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but as we become aware of its presence and of the strange past which glimmers more and more clearly through the mist, we are induced to make curious speculations as to the possibility of oblivion one day enwrapping even our Western civilization; whether the printing-press will really save us from a like fate; whether, in the long run of thousands of years, the immense number of books, which with us are the records on which we rely, may not come to be like the multitudinous snow-flakes, which end by covering up and reducing to one common level the objects which at first they do but cause to stand out with a more perfect distinctness to the eye.
Puffing.—Advertising, according to Mr. Barnum, whom we may reckon a good authority on the subject, is the secret of success in business. And it is curious to notice what an art advertising —or, what advertising often means, "puffing"— has lwcome. The origin of this word "puffing" is curious. In France, at one time, the coiffure most in vogue was called a pouff. It consisted of the hair raised as high as possible over horsehair cushions, and then ornamented with objects indicative of the tastes and history of the wearer. The Duchess of Orleans, for example, on her first appearance at Court, after the birth of her son and heir, had on her pouff a. representation, in gold and enamel, most beautifully executed, of a nursery. There was the cradle, and the baby, the nurse, and a whole host of playthings. Madame de Egmont, the Duke de Richelieu's daughter, after her father had taken Port Mahon, wore on her pouff a little diamond fortress, with sentinels keeping guard. Such is the origin of the word puff.
Gambetta.—The reappearance of M. Gambetta on the scene of French politics is perhaps the most significant event of the day in France. He disappeared from the theatre in which he had played so great a part when he found that an enforced peace was all the result attained by his passionate efforts to retrieve the honor and the fortunes of his country. For four months he has hi3 in obscurity, and during the greater part of that time he has not even been in France. Suddenly he announces that he is coming back, and is going to stand for Paris. Nobody appears to have invited him or to want him. M. Thiers is half afraid, half ashamed of him, as the head of those rabid maniacs who made France go on fighting after all hope of prosperous fighting was over. The Legitimists and Bonapartists detest him. Even the Republicans thought him dangerous. Still he came; he issued a manifesto at Bordeaux, and within a day or two he was elected not only at Pans but in at least two other constituencies. There might be nothing in this. France would be indeed a poor country, forgetful of stirring memories and ungrateful to those who believed in her most, if there were no constituencies which M. Gambetta could address successfully. He might have shown himself nothing more than a decayed national hero, an actor whose part was played out, a second and milder edition of Lamartine. But, as it happens, he has come forward in a new character. His Bordeaux manifesto is the most important political utterance addressed to France for many a long day. He has got something to say that is most thoroughly worth the considera
tion of France. He has a distinct programme of thought-and action by which he intends to abide; and if he can but show in action the sagacity, the foresight, and moderation which he has displayed in the theoretical enunciation of his views and aims, there is no doubt but that he will play a great part in the history of France during the next few years.—Saturday Review.
Dr. Chalmers.—Mr. Charles Young, biographer of Charles Mayne Young, gives us a singular sketch of Dr. Chalmers:—
"There was one feature in his face which struck me as so very peculiar, and, I may say, anomalous, that I have often wondered never to have heard or read any comment upon it from others: I allude to his eye. The eye, by its mobility, its power of expressing the passions, and the spirit it imparts to the features, is usually considered as the index of the mind. Now, I never beheld so mute, impassive, inexpressive an eye as that of Chalmers. It was small, grey, cold, and fishy. When, either in preaching from the pulpit, or lecturing in the classroom, he was excited by his subject; when his heart grew hot within him, and the fire burned; when the brilliancy of his imager)-, and the power of his phraseology carried the feelings of his auditory away with all the impetuosity of a torrent; nay, when he seemed transported out of himself by the sublimity of his conceptions, and the intense reality of his convictions, so as to cause him to defy conventionalities and set at naught the artifices of rhetoric, and make him swing his left arm about like the sails of a windmill; when every fibre of his body throbbed and quivered with emotion; when his listeners' mouths were wide open, and their breath suspended, the cheeks of some bedewed with tears, and the eyes of others scintillating with sympathy and admiration, —his eye remained as tame and lustreless as if it had been but the pale reflex of a mind indifferent and half asleep !1'
Botanical Gardens of Europe and America.— It seems, from certain recently published statements regarding the time at which the several principal gardens were established, that the first one was that of Padua, in 1545, followed by that of Pisa. Those of Leyden and Leipsig date respectively 1577 and 1579. The Montpelier garden was founded in 1593; that of Giessen in 1605; of Strasburg, in 1620; of Alford, in 1625; and of Jena, in 1629. The Jardin des Plantes, at Paris, was established in 1626, and the Upsal garden in 1627; that of Madrid dates from 1763; and that of Coimbra from 1773. At the close of the eighteenth century, according to Gesner, more than 1,600 kindred establishments existed in Europe. England comes late upon the list, the Oxford garden not having been founded until 1632, and long remaining the only one in the kingdom. The earliest botanical garden in the United States was that of John Bartram, located on the Schuylkill River, a few miles above its mouth, and within the limits of the present city of Philadelphia. This place is now the property of A. M. Eastwick, Esq., who has erected upon it one of the finest private residences in America, but who still preserves the old stone house built by Bartram's own hands in 1731, where Washington had lodgings for a time, and where Wilson wrote his great work on American ornithology. The relics of Bartram's garden are still seen in the variety of trees which adorn the place, and in the majesty which has been imparted to some of them by a growth of more than a hundred years.
The Editor of Punch.—Mr. Joseph Ilatton has published a very entertaining volume entitled Reminiscences of Mark Lemon, The anecdotes given of Mark Lemon's career are chiefly concerned with his theatrical tours and his impersonation of h'alstaff, a character for which nature had physically fitted him, and into which he entered with all the energy of his cheerful bearing. Mr. Ilatton accompanied the "Show in the North," and his duties commenced very suddenly, in this. wise. "The Show had arrived at Edinburgh before I was really summoned, as a friend, to take the management in the absence of the impresario proper, who was detained in London." And so he started on a cold morning in January, 1S69, from Euston Square, and went to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Greenock, and afterwards to Yorkshire and Birmingham. Wherever he went Mark Lemon was greeted with affectionate respect, for all men knew the editor of Punch. But the picture of the man in more domestic scenes pleases us better, —as, for instance, at home, in Sussex. "It was a quaint, old-fashioned room, the dining-room at Crawley. The main portion of Vine Cottage had once been a farm-house, and it was Mark Lemon's fancy to retain the ingle-nook and some of the old-fashioned characteristics of the place. I remember a particularly notable gathering round the old table by the ingle-nook. Mark I.emon was looked upon as a sort of father of the village. Nothing was done in the place without his advice first taken and his assistance secured. On the occasion in question, it was a volunteer fire brigade." After the committee-meeting, he gave himself up to the entertainment of his rustic guests, and sang them "Cupid's Garden," and when the fire brigade had left, the mistress of the house sang "Wapping Old Stairs," while "it was a pleasant sight to see the kindly and admiring husband watching his wife, and beating time with unlightcd pipe." lie wrote not at home, but at a small farmhouse in the fields not far off. "Writing," said he, as an old man, "writing does not come easy to me now. It often takes me an hour or two before I can work myself np to it. This is the process. A light breakfast or luncheon, and a steady walk to the little cottage farm I told you of. When I get there I unlock my room, put out my paper, nib my pens, and get all in order. Then I go outside, light my pipe, wander into the farmyard, look at the cows, or the pigs, or the poultry, or anything else, sit on agate, perhaps, if I can balance myself, sniff the local perfumes of hay and straw, and presently the fit comes on; down goes the pipe, up comes the pen, and away you go."
frothing New Under the Sun.—Photography only adds another instance to the many on record which prove the truth of Solomon's saying: "The thing that hath been is that which shall be, and there is no new thing under the sun."
Humlx>ldt, in his Cosmos, states that the Chinese had magnetic carriages with which to guide themselves across the great plains of Tartary, one thousand years before our era, on the principle of the compass. The prototype of the steam-engine
has been traced to the ^olipyle of Hero of Alexandria. The Romans used movable types to mark their pottery and indorse their books. Mr. Layard found in Nineveh a magnifying lens of rock crystal, which Sir D. Brewster considers a true optical lens, ami the origin of the microscope. The principle of the stereoscope, invented by Professor Wheatstone, was known to Euclid, descril>ed by Galen fifteen hundred years ago, and more fully in 1599 A.D., in the works of Baptista Porta. The Thames Tunnel, thought such a novelty, was anticipated by that under the Euphrates at Babylon; and the ancient Egyptians had a Suez Canal. Such examples might be indefinitely multiplied, but we turn to photography. M. Jobard, in his Xouvelles Inventions aux Expositions Vniverselles, 1857, says a translation from German was discovered in Russia, three hundred years old, which contains a clear explanation of photography. The old alchemists understood the properties of chloride of silver in relation to light, and its photographic action is explained by Eabricius in Dc Rebus Metallicis, 1566. The daguerreotype process was anticipated by De la Roche in his Giphanlie, 1760, though it was only the statement of a dreamer.
In Dr. Hooper's Rational Recreations, 1774, is the following method of writing on glass by the rays of the sun. "Dissolve chalk in aquafortis to the consistence of milk, and add to that a strong dissolution of silver. Keep this liquor in a glass decanter, well stopped. Then cut out from a (Taper the letters you would have appear, anil paste the paper on the decanter, which you are to place in the sun, in such a manner that its rays may pass through the spaces cut out of the paper, and fall on the surface of the liquor. The part of the gla^s through which the rays pass will turn black, and that under the paper will remain white."
In 1802, Thomas Wedgwood and Sir Humphry Davy contributed to the Journal of the Royal Institution a paper on "An Account of a Method of Copying Paintings upon Glass, and of making Profiles by the Agency of Light upon Nitrate of Silver." Let us take an extract or two from this paper, first reminding our readers that Daguerre did not announce his invention till 1S39. "White paper or white leather," says the memoir, "moistened with solution of nitrate of silver, undergoes no change when kept in a dark place; but on being exposed to the daylight it speedily changes color, and, after passing through different shades of gray and brown, becomes at length nearly black. The alterations of color take place more si>eedily in proportion as the light is intense. When the shadow of any figure is thrown upon the prepared surface, the part concealed by it remains white, and the other parts speedily become dark. For copying paintings on glass, the solution should be applied on leather; and in this case it is more readily acted on than when paper is used. The copy of a painting, or the profile, immediately after being taken, must be kept in an obscure place." The instruments Wedgwood and Davy used were the camera obscura and the solar microscope; the images produced, however, by the former were "found too faint to produce in any moderate time an effect upon the nitrate of silver." Davy says: "Nothing but a method of preventing the unshaded parts of the delineations from being colored by exposure to the day is wanting, to render this process as useful as it is elegant.''