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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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conclude, that there is no essential diflerence
between the different denominations of pro-
fessors? Young minds thus neutralized would
be unfit for useful members of any religious
society. It is a satisf\iclion to perceive a
growing concern in regard to the choice of
reading for young Friends, both in England
and America. One evidence of which is,
" The Friend," and " The Friends' Library."

Society of Friends, for the use of schools and
families. A judicious work of this character
would be a very desirable and useful acquisi-
tion. J.

From the Virginia Rerald.

Progress of the Silk Culture in the United

The following is extracted from a letter
received from R. L. Baker, of Economy,
Pennsylvania, dated December 3d, lb4"2.
We raised 5.53.5 pounds of cocoons last
summer. Our worms were very healthy, but
cocoons fell a little short in weight of
reeled silk, compared with 1841 ; owing, we
belirve, to a late frost in May, which injured
the leaf; and some wet and some dry spells
of weather the latter part of the summer."

A tariff of two dollars and fifty cents per
pound is better than none at all, and will op-
erate favourable on the silk cause.

The operations of the society at Economy
have established clearly that silk can be
raised on a large scale, and that its culture
certain as that of our old staples.
The following statement shows the quantity
and value of their crops for five successive
years : —

14C0 pounds cocoons.

1800 " "






IS would pro-

The 15,500 pounds of cocoons would pro-
duce about 1410 pounds of raw or reeled
silk, worth about ^7,000. When manufac-
tured, it would amount to Si 5,000 or JSl 6,0(10.
The experiments made at Economy, and other
places in the United States, have settled a
question which has long been a subject of
doubt and controversy among European Silk
Culturalists, viz. : " Whether successive hatch-
ings or crops of silk worms could be raised,
by retarding the hatching of the eggs, and
bringing forth the worms at such periods of
the spring and summer, as might be most
convenient to the Culturisl." A large majo-
rity of European Silk Culturists have main-
tained that this is utterly impracticable. But
the experiments made in various parts of the
United States, leave no reasonable ground for
doubt on this point. And now, instead of
confining the rearing of silk worms to six
weeks of the spring, it may be continued from
May until September.

• The largest crop of cocoons raised at one cslablish-
nicnt in Europe, 200 ve.irs after the inlrodueiion of the
culture of silk, was 3000 pounds. The crop of last
summer at Economy, it will be seen, is nearly double
that quantity.


Seventh and Carpenter Streets.



KTO. 25.



Prici two duUaia per annum, piiyublein advance.

Subscriptions and Payments received by




For " The Friend."

Pictures and Sketches of Pelersburgh.

(Continued from page 187.)

Petersburgh stands upon a piece of ground
measuring 570,000,000 square feet, and the
population is calculated at about half a mil-
lion. This leiives about 1200 square feet for
tvery man, woman and child. Yet in few
cities are houses dearer than in Petersburgh.
Wages are high, and the ground in the central
parts of the town has become so valuable, that
in some instances the ground on which a pri-
vate house has been built, is estimated at
10,000Z. English money, for which, in the
interior, a ^an might buy several square
leagues of territory, with all the forests, bears,
wolves, and serfs upon it. To form the foun-
dation of the house requires a little fortune,
owing to the swampy character of the soil,
into vvhich so many ])iles must be rammed
before a solid scaftblding can be formed, that
an entire house might elsewhere be construct-
ed for much less money. The mighty citadel,
of which we have spoken, rests u])on such an
assemblage of piles, and all the palaces of the
czar stand upon a similar foundation ; nay, the
very quays, bet >veen which the majestic Neva
winds her course, would sink down into the
marsh on which they stand, but for the piles
that have been sunk there for their support.
The foundation of the Isaac's church cost
upwards of a million of rubles, a sum for
which a pompous cathedral might, under more
favourable circumstances, have been erected.
Yet even these costly foundations are not at
all times to be relied on. After the great
inundation of 1821, the walls of many houses
burst asunder, in consequence of their subter-
ranean wood-work having given way, and
there are few parts of the town in which an
evident settlement has not taken place in the
elegant quays that enclose the several branches
of the river.

The frost is another great enemy to north-
ern architecture. The moisture imbibed by
the granite during the summer, becomes ice
in winter; the blocks burst, and on the return
of spring fall to pieces. Most of the monu-
ments of Petersburgh have already been
inj'>fed bv its ruthless climate, and there are

few of them that, if not constantly repaired,
would not fall into ruins in less than a century;
even the splendid colunm, erected only a few
years ago, in honour of Alexander, is already
disfigured by a large rent, which some of the
Russians, however, consider it a point of pa-
triotism to be blind to.*

For the, we have seen, a tolerable
foundation has been obtained by driving piles
into the ground ; but no such precaution
appears to have been taken to provide a sup-
port for the pavement of the street, and Pe-
tersburgh has in consequence to be partially
repaved every year. As soon as the frost
breaks up, the swampy soil breaks out in
every direction. In some places the stones
spring up, in others they sink down, and form
dangerous cavities, while the whole pavement
trembles under the rattling equipages, like the
surface of a moor. In some streets the wooden
pavement has been introduced, but this also is
constantly in want of repair, and will. Kohl
seems to think, be eventually altogether aban-
doned, the marshy ground on which the city
stands making it impossible to obtain a solid
foundation. The quality of the pavement,
however, is a secondary consideration to a
Russian, whom, during the greater part of the
year, nature provides with a rail-road of ice
and snow, which the most refined ingenuity of
man will scarcely attempt to equal.

Nothing can be more delightful than the
easy noiseless manner in which a carriage
rolls over the frozen snow of the Russian capi-
tal. The pedestrian may at times be annoyed,
in the more frequented streets, by the clouds
of snow-dust thrown up by the horses ; for the
constant trampling over the same spot con-
verts a large portion of the frozen mass into
a light powder, more annoying sometimes
than the dust of summer. This, however,
occurs only in the principal thoroughfares;
and besides, who in Petersburgh cares for the
comfort of pedestrians? In the generality of
the streets, the snow is soon beaten down into
a compact mass, over which the equipages of
the Moscovite grandezza glide as lightly and
silently as so many gondolas along the canals
of Venice. To those who enjoy good health,
there is nothing very formidable in the severe
cold of a northern winter. It is the return of
spring that tries the constitution of a southern,
and tests his patience by the infliction of a
multitude of little annoyances. Nothing can
equal the horrors of a Russian street when the
frost breaks up. Many weeks elapse before
the si.v months' accumulation of snow is able
to wend its muddy course through the gutters

* An official report since received from Petersburgli
slates, that the supposed fissure, on
found to l>e merely an optical illusion.

into the Neva, and while in this intermediate
condition, the streets are filled with a sea of
mud, such as the liveliest imagination of a
cockney would vainly attempt to picture to
himself. During this period of transition, the
horses may sometimes be almost said to swim
through the streets; and as to the poor foot-
passengers, they have good reason to be
grateful if they reach their homes without
broken limbs. Even to step from the carriage
to the street door, is then a feat not always
unattended with danger.

For six montiis in the year the nights are
so short in Peter.sburgh, that it appears almost
useless to light the streets; and whether it be
owing to this circumstance, or to the vast
e.xtent of the streets and squares, certain it is,
tiiat the " Northern Palmyra" is, during win-
ter, about the worst lighted capital in Europe.
Gas has not yet established its supremacy on
the banks of the Neva, and the few oil lamps
scattered along the sides of the spacious street,
emit rays too feeble to reach the kennel in the
centre. The gay shops illuminate the Nevskoi
Prospekt, but in the other streets the lamps
are more for ornament than use, presenting
only two parallel lines of glimmering stars,
that afford no guiding light from one side of
the street to the other. Every two or three
minutes a noiseless sledge will be seen to
emerge suddenly from the obscurity on the
one side, to vanish again with equal rapidity
into the blackness of the other side. To the
credit of the Russian charioteers, however, it
must be owned, that, notwithstanding this
e.xtreme darkness, accidents rarely occur.
This may be owing to a salutary police regu-
lation, which lakes it for granted that when
an accident does happen, the coachman must
be in fault ; and where the Russian police
condemns, punishment is seldom slow, and is
not remarkable for gentleness when it comes.

To speak of Petersburgh, without devoting
a page or two to the magnificent Neva, would
be an unpardonable omission. A century ago
the name of this beautifully transparent river
was known to few but the fishermen ofOkhta,
and the herdsmen of the Finnish marshes ;
now its fame fills the world, and its crystal
waters serve to mirror lines of palaces, among
the most sumptuous that this earth has tver
seen. The Neva is a river of about forty
English miles in length, and is the channel
through which the Ladoga Lake pours its
waters into the Baltic. Just before reaching
the Gulf of Finland, it divides into a multi-
tude of arms, of which the principal are the
Great and Little Neva, and the Great and
Little Nevka. Of these, the Great Neva is
the most important, being in some places more
than twice as broad as the Thames at Water-
loo bridge. It is impossible for a river to be

194 ____„

of more importance to a city than the Neva is
to Petersburgh, and boundless is the affection
expressed towards it by the inhabitants, and
probably felt by most of them. The Peters-
burgher maintains that no other water on the
face of the globe is so sweet to drink ; that
with none other can coffee or tea be made in
such perfection ; and the first thing presented
to a friend on his return from a journey is
generally a glass of Neva water. The Empe-
ror Alexander is even said to have always had
a quantity of Neva water bottled up tor his
use when travelling. 'I'he Neva, moreover,
abounds in a variety of delicious lish, serves
to cleanse the capital of its impurities, and
places it in easy connection, not only with
foreign countries, but even with some of the
most remote provinces of the empire. For
nearly six months of every year, the beloved
Neva is bound in icy fetters; for early in
November the navigation closes, and it is
rarely before the beginning, or the middle of
April, that the water has acquired sutTicient
warmth to enable it to burst iis bounds. This
moment is anxiously looked for; and as soon
as the dirty masses of ice have glided down
the river far enough to make it possible for a
boat to pass from one side to the other, the
wished-for event is announced by a discharge
of artillery from the fortress. Be it night or
day, the commandant of the fortress, accom-
panied by the officers of the staff, and arrayed
in all the insignia of his rank, embarks in his
gondola, and crosses over to the winter pa-
lace. The commandant is immediately ad-
mitted into his sovereign's presence, to whom
he announces that the winter has reached its
close, in token of which he points to his gon-
dola, and presents his majesty with a crystal
goblet filled with thesparkling water of the Ne-
va. The emperor drains off the uninebriating
bumper to the health of his capital, and re-
turns the goblet to the commandant filled with
gold. Such at least was formerly the practice ;
but it was found that the goblet had a marvel-
lous tendency to increase its dimensions, till
at last the emperor's potatory powers were
scarcely equal to the task imposed upon him,
while his privy purse was at the same time
made sensible of the expansive quality of the
commandant's goblet. A compromise was at
Ifist deemed expedient. The emperor fixed
the officer's douceur at 200 ducats, and since
then his majesty has found it less diflicult to
comply with the periodical usagesof his water-
drinking predecessors.

The first gun that announces from the for-
tress the return of spring, draws the multitude
to the quay to admire the commandant's boat,
and within an hour afterwards, hundreds of
gondolas may be seen rowing merrily about in
all directions. Masses of ice come floating
for several weeks from the Ladoga Lake, but
the Russian gondolier is too familiar with ice
to let it affright him ; and, besides, the spring
ice is rarely so dangerous to shipping, as the
sharp ice that forms at the first setting in of
winter. The young ice cuts like a knife, and
the strongest vessel may be cut through in a
few hours, by the successive masses that come
floating down the river at the conunencement
of the frost. The old ice, on the contrary


though it often looks much more formidable,
is comparatively harmless, for in the melting
mood it yields to the slightest pressure, and
is more or less broken by every collision it

" The first vessel that arrives is received
with a joy bordering on enthusiasm, and the
cargo, consisting mostly of foreign fruits and
French fashions, is certain to go off at extra-
vagant prices. A crowd of English, Swedish,
Dutch, Ilanseatic, and American vessels fol-
low almost immediately. The death-like
silence of winter is converted in a few days
into a scene of life and commercial bustle.
From the Baltic come the foreign ships deck-
ed out with all the variegated flags of Europe,
and from the interior there arrive a multitude
of clumsy barges and fragile rafts, which when
unloaded are mostly taken to pieces, and their
materials disposed of as firewood. The native
merchandize, stored up during the winter in
the warehouses, is quickly got afloat ; the
men-of-war prepare to sally forth to their
peaceful evolutions in the Baltic; steamers
snort and smoke, and urge their splashing
course backwards and forwards to Cronstadt ;
the light gondolas are flying along in all direc-
tions, every day, every hour brings forth
something new, and the disenchantment of the
icy palace is complete."

(To be continued.)

A Result of the Exploring Expedition.

The First mo. number of the Horticultural
Magazine, in an article entitled a Retrospec-
tive View of Horticulture for 1842, has the
following interesting paragraph : —

" An important addition has been, or ulti-
mately will be, made to our collections by the
labours of the Exploring Expedition. The
number of living plants brought home amounts
to between two hundred and three hundred
species, among them several new fruit trees
from the East Indies. The collection of seeds
embraces many hundred kinds, from all the
various places where the Exploring Expedi-
tion touched ; among them many of the ericas,
from the Cape of Good Hope, and the splen-
did Pinus Lambertiana, and others from the
Columbia river. 'J'he seeds were placed un-
der the direction of the National Institute at
Washington, and have been liberally distri-
buted by Dr. Pickering, the curator. For
the growth of the live plants, a green house
fifty feet long has been erected on the vacant
ground in the rear of the patent office. Part
of this has been partitioned off, as a stove or
hot-house, for the tropical plants and fruits.
These, when increased, will probably be dis-
tributed among the nurserymen of the coun-
try. The whole of the plants are under the

charge of our correspondent, Brecken

ridge, from whom we hope to receive a list of
their names, as well as some extracts from his
original notes and remarks on the many beau-
tiful and grand productions of Flora, examined
by him in their native habitats. This the
government will not allow him to do; but as
soon as the injunction is removed, we may
promise our readers some interesting articles
I from Breckenridge's pen."

For •• The Friend."

The exercise of power, even when it is
conferred by the Head of the Church, is a nice
and delicate matter. There is great danger
of losing sight of the riglus ot otiiers, and ihe
more so where constant deference is paid to
those invested with it. Some may teed the
vanity of others, to tecure more eflectually
their own post and authority, and in this way
combinations may be fornjed, dangerous to Ihe
"berties and rights of their fellows. W here
a love of power and preeminence exists, there
is danger to the peace and harmony of society.
No man who is fond of ruling is fit for the
station in the church, because self and not the
honour of Christ is the object. The requisite
qualifications for ruling will be accompanied
with the disposition which our Saviiur mani-
fested, of whom it is said. He made himsilf
if no reputation among men; and when they
w ere determined to make him a king, he went
and hid himself. Perhaps the following se-
lections from D'Aubigne's History of the
Reformation, may convey some salutary hints,
even to the active members of the humble So-
ciety of Friends. It is good often to recur to
first principles, both in doctrine and discipline,
and to take warning from what has occurred
in our own Society, and in Christendom at
large. Human nature may be as weak and
aspiring under a plain garb, as under a gor-
geous robe ; and power may dazzle and be-
wilder where there is no pecuniary advantage,
as well as where high salaries are at stake,
though it is a little more difficult to tell why
it should be so. D'Aubigne say»: —

The church was in the beginning a commu-
nity of brethren. All its members were
taught of God ; and each possessed the liberty
of drawing for himself from the Divine foun-
tain of life. The Epistles which then settled
the great question of doctrine, did not bear
the pompous title of any single man or ruler.
We find from the Holy Scriptures that they
began simply with these words, " The apos-
tles, elders and brethien, to our brethren."
Acts XV. 23. But the writings of these very
apostles forewarn us, that from the midst of
these brethren there shall arise a power which
shall overthrow the simple and primitive or-
der. [How often since that period has it
happened that from amongst ministers, elders,
and other conspicuous and influential mem-
bers, individuals have arisen, who, from ambi-
tious motives, have sought to monopolise
power and authority in the church, which has
terminated in schisms, and in scattering the

Let us contemplate the formation, and trace
the development of this power alien to the
church. Paul, of Tarsus, one of the chiefest
apostles of the new religion, had arrived at
Rome, the capital of the Empire, and of the
world, preaching the salvation that cometh
from God only. A church was formed beside
the throne of the Ca'sars. Founded by this
same apostle, it was at first composed of con-
verted Jews, Greeks, and some inhabitants of
Rome. For a while it shone brightly, as a
light set upon a hill, and its faith was every



where spoken of. But ere long it declined
from its first simplicity. The spiritual do-
minion of Rome arose, as ils political and
military power had done before, and was
slowly and gradually extended. The first
pastors or bishops of Rome employed them-
selves in the beginning, in converting to the
failh of Chris!, the towns and villages that
surrounded the city. The necessity which the
bishops and pastors felt of referring, in cases
of difficulty, to an enlightened guide, and the
gratitude which they oued to the metropoli-
tan church, led them to maintain an intimate
union with her. As is generally the conse-
quence in such circumstances, this reasonable
union soon degenerated into dependance.
[Have we not seen the same result in our
day ? Have not many, after receiving aid from
persons of natural and acquired powers, trans-
ferred their dependance from the Head to
these members of the church, even among
the professed spiritual Quakers? And what
has been the consequence — mischief to the
exalted man, and weakness brought upon his
dependents.] The b\s\]ops of Rume regarded
as a right the superiority which the neigh-
bouring churches had voluntarily yielded.
The encroachments of power form a large por-
tion of all history; the resistance of those
vshose rights are invudtd forms the other
part ; and the ecclesiastical power could not
escape that intoxication which leads those
who are lifted up, to seek to raise themselves
still higher. It felt all the influence of this
general weakness of human nature.

Neverthele-^s the supremacy of the Roman
bishop was at first limited to the overlooking
of the churches, in the territory lawfully sub-
ject to the prefect of Rome. But the rank
which this imperial city held in the world,
offered to the ambition of its first pastors a
prospect of wider sway. The consideration
which the diflerent Christian bishops enjoyed
in the second century, was in proportion to
the rank of the city over which they presided.
Rome was the greatest, the richest, and the
most powerful city in the world. It was the
seat of empire, the mother of nations. " All
the inhabitants of the earth are hers," said
Julian, and Claudius declares her to be, " the

fountain of lau

If Rome be the queen of

s, why should not her pastor be the king
of bishops? Why should not the Roman
church be the mother of Christendom? Why
should not all nations be her children, and
her authority he the universal law? It was
natural to the heart of man to reason thus.
Ambitious Rome did so. [And so may ambi-
tious men in this day — they may think the
church safe in their hands, and that their
authority is tantamount to all law.] Hence it
was that when heathen Rome fell, she be-
queathed to the humble minister of the God
of peace, seated in the midst of her own
ruins, the proud titles which her invincible
sword had won from the nations of the earth.
The bishops of the other parts of the Empire,
yielding to the charm that Rome had exer-
cised for ages over all nations, followed the
example of the Campagna, and aided the
work of usurpation. 'I'hey willingly rendered
to the bishop of Rome something of that

honour which was due to this queen of cities
nor was there at first any thing of dependance
in the honour thus yielded. They acted
towards the Roman pastors as equals towards
an equal ; but usurped power swells like the
avalanche. Exhortations at first simply fra-
ternal, soon became commands in the mouth
of the Roman pontiff". A chief place amongst
equals appeared to him a throne. [Every
society, civil and religious, has its order and
government, and which is essential to its ex-
istence. Some govern and others are govern-
ed ; but they are to govern and be governed,
according to the rules and laws which have
been adopted and enacted in a lawful manner.
The governors are equally subject to the
operation of these laws with the governed,
and have no more right to transcend them.
Fundamental and constitutional principles can-
not be dispensed with at the will of either
party. All must bow to these principles, else
anarchy or despotism will follow.]

The bishops of the west favoured this en-
croachment of the Roman pastors, either from
jealousy of the eastern bishops, or because
they preferred subjection to a pope to the do-
minion of a temporal power. On the other

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 72 of 154)