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develop sympathetic feelings to any extent under any conditions. Our success and our failure in solving the great problem of human progress, both depend upon a great variety of circumstances. Our entire system, political, social, and economical, is tending towards changes difficult to foresee. It may be that we are moving under intelligent impulse towards a higher stage, but too often we seem only drifting, and this character will not be got rid of until there is a much more general agreement as to the nature of the goal it is desirable to reach.
We have given only a slight idea of the interesting contents of Mr. Wallace's work, and we ought to add that it is well illustrated by numerous plates and cuts.
THE POISONOUS STOCKING DYE-CORALLINE.
Some time back a London surgeon called attention to eruptions produced by wearing stockings and socks dyed with a new material. Perhaps it is the same that M. Tardieu has lately described to the French academy as producing similar unpleasant effects, and which is known as coralline."
M. Tardieu states that in May, 1868, he was consulted by a young man, twenty-three years old, of good constitution, but affected with a severe vesicular eruption on both feet, which, at first sight, might have been taken for eczema, but it had the peculiarity of being confined to the space pressed upon by his shoes and this afforded a clue to its cause. It appeared that for some days he had been wearing silk socks of an elegant red tint, which were, just then, in fashion. These socks did not yield any colouring matter to cold water, or hot, or to water slightly acidulated; but alcohol, boiling at 85°, rapidly dissolved out of them the red colouring matter. This colouring matter was dried, then dissolved in a little alcohol, and a small quantity injected under the skin of the thigh of a dog, a rabbit, and a frog, all of which died.
M. Tardieu then proceeded to experiment with coralline itself. This substance is derived from rosolique acid obtained by oxydizing phenic acid. The rosolic acid is brought in contact with ammonia, at a temperature of 150, and a solid matter is obtained in the form of red needles, giving green or dark yellow reflexions. It is said not to have been much used in France, and the offending
stockings were of English make. He describes coralline as an irritant poison belonging to the class of drastic substances, such as croton oil, etc., and like them it produces acute vesicular eruption, and inflamation of the digestive tube. It is absorbed and carried into various organs, setting up fatty degeneration, like phosphorous, ammonia, and arsenic.
Following a process devised by M. M. Roussin, M. Tardieu obtained enough coralline from the lungs of the animals poisoned with it to dye a silk fibre. He remarks, that although its action on man has hitherto been confined to local affections, accompanied with some derangement of the general health, it might, under some circumstances, be much more serious. The poisonous colouring materials hitherto known, such as Schweinfurt green in wall papers and dresses, white lead in laces, etc., have been mineral, and coralline appears, he says, to have been the first dye belonging to the organic series in which poisonous qualities have been noticed. This is scarcely correct; but it may be the first which has acted poisonously by simple contact with the skin.
ARCHÆOLOGIA. In the galleries of the British Museum, some interesting antiquities, chiefly from Asia Minor, have been very recently exposed to public view, although they have been several years in the possession of the great national establishment. Among these we may especially call attention to a number of thin LEADEN TABLETS, inscribed in Greek characters, which were found at the bases of some statues in the temenos, or TEMPLE, OF DEMETER AT Cnidus, in Asia Minor. These tablets are now preserved under one of the glass cases of the second yase room in the Museum. They consist of a series of what were called in Greek karádeopot, magical charms or maledictions. They are interesting to us not only in themselves, but as enabling us to compare the same popular ideas when clothed in the refinement of the Hellenic spirit, and as they existed in the coarser garb of the middle ages, and even of a later period; and at the same time they furnish us with curious sketches of social life in these remote times. These singular monuments, which are called in Latin deficiones, are not unknown to antiquaries, and they are alluded to in the classical writers. This temenos was, properly speaking, that of the infernal deities, Demeter (Ceres), Corè (Persephone), and
Pluto. The individual who had a wrong to avenge composed one of these tablets, no doubt with the necessary magical forms and ceremonies, to devote the unfortunate offender to the punishment of Hades, and deposited them in the sacred enclosure. The imprecations are written, or rather scratched, but slightly, on small sheets of lead, the largest not bigger than half a sheet of ordinary notepaper, now so thin and so corrugated that they resemble in colour, etc., pieces of brown wrapping-paper which have been a long time exposed to damp. The injured persons, who are mostly women, usually introduce a reservation protecting themselves against any of the evils they invoke; and the curses themselves are not made irrevocable, but, as the offences are not uncommonly the unjust withholding of property from the rightful owner, the evil invoked is deprecated in case of the restitution of the property withheld. From philological evidence, these singular monuments are believed to belong to a date ranging from about B.c. 300 to B.c. 100.
In one of these tablets, a lady, with the poetic name of Antigone, denies before the three deities (Δαματρι, Κουρα, Πλούτωνι) a charge which had been brought against her of having attempted to poison her husband. She goes on, in the translation in Mr. Newton's “History of Discoveries at Halicarnassus, Cnidus, and Branchidæ,”
“If I have given poison to Asclepiades, or meditated in my soul to do him any injury, or if I have called a woman to the temple, giving her a mina and a half that she might take him from the living, may Antigone go up sold from among the fellow-slaves to Demeter, and may Demeter not be propitious to her, but may she suffer great torments. If any one has spoken to Asclepiades about me, or has brought forward the woman as a witness, giving her small copper money ..." The rest is lost, but we read on the back of the lead the reservation, “ May it be lawful for me to go to the bath, or under the same roof, or to the same table ;" which Mr. Newton explains, in company with the person against whom the curse is directed. As among the small number of these tablets here preserved there appears to be auother accusation of this same description, it would seem that the Greek ladies of Asia Minor were rather addicted to poisoning their husbands.
The most common offences which appear in these tablets are petty thefts and dishonesty in various forms. The retention of a lost garment is, in two different tablets, the occasion of an imprecation. In another a female named Artemeis complains of some one who withheld garments given her in trust, or, as we should now say, in pawn, so that this was a practice already in existence at this
remote period, and apparently with similar results to those which sometimes occur at the present day. There are two tablets involving an imprecation on the part of Nanas against Emphanes and Rhodo for non-restitution of property given in trust by Diocles; and there are other instances of imprecations against persons for retaining lost garments. One tablet contains the imprecation of a woman against the person who had stolen her bracelet, and the object of another is the theft of certain drinking horns. On another we find an imprecation against certain persons guilty of assault. There are also two tablets directed against an offence of a more delicate character, which we may
to have been of rather usual occurTwo ladies devote to the anger of the infernal deities persons of their own sex, who had seduced from them their husbands. It may be added that the lady who grieves over her stolen bracelet takes the opportunity, at the same time, of devoting to the anger of the same deities all persons who had defrauded her by giving false weight.
The last part of the “Reliquary” records the accidental discovery at WINTERTON, near Brigg, in Lincolnshire, of a POTTER'S KILN OF THE ROMAN PERIOD. Winterton is in the northern part of the county of Lincoln, and it is interesting to us from the circumstance that so many traces of Roman potteries have been found in these eastern parts of the island. The celebrated Durobrivian ware was made at Castor, which, though in Northamptonshire, lies just upon the borders of Lincolnshire. The pottery found at Winterton is a blue unglazed ware, rather well known to the antiquaries of this district. Much of it was found scattered about in fragments, but no complete vessel; but the fragments belonged to vessels of various forms. Some pieces were ornamented with the finger and thumb, and others with lines and points. The discovery was made in the course of digging for sand, and, as a sepulchral interment of the Roman period was found within the limits of the same sand-pit a few months ago, it is probable that further exploration might lead to important results. It should be stated that the spot on which these remains were found is about half a mile west from the Roman road which ran from the south to the banks of the Humber.
It may also be well to call attention to the account of the opening of TWO EARLY BARROWS IN CORNWALL, given in our contemporary the “ Archæologia Cambrensis,” because they point to some facts in regard to dates. The first of these barrows was one of a group of three on Morvah Hill, about four miles and a half north of Penzance, and contained a very elaborately-ornamented urn of the
style commonly called early British, filled with bones. This urn was unfortunately broken in the progress of the excavation. With it were found eight or nine small Roman coins. “These at first sight seemed to be brass, but many on being touched fell to pieces. Whether they are clay casts, or actual brass coins in a state of corrosion, can hardly be determined. On the obverse of one of them, a middle brass, is a laureated head to the right, with the inscription Constan. very plain. On another, the head and shoulders of a man are also very distinct. The head is to the left; the circle of a shield is below, and from it protrudes the point of a spear. No legend is visible; but probably it is the third brass of Crispus, coined in London about the middle of the fourth century.” There can thus be no doubt of the date of this urn; it belongs to the later period of the imperial rule in Britain.
We hear through communications from France of a great act of antiquarian vandalism contemplated there — the destruction of the fine ROMAN WALLS surrounding the town of Dax. Dax, which is the chief town of the department of the Landes, occupies the site of the ancient town of the Aqua Tarbellica, or Aquæ Tarbellæ (as it is called in Ausonius), and was so called from the extensive hot springs with which it abounds, and from its situation in the country of the Tarbelli. Its modern name, more properly spelt and written D'Acqs, is, as will be seen, derived immediately from that of the ancients; it contains at present about six thousand inhabitants, and, till about twelve years ago, was entirely surrounded by its Roman walls. Strangely enough, owing to some extraordinary want of instruction and intelligence in this district, it was entirely unknown that these Roman walls were in existence, and they only then became suddenly known by the accidental visit to the place of a well-known French antiquary, M. Léo Drouyn; and which is no less extraordinary, the municipauté and inhabitants, in the expectation of obtaining thereby some alleged industrial advantages, had, even after the discovery of their importance, formed a plan for their destruction, obtained the sanction of the government, and commenced vigorously the work of demolition. The French antiquaries now interfered, led by the experienced talent of M. de Caumont, and soon afterwards the place was visited by our own well-known antiquary, Mr. Roach Smith, who published an interesting account of the Roman remains, with engravings, in the fifth volume of his valuable “ Collectanea Antiqua.” Through the collective and individual exertions of these gentlemen, the Emperor was induced to interfere, and a stop was put to the work of destruction.