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JAPANESE MIRRORS.

tions. My father would, from the window, call the soldier in, offer him a glass of wine, and recount to him Tarquin's birth and bringing up in an artillery barrack.

There were sapeurs-pompiers at Nancy, wearing the same uniform, black trousers, with a double red stripe, the only difference being that, en grande tenue, the pompiers had a brass helmet, and the artillery a shako, but on ordinary occasions the uniform was the same for both. However much we might be deceived by the similarity of their uniform, the good Tarquin, who could not read the number of their regiment on the artillerymen's buttons, as we could, always discerned the difference. That was certainly very singular; perhaps the cloth of their garments was of different manufacture. Something must have struck a dog's sense, or instinct, not noticeable to us, his superiors in knowledge.

Tarquin often acted as our commissionnaire. My mother, sometimes feeling lonely, wished to see my grandfather, and would call Tarquin, fastening a small missive to his collar, then open the door and say to him. "Va, chercher grand-pere." At the end of a quarter of an hour Tarquin reappeared escorting him.L. H..




From Nature.

JAPANESE MIRRORS.

A short time ago a friend showed me a curious effect, which I had previously heard of, but had never seen. The ladies of Japan use, in making their toilet, a small round mirror about one-twelfth to one-eighth of an inch in thickness, made of a kind of speculum metal, brightly polished and coated with mercury. At the back there are usually various devices, Japanese or Chinese written characters, badges, etc., standing in strong relief, and brightly polished like the front surface. Now if the direct rays of the sun are allowed to fall upon the front of the mirror and are then reflected on to a screen, in a great many cases, though not in all, the figures at the back will appear to shine through the substance of the mirror as bright lines upon a moderately s bright ground.

I have since tried several mirrors as sold in the shops, and in most cases the appearance described has been observed with more or less distinctness.

I have been unable to find a satisfactory explanation of this fact, but on considering the mode of manufacture I was led to suppose that the pressure to which the mirror was subjected during polishing, and which is greatest on the parts in relief, was concerned in the production of the figures. On putting this to the test by rubbing the back of the mirror with a blunt pointed instrument, and permitting the rays of the sun to be reflected from the front surface, a bright line appeared in the image corresponding to the position of the part rubbed. This experiment is quite easy to repeat, a scratch with a knife or with any other hard body is sufficient. It would seem as if the pressure upon the back during polishing caused some change in the reflecting surface corresponding to the raised parts whereby the amount of light reflected was greater; or supposing that of the light which falls upon the surface, a part is absorbed and the rest reflected, those parts corresponding to the raised portions on the back are altered by the pressure in such a way that less is absorbed, and therefore a bright image appears. This, of course, is not an explanation of the phenomenon, but I put it forward as perhaps indicating the direction in which the true explanation may be looked for.

The following account of the manufacture of the Japanese mirrors is taken from a paper by Dr. Geerts, read before the Asiatic Society of Japan, and appearing in their "Transactions" for 1875-76, p. 39: —

"For preparing the mould, which consists of two halves, put together with their concave surfaces, the workman first powders a kind of rough plastic clay, and mixes this with levigated powder of a blackish 'tuff-stone' and a little charcoal powder and water, till the paste is plastic and suitable for being moulded. It is then roughly formed by the aid of a wooden frame into square or round cakes; the surface of the latter is covered with a levigated half-liquid mixture of powdered chamotte (old crucibles which have served for melting bronze or copper) and water. Thus well prepared, the blackish paste in the frame receives the concave designs by the aid of woodcuts, cut in relief. The two halves of the mould are put together in the frame and dried. Several of these flat moulds are then placed in a melting-box made of clay and chamotte. This box has on the top an opening, into which the liquid bronze is poured, after it has been melted in small fire-proof clay crucibles. The liquid metal naturally fills all openings inside the box, and consequently also the cavities of the moulds.