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dynamical principles may be almost infinite.
It is the pyrotechnist's business to find out
these modes; it is his craft, his art and
mystery, the fruit of his ingenuity, and the source
of his bread and cheese.

Listen to a catalogue of some among the
many forms which these graceful displays of
light and colour and form and motion are
made to present:—

First there is the sky-rocket, already
noticeda cylindrical case intended to ascend
to a great height, give out a profusion
of sparks during its ascent, and spread a
brilliant shower of coloured stars when it
explodes, high up in the skiey regions. A
Tourbillon is a sort of double rocket, having
orifices so placed as to produce a double recoil
one rotatory and one vertical; the
Tourbillon revolves and ascends at the same time,
and is an exceedingly beautiful and brilliant
firework. A Roman Candle is a case containing
one or more smaller cases; a stream of
sparks carries up a brilliant kind of star,
which may be white, blue, or sparkling,
according to the ingredients which it contains.
A gerb or jerb is a firework depending chiefly
on the brilliant sparkles of steel and iron
filings; and a Chinese fountain is somewhat
similar to it. A Pot-de-Brin is a case or
cavity from which serpents, stars, and
crackers, are thrown up into the air. A Pot-
d'Aigrette throws up serpents only; while a
Pot-de-Saucisson throws up cases which are
half serpent half cracker. A Balloon (in the
pyrotechnic, not the aeronautic sense) is a
shell propelled from a mortar, and made to
scatter squibs, crackers, serpents, and stars,
when it explodes at a great height: this is
often very magnificent. A Cracker is a small
case filled with dense powder, and producing
a loud report when exploded; a Maroon is a
large cracker; and both form component
parts of larger fireworks. A Saucisson is
compounded of a brilliant fire and a bounce,
and is discharged out of a mortar fixed on
the ground. A Scroll is a kind of tourbillon
on a small scale, provided with a rotatory
motion. A Rain is a composition for adding to
sky-rockets and other pieces; it pours down
a vertical shower of brilliant sparks, which
may be of any desired colour. A Star is a
brilliant light, produced by the explosion
of a small case connected with sky-rockets
and Roman candles. A Wheelwhether a
single case, or a spiral, or a compound, or a
horizontal, or a compound spiral, or a diverging
vertical, or a reversed, or a conical
horizontal, or an extending, or a diminishing, or a
concentric, or an alternating wheelis a
framework of wood or iron, having certain
axial movements according to its kind; long
tubes filled with gunpowder or composition
are twined upon, or around, or within the
wheel in various directions; and when these
compositions are fired the recoil causes the
wheel to revolve horizontally, or vertically, or
to ascend or descendendless beauties are at
the pyrotechnist's command in these
productions. A Geometrical Figure is such an
arrangement of filled paper cases as will
produce when ignited a fiery cross, triangle,
square, hexagon, octagon, or other figure. An
Ostrich Feather, or Prince of Wales's plume is
a pleasing spread of sparkling fire, usually
forming the apex of a pyramidal firework.
A Tree throws out coloured fires at various
angles for either side of a vertical centre.
These are only some among the many varieties
at the disposal of the artist.

There were Mortrams, Henglers, Southbys,
and Darbys in early days; although rather for
military than for holiday duties. The Chinese
and Hindoos made and exploded fireworks
long before Europe had any fireworks to
explode. The famous Greek Fire which was
used at Acre against the crusading army of
St. Louis, has occasioned numberless speculations
and controversies. This fire, the old
annalists tell us, "came forward as large as a
barrel of verjuice, with a tail of fire issuing
from it as big as a great sword, making a
noise in its passage like thunder, and seeming
like a dragon flying through the air; and
from the great quantity of light it threw out,
giving such a light that one might see in the
camp as if it had been day." It is also
described as "consuming even flint and iron,"
and as emitting an awful stench. The
Byzantines used the Greek Fire against the
Pisans; Philippe Auguste employed it against
the English vessels at the siege of Calais; and
it was used at the siege of Ypres in thirteen
hundred and eighty-three. The late Dr.
Macculloch, after a laboured attempt to
discover what the Greek Fire really was, gave
it up as a hopeless task, concluding that
the people who witnessed it were too much
frightened to speak intelligibly about it. When
nitre came into use as an aid to combustibles,
fireworks and gunpowder may equally be said
to have been invented. Whatever Roger
Bacon may have done in this way in Europe,
it is certain the Chinese preceded him by a
dozen or two of centuries. Without speaking
of Chinese fireworks generally, we may say a
few words concerning the Chinese "drum,"
which so excited Sir George Staunton's
admiration during his visit to China. This
firework appears to resemble a cylindrical
band-box, ornamented on the exterior with
paintings. When it is to be fired, it is
suspended from a stand twelve or fifteen
feet high. The light is applied at the
lower part. There immediately drops out
below a transparent piece, accompanied by
brilliant light, which falls to the ground
after being burned out; and this is
succeeded by ten or a dozen others, all
differing in device. These appear to benot merely
transparent picturesbut castles, ships,
lanterns, globes, cones, and other hollow models,
illumined within and without. They are
made of transparent painted paper,
supported on a light wooden framework. All

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