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in the collection is that devoted to the edible produce of the rose tribe, containing, dried apples, pears, quinces, almonds, peaches, nectarins, apricots, plums, cherries, damsons, rasberries, strawberries, and hips and haws, which are found to be useful in flavouring soups; several other fruits might be added which are not in the collection, and especially the common blackberry should not be forgotten.
Some recently received cases from China afford hints of new food substances in the shape of bundles of long ea tangles, shark's fins, which, when reduced by boiling, must afford a substance partaking of all the nutritious qualities of coarse isipglass; various other sea weeds than the ones I have mentioned, some not unlike the Irish moss, except from a difference of preparation, one of which looks as if it were crystalized, and another of the most exquisite purple colour, exceedingly tempting to the eye whatever it may prove to the appetite; the dried shoots and tender succulent stems of the bamboo suggest the probability of enlarging our own somewhat stationary list of edible vegetables.
We shall pass over the birds' nests and sea siugs, one species of the latter looking like discoloured, out-of-date, wrinkled, kidney potatoes, and quite as large, as not likely to lead to any practical results amongst us. Several descriptions of preserved fruits figure in this celestial collection, and present a very appétissant appearance. And here again the bamboo presents itself ; the carrot also takes a dainty form, disguised in shape and sugar, and stars of the water lily root float in semi-limped syrup. Many of the sweets appear old friends of ours, identical with the bulls’-eyes and sugar balls of our innocence. And amongst these confections à quantity of Chinese cakes appear, all of the primitive tumbler-cut pattern, some stuffed with almonds, and others apparently filled with ripe or preserved fruits, the juices of which have oozed through them, but, though variously designated as Qua Ho Ping" cakes, “Foh Jin Ping" cakes, “ Choo Loo Ping" cakes, “Cho Yon Ping” and “Canko Ping" cakes, the difference must be in their interiors, for on the outside they bear so strong a general resemblance that there is no telling one from the other. These cases lead us naturally to the specimens of the tea plant, by the dried leaves of which the Chinese are for the most part represented in the commerce of nations, and the importance of which to every kingdom in the civilized world, mainly supported in our own, that recently defunct monopoly to which We are indebted for the founding of our Eastern Empire. Here are the simple leaves in their natural state, there the various forms in which they appear when manufactured ; and in the bottles of white, silky-looking, fibrous texture we have the teine, which forms its active principle, and is at once so soothing, and so subtily potent, that while four grains contained in half an ounce of tea exeites the brain to increased activity, and calms the vascular system, if taken in twico the quantity per day, it occasions irritability of temper, tremblings, and distraction of thought, all the dangerous effects, indeed, with which it was stigmatised by learned men on its first popular introduction amongst us.
This arrangement of the simple substantive in proximity with its preparations, has been followed wherever the completeness ot the specimens have admitted of it, and wherever the popular use or the ascertained value of the article, has rendered it desirable to enlarge the people's information, with regard to its dietic importance, instructional labels of the clearest description are appended.
It would be a vain task, within the limits of this paper, to touch on any but the most saliont points of this interesting section of the Museum, in which the food supplied by the vegetable kingdom offers so many varied forms, and tempts to most sweet digressions.
My object has been not to point out what is so obvious as the things. themselves, or so familiar as their daily services, but rather to spring the mine of thought and wonder, involved in the marvellous laws by which these vegetable and other tissues and substances, receive from the elements, and render up to ours, the ones essential to the support and reparation of our bodies. We wed them from necessity and appetite, and they infuse themselves into us, veritable bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, and so the relation between human nature and universal nature is day by day renewed. It is right that we should be brought face to face with more than the utilities and externals of those things by which we live, physically and temporarily--and be taught the infinite provision and power that from the grandest to the lowliest object in value, proclaims the i undying legend of the night and stars-“the hand that made us is divine,"
BY EDWIN GOADBY.
" For we're all nodding, nid, nid, nodding."--od Song. As a thorough-blood Englishman I have a wholesome prejudice against many of the street salutations, the low bowing, scraping, and hat-lifting, which have come, with a whole host of similar follies, from Calais across to Dover ; and it is to record my preference for the very ancient form of nodding, that I have shaken down from my brow the leaf that now faces the reader.
For this mode of salutation, I claim an antiquity which cannot possibly be maintained for the more formal bow, the head-baring, or oriental salaam. It is a link in that somewhat broken chain, which to an old Greek, with his heart brimful of rich poetic fancies, would afford rational proof of his divine origin and descent. Old Homer, before his blindness was settled and irremediable, had often looked upon the face of nature with reverent and earnest eyes, and marking the golden grain nodding to the zephyr, and the tall trees inclining their heads—not in a stately prostration, but in a graceful nod-could find no more fitting symbol of the recognition and response of a god. So he conceived Jove, and Phidias breathed him into stone :
" He spoke, and awful bends his sable brows,
Shakes his ambrosial curls, and gives the nod,
And all Olympus to the centre shook," Again, Dryden, in his immortal ode, notices the same feature in its assumption by Alexander :
" With ravished ears
And seems to shake the spheres." And numerous other instances might be cited to show how marked a characteristic this is of divine power, but the point to be shown is the connection between the ordinary salutation, which, as distinguished from
the low inclining bow, is generally called nod, and the great manifestation supposed to be cominon to mythological divinities. One's best thanks are due to Homer, for having so far penetrated through the haze on Olympus's top as to discern Jove himself and his ways; and, while I make no pretensions to be a scholiast, I may be pardoned a little explanation of this remarkable passage. Jove has just delivered himself of a fine speech to Thetis, and, by way of intimation that such is his will, in respect to Achilles, he dips his head, and reclines once more in all his blessed imperturbable serenity. The nod is therefore another form of saying, “Such is my decree,” « I have said, and it is irrevocable.” The difference between this supreme action and that of common life is but little. The nod mythological ratifies what has gone before; the nod human recognizes what is before ; the former indicates power, the latter pleasure. The one has a simplicity about it that is really admirable and Homeric all over ;
the other is susceptible of various and complex interpretations,-it not | only means, "I see you,” “I am delighted to see you,” “How are you?”
I will we may ever be face to face,” but it may often be construed—“I like an honest enemy,” “ It is a comfort to think you will soon be out of sight,” “I must show you I don't know of that unpleasant affair of yours," and, " I'll take the starch out of you some of these days."
I have no means of tracing the nod in its declination from the glorious heaven of Olympus to the narrow and dusty street of Athens, and the thronged highways and bye-ways of our modern cities and towns. Through a long vista of ages, iron, copper, brazen, and silver, we gaze back, and see the happy golden time; its piping shepherds, cool streams, and delicious groves, and smell the wild thyme groves giving out its scent to the heads of agile goats and loving lambs; and, lost in blissful reverie, we only know that such a nomadic elysium was, but is no longer, and we have little disposition to trouble ourselves with logical demonstration. And why should it not be so, in the matter of this peculiar salutation? Why should we not look back, and see father Jove, as Homer describes him, and, bathed in the ambrosia wafted from his curly locks, dream of fair Olympians giving the nod in primitive simplicity, careless that such beings have long since nodded into their last death-sleep, and that, assuming other forms, the heroic movement has become human and earthly? I hope the reader will do so, as the writer has done, and make himself contented in the matter.
Human nods are of two kinds-common and proper. The nod proper notifies acquiescence or passion; the nod common, as already hinted, means all sorts of things, affirmative, negative, qualitative, positive, and justative. The nod proper, when it assumes the indignant form, a toss of the head forwards and then backwards, or, vice versa, from a haughty coquette, means "I won't,” “I shan't," or any other pert laconism used by such individuals in a public or private domestic scene. When it is a gently fall of the forehead, accompanied with a firm but loving expression of countenance, it has a volume of meaning for which no words of mine are sufficiently expressive; only by daintily scented albums and white favours can its eloquence' be justly demonstrated. Shakespere's plain honest Speed doubtless saw it in perfection when he conned the letter to Julia, and would have finely described it had not Proteus thus entangled him in his talk :
“ Pro. But what said she ? did she nod! (Sreed nods.)
Pró. And that set together is-noddy,
my pains." The nods salutatory, or common, is complex, multiform, and masculine. It is manifest, for the most part, in the business hours of the day, in crowded thoroughfares, on 'change, and at commercial and popular gatherings generally; amongst persons, who have sometimes the finest of exteriors, but the plainest of sur-christian and heathen-names; and its meaning varies with the men, time, place, and circumstances. When the two salutators are not friends, it has a sort of subdued, pugnacious meaning, and the fists seem to spring therefrom in airy perspective. When they are friends, and good ones, and have no time for chit-chat, it gives the very air a warm, rhythmic pulsation. In early morning, it is often expressive of wonder and pure good nature ; in a place of fashionable resort, when not of surprise or kindliness, it often speaks of conventional pride ; and when one chances to meet another from whom he dreads a long oration, it is significant of suppressed ejaculations, as “Humbug !"" Dry-as-dust!" or "Spin-a-yarn!" and, moreover, should No. 1 be a few minutes later than usual for dinner, and walking hastily and hungrily, it shows, and I grieve to confess it, that there are yet some traces of cannibalism lingering amongst civilized and enlightened Englishmen. But the nod has other remarkable transformations that deserve notice. It has been known, when well given, to ensure an invitation to dinner and elegant supper parties ; and there have been occasions wherein it has produced a resort to weapons, mostly, however, of so thin and slight a character as to inflict only mental injury, or ended in the revival of some obsolete personal right in a lengthy law-suit. No emotion of pain, pleasure, or expectation that is not expressed by this unique inclination of the head ; rarely an original man but has a peculiar way of thus recognizing you, and scarcely a keen observer, who is on moving terms with a large number of people, but may find much matter for mirthful as well as serious reflection and speculation, in the different modes and expressions of his friends. One man, and he generally happens to be a dyspeptic, saturnine individual, shuts his eyes, and pulls his mouth, as if in pain in the act of acknowledging your presence; another gives you a stift, solid nod, moving his head like an engine-bar, as though he would lay you flat on the pavement; a third drops his lower jaw on his breast, and seems muttering an Ade or a Pater, (the less you have to do with such man the better); a fourth rises on his toes, and curving his neck prondly, drops down a dubious blessing upon you from some cold Alpine height; and a fifth may perchance move rapidly, and then smile in pure selfcomplacency, as witlings do after bon mots at dinner parties. Others are hardly so pleasant even as these-I have seen the neck and head jerked forward at the same time, when the recipient seems to get an awful wound near the midriff, and what is generally the case with excessively tall men when they move to friends of interior statue, a seeming desire to sweep off your bat with a sort of sword-stroke. There are two others I have marked belonging to this class, and these gentlemen, and they are a numerous class, invariably tip at you sideways; and I cannot help thinking that one individual, whom I know to be a pugilist, and often meet, has some serious designs on my left ribs, since he generally manages to get on that side and deliver with effect. Then there is the nod jocular, which proceeds from an individual with bis hat stuck jauntily on one side, and in which that article of dress has an
uncertain distressing movement, and a large variety of sporting, legal, clerical, aristocratical, and other nods, far too numerous and complicated for me to mention,
Thus much have I said of nods in some of their aspects; and if I have shown them in a humorous fanciful light, it must not therefore be imagined that I hold with them, as a general salutation, on mere comical grounds, though I must confess there is no more amusing sight to me than to pass along a well-thronged street, and observe the various passengers podding with all their might and main, as if to keep suspended some invisible shuttlecock. I prefer the nod to the bend of the back, yea, even to the Irish pulling of the forelock, doubtless the invention of St. Patrick himself, inasinuch as we have for it an heroic precedent, and what is more common as well as classic, custom. For my own part, some of the queer sculptures recovered from Nineveh, headless although many are, seem to be nooding cheerfully to each other; and I feel sure that neither Socrates nor Plato, when they met their friends in their promenades, depressed their forms into the shape of a bow, and delivered their salutations like so many arrows, but nodding much as the Smiths and Joneses do now, with a “How dost, Protagoras ?" or a “ Fine day, Deusippus !" passed on their way. As to its use amongst onr British selves, I have not been able to meet with any chronicle or romance that commences early enough to mention its introduction. The Arthurs, Warwicks, Rollands, and Hamptons all made free use of this method as a peaceful salute, and hence, in rhyme and roundelay, the “nodding plume became the symbol of every gentle, fraternal, and chivalric virtue. There are more reasons, however, than mere hoary ones to sustain it, First :--It is more social than the low bow, when not stiffly given, and causes you no inconvenience in the act of rapid transition. Secondly :-It is more honest; a man may make a deep bow, and smile a deceitful smile, show his teeth, thrust out his tongue, or what not, and his hat will hide him; in nodding he must confront you, and cannot practice such deception. Thirdly:—There is no danger of your hat being displaced. Fourthly :- If you take care, your head never nods, except in meeting a friend, there is no reasonable fear any worshipful judicial reverence may ever fine you for disorderly behaviour. And fifthly, and conclusive: It is more natural. Does not creation generally so acknowledge the wooing winds ? And when either bearded grain, poplar, or aspiring palm, really do bow, do they not invariably seem awkward after it, and struggle painfully to regain their former positions? And where can we find, east, west, north, or south, in any mode of mutual interchange, an action in which, while there is so much to amuse and interest, there is so little to condemn and so much to admire, either in the way of use, expression, or brevity.
BY J. EWING RITCHIE.
A DAILY newspaper is to a man of my way of thinking one of the most wonderful phenomena of these latter days. It is a crown of glory to our land. It is true, in some quarters, a contrary opinion is held. The press," Mr. David Urquhart very seriously tells us, “is an invention for the development of original 'sin." In the opinion of that amiable cynic,