A JOKE ON A JOKER. A good story is related at the expense of a certain hotel in the Lake district, A stranger who had been stopping at the bouse for a few weeks asked the landlord how far it was to a mountain, which appeared to be a couple of miles distant, although, in fact, it was nearly ten. The landlord winked at the bystanders, and said that perhaps it was a mile away. The stranger said he thought he would walk out to it for exercise. The landlord encouraged the man, who, after borrowing tb4 former's fine field-glass, immediately started. The joke was too rich for the hotelijlce&^fct keep, and he told everybody about it wi& glee. But the pedestrian did not return. The landlord at last became suspicions, arsd found that the valise which the stranger had left was filled with briokbats, and that he had carried off seventeen towels, and everything else that he could get hold of. Besides this, he owed a two-weeks' bill. He is probably still walking.
A LAST CHANCE. All who do not send this week to the Advertise ment Manager, SEQUAH, LIMITED, 44. Fitt-ringdoe, street, E.C enclosing three stamps for the new publication, 41 Summer Thoughts for Happy HoM- ciaTP," will miss the chance of obtaining the largest and most interesting Summer Annual e."f published at so small a price. Over 100 humourcjbS sketches help to fill the pages of this marrellcr'a penny woith, and it is crammed with seuona^v3 reading. Lc83t
A GIFT TO ALE FREB. SUP To ALL WHO A«H SIM- FERING from Chronio Kidne, and Liver Diseases, Diabetes, or Blight's Disease, or any di? -ry f — charges and derangements ol Jfyj A sr/ sf ti the lfuman body,nervous weak. XXXsflsOCCtft/ ness, general debihity. ^a^e,« rbeumatiam.iciatica. lassitude, loss of memory, want, of brain power. To Introduce it I will send genuine information, frea of charge, of a new, cheap, and sure cure. The simplest remedy on *artU, discovered in th» Mississippi Valley. 1 Send a sei: pressed stamped envelope t,0 Jame« Holland, 25. -.Mrt-street, High Holborn, L-;n<ion.— Mention thu paper. i^esa
GENERAL INFORMATION. ——- How TO EXTINGUISH FIBE, Take twenty pounds of common salt and 8 P°unds of sal ammoniac, and dissolve in oa °k £ a^ons w&ter. When dissolved it D be bottled and kept in each room in the OUBe, to be used in emergency. In case of a re occurring, one or two bottles should be nltnediately thrown with force into the burn- ID place so as to break them, and the fire "ill certainly be extinguished. This is an etceeding simple process and certainly worth trial. To RENDER CLOTH WATERPROOF. Ihere are various prooesses for waterproof- cloth, but the following is a very simple *&d inexpensive methodTake of powdered alum and of sugar of lead each one ounce, *jd stir them into a gallon of rain water, and hen the mixture is clear pour off the upper I^Qid. Choose Scotch tweed, or any light, closely-woven cloth, and immerse it in this J3aid for 24 hours; then dry and press it. cloth will be uninjured in colour or tftture, and will turn any amount of rain to "hloh the wearer is likely to be exposed. SPIDER BAROMETERS. If the weather is likely to become rainy, or in other respects disagreeable, Piders fix the terminating filaments, on which whole web is suspended, unusually short. the terminating filaments are made uncom- monly long the weather will be serene and otinue so, at least for ten or twelve days, If spiders be totally indolent rain generally Qcceedi, though their activity during rain is certain proof that it will be only of short duration and followed by fair and constant eather. Spiders usually make some altera- iF°"! their webs every twenty-four hours; these charges take place between the hours and seven in the evening they indicate aclear and pleasant night. To MAKE SHELL GOLD. This is very often useful to touch up a damaged gilt fiaile with, or put a gold line J^md a mounted sketch or photograph, &c. find leaf gold with new honey on a clean Piece of marble until it is extremely soft and smooth to the touch; then put it in a glass of clean water, stir, allow to deposit, and decant the water from it; repeat till the gold 18 Very clear and fine. Then pour into it about a pennyworth of aquafortis, and let it Remain for about two days. The gold may hen be taken oat and mixed with one or two drops of very thin gum water. A little ?xgall washed over the shell before the gold J8 applied improves its appearance, and a of soap in the water last used makes it Ie smoother. TEA DRINKING. Tea has a decided tendency to create an llnnat.nral or artificial appetite. It may also be confidently maintained that most of the ills which flesh is heir to are traceable irectly to intemperance either in eating or rinking. As the constant use of stimulants Ust inevitably tend to weaken and impair health, it is high time that we should give tnore attention to the<,quality and quantity ?or food and drinks, abandoning that hich is hurtful. Wften given to children, r to young persons whbse constitutions are Q process of growth, tea is hurtful in the ,Xtreme. Mothers oan scarcely realise that it to them a slow poison, sapping the founda- !°Q of their being'1 by retarding their ^atural an(j healthy development, repressing toe action of the liver, and building up a blgh-strung nervous system at the expense of st: the vital organs, tfnd forming a con- ltufcion so delicate ad0 to be soon broken a°Wn. WHY THE LEAVES; CHANGE COLOUR. Jtu n°t one parson in a thousand why leaves changfe their colour in the ,p ftm. Stated briefly the ottises are these: i he green matter in jtbe tiispe of a leaf is composed of two colours—red and blue. When the sap ceases to flow in the autumn, and the natural growth of the tree stops, ox.idation of the tissues takes place. Under certain conditions the green of the leaf changes to red under different conditions it a<*es on a yellow or browD tiut. Why one of two trees growing side by side, of the 1116 Age, and having the same exposure, and ? take on a brilliant red in the autumn 11 the other should turn yellow, or why one r&nch of a tree should be highly coloured the rest of the tree have only a yellow an We (luesti°ua that are as impossible to bnswer as why one member of a family should e perfectly healthy and another sickly. MEAT AND WATER. Y Is has long been a moot point (writes Dr. Yorke-Davies" in the ^en^e7naa s Magazine), an<l° w^ether human beings can exist on meat c water only. It is now admitted that they ail» and. indeed, my own opinion is that, of the two, a man would live longer as a total eat eater than as a total vegitarian; for if he lived on meat alone he would be wiry and active, whereas in the case of those who live Vegetable diet, such a& the Hindoos and hers, the excessive corpulence induced would tend to shorten life. Dr. Good, the celebrated h 5jerican physician, answering the question, Can health and life be sustained indefinitely B' a ,et consisting of meat and water?" I he reply must be in the affirmative." dist 'rue natives of oertain 4i tric^s' wbo8e progenitors lived on such i e an^ where no other was obtainable, but it also true of Europeans who locate in such laces. In tha Athabasca district and in the ackenzie Hiver region of North America h»k'Se! Van*? the Hudson's Day Company wtually live, some of thom on adietof meat one and some of them solely on fish, this Pending on the natural food supply of the Th"1^ 'n w.kichtkey happen to be stationed, borf? ^ave lived in full possession of great «y and mental vigour on suoh a diet for Periods ot twenty to 30 consecutive years. To PRESERVE THE COLOUR OF CUT IJ. FLOWERS. col 'S l^e WHy PreservinfC the our offlowers ? queries a correspondent in a recent issue of Amateur Gardening. The J efficient method consists of drying them pressure between folds of bibulous paper. J 18 Performed somewhat as follows The Plant in a perfectly fresh state has first each j\ower dipped for half a minute (or until Cached) in a mixture of three parts sulphurous and one part methy- tea spirit, the superfluous moisture Th'n^ absorbed by blotting paper. e specimen is then laid in as natural a anller as possible upon several sheets of good otting paper (or, better still, West New- ans botanical paper). Upon the plant ajiVeral more sheets of the absorbent paper j. 6 'aid, and the whole being plaoed between 0 boards is subjected to considerable pres- gilre by means of either weights or straps. On the following day the wet paper is changed for th^' anc* a^ter Prooess bas 'Jeen repeated Dree or four times the plants will be free froIn moisture and ready for mounting, This o con8ists l*y'ng them upon stout artridge paper (15in. by llin.) and fixing in position by small paper straps placed jfoss the stem and branches in various posi- JQb with the ends gummed down to the oart- J^fie paper. It will be found that the colour of the flowers destroyed by the sttlphur ill gradually return upon exposure to the air, and it will then be permanent. In R_h _-0. the case of white flowers, it will be necessary to subject them to the action of the acid from a few seconds to as much as seven minutes, according to their texture. Hard, woody specimens require much more pressure than fragile herbaceous plants. Some plants, such as heaths, sedums, and many liliaceous and orchidaceous plants require killing by im- mersion in boiling water before drying. In the case of the two latter the bulbs only need be immersed. Flaccid flowers should be pressed in parchment paper before putting them in the sulphurous aoid, or it will be difficult to lay them out naturally. It is im- portant that the sulphurous aoid be fresh and free from sulphuric acid, but if bought of a competent chemist, and the point explained, there will be no difficulty on that soore. Twigs of trees may be treated exactly in the same way, but omitting the sulphurous acid bath. To TAKE CARE OF A PIANO. Dampness (says Mr. Charles Steinway) is the most dangerous enemy the piano has to contend against, and for this reason the climate must be considered. If the instrument is placed in a damp room, or left open in a draught of air, the result will be that the strings, tuning-pins, and the various metal parts will become coated with rust, and the cloth used in the construction of the keys and action become swollen. It is positively pain- ful to play on such a piano. llosewood, the material used in most pianos, is a tropical wood, with large open pores, and if the instrument is exposed to the dampness for any considerable length of time, the effect on the polish, or varnish, by swelling the wood of the outside case, will be extremely injurious. This applies to other woods, although in a somewhat less degree. Persons living at the seaside are particularly liable to have their instruments marred by this element. The checkered whitish appearance so often seen on rosewood pianos is due to their being ex- posed incessantly to the influence of humidity. It causes the dry seasoned rosewood to swell, narrows the pores, out of which the varnish is forced with irresistible power, and re-varnish- ing and polishing then become necessary. This is rather costly, but it must be done if I appea; ance i considered. Another effect of dampness, and one of great Importance, I although little understood, is the formation of ridges caused by the sounding board swelling and rising out of its exact position. While this in reality is one of the best evidences of the excellent quality and seasoning of the material, the uninformed observer often mis- takes them for cracks, and lays the blame on the manufacturer. The highest grades of pianos are made of thoroughly-seasoned material, which obviously absorbs dampness more rapidly than imperfectly dried wood, which is thus rendered less impervious to its influence. Excessive cold or extreme heat should be avoided, and the piano should not be placed too near a heated stove or hot air from furnaces. Pianos sometimes give forth a rattling, jarring noise while to all appear- ances they are in excellent condition. This is caused by some hard substance, often so small as to entirely escape detection, having dropped inside the instrument. It is very important that the sounding-board should be kept entirely free from dust and all other extraneous matter. The best way to acoomplish this is by keeping the piano closed when not in use. A piano, how- ever, should never be allowed to remain unopened for a period of several months or longer. To protect the instrument from bruises and scratches it should be covered with a cover of india-rubber or of some other material. Strange as it may seem, the piano is not free from the depredation of moths. They are very destructive to the cloth and felt used in the manufacture of pianos, but may be kept out by placing a lump of camphor wrapped in soft paper in the inside corner, which should be renewed from time to time. I have seen pianos which have been in constant use for 35 years almost as good as new. With proper care and attention., this is possible w-th any first-class piano- forte.
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES. DEPARTURE OF THE MIGRANTS. The swift and cuckoo have already left us. One of the most mysterious migrants now is the landrail. This bird, with its short wings and long weak legs, is a slow and heavy flier, and not good at running, yet on its arrival it scatters itself over the oountry and its harsh note may be heard simultaneously in every county in England and :far into Soot land; and it departs as it came, without con- gregating on the shore, like most of the other birds. We have now reached the period when a great rush abroad takes place on the part of the migratory birds, and continues through September, or, if the weather be fine, they may be content to remain a little longer. DUNNING COLOURS IN ANIMALS. There has been recently some interest ardused in those very remarkable birds, the touracos, on account of the curious faot that the red pigment in their wing-feathers can be partially at least washed out wiih pure water. This is generally believed to be a unique instance of the kind, but it does not appear to be so. Another animal—a mammal this time—shares with the touracos the peculiarity of being tinted with colours that ran." This animal is a Brazilian tree porcupine, with bright yellow spines, which are hidden by a dense coat of fur. This porcupine is, unlike the Indian form, a tree-dwelling creature, with a comparatively long prehensile tail. The yellow pigment of the spines can be extracted by water, which then beoomes a pale lemon- yellow hue. J ut as the porcupine frequents trees, and as it is covered with long hair, it. does not seem probable that, in a state of nature, the warm rain of the tropics would ever bleach the spines as it is said to bleach the feathers of the touraco. THE SLAUGHTER OF SEA-GULLS. It has sometimes been supposed that Cole- ridge in the "Ancient Mariner" did some- thing to obeclr the barbarous oustom of slaughtering seabirds, but & correspondent of a Dondon contemporary informs the Man- chester Guardian that in some of the Yorkshire watering-places guns are regularly let out to visitors, who make a practice of killing and maiming the birds for the mere pleasure of destroying them. The seagull is useless for food, and the men whose wanton cruelty is exposed do not, it seems, even attempt to secure their prey. The favourite plan is to fire at first indiscriminately. Then, when the birds hover over a wounded companion, whole- sale and indiscriminate slaughter is attempted. The writer of the letter says that after a three weeks' inspection of this outrageous sport he is certain that no species can for many years survive this unauthorised and wholesale slaughter." It will surely be the duty of the Inland Revenue authorities at least to inquire whether the perpetrators of this ignoble sport who take out guns for the day have all supplied themselves with the requisite licences. THE HOUSE FLY. The common house fly -does not, in the ordinary sense of the word, migrate, though, of course, mdlvldualstJftbe speoiefl fre- quently travel long distance?., The remark- able fecundity of the fly is quite sufficient to account for its numbers during the early summer. A few individuals, in the torpid state, survive even the coldest winter, and with the first warm days of summer lay their eggs. When deposited under favourable conditions these are hatohed in from twelve to 24 hours, and in twelve days the worm changes into a nymph, and in ten days more into a perfect fly. A fly will lay four times during the summer, about 80 eggs each time, and careful calculations have demonstrated that the descendants of a single inseot may, from the 1st of June to the end of Septem- ber, exceed 2,000,000. Were it not for bats, insect-eating birds, and the innumerable mic- roscopic parasites with which the fly is parti- cularly afflicted, there would be no worse pest in the world than the fly. THE SPIDERS THREAD. An American professor has dealt with the phenomena of spider life. The female is larger and much fiercer than the male, who, while paying his addresses, is in constant peril, frequently losing some of his legs. In one tribe the female is 1,300 times as large as the male. The spider's thread is made up of innumerable small threads or fibres, one of these threads being estimated to be one two- millionth of a hair in thickness. Three kinds of thread are spun One of great strength, for the radiating, or spoke, lines of the web. The cross lines, or what a sailor might call the ratlines, are finer, and are tenacious— that is, they have upon them little specks or globules of a very stioky gum. These specks are put on with even inter- spaces. They are set quite thickly along the line, and are what, in the first instance, oatch and hold the legs or wings of the fly. Once caught in this fashion, the prey is held secure by threads flung over it somewhat in the manner of a lasso. The third kind of silk is that whioh the spider throws out in a mass of flood, by which it suddenly envelops any prey of which it is somewhat afraid, as, for example, a wasp. A scientific experimenter once drew out from the body of a single spider 3,480 yards of thread or spider silk—a length little short of two miles. Silk may be woven of spider's thread, and it is more glossy and brilliant than that of the silk- worm, being of a golden oolour. An enthu- siastic entomologist is said to have secured enough of it for the weaving of a suit of clothes for Louis XIV. BIRDS CAN TASTE. In birds generally the sense of ta3te is not highly developed or enjoyed, though it exists in a rudimentary state, which enables them, for instance, to rejeot seeds that have been soaked in petroleum. The means by which we taste are minute, soft prominences on the tongue. But the tongues of birds have usually a horny covering at the tip and over all the front part of them, with no papillae, as these protuberances are oalled, ex- cept at the base, near the larynx or throat, and even tbese papilloe have no true gusta- tory nerve-that is, the nerve by which the sense of taste is conveyed to the brain. They are guided to their food by sight. The tongue serves chiefly for taking hold of it, and as they have no teeth they swallow their food almost as soon as it is seized. But parrots are better off in this respect than the majority of their olass. Their tongues are roundish, large, and fleshy, and covered with papillsa. They detain their food in the mouth longer than most other birds, tarn it about with their tongues, grind it up into small pieces, and show a gustatory faculty by rejecting indigestible parts, such as the coats of kernels. They thus dis- play more perfect senses than other birds, as they also possess and employ larger brains. The flamingo, which in a similar way grubs in the mud with its beak for small worms, fishes, crustaceans, and molluscs or shell- fish of various sorts, has a tongue adapted for this purpose—large, soft, and papillated-so that it rejects the mud, which passes out as through a sieve, while it swallows its food. The tongue of a humming bird is rolled into a sucking tube, and terminates in hair-like filaments, by which it retains the neotar of flowers. The toucan's tongue is fringed with bristles, by which it tests the ripeness of fruits. AUSTRALIAN MARSUPIALIA, BIRDS AND FLORA. The flying opossums and the hairy tails, sometimes called native devils," are two of the most extraordinary animals that attract the notice of an English traveller when he first visits the woods in Australia. These flying opossums are very similar in their habits and species to the common opqssum of the country, which live in trees and swing themselves like monkeys from branch to branch by their tails, except that they possess a peculiar conformation in a membrane which extends from the hind to the fore legs, and gives them the power of supporting them- selves in the air, assisting them also materially in the wide leaps they take from one tree to another. They are carnivorous marsupials, and traverse the trees like pole cats in search of young birds, eggs, and smaller animals. The hairy devils" do the same, and they resemble wild oats, having long loose fur, with pointed, rather fox-like, ears and nose. A friend of mine kept two for some time in captivity, and he says that they took their food between the bands just as a squirrel does, and always used their prehensile tail to assist them in olimbing. They are called pbalangees," because they have the second and third toes of the hind foot united in a j common integument, and are all of them most expert climbers, though they are as a rule rather sluggish in their movements, if we except the ones provided with a flying mem- brane. They keep concealed during the day in the hollows of the tree*. Consequently, they are rather difficult to shoot or capture alive but they quit their hiding places at twilight to feed on buds, leaves, fruit, small mammals, and insects of various kinds. The natives of Australia are said to have esteemed the flesh of these animals very highly. They are covered with fat, and that not of a particularly delicate flavour or odour, so the demand for opossum flesh has not increased, and, as a natural conse- quence, the marsupialia has multiplied con- siderably of late years. We have also the Iltbylacynus," a creature as large as a dog, but more like a weasel in figure. It is an ugly beast, nocturnal in its habits, feeding on all the young lambs and the poultry it can catch. It is rare, fortunately, and peculiar to Tasmania. Some writers term it the pouched wolf." I believe that some speci- mens of this family have been exhibited in the Zoo, but they are very wild, and they live chiefly in caverns and glens amongst the mountains. Captain James shot one the size of a young wolf three feet long nearly, with a tail of twenty inches additional. It had short, very stout claws, and large feet with very rough pads. The head was dog-shaped, with a narrow, elongated muzzle and sharp-pointed ears. It would have been, I should say, a formidable match for -1 any dog or batch of dogs even. But after all is said and done, the most anomalous animal in all Australia to my mind is the duck-billed ornithorhynchus, whioh seems not only to form a connecting link between mammals and birds, but to possess some affinities with reptiles. The Colonials call it the water mole. Its native name is It mallangong, and Enghsh writers term it tha duck-billed platypus," It is, I regret to say, rapidly disappearing from the streams and banUs of this country, and may even now be classed with the dodo. An old Colonial naturalist, who has seen several in his younger days, gave me what I believe to be a faithful description. It burrows the banks of streams during the day, coiled up like a ball, and only comes out at night to seek for food. It can swim and dive; will eat worms, insects, and all sorts of small aquatic animals. It is very clean in its habits, and particularly fond of warmth and dryness, for this old gentleman, having when a boy kept some of their young in confinement, was able to observe their tastes and mode of life. Those he had used to eat boiled rice and eggs, soaked bread, and very finely chopped meat, but they were very delicate and difficult to rear. When handled they used to try and bite, but never used the sharp, bony spur on their hind legs as a weapon of injury or defence. They had thick fur like an otter, short legs, fine- toed webbed feet, and a bill like a duck's. They never lay eggs like a bird, but use their mammals, and they nourish their young, which are born blind, with milk, the bill of the youngster being short, flexible, and adapted for suoking the nourish-1 ment which the mother emits on to the sur-, face of the water as she swims, for she has no prominent nipples like a true mammal, only mammary openings, and it is, I believe, a puzzle still how the little creatures are fed before they begin to swim, for they are not only blind, but naked, when they come into the world.—HELEN WATNEY, Liss, Hants.
SCIENTIFIC AND INVEN- TION NOTES. A BOON TO THE FORGETFUL. A foreign watchmaker has patented a device by which an hour or two before a clock runs down the word Wind will appear at an opening in the dial. INVENTIONS WANTED. Some means—automatic, if possible, but, failing this, under oontrol of the gaard-of indicating inside each carriage of a railway train the name of the particular atation at which the traiii stops, or of the station it has last passed. Some rapid and self-acting device for sticking adhesive postage stamps to letters or circulars when the quantity of such is less than the postal authorities care to deal with by means of their metal paid stamps. A neat and efficient inside guard for the hinged edge of railway carriage doors, such as will prevent, or at least mitigate, the con- stantly-recurring accidents to the fingers of young or incautious travellers while the doors are being shut. A NOVEL AUTOMATIC MACHINE. According to Machinery, automatic machines have not met with the same success in Paris as in London. '■ One reason is that in Paris it is more doubtful whether one will get any return for one's money, and another reason is that the Frenoh Govern- ment will not grant licences for selling tobacco or matches by these machines. In one instance, however, the automatio machine has proved a distinct success. In front of the Paris School of Medioine is a self-aoting fountain, where a pail of hot water may be had for a halfpenny. There are always a number of women of the neighbourhood crowding round this novel kind of thermal spring, waiting to take their turn; and in winter cabmen come here to fill their warming pans. The Municipal Council has just recog- nised the utility of this system of hot-water distribution by granting to its inventor a con- cession for fifteen years to set up 80 of these hot-water fountains in different parts of Paris." THE MECHANICAL PBOFESSIONAL BOWLBR. We are able herewith to give a sketch and further particulars of the mechanioal cricket bowler noticed in this column a week or two ago:—In the invention is found a bowler who never gets tired, is never off his play, and never grows impatient with the "young idea"; who will deliver balls exaotly at the speed and pitoh desired, and,'with the assis- tance of one small boy, will bowl all day from morning till night. The machine stands about four feet high. The oogged diso contains what may be called the ff prime mover," in the shape of a powerful spring; the slender steel rod carrying the ball is fixed thereto; a few turns of the longer handle winds up the spring in readiness, and a slight pressure of the shorter releases it and delivers the ball. By simple and ingenious arrangements the speed may be regulated and maintained with the greatest nicety, and the pitch of the ball can be determined beforehand and sustained with wonderful exactitude. The pace may be increased or reduced without altering the pitch, and the pitch may be adjusted nearer to or further from the wicket without chang- ing the pace. The diso is engraved with a register, and carries a suitable pointer, to enable the manipulator to maintain the deli- very desired and alter it as necessary. The ball rests upon a rigid steel loop, and is held in place by a leather cap, the steel ring on which is retained in place by an automatic oatcb. The direction is regulated by the large cross-handed screw in the base of the standard, and sights on the delivery rod enable the operator to lay the ball dead on the wicket, to leg or to off, as required, the machine remaining so trained until intentionally altered. The precision of its aim is extraordinary; the only factor condu- cive of slight irregularity being the condi- tion of the ball; a ball rendered slippery by contaot with wet grass is thrown a little higher than one perfectly dry but this is a defect amenable to correction by a handful of sawdust, AN AUTOMATIC LETTER DELIVERER. An invention which is exciting a good deal of interest on the Continent, where the flat system of residence is so much in vogue, is an automatic electric letter and parcel deliverer, produced by a resident of Geneva. As its name implies, the apparatus is de- signed to distribute automatically on each floor and to all the tenants of a house the letters or parcels which may be addressed to them. A large box, situated on the ground floor, oontains as many apertures as there are floors or tenants in the house. When a letter or other objeot is introduced inio i>ne of tbesd openings the box rises passing, distiibutes in each of the receptacles fixed in the ante-ohamber of the addresses the articles intended for them, each tenant being in turn advised of the arrival of the article by the ringing of an electric bell. The working of the apparatus I is, Iron says, extremely simple, as the follow- ing few details will show, and its cost is insig- nificant. The object introduced info the box on the ground floor effects, at the )p of the house, an electric contact, which -pens the valve of a water tank. The iva er fiils a cylinder, which serves as a count. poise, and raises the letter box, which, while in the act of passing each private box, opens itself by an ingenious yet simple mechanical arrangement, and deposits the respective contents therein. When the carrier box has arrived at the top floor the cylinder empties itself, and the box descends to its place and is ready for another trip. THE BEGINNING OF BICYCI.RS. It is generally understood tbst cycling machines are a purely modern inw ition, but this is not the case; as early s 1663 a Frenchman constructed a four wheeled riding machine, propelled by trea >ies. In the year 1815 a foreigner constructed the first bicycle or "pedestrial hobby-horse" as it waa called; of these there were more than one kind. We have seen a picture of one of thesw machines carrying three persons, a man in front propelling it, a lady was perched on a high seat in the middle, while a page-boy was ensconced in a sort of basket behind. Another engraving represents a lady alone on a sort of bicycle, the axle of which was bent in the form of the letter U, while the seat was placed on the upper end of one branch, and a clumsy-looking treadle was the motive power. The bicycles used by the gentlemen had no treadles, and were set in motion by alternately striking the feet against the ground. Even with these rude m. ^hines a speed of eight or ten miles an hou )uld be kept up for any length of time 1, a good rider. The craze, however, was of si. t. dura- tion, and by 1820 the hobby-horses had almost ceased to exist. It was not nnfil 1869 that Messrs. Nuohaud and Mayer turned their attention to the improvement 0: the old machines, and it is from that period that cycling really dates.
NEX T WEEK, THE "WEEKLY MAIL' Will contain the following Special Articles nnd Short Stories:- GERMAN CARICATURISTS. WHEKE POLITICS ARE IGNOUED, ANIMAL PILOTS AND DECOYS HOW THE DREAM BEAT THE "FIREFLY." A CRUISING ADVENTURE, THE CAPTIVES OF CASTLE DREKIN. A TRUE STORY OF OLD HOLLAND.
AN AMERICAN'S ATTEMPT TO SEE THE PRINCE OF WALES. A curious lawsuit (writes the American corre- spondent of the Manchester Examiner and Times) is now in progress at Newark, the most important city of the State of New Jersey. It is brought by Sigismund Schiff, a salesman ia a huge haberdashery establishment at Newark, against James Sheridan, the clerk at a hardware shop, for the recovery of the sum of S.60 spent io London in trying to gain access to the-Prince ol Wales. Mr. Schiff went abroad some four m cths ago, and before starting he said to Sheridan th it he would like to have some letters of introduct:or to prominent people in London, where Sheridan formerly lived. 11 Cert tinlly," replied Sheridan, '*] will give you a letter to Albert Edward the Prince of Wales." Schiff accepted the letter in good faith. It was written on piper bearing the name of his firm, nnd evoked no misgiving on the p-trt of the btarer. For it seemed pvfectly natural to him that Sheridan should be on terms of intimacy with the Prince. Schiff arrived in London, called in turn at Marlborough House, at the Marlborough Club, and at the Guards' Club, but without any success. Schiff thereupon returned to the Charing Cross Hotel, where be was staying, and wrote to Sir Francis Knollys, enclosing Sheri- dan's letter of introduction to the Prince. At, the end of the third day one of the clerks c f Sir Francis called upon him, and after liitening a> his explanations informed him that the Prince r. ould be glad to receive any American visitcr on MI in- troduction by the American Minister, but that really his Royal Highness did not know SheridaE had; ever met him, and had never hearJ 01 him before. Mr. Schiff, deeply chagrined, picketl his trunks and sailed for home via Southampton, Of course there was a battle royal on his return t< Newark. Sheridan took the matter very coolly. merely expressing surprise that the Prince's feet- Ings towards him should have undergone so great a chango, and utterly rafusod to reimburse Mr I Schiff for the money be had spent while waiting (I see the Prince in London.