Page images
PDF

mouth, and opened on the 14th of July, 1827, on which occasion Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Clarence, now Queen Dowager, passed over it. The bridge is a light but substantial structure, consisting of five elliptical arches of cast-iron, springing from abutments and piers of stone-work. Instead of being straight-sided, as customary, the piers are curved; and from thus swelling towards the base, they appear, at a little distance, to form a continuous line with the arches, by which the effect to the eye is much improved: the abutments also are similarly curved. Having crossed the bridge, we come to Saltram, the noble residence of the Earl of Morley, a massive structure, built at the commencement of the last century. Not far from Saltram is the town of Plympton, lying in a beautiful valley near the old London road. It used at one time to be the residence of the Earls of Devon; and the decaying remains of a once magnificent castle sufficiently show that a wealthy family inhabited it. The castle is said to have been built by Richard de Redvers, afterwards Earl of Devon, in the reign of Henry the First. Risdon, in his old survey of Devonshire, thus notices Plympton Castle:—“This place hath been soe besieged by tyme that it must needs yield, not being able longer to holde up, whose ruines may remember us of our mortality, and to repair our ruines by redeeming tyme, for, If castles made of lyme and stone decaye, What suretie is in bodies made of claye?” The church at Plympton is a venerable edifice, standing near the London road, and anciently the

church belonging to a priory that existed at Plympton. The church is battlemented, and the tower has pinnacles at the four corners, together with a good set of bells within. There is a third town that receives its name from the river Plym. We have spoken of Plymouth and Plympton; the third is Plymstock, a pretty village about a mile from Oreston, near the Catwater. It possesses a spacious church, with an elaboratelycarved screen of gilded and coloured tracery across the centre. We have now devoted as much space as we can afford to a description of the most remarkable objects in and near Plymouth and Devonport; and the reader cannot fail to observe that they are two of the most considerable places in the west of England. In the census which will probably be taken of the population of England in 1841, we have little doubt that the population of the contiguous towns of Plymouth, Devonport, Stoke, and Stonehouse, will be found to have increased to at least eighty thousand. But it is not for their busy population only that these towns are attractive: there is a mingled display of nature and art on every side: we may say with Carrington— - - - - - ... Silvery bays Are seen, where Commerce lifts the peaceful sail, Or where the war-barks rise; the indented coast Frowns with wave-breasting rocks: nor does the eye Forget the proud display of bustling towns And busy arsenals, and cliffs high crowned With pealing batteries, and flags that wave In the fresh ocean gale.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

LONDON : Published by Jois N. W. PARKER, Wist Sri AND, and gold by all Bookscllers.

[graphic]

PRick ONE PENNY.

A RAFFER

THE name of Kaffer, or unbeliever, was originally given to the inhabitants of the south-eastern coast of Africa by the Moors, and, being adopted by the Portuguese, it became the common appellative of all the tribes inhabiting that region. These tribes, bearing a great resemblance to each other in language and customs, have doubtless sprung from one common stock, but are distinguished among themselves by various native appellations. Thus, the tribe occupying the country on the eastern frontier of the colony is named Amakosoe. This word is formed from Kosae, which is used to designate a single individual, with the article amma prefixed to form the plural, and desigmates the whole tribe. Respecting the origin of the Kaffers, little satisfactory information is to be met with. The people themselves possess no records, and little traditionary knowledge. They are surrounded on all sides by a people that differ from them in colour, features, disposition, manners, and language, so that they can scarcely be considered as the aboriginal inhabitants of the southern angle of Africa. The most probable conjecture, as to their origin, is that which supposes them to be descended from the Bedouin Arabs, those wanderers who have found their way into remote and distant regions, penetrating into almost every part of Africa, and even visiting the islands of the south. The points in which they resemble the Arab tribes, and those in which they differ from the African negroes, will be best exemplified by a brief descripWol. XVII.

VILLAGE,

tion of the person and manners of the inhabitants of Caffraria. The great proportion of Kaffer men are tall, wellmade, and muscular: they have an open, manly demeanour, altogether different from that of uncivilized men in general. They vary in stature from five feet to six feet ten inches, and a cripple or deformed person is seldom seen among them. Their countenance is truly Arabic. The head of a Kaffer is not generally more elongated than that of a European, and a line from the forehead to the chin, drawn over the nose, is in some instances as finely rounded as the profile of a Roman or Grecian countenance. It has been observed that, except for colour, the Kaffer might have ranked among the first of Europeans. The complexion of this race varies from deep bronze to jet black; the latter being the more predominant. The women are of lower stature than the men, and are not so well formed. They are, except when enfeebled by sickness or age, a very sprightly and amimated race, and their countenances beam with a degree of vivacity and good humour, very different from the aspect of uncivilized women in general. The manner of life of these people is in general extremely simple. Their diet mostly consists of milk, which like the Arabs they use in a sour or curdled state. It is called amaaz, and is kept in leathern bottles, until sufficiently thick and acidulous. New milk is seldom used except for children, nor is any other preparation of milk employed than that already 533

[graphic]
[graphic]

mentioned. Next to milk, which may be considered their principal dish, the Kaffers eat boiled corn, which is generally served up in small baskets, from which each one helps himself with his hands. They sometimes pound their corn between two stones, and make it into a kind of pottage; at other times they form it into thick cakes, which are baked on the hearth, amongst the hot embers, after the manner of the ancients. They cultivate Indian corn, pumpkins, and a few esculent vegetables. They lay up provisions for winter use, either in pits, or subterranean granaries, which are always made in their cattle-folds, or they erect a sort of hut, elevated on posts, and there deposit their grain. The pit is of a circular form, a hole being first made about the size of a man's body, into which he descends and clears away the earth, on every side, to the required extent, taking care, however, that the entrance to the pit shall be only just large enough to admit his body. Before the corn is poured in, the interior is plastered with fresh cow-dung, and when the pit is filled, the same material is used to close up the aperture, which is thus rendered air and water tight. They have a species of sugar-cane growing in their country in great abundance: it is called imfe, and is a great favourite with the natives, on account of its sweet and succulent property. A decoction is sometimes made of this for the purpose of sweetening their other food. The Kaffers take but one substantial meal during the day, and this is in the evening, about an hour before bedtime. The articles of diet mentioned above, with occasionally a feast of animal food, are considered sufficient for the support of this hardy race. They are almost entire strangers to the nature and use of spirituous liquors, and are, therefore, free from many of those destructive disorders which are fearfully common among other nations. It is much to be lamented that Europeans, visiting those shores, have in several cases endeavoured to introduce a taste for liquors, and have even found amusement in giving drams to the Kaffer, to observe the effect which this new and exciting species of drink would have on him. With so much of sobriety and simplicity of manners and diet, we are inclined to view the Kaffer race with feelings of respect and admiration; but, unfortunately, there is a dark part of their character, but too well known to those who have watched for any length of time the habits and conversation prevalent among them. Persons who have taken but a transient view of this people, have

been apt to consider them, and have even stated

them to be, altogether free from vicious habits and propensities, but others, who have mingled familiarly with them, and are thoroughly acquainted with their dialect, assure us they are an exceedingly licentious race, and that the gross indelicacy of language prevalent among them is disgusting in the highest degree. The apparel of the Kaffers consists wholly of the skins of beasts, prepared in such a manner as to render them perfectly soft and pliable. These garments, which are long enough to reach to the feet, hang loosely from the shoulders in the manner of a cloak, and are in general the only covering adopted by the men. In order to protect their bodies from the parching effect of the sun's rays, they anoint themselves from head to foot with some unctuous substance. The same materials are used for the dress of the women, but their garments are of a different shape. Short leathern petticoats, only, are worn while the women are engaged in laborious occupations, (and these it often falls to their lot to perform,) at other times an upper garment or mantle is added, wing a train ornamented with a vast number of

buttons, placed in parallel lines. Their head-dresses are formed from the skin of a species of antelope, and are decorated with considerable taste with large quantities of variegated beads. This form of dress is universal, and the only difference between the appearance of the richest and the poorest in the land, is in the number and brilliancy of the ornaments employed. Some of the women have bead-strings round their necks, to the number of fifty, or even a hundred. The clothing of this race is renewed once a year. Cattle are then slain expressly for the purpose, and the old garments, which have been worn night and day for a twelvemonth, are laid aside. The chief wealth of the Kaffer consists in his herds of cattle. Nothing affects him more than an injury done to his horned family, whose increase and prosperity appear to occupy the chief place in his thoughts, and to be the ruling motive of his actions. Since the introduction of horses into the country, great fondness has been likewise manifested for these animals; and the young chiefs are showing the real Bedouin character in their skill in the chase, and the value they set upon their steeds. The chief employments of Kaffer men consist in the preparation of their cattle-folds (which are enclosures formed of posts and boughs closely woven together)—in hunting the elephant, panther, &c., and in preparing the leathern garments required for their own use and for that of their wives and children. The more laborious occupations of tillage, of felling wood, and of building their habitations, are performed by the women, whose life, after marriage, is indeed one of bondage. As in all other heathen countries, the order of nature is thus reversed, and the weaker vessel is invariably made to bear the heaviest burdens. The consequence of this state of things is, that before the women can be said to have attained the prime of life, their strength rapidly fails, and they become emaciated and infirm, and countenances that in many instances might be called beautiful, from their vivacity and pleasing expression, quickly lose their attractive character, and present an appearance almost capable of inspiring disgust. Excepting in the case of the Kaffer monarch, and a few of the ruling chiefs, the rite of burial is never performed. The bodies of deceased relatives are conveyed as speedily as possible to some distance from the abodes of the survivors, and there left to be the prey of wild beasts. Nor do they in every instance allow the spark of life to be extinguished ere they hurry away their dying friend. So anxious are they to get rid of what is to them a most painful and unpleasant object, that on the appearance of convulsive symptoms they pronounce the patient to be already dead, and immediately proceed with their office. Thus, dark and miserable is the end of the poor Kaffer. Unconsoled by the voice of one sympathizing friend, he is hurried away in his dying moments, and, perhaps, ere consciousness has wholly left him, becomes the prey of the beast of the desert. Who can contemplate this single fact, without earnestly desiring that Christianity, with all its blessed effects, may become prevalent in the land of the Kaffer, and rescue him from the bondage of vice and of heathen customs Our frontispiece represents a Kaffer village, the huts of which are built in the form of a bee-hive; composed of wattling, plastered over with a composition of clay and cow-dung. That of the chief is larger than the rest, and stands at the head of the kraals” or cattle-folds. The ordinary huts are six or

* In reading the accounts of travellers respecting the native tribes of Southern Africa, we frequently find the word “kraal” adopted

[blocks in formation]

The above lines form part of a curious poem, entitled Paradise Regained, or the Art of Gardening. The lines subsequent to those we have quoted, recount the wonders effected in ancient and modern times by the proper use and application of herbs, but it would be foreign to our purpose to dwell on this subject longer than is necessary to show how much of superstition and credulity were mixed up with the medical science of former days. Sweet Marjoram, (Origanum marjorana,) was first cultivated in England in 1753. It was raised from seed obtained from Portugal, in which country, as well as in Spain and Italy, it is very abundant. The native countries of this species of Origanum, however, are the islands of Candia and Cyprus. In England it is a tender annual, and does not receive sufficient warmth from our climate to ripen its seed, so that we are obliged to receive our supply from Italy. It is sometimes called knotted marjoram, on account of the position of the flowers, which are clustered together in globular knots round the joints of the Stem. Another species of marjoram, (Dictamnus,) was imported from Candia previously to that above mentioned, but it is rather known for its poetical associations than for its useful properties. It is the celebrated dittany of Crete, and is the plant which Venus is said to have brought for the cure of her son Æneas. A branch of healing dittany she brought, Which in the Cretan fields with care she sought; (Rough is the stem, with woolly leaves surround; The leaves with flowers, the flowers with purple crown'd,) Well known to wounded goats; a sure relief To draw the pointed steel, and ease the grief. Dittany was likewise known to deer, if we may believe the ancients, who affirm that when these animals were wounded with arrows, they immediately sought out this herb, and ate of it plentifully, when it had the effect of discharging the darts. There is a traditionary tale respecting one of the kings of Cyprus, and the sycophants by whom he was surrounded. We are told that the monarch, Cinyras by name, was in deep affliction for the death of his son Amaracus, and his flatterers, thinking to afford him consolation, and by gratifying his vanity to promote their own ends, told him that the youthful prince while carrying a box of fragrant ointment, through a field of dittany, by accident spilt it on these herbs, which immediately acquired its excellent savour.

The prince was greatly distressed at the loss of his precious ointment, and the gods, in consideration of his parentage and merit, changed him into the fragrant herb which had now acquired all the virtues of the ointment. Hence the plant received the name of Amaracus. Pot marjoram, (Origanum onites,) has the same qualities as sweet marjoram, but is more woody in its growth, being a perennial, and propagated by the partition of the roots. It is a native of Sicily, and of the southern parts of Greece, Wild marjoram, (Origanum vulgare) is very common on chalky and gravelly soils. It belongs to the fourteenth class and first order of Linnaeus, and to the order Labiatae in the natural system. It blows in July, and has a perennial, creeping, fibrous root: the stem is erect, square, purplish, downy, producing opposite branches, and about eighteen inches high: the leaves stand upon foot-stalks, in pairs at the joints, and are ovate, smooth above, and downy beneath, and of a deep yellow-green colour. The flowers are many, of a pale-purple colour, and standing in clusters: the floral leaves are brownish. The calyx is tubular, and divided into five segments: the corolla is a funnel-shaped tube, divided at the limb into two lips, one erect, the other spreading; the filaments have double anthers: the seeds are four in number, and of an oval shape. Wild marjoram is a warm and pungent aromatic herb. It yields, on distillation with water, an essential oil of agreeable odour, which enters into the composition of some ointments, and is also used by farriers as a caustic. Dropped on cotton, this oil is sometimes applied with good effect for the relief of

tooth-ach. The average produce of oil from this herb is one pound from two hundred weight. It is sometimes sold under the name of oil of thyme. An

infusion of wild marjoram makes excellent tea, and from the tops of the plant a purple dye may be obtained. Of the reputed medicinal qualities of the different sorts of Origanum, we may further say that Hippocrates recommends it in all diseases which require heating, dissolving, and stimulating, whence it is beneficial in complaints of the lungs, being boiled in wine, and then sweetened with honey and drunk hot. A tea of the leaves is prescribed by him as effectual in the asthma, in violent coughs, and in indigestion, and the employment of the plant in baths is said to be good for hysteric affections, palsy, &c. Gerard recommends the use of marjoram in dropsy; Hartman assures us that it restores the sense of smell, when lost; Culpeper talks of its restoring lost speech; Bourgeois says it is a specific for apoplexy and paralysis, and Chamberlayne gravely informs us that it is very necessary in food to “corroborate, cleanse, and mundiffe the stomach.” Sweet marjoram is used in the preparation of cephalic snuff, but is chiefly esteemed as a seasoning ingredient for the kitchen, where, in common with pot marjoram, it is valued for its aromatic flavour. It has been in use for these purposes ever since the time of Queen Elizabeth, when it was not only employed in broth-meats, but in the composition o wafer-cakes, &c. Sweet, or knotted marjoram, being a tender plant, must (if wanted early in the season) be sown on a bed moderately heated, towards the end of March, or if not required early, it may be sown on a warm border about the middle of April; the plants to be afterwards thinned, and left to grow without being transplanted. If it has been sown in a hot-bed, it must be gradually hardened to the weather, and

[ocr errors]

then planted out in pots or in the open ground. It is a good plan to have a few plants in pots, as these may be placed in a warm shed or in a green-house as winter approaches, and thus be preserved for use nearly throughout the season. The perennial roots of pot-marjoram are parted into small tufts in the early part of spring, and planted in a light soil, at a foot distance from each other. This herb, as well as all others,should be cut for drying when it is in full bloom, as it then possesses its greatest strength and virtue. When cut it should be laid in a shady place to dry, and then put in clean paper bags, and hung in a dry place where it will be free from dust. The botanical name of this herb, (Origanum,) is derived from two Greek words, signifying “a hill" and “I delight." Miller enumerates thirteen species, and Linnaeus eleven. The Horius Kewensis mentious ten kinds of marjoram. Sweet marjoram, or marjory, which is the common term, is rarely forgotten in a cottager's nosegay. Its abundant blossoms and fragrant smell make it a great favourite with him, and he is also much more disposed to place faith in its medicinal virtues than those who have foreign drugs at their command. Shenstone makes it one of the ornaments of the Schoolmistress' Garden :And marjoram sweet, in shepherds' posy found, And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom Shall be, erewhile, in arid bundles bound, To lurk amidst the labours of her loom, And crown her 'kerchiefs clean with mickle rare perfume.

TO THE PLANET VENUS, upon IT's Approxi MAt Ion (As AN Eve NING stan) To THE EARTH, JANUARY, 1838.

What strong allurement draws, what spirit guides
Thee, Vesper! brightening still, as if the nearer
Thou comest to man's abode, the spot grew dearer,
Night after night? True is it, Nature hides
Her treasures less and less.—Man now presides
In power, where once he trembled in his weakness;
Knowledge advances with gigantic strides;
But are we ought enriched in love and meekness?
Aught dost thou see, bright star! of pure and wise,
More than in humbler times graced human story;
That makes our hearts more apt to sympathize
With heaven, our souls more fit for future glory,
When earth shall vanish from our closing eyes,
Ere we lie down in our last dormitory.
Wonds won't H.

I Must talk with my wife, and chat with my children, and I have somewhat to say to my servants! All these things I reckon as a part of business, except a man will resolve to be a stranger at home; for with whomsoever either nature, or chance, or choice has engaged a man in any commerce, he must endeavour to make himself as acceptable to those about him as he possibly can.—SiR Thom As MoRE.

Did the children of levity but know with what anxiety the heart of a parent flutters round the child he loves, they would be less apt to construe into harshness that delicate concern for their conduct, which they often complain of as laying restraint upon things, to the young, the gay and the thoughtless, seemingly harmless and indifferent.

THERE is scarcely anything so dangerous as attempting universal literature—of being able to criticise all modern books: it increases the memory at the expense of the reason; it supplies the grace of conversation without the labour of thought.—SIR HUMPHRY DAvy.

The decrees of Providence are inscrutable; in spite of man's short-sighted endeavours to dispose of events according to his own wishes and his own purposes, there is an Intelligence beyond his reason, which holds the scales of justice, and promotes his well-being, in spite of his puny efforts.--MoRIER,

THE MANTIS ORATORIO, or CAMEL-CRicket.

THE genus to which the Mantis oratorio belongs is one of the most singular in the whole class of insects; so much so that description can convey but a very imperfect idea of the remarkable appearance of some of the species it contains. As if designed to form a connecting link in the chain of universal being, some of these insects unite the appearance of a vegetable with the vital functions of an animal; while others exhibit a grotesqueness of attitude and behaviour in the pursuit of their prey, and a fierce animosity in their warfare with each other, that render them no less the objects of curiosity among naturalists. Of this latter kind is the Mantis oratorio, an insect which England does not produce, and of which therefore we must be satisfied to learn particulars from foreign entomologists, or from such of our countrymen as may have had an opportunity of observing its habits in other parts of the world. It is found in Asia, Africa, and the warmer parts of Europe, and is entirely of a beautiful green colour. The head is unsteady, and slightly attached to the thorax. The mouth is furnished with jaws, and has its feelers filiform. The wings are four, membranaceous, and convoluted; the lower pair plaited. The fore-legs are compressed, serrated, or toothed, beneath, and armed with a single claw and a lateral-jointed foot. The hind-legs are smooth, and formed for walking. The insect is nearly three inches in length, of a slender shape, and in its general sitting posture is observed to hold up the two fore-legs, slightly bent, as if in the attitude of prayer: hence the country people, in many parts of the continent, regard it as a sacred insect, and are careful to do it no injury. An old French author tells us that it is called Mantis, or fortune-teller, either because by its arrival it shows spring to be at hand, or because it holds up its fore-feet like hands, praying in the same manner as the diviners, when they poured out their supplications to their gods. “So divine a creature is this esteemed,” continues he, “that if a child ask the way to any place, it will stretch out one of its feet and show him the right way, and seldom or never miss.” The attitude which has thus excited the popular superstition, and led the ignorant to ascribe marvellous powers to the camel-cricket, is nothing more than the posture in which it can most conveniently seize its prey. The long fore-arms of the insect, with the head and thorax, all elevated for hours together in the position represented in the woodcut, have certainly something of a praying attitude, and it is no wonder that the circumstance should have suggested both the specific and familiar names of the Mantis tribe. The former are religiosa, or oratorio, precaria, sancta, &c. The names of others have arisen from their curious begging attitudes, as mendica, pauperata, superstitiosa, &c. The trivial names given to

the Mantis oratorio sufficiently indicate the supersti

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »