concerning the peculiar odour of Tin. this characteristic applies
likewise to certain other metals. An old classic saying of Suetonius
(112) is still proverbially current regarding money, (in coin of the
realm) that "Non olet," it has no bad odour. But, as we are now told, some money, in these modern days, does smell
after all. Every one, says the scientist, is familiar with the smell of
a penny. This is because when warmed by being handled, or kept in the
pocket, it gives out radio-active emanations. The said odour is
inherent in the metal, but can only be set free by the agency of heat.
The ancient classic adage, " Non olet," therefore, no longer
holds good in this twentieth century of the world's history.
Nevertheless, as Juvenal puts it, in a satire, " Lueri bonus est odor—ex re qualibet." Other quaint Latin proverbs had lessons to teach on the same topic of smell. " Non bene olet qui bene semper olet" quoth
Martial, in one of his Epigrams :—" He smells not well whose smell is
all perfume." Whilst Plautus (B.C. 240) has sagely remarked, " Miter catuli longe olent, aliter sues "—" Puppies have one smell; pigs quite another."
XL of France, full of sordid avarice, frequently had his meals served
on pewter dishes ; his outlay in jewelry consisted chiefly in buying
little " enseignes," or images of saints, with which to decorate his
mean old hat; whilst even some of these were but leaden medals.
is of three kinds : " plate," " trifle," and " ley." The second sort
(formed of tin, with a small proportion of lead, and antimony) is used
to-day for the quart, and pint pots of the publicans ; and the " ley "
pewter (three parts of tin, and one of lead) is manufactured into