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nance." This testing of the metals grad- some favor was shown to the Church. ually grew in importance, till two centuries The general law was that there was to be later the privilege of assay was handed no gilding of copper or latten. Bad habover to the Goldshiths' Company, very its had crept in. Candlesticks, harness, stringent regulations being laid down. No powder-boxes, sword-hilts, were covered gold was to be worse in quality than gold with gold, or, as we should say gilt, "to of "the touch of Paris;" silver was to be the great deceit, loss, and hindrance of of the sterling alloy, and in no case worse the common people and the wasting of than the silver of money. The leopard's gold and silver." This was not to be head was to be stamped on every piece, from the year 1403, and one hundred shilto show that it had duly passed the ward- lings was the penalty for defying the law. ens of the craft. In those days Paris was But Church ornaments might be giltfamous for the purity of its gold, and the only the vile metal must show through in touch of Paris and the sterling of England the foot "for to eschew deceit." Louis were well-known terms all over Europe. XI. of France copied this provision of It is still a question how this "sterling" Henry IV., and the goldsmiths of Tours came into our language. It is so often were allowed to make reliquaries of base applied to money-pounds sterling, ster-alloy; but each was to be stamped "Non ling coin of the realm - that one expects venundetur;" such wares might not be its introduction through some relation with sold. But relaxations came in gradually. the mint. Camden tells us that in Rich- Knights' spurs might be silvered, and all ard I.'s time a quantity of money was the apparel of a baron or of the holder of imported from Germany of an excellence superior estate might be gilt. In Henry that gave great satisfaction. Old deeds VII.'s time there is legislation touching of that reign allude to payments rendered the mints of London, Calais, and Canterwith nummi easterling money that bury. Things seem to have been going came from the east. very badly with the mint. The coinage Silver goods were made all over En- was debased, and gold and silver plate gland, and not in the capital only; and sunk to a very low condition; and so the notwithstanding all the assays, fraud standard for gold was fixed at twenty. seems to have been pretty brisk. Cutlers two carats, and no solder was to be used covered tin with silver so subtly, that the beyond what was necessary. Soon afterplated article was readily sold for the wards a great raid was made on the solid. So the law ordered that, in every fraudulent goldsmiths; two of them were town where goldsmiths worked, once a caught, and certainly their punishment year two of their body should come up seems to have exceeded their offence. to the capital "to be ascertained of their Their ears were nailed to the pillory at touch" and have the leopard's head Westminster; then they were put in the punched into their work. And now there pillory at Cheapside, and were taken were to be three marks instead of one. through Foster Lane to Fleet Prison. That The goldsmith had his own mark-his was the old English way of dealing with initials. The assay mark was a letter of the fraudulent goldsmiths. It was perhaps alphabet; and, lastly, the leopard's head more merciful than the Belgian. In Brusshowed that the Goldsmiths' Hall had sels the culprit was nailed by the ear to a passed the piece. It is curious to turn pillar, there to remain till he thought fit to over all the old statutes that deal with this walk away, leaving more or less of his ear subject, -we are so much accustomed to behind him. think fraud a nineteenth-century production. In one reign after another it seems to have been a struggle between the framers of the law and the artificers of silver plate as to which should outwit the other. All localities and all ranks were guarded and provided for. We may read how William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, caused the London goldsmiths to make for him certain vessels of silver and belts of gold of questionable fineness; wherefore two gentlemen were commanded to examine these by the touch and to report the assay to the king in chancery. This was in 1369. But in the stringency of the rules

Hall marking gives to the collector of old silver a security which the amateur of other curiosities sadly needs. It amazingly adds to the price, if not to the value, of old plate. Absolutely plain patens and salvers of Queen Anne's time have been sold quite recently at five-and-twenty shillings an ounce. The workmanship was the simplest, but the authenticity was indisputable. Of course there are now and then cases of fraud. To no purchaser in all commerce does caveat emptor apply more significantly than to the collector of those kinds of curiosities which are said to be old. But the hall-mark in silver

gives more varied and more definite information than may delight the possessor of a plate with a golden anchor or a violet crown. Five marks will generally be found, to fix a date and account for a price. They are the standard-the lion passant or a crown and the figures 18; the hall-mark, which varies according to the town. (London has a leopard's head, York five lions on a cross, Exeter a castle with three towers, Sheffield a crown, Birmingham an anchor, Chester a sword between three wheat-sheaves.) Then there

is the duty-mark, which is the head in profile of the reigning sovereign; the datemark, which is a letter of the alphabet; and, lastly, the maker's mark - generally the initial letters of his name. Information could scarcely be more complete or more precise. But fraud is sometimes practised with these very marks. Punched out of a genuine piece of plate of small value, they are dexterously worked into an "important" piece of modern imitation.

efficacy of the oil, the ship in her helpless
condition must have succumbed to the vio-
lence of the hurricane, and probably all on
board would have perished. Could not the
Board of Trade be urged to lay down some
rule making it incumbent on all sea-going
ships to be provided with a certain quantity
of oil for use in case of need?
Chambers' Journal.

POISONOUS COLORS.-The use of poisonous colors in the preparation of articles of food or confectionery is prohibited in Germany by an act which has received the impe

OIL CALMING A TROUBLED SEA.-That oil properly used, as has been frequently urged in this journal, has an extraordinary effect on troubled waters there can be no sort of doubt, and it is much to be regretted that the experiment is not brought into general and regular practice, and that every sea-going ship is not provided with a quantity of oil, and the proper apparatus to employ it, as a sea-calmer, if not a tempest-stiller. Its singular efficacy has been proved over and over again by English seamen in English ships and boats, and it is gratifying to find that the same practice has been tried in America with marked success. From a private letter, dated at Truxillo, in October, 1886, from a passenger on board a large trading steamer plying between that place and New Orleans, we learn that the ves-rial assent. The substances indicated are sel encountered a terrible hurricane in the Caribbean Sea, early in that month, when the ship was disabled and became unmanageable, and lay in the trough of the sea in a dangerous position, and entirely at the mercy of the waves, which ever and anon broke over her. The captain, having tried almost every expedient to keep the ship's head up without success, determined to have recourse to the oil experiment. We give the result in the writer's own words: "The captain now put four oilbags on the windward side of the ship, when the oil acted like magic. The sea became smooth for at least twenty-five yards in that direction, and not a sea broke over her, while ahead and astern and to leeward, the ocean was in a wild rage, and the howling of the winds drowned all other sounds." Here was an extraordinary escape from immediate danger; and the remedy was apparently repeated or continued, for the letter goes on to say that the ship lay for thirty hours in the trough of the sea free from the danger of broken water, and protected by the application of the oil, until, at the end of that time, the hurricane passed away, and the ship was enabled to proceed on her voyage uninjured. Now it is not too much to say that, had it not been for the

colors and color preparations containing anti-
mony, arsenic, barium, lead, cadmium, cop-
per, quicksilver, uranium, zinc, tin, gamboge,
coraline, or picric acid. The coverings used
for holding or wrapping articles are subject to
the above general regulations; but exceptions
are made for sulphate of barium, colored
baryta lacquers (free from carbonate of ba-
rium), chrome oxide, copper, tin, zinc, and
their alloys (when used as metallic colors),
cinnabar, oxide of tin, sulphuret of tin (when
used in mosaic gilding), and colors burnt into
the glass, glaze, or enamel of receptacles, as
well as those used in painting the outside of
packages, etc., composed of impermeable
substances. The prohibition of the first-
named group of noxious ingredients extends
(with exceptions generally corresponding with
those already named) to cosmetic prepara-
tions, or dyes used for the skin, hair, or
mouth, as well as to toys, picture-books,
flowerpot-frames, etc. Special restrictions
against the use of arsenic are made with re-
gard to printing and lithographic work, as
well as with respect to wall-paper, carpets,
furniture-stuffs, paints, etc.; a small maxi
mum quantity being permitted in textile arti-
English Mechanic.

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From Blackwood's Magazine.



THE Conditions amid which Cæsar Borgia was born are well known. Spanish by his father, Cardinal Rodrigo de Borja, of a noble family of Valencia, and Roman by his mother, Vanozza Catanei, who belonged to a family of the middle class, and owed her fortune to her beauty, he came into the world at Rome in 1476, and was legitimized in October, 1480, by a bull of Pope Sixtus IV. He was the fifth child of the vice-chancellor of the Roman Church. At a very early age he was removed from his mother- to whom, how

[THE discovery of a number of hitherto unknown documents at Simancas and Pamplona, at Pau and in Romagna, has thrown new light upon the eventful and extraordinary career of Cæsar Borgia, especially with regard to the latter part of his life in Spain. The romantic story of his escape from prison and his death in an obscure skirmish are as yet practically unknown to history. It does not come within our limits to give an exhaustive description of the mass of new material unearthed by M. Charles Yriarte, whose name will be well known to our readers as one of the greatest authorities upon the life and manners of media-ever, he remained attached to the last val Italy, but the following paper forms the first instalment of what may be taken as a brief résumé of the subject and of the valuable historical material referred to. Thus undoubtedly a great service has been rendered to history by the presentation of the life of Cæsar Borgia, as it can now be really given by correcting the previous narratives by the aid of the State papers, private correspondence, and as yet unpublished diarii to be found in the various storehouses of Italy, as also of Castile and the two Navarres. This biography may be divided into three parts: Cæsar, Cardinal of Valencia; Cæsar, Duke of Valentinois and Prince of Romagna; Cæsar in Spain.

The first part of M. Yriarte's important paper describes the beginning of the life of Cæsar Borgia, his early days at Perugia and Pisa, and his attitude as a prince of the Church up to his abjuration. The second will present him to us as the captain-general of the pontifical troops, and now the ally of France and the husband of the sister of the king of Navarre, assuming the ducal crown, and exerting himself to reconstitute for his own advantage the kingdom of central Italy, up to the day when the sudden death of his father, the wrath of Julius II., and the treachery of Gonzalo de Cordoba put an end to his vast projects by exile and imprisonment. The last chapter, "Cæsar in Spain," treats of what is as yet unrecorded by the historian: it recounts his captivity, the singular vicissitudes of his flight, his last struggles, and his dramatic death before the fortress of Viana in Navarre. ED. B. M.]

day of his life, as did his sister Lucrezia Borgia, and his two other brothers, Giovanni, Duke of Gandia, and Don Gioffre, Prince of Squillace and confided to the care of Adriana Mila, daughter of Pedro Mila, son of a sister of Alonso de Borja (Pope Calixtus III.). This Adriana Mila had come to Rome with the Borgias, and was the constant confidant of Rodrigo, who married her to Ludovico Ursino Orsini towards the year 1473.

At the age of eight, Cæsar, who was already inscribed on the list of the protonotaries of the Vatican, was provided with benefices, being provost of Albar and treasurer of the church of Carthagena. At ten years of age he was sent to the Sapienza of Perugia to commence his studies there, for which purpose the vicechancellor appointed two preceptors, both Spaniards like himself - Romolino of Ilerda (destined one day to draw up the indictment against Savonarola) and Giovanni Vera of Ercilla. From the year 1488 Cæsar was already to a certain extent a great personage, for Paolo Pampilio dedicated to him the "Syllabica," which he published at Rome about this period. The preface to this volume is one of the few documents we have which throw any light on Borgia's early youth. In 1491 we catch sight of Cæsar again at Pisa, where he is studying law under the famous Filippo Decio; and the same year a bull of Innocent XII. names him titular Bishop of Pampeluna. The municipal archives of this town have supplied us

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