« 上一頁繼續 »
of men, only 21% reached the age of fifty; now 32% attain that age. Then, only 15 in 100 reached the age of sixty; now, the number is raised to 24.
Thus, it appears that the total number of deaths, compared with the population, is very sensibly diminished. Formerly, the annual deaths were as 1 to 30; now, they are only as 1 to 39.
The number of births is also found to have decreased. They are now only as 1 in 25, whilst formerly they amounted to 1 in 31.
A similar decrease is observable in the number of marriages; they formerly amounted to 1 in every 111 persons; now they are reduced to 1 in 135.
The fruitfulness of marriages has not undergone any alteration; they yield, on an average, four children to a marriage. The general result is this ; marriages are less frequent, and fewer children are born than formerly, in proportion to the population. Nevertheless, the population is rapidly increasing ; because, of the children born a much larger proportion attain to maturity, and to ald age.
This circumstance affords a sufficient explanation of the diminution in the number of marriages. In fact, the greater is the mortality in a country, the greater is the number of marriages, because the vacancies must be filled up. On the other hand, in a country where the mortality is small, the inhabitants are less rich, and marriages less frequent, because the difficulty of finding employment and of obtaining the means of supporting a family is greater. From these facts we may draw the following conclusions; that if a more perfect civilization increases population by diminishing the causes of mortality, this increase of population becomes the cause of greater relaxation of morals, by presenting obstacles to marriages. Thus it appears that the number of foundlings in France bave been tripled since the year 1780.- French Globe.
PERSIAN Notions OF EUROPEAN WORKMANSHIP.–The Persians entertain very magnificent and mysterious ideas of the power imparted by Europeans to many of their mechanical inventions, as well as of their profound knowledge in preparing salutary or pernicious drugs ; effects nothing less than magical are attributed to many of their inventions. Among other things it was believed that certain telescopes were constructed in Europe, capable of viewing all that should pass within the walls of a fortified place, even from a great distance; others by which, if the proprietor desired it, he could, by looking at the outside of an harem, see all the women within its walls ; others again were supposed to be possessed of remarkable powers for observing the heavenly bodies. Our fire-arms, too, were often believed to have peculiar properties, that conferred formidable powers upon their possessors. The same idea prevailed regarding our cutlery. Meerza Abdool Javat one day showing me at least fifty very good English knives, which he had collected in a drawer, complained that there was not one of them worth a farthing. I looked at them, saw that they were all of excellent makers, hut had all been ill used; and on enquiring the reason, “Ah !” said he, “ they are all bad, all cheats, not one of them can cut iron as they should do.” iron !" cried I, “ who ever saw a knife that could cut iron ?” “ "What!” demanded he, " and have you not among you knives that can cut iron?" “ No, certainly,” said I, “ who could have told you so foolish a thing ?" “ Look, then,” said he again, “ what lies are rold: hear the story that was retailed to us of you Feringhees. it was said that a certain man once came into the court before your king's dewan khaneh, and after saluting his majesty, he offered for sale a little penknife, which he said was of wonderful powers. The king asked the price of it, and was told by the owner that it was twenty thousand tomauns. How,' said the king,' do you dare to impose on your sovereign in that way? let him be punisbed on the spot.' Upon that, the man went up to a large cannon that was lying in the court-yard, and, making a cut at it with his knife, almost divided it in two, exclaiming, 'See there, O king ! mark if I told untruths regarding the value of this knife ; but now it never shall be yours. With that be broke the blade, and threw the pieces away, nor would he ever make another; but,” added the meerza, although knives of such uncommon powers are not to be had, I always believed that the good English penknives were calculated to cut steel or iron; and you quite astonish me when you inform me that this is not the case.”—Fraser's Khorasan.
A HEARTY Cock.--A curious circumstance is related of the Colossus, at the battle of Trafalgar, in which she suffered so severely. In the heat of the action, one of the hen-coops being shot away on the poop, a cock flew on the shoulder of Captain Morris, then severely wounded ; and, as if his pugnacious spirit had been roused by the furious conflict he witnessed, flapped liis wings, and crowed lustily in that situation, to the no small encouragement of the seamen ; who, determining not to be outdone by the
gallant little biped, swore he was true game, and giving him three cheers, continued the engagement with redoubled alacrity.-- Naval Sketch Book.
AMERICAN Ladies.—Nothing can surpass the appearance of the American ladies, when they take their morning walk, from twelve to three, in Broadway. The stranger will at once see that they have rejected the extravagant superfluities which appear in the London and Parisian fashions; and have only retained as much of those costumes, as is becoming to the female form. This, joined to their own just notions of dress, is wbat renders the New York ladies so elegant in their attire. The way they wear the Leghorn hats deserves, a remark or two. With us, the formal hand of the inilliper binds down the brim to one fixed shape, and that none of the handsomest. The wearer is obliged to turn her head full ninety degrees before she can see who is standiog by her side. But in New York, the ladies have the brim of the hat not fettered with wire, or tape, or riband, but quite free and undulating ; and by applying the hand to it, they conceal or expose as much of the face as circunstances require. This hiding and exposing of the face, by the by, is certainly a dangerous movement, and often fatal to the passing swain. I am convinced in my own mind, that many a determined and unsuspecting bachelor, has been shot down by this sudden manquvre, before he was aware that he was within reach of the battery.
The American ladies seem to have an abhorrence, and a just one too, of wearing caps. When one considers for a moment, that women wear the hair long, which nature has given them both for an ornament and to keep the head warm, one is apt to wonder, by what perversions of good taste they can be induced to enclose it in a cap. A mobcap, a lace-cap, a low.cap, a high-cap, a flat-cap, a cap with ribands dangling loose, a cap with ribands tied under the chin, a peak-cap, an angular-cap, a round-cap, and a pyramid-cap!! How would Canova's Venus look in a mob-cap? If there be any ornament to the head in wearing a cap, it must surely be a false ornament. The American ladies are persuaded that the head can be ornamented without a cap. A rosebud or two, a woodbine, a sprig of eglantine, look well in the braided hair; and if there be raven locks, a lily or a snowdrop may be interwoven with effect. --Waterton's Handerings.
The Tree or HAPPINESS.-The Mohammedans say Paradise is situate above the seven heavens, (or in the seventh heaven,) and next under the throne of God; and to express the amenity of the place, tell us that the earth of it is of the finest wheat four or of the purest musk, or, as others will have it, of saffron ; that its stones are pearls and jacinths, the walls of its buildings enriched with gold and silver, and that the trunks of all its trees are of gold; among which the most remarkable is the tree called Tûba, or the tree of happiness. Concerning this tree, they fahle that it stands in the palace of Mohammed, though a branch of it will reach to the house of every true believer; that it will be loaden with pomegranates, grapes, dates, and other fruits of surprising bigness, and of tastes unknown to mortals; so that, if a man desire to eat of any particular kind of fruit, it will immediately be presented him; or, if he choose flesh, birds ready dressed will be set before him, according to his wish. They add, that the boughs of this tree will spontaneously bend down to the hand of the person who would gather of its fruits, and that it will supply the blessed not only with food, but also with silken garments, and beasts to ride on ready saddled and bridled, and adorned with rich trappings, which will burst forth from its fruits; and that this tree is so large, that a person mounted on the fleetest horse would not be able to gallop from one end of its shade to the other in a hundred years.-Sale's Koran.
Boar Hunt in Persia.—Just before we arrived at Robaut-e-aishk, during a short space of clear weather, the borsemen in advance observed a parcel of wild hoys feeding in a marslıy hollow upon our left ; and half-a-dozen of them immediately spurring off towards them, succeeded in cutting off their retreat and driving them up the slope towards us : they selected one larger than the rest, in particular, and a grand chace commenced, every one who was mounted on an unloaded beast, setting off full tilt, pricking it with their spears and cutting at it with their swords, whilst the hog trotted sulkily on, seeking to join his companions, but churning his tusks, and now and then attempting to rip with them, such as ventured to approach him too pear. But neither spears nor swords made much impression upon his well-defended hide, and be seemed in a fair way to escape; as he passed near me, I could not refrain from joining in the cry, and drawing a double-barrelled pistol, I rode alongside of, and fired both at him; one of the balls missed him, the other took place; but, although enfeebled by loss of blood, he still kept moring towards his morass, when an old man, mounted upon a powerful grey Toorkoman horse rode up, and wheeling rapidly round, gare his steed an opportunity, which it seemed fully to understand, of launching out its heels at the hog ; they struck it on the side of the head, and tumbled it over dead upon the spot. It is a common thing for these people, and still more so for the Toorkomans, to teach their horses thus to kick at, and bite their adversaries, by these means rendering them powerful auxiliaries in the day of battle.- Fraser's Khorusan.
INFERNAL MACHINE.---The affair of the infernal machine has never been properly understood by the public. The police had intimated to Napoleon that an attempt would be made against his life, and cautioned him not to go out. Madame Buonaparte, Mademoiselle Beauharnais, Madame Murat, Lannes, Bessieres, the Aid-de-camp on duty, and Lieutenant Lebrun, now Duke of Placenza, were all assembled in the saloon, while the First Consul was writing in his closet. Haydn's Oratorio was to be performed that evening : the ladies were anxious to hear the music, and we also expressed a wish to that effect. The escort picquet was ordered out, and Lannes requested that Napoleon would join the party. He consented; his carriage was ready, and he took along with him Bessières and the Aid-de-camp on duty. I was directed to attend the ladies. Josephine had received a magnificent shawl from Constantinople, and she that evening wore it for the first time. “ Allow me to observe, madame,” said I,“ that your shawl is not thrown on with your usual elegance.” She good-humouredly beg. ged that I would fold it after the fashion of the Egyptian ladies. While I was engaged in this operation, we heard Napoleon depart. “ Come, sister,” said Madame Murat, who was impatient to get to the theatre, Buonaparte is going.” We stepped into the carriage; the First Consul's equipage had already reached the middle of the Place Carrousel. We drove after it; but we had scarcely entered the Place when the machine exploded. Napoleon escaped by a singular chance. Saint Regent, or his French servant, had stationed himself in the middle of the Rue Nicaise. A grenadier of the escort, supposing he was really what he appeared to be, a water carrier, gave him a few blows with the flat of his sabre, and drove him off. The cart was turned round, and the machine exploded between the carriages of Napoleon and Josephine. The ladies shrieked on hearing the report ; the carriage windows were broken, and Mademoiselle Beauharnais received a slight hurt on her hand. I alighted, and crossed the Rue Nicaise, which was strewed with the boilies of those who had been thrown down, and the fragments of the walls that had been shattered by the explosion. Neither the Consul nor any individual of his suite sustained any serious injury. When I entered the theatre, Napoleon was seated in his box, calm and composed, and looking
the audience through an opera-glass. Fouché was beside him. Josephine," said he, as soon as he observed me. She entered at that moment, and he did not finish his question.
“ The rascals,” said he, very coolly, “ wanted to blow me up. Bring me a book of the Oratorio."— Rapp's Memoirs.
All is LOST.-Brantome thus relates the death of Mademoiselle de Limeuil, maid of honour to Queen Catharine of Medicis. She had dishonoured her birth by her dissolute life. At the approach of death, she sent for a valet of her's named Julien, who played remarkably well on the violin, “ Julien,” said she, “ take your violin, and play to me The Defeat of the Suiss, play it as well as you can, and don't leave off till you see me dead ; and when you come to the words 1ll is lost, repeat that part four or five times in the most plaintive manner you can. The valet did as she desired, and she herself assisted him with her voice ; and when they came to that part All is lost, she repeated it twice, and turning to the other side of her bed, she said to her companions, All is lost, indeed, now, and so she died.
InvitaTION TO A Pic Nic.--A lieutenant of militia was condemned to death for the crime of forgery. This unhappy man had the insolence to send notes on the eve of his execution to several of the officers of the Middlesex militia, to this effect : “ Lieutenant Campbell presents his compliments to Mr. ----, and begs him to take a cup of chocolate with him to-morrow morning, and to do him the honour to accompany biin on foot to Tyburn, to witness the ceremony of his execution."-Vewspapers of 1762.
MEMORY.-Moreover, sometimes a man's reputation rises or falls as his memory serses him in a performance; and yet there is nothing more fickle, slippery, and less under command than this faculty. So that many having used their utmost diligence to secure a faithful retention of the things or words committed to it, yet after all cannot certainly know where it will trip and fail them. Any sudden diversion of the spirits, or the justling in of a transient thought is able to deface those little images of things; and so breaking the train that was laid in the mind, to leave a man in the lurch. And for the other part of memory, called reminiscence, which is the retrieving of a thing, at present forgot, or but confusedly remembered, by setting the mind to hunt over all its notions, and to ransack every little cell of the brain, while it is thus
busied, how accidentally oftentimes does the thing sought for offer itself to the mind ! and by what small petit hints, does the mind catch bold of, and recover a Fanishing notion.-South's Sermons.
VIRTUE IN A NAME.—The great conqueror Mahomed Shah Khanaezmee, who was a rigid Soonnie, persecuted the heretic sect of Sheahs with great rigour, putting mal. titudes to death during his invasion of Khorasan, for that cause only. It is said that his cruelties and persecutions had already destroyed the greater part of the population of Subzawar, when the remainder came before him, and throwing themselves at his feet, begged for mercy, on the plea that many of them were in reality Soonnies. The King reproached them severely as liars, and insisted on various proofs in support of their assertions, which it was difficult or impossible for them to adduce. At last le told them, that if there was to be found, in the whole city, a single person named Abubekr, (a notorious Soonnie name) he would spare the city and remainder of its in liabitants for his sake. The people retreated in great despair, for they knew that such a name had not been given to any one of their children. They, however, set on foot an enquiry, and at last they found a wretched creature, cripple, blind, and stultering, whom they required to go with them before the king. “llow shall I go?" said the miserable creature, “I can neither see my way nor walk, nor, should the king ask my name, can I speak it plain.” Oh, never mind, you shall be carried ; and if you can only satisfy the king, you shall be taken care of for life.” The poor creature was accordingly carried before the monarch, and the effect of the natural defects ia his person was ludicrously enough described by the Persian Moollah, who related the tradition. What!” said the king at last, « is this the only Abubekr you hare to produce ? This will never do.” Then,” replied the deputies, your majesty must even use your pleasure with your servants, for they have not a better Abubekr to lay at your majesty's feet.” The king, it is said, laughed, and consented to spare the remnant that still existed of the unfortunate Subzawarees.-Fraser's Khurasan.
Mr. Coebett's Opinion OF AN OVERGROWN CAPITAL, (THE“wen'') CORROBORATID BY THE MARGRAVINE OF AYSPACH.—“ It gives me the spleen to here the French and English disputing about the extent of their respective capitals. To me it appears like glorifying in [sic in Colburn] the king's evil, or in any contagious distemper. There is not a political measure, in my opinion, that would tend to aggrandize the kingdom of France or England, more than the splitting their capitals into several great towns. The two great cities of London and Westminster are extremely ill fitied for local union. The latter, the seat of government, and the nobility infects the former with luxury and the love of show; the former, the seat of commerce, injects the latter with love of gain. The mixture of these opposite passions is productive of every grovelling vice.
Dr. Johnson's CONTEMPT FOR PLAYERs.-" Lord Macartney observed, that he wondered Dr. Johnson should suffer Mr. Davies, the bookseller, to print a Life of Garrick; Johnson replied, with great disdain, • I think Mr. Davies, the bookseller, is quie equal to write the life of David Garrick.'"
Peter The Great, AND Lady CASTLEMAINE, MISTRESS to CHARLES II.- The Czar Peter, travelling through his dominions, lialted at a certain town, where, it being Sunday, he went to church. There he was complimented with a seat at the right hand of the mayor, or chief magistrate of the place. The day was cold, the church damp, and the sermon long. Peter was somewhat bald in the head, and feeling uncomfortable, or afraid of catching cold, he quietly removed the perriwig ihat was on the head of the chief magistrate, and placed it upon his own.
After dirine serrice was concluded, he restored the wig to its owner, with a bend of the body, which said, “ We thank you.”
We were reminded of this old story by an incident recorded by Mr. Pepys, in his Diary, in which the non-chalance of high rank is exhibited in a manner almost as amusing. May 1st. 1668.-Creed and I to the Duke of York's play-house, and there coming late, up to the balcony box, whicre we find Lady Castlemaine and several great ladies; and there we sat with them, and I saw the • Impertinents. My Lady('. pretty well pleased with it: but here I s.lt close to ber fine woman Wilson, who indeed is very handsome, but, they say, with child by the king. I asked, and she told me this was the first time ber lady had seen it, I huring a mind to su something to her. One thing of familiarity I observed in my lady Castlemaine; she called to one of her women, another that sat by this, for a little patch off her face, ed put it into her mouth and wetted it, and so clapped it upon her own by the side of her mouth, I suppose, she feeling a pimple rising there.”
An Ingexious Rogue.- Perhaps for ingenuity, the following trick, played by a Russian in Moscow, would not be surpassed in London or Paris. A respectablelooking man fell senseless in the street from a fit, when a person in the crowd started forward, exclaiming, “Oh! my master, my poor master!” He now very coolly transferred the contents of the unfortunate gentleman's pockets into his own, not forgetting his watch ; and then, with all the concern imaginable, requested the persons near him to watch his poor master while he ran to procure an equipage to convey him home. On being observed to pass a coach-stand without stopping, the cheat was detected ; but it was too late, for he contrived to get clear off with his booty.-Holman's Travels in Russia, &c.
Domestic LIFE IN PERSIA.— The ladies of Persia are very ignorant. It is not customary to teach them even to read, and still less to sew. The exceptions to this rule are extremely rare. I should be greatly puzzled to describe their occupation until they become mothers. I know of none but the toilet, on which, though less complex than that of our ladies, they manage to spend as much time. The remainder of the day they commonly spend seated on beautiful carpets opposite to a window overlooking a fountain or piece of water. Here they smoke cailleau, drink coffee, and pay or receive visits until the cool of evening, of which they immediately avail themselves to walk in the gardens without the town, where they frequently stay till night. The most mistaken notions prevail in Europe as to the degree of liberty enjoyed by the women of Persia ; in no country with which I am acquainted are they more perfectly mistresses of their actions.
I must add, that when they become mothers few fulfil the maternal duties more sedulously; they never suffer their children to be suckled, attended, or educated by strangers; they keep them under their own immediate care and superintendence until the age of eleven or twelve, when the boys leave the harem to be circumcised, and the girls to be married, given away, or sold.
There are few countries in which infants undergo such tortures as in Persia, in spite of which deformity is very rare. The moment an infant of either sex sees the light, it is plunged repeatedly into cold water; it is then enveloped in swathings, which are bound so tight as nearly to stifle it. It is then laid on a cradle, without any sort of mattress, the bottom of which is formed of leather, stretched like a drum, and perforated in order that no wet may accumulate. The unhappy babe is fastened down to this cradle with bandages of cotton about eight inches wide and from twentyfive to thirty feet long, which are wound over the child and under the cradle. They are in such a state of compression, that it is marvellous to me that one survives. Nevertheless, in this state the unfortunate little creature remains twelve hours at a time. When it cries it is rocked, and the mother kneels b fore the cradle, which she draws towards her to give the child the breast. In this posture she remains till it falls asleep; but let what will happen, it is never freed from its bonds except morning and evening, and then only just long enough to change its linen.--Voyage en Perse par M. Gaspurd Drouville.
SPECIMEN OF A LIBEL UPON GOVERNMENT. THE STATE IN DANGER !_" I do hear that my lasly Castlemaine is horribly vexed at the late libel, the petition of the poor prostitutes about the town, whose houses were pulled down the other day, (by a religious mob,) I have got one of them; and it is not very witty, but devilish severe against her and the king; and I wonder how it durst be printed, and spread abroad; which shows that the times are loose ; and come to a great disregard of the king, or court, or government.” (Why not the church too?-]
MOHAMMEDAN PURGATORY.-When a corpse is laid in the grave, they say he is received by an angel, who gives him notice of the coming of the two examiners; which are two black livid angels, of a terrible appearance, named Monker and Nakir. These order the dead person to sit upright, and examine him concerning his faith, as to the unity of God and the mission of Mohammed. If he answer rightly, they suffer the body to rest in peace, and it is refreshed by the air of Paradise ; but, if not, they beat him on the temples with iron maces, till he roars out for anguish so loud, that he is heard by all from east to west, except men and genii. Then they press the earth on the corpse, which is gnawed and stung till the resurrection, by ninety-nine dragons, with seven heads each: or, as others say, their sins will become venomous beasts, the grievous ones stinging like dragons, the smaller like scorpions, and the others like serpents; circumstances which some understand in a figurative sense.—Sale's Koran.
School For CivilITY.—THE GREAT CONDE.——“He told me also, as a great instance of some men, that the Prince of Condé's excellence is, that there not being a more