THE BLACK DEATH.—- This great plague, known as the "Black Death," was the most deadly epidemic ever known. It is believed to have been an aggravated outburst of the Oriental plague, which from the earliest records of history has periodically appeared in Asia and Northern Africa. There had been a visitation of the plague in Europe in 1342; the Black Death, in terrible virulence, appeared in 1348-9; it also came in milder form in 1361-2, and again in 1369. The prevalence and severity of the pestilence during this century is ascribed to the disturbed conditions of the elements that preceded it. For a number of years Asia and Europe had suffered from mighty earthquakes, furious tornadoes, violent floods, clouds of locusts darkening the air and poisoning it with their corrupting bodies. Whether these natural disturbances were the cause of the plague is not certainly known, but many writers on the subject regard the connection as both probable and possible. The disease was brought from the Orient to Constantinople, and early in 1347 appeared in Sicily and several coast towns of Italy. After a brief pause the pestilence broke out at Avignon in January, 1348; advanced thence to Southern France, Spain and Northern Italy. Passing through France and visiting, but not yet ravaging, Germany, it made its way to England, cutting down its first victims at Dorset, in August, 1348. Thence it traveled slowly, reaching London early in the winter. Soon it embraced the entire kingdom, penetrating to every rural hamlet, so that England became a mere pest-house. The chief symptoms of the disease are described as "spitting, in some cases actual vomiting, of blood, the breaking out of inflammatory boils in parts, or over the whole of the body, and the appearance of those dark blotches upon the skin which suggested its most startling name. Some of the victims died almost on the first attack, some in twelve hours, some in two days, almost all within the first three days." The utter powerlessness of medical skill before the disease was owing partly to the physicians' ignorance of its nature, and largely to the effect of the spirit of terror which hung like a pall over men's minds. After some months had passed, the practice of opening the hard boils was adopted, with very good effect, and many lives were thus saved. But the havoc wrought by the disease in England was terrible. It is said that 100,000 persons died in London, nearly 60,000 in Norwich, and proportionate numbers in other cities. These figures seem incredible, but a recent writer, who has spent much time in the investigation of records, asserts that at least half the population, or about 2,500,000 souls, of England perished in this outbreak. The ravages of the pestilence over the rest of the world were no less terrible. Germany is said to have lost 1,244,434 victims; Italy, over half the population. On a moderate calculation, it may be assumed that there perished in Europe during the first appearance of the Black Death, fully 25,000,000 human beings. Concerning the Orient we have less reliable records, but 13,000,000 are said to have died in China, and 24,000,000 in the rest of Asia and adjacent islands. The plague also ravaged Northern Africa, but of its course there little is known. The horrors of that dreadful time were increased by the fearful persecutions visited on the Jews, who were accused of having caused the pestilence by poisoning the public wells. The people rose to exterminate the hapless race, and killed them by fire and torture wherever found. It is impossible for us to conceive of the actual horror of such times.
MIGHTY HAMMERS.—An authority on scientific subjects give the weights of the great hammers used in the iron works of Europe, and their date of manufacture, as follows: At the Terni Works, Italy, the heaviest hammer weighs 50 tons, and was made in 1873; one at Alexandrovski, Russia, was made the following year of like weight. In 1877, one was finished at Creusot Works, France, weighing 80 tons; in 1885, one at the Cockerill Works, Belgium, of 100 tons, and in 1880, at the Krupp Works, Essen, Germany, one of 150 tons. The latter being the heaviest hammer in the world.
ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT GARFIELD.—July 2, 1881, at 9:25 A.M., as President Garfield was entering the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad depot at Washington, preparatory to taking the cars for a two weeks' jaunt in New England, he was fired upon and severely wounded by Charles Jules Guitean, a native of Illinois, but of French descent. The scene of the assassination was the ladies' reception-room at the station. The President and Mr. Blaine, arm in arm, were walking slowly through the aisle between two rows of benches on either side of the room; when Guitean entered by a side door on the left of the gentlemen, passed quickly around the back of the benches till directly behind the President, and fired the shot that struck his arm. Mr. Garfield walked about ten feet to the end of the aisle, and was in the act of turning to face his assailant when the second shot struck him in the small of the back, and he fell. The assassin was immediately seized and taken to jail. The wounded president was conveyed in an ambulance to the White House. As he was very faint, the first fear was of internal hemorrhage, which might cause speedy death. But as he rallied in a few hours, this danger was thought to be averted and inflammation was now feared. But as symptoms of this failed to appear, the surgeons in attendance concluded that no important organ had been injured, that the bullet would become encysted and harmless, or might possibly be located and successfully removed. By the 10th of July, the reports were so favorable, that the president's recovery was regarded as certain, and public thanksgivings were offered in several of the States, by order of the governors, for his deliverance. The first check in the favorable symptoms occurred on July 18, and July 23 there was a serious relapse, attended with chills and fever. The wound had been frequently probed but without securing any favorable result. The induction balance was used to locate the ball, and was regarded as a success, though subsequently its indications were known to have been altogether erroneous. The probings, therefore, in what was assumed to be the track of the ball, only increased the unfavorable symptoms. During the entire month of August these reports were alternately hopeful and discouraging, the dangerous indications being generally on the increase. By August 25, his situation was understood to be very critical, though an apparent improvement on the 26th and 28th again aroused hope. At his own earnest desire the president was removed, September 6, to Elberon Park, near Long Branch. N.J., in the hope that the cooler air of the seaside might renew his strength more rapidly. However, the improvement hoped for did not appear. On September 16, there was a serious relapse, with well-marked symptoms of blood poisoning, and September 19, the president died. A post-mortem examination showed that the ball, after fracturing one of the ribs, had passed through the spinal column, fracturing the body of one of the vertebra, driving a number of small fragments of bone into the soft parts adjacent, and lodging below the pancreas, where it had become completely encysted. The immediate cause of death was hemorrhage from one of the small arteries in the track of the ball, but the principal cause was the poisoning of the blood from suppuration.
COINS OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES.—The following carefully prepared summary indicates the coins in use in the various countries, taking their names in alphabetical order:
Argentine Republic—Gold coins: 20 peso piece, $19.94; 10 pesos, $9.97; 5 pesos, $4.98. Silver: 1 peso, 99 cents. The copper coin of the country is the centisimo, 100 of which make a peso or dollar.
Austria—Gold coins: 8 gulden piece, $3.86; 4 gulden, $1.93. Silver: Marie Theresa thaler, $1.02; 2 gulden, 96 cents; 1 gulden, 48 cents; 1/4 gulden, 12 cents; 20 kreutzer, 10 cents; 10 kreutzer, 5 cents. Of the small copper coin current, known as the kreutzer, 100 make a gulden.
Brazil—Gold coins: 20 milrei piece, $10.91; 10 milreis, $5.45. Silver: 2 milreis, $1.09; 1 milreis, 55 cents; 1/2 milreis, 27 cents. The Portuguese rei is used for copper money, worth about 1/8 of a cent.
Chili—Gold coin: 10 pesos (or 1 condor), $9.10; 5 pesos, $4.55: 2 pesos, $1.82. Silver: 1 peso, 91 cents; 50 centavos, 45 cents; 20 centavos, 18 cents; 10 centavos, 9 cents; 5 centavos, 4 cents. The copper coin is 1 centavo, 100th of a peso.
Colombia—Gold coins: Twenty peso piece, $19.30; 10 pesos, $9.65; 5 pesos, $4.82; 2 pesos, $1.93. Silver: 1 peso, 96 cents; 20 centavos, 19 cents; 10 centavos, 10 cents; 5 centavos, 5 cents. The copper centavo of Colombia is identical in value with our cent. (The currency of Coloumbia is also used in Venezuela.)
Denmark—Gold coins: Twenty kroner piece, $5.36; 10 kroner, $2.68. Silver: Two kroner, 53 cents; 1 krone, 27 cents; 50 ore, 13 cents; 40 ore, 10 cents; 25 ore, 6-1/2 cents; 10 ore, 2-1/2 cents. One hundred of the copper ore make one krone.
France—Gold coins: One hundred franc piece, $19.30; 50 francs. $9.65; 20 francs, $3.85; 10 francs, $1.93; 5 francs, 96 cents. Silver: Five francs, 96 cents; 2 francs, 38 cents; 1 franc, 19 cents; 50 centimes, 10 cents: 20 centimes, 4 cents. The copper coins are the sou, worth about 9-1/2 mills, and the centime, 2 mills.
Germany—Gold coins: Twenty-mark piece, $4.76; 10 marks, $2.38; 5 marks, $1.19. Silver: Five marks, $1.19; 2 marks, 48 cents; 1 mark, 24 cents; 50 pfennige, 12 cents; 20 pfennige, 5 cents. One hundred copper pfennige make one mark.
Great Britain—Gold coins: Pound or sovereign, $4.86; guinea, $5.12. Silver: Five shillings or crown, $1.25; half crown, 62-1/2 cents; shilling, 25 cents; sixpence, 12-1/2 cents. Also a three-penny piece and a four-penny piece, but the latter is being called in, and is nearly out of circulation. The copper coins of Great Britain are the penny, half-penny and farthing.
India—Gold coins: Thirty rupees or double mohur, $14.58; 15 rupees or mohur, $7.29; 10 rupees, $4.86; 5 rupees, $2.43. Silver: One rupee, 48 cents, and coins respectively of the value of one-half, one-fourth and one-eighth rupee. In copper there is the pie, one-fourth of a cent; the pice, 3/4 of a cent; the ana, 3 cents.
Japan—Gold coins: Twenty yen, $19.94; 10 yen, $9.97; 5 yen, $4.98; 2 yen, $1.99; 1 yen, 99 cents. Silver: The 50, 20, 10 and 5 sen pieces, answering respectively to 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents. In copper there is the sen, answering to 1 cent.
Mexico—Gold coins: Sixteen dollar piece, $15.74; 8 dollars, $7.87; 4 dollars, $3.93; 2 dollars, $1.96; 1 dollar, 98 cents. Silver: 1 dollar, 98 cents; 50-cent piece, 49 cents; 25 cents, 24 cents. The Mexican cent, like our own, equals one-hundreth of a dollar.
Netherlands—Gold coins: Ten-guilder piece, $4.02; 5 guilders, $2.01. Silver: 2-1/2 guilders, $1; 1 guilder, 40 cents; half-guilder, 20 cents; 25 cents, 10 cents; 10 cents, 4 cents; 5 cents, 2 cents. The Dutch copper cent is one-hundreth of the guilder.
Peru—Gold coins: Twenty-sol piece, $19.30; 10 sol, $9.65; 5 sol, $4.82; 2 sol. $1.93; 1 sol, 96 cents. Silver: 1 sol, 96 cents; 50 centesimos, 48 cents; 20, 10 and 5 centesimos, worth respectively 19, 10 and 5 cents. It will be noted that the Peruvian coinage is almost identical with that of Colombia. It is also used in Bolivia.
Portugal—Gold coin: Crown, $10.80; half-crown, $5.40; one-fifth crown, $2.16; one-tenth crown, $1.08. These gold pieces are also known respectively as 10, 5, 2 and 1 dollar [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'pices']v pieces. The silver coins are the 500, 200, 100 [Transcriber's Note: The original text reads 'and 5'] and 50 reis coins, worth respectively 54, 21, 11 and 5 cents. One thousand reis are equal to one crown.
Russia—Gold coins: Imperial or 10-ruble piece, $7.72; 5 rubles, $3.86; 3 rubles, $2.31. Silver: ruble, 77 cents; half-ruble, 38 cents; quarter-ruble, 19 cents; 20 copecks, 15 cents; 10 copecks, 7 cents; 5 copecks, 4 cents; 100 copecks are worth 1 ruble.
Turkey—Gold coins: Lira or medjidie, $4.40; half-lira, $2.20; quarter-lira, $1.10. The silver unit is the piastre, worth 4 cents of our currency, and silver coins of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 piastres are current.
The currency of Denmark is also in use in Norway and Sweden, these three countries forming the Scandinavian Union. Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Roumania, Servia, Spain and Switzerland are united in the Latin Union, and use the French coinage. The units in the different States are, it is true, called by different names; as in France, Belgium and Switzerland, franc and centime; in Italy, lira and centesimo; in Greece, drachm and lepta; in Roumania, lei and bani: in Servia, dinar and para; in Spain, peseta and centesimo; but in all cases the value is the same.
The similarity in the coinage of different countries is worth notice. A very slight change in the percentage of silver used would render the half-guilder of Austria, the krone of the Scandinavian Union, the franc of the Latin Union, the mark of Germany, the half-guilder of Holland, the quarter-ruble of Russia, the 200-reis piece of Portugal, the 5-piastre piece of Turkey, the half-milreis of Brazil and the half-rupee of India, all interchangeable with the English shilling, and all of them about the value of the quarter-dollar of North and South American coinage. With the exception of Brazil, the other South American States, as well as Mexico and the Central American countries, are all rapidly approximating a uniform coinage, which the needs of commerce will unquestionably soon harmonize with that of the United States. Curiously enough, the great force that is assimilating the alien branches of the human race is not Christianity but trade.
A HISTORY OF THE PANIC OF 1857.—The cause of the panic of 1857 was mainly the rage for land speculation which had run through the country like an epidemic. Paper cities abounded, unproductive railroads were opened, and to help forward these projects, irresponsible banks were started, or good banks found themselves drawn into an excessive issue of notes. Every one was anxious to invest in real estate and become rich by an advance in prices. Capital was attracted into this speculation by the prospect of large gains, and so great was the demand for money that there was a remarkable advance in the rates of interest. In the West, where the speculative fever was at its highest, the common rates of interest were from 2 to 5 per cent. a month. Everything was apparently in the most prosperous condition, real estate going up steadily, the demand for money constant, and its manufacture by the banks progressing successfully, when the failure of the "Ohio Life and Trust Company," came, August 24, 1857, like a thunderbolt from a clear sky. This was followed by the portentous mutterings of a terrible coming storm. One by one small banks in Illinois, Ohio, and everywhere throughout the West and South went down. September 25-26 the banks of Philadelphia suspended payment, and thus wrecked hundreds of banks in Pennsylvania, Maryland and adjoining States. October 13-14, after a terrible run on them by thousands of depositors, the banks of New York suspended payment. October 14 all the banks of Massachusetts went down, followed by a general wreckage of credit throughout New England. The distress which followed these calamities was very great, tens of thousands of workmen being unemployed for months. The New York banks resumed payment again December 12, and were soon followed by the banks in other cities. The darkest period of the crisis now seemed past, although there was much heart rending suffering among the poor during the winter which followed. The commercial reports for the year 1857 showed 5,123 commercial failures, with liabilities amounting to $291,750,000.
THE HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH ROCK.—A flat rock near the vicinity of New Plymouth is said to have been the one on which the great, body of the Pilgrims landed from the Mayflower. The many members of the colony, who died in the winter of 1620-21, were buried near this rock. About 1738 it was proposed to build a wharf along the shore there. At this time there lived in New Plymouth an old man over 90 years of ago named Thomas Faunce, who had known some of the Mayflower's passengers when a lad, and by them had been shown the rock on which they had landed. On hearing that it was to be covered with a wharf the old man wept, and it has been said that his tears probably saved Plymouth Rock from oblivion. After the Revolution it was found that the rock was quite hidden by the sand washed upon it by the sea. The sand was cleared away, but in attempting to take up the rock it was split in two. The upper half was taken to the village and placed in the town square. In 1834 it was removed to a position in front of Pilgrim Hall and enclosed in an iron railing. In September, 1880, this half of the stone was taken back to the shore and reunited to the other portion. A handsome archway was then built over the rock, to protect it in part from the depredations of relic hunters.
GRANT'S TOUR AROUND THE WORLD.—General Grant embarked on a steamer at the Philadelphia wharf for his tour around the world May 17, 1877. He arrived at Queenstown, Ireland, May 27. Thence he went to Liverpool, Manchester, and on to London. He remained in that city several weeks, and was made the recipient of the most brilliant social honors. July 5th he went to Belgium, and thence made a tour through Germany and Switzerland, He then visited Denmark, and August 25 returned to Great Britain, and until October spent the time in visiting the various cities of Scotland and England. October 24th he started for Paris, where he remained a month, then went on to Lyons, thence to Naples, and subsequently with several friends he made a trip on the Mediterranean, visiting the islands of Sicily, Malta and others. Thence going to Egypt, the pyramids and other points of note were visited, and a journey made up the Nile as far as the first cataract. The programme of travel next included a visit to Turkey and the Holy Land, whence, in March, the party came back to Italy through Greece, revisited Naples, went to Turin and back to Paris. After a few weeks spent in the social gayeties of that city, the Netherlands was chosen as the next locality of interest, and The Hague, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam were visited in turn. June 26, 1878, the General and his party arrived in Berlin. After staying there some weeks they went to Christiana and Stockholm, then to St. Petersburg, Moscow and Warsaw, and back over German soil to Vienna. Another trip was now made through Switzerland, and, then returning to Paris, a start was made for a journey through Spain and Portugal, in which Victoria, Madrid, Lisbon, Seville and other important towns were visited. A trip was also made from Cadiz to Gibraltar by steamer. After another brief visit to Paris, General Grant went to Ireland, arriving at Dublin January 3, 1879; visited several points of interest in that country, then, by way of London and Paris, went to Marseilles, whence he set sail by way of the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal for India. He reached Bombay February 13th. Thence visited Allahabad, Agra and rode on an elephant to Amber; also went to Benares, Delhi. Calcutta and Rangoon, spent a week in Siam, then went by steamer to China. After spending some time at Canton, Pekin and other places he went to Japan for a brief visit. He went to Nagasaki, Tokio and Yokahama, and at last, September 3, 1879, set sail from Tokio on his return to the United States. September 20th he arrived in the harbor of San Francisco. After some weeks spent in visiting the points of interest in California and Oregon he returned to his home in the Eastern States.
HISTORY OF VASSAR COLLEGE.—- Vassar College is on the east bank of the Hudson, near Poughkeepsie, N.Y. It was founded in 1861. In that year Matthew Vassar, a wealthy brewer of Poughkeepsie, gave to an incorporated board of trustees the sum of $108,000 and 200 acres of land for the endowment of a college for women. The building was constructed from plans approved by him, at a cost of about $200,000. The college was opened in September, 1865, with eight professors and twenty other instructors, and 300 students. The first president of the college was Professor Milo P. Jewett; the second Dr. John H. Raymond; the third the Rev. Samuel Caldwell. The college has a fine library, with scientific apparatus and a museum of natural history specimens.
THE ORIGINS OF CHESS.—So ancient is chess, the most purely intellectual of games, that its origin is wrapped in mystery. The Hindoos say that it wad the invention of an astronomer, who lived more than 5,000 years ago, and was possessed of supernatural knowledge and acuteness. Greek historians assert that the game was invented by Palamedes to beguile the tedium of the siege of Troy. The Arab legend is that it was devised for the instruction of a young despot, by his father, a learned Brahman, to teach the youth that a king, no matter how powerful, was dependent upon his subjects for safety. The probability is that the game was the invention of some military genius for the purpose of illustrating the art of war. There is no doubt, that it originated in India, for a game called by the Sanskrit name of Cheturanga—which in most essential points strongly resembles modern chess, and was unquestionably the parent of the latter game—is mentioned in Oriental literature as in use fully 2,000 years before the Christian area. In its gradual diffusion over the world the game has undergone many modifications and changes, but marked resemblances to the early Indian game are still to be found in it. From India, chess spread into Persia, and thence into Arabia, and the Arabs took it to Spain and the rest of Western Europe.
THE DARK AGES.—The Dark Ages is a name often applied by historians to the Middle Ages, a term comprising about 1,000 years, from the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century to the invention of printing in the fifteenth. The period is called "dark" because of the generally depraved state of European society at this time, the subservience of men's minds to priestly domination, and the general indifference to learning. The admirable civilization that Rome had developed and fostered, was swept out of existence by the barbarous invaders from Northern Europe, and there is no doubt that the first half of the medieval era, at least, from the year 500 to 1000, was one of the most brutal and ruffianly epochs in history. The principal characteristic of the middle ages were the feudal system and the papal power. By the first the common people were ground into a condition of almost hopeless slavery, by the second the evolution of just and equitable governments by the ruling clashes was rendered impossible through the intrusion of the pontifical authority into civil affairs. Learning did not wholly perish, but it betook itself to the seclusion of the cloisters. The monasteries were the resort of many earnest scholars, and there were prepared the writings of historians, metaphysicians and theologians. But during this time man lived, as the historian Symonds says, "enveloped in a cowl." The study of nature was not only ignored but barred, save only as it ministered in the forms of alchemy and astrology to the one cardinal medieval virtue—- credulity. Still the period saw many great characters and events fraught with the greatest importance to the advancement of the race.
THE GREATEST DEPTH OF THE OCEAN NEVER MEASURED.—The deepest verified soundings are those made in the Atlantic Ocean, ninety miles off the island of St. Thomas, in the West Indies, 3,875 fathoms, or 23,250 feet Deeper water has been reported south of the Grand Bank of Newfoundland, over 27,000 feet in depth, but additional soundings in that locality did not corroborate this. Some years ago, it was claimed that very deep soundings, from 45,000 to 48,000 feet, had been found off the coast of South America, but this report was altogether discredited on additional investigation in these localities. The ship Challenger, which in 1872-74 made a voyage round the globe for the express purpose of taking deep sea soundings in all the oceans, found the greatest depth touched in the Pacific Ocean less than 3,000 fathoms, and the lowest in the Atlantic 3,875 fathoms, as given above.
THE ARMY OF THE REVOLUTION.—It is not positively known how many men from the colonies served in the war. The official tabular statement indicates a total off recorded years of enlistment and not a total of the the men who served. Hence, a man who served from April 19, 1775, until the formal cessation of hostilities, April 19, 1783 counted as eight men in the aggregate. In this basis of enlisted years, the following table gives the contribution various States: New Hampshire, 12,497; Massachusetts, 69,907; Rhode Island, 5,908; Connecticut, 31,939; New York, 17,781; New Jersey, 10,726; Pennsylvania, 25,678; Delaware, 2,386; Maryland, 13,912; Virginia, 26,678; North Carolina, 7,263; South Carolina, 6,417; Georgia, 2,679; Total, 233,771.
THE WORLD'S DECISIVE BATTLES.—The fifteen decisive battles of the world from the fifth century before Christ to the beginning of the nineteenth century of the present era, are as follows:
The battle of Marathon, in which the Persian hosts were defeated by the Greeks under Miltiades, B.C. 490.
The defeat of the Athenians at Syracuse, B.C. 413.
The battle of Arhela, in which the Persians under Darius were defeated by the invading Greeks under Alexander the Great, B.C. 331.
The battle of the Metanrus, in which the Carthaginian forces under Hasdrubal were overthrown by the Romans, B.C. 207. Victory of the German tribes under Arminins over the Roman legions under Varus, A.D. 9. (The battle was fought in what is now the province of Lippe, Germany, near the source of the river Ems.)
Battle of Chalons, where Attila the terrible King of the Huns, was repulsed by the Romans under Aetius, A.D. 451
Battle of Tours, in which the Saracen Turks invading Western Europe were utterly overthrown by the Franks under Charles Martel, A.D. 732.
Battle of Hastings, by which William the Conqueror became the ruler of England, Oct. 14, 1066.
Victory of the French under Joan of Arc over the English at Orleans, April 29, 1429.
Defeat of the Spanish Armada by the English naval force, July 29 and 30, 1588.
Battle of Blenheim, in which the French and Bavarians were defeated by the allied armies of Great Britain and Holland under the Duke of Marlborough, Aug. 2, 1704.
Battle of Pultowa, the Swedish army under Charles XII, defeated by the Russians under Peter the Great, July 8, 1709. Victory of the American army under General Gates over the British under General Burgoyne at Saratoga, Oct. 17, 1777.
Battle of Valmy where the allied armies of Prussia and Austria were defeated by the French under Marshal Kellerman. Sept. 20, 1792.
Battle of Waterloo, the allied forces of the British and Prussians defeated the French under Napoleon, the final overthrow of the great commander, June 18, 1815.
These battles are selected as decisive, because of the important consequences that followed them. Few students of history, probably, would agree with Prof. Creasy, in restricting the list as he does. Many other conflicts might be noted, fraught with great importance to the human race, and unquestionably "decisive" in their nature; as, for instance, the victory of Sobieski over the Turkish army at Vienna, Sept. 12, 1683. Had the Poles and Austrians been defeated there, the Turkish general might readily have fulfilled his threat "to stable his horses in the Church of St. Peter's at Rome," and all Western Europe would, no doubt, have been devastated by the ruthless and bloodthirsty Ottomans. Of important and decisive battles since that of Waterloo we may mention in our own Civil War those of Gettysburg, by which the invasion of the North was checked, and at Chattanooga, Nov. 23 and 25, 1863, by which the power of the Confederates in the southwest received a deadly blow.
THE WANDERING JEW.—There are various versions of the story of "The Wandering Jew," the legends of whom have formed the foundation of numerous romances, poems and tragedies. One version is that this person was a servant in the house of Pilate, and gave the Master a blow as He was being dragged out of the palace to go to His death. A popular tradition makes the wanderer a member of the tribe of Naphtali, who, some seven or eight years previous to the birth of the Christ-child left his father to go with the wise men of the East whom the star led to the lowly cot in Bethlehem. It runs, also, that the cause of the killing of the children can be traced to the stories this person related when he returned to Jerusalem of the visit of the wise men, and the presentation of the gifts they brought to the Divine Infant, when He was acknowledged by them to be the king of the Jews, He was lost sight of for a time, when he appeared as a carpenter who was employed in making the cross on which the Saviour was to be lifted up into the eyes of all men. As Christ walked up the way to Calvary, He had to pass the workshop of this man, and when He reached its door, the soldiers, touched by the sufferings of the Man of Sorrows, besought the carpenter to allow Him to rest there for a little, but he refused, adding insult to a want of charity. Then it is said that Christ pronounced his doom, which was to wander over the earth until the second coming. Since that sentence was uttered, he has wandered, courting death, but finding it not, and his punishment, becoming more unbearable as the generations come and go. He is said to have appeared in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and even as recently as the eighteenth century, under the names of Cartaphilus, and Ahasuerus, by which the Wandering Jew has been known. One of the legends described him as a shoemaker of Jerusalem, at whose door Christ desired to rest on the road to Calvary, but the man refused, and the sentence to wander was pronounced.
SOME MEMORABLE DARK DAYS.—During the last hundred years there have been an unusually large number of dark days recorded. As has been suggested by several writers, this may have been the result of the careful scientific observations of modern times, as well as of the frequency of these phenomena. The dark day in the beginning of this century about which so much has been said and written occurred Oct. 21, 1816. The first day of the same month and year is also represented as "a close dark day." Mr. Thomas Robie, who took observations at Cambridge, Mass., has this to offer in regard to the phenomenon. "On Oct. 21 the day was so dark that people were forced to light candles to eat their dinners by; which could not he from an eclipse, the solar eclipse being the fourth of that month." The day is referred to by another writer as "a remarkable dark day in New England and New York," and it is noted, quaintly by a third, that "in October, 1816, a dark day occurred after a severe winter in New England." Nov. 26, 1816, was a dark day in London, and is described "in the neighborhood of Walworth and Camberwell so completely dark that some of the coachmen driving stages were obliged to get down and lead their horses with a lantern." The famous dark day in America was May 19, 1780. The phenomenon began about 10 o'clock in the forenoon. The darkness increased rapidly, and "in many places it was impossible to read ordinary print." There was widespread fear. Many thought that the Day of Judgment was at hand. At that time the Legislature of Connecticut was in session at Hartford. The House of Representatives, being unable to transact their business, adjourned. A proposal to adjourn the council was under consideration. When the opinion of Colonel Davenport was asked, he answered: "I am against an adjournment. The day of judgment is approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment: if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish, therefore, that candles may be brought." In Whittier's "Tent on the Beach" is given a beautiful poetical version of this anecdote. It is suggested by several authorities that the cause of the dark day in 1780 should be attributed simply to the presence of ordinary clouds of very unusual volume and density. These instances are, of course, grouped with phenomena of which not a great deal is known, and can in no way be classed with those occurrances occasioned by the smoke from extensive forest tires, volcanic eruptions, or fogs.
THE REMARKABLE STORY OF CHARLIE ROSS.—Charlie Ross was the son of Christian K. Ross of Germantown, Pa., and at the time of his disappearance was a little over 4 years of age. The child and a brother 6 years old were playing July 1, 1874, in the streets of Germantown, when a couple of men drove up in a buggy and persuaded the children, with promises of toys and candies, to get in and ride with them in the vehicle. After driving around the place for a little time, the older brother, Walter Ross, was put out of the conveyance, and the strangers gave him 25 cents, telling him to go to a store near at hand and buy some candy and torpedoes for himself and Charlie. Walter did as he was told, but when he came out of the store the men with Charlie and the vehicle had disappeared. It was believed at first by the relatives and friends of the missing boy that he would be returned in a short time, as they supposed he might have been taken by some drunken men. Time passed, however, but no trace of the child had been discovered. In a few weeks a letter was received by Mr. Ross to the effect that if he would pay $20,000 his son would be returned, but, that the parent need not search for Charlie, as all efforts to find the abducted boy or his captors would only be attended with failure; and it was stated that if this amount was not paid, Charlie would be killed. The father answered this and a long correspondence ensued, while the search was prosecuted in all directions. Mr. Ross wanted the child delivered at the time the money was paid, but to this the abductors refused to agree. It is stated that more than $50,000 were expended to recover the child. At one time two gentlemen were two days in Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, with the $20,000 ransom money to be given to the child-thieves, but they did not appear. The search was continued, and the officers of the law were looking up any and all evidence, until they had located the two men. These were found Dec. 4, 1874, committing a burglary in the house of Judge Van Brunt, Bay Ridge, L. I.; the burglary was discovered, the burglars seen and shot by persons residing in an adjoining residence. One of the men was killed instantly, the other lived several hours, and confessed that he and his companion had abducted Charlie Ross, but that the dead thief, Mosher by name, was the one who knew where the boy was secreted. Walter Ross identified the burglars as the men who had enticed him and Charlie into the buggy. There the case rested. No new fact has been developed. The missing child has never been found. Many times have children been reported who resembled Charlie, and Mr. Ross has traveled far and near in his endless search, only to return sadly and report that his boy was still missing. No case in recent years has excited such universal sympathy as that of Charlie Ross.
THE BLUE LAWS ON SMOKING.—There were some very stringent laws in Massachusetts against the use of tobacco in public, and while the penalties were not so heavy, yet they were apparently rigidly enforced for a time. We quote from a law passed in October, 1632, as follows: "It is ordered that noe person shall take any tobacco publiquely, under paine of punishment; also that every one shall pay 1d. for every time hee is convicted of takeing tobacco in any place, and that any Assistant shall have power to receave evidence and give order for levyeing of it, as also to give order for the levyeing of the officer's charge. This order to begin the 10th of November next." In September, 1634, we discover another law on the same article: "Victualers, or keepers of an Ordinary, shall not suffer any tobacco to be taken in their howses, under the penalty of 5s. for every offence, to be payde by the victuler, and 12d. by the party that takes it. Further, it is ordered, that noe person shall take tobacco publiquely, under the penalty of 2s. 6d., nor privately, in his owne house, or in the howse of another, before strangers, and that two or more shall not take it togeather, anywhere, under the aforesaid penalty for every offence." In November, 1637, the record runs: "All former laws against tobacco are repealed, and tobacco is sett at liberty;" but in September, 1638, "the [General] Court, finding that since the repealing of the former laws against tobacco, the same is more abused then before, it hath therefore ordered, that no man shall take any tobacco in the fields, except in his journey, or at meale times, under paine of 12d. for every offence; nor shall take any tobacco in (or so near) any dwelling house, barne, corne or hay rick, as may likely indanger the fireing thereof, upon paine of 10s. for every offence; nor shall take any tobacco in any inne or common victualing house, except in a private roome there, so as neither the master of the same house nor any other guests there shall take offence thereat, which if they do, then such person is fourthwith to forbeare, upon paine of 12s. 6d. for every offence. Noe man shall kindle fyre by gunpowder, for takeing tobacco, except in his journey, upon paine of 12d. for every offence."
THE REMARKABLE CAVES—WYANDOTTE AND MAMMOTH.—Wyandotte Cave is in Jennings township, Crawford county, Ind., near the Ohio river. It is a rival of the great Mammoth Cave in grandeur and extent. Explorations have been made for many miles. It excels the Mammoth Cave in the number and variety of its stalagmites and stalactites, and in the size of several of its chambers. One of these chambers is 350 feet in length, 245 feet in height, and contains a hill 175 feet high, on which are three fine stalagmites. Epsom salts, niter and alum have been obtained from the earth of the cave. The Mammoth Cave is in Edmondson county, near Green River, about seventy-five miles from Louisville. Its entrance is reached by passing down a wild, rocky ravine through a dense forest. The cave extends some nine miles. To visit the portions already traversed, it is said, requires 150 to 200 miles of travel. The cave contains a succession of wonderful avenues, chambers, domes, abysses, grottoes, lakes, rivers, cataracts and other marvels, which are too well known to need more than a reference. One chamber—the Star—is about 500 feet long, 70 feet wide, 70 feet high, the ceiling of which is composed of black gypsum, and is studded with innumerable white points, that by a dim light resemble stars, hence the name of the chamber. There are avenues one and a half and even two miles in length, some of which are incrusted with beautiful formations, and present the appearance of enchanted palace halls. There is a natural tunnel about three-quarters of a mile long, 100 feet wide, covered with a ceiling of smooth rock 45 feet high. There is a chamber having an area of from four to five acres, and there are domes 200 and 300 feet high. Echo River is some three-fourths of a mile in length, 200 feet in width at some points, and from 10 to 30 in depth, and runs beneath an arched ceiling of smooth rock about 15 feet high, while the Styx, another river, is 450 feet long, from 15 to 40 feet wide, and from 30 to 40 feet deep, and is spanned by a natural bridge. Lake Lethe has about the same length and width as the river Styx, varies in depth from 3 to 40 feet, lies beneath a ceiling some 90 feet above its surface, and sometimes rises to a height of 60 feet. There is also a Dead Sea, quite a somber body of water. There are several interesting caves in the neighborhood, one three miles long and three each about a mile in length.
THE SOUTH SEA BUBBLE.—The "South Sea Bubble," as it is generally called, was a financial scheme which occupied the attention of prominent politicians, communities, and even nations in the early part of the eighteenth century. Briefly the facts are: In 1711 Robert Hartley, Earl of Oxford, then Lord Treasurer, proposed to fund a floating debt of about L10,000,000 sterling, the interest, about $600,000, to be secured by rendering permanent the duties upon wines, tobacco, wrought silks, etc. Purchasers of this fund were to become also shareholders in the "South Sea Company," a corporation to have the monopoly of the trade with Spanish South America, a part of the capital stock of which was to be the new fund. But Spain, after the treaty of Utrecht, refused to open her commerce to England, and the privileges of the "South Sea Company" became worthless. There were many men of wealth who were stockholders, and the company continued to flourish, while the ill success of its trading operations was concealed. Even the Spanish War of 1718 did not shake the popular confidence. Then in April, 1720, Parliament, by large majorities in both Houses, accepted the company's plan for paying the national debt, and after that a frenzy of speculation seized the nation, and the stock rose to L300 a share, and by August had reached L1,000 a share. Then Sir John Blunt, one of the leaders, sold out, others followed, and the stock began to fall. By the close of September the company stopped payment and thousands were beggared. An investigation ordered by Parliament disclosed much fraud and corruption, and many prominent persons were implicated, some of the directors were imprisoned, and all of them were fined to an aggregate amount of L2,000,000 for the benefit of the stockholders. A great part of the valid assets was distributed among them, yielding a dividend of about 33 per cent.
AREA OF NORTH AMERICA.—The following figures show the extent of the United States as compared with the British possessions in North America: United States, 3,602,884 square miles. British possessions—Ontario, 121,260; Quebec, 210,020; Nova Scotia, 18,670; New Brunswick, 27,037; British Columbia, 233,000; Manitoba, 16,000; N.W. and Hudson Bay Territories, 2,206,725; Labrador and Arctic Ocean Islands, make a total of 3,500,000.
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AXLE GREASE.—1. Water, 1 gallon; soda, 1/3 pound; palm oil, 10 pounds. Mix by heat, and stir till nearly cold.
2. Water, rape oil, of each 1 gallon; soda, 1/3 pound; palm oil, 1/4 pound.
3. Water, 1 gallon; tallow, 3 pounds; palm oil, 6 pounds; soda, 1/2 pound. Heat to 210 deg. Fahrenheit and stir until cool.
4. Tallow, 8 pounds; palm oil, 10 pounds; plumbago, 1 pound. Makes a good lubricator for wagon axles.
HOW TO SHELL BEANS EASY.—Pour upon the pods a quantity of scalding water, and the beans will slip very easily from the pod. By pouring scalding water on apples the skin may be easily slipped off, and much labor saved.
HOW TO CLEAN BED-TICKS.—Apply Poland starch, by rubbing it on thick with a cloth. Place it in the sun. When dry, rub it if necessary. The soiled part will be clean as new.
HOW TO WASH CARPETS.—Shake and beat it well; lay it upon the floor and tack it firmly; then with a clean flannel wash it over with a quart of bullock's gall mixed with three quarts of soft, cold water, and rub it off with a clean flannel or house-cloth. Any particular dirty spot should be rubbed with pure gall.
HOW TO CLEAN CARPETS.—Before proceeding to sweep a carpet a few handfuls of waste tea-leaves should be sprinkled over it. A stiff hair broom or brush should be employed, unless the carpet is very dirty, when a whisk or carpet-broom should be used, first followed by another made of hair, to take off the loose dust. The frequent use of a stiff carpet-broom soon wears off the beauty of the best carpet. An ordinary clothes brush is best adapted for superior carpets. When carpets are very dirty they should be cleaned by shaking and beating.
Beat it well with a stick in the usual manner until all the dust is removed, then take out the stains, if any, with lemon or sorrel-juice. When thoroughly dry rub it all over with the crumb of a hot wheaten loaf, and if the weather is very fine, let hang out in the open air for a night or two. This treatment will revive the colors, and make the carpet appear equal to new.
TO REMOVE SPOTS ON CARPETS.—A few drops of carbonate of ammonia, and a small quantity of warm rain water, will prove a safe and easy antacid, etc., and will change, if carefully applied, discolored spots upon carpets, and indeed, all spots, whether produced by acids or alkalies. If one has the misfortune to have a carpet injured by whitewash, this will immediately restore it.
HOW TO REMOVE INK SPOTS ON CARPETS.—As soon as the ink has been spilled, take up as much as you can with a sponge, and then pour on cold water repeatedly, still taking up the liquid; next rub the place with a little wet oxalic acid or salt of sorrel, and wash it off immediately with cold water, and then rub on some hartshorn.
CLEANING AND SCOURING OF CLOTH.—The common method of cleaning cloth is by beating and brushing, unless when very dirty, when it undergoes the operation of scouring. This is best done on the small scale, as for articles of wearing apparel, etc., by dissolving a little curd soap in water, and after mixing it with a little ox-gall, to touch over all the spots of grease, dirt, etc., with it, and to rub them well with a stiff brush, until they are removed, after which the article may be well rubbed all over with a brush or sponge dipped into some warm water, to which the previous mixture and a little more ox-gall has been added. When this has been properly done, it only remains to thoroughly rinse the article in clean water until the latter passes off uncolored, when it must be hung up to dry. For dark, colored cloths the common practice is to add some Fuller's-earth to the mixture of soap and gall. When nearly dry the nap should be laid right and the article carefully pressed, after which a brush, moistened with a drop or two of olive oil, is passed several times over it, which will give it a superior finish.
Cloth may also be cleaned in the dry way, as follows: First remove the spots, as above, and when the parts have dried, strew clean, damp sand over it, and beat it in with a brush, after which brush the article with a hard brush when the sand will readily come out, and bring the dirt with it. Black cloth which is very rusty should receive a coat of reviver after drying, and be hung up until the next day, when it may be pressed and finished off as before. Scarlet cloth requires considerable caution. After being thoroughly rinsed, it should be repeatedly passed through cold spring water, to which a tablespoonful or two of solution of tin has been added. If much faded, it should be dipped in a scarlet dye-bath. Buff cloth is generally cleansed by covering it with a paste made with pipe-clay and water, which, when dry,-is rubbed and brushed off.
RENOVATION OF CLOTH.—The article undergoes the process of scouring before described, and, after being well rinsed and drained, it is put on a board, and the thread-bare parts rubbed with a half-worn hatter's card, filled with flocks, or with a teazle or a prickly thistle, until a nap is raised. It is next hung up to dry, the nap laid the right way with a hard brush, and finished as before. When the cloth is much faded, it is usual to give it a dip, as it is called, or to pass it through a dye-bath, to freshen up the color.
HOW TO REVIVE THE COLOR OF BLACK CLOTH.—If a coat, clean it well, then boil from two to four ounces of logwood in your copper, or boiler, for half an hour; dip your coat in warm water, and squeeze it as dry as you can, then put it into the copper and boil it for half an hour. Take it out, and add a piece of green copperas, about the size of a horse-bean; boil it another half hour, then draw it, and hang it in the air for an hour or two; take it down; rinse it in two or three cold waters; dry it, and let it be well brushed with a soft brush, over which a drop or two of the oil of olives has been rubbed, then stroke your coat regularly over.
HOW TO RESTORE CRAPE.—Skimmed milk and water, with a little bit of glue in it, made scalding hot, is excellent to restore rusty Italian crape. If clapped and pulled dry like muslin, it will look as good as new; or, brush the veil till all the dust is removed, then fold it lengthwise, and roll it smoothly and tightly on a roller. Steam it till it is thoroughly dampened, and dry on the roller.
HOW TO CLEANSE FEATHER BEDS.—When feather beds become soiled and heavy they may be made clean and light by being treated in the following manner: Rub them over with a stiff brush, dipped in hot soap-suds. When clean lay them on a shed, or any other clean place where the rain will fall on them. When thoroughly soaked let them dry in a hot sun for six or seven successive days, shaking them up well and turning them over each day. They should be covered over with a thick cloth during the night; if exposed to the night air they will become damp and mildew. This way of washing the bed-ticking and feathers makes them very fresh and light, and is much easier than the old-fashioned way of emptying the beds and washing the feathers separately, while it answers quite as well. Care must be taken to dry the bed perfectly before sleeping on it. Hair mattresses that have become hard and dirty can be made nearly as good as new by ripping them, washing the ticking, and picking the hair free from bunches and keeping it in a dry, airy place several days. Whenever the ticking gets dry fill it lightly with the hair, and tack it together. HOW TO CUT UP AND CURE PORK.—Have the hog laid on his back on a stout, clean bench; cut off the head close to the base. If the hog is large, there will come off a considerable collar, between head and shoulders, which, pickled or dried, is useful for cooking with vegetables. Separate the jowl from the face at the natural joint; open the skull lengthwise and take out the brains, esteemed a luxury. Then with a sharp knife remove the back-bone the whole length, then the long strip of fat underlying it, leaving about one inch of fat covering the spinal column.
The leaf lard, if not before taken out for the housewife's convenience, is removed, as is also the tenderloin—a fishy-shaped piece of flesh—often used for sausage, but which makes delicious steak. The middling or sides are now cut out, leaving the shoulders square-shaped and the hams pointed, or they may be rounded to your taste. The spare-ribs are usually wholly removed from the sides, with but little meat adhering. It is the sides of small, young hogs cured as hams that bear the name of breakfast bacon, The sausage meat comes chiefly in strips from the backbone, part of which may also be used as steak. The lean trimmings from about the joints are used for sausage, the fat scraps rendered up with the backbone lard.
The thick part of the backbone that lies between the shoulders, called griskin or chine, is separated from the tapering, bony part, called backbone by way of distinction, and used as flesh. The chines are smoked with jowls, and used in late winter or spring.
When your meat is to be pickled it should be dusted lightly with saltpetre sprinkled with salt, and allowed to drain twenty-four hours; then plunge it into pickle, and keep under with a weight. It is good policy to pickle a portion of the sides. They, after soaking, are sweeter to cook with vegetables, and the grease fried from them is much more useful than that of smoked meat.
If your meat is to be dry salted, allow one teaspoonful of pulverized saltpetre to one gallon of salt, and keep the mixture warm beside you. Put on a hog's ear as a mitten, and rub each piece of meat thoroughly. Then pack skin side down, ham upon ham, side upon side, strewing on salt abundantly. It is best to put large and small pieces in different boxes for the convenience of getting at them to hang up at the different times they will come into readiness. The weather has so much to do with the time that meat requires to take salt that no particular time can be specified for leaving it in.
The best test is to try a medium-sized ham; if salt enough, all similar and smaller pieces are surely ready, and it is well to remember that the saltness increases in drying. Ribs and steaks should be kept in a cold, dark place, without salting, until ready for use. If you have many, or the weather is warm, they keep better in pickle than dry salt. Many persons turn and rub their meat frequently. We have never practiced this, and have never lost any.
When the meat is ready for smoking, dip the hocks of the joints in ground black pepper and dust the raw surface thickly with it. Sacks, after this treatment, may be used for double security, and I think bacon high and dry is sweeter than packed in any substance. For sugar-cured hams we append the best recipe we have ever used, though troublesome.
English Recipe for Sugar-Curing Hams.—So soon as the meat comes from the butcher's hand rub it thoroughly with the salt. Repeat this four days, keeping the meat where it can drain. The fourth day rub it with saltpetre and a handful of common salt, allowing one pound of saltpetre to seventy pounds of meat. Now mix one pound of brown sugar and one of molasses, rub over the ham every day for a fortnight, and then smoke with hickory chips or cobs. Hams should be hung highest in meat-houses, because there they are less liable to the attacks of insects, for insects do not so much infest high places—unlike human pests.
Pickle.—Make eight gallons of brine strong enough to float an egg; add two pounds of brown sugar or a quart of molasses, and four ounces of saltpetre; boil and skim clean, and pour cold on your meat. Meat intended for smoking should remain in pickle about four weeks. This pickle can be boiled over, and with a fresh cup of sugar and salt used all summer. Some persons use as much soda as saltpetre. It will correct acidity, but we think impairs the meat.
WASHING PREPARATION.—Take a 1/4 of a pound of soap, a 1/4 of a pound of soda, and a 1/4 of a pound of quicklime. Cut up the soup and dissolve it in 1 quart of boiling water; pour 1 quart of boiling water over the soda, and 3 quarts of boiling water upon the quicklime. The lime must be quick and fresh; if it is good it will bubble up on pouring the hot water upon it. Each must be prepared in separate vessels. The lime must settle so as to leave the water on the top perfectly clear; then strain it carefully (not disturbing the settlings) into the washboiler with the soda and soap; let it scald long enough to dissolve the soap, then add 6 gallons of soap water. The clothes must be put to soak over night, after rubbing soap upon the dirtiest parts of them. After having the above in readiness, wring out the clothes which have been put in soak, put them on to boil, and let each lot boil half an hour; the same water will answer for the whole washing. After boiling each lot half an hour drain them from the boiling water put them in a tub and pour upon them two or three pailsful of clear, hot water; after this they will want very little rubbing; then rinse through two waters, blueing the last. When dried they will be a beautiful white. After washing the cleanest part of the white clothes, take two pails of the suds in which they have been washed, put it over the fire and scald, and this will wash all the flannels and colored clothes without any extra soap. The white flannels, after being well washed in the suds, will require to be scalded by turning on a teakettle of boiling water.
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HOW TO DESTROY HOUSEHOLD PESTS
HOW TO DESTROY ANTS.—Ants that frequent houses or gardens may he destroyed by taking flower of brimstone half a pound and potash four ounces; set them in an iron or earthen pan over the fire till dissolved and united; afterward beat them to a powder, and infuse a little of this powder in water; and wherever you sprinkle it the ants will die or fly the place.
HOW TO DESTROY BLACK ANTS.—A few leaves of green wormwood, scattered among the haunts of these troublesome insects, is said to be effectual in dislodging them.
HOW TO DESTROY RED ANTS.—The best way to get rid of ants, is to set a quantity of cracked walnuts or shell-barks on plates, and put them in the closet or places where the ants congregate. They are very fond of these, and will collect on them in myriads. When they have collected on them make a general auto-da-fe, by turning nuts and ants together into the fire, and then replenish the plates with fresh nuts. After they have become so thinned off as to cease collecting on plates, powder some camphor and put in the holes and crevices, whereupon the remainder of them will speedily depart. It may help the process of getting them to assemble on shell-barks, to remove all edibles out of their way for the time.
HOW TO DESTROY BLACK BEES.—Place two or three shallow vessels—the larger kind of flower-pot saucers will do—half filled with water, on the floors where they assemble, with strips of cardboard running from the edge of the vessel to the floor, at a gentle inclination; these the unwelcome guests will eagerly ascend, and so find a watery grave.
HOW TO DESTROY BED-BUGS.—1. When they have made a lodgement in the wall, fill all the apertures with a mixture of soft soap and scotch snuff. Take the bedstead to pieces, and treat that in the same way. 2. A strong decoction of red pepper applied to bedsteads will either kill the bugs or drive them away. 3. Put the bedstead into a close room and set fire to the following composition, placed in an iron pot upon the hearth, having previously closed up the chimney, then shut the door, let them remain a day: sulphur nine parts; saltpetre, powdered, one part. Mix. Be sure to open the door of the room five or six hours before you venture to go into it a second time. 4. Rub the bedstead well with lampoil; this alone is good, but to make it more effectual, get ten cents worth of quicksilver and add to it. Put it into all the cracks around the bed, and they will soon disappear. The bedsteads should first be scalded and wiped dry, then put on with a feather. 5. Corrosive sublimate, one ounce; muriatic acid, two ounces; water, four ounces; dissolve, then add turpentine, one pint; decoction of tobacco, one pint. Mix. For the decoction of tobacco boil one ounce of tobacco in a 1/2 pint of water. The mixture must be applied with a paint brush. This wash is deadly poison. 6. Rub the bedsteads in the joints with equal parts of spirits of turpentine and kerosene oil, and the cracks of the surbase in rooms where there are many. Filling up all the cracks with hard soap is an excellent remedy.
March and April are the months when bedsteads should be examined to kill all the eggs. 7. Mix together two ounces spirits of turpentine, one ounce corrosive sublimate, and one pint alcohol. 8. Distilled vinegar, or diluted good vinegar, a pint; camphor one-half ounce; dissolve. 9. White arsenic, two ounces; lard, thirteen ounces; corrosive sublimate, one-fourth ounce; venetian red, one-fourth ounce. (deadly poison.) 10. Strong mercurial ointment one ounce; soft soap one ounce; oil of turpentine, a pint 11. Gasoline and coaloil are both excellent adjuncts, with cleanliness, in ridding a bed or house of these pests.
HOW TO DESTROY CATERPILLARS.—Boil together a quantity of rue, wormwood, and any cheap tobacco (equal parts) in common water. The liquid should be very strong. Sprinkle it on the leaves and young branches every morning and evening during the time the fruit is ripening.
HOW TO DESTROY COCKROACHES AND BEETLES.—1. Strew the roots of black hellebore, at night, in the places infested by these vermin, and they will be found in the morning dead or dying. Black hellebore grows in marshy grounds, and may be had at the herb shops. 2. Put about a quart of water sweetened with molasses in a tin wash basin or smooth glazed china bowl. Set it at evening in a place frequented by the bugs. Around the basin put an old piece of carpet that the bugs can have easy access to the top. They will go down in the water, and stay till you come. 3. Take pulverized borax, 4 parts, flour 1 part, mix intimately and distribute the mixture in cupboards which are frequented by the roaches, or blow it, by means of a bellows, into the holes or cracks that are infested by them. 4. By scattering a handful of fresh cucumber parings about the house. 5. Take carbonic acid and powdered camphor in equal parts; put them in a bottle; they will become fluid. With a painter's brush of the size called a sash-tool, put the mixture on the cracks or places where the roaches hide; they will come out at once. Then kill. 6. Mix up a quantity of fresh burned plaster of paris (gypsum, such as is used for making molds and ornaments), with wheat flour and a little sugar, and distribute on shallow plates and box boards, and place in the corners of the kitchen and pantry where they frequent. In the darkness they will feast themselves on it. Whether it interferes with their digestion or not, is difficult to ascertain, but after three or four nights renewal of the preparation, no cockroaches will be found on the premises.
HOW TO DESTROY CRICKETS.—Sprinkle a little quick lime near to the cracks through which they enter the room. The lime may be laid down overnight, and swept away in the morning. In a few days they will most likely all be destroyed. But care must be taken that the children do not meddle with the lime, as a very small portion of it getting into the eye, would prove exceedingly hurtful. In case of such an accident the best thing to do would be to wash the eye with vinegar and water.
HOW TO GET RID OF FLEAS.—Much of the largest number of fleas are brought into our family circles by pet dogs and cats. The oil of pennyroyal will drive these insects off: but a cheaper method, where the herb flourishes, is to throw your cats and dogs into a decoction of it once a week. When the herb cannot be got, the oil can be procured. In this case, saturate strings with it and tie them around the necks of the dogs and cats. These applications should be repeated every twelve or fifteen days. Mint freshly cut, and hung round a bedstead, or on the furniture, will prevent annoyance from bed insects; a few drops of essential oil of lavender will be more efficacious.
HOW TO DESTROY FLIES.—1. Take an infusion of quassia, one pint; brown sugar, four ounces, ground pepper, two ounces. To be well mixed together, and put in small shallow dishes where required. 2. Black pepper (powdered), one drachm; brown sugar, one drachm; milk or cream, two drachms. Mix, and place it on a plate or saucer where the flies are most troublesome. 3. Pour a little simple oxymel (an article to be obtained at the druggists), into a common tumbler glass, and place in the glass a piece of cap paper, made into the shape of the upper part of a funnel, with a hole at the bottom to admit the flies. Attracted by the smell, they readily enter the trap in swarms, and by the thousands soon collected prove that they have not the wit or the disposition to return. 4. Take some jars, mugs, or tumblers, fill them half full with soapy water; cover them as jam-pots are covered, with a piece of paper, either tied down or tucked under the rim. Let this paper be rubbed inside with wet sugar, molasses, honey, or jam, or any thing sweet; cut a small hole in the center, large enough for a fly to enter. The flies settle on the top, attracted by the smell of the bait; they then crawl through the hole, to feed upon the sweets beneath. Meanwhile the warmth of the weather causes the soapy water to ferment, and produces a gas which overpowers the flies, and they drop down into the vessel. Thousands may be destroyed this way, and the traps last a long time.
FLY PAPER.—Melt resin, and add thereto while soft, sufficient sweet oil, lard, or lamp oil to make it, when cold about the consistency of honey. Spread on writing paper, and place in a convenient spot. It will soon be filled with ants, flies, and other vermin.
HOW TO EXPEL INSECTS.—All insects dread pennyroyal: the smell of it destroys some, and drives others away. At the time that fresh pennyroyal cannot be gathered, get oil of pennyroyal; pour some into a saucer, and steep in it small pieces of wadding or raw cotton, and place them in corners, closet-shelves, bureau drawers, boxes, etc., and the cockroaches, ants, or other insects will soon disappear. It is also well to place some between the mattresses, and around the bed. It is also a splendid thing for brushing off that terrible little insect, the seed tick.
HOW TO DESTROY MICE.—1. Use tartar emetic mingled with some favorite food. The mice will leave the premises.
2. Take one part calomel, five parts of wheat flour, one part sugar, and one-tenth of a part of ultramarine. Mix together in a fine powder and place it in a dish. This is a most efficient poison for mice.
3. Any one desirous of keeping seeds from the depredations of mice can do so by mixing pieces of camphor gum in with the seeds. Camphor placed in drawers or trunks will prevent mice from doing them injury. The little animal objects to the odor and keeps a good distance from it. He will seek food elsewhere.
4. Gather all kinds of mint and scatter about your shelves, and they will forsake the premises.
HOW TO DRIVE AWAY MOSQUITOES.—1. A camphor bag hung up in an open casement will prove an effectual barrier to their entrance. Camphorated spirits applied as perfume to the face and hands will prove an effectual preventive; but when bitten by them, aromatic vinegar is the beat antidote.
2. A small amount of oil of pennyroyal sprinkled around the room will drive away the mosquitoes. This is an excellent recipe.
3. Take of gum camphor a piece about half the size of an egg, and evaporate it by placing it in a tin vessel and holding it over a lamp or candle, taking care that it does not ignite. The smoke will soon fill the room and expel the mosquitoes.
HOW TO PRESERVE CLOTHING FROM MOTHS.—1. Procure shavings of cedar wood and enclose in muslin bags, which should be distributed freely among clothes. 2. Procure shavings of camphor wood, and enclose in bags. 3. Sprinkle pimento (allspice) berries among the clothes. 4. Sprinkle the clothes with the seeds of the musk plant. 5. An ounce of gum camphor and one of the powdered shell of red pepper are macerated in eight ounces of strong alcohol for several days, then strained. With this tincture the furs or cloths are sprinkled over, and rolled up in sheets. 6. Carefully shake and brush woolens early in the spring, so as to be certain that no eggs are in them; then sew them up in cotton or linen wrappers, putting a piece of camphor gum, tied up in a bit of muslin, into each bundle, or into the chests and closets where the articles are to lie. No moth will approach while the smell of the camphor continues. When the gum is evaporated, it must be renewed. Enclose them in a moth-proof box with camphor, no matter whether made of white paper or white pine, before any eggs are laid on them by early spring moths. The notion of having a trunk made of some particular kind of wood for this purpose, is nonsense. Furs or woolens, put away in spring time, before moth eggs are laid, into boxes, trunks, drawers, or closets even, where moths cannot enter, will be safe from the ravages of moth-worms, provided none were in them that were laid late in the autumn, for they are not of spontaneous production.
HOW TO KILL MOTHS IN CARPETS.—Wring a coarse crash towel out of clear water, spread it smoothly on the carpet, iron it dry with a good hot iron, repeating the operation on all parts of the carpet suspected of being infected with moths. No need to press hard, and neither the pile nor color of the carpet will he injured, and the moths will be destroyed by the heat and steam.
HOW TO DESTROY RATS.—1. When a house is invested with rats which refuse to be caught by cheese and other baits, a few drops of the highly-scented oil of rhodium poured on the bottom of the cage will be an attraction which they cannot refuse. 2. Place on the floor near where their holes are supposed to be a thin layer of moist caustic potash. When the rats travel on this, it will cause their feet to become sore, which they lick, and their tongues become likewise sore. The consequence is, that they shun this locality, and seem to inform all the neighboring rats about it, and the result is that they soon abandon a house that has such mean floors. 3. Cut some corks as thin as wafers, and fry, roast, or stew them in grease, and place the same in their track; or a dried sponge fried or dipped in molasses or honey, with a small quantity of bird lime or oil of rhodium, will fasten to their fur and cause them to depart. 4. If a live rat can be caught and smeared over with tar or train oil, and afterwards allowed to escape in the holes of other rats, he will cause all soon to take their departure. 5. If a live rat be caught, and a small bell be fastened around his neck, and allowed to escape, all of his brother rats as well as himself will very soon go to some other neighbor's house. 6. Take a pan, about twelve inches deep, and half fill it with water; then sprinkle some bran on the water and set the pan in a place where the rats most frequent. In the morning you will find several rats in the pan. 7. Flour, three parts; sugar, one-half part; sulphur, two parts, and phosphorus, two parts. Smear on meat, and place near where the rats are most troublesome. 8. Squills are an excellent poison for rats. The powder should be mixed with some fatty substance, and spread upon slices of bread. The pulp of onions is also very good. Rats are very fond of either. 9. Take two ounces of carbonate of barytes, and mix with one pound of suet or tallow, place a portion of this within their holes and about their haunts. It is greedily eaten, produces great thirst, and death ensues after drinking. This is a very effectual poison, because it is both tasteless and odorless. 10. Take one ounce of finely powdered arsenic, one ounce of lard; mix these into a paste with meal, put it about the haunts of rats. They will eat of it greedily. 11. Make a paste of one ounce of flour, one-half gill of water, one drachm of phosphorus, and one ounce of flour. Or, one ounce of flour, two ounces of powdered cheese crumbs, and one-half drachm of phosphorus; add to each of these mixtures a few drops of the oil of rhodium, and spread this on thin pieces of bread like butter; the rats will eat of this greedily, and it is a sure poison. 12. Mix some ground plaster of paris with some sugar and indian meal. Set it about on plates, and leave beside each plate a saucer of water. When the rats have eaten the mixture they will drink the water and die. To attract them toward it, you may sprinkle on the edges of the plates a little of the oil of rhodium. Another method of getting rid of rats is, to strew pounded potash on their holes. The potash gets into their coats and irritates the skin, and the rats desert the place. 13. The dutch method: this is said to be used successfully in holland; we have, however, never tried it. A number of rats are left together to themselves in a very large trap or cage, with no food whatever; their craving hunger will, at last, cause them to fight and the weakest will be eaten by the others; after a short time the fight is renewed, and the next weakest is the victim, and so it goes on till one strong rat is left. When this one has eaten the last remains of any of the others, it is set loose; the animal has now acquired such a taste for rat-flesh that he is the terror of ratdom, going round seeking what rat he may devour. In an incredibly short time the premises are abandoned by all other rats, which will not come back before the cannibal rat has left or has died. 14. Catch a rat and smear him over with a mixture of phosphorus and lard, and then let him loose. The house will soon be emptied of these pests.
VERMIN, IN WATER.—Go to the river or pond, and with a small net (a piece of old mosquito bar will do) collect a dozen or more of the small fishes known as minnows, and put them in your cistern, and in a short time you will have clear water, the wiggle-tails and reddish-colored bugs or lice being gobbled up by the fishes.
* * * * *
ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
AND HOW TO MEET THEM
As accidents are constantly liable to occur, the importance of knowing how best to meet the various emergencies that may arise can hardly be over-estimated. In all cases, and under all circumstances, the best help to assist a party in this trying moment is presence of mind.
HARVEST BUG-BITES.—The best remedy is the use of benzine, which immediately kills the insect. A small drop of tincture of iodine has the same effect.
BITES AND STINGS OF INSECTS.—Such as bees, wasps, hornets, etc., although generally painful, and ofttimes causing much disturbance, yet are rarely attended with fatal results. The pain and swelling may generally be promptly arrested by bathing freely with a strong solution of equal parts of common salt and baking soda, in warm water; or by the application of spirits of hartshorn; or of volatile liniment (one part of spirits of hartshorn and two of olive oil). In the absence of the other articles, warm oil may be used; or, if this is not at hand, apply a paste made from fresh clay-earth. If the sting of the insect is left in the wound, as is frequently the case, it should always be extracted. If there is faintness, give some stimulant; as, a tablespoonful or two of brandy and water, or brandy and ammonia.
MAD DOG BITES.—1. Take immediately warm vinegar or tepid water; wash the wound clean therewith and then dry it; pour upon the wound, then, ten or twelve drops of muriatic acid. Mineral acids destroy the poison of the saliva, by which means the evil effects of the latter are neutralized. 2. Many think that the only sure preventive of evil following the bite of a rabid dog is to suck the wound immediately, before the poison has had time to circulate with the blood. If the person bit cannot get to the wound to suck it, he must persuade or pay another to do it for him. There is no fear of any harm following this, for the poison entering by the stomach cannot hurt a person. A spoonful of the poison might be swallowed with impunity, but the person who sucks the place should have no wound on the lip or tongue, or it might be dangerous. The precaution alluded to is a most important one, and should never be omitted prior to an excision and the application of lunar caustic in every part, especially the interior and deep-seated portions. No injury need be anticipated if this treatment is adopted promptly and effectively. The poison of hydrophobia remains latent on an average six weeks; the part heals over, but there is a pimple or wound, more or less irritable; it then becomes painful; and the germ, whatever it is, ripe for dissemination into the system, and then all hope is gone. Nevertheless, between the time of the bite and the activity of the wound previous to dissemination, the caustic of nitrate of silver is a sure preventive; after that it is as useless as all the other means. The best mode of application of the nitrate of silver is by introducing it solidly into the wound.
SERPENTS BITES.—The poison inserted by the stings and bites of many venomous reptiles is so rapidly absorbed, and of so fatal a description, as frequently to occasion death before any remedy or antidote can be applied; and they are rendered yet more dangerous from the fact that these wounds are inflicted in parts of the country and world where precautionary measures are seldom thought of, and generally at times when people are least prepared to meet them. 1. In absence of any remedies, the first best plan to adopt on being bitten by any of the poisonous snakes is to do as recommended above in Mad Dog Bites—viz., to wash off the place immediately; if possible get the mouth to the spot, and forcibly suck out all the poison, first applying a ligature above the wound as tightly as can be borne. 2. A remedy promulgated by the Smithsonian Institute is to take 30 grs. iodide potassium, 30 grs. iodine, 1 oz. water, to be applied externally to the wound by saturating lint or batting—the same to be kept moist with the antidote until the cure be effected, which will be in one hour, and sometimes instantly. 3. An Australian physician has tried and recommends carbolic acid, diluted and administered internally every few minutes until recovery is certain. 4. Another Australian Physician, Professor Halford, of Melbourne University, has discovered that if a proper amount of dilute ammonia be injected into the circulation of a patient suffering from snake-bite, the curative effect is usually sudden and startling, so that, in many cases, men have thus been brought back, as it were, by magic, from the very shadow of death.
BLEEDING AT THE NOSE.—1. Roll up a piece of paper, and press it under the upper lip. 2. In obstinate cases blow a little gum Arabic up the nostrils through a quill, which will immediately stop the discharge; powdered alum is also good. 3. Pressure by the finger over the small artery near the ala (wing) of the nose, on the side where the blood is flowing, is said to arrest the hemorrhage immediately.
BLEEDING FROM THE LUNGS.—A NEW York physician has related a case in which inhalation of very dry persulphate of iron, reduced to a palpable powder, entirely arrested bleeding from the lungs, after all the usual remedies, lead, opium, etc., had failed. A small quantity was administered by drawing into the lungs every hour during part of the night and following day.
BLEEDING FROM THE BOWELS.—The most common cause of this, when not a complication of some disease, is hemorrhoids or piles. Should serious hemorrhage occur, rest and quiet, and cold water poured slowly over the lower portion of the belly, or cloths wet with cold water, or better, with ice water applied over the belly and thighs, and to the lower end of the bowels, will ordinarily arrest it. In some cases it may be necessary to use injections of cold water, or even put small pieces of ice in the rectum.
BLEEDING FROM THE MOUTH.—This is generally caused by some injury to the cheeks, gums or tongue, but it sometimes occurs without any direct cause of this kind, and no small alarm may be caused by mistaking it for bleeding from the lungs. Except when an artery of some size is injured, bleeding from the mouth can generally be controlled by gargling and washing the mouth with cold water, salt and water, or alum and water, or some persulphate of iron may be applied to the bleeding surface. Sometimes obstinate or even alarming bleeding may follow the pulling of a tooth. The best remedy for this is to plug the cavity with lint or cotton wet with the solution of persulphate of iron, and apply a compress which may be kept in place by closing the teeth on it.
BLEEDING FROM THE STOMACH.—Vomiting blood.—Hemorrhage from the stomach is seldom so serious as to endanger life; but as it may be a symptom of some dangerous affection, it is always best to consult a physician concerning it. In the meantime, as in all other varieties of hemorrhage, perfect quiet should be preserved. A little salt, or vinegar, or lemon juice, should be taken at intervals, in a small glass of fresh cool water, or ice-water, as ice may be swallowed in small pieces, and cloths wet with ice-water, or pounded ice applied over the stomach.
BLEEDING FROM VARICOSE VEINS.—Serious and even fatal hemorrhage may occur from the bursting of a large varicose or "broken" vein. Should such an accident occur, the bleeding may be best controlled, until proper medical aid can be procured, by a tight bandage; or a "stick tourniquet," remembering that the blood comes toward the heart in the veins, and from it in the arteries. The best thing to prevent the rupture of varicose or broken veins is to support the limb by wearing elastic stockings, or a carefully applied bandage.
BURNS AND SCALDS.—There is no class of accidents that cause such an amount of agony, and none which are followed with more disastrous results.
1. By putting the burned part under cold water, milk, or other bland fluid, instantaneous and perfect relief from all pain will be experienced. On withdrawal, the burn should be perfectly covered with half an inch or more of common wheaten flour, put on with a dredging-box, or in any other way, and allowed to remain until a cure is effected, when the dry, caked flour will fall off, or can be softened with water, disclosing a beautiful, new and healthy skin, in all cases where the burns have been superficial. 2. Dissolve white lead in flaxseed oil to the consistency of milk, and apply over the entire burn or scald every five minutes. It can be applied with a soft feather. This is said to give relief sooner, and to be more permanent in its effects, than any other application. 3. Make a saturated solution of alum (four ounces to a quart of hot water). Dip a cotton cloth in this solution and apply immediately on the burn. As soon as it becomes hot or dry, replace it by another, and continue doing so as often as the cloth dries, which at first will be every few minutes. The pain will immediately cease, and after twenty-four hours of this treatment the burn will be healed; especially if commenced before blisters are formed. The astringent and drying qualities of the alum will entirely prevent their formation. 4. Glycerine, five ounces; white of egg, four ounces; tincture of arnica, three ounces. Mix the glycerine and white of egg thoroughly in a mortar, and gradually add the arnica. Apply freely on linen rags night, and morning, washing previously with warm castile soap-suds. 5. Take one drachm of finely powdered alum, and mix thoroughly with the white of two eggs and one teacup of fresh lard; spread on a cloth, and apply to the parts burnt. it gives almost instant relief from pain, and, by excluding the air, prevents excessive inflammatory action. The application should be changed at least once a day. 6. M. Joel, of the Children's Hospital, Lausanne, finds that a tepid bath, containing a couple of pinches of sulphate of iron, gives immediate relief to young children who have been extensively burned. In a case of a child four years old, a bath repeated twice a day—twenty minutes each bath—the suppuration decreased, lost its odor, and the little sufferer was soon convalescent. 7. For severe scalding, carbolic acid has recently been used with marked benefit. It is to be mixed with thirty parts of the ordinary oil of lime water to one part of the acid. Linen rags satured in the carbolic emulsion are to be spread on the scalded parts, and kept moist by frequently smearing with the feather dipped in the liquid. Two advantages of this mode of treatment are, the exclusion of air, and the rapid healing by a natural restorative action without the formation of pus, thus preserving unmarred and personal appearance of the patient—a matter of no small importance to some people.
CHOKING.—In case of Choking, a violent slap with the open hand between the shoulders of the sufferer will often effect a dislodgment. In case the accident occurs with a child, and the slapping process does not afford instant relief, it should be grasped by the feet, and placed head downwards, and the slapping between the shoulders renewed;
but in case this induced violent suffocative paroxysms it must not be repeated. If the substance, whatever it maybe, has entered the windpipe, and the coughing and inverting the body fails to dislodge it, it is probable that nothing but cutting open the windpipe will be of any avail; and for this the services of a surgeon should always be procured. If food has stuck in the throat or gullet, the forefinger should be immediately introduced; and if lodged at the entrance of the gullet, the substance may be reached and extracted, possibly, with the forefinger alone, or may be seized with a pair of pincers, if at hand, or a curling tongs, or anything of the kind. This procedure may be facilitated by directing the person to put the tongue well out, in which position it may be retained by the individual himself, or a bystander by grasping it, covered with a handkerchief or towel. Should this fail, an effort should be made to excite retching or vomiting by passing the finger to the root of the tongue, in hopes that the offending substance may in this way be dislodged; or it may possibly be effected by suddenly and unexpectedly dashing in the face a basin of cold water, the shock suddenly relaxing the muscular spasm present, and the involuntary gasp at the same time may move it up or down. If this cannot be done, as each instant's delay is of vital importance to a choking man, seize a fork, a spoon, a penholder, pencil, quill, or anything suitable at hand, and endeavor to push the article down the throat. If it be low down the gullet, and other means fail, its dislodgment may sometimes be effected by dashing cold water on the spine, or vomiting may be induced by an emetic of sulphate of zinc (twenty grains in a couple of tablespoonfuls of warm water), or of common salt and mustard in like manner, or it may be pushed into the stomach by extemporizing a probang, by fastening a small sponge to the end of a stiff strip of whalebone. If this cannot he done, a surgical operation will be necessary. Fish bones or other sharp substances, when they cannot be removed by the finger or forceps, may sometimes be dislodged by swallowing some pulpy mass, as masticated bread, etc. Irregularly shaped substances, a plate with artificial teeth for instance, can ordinarily be removed only by surgical interference.
COLIC.—Use a hot fomentation over the abdomen, and a small quantity of ginger, pepermint or common tea. If not relieved in a few minutes, then give an injection of a quart of warm water with twenty or thirty drops of laudanum, and repeat it if necessary. A half teaspoonful of chloroform, in a tablespoonful of sweetened water, with or without a few drops of spirits of lavender or essence of peppermint, will often give prompt relief.
CONVULSIONS.—In small children convulsions frequently happen from teething, sometimes from worms or from some irritating substance within the stomach or bowels, and sometimes from some affection of the brain.
When a child has convulsions, place it immediately in a warm or hot bath, and sponge its head with cold water. Then apply a hot mustard plaster to the wrists, ankles and soles of the feet, or, in case a plaster cannot be obtained, apply a cloth wrung out of hot mustard water. Allow these to remain until the skin reddens, and use care that the same do not blister. After the fit has subsided, use great care against its return by attention to the cause which gave rise to it.
Convulsions in adults must be treated in accordance with the manner which gave rise to them. During the attack great care should be taken that the party does not injure himself, and the best preventive is a cork or a soft piece of wood, or other suitable substance, placed between the teeth to prevent biting the tongue and cheeks: tight clothing must be removed or loosened; mustard poultices should be applied to the extremities and over the abdomen; abundance of fresh air should be secured by opening windows and doors, and preventing unnecessary crowding of persons around; cold water may be dashed on the face and chest; and if there be plethora, with full bounding pulse, with evidence of cerebral or other internal congestion, the abstraction of a few ounces of blood may be beneficial.
CRAMP.—Spasmodic or involuntary contractions of the muscles generally of the extremities, accompanied with great pain. The muscles of the legs and feet are the most commonly affected with cramp, especially after great exertion. The best treatment is immediately to stand upright, and to well rub the part with the hand. The application of strong stimulants, as spirits of ammonia, or of anodines, as opiate liniments, has been recommended. When cramp occurs in the stomach, a teaspoonful of sal volatile in water, or a dram glassful of good brandy, should be swallowed immediately. When cramp comes on during cold bathing, the limb should be thrown out as suddenly and violently as possible, which will generally remove it, care being also taken not to become flurried nor frightened, as presence of mind is very essential to personal safety on such an occasion. A common cause of cramp is indigestion, and the use of acescent liquors; these should be avoided.
CUTS.—In case the flow of blood is trifling, stop the bleeding by bringing the edges of the wound together, if the flow of blood is great, of a bright vermillion color, and flows in spurts or with a jerk, an artery is severed, and at once should pressure be made on the parts by the finger (between the cut and the heart), until a compress is arranged by a tight ligature above the wounded part. Then the finger may be taken off, and if the blood still flows, tighten the handkerchief or other article that forms the ligature, until it ceases. If at this point the attendance of a physician or surgeon cannot be secured, take strong silk thread, or wax together three or four threads and cut them into lengths of about a foot long. Wash the parts with warm water, and then with a sharp hook or small pair of pincers in your hand, fix your eye steadfastly upon the wound, and directing the ligature to be slightly released, you will see the mouth of the artery from which the blood springs. At once seize it, draw it out a little while an assistant passes a ligature round it, and ties
it up tight with a double knot. In this way take up in succession every bleeding vessel you can see or get hold of. If the wound is too high up in a limb to apply the ligature do not lose your presence of mind. If it is the thigh, press firmly on the groin; if in the arm, with the band-end or ring of a common door-key make pressure above the collar bone, and about its middle, against its first rib, which lies under it. The pressure should be continued until assistance is procured and the vessel tied up. If the wound is on the face, or other place where pressure cannot effectually be made, place a piece of ice directly over the wound allowing it to remain there until the blood coagulates, when it may be removed, and a compress and bandage be applied.
After the bleeding is arrested the surrounding blood should be cleared away, as well as any extraneous matter then bring the sides of the wound into contact throughout the whole depth, in order that they may grow together as quickly as possible, retaining them in their position by strips of adhesive plaster. If the wound be deep and extensive, the wound itself and the adjacent parts must be supported by proper bandages. The position of the patient should be such as will relax the skin and muscles of the wounded part. Rest, low and unstimulating diet, will complete the requirements necessary to a speedy recovery.
HOW TO DISTINGUISH DEATH.—As many instances occur of parties being buried alive, they being to all appearance dead, the great importance of knowing how to distinguish real from imaginary death need not be explained. The appearances which mostly accompany death, are an entire stoppage of breathing, of the heart's action; the eyelids are partly closed, the eyes glassy, and the pupils usually dilated; the jaws are clenched, the fingers partially contracted, and the lips and nostrils more or less covered with frothy mucus, with increasing pallor and coldness of surface, and the muscles soon become rigid and the limbs fixed in their position. But as these same conditions may also exist in certain other cases of suspended animation, great care should be observed, whenever there is the least doubt concerning it, to prevent the unnecessary crowding of the room in which the corpse is, or of parties crowding around the body; nor should the body be allowed to remain lying on the back without the tongue being so secured as to prevent the glottis or orifice of the windpipe being closed by it; nor should the face be closely covered; nor rough usage of any kind be allowed. In case there is great doubt, the body should not be allowed to be inclosed in the coffin, and under no circumstances should burial be allowed until there are unmistakable signs of decomposition.
Of the numerous methods proposed as signs for real death, we select the following: 1. So long as breathing continues, the surface of a mirror held to the mouth and nostrils will become dimmed with moisture. 2. If a strong thread or small cord be tied tightly round the finger of a living person, the portion beyond the cord or thread will become red and swollen—if dead, no change is produced. 3. If the hand of a living person is held before a strong light a portion of the margin or edges of the fingers is translucent—if dead, every part of it is opaque. 4. A coal of fire, a piece of hot iron, or the flame of a candle, applied to the skin, if life remains, will blister—if dead it will merely sear. 5. A bright steel needle introduced and allowed to remain for half an hour in living flesh will be still bright—if dead, it will be tarnished by oxydation. 6. A few drops of a solution of atropia (two grains to one-half ounce of water) introduced into the eye, if the person is alive, will cause the pupils to dilate—if dead, no effect will be produced. 7. If the pupil is already dilated, and the person is alive, a few drops of tincture of the calabar bean will cause it to contract—if dead, no effect will be produced.