Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

THE LAC INSECT, (Chermes lacca.) the smooth plank of a plantain-tree, and is there The little insect represented in the engraving, is spread into thin plates; in this form it is brought found upon several trees and shrubs in the East to Europe, and is employed in the manufacture of Indies; it produces the substance called Lac, which sealing-wax and varnishes. It forms the basis of is of considerable use in various arts and manu

the well-known French polish, and is used by hatters factures. The best account we have of this useful in the making of waterproof hats. little creature, is that given by Dr. Roxburgh, in the

The colouring matter which the stick-lac contains, Transactions of the Philosophical Society.

is employed in dyeing; and the deeper the colour of “Some pieces of very fresh-looking lac, adhering the sample, the better it is for that purpose. The to small branches of Mimosa cinerea, were brought colour which it affords, is less brilliant than the to me from the mountains. I kept them carefully scarlet obtained from cochineal; but it has the in wide-mouthed bottles slightly covered, and four advantage of possessing greater durability. teen days from the time they came from the hills, said, that it may be employed to good purpose, by thousands of exceedingly minute red animals were mixing a certain quantity with the cochineal, when, observed crawling about the lac and the branches it if it is not in too large a proportion, the scarlet will adhered to, and still more were issuing from small be rendered more permanent, without losing any holes on the surface of the cells. By the assistance thing of its beauty. The lac-colour is preserved by of glasses, small excrescences were also observed, in the natives, upon flakes of cotton-wool dipped reterspersed among these holes, two regularly to each peatedly into a strong solution of the lac-insect in hole, crowned with some very fine white hairs, which water, and then dried. being wiped off, two white spots appeared, (see fig. 1.)

Dr. Bancroft endeavoured, by certain processes, to “ The animals, when single, ran about pretty improve the brilliancy of the colouring-matter of the briskly, but in general, on opening the cells, they lac, and he so far succeeded, as to dye several small were so numerous, as to be crowded over one another. pieces of cloth of a brilliant scarlet, equal to that The substance of which the cells were formed cannot produced by cochineal; but when the experiment be better described, with respect to appearance, than was tried on a larger scale, from some ill-understood by saying it is like the transparent amber of which cause, it was unsuccessful. beads are made. The external covering of the cells

We cannot well conclude this account, without is about the twenty-fourth part of an inch in thick- noticing a very singular use made of this substance, ness, it is remarkably strong, and able to resist in India; namely, the forming it into grindstones, injuries; the partitions are much thinner. The cells by the following plan.--" Take of river-sand three are, in general, irregular squares, pentagons and parts, of seed-lac washed one part, mix them over a hexagons, about an eighth of an inch in diameter, fire, and form the mass into the shape of a grindstone, and a quarter of an inch deep; they have no com- having a square hole in the centre; cement it to an munication with each other. All those opened axis with melted lac, heat the stone moderately; and during the time the animals were issuing from while revolving rapidly on its axis, it can be easily them, contained in one side, which occupied half the formed into a circle." cell, a small bag filled with a thick jelly-like red liquor,

Polishing grindstones are only made of such sand replete with what I take to be eggs. These bags as will pass casily through fine muslin, in the proadhere to the bottom of the cells, and have each two portion of two parts sand to one of lac. Sorne necks, (see fig. 3,) which pass through holes in the persons, instead of sand, use the powder of a very outward coat of the cells, forming the excrescences

hard kind of granite. These grindstones cut very we have mentioned, ending in some fine white hairs. fast. The same composition is formed upon sticks, The other half of the cells have a distinct opening, for cutting stones, shells, &c., by the hand. and contain a white substance, like a few filaments of cotton rolled together, and a number of the little red insects themselves, crawling about, ready to make their exit. Their portion of each cell is about one half, and I think must have contained nearly one hundred of these animals. In other cells less forward, I found a thick, red, dark, blood-coloured liquor, with numbers of exceedingly minute eggs, many

6 times smaller than those found in the small bags which occupied the other half of the cells."

These animals undergo several changes in the course of their existence, from the egg proceeds the larva (fig. 8,) its next change is into the pupa (fig. 9,) from which, at length, the perfect insect issues * (figs. 5 and 11.)

As an article of commerce, lac is known in Europe under the names of stick-lac, seed-lac, and shell-lac. The first is the lac in its native state, as it is found adhering to the twigs on which it was originally deposited. The seed-lac is the yellowish hard resinous powder, which remains after the red colour of stick-lac has been extracted, as far as it can con

1. Stick-lac on a branch of the Mimosa cinerea. Natural size. veniently be done, by water. Shell-lac is produced

2. Outside of the top of a cell with its three openings.
3. The little bag containing a male fly.

Much from seed-lac, by putting the latter into long 4. The egg of a male fly.

magnified. cylindrical bags of cotton cloth, melting it by holding

5. Male fly in a perfect state.

6. Picne of a branch with insects in the larva state. Natural sire. the bags over a charcoal fire: and when the lac

7. Egg of female. melts, straining it through the cloth by twisting the

8. Larva of ditto. bags. The lac thus strained is allowed to fall upon 10. The perfect insect escaping from the pupa.

9. Pupa of ditto.

magnihed. • See Saturday Magazine, Vol. II., p. 212.

11. Perfect female fly,

[ocr errors]






ON THE MORAL AND PHYSICAL CONDITION Exquisitely wrought as are the senses of hearing OF MAN.

and sight, who will assert that any superfluous I.

contrivance has been bestowed on their construction? It is essential to the developement of the energies of Were it not for the perfect sympathy thus estathat intellectual principle which is within us, that an blished between our organs of sensation, and those intercourse be established between it and the material subtile fluids of air and light, which pervade the existences without.

space in which we exist, all that we see, having The immaterial and undying soul is, in this, our distinctness and form, and all that we hear of modupresent state, so wrought around and entrammelled lated sound, would have been lost to us. There by its material appendages, as to be incapable of might, with less of contrivance in the eye, have been any availing exercise of its powers, until they have the perception of light, but there could have been first been schooled and disciplined by that intercourse. none of those exquisite varieties of shade and Without it, reason there could be none, where there colour, which enable us to appreciate the objects would be no data; memory none, where nothing had we look upon; and so, with a less-delicate mechanism been perceived; imagination none, where there was no of the ear, there might have been hearing, but reality. Man, endued with all the attributes of all distinction of the rapid and evanescent varieties humanity, could possess none of its energies. His in articulate sound, would have been impossible, and form might combine all the elements of power and there could have been no perception of measured beauty: the blood of life might flow through it; the harmony. soul might hold in it her accustomed seat; and the

he hanot only has man the means for carrying on the senses, her ministers, might be disposed around, intercourse thus essential to all that constitutes his ready to do her bidding; but were there no external active existence, but he is irresistibly impelled to the objects whereon to occupy those senses, or were the use of those means, and to the establishment of that sentient principle careless or unable to avail herself of intercourse ; for, the circumstances in which man is their ministry, the whole would present the emblem of placed, impel him, of necessity, to acquire the , a death-like repose, of a perpetual and dreamless sleep. knowledge which he has thus the means of acquiring.

For the carrying on of this intercourse, man He is so constituted as never to be capable of is provided, in the organs of sense, with means deriving entire satisfaction from any thing which he of boundless application, and of most exquisite may obtain. Not only is he gifted with senses contrivance.

enabling him to distinguish the minutest differences The Hand, for instance, is capable of moving of external things, but each of the perceptions which accurately to any point, of varying the quantity and he thus obtains is coupled with an emotion equally direction of its motion and pressure in every delicate and varied, of pleasure or pain.

Thus exconceivable way, and, by habit, it may be made to quisitely sensitive, he finds himself urged perpetually measure, and to take note of this power and by wants which nothing in the world he inhabits direction with inconceivable minuteness. The manual offers itself to gratify, liable to calamities which skill acquired by painters, sculptors, and operative nothing, of itself, intervenes to screen him from; mechanics, is no other than the application of a and he is never without the hope of some enjoyment, knowledge of the effects of different, and of exceed or the terror of some suffering. ingly minute, developements of force, accurately This apparent destitution of man is the great elemeasured, both as to their quantity and direction, in ment of his intellectual and physical superiority; the mechanism of the hand, and treasured, with inasmuch as it forces him to the acquisition of that these results, in the memory. It is beyond the KNOWLEDGE in which he finds the secret of supplying power of imagination to conceive the variety and his wants. complexity of its operations. Writing is one of the Nature has so ministered to the comforts of inferior simplest of them, and yet, in the formation of every animals, as to limit the wants they are themselves written character, there takes place a certain minute called upon to supply, to a definite and an exceeddevelopement of force, varying in quantity and ingly small number; and limited as these wants, are direction, which is accurately poised in the hand as their means of perceiving the qualities of the external to its quantity, measured as to its direction, and things which are necessary for their gratification, remembered, and may be re-formed again, the same, Man is a creature of boundless desires and wants, even without the assistance of the sight.

and he is thus intellectually and physically great, The hand serves further as a probe, to measure because his desires and his wants are thus boundless. the degrees of the hardness or softness of bodies, Urged on in a perpetual round of new sensations, and the smoothness of their surfaces; as a balance, every one of which is more or less permanently to compare weight; as a thermometer, to estimate registered by the memory, and rendered an element their temperature.

of knowledge; he may be called emphatically, as The Ear estimates for us the motions of the distinguished from all others, a learning animal. minute atoms of that form of matter (the air,) Had he possessed no other distinctive qualification which is among the most subtile ; regular vibrations than that of organs infinitely better suited than those of the atmosphere, when made with different velocities, of any other class of animals, to convey to his mind producing distinct sounds. And, similarly, the Eye distinct perceptions of the material world in all its notes the motions of the still more minute particles modifications, coupled with equally acute emotions of light, indicating their different relations in the of pleasure and pain, together with unlimited desires varieties of colour.

for the enjoyment of the one, and for exemption How exquisite must be the mechanism which from the other; and, thus constituted, had he been enables us thus to measure the force of impulses of placed as we find him in a world where nothing was whose existence the lightest body we can conceive, supplied to his hand, for the gratification of these however delicately suspended, will, when opposed to desires; where every desire and every suffering them, give no perceptible evidence; impulses of atoms pointed to the KNOWLEDGE of some class of material so minute, as to be incomparably less than the smallest existences, through which that desire might be satisportion of matter, whose distinct existence we have fied, or that pain avoided; were there no higher ever been able to recognise.

attributes of humanity than these, it is scarcely pos.

sible to affix a limit to the superiority which might, No less complete is his control in the application even with these aids, be acquired by it in the scale of of these powers when acquired. By the intervention existence.

of machinery he can vary their quantity and direction Here, then, is evidence of wisdom and goodness in any way. Concentrate them so as to cause forces, even in the wants and the sufferings which have been acting through ever so large a space, to exert themallotted to man, eminently calculated to reconcile selves through ever so small a one, with energies him to the discomforts which it has pleased heaven greater as that space is less. He can again dilute to place around him,—the restlessness of those these in any degree, so as to cause them to exert a desires which are implanted in his bosom, and his feebler influence over a larger space.

The same apparent destitution in creation-elements, as these quantity of power which, with infinite lightness, but are, of that which constitutes his pre-eminence. iņconceivable rapidity, fines the point of a needle,

With power almost creative over the material may thus, under another form, be made slowly to lift existences around him—with knowledge, the secret the hammer of a forge. To carry on the analogy of a of applying that power—with senses, admirably fluid, he can pour this force from one body to another, adapted for acquiring that knowledge—and with accumulate successive influxes, and then throw their necessities, impelling him to its acquisition--let us united energy wherever he chooses to avail himself of combine the godlike faculty of REASON, a principle it. How wonderfully is it seen acting in the different of life to the whole, and we behold in man a being parts of a manufactory, moving, as it were, through created for dominion in this lower world. “Thou, huge channels along its centre, thence diffused in O God, hast made him a little lower than the angels, smaller veins to its extremities, and yielding there to and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou each workman a fountain of power proportioned to madest him to have dominion over the works of thy his wants ! hands."

Moseley on Mechanics'applied to the Arts. Thus furnished for combating with the physical evils around him, how complete is his triumph over them! He piles up for himself a dwelling, in which, Man is, for the most part, equally unhappy, when subjected,

without redress, to the passions of another, or left, without surrounded by an artificial heat, he endures the

control, to the dominion of his own. This, every man, storm, and may, if he chooses, scarcely be sensible

however unwilling he may be to own it of himself, will very of the variety of the seasons. One animal he strips readily acknowledge of his neighbour. No man knows of its coat for his covering, the life of another is any one except himself, whom he judges fit to be set free sacrificed for his food, and a third bears his limbs in from the coercion of laws, and to be abandoned entirely to luxurious ease. The earth no longer produces the

his own choice. By this consideration, have all civilized

nations been induced to the enaction of penal laws; laws variety of her own spontaneous fruits, but yields her

by which every man's danger becomes every man's safety, increase more abundantly under the exercise of his

and by which, though all are restrained, yet all are skill. Her natural boundaries impose no restraint benefited. --JOHNSON. upon him, the inequalities of her surface vanish from his path, and he harnesses the winds to his chariot He that takes his full liberty in what he may, shall repent and traverses her seas. No distance removes her him: how much more in what he should not? I never stores beyond his reach. Within the boundaries of read of Christian that repented him of too little worldly civilization it is to be doubted whether there be any

delight. The surest course I have still found in all earthly individual so destitute or so wretched, that the four

pleasures, to rise with an appetite, and to be satisfied with

a little.-Bishop HALL. quarters of the globe do not daily minister to his necessities or his comfort.

They, who once engage in iniquitous designs, miserably When, in obtaining for himself the objects of his deceive themselves, when they think that they will go so far, desires, his own strength fails him, he seizes upon and no further; one fault begets another, one crime renders the forces inherent in matter, and brings them, in another necessary; and thus they are impelled continually all their stupendous energy, to co-operate with his downward into a depth of guilt, which, at the commence

ment of their career, they would have died rather than feebleness.

have incurred.-SOUTHEY. He can accumulate the weight or attraction of inanimate matter to any extent, and direct its combined operation to any point; that power, as existing THE MINES OF GREAT BRITAIN. in fluid matter, he can cause to transfer itself any

VI. SURFACE WORKS OF MINES. where, disseminate itself through any space, and exert itself in producing effects, however minute, or Our preceding articles on the subject of Mining, will however powerful; in sweeping away the smallest have conveyed to the reader a tolerably accurate idea particle of dust, or causing to revolve a vast compli of the nature of mineral veins, which, in most cation of machinery.

countries, form the chief depositories of the metallic He holds in equal mastery that force of repulsion ores. They have also traced the progress of those which also pervades matter as universally as attrac-subterranean operations, which the ingenuity of man tion, and which we call heat. He can unloose it has devised for discovering these hidden stores, and from the mineral substances amidst whose atoms it availing himself of their contents. lies bound. He can infuse it into others whose Any account of the various and complicated maparts are held together by forces inconceivably greater chinery and apparatus made use of in these operathan any we can appreciate; he can overcome those tions, or of the processes employed, would far exceed forces, and separate those parts. He can cause it to our limits; we may, however, glance at a few of the insinuate itself, for instance, within the pores of the difficulties to be surmounted in their progress. diamond, scatter the cohesive power which constitutes The rock to be penetrated is sometimes so hard, it the hardest of material bodies, and dissolve it in az immediately to turn the edge of every

tool emair. In its combination with fluids, in the form of ployed against it; at others so soft, as immediately steam, he can accumulate and concentrate this repul to crush in upon the miner, unless his excavations sion to any extent, and cause it to transfer itself to are closely followed by the strongest timbering. The any point where it may suit him to avail himself of air he breathes is sometimes so impure, as scarcely its energies.

to allow a candle to burn or to support respiration,

and when a second communication with the atmo A suitable building will early have been erected as sphere cannot be obtained, it is only by various in an office, for transacting the business of the mine, genious contrivances that this evil can be remedied. and also as a temporary residence for the superEven when ventilation is established, the temperature intendents, whose duties require them alternately to in which the miner carries on his laborious occupa- be on the spot by day and by night. Ranges of tion, is equal to, and in some cases greater, than buildings for the accommodation of the miners will what is felt at the surface during the hottest summer's also have been erected, containing separate sheds for day. A perpendicular descent by ladders, sometimes each, in which their tools, powder, and underground amounting to 1500 or 1600. feet, conveys the miner clothes are kept, and where also they change themto his work; and the still more fatiguing ascent from selves when going into the mine. Thus the formerly that depth, is required to bring him to the light of barren and neglected spot becomes covered with day when his labour is ended; while, in either case, buildings and machinery, and presents a scene of inevitable and frightful death would follow from a bustle and activity, of which description can hardly faltering step, or a slip from a careless hold.

convey an adequate idea. As the workings of the mine proceed in depth and The effects of this new source of employment are extent, the water of the surrounding country filters not, however, by any means, confined to the surface through the rock in such a quantity, that were it not of the mine itself. Numerous tages for the for the continual action of enormous columns of miners will have sprung up within the distance of a pumps, worked by very powerful steam-engines, mile or two around it, and however sterile the soil, the mine would be immediately inundated.

it will at length be subdued by patient and perseverEven when these and many other difficulties have ing industry, and formed into spots of garden-ground been surmounted, at vast expense, by skill and per- surrounding them. The neighbouring town or village severance, it sometimes happens that the hopes of the will also increase in size and importance, proporminer are disappointed, the irregularity of nature, in tionally with the advancing prosperity of the mine. the disposition of her mineral treasures, being in some Not unfrequently when the nearest village is remote, cases such as to deceive the best founded expectations one will arise near the mine itself, to receive the of success.

population concentrated around it, more especially Let us now, however, turn to the surface of the if, as is often the case, the success of the first undermine, and trace the changes which will have taken taking, should occasion others of a similar kind near place there during the progress of the underground it, and thus render the population of a permanent works described in the preceding papers; for although character. Such, indeed, has been the origin, at these operations are themselves unseen, their effects periods more or less remote, of most of the towns are extremely apparent. We suppose, of course, and villages scattered over many of the mining that the mine is found to be productive, as otherwise districts, both of this and other countries, and which, the undertaking would early have been brought to a but for their mineral treasures, would still have reclose.

mained almost uninhabited. In proof of this, we The situation of mines is generally dreary in the may give a striking illustration from the works of extreme, often the summit or declivity of a barren the celebrated traveller Humboldt, speaking of one hill or mountain; for nature, with a wise economy, of the great mines of Mexico, he observes, usually places her mineral treasures in spots almost the Count de la Valenciana (then M. Obregnon,) unsusceptible of cultivation, and where, therefore, the began to work the vein of Guanaxuato, above the breaking up of the surface, and strewing it with the valley of San Xavier, goats were feeding on the very accumulated fragments of rock brought from below, hill, which, ten years afterwards, was covered with a can do no damage to vegetation, nor impede the pur- town containing seven or eight thousand inhabitants." suits of agriculture.

Having thus traced the progress of a mine from The working of the mine will not have proceeded its first simple excavations, briefly noticing the works very long, before the influx of water renders it on the surface connected with it, and the wide spread necessary to make an effectual provision for the influence of these operations, we may observe, that drainage. For this purpose, if circumstances will the village church, with its “ heaven directed spire,” admit, large overshot water-wheels are erected, but will not unfrequently form a new and pleasing feature if not, one or more steam-engines, and, in course in the scene we have been contemplating. of time, very frequently both are employed. The

F. B. ore and rubbish which is to be raised from the mine, requires also considerable power to be provided for its extraction, and this is generally furnished by the

A FAIR IN HINDOOSTAN. horse-machines termed whims, but in very rich mines by steam engines.

It is not an easy matter to describe the singular scene As the quar tity of ore produced increases, one or that is exhibited at the fair of Hurdwar, where the more pieces of ground on the surface are appro- Hindoos assemble in countless multitudes, to combine, priated to its reception, with suitable erections and as they every where contrive so admirably to do, apparatus, for the performance of the various me their spiritual and temporal pursuits. chanical operations which it has to undergo, previous For several miles before we reached it, we had to passing into the hands of the smelter, who, by passed thousands of people in every description of chemical processes in the furnace, reduces it to the vehicle, hastening towards it. They were of all ages, metallic state.

all costumes, and all complexions; no spot upon The increased traffic to the mine, will, by this time, earth can produce so great a variety of the human have occasioned roads to be made, where, perhaps, race at one assemblage, and it would be impossible to before, scarcely a path existed, and the rivulets which enumerate the articles of different sorts, or even the had before run to waste, will have been conducted countries that produce them, offered for sale in the by artificial channels to the mine, and employed streets. The merchants, in their own language, there in giving motion to machinery and other pur- praise their own commodities, and make a confusion poses. Nor will the comforts and convenience of of tongues highly bewildering to a learned pundit, those engaged in these operations have been neglected. but to an European “ confusion worse confounded.”

“ when

There are horses from all parts of the globe, gather from your countenance your anxiety or indifelephants, camels, and buffaloes, cows and sheep of ference for the purchase. It is not uncommon for a every denomination, thickly crowded together; dogs, horse-dealer to fall, in the course of a few moments, cats, and monkeys, leopards, bears, and cheators; in his demand, from ten to one thousand rupees. sometimes the cubs of a tigress, and always from the When the bargain is about to be concluded, the elk to the mouse-deer, every species of that animal. buyer and the seller throw a cloth over their hands, Shawls from Cashmere, and woollen-cloths from and, naming a price, ascertain by the pressure of England, are displayed on the same stall; coral from certain joints how nearly they are making towards the Red Sea, agate from the Guzzarat, precious stones its termination. By this means, in the midst of a from Ceylon, gums and spices from Arabia, assafætida crowd, they deal in secret; and it is laughable to see, and rose-water from Persia, brought by each country through an affected air of carelessness, how deeply to the mart, lie by the side of watches from France, they are interested. pickles from China, sauces from England, and During their great attention to worldly matters, perfumes from Bond Street and the Rue St. Honoré. they are not forgetful of the grand object of the I have seen a case of French rouge, and henna for Hurdwar meeting : crowds succeeding crowds more the fingers of an eastern fair, selling in adjoining all day towards the Ghaut, and no minute of the booths; antimony to give a languor to an oriental twenty-four hours passes without being marked by eye, and all the embellishments of an European the rites of the worship of the Ganges; the devout toilet.

bathers of both sexes assemble in thousands, and In roaming through the fair, you are amused by perform their ablutions with so perfect a sincerity the tricks of the eastern jockeys: here one is ambling and indifference to appearance, that they seem nearly on a richly-caparisoned horse, with necklaces of ignorant whether they are clad or not. The Ghaut beads, and bangles of silver, displaying his paces presents as singular and motley a sight as the with the utmost dexterity; another is galloping as fair itself: Europeans lounging on the backs of hard as he can, to show how admirably he can bring elephants to witness the bathing—Brahmins busy in him on his haunches; while a third lets his horse collecting the tribute—religious mendicants displayloose, and calls him by a whistle, to prove his ing every species of indecency and distortion—and docility. Elephants and camels are exhibiting at the Christian ministers anxiously and industriously dissame time their several graces and accomplishments; tributing to the pilgrims copies of the Scriptures while a Persian, with a brood of the beautiful cats of translated into their various languages. Some of his country, stands quietly by to attract you with his these excellent men-for no difficulty or labour stays quadrupeds, if you should fail in making a bargain them in their heavenward course—sit in the porches for the larger ones.

of the temples, with baskets of tracts by their sides, The dealers invariably ask ten times as much as giving them to all who approach. they mean to take, and vary their demands as they

[Srinner's Escursions in India.]

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

LONDON: Published by JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, West STRAND; and sold by all Booksellers.

« AnteriorContinuar »