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every respect, I proceeded to a se- should have liked to have put those cond brew, hoping to retrieve the two benefactors of the human race character of my breakfast equipage; under treatment together for a when my guest, who was evidently month, and have had them both imposed upon, like myself, by the shaved every morning with the axuelaborate get up” of the thing, rite, and then given them a dose of requested to be allowed to operate. the machine-made coffee. He was rather given to athletics, and I am quite aware that it may be he worked at the windlass so ener- very fairly said, that if a man is getically that the strap, which was green enough to be induced, by any like a small saddle-girth, gave way representations of seller or adverafter a turn or two, and the whole tiser, to make his coffee with a contents of the infernal machine windlass and shave himself with a were divided between my friend stone, the only verdict he can exand the tablecloth. It was my first pect from an intelligent jury is, and last attempt at fancy coffee- served him right;" but look at making.
another invention, under the tyIt was even earlier in my novi- ranny of which we all groan more or tiate that I was the victim of an- less, but which very few have the other diabolical invention. There strength of mind to resist. Has are a good many people in these days not the curse of steel pens swept who have come to the conclusion over the land, until decent handthat scraping one's chin with a razor writing is almost unknown ? Do every morning is a very unnecessary not ninety-nine persons in a hunloss of time and temper, and who dred use steel pens, and has more would class the whole ceremony of than one out of the ninety-nine the shaving amongst the barbarisms of effrontery to say he can write with civilisation. This great question, them? Lord Palmerston was quite like that of dress, I am content to right—the handwriting of this geleave untouched. But, as if the neration is abominable; and as new penalty of shaving were not in itself improvements in steel pens go on, a sufficient daily mortification, there that of the next will be worse. The was actually an inventor, a few years fine Roman hand of the last cenago (he has come to a bad end long tury has died out; the steel can't since, no doubt, and therefore I for- do it. There is neither grace nor give him), who proposed to give you legibility in the angular scrawl that a stone for a razor. He called it an prevails now. Open any parish reaxurite. It required no soap, no hot gister of fifty years back, and see water, no strop, no apparatus of any in what a fine legible hand, and schokind; it was to do its work like a lar-like, too, in most cases, the parmowing-machine, smoothly and un- son of that day made his entries. failingly, to be invaluable to tourists, Our present young parson, though and to keep its edge in all climates. he took a first class at Oxford, and It was a miserable weakness, no wears a most correct waistcoat, doubt, on my part; but, vexed by a doesn't do it, and couldn't do it, succession of east winds and bad if his benefit of clergy depended on razors, I bought a patent axurite, it. Even the overseers' account in and—as they say of other patent the parish books, which you may remedies--a single application was find in the same iron chest, will sufficient. It was a scarifier-nothing show writing of a similar character, more or less. It took off small patches It was more difficult, perhaps, in of the outer skin (and of course those days to find an overseer who what beard was on them), and cer- could write at all ; but those who tainly put an end to all other shav- could write, wrote far better. The ing for a week. I don't approve, as first downward step in the fall of I said before, of the old practice of pens was the introduction of a maburning all great discoverers; but I chine, now happily extinct, called
a pen-maker. Of course, it did is to be made, and which would be not make pens ; but you could con- a real public blessing, is just what vert the thing it did make into a our modern inventors fail to find. tolerable pen by the ancient process for the curious fact is, not that in afterwards, with a very little extra these cases you are tempted by a trouble, so that it was rather a cheap article, and naturally find it success for a patent invention. Even bad, but that the good article apwriting-masters, from laziness, adopt pears to be driven out of the marthe miserable substitute that comes ket altogether, and the old quality to them ready-made in boxes; and is not to be had even if you are willthe consequence is, that the art of ing to pay the old price. quill-pen making-and quite an art it It must not be rashly concluded, isçis dying out; and the old village because I fell such an easy victim schoolmaster, who could mend you to some of these delusive contria bundle of real pens in half-an-hour vances, that in my maturer years I into such perfect instruments that am still dragged along unresistingly it was a positive pleasure to write with the march of invention. I am your name with them, has long been proud to say, for instance, that I superseded by a certificated cox- still possess for my own use and comb, who impresses upon his scho- that of my friends, a corkscrew-I lars that pen is derived from penna, mean a real corkscrew, that can a feather, which is a highly interest- draw corks; not one of those coming illustration of the little dirty im- plicated engines with cog-wheels plement they are holding in their and levers, which merely pretend to hands; according to a modern sys- draw corks, like the raven in Bartem of instruction which goes on naby Rudge. But I have seen an what is called the rational plan, and instrument — the last patent inwhich, as the last Educational Re- vention-on a friend's sideboard, port tells us, is fast driving reading which was most ingeniously conand writing out of the field. trived to render the drawing of a
In those dark ages, when people cork impossible. It would break wrote with good pens, they had also it, twist it, take out a quarter of it good ink and good paper. It is the and leave the rest in, or vice versa hardest matter in the world to get -or come out itself altogether and either now. Old ink used to be made leave the cork behind, according with galls—at least we remember to the way in which you arranged that great authority, Pinnock's Cate it ; but draw the cork fairly was chism, taught so. What they make what it would not do. The patentee it of now is quite impossible to declared that it could be used with say; but it is a totally different and facility by "ladies and children.' inferior article. Whether the little What should ladies and children insects have taken to make their want to draw corks for ? They gull-nuts (for there were millions of could use it, no doubt, and with them on the young oaks last sea- much the same effect as anybody son) by some patent machine, which, else ; in point of fact, my friend's of course, would account at once for children always did use it whenever deterioration in quality, or whether they could get at it, thinking, very the human ink-makers have hit naturally, that it had been brought upon some“ valuable substitute," home for their special amusement, certain it is that the search for good and were playing at drawing corks ink is as hopeless as the pursuit of all day, which I consider was a very the philosopher's stone. So it is demoralising recreation. But what, with paper, though in a less degree; in the name of the great Fiddlethey tell you that the reason is that faddle, does a man want with a good rays are scarce in the market; system of wheels and levers for so our linen has all become calico, and simple, not to say delightful, an the substitute of which good paper operation as drawing a cork? Did
VOL. XC.NO. DXLIX.
you ever see a cork worth draw- powder, which contains in itself, ing that you couldn't draw, and extracted and compressed (perhaps wouldn't feel it a pleasure so to from the dust of departed washerdo, with the good old implement ? women), all the virtues of good or, at the very worst, can't we knock honest scrubbing at a tithe of the the head off the bottle ? You may cost. Are you staying for a few take it from me, as the judges say, days with some hospitable friend that there are very few corks drawn in the country, over whose rm in that house—if it be a lady's you have been content to march establishment it is quite proper it with him, propitiated by the usual should be so—where the host pro- excellence of his butter; and do you ceeds by such a very circumben- find put upon your plate at breakdibus route to the operation. A fast, upon this last visit, something man must be uncommonly fond of which at the first glance you take his corks who is so delicate about for some unknown foreign preparextracting them. Nor did I ever ation ? It is butter, nevertheless. invest in a patented convenience You stumble on in great confusion which some readers may remember, with your usual panegyric upon the called a Reversible Coat, which was excellence of the dairy arrangeto be a portable wardrobe in itself; ments, which has hitherto burst one side waterproof, to be worn from your lips in all honesty, and when it rained, and the other of ex- the recitation of which you had cellent broadcloth, in which the already begun; and the excellent wearer was to make his appearance, lady who is making tea accepts the upon his arrival at his journey's compliment, with the explanation, end, as spruce as if he had just that the product which you are now walked out of his dressing-room. hesitating how to dispose of with That garment did not meet with any decency, was “ made in two any large share of public patronage. minutes" that very morning: “you It was understood that the only un- put a powder into the churn,” &c., fortunate individual who tried it, &c., and it is “ such a saving of having reversed the wetted side, labour to the dairy woman.” You and sat through a very long morn- don't like to quote Scripture loosely, ing call, looking perfectly dry and yet it would seem to you scarcely comfortable, has paid the penalty irreverent to observe, that if the of that one false appearance as a
rule of the great economy was that rheumatic cripple ever since. man should " eat bread in the sweat
One class of inventors there is, of his brow," much more would it unhappily fast increasing upon us, probably apply to butter, and that which would have justified any this simplification of nature's proamount of persecution which could cesses is likely, even from a priori have been brought to bear upon reasoning, to prove a very questionthem in the ages which we call bar- able success ; while you have a barous, and which do seem to come strong argument on the same side direct from the fountain of evil. It from facts in the nasty mess before is those which profess to give you you. Taking advantage of an unall the good things under the sun observed moment, you offer a large without trouble, and at no expense lump on a bit of toast to Floss, who worth mentioning - asking you to sits up begging at your side ; but believe that certain clever impostors Floss, a spaniel of great taste and have reduced the essence of nature discernment, has given up butter into powders, and can sell them, since the patent manufacture was out of pure love to mankind, at a introduced; so there it lies on your mere trifle per box. Does your plate all breakfast-time in dreadful linen wear out at a very unaccount- evidence of your hypocrisy. There able rate? Depend upon it, your is another of these miraculous powwasherwoman has got a miraculous ders, which, unless some timely
amendment is made in the Poisons Act, and a clause inserted to embrace it specially, threatens, if I may so express it for indignation makes us poetical, says the Roman satirist to turn the staff of life into a broken reed, piercing the hand (it should be the stomach, but that spoils the metaphor) that leans on it. To the adulterations of bread we are all pretty well accustomed. Heaven only knows, (though, in truth, such knowledge comes rather from the other quarter) what we eat, or what we do not eat, in the baker's loaf. To the unfortunate man who has just made a London breakfast, Dr Hassall's revelations must almost serve as an emetic. Bones, beans, alum, plaster of Paris, with a miserable modicum of flour of wheat! Well may the London boys call the small newmade loaf a "twopenny buster." A sensitive person would burst sometimes if he knew what he was eating. But of all these, it may be said that they are in a certain sense bona fide adulterations. The perpetrators have the grace to deny them flatly; and no baker who has any sense of professional decency advertises alum as an attractive speciality of his establishment. But there is an invention called Baking Powder.. It is to supersede yeast, and remove all those difficulties complained of by inefficient housekeepers. It is a very painful subject, for it has destroyed my faith in home-made bread. I know ladies who boast of it, openly and shamelessly. In how many families it is used secretly I am afraid to think. It is impossible, in practice, to ask every mistress of a family on whom you depend for the time for wholesome food, in the searching formula of Mrs Wedlake before named, "Do you use Baking Powder yet?" and it poisons all one's innocent enjoyment to fancy you detect it in the delusive hot rolls and buttered cakes of which you thought you knew the whole manufacture to be above suspicion. Fortunately it has an aroma which
is seldom mistaken. The same inventor has also a preparation which he declares is "Instantaneous Destruction to Insect Life." It is merely the Baking Powder, of course, under another name. That would kill anything, if they could be induced to take enough of it. There is another patent compound, also in powder, of which I would not even write the name (if I could remember it), lest I should contribute to spread the knowledge of such an abomination. Enough that every ounce of it professes to contain "the virtues of twelve eggs' (addled). I have never eaten custard since I saw the advertisement. But it is sad to think that the hospitable matrons whom you have known so long, otherwise wellmeaning women, should be thus at the mercy of improvements where everything was so good before. One lady drove me from her house long ago, to her eternal loss, by the use of gelatine; another by the patent brandy. When a woman even deliberates upon these things she is lost-so far as my society is concerned-irreclaimably.
These are some few of the reasons why it seems to me, there being no immediate prospect of a new infusion of the barbarian element into European society, that a "Society for the better prevention of Inventions and Discoveries" might put in a fair claim for public support. Even some of the greatest discoveries seem to have been strong in the elements of evil. What a world of unpleasantness would have been saved to us here in England if Columbus had never discovered America! It is a great question whether cotton (or even tobacco) has been anything like an equivalent. It is only very impatient people, like Alexander, who want new worlds. The worst of the inventive principle is, that it never knows when to stop. Archimedes, not satisfied with puzzling schoolboys with his forty-seventh proposition, would have coolly pitched the whole creation into a vacuum (if
he could only have found a place inconveniences, confident that when to stand on, which fortunately he society has a little time to think, it did not) just to show his power of will come to the conclusion, that in leverage. Does any one wonder, our preparations to make this jourafter that, to find the world fight ney of life as easily and as pleasanting very shy of natural philo- ly as we can, there are two ways in sophers ? There is a great deal of which it is possible to proceed good, as was before observed, in one is, to cram your portmanteaus the instinct which shows itself ori- and imperials with every article that ginally in all nations, to consider can and cannot be wanted, and take such people as knowing more than with you as many useless servants they ought; and it deserves to be as you can afford, and find yourself encouraged, in a modified form, in hampered by these aids to travelour own generation. I am not an ling at every stage ; and the other, advocate for any sudden reaction, to shoulder your knapsack, packed but shall be content for the present on homeopathic principles, and go with a pause in this mad race after where you will, a free man.
THE DEMISE OF THE INDIAN ARMY.
AFTER long delay, doubtless very tution but recently so lusty and full trying to the patience of all con- of life—so honourable, and so hocerned, but not greater than any noured-it was the fashion with one knowing the magnitude of the speakers and writers of a certain work to be done and of the difficul- class to traduce the character of the ties to be encountered might have Indian army, and to declare that reasonably anticipated, the orders not only had the "faithful sepoy" for the amalgamation ” of the old become a rebel and a murderer, but local armies of India with the Line that the European soldier had dehave been officially notified in the veloped into a rioter and a muGazette. And we have now before tineer, and that the European offius, in those orders issued by the cers of the whole Indian army had Governor-General of India, and in shown themselves to be wanting in the correspondence of the Secretary discipline and in the power of comof State for India in Council, suffi- mand. But this cry, having served cient information to guide us to a its purpose, is now, it seems, perright understanding of the general mitted to die away into occasional scope and tendency of the measure. indistinct mutterings not of a very Some details of the scheme are, as complimentary character, but still we write, still subjects of reference not broadly condemnatory of the between the two Governments; but whole service. The justificatory even these reserved questions will plea has subsided into a vague exprobably have undergone final solu- pression of compassion, indicating tion before this number of Maga that the old local army may have is in the hands of our readers. had its uses, and may have been
We make no premature announce- not wholly without merit, but that ment, therefore, when we say that its day had gone by, and that its the Indian army is now dead. It death was only a necessary conselives only in the traditions of the quence of the extinction of the Gov. service and the history of the na- ernment which had called it into tion. A little while ago, when argu- existence. But it is not after this ments and apologies were sought to fashion that such an institution as justify the destruction of an insti- the old local army of India ought to