HotFreeBooks.com
Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889
by Barkham Burroughs
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

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 atmosphere.

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 direction.

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 two lines.

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; [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'ten cents 1'] ten cents, $1; 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; [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'ten cents, 1'] ten cents, $1; 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 more.

LEANING TOWER OF PISA.—The leaning tower of Pisa was commenced in 1152, and was not finished till the fourteenth century. Tho 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 [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'porus'] porous 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:

Cubic-feet Cubic feet in ton of in ton of Size of coal. 2,240 lbs. 2,000 lbs.

Lump 33.2 28.8 Broken 33.9 30.3 Egg 34.5 30.8 Stone 34.8 31.1 Chestnut 35.7 31.9 Pea 36.7 32.8

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 feet.

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 water.

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 American wonderland.

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 oration.

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 follows:

"Know thyself."—Solon.

"Consider the end."—Chilo.

"Know thy opportunity."—Pittacus.

"Most men are bad."—Bias.

"Nothing is impossible to industry."—Periander.

"Avoid excesses."—Cleobulus.

"Suretyship is the precursor of ruin."—Thales.

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 on to 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 [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'mathemeticians'] mathematicians, 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 known.

In 70 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 incendiarism.

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 $1,000,000.

In 1700 a large part of Edinburgh was burned; loss unknown. In 1728 Copenhagen was nearly destroyed; 1,650 houses burned.

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 annihilation.

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 the river.

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 magnificence.

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:

Dates—Cities: Property destroyed. 1802—Liverpool: $5,000,000 1803—Bombay: 3,000,600 1805—St. Thomas: 30,000,000 1808—Spanish Town: 7,500,000 1812—Moscow, burned five days; 30,800 houses destroyed: 150,000,000 1816—Constantinople, 12,000 dwellings, 3,000 shops: —— 1820—Savannah: 4,000,000 1822—Canton nearly destroyed: —— 1828—Havana, 350 houses: —— 1835—New York ("Great Fire"): 15,000,000 1837—St. Johns, N. B.: 5,000,000 1838—Charleston, 1,158 buildings: 3,000,000 1841—Smyrna, 12,000 houses: —— 1842—Hamburg, 4,219 buildings, 100 lives lost: 35,000,000 1845—New York, 35 persons killed: 7,500,000 1845—Pittsburgh, 1,100 buildings: 10,000,000 1845—Quebec, May 28, 1,650 dwellings: 3,750,000 1845—Quebec, June 28, 1,300 dwellings: —— 1846—St. Johns, Newfoundland: 5,000,000 1848—Constantinople, 2,500 buildings: 15,000,000 1848—Albany, N. Y., 600 houses: 3,000,000 1849—St. Louis: 3,000,000 1851—St. Louis, 2,500 buildings: 11,000,000 1851—St. Louis, 500 buildings: 3,000,000 1851—San Francisco, May 4 and 5, many lives lost: 10,000,000 1851—San Francisco, June: 3,000,000 1852—Montreal, 1,200 buildings: 5,000,000 1861—Mendoza destroyed by earthquake and fire, 10,000 lives lost: —— 1862—St. Petersburg: 5,000,000 1802—Troy, N. Y., nearly destroyed: —— 1862—Valparaiso almost destroyed: —— 1864—Novgorod, immense destruction of property: —— 1865—Constantinople, 2,800 buildings burned: —— 1806—Yokohama, nearly destroyed: —— 1865—Carlstadt, Sweden, all consumed but Bishop's residence, hospital and jail; 10 lives lost: —— 1866—Portland, Me., half the city: 11,000,000 1866—Quebec, 2,500 dwellings, 17 churches: —— 1870—Constantinople, Pera, suburb: 26,000,000 1871—Chicago—250 lives lost, 17,430 buildings burned, on 2,124 acres: 192,000,000 1871—Paris, fired by the Commune: 160,000,000 1872—Boston: 75,000.000 1873—Yeddo, 10,000 houses: —— 1877—Pittsburgh, caused by riot: 3,260,000 1877—St. Johns, N. B., 1,650 dwellings, 18 lives lost: 12,500,000

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: $192,000,000 Paris fires, of May, 1871: 160,000,000 Moscow fire, of Sept. 14-19, 1812: 150,000,000 Boston fire, Nov. 9-10, 1872: 75,000.000 London fire, Sept. 2-6, 1666: 53,652,500 Hamburg fire, May 5-7, 1842: 35,000,000

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 gloomy pre-eminence.

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:

State: Total; Per capita. Maine: $235,978,716; $362.09 New Hampshire: 164,755,181; 474.81 Vermont: 86,806,755; 261.24 Massachusetts: 1,584,756,802; 888.77 Rhode Island: 252,536,673; 913.23 Connecticut: 327,177,385; 525.41 New Jersey: 572,518,361; 506.06 New York: 2,651,940,000; 521.74 Pennsylvania: 1,683,459,016; 393.08 Delaware: 59,951,643; 408.92 Maryland: 497,307,675; 533.07 District of Columbia: 99,401,787; 845.08 Virginia: 308,455,135; 203.92 West Virginia: 139,622,705; 225.75 North Carolina: 156,100,202; 111.52 South Carolina: 153,560,135; 154.24 Georgia: 239,472,599; 155.82 Florida: 30,938,309; 114.80 Alabama: 122,867,228; 97.32 Mississippi: 110,628,129; 97.76 Louisiana: 100,162,439; 170.39 Texas: 320,364,515; 201.26 Arkansas: 80,409,364; 176.71 Kentucky: 350,563,971; 212.63 Tennessee: 211,778,538; 137.30 Ohio: 1,534,360,508; 479.77 Indiana: 727,815,131; 367.89 Illinois: 786,616,394; 255.24 Michigan: 517,666,359; 316.23 Wisconsin: 438,971,751; 333.69 Iowa: 398,671,251; 245.39 Minnesota: 258,028,687; 330.48 Missouri: 432,795,801; 245.72 Kansas: 160,891,689; 161.52 Nebraska: 90,585,782; 200.23 Colorado: 74,471,693; 383.22 Nevada: 29,291,459; 470.40 Oregon: 52,522,084; 300.52 California: 584,578,036; 676.05 Arizona: 9,270,214; 229.23 Dakota: 20,321,530; 150.33 Idaho: 6,440,876; 197.51 Montana: 18,609,802; 475.23 New Mexico: 11,362,406; 95.04 Utah: 24,775,279; 172.09 Washington: 23,810,603; 316.98 Wyoming: 13,621,829; 655.24 ————————————————————————— Total: $16,902,993,543; 337.00

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 acre. 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 life. Amethyst—Prevents violent passions. Bloodstone—Courage, wisdom and firmness in affection. Chrysolite—Frees from evil passions and sadness. Emerald—Insures true love, discovers false. Diamonds—Innocence, faith and virgin purity, friends. Garnet—Constancy and fidelity in every engagement. Opal—Sharpens the sight and faith of the possessor. Pearl—Purity; gives clearness to physical and mental sight. Ruby—Corrects evils resulting from mistaken friendship. Sapphire—Repentance; frees from enchantment. Sardonyx—Insures conjugal felicity. Topaz—Fidelity and friendship; prevents bad dreams. 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 another song—Sing it with spirit that will start the world along—Sing it as we used to sing it, fifty thousand strong, While we were marching through Georgia.

Chorus—"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 the 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 Louis Lambert.

THE COST OF ROYALTY IN ENGLAND.—Her Majesty:

Privy purse: L60,000 Salaries of household: 131,260 Expenses of household: 172,500 Royal bounty, etc.: 13,200 Unappropriated: 8,040 L385,000

Prince of Wales: 40,000 Princess of Wales: 10,000 Crown Princess of Prussia: 8,000 Duke of Edinburgh: 25,000 Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein: 6,000 Princess Louise (Marchioness of Lome): 6,000 Duke of Connaught: 25,000 Duke of Albany: 25,000 Duchess of Cambridge: 6,000 Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz: 3,000 Duke of Cambridge: 12,000 Duchess of Teck: 5,000

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 continents:

Name: Miles.

EUROPE. Volga, Russia: 2,500 Danube: 1,800 Rhine: 840 Vistula: 700

ASIA. Yeneisy and Selenga: 3,580 Kiang: 3,290 Hoang Ho: 3,040 Amoor: 2,500 Euphrates: 1,900 Ganges: 1,850 Tigris: 1,160

AFRICA. Nile: 3,240 Niger: 2,400 Gambia: 1,000

SOUTH AMERICA. Amazon and Beni: 4,000 Platte: 2,700 Rio Madeira: 2,300 Rio Negro: 1,650 Orinoco: 1,600 Uruguay: 1,100 Magdalena: 900

NORTH AMERICA. Mississippi and Missouri: 4,300 Mackenzie: 2,800 Rio Bravo: 2,300 Arkansas: 2,070 Red River: 1,520 Ohio and Alleghany: 1,480 St. Lawrence: 1,450

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; Caesar; Genghis Khan, the Tartar chief, who overran all Asia and a considerable 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 Hosmer.

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 vessel.

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 original record:

s. d.

Mowers per diem, findeing themselves: 1 2 Mowers at meate and drinke: 0 7 Men makeing hay per diem, findeing themselves: 0 10 Men at meate and drinke: 0 6 Women makeing hay: 0 7 Women at meate and drinke: 0 4 Men reapeing corne per diem, findeing themselves: 1 2 Men reapinge corne at meate and drinke: 0 8 Moweing an acre of grasse, findeing themselves: 1 2 Moweing an acre of grasse to hay: 1 6 Moweing an acre of barley: 1 1 Reapeinge and bindeinge an acre of wheate: 3 0 Cuttinge and bindeinge an acre of beanes and hookinge: 2 0

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 Congress:

New Hampshire—Josiah Bartlett; William Whipple, Matthew Thornton.

Massachusetts—John Hancock, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine.

Rhode Island—Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery.

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 McKean.

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 Penn.

South Carolina—Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton.

Georgia—Button Gwinntet, Lyman Hall, George Walton.

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 confined 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. He 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:

Year White. Colored Free. Colored Slaves. 1790 3,172,006 59,527 697,681 1800 4,306,446 108,435 893,002 1810 5,862,073 186,446 1,191,362 1820 7,862,166 223,634 1,538,022 1830 10,538,378 319,599 2,009,043 1840 14,195,805 386,293 2,487,355 1850 19,553,068 434,495 3,204,313 1860 26,922,537 488,070 3,953,760 1870 33,589,377 4,880,009 None. 1880 43,402,970 6,580,973 None.

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 years.

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 fight of 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 number.

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:

(Location): Known; Unknown

Cypress Hill, N. Y.: 3,675; 70 Woodlawn, Elmira, N. Y.: 3,096; —— Beverly, N. J.: 142; 7 Finn's Point, N.J.: ——; 2,644 Gettysburg, Pa.: 1,967; 1,608 Philadelphia, Pa.: 1,880; 28 Annapolis, Md.: 2,289; 197 Antietam, Md.: 2,853; 1,811 London Park, Baltimore, Md.: 1,627; 168 Laurel, Baltimore, Md.: 232; 6 Soldiers' Home, D. C.: 5,313; 288 Battle, D. C.: 13; —— Grafton, W. Va.: 634; 620 Arlington, Va.: 11,911; 4,349 Alexandria, Va.: 3,434; 124 Ball's Bluff, Va.: 1; 24 Cold Harbor, Va.: 672; 1,281 City Point, Va.: 3,779; 1,374 Culpepper, Va.: 454; 910 Danville, Va.: 1,171; 155 Fredericksburg, Va.: 2,487; 12,770 Fort Harrison, Va.: 239; 575 Glendale, Va.: 233; 961 Hampton, Va.: 4,808; 494 Poplar Grove, Va.: 2,197; 3,993 Richmond, Va.: 841; 5,700 Seven Pines, Va.: 150; 1,208 Staunton, Va.: 233; 520 Winchester, Va.: 2,094; 2,301 Yorktown, Va.: 748; 1,434 Newbern, N. C.: 2,174; 1,077 Raleigh, N. C.: 625; 553 Salisbury, N. C.: 94; 12,032 Wilmington, N. C.: 710; 1,398 Beaufort, S. C.: 4,748; 4,493 Florence, S. C.: 199; 2,799 Andersonville, Ga.: 12,878; 959 Marietta, Ga.: 7,182; 2,963 Barrancas, Fla.: 791; 657 Mobile, Ala.: 751; 112 Corinth, Miss.: 1,788; 3,920 Natchez, Miss.: 308; 2,780 Vicksburg, Miss.: 3,896; 12,704 Alexandria, La.: 534; 772 Baton Rouge, La.: 2,468; 495 Chalmette, La.: 6,833; 5,075 Port Hudson, La.: 590; 3,218 Brownsville, Texas: 1,409; 1,379 San Antonio, Texas: 307; 167 Fayetteville, Ark.: 431; 781 Fort Smith, Ark.: 706; 1,152 Little Rock, Ark.: 3,260; 2,337 Chattanooga, Tenn.: 7,993; 4,903 Fort Donelson, Tenn.: 158; 511 Knoxville, Tenn.: 2,089; 1,040 Memphis, Tenn.: 5,150; 8,817 Nashville, Tenn.: 11,824; 4,692 Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.: 1,229; 2,361 Stone River, Tenn.: 3,820; 2,314 Camp Nelson, Ky.: 2,477; 1,165 Cave Hill, Louisville, Ky.: 3,342; 583 Danville, Ky.: 346; 12 Lebanon, Ky.: 591; 277 Lexington, Ky.: 824; 105 Logan's, Ky.: 345; 366 Crown Hill, Indianapolis, Ind.: 686; 36 New Albany, Ind.: 2,138; 676 Camp Butler, Ill.: 1,007; 355 Mound City, Ill.: 2,505; 2,721 Rock Island, Ill.: 280; 9 Jefferson Barracks, Mo.: 8,569; 2,906 Jefferson City, Mo.: 348; 412 Springfield, Mo.: 845; 713 Fort Leavenworth, Kas.: 821; 913 Fort Scott, Kas.: 388; 161 Keokuk, Iowa: 610; 21 Fort Gibson, I. T.: 212; 2,212 Fort McPherson, Neb.: 149; 291 City of Mexico, Mexico: 254; 750

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.—

Seceded. Readmitted. South Carolina Dec. 20,1860. June 11, 1868. Mississippi Jan. 9, 1861. Feb. 3, 1870. Alabama Jan. 11, 1861. June 11, 1868. Florida Jan. 11, 1861. June 11, 1868. Georgia Jan. 19, 1861. April 20, 1870. Louisiana Jan. 26, 1861. June 11, 1868. Texas Feb. 1, 1861. Mar. 15, 1870. Virginia April 16, 1861. Jan. 15, 1870. Arkansas May 6, 1861. June 20, 1868. North Carolina May 21, 1861. June 11, 1868. Tennessee June 24, 1861. July, 1866.

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 Aramaean 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 language.

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 tasks.

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 solanaceae, or night shade family, and has no relation to the family piperaceae, 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 skin.

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.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse