Rifle-calibre Maxim Gun
Its rate of firing—770 shots a minute—is at least three times as rapid as that of any other machine gun. It has only a single barrel, which, when the shot is fired, recoils a distance of three-quarters of an inch on the other parts of the gun. This recoil sets moving the machinery which automatically keeps up a continuous fire at the extraordinary rate of 12 rounds a second. Each recoil of the barrel has therefore to perform the necessary functions of extracting and ejecting the empty cartridge, or bringing up the next full one and placing it in its proper position in the barrel, of cocking the hammer, and pulling the trigger. As long as the firing continues, these functions are repeated round after round in succession. The barrel is provided with a water jacket, to prevent excessive heating; and is so mounted that it can be raised or lowered or set at any angle, or turned horizontally to the left or to the right. The bore is adapted to the present size of cartridges; and the maximum range is eighteen hundred yards. The gun can therefore be made to sweep a circle upwards of a mile in radius.
One of the 'Wooden Walls of Old England.' The Duke of Wellington Screw Line-of-Battle Ship. One hundred and thirty-one Guns.
The Dandy-horse of 1818, the two wheels on which the rider sat astride, tipping the ground with his feet in order to propel the machine, was laughed out of existence.
One of the largest sailing-ships afloat is the French five-master, La France, launched in 1890 on the Clyde, and owned by Messrs A. D. Bordes et Fils, who possess a large fleet of sailing-vessels. In 1891 she came from Iquique to Dunkirk in one hundred and five days with 6000 tons of nitrate; yet she was stopped on the Tyne when proceeding to sea with 5500 tons of coal, and compelled to take out 500 tons on the ground that she was overladen.
Edison with his Phonograph
In 1878 Mr Edison made a number of phonographs, which were exhibited in America and Europe, and attracted universal attention. The records were made in these on soft tinfoil sheets fastened around metal cylinders. For a while Mr Edison was compelled to suspend work on this invention, but soon returned to it and worked out the machine as it exists practically to-day. It occupies about the same space as a hand sewing-machine. A light tube of wax to slide on and off the cylinder is substituted for the tinfoil, which had been wrapped round it, and the indenting stylus is replaced by a minute engraving point. Under the varying pressure of the sound-waves, this point or knife cuts into the tube almost imperceptibly, the wax chiselled away wreathing off in very fine spirals before the edge of the little blade, as the cylinder travels under it. Each cylinder will receive about a thousand words. In the improved machine Mr Edison at first employed two diaphragms in 'spectacle' form, one to receive and the other to reproduce; but he has since combined these in a single efficient attachment.
Rush For the gold fields
The Parliament of Paris--or Great French Parliament, as it was called by Philip V. and Charles V., in edicts of the 17th of November, 1318, and of the 8th of October, 1371--was divided into four principal chambers: the Grand Chamber, the Chamber of Inquiry, the Criminal Chamber, and the Chamber of Appeal. It was composed of ordinary councillors, both clerical and lay; of honorary councillors, some of whom were ecclesiastics, and others members of the nobility; of masters of inquiry; and of a considerable number of officers of all ranks
The Jews of Cologne burnt alive
From a Woodcut in the "Liber Chronicarum Mundi:" large folio, Nuremberg, 1493.
In 1370, the people of Brussels were startled in consequence of the statements of a Jewess, who accused her co-religionists of having made her carry a pyx full of stolen hosts to the Jews of Cologne, for the purpose of submitting them to the most horrible profanations. The woman added, that the Jews having pierced these hosts with sticks and knives, such a quantity of blood poured from them that the culprits were struck with terror, and concealed themselves in their quarter. The Jews were all imprisoned, tortured, and burnt alive. In order to perpetuate the memory of the miracle of the bleeding hosts, an annual procession took place, which was the origin of the great kermesse, or annual fair.
Jewish Ceremony before the Ark
Fac-simile of a woodcut printed at Troyes.
View and Plan of Jerusalem.
Fac-simile of a Woodcut in the "Liber Chronicarum Mundi" large folio, Nuremberg, 1493.
Jeanne de Bourbon, Wife of Charles V
From a Statue formerly in the Church of the Célestins, Paris.
A fact worthy of remark is, that whilst male attire, through a depravity of taste, had extended to the utmost limit of extravagance, women's dress, on the contrary, owing to a strenuous effort towards a dignified and elegant simplicity, became of such a character that it combined all the most approved fashions of female costume which had been in use in former periods.
The statue of Queen Jeanne de Bourbon, wife of Charles V., formerly placed with that of her husband in the Church of the Célestins at Paris, gives the most faithful representation of this charming costume, to which our artists continually have recourse when they wish to depict any poetical scenes of the French Middle Ages
Notary and Sbirro (policeman)--From two Engravings in the Bonnart Collection.
Interior of Italian Kitchen.
From the Book on Cookery of Christoforo di Messisburgo, "Banchetti compositioni di Vivende," 4to., Ferrara, 1549.
It was only in the course of the sixteenth century that the name of potage ceased to be applied to stews, whose number equalled their variety, for on a bill of fare of a banquet of that period we find more than fifty different sorts of potages mentioned.
Costume of an Italian Jew of the Fourteenth Century.--From a Painting by Sano di Pietro, preserved in the Academy of the Fine Arts, at Sienna.
From an Engraving by Callot.
We must not forget the protobianti (master rogues), who made no scruple of exciting compassion from their own comrades
Interior of a Kitchen of the Sixteenth Century.
Fac-simile from a Woodcut in the "Calendarium Romanum" of Jean Staéffler, folio, Tubingen, 1518.
From an Engraving of the "Solemn Entry of Charles V. and Clement VII. into Bologna," by L. de Cranach, from a Fresco by Brusasorci, of Verona.
"The Way to catch Squirrels on the Ground in the Woods"--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the Manuscript of the "Livre du Roy Modus" (Fourteenth Century)
One of the best ways of pleasing Louis XI. was to offer him some present relating to his favourite pastime, either pointers, hounds, falcons, or varlets who were adepts in the art of venery or hawking
(Fourteenth Century).--From a Miniature in the "Chroniques de Saint-Denis" (Imperial Library of Paris).
Hanging to Music. (A Minstrel condemned to the Gallows obtained permission that one of his companions should accompany him to his execution, and play his favourite instrument on the ladder of the Gallows.)--Fac-simile of a Woodcut in Michault's "Doctrinal du Temps Présent:" small folio, goth., Bruges, about 1490.
Gipsies Fortune-telling.--Fac-simile of a Woodcut in the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster: in folio, Basle, 1552.
During the fifteen days which they spent at Bologna a number of the people of the town went to see them, and especially to see "the wife of the duke," who, it was said, knew how to foretell future events, and to tell what was to happen to people, what their fortunes would be, the number of their children, if they were good or bad, and many other things
Grand Procession of the Doge, Venice (Sixteenth Century).
Copper-plate by Callot.
German Knights (Fifteenth Century). from Drawings by Albert Durer.
Woodcut in the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster: in folio, Basle, 1552.
Woodcut in the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster: in folio, Basle, 1552.
Gentleman of the French Court, of the End of the Sixteenth Century. From the "Livre de Poésies," Manuscript dedicated to Henry IV.
Free Judges From two Woodcuts in the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster: in folio, 1552.
The Exhibitor of strange Animals
From Twelfth Century Manuscript, Royal Library of Brussels.
Entry of the Roi de l'Epinette at Lille in the Sixteenth Century
.--From a Manuscript of the Library of Rouen.
The Entry of Louis XI. into Paris
From the "Chroniques" of Monstrelet, Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century
From a Woodcut in the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster
Mediæval punishments included more or less atrocious punishments, which were in use at various times and in various countries; such as the Pain of the Cross, specially employed against the Jews; the Arquebusade, which was well adapted for carrying out prompt justice on soldiers; the Chatouillement, which resulted in death after the most intense tortures; the Pal, flaying alive, and, lastly, drowning, a kind of death frequently employed in France
Doge of Venice in Ceremonial Costume of the Sixteenth Century.
Doge of Venice
Costume before the Sixteenth Century.
Tristan and the beautiful Yseult.--From a Miniature in the Romance of "Tristan," Manuscript of the Fourteenth Century
Costumes of the Ladies and Damsels of the Court of Catherine de Medicis.
Costumes of the Ladies and Damsels of the Court of Catherine de Medicis.--After Cesare Vecellio.
Costumes of the German Bourgeoisie in the Middle of the Sixteenth Century.--Drawing attributed to Holbein.
Costumes of the German Bourgeoisie in the Middle of the Sixteenth Century
King Louis le Jeune Miniature of the "Rois de France," by Du Tillet (Sixteenth Century), in the National Library of Paris.
King Childebert III (Seventh Century).--From a Statue formerly placed in the Refectory of the Abbey of St. Germain-des-Prés.
Costume of Emperors at their Coronation since the Time of Charlemagne.--From an Engraving in a Work entitled "Insignia Sacre Majistatis Cæsarum Principum." Frankfort, 1579, in folio.
A rich Bourgeoise, and of a Noble, or Person of Distinction, of the Time of Francis I.--From a Window in the Church of St. Ouen at Rouen, by Gaignières (National Library of Paris).
Costume of a Bishop or Abbot.
Coronation of Charlemagne.--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the "Chroniques de Saint-Denis," Manuscript of the Fourteenth Century (Imperial Library of Paris).
Costumes of the Common People in the Fourteenth Century: Italian Gardener and Woodman.--From two Engravings in the Bonnart Collection.
Chief of Sbirri
Chief of Sbirri
Charlotte of Savoy second Wife of Louis XI.
Charles V of France
Charles the Simple (Charles III) of Francia
Cat-o'-nine-tails.--From a Woodcut in the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster.
The sabouleux, who were commonly called the poor sick of St. John, were in the habit of frequenting fairs and markets, or the vicinity of churches; there, smeared with blood and appearing as if foaming at the mouth by means of a piece of soap they had placed in it, they struggled on the ground as if in a fit, and in this way realised a considerable amount of alms. These consequently paid the largest fees to the Coesre
Beheading.From the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster: in folio, Basle, 1552.
Beggar playing the Fiddle, and his Wife accompanying him with the Bones.--From an old Engraving of the Seventeenth Century.
The amende honorable which was called simple or short, took place without the assistance of the executioner in the council chamber, where the condemned, bareheaded and kneeling, had to state that "he had falsely said or done something against the authority of the King or the honour of some person"
Representation of a Ballet before Henri III. and his Court, in the Gallery of the Louvre.--Fac-simile of an Engraving on Copper of the "Ballet de la Royne," by Balthazar de Beaujoyeulx (folio, Paris, Mamert Patisson, 1582.)
Almost all of them had their ears pierced, and in each one or two silver rings, which in their country, they said, was a mark of nobility. The men were very swarthy, with curly hair; the women were very ugly, and extremely dark, with long black hair, like a horse's tail; their only garment being an old rug tied round the shoulder by a strip of cloth or a bit of rope.
Costumes of Young Nobles of the Court of Charles VIII., before and after the Expedition into Italy.--From Miniatures in two Manuscripts of the Period in the National Library of Paris.
Women of the 14th Century
The Water Torture.
Fac-simile of a Woodcut in J. Damhoudère's "Praxis Rerum Criminalium:" in 4to, Antwerp, 1556.
In Paris, for a long time, the water torture was in use; this was the most easily borne, and the least dangerous. A person undergoing it was tied to a board which was supported horizontally on two trestles. By means of a horn, acting as a funnel, and whilst his nose was being pinched, so as to force him to swallow, they slowly poured four coquemars (about nine pints) of water into his mouth; this was for the ordinary torture. For the extraordinary, double that quantity was poured in. When the torture was ended, the victim was untied, "and taken to be warmed in the kitchen," says the old text.
Tournaments in honour of the Entry of Queen Isabel into Paris--From a Miniature in the "Chroniques" of Froissart, Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century (National Library of Paris).
Demons applying the Torture of the Wheel.--Fac-simile of a Woodcut in the "Grand Kalendrier ou Compost des Bergers:" small folio, Troyes, Nicholas le Rouge, 1529.
Lastly, we must mention the drilles, the narquois, or the people of the petite flambe, who for the most part were old pensioners, and who begged in the streets from house to house, with their swords at their sides. These, who at times lived a racketing and luxurious life, at last rebelled against the Grand Coesre, and would no longer be reckoned among his subjects--a step which gave a considerable shock to the Argotic monarchy.
The subterranean cells of the Bastille did not differ much from those of the Châtelet. There were several, the bottoms of which were formed like a sugar-loaf upside down, thus neither allowing the prisoner to stand up, nor even to adopt a tolerable position sitting or lying down. It was in these that King Louis XI., who seemed to have a partiality for filthy dungeons, placed the two young sons of the Duke de Nemours (beheaded in 1477), ordering, besides, that they should be taken out twice a week and beaten with birch rods, and, as a supreme measure of atrocity, he had one of their teeth extracted every three months. It was Louis XI., too, who, in 1476, ordered the famous iron cage, to be erected in one of the towers of the Bastille, in which Guillaume, Bishop of Verdun, was incarcerated for fourteen years.
The executioner did not hold the same position in all countries. For whereas in France, Italy, and Spain, a certain amount of odium was attached to this terrible craft, in Germany, on the contrary, successfully carrying out a certain number of capital sentences was rewarded by titles and the privileges of nobility
Standards of the Church and the Empire.--Reduced from an Engraving of the "Entry of Charles V. and Clement VII. into Bologna," by Lucas de Cranach, from a Fresco by Brusasorci, of Verona.
Costume of English Servants in the Fourteenth Century.--From Manuscripts in the British Museum.
Secret Meeting of the Jews at the Rabbi's House.--Fac-simile of a Miniature of the "Pèlerinage de la Vie Humaine," Manuscript of the Fourteenth Century, in the National Library of Paris.
Seat of Justice, held by King Philippe de Valois, on the 8th April, 1332, for the Trial of Robert, Comte d'Artois.--From a Pen-and-ink Sketch in an Original Manuscript (Arch. of the Empire)
Seal of King Chilpéric, found in his Tomb at Tournay in 1654.
Sculptured Comb, in Ivory, of the Sixteenth Century (Sauvageot Collection)
During the reign of the other Carlovingian kings, in the midst of political troubles, of internal wars, and of social disturbances, they had neither time nor inclination for inventing new fashions. Monuments of the latter part of the ninth century prove, indeed, that the national dress had hardly undergone any change since the time of Charlemagne, and that the influence of Roman tradition, especially on festive occasions, was still felt in the dress of the nobles
Costume of a Scholar of the Carlovingian Period (St. Matthew writing his Gospel under the Inspiration of Christ).--From a Miniature in a Manuscript of the Ninth Century, in the Burgundian Library, Brussels (drawn by Count H. de Vielcastel).
Sandal and Buskin of Charlemagne.--From the Abbey of St. Denis.
Saints in the costume of the sixth century
Royal Costume.--From a Miniature in a Manuscript of the Twelfth Century, in the Burgundian Library, Brussels.
The Infant Richard crucified by the Jews, at PontoiseFrom a Woodcut, with Figures by Wohlgemuth, in the "Liber Chronicarum Mundi:" large folio, Nuremberg, 1493.
Punishment by Fire
When a criminal had been condemned to be burnt, a stake was erected on the spot specially designed for the execution, and round it a pile was prepared, composed of alternate layers of straw and wood, and rising to about the height of a man. Care was taken to leave a free space round the stake for the victim, and also a passage by which to lead him to it. Having been stripped of his clothes, and dressed in a shirt smeared with sulphur, he had to walk to the centre of the pile through a narrow opening, and was then tightly bound to the stake with ropes and chains. After this, faggots and straw were thrown into the empty space through which he had passed to the stake, until he was entirely covered by them; the pile was then fired on all sides at once
Originally, decapitation was indiscriminately inflicted on all criminals condemned to death; at a later period, however, it became the particular privilege of the nobility, who submitted to it without any feeling of degradation. The victim--unless the sentence prescribed that he should be blindfolded as an ignominious aggravation of the penalty--was allowed to choose whether he would have his eyes covered or not. He knelt down on the scaffold, placed his head on the block, and gave himself up to the executioner. The skill of the executioner was generally such that the head was almost invariably severed from the body at the first blow. Nevertheless, skill and practice at times failed, for cases are on record where as many as eleven blows were dealt, and at times it happened that the sword broke.
Public Executions.--Fac-simile of a Woodcut in the Latin Work of J. Millaeus, "Praxis Criminis Persequendi:" small folio, Parisis, Simon de Colines, 1541.