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Writing Materials.


that has been soaked in water for a day in order to soften it, is taken, and the pinch of hair is put into the large end of the quill, points forward, and pushed right through to the other end with a bit of stick, and so the brush is made. The Chinese paintbrush is a feather-a woodcock's feather is often used. Feather, like hairs, must be washed in ox-gall.

Ink.-Excellent writing-ink may be made in the bush. The readiest way of making it is to blacken sticks in the fire and to rub them well in a spoonful of milk till the milk becomes quite black. Gunpowder or lamp-soot will do as well as the burnt stick; and water, with the addition of a very little gum, glue, or fish-glue (isinglass) is better than the milk, as it will not so soon turn sour. Indian ink is simply lamp-soot and some kind of glue : it is one of the best of inks. If pure water be used, instead of gum or glue and water, the writing will rub out very easily when dry, the use of the milk, gum, or glue being to fix it : anything else that is glutinous will serve as well as these. Strong coffee, and many other vegetable products, such as the bark of trees boiled in water, make a mark which is very legible and will not rub. Blood is an indifferent substitute for ink. To make 12 gallons of good common writing-ink, use 12 lbs. of nut-galls, 5 lbs. of green sulphate of iron, 5 lbs. of gum, and 12 gallons of water. (Ure.)

Lampblack.-Hold a piece of metal, or even a stone, over a flaring wick in a cup of oil, and plenty of soot will collect.

Sympathetic Ink.-Nothing is better or handier than milk. The writing is invisible until the paper is almost toasted in the fire, when it turns a rich brown. The juice of lemons and many other fruits may also be used. (See " Substitutes for Paper.")

Gall of Animals, or Ox-gall_ to purify.-To make ink or paint take upon greasy paper, a very little ox-gall should be mixed with it. It is very important to know this simple remedy, and I therefore extract the following information from Ure's `Dictionary.' I have often practised it. " Take it from the newly-killed animal, let it settle for 12 or 15 hours in a basin, pour the liquid off the sediment into an