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oil, attached to light lines, should be put overboard to windward. The result will be as follows: the vessel being more exposed to the wind, will drift more rapidly than the bags, which will be left at some distance to windward, and thus intercept and mollify waves which would otherwise come leaping and foaming towards the ship.

Having, we hope, made the effects of oil on a rough sea clear to the non-nautical reader, we will turn to the Report presented in September last to the Committee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, by Captain Chetwynd, R. N., Chief Inspector of Lifeboats, which shows the results of the experiments carried out by the district inspectors referred to above. One result of these experiments is to show that there is comparatively little difference in the effect produced by the various oils of everyday use, such as colza, linseed, fish or seal oil, &c. In some cases, paraffin was used with much the same results as those given by the other oils. Very small quantities of oil were found sufficient to spread over a considerable expanse of water. The best contrivance for applying the oil appeared to be a canvas bag, either rather loosely sewn together, or pierced with small holes, to allow the oil to escape. As, to be any protection, the oil must be poured or distributed over the sea in a direct line from which the seas are advancing, and at a sufficient distance to give it time to spread and act upon the waves before they reach the vessel to be protected, it follows that, as regards a lifeboat, or indeed any small boat, the oil can only be used when they are in one of two positions-namely, when anchored and lying head to sea and tide; or when running dead before the sea for the shore. In the first of these cases, the waves would of course approach the bows of the boat, over which, therefore, oil should be poured; or, better still, a bag of oil should be floated some yards in front of the boat, attached by a light line to the anchor. Either way, the boat being stationary, the oil would spread all round, and afford some protection. In the second case, when the boat is running with the wind and waves, the danger would be lest a wave should follow on so quickly as to break over the stern of the boat and overwhelm her. As a rule, oil poured from the stern of the boat would to a certain extent quiet these following waves, and prevent any risk of that kind.

Captain Chetwynd comes to the conclusion that oil would be so rarely needed in a lifeboat that he cannot recommend its being supplied to them. Though the oil in the experiments of the district inspectors appeared to stop the breaking of such waves as would endanger the safety of a small open boat; yet in surf of sufficient magnitude to be of importance to a lifeboat, this effect was modified, or sometimes entirely absent. On more than one occasion-to quote the words of the Report-'in a moderate surf which the oil was entirely killing, if a larger breaker than the surrounding ones rose, the oil was powerless to check it, and the sea broke through it, covering boat, gear, &c., with oil.' The liquid poured on the dangerous part of a heavy surf in shoal-water-namely, the break-had little or no effect; nor was the result more satisfactory, of several careful experiments made on breakers caused by a heavy

ground-swell, and not by wind, on the coast of Cornwall. With regard to oil being used at the mouth of harbours by mechanical means, such as pipes laid under water from the shore, Captain Chetwynd appears to think that any vessel entering a harbour could distribute the oil with an equally good result. The seas when of any size would be following the ship in, so that oil poured from her stern, or a bag of oil towed a few yards astern, would in most cases prevent the waves breaking over her.

It must be confessed that the experiments carried out by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution do not show that oil is of such great value among the breakers as we might have wished. At the same time, it must be remembered that these experiments were only carried out among the near-shore breakers. From the reports of those who have tested its efficacy at sea, Captain Chetwynd gathers that the results are most marked and beneficial, being more certain and less capricious than in surf or breakers. Referring to such reports, he says: In every case, its effect has been so remarkable, it seems incredible that its use is not general and an everyday occurrence, more particularly in small vessels, where it could not but add to their comfort as well as safety. As a protection to an open boat in a heavy sea, means of applying it [the oil] should be as much part of the equipment of every ship's boat as oars or a rudder.'

It is to be sincerely hoped that the Admiralty will continue the good work the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has commenced, and have exhaustive experiments carried out. It is quite right and proper that every means should be taken to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners; but our first care should be that our ships are provided with all possible safeguards which human ingenuity can devise against shipwrecks and accidents at sea.


THE recent sale of this island calls attention to one of the lesser members of that rocky archipelago, in possession of the British Crown, linked geographically to France, socially and politically for centuries with this country-the Channel Islands.


Herm-anciently styled Erin, Hermes Ermes, and signifying in old French, ‘land deserted or uncultivated'-lies midway between Guernsey and Sark. The area of Herm is not large, for the island measures only a mile and a half in length by three-quarters of a mile in breadth, and is estimated to contain but some twelve hundred vergées-that is, about four hundred and fifty English acres. So scant an acreage, notwithstanding, the island is replete with interest, and amply repays the visitor for his sail thither, be he naturalist, geologist, or botanist; whilst the scenery of her shores, pebbly beaches, white and glistening, on the one hand laved by the sparkling blue ocean, on the other flanked by precipitous granite cliffs, pinnacled and weather-worn, beach, ocean, and cliffs alike bathed in the brightest and balmiest sunshine, and Venetian in its geniality, affords ample theme for the lover of nature, and no scant material for the brush of the artist.


Turning, now, to the flora and fauna of the island, it is interesting to note that the remains of the stag are found in Herm, though the animal has been extinct for more than a century. Game must formerly have abounded, for an old ordinance of the Royal Court of the island of Guernsey restricts the 'chasse' of hares, rabbits, pheasants, and partridges to jurats, curates, gentlemen, and officers, and to the principal inhabitants de bien,' under certain penalties. Rabbits alone survive, nor does their extinction appear imminent, for the soil favours them, and they multiply rapidly. From Herm both Guernsey and Sark draw considerable supplies of vraic, or seaweed, for agricultural purposes. In the contract letting Herm on a fee-farm rent by the Crown, special clauses guaranteed a continuance of this right to the neighbouring islanders. Vraic is used for fuel also; whilst the proverb, Point de vraic, point de hautgard' (No seaweed, no cornyard), emphasises its importance as a fertilising agent. Copper occurs in the island, but not in sufficient quantities to enable it to be worked successfully. The chief sources of mineral wealth are the granite quarries, which rank equally with those of Guernsey for stone, excelling in density and durability. An export trade was formerly carried on in this material, necessitating the construction of a harbour capable of accommodating vessels of two hundred and fifty tons burden. This branch of industry has now, however, been entirely abandoned, and the large outlay expended in its development lies unproductive.

Nor is this miniature world destitute of vestiges of the past; several Druidical cromlechs and altars will be found in the northern part of the island, in good preservation, in addition to an ancient keep dating, it is believed, from the sixth century.

The population in 1841, according to the census taken in that year, was thirty-eight souls, and has remained stationary since that time.

It is announced that the recent purchasers of Herm are about to convert their new possession into a station for curing and drying the fish caught by their boats in the northern seas. How far such an experiment will prove successful, actual trial alone can decide, though no elements appear to be wanting to render the venture a profitable one; and Herm will doubtless readily adapt herself, with her warm and sunny clime, to the new purpose for which she is designed. It will, in conclusion, interest our readers north of the Tweed to learn that Scotch capital has purchased, and Scotch enterprise will develop, this new industry in this romantic and picturesque possession of the British Crown.



PROFESSOR TYNDALL, in a recent course of lectures on Electricity, took occasion to refer to the construction of lightning-rods. These articles, he said, 'were frequently made with as many as five points, and extremely eminent authorities advised their construction in this way. For his own part, however, he found from experiments in this branch of electricity that the single point

of a needle was as good as half a dozen. In some cases, copper bands were now used as conductors instead of copper wire, and they had the advantage of opening a wider door for the escape of electricity into the earth. He was talking a few days ago to a builder who spoke of certain churches he had "protected" by lightning-con

ductors. He said that he stuck the conductor a few inches into the ground, and imagined that that was quite sufficient. Some few years ago, when he (Professor Tyndall) had the honour of serving the Board of Trade, a lighthouse on the northern coast of Ireland was struck by lightning. conductor ended in stone, which had been pierced On examination, he found that the lightningto a depth of about six inches. That was entirely insufficient to carry away electricity, and, indeed, almost invited the lightning to strike the place. The broader the plate carrying the electric fluid into the earth, the wider the door would be open for its escape. There was one agent which would be even better than anything else, if they could only use it on the top of lighthouses, and that was flame, which must totally discharge all electricity.'


A correspondent thus writes: 'Nearly twenty years ago, I owned a pair of beautiful canariesthe male being a very fine fellow, with a rich musical note. Having furnished them with the outside rough form of a nest in straw, leaving them to complete its comforts with bits of soft wool, down, and small feathers, they were shortly in the happy possession of four eggs. In due course four young ones presented themselves, to the evident delight of the parents, who fed them from daylight to dark, their favourite food being the yolk of hard-boiled eggs. Time brought round the period when, instead of raw, naked, helpless creatures always "asking for more," four full-fledged young birds frisked about the cage like so many pretty yellow balls of fine soft wool. They grew to be very fine birds; and first one friend and then another coveted them, until all had gone but one little youngling, which remained as the only solace of the parents. This last of the family was the delight of their hearts; they fondled it and played with it as we have seen an affectionate mother do with her child, and seemed to exert themselves to amuse it in every way their fancy prompted.

Probably a happier little family never existed. But, alas! the spoiler came. Another friend coveted the last of the little flock, and it was taken away. And from that moment the joyous song of the male bird gave place to a painfully feeble little chirp. He sat on the perch with a drooping, heart-broken, spiritless aspect; his wings hung down as if all power and vitality had left him; and within twenty-four hours

from the time of his bereavement he fell dead The affectionate creature had from the perch. evidently died of grief for the loss of his "one ewe lamb." The cage was given away with the remaining bird; and no inducement could tempt me again to run the risk of perhaps unconsciously being the cause of so much unhappiness and misery.'


France is still infested in some parts with wolves, and although these formidable animals do not generally cause much loss of human life, it only requires a really cold winter to render the wolves dangerous and destructive to the poor husbandmen and villagers of the Meuse and the Vosges. Formerly, many French departments were provided with louvetiers, gentlemen who, in return for the title and privilege of wearing a gallant and most piquant uniform, undertook to keep the district free from louvine incursions. A short time back, however, these honourable and venerable dignities were suppressed, the Minister of Agriculture being content with setting aside annually a sum of money, out of which prizes are awarded for each wolf killed.

The Minister of Agriculture has just issued the official returns of the wolves destroyed during the year 1883. No fewer than thirteen hundred and eighty-eight wolves were killed in one way or another. Of these, thirty-two were with young, and four hundred and ninety-three were cubs; the remainder being full-grown animals. Nine well authenticated cases of persons being attacked by wolves were reported, but it is not said whether any lives were destroyed or not. One hundred and three thousand seven hundred and twenty francs (£4148, 16s. 8d.) were distributed as rewards, which varied according to the importance of the capture. But perhaps the most interesting part of the Report is that which tabulates the number of animals destroyed in each department. The Perigord and eastern counties suffer most from the ravages of these animals. The Dordogne heads the list with 131; the Meuse, 122; Haute-Meuse, 89; Meurtheet-Moselle, 81; Vosges, 71; Haute-Vienne, 71; Charente, 66; Corrèze, 58; Creuse, 43; Aube, 40; other counties following with lesser totals.

During an exceptionally severe winter, exciting sport may be enjoyed either in the Vosges, the Dordogne, or the Côte-d'Or; local guides and attendants are readily obtained; and the poor peasantry are ready thankfully to render any assistance to the hunters who help to rid them of their treacherous and destructive enemy.


cleared out of the cabin and the storerooms, and freely used the mixture. This had the desired effect, the rats taking shelter in every available place outside. This gave us some good sport, especially on a moonlight night, when all hands engaged in hunting rats and driving them overboard, so that by the time we arrived at Hongkong not one was left on board. On my return to England, I took a house and furnished it. After being in it a short time, I found that it was infested with rats. They would get through every part on the ground-floor. On examination, I discovered that a drain ran under the house, emptying into the harbour. I here again used the chloride of lime freely; and in less than a week every rat had taken its departure. I have recommended this remedy to many shipmasters and friends on shore; and in all cases it has proved a success. I have occupied my present residence for five years, and we have neither rat nor mouse on the premises. I attribute this to the free use of the above mixture, which is also effective as a deodoriser and disinfectant.'


SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY! And midst old recollections
I remember once more the old hopes and dejections,
That rush to my heart with an echoing joy,
When you were a girl, dear, and I was a boy :

When I sent you a rose on that February morning,
And with it a passionate, rhyme-halting lay,
And met your reproaches and well-acted scorning
By whispering: 'Sweet, 'tis Saint Valentine's Day!'

And the sky was so blue, and the sunshine so yellow,
And the soft southern wind blew so shrilly and sweet,
And each tiny bird sang so loud to its fellow,
While the snowdrops and crocuses bloomed at your feet,
Small wonder our hearts broke to tremulous beating,
As we learned in the wonderful, old-fashioned way,
What the earth, and the sky, and the air were repeating
In mystical cadence of Valentine's Day.

And now that the crazy-sweet babble and laughter
Of golden-haired children have rung in our ears,
And brought us the hope of a tender hereafter
To link to the thought of those far-away years-
Once more in the words of the happy boy-lover,
I veil deeper meaning in whimsical way-
A meaning your heart will be quick to discover-
By whispering: 'Sweet, 'tis Saint Valentine's Day!'

M. E. W.

The Conductor of CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL begs to direct the attention of CONTRIBUTORS to the following notice:

1st. All communications should be addressed to the 'Editor, 339 High Street, Edinburgh.'

2d. For its return in case of ineligibility, postage-stamps

'Allow me,' writes a correspondent, 'to suggest a simple means of getting rid of those pests. In the year 1855 I was in command of the British vessel Tubal Cain, lying alongside the wharf at Melbourne, embarking Chinese passengers for Hong-kong. The wharfs were so infested with rats that it was impossible to prevent their getting on board, and my vessel was well stocked with them. After being at sea a few days, I mustered the passengers-with their effects-on deck, to give them an airing, and for the purpose of giving the passenger deck a good cleansing, and sprinkling some chloride of lime mixed with water. I also had a couple of buckets of the same mixture poured down the pumps. This I continued 4th. Offerings of Verse should invariably be accompanied weekly; when, to my surprise, the rats made a raid on the cabin (poop) on deck, and became so troublesome that neither myself nor my officers cared about turning in at night. A happy thought struck me that the chloride of lime had driven them from below deck; so I had everything

should accompany every manuscript.

3d. To secure their safe return if incligible, ALL MANUSCRIPTS, whether accompanied by a letter of advice or otherwise, should have the writer's Name and Address written upon them IN FULL.

by a stamped and directed envelope.

If the above rules are complied with, the Editor will do his best to insure the safe return of ineligible papers.

Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Pater noster Row, LONDON, and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH.

All Rights Reserved.





Fifth Series


No. 58.-VOL. II.


ROBBING THE BANK OF ENGLAND. In a previous paper we called attention to curious matters connected with the Bank of England. In the present, we propose to describe some of the most noteworthy attempts to divert the wealth of that great corporation into improper channels.

It is somewhat remarkable, that until 1758a period of sixty-five years from the foundation of the Bank-no attempt was made to imitate its notes; in other words, bank-note forgery was as yet uninvented. The doubtful honour of having led the way in this particular belongs to one Richard William Vaughan. There is an element of romance about his story. In August 1757, a gentleman named Bliss, residing in London, advertised for a clerk. Among others, Vaughan, then aged twenty-six, offered himself, and was accepted. He was of good address and education, though he had made but an indifferent use of his advantages. He had started as a linendraper in Stafford, with a branch establishment in Aldersgate Street, London; but had failed, and at the time of his engagement by Mr Bliss, was an uncertificated bankrupt. This, however, his employer was not at first made aware of; and in the meantime, the young adventurer succeeded in winning the affections of a niece of Mr Bliss, a young lady of some expectations. Mr Bliss was induced, after some pressure, to consent to their marriage, conditionally upon Vaughan's first clearing himself from his difficulties and showing that he was in a position to marry. Vaughan expressed himself confident of speedily meeting these requirements; and shortly afterwards announced that his relatives had agreed to lend him a helping hand; that his discharge from bankruptcy would be forthwith granted; and that immediately afterwards he would start afresh in business.

Meanwhile, in support of his assertions, he showed his lady-love, and indeed placed in her keeping, twelve alleged Bank of England notes for twenty pounds each. The wedding-day was fixed for Easter Monday (1758), some three weeks


later. In the meantime, however, an engraver, whom Vaughan, under an assumed name, had commissioned to engrave part of the plates for the notes, suspecting something wrong, gave information to the police. Vaughan was arrested, and spent his intended wedding-day in the 'condemned cell,' under sentence of death for forgery. At the trial, it was urged in his defence that the forged notes were not intended to be put in circulation, but merely to be used as a means of deluding Miss Bliss and her family. It was shown, however, that the twelve notes deposited formed only a part of those actually printed, and that Vaughan had endeavoured to induce one John Ballingar to cash some of them. The defence therefore failed, and Vaughan was hanged.

The imitation of the bank-note at that date was a much easier matter than it is at present, the note itself being a very rough affair and only partly engraved; the amount, the name of the payee, and the signature of the cashier being supplied in writing. Vaughan's appears to have been an extremely clumsy imitation, not even an attempt being made to imitate the watermark, which is one of the special signs of a genuine note. Unfortunately, the feasibility of imitation once shown, there were plenty to follow and to improve upon his example. There was, however, no attempt at bank-note forgery on a large scale until the year 1780, when a note was one day presented at the Bank, and was cashed in ordinary course. The paper, the watermark, the engraving, and the signatures, all were in perfect order. Indeed, so complete was the deception, that it was only when the note was about to be posted to the ledger appropriate to returned notes of that particular date, that it was found to be a duplicate of a note already returned, and consequently a forgery.

It may be here explained that all notes of any given date are always of the same denomination, and that each issue consists of one hundred thousand notes, numbered from one (written 000001) upwards. Thus, before us is a five-pound

note bearing date the 30th of June 1884. Any one conversant with the system on which the notes of the Bank of England are issued would know at once that no genuine note of any other denomination (that is, of any amount other than five pounds) can bear that particular date,

and that of that date there have been one

to call upon him at his lodgings in Great Titchfield Street. He did so; when the soi-disant Brank informed him that his ward had an unfortunate mania for speculating in lotteries, and that one of Samuel's chief occupations would be purchasing tickets for this purpose. By way of beginning, Brank handed him a note for twenty pounds, with instructions to purchase an eightand to meet him with the ticket at the door of pound chance in the drawing then commencing, the Parliament Street Coffee-house. This done, he

hundred thousand notes printed, each for five pounds. To keep account of these, a ledger lettered on the back to correspond with the particular series (say, 'Fives, 30 June 1884') is pre-gave him two more notes, to be used in the same pared, ruled with horizontal and vertical lines, way, telling him to meet him afterwards at the so as to form on each page two hundred rectan- City Coffee-house, Cheapside. On his way thither, gular spaces. These are numbered consecutively he was hailed from a coach by his venerable throughout the book from one to one hundred employer and intrusted with four hundred pounds thousand. As each note is returned to the Bank, more, to be expended in like manner at different the date of its return is entered in the correoffices; and at the end of the day, notes to the amount of fourteen hundred pounds had been sponding space in this ledger. A forger, manu- thus placed in circulation. The next day, notes facturing, say, five-pound notes, will take care for twelve hundred pounds were got rid of in to use a date when a series of five-pound notes like manner; and the day following, five hundred was actually issued; and will further take care more. In negotiating this last parcel of notes, that the number shall be one between one and Samuel was asked to write down his name and one hundred thousand, or the imitation would address; and this led, as we have seen, to his be at once detected by any skilled arrest. person. Assuming that the note is so well executed as to pass the cashiers, it is sure to be discovered when it reaches the 'Returned Note' department, if the true note bearing the same number has already been presented at the Bank, as it would then be seen that there were duplicate notes of that particular number.

Such was the case with the note in question. The attention of the cashiers once called to the matter, it would have been thought that either the presentation of the forged notes would cease, or that the detection of the forger would be an easy matter. But it was not so. Similar notes continued to be presented; but the identity of the forger remained a mystery. Lotteries were in vogue at that day, and the notes were generally traced to one or other of the lottery offices; but there the clue failed. At last, however, a note being traced to one of these offices, the keepers reported that they had received it from a young man named Samuel, living in a street off the Strand. The police went to the address given, and found the young man, who admitted changing the note at the lottery office as alleged, but declared that he had merely done so by order of his master. He stated that having seen in the Daily Advertiser an advertisement for a servant, he applied for the situation, addressing his reply, as directed, to a certain coffee-house; and that, a day or two later, he was called out from his lodgings to see the advertiser, who was waiting in a coach outside. He found in the coach an aged gentleman, with a patch over one eye, and with one foot swathed in bandages, as if from gout. The old gentleman informed him that his name was Brank; that he required a servant for a ward of his, a young nobleman, just then absent from town; and after a few preliminaries, made an appointment for Samuel

the truth, left him in his lodgings, instructing The police being satisfied that Samuel spoke him to report to them when he next heard from his mysterious employer. A day or two later, he received a letter, requesting him to meet Mr Brank at a certain coffee-house at eleven o'clock the next day. He went to the coffee-house indicated, two officers in disguise closely following him. He was a few minutes late, and was told that a porter had been inquiring for him. He vain. The mysterious Brank had somehow taken waited at the coffee-house for some time; but in the alarm. A raid was made upon the lodgings in Great Titchfield Street; but the supposed Brank had not been there for some days. Rewards were offered for his apprehension, and his description-in the 'patch' disguise-circulated in the public prints; but in vain.

a new

continued to be presented, and the Bank autho-
For five years paper forged by the same hand
rities were at their wits' end, when, fortunately
for them, the ingenious forger hit on
form of fraud, which led to his capture. A
custom at that time prevailed at the Bank of
England, that when a person paid in gold
to be exchanged for notes, he did not in the
first instance receive the notes themselves, but
only a ticket showing the amount, which was
exchanged at another counter for the notes. 'On
the 17th of December' (1785), it is stated in
into the Bank, for which the clerk, as usual, gave
a newspaper of the day, 'ten pounds was paid
a ticket to receive a bank-note of equal value.
This ticket ought to have been carried imme-
diately to the cashier; instead of which, the bearer
took it home, added a 0 to the original sum, and
returning, presented it so altered to the cashier,
for which he received a note of one hundred
pounds. In the evening, the clerks found a
tickets of the day, not only that, but two others
deficiency in the accounts; and on examining the
were found to have been altered in the same
manner. In the one, the figure 1 was altered
to 4, and in another to 5, by which the artist

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