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NOTES AND QUERIES.

Ductility.—The ductility of some bodies, especially of gold, is very surprising. A single grain of gold may be stretched under the hammer into a leaf that will cover a house, and yet the leaf remain so compact as not to transmit the rays of light, nor even admit spirits of wine to transude. But M. Reaumer has shown the ductility of gold to be still greater. What is called gold wire, everybody knows is only silver gilt. The cylinder of silver, covered with leaf gold, is drawn through the hole of an iron, and the gilding is extended with the wire to whatever length it may be stretched. Now M, Reaumer shows that in the common way of drawing gold wire, a cylinder of silver 22in long and IS lines in diameter is stretched to 1,163,520 ft, or is 634,692 times longer than before—which amounts to about ninety-seven leagues. To wind this thread on silk for use it is first flattened, in doing which it stretches at least one-seventh further, so that the 22in are now 111 leagues; but in the flattening, instead of one-seventh, it could be stretched onefourth, which would make it 120 leagues. This appears a prodigious extension, and yet it is nothing to what this gentleman has proved gold to be capable of.—'Pop. Cyclop.' Pkovebbs. According to the elder Disraeli, in the reign of Louis XIV. of France, " proverbs were long the favorites of our neighbors (the French); in the splendid and refined court of Louis XIV. they gave rise to an odd invention—they plotted comedies, and even fantastical ballets, from their subjects. ... A comedy of proverbs is described by the Duke de la Valliere, which was performed in 1634 with prodigious success." He considers that the comedy ought to be ranked among farces; but it is gay, well written, and curious for containing the best proverbs, which are happily introduced in the dialogue. In England the free use of trivial proverbs got them into disrepute. The French long retained a fondness for proverbs, and "still have (says Disraeli) dramatic compositions entitled proverbes on a more refined plan." Church Rate.—ln England a tax of the past. It was instituted for the purpose of repairing and sustaining the church, churchyard, and for similar objects. It was made by the churchwardens, with the consent of the parishioners, who fixed the amount, bnt could not refuse it altogether, as in that event the churchwardens were empowered to levy a rate for necessary purposes. The rate, though applicable to the repairs of parish churches only, was exigible from parishioners of all religious denominations, and often gave rise to heartburnings which led to repeated proposals for its commutation or total abolition, which was effected in 1868.

1 Hcdibbas.'—lt is unquestionably proved $| by the confession of several friends of Butler, the author, that the prototype of Sir Hudibras was a Devonshire man ; and, if Sir Hugh de Bras be the old tutelar saint of Devonshire, this discovers the suggestion which led Butler to the name of his hero, burleeqaiDg the new saint by patting him with the chivalrous saint of the county. Hence, like the knights of old, did

Sir Knight abandon dwelling, And out be rode a ColoneUing!

Chested.—Anciently, when a dead person was placed in a coffin, he was said to be «' chested." Chaucer has:" He is now ded, and nailed in his cheate." In the heading of the 50th chapter ot Genesis, the word is used in reference to Joseph, of whom it is said, v. 26: "He dieth and is chested."

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890511.2.39.14

Bibliographic details

NOTES AND QUERIES., Evening Star, Issue 7904, 11 May 1889, Supplement

Word Count
596

NOTES AND QUERIES. Evening Star, Issue 7904, 11 May 1889, Supplement

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