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MISCELLANEOUS.

General Cavaignac. — At first sight you would say be was older than he really is, that "in a short time be had consumed many years," and this may have given ground for a common belief that he suffers somewhat from illness : but he is only forty-five, and his his health is much better than what is generally supposed. His quick walk, and the activity with which he flings himself on horseback, belie these rumours : there is nothing of the exhaustion of a worn-down constitution, though African suns and Algerine achievements-have not been encountered with impunity. His general appearance is very much what one sets up for their ideal, in reading or hearing of him. He does not impose, but he encourages. You do more than respect, you confide in him. He has the calm self-reliance of a general or chief, not the lofty bearing of a sovereign : a man of activity, business-like habits, and experience; who is what he is, through and by himself — and cares not to appear, and disdains to be taken, for anything but what he is. Nature has given him a slight but nervous figure, well put together in all its parts, an intelligent and even shrewd expression of feature, a well marked structural development of head; his forehead is full and frank : his eyes large, black, and commanding, lit with a tranquil but constant lustre; this, with a handsome aquiline nose, a mouth calm but decided, and a pale but not sickly complexion, brown hair, and brown moustachios, make up his signalement. His manners are much in harmony with these externals. Grave, but not formal, more occup'ed about things than appearances, he is direct, earnest, unrestrained, but not demonstrative. — Bentley's Miscellany. Expense of Publication. — The community at laige have a very imperfect notion of the sums of money which are expended in the publication of books. Sir R. Worsley spent twenty-seven thousand pounds in the publication of his grand work, entitled ' Museum Worsleyanium, or an account of his collection of Antiquities,' in two volumes, imperial folio, privately punted during the years 1794 and 1803. There was an expenditure, and consequent risk, of twenty thousand pounds on Dr. Dibden's four works, ' the Spencer Library,' 'iEdes Althorpianae," Bibliographical Decameron,' and ' Bibliographical Tour.' Dr. Edmund Castell expended his whole fortune, twelve thousand pounds, on his * Lexicon Heptaglotton,' 1669 ; and he also lost his sight in preparing the work, to which he is said to have devoted eighteen hours daily for seventeen years. Dr. Barnes spent his whole fortune on his admirable and learned edition of * Homer's works,' published in two quarto volumes in 1711. The French Polyglot Bible of 1645, in ten folio volume?, was the undertaking of Guy Michel le Jay, an advocate of Paris, who, having spent his fortune on its completion, declined Cardinal Richelieu's offer to pay part of the expenditure, on condition of the work being allowed

to come out in his name, preferring to submit to poverty rather than to share with any one the glory of so great an enterprise. Mr. Jungraann, a zealous Bohemian patriot, has j lately sold a vineyard to defray the expense of publishing a dictionary of his native language. In England, the expense of publishing would be considerably lessened by the removal of the nearly thirty per cent, tax on paper, and the hundred per cent, tax on advertisements.' — Chambers's Edin. Journal.

Tunnelling the Alps. — A continental engineer, Mans, has got a machine for tunnelling the Alps. He calculates on piercing Mount Cenis in three years — working on both sides. — Atlas.

California!* Houses. — Externally, the habitations have a cheerless aspect, in consequence of the paucity of windows, whirh are almost unattainable luxuries. Glass is rendered ruinously dear by the exorbitant duties, while parchment, surely a better substitute than a cubic yard of adobes, is cleaily inadmissible in California, on account of the trouble of its preparation ; and, to increase the expense, carpenters are equally extravagant and saucy, charging three dollars for such a day's v/ork as one is likely to get from fellows who will not work more than three days in the week. After all, perhaps the Californians do not feel the privation of light to be an evil. While it certainly makes the rooms cooler, it cannot, by any possibility, interfere with the occupations of those who do nothing; and even for the purposes of ventilation, windows are hardly needed, inasmuch as the bedding, the only thing that requires fresh air, is daily exposed to the sun and wind. Among the Cahfornian housewives, the bed is quite a show, enjoying, as it does, the full benefit of contrast. While the other furniture consists of a deal table, and some badlymade chairs, with probably a. Dutch clock and an old looking-glass, the bed ostentatiously challenges admiration, with its snowy sheets fringed with lace, its pile of soft pillows covered with the finest linen or the richest satin, and its well arranged drapery of costly and tasteful curtains. Still, notwithstanding the washings and the airings, this bed is but a whited sepulchre; concealing in the interior a pestilential wool mattress, the impregnable stronghold of millions of fleas. — Sir George Simpson.

Renovation of Old Apple Trees. — The following information, received from a gardener who for many years largely supplied the London rtfatket with fruit, may probably be new to many of our readers :—lt: — It is generally found that after an apple-tree has borne for a certain number of years, it becomes comparatively unproductive. It has been usual in such cases to remove. the old tree, and replace it by a younger one. This may be obviated by re-ingrafting the old tree ; and according to the testimony of the gardener above-mentioned, the older the stock, the better is the quality of the fruit. He had j scarcely a tree of any age, among several hundreds that his orchard contained, when the writer visited it, that had not undergone this process, and in some cases more than once. There were trees whose trunks were so hollow as in some parts to be little more than a shell, which had been subjected to this operation the season before, and, judging from the vigorous appearance of the grafts, with perfect success. The plan he adopted was the following : — The ends of the branches were sawn or cut off where they were about the size of a man's wrist, or rather less, and two 01 more scions inserted in each, according to circumstances. By this means, in the course of three years he obtained a large full-bearing tree. The principal difficulty was to protect the new grafts from damage in high winds. This was overcome by ingrafting the half of the tree at one time, and leaving the other to form a shelter ; and completiug the other half when the grafts were sufficiently grown to return the shelter. It is scarcely necessary to add, that this precaution did not supersede the usual appliances for giving the scions support, by means of poles attached to the branches. It may also be remarked, that the productive powers of apple-trees are frequently impaired by the want of sufficient attention in gathering the fruit. The greatest care should be observed in removing the apple, that the bearing spur be not broken or injured thereby.

History of Pantaloons. — There is a tradition in Corsica, that when St. Pantaleon was beheaded, the executioner's sword was converted into a wax taper, and the weapons of all his attendants into snuffers, and that the head rose upon the block and sung. In honour of this miracle, the Corsicans, as late as the year 1775, used to have their swords consecrated, or charmed, by laying on an altar while a mass was performed to St. Pantaleon. But what have I, who am writing in January instead of July, and who am no Papist, and who have the happiness of living in a Protestant country, and was baptised, moreover, by a right old English name, — what have Ito do with St. Pantaleon ? Simply this : My new pantaloons axe just come home,

and that they derive their name from the aforesaid. saint, is as certain as that it is high time I should have a new pair. St. Panta-t leon, though the tutelary saint of Oporto (which city,boasteth of his relics)' was in.more especial fashion at Venice ; and so many' of the grave Venetians were in consequence named after him. that the other Italians called them generally Pantaloni in derision, as an Irishman is called Pat, and as Sawney is with as synonymous for a Scotchman, or Taffy for a son of Cadwallader and votary of St. David and his leek. Now the Venetians wore loug small clothes ; these, as being the national dress, were called Pantaloni also ; and when the trunkhose of Elizabeth's days went out of fashion, we- received them from France with the name of pantaloons. Pantaloons, then, as of Venetian and magnifico parentage, and j under the patronage of an eminent saint, are I doubtless an honourable garb. They are also of honourable extraction, being clearly of the Braccae family ; for it is this part of our dress by which we are more particularly distinguished from the Oriental and inferior nations, and also from the abominable Romans, ~ whom our ancestors — Heaven be praised !—! — subdued. Under the miserable reign of Honorius and Arcadius, these lords of the world thought proper to expel the Braccarii, or breeches-makers, from their capitals, and to prohibit the use of this garment, thinking it a thing unworthy that the Romans should wear the habit of barbarians ; and truly it was not fit that so effeminate a race should wear the breeches. The pantaloons are of this good Gothic family. The fashion having been disused for more than a century, was reintroduced some five-and-tweuty years ago.. —

Soutkey's Doctor. Newspaper Editors. — 'Mazarin declared that 'he did not care who had the making of a nation's laws, so long as he had the writing of theii songs.' Had he lived in our time, he would have substituted, 'so long as he had the writing of their leading articles ;' and most assuredly no English statesman who had thoroughly at heart the real improvement of the public mind (on which all other improvement depends now-a-days), would deny the paramount importance of elevating and sustaining the tone of that class of compositions which form the entire mental aliment of much the larger part of the community. Fortunately for the country, fortunately for mankind, it has already attained a high degree of excellence ; and is rapidly clearing itself from the dirt, the rubbish, and the dross : But no thanks, for this, to prime ministers, no thanks to cabinets, no thanks to the aristocracy ; for every step of its progress has been retarded by discouragement, or acknowledged with a sneer. Every other kind of intellectual distinction has been eagerly sought out and rewarded of late years ; but where (with two or three exceptions) is the newspaper editor or writer, who might not adopt the very words of the lexicographer in his famous letter to Lord Chesterfield : ' I have been pushing on my task through difficulties of which it is useless to complain, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour.' Why is Mr. Serjeant Talfourd, speaking of the late Mr. Barnes with reference to his editorship of the Times, obliged to lament ' that the influences for good which he shed largely on all the departments of busy life, should have necessarily left behind them such slender memorials of one of the kindest, the wisest, and the best of men who have ever enjoyed signal opportunities of moulding public opinion, and who have turned them to the noblest and the purest uses?' The truth is, it requires a rare degree of moral courage to depart from the ordinary practice or confront the stereotyped prejudice ; and it will be long, very long, we fear, before the juster notions of the French on this subject become prevalent among us ; before, for example, oar rising statesmen will rely on their literary as openly as ou their parliamentary services, and feel as proud of an opportune article in a newspaper as of a successful speech in Parliament. It is well known that almost every man who has attained to power in France since 1830, has been more or less avowedly connected with newspapers ; nor at the present time is it possible for a party to maintain its ground in France without its daily organ, conducted by men of known talent ; who (even when they do not sign their articles) are commonly more eager to parade their happiest exploits in this line than to veil or throw a shade over them. In allusion to M. Thiers, M. Jules Janin says : ' The day when that man named himself President of the Council, the French press gained its battle of Austerlitz.' When will the English press gain its Waterloo ?—Edinburgh Review. A Consolatory Precedent. — All degrees of nations begin with living in pigsties. The king or the priest first gets out of them, then the noble, then the pauper, in proportion as each class becomes more and mote opulent.

Better: tMtei arise from' better circumstances, and the luxury of One period is the wretchedness and> poverty of another. — Sidney Smith. Winning Horses. — Lord Clifden'sSur. plice has won the greatest amount of stake* during the season, including* the 'Champion' feat of -winning the Derby and St. Eeger, viz., £10,475; which has not been surpassed since Cofherstone's year, 1843, when he placed to his owner's credit £13,790 ; Tadraor beats the two years old with the rayther sweet sum of £4,586 ! Cymba, including the Oaks, £4,375 ; Glendowner, £4,375 ; Canezou, £5,555 ; Van Tromp, £4,1 70 ; Flatcatcher, £4,120; the Flying Dutchman, £4,095 ; Chanticleer, £3,435. — Liverpool Albion.

Curious cry of an Australian Bird. There is a ridiculous owl-like bird, which sits upon the trees at night, and utters r peculiar cry, which cannot be mistaken for any thing but " more pork." The bird is, in consequence, called by tba,t name ; and I heard of an instance of a young man of rather moder- | ate intellect, who had gone out at night opposum shooting, and who, hearing one of those birds for the first time, insisted upon leaving the spot and returning home, being morally convinced that be heard the voice of a man calling out for " more pork," and that the ! man must be a bushranger ; and, indeed,' who I else could eat pork at that time of night ? *

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Bibliographic details

MISCELLANEOUS., New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume V, Issue 411, 11 July 1849

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2,429

MISCELLANEOUS. New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume V, Issue 411, 11 July 1849

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