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them into pies of three thousand each, in cast-
iron pans covered with wrought-iron lids, and
closed up with moist Beckenham clay. These
costly pies are placed in large ovens, where they
are baked in intense heat for an hour, and then
each batch is drawn as its time expires, and is
not opened before the pans become cool. The
grey plastic loam which was placed round the
dish is baked to a red crisp cinder, and the
golden contents of the pie are warranted not to
tarnish after this fiery ordeal by coming in
contact with the atmosphere.

I next follow the golden annealed blanks to
the Blanching Room, where they are put into a
cold-water bath to render them cool; after which
they are washed in a hot weak solution of
sulphuric acid and water, to remove all traces of
surface impurity. Finally, after another wash in
pure water, they are conveyed to a drying-stove,
where they are first agitated violently in a heated
tube, then turned into a sieve, and tossed about
out of sight amongst a heap of beech-wood
sawdust, kept hot upon an oven. After this playful
process they are sifted into the upper world
once more, and then transferred to trays, like
butchers' trays, which are conveyed to the
Stamping Room.

The Coining Press Room contains eight screw
presses, worked from above by invisible
machinery. Below, there is a cast-iron platform;
and above, huge fly arms, full six feet long, and
weighty at their ends, which travel noisily to
and fro, carrying with them the vertical screw,
and raising and depressing the upper die. In
front of each press, when the machinery is in
motion, a boy is sitting to fill the feeding-tube
with the bright plain dumps of gold that have
come from the sawdust in the Blanching Room.
On the bed of the press is fixed one of Mr.
Wyon's head diesa perfect work of art that is
manufactured in the building; and the self-
acting feeding apparatusa slide moving
backwards and forwards, much the same as in the
delicate weighing machinesplaces the golden
dumps, one by one, on the die. The boy in
attendance now starts some atmospheric pressure
machinery, by pulling a starting line; the press
and upper die are brought down upon the piece
of unstamped gold that is lying on the lower die,
along with a collar that is milled on its inner
circumference, and which closes upon the coin
with a spring, preventing its undue expansion,
and at one forcible but well-directed blow the
blank dump has received its top, bottom, and
side impression, and has become a perfect coin
of the realm. The feeder advances with steady
regularity, and while it conveys another dump to
the die, it chips the perfect sovereign down an
inclined plane; the upper machinery comes down
again; the dump is covered out of sight, to
appear in an instant as a coin; other dumps
advance, are stamped, are pushed away, and their
places immediately taken. Some sovereigns roll
on one side instead of going over to the inclined
plane, others lie upon the edge of the machinery,
or under the butcher's tray that holds the dumps,
and the boys take even less notice of them than
if they were so many peppermint drops; the
heavy mass of black iron-work all over the room
keeps moving steadily from ceiling to floor; a
second, and all that a Dorsetshire labourer is
worth in a year, is sent rolling carelessly about
the platform; a dozen seconds, and all the same
Dorsetshire labourer will ever earn in this world
is following the treasures that went before; five
minutes, and the purchase-money is created of a
landed estate; a quarter of an hour, and you
may form some idea how easily fortunes are
made; an hour, and any banker would give a
partnership for the sweepings of the trays; a
quarter of a day, and Daniel Dancer would
have danced about in the madness of joy; a
day, and he would have had to have been
removed by the soldiers on duty at the point of the
sword.

The workmen collect these different heaps of
sovereigns, and brush up the scattered money,
that the joint product of metal, advanced
mechanism, and careful art, may pass its last
examination before it is sent into the outer world
for circulation as perfect, unexceptionable coin.
The metal has passed no locked doorway in its
progress without being weighed out of one
department into another, and it undergoes yet one
more weighing before it is placed into bags for
delivery to the Bank of England or private
bullion holders, and consigned to a stone and
iron strong-room, containing half a million of
coined money, until the hour of its liberation
draws nigh. As I saw the workmen tossing the
precious burden about in copper scales, and
taking pinches of bright new sovereigns in their
hands with no more respect than if they were
white-heart cherries at twopence a pound, I
could not help thinking that familiarity must
breed contempt, and that the weighers will run
through their property, when they come into it,
with quite as much spirit as the most celebrated
bloods about town.

      With the Magazines for July will be published,
                                   price 1s.,
Uniform with PICKWICK, DAVID COPPERFIELD, BLEAK
                                HOUSE, &c.,
                   The Second Monthly Part of
                       A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
                       BY CHARLES DICKENS.
         With Two Illustrations on Steel by HABLOT K.
                                 BROWNE.
             To be completed in Eight Monthly Parts.
       CHAPMAN and HALL, 193, Piccadilly, W., AND
"ALL THE YEAR ROUND" Office, 11, Wellington-street
                           North, London, W.C.

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