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per cent. upon its value in order that a copy of the Times may pass four or five times through the post, at the cost of a single transmission. You cannot put it forward, too clearly, that it is not the removal of the postal charge, but its equalisation, that you desire. The present law is as though a penny stamp were put on every sheet of paper, so that a note sent by hand, or a written memorandum kept for private use, should pay postage as well as a letter transmitted in the usual manner. Its anomaly and injustice could not have been tolerated until now, were it not that proprietors and editors of established journals circulating largely, have, or conceive themselves to have, a direct interest in maintaining a system which checks competition, and favors large capitalists.
Institutions would form their own Committees on Industrial Pathology, and communicate their results to the Society. Much had been said about the unwillingness of the working-classes to adopt improvements designed for their own benefit. This was true, and to be regretted. It was, however, an error common to all classes; and, if it were more frequently seen among the working-classes, we were more to be blamed for it than they. It was the result of ignorance; and, if they were ignorant, ours was the blame, for we had failed to supply them with adequate means of education. There were soine noble words of Jeremy Taylor's which often pressed on his (the Chairman's) mind: "Where the poor perish for lack of knowledge, there shall those who are set over them perish also for lack of charity." These words had a I believe the fallacy here mentioned "that what reformpeculiar significance in reference to the evils which In-ers ask is a gratuitous transmission of newspapers by post," dustrial Pathology proposed to abate. He rejoiced that has done more mischief than, from its absurdity, would be the subject had at length been effectually taken up by supposed. the Society, in a manner that was worthy of its Centenary Session. After paying some compliments to Mr. Thomas Twining, jun., to whose persevering benevolence the present movement was mainly due, he presented the thanks of the meeting to Dr. Chambers, and assured him that the vote was not a mere matter of form, but carried with it the cordial sympathies of the meeting.
The Secretary announced that there would be an Extraordinary Meeting of the Society on Monday evening next, at the usual hour, for the Mr. of resuming the Discussion on Slaney's paper "On Limited and Unlimited Liability in Partnerships."
Also, that on Wednesday, the 14th inst., the General Meeting to receive the Council's Report and the Auditors' statement of the Receipts and Expenditure for the past year, to which Meeting members only would be admitted, would be held.
The third objection taken-a fear lest the Post Office revenues should fall off, seems wholly groundless. Any one who looks at the returns of that department will see an enormous increase of late years in the amount of work which it has to do, and consequently also in its receipts. I believe that a diminution in the number of newspapers conveyed by post, would more than compensate, in convenience, for the pecuniary loss which it might cause. it must also be remembered that a large increase in the number of newspapers would render the Paper Duty (while that tax lasts) more remunerative; and, as was urged in the debate, that, if many more newspapers are published than at present, it is probable that at least an equal number will still pass through the post.
Justice has scarcely been done to the claim of the provincial press. Take such a case as this: and it is not an imaginary one. A local journal, published in a small borough, has 1000 subscribers; of these, 900 live within the borough; their copies are consequently transmitted to them by hand; only the remaining 100 copies are sent by post; the charge for which, at 1d. each, would be 8s. 4d. But the law imposes, under the name of a postal charge, this penny tax on the whole 1000 copies; amounting, in all, to 47. 3s. 4d. on each impression; or, in other words, The following letter from Lord Stanley, has been received taxes the journal in question at the rate of 10d. for each by the Secretary to the Association for Promoting the Re-copy which passes through the Post Office. Can it be peal of the Taxes on Knowledge :
THE NEWSPAPER STAMP.
Albany, May 24th, 1854. SIR,-No division having been taken on Mr. Milner Gibson's motion and the motion itself not going the length of a repeal of the Stamp-duty, I wish to give in my adhesion to the movement which you are promoting, so far as the abolition of that duty is concerned. The Paper-duty, as a financial measure, stands on a different footing. But the Stamp-duty is professedly imposed as a postal charge only, and not for purposes of revenue. It may, therefore, be dealt with quite apart from any considerations arising out
of the war.
I only know three reasons which really influence men's minds against its removal. Some persons fear the political or social results of a large increase of cheap periodicals. This objection is removed by the existence, uncontrolled by law, of a cheap unstamped press, dealing with every subject except the news of the day, and even dealing with that in the way of comment. The danger which they fear already exists: the proposed change of law will diminish instead of aggravating it, by giving to the cheap press a character of greater respectability.
Others conceive that what is demanded amounts to this: that newspapers should be posted gratuitously. It would be well to have this delusion thoroughly removed. Newspapers cannot claim gratuitous transmission any more than letters: all that you ask is, that only those which require postal accommodation shall pay for it: and that the small provincial journal, which does not use the post-office, being distributed entirely by hand, shall not be taxed 50 or 100
imagined that this injustice should be defended, as I have seen it defended, on the ground that what is thus taken from the small journalist is put into the pockets of his metropolitan rival?
To those who apprehend that the character of journalism will suffer by an increase of cheap local papers, though holding their anticipations to be erroneous, I should reply simply by a refusal to discuss that question. We contend that as a matter, not of policy, but of simple justice, postal charges should fall only on those who benefit by the ser vices of the Post Office. Whatever may have been the private opinions of public men, no minister of late years has dared to avow that the Stamp-Duty is imposed purposely as a check on low-priced periodical writing. To admit this, is to assert the principle of a censorship. For the existing duty, amounting to a tax of 100 per cent. on a penny journal, amounts, in fact, to a prohibition of all such journals. But, if this prohibiton is designed, it ought to be put in express words. What the legislature does, should be done openly. The question, therefore, is reduced to this-whether Parliament will continue to limit the right of publication to journals sold at and above a certain price? That this is the effect of the law, is clear: that it is also the object of the law, though that object is not acknowledged, seems impossible to doubt. Formerly, the StampDuty was defended on financial grounds alone; now, we are told that the fiscal question is unimportant; the excuse varies from year to year, the policy is still obstinately clung to.
Two or three years must probably still pass before you
THE AMERICAN PATENT SYSTEM.
Dr. L. D. Gale, principal examiner of patents, of the United States Patent Office, read before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at their Annual meeting held in Washington, Wednesday 26th April, 1854, a paper entitled "The American Patent System, and its Relations and Bearings on Science, and especially Chemical Science," of which the following is an abstract.
The first part of this paper was occupied in describing the history of the Patent Office, from its organization in 1790, and before examinations for novelty and patentability were made. The author then went on to shew that under this practice there was no real confidence in a patent before it had been tested in the courts; that it often happened that the same device would be patented a second time in substantially the same machine, from the fact that the law made no provision for refusing or testing the alleged new
granted in the United States are Chemical Patents, and that many of the Chemical Arts are far in advance of the books, and hence little aid can be expected from them in such cases.
The writer closed the subject by pointing out the present condition of several of the Chemical Arts, showing that processes used are not to be found in the books on science, but only in the archives of the patent office. Thus for example, Alcohol is now prepared without heat, by merely putting whiskey into a column 100 feet high. In a few hours pure alcohol is drawn off at top, and nearly pure water at the bottom. Merchantable paper is now made in the United States of hickory, pine and poplar wood, and other forest trees of America:-and also of the cane from which fishing poles are made.
THE OIL OF THE CAHOUN OR PALM TREE
Belize, British Honduras, April 15th, 1854. SIR, That large tract of country on the continent of North America, called British Honduras, is comparatively little known. Most people have heard of Honduras mahoHe then noticed the several Acts of Congress that have gany and logwood, but whether the place from which been passed from time to time, improving the condition of those woods are imported be in the east or in the west,the office and the system, until the Act of 1836, which whether it be a continent, an island, or an archipelago, made provision for examining applications on the novelty few people know, or care to inquire. It is, however, a and patentability of the subject or devices claimed. This very important and valuable colony, and deserves to Act provided for an office called a Commissioner of Patents, receive greater attention than that which has hitherto and a subordinate officer called an Examiner of Patents, been paid to it. The discussions on the Bulwer and Clayand still other officers and clerks, all of which have in- ton treaty have brought it somewhat more into notice of The Americans are not creased till the present time, when there are six Examiners, late, on both sides of the water. and the same number of assistants, and the same number so ignorant of this country as those to whose sovereign it of second assistants. The author then went on to show belongs, and they have estimated it at its real value. some of the peculiarities that distinguished the American For many years they have cast a greedy eye upon it, and Patent System from the European Systems. The first have longed for an excuse and an opportunity of bringing was that it aimed at giving no patent for any invention to bear upon it the Monroe doctrine of European exclusion that had been described in any printed publication or known and transatlantic appropriation, a mild phrase, but having With these views, General Cass, to have been in use in any country on the globe. In this an extensive meaning. way almost every patent granted was an absolute original in a long speech lately delivered by him to the Senate of contribution to the stock of knowledge in the whole world. the United States, labours heavily to prove that it is a Almost every patent granted was sustained by the courts, part of Central America, in order that it may be brought and confidence in patents after a time became unbounded. within the provisions of the Bulwer and Clayton treaty. In the second place, the writer stated that the high priceIt is, however, not a portion of Central America, and was of labour in the United States had operated in connection with the American Patent System to advance American inventions. From this cause farming implements of every description had improved more in the United States than in any other country. There are not more than some three or four grain and grass harvesters described in our books as known on the continent of Europe, while at least twenty a year have been patented in the United States for several years. After pointing out the peculiarities of the American Patent system, and the results growing out of the high prices of labour in mechanical inventions of various kinds, the subject of chemical science was brought forward, and the position taken, that chemical inventions are often both contributions to know ledge, developing new laws and ultimate facts, as well as improvements in the arts, while mechanical inventions improve the arts, but rarely develope new laws or ultimate facts. The author then went on to illustrate how it was that chemical science was advanced by the American Patent system as now practised, which is, that the process, or composition of matter (whichever it be) must be clearly described, and the difference between this and other related inventions set forth, and the gist of the invention set forth in the claim, and that these often present new and ultimate facts, and occasionally develope new laws, and thus operate to extend the bounds of science.
It was stated that about one-eighth of all the patents
never so considered. The term "Central America" is a political and not a geographical appellation, and has alStates of Guatimala, Honduras, San Salvador, Costa Rica, ways been understood to designate the five Confederated and Nicaragua. British Honduras, which embraces all that tract of country which lies between the rivers Hondo and Sarstoon, a distance of about 180 miles, is in North America. On the north it borders upon Yucatan, and on the south on Guatimala; Ysabal, the port of that state being only a few miles distant. My object, however, in now addressing you, is not to enter into a lengthened discussion of the claims of certain American senators in reference to this country, which would be very unprofitable,
for whatever opinions Mr. Cass or others may have upon this subject, we have got Honduras, and we intend to keep it, but to draw your attention, and through you that of the British public, to a valuable article of commerce growing spontaneously in this country in profuse abundance, which has hitherto been entirely neglected. I allude to the nut of the Cahoun tree. This tree is, I believe, altogether peculiar to Honduras. It is not found in Jamaica, nor in any of the West India Islands. I made very particular inquiries respecting it when I was last in Jamaica, and I ascertained that it not only did not grow in that island, but that it had never been heard of. It is of the palm tribe, being, in appearance, very similar to the cocoa-nut tree. The branches are precisely the same in structure, but more widely spreading. It does not grow
JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS.
nearly so high as that tree, and the trunk is considerably thicker. The order and regularity in which they grow are surprising. I have seen rows of them which presented the appearance of having been planted with the greatest I have witnessed long avenues which closely resembled the nave and aisles of a cathedral, the arched branches meeting overhead and producing an exact imitation of the vaulted roofs, and if the sun were declining, the horizontal rays shining at intervals through one side of the avenue, created the splendid effulgence of the most richly-painted windows.
This tree bears a nut about the size of a large hen's egg, which grows in huge clusters, each cluster resembling a bunch of grapes. The kernel tastes a little like that of the cocoa-nut, but it is far more oleaginous, and the oil which is extracted from it is infinitely superior. No other oil is burnt in this country but the cahoun and the cocoa-nut oil, but a pint of the former will last double the time that the same quantity of the latter will. This oil (the cahoun,) congeals at a temperature of 75 degrees. There is no question whatever, that, if it were known to the British public, it would completely supersede the use of the cocoa-nut oil, which is so extensively employed now in the formation of candles, and for manufacturing and engineering purposes.
more durable trade awaits those who have courage, and capital, and enterprise, to open this new vein of wealth. It is no mine of gold that I describe; I hold out no hopes of mineral rewards, but I say, and I say emphatically, that an article more valuable, more healthy, and more permanently lucrative than the shining ore of Australia, and unattended with the moral depravity which accompanies gold in all its stages, from the moment that it is taken from the earth, through all the various changes which it undergoes during its eventful carcer,-offers itself to those, who, confiding in their efforts and their skill, will accept it.
British Honduras contains numerous navigable rivers and creeks, and on the banks of all these rivers the Cahoun tree is found in wild attendance. The river Hondo, the New River, the Northern River, the Belize, the Sibun, Manate River, Mullin's River, Sette River, Monkey River, Deep River, Golden Stream, Rio Grande, Moho River, and the River Sarstoon, are all navigable, and by them Cahoun oil could always be conveyed from the place where it is manufactured to the sea.
I enclose you a report relating to this subject, which has
P. Le Neve Foster, Esq., &c., &c.
Belize, January 10, 1854. DEAR SIR,-According to your request, I beg leave to forward some observations concerning the growth, products, etc., of the Cahoun or palm tree.
contains 37,500 square miles, of which, I do not hesitate By the latest computations the settlement of Honduras to assert, two-fifths are composed of what is commonly called here Cahoun ridges (Corossales in Spanish);
The country of Honduras consists principally of two kinds of land; the one is called a " Pene Ridge," and the other a "Cahoun Ridge." The former is a sterile, sandy soil for the most part, but contains here and there patches of greater fertility. These "green spots" in the midst of this sandy wilderness are the resort of immense herds of deer and antelopes, the flesh of which bears not the least resemblance to the succulent, well-fed, venison of England, but is dry, white, stringy, and an utter stranger to fat. The only way to make it eatable is to disguise its real nature and dress it as veal, for which meat, after a long absence from it, it is a tolerable substitute. The pine ridge is covered with innumerable red pines, which are very much more resinous than the red pine of Ame-banks of the rivers, and possess the richest virgin soil; some rica. From these trees any quantity of pitch, of an excel- of them are only one-quarter of a mile deep, while others lent quality, might be extracted. This would also be Calhoun trees grow at an average distance of five yards extend to from twelve to twenty miles in depth. The from one another, thereby forming arches of evergreens, which soften the ardent rays of the tropical sun, and give a majestic air to those forests whose silence is only broken by the titter of bright-plumaged birds, or the solitary cries of some wild animal roaming in these wildernesses.
very valuable article of commerce.
These Corossales or Cahoun villages, are mostly along the
These Cahoun trees yield one crop every year; this bunches of nuts, as close together as grapes; the nuts are crop consists of generally three, and sometimes four, of the size of a small Turkey's egg, and on an average there are eight hundred nuts in one bunch.
The Cahoun ridge differs materially from the Pene Ridge. The soil of the latter, as I have said, is sandy and unproductive, whereas that of the former is rich and loamy, and possesses every agricultural capability. There is no tree, plant, fruit, nor root, which is produced in the tropics, which cannot be grown in great abundance upon these ridges. The Cahoun trees here abound. For miles and miles you have nothing but forests of them; and yet with all these forests of trees, bearing nuts from which a most valuable oil can be extracted, for which oil a ready market would be obtained in every town in The people here extract oil from them in the following manner: When the nuts are what they term full, they Europe and the United States, no one has yet been break, between two stones, the shell, which is very hard, found,-whether from a want of energy and enterprise, then pound the kernel in a wooden mortar: the sediment or from pre-occcupation in other pursuits I am not able is then put in a boiler with water, and boiled down until to say to turn them to a profitable account. all the oil or fat floats; they skim the oil off, fry it in an single bottle of oil has ever been exported to Europe, or iron pot, so as to disengage all the aqueous particles, and elsewhere, as an article of commerce. Over these vast then bottle it; by this simple process, the average yield fields of wealth a few old negro women occasionally is one quart bottle of oil out of one hundred nuts. wander, picking up the nuts which have fallen accidentally to the ground, from which, in their rude and clumsy way, they manufacture as much oil, and no more, as will satisfy their personal wants, and purchase for them a few luxuries in the shape of pickled pork and gin, pipes, and tobacco. I have forwarded to you by the "Armato," a sailing vessel, a box of Cahoun oil, and one of nuts, from which samples you will be able to test the correctness of my observations. As soon as the ship arrives in London they will be sent to you.
I should be glad, if, through your means, some enterprising individuals would undertake to develop the riches of this fine country, and establish this new branch of trade. Mahogany and logwood now engross, and always have done so, the entire attention of the merchants settled in Belize; but a much more profitable, more certain, and
With improved machinery more oil can be extracted, and if any one with some capital, having a ready market for his produce, would undertake such a manufactory, there is no doubt that the staple article, say nuts, will not be found wanting; there would always be an abundant supply on hand, because the women and children who live along the banks of the rivers, having nothing else to do during the dry season, and being certain of a trifling remuneration, would vie with one another to bring to such an establishment the produce of their labour, which only consists in picking up and gathering the nuts. I have the honour to be, dear Sir, Your humble obedient servant, J. H. FABER, Crown Surveyor. To his Honour Robt. Temple, Chief Justice, &c., &c., Belize.
DECIMALIZATION OF COINS AND ACCOUNTS. Sir, I beg the favour of a small space to reply to a letter of Mr. James Yates, which appeared in your journal of the 19th instant, especially as the differences between us are questions of fact.
I stated in regard to our avoirdupoise weight, that it was "the weight of all the German nations, and had been so from time immemorial." This Mr. Yates takes solemn exception to. He says, "with respect to the matter of fact, I regret to say that Mr. Miller is in error." "The English pound of 7000 grains is probably unknown throughout all Germany." Had I left the sentence objected to, to stand by itself, it might have been open to criticism; but I laboured through two dull columns, to show that I meant by that avoirdupoise weight, a weight of 7200 grains, and I summed up the sketch of its history by stating that "had that weight been left to us, we might have had a pound almost identical with the money pounds of all the German nations." I thought that was explicit and qualified enough. Supposing the two pounds of the German nations, the money and the commercial pounds, to have had the same origin as our own, one being founded upon the penny value, the other upon the penny weight, as the divisions are the same, the commercial pound would be just an ounce heavier than the other; and this, in the main, indicates the difference between them.
In the year 1524, the Emperor Charles the 5th, to remedy the differences which time had made in the standards of the various states, ordained that the Cologne mark should be the standard weight for money all over the empire,and from that day to this it has generally continued to be such. The pound is divided into 2 marks, 16 ounces, 32 loths, 128 quints, or 256 pfennings. The commercial pound varies considerably between various states, as much as our own between various shops in this metropolis; but I had not the commercial weight in view. It was the money weight, 2 cologne marks 7216 grains that I meant, and expressed. My thought was, that for the sake of uniformity, the other German states might be induced to do as Prussia has done, that is to say, abolish all but their money weight. Supposing I had not taken the money weights, the commercial weights, diminished as they have been by time, would have been sufficiently near to justify my assertion.
The following is the proportion the commercial weights bear to our old avoirdupoise weight, taking that as 100:
lationship to our pound, and I trust that it will abate the poignancy of Mr. Yates's regret.
Mr. Yates also disputes my figures. In writing 900l. 98. 94d. in pounds and decimals, I write it 1900.489, which is correct; being as near as it is possible to write it in three places of decimals. Mr. Yates says that its true value is 1900.4884816; but Mr. Yates is wrong, the true value is 900,4885416 (and a circulate of sixes.) Again Mr. Yates is wrong; he professes to exhibit the same amount in the franc mode, which he recommends, and he makes out the 9007. 9s. 94d to be f22,692.32. Now, gold for gold, at par, the equivalent in francs would really be f22711.72.; but he seems to have taken some impossible rate of exchange. This is unimportant, but they should not throw stones who have windows of glass.
Mr. Yates states that "in this country the metrical or French system, founded upon the gramme, is already employed for scientific purposes, and will certainly continue to be used in operations which require delicacy and correctness." In working from French formulæ, it may be sometimes more convenient to use French weights than to convert the terms; but that is not what the sentence means, nor what Mr. Yates intended it should convey. It means that the gramme is more susceptible of minute division than any other weight, or means nothing, the words "delicacy" and "correctness" being thrown in to produce a picturesque effect upon the imagination. We divide our own grain into its 10,000th part, which is minute enough for most delicate operations.
Time will not allow me to pursue Mr. Yates through all the tortuosities of his letter; but I must notice its conclusion. After a generous compliment, for which I sincerely thank him, he wishes me to pursue the subject in a more comprehensive and philosophical spirit," and especially that I would bestow upon the whole systeme métrique, the attention to which he thinks it is most justlyentitled."
I beg to be permitted to state that it was the completeness of the systeme métrique, as a mathematical system, which, years ago, first attracted my attention to this subject. Yet when I count the cost, the trouble, embarrassment, and wrong which accompanied its introduction into France, and what was relinquished which linked her to other nations, I cannot think that she has been much the gainer by it. Disregarding history and experience, she wedded her sels to three bad measures, the metre, the killogramme, and the franc, from which I apprehend there is now no divorce unless she suffer another dissolution; and I think our own position preferable to hers, notwithstanding the mathema102 tical consistency of her system, and the irregularities which 100 mar our own. For us there is hope, for her there is none. 105 I would preserve to the mechanic his foot rule; to the trader his pound weight; to all their pounds, shillings, and 104 pence; but all these, and every other measure, of value, 104 weight, space, or dimensions, Mr. Yates proposes to annihi 106 late at one fell swoop. Such a project is "comprehensive" 120 enough in the magnitude of its destructiveness, but I 109 cannot call it philosophical, I call it criminal; and I believe 104 in my heart that Mr. Yates is too good a man to do it, 108 even if he had the power. I have, &c.,
London, May 29th, 1854.
CHARCOAL VENTILATORS FOR DWELLING
HOUSES AND SHIPS.
Sir, The principle of the Charcoal Respirator which I brought under the notice of the Society of Arts during the month of February last, may, I apprehend, be very advantageously extended, under particular circumstances, to the ventilation of ships and buildings.
If a thin layer of coarsely-powdered charcoal is enclosed between two sheets of wire-gauze, and inserted into a suitable frame-work in those portions of ships and build Such a comparison is quite sufficient to show the re-ings where foul air is apt to accumulate, such, for instance
as in the vicinity of water-closets and similar nuisances, all the impurities in the air will be absorbed and retained by the charcoal, while a current of pure air will alone be admitted into the neighbouring apartments. The charcoal ventilators should be furnished with a slide at top and bottom, by means of which they may be easily filled or emptied at pleasure. Such an arrangement would frequently be found useful in the close wards of hospitals, and in the impure atmosphere of many of the back-courts and mewslanes of great cities. A layer of charcoal might be often advantageously placed in the lower portions of buildings, immediately under the wooden-flooring, as it would keep the floors warm and dry, and likewise prevent annoyance from any sewerage water or other impurities that might find their way into such situations. These are a few only of the useful applications to which charcoal powder may be made available for sanatory purposes. Many others cannot, ere long, fail to suggest themselves. I am, Sir,
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE CLASSES. SIR,-It is pleasing to find that the subject of solid and systematic instruction in Mechanics' Institutions is beginning to attract more attention. It is high time now that the great appliances of these institutions should be used for something more than recreation and amusement. With a little energy and activity, aided as they are now by the advice, encouragement, and support of the Society of Arts, there is some hope that they may, ere long, be rendered really efficient Colleges for the People. I should be glad if you will spare me room for a few observations on the subject, in which I shall restrict myself to one or two points which seem to require some further discussion or elucidation.
1. There seems a disposition to plan the proposed course more specially for that section of the working classes who may be termed skilled artisans, to the comparative neglect of that other and very large class composed of clerks, warehousemen, shopmen, "linendrapers, butlers, waiters," as your correspondent (Vide No. 78, p. 481) terms them. Now, sir, while I know the necessity for special courses adapted to the wants of certain classes of artisans, and desire to see such courses everywhere encouraged as much as possible, I object to this distinction in the ordinary course at the Mechanics' Institute. The clerk, the shopman, (or shopboy,) the waiter, the spinner, the weaver, the founder, the engineer, the brewer, and dyer, are in the same category in this, the education which they should have had as men, for their own sake and for that of society, has been nipped in the bud at twelve or fourteen years of age, and far the greater portion of what they require to compensate as much as possible for the deficiency, is the same for all. Hence, then, if we consider the wants of those alone who need some special knowledge for the successful pursuit of their labours, we neglect a very large class, and deprive ourselves of the means and strength that would be gained by their co-operation. All alike who leave school before fifteen years of age, need some systematic course of study to develope or improve their faculties; and they also require instruction in mathematics, natural philosophy, chemistry, natural history, and physical geography. The artisan requires also more minute information in some depart ment of mathematics, mechanics, or chemistry; but why may not all go together for the long way during which their wants are actually the same? It is well known that hitherto the majority of the students at Mechanics' Institutes have been of the clerk and shopman class, even in such towns as Glasgow, where there are vast numbers of chemists and engineers, and where there are courses of twenty-five lectures on chemistry, and as many on natural
philosophy, given every session. Would it not be wise, then, to adapt the course so as to make it useful to the class that has already evinced a desire to take advantage of the opportunity, when this can be done so as to suit the other class also?
2. I should urge that no department of political science be included in the proposed course-not even political economy. It is manifest from recent occurrences that the working classes have a system of political economy of their own, very crude and raw, I dare say, but they are very jealous of the political economy of the classes above them, and will look with extreme distrust upon any system of education held out to them which inculcates political principles that they repudiate. It may be very proper to endeavour to teach them a sounder view of social science, but this may be done without damaging, by association with it, a course of unquestioned utility, which, by itself, they would be willing to accept. I should, therefore, suggest, that all subjects of govern ment and political economy be severed from any general course of study desired to be acceptable to the body of the people.
3. Some curriculum should be laid down, or recommended, at least. The people need some guidance, not only as to the subjects to be studied, but as to the order in which they are to be taken. A course of natural philosophy to those who have no knowledge of algebra or geometry, or one on geology to those who do not know the most elementary parts of chemistry or zoology, is, in great part, a waste of time. A course of lectures on the following subjects, extending over three years, and accompa nied by private instruction to those who desire more special information, (for their business, or to obtain a diploma,) and recommended by some body possessing authority or weight, would supply the great desideratum in Mechanics' Institutes:
4. It seems very desirable that the subject of language should form a part of the course, and be introduced early. Without claiming for it the high position, as a means of mental training, assigned to it by some, it cannot be denied that the analysis of language is a very valuable mental discipline indeed; it exercises the faculties of attention, abstraction, thought and memory, leads the mind to turn inwards upon itself and examine its own operations, and conduces greatly to precision of thought and expression. Properly studied, it is a powerful aid in the much neglected art of composition, and assists in the development of a literary taste. It may also be made extremely useful by facilitating the acquisition of foreign languages, and the understanding of those technical terms which we have borrowed so largely from the ancient tongues. A course of eight or ten lectures on language, with private lessons, appears to me the most desirable introduction to the course of adult instruction, for whatever class it may be designed.
May 22, 1854.
Your obedient servant,
WARMING AND VENTILATION. SIR,-On reading, in your Journal of May 26th, Dr. Caplin's remarks on Dr. Arnott's stove, also his hint to the public upon the practicability of applying the heat of the sides and back of fires to produce hot air to warm the room where the fire is, or other rooms, I beg to remark, for his information and that of other readers who may have not seen heat so applied, that the late Marquis Chabannes, in his calorifere stoves, made in London, and fully explained in his work published in London in 1818, obtained the heat from both the sides and the back of the