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American Gold. It is estiinated by the superintendent of the United States Mint, that one half of the gold found in this country, is coined at home ; and that the amount of last year's production was a million and a quarter of dollars. This is estimated to be equal to one-sixth part of the entire quantity produced in Europe and America ; and as the amount gather. ed by us, increases annually, the proportion will in all prolability be for some vears extending in our favor.
Death of Poniatowsky.—Died at Florence, 13tn Feb. Prince Poniatowsky. He was born at Warsaw in 1754, and was the son of Casimir, brother of Stanislaus Augustus, the last King of the Poles. He was a liberal patron of the arts and literature, and retired to Florence, after having defended the interests of his country with manly eloquence, in the Diets of Poland. This Prince was the first who set the example of a useful and glorious reform by emancipating the serfs of his extensive domains.
Anecdotes of Blind Persons.—A French lady, who lost her sight at two years old, was possessed of many talents which alleviated her misfortune. * In writing to her," it is said, * no ink is used, but the letters are pricked down on the paper; and, by the delicacy of her touch, feeling each letter, she follows them successively, and reads every word with her fingers' ends. She herself in writing makes use of a pencil, as she could not know when her pen was dry: her guide on the pa. per is a small thin ruler, and of the breadth of her writing. On finishing a letter, she wets it, so as to fix the traces of her pencil, that they are not obscured or effaced; then proceeds io fold and seal it, and write the direction, all by her own address, and without the assistance of any other person. Her writing is very straight, weil cut, and the spelling no less correct. To reach this singular mechanism, the indefatigable cares of her affectionate mother were long emploved, who, accustoming her daughter to feel letters cut in cards of paste. board, brought her to distinguish an A from a B, and thus the whole alphabet, and afterwards to spell words; then, by the remembrance of the shape of letters, to delineate thein on paper; and lastly, to arrange them so as to form words and sentences. She sews and hems perfectly well, and in all her works she threads the needle for hersell, however small."
We have a very remarkable instance in John Metcalf, of Manchester, who very lately followed the occupation of conducting strangers through intricate roads during the night, or when the tracts were covered with snow. And, strange as this may appear to those who can see, the employment of this man was afterwards that of a projector and surveyor of highways in difficult and mountainous parts! With the assistance only of a long staff, he has been several times scen traversing the roads, ascending precipices, exploring valleys, and investigating their several extents, fornis, and situation, so as to ansiver his designs in the best manner. Most of the roads over the Peak in Derbyshire have been altered by his directions, particularly those in the vicinity of Buxton ; and he has since constructed a new one beiween Wilmslow and Congleton, with a view to open a coinnunication to the great London road, without being obliged to pass over the moun. tains
Hleraldry.—A sanguine Frenchman had so high an opinion of the pleasures to be enjoyed in the study of heraldry, that he used to lament, as we are informed by Menage, the hard case of our forefather Adam, who could not possibly amuse himself by investigating that science, nor that of genealogy
Average Duration of Life.-- Nothing is more proverbially uncertain than the duration of human life, where the maxim is applied to an individual; yet there are few things less subject to fluctuation than the average duration of a multitude of individuals. The number of deaths happening anongst persons of our own acquaintance is frequently very differentin different years; and it is not an uncommon event that this number shall be double, treble, or even many times larger in one year than in the next succeeding. If we consider larger societies of individuals, as the inhabitants of a village or small town, the number of deaths is more uniforin; and in still larger bodies, as among the inhabitants of a kingdom, the uniformity is such, that the excess of deaths in any year above the average number, seldom exceeds a small fractional part of the whole. In the two periods, each of fifteen years, beginning at 1780, the number of deaths occurring in England and Wales in any year did not fall short of, or exceed, the average number one-thirteenth part of the whole ; nor did the number dying in any year differ from the number of those dying in the next by a tenth part.- Babbage on the Assurance of Lives
VARIETIES. It is stated in the Long Island Inquirer, that Mr. Wirt, the late Attorney General of the United States, has purchased a large tract of land in Florida, for the purpose of cultivating the sugar cane. Instead of employing slaves, as is usual for such labor, he has made an arrangement with several hundred German emigranis, who proceed to his estate under the charge of Lieutenant Goldsborough, his son-in-law..
The legislature of Lower Canada have adjourned, after a stormy and unusually prolonged session of one hundred and forty days. Great political excitement appears to exist in the Province, which is said to be approaching to a state of anarchy and confusion.
A battle has taken place between the troops of Don Pedro and Don Miguel, which terminated in the defeat of the latter; but it seems to have been a trifling affair, and no otherwise important than as showing that the prospects of Don Pedro are not so bad as they were represented by the last accounts.
It is stated that Count Survilliers (Joseph Bonaparte) is to sail from London 1st of May, on his return to the United States. One of his chief motives for the voyage to Europe is said to have been to visit his mother, in Italy, who is quite aged, and his wife, who is sick. But passports were denied him, and he is compelled to return, without enjoying this indulgence.
The number of petitions presented to the House of Commons in the five years ending 1831, was 24,492, of which 10,685 were ordered to be printed, at an expense of £12,000. The number presented in the five years ending 1789 was 880; in the five years ending 1805, 1,025, and in the five years ending 1815, 4,498.
A letter in the Boston Courier, dated Smyrna, 230 January, states that the Sheriff, -the regular Government messenger from Smyrna to Constantinople,
,-was murdered, with all his attendants, a few nights previous, about 15 miles from the former city, and robbed of $10,000.
The brig Tigris arrived at Salem from Majunga, reports that there had been considerable political disturbances with much fighting; the Government had fallen into new hands, who were stated to be more pacific. The Cholera was very severe at Mocha, and along the Arabian coast.
Advantages of the Diffusion of Knowledge.-An intelligent class can scarce ever be, as a class, vicious; never, as a class, indolent. The excited mental activity operates as a coun. terpoise to the stimulus of sense and appetite.
The new world of ideas; the new views of the relations of things; the astonishing secrets of the physical properties and inechanical powers, disclosed to the well-informed mind, present attractions, which, unless the character is deeply sunk, are suffi. cient to counterbalance the taste for frivolous or corrupt pleasures; and thus, in the end, a standard of character is created in the community, which, though it does not invariably save each individual, protects the virtue of the mass.Everett's Discourse.
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Black Hawk. This celebrated chief, with his two sons, the prophet, and the other Indians named in the late treaty with the Sacs and Foxes at Fort Armstrong, arrived at Cincinnati on the 13th inst. on their way to Fortress Monroe in the Chesapeake Bat. Here they are to be contined during the pleasure of the President. It is understood, however, that they are to be treated in the most lenient inanner, consistently with the security of their persons, and will be coinpelled to report the selves only once or twice a day.
THE RIVER ST. LAWRENCE.
the southeast by the passage between Cape Ray, The St. Lawrence, though not the longest river at the southwest extremity of the latter island, and in the world, is certainly the largest in every other the north cape of Breton island; and lastly, by the respect, if, as appears proper, its immense lakes be narrow channel, named the Gut of Canso, that considered to form part of it. Under this aspect divides Cape Breton from Nova Scotia. it will be found that the surface it covers, and the There are no soundings in the middle of the St. cubic mass of its waters, far exceed those of the Lawrence until about one hundred and fifty miles Amazon or the Mississippi, but it probably does
The snow on the banks in winter is about not carry to the ocean a greater volume of water five feet deep. Sometimes the soil on the breasts than either of these two majestic streams. The of the hills will shove down with all its trees to the source of the river St. Lewis, which may be deemed plains below. The spots where these shoves have the remotest spring of the St. Lawrence, is in taken place, are plainly seen from the river, and latitude 48° 30' north, and longitude about 93° west. have a singular appearance. Numbers of shipFrom its source the general direction of the St. wrecks occur yearly in the Gulf and River St. Lawrence, through lakes Superior and Huron, is Lawrence; this proceeds from many causes. The southeast to Lake Erie, nearly due east through pilots are none of the most skilful; the navigation that lake, and then northeast to the Gulf, through is intricate and difficult. Then there are many which its waters are mingled with the Atlantic ships seni out for timber, which are old, crazed, Ocean, after an uninterrupted course of two thou and unfit for any other trade. These are often sand miles.
laden beyond what they can bear; too much deck The Gulf of St. Lawrence, that receives the wood is heaped on them, so that the sailors cannot waters of this gigantic river, is formed between the get to the ropes. western part of Newfoundland, the eastern shores To be aboard a ship in the Gulf of St. Lawrence of Labrador, the eastern extremity of the province in an extremely stormy, dark night, when the of New Brunswick, part of the province of Nova weather is bitter cold, is perhaps as dismal a situaScotia, and the island of Cape Breton. It commu tion as human beings can be placed in. Sometimes nicates with the Atlantic Ocean by three different a blaze of lightning between the squalls will illupassages, namely, on the north by the straits of minate for a moment the awful scene; then over Belleisle between Labrador and Newfoundland; on the bulwarks comes the icy surge, cuttin; to the
bone; while the ropes snap, and the yards and copmasts come thundering upon the deck.
The St. Lawrence is navigable for ships of the line to Quebec, about 400 miles, and to Montreal for ships of 600 tons, 580 miles. The distance from Montreal to lake Ontario is 130 or 200 miles. The tide flows up as far as Three Rivers. Its breadth between Montreal and Quebec is from half a mile to four miles; the average breadth, about two miles. Below Quebec, it gradually widens, till it enters the gulf, where, from Cape Rosier to the Mingan settlement, on the Labrador coast, it is about 105 miles in breadth. From the beginning of December to the middle of April, the navigation is totally suspended by frost. The breaking up of the ice in spring is described as a magnificent scene. Among the islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is a singular one called the pierced island, an engraving of which is presented above. It is a barren rock, near the base of which are two openings, large enough for a boat to pass through them.
A TURN FOR BUSINESS. Next to a thorough grounding in good principles, perhaps the thing most essential to success in life is a habit of communicating easily with the world. By entering readily into conversation with others, we not only acquire information by being admitted to the stores which men of various modes of thinking have amassed, and thereby gain an insight into the peculiarities of human character, but those persons into whose society we may be accidentally thrown are gratified to think that they have been able to afford instruction. Seeing that we appreciate their favorite subject, they conceive a high opinion of our penetration, and not unfrequently exert themselves wonderfully to promote our interests. Men in business, particularly, who have this happy turn of being able to slide as it were into discourse, and to throw it into that train which is best suited to the capacities and humors of others, are wonderfully indebted to it for the run of customers it entices to their shops. A stately, grave, or solemn manner, is very inappropriate in mcasuring stuffs by the yard; and though a man be penetrated by the deepest sense of gratitude, if his bow be stiff, and his countenance not of a relaxing cast, he makes not half so favorable an impression as another who may not perhaps be a more deserving person in the main, but has a more graceful method of acknowledging his obligations. It is astonishing, too, at low cheap a rate good will is to be purchased. An insinuating way of testifying satisfaction with the pleasantness of the weather, is often a very effectual way of extending popularity; it is regarded as an act of condescension when addressed to some, while with others it is received as the indication of a happy temperament, which is at all times attractive. A person who“ has little to say,” or, in other words, who does not deign to open his mouth except when it is indispensably necessary, never proves generally acceptable. You will hear such a one described as "a very good sort of man in his way;" but people rather avoid him. He has neither the talent of conversing in an amusing vein himself, nor of leading on others to do so; and they are only the arrantest babblers who are contented with an inanimate listener. I remember a striking example of the various fortune of two persons in the same profession, who happened to be of those different dispositions.
Two pedlers made their rounds in the same district of country. The one was a tall, thin man, with a swarthy complexion. Nothing could exceed this fellow's anxiety to obtain customers; his whole powers seemed to be directed to the means of disposing of his wares. He no sooner arrived at a farm-house than he broached the subject nearest his heart—" Any thing wanted in my line to-day?" He entered into a most unqualified eulogium on their excellency; they were all unequalled in fineness; he could sell them for what might be said to be absolutely nothing; and as for lasting, why, to take his word for it, they would wear forever. He chose the table where the light was most advantageous, proceeded immediately to undo the labyrinth of cord with which his goods were secured, and took the utmost pains to exhibit their whole glories to the eyes of the admiring rustics. If the farmer endeavored to elicit from him some information concerning the state of the crops in the places where he had been travelling, he could only afford a brief and unsatisfactory answer, but was sure to tack to the tail of it the recommendation of some piece of west of England cloth which he held in his hand ready displayed. Nay, if the hospitality of the good wife made him an offer of refreshment before he entered upon business, he most magnanimously, but unpedler-like, resisted the temptation to eat, animated by the still stronger desire to sell. There was no possibility of withdrawing him for a moment from his darling topic. To the master he said, “Won't you buy a coat?”—to the mistress, “Won't you buy a shawl?”—to the servant girls, “Won't you buy a gown a-piece? ' and he carnestly urged the cowherd to purchase a pair of garters, regardless of the notorious fact that the ragged urchin wore no stockings. But all his efforts were ineflectual; even his gaudiest ribbons could not melt the money out of a single female heart; and his vinegar aspect grew yet morc mcagre as he restored each article untouched to his package.
The rival of this unsuccessful solicitor of custom was a short, squat man, fair-haired and ruddy. He came in with a hearty salutation, and set down his pack in some corner, where, as he expressed himself, it might be “out of the way.” He then immediately abandoned himself to the full current of conversation, and gave a detail of every particular of news that was within his knowledge. He could tell the fariner every thing that he desired to know —what number of corn-stacks appeared in the barn-yards wherever he had been, and what quantity of grain still remained uncut or in shock, and he took time to enumerate the whole distinctly. He was equally well prepared in other departments of intelligence, and so fascinating was his gossip, that when the duties of any member of the family called them out of hearing, they were apt to linger so long, that the good wife declared he was “a perfect offput to a' wark.” This, however, was not meant to make him abate of his talkative humor; and neither did he: the whole budget was emptied first, and he received in turn the narratives of all and sundry. Then came the proposal from some of those whom he had gratified with his news, to “ look what was in the pack.” The goods were accordingly lugged from their place of concealment, and every one's hand was ready to pick out some necessary or some coveted piece of merchandise. The master discovered that, as he would be needing a suit ere long, it was as well to take it now. The mistress was just waiting for Thomas coming
round to supply herself with a variety of articles, "for," quoth she “mony things are needit in a house The servants exhorted each other to think whether they did not require something, for it was impossible to say when another opportunity of getting it might occur. The ell-wand was forth with put into diligent requisition, the scissors snipped a little bit of the selvage, and an adroit “screed separated the various cloths from the rapidly diminishing webs. The corners of many chests gave up their carefully hoarded gains, with which cheap remnants were triumphantly secured. In the midst of this transfer of finery, the poor herd boy looked on with a countenance so wofully expressive of the fact that he had not a farthing to spend, that some one took compassion on him, and, having laid out a trifling sum, had the satisfaction of making him perfectly happy with the equivalent, flinging it into his unexpectant arms, and exclaiming, “Here, callant, there's something for you!" What a multiplicity of pleasing emotions had this trader the tact of calling into exercise, all of them redounding tenfold to his own proper advantage! It was impossible to say whether he cultivated his powers of talk from forethought, as knowing that they would produce a crisis favorable to his own interests, or if he indulged in them because gossiping was congenial to his own disposition. He had a sharp eye enough to what is called the main chance; but ‘at the same time he did not possess that degree of intellectual depth, which we might expect to find in one who could calculate upon exciting the purchasing propensities by a method so indirect. Most probably, therefore, his success in business was more the result of an accidental cast of mind than of wisdom prepense, or any aptitude beyond common men for the arts of traffic, as considered by themselves.
Such, also, in most cases, is that talent which gets the name of " a fine turn for business.” The possessor exerts his powers of pleasing, alike when engaged in the concerns of his profession, and in society when there is no object to serve but that of passing time agreeably. His engaging address is productive of commercial advantages, but it is not a thing acquired and brought into exercise solely for that end. Some people, no doubt, finding themselves to have a prepossessing manner, do employ it systematically to promote their views of business; but by far the greater number employ it because they have it, and without reference to the pecuniary profit that may accrue. The pecuniary profit, however, follows not the less as its consequence; and we have the satisfaction of seeing urbanity of manners almost uniformly rewarded by attaining to easy circumstances, while the man of a gruff unsocial humor has usually to maintain a hard struggle with fortune. . The mere packing of knowledge into the heads of children is not the only thing required to insure their future respectability and happiness--the qualities of the heart also demand the fostering care of the instructer; and since so much depends on their temper and behavior to those around them, parents cannot be too assiiluo is in the cultivation of affability, the possession of which virtue is the grand secret that confers "a fine turn for business." - Chambers' Edinburgh Jourral.
THE PUMA. The above engraving is a portrait of one of the most beautiful of the cat tribe in the Zoological Gardens in London. This creature appears perfectly mild and playful; sleeping, for the most part, in the day; but sometimes rising when interrupted by a stranger, and occasionally knocking about a little ball in its cage.
The puma is a native of the New World, and is principally found in Paraguay, Brazil, and Guiana. He is, however, often seen in the United States; but there, as in every other part of the world, civilisation daily lessens the range of those anima's which live by the destruction of others. The puma, in its natural state, is a sanguinary creature, attacking the smaller quadrupeds, and often destroying more than can be necessary for the satisfaction of his appetite. He is alarmed at the approach of men or dogs, and flies to the woods, where he mounts trees with great ease. He belongs to the same division of cats as the lion, by the essential character of the unspotted color of his skin, which is of a reddish-yellow, or silvery-fawn; but, unlike the lion, he is without a mane, and the tail has no tuft. The average length of the puma is about four feet, and its height about two feet. It stands lower on the legs than the lion, and the head is round and small.
The puma, which was long called the American lion, though a large animal, is not an object of great dread to the natives of the regions to which he belongs. He is easily tamed. D'Azara, the naturalist, had one which was as sensible to caresses as the common cat; and Mr. Kean, the tragedian, had a domesticated puma, which was much attached to him. Although there have been instances of the puma attacking, and even destroying the human species, in South America they have an instinctive dread of any encounter of this nature. Capt. Head, in his “ Journey across the Pampas," has the following interesting anecdote of the puma, which, in common with other travellers, he incorrectly calls the lion:
“ The fear which all wild animals in America have of man is very singularly seen in the Pampas. I often rode towards the ostriches and zamas, erouching under the opposite side of my horse's neck; but I always found that, although they would allow any loose horse to approach them, they, even when young, ran from me, though little of my figure was visible; and when one saw them all enjoying themselves in such full liberty, it was at first not pleasing to observe that one's appearance was every where a signal to them that they should fly
EPIGRAM, BY COLERIDGE. Swans sing before they die-'t were no bad thing, Did certain persons die before they sing.
from their enemy. Yet it is by this fear that “man hath dominion over the beasts of the field," and there is no animal in South America that does not acknowledge this instinctive feeling. As a singular proof of the above, and of the difference between the wild beasts of America and of the Old World, I will venture to relate a circumstance which a man sincerely assured my had happened to him in South America.
“He was trying to shoot some wild ducks, and, in order to approach them unperceived, he put the corner of his poncho (which is a sort of long, narrow blanket) over his head, and crawling along the ground upon his hands and knees, the poncho not only covered his body, but trailed along the ground behind him. As he was thus creeping by a large bush of reeds, he heard a loud, sudden noise, between a bark and a roar: he felt something heavy strike his et, and instantly jumping up, he saw, to his astonishment, a large lion actually standing on his poncho; and, perhaps, the animal was equally astonished to find himself in the immediate pre
gence of so athletic a man. The man told me he was unwilling to fire, as his gun was loaded with very small shot; and he therefore remained motionless, the lion standing on his poncho for many seconds: at last the creature turned his head, and walking very slowly away about ten yards, he stop
ed and turned again: the man still maintained his ground, upon which the lion tacitly acknowledged his supremacy, and walked off.”
plates used by Mr. Perkins were, on the average, about five eights of an inch thick; they were either of steel, so tempered as to admit of the operation of the engraver, or, as was more generally the case, of steel decarbonated, so as to become very pure soft iron, in which case, after they had received the work on the surface, they were casehardened by cementation.
The decarbonating process was performed by enclosing the plate of cast steel, properly shaped, in a cast iron box, or case, filled about the plate to the thickness of about an inch, with oxide of iron or rusty iron filings. In this state the box is luted close, and placed on a regular fire, where it is kept at a red heat during from three to twelve days. Generally about nine days is sufficient to decarbonize a plate five eights of an inch in thickness. When the engraving or etching has been executed, the plate is superficially converted into steel by placing it in a box as before, and surrounding it on all sides by a powder made of equal parts of burned bones, and the cinders of burned animal matter, such as old shoes or leather. In this state the box, with its contents, closely luted, must be exposed to a blood red heat for three hours; after which it is taken out of the fire, and plunged perpendicularly edgewise into cold water, which has been previously boiled, to throw off the air. By this means the plate becomes hardened, without the danger of warping or cracking. It is then tempered, or let down, by brightening the under surface of the plate with a bit of stone; after which it is heated by being placed upon a piece of hot iron, or melted lead, until the rubbed portions acquire a pale straw color For this purpose, however, the patentee expressed himself in favor of a bath of oil heated to the temperature of 460 degrees, or thereabouts, of Fahrenheit's scale. The plate being cooled in water, and polished on the surface, was ready for use.
A more material peculiarity in Mr. Perkins's invention, and one which does not seem to have been approached by any preceding artist, was the contrivance of what are called indenting cylinders. These are rollers of two or three inches in diameter, and made of steel, decarbonized by the process before described, so as to be very soft. In this state they are made to roll backward and forward under
powerful pressure, over the surface of one of the hardened plates, until all the figures, letters, or indentations are communicated with exquisite precision, in sharp relief upon the cylinder, which being carefully hardened and tempered becomes, by this means, fitted to communicate an impression to other plates, by an operation similar to that by which it was originally figured. It will be obvious, that one advantage gained by this method must be the entire saving of the labor and expense of recutting, in every case on different plates, ornaments, borders, emblematical designs, &c., as these can now be impressed with little trouble on any number of plates, or in any part thereof, by the application of the cylinder. At first sight, the performance of such an operation as the one now alluded to, may appear difficult, if not impracticable and, indeed, many persons, on its first announcement, were disposed to doubt or deny its possibility altogether. With a proper and powerful apparatus, however, this method of transferring engravings from plates to cylinders, and vice versa, is every day performed with facility and success, not only in the production of Irish bank-notes, labels, &c., but in works exhibiting very elaborate engravings.-Lardner's Cyclopedia.
STEEL PLATES FOR ENGRAVING. For several years past sheet steel has been used in large quantities, instead of copperplates, by the engravers. By this fortunate application of so durable, and, it may be added, so economical a material, not only has a new field been discovered admirably suited to yield in perfection the richest and finest graphic productions, which the ingenuity of modern art can accomplish, but to do so through an amazingly numerous series of impressions without perceptible deterioration. The art of engraving on iron or steel for purposes of ornament, and even for printing, in certain cases, is by no means a discovery of modern times; but the substitution of the latter material for copper, which has invited the superiority of the British burine to achievements hitherto unattempted by our artists, is entirely a modern practice.
In the year 1810, Mr. Dyer, an American merchant, residing in London, obtained a patent for certain improvements in the construction and method of using plates and presses, &c., the principles which were communicated to him by a foreigner residing abroad. This foreigner was Mr. Jacob Perkins, an ingenious artist of New England, and whose name subsequently became so extensively known in this country, in connexion with rollerpress printing from hardened steel plates. The