No. 60. Libations poured on an Altar, and a Serpent made to hiss, by the Action of Fire.
WHEN a fire is kindled on an altar, figures placed near shall offer libations, and a serpent hiss. Let there be a hollow pedestal, A B (fig. 60), on which is an altar, C, containing within it a tube, D E, which descends from the hearth of the altar to the pedestal, and then branches off into three tubes, E F leading to the mouth of the serpent; E G H to a wine vessel K L, (the bottom of which must be higher than the figure M,) and fastened to the lid of K L cross-bar fashion; while the other tube E N X, in like manner, extends into another wine vessel 0 P, also terminating in a cross-head. Both these tubes must be soldered into the bottoms of the vessels, and in each wine vessel there must be a bent siphon, R S, and T U, one extremity of each being immersed in the wine, and the other, (from which extend the hands of the figures which are to pour the libations,) passing, air-tight, through the sides of the wine vessels. When the fire is about to be kindled, pour first a little water into the tubes, that they may not be burst by the dry heat, and close up everything that no air may pass through. The hot air, becoming mixed with the water, will ascend along the tubes to the cross-heads, and through them it will exert pressure on the wine, and carry it to the bent siphons R S and T U. The wine flowing through the hands of the figures produces a libation as long as a fire is burning on the altar. The other tube, conveying the hot air to the mouth of the serpent, will cause the serpent to hiss.