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Educational Claims of Botany; Fallacies about
Extinction of Fire in Ships (illustrated); The Intel-
Shakespeare, The French (John S. Sauzade), 337-
Squabbling (Charles Allerton), 49.
Stockton Mansion, The, at Princton (illustrated), 800.
Sunsets, Seven Brilliant (M. E. W. S.), 43.
Swinburne's Prose, Mr. (Joel Benton), 628.
Counting the Graves (Mrs. S. M. B. Piatt), 692.
Dead Leaves (William C. Richards), 591.
Fire in the Forest, A (Constance Fenimore Wool
Love and Ambition (Mary B. Dodge), 435.
The Fire at Tranter Sweatley's; A Wessex Ballad
Holland, E. G., 80, 176.
Hooper, Lucy H., 26, 58, 90, 122, 154, 186, 218, 251,
635, 668, 699, 730, 764, 795, 827.
Webster, Albert F., 74, 200, 561.
Williams, Will, 27, 59, 91, 124, 155, 187, 219, 252,
316, 347, 379, 413, 445, 475, 541, 542, 606.
or into one of the many factories in the outskirts of New York, crowded with complicated and ponderous machinery for its preparation. Of all the resins so abundantly yielded by the sombre and luxuriant forests of the tropics, caoutchouc is by far the most important. There is no substance which could take its place. It may be bent in all directions and stretched to a remarkable extent, and yet return to its primitive form when the force is removed. It accommodates itself to every variety of surface. It resists all the changes of atmospheric heat and cold. It may be divided in thin sheets, and subdivided again into elastic bands. Its elasticity can be taken away and restored at pleasure. It can be cut and moulded into a thousand different fashions according to the caprices of taste or the devices of invention. And there is no waste, for the shreds and fragments can be reunited in a uniformly solid piece.
Allied to caoutchouc, or the raw material of India-rubber, is gutta-percha, a gum almost identical in many respects, yet radically different in certain important particulars. Of the latter we shall speak further on, its limited supply making it a substance of far less commercial importance, though it an swers admirably as a substitute in many directions, and has some important uses for which India-rubber is not adapted. Different societies of arts have attempted to stimulate the discovery of new fields of supply by of fering great rewards, but with very little success. The world still has to depend on caoutchouc, the native forests of which seem to be almost inexhaustible..
Of the various interesting processes of manufacturing India-rubber, of the scientific ingenuity gradually brought to bear on the perfecting of its manipulation, which has taken form in some of the most valuable patents ever granted in England and America, we do not intend here to treat. We are at present mainly concerned in the primitive stages of its production.
Caoutchouc, ordinarily known as Indiarubber, or gum-elastic, is a substance, sui generis, found in the milky juices of a great variety of tropical trees, the most remarkable being the Siphonia elastica, or cachucu, native to Brazil and Central America; the Urceola clastica, found, in the islands of the Indian Archipelago; and the Ficus elastica of Assam and some other parts of the East Indies. Several well-known European and American shrubs also have it in their juices, but so inferior in quality and quantity as to make the parent trees worthless for commercial uses. Of all these trees and plants, that of Brazil is beyond computation the most important, though a very considerable quantity of India-rubber is exported from the East Indies, inferior, however, in quality to the Brazilian product.
India-rubber commenced to excite curiosity in Europe about the year 1700 as a substance of strange properties, which belonged to no other known material. Its first introduction was probably through the Portu guese, who had brought it from Brazil. These, however, must have been very reticent as to its nature, for there were many disputes
among scientific men as to whether it was of vegetable or mineral character. The latter hypothesis-had some coloring of truth in the fact that a bituminous product, not uncom mon in coal-mines, possessed some of its attributes. This crude, impure variety of bitumen, first discovered on the shores of the naphtha-lakes of the East, is now known as mineral caoutchouc.
It is rather singular that, though the Brazilian caoutchouc was the earliest introduced to European attention, the first intelligent account of it was communicated to the French Academy of Sciences in 1786, by M. Condemine, a man of scientific acquirements and habits of observation, who had spent many years in the East Indies, where he had seen the process of "milking" the Ficus elastica. The memoir presented by M. Condemine was quite curious in the prophecies he ventured as to the future value of the strange gum, many of his conjectures having been almost exactly verified by the applications of modern ingenuity. The speculations of the wise Frenchman, however, were treated as absurd fancies by the greatest scientific body of Europe.
gum, it can scarcely rival the South American article. Some attempt to naturalize the Brazilian tree in the East-Indian countries has been made without success, as the Siphonia elastica seems to need the periodical overflow of the river-floods to thrive with any luxuriance. In spite of the more systematic effort in the East Indies, directed by scientific effort and cultivation to enhance the value of the caoutchouc-supply from that quarter, it would seem that the world must still look to the tropical regions of South America for its main dependence. Here the natural growth of the rubber-forests is almost boundless, and, aside from the still untouched wealth of Brazil, it seems likely that other parts of the continent will be utilized for the same purpose, should there ever be need, as the Siphonia elastica has recently been found in great abundance in hitherto unsuspected regions.
In taking a glance at the labors of the caoutchouc-gatherer, let us therefore turn to the gorgeous tropical valleys, on which scientists and travelers, from the days of Humboldt to Agassiz, have lavished their ardent admiration.
The landscape in the valleys of the great Brazilian rivers, such as the Amazon, Madeira, Rio Negro, etc., has that character of monotonous grandeur peculiar to the alluvig! regions of the tropics. In the immediate viciuity of the river, the soil being the newest deposit called gapó, the vegetation rarely shows the splendid forms of the virgin forest. The big trunk of the bombacea, or the slender white stem of the cecropea, the luxu
As the opening paragraph of this paper indicates, India-rubber about the time of the commencement of our Revolutionary War was only known as a curious substance which had the property of erasing pencil-marks. As such it continued to be known till the growth of commercial relations with Brazil introduced to the markets of Europe and America the Pará overshoes, the rude manufactures of Brazilian Indians of the Amazon and Madeira Rivers. Since that time the develop-rious fronds of the crown perhaps tangled ment of the possibilities of India-rubber has been rapid to a degree almost unparalleled in the mechanic arts, romantically strange as have been many of the outgrowths of scientific ingenuity during these latter days of feverish mental activity.
The Ficus elastica, which furnishes a considerable quantity of the caoutchouc of commerce, is a cousin of the sacred Banian-tree of the Hindoos, and grows with remarkable rapidity. It has large, thick, shining, pointed leaves, much like those of its Brazilian congener in color, texture, and general character, except that the latter are longer in their shape. It also produces a fruit about the size and shape of the olive, thought not edible. The tree is found either solitary or in two or three fold groups, and is recognized from afar by the picturesque appearance of its dense and leafy crown, waving its fan-like plumes at a distance of from seventy-five to one hundred feet from the ground. Many of these superb vegetable giants have been found shading a diameter of six hundred feet, some of them growing on mountain-slopes twenty-two thousand feet above the sea-level. The other Indian variety of the caoutchouctree, the Urceola elastica, produces kidneyshaped seeds in a tawny pulp, to which the natives become much attached as a delicious and refreshing fruit.
A large and steadily-growing business is transacted in India and its adjacent islands in the preparation of caoutchouc for export. But unless some chemical combination is found to rectify the natural inferiority of the
with the rich blossoms of the widely-known orchid, the vanilla, is only occasionally seen. But a few miles back from the river commences the grand forest, full of sombre but splendid beauty, and alive with every variety of animal, bird, and insect. An intricate tangle of blooming shrubs and creepers, glowing with rich color, makes a net-work across the path of the traveler, or coils its graceful curves about the trunks and limbs of the gigantic trees, through which glints of sunlight break, intensifying the bright hues of the innumerable flowery plants. Anon the explorer will emerge from the luxuriant tangle of this beautiful but difficult journeying into the more open spaces of the seringaes or caoutchouc-forests, which in many cases spread for miles in every direction.
These forests are found in the principal and lateral valleys of the great rivers, the richest of them being as yet unattacked by the seringueiro (caoutchouc-gatherer). It is only near the river-bank that he dares pursue his lucrative but dangerous vocation, and the magnificent rubber-woods, that stretch back in the interior, as yet stand in all their primitive virgin solitude.
On entering the caoutchouc-forest, the grand loneliness, unrelieved by aught except the multitudinous sounds of animal and insect life, is likely at any moment to be dispelled for the traveler. Every mile or two, but not too far from the protecting riverbank, he may happen on a camp of seringueiros, consisting generally of the chief man and
the twenty or thirty Mojo
Indians whom he employs, busy in gathering the valuable gum, which is to be transported in many cases thousands of miles before it reaches the port whence it is to be shipped for use in the American and European factories. The seringueiro becomes rich in a very few years, if he is allowed to pursue his business unmolested, but of this he is never sure. The forest-depths swarm with the fierce Parentintin Indians, who are found most numerous, as it happens, in the caoutchouc - regions. These red bandits are the most savage and untamable of the Brazilian aborigines, and are very crafty in all the arts of savage warfare.
So the seringueiro camps are constantly on the alert, and rarely will any of the parties venture into the lateral valleys, be they never so full of seringaes. Sooner or later they would have to dread an attack at dawn of day, and their few fire-arms would be of little avail against the long arrows and heavy lances of their Indian assailants, ensconced in the dense ambush of the surrounding forests. The red men, too, are not the only cnemies to be dreaded. The fevers (sesoes, or febres tercianas, as the Brazilians call them) are just as bad as or worse than the treacherous Indians. Many settlements on the banks of the rivers have been abandoned on account of the prevalence of these diseases; for, on the first high floods, a fever-blast is apt to sweep through the valley, carrying off, in the absence of adequate medical treatment, not unfrequently half of the population, unless they desert their homes till the coming again of the healthy season.
In spite, however, of the dangers that hamper the life of the caoutchouc-gatherer, the large returns of his business are more than enough to compensate him. Let us enter the camp of seringueiros and take a glance at the process of gathering and preparation, by which the gum, so essential to the prosperity of Brazil, is fitted for its distant markets.
The Siphonia elastica, or India - rubber tree, grows, or at least thrives, best on a soil where its stem is annually submerged by the floods to the height of three or four feet. The best ground, therefore, for it is the gapó, the lowest and most recent deposit of the river. It is in these rich, lush flats that the caoutchouc-tree flourishes the most fruitfully. No attempts thus far have been made to cultivate the tree, although this noble product of the forest gradually suffers and dies under
*The name "Mojo" is not used by all Brazillans in any generic sense, as indicating a special tribe. It is indiscriminately applied to all the Indians, who have either from choice or necessity abandoned a life of absolute savagery, and banded together to live in villages, with a consequent adoption of some of the habits of civilized life. The Brazilian Government has pursued the policy of offering large inducements to the savage tribes to do this. But the work has been in a great measare the result of the Jesuit missionaries, who have been laboring assiduously among the natives since the first organization of government by Portngal. Many of these missions are now mostly deserted by the padres, all of them in their decadeace. But the fruit of their labors is seen in the thriving Mojo villages and plantations in the vicinity of the old mission ruins. The Mojos constitute the only reliable laborers that can be hired in the interior provinces of Brazil.
the steady depletion of its juices. The Brazilian only looks to the present, and fails in the calculating forethought, characteristic of more thriving peoples, which aims to balance waste and use by reproduction. He, therefore, has to depend on the discovery of new forests when he has exhausted the old.
The huts of the seringueiros, low, thatched, and dirty, mostly wretched hovels of the most repulsive order, must be sought on the low meadows or on the edge of the forest near the river-bank. These are rendered inhabitable during the inundations by the device of raising the floors seven or eight feet in height on wooden piles. Here, too, is a safe shelter for the canoe, the seringueiro's inevitable companion, his horse and his dernier ressort at times of extraordinary overflow. The small proprietor-for but few of the class possess the thrift and energy to grow into the wealth and capital necessary for an extensive business-is almost as unenviable as his Mojo laborers. He has nothing to do in the seringal during the wet season except to calculate the intervals between his fits of ague, and watch the rapid phlebotomy practised by the most terrible of insect-pests, which are known under the euphonious names of carapanás, piums, motucas, and mucuims.
luminated obeisance against the side of its stern old cradle.
There, over yonder abyss of gloom, brought into life by an occasional glimmer of the railway-lamps, hangs the Old Town, seeming, by reason of this very basement of black nothingness, to be swinging in mid-air, like a gigantic glow-worm, all a-quiver. Line upon line the window-lights climb up, sometimes irregularly, like a beaded rope slackened, oftener taut with method, tattooing brilliantly the façade of old walls, up to meet the stars that are pallid, and stop trembling only in
We follow the uneven outlines of the ancient house-tops, the points of the gables, the caps of the turrets, peaked stark against the dark-blue of the sky; we see, as it were, a thistle of spires and chimneys and towers flowering in an emblem amid the strange old roofs of Edinburgh.
"I know this New Town will be awfully modern and tiresome," she says, feeling at last that I am there, and turning half round. "I never imagined the Old Town would look like that. I am thrilled all over by it. I thought I would be disappointed, just as persons are with Niagara, when they have heard so much about it. And here, instead, I am without breath enough left in me to last till morning. I wonder where Holyrood is? I
QUEEN MARY'S GHOST. hope it is a little apart from the rest, as it
UNDAS and I have just come in from a morning stroll about the Old Town of Edinburgh.
We did not start out with any definite plan as to what we should do or see, but only to fill in our time until the ladies, after their tiresome journey of yesterday, should be rested enough to join us.
As we drove from the station last night, Miss Carew was the first to find out where the Old Town is.
"There it is!" she cried, in her way that is so unlike other girls, a reined-in sort of enthusiasm which somehow startles one all over" there it is, like one vast castle, all towers and steeples, and pricked everywhere with light. I want to go up there. I don't want to go to an hotel first."
"You may go," said Dundas, in the indulgent, half-mocking way he has with her, and which, under the rose, I am always doub. ling up my fists at; and then, as Mrs. Hogarth was glad of a chance to put in a declaimer, Cecile, in her changeable fashion, retorted:
"Then I don't want to. You always spoil my fun by saying 'Yes.'"
And Mrs. Hogarth was spared the perpetration of a platitude. I find the girl, when we have supped, standing alone in the hotelwindow, with her nose pressed against the glass in the way children do when their hearts are in the things they look at. For a while I stand, without her being aware, looking over her shoulder and across the brilliantly-lighted street of the Old Town, leaning in such an il
ought to be."
"Yes, it is off there," I say, nodding my head indefinitely to the left; and then, still like a child, she crowds into the right-hand corner of the window to peer as far as she can along the shining hump of the Old Town to see Holyrood.
"It is there, really!"-I laugh at her"but you will have to get your hat on and back again into a cab, if you wish to see it to-night."
"Do you know what I would like?" she says, dangerously, under her breath to me"I would like to run away with you to see it"-then she catches her words and half laughs-"I don't mean that, either-I don't mean with you, particularly. I'd go alone if I could, only I can't;" and her voice drops. "Indeed you can't," says Dundas, joining "You are not going out of my sight once, you vixen!"
I never can stand his affectionate trifling, so I turn black, I know, and away from them, leaving her close at his side, with his arm thrown half about her, and go out into the night, with the conviction strengthened in me that this world is too small to hold both him and me.
I get over the feeling, though, in a measure, when, she having gone up-stairs for the night, Dundas (I can always stand his unit) comes to seek me, and to smoke his last cigar in my company. As we stroll up Princes Street, we make a compact to get up betimes on the morrow and do a portion of the sightseeing that, man-fashion, we take for granted the ladies would not care about, and thus be the better able to map out for them the rest of the day.
And so by five o'clock Dundas is hammer. ing vigorously at my door, and by half past we are quit of the hotel and out in the fog,
and trying to find, by looking, where the Old Town is.
We see billows of mist where the town was last night, and we know that the fog has rolled it round and round in a cocoon. It looks from here almost like a sea, and in the offing gray lines, as shrouds, run up alongside of the spires; and when the sun fights through, and the tide brings a wind to the Firth, the fog trembles and wavers, and is torn like a banner, and goes scudding off from the steeples as a gray-tissue flag would floating half-mast high.
Now it is gray, and now it is rent into patches of amethyst and gold, until, blowing higher and higher, they curl their edges into snowy petals, and float at last, wind-flowers of the sky.
We stand a while to watch how beautifully it is done, and with our nostrils straining at the sweet, pungent odors that the tidewind has robbed as it came across the copses and pastures of the plain lying between Edinburgh and the Firth.
The eaves over there want to drip and sparkle instead. The damp gathers everywhere into glassy beads. The wet throats of the chimneys send up coils of black smoke that taper into azure as the sun drives them with a touch.
Every thing is at its best when we cross one of the bridges that span the ravine connecting the Old Town with the New, and as we plunge headlong into a wynd reeking with what is left of the fog, and which is dingy, and ill-savored, and romantic, all at
This lane is so steep that, as I go first, Dundas's head almost touches my heels at every step; so narrow that, by stretching my arms out as far as I may on either side, I can knock if I choose upon opposite housedoors at the same time.
We slip sometimes, and are glad to find that often the paving-stones are put so as to catch the toes of our boots when, if it were not for this, we might be brought unexpectedly aslant.
Down just such a lane as this must DunIdee have clattered with his handful of dragoons to raise the Highland clans in favor of King James, while the town rang to arms in pursuit of him; or the beauties of the old royalty may have passed in their chairs, with the links flaring every now and then to enunciate the features that were court-beloved, and which made jealous swords cross and recross to the death.
We climb by stone lintels that are rudely carved with armorial bearings-past pious inscriptions wreathed in different devices, as though the grand old Covenanters who opened their veins to sign their names in purple blood, not content with parchment, had at their deaths chosen stone also to glorify the cause-past dates which we do not believe tell the truth, they are so old.
Up we go, step by step, never lagging in a mood of romantic inquiry, but hurrying to get to a high place, where a top to all this must be, and where we may find at least one breath of fresh air. Presently we are rewarded, and feeling, as Dundas expresses it, as though a bunch of fire-crackers were going
off under our hats, we come all at once into the freer atmosphere of the Netherbow.
The fresh air even here is heavily mortgaged, but we are grateful for small favors, and try to forget, in a spirit of devotion to the past, the squalor that stares at us, epitomized in a brood of heads from every window.
There is John Knox's house, all aslant with stories projecting one over the other, and gables atop arching like eyebrows, while the roof hangs over the street so far that it looks half slidden off.
The down-hill that starts here is the Canongate. This I know leads directly to Holyrood, and I am sorely tempted to go and have a look at it. My next thought is of Cecile, and I hesitate. I am a fool, and think suddenly that it would be far sweeter to wait for her. I look at Dundas. He is troubled by no thought of her, it seems, but is staring, with his nose in air, up at the angle, from the window of which, they say, the stern old Calvinist used to harangue the populace.
"I smell the brimstone round here yet," | he says, sniffing so industriously as to threaten to exhaust the already limited supply of oxygen. "The very pavement croaks out texts."
And then half-hating him for allowing me to think more constantly of Cecile than he does as I begin to feel I do-I turn my back decisively upon Holyrood, before he may have a chance to suggest going thereand he follows me toward the castle without demur.
It is almost a joy, after this breathless progress between houses seven stories high, to come in sight of the flag, floating in gaudy undulations from the castle-walls. come out on the esplanade, the sun bursts upon us, causing us to shiver involuntarily at the tingling contrast, and we see the barekneed Highlanders pacing up and down their beats.
I look at my watch, and find that, if we hurry, we may yet have time for a cursory view of the castle interior before we can have a right to suspect that the ladies are awaiting our return to breakfast in the valley below. So we hasten past the picturesque sentinels, under Argyll's prison atop the old portcullis-gate, by the aged Norman chapel, about the size of my hand, and built somewhere in the eleventh century, and, unheeding Mons Meg, come out on the battery inclosure, from which, we have been told, we may sce the entire glory of the city.
It is about the only thing we have been told this morning that we really believe, and we are rewarded now for our temporary relapse into faith by the extended view that we get here of the most romantic city in the world.
saunter, two or three bears might come out from the umbrageous shade.
But our mocking is silenced, for we are touched to the quick by that which lies stretched before our eyes-more pathetic in its repose, more glorious in its state, than may be told.
At our very feet hangs the Old Town, like a rook's-nest over the gay parallelograms of the newer city; its happy-go-lucky streets, where long ago contending factions fought in bloody feud, or else flowers were strewed and tapestry was hung, and the bag-pipes skirled as royalty went by; such mere slits in the masonry, that the sun rarely sees the pavement, and all day long the gray shade ebbs like a tide down from the cope of one tall, gaunt house, only to creep up to the shingles opposite.
For the first time to-day I am twinged by a spasm of romance. I am a little ashamed of it, and glance aside at Dundas. He is as far gone as I am, and stares, half-leaning over the battlement, down at the aged ridgepoles that his fancy is straddling witch-like.
He would look just so if he saw in reality the streets red with torchlight, and horsemen charging in them amid the yells of rioters and clangs of the trumpet; or perhaps a gorgeous court pageant, where a queen, born with an invisible red circle about her neck, is coming to her own.
I have never seen such an expression upon Dundas's physiognomy before, such a flaccid look of self-abnegation; and, in the midst of my own sympathetic fancies, I begin to wonder if I am opening my mouth like that, and acting altogether like such a marvelous idiot.
Of course I shut my mouth at once, knit myself together, and turn my eyes elsewhere. There is the imperial crown of St. Giles, with its graceful spire springing lightly from its cluster of pinnacles, and I fall to thinking what a fine roosting-place it must be for birds, and how cool it must be kept by the sweet sea-breezes blowing through it. It is quite a relief to look at this, for all other projections, resembling either turret or tower, are topped by quaint brown caps, bearing aloft vanes that twirl in the quarreling breezes, like go-betweens, eager and determined to suit whichever current prevails.
Dundas has rhapsodized mutely long enough, so I tell him that he better not waste all the few minutes he has left in that way, as there are a great many interesting views to be had besides this one of the Old Town.
Then he stirs himself to see how the castle hangs over a precipice hundreds of feet in height, a sheer descent of trap-rock, black with being stormed at by weather and foe, and with skirts below of blossoming garden and shadowy park where children laugh and play.
Out from this stretches the New Town, vigorous with life, toward the water. Beyond are the Salisbury Crags, snarling their naked walls of green-stone in a semicircle, like teeth fast set-just as they did in the days of the cavaliers; and there is Arthur's Seat, shaped as though the lion rampant of Scotland had couched on his shield to rest.