Abbildungen der Seite


His heart was beginning to fail him, when suddenly He held out a small flask to Arnold, who rejected it the welcome tingling of bells met his ears, and a team, disdainfully. conducted by a tall man clad in a blouse, appeared in The coarseness of the peasant renewed his regrets for sight, coming up from a by-road towards the spot where the polished society he had left behind. He could he stood. Arnold awaited his approach, and asked hardly believe that these unhappy beings, whose lives whether it were far to Sersberg.

were devoted to labour, and whose minds never seenied *Sersberg !' repeated the teamster ; 'I hope you do to rise above what was most material in all that surnot reckon upon sleeping there to-night?'

rounded them, could be men endued with the same Pardon me, but I do though,' replied the young nature as himself. Their animal existence was the

same, but what an abyss between their spirits! Were * At the Château of Sersberg?' continued the pea- there any inclinations common to each-any point of sant: 'then you must know of a railway leading to it. resemblance which might attest their original fraterThere are six good leagues to be traversed before you | nity? Arnold felt each moment more inclined to doubt could reach the gate, and, considering the weather and it. The longer he reflected, the more he became conthe roads, they might be reckoned as twelve.'

vinced that this immaterial flower of all things, to which The young man made an exclamation of surprise. we have given the name of poetry, was the privileged He had started early in the day from the château, and possession of a few choice spirits, while the rest of manhad no idea he had rambled so far from it. But the kind vegetated in the dull limbo of a prosaic existence. peasant, on hearing of the course he had pursued, ex- Such thoughts as these communicated a sort of contempplained to him that for some hours he had been going tuous nonchalance to his demeanour towards his guide, in the wrong direction; and that, while he thought with whom he no longer attempted any conversation. himself on the road to Sersberg, he had, in reality, Moser showed neither surprise nor annoyance at his been turning his back upon it. It was now too late to conduct, and began to whistle a familiar air, interruptrepair his error—the nearest village was about a league ing it now and then to utter a word of encouragement distant, and Arnold did not know the way thither; so to his horses. that he found himself compelled to accept the shelter Ere long they reached the farm, where the tingling which was cordially offered by his new companion, of the little bells had announced their approach. A whose farm happily lay near at hand. He accordingly young boy and a middle-aged woman appeared at the joined the countryman, and attempted to enter into same moment upon the threshold. conversation with him ; but Moser was no talker, and It is your father!' exclaimed the woman, turning appeared a perfect stranger to all those ideas which hastily back into the house, whence there immediately habitually filled the young man's mind.

issued forth the joyous voices of children, who came On emerging from the forest, Arnold called his atten- running to the door, and pressed eagerly round the tion to the magnificent horizon which lay before them, peasant. and which the last rays of the setting sun now tinged • Wait a minute there, marmaille !' he exclaimed with with a hue of the deepest purple. The farmer only his rough voice, whilst at the same time he drew from shrugged his shoulders, and murmured in reply— It the cart a covered basket. “Let Fritz unharness the will be a bad day to-morrow,' at the same time draw- horses.' ing more closely around him the limousine which served But the children continued to besiege the farmer, all him for a cloak.

talking at the same time. He stooped down to kiss •I should think one can see the whole valley from them all, one after another; then suddenly raising himthis point of the road,' said Arnold, who sought to self up, Where is Johnny?' he inquired with a hurried pierce through the darkness in which the base of the voice, which betrayed some feeling of anxiety. hill was already enveloped.

• Here, papa-here I am,' answered a feeble little “Yes, yes,' replied Moser, shaking his head, “this voice within the doorway. Mamma does not like me rascally hill is high enough for that. Now there is an to come out in this rain.' invention which I don't see much use for.'

‘Stay, then-stay a moment,' said Moser, while he • What invention ?'

threw the reins on the backs of the unharnessed horses : • Why, the mountains to be sure.'

I am coming to you, my child. Go in all of you, chil*You would like better to have nothing but plains?' dren, not to let him be tempted to come out.'

• What a question !' exclaimed the farmer, laughing The three children ran joyously back to the porch, aloud. “You might as well ask me whether would where the little Johnny stood by his mother's side. rather not break my horses' backs.'

He was a pale, sickly boy; so deformed, that it was "Ah, that is true,' replied Arnold in a tone of con- impossible to guess his age. He rested upon crutches, temptuous irony: I forgot the horses! God ought and his whole frame was bent and emaciated. On his certainly to have thought of them above all when he father's approach, he extended his diminutive arms tocreated the world.'

wards him with an expression so full of joy and love, 'I do not know,' Moser tranquilly replied, whether that his wrinkled face beamed with delight. Moser God should have thought of them or not; but certainly lifted him up with his sinewy hands, uttering at the the engineers ought not to forget them when they con- same time an exclamation of happiness not unmingled struct a road. The horse, sir, is the labourer's best with emotion : 'Come, then, my little Puss !' said he; friend, without intending, however, any insult to the kiss papa, then; with both arms hug him close now. oxen, which have also their value.'

How has he been since yesterday?' Arnold looked at the peasant in amazement.

The mother shook her head, Always that cough,' • Then do you really see nothing in all which sur- she said in an under tone. rounds you,' asked he seriously, “but the mere question * Oh, papa, it is nothing,' said the little boy. «Louis of utility? The forest, the mountain, the clouds--do had drawn me rather too fast in my wheel chair; but I they never speak to your heart? Have you never am quite well again. I feel as strong as a man.' stood still to contemplate the setting sun, or the forest The peasant laid him carefully down, raised the fallen lighted up by the stars, as it is at this moment?' crutches, which he placed under his arms, and looked

‘Me!' exclaimed the farmer. “Do you suppose, then, at him with an air of satisfaction. Don't you think that I make almanacs ? What good should I get from he grows, wife?' said he in the tone of a man who wants your star-light nights and setting suns? The impor- to be encouraged in his own opinion. Walk a little tant thing is to earn enough to pay for one's three daily way, Johnny-walk, my boy! He walks quicker and meals, and for something to keep the cold out of one's more firmly. He will do well, wife; we must only have stomach. Would monsieur like a little drop of cherry a little patience.' brardy? It is good, and comes from the other side of The good woman said nothing, but her glance rested the Rhine.'

upon her infirm child with such an expression of utter


despair that it made Arnold shudder. Happily for poor woman called a servant to assist her in laying the Moser, he saw it not.

cloth; and the young man, at the invitation of Moser, Come here now, all you young brood,' he continued, drew near the brushwood fire which was burning on the opening at the same time the basket which he had hearth. As he leaned against the mantelpiece, his eye taken from the cart. There is something for every- rested on a small black frame wherein was enclosed a body. Fall into rank, and hold out all hands.'

dried leaf; Moser perceived its glance. The good father had just produced three small white • Ah, you are looking at my relic, I perceive,' said rolls, ornamented with gilding. Three exclamations of he laughing. It is a leaf from the weeping willow joy were uttered, and six little hands simultaneously which grows away yonder upon the tomb of the hero! started forward to receive them; but in a moment all | It was given to me by a Strasburg merchant, who had drew back as if by instinct : ' And Johnny?' inquired also served in the old regiment. I would not give the with one accord all the little voices.

thing for a hundred crowns.' • What matter about Johnny?' gaily replied Moser. “You attach, then, some particular idea to it?' said * Who knows but I have brought nothing for him this the young man inquiringly. I evening? He shall have his share another time.'

• Idea? No,' replied the peasant; but I too have But the child smiled, and tried to stretch over and served a campaign in the 14th Hussars- a valiant peep into the basket. The farmer stepped back, lifted regiment, sir-which was pretty well cut up at Monthe cover, and raising his hand with an air of mock truivail. There were only eight men left in our squasolemnity, displayed before the eyes of all a gingerbread dron; and so, to be sure, when the Little Corporal passed cake, decorated with white and pink sugar-plums. front of the line, saluted us—yes, sir-he took off There was a general exclamation of delight. Johnny his hat and saluted us! Tonnerre! it was worth while himself could not suppress a feeble cry of admiration ; a being killed for him! Ah! he was the father of the slight tinge of colour passed across his pale cheeks, and soldier.' he stretched out his hand with an expression of joyous Here the peasant began to fill his pipe, with his eyes avidity.

fixed upon the frame of black wood and the dried leaf. *Ah, that takes your fancy, my little Puss,' ex- There was evidently to him in this remembrancer of a claimed the father, whose countenance brightened at wonderful destiny a whole romance of youth and of the sight of his child's pleasure. •Take it, my old man; emotion. He recalled the last struggles of the Empire, take it, it is only sugar and honey.'

in which he had borne a part; the reviews held by the He placed the cake in the hands of the little cripple, emperor when his presence was still considered a pledge watched him as he slowly moved away, and then turn- of victory; the brief successes of the French campaign, ing towards Arnold, said with some emotion, 'He is my which were so soon followed by the disaster of Waterloo;

first-born, sir: disease has somewhat deformed him; but the departure of the fallen hero; and his long agony 1 he is as sharp as a needle, and it will be our own fault on the rock of St Helena. All these images passed 11 if he does not turn out a gentleman.'. While speaking, successively before the farmer's mind, and his brow be

he crossed the outer room, and led the way into a sort came knitted—he pressed his thumb more energetically of parlour, whose whitewashed walls were decorated upon his pipe, and whistled in a low tone one of the with a few rude engravings. On entering, Arnold per- marches of his old regiment. ceived Johnny seated on the ground, surrounded by his Arnold respected the old soldier's meditations, and brothers, amongst whom he was sharing the cake given waited till he should himself once more break the him by his father. But each was exclaiming against silence. The arrival of supper awoke him from his the size of his share, and wanting it to be smaller; it reverie-he drew a chair to the table for his guest, and needed all the eloquence of the little hunchback to took his own place opposite. make them accept the shares he had allotted to them. "Come,' said he abruptly, let us set to work with

The young huntsman looked at the scene for some the soup. I have taken nothing since morning but a moments with the deepest interest, and when the chil crust of bread and two or three mouthfuls of cherry dren had again left the room, he expressed his admira- brandy. I could almost swallow a cow whole this evention of it to the farmer's wife. "Certainly,' she replied ing;' and as if to prove his assertion, he began rapidly with a smile, while at the same time a sigh escaped to despatch the large basin of soup which stood before her, there are times when I think that the infirmities him. For a few minutes, nothing was heard but the

of our poor John are of use to our other children: noise of spoons, soon followed by that of knives em; amongst each other, they are slow in yielding, but not ployed in cutting up the quarter of smoked bacon,

one of them can ever refuse him anything—it is a con- which the goodwife placed before them. itinual exercise of kindness and devotion.'

The long walk and keen air had given even Arnold * And a fine kind of virtue it is!' interrupted Moser. an appetite which made him forget all his Parisian *Who could refuse anything to an innocent who has so delicacies ; the bacon seemed the best-flavoured he had

much to suffer? It is a foolish thing for a man to say, ever tasted ; and the cheap vin du pays, which constituted 1; but do you know, sir, that child always makes me feel the sole beverage at the farmer's table, appeared to him

disposed to cry. Often when I am in the fields, I begin capital. all of a sudden to think of him. I say to myself, “ Per- The supper went merrily on till the farmer inquired, haps Johnny is ill, perhaps he is dead!” and then, no as if struck by a sudden thought, • Where is Farraut? matter what hurry there may be for the work to be got I have not seen him since my return.' through, I must find some pretext or other for coming His wife and children looked at each other, and made home and seeing how things go on. You see he is so no reply. fetble, so suffering! If he were not loved more than "Well, then, what is the matter?' said Moser, who others, he would be too unhappy.'

perceived their embarrassment. •Where is the dog? !

* Yes, yes,' gently replied his wife, 'the poor child is What has happened? Do answer me, Dorothy!' to us at once a cross and a blessing. My children, sir, • Do not be vexed, dear papa,' interrupted Johnny; · are all dear to me; but when I hear upon the floor the we did not dare to tell you ; but Farraut is gone off, + sound of Johnny's crutches, I always feel as it were a and has not come back again.'

thrill of joy pass through me: it is a notice to me that • Gone off! but you should have told me,' said the

our gracious God has not yet withdrawn the beloved peasant, striking the table with his fist. • And what I child from us. It often seems to me that Johnny brings road did he take?

happiness to the house, like the swallow's nest built be- · The road to Garennes.'
Death the roof. If I had not to watch over him, I • When was it?'
should feel as if I had nothing left to do.'

• After breakfast. We saw him go up the little path.' Arnold listened to these naïve expressions of tender- Something must have happened to him,' said Moser, ness with mingled interest and surprise. The good rising from his seat. • The poor animal is almost blind,.


and there are sand-pits all along the road. Go, get me good grandfather looks down upon us, he will be pleased my goatskin cloak and my lantern ; I must find poor now.' Farraut either dead or alive.'

This reflection, made almost in a tone of indifference, Dorothy went out without making any observation deeply touched Arnold, who warmly grasped the peaon the lateness of the hour, or the badness of the sant's hand, saying with emotion, . You have acted like weather, and soon returned with the cloak and lantern. a true-hearted man, my friend.'

• You value this dog much ?' inquired Arnold, sur- In what respect?' answered Moser. "Is it because prised at their anxiety.

I have saved a dog from drowning ? Thank God! I Not for my own sake,' replied Moser, as he lighted have saved many a dog, and many a man too, since I his pipe; ' but he did a good service to Dorothy's father. was born ; but not often in worse weather than to-night. One day as he was returning from La Boutraye with Say, my good Dorothy, can you give me a glass of the price of his bullocks, four men set on him, and cogniac to warm me?' would have killed him to get his money, but Farraut She brought the bottle to her husband, who drank to drove them off; and so, when the good man died two the health of his guest, and then they all retired to years ago, he called me to his bedside, and asked me to rest. care for the dog as for one of his children. Those The next morning was again fine; the sun shone were his very words. I promised it; and it would be a brightly in the cloudless sky, and the birds sang sweetly shame not to keep one's word with the dead. Ho, Fritz! on the boughs, still glittering with rain-drops. When give me my stick: I would not, for the world, that any- Arnold descended from the loft where he had passed thing should have happened to Farraut. The creature the night, he found Farraut at the door basking in has been in the family for twenty years. He knows the warm rays of the rising sun, while the little cripple every one of us by our voices, and he recalls the good was seated by his side, making a collar for him of grandfather to mind. Give the lantern here quickly, the bright red berries of the wild rose. Farther on, in Dorothy. Good-night, sir, and rest well till to-morrow.' the outer room, the farmer sat chatting with a beggar,

Moser wrapped himself in his goatskin and went out. who came for his weekly alms. Dorothy was engaged The sound of his iron-tipped staff made itself heard for in filling the old man's sack. a few moments, and was then lost amidst the noise of • Come, old Henri, you must have a drink before you the storm and rain, which was raging without.

go,' said the peasant, whilst he filled a glass for the After a long silence, the hostess proposed to show the aged beggar. • To enable you to get through your young man the room she had prepared for him; but rounds, you must have something to give you courage.” Arnold begged to be allowed to await the return of his One always finds some here,' said the beggar with a host. He began to feel interested in this man, whom smile. There are not many houses in the parish which he had at first thought rude and vulgar-minded, and in give more liberally; and certainly there are none where this humble family, whose life had seemed to him so what is given is given so cheerfully.' devoid of interest.

• Hush, hush, Father Henriot,' interrupted Moser ; The night passed on; but no sign of Moser. The why talk about such things ? Take your glass, and children dropped asleep one after another, and John leave it to the good God to judge the actions of other himself, who made the longest resistance, at length men. You know you and I have served together-we yielded to the weariness which stole over him.

are comrades.' Dorothy, uneasy and restless, went constantly to the The old man contented himself with shaking his door to see if she could hear the sound of footsteps. head, and striking his glass with the farmer's, without Arnold tried to reassure her; but this only excited her further remark; but one could see that he felt more the more. She accused Moser of never considering his deeply the kindliness with which the alms were beown health or safety ; of being always ready to sacrifice stowed than the gift of the alms themselves. himself for others; of never being satisfied to see either When he had again lifted his sack upon his shoulder, man or beast suffer without doing everything to relieve and said farewell, Joser looked after him till he had them; and in proportion as she multiplied her com- turned the corner, and then said with a sigh, 'One more plaints, which sounded wonderfully like praises, her homeless poor old man cast upon the world!' and added, anxiety became greater, and she was filled with fore- turning to his guest, ‘Perhaps you will hardly believe bodings of ill. The night before, the dog had never me, sir, but when I see a feeble aged man like that ceased howling, an owl had perched on the roof, and obliged to beg his bread from door to door, my heart besides, it was Wednesday, always an unfortunate day sinks within me. I should like to be able to shelter to them. At last she became so miserable that the them all under my roof, and welcome them to my table. young huntsman proposed to go in search of her hus-One may argue about it as one likes, but nothing preband; and she was about to awaken Fritz to accompany vents such a sight from breaking the heart but the rehim as a guide, when the sound of footsteps was heard collection that up there, above us, there is a land where outside.

those who have not received even a scanty portion here, • It is he !-it is Moser!' exclaimed the good woman. will have double ration and double pay.' • Thank God! he is safe.'

“Ah, keep fast hold of that hope,' said Arnold ; it • Hollo! open quick, wife, cried the farmer from alone can sustain and console us. I shall never forget without.

the hours I have passed with you, my friend: I hope She ran to draw back the bolt, and Moser appeared they may not be the last.' with the old blind dog in his arms.

• We shall rejoice to see you,' said the old soldier. • Here he is,' cried he gaily. * God bless me! I If the bed in the loft is not too hard for you, and thought I should never find him: the poor animal had you can put up with our smoked bacon, come as often rolled to the bottom of the great quarry.'

as you like, and we shall always have a hearty welcome * And did you go down there to get him?' inquired for you.' As he thus spoke, the peasant cordially shook the terrified Dorothy.

the hand which the young man offered him, pointed out • Would you have had me leave him at the bottom, the path he should follow, and stood on the threshold to find bim drowned there to-morrow ?' replied the old till he had turned the corner of the road and vanished soldier. •I slipped along the high bank, and carried from his sight. him away in my arms like a child, only I was obliged Arnold walked on thoughtfully for some distance, to leave the lantern behind.'

with his eyes fixed upon the ground; but when he had * But, good heavens, you risked your life!' exclaimed reached the summit of the hill, he turned to cast one Dorothy shuddering.

more look upon the farm ; and as he stood watching He shrugged his shoulders, and said good-humouredly, the light smoke which curled from its chimney, a tear "Ah, bah! when one risks nothing, one gets nothing. of grateful emotion dimmed his eye. May God proI have found Farraut, that is the chief thing. If the tect that roof l' he earnestly exclaimed; for there,

where my pride saw only beings incapable of under- exhilarating effect. A certain degree of moisture is standing the more refined sentiments of our nature, I absolutely necessary as a healthy condition of air; have found those who are an example to myself. I but extreme moisture or extreme dryness is prejujudged hastily from the exterior, and thought all the dicial. The wind called the sirocco, which prevails at poetry of life was wanting, because, instead of showing certain seasons of the year over those countries on the itself outwardly, it lay hidden within the deeper re- borders of the Mediterranean, exercises a very peculiar cesses of the heart. Superficial observer that I was! effect on the animal system. This wind comes from the I spurned with my foot what seemed to me a hard arid deserts of Africa, and is extremely hot and dry. ungainly flint, little thinking of the diamond hidden No sooner does it arrive on the shores of the Mediterwithin.'

ranean, than it absorbs with avidity every particle of moisture up to its highest pitch of saturation; and

while undergoing this change, its depressing and enerINFLUENCE OF THE WEATHER ON THE vating effects are found to be most distressing. We MIND AND BODY.

experience something of the same kind in our east

winds, which prevail along the eastern shores of BriGENERAL experience convinces most people that the tain, especially in the spring months of the year. This body and the mind are both liable to be affected by the east wind blows over the continent of Europe, as well as “skiey influences.' Some, indeed, like Dr Johnson, the northern parts of Asia, and is of low temperature, may affect to treat this with ridicule, and the strong and deficient in moisture: as soon as it arrives on our and robust may scarcely be sensible of any minute hence that peculiar dry, cold, shrivelling effect which it

island, it gradually absorbs both moisture and heat; and changes which the state of the weather may effect on produces both on the bodies of animals and on all grow! their systems, but the more sensitive and susceptible ing vegetables. This effect becomes more apparent when

again are fully alive to the facts; so much so, indeed, as contrasted with a south or westerly wind. No sooner to become in some measure living barometers. Who does the southerly wind gain the ascendancy–which has not, in some part of his life at least, experienced the wind blows over a long tract of ocean, and is consedepressing effect of a dull rainy day on his spirits ?---or quently of elevated temperature, and supplied with a who, on the contrary, has not felt the exhilaration of medium degree of moisture-than its mild and invigodry air and a bright glowing sunshine? At times, rating influence is felt both by the animal and vegetable

kingdoms. even in good health, a state of mind comes across us

The damp winds of South America have been well 1 in which everything appears dark and gloomy; in described by Sir Woodbine Parish. To the north of which little ills are magnified into terrible evils; and Buenos Ayres is a very marshy district, while to the in which casual annoyances seem as if they were to be south-west lies the great chain of the Andes, separated perpetual, and never to be got over. All this may only by the dry plains of the Pampas; and according as endure for a day, and we cannot account for it; but to the wind blows from one or other of these quarters, the morrow's sun rises bright and cheerful; a wonderful effects are very remarkable. By the time the north change has come over our spirits; and hope and joy with moisture, that everything becomes instantly damp,

wind reaches the city, it has become so overcharged have suddenly taken the place of all our former sor- books and boots become mildewed, keys rust even in the rows. How much is man thus a creature of circum- pocket, and good fires are necessary to keep the apartstances, and how apt is his mind thus to be unneces- ments dry. The effects produced in the human body by sarily agitated! It is right, however, that he should this humidity are a, general lassitude and relaxation, know this ; and a few explanations of the effects of the opening the pores of the skin, and inducing great liaweather on the animal system may not thus be without bility to colds, sore throats, rheumatic affections, and their use.

all the consequences of checked perspiration. As a safeThere are several circumstances which naturally woollen clothing, even though the weather be very hot;

guard against this state of things, the inhabitants wear affect the atmosphere as respects its influence on or

and although Europeans would prefer wearing cool ganised beings—such as its temperature, its moist or cotton clothing in such a climate, they soon learn that dry condition, its purity as respects admixture of other the native inhabitants are right in the plan which they gases, and its electric condition. Hot air is always de- pursue. This damp wind of La Plata seems to affect pressing and relaxing to the whole system; and as hot the temper and disposition of the inhabitants. The and highly rarefied air contains in the same bulk a irritability and ill-humour which it excites in some of smaller proportion of oxygen or vital air than cold and them, amount to little less than a temporary derangedenser air, the lungs are thus defectively supplied with ment of their moral faculties. It is a common thing for one of their chief stimulants of life. Cold air, on the men among the better class to shut themselves up in contrary, is bracing and highly stimulating. Every one their houses during its continuance, and lay aside all must have experienced the effects of these two extremes: business till it has passed ; whilst among the lower the first in the languor, and lassitude, and oppressed orders it is always remarked that cases of quarrelling breathing of a sultry summer day; the other in the ex- and bloodshed are much more frequent during the north hilaration caused by a dry frosty day in winter, and wind than at any other time. In short, everything is the increased muscular activity and the ruddy glow of deranged, and everybody lays the fault to one source : health which such weather causes. When the air is Senor es el viento norte!'-"'Tis the north wind, sir!' suddenly rarefied, or when a change of its constitution Even murderers are said to lay to it the blame of their is about to take place, a corresponding impression is foul deeds. No sooner, however, does the south wind, felt in the animal system; this is, experienced before blowing from the dry and snowy summits of the Andes, great storms, hurricanes, or heavy falls of rain or snow. set in, than health, and comfort, and peace are restored. Not only does man become sensible of this, but even the Physicians attribute, and with reason, the prevalence inferior animals, throughout all their grades of existence, of many diseases to these different states of the atmomanifest by some outward indications their feelings of sphere. Thus moist airs give rise to bilious affections, the approaching change. The cattle leave their pastures and in some localities and seasons, to agues; dry sharp often with a loud bellowing, birds wheel about in the airs, again, are inimical to all disorders of the chest and air, and even the leech, and other small animals, become lungs. An irritable state of the nervous system, and musually agitated. Air of an elevated temperature, even temporary insanity, may also occur from extreme and when loaded with moisture, has always a depress- conditions of the surrounding atmosphere. The effect ing effect on the spirits ; dry air, on the contrary, has of deleterious substances in the air as influencing health, a stimulating, and, under ordinary circumstances, an is well known; hence one cause of the unhealthiness


of smoke-enveloped cities, where the air becomes con- nervous and debilitated. Hence, too, the beneficial taminated with an excess of carbon, and with sulphu-effects of travel, when change of air is conjoined with reous and other gases. Crowded and ill-ventilated apart- regular exercise of the body, and the amusement and ments are also thus inimical to health, from containing occupation of the mind. an excess of carbonic acid and a corresponding deficiency of oxygen or vital air. We know too little as yet of the effects of electricity, either in excess or defi- | THE TRAPPERS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. ciency, on the animal system, yet sufficient facts are A work called ' Adventures in Mexico and the Rocky apparent to convince us that health depends greatly Mountains,' forms two parts—but very unequal partson the electric condition of the air. A coming thun of the Home and Colonial Library.* One describes a der - storm has a marked effect on the sensations of journey through Mexico, by a route that has hitherto man and the inferior animals; and rapid charges of been little if at all traversed by Europeans; yet, owing the electric condition, which always take place on sudden changes of temperature, or of states of mois- to the sameness in the character of the people, and ture and dryness, have no doubt a great deal to do position of the country, it is but little different from the with many diseases, especially those called epidemical narratives of former travellers. Our author, however, -such as influenza, and some kinds of fevers. The ex- shows that the obvious arrest of social progress in cellent reports on mortality now introduced into Eng- Mexico is in a great degree owing to physical causes ; land, as given by Dr Farr, and those given with such the fertile table-lands of the central region being cut accuracy by Dr Stark of Edinburgh, sufficiently exhibit off from easy traffic with the coast, and the entire popu. the effects of climate on disease. The rate of mortality lation of 8,000,000 scattered over an area of 1,312,850 ranges almost with the range of the thermometer: our square miles, being distributed in isolated departments, mild and temperate months exhibiting the least disease, distinct in interests, and insecure in intercommuniwhile those either of extreme heat, or extreme cold, or cation. The people, he tells us, rank decidedly low in of excess of moisture, invariably swell the lists of mor- the scale of humanity. They are treacherous, cunning, tality.

indolent, and cowardly by nature, yet have that brutish Certain temperaments are more liable to be affected indifference to death which is altogether distinct even by the weather than otliers, and invalids and all deli- from mere animal courage. He never observed a single cate persons are more 'tremblingly alive' to its changes commendable trait in the character of the Mexicanthan the robust and healthy. While one shivers with that is, of the male animal; for the women, singular as the northern breeze, and can tell from his sensations, it may seem under the circumstances, are, for kindness the moment he gets out of bed, from what quarter the of heart, and many sterling qualities, an ornament to wind blows, another, less alive to minute feelings, their sex and to any nation. laughs at all such, and, like the renowned Tam o' The second, and by far the more valuable part, conShanter, never minds the storm a whistle.' But let none tains the passage of the Rocky Mountains, and the route exult too much in their impenetrability, or despise the thence to New York. There is much in this portion of warnings or salutary precautions which are required the work which will be new to British readers, and proas protection against the elements ; nor, on the other bably useful in correcting the pleasant delusions of such hand, let thé afflicted despair, or yield their thoughts writers as Cooper. Take the following scenic view to too much to such depressions coming from without. begin with :- The view from this point was wild and

It will perhaps be of some use to the sensitive to be dismal in the extreme. Looking back, the whole counaware of the real nature and cause of their afflictions. try was covered with a thick carpet of snow, but eastThey have only to call to mind that such are in many ward it was seen in patches only here and there. Before cases of a purely physical nature; that they are the lot me lay the main chain of the Rocky Mountains, Pike's of all flesh—the inferior animals, and even insensate Peak lifting its snowy head far above the rest; and to plants, not being excepted ; that the effects of the the south-east the Spanish Peaks (Cumbres Espanolas) weather are to be met by salutary precautions, and by towered like twin giants over the plains. Beneath the a resolute and resigned mind; that, like many other mountain on which I stood was a narrow valley, through evils, they soon pass away; and that in such cases espe- which ran a streamlet bordered with dwarf oak and cially, though sorrow may endure for a night, joy pine, and looking like a thread of silver as it wound cometh in the morning.'

through the plain. Rugged peaks and ridges, snowThe permanent influence of particular climates on the clad, and covered with pine, and deep gorges filled with national temperature and disposition is also a curious broken rocks, everywhere met the eye. To the eastsubject of inquiry. There seem to be grounds for sup- ward the mountains gradually smoothed away into posing that climate has some effect in this way; hence detached spurs and broken ground, until they met the the superior excitability of the inhabitants of warm vast prairies, which stretched far as the eye could climates as compared to those of cold :

reach, and hundreds of miles beyond-a sea of seeming

barrenness, vast and dismal. A hurricane of wind was • The cold in clime are cold in blood : Afric is all the sun's, and as her earth

blowing at the time, and clouds of dust swept along the Her human clay is kindled.'

sandy prairies, like the smoke of a million bonfires.

On the mountain top it roared and raved through the Even within the compass of Europe, marked differences pines, filling the air with snow and broken branches, of national character are to be observed, corresponding and piling it in huge drifts against the trees. The perin a certain degree to difference of climate, though no fect solitude of this vast wilderness was almost appalling. doubt difference of race and natural temperament are From my position on the summit of the dividing ridge also to be taken into account. Thus the inhabitants of I had a bird's-eye view, as it were, over the rugged and the south are more irritable and more sensitive than chaotic masses of the stupendous chain of the Rocky the cold and phlegmatic natives of the north; the Mountains, and the vast deserts which stretched away liveliness of the Frenchman differs from the sedateness from their eastern bases; while, on all sides of me, of the German; and the proverbial dulness of the Dutch broken ridges, and chasms, and ravines, with masses of differs as much from the energy and vivacity of the piled-up rocks and uprooted trees, with clouds of driftItalian.

ing snow flying through the air, and the hurricane's The effects of change of climate in the cure and pre- roar battling through the forest at my feet, added to vention of disease are well known to medical men ; and the wildness of the scene, which was unrelieved by the such changes, when judiciously made, are often produc- slightest vestige of animal or human life. Not a sound tive of the best effects. Thus a mild, soft, and rather either of bird or beast was heard; indeed the hoarse moist air, is found favourable to all complaints of the chest, while a dry bracing air acts like magic on the

* By George F. Ruxton, Esq. Murray.

« ZurückWeiter »