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Little birds come down to drink,
To all lovers of natural scenery, woods
and streams have always been, and ever will continue to be, dear; while poets regard them as positive elysiums. Here is a graceful compliment to “Little Streams," from the pen of William Howitt.
LITTLE streams are light and shadow,
Little streams have flowers many,
Little streams, their voices cheery, Sound forth welcomes to the weary; Flowing on from day to day, Without stint and without stay.
Here, upon their flowery bank,
The foliage of the forest, brown and sere, In the old time pilgrims drank ;
Drops on the margin of the stubble field, Here have seen, as now, pass by,
In which the partridge lingers insecure, King-fisher and dragon-fly
And raises oft, at somber eventide, Those bright things that have their dwelling With plaintive throat, her dull and tremulous Where the little streams are welling.
The sickle of the husbandman hath ceased, Down in the valleys green and lowly, And left the lap of Nature shorn and bare ; Murmuring not and gliding slowly,
The odorous clover flowers have disappear'd ; Up in mountain-hollows wild,
The yellow pendulous grain is seen no more ; Fretting like a peerish child ;
The perfume of the bean-field has decay'd ; Through the hamlet, where all day
And roams the wandering bee o'er many a path, In their waves the children play;
For blossoms which have perish'd. Grassy Running west, or running east,
blades, Doing good to man and beast
Transparent, taper, and of sickly growth, Always giving, weary never,
Shoot, soon to wither, in the sterile fields. Little streams, I love you ever.
The garden fruits have mellow'd with the Our second engraving represents the And, 'save the lingering apricot, remains last month of autumn, and, accompanying No trace nor token of the summer's wealth ! it, we give a very pretty poem from an Yet, on the wild-brier stands the yellow hip; anonymous writer, which makes it no less And, from the branches of the mountain-ash, interesting :
The clustering berries drop their crimson beads
Descending. On the dark laburnum's sides, The year is now declining; and the air, Mix pods of lighter green among the leaves, When morning blushes on the orient hills, Taper, and springless, hasting to decay ; Embued with icy chillness. Ocean's wave And on the wintry honeysuckle's stalk Has lost the tepid glow, and slumbering fogs, The succulent berries hang. The robin sits On clouded days, brood o'er its level plain; Upon the mossy gateway, singing clear Yet, when the day is at meridian height, A requiem to the glory of the woods. The sun athwart the fading landscape smiles And, when the breeze awakes, a frequent With most paternal kindness, softly sweet,
shower And delicately beautiful ; a prince
Of wither'd leaves bestrews the weedy paths, Blessing the realms whose glory comes from Or from the branches of the willow wbirl, him.
With rustling sound, upon the turbid stream.
THE UNITED STATES MINT.
MELTING, ASSAYING, REFINING, AND COINAGE OF
TROM the first number of The Press, larly received by the Treasurer of the Mint, is
delphia, we condense a few facts relative pans, (a duplicate key of which is in the posto the United Stated Mint, which, we session of the foreman of the department,) where doubt not, will be read with interest: it undergoes the necessary melting, preparatory
to the assay process. The object of melting is It is not generally known that to Jefferson we two-fold: first, to separate from the metal all are principally indebted for the simple and con- the earthly matter; and second, to obtain a venient coinage of the country. The currency of homogeneous mass from any part of which a the different colonies, anterior to the revolution, small chip can be cut for an assay piece. To was of a very varied and incongruous character. accomplish this end the bullion is mixed with Several of the different colonies had established borax, which at a high heat forms a chemical Mints, and there were various coinages by indie combination with the earthy impurities, and viduals, without any reference to the harmony this, in the form of a vitreous compound, is of the different issues, or the intrinsic value of readily separated, being lighter than the fused the coins issued. Foreign coins, particularly of metal. The latter is now cast into convenient British and Spanish origin, formed a principal molds and carefully numbered, and reserved portion of the currency. After the conclusion until the report of the assayer enables the of peace, Congress directed the Financier of the Treasurer to determine its exact value. Confederation, Robert Morris, to lay before them The gold assay slips, properly marked and his views upon the establishment of a national numbered to prevent any possibility of intersystem of currency. He proposed a table of change, pass to the assayer's department, and this sort:
are each separately assayed. This process is Ten units to be equal to one penny.
one of the most carefully conducted of chemical Ten pence one bill.
analysis. The first part of it is the weighing Ten bills one dollar, (about two-thirds of the of the assay slips on a beam of great sensibility, Spanish dollar.)
the weights used being a demi-gram ; and its Ten dollars one crown.
decimal divisions to one ten-thousandth part This system, however, was not received with of the unit. After the slip is weighed, it is inmuch favor, and in 1784 Mr. Jefferson made a closed, with the proper proportion of pure silver, report upon the subject, in which he proposed in a small piece of lead pressed in bullet form, making the Spanish dollar, which was already and is then ready for the laboratory process. familiar to the American people, the basis of This consists first, in the cupellation or separathe new currency, and to strike four coins, tion of the oxydable metals, which is conducted namely:
in a small furnace brought to a proper heat, A golden piece of the value of ten dollars. and in small cups, called cupels, prepared from A dollar in silver.
calcined bones, in which the leaden ball with A tenth of a dollar, also in silver.
its contents is placed, and by which the base A hundredth of a dollar, in copper.
metals, in a state of oxydation and fluidity, are In 1785, Mr. Jefferson's report was adopted absorbed. Lead possesses the property of oxydby Congress, and in 1786 legal provision was izing and vitrifying under the action of heat, made for a coinage upon that basis. These and at the same time promoting the oxydation proceedings, however, occurred during the Con of all other base metals. federation, and the respective States still pre When the cupellation is finished, the disc or served the right of coinage, though subject to button, being pure gold and silver, is detached the direction of Congress. The Constitution, from the cupel, and by a series of manipulations, adopted in 1787, vested the right of coinage is rolled into a thin slip in order to give surface solely in the General Government. In 1790, for the action of nitric acid, to which it is next Mr. Jefferson, then Secretary of State, submitted subjected to separate the gold from the silver. a report on moneys, weights, and measures, and The slip thus rolled out is placed in a glass carnestly urged the commencement of coinage matrass or bottle, containing the necessary by the General Government. In 1792, a code quantity of acid, to which heat is applied by a of laws was adopted for the establishment and gas apparatus. The acid dissolves all the silver,
gulation of the providing for a Gold | leaving the gold pure in the form of a spongy Eagle of ten dollars, and a half and quarter brittle mass, which is returned to the balance, eagle; a silver dollar, and a half, quarter, tenth where the loss is ascertained, and the precise or dime, and twentieth or half dime; and the proportion of pure gold accurately determined. copper cent and half cent. The weight and The result is then reported to the treasurer, fineness fixed for these respective coins remained and constitutes the basis for calculating the unchanged, except by slight amendments, for a value of the deposit represented by the assay period of forty years, or until 1834, when an slip. act was passed changing the weight and fine The assay of silver may be conducted by the ness of the gold coins and the relative value of cupellation process, but is more delicately degold and silver. The coinage of gold dollars termined by the humid assay, which is based on was commenced in 1849 ; of double eagles in the well-known property of a solution of com1850; of three dollar pieces in 1854; of three mon salt precipitating the silver from its solucent pieces in 1851; and the first issues of the tion in the form of the chloride, the ultimate new cent, composed of nickel and copper, were particles being thrown down by a prepared made in May last.
decimal solution, and the fineness determined
by a table corresponding to the number of of the planchets, to afford protection to the surcharges used in precipitating the chloride. face of the coin.
The bullion having been thus assayed, is then The planchets, after being thoroughly cleaned, delivered to the melter and refiner, to be re are ready for stamping. The coining presses fined, and made of the legal standard for coin are moved by steam-power ; each press receives age.
the planchets in a tube from the hand of a Native gold being more or less alloyed with workman, and itself slides them, one by one, to silver, and the latter metal being almost anne a point exactly between the coining dies. cessary in gold coin, it is customary to free the There each piece is powerfully impressed and gold from the greater part of it. This opera- instantly carried away a perfect coin, to be fol. tion is termed refining. California gold con lowed as instantly by another. The coins are tains on an average eleven per cent. silver-the then counted, weighed and packed, and delivcovering power, however, of gold is such, that ered to the Treasurer of the Mint. nitric acid, a ready solvent of silver, will only remove the smallest fraction of it. One pound of
AMOUNT OF AMERICAN COINAGE. the gold is therefore melted up with two pounds of pure silver, which being thoroughly mixed, The increase in the coinage of the country is ladled out into cold water, whereby the mixed has fully kept pace with, if, indeed, it has not metal is divided into small pieces, termed exceeded its extraordinary progress in all other granulations. Each particle of gold is thus respects. The total value of the coinage of the surrounded by two particles of silver, and in United States, for the first twenty-four years this shape presents a large amount of surface, after the establishment of the Mint, from 1793 so that when heated in porcelain jars with ni to 1817, was but $14,198,593 53, while the tric acid, all the silver, except about one per coinage of 1856 alone amounted to $64,567,cent., is dissolved out of the gold. The nitric
142 107. The total amount of the coinage of acid, holding the silver in solution, is then
the United States, to the close of 1856, is as drawn off from the pots by a large gold siphon, follows: and passed into a large vat, partly filled with a strong solution of common salt, when the silver falls down as a white powder, called chloride
of coinage. of silver, insoluble in water. It is next run on filters, which hold the chloride, and let the
1798 $391,730.571 86 liquid pass through. The chloride, after being San Francisco
59,369, 473 93 washed for many hours by hot water until per. New Orleans.
59,423, 415 00 fectly clean, is thrown into leaden lined vats
Dahlmega. together with granulated metallic zinc, where
5,792,841 00 Assay Otlice, (N. Y.) 1954
42,782,712 33 o violent action takes place, the zinc forcibly seizing the chlorine, and making a solution of
$563,438,708 12 chloride of zinc, while metallic silver is left in the form of a gray powder, which, after being The operations of the Mint of the United washed and filtered, is pressed into large cakes States at Philadelphia, during the year 1856, by a hydraulic press, dried by fire, and is again were as follows: used to refine more gold.
The pure gold, transferred from the bottom of the porcelain pots to a filter, is thoroughly
Value. washed from every trace of nitrate of silver, and from its state of fine division, has no metallic appearance, but closely resembles mahog. Double eagles..
829,878 $6,597,560 00 Eagles.
604.90 00 any sawdust. It is then pressed, dried, melted
959,950 00 with a sufficient amount of copper to bring it Three dollars.
26,010 78,080 00 to the legal standard, and cast into ingots or Quarter eagles.
884,240 960,600 00 bars, suitable for the manufacture of coin.
1,762,936 1,762,936 00 Fine bars..
S0,412 12 The ingots are then passed to the coining department, where they are annealed or heated Total gold.... 2,761,727 11,074,388 12 to redness, to soften them for rolling. They are then rolled out in the “Rolling Presses," in Dollars.
68,500 00 long and thin slips, in which form they are Half dollars.
469.000 00 carried to the drawing bench, where they are
7,26 1,000 1,816,000 00 Dimes...
5,750,000 $78,000 00 drawn through plates of the hardest steel, ac
4,850,000 244,000 00 curately set to reduce the slips to their proper Three cent pieces...
1,455,000 43,710 00 thickness. In the next place, they are passed
81,028 09 through the cutting process, and planchets or
20,383,668 8,245,268 09 blancs of the proper size are cut. This operation is carried on with great rapidity, one hund
2,690,463 26,904 63 red and sixty planchets being cut out, on an
202 15 average, per minute. The clippings (as the strips after being thus cut are called) are then
2,780,893 27,106 78 folded up and sent back to the melter and refiner, to be again melted up and made into in Total gold...
2,761,727 11,074,889 12 gots. The planchets are then accurately ad
20,383,669 3,245, 266 09 Total copper.
2,730,593 27,106 78 justed and passed through the milling machine. The latter operation is done to raise the edges Total colnage..... 25,576,285 14,346,762 99
THE VOICE-TELEGRAPHS OF MON- avant courier had been I had no idea ; but
in one respect this mysterious attendant TENEGRO.
was very useful, as the best lodging and THE electric telegraph is, unquestion provisions which the place afforded were
ably, the most wonderful invention of always ready for me when I got there. modern days; and we have reason to feel Little did I imagine that the indistinct thankfulness as well as admiration at a sounds which I had heard floating about triumph of science which enables us to me on the mountain winds, were conveycommunicate, almost instantaneously, with ing to distant localities a signalement of friends who are separated from us by hund myself more exact than that of many a dreds or even thousands of miles. We written passport. believe, however, it is not generally known On one occasion I had been obliged to that in the art of sending messages with send a messenger to a village for the purextraordinary celerity and accuracy, the pose of ordering a mule, as a relay on which semi-barbarous inhabitants of Montenegro, to continue my journey. When I arrived and some of their Slavonic brethren in the there the following morning I found, to neighboring countries, are in advance of my utter dismay, that the animal had been the most civilized nations of Europe, as sent to pastures several miles up in the this mode of conveying intelligence was mountains. I am ashamed to say that in use there for ages before the electric this piece of information disturbed the telegraph was thought of.
equanimity of my temper so much that I Some years ago I had occasion to pass spoke too sharply to the owner, telling through the wild mountain region of Mon- him that, as it would be quite impossible tenegro, or the Black Mountains, so named to send a messenger, and get the mule from the dark pine forests that once cov back from so great a distance before it ered them. This country, though no would be too late to prosecute the journey more than sixty miles in length and thirty- for that day, I should be obliged to remain five in breadth, has preserved its inde for the night where I was, at a serious inpendence for centuries against the subju- convenience, all in consequence of his ingators of the neighboring districts, and excusable neglect. He bore the rebuke though, when I visited it, the inhabitants quite unmoved, and, with a smile assuring recognized the protectorate of the Russian me that the mule should be ready at the power, they were not brought to do so by very hour I had appointed, went into the force of arms. They belong to the Greek open air. I followed, and immediately Church, live in a rude style, and have not heard the murmur of the wind-voices attained any high degree of mental culti- which had so often before excited my survation. Even the arts of reading and prise. At first the low moaning sound, writing are an unusual accomplishment of which I could not distinguish one word, among them; but, as I have already inti- seemed to come from a distance; but, on mated, they have one peculiarity which closer examination, I discovered that tne must produce a strange effect upon a for- tones were emitted by the lips of my host. eigner traveling in their country, and of I was now in possession of a clew to what which, as witnessed by myself, I am about had so much puzzled me, and with some to give some account.
investigation the mystery was unraveled. In traveling over the mountains, or These people possess the power of makcrossing the valleys of Montenegro, I fre- ing their voices, and the words they utter, quently heard mysterious sounds floating distinctly audible at distances which, to around me in the air. They seemed to those who have not witnessed it, must be a kind of suppressed howl; and what seem perfectly incredible, and thus they they were, or where they came from, I carry on conversations from mountain to could not discover. It also frequently mountain, as we do face to face. The happened that when I arrived at one of voice, in this singular method of comtheir villages, I found the whole popula-munication, is not elevated, but, on the tion prepared to meet me, and coming out contrary, is low, and the words are proto see the stranger, though I had not sent nounced slowly, and with a peculiarly the slightest intimation of my visit ; nor drawling accent. Thus they fall distinctly would it have been possible, owing to the on the ear of the distant interlocutor, alrapidity of my movements. Who my though to those standing near the person