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Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.
[MAY 19, 1832.
THE GRANDE CHARTREUSE.
about seven or eight miles, ascending all the wav There are few finer things in Europe than the monas- in some places the track is very steep, and is cut in zig tery called by this name. It stands on the very edge of zags to ease it; for you are going up towards the source France, close to the borders of Savoy, amongst the of the Dead Guiers, and sometimes the ground falls, or mountains which form the lowest and most western line rather rises to you, so rapidly that the stream comes of the great chain of the Alps. It is distant about six- down in a succession of waterfalls; and, as you have to teen English miles from Grenoble, the chief town of the follow the course of the stream, your track is steep in department of the Isere, and about twelve from Les proportion. At last, when you have thus got up to a Echelles, in Savoy, a small town on the great road from great height, you find an opening in the mountains on France to Italy by Mont Cenis and Turin.
your left hand, where another little torrent comes down Les Echelles stands in a plain quite surrounded by into the Guiers ; and this is not such a mere notch as high mountains, on a river called the Guiers Vif. It is the glen up which you have been toiling, but is wide like the situation of Beddgelert, in Carnarvonshire, ex- enough to have some pasture in it, and the green open cept that the mountains are nearly twice as high as those fields look quite cheerful amidst the dark masses of wood in Wales. When you set out from Les Echelles to go which form a ring round them. You turn up this opento the Grande Chartreuse, you cross the Guiers Vif, and ing and ascend some way farther, and then, just at the enter France immediately; for this little river here di- head of this little valley, under high walls of cliff which vides the two countries of France and Savoy. You rise up abruptly out of the pines, and stop all further then go along in the plain, for about three or four miles, progress, you see the monastery of the Grande CHARtowards the mountains which surround it, and which TREUSE. rise so high and so steep, and so without any apparent It is a very large pile of buildings, like one of our opening, that you cannot fancy where the road will carry colleges, inclosing a great oblong-square or cloister, the you. At last, when you are come close under them, length of which is 672 French feet, or nearly 714 Engyou find that an enormous notch, as it were, has been cut lish. At each corner the roof runs up very high to a down into them from top to bottom, just wide enough point, like the two wings of the Tuilleries, at Paris. to leave room for a roaring mountain torrent which Your guide takes you to a large out-building, where you comes hurrying down, and presently falls into the leave your horses, and where you are met by one of the Guiers Vif. This torrent is called the Ġuiers Mort, or lay-brothers, who conducts you to the monastery, and the Dead Guiers ; as the name of the other means the shows you into the stranger's room. Here you may “Quick," or the Living Guiers. Up the banks of this dine, if you require it; but no meat is allowed to be Dead Guiers you are now to make your way, in the eaten at the Chartreuse, either by the monks themselves deep notch above mentioned ; so deep that in winter the or by others. The lay-brother ihen returns to take you sun can hardly be seen over the tops of the cliffs, and round the building. The cells of the fathers are ranged so narrow that there is only room for the chafing torrent, along the sides of the great cloister, with little motioes from and a narrow road, or rather track, cut through the Scripture, or from some religious book, painted outside wood along its side. The trees, all the way, are mag-on the doors. Each cell includes two rooms and a sort nificent, chiefly pines and beech, and the timber grows of closet for books, besides a lumber or wood-room on to an enormous size. You go in this sort of scenery for the ground-floor, opening into a little garden, inclosed VOL. I.
within four stone walls ; but when you look beyond the upon them. Should there be more than one person requir. walls, or rather up into the sky, you see the magnificenting support, they can lay hold of rope beckets, fitted to the boundary-wall of cliff
, crowned with pines on its sum- buoy, and so sustain themselves. Between the two copper vesmit, and a cross affixed on the highest peak of all. By serted, from below, an iron rod, whose lower extremity is
sels there stands up a hollow pole, or mast, into which is in. each cell door is a small hole in the wall
, at which the loaded with lead, in such a manner, that when the buoy is let father's provisions are given in to him; for they only dine go the iron slips down to a certain extent, lengthens the lever in the hall on Sundays and holidays, and even then they and enables the lead at the end to act as ballast. By this do not speak to one another; for the rule of the Carthu- means the mast is kept upright, and the buoy prevented from sians, as they are called, is one of the strictest of all the upsetting. The weight at the end of the rod is arranged so monastic orders, and they may not speak either to one as to afford secure footing for two persons, should that another or to strangers, without the leave of their su- number reach it; and there are also, as I said before, large
rope beckets through which others can thrust their head perior.
and shoulders, till assistance is rendered. Before the first French revolution the monks had a
At the top of the mast is fixed a port-fire, calculated to very considerable property in the forests which sur-burn, I think, twenty minutes, or half an hour; this is iground their monastery. But at the revolution they nited most ingeniously by the same process, which lets the were deprived both of their forests and of their monas- buoy fall into the water. So that a man falling overboard at tery; the former were sold to different individuals, but night is directed to the buoy by the blaze on the top of its the latter never could find a purchaser ;-its remote situ- pole or mast, and the boat sent to rescue him also knows in ation rendering it unfit for any other purpose than that for what direction to pull. Even supposing, however, the man which it had been originally designed. Accordingly,
not to have gained the life-buoy, it is clear that, if above the
surface at all, he must be somewhere in that neighbourhood; when the Bourbons came back in 1814, the monks re- and if he shall have gone down, it is still some satisfaction, turned to the Grande Chartreuse, and to the possession by recovering the buoy, to ascertain that the poor wretch is of the meadows immediately around it, with the liberty not left to perish by inches. , of getting their fuel from the adjoining forests. In The method by which this excellent invention is attached 1830 there were about one hundred and fifty persons to the ship, and dropped into the water in a single instant, belonging to the monastery, including the fathers and is perhaps not the least ingenious part of the contrivance. the lay-brothers. They visit the sick, and perform spi- The buoy is generally fixed amidships, over the stern, where ritual duties in the small chapels and churches scattered it is held securely in its place by being strung, or threaded, over the surrounding mountains. For eight months in taff-rail, and inserted in holes piercing the frame-work of
as it were, on two strong perpendicular rods fixed to the the year the snow lies all round the monastery, and of the buoy. The apparatus is kept in its place by what is course the climate is too cold either for corn or fruit; called a slip-stopper, a sort of catch-bolt or detent, which but in the summer months, when strangers commonly can be unlocked at pleasure by merely pulling a trigger; visit it, the bright green of the pastures, and the mag- upon withdrawing the stopper the whole machine slips along nificent size of the buildings, seeming like a little habit- the rods, and falls at once into the ship's wake. The trigable and humanized spot in the midst of the forests and ger, which unlocks the slip-stopper, is furnished with a lan. cliffs, form a scene not only most sublime, but even
yard, passing through a hole in the stern, and having at its cheerful and delightful.
inner end a large knob, marked “Life-Buoy ;” this alone
is used in the day-time. Close at hand is another wooden The monks of the Grande Chartreuse, living in the knob, marked " Lock," fastened to the end of a line, fixed midst of a wilderness, with winter lasting for two-thirds to the trigger of a gun-lock primed with powder, and so arof the year, eating no meat, wearing horse-hair next their ranged that, when the line is pulled, the port-fire is instantly skin, and depriving themselves of one of the greatest of ignited, while, at the same moment, the life-buoy descends, earthly blessings, that of social intercourse, and being and floats merrily away, þlazing like a light-house. in all things bound by the strictest and most precise freshly and carefully primed every evening at quarters, of
The gunner, who has charge of the life-buoy lock, sees it rules, are one extreme of human life. The colonist
which he makes a report to the captain. In the morning of a new country, under a fine climate with a rich soil, the priming is taken out, and the lock uncocked. During surrounded by the restless activity of a growing settle- the night a man is always stationed at this part of the ship, ment, with a low standard of public morals, small re- and every half-hour, when the bell strikes, he calls out “ LIFEstraints of law and few of religion, eating and drinking BUOY!" to show that he is awake and at his post, exactly to his heart's content, quarrelsome and insolent out of in the same manner as the look-out men abaft, on the beam, the very plenty of his condition, talking much, reading and forward, call out “ Starboard quarter !" “ Starboard little, and thinking less, and the efforts of his mind gangway!”. “ Starboard bow!" and so on, completely reaching no further than to political abuse or election Captain Basil Hall's Fragments of Voyages. Second Series
round the ship, to prove that they are not napping.
From squabbles,-is a specimen of another extreme. The idler in luxurious cities, hurrying from one false excitement
FRERE JACQUES. to another, living amidst a constant round of dinners
The mosų difficult and doubtful operations in surgery and routs, passing the night in gilded saloons where the passion for gain assumes its most hideous form of self. The instrument used was called the apparatus-major.
were formerly those in lithotomy (extracting the stone). ishness at the gaming-table, clinging to his bed till the It was rarely employed successfully, and all writers have meridian sun has seen the daily task of the industrious spoken of its use as barbarous and horribly painful. more than half finished this man is a specimen of a The torture it occasioned superseded the pain of the third extreme. But as long as we have of what is noble, -as long as we feel that the charac- disease, and the existence of the sufferer was, with few ter is exalted by every effort, and injured by habits of exceptions, shortened by the increase of his agonies
An ecclesiastic, usually known by the name of Frère mere enjoyment, so long will the extreme of self-denial be judged by all good and wise men to be more re- of operating in this complaint. The old machinery he
Jacques, introduced, about the year 1697, a new mode spectable, and therefore more useful than the extremes threw aside, and, relying upon the firmness of his hand of self-indulgence.
and his own courage, he would drive his knife into the
seat of the disease and relieve the patient. His success, THE LIFE-BUOY. THE life-buoy, now commonly used in the Navy, is the The method he pursued had been taught him, and he
when compared with that of others, was singularly great. invention of Lieutenant Coots, of the Royal Navy. It consists of two hollow copper vessels connected together, was bold enough to practise it though ignorant of anaeach about as large as an ordinary sized pillow, and of buoy- tomy. His popularity was at first great; yet it became ancy and capacity sufficient to support one man standing seriously affected, and objections to his skill were con
firmed by the death of many who had submitted them- | is termed feeling in the art, and affords one of its greatselves to him. Of forty-five patients in the Hotel Dieu, est charms. Pictures, in short, must be studied as atsixteen only survived, and of nineteen in the hospital of tentively as books, before they can be thoroughly unLa Charité, only eleven survived. The measures he derstood, or the principles of art so established in the adopted, in order to avoid so many casualties, he has mind as to render those works which are truly sublime himself related. He operated upon dead bodies, under the or beautiful the objects of admiration, in preference to instruction of Du Verney, a celebrated anatomist; and those which catch the inexperienced eye by mere gauwith his assistance, and that of Fagon and Felix, cmi-diness or exaggeration of any kind. nent surgeons, learnt the dangers and injuries connected We shall offer a few observations from time to time with his operation. Subsequently he cut thirty-eight on the principal features of our national collection, in persons at Versailles, who all survived, sixteen at Stras- order to assist our readers in the pursuit of what we burg, one of whom only, an old man, died, and elsewhere trust will be their object when they visit the gallery, his success was equally great. “From his life and for which is open to them in Pall-mall, from the hour of ten tunes," says the late Mr. Bell, “one important lesson till five, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and may be deduced; we may learn how slightly we should Thursdays, in every week. rely on our natural talents, how little faith we should The picture of greatest importance in this collection, have in mere courage! This intrepid and fearless man and there are few paintings in the world of more real committed nothing but butcheries, while he remained what merit, is that of the Raising of Lazarus, by Sebastian has been termed a natural operator ; but, after having del Piombo. Sebastian was a Venetian painter, but he undergone the discipline of science, and learned the ana- spent a great part of his life at Rome, and this work tomy of the parts, he became truly valuable.” How partakes more of the merits of the Roman than the many there are whom similar facts do not influence. Venetian school: this may be also, in a great measure, Received opinions and prejudices are rarely abandoned, owing to the assistance he is said to have derived from even after the evils they occasion are manifest, and their Michael Angelo, who, jealous of the fame of Raffaelle, incorrectness has become apparent.
incited Sebastian to undertake the work in competition hardly existed as a science, dissection might with some with his rival's celebrated picture of the Transfiguration. reason have been viewed as unnecessary. If objected The work under our review possesses few of the minor to, the evidence of its utility was rare, and it would have beauties which attract the eye at first sight. The painter appeared useless to reason upon the advantages its cul- appears to have been unacquainted with the art of giving tivation might afford to those who felt no gratification effect to his work by collecting the lights and shades into from such as it then presented. Can doubt, however, masses. This defect, together with a similar one in still exist upon the necessity of its study, or upon the the distribution of the colours, gives the picture a spotty facilities which ought to be granted to its pursuit ? The appearance, which is increased by the imperfection of accidents which daily occur, the liability of all to disease, the aerial perspective *. These minor defects are, however, and the knowledge requisite to determine whether any amply compensated by beauties of the very highest class. injured or diseased part of the body can be saved, or In his representation of the subject, the painter must whether it should be sacrificed for the preservation of be supposed to have chosen the time when the first the rest, sufficiently show how interested we are in its amazement at the stupendous miracle had in a degree success, and how important are the benefits afforded subsided. The attendants had acquired sufficient selfby it.
possession to execute the command of our Saviour to
remove the grave-clothes. The prevailing passions of THE NATIONAL GALLERY.
the different spectators had therefore resumed their We undertook, in a former number, to point out to our sway, and one of the greatest merits of the work is the readers the unexpensive amusements of an intellectual power of truth with which the various shades of feeling order, which are within the reach of every one residing and character are depicted in the numerous figures of in the metropolis. Of these our national collection of which the painting is composed. The Christ, which is pictures is worthy of particular commendation. It is the principal figure, wants the sublime character which obvious that a ready access to works of standard excel. we picture to ourselves in the Saviour of mankind; but lence is of the greatest advantage to persons desirous of the action of the figure is simple and appropriate, and acquiring a pure taste in the Fine Arts; but the benefit the expression of the head is very beautiful." You may to be derived from such an exhibition must depend on
trace the patience of benevolence which formed so conthe object with which it is visited. An hour may be spicuous a part of his character, but the countenance is idled away as unprofitably in a gallery of pictures as any rendered still more interesting by a touching expression where else; though the contemplation of works of art of melancholy--a presentiment, as it were, of his fate, may afford one of the purest pleasures which a refined and of the sorrows which he had undertaken to bear for mind is capable of enjoying. Persons unacquainted the sake of all mankind. The figure immediately at his with the works of the great masters are seldom much feet, that of Mary, is the finest in the picture; it is struck with good pictures at first sight, and find them- beautifully designed, and expresses her gratitude and selves incapable of appreciating their merits. They
devotion in the most forcible manner. The figure of must not, however, be too soon discouraged: even Sir Lazarus, and those immediately surrounding it, both Joshua Reynolds, enthusiastically devoted as he was to from the character of the design and the colossal prothe art of which he became so great an ornament, acknow- portions of the group, and from the fact of Sebastian's ledged that his impression on seeing for the first time the apparent want of skill in designing the naked figure, is celebrated works of Raffaelle, at Rome, was that of supposed to be the part of the picture in which he derived disappointment; though he was not long blind to their particular assistance from M. Angelo, who, as many of excellences.
our readers are probably aware, had a profound knowIt is a common mistake to look upon painting as a
ledge of the anatomical details of the human form. mere art of imitation ; but an acquaintance with good The Lazarus displays this knowledge in a wonderful works will show that it has a higher aim. Its object is manner; the play of the muscles in action, and the preindeed to counterfeit nature, but her effects must be cision with which they are defined, is extraordinary. translated, as it were, into a new language; her most * Perspective is divided into linear and aerial. Linear perspecbeautiful or impressive forms must be selected with care; perspective is the more difficult art of representing objects in their
tive is the art of drawing lines with geometrical precision ; aerial and in every work, of whatever class, a prevailing sen- due proportions, but modified by colour and shadow, as they are seen timent must be preserved, which is the source of what I in gradations of distance, so as to give the effects of atmosphere.
Our limits will not allow us to puint out all the beau- 1 is attached to the iron floats on the surface and showe ties of this excellent picture; but we cannot conclude what direction he takes. There is great danger if the our observations upon it without calling particular atten- hippopotamus spies the huntsman before he can throw tion to the figure of St. Peter, who is kneeling in the his spear. He then springs forward with the utmost corner of the picture, in an ecstasy of devotion ; and fury, and crushes him at once in his wide open mouth; to that of St. John, in a green drapery, immediately an instance of which took place while we were in the behind the Christ, turning with mild triumph to the country. Jew, on whose countenance the expression of doubt is As soon as the animal is fairly struok, the huntsmen wonderfully depicted, and seeming to appeal to the in their small canoes cautiously approach the floating miracle as a convincing proof of the sure foundation of wood, and after fastening a strong rope to it, they hasten his faith.; The mechanical part of the picture should with the other end towards the large boat which connot be omitted in describing its merits; every part of it tains their companions. The huntsmen now pull the is finished with the greatest care; the texture of the rope, when the monster, irritated by the pain, seizes the work is beautiful; there is a fine depth of tone in the boat with his teeth, and sometimes succeeds in crushing colour, and the solidity of the work is so great, that the or overturning it. In the mean time his assailants are figures seem almost to stand out from the canvas. not idle : four or five more harpoons are plunged into
In future numbers the other pictures in the collection him, and every effort is made to drag the beast close up most worthy of attention will be pointed out.
to the boat, so as to give him ess room to plunge about
in. Then they try to divide the ligamentum jugit KILLING THE HIPPOPOTAMUS.
with a sharp weapon, or to pierce his skull. Since the body of a full grown hippopotamus is too bulky to be pulled out of the water without a great number of hands, they generally cut him up in the water and bring the pieces to land. In the province of Dongola not more than one or two of these animals are killed in a year: from 1821 to 1823 inclusive nine were killed, out of which number we despatched four. The flesh of a young hippopotamus is very good ; but the full-grown ones are generally too fat. They weigh as much as four or five oxen. The hide is made into excellent whips, and will furnish from 350 to 500. No use is made of the teeth.
One of the hippopotami which we killed was a very old fellow and of an enormous size, measuring 13! French feet from the nose to the extremity of the tail. His incisive teeth were 26 French inches long, measured from the root to the point, along the outer bending. We fought with him for four good hours by night, and were very near losing our large boat and probably our lives too, owing to the fury of the animal. As soon as he spied the huntsmen in the small canoe, whose business
it was to fasten the long rope to the float, he dashed at We have translated the following account of the mode of them with all his might, dragged the canoe with him killing the hippopotamus in Dongola from the Travels * under the water, and smashed it in pieces. The two of Dr. Edward Rüppell, a careful observer and a trust- huntsmen with difficulty escaped. Of twenty-five musworthy writer. Dongola is a narrow slip of country ket balls aimed at the head from a distance of about five lying on both sides of the Nile and extending south-feet, only one pierced the skin and the hones of the nose: wards from 19° 43' of north latitude for about 170 miles, at each snorting the animal spouted out jarge streams of measured along the course of the stream.
blood on the boat. The rest of the balls stuck in the The harpoon, with which the natives attack the hip-thick hide. At last we availed ourselves of a swivel; popotamus, terminates in a flat oval-shaped piece of but it was not till we had discharged five balls from it Iron, three-fourths of the outer rim of which are sharp- at the distance of a few feet, and had done most terrible ened to a very fine edge. To the upper part of this damage to the head and body, that the colossus gave iron one end of a long stout cord is fastened, and the up the ghost. The darkness of the night increased the other is tied to a thick piece of light wood. The hunters danger of the contest, for this gigantic animal tossed our attack the animal either by day or by night, but they boat about in the stream at his pleasure; and it was at prefer day-light, as it enables them better to escape from a fortunate moment indeed for us that he gave up the the assaults of their furious enemy. One part of the struggle, as he had carried us into a complete labyrinth rope with the shaft of the harpoon the hunter takes in of rocks which, in the midst of the confusion, none of his right-hand ; in the left, he holds the rest of the rope our crew had observed. and the piece of wood. Thus armed, he cautiously ap- For want of proper weapons the natives cannot kill a proaches the animal when he is asleep during the day hippopotamus of this size: all they can do to drive him on some small island in the river, or he looks for him at from their fields is to make a little noise in the night night when the hippopotamus is likely to come out of and keep up fires at different spots. These animals, from the water to graze in the corn-fields. When the hunts- their voracity, are a curse to a whole district; and in man is about seven paces from the beast, he throws the some places they are so bold that they will not quit the spear with all his might, and if he is a good marksman fields which they are laying waste, till a great number the iron pierces through the thick hide, burying itself of men come out with poles and loud cries to attempt to in the flesh deeper than the barbed point. The animal drive them away. generally plunges into the water; and though the shaft of the harpoon may be broken, the piece of wood that
* The suspensory ligament (an elastic substance), which holds the
heads of quadrupeds in their places, so as to allow a free movement * Travels in Nubia , 1824-5, &c Frankfort on the Main, 1829. downwards, is particularly strong in all those whose heads are of great German.
the deportment of a well-bred gentleman. Omai was not a person of consequence, that is a chief, in his own country, where the distinctions of rank are all-important. We add the following remarks on Omai from the New Zealanders,' a volume published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge,
" When Captain Cook, whom he had so long accompanied, left him, during his last voyage, at Huaheine, with every provision for his comfort, he earnestly begged to return to England. It was nothing that a grant of land was made to him at the interposition of his English friends,—that a house was built and a garden planted for his use. He wept bitter tears; for he was naturally afraid that his new riches would make him an object of hatred to his countrymen. He took back many valuable possessions and some knowledge. But he was originally one of the common people ; and he soon saw, although he was not sensible of it at first, that without rank he could obtain no authority. He forgot this, when he was away from the people with whom he was to end bis days; but he seemed to feel that he should be insecure when his protector, Cook, had left their shores. He divided his presents with the chiefs ; and the great navigator threatened them with his vengeance if Omai was molested. The reluctance of this man to return to his original condition was principally derived from these considerations, which were to him of a strictly personal nature. The picture which Cowper has drawn of the feelings of Omai is very beautiful, and in great part true as applied to him as an individual; but it is not true of the mass of savages. The habits amidst which they are born may be modified by an intercourse with civilized men, but they cannot be eradicated.
CIVILIZED AND SAVAGE LIFE.
CowPER. Omai, the native of one of the Friendly Islands, who is thus beautifully apostrophized by Cowper, acted as interpreter to Captain Cook in his third voyage round the world. His natural quickness and his fidelity rendered him of considerable use to our great navigator in his intercourse with the natives of the South Seas. Omai was brought by Cook to England, where he was treated with much kindness, and introduced into the best society. The case and even elegance of his manners was an object of surprise ;—but almost all the uncivilized people of this part of the world, and more especially the New Zea'anders, have exhibited the same natural respect for the opinions and feelings of others which is the foundation of real politeness. Dr. Johnson speaks of Omai as showing