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The ancients were as curious as ourselves in having their books richly conditioned. Propertius describes tablets with gold borders, and Ovid notices their red titles; but in later times, besides the tint of purple with which they tinged their vellum, and the liquid gold which they employed for their ink, they iplaid their covers with precious stones; and I have seen, in the library at Trier or Treves, a manuscript, the donation of some princess to a monastery, studded with heads wrought in fine cameos. In the early ages of the church they painted on the outside commonly a dying Christ. In the curious library of Mr. Douce is a Psalter, supposed once to have appertained to Charlemagne; the vellum is purple, and the letters gold. The Eastern nations likewise tinged their MSS. with different colours and decorations. Astle possessed Arabian MSS. of which some leaves were of a deep yellow, and others of a lilac colour. Sir William Jones describes an oriental MS. in which the name of Mobammed was fancifully adorned with a garland of tulips and carnations, painted in the brightest colours. The favourite works of the Persians are written on fine silky paper, the ground of which is often powdered with gold or silver dust; the leaves are frequently illuminated, and the whole book is sometimes perfumed with essence of roses or sandal wood. The Romans had several sorts of paper to which they had given different names; one was the Charta Augusta, in compliment to the emperor; another Liviana, named after the empress. There was a Charta blanca 1), which obtained its title from its beautiful whiteness, and which we appear to have retained by applying it to a blank sheet of paper which is only signed, Carte blanche. They had also a Charta Nigra, painted black, and the letters were in white or other colours.
Our present paper surpasses all other materials for ease and convenience of writing. The first paper-mill in England was erected at Dartford, by a German, in 1588, who was knighted by Elizabeth; but it was not before 1713 that one Thomas Watkins, stationer, brought the art of papermaking to any perfection, and to the industry of this individual we owe the origin and our numerous paper - mills. France had hitherto supplied England of Holland.
The manufacture of paper was not much encouraged at home, even so late as in 1662; and the following observations by Fuller are curious, respecting the paper of his times: «Paper participates in some sort of the characters of the country which makes it; the Venetian, being neat, subtile, and court - like; the French, light, slight, and slender; and the Dutch, thick, corpulent, and gross, sucking up the ink with the sponginess thereof.» He complains that the paper manufactories were not then sufficiently encouraged, «considering the vast sums of money expended in our land for paper, out of Italy, France, and Germany, which might be lessened were it made in our nation.) To such who object that we can never equal the perfection of Venice-paper, I return, neither, can we match the purity of Venice-glasses; and yet many green ones are blown in Sussex, profitable to the makers, and convenient for the users. Our homespun paper might be found beneficial. «The present German printing - paper is made so disagreeable both to printers and readers from their paper manufacturers making many more reams of paper from one cwt. of rags than formerly. Rags are scarce, and German writers, as well as the language, are voluminous.
Mr. Astle deeply complains of the inferiority of our inks to those of antiquity; an inferiority productive of the most serious consequences, and which appears to originate merely in negligence. From the important benefits arising to society from the use of ink, and the injuries, individuals
1) Spät. Lat. f. alba.
may suffer from the frauds of designing men, he wishes the legislature would frame some new regulations respecting it. The composition of ink is simple, but we possess none equal in beauty and colour to that used by the ancients; the Saxon MSS. written in England exceed in colour any thing of the kind. The rolls and records from the fifteenth century to the end of the seventeenth, compared with those of the fifth to the twelfth centuries, show the excellence of the earlier ones, which are all in the finest preservation; while the others are so much defaced, that they are scarcely legible.
The ink of the ancients had nothing in common with ours, but the colour and gum. Gall-nuts, copperas 1) and gum make up the composition of our ink; whereas soot or ivory-black was the chief ingredient in that of the ancients.
Ink has been made of various colours; we find gold and silver ink, and red, green, yellow, and blue inks; but the black is considered as the best adapted to its purpose.
5. First-rate Man of War (Kriegsschiff). Of all the arts and professions which are calculated to attract a particular notice, no one appears more astonishing and marvellous than that of navigation, in the state in which it at present exists. This cannot be made more evident, than by taking a retrospective view of the small craft ?) to which navigation owes its origin, and comparing them to a majestic first-rate man of war, containing one thousand men, with their provisions, drink, furniture, apparel, and other necessaries, for many months, besides one hundred pieces of heavy ordnance :), and bearing all this heavy apparatus safely to the most distant shores. A man in health consumes, in the space of twenty-four hours, about eight pounds of victuals and drink: consequently eight thousand pounds of provisions are daily requisite in such a ship. Let her be supposed, then, to be fitted out for three months, and it will be found, that she must be laden with 720,000 pounds of provisions. A large forty-two pounder, if made of brass, weighs about 6100, and about 5500, if of iron; and in general there are twenty-eight or thirty of these on the lower gundeck 4), on board a ship of 100 guns; the weight of these, exclusive of that of their carriages; amounts to 183,000 pounds. On the middle gundeck are thirty twenty-four-pounders, each weighing about 5100 pounds, and, therefore, collectively, 153,000 pounds; and the weight of the twenty-six or twenty-eight twelve pounders on the upper gundeck, amounts to about 75,400 pounds; that of the fourteen six-pounders on the quarter deck, forecastle, and poop, to about 26,000 pounds; and, besides these, there are, in the round-tops, even three-pounders and swivels 5). If to this be added, that the complete charge 6) of a forty-twopounder weighs about sixty-four pounds; and that at least 100 charges are required for each gun, this will be found to amount nearly to the same weight as the guns themselves. In addition also to this, the reflection must be made, that every ship must have, to provide against exigencies *), at least another set 8) of sails, cables, cordage, and tackling, which, taken together, amount to a considerable weight; the stores, likewise, consisting of planks, pitch, and tow; the chests belonging to the officers and seamen; the surgeon's stores; and various other articles requisite on a long voyage; with the small arms, bayonets, swords, and pistols, make no inconsiderable load. To this must be finally added, the weight of the crewo), so
1) Vitriol. 2) Fahrzeug, Kunst.) Stanonen, schweres Geschüß. ") Kanonenreihe, unterstes Verdeck. 5) Swivels, eine Dreh - Kanone, Drehbasse. 6) Kanonenladung. 7) Nothfall. 8) Ausrüstung. 9) Mannschaft.
that one of these first - rates carries, at the least, 2162 tons burden, or 4,324,000 pounds; and, at the same time, is steered and governed with as much ease as the smallest boat. The expenses of such a ship amount to about L. 75,000.
6. Earthquake in Calabria. The dreadful earthquake which happened in Calabria in 1638, is described by Father Kircher, who was at that time on his way to Sicily, to visit Mount Etna. In approaching the gulf of Charybdis, it appeared to whirl round in such a manner, as to form a vast hollow, verging ?) to a point in the centre. On looking towards Etna, it was seen 2) to emit large volumes of smoke, of a mountainous size :), which entirely covered the whole island, and obscured from his view the very 4) shores. This together with the dreadful noise, and the sulphureous stench, which was strongly perceptible, filled him with apprehensions that a still more dreadful calamity was impending. The sea was agitated, covered with bubbles, and had altogether a very unusual appearance. The Father's surprise was still increased by serenity of the weather, there not being 5) a breath of air, nor a cloud, which might be supposed 6) to put all nature thus in motion. He therefore warned his companions that an earthquake was approaching, and landed will all possible diligence at Tropaea, in Calabria.
He had scarcely reached the Jesuit's College, when his ears stunned with a horrid sound, resembling that of an infinite number of chariots driven fiercely forward, the wheels rattling, and the thongs 7) cracking. The tract on which he stood seemed to vibrate, as if he had been in the scale of a balance which continued to waver 8). The motion soon becoming more violent, he was thrown prostrate on the ground. The universal ruin around him now, redoubled his amazement'): the crash of falling houses, the tottering of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to excite emotions of terror and despair. Danger threatened him where - ever he should flee; but having remained unhurt amid the general concussion, he resolved to venture for 10) safety, and reached the shore, almost terrified out of his reason. Here he found his companions, whose terrors were still greater than his own.
He landed on the following day at Rochetta, where the earth still continued to be violently agitated. He had, however, scarcely reached the inn at which he intended to lodge, when he was once more obliged to return to the boat: in about half an hour the greater part of the town, including the inn, was overwhelmed, and the inhabitants buried beneath its ruins.
Not finding any safety on land, and exposed, by the smallness of the boat, to a very hazardous passage by sea, he at length landed at Lopizium, a castle midway between Tropaea and Euphaemia, the city to which he was bound. Here, whereever he turned his eyes, nothing but scenes of horror appeared: towns and castles were levelled to the ground; while Stromboly, although sixty miles distant, was seen 11) to vomit flames in an unusual manner, and with a noise which he could distinctly hear. From remote objects his attention was soon diverted to contiguous 12) danger: the rumbling sound of an approaching earthquake, with wbich he was by this time 13) well acquainted, alarmed him for the consequences. Every instant it grew louder, as if approaching; and the spot on which he stood shook so dreadfully, that, being unable to stand, himself and his
1) Sich drehend. 2) (254). 3) Größe. 4) (283). 5) (233). 6) (254). 1) Peitsche. :) Schwanken. 9) Bestürzung. 10) Auf gut Glüd wagen. 11) (254). 12) Nahe. 13)/(279).
companions caught hold of the shrubs which grew nearest to them, and in that manner supported themselves. This violent paroxysm having ceased, he now thought of prosecuting his voyage to Euphaemia, which lay within a short distance. Turning his eyes towards that city, he could merely perceive a terrific.dark cloud, which seemed to rest on the place. He was the more surprised at this as the weather was remarkably serene. · Waiting therefore, until this cloud had passed away, he turned to look for the city; but, alas! it was totally sunk, and in its place a dismal putrid lake was to be seen. All was a melancholy solitude - a scene of hideous desolation. Such ?) was the fate of the city of Euphaemia, and such the devastating effects of this earthquake, that along the whole coast of that part of Italy, for the space of two hundred miles, the remains of ruined towns and villages were every where to be seen, and the inhabitants, without dwellings, dispersed over the fields. Father Kircher at length terminated his distressful voyage, by reaching Naples, after having escaped a variety of perils both by sea and land.
7. San Francisco by day and night.
(By B. Taylor.) A better idea of San Francisco, in the beginning of September, 1849, cannot be given than by the description of a single day. Supposing the visitor to have been long enough in the place to sleep on a hard plank, and in spite of the attacks of innumerable fleas, he will be awakened at daylight by the noises of building, with which the hills are all alive. The air is temperate, and the invariable morning fog is just beginning to gather. By sunrise, which gleams hazily?) over the coast mountains 3) across the bay, the whole populace is up and at work. The wooden buildings unlock their doors; the canvas houses and tents throw back their front curtains; the lighters on the water are warped 4) out from ship to ship; carts and porters are busy along the beach; and only the gaming - tables, thronged all night by the votaries of chance, are idle and deserted. The temperature is so fresh as to inspire an active habits) of body; and even without the stimulus of trade and speculation, there would be few sluggards at this season.
As early as 6) half-past six the bells begin to sound to breakfast, and for an hour thenceforth, their incessant clang, and the braying of immense gongs 7) drown all the hammers that are busy on a hundred roofs. The hotels, restaurants, and refectories of all kinds are already as numerous as gaming-tables, and equally various in kind. The tables d'hôte of the first class (which charge 2 dols. and upwards the meal) are abundantly supplied. There are others, with more simple and solid fare, frequented by the large class who have their fortunes yet to make. At the United States and California 8) restaurants, on the plaza) you may get an excellent beefsteak, scantily garnished with potatoes, and a cup of good coffee or chocolale, for 1 dol. Fresh beef, bread, potatoes, and all provisions which will bear importation, are plenty; but milk, fruit, and vegetables, are classed '') as luxuries, and fresh butter is rarely heard of. On Montgomerystreet, and the vacant space fronting the water, vendors of coffee, cakes, and sweet-meats, have erected their stands, in order to tempt the appetite of sailors just arrived in port, or miners coming down from the mountains.
1) (156). 2) Nebelig. 3) (77). 4) Warpen, werpen, ziehen. 5) Hier: Regsamkeit
. 6) Schon um. 7) Handtrommel. 8) Namen der Gasthäuser. 9 Spanisch: Markts plaß. 19) Betrachtet.
By nine o'clock the town is in the full flow of business. The streets running down to the water, and Montgomery-street, which fronts the Bay, are crowded with people, all in hurried motion. The variety of characters: and costumes is remarkable. Our own countrymen seem to lose their local peculiarities in such a crowd, and it is by chance 1) epithets rather than by manner, that the New-Yorker is distinguished from the Kentuckian, the Carolinian from the Down - Easter, the Virginian from the Texan. The German and Frenchman are more easily recognized. Peruvians and Chilians go by in their brown ponchos 2) and the sober Chinese, cool and impassive in the midst of excitement, look out of the oblique corners of their longs eyes at the bustle, but are never tempted to venture from their own line of business. The eastern side of the plaza, in front of the Parker-house, and a canvas hell 3) called the Eldorado, are the general rendezvous of business and amusement combining change, park, club - room and promenade, all in one. There, every body not constantly employed in one spot, may be seen at some time of the day. The character of the groups scattered along the plaza is oftentimes very interesting. In one place are three or four speculators bargaining for lots 4), buying and selling «fifty varas“) square» in towns, some of which are canvas and some only paper; in another, a company of miners, brown as leather, and rugged in features as in dress; in a third, perhaps, three or four naval officers speculating on the next cruise, or a knot of genteel gamblers, talking over 6) the last night's operations.
The day advances. The mist, which after sunrise hung low and heavy for an hour or two, has risen above the hills, and there will be two hours of pleasant sunshine before the wind sets in from the sea. The crowd in the streets is now wholly alive. Men dart hither and thither, as if possessed with a never-resting spirit. You speak to an acquaintance - a merchant perhaps. He utters a few hurried words of greeting, while his eyes send keen glances on all sides of you; suddenly he catches sight of somebody in the crowd; he is off, and in the next five minutes he has bought up half a cargo, sold a town lot at treble the sum he gave, and taken a share') in some new and imposing speculation. It is impossible to witness this excess and dissipation of business, without feeling something of its influence. The very air is pregnant with the magnetism of bold, spirited, unwearied action, and he who but ventures into the outer circle of the whirlpool, is spinning 8), ere he has time for thought, in its dizzy vortex.
But see! the groups in the plaza suddenly scatter; the city surveyor jerks his pole out of the ground and leaps on a pile of boards; the vendors of cakes and sweet-meats follow his example, and the place is cleared, just as a wild bull which has been racing down Kearney-street makes his appearance. Two vaqueros 9), shouting and swinging their lariats 10), follow at a hot gallop; the dust flies as they dash across the plaza. One of them, in midcareer, hurls his lariat in the air. Mark how deftly the coil 11) unwinds in its flying curve, and with what precision the noose falls over the bull's horns! The horse wheels as if on a pivot, and shoots off in an opposite line. He knows the length of the lariat to a hair, and the instant it is drawn tight, plants his feet firmly for the shock, and throws his body forward. The bull is «brought up» with such force as to throw him off his legs. He lies stunned a moment, and then, rising heavily, makes another charge. But by this time the second vaquero has thrown
1) Zufällige Bezeichnung. 2) Spanisch: faul, träge; hier Bezeichnung eines Mantels. 3) Želt-Hölle, Spielbude. 4) Baupläße. 5) Španisch Maaß von 3 Fuß. 6) Adverb.: besprechend. 7) Aktie. 8) Hineingerathen. 9 Spanisch: Kubhirt. 19) Schlinge. 11) Gewundener Strick.