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UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION
APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
THE FALL OF THE STAUBBACH,
a similar character, but also to the frequent recur.
rence of inundations, which bring down stone and IN SWITZERLAND.
gravel upon the land, and annihilate, in one short The Staubbach is one of the most famous falls in hour, the long-cherished hopes of the husbandman. Switzerland : it is remarkable not so much for the The soil of the valley is in general tolerably provolume of its waters as for the height from which ductive; the greater part of its inhabitants are scatthey descend. It is situated in the canton of Berne, tered about it, but some few are congregated in the and in its southern part, the Oberland, as it is called; small village of Lauterbrunnen, which is simply a it is formed by the little river Pletschbach, or collection of cottages with a church, a residence for Bletschbach, tumbling into the valley of Lauter- the minister, and an inn for the accommodation of brunnen, the name of which, indeed, it sometimes tourists. It is to this inn that visiters to the Staubtakes. After its descent, the river is known by the bach usually resort ; before its establishment, the appellation of the Staubbach, the more common house of the clergyman used to be the house of enname of the fall.
tertainment, according to the practice very generally The valley of Lauterbrunnen, “ embosomed,” as prevalent in former years throughout the more retired Coxe describes it, “ in the midst of alps," is one parts of Switzerland. of the favourite resorts of summer tourists in Swit The stream which forms the Staubbach has a zerland. In the way of valley, says a recent previous fall, which is seldom noticed by travellers, writer, there is nothing like it; "the crag, the torrent, as is observed by Dr. Wyss, a German writer, who the lonely chalet, the rock of the hunter, the eternal explored with great industy the whole of the Bernese alps, and all the delicious fillings up of turf and Oberland; the renown of the second fall has so comtree, are here thrown about by a mighty hand." It pletely eclipsed the first, that this latter is scarcely is one of the many vallies which are formed in the honoured with a passing notice in any description of Bernese Oberland, by the numberless shoots project the Lauterbrunnen valley. This neglect he deems ing from the high alpine range that separates the very unjust, and to make amends he paints the canton of Berne in the south from the canton of object of it in the most attractive colours. He Valais ; and it is, among them all, one of the most describes in glowing terms the enthusiasm which remarkable,-perhaps, indeed, with the exception of seized him when he entered the Staubbach Balm, or its neighbour, the equally famous Grindelwald, the Grotto of the Staubbach, at which this fall takes most remarkable. Its length is about fifteen miles, place, and stood behind the superb mass of water, while its breadth seldom exceeds half a mile : from which precipitated itself in three enormous arcs of its extreme narrowness, it is likened to " a deep liquid dust, sparkling in ceaseless variety with a chasm formed in a mass of mountains, and straitened thousand hues, like a shower of “glittering spangles ;” between the vertical walls of the clefts." The enor the pleasing coolness which refreshed the air, the mous chain of rocks on the right, or western side, is flowers and the green turf at his feet, enamelled loftier and more craggy than that on the left; and from with all the colours of the emerald, the sapphire, and the wall which they form, it is that the most consider the topaz, and the noble scene which his wondering able streams rush down to swell the waters of the eyes beheld in the distance through the “ variegated Lütschinen, as the river is called, which flows through , tissue" of waters,—the great Jungfrau, the Silberthe bottom of the valley.
horn, the Eiger, and the other noble mountains which M. Ramond, a French writer, well acquainted with bound the valley to the south, reposing in peaceful the topography of Switzerland, examined the forma grandeur,-all conspired to impress him with the tion of this valley with curious eyes, and found, as belief that “ he had never gazed upon any thing so he says, not only elevation answer to elevation, and beautiful.” depth to depth, but also the bed of the rivers con Descending about fifty paces, the visiter reaches tinued from one side to the other. From this cir- the second fall, the real Staubbach, that which is cumstance he was led to consider the valley as an represented in our engraving. The height of this accidental crevice, formed by some revolution that fall is upwards of 900 feet. Coxe says that the happened in this mass of mountains, by which the clergyman of Lauterbrunnen, at whose house he rivers, which all flowed from the right to the left, stopt, measured it a short time before his visit, and were broken short in their course at the same time, found it 930 feet. Dr. Wyss confirms this stateand left to pour their waters into the gulf that opened ment. When the water is abundant, the greater part before them. The number of these streams, at all of the torrent falls perpendicularly through the whole considerable, is, on the two sides, about thirty ; they of this distance, quite clear of the mountain ; but all pour down their waters“ in long threads of before it reaches the valley below, it is converted silvery foam" into the channel of the Weisse (or entirely into a fine spray. The remaining portion, White) Lütschinen, which flows along the bottom of when it has fallen about half way, strikes against a the valley, and, immediately on issuing from it, projecting rock, being even then reduced to the form unites with the Schwarze (or Black) Lütschinen, of rain ; a part of it flies off with great violence to coming from the valley of Grindelwald. The river mingle with the mass of vapour, while the rest formed by the junction is called simply Lütschinen, or trickles gently down the declivity of the mountain, Zweylütschinen" (there being a little village of this and forms at its foot a small rill, " the imperceptible name at the place of meeting); it empties itself, not remains of a somewhat considerable river." as Coxe says into the Aar, but into the lake of To be seen with the greatest effort, this fall must Brientz, a little to the south of the point at which be viewed when illumined by the rays of the sun; that river issues from the lake.
for this purpose it must be visited before it is brought There is scarcely any country on the globe which within shade of the mountain. Dr. Wyss says that can show so many cascades, in so small a space, as the best time is between seven and half-past twelve are to be found in the valley of Lauterbrunnen ; its in the morning; and then the spectator may be gratiname indeed is characteristic of this distinction, sig- fied with an interesting exhibition of the phenomena rifying clear fountains ;" yet it pays dearly for it, of refraction. “The sun shining in an opposite dibeing subject not only to the visitation of the ava rection,” says Coxe, “a miniature rainbow was lanche and of falling rocks, like all Swiss vallies of reflected towards the bottom of the fall: while I stood
at some distance, the rainbow assumed a semicircular | run down with vessels of all sorts, and fill them with figure; as I approached, the extreme points gradually small trout, which were easily caught in the shallow coincided, and formed a complete circle of the most rocks they had retreated into, being unable to escape lively and brilliant colours. In order to have a still by swimming. But in the midst of this work of finer view, I ventured nearer and nearer; the circle plunder, the wind lulled, the stream resumed its at the same time becoming smaller and smaller; and accustomed course, and the fish, now no longer imas I stood quite under the fall, it suddenly disappeared. prisoned, quickly glided through the hands of the When I looked up to the torrent in this situation, it young captors, who were obliged to retreat to the resembled a cloud of dust: I paid for my curiosity banks, wetted up to the knees, though not before they by being extremely wet."
had secured a considerable booty." It will be evident from this description, that the In the Winter season, the rapidity of this torrent fall of the Staubbach is remarkable more as an object enables it to withstand the frost for some time; but of curiosity, and perhaps of beauty, than for pos- when the cold is very intense, the drops of water sessing any character of grandeur and sublimity. Its become congealed globules, and the fall is converted praises have been sung in verse by two German into a shower of hail. The rattling of this in the air writers,--the one, Baggeson, and the other, the is generally supposed to foretel the freezing of the famous Albert Haller-more celebrated as a physi- whole torrent, which soon assumes the appearance of ologist and savant than as a poet. “Behold it on an enormous icicle, hanging from the edge of the the rocky summit!” says the former," it is there a channel, and gradually increasing, until, by its own river,-a mighty wave, which impetuously rushes weight, it falls upon the heap of ice below, with a from the empyrean ;-lower, it is but a cloud, and noise far exceeding “the roar of the avalanche or of soon again a whitish vapour.” Haller describes it as thunder.” “a river rising in the air, issuing from clouds, and to Like the other streams of this region, the Staubclouds again returning." Few modern travellers bach is subject to the visitation of tremendous storms, speak of this fall as otherwise than disappointing which for a time wholly alter its character, and cause their expectations; the exaggerations of earlier descrip- it to present a fearful, though still highly-interesting tions having led them to look for so much, that spectacle. The years 1791 and 1814 are remarkable in they have sometimes failed to discern in it any at- this respect: on the former occasion, the Lütschinen--tractions at all. Simond states that it did not the river into which the Staubbach pours itself, answer the expectations of his party, and speaks of abandoned its old bed, and formed a new channel for the water and the vapour undulating through the air itself. The storm of 1814 was of an unusually with more grace and elegance than sublimity. Mr. furious kind, and it was attended with some fatal Inglis is more severe in his judgment. “I had heard results. Dr. Wyss gives an account of it, from the much,” he says, “ of the cataract of the Staubbach, statement of an eye-witness. The blackened waters but was miserably disappointed by it. The name, of the torrent, thick with the mud which they had meaning fall of powder—is well applied. The cas- gathered in their impetuous career, rushed from the cade descends entirely in spray, and is wanting in mountain top in two enormous shoots, as if issuing that greatest attraction of a cataract-sublimity." from the mouths of monstrous tunnels; above them, A female writer, of more recent date still, passes this and resting as it were on the rocky summit, was sentence upon it :-“ After all, the Staubbach is a dark and terrible cloud." The violence of the waves poor thing. This is high treason, I know,—hanging carried along with them huge masses of stone, many matter in the valley,—but true nevertheless. I have it exceeding the weight of a hundred pounds; these now before my window, with its 800 feet long shower were whirled to the mountain's edge,whence some of dust, neither throwing of its waters in one un shot out to a distance, and others fell straight down, broken volume, nor dashing them against opposing dashing in their descent against projecting ledges of rocks, according to established rules, but flying off rock, and bounding off into the basin beneath with in a light column of spray, to be blown about as frightful noise. The constant crashing and collision the winds list, and to look very like (be it gently of these terrible masses, produced, says our author, whispered) the overturned contents of a most capa-“a fiery odour,” distinctly sensible afar off to those cious dust-cart.”
who were witnessing in security the dreadful scene. The action of the wind upon this fall gives rise to The trunks of trees, too, and even whole firs, which some interesting phenomena. Its waters themselves the storm had uprooted on the mountain tops, were cause a continued motion in the air, “as if Æolus brought down by the angry waters; the broken were flying before the deity of the enraged stream," branches, and smaller fragments, were seized by the to use the classical illustration of Dr. Wyss; but this blast when they reached the edge of the fall, and only scatters the finer drops, and has no effect upon whirled about in the air till they lodged in the bottom the great mass. When a strong wind, however, strikes of the valley,—while the heavier masses fell at once it, the results are occasionally very singular and perpendicularly “like enormous darts," and buried pleasing. Sometimes a breeze from the south, blow themselves deep in the bed of the torrent. ing with violence against the fall, will fairly drive it back, and stop its course for minutes together; at They that enter into the world are too often treated with others, it will catch a number of little clouds from unreasonable rigour by those that were once as ignorant the mass of vapour, and carry them off suspended and heady as themselves; and distinction is not always in the air. “To me,” says Dr. Wyss, the most eradication, and those that will gradually drop away in the
made between the faults which require speedy and violent striking of these phenomena, is that exhibited when
progression of life. Vicious solicitations of appetite, il a violent hurricane drives the column of water from not checked will grow more importunate; and mean arts its ordinary bed, on one side or the other, so that it of profit or ambition will gather strength in the mind, if no longer falls into its usual basin beneath, which they are not early suppressed. But mistaken notions of speedily empties itself, and becomes nearly dry The superiority, desires of useless show, pride of little accomfish which it contains then become frightened, and plishments, and all the train of vanity, will be brushed can scarcely find in the little pools which are left away by the wing of time. Reproof should not exhaust its behind, sufficient water for their existence. On such the incursion of vice, and leave foppery and futility to
power upon petty failings; let it watch diligently against an occasion, I have sren a merry troop of children die of themselves.-Idler.
THE USEFUL ARTS. No. XII.
round to prevent the contents from being burnt. When VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS FURNISHING Drinks, BUT
roasted, the seeds are ground fine in small mills, the con
struction of which is familiar to every one; the powder is NOT USED WITH SOLID Food.
infused in boiling water, and drunk with or without milk TEA
and sugar. That some nicety is requisite in preparing this May now be fairly regarded as constituting a large portion of the drink of all classes in this country, and is become nearly an absolute necessary,-a degree of importance it has attained from its valuable and pleasant qualities: it is a stimulant to the body and mind, without any pernicious reaction, and unproductive of any of those diseases, which accompany the use of other stimulants, as spirits, wine, beer, &c.
Green tea possesses the qualities of the plant in a higher degree than the black, to those who are not habituated to its use; it acts as a stimulant to the mental faculties more powerfully than any fermented liquor, and completely banishes sleep for many hours; it is hence had recourse to by all who want to watch or study during the hours usually devoted to rest.
The tea-plant is of the same natural order as the camellia' of our green-houses, and some species of the tea belong to that genus itself; but the best tea consists of the leaves of one species of the genus Thea. This is an evergreen shrub, from three to six feet in height, with elliptic, serrated, alternate leaves, and bears a white blossom something like a wild rose: it is a native of China and Japan, and will grow as far north as the forty-fifth or forty-sixth degree of latitude.
The different teas of commerce are produced from varieties only of the one species, but the principal cause of the different flavour, is the nature of the soil and situation in which the plant is cultivated, the time of the year in which the leaves are gathered, and the mode of preparing the crop for market.
The cultivation of the Tea is nearly confined to a part only of China, for, like the vine, the excellence of the plant depends on unknown peculiarities of soil and culture, which confine it within much narrower limits than its botanical or natural station. There are two principal kinds of tea, Black and green, of each of which there are several varieties; the former are entirely cultivated in one province, Fokien, to the north-east of Canton, the most populous and important portion of the empire. Pekue, the finest of the black teas, consist of the leaf-buds of the best piants, gathered early in the spring; a small quantity of the blossoms of an olive (Olea fragrans,) are mixed with it, to impart perfume and flavour. The inferior sorts consist of the fully-formed leaves of the same plants; the later in the season these are gathered, the less the flavour of the
THE COFFEE-TREE. Coffea arabica. tea ; there are three or four successive crops taken in the drink is indisputable, however simple a process it may year. The qualities of the green teas depend on the same circumstances. Gunpowder, the finest, consists of the un- appear, but the general cause of failure arises from the opened leaf-buds of the green variety of the Thea, gathered berry not having been roasted only just before it is wanted, before it opens; the inferior qualities being the produce of for if kept for some time before it is used, a great deal of
the aroma escapes, and the flavour is lost. the subsequent successive gatherings. The leaves of the black teas are picked by hand, and native country, but the greatest part of that used in this
The finest coffee is brought from the Levant, or from its dried under a shed; the different qualities are then sorted, country is the produce of our West Indian colonies, where mingled, or separated, according to the demand, and, after a second and more complete drying, are packed for exporta- 1830, 18,500,000 lbs. weight of coffee from the West Indies,
it constitutes one of the principal crops cultivated. In tion. The green tea-leaves are dried in iron pans over a stove, and are stirred by the hand during the process and about 1,000,000 lbs. from other countries, were con
sumed in Great Britain. So extensive is the demand for tea, that the East India
Humboldt estimates the annual consumption of coffee in Company, in the year 1829-30, sold 29,000,000 lbs., and the entire consumption in Europe and America at present
Europe at 120,000,000 lbs. is supposed to amount to 50,000,000 lbs. annually.
The Cacao seeds, from which chocolate is prepared, are This plant (Coffea arabica,) was originally indigenous America ; it grows to the height of twenty feet, and bears
produced by the Theobroma cacao, a plant of South in Arabia, and the countries bordering on the Red Sea : but it has for a long period been successfully cultivated large oblong leaves and small red blossoms, which are sucin most tropical countries. It belongs to the extensive ceeded by a thick scarlet or yellow capsule, seven or eight natural order furnishing the genuine Peruvian bark, inches long, containing many seeds, as big as a scarlet-bean, Ipecacuanha, and other valuable medicines. The coffee embedded in a fleshy substance. These seeds are roasted, plant is a small evergreen tree, attaining a height of and rolled and beat on a smooth surface into a paste, which
and the skin being taken off, they are pounded with water, from twelve to fifteen feet, not much branching, having is sweetened and flavoured with vanilla, cinnamon, &c. &c., opposite oval leaves, like the bay-tree, and small creamcoloured, blossoms, which produce a red berry containing and then made up into cakes in iron moulds; when
dry two seeds, flat on one side, which sides are applied to each and hard, the cakes are put into paper cases, to keep them other as the seed lies on the fruit. It is these seeds which
from the air. are used ; they are roasted in iron cylinders, kept turning compass, and is hence of great service to travellers; it is
Cacao contains a great deal of nutritive matter in a small For detailed particulars of the process of preparing tea, see
comparatively but little consumed in England, but much in Saturday Magazine, Vol. II., p. 9,
France and Spain : and in South America it is regarded as
a necessary. The oily matter which is contained in the DISPERSION OF THE FRENCH FLEET, ON THE seeds is extracted, and used in medicine under the name ATTEMPTED INVASION OF IRELAND, of Butter of Cacao.
IN 1796. This memorable event, in the accomplishment of which, for the welfare of Great Britain, the watchful superintendence of an Almighty Guardian was peculiarly evident, is admirably described by Mr. Osler in his Life of Lord Exmouth. cluding reflections are really beautiful, and would do honour to any writer. Having shown the critical state of this country in the year 1796, and the equipment by the French Government of a powerful fleet at Brest, for the purpose of landing on the shores of Ireland, the author dwells on the misfortunes of the British force, and the success which had attended the enemy up to a certain point,-namely, their actual arrival off Bantry Bay. He then proceeds ::
“Meantime, almost everything favoured the enemy. The two divisions of his fleet, which were separated on the evening of the 16th, by putting to sea through different passages, rejoined on the 19th, and reached their destination early on the 21st, without having met a single British cruizer. When they appeared off the Bay, a number of pilot-boats came out, supposing them to be a British fleet;. and thus the French Admiral obtained pilots for his ships, and
gained all the information he wanted of the British Theobroma Cacao.
men-of-war on the coast. A line-of-battle ship and
three frigates were still missing. Their absence MALT LIQUORS.
would not have materially weakened the enemy, STRONG Beers are either pale, such as strong ales, or of a (whose force still exceeded what the rebel delegates * dark colour, such as porter and stout. Most of these contain had required,) but that the two commanders had emsome nutritious matter, of which sugar is the principal; barked in one of the missing frigates, the Fraternitè; they must, therefore, not be regarded as mere stimulants. and Rear-Admiral Bouvet, and General Grouchy, the The nutritive and sustaining properties of strong beer are, seconds in command, could scarcely act with decision however, very much overrated, and a fallacious pretext thence while their chiefs were hourly expected. deduced for their excessive and injurious consumption. The combined effects of the stimulating and nutritious
“ The Fraternitè, with the other three ships in comproperties of a moderate quantity of sound beer of good pany, was very near the fleet on the 20th, but it was strength, are well seen and suitably employed in restoring concealed from her by a fog; and a gale which disa degree of elasticity and vigour to the mind, as well as to persed the fog separated her from her consorts. the body, of one who is exhausted by the fatigue of the Proceeding alone to the bay, she had nearly reached exertions which he has made. He is prepared to enjoy and it on the 21st, when she fell in with a British frigate, profit by the period of rest, to take with satisfaction and which she mistook for one of her own fleet till she advantage the substantial meal which is to repair the losses which his system is undergoing; to take pleasure in the
was almost within gun-shot. Night saved her from society of his family, and to pass, in tranquil sleep, the capture, but the chase had carried her far to the night which is to fit him for the labours of another day. The westward, and it was eight days before she obtained exhausted labourer is not the only person to whom these a fair wind to return. drinks are not only allowable, but useful. The feeble
“ The ships continued beating up to Bearhaven mother, whose delicate frame scarcely enables her to undergo the cares and fatigues of her family, and much less against a fresh easterly breeze until the evening of the to furnish to her infant the aliment on which its health and 22nd, when the Rear-Admiral anchored off the eastern vigour essentially depend, derives from genuine beer that extremity of Great Bear Island, with eight sail-of-theavailing support, which no drugs of the apothecary, and line, two frigates, and some smaller vessels. Seven still less the poisonous cordials and fatal drams of the sail-of-the-line, and eight frigates, kept under sail, and spirit-merchant, supply: Without crediting, for a moment, the wind rising in the night blew them all off to sea. the anti-consumptive virtues which Lord Bacon has attri
“ It blew hard, with a heavy sea, through the next buted to ale, I may assert, from well-proved experience, that the invalid who has been reduced almost to extremity, by day and night. On the 24th, the weather having severe or lingering illness, finds in well-apportioned draughts moderated, it was determined, in a council of war, to of sound beer, one of the most important helps for the land the remaining troops immediately; and General recovery of his health, his strength, and his spirits. Grouchy made a formal requisition for that purpose.
Is it not, then, lamentable, that an article possessed of A suitable landing-place was found, and the necessary so many virtues, should become the ruin, if not the death of individuals, the destruction of family property, the source
preparations were completed; but it was now late in of family broils, and the bane of society.
the afternoon, and the landing was necessarily deferred It is not for me to fix the exact quantity by which your until morning. That night the gale rose from the draughts are to be limited; but I can give you two rules, eastward, and increased through the next day to a equally favourable to health and economy:- First,—when tempest. At length, the ships began to drive from drinking strong beer, always limit yourselves to the smallest their anchors. The Indomptable, 80 guns, ran foul quantity capable of counteracting the feelings of langour of the Resolue frigate, and totally dismasted her. The and exhaustion under which you may have laboured ; and if a further quantity of drink' be required to allay thirst or
other frigate, the Immortalitè, in which Rear-Admiral dilute food, either have recourse to much weaker beer, or
Bouvet had embarked, though his proper flag-ship wait a while, and take tea. Secondly,-shun, with the most was the Droits de l'Homme, parted one of her cables scrupulous care all those occasions on which you may be in the evening, and was obliged to cut the other, and tempted to take beer as a means of consuming time, or of
Namely, emissaries, who had been despatched to France to producing sensual pleasure or riotous mirth.
invite this invasion, and who bad stated that 15,000 men would be [DR. HODGKIN on Health.]
sufficient but 18,000 were provided,