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EXTRACT FROM BUCKINGHAM'S TRAVELS.
The town of Khan-e-Keen consists of two por: tions, occupying the respective banks of the river Silwund, which are connected together by a bridge across the stream. The river here flows nearly from south to north through the town; about half a mile to the southward of the bridge the bend of the river is seen, where the stream comes from the eastward; it then goes north for about a mile, and afterwards turns westerly, bending gradually to the southward, so as to form the Giaour-Soo, which runs to the west of Kesrabad.
The river is here, however, called the Sirwund or Silwund, and has its source in the eastern mountains, though no one at the place pretends to know, the exact distance of it from hence. The bridge is newly built of brick-work, and is supported on thirteen pointed arches and buttresses all of good masonry. It is high, broad, and well paved across, and is a hundred and eighty horse paces long, though the river itself is not, on an average, more than half that breadth.
Advantage has been taken of a bed of solid rock, which lies in the centre of the stream, to make it the foundation of the bridge; and the water of the river is led under each of the arches, through a narrow and deep channel, originally cut no doubt in the rock, but since worn into deep and apparently natural beds, leaving each side of the rock dry, In this way each arch has under it two broad level spaces of stone with a deep and rapid current going between them; so, that at this season of the year, when the water is low, a person can walk dry shod, across the rock, by the side of the bridge, and the places beneath the arches form so many shady retreats, where parties assemble to enjoy refreshments by the water, which is particularly clear, from running in a gravelly bed, and is of pure and excel
The western portion of Khan-e-Keen, which is the largest, approaches close to a cliff, overlooking the stream, and is hanked up in some places by a brick wall. The eastern division is smaller, but contains an excellent khan built in the Persian style, and capable of receiving a large caravan. Both divisong together contain about fifteen hundred dwel
lings, and a population of twelve thousand inhabitants. There are two principal mosques in the place, and the people are all of the sect of the Soonnees. Among the inhabitants are a few Jews, but no Christians. The governor is subject to Bagdad, and pays a tribute to the Pasha, which is drawn from agriculture, and the profits made on supplies to casual passengers. The language spoken is chiefly Turkish.
There are many excellent gardens at Khan-eKeen, and no want of trees; while the banks of the river, which are low both above and below the town, though one of them is high as the town itself, are covered with verdure. Tradition says that in this place was formerly a fine park, and two palaces, the work of Ferhad, the celebrated architect and sculptor, and lover of Shirine; one of these palaces, named Berzmahan, being for Shirine herself and the other the place from whence Khosrau or Kesra, her lord used to survey his troops. No situation can be more agreeable for parks or palaces, but no remains of any great buildings were now to be traced.
LONGEVITY. It is stated in the Warsaw Gazette, that a shepherd named Demetrius Grabowsky, died a short time since at Potorski, on the frontiers of Lithuania, at the great age of 169 years. Jenkins, the oldest man on record in England, lived exactly as long as the Polish shepherd. Old Parr reached 152
years. It is said that Grabowsky has left a son who is now 120 years old. A female died lately in Poland aged 124. Joseph Ram, a negro, affords the most extraordinary recent instance of longevity, next to Grabowsky; he died at the age of 146.
Sir John Sinclair, in his Code of Health and Longevity,” has stated that all of a great number of very old persons, whom he questioned, were alike only in two particulars—they were descended from parents of good constitutions, and they were early risers. Another fact may be stated, to which there are few exceptions: nearly all the well-affirmed instances of longevity have been among persons, who have lived and died poor.
The Clove is a native of most of the Molucca islands, where it has been produced, from the earliest records, so abundantly, that in exchange for their spicy produce, the inhabitants were enabled, before the intrusion of the Europeans into their country, to procure for themselves the productions which they required of almost every other region. Although Europeans have for more than two thousand years known the use of this spice, yet little more than three hundred years back they were ignorant whence it was obtained. The Per, sians, Arabians, and Egyptians formerly brought cloves and nutmegs to the ports in the Mediterranean, and hither the Venetians and Genoese resorted to buy the spices of India, until the Portuguese, in 1511, discovered the country of their production. This nation did not, however, long enjoy the fruits of its discovery; the Dutch soon drove them from the Moluccas, and for a long time retained a very strict monopoly over the productions of these islands. It is said that they destroyed the clove trees growing on the other islands, and .confined their culture wholly to Amboyna. They 'allotted to the inhabitants four thousand parcels of land, on each of which it was expected that one hundred and twenty-five trees should be cultivated; and in 1720 a law was passed compelling the natives to make up this number; there were in consequence five hundred thousand clove-trees planted in this small island; each of these on an average produced annually more than two pounds of cloves, so that the aggregate produce weighed more than a million of pounds.
Subsequently to this period, the policy of the Dutch somewhat relaxed, and the tree has been suffered to grow on other islands, and even to be carried to the West Indies; where, however, it does not appear until very lately to have succeeded. Sir Joseph Banks introduced it into England about 1797, but of course it is raised there only as a mere ornament or curiosity of the hothouse.
The clove is a handsome tree, somewhat like the bay tree in some of its characters, though the leaves
more nearly resemble those of the laurel. The flowers of the clove grow in bunches at the very extremity of the branches; when they first appear, which is at the beginning of the rainy season, they are in the form of elongated greenish buds, from the extremity of which the corolla is expanded, which is of a delicate peach-blossom color. When the corolla begins to fade, the calyx turns yellow, and then red: the calyces, with the embryo seed, are in this stage of their growth beaten from the tree, and after being dried in the sun, are what are known as the cloves of commerce. If the fruit be allowed to remain on the tree after arriving at this period, the calyx gradually swells, the seed enlarges, and the pungent properties of the clove are in great part dissipated. Each berry contains only one seed, which is oval, dark colored, and of a considerable size. It is a long time before a clove-tree yields any profit to the cultivator; it rarely producing fruit till eight or nine years after being first planted.
The whole tree is highly aromatic, and the footstalks of the leaves have nearly the same pungency as the calyx of the flowers.
“ Clove-trees,” says Sir T. Raffles, “ as an avenue to a residence are perhaps unrivalled—their noble height, the beauty of their form, the luxuriance of their foliage, and above all, the spicy fragrance with which they perfume the air, produce, on driving through a long line of them, a degree of exquisite pleasure only to be enjoyed in the clear light atmosphere of these latitudes.
Cloves contain a very large proportion of essential oil, larger perhaps than any other plant or parts of a plant. This oil is extremely pungent, and is one of the few essential oils which is specifically heavier than water. It is usually procured by distillation, but when the cloves are newly gathered it may be obtained by pressure. A part is often so taken, and the cloves, which are thereby rendered of little value, are fraudulently mixed with sound ones; but the robbed cloves are easily detected by their pale color, shrivelled appearance, and want of flavor.
The pungent and aromatic virtues of the clove reside in this essential oil, combined with the resinous matter of the spice; but it does not appear that these qualities are absolutely necessary to the growth or fructification of the tree. To give to this its greatest value, it must, however, be cultivated in a situation where they can be elaborated in the greatest quantity. Its profitable growth is therefore limited to a very narrow range of temperature and climate; as the clove loses its flavor if the situation be too moist or too dry, too near the sea, or too much elevated above its level. Though the tree be found in the larger islands of Eastern Asia and in Cochin China, it has there little or no flavor. The Moluccas seem to be the only places where the clove comes to perfection without cultivation.
This tree is so great an absorbent of moisture that no herbage will grow under its branches; while the cloves, when gathered, if placed in a heap near a vessel of water, are found very much to have increased their weight at the end of only a few hours, in consequence of the large portion of water which they have attracted and imbibed. It is said that both the grower and trader in cloves avail themselves of the knowledge of this fact, and since this spice is always sold by weight, thus give a factitious value to their goods
SUGAR. Sugar may be properly reckoned a necessary of life. It is of almost universal use throughout the world. The scattered tribes of North American Indians spend the months of spring in their rude encampments, manufacturing sugar out of the juice of the maple;—the five-and-twenty million inhabitants of Great Britain employ, throughout the year, two hundred thousand tons of shipping to export five hundred million pounds of sugar from their colonies. Through the natural operation of our commercial power this important article of comfort is placed within the reach of the humblest in the land.
though it was partially known much earlier. The plant was soon conveyed to Arabia, Nubia, Egypt, and Ethiopia, where it became extensively cultivated. Early in the fifteenth century the sugarcane first appeared in Europe. Sicily took the lead in its cultivation; thence it passed to Spain, Madeira, and the Canary Islands; and shortly after the discovery of the New World by Columbus, this plant was conveyed to Hayti and Brazil, from which latter country it gradually spread through the islands of the West Indies.
The sugar-cane varies exceedingly in its growth, depending upon the nature of the soil. In new and moist land it sometimes attains the height of twenty feet. It is always propagated from cuttings. The hoeing of a cane-field is a most laborious operation when performed, as it must be, under the rays of a tropical sun. Formerly this task was always effected by hand labor, but, of late years, where the nature of the ground will admit of the employment of a plough, that instrument has been substituted, to the mutual advantage of the planter and his laborers. The planting of canes does not require to be renewed annually; in such a case the utmost number of laborers now employed on a sugar plantation would be wholly inadequate to its performance.
When the canes are fully ripe they are cut close to the ground, and being then divided into convenient lengths, are tied up in bundles, and conveyed to the mill. The canes, on being passed twice between the cylinders of this mill, have all their juice expressed. This is collected in a cistern, and must be immediately placed under process by heat to prevent its becoming acid. A certain quantity of lime in powder, or of lime-water, is added at this time to promote the separation of the grosser matters contained in the juice; and these being as far as possible removed at a heat just sufficient to cause the impurities to collect together on the surface, the cane liquor is then subjected to a very rapid boiling, in order to evaporate the watery particles, and bring the syrup to such a consistency that it will granulate on cooling. Upon an average, every five gallons, imperial measure, of cane-juice, will yield six pounds of crystallized sugar, and will be obtained from about one hundred and ten well-grown canes.
When the sugar is sufficiently cooled in shallow trays, it is put into the hogsheads in which it is shipped. These casks have their bottoms pierced with holes, and are placed upright over a large cistern into which the molasses-which is the portion of saccharine matter that will not crystallizedrains away, leaving the raw sugar in the state wherein we see it in our grocers' shops: the casks are then filled up, headed down, and shipped.
The molasses which has drained from the sugar, together with all the scummings of the coppers, are collected, and, being first fermented, are distilled for the production of rum.
The Sugar-cane must be considered as a native of China, since it has been pretty accurately shown that its cultivation was prosecuted in that empire for two thousand years before sugar was even known in Europe, and for a very long period before other eastern nations became acquainted with its use. For some time after this substance, in its crystalline form, had found its way to the westward, through India and Arabia, a singular degree of ignorance prevailed in regard to its nature, and the mode of its production; and there is reason for believing that the Chinese, who have always evinced an unconquerable repugnance to foreign intercourse, purposely threw a veil of mystery over the subject. Persons have not been wanting, even in modern times, who have approved of this anti-social spirit, as being the perfection of political wisdom;--but is it not a complete answer to their opinion, that every nation which has cultivated commercial relations has been steadily advancing in civilisation, and adding most importantly to the sum of its comforts and conveniences? while the inhabitants of China, although possessed of the greatest natural advantages, arising from variety of soil and climate, by wnicn advantages they had so long ago placed chemselves in advance of other people, have remained altogether stationary?
A knowledge of the origin of cane sugar was correctly revealed in the middle of the thirteenth centůry, by the celebrated traveller Marco Polo;
A Curious River.- In the province of Andalusia, in Spain, there is a river called the Tinto, from the tinge of its waters, which are as yellow as Topaz. It possesses the most extraordinary and singular qualities. If a stone happen to fally in and rest upon another, they both become, in one year's time, perfectly united and conglutinated. All the plants on its banks are withered by its waters whenever they overflow. No kind of verdure will come up where its water reaches, nor can any fish live in its stream. This river rises in the Sierra Morena mountains, and its singular properties continue until other rivers run into it and alter its nature.
ANECDOTE OF THE STAGE. Mr. John Palmer, well known as an actor, on the London Loards, terminated his dramatic career and his life on the Liverpool stage, in 1798. On the morning of the day on which he was to have performed the “ Stranger," he received the distressing intelligence of the death of his second son, a youth in whoin his dearest hopes were centred, and whose amiable manners had brought into action the tenderest affections of a parent. The play, in consequence of this, was deferred; and during the interval, he had in vain endeavored to calm the agitation of his inind. The success with which be performed the part, called for a second representation (August 2d 1798), in which he fell a sacrifice to the poignancy of his own feelings, and in which the audience were doomed to witness a catastrophe which was truly melancholy. In the fourth act, Baron Steinfort obtains an interview with the Stranger, whom he discovers to be his old friend. He prevails on him to relate the cause of his seclu. sion from the world : in this relation, the feelings of Mr. Palmer were visibly much agitated; and at the moment he mentioned his wife and children, liaving uttered (as in the character) “ O God! 0 God! there is another and a better world !” he fell lifeless on the stage. The audience supposed for a moment that his fall was nothing more than a studied addition to the part; but seeing him carried off in deadly stiffiiess, the utmost astonishment and terror became depicted in every countenance. The lifeless corpse was conveyed from the stage into the scene room. Medical assistance was immediately procured; his veins were opened, but they yielded not a single drop of blood; and every other means of resuscitation were had recourse to, without effect. The gentlemen of the faculty, finding every endeavor ineffectual, formally announced his death.
Inexhaustibility of Literature. ---Books are the cause of books. Were there no books in the world, it might be difñ. cult to write one; but because there are so many, there may be so many more. The facility of production increases with production; the rays of intellectual light, are by the prismatic operation of books, broken into an infinity of lines and colors. Men may as soon cease to talk as cease to read and write books. All our daily and hourly talk may be made matter of literature, ay, and of interesting literature too. The more books that are printed, the more food is given to the mind; and the more nourishment the inind receives, the more vigorous its powers; and the greater its strength, the more valuable its thoughts, and the more excited its powers and capacities. There is no one topic in the whole range of literary interest that can be conceived capable of exhaustion ; and in matters of imagination there is no intellectual foresight, however sagacious, that is capable of conjecturing what may be done.—London Atlas.
Deafness of the Aged.-Nothing is more common than to hear old people utter querulous complaints with regard to their increasing deafness; but those who do so are not perhaps aware that this infirmity is the result of an express and wise arrangement of Providence in constructing the human body. The gradual loss of hearing is effected for the best of purposes ; it being to give ease and quietude to the decline of life, when any noises or sounds from without would but discompose the enfeebled mind, and prevent peaceful meditation. Indeed, the gradual withdrawal of all the senses, and the perceptible decay of the frame, in old age, have been wisely ordained in order to wean the human mind from the concerns and pleasures of the world, and to induce a longing for a more perfect state of existence.
VARIETIES. An address to the people of the United States has been made by a committee, appointed by the citizens of Cumberland, in Maryland. This town, it will be recollected, was visited by a destructive fire on Sunday, the 14th of April last. The value of the property destroyed has been estimated at more than $272,000, and 700 people have been rendered houseless, and otherwise deplorably destitute. It is hoped that an appeal of this kind to the charitable sympathies of our countrymen will be answered by their characteristic generosity and practical good feeling.
The first specimen of an Anglo Chinese Calendar and Register has been published in China for the year 1832. According to this authority, the population returns of the celestial empire, in 1813, amounted to 362 millions ; of which number the capital, Pekin, alone is said to contain five millions.
A splendid fair, for the benefit of the New England Institution for the Blind, was recently held at Faneuil Hall, in Boston. It commenced on the first of May, and continued three days, during which the old “ cradle of liberty transformed into a scene of oriental splendor. The amount of the receipts exceeded $12,000. The liberal donation of Mr. T. H. Perkins of his house in Pearl street, valued at $30,000, will probably complete the success of this laudable Institution. Other donations have been made, which reflect high credit on the donors.
The Russian American Company, with the view of opening a commercial communication with the North of America, intend founding a colony upon Stuart's Island in Norton Bay, and a convenient road is to be made from Siberia to the coast of Ochotzk.
The last accounts from Havana state, that the cholera has subsided. From 12,000, to 15,000 are supposed to have perished in that city since the commencement of the disease. Some of the plantations had suffered severely in the loss of slaves.
There are very contradictory accounts in circulation respecting the disposition and movements of the Indians on the frontier. The St. Louis Republican of the 9th ult, states on the authority of letters from Galena and Peoria, that they are asseinbling in large numbers on Rock River, evidently with hostile intentions, and that great alarm prevails in the vicinity of Galena. The same paper of the 12th says, that there is no reason for believing that these reports have any foundation in truth.
Cypress of Montezuma.-In the gardens of Chapultepec, near Mexico, the first object that strikes the eye is the magnificent Cypress called the Cypress of Montezuma. It had attained its full growth, when the monarch was on the throne, (1520) so that it must now be at least 400 years old; yet it still retains all the vigor of youthful vegetation. The trunk is forty-one feet in circumference, yet the height is so majestic as to make even this enormous mass appear slender. At Santa Maria de Tula, in Oaxaca, is a Cypress 93. English feet in circumference which yet does not show the slightest symptom of decay.
Rise of Lake Erie. For the last several years, the rise of the water in the Lake has inade serious encroachments on its southern shore in many places. For a considerable distance above the mouth of Black River, the bank of the lake is low and without rock. Twelve years ago, the bank was generally sloping, with a wide beach. Now the waves beat against a perpendicular bank, which from continual abrasion, is continually falling off. From one to three rods in width are worn away. annually:
The phenomena of this rise of waters, remain unexplained.-Ohio Allas.
The Ettrick Shepherd.—We had the pleasure to receive a few days since a long letter from James Hoyg, the Ettrick Shepherd, in relation to the publication of some of his works in the United States. He is about writing a series of tales in ten or twelve volumes. We regret to learn from his own pen, that, though “a poor shepherd half a century ago," he is, notwithstanding a life of industry, “ a poor shepherd to this day.' He writes that he has heard of "the splendid city of Albany on the Hudson," " at his own cottage in Yar. row," and that his poems have been extensively red in the United States.--//!lony Daily.rrrtiser.
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THE BANK OF THE UNITED STATES, AT PHILADELPHIA. The bank of the United States was established steps of marble lead to the basement, projecting by act of congress, on the 10th day of April 1816, ten feet six inches in front of the building, and upon and chartered until the 3d day of March 1836. which rise eight Doric columns, four feet six inches The bonus to the government was 1,500,000 dollars. in diameter, and twenty-seven feet in height, sup
Its capital is 35,000,000 dollars, divided into porting a plain entablature, and a pediment, the 350,000 shares of 100 dollars each: of these the vertical angle of which is 153o. government subscribed 70,000 shares, and is there The door of entrance opens into a large vestibule fore one-fifth proprietor of the bank.
with circular ends, embracing the transfer and loan The capital is divided between the parent bank offices on the right and left, together with a comat Philadelphia, and the different offices of discount modious lobby leading to the banking-room. The and deposit, or branches, established in various vestibule ceiling is a prolonged panelled dome, parts of the union. The general administration of divided into three compartments by bands enriched the bank is entrusted to a board of twenty-five di with the guilloches springing from a projecting rectors, of whom five are annually appointed by the impost containing a sunken frette. The pavement president and senate of the United States, and is tessellated with American and Italian marble twenty are annually elected by the stockholders. throughout. The branches are managed by a board of directors, The banking-room occupies the centre of the annually chosen by the parent board, and consisting building, being forty-eight feet wide, having its of from seven to thirteen members.
length, eighty-one feet, in an east and west direcThe Banking-House is formed on the plan of tion, and lighted exclusively from these aspects. the Parthenon at Athens, so far as it could be, con Its leading features present a double range of six sistently with the different purposes for which it is fluted marble columns, twenty-two inches in diamedesigned, and dispensing of course with the flank ter, at a distance of ten feet each from the side ing columns, and every appendage of mere decora walls, forming a screen or gallery for the clerks’ tion.
desks, which are placed within the spaces beteen the The ascent to the porticos is by a flight of six columns. These columns are of the Greek Ionic steps to a terrace extending in front of the building, order, with a full entablature and blocking course, and sixteen feet on each flank.
on which the great central and lateral arches are On this platform, being eighty-seven feet in front, supported: the central arch, being semi-cylindrical, and one hundred and sixty-one feet in depth, includ is twenty-eight feet in diameter, eighty-one feet in ing the porticos, the building is erected. In front, length, and subdivided into seven compartments,