6 OCTOBER 1860, Page 12


SPONTANEOUS FIRES.—Numerous and extensive fires continue to rage in the metropolis. Night after night the dome of St. Paul's and other impor- tant buildings have been lighted up by conflagrations which have caused loss to the extent of many thousands of pounds. Few persons remember such a continued succession of large fires which seem to have happened without the cause being clear. It has been said that certain conditions of the atmosphere, even when the heat is not great, contribute to spontaneous combustion. If ithis be so, great care should be taken of lucifer matches, which are liable to cause much mischief. We have heard persons remark lately that they have seen these matches explode without friction or other obvious cause. Many of the fires in dwellings and manufactories are caused by lucifer matches. They ought to be kept in close tin or iron boxes. Builder.

THE SECRET OF SPIRIT-RAPPING.—It is really the object of Mediums to depend on machinery as little as possible, for machinery is not only unin- telligent, it may not only fumble and make mistakes, but it precludes that triumph of a Medium's art, the submitting to the preliminary or subsequent test of an examination. The "lazy tongs," as they are termed, are far less serviceable and less frequently used than the natural aptitude of the human body, when these are above the natural average, or are carefully developed by discipline and education. The first requisite, no doubt, is an impassive countenance, exhibiting no sense of shame, or fear of detection— a natural or acquired brass, the perfection of which will depend, of course, upon the morale of the performer. After this, the secret of the Medium's power is the flexibility of her lower limbs. Her legs must do the work of arms, and her feet must be educated to act like hands. Any one who doubts this potentiality of the human frame knows nothing of its relation to the Quadrumana, or of the feats of the Indian jugglers. The Indian jugglers, as is known to the initiated, produce their most extraordinary effects by this very capacity. And therefore, we say, it is no use to con- template coming out as a Medium unless you are provided with flexible legs and manipulative feet and toes,—Once a Week.

THE SECRET 01P TABLE-TURNING.—Yen may now proceed to your crowning experiment, which consists in making the table rise clear off the ground, still maintaining its upright position. As a preliminary, you make it go through some extraordinary evolutions by alternately pressing and pushing the top with your hands, contrary to Michael Faraday's theory, by voluntary and not involuntary muscular action. You then allow the agitated table a little respite while you cross the right leg over the left knee, and insert the end of your right foot under the base which supports the column ; maintain the pressure of your hands as you straighten your leg, and the table will rise perpendicularly about two feet from the ground. Before, however, attempting this astounding feat, care should be taken that no wary person is sitting within reach, or ho may dash out his foot, as a friend of mine did, and catch yours under the ancle, pinning you to the table with your leg in the air, a position from which you will find great difficulty in extricating yourself, without bringing the Bianco to an ig- nominous termination.—Once a Week.