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silk-mercers. "They end," said one of the
fraternity, who had an excellent eye for
colour, "as mourning warehousemen." There
are certain professions and trades, therefore,
on which no youth should enter until he
satisfies himself that his vision as to colour is
faultless; for it is evident that if he is
deficient in this respect the circumstance will be
a never-ending source of annoyance to
himself as well as to all who have professional
dealings with him. It is thought that
colour-blindness exists more frequently among
women than among men. Most men set little
value on a nice sense of colour; but women
highly value it, and are not ready to confess
to a want of it.

Several instances of colour-blindness have
come to our knowledge. One gentleman owns
that he cannot distinguish at any distance ripe
cherries on a tree, or strawberries from their
leaves. "The flowers of a scarlet geranium I
cannot see distinctly at a distance by
daylight; but by candle-light there is a marked
contrast between them and the leaves. I have
no conception of what is meant by
complimentary colours, or of the agreement of
different colours when blended together; as, for
instance, what kind of a carpet accords with
red curtains in a room. The dry dirt of the
street I could equally suppose to be green."
This gentleman's eyes are quite normal and
healthy in their appearance. Several of his
relations have exhibited similar defects of
perception; but they do not appear in his

Another gentleman unexpectedly discovered
his defect in the discernment of colours, in
consequence of a piece of enamel which he
had prepared and believed to be pearl-white,
being pronounced by others to be a bright
green. He was with difficulty convinced of
the truth; but he gradually became satisfied
of his peculiarity of vision in consequence
of several inconvenient mistakes into which
it led him.

A third case illustrates a point of great
practical importance. A medical student,
who began life as a civil engineer, when
engaged as such on a railway, frequently rode on
one of the engines without, however, taking
any part in managing it. On these occasions
he observed that, although his undivided
attention was directed to the signal lamps, the
light of which was visible to him a long way
off he could not, until he was close to them,
distinguish whether they were red or green;
yet he could tell a blue from a red light
at any practicable distance. Distance therefore
is an element of deception. It has
indeed been proved that the majority of
colour-blind persons are able to distinguish
red from bright green when these are bright,
near the eye, and well illuminated; but the
power of distinguishing diminishes with great
rapidity in proportion to the distance they
are removed from the eye. Colour-blindness
in those who are thus quickly deceived by
distance in reference to red and bright green,
may be detected by their inability to
distinguish, close at hand, russet and ruddy
browns from olives and dark greens. This is
well worthy of serious attention. The coloured
day-signals on railwaysespecially the flags,
which alone are available in some of the most
pressing emergenciessoon tarnish and
darken, and consequently diminish the
distances at which the two danger signals
can be distinguished. Railway directors
have, therefore, an emphatic interest in
this subject. They should invariably ascertain
that the men in their employment
really and truly know one danger-signal from
another; or danger-signals from ordinary
signals. But, in truth, railway signalling
should be reformed altogether; for what can
be more preposterous than to expect an
engineer, after looking into his red, blazing
furnace until his eyesight is almost
obliterated, to be able at the next moment,
and when travelling at a speed of fifty miles
an hour, to see a Lilliputian red light, or a
dim and dirty brick-coloured flag; or, seeing
it, that he should lose the impression of the
fire-colour on his retina time enough to
distinguish the colour of a lamp-signal?


The province of Bulgaria, which may
shortly become the seat of war, is a long slip
of country something in the shape of a half-
moon, extending to the south of the Danube
from the borders of Servia to the Black Sea,
It is divided from the plains of Roumelia or
Thrace by a narrow range of mountains, the
name of which is beginning to become familiar
in our mouths. The Balkans extend from
near the neighbourhood of the city of Sophia
to Cape Emineh, a distance of about two
hundred and forty miles. In many places
the range is not more than twelve miles
across. Their southern slopes descend
almost sheer to the plain like a wall; but a
series of hills, divided by longitudinal valleys,
extends on the northern or Bulgarian side,
gradually diminishing in height, to the banks
of the Danube.

When a great river emerges from a mountain
range into a plain, its tendency is rarely
to cross that plain in a direct line; but to feel
its way along the bases of the bordering hills.
In this manner the Danube presses as far as
it can to the south, leaving the lowlands of
Wallachia on one side. It has been said that,
of old, it continued its course from Rasova
straight to the Black Sea; but, in reality, it is
turned aside at that point by elevations which,
if not very striking to the eye, are quite
sufficient to divert the course of a river. The
Wallachian bank seldom rises to the height of
more than fifty or sixty feet above the level
of the sea; whilst at Silistria, Routchuk,
Sistova, and Nicopoli there are heights of from.