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the side of some murmuring stream, where the waters, flowing with a gentle sound, shall be the sweet and fitting accompaniment to the voice of one who being dead yet speaketh. It is the sweetest commentary on the scenery of river-ways that was ever sung or said. It is enough to persuade any one to turn piscator, and to realize its contents in his own person. But let not the gentle reader forget that he has been roaming by the side of the Ichen; and, having accomplished so agreeable a stroll, let him direct his steps to the antique Minster. There he may pause to admire the effect of the beautiful columns, and lose himself in a transport of delight, as the organ's solemn peal is heard vibrating through arch and transept. The choir, too, is particularly good; and he may listen with ever-renewed pleasure to the voices so happily blended. But it is my wish that he bend his steps to a chapel formed in the eastern aisle of the south transept by screens of stone tracery work. It is called Silkstede's Chapel. He was a prior from 1498 to 1524. On the cornice or crest of the stone screen his Christian name, Thomas, is so carved that the monogram M. A. is distinguished from the other letters. The Virgin Mary having been his patroness, it was in this manner he testified to the fact. A skain of silk, the rebus of his surname, also appears.

Upon entering the chapel the eye will be soon arrested by a blue stone. Hereunder lies all that is mortal of Isaac Walton. Reader! it is worth more than a passing glance, so let us pause and read the inscription. Before doing so, we may see for a fleeting moment, in our mind's eye, the good old angler in his habit as he lived; we may hear the utterance of one of his sweet homilies on nature, and then, bending reverently forward, trace these lines:

"HERE RESTETH THE BODY OF MR. ISAAC WALTON,

Who died on the 15th of December, 1683.

Alas! he's gone before; Gone, to return no more. Our panting breasts aspire After their aged sire, Whose well-spent life did last Full many years and past; But now he hath begun That which will ne'er be done: Crown'd with eternal bliss, We wish our souls with his. VOTIS MODESTIS SIC FLERUNT LIBERI."

So, almost within sound of one of his most favorite rivers, lies the body of the old high-priest of anglers. Peace to his ashes! It is by no means improbable that the spot was selected by himself. Oftentimes he would lay aside his rod and tackle to cogitate and muse on the things that never fade. Doubtless he must have wandered, amid the pausings of his art, through the cloisters and aisles of the beautiful cathedral; and, after reviewing the delicate tracery and fretwork all round him, he may have entered Prior Silkstede's chapel, and letting his staff fall gently down, may have exclaimed, “Here let me lie!"

There are several portraits of him; one in the possession of the Earl of Cowper bears a striking resemblance to the plate which is appended to the first edition of his work on angling; it represents him to be precisely the figure and face one would have expected to see. Generosity, benevolence, charity with all men, beam in every trait. The spectator might gaze upon it till he could fancy the lips were uttering—

"Come away! Turn, countrymen, with me!"

or speaking in goodly commendation of the beauties of the outer world,--praising the earth, the water, the skies, and in all things else manifesting his poet-love for the sweet realities of life. To the voluptuary, the man sated with the unrealities of a career of mingled dissipation and folly, let me advise a stroll by some river's side, and there, with Isaac Walton's pages in his hand, he may taste new life,-ay, and inhale a vigor foreign to his wearied senses. He will learn there, how full of fair and soft compensations Nature is; how, to him who seeks it with a trustful faith and a reverent love, she holds forth a draught of the purest nectar,-one which never palls upon the taste; a draught every way superior to the Circean cup of mad enjoyment which clings to the sensualist, at the renewal of each intoxication, with disgust and loathsome tenacity. To the poet the book is a study, full of sweet conceits and quaint and pleasant prettinesses. To the angler it is a manual, without which his piscatorial equipments would be incomplete.

Surely the grave of such a man is worthy of a visit, if only to renew and refresh our

memories with a feeling of reverence for his excellence and worth. So may we pass from out the magnificent minster, and the chapel of the old prior, into the sunny air, and take our path again by the Ichen banks; where we shall feel that the spirit of the old poet-angler hovers all around us; and we shall be led, like him, to praise and thanksgiving for all earth's fairest blessings. Not unaptly may we exclaim in the words of Sir Walter Raleigh

"Blest silent groves! O, may ye be
Forever mirth's best nursery!

May pure contents

Forever pitch their tents Upon these rocks, these downs, these meads, these mountains, And peace still slumber by these purling fount

ains,

Which we may every year
Find when we come a-fishing here.

DWARFS, ANCIENT AND MODERN.

WH

THAT subject is there over which brooding and prolific fancy has not thrown its colors? Its ideal creations are of all kinds. Now it magnifies, and now it dwarfs the ordinary proportions of things. Always exaggerating realities, it makes them either very small, or very large; very bright, or very dark. And extending its transmuting wand over human beings as well as over inanimate subjects, it evokes a giant or a dwarf. Poetry, fancy's tongue, even in her earliest words, fabled of diminutive races of men, partly in sport and partly in scorn. Homer, amid his gods and heroes, condescended to speak of the legendary conflicts of the pigmies with the cranes:

Thus by their leader's care each martial band
Moves into ranks, and stretches o'er the land;
With shouts the Trojans, rushing from afar,
Proclaim their motions, and provoke the war:
So when inclement winters vex the plain
With piercing frosts, or thick-descending rain,
To warmer scenes the cranes embodied fly
With noise and order through the midway sky;
To pigmy nations wounds and death they bring,
And all the war descends upon the wing.

Iliad III, 1-7.

These pigmies were people about eighteen fingers high. Their height is indicated in their name; for the Greek pygmé denotes the length of the forearm, from the point of the elbow to the joint of the fist. Their abode is placed by Homer near his fabulous and mystic ocean. Later

writers, less indefinite as to the locality, place them in the interior of Africa, on toward Ethiopia, near the sources of the Nile; whither the cranes came from the north to contend with them for the products of the earth. Strabo, with an affectation of accuracy, divides pigmies into two classes; of which one contained those which were three spans high, and the other those which were five spans high. "It was," he gravely states, "the former who fought with the cranes." Ctesias describes a similar race of dwarfs as existing in India. Other authors speak of the northern pigmies, who dwelt near the legendary Thulé; as well as a race of pigmies in Caria, in Asia Minor. Ovid, and other ancient poets, found the pigmies suitable employment, or turned them to account as playthings for their wit. A favorite amusement with them was to contrast their petty proportion with the huge and brawny dimensions of Hercules.

When a better acquaintance with the earth and its inhabitants had caused these fables to fall into disrepute, or consigned them to the domain of mythology, grave history began to speak of dwarfs, without, however, discriminating between the fabulous and the true. According to the definition of Aulus Gellius, dwarfs were human beings of a short and low stature, standing but little above the soil. In this description he followed the popular view of dwarfs, according to which, the name is given to individuals of the human race, the size of whom is much below the middle size of their race. But in scientific language, the application of the word dwarf is restricted to the instances on which the diminutiveness of the stature depends on the small volume of all the parts of the body; so that a general reduction of size, in due proportion to the several members, is preserved. Buffon and others have attempted more precision. Proceeding on the assumption that the normal height of human beings varies from four to six feet, they consider as giants all whose height is above six feet, and as dwarfs, all whose height is under four feet.

In the period of the degeneracy of the Roman people it is, that dwarfs come into prominence on the page of history. With worn and degraded affections, the voluptuous Romans wearied of natural and ordinary pleasures, sought excitement in what was strange, unusual, deformed, and mon

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strous. Not satisfied with the rare instances of dwarfs which nature presented, men, greedy of gain, made it a trade to produce dwarfs,' in order to pander to the perverted taste or the brutal passions of the great and the opulent. By confining individuals of diminutive size in boxes, made for the purpose, and by the use of bandages devised so as to hinder the natural growth, they produced monstrosities, and made themselves guilty of a species of slow homicide. Pleasures prepared by this horrible and disgraceful art were worthy of princes whose souls, at once ignoble and atrocious, aimed to diversify the indulgences of debauchery by the sight of pain and blood. Accordingly, among those who most eagerly sought these gratifications, the emperors Tiberius, Domitian, and Heliogabalus have precedence. Tiberius admitted to his table a dwarf, in whom he tolerated great license of speech; and who, with a brutality not unlike his master's, hastened the execution of a citizen charged with a political misdemeanor. Domitian collected a number of dwarfs, in order to form of them a troop of diminutive gladiators. Following his example, Heliogabalus defiled his court with male and female dwarfs. Marc Antony is recorded as having in his house a dwarf less than two feet high. Even Augustus exhibited on the stage a young man of good family of similar stature, and who weighed only seventeen pounds. Pliny mentions the Roman knights, whose height was about three feet. According to Champollion, the Egyptian princes also had their dwarfs. Among the Turks, dwarfs were sought for as objects of amusement. On the conquest of Mexico, the Spaniards found in the palace of Montezuma several dwarfs, who had been purchased for the amusement of the sovereign. Thus, in ancient, as well as modern times, in the new world as well as the old, dwarfs have been sought for, and kept in mansions and in palaces for the amusement of princes and the derision of courtiers. Such is the perversity of the human will.

In modern times a better spirit has prevailed-which, however, is not without its exceptions. When toward the end of the seventeenth century the fashion of "court fools," as the phrase was, began to decline, dwarfs were employed in their stead to diversify the routine, and relieve the tedium

of noble or royal existence. By force of contrast, those pitiable manikins enhanced the pleasures of elevated rank, according to the words, "I think of what I am in seeing what thou art." Catherine de Medici brought together a number of male and female dwarfs, between couples of whom she formed marriages, which, however, remained sterile. More recently dwarfs have become purely objects of curiosity. By men of science, however, their conformation and history have of late been carefully studied, and valuable instruction in physiology has been gained. In this case, as in others, it has been found that for a complete and useful knowledge of nature, nature must be investigated in departures from its ordinary forms, and in the infractions of its own laws. The moral philosopher, too, has found his account in carefully observing the influences produced on character by the disturbing and modifying causes put into operation by dwarfism. This branch of study has been far from pleasurable, seeing that the littleness of mind which commonly characterizes the dwarf, begetting vanity, presumption, and self-conceit, excites a pity, which borders on contempt. It will, however, be not without advantage should it lead to a system of moral and intellectual training, specially adapted to the peculiarities of the case. Of such a training there is great need; for, in general, dwarfs are a neglected class.

The cause of dwarfism, after all the researches of the scientific, remains in obscurity. We have here one of those anomalies in which, with all her regularity, nature sometimes indulges. In the constitution of some parents there may be tendencies which issue in the birth of dwarfs. Yet, if such is the case, those tendencies seem as little subject to law as the general fact of dwarfism itself. Mention is made of a woman who gave birth to eight children; of which the third, the fifth, and the seventh attained to the ordinary stature, while the other five were dwarfs. A German female was born of parents of the ordinary height, who, however, had previously produced a dwarf. At the age of eight years this girl was only eighteen inches high, and her weight was about that of a new-born infant. She was lively and gay, but not very intelligent. She did not begin to walk and speak till near her fourth year. Her first set of teeth were

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late in appearing. Her pulse beat about ignorant nursing; and might be expected ninety strokes in a minute. to yield, at least to some extent, to the healing and strengthening operation of that wise physiological education which all human beings, and especially girls, ought to receive as a part of their training at home and in school.

Disease is sometimes connected with dwarfism in such a way as to wear some appearance of being its cause. Dantlow, thirty inches high, was very rickety, and even monstrous in his formation. His smallness of stature appears to have arisen from the malformations produced in his bones and limbs, especially in the vertebral column, by the rickets. Though without arms, and afflicted with a grievous malady, he was, at thirty years of age, of an agreeable figure, and full of intelligence and address. He wrote a legible hand in Latin and Russ with his left foot. By the same means he made pen-drawings and engravings of no mean kind. He also knitted stockings, and for that purpose formed needles of wood. He ate, as well as dressed and undressed himself with his left foot. In a word, he executed a great number of almost incredible things. Having a great desire for knowledge, he learned with great facility. At the same time, he succeeded in maintaining a cheerful disposition.

This instance suffices to show, that dwarfs are not necessarily those churls or those idiots which some authorities have fancied. A proof to the same effect is found in Nannetta Stocker, who was exhibited as a dwarf in the early part of this century. She was very intellectual and had great skill on the piano. The cure of dwarfism lies beyond the reach of human art. Yet, whatever tends to improve the natural development and general vigor of the human frame may not unreasonably be supposed to exert a favorable check on tendencies to the production of dwarfs. Our ordinary modes of life are unhappily detrimental to the soundness, vigor, and due development of the human frame. As an animal, man is subject to the ordinary laws of animal existence; and there is little reason to doubt that a proper regard in intermarriages to the soundness and general well-being of the constitution would, under the favor of Divine Providence, in due time give birth to a race of men far superior to that which now exists, and less liable to the painful exceptions in distortion and diminutive stature that occasionally appear. The conclusion finds support in the fact, that dwarfs are not seldom rickety. This disorder has its origin partly in a weak and disordered maternal frame, and in bad and

CHEMICAL CHANGES IN THE BLOOD CAUSED BY BREATHING.

HAT happens when the wick of a candle is lighted? It burns, you will answer, as long as the candle lasts. Just so; but suppose you were to put it when lighted into a glass jar, and cover it over, what would happen then? If you were to try it, you would see it burn for a short time, then grow dim, and then go out. And thus you would learn that the flame of the candle lived upon something in the air, and that as soon as it had consumed it all, it could exist no longer, and expired.

Now this shows us that the atmosphere is composed of more than one kind of gas, for the jar is just as full of air when the candle has burned out as before it was lighted, but it is air of a different kind.

Before the candle was lighted the air in the jar consisted of a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen gases, in the proportion of twenty-one parts of the former to seventynine of the latter. These gases are not merely mingled but absorbed into one another, (just as water is absorbed into a lump of sugar,) so that we breathe both at the same time. When the candle had burned out you would find the whole of the nitrogen still remaining in the jar; but most of the oxygen would have disappeared; and in its place there would be another gas of totally different properties, called carbonic acid. If curious to know how this came there, you would be told that the lighted candle, being gradually melted and raised into vapour by the heat of its flame, the carbon of the tallow united with the oxygen of the air in which it was burning, and thus formed the carbonic acid. The nitrogen merely served to dilute the oxygen and thus to moderate the energy of the combustion. The oxygen supported the flame until it was overpowered and quenched by the carbonic acid.

Now this is very like what takes place in the lungs every time we breathe. Our

blood-like the candle-contains carbon, arising from the continual waste going on in the different parts of the body through which it circulates. In this state it is brought to the lungs to be purified, by having the carbon removed from it. This takes place when air is drawn into the lungs; it parts with its oxygen to the carbon of the blood-which passes out of the chest again in the form of carbonic acid with the returning breath. Of course this rapidly contaminates the air around us, and renders it unfit to breathe again-and the inconvenience felt in close and crowded rooms is owing to this cause-aggravated, as it frequently is, by many lights burning at the same time, and each one consuming its share of the oxygen in the air which the room contains. Oxygen supports life as it supports flame. Carbonic acid tends to extinguish them both. In the open air this evil is not felt, nor wherever proper means are taken to insure a due and constant supply of fresh air. Indeed, without it, like the candle, we should soon expire. If a mouse were put into the jar in which the candle had just burned out, it would die in less than a minute; and a bird, under the same circumstances, could not support life longer than thirty or forty seconds.

As the conversion of carbon in the candle into carbonic acid maintains the heat of the flame, so the formation of carbonic acid in the blood is attended by the development of heat in the body by which the vital warmth is sustained. When death puts a stop to this process, the body, like any other heated substance, soon grows cold.

Plants may be said to breathe as well as animals, by means of their leaves, which serve the purpose of lungs. But the leaves of plants, when in a healthy state, absorb carbonic acid from the air by day, and give out oxygen. By night, or when the plant is in a sickly state, as when the leaves are about to fall, the reverse takes place-oxygen being absorbed, and carbonic aeid given out as by animals-and this is the reason why plants should not be kept in sleeping apartments during the night. By this beautiful arrangement the oxygen consumed by animals is replaced by the vegetable world, and a grand system of compensation is constantly going forward by which the preservation of the atmosphere in a state of purity is accomplished.

LITERARY GEMS OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM.

THE

THE art of producing and multiplying impressions by means of lines and figures cut on wood or metal may be traced to a very remote antiquity. In the tombs of ancient Thebes stamps which might have been thus used have been found, and one of them of the date of a Pharaoh, who lived at the time when the Israelites resided in Egypt. It is also conjectured that the arrow-headed characters impressed on bricks which have been brought from the ruins of ancient Babylon, and supposed to be the most ancient species of inscription now extant, were produced in the same way. A similar process gave rise to the first books, which appeared in the early part of the fifteenth century. They were printed from engraved blocks of wood, on which the first artists represented Scriptural subjects, formerly portrayed by the limners of the monasteries, in rich colors and gilding, on the walls of their institutions or on the missals and other books which they were in the habit of copying.

Of these block-books, the memorials of the first step taken in the art of printing, several specimens may now be seen in The British Museum, and particularly "The Poor Man's Bible," a sort of catechism for the young and the humbler orders of the people. It consisted of about twenty pages, each of which was cut on a separate block of wood, and represented various figures of Christ, angels, and prophets, with texts or sentences in abbreviated Latin, by way of explanation.

The next step taken in this wondrous art was that of using metal types, which is ascribed to John Guttenberg, who, aided by John Fust, produced, to the astonishment of western Europe, the earliest printed book known; and in the Museum the eye may fall upon it. It is “The Mazarine Bible," in which there are no fewer than six hundred and forty-one leaves. With this most precious relic of former times various specimens of the earliest printing in types will be observed -a spectacle of extraordinary interest, and giving rise to the liveliest emotions of admiration and gratitude.

Amidst the deep ignorance that prevailed at the time when this art arose, whatever effect could not readily be ac

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