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the simultaneous striking of nil the chisels against the rock is absolutely deafening, enhanced as it is by the echo of the tunnel. All at once the noise ceases, the shield recedes, and the tunnel is perceived riddled with holes varying in depth from eighty to ninety centimetres. These holes are now charged with cartridges, slow matches are inserted, and the woikmen retire in haste. The explosion seems to shake the mountain to its foundations; and when all is o^er the ground is covered with fragments of rock, and an advance equal to the depth of the holes has been obtained.
The Prohlem of Mahomet's Coffin.—M. Plateau undertook last year a series of experiments, with a view to discover whether, by any combination of magnets, he could suspend a metallic body in midair, as Mahomet's coffin is spposed to be maintained ; and the result was his conclusion that the condition is an impossible one. This led to considerable discussion upon the question; and a letter appeared from Mr. W. F. Baitlett, of the Royal Institute, in the pages of the Header, fully confirming M. Plateau's view. In this, however, he described a beautiful experiment, which maybe new to our readers. A piece of gold leaf, about two and a half inches long and an inch an a quarter wide was cut into the from of a kite, one end forming an obtuse and the other an acute angle. A large Leydcn jar, with an elevated knob, having been charged, the gold leaf, lying on a piece of paper was presented to it. It was sometimes necessary to detach the leaf by the aid of a }>enknife; when detached, it sprang towards the knob, hut stopped within two inches of it, and remained hoveling in the air. Its tail waved like the tail of a fish; and when a point projected from its side, it rotated continually. The jar when carried through the room was followed by the fish, which continued to swim in the presence of the knob for neaily an hour. With smaller jars and smaller fragments of gold, the same experiments may be made.—Vide the Reader.
Thermometer Alarvm.—A curious instrument of this kind has been devised by M. Morin. The! object of the apparatus is to give an alarm when the temperature falls below orrises al<ove a desired degree. For example, in greenhouses, conservatories, &c., it is necessary to maintain a fixed temperature, but it is not always convenient to keep a man watching the thermometer. By means of M. Morin's instrument, the change of temperature is indicated by the ringing of a liell, which at once calls the attention to the alteration of heat. The apparatus consists of an ordinary themometer, inio the bulb of which a platinum wire is carried, another being brought through the top down to the point marking the degree of heat required. These wires are placed in connection with a small battery and electric alarum. So long as the required temperature is maintained the circuit is complete; but the moment the heat is diminished, tlie mercury falls, the circuit is broken, and a small electro-magnet lets fill an armature, which completes a circuit with the alarum. This now begins to ring, and continues to do so till the temperature rises again to the proper height. The principle involved in the machine is similar to that on which our autorr.a'ic railway Bignals are con
structed, and we only wonder it has not been put in operation liefore.—Vide Cotnptes /iendus.
Electricity and Music.—It is stated by a coremporary that Mr. Barker, an organ-builder of Paris, is the inventor of a mode of applying electricity in the construction of great organs, so that the largest organ may be played as easily as a pianoforte, and the pipes may l>e distributed anywhere through a church. The invention is now being applied to a large organ in course of construction for the church of St. Augustin, in Paris.—Vide The Artizan.
Goldsmith's Statue.—It is quite fitting that the precincts of the University of Dublin should l« graced by a statue of one whose name occupies a bright page in the roll of Great Britain's literary men. Goldsmith owes little or none of his reputation to Trinity College; it did but little for him. The neglect, however, was less that of the college than his own; he could not bring his wild, erratic spirit to its discipline, nor brook the tyranny of ■some who bore rule over him. "His college tutor, the ltev. Theaker Wilder," writes orte of Goldsmith's recent biographers, Dr. Waller, also of Trinity College, Dublin, "was a man of some mathematical ability, but violent in temper, insolent and overbearing in manners, and of a harsh, vicious, and brutal natuic. Oliver detested mathematics, and so incurred the wrath of his tutor, which the indolence and thoughtlessness of the pupil gave too many occasions to gratify. He was subjected to taunts, ridicule, and insults nlmost daily—sometimes even to personal chastisement from one who, exercising over him the rights of a master over a servant, persecuted him with unremitting rancor." It must be rcmemliered that Goldsmith was only a sizar of his college, that is, a "poor scholar," who received his education, and his board and lodging, such as these last were, free of expeuse, and that sizars were compelled to perfoim certain menial duties. Moreover, our universities in Goldsmith's time—more than a century ago—were conducted in a far different manner from what they are now and have lo.ig been. Especially was this the case in Dublin, Cambridge as well as Dublin has yet its "sizars," and Oxford its "Bible-clerks," a similar class of students; but there is nothing absolutely degrading in their position, and both are generally recognized as evidence of good scholarship.
Goldsmith's college life, as Dr. Waller remarks, "is not one on which we dwell with pleasure. . . . . It is useless to speculate what the young man's progress might have been under kindlier treatment. Brutality first outraged and then discouraged a sensitive nature. He sought relief from his wretchedness sometimes in dissipation, often in reckless disrespect of discipline; he wasted his time, neglected his studies, and dissipated the scanty supplies which his father could afford him." At length, in the spring commencement of 17+1), he took his B.A. degree. "As he passed out for the last time through the wicket in that massive gate beside which he so often loitered, how little did he think the time would come when he should stand there, in the mimic bronze, lor ever—no loiterer now, friendless, nameless, neglected, but honored and admired—one of the great names tlijit fill .ill lam!-, and ennoble their own."
That time has .it length come, and Foley's noUe statue of the quotulaiu sizar of Trinity College, adorns the front of the edifice. How thoroughly it seems to embody the man: he is reading a book, with a jicncil in his hand for annotating; some idea sci m? suddenly to have occurred to him, and he stops in his walk—for the figure is in the attitude of walking—to reflect a moment. A realistic statute truly; easy, graceful, natural, with all the difficulties of the costume of the period triumphantly overcome: a noble tribute to the genius of one Irishman from the hand of another.—Art Journal.
The CliineM Collection at thr. Crystal Palace.— When the summer palace of the Emperor of China at I'ekin was destroyed by the combined armies of England and France, it was felt th«t a useful lesson had been reail to a government that had met "barbarian" conciliation and trustfulness, by "civilized" treachery and murder; but it was also felt that a royal museum had been destroyed in the confiscation of this favorite residence, leaving a void that could never lie similarly refilled.
All that Oriental luxury and wealth could do to make a terrestrial Paradise apjieare to have been done for this favored retreat. It was a veritable palace of Aladdin. Its walls were panelled with ivory, and covered with silks of fabulous price; crystal chandeliers hung from its ceilings; its furniture was of the costliest kind, rendered still more precious by the most skilled labor of the artisan; its "bijouterie" and general "garniture" comprised the most ancient, rare, and valuable, as well as the most costly works of their class. The Art-history of China for a thousand years was enshrined in these walls.
The owner of the present collection—Captain de Negroni—was posted with his regiment in this famed palace when it was sacked and burned, j He secured many exquisite objects, now in this collection, and, having ample means, purchased others from the soldiery. The result lias been the '• formation of a collection of an enormous money value, and the highest excellence.
It is, however, necessary to think over the material of many of these works, and the difficulty of their manufacture, before they can l>c entirely appreciated. Differing in taste so much from ourselves, the jade ornaments are cut into figures and fashions which give little pleasure to European eyes. The material is so extremely hard, that uo important work, with the utmost diligence, can be finished in less than twenty years. The finest work of this kind known is the jewel-stand used by the Empress of China, now the pi incipal feature of this collection: it much surpasses that in the Mincralogical Museum at Paris, valued at 72,000 francs.
The jewelry is not restricted to Chinese works, but comprises some of the finest European productions presented at various times to the emperors of China. They are rivalled by the jewel-case of the Chinese empress, a work of the most beautiful design, encrusted with precious stones; and by the hand-glass used at her toilet.
The collection of porcelain, though small, is characterized by the same qualifications. All the works exhibited are cfief it aurres. Here we see
1 the imperial yellow porcelain, the rare old grey i cracklin, the secret of making which has l>een lost for many centuries; and the still rarer cracklin of , dark, ruby color, the enamel said to be composed I of pulverized gems. The vase of this rare ware here exhibited is thought to have been manufactured some two hundred years before Christ. There is little doubt that we look upon works of profound antiquity in this collection, which have been highly treasured and religiously preserved as royal heirlooms for many ages.
Lovers of precious stones will be abundantly gratified by the sight of the largest sapphire in the world: it weighs 742 carats, and is "estimated" to be worth £160,000.
The imperial dresses tell their own tale in the rich character of their fabriguK, and the elaborate i style of their needlewoik; but their real value in some instances might escape detection. Thus, the mantle composed entirely of strips of fur, taken only from the throats of white foxes, is valued at £2,(IOO, and it is calculated that alwit four hundred of these animals must have been killed to i obtain fur enough to make this mantle.
It will thus be seen that this very rec/iercfa gathering of much that is rich and rare represents the highest flight of the Art-industry of this ancient nation, and is a more extraordinary exposition of its claims than Europeans could have ho|)ed to see irrcs|K?ctive of the chances of war, which enables each "barbarian" to see for a shilling what the most highly privileged Chinese could scarcely1 hope to gaze upon.—Art Journal.
Effects of Jmagination.—Once, at a large dinner-party, Mr. Rogers was speaking of an inconvenience arising from the custom, then commencing, of having windows formed of om; large sheet of plate-glass. He said that a short time ago he sat at dinner with hU back to one of these single panes of plate-glass: it appeared to him that the window was wide open, and, such was the force of imagination, that he actually caught cold. Itao hapjiened that I was sitting just opposite to the poet. Hearing this remark, 1 immediately said, "Dear me, how odd it is, Mr. Kogers, that you and I should make such very different use of the faculty of imagination. When I go to the house of a friend in the country, and unexpectedly remain for the night, having no night-cup, I should naturally catch cold. But, by tying a bit of packthread tightly round my head, I go to sleep imagining that I have a night-cap on; consequ ntly I 1 catch no cold at all." This sally produced much amusement in all around, who supposed I hud improvised it; but, odd as it may appear, it is a practice I have often resorted to. Air. Rogers, who knew full well the respect and regard 1 hud for him, saw at once that I was relating a simple fact, and joined curdially in the meriiintnt it excited.— Air. Babbage.
Australian Gems.—Gems of various kinds, some veiy pure and valuable, have been lonnd at varinu- places in the colony during the lust three or four years. Diamonds have been found in the Beechworth district, and so have aapphiivs of every shade of blue, from nearly black to the palest blue. Specimens of the green sapphires—the Oriental emerald—huve
also been picked up. Topazes are abundant in the Ovens aii.l about Donolly. and, in smaller crystals of great beauty, in Klinder's Inland; be"ry]s have been (bund in several places lately at or near Norihcote; garnets, hyacinths, and zircons have been found in various gold-fields, the latter in considerable numbers: opals, amethyst*, jaspers, and abates are known to be abundant in the Ovens district, and specimens of some of them have been picked up on other gold-fields. Tbereare also isolated instances of gems having been found at Northcote. and other places in the immediate vicinity of Melbourne. As to the value of these gems, in some cases it was considerable. The i^estyet discovered was a magnificent diamond, weighing above three carats in the rough, which was found in the Beechworth district. Its worth, after being cut, was estimated at £3") or £10. The diamonds in general bore a strong resemblance to those of the richest diamond-yielding localities of Brazil.—Melbourne Australasian.
Mr. John Cassell.—The name of Mr. Casgell, in connection with popular literature, has become, it has been tiuly said, " a household word ••'' as the projector and publisher of a very large number of works, which give employment to numerous artists and engravers. His death, on the Hd of April, can not be passed over without some notice in our columns.
With little or no scholastic education, and employed through many years of his early life as a hard "worker" among the working classes, he managed, by untiring energy and great perseverance, to raise himself above his fellows, and acquired no little popularity and influence by the zeal with which he advocated the temperance movement. He was, moreover, enabled in time to engage in some successful commercial pursuit**; anil afterwards embarked in the business of a publisher, and commenced that long catalogue of literary works with which his name, as the senior partner in the firm of Cassell, Fetter and Galpin, ia associated, and so extensively known. What Charles Knight and Robert and William Chambers have done for the middle classes, Mr. Cassell has done for the classes below these. To enumerate even one-half of the publications which have issued from the extensive printing establishment on Ludgate Hill, would b« to write a longer list than we have space for. He died at the comparatively early age of forty-eight; but he lived long enough to effect much good, and to leave a name entitled to sincere respect—Art JoumaL
Newspaper Retorting.—At the annnal festival of the Newspaper Press Fund, Mr. Dickens gave his personal recollections of newspaper reporting:' "I went into the gallery of the House of Com-: mons as a parliamentary reporter when I was a boy not eighteen, and I left it—I can hardly believe the inexorable truth—nigh thirty years ago; and 1 have pursued the calling of a reporter under circumstances of which many of my brethren at home in England here—many of my brethren's successors—can form no adequate conception. I have often transcril>ed for the printer from my shorthand notes important public speeches in which the strictest accuracy was required, and a mistake in which would have been to a young man
severely compromising, writing on the palm of my hand by the light of a dark lantern, in a postchaise and four, galloping through a wild country in the dead of night at the then surprising rate of fifteen miles an hour. The Vcit in.^t time I was at Exeter I strolled into the oa«tlc-y«rd there to identify, for the amusement of a friend, the spot on which I once "took," as we used to call it, an election speech of my noble friend Lord Kusscll, in the midst of a lively fight maintained by all the vagabonds in that division of the country, and tinder such pelting rain that 1 remember two goodnatured colleagues, who chanced to be at leisure, held a pocket-handkerchief over my note-book, after the manner of a state canopy in an ecclesiastical procession. I have worn my knees by writing on them on the old back row of the old gallery of the old House of Commons; and I have worn my feet by standing to write in a preposterous pen in the old House of Lords, where we used to l)e huddled like so ninny sheep kept in waiting till the woolsack might want re-stuffing. Heturning home from excited political meetings in the country to the waiting press in London, I do verily believe I have been upset in almost every description of vehicle known in this country. I have been, in my time, belated on miry by-roads towards the small hours, forty or fifty miles from London, in a rickety carriage, with exhausted horses and drunken post-boys, and have got back in time before publication, to he received with never-forgotten compliments by Mr. Black in the broadest of Scotch, coming from the broadest of hearts I ever knew. The pleasure that I used to feel in the rapidity and dexterity of its exercise has never faded out of my breast. Whatever little cnnnning of band or head I took to it, or acquired in it, I have so retained as that I fully believe I could resume it to-morrow."—Leirur* Hour.
Days in Ireland.—In a debate in the House of Commons on a Bill for the Protection of Sheep in Ireland it was stated that, in the year 1861, no less than 8809 sheep were destroyed in Ireland by dogs; while the number reported bvthe police as killed in 1863 was 7324. And the position of sheep-owners had been rendered much worse by the "Poisons Prohibition Act" of last session. As to the number of dogs in Ireland, the number of inhabited houses in the country, according to the census of 1861, nearly 1,000,000, and it would probably be below the average to allow one dog to each ho'nse; so that that would give 1,000,000 of dogs to Ireland—one dog to nearly every three and a half head of cattle in the country, and one to every pig, and one to every sheep.
Congrest Hall, Saratoga S/mngs—As new generations of visitors go to Saratoga each successive year, we do a good service in directing the strangers among our readers to Congress Hall, than which, for comforts to the visitor and all which he requires at a watering place, it has no superior, and few equals among all the hotels of the land or world. Messrs. Hathaway & McOmber are the attentive and gentleinenly proprietors, ever watchful for the comfort of all their guests. We advise all our readers, who go to that beautiful valley of fountains and mineral springs for relaxation and health, to commit themselves to the care of Congress Hall during their summer sojourn.