« PreviousContinue »
TABOO NON TABOOED.
feet from the ground, three feet long, and two wide, with a small image placed on
MUSTY WHEAT. the left side of the door, which does not exceed one foot in height. A seat is placed particular attention; the scicutific author,
The following letter at this time deserves in frout, on which the Chief's Lady sits, Mr. Hatchett, is well known to be one of when she eats; her provisions being depo- the most eminent chymists in Europe. sited in this little building.
TO THE RIGHT NON. SIR JOSEPH BANKS. The following little incident proves the
BART. G. C. B. P. R. S. &c. necessity of distributing information with Read before the Royal Society, Dec. 5, 1916. no sparing hand to those who, for the first “MY DEAR SIR,—The very great loss time, are to reap the benefit of it. The which this country fornierly experienced simplicity which could think to taboo by a considerable part of imported graiu
having become contaminated by must, the roof of a hut from a cock, seems to us re induced me several years past to direct my markable; and equally remarkable the attention towards discovering some simple urgent curiosity that looked every day for and economical method by which this chickens. Alas! reader, in some other thing taivt could be removed, and you well
know that my endeavours were successful; Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur. but as circumstances at that time, and
We were joined by another canoe, since did not appear to require that great which had in it a cock and a hen. I was publicity should be given to this process, I surprised to see these fowls; and, in-contented myself with describing it to you quiring where they came from, was in and a few of my other friends. Now, formed that they belonged to the head however, when I reflect on the large Chief, Terra, who had sent them into the quantities of corn which, during the last country for the following reason. Terra harvest, have been housed in a damp had built a new but for some sacred pur- state, and on the great importations which pose, which he had tabooed. He had for are expected, with the extreme probability bidden the cock from getting upon its that a cousiderable part may have conroof, but in vain: no means that he could tracted must, and that thus the object of devise would prevent him; and therefore importation may be partially frustrated by he had sent them both away, for polluting the destruction of a large portiou of grain, this consecrated building! These fowls had and the consequent increase in the price been given to Terra, when the Active was of the remainder, I think it incumbent on first at New Zealand. While we lay at me, by addressing this letter to you, to Cowa-cowa, Terra and bis wife had nien lose no time in publishing a process, by tioned this cock and ben, and informed which corn, however musty, may be comme that the ben had a number of eggs, on pletely purified, with scarcely any loss of which she sat some time; at length, she quantity, with very little expense, and and the cock broke the shells, and de- without requiring previous chymical knowstroyed them all. They told me they went ledge or chymical apparatus. every day to view the eggs, while the hien • The experiments which I made were was sitting; and desired to know the rea confined to wheat, as being of the greatest son why the fowls destroyed them. I told importance; but there can be no doubt them that the hen had tabooed the eggs, that oats and other grain may be restored and was exceedingly angry with them for to sweetness with equal success: and I touching them; and, on that account, she have also additional satisfactiou from being and the cock, in their rage, destroyed the enabled to state, that the efficacy of the whole. They were much astonished at process may be ascertained by any person, hearing this, and had a long conversation in any place, and upon any quantity of on the subject; and made numerous iu- grain, however small. qniries relative to the rearing of fowls. I “ From my experiments I am inclined told them, they were on an account, in to believe, that must is a taiut produced by future, to touch the eggs: if they did, the damp upon the amylaceous part of the hen would again destroy them.
grain or starch; that the portion of starch This reminds us of the impatience of nearest to the husk is that which is first their neighbours of the Society islands; in taiuted; and that the greater or less degree whose grounds Capt. Cooke having planted of must is in proportion to the taint a vine, the people were daily tasting the having peuetrated more or less into the grapes, as soon as they appeared-finding substance of the grain. In most cases, them always sour, they plucked up the vine! however, the taint is only superficial;
but, nevertheless, if not removed, it is few hours in the middle of the day; Fahsufficient to contaminate the odour and renheit's thermometer seldom exceeding favour of the whole, especially when 76 degrees by day, and never descending converted into flour.
below 60 degrees at night-such a climate, “ After various experiments, I found the in fact, as one would wish to live in: but an following method to be attended with anxious zeal and over-eagerness to accom
plish the objects of the experlition, and to “ The wheat must be put into any acquire all the information that could posconvenient vessel capable of containing at sibly be obtained, seem to have actuated least three times the quantity, and the every one, from the lamented Commander vessel must be suhsequently filled with to the common seaman and private maboiling water; the grain should then be rine, and led them to attempt more than occasionally stirred, and the hollow and the human constitution was able to bear. decayed graius (which will float) may be The total number of deaths amount to renoved; when the water has become 18, of which 14 were on the land expedio cold, or, in general, when about half an tion. They consist of
hour has elapsed, it is to be drawn off. It Captain Tuckey, Commander of the ex. will be proper then to rince the corn with pedition ; Lieutenant Hawkey, Lieute. cold water, in order to remove auy portion rant of the Congo; Mr. Professor Smith, of the water which bad taken up the Botanist ; Mr. Tudor, Comparative Anamust: after which, the corn being com- tomist ; Mr. Cranchi, Collector of objects pletely drained, is, without loss of time, to of Natural History; Mr. Galwey, a friend be thinly spread on the floor of a kilo, aud of Captain Tuckey, who volunteered from thoroughly dried, care being takeu to stir pure love of science; Mr. Eyre, the purand to turn it frequently during this part of the process.
The names of the remainder have not “ This is all that is required; and I been returued. have constantly found that even the most
The Dorothy transport that accommusty corn (on which ordivary kiln-drying panied the Congo into the river, lost but had been tried without effect) thus became one man, and be fell overboard and was completely purified, whilst the dininution
drowned, of weight caused by the solution or the Extract of a Letter from Mr. Muckerrow, tainted part was very inconsiderable.
Surgeon of the Congo. “I have the honour to remain,
“Of the eighteen wbo died in the river, “ Dear Sir Joseph,
fourteen had been on shore, marching for “ Your most faithful and obedient Servant, sometime, and were far advanced before “ CHARLES HACHETT, reaching the ship.
“ Professor Smith, who saw many of • Mount Clare, Roehampton, 4th Dec. 1816."
them when takeo ill, gave to some a dose of calomel, but to others nothing had been
adıninistered. TIIE CONGO EXPEDITION.
“ The fever appeared in some degree The detailed accounts of the expedition contagions, as all the attendants upon the to explore the river Congo, or Zaire, bave sick were attacked, and before we left the reached the Admiralty. Melancholy as river it pervaded nearly the whole crew, the result bas been, from the great morta aiso some of the transports, but as for my. sity of the officers and men, owing to ex- /self, although constantly among them, I cessive fatigue, rather than the effects of did not feel the slightest indisposition unclimate, the journals of Capt. Tuckey and til we left the coast, when I was attacked; the gentlemen in the scientific departments bowever, I considered mental anxiety and are, it is said, highly interesting and sa disturbed rest as the sole causes. tisfactory, as far as they go; and we be • Captain Tackey bad been aflicted lieve they extend considerably beyond the many years with chronic hepatitis, and on first rapids or cataract. It would secm, returning from travelling five weeks on indeed, from the extract of a letter from sbore, be was so excessively reduced, that the Surgeon of the Congo, inserted below, all attempts to restore the energy of bis that the mortality was entirely owing to system proved ineffectual. the land journey beyond these rapids, and “Mr. Tudor was in the last stage of fe. that Capt. Tuckey died of complete ex ver before I saw him, as were Messrs. haustion, after leaving the river, and not Cranch and Galwey. from fever. The climate, we understand, Professor Smith died in two days afwas remarkably fine; scarcely a shower ofter he came under my care, during which rain, or any bumidity in the atmosphere, time be refused every thing, wbellcr aus and the sun seldom shining out but for å l nutriment or medicine.
“Lieut. Hawkey was taken ill after | arrested by some appearance in the stream. leaving the river, and died on the 4th day; Standing at a little distance, I called to his case was rather singular; symptoms him, “What's the matter, George?" were irritability of stomach, with extreme “ Come aud see,” was his reply. I went Jangour and debility, but he had nei- and observed the water perfectly thickened ther paiu nor fever.
with moss, clay, sand, and every descrip“Mr. Eyre had a violent fever, and on tion of mud, to a most extraordinary dethe third day breathed his last; before gree. This was the more remarkable as death a yellow suffusion had taken place, the women had just finisbed washing a withvomiting of matter like coffee ground." parcel of yarns, when the stream was clean
and clear as usual. I observed to the old
man,--that the mud and dirt must be the SOME PARTICULARS CONNECTED WITH THE effect of the millers cleaning out Arnott
LATE EARTHQUAKE IN SCOTLAND. By mill dam, and would soon go by. “ No," MR. GAVIN INGLIS.
said he, “ that is not Arnott mill dam, por [From Mr. Tilloch's Philosophical Magasine.] will it go by for these eight-and-forty hours SIR,,In addition to the facts already
at least." published in your valuable Magazine, res
Seeing his consternation, and the manpecting the late earthquake, I scud you the him think so? Did be, who had lived so
ner in which he spoke, I asked, what made following ohservations, which as thing conuected with such a phænomeuon long on the banks of the Leven, recollect is important, may prove interesting to having ever seen a similar appearance be
fore?“ Never,” said he,“ but once; and many of your readers. I am, &c.
that was when an earthqnake happened at Strathendry Bleachfield, Kirkaldy.
Comrie: and be assured there has an Nov. 29, 1816.
earthquake happened somewhere, be where
it may." The evening of Tuesday the 13th of August was distinguished by no particular
Nothing of an earthquake had been felt appearance in this part of Scotland (Fife- here, nor had the slightest knowledge of sbire); but before six o'clock on Wednes- any such thing reached this place at the day morning, when my work-people were
time of this conversation. Struck with the corning to their labour, they all expressed old man's remarks, and his manner of maa considerable degree of astonishnient at king them, I went up the river to the juncthe extraordinary number of every species dam clear as a fountain; but the river un;
tion of Arnolt mill' dam, and found the of swallow, that are common in this quar- der Auchmoor bridge dirty and foul beyond ter. The number was far beyond any thing ever seen before, except when they description, and as far up the Leven as the assemble before their departure for the eye could reach. From the top of the season.
bridge the appearance of the water indiThe swallows continued to Ay about the cated the same state of filth. Curiosity field for some days, and then dispersed. prompted a further survey. The stream They had abandoned their young to pe
was followed to the lake, where the whole rish. In many nests in the neighbourhood mass of waters was found dirtier, if possiand about the field, the whole young were
ble, than the stream that flowed from it. found dead ; also a considerable number of From pretty accurate experiments, the the old ones, six of which I opened, and not itself from the lake, to reach Auchmoor
time necessary for the water just emptying the smallest vestige of Alips or any other thing was found withiu them. They had bridge, has been ascertained; and upon died of want, the number of Alics had been that data we calculated, by the time the so much diminished from the excessive Shock must have been ielt in thor lake, and
mud reached the field, at what time the rains preceding that date.
But to the earthquake. It had been dis marked it to have taken place some time betinctly felt in Kirkaldy and Leslie, but no
tween eleven and twelve on Tuesday where nearer, nor round Loch Leven, that night. I can learo. But on Thursday morning
Judge then our surprise, when the old about nine o'clock an old man named | man's remarks were so fully confirmed by George Braid, who has lived in this neigh- accounts from the north in so short a pebourhood, and been working as bleacher, riod after. waulker, &c. upon the banks of Leven, all The agitation in the lake must have been his life, had just come to the field to waulk dreadfui, had it been day-light to render it some plaidings, and had gone to let down visible. The quantity of mud and saud the bye sluice. His attention seemed quite thrown up from the depth of so to 100
feet must have been very extraordinary, | dently derived much satisfaction and comwhen it continued so loug dirty, though it fort from its new element. The other lihad the lake itself and the slow windings zard, notwithstanding its repeated endeaof a number of miles through a fat couw-vours, was unable to open its mouth. It try to subside in. The waier continued to died in the course of the night, probably run dirty for two days; so much so, that from being debarred the use of its proper we could neither work nor put our yarns element. The remaining lizard continued through any operation during that period. alive in the water for several weeks, dur,
ing which it appeared to increase in size.
It disliked confinement; and after many LizardS FOUND ALIVE IN A Chaca Rock. attempts, at length, to my great mortifi. Dr. Wilkinson lately presented to the
cation, effected its escape, nor could I ever
after find it." Bath Philosophical Society a letter he had received froin a clergyman in Suffolk, relative to two lizards being discovered by This is one of the most extraordinary the Rev. Gentleman in a chalk rock, with discoveries that has come under our some interesting circumstances tending to notice. That animals which sleep in win. explain why all the animals wbich bave ter have been occasionally surprised in been discovered in rocks, marbles, &c. die their torpid state, and imbedded in matter on their exposure to the atmosphere. From subsiding into a solid form, is unquestionobservations made, there appeared to be able; and that some of these, when the ved some obstruction in their respiratory or of matter has been opened, bave appeared gans. One being placed in water disen- to shed living blood, on being lacerated, as gaged itself from this obstruction; while they usually are, by the pick axe, or spade, the other died, from not being enabled to or saw, is supported by powerful testimoliberate itself from the viscous matter lin-nies. But, we recollect no instance in ing the throat. The clergy man in his letter which the subject was known to be living: says: A pit having been opened in the or in which it gave signs of life and motion sammer of 1814, at Elden, Suffolk, for the after having been released from its fossil purpose of raising chalk, I deemed it a fa- imprisonment :-still less in which it was yourable opportunity for procuring fossils; found to resume the habits of its former accordingly commissioned the men em. life-to continue living-to increase in size, ployed to search for and reserve whatever and to perform its ordinary actions, during appeared curious. In this search I some several weeks. times assisted, and bad the good fortune to The fact, established, would lead to be present at the discovery of two lizards new and uncommon views of the powers of imbedded in the solid chalk, fifty feet be life,- of the natural length of life, of this low the surface. The following is the re- species of animals, of the effect of absolute, sult of my observatious:--So completely exclusion from air, on amphibious animals; devoid of life did the lizards appear on with the date of the origin of such beds of their first exposure to the air, that I ac-chalk, &c. in which these fossils have been tually considered them in a fossil state: found. judge then of my surprize when, on mv at: These lizards being found fifty feet tempting to take them up, I perceived them below the surface, imbedded in solid chalk, move. I immediately placed them in the at what period was this chalk in a fuid suu, the heat of which soon restored them state, and gradually becoming solid, by to animation. In this state I carried them the loss of its water? If we are not mishome, and immersed ove in water, keep-taken, in the situation of the place, this ing the other in a dry place. You may chalk has been hard and dry during many perhaps consider it worthy your observa- ages. It will follow, that these lizards have tion, that the mouths of the lizards were retained the principle of life, during at closed up with a glutivous substanre. This least an equal space of time. A thousand obstruction seemed to cause them great in years-startles the imagination; not as to convenience, which was evident froin the the duration of the chalk-nor of fossil ani.
gitation perceptible in their throats, and mals, but of animals yet retaining life ; froin the frequent disteution of the jaws, or and retaining it, under circumstances pro. cather around the jaws and the head; in-per to ensure death, rather than life. If Gresi they seemed in a state little short of lihis part of the bed of chalk had not been wifocation. The newt which has been im- disturbed, these lizards might have promersed in water, after many violent strug-louged their profound sleep, while another kles, was at length able to open its mouth: thousand of years passed over them ; they his afforded it jostant relief, and it evi still living!!
The attention of nataralists, of geolo., life, when in great danger; and if the litgists, whether Neptunists, or Vulcanists, tie wbile which such spouges would retain will naturally be directed to so striking a their properties be objected, it may be anfact. Whence came this chalk ?-in what swered, that a phial of lavender water, or form?-at what time? --where did it alight Hungary water, is no great burden-may op these lizards ?--are they natives, or fo- refresh a sponge, repeatedly, and that the reigners ? A thousand curious questions object is to save life, where proper assistrise-who shall answer them?
ance cannot be had.
« From the Gates of the Kings, at Thebes, EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURE
we returned by the valley, through which
the road formerly led from Thebes to the MUMMY PITS, IN EGYPT.
tombs, and where still stands the Temple Among the many strange stories, cur
of Karpac. rent among dealers ju the marvellons, who The whole of this mountain has been visited Egypt a century ago, concerning excavated; at each step an opening prethe danger of examining the mummy pits, sents itself; and there is every appearance there never were wanting discoveries of that here bas been the general cemetery bodies in a recent state, after death, and of Thebes. Many of these caverns are of preparations made by the Arabs for mur. now converted into habitations by the dering the relating traveller, with all his present cultivators of the plain, from company. The miraculous escape of the whence they have been driven by the enparty, with his courage, valour, aud con- croachments of the Nile, whose waters duct, was supposed to furnish materials for during the inundation (in consequence of "good reading;” and was wrought up there being no canels to carry them off) sometimes popularly, sometimes patbeti- cover the whole of the flat country around. cally. The better informed reader, who Our curiosity induced us, during our kuew the precautions always adopted, ex- stay here, to descend into one of the mumpressed his wonder by a smile, and so the my pits that abound in this oeighbourhood, matter ended. But a late traveller bas re- but it would be difficult to convey an ade vived the subject with all its horrors; and quate idea of the disgusting scene of borhas proved by his own experience, and in ror we had to encouuter. The entrance formed us by his testimony, that the mummy was through a very narrow hole, nearly pits have real dangers, and that the notion filled up with rubbish, by which we made of a company perishing in them, is far from our way into a small room about fifteea being mere delusion.
feet long and six wide : beyond we reach
ed a charaber somewbat larger, and conA lately published volume of Travels by taining two rows of columas. The walls Thomas Legli, Esq. M. P. traces tbe were covered with paintings, and at the progress of the author and his company into farther end stood two full length statues, Upper Egypt, in 1813, above the first ca- male and female, dressed in very gay ap. taracts, on their return, they visited the parel, and having on the one side the fimummy pits at Thebes, &c. and what befell yures of two boys, aud on the other those our travellers here, may serve as no mean of two girls. justification of the stories formerly current.
The whole of this chamber was strewed It is certain, that respect for the European with pieces of cloth, legs, arms, and heads character, is iscreaesd among these barba- of mummies, left in this condition by the rians in an infinite ratio from what it was Arabs who visit these places for the pura hundred, or even fifty, years ago. Since pose of rifling the bodies and carryiog off the French Expedition into Egypt, the thie bituminous substances with which they Arabs are much more tractable;
but, they have been embalmed. From the chamber must be kept honest by good looking after. above described, two passages lead into A party of English sailors where they can
the interior and lower part of the mounbe had, is the best possible security for the tain, and we penetrated about the distance lives of those who entrust themselves to of a hundred yards into that which appear. Arabs.
ed the longest. Slipping and crawling We are somewhat surprized that our amongst the varions fragments of these countrymen about to proceed ou such dan. mutilated bodies, we were only able to gerous expeditions as that of Monfalouth do save ourselves from falling by catching not take with them sponges properly moist hold of the leg, arm, or skull of a mumened with fair water, or with some of those my, some of which were lying on the simple essences which may be inhaled to ground, but many still standing in the advantage. It is well known that breath- niches where they had been originally ing through a moistened sponge has saved I placed.”