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be, that it is of no use for them to put
themselves into a heat. They are put out and
laid aside, and nothing more is thought
about them. A little heap, consisting of the
corpses of angry vestas, who have thus been
brought to confusion and disgrace, lies beside
many of the frames from which the girls are
picking out the finished matches. No instance
seems to be known in which the whole frame
of a society of vestas is shaken by a
simultaneous explosion. Any outburst of that
nature could be easily suppressed, and if it
were required to throw cold water upon such
a movement, there is a large tank in the yard
lying close to the doors of all the buildings.
No accidents by fire, no ignitions of frocks
and aprons, have up to this date taken place;
although the factory has been established
many years. Those who are very young
among us cannot look back to the time when
its proprietor first sent forth the notion of wax
vestas into an approving world, and he was
at that time, as he is now, a Bell of Bow.

The first vestas were larger than those now
made, and comparatively dear, on account of
the less perfect nature of the machinery at that
time employed. The process is very simple;
and, that we may understand it, we are introduced
to a great font in the middle of the building.
Its cover is raised, and it is found to contain
a white cake of wax; a sort of bride-cake, which
results out of the match-making of yesterday.
This wax is a compound of spermaceti,
and other, cleanly and hard materials, the use
of which is necessary, not only to the cleanliness
and elegance of the resulting vesta, but
to its retention of a firm and upright bearing
under the attacks of summer. The " spurious
imitations " of which the proprietors complain,
are made with a cheaper composition; in which
there is much tallow, and these conduct themselves
in hot weather after so dissolute a way,
as to bring the vestal name into discredit.

A large ball of beautiful white cotton is
next produced; we are then shown how
threads of this, fastened to the great raised
wheel at one end of the room, pass over a ledge
depending from the ceiling, and descend into
the font or trough. By being drawn under a
roller at the bottom of this trough, the threads
are made to dip through the whole body of
the wax; and, before they emerge, they pass
through holes in a metallic plate, like the
holes used in wire-drawing. These holes
confine, press, and smooth the surface of the
finally resulting cord of well-waxed thread
which, when cut into lengths and tipped,
goes by the name of vesta.

The dipping process produces wick so
rapidly, that it requires six days to
manufacture into vestas the quantity of wax
wick made in four. This part of the business
of the factory, therefore, is only in operation
on four days in the week. On each
of these days twenty-four balls, each containing
three pounds of fine white cotton, are
prepared for conversion into vestas. Being
curious to know how many miles of wax
vesta might be issued weekly to the public
from this factory, which, though the most
important, is not the only one in London, we
weighed an ounce of cotton wick, and then,
measuring it, found that it contained forty-two
yards. Here was a sum: if an ounce of cotton
wick contains forty-two yards, and twenty-four
three-pound balls are worked up into
vestas in one day, there being four days in a
vestal week, how many miles are
manufactured in a year ? The quantity made in
summer is greater than we have said; but at
the rate given, it will be found that the waxen
cord cut up yearly into vestas by this single
factory would, if undivided, stretch from
England to Americaand back again.

The inquiries made concerning the comparative
briskness of trade in each department,
at different seasons of the year, elicited a reply
different to that which was received by us at
Wisker's Gardens.* There, the demand for
wooden matches doubled in summer; here it
falls off one-half. The difference is striking,
but easily accounted for. There, the matches
made were of a very cheap kind, used almost
entirely by the poor. In summer, when
there are few fires, these matches are in
demand for lighting pipes and candles, and
for other uses, to which vestas are commonly
applied by those who can afford to be more
dainty. The wooden matches made at Bow
are of a higher price and quality, and find
their way less into the houses of the poor
than into the kitchens of the middle and
upper classes. Then, since in summer there
are fewer fires to light, the demand at the
factory for wooden matches is diminished by
one-half. The consumption of vestas,
however, becomes trebled. The lady who, to seal
her letter, lighted a taper at the fire in winter,
seals her summer correspondence by the aid
of vesta-matches. They are the substitute
for the domestic fire in lighting lamps and
candles. All those causes which, at Wisker's
Gardens, doubled the quantity of lucifers
made for the poor, operate, at Bow, in trebling
the demand for wax vestas on the part
of those who are comparatively rich.

* See vol. i., p. 186



IN consequence of the misconstruction (for
which we are in no degree responsible) of a
sentence in the minutes of a conversation
which passed, some time ago, between Earl
Grey and a Colonial remonstrant against
convict transportation to Van Diemen's Land, it
was erroneously stated, in Number ninety-
seven of this publication, that Earl Grey, the
then Minister for the Colonies, had characterised
the emigrants sent or assisted out by
the Emigration Commissioners as " the refuse