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of the classic scholar were from time to time kept alive by notices of that gentleman's progress, inserted in some of our periodical Journals.
I cannot close this article without expressing a hope, that the manuscripts now in England will ere long meet investigation, confident as I am, that the ingenuity of our English artists will be able to suggest a more expeditious process for unrolling them, than the one above detailed; and that, if the task were attended with success in this country, the court of Palermo might be prevailed upon to furnish a succession of new materials to enrich our store of classic literature.
From Ackermann's Repository of Arts.
I SEND you a drawing of a ring, supposed to be one that belonged to William III, and which is noticed in Rapin's History of England. After giving an account of the king's death, the historian thus continues: "As soon as the breath was out of his body, the lords Lexing ton and Scarborough, who were then in waiting, ordered Roujat to take off from the king's left arm a black ribbon, which tied next to his skin a gold ring, with some hair of the late queen Mary, which showed the tender regard he had for her memory." This ring is of pure gold, its breadth is five-eighths of an inch, and its length is seven-eighths of an inch. Instead of a crystal, it is covered with what is called a picture diamond, beautifully cut. This drawing is enlarged in the plate, for the sake of showing the device, of which the light parts are a very accurate representation: those parts which are shaded, represent the hair of queen Mary, which forms a dark ground for the workmanship: the black ribbon, by which it is fastened to the king's arm, passes through two small loops at the back of the ring, the gold of which is almost worn through: the workmanship is very good, not to say elegant, for the period in which it was done. It has been many years in the possession of the ancestors of Thomas Street, Esq. of Hampstead, to whom it has descended, and who can trace it pretty satisfactorily through his family connexions up to Roujat, who was sergeant-surgeon to William III:
THE USEFUL ARTS.
FROM the transactions of the society for the encouragement of arts, manufactures, and commerce, we borrow the following paper, .for which communication five guineas were voted by the society. To those who have daily experience of the unpleasant difficulty of forcing a door over a resisting surface; to the shivering invalid; to the delieate lady, and, in fine, to all who are studious of comfort, in cold weather, it is scarcely necessary to recommend the general adoption in America, of this excellent invention. Editor.
Contrivance for preventing doors from dragging on carpets, by
TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY.
I HAVE taken the liberty of laying before the society a model of my invention to prevent doors from dragging on carpets, and to keep out the current of cold air, which enters under such doors as are not close to the carpets underneath them.
I can affix this machinery to the bottom of any door, so that the door may pass over the carpet with ease, and, when shut, be air-tight. It obviates the necessity of screw rising hinges, and is less expensive than other inventions for the same purpose.
The machinery is constructed of a slip of well-seasoned beech wood, equal in length to the width of the door; this slip is one and a quarter inch wide, and half an inch thick, and to be covered with green cloth on the inside; it is to be hung to the bottom of the door, with three small brass, hinges, and is drawn up by a concealed spring as the door opens, and is forced down when the door shuts, by one end of it, which is semicircular, pressing upon a concave semicircular piece of hard beech wood, fastened at the bottom of the door case, and which holds it down close to the floor or carpet, so as entirely to exclude the air.
Description of the method of preventing doors from dragging on carpets.
The curious mechanic, or the opulent gentleman, who is studious to view a plate to which this specification alludes, is referred to Tilloch's Philosophical Magazine, for June 1809.
Mr. Tad's invention consists in first cutting away the bottom of the door, so that it is about one inch and a quarter above the floor; this allows a sufficiency of room for the door to open over any carpet. To
close the opening which would now be left under the door when shut, he proposes to fix beneath the door, by means of hinges, a slip of wood, of which, a b c fig. 2 and 3, plate xiii, is a section. Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the bottom of a door, with the invention annexed to it. Fig. 2 is a section across the door when closed; fig. 3 is a view of the edge of the door, when open; and fig 4 is a section sup- . posed to be made by cutting the door in two parts edge-ways. The hinges, on which the slip turns, are fixed to the edge. In figs. 2 and 3 from a to b is exactly one inch and a quarter, so that when the ruler is turned down upon the hinges, it reaches the floor A A as in fig. 2; in the other direction a d it is much less, being only half an inch, se that when it is turned up under the door, as in fig. 3, it leaves three quarters of an inch clear. It now remains to show how the ruler is turned up or down. It has always a tendency to rise up into the state of fig. 3, by the action of a steel wire spring shown in figs. 2 and 4, which is concealed in a rebate cut in the bottom of the door; one end of the wire is screwed fast to the door at f, the other is inserted into an eye, fastened into the slip at g to throw it down into the position of figs. 2 and 4. The end h, fig. 4 of the slip furthest from the hinges of the door is cut into a semi-circle, as seen in fig. 3. When the door is just closed, this semi-circle is received into a fixed concave semicircle k, fig. 3 cut in the end of a piece of wood k 1, made fast to the door case; the line m 1, fig. 3, represents the plane of the door when shut, and p p part of the door seen edgeways: as the door in shutting moves from p to m, the semicircular end of the slip a b d, &c. presses against the end of the piece k 1, and as the door proceeds, it turns down, as in fig. 2, so that by the time the door is shut, the slip is turned quite down; the edge eb of the slip is cut into a segment of a circle struck from the hinges on which it turns. The perspective view in fig. 1, shows that this contrivance, applied to any door, will not offend the eye, as it can scarcely be distinguished from an ordinary door; k, fig. 1, shows the concave semicircle of the piece of wood fastened to the door-case, in which the semicircular end of the slip is to be received.
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́MY POCKET BOOK-NO. V.
"Quicquid agunt homines-nostri est farrago libelli."
FEW biographical works possess so much attraction, and afford so great a degree of entertainment, as the Memoirs of Cumberland, lately published by himself, at the advanced age of seventy-two. These memoirs furnish an extensive range of the history of literature and literary men, during the very long period they embrace. The anecdotes of the author's ancestors are not among the least valuable parts of the work. The writer exhibits himself without disguise. There is hardly a page that does not bear strong testimony of his benevolence and goodness, as well as of his talents. His laudable design of making the drama subservient to the noble purpose of banishing gross national prejudices, which it had formerly too successfully fostered, would alone have entitled him to a monument of national gratitude. The Irish, the Scotch, the Welch, and the Jews, are all under high obligations to him, for placing them, in his dramatic works, in a respectable point of light. His Major O'Flaherty, his Colin M'Leod, his Dr. Druid, and his Sheva, while they bear strong characteristic marks of nationality, are endued with those excellent qualities of the heart, and that purity of intention, which command for man the plaudit of his fellowmortals "from pole to pole." By other writers, individuals of those nations are rarely introduced among the dramatis personæ, but to excite or extend prejudice, and to tickle the exuberant vanity of a proud and arrogant audience, by the very flattering comparison. From this folly, to call it by no harsher name, Shakspeare himself could not claim an exemption. In his Merchant of Venice, he absolutely falsified history, to pander to the miserable prejudices which existed against the ill-fated Jews, so often, for centuries before his time, the victims of the most abominable persecution. Need I, after adducing Shylock, waste words upon the Archy Mac Sarcasms, the Brulgrudderies, the Teague O'Regans, the Darbies, the Shenkins, and all those caricatures of human nature, which so many scribblers have exhibited for the purpose of rendering the imaginary defects of one nation food for the vanity of another?
I have heard Cumberland charged with egotism. Those who prefer this charge against him say, that "I, the hero of each little tale," applies to his memoirs with great propriety. This is too fastidious. They attempt to decry an individual work for what forms the very essence of this species of composition. Can a man write his own life,
without being, to a certain degree, an egotist? Surely not. And whatever egotism Cumberland displays, in his memoirs, is absolutely inseparable from every similar production.
In this interesting work there are some curious political arcana completely developed, which throw considerable light on the honour and honesty of the cabinets of the rulers of the globe.
There is no subject that yields to a benevolent mind a more sublime gratification that the contemplation of a man employed in the divine act of rescuing his fellow mortals from impending destruction, without the smallest shadow of suspicion of his being actuated by any sinister or selfish motives. This is unquestionably the highest grade of human perfection. Alas! that it so rarely occurs! History is little more than one continued detail of the atrocities of ferocious monsters, who have deluged the earth with human blood, with as little concern as the tiger displays in the destruction of the unoffending lamb. Those of an opposite description
Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto.
The greater the rarity of this goodness, the more highly estimable it is when it appears. With what admiration and applause, then, must we not regard the noble-minded Duncan M'Intosh, who has excited these remarks, and who has had the enviable lot of effecting the salvation from impending butchery, in St. Domingo, of above fifteen hundred men, women, and children, a number probably greater than were ever rescued from destruction by any private individual before.
This illustrious exploit is attended with a circumstance, which, to my mind, highly enhances the gratification it affords. The hero is of a nation whose character is not duly appreciated in general, and who are too frequently made the subject of unjust and disgraceful sarcasm by the ignorant and illiberal of other nations. Of all the national prejudices I am acquainted with, I know none more completely unfounded. For my part, I am convinced, from long observation, that the tout ensemble of the character of the Scotch will bear an advantageous comparison with that of any other nation in Christendom.
Ye gods and goddesses! what a precipitous fall from feasting upon the godlike act of M'Intosh, to write about the miscreants with whose designation I have headed this paragraph. It is like sinking from
The heights of th' empyreal heaven,"
at one single plunge, into the darkest abysses of