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his opinion of the play, answered pithily, "I
agree with the Aspic."

One never contemplates these wonders without
regretting that so much mechanical genius
should have been mis-expended upon objects
by which mankind are no gainers beyond a
little fleeting gratification. Vaucanson did
not, however, wholly waste himself upon
ingenious trifling. He was appointed by Cardinal
Fleury, Inspector of Silk Manufactories, into
which he introduced, during a visit to Lyons,
some labour-saving improvements. In
return for this, the workmen stoned him out of
the town; but he conveyed his opinion of
their folly by constructing and setting to
work a machine which produced a very
respectable flower pattern in silk damask by the
aid of an Ass. Had his genius confined
itself wholly to the useful arts, it is not to be
doubted that Vaucanson would have advanced
the productive powers of machinery, and,
consequently, the prosperity of mankind, at
least half a century. In point of abstract
ingenuity, his useless contrivances equal, if
they do not exceed in inventive power and
mechanical skill, the important achievements
of Arkwright and Watt. Vaucanson's inventions
died with him; those of our great
English engineers will live to increase the
happiness and comfort of mankind for ever.

Single mechanical figures, including the
automaton Chess-player (which was scarcely a
fair deception, and is too well known to need
more than a passing allusion,) although surprising
for their special performances, were hardly
more attractive than the groups of automata
which have been from time to time exhibited.
One of the Memoirs of the French Academy
of Sciences describes, in 1729, a set of
mechanical puppets, which were at that time
performing a pantomime in five acts. In 1746,
Bienfait, the show-man, brought out "The
Bombardment of the City of Antwerp," which
was performed in the most soldier-like manner,
by automata; all the artillery being served
and discharged with that regularity which is
always attributed to clock-work. A year or
two later, the same artist produced "The
Grand Assault of Bergem-op-Zoom," with
unequivocal success. He called his company
Comédiens praticiens.

The latest notable effort of mechanical
puppet manufacture is exhibited at Boulogne
at the present time. It is that of a jeweller,
who has devoted eight years of his life to the
perfection of a clock-work conjuror; which
he has made a thorough master of the thimble-
rig. Dressed in an Eastern costume, this
necromancer stands behind a table, covered, as
the tables of professors of legerdemain usually
are, with little boxes and cabinets, from
which he takes the objects he employs during
the exhibition. He produces his goblets, and
shows the balls under them; which vanish
and reappear in the most approved style:
now two or three are conjured into a spot,
a moment before vacant; presently, these
disappear again, and are perpetually divided
and re-united.

At every exclamation of the spectators, the
little conjuror turns his eyes from side to
side, as if looking round the house; smiles,
casts his eyes modestly down, bows, and
resumes his sleight-of-hand. He not only
takes up the goblets from a stand, and
places them over the balls, but leaves them
there for a minute, and holds his hands up,
to show the audience that he conceals nothing
in his palm or sleeve. He then seizes the
goblets again and goes on. This trick over,
he puts his cups away, and shuts his cabinet.
He then knocks on his table, and up starts
an egg, to which he points, to secure attention;
he touches the egg (which opens lengthwise)
and a little bird starts into life; sings
a roundelay, claps its enamelled wings
which are of real humming-birds' feathers,
beyond any metallic art in lustre,—and
then falls back into its egg. The little
conjuror nods, smiles, rolls his eyes right and
left, bows as before, and the egg
disappears into the table; he bows again, and
then sits down to intimate that the
performance is over. The height of this little
gentleman is about three inches; his table
and everything else being in due proportion.
He stands on a high square pedestal,
apparently of marble. It is, however, of tin, painted
white, and within it are all the wheels and
works containing the heart of the mystery.

This jeweller sold to a dealer, who re-sold
to a Persian Prince, not long since, a Marionnette
flute-player; but whose fingering in
the most elaborate pieces, although as accurate
as if Drouet or Nicholson had been the
performers, had no influence over the tune;
which was played by a concealed musical box.
It was, therefore, much inferior to those
mechanical flautists we have already described.
The jeweller has never ceased to regret having
sold this toy. He could have borne to have
parted with it if it had remained in Europe,
but that it should have been conveyed, as he
says. "to the other world," has been too cruel
a blow. "Tout le monde" he exclaims, "sera
enchanté de mon ouvrage; mais, on ne parlera
pas de moi, là-bas "—all the world will be
enchanted with my work, but no one will speak
of me yonder,—by which distant region, he
probably means Ispahan.

He is now perfecting a beautiful bird,
which flies from spray to spray, and sings
when it alights, somewhat similarly to the
little Swiss bird which warbled so sweetly
at the Great Exhibition.

Now Ready, Price 3s. in cloth, the

Which being declared, by the judgment of the Court of
Exchequer, a legal publication not coming within the
provisions of the Stamp Act, will be regularly continued and
much improved.

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