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son, exerts, by the steam-engine, the power formerly employed by the mechanic in pulling a note. The Bank-notes are numbered on the dexter and sinister halves, each bearing the same figures, by Bramah's machines: as soon as a note is printed, and the handle reversed to take it out and put another in its place, a steel spring attached to the handle alters the number to that which should follow.

The Clock in the roof is a marvel of mechanism, as it is connected with all the clocks in the Stock offices: the hands of the several dials indicate precisely the same hour and second, by means of connecting brass rods (700 feet long, and weighing 6 cwt.), and 200 wheels; the principal weight being 350 lbs.

The Bank has passed through many perils: it has been attacked by rioters, its notes have been at a heavy discount, it has been threatened with impeachment, and its credit has been assailed by treachery. In 1696 (the great re-coinage) the Directors were compelled to suspend the payment of their notes. They then increased their capital to £2,201,271. The Charter has been renewed from 1697 to the present time.

The earliest panic, or run, was in 1707, upon the threatened invasion of the Pretender. In the run of 1745, the Corporation was saved by their agents demanding payment for notes in sixpences, and who, paying in the same, thus prevented the boná fide holders of notes presenting them. Another memorable run was on February 26, 1797, upon an alarm of invasion by the French, when the Privy Council Order and the Restriction Act prohibited the Bank from paying cash, except for sums under 20s. During the panic of 1825, from the evidence of Mr. Harman before Parliament, it appears that the quantity of gold in the treasury, in December, was under £1,300,000. It has since transpired that there was not £100,000, probably not £50,000! The Bank then issued one-pound notes, to protect its remaining treasure; which worked wonders, though by sheer good luck : "because one box containing a quantity of one-pound notes had been overlooked, and they were forthcoming at the lucky moment."

The Bank is the banker of the Government; for here are received the taxes, the interest of the National Debt paid, the Exchequer business transacted, etc. The amount paid by the Government to the Bank for the management of the National Debt is at the rate of £340 per million for the first £600,000,000, and £300 per million for the remainder. This amounts to about £250,000 a year. "The Old Lady of Threadneedle-street," applied to the Bank, is a political sobriquet now almost forgotten.

The forgeries upon the Bank supply a melancholy chapter in its history. The first forger of a note was a Stafford linen-draper, who, in 1758, was convicted and executed. Through the forgeries of one person, Robert Aslett, the Bank lost £320,000; and by another, Fauntleroy, £360,000. In 1862, there were forgeries to

a large amount, by paper expressly manufactured for the Bank, which had been stolen, for which four persons suffered penal imprisonment.

The Committee of the Treasury sit weekly, and is composed of all the Directors who have passed the chair. The Accountant, the Secretary, and the Cashier reside within the Bank; and a certain number of Clerks sit up nightly to go the round of the building, in addition to the military guard.

The Bank possesses a very fine collection of ancient coins. Visitors are shown in the old Note Office, paid notes for ten years; and some bank-notes for large amounts which have passed between the Bank and the Government, including a single note for one million sterling, kept in a frame.

Madox, who wrote the History of the Exchequer, was first Cashier; but more popularly known was Abraham Newland, ChiefCashier from 1778 to 1807, who had slept twenty-five years within the Bank, without absenting himself a single night. He signed every note: his name was long remembered in a popular song, "as one that is wrote upon every bank-note," to forge which, in street slang, was to "sham Abraham."

In 1852 was placed in the Garden Court a fountain, constructed by the then Governor, Mr. Thomas Hankey. The water is thrown by a single jet, 30 feet high, amongst the branches of two of the finest lime trees in London, and is part of the Bank system of waterworks. An Artesian well sunk 330 feet-100 in the chalk -yields soft water, free from lime, and without a trace of organic matter. The water is pumped into the tanks at the top of the building, which contain 50,000 gallons, and the fountain is connected with these tanks; the pumping being by the steam-engine employed also in printing the bank-notes. The fountain is placed on the site of St. Christopher's churchyard. The last person buried there was Jenkins, a Bank clerk, 7 feet in height, and who was allowed to be buried within the walls of the Bank, to prevent disinterment, on account of his unusual height.

There are in the Bank upwards of eight hundred clerks, at salaries ranging from £65 per annum to £800; the patronage is in the hands of the directors, of whom there are twenty-four, each having a nomination to admit one clerk, provided he be found qualified on examination. The vacancies are not, as in most public offices, filled up as they occur by deaths, resignations, etc., but by electing from twenty-five to thirty junior clerks every four or five months; it is also usual to admit one-fifth of this number from the sons of clerks already in the service. The scale of pensions for length of service is the same as in the Government offices.

Among the Curiosities are the bank-note autograph-bookstwo splendidly-bound folio volumes, each leaf embellished with an

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illuminated border, exactly surrounding the space required to attach a bank-note. When any distinguished visitor arrives he is requested to place his autograph to an unsigned note, which is immediately pasted over one of the open spaces. They are thus illustrated by signatures of various royal and noble personages. That of Napoleon III., Henry V., the Kings of Sweden, Portugal and Prussia, a whole brigade of German Princes, Ambassadors from Siam, Persia, Turkey-the latter in Oriental charactersand some of our higher nobility. There are some scientific names, but few literary celebreties; among them those of Lady Sale, and Mehemet Ali, the Pasha of Egypt.

Upwards of a million is paid into the Bank daily, in the shape of notes. When cashed a corner is torn off, and this now valueless piece of paper, after being duly entered in the books, is deposited in chambers beneath the sorting-room, where it is kept ten years, in case it may be required as testimony at some future trial, or to settle any other legal difficulties. In one of the court-yards of the building is a large circular cage, within which is an octagonal furnace constructed of bricks, laid only half over each other, so as to afford ample ventilation. In this furnace, once a month, all the notes that were received during the month previous ten years back are consumed. The furnace is five feet high, by at least ten in diameter; yet we are assured that it is completely filled by the number returned during one month.

MAGNETISM AND GRAVITATION.

WE

E submit the following criticism on "Magnetic Influence on Iron Ships and Compasses," which appeared in our last issue, with a rejoinder by the author of the article. The discussion will be of much interest to our scientific readers.—[EDITOR MARITIME MONTHLY.]

GRAVITATION versus MAGNETISM.

I HAVE read with pleasure the article on "Magnetic Influences on Iron Ships and Compasses," which appeared in the August number of the MARITIME MONTHLY, and quite agree with the author that the means now taken to counteract the disturbing influence of the ship's iron upon the compass needle are both defective and deceptive; but while admiring the article as a whole, I make bold to play "critic" for a little upon one paragraph, occurring near the close of the article.

The author, "R," says: "These facts also show a grand 'scien

tific' deception in the theory that 'all bodies are attracted or gravitate with a force according to the inverse ratio of the square of the distance,' and not of like substances being magnetically attracted according to their condition and position."

Does "R" mean to call Newton's law of universal gravitation a "scientific deception?" (and by the way, his statement of the law is very defective.) Now I don't believe that Newton's law is a deception of any kind, nor do I see how "R" infers such a conclusion from his previous remarks. The law was clearly demonstrated by the great Sir Isaac nearly two hundred years ago, and has been confirmed by the daily experience of all physicists ever since; and I don't feel like giving it up without some better proof of its inaccuracy than "R" gives in his "foregoing facts."

Again, what does he mean by the last clause of the paragraph : "and not of like substances being etc.?" Does he mean this as a law to be substituted for Newton's law, because this is much superior and the other is defective and inadequate? Such would seem to be the case; but the thing is too absurd. Gravitation is a force affecting all bodies, at all distances, at all times, and according to a known fixed law. Magnetism is another force quite distinct from Gravitation, affecting only a very few substances, iron, nickel, oxygen, etc., and its laws are not yet ascertained with certainty. "R" gives a statement that "like substances are magnetically attracted according to their condition and position," which contains no new truth, and which is no law at all, and is in every way vague and indefinite. This statement, made concerning one natural force, he would substitute for a definite demonstrated law of another totally distinct force. The whole thing is absurd. I cannot think that I have caught the meaning intended by "R" when he wrote the unfortunate paragraph; yet I can take no other meaning from.it than I have taken: no doubt the paragraph was written carelessly. Perhaps the author will favor us with an explanation of the mysterious paragraph which seems to threaten the whole modern system of Astronomy, not to mention Molecular Physics, and the many other departments of knowledge, which are based upon that great delusion that "All bodies gravitate with a force proportionate directly as the mass, and inversely as the square of the distance."

V.

CHATHAM, Aug. 8, 1873.

ATOMAGNETISM versus GRAVITATION.

NEWTON'S SO called "Law of Gravitation" was not an error so far as his knowledge could then reach, or as regards certain heavy substances falling towards the earth; but it is deceptive when considered as an elementary law affecting the nature of all bodies.. It is thus calculated to mislead those who, in our day, with increased knowledge of nature and natural law, still believe in it.

The mere facts that comets, or other bodies, do not fall into the sun, but shoot away after approaching within a certain distance of our luminary, shows that the principle of gravitation is not a universal law, nor will it explain the effect of the bar of iron on the compass-needle, as noticed in the article referred to.

Does not the position and not "the square of the distance". in the experiment with the bar-show by a difference in the attraction of the compass-needle that the bar will gravitate with greater force when falling in a vertical position, than when falling horizontally? And will its weight, or gravity, not be greater through the air than through the water? Must not the attraction, or gravity, of an iron ball be greater than that of a cricket ball of like bulk?

Newton saw an apple fall but did he not desire to know what induced it to fall? The law demonstrated through nature's atomagnetic workings would have answered his inquiry had he apprehended it.

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By another illustration we may show where the "law of gravitation" is defective, and not of universal application.

Balance a piece of steel horizontally on a point or pivot, then magnetize it, one end will fall or be found heavier than the other, balance it again on its new centre, then change its polarity, when thus poised the other end will be much heavier. Can a "law of gravity" account for this?

Certainly not; but the law of magnetism can. For the earth is a magnet, and with its northern or polar influence (in these latitudes) it attracts the opposite pole of the magnetized bar of steel, and likewise all other bodies according to their condition and position. It being a known law of magnetism that opposite poles attract, and like or similar poles repel.

Gravitation, then, is merly a term applied to that particular magnetic phenomenon affecting bodies falling towards the earth, and we cannot recognize it as a universal law, such as that of atomagnetism. This principle can be shown to be the universal rule of nature, or the law regulating and producing all natural phenomena, conseqnently, the force that originates all other forces, including the principle of gravitation.

With all due deference to V's views of the "absurdity" of our opinion, we mean fully to substantiate the existence of a universal law of Atomagnetism upon the simple fact, that all atoms are magnets, or that MAGNETISM is a property of ALL atoms of matter; that like atoms, and like substances, attract and repel their like only, according to their condition and position with their surroundings-instead of that other law, "That all bodies at all distances, at all times, are affected by a force of gravity."

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The operation of this law of Atomagnetism, whereby like atoms and bodies attract or repel their like only, according to their condition and position, originates all natural phenomena, includ

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