| PATRIOTISM AND THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.
A subscription library, supported by such public-spirited
gentlemen as Messrs Mellis, White, Belfield, Hume of Preston,
etc., flourished for a considerable number of years in the
village, but the subscribers beginning to fall off, and the
Garibaldian struggle for freedom being at its height, it was
unanimously resolved to sell off and assist the Garibaldians,
and some £20 through this means was handed over to the
Garibaldian Patriotic Fund.
RIOTOUS PROCEEDINGS OF 1868.
On the 4th of May 1868 very riotous proceedings prevailed
in Prestonpans. It was altogether a ridiculous affair, brought
about indeed by the election of certain burgh commissioners,
and those who took an active part laugh heartily now over
the folly of it. An instrumental band was engaged for the
procession of the rebellious subjects, and the banners the
processionists displayed told their own tale, "No Taxes,
" "Down with Tyranny, " "No Commissioners,
" "Seamen never feared a Storm, " " Britons
never shall be Slaves. "
It was, in fact, neither more nor less than an election of
burgh commissioners, when certain gentlemen wished to win
a seat on the board whom certain electors and non-electors
wished to keep out. There were no broken heads going, but
no end of feeling displayed.
The rebellious party not only held the "crown o' th'
causey, " but gained their point; but, to the consternation
of all concerned, by midnight next evening, some fifteen,
mostly youths, were conveyed to Haddington and lodged in a
place with a nasty name. After five nights' lodgings, bail
was accepted of from £10 to £20 each, and all
got home. The case was tried by jury. But acrimony had given
place to a very different feeling on both sides, and this
had much to do, alike with judge and jury, in bringing the
case to a most satisfactory conclusionódismissal.
A FRENCH PROFESSOR'S OPINION OF AND NOTES ON
B. Fanjas Saint-Fond, Professor of Geology in the Museum of
Natural History at Paris, thus writes in his "Travels
in England, Scotland, and the Hebrides, " published in
" I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting in one of
the streets of Edinburgh, a learned German whom I had seen
some years before in Paris... It was Dr Swediaur, a physician
who had long resided at London.
" He told me that, wishing to enjoy a little repose,
and to amuse himself with the chymical arts, in which he was
deeply skilled, he had quitted the capital of England, and
had purchased an estate about five  miles from Edinburgh,
in the village of Prestonpans, and by the sea-coast, where
he intended to establish a manufacture of sea-salt, principally
with a view to separate the mineral alkali from the muriatic
" He begged that I would go to see the works which he
had begun to construct, and as I had but a short time to remain
at Edinburgh, it was agreed that I should go to dine at his
house the next day.
" Prestonpans is very advantageously situated for the
establishing of manufactures; the proximity of the sea, and
the abundance of pit-coal found in the neighbouring mines,
render it extremely convenient for this purpose. The coal
of the place, which is the same as that used at Edinburgh,
has the merited reputation of being of an excellent quality.
It burns with a vivid, bright, aad long continued flame: its
cinder is grey and light. The only fault found with it is,
that it is consumed a little quicker than the Newcastle coal;
but I should prefer the Edinburgh coal to that of Newcastle;
I do not know any that makes a more agreeable fire.
"Swediaur showed me at Prestonpans the seat of the greatest
manufactory of the oil of vitriol in Britain. I say the seat
only, because the whole of the place is surrounded with a
very high wall, which does not permit the eye to discover
even the chimney tops of the works. A small harbour has been
contrived to admit the vessels which bring the sulphur; but
everything is so carefully enveloped in mystery that the harbour
itself is surrounded with walls of a great height. All is
concealed in this manufactory, and none can enter but the
persons in employment. The only thing known is that the oil
of vitriol (sulphuric acid) which it produces, forms an article
of very extensive commerce. I do not suppose, however, that
the processes employed here can differ much from those which
are generally known, and which consist in burning the sulphur
in chambers lined with lead. The suffocating smell perceived
at a distance seems to announce that they are the same. But
they may have some processes here for rectification or other
purposes which they are desirous of concealing.