Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

4 articles on this Page



[No title]


A NOBLEMAN SUED BY A RATCATCHER. — At the Leeds Assizes an action was brought by a man named Smith, a ratcatcher, against Lord Londesborough. The plaintiff had been engaged by his lordship's agent to ex- terminate rats on the estate for X,50 per annum. On applying for his wages the agent told him that it would be raised by a rate on the tenant", which he (plaintiff) would have to collect. Plaintiff then collected some money and continued for another year, and at the ex- piration of that period he had a claim of £100, exclusive of the amount he had received from the tenants, and which came to £48. He applied to Mr Young, the agent of Lord Londeshorou;h, for the money, but was again told that he must look to the tenants, and a number of letters were sent to them, urging upon them that they should pay the plaintiff what he wanted. The plaintiff was not able to get his money hence the present action against his lordship. The jury gave a verdict for the amount claimed. ANECDOTE OF DR. PARR.—Many must have heard the late Leonard Horner tell the following story of Dr Parr, whom he knew intimately; we incline to remem- ber that Mr Horner was present, but we are not sure. At any rate, the story is worthy of record, morally and physically. Dr Parr and others were staying at a coun- try house. Among the guests were two Americans, who made no hones of differing from the doctor. So Parr said, "Do you know where you come from, gentlemen ? you come from the place where we send our thieves!" This made the boat angry, and he gave the doctor a sharp rebuke for his rudeness, which made him quit the room in high sulk. The rest of the company walked out on the lawn, where they amused the Americans with stories of the Doctor. there was a heavy black cloud overhead, and suddenly there came out of that cloud the word Tltam (Parr-lisp for Sam) in the Doctor's voice. The company stared, a word or two was spoken about the curious directi ms which unexpected sounds will take, and the conversation proceeded. Presently the awful word was again thrown from the cloud, And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before. There was now surprise and alarm and all the party set off to find the doctor. They found him in his bedroom, and the explanation was more sufficient than satisfactory. In his mood he had chosen to sit down with his pipe on the top bar of a very deep old-fashioned grave with a high mantelshelf. Here he had tumbled back wards, and was doubled up between the back and the bars. t His only way of calling for help was by sending his voice up the chimney and the warning was the echo from the cloud. If we could but think he had heard the previous con- versation by the same channel, the poetic justice of the calamity would be enhanced. Say that he stumbled by leaning backwards to listen to it; but do not say we told the story that way.—Athcnmum. ICE.-It is now generally known that the greatest portion of so-called I Wenham Lake ice' is obtained from Norway. The true Wenham Lake is in Massa- chusetts, in the United States, about 20 miles from Boston. This lake, which has no outlet, but is fed by springs which issue from the rocks at its bottom, is about one mile square and 200't. deep. Of the ice ex- ported from Boston only a small quantity is sent to England, the principal portion being shipped to India. According to the returns of the Board of Trade, only 46,538 tons of ice were exported from the United States in 1863, of the value of £ 169,757. In 1864 the quantity was 47,496 tons, of the value of £278,127; and in 1805 59,927 tons were exported, of the value ofjE225,825 the average price being £3 15s 4d per ton. The Norwegian ice appears to have almost entirely superseded the true Wenham Lake ice in the English market, and the proximity of Norway to ice-consuming countries will, no doubt, give it the monopoly of this branch of export in Europe. In 1865 several ice cargoes were shipped from Norway to Egypt, Spain, and Italy. England, however, continues to be the chief market for Norwegian ice, which, for the most part, is shipped from Drobak, a small port in the Fjord, a few miles from Christiania. Thirty-six cargoes, together 9,000 tons, were shipped in 1.864 from th place, of which London, Hull, and Grimsby alone took 5,800 tons. The Drobak ice-hcuses store during the winter about 13,000 tons. Before cutting the ice from the lakes its surface is scraped, and the field marked off into squares by an iron plough. After the ice is out into squares the blocks are disengaged and floated on shore to be stored. According to Mr Crowe, Her Majesty's Consul at Christiania, only 3,323 tons of ice were exported in 1861, while in 1862 the quantity bad increased to 20,402 tons. In 1863 29,110 tons were exported direct to England. In 1864 the total quantity exported from Norway was only 17,634 tons. In 1865 it bad increased to 44,823 tons, of which 43,359 tons were shipped to Great Britain. JAPANESE FUNERAL -The correspondent of the New York Times gives an account of a funeral he attended recently, when in Hiogo" First walked a group of boys bearing poles ornamt-nted with long streamers and paper banners covered with inscriptions-no doubt laudatory of the dead. Next came several white-robed priests with shaven heads, and carrying cereal offerings to the deities. Two of them had cymbals, which, at a signal from a silver-toned be 1, they would strike as if to drive away evil influences. After these was the corpse, borne on a cumbrous bier. The latter looked a small temple, and was decorated with tinsel and with ribands of parti- coloured paper. Then came more priests, boys bearing sacred chairs, and a group ot mourners completely en- veloped in white robes, with long gauze veils thrown over their heads and reaching to their feet. After these marched three priests of the highest order, robed in gorgeous vestments like those worn in the Romish Church. Each carried a fan (that Oriental emblem of authority), and wore a tall hat of go!den-coloured silk, with a cape falling upon the shoulders. Then came about 30 of the gentry, all bareheaded (the fashion in Japan), and dressed in the official costume, with swords by their sides, and a long line of women and children brought up the rear of the procession. It marched a long distance into the country, and as it would along a hill and valley with flaunting streamers and sounding cymbals the scene was weird and unearthly. At last they reached the appointed spot; the bier was laid on two stone pillars, its frame was taken apart, and Inside was seen a cask like a small half-barrel well hooped. This is the coffin, and into this the corpse has been packed In a sitting posture, and all spare room filled with combustibles. The sacred chairs are placed opposite this cask, and are occupied by the high priests, and on a bench between them are laid the cereal offerings. The people gather round and com- mence a low-toned ond monotonous chaunt, probably a mere repetition of the name of their deity, after which one of the high priests approaches the dead and mutters a prayer. In the meantime the 30 men previously men- tioned are kneeling near by on a matting, and are Mat- tering bits of white paper, probably to distract the attention of the devil, while the others secure the safety of the departed. Several of the assembly wear white paper crescents on their foreheads, and their duty appears to corsiet in passing around and bowing very low to the others. The services are closed by burning the body, and after all others retire the undertaker remains to gather the ashes, which are placed in all urn and buried. STANDARD WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.—The Warden of the Standard States, in his annual report just issued) states that by the new microscopical apparatus comparisons can be made of measures of length from 20 feet down to the fraction of an inch, and the exact difference ascer- tained within less than .00001 inch by a single direct measurement, and much more closely ty a computation of the mean of many measurements. With this ap- paratus comparisons have been made of the official stan- dard yard, which was constructed in 1825 as a commer- cial standard. Being a brass bar with upright terminations, between which the measure of a yard is obtained, it does not admit of so minutely accurate a comparison as the scientific standards. The results of the comparisons show the official standard yard to be about .0015 inch loss than the standard length. ThIS small deficiency is considerably within the amount of error allowed in the official comparision sf local standard yards; for perfect accuracy in these standards is impos- sible. The subject of the construction of a new se- condary standard measure of length, with subdivisionsr as a commercial standard, and of a suitable apparatus for the better comparison in the department of copies of this standard, which are to be used for testing commer- cial measures of length, is under the consideration Of the Standards Commission. Captain Kater's large balance, used by him for the original verification of the imperial standard bushel, has been entirely reconstructed by Mr Oertling it carries 3001b weight in each pall, and shows any difference of weight within less than II single grain. The other balances of precision made If Mr Oertling have been fitted with new index scales witft finer divivisions, to be viewed through magnifying glasses. One of these balances will show any difference in two standard pounds under comparison within about '0001 grain in a single weighing, and a much more minute difference on the mean of several weighings- The reverification of the units of bullion weight haS been based on the primary platinum standards, and it has involved the scientific comparison of standard differing in their densities. When weighed in air the apparent weight of a platinum standard pound is about •645 grains heavier than a brass or bronze standard pound the true weight, their weight in a vacuum, being exactly equal, and no just comparison of such standard pounds can bs made by weighing them in air without deducting the weight of air displaced by each. The re" suit of these weighings and reductions of the primary platinum standards is that the relative weight of the io* perial standard pound, which is an avoirdupois pound, and of the primary troy pound from which, with the Iud of auxiliary platinum weights, the Imperial standard Was constructed, has been conclusively shown to be unal' tered since 1845. It follows that the absolute weight of each of these platinum standards is also unchanged. The imperial standards cf length and weight, the pri- mary yard and pound, are deposited in the strong room of the basement in the building in the Tower, in an iron chest made by Messrs Chubb. In the financial year 1867-68 the warden ra-verified no less than 2,167 looal standards this number was un usually large, owing partly to last year's report having given publicity to the fact of a large proportion of standards throughout the kingdom being illegal for want of due periodical revert- fication.