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Title: Ye Magick Mirrour of Old Japan
Author: Thompson, Silvanus P. (Silvanus Phillips)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  No. XXX.




  Ye Magick Mirrour of
  Old Japan



  _Magnetizer_ to the Sette of
  Odd Volumes




  Imprinted for the Author at the Chiswick
  Press; and to be had of no Booksellers
  CI[mirrored C] I[mirrored C] CCC XC III

  Night’s Robe to-night with Orient Sorcery gleams--
    Say: “Magick Mirrour!” murmur: “Old Japan!”
    Each Sound’s a Spell, each Word a Talisman,
  And we but Dreamers in a World of Dreams.

                                            _J. T._








  This Edition is limited to 97 copies, and is
  imprinted for private circulation only.


  Presented unto





[Illustration: PLATE I.]



In old Japan the mirror occupies a peculiarly important place.
Travellers in that land of strange arts and quaint customs tell us of
mirror-worship as one of its forms of primitive religion. In old Japan
the mirror is not, as in our Western civilization, a mere article of
furniture, an accessory of the toilet, or a means for covering up the
otherwise indecorate breadth of wall above a mantel-piece. One finds
the mirror in Japan surrounded with pomp and circumstance on every
hand. It is prominent amongst the symbolic objects that constitute
the imperial regalia of the Shogun. One sees it depicted in Japanese
pictures of the infernal regions. In the temples of the old Shinto
religion, precious old mirrors are enshrined in costly arks, only to be
exhibited on the occasion of some great ceremony. Innumerable mirrors,
some of them of old date, but mostly of modern manufacture, are to be
found hung upon the walls of the Shinto temples. There they have been
deposited as votive offerings by women who had perhaps nought else so
precious to offer. As the Japanese warrior offers as a votive gift
to the temple his cherished sword, so the Japanese lady bestows her
treasured mirror. There they hang in thousands, swords and mirrors,
side by side, thank-offerings to the gods. In the scant furniture of
the Japanese _ménage_, the mirror, reposing in its place upon the
lady’s toilet-table, forms the one significant object; the central
feature to suit which all the rest is subordinated. The mirror enters
into the myths of the Japanese race: it is the emblem of light, or
the sun, and of the divine right of the dynasty. In the trousseau of
the bride the mirror is the most precious object--her one cherished
possession. The first-made mirror--or the one held to be such in the
estimation of the Japanese, and venerated accordingly--is enshrined
in the great sacred twin-palace at Isé, the holy spot to which pious
pilgrims turn their steps with devoted zeal. Its origin is related in
the famous myth of the sun-goddess, Amaterasu oho-mi-kami, who, on one
occasion, withdrew offended to a rocky cavern, leaving the world in
darkness. From this retreat she was enticed by the other gods, after
many curious artifices had been tried, by their successful making of
a mirror, in which seeing her face reflected, she was impelled by
jealousy and curiosity to venture forth. This mirror was fashioned
by the Vulcan of the Shinto Olympus to imitate the sun, being in
shape a disk with eight rays. In modern Japanese heraldry the sun, as
blazoned upon the national flag, is a red orb with sixteen red rays,
not pointed as in European heraldry, but widening out to the margin
of the flag. Some hold that the Japanese imperial crest, the _kiku_,
which resembles a flower with sixteen petals joined and rounded at
the outer extremities, and issuing from a small central disk, is also
a blazon of the sun; others hold it to represent the chrysanthemum.
In Japanese pictures of the sun-goddess myth, the mirror is always
represented as of the eight-point form. Tradition states that the
flaw still to be seen in its surface was caused by a blow it received
when the gods thrust it into the half-opened doorway of the rocky
cavern as the sun-goddess peeped out. The standard version of the
entire myth is to be found in a memoir on the Shinto Temples of Isé
by Mr. Ernest Satow, in the second volume of the “Transactions of the
Asiatic Society of Japan” (1873-74). In the British Museum, in Dr.
Anderson’s collection of Japanese drawings, No. 1905, there is a silk
roll painted in colours, depicting the scene outside the cavern. It is
without signature or seal, and the artist is unknown. A further myth
narrates the subsequent history of the mirror. It was handed by the
sun-goddess to her grandson Nini-gi no mikoto when he descended from
heaven to subdue the earth, along with the sacred sword and the sacred
seal-stone (the three sacred treasures of the Japanese regalia), with
these words: “Look upon this mirror as my spirit: keep it in the same
house and on the same floor with yourself, and worship it as if you
were worshipping my actual presence.” Nini-gi no mikoto founded the
empire of Japan, and is worshipped as the first Shogun, all subsequent
sovereigns claiming divine right by descent from him. All mirrors in
Shinto temples, whether exposed to view or concealed in shrines or
arks, are imitations of this one, though some are regarded as being
representative of other secondary deities. At Isé, where the first
mirror is preserved, each mirror is enclosed in a box standing on a
stand, and covered with a cloth of silk. The mirror is itself wrapped
in a brocade bag, which is never opened or renewed, but which, when
nearly worn out, is enclosed in a new bag. Over the numerous wrappings
is a cage of wood with gold ornaments, draped with a curtain of coarse
silk. At festivals, when they open the shrines, all that can be seen is
the boxes with the coverings over them.

The mirror of old Japan is however a very different article from
that known in modern Europe as a mirror. European mirrors are made,
as everyone knows, of glass silvered at the back. Japanese mirrors
are invariably made of metal, the bronze employed being a compound
of copper and tin, with traces of antimony or lead.[1] The mirrors
preserved in the temples are not all of the eight-pointed form. Some
are simply circular, with a thick rim behind, and a central button
perforated to receive a suspending cord; the front being quite plane.
Others are oval, with feet, or with perforated handles at the upper
part for suspension. In the houses square mirrors are very rarely met
with, and these are mostly small. Those for the lady’s toilet table are
usually circular, from four to five inches across, without handles,
possessing a thick rim and a raised pattern on the back. Commonest of
all are the hand-mirrors, which are usually circular, from three to
eleven inches in diameter, with a metal handle covered with bamboo or
with brocade. They are usually slightly convex on the front surface,
which is brightly polished; while the back, which is for the most part
unpolished, exhibits a fine raised pattern. Often the raised ornament
consists of two distinct kinds. There is made in high relief, and
polished bright so as to stand out from the background, a simple bold
symbolic device, sometimes a Chinese character signifying “good-luck,”
or “long-life,” sometimes a family crest, such as the imperial _kiri_
(or Paullonia leaves and flowers), or a circlet, or three feathers
crossed, or the jagged peak of Fuji-yama, or the outline of a bird.
Ornament of the second kind is in low relief, and, though often
symbolic, consists of naturalistic representations of trees, flowers,
storks, bamboos, and the like. A group comprising pine-trees, storks,
and the hairy-tailed tortoise, all symbols of longevity or immortality,
is a favourite one. Sometimes the ornament consists exclusively of one
or other of these kinds; but more frequently both are present; the
unpolished low-relief work forming an artistic background for the crest
or the Chinese letters, which stand out polished. In passing it may be
remarked that the Japanese make use of Chinese characters in addition
to their own form of writing, just as we still use old English
black-letters for ornamental or distinctive purposes.

But the most interesting thing about Japanese mirrors--the one thing
that has made them famous and brought them to the notice of lovers
of the curious and the occult--is their reputed _magical_ property.
Oriental stories of magic mirrors have been current from the middle
ages, most of them wholly childish and absurd. But along with these
there have existed accounts, of a more reliable character, of mirrors
which are capable of reflecting, in a beam of light that falls on
their face, the pattern which they carry on their back. This singular
property is no myth, though the true explanation of the phenomenon was
long unknown. When first seen, the phenomenon is so startling that
it seems almost incredible. You take the mirror into your hand and
examine it. Its face is slightly convex, perfectly polished, unless
scratched by use or tarnished; and on looking into it you see only your
own image, or the objects about you--not a hint or trace of the raised
pattern at the back. Now hold up the mirror in direct sunlight, or
in the path of a powerful beam of light from some artificial source,
such as an electric lamp. It will reflect back the beam, and cast an
illuminated patch on the wall or floor, just as any other mirror will
do. But on examining this luminous patch you will at once observe--if
your mirror is a good one--that the salient features, and sometimes
even the fine details, of the pattern on the back are reproduced in
the light reflected from the front. Some dozens of Japanese mirrors,
most of them quite modern, have passed through the hands of the author
for optical examination. Some of these failed to show any magical
properties whatever. Others showed the property very well. Others
again, which showed nothing at first, were found capable of being
converted into magic mirrors by a course of treatment subsequently

[Illustration: PLATE II.]

Down to about 1845 these mirrors were excessively rare in Europe,
though it is quite possible that they may have occasionally formed
part of the stock-in-trade of mediæval conjurors and magicians. Amidst
the mass of occult rubbish one may here and there discern statements
probably relating to the genuine phenomena exhibited by mirrors of the
class in question, having little or nothing in common with the visions
to be seen in crystal spheres, or beryls, or in pools of ink. Thus
Gaspard Schott, both in his “Physica Curiosa” and in his book on Magic,
refers to the Mirror of Pythagoras, in or on which he is said to have
written in blood the things which he wished to signify, and which, when
turned to the moon, displayed upon the disk of the moon, visibly to
one standing behind, the things so inscribed. The “disk of the moon”
here referred to may have been simply the luminous patch cast by the
reflected moonbeam.

Again, it is stated that the Italian historian, Muratori, makes two
references to magic mirrors, one in the possession of Bishop Bartolomeo
of Verona, who was murdered by Mastino della Scala in 1338; the other
found in the house of Cola di Rienzo (or Rienzi), which had upon its
back the word “Fiorone.” Not having been able to verify the statement
from literature available in the British Museum, I am in doubt about
the last case. It is much more likely that the mirror bore on its back
a large flower, than that it bore the word meaning a large flower.

Except for obscure references such as these, there is no record of
real magic mirrors prior to 1832. Yet a few did undoubtedly exist.
There were some in the collection of the royal family of Savoy at
Turin, which were later examined by Professor Govi. There was one
reputed to be magical in Berlin. The great Von Humboldt thought it
worth his while, in 1830, to bring this mirror to Paris to show it to
his _confrères_ of the _Académie des Sciences_; but having brought it,
found himself unable to show anything. In 1842 several mirrors were
brought from Nankin by Admiral Mouchez (commander of “La Favorite”), M.
Arosa, and M. Piou. One was in the possession of the Marquis La Grange
in 1847.

With the opening of Japan to the commercial world, in 1867, came the
export of mirrors amongst other articles of metal-work; amongst them
some that were of magic quality. One was displayed in 1876 in the
Loan Collection of Scientific Apparatus in the western galleries of
the South Kensington Museum. The official Catalogue (p. 927) thus
describes it: “983 c. Magic Mirror. [Exhibited by] Robert von Tarnow.
This mirror is a curiosity, and consists of a brass concave disc with
finely polished surface. At the reverse rough side there are several
Arabic (_sic_) characters in relief. By exposing the polished surface
to the rays of the sun in such a way that they reflect them on the
wall, the Arabic figures of the reverse side of the disc become plainly
visible in the reflected light on the wall.” It was this mirror which,
in the following year, the present writer had in mind when, writing
in “Nature,” he proposed that an investigation should be made into
the strange optical property so exhibited. Happily at that time his
friend Professor W. E. Ayrton was resident in Japan as Professor in the
Imperial College of Engineering at Tokio, and he and his colleague,
Professor Perry, at once engaged in an exhaustive research on the
subject, in the course of which they not only examined some hundreds
of mirrors, but also acquainted themselves on the actual spot with
the methods of manufacture, which until then were entirely unknown,
or misunderstood. A year or two later, after the publication of the
researches of Ayrton and Perry, other researches of an entirely
confirmatory character were published in France by M. Bertin. In fact,
the scientific investigations may be sharply divided into four periods.

(_i._) 1832. Elementary guesses by Brewster and Prinsep, the former of
whom ascribed the phenomenon to some supposed molecular changes in the
metal at the surface, due to a pattern having been stamped on the front
to imitate that on the back, and then ground off. The latter ascribed
it more correctly to differences of curvature of surface, but also fell
into the error of supposing the ornament to have been stamped.

(_ii._) 1844-1853. French investigations by Arago, Julien, Person, and
Maillard. Of these investigators Person gave the suggestion of the true
cause, namely, minute differences of curvature in the polished surface,
a circumstance which he proved by covering the mirror with a piece of
paper having a circular hole, about one centimetre in diameter, and
which, when moved about over the mirror (in sunlight), caused as a
reflected image a spot of light, the size of which varied from point
to point of the mirror. He also soldered a narrow slip of sheet metal
behind a polished daguerreotype plate, and found that when the latter
was slightly bent the image from the front showed a luminous line at
the corresponding place. Maillard later adopted Person’s theory, and
confirmed it by employing an optician to burnish on the lathe a piece
of metal which had raised markings on its back. He also noted that a
scratch on the mirror back gives a bright line in the image.

(_iii._) 1864-66. Investigations of Govi, in Italy, and his controversy
with Brewster thereon. Govi frankly adopted the views of Person, and
confirmed them by an experiment based on the mode adopted by the
constructors of reflecting telescopes for testing the accuracy of the
figure given by the grinding machinery to specula. He caused a magic
mirror to reflect upon a screen the image of a fine grating of lines,
ruled upon glass with a diamond, and placed close to a brilliant point
of light. By the distortions which the mirror produced in these lines
he found the whole reflecting surface to be minutely undulated over
with slight variations of curvature in complete correspondence with the
raised arabesques on the back. These undulations, he observed, escape
notice when one is looking into the face of the mirror because they are
so gentle, and are such that, to perceive them, we require organs that
are more delicate than our own. On the publication of this account, and
of a translation of it in the “Scientific Review” for 1865, Sir David
Brewster wrote to say how, in 1832, he had explained the phenomenon
as being due to differences of density or other quality of molecular
structure, or to fine scratches produced by trickery, and doubting
Govi’s explanation. He declared that similar phenomena had been
produced by stamping patterns into the face of brass and grinding them
down to be invisible on inspection. He considered the only way in which
they could be proved to be due to delicate differences of curvature was
either to show that they disappeared on re-surfacing the mirror with
a soft speculum-tool, or by taking an exact cast from the mirror, and
seeing whether this also had magic properties. Govi thus challenged, at
once disproved Brewster’s position, and established his own by showing
that the character of the image, white lines on dull ground, is changed
to that of dull lines on a brighter ground, by simply interposing in
front of the mirror a convex lens. This effect can only be produced
by difference of curvature of surface. Further, Govi performed
the following striking experiment. Taking a Japanese mirror which
ordinarily showed no magic effects, he heated it behind with a spirit
lamp, when at once it acquired magic properties. He further improvised
with a piece of daguerreotype plate, and a metal ring which he soldered
to the back at as low a temperature as possible, a mirror which showed
the same effects when, by heating, there arose an unequal expansion
between the thin and the thick parts.

[Illustration: PLATE III.]

(_iv._) 1878-80. Researches of Ayrton and Perry, and those of
Bertin, of Laurent, and of Muraoka. First, Ayrton and Perry set
about procuring mirrors from the shops in Japan, and found that the
vendors were in many cases wholly ignorant of the existence of the
magic property. Further, the mirror makers could not say how the
mirrors became magic, nor which of their mirrors were such; or they
gave explanations subsequently found false, declaring the effect to
be produced by application of an acid paste to etch the face prior
to polishing. The investigators then, having procured some good
mirrors, proceeded to test the various possible suggestions as to the
origin, such as the supposed difference of density, or of molecular
constitution, or the supposed inlaying of the face with inferior metal,
or to supposed concealed scratches on the surface, or, finally, to
differences of curvature. By simple experiments in which bright light
was caused successively to fall upon the mirror in diverging, parallel,
or converging beams, it was demonstrated beyond question that the
last-named cause was the true one. The whole phenomenon is explained
if once it could be established that the surface over the thick
parts is flatter (less convex, or even actually slightly concave)
than the surface over the thin parts. Using a large convex lens to
converge sunlight that had been reflected from a mirror, they showed
that by merely altering the distance of the screen on which the image
was received they could make the image either positive or negative
at will; a result impossible on any other hypothesis than that of
differences of curvature of surface. This being established, they then
investigated the process of mirror manufacture, to ascertain how these
delicate inequalities of surface arise; and they found it to be due to
an accident, or incident, of manufacture. All the finished Japanese
mirrors may be observed to be slightly convex in the face. They are
cast in moulds, the surface of each half of which is quite flat save
for the ornament incised on the mould for the back. The following is
Ayrton and Perry’s description of the process of casting.

“The material used for making the mould is a mixture of a special kind
of clay (found near Tokio and Osaka), with water and straw-ash. Two
suitable slabs having been formed from this plastic compound with the
aid of wooden frames, a thick layer of half-liquid mixture of powdered
old crucibles, or of a fine powder called _to-no-ko_, made from a soft
kind of whetstone, is spread on them. The design for the back of the
mirror is then cut directly on one half of the mould, or a sketch drawn
on paper is first stuck on and used as a guide in cutting the design
in the clay. Sometimes, but rarely, the design is stamped in the clay
with a pattern wood-block cut in relief like the proposed back of the
mirror. After the design is complete, a rim of the same material as
that used in the construction of the mould, and having a thickness
equal to that desired for the mirror, is attached to one half of the
mould. The two halves are then dried in the smoke of a pine-tree fire,
pressed and tied together, and laid in the casting-box at an angle of
80° to the horizon, the half of the mould on which the design has been
cut being uppermost. Finally the molten speculum metal is run into a
number of moulds at the same time, which, when cold, are broken up, and
the castings removed. Mirrors cast in a mould, in which the design
has been cut by hand, are called _ichi mai buki_, ‘mould used once,’
and are regarded as artists’ proofs, as the design on the back is well
defined. To form subsequent moulds the two halves are pressed, when
the clay is wet, on an _ichi mai buki_ mirror, and the pattern is in
this way transferred, but the designs on the backs of the mirrors cast
in such moulds are not as clear as on an _ichi mai buki_ mirror, which
therefore sells for a much higher price.” Flaws in the face of the
casting are filled by inserting little balls of copper--giving rise,
perhaps, to the idea that inlaying was used to produce the illusions.
The handle is not cast along with the disk of the mirror, but is
attached afterwards. Mirror castings when they are removed from the
mould are roughly flat on the face, and need to be subjected to several
processes to finish their reflecting surfaces: during these processes
they acquire their characteristic convexity and their high polish. The
mirror is laid down on its back on a wooden board, and then scraped or
scratched with a rounded iron rod about a foot long, called a _megebo_
(“distorting rod”). The process of scoring over with the blunt tool
is called _mege_. After being scored all over with scratches in every
direction, it is found to be convex. Next the face is scraped with a
hand-scraping tool, then rubbed down with a whetstone, then polished
over with a piece of magnolia-charcoal; and lastly, when quite smooth,
the amalgam of tin and mercury is rubbed in with a stiff straw brush,
and polished off with soft paper. Thicker mirrors are sometimes pared
down with a knife to the convex shape: they seldom or never show magic
properties. The knife is also used to pare down any portion which in
the operation _mege_ may have become too convex. The convexity is
tested from time to time by applying a concave wooden form. Professor
Ayrton was of opinion that the magic properties were conferred during
the operation of scraping with the _megebo_, the thicker parts of the
mirror yielding less, and therefore being polished down more than
the thinner parts. He also noted that if the face was scored by the
_megebo_ with parallel lines in one direction only, the convexity
acquired was cylindrical. His conclusion was: “It appears then that
the magic of the Eastern mirror results from no subtle trick on the
part of the maker, from no inlaying of other metal, or hardening of
portions by stamping, but merely arises from the natural property
possessed by thin bronze of buckling under a bending stress, so as to
remain strained in the opposite direction after the stress is removed.
And this stress is applied partly by the ‘distorting rod,’ and partly
by the subsequent polishing, which, in an exactly similar way, tends to
make the thinner parts more convex than the thicker.” The researches
of Ayrton and Perry may be said to have determined once and for all
the main cause of the magic properties. No one has since disputed the
principal propositions of their memoir, though it is certain that
the differences of curvature may be produced in several varieties of

Bertin, who wrote two years later, confirmed the conclusions arrived
at, and repeated on other mirrors the experiments of Ayrton and Perry,
as well as those of Person and Govi. Finding that the distortions
produced by heating were particularly efficacious in bringing out
the magic qualities, he sought to imitate them mechanically, and,
with the aid of the optician Duboscq, constructed an apparatus for
conferring temporary convexity upon mirrors by mounting them against
an air-tight back, with a cavity behind into which air could be driven
by a force-pump. With this apparatus he examined the effects that are
produced by drilling cavities, cutting grooves, and etching depressions
in the backs of mirrors. Laurent, taking up this line of suggestions,
produced magic mirrors of thin glass, etched into patterns at the back,
and silvered on the front face. These, when mounted on an air-tight
back, could be made to show either positive or negative figures by
diminishing or increasing the pressure of the air behind the mirror by
means of a simple india-rubber pear attached by a flexible tube to an
aperture in the back; the pressure of the hand sufficing to bring out
the optical effects. Laurent further showed that by taking an ordinary
piece of mirror glass (patent plate glass silvered at the back) magic
effects could be produced by lightly pressing against the back hot
pieces of metal on which a raised pattern had been engraved. In this
case the portions of the mirror nearest in contact with the hot metal
became hotter than the other parts, and expanding more, set up minute
differences of curvature sufficient to concentrate the reflected rays
of light from the heated parts.

About the same time Mendenhall, then in Japan, made further
observations, which were communicated to the American Association for
the Advancement of Science at its meeting at Cincinnati. Mendenhall was
followed by two Japanese observers,--both trained in physical research
in Europe,--Goto and Muraoka, the latter of whom, while confirming the
main propositions that the effects are due to differences of convexity,
and that the convexity is acquired during the process of _mege_ or
scoring over with the _megebo_, gave some further details learned from
the mirror-makers of Tokio. He showed that any plate, if thin enough,
whether of bronze, brass, copper, lead, zinc, iron, or glass, acquires
the property of convexity on being scored over with scratches; and
he came to the conclusion that this surface-expansion on the scored
side of the metal arose from some sort of release of molecular
tension across the lines so scored. Like Ayrton, he held that this
production of convexity on the scored surface explained the phenomenon
that a scratch made by a file or pointed tool on the back causes a
corresponding bright line to be reflected from the face. In a second
article Muraoka sought to prove that the differences of curvature are
not really due to differences of pressure during the operations of
scoring and surfacing, but are due to the unequal rising-up of the
metal in the thick and thin parts when the surface is caused to expand
by scoring it over with scratches.

[Illustration: PLATE IV.]

In May, 1886, Professors Ayrton and Perry, having discovered that the
act of amalgamating with mercury the surface of a thick brass bar
produces a powerful expansion of the amalgamated surface and bends
the bar convexly, made the further suggestion that the employment by
the Japanese mirror-polishers of a mercury-amalgam might assist the
operation of the _megebo_ in producing the differences of curvature
between the thinner and thicker parts.

The author having from time to time picked up a number of Japanese
mirrors from dealers in oriental curiosities, and having repeated all
the researches enumerated above and added some others, is able to
demonstrate very completely the phenomena in question.

Plate I. depicts a mirror in the author’s possession, about 7 inches in
diameter, the back of which bears in high relief a crest in the form
of a bird (_hoho_). The casting has evidently been tooled up to give
greater sharpness, and the part in high relief has been ground and
polished. The pattern which this mirror casts from its face is shown
beside the mirror, both being photographically reproduced. This mirror
shows the pattern with sunlight, or with the light of the electric arc,
or with lime-light. It can also be shown to a few persons at a time by
means of the flame of a paraffin lamp twenty feet away, or even by the
light of an ordinary candle a couple of feet away. In the case of these
weaker sources of light the mirror must be held close to the white
screen or card upon which the image is to be received.

Plate II. is taken from a mirror upon which there is, in high relief,
polished, a crest consisting of the imperial _kiri_ within a circlet,
together with a landscape of storks and bamboos in lower relief. In
this case only the ornament in high relief produces any effect: and
it is interesting to notice that, whereas the circlet on the back is
a simple flat band, the circlet in the image (which is distorted in
consequence of a general distortion of the mirror face as a whole)
presents double lines. The author is disposed to think that the
ornament on the back must in this instance have been subjected to
polishing subsequently to the front face.

Plate III. represents a very thin mirror, about 9-1/4 inches in
diameter and not more than 0·04 inch thick in its thinnest parts. The
central character in high relief is surrounded with the seven precious
objects in lower relief. Most of these may be seen more or less
distinctly in the luminous pattern cast from the front.

Plate IV. is a rather smaller mirror, 6-7/8 inches in diameter, having
low-relief ornament only; yet of this almost every detail is visible
in the image as cast by electric light or sunlight.

Plate V. shows a mirror which has two Chinese characters in
high relief, polished, with a background made up of symbols of
longevity--pine-tree, two storks, and a hairy-tailed tortoise. But
though these are in almost as high relief as the polished letters, only
the former are to be distinguished in the image. Here again the author
conceives that the two letters have been polished down subsequently
to the face; the pattern of these parts having been thus, to a minute
degree, forced into the reflecting surface.

Plate VI. depicts a rectangular mirror, 15 inches high by 10-1/2 inches
wide, and weighing 5-1/2 lbs. It is the only one of this form that he
has seen or heard of; though smaller square mirrors of 3 to 4 inches in
the side are not infrequent. One of the latter, in his possession, an
old mirror covered at the back with Chinese characters, has no magic
qualities at all. The large rectangular mirror is slightly convex, but
more so in its longer direction than in its breadth. The bamboos in the
pattern, though not very highly raised, are in very sharp relief,
the mirror being, apparently, an _ichi mai buki_, or artist’s proof.
There are two raised lumps on the back, apparently the remains of the
parts where the metal was poured into the mould; and, curiously enough,
neither these nor the rims of the rocks in the foreground yield any
image, though they are more highly raised than any part of the bamboos.

[Illustration: PLATE V.]

To complete the proofs that the effects are due to differences of
curvature the author has made the following observations.

By holding a magic mirror very obliquely to the light one can discern
traces of the pattern in the face, especially if one is accustomed
to examine optical surfaces for small inequalities of curvature. For
example, on examining (at oblique reflection) in such a mirror the
image of a horizontal window-bar or of the roof-line of a house, one
sees the straight line slightly curved downwards out of the level
wherever the image is made from a slightly concave (or less convex)
part of the surface. Acting on this hint the author found that if one
chooses as an object to be viewed in a mirror a pattern of narrow
parallel straight lines, such as a finely-striped blind, the pattern
on the back of the mirror can be dimly seen in the face, resembling
that species of line-engraving, sometimes used for medallion portraits,
in which the whole picture is crossed by lines from side to side, the
lines being bent toward one another or widened out to give effects of
light and shade. Another variety of the same experiment is to place a
ruled diffraction-grating of 100 lines to the inch (ruled in a silvered
surface on glass) close to a bright light, and with a short-focus lens
project the lines upon a screen. Then interpose the magic mirror to
throw the luminous lines upon another screen, when they will be seen
with the usual magic image; the bright lines concentrating into the
bright parts and avoiding the darker parts of the luminous pattern.

By the use of the spherometer to measure the surface curvatures of the
mirror faces, it is easy to show that the surface of the magic mirrors
is actually less convex, or even slightly concave, over those parts
where the substance of the mirror is thick, as compared with those
parts where the mirror is thin. For example, the curvature of the
rectangular mirror, Plate VI., as measured from left to right over the
convex surface, is, on the average, about 0·2 dioptries (or its radius
of curvature is about 5 metres), but when measured at points over the
vertical bamboo stems, its curvature falls to less than 0·05 dioptrie,
and in some parts is absolutely flat, or even slightly concave.

Makers of mirrors and lenses for large telescopes are accustomed to
test the perfection of their figure by a process known as Foucault’s,
in which the observer, after allowing light to fall from a single
well-defined point upon the (concave) mirror at nearly normal
incidence, places his eye at the point where the reflected rays
converge to a focus, and then sees the whole surface of the mirror
uniformly bright, save only such spots as differ in curvature from the
rest. In the case of convex mirrors it is needful to interpose a large
auxiliary convex lens to reconcentrate the otherwise divergent beam.
Applying this method of investigation, the author finds that it is
quite easy in many cases to see in the front face the pattern that the
mirror bears on its back.

Lastly, the author has made one absolutely direct proof of the
inequalities of curvature of the front surface. He took the mirror
depicted in Plate I., and having taken a mould of its face in a
composition of gutta-percha, he deposited a firm layer of copper in
the mould by the electrotyping process. The type so made was silvered
and polished, when it was found to reflect from its face the image of
the bird that was on the back of the original mirror; the image was,
however, less regular than that from the mirror’s own face. Here, then,
was a magic mirror without any pattern on its back.

In repeating the experiments on heating, the author found a very
singular effect to be produced by warming (with a flame) the back of a
thin piece of mirror glass while it reflected from its face a grating
of luminous lines thrown upon it by a lamp as described above. As the
flame was passed rapidly across the back, the whole pattern appeared to
heave, as though a wave had passed along it.

[Illustration: PLATE VI.]

He was able also to reproduce writing in luminous lines on a screen
or wall by the following device. A piece of thin sheet lead (tea-chest
lead) was laid on a bed of blotting-paper; and upon this was written
with a common lead pencil any word desired, which therefore was
slightly indented into the lead. The sheet was then pressed lightly
against an ordinary piece of mirror glass and heated from behind by
pressing against it a disk of hot metal. The written letters touching
the back of the mirror warmed it, and made it curve at these parts.
Hence, placed in an appropriate divergent beam of light, it threw the
handwriting upon the wall.

Following the hint given by Bertin’s research upon the effect of
bending mirrors by air-pressure at the back, the author finds that a
similar effect is even more powerfully produced by simple mechanical
pressure. He took a mirror which, though it had an excellent reflecting
face and a well-raised pattern on the back, showed no magic properties,
and having clamped it in a wooden frame, he applied screw pressure
behind to force against the back a slightly convex piece of soft wood
covered with a pad of cloth. On turning the screw the mirror at once
became magic, and was found, even after the screw had been released,
to retain some part of its magic property. It was again distorted
by screw pressure, and while violently bent was heated to anneal it
somewhat. On removing the pressure it was found to retain permanently
all the qualities of a good magic mirror, though it is slightly more
convex than mirrors ordinarily are. Since then it has been found that
many mirrors which, when purchased, showed no magic properties, can be
converted into magic mirrors, some by application of screw pressure,
some by mere bending by hand over the knee, some by burnishing under
pressure the pattern at the back.

Engineers are so familiar with the circumstance that when metal
castings are rapidly cooled the internal parts are in a state of
strain, that they are not astonished to find that after a casting has
been surfaced accurately on one face the figure may alter slightly by
the mere release of internal strains in the slow annealing of time. It
is quite possible that this too occurs with Japanese mirrors, and that
some of them may acquire with the mere lapse of time magic qualities
that they do not show at first when newly polished.

There appears to be another species of magic mirror, of which few
examples are known, having the property of showing in the face a
pattern entirely different from that on the back. Three such are
mentioned by Ayrton, though it does not seem that he himself had
inspected any of them personally. One of these, which he states
to exist at Kamakura, the old capital of the former Shoguns, is a
religious mirror about four inches and one-fifth high, by three
and a half wide, held in great reverence. In the polished surface,
when looked at very obliquely, is seen the image of a Buddhist
priest. The pattern on the back is a rosary in high relief with a
branch of plum-blossom, and a crescent moon rising out of the sea
as a background. It is said that this optical effect is produced
by chemically etching the surface with an acid paste, and then
repolishing. Professor Ayrton, who had two mirrors made thus by a
Japanese mirror-maker, found that if the face of a mirror that had so
been etched was repolished until every trace of the marks disappeared
in direct or oblique vision, they then entirely disappeared also
from the image cast by the mirror in reflecting a beam of light upon
a screen. He greatly doubted whether chemical means could produce a
mirror possessed of true magic properties. The cause of the phenomena
of the Kamakura mirror and its congeners--should the facts be
established as narrated--therefore remains still to be explained.

Though in the case of the ordinary Japanese mirrors science completely
explains what would otherwise seem to be a most mysterious and
unaccountable phenomenon, the explanation itself involves a very
remarkable fact, namely, that there can exist such very delicate
and minute differences of curvature in the polished face as to be
practically invisible for ordinary purposes, and difficult even
of scientific detection, and yet that those minute differences in
curvature should be in such exact correspondence to the patterns on the
back as to reproduce those patterns in the reflected beams of light.
The facts seem so utterly unlikely _à priori_ to be true, that one can
only give full credence to them after the most searching scientific
demonstration. But is not this, after all, only another example of
the truism that when science explains away one mystery she does so by
establishing some truth that is itself still more mysterious?

[Illustration: _The Mirror of Kamakura._]


From a bronze plate (_modern_).]





  BREWSTER, SIR DAVID. Account of a curious Chinese Mirror, etc.
  _Philosophical Magazine_, vol. i., p. 438, 1832. See also
  _Poggendorff’s Annalen_, xxvii., pp. 485-489, 1833. [Translation of
  the preceding], and _Journal Franklin Institution_, vol. xv., p. 128,

  PRINSEP, JAMES. On the Magic Mirror of Japan. _Journal of the Asiatic
  Society of Bengal_, vol. i., p. 242, 1832 (1 plate).

  ARAGO, F. [Showed at meeting of _Académie des Sciences_ (Paris), a
  mirror brought from China by M. Arosa]. _Comptes Rendus_, xix., p.
  234, 1844. [Bertin, see 31 below, says that this mirror was brought
  by Admiral Mouchez from Nankin; not by M. Arosa.]

  JULIEN, STANISLAS. Notice sur les miroirs magiques des Chinois et
  leur fabrication. _Comptes Rendus_, xxiv., p. 999, June 7, 1847.
  [This is a translation of a Chinese writer, Ou-tseu-hing (1260-1340),
  who wrote on this subject in a Chinese Encyclopædia. Also showed
  mirror belonging to La Grange.]

  SÉGUIER. [A note following the preceding.] _Comptes Rendus_, xxiv.,
  p. 1001, June 7, 1847.

  PERSON. Observations faites sur un des miroirs chinois dits miroirs
  magiques. _Comptes Rendus_, xxiv., p. 1110, June 21, 1847.

  MAILLARD. Note sur la fabrication des miroirs magiques chinois.
  _Comptes Rendus_, xxxix., pp. 178-180, 1853. [See also _Journal
  Franklin Institution_, lvi., 281, 409, 1853.]

  GOVI, G. Gli specchi magici dei Cinesi. _Notizia storica della R.
  Accademia delle Scienze di Torino_, 1864-65, pp. 67-74.

  GOVI, G. Chinese Magic Mirrors [a translation of the Italian memoir
  of Nov. 20, 1864]. _The Scientific Review and Journal_ (London), vol.
  i., April 1, 1865, p. 19.

  GOVI, G. Nuove esperienze sugli specchi magici dei Cinesi. _Torino
  Atti Accad. Sci._, ii., 1866-67, pp. 357-362 (1 plate). See also
  _Torino Lavori Sci. Fis. Mat._, 1869, pp. 67-75.

  BREWSTER, SIR D. Observation on the preceding paper [on Chinese Magic
  Mirrors]. _The Scientific Review and Journal_, vol. i., April 1,
  1865, p. 20.

  PARNELL, J. Chinese Mirrors, _The Reader_, vol. vii., p. 233, March
  3, 1866.

  PEPPER, J. H. Cyclopædic Science Simplified (London, 1869, F. Warne
  and Co.). A passage on Magic Mirrors on pp. 35-39, with 5 figures
  [some copied from Prinsep].

  JULIEN, STANISLAS, and CHAMPION, PAUL. Les industries anciennes
  et modernes de l’empire Chinois (Paris, 1869), containing a short
  article on Les miroirs magiques des Chinois, et leur fabrication.
  (Quotation from the memoir of M. Julien of 1847, _supra_.)

  SATOW, ERNEST. The Shiñ-tau Temples of Isé. _Transactions of the
  Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. i., 1874. Reprinted 1882, p. 101.
  Gives, p. 114-119, an account of the myth of the sun-goddess, and of
  the making of the first mirror. Also speaks of the use of mirrors in
  the Shiñ-tau religion.

  GEERTS, DR. Useful Metals and Metallurgy of the Japanese.
  _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan_, vol. iv., 1875-76, p.
  39. [An article on the Japanese uses of Mercury. Appendix, p. 39-41,
  on Mirrors.]

  ATKINSON, R. W. (Professor of the Tokio Dai Gaku, or Imperial
  University). Letter in _Nature_, May 24, 1877, vol. xvi., p. 62.

  HIGHLEY, SAMUEL. Letter in _Nature_, June 14, 1877, vol. xvi., p. 132.

  DARBISHIRE, R. D. Letter in _Nature_, June 21, 1877, vol. xvi., p.

  THOMPSON, SILVANUS P. Letter in _Nature_, June 28, 1877, vol. xvi.,
  p. 163.

  PARNELL, J. Letter in _Nature_, July 19, 1877, vol. xvi., p. 227.

  MASSE, E. Miroirs Japonais. _Journal de Physique_, t. vi., p. 320,

  STERNE, CARUS. Article on Japanese Mirrors in _Gartenlaube_, Jahrg.
  xxv., 1877, No. 29, p. 487 (1 cut).

  AYRTON, WILLIAM E., and PERRY, JOHN (Professors in the Imperial
  College of Engineering, Tokio). The Magic Mirror of Japan, part i.
  _Proceedings of the Royal Society of London_, No. 191, 1878, p.

  AYRTON, WILLIAM E. The Mirror of Japan and its Magic Quality.
  _Journal of the Royal Institution_, vol. ix., p. 25, 1879, being a
  Lecture delivered January 24, 1879. [See also _Nature_, vol. xix., p.
  539-542, April 10, 1879, and _Chambers’s Journal_, vol. lvi., p. 591,

  AYRTON, WILLIAM E., and PERRY, JOHN. Sur les miroirs magiques du
  Japon. [Translation of their paper of 1878, with cuts added.]
  _Annales de Chimie et de Physique_, 5^e Série, xx. p. 110, 1880.

  AYRTON, WILLIAM E. _La Nature_, 1880, May 1, p. 514. (Report of
  Lecture given in Paris.)

  GOVI, G. Les miroirs magiques des Chinois. _Annales de Chimie et de
  Physique_, 5^e Série, xx., p. 99, 1880.

  GOVI, G. Nouvelles expériences sur les miroirs magiques. _Annales de
  Chimie et de Physique_, 5^e Série, xx., p. 106, 1880.

  BERTIN, A., et DUBOSCQ, J. Production artificielle des miroirs
  magiques. _Annales de Chimie et de Physique_, 5^e Série, t. xx., p.
  143, 1880.

  BERTIN, A. Note sur les miroirs magiques. _Journal de Physique_, tome
  ix., pp. 401-407, 1880.

  LAURENT, L. Miroirs magiques en verre argenté. _Journal de Physique_,
  tome x., pp. 474-479, 1881; also _Comptes Rendus_, xcii., 21 février,
  21 mars, et 4 avril, 1881, p. 412-413.

  BERTIN, A. Les miroirs magiques. _Revue Scientifique_, vol. l., 1881,
  p. 258-263. (Lecture to the Association Scientifique de France).

  BERTIN, A. Etude sur les miroirs magiques. _Annales de Chimie et de
  Physique_, 5^e Série, t. xxii., p. 472-513, 1881 (avec 1 planche).

  MENDENHALL, T. C. _Proc. American Assoc. for Advancement of Science_
  (Cincinnati, 1881), vol. xxx., p. 57.

  PERSON. _Gakugeishirm_, No. 39, quoted by Muraoka; see _infra_.

  GOTO, MAKITA. _Tokio-Gakugeisassi_, No. 22, p. 35, quoted by Muraoka;
  see _infra_.

  MURAOKA, HANICHI. Herstellung der japanesischen magischen
  Spiegel, etc. _Wied. Annalen_, xxii., p. 246-252, 1884. (From
  the _Tokio-Gakugeisassi_.) [See also _Mittheil. der Deutschen
  Gesellschaft Ostasiens_, heft 31, 1884].

  MURAOKA, HANICHI. Ueber den japanesischen magischen Spiegel. _Wied.
  Annalen_, xxv., 138, 1885.

  ANDERSON, WILLIAM, F.R.C.S. Description and Historical Catalogue of
  a Collection of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in the British Museum
  (London, 1886). (On P. 398, § 1905, is a description of a picture
  representing the myth of the sun-goddess.)

  AYRTON, WILLIAM E., and PERRY, JOHN. On the expansion produced by
  Amalgamation. _Proc. Physical Society of London_, vol. viii., p.
  88-9, 1886.


(_i._) THE MIRROR OF PYTHAGORAS. The passage in question is in the
_Physica Curiosa_ of Gaspard Schottus (4to Edition, Herbipolis, 1667),
p. 538, referring to his own book on magic, and runs as follows:

“Ibidem mentionem fecimus speculi Pythagorae, in quo sanguine
dicitur scripsisse quae volebat significare, et eo ad Lunam obverso
commonstrasse res exaratas stanti a tergo in disco Lunae.”

The reference is to another passage on page 553 of Schottus’ _Magia
Divinatoria_ (Herbip., 1657-59, par. iv.), in the chapter De

“Huc referunt aliqui speculum Pythagorae cujus meminit Agrippa in
_Retractat. de Magia_, cap. _de Prestigiis_, qui sanguine perscripsisse
dicitur, quae collibuisset, in speculo et eo ad Lunam obverso,
commonstrasse res exaratas stanti a tergo in disco Lunae. Hoc si verum
est, utique non naturaliter contingit sed ope Daemonis.”

In the same work, par. i., p. 438-440, is a discussion of the
proposition: “Utrum in lunari disco aliquid legendum exhiberi potest
arte catoptrographica.” He says that Baptista Porta maintained this
in his Natural Magic (cap. xvii., lib. 17). He also quotes from the
_Philosophia Occulta_ of Cornelius Agrippa (lib. i., cap. 6) as follows:

“Si litteras parabolico speculo inscripseris idque tempori plenilunii
Lunae exposueris eae litterae ceu in vasto quodam speculo impressae
reflexaeque ubilibet locorum legi poterunt. Ita Pythagoram aiunt, dum
Hydrunti moraretur, litteras Lunae inscriptas Constantinopoli amicis
legendas dedisse.”

There is also a passage in Dr. Thomas Browne’s _Pseudodoxia Epidemica_
(Vulgar Errours), p. 60 (Edition of 1650), in reference to this myth:
“Which is a way of intelligence very strange; and would requite the Art
of Pythagoras; who could read a reverse in the Moon.”

Other references in occult literature to the alleged mirror of
Pythagoras are as follows:

  ATHANASIUS KIRCHER. _Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae_ (Cryptologia, cap.
  i.) (Romae, 1646, fol.), p. 908. (Quotes from Cornelius Agrippa and
  Porta, and denounces the account as absurd, and against natural

  BUBALUS. _Commentationem de Angelis_ (Lugduni, 1622, fol.), 9-50,
  art. 1, quaesito 2, difficult. 2, § 3, pp. 64-66. (Combats views of

  PARACELSUS. _Magia_, lib. 5, de Speculi constitutione. (Distinguishes
  five kinds of alleged magic mirrors; none of them, however, having
  any optical significance.)

  BOISSARDUS. _Tractatus de Divinatione_ (Oppenheim, 1616, folio), p.

(_ii._) AULUS GELLIUS. Carus Sterne (_Gartenlaube_, 1877) and Ayrton
(_Journal Royal Institution_, 1879) refer to Aulus Gellius as having
written of mirrors which “sometimes reflected their backs and sometimes
did not.” The reference appears to be a mistaken one; for all I have
been able to find in Aulus Gellius is the following passage in the
_Noctes Atticæ_, bk. xvi., ch. xviii. (which is upon that branch of
Geometry called [Greek: optikê]):

  [Greek: Optikê] facit multa demiranda id genus; (1) ut in speculo uno
  imagines unius rei plures appareant; (2) _item, ut speculum, in loco
  certo positum, nihil imaginet, aliorsum translatum, faciat imagines_;
  (3) item, si rectus speculum spectes, imago fiat tua hujusmodi, ut
  caput deorsum videatur pedes sursum.

The passage which I have put into italics appears to have been mistaken
in meaning. In Beloe’s translation, vol. iii., p. 249, this clause
is rendered as follows: “A glass placed in a certain position shows
nothing. Turn it, and it shows many things.” This is hardly adequate.
More accurately it should run: “A mirror set in a certain place shows
no image, but when transferred to another position produces images.”
There is nothing in this at all suggestive of the mirror reflecting
from its face the pattern on its back.

(_iii._) MURATORI. Sterne (_op. cit._) and Ayrton (_op. cit._) refer
vaguely to the Italian historian Muratori as the authority for accounts
of a “magic mirror found under the pillow of the Bishop of Verona, who
was afterwards condemned to death by Martin (_sic_) della Scala, as
well as of the one discovered in the house of Colla da Rienzi (_sic_)
on the back of which was the word ‘Fiorone.’” The bishop in question
was Bartolomeo dalla Scala, who was put to death in 1338 by Mastino
della Scala, as narrated by Muratori (_Annali d’Italia_, vol. viii., p.
212, of the folio edition of 1744-49). Cola di Rienzo (or Rienzi) is
mentioned many times in the same volume viii. I have not, however, been
able to find in this work the mention of the mirror in either case.
Neither have I found any as yet in Lessmann’s life of Mastino della
Scala (Berlin, 1829); nor in Du Cerceau’s _Life and Times of Rienzi_
(Lond. 1836). Muratori was, however, a prolific writer. Amongst his
works were: _Delle forze dell’ Intendimento Umano_; _Riflessioni sopra
il Buon Gusto nelle Scienze e nelle Arte_; _La Filosofia Morale_. It is
possible that the reference may be to some passage in these. Muratori
also refers to a _Vita di Cola di Rienzo_, the authorship of which is
unknown to me.

(_iv._) VON HUMBOLDT. In 1830 Von Humboldt brought a supposed magic
mirror from Berlin to Paris to exhibit it to members of the _Académie
des Sciences_. It was indeed shown to some of them at the apartments
of M. Arago at the Observatoire. No reference to the occurrence is to
be found in the journals of the Académie, published or private, or in
any contemporary journal. Perhaps the reason is that, as is known, the
experiments proved a total failure. My information on the subject is
derived from Bertin (_Ann. Chim. Phys._, xxii., 1881, p. 478).

(_v._) BABINET. The name of Babinet is sometimes given along with that
of Arago in connection with this subject; but I am unable to find that
he did anything.

(_vi._) HARTING (PIETER). In their 1878 paper Ayrton and Perry refer
to a short paper by Professor Harting in the _Album der Natuur_ some
years before. It appears that this was a short-lived periodical, edited
by Harting and Logeman, which was issued at Haarlem (A. C. Kruseman,
publisher) in 1872. There is a single part (No. 3 of vol. i.) in the
British Museum. No copy containing the article in question is known in

(_vii._) TENNANT, PROF. JAMES. The well-known mineralogist Tennant is
believed to have issued, about the year 1869, a small pamphlet of about
four pages on the subject of Japanese mirrors. No copy has yet been

[Illustration: (_From a Drawing in the British Museum by_ Tachibana no
Bink[=o], 1784.)]

[Illustration: MASK OF UZUME (O-KAME).

From a netzuké in the possession of Charles Holme, Esq. (_Pilgrim_).]

[Illustration: UZUME’S MIRROR]



(_Abstracted from the account given by Mr. E. Satow in vol. ii. of the
“Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan,” 1874._)

Of all the gods of old Japan, there were two whom the father of the
gods, Izanagi no mikoto, loved most. These were Amaterasu oho-mi-kami,
who shone beautifully and illuminated the heavens and the earth,
and her brother, Susanowo no mikoto, who was ruler of the blue sea.
Amaterasu was made ruler of heaven, which she reached by climbing up
the pillar on which the sky rested. Susanowo no mikoto, who was ever a
_mauvais sujet_, neglected his kingdom, so much so that the rivers and
seas all dried up. Amongst other evil deeds, he offended his sister
Amaterasu by throwing into the room where she was weaving the body of
a piebald horse which he had flayed, so terrifying her that she hurt
herself with her shuttle, and retired in wrath to a cave, which she
closed with a rock door. Heaven and earth were long plunged into utter
darkness, during which time the more turbulent of the gods made a noise
like the buzzing of flies, and the general disaster was great.

Then the gods held a council in the bed of one of the dry rivers as
to how they might appease the anger of the great goddess, and at
the suggestion of Taka-mi-musu-bi no kami the plan of campaign was
entrusted to the wisest of the gods, Ame-no-koya-ne no mikoto, who
suggested that Amaterasu should be enticed out by artifice to look
at her own image. Accordingly two gods, Amatsu-mara no mikoto, the
Japanese Vulcan, and Ishi-kori-dome no mikoto, were set to work to
make a mirror of the shape of the sun, and of metal taken from the
mines in heaven. Their bellows were made from the whole skin of a deer.
The first two mirrors were voted too small, but the third was large
and beautiful. Five gods were then ordered to prepare striped cloth
and fine cloth from bark and hemp fibre, and two other gods erected
posts and built a palace near the cave. Then Taka-mi-musu-bi no kami
commanded another god, Ame-no-kushi-akaru-tama no mikoto, to make a
string of _magatama_, or curiously curved charms, such as were worn
in those days as ornaments, whilst two other gods made wands from the
sakaki tree. Having by strange divinations satisfied themselves that
their preparations were likely to come to a successful issue, the gods
began their campaign.

First, Ame-no-koya-ne no mikoto pulled up a sakaki tree by the roots
and hung upon it the string of charms, the mirror, and the strips of
cloth. This trophy was held up by Ame-no-futo-damo no mikoto in front
of the cave whilst Ame-no-koya-ne no mikoto pronounced an oration in
honour of the goddess. They placed in concealment near the cavern
door the god Ta-jikara-wo no mikoto, the Japanese Hercules. Then they
set a number of cocks to crow in concert, and organized a dance to the
accompaniment of music. A lively goddess, Ame-no Uzume no mikoto (or
O-kame), she of the diminutive forehead and swollen cheeks, officiated
as mistress of the ceremonies. She blew a bamboo flute, whilst the
assembled deities kept time to the music by striking together two
pieces of wood. Two other gods performed upon a primitive harp with
six strings, which they bowed, violin-like, with grass. Uzume no
mikoto adjusted her head-dress and bound up her sleeves preparatory
to a dance, and flourished around a spear decorated with grass and
bells. Bonfires were lighted, and a large circular box was laid upon
the earth, upon which Uzume mounted to execute a _pas seul_ As she
flung herself about to the strains there descended upon her the spirit
of folly, which possessed her and inspired her to sing. She sang
a quatrain of six syllables to each line, which, though in modern
Japanese it reads merely “One, two, three, four, five,” and so on, may
also be rendered in old Japanese with the following meaning:

  Gods, look now at the lid;
  The Goddess no longer is hid.
  Our longings she now satisfies:
  Behold my bosom and thighs.

And as she pronounced these words she shook off her garments one by
one, whilst finally the air shook with a burst of Homeric laughter from
the assembled gods.

Hereupon Amaterasu oho-mi-kami, slightly opening the cavern door,
called out from within, “I fancied that in consequence of my retirement
both heaven and Japan were in darkness. Why has Ame-no Uzume danced,
and why do the gods laugh?” Thereupon Uzume answered, “I dance and
they laugh because there is here an honourable deity who surpasses
your glory” (alluding to the mirror). As she said these words
Ame-no-futo-dama no mikoto, who held the trophy, pushed the mirror
toward her, so astonishing her that she came forward to look. As they
were putting the mirror into the mouth of the cave it struck against
the door and received a flaw, which it bears to this day. As the
goddess came forward Ame-no tajikara-wo-no kami pulled open the door
and dragged her forth, whilst Ame-no-koya-ne no mikoto passed behind
with a straw rope to prevent her return.

So light was restored to the world; and in after days Amaterasu
oho-mi-kami gave the mirror to her adopted grandson Nini-gi no mikoto,
who in turn handed it down to his descendants, who, after various turns
of fortune, placed it, in the year 4 B.C., in the sacred shrine on the
bank of the Isuzu river, by the village of Uji in Isé, where it is
preserved to this day with religious care.





M. Stanislas Julien, the erudite author of _Les Industries anciennes
et modernes de l’empire chinois_, has given the following extract
from the fifty-sixth volume of the Chinese encyclopædia called

“_Théou-kouang-kien_, or _Mirrors which let the light pass through_ (an
expression due to a vulgar error). If one receives the rays of the sun
upon the polished surface of one of these mirrors, the characters or
flowers which are in relief on the back are reproduced faithfully in
the (reflected) image of the disk. Chin-kouo (a writer who flourished
in the middle of the eleventh century) speaks with admiration of them
in his memoirs entitled _Mong-ki-pi-tân_, book xix., fol. 5. The
poet Kin-ma celebrated them in verse; but, down to the time of the
Mongolian emperors, no author had been able to explain this phenomenon.
Ou-tseu-hing, who lived under this dynasty (between 1260 and 1341), has
the merit of having first done so. This is how he expresses himself on
this subject:

“‘When one places one of these mirrors facing the sun, and causes it
to reflect, upon a very near wall, the image of its disk, one sees
distinctly appear therein the ornaments or characters which exist in
relief upon the back. Now the cause of this phenomenon, which arises
from the distinct employment of fine copper and of crude copper. If on
the back of the mirror one has produced, by casting it in a mould, a
dragon arranged within a circle, one engraves deeply on the face of the
disk an exactly similar dragon. Next, one fills the deeply-chiselled
cuts with a somewhat baser copper; then one incorporates this metal
with the first, which ought to be of a finer quality, by submitting
the mirror to the action of fire; after which one flattens and
smoothens down the face of the mirror, and spreads over it a slight
layer of lead (tin?).

“‘When one turns toward the sun the polished disk of a mirror so
prepared, and reflects its image upon a wall, it distinctly presents
bright tints and dark tints, which come, these from the purest parts of
the copper, those from the baser parts.’

“Ou-tseu-hing, to whom we owe the preceding explanation, tells us that
he has seen a mirror of this sort broken into fragments, and that he
recognized for himself the accuracy of his description.”

Ayrton quotes from a Japanese work, the _Shim-pen-kamakura-shi_,
or New Collection of Writings about Kamakura, a description of a
temple-mirror, which when looked at obliquely shows the face of a
Buddhist priest, not resembling in the least the raised ornament on the
back (see p. 45, _supra_).

The same authority refers to the _Kokon-i-to_, or Genealogy of the Old
and New Physicians, for an alleged process of producing magic effects
on mirrors by treating the surface with a peculiar paste. The recipe
is as follows: “Take ten parts of _shio_ (gamboge), one of _funso_,
and one of _hosha_ (borax). Powder them thoroughly, and mix them to
the consistency of a paste with a little dilute glue. If any pattern
be drawn on the surface of a mirror with this paste, and then allowed
to dry, the pattern will be seen, even after polishing, if looked at

It appears that this process fails in reality to give any result.
The process of inlaying described by Ou-tseu-hing is also an error.
The magic effect is certainly not produced in this way. Probably he
was misled by the circumstance that flaws in the bronze castings are
sometimes filled by the insertion of soft copper beads.





Mm. Champion and Pellet (_Industries de l’empire Chinois_, p. 64) give
the following composition for Chinese mirrors:

  Copper               50·8
  Tin                  16·5
  Zinc                 30·5
  Lead                  2·2

Dr. Geerts gives (_Trans. Asiatic Soc. of Japan_, vol. iv., p. 40),
for the alloy used in one of the largest mirror-foundries in Kioto:

  Copper                 80
  Tin                    15
  Lead                    5

And for mirrors of inferior quality:

  Copper                 80
  Lead                   10
  Shirome                10

Shirome is a natural sulphide of lead and antimony from Choshiu or Iyo.

Professors Ayrton and Perry (_Proc. Roy. Soc._, 1878) give:

For mirrors of first quality:

  Copper               75·2
  Tin                  22·6
  Iyo Shirome           2·2

For mirrors of second quality:

  Copper               81·3
  Tin                  16·3
  Iyo Shirome           2·4

For mirrors of third quality:

  Copper               87·0
  Tin                   8·7
  Iyo Shirome           4·3

For mirrors of fourth quality:

  Copper               81·3
  Tori Shirome         16·3
  Iyo Shirome           2·4

For mirrors of fifth quality:

  Copper               71·5
  Tori Shirome         28·5

The mercurial amalgam used in polishing the mirrors consists, according
to Dr. Geerts (_op. cit._), of quicksilver, tin, and a little lead.
Ayrton gives it as one of tin to one of quicksilver. Champion and
Pellet (_op. cit._) give the composition as:

  Tin                 69·36
  Mercury             30·0
  Lead                 0·64


_On the occasion of the delivery of this discourse the Author exhibited
a collection of thirty-four Japanese mirrors, and by the aid of a
lime-light lantern displayed their magic properties upon a translucent
screen. He also exhibited sundry experiments with Laurent’s apparatus,
and showed the effect of heating mirrors._


O. V.





  _Issued to the Members of the Sette of Odd Volumes._

  “Books that can be held in the hand, and carried to the fireside, are
  the best after all.”--_Samuel Johnson._

  “The writings of the wise are the only riches our posterity cannot
  squander.”--_Charles Lamb._

  =1.= =B. Q.=

  A Biographical and Bibliographical Fragment. 22 Pages. Presented on
  November the 5th, 1880, by His Oddship C. W. H. WYMAN. 1st Edition
  limited to 25 copies. (Subsequently enlarged to 50 copies.)

  =2.= =Glossographia Anglicana.=

  By the late J. TROTTER BROCKETT, F.S.A., London and Newcastle,
  author of “Glossary of North Country Words,” to which is prefixed a
  Biographical Sketch of the Author by FREDERICK BLOOMER. (pp. 94.)
  Presented on July the 7th, 1882, by His Oddship BERNARD QUARITCH.

                                          Edition limited to 150 copies.

  =3.= =Ye Boke of Ye Odd Volumes=,

  from 1878 to 1883. Carefvlly _Compiled_ and painsfvlly _Edited_ by ye
  vnworthy Historiographer to ye Sette, _Brother_ and _Vice-President_
  WILLIAM MORT THOMPSON, and produced by ye order and at ye charges
  of Hys Oddship ye President and Librarian of ye Sette, Bro. BERNARD
  QUARITCH. (pp. 136.) Presented on April the 13th, 1883, by his

                                          Edition limited to 150 copies.

  =4.= =Love’s Garland;=

  Or Posies for Rings, Hand-kerchers, & Gloves, and such pretty Tokens
  that Lovers send their Loves. London, 1674. A Reprint. And Ye Garland
  of Ye Odd Volumes. (pp. 102.) Presented on October the 12th, 1883, by

                                          Edition limited to 250 copies.

  =5.= =Queen Anne Musick.=

  A brief Accompt of ye genuine Article, those who performed ye same,
  and ye Masters in ye facultie. From 1702 to 1714. (pp. 40.) Presented
  on July the 13th, 1883, by Bro. BURNHAM W. HORNER.

                                          Edition limited to 100 copies.

  =6.= =A Very Odd Dream.=

  Related by His Oddship W. M. THOMPSON, President of the Sette of Odd
  Volumes, at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street, on June 1st,
  1883. (pp. 26.) Presented on July the 13th, 1883, by His Oddship W.

                                          Edition limited to 250 copies.

  =7.= =Codex Chiromantiae.=

  Being a Compleate Manualle of ye Science and Arte of Expoundynge ye
  Past, ye Presente, ye Future, and ye Charactere, by ye Scrutinie
  of ye Hande, ye Gestures thereof, and ye Chirographie. _Codicillus
  I._--CHIROGNOMY. (pp. 118.) Presented on November the 2nd, 1883, by

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =8.= =Intaglio Engraving: Past and Present.=

  An Address by Bro. EDWARD RENTON, delivered at the Freemasons’
  Tavern, Great Queen Street, on December 5th, 1884. (pp. 74.)
  Presented to the Sette by His Oddship EDWARD F. WYMAN.

                                          Edition limited to 200 copies.

  =9.= =The Rights, Duties, Obligations, and Advantages of Hospitality.=

  An Address by Bro. CORNELIUS WALFORD, F.I.A., F.S.S., F.R. Hist.
  Soc., Barrister-at-Law, Master of the Rolls in the Sette of Odd
  Volumes, delivered at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street, on
  Friday, February 5th, 1885. (pp. 72) Presented to the Sette by His
  Oddship EDWARD F. WYMAN.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =10.= =“Pens, Ink, and Paper:” a Discourse upon Caligraphy.=

  The Implements and Practice of Writing, both Ancient and Modern, with
  Curiosa, and an Appendix of famous English Penmen, by Bro. DANIEL
  W. KETTLE, F.R.G.S., Cosmographer; delivered at the Freemasons’
  Tavern, Great Queen Street, on Friday, November 6th, 1885. (pp. 104.)
  Presented to the Sette on January 8th, 1886, by Bro. DANIEL W. KETTLE.

                                          Edition limited to 233 copies.

  =11.= =On Some of the Books for Children of the Last Century.=

  With a few Words on the Philanthropic Publisher of St. Paul’s
  Churchyard. A paper read at a Meeting of the Sette of Odd Volumes
  by Brother CHARLES WELSH, Chapman of the Sette, at the Freemasons’
  Tavern, on Friday, the 8th day of January, 1886. (pp. 108.) Presented
  to the Sette by Bro. CHARLES WELSH.

                                          Edition limited to 250 copies.

  =12.= =Frost Fairs on the Thames.=

  An Address by Bro. EDWARD WALFORD, M.A., Rhymer to the Sette of the
  Odd Volumes, delivered at Willis’s Rooms, on Friday, December 3rd,
  1886. (pp. 76.) Presented to the Sette by His Oddship GEORGE CLULOW.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =13.= =On Coloured Books for Children.=

  By Bro. CHARLES WELSH, Chapman to the Sette. Read before the Sette,
  at Willis’s Rooms, on Friday, the 6th May, 1887. With a Catalogue of
  the Books Exhibited. (pp. 60.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. JAMES

                                          Edition limited to 255 copies.

  =14.= =A Short Sketch of Liturgical History and Literature.=

  Illustrated by Examples Manuscript and Printed. A Paper read at
  a Meeting of the Sette of Odd Volumes by Bro. BERNARD QUARITCH,
  Librarian and First President of the Sette, at Willis’s Rooms, on
  Friday, June 10th, 1887. (pp. 86.) Presented to the Sette by Bro.

  =15.= =Cornelius Walford: In Memoriam.=

  By his Kinsman, EDWARD WALFORD, M.A., Rhymer to the Sette of Odd
  Volumes. Read before the Sette at Willis’s Rooms, on Friday, October
  21st, 1887. (pp. 60.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. EDWARD WALFORD,

                                          Edition limited to 255 copies.

  =16.= =The Sweating Sickness.=

  By FREDERICK H. GERVIS, M.R.C.S., Apothecary to the Sette of Odd
  Volumes, delivered at Willis’s Rooms, on Friday, November 4th, 1887.
  (pp. 48.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. FRED. H. GERVIS.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =17.= =New Year’s Day in Japan.=

  By Bro. CHARLES HOLME, Pilgrim of the Sette of Odd Volumes. Read
  before the Sette at Willis’s Rooms on Friday, January 6th, 1888. (pp.
  46.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. CHARLES HOLME.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =18.= =Ye Seconde Boke of Ye Odd Volumes=,

  from 1883 to 1888. Carefvlly _Compiled_ and painsfvlly _Edited_ by ye
  vnworthy Historiographer to ye Sette, Bro. WILLIAM MORT THOMPSON, and
  produced by ye order and at ye charges of ye Sette. (pp. 157.)

                                          Edition limited to 115 copies.

  =19.= =Repeats and Plagiarisms in Art, 1888.=

  By Bro. JAMES ORROCK, R.I., Connoisseur to the Sette of Odd Volumes.
  Read before the Sette at Willis’s Rooms, St. James’s, on Friday,
  January 4th, 1889. (pp. 33.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. JAMES

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =20.= =How Dreams Come True.=

  A Dramatic Sketch by Bro. J. TODHUNTER, Bard of the Sette of Odd
  Volumes. Performed at a Conversazione of the Sette at the Grosvenor
  Gallery, on Thursday, July 17th, 1890. (pp. 46.) Presented to the
  Sette by His Oddship Bro. CHARLES HOLME.

                                          Edition limited to 600 copies.

  =21.= =The Drama in England during the last Three Centuries.=

  By Bro. WALTER HAMILTON, F.R.G.S., Parodist to the Sette of Odd
  Volumes. Read before the Sette at Limmer’s Hotel, on Wednesday,
  January 8th, 1890. (pp. 80.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. WALTER

                                          Edition limited to 201 copies.

  =22.= =Gilbert, of Colchester.=

  By Bro. SILVANUS P. THOMPSON, D.Sc., B.A., Magnetizer to the Sette
  of Odd Volumes. Read before the Sette at Limmer’s Hotel, on Friday,
  July 4th, 1890. (pp. 63.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. SILVANUS P.

                                          Edition limited to 249 copies.

  =23.= =Neglected Frescoes in Northern Italy.=

  By Bro. DOUGLAS H. GORDON, Remembrancer to the Sette of Odd Volumes.
  Read before the Sette at Limmer’s Hotel, on Friday, December 6th,
  1889. (pp. 48.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. DOUGLAS H. GORDON.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =24.= =Recollections of Robert-Houdin.=

  By Bro. WILLIAM MANNING, Seer to the Sette of Odd Volumes. Delivered
  at a Meeting of the Sette held at Limmer’s Hotel, on Friday, December
  7th, 1890. (pp. 81.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. WILLIAM MANNING.

                                          Edition limited to 205 copies.

  =25.= =Scottish Witchcraft Trials.=

  By Bro. J. W. BRODIE INNES, Master of the Rolls to the Sette of Odd
  Volumes. Read before the Sette at a Meeting held at Limmer’s Hotel,
  on Friday, November 7th, 1890. (pp. 66.) Presented to the Sette by

                                          Edition limited to 245 copies.

  =26.= =Blue and White China.=

  By Bro. ALEXANDER T. HOLLINGSWORTH, Artificer to the Sette of Odd
  Volumes. Delivered at a Meeting of the Sette held at Limmer’s Hotel,
  on Friday, February 6th, 1891. (pp. 70.) Presented to the Sette by

                                          Edition limited to 245 copies.

  =27.= =Reading a Poem.=

  A Forgotten Sketch by WM. M. THACKERAY. Communicated by Bro. CHAS.
  PLUMPTRE JOHNSON, Clerke-atte-Lawe to the Sette of Odd Volumes, to
  the Sette at Limmer’s Hotel, on Friday, May 1st, 1891. (pp. xi and
  66.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. CHAS. PLUMPTRE JOHNSON.

                                          Edition limited to 321 copies.

  =28.= =The Ballades of a Blasé Man=,

  to which are added some Rondeaux of his Rejuvenescence, laboriously
  constructed by the Necromancer to the Sette of Odd Volumes. (pp. 88.)
  Presented to the Sette by Bro. EDWARD HERON-ALLEN, in October, 1891.

                                           Edition limited to 99 copies.

  =29.= =Automata Old and New.=

  By Bro. CONRAD W. COOKE, Mechanick to the Sette of Odd Volumes. Read
  before the Sette at a Meeting held at Limmer’s Hotel, on Friday,
  November 6th, 1891. (pp. 118.) Presented to the Sette by Bro. CONRAD

                                          Edition limited to 255 copies.

  =30.= =Ye Magick Mirrour of Old Japan.=

  By Bro. SILVANUS P. THOMPSON, D.Sc., F.R.S., Magnetizer to the Sette
  of Odd Volumes. Read before the Sette at Limmer’s Hotel, on Friday,
  December 2nd, 1892. (pp. 96.)

                                           Edition limited to 97 copies.



  =I.= =The Year-Boke of the Odd Volumes: An Annual Record of the
        Transactions of the Sette. Eleventh Year, 1888-9.=

    Written and compiled by Bro. W. MORT THOMPSON, Historiographer to
    the Sette. Issued November 29th, 1890.

  =II.= =The Year-Boke of the Odd Volumes: An Annual Record of the
        Transactions of the Sette. Twelfth Year, 1889-90.=

  =III.= =The Year-Boke of the Odd Volumes: An Annual Record of the
        Transactions of the Sette. Thirteenth Year, 1890-1.=

    Compiled mainly from the Minute Book of the Sette, and imprynted for
    private circulation only.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =IV.= =The Year-Boke of the Odd Volumes, 1891-2.=

                                                         _In the Press._




  =1.= =The Victualling Crew.= Presented by Bro. HENRY MOORE, A.R.A.,
        _Ancient Mariner_.

  =2.= =Proud Maisie=, from a drawing by Frederick Sandys. Presented by
        Bro. TODHUNTER, _Playwright_.

  =3.= =A Rainy Day in Hakone, Japan.= Presented by Bro. ALFRED EAST,
        _Landscape Painter_.

  =4.= =The Shelley Memorial.= Photogravure from the original Statue.
        Presented by E. ONSLOW FORD, A.R.A., _Sculptor_.



  =1.= =Inaugural Address=

  of His Oddship, W. M. THOMPSON, Fourth President of the Sette of Odd
  Volumes, delivered at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street, on
  his taking office on April 13th, &c. (pp. 31.) Printed by order of Ye
  Sette, and issued on May the 4th, 1883.

                                          Edition limited to 250 copies.

  =2.= =Codex Chiromantiae.=

  _Appendix A._ Dactylomancy, or Finger-ring Magic, Ancient, Mediæval,
  and Modern. (pp. 34.) Presented on October the 12th, 1883, by Bro.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =3.= =A President’s Persiflage.=

  Spoken by His Oddship W. M. THOMPSON, Fourth President of the Sette
  of Odd Volumes, at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street, at the
  Fifty-eighth Meeting of the Sette, on December 7th, 1883. (pp. 15.)

                                          Edition limited to 250 copies.

  =4.= =Inaugural Address=

  of His Oddship EDWARD F. WYMAN, Fifth President of the Sette of Odd
  Volumes, delivered at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street, on
  his taking office, on April 4th, 1884, &c. (pp. 56.) Presented to the
  Sette by His Oddship EDWARD F. WYMAN.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =5.= =Musical London a Century Ago.=

  Compiled from the Raw Material, by Brother BURNHAM W. HORNER,
  F.R.S.L., F.R. Hist. S., Organist of the Sette of Odd Volumes,
  delivered at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street, on June 6th,
  1884. (pp. 32.) Presented to the Sette by His Oddship EDWARD F. WYMAN.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =6.= =The Unfinished Renaissance=;

  Or, Fifty Years of English Art. By Bro. GEORGE C. HAITÉ, Author of
  “Plant Studies,” &c. Delivered at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Friday,
  July 11th, 1884. (pp. 40.) Presented to the Sette by His Oddship

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =7.= =The Pre-Shakespearian Drama.=

  By Bro. FRANK IRESON. Delivered at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Friday,
  January 2nd, 1885. (pp. 34.) Presented to the Sette by His Oddship

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =8.= =Inaugural Address=

  of His Oddship, Brother JAMES ROBERTS BROWN, Sixth President of the
  Sette of Odd Volumes, delivered at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great
  Queen Street, on his taking office, on April 17th, 1885, &c. (pp.
  56.) Presented to the Sette by His Oddship JAMES ROBERTS BROWN.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =9.= =Catalogue of Works of Art=

  Exhibited at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street, on Friday,
  July 11th, 1884. Lent by Members of the Sette of Odd Volumes.
  Presented to the Sette by His Oddship EDWARD F. WYMAN.

                                          Edition limited to 255 copies.

  =10.= =Catalogue of Manuscripts and Early-Printed Books=

  Exhibited and Described by Bro. B. QUARITCH, the Librarian of the
  Sette of Odd Volumes, at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street,
  June 5th, 1885. Presented to the Sette by His Oddship JAMES ROBERTS

                                          Edition limited to 255 copies.

  =11.= =Catalogue of Old Organ Music=

  Exhibited by Bro. BURNHAM W. HORNER, F.R.S.L., F.R.Hist.S., Organist
  of the Sette of Odd Volumes, at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen
  Street, on Friday, February 5th, 1886. Presented to the Sette by His

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =12.= =Inaugural Address=

  of His Oddship Bro. GEORGE CLULOW, Seventh President of the Sette of
  Odd Volumes, delivered at the Freemasons’ Tavern, Great Queen Street,
  on his taking office, on April 2nd, 1886, &c. (pp. 64.) Presented to
  the Sette by His Oddship GEORGE CLULOW.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =13.= =A Few Notes about Arabs.=

  By Bro. CHARLES HOLME, Pilgrim of the Sette of Odd Volumes. Read at a
  Meeting of the “Sette” at Willis’s Rooms, on Friday, May 7th, 1886.
  (pp. 46.) Presented to the Sette of Odd Volumes by Bro. CHAS. HOLME.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =14.= =Account of the Great Learned Societies and Associations, and
        of the Chief Printing Clubs of Great Britain and Ireland=

  Delivered by Bro. BERNARD QUARITCH, Librarian of the Sette of Odd
  Volumes, at Willis’s Rooms on Tuesday, June 8th, 1886. (pp. 66.)
  Presented to the Sette by His Oddship GEORGE CLULOW.

                                          Edition limited to 255 copies.

  =15.= =Report of a Conversazione=

  Given at Willis’s Rooms, King Street, St. James’s, on Tuesday, June
  8th, 1886, by his Oddship Bro. GEORGE CLULOW, _President_; with a
  summary of an Address on “LEARNED SOCIETIES AND PRINTING CLUBS,”
  then delivered by Bro. BERNARD QUARITCH, _Librarian_. By Bro. W. M.
  THOMPSON, _Historiographer_. Presented to the Sette by His Oddship

                                          Edition limited to 255 copies.

  =16.= =Codex Chiromantiae.=

  SIGNIFICATIONS. Spoken in valediction at Willis’s Rooms, on October
  the 8th, 1886, by Bro. EDWARD HERON-ALLEN. (pp. 45.) Presented to the
  Sette by His Oddship GEORGE CLULOW.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =17.= =Inaugural Address=

  of His Oddship ALFRED J. DAVIES, Eighth President of the Sette of Odd
  Volumes, delivered at Willis’s Rooms, on his taking office on April
  4th, 1887. (pp. 64.) Presented to the Sette by His Oddship ALFRED J.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =18.= =Inaugural Address=

  of His Oddship Bro. T. C. VENABLES, Ninth President of the Sette of
  Odd Volumes, delivered at Willis’s Rooms, on his taking office on
  April 6th, 1888. (pp. 54.) Presented to the Sette by His Oddship T.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =19.= =Ye Papyrus Roll-Scroll of Ye Sette of Odd Volumes.=

  By Bro. J. BRODIE-INNES, Master of the Rolls to the Sette of Odd
  Volumes, delivered at Willis’s Rooms, May 4th, 1888. (pp. 39.)
  Presented to the Sette by His Oddship T. C. VENABLES.

                                          Edition limited to 133 copies.

  =20.= =Inaugural Address=

  of His Oddship Bro. H. J. GORDON ROSS, Tenth President of the Sette
  of Odd Volumes, delivered at Willis’s Rooms, King Street, St. James’s
  Square, on his taking office, April 5th, 1889.

                                          Edition limited to 255 copies.



  =The Ancestry of the Violin.=
  London, 1882. EDWARD HERON-ALLEN.

  =An Odd Volume for Smokers.=
  London, 1889. WALTER HAMILTON.

  =The Blue Friars.=
  London, 1889. W. H. K. WRIGHT.

  London, 1892. W. WILSEY MARTIN.


Ye Sette of Odd Volumes.

  Original   1878.   BERNARD QUARITCH, _Librarian_, 15, Piccadilly,
  Member.                W. (President, 1878, 1879, and

  Original   1878.   EDWARD RENTON, _Herald_ (Vice-President,
  Member.                1880; Secretary, 1882).

  Original   1878.   W. MORT THOMPSON, _Historiographer_, 16,
  Member.                Carlyle Square, Chelsea, S.W. (Vice-President,
                         1882; President, 1883).

  Original   1878.   CHARLES W. H. WYMAN, _Typographer_, 103,
  Member.                King Henry’s Road, Primrose Hill,
                         N.W. (Vice-President, 1878 and 1879;
                         President, 1880).

  Original   1878.   EDWARD F. WYMAN, _Treasurer_, Nirvâna,
  Member.                Bellaggio, East Grinstead (Secretary,
                         1878 and 1879; President, 1884).

  Original   1878.   ALFRED J. DAVIES, _Attorney-General_,
  Member.                Fairlight, Uxbridge Road, Ealing, W.
                         (Vice-President, 1881; Secretary, 1884;
                         President, 1887).

             1878.   G. R. TYLER, Alderman of the City of
                         London, _Stationer_, 17, Penywern Road,
                         South Kensington, W. (Vice-President, 1886).

             1879.   T. C. VENABLES, _Antiquary_, 9, Marlborough
                         Place, N.W. (President, 1888).

             1879.   JAMES ROBERTS BROWN, F.R.G.S., _Alchymist_,
                         44, Tregunter Road, South Kensington,
                         S.W. (Secretary, 1880; Vice-President,
                         1883; President, 1885).

             1880.   BURNHAM W. HORNER, _Organist_, 29, Redcliffe
                         Gardens, South Kensington
                         (Vice-President, 1889).

             1882.   WILLIAM MURRELL, M.D., _Leech_ (President),
                         17, Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square,
                         W. (Secretary, 1883; Vice-President, 1885).

             1883.   HENRY GEORGE LILEY, _Art Director_, Radnor
                         House, Radnor Place, Hyde Park, W.

             1883.   GEORGE CHARLES HAITÉ, F.L.S., and R.B.A.,
                         _Art Critic_, Ormsby Lodge, The Avenue,
                         Bedford Park, W. (Vice-President,
                         1887; President, 1891).

             1883.   EDWARD HERON-ALLEN, _Necromancer_ (Vice-President),
                         3, Northwick Terrace, N.W.
                         (Secretary, 1885).

             1884.   WILFRID BALL, R. P. E., _Painter-Etcher_,
                         4, Albemarle Street, W. (Master of
                         Ceremonies, 1890; Vice-President, 1891).

             1884.   DANIEL W. KETTLE, F.R.G.S., _Cosmographer_,
                         Hayes Common, near Beckenham,
                         Kent (Secretary, 1886).

             1884.   CHARLES WELSH, _Chapman_, The Poplars,
                         Forest Lane, Walthamstow (Vice-President,

             1886.   CHARLES HOLME, F.L.S., _Pilgrim_, The Red
                         House, Bexley Heath, Kent (Secretary,
                         1887; President, 1890).

             1886.   FREDK. H. GERVIS, M.R.C.S., _Apothecary_,
                         1, Fellows Road, Haverstock Hill, N.W.

             1887.   JOHN W. BRODIE-INNES, _Master of the
                         Rolls_, 15, Royal Circus, Edinburgh
                         (Secretary, 1888).

             1887.   HENRY MOORE, A.R.A., _Ancient Mariner_,
                         Collingham, Maresfield Gardens, N.W.



Supplemental Odd Volumes.

  1887.   JAMES ORROCK, R.I., _Connoisseur_, 48, Bedford
              Square, W.C.

  1888.   ALFRED EAST, R.I., _Landscape Painter_,
              4, Grove End Road, St. John’s Wood.

  1888.   WALTER HAMILTON, F.R.G.S., _Parodist_,
              Keeper of the Archives, Ellarbee, Elms
              Road, Clapham Common, S.W.

  1888.   DOUGLAS H. GORDON, _Remembrancer_
              (Master of Ceremonies), 41, Tedworth
              Square, S.W. (Secretary, 1889).

  1888.   ALEXANDER T. HOLLINGSWORTH, _Artificer_,
              172, Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale,
              W. (Vice-President, 1890).

  1888.   JOHN LANE, _Bibliographer_, 37, Southwick
              Street, Hyde Park, W. (Odd Councillor,
              1891; Secretary, 1890; Master of
              Ceremonies, 1891).

  1888.   JOHN TODHUNTER, M.D., _Playwright_ (Secretary),
              Orchard Croft, The Orchard,
              Bedford Park, W.

  1889.   FRANCIS ELGAR, LL.D., _Shipwright_, 113,
              Cannon Street, E.C.

  1889.   WILLIAM MANNING, F.R.M.S., _Seer_, 21,
              Redcliffe Gardens, S.W. (Secretary,
              1891; Odd Councillor, 1892).

  1890.   SILVANUS P. THOMPSON, D.Sc., F.R.S.,
              _Magnetizer_, Morland, Chislett Road, N.W.

  1890.   CONRAD W. COOKE, M.I.E.E., _Mechanick_,
              The Lindens, Larkhall Rise, S.W.

  1890.   E. ONSLOW FORD, A.R.A., _Sculptor_, 62,
              Acacia Road, N.W.

  1891.   CHARLES PLUMPTRE JOHNSON, _Clerke at
              Law_, 8, Savile Row, W.

  1891.   FREDERIC VILLIERS, _War Correspondent_,
              Mashrabeyah, 65, Chancery Lane,

  1891.   MARCUS B. HUISH, LL.B., _Arts-man_, 21,
              Essex Villas, Phillimore Gardens, W.

  1892.   W. WILSEY MARTIN, F.R.G.S., _Laureate_, 15,
              Delamere Terrace, W.

  1892.   HERBERT WARD, _Vagabond_, Shepherd Hill
              House, Harefield, Middlesex.

  1892.   FREDERIC YORK POWELL, _Ignoramus_, The
              Comer, Priory Road, Bedford Park, W.

  1892.   ERNEST CLARKE, _Yeoman_, 10, Addison
              Road, Bedford Park, W.

  1892.   PAUL BEVAN, _Ready Reckoner_ (AUDITOR), 46,
              Queen’s Gate Terrace, S.W.


[Illustration: At the Chilwick Press]



[1] For some analyses of the metal see Appendix IV.


  Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Emboldened text is surrounded by equals signs: =bold=.

  Superscripted text is preceded by a carat character: 5^e.

  Letters with macrons are preceded by equals signs and are within
    brackets: Bink[=o].

  Text in Greek has been transliterated thus: [Greek: optikê].

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.

  Archaic or alternate spelling which may have been in use at the time
    of publication has been retained.

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