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heroes of the remotest mythic traditions of northern and western Europe, like the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf, boasted as their greatest deeds the encountering and overcoming one of them in the barrow of an extinct race. During the Middle Ages we can trace this feeling existing in great intensity from the earliest period. But, as the mythic heroes no longer existed, and the men of the time had no longer the courage to encounter the dragon, or spectre, or what it might be, in open combat, when they wanted to open a barrow in which they thought a treasure might be found, they sought the aid of magicians to lay the enemy asleep by their incantations. It was the universal belief everywhere. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, we find instances of magicians employed in Wales to charm the dragon in the barrow before opening it, so that the superstition existed in the Celtic as well as in the Teutonic race. In the times of Henry VIII. and of Elizabeth, and in the seventeenth century, it was a great part of the practice of the magicians, including such men as Dr. Dee and Kelly, to undertake the protection of the barrow-diggers while they worked, and they made a profit by it. And so deeply and firmly was this belief implanted in the popular mind, that even at the present time how many shrink at entering a churchyard by night, simply because, still acted upon by the primæval superstition, they fear to encounter the spectres of the dead, who have returned to visit and protect their graves. With such feelings as these, who would venture to do such a daring, and we might say such a wicked act, as to put the remains of his relative or of his friend into the barrow of another and older race ?* It would be simply condemning him body and soul to everlasting misery and torment. An ill life would be that of the spirit whose body had been intruded into the barrow of men of another race. And a fine row would there be when the two sets of spirits came together to claim their respective rights. At least so it would in the deeply and firmly implanted popular belief. And it would be quite absurd to suppose for a moment that an Anglo-Saxon would venture upon violating an old tumulus, for the purpose of throwing into it a heap of broken pottery. We believe, therefore, that we must give up this notion of secondary interments of another race in the same barrow; so that one of the supports of the system of long and short barrows breaks down at once. We have been accustomed to look at these large early barrows as having belonged each to a family or clan, only a certain number of which, according to the sentiments of
* Much curious information on this subject will be found in Th. Wright's “ Narrative Sorcery and Magic," vol i. chap. ii.
primitive times, could claim an honourable burial. We presume, therefore, that the first of the barrows described above, belonged to a family which may have contained, as far as we find them, one long-headed and eleven round-headed individuals. We ourselves place little belief in this long and short classification.
Nor do we place any more faith in the alleged cannibalism. The number of our barrows which must have been opened during the Middle Ages, and during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries—with the aid of magicians and conjurors--to judge by the records of such proceedings which still remain, must have been very great. When the charm was over, of course the spiritual guardians of the grave were at liberty again, and as formidable as ever. The least that the excavators could do to appease them, after they had found treasure or not (the latter, of course, the more usual result), would be to throw back the bones into the grave, and cover it up with care. Thus, most probably, originated the heaps of bones which our recent excavators take for the relics of cannibalism. We believe that on at least one occasion, among the bones of one of these Yorkshire barrows, was found a broken tobacco-pipe, of the earlier part of the seventeenth century, no doubt thrown there by one of these old excavators. Even the most zealous of our prehistoric archæologists will hardly, we think, insist that the long-headed Briton indulged in the genial pipe at the cannibal funeral feast. The subject would have been picturesque.
Two of our ancient monuments are in a position of a certain sort of risk at the present moment. One of these is the remarkable Roman Villa At Bionor, in Sussex, with its very interesting tesselated pavement. This, as it is well known, stands, as far as it can be said to stand, upon private land, and huts have been raised over as much of the remains as were uncovered. Some years ago a proposal was made to raise a subscription, to purchase as much of the land as the Roman Villa occupied, which was offered for a moderate sum, in order to invest it as public property, and to pay a small salary to a cottager to live there and show it to visitors. Some supposed difficulties prevented this plan from being carried out at that time. We hear that the whole property is now for sale, and it may be worthy of consideration whether an effort should not be made to carry out some such plan as that formerly proposed.
The second of the monuments to which we refer is WORTH CHURCH in Sussex, which is said to be on the eve of undergoing the process of restoration. Worth Church is well known as one of the rare examples of Anglo-Saxon architecture which have excited so
much attention since the days of Rickman. We all know that church restoration is a very dangerous proceeding, unless placed in very careful hands, and even then it ought to be jealously looked after, and we especially hope this may be the case in the present instance.
Perhaps, while speaking of ecclesiastical work, we may be allowed briefly to call attention to the beautiful MEMORIAL WINDOW recently set up to the memory of CHAUCER over his tomb in the south transept of Westminster Abbey, better known as the Poet's Corner. It was designed by Mr. J. G. Waller, the well-known author of “The Monumental Brasses of Great Britain," one who, perhaps, in a higher degree than any other of our artists, feels and appreciates the spirit of mediæval art. He has endeavoured to embody in it a picture which reminds us of his intellectual labour and of his position among his contemporaries.
PROGRESS OF INVENTION.
PAINT FOR THE PROTECTION OF IRON AND OTHER METALS FROM THE DETRIMENTAL INFLUENCE OF SEA WATER.–Paint for the protection of iron and other metals from the destructive influence of sea water, and for the prevention of fouling is made as follows :
30 parts of quicksilver
7 of thick turpentine
55 of red lead, and these are mixed with as much boiled linseed oil as is necessary to make the paint of a proper consistency. The quicksilver must be thoroughly amalgamated with the thick turpentine by grinding or rubbing, and this mixture must be ground with the red lead and more boiled linseed oil. As little linseed oil as is necessary, to make the paint of a useable consistency, must be employed. In damp weather some fine ground manganese may be added. To make this paint adhere more firmly, the surface to which it is to be applied may be prepared by coating it with oxide of iron paint. The inventors, Messrs. D, R. Macgregor and Peter Taysen claim the use of quicksilver, turpentine, and red lead as their special invention.
BROWNING'S SELF-REGULATING ELECTRIC LAMP.—This invention will greatly add to the use of the electric light for various scientific
purposes. It is so simple, that we wonder it was not devised long ago in place of sundry complicated and expensive contrivances, which are not so efficient. The carbon points are held, as usual, by brass tubes, slit and tightening like porte-crayons. The carbon-holders can be adjusted to the height required
VOL. III. —NO. I.
by screws, and the upper one slides through a collar, which permits it to fall, so as to bring its point straight down upon the lower point. When connected with a battery, a small electro-magnet is brought into action, and this, by pulling towards it a plate of soft iron, tightens a clip on the upper carbon-holder, and stops its descent. As portions of the carbon are dissipated, and the distance between the two points become too great, the electro-magnet ceases to act, and the upper point is free to fall until the right distance is reached, and the electric current is again established, at which moment the electro-magnet again tightens the clip. With six four-inch cells of Grove's battery, a vivid light is obtained ; and also the heat requisite for a variety of spectroscopic investigations. This electric lamp is furnished with reflectors according to the nature of the work required. We have seen it in use, and tried it ourselves. The manipulation is not difficult to any one accustomed to scientific apparatus ; but a few points must be attended to. In the first place, each time the lamp is used the sliding rod must be examined, and rubbed quite clean with a leather, if it has become fouled. Then the carbon-holders must be set true, so that if the top point were allowed to fall, it should come exactly down upon the lower one, and not beside it. Thirdly, the distance of the magnet from the plate of soft iron, must be proportioned to the power of the battery employed. The modes of making these adjustments are as simple as possible, and will give very little trouble to any intelligent person,
Floor COVERINGS.-A block is prepared by glueing together a number of pieces of wood of different colours, and from this block thin veneers or slices are cut, which are then fixed by cement or glue to a woven cloth, or any other such material as may be preferred. Each veneer will have on it a pattern resulting from the arrangement of the pieces in the block from which it is cut, and by assembling a number of them together & complicated pattern is obtained; or when it is desired to have a simple pattern, the slices or veneers may each be cut from a single block; and it may be formed by arranging these pieces together. Various kinds of wood can be employed in this arrangement. A floor-cloth or covering thus prepared may be glued down to the floor which it is wished to cover, or, for temporary purposes, may be secured by nails. Also, this invention includes the use of veneer patterns nailed to any ordinary floor; such veneers of hard wood are reduced in thickness at their edges or corners, and are nailed to the floor beneath, the nails being covered by thin pieces of veneer, thinner than the others, and cut to a desired form, so that the whole makes an ornamental pattern. These pieces are, moreover, glued into their places, and the whole forms a flush and smooth surface. The inventor of this process is Mr. Denny Lane, of Cork.
HEATING AND APPLYING GLYCERINE FOR WARMING.—Instead of using
water to heat houses, carriages, baths, and drying stoves, Mr. R. A. Wright, of Homerton, applies glycerine in solution. The solution may be of any desired strength, and this solution is to be circulated in pipes. This very excellent idea is surpassed by the clever way in which he proposes to heat the glycerine. One mode of heating which he employs is as follows:-It consists in blowing or projecting one or more currents or jets of steam or air (superheated or not) across the mouth of a pipe or chamber containing petroleum or some other hydrocarbon, which is thus projected in minute particles, as in a fine spray, into the furnace on the fuel. At the same time, air is drawn or forced into the furnace. Great heat is thus obtained. It is better to project the steam or air by fantail, bat-wing, or such-like nozzles or jets to obtain greater diffusion. Sometimes the petroleum is subjected to pressure or heat, or both, before being projected, and its flow may be regulated by a cock or valve, controlled by the pressure of steam in the boiler, when one is used. An improved valve for supplying air to this and other furnaces consists of a balance plate placed in the furnace door, or fire door, extending nearly its whole length, or, it may be, in a flue or air-passage. This valve works on a sharp edge, like the centre of a scale beam, or it may work by rolling motion on a sharp edge ; it carries a weight regulated by a set screw, or otherwise. When fresh fuel is added, and the draught is momentarily stopped through the bars, the furnace draught will open the valve and admit air. The valve closes when the draught through the bars is re-established. The glycerine may also be heated by a cone covered with flat rope, or other frictional agent, working frictionally in a cone in the glycerine vessel. Such first cone may be driven by the axle, when used for carriages. Other modes of heating the glycerine are claimed in the patent.
TREATING TEXTILE FABRICS.—M. Pierre Armand Neaman, of St. Denis, Paris, treats textile fabrics with sulphuric acid, for the purpose of rendering them impermeable. By this process the fibres on the surface of the fabric are partially dissolved, and converted into a glutinous substance, without the fibres in the body of the fabric being destroyed. The fabric, after being passed through the sulphuric acid, is quickly washed and rinsed in water, to stop the action of the acid, and remove all traces of it, and it is afterwards dried, when the part which has been acted on by the acid, having impregnated and coated the fibres of the fabric, and filled up the interstices between the warp and the weft, will convert it into a parchment-like and impermeable material. A concentrated solution may in some cases be previously made of any
linen or cotton fibre in sulphuric acid, which is then spread over the fabric to be treated, by means of a brush, or by rollers, so as to fill up the interstices thereof.
PREPARING AND EMPLOYING ZIRCONIA.— Zirconia, or oxide of zirconium, in whatever manner it may be extracted from its ores, can be agglo