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-and after placing this packet in my hands, was about to make some disclosure; but she died before she could make it.'
'Poor thing!' said the Countess, with some feeling. I am glad to hear this; for, bad as she was, she was not so bad as that other horrid creature; indeed, I don't think she would have been bad at all, if it had not been for her.-Are those the letters?' she asked, pointing to the packet I still held in my hand.
'Yes,' I replied. 'Would you like to take them
home and read them?'
She accepted the offer eagerly; and I gave her the packet of letters, but cautioning her, whatever she did, not to let them go out of her possession, and stipulating that when she had read them, she would return them to me. This promise she gave me, and I dismissed her. The case had assumed an entirely new aspect, and I wanted time for consideration.
The great Mortlake Peerage Case, as the newspapers called it, was set down for hearing. All the leading members of the bar were engaged on one side or the other. The witnesses from Knutsfield and Ramsgate were waiting to be summoned, and it was expected that in a few days the trial would be commenced. The public were greatly excited with regard to its probable termination, and popular feeling ran very high. There were partisans of both sides, and each argued vigorously for his own point of view. At first, public opinion was rather against than in favour of my protégé; but the appearance of the Countess, with her son, in deep mourning, excited great sympathy. In short, no sooner did the lady appear upon the scene, than the current of public opinion, which at one time was strongly in favour of the new claimant Mr Stanhope, turned, and was now running as vigorously in the opposite direction. The extreme beauty of the Countess, her great wealth, and the romantic story of her marriage, had great influence with the British public. It was very satisfactory to have the public with me; but those good people, who were very much inclined to make a hero of the young Earl, were not the people who had to decide the case; their opinion would have no influence with either judge or jury. Still, though things looked in a very satisfactory state, and while it was gratifying to me that the truth was beginning to make itself felt, I must confess that it was an anxious time with me. The opposition story was not without point and cogency. They did not charge me or the Countess with an attempt at fraud; they merely said that we had been imposed upon by people more clever than ourselves, who had made us their dupes. They further said that the plot was not of recent origin, but had been conceived many years since; that my protégé was not the son of the Earl and Countess of Mortlake, but the offspring of a Sandgate fisherman. It will be easily seen that there was room for these suggestions, and that in the hands of clever counsel much might be made
Matters were in this state, when suddenly, without any warning, the whole case collapsed burst like a bubble. There was no trial, no
verdict. The woman Onslow and her husband suddenly disappeared from the scene. What brought about this extraordinary state of things was a letter from the Earl of Mortlake, dated from New York, to say that he was alive and well!
From his letter, it appeared that, after crossing the Rocky Mountains, he made his way to the valley of the Rio Puerco, a splendid country, lying between two ridges of the Sierra de los Comanches. It was a spot which was rarely visited by Europeans, and was inhabited by a savage tribe of Indians called the Comanches. For some time he eluded their vigilance; but ultimately he was taken prisoner, and remained in captivity more than a year. Eventually he escaped, reached New York, and finally landed at Liverpool, where I met him and explained everything. We proceeded to London. Lady Mortlake sat in the drawing-room with her son, anxiously waiting our arrival. As soon as she saw her husband, she uttered a cry of joy, and sprang forward to meet him, the whole pure unrestrained joy of her heart beaming upon her face-a face always lovely, but now, in the maturity of her beauty, more lovely than ever.
'My wife!' said the Earl, as he returned her embrace, my own dearest wife-long divided, but ever loved! I thank God we meet again, never to separate till death us do part.'
Amen! I responded reverently.
And this is our boy?' he continued, as he kissed the youth, and folded him in his arms.'And now,' he said, 'let us thank our good and generous friend to whom we owe all this happiness.'
'No, no!' I cried; 'I want no thanks. I have only done my duty.'
True! and if we all did that, the world would be a paradise.'
My story is ended. The trials and sufferings through which these two had passed were not without their effect, but happily it was a beneficial one. The Countess, whose heart had hitherto known only endurance, was now filled with an exuberance of joy. She found in her son and husband a vent for all the deep and passionate longings of her soul.
As for the Earl, sorrow, anxiety, and privation had not altered his generous nature or daunted his fine spirit, though it had made him more grave and thoughtful than of yore; but that did not render him less amiable in the eyes of her who, through all the vicissitudes of her eventful life, had ever been faithful and true.
Let us now leave them as they sat, with hand clasped in hand, happy once more in each other's love.
SIMPLE FACTS CONCERNING WATER. BY AN ANALYST.
AN elementary body is a substance out of which it is impossible to take, by any known means, two dissimilar substances. At one ime, water was considered to be an elementary body. In the scientific light of the present time, we know this to have been a mistake. At the time referred to, it was believed that there existed only four elements-namely, earth, air, fire, and water; now we have discovered more than sixty
elementary bodies, whose names may be found in any chemistry text-book. Water abounds everywhere. It is seen in its most sublime and majestic form in the sea; the atmosphere is full of it, as the result of evaporation; it is also the chief constituent of the human body. In its vapoury form it bathes the crest of the mountain; and forming in the valley as dew, it is to be seen condensed on the blades of grass like diamonds in the morning sunshine. If our sage and well-intentioned forefathers were wrong in asserting that water is an elementary body, what, then, is it?
Many men with unmistakable claims to intelligence need not be ashamed to admit that they are not aware that water-a substance that can be both seen and felt-is produced by the union of two invisible gases; yet such is the case. To the student versed in chemical science, the evolving, apparently out of nothing at all, of tangible substances is a result he quite looks for. The two invisible gases of which water is composed are hydrogen and oxygen. This scientific truth ought to be known to everybody. When metallic bodies combine with oxygen, they are said to rust. For example, metallic iron, when it combines with oxygen, as the result of exposure in air or water-which both contain free oxygen gas-quickly loses its fine grayishwhite metallic lustre, and becomes reddish brown. It has rusted; it has combined with the oxygen gas; and so much of the iron is no longer in the state of simple or 'elementary' iron, but has become an oxide of iron-that is, a 'compound' of iron and oxygen.
With the aid of an electric spark, hydrogen, when brought in contact with oxygen, at once fraternises with it, in a noisy and demonstrative manner the two entering into a most friendly attachment, which is not easily severed; and the result of this union is water. So that every time we drink a glass of water, our stomachs become the recipients of a glass of oxidised hydrogen. There is a law in nature regarding the chemical union of matter, solid, liquid, or gaseous, of a very wonderful kind, which is, that all bodies on entering into chemical combination with one another, no matter in what form they may meet or in what quantity, do so in a certain unvarying proportion, and none other; and this is known as the law of the union of atoms. The great expounder of this theory was Dalton. But how can it be established that water is not an elementary body? In this manner: If a voltaic current be transmitted through it, and the gases at the positive and negative poles be collected in jars, and examined, the former will be found to consist of oxygen, and the latter of hydrogen; or if a red-hot piece of platinum is plunged into it, water at once undergoes decomposition; and if the proper means be taken to collect the vapours arising from this treatment, they will be found, on chemical examination, to be no longer water, but to consist of two gases-namely, hydrogen and oxygen; and thus it is known that water is not an elementary but a compound body. A similar decomposition can be effected by placing a bar of red-hot iron in water, with this difference, that the hydrogen only is set free, the oxygen combining with the iron to form a complicated
Hydrogen-the lightest fluid known-expressed as one, is the standard by which the atomic weights of all the other elements are compared. Now, taking hydrogen as one, oxygen is sixteen, being this number of times heavier. Two volumes of hydrogen require one of oxygen to form water; but one volume of oxygen, as has been stated, is sixteen times heavier than one volume of hydrogen; therefore, two parts by weight of hydrogen and sixteen parts by weight of oxygen, correctly represent the quantities in which these two elements combine to form the liquid called water.
The general law of bodies, solids, liquids, or gases, is to expand when heated. Now, water positively refuses to do anything of the kind between certain ranges of temperature. range begins at the freezing-point, thirty-two degrees, and terminates at thirty-nine degrees. Between these points there is an increase of seven degrees of heat; but water, instead of following the general law of expansion, turns right about, and contracts, thus becoming denser and consequently heavier. When the river begins to freeze, it does not begin at the bottom, in obedience to this very law. The water on the surface of the river, as the frost approaches, gradually gets cooler and cooler, and as it does so it sinks, in consequence of its increased density, to the bottom; and the warmer water therefrom naturally rises to the surface, and in its turn also gets cooled. This upward and downward movement continues until the whole of the river is reduced to thirty-nine degrees. But observe what takes place now. The water at this point is in its densest state. When it becomes one degree colder that is, thirty-eight degrees-it becomes lighter, and of course it can no longer sink; and there it remains until it is cooled down to thirty-two degrees-the freezing-point-when a film of ice begins to form on its surface, which of necessity floats.
There are many other curious things that might be said of water, such as its incompressibility, upon which remarkable property depends the power and useful application of our hydraulics; its sudden expansion on becoming ice, bursting not only our water-pipes, but splitting up and disintegrating our rocks and mountains as well; and various other remarkable qualities which space will not permit of being dealt with.
The uses of water are countless. Suppose we look at it for a moment as regards its domestic application. You often hear of water for household purposes being called 'hard' and 'soft.' The reason why some waters, especially spring-water, are 'hard' is owing to the mineral matters dissolved in them. Rain-water is never 'hard,' because it is nearly free of solid matter. The reason you had such an uncomfortable wash and shave this morning at your friend's house, was owing to the water being largely charged with lime and magnesia. When the soap is rubbed between the palms in water of this description, the stearic acid in the oil of the soap combines with the lime and magnesia, and forms compounds which the water cannot dissolve; and hence the provoking curdiness you observed. For the lather to be a perfect one, complete solution of the constituents of the
would be the case. But some waters are per- of pipes, air-pumps, diving-dresses, and cummanently hard, whilst some are only tempo- brous helmets, which have until recently been rarily so. Permanent hardness is caused when necessary to the preservation of a man out of the water is charged with sulphate of lime and his natural element. Mr Fleuss's method of magnesia; and temporary hardness by carbonates of lime and magnesia. Pure water dissolves the diving without these impedimenta was also shown; sulphates, but not the carbonates. Then how do and judging by the crowds which flocked round the carbonates come to be in the water at all? when the new system was being demonstrated, The reason is this. All natural waters, but we may surmise that the general public take especially spring and well water, contain more an interest in this new phase of the art of diving. or less free carbonic acid gas in a state of It will be remembered that Mr Fleuss has adapted absorption, and when thus charged, are capable a modified form of his diving system to an appaof dissolving the carbonates; but whenever this ratus which will enable a man to enter into gases gas is expelled from the water, say by boiling it, the carbonates are at once deposited; and this or irrespirable atmospheres without suffering the least risk. That this invention is no mere illaccounts for the incrustation in the kettle; and when this takes place, the water becomes quite conceived toy, which may from its intricate soft. The boiling does not affect the sulphates to nature break down when wanted for use, may any degree in this way in water that is perma- be judged from the valuable aid it rendered nently hard.' Temporarily hard water can be lately on the occasion of an accident at Killingmade soft by more means than boiling alone. If worth Colliery, near Newcastle. One of the a tubful of it at night be stirred up with a little shafts was under repair, when, without warning, 'slaked' lime and allowed to settle, in the morna quantity of timber-work gave way and fell ing there will be a white deposit at the bottom of the tub, and the water will be found to be down the shaft, at once stopping communicaquite soft; because the lime added will com- tion with the outer world. Unfortunately, the bine with the free carbonic acid gas in the water, ventilation of the mine was also stopped, with and the whole of the carbonates will become the result that foul air soon began to collect. deposited, in virtue of their insolubility in water Eleven poor fellows were confined in this dangerwithout this gas. ous atmosphere for eighteen hours, after which time, rescuers, equipped with the Fleuss apparatus, arrived upon the scene of operations. In a very short time the suffering miners were restored to their friends, saved from a most terrible fate. In order to show how near all of them were to death, it may be mentioned that one of them subsequently succumbed.
For drinking purposes, rain-water, after being passed through a charcoal filter, to remove the organic matter it contains, is the most wholesome for adults. The general objection is its tastelessA pinch of salt will remedy this. For the young, however, solid matter in the water, of the right kind, such as lime and magnesia, is good, as these go to build up the bony structures of the child.
THE Naval and Submarine Exhibition, recently
Exhibitions have become so common all the world over since the wonderful success attained by the great show at Hyde Park in 1851, that it seems curious that their popularity has not yet waned. But in case there should be any danger of such a thing, a new kind of Exhibition of its novelty, no apprehensions of public apathy has been organised, about which, if only because need be felt. According to the Colonies and India the startling scheme of an Exhibition which will newspaper, Messrs Fry & Co. have announced float from one port to another. A magnificent vessel has been chartered for this purpose, and after being stocked with the produce of different countries, will, early in June, commence a tour of the world of commerce. This way of taking Mohammed to go to the mountain, is certainly the mountain to Mohammed, instead of asking good one, and so likely to be beneficial both to a new departure in trade. The idea is such a this country and our colonies, that we most cordially wish it the success which its ingenious
THE MONTH: SCIENCE AND ARTS.
feet below the surface. By this means the heaviest ship afloat can be wounded in its most vital part by a submarine shell charged with three hundred and fifty pounds of gun-cotton. The new boat is named Destroyer. It is one hundred and thirty feet long, carries a crew of twelve men, will move at a speed of seventeen knots per hour, and is the invention of Captain Ericsson.
The 'cuteness of the American mind is more pleasantly shown in the manner in which iron sheets are now exported from this country for use in the United States. An American Company at Wolverhampton has lately imported shaping and cutting machinery for making coal-shovels, vases, pails, &c., so that when cut and shaped, the iron can be sent across the Atlantic. The object | of this is to save the heavy duty upon those parts of the iron sheets-the scrap—which not actually required in making the articles. The much lower price of the iron on this side of the water, coupled with the saving of the duty in the manner described, makes this enterprise a profitable one. And when we mention that twenty-five tons of iron sheet are utilised in this work at Wolverhampton every week, it will be seen that the scheme must give employment to
An interesting pamphlet has been issued by the County of Cork Agricultural Society detailing some experiments on Potato Culture made at the Munster Farm in 1881. These experiments were made with a view to test the productiveness of different varieties of potato-growing under exactly the same conditions, to note their capabilities to resist disease, and lastly to try the merits of different kinds of manures. The variety chosen for the manure experiments was that known as the 'Champion,' and the date of planting was April 12, 1881. The results were as follows: With no manure, the yield per acre amounted to five tons sixteen hundredweight. When an addition per acre was made of two hundredweight of bone and mineral superphosphate, the yield increased by one ton. With four hundredweight of bone-meal to the acre, the yield recorded was ten tons three hundredweight; with kainit alone two hundredweight to the acre-the yield rose to thirteen tons nineteen hundredweight. The addition of farmyard manure to the soil afforded a yield of thirteen tons fifteen hundredweight; but when the same kind of manure had been stored before use in a closed pit, its energy gave an increased yield of three tons. It must be understood that all these manures were applied to different plots of land of exactly the same size. The importance of these experiments is obvious, and it is thought that they have in great measure influenced the improvement which has been recorded during the past year in the potato crop grown in the south of Ireland.
Our contemporary Land calls attention to the circumstance that the Pope is a farmer, and a very successful one too. He does not grow potatoes, nor does he raise stock, but he has large water-farms for the breeding of fish. Into the lagoons of Commachio, where these operations are carried on, the fish come up from the Adriatic in vast quantities. They are there fattened until ready for the table.
The artificial propagation of salmon and other species of fresh-water fish is at length commanding
the attention it deserves. Reared from the egg, and carefully tended and fed during infancy, the fish are in due time liberated from their nursery, and sent forth to stock deplenished streams and lakes. We have in this country more than one nursery of the kind, notably the Fishery-works at Howietown, Stirlingshire, founded by Sir James Maitland, which have lately come into prominence in connection with the Scotch Fisheries Exhibition. Here thousands upon thousands of eggs are hatched with such success that only three or four in every thousand fail. The fish when first hatched has a sac attached to it which contains its first food. When this sac disappears, it is fed upon egg, then upon egg and beef grated together. Later on, horse-flesh forms the artificial food, and two, sometimes three dead horses are disposed of every week at Howietown in this manner. As far as possible, Nature is left to herself, and art is only employed where necessary; the chief object of the works being to eschew scientific technicalities, and to deal with the problem of fishculture so that an ordinary river-keeper can understand what to do and how to do it. We have also,' says a contemporary, the simple and effective system of Littlewood of Huddersfield, by which, for a small expenditure, any one with a modicum of intelligence could stock any important stream with the most suitable class of fish. The porous earthenware troughs that hatch out the ova are of the cheapest construction, so that a five-pound note can purchase a set sufficient to hatch fifty thousand ova at a time, with ease. A few hours has been sufficient to train a common Highland keeper to use this apparatus with success; and we consider that it virtually solves the question of cheap, effective, and consequently paying fish-hatching. We learn that the promoter of the Howietown establishment was first led to take an interest in fish-culture by an accidental conversation with the late lamented Frank Buckland, whose efforts to preserve our rivers from the pollution of manufactories, deserve the grateful thanks of the community.
The long-vexed question of electric illumination has at length reached such a practical stage, that the text of an Electric Lighting Act introduced by the President of the Board of Trade has been published. The mistake originally made when the gas and water corporations were created, whereby two of the first necessaries of life, light and water, have become monopolies which can almost dictate their own terms, has been carefully guarded against in this new Act. Electric Lighting Companies will be licensed for five years only, after which time it will be optional for municipal bodies to buy up the whole plant and to undertake the supply themselves. It is also provided that any Company supplying the current from a central source, shall not have the power to restrict the consumer to any particular form of burner or regulator. In this way the Companies are made the servants of the public, and not their masters.
The near approach of the time when the operation of such an Act of Parliament will become necessary, is foreshadowed by the establishment of the Edison incandescent light on Holborn Viaduct and in various contiguous buildings. The current is furnished from a central office, and is so distributed by wires to the various houses,
that each lamp can be turned off and on by means of a tap without affecting others on the same system. The dynamo machine, the lamps, and all the various details, are the invention of Mr Edison, whose excuse for being somewhat late in the field is his anxiety that everything should work perfectly before being submitted to the public eye. That the system now approaches perfection, must be evident to all. Time alone can tell us about its permanence, and most important of all, its cost as compared with the gas it supersedes. It may be assumed that the gas Companies must at last see that they have a dangerous rival. One London Company has just issued a notice to its customers that it will lend out on hire improved cooking and other gas stoves, patterns of which can be seen at its offices. This speaks for itself.
An attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Paris has just published in one of the French journals a series of articles on the Political and Commercial Aspects of his own country. Perhaps the most interesting portion of these papers is that relating to the various missions which China has sent both to Europe and to America. In 1877, thirty young Chinamen were sent abroad to study engineering. Of these, some were placed in England, some in France, and some in Germany, and after four years' training, returned to their own country. Last year, no fewer than two hundred and sixteen Chinamen, including an Admiral and sixteen officers, were despatched to Western countries to devote themselves to naval studies. At Hartford, United States, there is a Chinese college where two hundred youths receive a liberal education. It will thus be seen that the hunger for knowledge has been felt by those whom we have long been accustomed to regard as barbarians.
Those who eschew the use of meat, and hold that man has no business to call himself a flesheating animal, would do well to live in Morocco, for, according to a Report by Mr Payton, our consul there, the country must be a very paradise for vegetarians. Careful cultivation, and a complete system of irrigation applied to the market gardens, have together brought the soil to such perfection, that vegetables and fruits of all kinds flourish most luxuriantly. Potatoes at about a farthing a pound, green peas-from February to May-at four shillings a hundredweight, and walnuts at twopence per hundred, sounds exceedingly tempting.
Many doubts have arisen whether the Channel Tunnel can be made to pay for the gigantic outlay which its construction would entail. The main expense is represented by the constant removal of the debris from the boring-machines. Assuming that the progress made in a thirty-foot tunnel is one yard per hour, the chalk cut away and requiring to be removed would amount to sixty truckloads, or one per minute. Mr T. R. Crampton long ago devised machinery for meeting this difficulty, and it has been in successful use for some time on a small scale at his brickworks near Sevenoaks. He suggests that the same method should be adopted at the Channel Tunnel works. He proposes that the cutting-machines should be actuated by hydraulic power, by water supplied from above ground. The water, after having done its work, would then, in a proper receptacle, be mixed with the chalk debris,
and form a kind of sludge of the consistence of cream. This liquid mud might then, by means of an ordinary pipe, be carried to the mouth of the shaft, where it could be discharged into the sea, or otherwise disposed of. We should think that there would in a long length of piping be some danger of the chalk gradually depositing itself, and so choking the bore; but this remains to be proved. The idea is an ingenious one, and well worthy of consideration, when we reflect upon the vast saving of labour which its adoption would represent.
Mr Carl Bock, the Eastern explorer, is now in Siam, where he has undertaken a journey for the object of scientific research. Writing in September, he states that although he had received every assistance from the king of Siam, he had many obstacles placed in his way by those who had been deputed to assist him. The natives tried to frighten him by rumours of fevers, evil spirits, and other supposed dangers, and ended by stealing his horse, never dreaming that he would decide to proceed on foot. one place, an amusing incident occurred, which, however, might have led the explorer into a serious difficulty. A certain chief, who is described as being half naked, blind of one eye, and dreadfully marked with smallpox, allowed his wife to become the traveller's model for a sketch. In the course of his work, he just touched his sitter's chin, as artists will, in order to get a more agreeable pose. Both husband and wife immediately flew into a violent rage at this supposed insult, and the neighbours were called in to eject the intruder. The instant destruction of the sketch was insisted upon. Mr Bock being unwilling to lose it, hit upon the expedient of giving it to the woman alone, and demanded that all her companions should be sent away. While this was being done, he quickly executed a rough duplicate, which the woman quickly tore in pieces, without detecting the ruse which had been played upon her. The results of Mr Bock's travels will be published in book-form by Messrs Sampson Low & Co., but of course this cannot take place until after his return to England in August next.
We learn from a Report published concerning the Hospice on St Gothard, that in the year ending September 1881, nearly sixteen thousand persons received assistance there. Of these, nearly one-fourth were lodged for one night, one hundred and twenty-three had to be treated as invalids, some of whom, suffering from Alpine casualties, were provided with clothing. The need for this refuge on the mountains is considered so great, that it will continue its useful labours even after the tunnel is opened. We are sorry to notice that the expenditure exceeded the receipts last year by nearly four thousand francs. Another Hospice, that of the Great St Bernard, has hitherto had the reputation of being the most elevated inhabited house in Europe. The new Observatory on Mount Etna has robbed it of that distinction, for the latter is one thousand feet higher above the sealevel.
The alterations which are soon to be carried out at the Tower of London will receive the approval of all who have any regard for the monuments of the past. For many years,