We learn from the Cosmos that a simple method has been adopted in the shipyards of Venice, from time immemori al for testing the soundness of the timber. A person applh,. his ear to the middle of one of the ends of the timber, while another strikes upon the opposite end. If thc wood is sound and of good quality, the blow is vcry distinctly heard, however long the beam may be. If the wood was disaggregated by decay or otherwise, the sound would be for the most part destroyed.