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

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Among the models seen in the room are
many relating to improvements in ship-build-
ing, such as in the formation and fixing of the
rudder, and so forlh. Others show us various
forms of rafts which have been devised for
the preservation of life in case of shipwreck ;
and of fire-escapes, for use in the public
streets: among the latter is a model of Mr.
Wivell's inn;enious machine. A pair of scales
and a set of weights, brought from Belgiimi,
enable us to compare the forms of the weigh-
ing apparatus used in that country with the
kinds employed in England. Wind-gauges,
rain-gauges, tide-nicasurcs, and telegraphs,
of some of the numerous forms devised, are
represented by small models deposited here ;



B9 are also lalhcs and liaiid-tools of many These few paragraphs will serve briefly to
kinds. show what are the objects for which the niu-

Whatever is calculated to ligiitcn or relieve Iseum was established, and what is the general
human labour or human pain, by the substitu- 1 description of articles deposited there. A per-
tion of mechanism, is a prominent subject for son who is either unacquainted with the nature
the consideration of this society. The substi- of machinery and implements, or is inditferent
tution of machines for climbing-boys, in the to the processes of manufacturing industry,
process of cleansing chimneys, is an object i may perhaps fail to reap either pleasure or
which has led to the construction of many | profit from such an exhibition; but he who
pieces of mechanism, specimens of some of { rightly appreciates the true sources of a na-
which are to be seen here. There is another I lion's greatness and wealth, will feel a pleas-
glass case, containing some pieces of median- 1 ure in viewing specimens of the apparently
ism, which can scarcely be looked at without j humble means by which that wealth and
illing up a feeling of regret at the obsliiiacy I greatness have been principally acquired

with which injuru)us customs are sometimes
adhered to : we allude to the magnetic mouth-
pieces for needle-grinders. The men employ-
ed in grinding the points of needles are among
the most short-lived of our artisans, on account
of the fatal effects of the particles of steel
irdialed by the lungs. To obviate this evil, an
ingenious person contrived a sort of magnetic
shield for the mouth, by which the particles
of steel were stopped and retained befure
the)' could reach tlie mouth. But the men
refused to use this apparatus, lest, by making
the occupation less injurious, more persons
might embark in it, and the rate of wages
(which is high) be diminished !

Among the most pleasing pieces of mechan-
ism at the museum, are tiiose for teaching
blind persons to read, to write, &c. Tablets
of diflerent kinds are provided with pins and
wires, the admixture and arrangement of
which are made to denote the letters of the
alphabet, the numerals, &c.

Models of agricultural machines are rather
numerous, and comprise various forms of
ploughs, harrows, &c. For subjects more
strictly mechanical, there are specimens of
girders for roofs ; presses for book-binders and
other artizans ; planes and other tools ; sash-
frames, and numerous others ; all being models
of machines containing some improvement,
more or less important, on the usual forms.
A few models of safety lamps show the prin-
ciple on which Sir H. Davy founded his admi-
rable contrivance, and the minor improvements
made by otiiers. A collection of apparatus
belonging to the associated sciences of elec-
tricity, galvanism and magnetism, is interest-
ing, not as showing the state to which they
have now arrived, and which is fur beyond the
point which this apparatus indicates, but as
exemplifying the steps by which the progress
has been made.

The society does not confine its operations
to the encouragement of any art or manwf;
lure in particular, but to the advancement of
productive industry generally, whether in the
raw material to which manufacturing art is
afterwards to be applied, or to the implements
or processes by which this manufacture is
conducted. The preparation of pigments, of
oils, of varnishes, of cements, and other sub-
stances used in the arts, comes therefore legi-
timately within the scoj)e of the society's no-
tice ; and some of the cases in the museum
contain bottles and packages exhibiting speci-
mens of such articles, distinguished either for
their excellence or for the improved mode in
which they were prepared.

and will also duly respect those who by their
influence and liberality have aided in improv-
ing those means. — Fenny Magazine.

The Plains of Hungary. — AVe had heard
much of the dull and monotonous character of
he great plain of Hungary. We had now a
veritable specimen of it before us: for many
long and weary miles we drove, ere so much
as a cottage made its appearance, and all the
while the corn waved on either hand, rank and
uxuriant. Yet, singular as to us this state of
hings appeared, it is but a copy, and an
perfect one, of what prevails elsewhere. There
are parts of the country, especially in the great
plain of the Theiss, where you may travel
entire day without encountering either the
houses or the faces of men ; and all the while
your route will he through fields loaded with
abundant crops of wheat and rye. Moreover,
the customs of the people who occupy thai
plain are to the full as striking as the external
appearance of the country, and it may be well
if I describe them. The long and fierce wars
which Hungary sustained with Turkey, and
the exposure of these open districts to per-
petual invasion, first induced the inhabitants
to congregate into heaps, and the habits then
contracted have never since been laid aside.
Accordingly, there are no such things as vil-
lages and hamlets, far less detached dwel-
lings, to be seen any where ; but, at remote
intervals one from another, you come upon
towns, towns of the veriest huts, where dwell
six, eight, ten, and sometimes as many as
thirty thousand peasants together. How they
preserve order among themselves, I do not
know, for their magistrates seem to possess
little influence over them; yet they do live
peaceably enough ; and though all are poor
and squalid, and filthy to a degree, there
seems to be a perfect indifference to the evils
which poverty and squalor bring with them.
They are to a man agriculturists. It is by the
labour of their hands that the boundless plains
through which you have travelled are culti-
vated ; and the process by which the mighty
operation is performed is this: — When the
season for ploughing and sowing comes round,
the males march in a body from their homes.
They erect wigwams, or huts, here and there
in the fields; and then setting to work, they
toil from the Second to the Seventh-day of the
week, living on the provisions which they may
have brought with them, and sleeping at night
in their bivouac. At the end of the week
they all return to the town, and do not leave

if again till the following Second-day. In this
manner the first processes are carried through;
and when all the seed has been scattered, the
people march back to their permanent habi-
tations, there to abide in idleness and filth till
some fresh operation becomes necessary.
Finally, when harvest is ready, the bivouac is
resumed, the women coming forth this time
to assist in getting it in. And as the comple-
tion of the sowing season sent them back to
town, so, when reaping ends, the huts are
abandoned. — GleigWs Hungary.


By Dr. Holmes, editor of the Maine Farmer.

" The lust of the eye" was one of the fun-
damental evils among mankind during the
days of the apostles, and the prevalence of it
at the present day, proves that poor human
nature is the same now as it was then. " The
lust of the eye," " the desire to show out" —
to " look fine," and to " cut a dash," is one of
the evils of the present day : an evil which,
without taking into view the troubles that it
brings upon us in a moral sense, produces
temporal ills enough to induce, we should
think, persons of common sense, to pay much
less regard to it than is done, jlany, too
many among the producing classes, and indeed
among the consuming classes too, seem to
think that it is the exterior rather than the
interior which forms the character — that it is
the modicum of fine twined linen, silk, and
broad cloth, upon the body, the style of the
beaver upon the upper, and the quantum of
Day & Martin upon the lower extremities,
that make the man. We grieve to say that
in too many instances this is the case. Tliat
the mind — the inner man — the intellect and
the soul which lives forever, which gives life,
and thought, and utterance — which raises
men above the beasts of the field, is shame-
fully neglected. Every one should strive to
be decent in his appeal ance and his equipage;
but all, especially farmers, should study the
fitness of thijigs, and make all their dress —
their apparatus and expenses, accord with
that. This is the true standard of beauty, and
ought to be the true standard and guide of
fashion. Fitness of things to the use and pur-
poses for which they were designed, ought to
be the rule ; and not whether it will be finer,
or more costly, or of a newer style, or more
shining and dazzling than your neighbour's.
Utility rather than the " pride of the eye"
should be the study. If this were followed
we should see more of native beauty in ihe
person, than artificial and expensive foreign
decorations; more of the substantial manufac-
tures of the farmer's family, than tawdry
finery from abroad. We may be mistaken,
but it really seems to us that we are verging
too fast to that point, that rock upon which
all nations have split, viz., luxury and effemi-
nacy. It is a startling fact, that the great
mass of our population are neither so hardy
nor so healthy as they were fifty years ago.
The changes in the habits and customs have
brought with them a new set of diseases, and
weaknesses. Who ever heard of people dy-
ing of dyspepsia in those limes 1 and yet it is

now one of the most common disorders of the
present day. The " lust of the eye" has more
to do witli it than many are aware. In olden
times people were not afraid of the sun or the
air. 'I'hey were not ashamed to be seen in a
coarse, substantial homespun dress suited to
the season. They were not ashamed to har-
den the hand with toil, nor darken the cheek
by exposure to the rays of the sun. They
were not ashamed to be caught eating the
coarse fare produced by their own farms.
They were not sighing if their brown bread
loaf did not rival in whiteness and delicacy
the superfine flour of modern days, nor any
anxiety to change the snap and hominy for
the rice of the Southern plantations. They
were not ashamed of toil nor athletic exer-
cises, and a corresponding proportion of
health, and we dare say a greater amount of
happiness rewarded them accordingly. We
are not among the prosers nor croakers. We
wish to see every one flourish — we wish to see
the country prosper — we wish to see tiie na- 1
tion progress to its zenitii of greatness ; but to
do this we must follow other dictates than
those of mere pride which exults in tinsel, in
gaudy trapping, in empty show ; and attend
more to the substantials — the solid comforts
which strengthen and make permanent. Let
the farmers look to themselves — build up
themselves — wear the cloth of their own
manufacture in preference to that from across
the Atlantic ; — study to produce all the neces-
saries of life upon their own farms, and be not
ashamed to sustain themselves thereby, rather
than exchange their own produce for more
costly viands from abroad. Let them put
themselves in the front rank of reform in this
respect, with common sense for their guide,
and moral courage for their shield, and all may
yet be well.

We have been led to this train of reflection
by meeting, not long since, a friend who was
trained for a farmer, and whose father left him
a good farm, and a reasonable capital to carry
it on. But the follies of life had more allure-
ments for him than the rugged toils of a far-
mer, and he sold all, and turned — " exquisite."
High living and idleness, have brought him, in
the prime of life, near to the grave, and when
we reminded him of his former health, and
advised him to throw off" his Lafayetles, and
go to work — he mournfully shook his head,
and replied, " it is too late." We looked
again and saw that it was too late. Death
has fixed his seal upon him forever. This is
a brief sketch of a single individual, but alas!
it is the history of thousands.


Thisdistinguished Russian nobleman, whose
name is associated with one of the most extra-
ordinary events recorded in history, died lately
at Mocow. He was governor of that city at
the time of the invasion of Russia by Bona-
parte, and it was under his direction and su-
perinlendance that it was destroyed. "Mos-
cow, gilded with its golden cupulas, the cradle
and tomb of the Russian nobility," contained
at that time two hundred and ninty-five church-
es, and fifteen hundred mansions, with their


gardens and dependencies, intermixed with
smaller housesandcottages.spreadoverseveral
leagues of territory. These edifices, including
even the shops, are described as all covered
with polished and painted iron. The churches
were surrounded by a terrace, and seveial
steeples, terminating in golden balls, above
which was exhibited the crescent, and lastly,
the cross, denoting the successive triumphs of
Mahometanismand Christianity. A single ray
of sunshine caused this splendid city to glisten
with a thousand colours. At the sight of it the
traveller paused, delighted and astonished. It
reminded him of the prodigies with which the
oriental poets had amused his childhood ;
while, on entering it, the wealth and luxury,
the gorgeous spectacles and sumptuous festi-
vities which he witnessed, made him imagine
himself transported into " a city of kings."
Such is Moscow described to have been by
one of the historians of the campaign, when
the progress of the French invaders led to the
resolution of devoting it a sacrifice to the
flames; an idea which was conceived and exe-
cuted by Count Rostopcliin. 'I'he details
which Segur has given of the events attending
it, are highly interesting. Struck with aston-
ishment at the silence which prevailed, on liis
approach. Napoleon entered the city, and it
was long ere he could be brought to credit the
reports of his officers, that Moscow was de-
serted. This was a disappointment for which
he was not prepared. Little, however, did he
then think of the greatness of the mortifica-
tion which he was yet to endure. In a few
hours the alarm was sounded that the city was
on fire in several places. At first it was attri-
buted to the carelessness of the soldiery, and
the indignation of the emperor was excited
against the supposed authors of the calan)ity.
But it was soon found that these fires owed
their origin to other causes. All efforts to
arrest their progress were found unavailing.
In attempting to escape from the place where
he had taken his residence, the emperor was
nearly suffocated. For several days and nights
this terrible conflagration continued, and Mos-
cow became a vast heap of ruins. But at the
destruction of this splendid city, it was not the
Russians, but their enemies, who shed bitter
tears ! In making this sacrifice, Rostopchin
consigned to destruction the noblest of his pa-
laces ; and he subsequently caused his splen-
did mansion at Woronow to be also destroyed,
inscribing on the iron gate of a church which
was left standing, this memorial, which the
French, shuddering with surprise, read as they
approached : " For eight years I have been
embellishing this place, where I have lived
happy in the bosom of my family. The in-
habitants of this estate will leave it on your
approach, while I have set fire to my house
that it might not be polluted with your pre-
sence. Frenchmen ! I have relinquished to
you my two houses in Moscow, with furni-
ture to the amount of half a million of ru-
bles. Here you will find nothing but ashes!"
These scenes were but of yesterday — but
where are the actors in them ? "Alexander
the Deliverer" is no more, and he who swaj'-
ed the sceptre of uncontrolled sovereignly
over so large a portion of the globe, rests


powerless in the tomb, while, in another hemis-
I pliere, we behold the sepulchre of his rival,
the conqueror of liations, himself so great,
and to whom so many, either as allies or ene-
mies, owed their greatness. " Sic transit
gloria mundi." — Late Paper.


The emperor wished to illuminate the Alex-
ander column in a grand style : the size of the
round lamps was indicated, and the glasses be-
spoken at this manufactory, where the work-
men exerted themselves in vain, and almost
blew the breath out of their bodies in the en-
deavour to obtain the desired magnitude. —
The connnission must be executed, that was
self-evident ; but how ? A great premium was
offcM-ed to whoever should solve this problem.
Again the human bellows toiled and pufled,
their object seemed unattainable; when at
length a long-bearded Russian stepped forward
and declared that he could do it ; he had strong
and sound lungs, he would only rince his mouth
first with a little cold water to refresh them.
He applied his mouth to the pipe, and pufled
to such purpose that the vitreous ball swelled
and swelled nearly to the required dimensions,
up tu it, beyond it. ' Hold, hold,' cried the look-
ers on, 'you are doing too much ; and how did
you do it at all?' — 'The matter is simple
enough,' answered the long-beard ; 'but first,
where is my premium?' And when he had
clutched the promised bounty he explained.
He had retained some of the water in his
mouth, which had passed thence into the glow
ball, and there becoming steam, had rendered
him this good service. — J. G. KokVs Russia
and the Russians.

Voluptuous Lands — In the vast archipe-
lago of the east, where Borneo, and Java, and
Sumatra lie, and the Molucca islands and the
Phillippines, the sea is often fanned only by
the land and sea-breezes, and is like a smooth
bed, on which these islands seem to sleep in
bliss — islands in which the spice and perl'ume
gardens of the world are embowered, and
where the bird of Paradise has its home, and
the golden pheasant, and a hundred others of
brilliant plumage, among thickets so luxuriant,
and scenery so picturesque, that Euro[)Can
strangers find there the fairy-land of their
youthful dreams. — Br. Arnott.

A Living Lizard in a Seam of Coal

In the autumn of 1S18, when the work-
men were sinking a new pit upon Fen-
ton's ground, near Wakefield, and had passed
through several strata of stone, and some
thin beds of coal, to the depth of one hundred
and fifty yards, they came to a seam of coal,
about four feet thick, which they proposed to
work. Alter excavating about four inches of
it, one of the miners struck his pick into a
crevice, and, having shattered the coal around
into small pieces, he discovered a lizard about
five inches long. It continued very brisk and
lively for about ten minutes, and then drooped
and died. — Mirror.


THE AVATEIt CAVE OF BOLOA'CHEN. j with the light thrown down from the orifice I

From the work of Stephens on Yuca- "'^"^'^' ^V** «>'« wildest that can be conceived.

tan, just published, we make the (olluwins ' ^^^'/*'.^'"'^'"'*''; " °."'y ''"t'^'"""'^ °' "'"

exceedingly interesting extract. The scai

city of water in Yucatan,

or quite equal to that

ca. Wells are all but

habitants are dependent

an, it appears, is almost ; . ,. ■^ , ■ i- in parts of AlVi- '^ Xtacumb. X
; unknown and .he in>y^h.s La fee.

ther on artificial
reservoirs, or cavities in the rocks, occa^ion-
ally filled by rain, nr on caverns, such as that
described below, allliough there are i'iiw others,
if any, so deep and ditficult of access. The
\illage of Bolonclien has nine wells, which
furnish water during a great part of the year ;
but the supply was soon exhausted, and re-
course was to be had to an extraordinary cave
about half a league from the village. To this
the travellers repaired, accompanied by the

ell — but to explain to him briefly its extra-
ordinary character, 1 give its nanje — which
"unan. The Indians understand
lora escondida, or the lady h id-
ay ; and it is derived from a fanciful
Indian story that a lady stolen from her
mother was concealed by her lover in this

Every year, when the wells in the plaza are
about to fall, the ladders are put into a tho-
rough state of repair. A day is appointed by
the municipality for closing the wells in the
plaza, and repairing to the cueva — and on that
day a great village fete is held in I he cavern
at the foot of this ladder. On one side lead-
to the wells is a rugged chamber, with a

authorities of the village, and a large pa.".y of! \"§ '° '"e "e,„ .^ a rugged c
attendants.-Pr..Vma«. I lolly overhanging roof, and a level platform ;

the walls ot this rocky chamber are dressed
We disencumbered ourselves of superfluous with branches, and hung with lights, and the
whole village comes out with refreshments
and music. The cura is with them, a leader
of the mirth ; and the day is passed in dan-
cing in the cavern, and rejoicing that when
one source of supply fails, another is opened
to their need.

On one side of the cavern is an opening in
the rock, entering by which we soon came to
an abrupt descent, down which was another
long and trying ladder. It was laid against
the broken face of the rock, not so sleep as the
first, but in a much more rickety condition ;
the rounds were loose, and the upper ones
gave way on the first attempt to descend. The
cave was damp, and the rock and ladder were
wet and slippery. At this place the rest of
our attendants left us, the ministro being the
last deserter. It was evident that the labour
of exploring this cave was to be greatly in-
creased by the state of the ladder, and there
might be some danger attending it, but, even
after all that we had seen of caves, there was
something so wild and grand in this, that we
could not bring ourselves to give up the at-
tempt. Fortunately the cura had taken care
to provide us with rope, and fastening one end
round a large stone, an Indian carried the
other down to the foot of the ladder. We
followed, one at a time ; holding the rope by
one hand, and with Ihe other grasping the
de of the ladder. It was impossible to carry

apparel, and following the Indian, each wiili
torch in hand, entered a wild cavern, which,
as we advanced, became darker. At the dis-
tance of sixty paces the descent was precipi-
tous, and we went down by a ladder about
twenty feet. Here all light from the moulh
of the cavern was lost, but we soon reached
the brink of a great perpendicular descent, to
the very bottom of which a strong body of
light was thrown from a hole in the surface, a
perpendicular depth, as we afterward learned
by measurement, of two hundred and ten feet.
As we stood on the brink of this precipice,
under the shelving of an immense mass of
rock, seeming darker from the stream of
light thrown down the hole, gigantic stalac-
tites, and huge blocks of stone assumed all
manner of fiintaslic shapes, and seemed like
monstrous animals or deities of a subterranean

From the brink on which we stood, an
enormous ladder, of the rudest possible con-
struction, led to the bottom of the hole. It
was between seventy and eighty feet long, and
about twelve feet wide, made of the rough
trunks of saplings lashed together lengthwise,
and supported all the way down by horizontal
trunks braced against the face of the precipi-
tous rock. The ladder was double, having
two sets or flights of rounds, divided by a
middle partition, and the whole fabric

lashed together by withes. It was very steep, a torch, and

seemed precarious and insecure, and confirmed
the worst accounts we had heard of the descent
into this remarkable well.

Our Indians began the descent, but the fore-
most had scarcely got his head below the sur-
face before one of the rounds slipped, and he
only saved himself by clinging to another.
The ladder having been made when the withes
were green, these were now dry, cracked, and

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 93 of 154)