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If we are to judge a man by his best, however, the author of “Nana” writes a chaste and vigorous hand, though his signature may not, perhaps, be highly commended. Victor Hugo writes a more fluent and hasty hand, quite legible, and by no means commonplace. One of its peculiarities is the formation of the small “v,” which is generally larger than the other letters, and looped like the capital “V” of the signature. Anybody would detect the literary quality in his manuscript at a glance, though whether it presents peculiarities sufficiently striking to proclaim the man of genius, is doubtful.
A recent interviewer credits Rosa Bonheur with the remark that “Eccentricity does not pay.” Whether the gifted and industrious artist ever applied this precept to her chirography, seems doubtful, as we regard her fantastic signature. It has artistic points, salient enough, and certainly is not conventional; neither is there anything characteristically feminine about it, unless it be its inconsistency. The flourishes are symmetrical, and doubtless indicate a genius for design, but they cannot be called good handwriting.
Any one familiar with the highly-colored novels of “Ouida" might be led to expect from her pen something bizarre in the autographic line, but would not find it.
The well-known nom de plume of Miss De la Ramé is boldly and plainly inscribed, though some of the letters are imperfectly formed—rough alphabetic sketches, as it were, which need filling in. This lady's letters “u,” “i" and “a” are constructed with “e's,” but not always deciphered with ease. Jefferson Davis writes with a swiftly running style which does not pause long enough to consider the ques
tion of elegance, though its tracings are fairly legible. The abbreviation of the Christian name in this autograph 18 curious. The composer of the jocular “Pinafore” music, and of the languishing airs of “Patience,” writes an easy, clear
and gentlemonly hand, not likely to be mistaken for any one else's. He conscientiously dots his “i's,” and never sends a letter into the world “scarce half made up.”
Madame Jenny Lind Goldschmidt dwells in the retirement of her villa by Italian Como, and is still remembered lovingly by musical people of the last generation. Thirty-three years ago she was in the glory of her vocal gifts; but as regarded handwriting, it was quite another matter. She scrawled like a schoolgirl, and her capital letters required a great deal of sea-room. The autographic phrase of laughing music is more characteristic of the Swedish Nightingale.
The variety in autographs, in fact, is infinite, like the variety in human faces. Gather as many as we may, each will bear its separate and individual comment.
CountER ATTRACTIONs.—There are some people whose favorite hobby or pursuit seems to master them so completely that all the ordinary feelings of human nature give way before it. Certainly music has this strange power, but it is scarcely fair to say that it is responsible for more gaucheries than any other pursuit, such as hunting, shooting, boating or cricket—the chronicles of which latter would, perhaps, readily furnish us with examples of votaries quite as devoted as the Milanese gentleman who had a rich uncle, from whom he had some expectations, which his uncle's illness might have led him to suppose would be shortly realized. One evening a friend met this gentleman in the street. “Where are you going 2" he asked. “To La Scala, to be sure.” “How ! Your uncle is at the point—” “Yes—but Welluti sings to-night.”
THE Boston Public Library has received a gift of many valuable papers from Abbott Lawrence, the substance of a discovery among the waste stock of a Boston junk-shop, to which they had been sent by their stupid owners. Dr. Charles E. Clark discovered them ; and the town of Taunton has had parts of its records and other important municipal papers restored to its archives from this lot. while the papers given to the Boston Library include a considerable lot of “broadsides,” many of them now unique. One is a proclamation by Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton, the Council and the Assembly, in May, 1696, the last year of King William's War, in which there was offered head-money for dead Indians—£50 for every Indian man and £25 for an Indian woman or child, male or female, under fourteen, taken or brought in prisoner; “the scalps of all Indians slain to be produced and delivered to the Commissioner for War, as the law in that case provides, and the benefit of plunder.”
“Yes, I've lived out West for ten years,” said a traveler, who was bearded like a forty-niner; “I mean on the peraries of Newbraska. Great country, too.” “What do the folks do for fuel?” “Well now-a-days we're following after the Rooshuns, the Rooshun Mennonites, you know, in the fuel business. They are right smart and ingenious in some things, and this is the way they get over the fuel difficulty: They build their houses of four rooms, all cornering together in the centre. Right there they put up a great big brick oven, with thick walls. From the furnace-door back to the back yard is a passageway. Every morning, noon and night they lug a jag of straw in from the stack and burn it in the furnace. The thick brick walls get red hot and stay so for hours, warming every room in the house. Even in the coldest weather three fires a day in the furnace will keep the house warm. For the cooking-stoves we burn cornstalks to get meals with, and thus our farms raise o: fuel as we go along. A pretty good scheme, aint' it?”
| be shot down under the bunker receptacles on board the
Atlantic and other large steamers taking in their coal By Vox RUSTICA.
alongside. A further advantage is that the Great Eastern As I SAUNTERED down a valley, where the bright-hued fowers blew, Watching busy, yellow.banded boes, that round my pathway flew,
will give such shelter that coaling from her in the bay For a moment interchanging idle steps with idler rest,
will, it is expected, be able to proceed in weather when While I marked a group down-settled on a broad sunflower's breast it. is quite impracticable with smaller hulks. It is Suddenly my ears were opened how that was I cannot tell :
considered that these various advantages will at length Perhaps some mortal-loving fairy touched them with a passing spellAnd I heard their fitful buzzing come in words of angry strife,
open out for this vessel a trade in which her size will be Telling how & theme of weighty disputation there was r.fe.
a positive recommendation and economy, in lieu of, as Quoth the nearest, " While I hurried through the younger rays of light,
hitherto, an impediment to success. The vessel will be Hall in hopes some choicest blossom might reward my early flight, Down beside the fount that rises in the valley's deepest heart,
fitted with the electric light, so as to be ready to take in There I saw the Queon of Roses growing by herselt apart.
coal and deliver it at night as well as by day. o the beauty of that vision ! Nono may know but those who see ; Like a sunset-circled snow-peak gleamed the glory under me." • Drunk with honey 1"' cried another. “Why reveal thy sottish state ? Grows no re be ide our fountain clad in crimson as you prate ; GIRLS OF OTHER LANDS AT WORK. For this very morn.I wandered through the younger rays of light, Half in hop s some rarer blossom might reward my early flight.
THE theory that girls exist merely as lay-figures to disThere besl @ the fount that slumbers, folded in the valley's arms. Lo i the whitest of white lilies spread her never-rivaled charms.
among half-civilized or savage tribes or nations. The Not another flower was near her, she alono possessed the dell; Therefore well I ween the story false which you so vainly tell,
eccentric notion still prevails throughout Asia, Africa, But that saintly-shiuing pureness words can never show to you, and in some parts of Europe and America, that they Dull beside the foam-break flashes in the deep mid-ocean blue."
were born to labor. ** Drunken also !" cried another ; "wherefore chide thy fellow-beo,
In Turkestan and on the Tartar Steppes the Kirghese When herein wit more clearly than thy fellow thou canst see? For, as by the fount I hovered in the early morning light,
sultanas and their daughters, and princesses in whose Lol a wondrous golden flower smoto upon my dazzled sight: | veins flows the blood of long lines of kings, still milk the But in feeble words its splendor never, never can be told ;
sheep, cows, and goats, and perform the menial offices of Yea, methought the sun from heaven lay on earth in floods of gold.', Then another, O yo babblers, hold your foolish tongues awhile, the household, as the Sanscrit maidens did 6,000 years That my words, more wisely spoken, this dispute may reconcile. ago in the same localities. They cook, take care of the As I, too, flew by the fountain while the morning light was now,
younger children, make garments, cure the skins of wild Like the dee, deep glowing violet sprang a flower of richest hue. All alone she grew, but never of such beauty may ye dream,
fowl with the feathers on for caps, spin cotton, weave Not though all the rainbows meeting wove one mighty purple beam, cloth, and tan leather by means of sour milk. In this " Hold !" I cried “Why this contention ? List to me; full well I ween, I a
delectable region the mother wears rich attire, while the with but few words I can tell yo of this sight yo all have seen. Not or flowers born the beauty that entranced your 'wildered sight,
daughter goes in humbler dress, like Cinderella. If Twas my love lay by the fountain, sleeping in the morning light there is a piano, the mother plays on it in the front-room And for this her various seeming-violet, lily, gold, and rose,
of the tent, while the daughter brews the koumiss, stews These were but the changing beauties of her waking and reposo.
the mutton, and broils the camel-chops in the back Lily-white her arms and fingers, rose her lips and cheeks, her hair Golden ag the sun's own flower, eyes than vlolets more fair.
kitchen. This is the benighted condition of patriarchal 'Neath her head her arms a pillow making, now a shade above,
people, who adhere to a nearly obsolete theory of filial Now revealed these Ilps of roses, now a shield of lilies wove ;
duty. Thus to thee one while approaching blushed she like the ruddy rose, But to thee with white arms lifted like a rare pale lily shows;
Similar ideas prevail throughout India, China, and Till by louder wings awakened, starting in a sweet surprise, among the native tribes of Siberia, who have been driven Lo ! the violet-slaying splendor darted from her glorious eyes ;
northward by aggressive neighbors. And at last her mo lest beauty, till those slumbers should be done, Valled itself in golden trossos-and thou sawst the flaming sun 1''
The Tungusian girls gather the snow, melt it, make the tea and the fish soup, sew, and being skillful in archery,
help to keep the larder supplied with game. FALLEN GREATNESS.
The Yakut and Samoyede maidens, and all those who
dwell along the Arctic Ocean, help in Summer to lay up THE case of the Great Eastern, destined at one time to | Winter supplies, and in Winter to perform all necessary achieve great things, is an example of how low greatness | domestic duties. can fall. We learn that arrangements are in progress to The Abyssinian girl grinds corn in the simple mills in begin work upon this vessel very shortly to fit her for a use in that country. career as a coal-hulk in Gibraltar Bay. Permission for The Caffre girl weaves baskets and draws water. The her anchorage has been obtained from the Colonial Office. girls in other parts of the Dark Continent pulverize the The project is viewed also with favor by the Admiralty, grain, weave mats, make earthen vessels, and are the hatas the Great Eastern will effect a great improvement inters of their tribes. The theories of the tribes and nations the bay by dispensing with the multitude of small coal- of Asia and Africa are shared by the Indians of North hulks which now encumber the harbor. The company | America, who com pel the young girls to learn the duties having the matter in hand have carefully calculated the
and hardships of life at an early age. suitability of this giant of naval architecture for a coalhulk. Her paddle engines and boilers are to be removed, and she is to have numerous side-ports added to those already existing, by which the coal will be received for
WHEN SUGAR WAS INVENTED. storage purposes. The coal from these ports will, by its THE exact date of the invention of sugar is unknown. own gravitation, run into a variety of receptacles, some However, sugar is said to have been known to the Chinese well above the water-line, others below.
3,000 years ago, and there is not much doubt but that the The vessel is to have powerful hydraulic cranes on the manufacture of the article was carried on under the Tsin upper deck, whereby the steam colliers from Cardiff and dynasty 200 years before Christ. A strong claim for Newcastle bringing the coal will be very quickly dis priority bas been made for India. Probably the Hindoo charged, this saving greatly in cost on the existing system learned the art from the Chinese, and from China the as practiced at Gibraltar. The coal, once on board, will I knowledge was carried further West. Three hundred and
1. An injunous lie is an
husband begging that he would “vouchsafe" to send her a pound of sugar. As late as 1700 all England consumed only 20,000,000 pounds in the course of the year, but since the consumption has greatly increased, 20,000,000 hundred weight now being used by the English people. The process of refining sugar was not known in England previous to 1659. That was probably an invention of the Arabs. A Venetian merchant learned the secret from the Saracens of Sicily, and sold the art for 100,000 crowns.
BY AN OLD ARMY OFFICER. GAMBLING is not a vice confined to our highly civilized and cultivated communities. The Indians of every known tribe are inveterate gamblers. I remember a case in point, when one tribe stripped another of all its effects,
twenty-five years before Christ,
وه بو له پاره
they having been wagered
Wue ocurre d'art est un win a game of racket, which was
à travers un
de la nature vu temperament.
played on the “common" of my native town, Nackitosh, in Louisiana, about the year 1825. The Caddos and Choctaws, two tribes inhabiting villages not very remote from Nackitosh, were the parties to the contest, and fifty of the most stalwart, lithe men of either tribe were selected to test the strength and activity of their respective nations.
To look back through the retrospective years which have elapsed since the occurrence of this eventful game, to witness the attempts in recent years to imitate it
by Kanucks and bordering Americans, excites a smile of incredulity, and only intensifies the hold my memory retains of that and many other games played by the neighboring tribes. The “common " at Nackitosh had been selected principally because of the smoothness and extent of the grounds, and that it was immediately contiguous to a population noted for its generosity, charity and wealth, so that the losing party might soon make up its losses by begging. Under these circumstances the game was inaugurated The tribes came into the village two or three days before the eventful day, so as to prepare the ground, put up the goals—two poles erected ten feet apart at either end of the ground, and distant, the one from the other, about two hundred yards—to score the legs of the competitors with sharp flints from hip to heel, and the arms from
shoulder to wrist ; to arrange the individual wagers, and to practice their skill in the arena. These were the occupations of the two tribes anterior to the contest. The town was excited beyond precedent. Old men and young freedmen and slaves flocked from every quarter. What wonder." "Twas a game that might have astonished the Titans, and diverted them from their own pastimes. Partisans were inaugurated on either side, so that men and boys had many a knockdown over the issue in anticipation. The temporary camps of the two tribes became the lounging-places of the partisans of either side, and many an acrimonious dispute originated in vaunting the claims of one side or the other. Remote from the world, and in communication only at intervals with La Ville—
New Orleans—they cared only for what concerned them at the hour. On the day the game was to come off, the “common” was filled with the populace of the town and the surrounding country. Negroes and whites and Indians, commingled in a motley throng of eager and excited spectators, awaited with impatient expectancy the hour for the commencement of the game. At length the champions on either side were marshaled to the arena by the chiefs of the respective tribes. Yells of defiance issued from the throats of the athletes, as they stood grouped fronting each other, every muscle and sinew of their frames taut to the utmost tension of expectant activity. Stripped to the buff, or, rather, the bronze, and armed with a pair of rackets—an implement made of hickory, about four feet long, and flattened at the end, so as to be
bent upon itself like the frame of a scoop-net, the open space being interlaced with thongs of buckskin. The groups, as I look back over fifty years, remind me of the contest described by Sir Walter Scott in one of his novels as occurring on the Inch, near Perth, between two rival clans of Highlanders—the circumstances were the same, but the tragic results of the Scottish fight were different from the end of the Indian game. Yelling their notes of defiance, and exchanging epithets not very complimentary the one to the other, whilst the women of either side —quite as interested as the principals—stood on the borders of the ground with brush and switches, to urgeon the competitors to greater exertion; such was the scene at the initiation of the game. The two chiefs of the respective tribes now advance between the two groups, ball in hand, and toss up for the cast. The eager competitors rush forward to catch the ball in their erackets as it descends, and give it the first send-off in the direction of the opposite goal, and here occur the most remarkable feats of strength and agility. The sinewy arms of the outsiders grasp their opponents, and hurl them like infants from the eddying mass of contestants, when, lo! one more lucky than the rest seizes the ball from the ground, or in its flight, and sends it spinning through the air to the opposite goal. Watchful and ready skirmishers are on the alert to intercept it, and send it flying in the opposite direction, and so the struggle goes on, ebbing and flowing from one goal to the other, in alternate contests of skill and endurance. Meanwhile, the women are by no means idle. With brush and switch they lash the laggards without mercy, keeping up an unearthly din with their screams and demoniac epithets. The outside whites and negroes are none the less excited, and give vent to their sentiments in violent clamors and gesticulations. The first and last games, best two in three, are most violently contested ; and the flight of the ball through one or the other of the poles elicits the wildest demonstrations from the victorious party. The cheers of a victorious army scarce exceed it in enthusiasm. But when the games are finally lost, after a contest enduring several hours, then, indeed, our more modern phrase, “to the victors belong the spoils,” is cruelly realized, and the losing party are, of a verity, made beggars. For years afterward, the youngsters having possessed themselves of the implements, racket became a favorite game, and was played just as the Indians played it and on the same ground. There are many other games peculiar to the Indians, and in which they indulge their propensity to gamble. Games at ball, cards, horse-racing, constitute the chief amusements of the tribes. On the Western plains a game played with the wanpum is very popular. I sat with parties of Indians the livelong night around a fire playing or observing the game. A long, white bead is held by one of the party in his right hand, both hands being held out exposed to view. Bets are made—clothing, arrows, knives and tomahawks —on the result of the guess of another designated one of the opposite party, as to which hand the bead is held in. “Le jeu est fait, messieurs." He who is to manipulate the bead thrusts both hands under his blanket, or buffalo-robe, changing the bead from one to the other for a few moments; then bringing his hand out, he commences to chant astune, the burden of which is a challenge to the opposite party to guess which hand the bead is held in, thrashing his arms, meanwhile, as a man does to warm them in cold weather. The opposite guesser watches the countenance of him who is manipulating the bead, chanting and thrashing his arms in unison with the other, till, having made up his mind, he suddenly extends the one hand or the other, thus indicating the guess. The party with the bead does the same, extending the right or left hand, palm open, with or without the bead. I have frequently seen a fellow strip himself of his last shirt to bet at this game. Thus it is that scouts and guides and experts are baffled in determining the perpetrators of any crime or outrage from the signs left on the ground in the shape of arrows, etc., which are known to pertain to a peculiar tribe, and which may have been lost or won at some gambling rout.
According to the ancients there once existed in the Atlantic Ocean, opposite Mount Atlas, a great island adorned with every beauty and possessing a numerous population. Its princes were powerful, so that they invaded Europe and Africa, but were defeated by the Athenians and their allies. Its inhabitants degenerated into impiety, and the island was in consequence swallowed up in a day and a night. This legend is said to have been related to Solon by the Egyptian priests, and is given by Plato in the “Timaeus.” It probably had its origin in the existence of the Azores, or the Canary Islands, which may have been visited by the Phoenicians. It is the purpose of this article to prove that this fable has been far exceeded by the reality; that there once existed in the area now covered by the North Atlantic an Atlantis of continental size, and of an antiquity compared with which Plato's Island is but of yesterday. Some geologists are of opinion that North America was connected by land with Europe in Middle Tertiary (Miocene) times. The evidence upon which this theory is based is the resenblance of the existing plant-life of North America to that which flourished in Western Europe in the Miocene epoch. The plants are supposed to have migrated from east to west by way of this imagined Atlantic land. It seems extremely unlikely, however, that so great changes in the physical geography of the globe should have taken place within times comparatively so recent. The deeper parts of the Atlantic are from 12,000 to 16,000 feet, and we require very strong evidence to convince us that such enormous depressions have occurred since a comparatively recent geological period. The migration of the Miocene flora may be more easily explained. The land connection between Europe and North America by way of Asia is broken only by Behring's Straits, which are very shallow ; and a slight elevation would make it complete. That the migration has been from west to east, across Europe and Asia, receives confirmation from the fact that a flora similar to the North American has been discovered in Japan. It is, therefore, unnecessary to create an Atlantic continent to account for the migra. tion of the Miocene flora. The continent of which it is the purpose of this article to speak is of incomparably greater antiquity. No traces of it now remain, unless the submarine ridge, which runs down the Atlantic valley in about 50° west longitude, be its denuded foundations. This ridge represents a great mountain range, rising 4,000 feet above the valley to the west, and 8,000 feet above the valley to the east; and reaching to within 4,000 feet of the surface of the ocean. The Atlantic Islands are not in any way connected with this ancient land. They are of volcanic origin, rising steeply out of a deep ocean, and are of comparatively modern date, the oldest strata contained in them being of Middle Tertiary age. The destruction of the old Atlantis
|strikingly illustrates the instability of the land. At an
epoch inconceivably remote, the Atlantic rolled as it is rolling now. Then a huge island raised its back above the waters, and, despite the hammering and grinding action of the waves, grew up into a continent, with river systems and great mountain chains. Rain, frost, ice, and carbonic acid, were all the time at work upon its surface, eroding, filing, sawing, dissolving, softening, washing down ; till after it had braved the elements for many