« AnteriorContinuar »
was derived, as Harris the historian states, from the following of forty-five degrees, the seed is sometimes then sown and circumstance, which occurred in the year after. The appren- harrowed down. But the neatest farmers, instead of sowing tices of Dublin having assembled themselves riotously together at this stage of the work, employ a compressing implement with an intention to break down the bridge, it became neces- formed of two parallel metal wheels at one end of an axle, sary to call out the military to defeat their object, when and very close to each other, and a guide wheel of the same twenty of the rioters were seized, and committed to the diameter at the other end. The interior rims of the comCastle. It happened, however, afterwards, that as a guard pressing wheels (or rollers) are four inches wide, and nearly of soldiers were conveying these young men to the Bridewell, touch each other ; the exterior surfaces are narrowed to two they were rescued by their fellows, and in the fray four of inches; these wheels sink into the earth at the junctions of them were slain ; “ from which accident it took the name of the furrow slices, and by pressing down the grassy edges, Bloody Bridge.' In a short time afterwards, this wooden and forming perfect grooves at the intervals of seven or nine structure gave place to the stone bridge we now see, which is inches, the seed may be sown with extreme exactness, and of unadorned character, and consists of four semicircular without the loss of a single grain, and at a uniform depth. But arches. Its rude and antique appearance, however, harmo- though the seed is frequently sown with the preparation just nizes well with the military gateway placed at its south- stated, the practice of the neatest and most judicious farmers western extremity, on the road leading to the Royal Hospital is to harrow down these drills after the rollers have formed at Kilmainham. This gateway, which was designed by the and completed them, and then to sow with the Suffolk drill. late eminent architect, Francis Johnston, Esq. P. R.H. A., and machine in the free and pulverized surface. This implement erected for government, under his superintendence, in 1811, forms and sows several shallow drills at each bouting, and consists of a square tower, having smaller square towers pro- with perfect precision; the experienced eye of the man who jecting from three of its angles, and a circular one of greater follows in the rear, enabling him in an instant to perceive any diameter and altitude at its fourth or north-eastern angle. possible irregularity in the movement of the hoppers and disThe object for which this gateway tower was erected, as tribution of the seed. well as the period of its erection, is indicated by escutcheons The great advantage derived from the action of these comon its east and west sides, bearing the arms of the Duke of pressing wheels is, that the grassy edges of the furrow slices Richmond and the Earl of Harrington, the lord-lieutenant are prevented altogether from vegetating by the depth to and the commander of the forces of the time. A similar shield which they are removed from the surface, and that the preson its north side facing the river, sculptured with the ar- sure of the portions into which the rollers sink, is far more morial bearings of the family of Johnston, indicates the name effective and consolidating than if an ordinary broad roller of its architect; and it is worthy of mention as a charac- were to pass over the entire area. In preparing any loose teristic of the love for posthumous fame of Mr Johnston, fallow land for vetches, these compressing rollers are very that this tablet was not known to exist till within a few years serviceable. By following two ploughs, and in the same back, and after he had himself paid the debt of nature; having tracks, the ploughing and the perfect formation of the drills been concealed from view by a box of wood fastened against by pressure are accomplished in the same space of time, the it, and which was suffered to remain-a strange mystery to two wheels obviously describing double the number of furthe curious observer_till it fell off from decay. P. rows described by each plough in the same period.
In heavy clay soils this compression is at least unnecessary,
and in stony land drilling is difficult and unadvisable, but in ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTENDING TO THE light open soils the advantages of this system are considerable. QUALITIES OF SEED,
The proper season for sowing is also a point of great conAND THE CONDITION OF THE SOIL IN THE SOWING
sideration, both as regards the economy of seed of any kind,
Some people labour to effect their seed-sowing on a parti
cular day or week without other calculations, and are quite AMONG the common Irish farmers, indifference to the quality satisfied that all is well if the seed is in the ground at the of all seeds is still remarkable. Even in respect to wheat, precise time which they have appointed for the purpose. Now, that most valuable grain, stupidity and carelessness are ob- any rule as to time alone is especially absurd in our variable servable, though the loss sustained in consequence, both in climate; even in the midland counties of England, where exthe quantity and quality of the produce, is very great. It is treme vicissitudes of weather are less frequent, it is injudino doubt principally owing to the superiority of climate that cious to fix any certain rule as to the exact time for commitwheat and other corn crops grown in the midland counties of ting the various sorts of corn to the ground. Experience has England are so far superior to our grain productions ; but taught those who have considered the subject, that it is un. much of the excellence which we perceive is attributable to the wise to force a season. For example, the middle of October care taken in changing seed, and using that only which is is considered in Buckinghamshire to be the best time for sow. really good. An English farmer will send his waggon a con- ing wheat; but the earth at that time may be so dry (and siderable distance for the seed which will best answer for his actually was so in the past year) as to be more fit for barley land, and he is willing to pay an advanced price for it, as he than wheat; or it may then be so wet as to be equally unfit for knows that his advantage will be proportional.
the reception of the seed. In either case the judicious farmer We do not import from the principal wheat counties of waits for the correct season, which experience has taught England a sufficient quantity of seed: degeneracy rapidly will have a corresponding harvest. takes place in the quality of that which we do sow of imported After a wet cold summer the light dry soils of that county grain, and on that account a regular and frequent change is being firm and consolidated, it is perhaps desirable to sow necessary, and by the more economical distribution of this, wheat at a very early period of the autumn; and after a hot the difference between the prices of home-grown and im- dry summer, when the land is in a contrary condition, it ported seed would be scarcely felt. Not that I would recom- would be better to wait for the autumnal rains to obtain a mend, except in some of our most calcareous inland counties, firm seed bed. Again, with barley on the same soil, the first those white varieties which flourish in Kent, or Suffolk, or of April is considered a good time; but the farmer who Buckinghamshire, but the hardier red Lammas kinds which should persist in sowing just then in spite of the weather or succeed with us in general, but which require frequent re- the unprepared state of the land, would be a fool indeed, and newal, else they become thick skinned and dark coloured, and would discover the effect of his blunder in the shortness of consequently of inferior value to the miller. By substitut- his crop. It is true that the superstitions of the ancients ing the drill system for the broad-cast in fit seasons, and which so ridiculously influenced the affairs of husbandry, have on land perfectly suited to it, one part in four, certainly one long since ceased to be regarded. No one in these days in five, is saved, even by those who sow in the narrowest pos- would think it expedient to steep his seed in the juice of wild sible drills, and thickly.
cucumbers; nor to bring it into contact with the horns of an I shall detail the mode by which the land is prepared for ox, for luck; nor to cover the seed basket with the skin of a sowing, and the process of sowing, in Buckinghamshire, on hyæna, to keep off by its odour the attacks of vermin; nor clover ley, the most troublesome for the purpose :-
to sprinkle corn before sowing with water in which stags' Farm-yard manure being spread upon the surface, wheel horns or crabs had been immersed; nor to mix powdered ploughs drawn by three powerful horses are set to work to cypress leaves through the seed—though pickles and solutions plough the land in the usual British way. In wide lands or for destroying insects are not to be despised. Neither are stitches, after the sod has been turned and laid at an angle the planetary influences now much respected ; yet there are
BY MARTIN DOYLE.
many foolish old farmers who attach no little importance to prior to the arrival of Europeans. The utility of these bridges the state of the moon, the dark nights in November being a in mountainous countries is placed in a striking point of view favourite season, without the really important considerations by the fact mentioned by Humboldt, of a permanent commuthat the earth and the weather are in an appropriate and nication having been established between Quito and Lima, by congenial state.
means of a rope bridge of extraordinary length, after 40,0001. I have stated that the drills formed by the Suffolk drill- had been expended in a fruitless attempt to build a stone machine are very shallow; they are merely sufficient to af- bridge over a torrent which rushes from the Cordilleras or ford about an inch of covering to the grain; but I have been the Andes. Over this bridge of ropes, which is erected near assured by the best judges that the natural tendency of the Santa, travellers with loaded mules can pass in safety. cereal grains to strike their fibres is such that a heavy cover- But suspension bridges composed of stronger and more du. ing is unnecessary. Our national opinion is in favour of a rable materials than the twisted fibres and tendrils of plants, heavy covering, and our wheat especially is actually imbedded are found to exist in these remote and semi-barbarous regions ; deeply in the ground with a plough.
in Thibet, as well as in China, many iron suspension bridges The practice in Great Britain universally is to harrow in have been discovered, and it is no improbable conjecture that the grain. The same practice is universally prevalent in in countries so little known and visited by Europeans, others France, where the land is left roughly harrowed (in the case may exist, of which we have as yet received no accounts. The of winter wheat), in order that the mouldering of the clods most remarkable bridge of this kind of which we have any in spring may afford a kind of earthing to the plants, and pre- knowledge in Thibet, is the bridge of Chuka-cha-zum, vent the running together of the earth in the wet winter stretched over the Tehintchieu river, and situated about 18 months, as is too frequent on tenacious soils too finely har- miles from Murichom. Turner, in his Embassy to the Court rowed.
of Thibet, says, Only one horse is admitted to go over it It is not very long since the advantage of compressing the at a time : it swings as you tread upon it, re-acting at the soil, for wheat in particular, was discovered in Buckingham- same time with a force that impels you every step you take to shire, by the accidental circumstance of a roller (which had quicken your pace. It may be necessary to say, in explanabeen used for some different purpose) having been drawn in a tion of its construction, that on the five chains which support zig-zag direction across a wheat field. The plants tillered the platform, are placed several layers of strong coarse mats better, looked far more vigorous during their advance to ma- of bamboo, loosely put down, so as to play with the swing turity, and yielded a far better return on the part of the field of the bridge; and that a fence on each side contributes to so distinguished by the course of the rollers, which soon after the security of the passenger.”. The date of the erection of became a favourite implement in the culture of grain crops. this bridge is unknown to the inhabitants of the country, and
There is no doubt that all seeds are frequently sown with they even ascribe to it a fabulous origin. The length of this wasteful prodigality, because they are cheap or indifferent in bridge appears to be about 150 feet. quality. How much better then is it to have those of superior Turner describes in the following terms a bridge for foot quality, though at a higher price, and to encourage the distri- passengers of an extraordinary construction.
“ It was combution of them in the soil by a careful mode of sowing ! posed of two chains stretched parallel to each other across
Grains of corn of superior excellence are frequently select the river, distant four feet from each other, and on either ed with great care, as by Colonel le Couteur, in Jersey, and side resting upon a pile of stones, raised upon each bank then sown with a dibble in seedling beds. The plants thus about eight feet high; they were carried down with an easy carefully treated tiller surprisingly, and produce accordingly; slope and buried in the rock, where, being fastened round a after two or three seasons, a fine variety, or a renovation of large stone, they were confined by a quantity of broken rock some previously established one, is obtained, and the seed is heaped upon them. A plank about eight inches broad hung anxiously sought for.
longitudinally suspended across the river by means of roots and Do any of our farmers ever dream of going through their creepers wound over the chains with a slackness sufficient to corn fields in harvest, and thus obtain choice seeds ? And yet allow the centre to sink to the depth of four feet below the what is there to prevent success in this respect? A poor chains. This bridge, called Selo-cha-zum, measured, from farmer who cannot afford to purchase celebrated varieties at one side of the water to the other, 70 feet. The creepers a high cost, may become his own seedsman, by care and assi- are changed annually, and the planks are all loose; so that if duity, in an incredibly short time. Let some of our readers the creepers give way in any part, they can be removed, and make the desired experiments for their own sakes.
the particular part repaired without disturbing the whole.”
Numerous suspension bridges formed of iron chains exist
also in China ; and though the accounts which travellers have SUSPENSION BRIDGES.
transmitted respecting them are less detailed and explicit On the Theory of Suspension Bridges, with some account of their early than would have been desirable, descriptions of two of them history. By Mr G. F. FORDHAM, Read at the Scientific Society, March
have been furnished, which are sufficiently minute and intel12, 1840.
ligible to excite considerable interest. The first to which I SUSPENSION BRIDGES appear to be of very ancient origin : refer is contained in Kircher's China Illustrata. The followtravellers have discovered their existence in South America, ing is a translation of the author's words : “ In the province in China, in Thibet, and in the Indian peninsula. They are of Junnan, over a valley of great depth, and through which a most frequently met with in mountainous regions, and being torrent of water runs with great force and rapidity, a bridge suspended across a deep ravine, or an impetuous torrent, per is to be seen, said to have been built by the Emperor Mingus, mit the passage of the traveller where the construction of any of the family of the Hamæ, in the year of Christ 65, not conother kind of bridge would be entirely impracticable. Hum- structed of brickwork, or of blocks of stone cemented toboldt informs us that in South America there are numerous gether, but of chains of beaten iron and hooks, so secured to bridges of this kind formed of ropes made from the fibrous rings from both sides of the chasm, that it forms a bridge by parts of the roots of the American agavey (Agave America- planks placed upon them. There are 20 chains, each of na). These ropes, which are three or four inches in diame which is 20 perches or 300 palms in length. When many ter, are attached on each bank to a clumsy framework com- persons pass over together, the bridge vibrates to and fro, posed of the trunk of the Schinus molle ; where, however, the affecting them with horror and giddiness, lest whilst passing banks are flat and low, this framework raises the bridge so it should be struck with ruin. It is impossible to admire sufmuch above the ground as to prevent it from being accessible. ficiently the dexterity of the architect Sinensius, who had the To remedy this inconvenience, steps or ladders are in these hardihood to attempt a work so arduous, and so conducive to cases placed at each extremity of the bridge, by ascending the convenience of travelling.” Another suspension bridge which all who wish to pass over readily reach the roadway. in this country is described in the 6th vol. of the “ Histoire The roadway is formed by covering tắe ropes transversely Generale des Voyages.". The following is a translation : with small cylindrical pieces of bamboo. The bridge of Pe- “ The famous Iron Bridge (such is the name given to it) at nipé erected over the Chamboo is described as being 120 feet Quay-Cheu, on the road to Yun-Nan (Junnan ?) is the work long and 8 feet broad, but there are others which have much of an ancient Chinese general. On the banks of the Pan-Ho, larger dimensions. Á bridge of this kind will generally re- a torrent of inconsiderable breadth, but of great depth, a main in good condition 20 or 25 years, though some of the large gateway has been formed between two massive pillars, ropes require renewing every 8 or 10 years. It is worthy of 6 or 7 feet broad, and from 17 to 18 feet in height. From remark, as evincing the high antiquity of these structures, the two pillars of the east depend four chains attached to that they are known to have existed in South America long large rings, which extend to the two pillars of the west, and
Ye little Snails,
which being connected together by smaller chains, assume that was completed in this country. It was commenced in in some measure the appearance of a net. On this bridge of August 1819, and finished in the month of July 1820. After chains a number of very thick planks have been placed, some the completion of the Menai Bridge, bridges on the suspension means of connecting which, have been adopted in order to ob- principle began to be universally adopted throughout Europe ; tain a continuous platform; but as a vacant space still re- but it was not till iron wires had been proved to be more firm mains between this platform and the gateways and pillars, on than bars of a greater thickness that these bridges received account of the curve assumed by the chains, especially when their most extensive applications. Since 1821, Messrs Sequin loaded, this defect has been remedied by the aid of planking have constructed more than fifty wire bridges in France with supported on trusses or consoles. On each side of this plank- the most complete success. The wire suspension bridge at ing small pilasters of wood have been erected, which support Freyburg, in Switzerland, the largest in the world, was ereca roof of the same material, the two extremities of which ted by Mons. Challey, and depends across the valley of the rest on the pillars that stand on the banks of the river.” The Sarine. It was commenced in 1831, and thrown open to the writer proceeds to remark, that “the Chinese have made se- public in 1834. A suspension bridge has also been erected at veral other bridges in imitation of this. One, on the river Montrose, the size of which is scarcely inferior to that of the Kin-cha-Hyang, in the ancient canton of Lo-Lo, which be- Menai Bridge. At Clifton a very large suspension bridge is longs to the province of Yun-Nan, is particularly known. now in progress of erection by Mr Brunel, and a suspension In the province of Se-Chuen there are one or two others, bridge of 1600 feet in length is about to be erected over the which are sustained only by ropes; but though of an incon- Danube, between Pest and Offen, the design for which is the siderable size, they are so unsteady and so little to be trusted production of Mr W. Tierney Clark, and under whose able that they cannot be crossed without sensations of fear." superintendence its construction will be effected.—Civil En
While our attention is directed to early accounts and to gineer and Architect's Journal. the origin of suspension bridges, it may be proper to remark, that although, as we have seen, the inhabitants of the mountainous districts of South America, or the wild and barbarous
REMONSTRANCE WITH THE SNAILS. regions of Thibet, appear to have been well acquainted with the purposes for which these structures are best adapted, and
With slippery tails, to have practised their construction from the most remote
Who noiselessly travel ages, neither the Greeks, the Romans, nor the Egyptians,
Along this gravel, according to all we know of those nations, had any knowledge
By a silvery path of slime unsightly, of their uses or properties, or ever employed them as a means
I learn that you visit my pea-rows nightly. for crossing a river, or other natural impediment. It is not,
Felonious your visit, I guess ! therefore, from these celebrated nations of antiquity that the
And I give you this warning,
That, every morning, engineer has derived his first hints for the construction of suspension bridges but from those rude and unpolished
I'll strictly examine the pods ;
And if one I hit on, people, the results of whose ingenuity have just been de
With slaver or spit on, scribed. But it will now be interesting to inquire how far we can
Your next meal will be with the gods. trace back the antiquity of suspension bridges in more civi- I own you're a very ancient race, lized countries-on the Continent, in the British Isles, and in
And Greece and Babylon were amid ; the United States of America. Scamozzi speaks of suspen
You have tenanted many a royal dome, sion bridges existing in Europe in the beginning of the seven
And dwelt in the oldest pyramid; teenth century, but it is very questionable if he employed that
The source of the Nile !-Oh! you have been there ! term to designate the same structure to which it is now ap
In the ark was your foodless bed ; plied ; and this is rendered the more improbable, as no such
On the moonless night of Marathon bridges are now in existence, and other writers are totally
You crawl'd o'er the mighty dead ; silent upon the subject. It does not appear, then, that sus
But still, though I reverence your ancestries,
I don't see why you should nibble my peas. pension bridges of other than recent erection have existed on the Continent, and in England the oldest of which we have The meadows are yours-the hedge-row and brook, any account has not been constructed more than a century:
You may bathe in their dews at morn; The first suspension bridge in the United States was erected By the aged sea you may sound your shells, in the year 1796. In England the oldest bridge of the kind
On the mountain erect your horn; is believed to have been the Winch Chain Bridge, suspended The fruits and the flowers are your rightful dowers, over the Tees, and thus forming a communication between
Then why-in the name of wonderthe counties of Durham and York. Mr Stevenson (Edin
Should my six pea-rows be the only cause burgh Philosophical Journal) expresses his regret at not hav
To excite your midnight plunder ? ing been able to learn the precise date of the erection of this I have never disturbed your slender shells, bridge ; from good authority, however, he concludes it to be
You have hung round my aged walk; about the year 1741. It may also be mentioned here, that
And each might have sat, till he died in his fat, at Carric-a-rede, near Ballintoy, in Ireland, there is a rope
Beneath his own cabbage-stalk : bridge, which in 1800 was reported to have been in use longer But now you must fly from the soil of your sires, than the present generation could remember.
Then put on your liveliest crawl : In the years 1816 and 1817, some wire suspension bridges And think of your poor little snails at home, were executed in Scotland, and, though not of great extent,
Now orphans or emigrants all. are the first example of this species of bridge architecture in
Utensils domestic, and civil, and social, Great Britain. As, however, full descriptions of these bridges
I give you an evening to pack up: are to be met with elsewhere, it will not be necessary to notice
But if the moon of this night does not rise on your Aight, them further.
To-morrow I'll bang each man Jack up. In 1818, Mr Telford was consulted by government as to
You'll think of my peas and your thievish tricks, the practicability of erecting a suspension bridge over the
With tears of slime when crossing the Styr. Menai Strait, and was commissioned to prepare a design, if
PostscriPT. upon an examination of the localities he found the project
If darkness should not let thee read this, feasible. Having accordingly surveyed the spot, he was led
Furtive Snail, to propose the construction of a suspension bridge near Ban
Go ask thy friend, the Glow-worm, gor Ferry, and in 1819 an act was obtained, authorising the erection of the bridge, a sum of money having been previously - From a Newspaper. voted by Parliament for that purpose. This structure, which will always be regarded as å monument of the engineering That man should be happy, is so evidently the intention of abilities of Telford, was commenced in August 1819, and his Creator, the contrivances to that end are so multitudinous opened to the public on the 30th January 1826, having occu- and so striking, that the perception of the aim may be called pied six and a half years in its erection. The Union Bridge universal. Whatever tends to make men happy, becomes a across the Tweed was designed and executed by Captain fulfilment of the will of God. Whatever tends to make them Brown, and was the first bar chain bridge of considerable size : miserable, becomes opposition to his will.-Harriet Martineau.
For his tail,
BY W. CARLETON.
and imaginative? Go to the lunatic asylum or the madhouse, IRISH SUPERSTITIONS.-No. III.
and there it may be seen in all its unreal delusion and posiGHOSTS AND FAIRIES.
Before I close this portion of my little disquisition, I shall When a superstition is once impressed strongly upon the the subject. Some years ago I was seized with typhus fever
relate an anecdote connected with it, of which I myself was
I popular credulity, the fiction always assumes the shape and of so terrific a character, that for a long time I lay in a form which the peculiar imagination of the country is consti- state hovering between life and death, unconscious as a log, tuted to body forth. This faculty depends so much on climate, without either hope or fear. At length a crisis came, and, temperament, religion, and occupation, that the notions en
aided by the strong stamina of an unbroken constitution, Í tertained of supernatural beings, though generally based upon began to recover, and every day to regain my consciousness one broad feature peculiar to all countries, differ so essentially
more and more. As yet, however, I was very far from being respecting the form, character, habits, and powers of these out of danger, for I felt the malady to be still so fiery and beings, that they appear to have been drawn from sources oppressive, that I was not surprised when told that the slightest widely removed. To an inquiring mind there can be no
mistake either in my medicine or regimen would have brought greater proof than this of their being nothing but the creations of our own brain, and of assuming that shape only which vanced; but, at the same time, the society that surrounded me
on a relapse. At all events, thank God, my recovery adhas uniformly been impressed upon our imagination at the precise period of life when such impressions are strongest and deed was such a combination of the beautiful and hideous
was wild and picturesque in the highest degree. Never inmost permanent, and the reason which ought to combat and
seen, unless in the dreams of a feverish brain like mine, or investigate them least capable of doing so. If these inane the distorted reason of a madman, At one side of my bed, bugbears possessed the consistence of truth and reality, their looking in upon me with a most hellish and satanic leer, was appearance to mankind would be always uniform, unchange-a face, compared with which the vulgar representations of the able, and congruous; but they are beheld, so to speak, through devil are comeliness itself, whilst on the other was a female different prejudices and impressions, and consequently change countenance beaming in beauty that was ethereal—angelic. with the media through which they are seen. Hence their
Thus, in fact, was my whole bed surrounded; for they stood as different shape, character, and attributes in different countries, thickly as they could, sometimes flitting about and crushand the frequent absence of rational analogy with respect to ing and jostling one another, but never leaving my bed for a them even in the same.
Here were the deformed features of a dwarf, there Where now are the multitudinous creations of the old Greek and Roman mythologies ? Where are their Lares, demon with his huge mouth placed longitudinally in his face,
an angel apparently fresh from heaven; here was a gigantic their Penates, their Fauns, Satyrs, Nymphs, Dryads, Hama- and his nose dryads, Gods, and Goddesses ? And yet the peasantry of
across it, whilst the Gorgon-like coxcomb the two most enlightened nations of antiquity were so firmly grinned as if he were vain, and had cause to be vain, of his
beauty. This fellow annoyed me much
and would, I apfixed in a belief of their distinct and individual existence, that prehend, have done me an injury, only for the angel on the the worship of them formed an essential part of their religion. other side. He made perpetual attempts to come at me, Where are they now? And who believes in the existence of but was as often repulsed by that seraphic creature. Indeed, a Faun, a Dryad, or a Hamadryad? They melted into what I feared none of them so much as I did the Gorgon, who they were—nothing—before the lustre of Revelation, which, evidently had a design on me, and would have rendered my by bringing the truth of immortality to light, banished the situation truly pitiable, were it not for the protection of the whole host of such incongruous monsters from the earth, and seraph, who always succeeded in keeping him aloof.
At impressed the imagination of mankind with truer notions and length' he made one furious rush as if he meant to pounce simpler imagery. The pure but severe morality of the Christian religion, by making man sensible of his responsibility the opposite side, and, grasping the seraph by the nose, I
upon me, and in self-preservation I threw my right arm to in another life, opened up to the good and rational the bright found I had caught my poor old nurse by that useful organ, hopes of future happiness. But we have our fears as well as our
while she was in the act of offering me a drink. For several hopes, and as these preponderate in proportion to our fitness days I was in this state, the victim of images, produced by for death, so will we view the world that is to come either disease, and the inflammatory excitement of brain consequent with joy or terror. Every truth is abused and perverted by upon it. Gradually, however, they began to disappear, and I man's moral delinquencies : and the consequence is, that an idle fear of ghosts and apparitions is an abuse of the doctrine felt manifest relief, for they were succeeded by impressions
as amusing now as the former had been distressing. I of our immortality. Judgment and eternal life were brought imagined that there was a serious dispute between my right near us by Revelation, but we fear them more than we love foot and my left, as to which of them was entitled to precethem, and hence the terrors of our imagination on thinking dency; and, what was singular, my right leg, thigh, hand, of any thing that is beyond the grave. As the old monsters
arm and shoulder, most unflinchingly supported the right foot, of the mythologies disappeared before reason and religion,
as did the other limbs the left. The head alone, with an imso also will ghosts, fairies, and all such nonsense, vanish when men shall be taught to reason upon them as they ought, and partiality that did it honour, maintained a strict neutrality. to entertain higher notions of God than to believe that his with a consciousness of individual existence, and I felt quite
The truth was, I imagined that all my limbs were endowed purposes could be thwarted by the power or malignity of a
satisfied that each and all of them possessed the faculty of fairy. Why, what, for instance, is every ghost story that we
reason. I have frequently related this anecdote to my friends; have heard, granting them to be true, but a direct revelation, but, I know not bow it happened, I never could get them to and so far antiscriptural and impious? What new truth has look upon it in any other light than as a specimen of that the information of a spectre ever conveyed to us ? What kind of fiction which is indulgently termed “ drawing the long knowledge of futurity beyond that which we already know have bow.” It is, however, as true as that I now exist, and relate these dialogues with the dead ever brought to light?.. What the fact; and, what is more, the arguments which I am about view of our moral, religious, or social duties, with which we were not acquainted before, have apparitions ever taught us ? claimants and their respective supporters. The discussion, I
to give are substantially the same that were used by the rival None. Away, then, with these empty and pusillanimous must observe, was opened by the left foot, as being the dischimeras, which are but the mere ballucinations of a weak contented party, and, like all discontented parties, its judgment, acted upon and misled by a strong fancy or a guilty language was so very violent, that, had its opinions prevailed, conscience.
there is no doubt but they would have succeeded in completely The force of imagination alone is capable of conjuring up overturning my constitution. and shaping out that which never had existence, and that too with as much apparent distinctness and truth as if it was Left foot. Brother (addressing the right with a great show real. We all know that in the case of a female who is of affection, but at the same time with a spasmodic twitch pregnant, a strong impression made upon the imagination of of strong discontentment in the big toe), Brother, I don't the mother will be visible on the body of the child. And why? know how it is that you have during our whole lives always Because she firmly believes that it will be so. If she did taken the liberty to consider yourself a better foot than I am; not, no such impression would be communicated to the infant. and I would feel much obliged to you if you would tell me But when such effects are produced in physical matters, what why it is that you claim this superiority over me. Are we not will not the consequence be in those that are purely mental both equal in every thing ?
Right foot. Be quiet, my dear brother. We are equal in you cannot do without each other. As for myself, as I said every thing, and why, therefore, are you discontented ? before, I give no specific opinion upon disputes which would
Left foot. Because you presume to consider yourself the never have taken place were it not for the heat of feeling better and more useful foot.
which is between you. I know that much might and has been Right foot. Let us not dispute, my dear brother: each is said upon both sides ; but as for me, I nod significantly to both equally necessary to the other. What could I do without parties, and say nothing. One thing, however, I do say, and you? Nothing, or at least very little; and what could you it is this—take care you, right foot, and you, left foot, that do without me? Very little indeed. We were not made to by pursuing this senzeless quarrel too far it may not happen quarrel.
that you will both get stretched and tied up together in a Left foot (very hot). I am not disposed to quarrel, but I trust wooden surtout, when precedency will be out of the question, you will admit that I am as good as you, every way your equal, and nothing but a most pacific stillness shall remain between and begad in many things your superior. Do you hear that you for ever. I shake, and have concluded.” I am not disposed to quarrel, you rascal, and how dare you Now, this case, which as an illustration of my argument say so ?
possesses a good deal of physiological interest, is another Here there was a strong sensation among all the right key to the absurd doctrine of apparitions. Here was I at the members, who felt themselves insulted through this outrage moment strongly and seriously impressed with a belief that a offered to their chief supporter.
quarrel was taking place between my two feet about the right Right foot. Since you choose to insult me without provo- of going foremost. Nor was this absurdity all. I actually cation, I must stand upon my right
believed for the time that all my limbs were endowed with Left (shoving off to a distance). Right!-there, again, separate life and reason. And why? All simply because my what right have you to be termed right” any more than I ? whole system was in a state of unusually strong excitement, (“Bravol-go it, Left; pitch into him; we are equal to him and the nerves and blood stimulated by disease into a state and his,” from the friends of the Left. The matter was now of derangement. Such, in fact, is the condition in which likely to become serious, and to end in a row.)
every one must necessarily be who thinks he sees a spirit ; “What's the matter there below ?" said the Head ; “don't and this, which is known to be an undeniable fact, being admitbe fools, and make yourselves ridiculous. What would either ted, it follows of course that the same causes will, other things of you be with a crutch or a cork-leg? which is only another being alike, produce the same effects. Forinstance, does not the name for a wooden shoe, any day.”
terror of an apparition occasion a violent and increased action Right foot. Since he provokes me, I tell him, that ever since of the heart and vascular system, similar to that of fever? the world began, the prejudice of mankind in all nations has Does not the very hair stand on end, not merely when the been in favour of the right foot and the right hand. (Strong imaginary ghost is seen, but when the very apprehension of it sensation among the left members). Surely he ought not is strong? Is not the action of the brain, too, accelerated in to be ignorant of the proverb, which says, when a man is proportion to that of the heart, and the nervous system in peculiarly successful in any thing he undertakes, "that man proportion to that of both? What, then, is this but a fever knew how to go about it he put the right foot foremost !” | for the time being, which is attended by the very phantasms (Cheers from the right party.),
the fear of which created it ; for in this case it so happens Left. That's mere special pleading—the right foot there that the cause and effect mutually reproduce each other. does not mean you, because you happen to be termed such ; The conversation detailed above is but a very meagre outbut it means the foot which, from its position under the cir- line of what was said during the discussion. The arguments cumstances, happens to be the proper one. (Loud applause were far more subtle than the mere skeletons of them here from the left members.)
put down, and very plentifully sprinkled over with classical Right foot. You know you are weak and feeble and awk- quotations, both of Latin and Greek, which are not necessary ward when compared to me, and can do little of yourself. now. (Hurra! that's a poser!)
Hibbert mentions a case of imagination, which in a man is Left. Why, certainly, I grant I am the gentleman, and that probably the strongest and most unaccountable on record. you are very useful to me, you plebeian. (“Bravo!" from the It is that of a person-an invalid—who imagined that at a left hand; "ours is the aristocratic side-hear the operatives ! certain hour of the day a carter or drayman came into his Come, hornloof, what have you to say to that ?")
bedroom, and, uncovering him, inflicted several heavy stripes Right hand (addressing his opponent.) You may be the upon his body with the thong of his whip; and such was the aristocratic party if you will, but we are the useful. Who power of fancy here, that the marks of the lash were visible are the true defenders of the constitution, you poor sprig of in black and blue streaks upon his flesh. I am inclined to nobility ?
think, however, that this stands very much in need of confir. Left hand. The heart is with us, the seat and origin of life mation. and power. Can you boast as much ? (Loud cheers.) I have already mentioned a case of spectral illusion which
Right foot. Why, have you never heard it said of an ex- occurred in my native parish. I speak of Daly's daughter, cellent and worthy man-a fellow of the right sort, a trump- who saw what she imagined to be the ghost of M‘Kenna, who as a mark of his sterling qualities, “ his heart's in the right had been lost among the mountains. I shall now relate place !" How then can it be in the left? (Much applause.) another, connected with the fairies, of which I also was myself
Left. Which is an additional proof that mine is that place an eye-witness. The man's name, I think, was Martin, and and not yours. Yes, you rascal, we have the heart, and you he followed the thoughtful and somewhat melancholy occupacannot deny it.
tion of a weaver. He was a bachelor, and wrought journeyRight. We admit he resides with you, but it is merely be- work in every farmer's house where he could get employcause you are the weaker side, and require his protection. ment; and notwithstanding his supernatural vision of the The best part of his energies are given to us, and we are fairies, he was considered to be both a quick and an excellent satisfied.
workman. The more sensible of the country-people said he Left. You admit, then, that our party keeps yours in power, was deranged, but the more superstitious of them maintained and why not at once give up your right to precedency ? --why that he had a Lianhan Shee, and saw them against his will. not resign?
The Lianhan Shee is a malignant fairy, which, by a subtle Right. Let us put it to the vote.
compact made with any one whom it can induce by the fairest Left. With all my heart.
promises to enter into, secures a mastery over them by It was accordingly put to the vote ; but on telling the house, inducing its unhappy victims to violate it; otherwise, it is it was found that the parties were equal. Both then appealed and must be like the oriental genie, their slave and drudge, very strenuously to Mr Speaker, the Head, who, after having to perform such tasks as they wish to impose upon it. It heard their respective arguments, shook himself very gravely, will promise endless wealth to those whom it is anxious to and informed them (much after the manner of Sir Roger subjugate to its authority, but it is at once so malignant and De Coverley) that“ much might be said on both sides.". But ingenious, that the party entering into the contract with it is one thing," said he, “I beg both parties to observe, and very always certain by its manœuvres to break through his enseriously to consider. In the first place, there would be none gagement, and thus become slave in his turn. Such is the of this nonsense about precedency, were it not for the feverish nature of this wild and fearful superstition, which I think is and excited state in which you all happen to be at present. fast disappearing, and is but rarely known in the country. If you have common sense enough to wait until you all get Martin was a thin pale man, when I saw him, of a sickly somewhat cooler, there is little doubt but you will feel that I look, and a constitution naturally feeble. His hair was a light