Зображення сторінки

complements. But an unlucky crab-apple applied to my right eye by a patriot gingerbread-maker from the Burrough, who would not suffer three dances from Switzerland because he hated the French, forced me to a precipitate retreat."

It was Garrick who first introduced foot-lights on the English stage, in 1765. He borrowed the practice from Italy, having just returned from a journey in that country. When oil lamps took the place of Garrick's candles, the occupation of the candle-snuffer was gone forever. Probably the trimming of the lamps became his next duty, and, as time went on, he developed into the gas-man, that indispensable attendant of the modern theatre.

The street gas-lamp, after numerous abortive experiments, established an uncertain foothold for itself in 1810, and by 1817 had become a permanent institution. Gradually the new mode of lighting stole from the streets into manufactories and public buildings, and finally into private houses. By 1828 it had made its way into the theatres, for in that year an explosion took place in Covent Garden Theatre, by which two men lost their lives. Great excitement ensued. The public was afraid to re-enter the theatre. The management published an address stating that the gas-fittings would be removed from the interior of the house and safer methods of illumination substituted. While the alterations were in progress, the theatre was closed for a fortnight, the Covent Garden Company appearing at the English Opera-House or Lyceum Theatre.

Gradually, however, the world grew bolder, and gas again made its appearance on the stage. Still, its employment was strenuously objected to in various quarters. In 1829, a physician, writing from Bolton Row and signing himself “Chiro-Medicus,” addressed a remonstrance on the subject to a public journal. In the course of his practice he had met with several fatal cases of apoplexy which had occurred in the theatres or a few hours after leaving them, and he had devoted much time to investigating the cause. The conclusion at which he had arrived was “that the strong vivid light evolved from the numerous gas lamps on the stage so powerfully stimulated the brain, through the medium of the optic nerves, as to occasion a preternatural determination of blood to the head, capable of producing headache or giddiness, and, if the subject should at the time laugh heartily, the additional influx of blood which takes place may rupture a vessel, the consequence of which will be, from the effusion of blood within the substance of the brain or on its surface, fatal apoplexy.” It was his opinion and that of many of his professional brethren that the air of the theatre was very considerably deteriorated by the consumption of gas, and that the consumption of oxygen and the new products and the escape of hydrogen occasigned congestion of the vessels of the head. Indeed, by actual inquiry he had found that theatre-goers and actors were by no means so subject to apoplexy or nervous headaches before the adoption of gas-lights as afterwards.

In spite of all his reasonings, however, Chiro-Medicus did not succeed in his well-meant efforts to turn off the gas. Since his time numerous improvements have been made in the stage foot-lights, or floats, as they are technically called. It was not till 1863 that, at the instance of Charles Fechter, at the London Lyceum, the floats were sunk below the surface of the stage, so that they should not intercept the view of the spectator. His example was speedily followed by other managers; and a few years later, owing to accidents which had occurred to the dresses of dancers when they approached too near to the footlights, these were fenced and guarded with wire screens and metal bars.

William S. Walsh,

NEW BOOKS. FRANK STOCKTON tells a story of an author who once wrote a very clever tale which had great vogue, but whose subsequent stories were universally rejected by editors because they fell short in power and interest of the story that had achieved signal success. “The Wrong Box,” by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne (Charles Scribner's Sons), is somewhat disappointing-first, because it is a composite work, and composite books, like composite photographs, are never entirely satisfactory; and again because it falls far short of reaching the high-water mark of some of Mr. Stevenson's former books. But comparisons are odious, and we ought to forget all about Mr. Stevenson's former books, or at least try to put them out of our minds for the time being, and give ourselves over to the enjoyment of the present very enjoyable book, which has no further aim than to supply, as the preface explains, “ a little judicious levity;" and certainly it achieves its object.

It is always hard to distinguish the individual in a composite, and so in “The Wrong Box” the wizard-like Stevenson is somewhat dimly outlined; but he appears to have a jester's cap on bis head, and there is a faint tinkle of bells about him. Even in his lighter and jocose vein Mr. Stevenson's penchant for uncanny subjects reveals itself. The misadventures of a barrel in which has been enclosed a human corpse are the direct cause of a great deal of the merriment in the book, and indeed very laughable complications arise, though one's laughter is somewhat held in check by the ghastliness of the affair.

Still, the book is full of mirth-provoking situations that are bound to provoke hearty laughter, and the man who provokes hearty laughter is as blessed as he who first invented sleep. "The Wrong Box" should be taken as an antidote for the average stupid summer novel which is sure to be palmed off upon the tourist by some designing train-agent.

"A Sage of Sixteen," by L. B. Walford (Leisure Hour Series, Henry Holt & Co.), is a light story of the kind which, it must be confessed, makes rather heavy reading. The“ Sage of Sixteen” is a sort of female little Lord Fauntleroy, lacking his brightness and naturalness, who brings about a change of heart among a family of rich, aristocratic, and intensely stupid relatives. Elma, the 'Sage,” is a good little girl, but one is very glad when finally on the last page she cuts the proper English caper and engages herself to a first-class earl who keeps his carriage.

"Three Years," a translation from the German of Josephine, Countess Schwerin (Rand, McNally & Co.), is a tame and uninteresting story, without a redeeming virtue or a redeeming vice.

A very useful little book at this time of the year, and one that has especial interest for local anglers, is “Near by' Fresh- and Salt-Water Fishing, or Angling within a Radius of One Hundred Miles of Philadelphia. Where to Go ; When to Go; How to Go.” By A. M. Spangler. Mr. Spangler is the president of the Anglers’ Association of Eastern Pennsylvania, and his ripe and wide knowledge of both the art of angling and of the best places within easy reach for the exercise of that art makes his work of great value to all local lovers of the sport. The book is profusely illustrated, and cannot fail to become the vade-mecum of Philadelphia fishermen. A pamphlet accompanies it which indicates the choice spots for gunning and fishing along the Chesapeake and Delaware peninsula.

H. C. Walsh.




In the ancient Roman calendar August | with its green meads and wild fieldhad twenty-nine days. When Julius Aowers, is gone; the beauty of the auCæsar revised the calendar he gave it tumn is yet to come. It is the restingthirty days, which were increased to time of the year for man; though nature thirty-one by Augustus, who took a day was never more actively at work, and the from February for this purpose.

The fruits of her labors are visible on every month was originally called "Sextilis, or hand. the sixth month; but Augustus, jealous The charm of the orchard is not one to that a month had been named after his be despised, even by the poetic soul. The predecessor, changed its name to August, swollen globes of white and red which and increased its length. He was born in profusely hang against the green backSeptember, but in Sextilis he was created ground of the apple foliage, though they consul, had thrice triumphed in Rome, lack the airy grace of the flown blossoms, had added Egypt to the empire, and had have a beauty of their own which the brought the civil wars to an end. He dullest soul can appreciate. It is a solid looked upon it, therefore, as his month of beauty, which appeals at once to two fortune.

senses ; there is in it none of the dayAugust is by no means a season of de- dream of the flower, none of the fitting light to our winter-tempered tastes. The fancifulness of youth, but much of the dog-days drift over its verge from July, sober delight of age, that bas gathered its and sweltering weeks succeed, in which wealth and now needs to think only of life becomes a burden, and even hope of ornament and enjoyment. better things is almost drowned in per- The apples are not alone in this August spiring floods. Yet the sun is southing, carnival of fruitfulness. The early fruits the days are shortening, and cooler nights of the year are gone; the berry-bearing serve to render the torrid days more en- bushes have fulfilled their mission and durable. It is only to man, however, and retired to leafy rest; the nut-yielding to his near neighbors in the animal king- trees are waiting for the touch of autumn dom, that August brings torment. To frosts; but the juicy fruits of the orchard the lower animal world, and the whole are now everywhere swelling and ripenkingdom of plants, it is a season of joy | ing, turning their rosy cheeks to the sun, sind fruitfulness. Under its warm suns and, filling with sugary juices of multii fe thrives amazingly, the command to tudinous flavors. The peach and the pear

be fruitful and multiply!' is abundantly rival the apple in fruitful activity; the obeyed, flying and creeping (also biting purple-hued plum distils its agreeable and stinging) things congregate in myr- acid; on running vines the melons and iads, the soil sends up new multitudes pumpkins display their mighty golden of flowering plants, and the trees of the globes; the green maize, which in July orchard and the grove, which for months served but as a foil to the yellowing past have amused themselves in the grain, now waves its ripening tassels charming play of the blossoming, now high in the air; and on his flower-emfairly enter into the serious work of the bowered porch the husbandman rests for year, and distil delicious juices to fill their a while from his labors, gazing with joyglobing fruits. In spring they were all ful eyes over his broad fields and orchards, poetry, nor are they yet all prose; much and thankful at heart to perceive that, as of beauty remains, but it is a beauty that Douglas Jerrold said of Australia, " Earth appeals to the practical sense of taste is so kindly that tickle her with a hoe and more than to the æsthetic sense of sight. | she laughs with a harvest." The poet has ceased to sing. Spring,



August 1,

1884. The celebrated trotting horse 1464. Cosmo Medici, a celebrated Jay Eye See trotted a mile at Providence statesman of the Florentine republic, in 2.10. This was the best record to that died. He was the son of a rich merchant,

time. On August 2, 1884, Maud S. made was a liberal patron of learning and the

a mile in 2.09, and on July 30, 1885, in arts, and made a large collection of

2.084, the best trotting record yet made. ancient manuscripts.

His benefits to 1886. A desperate effort was made by Florence gained him the title of the a Tartar to murder the Grand Vizier at " Father of his Country," and paved the Constantinople. He fired two shots into way to that great power of his family the vizier's carriage and then chased it which enabled Alessandro Medici in 1532 with a dagger. His effort was unsucto subvert the liberties of Florence.

cessful. 1498. Columbus first saw the conti- 1887. Disastrous floods took place at Dent of South America, during his third the city of Augusta, Georgia. One milvoyage. On the preceding day he had

lion and a half dollars' worth of property discovered an island, which he named

was destroyed. Terrific storms of wind Trinidad.

and rain occurred in Pennsylvania, West 1798. The battle of the Nile, or of Virginia, and Connecticut. Aboukir, was fought between the French fleet under Brueys and the English under

August 2. Nelson. The English were victorious, 216 B.C. The great battle of Canna, nine of the French ships being taken and between Hannibal and the Romans, was two burnt, while two escaped. The fought. The Romans suffered a disasFrench flag-ship, with one thousand men trous defeat, forty thousand of them being on board, was blown up, less than one slain. Hannibal sent to Carthage three hundred escaping.

bushels of rings taken from the Roman 1831. The new London Bridge was knights. opened. This replaced the celebrated old 1100. William Rufus, King of Engbridge, built more than eight centuries land, was found dead in the New Forest. before. It had eighteen solid stone piers, The popular account of his death is that with bulky stone arches, and was covered he was killed by an arrow, discharged by from end to end with buildings. On the Walter Tyrrel, which glanced from a treo "Traitors' Gate," on the end towards the and struck the king. His violent and city, the heads of traitors were shown. It tyrannical character may have had somewas removed on account of its obstruction | thing to do with his death. to navigation.

1788. Thomas Gainsborough, a nota1834. The act for the abolition of ble English landscape-painter, died. His slavery in the British possessions, passed works are admired for their simplicity August 28, 1833, went into effect. Over and fidelity to nature, their richness of seven hundred and seventy thousand color, and their masterly distribution of slaves were freed. On August 1, 1838, light and shade. slavery was abolished in the East Indies. 1832. The Black Hawk War was Twenty million pounds sterling were ap- ended by a battle in which the Indians propriated by Parliament to compensate were defeated with great loss. Black slave-holders.

Hawk, with his sons and other warriors, 1842. A riot broke out in Philadel- was captured and imprisoned in Fortress phia, in consequence of the colored people Monroe. The cause of the war was the attempting to celebrate by a procession attempt to remove the Sacs and Foxes the emancipation of the West India from fllinois to the country west of the slaves. They were assailed by a mob, Mississippi. who committed many deeds of violence. 1873. A fire broke out in Portland, A public hall and a church were burned, Oregon, which destroyed twenty-three and several private houses destroyed. blocks of buildings, the property deDisturbances of a similar character oc- stroyed being valued at one and a half curred in other places.

million dollars.

August 3.

that time its population was five hundred 1492. Columbus set sail from the port

and fifty. of Palos, Spain, on his voyage of dis- 1864. Farragut's fleet entered the harcovery to America. He had three small bor of Mobile. He ran the gauntlet of ships, manned by one hundred and twenty the forts with wooden vessels, defeated men.

the Confederate fleet, and forced the forts 1667. Jeremy Taylor, an English to surrender. It was on this occasion bishop and author of great eminence, that Farragut daringly ran past the forts, died. He wrote many works on theo- lashed to the masthead of his flag-ship, logical subjects, in which he displayed a that he might more easily superintend rich imagination and poetical genius. the action. His sermons are notable for their imagi

August 5. native fluency, but not for argumenta- 1600. John Ruthven, Earl of Gowrie, tive force.

attempted to assassinate James VI. of 1777. Fort Schuyler, at the head of Scotland, who was visiting his castle. the Mohawk River, was invested by an Gowrie and his brother were killed by army of British and Indians, General the king's attendants. Herkimer marched to the relief of the Earl of Gowrie had taken James prisoner

The preceding American garrison, but his force was ambushed, and defeated with great slaughter. Castle for ten months. He was executed

in 1582 and held him captive in Ruth ven General Arnold then marched to its re

for this in 1584. lief. His force was small, but he sent on

1716. The sanguinary battle of Petera spy with an exaggerated account of the

wardein was fought, in which Prince size of bis army. On hearing this the Eugene defeated the Turks, who lost Indians fled, and the British were forced twenty thousand men. In August, 1717, to decamp hastily.

Eugene again defeated the Turks, and 1792. Richard Arkwright, the reputed captured Belgrade. inventor of the cotton-spinning machine,

1858. The first signals were transdied. His right to the patent was con- mitted across the Atlantic by electric tested, and a verdict given against him in cable. The first messages were sent on 1781. He became rich, however, and his August 16. This event was celebrated son, who continued his business of cotton

with great rejoicings throughout the manufacturing, accumulated a fortune country; but the cable soon ceased workimmense for that period. 1830. The first vessel to traverse the ing, from imperfections in its manufac

ture. Welland Canal, now just completed, 1874. The steamboat Pat Rogers was reached Oswego from Lake Erie.

burned on the Ohio River, fifty lives 1857. Eugene Sue, a popular French being lost. novelist, died. He is best known by his 1887. Eleven Chicago officials were

Mysteries of Paris” and “The Wan- convicted of bribery and embezzlement. dering Jew,” which works attained great Seven of them were sentenced to two popularity and have been very widely years' imprisonment, and four to a fine read.

of one thousand dollars each. 1885.

A tornado at Philadelphia did 1888. General Sheridan died of heartgreat damage to the northern part of the failure. This distinguished military city and to Camden. Over five hundred officer gained high honor as a cavalry buildings were injured, two steamboats

commander in the civil war, particularly partly wrecked, eight persons killed, and in his Shenandoah Valley campaign eighty-six injured.

against General Early. His ride from

Winchester, with its turning of defeat August 4.

into victory, during this campaign, has 1265. Simon de Montfort, Earl of

become famous. He played a very promiLeicester, was slain in the battle of Eve- nent part in the final events of the war, sham. He played a very active part in

was made lieutenant-general in 1869, and English politics. In a rupture that oc

succeeded Sherman as commander-incurred between Henry III. and his barons chief of the army in 1883. in 1258, Montfort headed the insurgents, in 1264 defeated the royalists and took

August 6. the king prisoner, and in the following 1637. Ben Jonson, a celebrated Engyear summoned a Parliament, which was lish dramatist, died. He was a contemthe foundation of the English House of porary and friend of Shakespeare, and Commons.

was an active and able writer, though his 1830. Chicago was surveyed and laid characters were types rather than indiout as a town, and the map recorded. It viduals. He was most successful in was incorporated August 10, 1833. At satirical comedies. As a lyric poet he

« НазадПродовжити »