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Fire.   17,

and tinder, and without a gun, a light may sometimes be-had on an emergency, by scratching and boring with a knife, awl, or nail, at the fulminating composition in the cap, till it explodes; but a cap is a somewhat dangerous thing to meddle with, as it often flies with violence, and wounds. Crushing gunpowder with hard stones may possibly make it explode.


Luc fers.-An inexperienced hand will waste an entire boxful of them, and yet will fail in lighting a fire in the open air, on a windy day. The convenience of lucifers in obtaining a light is very great, but they have two disadvantages : they require that the air should be perfectly still, while the burning sulphur is struggling to ignite the stick; and, again, when the match is thrust among the wood, the sticks upon which it has to act, have not been previously warmed, and consequently, though one or two of them may become lighted, the further progress of the fire is liable to cease. On the other hand, in methods where the traveller begins with tinder, and blows its spark into a flame, the adjacent wood becomes thoroughly heated by the process, and the flame, once started, is almost certain to maintain itself. Consequently, in lighting a fire with lucifers, be careful to shield the match from wind, by throwing a cloak or saddle-cloth, or something else over the head, whilst you operate ; and secondly, to have abundance of twigs of the smaller sizes, that there may be no uncertainty of the lucifer-match being able to light them, and set the fire a-going. In a steady downfall of rain, you may light a match for a pipe under your horse's belly. If you have paper to spare, it is a good plan to twist it into a hollow cone ; to turn the cone with its apex to the wind; and immediately after rubbing the match, to hold it inside the cone. The paper will become quickly heated by the struggling flame and will burst into a miniature conflagration, too strong to be puffed out by a single blast of air. Wax lucifers are undoubtedly better than wooden ones, for in damp weather, wooden ones will hardly burn ; but wax is waterproof, and independent of wet or dry. When there is nothing dry, at hand, to rub the lucifermatch against, scratch the composition on its head with the edge of a knife or with the finger-nail. It is a sure way of lighting it; and with care, there is no need of burning the fingers.