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THE STATIOSTAIi TBIBOTE: WASHINGTON, D. C, OCTOBER 15, 1881,
MINE AND THINE.
Every wedding, says the proverb,
Slakes another, soon or lute;
Never yet was any marriage
Entered in the book of fate,
But the names were also writl-eu
Of the patient pair that wait.
Blessings, then, upon the morning
When my friend, with fondest look,
By the solemn rite's permission,
To himself his mibtress took,
And the destinies recorded
Other two within their book.
While the priest fulfilled his oiliee,
Still the ground the lovers eyod,
And the parents and the kinsmen
Aimed their glances at the bride;
But the groomsmen eyed the virgins
Who were waiting at her side.
Three there were that stood leside her
One was dark and one was fair,
But nor dark nor fair the other,
Save her Arab eyes and hair;
Keither dark nor' fair I call her,
Yet she was the fairest there.
While her groomsman shall I own it ?
Yes, to thee, and only thee
Gazed upon this dark-eyed maiden,
Who w:is fairest of the three.
Thus he thought "How blest the bridal
Where the bride was such as she!
Thus I mused upon the adage,
Till my wisdom was perplexed,
And I wondered, as the churchman
Dwelt upon his holy text,
Which, of all who heard his lesson,
Should require the service next ?
Whose will be the next occasion
For the flowers, the feast, the wine?
Thine, perchance, my dearest lady ;
Or who knows? it may be mine,
What if 'twere forgive the fancy
What if 'twere both mine and thine?
THE IRON SHROUD
BY WILLIAM1 MUDFORD.
"With intense anxiety, Vivenzio looked forward
to the return of night; and, as it approached, he
resolved that no treacherous sleep should again
betray him. Instead of seeking his hed of straw,
lie continued to walk up and down his dungeon
fill daylight, straining his eyes in every direc
tion throtigh the darkness, to watch for any ap
pearances that might explain these mysteries.
While thus engaged, and, as nearly as he could
judge (by the time that afterward elapsed before
the morning came in), about two o'clock, there
-was a slight, tremulous motion of the floors. He
stooped. The motion lasted nearly a minute;
but it was so extremely gentle that he almost
doubted whether it was real, or only imaginary.
He listened. Not a sound could be heard.
Presently, however, he felt a rush of cold air
"blow upon him : and, dashing toward the quarter
whence it seemed to proceed, he stumbled over
something which he judged to be the water ewer.
The rush of cold air was no longer perceptible :
and, as Vivenzio stretched out his hands, he
found himself close to the walls. He remained
motionless for a considerable time; but nothing
occurred during the remainder of the night to
-excite his attention, thoug, . r
-watch with unabated vigilan
The first approaches of
visible through the grated --with
faint divisions of light, the darkness that
still pervaded every other part, long before
Vivenzio was enabled to distinguish any object
in his dungeon. Instinctively and fearfully he
"sarned his eyes, hot and inflamed with watching,
toward them. There were four ! He could sec
only four; but it might be some intervening
-object prevented the fifth from becoming per
ceptible ; and he waited impatiently to ascertain
if it were so. As the light strengthened, how
.eyer, and penetrated every comer of the cell,
other objects of amazement struck his sight.
On the ground lay the broken fragments of the
' pitcher he had used the day before, and at a
small distance from them, nearer to the wall,
stood the one he had noticed the first night. It
was filled with water, and beside it was his food.
Se was now certain, that, by some mechanical
contrivance, an opening was obtained through
the iron wall, and that through this opening the
current of air had found entrance. But how
noiseless! for, had a feather even waved at the
time, he must have heard it. Again he examined
that part of the wall, but both to sight and
touch it appeared one even and uniform surface,
while, to repeated and violent blows, there was
no reverberating sound indicative of hollowness.
This perplexing mystery had for a time with
drawn his thoughts from the windows ; but now,
directing his eyes again toward them, he sawT
that the fifth had disappeared in the same man
ner as the preceding two, without the least dis
tinguishable alteration of external appearances.
The remaining four looked as the seven had
originally looked ; that is, occupying at regular
distances the top of the wall on that side of the
dungeon. The tall folding-door, too, still seemed
to stand beneath, in the centre of these four, as
it had first stood in the centre of the seven. But
lie could no longer doubt what, on the preceding
day, he fancied might be the effect of visual de
ception. The dungeon was smaller. The roof
had lowered; and the opposite ends had con
tracted the intermediate distance by a space
equal, he thought, to that over which the three
windows had extended. He was bewildered in
Tain imaginings to account for these things.
Some frightful purpose, some devilish torture
of mind or body, some unheard-of device for
producing exquisite misery, lurked, he was sure,
in -what had taken place.
Oppressed with this belief, and distracted
more by the dreadful uncertainty of whatever
fate impended than he could be dismayed, he
thought, by the knowledge of the worst, he sat
ruminating, hour after hour, yielding his fears
in succession to every haggard fancy. At last
.a horrible suspicion flashed suddenly across his
ravin d, and he started up with a frantic air.
Yes!" he exclaimed, looking wildly round his
dungeon, and shuddering as he spoke, "yes! it
must be so! I see -it! I feel the maddening
truth like scorching flames upon my brain!
Eternal God! support me! it must be so! Yes,
yes, that is to be my fate! Yon roof will de
scend! these walls will hem me round, and
slowly, slowly, crush me in their iron arms!
Lord God! look down upon mc, and in mercy
strike me with instant death! 0 fiend! O
devil! is this your revenge ? "'
He dashed himself upon the ground in agony,
tears burst from him, and the sweat stood in
J large drops upon his face. He sobbed aloud, he
tore his hair, he rolled about like one suffering
intolerable anguish of bodv, and would have
bitten the iron floor beneath him: he breathed
fearful curses upon Tolli. and the next moment
passionate prayers to Heaven for immediate
death. Then the violence of his grief became
exhausted; and he lay still, weeping as a child
would weep. The twilight of departing day
shod its gloom around him ere he arose from
that posture of utter and hopeless sorrow. He
had taken no food. Not one drop of water had
cooled the fever of his parched lips. Sleep had
not. visited his eyes for six-and-thirty hours. 'He
was faint with hunger; weary with watching,
and with the excess of his emotions. He tasted
of his food; he drank with avidity of the water,
and reeling, like a drunken man, to his straw,
cast himself upon it to brood again over the ap
palling image that had fastened itself upon his
almost frenzied thoughts.
He slept; but his slumbers wTere not tranquil.
He resisted, as long as he could, their approach:
and when, at last, enfeebled nature yielded to
their influence, he found no oblivion from his
cares. Terrible dreams haunted him; ghastly
visions harrowed up his imagination ; he shouted
and screamed, as'if he already felt the dungeon's
ponderous roof descending on him ; he breathed
hard and thick, as though writhing between its
iron walls. Then would he spring up, stare
wildly about him, stretch forth his hands to be
sure he yet had space enough to live, and, mut
tering some incoherent words, sink down again,
to pass through the same fierce vicissitudes of
The morning of the fourth day dawned upon
Vivenzio; but it was high noon before his mind
shook oft its stupor, or he awoke to a full con
sciousness of his situation. And what a fixed
energy of despair sat upon his pale features as
he cast his eyes upwards, and gazed upon the
three windows that now alone remained! The
three! there were no more! and they seemed to
number his own allotted days. Slowly and
calmly he next surveyed the top and sides, and
comprehended all the meaning of the diminished
height of the former, as well as of the gradual
approximation of the latter. The contracted
dimensions of his mysterious prison were now
too gross and palpable to be the juggle of his
Still lost in wonder at the means, Yivenzio
could put no cheat upon his reason as to the end.
By what horrible ingenuity it was contrived that
walls and roofs and windows should thus silently
and imperceptibly, without noise and without
motion, almost fold, as it were, within each other,
he knew not. He only knew they did so ; and
he vainly strove to persuade himself it was the
intention of the contriver to rack the miserable
wretch who might be immured there with antici
pation merely of a fate from which, in the A-ery
: L'.y woi;- ?" ! -lung . : ! th. fxa-
'" ', - -i-r: ' : '.', 1'.'-v ': ' -n .. r h
- - i ' i'- . ' '
uaixaLcniess mlmmanity it was to doom the
sufferer to such lingering torments : to lead him
day by day to so appalling a death, unsupported
by the consolations of religion, unvisited by any
human being, abandoned to himself, deserted of
all, and denied even the sad privilege of know
ing that his cruel destiny would awaken pity !
Alone he was to perish ! Alone he was to wait
a slow-coniing torture, whose most exquisite
pangs would be inflicted by that very solitude
and that tardy coming.
"It is not death I fear." he exclaimed, "but
the death I must prepare for ! Methinks, too, I
could meet even that, all horrible and revolting
as it is, if it might overtake me now. But
where shall I find fortitude to tarry till it come?
Hoav can I outlive the three long days and nights
I have to live ? There is no power within me to
bid the hideous spectre hence; none to make it
familiar to my thoughts, or myself patient of its
errand. My thoughts rather wTill flee from me,
and I grow mad in looking at it. Oh! for a
deep sleep to fall upon me ! That so, in death's
likeness, I might embrace death itself, and drink
no more of the cup that is presented to me than
my fainting spirit has already tasted!"
In the midst of these lamentations, Yivenzio
noticed that his accustomed meal, with the
pitcher of water, had been conveyed, as before,
into his dungeon. But this circumstance no
longer excited his surprise. His mind was over
whelmed with others of a far greater magnitude.
It suggested, however, a feeble hope of deliver
ance: and there is no hope so feeble as not to
yield some support to a heart bending under
despair. He resolved to watch, during the ensu
ing night, for the signs he had before observed,
and, should he again feel the gentle, tremulous
motion of the floor, or the current of air, to seize
that moment for giving audible expression to his
misery. Some person must be near him, and
within reach of his voice, at the instant when
his food was supplied; some one, perhaps, sus
ceptible of pity. Or, if not, to be told even that
his apprehensions were just, and that his fate
was to be what he foreboded, would be preferable
to a suspense which hung upon the possibility
of his worst fears being visionary.
To be continued.!
ONE OF THE LEADERS.
Prince Krapokine, "the Russian Nihilist, is al
most thirty-eight years old, and belongs to one
of the oldest and noblest families of the Empire.
Although bred in luxury he broke the tradition
of his caste and voluntarily became one of the peo
ple. From his seventeenth year he devoted him
self to the study of the sciences, and made him
self famous as a scientist. He was not known as
a Socialist or Red Republican until in 1877, when to
the amazement of his countrymen, he was ar
rested and thrown into a dungeon. He escaped,
however, after a few months' confinement, and
went to Geneva, -when he threw off the mask and
worked indefatigably in the Nihilist cause. To
day he is one of the recognized leaders of all who
form that party.
A COMMERCIAL TRAVELER'S TALE.
The following amusing narrative is adapted
from a story which appeared some years ago in
the daily press.
A commercial traveler, on his business rounds,
came to one of the large Yorkshire towns, where
he found, upon his arrival, that the time which,
under a lapse of memory, he had chosen for his
visit, was most inopportune. "The races were
oh;" and every house of accommodation was
crowded to excess. Upon application to the land
lady of the hotel where he had been in the habit
of staying, he was informed that every bed in the
premises had been bespoken for a week before his
coming; and more than this, that even the very
floors and tables of the dining-room would be bur
dened at night with racing-men and weary
"We are extremely sorry, sir," said Mrs. Boni
face, "that Ave cannot receive you, an accustomed
patron of the house ; but under existing circum
stances, it is impossible that we can. But," she
added, "I will give you the names of some per
sons in the town who let rooms, and perhaps you
will find among them some one who can put you
up at least I hope so."
Our friend took the list of names with a rueful
face, and at once set about the discovery of a
place of rest for the night. But all his search
was fruitless. Every bed and possible " shake
down" in the whole district was pre-engaged:
and if he would remain in the town, he must
i walk the streets until morning. But sooner than
do this, he resolved to return to his good land
lady of former days, and cast himself upon her
benevolent contrivance and sympathy.
" Upon my word, sir," she said, " you greatly
distress and puzzle me. I really do not know
where in the world I can put you." But after
thinking for a moment, she asked: "Will you
consent to occupy the hostler's room, sir? It
stands in a back part of the premises; and per
haps Ave could manage to make it at least in
some degree comfortable."
The traveler thanked her warmly, and declared
that the accommodation she spoke of was the
very thing under the circumstances.
In about half an horn-, the hostler Avas called,
and told to take a lantern and conduct the gen
tleman to his bedroom. The way proved to be
across a large yard in the rear of the inn, up a
step-ladder, along a narioAV boarded passage, then
up three stairs, and finally through a doorway
into the sleeping apartment. Our traveler found,
upon looking around, that good use had been
made of the half-hour he had been kept waiting.
A carpet had been put on the floor ; blankets and
sheets were unexceptionable.
" Good-night, sir," said the hostler, setting down
his lantern, to furnish some light. " I hope you'll
sleep well, sir; and indeed, I think you'll have a
better chance of doing so here than the gents in
the house you're aAvay from the noise ; and in
times like these, the streets all night are any
thing but quiet."
It was late in the autumn of the year the
nights Avere long and our friend, rather tired,
dawn t;f tk iAion.m. al not vwu tha, Jiac he ;
I not been aroused rv &r$jjk e coming alorur the .
utcr r -,vj.-f v i?- -. ' J.U-:- "rd - .'L. . !
bedroom. Turning round m his DianKets to ieiu
Avho Avas the intrnder, he perceived a man, tall,
gaunt, and grim, Ms throat bare, the sleeves of
his shirt turned up, and his hair all unkempt and
standing upright in the most disordered manner.
The dark figure dreAV near the traveler's lied,
stooped over him, and peered doAvn closely in the
dim light, eA-idently anxious to find out if the
person lying there was awake. Perceiving that
this Avas the case, our traveler saAv him, in the
dusky light, draw himself upright in the room,
then solemnly raise one arm, extend it, and point
Avith his hand through the Avindow to a place
outside; after Avhieh, more impressively still, he
slowly recoA'ered the extended limb, and motioned
with his forefinger three times across his throat.
This done, the strange apparition abruptly de
parted, his feet sounding as distinctly upon the
floor and step-ladder on his going out, as they
had been heard to do Avhen he came in.
The commercial traveler Avas not a nervous man,
and he had knowledge, more or less, of the strange
occurrences and rough usages of the world. Yet,
this dark, grotesque, and absolutely silent in
truder, and his most singular gestures, did not
strike him as altogether pleasant or agreeable,
and he Avould much rather not have been dis
turbed in such an unseasonable and umvar
rantable manner. He Avould, hoAvever, take no
action in the matter at least qv the present.
Indeed, he felt himself poAverless to do this in
this lonely part of the premises. But he cer
tainly, when he got up, Avould make complaint
to Mrs. Boniface of the Avay in Avhieh he had
been annoyed. Fixing his purpose in his mind,
our isolated lodger betook himself again to
slumber, and had almost re-entered the land of
dreams, AAiien, both to his vexation and alarm,
the footsteps he had prciously heard again
sounded upon his ears the same firm and
measured tread and soon his former A-isitor re
peated his mysterious intrusion.
This time, the gaunt figure looked agitated
and angry, and, to our traveler's amazement and
fear, carried in his right hand a large, long, and
gleaming knife. Pointing his hand in a similar
direction as before, he shook his grizzly head, and
violently winked his eyes and stamped his foot;
yet uttering never a Avord, but kept perfectly
silent, and concluded his Avild actions by dnuv
ing, not Avith his finger, but the huge knife, de
terminately and slowly across his exposed throat.
After this ghastly pantomime, a second time he
took his leave, proceeding along the narrow,
floored passage, and down the step-ladder to the
The man before Avhom this aAvful dumb-shoAV
had been performed, crouched and trembled in his
bed. He had often heard of spectral and super
natural appearances, and had affected to laugh
at those who declared they believed in them.
But Avas not this, after all, an unearthly visita
tion? It looked extremely like it. He Avould
not, however, fully conclude that he had really
seen an apparation ; yet he Avould guard against
a third inA'asion of this uncanny guest. He Avould
do Avhathe hoav remembered he had unfortunately
hitherto neglected he would fasten the door of
his room, and thus put a stop to any further
To his disappointment, hoAvever, when he came
to secure his room door, he found that it aa-hs des
titute of all fastenings. Feeling with his fingers,
in the dim twilight, no lock, nor bolt, nor bar
could he discover. Here was a desperate fix ; and
what plan for his safety could he hoav resort to?
Thinking rapidly over the matter, nothing better,
j it seemed to him, remained to be done than to roll
his bedstead head-foremost against the door, and
thus effectually block up all means of entrance.
Luckily, the bedstead Avas upon casters; it Avas
therefore easily moved; so that our friend had no
difficulty in carrying out his scheme ; and returned
once more to bed, somcAvhat more certain of im
munity from intrusion. He could not, however,
settle himself for further sleep; he had been too
much disturbed and unnerved for additional re
pose, so he resolved to lie aAvake in his bed until
A quarter of an hour had but barely passed
when our traveler for the third time heard the
same footsteps approaching his bedroom. J fe felt
somewhat calm and indifferent, hoAvever; for
had he not rendered his apartment completely
impregnable? But short-liA-ed Aas this feeling of
confidence; for in a few minutes the steps had
reached his door, and he heard hands moving
over and pressing hard against it. Then a Aiolent
push Avas made, and after that, another and an
other, till the bedstead, on its too facile casters,
Avas driven back into the middle of the floor.
Again, his dread visitor approached him, and
Avith tenfold added horrors ; for his face and hands
Avere smeared Avith blood, as Avas also the knife,
Avhieh, on his second coming, he had carried.
Holding it as before, in his right hand, he drew
the crimsom-stained Aveapon for the second time
across his throat, repeating the action once, twice,
and thrice; then again shook ominously his
dishevelled locks; and turning upon his heel
Avith a look of angry portent, left the apartment.
Our traveler AAas almost sick Avith terror ; he
shook in every limb, Avhile the cold perspiratiou
oozed from eAery pore of his body. He Avas an
unbeliever in apparitions no longer. He could
not stand out against positiA'e proof, and here he
had the clear and certain and repeated demon
stration of his bodily senses. When he judged
the spectre quite gone and the coast clear, he rose,
and hastily dressed himself, rushing doAvn the
step-ladder, and into the inn, Avhere he roused the
whole inmates of the house Avith his cries that
some dreadful tragedy had been committed on
the premises, and that every effort should be
made to discover and arrest the murderer.
So much for the ghost ; and uoav for the laying
of it. It turned out, upon inquiry, that the
gaunt and grotesque figure Avhieh had haunted
our traveler was only a poor dumb lad, Avho Avas
accustomed to help the hostler to kill pigs. On
this morning, three of these animals had to meet
the common doom of their kind. The first visit
of the lad to our traArelers room Avas to inform
his comrade who, he knew, usually slept there
that the hour was come for the deadly Avork,
intimatincr the manner of it bv the three uasses
ti: f"'jj; Mid iiiimg, after dm; ,
h jfet rr --' he foNk ci-. truM i r
Larval, that th
angry mat ins can nait not . en obeyed, and took
the slaughtering knife with him, as a token and
sign of what the lazy hostler had to get up and
do. By the time of his third visit to the room,
he had himself done the Avork of death Avithout
the aid of his felloAv, and he brought the blood
stained knife to signify as much ; and also in
dumb-show to say : " You may hoav lie in your
bed there for another hour or tAvo, if you like ;
but it has been too bad of you to leave all this
troublesome piece of butcher's-Avork to me."
We are sorry Ave cannot add that the traveler
Avas quite pleased either Avith himself or with the
explanation of his fright ; for he felt that he had
cut rather a sorry figure in the early morning ; and
he could not help obserA'ing that those whom he
had aroused Avith his clamor and terror Avere
slipping back to their rooms Avith much louder
indications of merriment than our hero could
properly appreciate. He took an early train out
of the toAvn, not even troubling his landlady to
make breakfast for him.
We do not count a man's years until he has
nothing else to count. Emerson.
The Avealth of a soul is measured by hoAv much
it can feel ; its poverty by how little. Alger.
See the sack open before you buy Avhat is in it,
for he Avho trades in the dark asks to be cheated.
I should not knoAV Avhat to do Avith eternal
bliss, if it did not offer me neAv problems and
difficulties to be mastered. Goethe.
It is not disgraceful to any one Avho is poor to
confess his poverty ; but the not exerting one's
self to escape poverty is disgraceful. Pericles.
He only is advancing in life Avhose heart is
getting softer, Avhose blood warmer, Avhose brain
quicker, Avhose spirit is entering into living peace.
NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.
On a, ray of the sun u letter ean run,
"Which it usually does Avith a dash ;
On a moonbeam a word, hoveAer ab.surd,
Can hurry along like a flash.
Thus men correspond in a way learnt from Blondin,
By making the alphabet try
To Avalk on the ropes Avhieh fall from the slopes
Of the luminous bodies on high.
So ingenious man has invented a plan
Of telegraphy rather complex,
Which though hard to believe was invented by Eve,
Who handed it down to her sex.
And woman has not the science forgot ;
As she playfully lowers her fan,
In a glance of her eye a Avhole message will fly,
To the joy or distraction of man.
And the throbs of his heart, as she plies at her art,
Are the Avoids she coquettishly sends ;
And a smile on his face or a tear-furrowed trac,
Will signal that he comprehends.
The feminine orb is wont to absorb
More philosophy than you would dream;
The moral is clear; inventions, I fear,
Are scarcely as new as they seem.
GENERAL GRANT'S LION HUNT
It has just leaked out that Asiiile Genera,!
Grant was traveling in Asia he expressed a de
sire to get a shot at a lion. Not wishing to expose
him to danger, the natives secured a stuffed lion,
set it up in a jungle, and then took the illus
trious traveler out for a hunt. When the beast
was sighted the General was all excitement, and,
crawling up to a favorite position, he began to
blaze away at the animal with no perceptible
effect. After firing about twenty-live shots he
began to get mad, and, taking off his coat, he
settled down for a regular siege. Fearing his
Avrath when he discovered the sell, the attend
ants endeavored to induce him to give up the
attempt to kill the beast, telling him that it bore
a charmed life, and that he could not possibly
injure it. He told them to go to thunder; that
he Avas after blood, and Avas going to have it.
After a vain fusilade of half an hour he rose to
his lent, gnashed his teeth with rage, threw his
suspenders off his shoulders, rolled up his
sleeves, and grabbed his rifle by the barrel, so
he could use it as a club. The attendants again
begged him to desist, but he politely though
forcibly informed them that he would have that
cuss or leave his honored remains streAvn pro
miscuously all through that jungle: and Avith
a Avild cry of " I'll fight it out on this lion if
it takes all summer!" he rushed upon the beast,
and Avith one Avell-directed Moav laid it over on
its side. Then he chased the native attendants
for six miles, but being better acquainted with
the country, they got away from him in safety.
A CONDUCTOR'S STORY.
"I had only; made one run down here," said
our stage-driver on a journey in New Mexico,
" when, passing one of the sidings, Ave took on a
simon-pure, double-fisted 'gray,' one of the pio
neers ; those fellows who had lived a life in ad
vance of civilization, making the way easy for
others, but alAvays leaving in time to escape the
press and improvements, the foundation for
which they had so surely laid. Evidently he had
never before seen the interior of a car, for it Avas
some moments before he concluded to seat him
self, which he did cautiously and with that quick,
nervous twinkle of the eye which men cons tantly
on the alert for danger exhibit. Let me say here
that in this country every man carries a pistol,
and generally in his back pocket. Well, as I had
already seen the other passengers' tickets, I took
my time about matters, and sloAvly walked up to
my man and put my hand, Avith the usual quick
motion, behind me to get my punch ; but before
I could say ' Ticket, sir ! ' quicker than powder
the muzzle of a six-shooter SAvelled under my
eyes, and a hearty A'oice rang out : l Put her back,
stranger; I've got the drap on ye!' You may
laugh, but I shook hands Avith him over a free
A rural A-isitor to a manufactory the other
day asked for ice-Avater, and was directed to the
onrrtor TT& hit nrnn n. firp-pvinrrniehpr in Tis
f'I? - and, .:; i.-hji-1 t .;: Jl lit -"""-I .i'U-vi wates
rweptaic, ciumemt. marjipalaui tin- thurajb-
&, r.-ws. ,.n'i ..; .-t i. -ncMy t "tiveu th ' 4ItSr
.;:.. .-:;.rC ' t! v . It tOvKx US
hour to com-ince him that the boiler of the
establishment had not burst and scalded him to
death. Hartford Times.
HOW POSTAGE STAMPS ARE MADE.
The method of printing postage stamps is as
The printing is done from steel plates, on which
tAvo hundred stamps are engraA-ed, and the paper
used is of a peculiar structure, sofneAA'hat resemb
ling that employed for bank notes. Two men
cover the plates with the colored inks and pass
them to a man and a girl Avho print them AA'ith
large rolling hand-presses. Three of these little
squads are employed all the time, although ten
presses can be put in operation, if necessary. The
colors used in the inks are ultra-marine blue,
Prussian blue, chrome yelloAv and Prussian blue
(green), vermillion and carmine.. After the sheets
of paper on which the tAvo hundred stamps are
engraved, haA'e been dried, they are sent into
another room and gummed.
The gum used is made of the powder of dried
potatoes and other A-egetables mixed Avith AAater.
Gum arabic is not desirable, because it cracks the
paper badly. The sheets are gummed separately;
they are placed back upAvard upon a flat wooden
support, the edges being protected by a nietajlic
frame, and the gum is applied Avith a Avide brush.
After having been again dried, this time on little
racks, Avhieh are fanned by steam power, for about
an hour, they are put in betAveen sheets of paste
board, and pressed in hydraulic presses, capable
of applying a weight of two thousand tons. The
sheets are next cut in halves ; each sheet, of course,
when cut, contains a hundred stamps.
This is done by a girl Avith a large pair of shears,
cutting by hand being preferred to that of ma
chinery, which method would destroy too many
stamps. They are then passed to the perfor
ating machine. The perforations betAveen the
stamps are effected by passing the sheets between
tAvo cylinders pnmded with a series of raised
bands which are adjusted to a distance apart
equal to that required between the toavs of per
forations. Each ring on the upper cylinder has
a series of cylindrical projections Avhieh fit corre
sponding depressions in the bands of the lower
cylinder; by these the perforations are punched
out, and by a simple contriA-ance the sheet is de
tached from the cylinders in Avhieh it has been
conducted by an endless band.
The roAvs running longitudinally of the paper
are first made, and then by a similar machine the
transverse ones. This perforating machine was
invented and patented by a Mr. Arthur in 1852,
and was purchased by the Government for $20,
000. The sheets are next dressed once more, and
then packed and labeled and stowed away in an
other room, preparatory to being put in mail-bags
for dispatching to fulfill orders. If a single stamp
is torn, or in any way mutilated, the whole sheet
of one hundred is burned. Five hundred thou
sand are burned every Aveek from this cause. The
sheets are counted no less than eleven times dur
ing the process of manufacturing, and so great is
the care taken in counting that not a single sheet
has been lost during the past twenty years.