BLTC Press Titles

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The Diplomatic Background of the War

Charles Seymour

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

Parlour magic

by Parlour magic


Mix half an ounce of nitric acid, six drams of muriatic acid, and two ounces of water; pour the mixture upon a piece of tin plate previously made hot, and, after washing it in the mixture, it will bear a beautiful crystalline surface, in feathery forms. This is the celebrated moiree metattique, and, when varnished, is made into ornamental boxes, &c. The figures will vary according to the degree of heat previously given to the metal.


Hold in a wine-glass of hard water, a crystal of oxalic acid, and white threads will instantly descend through the liquid, suspended from the crystal.


Make distinct solutions of common salt, nitre, and alum; set them in three saucers in any warm place, and let part of the water dry away or evaporate; then remove them to a warm room. The particles of the salts in each saucer will begin to attract each other, and form crystals, but not all of the same figure: the common salt will yield crystals with six square and equal faces, or sides; the nitre, six-sided crystals; and the alum, eight-sided crystals; and if these crystals be dissolved over and over again, they will always appear in the same forms.


Make a strong solution of Epsom salts in hot water, and while warm, bottle it, cork it closely, and it will remain liquid : draw out the cork, when the salts will immediately crystallize, and in the process, the remaining liquid and the bottle will become very warm.


Put into a flask a small portion of iodine; hold the flask over the flame of a spirit-lamp, and, from the state of rich ruby crystals, the iodine, on being heated, will become a ruby-coloured transparent gas ; but, in cooling, will resume its crystalline form.


Mix four ounces of nitrate of ammonia, and four ounces of subcarbonate of soda, with four ounces of water, in a tin vessel, and in three hours the mixture will produce ten ounces of ice.

Magic Inks.

Dissolve oxide of cobalt in acetic acid, to which add a little nitre; write with this solution, hold the writing to the fire, and it will be of a pale rose colour, which will disappear on cooling.

Dissolve equal parts of sulphate of copper and muriate of ammonia in water; write with the solution, and it will give a yellow colour when heated, which will disappear when cold.

Dissolve nitrate of bismuth in water; write with the solution, and the characters will be invisible when dry, but will become legible on immersion in water. "

Dissolve, in water, muriate of cobalt, which is of a bluish-green colour, and the solution will be pink; write with it, and the characters will be scarcely visible; but, if gently heated, they will appear in brilliant green, which will disappear as the paper cools.


Put a small portion of the compound called mineral chameleon into several glasses, pour upon each water at different temperatures, and the contents of each glass will exhibit a different shade of colour. A very hot solution will be of a beautiful green colour; a cold one, a deep purple.

Make a colourless solution of sulphate of copper; add to it a little ammonia, equally colourless, and the mixture will be of an intense blue colour; add to it a little sulphuric acid, and the blue colour will disappear; pour in a little solution of caustic ammonia, and the blue colour will be restored. Thus, may the liquor be thrice changed at pleasure.


Dissolve indigo in diluted sulphuric acid, and add to it an equal quantity of solution of carbonate of potass. If a piece of white cloth be dipped in the mixture, it will be changed to blue; yellow cloth, in the same mixture, may he changed to green; red to purple, and blue litmus paper to red.

Nearly fill a wine-glass with the juice of beet-root, which is of a deep red colour; add a little lime water, and the mixture will be colourless ; dip into it a piece of white cloth, dry it rapidly, and in a few hours, the cloth will become red.

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