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but it is necessary that it should first corrupt and stink ; by which means it does become the best water in the work. This is somewhat akin to another dogma, in morals, however, namely, that a man is unlikely to be good for any thing unless he has been a profligate, and full often a scoundrel in his youth; this said operation being technically termed sowing wild oats (let those who invented the metaphor prove the parallel), and bearing an analogy to the stinking of Thames water. These sapient dogmas are about equally sound. The moralists, who have discovered the blessings of vice and rascality, may be left to enjoy their hypothesis, but the physical and chemical one is the present affair.
It is best to explain the fundamental blunders first. The corruption of water, and the putrefaction of gold, stand on pretty much the same chemical bottom. Because Mr. Burgess the Picklemonger keeps his Harvey sauce in bottles, the said sauce continues to be competent for fried sole or boiled whiting, but if he chose to put it into copper canisters, it would soon be fit only to poison rats and epicures. Bristol water is imported from Bristol in bottles, that it may be carried to sea pure, and be preserved pure, and so forth ; because Bristol water is--in short Bristol water, and incorruptible ; and when it comes to be drunk, it is drunk under the scarcity and the price of the water of Zemzem, which is equally incorruptible, and for the same reason, because it is the water of Zemzem.
It is very surprising ; not this marvellous property of Bristol or Zemzem water, but that marvellous property of men's brains, which can only take in one idea at a time, should two be present, or half an idea, should there chance to be only one. If any of these worthy Captains of the Sea would take the trouble to introduce a quart of clear Thames water into a quart bottle, it would be a great deal cheaper than Bristol water; and then moreover they will see what they will see. But to the understanding of the matter.
The putrefaction of Thames water, or of any water, is the putrefaction of the wood of the cask. Nobody is obliged to take up Thames water thick with mud; and there are establishments on the river to clear it for shipping by subsidence, particularly at the East-India Dock. And whatever water be put into casks, barring some very unimportant differences in water containing much gypsum, it will putrify just as well, and as much as Thames water, it will be just as bad, as unwholesome, and as vexatious, for just the same time, and when the arrangements are finished, it will be just as good as Thames water,
The wood is decomposed on the surface; the wood gives out the inflammable air; the wood produces the stink, and the offence, and the poison, part of it is held in solution for a time, and after a time that portion is separated into gas, which escapes at the bunghole, and into insoluble matter, which falls to the bottom, forms the dirt, but is not injurious.
Now the evil is great for a time, as all mariners know, and it is but a poor consolatio:, that it will be cured hereafter; while it is obvious that the corruption is as little useful as the “ sowing of wild oats ;” and that, when the water becomes finally pure, it is not better than it was at first, and might as well have been kept in a state of purity all along. The advantage is just as if a man were to go to live a month or two up to the neck in a common sewer, that he might have the pleasure of remarking how wonderfully clean he was, after being dragged through the river at the end of his purification. And that evil is not seldom somewhat greater than what arises froin the mere drinking of dirty and stinking water. The gas which is produced is essentially poisonous, and may even be deadly. It is bilge water in its worst state, or rather the gas of bilge water, and it is Miasma, and the cause of the same diseases, though not often in sufficient quantity at any one time to produce fever. Yet it does produce this frequently: nor is it an extremely rare occurrence for immediate palsy to follow the opening of a cask of water in this state. That palsy is the same palsy as is produced by miasma, and if the quantity of the poison were less, the produce would be fever, as it has been ; and this species of palsy is generally incurable.
Where, therefore, the evils are such, and the true cause so plain, it becomes a mere matter of common sense, and of no great exertions, to remove the cause, and prevent the effect. It is one of the curious facts in ignorance, not in knowledge, that it has been very widely cured by means that were not intended to cure it, and by persons who, in intending to do one thing, did another, and a better thing, which they did not intend. It is now thirty years since it was proposed to keep water in iron vessels, for this very reason, and arguing on these very grounds. And he who proposed it was not listened to, because the Admiralty board and the Navy board, very seldom listen to any thing. If they did, that would be to admit that they do not know every thing already. Quod est absurdum.” Yet some fifteen years afterwards, it became very convenient to sell more iron; and persons who could not find the means of working up all their iron plate and rivets into boilers, made boilers to
hold cold water, and they obtained a contract on a patent one, or both, and water tanks of iron were substituted for water casks, and the stowage was made more convenient, and the old accidents from moving water-casks were prevented, and a vast benefit altogether accrued to ships, and the Boards consented, and so forth. But then there also came to pass what nobody before had prophesied, and the Thames water became like the bottled water of Zemzem or Bristol, and so it was ; and
so it is.
The mystery thus solved in another way, it might have been at last hoped that it would be understood. But it is not; and what we here desire is, that it should; and that seamen may have good water to drink; and that corruption shall not be the necessary preliminary of incorruption. The principles are explained, let us suggest their application.
A new cask is worse than an old one, as a water cask ; and the reason ought to be plain : the new wood presents the very object and substance for the water to act on. And if an old cask is safer, it is again spoiled by coopering, and shaving, or cleaning. It ought to be washed free of loose mud simply. But if casks must be used, the inside ought to be thoroughly charred-charred all over ; and this operation is perfectly simple. Such a cask is as safe as wood can be ; and in such a cask there will be little putrefaction and purification of water. But " there is nothing like iron,” though we are not Iron-masters or Boiler-makers; and when the durability is so far greater, the stowage far more close, and the security for pure water so perfect, why is this contrivance not far more generally substituted for casks, at least in all large ships. The South-Sea whalers have alopted it long ago, and with the greatest advantage. It is also much easier to retrim the vessel when her water has been expended or reduced, by pumping in sea water.
One more caution, however. It is extreme folly to take in muddy Thames water, and the reasons will appear from what we said before. The water itself may be pure, and the mud may be clay only. In that case it is but so much harmless dirt. But it is not always harmless ; for, as we showed, it precipitates and unites with the offensive animal and vegetable matter. In this case, the mud would be injurious, or the water itself, in the common acceptation, would putrify, even in an iron tank, because those matters would undergo their own decomposition, and produce gas-gas and stink. The entire remedy is, therefore, plain and palpable. Let the Thames water subside, as it does in the East India Dock reservoir, put it intą iron tanks, or if not so good, into well-charred casks; and, in the former of these, at least, it will go round the world without purifying itself, return pure, and be drunk through all the voyage as pure as if it had been bottled at Bristol, or imported via Mecca and Mocha, from the sacred well of Zemzem.
Art.III - The History and Doctrine of Buddhism, popularly illustrated;
with notices of the Kappooism, or Demon Worship, and of the Bali, or Planetary Incantations of Ceylon. By Edward Upham, M. R. A. S. London. 1829. Ackermann.
IT is the custom of most writers, when entering upon the
subject of religion, to set out with the assumption that the Eternal Being presided in bodily presence at the birth of the human race, and that his voice was heard, not in the inarticulate music of the wind, but in distinct and intelligible language among the trees of the infant world. Mankind, say they, gathered the secret of their mysterious existence from the original Source of Intelligence; they were taught the principles of a simple and sublime religion by its divine Object and Founder; and the frail bark of humanity was launched upon the ocean of time amidst the hymning of angels and the welcoming of the very elements of Nature. They fell from this state of innocence and bliss ; and misery, which has dogged the heels of guilt from the beginning, became their portion. Their eyes darkened to the heavenly light which once streamed upon their lost Eden, and for many ages, their only guide was the light of Nature; their ears were incapable of hearing, and their souls of understanding the voice of God, and the slumbering echo of their hearts was only faintly and indirectly stirred by the whispering trees or the moaning wind. They forgot the solemn secret of their destiny, and in their strugglings to recall it grasped a shadow, more or less resembling the original, and more or less modified by the circumstances of their moral capabilities and physical situation. The general resemblance which may be traced among the various creeds of the separated families of mankind, is the proof and consequence of their original unity of source ; and in each may be detected with more or less distinctness, an analogy with that original law, delivered by the Creator, at the birth of Nature and of Man.
Taking these dogmas as they appear in themselves before us, they involve not a little of the strange and irreconcileable. They are contrary to all analogy, and therefore at first sight repugnant to human reason. The history of man in the present day invariably exhibits an advance from barbarism to refinement; his faculties improve, his mind is enlarged, and his soul becomes enlightened. He is taught, as it were by a process of education, to comprehend the Deity, and a knowledge of true religion is infused into his soul with the arts and sciences of civilized life.
But however strange these contradictions may appear to the mere logical reasoner, a light is seen dimly gleaming in the “ dark backward and abysm” of history, which if properly employed may assist us to reconcile them. The Egyptians, as we gather from Herodotus, were the first idolaters, and their early temples, according to another authority, dębavou noav, had no statue in them.* Previous to this time, and long after, they appear to have worshipped the one God; a being without name, without figure, incorporeal, immutable, infinite, the origin and source of all things, and who was to be adored in silence. The ancient Persians worshipped fire as the symbol of the Deity [Hyde, de Veterum Persarum] and their sacrifices were made, not in temples, or to images, but on the tops of lofty mountains. I In the temple of the Chaldeans at Babylon, there was no statue even so late as the days of Herodotus; and for a hundred and seventy years after the foundation of Rome there was not a statue in any temple at Rome. In the early books of the Bible, we find that the religion of Abraham was no new or astounding doctrine in that remote age. Melchizedek, king of Salem (in Canaan) was a "priest of the most high God;" and Abimelech, king of Gerar, in Palestine, recognized the Almighty in a dream, and with reference to his own subjects, exclaimed, “Lord, wilt thou also slay a righteous nation ?" The Arab Job, Jethro the Midianite, and Balaam the Syrian, were all acquainted with the true God.**
But, with limits like ours, it is impossible to indulge in any
+ Porphyry, Cyrillus, Lactantius, and other ancient writers hear testimony to the fact.' See Jamblichus de Myst. Egypt. viii. 3. and Guigniaud's Creuzer, p. 822. | Herodotus ; Brissonius, de Reg. Persarum Princip. p. 357, &c.
M. Varro. The first statue cast at Rome was much later : “ Romæ simulacrum ne ære factum Cereri primum reperis, ex peculiis Sp. Cassi, quem regnum affectantem pater ipsius interemerat.' Pliny: ll Gen. xiv. 18.
AT Ib. xx. 4. Antiquity," says a disciple of Lao-tseu, “ was illumined by a clear light, of which scarcely a ray has come down to us. We think the ancients were in darkness, only because we see them through the thick clouds from which we have ourselves emerged. Man is a child born at midnight: when he sees the sun rise he thinks that yesterday never existed." Remusat, Melange's Asiatiques, t. I. p. 99,