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THE life of one who explores the mysteries of the sea is not more perilous than fascinating; the charm of terror hangs around it, and the interminable succession of exciting events renders it dear to its professor. Not to the common diver of the East, who can remain but for a fraction of time beneath the wave and grope fearfully among rugged ocean mounds, but to the adept in the civilised mode of diving, who, in his protective armor, may remain submerged for hours, and wander with impunity for miles along those unknown regions far below the sea; to him are laid open the horrors of the watery world, and he may gaze upon such scenes as Arabian story tells us were presented to the fearful eyes of Abdallah. To the diver the most thrilling occurrences of the upper world seem frivolous; for, in his memory, he retains thoughts that may well chill the
soul with dread.
I am a diver-a diver from cboice--and I am proud of my profession. Where is such courage required as is needed here ? It is nothing to be a soldier; a diver, however-but I forbear. I well tell my story and leave others to judge concerning it.
An appalling shipwreck occurred, not long ago, upon the wildest part of the coast of Newfoundland. The tidings of this calamity reached the ears of thousands; but, amid the crowd of accidents which followed in quick succession, it was soon forgotten. Not by us, however. We found that the vessel had sunk upon a spot where the water's depth was by no means great, and that a daring man might easily reach her.
She was a steamer called the Marmion, and had been seen going suddenly down, without an instant's warning, by some fishermen near by. She had, undoubtedly, struck a hidden rock, and had thus been, in one moment, destroyed. I spoke to my associates of the plan, and they approved it. No time was lost in making the necessary preparations, and a short time beheld us embarked in our small schooner for the sunken ship. There were six of us, and we anticipated extraordinary
fellow whose steadiness and dauntless courage had several times before been fearfully tested.
It was a calm and pleasant day, but the southern and eastern horizon looked deceitful. Small, suspicious clouds were gathered there, ill of aspect, and "sneaking fellows, regulat hangdog fellows," as my comrades remarked to me. theless, we were not to be put off by a little cloudiness in the sky, but boldly prepared to venture.
So deep was the water that no vestige of a ship's mast re mained above the surface to point out the resting-place of the Marmion. We were compelled, therefore, to select the scene of operations according to the best of our ability. Dow went the sails of our schooner, and Parker and I put on our diving
We fixed on our helmets tightly and screwed on the One by one each clumsy article was adjusted. The weights were hung and we were ready.
"It looks terrible blackish, Burton," said Parker to me. "Oh," I replied, gaily, "it's only a little mist-all right!" "Ah!" He uttered a low exclamation, which sounded hollow from his cavernous belmet.
"All ready." I cried, in a loud voice, which they, however, could not easily distinguish. Then, making the proper sign, 1 was swung over the side.
Down we went, I first and Parker close behind me. It did not take a long time for us to reach the bottom. We found ourselves upon what seemed a broad plain, sloping downwar towards the south, and rising slightly towards the north. Looking forward, a dim, black object arose, which our experienced eyes knew to be a lofty rock.
I motioned to Parker that we should proceed there. I cannot tell the strangeness of the sensation felt by one who first walks the bottom of the sea.
There are a thousand objects fitted to excite astonishment, even in the mind of him who has dared the deed a hundred times. All around us lay the plain covered by water; but here the eye could not pierce far away, as in the upper air, for the water in the distance grew opaque, and seemed to fade away into misty darkness. There was no sound, except the incessant gurgle which was produced by the escape of air from the breast valve, and the noise caused by our passage through the waters. We walked on at a good pace, for this armor, which seems so clumsy up above, is excellent below, and offers little incon
I was the leader, and generally ventured upon any exploit in which there was uncommon danger. Not that the others were cowards; on the contrary, they were all brave men, but I was gifted with a coolness and a presence of mind of which the others were destitute. As two persons were needed in order to explore the Marmion, I had selected as my companion a youngvenience to the practised wearer. VOL. X., No. 2-11
Fishes in crowds were around us. Fishes of every shape and size met our eyes, no matter where they turned. They swam swiftly by us; they sported in the water above us; they raced and chased one another in every direction. Here a shoal of porpoises tumbled along in clumsy gambols; there a grampus might be seen rising slowly to the surface; here an immense number of smaller fish flashed past us; there some huge ones, with ponderous forms, floated in the water lazily. Sometimes three or four placed themselves directly before us, staring at us, and solemnly working their gills. There they would remain till we came close up to them, and then, with a start, they would dart away.
All this time we were walking onward, along the bottom of the sea, while above us, like a black cloud in the sky, we could see our boat slowly moving onward upon the surface of the water. And now, not more than a hundred yards before us, we could see the towering form of that ebony rock which had at first greeted our eyes from afar. As yet, we could not be certain that this was the place where the Marmion had struck. But soon a round black object became discernible, as we glanced at the rocky base.
Parker touched my arm and pointed. I signed assent, and we moved on more quickly.
A few moments elapsed; we had come nearer to the rock. The black object now looked like the stern of a vessel whose hull lay there.
scene can be so dreadful as to paralyse the soul of a practised diver. I will see for myself.
I walked aft. I came to the cabin door. I entered the saloon, but saw nothing. A feeling of contempt came to me. Parker shall not come with me again, I thought. Yet I was awestruck. Down in the depths of the sea there is only silence. Oh, how solemn! I paced the long saloon, which had echoed with the shrieks of the drowning passengers. Ah! there are thoughts which sometimes fill the soul, which are only felt by those to whom scenes of sublimity are familiar. Thus thinking, I walked to the after cabin, and entered. Oh, God of heaven!
Had not my hand clenched the door with a grasp, which mortal terror had made convulsive, I should have fallen to the floor. I stood nailed to the spot for there before me stood a crowd of people-men and women-caught in the last deathstruggle by the overwhelming waters, and fastened to the spot, each in the position in which death had found him. Each one had sprung from his chair at the shock of the sinking ship, and, with one common emotion, all had started for the door. But the waters of the sea had been too swift for them. Lo! then-some wildly grasping the table, others the beams, others the sides of the cabin-there they all stood.
Near the door was a crowd of people heaped one upon another -some on the floor, others rushing over them-all seeking madly to gain the outlet. There was one who sought to clamber over the table, and still was there, holding on to an iron post. So strong was each convulsive grasp, so fierce the strug
ed, but each one stood and looked frantically at the door.
Suddenly Parker touched me again, and pointed upward. Following the direction of his hand, I looked up and saw the upper surface of the water all foaming and in motion. Theregle of each with death, that their hold had not yet been relaxwas a momentary thrill through my heart, but it passed over. We were in a dangerous condition. A storm was coming on! But should we turn back now, when we were so near the object of our search? Already it lay before us-we were close beside it. No, I would not. I signalled to Parker to go forward, and we still kept our course.
Now the rock rose up before us, black, rugged, dismal. Its rough sides were worn by the action of the water, and in some places were covered with marine plants, and nameless ocean vegetation. We passed onward, we clambered over a spar which jutted from the cliff, and there lay the steamer.
The Marmion-there she lay upright, with everything still standing. She had gone right down, and had settled in such a position amongst the rocks, that she stood upright here, just as though she lay at her wharf. We rushed eagerly along, and clambered up her side. There was a low moan in the water, which sounded warningly in our ears, and told us of a swiftly approaching danger. What was to be done must be done speedily. We hurried forward. Parker rushed to the cabin. I went forward to descend into the hold. I descended the ladder. I walked into the engineer's room. All was empty here-all was water. The waves of the ocean had entered, and were sporting with the works of man. I looked down into the hold. Suddenly I was startled by an appalling noise upon the deck.
The heavy footsteps of some one running, as though in mortal fear, or most dreadful (haste, sounded in my ears.
To the door-good God! To me, to me they were looking! They were glancing at me; all those dreadful, those terrible eyes! Eyes in which the fire of life had been displaced by the chilling gleam of death. Eyes which still glared, like the eyes of the maniac, with no expression. They froze me with their cold and icy stare. They had no meaning, for the soul had gone. And this made it still more horrible than it could have been in life; for the appalling contortion of their faces, expressing fear, horror, despair, and whatever else the human soul may feel, contrasting with the cold and glassy eyes, made their vacancy yet more fearful. He upon the table seemed more fiendish than the others; for his long black hair was dishevelled, and floated horribly down, and his beard and moustache, all loosened by the water, gave him the grimness of a demon. Oh, what woe and torture! what unutterable agonies appeared in the despairing glance of those faces-faces twisted into spasmodic contortions, while the souls that lighted them were writhing and struggling for life.
I heeded not the dangerous sea which, even when we touched the steamer, had slightly rolled. Down in these awful depths the swell would not be very strong, unless it should increase with tenfold fury above. But it had been increasing, though I had not noticed it, and the motion of the water began to be felt in these abysses. Suddenly the steamer was rocked and shaken by the swell.
At this the hideous forms were shaken, and fell. The heaps
heart throbbed wildly; for it was a fearful thing to hear, far of people rolled asunder. That demon on the table seemed to down in the silent depths of the ocean.
Pshaw! it's only Parker.
I hurriedly ascended the deck by the first outlet that appeared. When I speak of hurry, I speak of the quickest movement possible, when cumbered with so much armor. But this movement of mine was quick; I rushed on the deck. It was Parker!
He stepped forward and clutched my arm; he pressed it with a convulsive grasp, and pointed to the cabin. I attempted to go there.
He stamped his foot, and tried to hold me back. He pointed to the boat, and implored me with frantic gestures to go up.
It is appalling to witness the horrorstruck soul trying to express itself by signs. It is awful to see these signs when no face is plainly visible, and no voice is heard. I could not see his face plainly; but his eyes, through his heavy mask, glowed like coals of fire.
make a spring directly towards me. I fled, shrieking—all were after me, I thought. I rushed out, with no purpose but to escape. I sought to throw off my weights, and rise. My weights could not be loosened-I pulled at them with frantic exertions, but could not loosen them. The iron fastenings had grown stiff. One of them I wrested off in my convulsive efforts, but the other still kept me down. The tube, also, was lying down still in my passage-way through the machine-rooms. I did not know this until I had exhausted my strength, and almost my hope, in vain efforts to loosen the weight, and still the horror of that scene in the cabin rested upon me.
Where was Parker? The thought flashed across me. He was not here. He had returned. Two weights lay near, which seemed thrown off in terrible haste. Yes, Parker had gone. I looked up; there lay the schooner tossing and rolling among the waves.
I went down into the machine-room, to go back, so as to clear "I will go !" I exclaimed. I sprang from him. He clasped my tube. I had gone through the passages carelessly, and it his hands together, but dared not follow.
had got entangled with something in my hurry to reach the Good heavens! I thought, what fearful thing is here? What deck. I went back in haste to extricate myself I could stay
here no longer; for if all the gold of Golconda had been in the | animals, that, although low in the scale of wit, they soon begin vessel, I would not stay in company with the dreadful dead!
Back-fear lent wings to my feet. I hurried down the ladder into the machine-room once more, and retraced my steps through the passages below. I walked back to the place into which I had first descended. It was dark; a new feeling of horror shot through me; I looked up. The aperture was closed!
Heavens! was it closed by mortal hand? Had Parker, in his panic flight, blindly thrown down the hatch, which I now 1emembered to have seen open when I descended? or had some fearful being from the cabin-that demon who sprung towards me?·
I started back in terror.
But I could not wait here; I must go; I must escape from this den of horrors. I ran up the ladder, and tried to raise the door. It resisted my efforts; I put my helmeted head against it, but to no purpose; the stale of the ladder broke beneath me, but the door was not raised; my tube came down through it, an kept it partly open, for it was a strong tube, and kept expanded by close-wound wire. I seized a bar of iron, and tried to pry it up; I raised it slightly, but there was no way to get it up further. I looked around, and found some blocks; with the bar I lifted the heavy door, little by little, placing a block in, to keep what I had gained. But the work was slow and laborious, and I had worked a long time before I had lifted it four inches.
The sea rolled more and more.
The submerged vessel felt its power, and rocked. Suddenly it heeled over, and lay upon its
I ran round to get or the deck above, to try and lift up the door. But when I came to the other outlet, I knew it was impossible, for the tube would not permit me to go so far, and then I would rather have died a thousand deaths than have ventured again so near the cabin. I returned to the fallen hatch; I sat down in despair and waited for death. I saw no hope for escape. This, then, was to be my end!
But the steamer gave a sudden lurch, again acted upon by the power of the waves. Sae had been balanced upon a rock, in such a way that a slight action of the water was sufficient to tip her over.
to recognise and show an affection for any person by whom they often have it indulged, and they find out with surprising accuracy what they must do to get more. It is thus that horses are taught to go through many of the wonderful performances exhibited at amphitheatres. The love of cattle for sweet fodder is most amusing; it is hardly possible to keep them out of a field in which some of the sweeter varieties of Indian corn or Chinese sugar grass is growing, should they have had one taste of its quality, and the use of sweetened food is one of the means by which cattle are induced to eat to the limits of repletion, in order to produce that maximum of fat desired by agricultural societies. Of the delight taken by that eminent mammalman--for sugar, nothing need be said.
The practice of sweetening food is far more ancient than the knowledge of actual sugar. It is almost certain that the Greeks and Romans knew sugar only as honey; and, as this had to be employed for nearly all sweetening of their food, bee-keeping was as great a business then as sugar-baking is now.
That accounts for the frequent citation by ancient writers of names of places famous for the quantity and fineness of the honey they produced, as Hybla, Hymettus, Canaan, “a land flowing with milk and honey." At a later date cane honey became known to the Romans.
Dioscorides, a writer in the first century, mentions that a kind of honey was found on canes that grew in India and Arabia which was called sugar, and which, we are informed by Pliny, was only used in medicine, as we use manna, though without the laxative properties of manna. Sugar appears to have been first introduced into Europe at the time of the Crusades, when it was used as a rare kind of sweetmeat; the art of boiling down the juice of the sugar cane not having any commercial importance until the middle of the fifteenth century. But the general domestic use of sugar dates only from the discovery of America, and the subsequent establishment of plantations of sugar canes in the West Indies.
Sugar belongs to a class of substances closely akin to one another, called in chemistry the glucic group. Glucic is only a Greek way of saying sweet. The members of this family are made of carbon, with the addition of oxygen and hydrogen in the proportions to form water. Sugar is charcoal and water in
She creaked, and groaned and labored, and then turned upon another shape, established by another way of blending the three
I rose, clung to the ladder; I pressed the trapdoor open, while the steamer lay with her deck perpendicular to the ground. I sprang out and touched the bottom of the sea. It was in good time, for a moment after, the mass went over back again.
Then with a last effort, I twisted the iron fastening of the weight which kept me down; I jerked it. It was loosed, it broke, it fell. In a moment I began to ascend, and in a few minutes I was floating on the water-for the air which is pressed down for the diver's consumption constitutes a buoyant mass, which raises him up from the sea.
Thanks to Heaven! There was the strong boat, with my bold, brave men! They felt me rising; they saw me, and cime and saved me.
Parker had fled from the horrid scene when I entered the cabin, but remained in the boat to lend his aid. He never went down again, but became a sea captain. As for me, I still go down, but only to vessels whose crews have been saved. It is needless to say that the Marmion was never again visited.
THROUGHOUT the whole of the great class of animals headed by
want c So
he enjoyment produced by this taste in many
The names of the principal members of the sweet group in the order of the quantity of water they may be supposed to contain are, vegetable or woody fibre, gum tragacanth, starch, gum arabic, cane sugar, fruit sugar, grape sugar, milk sugar, and inosite, or the sugar of animal muscle. The kinds of sugar mentioned in the foregoing list will all ferment, and are called fermentable or true sugars.
There is a class of sugars also characterised by a very sweet taste which will not ferment, and which seem, moreover, to be somewhat different in constitution.
Manna sugar and liquorice sugar are the most familiar examples. It must also be borne in mind, when considering the properties of all these varieties, that though called by one generic name, and nearly related in constitution, they are in each case perfectly distinct bodies, each with its own properties and its own way of composition.
Though the sweetness of all substances forming the food of man and animals is caused by the presence of one of these su gars, yet we know of other sweet compounds, some of them sweeter than sugar, that are anything but eatable. Sugar of lead, for instance, very sweet, though nauseously metallic in its taste; glycerine also is sweet, and so is chloroform; while a solution of chloride of silver in hyposulphite of soda is probably the sweetest compound known; its excessive sweetness, when a drop is placed on the tongue, being almost intolerable. Cane sugar, which is the sweetest of all true sugars, is contained in the juices of the sugar cane, in beet-root, in the sap of many kinds of palm and of the sugar maple; in the stalks of Indian corn, the juice of gourds; and from all these sources, it is got for man's use as an article of trade, being identically the same substance in each case.
It is also contained in some stage of their growth in most fruits, in the stalks of grasses, in the leaves of certain plants, as the red cabbage; in the roots of many others, as the carrot;
ICEBERGS CROSSING THE PATH OF A NEW YORK STEAMER.
in the sap of trees, as birch, hazel; and is, in fact, common in the plant world. The way of getting sugar from the above sources is in principle the same in all cases, and is so well known that we need not repeat it here.
Cane sugar is nearly pure in the finer varieties of lump sugar, which, like snow, owes its dazzling whiteness to the innumerable refractions and reflections of the light fallen upon it. Its sweetening power is very great, a property in part due to its great solubility in water, which will take up three times its own weight when cold, and almost any quantity when boiling. When a strong solution of sugar is allowed to congeal slowly, it forms the large crystals known as sugar-candy, which, of course, differs from ordinary sugar in nothing but form.
When heated to a temperature of three hundred and twenty degrees sugar melts, and, on cooling, solidifies to the glassy transparent substance known as barley-sugar. This clouds by keeping, because the sugar has been slowly assuming the crystalline form, a change that is the cause of that delicious crust which some of us recollect as encasing acid-drops or other transparent sweetmeats after a long storage in the schoolroom desk. When a boiling saturated solution of sugar is poured on a cool plate, or in a mould, it solidifies on cooling to an opaque, concrete mass.
These two forms of cane sugar are the foundation of all the arts of sweetmeat manufacture. When sugar is carefully heated to a temperature of about four hundred and fifteen degrees, it loses water, and is changed into an intensely dark brown fusible matter called caramel, but more commonly known as burnt sugar.
This substance is very soluble in water, and is used extensively to color wines and sauces, producing all tints, from a light amber to an almost black, and having the advantage, when properly prepared, of being free from taste and smell. A solution of sugar will dissolve a large quantity of lime, and such a mixture, when containing but a small amount of lime, or even alkali, will act upon-a purer sugar does not copper vessels.
The commonest forms of fruit sugar are honey and treacle. In the former it is associated with grape sugar, and in the latter with cane sugar. It is called fruit sugar from being the cause of the sweetness of most of the fruits of temperate climates, those of tropical climates being said to owe their sweetness generally to cane sugar.
By some very recent experiments in France, it has been shown that the sweet principle, as it first appears in the fruit, is cane sugar, which is changed wholly or partially into fruit sugar by the process of ripening. Fruit sugar cannot be made to crystallise, and is, therefore, hardly to be met with in a solid form. When a solution of our household sugar is boiled for some time, it is partly converted into fruit sugar, which has the property of preventing the crystallization of a large quantity of the unchanged cane sugar. This accounts for the formation of molasses, there being formed during the long evaporation of the cane juice much fruit sugar, which subsequently drains away. Under the heat of the refining process, we, for a like reason, get treacle as a thick uncrystallizable syrup, carrying, of course, much cane sugar with it in solution.
The chanze from cane into fruit sugar takes place more quickly when there is malic, tartaric, or almost any vegetable acid present; thus, in making fruit preserves, the acid of the fruit, by boiling with the sugar, soon changes the whole of it into fruit sugar, so that on subsequent cooling there is no crystallization as there would be if this change did not occur. Where preserves, jellies, honey, &c., are kept for some time, they are apt to undergo the disagreeable change commonly known as candying. This is caused by the gradual conversion of the fruit sugar into grape sugar, the warty crystalline lumps of which, diffused through the mass, give rise to the peculiar change in taste and appearance. The change may generally be observed to have taken place on the surface of jams when the part below is quite unaffected. The crust of sugar that sur rounds most dried fruits also comes by reason of the property fruit sugar has of passing, under certain circumstances,to grape sugar.
Grape sugar (so called because it is got from dried though it is not used to nearly the same extent a two, is perhaps the most interesting, as it is the