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end of this period it may go into turpentine {the best refined) and bo left there for a week, and then it may be mounted in Canada balsam in the usual manner.

In conclusion I mar add the reasons of these operations.

1st. The immersion in potash is to extract fatty matter. This should be borne in mind when regulating the time that an object should Ы- allowed to remain in the liquid.

'Jud. The immersion in water is to extract the potash.

;¡rd. The arranging being done at this stage is effected easier and better, and is not lost by the after immersions.

4th. The immersion in spirit, is, as before said, to extract the last trace of moisture.

5th. The immersion in ether is to extract the spirit, as well as to, by its permeating qualities, expel any air bubbles that may have got in during the drying and arranging process.

6th and last. The turpentine immersion is to allow .some turpentine to take the place of some of the ether, so as to ensure due transparency of the object when immersed in the balsam.

If u Q. Sea " follows these directions, he will be sure of success, even with the largest insecte; but beyond everything, let the beginner beware of haste and impatience, for such irregularities are sure to end in diro punishment in the shape of a worthless object.

Achromatic.

THE GATLING GUN.

[294] Sm,—I send you a description, with engravi ngs, of the Gatliug gun, or battery, as it has been more properly called. It is the invention of an American ííentleman, and was first exhibited in Europe at the exhibition of 1867. It differs considerably from the mitrailleuse in construction and principle, for whereas the latter weapon can fire 37 shuts, either at once or gradually, and must then be loaded afresh, the Gatling gun fires continuously, во long as cartridges are supplied, but it cannot discharge all its bárrele at the same instant. In the mitrailleuse, again, the barrels are fixed, but in the Gatling they revolve. The weapon is made of two sizes—one containing six—the other ten barrels, and according to size will discharge from 200 to 400 shots per minute. As many as l.OOOrounds have been fired consecutively, and when it is mentioned that the gun is effective at ranges of 2,000 and 3,000 yards, some idea of its powers may be readily formed. Its main features are briefly summed up as follows:—First, it has as many locks as there are barrels, and all the locks revolve with the barrels. The locks also have, when the gun is in operation, a reciprocating motion. The forward motion of the locke places the cartridges in the rear ends of the barrels, and closes the breecb at the time of each discharge, while the return movement extracts the cartridge shells after they have been fired. When the ten-barrel gun is being fired, there are five cartridge« at all times in process of loading and firing, and at the same time, five of the shells, after they have been fired, are in different stages of being extracted. These several operations are continuous when the gun is in operation. In other words, as long as the gun ie supplied with cartridges (which is done by means of "feed-coses," in which they arc transported) the

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not attached to any part of the gun, but as the gun is made to revolve, they play back and forth in the cavities in which they work, like a weaver's shuttle, performing their functions of loading and firing by their impingement on stationary inclined planes or spiral projecting surfaces. Second, it can be loaded or fired only when the bárrele are in motion—that is to say, when the barrels, the inner breech, &c. are being revolved. Third, it may justly be termed a compound machine gun, since the ten barrels, each being furnished with its own loading and firing apparatus, form,

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as it were, ten guusin one. Thin isa valuable feature, for in the event of one of the locks or barrels becoming impaired, those remaining can still be used effectively. As will be seen from the engraving I send, the cartridges are supplied by means of a hopper, or inclined trough, and are of two kinds, the one containing a solid bullet or rather shot, the other made up of several shots which are intended to "scatter" before reaching the object fired at. The " solid" cartridge contains a shot of half a pound weight, is of lin. calibre, and is for nse at long ranges; the other is of the samo calibre, and containb 15 buckshot and a terminal ball, and will be principally used against masses of cavalry or infantry, or for short ranges in general. The weapon has hitherto been made of but two calibres, lin. and Jin., but there is no reason to doubt that mechanical ingenuity will go far beyond this limit.

F. G. R., late H.M.R.A.

THE MICROSCOPE. [295] Sir,—As my own stock of books is somewhat limited, and as I am in the habit of getting others from only four of fie London libraries, it would perhaps be

stating too much were I to say that no work has cm been published, giving such a vast amount of interesting and useful information upon so many and varied subjects as the English Mechanic. If, however. any of your numberless readers with greater facilities tliLtn myself for procuring books, and more time for nuding them, shonld have come acrobs such a work, they would confer an infinite favour upon your correspondent by forwarding its name for insertion in your uact issue. There is not a number of the Mechanic you have sent out, from its commencement to the present time, that I have not gone over; and I look i ui'ward to its appearance almost as anxiously as I do lor my daily bread.

Not being a "muscular Christian," I have at times thought there has been too much of your space taken up by the bicyclists; and as my experience of astronomy El that the science is more frigid than fascinating, I тлу perhaps have been a little jealous at the attention the telescope has received in our journal. I myself have a hobby, and I pity the man that has not: mine is the microscope, and I am only too glad to see it receiving more notice in your pages. I should not like to ьау I have worked at the subject, lest it might imply moro than I intended; but after spending many very pleasant hours, I have got*to know something about it, and any experience I have gained I shall be happy to place at the disposal of your readers.

I was on the point of writing you a few lines after reading the paper by E. It. Lankester a few weeks ago, for I do not agree with him in toio; but fearing it might be construed as an advertisement for certain makers, I refrained. To any one about to purchase an instrument, let me give one word of advice. Get an English stand. The demand is so great, and the competition so active, that, for the more moderate priced ones nothing is gained by going abroad. Every pattern that hoe anything to recommend it can be obtained at home ; and a person, by paying a vieit to the different opticians in town, or writing for their illustrated catalogues if in the country, can find no difficulty in suiting his wants and his pocket at the same time. I know most of the English patterns, and many of the continental ones; I have four different instruments of my own, and my preference is decidedly for English stands. They may perhaps be a trifle dearer, but they are better made, better finished, and more satisfactory in every respect. As regards objectives, however, 1 can endorse what Mr. L. says, though at the same time I will state that some of the English makers have recently been revising their list of prices, and I have seen some very excellent results from au immersion i at £4 10s. And here, I think, I cannot do better than answer the query of "M. J. C," No. 454», " What are the principle advantages of immersion objectives?" 1st. There is greater clearness, and better definition of the image. 2nd. More light is transmitted to the eye than in the dry objective. 3rd. There is less dangei of injuring either the object or the objective, as the distance between the two is increased. And last, but not least, they are cheaper. I have seen several mag nificent German 1-ieths at £5 13s. (without carriage) almost, if not quite, equal to an English l-12th, for which the maker would charge twelve guineas, introducing a film of water between the objectj jective, some of the raye of light fromth

mudo to enter the objective, which would pass outside of it if air instead of water separated the two; because a ray passing from a denser to a rarer medium, is refracted from л perpendicular(to the plane which divides them. Again, in employing very oblique light, with a hydro-objective, rays are utilized which would be totally reilected with a p ne amo -objective.

And now for a few words on common objects, and how to mount them. I dare say that, like myself, many readers of the Mechanic prefer to do as much .of the work themselves as possible; I will, therefore, jnst give the plan I use for cutting all glasses exactly to one size—vib.4iin. x lin. I have a board, along one side of whichàs fastened a strip-of wood with an accurately straight edge; also two ralee, which are respectively less than lin. and &n. by the distance from their edge to the cut .which the diamond mukes (about 1 - Rim.). The glass, which should be thin flatted crown, is placed on the boiird with one edgö close to the ledge; the wider rnle is placed upon it, also touching the ledge, and thus the glass is cut into strips exactly 3in. wide. The strips are then turned at right angles, aud with the smaller rale, the slides, lin. in width, are ont off. Саге mnfct be taken that the ends are square before cutting, or the angles will not bo right angles. Having got the glasees, the next thing to consider is whether they are to be eoverodwühbpaper, orto have their edges ground. The latter proeess is somewhat tedious; the sharp edge may be taken off on the side of a grind stoue, and then smoothed by rubbing on a piece of emery paper laid on a hard tint surface. For slides which are to have cells cemented4o them, perhaps the ground edges are the beet, whilst for objects which only require the addition of the thi u cover, it is perhaps less trouble to cover them with paper; and this is accomplished in the following way:—Cut a strip of thin coloured paper, ¿in. wide and Hin. long, paste one side and place it round the edge of the glass, snip a bit from each corner, both back and front, and then, without wrinkles, carefully lay it down on both sides. Other strips of stouter coloured paper should be cut l-ltith less all rouud than the slide, and a circle should he cut or punched from the centre; one *'f these is then pasted on the front, another on the back, care being taken that tho apertures correspond; when dry and labelled, and the glass in tho centre well cleaned, the slide is ready for tho cabinet. For cells, vulcanite rings aro very useful, and can bo obtained of various sizes. The brasa button moulds, which can be obtained at furnishing drapers', also answer well, and are cheap. To lix them the slide should be put on the turntable, a ring of gold size struck on the glass, and after painting one surface of the ring with the same material, it must be dropped on the slide, and a Little pressure made nse of to expel the air, then put aside to harden. This takes somo time it is well, therefore, to prepare a number at once. I think, liowovor, it is tho most trustworthy cement that can be employed. Other slides should be prepared with rings of gold eize, others with rings of asphalte varnish of different diameters to suit the different sized circles nsod as covers. Being time prepared, nothing more is requisite to commence mounting dry objects, a few of which, easy to obtain, and beautiful to contemplate, I will now enumerate.

Perhaps nothing gives less trouble in mounting than the scales which various insects bear on their wings and bodies; and аз butterflies and moths are now abundant, a great variety may be secured. Two kinds of scales are found on the male of the common white butterfly, one of which bears a beautiful little tuft at the end. All that is requisite is to take a perfectly clean cover glass, place a wing or portion of wing upon it, press upon it with the tip of the linger, and immediately a number of the scales are transferred to the glass; remove the wing, take up the cover with a pair of forceps, aud invert it over a slide on which oue of the asphalte rings has been painted; put on a spring clip, and if it does not adhere, holding it for a few seconds above the flame of a spirit-lamp will soften the varnish sufficiently to unite the two firmly together. A small creature with a glistening silvery surface may ofteu be fouud swiftly gliding about on hearthstones, or in cupboards, as well as in other places,—this is the Lepisma sacehariiia, or sugar-louse. If one of these is captured and stupefied with chloroform, by gently placing a cover upon it, and moving it about lightly, abundance of scales will be procured; саге must be taken with all these that the creature is not squeezed so as to make some of its juices exude, or the slide will bennsightly and worthless. Then again there is a number of species of springtails, some found in cellars amongst sawdust, some in greenhouses, in decaying wood, beneath the bark of trues, amongst moss, and in many other places; and many of these are covered with scales; one kind, the Lrpidocyrtu» cttrvicollis, furnisher a scale which is nsed as a test for the higher powers. As they are small it is best to place a cover gently on ono, and by its struggles the scales will be rubbed off, the exquisite markings on which are almost obliterated by the tho least trace of moisture. The wings, legs, and body of the guat, Culex pipíen», are clothed in like manner, and its scales are beautifully iridescent. One of the]hunting spiders, the Saltieui ece»iett$, has some scales, but they are not quite so easy to obtain. Many British beetles, as the CurcuHonidar, have their whole surface covered with scales of the most resplendent colonrs. To mount the scales separately, they must be scraped off; but a far finer elide is mado by mounting the whole insect, or the wing-covers only in a cull; it is improved too if tho cell is filled with balsam; but of this hereafter.

Portions of the more brightly coloured wings, as of those of the Alpine Blue, forra gorgeous objects when the light is thrown down on them from above. A part of a wing, from which the scales have been removed,

make* a good transparent object, showing the rows of
pits into which the points of tho scales are inserted.
There is a moth, tolerably common, which flies in the
twilight near tho ground, called the Pleropkora pmta-
dac-tylu#t the wings of which are a pare snow-white, the
scales uni long and thickly sot, and intermixed with long
compound hairs. Nothing can be more beautiful than
this wing, mounted dry, under a low power, with light
thrown downi upon it from a bull's-eye condenser.
Wings of other insects» mounted whole, form valuable
additions to the cabinet, a« those of Culsw pipíen*, whore
the «cales are seen to be inserted on thenervuresof the
wings, and к forming a fringe all round the edge.
Another wing, that of the Pspckoda phttUenouUê, is
more thickly covered, and with n dark ground illumin-
ation—аз by the parabola, spot lens, or Lieberkuhn—
арреагз almost as if m ¡wie of silver. This is a tiny
insect, found at dusk on window-pane«, where they
pop about in all directions, as if they did not know
where they wero going. A larger insect than the pre-
ceding, the Ghrrrtopa perla, found flitting about in
gardens us it is getting dusk, has clear, pale green
wing*, which show all the colours of the rainbow
when the light falls ом them in a certain direction.
Those are some of the finest, but all are worth examin-
ing, and arc very little trouble to preserve in the {dry
way.

Next, Г come to some objects which require a pro
tection in the way of a cell. Tho sand from many parts
of the seashore contains numbers of exquisito forms of
Foraminifera ; that from Dogs Bay, Connemara, is par-
ticularly rich; many kinds too are found in the sand
which accumulates in drawers in which sponges are
kept, or they may bo shaken net of sponges when they
are new. I think the best way to proceed is to spriukle a
little of the sand on a slide, and place it on the
stage, under a low power; I then take a bristle,
which is inserted iuto a bit of stick, and just
moistening the tip between the lips pick out those
which I require. This is ему enough if the microscope
has an erector, but if not, a little practice is re-
quired, as the movements appear in the opposite
direction to that which you intend. The centre of a
cell must be just touched with gold size, the least film
possible, or with a little gum ; the latter soon dries, but
may be moistened again by breathing upon it; on the
whole I prefer the former. As the different species are
picked out they must be deposited in the cell upon the
adhesive medium, and when a sufficient number are
obtained the edge of the cell must be lightly touched
with some cement, and a cover dropped into its place.
Most of these show best with a dark background, and
sometimos a circle of black paper is first stuck at the
bottom of the cell, or a circle of black varnish is painted
on the nnderneath side ; but this prevents the use of the
Lieberkuhn, spot lens, or parabola, aud can only be
used with some of the forms of reflectors, so that on
the whole the first mentioned method is to be preferred.
From the same source, sponge spicules may be obtained,
which appear as if made of the clearest glass spun into
a variety of forms: they should be mounted and shown
in the same way as tho Foraminifera.

Again, quite a cabinet mightbe filled with the"various seeds, most of which show to great perfection, mounted in the way last described. I may mention a few of the more striking ones: foxglove, poppy, pink, henbane, thornapple, mignonette, gentian, pimpernel, snapdragon, tobacco, Escholtzia, St. John's wort, ragged robin, catchfly, chickwued: these are for the most part to be obtained with very little trouble.

Another series of dry objects may be obtained from sections of different woods. Some amount of skill is required in cutting these sufficiently thin, without any special apparatus, but with a very sharp razor it may be done: any one, however, with a little mechanical ingenuity can вооц make an instrument for a few pence that will answer every purpose. A shaving of deal from a carpenter's shop will show the pitted tissue, distinctive of the Couifene, admirably, but asa rule wood sections are shown best either mounted in fluid or in balsam. The clematis, which does not require cuttiug so thin as most woods, affords one of the finest sections, and shows as well, if not better, when dry. I need say nothing about pollen, as one of your correspondents has already mentioned it. Portions of the fronds of ferns, displaying tho fratification, form beautiful and interesting objects. There are many leaves, too, as the evergreen oak, Dentzia, Altmnum spinas и wi, which are covered with the most exquisite hairs, во that under condensed light tho leaves appear as if thickly covered with silver stars. Nothing is required but to dry the leaf thoroughly between blotting-paper, and to веспге a portion in a shallow coll and cover it like tho rest with thin glass.

I will mention but one more series, and then conclude.
The scales of fishos when thoroughly cleaned and dried
form a most interesting and varied collection, some
being covered with fine linos, others being furnished
with sharp and thick-set spines which give them quite
a formidable appearance.

I have not by any means got to the end of my subject,
but do not wish to encroach too much on your space,
which is very valuable ; but if what I have written meets
with the approval of your readers, and is likely to be of
any use, or if they would like to hear from me again at
another time, and you will grant me the honour of
appearing as a contributor to your pages on micro-
scopic matters, I shall do so with the greatest pleasure.
With every good wish for your success,
A Fellow Of The Royal Microscopical Society:.

[We shall be much obliged if our microscopical
friends will write all generic and specific names clearly,
thus, С ule x pip i en t. By во doing they will save our
compositors much labour, and insure the accuracy of
their communications.—Ed.}

BICYCLE RIDING. [2УО] Sib,—In velocipede riding I am convinced (by experiment) that the vertical tread is a better mode of driving thau either the forward thrust of the foot, or by hand-levers, or both combined. When you have had a little practice.and with your seat at a proper height (as before mentioned), you will find the vertical tread to allow you to sit upright and place the whole weight of your body alternately on the treadlc3 with much greater ease and speed than any other way; and the weight of body, when properly applied, is quite sufficient to drive a light-made machine up the steepest hill on the common road. A practical person is in the saddle but very little when ascending a hill, consequently very little load,—the weight of body acting as the propelling power instead. The vertical tread is not like (as one of your correspondents says) to climbing the Monument stairs with a half-hundred on one'* back, but more like sitting on horse-back, with an unloaded back and his foot in tho stirrup. Driving with tho thrust of the foot is very fatiguing; drawing back the foot, and then thrusting forward, is, of itself, harder work, at less speed, than the up-anddown stroke, and with it there is a dead weight continually on the machine. As in moving the world with a lever you must have whereon to rest the heel of the lever, and that whereon the lever rests must have a double weight upon it—namely, tho world, and the force applied to move it; so when you drivo with the thrust, you place back on the seat an adiilitional pressure; so in driving with levers you place the pressure on the machine at the pieatt of the levers, besides the dead weight of your body in the seat all the time. Those who drive in that way and want to move the seat far from the driving wheels hod better move a great deal of the pressure from the seat and apply it properly to the crank, and they will find there is only just enough left to make the driving wheels bite when forced against a hill; when on the level, the little power required to drive it is easily applied. You can then ride with comfort, read the paper, or smoke your pipe—no joking. N. G. La.mbokné:.

[-297] Sie,—Although I am not a bicycle rider— simply because I am au old man—will you allow me to say, in behalf of young men, one word in farour it? Let me ask, for what purpose are saddle-horses usually kept? Is it not, for the most part, for healthy exercise or for amusement? Of course not exclusively so. The farmer and the soldier mean u*« in riding their horses, but there are thousands ol young men who have no hope of ever being able to keep a horse-, to whom the delight of whirling along on their bicycle is, perhaps, even greater than that of those who can keep a horse. I was astouished and delighted a few days ago at seeing a man, apparently between thirty and forty, with the most astonishing command over his bicycle. It must bo comparatively easy to guide it when tearing along on u, level road, but the rider that I saw was moving very leisurely through the crowd that one usually sees about the station near the bathing-place at Ramsgate; he was really "walking his horse," and occasionally stopped to look about him, apparently without an effort, keeping the two-wheeled machine balanced. It was a beautiful one to look at, with a little step by which to mount; and, moreover, the rider had evidently " come into town on business/* hie purchases being strapped safely on the spring. I know a young apprentice in my own neighbourhood whose master—a wheelwright—made a bicycle, and the voting fellow goes many an errand thereon to save time, and when he gets a holiday, instead of lolling about, or even going on an excursion by rail, mounts his master's bicycle, and makes pleasant expeditions about the country, which otherwise he could not do, and to places of interest where "tho rail" would not help him. If a little fatigue is incurred, what then? If von cannot do everything on a .bicycle that yon could do in a "trap," what then? I am astonibhod that more young men do not get a bicycle. Old as I am, I think! must begin. Senex.

HOW TO SKELETONIZE LEAVES. [398] Sib,—Beforo the autumn passes away, Г •hould like to lav before the readers of our Mechanic a method of making some beautiful parlour ornamenta which may form a pastime for their winter evenings, although tho materials must be collected uow. Skeleton loavos are among the most beautiful objects in nature, and as they can be arranged either in groups under glass shades, made into pictures, as it were, and hung against the wall, or placed in either blank books or albums, they come within the moans of all, and can be nsed to decorate the palace or the cottage. The most suitable leaves for the purpose are those from what botaniBts call exogenous plants, and may be known bj the veins of the leaf branching from a central vein or midrib; those from endogenous plants rising from th.© base and curving towards the apex of tho leaf. The object in view is to destroy what may be called the fleshv part of the leaf, as well as the skin, leaving only the r'ibs or veins. The most successful, and probably tho simplest, way to do this is to macerate the leaves in rain-water till thev aro decomposed. For this purpose, when the leaves arc collected they should be placed in an earthenware pan or a wooden tub, ie&t covered with rain-water, and allowed to stand in the sun. In about a fortnight's timo they should be examined, and if found pulpy and decaying, will be rea-dy for skeletonizing, for which process some card»,.a camel's-hair brush, as well as one rather stiff (ft tooth brush for instance) will be required. When all is pre

pared, gently float a leaf on to a card, and with the «oft brash carefully remove the skin. Have ready a basin of clean water, and when the skin of one side is completely removed, reverse the card in the water, and slip it under the leaf, во that the other side is uppermost. Brush thiH to remove the skin, when the fleshy part will most likely come with it; bnt if not, it will readily wash out in the basin of water. If particles of the green-coloured matter still adhere to tho skeleton, endeavour to remove them with the soft brush; but if that is of no avail, the hard one must be used. Gicat care will be necessary to avoid breaking the (skeleton, and the hard brush should only be need in a perpendicular direction (a sort of gentle tapping), as any horizontal motion or "brushing" action will infallibly break the skeleton. Never attempt to touch the leaves or the skeletons in this etatewith the fingers, as when they are soft their own weight will often break them.

A very good way of bleaching the skeletons is to prepare a solution of chloride of lime, which must be allowed to settle, and the clear liquid poured into a basin in which the skeletons may be put by floating them off the card. It is as well to havo half a dozen ready to bleach at once, as they require watching, and if allowed to remain in too long will fall to pieces. From two to four hours will generally suffice to bleach tho skeleton of all ordinary leaves, after which they should be washed in several changes of water, and finally left in clean water for half an hour.

After tho leaf has been sufficiently washed it should bo floated on to a card and dried as quickly as possible, care being taken to arrange the skeleton perfectly flat, and аз near as possible to the natural shape. This can be done with tho assistance of the soft brush. When dry the skeleton should be perfectly white, and should be mounted on dark backgrounds, as black velvet or paper. Well grown leaves should always be chosen, and bo thoroughly examined for flaws before maceration. Leaves containing mnch tannin cannot be skeletonized by this process, but arc generally placed in a box with a nnmber of caddis-worms, which eat away the fleshy parte, when the skeletons can be bleached in the usnal way. Holly-leaves must be placed in a separate vessel on account of their spines, which would be apt to damage other leaves; they make beautiful skeletons, and are sufficiently strong to be moved with tho fingers.

It is not necessary to give a list of leaves suitable; but the leaf of tho poplar, the apple, tho pear, and the ivy may be mentioned as easy ones to commence with. Various seed-vessels may bo treated in a similar manner and by precisely similar means, and thus greater variety Riven to the groups. Wishing our readers success in their experiments, I would remind them that what is worth doing ut all is worth doing well, and that "a thing of beauty is a joy for ever."

8Л1ШЛ8.

THE "PHANTOM " WHEEL.

[299] Sib,—It will be interesting to seo the promised illustration of what is the "Harmonious Blacksmith's " notion of a perfect suspending wheel, but ponding its appearance 1 should like to ask your readers not to take for granted his assumption that the "Phantom " is not to be relied upon as a driving wheel. Your correspondent falls into the same error in that respect ae Mr. Edmund Ту deinan, of Brighton .from the fact that bike that gentleman he writes without having вееп or tried the wheel in any way. Your editorial shears will I know remorselessly disposo of whatever I may say which tends to import an advertisement into your general columns, so I will simply ask those who are in any doubt about the "Phantom" to await the longpromised further letter of Mr. Tydoman, which will now be written after an extended trial of the wheel. It will be recollected that it was a most circumstantial condemnation from the pen of that gentleman which first impugned its value.

At the risk of anticipating tho fertile suggest i ven ess of our sledge-hammer friend, perhaps yon will let me point ont that the ici ruling of tho axle in suspended wheels (which after all, is, in our case at least, quite theoretical) may bo entirely prevented by carrying a light steel barfrom one side of the rim to the other straight through the middle of the axle.

J. A. Mays, Secretary, Phantom Wheel Co.

[300] Sir,—In looking over your journal of August 12th, I read a letter upon wheels, signed "Harmonious Blacksmith;" perhaps yon will allow me to correct a statement in his letter.' He says, "Suspenaien wheels—i.e., phantom wheels, are not rigid enough for driving purposes." I havo ridden a veloce with phantom wheels in and about Birmingham for two months, up hill and down, often forty miles in n day, without a slip, and tho driving wheel is as firm now as when new. Perhaps "H. B." knows Snowhill in the town, and Boho-hill, llandsworth, or your readers may. I ride up and down about five times a week, and the driving wheel is rigid enough to carry mo up as fast as my strength will permit. If the "Harmonious Blacksmith" would like to be convinced, let him come tmd кос, and make the trial for himself. I know very littlo about science, bnt practical cxporienco is always better than paper »ketch experience. J. т. Dawson.

THE "PHANTOM" VELOCE—AN ACT OF

JUSTICE.

[801]—Sir,—In "our" Mechanic for April tho

15th I published some strictures upon a form of wheel

patented by tho "Phantom" Company, which I then

considered to be an adoption of my invention, described in Vol. III., and christened the " Spider Wheel." Some time after tho publication of those letters I obtained a "Phantom" on trial, as I hinted in my lust letter, and it at onco became evident that my wheel and the company's could not be considered ono and the same, and that thu latter was free from the defects inherent in the former.

I then made a draft of a lotter to forward to these columns which pressure of business and illness caused me to tbrnst aside. The letter of our esteemed friend the "Harmonious Blacksmith" in a recent issue (p. 495) again drew my attention to the subject, and I consider it nothing more than an act of justice towards the " Phantom " company to state that, in my estimation, after a fair trial, their wheel and veloce can have no competitor, and I feel bound to confess that I was simply mistaken in ever associating tho " Phantom" with tho "Spider." I have tested mine (I refer to the "Phantom ") in every conceivable way, and find that the correctness of the principle is only eqnalled by the beauty of tho workmanship and cleverness of the design.

I should now be loath to ride any other, and any one who will only take the trouble to thoroughly nuutVr their peeuliarity in steering will never, I am sure, get astride one of the old kind again if he can help it. They certainly do require a much larger amount *»f practice atßrst than the old kind, but this is abundantly compensated for by an ease and grace of carriage afterwards, that cannot be attained upon others; and of all machines that one would choose for " doing" a long spin this is the one.

Perhaps some may say, " But how about the objections you raised in reference to this form of wheel in your letter of April 15th?" This is particularly what I wish to refer to, and I answer, " that they were real defect» in the original form devised by myself, but that only the first and third can possibly apply to the " Phantom."

The one I possess has been in use now for several months, principally by my brother, of 1, Pelhnm-sqnnre, Brighton, and has seen some very rough usage t»o, but the most scrupulous examination fails to detect any flattening at the spokes—of which by the bye there are upwards of 80 in the front wheel. The wheels, if turned round upon their axis (the machine being fixed), appear still beautifully true as at first, and as I am informed they are finished by turning in a lathe, and the rims are made each in one piece, it would be a wonder if they were otherwise. So that my first and third objections aro effectually disposed of in reference to this wheel. My second objection, grounded on the wires being drawn up "taut," does not obtain at all here, these spokes being quite alack, and both more numerous and of mnch thicker wire than the " Spider." In fact it seems almost impossible to fracture them by any blow they are ever likely to be subjected to. They will bend hut not easily break.

And now for my last objection, at once the most serious, and one that was again dug up from its grave by the "Harmonious Blacksmith" last week—the unfitness per $e of wheels made on the suspensory system to act as drivers or crank-wheels.

This, though it may bo considered, and is, a serions defect in very slight wheels with few spokes, like the "Spider," if looked at straight in the face will be seen to be more fanciful than real. Given a who*1! with a stout rim, having a nnmber of springe for spokes, nearly the same principle will be brought into action here us is developed in the case of india-rubber tires. At first sight it would seem, from the way in which they flatten on the road, that they would bo only equivalent to a number of flat surfaces filed upon tho periphery of the wheels, and wonld thus impede their motion. We know this is not so; india-rubber is a highly elastic substance, and that action and reaction are always equal is a law in mechanics, and it must be remembered that precisely so mnch of the force as is swallowed up in flattening tho parts underneath is given ont again as these elastic parts are successively Bet free; in other words, their efforts to recover their original form develop as much force as is required to Hatten them. So also is it in the case of elastic spokes to a nearly rigid tire or rim, the amount of energy at first absorbed in bending them is given out again by them at tho end of the stroke; itis, in fact, only so much force stored up to be utilized when the pressure is about to be removed. I think I am right in my theory, and believe that the "Harmonious Blacksmith " will, npon further consideration, bear me out in this new of the case.

Bat howover this may be, I find by actual experiment, that the crank of my "Phantou " de floe t s but •18 of an inch with the whole weight of the body upon it, and when all the spokes have been loosened to allow of its full effect (I question if any veloce wheel will deflect less than this); nor is this surprising when we consider that to do this no less than thirty-two steel wires, each S-löths thick, have to bo acted upon at once. In short, commend me to tho "Phantom" veloce for case, for speed, and quick obedience to the helm. The sharp curves which this velocipede is capable of making, uní A but a »light movement o/the fork, peculiarly fit it for "professional" gyrations and display. Edmund M. T. Tydkmax.

[Wo havo received about forty other letters on the "Phantom" Veloce, all of which speak highly of the machine.—Ed.]

THE FLUTE—TJNCOUBTEOUS CORRE-
SPONDENCE.

[ÎÏ02J Sib,—I cannot refrain from expressing the regret with which I read the letter of " F. F. C," page 51."», more especially as it emanates from an old man, and one claiming to be a musician. Thero is some

thing touching too, in the mode of its commencement, which, if possible, deepens my regret. Surely less bitterness and prejudice might be justly expected of age. Manyofyonr readers know quite as much about the flute as himself, some of them evidently a great deal more, and the result of their knowledge is far more agreeable both to themselves and others. "He knows all about the abortion," and his conclusion is well worthy of the pre .icate; he vituperates the instrument and sneers at its great professors—maybe, because he was disgusted with his own failure. With all due deference, I would submit to him the singular value of the instrument which could sustain the interest of talented men ander euch heavy disappointment, and eventually reward them for auch thought and labour. But I forget; he writes, " nothing shall convince mo," a blissful state truly : heart or brain can do little nndcr such с ir cum stances. A man with a smaller stock of obstinacy than this might go through life and prove as tough a subject as an inferior beef-steak, and perhaps quite as disagreeable. I am ready to admit that the discussion of the flute may be out of place in your periodical. I am not a young man in years or feelings, and I have been associated with all ages, classes, tastos, dispositions, and capacities; but I oui free and grateful to confess I never " chin chinn'd" with the double of " F. F. C." I leave his attack on "tho flato and flute-playing," to those who deem it worth comment, and tnrn to his uncalled for and unjustifiable remarks in holding up to ridicule a body of gentlemen who aro at least entitled to the same courtesy and consideration as their fellow men. He is guilty of this in the opening of liis letter, and I uin^t say it is unpardonable. He quotes aUo from an imbecile novel to strengthen an undignified position. There is no reproach in being a curat*; all men are, or ought to be curates,— right houourables and right reverends, too, are they in the fullest sense if they be bnt faithful. Neither is there any harm in being mild: mild mon and mild ale are not such despicable company after all, but sour men und sour beer I — well, I hand them over to those who like them. If "F. F. C." cannot adorn the pages of the English Mechanic he can at least refrain from gibbeting himself in tu em. A Clebgybun.

ARROWROOT.

[808] Sin,—May I ask Mr. G. Davis if ho obtained the arrowroot of which he gives us a plate (No. Ш>, p. 193) from tho Maranta itself, as it diners from what I have hitherto taken for the Maranta starch? 1 drew my information from the examination of two plates in two different works; both professedly representing the appearance of true arrowroot nnder the microscope. Now the specimens of sturch sold as arrowroot, which I have examined, contained two kinds of grain; ono I knew to be potato-starch, having obtained the same from the potato myself, tho other presented thu some appearance as that represented in tho above mentioned plates. Potato-starch is said to be ono of the chief adulterations of arrowroot. For those reasons, I felt justified in regarding it, as tho true Maranta arrowroot. All the other kinds of starch mentioned in my articlo (No. 48, p. 895) I obtained from the plants producing them*. 1 havo not been able to obtain u piece of tho arrowroot plant itself as yet. All are liable to mistakes, from over confidence or otherwise, and if it has fallen to my lot I should like to know it. May I suggest that plates of magnified objects would be of very much greater utility if the real size of the object, or the magnifying power employed, and the circumstances under which viewed, were named? J. C.

INDUCTION COIL. [304] Sir,—For medical purposes I find the primary carrent from the ordinary "medical coil " generally superior to the intenso current from the secondary wire of an induction coil, and wishing to construct a medical coil, which shall bo capable, if possible, of giving intensity effects, I shall be obliged if "Sigma" will answer the following questions: Can a Rhu шк or ft induction coil be asedfor medical purposes, by opening the secondary wire, and working from the primary? in other words, is an induction coil with secondary wiro disconnected, equal in every respect to a simple primary single coil machine, baring tho samo size core and same length and size of wire? Does the tension induced in the open secondary wiro leave the primary less strong in consequence? Will the effect on the core be increased by building up the primary coil, in tho form suggested by "Sigma " in letter 256 (p. 522)? Would there bo any advantage in making the primar}- coil conform to an cllipioid (or whatever figure the magnetic lines of tho coro describe ), and then the secondary coil to a similar figure of less execntrieity (which would

Srobably be the shape of the curves of the primary innction force)? W. H. Coffin.

HOW LL.D.'s AND Ph.D.'s ARE MADE.

[805] Sib,—I noticed some timo ago an inquiry as to hov*» degrees in art, ic, were got. I enclose yon copy of a circular received by a friend of mine, and which gives all the information needed. It is to be regretted that there arc some people so destitute of honour as to become mediums, whereby these degrees may be bought, and that tho officials of some of these institutions second their efforts, no doubt for pecuniary motivos, instead of allowing them to be earned honestly. And this, no doubt, accounts for the fact that many men, who have gained those degrees by their own individual efforts in the fields of science or art, aro so disgusted with this pettifoggery м to have

[graphic]

Ash-box: For Locomotives.

discarded them—preferring to remain a plain Mr., than to bo associated with a class, some of the members oE which have no more right to he comprised in it than "Editors of catch-penny newspapers" mentioned below.

Titania.

"Degrees.—M.A., Ph. D.,4c.—in absentia or preuentia —Qualified Gentlemen desirons of proceeding to degrees in arts, law, theology, medicine, &c., receive official instruction and advice by writing to

"N.B. These degrees and diplomas are guaranteed bona fide. Only the applications of authors and other decidedly qualified candidates will bo replied to. Unqualified men, bnsybodies, and 'Editors of catchpenny newspapers,' need not trouble themselves to write, and their personal applications will not be attended to."

P.S.—I can give the address of this medium if "Ambitious One " would like it.

ASH-BOX FOR LOCOMOTIVES.

[306] S»,—I beg to send you a eketch of an ash-box for locomotives, which I think has some improvements upon the method in general use.

Fig. 1, is a part of ash-box with a portion of side removed но as to show the shutter C. A is a connecting rod for moving arms F, as shown in Fig. -2. В is a double arm, one end being attached to the rod A, and the other to the rod D. С is one of the shutters which -compose the bottom of ash-box as shown in Fig. 2. E is a piece of bottom for shutters to butt against when closed. F is the arm which connects the rod A with the shutter C. A', B',C\ &c., &c, show arms connecting rod, shutters, Ac., when opened.

At the end of a locomotive engine's work, when the fire has to be put out, instead of dropping the fire into the ash-box, and then raking it out as is now done, it can be dropped right out on to the ground without any extra work, and in case of an accident the fire can be got rid of altogether, and so cool the fire-box sooner thau if only dropped into the ash-box. Ash-box.

SHORTHAND.

, in the most sound in the Mr. Pitman

[807] Sir,—No system is phonetic strict sense of the word, unless every language has a separate character, clearly points out the difference of the sounds, but as some of them are very similar a separate character is not required for each; for it is practically found that the legibility is not in any way injured by using one character for two similar rounds, such as /and v,»h and «A, Ac. One of the advantages claimed for Pitman's system is that should the thick and thin characters be carelessly or accidentally misplaced no mistake can possibly occur; this cannot bo claimed for the letters r and ir, n and ng, 1 and J/, which have the same characters thin and thick respectively. In Lewis's system, where no two characters are similar, misplacement of them is impossible. As no mistake can occur from the misplacement of such characters as / and e, why not have one character for both these letters? The number oí characters is thus reduced, and the system ai once becomes simpler. "\V." is altogether wrong in saying the Lewisian system is only as much phonetic as our

It is obviously most natural for even* shorthand writer
to omit all useless letters, the object of his art being to
combine brevity with celerity. As I said before, I quite
agree with all "W.'s" remarks on phonography; I
should never think of comparing a merely stenographical
system for clearness and rapidity with a phonographic*!
one. The letters ng, as in wrong, running, Ac., can
never occur without a preceding vowel, so that all such
words may be written either in the ordinary way or by
using tho* termination ang, ing, ong, ung, as the case
mav be.

The sound of most of the diphthongs may be accu-
rately represented by the vowels; the characters of
the latter may therefore often be used for the former;
for the three,* au, oi, on, which cannot be so repre-
sented, a short vertical stroke may be used. Such words
as people and leopard should, in the Lewisian system,
be written witk an r, as sounded, instead of with the
diphthong со; words like р1гаян re and breathcannot be
misread by using the character for дА or that for s and z
in the former word, although neither is the exact sound,
and the single character for th in the latter. No mistake
could possibly he made by transposing Pitman's diph-
thong characters in such words as sound and journey.
With the least ordinary care in writing, Lewis's vowels
can neither be misplaced normistaken, because as each
vowel has a distinct character all that is necessary is to
write them as near their proper position as convenient,
on either side of the consonant—that is, they must
only be written in the чате order as in longhand: thus
no guessing is required, for the order in which they
are to be read is as plain as that in which they are to
be written, although their exact position is quite im-
material, nor is it of any consequence whether they be
thin or thick. I have never heard any one complain of
the system being illegible, nor have I found any diffi-
culty in reading it. I cannot admit Mr. Clarke's asser-
tionthat the freedom of position of the vowels in this
system isa " very prominent defect ;" I look upon it
as a very great advantage. Mr. Clarke states that, by
my " own admission," I have no means of ascertaining
whether a vowel in Lewis's system should be read
before or after a consonant, because I wrote that in
that system "it is not of the least consequence on
which side of the consonant a vowel is placed," Ac. I
admit nothing of the hind; the position of the vowels
in Lewis's system being the same with respect to the
consonants as in longhand, there can be no difficulty in
reading them rightly. In the word endear, for example,
the first vnwel is placed near the commencement of the
letter n, the second and third near the junction of the
d and the r; these letters form a very acute angle, so
that the vowels are placed outside the angle, it being
immaterial an which side of the consonants they are
written; it is almost impossible to make a mistake. It
!ms been stated more than once that Pitman has only
I three positions for his vowels, but these three positions
are on each side of the line; thus thero are six posi-
I tions when compared with Lewis's system, in which the
I vowels may be written on either side of the line. Mr.
I Moseley acknowledges this. This system admits of the
l omission of as many vowel« as any other, since the
1 method of representing them does not in any way affect
this feature.

The fact of the majority of Pitman's prefixes and
affixes being disjoined from the word necessitates the

as it is absolutely necessary, when writing, to lift the pen tic ice to form it, and utterly impossible to join itto any other character, three or four letters can be written in the time occupied upon it; this was clearly stated in my last letter. Lewis's character for h is the same аз Pitman's second for y, in a horizontal position; it is always joined to other characters, and can never be mistaken. It appears to me that Pitman's other characters for h might be mistaken for combinations of H with eh and r. I am not so foolish аз to believe or imply that any of Pitman's characters are absnrd or useless because Lewis has none similar. I quoted from Pitman's Eleventh Edition because it is the latest I have, aud am not aware what is the lost, or what alterations have since been made in the system; I was not aware that Pitman had so many gramma,logues, or I should not have stated what I did. Has be auything corresponding to Lewis's figures? These are extremely useful in private notes and in very quick writing; it is really impossible to take down a great many dimensions, dates, or statistics of any kind in the ordinary figures when read rapidly. I have been many tried several times, aud have myself often tried it, but never knew any one to keep up with the speaker. Mr. Moseley's statement shows he has never tried to take down figures from a rapid speaker for several minutes at a stretch; he would not have been able to keep pace with him. Lewis's figures are parts of the ordinary figures. It is obviously shorter and easier ta write parts of the latter than the whole of them, and the power of joining them is an immense advantage.

A large number of persons learn shorthand without having any intention of becoming reporters. They are not, therefore, very careful to discover the best system, but naturally obtain Pitman's, it being so well known and cheap—Lewis's is neither.

Mr. Moseley states that by merely altering in thickness a mark of any size and shape, it becomes a new character. Evidently one character cannot be made another by being varied in thickness; the character representing any letter must remain the same whatever be its thickness, although it may be used to represent another letter when altered in thickness; besides, thicknesses are but comparative. The thick character of one writer is the thin oue of another, so that, according to Mr. Moseley, every different thickness of a mark forms a new character; therefore, an immense number of different characters must be in use amongst various writers. I notice that Mr. Clarke states he by no means admits the eleventh edition of *'Pitman's Phonography" to be in any respect inferior to Lewis's system, and at the end of his letter he acenses me oí passing an authoritative opinion on Pitman's system, without having learned it. His accusation is groundless, for I used to write Pitman's, and made use oí it, but have changed it for Lewis's to my advantage; whereas Mr. Clarke knows nothing of Lewis's system, and yet expresses on authoritative opinion on it. Rather inconsistent. Had he known Lewis's, of course he would have accepted the challenge in my last letter, and have floored me at once if he could. Unfortunately none of your correspondents know the Lewisian system, so that, admitting for argument's sake everything claimed for Pitman's, not one can say Lewis's is not superior. Among your six defenders of Pitman every advantage—real and imaginary—of his system is well advocated; Lewis has not this good fortune; it is probable I have not stated oil the salient points of his system. That it has been found necessary to so often alter and improve Pitman's system is complained of by шалу writers of it os a great nuisance. The existence of this necessity is a clear proof that the system was brought before the public loug before it was perfected; whereas the present edition—the ninety-seventh—of Lewis's is the same as the twentieth of thirty years ago, this system having been matured before being published. " In this edition are to be found the rules for joining many words together, which rules Pitman now has, having adopted them, I havo been told, since that time. I am not aware whether Lewis's twentieth edition differs in any way from those preceding.

The chief objects of shorthand are speed, brevity, and legibility; by using as few characters as clearness requires, and their thickness being immaterial, the speed is increased, and the memory less taxed. Lewis's combines these essentials in the most complete

manner.

The final sentence of "Mac D.'s " letter doubtless expresses our common sentiment.

Fkank \V. GarjiBsoy.

ABC" alphabet, and ño moro, for although Mr. lifting of the pen from the paper.au evident loss of

Lewis writes of his system as one of stenography—as, of course, all systems of shorthand are, whether phonetic or not—yet one of the first principles impressed by him on a learner is never to write an unnecessary or mute letter, but always to write a word as sounded, not as spelled. This is why I called his system one of phonography, or phonetic, which words mean "according to sound," so that I used them in their ordinary sense.

time, which, in the ease of the affixes, is avoided by
Lewis without loss of clearness. The difference of
sound between many of the affixes and prefixes re-
spectively is so slight that no mistake can arise from
using the same sign for more than one, so that Lewis's
signs can safely be used for many more than thirty-
nine. Everyone must admit that by iuelf no character
can occupy less time in being formed than a dot, but

DYEING, Etc. [308] Sir,—Manv of us are obliged to you for the article " On the Use of Phosphates in Dyeing." These articles I am sure are much prized by those connected with calico printing, aud when yoa consider that 100,000 mechanics tin the strict sense of the word) ore engaged in this branch of industry in Great Britain, 1 only hope that I may have the pleasure of seeing more of them in your valuable journal; and, since the collapse of the lirittih and Foreign Mechanic, we have only you to look to as the exponent in our branch of industry. Anything new in dyeing, colour-making, or chemical discoveries, will be hailed by a now pretty large section of your readers. And as the French surpass us so much in tliis particular line, I trust you will give us your assistance, and put us on a par with other nations*. Would one of your readers explain what is meant by an acid solution of phosphate of lime (i.e.. what acid)? Also, can you give the degrees in Twaddle's hydrometer equal to 50J Baume. I can get the degrees of Fahr, equal to the centigrade thermometer easily, but cannot fall on what Baamc's proportion bears to Twaddle's hydrometer.

Auix. S. Yocso.

[graphic]

LULL'S IMPBOVED FRICTION CLUTCI

LULL'S IMPROVED FRICTION CLUTCH.
809] Sir,—The convenience and freedom from
ck in the use of friction clutches have rendered
vn almost essential to many kinds of machinery.
,ny devices of this kind have, however, proved un-
is'foctory in use, as they were likely to get out of
ler, had in sumo instances no provision for taking
the inevitable wear, and otherwise proved trouble-
ne to manage. I send you from the Scientific
erican a perspective view, with portions broken away
show details of construction, of a new clutch,
ently patented by Orrin Lull, of Rochester, New
rk, U.S.

a is the shaft, andB a pulley arranged to revolve on
it independently of the shaft when not clutched.
2 is an annular disc, or ring, attached to the inside
the rim of the pulley by screws, or in any other
desirable manner. D is an interior disc, and E an
ter annular disc or ring. The disc, D, is made to
preach and gripe the fast ring or disc, C, and there-
produce the required friction.

The friction discs D and E, are connected with the
ic F, by the link system, F being keyed to the shaft,
le triangular plates, G, are attached to F by sorewB,
d these plates have also adjusting screws, H, which
ke up the wear of the friction discs.
The hub, I, revolves with the shaft, and is made
slide thereon bv the forked lever, J. This lever
s its fulcrum at K, and is connected with the hub
a band, L, fitting the groove in I. The band L is
ide like an excentric band, in two parts, and has
gs with which the lever, J, engages.
The inner friction disc.D, is connected with the sliding
ib through links, M and N, the links, M, being bent,
shown; M being pivoted to D, and N to the hub,
id the two being pivoted together at 0. The outer
iction disc, F, is connected with the links, M, by the
nks, P, pivoted at both ends. The links, P, are placed
i an angle with the links, M, so that when the outer
ids of the latter are moved away from the shaft, the
Be, D, is pressed against the ring, C, drawing it and
le pulley, B, against the friction-disc, E, producing
iction npon both sides of C, and thus clutching the
alley to which C is fixed. A collar, Q, is pulled back
y the bolt, R, which connects it with the disc, D,
henever the pulley is released from the action of
le friction discs, and draws the pulley away from
ae disc, E, so that it revolves without friction, or
remains at rest, as the case may be.
The principle of the toggle-joint is embodied in the
'system of links, so that great purchase is obtained,
d the motion of tho lever necessary to clutch or re-
raise the pulley is very slight. Wil. K. Hirbet.

0 WHAT HEIGHT MAY CLOUDS OR EXHALA
TIONS ASCEND 1
[310] Sib,— In reply to a correspondent, about
to subject of the "Exhalations of Air," I may re-
Lark to him, having the same books — those of
haw's Boyle,—that the author endeavours by ex-
arguments to prove that such occurrences are only pro-
need by reflection, and in some meagre way by re-
action. Let" S, . . r " consult Vol. I., p. 127, and also
ol. I., p. 678. Let him also refer to the index at the
id of Vol Ill., and refer to the subject of air, Ac.

A Manxman.

FREE REED ORGANS v. HARMONIUMS.

[311] Sib,—I trust you will be able to find me space for a few remarks on the letter of Mr. Enstaco [inton Jones (No. 230), which appeared under the bove heading, August 19th. It appears to me that [r. Jones has come to his conclusions on this subject either too hastily, led away (no doubt) by the nndenible Sweetness of tone and advantages (for certain purposes) of Messrs. Mason & Hamlin's organs.

Now it is a fact, not perhaps generally known, but no less a fact, that the harmonium is, with hardly an exception, the most difficult instrument to play well now extant. I do not of course refer to the violin and instruments of that class, which belong to quite a different branch of the science, but to instruments of its own species, viz., the organ, seruphine, ic. No instrument, perhaps, of any class requires so much management to display it to advantage as the harmonium. But this difficulty once overcome, the firstclass harmonium affords to the musician an almost endless field of beauty and variety. That this is the case will not be denied by any one who has heard a decent harmonium really well played.

I will proceed to take Mr. Jonos's objections«riatim. In the first place Mr. Jones says, " the tone is of the reed, utterly and irretrievably reedy." This doubtless is the chief objection to the harmonium, but there is the greatest difference in this respect between one harmonium and another, and even in instruments by the same maker the quality of tone varies very perceptiblv. In this point even the player has much in his power; for example, in a 13-stop Alexandre the use of the two 10ft. tone stops (the clarinette in the treble, and the bourdon in the bass) played an octave higher than the music is written, will give a very agreeable diapason tone, which will render a return to the more reedy stops an agreeable variety rather than not. Endless are the pleasing changes thus to be extracted from even the 13-stop Alexandre.

Mr. Jones's next objection, viz., that the bass overpowers the treble, is an unfair one. It only applies to the six-guinea harmonium, and even then by a judicious use of the upper octaves, and by carefully studying how to keep the bass subordinate to the other parts, great perfection of playing may be arrived at. And on the large harmonium the division of the stops into treble and bass renders it entirely the player's own fault if he suffers his right hand to be overpowered by his left. It is the almost invariable habit of the majority of lady players and inferior performers on the harmonium to "take the bass in octaves with the left hand, and let the right hand play or slur over the other parts as best it may. It is this which throws the bass into such prominence, as the lower notes on the manual of a six-guinea harmonium are very powerful— on many instruments, indeed, inordinately so.

Mr. Jones says that the sluggish intonation of the harmonium renders it useful for only the slowest of music. This is certainly not the case, as I have not only heard performed on it the most brilliant accompaniments to operatic airs in public, but have also myself accompanied many of the airs and recitatives in the "Creation," most of which are very brilliant indeed. I have also witnessed a very creditable professional performance of "Faust," in which some of the most brilliant passages were beautifully executed on an ordinary 24-stop harmonium. This will, I hope, convince Mr. Jones that he has condemned the harmonium too hastily. He next says that the harmoninm, though better for a church than the discordant instruments it often displaced, is still very bad, both from the impossibility of distinguishing the air, and the impurity of the tone, which causes it to cut through the voices, and drown them with its buzz instead of supporting them. Mr. Jones must really not be angry if I ask him, after this sweeping condemnation, whether he has ever heard any one play the harmonium besides the village schoolmaster, or some fourth-rate lady organist. I can tell Mr. Jones, from my own experience, both as a vocalist and an organist, that the ordinary 13-stop Alexandre, decently played, makes a most pleasing and efficient accompaniment for the most delicate solo voice. This is not merely my own opinion unsupported by the evidence and experience of others; and as an example of my meaning I will mention a circumstance which not long ago came under my own notice. A new church having been built in the town near which I at present reside, a lS-stop Alexandre

was hired for such time as should elapse before an organ could be procured. A young man, pupil-teacher in the school of that parish, used to play upon it. The music was not liked ; the choir were drowned. " But," said the friends of the musical genius (for such he was widely considered), "what can the poor fellow do with a wretched instrument like that? Wait till we get an organ." Well, on organ was procured, and the harmonium went back to the shop from whence it came. Shortly afterwords the professional organist of the parish church in the town gave Handel's "Judas Maccabeus, " with the accompaniment of the harmonium and piano. He accompanied all the solos himself on the harmonium. When the concert was over, all present, among whom were many excellent judges, were unanimous in admiring the beautiful quality of the harmonium upon which the conductor had placed. Imagine their astonishment on learning that it was the identical instrument which they had so often condemned at the new church, and that it had not been tuned or otherwise altered since its removal thence I

Now I wish it to be understood that although I thus stand up for the harmonium, I am clearly alive to the beauties of the Hamlin organ. To a person for whom the mastery of the expression stop has proved too much the American organ will indeed be a boon. But for many purposes, such as the performance of the accompaniments of operas or oratorios, where the societies by which they are performed cannot afford a full band, the Hamlin organ will, never, in its present form, supplant the harmonium, for none but the largest of the i. inner have sufficient power for chorus accompaniments.

Finally, as for the £100 Hamlin organ being equal to £300 pipe-organ and superior to anything smaller, I must say that that also is not true as a general affirmation. I will not deny that most small pipe-organa arc bad and weak, but there are others not so. Forster & Andrews, of Hull, build an organ from £100 to £120 which contains the dulciann, gamba, flute, principal, open diapason, and fifteenth, pedal pipes (t»ft. stopped bourdon, 10ft. tone) and pedal coupler, enclosed in a swell, which is equal in point of quality and tone to any large organ I have ever met with. The stops are all voiced on equal scale with those of the same name in a large organ. This organ is superior to any Hamlin organ now in existence.

Finally, if a person has thoroughly mastered the expression stop of the large harmonium, and is tolerably skilful at combining the stops, he will go back to the harmonium for certain purposes, even after having tried a Hamlin organ. For drawing-room and church purposes, where ladies are concerned, the latter is a charming instrument; but the feeling and expression to be extracted from a good harmonium by a good player, by a skilful use of the expression stop, would astonish many, and I fancy among the rest Mr. Eustace Hinton Jones. .

Everything has its use, and the harmonium and the American organ have each their own special office to perform We may be quite awake to excellences of the one without depreciating the other and condemning it as useless. B-H- na8h

GAS. [312] Sib,—If "C. D. C." had given information simply as to the means of cheapening gas, I should either have said nothing or applauded him, even if I found reason to criticise his remarks; but when he took ap a foolish cry and imputed dishonesty, I, as knowing the truth, felt bound to protest. It is, however quite out of my wish to maintain a discussion in any form of recrimination, or to say anything with auv other view than giving sound information. Thus I may point out that the supposed discrepancy indicated by "C. D. C." (p. 452), is only apparent. In tho process of condensation certain light-giving elements contained in the gas as it leaves the retorts are removed, yet it is quite true also, as I said, that the luminous value is not affected, because, as I pointed out before, when leaving the retorts the gas is of no use as a light-giving agent; to make it practically available the theoretical loss is necessary; but the real point, and that which alone made me intervene, was the unfounded suggestion that this removal, instead of an absolute necessity of the manufacture, was a dishonest and wilful lowering of the value of the gas.

The gas referees have recently published a report discussing these subjects, in which they state exactly what I did—viz., that the required purification involved of necessity a reduction in luminous power. If the other chemists who differ from me as C. D. 0. says on this point, will only prove what they say, their fortune if assured, for "C. D. C." is only just to the companies in admitting their eagerness to adopt any improvement; the addition, as to its being in their own interest and not in that of consumers, is merely one of those jaundiced views common among those who see only public enemies in the companies.

In the name of common sense, what is to bo expected? Are we to look for self-sacrifice in commerce, or ere we not to admit at once, as intelligent men, that the first object of the companies, as of every merchant and every tradesman, is their profit or dividend 1 The real point is, do they seek to gain it as wise tradesmen, knowing that honesty is the best policy, and that what benefits their customers is to their interest; or do they seek it in the spirit of tho adulterating grocer who sands his sugar, 4c.? A bargain was specially made by Act of Parliament, and if the companies do fulfil the conditions it is nonsense to complain of them; if they do not, prove it, and the penalty is provided. Now" the companies are justified even by the worst case put forth: they have to give according to the

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