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had become unsteady. Taking my leave with best wishes from the Emperor, I left the sunny but almost dismal apartment.-COUNT VITZTHUM'S St. Petersburg and London in the Years 1852-1864.
DACOITY IN BURMA.
Dacoity, in the language of the Indian Penal Code, is robbery committed or attempted by five or more persons conjointly, and a dacoit is a person present and aiding in such robbery; while robbery is defined to be theft accompanied by hurt or wrongful restraint, or the attempt at these. But the Burmese dacoit in some respects represents a class peculiar to that country. In most parts of India, not many years ago. outbreaks of dacoity were rife. through Lower Bengal, within the present half-century, the peaceful and unwarlike people were subject to the ravages of gangs of armed ruffians, who had found their way thither from the upper provinces, and who would break into one village after another at night, to rob, with torture and murder, unless the hoarded money of the inhabitants was given up to them. These were effectually put down at last by the appointment of a Special Commissioner of Dacoity, whose office was created by an Act of the Legislative Council, with summary powers.
Gang robbery of the same kind has been going on lately in some of the native States of India, and has only just now been suppressed, and occasional outbreaks still occur in our own provinces. But in Burma the leader of a gang of dacoits is a
robber, not skulki: g from sight in the daytime and coming out only by night, but a man who carries on his trade openly; rot, indeed, in any sense the hereditary chief of a clan, but simply a ruffian who has made himself formidable by address and cruelty, who has established himself in some particular district which he dominates, living at free quarters, and either levying blackmail or obtaining plunder by actual robbery. Such are the dacoit leaders, of whom Boh Shwe and Hla Oo may be cited
among the most prominent, whose names have appeared so frequently in the telegrams from India during the past few months. Other leaders, again, are princes of the royal family, who set up to be claimants to the crown; there will never be any lack of pretenders in a country where polygamy is practiced, even though the reigning prince may seek to minimize the danger, as Theebaw did, by wholesale murder of his relatives on coming to the throne. The followings of the dacoit chiefs' gangs are made up partly of men, who like the leaders, are professional robbers. King Theebaw's method of dealing with such as came within his grasp was a simple one: if caught red-handed, they were usually crucified; but, if large gangs were caught, as he could not put them all to death, some used to be branded and let go again; a large number of these branded dacoits were at large last year, many of whom have been captured during the recent operations. Against the dacoit bands at a distance from the capital there was practically no action taken. But the great majority of the following of a dacoit leader are not professional dacoits who are
making it the serious pursuit of a | again, assume the role of peaceful
lifetime, but young men who take to it for a few months, as a fine sort of thing for a young man of spirit to go in for, just as a young Englishman of fortune might enter the army for a spell of military life before settling down to his duties as a country gentleman. Although the people suffer terribly from the dacoits, whose ravages indeed have laid waste wide tracts, till the jungle has overrun the sites of once populous cities, the profession is, unquestionably, in repute rather than otherwise among the people. It is looked upon as the followers of a Highland chief or a Teviotdale reiver looked upon the lifting of his neighbor's cattle. In fact it is easy to understand that in a state of society so insecure; in a country where the forest land is far in excess of that under cultivation; where the scattered villages are constantly liable to surprise and attack; and where the cattle roaming in the forests can easily be carried off-it may be a pleasanter game to play the dacoit than the dacoitee, to go out under a famous leader and harry your neighbors than to stay at home and run the chance of being robbed and murdered yourself.
In this way we may account for the hold which dacoity has over the country, and for the fluctuating strength of these dacoit bands. If a dacoit leader is successful, if he makes a large haul of cattle and other plunder, he can support a large following, and his trade is for the time in good repute. But if, on the other hand, he is driven into the jungles and loses his ill-gotten gains, then his followers rapidly leave him, and, turning up at their own villages
citizens. But a man gains rather than loses in public estimation by having taken a turn at dacoity, just as, even at the present time, the wild tribes on the north-east frontier of India carry about with them as a marks of distinction the number of scalps they have themselves taken, or just as in a certain past state of European society a reputation as a duelist was in a man's favor. Certainly there is nothing in the trade abhorrent to even the respectable classes of the country, and it is said that the Burmese village maiden will not respond to her lover's overtures until he has distinguished himself by going out for a season's dacoity.-Edinburgh Review.
[Mr. Thomas Newbigging, a British Civil Engineer, furnishes to the Scottish Review an exhaustive paper on "The Gas Industry of the United Kingdom." We condense some of the leading statistics given: In 1885 the whole number of gasworks, public and private, was about 1,500. They used 9,378,904 tons of coal, producing 92,637,727,365 cubic feet of gas, of which there was a loss by leakage of some 7,000,000,000 cubic feet, or about 8 per cent. of the whole make, representing at prime cost a money value of about £600,000. The entire capital actually employed was £60,432,986. "But this represents only the expenditure on the undertaking; and if the premium amount, which on the average is 56 per cent., be added, the actual commercial value is found to be nearly £94,000,000. The total annual rental may be set down at £13,500,000, and the profits at £4,500,000, equal to nearly 7 per cent. on the expended capital, and about 4 per cent. on the capital as enhanced by the premium value. The number of hands employed in gas-works in the United Kingdom is about 60,000,
and the wages paid annually amount to £4,500,000. But if account be taken of
the different trades which have been called
People little reflect how much of comfort they owe to gas. The cheapness of the light, the ease with which it is manipulated, its handiness, and homeliness, so to speakbecause the gas is always there,
into existence for the production of the appliances of gas manufacture and consumption, and of the miners who are employed in raising the coal, the figures in the two latter items may be safely quad-ready at the moment when wanted; rupled."-The general statements in this paper, and the conclusions educed from the facts given, are applicable to the United States of America as well as to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.-ED. LIB. MAG.]
its cleanliness, its safety, are all advocates of gas lighting, and speak eloquently in its favor. Gas is like a good and willing and trustworthy servant. It is not obtrusive or despotic in its manifestations, as is the electric light, nor dirty and slatternly like candles, oil, and the oil lamp.
Although in its earliest use coal gas was restricted to the purpose of affording artificial light, no long time elapsed before its value as a heating medium began to be realized. Winsor, indeed, one of the pioneers of gas lighting, claimed as an important advantage of the new invention or discovery, that gas, besides its light-giving qualities, could be used both for cooking food and
The manufacture and distribution of coal gas may be justly described as one of the important industries of the world. Like railways and the electric telegraph it may be considered as a product of the nineteenth century; for, though coal gas was actually used for illuminating purposes by William Murdoch, the inventor of gas lighting, as early as 1792 at Redruth in Cornwall, and in 1797 at his home at Old Cumnock, Ayrshire, it was not until well into the first decade of the present century that gas began to be generally applied in the light-warming dwellings, and as early as ing of streets, factories, and dweiling-houses. The illumination of Soho Works, Birmingham, to celebrate the peace of Amiens, took place in 1802. These works belonged to Boulton and Watt, and Murdoch was employed as manager to the firm. The first application of gas to the interior lighting of large premises was made by Murdoch in Salford, in 1805, at the cotton manufactory of Phillips and Lee; and the first street lighted with gas was that of Pall Mall, London, in 1807. The first gas company incorporated by Act of Parliament was the "Chartered" (now the "Gaslight and Coke") London, in 1812.
1825 attempts were made to apply it for those purposes. It was not, however, till later on in the century that anything like a practical application of gas was made to the cooking of food. Mr. J. Sharp, of Southampton, about the year 1840, began to construct ovens heated by gas for cooking and baking, and these he used for many years, giving public lectures, in the course of which he practically demonstrated their usefulness and value,
Gas, however, in those days was higher in price than now; and although it was evident that it served most efficiently for culinary operations, its cost militated against its extensive adoption in this direction.
The prejudice against it was strong also on account of the supposed liability of any food cooked by its means to be tainted with the flavor of the gas itself. This operated against its use, and though the prejudice was founded on ignorance of the facts, it is not a matter of wonder that such an idea was entertained, seeing that, even at the present day, in spite of the strongest evidence to the contrary, the same belief is still widely accepted, and still operates with many as a bar to its adoption. A moment's intelligent thought given to the question will be sufficient to dispel the notion that the taint of the gas can be communicated to the meat so cooked. There is no smell of gas in a gaslighted room, for the reason that the gas is oxidized, or, as it is empirically termed, consumed, as it issues from the burner. So it is in the gas oven, with the additional circumstance that in the majority at least of such ovens, oxidation is rendered still more complete by the mixing of the gas with air before it reaches the point of combustion. As a matter of fact there is not only no tainting of animal or other food, but the former is improved in flavor as compared with that which is roasted in the usual coal-heated oven, by reason of the juices being retained in it, instead of being, to a large extent, evaporated, or dried out of it, as in the other case.
In its application to the heating of rooms, gas has scarcely attained to equal success with its adoption as a cooking agent. Improved methods of employing it in this way, however, by the invention of both open fires and stoves of a superior class, are rapidly being introduced, and
in this direction gas is yearly becoming more extensively applied. In the matter of cleanliness and handiness, its value for this purpose is self-evident.
Gas is now largely employed as an agent for obtaining motive power. It was from the very first a matter of observation, and not unfrequently of dire and unsought experience, that when gas and atmospheric air were mixed together in certain proportions and the mixture fired, an explosion was the result. Attempts were soon made to utilize the force thus exerted, by confining the explosive compound in a suitable cylinder, and exploding it to obtain. prime movement as in the steam engine. After many less or more successful attempts by different inventors, and the expenditure of much ingenuity, the "Lenoir" Gas Engine, so named after its inventor, was produced (1860), and thus was solved the economical problem of how to utilize an explosive mixture of gas and air as a prime motor. From that time down to the present, the patent records contain the description of a host of inventions of this character, and gas engines of great efficiency have been produced, among which the wellknown "Otto Silent" and the "Bisschop" engines are deserving of special mention
The manufacture of gas engines was at first confined to the smaller sizes, from a horse power up to 10 horse power, but recently larger sizes, equal to as high as 50 horse power, have been made. The gas motor engine indeed may be said to have become indispensable in a hundred different trades, more especially where the power needed
overlooked. The general adoption of gas for the purposes of cooking, heating and motive power, would tend to the solution of the problem of how to get rid of the smoke nuisance, which, almost more than any other matter, exercises the minds of Municipal Authorities. The smokeladen atmosphere-the fruitful parent of the fogs of our large towns, is a crying evil which has hitherto evaded every attempt at prevention, and even of mitigation; and it will continue to evade such attempts, backed as they may be by the closest inspection and supervision, until the present barbarous and wasteful methods of consuming coal are abandoned.
is intermittent. In adopting this motor, neither boiler nor chimney is required, and hence it can be employed in buildings and in out of the way corners in establishments, where a steam engine is altogether inadmissible. It is always available for work on the opening of a tap, and it will go on working continuously day and night with the least possible attention. In the matter of fuel cost, gas is more expensive than either coal or coke, but the other economical advantages referred to far outweigh this single drawback. Moreover the percentage efficiency of the gas engine is greatly in excess of that evolved by its older rival the steam motor. Speaking at the meeting of the British Association at York in 1881, Sir Frederick J. Bramwell was bold enough to declare it as his opinion that unless some wholly unexpected improvement were made in the steam engine, those who lived to see the celebration of the centenary of the Association in 1931, would find the steam engine had become a curiosity, and was relegated to museums, its place as a vehicle for transmitting heat into work being taken by the gas engine. Unquestionably the gas motor has a great future before it, and extensive as its adoption has been of recent years, this is as noth-lighting is far from satisfactory. In ing to the popularity to which it will yet attain, and the wide uses to which it will yet be applied. Apart altogether from the question of lighting, it may well be believed that the gas industry has an illimitable field for expansion in the direction of affording heat and motive power.
Another important consideration in this connection should not be
We cannot here go into the question of the relative value or desirability of electricity and gas as illuminating agents. If both agents were equally available to the public, there might be reason for entertaining the fear that lighting by gas was in jeopardy-though even in such a case, it would be easy to show the contrary. In the writer's opinion, all fear or hope of the general displacement of gas, even for lighting purposes-not to mention its other uses-may be dismissed as groundless. It must be admitted by even the strongest partisans that electric
isolated buildings where perfect in-
that electricity will ever be able to