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PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.

FREQUENT inquiries having been made with respect to the distribution of parliamentary papers amongst the different Literary, Scientific, and Mechanics Institutions, thereaders of the Journal are informed that the resolutions of the Parliamentary Committee which sat last year on this subject, cannot be carried into effect until they have received the sanction of the House of ComIn Ons.

Owing to the illness of Mr. Tufnell, the chairman of the committee, the discussion on the resolutions was necessarily postponed, but the Council have authority to state that it is Mr. Tushell's intention to take the earliest opportunity, on the meeting of Parliament, to bring forward the resolutions of the committee; and, as they were adopted unanimously, it is hoped that the House will not hesitate to sanction them. When this has been done, the committee which must then be appointed will proceed without delay to decide upon the distribution of parliamentary papers.

ON CIDER AND PERRY MAKING.

COMMUNICATED BY T. w. BookER, Esq., M.P. At the recent Agricultural Meeting at Ledbury I made a few remarks on the production of Cider and Perry, which induced some of my constitutents, there assembled, to seek *conversation with me afterwards on the subject, during which they requested me to “write another letter,” with *cial reference to the proper season for gathering the suit and the mode of managing the fermentation of the hour. If the remarks which I have to make shall awake due attention on the part of the cider and perry Producers of our country, I feel convinced of this, that, to * the words of one who wrote on the subject two hun*] years ago, Dr. John Beal, a Fellow of the Royal *y, "these parts of England will be some hundreds " thousands of pounds sterling the better for it.” That the whole subject may be before us, I will beg * to copy the following, which is a reprint from the * Chronicle—a newspaper having extensive circulation * the Ciler Counties of the West of England, the editor of which copied it from the Hereford Journal, and * it off for gratuitous distribution, and to whose

*ging courtesy I am indebted for the copy I send |P

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Baron's observations is contained in the following extracts from Mr. Booker's letter:— “‘Our liquors,” said the Baron, “after the fruit is pressed, are strained, so as to separate the coarse muss from the liquor, which is then put into large vessels, when shortly afterwards fermentation commences. This fermentation we watch with the utmost care and attention, considering that upon it everything depends connected with the future quality and richness .*value of the wine; in the course of a few days, the finer muss that remains in the liquor after the straining above alluded to, drops to the bottom, and the liquor becomes perfectly clear and transparent, retaining all its original saccharine matter, with all its strength, richness, and flavour. At this critical period, upon which we consider the quality of our wines depend, we adopt the process of racking. This racking must be effected in such a manner as to prevent any part of the liquor coming into contact with the atmospheric air; should it do so, fresh fermentation, in all probability, will take place, and by the same means, the like causes repeated will operate and be followed by the same results—repeated fermentation— until the flavour and richness of the original liquor are destroyed, and the liquor, instead of becoming wine, would become as worthless as your inferior cider.’” “The reason for this Rhenish caution (writes Mr. Booker) in ". the liquor from coming into contact with the atmospheric air during the process of racking, is this. The first fermentation is what is termed winous fermentation, and results in the liquor subjected to it becoming wine; if repeated fermentations are allowed to follow. they are what are termed acetous fermentations, and they result in the liquor parting with its vinous and saccharine properties, and imbibing acid or acetous ones, and it is converted into vinegar. Now the atmosphere is the laboratory, from which the liquor absorbs the chemical agent which produces these distinct and separate fermentations. “And now practically to apply these observations. One fermentation is all that is wanted to convert the juice of the apple into wholesome cider. “The plan to ensure this which I recommend is as follows:–First—Grind the apples in the cider-mill, and squeeze the juice from, the pulp, as is done at present. Second–Rus; or pour the liquor, after being Squeezed or strained, into a vat, capable of containing three or four or even more hogsheads. This vat must be placed in an elevated position, at least five or six feet above the floor, to admit the hogshead or cask, in which the liquor is to be ultimately secured, to be placed under it. At the bottom of the large vat let there be a hole of from one-anda-half to two inclies in diameter, for the purpose of a tube being passed through this hole into the i. or cask under it. This tube, or pipe should be of a sufficient length to pass through the muss or sediment which desits itself in the large vat, and to reach at least six inches above it into the clear liquor, and it should be of sufficient length to pass through the hogshead or cask placed below or under, the vat, into which the liquor is to be passed, nearly to the bottom. While this process of fermentation is going on, the top of this tube should be corked or plugged up. . When the liquor in the vat has dropped fine, the cork or plug being withdrawn, the rocess of racking commences and is accomplished, and the fine liquor will run from the large vat through the tube into the hogshead or cask placed under it, the liquor retaining all its original saccharine qualities. “And now the work is done; and the result will be found to be a liquor wholesome and palatable, full of spirit, richnesss, and flavour, and of value proportioned to the descriptions or sorts of apples which are cultivated in our orchards: My own firin conviction is, that the difference in value, in the market, of all the cider produced in Herefordshire by these simple means, over and above that produced by our present careless and slovenly

means, would amount to many tens of thousands of pounds a year, and would be so much clear gain and profit to all those who make cider, to say nothing of the health and pleasure of those who drink it.” Since I wrote the foregoing, I have been favoured by a highly-valued and intelligent friend of mine, resident in our county, with the following admirable “Treatise on Cider-making:” it was written many years ago for the Farmers' Club at Ross, and is so comprehensive, and full of the most practical information, and, moreover, gives it in so much better language than any I can use, that 1 feel I cannot do better than place it i. the public. “The production of good cider must depend upon the description of fruit of which it is made, the season, and state of the apples when they are crushed, and the management of the juice whilst it is fermenting. It will therefore be proper to consider the subject under these three heads separately. The kind of Apple which makes the best Cider. “The acid which gives the peculiar quick and sharp feeling upon the palate in good cider, having first been noticed in the apple, although it exists in many other fruits, has been termed the malic acid. It may not be too much to say, that it is the due combination of this acid with saccharine matter, namely, the sugar of the apple, properly fermented, which is the object to be aimed at in the manufacture of cider. In the selection of the fruit will depend the proportion of malic acid contained in the liquor. The crab has a much greater quantity of this acid than the cultivated fruit; and, generally speaking, in proportion as we obtain sweetness by culture, we deprive the apple of its malic acid. “Hence it follows that some delicious table fruits will not make good cider; this rule, however, is not invariable, as the golden pippin and some other fine apples appear to contain the proper admixture of acid and sweetness which is desirable in the liquor. Mr. Knight recommends that the different sorts of fruit be kept separate; and considers that only those apples which are yellow, or mixed with red, make good cider; and that the fruit of which the flesh or rind is green, are very inferior. He recommends that the apples should be perfectly ripe—even mellow, but never decayed—beforc they are crushed. “There was a curious manuscript written by Dr. John Beale, a fellow of the Royal Society in 1657, upon the sulject, of which the following are extracts:—“Crabs and wild pears, such as grow in the wildest and barren cliffs, and on hills, make the richest, strongest, the most pleasaut, and lasting wines that England yet yields, or is ever likely to yield. I have so well proved it already by so many hundred experiments in Herefordshire, that wise men tell me that these parts of England are some hundred thousand pounds sterling the better for the knowledge of it.' He mentions of these kinds of austere fruit the Bromsbury crab, the Barland pear, and intimates “that the discovery of them was then but lately made, yet they had gotten a great reputation.' He adds, “the soft crab and white or red horse pear excel them and all others known or spoken of in other counties." Of the red horse pear of Felton or Longland, he says, “that it has pleasaut masculine rigour, especially in dry grounds, and has a peculiar property to overcome all blasts.' Of the quality of the fruit he observes, such is the effect which the austerity has on the mouth on tasting the liquor, that the rustics declare it as if the roof of the mouth were filed away, and that neither man nor beast care to touch one of these, pears, though ever so ripe.” Of the pear called rinny winter pear, which grows about Ross, in that county, he observes, that it is of no use but for cider; and that if a thief steal it, he would incur a speedy vengeance, it being a furious purger; but being joined with well chosen crabs, and reserved to a due naturity, becomes richer than good French wine; but if drunk before the time, it stupifies the roof of the mouth, assaults the brain, and purges more violently than a Galenist.’ “Of the quality of the liquor he says, “according as it is managed, it proves strong Rhenish, Barrack, yea, plea.

sant Canary, sugared of itself, or as rough as the fiercest Greek wine, opening or binding, holding one, two, three, or more years, so that no mortal can say yet at what age it is past the best. This we can say, that we have kept it until it burn as quickly as sack, draws the flame like naptha, and fires the stomach like aqua vitae." Thus there appears a great difference between the opinions of these two men, who probably paid more attention to the subject than any others; and the question naturally arises, is the cider and perry of the county as good or better than it used to be, #: greater attention has been paid to the orchards? I am decidedly of opinion that it is inferior; and it was this impression which caused me to venture to call your attention to the subject. If such be the case, it is a great object to ascertain what has caused the deterioration in the liquor. I believe it is for want of a due proportion of the peculiar acid which is found in the greatest quantity in the wild fruit; and beg to suggest whether it would not be worth while to try back, and mix a certain quantity of crabs with the fruit before it is crushed. The best time of the year for making Cider.

“It has been before observed, that Mr. Knight recommends the fruit to be perfectly ripe, even mellow, before it is crushed, and this can only happen late in the autumn. As it is known to be more difficult to manage the fermentation of the liquor in warm weather, it is usual to defer making cider till November or December; if, however, the liquor can be put in a cold cellar after the first fermentation is over, I am of opinion that it might be commenced earlier. The juice of unripe fruits ferments more quickly than of that which is ripe, and contains more malic acid. Where there is the convenience of a good underground cellar, the difference of temperature between that and the outward air is greater in moderately warm weather than in November; so that if the liquor were fermented under sheds, as Mr. Knight recommends (and his instructions as to the management of the cider whilst fermenting are excellent), and, as soon as fine, removed into the cold cellar, the change of temperature would be greater at the end of September than in November, and this would probably tend to prevent the liquor fermenting again. If the new cider cannot be removed, from the warmth of the atmosphere, there can be no question that it is better to defer the making till the weather becomes cool.

Fermentation of the Juice.

“The researches of scientific men, although very elaborate, have done very little in throwing light upon the nature of fermentation; it appears to partake, in a measure, of the vital principle, of |. phenomena attending which we know nothing. Many curious and interesting facts have been o during the investigation, but none of which appear to be of much use in the making of cider. There are three kinds of fermentation, or rather there are some products which pass regularly through three stages of fermentation, viz., the vinous, the acetous, and the putrescent. Other substances at once to one or other of the latter stages; gum and water turning to vinegar without forming any spirit, and meat at once putrefying. It is not desirable that the vinous fermentation should be complete in the manufacture of cider, in which case all the sugar of the apple would be converted into spirit; this never does happen without a portion of vinegar being also formed, the acetous fermentation going on conjointly with the vinous, as when cider frets a great deal it may be very strong, but is comparatively of little value, having lost all its richness and become sour. The vinous fermentation stops naturally before it has run its course, and it is the object of the maker to avail himself of this property in the i. and to endeavour to o any secondary fermentation takin place; the number of schemes which have been suggeste to prevent which, showing that it is the most important Point to be attended to in the manufacture of good cider.

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I am of opinion that the 100-gallon cask is much better than larger, and that the liquor is not only more easily managed, but more likely to be good; it may be that cider in large casks becomes stronger, but not so frequently fish as in single hogsheads. Although it may not be apparent, fermentation commences as soon as the juice is expressed from the fruit; and the sooner the cask is filled and allowed to remain quiet, the more regular and certain will be the process. What should we think of the brewer who, whilst his beer was working, brewed another quantity, and added the raw wort to the first? Yet this is constantly done in filling a large cask with cider; or even worse, for the applejuice is added cold, whereas the wort might be mixed with the beer whilst warm. It would be greatly better to keep the liquor in open tubs, till enough be obtained to fill the cask, and then to put it together at Qūce. “If I may be allowed to suggest an experiment, there is one use to which I should be very glad to see a large task applied; that is, to fill it partly with fresh muss, and the remainder with boiling water—the probable result would be a very pleasant and useful liquor. Temperature has much to do with fermentation, and it would be an advantage to have two cellars, one much colder than the other. If the liquor, upon pitching fine, were racked in a clean cask and put into a cold cellar, there would be much less risk of its fermenting again. I should recommend no other liquor to be added to it; but, in order to prevent ullage, that it should be racked into a smaller cask:-the less air admitted the better, aud if the cask be sound and iron-bound it may be better to close it at this time. “The application of cold will check fermentation immediately. I have seen liquor in a state of froth boiling out of a large jar, suddenly reduced to a state of quiescence by pumping upon the side of the jar. This fact induced me to cause an experiment to be tried at Gayton during a very bad season for the cider making, the weather being very warm; a cask of juice was rolled into a brook of cold water, and sunk bystones attached to it; it remained in that position till nearly Christmas, and was so much better than any other made that year that Mr. Newman obtained double the price for that hogshead he did for any of the rest, Perfect stillness is very desirable, as motion is found to excite the acetous fermentation. A bottle of wine, attached to the sail of a windmill in motion was, after three days, converted into vinegar, although closely corked. When a second fermentation does take t in cider, there is very little hope of its being rich all “In such case, I should recommend its being drawn out into tubs, exposed to the cold as much as possible; and after being thus flattened, put back into the cask, at the same time well stirring up the whites of fifteen or twenty eggs, previously mixed up with a portion of the liquor; if this succeeds in fining it, which probably it will, it may then be racked into a clean cask, and closed as much as possible from the air. It is probable that a great deal of mischief is caused by some principle of fer: inentation remaining in the cask; this might be prevented by well scalding the casks before they are filled; or, what link would be better, by washing out the casks with * line water. One sarge piece of lime put into a onead of water, and allowed to settle, would answer the . Some brimstone matches burned in the *Would have a tendency to prevent fermentation. "I shall not say much upon the mode of crushing the opple; and pressing out the juice, having had so little }*al experience; but I have always thought that if * "it were crushed between wooden roilers, and allowed to drain before being put under the stone, the *Would be much expedited; as the apples somei.o before the stone a long time before they are "*{reland they use a press formed by a lever, which might be made at less o: than o, screw, and be **kly worked: it is impossible the pressure can

be too light at first, and it should be increased gradually as the liquor runs from the muss. Two sets of bags, allowing one to drain for some time without pressure, would be an undoubted advantage. “ E. P.”

I need not, I think, add one word to the advice here given. I earnestly hope it will be followed, and sure I am that we shall all feel and acknowledge the value of it, in the improvement in quality, and increase in value, of our county beverage.

I have been asked by hundreds whether it is really the fact that during each visitation of that awful scourge, the Cholera, which has again appeared among us, not a single case has ever yet occurred in Herefordshire: my reply has been that it is so : I shall be glad to be corrected if I am wrong: if I am right, the knowledge of this cannot be too widely circulated, nor can our thankfulness be too great to the Almighty Being who has so singularly and signally blessed and protected us.

PREPARED COFFEE-LEAVES. Mr. Daniel Hanbury has just presented to the Society a sample of prepared coffee-leaves. Mr. Hanbury, in an article communicated by him to the Pharmaceutical Journal, thus details their qualities, quoting further information from Mr. M. Ward, of Padang, extracts from whose letter he inserts:

The existence of caffeine in the leaves as well as in the berries of the coffee-plant has attracted some attention, and a project for substituting them for those of the teaplant has been actually devised by Dr. John Gardner, of London. According to this gentleman, the leaves require to be subjected to a certain process of preparation before they are used. What this process is I am unable to state; but specimens of the prepared coffee-leaves were placed by Dr. Gardner in the Great Exhibition of 1851, together with the caffeine extracted from them, since which time advertisements have appeared in the Ceylon papers soliciting tenders for the supply of coffee. leaves by the ton.

Whether these advertisements have met with a response I know not, but in March last my attention was drawn to a letter signed “An Old Sumatran,” published in the Overland Signapore Free Press for January 3rd, 1853 This letter, which was reprinted in the Pharmaceutical Journal for March (vol. xii. p. 443), states, that on the western side of the island of Sumatra an infusion of torrified coffee leaves is of universal consumption among the inhabitants; so much so indeed, as to be regarded as one of the very few necessaries of life. *

Upon applying to the writer of this letter, who proved to be N. M. Ward, Esq., of Padang, I speedily received the following more detailed communication, since which a box of prepared Sumatran coffee-leaves, kindly forwarded by him, has reached my hands:

“Padang, 15th May, 1853.

“Although long aware of its value as an article of diet among the natives here, it never occurred to me that it might be introduced successfully as such at home, until I learnt from the Free Press that a patent had been taken out by Dr. Gardner. It then struck me that as its adoption in Europe would unquestionably be attended with important advantages to the labouring classes, a knowl ledge of the fact of its general use here might be of service, by giving that confidence in it which must necessarily be wanting to a new and untried article. The fact of it being the only beverage of a whole population and of it having from its nutritive qualities become an

(a) This employment of coffee-leaves was not previously unnoticed. Brande, in his Manual of Chemistry (Loud., is is vol. ii., p. 1616), briefly states that the leaves of the coffee-plant are used in Java and Sumatra as a substitute for tea, and that it is probable they contain theine.

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important necessary of life, will be a sufficient guarantee of its safety as an article of diet, and of its freedom from deleterious effects. “The natives have a prejudice against the use of water as a beverage, asserting that it does not quench thirst, or afford the strength and support the coffee-leaf does. With a little boiled rice and infusion of the coffee leaf, a man will support the labours of the field in rice-planting for days and weeks successively, up to the knees in mud, under a burning sun or drenching rains, which he could not do by the use of simple water, or by the aid of spirituous or fermented liquors. I have mad opportunities of observing for twenty years the comparative use of the coffee-leaf in one class of natives, and of spirituous liquors in another, the native Sumatrans using the former, and the natives of British India settled here the latter; and I find that while the former expose themselves with impunity for any period to every degree of heat, cold, and wet, the latter can endure neither wet nor cold for even a short period, without danger to their health. “Engaged myself in agriculture, and being in consequence much exposed to the weather, I was induced several years ago, from an occasional use of the coffee-leaf to adopt it as a daily beverage, and my constant practice has been to take a couple of cups of strong infusion with milk in the evening, as a restorative after the business of the day. I find from it immediate relief from hunger and fatigue, the bodily strength increased, and the mind left for the evening clear and in full possession of all its faculties. On its first use, and when the leaf has not been sufficiently roasted, it is said to produce vigilance, but I am inclined to think that where this is the case, it is rather by adding strength and activity to the mental faculties, than by inducing nervous excitement. I do not recollect this effect on myself except once, and that was when the leaf was insufficiently roasted.

“As a beverage, the natives universally prefer the leaf to the berry, giving as a reason that it contains more of the bitter principle and is more nutritious. They are not unacquainted with the extract in a half-solid form obtained by decoction, but in the lowlands I am not aware that they apply it to any particular pu The roasted leaf used to form an article of trade betwixt the coffee districts of the interior and the lowlands of the coast, but since the government monopolized the produce, this trade has in a great measure ceased, the natives believing the sale of the leaf as well as that of the berry, forbidden. In the lowlands, coffee is not lanted for the berry, being not sufficiently productive; |. the people plant about their houses for the leaf for their own use, not however to the extent of the demand, so that in the settlement of Padang they are obliged to have recourse to the berry mixed with a portion of burnt rice, without which the beverage would be too dear for them. It is an undoubted fact, however, that everywhere they prefer the leaf to the berry. “The muster I have the pleasure to send, is the produce of my own ground, properly prepared by a native well acquainted with the process. The best mode of roasting, he says, is by old. the leaves over the clear flame of a fire made of dry bamboo. The fire-place should be circular, of brick or other material, two feet deep, two feet in diameter at the bottom inside, and oneand-a-half at top, with a small door-place on one side for introducing the fuel. The reason for using bamboo as fuel is, that it produces but little smoke, and that little containing no creosote, it does not adhere to the leaf. When sufficiently roasted, as described in the Singapore Free Press, the leaves have a brownish buff colour, and are then separated from the stalks, which are arranged in the slit of a stick afresh and roasted by themselves. The natives pound the whole of these roasted stalks in, a mortar, and mix them with the leaf for sale; but as the

bark only contains extract, it is better to rub off this betwixt the hands and to reject the wood.

“I have already remarked, that whilst the culture of the coffee-plant, for its fruit, is limited to particular soils and elevated climates, it may be grown for the leaf, wherever within the tropics the soil is sufficiently fertile. This extensive habitat, if I may so term it, added to its nutritive qualities and freedom from deleterious principles, points it out as the best adapted of all the productions affording caffeine for general consumption; and if it should turn out that the article can be sent to distant countries without deterioration, I shall have every confidence in its ultimate adoption for general use.

“The price here of the leaves prepared for use, is generally about 140l. a pound; and, F. it may be Prepared and packed for the European market, of good quality, for 2d., affording sufficient profit to the planter, and bringing it within reach of the poorest classes of Europe.”

Such is Mr. Ward's communication. The sample which he sent has arrived in excellent condition, and appears to have been very carefully prepared. It consists of tolerably regular fragments of shining leaves mixed with pieces of stalk. Its colour is deep brown; its odour somewhat like that of a mixture of coffee and tea, and extremely fragrant. Immersed in boiling water, a transparent, brown infusion is obtained, which, when made sufficiently strong, forms, with the addition of sugar and milk, a beverage by no means unpalatable.

Caffeine, as is well known, is a crystallizable, nitroganized, vegetable principle, (a) existing in the berries of the coffee-shrub, in the leaves of the tea-plant of China, in the Yarba de Mate, or Paraguay tea of South America, and, as MM. Berthemot and Dechastelus have proved, (b) in Guarana, the basis of a favourite beverage in some parts of Brazil. The plants affording these productions occupy very different positions in the vegetable kingdom; the coffee-plant belongs to the natural order Rubiaceae, the tea-plant to Camellieae, the Paraguay tea (Ilex Paraguariensis, St. Hil.) to the Ilicineae, and the Guarana-plant (Paullinia sorbilis, Mart.) to Sapindaceae.

It is not a little remarkable that Caffeine has hitherto been detected only in plants which are broadly distinguished from each other in their botanical characters; but it is yet more extraordinary that these plants should have been independently selected as articles of diet by semi-barbarous mations, inhabiting widely-separated portions of the globe.

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SIR,--Mr. G. F. Wilson has given a very clear description of his experiences in smoke consuming. The principle is that of making the heat of the red fire distil and coke the raw fuel which is added in small quantities, and burning the gases as they pass over the red fuel. This is precisely the principle adopted thirty years ago by Cutler, in what he called his Gas Stove, i.e., the fire was made in the top of the oval and burned downwards, so that the smoke and gas as generated had to pass through the fire and were consumed. But Cutler's Gas Stove went out of use—because it was a piece of mechanism requiring a little attention. Now, although it is true that manufacturers may be able to make airangements for consuming their smoke under penalty of the law and prosecution, yet, when all the manufactories and steam boats—under close watching of the police, have done this, it will not make the atmos

of London clear, for the simple reason that welling houses, and not manufactories, produce the great mass of the smoke; and how would dwelling-houses be watched by policemen and provided with smoke consusness? What smoke-ometer shall be applied as the test to take it out of the category of mere opinion opposed by opinion in evidence before a magistrate. And unless we can get rid of house smoke we shall not accomplish our object by merely ameliorating the factories. We must dig a little deeper to begin at the beginning. Fuel is of various kinds—smokeless and smokeful, To produce perfect combustion a certain admixture of certain gases is requisite. With an imperfect mixture of smoke, an imperfect combustion is the result, nor does it follow that the combustion is perfect even when smokeless, for noxious gases may pass off invisibly. It is possible by chemical analysis to determine the degrees of persection in the various kinds of fuel brought to market—as, for instance, what degree of encumbering gases they contain which may produce smoke or noxious exhilation. They might be ranged in lists, from the pure white-flamed Cannel coal down to coke. . As smoke and impure gases are a nuisance, the simplest process would be, instead of requiring smoke onsuming, and disputing on what is smoke and what is not, to require of those making smoke to pay a As on their fuel proportioned to the damaging power. This certain qualities of coal and coke would pass without duty, and certain others would pay a minimum duty, and certain others a maximum duty. If this duty were so regulated that the low-priced coals became Prvetically dearer than the more perfect fuel, the latter would be preserted and the former discontinued, till the Poprietors might contrive to produce it in an unobjectionable form by some process of manufacture. The appointment of officers at the different points by which fuel is hought to London, to collect the duties, would be an inexpensive and effective process, making it imperative, in the interest of the general community, to abstain not merely from smoke, but from noxious gases. Perhaps some of your chemical readers might furnish A satement of the composition of the various kinds of to brought to London, pointing out the best and the ** and set up a competition amongst fuel owners to Police the most perfect fuel, with a duty on the imPerfect, and the smoke nuisance will be at an end. I am Sir, yours faithfully, W. BRIDGES ADAMS.

Nov. 14, 1853.

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let truth correct it; which, if gainsayed, it should be done—not under the veil of an anonymous correspondent, but with a name to support the assertion. Science has to deal with tangible facts and figures; to the political arena alone belongs the anonymous inkspiller. I am, Sir, yours faithfully, SEPTIMUS PIESSE. 42, Chapel-street, Edgeware-road.

RUSSIAN LEATHER.

SIR,-From statistical tables, we find that leather forms an important article of export from this country. In order to retain this trade it is necessary not only to produce a good article, but such as is not likely to be surpassed. The leather manufactured in Russia has long been celebrated for its durability (I believe the peculiar smell is produced by the oil of birch bark). Can any of your correspondents, from actual observation, give any account of the mode of preparing Russian leather “from the hide?” If found suitable, the process might, I believe, be introduced into this country with advantage.

G. N. H.

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LANCASTER.—A lecture was lately delivered to the members of the Church of England Instruction Society by Mr. Johnson, of Bishop Stortford. The subject was : The Recent Discoveries at Nineveh and Babylon.” The judicious selections which he made, as well as the manner in which he treated the subject in general, elicited great approbation from a numerous and atten. tive audience. His references to Scripture and to various ancient authors were highly interesting and instructive, while the numerous and ably executed diagrams which he exhibited materially increased the gratification which the lecture afforded.

NEwbury.—On Tuesday evening Mr. J. T. Topham delivered an interesting lecture “On the History and Utility of Poetry,” to a highly-respectable and numerous audience, at the Literary and Scientific Institution. The lecturer, at the outset, drew attention to the extreme antiquity of poetry, and traced its origin to religious feeling. He then presented us with some poetic fragments from the Old Testament, introducing the Thanksgiving Ode of Moses, as the oldest complete poem on record. He referred to the universal cultivation of poetry, and reminded us of a time when traditionary poems were the only existing histories, and when even laws were metrical compositions. He glanced at the great poetic writers of Greece; of classic and modern Italy; of France from its early minstrelsy to the present more polished period; and said a word or two on the romancists of Spain, and the celebrities of Germany. He then entered on the his. tory of our own poetry. After the conquest the native minstrels were of course neglected by the Norman rulers; and it was not until a century or two after that great epoch, that the Normans and Saxons “fraternized,” and the English language became formed. The first work in this new language contained the achievements of King Arthur. Soon afterwards there appeared a Life of Charlemagne; and from these two volumes may be traced almost everything that was written or sung about this period. The Crusad.o. soon after took place, and these introduced to usadifferent kind of fiction. The Holy Land was the scene of the new stories, and dragons, and dwarfs, and giants, were then “things expected"in our romances. Robert Langlande wrote the first original poem in the English language, and Chau5 cer, a contemporary of his, made a great advance on all preceding poetry. The lecturer then referred to the invention of printing, and the mighty changes it had effected. He traced the causes which led to the revival of classic learning, and dilated on the colossal effects occasioned

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