« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
the instrument through a sort of telescope tube,1 or by a rack-work; and then the very precise point is hit upon by turning a fine adjustment or micrometer screw. By pushing the slide or port object backward and forward with the thumbs of each hand, the object is examined in its breadth and length ; by turning the micrometer screw, in its depth and thickness. For, with a high power, you cannot see the whole of a single globule at once ; an almost insensible turn of the screw brings a fresh portion of the object within the focus. But these little manipulations are not acquired without a fatiguing amount of practice, even though the image seen is reversed; that is, to make it go to the right you must push the object-slide to the left, and to move it apparently upward you must direct your gentle touches downward.
Next, as to microscopic books. It is a good plan, when you want to comprehend a subject, to get together all the works that treat of it. On looking them through, the repetitions and the chaff are sifted away without much exertion of intellect, and you are then possessed of all the solid grain. Three modern works are so good, and so wonderfully cheap, that the young microscopist will assuredly purchase the entire trio: The Microscope and its Revelations, by Dr. Carpenter, with three hundred and fifty woodcuts; The Microscope, its History, Construction, and Applications, by Jabez Hogg, M. R. C. S., with upwards of five hundred engravings; and The Microscope, by Dr. Lardner, with a hundred and forty-seven engravings. Tbe utility of the last work is much diminisbed by the want of an index, and still more by the affectation, after Cobbett, of not being paged ; the only guide to its valuable contents are figures which refer to paragraphs. Quekett on the Microscope, Fritchard's Microscopic Cabinet, and of Microscopes, and the discoveries made thereby, by Henry Baker, may be profitably consulted. For physiological students, the works of Dr. Robin (in French) and of Dr. Hassell are of the highest interest.
But a microscope, and a library in alliance with it, alone, without plenty of objects to look at, are a theatre with its repertory of plays, but wanting scenery and actors. Microscopists, therefore, must provide themselves both with living performers and inanimate decorations. Happily our artists do not ask the salaries of Ficcolomini, or Rosati, and are content to wait the call-boy's summons in a green-room of quite modest dimensions and furniture. One or two shelves, filled with bottles, boxes, and pots, will serve as the menagerie for an innumerable company of first-rate performers, whose talents are unrivalled in their respective lines of parts. Thus, one of the celebrities who was among the first to make his appearance on the microscopic stage—the paste-eel—is open to an engagement at any period of the year. Simply take note
that the paste proper for procuring the animalcules called eels, is made with flour and water only—that of the shops, containing resin and other matters, being unfit for the purpose. It must be made very thick, and well boiled ; when cold, it should be beaten and thoroughly stirred with a wooden spatula. This must be repeated every day, to prevent mildew on ha surface; previously examining a portiou with a magnifier, to ascertain whether it contains any eels. If the weather be warm, a few days will suffice to produce them. When they are once obtained, their motion on the surface of tbe paste will prevent any mouldy growth, and it, therefore, requires no further attention. If the paste be too thin, the eels will creep up the sides of the paste-pot. In this case, a portion of very thick paste must be added, to preserve them. But the fresh supply must not be put upon them. They must be placed upon it. When you require her Majesty's servants in little to exhibit their graces, take a few drops of clean water, and put a small portion of the paste containing the eels into it. The water serves them as their bath and their dressing-room; after they have remained therein a minute or two they may be taken out, and placed under the microscope, when the first act of the comedy will begin. Their versatility of talent enables them to play even minor parts in tragedy. They are a favorite prey of many aquatic larvse. When the latter are starving upon your boards, put in a few supernumerary eels; they will be devoured without mercy, and will add much to the interest of the spectacle. You will have tableaux not inferior to those presented by the terrier Billy in his great feat of killing a hundred rats in fifty seconds.
Paste-eels are still a mystery in their nature; they propagate only by bringing forth their young alive, as far as is known. How, then, do they come in the paste? if they lay no eggs, none can be floating about in the air. The boiling, one would think, must destroy any germs of life contained in the flour, or the water of which the paste is made. Most philosophers are afraid of admitting what is called spontaneous generation. It is not very clear why they fear it, since the admission would only be another form of expressing the unceasing as well as the infinite power, and the universal presence of the great Creator, who blew the breath of life into the nostrils of man himself.
Another set of players, much resembling the last, may be had from vinegar (home-made is the best, as the addition of sulphuric acid destroys your troop,) that has stood uncovered, got flat, and has a mouldy scum on its surface. Vinegar eels will grow so large as to be discernible by the naked eye. A writhing mass, either of these, or the former species, is one of the most curious spectacles which the microscopist can exhibit to the inexperienced observer. If the vinegar wherein such eels abound be but moderately heated at the fire, they will all be killed and sink to the bottom j but cold does them no injury. After such vinegar has been exposed a whole night to the severest frost, and has been frozen and thawed, and frozen again several times over, the animalcules have been as brisk as ever. Still, they prefer not to have an icy bed, if they can help it. In cold weather, if oil be poured on vinegar containing eels, they will creep up into the oil floating on the surface, when the vinegar begins to freeze; but on thawing it, they return to their original home. To add variety to their gymnastic exercises, and their plastic poses, drop a lew grains of sand amongst the eels you submit to your microscope; it will be an entertaining pantomime to see them struggling and embarrassed, like sea-serpents caught in a shower of rocky boulders. The Anguillulae generally, or eel-like worms, including those of wheat and river-water, possess the additional recommendation (which they enjoy in common with certain other animalcules) of reviving, after they have become as dry as dust, at however remote an interval. You may bequeath to your great-great-grandchildren the very identical acrobats whose agile feats you have applauded in your own day. It appears that the best means of securing a supply of paste eels for any occasion, consists in allowing any portion of a mass of paste in which they may present themselves to dry up ; and then, laying this by so long as it may not be wanted, to introduce it into a mass of fresh paste, which, if it be kept warm and moist, will be found after a few days to swarm with these curious little creatures.
And so the actors attached to our minor threatre strut and fret their hour upon the stage. The downy atom which floats on the breeze, the drop of discolored stagnant water, the tiny vermin which invade our dwellings, the crystal which shapes itself into symmetry unseen, the cast-off skins of despised creeping things, the change effected in natural tissue by disease, the parasitic moulds which threaten the life of higher vegetables, the nameless creatures that breed and batten in mud and slime, the rejected worthless sediment of far-fetched fertilizers, the organized means of self-preservation, well-being,, and dispersion with which the humblest weed is endowed, the gorgeous items composing the wardrobe inventory of the beetle, the butterfly, the caterpillar, and the moth—all are replete with marvels which would harass the mind, if they did not entrance it with delight. At the same time that they fill the soul with awe and wonder, they tend, more than all the doctrinal arguments that have ever been urged, to impress a consciousness and an undisputed admission of the existence of omniscience and omnipotence.
With a telescope directed towards one end of
things created, and a microscope towards the other, we sigh to think how short is life, and how long is the list of acquirable knowledge. Alas ! what is man in the nineteenth century? It is provoking that, now we have the means of learning most, we have the least time to learn it in. If we had but the longevity of the antediluvian patriarchs, we might have some hope, not of completing our education, but of passing a respectable previous examination prior to our admittance into a higher school. The nearer we approach to infinite minuteness, the more we appreciate the infinite beauty and the infinite skill in contrivance and adaptation, which marks every production of the one great creative Hand.
Littell's Living Age.
THE LOST DARLING.
BY L. H. SIGOURNEY.
She was my Idol. Night and day to scan
The fine expression of her form, and mark
The unfolding mind like vernal rose-bud start
To sudden beauty, was my chief delight.
To find her fairy footsteps following me,
Her hand upon my garments, or her lip
Close sealed to mine, and in the watch of night
The quiet breath of innocence to feel
Soft on my cheek, was such a full content
Of happiness as none but mothers know.
Her voice was like some tiny harp that yields
To the light-fingered breeze; and as it held
Brief converse with her doll, or kindly soothed
Her moaning kitten, or with patient care
Conned o'er the alphabet; but most of all
Its tender cadence in her evening prayer,
Thrill'd on the ear like some ethereal tone,
Heard in sweet dreams. But now alone 1 sit,
Musing of her, and dew with mournful tears
The little robes that once with woman''s pride
I wrought, as if there was a need to deck
A being formed so beautiful. I-start,
Half fancying from her empty crib there comes
A restless sound, and breathe the accustomed words;
"Hush, hush, Louisa, dearest!"—then I weep,
As though it were a sin to speak to one
Whose home is with the angels.
—Crone to God.'
And yet 1 wish I had not seen the pang
—Gone to God!
Be still my heart! What could a mother's prayer,
In all the wildest extacy of hope,
Ask for its darling like the bliss of heaven?
Lines addressed to Mary Ellen Swain, previous to her marriage, by Priscilla M. Thomas.
Maiden, at the altar bowing
Thy young heart before the Lord j
Craving strength, to keep unbroken,
All forgetful of the gazers,
Close thine eyes upon them all,
And between thee and the people,
'Tis no time for wandering visions, These are solemn, holy words,
Soul, not tongue alone, must utter, '* In the presence of the Lord."
If amongst the guests assembled,
One invisible be thine, Thou mayest witness, as at Cana,
All the water turned to wine.
Send and gather in the vessels,
Of the new wine of the kingdom,
The best examples of hedges of hemlock that have anywhere come under our notice, are those of Moses Brown, Esq., on School-house lane, Germautown, Philadelphia. They have been a labor of love, and the result of careful culture for many successive years; here may be seen hedges of various ages and modes of planting. At first the double row, and plants one foot apart, was adopted; this plan has produced handsome thicket hedges, but it consumes a great number of plants, and a single row two feet and a half apart has been found, by actual repeated experiment, to serve the purpose equally well, and to possess the advantage of exhausting soil much leas. Mr. Brown brings his trees from their native habitat near by, and subjects them to the shears at once to give them a trim look and to induce a close habit. They make little progress the first two years, but alter that their beauty becomes apparent, and they rapidly assume character and importance. Mr. Brown mulches all his hemlock hedges with stone, and feeds them annually with leaf mould. He does not trim them more than once a year, and that in the spring, preferring the luxuriant, full appearance, which nature produces; but where a set hedge, or solid-looking wall is desired, we should recommend, as heretofore, a close cutting in Septemper.
As a single shrub, regularly kept down by the shears, the hemlock is extremely beautiful, as it also is as a screen without much use of the shears; as a single tree nothing need be more ornamental, and standing alone, their habit of growth is highly picturesque. A visit to Mr. Brown's premises in the morning when the dew is on the trees, or rather a shower of rain, when the sun shines through the branches of these beauties of nature, is highly gratifying j ao fond is he of the hemlock, that his place is a fair show, embracing the perfect large tree and all the various forms it is capable of assuming. When once established, the hemlock, though not quite so so rapid in growth as the Norway fir, is by no means to be classed with the slow growing evergreens, and remember, it is green and perfectly nardy.—Horticulturist.
A portion of the nutritive matter of our gni: is lost in the process of vinous fermentation. Ii yeast is added to moistened sugar, and the mixture raised to a moderately warm teniperatare.a portion of the carbon and oxygen of the saceb rine solution is disengaged in the form of carbonic acid gas; alcohol and water remain. T distiller takes advantage of this, the earliest stagt of decay in fruits and grains, to separate tk alcohol by distillation. This is not a concentration of food, but a change of a nutritious substance into an innutritious one. In the first stages of this vinous fermentation, the nutritious principle is developed and made more active and cipatle 9f assimilation by the digestive organs of the animal's stomach. Hence we comminute the wheat and develop fermentation by adding yeast, which has the peculiar property of superinducing this change. Then, at just the point when the nutritious principle is most highly developed, we knead the flour into dough carefully by the human hand: no machinery ever has been found to answer as a substitute. If we eat this dough, it will sustain life; but the full development of the nutritious principle has not yet taken place, nor does it until after the dough has been subjected to the action of fire, when we obtain sweet, wholesome, palatable bread, more or less nutritious, according to the manner iu which it is baked. Some bread is but little more nutritious than it would be if made of saw-dust, or wood flour, instead of wheat. We often complain that baker's bread is dry and innutritious, and does not satisfy the appetite. Home-made bread sometimes has the same fault. Sometimes, in spite of all care, the vinous fermentation progresses so far that counteracting agents have to be employed, or else the bread will have a sour, unpleasant taste, and, in either case, be devoid of the full amount of nutriment which the grain was capable of affording.
In the process of baking, in all heretofore discovered plans of bread-ovens, a portion of this value is lost—the least so in the most rude appliances of man to this important and essential art of civilized life. The sweetest bread ever baked—it has been said a thousand times—is that from dough buried in the embers, and roasted like a potato. The next is the "Johnny cake," or " hoe-cake," where the dough, generally of Indian corn meal, is patted upon a board and set down before a hot wood fire on the farmer's hearth. Next comes the loaf baked in a " Dutch oven," an iron pot with an iron cover, surrounded with red-hot coals. Then comes, next in order, bread baked upon the bottom of a stone or brick oven, out of which the fire has just been raked, and which is so hot when the bread is first put in that the dough seems to melt and glace over, and then scorch if the oven-lid is not removed. Twb is one great secret of breadbaking—to have the oven just hot enough when the loaves of dough are put in. Next comes the family bread, baked in all sorts of modern contrivances ; and lastly, in value as nutritious food, the ordinary baker's loaf.
As bread is sold in this city at so much a loaf, and not by weight or value according to the quantity of good flour it contains, but by sight, there is a natural temptation of cupidity to make the loaves look large, and to make poor flour look like good. This can only be done by carrying fermentation to excess, and then neutralizing the acidity by chemicals detrimental to healthy nutrition. Then the ovens are heated by guess; and sometimes when the dough is ready the oven is not, and when one batch is baked another must be prepared and the oven reheated. But that is not the worst of it: the dough, when ready for the oven, both in bakeries and families, is often in a similar condition to the mash prepared for the still, when heat applied to it will set the alcohol free ; and, although alcohol is not nutriment, yet, after having reached that point in the chemical change of the grain, its escape carries off with it a very large amount of the nutritious principle, so that the residuum, whether in the form of grains from the brewery or the mash from the distillery, or the bread that has undergone distillation in the oven—is very much less nutritious than it would be if cooked for food without this alcoholic escape. As in the distillation for alcohol, the vapor rises and is condensed and saved, so in the distillation of baking bread it rises, and, owing to its volatile character, separates from the vapor of water, which descends and is absorbed in the oven bottom, while this rises to the top, and is etherealized by the heat, and absorbed or burned up, dissipated and lost.
In the common form of the baker's oven, this in inevitable and unavoidable. The discovery of a principle upon which ovens can be constructed eo as to save all or nearly all of this loss, and a form in which the heat will always remain equable, while the process of baking is continuous, without loss of time, fuel or labor, and the whole operation conducted with clock-work machinery by the power of a steam-engine, was reserved to this wonder-producing age of the world. It is not a thing hoped for—it is an act consummated. Mr. Berdan's oven, which we have heretofore described, and which is now in full operation in Brooklyn, turning out thirteen thousand loaves a day, and capable of baking five hundred barrels of flour every twenty-four hours, working automatically, is constructed upon such a principle that the alcoholic evaporation of one set of loaves is absorbed by another set, so that little, if any of the nutriment of the flour is lost. This is by far more important ^mankind than all the ingenious machinery oontrived to facilitate the work,
although that will enable one of these ovens to manufacture bread so much cheaper than it is possible to do in the ordinary way, that none of the bakeries now in operation can compete with it. The plan does not necessitate the use of steam-power nor of an oven of such large dimensions, so there appears nothing to preveut its introduction into large hotels and public establishments, as in baking for the City Institutions on Blackwell's Island, or the State Prisons. Of course, the whole of the bread-baking of cities should be done in ovens built on this principle, not only for the saving of labor, but for the saving of food and the cheapening of bread for the poor. Very likely this new oven is only the first j$ep towards an improved mode of prepariugylbwi. Why may not the same systematic plan be applied to meat cookery? We may yet see the experiment tried of a great establishment for that purpose, where meats will be sold ready for the table. Such a. plan, once set in operation, would soon dispense with the family baking and roasting apparatus, and stop the retail business of raw meat. What if we should be served with ready-cooked meat as well as bread, and cakes, and pies? Already we have an establishment in the city for furnishing the Yankee portion of the population with their favorite dish of baked pork and beans. A project has been started for furnishing families with steam-cooked hominy ; and, if we are rightly informed, the bulk of the ice-cream consumed in the city is made in one establishment by the aid of steam machinery. What next?—New York Daily Tribune.
Women's Help For Farmers' Families.
A large part of our farmers' wives are overworked. What with the boarding of the farm hands, the dairy, and all the other unavoidable parts of the routine of daily work, there needs to be extra hands to do it, and when these cannot be, or are not furnished, health suffers, the temper is often soured, the beauty cf mind and soul is marred, and too often the worn-out mother fails to live out half her days.
We believe most families' would gladly hire more assistance, if possible, but there are constant complaints from all parts of the country, of a lack of girls who will consent to hire out in farmers' families. It is evident that we cannot expect much of this kind of help from American girh. Either they have insufficient health, or their fathers are able to support them without, or they are too proud to "work out." as it is called. And girls of foreign birth, if they have been even for a very short time in the city, can seldom be persuaded thereafter to go into the country.
On the other hand, while luxury is everywhere gaining ground,- there is small chance that our wants will be simplified, and thus be more readily met. On the contrary, they are vastly more likely to be multipled. The demand is likely to increase, while the supply diminishes.
The same want is felt too to considerable extent by the farmers in their out-door work, though machines are fast lessening the evil here. Not so in-doors, and the question has become an important one, how is this growing evil to be met?
Tha most feasible plan that we can suggest is this : —Build a cheap though comfortable house on one corner of your farm, fence off a few acres of ground to go with it, and rent this to some tenant who will be likely to supply your wants. There are enough families in all our cities, who, if comfortable provision were made for them, would bo glad to go into the country. The Germans are almost always good tenants—neat, industrious and saving, and fond of working the ground. Welch and sometimes English and Scotch families can also be found who will do well.
The advantages resulting from such an arrangement are numerous. You can easily spare the land, the fire wood, etc., indeed you would scarcely miss it, and would be sure to want more than the worth of it in work, and the convenience of having help at hand when wanted, must be great. You are not obliged to hire either the men or the women when not needed, as they can support themselves from their own share of the ground ; neither are you obliged to retain them as tenants, if they prove lawless.
One great cause of the scarcity of farm laborers, is this. You generally insist upon hiring only single men. A man with a family could be more easily obtained, and by boarding himself, too, would relieve the women of a part of their burden. Moreover, the tenant family could probably board any other hands that might be required, and thus materially lessen the crushing labors of the house-wife.
The women of such families, too, are usually hardy as well as industrious, and would commonly be glad to get the job of washing and ironing for the family, or they would come in by the day and clean house, etc., and if there be girls in the family, you can probably hire them steadily by the week or month. By hiring them thus occasionally from childhood, they would learn your ways, and be much more likely to meet your wants than any fresh importations.
The advantage of such an arrangement must, we think, be great to you; and in return, you should make it advantageous to them. Let them have the place on such terms as will make it an object for them to leave the city and hire with you. Make their home a comfortable one, pay fair wages, take no advantage over ignorance or humble position; in short—do as you would be done by. Let there be freedom on both sides
to go or stay or hire as they please, and we are sure the advantage will be mutual.—j. c. B., in
Men of the noblest dispositions always think themselves the happiest when others share their happiness with them.
Give no advantage in argument, nor lose any that is offered. This is a benefit which arises from temper.— William Pcnn.
Flour Awd Meal..—The weather has put a stop to almost all business. Flour is without change. We quote at $6 37 per barrel. Last sales of better brands tor home consumption at $6 37 a 6 50, and extra and fancy brands at $6 50 a 7 25. There is very liitle export demand. Rye Flour is worth $3 75 per barrel. Corn Meal is dull, at $3 00 per bbl.
Grain.—Wheat is dull, but prices are firmer. Pales of prime new Pennsylvania red were made st $1 48 a 1 52, and $1 02 a 1 63 for white. Rye continues steady; sales of Penna. at 81c. Corn is scarce; sales of old yellow at 66 a 68c, and new yellow at 64c. Oats are steady at 47c per bushel for Delaware.
BOARDING SCHOOL.—A Friend desirous ol opening a Boarding School convenient ;to Friends' Meeting, Fallsington, may hear of a desirable situation by applying previous to the 15th of next month. For further particulars address either W». SattirThwaite, Jr., or Mark Palmer, Fallsington P. O., Bucks Co., Pa. 1st mo. 10, 1S57.
JUST PUBLISHED. A New Edition ol the Discipline of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Price Fifty cents.
T. E. CHAPMAN, 1st mo. 10. No. 1 South Fifth St.
T UST PUBLISHED. A Memoir of John Jackson. J Price 37i cts. With Portrait, 50 cts.
T. E. CHAPMAN, 1st mo. 10. No. 1 South Fifth St.
I/»RCILDOUN BOARDING SCHOOL FOR GIRLS.
Pi The twelfth session of this Institution will commence on the 19th of Second mo. next, and will continue twenty weeks. The usual branches comprising a thorough English education will be taugjit, and scientific lectures illustrated by appropriate apparatus will be delivered. It is situated three miles southwest of Coatesville, on the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, from which place pupils will be conveyed free of charge. For circulars address the Principal, Ercildoun P. O., Chester Co., Pennsylvania.
SMKDLEY DARLINGTON, 12th mo. 26th, 1856. 6t. p. Principal.
ClHESTERFIELD BOARDING SCHOOL FOR / BOYS The Winter Session of this institution
will commence the 17th of 11th mo. 1856, and continue twenty weeks.
Terms.—Seventy dollars per session, one half payable in advance, the other in the middle of the term No extra charges. For further particulars address HENRY W. RIDGWAY, CrosswicksP. O., Burlington County, N. J. 10th mo., 1856.3m.
AT & L. WARD, Plain Bonnet Makers, North West _[\| , corner 9th and Spruce streets, Philadelphia. 11th mo. 29th.—2m.