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SERPENT-CHARMING AS PRACTISED BY THE
JUGGLERS OF ASIA.
ON THE SUBJUGATION OF ANIMALS spring upon and wound the spectators; and he informs us BY MEANS OF CHARMS, INCANTATIONS, AND DRUGS.
that fatal accidents frequently occur from inattention to this Second Article.
precaution. Amongst his drawings is that of a Cobra de Capella, which, under the magic influence of a professed serpent-charmer's music, danced before him for an hour upon
his table while he painted it, and during that period he repeatIn my last paper I endeavoured to furnish my readers with a edly handled it and carefully examined the structure of its description of serpent-charming, as at present practised by head, hood, and jaws, and inspected minutely the variety and the jugglers of Egypt, Arabia, and India. I now come to a extreme beauty of its spots. The following day an upper review of the opinions maintained respecting this mysterious servant of his rushed into his apartment, and cried out that art, and the secret on which it depends, by some of the most he was a fortunate, a most fortunate man, doubtless under the eminent philosophers who have turned their attention to the immediate protection of the Prophet—that his devotions had subject.
proved acceptable, and sundry other expressions, totally inThese opinions are as various as they are numerous, no comprehensible to Forbes, who inquired his meaning. The two individuals who have written upon the practice agreeing man then related that he had just been in the bazaar, where in any one particular, save only their determination to regard he had seen the same juggler who had entertained him the the whole affair as an imposture--the snake-charmers as day preceding, performing before a crowd of people, who, as clever and designing cheats, and all who believed in the reality was usual on such occasions, formed a circle around the opeof their performances, as silly dupes. I shall merely advert rator, seated on the ground. At the close of the performance, to some of the most striking of these suppositions, and then the reptile, whether infuriated from the music ceasing too proceed to an investigation of their merits, ere advancing my suddenly, or from some other cause not to be explained, darted own theory on the subject.
amongst the spectators, and seizing a young woman by the Many travellers who have written on the practice of ser- throat, inflicted a wound of which she died in about an hour. pent-charming have declared it as their conviction that the Here was proof positive that the extraction of the serpent's process is based in deception, that is, that the serpents charmed fangs was thought by no means essential to training him to forth from holes are by no means wild creatures, who really his performance. and naturally inhabit those recesses, but animals which have So much for the idea that the dancing snakes are always been previously tamed, their poisonous fangs extracted, and deprived of their fangs-now as to the reality of the cirplaced there by the juggler or an accomplice, in order to the cumstance of the wild serpents being drawn forth from their performance of his pretended miracle. Amongst the most holes by the charmer's pipe, and not being tamed animals prominent of these objectors are to be found the Abbé Dubois placed in those holes for the express purpose of deception. and the traveller Denon; and the latter author even goes so Perhaps the best refutation of this idea that I can adduce, far as to affirm that the secret of the Psylli was a piece of will be found in a highly interesting account I received lately nonsense that he might easily have discovered had he been so from a friend resident for many years in India, and who didisposed. A precious traveller truly! to have had it in his rected a more than ordinary degree of attention to snakepower to discover a secret that a hundred naturalists would charmers and their feats ; nay, not merely to them, but to have given their very eyes to become acquainted with, and every other description of magical rites, of which no land yet to neglect taking the necessary trouble. Ah, Monsieur now furnishes so many wonder-working adepts as India, not Denon, how you do remind me of the witty fable of the fox even Egypt. and the sour grapes! The Abbé Dubois, though equally He told me of men who would sow a seed of corn in a sceptical, does not venture to handle this mysterious subject flower-pot, and by sundry mysterious incantations cause it to quite so cavalierly as Denon. He says that the Psylli per- sprout, grow up, throw off leaves, bud, produce grain, and form various tricks with serpents, which, though apparently ripen, all within the space of an hour. He told me of men terrible, are not very dangerous, as they always take the pre- who would turn an empty hamper upside down, and produce caution to have the fangs previously removed, and to have from thence shawls, jewels, strings of beads, muslin turbans, with them the venomous vesicle extracted. He likewise in- and, in short, any article the spectators chose to demand. He forms us that they are supposed to have the power of charming told me many other singular and wondrous stories ; but, those dangerous reptiles, and of commanding them to ap: what at present is of more immediate importance, he gave proach and surrender themselves at the sound of music ; and me a singular account of serpent-charming: I need not recahe quotes the passages of scripture to which I referred in my pitulate its details, as they precisely resemble those quoted in preceding article, as confirmatory of the authenticity of the a former article: I need only observe, that he assured me he had practice ; yet he will not admit that even this mass of evi- examined the subject too closely, and had taken too many predence will convince that the charmer's art is aught but an im- cautions to prevent the possibility of fraud, to admit of its posture. “ Without dwelling," says he,“ on the literal accuracy being, in any one instance, practised upon him. He had of this striking passage of Holy Scripture, I may confidently sent a distance of fifty miles up the country for a snakeaffirm that the skill which the Indian pretenders to enchant- catcher, and had set him to work in a spot entirely unknown ment claim in this particular, is rank imposture. The trick to all as the place he had selected, until he conducted them consists in placing a snake, peviously tamed and accustomed and the juggler thither; and he had dozens of times seen to music, in some remote place, and they manage it so that in the reptiles drawn from their retreats by the sounds of the appearing accidentally to approach that place, and beginning Aute or fife, which they evidently derived extreme pleasure to play, the snake comes forward at the wonted sounds. When from hearing. It was my friend's opinion that the chief agent they enter into an agreement with any simpleton who fancies in the operation of serpent-charming was music; the anithat his house is infested with serpents-a notion which they mals positively delighted in the sound of the soft instruments sometimes contrive to infuse into his brain—they cunningly in- employed by the performers, and were by its influence lulled troduce some tame snakes into some crevice of his house, into a sort of pleasurable trance whenever the exciting cause which come to their master as soon as he sounds his musical was put in operation. call. The chuckling, enchanter then instantly whips up the My friend once sat beneath the shade of a spreading tree, serpent, claps it into his basket, pockets his fee, and, all the and was amusing himself with his flageolet, an instrument on while doubtless laughing in his sleeve, goes to some other which he performed with much skill; he had not been thus house, to renew his offers of assistance to similar dupes.” e.nployed above an hour, when a native, bappening to come
As to the idea that the snakes are previously deprived of up the approach to his residence, suddenly started, and betheir fangs, and that the jugglers secure themselves against gan muttering prayers as fast as he was able. My friend all danger of being injured by the regular dancing snakes could scarcely refrain from laughing at this singular exhibithat they carry about with them in baskets, a single anecdote tion, being entirely ignorant of its cause, and was about to related by Forbes, in his Oriental Memoirs, will I think suf- rise up, when the stranger called out to him to remain where fice to combat and refute it. Not having the book by me he was, and keep playing upon his instrument if he valued while I write, I hope my readers will excuse any slight dis- | his life, for that imminent danger threatened him. This ancrepancies which they may detect on a reference to my autho- nouncement, instead of producing the desired effect, only rity. Forbes states that on the cessation of the music the confirmed my friend in the supposition that the strange Hindoo reptiles lapse into a sort of lethargy, and appear motionless. was some mad fakir, who, half knave and half crazy, was It is, however, he adds, necessary that they should be imme- endeavouring to play upon his feelings, as he so frequently diately covered up in the baskets, as otherwise they may I and successfully did upon those of his silly countrymen. Ho accordingly sprang to his feet ; but what his consternation knowledge. And as with the same individual, and even with was, you, reader, may judge. As he rose, a prodigious Cobra whole classes of individuals, at different epochs, so is it with de Capella presented itself to bis astonished and affrighted different individuals at the same time : one person holding gaze, hanging by its tail from the tree, its gleaming eyes and in his hand the dim taper of ignorance, sees by its flickering hooded head not more than two feet from his own! For a and ill-directed light the object of his examination, distorted moment he felt as it were fascinated, rooted to the spot; by partial and shifting shadows—just as some timid traveller but in a second afterwards, terror acted in her more legiti- on a dusky night sees in each waving bush, as to his alarmed mate manner: he sprang several paces backward, and running imagination it grows to a portentous size, or assumes a to the house, procured assistance, on which he again sallied fearful form, some aërial phantom, or some terrestrial mon. forth, accompanied by several natives, who by their cries ster. The other, raising the bright lamp of knowledge, disand hooting succeeded in inducing the snake to beat a retreat. pels at once by its clear and steady light, uncertainty, and He was watched, however, in his departure, and traced to a sees the object as it is. hole; a guard was placed over it, and that too of Europeans, So many indeed are the practical illustrations of the different so that no confederacy could exist. A snake-catcher was manner in which the same object is viewed by knowledge and procured from a distance of ten miles; he approached the by ignorance, that it is difficult to make a first choice. All hole, played upon his instrument, and at length the reptile around us there are objects, the nature and qualities of which crawled forth, and was captured and secured in the usual are known to the few, unknown to the many, and hence either manner.
overlooked or misunderstood by the latter, studied and under. I think that even this brief and hurried account must have stood by the former. Each portion, however minute, of our compelled my readers to cast from their minds all notion of own body, and of that of every other organic being, has in the snakes being laid in the proper places by jugglers be- it wherewithal to exercise the ingenuity and reflection of the forehand, as preparatory to a performance, as I have shown wisest ; and yet how many thousands live and die without in the instances above mentioned that no such thing could having even desired much less sought after such knowledge! have been done. And the idea of the creature's having been Nor is the inorganic world less fruitful in subjects of inquiry, previously rendered harmless, is also overturned by the cir- nor less neglected. The ploughman " whistles as he goes for cumstance of the Cobra de Capella, handled one day with want of thought,” not because nature has failed to spread impunity by Forbes, having on the following morning bitten around him inexhaustible food for thought, but because his a young woman, who died of the effects of the poison within mind has not been trained to think. By each movement of an hour. I trust, then, that I have brought you to admit his ploughshare, page after page, as it were, is opened to his that the art of snake-charming is a genuine art, whether view of new and interesting matter-and yet he sees before simple or not remains to be proved when the true secret shall him nothing but silent and unmeaning clods. By each morehave been found out; and that the professors of this secret ment of his foot he disturbs those pebbles which, speechless are not impostors, at least not in this particular, but at the to him because he questions not, return to the interrogations very least as respectable characters as the rat-catchers of of knowledge wonder-stirring answers, when asked, our native country, who, my readers are of course aware, 1. Of what they are composed ? pretend likewise to possess the secret of charming and en- 2. Whence they came? ticing rats from any place. In my next paper I shall conclude 3. And how they came ? this subject of charming, and endeavour to explain some of For the present we shall pass over these more humble whisthe modes by which various animals are thus seduced. perers of things curious and strange, and turn to those mas
H. D. R. sive fragments of rocks which, far removed from their origi
nal site, are now scattered either singly or in groups over a
large portion of the earth's surface, resting sometimes on KNOWLEDGE AND IGNORANCE. --No. I. the slopes of hills composed of materials totally different from
their own, seen sometimes on the sand and gravel of extensive
plains, and distant from the mountains of which they were In using the above terms, let it not be supposed that I mean once a part, sometimes from one to three hundred miles: they are to imply by the one a perfect knowledge, or a knowledge of Boulders. Can we not picture to ourselves, in that remote everything, and by the other a perfect ignorance, or a total period of our island's history when forest and morass occuwant of any knowledge. Either of such conditions of the pied the place of its bogs, and when the winds sighed over mind is incompatible with human organization; the one, a comparative desolation, an ancient inhabitant, imbued with perfect knowledge, belongs alone to an order of intelligence nature's living poetry, pausing before one of those grey infinitely excelling that of man; and the other, a perfect ig- lichen-covered masses which had withstood the warrings of norance, must be sought for in creatures so far below him as the elements for perhaps thousands of years, and, as the awe to possess no intelligence. The idiot is not without percep- of the surrounding solitude came like a charm over his soul, tion and knowledge, though of an imperfect and irregular gazing with growing veneration at the venerable rock? kind. The dog knows its master, recognizes and obeys his-to him it would appear as if cast down from heaven, or voice. The horse knows and traces, after years of absence, planted where it now stands by some supernatural or giant the road he had once been accustomed to travel ; and even hand. What spot, then, more fitted for the simple worship of reptiles and fishes acquire a knowledge of persons, of times, nature's child ?_what temple, what altar more suited to his and of things; all this being independent of that range of in- simple rites? telligences which has been given to every creature for the A rock such as we have here described may have been preservation of its own existence, and for ensuring the conti- found supported in part by lesser fragments, or such supnuance of its species. The terms Knowledge and Ignorance | ports may have been introduced by partial excavations are used, then, in a comparative sense, being, according to under favourable projections of its surface; and in either circumstances, convertible one into the other. What, for in- case, the superfluous earth, sand, or stones under and about stance, is knowledge at one time, becomes ignorance at an- it, being removed, this ancient monument of the operations of other; and the man who seems wise to those who know less Nature would henceforth become an instrument in the worthan he does, scems equally foolish to those who know more-- ship of Nature's God-a Cromlech ! a strong reason surely why no one, however gifted he may Whether, however, this be, or not, a correct view of the ori. to himself appear, should despise his less gifted brethren. ginal impulse which led to the selection of these giant stones, Mounted he may indeed be on a hill so high that he can or of the purpose to which they were applied, it is for our discern objects in the distance which are hidden from the antiquarian friends to decide. Suffice it here to add, that more humble plodders of the plain below, and yet his own the transportation of such huge masses from their native beds, horizon be proportionately limited when compared to that by the power of man or of giants, was at such a remote of others who have climbed the still higher mountain above epoch, and under the circumstances of the country, impossi. him. Can we not all bring home to our minds this va- ble; nor will I stop to inquire whether a work so mighty was rying value of our acquirements at successive periods of performed by spirits light as air. our lives ? and are we not sometimes surprised to reflect that Let us turn to the consideration of the phenomenon of Boulsome problem was once difficult, or some fact obscure, ders, as it has appeared to the eye of science. And perhaps which is now as familiar to our understandings as the daylight there are no two facts which place it in so strong a light, and to our eyes? We have, in short, as regards these particular embrace so fully the reasonings founded upon it, as the disobjects, passed from the night of ignorance into the day of persion of blocks of the granite and other rocks of Sweden over
a large portion of Northern Europe, the boulders, either singly the surface, whether of rocks, of sand, or of gravel--and the or in clusters, being disposed in long parallel lines or trainées, valleys, lakes, and seas now lying in the line of movement, for upwards of two hundred miles from the mountains of which, if existing before the catastrophe, must have been filled Scandinavia, to which, by identity of mineral composition, up before the boulders could have travelled farther, if formed they have been traced, although separated from them by the after, must have required the action of a second catastrophe Baltic Sea ; and the occurrence of boulders of alpine granite of equal violence for their formation. And if, which is more resting on the secondary rocks of the Jura chain, between in accordance with scripture, we consider the waters rising which and the Alps are situated the deep valley of the Rhone, from the surrounding seas over the dry land, and then sup. the Lakes of Geneva and Neufchatel, the distance travelled pose them urged on with immense velocity, the effect would by the boulders being sixty miles. Saussure, struck by the be a heaving up and moving forward of fragments from the spectacle of clusters of these fragments so far removed from any lower land, by which the surface of the higher would be partly rock resembling them, declared that they looked as if rained covered and protected; and at the return of the waters to their down from heaven; a sentence strikingly expressive of the ancient beds, these fragments would be swept off, and carried difficulties which attend on an explanation of their occurrence. back the same way they came. Neither, then, the words of De Luc rightly speaks of such travelled masses of stone as scripture, nor the facts themselves, require us to seek in the being one of the most important of geological monuments, Noachian deluge for an explanation of these phenomena. since they offer a rigorous criterion of the different systems Another theory, still adhered to by many modern geologists, concerning the revolutions which have happened on our is, the action of submarine currents, at a time when the preglobe;" and in describing the vicinity of Cuxhaven, situated sent dry land had only in part emerged from the sea. This at the extremity of the Bremen country, which lying between theory has the advantage of dealing with bodies of diminished the Gulfs of the Elbe and Weser, is as it were a peninsula, gravity, in consequence of their immersion in a fluid, and consehe cites the very forcible example it affords of a vast quently of having to provide for the movement of weights less abundance of boulders at a distance of more than two hun- by one-half or one-third than they would have been in air. In dred miles from the Scandinavian chain, the outlet, itself sixty conjunction with the theory of 'raised beaches, it explains miles wide, of the Baltic, forming part of the intervening many of the phenomena of accumulations of sand and gravel, space.
but not all. And as regards the transport of boulders, it At the time of De Luc's visit to Cuxhaven (1797), a dike fails; the great size and angular form of some—their occurwas constructing to secure the port from the violence of the rence at various levels, resting on various strata-sometimes sea, and the plan of employing blocks for this purpose was connected with, and sometimes unconnected with sand or suggested by the quantity which were scattered over all the gravel — their position frequently on the top of heaps and neighbouring country. From the vicinity alone of Hornburg, ridges of gravel, being facts in seeming opposition to such an inland town between the ports of Stade and Harborg, an explanation, even were it conceded that all the depres600 lasts of blocks, amounting to 240,000 quintals, or 23,679 sions now existing on the line of travel, as lakes and seas and tons, had at that time been brought and consumed in the valleys, were scooped out subsequently to their transport. dike, which, with the thickness necessary to resist the utmost The geological system of the illustrious Hutton assumed as impetuosity of the waves, and a height of about eight feet, an essential principle, that as the present continents and dry already extended three leagues to the westward of the town. land were once the bottom of the ocean, and have been The country in which these accumulations of erratic boulders formed, either in greater part or entirely, of fragments of had taken place, is an expanse of sand covered with heath, pre-existing continents now submerged, so is the work of deexcept where broken by cultivated patches around the scat-struction and renewal still continuing, the substance of our pretered villages, the surface being undulated by hills com- sent dry land being loosened, abraded, or worn down by meteoric posed either of sand or of heaps of boulders. De Luc adds, agencies, and carried by torrents and rivers to the ocean, to ** that he travelled ten miles without perceiving in the whole be there by currents distributed over the bottom of the sea, horizon any house, or even a hovel, or a single tree”-deso. and by internal heat consolidated into new strata, which late and dreary indeed to the eye of painter or poet, yet rich in time will be elevated into new continents and islands. To in all the elements of sublimity to the eye of the geologist. apply this theory in the case of the Jura boulders, Playfair
It is quite unnecessary to adduce other and less impo- assigned their transport to an epoch anterior to the formasing examples from Great Britain and Ireland of similar facts, tion or excavation of the deep valleys and lakes which would the difficulties of explanation being fully embraced by those now form an insurmountable obstacle to such transport, and selected. How have they been brought to their present thus obtained a greatly inclined plane, extending from the places? is then the question mentally asked, as well by the summit of the Alps to the Jura, on which to trundle the fraglearned as the unlearned.
ments gradually downwards, by aid of the numerous streams Saussure, celebrated for his examination of the Alps, ima- and torrents descending from the higher to the lower ground. gined a great debacle and retreat of the sea from the strata that But as this theory would, as thus applied, premise that the had been formed, as he supposed, by chemical precipitations; land had been raised above the sea-level prior to the transand to the violent rush of the vast current he ascribed the ex- port of the boulders, no means of effecting the great excava. cavation of the valleys, and the transport of immense masses tions, including the Lakes of Geneva and Neufchatel, which are of stones from the central chain of the Alps, beyond the pre- supposed to have been formed subsequently, are left, except the cincts of those mountains, to the Jura. Here, then, the exca- slow erosive action of rains, frost, torrents, and such-like agents vation of the valleys of the Alps, and the transport of the means which few will consider adequate to the desired object; boulders, are considered results of one great catastrophe, by and hence the explanation of Playfair, resting solely on a bold which the bottom of the sea became hard dry land, its water's hypothesis, must be rejected. As most of the preceding descending into huge abysses which had burst open around the theories referred to the usually rounded condition of the graAlps. The phenomenon of Boulders is general in a large nite boulders (many boulders of other rocks are angular), portion of the northern hemisphere; the explanation however is as an evidence of movement through the agency of water, local and hence insufficient; whilst the philosopher's machinery, De Luc, preparatory to the promulgation of his own theory, of huge abysses, like the peasant's giant, is born of necessity, thought it expedient to show that blocks of granite, even as they not deduced from experience.
stand tranquilly braving the storms, are gradually weathered Others, and even yet they are many, attribute the trans- into a rounded form. He thus cites the granite of Darmstadt port of both graves and boulders to the Noachian deluge, as an example:-“ Here I found a striking example of the which is their great geological catastrophe. The application, manner in which blocks and even rocks of granite are however, of that great historical event to such physical agen- rounded by the decomposition of the angles of their masses. cies, is beset with great difficulties. The words of scripture I perceived it first in some angular pieces that had been dedo not support, but rather oppose, the notion of a huge wave tached and lay at the foot of the rock, surrounded with rubrising in the north to a great height, then rushing southwards bish; for, on giving them a strong blow with an iron at the over the dry land, and rooting up or sweeping before it, by end of my stick, the angles fell off, detaching themselves with hydrostatic pressure, fragments of the earth's crust. Nor a concave surface on their inner side; and I thus produced are facts more in accordance with that notion—the boulders rounded blocks, exactly resembling those which I had seen of Scandinavia were moved from north to south--the boulders of scattered on the plains." This spherical concretionary struethe Alps from south to north, passing over the Jura mountains ture has been noticed in the granite of Dublin and Down, and into Franchcomté-the stratification of many of the heaps is common in trap rocks. Having smoothed away this diffiof sand and gravel the position of the boulders generally on culty, De Luc tacks on the boulders as a corollary to his the
ory of subsidences. Immense masses of strata, subsiding into experiment was made to test this. A train of waggons was huge caverns or hollows beneath them, fragments of the prepared with temporary sides and ends, so as to represent, lower strata were broken off and blown upwards by the force for all practical purposes, a train of carriages, which was of the pent-up air and gases rushing through the cracks of moved from the summit of a series of inclined planes, by the sinking strata, the weight of which continued more and gravity, till it was brought to rest ; it was next moved down more to compress them, so that the boulders of M. De Luc came with the high sides and ends laid flat on the platform of the from below, and not from above. This is also a gratuitous waggons, and the result was very remarkable. The whole hypothesis ; and as the localities of many boulders exhibit no frontage of the latter, including the wheels and every thing, signs of such 'subsidences and explosions, it has obtained few a complete transverse section of the waggons, measured #4 if any adherents. So far, then, it would appear that philo- feet square, and with the sides and ends up, so as to present sophers, though armed with all the powers of mind invigora- a cross section, it amounted to nearly 48 square feet. The ted by study and sharpened by research, have fought in vain uniform velocity attained on a plane of 1 in 177, without against the difficulties which like a rampart fence in this rug- the sides up, was nearly 23 miles an hour; whereas, with the ged problem. For a moment they have appeared illumined sides up, it was only 17 miles an hour ; so that, as the reby the light of knowledge, and have then sunk into the dark sistance would be in proportion to the square of the velocity, ness of ignorance. But though philosophy may yield, she other things being the same, there would be a very considernever will despair. And now, having marshalled new forces for able difference, due to that difference of velocity. Then, at the combat, we shall see her, with brighter hopes and pro- the foot of the second plane, while the sides were down, an spects, again renew the assault. To the consideration, there- undiminished velocity remained of 194 miles an hour, whereas, fore, of a widely different class of explanations, I shall proceed with the sides up, it was reduced to 85 miles an hour; so to direct attention in a second paper.
J. E. P. that a very extensive difference was produced. They would
see at once that this was a very decisive experiment to prove
that the great source of resistance was to be found in the INTELLECTUALITY OF ANIMALS.--Father Bougeant, a bulk, and not the mere section or the form, whether of the Jesuit, was placed in confinement by his superior in the front or the back of a train; but simply in the general bulk College of La Fleche, near Paris, for what he had written on of the body carried through the air. It was very likely to the subject of the intellectuality of animals. His views, if arise from the successive displacements of a quantity of the not orthodox, were certainly curious and amusing, and there atmosphere equal to the bulk of the body; or still more prois a sprightliness in his mode of treating the subject, grace- bably, from the fact of the extensive sides of the train; and ful at least in the Frenchman, if not conformable to the divine. indeed there was little doubt that the magnitude of the sides The following observations, extracted from that section of had a very material influence; for if they consider what is his work which treats of the language of beasts, may amuse going on in the body of air extending from either side of a the reader :- “Our first observation upon the language of train of coaches, they would soon see what a mechanical beasts is, that it does not extend beyond the necessaries of
be exercised upon it. Thus, when a train is life. However, let us not impose upon ourselves with regard moving rapidly, the moving power had not only to pull the to this point. To take things right, the language of beasts train on, but it had to drag a succession of columns of air, appears so limited to us only with relation to our own; how- at different velocities, one outside the other, to a considerable ever, it is sufficient to beasts, and more would be of no service extent outside the train ; and it did more, for it overcame to them. Were it not to be wished that ours, at least in their friction one upon the other ; for as these columns of air some respects, were limited too? If beasts should hear us
were at different velocities, the one would be rubbing against converse, prate, lie, slander, and rave, would they have cause the other; and all this the moving power had to encounter. to envy us the use we make of speech? They have not our
This would go far to explain the great magnitude of resistance privileges, but in recompense they have not our failings. found, and its entire discordance with any thing previously Birds sing, they say; but this is a mistake. Birds do not
suspected.” sing, but speak. What we take for singing is no more than their natural language. Do the magpie, the jay, the raven, dela Rive has succeeded in gilding metals by means of this pow.
GILDING OF METALS BY ELECTRO-CHEMICAL Action.--M. the owl, and the duck, sing ?: What makes us believe that erful action. His method is as follows: he pours a solution of they sing is their beautiful voice. Thus, the Hottentots in chloride of gold (obtained by dissolving gold in a mixture Africa seem to cluck like turkey-cocks, though it be the of nitric and muriatic acid) as neutral as possible and very natural accent of their language, and thus several nations dilute, into a cylindrical bag made of bladder; he then plunges seem to us to sing, when they indeed speak. Birds, if you the bag into a glass vessel containing very slightly acidulated will, sing in the same sense, but they sing not for singing's water; the metal to be gilded is immersed in the solution of sake, as we fancy they do. Their singing is always an in- gold, and communicates by means of metallic wire with a tended speech ; and it is comical enough that there should be plate of zinc, which is placed in the acidulated water. The thus in the world so numerous a nation which never speak process may be varied, if the operator pleases, by placing the otherwise but tunably and musically., But, in short, what do acidulated water and zinc in the bag, and the solution of gold these birds say? The question should be proposed to with the metal to be gilded in the glass vessel. In the course Apollonius Tyaneus, who boasted of understanding their of about a minute, the metal may be withdrawn, and wiped language. As for me, who am no diviner, I can give you no more than probable conjectures. Let us take for our example will be found to be slightly gilded. After two or three similar
with a piece of linen ; when rubbed briskly with the cloth, it the magpie, which is so great a chatterer. It is easy to per- immersions the gilding will
be sufficiently thick to enable the ceive that her discourses or songs are varied.
or raises her voice, hastens or protracts the measure, lengthens ring to the article on the Electrotype which appeared in No.
operator to terminate the process.-Athenæum.- -[By refer or shortens her chit-chat; and these evidently are so many 20 of the Irish Penny Journal, the reader will be enabled different sentences. Now, following the rule I have laid down, clearly to understand the mode in which the gold is separated that the knowledge, desires, wants, and of course the expres- from the acid, which holds it in solution, and forced, or atsions of beasts, are confined to what is useful or necessary tracted, to deposit its particles upon the metallic surface; the for their preservation, methinks nothing is more easy than at solution of gold bearing in this case a precisely similar relafirst, and in general, to understand the meaning of these dif- tion to the metal plate, as the solution of copper in the other.] ferent phrases.”—Dublin University Magazine.
DEFINITION OF CHERUB.-A lady (married of course) ATMOSPHERIC RESISTANCE ON RAILWAYS.-In Dr Lard. ner's third lecture on railways at Manchester, he detailed a addressed as “my cherub." Upon being asked why she gave
was once troubled with a squalling brat, whom she always variety of experiments made in order to ascertain the it that appellation, she replied—“ Because that it is derived source of resistance. “ He found that an enlarged temporary from cherubim, and the Bible says, the cherubims continually frontage constructed with boards, of probably double the
do magnitude of the ordinary front of the train, caused an inna crease of resistance so trifling and insignificant as to be en
Printed and published every Saturday by GUNN and CAMERON, at the Office tirely unworthy of account in practice. Seeing that the source
of the General Advertiser, No. 6, Church Lane, College Green, Dublin.of resistance, so far as the air was concerned, was not to be Agents :-R. GROOMBRIDGE, Panyer Alley, Paternoster Row, London; ascribed to the form or magnitude of the front, it next oc- Simms and DINHAM, Exchange Street, Manchester ; C. Davies, North curred to him to inquire whether it might not arise from the
John Street, Liverpool ; SLOCOMBB and SIMMS, Leeds; FRASER and
CRAWFORD, George Street, Edinburgh ; and David ROBERTSON, Trongeneral magnitude of the train front ends, top and all. An
BARRACK BRIDGE AND THE MILITARY GATE, DUBLIN. Though our own good metropolis is confessedly one of the ! we say old-looking, for in reality neither is very old ; but they most ancient cities in the empire, yet there are few towns of have an antique appearance about them which prevents any importance either in England, Scotland, or Ireland, that us from thinking our city a mere creation of yesterday. have so little appearance of old age; we have indeed a couple They are very picturesque also, and contrast well with the of venerable cathedrals, which is more, we believe, than any other bridge scenes along our quays, which, though more other city in her Majesty's dominions, except London, can splendid and architectural, are as yet too new-looking and boast of; and we have a few insignificant remains of monas- commonplace. tic edifices, but hid in obscure situations, where they are only Though Barrack Bridge, or, as it is more popularly called, known to zealous antiquaries :-with the exception of these, Bloody Bridge, is now the oldest of the eight bridges which however, we have nothing that has not a modern look, though span the Liffey within our city, its antiquity is no earlier than too often a tattered one ; nor is there, we believe, a single house the close of the seventeenth century; and yet this very bridge within our Circular Road that has seen two hundred years. is the second structure of the kind erected in Dublin, as preOur bridges and other public edifices in like manner are all viously to its construction there was but one bridge--the modern—specimens of mushroom architectural aristocracy, Bridge, as it was called, connecting Bridge-street with Churchvery dignified and imposing, no doubt, in their aspect, but with-street-across the Liffey. And this fact is alone sufficient to out any hallowing associations connected with remote times I prove the advance in prosperity and the arts of civilised life to make us respect them.
which Dublin has made within a period of little more than a It is owing, perhaps, to these circumstances that we have century. always had a pleasure in seeing the old-looking bridge and Barrack Bridge was originally constructed of wood, and gateway which form the subject of our prefixed illustration, was erected in 1670; and its popular name of Bloody Bridge