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This being the purpose to which the knot is applied, we have now to discover in what manner it has acquired its name. To do this, let us suppose our sailor to be on shore, and paying a visit to his relations; his well-known skill is, of course, put in requisition, and all the pitchers of his female friends which have lost their handles are brought to him, to be supplied with new ones; and, as a compliment for his exertions, the knot which his ingenuity has formed is called a true-lover's knot.
The remaining illustrations are knots made by fishermen and anglers, and will sufficiently explain themselves.
USE OF THE TRUE-LOVER'S KNOT.
ON THE USE OF MUMMY AS A DRUG.
In the sixteenth and part of the seventeenth centuries, mummy formed one of the ordinary drugs j it was to be found in the shops of all apothecaries, and considerable sums of money were expended in the purchase of it, principally from the Jews in the East. No sooner was it credited, that mummy constituted an article of value in the practice of medicine, than many speculators embarked in the trade; the tombs were searched, and as many mummies as could be obtained, were broken into pieces for the purpose of sale. The demand, however, was not easily supplied; for the government of Egypt was unwilling to permit the transportation of the bodies from their sepulchral habitation; too great temptation was thus created to the commission of fraud, and all kinds of impositions, were in daily practice. ' According to the "Lemons de Gttyon," as early as the year 1100, or as others say, 1300, an expert Jewish physician, named Elmagar, a' native of Alexandria, was in the habit of prescribing mummy, both for the Christians and the Mahometans, then in the East, contending for the possession of Palestine. From that time, following the example thus set, physicians of all nations commonly prescribed it, in cases of bruises and wounds. The asphalt and the bitumen, it was contended, consolidated and healed the broken and lacerated veins, and, its piquancy occasioning sickness, it was said to have the power of throwing off from the stomach, collections of congealed blood. Some Jews entered upon a speculation, to furnish the mummy thus brought into demand, as an article of commerce, and undertook to embalm dead bodies, and to sell them to the Christians. They took all the executed criminals, and bodies of all descriptions that could be obtained, filled the head and the inside of the bodies, with simple asphaltum, an article of very small price, made incisions into the muscular parts of the limbs, inserted into them, also, the asphaltum, and then bound them up tightly. This being done, the bodies were exposed to the heat of the sun; they dried quickly, and resembled in appearance the truly prepared mummies. These were sold to the Christians.
Guy De la Fontaine, physician to the King of Navarre, took a journey into Egypt, and being at Alexandria, in 1564, he made inquiries as to the supply of mummy as a drug. He communicated the result of his inquiries to his friend, Ambrose Pare', the celebrated French surgeon, who made known the particulars through the medium of his works. It appears, that de la Fontaine sought out the principal Jew concerned in this traffic, and requested to see his collection of mummies. This was very willingly granted, and several bodies heaped one on the other, were speedily shown to him. Inquiring as to the place where they had been obtained, and anxious to know, whether that, which the ancients had written respecting the treatment of the dead, and their mode of sepulture could be confirmed; the Jew laughed at him, and hesitated not to say, that all the bodies then before them, amounting to between thirty and forty, had been prepared by him, during the last four years, and that they were the bodies of slaves, or other persons indiscriminately collected. De la Fontaine then inquired, as to what nation they belonged, and whether they had died of any horrible disease, such as leprosy, small-pox, or the plague, to which the Jew replied, that he cared not whence they came, whether they were old or young, male or female, or of what disease they h ad died, so long as he could obtain them, for, that when embalmed, no one could tell; and added, that he himself marvelled, how Christians, so daintymouthed, could cat of the bodies of the dead. The Jew then detailed to De la Fontaine, the mode of embalming adopted by him, which was in agreement with that just alluded to, by M. Guyon.
The demand for mummy was greater in France, than in any other country; and Francois the First, is stated by Belon, to have been in the habit of always carrying about with him a little packet, containing some mummy mixed with pulverised rhubarb, ready to take upon receiving any injury from falls, or other accidents that might happen to him. Armed with this universal remedy, Francois the First thought himself secure against all danger.
The medicinal use of mummy is alluded to by Shirley the dramatist:—
Make mummy of my flesh and sell me to the apothecaries.
The Bird in a Cage, 1633. |
That I might tear their flesh in mammocks, raise
The Honest Lawyer, 1616.
Lord Bacon says, "Mummy hath great force in staunching of blood; which, as it may be ascribed to the mixture of balmes that are glutinous, so it may also partake of a secret propriety, in that the blood draweth man's flesh."
"Mummy," says Boyle, "is one of the useful medicines commended and given by our physicians for falls and bruises, and in other cases too."
Ambrose Pare has a chapter expressly upon "Mummie." He speaks of mummy as the means upon which most dependence was placed in his time; but he states, that neither the physicians who prescribe mummy, nor the authors that have written of it, nor the apothecaries who sell it, know any thing of certainty respecting it. He condemns its use in the following terms:—"This wicked kinde of drugge, doth nothing helpe the diseased, in that case, wherefore and wherein it is administered, as I have tryed an hundred times, and as Shovel witnesses, he tryed in himselfe when as hee tooke some thereof by the advice of a certaine Jewish physitian in Egypt, from whence it is brought; but it also inferres many troublesome symptomes, as the paine of the heart or stomache, vomiting, and stinke of the mouth." "I, persuaded by these reasons, doe not onely myselfe not prescribe any hereof to my patients, but also in consultations, endeavour what I may that it bee not prescribed by others."
It would be easy to multiply authorities in favour and against the use of mummy in medicine; but it is time to draw this part of my subject to a close, and I shall do so by relating an anecdote upon the authority of Guyon, to account for the suspension of the nefarious traffic in mummy. A Jew of Damk-ttu, who was principally concerned in the manufacture pf false mummies, had a Christian slave, for the safety of whose sold he appears to have entertained more concern than for his own, repeatedly urging him to abjure his religion, and embrace that of the true faith; he at last insisted npon the slave submitting to the operation of circumcision as the evidence of his sincerity: this the slave resisted, and in consequence of his perverscness was very ill treated by his master. The slave represented to the Pacha the practices^of his master, and denounced him for the frauds he was committing in the making of mummies. The Jew was thrown into prison, from which he obtained his release on condition of the payment of no less a sum than three hundred sultanins of gold. When intelligence of this reached the governors of
Alexandria, Rosette, and other cities of Egypt, and the city of Aleppo, delighted with the prospect of readily obtaining so much money, they exacted a ransom from all those Jews who were merchants of mummies. From this time the traffic ceased; the Jews, fearful of being subjected to a new oppression, dared no longer to continue their trade.
It will thus be seen, that the employment of mummy in medicine did not cease from any discovery of its inefficacy in the relief or cure of disease; but merely from the hazard with which the traffic in the substance must be carried on. The desiccated bodies of travellers lost in the desert, and buried beneath the sands, wrere equally with the mummies employed in medicine; and Roquefort tells us that the bodies of young girls were considered more efficacious than others, and therefore produced a larger price.
The Arabs to this day make use of mummy powder for a medicine. They mix it with butter, and call it mantey. It is esteemed a sovereign remedy for bruises both external and internal.
[pettigrew's History of Mummies.]
The histories of ages past, or relations concerning foreign countries, wherein the manners of men are described, and their actions reported, a-fford us useful pleasure and pastime; thereby we may learn as much, and understand the world as well, as by the most curious inquiry into the present actions of men; there we may observe, we mav scan, we may tax the proceedings of whom we please, without any danger or offence. There are extant numberless books, wherein the wisest and most ingenious of men, have laid open their hearts; and exposed their most secret cogitations unto us; in pursuing them, we may sufficiently busy ourselves, and let our idle hours pass gratefully; we may meddle with ourselves, studying our own dispositions, examining our own principles and purposes, reflecting on our thoughts, words and actions, striving thoroughly to understand ourselves; to do this we have an unquestionable right, and by it we shall obtain vast benefit.—Barrow.
It is imagined by many, that whenever they aspire to please, they are required to be merry, and to show the gladness of their souls by flights of pleasantry, and burets of laughter. But though these men may be for a time heard with applause and admiration, they seldom delight us long. We enjoy them a little, and then return to easiness and good humour; as the eye gazes awhile on an eminence glittering with the sun, but soon turns aching away to verdure and to flowers. Johnson.
EXTRAORDINARY INSTANCE OF PRESER VATION.
I Was bound for Liverpool, says an American Captain, in a tine stout ship, of about four hundred tons burden, with a valuable cargo on board, and about ninety thousand dollars in specie. When we were about to sail, the mate informed me that he had shipped two foreigners as seamen, one a native of Guernsey, and the other a Frenchman from Britany. I was pleased, however, with the appearance of the crew generally, and particularly with the foreigners. They were both stout and able-bodied men, and alert and attentive to orders.
The passage commenced auspiciously, and promised to be a speedy one. To my great sorrow and uneasiness, I soon discovered in the foreigners a change of conduct. They became insolent to the mates, appeared to be frequently under the excitement of liquor, and had evidently acquired, an undue influence with the rest of the men. Their intemperance soon became intolerable, and as it was evident that they had brought liquor on board with them, I determined upon searching for it. An order to this effect was given to the mates, and they were directed to go about its execution mildly and Brmly, taking no arms with them, but to give every chest, berth, and locker in the forecastle a thorough examination; and bring aft to the cabin any spirits they might find.
It was not without much anxiety that I sent them forward upon this duty. I remained upon the quarter-deck myself, ready to go to their aid, should it he necessary. In a few moments, a loud and angry dispute was succeeded by a sharp scuffle around the forecastle companion-way. The steward, at my call, handed my loaded pistols from the cabin, and with them I hastened forward. The Frenchman had grappled the second mate, who was a mere k»d by the throat, thrown him across the heel of the bowsprit, and was apparently determined to strangle him. The chief mate was calling for assistance from below, where he was struggling with the Guernsey num. The rest of the crew were indifferent spectators, but rather encouraging the foreigners than otherwise. I presented a pistol at the head of the Frenchman, and ordered him to release the second mate, which he instantly did. I then ordered him into the foretop, and the others, who were near, into the maintop, none to come down under pain of death, until ordered. The steward had by this time brought another pair of pistols, with which I armed the second mate, directing him to remain on deck: and went myself below into the forecastle. I found that the chief mate had been slightly wounded in two places by the knife of his antagonist, who, however, ceased to resist as I made my appearance, and we immediately secured him in irons. The search was now made, and a quantity of liquor found and taken to the cabin. The rest of the men were then called down from the tops, and the Frenchman was also put into confinement. I then expostulated at some length w ith the others upon their improper conduct, and expressed hopes that I should have no reason for further complaint during the rest of the voyage. This remonstrance I thought had effect, as they appeared contrite and promised amendment. They were then dismissed, and order was restored.
The next day the foreigners strongly solicited pardon, with the most solemn promises of future good conduct, and as the rest of the crew joined in their request, I ordered that their irons should be taken off. For several days the duties of the ship were performed to my entire satisfaction: but I could discover in the countenances of the foreigners expressions of deep and rancorous animosity to the chief mate, who was a prompt energetic seaman, requiring at all times, ready and implicit obedience to his orders.
A week perhaps had passed over in this way, when one night, in the-mid-watch, all hands were called to shorten sail. Ordinarily upon occasions of this kind, the duty was conducted by the mate, but I now went upon deck myself and gave orders, sending him upon the forecastle. The _ night was dark and squally, but the sea was nut high, and the ship was running off about nine knots, with the wind upon the starboard quarter. The weather being very unpromising, the second reef was taken in the fore and niaintop«ails, the mizen handed, and the fore and mizen topgallant-yards sent down. This done, one watch was permitted to go below, and I prepared to betake myself to my berth again, directing that the mate, to whom I wished to give some orders, should be sent to me. To my utter astonishment and consternation, word was brought me, after a short time, that he was no where to be found. I hastened upon deck, ordered all hands up again, and questioned every man in the ship upon the subject, but they one and all declared that they had not seen the mate forward. Lanterns were then brought, and every accessible part of the vessel was unavailingly searched. I then, in the hearing of the whole crew, expressed my fear that he had fallen overboard, and repaired to the cabin, in a state of mental agitation impossible to be described. I <-ould not, indeed, but entertain strong suspicions that the unfortunate man had met a violent death.
Feeling a deep sense of forlornness and insecurity, I proceeded to load and deposit in my state-room all the fire-arms on board, amounting to several muskets and four pairs of pistols. The steward was a faithful mulatto man, who had sailed with me several voyages. To him I communicated my suspicions, and directed him to be- constantly on the alert: and should any further difficulty witl the crew occur, to repair immediately to my state-room and arm himself. His usual berth was in the steerage, but I directed that he should, on the following morning, clear out and occupy one in the cabin near my own. The second mate occupied a small stateroom opening into the passage which led from the steerage to the cabin. I called him from the deck, gave him a pair of loaded pistols, with ordure to keep them in his berth j
and, during his night-watches on deck, never to go for ward of the main-mast, but to continue as constantly as possible near the cabin companion-way, and call me upon the slightest occasion. After this, I laid down in my bed, order! ng that I should be called at four o'clock, for the morning watch.
A few minutes only had elapsed before I heard three or four gentle knocks under the counter of the ship, which is that part of the stern immediately under the cabin windows. In a minute or two they were distinctly repeated. I arose—opened the cabin window, and called. The mate answered! I gave him the end of a rope to assist him up, and my delighted soul poured forth a flood of gratitude to that Being who had restored him to me uninjured. His story was soon fold. He had gone forward upon being ordered by me, after the calling of all hands, and had barely reached the forecastle, when he was seized by the two foreigners, and before he could utter more than one cry, which was drowned in the roaring of the winds and waves, was thrown over the bow. He was a powerful man, and an excellent swimmer. The topsails of the ship were clewed down to reef, and her way, of course, considerably lessened. In an instant he found the end of a rope, which was accidentally towing overboard, within his grasp, and to this he clung. By a desperate effort, he caught one of the rudderchains, which was very low, and drew himself by it upon the step or jog of the rudder, where he had sufficient presence of mind to remain without calling out, until the light had ceased to shine through the cabin windows, when ho concluded that the search for him was over. He then made the signal to me.
No being in the ship besides myself was apprized of his safety; for the gale had increased and completely drowned the sounds of the knocking, opening the window, &c., before they could reach the quarter-deck, and there was no one in the cabin but ourselves, the steward having retired to his berth in the steerage. It was at once resolved that the second mate only should be informed of his existence. He immediately betook himself to a large vacant state-room, and, for the remainder of the passage, all his wants were attended to by me; even the steward was allowed to enter the cabin as rarely as possible.
Nothing of note occurred during the remainder of the voyage, which was prosperous. It seemed that the foreigners had only been actuated by revenye in the violence they hud committed; for nothing further was attempted by them. In due season we took a pilot in the Channel, and, in a day or two, entered the port of Liverpool. As soon as the proper arrangements were made, we com menced warping the ship into dock, and while engaged in this operation, the Mate appeared on deck, went forward, and attended to his duties as usual.' A scene now occurred which is beyond description: every feature of it is as vivid in my recollection as though it occurred but yesterday. The warp dropped from the paralyzed hands of the horror-stricken sailors, and had it not been taken up by some boatmen on board, I should have been compelled to anchor again and procure assistance from the shore. Not a word was uttered: but the two guilty wretches staggered to the mainmast, where they remained petrified with horror, until the officer, who had been sent for, approached to take them into custody. They then seemed in a measure to bo recalled to a sense of their appalling predicament, and uttered the most piercing expressions of lamentation and despair.
They were soon tried, capitally convicted, and executed
THE IDOLS OF THE SAXONS.
We now come to the seventh and last of this strange company, but not the least in fame among the AngloSaxons,
When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones!
"The last to make up here the number of seven, wua the idol j^ratU-. fondly of some, supposed to be Salnrnus. lie was mistaken for Saturnus, not in regard of any saturnical quality, but because his name sounded somewhat near it, and his festival-day fell jump with that of Saturn. But I can find no reason to think that any of these were intended for such, before it pleased the Romans so to interpret them; and, perhaps, some of the Germans, for their idols' more honour, were afterwards content to allow
■ "First, on a pillar was placed a perch, on the sharp prick'>ack of which stood this idol. He was lean of visage, having long hair, and a long beard, and was bare-headed and bare-footed. In his left hand he held up a wheel, and in his right he carried a pail of water, wherein were flowers and fruits. His long coat was girded unto him with a towel of white linen. His standing on the sharp fins of this fish, was to signify that the Saxons, for their serving him, should pass steadfastly and without harm, in dangerous and difficult places. By the wheel was betokened the knit unity and conjoined concord of the Saxons, and their concurring together in the running one course. By the girdle, which with the wind streamed from him, was signified the Saxons' freedom. By the pail with flowers and fruits, was declared, that with kindly rain he would nourish the earth, to bring forth such fruit and flowers. And the day unto which we yet give the name of SaturDay, did first receive, by being unto him celebrated, the same appellation."
Good master Verstegan having been unusuallyprecise, as well as fanciful, in his description of this figure, we will say no more of s^rnUr; but we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of quoting a few additional passages, quaintly describing other inferior deities, worshipped by our benighted ancestors.
"The Saxons had, beside these, the idol Ermenskwl in great reputation, his name being, as much as to say, the pillar, or stay of the poor. This god, (or more truly devil,) was made armed, standing among flowers, &c. They adored, also, the idol Jfljmt, who had that name for his being set upon a great flint-stone. This idol was made like the image of Death, and naked, save only a sheet about him. In his right hand he held a torch, or, as they termed it, a fire-blaze: on his head a lion rested. They had also many other idols, which would be too long, and too worthless, here to be described. And such was their great blindness in this gross paganism, that they not only with all divine honour adored these idols, but even sacrificed human creatures unto them, both in Germany, and in the adjoining northern regions. Yea, Herald, King of Norway, did sacrifice two of his own sons unto his idols, to the end that he might obtain of them such a
tempest at sea, as should break and disperse the armada, which from Herald, King of Denmark, was coming against him; the which, according to his desire, by the Devil's power, (whose instruments the idols were,) he obtained."
We must remember, that the author, in affirming the success of this horrible piece of idolatry, wrote in the beginning of the reign of James the First; when not only the monarch, but the most learned men of the time, including the incomparable Lord Bacon, implicitly believed in witchcraft, and therefore lent a willing ear to absurd stories of this kind.
"Those idols before named, with other the like, the pagan Saxons brought with them, at such times as they came into Britain; and there erected and honoured them, and especially their idol Woden, as it doth appear by sundry places in England, which of him yet retain their appellation."
In a former paper, as a proof of this, we instanced Woodnesborough, or Woden's borough, in which parish are many names of places evidently derived from the Saxon; among others, Cold Friday-Street. "This," says Hasted, in his History of Kent, "is certainly derived from the Saxon words Cola and Friga, which latter was the name of a goddess worshipped by the Saxons."
Here, then, we take our leave of the Idols of the Saxons. "Of these," to use once more the language of Verstegan, "though they had many, yet seven among the rest they especially appropriated unto the seven days of the week, which, according to their course and properties, we have here, to satisfy the curious reader, described, both in portraiture and otherwise."
Not only, however, "to satisfy the curious," but to raise right feelings in the mind of the candid reader, may, it is hoped, be the effect, as it has certainly been the object of these remarks. For, when we consider that the natives of England were formerly " Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, even as they were led;" does it seem to us a small thing "to know the God of our Father," and to be taught by the light of Divine Revelation how we may "serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind?" We have been brought out of darkness and error into the clear light; and if any one, born. in a Christian land, will give due attention to the subject which has formed the groundwork of these descriptions; he will surely acknowledge that he is possessed of a high privilege, and bound by a peculiar responsibility; and that it is his duty to be thankful for the one, and true to the other. We know not how to conclude our series in words more to the point than those of the ingenious author of a work lately published, entitled Three Weeks in Palestine.
"The meteor flag of Britain had been hoisted in honour of our arrival * • it floated above me on the breeze, glancing brightly in the moonlight, and carried my thoughts irresistibly homewards. The contrast between England's condition at the period of our Saviour's birth, and at the present, came forcibly before me. What was she then? An island, inhabited by naked miserable savages, given up to a sanguinary idolatry. What is she now? The chosen of the earth, invested by the Almighty with the privileges of the once-favoured sons of Abraham, the depository of His oracles, the guardian of His holy faith; and her Hag, however glorious in its triumphs under the Lord of Hosts, while braving 'the battle and the breeze,' has the still higher pre-eminence of being His instrument, to bear the glad tidings of salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth. May she never be insensible of these lofty privileges, never forfeit her high estate!"
• At Jaffa.
JOHN WILLIAM PARKKR, WEST STRAND.
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