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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/411

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MISCELLANY.

King Docemo told him that all his chiefs and principal people were most desirous of having their children educated, but they did not want their religious ideas to be interfered with. The king's own son was obliged to quit a school under English control, being unwilling to believe in the teachers' "mission to enlighten the natives in matters of religion." All the "chiefs and captains of companies" at Cape Coast assured Governor Hennessy that "they would give any thing for a good education;" but their religion must not be interfered with. A few low-caste natives, they said, in hopes of promotion to clerkships and catechistships, would continue to frequent the English schools; but the only result would be "flagrant hypocrisy and idleness."

The same testimony was given by all the native chiefs whom Mr. Hennessy met. Bey Inca, King of the Small Scarcies, had sent his son to the Portuguese settlements, to learn Arabic and Portuguese, and he was about sending him now to Senegal, to learn French, and to complete his Arabic. That youth would one day be the ruler of a country on the border of the British settlement of Sierra Leone, and yet he would be ignorant of the English language—a thing deeply to be regretted, thought King Inca.

 

Purification of Bone-Black.—The refined bone-black of commerce is seldom possessed of the qualities usually ascribed to it. Its decolorizing properties are weak, and, besides, it always contains sulphate of lime, which dissolves in the liquids to be clarified. Herr Gräger, in Dingler's Journal, gives the following process for purifying bone-black: It is to be ground to powder, and then boiled in from four to six times its weight of water, containing 4 or 5 per cent, of carbonate of soda. After standing four days, the water is drawn off, and hot water poured on instead. This having been in turn drawn off, the bone-black is next treated with commercial chlorhydric acid, and again heated. The latter treatment is followed until the liquid is no longer turbid from the presence of ammonia. The amount of acid to be used is much greater than is commonly supposed. The next step is to wash with common water, to filter with distilled water, and to dry the bone-black at a temperature of from 212° to 248° Fahr. One hundred parts of crude bone-black yield 20 parts refined. The product is a light powder, very fine, with intense decolorizing power, and but a small quantity need be used to produce the required effect.

 

The Mistletoe.—The following, over the signature of R. W. Newberry, occurs in the New York World: "About last Christmas-time I noticed on two occasions in the World that the existence of the 'mistletoe' in this country was doubted. I knew of its existence, but didn't want to make the assertion till I had the proof, which I enclose herewith. I found it on Staten Island many years ago growing on pepperidge-trees. In Maryland it affects the same tree, and also the oak. There is plenty in Virginia, and the specimen I send you was collected from a persimmon-tree at the Bangle Gold-Mine, near Concord, Cabarrus County, N. C, which place I had occasion to visit last week. The number of days it has been gathered and the journey have rather spoiled the sample."

Prof. S. Lockwood says that the false, or American Mistletoe, used to be found on the Nyssa multiflora, the pepperidge, or gum-tree, in Mercer County, N. J., which probably is its northern limit in the Eastern States. But this is not the true mistletoe of Europe, which belongs to the genus Viscum. The American parasite is the Phoradendron flavescens. It infests a number of the deciduous trees, and almost covers some of the oak-trees in Plaquemine Parish, La. The professor says that he received specimens in full bloom, last January, from that locality.

The statements of the Torrey Botanical Club, in regard to certain illusions concerning the English mistletoe, will be interesting in this connection. The idea that the English plant is limited to the oak is an error, it being believed that it is not to be found on more than three oak-trees in all Great Britain. There are but few people in England that have seen it grow at all, and they have generally found it on the apple and wild-crab trees. And yet, as a decoration, with holly, ivy, and laurel, it abounds at Christmas, and is bought with these plants at two-pence a bunch. This genuine English mis-