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My information's drawn from him,
Shall be again displayed.”
" Wait for him, then," returned the clock, “ I am not a dependent block,
His counsel to implore;
Ding, ding, ding, ding,-just four !”
While thus the boaster was deriding,
A sunbeam, clear and strong,
Had told his story wrong.
On this the dial calmly said (More prompt to advise than to upbraid)—
“ Friend, go, be regulated ! Thou answer’st without hesitation, But he who trusts thy calculation
Will frequently be cheated.
“ Observe my practice, shun pretence;
An answer meet supplies ;
De la Motte.
49.-PRESERVATION OF MEAT.
earn-est re-gion trop-ic-al
How to meet the growing demand for butcher'smeat consequent on an increase of population and a decrease of stock, arising in a great measure from pasture lands being brought under tillage, is a question of grave importance in relation to the commercial prosperity of this and other countries, and calls for the earnest attention of legislators and scientific men. Though the stock of sheep and cattle raised in England is large, and that of cattle in England, in Ireland, and Scotland, is a source of wealth to those three countries, yet enormous quantities of meat are imported. When we turn our attention to Australia and the Argentine States, we find the flesh of cattle and sheep sacrificed for other parts of the animal; and he who shall devise a method by which these meats can be economically imported into this country will be hailed as one of the greatest public benefactors of the age. The importation of the living animals seems out of the question, notwithstanding the arrival of one or two cargoes ; and as the jerked or sun-dried beef, though brought in at low rates from Monte Video, &c., has not found favour, there only remains the discovery of a process by which the meat can be preserved in a fresh state a sufficient length of time to admit of its transportation from regions so distant.
This art of preserving meat is one of modern times, and differs entirely from the old and common methods by means of salt, saltpetre, sugar, &c. These substances, when in solution, do not absorb oxygen, and therefore they prevent decomposition. The history of the art of preserving meat in a fresh state is associated with the earliest arctic explorations. Scientific observers found that scorbutic diseases, arising from living exclusively on salt meat, were fearfully aggravated by extreme cold; the Admiralty, therefore, offered inducements to merchants to devise plans for preserving unsalted meat, cooked, or in a raw state, thus doing away with the use of salt meat altogether. It is hardly possible to over-estimate the importance of this subject, as is evident from the fact that preserved provisions, cooked or raw, are an absolute preventive of sea scurvy.
M. Appert, a French gentleman, was the first to succeed in the attempt to preserve unsalted or fresh meat. His plan, as adopted and improved by others, is as follows:--Tin canisters are substituted for the glass vessels, and the meat (previously parboiled)' is placed in them, with a rich gravy or soup. The lids, which are pierced with a small hole, are then soldered down air-tight, and the canisters immersed in a bath of brine or chloride of calcium, heated to boiling-point. On the steam issuing from the hole in the canister-lid, it is suddenly condensed by the application of a cold,
wet rag, and a drop of molten solder being dexterously applied to the hole at the same moment, the case becomes hermetically sealed. On cooling, the ends of the canisters are slightly concave, from atmospheric pressure, if the process has been successful; but if the ends have flattened, or become convex instead of concave, then either the case has not been properly soldered, and is not airtight, or the meat has decomposed and liberated gases.
As soon as this modification of Appert's process was made practically perfect, it was tested by order of the Admiralty, and ships were sent by them to the Arctic regions with an abundant supply of these meat canisters. The officers in command reported favourably of the whole. Their value in cold climates having been thus proved, the experiment was tried with equal success by vessels trading in the tropical regions.
50.-ADVENTURE WITH A LION.
OC-cur-rence dream-i-ness witch-craft
The Bakátla of the village Mabotsa were much troubled by lions, which leaped into the cattlepens by night, and destroyed their cows. They even attacked the herds in open day. This was so
unusual an occurrence, that the people believed that they were bewitched—“ given,” as they said, “into the power of the lions by a neighbouring tribe.” They went once to attack the animals; but being rather a cowardly people, compared to Bechuanas in general on such occasions, they returned without killing any.
It is well known that if one in a troop of lions is killed, the others take the hint, and leave that part of the country. So the next time the herds were attacked, I went with the people, in order to encourage them to rid themselves of the annoyance by destroying one of the marauders. We found the lions on a small hill about a quarter of a mile in length, and covered with trees. A circle of men was formed round it, and they gradually closed up, ascending pretty near to each other. Being down below on the plain with a native schoolmaster, named Mebálwe, a most excellent man, I saw one of the lions sitting on a piece of rock within the now closed circle of men. Mebálwe fired at him before I could, and the ball struck the rock on which the animal was sitting. He bit at the spot struck, as a dog does at a stick or stone thrown at him ; then leaping away, broke through the opening circle and escaped unhurt. The men were afraid to attack him, perhaps on account of their belief in witchcraft. When the circle was re-formed, we saw two other lions in it; but we were afraid to fire, lest we should strike the men, and they allowed these beasts to burst through also. If the Bakátla had acted according