MULTUM IN PARVO
HISTORY OF THE BIBLES OF THE WORLD.
The Bibles of the world are the koran of the Mohammedans,
the tripitaka of the Buddhists, the five kings of the Chinese,
the three vedas of the Hindoos, the zendavesta of the Parsees
and the scriptures of the Christians. The koran, says the
Chicago Times, is the most recent, dating from the seventh
century after Christ. It is a compound of quotations from both
the Old and the New Testaments and from the talmud. The
tripitaka contain sublime morals and pure aspirations. Their
author lived and died in the sixth century before Christ.
The sacred writings of the Chinese are called the five
kings, the word "king" meaning web of cloth. From this it is
presumed that they were originally written on five rolls of
cloth. They contain wise sayings from the sages on the duties
of life, but they can not be traced further back than the
eleventh century before our era. The vedas are the most ancient
books in the language of the Hindoos, but they do not,
according to late commentators, antedate the twelfth before the
Christian era. The zendaveata of the Parsees, next to our
Bible, is reckoned among scholars as being the greatest and
most learned of the sacred writings. Zoroaster, whose sayings
it contains, lived and worked in the twelfth century before
Christ. Moses lived and wrote the pentateuch 1,500 years before
the birth of Jesus, therefore that portion of our Bible is at
least 300 years older than the most ancient of other sacred
writings. The eddas, a semi-sacred work of the Scandinavians,
was first given to the world in the fourteen century A.D.
ARRANGED ACCORDING TO COLOR AND IN ORDER OF HARDINESS.
Limpid.—Diamond, Sapphire, Topaz,
Blue.—Sapphire, Topaz, Indicolite, Turquoise,
Spinel, Aquamarine, Kaynite.
Green.—Oriental Emerald, Chrysoberyl, Amazon
Stone, Malachite, Emerald, Chrysoprase, Chrysolite.
Yellow.—Diamond, Topaz, Fire-Opal.
Red.—Sapphire-Ruby, Spinel-Ruby, Rubellite,
Garnet, Brazilian-Topaz, Hyacinth, Carnelian.
Black and Brown.—Diamond, Tourmaline, Hyacinth,
HOW TO MEASURE CORN IN THE CRIB.
Rule: 1st. Measure the length, breadth and height of the
crib inside the rail; multiply them together and divide by two,
the result is the number of bushels of shelled corn.
2d. Level the corn so that it is of equal depth throughout,
multiply the length, breath and depth together, and this
product by four, and cut off one figure to the right of the
product; the other will represent the number of bushels of
3d. Multiply length by height, and then by width, add two
ciphers to the result and divide by 124; this gives the number
of bushels of ear
The art of dressmaking in America has been of late years so
simplified that almost anyone with a reasonable degree of
executive ability can manufacture a fashionable costume by
using an approved pattern and following the directions printed
upon it, selecting a new pattern for each distinct style; while
in Europe many ladies adhere to the old plan of cutting one
model and using it for everything, trusting to personal skill
or luck to gain the desired formation. However, some useful
hints are given which are well worth offering after the paper
pattern has been chosen.
The best dressmakers here and abroad use silk for lining,
but nothing is so durable or preserves the material as well as
a firm slate twill. This is sold double width and should be
laid out thus folded: place the pattern upon it with the upper
part towards the cut end, the selvedge for the fronts. The side
pieces for the back will most probably be got out of the width,
while the top of the back will fit in the intersect of the
front. A yard of good stuff may be often saved by laying the
pattern out and well considering how one part cuts into
another. Prick the outline on to the lining; these marks serve
as a guide for the tacking.
In forming the front side plaits be careful and do not allow
a fold or crease to be apparent on the bodice beyond where the
stitching commences. To avoid this, before beginning stick a
pin through what is to be the top of the plait. The head will
be on the right side, and holding the point, one can begin
pinning the seam without touching the upper part of the bodice.
To ascertain the size of the buttonholes put a piece of card
beneath the button to be used and cut it an eighth of an inch
on either side beyond. Having turned down the piece in front on
the buttonhole side run a thread a sixteenth of an inch from
the extreme edge, and again another the width of the card.
Begin to cut the first buttonhole at the bottom of the bodice;
and continue at equal distances. The other side of the bodice
is left wide enough to come well under the buttonholes. The
buttonholes must be laid upon it and a pin put through the
center of each to mark where the button is to be placed. In
sewing on the buttons put the stiches in horizontally; if
perpendicularly they are likely to pucker that side of the
bodice so much that it will be quite drawn up, and the buttons
will not match the buttonholes.
A WOMAN'S SKIRTS.
Observe the extra fatigue which is insured to every woman in
merely carrying a tray upstairs, from the skirts of the dress.
Ask any young women who are studying to pass examinations
whether they do not find loose clothes a sine qua non
while poring over their books, and then realize the harm we are
doing ourselves and the race by habitually lowering our powers
of life and energy in such a manner. As a matter of fact it is
doubtful whether any persons have ever been found who would say
that their stays were at all tight; and, indeed, by a muscular
contraction they can apparently prove that they are not so by
moving them about on themselves, and thus probably believe what
they say. That they are in error all the same they can easily
assure themselves by first measuring round the waist outside
the stays; then take them off, let them measure while they take
a deep breath, with the tape merely laid on the body as if
measuring for the quantity of braid to go round a dress, and
mark the result. The injury done by stays is so entirely
internal that it is not strange that the maladies caused by
wearing them should be attributed to every reason under the sun
except the true one, which is, briefly, that all the internal
organs, being by them displaced, are doing their work
imperfectly and under the least advantageous conditions: and
are, therefore, exactly in the state most favorable to the
development of disease, whether hereditary or
TO MAKE THE SLEEVES.
As to sleeves. Measure from the shoulder to the elbow and
again from elbow to the wrist. Lay these measurements on any
sleeve patterns you may have, and lengthen and shorten
accordingly. The sleeve is cut in two pieces, the top of the
arm and the under part, which is about an inch narrower than
the outside. In joining the two together, if the sleeve is at
all tight, the upper part is slightly fulled to the lower at
the elbow. The sleeve is sewn to the armhole with no cordings
now, and the front seam should be about two inches in front of
Bodices are now worn very tight-fitting, and the French
stretch the material well on the cross before beginning to cut
out, and in cutting allow the lining to be slightly pulled, so
that when on, the outside stretches to it and insures a better
fit. An experienced eye can tell a French-cut bodice at once,
the front side pieces being always on the cross. In dress
cutting and fitting, as in everything else, there are failures
and discouragements, but practice overrules these little
matters, and "trying again" brings a sure reward in
A sensible suggestion is made in regard to the finish in
necks of dresses for morning wear. Plain colors have rather a
stiff appearance, tulle or crepe lisse frilling are expensive
and frail, so it is a good idea to purchase a few yards of
really good washing lace, about an inch and a half in depth;
quill or plait and cut into suitable lengths to tack around the
necks of dresses. This can be easily removed and cleaned when
soiled. A piece of soft black Spanish lace, folded loosely
around the throat close to the frillings, but below it, looks
very pretty; or you may get three yards of scarf lace, trim the
ends with frillings, place it around the neck, leaving nearly
all the length in the right hand, the end lying upon the left
shoulder being about half a yard long. Wind the larger piece
twice around the throat, in loose, soft folds, and festoon the
other yard and a half, and fasten with brooch or flower at the
DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN CALIFORNIA.
It was on the 19th day of January, 1848, that James W.
Marshall, while engaged in digging a race for a saw-mill at
Coloma, about thirty-five miles eastward from Sutter's Fort,
found some pieces of yellow metal, which he and the half-dozen
men working with him at the mill supposed to be gold. He felt
confident that he had made a discovery of great importance, but
he knew nothing of either chemistry or gold-mining, so he could
not prove the nature of the metal nor tell how to obtain it in
paying quantities. Every morning he went down to the race to
look for the bits of metal; but the other men at the mill
thought Marshall was very wild in his ideas, and they continued
their labors in building the mill, and in sowing wheat and
planting vegetables. The swift current of the mill-race washed
away a considerable body of earthy matter, leaving the coarse
particles of gold behind; so Marshall's collection of specimens
continued to accumulate, and his associates began to think
there might be something in his gold mines after all. About the
middle of February, a Mr. Bennett, one of the party employed at
the mill, went to San Francisco for the purpose of learning
whether this metal was precious, and there he was introduced to
Isaac Humphrey, who had washed for gold in Georgia. The
experienced miner saw at a glance that
he had the true stuff before
him, and, after a few inquiries, he was satisfied that the
diggings must be rich. He made immediate preparation to
visit the mill, and tried to persuade some of his friends to
go with him; but they thought it would be only a waste of
time and money, so he went with Bennett for his sole
He arrived at Coloma on the 7th of March, and found the work
at the mill going on as if no gold existed in the neighborhood.
The next day he took a pan and spade, and washed some of the
dirt in the bottom of the mill-race in places where Marshall
had found his specimens, and, in a few hours, Humphrey declared
that these mines were far richer than any in Georgia. He now
made a rocker and went to work washing gold industriously, and
every day yielded to him an ounce or two of metal. The men at
the mill made rockers for themselves, and all were soon busy in
search of the yellow metal. Everything else was abandoned; the
rumor of the discovery spread slowly. In the middle of March
Pearson B. Reading, the owner of a large ranch at the head of
the Sacramento valley, happened to visit Sutter's Fort, and
hearing of the mining at Coloma, he went thither to see it. He
said that if similarity of formation could be taken as a proof,
there must be gold mines near his ranch; so, after observing
the method of washing, he posted off, and in a few weeks he was
at work on the bars of Clear Creek, nearly two hundred miles
northwestward from Coloma. A few days after Reading had left,
John Bidwell, now representative of the northern district of
the State in the lower House of Congress, came to Coloma, and
the result of his visit was that, in less than a month, he had
a party of Indians from his ranch washing gold on the bars of
Feather River, twenty-five miles northwestward from Coloma.
Thus the mines were opened at far distant points.
The first printed notice of the discovery of gold was given
in the California newspaper published in San Francisco on the
10th of March. On the 29th of May the same paper, announcing
that its publication would be suspended, says: "The whole
country, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and from the
seashore to the base of the Sierra Nevada, resound the sordid
cry of gold! gold! gold! while the field is left half
planted, the house half built and everything neglected but the
manufacture of pick and shovels, and the means of
transportation to the spot where one man obtained one hundred
and twenty-eight dollars' worth of the real stuff in one day's
washing; and the average for all concerned, is twenty dollars
per diem. The first to commence quartz mining in California
were Capt. Win. Jackson and Mr. Eliason, both Virginians, and
the first machine used was a Chilian mill.
The Reid Mine, in North Carolina, was the first gold mine
discovered and worked in the United States, and the only one in
North America from which, up to 1825, gold was sent to the
HOW TO MAKE ARTIFICIAL GOLD.
The following oroid or imitation gold is sometimes sold for
the genuine article which it closely resembles. Pure copper,
100 parts by weight, is melted in a crucible, and then 6 parts
of magnesia, 3.6 of sal-ammoniac, 1.8 of quicklime and 9. of
tartar are added separately and gradually in the form of
powder. The whole is then stirred for about half an hour, and
17 parts of zinc or tin in small grains are thrown in and
thoroughly mixed. The is now covered and the mixture kept melted for
half an hour longer, when it is skimmed and poured out.
Any imitation of gold may be detected by its weight, which
is not one-half of what it should be, and by its dissolving in
nitric acid while pure gold is untouched.
HOW TO TELL ANY PERSON'S AGE.
There is a good deal of amusement in the following magical
table of figures. It will enable you to tell how old the young
ladies are. Just hand this table to a young lady, and request
her to tell you in which column or columns her age is
contained, and add together the figures at the top of the
columns in which her age is found, and you have the great
secret. Thus, suppose her age to be 17, you will find that
number in the first and fifth columns; add the first figures of
these two columns.
Here is the magic table:
1 2 4 8 16 32
3 3 5
9 17 33
5 6 6 10 18 34
7 7 7 11 19 35
9 10 12 12 20 36
11 11 13 13 21 37
13 14 14 14 22 38
15 15 15 15 23 39
17 18 20 24 24 40
19 19 21 25 25 41
21 22 22 26 26 42
23 23 23 27 27 43
25 26 28 28 28 44
27 27 29 29 29 45
29 30 30 30 30 46
31 31 31 31 31 47
33 34 36 40 48 48
35 35 37 41 49 49
37 38 38 42 50 50
39 39 39 43 51 51
41 42 44 44 52 52
43 43 45 45 53 53
45 46 46 46 54 54
47 47 47 47 55 55
49 50 52 56 56 56
51 51 53 57 57 57
53 54 54 58 58 58
55 55 55 59 59 59
57 58 60 60 60 60
59 59 61 61 61 61
61 62 62 62 62 62
63 63 63 63 63 63
WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE COSTS.
Salary of President, $50,000; additional appropriations are
about $75,000. A total of $125,000. The President has the
following corps of assistants: Private Secretary, $3,250;
Assistant Private Secretary, $2,250; Stenographer, $1,800; five
Messengers, $1,200 each, $6,000; Steward—; two
Doorkeepers, $1,200 each, $2,400; two Ushers, $1,200, $1,400,
$2,600; Night Usher, $1,200; Watchman, $900, and a few other
minor clerks and telegraph operators.
SUNDRIES.—Incidental expenses, $8,000; White House
repairs—carpets and refurnishing, $12,500; fuel, $2,500;
green-house, $4,000; gas, matches and stable, $15,000.
These amounts, with others of minor importance, consume the
Ignorance of the law excuses no one. It is a fraud to
conceal a fraud. The law compels no one to do impossibilities.
An agreement without consideration is void. Signatures made
with a lead pencil are good in law. A receipt for money paid is
not legally conclusive. The acts of one partner bind all the
others. Contracts made on Sunday cannot be enforced. A contract
made with a minor is void. A contract made with a lunatic is
void. Principals are responsible for the acts of their
Agents are responsible to their principals for errors. Each
individual in a partnership is responsible for the whole amount
of the debts of the firm. A note given by a minor is void.
Notes bear interest only when so stated. It is legally
necessary to say on a note "for value received." A note drawn
on Sunday is void. A note obtained by fraud, or from a person
in a state of intoxication, cannot be collected. If a note be
lost or stolen, it does not release the maker; he must pay it.
An endorser of a note is exempt from liability if not served
with notice of its dishonor within twenty-four hours of its
ITEMS WORTH REMEMBERING.
A sun bath is of more worth than much warming by the
Books exposed to the atmosphere keep in better condition
than if confined in a book-case. Pictures are both for use and
ornament. They serve to recall pleasant memories and scenes;
they harmonize with the furnishing of the rooms. If they serve
neither of these purposes they are worse than useless; they
only help fill space which would look better empty, or gather
dust and make work to keep them clean.
A room filled with quantities of trifling ornaments has the
look of a bazaar and displays neither good taste nor good
sense. Artistic excellence aims to have all the furnishings of
a high order of workmanship combined with simplicity, while
good sense understands the folly of dusting a lot of
A poor book had best be burned to give place to a better, or
even to an empty shelf, for the fire destroys its poison, and
puts it out of the way of doing harm.
Better economize in the purchasing of furniture or carpets
than scrimp in buying good books or papers.
Our sitting-rooms need never be empty of guests or our
libraries of society if the company of good books is admitted
REMARKABLE CALCULATIONS REGARDING THE SUN.
The sun's average distance from the earth is about
91,500,000 miles. Since the orbit of the earth is elliptical,
and the sun is situated at one of its foci, the earth is nearly
3,000,000 miles further from the sun in aphelion than in
perihelion. As we attempt to locate the heavenly bodies in
space, we are immediately startled by the enormous figures
employed. The first number, 91,500,000 miles, is far beyond our
grasp. Let us try to comprehend it. If there were air to convey
a sound from the sun to the earth, and a noise could be made
loud enough to pass that distance it would require over
fourteen years for it to come to us. Suppose a railroad could
be built to the sun. An express train traveling day and night
at the rate of thirty miles an hour, would require 341 years to
reach its destination. Ten generations would be born and would
die; the young men would become gray haired, and their
great-grandchildren would forget the story of the beginning of
that wonderful journey, and could find it only in history, as
we now read of Queen Elizabeth or of Shakespeare; the eleventh
generation would see the solar depot at the end of the route.
Yet this enormous distance of 91,500,000 miles is used as the
unit for expressing celestial distances—as the foot-rule
for measuring space; and astronomers speak of so many times the
sun's distance as we speak of so many feet or inches.
SIGNS OF STORMS APPROACHING.—A ring around the
sun or moon stands for an approaching storm, its near or
distant approach being indicated by its larger or smaller
circumference. When the sun rises brightly and immediately
afterward becomes veiled with clouds, the farmer distrusts the
day. Rains which begin early in the morning often stop by nine
in place of "eleven," the hour specified in the old saw, "If it
rains before seven."
On a still, quiet day, with scarcely the least wind afloat,
the ranchman or farmer can tell the direction of impending
storm by cattle sniffing the air in the direction whence it is
coming. Lack of dew in summer is a rain sign. Sharp white
frosts in autumn and winter precede damp weather, and we will
stake our reputation as a prophet that three successive white
frosts are an infallible sign of rain. Spiders do not spin
their webs out of doors before rain. Previous to rain flies
sting sharper, bees remain in their hives or fly but short
distances, and almost all animals appear uneasy.
HOW TO DISTINGUISH GOOD MEAT FROM BAD MEAT.
1st. It is neither of a pale pink color nor of a deep purple
tint, for the former is a sign of disease, and the latter
indicates that the animal has not been slaughtered, but has
died with the blood in it, or has suffered from acute
2d. It has a marked appearance from the ramifications of
little veins of fat among the muscles.
3d. It should be firm and elastic to the touch and should
scarcely moisten the fingers—bad meat being wet and
sodden and flabby with the fat looking like jelly or wet
4th. It should have little or no odor, and the odor should
not be disagreeable, for diseased meat has a sickly cadaverous
smell, and sometimes a smell of physic. This is very
discoverable when the meat is chopped up and drenched with warm
5th. It should not shrink or waste much in cooking.
6th. It should not run to water or become very wet on
standing for a day or two, but should, on the contrary, dry
upon the surface.
7th. When dried at a temperature of 212 deg., or
thereabouts, it should not lose more than from 70 to 74 per
cent. of its weight, whereas bad meat will often lose as much
as 80 per cent. The juice of the flesh is alkaline or neutral
to test paper.
RAILROADS IN FINLAND.
People who think of Finland as a sub-arctic country of bleak
and forbidding aspect maybe surprised to hear that several
railroads have already made a large part of the region
accessible. A new line, 160 miles long, has just been opened to
the heart of the country in the midst of great forests and
perhaps the most wonderful lake region in the world. Sportsmen
are now within less than a day's journey from St. Petersburg of
central Finland, where there is the best of hunting and fishing
and twenty hours of sunlight every summer day. The most unique
of railroads, however, is still the little line in Norway,
north of the arctic circle, carrying the product of far
northern mines to the sea, and famous as the only railroad that
has yet invaded the polar regions.
COMPARATIVE SIZE OF THE ARK AND THE GREAT EASTERN.
The following comparison between the size of Noah's ark and
the Great Eastern, both being considered in point of tonnage,
after the old law for calculating the tonnage of a vessel,
exhibits a remarkable similarity. The cubit of the Bible,
according to Sir Isaac Newton, is 20-1/2 inches,
or, to be exact, 20.625
inches. Bishop Wilkins makes the cubit 20.88 inches.
According to Newton the dimensions of the ark were: Length
between perpendiculars, 515.62 feet; breadth, 84.94 feet;
depth, 51.56 feet; keel, or length for tonnage, 464.08 feet.
Tonnage, according to old law, 18,231 58-94. The
measurements of the ark, according to Wilkins' calculations
were: Length, 54700 feet; breadth, 91.16 feet; depth, 54.70
feet; keel, 492.31 feet. Tonnage, 21,761. Notice how
surprisingly near the Great Eastern came to being
constructed after the same plan: Length, 680 feet; breadth,
83 feet; depth, 60 feet; keel, 630 feet. Tonnage,
FINGER NAILS AS AN INDICATION OF CHARACTER.
A white mark on the nail bespeaks misfortune.
Pale or lead-colored nails indicate melancholy people.
Broad nails indicate a gentle, timid, and bashful
Lovers of knowledge and liberal sentiments have round
People with narrow nails are ambitious and quarrelsome.
Small nails indicate littleness of mind, obstinacy and
Choleric, martial men, delighting in war, have red and
Nails growing into the flesh at the points or sides indicate
People with very pale nails are subject to much infirmity of
the flesh and persecution by neighbors and friends.
DANGERS OF CELLULOID.
A curious accident, which happened recently in Paris, points
out a possible danger in the wearing of combs and bracelets of
celluloid. A little girl sat down before the fire to prepare
her lessons. Her hair was kept back by a semi-circle comb of
celluloid. As her head was bent forward to the fire this became
warm, and suddenly burst into flames. The child's hair was
partly burned off, and the skin of the head was so injured that
several months after, though the burn was healed, the cicatrix
formed a white patch on which no hair would grow. The burning
point of celluloid is about 180 degrees, and the comb worn by
the girl had attained that heat as it was held before the
ODD FACTS ABOUT SHOES.
Grecian shoes were peculiar in reaching to the middle of the
The present fashion of shoes was introduced into England in
In the ninth and tenth centuries the greatest princes of
Europe wore wooden shoes.
Slippers were in use before Shakespeare's time, and were
originally made "rights" and "lefts."
Shoes among the Jews were made of leather, linen, rush or
wood; soldiers' shoes were sometimes made of brass or iron.
In the reign of William Rufus of England, in the eleventh
century, a great beau, "Robert, the Horned," used shoes with
sharp points, stuffed with tow, and twisted like rams'
The Romans made use of two kinds of shoes—the solea,
or sandal, which covered the sole of the foot, and was worn at
home and in company, and the calceus, which covered the whole
foot and was always worn with the toga when a person went
In the reign of Richard II., shoes were of such absurd
length as to require to be supported by being tied to the knees
with chains, sometimes of gold and silver. In 1463 the English
parliament took the matter in hand and passed an act forbidding
shoes with spikes more than two inches in length being worn and
TABLE SHOWING THE AVERAGE VELOCITIES OF VARIOUS
A man walks 3 miles per hour or 4 feet per
A horse trots 7 miles per hour or 10 feet per second.
A horse runs 20 miles per hour or 29 feet per second.
Steamboat runs 20 miles per hour or 26 feet per second.
Sailing vessel runs 10 miles per hour or 14 feet per
Rapid rivers flow 3 miles per hour or 4 feet per second.
A moderate wind blows 7 miles per hour or 10 feet per
A storm moves 36 miles per hour or 52 feet per second.
A hurricane moves 80 miles per hour or 117 feet per
A rifle ball 1000 miles per hour or 1466 feet per
Sound 743 miles per hour or 1142 feet per second.
Light, 192,000 miles per second.
Electricity, 288,000 miles per second.
QUANTITY OF OIL REQUIRED FOR DIFFERENT COLORS.
Heath & Miligan quote the following figures. They are
100 parts (weight) White Lead require 12 parts of
100 parts (weight) Zinc White require 14 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Green Chrome require 15 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Chrome Yellow require 19 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Vermilion require 25 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Light Red require 31 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Madder Lake require 62 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Yellow Ochre require 66 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Light Ochre require 72 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Camels Brown require 75 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Brown Manganese require 87 parts of
100 parts (weight) Terre Verte require 100 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Parisian Blue require 106 parts of
100 parts (weight) Burnt Terreverte require 112 parts of
100 parts (weight) Berlin Blue require 112 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Ivory Black require 112 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Cobalt require 125 parts of oil.
100 parts (weight) Florentine Brown require 150 parts of
100 parts (weight) Burnt Terra Sienna require 181 parts of
100 parts (weight) Raw Terra Sienna require 140 parts of
According to this table, a hundred parts of the quick drying
white lead are ground with 12 parts of oil, and on the other
hand slow drying ivory black requires 112 parts of oil.
1 gallon Priming Color will cover 50 superficial
1 gallon White Zinc will cover 50 superficial yards.
1 gallon White Paint will cover 44 superficial yards.
1 gallon Lead Color will cover 50 superficial yards.
1 gallon Black Paint will cover 50 superficial yards.
1 gallon Stone Color will cover 44 superficial yards.
1 gallon Yellow Paint will cover 44 superficial yards.
1 gallon Blue Color will cover 45 superficial yards.
1 gallon Green Paint will cover 45 superficial yards.
1 gallon Bright Emerald Green will cover 25 superficial
1 gallon Bronze Green will cover 45 superficial yards.
One pound of paint will cover about four superficial yards
the first coat, and about six yards each additional coat.
RAPID PROCESS OF MARKING GOODS AT ANY DESIRED PER CENT.
Retail merchants, in buying goods by wholesale, buy a great
many articles by the dozen, such as boots and shoes, hats and
caps, and notions of various kinds; now the merchant, in
buying, for instance, a dozen hats, knows exactly what one of
these hats will retail for in the market where
he deals; and unless he is a
good accountant, it will often take him some time to
determine whether he can afford to purchase the dozen hats
and make a living profit by selling them by the single hat;
and in buying his goods by auction, as the merchant often
does, he has not time to make the calculation before the
goods are bid off. He therefore loses the chance of making
good bargains by being afraid to bid at random, or if he
bids, and the goods are cried off, he may have made a poor
bargain by bidding thus at a venture. It then becomes a
useful and practical problem to determine instantly what per
cent. he would gain if he retailed the hat at a certain
price, to tell what an article should retail for to make a
profit of 20 per cent.
Rule.—Divide what the articles cost per dozen by
10. which is done by removing the decimal point one place to
For instance, if hats cost $17.50 per dozen, remove the
decimal point one place to the left, making $1.75, what they
should be sold for apiece to gain 20 per cent, on the cost. If
they cost $31.00 per dozen, they should be sold at $3.10
THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD.
Pyramids of Egypt.
Tower, Walls and Terrace Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Statue of Jupiter Olympus, on the Capitoline Hill, at
Temple of Diana, at Ephesus.
Pharos, or watch-tower, at Alexandria, Egypt.
Colossus of Rhodes, a statue 105 feet high; overthrown by an
earthquake 224 B.C.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, a Grecian-Persian city in Asia
HEAT AND COLD.
Degrees of heat above zero at which substances
melt:—Wrought iron, 3,980 degrees; cast iron, 3,479;
platinum, 3,080; gold, 2,590; copper, 2,548; steel, 2,500;
glass, 2,377; brass, 1,900; silver, 1,250; antimony, 951; zinc,
740; lead, 594; tin, 421; arsenic, 365; sulphur, 226; beeswax,
151; gutta percha, 145; tallow, 97; lard, 95; pitch, 91; ice,
33. Degrees of heat above zero at which substances
boil:—Ether, 98 degrees; alcohol, 173; water, 212;
petroleum, 306; linseed oil, 640; blood heat, 98; eggs hatch,
QUANTITY OF SEED TO AN ACRE.
Wheat, 1-1/2 to 2 bu.; rye, 1-1/2 to 2 bu.; oats, 3 bu.;
barley, 2 bu.; buckwheat, 1/2 bu.; corn, broadcast, 4 bu.;
corn, in drills, 2 to 3 bu.; corn, in hills, 4 to 8 qts.; broom
corn, 1/2 bu.; potatoes, 10 to 15 bu.; rutabagas, 3/4 lbs.;
millet, 1/4 bu.; clover, white, 4 qts.; clover, red, 8 qts.;
timothy, 6 qts.; orchard grass, 2 qts.; red top, 1 to 2 pks.:
blue grass, 2 bu,; mixed lawn grass, 1/2 bu.; tobacco, 2
SOLUBLE GLASS FOR FLOORS.
Instead of the old-fashioned method of using wax for
polishing floors, etc., soluble glass is now employed to great
advantage. For this purpose the floor is first well cleaned,
and then the cracks well filled up with a cement of water-glass
and powdered chalk or gypsum. Afterward, a water-glass of
60° to 65°, of the thickness of syrup, is applied by
means of a stiff brush. Any desired color may be imparted to
the floor in a second coat of the water-glass, and additional
coats are to be given until the requisite polish is obtained. A
still higher finish may be given by pummicing off the last
layer, and then putting on a coating of oil.
DURABILITY OF A HORSE.
A horse will travel 400 yards in 4-1/2 minutes at a walk,
400 yards in 2 minutes at a trot, and 400 yards in minute at a
gallop. The usual work of a horse is taken at 22,500 lbs.
raised 1 foot per minute, for 8 hours per day. A horse will
carry 250 lbs. 25 miles per day of 8 hours. An average
draught-horse will draw 1600 lbs. 23 miles per day on a level
road, weight of wagon included. The average weight of a horse
is 1000 lbs.; his strength is equal to that of 5 men. In a
horse mill moving at 3 feet per second, track 25 feet diameter,
he exerts with the machine the power of 4-1/2 horses. The
greatest amount a horse can pull in a horizontal line is 900
lbs.; but he can only do this momentarily, in continued
exertion, probably half of this is the limit. He attains his
growth in 5 years, will live 25, average 16 years. A horse will
live 25 days on water, without solid food, 17 days without
eating or drinking, but only 5 days on solid food, without
A cart drawn by horses over an ordinary road will travel 1.1
miles per hour of trip. A 4-horse team will haul from 25 to 30
cubic feet of lime stone at each load. The time expended in
loading, unloading, etc., including delavs, averages 35 minutes
per trip. The cost of loading and unloading a cart, using a
horse cram at the quarry, and unloading by hand, when labor is
$1.25 per day, and a horse 75 cents, is 25 cents per
perch—24.75 cubic feet. The work done by an animal is
greatest when the velocity with which he moves is 1/8 of the
greatest with which he can move when not impeded, and the force
then exerted .45 of the utmost force the animal can exert at a
COMPARATIVE COST OF FREIGHT BY WATER AND RAIL.
It has been proved by actual test that a single tow-boat can
transport at one trip from the Ohio to New Orleans 29,000 tons
of coal, loaded in barges. Estimating in this way the boat and
its tow, worked by a few men, carries as much freight to its
destination as 3,000 cars and 100 locomotives, manned by 600
men, could transport.
HINTS TO YOUNG HOUSEWIVES.
Glycerine does not agree with a dry skin.
If you use powder always wash it off before going to
When you give your cellar its spring cleaning, add a little
copperas water and salt to the whitewash.
A little ammonia and borax in the water when washing
blankets keeps them soft and prevents shrinkage.
Sprinkling salt on the top and at the bottom of garden walls
is said to keep snails from climbing up or down.
For relief from heartburn or dyspepsia, drink a little cold
water in which has been dissolved a teaspoonful of salt.
For hoarseness, beat a fresh egg and thicken it with fine
white sugar. Eat of it freely and the hoarseness will soon be
If quilts are folded or rolled tightly after washing, then
beaten with a rolling pin or potato masher, it lightens up the
cotton and makes them seem soft and new.
Chemists say that it takes more than twice as much sugar to
sweeten preserves, sauce, etc., if put in when they begin to
cook as it does to sweeten after the fruit is cooked.
Tar may be removed from the hands by rubbing with the
outside of fresh, orange or lemon peel and drying immediately.
The volatile oils dissolve the tar so that it can be rubbed
Moths or any summer flying insects may be enticed to
destruction by a bright tin pan half filled with kerosene set
in a dark corner of the room. Attracted by the bright pan, the
moth will meet his death in the kerosene.
It may be worth knowing that water in which three or four
onions have been boiled, applied with a gilding brush to the
frames of pictures and chimney glasses, will prevent flies from
lighting on them and will not injure the frames.
SUPERSTITIONS REGARDING BABIES.
It is believed by many that if a child cries at its birth
and lifts up only one hand, it is born to command. It is
thought very unlucky not to weigh the baby before it is
dressed. When first dressed the clothes should not be put on
over the head, but drawn on over the feet, for luck. When first
taken from the room in which it was born it must be carried up
stairs before going down, so that it will rise in the world. In
any case it must be carried up stairs or up the street, the
first time it is taken out. It is also considered in England
and Scotland unlucky to cut the baby's nails or hair before it
is twelve months old. The saying:
Born on Monday, fair in the face;
Born on Tuesday, full of God's grace;
Born on Wednesday, the best to be had;
Born on Thursday, merry and glad;
Born on Friday, worthily given;
Born on Saturday, work hard for a living;
Born on Sunday, shall never know want,
is known with various changes all over the Christian world;
one deviation from the original makes Friday's child "free in
giving." Thursday has one very lucky hour just before
The child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and good and gay,
He who is born on New Year's morn
Will have his own way as sure as you're born.
He who is born on Easter morn
Shall never know care, or want, or harm.
SECRET ART OF CATCHING FISH.
Put the oil of rhodium on the bait, when fishing with a
hook, and you will always succeed.
TO CATCH FISH.
Take the juice of smallage or lovage, and mix with any kind
of bait. As long as there remain any kind of fish within yards
of your hook, you will find yourself busy pulling them out.
CERTAIN CURE FOR DRUNKENNESS.
Take of sulphate of iron 5 grains, magnesia 10 grains,
peppermint water 11 drachms, spirits of nutmeg 1 drachm.
Administer this twice a day. It acts as a tonic and stimulant
and so partially supplies the place of the accustomed liquor,
and prevents that absolute physical and moral prostration that
follows a sudden breaking off from the use of stimulating
LADIES' STAMPING POWDER.
For use in stamping any desired pattern upon goods for
needle work, embroidery, etc. Draw pattern upon heavy paper,
and perforate with small holes all the lines with some sharp
instrument, dust the powder through, remove the pattern and
pass a warm iron over the fabric, when the pattern will become
fixed. Any desired color can be used, such as Prussian blue,
chrome green, yellow, vermilion, etc. Fine white rosin, 2
ounces; gum sandarach, 4 ounces; color, 2 ounces. Powder very
fine, mix, and pass through a sieve.
SALARIES OF THE UNITED STATES OFFICERS, PER ANNUM.
President, Vice-President and Cabinet.—President,
$50,000; Vice-President, $8,000; Cabinet Officers, $8,000
United States Senators.—$5,000, with mileage.
Congress.—Members of Congress, $5,000, with
Supreme Court.—Chief Justice, $10,500; Associate
Circuit Courts.—Justices of Circuit Courts,
Heads of Departments.—Supt. of Bureau of Engraving and
Printing, $4,500; Public Printer, $4,500; Supt. of Census,
$5,000; Supt. of Naval Observatory, $5,000; Supt. of the Signal
Service, $4,000; Director of Geological Surveys, $6,000;
Director of the Mint, $4,500; Commissioner of General Land
Office, $4,000; Commissioner of Pensions, $3,600; Commissioner
of Agriculture, $3,000; Commissioner of Indian Affairs, $3,000;
Commissioner of Education $3,000; Commander of Marine Corps,
$3,500; Supt. of Coast and Geodetic Survey, $6,000.
United States Treasury.—Treasurer, $6,000; Register of
Treasury, $4,000; Commissioner of Customs, $4,000.
Internal Revenue Agencies.—Supervising Agents, $12 per
day; 34 other agents, per day, $6 to $8.
Postoffice Department, Washington.—Three Assistant
Postmaster-Generals, $3,500; Chief Clerk, $2,200.
Postmasters.—Postmasters are divided into four
classes. First class, $3,000 to $4,000 (excepting New York
City, which is $8,000); second class, $2,000 to $3,000; third
class, $1,000 to $2,000; fourth class, less than $1,000. The
first three classes are appointed by the President, and
confirmed by the Senate; those of fourth class are appointed by
Diplomatic appointments.—Ministers to Germany, Great
Britain, France and Russia, $17,500; Ministers to Brazil,
China, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Japan and Spain,
$12,000; Ministers to Chili, Peru and Central Amer., $10,000;
Ministers to Argentine Confederation, Hawaiian Islands,
Belgium, Hayti, Columbia, Netherlands, Sweden, Turkey and
Venezuela, $7,500; Ministers to Switzerland, Denmark, Paraguay,
Bolivia and Portugal, $5,000; Minister to Liberia, $4,000.
Army Officers.—General, $13,500; Lieut.-General,
$11,000; Major-General, $7,500; Brigadier-General, $5,500;
Colonel, $3,500; Lieutenant-Colonel, $3,000; Major, $2,500;
Captain, mounted, $2,000; Captain, not mounted, $1,800;
Regimental Adjutant, $1,800; Regimental Quartermaster, $1,800;
1st Lieutenant, mounted, $1,600; 1st Lieutenant, not mounted,
$1,500; 2d Lieutenant, mounted, $1,500; 2d Lieutenant, not
mounted, $1,400; Chaplain, $1,500.
Navy Officers.—Admiral, $13,000; Vice-Admiral, $9,000;
Rear-Admirals, $6,000; Commodores, $5,000; Captains, $45,000;
Commanders, $3,500; Lieut.-Commanders, $2,800; Lieutenants,
$2,400; Masters, $1,800; Ensigns, $1,200; Midshipmen, $1,000;
Cadet Midshipmen, $500; Mates, $900; Medical and Pay Directors
and Medical and Pay Inspectors and Chief Engineers, $4,400;
Fleet Surgeons, Fleet Paymasters and Fleet Engineers, $4,400;
Surgeons and Paymasters, $2,800; Chaplains,
CHRONOLOGY OF IMPORTANT EVENTS.
|Birth of Abraham
|Death of Joseph
|The Pyramids built
|Solomon's Temple finished
|Babylon taken by Jews
|Death of Socrates
|Rome taken by the Gauls
|Paper invented in China
|Caesar landed in Britain
|Birth of Christ
|Death of Augustus
|Pilate, governor of Judea
|Jesus Christ crucified
|Claudius visited Britain
|St. Paul put to death
|Death of Josephus
|The Romans destroyed 580,000 Jews and
banished the rest from Judea
|The Bible in Gothic
|Horseshoes made of iron
|Latin tongue ceased to be spoken
|Pens made of quills
|Glass in England
|Bank of Venice established
|Glass windows first used for lights
|Mariner's compass used
|Coal dug for fuel
|Chimneys first put to houses
|Spectacles invented by an Italian
|The first English House of Commons
|Tallow candles for lights
|Paper made from linen
|Woolen cloth made in England
|The first almanac
|First book printed in England
|Luther began to preach
|Interest fixed at ten per cent. in England
|First coach made in England
|Clocks first made in England
|Bank of England incorporated
|Circulation of the blood discovered
|Death of Galileo
|Steam engine invented
|Great fire in London
|Cotton planted in the United States
|Commencement of the American war
|Declaration of American Independence
|Recognition of American Independence
|Bank of England suspended cash payment
|Napoleon I. crowned emperor
|Death of Napoleon
|Telegraph invented by Morse
|First daguerreotype in France
|Beginning of the American civil war
|End of the American civil war
|Abraham Lincoln died
|Great Chicago Fire
|Jas. A. Garfield died
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT OUR BODIES.
The weight of the male infant at birth is 7 lbs.
avoirdupois; that of the female is not quite 6-1/2 lbs. The
maximum weight (140-1/2 lbs.) of the male is attained at the
age of 40; that of the female (nearly 124 lbs.) is not attained
until 50; from which ages they decline afterward, the male to
127-1/4 lbs., the female to 100 lbs., nearly a stone. The
full-grown adult is 20 times as heavy as a new-born infant. In
the first year he triples his weight, afterwards the growth
proceeds in geometrical progression, so that if 50 infants in
their first year weigh 1,000 lbs., they will in the second
weigh 1,210 lbs.; in the third 1,331: in the fourth 1464 lbs.;
the term remaining very constant up to the ages of 11-12 in
females, and 12-13 in males, where it must be nearly doubled;
afterwards it may be continued, and will be found very nearly
correct up to the age of 18 or 19, when the growth proceeds
very slowly. At an equality of age the male is generally
heavier than the female. Towards the age of 12 years only an
individual of each sex has the same weight. The male attains
the maximum weight at about the age of 40, and he begins to
lose it very sensibly toward 60. At 80 he loses about 13.2328
lbs., and the stature is diminished 2.756 inches. Females
attain their maximum weight at about 50. The mean weight of a
mature man is 104 lbs., and of an average woman 94 lbs. In old
age they lose about 12 or 14 lbs. Men weigh most at 40, women
at 50, and begin to lose weight at 60. The mean weight of both
sexes in old age is that which they had at 19.
When the male and female have assumed their complete
development they weigh almost exactly 20 times as much as at
birth, while the stature is about 3-1/2 times greater. Children
lose weight during the first three days after birth; at the age
of a week they sensibly increase; after one year they triple
their weight; then they require six years to double their
weight, and 13 to quadruple it.
It has been computed that nearly two years' sickness is
experienced by every person before he is 70 years old, and
therefore that 10 days per annum is the average sickness of
human life. Till 40 it is but half, and after 50 it rapidly
increases. The mixed and fanciful diet of man is considered the
cause of numerous diseases from which animals are exempt. Many
diseases have abated with changes of diet, and others are
virulent in particular countries, arising from
Human Longevity.—Of 100,000 male and female children,
in the first month they are reduced to 90,396, or nearly a
tenth. In the second, to 87,936. In the third, to 86,175. In
the fourth, to 84,720. In the fifth, to 83,571. In the sixth,
to 82,526, and at the end of the first year to 77,528, the
deaths being 2 to 9. The next four years reduce the 77,528 to
62,448, indicating 37,552 deaths before the completion of the
At 25 years the 100,000 are half, or 49,995; at 52,
one-third. At 58-1/2, a fourth, or 25,000; at 67, a fifth; at
76, a tenth; at 81, a twentieth, or 5,000; and ten attain 100.
Children die in large proportions because their diseases cannot
be explained, and because the organs are not habituated to the
functions of life. The mean of life varies in
different countries from 40
to 45. A generation from father to son is about 30 years; of
men in general five-sixths die before 70, and
fifteen-sixteenths before 80. After 80 it is rather
endurance than enjoyment. The nerves are blunted, the senses
fail, the muscles are rigid, the softer tubes become hard,
the memory fails, the brain ossifies, the affections are
buried, and hope ceases. The remaining one-sixteenth die at
80; except a one-thirty-third, at 90. The remainder die from
inability to live, at or before 100.
About the age of 36 the lean man usually becomes fatter and
the fat man leaner. Again, between the years of 43 and 50 his
appetite fails, his complexion fades, and his tongue is apt to
be furred on the least exertion of body or mind. At this period
his muscles become flabby, his joints weak; his spirits droop,
and his sleep is imperfect and unrefreshing. After suffering
under these complaints a year, or perhaps two, he starts afresh
with renewed vigor, and goes on to 61 or 62, when a similar
change takes place, but with aggravated symptoms. When these
grand periods have been successively passed, the gravity of
incumbent years is more strongly marked, and he begins to boast
of his age.
In Russia, much more than in any other country, instances of
longevity are numerous, if true. In the report of the Holy
Synod, in 1827, during the year 1825, and only among the Greek
religion, 848 men had reached upward of 100 years of age; 32
had passed their 120th year, 4 from 130 to 135. Out of 606,818
men who died in 1826, 2,765 were above 90; 1,432 above 95, and
848 above 100 years of age. Among this last number 88 were
above 115; 24 more than 120; 7 above 125, and one 130. Riley
asserts that Arabs in the Desert live 200 years.
On the average, men have their first-born at 30 and women at
28. The greatest number of deliveries take place between 25 and
35. The greatest number of deliveries take place in the winter
months, and in February, and the smallest in July, i.e.,
to February, as 4 to 5 in towns and 3 to 4 in the country. The
night births are to the day as 5 to 4.
Human Strength.—In Schulze's experiments on human
strength, he found that men of five feet, weighing 126 lbs.,
could lift vertically 156 lbs. 8 inches; 217 lbs. 1.2 inches.
Others, 6.1 feet, weighing 183 lbs., 156 lbs. 13 inches, and
217 lbs. 6 inches; others 6 feet 3 inches, weighing 158 lbs.,
156 lbs. 16 inches, and 217 lbs. 9 inches. By a great variety
of experiments he determined the mean human strength at 30
lbs., with a velocity of 2.5 feet per second; or it is equal to
the raising half a hogshead 10 feet in a minute.
RULES FOR SPELLING.
"Words ending in e drop that letter before the
termination able, as in move, movable; unless ending in
ce or ge, when it is retained, as in change,
Words of one syllable, ending in a consonant, with a single
vowel before it, double the consonants in derivatives; as,
ship, shipping, etc. But if ending in a consonant with a double
vowel before it, they do not double the consonant in
derivatives; as, troop, trooper, etc.
Words of more than one syllable, ending in a consonant
preceded by a single vowel, and accented on the last syllable,
double that consonant in derivatives; as, commit, committed;
but except chagrin, chagrined.
All words of one syllable ending in l, with a single
vowel before it, have ll at the close; as mill, sell.
All words of one syllable ending in l, with a double
vowel before it, have only one l at the close; as mail,
The words foretell, distill, instill and fulfill, retain the
ll of their primitives. Derivatives of dull, skill, will
and full also retain the ll when the accent falls on
these words; as dullness, skillfull, willfull, fullness.
Words of more than one syllable ending in l have only
one l at the close; as delightful, faithful; unless the
accent falls on the last syllable; as befall, etc.
Words ending in l, double the letter in the
Participles ending in ing, from verbs ending in
e, lose the final e; as have, having; make,
making, etc; but verbs ending in ee retain both; as see,
seeing. The word dye, to color, however, must retain the
e before ing. All verbs ending in ly, and
nouns ending in ment, retain the e final of the
primitives; as brave, bravely; refine, refinement; except words
ending in dge; as, acknowledge, acknowledgment.
Nouns ending in y, preceded by a vowel, form their
plural by adding s; as money, moneys; but if y is
preceded by a consonant, it is changed to ies in the
plural; as bounty, bounties.
Compound words whose primitives end in y, change the
y into i; as beauty, beautiful.
THE USE OF CAPITALS.
Every entire sentence should begin with a capital.
Proper names, and adjectives derived from these, should
begin with a capital.
All appellations of the Deity should begin with a capital.
Official and honorary titles should begin with a capital.
Every line of poetry should begin with a capital.
Titles of books and the heads of their chapters and
divisions are printed in capitals.
The pronoun I and the exclamation O are always capitals.
The days of the week and the months of the year begin with
Every quotation should begin with a capital letter.
Names of religious denominations begin with capitals.
In preparing accounts each item should begin with a
Any word of very special importance may begin with a
TWENTY CHOICE COURSE DINNER MENUS.
1. Rice Soup, Baked Pike, Mashed Potatoes, Roast of Beef,
Stewed Corn, Chicken Fricassee, Celery Salad, Compote of
Oranges, Plain Custard, Cheese, Wafers, Coffee.
2. Mutton Soup, Fried Oysters, Stewed Potatoes, Boiled Corn
Beef, Cabbage, Turnips, Roast Pheasants, Onion Salad, Apple
Pie, White Custard, Bent's Water Crackers, Cheese, Coffee.
3. Oyster Soup, Roast Mutton, Baked Potatoes, Breaded Veal
Cutlets, Tomato Sauce, Baked Celery, Cabbage Salad, Apple
Custard, Sponge Cake, Cheese, Coffee.
4. Macaroni Soup, Boiled Chicken, with Oysters, Mutton
Chops, Creamed Potatoes, Stewed Tomatoes, Pickled Beets,
Peaches and Rice, Plain Cake, Cheese, Coffee.
5. Tapioca Soup, Boiled Halibut, Duchesse Potatoes, Roast
Beef Tongue, Canned Peas, Baked Macaroni, with Gravy, Fried
Sweet Potatoes, Beet Salad, Cornstarch Pudding, Jelly Tarts,
Cheese, Wafers, Coffee.
6. Vegetable Soup, Boiled Trout, Oyster Sauce, Roast Veal,
with Dressing, Boiled Potatoes, Stewed Tomatoes, Corn, Egg
Salad, Snow Cream, Peach Pie, Sultana Biscuit, Cheese,
7. Potato Soup, Oyster Patties, Whipped Potatoes, Roast
Mutton, with Spinach, Beets, Fried Parsnips, Egg
Sauce, Celery Salad, Boiled
Custard, Lemon Tarts, White Cake, Cheese, Coffee.
8. Veal Soup, Boiled Shad, Caper Sauce, Porterhouse Steak,
with Mushrooms, Pigeon Pie, Mashed Potatoes, Pickles, Rice
Sponge Cakes, Cheese, Canned Apricots with Cream, Coffee.
9. Giblet Soup, Scalloped Clams, Potato Cakes, Lamb Chops,
Canned Beans, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Salmon Salad, Charlotte
Rasse, Apricot Tarts, Cheese, Coffee.
10. Vermicelli Soup, Fried Small Fish, Mashed Potatoes,
Roast Beef, Minced Cabbage, Chicken Croquettes, Beet Salad,
Stewed Pears, Plain Sponge Cake, Cheese, Coffee.
11. Oxtail Soup, Fricasseed Chicken with Oysters, Breaded
Mutton Chops, Turnips, Duchesse Potatoes, Chow-chow Salad,
Chocolate Pudding, Nut Cake, Cheese, Coffee.
12. Barley Soup, Boiled Trout, Creamed Potatoes, Roast Loin
of Veal, Stewed Mushrooms, Broiled Chicken, Lettuce Salad, Fig
Pudding, Wafers, Cheese, Coffee.
13. Noodle Soup, Salmon, with Oyster Sauce, Fried Potatoes,
Glazed Beef, Boiled Spinach, Parsnips, with Cream Sauce,
Celery, Plain Rice Pudding, with Custard Sauce, Current Cake,
14. Lobster Soup, Baked Ribs of Beef, with Browned Potatoes,
Boiled Duck, with Onion Sauce, Turnips, Stewed Tomatoes,
Lettuce, Delmonico Pudding, Cheese, Sliced Oranges, Wafers,
15. Chicken Broth, Baked Whitefish, Boiled Potatoes, Canned
Peas, Mutton Chops, Tomatoes, Beets, Celery Salad, Apple
Trifle, Lady Fingers, Cheese. Coffee.
10. Sago Soup, Boiled Leg of Mutton, Caper Sauce, Stewed
Potatoes, Canned Corn, Scalloped Oysters, with Cream Sauce,
Celery and Lettuce Salad, Marmalade Fritters, Apple Custard,
Cheese Cakes, Coffee.
17. Vegetable Soup, Broiled Shad, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Pork
Chops, with Sage Dressing, Parsnip Fritters, Macaroni and
Gravy, Cauliflower Salad, Rhubarb Tarts, Silver Cake, Cheese,
18. Chicken Soup, with Rice, Codfish, Boiled, with Cream
Sauce, Roast Veal, Tomatoes, Oyster Salad, Boiled Potatoes,
Asparagus, Orange Jelly, White Cake, Cheese, Coffee.
19. Macaroni Soup, Fried Shad, Tomato Sauce, Roast Mutton,
Mashed Potatoes, Boiled Tongue, with Mayonnaise Dressing, Fried
Parsnips, Canned Beans, Lemon Puffs, Cheese Cakes, Fruit,
20. Scotch Broth, Baked Halibut, Boiled Potatoes, Breaded
Mutton Chops, Tomato Sauce, Spinach, Bean Salad, Asparagus and
Eggs, Peach Batter Pudding, with Sauce, Wafers, Cheese,
TERMS USED IN MEDICINE.
Anthelmintics are medicines which have the power of
destroying or expelling worms from the intestinal canal.
Antiscorbutics are medicines which prevent or cure the
Antispasmodics are medicines given to relieve spasm, or
irregular and painful action of the muscles or muscular fibers,
as in Epilepsy, St. Vitus' Dance, etc.
Aromatics are medicines which have, a grateful smell and
agreeable pungent taste.
Astringents are those remedies which, when applied to the
body, render the solids dense and firmer.
Carminatives are those medicines which dispel flatulency of
the stomach and bowels.
Cathartics are medicines which accelerate the action of the
bowels, or increase the discharge by stool.
Demulcents are medicines suited to prevent the action of
acrid and stimulating matters upon the mucous membranes of the
throat, lungs, etc.
Diaphoretics are medicines that promote or cause perspirable
discharge by the skin.
Diuretics are medicines which increase the flow of urine by
their action upon the kidneys.
Emetics are those medicines which produce vomiting.
Emmenagogues are medicines which promote the menstrual
Emollients are those remedies which, when applied to the
solids of the body, render them soft and flexible.
Errhines are substances which, when applied to the lining
membrane of the nostrils, occasion a discharge of mucous
Epispastices are those which cause blisters when applied to
Escharotics are substances used to destroy a portion of the
surface of the body, forming sloughs.
Expectorants are medicines capable of facilitating the
excretion of mucous from the chest.
Narcotics are those substances having the property of
diminishing the action of the nervous and vascular systems, and
of inducing sleep.
Rubefacients are remedies which excite the vessels of the
skin and increase its heat and redness.
Sedatives are medicines which have the power of allaying the
actions of the systems generally, or of lessening the exercise
of some particular function.
Sialagogues are medicines which increase the flow of the
Stimulants are medicines capable of exciting the vital
energy, whether as exerted in sensation or motion.
Tonics are those medicines which increase the tone or
healthy action, or strength of the living system.
RULES FOR THE PRESERVATION OF HEALTH.
Pure atmospheric air is composed of nitrogen, oxygen and a
very small proportion of carbonic acid gas. Air once breathed
has lost the chief part of its oxygen, and acquired a
proportionate increase of carbonic acid gas. Therefore, health
requires that we breathe the same air once only.
The solid part of our bodies is continually wasting and
requires to be repaired by fresh substances. Therefore, food,
which is to repair the loss, should be taken with due regard to
the exercise and waste of the body.
The fluid part of our bodies also wastes constantly; there
is but one fluid in animals, which is water. Therefore, water
only is necessary, and no artifice can produce a better
The fluid of our bodies is to the solid in proportion as
nine to one. Therefore, a like proportion should prevail in the
total amount of food taken.
Light exercises an important influence upon the growth and
vigor of animals and plants. Therefore, our dwellings should
freely admit the sun's rays.
Decomposing animal and vegetable substances yield various
noxious gases, which enter the lungs and corrupt the blood.
Therefore, all impurities should be kept away from our abodes,
and every precaution be observed to secure a pure
Warmth is essential to all the bodily functions. Therefore,
an equal bodily temperature should be maintained by exercise,
by clothing or by fire.
Exercise warms, invigorates and purifies the body; clothing
preserves the warmth the body generates; fire imparts warmth
externally. Therefore, to obtain and preserve warmth, exercise
and clothing are preferable to fire.
Fire consumes the oxygen of the air, and produces noxious
gases. Therefore, the air is less pure in the presence of
candles, gas or coal fire, than otherwise, and the
deterioration should be repaired by increased ventilation. The
skin is a highly-organized membrane, full of minute pores,
cells, blood-vessels, and nerves; it imbibes moisture or throws
it off according to the state of the atmosphere or the
temperature of the body. It also "breathes," like the lungs
(though less actively). All the internal organs sympathize with
the skin. Therefore, it should be repeatedly cleansed.
Late hours and anxious pursuits exhaust the nervous system
and produce disease and premature death. Therefore, the hours
of labor and study should be short.
Mental and bodily exercise are equally essential to the
general health and happiness. Therefore, labor and study should
succeed each other.
Man will live most happily upon simple solids and fluids, of
which a sufficient but temperate quantity should be taken.
Therefore, over-indulgence in strong drinks, tobacco, snuff,
opium, and all mere indulgences, should be avoided.
Sudden alternations of heat and cold are dangerous
(especially to the young and the aged). Therefore, clothing, in
quantity and quality, should be adapted to the alternations of
night and day, and of the seasons. And therefore, also,
drinking cold water when the body is hot, and hot tea and soups
when cold are productive of many evils.
Never visit a sick person (especially if the complaint be of
a contagious nature) with an empty stomach, as this disposes
the system more readily to receive the contagion. And in
attending a sick person, place yourself where the air passes
from the door or window to the bed of the diseased; not between
the diseased person and any fire that is in the room, as the
heat of the fire will draw the infectious vapor in that
MOTHER SHIPTON'S PROPHECY .—The lines known as
"Mother Shipton's Prophecy" were first published in England in
1485, before the discovery of America, and, of course, before
any of the discoveries and inventions mentioned therein. All
the events predicted have come to pass except that in the last
Carriages without horses shall go,
And accidents fill the world with woe
Around the world thoughts shall fly
In the twinkling of an eye.
Waters shall yet more wonders do,
Now strange, yet shall be true.
The world upside down shall be,
And gold be found at root of tree.
Through hills man shall ride,
And no horse nor ass be at his side.
Under water man shall walk,
Shall ride, shall sleep, shall talk.
In the air men shall be seen
In white, in black, in green.
Iron in the water shall float,
As easy as a wooden boat.
Gold shall be found 'mid stone,
In a land that's now unknown.
Fire and water shall wonders do,
England shall at last admit a Jew.
And this world to an end shall come
In eighteen hundred and eighty-one.
CAPTAIN KIDD, a notorious American pirate, was born
about 1650. In 1696 he was entrusted by the British Government
with the command of a privateer, and sailed from New York, for
the purpose of suppressing the numerous pirates then infesting
the seas. He went to the East Indies, where he began a career
of piracy, and returned to New York in 1698 with a large amount
of booty. He was soon after arrested, sent to England for
trial, and executed in 1701.
VALUE OF OLD AMERICAN COINS.—1793—Half
cent, 75 cents; one cent, $2. 1794—Half cent, 20 cents,
one cent, 10 cents; five cents, $1.25; fifty cents, $3; one
dollar, $10. 1795—Half cent, 5 cents; one cent, 5 cents;
five cents, 25 cents; fifty cents, 55 cents; one dollar, $1.25.
1796—Half cent, $5; one cent, 10 cents; five cents $1;
ten cents, 50 cents; twenty-five cents, $1; fifty cents, $10;
one dollar, $1.50. 1797—Half cent, 5 cents; one cent, 5
cents; five cents, 50 cents; ten cents, $1; fifty cents, $10;
one dollar, $1.50. 1798—One cent, 5 cents; ten cents, $1;
one dollar, $1.50. 1799—One cent, $5; one dollar, $1.60.
1800—Half cent, 5 cents; one cent, 3 cents; five cents,
25 cents; ; one dollar, $1.10. 1801—One cent, 3
cents; five cents, $1; ten cents, $1; fifty cents, $2; one
dollar, $1.25. 1802—Half cent, 50 cents; one cent, 2
cents; ten cents, $1; fifty cents, $2; one dollar, $1.25.
1803—Half cent, 2 cents; one cent, 2 cents; five cents,
$10; ; one dollar, $1.10. 1804—Half cent, 2
cents; one cent, $2; five cents, 75 cents; ten cents, $2;
twenty-five cents, 75 cents; one dollar, $100. 1805—Half
cent, 2 cents; one cent, 3 cents; five cents, $1.50; ten cents,
25 cents. 1806—Half cent, 2 cents; one cent, 3 cents.
1807—Half cent, 2 cents; one cent, 3 cents; ten cents, 25
cents. 1808—Half cent, 2 cents; one cent, 5 cents.
1809—Half cent, 1 cent; one cent, 25 cents; ten cents, 50
cents. 1810—Half cent, 5 cents; one cent, 5 cents.
1811—Half cent, 25 cents; one cent, 10 cents; ten cents,
50 cents. 1812—One cent, 2 cents. 1813—One cent, 5
cents. 1815—Fifty cents, $5. 1821—One cent, 5
cents. 1822—Ten cents, $1. 1823—One cent, 5 cents;
twenty-five cents, $10. 1824—Twenty-five cents, 40 cents.
1825—Half cent, 2 cents. 1826—Half cent, 2 cents;
one cent, 50 cents. 1827—One cent, 3 cents; twenty-five
cents, $10. 1828—Half cent, 1 cent; twenty-five cents, 30
cents. 1829—Half cent, 2 cents. 1830—Half cent, 2
cents. 1832-'33-'34—Half cent, 2 cents. 1835—Half
cent, 1 cent. 1836—Fifty cents, $3; one dollar, $3.
1838—Ten cents, 25 cents. 1839—One dollar, $10.
1846 —Five cents, 50 cents. 1849-'50—Half cent, 5
cents. 1851—Half cent, 1 cent; twenty-five cents, 30
cents; one dollar, $10.90. 1852—Twenty-five cents, 30
cents; fifty cents, $2; one dollar, $10. 1853—Half cent,
1 cent; twenty cents (with no arrows), $2.50; one dollar,
$1.25. 1854—Half cent, 2 cents; one dollar, $2.
1855-'57—Half cent, 5 cents; one dollar, $1.50.
1856—Half cent, 5 cents; one dollar. $1.50.
1858—One dollar, $10. 1863-'4-'5—Three cents, 95
cents. 1866—Half cent, 6 cents; three cents, 25 cents;
five cents, 10 cents; twenty-five cents, 30 cents.
1867—Three cents, 25 cents; five cents, 10 cents.
1868-'9—Three cents, 25 cents. 1870—Three cents, 15
cents. 1871—Two cents, 10 cents; three cents, 25 cents.
1873—Two cents, 50 cents; three cents. 50 cents.
1877-'8—Twenty cents, $1.50. These prices are for good
ordinary coins without holes. Fine specimens are worth
LEANING TOWER OF PISA.—The leaning tower of
Pisa was commenced in 1152, and was not finished till the
fourteenth century. The cathedral to which this belongs was
erected to celebrate a triumph of the Pisans in the harbor of
Palermo in 1063, when allied with the Normans to drive the
Saracens out of Sicily. It is a circular building, one hundred
feet in diameter and 179 feet in extreme height, and has fine
mosaic pavements, elaborately carved columns, and numerous
bas-reliefs. The building is of white marble. The tower is
divided into eight stories, each having an outside gallery of
seven feet projection, and the topmost story overhangs the base
about sixteen feet, though, as the center of gravity is still
ten feet within the base, the building is perfectly safe. It
has been supposed that this inclination was intentional, but
the opinion that the foundation has sunk is no doubt correct.
It is most likely that the defective foundation became
perceptible before the tower had reached one-half its height,
as at that elevation the unequal length of the columns exhibits
an endeavor to restore the perpendicular, and at about the same
place the walls are strengthened with iron bars.
What causes the water to flow out of an artesian
well?—The theoretical explanation of the phenomenon is
easily understood. The secondary and tertiary geological
formations often present the appearance of immense basins, the
boundary or rim of the basin having been formed by an upheaval
of adjacent strata. In these formations it often happens that a
porous stratum, consisting of sand, sandstone, chalk or other
calcareous matter, is included between two impermeable layers
of clay, so as to form a flat U tube, continuous from side to side of the valley,
the outcrop on the surrounding hills forming the mouth of the
tube. The rain filtering down through the porous layer to
the bottom of the basin forms there a subterranean pool,
which, with the liquid or semi-liquid column pressing upon
it, constitutes a sort of huge natural hydrostatic
bellows. Sometimes the pressure on the superincumbent
crust is so great as to cause an upheaval or disturbance
of the valley. It is obvious, then, that when a hole is
bored down through the upper impermeable layer to the
surface of the lake, the water will be forced up by the
natural law of water seeking its level to a height above
the surface of the valley, greater or less, according to
the elevation of the level in the feeding column, thus
forming a natural mountain on precisely the same principle
as that of most artificial fountains, where the water
supply comes from a considerable height above the jet.
HOW MANY CUBIC FEET THERE ARE IN A TON OF
COAL.—There is a difference between a ton of hard
coal and one of soft coal. For that matter, coal from different
mines, whether hard or soft, differs in weight, and
consequently in cubic measure, according to quality. Then there
is a difference according to size. To illustrate, careful
measurements have been made of Wilkes-barre anthracite, a fine
quality of hard coal, with the following results:
|Size of coal
in ton of
in ton of
For soft coal the following measures may be taken as nearly
correct; it is simply impossible to determine any exact rule,
even for bituminous coal of the same district: Briar Hill coal,
44.8 cubic feet per ton of 2,240 pounds; Pittsburgh, 47.8;
Wilmington, Ill., 47; Indiana block coal, 42 to 43 cubic
The dimensions of the great wall of China and of what it is
built.—It runs from a point on the Gulf of Liantung, an
arm of the Gulf of Pechili in Northeastern China, westerly to
the Yellow River; thence makes a great bend to the south for
nearly 100 miles, and then runs to the northwest for several
hundred miles to the Desert of Gobi. Its length is variously
estimated to be from 1,250 to 1,500 miles. For the most of this
distance it runs through a mountainous country, keeping on the
ridges, and winding over many of the highest peaks. In some
places it is only a formidable rampart, but most of the way it
is composed of lofty walls of masonry and concrete, or impacted
lime and clay, from 12 to 16 feet in thickness, and from 15 to
30 or 35 feet in height. The top of this wall is paved for
hundreds of miles, and crowned with crenallated battlements,
and towers 30 to 40 feet high. In numerous places the wall
climbs such steep declivities that its top ascends from height
to height in flights of granite steps. An army could march on
the top of the wall for weeks and even months, moving in some
places ten men abreast.
Limits of Natural Vision.—This question is too
indefinite for a specific answer. The limits of vision vary
with elevation, conditions of the atmosphere, intensity of
illumination, and other modifying elements in different cases.
In a clear day an object one foot above a level plain may be
seen at the distance of 1.31 miles; one ten feet high, 4.15
miles; one twenty feet high, 5.86 miles; one 100 feet high,
13.1 miles; one a mile high, as the top of a mountain, 95.23
miles. This allows seven inches (or, to be exact, 6.99 inches)
for the curvature of the earth, and assumes that the size and
illumination of the object are sufficient to produce an image.
Five miles may be taken as the extreme limit at which a man is
visible on a flat plain to an observer on the same level.
THE NIAGARA SUSPENSION BRIDGE.—For seven miles
below the falls, Niagara river flows through a gorge varying in
width from 200 to 400 yards. Two miles below the falls the
river is but 350 feet wide, and it is here that the great
suspension bridge, constructed in 1855 by Mr. Roebling, crosses
the gorge, 245 feet above the water. The length of the span,
from tower to tower, is 821 feet, and the total length of the
bridge is 2,220 feet. The length of the span, which is capable
of sustaining a strain of 10,000 tons, is 821 feet from tower
to tower, and the total length of the bridge is 2,220 feet. It
is used both for railway and wagon traffic, the wagon-road and
foot-way being directly under the railway bed. There is another
suspension bridge across the Niagara river at a distance of
only about fifty rods from the falls, on the American side.
This is only for carriages and foot travel. It was finished in
1869. It is 1,190 feet long from cliff to cliff, 1,268 feet
from tower to tower, and 190 feet above the river, which at
this point is a little over 900 feet in width.
THE SPEED OF SOUND.—It has been ascertained
that a full human voice, speaking in the open air, calm, can be
heard at a distance of 400 feet; in an observable breeze a
powerful human voice with the wind is audible at a distance of
15,840 feet; the report of a musket, 16,000 feet; a drum,
10,560 feet; music, a strong brass band, 15,840 feet; very
heavy cannonading, 575,000 feet, or 90 miles. In the Arctic
regions conversation has been maintained over water a distance
of 6,766 feet. In gases the velocity of sound increases with
the temperature; in air this increase is about two feet per
second for each degree centigrade. The velocity of sound in
oxygen gas at zero C. is 1,040 feet; in carbonic acid, 858
feet; in hydrogen, 4,164 feet. In 1827 Colladon and Sturm
determined experimentally the velocity of sound in fresh water;
the experiment was made in the Lake of Geneva, and it was found
to be 4,174 feet per second at a temperature of 15 degrees C.
The velocity of sound in
alcohol at 20 degrees C. is 4,218 feet; in ether at zero,
3,801; in sea water at 20 degrees C., 4,768. By direct
measurements, carefully made, by observing at night the
interval which elapses between the flash and report of a
cannon at a known distance, the velocity of sound has been
about 1,090 per second at the temperature of freezing
DESCRIPTION OF THE YELLOWSTONE PARK.—The
Yellowstone National Park extends sixty-five miles north and
south, and fifty-five miles east and west, comprising 3,575
square miles, and is all 6,000 feet or more above sea-level.
Yellowstone Lake, twenty miles by fifteen, has an altitude of
7,788 feet. The mountain ranges which hem in the valleys on
every side rise to the height of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, and are
always covered with snow. This great park contains the most
striking of all the mountains, gorges, falls, rivers and lakes
in the whole Yellowstone region. The springs on Gardiner's
River cover an area of about one square mile, and three or four
square miles thereabout are occupied by the remains of springs
which have ceased to flow. The natural basins into which these
springs flow are from four to six feet in diameter and from one
to four feet in depth. The principal ones are located upon
terraces midway up the sides of the mountain. The banks of the
Yellowstone River abound with ravines and canons, which are
carved out of the heart of the mountains through the hardest of
rocks. The most remarkable of these is the canon of Tower Creek
and Column Mountain. The latter, which extends along the
eastern bank of the river for upward of two miles, is said to
resemble the Giant's Causeway. The canon of Tower Creek is
about ten miles in length and is so deep and gloomy that it is
called "The Devil's Den." Where Tower Creek ends the Grand
Canon begins. It is twenty miles in length, impassable
throughout, and inaccessible at the water's edge, except at a
few points. Its rugged edges are from 200 to 500 yards apart,
and its depth is so profound that no sound ever reaches the ear
from the bottom. The Grand Canon contains a great multitude of
hot springs of sulphur, sulphate of copper, alum, etc. In the
number and magnitude of its hot springs and geysers, the
Yellowstone Park surpasses all the rest of the world. There are
probably fifty geysers that throw a column of water to the
height of from 50 to 200 feet, and it is stated that there are
not fewer than 5,000 springs; there are two kinds, those
depositing lime and those depositing silica. The temperature of
the calcareous springs is from 160 to 170 degrees, while that
of the others rises to 200 or more. The principal collections
are the upper and lower geyser basins of the Madison River, and
the calcareous springs on Gardiner's River. The great falls are
marvels to which adventurous travelers have gone only to return
and report that they are parts of the wonders of this new
DESIGNATIONS OF GROUPS OF ANIMALS.—The
ingenuity of the sportsman is, perhaps, no better illustrated
than by the use he puts the English language to in designating
particular groups of animals. The following is a list of the
terms which have been applied to the various classes:
A covey of patridges, A nide of pheasants, A wisp of snipe,
A flight of doves or swallows, A muster of peacocks, A siege of
herons, A building of rooks, A brood of grouse, A plump of wild
fowl, A stand of plovers, A watch of nightingales, A clattering
of choughs, A flock of geese, A herd or bunch of cattle, A bevy
of quails, A cast of hawks, A trip of dottrell, A swarm of
bees, A school of whales, A shoal of herrings, A herd of swine,
A skulk of foxes, A pack of wolves, A drove of oxen, A sounder
of hogs, A troop of monkeys, A pride of lions, A sleuth of
bears, A gang of elk.
THE BUNKER HILL MONUMENT.—The monument is a
square shaft, built of Quincy granite, 221 feet high, 31 feet
square at the base and 15 at the top. Its foundations are
inclosed 12 feet under ground. Inside the shaft is a round,
hollow cone, 7 feet wide at the bottom and 4 feet 2 inches at
the top, encircled by a winding staircase of 224 stone steps,
which leads to a chamber immediately under the apex, 11 feet in
diameter. The chamber has four windows, which afford a wide
view of the surrounding country, and contains two cannons,
named respectively Hancock and Adams, which were used in many
engagements during the war. The corner-stone of the monument
was laid on the fiftieth anniversary of the battle, June 17,
1825, by Lafayette, who was then visiting America, when Webster
pronounced the oration. The monument was completed, and June
17, 1843, was dedicated, Webster again delivering the
THE SEVEN WISE MEN OF GREECE.—The names
generally given are Solon, Chilo, Pittacus, Bias, Periander (in
place of whom some give Epimenides), Cleobulus, and Thales.
They were the authors of the celebrated mottoes inscribed in
later days in the Delphian Temple. These mottoes were as
"Consider the end."—Chilo.
"Know thy opportunity."—Pittacus.
"Most men are bad."—Bias.
"Nothing is impossible to
"Suretyship is the precursor of
FIRST STEAMBOAT ON THE MISSISSIPPI.—Nicholas J.
Roosevelt was the first to take a steamboat down the great
river. His boat was built at Pittsburgh, in the year 1811,
under an arrangement with Fulton and Livingston, from Fulton's
plans. It was called the "New Orleans," was about 200 tons
burden, and was propelled by a stern-wheel, assisted, when the
wind was favorable, by sails carried on two masts. The hull was
138 feet long, 30 feet beam, and the cost of the whole,
including engines, was about $40,000. The builder, with his
family, an engineer, a pilot, and six "deck hands," left
Pittsburgh in October, 1811, reaching Louisville in about
seventy hours (steaming about ten miles an hour), and New
Orleans in fourteen days, steaming from Natchez.
THE EXPLORATIONS OF FREMONT.—- Among the
earliest efforts of Fremont, after he had tried and been
sickened by the sea, were his experiences as a surveyor and
engineer on railroad lines from Charleston to Augusta, Ga., and
Charleston to Cincinnati. Then he accompanied an army
detachment on a military reconnoissance of the mountainous
Cherokee country in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, made
in the depth of winter. In 1838-9 he accompanied M. Nicollet in
explorations of the country between the Missouri and the
British line, and his first detail of any importance, after he
had been commissioned by President Van Buren, was to make an
examination of the river Des Moines, then on the Western
frontier. In 1841 he projected his first trans-continental
expedition, and left Washington May 2, 1842, and accomplished
the object of his trip, examined the South Pass, explored the
Wind River mountains, ascended in August, the highest peak of
that range, now known as Fremont's Peak, and returned, after an
absence of four months. His report of the expedition attracted
great attention in the United States and abroad. Fremont began
to plan another and a second expedition. He determined to
extend his explorations across the continent; and in May, 1843,
commenced his journey with thirty-nine men, and September 6,
after traveling over 1,700 miles, arrived at the Great Salt
Lake; there made some important discoveries, and then pushed
the upper Columbia, down
whose valley he proceeded to Fort Vancouver, near its mouth.
On Nov. 10, he set out to return East, selecting a
southeasterly course, leading from the lower part of the
Columbia to the upper Colorado, through an almost unknown
region, crossed by high and rugged mountains. He and his
party suffered incredible hardships in crossing from the
Great Basin to Sutter's Fort on the Sacramento; started from
there March 24, proceeded southward, skirted the western
base of the Sierra Nevada, crossed that range through a gap,
entered the Great Basin; again visited the Great Salt Lake,
from which they returned through the South Pass to Kansas,
in July, 1844, after an absence of fourteen months. In the
spring of 1845 Fremont set out on a third expedition to
explore the Great Basin and the maritime region of Oregon
and California; spent the summer examining the headwaters of
the rivers whose springs are in the grand divide of the
continent; in October camped on the shores of the Great Salt
Lake: proceeded to explore the Sierra Nevada, which he again
crossed in the dead of winter; made his way into the Valley
of the San Joaquin; obtained permission, at Monterey, from
the Mexican authorities there, to proceed with his
expedition, which permission was almost immediately revoked,
and Fremont peremptorily ordered to leave the country
without delay, but he refused, and a collision was imminent,
but was averted, and Fremont proceeded toward San Joaquin.
Near Tlamath Lake, Fremont met, May 9, 1846, a party in
search of him, with dispatches from Washington, ordering him
to watch over the interests of the United States in
California, as there was reason to believe that province
would be transferred to Great Britain. He at once returned
to California; General Castro was already marching against
our settlements; the settlers rose in arms, flocked to
Fremont's camp, and, with him as leader, in less than a
month, all Northern California was freed from Mexican
authority; and on July 4 Fremont was elected Governor of
California by the American settlers. Later came the conflict
between Commodore Stockton and General Kearney; and Fremont
resigned his commission as Lieutenant-Colonel, to which he
had been promoted. In October, 1848, he started across the
continent on a fourth expedition, outfitted at his own
expense, to find a practicable route to California. In
attempting to cross the great Sierra, covered with snow, his
guide lost his way, and the party encountered horrible
suffering from cold and hunger, a portion of them being
driven to cannibalism; he lost all his animals (he had 120
mules when he started), and one-third of his men (he had
thirty-three) perished, and he had to retrace his steps to
Santa Fe. He again set out, with thirty men, and, after a
long search, discovered a secure route, which led to the
Sacramento, where he arrived in the spring of 1840. He led a
fifth expedition across the continent in 1853, at his own
expense, and found passes through the mountains in the line
of latitude 38 deg., 39 min., and reached California after
enduring great hardships; for fifty days his party lived on
horse-flesh, and for forty-eight hours at a time without
food of any kind. These are the barest outlines of five
expeditions of which many volumes have been written, but
will hint at Fremont's work in the West which entitled him
to the name of the "Pathfinder."
CHINESE PROVERBS.—The Chinese are indeed
remarkably fond of proverbs. They not only employ them in
conversation—and even to a greater degree than the
Spaniards, who are noted among Europeans for the number and
excellence of their proverbial sayings—but they have a
practice of adorning their reception rooms with these
sententious bits of wisdom, inscribed on decorated scrolls or
embroidered on rich crapes and brocades. They carve them on
door-posts and pillars, and emblazon them on the walls and
ceilings in gilt letters. The following are a few specimens of
this sort of literature: As a sneer at the use of unnecessary
force to crush a contemptible enemy, they say: "He rides a
fierce dog to catch a lame rabbit." Similar to this is another,
"To use a battle-ax to cut off a hen's head." They say of
wicked associates: "To cherish a bad man is like nourishing a
tiger; if not well-fed he will devour you." Here are several
others mingling wit with wisdom: "To instigate a villain to do
wrong is like teaching a monkey to climb trees;" "To catch fish
and throw away the net," which recalls our saying, "Using the
cat's paw to pull the chestnuts out of the fire;" "To climb a
tree to catch a fish" is to talk much to no purpose; "A
superficial scholar is a sheep dressed in a tiger's skin;" "A
cuckoo in a magpie's nest," equivalent to saying, "he is
enjoying another's labor without compensation;" "If the blind
lead the blind they will both fall into the pit;" "A fair wind
raises no storm;" "Vast chasms can be filled, but the heart of
man is never satisfied;" "The body may be healed, but the mind
is incurable;" "He seeks the ass, and lo! he sits upon him;"
"He who looks at the sun is dazzled; he who hears the thunder
is deafened." i. e., do not come too near the powerful;
"Prevention is better than cure;" "Wine and good dinners make
abundance of friends, but in adversity not one of them is to be
found." "Let every man sweep the snow from before his own door,
and not trouble himself about the frost on his neighbor's
tiles." The following one is a gem of moral wisdom: "Only
correct yourself on the same principle that you correct others,
and excuse others on the same principles on which you excuse
yourself." "Better not be, than be nothing." "One thread does
not make a rope; one swallow does not make a summer."
"Sensuality is the chief of sins, filial duty the best of
acts." "The horse's back is not so safe us the
buffalo's"—the former is used by the politician, the
latter by the farmer. "Too much lenity multiplies crime." "If
you love your son give him plenty of the rod; if you hate him
cram him with dainties." "He is my teacher who tells me my
faults, he my enemy who speaks my virtues." Having a wholesome
dread of litigation, they say of one who goes to law, "He sues
a flea to catch a bite." Their equivalent for our "coming out
at the little end of the horn" is, "The farther the rat creeps
up (or into) the cow's horn, the narrower it grows." The truth
of their saying that "The fame of good deeds does not leave a
man's door, but his evil acts are known a thousand miles off,"
is illustrated in our own daily papers every morning. Finally,
we close this list with a Chinese proverb which should be
inscribed on the lintel of every door in Christendom: "The
happy-hearted man carries joy for all the household."
MASON AND DIXON'S LINE.—Mason and Dixon's line
is the concurrent State line of Maryland and Pennsylvania. It
is named after two eminent astronomers and ,
Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, who were sent out from
England to run it. They completed the survey between 1703 and
1707, excepting thirty-six miles surveyed in 1782 by Colonel
Alex. McLean and Joseph Neville. It is in the latitude of 39
deg. 43 min. 26.3 sec.
GREAT FIRES OF HISTORY.—The loss of life and
property in the willful destruction by fire and sword of the
principal cities of ancient history—Nineveh, Babylon,
Persepolis, Carthage, Palmyra, and many others—is largely
a matter of conjecture. The following is a memorandum of the
chief conflagrations of the current era:
In 64, A. D., during the reign of Nero, a terrible fire
raged in Rome for eight days, destroying ten of the fourteen
wards. The loss of life and destruction of property is not
A. D., Jerusalem was taken by the Romans and a large part of
it given to the torch, entailing an enormous destruction of
life and property.
In 1106 Venice, then a city of immense opulence, was almost,
wholly consumed by a fire, originating in accident or
In 1212 the greater part of London was burned.
In 1606 what is known as the Great Fire of London raged in
the city from September 2 to 6, consuming 13,200 houses, with
St. Paul's Church, 86 parish churches, 6 chapels, the Guild
Hall, the Royal Exchange, the Custom House, 52 companies halls,
many hospitals, libraries and other public edifices. The total
destruction of property was estimated at $53,652,500. Six lives
were lost, and 436 acres burnt over.
In 1679 a fire in Boston burned all the warehouses, eighty
dwellings, and vessels in the dock-yards; loss estimated at
In 1700 a large part of Edinburgh was burned; loss unknown.
In 1728 Copenhagen was nearly destroyed; 1,650 houses
In 1736 a fire in St. Petersburg burned 2,000 houses.
In 1729 a fire in Constantinople destroyed 12,000 houses,
and 7,000 people perished. The same city suffered a
conflagration in 1745, lasting five days; and in 1750 a series
of three appalling fires: one in January, consuming 10,000
houses; another in April destroying property to the value of
$5,000,000, according to one historian, and according to
another, $15,000,000; and in the latter part of the year
another, sweeping fully 10,000 houses more out of existence. It
seemed as if Constantinople was doomed to utter
In 1751 a fire in Stockholm destroyed 1,000 houses and
another fire in the same city in 1759 burned 250 houses with a
loss of $2,420,000.
In 1752 a fire in Moscow swept away 18,000 houses, involving
an immense loss.
In 1758 Christiania suffered a loss of $1,250,000 by
conflagration. In 1760 the Portsmouth (England) dock yards were
burned, with a loss of $2,000,000.
In 1764 a fire in Konigsburg, Prussia, consumed the public
buildings, with a loss of $3,000,000; and in 1769 the city was
almost totally destroyed.
In 1763 a fire in Smyrna destroyed 2,600 houses, with a loss
of $1,000,000; in 1772 a fire in the same city carried off
3,000 dwellings and 3,000 to 4,000 shops, entailing a loss of
$20,000,000; and in 1796 there were 4,000 shops, mosques,
magazines, etc., burned.
In 1776, six days after the British seized the city, a fire
swept off all the west side of New York city, from Broadway to
In 1771 a fire in Constantinople burned 2,500 houses;
another in 1778 burned 2,000 houses; in 1782 there were 600
houses burned in February, 7,000 in June, and on August 12
during a conflagration that lasted three days, 10,000 houses,
50 mosques, and 100 corn-mills, with a loss of 100 lives. Two
years later a fire, on March 13, destroyed two-thirds of Pera,
the loveliest suburb of Constantinople, and on August 5 a fire
in the main city, lasting twenty-six hours, burned 10,000
houses. In this same fire-scourged city, in 1791, between March
and July, there were 32,000 houses burned, and about as many
more in 1795; and in 1799 Pera was again swept with fire, with
a loss of 13,000 houses, including many buildings of great
In 1784 a fire and explosion in the dock yards, Brest,
caused a loss of $5,000,000.
But the greatest destruction of life and property by
conflagration, of which the world has anything like accurate
records, must be looked for within the current century. Of
these the following is a partial list of instances in which the
loss of property amounted to $3,000,000 and upward:
||Moscow, burned five days; 30,800 houses
||Constantinople, 12,000 dwellings, 3,000 shops
||Canton nearly destroyed
||Havana, 350 houses
||New York ("Great Fire")
||St. Johns, N. B.
||Charleston, 1,158 buildings
||Smyrna, 12,000 houses
||Hamburg, 4,219 buildings, 100 lives lost
||New York, 35 persons killed
||Pittsburgh, 1,100 buildings
||Quebec, May 28, 1,650 dwellings
||Quebec, June 28, 1,300 dwellings
||St. Johns, Newfoundland
||Constantinople, 2,500 buildings
||Albany, N. Y., 600 houses
||St. Louis, 2,500 buildings
||St. Louis, 500 buildings
||San Francisco, May 4 and 5, many lives lost
||San Francisco, June
||Montreal, 1,200 buildings
||Mendoza destroyed by earthquake and fire, 10,000
||Troy, N. Y., nearly destroyed
||Valparaiso almost destroyed
||Novgorod, immense destruction of property
||Constantinople, 2,800 buildings burned
||Yokohama, nearly destroyed
||Carlstadt, Sweden, all consumed but Bishop's
residence, hospital and jail; 10 lives lost
||Portland, Me., half the city
||Quebec, 2,500 dwellings, 17 churches
||Constantinople, Pera, suburb
||Chicago—250 lives lost, 17,430 buildings
burned, on 2,124 acres
||Paris, fired by the Commune
||Yeddo, 10,000 houses
||Pittsburgh, caused by riot
||St. Johns, N. B., 1,650 dwellings, 18 lives
From the above it appears that the five greatest fires on
record, reckoned by destruction of property, are:
|Chicago fire, of Oct. 8 and 9, 1871
|Paris fires, of May, 1871
|Moscow fire, of Sept. 14-19, 1812
|Boston fire, Nov. 9-10, 1872
|London fire, Sept. 2-6, 1666
|Hamburg fire, May 5-7, 1842
Taking into account, with the fires of Paris and Chicago,
the great Wisconsin and Michigan forest fires of 1871, in which
it is estimated that 1,000 human beings perished and property
to the amount of over $3,000,000 was consumed, it is plain that
in the annals of conflagrations that year stands forth in
WEALTH OF THE UNITED STATES PER CAPITA.—The
following statistics represent the amount of taxable property,
real and personal, in each State and Territory, and also the
amount per capita:
|District of Columbia:
TABLE FOR MEASURING AN ACRE.—To measure an acre
in rectangular form is a simple question in arithmetic. One has
only to divide the total number of square yards in an acre,
4,840, by the number of yards in the known side or breadth to
find the unknown side in yards. By this process it appears that
a rectangular strip of ground—
5 yards wide by 968 yards long is 1
10 yards wide by 484 yards long is 1 acre.
20 yards wide by 242 yards long is 1 acre.
40 yards wide by 121 yards long is 1 acre.
80 yards wide by 60-1/2 yards long is 1 acre.
70 yards wide by 69-1/2 yards long is 1 acre.
60 yards wide by 80-3/8 yards long is 1 acre.
THE LANGUAGE OF GEMS.—The language of the
various precious stones is as follows:
Moss Agate—Health, prosperity and long
Amethyst—Prevents violent passions.
Bloodstone—Courage, wisdom and firmness in
Chrysolite—Frees from evil passions and sadness.
Emerald—Insures true love, discovers false.
Diamonds—Innocence, faith and virgin purity,
Garnet—Constancy and fidelity in every engagement.
Opal—Sharpens the sight and faith of the
Pearl—Purity; gives clearness to physical and mental
Ruby—Corrects evils resulting from mistaken
Sapphire—Repentance; frees from enchantment.
Sardonyx—Insures conjugal felicity.
Topaz—Fidelity and friendship; prevents bad
Turquoise—Insures prosperity in love.
GREAT SALT LAKE AND THE DEAD SEA.—Great Salt
Lake is a shallow body of water, its average depth being but a
little more than three feet, while in many parts it is much
less. The water is transparent, but excessively salt; it
contains about 22 per cent of common salt, slightly mixed with
other salts, and forming one of the purest and most
concentrated brines in the world. Its specific gravity is 1.17.
The water is so buoyant that a man may float in it at full
length upon his back, having his head and neck, his legs to the
knee, and both arms to the elbow, entirely out of water. If he
assumes a sitting posture, with his arms extended, his
shoulders will rise above the water. Swimming, however, is
difficult as the lower limbs tend to rise above the surface,
and the brine is so strong that to swallow even a very little
of it will cause strangulation. The waters of the Dead Sea, on
the other hand, are nearly black, and contain much sulphur and
bitumen, as well as salt. It is also very deep, varying from
thirteen feet near the south end of the lake to more than 1,300
feet in the northern part. Its buoyancy is quite equal to that
of Great Salt Lake, for travelers say that a man can float
prone upon the surface for hours without danger of sinking, and
in a sitting position is held breast-high above the water.
SOME FAMOUS WAR SONGS.—The slavery war
developed several Union song-writers whose stirring verses have
kept on singing themselves since the close of that great
struggle. Two among them are best remembered nowadays, both men
who wrote the words and composed the music to their own verses.
Chicago lays claim to one, Dr. George F. Root, and Boston to
the other, Henry C. Work. The song "Marching Through Georgia,"
as every one knows, was written in memory of Sherman's famous
march from Atlanta to the sea, and words and music were the
composition of Henry C. Work, who died not many months ago (in
1884). The first stanza is as follows:
Bring the good old bugle, boys, we'll sing
Sing it with spirit that will start the world
Sing it as we used to sing it, fifty thousand strong,
While we were marching through Georgia.
"Hurrah! hurrah! we bring the jubilee!
Hurrah! hurrah! the flag that makes you free!"
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.
Among the other songs of Work the following are best known:
"Kingdom Coming," or "Say, Darkey, Hab You Seen de Massa?"
"Babylon is Fallen," "Grafted into
Army" and "Corporal
Schnapps." This record would be incomplete were we to fail
to mention some of the many ringing songs of George F. Root,
songs which have made the name of Root famous in thousands
upon thousands of households in the West. Some of these
songs are: "Battle Cry of Freedom," "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp,"
"On, on, on, the Boys Came Marching," "Just Before the
Battle, Mother," "Just After the Battle," "Lay Me Down and
Save the Flag," "Stand Up for Uncle Sam, My Boys." The well
known song, "Wrap the Flag Around Me, Boys," was composed by
R. Stewart Taylor, and "When Johnny Cones Marching Home" by
THE COST OF ROYALTY IN ENGLAND.—Her
|Salaries of household:
|Expenses of household:
|Royal bounty, etc.:
|Prince of Wales:
|Princess of Wales:
|Crown Princess of Prussia:
|Duke of Edinburgh:
|Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein:
|Princess Louise (Marchioness of Lome):
|Duke of Connaught:
|Duke of Albany:
|Duchess of Cambridge:
|Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz:
|Duke of Cambridge:
|Duchess of Teck:
SOME GREAT RIVERS.—From Haswell's little work
for engineers and mechanics the following figures are taken,
showing the lengths of the largest rivers on the various
|Yeneisy and Selenga:
|Amazon and Beni:
|Mississippi and Missouri:
|Ohio and Alleghany:
The figures as to the length of the Nile are estimated. The
Amazon, with its tributaries (including the Rio Negro and
Madeira), drains an area of 2,330,000 square miles; the
Mississippi and Missouri, 1,726,000 square miles; the Yeneisy
(or Yenisei, as it is often written) drains about 1,000,000
square miles; the Volga, about 500,000. In this group of great
rivers the St. Lawrence is the most remarkable. It constitutes
by far the largest body of fresh water in the world. Including
the lakes and streams, which it comprises in its widest
acceptation, the St. Lawrence covers about 73,000 square miles;
the aggregate, it is estimated, represents not less than 9,000
solid miles—a mass of water which would have taken upward
of forty years to pour over Niagara at the computed rate of
1,000,000 cubic feet in a second. As the entire basin of this
water system falls short of 300,000 square miles, the surface
of the land is only three times that of the water.
HOW THE UNITED STATES GOT ITS LANDS.—The United
States bought Louisiana, the vast region between the
Mississippi River, the eastern and northern boundary of Texas
(then belonging to Spain), and the dividing ridge of the Rocky
Mountains, together with what is now Oregon, Washington
Territory, and the western parts of Montana and Idaho, from
France for $11,250,000. This was in 1803. Before the principal,
interest, and claims of one sort and another assumed by the
United States were settled, the total cost of this "Louisiana
purchase," comprising, according to French construction and our
understanding, 1,171,931 square miles, swelled to $23,500,000,
or almost $25 per section—a fact not stated in
cyclopedias and school histories, and therefore not generally
understood. Spain still held Florida and claimed a part of what
we understood to be included in the Louisiana purchase—a
strip up to north latitude 31—and disputed our boundary
along the south and west, and even claimed Oregon. We bought
Florida and all the disputed land east of the Mississippi and
her claim to Oregon, and settled our southwestern boundary
dispute for the sum of $6,500,000. Texas smilingly proposed
annexation to the United States, and this great government was
"taken in" December 29, 1845, Texas keeping her public lands
and giving us all her State debts and a three-year war (costing
us $66,000,000) with Mexico, who claimed her for a runaway from
Mexican jurisdiction. This was a bargain that out-yankeed the
Yankees, but the South insisted on it and the North submitted.
After conquering all the territory now embraced in New Mexico,
a part of Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California, we
paid Mexico $25,000,000 for it—$15,000,000 for the
greater part of it and $10,000,000 for another slice, known as
the "Gadsden purchase." In 1867 we bought Alaska from Russia
for $7,200,000. All the several amounts above named were paid
long ago. As for all the rest of our landed possessions, we
took them with us when we cut loose from mother Britain's apron
string, but did not get a clear title until we had fought ten
years for it—first in the Revolutionary War, costing us
in killed 7,343 reported—besides the unreported
killed—and over 15,000 wounded, and $135,193,103 in
money; afterward in the War of 1812-15, costing us in killed
1,877, in wounded 3,737, in money $107,159,003. We have paid
everybody but the Indians, the only real owners, and, thanks to
gunpowder, sword, bayonet, bad whisky, small-pox, cholera and
other weapons of civilization, there are not many of them left
to complain. Besides all the beads, earrings, blankets, pots,
kettles, brass buttons, etc., given them for land titles in the
olden times, we paid them, or the Indian agents, in one way and
another, in the ninety years from 1791 to 1881, inclusive,
$193,672,697.31, to say nothing of the thousands of lives
sacrificed and many millions spent in Indian wars, from the war
of King Philip to the last fight with the Apaches.
ILLUSTRIOUS MEN AND WOMEN.—It is not likely
that any two persons would agree as to who are entitled to the
first fifty places on the roll of great men and great women.
Using "great" in the sense of eminence in their professions, of
great military commanders the following are among the chief:
Sesostris, the Egyptian conqueror, who is represented as having
subdued all Asia to the Oxus and the Ganges, Ethiopia, and a
part of Europe; Cyrus the Great; Alexander the Great; Hannibal;
Che-Hwanti, who reduced all the kingdoms of China and
Indo-China to one empire, and constructed the Great Wall;
Cæsar; Genghis Khan, the Tartar chief, who overran all
Asia and a part of Europe; Napoleon
Bonaparte; Ulysses S. Grant, and General Von Moltke. Among
the most illustrious benefactors of mankind, as statesmen,
lawgivers and patriots, stand Moses, David, Solon, Numa
Pompilius, Zoroaster, Confucius, Justinian, Charlemagne,
Cromwell, Washington and Lincoln. Eminent among the
philosophers, rhetoricians and logicians stand Socrates,
Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, the two Catos, and Lord Bacon;
among orators, Pericles, Demosthenes, Cicero, Mirabeau,
Burke, Webster and Clay; among poets, Homer, Virgil, Dante,
Milton, and Shakespeare; among painters and sculptors,
Phidias, Parrhasius, Zenxis, Praxiteles, Scopas, Michael
Angelo, Raphael and Rubens; among philanthropists, John
Howard; among inventors, Archimedes, Watt, Fulton,
Arkwright, Whitney and Morse; among astronomers, Copernicus,
Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Newton, La Place and the elder
Herschel. Here are sixty names of distinguished men, and yet
the great religious leaders, excepting Moses and Zoroaster,
have not been named. Among these stand Siddhartha or Buddha,
Mahomet, Martin Luther, John Knox and John Wesley. Then the
great explorers and geographers of the world have not been
noticed, among whom Herodotus, Strabo, Pliny, Vasco de Gama,
Columbus and Humboldt barely lead the van.
Of eminent women there are Seling, wife of the Emperor
Hwang-ti, B. C. 2637, who taught her people the art of
silk-raising and weaving; Semiramis, the Assyrian Queen;
Deborah, the heroic warrior prophetess of the Israelites; Queen
Esther, who, with the counsel of her cousin, Mordecai, not only
saved the Jews from extermination, but lifted them from a
condition of slavery into prosperity and power; Dido, the
founder of Carthage; Sappho, the eminent Grecian poetess;
Hypatia, the eloquent philosopher; Mary, the mother of Christ;
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra; the mother of St. Augustine;
Elizabeth of Hungary; Queen Elizabeth of England; Queen
Isabella of Spain; the Empress Maria Theresa; Margaret the
Great of Denmark; Catherine the Great of Russia, Queen
Victoria; Florence Nightingale; Mme. de Stael: Mrs. Fry, the
philanthropist; among authoresses, Mrs. Hemans, Mrs. Sigourney,
Mrs. Browning, "George Sand," "George Eliot," and Mrs. Stowe;
and among artists, Rosa Bonheur, and our own Harriet
THE SUEZ CANAL.—The Suez Canal was begun in
1,858 and was formally opened in November, 1869. Its cost,
including harbors, is estimated at $100,000,000. Its length is
100 miles, 75 of which were excavated; its width is generally
325 feet at the surface, and 75 feet at the bottom, and its
depth 26 feet. The workmen employed were chiefly natives, and
many were drafted by the Khedive. The number of laborers is
estimated at 30,000. The British government virtually controls
the canal as it owns most of the stock.
SENDING VESSELS OVER NIAGARA FALLS.—There have
been three such instances. The first was in 1827. Some men got
an old ship—the Michigan—which had been used on
lake Erie, and had been pronounced unseaworthy. For mere
wantonness they put aboard a bear, a fox, a buffalo, a dog and
some geese and sent it over the cataract. The bear jumped from
the vessel before it reached the rapids, swam toward the shore,
and was rescued by some humane persons. The geese went over the
falls, and came to the shore below alive, and, therefore,
became objects of great interest, and were sold at high prices
to visitors at the Falls. The dog, fox, and buffalo were not
heard of or seen again. Another condemned vessel, the Detroit,
that had belonged to Commodore Perry's victorious fleet, was
started over the cataract in the winter of 1841, but grounded
about midway in the rapids, and lay there till knocked to
pieces by the ice. A somewhat more picturesque instance was the
sending over the Canada side of a ship on fire. This occurred
in 1837. The vessel was the Caroline, which had been run in the
interest of the insurgents in the Canadian rebellion. It was
captured by Colonel McNabb, an officer of the Canada militia,
and by his orders it was set on fire then cut loose from its
moorings. All in flames, it went glaring and hissing down the
rapids and over the precipice, and smothered its ruddy blaze in
the boiling chasm below. Thia was witnessed by large crowds on
both sides of the falls, and was described as a most
magnificent sight. Of course there was no one on board the
OLD TIME WAGES IN ENGLAND.—The following rates
of daily wages "determined" by the Justices of Somerset, in
1685, answer this question very fairly. Somerset; being one of
the average shires of England. The orthography is conformed to
|Mowers per diem, findeing
|Mowers at meate and drinke
|Men makeing hay per diem, findeing
|Men at meate and drinke
|Women makeing hay
|Women at meate and drinke
|Men reapeing corne per diem, findeing
|Men reapinge corne at meate and
|Moweing an acre of grasse, findeing
|Moweing an acre of grasse to hay
|Moweing an acre of barley
|Reapeinge and bindeinge an acre of
|Cuttinge and bindeinge an acre of
beanes and hookinge
The shilling is about 24 cents and the penny 2 cents.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE SIGNERS.—The
following is the list of names appended to that famous
document, with the colony which each represented in
New Hampshire—Josiah Bartlett; William Whipple,
Massachusetts—John Hancock, John Adams, Samuel Adams,
Robert Treat Paine.
Rhode Island—Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William
Connecticut—Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William
Williams, Oliver Wolcott.
New York—William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis
Lewis, Lewis Morris.
New Jersey—Richard Hockton, John Witherspoon, Francis
Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark.
Pennsylvania—Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin
Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George
Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross.
Delaware—Caesar Rodney, George Reed, Thomas
Maryland—Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, William Paca,
Charles Carroll, of Carrollton.
Virginia—George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas
Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis
Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton.
North Carolina—William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John
South Carolina—Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr.,
Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton.
Georgia—Button Gwinntet, Lyman Hall, George
LIFE OF ETHAN ALLEN.—Colonel Ethan Allan was
captured in an attack upon Montreal, September 25, 1775. He was
sent as prisoner to Great Britain, ostensibly for trial, but in
a few months was sent back to America, and
in prison ships and jails at
Halifax and New York till May 3, 1778, when he was
exchanged. During most of his captivity he was treated as a
felon and kept heavily ironed, but during 1777 was allowed
restricted liberty on parole. After his exchange he again
offered his services to the patriot army, but because of
trouble in Vermont was put in command of the militia in that
State. The British authorities were at that time making
especial efforts to secure the allegiance of the Vermonters,
and it was owing to Allen's skillful negotiations that the
question was kept open until the theater of war was changed,
thus keeping the colony on the American side, but avoiding
the attacks from the British that would certainly have
followed an open avowal of their political preferences.
Allen died at Burlington, Vt., February 13, 1789.
BURIAL CUSTOMS.—Among the early Christians the
dead were buried with the face upward and the feet toward the
east, in token of the resurrection at the coming again of the
Sun of Righteousness. It cannot be said, however, that the
custom was first used by the Christians. It was in practice
among early pagan nations also, and is regarded as a survival
of the ideas of the fire-worshipers. The sun, which was the
impersonation of deity to many primitive races, had his home in
their mythology in the east, and out of respect for him the
dead were placed facing this quarter, among certain tribes
always in a sitting posture. It may also be remarked that among
other races the position was reversed, the dead body being
placed with its feet toward the west, because the region of
sunset was the home of the departed spirits.
THE SURRENDER OF LEE TO GRANT.—The surrender of
General Lee was made at the house of a farmer named McLean, in
Appomattox village, that house having been selected by General
Lee himself at General Grant's request for the interview.
General Grant went thither, and was met by General Lee on the
threshold. The two went into the parlor of the house, a small
room, containing little furnishing but a table and several
chairs. About twenty Union officers besides General Grant were
present, among them the members of the General's staff. The
only Confederate officer with General Lee was Colonel Marshall,
who acted as his secretary. General Lee, as well as his aid,
was in full uniform, and wore a burnished sword which was given
him by the State of Virginia; General Grant was in plain
uniform, without a sword. After a brief conversation, relative
to the meeting of the two generals while soldiers in Mexico,
General Lee adverted at once to the object of the interview by
asking on what terms the surrender of his army would be
received. General Grant replied that officers and men must
become prisoners of war, giving up of course all munitions,
weapons and supplies, but that a parole would be accepted.
General Lee then requested that the terms should be put in
writing, that he might sign them. General Badeau says that
while General Grant was writing the conditions of surrender he
chanced to look up and his eye caught the glitter of General
Lee's sword, and that this sight induced him to insert the
provision that the "officers should be allowed to retain their
side-arms, horses and personal property." This historian thinks
that General Lee fully expected to give up his sword, and that
General Grant omitted this from the terms of surrender out of
consideration for the feelings of a soldier. Badeau says that
General Lee was evidently much touched by the clemency of his
adversary in this regard. The Confederate chief now wrote his
acceptance of the terms offered and signed them. lie further
requested that the cavalry and artillery soldiers might be
allowed to retain their horses as well as the officers, to
which General Grant consented, and asked that a supply train
left at Danville might be allowed to pass on, as his soldiers
were without food. The reply of General Grant to this was an
order that 25,000 rations should be immediately issued from the
commissariat of the National army to the Army of Northern
Virginia. The formal papers were now drawn up and signed, and
the interview which ended one of the greatest wars of modern
times was over.
COLORED POPULATION AT EACH CENSUS.—The
following will show the white and colored population of the
United States, from 1790 to 1880, inclusive:
ARCTIC EXPLORATIONS.—From 1496 to 1857 there
were 134 voyages and land journeys undertaken by governments
and explorers of Europe and America to investigate the unknown
region around the North Pole. Of these, sixty-three went to the
northwest, twenty-nine via Behring Straits, and the rest to the
northeast or due north. Since 1857 there have been the notable
expeditions of Dr. Hayes, of Captain Hall, those of
Nordenskjold, and others sent by Germany, Russia and Denmark;
three voyages made by James Lament, of the Royal Geographical
Society, England, at his own expense; the expeditions of Sir
George Nares, of Leigh Smith, and that of the ill-fated
Jeannette; the search expeditions of the Tigress, the Juniata,
and those sent to rescue Lieutenant Greely; further, all the
expeditions fitted out under the auspices of the Polar
Commission—in which the Greely expedition was
included—and a number of minor voyages, making a sum
total of some sixty exploring journeys in these twenty-seven
THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO.—The battle of Waterloo
was fought June 18, 1815, between the allied British,
Netherland and German troops under Wellington and the French
under Napoleon. On June 16 Napoleon had attacked the Prussians
under Blucher at Ligny and forced them to retreat toward Wavre,
and Marshal Noy at the same time attacked the British and Dutch
forces at Quatre Bras, but was forced to retire after an
engagement of five hours. Napoleon's object, however, which was
to prevent a union of the Prussians with Wellington's main
army, was partially gained. The latter commander, having
learned the next morning of Blucher's repulse, moved on to
Waterloo expecting that the Prussian commander, according to
previous arrangement, would join him there as speedily as
possible. On June 17 Napoleon also moved toward Waterloo with
the main body of his army, having directed Marshal Grouchy with
34,000 men and ninety-six guns to pursue Blucher's command
toward Wavre. Both armies bivouacked on the field of Waterloo,
and the next morning Napoleon, confident that Grouchy would
prevent the arrival of the Prussians, delayed attack until the
ground should become dry, a heavy shower having fallen on the
day previous. The forces under Wellington occupied a
semi-circular ridge a mile and a half in length, and the French
were on an opposite ridge, the two being separated by a valley
about 500 yards wide. The plan of Napoleon was to turn the
allied left, force it back upon center, and gain possession of
the enemy's line of retreat. To draw off Wellington's attention
to his right, French troops were sent about 11 o'clock to
attack the chateau of Houguemont, which the English had
fortified. After a more than two hours this was
still in the possession of its defenders. About 1 o'clock a
Prussian corps under Bulow was seen approaching on the
French right, and Napoleon, finding it necessary to send
10,000 men to check their advance, was obliged to change the
plan of battle. He therefore ordered a fierce attack upon
the allied center. Wellington massed his troops there, and
the battle was obstinately maintained for five hours, with
varying success to the participants, both commanders hourly
expecting re-enforcements. Wellington was waiting for
Blucher and Napoleon for Grouchy. The French at last were
gaining ground; the allied troops in the center were
wavering under Ney's impetuous onslaughts, General Durutte
had forced back the left, and Bulow's troops on the right
had been forced to yield the position they had taken. Now,
however, there were rumors that Blucher's army was
approaching and the allies again rallied. At 7 o'clock
Napoleon, despairing of the approach of Grouchy, determined
to decide the day by a charge of the Old Guard, which had
been held in reserve. At this stage the advance of Prussian
horse on the allied left forced back General Durutte's
troops, and the Old Guard formed in squares to cover this
retreat. Ney's division surrounded, made a gallant
struggle—their brave leader still unwounded, though
five horses had been shot under him, heading them on foot,
sword in hand—but were forced to give way. The Old
Guard held their ground against overwhelming numbers.
Finally, when five squares were broken, the Emperor gave the
order to "fall back." The cry "The Guard is repulsed" spread
consternation through the French army and threatened to turn
retreat into precipitate flight. Napoleon, seeing this,
reformed the Guard in order to give a rallying point for the
fugitives. Failing in this, he declared that he would die
within the square, but Marshal Soult hurried him away. The
heroic band, surrounded, was bidden to surrender. "The Old
Guard dies, but never surrenders" is the reply popularly
attributed to General Cambronne, and with the cry of "Vive
l'Empereur!" the remnant of the Guard made a last charge
upon the enemy and perished almost to a man. The forces of
Blucher being now upon the field, the rout of the French was
complete, and the Prussians pursued the fleeing troops,
capturing guns and men. There is no doubt that the failure
of Grouchy to come upon the field caused Napoleon to lose
his last great battle. It was subsequently asserted that
this marshal was bribed, but there seems to be no real
foundation for so base a charge. The trouble was that he had
been ordered by Napoleon to follow the Prussians toward
Wavre and thought it necessary to follow the strict letter
of his instructions. Before he reached the village the main
body of the Prussian force was on its way to Waterloo, but
one division had been left there to occupy his attention.
Engaged in skirmishing with this, he paid no attention to
the advice of his subordinate generals who, hearing the
terrible cannonading at Waterloo, besought him to go to the
aid of the army there. Napoleon believing that he was either
holding back Blucher's forces or was hotly pursuing them,
did not recall him to the main army, and the decisive battle
was lost. Grouchy was summoned before a council of war, but
the court declared itself incompetent to decide his case,
and nothing further came of it.
OUR NATIONAL CEMETERIES.—National Cemeteries
for soldiers and sailors may be said to have originated in
1850, the army appropriation bill of that year appropriating
money for a cemetery near the City of Mexico, for the interment
of the remains of soldiers who fell in the Mexican War. The
remains of Federal soldiers and sailors who fell in the war for
the Union have been buried in seventy-eight cemeteries
exclusive of those interred elsewhere, a far greater
In the subjoined list are given the names and locations of
the National Cemeteries with the number therein buried, known
and unknown. We have no means of knowing what cemeteries also
contain the bodies of Southern soldiers:
|Cypress Hill, N. Y.
|Woodlawn, Elmira, N. Y.
|Beverly, N. J.
|Finn's Point, N.J.
|London Park, Baltimore, Md.
|Laurel, Baltimore, Md.
|Soldiers' Home, D. C.
|Battle, D. C.
|Grafton, W. Va.
|Ball's Bluff, Va.
|Cold Harbor, Va.
|City Point, Va.
|Fort Harrison, Va.
|Poplar Grove, Va.
|Seven Pines, Va.
|Newbern, N. C.
|Raleigh, N. C.
|Salisbury, N. C.
|Wilmington, N. C.
|Beaufort, S. C.
|Florence, S. C.
|Baton Rouge, La.
|Port Hudson, La.
|San Antonio, Texas
|Fort Smith, Ark.
|Little Rock, Ark.
|Fort Donelson, Tenn.
|Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.
|Stone River, Tenn.
|Camp Nelson, Ky.
|Cave Hill, Louisville, Ky.
|Crown Hill, Indianapolis, Ind.
|New Albany, Ind.
|Camp Butler, Ill.
|Mound City, Ill.
|Rock Island, Ill.
|Jefferson Barracks, Mo.
|Jefferson City, Mo.
|Fort Leavenworth, Kas.
|Fort Scott, Kas.
|Fort Gibson, I. T.
|Fort McPherson, Neb.
|City of Mexico, Mexico
THE CATACOMBS OF PARIS.—The so-called catacombs
of Paris were never catacombs in the ancient sense of the word,
and were not devoted to purposes of sepulture until 1784. In
that year the Council of State issued a decree for clearing the
Cemetery of the Innocents, and for removing its contents, as
well as those of other graveyards, into the quarries which had
existed from the earlier times under the city of Paris and
completely undermined the southern part of the city. Engineers
and workmen were sent to examine the quarries and to prop up
their roofs lest the weight of buildings above should break
them in. April 7, 1786, the consecration of the catacombs was
performed with great solemnity, and the work of removal from
the cemeteries was immediately begun. This work was all
performed by night; the bones were brought in funeral cars,
covered with a pall, and followed by priests chanting the
service of the dead, and when they reached the catacombs the
bones were shot down the shaft. As the cemeteries were cleared
by order of the government, their contents were removed to this
place of general deposit, and these catacombs further served as
convenient receptacles for those who perished in the
revolution. At first the bones were heaped up without any kind
of order except that those from each cemetery were kept
separate, but in 1810 a regular system of arranging them was
commenced, and the skulls and bones were built up along the
wall. From the main entrance to the catacombs, which is near
the barriers d'Enfer, a flight of ninety steps descends, at
whose foot galleries are seen branching in various directions.
Some yards distant is a vestibule of octagonal form, which
opens into a long gallery lined with bones from floor to roof.
The arm, leg and thigh bones are in front, closely and
regularly piled, and their uniformity is relieved by three rows
of skulls at equal distances. Behind these are thrown the
smaller bones. This gallery conducts to several rooms
resembling chapels, lined with bones variously arranged. One is
called the "Tomb of the Revolution." another the "Tomb of
Victims," the latter containing the relics of those who
perished in the early period of the revolution and in the
"Massacre of September." It is estimated that the remains of
3,000,000 human beings lie in this receptacle. Admission to
these catacombs has for years been strictly forbidden on
account of the unsafe condition of the roof. They are said to
comprise an extent of about 3,250,000 square yards.
HISTORY OF THE TELEPHONE.—The principle of the
telephone, that sounds could be conveyed to a distance by a
distended wire, was demonstrated by Robert Hook in 1667, but no
practical application was made of the discovery until 1821,
when Professor Wheatstone exhibited his "Enchanted Lyre," in
which the sounds of a music-box were conveyed from a cellar to
upper rooms. The first true discoverer of the speaking
telephone, however, was Johaun Philipp Reis, a German scientist
and professor in the institute at Friedrichsdorf. April 25,
1861, Reis exhibited his telephone at Frankfort. This contained
all the essential features of the modern telephone, but as its
commercial value was not at all comprehended, little attention
was paid to it. Reis, after trying in vain to arouse the
interest of scientists in his discovery, died in 1874, without
having reaped any advantage from it, and there is no doubt that
his death was hastened by the distress of mind caused by his
continual rebuffs. Meanwhile, the idea was being worked into
more practical shape by other persons, Professor Elisha Gray
and Professor A.G. Bell, and later by Edison. There is little
doubt that Professor Gray's successful experiments considerably
antedated those of the others, but Professor Bell was the first
to perfect his patent. February 12, 1877, Bell's articulating
telephone was tested by experiments at Boston and Salem, Mass.,
and was found to convey sounds distinctly from one place to the
other, a distance of eighteen miles. This telephone was
exhibited widely in this country and in Europe during that
year, and telephone companies were established to bring it into
general use. Edison's carbon "loud-speaking" telephone was
brought out in 1878. It is not worth while to go into details
of the suits on the subject of priority of invention. The
examiner of patents at Washington, July 21, 1883, decided that
Professor Bell was the first inventor, because he was the first
to complete his invention and secure a full patent. Since 1878
there have been many improvements in the different parts of the
telephone, rendering it now nearly perfect in its working.
SECESSION AND READMISSION OF REBEL STATES.—
||June 11, 1868.
||Jan. 9, 1861
||Feb. 3, 1870.
||Jan. 11, 1861
||June 11, 1868.
||Jan. 11, 1861
||June 11, 1868.
||Jan. 19, 1861
||April 20, 1870.
||Jan. 26, 1861
||June 11, 1868.
||Feb. 1, 1861
||Mar. 15, 1870.
||April 16, 1861
||Jan. 15, 1870.
||May 6, 1861
||June 20, 1868.
||May 21, 1861
||June 11, 1868.
||June 24, 1861
THE EARTHQUAKE OF 1811-12.—The earthquake
shocks felt on the shores of the Lower Mississippi in the years
1811-12 are recorded as among the most remarkable phenomena of
their kind. Similar instances where earth disturbances have
prevailed, severely and continuously, far from the vicinity of
a volcano, are very rare indeed. In this instance, over an
extent of country stretching for 300 miles southward from the
mouth of the Ohio river, the ground rose and sank in great
undulations, and lakes were formed and again drained. The
shocks were attended by loud explosions, great
fissures—generally traveling from northeast to southwest,
and sometimes more than half a mile in length—were opened
in the earth, and from these openings mud and water were thrown
often to the tops of the highest trees. Islands in the
Mississippi were sunk, the current of the river was driven back
by the rising of its bed, and overflowed the adjacent lands.
More than half of New Madrid county was permanently submerged.
The inhabitants noticed that these earth movements were
sometimes vertical and sometimes horizontal, the former being
by far the most serious in their effects. These disturbances
ceased March 26, 1812, simultaneously with the great earthquake
which destroyed the city of Caracas, South America.
THE DARK DAYS IN NEW ENGLAND.—On May 19, 1780,
there was a remarkable darkening of the sky and atmosphere over
a large part of New England, which caused
much alarm among those who
witnessed it. The darkness began between ten and eleven
o'clock on the day named, and continued in some places
through the entire day, and was followed by an unusually
intense degree of blackness during the ensuing night. This
phenomenon extended from the northeastern part of New
England westward as far as Albany, and southward to the
coast of New Jersey. The most intense and prolonged
darkness, however, was confined to Massachusetts, especially
to the eastern half of the State. It came up from the
southwest, and overhung the country like a pall. It was
necessary to light candles in all the houses, and thousands
of good people, believing that the end of all things
terrestrial had come, betook themselves to religious
devotions. One incident of the occasion has been woven into
verse with excellent effect by the poet Whittier. The
Connecticut Legislature was in session on that day, and as
the darkness came on and grew more and more dense, the
members became terrified, and thought that the day of
judgment had come; so a motion was made to adjourn. At this,
a Mr. Davenport arose and said: "Mr. Speaker, it is either
the day of judgment, or it is not. If it is not, there is no
need of adjourning. If it is, I desire to be found doing my
duty. I move that candles be brought and that we proceed to
business." Mr. Davenport's suggestion was taken, candles
were brought in, and business went on as usual. As to the
explanation of this phenomenon, scientists have been much
puzzled. It was plain from the falling of the barometer that
the air was surcharged with heavy vapor. The darkness then,
it might be said, was only the result of a dense fog, but
the question of the cause of so remarkable a fog was still
unanswered. Omitting this unascertained primary cause, then,
Professor Williams, of Harvard College, who subsequently
made a thorough investigation of the matter, gave it as his
opinion that this unprecedented quantity of vapor had
gathered in the air in layers so as to cut off the rays of
light, by repeated refraction, in a remarkable degree. He
thought that the specific gravity of this vapor must have
been the same as that of the air, which caused it to be held
so long in suspension in the atmosphere. In this case the
extent of the darkness would coincide with the area of the
vapor, and it would continue until a change in the gravity
of the air caused the vapors to ascend or descend. In some
places when the darkness cleared it was as if the vapor was
lifted and borne away by the wind like a dark pall, and in
others, after a period of intense darkness the atmosphere
gradually lightened again. In our day, a phenomenon of this
kind would be thoroughly investigated to its most remote
possible cause; but then owing to the sparse settlement of
the country and the difficulties of travel, the
investigation of distant causes could not be made. Large
fires may have prevailed that spring in the forests of
Western New York and Pennsylvania—a region then an
absolute wilderness—the smoke of which was borne
through the upper regions of the atmosphere, to fall when it
came to a locality of less buoyant air, down to the lower
strata. We say these fires may have recently preceded this
day, and served as its sufficient cause, but we have only
presumptive evidence that they did occur. Had Professor
Williams entertained a supposition of the previous existence
of such fires, he had then no means of verifying it, and
long before the advent of railroads and telegraphs, or even
of stage lines, the scientific theories of the dark day had
passed from the general memory.
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE LIBERTY BELL.—In 1751
the Pennsylvania Assembly authorized a committee to procure a
bell for their State House. November 1st of that year an order
was sent to London for "a good bell of about 2,000 pounds
weight." To this order were added the following directions:
"Let the bell be cast by the best workmen and examined
carefully before it is shipped, with the following words well
shaped in large letters around it, viz.: 'By order of the
Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania, for the State House,
in the city of Philadelphia, 1752.' And underneath, 'Proclaim
Liberty Through All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants
Thereof.—Levit. xxv. 10.'" In due time, in the following
year, the bell reached Philadelphia, but when it was hung,
early in 1753, as it was being first rung to test the sound, it
cracked without any apparent reason, and it was necessary to
have it recast. It was at first thought to be necessary to send
it back to England for the purpose, but some "ingenious
workmen" in Philadelphia wished to do the casting and were
allowed to do so. In the first week of June, 1753, the bell was
again hung in the belfry of the State House. On July 4, 1776,
it was known throughout the city that the final decision on the
question of declaring the colonies independent of Great Britain
was to be made by the Continental Congress, in session at the
State House. Accordingly the old bellman had been stationed in
the belfry on that morning, with orders to ring the bell when a
boy waiting at the door of the State House below should signal
to him that the bill for independence had been passed. Hour
after hour the old man stood at his post. At last, at 2
o'clock, when he had about concluded that the question would
not be decided on that day at least, the watchman heard a shout
from below, and looking down saw the boy at the door clapping
his hands and calling at the top of his voice: "Ring! ring!"
And he did ring, the story goes, for two whole hours, being so
filled with excitement and enthusiasm that he could not stop.
When the British threatened Philadelphia, in 1777, the precious
bell was taken down and removed to the town of Bethlehem for
safety. In 1778 it was returned to the State House and a new
steeple built for it. Several years after it cracked, for some
unknown reason, under a stroke of the clapper, and its tone was
thus destroyed. An attempt was made to restore its tone by
sawing the crack wider, but without success. This bell was sent
to New Orleans during the winter to be exhibited in the World's
Fair there. The Pullman Company gave one of their handsomest
cars for the transit. It was in the charge of three custodians
appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia, who did not leave it
night or day, and guarded it as fully as possible against
accident. A pilot engine preceded the train carrying the bell
over the entire route. It left Philadelphia Jan. 24, 1885, and
returned in June.
THE ANTARCTIC POLAR REGIONS.—The climate of the
southern polar regions is much more severe than that at the
north pole, the icefields extending in degrees nearer the
equator from the south than from the north. Within the arctic
circle there are tribes of men living on the borders of the icy
ocean on both the east and west hemispheres, but within the
antarctic all is one dreary, uninhabitable waste. In the
extreme north the reindeer and the musk-ox are found in
numbers, but not a single land quadruped exists beyond 50
degrees of southern latitude. Flowers are seen in summer by the
arctic navigator as far as 78 degrees north, but no plant of
any description, not even a moss or a lichen, has been observed
beyond Cockburn Island, in 64 degrees 12 minutes south
latitude. In Spitzbergen, 79 degrees north, vegetation ascends
the mountain slopes to a height of 3,000 feet, but on every
land within or near the antarctic circle the snow-line descends
to the water's edge. The highest latitude ever reached at the
south is 78 degrees 10 minutes, while in the north navigators
have penetrated to 84 degrees. The reason for this remarkable
difference is the predominance of
large tracts of land in the
northern regions, while in the south is a vast expanse of
ocean. In the north continental masses form an almost
continuous belt around the icy sea, while in the southern
hemisphere the continents taper down into a broad extent of
frigid waters. In the north the plains of Siberia and of the
Hudson's Bay territories, warmed by the sunbeams of summer,
become at that season centers of radiating heat, while the
antarctic lands, of small extent, isolated in the midst of a
polar ocean and chilled by cold sea winds, act at every
season as refrigerators of the atmosphere. Further in the
north the cold currents of the polar sea, having but two
openings of any estent through which they can convey drift
ice, have their chilly influence confined to comparatively
narrow limits, but the cold currents of the antarctic seas
have scope to branch out freely on all sides and carry their
ice even into temperate waters. Finally, at the northern
hemisphere, the Gulf Stream conveys warmth even to the
shores of Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla, while on the opposite
regions of the globe no traces of warm currents have been
observed beyond 55 degrees of south latitude.
THE LANGUAGE USED BY CHRIST.—The language used
by Christ was the Aramaic, the dialect of Northern Syria. The
Israelites were much in contact with Aramæan populations,
and some words from that tongue became incorporated into the
Hebrew at a very early date. At the time of Hezekiah, Aramaic
had become the official language of both Judea and Assyria:
that is, the language spoken at the courts. After the fall of
Samaria the Hebrew inhabitants of Northern Israel were largely
carried into captivity, and their place was taken by colonists
from Syria, who probably spoke Aramaic as their mother tongue.
The fall of the Jewish Kingdom hastened the decay of Hebrew as
a spoken language—not that the captives forgot their own
language, as is generally assumed, but after the return to
Judea the Jews found themselves, a people few in number, among
a large number of surrounding populations using the Aramaic
tongue. When the latest books of the Old Testament were
written, Hebrew, though still the language of literature, had
been supplanted by Aramaic as the language of common life. From
that time on the former tongue was the exclusive property of
scholars, and has no history save that of a merely literary
HOW ANCIENT TEMPLES AND PYRAMIDS WERE
BUILT.—This is beyond modern conjecture, so imperfect
is our understanding of the extent of the mechanical knowledge
of the ancients. Their appliances are believed to have been of
the simplest order, and their implements exceedingly crude, and
yet they were able to convey these enormous blocks of stones
for vast distances, over routes most difficult, and having
accomplished this, to raise them to great height, and fit them
in place without the aid of either cement or mortar to cover up
the errors of the stonecutter. How all this was done is one of
the enigmas of modern science. It has been generally believed
that inclined planes of earth were used to enable the workmen
to raise the huge stones to their places, the earth being
cleared away afterward. But it is possible that the ancients
had a more extended knowledge of mechanical powers than we
usually give them credit for, and that they made use of
machinery very like that employed by moderns for lifting great
weights. Large cavities are found in some of the stones in the
pyramids, which may have been worn by the foot of a derrick
turning in them. That there were enormous numbers of men
employed in the building of these ancient structures is well
known; these results of their great aggregated strength we see,
but they left no record of the means by which this strength was
focused and brought most effectually to bear on their mighty
THE FIRST ATLANTIC CABLE.—As early as 1842
Professor Morse declared a submarine cable connection between
America and Europe to be among the possibilities, but no
attempt toward this great achievement was made until 1854, when
Cyrus Field established a company, which secured the right of
landing cables in Newfoundland for fifty years. In 1858
soundings between Ireland and Newfoundland were completed,
showing a maximum depth of 4,400 meters. Having succeeded in
laying a cable between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Mr. Field
secured the co-operation of English capitalists in his
enterprise. The laying of the cable was begun August 7, 1857,
from the port of Valencia, Ireland, but on the third day it
broke, and the expedition had to return. Early in the following
year another attempt was made. The cable was laid from both
ends at the same time, was joined in mid-ocean, but in lowering
it was broken. Again, in the same year, the attempt was made,
and this time connection was successfully made. The first
message over the line was sent August 7, 1858. The insulation
of this cable, however, was defective, and by September 4th had
quite failed. Some time was now spent in experiments, conducted
by scientists, to secure a more perfect cable. A new company
was formed, and in 1865 the work again began. The Great Eastern
was employed to lay the cable, but when it was partly laid
serious defects in the line were discovered and in repairing
these it broke. The apparatus for recovering the wire proving
insufficient the vessel returned to England. A new company,
called the Anglo-American, was formed in 1865, and again the
Great Eastern was equipped for the enterprise. The plan of the
new expedition was not only to lay a new cable, but also to
take up the end of the old one and join it to a new piece, thus
obtaining a second telegraph line. The vessel sailed from
Valencia July 13, 1866, and July 27 the cable was completely
laid to Heart's Content, Newfoundland, and a message announcing
the fact sent over the wire to Lord Stanley. Queen Victoria
sent a message of congratulation to President Buchanan on the
28th. September 2d the lost cable of 1865 was recovered and its
laying completed at Newfoundland September 8, 1866.
ENGRAVING ON EGGS.—The art of engraving on eggs
is very puzzling to the uninitiated, but in reality it is very
simple. It merely consists in writing upon the egg-shell with
wax or varnish, or simply with tallow, and then immersing the
egg in some weak acid, such, for example, as vinegar, dilute
hydrochloric acid, or etching liquor. Wherever the varnish or
wax has not protected the shell, the lime of the latter is
decomposed and dissolved in the acid, and the writing or
drawing remains in relief. In connection with this art a
curious incident is told in history. In the month of August,
1808, at the time of the Spanish war, there was found in a
church in Lisbon an egg, on which was plainly foretold the
utter destruction of the French, who then had control of the
city. The story of the wonderful prophecy spread through the
town, causing the greatest excitement among the superstitious
populace, and a general uprising was expected. This, however,
the French commander cleverly thwarted by causing a
counter-prophecy, directly denying the first, to be engrossed
on several hundred eggs, which were then distributed in various
parts of the city. The astonished Portuguese did not know what
to think of this new phenomenon, but its "numerousness," if we
may so call it, caused it to altogether outweigh the influence
of the first prediction, and there were no further symptoms of
revolt against the French.
CAYENNE PEPPER.—The name of the plant genus
from which cayenne pepper is obtained is capsicum, a name also
given to the product of the plant. This genus belongs to
the solanaceæ, or night
shade family, and has no relation to the family
piperaceæ, which produces the shrub yielding black
pepper. The plant which yields cayenne pepper is identical
with the common red pepper of our gardens. It is an annual,
a native of tropical countries, where it thrives luxuriantly
even in the dryest soils, but it is also cultivated in other
parts of the world. It grows to the height of two or three
feet, and bears a fruit in the shape of a conical pod or
seed-vessel, which is green when immature, but bright
scarlet or orange when ripe. This pod, with its seeds, has a
very pungent taste, and is used when green for pickling, and
when ripe and dried is ground to powder to make cayenne
pepper, or is used for medicine. This powder has a strongly
stimulating effect, and is believed to aid digestion. It is
also employed externally to excite the action of the
THE BIG TREES OF CALIFORNIA.—There are several
groves of Big Trees in California, the most famous of which are
the Calaveras grove and the Mariposa grove. The Calaveras grove
occupies what may be described as a band or belt 3,200 feet
long and 700 in width. It is between two slopes, in a
depression in the mountains, and has a stream winding through
it, which runs dry in the summer time. In this grove the Big
Trees number ninety-three, besides a great many smaller ones,
which would be considered very large if it were not for the
presence of these monarchs of the forest. Several of the Big
Trees have fallen since the grove was discovered, one has been
cut down, and one had the bark stripped from it to the height
116 feet from the ground. The highest now standing is the
"Keystone State," 325 feet high and 45 feet in circumference;
and the largest and finest is the "Empire State." There are
four trees over 300 feet in height, and 40 to 61 feet in
circumference. The tree which was cut down occupied five men
twenty-two days, which would be at the rate of one man 110
days, or nearly four months' work, not counting Sundays. Pump
augers were used for boring through the giant. After the trunk
was severed from the stump it required five men with immense
wedges for three days to topple it over. The bark was eighteen
inches thick. The tree would have yielded more than 1,000 cords
of four-foot wood and 100 cords of bark, or more than 1,100
cords in all. On the stump of the tree was built a house,
thirty feet in diameter, which the Rev. A.H. Tevis, an
observant traveler, says contains room enough in square feet,
if it were the right shape, for a parlor 12x10 feet, a
dining-room 10x12, a kitchen 10x12, two bed-rooms 10 feet
square each, a pantry 4x8, two clothes-presses 1-1/2 feet deep
and 4 feet wide, and still have a little to spare! The Mariposa
grove is part of a grant made by Congress to be set apart for
public use, resort and recreation forever. The area of the
grant is two miles square and comprises two distinct groves
about half a mile apart. The upper grove contains 365 trees, of
which 154 are over fifteen feet in diameter, besides a great
number of smaller ones. The average height of the Mariposa
trees is less than that of the Calaveras, the highest Mariposa
tree being 272 feet; but the average size of the Mariposa is
greater than that of Calaveras. The "Grizzly Giant," in the
lower grove, is 94 feet in circumference and 31 feet in
diameter; it has been decreased by burning. Indeed, the forests
at times present a somewhat unattractive appearance, as, in the
past, the Indians, to help them in their hunting, burned off
the chaparral and rubbish, and thus disfigured many of these
splendid trees by burning off nearly all the bark. The first
branch of the "Grizzly Giant" is nearly two hundred feet from
the ground and is six feet in diameter. The remains of a tree,
now prostrate, indicate that it had reached a diameter of about
forty feet and a height of 400 feet; the trunk is hollow and
will admit of the passage of three horsemen riding abreast.
There are about 125 trees of over forty feet in circumference.
Besides these two main groves there are the Tolumne grove, with
thirty big trees; the Fresno grove, with over eight hundred
spread over an area of two and a half miles long and one to two
broad; and the Stanislaus grove, the Calaveras group, with from
700 to 800. There should be named in this connection the
petrified forest near Calitoga, which contains portions of
nearly one hundred distinct trees of great size, scattered over
a tract of three or four miles in extent: the largest of this
forest is eleven feet in diameter at the base and sixty feet
long. It is conjectured that these prostrate giants were
silicified by the eruption of the neighboring Mount St. Helena,
which discharged hot alkaline waters containing silica in
solution. This petrified forest is considered one of the great
natural wonders of California.
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF JERUSALEM.—The earliest
name of Jerusalem appears to have been Jebus, or poetically,
Salem, and its king in Abraham's time was Melchizedek. When the
Hebrews took possession of Canaan, the city of Salem was
burned, but the fortress remained in the hands of the Jebusites
till King David took it by storm and made it the capital of his
kingdom. From that time it was called Jerusalem. During the
reigns of David and Solomon it attained its highest degree of
power. When ten of the Jewish tribes seceded under Jeroboam
they made Shechem (and later Samaria) the capital of their
kingdom of Israel, and Jerusalem remained the capital of the
smaller but more powerful kingdom of Judah. The city was taken
by Shishak, King of Egypt, in 971 B.C., was later conquered and
sacked by Joash, King of Israel, and in the time of Ahaz, the
King of Syria came against it with a large force, but could not
take it. The city was besieged in Hezekiah's reign, by the army
of Sennacherib, King of Assyria, but was saved by the sudden
destruction of the invading army. After the death of Josiah,
the city was tributary for some years to the King of Egypt, but
was taken after repeated attempts by the Babylonians under
Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C., and was left a heap of ruins. The
work of rebuilding it began by order of King Cyrus about 538
B.C., who allowed the Jewish people who had been carried into
captivity to return for this purpose. From this time Jerusalem
enjoyed comparative peace for several hundred years and grew to
be an important commercial city. When Alexander invaded Syria
it submitted to him without resistance. After his death it
belonged for a time to Egypt and in 198 B.C., passed with the
rest of Judea under the rule of Syria. Antiochus the Great
ruled it with mildness and justice, but the tyranny of his son,
Antiochus Epiphanes, brought about the revolt, headed by the
Maccabees, through which Jerusalem gained a brief independence.
In 63 B.C., Pompey the Great took the city, demolished the
walls and killed thousands of the people, but did not plunder
it. However, nine years later Crassus robbed the temple of all
its treasures. The walls were soon after rebuilt under
Antipater, the Roman procurator, but when Herod came to rule
over the city with the title of King, given him by the Roman
Senate, he was resisted and only took possession after an
obstinate siege, which was followed by the massacre of great
numbers of the people. Herod improved and enlarged the city,
and restored the temple on a more magnificent scale than in
Solomon's time. Jerusalem is said at this time to have had a
population of over 200,000. This period of wealth and
prosperity was also rendered most, memorable for Jerusalem by
the ministry and crucifixion of Christ. About A.D. 66, the
Jews, goaded to desperation by the tyranny of the Romans,
revolted, garrisoned Jerusalem, and defeated a Roman army sent
against them. This was the beginning
of the disastrous war which ended with the destruction of
the city. It was taken by Titus, in the year 70, after a
long siege, all the inhabitants were massacred, or made
prisoners, and the entire city left a heap of ruins. The
Emperor Hadrian built on the site of Jerusalem a Roman city,
under the name of Elia Capitolina, with a temple of Jupiter,
and Jews were forbidden to enter the city under pain of
death. Under Constantine it was made a place of pilgrimage
for Christians, as the Emperor's mother, Helena, had with
much pains located the various sites of events in the
history of Christ. The Emperor Julian, on the contrary, not
only allowed the Jews to return to their city, but also made
an attempt, which ended in failure, to rebuild their temple.
In 614 the Persian Emperor Chosroes invaded the Roman
empire. The Jews joined his army, and after conquering the
northern part of Palestine, the united forces laid siege to
and took Jerusalem. The Jews wreaked vengeance on the
Christians for what they had been forced to endure, and
20,000 people were massacred. The Persians held rule in the
city for fourteen years; it was then taken by the Romans
again, but in 636 the Caliph Omar beseiged it. After four
months the city capitulated. It was under the rule of the
Caliphs for 400 years, until the Seljuk Turks in 1077
invaded Syria and made it a province of their empire.
Christian pilgrims had for many years kept up the practice
of visiting the tomb of Christ, as the Caliphs did not
interfere with their devotions any further than by exacting
a small tribute from each visitor. But the cruelties
practiced upon the pilgrims by the Turks were many, and
report of them soon roused all Europe to a pitch of
indignation, and brought about that series of holy wars,
which for a time restored the holy sepulcher into Christian
hands. Jerusalem was stormed and taken July 15, 1099, and
50,000 Moslems were slaughtered by their wrathful Christian
foes. The new sovereignty was precariously maintained until
1187, when it fell before the power of Saladin. Jerusalem,
after a siege of twelve days, surrendered. Saladin, however,
did not put his captives to death, but contented himself
with expelling them from the city. Jerusalem passed into the
hands of the Franks by treaty, in 1229, was retaken by the
Moslems in 1239, once more restored in 1243, and finally
conquered in 1244 by a horde of Kharesmian Turks. In 1517
Palestine was conquered by Sultan Selin I., and since then
has been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, except for a
brief period—from 1832 to 1840, when it was in the
hands of Mahomet Ali Pasha of Egypt, and his son Ibrahim had
his seat of government in Jerusalem.
THE BLACK DEATH.—- This great plague, known as
the "Black Death," was the most deadly epidemic ever known. It
is believed to have been an aggravated outburst of the Oriental
plague, which from the earliest records of history has
periodically appeared in Asia and Northern Africa. There had
been a visitation of the plague in Europe in 1342; the Black
Death, in terrible virulence, appeared in 1348-9; it also came
in milder form in 1361-2, and again in 1369. The prevalence and
severity of the pestilence during this century is ascribed to
the disturbed conditions of the elements that preceded it. For
a number of years Asia and Europe had suffered from mighty
earthquakes, furious tornadoes, violent floods, clouds of
locusts darkening the air and poisoning it with their
corrupting bodies. Whether these natural disturbances were the
cause of the plague is not certainly known, but many writers on
the subject regard the connection as both probable and
possible. The disease was brought from the Orient to
Constantinople, and early in 1347 appeared in Sicily and
several coast towns of Italy. After a brief pause the
pestilence broke out at Avignon in January, 1348; advanced
thence to Southern France, Spain and Northern Italy. Passing
through France and visiting, but not yet ravaging, Germany, it
made its way to England, cutting down its first victims at
Dorset, in August, 1348. Thence it traveled slowly, reaching
London early in the winter. Soon it embraced the entire
kingdom, penetrating to every rural hamlet, so that England
became a mere pest-house. The chief symptoms of the disease are
described as "spitting, in some cases actual vomiting, of
blood, the breaking out of inflammatory boils in parts, or over
the whole of the body, and the appearance of those dark
blotches upon the skin which suggested its most startling name.
Some of the victims died almost on the first attack, some in
twelve hours, some in two days, almost all within the first
three days." The utter powerlessness of medical skill before
the disease was owing partly to the physicians' ignorance of
its nature, and largely to the effect of the spirit of terror
which hung like a pall over men's minds. After some months had
passed, the practice of opening the hard boils was adopted,
with very good effect, and many lives were thus saved. But the
havoc wrought by the disease in England was terrible. It is
said that 100,000 persons died in London, nearly 60,000 in
Norwich, and proportionate numbers in other cities. These
figures seem incredible, but a recent writer, who has spent
much time in the investigation of records, asserts that at
least half the population, or about 2,500,000 souls, of England
perished in this outbreak. The ravages of the pestilence over
the rest of the world were no less terrible. Germany is said to
have lost 1,244,434 victims; Italy, over half the population.
On a moderate calculation, it may be assumed that there
perished in Europe during the first appearance of the Black
Death, fully 25,000,000 human beings. Concerning the Orient we
have less reliable records, but 13,000,000 are said to have
died in China, and 24,000,000 in the rest of Asia and adjacent
islands. The plague also ravaged Northern Africa, but of its
course there little is known. The horrors of that dreadful time
were increased by the fearful persecutions visited on the Jews,
who were accused of having caused the pestilence by poisoning
the public wells. The people rose to exterminate the hapless
race, and killed them by fire and torture wherever found. It is
impossible for us to conceive of the actual horror of such
MIGHTY HAMMERS.—An authority on scientific
subjects give the weights of the great hammers used in the iron
works of Europe, and their date of manufacture, as follows: At
the Terni Works, Italy, the heaviest hammer weighs 50 tons, and
was made in 1873; one at Alexandrovski, Russia, was made the
following year of like weight. In 1877, one was finished at
Creusot Works, France, weighing 80 tons; in 1885, one at the
Cockerill Works, Belgium, of 100 tons, and in 1880, at the
Krupp Works, Essen, Germany, one of 150 tons. The latter being
the heaviest hammer in the world.
ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT GARFIELD.—July 2,
1881, at 9:25 A.M., as President Garfield was entering the
Baltimore & Potomac Railroad depot at Washington,
preparatory to taking the cars for a two weeks' jaunt in New
England, he was fired upon and severely wounded by Charles
Jules Guitean, a native of Illinois, but of French descent. The
scene of the assassination was the ladies' reception-room at
the station. The President and Mr. Blaine, arm in arm, were
walking slowly through the aisle between two rows of benches on
either side of the room; when Guitean entered by a side door on
the left of the gentlemen, passed quickly around the back of
the benches till directly behind the President, and fired the
shot that struck his arm. Mr. Garfield walked about ten feet to
the end of the aisle, and was in the act of turning to face his
assailant when the second shot struck him in
small of the back, and he
fell. The assassin was immediately seized and taken to jail.
The wounded president was conveyed in an ambulance to the
White House. As he was very faint, the first fear was of
internal hemorrhage, which might cause speedy death. But as
he rallied in a few hours, this danger was thought to be
averted and inflammation was now feared. But as symptoms of
this failed to appear, the surgeons in attendance concluded
that no important organ had been injured, that the bullet
would become encysted and harmless, or might possibly be
located and successfully removed. By the 10th of July, the
reports were so favorable, that the president's recovery was
regarded as certain, and public thanksgivings were offered
in several of the States, by order of the governors, for his
deliverance. The first check in the favorable symptoms
occurred on July 18, and July 23 there was a serious
relapse, attended with chills and fever. The wound had been
frequently probed but without securing any favorable result.
The induction balance was used to locate the ball, and was
regarded as a success, though subsequently its indications
were known to have been altogether erroneous. The probings,
therefore, in what was assumed to be the track of the ball,
only increased the unfavorable symptoms. During the entire
month of August these reports were alternately hopeful and
discouraging, the dangerous indications being generally on
the increase. By August 25, his situation was understood to
be very critical, though an apparent improvement on the 26th
and 28th again aroused hope. At his own earnest desire the
president was removed, September 6, to Elberon Park, near
Long Branch. N.J., in the hope that the cooler air of the
seaside might renew his strength more rapidly. However, the
improvement hoped for did not appear. On September 16, there
was a serious relapse, with well-marked symptoms of blood
poisoning, and September 19, the president died. A
post-mortem examination showed that the ball, after
fracturing one of the ribs, had passed through the spinal
column, fracturing the body of one of the vertebra, driving
a number of small fragments of bone into the soft parts
adjacent, and lodging below the pancreas, where it had
become completely encysted. The immediate cause of death was
hemorrhage from one of the small arteries in the track of
the ball, but the principal cause was the poisoning of the
blood from suppuration.
COINS OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES.—The following
carefullv prepared summary indicates the coins in use in the
various countries, taking their names in alphabetical
Argentine Republic—Gold coins: 20 peso piece, $19.94;
10 pesos, $9.97; 5 pesos, $4.98. Silver: 1 peso, 99 cents. The
copper coin of the country is the centisimo, 100 of which make
a peso or dollar.
Austria—Gold coins: 8 gulden piece, $3.86; 4 gulden,
$1.93. Silver: Marie Theresa thaler, $1.02; 2 gulden, 96 cents;
1 gulden, 48 cents; 1/4 gulden, 12 cents; 20 kreutzer, 10
cents; 10 kreutzer, 5 cents. Of the small copper coin current,
known as the kreutzer, 100 make a gulden.
Brazil—Gold coins: 20 milrei piece, $10.91; 10
milreis, $5.45. Silver: 2 milreis, $1.09; 1 milreis, 55 cents;
1/2 milreis, 27 cents. The Portuguese rei is used for copper
money, worth about 1/8 of a cent.
Chili—Gold coin: 10 pesos (or 1 condor), $9.10; 5
pesos, $4.55: 2 pesos, $1.82. Silver: 1 peso, 91 cents; 50
centavos, 45 cents; 20 centavos, 18 cents; 10 centavos, 9
cents; 5 centavos, 4 cents. The copper coin is 1 centavo, 100th
of a peso.
Colombia—Gold coins: Twenty peso piece, $19.30; 10
pesos, $9.65; 5 pesos, $4.82; 2 pesos, $1.93. Silver: 1 peso,
96 cents; 20 centavos, 19 cents; 10 centavos, 10 cents; 5
centavos, 5 cents. The copper centavo of Colombia is identical
in value with our cent. (The currency of Coloumbia is also used
Denmark—Gold coins: Twenty kroner piece, $5.36; 10
kroner, $2.68. Silver: Two kroner, 53 cents; 1 krone, 27 cents;
50 ore, 13 cents; 40 ore, 10 cents; 25 ore, 6-1/2 cents; 10
ore, 2-1/2 cents. One hundred of the copper ore make one
France—Gold coins: One hundred franc piece, $19.30; 50
francs. $9.65; 20 francs, $3.85; 10 francs, $1.93; 5 francs, 96
cents. Silver: Five francs, 96 cents; 2 francs, 38 cents; 1
franc, 19 cents; 50 centimes, 10 cents: 20 centimes, 4 cents.
The copper coins are the sou, worth about 9-1/2 mills, and the
centime, 2 mills.
Germany—Gold coins: Twenty-mark piece, $4.76; 10
marks, $2.38; 5 marks, $1.19. Silver: Five marks, $1.19; 2
marks, 48 cents; 1 mark, 24 cents; 50 pfennige, 12 cents; 20
pfennige, 5 cents. One hundred copper pfennige make one
Great Britain—Gold coins: Pound or sovereign, $4.86;
guinea, $5.12. Silver: Five shillings or crown, $1.25; half
crown, 62-1/2 cents; shilling, 25 cents; sixpence, 12-1/2
cents. Also a three-penny piece and a four-penny piece, but the
latter is being called in, and is nearly out of circulation.
The copper coins of Great Britain are the penny, half-penny and
India—Gold coins: Thirty rupees or double mohur,
$14.58; 15 rupees or mohur, $7.29; 10 rupees, $4.86; 5 rupees,
$2.43. Silver: One rupee, 48 cents, and coins respectively of
the value of one-half, one-fourth and one-eighth rupee. In
copper there is the pie, one-fourth of a cent; the pice, 3/4 of
a cent; the ana, 3 cents.
Japan—Gold coins: Twenty yen, $19.94; 10 yen, $9.97; 5
yen, $4.98; 2 yen, $1.99; 1 yen, 99 cents. Silver: The 50, 20,
10 and 5 sen pieces, answering respectively to 50, 20, 10 and 5
cents. In copper there is the sen, answering to 1 cent.
Mexico—Gold coins: Sixteen dollar piece, $15.74; 8
dollars, $7.87; 4 dollars, $3.93; 2 dollars, $1.96; 1 dollar,
98 cents. Silver: 1 dollar, 98 cents; 50-cent piece, 49 cents;
25 cents, 24 cents. The Mexican cent, like our own, equals
one-hundreth of a dollar.
Netherlands—Gold coins: Ten-guilder piece, $4.02; 5
guilders, $2.01. Silver: 2-1/2 guilders, $1; 1 guilder, 40
cents; half-guilder, 20 cents; 25 cents, 10 cents; 10 cents, 4
cents; 5 cents, 2 cents. The Dutch copper cent is one-hundreth
of the guilder.
Peru—Gold coins: Twenty-sol piece, $19.30; 10 sol,
$9.65; 5 sol, $4.82; 2 sol. $1.93; 1 sol, 96 cents. Silver: 1
sol, 96 cents; 50 centesimos, 48 cents; 20, 10 and 5
centesimos, worth respectively 19, 10 and 5 cents. It will be
noted that the Peruvian coinage is almost identical with that
of Colombia. It is also used in Bolivia.
Portugal—Gold coin: Crown, $10.80; half-crown, $5.40;
one-fifth crown, $2.16; one-tenth crown, $1.08. These gold
pieces are also known respectively as 10, 5, 2 and 1 dollar
. The silver coins are the 500, 200, 100 reis coins, worth respectively 54, 21, 11 and 5
cents. One thousand reis are equal to one crown.
Russia—Gold coins: Imperial or 10-ruble piece, $7.72;
5 rubles, $3.86; 3 rubles, $2.31. Silver: ruble, 77 cents;
half-ruble, 38 cents; quarter-ruble, 19 cents; 20 copecks, 15
cents; 10 copecks, 7 cents; 5 copecks, 4 cents; 100 copecks are
worth 1 ruble.
Turkey—Gold coins: Lira or medjidie, $4.40; half-lira,
$2.20; quarter-lira, $1.10. The silver unit is the piastre,
worth 4 cents of our currency, and silver coins of 1, 2, 5, 10
and 20 piastres are current.
The currency of Denmark is also in use in Norway and Sweden,
these three countries forming the Scandinavian
Belgium, France, Greece,
Italy, Roumania, Servia, Spain and Switzerland are united in
the Latin Union, and use the French coinage. The units in
the different States are, it is true, called by different
names; as in France, Belgium and Switzerland, franc and
centime; in Italy, lira and centesimo; in Greece, drachm and
lepta; in Roumania, lei and bani: in Servia, dinar and para;
in Spain, peseta and centesimo; but in all cases the value
is the same.
The similarity in the coinage of different countries is
worth notice. A very slight change in the percentage of silver
used would render the half-guilder of Austria, the krone of the
Scandinavian Union, the franc of the Latin Union, the mark of
Germany, the half-guilder of Holland, the quarter-ruble of
Russia, the 200-reis piece of Portugal, the 5-piastre piece of
Turkey, the half-milreis of Brazil and the half-rupee of India,
all interchangeable with the English shilling, and all of them
about the value of the quarter-dollar of North and South
American coinage. With the exception of Brazil, the other South
American States, as well as Mexico and the Central American
countries, are all rapidly approximating a uniform coinage,
which the needs of commerce will unquestionably soon harmonize
with that of the United States. Curiously enough, the great
force that is assimilating the alien branches of the human race
is not Christianity but trade.
A HISTORY OF THE PANIC OF 1857.—The cause of
the panic of 1857 was mainly the rage for land speculation
which had run through the country like an epidemic. Paper
cities abounded, unproductive railroads were opened, and to
help forward these projects, irresponsible banks were started,
or good banks found themselves drawn into an excessive issue of
notes. Every one was anxious to invest in real estate and
become rich by an advance in prices. Capital was attracted into
this speculation by the prospect of large gains, and so great
was the demand for money that there was a remarkable advance in
the rates of interest. In the West, where the speculative fever
was at its highest, the common rates of interest were from 2 to
5 per cent. a month. Everything was apparently in the most
prosperous condition, real estate going up steadily, the demand
for money constant, and its manufacture by the banks
progressing successfully, when the failure of the "Ohio Life
and Trust Company," came, August 24, 1857, like a thunderbolt
from a clear sky. This was followed by the portentous
mutterings of a terrible coming storm. One by one small banks
in Illinois, Ohio, and everywhere throughout the West and South
went down. September 25-26 the banks of Philadelphia suspended
payment, and thus wrecked hundreds of banks in Pennsylvania,
Maryland and adjoining States. October 13-14, after a terrible
run on them by thousands of depositors, the banks of New York
suspended payment. October 14 all the banks of Massachusetts
went down, followed by a general wreckage of credit throughout
New England. The distress which followed these calamities was
very great, tens of thousands of workmen being unemployed for
months. The New York banks resumed payment again December 12,
and were soon followed by the banks in other cities. The
darkest period of the crisis now seemed past, although there
was much heart rending suffering among the poor during the
winter which followed. The commercial reports for the year 1857
showed 5,123 commercial failures, with liabilities amounting to
THE HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH ROCK.—A flat rock near
the vicinity of New Plymouth is said to have been the one on
which the great, body of the Pilgrims landed from the
Mayflower. The many members of the colony, who died in the
winter of 1620-21, were buried near this rock. About 1738 it
was proposed to build a wharf along the shore there. At this
time there lived in New Plymouth an old man over 90 years of
ago named Thomas Faunce, who had known some of the Mayflower's
passengers when a lad, and by them had been shown the rock on
which they had landed. On hearing that it was to be covered
with a wharf the old man wept, and it has been said that his
tears probably saved Plymouth Rock from oblivion. After the
Revolution it was found that the rock was quite hidden by the
sand washed upon it by the sea. The sand was cleared away, but
in attempting to take up the rock it was split in two. The
upper half was taken to the village and placed in the town
square. In 1834 it was removed to a position in front of
Pilgrim Hall and enclosed in an iron railing. In September,
1880, this half of the stone was taken back to the shore and
reunited to the other portion. A handsome archway was then
built over the rock, to protect it in part from the
depredations of relic hunters.
GRANT'S TOUR AROUND THE WORLD.—General Grant
embarked on a steamer at the Philadelphia wharf for his tour
around the world May 17, 1877. He arrived at Queenstown,
Ireland, May 27. Thence he went to Liverpool, Manchester, and
on to London. He remained in that city several weeks, and was
made the recipient of the most brilliant social honors. July
5th he went to Belgium, and thence made a tour through Germany
and Switzerland, He then visited Denmark, and August 25
returned to Great Britain, and until October spent the time in
visiting the various cities of Scotland and England. October
24th he started for Paris, where he remained a month, then went
on to Lyons, thence to Naples, and subsequently with several
friends he made a trip on the Mediterranean, visiting the
islands of Sicily, Malta and others. Thence going to Egypt, the
pyramids and other points of note were visited, and a journey
made up the Nile as far as the first cataract. The programme of
travel next included a visit to Turkey and the Holy Land,
whence, in March, the party came back to Italy through Greece,
revisited Naples, went to Turin and back to Paris. After a few
weeks spent in the social gayeties of that city, the
Netherlands was chosen as the next locality of interest, and
The Hague, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam were visited in turn. June
26, 1878, the General and his party arrived in Berlin. After
staying there some weeks they went to Christiana and Stockholm,
then to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw, and back over German
soil to Vienna. Another trip was now made through Switzerland,
and, then returning to Paris, a start was made for a journey
through Spain and Portugal, in which Victoria, Madrid, Lisbon,
Seville and other important towns were visited. A trip was also
made from Cadiz to Gibraltar by steamer. After another brief
visit to Paris, General Grant went to Ireland, arriving at
Dublin January 3, 1879; visited several points of interest in
that country, then, by way of London and Paris, went to
Marseilles, whence he set sail by way of the Mediterranean Sea
and the Suez Canal for India. He reached Bombay February 13th.
Thence visited Allahabad, Agra and rode on an elephant to
Amber; also went to Benares, Delhi. Calcutta and Rangoon, spent
a week in Siam, then went by steamer to China. After spending
some time at Canton, Pekin and other places he went to Japan
for a brief visit. He went to Nagasaki, Tokio and Yokahama, and
at last, September 3, 1879, set sail from Tokio on his return
to the United States. September 20th he arrived in the harbor
of San Francisco. After some weeks spent in visiting the points
of interest in California and Oregon he returned to his home in
the Eastern States.
HISTORY OF VASSAR COLLEGE.—- Vassar College is
on the east bank of the Hudson, near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. It was
founded in 1861. In that year Matthew Vassar, a wealthy
of Poughkeepsie, gave to an
incorporated board of trustees the sum of $108,000 and 200
acres of land for the endowment of a college for women. The
building was constructed from plans approved by him, at a
cost of about $200,000. The college was opened in September,
1865, with eight professors and twenty other instructors,
and 300 students. The first president of the college was
Professor Milo P. Jewett; the second Dr. John H. Raymond;
the third the Rev. Samuel Caldwell. The college has a fine
library, with scientific apparatus and a museum of natural
THE ORIGINS OF CHESS.—So ancient is chess, the
most purely intellectual of games, that its origin is wrapped
in mystery. The Hindoos say that it wad the invention of an
astronomer, who lived more than 5,000 years ago, and was
possessed of supernatural knowledge and acuteness. Greek
historians assert that the game was invented by Palamedes to
beguile the tedium of the siege of Troy. The Arab legend is
that it was devised for the instruction of a young despot, by
his father, a learned Brahman, to teach the youth that a king,
no matter how powerful, was dependent upon his subjects for
safety. The probability is that the game was the invention of
some military genius for the purpose of illustrating the art of
war. There is no doubt, that it originated in India, for a game
called by the Sanskrit name of Cheturanga—which in most
essential points strongly resembles modern chess, and was
unquestionably the parent of the latter game—is mentioned
in Oriental literature as in use fully 2,000 years before the
Christian area. In its gradual diffusion over the world the
game has undergone many modifications and changes, but marked
resemblances to the early Indian game are still to be found in
it. From India, chess spread into Persia, and thence into
Arabia, and the Arabs took it to Spain and the rest of Western
THE DARK AGES.—The Dark Ages is a name often
applied by historians to the Middle Ages, a term comprising
about 1,000 years, from the fall of the Roman Empire in the
fifth century to the invention of printing in the fifteenth.
The period is called "dark" because of the generally depraved
state of European society at this time, the subservience of
men's minds to priestly domination, and the general
indifference to learning. The admirable civilization that Rome
had developed and fostered, was swept out of existence by the
barbarous invaders from Northern Europe, and there is no doubt
that the first half of the medieval era, at least, from the
year 500 to 1000, was one of the most brutal and ruffianly
epochs in history. The principal characteristic of the middle
ages were the feudal system and the papal power. By the first
the common people were ground into a condition of almost
hopeless slavery, by the second the evolution of just and
equitable governments by the ruling clashes was rendered
impossible through the intrusion of the pontifical authority
into civil affairs. Learning did not wholly perish, but it
betook itself to the seclusion of the cloisters. The
monasteries were the resort of many earnest scholars, and there
were prepared the writings of historians, metaphysicians and
theologians. But during this time man lived, as the historian
Symonds says, "enveloped in a cowl." The study of nature was
not only ignored but barred, save only as it ministered in the
forms of alchemy and astrology to the one cardinal medieval
virtue—- credulity. Still the period saw many great
characters and events fraught with the greatest importance to
the advancement of the race.
THE GREATEST DEPTH OF THE OCEAN NEVER
MEASURED.—The deepest verified soundings are those
made in the Atlantic Ocean, ninety miles off the island of St.
Thomas, in the West Indies, 3,875 fathoms, or 23,250 feet
Deeper water has been reported south of the Grand Bank of
Newfoundland, over 27,000 feet in depth, but additional
soundings in that locality did not corroborate this. Some years
ago, it was claimed that very deep soundings, from 45,000 to
48,000 feet, had been found off the coast of South America, but
this report was altogether discredited on additional
investigation in these localities. The ship Challenger, which
in 1872-74 made a voyage round the globe for the express
purpose of taking deep sea soundings in all the oceans, found
the greatest depth touched in the Pacific Ocean less than 3,000
fathoms, and the lowest in the Atlantic 3,875 fathoms, as given
THE ARMY OF THE REVOLUTION.—It is not
positively known how many men from the colonies served in the
war. The official tabular statement indicates a total off
recorded years of enlistment and not a total of the the men who
served. Hence, a man who served from April 19, 1775, until the
formal cessation of hostilities, April 19, 1783 counted as
eight men in the aggregate. In this basis of enlisted years,
the following table gives the contribution various States: New
Hampshire, 12,497; Massachusetts, 69,907; Rhode Island, 5,908;
Connecticut, 31,939; New York, 17,781; New Jersey, 10,726;
Pennsylvania, 25,678; Delaware, 2,386; Maryland, 13,912;
Virginia, 26,678; North Carolina, 7,263; South Carolina, 6,417;
Georgia, 2,679; Total, 233,771.
THE WORLD'S DECISIVE BATTLES.—The fifteen
decisive battles of the world from the fifth century before
Christ to the beginning of the nineteenth century of the
present era, are as follows:
The battle of Marathon, in which the Persian hosts were
defeated by the Greeks under Miltiades, B.C. 490.
The defeat of the Athenians at Syracuse, B.C. 413.
The battle of Arhela, in which the Persians under Darius
were defeated by the invading Greeks under Alexander the Great,
The battle of the Metanrus, in which the Carthaginian forces
under Hasdrubal were overthrown by the Romans, B.C. 207.
Victory of the German tribes under Arminins over the Roman
legions under Varus, A.D. 9. (The battle was fought in what is
now the province of Lippe, Germany, near the source of the
Battle of Chalons, where Attila the terrible King of the
Huns, was repulsed by the Romans under Aetius, A.D. 451
Battle of Tours, in which the Saracen Turks invading Western
Europe were utterly overthrown by the Franks under Charles
Martel, A.D. 732.
Battle of Hastings, by which William the Conqueror became
the ruler of England, Oct. 14, 1066.
Victory of the French under Joan of Arc over the English at
Orleans, April 29, 1429.
Defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English naval force,
July 29 and 30, 1588.
Battle of Blenheim, in which the French and Bavarians were
defeated by the allied armies of Great Britain and Holland
under the Duke of Marlborough, Aug. 2, 1704.
Battle of Pultowa, the Swedish army under Charles XII,
defeated by the Russians under Peter the Great, July 8, 1709.
Victory of the American army under General Gates over the
British under General Burgoyne at Saratoga, Oct. 17, 1777.
Battle of Valmy where the allied armies of Prussia and
Austria were defeated by the French under Marshal Kellerman.
Sept. 20, 1792.
Battle of Waterloo, the allied forces of the British and
Prussians defeated the French under Napoleon, the final
overthrow of the great commander, June 18,
These battles are selected as decisive, because of the
important consequences that followed them. Few students of
history, probably, would agree with Prof. Creasy, in
restricting the list as he does. Many other conflicts might be
noted, fraught with great importance to the human race, and
unquestionably "decisive" in their nature; as, for instance,
the victory of Sobieski over the Turkish army at Vienna, Sept.
12, 1683. Had the Poles and Austrians been defeated there, the
Turkish general might readily have fulfilled his threat "to
stable his horses in the Church of St. Peter's at Rome," and
all Western Europe would, no doubt, have been devastated by the
ruthless and bloodthirsty Ottomans. Of important and decisive
battles since that of Waterloo we may mention in our own Civil
War those of Gettysburg, by which the invasion of the North was
checked, and at Chattanooga, Nov. 23 and 25, 1863, by which the
power of the Confederates in the southwest received a deadly
THE WANDERING JEW.—There are various versions
of the story of "The Wandering Jew," the legends of whom have
formed the foundation of numerous romances, poems and
tragedies. One version is that this person was a servant in the
house of Pilate, and gave the Master a blow as He was being
dragged out of the palace to go to His death. A popular
tradition makes the wanderer a member of the tribe of Naphtali,
who, some seven or eight years previous to the birth of the
Christ-child left his father to go with the wise men of the
East whom the star led to the lowly cot in Bethlehem. It runs,
also, that the cause of the killing of the children can be
traced to the stories this person related when he returned to
Jerusalem of the visit of the wise men, and the presentation of
the gifts they brought to the Divine Infant, when He was
acknowledged by them to be the king of the Jews, He was lost
sight of for a time, when he appeared as a carpenter who was
employed in making the cross on which the Saviour was to be
lifted up into the eyes of all men. As Christ walked up the way
to Calvary, He had to pass the workshop of this man, and when
He reached its door, the soldiers, touched by the sufferings of
the Man of Sorrows, besought the carpenter to allow Him to rest
there for a little, but he refused, adding insult to a want of
charity. Then it is said that Christ pronounced his doom, which
was to wander over the earth until the second coming. Since
that sentence was uttered, he has wandered, courting death, but
finding it not, and his punishment, becoming more unbearable as
the generations come and go. He is said to have appeared in the
sixteenth, seventeenth, and even as recently as the eighteenth
century, under the names of Cartaphilus, and Ahasuerus, by
which the Wandering Jew has been known. One of the legends
described him as a shoemaker of Jerusalem, at whose door Christ
desired to rest on the road to Calvary, but the man refused,
and the sentence to wander was pronounced.
SOME MEMORABLE DARK DAYS.—During the last
hundred years there have been an unusually large number of dark
days recorded. As has been suggested by several writers, this
may have been the result of the careful scientific observations
of modern times, as well as of the frequency of these
phenomena. The dark day in the beginning of this century about
which so much has been said and written occurred Oct. 21, 1816.
The first day of the same month and year is also represented as
"a close dark day." Mr. Thomas Robie, who took observations at
Cambridge, Mass., has this to offer in regard to the
phenomenon. "On Oct. 21 the day was so dark that people were
forced to light candles to eat their dinners by; which could
not he from an eclipse, the solar eclipse being the fourth of
that month." The day is referred to by another writer as "a
remarkable dark day in New England and New York," and it is
noted, quaintly by a third, that "in October, 1816, a dark day
occurred after a severe winter in New England." Nov. 26, 1816,
was a dark day in London, and is described "in the neighborhood
of Walworth and Camberwell so completely dark that some of the
coachmen driving stages were obliged to get down and lead their
horses with a lantern." The famous dark day in America was May
19, 1780. The phenomenon began about 10 o'clock in the
forenoon. The darkness increased rapidly, and "in many places
it was impossible to read ordinary print." There was widespread
fear. Many thought that the Day of Judgment was at hand. At
that time the Legislature of Connecticut was in session at
Hartford. The House of Representatives, being unable to
transact their business, adjourned. A proposal to adjourn the
council was under consideration. When the opinion of Colonel
Davenport was asked, he answered: "I am against an adjournment.
The day of judgment is approaching or it is not. If it is not,
there is no cause for adjournment: if it is, I choose to be
found doing my duty. I wish, therefore, that candles may be
brought." In Whittier's "Tent on the Beach" is given a
beautiful poetical version of this anecdote. It is suggested by
several authorities that the cause of the dark day in 1780
should be attributed simply to the presence of ordinary clouds
of very unusual volume and density. These instances are, of
course, grouped with phenomena of which not a great deal is
known, and can in no way be classed with those occurrances
occasioned by the smoke from extensive forest tires, volcanic
eruptions, or fogs.
THE REMARKABLE STORY OF CHARLIE ROSS.—Charlie
Ross was the son of Christian K. Ross of Germantown, Pa., and
at the time of his disappearance was a little over 4 years of
age. The child and a brother 6 years old were playing July 1,
1874, in the streets of Germantown, when a couple of men drove
up in a buggy and persuaded the children, with promises of toys
and candies, to get in and ride with them in the vehicle. After
driving around the place for a little time, the older brother,
Walter Ross, was put out of the conveyance, and the strangers
gave him 25 cents, telling him to go to a store near at hand
and buy some candy and torpedoes for himself and Charlie.
Walter did as he was told, but when he came out of the store
the men with Charlie and the vehicle had disappeared. It was
believed at first by the relatives and friends of the missing
boy that he would be returned in a short time, as they supposed
he might have been taken by some drunken men. Time passed,
however, but no trace of the child had been discovered. In a
few weeks a letter was received by Mr. Ross to the effect that
if he would pay $20,000 his son would be returned, but, that
the parent need not search for Charlie, as all efforts to find
the abducted boy or his captors would only be attended with
failure; and it was stated that if this amount was not paid,
Charlie would be killed. The father answered this and a long
correspondence ensued, while the search was prosecuted in all
directions. Mr. Ross wanted the child delivered at the time the
money was paid, but to this the abductors refused to agree. It
is stated that more than $50,000 were expended to recover the
child. At one time two gentlemen were two days in Fifth Avenue
Hotel, New York, with the $20,000 ransom money to be given to
the child-thieves, but they did not appear. The search was
continued, and the officers of the law were looking up any and
all evidence, until they had located the two men. These were
found Dec. 4, 1874, committing a burglary in the house of Judge
Van Brunt, Bay Ridge, L.I.; the burglary was discovered, the
burglars seen and shot by persons residing in an adjoining
residence. One of the men was killed instantly, the
lived several hours, and
confessed that he and his companion had abducted Charlie
Ross, but that the dead thief, Mosher by name, was the one
who knew where the boy was secreted. Walter Ross identified
the burglars as the men who had enticed him and Charlie into
the buggy. There the case rested. No new fact has been
developed. The missing child has never been found. Many
times have children been reported who resembled Charlie, and
Mr. Ross has traveled far and near in his endless search,
only to return sadly and report that his boy was still
missing. No case in recent years has excited such universal
sympathy as that of Charlie Ross.
THE BLUE LAWS ON SMOKING.—There were some very
stringent laws in Massachusetts against the use of tobacco in
public, and while the penalties were not so heavy, yet they
were apparently rigidly enforced for a time. We quote from a
law passed in October, 1632, as follows: "It is ordered that
noe person shall take any tobacco publiquely, under paine of
punishment; also that every one shall pay 1d. for every
time hee is convicted of takeing tobacco in any place, and that
any Assistant shall have power to receave evidence and give
order for levyeing of it, as also to give order for the
levyeing of the officer's charge. This order to begin the 10th
of November next." In September, 1634, we discover another law
on the same article: "Victualers, or keepers of an Ordinary,
shall not suffer any tobacco to be taken in their howses, under
the penalty of 5s. for every offence, to be payde by the
victuler, and 12d. by the party that takes it. Further,
it is ordered, that noe person shall take tobacco publiquely,
under the penalty of 2s. 6d., nor privately, in
his owne house, or in the howse of another, before strangers,
and that two or more shall not take it togeather, anywhere,
under the aforesaid penalty for every offence." In November,
1637, the record runs: "All former laws against tobacco are
repealed, and tobacco is sett at liberty;" but in September,
1638, "the [General] Court, finding that since the repealing of
the former laws against tobacco, the same is more abused then
before, it hath therefore ordered, that no man shall take any
tobacco in the fields, except in his journey, or at meale
times, under paine of 12d. for every offence; nor shall
take any tobacco in (or so near) any dwelling house, barne,
corne or hay rick, as may likely indanger the fireing thereof,
upon paine of 10s. for every offence; nor shall take any
tobacco in any inne or common victualing house, except in a
private roome there, so as neither the master of the same house
nor any other guests there shall take offence thereat, which if
they do, then such person is fourthwith to forbeare, upon paine
of 12s. 6d. for every offence. Noe man shall
kindle fyre by gunpowder, for takeing tobacco, except in his
journey, upon paine of 12d. for every offence."
THE REMARKABLE CAVES—WYANDOTTE AND
MAMMOTH.—Wyandotte Cave is in Jennings township,
Crawford county, Ind., near the Ohio river. It is a rival of
the great Mammoth Cave in grandeur and extent. Explorations
have been made for many miles. It excels the Mammoth Cave in
the number and variety of its stalagmites and stalactites, and
in the size of several of its chambers. One of these chambers
is 350 feet in length, 245 feet in height, and contains a hill
175 feet high, on which are three fine stalagmites. Epsom
salts, niter and alum have been obtained from the earth of the
cave. The Mammoth Cave is in Edmondson county, near Green
River, about seventy-five miles from Louisville. Its entrance
is reached by passing down a wild, rocky ravine through a dense
forest. The cave extends some nine miles. To visit the portions
already traversed, it is said, requires 150 to 200 miles of
travel. The cave contains a succession of wonderful avenues,
chambers, domes, abysses, grottoes, lakes, rivers, cataracts
and other marvels, which are too well known to need more than a
reference. One chamber—the Star—is about 500 feet
long, 70 feet wide, 70 feet high, the ceiling of which is
composed of black gypsum, and is studded with innumerable white
points, that by a dim light resemble stars, hence the name of
the chamber. There are avenues one and a half and even two
miles in length, some of which are incrusted with beautiful
formations, and present the appearance of enchanted palace
halls. There is a natural tunnel about three-quarters of a mile
long, 100 feet wide, covered with a ceiling of smooth rock 45
feet high. There is a chamber having an area of from four to
five acres, and there are domes 200 and 300 feet high. Echo
River is some three-fourths of a mile in length, 200 feet in
width at some points, and from 10 to 30 in depth, and runs
beneath an arched ceiling of smooth rock about 15 feet high,
while the Styx, another river, is 450 feet long, from 15 to 40
feet wide, and from 30 to 40 feet deep, and is spanned by a
natural bridge. Lake Lethe has about the same length and width
as the river Styx, varies in depth from 3 to 40 feet, lies
beneath a ceiling some 90 feet above its surface, and sometimes
rises to a height of 60 feet. There is also a Dead Sea, quite a
somber body of water. There are several interesting caves in
the neighborhood, one three miles long and three each about a
mile in length.
THE SOUTH SEA BUBBLE.—The "South Sea Bubble,"
as it is generally called, was a financial scheme which
occupied the attention of prominent politicians, communities,
and even nations in the early part of the eighteenth century.
Briefly the facts are: In 1711 Robert Hartley, Earl of Oxford,
then Lord Treasurer, proposed to fund a floating debt of about
£10,000,000 sterling, the interest, about $600,000, to be
secured by rendering permanent the duties upon wines, tobacco,
wrought silks, etc. Purchasers of this fund were to become also
shareholders in the "South Sea Company," a corporation to have
the monopoly of the trade with Spanish South America, a part of
the capital stock of which was to be the new fund. But Spain,
after the treaty of Utrecht, refused to open her commerce to
England, and the privileges of the "South Sea Company" became
worthless. There were many men of wealth who were stockholders,
and the company continued to flourish, while the ill success of
its trading operations was concealed. Even the Spanish War of
1718 did not shake the popular confidence. Then in April, 1720,
Parliament, by large majorities in both Houses, accepted the
company's plan for paying the national debt, and after that a
frenzy of speculation seized the nation, and the stock rose to
£300 a share, and by August had reached £1,000 a
share. Then Sir John Blunt, one of the leaders, sold out,
others followed, and the stock began to fall. By the close of
September the company stopped payment and thousands were
beggared. An investigation ordered by Parliament disclosed much
fraud and corruption, and many prominent persons were
implicated, some of the directors were imprisoned, and all of
them were fined to an aggregate amount of £2,000,000 for
the benefit of the stockholders. A great part of the valid
assets was distributed among them, yielding a dividend of about
33 per cent.
AREA OF NORTH AMERICA.—The following figures
show the extent of the United States as compared with the
British possessions in North America: United States, 3,602,884
square miles. British possessions—Ontario, 121,26O;
Quebec, 210,020; Nova Scotia, 18,670; New Brunswick, 27,037;
British Columbia, 233,000; Manitoba, 16,000; N.W. and Hudson
Bay Territories, 2,206,725; Labrador and Arctic Ocean Islands,
make a total of 3,500,000.