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Ebchester, in the county of Darham, and other places, bear conclusive testimony to the use of coal by the masters of the world. Some have argued that it was knowo to the Saxons by the name of Givefan. One of the earliest documents in which coal is mentioned is the Bolden Book of Bishop Pudsey, dated 1180. It was first used for domestic purposes in this country at the latter end of the 13th century, and was brought about by the rapid consumption of timber. Like most other innovations it was received with suspicion, and had to contend against prejudice. It was looked upon as so dangerous an innovation that in 1306 Parliament petitioned King Edward I. on the subject. “His Majesty,” says Stone, “by proclamation prohibyted the burneing of sea-coale in London and the suburbs, to avoid the sulferous smoke and savour of the firing, and in the same proclamation commanded all persons to make their fires of wood.” The same writer adds that “the nice dams (dames) of London would not come into any house or roome where sea-coales were burned, nor willingly eat of the meat that was either sod or roasted with seacoale fire." Measures of coercion were resorted to, but their futility will be apparent from the fact that twenty years afterwards coal was used in the royal palace. Still, the use of this fuel was by no means generally adopted. Mr. W. Blishe, in a periodical published in 1649, says that "it was not many years since the famous city of London petitioned the Parliament of Eagland against two nuisances, and these were · Newcastle Coals and Hops.'
The use of this metal is of very high antiquity. Its first discovery is ascribed by the ancients to fabulous deities and heroes. There are sufficient reasons for believing that the antediluvians were well acquainted with the art of procuring the common metals from
their ores. In the fourth chapter of Genesis Tubal Cain is mentioned as being an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron; 80 that at this period, in the lifetime of Adam, the metals must have been in
In the Pentateuch it is mentioned as being employed in the fabrication of swords, knives, and other edged instruments. Some estimate may be formed of the value attached to the metal from an expression in the eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, where Moses eulogises the Land of Promise as "a land whose stones are iron."
The ores of iron are scattered over the crust of the globe with a beneficent profusion proportioned to the utility of the metal ; they are found under every latitude and every zone; in every mineral formation, and are disseminated in every soil. Iron is seldom found in a native state, but as an oxide, or combined with sulphuric, carbonic, or other acids. Few mineral bodies are without some admixture of it-sand, clay, and water are scarcely ever free from it; and even animal and vegetable substances deposit it after being burned to ashes. The ores are divided into a number of species, each including sub-species. For manufacturing purposes the following are the principal :-Native iron, containing a very great proportion of pure iron ; iron pyrites, composed of iron and sulphur; meteoric iron ; magnetic iron ore; red hematites ; specular iron ; red oxide of iron ; brown iron ore ; carbonate of iron. "In some places the beds of ironstone lie so near the surface that they can be worked as quarries ; others lie hundreds of feet down in the earth, and great expense is incurred in procuring them,
CAST AND WROUGHT IRON. Iron can be both cast and wrought, having the peculiar capability of being “ welded,” that is, of softening by fire to such an extent that when two pieces are made white hot and laid together, a few blows of the hammer will cause them to unite as one piece. It is by means of this most useful quality that large masses of wrought iron are produced ; such, for instance, as anchors and cranks for steam-ships. This property of welding renders iron one of the most useful materials supplied by nature for the various purposes of manufacture.
In combination with carbon, it forms that hardly less useful article, steel. Cast iron has scarcely any of the metallic lustre, and is only fitted for solid work; it is brittle like steel, without its elasticity, and is too soft and porous to be made into any of the numerous tools and instruments for which steel is so eminently suitable. Cast iron is converted into wrought or malleable iron by being re-melted and stirred for a long time in contact with the air. This process is called “puddling;” its object being to get rid of all the impurities, which, by being brought into contact with the air at a high temperature are said to be burnt out-that is, they combine with oxygen, and form carbonic and sulphurous acids, which escape as gases. After puddling, the iron is rolled or hammered out, folded up, and again extended, and as a general rule, it may be said, the more this is continued the purer and softer is the iron. When pure, iron is capable of being rolled out into very thin sheets. Many years ago there was sent to England from Pittsburgh, in the United States, a letter written on a sheet made from iron, 1000 sheets of which laid upon each other would only make one inch in thickness, the dimensions being 8 in. by 5} in., or a surface of 44 inches, and weighing 69 grains. Since then Wales has surpassed America, Staffordshire has surpassed Wales, and Wales again surpassed Staffordshire, till at length Swansea succeeded in making a sheet of the finest appearance and thinnest that has ever been seen by mortal eyes, 10 in. by 5} in., or 55 in. surface, and weighing but 20 grains, and being, indeed, á sort of iron
gossamer." This being brought to the standard of 8 in. by 54 in., or 44 surface inches, is but 16 grains, or 30 per cent. less than any previous effort, and requiring at least 4800 sheets to make one inch in thickness.
It may be added with regard to the usefulness of this metal, that
not only is it applied to the construction of railways, bridges, ships, and a thousand other purposes, but many preparations of it are used in medicine. Medical science has discovered many valuable properties in it, and, in certain conditions, iron now forms a medicine of much virtue, and is the only metal found to be friendly to the human frame.
OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL ALBUM.
By ENOCI GRATTON.
T is a very common thing now for people to have their
likenesses taken. Parents and children like to have each other's portraits. Friends frequently exchange “cartes ” with friends ; and we all like to have the pictures of those we love and admire, especially if they
have been removed to distant parts of the earth, or taken to that land where all is intensely real and spotlessly pure.
Now this desire for and delight in the portraits of our loved ones can be easily and inexpensively gratified. Such is the skill of modern artists that almost any one who wishes may have his likeness taken. Further, in order to preserve their likenesses, to prevent them from being lost or soiled, many people secure a neat or bandsome album. When os cartes are thus kept, it is convenient to show them to friends and visitors. Now, my dear young friends, I have several albums ; but I have one in particular in which I keep the " cartes of persons I have met with in various Sunday schools in different parts of the country. This I call my SUNDAY SCHOOL ALBUM, and I want you kindly to look into this album, and allow me to have a number of quiet talks with you about some of the individuals whose likenesses it contains. You may not know all these people; but some I feel sure you will know, for they live in your locality, attend your Sunday school, and possibly dwell in the very house you dwell in.
If your own “carte" should be in my album, pray don't be offended. Some people are soon offended in this matter of portraittaking. They say that no artist ever does them justice. Either the picture is too light or too dark; there is a want of clearness in the eye or a want of cheerfulness in the expression. On the other hand, some are easily pleased.
A little boy named Frank, in whom I have rather a special interest, was almost wild with delight the first time he actually saw kis own likeness. He was ever so much bigger from that moment. But without any more words by way of explanation, allow me to introduce to your notice my excellent friend
MR. GOODHEART, THE CAPITAL SUPERINTENDENT. The post of honour, the first page in my album, I cheerfully give to this worthy man. I show this likeness with pleasure, for I know that it graces and dignifies my album. Good as the picture is, it does not flatter my friend. Others may be weak and fickle; be is ever steady, strong, and sure. His face is open and manly, his eye clear and quick, able to see through ladder, or, if need be, round a corner. His voice is agreeable and winning, yet well able to command and control. He has a willing hand, a wise head, and a warm heart. He is not a fine-weather worker simply. He is not troubled with Sunday “poorly bouts.” He wears good strong boots, and is not afraid of rain or wind or snow. He has long had a reputation for thorough kindness; still be is not afraid of speaking the truth, or of rebuking the indolent and unruly. More than once he has put his feet on the toes of Mr. Books, the librarian, and sharpened the pen Mr. Scribe, the secretary, and quickened the speed of Mr. Tardy, the slow-coach.
But in spite of all this he is loved for his work's sake. The children love him, the teachers admire him, the minister esteems him very highly, and prays that he may“ live for ever."
In his school order is secured and maintained, the sick are visited, the wanderers are sought, and prosperity is secured.
II.-MR. TARDY. We will now turn to the next“carte"in my album. It is a likeness of Mr. Tardy. He belongs to a very large and old family, and has cousins in most parts of the world. He has long been a trouble to his superintendent, a pest to his fellow teachers, and a bad example to his scholars. Teachers' meetings and Sunday-school conferences have attacked him so frequently that you would have thought by this time he would have been either cured or killed. But he lives still, and still he is late.
Sometimes five, sometimes ten, or occasionally twenty minutes late. If you could only see the dear, easy soul getting ready for school, or on his way there, or when he is there, you would never forget it. What does it matter to Mr. Tardy that the school has been opened ten minutes, that the superintendent is at his wits' end for teachers, or that his scholars are not only themselves without a guide, but are annoying other classes ?
Mr. Tardy walks deliberately up the school with smiling face and squeaking boots. Of course, it looks big and important to come in late. If he came in time nobody would notice him, and people might even think that he was nobody. But he shows them he is somebody by keeping them waiting for him, and letting them know when he does come. If our friend is going to a concert, or a pio-nio, or an evening party he will be in time; but when it is only a Sunday school, and to meet only a lot of children, it does not matter for being late.
Possibly you may wonder that I should allow such a man to have a place in my album when I tell you that I consider that he is a bit of a thief. He robs his scholars of part of the instruction and oversight he should give them, robs his fellow teachers of the attention of their scholars, and he robs his superintendent of much calmness and good temper.
III.-THE MISCHIEVOUS SCHOLAR. On the next page is a portrait of a boy well known in most schools. Look at his face ; there is a roguish twinkle in his eye and a roguish twist in the corner of his lips. His idea of going to school is largely for the fun of the thing. He is not really vicious or bad at the bottom, but he has a keen eye for whatever is comical or ludicrous. He is fond of making queer noises, putting his hands to his ears during singing, putting queer smelling things on stoves, mimicking anything peculiar in the teacher or scholars. He is fond of sticking pins in other boys' jackets, of getting near to a creaking bench and shaking it on the sly, of seeing his teacher in a fix, of making other boys laugh or cry. Altogether, this young gentleman is a Q.C.-that is, a queer customer-and though he causes much anxiety now, he may yet turn out to be a true disciple and a brave soldier of Jesus Christ.
Mr. Littlefaith says, “ He will never be any good,” Mr. Crusty says, “Turn him out ;” but Miss Kindbeart replies, "Where will you turn him to ? Into the streets ? Back to his godless home? Away to the public house, to the gambling table, to the concert hall, or among vicious and deceitful companions ?"
No, don't turn the roguish fellow out; rather make him a special object of tender care and fervent supplication, and, like some others who were once as mischievous as he is, but now are rendering most acceptable service in the Sunday school, in the pulpit, and in the mission field, this lad may outgrow all his tricks and waywardness, and take his place in the front rank of those who fight manfully the battles of the Lord, and are crowned with imperishable glory.
FOOTPRINTS OF GOD IN NATURE.
By GEORGE PACKER.
diversified objects that the earth presents to our view we
however interesting, and take a rapid survey of some of the wonders of animal life. We can hardly help feeling a strong