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BEST TIME FOR TAKING EXERCISE.

A mere stroll, which requires no exertion, and does Man being intended for a life of activity, all his not fatigue, will not be injurious before or after functions are constituted by Nature to fit him for eating; but exercise beyond this limit is hurtful at this object, and they never go on so successfully as such times. All, therefore, whose object is to imwhen his external situation is such as to demand the prove or preserve health, and whose occupations are regular exercise of all his organs. It is accordingly in their own power, ought to arrange these, so as to curious to observe the admirable manner in which observe faithfully this important law, for they will each is linked, in its action and sympathies, with the otherwise deprive themselves of most of the benefits rest. When the muscular system, for example, is arising from exercise. duly exercised, increased action in its vessels and When we know that we shall be forced to exertion nerves takes place; but the evils arising from deficiency soon after eating, we ought to make a very moderate of exercise to all the functions of the mind and body, meal, to avoid setting the stomach and muscles at are the converse of the advantages to be derived variance with each other, and exciting feverish disfrom adequate exercise. The circulation becomes disturbance. In travelling by a stage-coach, where languid; the feebleness of action occasions little no repose is allowed, this precaution is invaluable. waste of materials, and little demand for a new If we eat heartily as appetite suggests, and then supply; the appetite and digestion consequently enter the coach, restlessness, flushing, and fatigue become weak; respiration heavy and imperfect; and are inevitable; whereas, by eating sparingly, the the blood so ill-conditioned, that, when distributed | journey may be continued for two or three days and through the body, it proves inadequate to communi- nights, with less weariness than is felt during onecate the stimulus requisite for healthy and vigorous fourth of the time under full feeding. action.

It is frequently the custom, apparently for the The time at which exercise ought to be taken, purpose of saving time, to take young people out to however, is of some consequence in obtaining from it walk about the close of the day, because there is not beneficial results. Those who are in perfect health light enough to do anything in the house. Nothing inay engage in it at almost any hour, except imme can be more injudicious than this plan; for, in the diately after a full meal; but those who are not first place, exercise once a day is very insufficient for robust, ought to confine their hours of exercise within the young; and even supposing that it were enough, narrower limits. To a person in full vigour, a good the air is then more loaded with moisture, colder, walk in the country before breakfast may be highly and proportionally more unhealthy than at any other beneficial and exhilarating; while to an invalid or time; and the absence of the beneficial stimulus of delicate person, it will prove more detrimental than the solar light diminishes not a little its invigorating useful, and will induce a sense of weariness, which influence. For those, consequently, who are so little will spoil the pleasure of the whole day. Many are out of doors, as the inmates of boarding schools, deceived by the current poetical praises of the fresh- and children living in towns, and who are all at the ness of morning, and hurt themselves in summer, by period of growth, the very best time of the day ought seeking health in untimely promenades.

to be chosen for exercise, particularly as in-door ocIn order to be beneficial, exercise must be resorted cupations are, after night-fall, more in accordance to only when the system is sufficiently vigorous to be with the order of nature. able to meet it. This is the case after a lapse of By devoting part of the forenoon, also, to exercise, from two to four or five hours after a moderate meal, another obvious advantage is gained. If the weather and, consequently, the forenoon is the best time. If prove unfavourable at an early hour, it may clear up exercise be delayed till some degree of. exhaustion in time to admit of going out later in the day; from the want of food has occurred, it speedily whereas, if the afternoon alone be allotted to exercise, dissipates instead of increases, the strength which and the weather then proves bad, the day is altogether remains, and impairs, instead of promotes aigestion. lost. When the muscular system is duly exercised The result is quite natural; for exercise of every in the open air early in the day, the power of mental kind causes increased action and waste in the organ, application is considerably increased; while by deand if there be not materials and vigour enough in laying till late, the efficiency of the whole previous the general system to keep up that action and supply mental labour is diminished by the restless craving the waste, nothing but increased debility can reason for motion, which is evinced by the young of all ably be expected.

animals, and which, when unsatisfied, distracts atFor the same reason, exercise immediately before tention, and leads to idleness in schools. meals, unless of a very gentle description, is injurious, To render exercise as beneficial as possible, partiand an interval of rest ought always to intervene. cularly in educating the young, it ought always to be Muscular action causes an aillux of blood and nervous taken in the open air, and to be of a nature to occupy energy to the surface and extremities, and if food be the mind as well as the body. Gardening, hoeing, swallowed whenever the activity ceases, and before social play, and active sports of every kind, cricket, time has been allowed for a different distribution of bowls, shuttlecock, the ball, archery, quoits, hide and the vital powers to take place, the stomach is taken seek, and similar occupations and recreations, well at disadvantage, and from want of the necessary known to the young, are infinitely preferable to regular action in its vessels and nerves, is unable to carry on and unmeaning walks, and tend, in a much higher digestion with success.

degree, to develop and strengthen the bodily frame, and Exercise onght to be equally avoided after a heavy to secure a straight spine, and an erect and firm, but meal. In such circumstances the functions of the easy and graceful carriage. A formal walk is odious digestive organs are in their highest state of activity; and useless to many girls, who would be delighted and if the muscular system be then called into con- and benefited by spending three or four hours a day siderable action, the withdrawal of the vital stimuli in spirited exercise and useful employment. of the blood and nervous influence from the stomach Let those mothers who are afraid to trust to Nature, to the extremities, is sufficient almost to stop the for strengthening and developing the limbs and spines digestive process. This is no supposition, but demon of their daughters, attend to Facts, and their fears strated fact, and, accordingly, there is a natural and will vanish. It is notorious that many girls, from marked aversion to active pursuits after a full meal, injudicious management, and insufficient exercise,

become deformed; an occurrence which is rare in simple fact consists the whole of the mysterious boys, who are left, in conformity with the designs of power that has been attributed to it. Nature, to acquire strength and symmetry from free The Salamanders are divided into two sections, the and unrestrained muscular action: Yet such is the aquatic, that rarely leave the water, (our common dominion of prejudice and habit, that with these eft is an example,) and the terrestrial, who only reresults meeting our observation in every quarter, main in that element during their tadpole state. The we continue to make as great a distinction in the aquatic Salamanders have a tail flattened sideways, physical education of the two sexes in early life, as if so as to assist them in swimming. they belonged to different orders of beings, and were The experiments of Spallanzani, on their astonishconstructed on such opposite principles, that what ing power of reproducing a limb, have rendered them was to benefit the one, must necessarily hurt the other. famous. The same limb can be reproduced several [Abridged from Combe's Physiology applied to Health.]

times in succession, after it has been cut off, and that with all its bones, muscles, &c. Another faculty, not

less singular, is that of remaining a long time encomTHE GIGANTIC SALAMANDER,

passed with ice without perishing. (Salamandra gigantea.)

The Salamanders were erroneously placed by The Salamander belongs to that order of reptiles Linnæus among the Lizards, but they have been most called Batrachians, from their resemblance, to a cer- properly transferred to the order to which they now tain extent, to the frog tribes. The Batrachia in- belong, and to which they bear a much greater afficlude all the reptiles with naked bodies, without the nity, especially from their transformations. hard covering of the tortoises, or scales like serpents. Although the reptile figured in the engraving is The whole of this order are without nails on the called gigantic, in reference to the size of most of toes, and they all undergo various changes or meta- the genus, it does not exceeed eighteen inches in morphoses; the different changes in the organization length. Some few years back, however, a Salaof the Salamanders nearly resemble those which mander was discovered in Japan, to which the name occur in the case of the frogs and toads, which have gigantic might be applied with much greater probeen more fully described under the head of the priety. A living specimen was taken, and conveyed Surinam Toad*.

to the museum at Leyden five years since; it was The name of the Salamander must be familiar to then about twelve inches long, but it has since then most of our readers, from its having been applied by grown to the length of two feet and a half, although the ancients to a fabulous creature, which was sup- confined in a wooden vessel containing water. It is posed to possess the power of existing in the midst of a very dark olive-green colour, and covered with of flames, and even of quenching the fire by which it tubercles, nearly resembling in form the species was surrounded. In our own times a strange belief represented in the engraving. It feeds sparingly on exists among the ignorant, that if any fire remains small living fish which are placed in its prison; its unquenched for the space of seven years, a Sala- appetite, however, only recurs at long intervals, and mander will be produced.' But the inquiries of its destined prey seem perfectly unconscious of the modern science have shown, that the only foundation presence of an enemy, and when alarmed, take refuge for all these fables concerning the harmless reptile under the very jaws of the reptile. represented below, is the humble means of self-defence granted to it by the Creator.

The budy of the Salamander is covered with pores, If mankind in the present day were strictly to adhere to from which, when alarmed, or suffering from pain, those practices which promote the health and well-being of an acrid watery humour exudes, which is at times their minds and bodies, and as strictly, to abstain from able so far to quench the fury of the flames as to those which tend to injure them, there would be little or

no cause to complain that our race is degenerating, and give the poor creature time to escape, and in this that the men of modern days scarcely possess the sixth * See Saturday Muzezine, Vol. II., p. 15.

part of the strength of their forefathers. — HODGKIN.

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terranean could not be performed in a single summer. THE CITY OF BRUGES,

It became desirable, therefore, that some half-way IN BELGIUM.

station should be chosen, as a magazine or storehouse The Belgian city of Bruges is one of the most ancient wherein the two classes of traders might deposit and and remarkable among the towns of the Netherlands. exchange their merchandise; and the choice fell upon Like many others which are to be found in Europe, Bruges, which had for some time previous been a and nowhere in greater profusion than in the same place of considerable resort. This city accordingly territory with itself, it exhibits the melancholy instance became the general rendezvous ; thither the merchants of a town, which had been raised by the fostering of Italy, particularly those of Venice, resorted, and hand of Commerce to the highest pitch of wealth in return for the manufactures of their own country and prosperity, becoming so reduced as to retain only and the precious commodities which they had labojust enough of its former greatness to render most riously brought from India and the East, they received striking the contrast between its ancient and its pre- the more bulky, but not less useful, produce of the sent state. During the latter years of the middle north, its iron, copper, corn, flax, hemp, timber, and ages, Bruges was the first city for trade and manu- other articles invaluable as naval stores. factures in the whole of Europe, and probably of The commercial connexion between Bruges and the world; the rank which it now enjoys is very far our own country had been of some importance before indeed from that lofty pre-eminence, scarcely suffi- that city became a Hanseatic factory; and it aftercient, indeed, when compared with that of other wards increased to a great extent, being apparently cities, to be deemed of any importance whatsoever. 1 of much value in the eyes of both parties. In the

Bruges, or Brügge, as it is called, is now the year 1296, the merchants of Bruges obtained concapital of the province of West Flanders; during siderable privileges in their trade with Britain, or to the time that Belgium was united with France, from i use the phrase of modern times, they were placed on 1795 to the downfall of Napoleon in 1814, the city the footing of the most favoured nations; for at the was the capital of the department of the Lys. It instance of Guy, Earl of Flanders, permission was stands in a level plain, at the distance of about eight granted by our monarch, Edward the First, that miles in a direct line from the coast; it has no river "they should purchase wool throughout England, or natural piece of water in its immediate neighbour- Ireland, and Scotland, and practise all other kinds of bood, but the fine canal which runs from Ghent to mercantile dealings as freely as had been permitted Ostend passes through it, and affords it all the advan- to the Lombards." Not half a century afterwards, tages of an easy communication with the sea. This Bruges was made what was called the staple for canal is both broad and deep, so as to be navigable English wool,—that is to say, the fixed market to for ships of from 200 to 300 tons' burden; a branch which all persons exporting wool from England were from it leads to Sluys or Ecluse, which, previous bound to carry it; we read in Rymer's Federa, that to its temporary separation from Flanders, and annex in this year “King Edward the Third re-established ation to the United Provinces in the sixteenth century, the staple for English wool, woolfels, leather, and used to be the port of Bruges.

tin, at Bruges; directing the mayor, constable, and The origin of Bruges is referred to the seventh or community of Merchants of the Staple of England, the eighth century, and the city is supposed to have to govern the trade thither, and to impose taxes, talrisen from the ruins of a town called Oudembourg, lages, &c., relating thereto." This staple seems, howwhich was destroyed by the Danes and Normans; its ever, to have been transferred wholly, or in part, name is by some derived from the number and mag to Calais, not many years afterwards. In the year nificence of its bridges, or brüggen, and by others 1358, however, the connexion was drawn still closer, from a particular bridge called Brugstoc, which stood through the agency of the ancient company, or Fellowbetween Oudembourg and another town called then ship of the Merchant Adventurers of England,—the Rodembourg, and afterwards, Ardemberg. In the Brotherhood of St. Thomas à Becket,-as they were year 800, according to Mr. Grattan, Bruges had originally called; who obtained from Louis de Male, already a flourishing trade; and 90 years afterwards, Count of Flanders, an ample concession of privileges, it was for the first time surrounded with walls by which led them to fix their Flemish establishment, Baldwin, surnamed le Chauve, or the Bald, who at and with it the staple for English woollen cloth, at that time held the Earldom or county of Flanders as Bruges ;-—" whereby,” says one of their secretaries, a fief under the French crown. A strong encourage a great concourse of merchants were drawn to that ment to its commercial prosperity was given in the city, from all Europe." Not many years after this year 960, when a fair was established in it by Count period, at least in 1407, Bruges was formally declared Baldwin the Third; and through the long course of the staple port for Scottish ships and merchandise; five succeeding centuries, while the greater part of which it had been, in fact, for some time previous. Europe was sunk in the darkest barbarism; the Throughout the long course of years which had industrious burghers of Bruges were slowly securing elapsed from the age of its foundation, this city had the advantages of wealth and civilization. The not been without considerable drawbacks upon its manufacture of wove fabrics, for which Flanders was prosperity; it had suffered a variety of misfortunes, at so early a period distinguished, became to this city and had not been without a full share of what few a vast source of profit; and a further means of ad- cities of any note could then hope to escape,—the vancement was afforded it, by the establishment of calamities of war. On more than one occasion, the the herring-trade, in the fourteenth century.

greater part of the town had been destroyed by fire. About the year 1262, the merchants of the Han The heaviest ills, however, inflicted on it, were brought seatic League first began to resort to Bruges, and about by internal commotions and disputes with their soon afterwards they made it one of their four great sovereign; and to them the turbulent character of comptoirs or factories. The commerce then existing its inhabitants much contributed. “The great riches," between the nations of the north of Europe and says a French writer, supposed to be Huet, Bishop of those of its southern countries had already become Avranches, “which commerce brought to the citizens extensive through the enterprise of the cities on the of Bruges, rendered them not only insolent and unjust Baltic. But still so defective was the state of navi towards foreign merchants, thus causing these indeed gation, that a voyage between that sea and the Medi to withdraw, but even towards their sovereign."

The Hanseatic writers, according to Anderson, exchanged the various kinds for one another, as well complain loudly of the petulance and insolence of as for the wove fabrics of Flanders itself. The reputhe inhabitants of Bruges to their people; and the tation which the artisans of Bruges had obtained in dissatisfaction which this conduct at length occa the working of the precious metals, is curiously sioned was such, that resolutions were actually taken shown by an act of the Scottish parliament passed in in the general meetings of the Deputies of the Hanse 1489 ; its title is “ of Gold-smithes," and it provides Towns, to break off all commerce with Flanders, that those of Scotland—whom it charges with making although eventually a reconciliation took place. The “fals mixture of evil mettel"—shall for the future spirit of haughty independence which these citizens make their works of the fineness of the new works acquired with their prosperity is indeed remarkable ; of silver of Bruges, and that there shall be a deacon it fostered in them a proneness to turbulence and of the craft, who “sall examine the said wark and discontent, which the slightest provocation, real or fines thereof, and see that it be als gude as the said imaginary, would often inflame into open rebellion. wark of Bruges." It is almost impossible to read a few pages of their The decline of Bruges is dated from the year 1487, country's annals without meeting with some instance when a dispute arose between the city and its soveof this disposition ; it usually begins with an act of reign Maximilian, the son of the Emperor of Germany. violence on the part of the burghers, perhaps the A war followed, which lasted ten years; the citizens murder of an obnoxious officer, and usually ends in the end preserved their rights and privileges, but with their submission, fine, and pardon.

their commerce had in the mean while received a fatal Bruges was at the height of its greatness in the blow. Maximilian blockaded the port of Sluys, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Dr. Robertson and thus cut them off from the sea ; their commerce calls it " the store-house from which the nations of passed away to their jealous rivals of Antwerp and Europe were supplied. Never,” he adds, “ did wealth Amsterdam, who had warmly aided the archduke in appcar more conspicuously in the train of commerce; all his measures, and who obtained from him in the citizens of Bruges, enriched by it, displayed in return, all the commercial privileges which Bruges their dress, their buildings, and mode of living, such had before enjoyed exclusively. Antwerp was the Inagnificence as even to mortify the pride, and excite chief gainer ; its prosperity is always dated from the the envy of royalty.” He alludes here to the oft- downfall of Bruges, whose foreign merchants repaired repeated story which is told by Meyer, in the annals to it in great numbers. of Flanders, in connexion with the visit paid to In the year 1515, the English merchants quitted Bruges, in 1301, by King Philippe le Bel, of France, Bruges, and betook themselves to the rising city of and his queen, Joanna of Navarre, when nearly all Antwerp; and in the following year, the remainder Flanders had submitted to the French monarch of the other foreign merchants imitated their example, Guicciardini thus relates it :-" Considering well so that none but the Spaniards remained. Again, the magnificence and opulence of this city, they however, in less than half a century, the forsaken wondered and were astounded, and the queen herself, city recovered some portion of its former prosperity; amongst other things, attentively remarking the for in 1558, the sudden loss of Calais caused the splendour and pomp of the women, became moved English to re-establish in it the staple for their wool; by female envy, (mark well the fact, observes the —much to the benefit of its inhabitants. It was French translator of Guicciardini,) and filled with soon after this period that Guicciardini wrote his disdain, she exclaimed, “ Alas! I thought that I had description of the Netherlands; and the account been queen alone here, and I find myself but one in which he gives of Bruges, shows us that, thongh a hundred !' and there is no doubt,” adds the writer, fallen from its ancient greatness, it still held a high “ that this envy and anger of this princess (a thing rank among the manufacturing towns of Europe. remarkable,) produced in after-time, both to this city, That writer speaks of its “abundance" of cloths, and the whole country, the most heavy troubles." tapestry, fustians, serges, &c., and of the “marvellous

Of the actual extent of the commerce of Bruges quantity" of silk prepared in it; indeed, he tells us we have little means of judging; a few incidental that, of the artisans engaged in the fabrication of notices in the pages of historians, enable us to form those kinds of articles, there were no less than sixtysome conception of it. In its most prosperous times, eight crafts, or companies. Yet this prosperity was there used to come to this city 40,000 bags of wool but transient; for under the severe pressure of warfrom Spain alone; this number was aftewards re fare, and the fatal influence of religious persecution, duced to 25,000, valued at 625,000 scudi. The the pre-eminence of Flanders as a manufacturing disimportance of the traffic in Indian goods with Venice, trict began to pass rapidly to other countries.

decline,

Venetian galeasses—vessels of considerable burden and did not suffer it to continue without an effort to -laden with those commodities, arrived at Bruges, arrest its progress. In Thurloe's collection of statein order to dispose of their cargoes at the fair. In papers, there are preserved two letters which were adthe year 1468, there arrived at the same time in the dressed, about the middle of the seventeenth century, harbour of Sluys—the harbour of Bruges-no less by the magistrates of the city to the Company of than 150 merchant-ships; but the annalist who Merchant Adventurers of England, courteously inrecords the fact, mentions it as a rare occurrence." viting them to fix their Flemish establishment in Speaking of the flourishing condition of the city Bruges, which had been its ancient seat. The first about this period, Bishop Huet remarks, that there was dated in the year 1649; and the answer to it was then scarcely any nation, at all considerable, requested preliminary stipulations, for an exemption which had not in it a factory, and a company of from certain tolls and taxes, and for the free exercise merchants for carrying on business; there were those by the English merchants of their own religion. of the English, French, Scotch, Castilians, Portu The second invitation was addressed two years afterguese, Aragonese, Navarrese, Catalans, Biscayans, wards, in 1651; and to this the company replied, Venetians, Florentines, Genoese, Lucchese, Milanese, “ That as the said letters (of the magistrates) were Germans, Danes, Swedes, and of the Hanseatic cities. entirely silent in the two most material articles; viz, All these different nations, he adds, carried thither the free exercise of their religion, and the duties to the commodities of their respective countries, and be paid, they desire a peremptory answer thereto:

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