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Bayreuth, an unfinished manuscript being placed on his after two we were on foot; and after half an hour's coffin, and an ode by Klopstock sung over his grave. walk by moonlight, we came to the precipitous face Thus ended the life of one who, however great he may of rock called Les Ponts, a point which we passed have been in intellect, was still greater from the beauty without difficulty, after which we were soon fairly of his domestic character, his modesty, his humility, launched, and on foot, upon the great glacier itself. We and his uprightness. His writings, consisting of poetry, took the route leading to the Jardin, as far as the prose fiction, and philosophy, are unfortunately unsuit- moraines at the foot of the Couvercle, and then coasted able to the current of sentiment in English minds, and along them as far as the Tacul, where we arrived at they must therefore, like most German productions, half-past four. The sky now appeared of the most continue to be little known in this country.
exquisite rose-colour over the Couvercle, and of a fine yellow over the Aiguilles Rouges, behind the Flégère,
at some distance on the other side of the vale of ChaPASSAGE OF THE COL DU GÉANT. mouny. Once, before it was light, during our progress,
one of the guides cut a step or two for us in the ice The passage of the Col du Géant, one of the lofty Alpine with the axe that he carried for that purpose, and it points in the vicinity of Mont Blanc, is generally con was curious to see it strike fire on the gritty surface. sidered by tourists too dangerous to be attempted. In at the foot of the Tacul I had some spiked nails screwed making a journey through Savoy in 1844, I was re- into the soles of my shoes. solved, however, to make the experiment—the pleasure enjoyed nearly the same view before when I visited
Here I gazed with renewed wonder, although I had of overcoming a great difficulty, such as is often ex
the Jardin, at the Glacier du Taléfre, and at the Glacier perienced by Englishmen, being one of the motives of du Tacul, which we were shortly to be busily engaged my enterprise. It was on the 30th of July, while at in scaling. The sun was now shining brilliantly on the Chamouny, that I notified to the chef des gardes my highest peaks, there was neither cloud nor vapour wish to attempt the passage. He readily appointed visible, and no wind, save a moderate pleasant breeze. three guides to accompany me, and we entertained Nothing could be more wonderful than the conviction hopes of being able to start that same afternoon. But that there were many hours of uncertain labour before the weather in a few hours changed for the worse, and us in the passage of the glacier, which from hence, in continued very unfavourable, with snow, rain, and fre- The weather was so fine, that the eye was deceived as
the clear morning air, appeared so little formidable. quent thunder, for some days. Without inserting here a
to height and distance even more than usual. meteorological journal for the period of my detention at At about half-past five, on a steep slope of snow conChamouny, it will be sufficient to state that, on the 5th siderably above us, under the Aiguille du Grésson, I of August, the weather towards the middle of the day saw to my great delight a troop of about fifteen chaimproved so much, that I decided upon starting at two mois. They were not at all behaving like the chamois o'clock, with my guides, for the Montanvert, with the of the picture-shops-neither tumbling down precipices intention at anyrate of passing the night there, and upon their heads, nor exhibiting themselves in any conof proceeding the next morning for the Col du Géant, file, gently across the snow, one after another
, just as
ventional attitudes ; but were making their way, in a should the weather continue fine. Besides the three you see deer in a park; nor did they appear to take guides, two of whom had several times made the pas- any notice of us. sage, I was attended by a young man in the character Hereabouts we came to some ugly crevasses in the of guide-aspirant, who hoped one day to be enrolled glacier, with snow-bridges over them, which had a among the regular Chamouny guides. Of course he treacherous look, owing to the snow which fell freshly, was not engaged on the same terms as the other three.
and in considerable quantities, only three days ago (on We arrived early in the afternoon at the Montanvert, August 2), and which lay thickly on this part of the after a very hot walk. Here we found the customary a considerable height. Next we came to several cre
In fact we were now beginning to attain number of visitors of all nations, who had been recreat- vasses in succession, extending, to all appearance, right ing themselves during the day with the wonders of the across the glacier ; these were of a very variable width, Mer de Glace, and were now assembling in various so that we readily found places narrow enough to enable groups, preparing to descend to Chamouny. My arrival us to pass them with ease. By six o'clock we had so late in the day, with my rather formidable tail of ascended the glacier, at a guess, to about the level of guides, seemed to cause some surprise, which increased the Jardin, which we could see at a distance, opposite when my intentions transpired. However, a good to us, in its solitude, insulated in the upper part of the humoured conversation naturally sprung up, which Glacier du Taléfre. * ended with good wishes being showered upon me from Soon after this we got into the heart of the Glacier all sides. Adieu, monsieur ; bon voyage
du Tacul, and Alexandre Devonassond went aliead of Frenchman at parting; adding, with as near an ap. us all to explore the way. Here we came to som proach to a sub-sardonic smile as his politeness would really bad places, which we passed with care and papermit, ' Et beaucoup de plaisir !' with which words the tience, and not without a sensation of horror on seeing last party disappeared down the steep mountain path, a mass of ice roll from above, and disappear with a leaving me to the avalanches and my meditations. Ithundering crash. Hurrying forward with all possible retired into the little hospice, where I and my guides care, we at length got some breathing-time on a small supped, and betook ourselves to rest betimes. The plain of snow; and afterwards, for a little while, conweather seemed settled, and, if possible, improving. tinued our progress up the glacier without having to
Before one o'clock in the morning I heard my guides encounter any bad crevasses : we were aided too, rather stirring, and soon after we all met, and congratulated than impeded, by the new-fallen snow—the softness of each other on the fineness of the weather. The planet which took off the danger that would otherwise have Jupiter was shining magnificently over the summit of existed of slipping upon the ice. Hitherto our progress the Grandes Torasses, and the moon, three weeks old, had been very slow, and we had been obliged to make was just rising over the Aiguille du Dru. I had felt a many countermarches, so that it was now past seven little uneasy during the night, owing to my having o'clock. beard some strong gusts of wind; but they had now I will observe, by the way, that it is quite impossible quite died away, and the silence was unbroken, save by the steady roar of the many small torrents falling from
* According to Professor Forbes, the height above the level of the opposite rocks and lesser glaciers into the Mer de the sea of the lowest part of the Jardin is 9042, and of the highest Glace. It was not in the least cold. By a quarter part, 9893 English fest.
for the most extravagant pencil to exaggerate the out more chamois, but we saw none. Mont Blanc now lines of glacier scenery-its wild fantastic forms, icy cliffs, appeared on our right, in a rocky opening by the side crags, pyramids, pillars, and huge projecting masses, all of the glacier, astonishingly diminished in height, and making up an extraordinary study for the artist. apparently close to us; yet in reality it was more than
Soon afterwards, in consequence of our coming to a six thousand feet above us, and on that side wholly very bad crevasse, Devonassond was again sent out to inaccessible. From hence we pursued our course up a explore a passage in one direction, and Coutet to ex- long and steep ascent of snow, in one monotonous zig. plore in another, leaving me and the two others together. zag, interrupted only by our sinking knee-deep into Here a large wasp, apparently puzzled like ourselves, the soft snow, and by the countermarches it was neces. came buzzing round and round us. We were at fault sary to make in order to find snow-bridges strong here for some time. At last a very narrow bridge of enough to bear us across the crevasses with which the ice was seen at some little distance, which, by its darker snow was at this height intersected. Some of these colour, appeared to be old ice, and therefore, by com- bridges had a downward, and not an upward curve; parison, firm. This bridge, if such it may be called, fringed with icicles many feet long. Such bridges as lay on our right, many feet above us, and the question these we carefully avoided. In many places we saw was, how to reach it. Devonassond, with admirable creases in the smooth snow, under which we found incoolness, yet running risks, as I thought, which made cipient cracks and crevasses of a few inches only in me feel almost faint with anxiety as I witnessed them, width, that seemed to show that these wonderful managed, by the help of steps which he cut with his regions were in a perpetual state of lapse and change, axe in the solid ice, to scramble up to the base of a small so that in all probability no two journeys across then column of ice that communicated with a sort of plat can be made under similar circumstances. form, on which there was firm, though scanty standing. peared to have got out of our main difficulties quite as room, and from whence the bridge might be immediately suddenly as we at first got entangled among them. And reached. The ice-column looked insecure, and the more now the bare outline of the Col seemed to lie just before so from the quantity of brilliantly - white fresh - fallen us; it was not, however, until after nearly another snow that had lodged against it. Its firmness, however, hour's labour over the inclined plane of eternal snow, was put to the proof by blows with an ice-pole, and it glacier no longer, that we actually found ourselves upon was partially cleared of the fresh snow. Devonassond the ridge (according to Forbes), 11, 142 feet above the then cautiously cut steps round its exterior surface, and level of the sea : having attained our point not without so ascended to the platform, followed by another guide, some hard work, and undergoing some risks, but withwho held one end of a strong cord, the other end of out sustaining any painful degree of fatigue, and withwhich was tied round my body. I then followed them. out experiencing any ill effects whatever from the rarity The two guides, now firmly placed on the platform, held of the air; symptoms of which may always be expected the cord slackly, not intending to use it unless it was to be experienced as soon as an elevation of ten thonrequired. It was agreed that they should tighten it if sand feet is attained. The cool, silent precautions of my I called out to them to do so, but not else. Thus I guides throughout were beyond all praise. wound my way, in the footsteps of those who preceded But it is not desirable, and it is scarcely possible, to me, carefully round the column, with literal precipices remain long on the uppermost ridge. You must make and yawning gulfs of ice, formed by crevasses intersect- immediately for the rocky buttress on which De Sausing crevasses in every possible direction, beneath me; sure's cabin stood. In order to attain this spot, you steadying myself with one hand as I walked, and hold. pass a very dangerous steep slope of snow, terminating ing the cord loosely between the finger and thumb of abruptly in a precipice on the summit of the glacier of the other, like a child who learns to walk alone by hold. Mont Fréty, on the side towards Piedmont. In crossing up its frock before it-for confidence in the succouring this slope, the new-fallen snow stood us in good at hand was the only support really required. The stead. It was exactly of the proper consistency for other two guides followed me. We then all crossed the walking upon safely and easily; nevertheless, it apnarrow bridge of ice without difficulty; and, descending peared to me to be a place where, in some states of the by a low, yet perpendicular cliff of ice, we resumed our weather, an avalanche might easily be detached, that line of march, leaving this formidable intersection of would carry all before it and with it to destruction. crevasses behind us. It was now eight o'clock. Soon Devonassond told me that on one occasion, on passing after this, the glacier changed its appearance altogether. this spot, he found it an entire sheet of ice, so that he As we ascended, we found more fresh snow, and fewer was obliged to cut steps right across its whole length in crevasses; but there was still great need of caution. order to reach the rocks. These, however, we now Here we all tied ourselves together with two stout attained without difficuity; and on arriving, we concords, and proceeded for half an hour more, until we gratulated one another on the entire success that had, up came to a convenient place for halting, where we to this point, attended our expedition, and commenced stopped, and took some breakfast, having had a laborious a vigorous attack upon our remaining provisions, walk of more than six hours from the Montanvert, al Here, then, we were fairly stationed upon the summit most entirely over ice.
of the Col du Géant, at a height, as I have before stated, il Here I accidentally let fall on the snow the case of the of more than eleven thousand feet above the level of green spectacles I wore on this expedition. It imme- the sea. From this point the view to the north is quite diately began to glide away, as if animated, and dis- shut out; but on turning to the south, on your right appeared down a crevasse, at about eighty yards below hand, is the summit of Mont Blanc, with its dependent us. Nothing is safe for an instant if not well-looked glaciers, and awful buttresses and outworks ; in good after on these treacherous slopes. In order to prevent truth, a most sublime and astonishing sight! Below, lies a like mischance happening to our poles, the loss of any the Allée Blanche; farther, amidst a wilderness of alps, of which would bave been a serious matter, we took not fewer than five enormous peaks of mountains, appacare never to let them out of our hands without first rently little lower than Mont Blanc, and of outlines to sticking them firmly upright in the snow by their the full as grand; nearer rose the Cramont and the pointed ends.
Pain de Sucre, hard by which was the little town of Whilst we were in the middle of the glacier, I could Courmayeur, with the adjacent valleys; and thus, not not help remarking what ridiculous figures we all were, to catalogue the remaining mountains, the eye passed equipped with blouzes, frieze gaiters, green spectacles, eastward towards Mount Rosa, and the glorious Cervin. veils, and slouched hats, pacing along with the most Most fortunately there was no haze or vapour to intersolemn gravity. The journey had made us very hungry, cept the wonders of the view; there were only a few and we fell to our repast with excellent appetites, after white clouds here and there, rather setting off than which we resumed our line of march exactly as before. marring the proportions and magnitudes of the mounAt a quarter before ten we came on the fresh track of l tains before us, infinite in number and majesty. In
fact no description can convey anything like an ade- o'clock, having been on foot fifteen hours and threequate idea of this side of Mont Blanc, and of the appear- quarters. In the evening I experienced a very slight ance of the descent, our destined route, from the summit bleeding at the nose. I slept well that night, and the of the Col du Géant towards Courmayeur.
next morning felt little or no remains of fatigue. Whilst gazing at the view, our attention was arrested There is no part of the passage of the Col du Géant, by a hissing sound, which we found to proceed from the from Chamouny to Courmayeur, that is extraordinarily snow on a very long and precipitous slope to our right, fatiguing; though the glacier is sure to be in a state more the surface of which, under the influence of the noon or less dangerous, and the summit of the Col, towards day sun, began to slide in gentle avalanches down to Courmayeur, may be in a very dangerous state indeed. wards the rocks beneath. We immediately, merely for The excitement is unceasing, and the attention perpethe sake of amusement, commenced hurling stones, as tually occupied. I have been very fortunate in all my large as we could lift, down the slope, in hopes of mountain excursions, and have been well rewarded for augmenting the avalanches; but it was wholly without paying a little patient attention to the turns of the effect. The velocity, however, which these stones ac weather. We had scarcely arrived at Courmayeur, quired before they reached the bottom of the slope, and when dark clouds began to gather round the summit of the force with which they dashed against the rocks Mont Blanc, and soon after enveloped the Col du Géant; below, bursting asunder in clouds of dust, was a striking and at dusk it came on to rain heavily, with thunder sight. Two of my party succeeded in detaching a very and lightning. large mass, which rolled down with prodigious violence, With respect to passing the Col du Géant, I think, but it had no more effect on the snow than the smaller on the whole, it is better to go, as we did, from Cha
mouny to Courmayeur, than from Courmayeur to ChaSome of the boards of De Saussure's cabin, before mouny. It may be a question, in case of bad weather, alluded to, still remain on this spot. Here it was that, which is the better place of the two to be detained at: in his devotedness to science, that distinguished philo- but at Chamouny you are sure of getting good guides sopher passed seventeen days and nights. The débris of at a short notice; and if you intend starting from rock here contain a vast quantity of crystals. Here, too, Courmayeur, you must send round to Chamouny for a we picked up the broken stem of a thermometer. We guide to be the leader of the party, and must keep him also saw several butterflies whilst we remained on the with you till you start. Also, on the Chamouny side, summit. We had, earlier in the day, seen several dead in passing the glacier, you are going up hill all the way, and dying insects on the surface of the snow, and one whereby you obtain a better sight of your chief diffior two dead half-fledged birds.
culties, which also you thus encounter early in the We remained on the summit of the Col until a quar- day's work. But, on the other hand, should the rocky ter before one o'clock. I forgot to note the exact time precipice on the side of Courmayeur have any snow of our arrival, but I think we remained on the summit upon it, the ascent of it would probably be better than nearly two hours, enjoying the uninterrupted calmness the descent. However, in such a case, it would perhaps and beauty of the weather. We now commenced our be the more prudent plan to defer the expedition altodescent towards Courmayeur. Our way lay down a gether. long precipice of loose rocks and stones, fortunately free The next morning, August 7, was fine after the from snow. This descent, together with a glissade of rain and thunder of the night; but we observed that snow much lower down, and after that a steep descent fresh snow had fallen on the heights, and that the preof rude mountain pasture, occupied us, without inter- cipitous rocky descent from the Col was now gray with mission, until past three o'clock, when we made another snow; so that had we delayed our expedition a single halt at the tail of a snow-slope, from under which there day, it would in all probability have failed. At eight issned a delicious clear stream of ice-cold water. Here we o'clock I left Courmayeur with my guides, and profinished what wine we had with us, and congratulated ceeded by the Col de la Seigne to Chapice, a wild little each other sincerely on the success of our expedition, mountain village, our quarters for the night. We were for now all difficulties were past; and I will not deny scarcely housed, about dusk, before a thunder-storm having looked up at the frowning battlements of ice, on came on; during which I saw, by a blaze of lightning, which we had been so lately standing, with the most three children of the hamlet sitting on the grassy slope exhilarating sensations.
of the mountain, not heeding the weather, and no one During the descent, I was much struck with the heeding them. The rain at last drove them in. One towering magnificence of the Mont Velen, which I had bad a bowl of milk in his hand, and another a wreath seen in great beauty when on an excursion to the of Alpine flowers. The next morning we went on by Great St Bernard a fortnight before. The beauty of the Col du Bon Homme to the baths of St Gervais. the scenery below, about Courmayeur, as seen during Here I bade farewell to my trusty guides, shaking them the descent, exceeds anything which the vale of Cha- all four cordially by the hand at parting. They were mouny affords.
of course going home to Chamouny. I went on to St Other steep pastures, fir-woods, and a succession of Martin, and the next morning returned by the dilisloping green meadows, led us finally down into the vale gence to Geneva. of Courmayeur at a quarter past five. Here, just as we had reached the bottom, although I felt in no respect unpleasantly fatigued, I was attacked by a giddiness so sudden and violent, that I fell against a young ash-tree, of the means of making themselves heard; and if they com
Aquatic animals are generally supposed to be destitute and thence headlong down a soft grassy bank. My municate with each other, it is usually supposed that it guides, in alarm, ran to my assistance, and in less than must be otherwise than by sound. The seal has, it is a minute I was perfectly restored; nor was I in the believed, a peculiar and distinct cry; and the grampus least hurt by the fall. This kind of attack I had never snorts as it attains the surface. Frogs, and other amphibefore experienced. I have no doubt but that it was bious animals, croak long and loud enough; but in all these occasioned by changing the air of the glacier, and of cases the sounds are emitted, not under, but above the the mountain, for that of the valley, which we all found water, and by creatures rarely more than half-aquatic. very hot and close. I continued my walk with great | The cetaceous races have warm blood, and suckle their caution for a little way, being apprehensive of a return young; and fishes, properly so called, are considered, of the seizure; but finding that, on crossing a narrow long-eared Balaamite is justly reckoned the strangest ass
as we shall presently show, erroneously a silent race. The wooden bridge over a foaming torrent, I could stand mentioned in history; and a scaly creature emitting and look at the troubled waters without inconvenience, sounds may truly be reckoned a very odd fish indeed. Å I dismissed the subject from my mind, convinced that party lately crossing from the promontory in Salsette, the indisposition was merely transient. And so it called the Neat's Tongue, to near Sewree, were, about proved. We at length reached Courmayeur at six sunset, struck by hearing long distinct sounds, like the
MUSIC OF FISHES.
Of the per
protracted booming of a distant bell, the dying cadence of prising a circle of a radius of twelve miles round the Postan Æolian harp, the note of a pitchpipe or pitchfork, or office in St Martin's-le-Grand, was quite as great as that any other long-drawn-out musical note. It was at first which, under the old system, was delivered in the whole supposed to be music from Parell, floating at intervals on United Kingdom. The increase was rapidly going on, and the breeze ; then it was perceived to come from all direc- amounted to 28,000,000 more last year as compared with tions almost in equal strength, and to arise from the sur the previous year. It was the opinion of many gentlemen face of the water all around the vessel. The boatmen at that the introduction of the penny rate increased the diffionce intimated that the sounds were produced by fish culty of effecting improvements. It was said they could not abounding in the muddy creeks and shoals around Bom- afford to give cheaper postage and greater facilities also ; bay and Salsette: they were perfectly well known, and very but in fact improvements had followed one another more often heard. Accordingly, on inclining the ear towards the rapidly since the penny postage came into operation than surface of the water–or, better still, by placing it close to the before. When the plan was first proposed, the large towns planks of the vessel--the notes appeared loud and distinct, had only a single mail connecting them with London ; now and followed each other in constant succession. The boat- they have two mails per day. Again: in England and men next day produced specimens of the fish-a creature Wales there were formerly only 2000 post-offices of every closely resembling in size and shape the fresh-water perch kind; now there were 4000. There was a growing convicof the north of Europe and spoke of them as plentiful, and tion in the minds of all connected with the Post-ottice, that perfectly well known. It is hoped that they may be pro- to make the establishment profitable, they must make it cured alive, and the means afforded of determining how as useful as possible, and to that great object his efforts the musical sounds are produced and emitted, with other should be devoted.' particulars of interest supposed new in ichthyology. We shall be glad to receive from our readers any information they can give us in regard to a phenomenon which does not
THE SWING. appear to have been heretofore noticed, and which cannot fail to attract the attention of the naturalist.
UrWARD she wings her flight afar,
A bird amid the quivering bowers; fect accuracy with which the singular facts above related have been given no doubt will be entertained, when it is
Then, shooting downwards like a star, mentioned that the writer was one of a party of five in
Just skims the dew, and stirs the flowers. telligent persons, by all of whom they were most carefully
One moment, like the huntress fair, observed, and the impressions of all of whom in regard to
She stoops to kiss Endymion's eyes; them were uniform. It is supposed that the fish are con
The next, rebounding in the air, fined to particular localities — shallows, estuaries, and
Shoots Parthian arrows as she flies. muddy creeks, rarely visited by Europeans; and that this is the reason why hitherto no mention, so far as we know,
Love-banished, and recalled by love, has been made of the peculiarity in any work on natural
She paints the passion false and vain : history.--Bombay Times.
Yet no; for though she seems to rove,
She still obeys the master's chain.
Now on the earth, now in the air,
Now won, now lost, her fleeting charms; Rowland Hill, the originator of the penny postage, some
Gliding aloft, a phantom fair, remarkable statements were made by that distinguished
Then pressed an instant in my arms: benefactor of his country. He wished,' he said, 'to convey to his hearers some idea of the magnitude of the
Ah! cease, dear wayward girl, to fly, institution. Were he merely to state that so many millions
And from thy wild vagaries rest; of letters passed through the Post-office in a year, no one
Leave, leave the angel in the sky, could form any accurate conception of the reality. The
And give the woman to my breast! best mode, probably, to convey any idea of the whole,
L. R. would be for him to describe some part. For instance,
THE ROUND TOWER. last night when he left London, he was at Euston Square when the mail was brought in to go by the train--this being only one of many which are despatched by railways.
In London, queen of cities, you may see, It was considered an exceedingly light mail; but small as
Facing the lordly house of Somerset, it was, it literally filled six large omnibuses ; and the heavy
A goodly tall round tower. Its base is wet mails forwarded on a Saturday night filled nine carriages
With Thames' fair waters rolling quietly. of a similar description. Again, the number of dead letters,
Who was it built this tower? what may it be? since the adoption of prepayment, had become a very
Say, was it piled by Druid hands of old ? small fraction-less than the 200th part of the whole;
Or reared by Eastern Magi, there to hold nevertheless the average amount of money found in such
The sacred flame, type of their deity ? letters, in coin, bank-notes, and bills of exchange, was
Was it a hermit's calm retreat ? or pile L. 100,000 per annum. Many thousands of pounds were
Where hung sonorous the resounding bell ? actually found in letters with no address whatever. It
Or is it such as in green Erin's isle might seem to many absurd that letters should be carried
We see, whose uses nobody can tell ?past a town for which they were intended, and then
'Twas answered, “Who 'twas built it know I not; brought back ; but it was not really absurd. It arose
But 'tis, I know, the Tower for Patent Shot.' from the impossibility of every town making up a bag for
-Old newspaper. every other town. There were about 1000 post-towns, and if every one of these made up 1000 bags, there would be 1,000,000 bags ; in fact, more bags than letters. It had
CHARACTER OF UNHEALTHY DISTRICTS. often struck him that some pains should be taken to make All these districts have the same character. The streets the main features of the Post-office system intelligible to are narrow, badly paved, badly cleansed, and badly drained; the people. There was no department of government the houses ill-constructed, without the means of cleanliness which came so much into contact with the people, and and decency, over-crowded and unventilated ; and, as a it was advisable that they should know what arrange- consequence, the streets are covered with filth, and the ments were capable of improvement, and what were not. houses full of impure air. The condition of the streets and Perhaps it might be interesting to the company to revert houses generates filthy habits, and the habits once formed, to a few facts connected with the change produced by react upon, and exaggerate the state of things to which the plan of penny postage. Immediately before the in- they owe their origin; till at length filth, disease, destitutroduction of the reduced rate of postage, the number tion, and crime, come to dwell together as natural and inof chargeable letters—not including franks-delivered separable companions.-Sanitary State of the Metropolis. amounted to 75,000,000 annually. Last year it amounted to 299,500,000, or to fourfold the original number. It would require something more than that to bring the Post-office
Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also
sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR, revenue up to the former gross amount ; but less than five 147 Strand, and Amen Corner, London; and J. M'GLASHAN, fold would effect that object. At the present moment, the 21 D'Olier Street, Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBSRS, number of letters delivered in the London district, com Edinburgh.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR
THE PEOPLE,' CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE, &c.
No. 170. New SERIES.
SATURDAY, APRIL 3, 1847.
HISTORICAL TABLEAU X.
exceedingly slight all over the East. Liberty might at any time be forfeited by impoverishment, or any other
misfortune; and so little was it prized, that men did A READER of history is startled with no fact more curi- not scruple to gamble away their entire property in ous, or more suggestive of melancholy reflections, than themselves and their families. In the infancy of instithis : among every people aspiring to the rank of a tutions, buying and selling are the ready methods of dation has there been a tendency to a condition of negotiating a thousand intricate transactions. Conslavery-slavery less or more modified, according to cir- tracts of various kinds resolve themselves into a matter cumstances, but still, in any of its forms, a condition of of exchange. We accordingly find that, in all ancient personal degradation and dependence. Accustomed in marriages, the symbol of buying and selling was inthe present day to associate ideas of injustice and troduced. Every man obtained his wife for a certain violence with the condition of slavery, we are naturally quantity of goods or money, or, as in the case of Jacob, disposed to imagine that slavery in all ages must have for a length of servitude. And till this day, in most been maintained exclusively by force. Violence no rude nations, the same practice prevails. Among the doubt has been mainly a cause of slavery ; but his- North American Indians, a wife is purchased by a pretory demonstrates, by unchallengeable evidence, that, in sent of peltry, and other articles suitable to the fancy numerous instances, it has also been a voluntary con or necessities of the seller. dition - a condition into which men have peacefully In ancient times, inability to pay a debt was a fruitful gravitated, and actually chosen in preference to liberty. source of slavery. In the narrative of events recorded In pretty nearly all modern dissertations on slavery, in the fourth chapter of the second book of Kings, an this latter fact has been somewhat disingenuously kept affecting story occurs : it is that of a poor widow, whose out of sight, possibly from a well-meant desire to do no children are about to be taken from her, and carried damage to the cause of slave emancipation. We think into slavery, in liquidation of an unpaid debt of their it consistent with a truer morality to look the truth father. In the woman's despair she comes to Elisha, unflinchingly in the face; humanity, as we conceive, and after telling him that her husband is dead, adds being always best served by a fair representation of that the creditor is come to take unto him my two facts, and the philosophy which can be drawn from sons to be bondmen.' The prophet, it will be rememthem,
bered, interposes to prevent this calamity, by multiThe oldest record on which reliance can be placed is plying her vessel of oil, out of which she is desired to the Bible-a work, it is to be presumed, in every one's pay the demands of her ruthless creditor. From this hands. If we peruse with even moderate diligence the simple fact, it would appear that people who could not historical portion of that ancient record, we may ob- pay their debts became, with their families, the proserve, from various passages, that in the patriarchal and perty of their creditors. The seizure and sale of the persubsequent ages slavery was an institution regulated son was, in all probability, the only available means of by express injunction. The Hebrews were to have no settling a claim of this kind; the law threw no mantle sort of scruple in buying or selling strangers. “Both of protection over the liberty of the unfortunate debtor. thy bondmen and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, The readiness with which large masses of men beshall be of the heathen that are round about you; of came the property of wealthy owners, accounts in a them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover, great degree for the large public works of ancient times. of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among What was wanting in capital and science was made up you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are by the animal force of slaves. All the huge stones for with you’ (Lev. xxv. 44, 45). With respect to the building the Pyramids were dragged on sledges, from buying and selling of each other, however, this ancient distant quarries, by long rows of men, yoked together people were placed under some kind of limitations. If with cords, and impelled to exert their utmost strength a Hebrew bought one of his own nation, the slave was by attendant companies of soldiers. The raising of these to serve him only seven years, and receive certain pre- blocks to their respective places was likewise effected sents at departure; but if it happened that the slave, by bands of slaves pulling at ropes attached to rude from affection to his master, would not leave him, then mechanical contrivances. In the Great Pyramid of he was to be kept in perpetual bondage. The ceremony Cheops there are six million tons of stone, piled on a on such occasions is distinctly prescribed : • Then thou surface of eleven acres, and rising to a height of four shalt take an awl, and thrust it through his ear unto hundred and sixty-one feet. A steam - engine could the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever; and also have elevated the whole mass without a single pang to unto thy maid-servant thou shalt do likewise' (Deut. a human being. But, according to Herodotus, relays X9, 17).
of a hundred thousand slaves toiled for twenty years The tenure by which personal freedom was held was in raising the stones to their places. The sacrifice of