In Morton’s Comedy, ”Speed the Plough,” the following dialogue occurs between Sir Abel Handy and his son Bob:

Bob. Zounds, the castle’s on fire !

Sir A Yes.

Bob Where’s your patent liquid for extinguishing fires ?

Sir A. It is not mixed.

Bob. Then where’s your fire-escape?

Sir A. It is not fixed.

Bob. You are never at a loss?

Sir A. Never.

Bob. Then what do you mean to do ?

Sir A. I don’t know.

This was written eighty years ago. In the intervening period civilization has made its greatest advances, science has wrought its greatest miracles, and discovery and invention have accomplished more for material progress than all of the ages together since the creation. Yet what has it done to realize or to satisfy the Imperative wants which are here so conspicuously hinted at ? We have had abundance of “patent liquids” and of ” patent fire-escapes” thrust upon us by pretentious inventors, bnt not one of the former is ” mixed,” and not one of the latter is ” fixed.” Of course, the Edison who will introduce the extinguisher and the escape of the future must be better ballasted and be less petted and spoiled than the Edison who devised the toy called phonograph. Hut will this coming genius make his appearance before the close of the nineteenth century ?

When the Brooklyn Theatre was burned, a great deal was said in favor of the adoption in theatres of an iron curtain to separate the auditorium from the stage, and also of tanks of water with perforations for sprinkling or showering the interior in case of fire. When Holland built the second Drury Lane Theatre in London, in 1797, he introduced both these useful contrivances. Since then they have not only not been improved upon, but in the absence of improvement have not even been adopted in thrir original form.—Baltimore Underwriter.

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