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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

kind of shield against the heat. Then, pretending to take new tow with the left hand, they introduce into the mouth the parcel of inflamed tinder, on which they immediately place dry tow by biting into the right handful. Combustion is excited by blowing with the throat, and the current of air protects the lips from burning.

I have repeated the experiment of a pretended boiling described in the "Philosophumena," using oil instead of liquid pitch. It produced a complete illusion. The oil boiled in large bubbles, throwing up to the surface a white foam, without its being necessary to raise the temperature to more than 86°.

I have not tried either of the processes for producing insensibility described above, nor those which are given by Albertus Magnus and other sorcerers of the middle ages, as follows:

"1. Take mallows-juice, powdered psillium-seed, and lime; mix the whole with the white of an egg and horse-radish-juice. Rub the hands with the mixture and let them dry; then rub them again, and you will be able to handle fire.

"2. Dissolve quicklime in bean-water, then mix in Messina earth, to which add a little mallows and bird-lime; rub yourself with it and let it dry.

"3. Rub your hands with strong vinegar in which you have dissolved vitriol, and add plantain-juice."

It was probably by the aid of similar recipes that the priestesses of Diana Parasya, in Cappadocia, according to Strabo, were able to walk barefooted over burning coals; and the Hirpi, according to Pliny, procured exemption from military service by renewing the same miracle annually in the Temple of Apollo, on Mount Soracte. In our own time the Arabian sect of the Aissaouas perform feats quite as astonishing as those we have mentioned. The subject might afford entertaining studies to those who are interested in finding natural ways of accounting for facts which have been regarded as prodigies.—Revue Scientifique.

 

ELECTROMANIA.
By W. MATTIEU WILLIAMS.

A HISTORY of electricity, in order to be complete, must include two distinct and very different subjects: the history of electrical science, and a history of electrical exaggerations and delusions. The progress of the first has been followed by a crop of the second from the time when Kleist, Muschenbroek, and Cuneus endeavored to bottle the supposed fluid, and in the course of these attempts stumbled upon the "Leyden-jar."

Dr. Lieberkuhn, of Berlin, describes the startling results which he