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is all gone.” The matter, therefore, Ground-Plot or Plan of his Majests Of. could no longer be delayed. Official fice of Mint in the Tower of London inquiries were set afoot. The philos- with the Appurtenances thereuuto beopher Locke wrote wisely on the longing as now in Possession and use subject. Members of Parliament ha- of the said Office.” This plan very rangued upon it. Finally, in 1696, clearly indicates the position of the a Recoinage Act was passed. Imme- various workshops. The buildings diately operations were commenced. were irregularly arranged along both Hammered money was called in. A sides of a narrow street, formed on the number of furnaces were erected be- one side by the outer ramparts of the hind the Treasury at Whitehall, and Tower overlooking the moat, and on the base and mutilated coins were rap- the other side by the inner wall or balidly converted into ingots, which were lium which surrounded the keep. So sent down the river to the Tower, next that the Mint Street extended around to appear in public as decent sterling the fortress except on that side facing coin of the realm.
the river. The plan shows the posiA serious difficulty, however, arose. tion of the houses and lodgings of the TI old nd clipped silver was brought mint officers, the melting-houses, the into the Exchequer by tons and tons, mill-rooms, the press-houses, and the at a much faster rate than it came forth other workshops, besides barracks and from the mint. The natural conse- stores. Subsequently two taverns were quence was that an alarming scarcity crected there by permission of the of money prevailed. Credit became lieutenant of the Tower, who received the general thing. Evelyn wrote in the rents, amounting at one time to his diary on June 11, 1696 : “ There is several hundreds per annum. This a a want of current money to carry on benignant government for a long time the smallest concerns, even for daily winked at. Indeed, the taverns and provisions in the markets.” At this old buildings were standing for some critical juncture, Isaac Newton was time in the early part of the present appointed warden of the mint. The century. philosopher proved himself equal to As there was but little alteration in the emergency, and soon showed that the mode of coining during the eighhis great powers could be exercised in teenth century, it may be fairly supmanaging coining operations as well as posed that the interior of Newton's in profound mathematical researches. press-room would be pretty accurately His conscientiousness and rare integ- represented by the well-kuown colored rity led him to devote his entire per print of Ackermann, published in 1803. sonal attention to this official business. At that period, the coining-presses only Under his direction the mills in the of the mint machinery might be viewed Tower were increased to nineteen, and by the public, and a guide-book to bands of trained coiuers were sent to the “ Tower of London and its Curiother towns; so that the weekly issue ositics," dated 1796, contains a good rose by leaps and bounds, from £15,- general description of the process of 000 to £120,000. In a few months, as stamping. “There is no describing might be expected, the distress had the particular processes that the difaltogether subsided, and a time of com- ferent metals undergo here before mercial prosperity ensued.
stamped into money. The manner of An interesting mint record of the stamping is all you are permitted to time of Sir Isaac Newton's mastership see ; and this is very quickly performed (he was made master in 1699) has re- by means of an engine (coining-press), cently been discovered and made pub- worked sometimes by three men,
somelic in the annual report of the deputy times by four. The manner of stampmaster of the mint for 1890. It is ing gold and halfpence is exactly the dated February 26th, 170s, and is same, only a little more care is necesentitled, “An Exact Survey of the Isary in one than in the other, in order
to prevent waste. The engine works | self in the neighborhood, and then, by a spindle (the screw), like that of a while endeavoring to escape to France, printing-press, to the point of which was apprehended. He was tried, conthe (obverse) dye is fixed by means of victed, and sentenced to death. In his a screw, and in a little sort of cup defence he cleared Dalton from any which receives it, is placed the reverse willing complicity in the crime. While (die); between these, the piece of awaiting execution in Newgate he metal, already cut round to the size, made several abortive attempts to esand if gold, exactly weighed, is placed, cape, though he himself felt confident and by once pulling down the spindle of success, as the following lines of his with a jerk (it) is completely stamped. witness : It is amazing to see how dexterously
In the morning when you rise, the coiner performs this ; for as fast
You will be struck with great surprise, as the men that work the engine turn
When you find the Cells are broke the spindle, so fast does he supply it And the Prisoners all eloped. with metal, putting in the unstamped
Aud, again : piece with his forefinger and thumb and twitching out the stamped with
We under sentence here did lay,
But we found means to get away ; his middle finger. The silver and gold thus stamped are afterwards milled
And you poor men thats in this place
I hope with God yowl make your peace. round the edges ; the manner of performing this is a secret never shown to He eventually made a full confession anybody."
of his crime, and in due course was A few years later, 1810, more com- executed at the Old Bailey. modious buildings were erected Little Tower Hill, to which his Majesty's office of mint was removed, and where it remains to this day.
From All The Year Round. This brief sketch may be concluded
TOURAINE IN AUTUMN. by a slight reference to the daring SEPTEMBER is certainly the time to robbery from the Tower Mint in 1798. be in Touraine, whether you are chasOn the morning of December 20, James seur, interested in the vines, or merely Turnbull, ove Dalton, and two other the common sentimental tourist hunc men were engaged in the press-room gering for sights. It is a good thing to swinging the fly of the screw-press, be a sportsman in France ; the railway while Mr. Finch, one of the moneyer's companies make special allowances lo apprentices, fed the press with gold you, and you and your gun are regarded blank pieces, which were struck into with some of the admiration exacted guineas. At nine o'clock Mr. Finch by the military in this land so mindful sent the men to their breakfast. They of comparatively recent war troubles. all four went out; but Turnbull and One is disposed to think, after some Dalton returned almost directly. And acquaintance with the vast areas of while the latter held the door, Turn- vives here in the heart of France, that bull drew a pistol and advanced upon it is good also to be either a vineyard Mr. Finch, demanding the key of the proprietor or a dealer in wines. And chest where the newly coined guineas most assuredly the tourist will here were kept. Finch, paralyzed with fear find enough for him to do, what with and surprise, yielded it up. An old castles on all sides of him, and the gentleman who was in the room ex- legends and histories that pertain to postulated ; but both were forced into them, and the rich --if rather flat a sort of passage or large cupboard and landscapes between the Inde and the locked in. Turnbull then helped him- Loire. One is not ordinarily in acaself to the guineas, and managed to demic mood when bent on holiday get off with no less than 2,308. For making ; but it is further worthy of nine days he effectually coucealed him-I mention that they speak excellent
French in this valley of the Loire. A dislike to run in concord. This weakwell-bred native of Tours does not clip ness is, however, carried rather far; his syllables. The “ Touraine mouth" even the station clocks differ, so that is to the alien as precious as the in going from one to the other you may "bocca Romana” in the pope's city to chance to incur the fate of the man the student of Italian.
between two stools — both insecure. The Tourainers themselves are com- As one would suppose in a place so forting to behold ; a stalwart, brown- hallowed by ecclesiastical tradition, faced people, with contentment deep Tours is more religious than most set in them. The women in their blue French towns of its size. The deep cotton gowns, white mutches, and un- bell of the Cathedral of St. Martin wieldy wooden shoes, are picturesque booms solemnly over the acres of dull enough for anything, if their dark, red roofs below its belfry, the planesloe-like eyes and ready smiles be also trees and elms which are still taken into account. One sees fair faces when our Evelyn visited the place and among the younger girls ; Madonna- declared that “no city in France exlike faces. It were easy to fancy that ceeds it in beauty and delight” – the Agnes Sorel, “ the fairest of the fair,” pride of Tours, and the broad silver resembled the best of them when she ribbon of the Loire, with its stately too was young and had not yet caught bridges and sandy islets. Side by side the eye of a king. As for the men, with shops for the sale of the most they are what one would expect them modern of French novels are shops in to be in such a natural garden ; a which crucifixes, gay prints of saints, hard-working class, prone to rejoice in and devotional books seem offered with all the festive leisure they can obtain. more confidence than the fiction in the They love their native province pas- other windows. sionately ; it is difficult to realize what A market day in the city is well they must have felt when a quarter of worth experienciug. The villagers a century ago the Prussian soldiers from contiguous parts come into Tours trod their fields and vineyards under in quaint, lumbering old wooden wains foot and burned their homesteads. “I and alight in the back streets, which do not believe," said one of them to still preserve certain of their medieval me the other day, “ there can be any qualities. Then how they talk, to be other country in the world better to sure ! Our own countryfolk are prodilive in than Touraine. We have so gies in this respect on the like ocmuch sun even in winter. The climate casions ; but they do not equal the is so mild, and all things grow in it.” Tourainers with baskets of eggs and He spoke at a venture, having never couples of fowls to sell. Yet not at been out of Touraine, and he did not Tours, as elsewhere in the old cities of desire to see if actual experience out- France, does the grand old cathedral side his own province might not abate of the place look down upon a partihis enthusiasm about the land of ab- colored host of buyers and vendors. beys, and castles, and good grapes. The market squares are remote from
Tours, the capital, is in keeping with its chiselled towers and the myriads the district that looks up to it. There of statuettes which adorn its superb is nothing meretricious about it. In façade. some respects, it is distinctly an old- Scenically, matters might be much fashioned place. It is not, for instance, more sensational than they are in this lit by electricity, and, though well fre- district drained by the Loire. Here quented by visitors, it has kept free and there long ridges of reddish or from the cosmopolitan tone that tourist whitish soil break from the level land, resorts as a rule acquire. Its sixty with desirable slopes for the vines, and thousand inhabitants are not slaves to abrupt falls where they approach the time. It is nothing to them that the river's banks. The feudal lords - En. city clocks seem to have an inveterate 'glish for the most part, in those days
- of half-a-dozen centuries ago marked | home have not the monopoly of sylvan the value of such building sites. And graces. The trees here are large, for still, as then, the gloomy donjons and France, and the undergrowth is thick. the scarcely less sonibre conical towers From the forest's depths blue jays flit of their castles stand forth strongly across the white road, with its kiloagainst the blue sky. From some metre and tentli of a kilometre posts, points several may be seen at once, and the raucous cry of many a pheasant their turrets and spires like sheaves of proves that the omnipresent notice forniasonry. Everywhere they are sugges- bidding the stranger to “ chase” has tive ; from Chaumont - where Henry justification. It is excellent to make the Second and Thomas à Becket met this walk in the evening of a hot Sepin 1170 for the last time – to Loches, tember day, when the scent of oakwhence in the ninth century the Plan- bark comes forth vigorously with the tagenets issued to a world destined first token of the dew, and the sun subsequently to know them by heart. glows like a ball of fire at the end of No buildings in France are more red- the western rists in the forest, which olent of the vigorous, high-handed seem carved out expressly to do it doings of bygone days, from fighting honor. and sieges to courtly intrigues, brawls The forest clothes one of Touraine's and worse in the name of religion, cow many ridges. With the descent to the ardly bloodshedding, and the love that north, corresponding to the ascent kings bear their queens and the most from Chenonceaux, Amboise's gracebeautiful of their subjects.
ful, cathedral-like pile appears in the But the district is not all vineyards distance, Aanked by its older feudal and castles and riverside meadows. towers and the huge walls which have There are tracts of forest in Touraine, so significant a meaning. Soon the though the Briton at large in the prov- forest is left behind, and again we are ince may be tempted to scoff at a in the midst of vines, whose purple Frenchman's idea of forest trees. Be- and pale sea-green grapes are provocatween Chenonceaux that gem of tive of sinful longing. They are Touraine's castles, now occupied by a generous people, however, these Tourich West Indian — and Amboise rainers. Do but hint to a cottager that whose iron gratings the Guises once you envy him his flowers, or admire strung with human corpses - there is, his grapes, and he will fill your hands for example, a charming wood, with a with roses and set himself to seek a white road climbing to it in easy ter- cluster of fruit to show that he appreraces, and showing gay green vistas on ciates the compliment of your admiraeither hand, where the forest tracks go tion. The peach-trees here are but endlessly east and west. It is a lonely another of Touraine's particularly good, enough road nowadays, though in the and toothsome, points. Peaches at sixteenth century France's monarchs three halfpence a pound will seem an used it as much as any in the land. attractive lure, but you cannot know Diana of Poitiers also gave it a certain how attractive until you have feasted amount of notoriety in her movements on this fine fruit, matured, like the from one to the other of the castles Tourainers themselves, in the open which were the reward of her beauty. air, face to face with the sun. Down If one meets a frantic cyclist or a coun- in Amboise, under the shadow of the try cart in a mile on it in the present great castle, one marks how thrifty day, one does pretty well. For the they are in the exploitation of their most part, it seems reconsecrated to the tiny garden patches. A yard but three natural solitudes which were first dis- or four metres square is made to rear turbed three or four centuries ago. vines that not only yield a delightful
The glades of this forest are of them- trellis-work arbor beneath which to sit selves sufficient to convince the un- in the dog-days, but grapes almost prejudiced Englishman that at plentiful enough for pressing. The
blacksmith may if he pleases make a neglected ruin, you may see inscripwine and label it with his name; and tions which tell of the floods of 1846 his neighbor the road-mender may do and 1856, when the river far overswept likewise, and run the blacksmith hard its banks, and turned this vine-draped in that race for distinguished labels ruin and its adjacent inhabited houses which is such a feature of competitive into an island. There are tourists who existence among French wine-growers. canoe down the Loire to Nantes. This
One must come to Touraine also to must be a memorable excursion, and at understand something about that noble no time better than when the grapes river, the Loire. What a breadth it are ripe — and settled sunshine is exhas even here, scores of wiles from its pected — may it be planned and put mouth ; with islands and sandy shoals into enjoyable execution. and countless bridges to dignify it ! A different kind of river altogether is And how patiently it provides sport for the Inde, which meanders placidly by the great arnıy of French anglers, who Loches. It is not very wide, it is a like nothing better than to sit on a clouded green in color, and it bears grassy knoll dangling a worm in the patches of water-lilies on its smooth water, protected from the sun by a surface. It passes many a quiet villarge green or white umbrella ! The lage with ancient church spires and dear enthusiasts do not seem to mind dilapidated castle relics. Its meadows much about the tastes of the fish they blush with crocuses, and it provides catch, so they can catch them. They idyllic pleasure for those who have may be seen at Blois and Tours an- boats to row on it, and amiable lady gling industriously in the soap-suds friends to accompany them. You may between the civic laundries and the see several such parties during a two shore, undisturbed in spirit by the or three hours' stroll along its green tumultuous clatter of the bare-armed banks, even where there are few signs matrons and maids who lean over the of local population. The slim poplars sides of the anchored barges, and whisper over them as if they were in thump the linen with an energy that sympathy with them ; and there are argues them no weaklings. There is plenty of inlets with green bowers to something quite ludicrous about a Tou-retreat into from the noontide sun, and raine angler's joy in a big fish. Three to provide romance with its most winmornings in succession we discovered some opportunities. a crowd of these enthusiasts leaning Yet, when all's said, Touraine in over a bridge, staring at and apostro- September pays little heed to its rivers phizing a certain graceful “ barbillon” and castles, and even the visitors who which whisked its tail in defiance of all come with money in their pockets and fish-hooks. One blue-smocked old fel circular tickets for the round of its pallow was in the same bent attitude on aces. The grape harvest is, in fact, each occasion. “Un beau morceau, about to begin. Will the weather hold monsieur !” he exclaimed elatedly to good, as it ought, for this all-important every new-comer, and he proceeded to function ? This is the question of all tell almost tearfully of the impossibility questions now. Hailstorms, such as of tempting this “fine morsel”. - a occasionally mark April or May in letgood eighteen inches in length 1 - into ters of real ruin, cannot be expected; the initial step towards the frying-pan. but there may be a tropical downpour
September, however, is not a flood or two which shall bruise or even burst month. One sees then vast reaches of the teeming grapes by the million. bared, pale pink sand in the Loire's Every one rejoices in the prospect of a very midst. But it is easy to imagine successful vintage, but there is no how its majesty is trebled after a knowing if hope may not be flouted. stormy and wet week or two. By Mar- Certainly, if one may judge from the moutier, for instance, where once stood clusters at the various tables d'hôte an abbey of far fame, now in charming and the offerings of freeholders, Tou