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M. Thenard somewhat inclines to the opinion that bread is a hydrated body, softening by heat and solidifying by cold-an opinion wholly untenable, the molecular change advocated by M. Boussingault being both probable and consistent with observation.
Change of molecular condition may be familiarly illustrated by the melting of crystalline sugar at a comparatively high temperature into a transparent liquid, which may be moulded at discretion; becoming a transparent solid, barley-sugar, on cooling. By the lapse of time a molecular change is set up, and the barley-sugar becomes opaque and gradually returns to its original state of crystalline sugar.
THE perplexity even shrewd guessers of the weather often labor under, as to whether an umbrella should be exchanged for a walking-stick, or an extra coat be taken for the journey-must render this branch of information extremely useful. By attending to a few simple rules, drawn from nature and confirmed by experience, the veriest tyro in meteorology may predict with accuracy the probable changes of the weather from day to day.
DEW-If, after one fair day, the dew lies plentifully on the grass, it is a sign of another. If not, and there is no wind, rain must follow. A red sunset, without clouds, indicates a doubt of fair weather; but after a red sunset in clouds a fine day may be expected. A watery sunset, diverging rays of light-either direct from the sun, or behind a bank of clouds, is indicative of rain.
MORE "CURIOUS FACTS."
BREAD,- NEW AND STALE.
M. Boussingault avers that the change of condition in bread, known by the terms " and stale," is usually attributed to loss of moisture; and that the presumed greater nutritive qualities of stale over new bread are due to the greater weight of nourishment contained in the former than in the latter. He also tells us plainly that the crispest and nicest crust becomes tough and leathery by mere keeping, whilst the soft part or crumb as readily loses its springy flexibility, becoming erumbly under the same circumstances. Now it is this change of the crumb of bread with which we have to do; for there can be no doubt that the change in the crust, from crispness to toughness, is wholly due to the absorption of water, chiefly yielded by the soft crumb, but sometimes in part from a damp external atmosphere. M. Boussingault fairly instances the return of stale bread to the condition of new, on being again put into the oven or toasted, when stale bread itself parts with water, as good and sufficient evidence against the supposition that staleness is due to dessication. Various experiments have been made with bread under diverse conditions; from the chief of which it appears that a loaf just drawn from the oven requires the lapse of about twenty-four hours to fall to the temperature of the surrounding air, when it became what is termed "half-stale," the loss of weight from evaporation of water being 0.008 per cent.; this loss amounting to 001 per cent. when the loaf was a week old and very stale.
CLOUDS.-When the clouds increase very fast,and accumulate huge masses of vapor, much rain, and, in the summer time, thunder will follow. When the clouds are formed like fleeces, but dense in the middle and bright towards the edge, with the sky clear, they are signs of a sharp frost, with hail, snow, or rain. When the clouds (cirri) are formed like feathers, and appear in thin white trains, they indicate wind. When formed into horizontal sheets, with streamers pointing upwards, rain is prognosticated, but with depending, fringelike fibres it is found to precede fair weather. When a general cloudiness covers the sky,-and small black fragments of clouds fly underneath, wet weather will follow; and probably of long continuance. Two currents of clouds always portend rain; and in summer, thunder.
PLANTS.-These are truly the barometers of Other experiments demonstrate a fact well Nature, and are most faithful in their indications. known to good housekeepers,-that stale bread may Chickweed forms of itself an excellent criterion. be made to assume the condition of new bread by When the flower expands fully, rain will not fall merely heating it for an almost indefinite number for many hours; and should it continue expanded, of times; that is, until it is has actually been dried no rain will disturb the summer's day. When up; and they also show that this return to the it half conceals its diminutive flower, the day will new" condition may be effected at 1209 to 1500 be showery; but when it entirely shuts up, or Fahr. From a consideration of these circum-veils the white flower with its green mantle, then stances, M. Boussingault inclines to the belief let the traveller provide an umbrella and top-coat, that, during the cooling of bread, a special molecu- for the rain will be lasting. lar state is induced, which is developed to its full extent when the bread becomes very stale; it continuing in this special molecular condition whilst the temperature remains below a certain point. However, when re-heated above this point, it reassumes its primary molecular condition as 44 "bread.
If the Siberian sowthistle shuts at night, the following day will be fine. If it remain open, rain will ensue. If the African marigold continues shut in the morning, long after its usual time for opening, rain is approaching; and the convolvulus, tulip, bindweeds, scarlet-pimpernel and all the different species of trefoil, contract their leaves on the approach of a storm or wet weather.
TRUE hearts by secret sympathy are tied,
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS,-KEW.
AS THE SUMMER STEAM BOATS, and numerous other public conveyances, are now facilitating access to these most beautiful-most enchanting gardens, which are opened "free" to the public, daily, from 1 p.m. until 6,- -we append the notes of a gentleman who paid them a recent visit. They will assist the stranger in his progress of examination.
We are now in the gardens; and taking the houses pretty much in the order in which they are generally seen by visitors, we arrive first at the house devoted to the Proteaceae. Notwithstanding the name applied to this order is indicative of the great variety of appearance it presents, there is yet such a general resemblance throughout it that few persons could be at a loss to distinguish a proteaceous plant, even when not in bloom. The stiff and rigid foliage, and its peculiar blueish-green tint, must strike every one; and it is well known that it is the great predominance of this order in Australia and the Cape which gives so peculiar a character to the vegetation of those regions, and has occasioned them to be designated by Schouw the " zone of rigid-leaved woods." Considerable interest is attached to this collection just now, from the circumstance that a large proportion of the species are in bloom. Among these we observed some half-dozen species of Grevillea, four or five Dryandras, Hakea Undulata, Banksia Ericifolia, &c. Several species of Acacia were also in bloom in this house, and a fine plant of Rhododendron Arboreum. In the old Orchid houses, now devoted principally to Ferns, we noticed of the latter in fructification, Hemitelia Horrida, H. Speciosa, H. grandiflora, Drynaria Irioides, Sitilobium, Adiantoides, &c. We must not forget also to mention a remarkably fine specimen of Cymbidium Aloifolium, which, though one of the oldest Orchids in cultivation, is yet well worthy to be retained. The plant in question had five handsome spikes of flowers, and produced a very showy appearance. Some interesting miscellaneous plants were in bloom in these houses.
Especially worthy of notice, may be remarked the following:-Kopsia or Cerbera Fruticosa, a pretty little shrub of the Apocynaceous order, much resembling Vinca Rosea, a native of the Malay Islands, introduced many years ago, but by no means common. It is decidedly handsome, and blooms many times in the year; but, judging from the specimens which have come under our notice, the flowers are not produced very freely. Siphocampylus Coccineus, which we regard as unquestionably the most beautiful of its genus. The flowers are large, of a brilliant scarlet, and very abundant. S. Microstoma was blooming in the same house; but, though a handsome species, we can hardly consider it equal as an ornamental plant to the former. Roylea Elegans is a very pretty little plant of the Labiate order, from Nepal, with bright blue flowers, but having a somewhat weedy appearance for an in-door plant.
In a small stove, among some other Gesneraceous plants, we observed in bloom a plant of Gloxinia Argyrostigma Splendens, the leaves of which, beautifully variegated, spread out so as to cover the pot; the flower stalks are more slender than in most of the Gloxinias, and the flowers, which
are very large, are of a deep violet blue. In the Aloe house were blooming plants of the Aloe Africana, about twelve feet in height, Charlwoodia Congesta, and Xanthorrea Hastilis. The Orchid house presented but few plants in bloom which demand notice; we noticed, however, Oncidium Horridum, Phalenopsis Amabilis, Acrides Virens, Dendrobium Fimbriatum, D. Sanguinolentum, and a good specimen of Lycaste Harrisoniæ, a very striking species, with cream-colored petals and purple lip-perhaps the handsomest of the beautiful genus to which it belongs. In this house is also a fine healthy plant of Nepenthes Rafflesiana, and a small specimen of the beautiful Eranthemum Leuconervum, with delicate white flowers.
In the Azalea house we noticed a tolerably large plant of Rhododendron Ciliatum in bloom, and several small ones, not more than six inches high; the pretty little Azalea Amœna, and a number of hybrid varieties of the latter genus. In the large Palm house, the Doryanthes Excelsa has just bloomed; it is now nearly over. The flowering stem is apparently about fifteen feet in height, and it is stated to have been in flower three weeks. It is growing in a tub, about three feet square. The principal novelties deserving attention are the Aralia Papyrifera, or rice-paper plant of China, about which so much controversy has been raised; Impatiens Hookeri, from Ceylon; Semeiandra Grandiflora, a shrub something resembling a Fuchsia; and Crossandra Flava, a pretty Acanthad, introduced by Mr. Whitfield, from tropical Africa, and bloomed at the Royal Botanic Garden, Regent's Park. It is stated by Sir W. Hooker to be the only example of yellow flowers in the genus Crossandra, which has, moreover, been hitherto supposed to be confined to the East Indies.
Many of your readers are aware that a new Victoria house has been erected. It is a building of glass and iron, about forty-five feet has an entrance porch at the east end. The tank is circular, about thirty-four feet in width, lined with concrete, over which is placed sheet lead. A plant has been placed in the centre, which had at the time of our visit eight leaves, the largest probably about twenty inches in diameter, and presenting a tolerably thriving appearance. There is a small tank in each corner of the house, containing Nelumbiums, Caladiums, and other tropical aquatics. The greenhouses mostly presented a gay appearance, Acacias, Azaleas, Boronias, Heaths, Epacrises, and three or four species of Eriostemon, making a conspicuous display.
Before these remarks are presented to the public eye, there will be many things of great interest exhibited out of doors. This is just the season to win for them the admiration they deserve.
TALK not of music to a physician, nor of medicine to a fiddler; unless the fiddler should be sick, and the physician fond of a concert. He that speaks only of such subjects as are familiar to himself, treats the company as the stork did the fox-presenting an entertainment to him in a deep pitcher, out of which no animal in creation could feed but a long-billed fowl.-JONES, of Nayland.
HINTS TO AMATEUR GARDENERS,
THE CALENDAR FOR JUNE.
Cherry-trees on walls usually become infested with black fly at this season, which, if not checked, will extend to the fruit. An effectual and simple remedy is, immediately they are perceived mix some clayey soil with water in such proportions as will form a thin puddle, into which dip the infested points, leaving them to dry in the sun. After the inclosed insects have perished, the clay may readily be washed off; but it will do no harm in remaining. Roses and many other plants may be cleaned in the same manner. Vines trained against the house or walls must now be looked over weekly, and all weak and superfluous shoots removed. The earlier this is attended to the better, and more likely to forward the ripening of the fruit. A common fault committed in the management of Vines, is leaving too much wood, which not only hinders the fruit of the current year from receiving due nourishment, but prevents the fruiting wood for next season from maturing its buds, to assist which all the sun and air possible should be permitted to penetrate. This should be borne in mind when thinning out young and useless shoots: do not allow one spur to support two bunches of grapes, but remove the smallest or uppermost one, and stop the shoots at an eye above the fruit. Continue to water Strawberries, if necessary. Keep newlygrafted shoots securely tied, and the summer shoots of trained trees fastened in.
Small plants of Pelargoniums or Fuchsias intended for the windows in autumn will make fine specimens for that purpose, if planted out early this month; or they may be potted at once into their winter pots, and plunged out of doors, taking care that they have good drainage, and using precautions against their rooting through the bottoms or over the tops of the pots.
ANNUALS. Some of the quick-flowering kinds may yet be sown, as Virginian Stock, Venus's Looking-glass, Clarkia, Collinsia, Gilia, &c. Some of those thinned out from the border may be potted for flowering in the window, or be placed in a shady place, to form a succession. They will require plenty of water. Some of the more tender kinds which were sown in pots, and raised in the cucumber-pit, may be planted in the open borders, as French and African Marigolds, Ten-week Stocks, China Asters, Zinnias, and Phlox Drummondii.
handling Ranunculuses and Anemones not to break their claws.
CARNATIONS should have neat sticks placed to tie their flower-stems. This should be done loosely, to admit their elongating without breaking. If aphides infest the young buds, they may be brushed off with a stiff feather, or dusted in the morning, when damp, with Scotch snuff. Palecolored kinds will be much benefited by applications of liquid manure, once or twice a week. Liquid manure will be found of great advantage to other florists' flowers when putting forth their flower-stems-namely, Pinks, Ranunculuses, Polyanthuses, and Hyacinths.
DAHLIAS.-Keep them neatly and securely tied up, and water them if necessary.
FUCHSIAS, Verbenas, Heliotropes, and similar plants, readily strike by cuttings now.
ROSES may be budded towards the end of the month.
PERENNIALS and BIENNIALS, raised from seed, may be pricked out, to strengthen before their final transplantation.
PINKS.--Many kinds of choice Pinks, in expanding, are liable to burst their calyx, either from robust growth, or a naturally short calyx. To prevent this, a narrow strip of parchment or bladder may be passed round them, and secured with a little gum-water; or if bladder is used when moist, it will adhere of itself, and can be readily removed before exhibition. Some circular pieces of card should also be cut of the same width as the flower, to arrange the petals upon; for although the petals of a first-rate Pink do expand even and level, they are better secured by this contrivance. Slit the card to the centre on one side, and in the centre make two or three cross-cuts, to admit its being fixed upon the calyx without bruising it. As the flowers expand, the small or irregular petals must be extracted, and the others laid out horizontally, so as not to interrupt the circular lacings. Some short-calyxed Pinks burst in defiance of these precautions. To prevent this being done irregularly, it is better to slit the calyx of such kinds a short distance down at each of their segments before placing the ligature round them. Expanded flowers must be shaded from the sun, if it be wished to retain their beauty any length of time. Various means in the absence of an awning will suggest themselves for this, as caps of stout paper, painted, and supported above them with a stick, like a miniature umbrellaor square pieces of thin board, about six inches wide, fixed upon a stick. The best time for piping is when the plants are in full bloom; if delayed much longer, the shoots get hard, and do not root so readily. They should be taken off when about two inches long, and have the leaves from the two lowermost joints stripped off. Do not shorten the remaining leaves, as is frequently practised. Then in a shady part of the garden prepare some light soil, by digging it fine and level, watering it until it becomes a puddle. Whilst in this state plant the pipings, but do not water them after they are planted. To ensure success, a hand-glass should be placed over them; or they may be planted in wide-mouthed pots with a piece of flat glass over, as recommended in April; or place them at the front of the Cucumber-pit. These early pipings make handsomer
BULBS of Ranunculus, Hyacinths, Anemones, and Tulips, as soon as the foliage has turned yellow, must be taken up, if they are choice kinds, and stored away when dry in paper-bags until the planting season. If suffered to remain in the ground, they shoot again in the autumn, which weakens the bulbs, and spoils their blooming at the proper season; and Tulips, when left in the ground, become run in their colors. The soil should be carefully cleansed from them, but none of the skins removed. Care must be taken in
and stronger plants than later ones, and are therefore much to be preferred.
Water copiously all plants in pots, newly-planted seedlings, &c., in the evenings. Gather all decayed flowers, as it prolongs the flowering season of such plants as Calceolarias, China Roses, &c., and is, besides, a nice occupation for children. Destroy weeds. Tie up all advancing flower-stems at an early period, for if allowed to grow straggling at first, no after-management will make them look neat. Examine the buds of Roses for grubs: any plants infested with worms may be cleansed of them by watering with lime-water.
POULTRY AND EGGS, &c.
FOWLS WITH TOP-KNOTS.
UNDER THE NEW CLASSIFICATION OF POULTRY, Mr. Editor, it has become fashionable to call all fowls with crests or tufts of feathers on their heads by the name of Polish. I am at a loss to understand from what reason, since Poland certainly has nothing to do with the origin of any of our breeds of fowls. The name is a misnomer, or at least a corruption of something else. Nor am I inclined to consider all the top-knotted varieties of domestic fowls of the same origin.
The Hamburghs (by this name I allude to the tufted fowls formerly known by that name, and not to the Dutch every-day layers, which are now generally known by it,) were, and still are, imported from Hamburgh. I believe them to be a mongrel of the Poles. They are smaller, their tufts are not so large, and are fronted by a small
comb. They have generally a profusion of beard and whiskers; their legs are dark, and their plumage is either golden or silver, laced or pheasanted. The laced marking is where the feathers, either golden or silver, are edged or bordered with black, giving them an imbricated appearance. The pheasant marking is where the feathers, either of gold or silver ground colored, are marked or dotted with black at the extremity only, resembling the feathers of a cock-pheasant's neck; whence the name. This marking is often, improperly I think, called spangled.
Polands, Polish, etc., such as are now generally known by these names, are a mixed lot. They are crosses from the foregoing, and, perhaps, also from some others, and, consequently, vary considerably. Hence arise the disputes respecting the beards, etc. Beards, or muffles, are preeminently a characteristic of the old Hamburghs, but it did also occasionally occur in the Paduans and Poles, as it frequently does in all other tufted fowls.
The following are the varieties which I think should be acknowledged. 1.-The Padua fowl, so called from the fact of their having been cultivated in Padua, a Venetian legation of Austrian Italy, chief-town Padua. They are described as being very large fowls, the cock so tall that it can peck crumbs from a common dining-table, and often weighing as much as ten pounds; the comb moderate sized, behind which is a large tuft of feathers, which is still larger in the hens, their voice hoarse, eggs large, legs yellow, plumage various; they are supposed to be descended from the Gallus giganteus of Sumatra. Does not this description answer to a tufted Malay? Poles were also a large fowl. They were of Spanish extraction, but where the Spaniards first obtained them is a matter of doubt; most likely from some of their western possessions. St. Jago has been named, but which St. Jago is not specified. They were introduced by the Spaniards into the Netherlands, from whence we obtained them. The Poles were very large roundly-built fowls, rather low on the legs, which were dark-slate or lead-colored; they were destitute of combs, and had large top-rolling off. knots of feathers on their heads, that fell over on all sides. They were considered good layers, and of excellent quality of flesh. There were three varieties of colors: the black with white top-knots, the white with black top-knots, and the spangled, the ground color of which was a mixture of ochre, yellow, and black, each feather having a white spangle at its extremity. These three varieties are now very scarce, if indeed they are not quite extinct.
There is a tufted cuckoo, or slate-colored fowl, known as Egyptians or blue Polands. Also a common white-tufted fowl called the lark-crested fowl. Moreover, a variety of game fowls, with small tufts, used to be very plentiful some years back, and esteemed for their courage; from which I think it is evident that all tufted fowls can hardly be considered of one common BRENT, Bessels Green, Seven-Oaks, Kent. origin.-B. P.
HOW TO KEEP EGGS FRESH.
keep eggs fresh.
from the poultry-house, the small end down, and Put your eggs in this board as they come in they will keep good for six months if you take the following precautions:-Take care that the eggs do not get wet either in the nest or afterwards (in summer, hens are fond of laying among the nettles or long grass, and any eggs taken from such nests in wet weather should be put away for immediate use); keep them in a cool room in and then, I think, the party trying the experisummer, and out of the reach of frost in winter, ment will have abundant reason to be satisfied with it. I find there are some in my larder which I am assured have been there nearer eight months than six, and which are still perfectly fresh and good. In fact, it is a practice here to accumulate a large stock of eggs in August, September, and
October, which last until after the fowls have begun to lay in the spring.
If two boards are kept, one can be filling and the other emptying at the same time. This is an exceedingly good plan for those persons who keep a few fowls for the supply of eggs to their own family; but would perhaps, not do so well for those who keep a large stock of hens, as it would take up too much room. I have endeavored to account for the admirable way in which eggs keep in this manner, by supposing that the yolk floats more equally in the white, and has less tendency to sink down to the shell than when the egg is laid on one side. Certainly, if the yolk reaches the shell, the egg does spoil immediately. Will some of your correspondents favor me with their opinion ?-T. G., Clitheroe.
We take an early opportunity of cautioning our subscribers against the tricks practised by persons advertising the eggs of Cochin China, and other varieties of expensive fowls. If wanted for the purpose of breeding from, they are in most cases, we are told, scalded before being packed and forwarded. The embryon is, of course, thereby destroyed. The seductive prices at which the eggs are offered, would of itself confirm the fact to which we call attention. No persons should deal with any but well-known and respectable tradesmen, and the eggs should be in all cases "warranted,""-or the money to be returned.
WOODIN'S CARPET-BAG, ETC.
MYRIOGRAPHIC HALL, PICCADILLY.
WE HAVE JUST BEEN to take a peep at Mr. WOODIN, in his new and elegant quarters-late Salle Robin, Piccadilly; and here indeed he is "at home!" It may seem late in the day to begin alking about what half the world has already seen, and the other half are hastening to see. Yet must we do an act of pleasing duty.
We shall not attempt to tell our friends, young and old, (for all must pay a visit here), WHAT they are going to witness. Oh, no! That would be impossible. It would also be unfair, even if possible. Only let the curtain rise, and that "Carpet-bag " be seen, accompanied by that "Sketch-book,"—and expectation will do the rest.
Of the performer, we may remark that he is young, of the most pleasing address, figure, and manners, and prepossessing to a degree. The moment you see him you like him, and feel assured that his delight to amuse you fully equals your anticipation of being pleased. He speaks, and you smile; he "illustrates" what he says, and heigh presto! you are introduced at once to the World and his wife-under changes innumerable. Your pleasure is augmented by finding that the principal performer," although sometimes unavoidably absent " is yet always in the He glides in quicker than a
Spirit-rapper's ghost; and converses, too, without an alphabet.
He is 66
The beauty of all acting is,-repose. Mr. Woodin is quite alive to this. Hence the coolness and method, without any apparent effort, which prevail throughout his entire and nothing long." Sometimes he is before performance. everything by turns, us as a Scotchman, sometimes as an English baronet, sometimes as a Frenchman, sometimes as an American. Sometimes we see a mere stripling; then again, a man old as Dr. Parr. Sometimes Mr. W. is a boy; sometimes a girl; sometimes a woman. And excellently well he looks and acts as a woman. His "make-up" is admirable. We need not be too minute, but we really did see the indispensable and "palpable fact supporting his female attire. Then his voice, gait, and assumption of domestic importance! These were all true to nature, and "told" well with the audience. Mr. Woodin possesses extraordinary power over his countenance, as well as over his voice. It is impossible, sometimes, to recognise him under his many disguises. Indeed, we heard his identity disputed more than once during the evening. This is the highest praise we can accord him.
All who love to indulge in a hearty scream, which folks rightly say is sometimes "good for the system,' ,"should go and see Mr. Woodin personate "the punster " in a picnic party. His jokes, "let off" under the brim of a most excruciatingly-droll-shaped shallow beaver, really double one up. That jolly punster was fairly "one too many" for us. His "Now for a regular good un I" still rings in our ears.
In our early days, we saw CHARLES MATTHEWS in his "At Homes." We have since seen many others, and been pleased with all-more or less. But not even the great Matthews himself could ever do what Mr. Woodin does. Mr. W.'s characters are more numerous and diversified; and, what is better, they are all "finished sketches." He does not depend so much upon rapid changes of dress, as upon presenting his characters well dressed, and individualised. Yet is the rapidity of his movements extraordinary; and when we take our leave of some half hundred individuals-all personated and "animated" by one man, we justly pronounce that man a wonderful man.
Mr. Woodin is a wonderful man, and he well deserves the fame he has earned. His "At Home" will ever remain popular; for whilst the amusement it affords is considerable, the most fastidious may take their children to witness it, without any qualms of conscience. He sings nicely, acts nicely, and is, in a word, everything one could wish.
May the contents of that "Carpet bag," and that “Sketch-book" never be exhausted!