Imatges de pÓgina

century, and the basilica of St. Sophia at crucible, to the temperature of a good Constantinople, exhibited the earliest spe- blacksmith's forge, you get a combination cimens of glass-glazed windows. They of those substances. You may reduce the were composed, not of panes like those mass to an impalpable powder, but you now employed, but of little round pieces, will obtain neither a particle of sulphur known as “cives,” fitted into grooves in nor a particle of iron. Chemistry demonwooden frames, and kept there in their strates that in the smallest atom of the place by plaster. In the twelfth century, new substance produced, there exist both painting on glass was invented. The first sulphur and iron. The two ingredients stained - glass windows were put up, in are intimately united, combined 1140, in the abbey of St. Denis. It was say. not till the fourteenth century that private The elements which enter into the comdwellings were lighted by little square position of the subject of glass, are silex panes mounted in lead, such as we still or flint, soda, potash, lime, clay or its see in the humblest habitations of our metallic basis, and minium or red lead, ancient towns. Thanks to Colbert, under the matter which colours house-painters' Louis the Fourteenth, glass-houses were priming. They are mixed together in the established in France which succeeded in crucible of the glass-house, and then commanufacturing entire panes of respectable bined or melted by the aid of fire. The dimensions, but their employment was far temperature (in all cases high) at which from general.

fusion is attained, varies with the kind of The manufacture of glass for windows, glass and the ingredients of which it is in England, dates as far back as the seventh composed. Window-glass is made of flint, century. Its value in the sixteenth century soda, and lime; bottle-glass of flint and may be judged from an order given by iron (in the shape of ferrugineous sand), the Duke of Northumberland's steward, in soda, lime, and clay; crown-glass of flint, 1567. "And because, during high winds, potash, and lime; and so on for other the glass windows in this castle and in kinds of glass. The greater the number other castles belonging to my lord duke got of bases used in the composition, the more injured and broken, it is advisable that easily they are melted into glass. Hence, the glass frames in every window should for cheap glasses, such as bottle-glass, the be taken down and put in a place of manufacturer mixes as many different elesafety when his grace departs. And if, at ments as possible, in order to obtain his any time, his grace or others come to so- result at the least possible expenditure of journ at any one of the said castles, they fuel. Nevertheless, as often happens, what can be replaced without much expense; is gained in one way is lost in another; for whereas, at present, the damage done is con- the greater the fusibility of the glass, the siderable, and the cost of repairs exceed more it is liable to decomposition by atmoingly heavy.” Glass panes can hardly be spheric and other influences. said to have come into general use before This decomposition is evidenced by the close of the eighteenth century. In curious and even beautiful phenomena. fact, during that century, in French pro- Old window-glass, and especially stable vincial towns, and even in Paris, there window-glass, manifests incipient decay flourished a corporation of artificers, called by the iridescent tints which cover its ** chassissiers,” whose occupation consisted surface. Bottles that have long been in fitting up windows with oiled paper in buried in the earth or submerged in ponds the place of glass.

become most striking and ornamental Jules Magny, the clever writer of the specimens, from the gorgeous hues which Histoire d'un Morceau de Verre, which they display; their transparence is gone, supplies the basis of this paper, in giving and they are coated with small scales the genealogy of his "Bit of Glass,” points shining with metallic lustre. By exposure out to his unscientific readers the difference to great heat and gradual cooling, glass between the mixture and the combination also becomes unvitrified and opaque, preof minerals. You may grind sulphur and senting a great resemblance to crockery, iron filings to the finest powder, and after and named, after its discoverer, Réaumur's mixing them together mechanically, as porcelain. The opacity results from the thoroughly and in whatever proportions formation of microscopic crystals of one of you please, you can always separate one the earthy silicates which constitute glass, from the other, provided that both of them in consequence of the volatilisation of the are dry. But if you heat the mixture in a alkaline ingredient. Such porcelain is in :

request for decorative purposes ; nor is this gether one hundred parts—he obtained a the only way in which the decomposition glass soluble in cold water, which solution, of the original compound has been turned applied to textile fabrics or wood, has the to account.

property of rendering them incombustible. Glass, the undoubted offspring of Fire, The evaporation of the water leaves on without whose agency it could have no their surface a thin stratum of matter existence, has been employed, with some fusible by heat, which deprives the subsuccess, to defy its parent and hold him in jacent tissues of the air necessary for their check. Two conditions are necessary to combustion. cause paper, linen, canvas, muslin, wood, Soluble glass is now obtained by melting and other combustible matters to blaze, in a crucible a mixture of fifteen parts of that is, to burn with the emission of flame, quartz reduced to a fine powder, ten parts which flame is the means by which fire of carbonate of potash, and one part of spreads the most rapidly and makes the pulverised charcoal. For use, it is broken most destructive havoc. Those conditions up into little bits, and then dissolved in are the presence of heat and the access of boiling water, till the solution has the con. air. Intense heat alone does not suffice to sistency of syrup. It is somewhat muddy, cause textile or woody substances to burn and has an alkaline taste. Nevertheless, with a flame; they must also be in contact it must be very pure not to effloresce under with air, or with the oxygen, which is the the action of the air after a certain lapse active portion of the air. Without this of time. A good plan is to cover the second condition they are slowly carbonised, articles to be protected with several coats of never bursting into flame, although they the soluble glass, beginning with a weak become red hot. It is in this way that solution, to be followed by a more concen. wood is converted into charcoal, in air-tight trated liquid. Its efficacy is also increased cylinders, for the manufacture of gun- by mixing with it some other incombustible powder.

substance, powdered clay for instance. Consequently, wood or articles of cloth- Of all known substances, soluble glass ing are rendered incombustible simply by is the best preservative of tissues from covering them with a layer of some sub- flame, without injury to their quality. Still, stance which keeps them from all contact as the alkali might prove destructive to with air during their exposure to fire. colours like Prussian blue, theatrical This substance, Fuchs's soluble glass, was scenery, after being rendered incombusdiscovered under the following circum- tible, should receive a coat of alum, and stances.

when that is dry, another of chalk. In 1780, after a recent importation of Theatres, however, make but little use of Bohemian glass, two French glass-houses this means of security. Their proprietors set to work to imitate the article. One of and managers seem to consider destruction them employed a mixture of silex and by fire as the natural death of every playpotash in equal quantities; the other, a house. Actresses and dancers are more mixture, also in equal quantities, of silex, excusable. Treatment with soluble glass potash, and lime. But while the glass does certainly render dresses at first stiff, made by the latter establishment, which and afterwards moist and limp; and was situated in the Vosges, perfectly re- coquetry will run the risk of being burnt sisted the action of the atmosphere, that alive, rather than sacrifice appearances. A produced by the former, in Champagne, volume might be filled with the consewas not only deficient in clearness and quences of a spark or a gas-flame carried solidity, but attracted atmospheric moisture aside by a draught of air on the stage or to such a degree that the hollow feet of among the scenes of a theatre. drinking-glasses in the shops became filled A much more popular application of with a solution of carbonate of potash. A glass is its conversion into spectacles ; resoluble glass was therefore obtained by specting which we only recommend the employing only sand and potash in its re-perasal of the Vicar of Wakefield, as a composition.

warning not to buy a gross of green ones. M. Fuchs, who doubtless heard of this All coloured glasses fatigue the eye, curious fact, thought of turning it to a whether green or blue, through the mouseful purpose, although apparently it was notonous hue with which they invest every capable of none. By modifying its com- object. In no way does monotony agree position to the following proportions with the human subject; variety and silex 69.88 plus potash 30.12, making to change are as necessary to his eyes as


to his stomach. Everybody knows that tide. Astley immediately plunged in after nobody on earth can constantly live on the it, and catching the bridle, swam to shore same sort of food ; toujours perdrix, salmon with the horse in safety before the boat served to 'prentices five times a week, an arrived from which it had escaped. Again, unlimited glut of confectioners' tarts and at the disembarkation of the troops at lollipops, potted sprats at every mcal, Swiss the mouth of the Weser, he was the chief honey ditto, are sure to create disgust in means of saving several men and horses the end. Our eyes have identical need of when the boat bearing them had accidentchange; blue and green spectacles soon ally overturned. At the battle of Emsdorff become wearisome. Their intended object he took a French standard, and had his can only be answered by glasses simply horse shot under him; but, mounting and slightly blackened. They allow things another charger, he bore off his prize, in to retain their natural hues, producing spite of the efforts of an escort of the only the effect of a cloudy day or incipient enemy's infantry, at least ten in number, twilight.

by whom he was wounded. At the battle of Friedburg he led the advanced guard,

and personally assisted, under a very heavy PHILIP ASTLEY.

fire, in bringing away the hereditary Prince

of Brunswick, who was lying wounded More than a century ago, when gallant within the enemy's lines. In addition to General Elliott, afterwards famous as Baron this certificate, Elliott generously presented Heathfield and Gibraltar, returned from his trooper with a fine charger, which, as the expedition against the coast of France the Spanish Horse, afterwards made the to raise and discipline his regiment of light acquaintance and secured the applause of horse, there joined his standard a youth of a very large public. seventeen or so, one Philip Astley, whose Astley had not quitted the army withsoldierly bearing, strict regard for dis- out planning out his future career. He cipline, and skill as a horseman, soon won had resolved to turn to account his skill for him the favourable notice of his com- a horseman and his knowledge of mander. He was appointed one of the horses. What are now known as

equesrough-riders and teacher and breaker to trian performances” were then in a very the regiment. Born at Newcastle-under- immature condition. Still exhibitions of Lyne, in 1742, he had been brought up to this kind were to be seen occasionally in his father's business of veneer-cutting and the suburbs of London, and, notably, at a cabinet-making. Of education of any other place of entertainment, long since departed, kind he had little or none.

called the Jubilee Gardens," at the sign Elliot's Light Horse was known as the of the Three Hats, near the turnpike, at Tailors' Regiment, from an odd belief that, Islington.” Here performers known as for anascertained reasons, the professors “Price, Johnson, and old Sampson,” were of the sartorial art had joined its ranks wont to exhibit so-called “feats of horsein great numbers. But, tailors or not, manship.” These Astley had seen, and the corps saw active service and earned seeing had determined to rival and out-do.

great distinction. At the close of the He cultivated an acquaintance with the "German war the regiment was reviewed by three equestrians, and gleaned from them

George the Third, who, in recognition of certain of the mysteries of their craft. its admirable conduct in the field, directed Soon afterwards he commenced his course that thenceforward it should be known as as a public exhibitor in an open field, the King's Royal Regiment of Light Dra- “ near Glover's Halfpenny Hatch at Lamgoons.

beth.” His means and appliances were Young Philip Astley had been promoted certainly limited enough. He literally blew to the rank of sergeant-major. He now his own trumpet in the public streets, and solicited and obtained his discharge. distributed handbills soliciting patronage. General Elliott, loth to part with him, be- His “stud” consisted at this time merely of stowed upon him a most honourable certi- his charger, the gift of his general, and a ficate of service. This document set forth second horse purchased in Smithfield for the exploits of the young soldier. Whilst five pounds. His receipts were not large, the horses of the regiment were landing and, when not occupied with his new purfrom flat-bottomed boats, one of the animals suits, he was content to increase his means

in its alarm had leaped into the sea, and was by plying his old trade of cabinet-making. | in danger of being carried away by the Still he was gaining ground. He tra


versed the provinces, performed at the tion at his theatre in Lambeth. Accorddifferent fairs, and met with success. ingly in Passion Week, 1781, he ventured Gradually he put money in his purse. At to announce two night performances. The length he resolved upon quitting the experiment was thoroughly successful. harassing life of an itinerant showman, Evening exhibitions at the Amphitheatre and opening a fixed place of exhibition near became firmly established. The entertainLondon. He therefore hired a portion of a ments he had formerly given in Piccadilly timber-yard at the Lambeth foot of West- were now intermingled with the feats of minster Bridge, enclosed it with board the circus. One or two female performers ing, erected seats for the audience, and appeared in the ring.

"Master Astley, roofed them imperfectly with canvas. A the son of the manager, rose into notice rope defined the ring, which was canopied as an equestrian. A beautiful zebra," only by the skies. Sixpence was charged valued at four hundred guineas, was exfor admission to the better seats, and three- hibited, and esteemed a great marvel. pence for children and servants. In the Balancing, the “ Polander's tricks year 1770, however, when the performances chairs," the “Trampolin tricks," tumbling, were perhaps of a more ambitious character, and “slack-rope vaulting," also figured in the prices were raised, and one shilling was the programme.

“ Clown to the above the admission to the superior benches. The tricks by Mr. Miller.” It was announced, building was still little better than an open moreover, that “ Ladies and gentlemen are booth, for the summer of 1771 proving carefully instructed to manage the horse very wet, he was unable to perform during and ride with safety. Horses are broke many weeks of his season. But he con- in for all denominations. No persons to tinued to introduce improvements for the bring dogs." greater comfort of his patrons, and also to But for some years Astley had been strengthen his company, now adding compelled to pay the penalty of success, feats of agility, tumbling, and vaulting to and to encounter an opposition which was his own equestrian feats. In 1775, his growing more and more powerful. As prices were two shillings to the gallery or early as 1771, a clever equestrian, one boxes, and one shilling to the “riding Charles Hughes, described as “a fine stalground,” or pit. It was now announced wart fellow, who could have carried an ox that the seats were all protected from the away on his shoulders, and afterwards weather, and that "slight showers” would eaten him for supper," had enclosed a Ride, not prevent the performances.

near Stangate-street, Blackfriars, calling it About this time fortune greatly favoured the British Horse Academy. The early him. He had lent his landlord, the timber advertisements of the rival managers are merchant, two hundred pounds, secured by certainly negligent in grammar and spell. mortgage of the whole timber-yard and ing, but they are instructive as to the its contents. The mortgagor suddenly attractions submitted to the public. Astley disappeared. Astley foreclosing, obtained, had probably announced the speedy deby due process of law, absolute possession of parture of his troop for France. His rival the property, and disposed of the timber at proclaims : "Hughes has the honour to a valuation. Further, he chanced to pick inform the nobility, &c., that he has no inup at the foot of Westminster Bridge a tention of setting out every day to France valuable diamond ring. This, no one ap- for three following seasons, his ambition pearing to claim it, he sold for sixty pounds. being fully satisfied by the applause he has With the proceeds of these sales he was received from the foreign gentlemen who enabled to open, in 1779, a more completely come over the sea to see him. Clementina roofed edifice, which he called the Amphi- and Miss Huntley ride one, two, and three theatre Riding-House. Hitherto, his per- horses at full speed, and takes leaps surformances in Lambeth had been presented prising. A little lady, only eight years in the morning only. At night he had old, rides two horses at full speed by hergiven a miscellaneous entertainment at self without the assistance of any one to No. 22, Piccadilly. Here no circus was hold her on. Enough to put any one in possible, but he had exhibited Les Ombres fits to see her!” Again: Hughes, with Chinoises, feats of sleight-of-hand, a con- the celebrated Sobieska Clementina, the juring horse, comic dancing, imitations of famous Miss Huntley, and an astonishing birds, performing dogs, fireworks, &c. But young gentleman (son of a person of it seemed to him that the time had now quality), will exhibit at Blackfriars-road come for attempting a candle-light exhibi- more extraordinary things than ever yet witnessed, such as leaping over a horse and Astley were interdicted by the Surforty times without stopping between rey magistrates. But in 1782 the Blacksprings. Leaps the bar standing on the friars opposition assumed very formidable saddle with his back to the horse's tail, and proportions. A permanent building, called vice versa. Rides at full speed with his the Royal Circus and Equestrian Phil. right foot on the saddle, and his left toe in harmonic Academy - a very comprehenhis mouth. Two surprising feet. Mrs. sive title—was erected on a vacant plot Hughes takes a fly, and fires a pistol; of ground in Southwark, the site of the rides at full speed standing on pint pots, present Surrey Theatre. It was designed mounts pot by pot, higher still, to the to present equestrian and dramatic enterterror of all who see her! H. carries a tainments of a new and improved characlady at full speed over his head-surprising! ter. The scheme was devised by Charles The young gentleman will recite verses of Dibdin, the famous sea-song writer, to his own making, and act Mark Antony whom is due the distinction of originatbetween the leaps !"

ing the “ equestrian drama.” “HorsemanHere is a bill of Astley's : “This and ship,” he writes in his Memoirs,

was at every evening. Horsemanship by Mr. that time very much admired, and I conAstley, Mr. Taylor, Signor Markutchy, sidered that if I could divest it of its blackMiss Vangable, and other transcendent guardism"-(this is severe)—" it might be performers. This performance will be com- made an object of public consequence. I menced by a new minuet danced by two proposed therefore that it should embrace horses in a most extraordinary manner. A all the dexterity and reputation of ancient comical musical piece called the Awkward chivalry, that tournaments, running at the Recruit. The amazing exhibition of the ring, and other feats of equestrian celebrity, dancing dogs from France and Italy, and should be performed, and that a classical other genteel parts of the globe, consisting and elegant turn should be given to exerof: 1. Two dogs as chairmen, carrying a cises of this description. I therefore promonkey to a maskyrade. 2. Two dogs posed to have a stage, on which might be disputing poleticks. 3. A company of dogs represented spectacles, each to terminate carrying from a vineyard baskets of grapes, with a joust or a tilting match, or some and accompanied by a Savoyard with a grand object so managed as, to form a magic lanton. 4. A dog as a lady of novel and striking coup de théâtre, and quality in her equipage, attended by others that the business of the stage and the ring in elegant liveries. 5. A dog cobbling. might be united.” The Royal Circus was 6. A dog that walks on any two of his opened in November, 1782, but was closed legs. 7. Two dogs as a tumbler and his again at Christmas. The Surrey magisattendant clown. 8. A dog dressed in a trates refused to license the building, and Spanish habbit, taking another little dog the hope of obtaining the sanction of the to a boarding school. With a variety of Chamberlain for the performances was disothers, too numerous for insertion. This appointed by the discovery that his lordexhibition will conclude with a variety of ship's powers did not then extend beyond dogs dressed in militaire beseeching a town. the precincts of the Court or of the City of One of them represents a corporal return- Westminster. During the Christmas holiing with the colurs of the citadel in his days the magistrates attended the theatre mouth to his general. He halts on three in person to enforce their authority. A legs, being supposed to have received a serious disturbance ensued. The Riot Act musket-ball in one of his four feet. Two was read from the stage, the military were bull-dogs. The English bull-dog, rather called in, and the audience promptly ejected than quit his hold, suffers himself to be from the building. drawn thirty feet high, whilst the mashine The wrath of outraged law also fell upon is surrounded with fireworks, representing Astley, who had been endeavouring, by ina heavy discharge of small arms and artil. creasing the attractions of his entertainlery. Tumbling and other unaccountable ment, to make head against the rival house. exercises by Signor Bellmott. To which He also was without a license, but, with will be added a new pantomime, .called more courage than veracity, he announced Harlequin Puzzle 'em.”

that his theatre was under the special proThis spirited competition was maintained tection of a royal patent. Immediately for some time, albeit

, during part of the after the closing of Hughes and Dibdin's summer of 1773, for some real or fancied ir- Circus, however, Astley was committed to regularities, the exhibitions of both Hughes prison for performing illegally. He was

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