Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed]


raised to its greatest intensity. When filled, the In the whole circle of our manufactures there is opening is closed with wet clay, excepting a small not any thing more curious than the one that is de hole for examining the interior of the furnace. The picted in the above engraving. Materials which mass soon begins to heave, and exhibit a mass of appear of themselves but little fitted for any useful liquid grandeur like the waves of the ocean cu fire. purpose, are blended together so as to form com During this process, samples for examination are pounds of a new and entirely distinct character. frequently brought out by the aid of an iron rod, Indeed, an uninitiated person looking at the sand, and the glass becomes beautifully clear and translead, and pearl ashes, as they are prepared for the parent. The glass may now be considered as comglass-house, would consider that nothing less than pletely made, but it requires some time to cool down the wand of the enchanter could accomplish their to the requisite working temperature. It should be change into a hard and crystalline body.

just soft enough to yield with ease to any external The ingredients usually employed in the manufac impression, even to the force of the breath, when ture of glass, with their relative proportions, may impelled against the glowing mass, and in that state be thus briefly described:

it may be bent into aay required form. Such, in120 parts of well-washed white sand

deed, is its tenacity, that it may be rapidly drawn 40 purified pearl ashes

into a solid string, and wound on a reel, many miles 35 litharge

in length. Having thus brought the glass to a 13 nitre.

state fit for what is technically called “blowing," 1

black oxide of manganese. we may introduce our readers into the workshop When these materials are collected and properly itself, which will be best done by the aid of a graphic proportioned, they receive a certain amount of cal illustration, and the engraved view at the head cination prior to their being placed in the melting of this article, will admirably answer the purpose. pot. This operation is called fritting, and is per In the present season of the year the temperature formed either in small furnaces adjoining to the of the blowing-house would shame the hottest porproper glass furnace, and heated by the same fuel, tions of the torrid zone, and while we now write, after its principal force has been expended on the we are laboring under the enervating effects of a glass-pots, or else in ovens constructed for the visit, many hours back, when the thermometer stood purpose. The use of this preparatory process is to at 140° discharge all moisture from the ingredients, and The workmen who are represented in the engrato drive off the carbonic gas. This operation is ving, are each engaged in one of the operations performed gradually, and carried to the point of essential to the manufacture of a common drinkingsemi-vitrification. When the materials are suf glass. For this purpose the operator takes a holficiently “ fritted,” they are thrown with clean iron low tube, about four feet long, called a blowing-iron, shovels, through the side opening of the furnace, and dipping it into the melting-pot, turns it round into the glass-pots, the fire having been previously till a portion of the glass adheres to the surface.

He then holds it near the ground, so that the mass is extended by its own weight, and blows strongly into the tube. The breath penetrating the red-hot mass, enlarges it, and it becomes an elongated sphere of the requisite dimensions. To separate this globe from the iron tube, an assistant dips the end of a solid rod into the glass-pot, and bringing out at its extremity some of the melted glass, thrusts it immediately against the globe at the part directly opposite the neck, so that it may be firmly united. The workınan then wets a small piece of iron with his mouth, and lays it on the neck of the globe, and it immediately cracks off, leaving the globe open at the neck. This is again introduced into the fire by the new bar of iron, and afterwards rounded on the rails of a sort of arm-chair. In order to detach the foot from the iron, moisture is again applied, and it drops off. There is a final process called annealling, which consists in raising the temperature in a separate oven, and afterwards allowing the glass to cool gradually; it is less likely to break.

Pliny attributes the invention of glass entirely to chance, and relates, that it was first made in Syria by some mariners who were driven on shore, on the banks of the river Belus; and who having occasion to make large fires on the sands, burnt the kali which abounded on that shore; and that the alkali of the plant uniting with a portion of the sand on which the fire stood, produced the first stream of melted glass that had ever been observed.



(Continued from the last number.) March 12th. Having purchased two fresh mules and an extra horse, and engaged another guide, we departed. We had in company two Spanish merchants, each of whom was accompanied by two servants, and being all well armed we were enabled to muster a pretty respectable force. Our horses and mules were twenty-one in number. We left the city for Mexico and took the road leading by the Aciendos, or farms. This is the shortest and worst road, and is only travelled by those on horseback. But a small part of the country that we passed this day, appeared to be cultivated. I noticed two fine runs of water, several well built stone bridges, and an elegant paved causeway, two miles in length. This was said to be the work of the old Spaniards. By noon we arrived at the village of Taportaness, which contains about 3000 inhabitants, and is supported by agriculture. Distance travelled, twenty-two miles.

At daylight the next day, we recommenced our journey on a road leading through a tract of country very little cultivated, although the soil appeared to be good. We travelled principally on the ascent. I noticed several settlements and small tracts of land under cultivation, and observed a rough wooden plough made by the natives, which serves for them very well. At 12, we arrived at the village of Taportlan, containing twelve or fifteen hundred inhabitants. It is supported by agriculture. Distance travelled, forty-two miles.

We departed the next day on a road leading over very extensive plains and passed occasionally fine patches of land under cultivation. This part of the country seemingly wanted water and wood. I saw large numbers of rabbits. The road we have travelled this day would do well for carriages. At.

1 P. M. we arrived at the rancho called Souche gal. Distance travelled this day, forty-eight miles This miserable rancho was kept by an old woman, who, as there was only one room in the house, had taken pains to fill that with the images of saints as large as life, neglecting every other article of utility. Here my Spanish companions had an idea, that they should pass the night more pleasantly than they before had done, being in company with such high personages, whose appearance, by the way, was any thing but interesting. The nocturnal revels of the feas and bed-bugs, however, caused my fellow travellers to think quite differently before morning

Before daylight, we took leave of the house of saints, wishing never more to be caught in another of the kind. We proceeded over a fine carriage road and through a clear tract of country. At 3 P. M. we arrived at the village of San Juan, or St. John, containing 150 or 200 buildings and about 3000 inhabitants, principally farmers. At the place where we stopped, we had comfortable quarters. We travelled this day, fifty-four miles.

Alarch 16th. At daylight we continued our jour ney over a beautiful coach-road, principally on the ascent, and through a very handsome tract of country, deficient however in water, as we have passed only two small streams during this day's ride. I noticed several small villages.

The native women were engaged in weaving cotton with a very rough hand loom. The business appeared slow and tedious. To take the natives generally, I think them as dirty a looking set as I ever saw.

In a few hours we arrived at the town of Yxapuato containing 600 buildings and 5 or 6000 inhabitants. Here, the landlord, to recommend his intolerably dirty house, gave us to understand that a few weeks before some soldiers had been quartered there This place being so near the celebrated mines of Guanahuatto, I think will be of some consequence It is supported by agriculture and trade. Distance travelled this day, thirty-six miles.

The next day we proceeded over a fine coachroad and through a tract of country under good cultivation. We passed two or three small villages, and in the course of the forenoon arrived at a small town, called Salamanca, containing 3 or 4000 inhabitants. Several of the churches and convents were very handsome. Here we took breakfast, and proceeded on our way through a fine tract of country, which brought us to the town of Celegea. This place has several ncat public buildings, and about 11,000 inhabitants. The town is handsomely laid out in squares, and has a handsome placca, in the middle of which is a monument erected in commemoration of their independence.

Here I observed the natives trafficking considerable quantities of cotton yarn, which appeared of very fair quality. The exterior of several of the churches, which I visited, were rich and elegant. Distance travelled this day, forty-eight miles.

At daylight we continued our journey over a dusty but commodious road, and through a beautiful tract of country. We passed several small villages. At 11 A. M. we arrived at the city of Geratera, containing several churches and convents, 1200 private buildings and between 30 and 35000 inhabitants. Geratera is situated on the side of a hill: the streets are regular and well paved, and the houses built in a good style. Like most Mexican towns, it has large tracts of land appropriated

fo: pleasure grounds. At a little distance from the city, is a beautiful aqueduct, leading across a deep valley. It is built on arches of massive masonry, and brings water to the city. It docs credit to those who erected it.

I visited several of the first families, and found them generally polite The young ladies, particularly, seemed desirous to give me all the information which I needed. I visited one of the convents, with a Spanish friend, who went to confess. During his period of confession, I amused myself with observing the "padres" or priests playing at the game of nine-pins, and shuffle board.' They seemed to be a very jovial set of fellows, and eagerly urged me to partake in their amusement. This place is supported by agriculture and trade. Distance travelled this day, forty-eight miles.

(To be continued.)


COCOA. The cacao is a native of South America, where it was not only used for food, but the seeds served as money. The tree is not unlike that of the cherry in form, and seldom exceeds twenty feet in height. The leaves are oblong, and pointed at the end, and when young are of a pale red. The flowers, which generally spring from the wood of the large branches of the tree, are small, and of a light red color, mixed with yellow; the pods which succeed them are oval, and are green when young, but as they ripen they become yellow or red. They are filled with a sweet, white pulp, which surrounds the many seeds contained in each of the five cells, or divisions. When travelling, the native Indians eat this pulp, and find it very refreshing. The seeds are steeped in water previous to their being sown, and lose the power of reproduction in a few days after they are taken from the pod. As the plant grows up, the shade of the coral-tree is considered so essential, that it is called by the Spaniards the Madre del cacao, or mother of the cocoa. When this tree is covered with its bright scarlet blossoms, it presents a splendid appearance.

It appears that there are two varieties of the cocoa in Trinidad, to which colony, and that of Grenada, the English plantations are now chiefly confined; the one variety is called the Creole cocoa, which is by far the best, but not so productive as the other sort, which has nearly superseded it, and bears the name of Forastero, or foreign. The former suits the Spanish market best, the latter having a somewhat bitter taste. The Creole begins to bear after about five years' growth, but does not reach perfection till the eighth year; it, however, yields good fruit for twenty years. The Forastero produces fruit at three years, and both, probably, come from the Spanish Main. It was formerly the practice in Trinidad to grant manumission to every slave who could at any time deliver up to his master one thousand cocoa-trees, planted by himself, in a space expressly allotted to them, in a state of bearing. Many instances of freedom obtained in this way might be cited, as the cultivation of them at any time did not infringe too much upon the daily tasks, and where nature had already provided shade and moisture, was comparatively trifling. In Grenada the plantations are beautifully situated among the mountains, and the laborers can work at all hours in the shade, but the cocoa walks are now chiefly cultivated by free colored people, most of whom aro settlers from the Spanish Main.

Leaf, flower, and fruit of the Cacao, with a pod opened.

The seeds of the cocoa-tree are gathered twice every year, but the largest crop is yielded in the month of December; the other is ready in June. When picked, and extracted from the pods, they are placed in heaps, on platforms of clay, where they are suffered to ferment for foriy-eight hours or more; they are then dried in the sun, exactly imitating the process used with coffee,

When required for use, they are roasted till the husks may be readily taken off; and if to be converted into chocolate, they are bruised and worked with the hand into a paste, which is afterwards made still finer by a smooth iron. This is afterwards flavored with various ingredients, the principal of which are cinnamon and vanilla; the latter is a climbing plant, indigenous to Trinidad, and bears long slender pods. A great consumption of chocolate takes place in Spain, where it is considered as a necessary of life. In France it is also much used, and is fashioned into an endless variety of forms.

When the seeds are to be made into cocoa they are ground to a fine powder. The husks, boiled in milk, make a thin and delicious beverage, and are in great request in France, for delicate persons who find the paste or powder too rich for them.

ADVENTURES IN INDIA The following extract is from a work recently published in England, with the title of “ Pen and Pencil Sketches; being the Journal of a Tour in India. By Captain Mundy.” Some peculiarities of style will be obvious in the captain's narrative; but few can object to his hilarity and buoyancy of spirit:

“I retired to my tent this evening pretty well knocked up; and during the night had an adventure, which might have terminated with more loss to myself, had I slept sounder. My bed, a low charpoy, on 'four feet,' was in one corner of the tent,

close to a door, and I woke several times from a he must have been an adept in his vocation, as four feverish doze, fancying I heard something moving or five servants were sleeping between the khanauts. in my tent; but could not discover any thing, though The poor devil did not get much booty for his a cherang, or little Indian lamp, was burning on the trouble, having only secured a razor, a pot of table. I therefore again wooed the balmy power, pomatum (which will serve to lubricate his person and slept. At length, just as 'the iron tongue of for his next exploit,) and the candlesticks, which midnight had told twelve' (for I had looked at my on closer inspection, will prove to him the truth of watch five minutes before, and replaced it under the axiom, that all is not gold that glitters,'nor even my pillow,) I was awakened by a rustling sound silver.

The next morning, on relating my under my head; and, half opening my eyes, with adventure, I was told that I was fortunate in having out changing my position, I saw a hideous black escaped cold steel; and many comfortable instances face within a foot of mine, and the owner of this were recited, of the robbed being stabbed in attemptindex of a cut-throaš, or, at least, cut-purse dispo- ing to secure the robber.” sition, kneeling on the carpet, with one hand under my pillow, and the other grasping--not a dagger! but the door-post. Still without moving my body,

NECESSITY AND INVENTION. and with half-closed eyes, I gently stole my right A curious catalogue might be made of the shifts hand to a boar-spear, which at night was always to which ingenious students in different departments placed between my bed and the wall; and as soon of art have resorted, when, like Davy, they have as I had clutched it, made a rapid and violent move wanted the proper instruments for carrying on their ment, in order to wrench it from its place, and try inquiries or experiments. His is not the first case the virtue of its point upon the intruder's body in which the stores of an apothecary's shop are but I wrenched in vain. Fortunately for the robber, recorded to bave fed the enthusiam, and materially my bearer, in placing the weapon in its usual re assisted the labors, of the young cultivator of natural cess, had forced the point into the top of the tent science. The German chemist, Scheele, whose and the butt into the ground so firmly, that I failed name ranks in his own department with the greatest to extract it at the first effort; and my visiter, of his time, was, as well as Davy, apprenticed in alarmed by the movement, started upon his feet and early life to an apothecary. While living in his rushed through the door. I had time to see that master's house he used secretly to prosecute the he was perfectly naked, with the exception of a study of his favorite science by employing ofien black blanket twisted round his loins, and that he half the night in reading the works that treated of it, bad already stowed away in his cloth my candle or making experiments with instruments fabricated, sticks and my dressing-case, which latter contained as Davy's were, by himself, and out of equally letters, keys, money, and other valuables. I had simple materials. also leisure, in that brief space, to judge, from the Like the young British philosopher, too, Scheele size of the arm extended to my bed, that the bearer is recorded to have sometimes alarmed the whole was more formed for activity than strength; and, household by his detonations—an incident which alby his grizzled beard, that he was rather old than ways brought down upon him the severe anger of his young. I, therefore, sprung from my bed, and dart master, and heavy menaces, intended to deter him ing through the purdar of the inner uoor, seized him from ever again applying himself to such dangerous by the cuinmerbund just as he was passing the outer studies, which, however, he did not long regard. entrance.* The cloth, however, being loose, gave It was at an apothecary's house, that Boyle and his way, and ere I could confirm my grasp, he snatch Oxford friends first held their scientific meetings, ined it from my hand, tearing away my thumb-nail

duced, as we are expressly told, by the opportunity down to the quick. In his anxiety to escape, he they would thus have of obtaining drugs wherewith stumbled through the outer purdar, and the much to make their experiments. esteemed dressing-case fell out of his loosened zone. Newton lodged with an apothecary, while at I was so close at his heels, that he could not re school, in the town of Grantham; and as, even at cover it; and jumping over the tent-ropes—which, that early age, he is known to have been ardently doubtless, the rogue calculated would trip me up

devoted to scientific contrivances and experiments, he ran towards the road. I was in such a fury, and to have been in the habit of converting all that, forgetting my bare feet, I gave chase, vocife sorts of articles into auxiliaries in his favorite purrating lustily, “ Čhoor! choor!" (thief! thief!) but suits, it is not probable that the various strange was soon brought up by some sharp stones, just in preparations which filled the shelves and boxes time to see my rascal, by the faint light of the moon of his landlord's shop, would escape his curicus through the thick foliage over head, jump upon a examination. Although Newton's glory chiefly dehorse standing unheld near the road, and dash pends upon his discoveries in abstract and medown the path at full speed, his black blanket flying chanical science, some of his speculations, and in the wind. What would I have given for my especially some of his writings on the subjects of double-barrelled Joe at that moment! As he and his light and color, show that the internal constitution steed went clattering along the rocky forest road, of matter, and its chemical properties, had also I thought of the black huntsman of the Hartz, or much occupied his thoughts. Thus, too, in other the erl-king! Returning to my tent, I solaced my departments, genius has found it sufficient mateself by abusing my servants, who were just rubbing rials and instruments in the humblest and most their eyes and stirring themselves, and by threaten common articles, and the simplest contrivances ing the terrified sepoy sentry with a court-martial. Fergusson observed the places of the stars by My trunks at night were always placed outside the means of a thread with a few beads strung on it, tent, under the sentry's eye; the robber, therefore, and Tycho Brahe did the same thing with a pair of must have made his entry on the opposite side, and compasses. The self-taught American philoso

pher, Rittenhouse, being, when a young man, emThe tents in India have double flies; the outer khanaut, or wall, forming a verandah, of some four feet wide, round the * Indian thieves oil their naked bodies to render their se zure interior pavilion



ployed as a agriculturn laborer, used to draw geometrical diagrams on his plough, and study them as he turned up the furrow. Pascal, when a mere boy, made himself master of many of the elementary propositions of geometry, without the assistance of any master, by tracing the figures on the floor of his room with a bit of coal. This, or a stick burned at the end, has often been the young painter's first pencil, while the smoothest and whitest wall he could find supplied the place of a canvass. Such, for example, were the commencing essays of the early Tuscan artist, Andrea del Castagno, who employed his leisure in this manner when he was a little boy tending cattle, till his performances at last attracted the notice of one of the Medici family, who placed him under a proper master. The famous Salvator Rosa first displayed his genius for design in the same manner. To these instances may be added that of the late Engglish musical composer, Mr. John Davy, who is said, when only six years old, to have begun the study and practice of his art by imitating the chimes of a neighboring church with eight horse-shoes, which he suspended by strings from the ceiling of a room in such a manner as to form an octave. The Pursuit of Knowledge.

Red-winged Maize-thief and Black Snake.

" The rattle-snake seldom, if ever, climbs up a FASCINATION OF SERPENTS.

tree. He is frequently, however, found about their There is a very general opinion, which has been roots, especially in wet situations. It is said that adopted even by some eminent naturalists, that it is often seen, curled round a tree, darting terrible several species of serpents possess the power of glances at a squirrel, which after some time is so fascinating birds and small quadrupeds, by fixing much influenced by these glances, or by some subtheir eyes upon the animal, so that the poor victim tile emanation from the body of the serpent, that the is unable to escape from his formidable enemy. poor animal falls into the jaws of its enemy. Is the Dr. Barton, of Philadelphia, published, in 1796, a animal's fear and distress a matter of any wonder?

Menoir concerning the fascinating faculty which Nature has taught different animals what animals has been ascribed to the Rattle-snake, and other are their enemies; and as the rattle-snake occasionAmerican Serpents,' in which he maintains that this ally devours birds and squirrels, to these animals supposed power of fascination does not exist, and he must necessarily be an object of fear. Someoffers some ingenious explanations of the origin of times the squirrel drives away the serpent, but what he considers a popular mistake. Our readers occasionally approaching too near his enemy, he is will, we think, be interested by an extract or two bitten or immediately devoured. These hostilities, from this work:

however, are not common. “In conducting my inquiries into this curious “ In almost every instance I have found that the subject I endeavored to ascertain the two following supposed fascinating faculty of the serpent was points, viz. first, what species of birds are most exerted upon the birds at the particular season of frequently observed to be enchanted by the serpents? their laying their eggs, or of their hatching, or of and, secondly, at what season of the year has any their rearing their young, still tender and defenceparticular species been the most commonly under less. I now began to suspect, that the cries and this wonderful influence? I supposed this would fears of birds supposed to be fascinated originated furnish me with a clue to a right explanation of the in an endeavor to protect their nest or young. My

inquiries have convinced me that this is the case. “Birds have an almost uniform and determinate * I have already observed, that the rattle-snake method of building their nests, whether we consider does not climb up trees; but the black snake and the form of the nest, its materials, or the place in some other species of the coluber do. When imwhich it is fixed. Those birds which build their pelled by hunger and incapable of satisfying it by nests upon the ground, on the lower branches of the capture of animals on the ground, they begin trees, and on low bushes (especially on the sides to glide up trees or bushes upon which a bird has of rivers, creeks, &c. that are frequented by differ

The bird is not ignorant of the serpent's ent kinds of serpents,) have most frequently been object. She leaves her nest, whether it contains observed to be under the enchanting faculty of the eggs or young ones, and endeavors to oppose the rattle-snake, &c. Indeed, the bewitching spirit of reptile's progress. In doing this, she is actuated these serpents seems to be almost entirely limited by the strength of her instinctive attachment to her to these kinds of birds. Hence we so frequently eggs, or of affection to her young. Her cry is hear tales of the fascination of our cat-bird, which melancholy, hur motions are tremulous. She exbuilds its nest in the low bushes, on the sides of poses herself to the most imminent danger. Somecreeks, and other waters, the most usual haunts of times she approaches so near the reptile that he the black snake and other serpents. Hence, too, seizes her as his prey.

But this is far from being upon opening the stomachs of some of our serpents, universally the case. Often she compels the serif we often find that they contain birds, it is almost pent to leave the tree, and then returns to her nest. entirely those birds which build in the manner I " It is a well-known fact, that, among some have just mentioned

species of birds, the female, at a certain period, is


whole mystery.

« PreviousContinue »