ePub 版

ORIGINAL. LETTER FROM. NIMAMANNA, QUEEN of the SANDWICH ISLANDS, TO CAPTAIN KOTZEBUE.-I love you with all my heart, and more than myself, and therefore cannot express in words the pleasure I feel at seeing you again. You will find every thing altered : when Tamumaah was alive, the country flourished; but with his death these blossoms faded, and every thing in the islands fell into the greatest disorder. The young king is now in London ; Karemaku and Kahumanni are at present absent ; and the chief who supplies her place has too little influence with the people to receive you in a becoming manner: he cannot send you as much tarro, nor as many yams and pigs as you will want. I am heartily sorry that my large possessions in the island Mowee are at so great a distance from here across the sea ; if they were nearer, you should daily be surrounded with swine. When Karemaku and Kaliumanni return, they will supply you with every thing. The king's brother will also come with them; but he is still a boy, without any experience, and not able to distinguish right from wrong. I beg you to embrace your emperor for me, and to tell him with what pleasure I would do it myself; but, alas! a whole sea lies between us. Do not forget cordially to recommend me to your countrymen. As I am a Christian, like yourself, you will forgive my bad writing: Hunger obliges me to conclude my letter; and I wish that you may also eat your swine's head with a good appetite. With royal constancy, ever yours,

NUHAMANNA. Honesty OP TILE SWISS.-The traveller in Switzerland should remember, that even a solitary female, alone and unattended, will always be perfectly safe throughout the whole country, and in the wildest and most lonely passes of the Alps, by trusting to the native guides, upon whose fidelity and honesty the most perfect reliance may be placed. All the Swiss themselves, from the highest to the lowest, will confirm this statement. The author is well acquainted with a Swiss lady, of high character and respectability, who every summer mounts her mule, and, without any servant of her own, makes a new tour (always varying the route) among the mountains, to indulge hier passion for botany. No injury, insult, or impertinence has she ever met with, nor will any be cffered to the most unprotected stranger. Robbery and murder are wholly unknown, though there is no country in the world which affords the same facilities for their successful perpetration, both from the inexhaustible retreats for banditti, which its forests, its mountains, its rocky caves, and impregnable fortresses present, and from the extensive foreign frontiers which invest it on every side. Austrian Italy, Sardinia, France, Bavaria, and numerous German States, lie ready to receive the fugitive and the outlaw.

As somebody once said of a different country, one good thing about Switzerland is, that wherever you are placed in it, you can very soon get out of it." With such temptations and security to the robber, it surely says much for the morals and character of the people, that robbery is unknown.-Continental Adventures.

PARISIAN FEMALE EDUCATION.- A smart little French girl of sixteen, returning with her father and mother, after finishing her education at a Paris Penrion, to her home in Provence, chattered away with me. I made many inquiries into the nature and extent of her studies, and found she had studied--orthography, (upon this stre laid great stress,)—and geography, (of which she had certainly a most original, but somewhat confused notion.) That she had moreover acquired a smattering of grammar--a considerable experience of dancing--a very little music-a good deal of embroidery—and a most complete critical and ardent taste for dress—and in this last accomplishment her whole soul and mind, thought, and observation, seemed absorbed. —“ But what did you read at school-what books?"-"Oh pour les livres!”-she read her lessons and school books.”—“Mais par exemple,”—1 enquired what they were about ?-were they history ? _“Al l'histoire mon Dieu--oui.” She declared she had read three gros volumes of history nearly all through! “ And what history ?--What history ? she did not exactly know. “ But what was it about?” It was about some kings and battles----but what kings and what battles she really could not say.

“ Did she happen to remember the author?” “No-she was not sure that it had any author-did not think it had.” But she said with great simplicity, that she had all the books that she had learned locked up in her trunk, and she would go and fetch them for me to look at.-Not wishing to penetrate further into the learned stores of a young lady who carried all her knowledge about with her in her trunk, we abandoned our learned discussion, and talked of caps and quadrilles--but our learned discussion on these subjects was speedily interrupted by being again stranded.--Continental Adventures.

[ocr errors]

New Ain SPECULATION.- paragraph from a Bright n Journal is now going the rounds of the press, containing a project for cheap and expeditious travelling, by means of an artificial current of air, which is to propel passengers and luggage through a tube or tunnel, at the rate of one hundred miles an hour. The principle of this invention differs from that of a pop-gun, as the body is to be shot on by the exhaustion of the air, instead of by the condensation of it. We have heard of another project, by which it is proposed to blow the public from place to place at a rate still more rapid, and in some respects more agreeable to the party; as the traveller, instead of being shot through a close, dark tunnel, will be forwarded through the open air, and gratified with a bird's-eye view of the country over which he makes his momentary passage. Certain large brass tubes are to be prepared at convenient stages of two miles or so. Into one of these a composition of an expansive power is to be rammed, and the traveller is then to creep in and to lie at his ease at full length, with his feet next to the composition ; the tube being then directed to the next stage, the composition is to receive its expansive force, and the traveller is to be propelled through the air at a very slight curve, at the rate of about ten miles a minute. "On his arrival at the next stage, he will instantly be put into another tube ready charged with the travelling powder, and again shot on "bang up to the mark" at the next post; and so he will proceed to his journey's end. This cheap and expeditious travelling through the air is proposed in opposition to the Brighton scheme for conveying the public by hurricanes through tunnels. The former will undoubtedly be the least expensive and the quickest mode of being blown home ; but it is liable to some objections. For example, if two travellers should chance to meet on their respective roads, the jostle would be disagreeable. Invalids, too, might prefer the close tunnel with the hurricane at their backs, to the more rapid passage through the open air with the wind in their faces. But if some prefer the one, some will prefer the other, and thus there may be encouragement for both. The Brighton scheme is in a state of great forwardness—it wants nothing of completion but a Joint Stock Company to create a vacuum in the pockets of the public (the true bags of Ulysses)—the principle on which it proceeds being to raise the wind by exhaustion. Its passengers will start from “The Swan with Two Necks,” a sign expressive of the uncommon personal endowments essentially necessary to the traveller who goes by this conveyance. Most of the members of the defunct Equitable Loan Company will embark in this undertaking, and will thus be engaged in their favourite business of turning the penny by things "put up the spout.”—Atlas.

SOLITUDE OF AN AMERICAN Town (Mendoza) during the Siesta.—The people, however, are extremely indolent. A little after eleven o'clock in the morning, the shopkeepers inake preparations for the siesta ; they begin to yawn a little, and slowly to put back the articles which they have, during the morning, displayed on their tables. About a quarter before twelve they shut up their shops, the window shutters throughout the town are closed, or nearly so, and no individual is to be seen until five, and sometimes until six o'clock, in the evening.

During this time I used generally to walk about the towu to make a few observations. It was really singular to stand at the corner of the right-angled streets, and in every direction to find such perfect solitude in the middle of the capital of a province. The noise occasioned by walking was like the echo which is heard in pacing by oneself up the long aisle of a church or cathedral, and the scene resembled the deserted streets of Pompeii.

In passing some of the houses I often heard the people snoring, and when the siesta was over, I was often much amused at seeing the people awaken, for there is infinitely more truth and pleasure in thus looking behind the scenes of private life, than in making formal observations on man when dressed and prepared for his public performance. The people generally lie on the ground or floor of the room, and the group is often amusing.

I saw one day an old man (who was one of the principal people in the town) fast asleep and happy. The old woman his wife was awake, and was sitting up in easy dishabille scratching herself, while her daughter, who was a very pretty-looking girl of nbout seventeen, was also awake, but was lying on her side kissing a cat.

In the evening the scene begins to revive. The shops are opened ; a number of loads of grass are seen walking about the streets, for the horse that is carrying them is completely hid. Behind the load a boy stands on the extremity of the back ; and to mount and dismount he climbs up by the animal's tail. A few Gauchos are riding about, selling fruit; and a beggar on horseback is occasionally seen, with his hat in his hand, singing a psalm in a melancholy tone.--Head's Rough Notes. Ост. 18:26. .


INFLUENCE OF Music.-- Amphion made such uncommon progress in music, that he built the walls of Thebes at the sound of the lyre ; and Gale, in his Court of the Gentiles, from some other authority, states, “ that he fitted his verses, composed with great suavity, so exactly thereto, as that the stones ran of their own accord.” As inhabitants of a sea-port, this is easily understood; most of us must be aware of the power music has over the souls of our seamen—the well-known music of “ Yo! heave ho!" trips the anchor of the largest vessels from the ground; and the enlivening notes of the fife send the topmast aloft, or hoist the beer and water aboard. The martial sound of the drum, when beating to quarters, fills the head of the ship with the crew; and the thundering music of the cannon drowns all reflection on past or future ; whilst the two instruments just named raise sensations of delight the moment the performers strike up Oh the roast beef of old England, and oh the old English roast beef?

When Napoleon was at Elba, it is reasonable to infer that he was under the influence of the celebrated tune called the Rans de Vaches,-an air so dear to some that it was forbidden, under the pain of death, to play it to the troops, as it made those who heard it desert, or die of what is called la maladie du pais-so ardent a desire did it excite to return to their country. Now, had a full military English band been placed on the island, it would have been ordered to play Oh stay! —h stay! which tune would have prevented the grand musical festival of Waterloo. However, experience made ministers wise ; and when again under the influence of the tune Rans de l'aches, at St. Ilelena, the band struck up the harmonious sound, Oh stay! he died of la maladie du pais,"Burnet's Word.

TRAITS OF AN EARTHQUAKE.-As I rode along the streets I thought they looked very mean and dirty. Most of the houses had been cracked by earthquakes; the spires, crosses, and weathercocks upon the tops of churches and convents, were tottering, and out of the perpendicular; and the very names of the streets, and the stories “ Aqui se vende, &c.” which are over all the shops, were written as crooked and irregular as if they had been inscribed during an earthquake. They were generally begun with large letters, but the man had apparently got so eager about the subject, that he was often obliged to conclude in characters so small that one could hardly read them, and in some places the author had thoughtlessly arrived to the end of his board before he had come to the end of his story.--Head's Rough Notes.

A Sailor's TERRESTRIAL PLEASURES.-We have seen Jack come on shore, with a bag like an opossum, loaded with the hard earnings of two or three years. With the ambition of Alexander, he must have all the world to himself. Women, a fiddle, and some rum, are indispevsable requisites: the last fires his brain, and sets all reflection at defiance. A thousand days' hard labour on the most dangerous element, battling his country's foes, have often been spent in less than a week by an individual in the most licentious manner possible. If money did not go fast enough, watches were fried, bank-notes eaten between bread and butter, and every practice resorted to for the purpose of its riddance. The paying off at Plymouth always gives seamen a treat which they cannot obtain elsewhere ; that is, the glorious opportunity of riding in hackney-coaches, or standing on their roof when going full speed, and of which they always avail themselves. Every one must have witnessed the alacrity with which a seaman spies a coach on such occasions : be cannot resist the temptation, and when a. quarter of a mile off, he strains his lungs with the cry of “coachee, coachee." I once witnessed a sailor, with a string of twenty-five coaches behind him, moving through the town to the beach, being the whole number on the stand, all of which he had engaged. He was standing on the roof of the foremost, waving his hat, and seemed as much rejoiced as Napoleou is said to have been when the garrison of Ulm, with all the nobles it coutained, marched out before him. The sailor exhibited his prowess to his companions much in the way of the great Macedonian : “Oh! ye Athenians, could you believe to what dangers I have exposed myself, to be praised by you."Burnei's Word.

South AMERICAN Toilet.-While I was sitting on a horse's head, writing by the hlaze of the fire, I saw two girls dressing for the ball. They were standing near stream of water, which was running at the back of the hut. After washing their faces, they put on their gowns, and then twisting up their hair in a very simple pretty way, they picked, by the light of the moon, some yellow flowers which were growing near them. These they put fresh into their hair, and when this simple toilette was completed, they looked as interesting, and as nicely dressed, as if 'r the carriage was to have called for them at eleven o'clock ;” and in a few minutes, when I returned to the ball, I was happy to see them each with a partner.-Ilead's Rough Notes.

CLERICAL AMUSEMENTS IN South AMERICA.-The priests at Mendoza lead a dissolute life; most of them have families, and several live openly with their children. Their principal amusement, however, odd as it may sound, is cock fighting every Thursday and Sunday. I was riding one Sunday when I first discovered their arena, and got off my horse to look at it. It was crowded with priests, who had each a fighting-cock under his arm; and it was surprising to see how earnest and yet how long they were in making their bets. I stayed there more than an hour, during which time the cocks were often on the point of fighting, but the bet was not settled. Besides the priests, there were a number of little dirty boys, and one pretty-looking girl present. While they were arranging their bets, the boys began to play, so the judge instantly ordered all those who had no cocks to go out of the arena; upon which the poor girl and all the little boys were immediately turned out.

I soon got tired of the scene ; but before I left them, I could not help thinking what an odd sight it was, and how justly shocked people in England would be to see a large body of clergymen fighting cocks upon a Sunday.Head's Rough Notes.

PROOF OF A GOOD Novel.-In our last number, we copied a paragraph from the Edinburgh Observer, in which it is said that Vivian Grey is a much better novel than Tremaine; and that a proof of its being so is, that it will not be so frequently found on the drawing-room table, or on a lady's lap; that pet books of drawing-room tables and ladies' laps are always silly books; and that one should never read a book one finds on every drawing-room table, or venture on a work recommended by half-a-dozen ladies. These are very fallacious indications of a bad book, and the tests of a good one here described are still more defective. The Edinburgh Observer knows nothing about the matter. In the first place, Vivian Grey is not a better novel than Tremaine, and Tremaine is not found so frequently as Vivian Grey on the drawing-room table or lady's lap, nor is this circumstance always an unfavourable sign. Wemust consider the nature of the book, before we condemn it because it is to be found on every drawing-room table. We should not be prejudiced one way or the other, in the case of a philosophical work which enjoyed this drawing-room favour; and in the instance of a novel or production of imagination, it would operate certainly rather as a recommendation than otherwise. The popularity of such books raises a fair presumption of merit. We should say indeed to the subscriber to the circulating library, never read a book, (unless it be one just published,) with a fresh clean look, and sharp rectangular corners to the leaves. Choose a novel, on the contrary, the pages which are worn quite round at the comers, and which has a frowsy, musty smell. A few leaves torn and carefully stitched together again, are a very good sign; and the binding should be rendered perfectly supple by use, and like the leaves, worn round at the corners. Such a book as this you may carry home under your arm, on a long wet evening, with a full assurance that its well-thumbed pages, redolent of bread and butter-the true smell of a norel of merit—will give wings to the heavy hours.—Atlas.

Posing Question.—One of the party had a horse's leg in his hand. He told me that he had never been so tired in his life ; that his mule, in mounting the hill, had become quite exhausted ; and that, when he got off to lead her, she would not follow him: that, in despair, he made her drink up his flask of brandy, and that then, taking as a whip a dried-up horse's leg that was lying on the ground, he remounted the mule, which had gone very well ever since; “But, Sir,” said my honest companion, “whether it be the brandy that has got into her head, or the notion of being beaten with a horse's leg that has urged her on, I cannot tell you.”Head's Rough Notes.

PRESUDICE, The Spider Of The Mind.—There is something exceedingly curious in the constitution and operation of prejudice. It has the singular ability of accommodating itself to all the possible varieties of the human mind. Some passions and rices are but thinly scattered among mankind, and find only here and there a fitness of reception; but prejudice, like the spider, makes every where its home ; it has no choice of place, and all that it requires is room. There is scarcely a situation, except fire and water, in which a spider will not live: so let the mind be as naked as the walls of an empty and forsaken tenement, gloomy as a dungeon, or ornamented with the richest abilities of thinking ; let it be hot, cold, dark, or light, lonely or uninha. bited, still prejudice, if undisturbed, will fill it with cobwebs, and live like the spider where there seems nothing to live on. If the one prepares her poisoning to her palate, and her use, the other does the same ; and as several of our passions are strongly characterized by the animal mind, prejudice may be denominated the spider of the mind. Thomas Paine.

CHURNING COMPANY.-We had all sorts of English speculations in South America, some of which were really amusing. Besides many brother companies which I met with at Buenos Aires, I found a sister association of milkmaids. It had suddenly occurred to some of the younger sons of John Bull, that as there were a number of beautiful cows in the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, a quantity of good pasture, and as the people of Buenos Aires had no butter to their bread, a Churning Company would answer admirably; and before the idea was many months old, a cargo of Scotch milkmaids were lying becalmed under the Line, on their passage to make butter at Buenos Aires. As they were panting and sighing (being from heavy rains unable to come on deck) Neptune as usual boarded the ship ; and the sailors who were present say that his first observation was, that he had never found so many passengers and so few beards to shave ; however, when it was explained to him, that they were not Britannia's sons, but Jenny Bulls, who have no beards, the old god smiled and departed. The people at Buenos Aires were thunderstruck at the unexpected arrival of so many British milkmaids ; however, private arrangements had been made, and they, therefore, had milk, before it was generally known that they had got cows. But the difficulties which they experienced were very great : instead of leaning their heads against patient domestic animals, they were introduced to a set of lawless wild creatures, who looked 50 fierce that no young woman who ever sat upon a three-legged stool could dare to approach, much less to milk them ! But the Gauchos attacked the cows, tied their legs with strips of hide, and as soon as they became quiet, the shops of Buenos Aires were literally full of butter. But now for the sad moral of the story :-after the difficulties had been all conquered, it was discovered, first, that the butter would not keep! -and secondly, that somehow or other the Gauchos and natives of Buenos Aires

liked oil better!!-Head's Rough Notes.

DESCRIPTION OF A FUNERAL IN Buenos Aires.Certainly the way in which the people were buried at Buenos Aires appeared more strange to my eyes than any of the customs of the place. Of late years, a few of the principal people have been buried in coffins, but generally the dead are called for by a hack' hearse, in which there is a fixed coffin, into which they are put, when away the man gallops with the corpse, and leaves it in the vestibale of the Recolata. There is a small vehicle for children, which I really thought was a mountebank's cart: it was a light open tray, on wheels painted white, with light blue silk curtains, and driven at a gallop by a lad dressed in scarlet, with an enormous plume of white feathers in his hat. "As I was riding home one day, I was overtaken by this cart, (without its curtains, &c.) in which there was the corpse of a black boy nearly naked. I galloped along with it for some distance; the boy, from the rapid motion of the carriage, was dancing sometimes on bis back and sometimes on his face; occasionally his arm or leg would get through the bar of the tray, and two or three times I really thought the child would have been out of the tray altogether. The bodies of the rich were generally attended by their friends ; but the carriages with four people in each were seldom able to go so fast as the hearse.

I went one day to the Recolata, and just as I got there, the little hearse drove up to the gate. The nian who had charge of the burial place received from the driver a ticket, which he read, and put into his pocket; the driver then got into the tray, and taking out a dead infant of about eight months old, he gare it to the man, who carried it swinging by one of its arms into the square-walled burial-ground, and I followed him. He went to a spot about ten yards from the corner, and then, without putting his foot upon the spade, or at all lifting up the ground, he scratched a place not so deep as the furrow of a plough. While he was doing this, the poor little infant was lying before us on the ground on its back; it had one eye open, and the other shut; its face was unwashed, and a small piece of dirty cloth was tied round its middle: the man, as he was talking to me, placed the child in the little furrow, pushed its arms to its side will the spade, and covered it so barely with earth, that part of the cloth was still visible, he walked away and left it. I took the spade, and was going to bury the poor child myself, when I recollected that as a stranger I should probably give offence, and I therefore walked towards the gate. I met the same man, with an assistant, carrying a tray, in which was the body of a very old man, followed by his son, who was about forty; the party were all quarrelling, and remained disputing for some minutes after they had brought the body to the edge of the trench. This trench was about seven feet broad, and had been dug from one wall of the burial-ground to the other: the bodies were buried across it by fours, one above another, and there was a moveable shutter which went perpendicularly across the trench, and was moved a ster

« 上一頁繼續 »