Imágenes de páginas

strain of some eleven or twelve tons. In case of chestnuts cannot compensate for such a privation. need, the telegraph-cable will be cut, and the end of With what do you delight your eyes in a summer's the submerged portion be made fast to the extremity day, when no palm-branches waving overhead temper of one of the supernumeraries; this will then be let the stifling air? To what do your poets compare the go, and the telegraph-cable will sink to the bottom taper waists of their mistresses, if they have no palmof the sea, where not even the most spiteful hurricane trees to refer to? 'Now, I can understand,' said our can follow it. The strong suspending rope will next Arab, in conclusion, why so many Franks crowd be attached, by its upper extremity, to buoys of a every year to Egypt.' peculiarly sharp form, which will be tossed overboard, The date-palm is, in fact, in certain wide-extended and abandoned for the time; and the unencumbered tracts of the globe, so essential to life, and furnishes vessels will look to themselves, and beat about as so many of its necessaries to their inhabitants, that circumstances may require, until the storm has passed we need not be surprised if a country where no dateaway; the sharp buoys all the while bobbing up and trees grow should have few attractions for them. They down in the troubled waves with an easy motion look to it for harvest and vintage, and provision for which will hardly affect the treasure plunged for pro- almost all the wants of their simple life. Its high tection to the still depths two miles beneath. . The importance is well indicated by the tradition, which vessels will then return in search of the buoys, pick relates how the date-palm sprung from the remainder them up, heave in the suspending rope until the tele- of the clay of which Adam had been formed; in graph-cable is recovered, and join the severed ends, reference to which proverb the Arab prophet says: and the work of submergence will be resumed as at Cherish the date-tree as your paternal aunt.' It is first.

one of the fruits of the Mohammedan paradise; and The Atlantic cable will be stretched from Valentia an Arab proverb asserts that the date-tree grows Bay, in the south-west of Ireland, to Trinity Bay, in only in the lands of Islam—a vaunt which, curiously Newfoundland-a distance, in a direct line, of about enough, is up to the present day almost literally 1834 miles. This is obviously the course in which it exact. has been intended an electrical communication shall A fanciful Arab author, after citing these facts, be established through the Atlantic, because here the proceeds to draw a comparison between man and the land of the Old World, in the projecting British Isles, date-palm, shewing in how many respects a resemand that of the New World, in Newfoundland, jut out blance may be traced, as if to prove their near towards each other, as if each to seek the other's relationship. “As man is distinguished from all other grasp; and between them, a smooth level shelf living creatures by his erect gait, even so the palm, laid at the bottom of the sea, just suitable for the tall, straight, and limber, lifts its head among the accommodation of an intervening and connecting trees. What animal is so beautiful as man, and what cord. There are several fine sandy coves in the tree is so beautiful as the palm among the trees of the neighbourhood of Valentia, and the great Skellig Hill, forest? In its head is enclosed a substance like the a fine pyramidal landmark, with a light-house on brain in man ; if its head be cut off, the tree will die; its summit

, towers up, a short distance from the shore, if the brain be wounded, the branches droop, and the to a height of 700 feet. It is not yet determined whole tree suffers from the headache. If its branches whether the two paying-out vessels will start away be cut off, they do not_grow again more than the from each other in mid-ocean, dropping the cable lopped-off human arm. Its head has a hairy covering between them; or whether it will be payed out in one like that of man. The sexes are separate, and thus & continuous line from the coast of Ireland to the coast single tree planted by itself is condemned to perpetual of Newfoundland. The matter is at the present time sterility. The male palm, surrounded by his suite of under consideration. Under either alternative, how- females, is likened to a sultan in his harem, and it is ever, the vessels will proceed in as direct a course from even pretended that sometimes in the midst of a one bay to the other as they can. They would go plantation a capricious beauty takes an aversion to along an arc of a great circle of the terrestrial sphere, her lord, and refuses to be fructified by him. She is if it were practicable to keep to so finely traced a smitten by the charms of a tree in some neighbouring route; as, however, no navigator, steering by the plantation; then her branches droop from love-sickcompass, could accomplish so delicate a task, a track ness, and her head will be seen to turn in the direction will be taken which will approach very near indeed to of the object of her choice. When a tree thus pines a great circle arc. The ships will only change their with love, the only cure--and it is found to be always course six times, and each time the change will be successful—is to tie a bunch of the blossoms of the only to the extent of a quarter of a point of the loved one among her branches.' compass; thus they will pass along six sides of a No member of the vegetable kingdom has played so polygon, instead along a part of a circle; but the important a part in religion, history, and poetry as the polygon followed will practically be so near to a circle, palm; not the Egyptian lotus, nor the Celtic mistletoe, that the track will only measure eight-tenths of a nor the French lily, nor the Norman broom. In the nautical line more than the segment of a circle which Scriptures, in eastern and classical mythology, the would pass directly from place to place.

palm appears as the symbol of beauty or victory:

It was chosen to grace the one day of triumph THE DATE-PALM.

which our Lord allowed himself

on earth; it has been

adopted by Christianity to signify the victory over One day, an Arab, who had been listening with the death, the resurrection, its Greek name being identical greatest interest to a description of the wonderful with 'the fabled phenix, which rose again from its and beautiful things in England, suddenly asked us: ashes. The life of the palm, again, is in its crown, ' Have you many palm-trees in your country ?' When it has therefore been chosen for the martyr's croWD, told that we have two or three kept at the national whose guerdon is eternal life.

glass-house at Kew, he was filled with the most unfeigned pity for us, and never again inspirations from the palm. It gave the first model

Art, not less than poetry and religion, has drawn its expressed either a curiosity to hear about England, for the colonnades which adorn the temple-architec: or a desire to go there. What is a country without ture in Egypt and Greece; and the most


, date-trees to an Arab ? electric-telegraphs , steam-driven looms and gaslights

, where the imitation is the closest, and where we behold trees ? Emerald meadows, and oak-forests, and horse reproduced in sculpture. Even the refinement in the

form of the columns, which may be remarked in the water, or ground into a coarse meal, are a nourishing greatest works of Egypt, as well as in the Acropolis of food for the camel and the cow. No part of this Athens-the correction of the error of vision by the invaluable tree is useless. The hairs are made into introduction of a slight swelling towards the centre mats and baskets; and the branches of which, accordof their height-was suggested by the palm, whose ing to Herodotus, the Ethiopians made their bows, stem swells in diameter at a certain height from the are now made into crates and many articles of furniground.

ture. The branches, again, with their leaves, are The influence which the palm has thus, from the used to thatch the roofs and wattle the sides of the earliest ages, exercised upon the imaginative and rude huts of the inhabitants of the oases ; and the inventive faculties of those who lived within the zone lower part of the branch, steeped in water and beaten of its growth, is easily intelligible. To the traveller's out, makes an excellent besom. The fibrous subeye, nature displays no more graceful or majestic stance which grows between the branches and trunk, scene than a palm-grove; and, considering how such the lif, supplies the Arab baths with a pleasant substigroves are generally situated, we cannot wonder if tute for the sponge ; and it is also twisted into ropes even the child of nature, though little susceptible of and woven into sailcloth. The trunk itself supplies æsthetical impressions, should be deeply affected by the best building-wood for rafters and columns, and the sense of their beauty. He only who has seen it is said to possess the property of curving upwards, can know the animated joy which the distant vision of instead of inwards, under a weight. Dear old Plutarch, the palm-grove wakes up in the wearied traveller's the only gossip of antiquity who has come down to us, heart. His caravan has toiled for days through the refers to this property of the palm-wood; and he treeless, trackless desert, moving painfully through the likens to it the true athlete—the athlete in the school hot air-waves all on fire with the sun's rays, surrounded of virtue, as well as in that of the Pentathlia, who is only by dark glassy rocks or yellow sands, which borne up and supported, not cast down or bent, by reflect the heat and light in which he is immersed, and the generous struggle. The whole tree, from its root produce those premature wrinkles which furrow the to the furthest tip of its last branch, is thus serviceforehead and draw together the eyelids even of the able to man. There remains only the sap to be youthful wayfarer-sands, again, which burn the foot accounted for. This, if the crown be laid bare, will during the day, or strike an icy chill into the body at afford daily, during three or four months, a gallon of night; not a blade of grass, not a thorn, not an insect milky juice, which forms the favourite drink of the nor a reptile speaking of life, the monotony being Arabs. The first day it is sweet, and in this condition unbroken, save here and there by a few piles of loose all drink it; the second day, it becomes slightly acid stones, heaped up by the piety of preceding travellers, and sparkling, and being now also intoxicating, if to direct the march over undulating sands as unstable drunk in large quantities, the graver sort do not and impressionless as water. When at last a dark touch it. The third day it is vinegar. This lagby is spot appears on the horizon, promising shade, water, not the only stimulant the palm-tree supplies, for the and probably the habitation of man, all hail the dates, steeped in water, give a wine, which can be sight: the camels, though unbid, break into a quicker preserved for ten or twelve months, and by distillation, march, the foot-sore pedestrians, forgetting their toils, affords a colourless spirit. hasten forwards to reach the welcome resting-place ; A good Arab housewife, besides the sirup-which renewed vigour is infused into the whole caravan; Herodotus calls the honey of the date, as the Arabs until, on drawing nearer to the goal, the general themselves sometimes do at the present day, though impatience can no longer be restrained, and the slow its usual name is dibs (sirup)- will, for a month march becomes an eager race. No primeval forest together, present to her lord every day a different dish, affords a cooler shade than the palm-groves of the prepared from the date. This fruit admits of as many oasis; the sun-rays do not penetrate through their varieties in cooking as the French egg or the English thick' roof, while the slender columns of the trees potato; but it is more important as an article of are open to every breath of air. The palm-grove domestic economy than either. In Europe, the date is is life in the midst of death—a world surrounded by still only known as an article of luxury; but if its chaos. The wind sighs in its branches, the birds valuable properties come to be appreciated, it may be flutter round them; the long-tailed gerboa gambols one day as popular among our mechanics as it is with about their stems, and marks the ground at their roots the Arab of the desert. Dates of good quality could with its tiny footprints. Around are strewn delicate be sold in England for about fourpence per pound; and plants, among which coleoptera in endless variety they are more nourishing, as well as easier of digeswing their buzzing flight. The noise and fulness of tion, than three times the same weight of bread. The life have succeeded to the stillness of the grave. Oh! want of such a stimulating food has been felt in our as the old Scotch proverb says, "the sight is good for manufacturing districts. The date contains a still sore eyes.

larger proportion of sugar than the currant. At the All this, however, is a very small part of what same time, the quantities which could be brought to man owes to the palm. He can live without splendid market, without raising the prices, even if the demand architecture; religion will never be at a loss for increased, are enormous. The whole valley of the symbols; and poetry, allowing it to be a necessary of Nile is adapted to its culture ; and the line of oases life, has contrived to find images and ideas of beauty from Egypt to Fezzan is capable of yielding an independently of our paternal aunt. But without food almost unlimited supply. The date-palm surpasses man cannot exist; he requires a shelter ; he is irresist- all other trees in the value, as in the variety of ibly impelled to supply himself with a few luxuries its produce. We had the pleasure of making the all these, and more than these, the date-tree yields. Its acquaintance of an Egyptian gentleman who was fruit supplies the most nourishing of vegetable food, formerly at the head of Mehemet Ali's agricultural alike eatable when fresh or when dried, uncooked or school. He is the proprietor of an estate near Cairo, cooked. The fleshy insertion of the young branches to the cultivation of which he applies practically all into the stem at its crown-in form not unlike the his theoretical knowledge. He told us that he has in leaf of an artichoke--is eatable, and affords a valuable the last few years raised large plantations of date-trees prevention against scurvy. The white pith of the from seed, and that he has already begun to realise crown or brain, with a flavour of cocoa-nut, is enough larger profits than he had ever expected. It is well for the dinner of six men. All the domesticated known that the shade of date-trees planted round a animals_horses, dogs, sheep, &c.—are fond of, and field is not injurious to its produce; it is the only tree thrive upon, the date. Its very stones, softened in under which the Arabs sow, and the space which its

stem or roots occupy is so very small, that its produce than a single day in each week for a large plantation in such a situation may be considered all clear gain. —the harvest is abundant. One year with another, the The trees begin to bear fruit in five years, and in date-palm, when arrived at its full growth, produces fifteen, each will give a clear annual profit of about ten from 300 to 400—in some few localities, as much as shillings, and in favoured localities, even as much as 600 pounds of fruit. The finest of all dates are those sixteen. The trees will live for 200 years, and their of Ibrim on the Nubian Nile. Some of the trees there produce seems to suffer no diminution from age. When produce fifteen bunches of fruit, each weighing about the trifling expense of sowing and rearing the tree, and sixty pounds, the dates themselves each three inches the little trouble the subsequent cultivation of it costs, long. It is truly, as the prophet-king sings, “a tree are considered, it cannot be questioned that the results, planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth in an agricultural point of view, are excellent. Ten his fruit in his season; his leaf doth not wither, and trees planted on an acre will not sensibly diminish its whatsoever he doeth prospereth.' yield of sugar, cotton, or grain ; but within six years they will most considerably increase the revenue derived from it. The date-tree, as we have already

A DESCENT INTO A COAL-MINE. observed, is unisexual, and as in sowing, one must take In accordance with a pleasant and most laudable custom the risk of having far too large a proportion of male of our age, Mr H. Hussey Vivian, M.P., agreed, in January trees, our friend gave himself much trouble to discover last year, to give a lecture at the Truro Institution. He some method of distinguishing the sex of the seed chose a subject with which property and its duties have before planting it, so as to avoid the loss of room, and made him familiar-Coal. Coal, in all its relations, the trouble which the unnecessary cultivation of many geological,

commercial, and social or political, he treated in superfluous males causes. Up to the present time, he one short discourse with a breadth of view and a minutehad been unsuccessful; but when lately with 'the ness of knowledge highly remarkable and highly creditable

. regiment, of which he is colonel, in the Sa'id, he The lecture has been published; * and we select from its obtained from two old men information which he pro- gentleman's descent into a pit. It must be premised that

many interesting details the following lively account of a mises to experimentalise upon. They told him that by it is a South Wales pit. immersing the seeds for three times twenty-four hours in water, carefully covering the vase, and changing a strong suit of blue pilot-cloth. We ask how it is this

Our first operation is to dress: we are furnished with the water daily, the seeds would sprout, and that dress is all woollen, and we are told that it does not burn

, the sex is indicated by the form of the sprout. Another and may be useful in case of fire. We begin to feel pretended to be able to distinguish them by the form uncomfortable, and to call to mind the awful explosions of of the indention which marks one side of the stone. which we have read. We advance towards the pit, and a The strangest and least probable information he man meets us and presents each of us with a Davy

. We received, was on the possibility of changing the sex of now feel very awkward, but we have said that we know al the tree by a surgical operation. We suggested to him about a mine, and we cannot shew the white feather. We that a microscopic examination of the stones would say, in an off-hand manner, that we suppose there is not probably display a difference of structure, but he said an explosion very often. Our conductor stops and reassures that this would not advance him, since he might us, stating that "there's never been a one since they got throw away the females, and preserve only the males. the air round; that she has now 90,000 cubic feet of air a Experiment alone would answer this difficulty, and an minute going through her, split into ten separate columns ; experiment extending over three or four years is too that she is swept out in every goaf and top-hole ; to exenmuch for Arab patience.

plify which, he will take the top off at the furthest point There are known to be at least 150 varieties of the we attain.” We express at once implicit belief in the date-palm, each of which has its own habitat, and is 90,000 cubic feet, and the perfect manner in which the found nowhere else. It bears fruit only between the mine is swept clear of gas, and we beg our cicerone that 31° and 18° north latitude, and is injured by the air he will by all means not trouble himself to unscrew the top of the sea; its cultivation ceases at heights where of his Davy for our instruction. We reach the pit-head: snow falls. The violent rains of the tropics are before we have time to think, up comes the cage with

the flat band is travelling at an extraordinary speed; but equally destructive to it. It is a tree calculated for awful velocity; the empty tram is in, the full one is out the latitudes where years may pass without a single and in ten seconds she is away again in the same mad career

. shower falling. The region of the palm extends from In less than sixty seconds, the same operation is gone the southern parts of Persia, Mooltan, and the Punjab through; and we now decide on going underground. The westward through the whole of North Africa to the cage is at rest, and we hear the words“ man going down." Canaries; but it produces its finest fruits in Arabia " What! you don't mean to say that you expect me to and parts of North Africa-countries which, without trust my life to that rope, and to the steadiness and nerve it, would afford no food to man. Hence the extreme of that engine-man? No, I will go by the footway." Our value of the variety of its productions. The palm- cicerone

stares; but our coal-mining friend interposes

, and tree grows in the depressions of those immense plains says: "Fortunately, there is none. We cannot afford to which form the Great Desert. Here, at a depth of waste men's lives and health in making them climb ladthree or four feet below the sand, a light loam is ders; and man-engines, as you are aware, are too expensive found, which affords it nourishment; and its roots, for general use. There is no real danger: we change three striking perpendicularly into the ground to a great hundred men a day, and have done so for years without depth, find there the necessary moisture. Sweet losing a man. The load of coal is five times as great as water and brackish are alike favourable to its culture; the load of men, and you will only go down five miles an the salts with which the desert is impregnated do not hour instead of ten.” Convinced against our will, we step injure its growth; and without further care than the into the cage, and away we rush down the shaft at railway annual pruning of the branches, it produces fruit. speed. Our head whirls; we feel a strong pressure on our Such fruits, however, though eatable and wholesome, ears; we hear the guides pass us with headlong velocity; are not, of course, of the finest quality. It is a law

we hardly know whether we are going up or down; and at of nature, that everything intended for the use of man last a gentle tap, and we are safely landed in a large vacant should reach its perfection only through his toil; and space, with sidings, crossings, partings, like a great rail

; in all the places which are celebrated for the excellence way-station on a lilliputian gauge. We are led along, and of their dates—the Beled-el-jerid, Siwah, Medina, and pass trains of trams, some full, some empty, from which a parts of Yemen-the proprietors are careful to dress which trains are continually added. We are struck with the ground, to water and to artificially manure the trees. But in return for such care-requiring no more

* Truro: Heard and Sons. Pp. 32.

the bustle and order, the stroke of work which is evidently say, one-fifth--leaving the remainder to support the roof being done. “How much are you raising ?” “Oh, we until the time arrives for working back, when the pillar left have just got her up to 600 tons a day." Only figure to is divided and taken away in sections, allowing the strata yourself this vast quantity daily out of one pit and one to fall: when this has occurred, the district is called the small space of ground—the active area, the scene of many goaf. Long-wall work, on the other hand, consists in years' working, being perhaps 200 acres ! How splendidly taking a large breast of coal clean away at once. In many has Providence provided for our wants, by so disposing bed beds, this is impracticable; but the opinion is gaining beneath bed, that we are able, with the least possible ground, that, when practicable, this system is preferable. trouble and expense, to supply ourselves with this ines- In both cases, main levels or drifts are driven, along which timable blessing so conveniently and cheaply! We are railways are laid and maintained until the coal which they conducted to a comfortable cabin with seats around it, command is exhausted. These main levels form also the and we are told to sit down and get our eyesight. Our airways of the mine; but in all well-worked collieries the cicerone proceeds to amuse himself by adjusting the wick waterway is kept distinct." of his lamp to the last degree of perfection; and while he Our cicerone, who has adjusted the wick of his lamp to does so, we question him a little, and we soon perceive that his perfect satisfaction, now says: “I think, sir, we had he is a north-countryman. “How can you extract 150,000 better be going; you've got your eyesight, haven't you?” or 180,000 tons of coal a year from the small area of “Ay, pick up a needle if you will ;" and away we go. Our ground you have described ?" is our first inquiry. He friend bends as if he fears he may hit his head—“Oh, keep points to the angle at which the rock is dipping, and says: your head up.". We have seven feet by ten here; this is * We drift across the strata, and thus intersect all the one of our main airways, and we have something like coal-beds. At this level, we have intersected twenty-one | 70,000 cubic feet of air a minute going through it, and we beds of coal in a distance of about 600 yards. These are must have it large. This is our main drift across the strata the far-famed lower measures of South Wales; on these, along it; the air is divided off, and carried into five or six all the great collieries and iron-mines are situated. In different districts, each of which is thus supplied with fresh this colliery, we have, by drifting, won seventy-two feet air. Each column, after airing its appointed district, is of coal, of which sixty-one feet is in beds of three feet and carried to the upcast; each district has at the further upwards. Every foot of coal extending over one acre, is cal- extremity a regulator or trap-door, by opening or closing culated to be equal to 1500 tons; and, consequently, every which, more or less air is drawn off from the main or acre in this colliery represents 91,000 tons. This is the parent column; and thus the wants of the colliery are even joint-stock company view of the case, and cannot be realised and simply supplied. This is the general arrangement of in practice. Many of these beds are not at present mar ventilation. Now, let me call your attention to the strata. ketable; but they are, nevertheless, coal, and may at some In passing along this drift, we shall traverse 133 noticefuture day be of value. They may work too small; and I able changes in the strata, besides twenty-one coal-veins know too well,” our cicerone says, “ how you gentlemen in in 320 vertical yards of ground. The leading type of these the west look for nubs, and how I am blamed if a cargo measures is clift, which, when pulverised and exposed to turns out small. My calculation will shew you how it is the weather, turns into mud or clay; but we have also that we can turn out so vast a quantity from so small a rock, which, when reduced to its elements, becomes sand. space. The case of flat measures is different. In my Interspersed are many beds of ironstone, and under each county, Durham, we have to look to the produce of one, coal-bed there is a bed of fire-clay; that clay is invarior, at most, two seams at a time; and when they are worked ably found beneath each bed both in England and everyout, we must sink deeper; but we often raise 1000 tons per where else where true coal exists, and as invariably day from one colliery; and we are enabled to do it solely by contains that curious fossil called stigmaria, of which the flatness of the strata, which permits us to drive out in all more anon. That which you see in this drift, in relation directions, and thus keep as many different districts going to the succession of various strata, applies to the whole as we do different beds in South Wales.” “But you say section of the coal-field, stated to be some 2000 fathoms that these beds are not all of equal value: how is that?" in thickness. The lower and upper measures, however, Now, our friend steps in, and says: “To a collier, they are contain more clift or clay, and the middle more sandstone all alike, or nearly so. The roof of one or bottom of another rock. The coal-measures of all England have much the may not be quite so good; but, on the whole, anything three same characteristics, although known locally by different feet, or even two feet, and upwards, is workable. But this names. Well, now at length we reach the coal, and stand is a surface-question: one bed may have a roof which amazed at its thickness: twelve feet of solid coal; about adheres to it so closely, that it cannot be detached, and the height to the gallery of this spacious apartment. The if I allow it to be worked and shipped, I shortly hear: 'Why, pick rings against it clear and joyful as a marriage-bellyou have sent me nothing but stones!' Some beds may joyful, for if it does not, wo betide the shipper, for it is contain sulphur, and if left in heaps, may ignite spontane- all slack, that skeleton in every collier's corner! We ously: we must leave them behind; if not, our friend writes are shewn its full thickness, its partings, its cleavage, its us to say: 'Your coal has got rusty as an old horse- holing, its roof, its underclay; its merits are descanted shoe, and I have had to keep a man to throw water on iton as those of a familiar friend, and our cicerone with to keep it black.' I say: ‘Preserve me from my friend; pride assures us that his "elder brother," though only but that bed cannot be worked.' Another is tender, and eight feet big, is just beyond, and quite as good or better. our friend writes us : 'You have sent me all slack.""Well, we now turn to the right or left along the course of Another produces too much ash; another is too free, and the bed, and we soon enter a stall or bord. We are won't bind; another has a parting in it; in fact, the right shewn how the air is caused to pass up it by means of thing in the right place in collieries, as in all other matters, light wooden planking, called a brattice, and then down the is not easy to obtain. You say: "One has a parting in it: other side, sweeping the face of the working as it goes. what does that mean? I thought a bed of coal was solid We find at the end of the stall, which is perhaps five and homogeneous.” “Far from it, my good sir; a bed of yards wide, a man at work, perhaps lying down, holing coal is rarely, if ever, formed without some separations in for yards under the coal; perhaps kneeling or standing up it parallel to its plane and continuous : sometimes this to cut deep into one side; perhaps boring for his shot. He parting is but the thickness of a knife-blade; sometimes it ceases. Our cicerone takes the pick, raps it, broad side, is an inch or foot thick; sometimes coal lies on coal; some against where he knows the coal is most solid, and extracts times shale intervenes, and then it is most prejudicial to a sonorous ring, with a “Well, Davy, it's all right; coal its sale, being difficult to keep out. Instances are known strong.” “Is indeed, master; I never did know it so in which this parting thickens to masses of rock many strong in my life: the price is too little.” “Oh, nonsense, fathoms thick, and thus divides the bed into two.” “Well, man; why, you made your thirty shillings last week.” now," says our stranger friend, " let us hear how you work "This is the best man we have got in the pit, sir.” Davy it.” “ The system of working may be divided into two grins, and away we go to the furnace.

" What! are you classes-namely, 'Stall and pillar,' and 'Long wall. The not afraid with this enormous fire, that the coal will first consists in taking away only' a portion of the coal— catch?” “O no; we have airways and counter-arches

to protect it." We cannot stand before it; it reminds if salt be desired, a tea-spoonful or two may be added. us of Dante's description of the infernal regions—a perfect Saltpetre may be used instead of salt, if it be wished to sea of flame and smoke rolling in lurid clouds, we know make the kipper hard.—Cooley's Cyclopædia. not whither, and lighting up the darkness; and yet the coal thus consumed does more “duty” than any theorist attributes to it, and the furnace, with its brick-shaft

PER ARDU A!' 500 feet deep, amply fulfils its mission. Now, one

Not on the common road step into the returns, and then to the glorious light of

Of Life, where thousands with eyes downcast go, day. We must explain. The returns of a colliery are With th' unambitious crowd, return we, slow, not its profits. I fear, in many cases, if we attempted

Unprofiting, to God. to find them, we might search in vain, and our search might end, as a colliery without return would surely

But up the arduous steep end, in an “explosion." Well, a colliery return is its

Whose summit crown the beauteous trees of truth air after it has done its allotted duty; and the pride of a

And hope, do we, in this our stalwart youth, collier is to shew that his returns are not loaded—that

Our onward journey keep. is, charged with inflammable gas. We go through a Not idly on the beach door which slams behind us as if it would smash its every We watch the turmoil of the tossing worldfibre. Off goes the top of our cicerone's lamp; we feel See strong hearts sink, with bright hopes new-unfurled, queer: his hand shades the flame, and he begs us remark Unaided, in our reach. that little or no elongation or halo plays around it. He

But on the angry deep takes us to a more secluded spot, and with his top on,

We earnest toil, to save from its distress he shews us a fine thin halo playing round the flame: he raises his lamp-it fills with flame: he slowly lowers it,

Some drowning soul, if so on earth one less

Sad heart bereft may weep. and says: “Now, sir, if it had not been for Sir Humphry Davy, you and I would now be scorched and blackened Not, cowards, from the fight corpses.” We are quite content with the success of his Of the torn peoples will we hang aback; experiment, and are glad to find ourselves in mad career Nor in the strife our arms to strike be slack up the pit, and again on, not in, mother-earth.'

For mankind's God-given Right.

But where the spoileris brand

Sweeps widest, where his heart out-trampling heel

Is firmest set, where Freedom's banners reel On being told that I had come to see glass-engraving,

There will we take our stand. the young man plied his wheel briskly, and taking up a ruby tazza, in a few minutes there stood a deer with

Not in the blotted book branching antlers on a rough hillock in its centre-a pure

Of man's false life, where fashion, prejudice, white intaglio set in the red. I had never before seen the And selfish greed, have writ their cursèd lies, process, and was surprised by its simplicity. All those May we unscorning look. landscapes, hunting-scenes, pastoral groups, and whatever

But by the rays that dart else which appear as exquisite carvings in the glass, are From Truth's lamp, gain we from the unread soul produced by a few tiny copper wheels or disks. The

Its wondrous lore, and strive to read the scroll engraver sits at a small lathe against a window, with a

Of man's mysterious heart. little rack before him, containing about a score of the copper disks, varying in size from the diameter of a half

We would not write on sand penny down to its thickness, all mounted on spindles, and Our names, that when we tread the quays of Time sharpened on the edge. He paints a rough outline of the No more, no manly deed, or thankful rhyme design on the surface of the glass, and selecting the disk

Shall mark where now we stand. that suits best, he touches the edge with a drop of oil, But we will labour now, inserts it in the mandril, sets it spinning, and holding the That when we pass to the far Resting-haven, glass against it from below, the little wheel eats its way in Our not unuseful lives may be engraven with astonishing rapidity. The glass, held lightly in the On a world's grateful brow. hands, is shifted about continually, till all the greater parts of the figure are worked out ; then, for the lesser

JEWELLER'S GOLD. parts, a smaller disk is used; and at last the finest touches, such as blades of grass, the tips of antlers, eyebrows, and

This term is applied to alloys of gold, used for trinkets so forth, are put in with the smallest. Every minute he and inferior articles of jewellery, ranging from three or four holds the glass up between his eye and the light, watching carats fine upwards, or which are too inferior to receive the the development of the design; now making a broad Hall mark. The lowest alloy of this class is formed of excavation, now changing the disk every ten seconds, and copper, 16 parts ; silver, 1 to 14 part; gold, 2 to 3 parts: giving touches so slight and rapid that the unpractised eye melted together. This is worth only from 8s. 6d. to 95. Od can scarcely follow them; and in this way he produces the ounce. It has recently been found that gold of the effects of foreshortening, of roundness, and light and quality of 12 carats or less, if alloyed with zinc instead of shade, which to an eye-witness appear little less than the proper quantity of silver, presents a colour very nearly wonderful. The work in hand happened to be tazzi, and equal to that of a metal at least 2 or 3 carats higher, or in less than half an hour I saw deer in various positions of 8s. or 10s. an ounce more value; and the consequence roughed out on six of them, and three completely finished. has been, that a large quantity of jewellery has been made -White's July Holiday in Saxony, Bohemia, and Silesia.

of gold alloyed in this manner; and the same has been

purchased by some shopkeepers, very much to their own PRESERVING FISH.

loss, as well as that of the public, inasmuch as a galvanie Fish may be preserved in a dry state, and perfectly fresh, action is produced, after a time, upon gold so alloyed; by means of sugar alone. Fresh fish may be thus kept for by means of which the metal is split into separate pieces, some days, so as to be as good when boiled as if just caught. and the articles rendered perfectly useless. Gold chains

, If dried and kept free from mouldiness, there seems no

pencil-cases, thimbles, and lockets, are the articles of limit to their preservation; and they are much more

which the public and the shopkeepers will do well to take nutritious in this way than when salted. This process is heed, as these have, among some other things, been lately particularly valuable in making what is called" kippered so constructed.'-Watherston's Art of Assaying. salmon; and the fish preserved in this manner are far superior in quality and favour to those which are salted Printed and Published by W. and R. CHAMBERS, 47 Pateror smoked. A few table-spoonfuls of brown sugar are

noster Row, Lonvon, and 339 High Street, EDINBURGIT. Also sufficient for a salmon of five or six pounds' weight; and

sold by WILLIAM ROBERTSON, 25 Upper Sackville Street, DÜRLIN,

D. L. P.

and all Booksellers,

« AnteriorContinuar »