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Extraordinary Preservation Of Life Under Snow
The following event, which occurred during the remarkably hard winter of 1708-9, is recorded on the most unquestionable authority. A poor woman in Somersetshire, England, having been to a neigh-boring village to sell her yarn, in her return home fell so very ill that she was forced to take refuge in a small house by the wayside, and it being towards evening, she desired the people that they would...
Wild Bushmen
The Bushmen appear to be the remains of Hottentot hordes, originally subsisting, like all the aboriginal tribes of Southern Africa, chiefly by rearing cattle; but who have been driven, chiefly by the gradual encroachments of the European colonists, to seek for refuge among the inaccessible rocks and sterile deserts of the interior.
Antiquities Of Guatemala
From the works of Don JuarrosAncient city of Utatlan. This was the capital of the native kings of Quiche, and covered the extensive plain on which now stands the village of Santa Cruz del Quiche.The centre of the city was occupied by the royal palace. The streets were very narrow, but the place was so populous as to enable the king to draw from it alone, no less than 72,000 combatants, to oppose the progress of the Spaniards.
A Marvellous Story
I was bred up in the dislike of the marvellous, or the stupid wonderful, as my uncle called it. I must relate an anecdote in point. Some gentlemen were dining together, and relating their travelling adventures; one of them dealt so much in the marvellous, that it induced another to give him a lesson. 'I was once,' said he, 'engaged in a skirmishing party in America ; I advanced too far, was separated from my friends, and saw three Indians in pursuit of me: the horrors of the tomahawk in the hands of angry savages, took possession of my mind...
Manufacture Of Glass
Pliny attributes the invention of glass entirely to chance, and relates, that it was first made in Syria by some mariners who were driven on shore, on the banks of the river Belus; and who having occasion to make large fires on the sands, burnt the kali which abounded on that shore; and that the alkali of the plant uniting with a portion of the sand on which the fire stood, produced the first stream of melted glass that had ever been observed.
The Dutch Shipmaster And The Russian Cottager
The following interesting anecdote occurs in a German work, lately published, entitled A Picture of St. Petersburgh.In a little town, five miles from St. Petersburgh, lived a poor German woman. A small cottage was her only possession, and the visits of a few shipmasters, on their way to Petersburgh, her only livelihood. Several Dutch shipmasters having supped at her house one evening, she found, when they were gone, a sealed bag of money under the table.
The banana and the bread-fruit are examples of extraordinary vegetable fruitfulness, with very little assistance from the care of man. The banana is not known in an uncultivated state; and those who principally depend upon the plant for subsistence propagate it by suckers. But here the labor of cultivation almost ends; and M. Humboldt has calculated that thirty-three pounds of wheat and...
Printing And Stereotyping
The art of printing is one of the most extraordinary results of human ingenuity, and is certainly the very noblest of all the known handicrafts. Yet, important as it is acknowledged to be, three centuries elapsed from the date of the invention before it was perfected in many of its most necessary details.
Havana Shark
From Chamber's Edinburgh JournalSubsequent to the disastrous attack on the American lines before New Orleans, on the 8th of January 1815, the British army proceeded to Isle Dauphine, :n the Gulf of Mexico, where the troops remained until peace was concluded between Great Britain and the United States.
Sugar may be properly reckoned a necessary of life. It is of almost universal use throughout the world. The scattered tribes of North American Indians spend the months of spring in their rude encampments, manufacturing sugar out of the juice of the maple;--the five-and-twenty million inhabitants of Great Britain employ, throughout the year, two hundred thousand tons of shipping to export five hundred million pounds of sugar from their colonies.
Age Longevity
It is stated in the Warsaw Gazette, that a shepherd named Demetrius Grabowsky, died a short time since at Potorski, on the frontiers of Lithuania, at the great age of 169 years. Jenkins, the oldest man on record in England, lived exactly as long as the Polish shepherd. Old Parr reached 152 years. It is said that Grabowsky has left a son who is now 120 years old.
Lieutenant John Shipp, in the account of his amusing military adventures, describes several rencounters he had with baboons near the Cape of Good Hope. On these hills (says he,) whole regiments of baboons assemble, for which this station is particularly famous. They stand six feet high, and in features and manners approach nearer to the human species than any other quadruped I have ever seen.
Decision Of Character
You may recollect the mention, in one of out-. conversations, of a young man who wasted in two or three years a large patrimony, in profligate revels with a number of worthless associates calling them-selves his friends, till his means were exhausted, when they of course treated him with neglect or contempt.
Superstition Of The Horseshoe
The horseshoe was, of old, held to be of especial service as a security against the attacks of evil spirits. This virtue may have been assigned, perhaps, by the rule of contraries, from its being a thing incompatible with the cloven foot of the Evil One; or from the rude resemblance which the horseshoe bears to the rays of glory which, in ancient pictures, are made to surround the heads of saints...
Influence Of The Moon
A late number of the Foreign Quarterly Review contains a notice of some scientific inquiries, made by a French gentleman, M. Arago, into the influence of the moon. The first question, which M. Arago undertakes to examine, is, whether the moon exercises any influence on the rain; and the result of his investigations is, that, if certain observations may be relied upon, it rains more frequently during...
St. Helena
The island of St. Helena stands entirely detached from any group, and is about 1200 miles from the nearest land, on the eastern coast of Southern Africa. An imperceptible point in the Atlantic Ocean, this rock is nine leagues in its greatest circumference. Steep shores form for it a natural and nearly impregnable rampart.
Scenery Of The Ohio
The heart must indeed be cold that would not glow among scenes like these. Rightly did the French call this stream La Belle Rivière, (the beautiful river). The sprightly Canadian, plying his oar in cadence with the wild notes of the boat-song, could not fail to find his heart enlivened by the beautiful symmetry of the Ohio.
Mountain Travelling In South America
Travellers in Europe, even those who may have, passed over the Pyrenees or Alps, can have but a faint idea of the labor and danger of crossing the Andes, that immense mountain-chain by which the continent of South America is intersected, from its southern to its most northern extremity, dividing Peru and Chile, on the western Coasts, from Colombia and Brazil, on the eastern.
Dutrone calls sugar the most perfect alimentary substance in nature, and the testimony of many physicians establishes the fact. Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, says, in common with all who have analyzed it, that sugar affords the greatest quantity of matter of any subject in nature. Used alone, it has fattened horses and cattle in St. Domingo for a period of several months...
Dragon-tree Of Orotava
Near the town of Orotava, in the island of Teneriffe, there is an enormous many-headed palm of the species called the Dragon-Tree (in French, Dragonnier), which has been described by thescientific traveller Humboldt, and more recently Dy Maria Graham. This tree is situated in the garden of M. Franqui. There are existing documents, which show that the trunk of this tree had attained its present vast size in the fifteenth century.
Wolves--The following narration may have before met the eyes of many of our readers : it is certainly of a nature not to be easily forgotten. We may premise that in Russia, during a severe winter, the wolves are often induced by hunger to prowl around the city of St. Petersburg in search of food.
Persian account of the origin of Wine.- Jerusheed, the founder of Persepolis, is by Persian writers said to have been the first who invented wine. He was immoderately fond of grapes, and desiring to preserve some, they were placed for this purpose in a large vessel, and lodged in a vault for future use. When the vessel was opened, the grapes had fermented and their juice in this state was so acid...
The cacao is a native of South America, where it was not only used for food, but the seeds served as money. The tree is not unlike that of the cherry in form, and seldom exceeds twenty feet in height. The leaves are oblong, and pointed at the end, and when young are of a pale red. The flowers, which generally spring from the wood of the large branches of the tree, are small, and of a light red color...
Adventures In India
The following extract is from a work recently published in England, with the title of 'Pen and Pencil Sketches; being the Journal of a Tour in India. By Captain Mundy.' Some peculiarities of style will be obvious in the captain's narrative; but few can object to his hilarity and buoyancy of spirit : 'I retired to my tent this evening pretty well knocked up; and during the night had an adventure, which might have terminated with more loss to myself, had I slept sounder.
Necessity And Invention
A curious catalogue might be made of the shifts to which ingenious students in different departments of art have resorted, when, like Davy, they have wanted the proper instruments for carrying on their inquiries or experiments. His is not the first case in which the stores of an apothecary's shop are recorded to have fed the enthusiam, and materially assisted the labors, of the young cultivator of...
Fascination With Serpents
There is a very general opinion, which has been adopted even by some eminent naturalists, that several species of serpents possess the, power of fascinating birds and small quadrupeds, by fixing their eyes upon the animal, so that the poor victim is unable to escape from his formidable enemy. Dr. Barton, of Philadelphia, published, in 1796, a Memoir concerning the fascinating faculty which has...
Duelling in England was carried to its greatest possible excess in the reigns of James I. and of the two Charleses. In the reign of the latter Charles, the seconds always fought as well as their principals; and as they were chosen for their courage and adroitness, their combats were generally the most fatal. Lord Howard, of Carlisle, in the reign of Charles II...
Hermit And The Vision
It is told of a religious recluse, who, in the early ages of Christianity, betook himself to a cave in Upper Egypt, which, in the times of the Pharaohs, had been a depository for mummies, that he prayed there, morning, noon, and night, eating only of the dates which some neighboring trees afforded, and drinking of the water of the Nile.
Grisly Bear
The strength and ferocity of the Grisly Bear are so great that the Indian hunters use much precaution in hunting them. They are reported to attain a weight exceeding eight hundred pounds, and Lewis and Clark mention one that measured nine feet from the nose to the tail and say that they had seen a still larger one, but do not give its dimensions.
South African Ostrich
The ostrich of South Africa is a prudent and wary animal, and displays little of that stupidity ascribed to this bird by some naturalists. On the borders of the Cape Colony, at least, where it is eagerly pursued for the sake of its valuable plumage, the ostrich displays no want of sagacity in providing for its own safety or the security of its offspring.
The Air We Breathe
Nothing is more interesting than those general laws by which God preserves the order of the world. If we had a complete knowledge of all the wonderful contrivances that surround us, we should be filled with admiration and awe: to contemplate those with which we are acquainted, is the highest of intellectual pleasures.One of these contrivances may be made intelligible even to those who have no acquaintance with Natural Philosophy.
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