drawing, in which the monster is represented as attacking a boat. A correspondent sends the following extract from the "Text Book of Geology," by Geikie (page 810):-"The real rulers of the American cretaceous waters were the pythono-morphic saurians, or seaserpents, in which group Mr. Cope includes forms like mosa-saurus, of which upwards of forty species have been Some of them attained a length of seventy-five feet or more. One of the most extraordinary of reptilian types was the elasmo-saurus, a huge snake-like form, forty feet long, with slim arrow-shaped head on a swan-like neck, rising twenty feet out of the water."
Waste of Public Money in the Navy.-Mr. Henry F. Watt, of Liverpool, gives a startling statement of the amount of waste, through ignorance or jobbery, in our naval expenditure. The following facts relate only to unarmoured ships: In 1877 we built the armed despatch-vessels Iris and Mercury, of about 3,000 tons each. The cost of the Iris, with 10 per cent. added for charges, was £244,594, or, in round numbers, £489,000 for the two. For this sum we might have had four cruisers of high speed of 3,500 tons each, of the type of our Atlantic mail steamers. Sir T. Brassey's prediction as to these vessels, "that they are a mistake, and can render no service to the country at all proportionate to the cost," has been abundantly verified. The Kaisar-i-Hind, P. and O. Steamer, of 4,023 tons, is stated to have cost
114,292. The composite corvettes of the Opal class, built in 1875, and of 1,668 tons B. M., cost as much as the Kaisari-Hind. The wooden paddle-yacht Osborne, built in 1874, cost, ex charges, £105,919, or, in round numbers, £116,500. The London and North-Western Railway's express passenger steamer Rose, built of iron, of the same size, but 200 more horse-power, cost £53,600. The Nautilus, a wooden sailing training brig of 501 tons displacement, built in 1879, cost, with charges as above, £21,250. The writer built for his own use, in 1881, a sailing vessel of iron, of 1,000 tons displacement, of the best description, and fitted with steam gear to work the anchors and cargo, for £7,800. Next as to repairs. This is still more discouraging. The estimate of £21,000 to repair the Enchantress, a wooden vessel fourteen years old, when a similar new iron vessel might have been built for £30,000, was simply folly. The dockyard Blue Books now show that the repairs cost £30,099, to which has to be added 33 per cent. for charges, making, in round numbers, £41,000. The repairs to the Osborne, from August, 1874, to March, 1880, have cost £78,176, or, with charges, £102,781. It is quite safe to say the Rose has done ten times as much work as the Osborne, and at one-eighth of the cost for repairs. To repair and fit out the training ships Eurydice and Atalanta we spent £62,846. Four new and much better iron or composite vessels might have been had for the same sum. By Mr. Campbell-Bannerman's return No. 307 of 1882, the Garnet, Opal, Sapphire, and Turquoise have only served one commission of about four years, and require, on the average, £35,000 each to repair them. The figures for the navy are all taken from the Blue Books, and are therefore not exaggerated. No wonder that the Pension List is enlarged, as well as direct outlay needlessly incurred. When so much money is wasted, fewer ships can be built, and the paucity of ships causes stagnation in appointments and promotion, so as to have rendered a compulsory retirement scheme necessary.
The Approaching Solar Eclipse.-The results obtained by the eclipse expedition of May last to Egypt, under Dr. Schuster and Mr. Norman Lockyer, are being found so satisfactory as to justify the despatch to the Caroline Islands of an expedition to watch the forthcoming eclipse on the 6th of May next. Mr. Charles Ray Woods and Mr. H. A. Lawrance, who acted as assistants to Dr. Schuster and Mr. Lockyer on the previous occasion, will join the members of the American expedition and proceed with them to their destiration. The Caroline Islands are north of New Guinea, a Polynesian group, between 8° and 10° lat. north of Equator.
Author and Publisher.-The "Times" says, "We understand that Mr. Reginald G. Wilberforce threatens his own publisher, Mr. Murray, with legal proceedings for some remarks on 'The Life of Bishop Wilberforce,' which are contained in the article, Archbishop Tait and the Primacy,' in the last number of the 'Quarterly Review.' A foot-note to this article is as follows: We think it right to add, in justice to the publisher, that we have reasons for knowing that the most objectionable passages in the volume were inserted in spite of his earnest remonstrances.' It would thus appear that the objectionable character of the statements in the book came fully under the observation of the two persons who eventually disseminated them." The singular thing is that the author does not see what every one else sees. If not to be laid down to obtuseness, there must be obstinacy of an equally singular kind.
The Registration of Fares.-The peculations of omnibus and tramway conductors are matters of notoriety.. Equally notorious is the fact that many inventions for checking fraud in this direction have been brought out, and not a few of them tried, but without the general adoption of any one of them. Another invention, by Mr. Henry Lyon, of Hart Street, Bloomsbury, has the merit of at least being a departure from the principle hitherto generally adopted in this class of apparatus. It consists of a small circular metal box, having a handle for the conductor to hold, and projecting from its rim are several keys, each marked with the amount of the fare to be paid. Each key communicates with its own registering apparatus inside the meta! box, which is kept locked, and with a small bell common to them all. Upon the passenger paying a fare to the conductor the former gives the key on which the amount of the fare is marked a half-turn,
when the bell is rung and the fare registered. Each register will record 1,000 fares, and at the close of the day the apparatus is taken to the office, where it is unlocked by a private key, and the amount registered against the conductor is told off. Some slight assistance is required on the part of the public to turn the key on the fare being paid. The apparatus is simple, and commends itself to many purposes besides checking the fares in public conveyances. (Any plan requiring the co-operation of "the public" must fail, from the unwillingness of many passengers to take the trouble expected of them. Good character in the servant is the only real security. There ought to be more care in these as in all other responsible appointments; and the pay of approved servants should be increased. The superintendents of industrial schools could supply some lads for whose character they could vouch.)
The Comet of 1882.-The Rev. W. Wyatt Gill, of Rarotonga, writes (October 17): "A magnificent comet has been visible here in the east for a month past. It rose each morning I saw it about two hours before daybreak. Despite the moon being at its full, it was a flood of glory. It is the largest and brightest comet we have seen during our long residence in the islands. Certainly it far surpasses Donati's comet of 1858. The heathen Polynesians looked upon comets with terror, as foreboding some approaching cyclone, or some danger or misfortune. Even now a good deal of anxiety was felt, and the question anxiously put, 'What does this tail-star portend?' To quiet their fears and to give a religious turn to the prevailing excitement, I preached about 'wandering stars' etc. (Jude 13), and told what was known about comets." Mr. Gill in his letter mentions having received from the Religious Tract Society 5,000 copies of a Rarotonga Hymn Book. Most of Sankey's hymns are in the collection, and he says they are extremely popular with the natives. After thirty years' service Mr. Gill, we understand, is returning home. We trust his health will be such as to enable him to publish more of his valuable observations on the islands of the Southern Pacific.
The Portland Vase.-A correspondent asks "whether any other than Josiah Wedgwood remodelled the Portland or Barberini Vase, as he has a copy in jasper, the figures having an appearance like marble where the jasper has been chiselled. The mark at the bottom of the vase is a Roman lady's head." Having referred the letter to the present representatives of the Wedgwood firm, at Etruria, in Staffordshire, we are informed that all Wedgwood's copies have his name stamped on them, and that no other imitations are deemed successful. The material of the original vase (the one which was broken in 1845 at the British Museum) is glass, of a dark blackblue colour, covered with a coat of white glass, which was cut away and appears only in the form of the bas-reliefs. Josiah Wedgwood borrowed the vase in 1786, from the Duke of Portland, to copy. It took him four years to make a perfect copy, having to discover a body suitable and in close imitation of the original. Wedgwood brought out the Portland Vase by subscription. There were twenty-four highly-finished copies published at forty guineas each, a great deal of pains being expended over them in the manufacture, and the chasing These famous copies were made on the lapidary's wheel. with a dead black ground, and stood about ten inches high. In the year 1878 the present firm reproduced an edition of this vase on the same lines as the original twenty-four, and were equally successful in producing an object of high artistic value. The number of copies was limited, and no expense was spared in producing an article equal in every way to the original copies, one of which, used as a standard of excellence, still remains in the hands of the family.
Convict Labour.-Mr. William Tallack, secretary of the Howard Association, has published some important facts relating to convict labour. The jealousy often felt as to the competition of prison labour with ordinary work is shown to be not always well founded. Mr. Henry Hookins, Governor of the State Prison of Kansas, at Topeka, United States, reports that a daily average of about 650 convicts are inmates. of that prison, under sentences of from one year to the full term of life. Of these 256 are let out to contractors for carriage-making, 40 for boot and shoe manufacturing, and 52 to.
furniture and harness makers-all the work being done in the prison. The average daily hire paid by the employers for each convict's labour has been, during the past two years, Is. 6d. per head. The total cost of each prisoner, including salaries of officers, is Is. 10d. per day. So that the prison has not been quite self-supporting. But it is about to become
a source of actual revenue to the State, mainly through the working of a coal mine on or near the prison premises. About 120 of the convicts are employed in this mine. They have sunk a shaft 733 feet deep, made 2,800 feet of entries, 800 feet of main airway, laid 5,500 feet of railway track in the mine, besides timbering and walling, and have also constructed 70 pit cars and all the mining tools. Nearly 200 convicts will soon be employed in the colliery. The costs of these preliminary operations have been £9,000 sterling ($45,000), against which must be placed £8,400, the value of the coal already taken out. Henceforth the profits will largely exceed the cost of working; and the directors report that the prison can now easily sustain itself and its officers." It supplies coal to nine large institutions in the State. The laws of Kansas require all the prison earnings to be paid in monthly, in cash, to the State Treasury. During the past two years £33,500, or nearly $170,000, in cash, has thus been paid in from the earnings of the convicts of this estab lishment. And, in marked contrast to the high nominal value attached, on paper, to the earnings of English convicts in building, and on the public works, it is officially reported of the Kansas prison that "No account has been taken of the earnings from the labour of convicts on State work, building cells, and repairs of buildings." The prison surgeon reports 14 deaths in the two years, or just i per cent. per annum. He adds that the convicts engaged in mining have "a far less percentage of sickness than any other class of the prison population." The governor says that the men are interested in their work. There is little, if any, jealousy of this prison labour on the part of the outside free workers in Kansas, or by the Legislature. As an American working man remarked to another, speaking of convict labour, "If they don't earn their own board, you and I have got to pay it out of our wages.' The proportion of prison workers to free labourers is always and everywhere almost infinitesimal-less than one prisoner to 1,000 free men in Great Britain. Hence the American above alluded to adds: "It seems to me, labour is degraded more by allowing a lot of rogues to shirk the privilege of paying their board than by making them work at some price or other." But many authorities in the Old World are still blind to this simple economic truth.
The Motion of Comets Determined with the Spectroscope. -It is known that attempts have been made to estimate the nature of the motion of certain heavenly bodies from a displacement of their spectral lines (according to Doppler's principle a rapid motion towards or from the observer, sensibly affecting the wave-length). In this way MM. Thollon and Guy, at Nice Observatory, on September 18th last year, observed with a single prism spectroscope a slight displacement of the bright lines of sodium appearing in the spectrum of the comet then visible. It was on the side of the red and about one-quarter or one-fifth of the interval between the two familiar D lines of sodium; and the observers inferred the comet to be receding from the earth with an absolute velocity of 61 to 76 kilomètres per second. An interesting verifi cation is afforded in the estimate of the comet's velocity on the afternoon in question furnished by M. Bigourdan from data ultimately acquired, which show exactly the trajectory of the comet. He obtains a mean velocity of 73 kilomètres per second, a number between those in the other case. Thus the spectroscopic method is shown to be reliable.
The Orleanists. It was Prince Talleyrand who said of the Orleans Princes, "Ce sont des jeunes gens comme on n'en voit guère, et des Princes comme on n'en voit pas." The late Sir Robert Peel, toasting Louis Philippe's family, spoke of it as, like the old Roman house, "one in which all the sons were brave and all the daughters virtuous." Praise quite as full and as well-deserved might be collected about Louis Philippe's children from all the books that have ever mentioned them in seriousness, for their blameless lives have defied calumny. Yet, by a mischance which shows what a
curious world this is, the Duc de Nemours and his brothers, de Joinville, d'Aumale, and de Montpensier-also their nephews, the Comte de Paris and the Ducs de Chartres, de Penthièvre, and d'Alençon-Princes of whom all men, and what is better, all women, speak well, have never been popular. They have been much liked by those who were personally acquainted with them, and admired by people who knew them from hearsay; but these kindly feelings have not circulated among the masses like electric sparks, kindling everywhere a radiant enthusiasm. At that time, when a Bill of disabilities was hanging over the Princes, one heard Frenchmen say, "It is a great shame: they are really braves gens;" but this is not the tone in which one might have expected a generous nation to speak of men, five of whom have served their country with devotion in war, and all of whom have by their talents and private virtues reflected credit on their birthland. What is more, it is not the tone in which a people would speak of Princes whose chances as Pretenders were great enough to justify such a panic as lately fell upon the Republican party. People had almost forgotten these Princes, but, being suddenly put in mind of their existence by the ingenious M. Floquet, what did they see? The Comte de Paris was quietly studying pamphlets on political economy at Cannes; the Duc de Chartres was doing regi mental duty in the most exemplary way as an ordinary officer at Caen; the Duc d'Alençon was learning gunnery with his Artillery battery at Vincennes; the Duc de Penthièvre, who is a sub-lieutenant in the Navy, was on board his ship; and the Duc d'Aumale was discharging his functions as Chancellor pro tem. of the Académie Française, besides being engaged on his "History of the Princes of Condé." It may still be said that the Princes have not achieved a great popularity; but all that may be learned of them in public places or in corners stands to their honour.-The Times.
Gustave Doré a German by Birth.-Gustave Doré's name was originally" Dorer "—a genuine and not unfrequent German name. Born at Strasburg, he consequently hailed from the old German stock of Alsace. This little-known fact of the change of "Dorer " into "Doré " is vouched for in a letter addressed from Paris, by Mr. Bernhard Moldner, to the "Deutsches Montagsblatt" of Berlin.—The Academy.
Wolfe and Gray's Elegy.-A correspondent at Exeter, "S. T. W.," states that the anecdote about General Wolfe quoting Gray's Elegy on the eve of the capture of Quebec was given in the "Quarterly Review," vol. 94, page 36, in these words :-"I would prefer being the author of that poem to the glory of taking Quebec to-morrow." In the "Leisure Hour," page 60, the name of Wolfe is misspelt so as to read as Wolff. The same correspondent informs us that the square word-puzzle published in the "Leisure Hour" for June, 1881, page 382, which Cuthbert Bede supposed was there given for the first time, appeared in 1824 in the first volume of "Saturday Night," a weekly periodical which existed for a short period, No. 60 completing the second and last volume.
Inland Revenue Stamp Duties.-The duties which have hitherto been denoted by adhesive Inland Revenue stamps of the value of 2d., 3d., 6d., 9d., Is., and 2s. 6d., or by combinations of those stamps, are for the future to be denoted by postage stamps; one or more stamps, as may be necessary, to be used to make up the requisite amount; care being taken, however, in every case, to cancel the stamps by writing the signature (or initials) and the date across the stamps. Until a postage stamp of the value of 2s. 6d. shall have been provided, that amount of duty may be denoted either by the present Inland Revenue stamp at 2s. 6d., or by the necessary number of postage stamps at lower rates; and, although no more of the superseded adhesive Inland Revenue stamps will be supplied to postmasters for sale to the public, yet any such stamps which may already be in the possession of the public may continue to be used for the payment of Inland Revenue duties, and they may be used also in payment of postage. The documents for which postage stamps may in future be used are:-Agreements liable to a duty of 6d. ; bills of exchange for payment of money on demand liable to the duty of Id.; certified copies of or extracts from registers of births,