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moon might be made on a large scale that would be most valuable. There are also investigations that could be undertaken, and there is one very interesting question that photography might be able to answer-that is, whether those spaces in the heavens where the eye and most powerful telescopes cannot see any stars, are really quite devoid of stars or not. By suitable means not very dissimilar to the ordinary camera and lens, or by a proper arrangement of reflectors to the same end, it would be possible to take pictures covering five degrees square, and including with the naked eye stars-all those that have yet been catalogued or charted-at such a rate that the whole heavens could be done in a few years. Experiments already made have shown that on a very small scale stars of 9.8 magnitude are distinctly shown with fifteen minutes' exposure with a relation of focal length to aperture of eight to one.
A comparison of the old and the new method can only be imagined. Professor Peters, of Clinton, has lately published some twenty charts, each covering about five degrees square. These charts have cost years of labour of the hardest kind, and it was during their construction that he found so many of the minor planets. Now, these charts could be made, and more accurately made, in as many hours as Professor Peters has taken years; and by repeating the photographs at intervals of time, and by direct comparison of the pictures with each other, the minor planets would discover themselves by their motion in the
IRON AS FIRE-RESISTING.
Some interesting and instructive experiments have been lately undertaken by Professor Bauschinger, of Munich, in reference to the safety of cast-iron columns when exposed to the action of great heat. The professor, having arranged some cast and wrought iron columns heavily weighted, exactly as they would be if supporting a building, had them gradually heated, first to three hundred degrees, next to six hundred degrees, and finally to red-heat; then suddenly cooled them by a jet of water, just as might happen when water is applied to extinguish a fire. The experiments showed that the cast-iron columns, although they were bent by the redheat, and exhibited transverse cracks when the cold water was applied, yet they supported the weight resting on them; whilst the wrought-iron columns were bent before arriving at the state of red-heat, and were afterwards so much distorted by the water, that re-straightening of them was out of the question. In fact, if supporting a real building, they would have utterly collapsed under the weight they had to sustain. The professor therefore concludes, as the result of his experiments, that cast-iron columns, notwithstanding cracks and bends, would continue to support the weights imposed upon them; whilst wrought-iron columns would not. In experimenting on pillars of stone, brick, and cementconcrete, the last was found to be the best. Cement-concrete pillars withstood the fierce action of the fire for periods varying from one to three hours; brick pillars, as well as those of clinkers set in cement mortar, displayed great resistance; whilst natural stone-granite, limestone, and
sandstone-were not fireproof. It would therefore appear that, of the several materials for pillars supporting weights, the best for fire-resisting purposes were the cast-iron and cement-concrete.
Regarding an article on Poisons that recently Too frequently, it seems to me, death from appeared in our pages, a correspondent writes: poisoning occurs for want of the proper remedy being quickly applied. Those on the spot are ignorant of it, and while excitedly hunting for it in some medical book, or waiting for the doctor's arrival, the chance of saving life is lost. I would suggest that no poison should be retailed without being accompanied by clear indications of the appropriate remedies to be used in case of mishap, and the treatment to be adopted during or prior to their administration. These label in some cases, and where the bottle was instructions might form an integral part of the too small, could be folded in a small cardboard pill-box sort of appendage, to fit like a capand which could be made to fit very tightly, or or, rather, like a shoe-on the base of the bottle, be gummed on the bottle itself. I have heard of the effects of certain poisons being neutralised by swallowing the mortar scraped from the walls, and others by swallowing white of egg; but in too many cases these expedients are known nothing about until it is too late.'
it expedient that their antidotes, or amelioratives, We agree with our correspondent in deeming ought in every case to accompany poisons that are vended to the public. It should be imperative.
DEEP within my lady's eyes
The Conductor of CHAMBERS's JOURNAL begs to direct
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LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART
ESTABLISHED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, 1832
THE BANK PICKET. THE guard-for as a guard it is considered by some regiments-which proceeds every evening to the Bank of England, presents an example of several somewhat unique military duties that fall to the lot of the men of the Foot-guards; and whether this party be regarded as a guard or as a picket, its duty differs in more than one respect from that of the ordinary guards mounted at palaces or public offices in the metropolis. The men engaged in the protection of these latter buildings are relieved every twenty-four hours. Sentinels are continually maintained both by day and by night at certain points, or 'posts,' as their positions are technically termed; and as many of them are more for ornament than for other objects, the men are frequently placed in pairs in the daytime. The Bank Picket, however, only remains on duty from sunset to sunrise in winter; and in the summer season it is within the precincts of the Bank during a similar number of hours. As the place is vacated by the picket in the busy hours of the day, its protectors cannot be said to be 'relieved' at all, in the proper military signification of that word, for it implies the immediate substitution of fresh men in the places of those removed, whether in relation to a whole guard or to a single sentry. In at least one further matter the picket varies from the stereotyped guards, which form a great item in the occupation of the soldier, and this is in the payment of its members for their services by the Bank authorities. In short, to soldiers the Bank Picket is equivalent to what policemen call 'special duty.'
as at present. One subaltern officer commands the whole party. The latter consists of two sergeants and two corporals, together with twentynine private soldiers and a drummer-boy. These soldiers, forming in every respect a properly arranged guard, reach the Bank from five to seven o'clock in the evening, according to the season of the year; the latter hour being the time of 'mounting' in midsummer. They have to march some miles through the busy streets, and along the Thames Embankment, which intervene between the barracks at Chelsea or St James's Park and their destination at the Bank of England. Some officers, who wish to expedite this journey or to avoid getting drenched in wet weather, conduct the party by train on the Underground Railway. This, however, is prohibited in some regiments; and is not a frequent occurrence in others, except in returning to the West End in the morning, when the easier and quicker mode of travel is very beneficial, especially in winter.
Having arrived at the Bank, each member of the picket receives his remuneration, which varies in amount according to the rank of the payee. The officer, soon after he 'mounts' duty, has dinner provided for him; and he is permitted to invite one friend-usually a comrade-officer to dine with him within the Bank. Supplementary to the dinner is an allowance of wine, consisting either of one bottle of port, or of an equal quantity of sherry, according to the choice of the officer. He is also recompensed pecuniarily for bearing the responsibility of protecting the building and its contents for the night; but we have been unable to ascertain the This picket, or guard, is of immemorial origin; exact sum paid to him. Each sergeant is preperhaps it is contemporaneous with the existence sented with half-a-crown; the corporals with of the Bank itself. It has at least been kept up eighteenpence; and every private soldier gets a without a break since the great riots in 1780, shilling. The drummer-boy, like his comrades known as the Gordon riots. The number of of greater stature, is also entitled to a shilling. soldiers employed in this duty has no doubt varied in the course of a century or more; but for many years past, the picket has been composed of the same representatives of each rank
Popular rumour asserts that these shillings are invariably brand-new coins, fresh from the Mint. It is commonly supposed that they have not previously been in circulation: but this seems to be a
mistaken impression, for the writer has received many a shilling when 'on Bank' which bore evident traces of having passed much of its existence beyond the walls of the Bank. Perhaps the men may in some former period have been paid with new coins, and the tradition of the custom still retain a place in the minds of our civilian friends.
When the ceremony of receiving the money from a Bank official is completed, a blanket is issued to each man, in which, while not on sentry during the night, he can envelop his limbs, and try to court repose on the somewhat hard form of couch offered by the wooden guard-bed. A certain number of greatcoats are also brought forth from a sort of cupboard, for the use of the sentinels. These garments are decorated with very large buttons, each of which bears stamped upon it the words 'Bank of England' in very legible characters. Being of an antiquated cut and appearance, the coats form a rather incongruous addition to the uniform of a Guardsman of modern times. That they have been worn by many generations of pickets is made apparent not only by their obsolete pattern, but also by their display of patches and of other mending arts of the tailor. After all, the coats are not in great requisition; for the majority of the sentries are under cover, and not exposed to cold, being posted in various apartments in the interior of the buildings.
The guardroom is situated in what may be described as a subterranean region, the descent to which is accomplished by the aid of several flights of steps. Lofty buildings, pierced by but few windows, rise above and around the entrance to this place, leaving a very circumscribed portion of the sky open to the view of a sentry, who paces round a few square yards of pavement below, and takes charge of the 'guardroom door,' a duty of some moment to a private soldier. Though not essentially different from other apartments designed for similar purposes, the guardroom is on the whole a very gloomy example of its species, chiefly on account of its somewhat unfavourable position. Hardly any daylight can find its way in, and the room has to be illuminated by numerous gas jets. It is sometimes thought by the men of the Guards that so great a profusion of gas is injurious. Frequently, one of their first steps on taking possession is to reduce the extent of the supposed evil by turning off most of the lights. Whether or not they thus render the guardroom more salubrious, the apparent effect of their efforts to make it so is the conversion of the place into what reminds one forcibly of a dungeon. But the darkness is not so impenetrable as to conceal from view the more permanent black inhabitants of this part of the Bank. These are beetles of extraordinary proportions, which make nocturnal rambles, probably in quest of the crumbs left from the evening repast of the picket. In winter, great fires are kept blazing through the night, which tend to give the guardroom a more cheerful aspect. A selection of books, embracing a considerable variety of literature, is supplied for the diversion of the men during their vigil; and there is also a small library for the use of the officer. The former collection has existed for a long time, and has no doubt proved a great boon to the picket, compelled as it is to remain most of the time in
the guardroom. The well-thumbed condition of the greater part of the volumes testifies to the amount of handling they have been subjected to; and the renewal of those which degenerate into a tattered state, shows that the Bank authorities are desirous of rendering the occupants of their guardroom as comfortable and contented as possible.
The officer in command is accommodated in rooms adjacent to the quarters of his men. They are furnished with every regard to convenience and comfort. His servant, who arrives close on the heels of the armed party, attends to him during his term of occupation. The officer, like the remainder of the picket, can on no pretence whatever leave the Bank premises until his tour of duty is finished. This is an exception to the rule of other like duties in London, for there, officers are not so much restricted in their movements, though at certain times they are bound to be present with their guards.
With the necessary object of ministering to the more material wants of the men of the Bank Picket, a canteen or shop on a small scale is opened by a vendor, who is or was recently— a Jew, well known to the brigade of Guards from his not too modest tariff. He exposes his materials for supper in a cellar-like recess in the wall of a dark passage not unlike a miniature railway tunnel, which leads to regions unexplored by the picket. Having a sufficient stock of eatables, together with a cask of porter, this man does an extensive business till near midnight, when he departs, carrying with him a large proportion of the shillings paid to the soldiers. It is erroneously thought by some uninitiated persons that these refreshments are the gift of the Bank to its nocturnal guardians; whereas everything procured from the canteen-man has to be paid for by the soldiers themselves, and, so far as we are aware, this has always been the case.
But before this store is thrown open, one of the sergeants reads the 'orders' for the regulation of the duty and general conduct of the picket. These chiefly relate to the rules to be observed by the sentries-how they are to act in certain exigences, such as an outbreak of fire, or the like. One paragraph limits the allowance of porter to two pints per man; another regulation prohibits members of the picket from removing their belts, pouches, or ammunition from their persons while within the Bank. The latter is a law on all guard-duty. It is, however, not so strictly enforced at the Bank as elsewhere, the shelter of the blankets allowing a man some latitude in the arrangement of his accoutrements while lying on the guard-bed. A third rule has for its object the suppression of gambling, and also the prevention of soldiers working at their trade' while on Bank.' The former of these decrees was probably called into existence by attempts to organise card-parties in retired corners of the guardroom; the latter is a universal order on all guards in the metropolis.
In regard to the amount of sentry-duty demanded of the men, the Bank Picket can scarcely be said to be exacting. On the contrary, the majority of the soldiers are only once called upon to perform 'sentry-go,' and then it merely lasts for one hour. The limited number of men who are required a second time have some hours of an interval, during which they may
generally enjoy a fair night's rest. The sentries are posted chiefly, as we have already noted, inside rooms in the buildings. One man, as already stated, is placed at the foot of the shaft-like opening to the top of the structures in front of the guardroom entrance. An important item of his duty is to notice the expiry of the hour, and to apprise the next relief of this fact by shouting | out 'Sentry-go!' so as to rouse those who may be dozing within the room. Another sentry paces up and down a court where it is reported that the bank-notes withdrawn from circulation are burned; at all events, there are numerous furnaces there. A third man is posted in a circular ball called the rotunda,' which is devoted to some part of the business of the Bank. These sentries are increased by additional ones in the middle of the night, who remain till the departure of the picket in winter, and till daylight arrives in summer. The officer goes his 'rounds' at eleven o'clock, when he visits each sentry, and having heard all of them cry out 'All's well,' he retires to his rooms, and probably to bed. He is seen no more till the picket parades to 'dismount' in the morning. Besides the soldiers, there are many officials on duty in the Bank by night. Capacious chairs are provided for these functionaries; and they appear to sleep comfortably—and sometimes audibly—in them for hours together, long practice having accustomed their senses to the noise of 'changing guard.'
The picket leaves the Bank at six o'clock in the morning in summer, and at seven, or a little later, in the depth of winter. The men within the guardroom are usually by these times sound asleep. On the drummer summoning them to fall in, by means of a few strokes on the sheepskin of his instrument, there ensues great activity in adjusting knapsacks, or performing hasty ablutions at the neighbouring pump, which is situated in the tunnel we have alluded to. An official arrives to take over the blankets and greatcoats, and also the library; and the senior sergeant completes his 'report' by inserting a clause therein affirming that these articles are 'present and in good order. This done, he takes it to the officer for signature, and finally hands it to the drummer-boy to leave at the Horse-guards, as the party passes through Whitehall on its homeward march. The men having meantime been drawn up by the remaining sergeant, the officer draws his sword and marches them out of the Bank.
A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF.
BY MRS OLIPHANT.
THERE were voices in the drawing-room as Frances ran up-stairs, which warned her that her own appearance in her morning dress would be undesirable then. She went on with a sense of relief to her own room, where she threw aside the heavy cloak, lined with fur, which her aunt had insisted on wrapping her in. It was too grave, too ample for Frances, just as the other presents she had received were too rich and valuable for her wearing. She took the emeFald brooch out of her pocket in its little case, and thrust it away into a drawer, glad to be rid of it, wondering whether it would be her
duty to show it, to exhibit her presents. She divined that Lady Markham would be pleased, that she would congratulate her upon having made herself agreeable to her aunt, and perhaps repeat that horrible encouragement to her to make what progress she could in the affections of the Cavendishes, because they were rich and had no heirs. If, instead of saying this, Lady Markham had but said that Mrs Cavendish was lonely, having no children, and little good of her husband's society, how different it might have been. How anxious then would Frances have been to visit and cheer her father's sister! The girl, though she was very simple, had a great deal of inalienable good sense; and she could not but wonder within herself how her mother could make so strange a mistake.
It was late before Lady Markham came upstairs. She came in shading her candle with her hand, gliding noiselessly to her child's bedside. 'Are you not asleep, Frances? I thought you would be too tired to keep awake.' 'O no. I have done nothing to tire me. I thought you would not want me down-stairs, as I was not dressed.'
'I always want you,' said Lady Markham, stooping to kiss her. But I quite understand why you did not come. There was nobody that could have interested you. Some old friends of mine, and a man or two whom Markham brought to dine; but nothing young or pleasant.-And did you have a tolerable day? Was poor Charlotte a little less gray and cold? But Constance used to tell me she was only cold when I was there.'
'I don't think she was cold. She was-very kind; at least that is what she meant, I am sure,' said Frances, anxious to do her aunt justice.
Lady Markham laughed softly, with a sort of suppressed satisfaction. She was anxious that Frances should please. She had herself, at a considerable sacrifice of pride, kept up friendly relations, or at least a show of friendly relations, with her husband's sister. But notwithstanding all this, the tone in which Frances spoke was balm to her. The cloak was an evidence that the girl had succeeded; and yet she had not joined herself to the other side. This unexpected triumph gave a softness to Lady Markham's voice.
'We must remember,' she said, 'that poor Charlotte is very much alone. When one is much alone, one's very voice gets rusty, so to speak. It sounds hoarse in one's throat. You may think, perhaps, that I have not much experience of that. Still, I can understand; and it takes some time to get it toned into ordinary smoothness. It is either too expressive, or else it sounds cold. A great deal of allowance is to be made for a woman who spends so much of her life alone.'
"O yes,' cried Frances, with a burst of tender
compunction, taking her mother's soft white dimpled hand in her own, and kissing it with a fervour which meant penitence as well as enthusiasm. It is so good of you to remind me of that.'
'Because she has not much good to say of me? My dear, there are a great many things that you don't know, that it would be hard to explain to you: we must forgive her for that.'"
And for a moment Lady Markham looked very grave, turning her face away towards the vacancy of the dark room with something that sounded like a sigh. Her daughter had never loved her so much as at this moment. She laid her cheek upon her mother's hand, and felt the full sweetness of that contact enter into her heart.
'But I am disturbing your beauty-sleep, my love,' she said; and I want you to look your best to-morrow; there are several people coming to-morrow. Did she give you that great cloak, Frances? How like poor Charlotte! I know the cloak quite well. It is far too old for you. But that is beautiful sable it is trimmed with; it will make you something. She is fond of giving presents.' Lady Markham was very quick, full of the intelligence in which Mrs Cavendish failed. She felt the instinctive loosening of her child's hands from her own, and that the girl's cheek was lifted from that tender pillow. But,' she said, 'we'll say no more of that to-night,' and stooped and kissed her, and drew her covering about her with all the sweetness of that care which Frances had never received before. Nevertheless, the involuntary and horrible feeling that it was clever of her mother to stop when she did and say no more, struck chill to the girl's very soul.
Next day Mr Ramsay came in the afternoon, and immediately addressed himself to Frances. I hope you have not forgotten your promise, Miss Waring, to give me all the renseignements. I should not like to lose such a good chance.'
'I don't think I have any information to give you-if it is about Bordighera, you mean. I am fond of it; but then I have lived there all my life. Constance thought it dull.'
'Ah yes, to be sure your sister went there. But her health was perfect. I have seen her go out in the wildest weather, in days that made me shiver. She said that to see the sun always shining bored her. She liked a great deal of excitement and variety-don't you think?' he added after a moment, in a tentative way.
"The sun does not shine always,' said Frances, piqued for the reputation of her home, as if this were an accusation. 'We have gray days sometimes, and sometimes storms, beautiful storms, when the sea is all in foam.'
He shivered a little at the idea. I have never yet found the perfect place in which there is nothing of all that,' he said. 'Wherever I have been, there are cold days-even in Algiers, you know. No climate is perfect. I don't go in much for society when I am at a health-place. It disturbs one's thoughts and one's temper, and keeps you from fixing your mind upon your cure, which you should always do. But I suppose you know everybody there?'
'There is-scarcely any one there,' she said, faltering, remembering at once that her father was not a person to whom to offer introductions.
So much the better,' he said more cheerfully. "It is a thing I have often heard doctors say, that society was quite undesirable. It disturbs one's mind. One can't be so exact about hours. In short, it places health in a secondary place, which is fatal. I am always extremely rigid on that point. Health-must go before all.-Now, dear Miss Waring, to details, if you please.' He took
out a little note-book, bound in russia, and drew forth a jewelled pencil-case. The hotels first, I beg; and then the other particulars can be filled in. We can put them under different heads: (1) Shelter; (2) Exposure; (3) Size and convenience of apartments; (4) Nearness to church, beach, &c.—I hope you don't think I am asking too much?'
'I am so glad to see that you have not given him up because of Con,' said one of Lady Markham's visitors, talking very earnestly over the tea-table, with a little nod and gesture to indicate of whom she was speaking. He must be very fond of you, to keep coming; or he must have some hope.'
'I think he is rather fond of me, poor Claude !' Lady Markham replied without looking round. 'I am one of the oldest friends he has.'
'But Constance, you know, gave him a terrible snub. I should not have wondered if he had never entered the house again.'
'He enters the house almost every day, and will continue to do so, I hope. Poor boy, he cannot afford to throw away his friends.'
Then that is almost the only luxury he can't afford.'
Lady Markham smiled upon this remark. 'Claude,' she said, turning round, don't you want some tea? Come and get it while it is hot.'
I am getting some renseignements from Miss Waring. It is very good of her. She is telling me all about Bordighera, which, so far as I can see, will be a very nice place for the winter, said Ramsay, coming up to the tea-table with his little note-book in his hand.-Thanks, dear Lady Markham. A little sugar, please. Sugar is extremely nourishing, and it is a great pity to leave it out in diet-except, you know, when you are inclining to fat. Banting is at the bottom of all this fashion of doing without sugar. It is not good for little thin fellows like me.'
'I gave it up long before I ever heard of Banting,' said the stout lady, for it need scarcely be said that there was a stout lady; no tea-party in England ever assembled without one. individual in the present case was young, and rebellious against the fate which had overtaken her-not of the soft, smiling, and contented kind.
'It does us real good,' said Claude, with his softly pathetic voice. I have seen one or two very sad instances where the fat did not go away, you know, but got limp and flaccid, and the last state of that man was worse than the first.-Dear lady, I think you should be very cautious. To make experiments with one's health is really criminal. We are getting on very nicely with the renseignements. Miss Waring has remembered a great deal. She thought she could not tell me anything; but she has remembered a great deal.'
'Bordighera? Is that where Constance is?' the ladies said to each other round the low tea-table where Lady Markham was so busy. She smiled upon them all, and answered 'Yes,' without any tinge of the embarrassment which perhaps they hoped to see.
'But of course as a resident she is not living among the people at the hotels. You know how the people who live in a place hold themselves