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cal analyses of two of the baking powders in most general
Amylaceous matter, (probably arrowroot)
Bicarbonate of ammonia
12-Butter. A. C. R.-A member of our vast family, who has the superintendence of a dairy, writes to complain that for two successive weeks she has been annoyed by churning and not getting any butter. She is quite at a loss how to account for such an occurrence, and requests us to explain, believing that the same unpleasant failure happens to others as well as herself. As we were not upon the spot to superintend our fair friend's operations, we cannot tell what detail in the care-requiring process she may have omitted, or which of the numerous conditions under which butter is produced, she has neglected to fulfil. We shall, therefore, briefly enumerate some of the most important:-Cows should be milked in a cool place, and should not be driven much before milking. Unless a very cleanly milking-house can be used, it is better to milk them in the pasture. The vessels for carrying home the milk should be made of copper, or tinscrupulously clean. [Gutta percha has been recommended.] The dairy should be a place sheltered from the sun, having a draught of air completely through it. In summer the floor should, in very warm weather, be watered with clear spring water. The finest part of the cream rises to the surface of the milk in about twelve hours, but cream will continue to form for twenty-four. A car-morning's and evening's milk should never be mixed. There are two different methods pursued in the manufacture of butter. In the one, the cream is separated from the milk, and in that state is converted into butter by churning, as is the practice about Epping; in the other, the whole milk is subjected to the same process, which is the method pursued in Cheshire. The first method is believed to give the richest butter, and we therefore proceed to describe some essential points to be regarded in that procedure. The cream should be collected in a deep earthenware or stone jar, (glazed, but not with lead), and more may be added till there is sufficient to churn. The cream should be stirred with a glass rod or porcelain There are various kinds of churns. In any case the barspoon, upon the addition of each new portion of cream.
rel should not be more than two-thirds full. The temperature of the cream at the time of churning is important; but the required warmth or coolness seems to differ slightly at different periods of the year, and the kinds of milk or pasturage of the cows. We have known the scalding of the churn with hot water, so as to make it completely warm, to always be at least 55 deg. When the weather is cold, the assist the formation of butter. The heat of the cream must churning may be performed within reach of the warmth of the kitchen fire. The great secret of good butter making is fastidious cleanliness. The first part of the milking makes the best cheese, the last the best butter. With regard to the taste of turnips in the butter, one of our fair dairy-women states that the use of saltpetre (as recommended by Loudon) does not remove the objection. We know of no other mode of obviating it, except that recommended by the Herefordshire dairy-maids, viz., to give salt to the cows. It is, however, impossible to make turnip-fed butter lose all taste of the nutriment given to the J. B.-Dovecots, or pigeonhouses, are of several kinds. If it is intended to keep a large number, the upper floor of a stable, or other building may be fitted up for them. Bricks may be removed from the walls, and stepping-tiles fixed. The holes should not be too large, or too numerous, and should always have a southern aspect. Small dovecots may be made of a cask, or boarded box, placed upon a pole, or against the wall, taking care to prevent the entrance, or approach of rats. The top should be covered with thatch, so contrived as to shelter the sides from the heat of the sun, and the coldness of the wind. On the sides and top should be resting-boards, on which the birds may bask in the sun. The rearing and training of pigeons requires great care, for the domesticated and fancy birds are very delicate. Cleanliness, and a plentiful supply of fresh water is, as with other tamed animals, the first requisite.
The only important difference between these two powders is, that in the one case, tartaric acid, and in the other, alum, is employed for the purpose of liberating the bonic acid gas. The amylaceous matter, which I have examined both chemically and microscopically, and which I believe to be common arrowroot, can in each case only have been added for the purpose of increasing the bulk of the powder. I may add that these analyses were undertaken in consequence of a friend of mine having suffered much from dyspepsia after partaking of bread made with Delport's Powder, a fact which your readers will not be surprised at, considering the large proportion of alum which this powder contains.-I am Sir, your obedient servant, J. Leachman, 35, Basinghall Street.
11-Chemical Storm Glasses.-Sir,-1 have read with
interest your remarks upon the Chemical Storm Glass,
and having for some time had one of the same kind here, with which I also received a note with directions for observing it, I can add something to those you gave in par. 188. The glass should hang towards the north, if possible, otherwise a shade of some sort must be put up to keep it from the sun, which would soon prove injurious to it, and cause the liquid to become oily. If, during frost, the top becomes covered with a skin upon which small oily-looking drops are seen, the frost will not last long. Should the ice in the glass, on the contrary, increase, and large sharp feathers be seen shooting down from the top, this is a proof that the frost will increase in severity. And if when it is already freezing hard, large bright stars are observed in different parts of the glass, this denotes that the cold will become very intense, probably not much above zero of Fahrenheit. In most instances, however, it is contrast that produces the changes in this sort of barometer, which is very sensitive: when in spring or autumn, after mild weather, there is a slight frost, the glass may sometimes be seen almost full of ice, like during hard frost in winter. When feathers appear below, and stand nearly erect, fine weather may be expected; but if these suddenly fall down, the weather is likely to change. When the top of the glass becomes covered with an opaque cloud, this denotes rain in summer, and snow or mist, generally, in winter; and when small feathers are seen to hang down from it, the rain or snow will not be long in falling, either on the spot, or within a few miles' distance. As a general rule, sharpness in the feathers and points which appear is a sign of fine weather; and when these have a dull and blunt look, unsettled weather or rain may be expected. Regarding the composition of the liquid, I have only to mention that I was advised to dissolve each substance separately at first in spirit, and afterwards put the whole together into the glass. The spirit I made use of is Dutch Geneva, which I was told would answer the purpose as well as any other. If the spirit used be too strong, the substances melt away altogether in it, and the effect is lost. Very likely some of the preceding may not be new to you.A. J., Rotterdam. These further hints may help those correspondents who have unsuccessfully attempted to make these glasses according to the instructions, par. 188. The directions there given were too plain for error to be excusable. Yet a correspondent has written repeatedly to say that he has failed in several successive attempts to make a glass, asserting, at the same time, that he rigidly adhered to our formula. From this, however, we find he employed pure alcohol instead of equal parts of alcohol and water. By the way, we may remark that the bottles should be hermetically sealed, otherwise the composition will soon become impaired.
14-Morphia. T. S.-The substance so named is the essential principle of opium, and should he administered only under the superintendence of a medical practitioner. 15-Rose-pink. T. H. D. This paint is made by boiling logwood in water with a little alum, and pouring the fluid, after being filtered, on powdered chalk.
16-Prussic Acid. W. A. U.-There is no doubt that the kernels of nearly all stone fruits, and that pippins contain prussic acid, but it is usually in small quantities.
17-Pinchbeck. B. G.-The material of which watchcases were formerly composed is an alloy of zinc and copper, in the proportions of one part of the former to five of
18-Dinner Tables, &c. D. M.-Salt should not be moved from table until all the things are being cleared away. Our present volume will be found to contain full directions upon the art of laying out tables, with illustrated designs of new methods of folding dinner napkins.
19-Isidore. T. F. St. Isidore, Bishop of Seville, lived about the beginning of the seventh century. He was considered the most learned man of his age. His works were very numerous, but there are no modern editions of them. 20-Voice. B.-A female voice extending from A below the line, to A in alto, is termed a Mezzo-soprano. -In Wilson's edition of the Songs of Scotland will be found a good selection of Scotch songs within the extent of such a voice.-Miss Dolby and Miss Birch both stand high in their profession.
21-Gold. H. B.-Crystals of a salt of gold can be obtained from the solution of the metal in aqua regia (a mixture of muriatic and nitric acids). The metal itself is found crystallized in the cube and its derivative forms. It occurs in nature in threads of various sizes, twisted and interlaced into a chain of minute octahedral crystals.
24-Water Cure. M. F.-The establishment of which we have heard the most credible encomiums, is that of Dr. Wilson at Malvern, in Worcestershire. The situation of the establishment, and the scenery of the neighbourhood, give it great advantages. The terms are about £5 a month. A very well managed establishment also exists near Cheadle, at a convenient distance from one of the stations of the London & North Western Railway.
25 Silk Handkerchiefs. E. A.-The hankerchiefs known under the name of Bandana are properly Indian, but the English imitations are called by the same name. The true India handkerchiefs are considered to be more durable, but are less elegant in colour and design, than those home made. India silk, however, is often imported, and printed in England. The Barcelona kerchiefs are all made in England.
26-Coloured Waters. T. S.-The coloured waters used by chemists to fill the large bottles in their windows, are made as follows:-Blue-Prussian blue dissolved in water. Purple-infusion of logwood, with a little hartshorn added. Green-to three ounces of common verdigris dissolved in vitriol, add water two quarts. Red-red cabbage liquor with vinegar; or spirits of hartshorn, and cochineal. Yellow-dissolve iron in spirits of salts, and dilute with
tulip shades, and as a substitute for glass in workshop windows. It is quite waterproof.
29-Mourning Etiquette. R.-Mourning for parents is usually worn with crape for six months, afterwards without crape for the same period. For a brother or sister, six months; but in many cases a longer period. For an uncle or aunt, three months; the same for a first or second cousin. No rule can be given with regard to returning mourning visits; it is, however, proper to wait a week or two after the calamity. If the affliction is deeply felt, cards may (and in most cases, should) be sent in return. No difference with regard to England and Scotland. 30--Penny Banks. C. W. S.-A very interesting pamphlet has been pub:ished on this subject by Messrs. Baines & Sons, of Leeds. The movement is highly important, and can hardly fail to do much good. Penny banks have already been established in several of the large towns with eminent success. To those who are anxious to save their mites, or to those who are willing to serve their generation, we earnestly commend the establishment of Penny Banks. Mr. C. W. Šikes, of Huddersfield, will readily give information on the subject, we believe.
31-Upas Tree. J. W.-The celebrated poison tree of Java (Antiaris toxicaria) has been the subject of many exaggerations. The valley in which it was said alone to be found, has been stated to owe its deadly effects rather to a stream of carbonic acid which flows into it, than to any vegetable agency. Though the ordinary accounts of the Upas have been proved to be fabulous, there is a tree called the "Anchar," which grows in great abundance in the island. It is described by Dr. Horsfield in the Batavian Transactions. When the bark is wounded it yields copiously the juice from which the poison is prepared.
32-Walking after Meals. E. D. C.-The best physiologists are of opinion that it is unwholesome to take any brisk exercise immediately after a meal. The principal part of the nervous energy seems to be required at the commencement of the process of digestion to be directed to the stomach; and the blood-vessels about that organ receive an increased supply of the vital fluid while the food is being acted upon by the gastric juice and the peculiar movements of the stomach. If brisk exercise is taken at such a time, the nervous energy and arterial blood are diverted to the muscles. Cases are recorded in which violent exercise, after eating largely, has proved fatal.
33-Elder Flowers. M. A.-Elder Hlowers are used for making wine, and also an ointment. The former does not appear to be very generally relished. The ointment is made in various ways; but the only manner in which the peculiarly delicate smell is preserved, is by the following method: Beat four pounds of elder flowers with three pounds of the best lard, and one pound of olive oil; having thoroughly incorporated the ingredients--which should be left untouched for four or five hours--the ointment should be squeezed through a coarse cloth. If wax is used, it should be melted with the lard, and allowed to get nearly cool before mixing with the flowers. If scent is required, it should be added after the whole has been passed through the cloth.
34-4 Book on Entomology.-8. J. B. wishes the Editor to recommend a work on Entomology, alphabetically arranged. Maunders' Treasury of Natural History contains valuable information on the subject, among other interesting matter. More elaborate works are, Stephens's Catalogue of British Insects, Curtis's Guide to the Arrangement of British Insects, Kirby and Spence's Entomology, and Haworth's Lepidoptera Britannica. In Patterson's Zoology for Schools, (a most charming and admirable book,) the young student will find much interesting matter on Zoology; but as a text-book on Entomology alone, we know no book deserving higher commendation than Popular British Entomology, by Miss M. E. Catlow, (with coloured plates, 108. 6d.)
35-Clairvoyance. A. B.-Without at all admitting or denying the various claims made by mesmerists for their favourite science, and without giving any opinion as to the powers of clairvoyants, we caution our readers against the impostures which are practised by persons pretending to be able to give information as to the localities of lost articles, or the modes in which robberies have been committed. A. B. sent inquiries upon the same circumstances from different localities, and received opposite answers. The only replies given are "yes," and "no;" and these are evidently given at random. It is a remarkable circumstance that in many instances the persons who are said to possess the powers of clairvoyance when asleep, become soon notorious for being clever at deception when awake. We speak from personal observation.
36-Thirteen to Dinner. L. T. B.-At p. 167. vol. ii. the philosophy of the prejudice on this subject is given.
In some parts of the country it appears that the superstition extends farther than noted in the paragraph. A friend heard a lady state that she would not sit down to table, upon any account, with twelve others; for if thirteen were present, one of the party would die, and and another come to some harm, before they met again." Our correspondent thinks it is probable that this superstition has arisen from some ideas connected with "the last supper," at which thirteen (Jesus and his twelve disciples) were present. Before they met again, one had been crucified, and another (Judas) had hung himself. As several other popular superstitions may be traced to such sources, this theory of the origin of the prejudice referring to "thirteen to dinner," may not be wide of the mark.
37-Miss or Misses. H. J. B. says:-I maintain that in addressing two unmarried ladies the word "Misses" should be prefixed to the name, as "The Misses Ward." This is not only grammatically correct, but also conveys no more harshness of sound than "The Miss Wards." Proper nouns should have the plural form when we speak of them as a race, as the McGregors, the Browns, or the Wards, but in addressing, where each lady is concerned, the Miss, and not the name, should be plural. "The Masters Wards" is equally correct, although not in usage, as a young gentleman can acquire the title of Mr. at a very early age. Again, I presume that Miss cannot become an adjective, for as adjectives for the most part are compared, (excepting numerals, as one, first, &c., or such as in themselves express a superlative signification, as full, chief, perfect, true, &c.), but how must the adjective Miss be compared?
38-Language of Flowers. L. C.-None of the works professing to translate the language of the beautiful denizens of the gardens, fields, and moss-banks, can lay any claim to completeness. Nearly every meaning given to a flower is arbitrarily imposed, whereas each significance should be founded on some peculiarity of habit, or appearance, or mode of growth, or upon some legend, or poetical quotation. The best work we know is that published by Messrs. Tyas & Co.; but this, though very elegant, and more comprehensive than most others we have seen, does not come up to our standard. We have so many irons in the fire, however, that we cannot undertake to supply anything more complete at present; nevertheless, we shall not lose sight of the hint, and we shall be glad if those of our correspondents who are interested in the matter will forward suggestions, hints, quotations, legends, &c. The communications to be headed "Language of Flowers," and addressed to the Editor.
39-Botanical Correspondence.-D. H. Campbell, St. Chloe, near Stroud, proposes that a Botanical Corresponding Society be formed for the exchange of specimens, &c., with a view to lay the foundation for a complete comparative British Flora. He proposes that the London Catalogue of British Plants (2nd edition, price 6d.) be obtained by each member, who shall mark with a X, or an O, such plants as are common, or rare, in his vicinity. Each member to retain from three to five specimens for exchange. At the end of six months, or a year, a book (thin and light enough for transmission by post), shall be prepared and sent to each member in rotation who shall indicate by the numbers in the London Catalogue the specimens he has. When the book returns to him he will be able to see where he can obtain specimens which he does not possess, and where those plants are common. The information thus obtained might be embodied in papers in the Family Friend, at intervals.
40-Cryophorus. J. B.-The cryophorus, or frostbearer, is a pleasing philosophical toy, sometimes known as a pulse glass. This instrument consists of two small glass globes united by a tube, one of which is partly filled with water. The end of the tube is hermetically sealed while the water is boiling, and thus it is constructed perfectly free from air. The part of the apparatus (A) unoccupied by the water, though apparently empty, is, in reality, filled with aqueous vapour, which checks evaporation from the surface of the water (B). If the pressure of this vapour
be removed, by plunging the empty ball into a freezing mixture (which condenses the vapour), so rapid an evaporation takes place, that the water in B is frozen in two or three minutes. The notion that this glass can indicate the actual state of the pulse, is erroneous: it only indicates the warmth of the hand, and then acts as a differential
thermometer, i. e. indicating the difference between the heat of the globes A and B.
41-Pastilles. H. G.-There are various modes of making pastilles. The following are approved recipes:-1st. Take of powdered gum benzoin 16 parts; balsam of tolu, and powdered sandal wood, of each 4 parts; linden charcoal 48 parts: powdered tragacanth, and true labdanum, of each 1 part; powdered saltpetre, and gum Arabic, of each 2 parts; cinnamon water 12 parts. Beat into the consistence of thick paste, and having made into shape, dry in the air.-2nd. Gum benzoin, olibanum, storax, of each 12 oz.; saltpetre 9 oz.; charcoal 4 lbs.; powder of pale roses 1lb.; essence of roses 1 oz. Mix with 2 oz. of gum tragacanth dissolved in a quart of rose water.3rd. The same formula may be varied, by the substitution of pure orange powder for the roses, and oil of neroli for the essence of roses.-4th. By adding a few grains of camphor to the 1st recipe, a pastille suited to an invalid's chamber is prepared. If the scent of the above seems too powerful, the proportions of saltpetre and charcoal may be increased. Never use musk and civet in pastilles.
42-Ices. J. S.-Ices are congealed water, or cream, combined with liqueurs, or the juices of fruits. They can generally be prepared more cheaply by the confectioner than at home, unless there is an ice-house attached to the establishment. The common mode of preparing ices in summer is by surrounding the vessel containing the cream with a freezing mixture, and covering the whole with some non-conductor of heat. The best freezing mixture is that composed of pounded ice and common salt, in which the affinity of the salt for the water is so great that a rapid liquefaction is produced, and consequently a quick absorption of heat. Of course the mixture only absorbs heat (and thus produces cold,) while the liquefaction is going on. The salt and water might be frozen or boiled afterwards. There are freezing mixtures, however, of which ice forms no part. Of these the following have been found to answer:-(1.) Muriate of ammonia, and nitrate of potash (sal ammoniac and saltpetre), each five parts, and water, sixteen parts; mix.-(2.) Sulphate of soda, eight parts; muriate of ammonia, five parts; nitrate of potash, five parts; water sixteen parts; mix.
43-Emigration.-A lady requests us to insert a list of the articles, valueless in themselves, and frequently thrown away, which are most valuable as the means of employment in Female Emigrant Ships. Between June 1848 and the end of that year, 15,750 emigrants sailed from the port of Plymouth to the Australian colonies. Endeavours are now making, under the superintendence of a clergyman, to promote their moral and religious improvement, and to form industrial classes, and provide them with materials for employment during their four months' voyage; but the immense amount of materials that will be required is evident, when it is considered, that to provide work for fifty people for four months, is the same as providing work for one person for about 17 years! and that fully to attain the object, materials might be needed monthly to employ seven hundred people for four months. The following articles will be most thankfully received at "The British Ladies' Female Emigrant Society, 25, Red Lion Square," and in the country by many branch associations:
Worsted and yarn knitting and sewing cotton.
Tapes, buttons, hooks and eyes.
Calico, flannel, prints; clothes cut out.
Remnants of cloth, silk, prints, &c., for patchwork. Six-sided pieces of paper, and designs for patchwork, in packets of 100 or 1000.
Pieces of card-board, and visiting cards.
Receipt books for knitting, &c.
Twine for netting; list.
Canvas and wools.-Unfinished pieces of needlework. Cast-off clothes, clean rags, oid thin shoes.
Old buttons for re-covering.
Old shawls, and shawl borders.
Pieces of ribbon, and shreds of flannel, for pincushions.
Collars to be transferred; straw for plaiting.
Needle books, pincushions.
Sampler canvas, and marking cotton, &c.
Gutta percha, and common slates.
Slate and lead pencils, pens, india-rubber. Portable inkstands, knives.-Paper of all kinds, string. Packs of envelopes tied up in hundreds. Dark print work-pockets for the emigrants to wear, 1 foot wide by 14 long, with pockets inside, or a little bag for scissors, thimble, &c,
44-Tuesday. A. R. F.-The attributes of the deity worshipped under the name of Tuisco-after whom this day is named - are not known.
45-Shoreditch. A. W.-The legend that the place named Shoreditch was so called from Jane Shore having died there, is a fiction. "It was so called because a main shore or ditch ran through that district," says Dr. Percy.
46-To soften Bone. S. W.-Bones may by maceration in muriatic acid be rendered soft and flexible; but the earthy particles which give the peculiar whiteness to the material are removed in the process, and a substance resembling a lump of isinglass remains.
47-America. Emigration. A. B. F.-One of the most amusing and instructive little works which have been published lately, is Prentice's Tour in America, which contains also an excellent lecture on Emigration. It is published by Johnson, Market Street, Manchester, price 18.
48-Balm of Gilead. W. N.-The balm of Gilead, or Balsam of Mecca, is the dried juice of a small tree or shrub growing in Syria. It has a warm aromatic taste, and exquisitely aromatic smell. It is very scarce, and is seldom brought to this country except as a curiosity.
49-Adam's Apple. A. A. E. The protuberance in the fore part of the throat is caused by the larynr. The name originated in the tradition that a piece of the forbidden fruit stuck in Adam's throat, and marked all his male descendants.
55-Stilton Cheese. B. E.-The origin of the name of the peculiar cheese known under this title is not well understood. It was originally made in Leicestershire, where it continues to be produced in the greatest quantity, and is believed to have derived its name from its being first brought into notice at an inn on the Great North Road, in the parish of Stilton.
56-Whalebone. M. L.-The article known under this name is not bone in its true sense; its correct name is baleen. It is found attached to the upper jaw and nerves, to strain the water which the whale takes into its mouth, and to retain the small animals upon which it subsists. It can be softened by immersion in hot water, and permanently bent into any form.
57-Liability of Drunkards. B. M.-It is a maxim in legal practice, that those who commit crimes when drunk, must submit to punishment when sober. Intoxication cannot be pleaded as an excuse for violence, but is held to aggravate the offence; and a bond signed by a drunken man stands good in law, unless it can be shown that the man was inebriated by the collusion or contrivance of those to whom the bond was given.
58-Onions and the Breath. T. P. &c.-The usual mode of sweetening the breath after eating onions is by hiding the ammoniacal odour of that kind of food in some more pleasant scent-chewing cinnamon, eating peppermint lozenges, &c. If the mouth and throat are freely washed out with water, and the teeth cleaned with powdered charcoal, nearly the whole of the odour will be found ↓ to be removed.
59-Hippopotamus. S. D. H.-The pronunciation of words depends somewhat upon custom; but where there is no reason to depart from the pronunciation of the words in the language from which they are derived, it is well to preserve it, for the sake of etymology. Hippopotamus is derived from two Greek words signifying riverhorse, and the accent falls upon the first syllable of each-Hippo-pótamus; the a is short.
60-Touds. F. F.-The cases recorded of toads which had been buried in blocks of marble or limestone are not well authenticated. The animals can live without food and air for a very considerable time; but to no such periods as those represented. Professor Buckland, the celebrated geologist, says: "It seems that toads cannot live a year excluded totally from atmospheric air; and that they cannot survive two years entirely excluded from food, &c."
61-Cotton or linen. F. D.-Upon examination by the microscope, the fibres of cotton may be easily distinguished from those of linen: the fibres of the former are flat and more or less shrivelled or twisted, while those of linen are straight, and with divisions (like the knots in cane) at intervals. If, moreover, cotton is digested in a strong solution of caustic potass, it is dyed a deep yellow when dry; whereas, if linen is acted upon in the same manner, a very slight change of colour only is perceptible.
62-Strength of Iron Pillars. A. W. T.-For the same weight there can be no doubt that a hollow iron pillar will sustain greater weight than a solid one. We may learn from the animal economy the best method of applying material to resistance. Now we find that the bones are hollow, and that they are capable of much greater resistance than if they were solid. The reason is simply that a hollow pillar presents an internal arch in every direction opposed to any crush inwards.
63-Bank of England. T. D. N.-The act for the incorporation of the Company of the Bank of England was passed in the fifth and sixth years of the reign of William and Mary (1694, 1695) in consideration of a loan to the government of £1,200,000, at an interest of nearly eight per cent. The profits of the Company arise from the interest of the government debt, their annual advances on exchequer bills, and many other sources. The income of the Company is about £450,000 a year.
64-Lammas-day, August 1. L.-From ancient authorities we find that this was the usual nominal day of commencing harvest in England. By the 25th of Edward III., it is provided in 1351, that no carter, ploughman, dairymaid, or other servant, shall take in time of weeding or haymaking but a penny a day; that the mowers for the acre fivepence, and the reapers of corn, in the first week of August, twopence a day, in the second week threepence, and so on till the end of the month. The old tax called Peter's-pence was collected on this day.
65-The Passing Bell. M. S. T.-This ceremonial was intended to call upon devout persons to pray for the soul of a person who was departing this life. It is stated to have been also intended to "drive away any demon that might wish to take possession of the soul of the deceased," and hence it was called not unfrequently "soul-bell." The Venerable Bede mentions the following proverb which was common in his time :
"When the bell begins to toll, Lord, have mercy on the soul!"
66-Reading at Dinner. M. N. W.-It is a bad habit to call the brain into active exercise while the stomach requires an increase of circulation, and an unusual quantity of nervous energy. Two eyil effects are produced by study at or immediately after dinner:-In the first place the brain is exerted when unfit for such action, and in the second place the nervous power necessary to complete digestion is distracted from its appropriate purpose at the time. Solitary dinners are not so wholesome as those which are eaten while lively and cheerful conversation is going on.
67-Precocious Children. P. E.-It is a great injury to children to force their talents carly in life. There is but one authenticated case on record where a clever child made a talented and extraordinary man. An excellent little work by Dr. Brigham, explains the reason of this. The brain of the child is not completely developed till about the fifth or sixth year, and no violent action should therefore be excited on it before that age. Precocious children usually die early; and indeed it has been asserted, that early infant tuition when carried beyond moderate limits, is a fruitful cause of consumption and scrofula.
68-Bleeding at the Nose. A. T.-When bleeding at the nose occurs otherwise than as the result of violence, it is usually in consequence of the over-fulness of some of
the vessels about the brain, and is the consequence of an effort of nature to relieve the congestion. When, however, it is the result of violence, or is continued beyond a few minutes, or takes place in excessive quantity, it should be checked as soon as possible. Of the various methods, the following is perhaps the most useful:-Let the patient sit and hold the head back while cold water is dashed over the face. Let him also sniff aromatic vinegar, or smelling salts. If these means do not speedily give relief, a surgeon should be sent for immediately.
69-Cups in Pies. L. B.-The cup which is placed upside down in meat and fruit pies is only filled with air when it is put into the pie. When the heat of the oven begins to act this air expands, and forces its way under the edge of the cup at the bottom of the pie. In this action it produces a somewhat similar effect to stirring with a spoon. When the whole substance of the pie has attained the boiling heat, the air in the cup expands no more; or the contrary, as soon as the pie is removed from the heat, the air in its interior begins to contract, and the pressure of the atmosphere without drives the gravy into the cup. It is a mistake to suppose that the cup prevents the syrup or gravy boiling over while the dish is in the oven; but it is useful in many ways-to support the crust, &c.
70-Diamond. T. J.-The finest ever known, except the gem recently brought to England, belonged to the king of Portugal; it weighed 1680 carats, and was valued at £224,000,000, though it was not cut or polished. That in the Russian sceptre weighs 779 carats, and is valued at £4,000,000. The Pitt diamond weighed 136 carats, and cost Louis XIV. £130,000. These gems are brought from Borneo, Golconda, Bengal, the East Indies, West Indies, and Brazil. They are cut and polished with their own substance. The different kinds of diamonds are as follows: -Rough diamond is the stone as it comes from the mine; rose diamond is one which is flat at the base, terminating in a point above; the table diamond has a square face at the top, encompassed with four lesser facets; the brilliant is that which is cut into flat faces at top and bottom, and whose table, or principal face, is parallel with a line through the broadest part of the stone. The diamonds used by glaziers are usually only fragments of badlycoloured stones.
71-Corrosive Sublimate, or Stone Mercury. J. C. F.The bichloride of mercury (or quicksilver is so called on account of its peculiarly pernicious effects upon animal tissues, and the masses in which it is sold. It is used, in small quantities, in lotions for diseases of the skin, and, in a very diluted state, in cosmetics. Taken internally it is powerfully poisonous. Our correspondent requires a test for this substance. 1. If it is in a solid state it may be mixed with potash, and heated in a test tube. If the corrosive sublimate is present, metallic globules will be found to condense on the upper part of the tube. 2. If it is in solution, and mixed with solid matters, the solution should be filtered before any tests are applied. If portions of the suspected fluid be put into test tubes, they will form precipitates of various colours with the re-agents indicated:lime water, brick red; solution of caustic potass, orange; prussiate of potass, white. 3. The best and readiest test is the following, to which the engraving refers, viz:-Drop the suspected solution on a clean gold or copper coin, and apply a bright key so that it may at the same time touch the edge of the coin and the globule of fluid. A galvanic
thus treated should be hung up to dry, and in a few days varnished. The ends where they are tied should be covered with a solution of sealing-wax in spirit. If, however, in this form the belt is not considered sufficiently portable, the last direction may be omitted, and the air let out after each time of using. It will be liable, however, to get out of repair upon this plan.
73-Lightning. W. F. T.-The covering of a lookingglass during a storm can add no safety to the house or room. It prevents it reflecting the light given out by the electric discharge, but the covering can produce no other effect. The safest place during a storm is in bed, especially if the bedstead be of iron. Lightning can only produce an effect upon the human body when it is the object through which the fluid passes to the earth. Thus it is dangerous to sit or stand against a wall, because the human body is a better conductor than the substance of the wall, and the electric fluid would therefore pass from the wall through the body and so to the earth. If the wall was of iron-the iron being the better conductor-no such accident would occur. Again, it is safer to shelter under a young tree than under an old one, because the former is a better conductor, and the electricity is not so likely to pass from it to the human body. The middle of the room is a safer position than near the walls; and houses with lead coverings and metal spouts running to the earth, are less dangerous than those covered with tiles or slates with wooden spouts. The reason is simply that metals being good conductors of electricity, the fluid would pass without doing injury to the inmates along the lead to the metal spouts, and so to the earth. On a wide and open heath, where no house shelter can be obtained, the safest plan in case of alarm is to lie down flat upon the earth.
74-Ants. M. S.-Several correspondents write to inquire how they can destroy ants which infest their houses. One fair correspondent, however, wishes to know "how to keep aunts out of the pantry, and from the doors; for," says she, "they are very disagreeable." We have heard of cousins of the cook or housemaid being discovered about the meat-safes and pantries, but we never heard of aunts being given to predatory excursions such as those described. However, we will prescribe for the aunts first, and the ants afterwards. 1. To a pound of firmness add as much politeness as you have to spare, taking care to strain off all the scum of anger. Mix, and having incorporated thoroughly, apply with a fresh-made freezing mixture. Be careful, however, that your mixture has not the slightest smack of ingratitude, lest you become like the man who killed all the sparrows, and found his gooseberry-trees devoured by caterpillars. 2. Ants object to strong scents, and in tropical climates are prevented entering rooms by powerfully-scented oils and gums. The following method is recommended for the destruction of these insects:-Dig up the nests when they are very dry, and mix quickly some fresh-burned lime with the light earth. Then pour boiling water over the whole, and mix into mortar. This should be done late in the evening. Then brush all the crevices of windows and doors through which the interlopers intrude, with the following:-Creosote ten drops, spirits of wine two ounces, camphor a drachm, oil of rhodium one drop, brandy or whisky half a pint. A less expensive prevetive, which has been recommended, is tobacco water, but we cannot speak of its efficacy. In the cupboards lumps of camphor should be kept; and the walls of the house should have a line painted with tar, about six inches broad, a few inches from the ground.