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mired, and draws capital houses. On the captivated her friends in the pit and boxes. play-bill it is offered as a “ Picture of Char- She was called for again and again. So long acter," and the public evidently accepts it did this last that the theatrical arrangeas a very creditable and philosophical crea- ments began to proceed without reference to tion. Now, this play has one very remarka- her ovation. The clouds began to disapble feature in it. It is in five acts, and the pear. Next, the cottage in front of which acts are of a very considerable length, but she sang went away on the shoulders of an nothing whatever happens. We know at able-bodied porter ; and then the attendants once that no reasoning, no wish to do itself got emboldened, and placidly prepared a credit, no anxiety for a new development of banquet for the next scene under her nose. art, could possibly induce an English or The audience did not at all mind. They French audience to sit through five acts of a and the young lady were all at home, and play without any incidents. What takes the there were no strangers to make a fuss. So place of incidents is the one thing that to strong is this union between the audience the spectators of Western Europe is most and the stage, that the actors themselves utterly repulsive. The substitute is a suc- behave like a second audience when the percession of dialogues between two persons de formance of any one of their number espescribing their feelings. There is a girl who cially delights them. This may be seen in describes her feelings, and an old couple who places that might have been supposed to be describe theirs, and two brothers who de- too grand for such artless exhibitions. In scribe theirs. Many of our readers will re- Vienna, and at the principal theatre, a comic member the dreadful passages that cast a opera was lately given, in which the leading gloom over Sheridan's Rivals, in which Julia buffo fairly finished off his comrades. The and Falkland exchange the statements of prima donna broke down without shame or their mental troubles. If all the Rivals had disguise, and hopped away behind his back been like these passages—if Julia and Falk- to have her laugh out. The chorus was land had talked for five acts—then there equally amused, and at one moment the would have been a play not unlike Die Grille. funny man was literally in possession of the It is not a question of goodness or badness, whole house, and separated a laughing audiof taste cultivated in a wrong or a right di- ence before him from a laughing audience rection, when such a play is liked or not behind him. This may show that the Viliked. In England such a play would be ennese are very happy and are easily amused, impossible. In Germany it is not only pos- and people who behave in a more reserved sible but popular, and admired. The differ- and decorous way may really have to regret ence is too radical to admit of the one na- their supposed superiority. But at any rate tion learning from the other.
this degree of artlessness in amusement is There are other features, too, in the public unattainable for us. We cannot play our amusements of Germany which make us feel games in this way, and are fettered by our how far we are apart from them. A famil- | traditions of superiority. iarity and an easy, sociable understanding It is much the same in literature. Gerbinds together those who amuse and those mans write novels in abundance, but their who are amused. As in the games of chil- novels are almost unintelligible to us. Perdren, the players and spectators are still one haps the only recent German novel known group. When a German player or singer in England is Debit and Credit. This was has done his or her part, the audience testify considered a wonderfully good novel in Gertheir approbation by repeatedly asking to see many, and this speaks volumes. Its merit the performer. In every theatre players are consisted in not being utterly vapid. It decalled for, and approval is shown by shout- scribed, in a faint way, scenery, characters, ing when they come. But in Germany it is and habits that were not utterly trite. It done in a different way. The audience do was therefore endurable, and for a German not much care about scenic proprieties so novel to be endurable is to be famous. long as they and their favorites have a pro- Generally, German novels have, according longed friendly meeting. At a summer the- to our ideas, nothing whatever in them. If atre in a small German town for example, Mrs. Hannah More had grown rather less a prettyish actress sang a little song that moral in her old age, she might have written them all. And yet this is in the country of in the people that commands our respect in Goethe, of Wieland, of Tieck, and of many the midst of all their aberrations. But in other writers of imagination. This is the Germany no one who studies the groups most astonishing thing about Germany, that in the beer-gardens, or watches them in a its great writers and its ordinary writers are theatre, or reads the books written for so very widely apart. Out of this harmless, them, can find traces of force. There is, ininnocent people, with its beer and tobacco, its deed, no visible feebleness—there is no theatrical pictures of character, and its so- timidity or shamefacedness.
The people ciable audiences, have arisen great men and dare to be happy in their own way, and writers. They have shown, in the midst of would not resign their way of being happy their greatness, that they were Germans, and without an intense and protracted struggle ; the leading features of the German mind but energy and the love of energy seem elcmay be clearly traced even in the peculiar ments that never entered into their compoand original creations of Goethe. But this sition. higher literature of Germany seems to have It seems a simple and humble conclusion been a lucky accident in the history of the to say that, where nations are constituted so nation. The race of considerable writers differently, where society has long moved in has faded out of Germany with the most as- such different tracks, and where the intertonishing rapidity. Nor has the influence ests of daily life are so dissimilar, the amuseof these writers left the impress we might ments of the people cannot be the same. have expected on the national mind. If we But most Englishmen will be ready to conare not to mince matters, we may say that fess that it is only slowly that this concluthe prevailing characteristic of all Germans, sion is brought home to them. It is not except the very best, is that of a placid and apparent without reflection and experience gentle mediocrity. At Berlin, in the circles that the antidote to a pernicious excitement of the better courts, in the best society of does not lie in childish pleasures. In the the best minor towns, there is undoubtedly midst of a complex combination we long for abundance not only of intelligence, but of something simple, as the French philosophers vigor of intellect. But the run of the na- of the last century longed for the ideal savtion is, we venture to think, essentially sec- age and his ideal virtues. Gradually we ond-rate. In the width of separation which, discover, as the philosophers or their sucwith regard to intellectual cultivation and cessors discovered, that these cannot be. freedom, divides the great from the ordinary The amusements of the Germans are as imminds of the nation, Scotland presents a tol- possible in London as the philosophical saverably close parallel to Germany. But no age was in Paris. Our amusements may be one would think of calling the bulk of the simplified, but the simplicity will be the simScotch nation second-rate. There is a vital plicity of a higher refinement, and not that force, a self-dependence, and a thoroughness of a contented and puerile mediocrity.
Wolsey's REPENTANCE:-In “N. & Q.” | hardly suppose the resemblance to be accidental , appears an historical parallel between two luck- but of this your readers will judge :less statesmen, Cardinal Wolsey (1530) and Sir “ One of the Viziers went before Zún’ Nún of James Hamilton (1540), who, at their last hour, Egypt, and desired his opinion, saying: 'I am regretted“ that they had not served their God as engaged day and night in the service of the Sulwell as they had served their king.” Perhaps the tan, hoping good from him and fearing punishlatter may have unconsciously borrowed from ment."' Zún' Nún wept, and said: 'If I feared and copied the former. But may not the ex- |God as you do the king, I should be one of the pression be derived from the East? So many company of the saints.'” oriental tales, proverbs, and maxims, were wafted from oriental marts in Venetian galleys to “If a Durwaish hoped not ease, and (feared Italy, and thence dispersed over Europe, that not) pain, they became household words, and the ground- He would mount to the heavenly dome; work in many instances as well of amusement And if a Vizier feared God as much as the as of thought. I enclose a tale from the Gulis
King, tán of Saadi (A.D. 1258), which expresses the He would be an angel.” same idea in words so similar, that one can
-Notes and Queries
From Chambers's Journal. was consumed in quantities usually supposed ARSENIC-EATING AND ARSENIC-POISON- to produce death, we learn that Dr. Holler ING.
of Hartberg was acquainted with forty, and The practice of arsenic-eating, which pre- Dr. Förcher of Grätz with eleven persons, vails in Styria, was first brought before the who indulged in the habit; and that in one world by Dr. Von Tschudi, in the Vienna case recorded by Dr. Scäfer, and attested Weekly Medical Times. We believe that by Dr. Knappe of Oberzehring, a man in the first mention of the subject in England good health, aged thirty years, ate on the was made in the pages of this Journal (No. one day four and a half, and on the succeed416, New Series, published on the 20th De- ing, five and a half grains of arsenic, withcember, 1851), in the form of a little paper out the least detriment. This man stated framed by a foreign contributor from the ob- that he was in the habit of taking like quanservations of Dr. Von Tschudi. That such tities three or four times a week. a practice existed was treated in scientific We shall see now the value of the evicircles with the usual sceptical derision ; but dence brought forward by Mr. Heisch. in a little time the fact obtained credence Having put himself in communication with with the late Professor Johnston, and a few Dr. Lorenz, formerly of Salzburg, that genother chemists. It appears that in Lower tleman informed him that the practice of arAustria, which is an arsenic-producing coun- senic-eating was well known to exist, but that try, this deadly poison is eaten in small quan- access to individual cases was exceedingly tities with a view to producing plumpness difficult, since the vice was proscribed by a and good looks, and also for the purpose of government enactment, that arsenic be alimparting strength in long journeys. There lowed only under the sanction of a medical is reason to believe that it was first taken by certificate. Dr. Lorenz confirmed the statethe men engaged at the arsenic-furnaces, as ment so often made, that huntsmen and a means of warding off (on the principle of wood-cutters were in the habit of using it inoculation for the small-pox) the effects of to improve their wind and pre nt fatigue. the poisonous fumes arising from the manu- The usual dose to begin with was about the facture.
size of a pin-head, increasing from this gradIn a paper on this subject, read before the ually to that of a pea. Those who were in Literary and Philosophical Society of Man- the habit of taking it, did not look so old as chester, Dr. H. E. Roscoe mentioned that they really were, retained a more than usually through the kindness of his friend, Profes- healthy complexion, were long lived, and apsor Pebal of Lemberg, he had been furnished parently exempt from infectious diseases, but with copies of letters written by seventeen were liable to die suddenly, if they did not medical men to the government inspector break off the practice. Dr. Lorenz, however, at Grätz, one of the principal cities of Styria, was not prepared to endorse the opinions of concerning the practice of arsenic-eating. Professor Johnston as to its power of inFrom that correspondence, containing re- creasing the beauty and charms of the fair ports by trustworthy persons, as well as the sex. At the arsenic-works in the neighborrecord of cases under personal notice, it ap- hood of Salzburg, the only men who can peared that arsenious acid, under the name long stand the fumes are those who are in of hidrach, was well known to, and distrib- the habit of eating portions of this poison, uted amongst, the Styrian peasantry. That and the director of one of these establishthis substance is pure arsenious acid, Dr. ments furnished Mr. Heisch with the particRoscoe proved by an accurate chemical anal- ulars of his own case. ysis of six grains of a white substance for- Destined at an early age to enter the arwarded by Professor Gottlieb of Grätz, ac- senic factory, with the view of eventually companied by a certificate from the district becoming the superintendent, he was adjudge of Knittefeld in Styria, stating that vised by his teacher M. Bönsch of Eisleben, this substance was brought to him by a to become an arsenic-eater, as otherwise the peasant-woman, who told him that she had fumes from the smelting ore would soon seen her farm-laborer eating it, and that she destroy his health, and render it imperative gave it up to justice, to put a stop to so evil that he should leave his employment. From a practice. On the question whether arsenic lan early age, therefore, up to the time at which he wrote to Mr. Heisch (being then dren, and the old age which a large proporforty-five years old), he had been in the tion of the inhabitants of the village attain, habit weekly of consuming a large amount are to be attributed to the arsenic present in of arsenic. This gentleman forwarded to the water.” Mr. Heisch a quantity equal to the dose he It is well known that this poison is, of all first took, and also the amount he was at others, the most readily detected after death, that time taking. The latter was weighed even at a period so remote from the interat the factory, as well as by Mr. Heisch on ment as six or seven years ; and on re-openreceipt, and it was found that this gentle- ing graves which had been closed for twelve man, who had begun with three, was now years in Styria, the bodies of arsenic-eaters taking twenty-three grains of pure white were found so unaltered as to be at once arsenic in coarse powder,” three or four readily recognizable by their friends. This times a week! This was the only instance must be owing to the strong antiseptic powof which Mr. Heisch was able to obtain full ers of the mineral, and would lead us to inparticulars, but many others were mentioned fer that the tissues had become so thorto him by gentlemen who knew the individ- oughly impregnated as to be able to resist uals, and could vouch for the truth of their for a longer period the process of decay. statements.
What a stumbling block is here to the The practice of arsenic-eating can barely be physiologist, what a mine of cross-questionsaid to exist in England. Mr. Heisch men- ing from which the judge may furnish himtions the case of a gentleman in Lincoln- self with arguments, to torture and perplex shire, who began taking it for some skin dis- the medical witnesses ! Those who consume ease, and eventually reached the quantity of this substance tell us, that the first dose of five grains daily. This, according to the re- arsenic invariably produces symptoms of poiport, he had taken for six years, till at length soning, such as burning pain in the stomthe remedy became so necessary to him, that ach and sickness, which, when it subsides, is he could not leave it off without great incon- followed by a keen appetite, and feeling of venience, and a return of his old complaint. excitement. Like symptoms, with the exIn the Pharmaceutical Journal for Novem-ception of pain, are produced by every inber, 1860, we observe mention made of a crease of the dose. The superintendent of village of arsenic-eaters in the north of Eng- the factory at Salzburg, previously alluded land, where the mineral is found in appreci- to, informed Mr. Heisch that he never exable quantity in the water drunk by the in-perienced any ill consequence from the prachabitants. “A stream called Whitbeck, tice, except when he endeavored to give it rising in the Blackcombe Mountains, in up. He was then attacked with such violent West Cumberland, contains arsenic in de- palpitation of the heart, fainting, depression terminable quantity. Ducks will not live if of spirits, and mental weakness, followed by confined to it, and while trout abound in all long confinement to bed, as necessitated his the neighboring rivulets, no fins are ever return to the habit—a habit he resolved found in the arsenicated stream. But its never to leave off, until he attained the age use by the villagers does not give rise to any of fifty, as originally directed by his insymptoms of arsenical poisoning, but rather structor, M. Bönsch, and then only by gradto the effects which are observed in Styria ually retrograding to the dose from which he among the arsenic-eaters there. When the started. Like most arsenic-eaters, he scrurailway was being carried past Whitbeck, pulously avoided spirits, and took his stimthe first use of the water produced the usual ulant in some warm liquid on an empty stommarked effects on the throats both of the ach. men and horses employed on the works. If in Styria the old adage has been realThe soreness of the mouth from which they ized, that familiarity breeds contempt, and at first suffered, soon, however disappeared, this deadly poison has become a thing of and the horses attained that sleekness of every-day use in almost every dwelling in coat assigned as one of the effects produced that district; on the other hand, for two or by the administration of minute but re- three years back, a perfect arsenicophobia peated doses of arsenic. It is a question has raged in England, hunting up suspicions how far the rosy looks of the Whitbeck chil- of poisoning from manures, ferrcting out death in the paper of our walls, the covers dividuals from the quantity of arsenic used of our sofas, the very paint upon our shelves, in paper for covering walls. As was to be and threatening the absolute condemnation expected, arsenical pigment-makers and paof green pigments in every branch of manu- per-hangers immediately raised the cry of facture.
the craft in danger, and each party marSome years ago, a toxicologist of great note, shalled their witnesses and adduced their eviDr. A. S. Taylor, was one morning about to dence. The makers of the pigment averred cut the loaf on the breakfast-table, when he that the men engaged in their manufactories observed upon the outer crust some green never experienced any bad effects, though stains which appeared exceedingly like employed for years in the production of it mould. On paring these off, and applying a on a very large scale, and naturally expressed strong power of microscope, he was much sur- surprise that though these hangings had prised to find the substance resolve itself into been so long in use, no instance of poisona mineral powder resembling Sheele’s green, ing from them had ever been previously ada chemical analysis of which substantiated the duced ; and if they were to be charged with correctness of his suspicions. On examining being noxious and dangerous to health, why several other loaves which were in the house were not leather, cotton and woollen stuffs, at the time, and had come from the same which alike owed their brilliant green color baker's, he found them in like manner stained to the same poisonous mineral. with patches of the green arsenite of copper. The evidence brought forward to condemn As this was a very serious affair, and threat- the paper-hangings, consisted in the detail ened to be the cause of inflicting much bod- of several instances of suspected poisoning, ily injury, if not death, upon other customers occurring to parties living in rooms the walls who were less observant than Dr. Taylor, he of which were covered with green papers. posted off to the baker's shop, carrying with So insensibly does this deleterious agent behim his crusts of bread and extracted arsenic. come detached, and mingle with the air of On entering, he immediately detected the the apartment, that a gentleman whose susunintentional cause of so much danger. The picions were aroused as to the green paperbaker had but recently refitted his shop with hangings being the cause of his bad health, shelves, and to enhance its appearance, had discovered arsenic in the dust which had been having them decorated with paint of a slowly accumulated on the top of his books, bright grass-green color. When the loaves, carefully preserved within a glass case. The smoking hot from the oven, were placed very air of the room, though in constant use, upon these shelves, the paint immediately and well ventilated, presented evidences of adhered to them, and they became the acci- arsenious acid, on suspending in it sheets of dental medium of administering arsenic. paper saturated with one of the most deliThe baker was readily persuaded of the er- cate tests for this poison, and a chemical ror into which he had fallen, and promptly analysis of the paper showed a drachm of followed the suggestion of having the re- arsenite of copper to every square foot. maining loaves rasped, and the shelves The public mind had not been long replaned over ; but the painter was not so will- lieved from the exaggerated fear of being ing to yield to the sanitary caution, but main- poisoned by every green paper that decotaining that no good green could be obtained rated their walls, before a similar agitation without arsenic, seemed resolved to wait till was raised against the occurrence of arsenic some more practical and fatal experiment in manures. A communication was read should undeceive him. This is but one of before the Dublin Agricultural Society by many instances which might be adduced in Professor Davy, stating that certain plants proof of the impropriety of allowing prepara- which he had watered with a solution of tions of arsenic to be injudiciously or care- arsenic, not only throve well, but absorbed lessly employed.
the poison to such an extent that it could be When the sale of Poisons Bill was before detected in any part of them ; consequently, the House of Lords in 1858, the above emi- that the growing of turnips and other escunent chemist, while under examination be- lent roots in manures containing this minfore the Select Committee, adverted to the eral, might lead to symptoms of poisoning, danger likely to accrue to the health of in- more especially so if arsenic was not expelled THIRD SERIES. LIVING AGE.