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NOTES ON FOREST TREES. No. XXII.
THE GREAT-Flower Ed MAGNOLIA
The different species of Magnolia form the most beautiful objects in the scenery of a North American forest: in their native country they well deserve the name of forest-trees, but in Europe they seldom attain a sufficient size to entitle them to any other appellation than that of shrubs. The Magnolia grandiflora, the big laurel, or tuliptree of the French Canadians,—but this last mame is more generally applied to another tree, (Lyriodendrum tulipifera,)—is one of the most distinguished of its tribe. Of all the trees of North America, east of the Mississippi, the big laurel is the most remarkable for the majesty of its form, the magnificence of its foliage, and the beauty of its flowers. It claims a place among the largest trees of the United States, and sometimes, though rarely, reaches ninety feet in height, and two or three feet in diameter, but its ordinary stature is from sixty to seventy feet. Its trunk is commonly straight, and the summit is nearly in the shape of a regular pyramid. Its leaves are like those of a laurel, but much larger, being from seven to eight inches in length; they are glossy, evergreen, and of a leathery substance. The flowers are white, of an agreeable odour, and seven or eight inches in diameter; they are larger than those of any other tree with which we are acquainted, and on detached trees are commonly very numerous. Blooming in the midst of rich foliage, they produce so fine an effect, that those who have seen the tree in its native soil agree in considering it as one of the most beautiful productions of the vegetable kingdom. The fruit is a fleshy, oval cone, about four inches in length; it is composed of a great number of cells, which, at the age of maturity, open longitudinally, showing two or three seeds of a vivid red colour. The seeds soon after quit the cells, and for some days remain suspended from the cone, each attached to the bottom of its cell by a white filament. The wood of the Magnolia is white and soft, but much inclined to warp, especially if exposed to the weather; on this account it is only used in the interior of buildings. The beauty of this tree has caused its introduction into the shrubberies and parks of Europe, but it is rarely able to endure the severity of our
winters, in the open air, further north than the south of England; and, as we have already observed, its appearance will never bear a comparison with its kindred in the American forests. The beautiful genus contains many ornamental trees and shrubs which have been partially naturalized in the gardens of the milder parts of Europe, where they produce a pleasing effect by the elegance of their form, the shape and magnitude of their leaves, the sweet scent of their large and splendid flowers, and the brilliant colours with which some of them are decorated; the wood itself is partially aromatic. The leaves, in some species, remain on during the whole year; in others they are shed at the beginning of the winter. The name of Magnolia was given to these trees by Linnaeus, in honour of a celebrated French botanist, named Peter Magnol, who flourished in the seventeenth century. The Magnolia can be propagated by seeds, placed in a hot-bed under a frame; but as the seeds seldom reach maturity in our climate, the most usual method of producing new plants is by means of layers, which are prepared by covering the lower branches with earth. These trees succeed best in clayey ground, mixed with a little black mould.
THE ADVANTAGEs of A Book. .
Of all the amusements which can possibly be imagined for a hard-working man, after his daily toil, or in its intervals, there is nothing like reading an entertaining book, supposing him to have a taste for it, and supposing him to have the book to read. It calls for no bodily exertion, of which he has had enough or too much. It relieves his home of its dulness and sameness, which, in nine cases out of ten, is what drives him out to the alehouse, to his own ruin and his family's. It transports him into a livelier, and gayer, and more diversified and interesting scene, and while he enjoys himself there he may forget the evils of the present moment, fully as much as if he were ever so drunk, with the great advantage of finding himself the next day with his money in his pocket, or at least laid out in real necessaries and comforts for himself and his family,–and without a headache. Nay, it accompanies him to his next day's work, and if the book he has been reading be anything above the very idlest and lightest, gives him something to think of besides the mere mechanical drudgery of his everyday occupation,-something he can enjoy while absent, and look forward with pleasure to return to. But supposing him to have been fortunate in the choice of his book, and to have alighted upon one really good and of a good class. What a source of domestic enjoyment is laid open What a bond of family union He may read it aloud, or make his wife read it, or his eldest boy or girl, or pass it round from hand to hand. All have the benefit of it—all contribute to the gratification of the rest, and a feeling of common interest and pleasure is excited. Nothing unites people like companionship in intellectual enjoyment. It does more, it gives them mutual respect, and to each among them self-respect—that corner-stone of all virtue. It furnishes to each the master-key by which he may avail himself of his privilege as an intellectual being, to * Enter the sacred temple of his breast,
And gaze and wander there a ravished guest
Wander through all the glories of his mind,
Gaze upon all the treasures he shall find. And while thus leading him to look within his own bosom for the ultimate sources of his happiness, warns him at the same time to be cautious how he defiles and desecrates that inward and most glorious of temples.—SIR Joh N HERscHEL.
ON WIGS AND HEAD-DRESSES. No, I,
THE eustom of wearing false hair is of much more ancient date than is usually imagined; several of the nations of antiquity, when their riches and luxury were at the highest, were in the habit of adorning their persons by the addition of artificial tresses. It is likely that the ancient Babylonians employed the assistance of art in the arrangement of their hair, and perhaps wigs were not unknown to the fashionables of that day. That the art of wig-making had made considerable progress among the ancient Egyptians we are led to infer from the accounts of ancient historians, and the remains of Egyptian art which have been from time to time discovered; but the matter is now beyond all doubt, a perfect wig, which once belonged to an Egyptian lady, perhaps three thousand years ago, having been found in a tomb in the small temple of Isis at Thebes, in Egypt, This curious relic of antiquity, of which we give an engraving (No. 1,) is now to be seen among the remains of Egyptian art in the British Museum ; its workmanship is excellent, and would not disgrace a modern pérruquier. The crown of the wig, as low as the ears, is entirely covered with small curls, while those portions which fall down over the shoulders are formed of a great number of small plaits of hair, each resembling the thong of a child's whip ; the colour is nearly black, but it has a tinge of brown, which, perhaps, may be attributed to age. Long hair appears to have been highly prized in the times we are alluding to, by the Jews in particular; but the habit of shaving the head, and supplying its place by artificial means, was one of the Egyptian customs, which they did not adopt during their bondage; on the contrary, they held it in utter contempt. The Greeks and Romans, the latter people in particular, resorted to the use of artificial hair, although they did not exactly wear wigs. No. 2 represents the head-gear of a Roman lady; the men in general wore their hair short. The Roman ladies, says Strutt, not only anointed their hair, and used rich perfumes, but sometimes they painted it; they also made it appear of a bright yellow colour, by the assistance of washes and compositions made for the purpose, but they never used powder, which is a much later invention. They frizzled and curled the hair with hot irons, and sometimes they raised it to a great height by rows of curls, one above the other, into the form of a helmet; and such as had not sufficient hair of their own, used false hair to complete the lofty pile, and these curls appear to have been fastened with hair-pins. Persons of rank had slaves to perform for them the offices of the toilet; they held the mirror (speculum,) in their hands themselves, to give directions; and Martial tells us, that if the slave unfortunately misplaced a hair-pin, or omitted to twist the curls exactly as they were ordered, the mirror was thrown at the offender's head, or, according to Juvenal, the whip was applied with much severity. . It appears, indeed, that a number of women attended on these occasions, for no other purpose than to direct the operation. The married women used a kind of bodkin, which they managed very dexterously, to adjust and divide their hair into two portions, one turning to the right and the other to the left, and by this line of separation the married ladies were distinguished from those who were unmarried. The hair was adorned with ornaments of gold, with pearls, and with precious stones, and sometimes with gar
lands or chaplets of flowers; it was also bound with fillets and ribands of various colours. The ribands appropriated to the head-dresses of Virgins differed from those of the married women. With the decline of the Roman empire the practice of employing artificial hair fell into disuse, and we hear no more on the subject until about the year 1600; at which time it became the fashion in France to supply the deficiencies of a natural head of hair by artificial tresses, which were sewn on to thin sheep-skin, pared down to the pelt; then thin silk was used for the same purpose ; and at last a complete peruke was formed. The word wig is evidently to be derived from the French name pérruque, which in some old dictionaries is spelt perwicke, thence periwig and wig, The peruke was, in the first instance, intended to supply a natural deficiency of hair; but, in the end, this article of dress became so necessary to all who aspired to the name of fashionable, that the most beautiful head of hair was frequently sacrificed for the purpose of covering the head with a peruke. The court of Louis the Fourteenth of France was looked up to, as the “glass of fashion," by the rest of Europe, and this affair of perukes was considered of so much moment, that the king licensed fortyeight barbiers-párruquiers to make this important article for the court, and, at the same time, two hundred others to serve the commonalty. The business increased to such an extent, that the Minister of Finance became alarmed at the quantity of money which left the kingdom to purchase hair in foreign countries, and it was gravely deliberated, whether wigs should not be abolished by law, and caps established in their place; but the pérruquiers having proved, by statistical details, that the export of manufactured perukes produced a greater profit to the nation than the purchase of hair did loss, the wigs gained the day, and the manufacture increased so rapidly, that is. number of licenses were increased to eight hundred and fifty, and the members were known under the title of barbiers-párruquiers-baigneursetuvistes. They received letters patent, and their officers were hereditary; these consisted of a provost, wardens, and syndics. To this body of men, so essential to the members of fashionable life, the king gave the sole right of dealing in hair, either by wholesale or retail, of making and selling powder and pomatum, preparations to remove the hair, drops for the cure of the toothache, in fact, every application which was intended for the benefit of the head and face. The only parties who interfered with their exclusive privileges were the surgeons; to these men the newly-constituted company could not deny the use of the razor in shaving, for it was a surgical instrument, but to prevent their intermeddling with the art of hair-cutting, it was decided that the insignia of their callings should be different. The surgeon was to hang up for his sign a copper basin, and could only paint the front of his house either red or black; on the other hand, the pérruquier was to exhibit a basin of white metal, and could paint the front of his shop of any colour he chose, except red or black. The use of powder was not at first allowed, as the monarch had an antipathy to it, but at length he yielded to the wishes of his courtiers, and permitted a trifling quantity to be sprinkled even over his own perukes. The expense of perukes in these days was so enormous, that some of the fraternity commenced dealing in second-hand articles, which they manufactured to look like new, and were able to sell at a reduced price. “It is true they were not very durable, but as they resembled new articles, they were of great service to individuals whose fortunes were small." But to prevent abuse in selling second-hand wigs for new, the dealers were prohibited from establishing themselves in any other part of Paris except the Quai de l'Horloge du Palais. Nos. 3 and 5 are from portraits of the queen of Henry the Fourth of France, and No. 4 from a head of the queen of Charles the First of England. During this period, and until the beginning of the eighteenth century, the men wore amazingly long heads of hair, spreading over the head and shoulders; but at this time hair-powder was used. Towards the close of the century, perukes of the strangest form came into fashion. To illustrate the subject we have selected six examples from French engravings, namely:No. 6, la pérruque à deur queues, is evidently intended for a man of fashion; No. 7, la pérruque naissante, half wig and half natural in its appearance, we may suppose worn by a young man; No. 8, la pérruque à la brigadière, was only worn by military men; No. 9, la pérruque de l'abbé, was worn by the lay clergy of France, who mixed more with society than the priests themselves; No. 10, la pérruque à bonnet, intended more for comfort than show ; No. 1 1, la pérruque à nauds, would become an elderly gentleman, but is more assuming than the last.
COINCIDENCES RESPECTING THE HARMONY OF IN HARMONIOUS SOUNDS.
--------------- some perchance, Rude singly, yet with sweeter notes combined In unison harmonious.-GIs Bo RNE.
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The jay, the rook, the daw, And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone, Aid the full chorus.--THoMson.
The screams of the jay and the woodpecker, however discordant in themselves, or when out of place, accord admirably with the forest.—White of Selborne.
Sounds do not always give us pleasure according to their sweetness and melody; nor do harsh sounds always displease. We are more apt to be captivated or disgusted with the associations which they promote, than with the notes themselves. Thus the shrilling of the field-cricket, though sharp and stridulous, yet marvellously delights some hearers, filling their minds with a train of Summer ideas of everything that is rural, verdurous, and joyous.-The same.
THE Foot of A HoRs E is one of the most ingenious and unexpected pieces of mechanism in the animal structure, and scarcely yielding to any in regularity, and in complexity of parts, under simplicity of design. The hoof &ontains a series of vertical and thin laminae of horn, so numerous as to amount to about five hundred, and forming a complete lining to it. Into this are fitted as many lamina: belonging to the coffin bone; while both sets are elastic and adherent. The edge of a quire of paper, inserted, leaf by leaf, into another, will convey a suilicient idea of this arrangement. Thus the weight of the animal is supported by as many elastic springs as there are lamine in all the feet, amounting to about four thousand; distributed in the most secure manner, since every spring is acted on in an oblique direction. Such is the contrivance for the safety of an animal destined to carry greater weights than that of its own body, and to carry those also under the hazard of heavy shocks.-MAcculloch.
A Book has lately been published by Dr. Arnott, On Warming and Ventilating, the principal design of which is to communicate to the public instructions for making and using what is called by the inventor A Thermometer-stove. This stove possesses many valuable properties, and will, unquestionably, be the means of effecting some extraordinary changes in the domestic habits of the people of this country. As it stands associated with one of the most ordinary, but at the same time important, operations on which individual and social health and comfort depend, we present to our readers the following particulars. Dr. Arnott is well known as an eminent physician, a popular writer, and a practical philanthropist. He has already gained the thanks of the medical profession by permitting the unrestricted use of his waterbed, and in the present instance is equally entitled to the respect and gratitude of all classes. The Thermometer-stove is equally adapted for the cottage and the mansion, and with a liberality which does him honour, its inventor has given to the public the full benefit of his labours. Before we describe Dr. Arnott's stove, let us offer a few brief observations on the two modes of heating, which, for domestic purposes, are those generally adopted in our own country. And first of all, we refer to the open fire-place, in which peat, wood, or coal, are used as fuel. For the sake of more simple illustration, we limit our remarks to an open coal fire; the kindling of which is a somewhat tedious and wasteful process. But let us suppose the fire to be perfectly alight and burning briskly. It surely cannot escape observation that a valuable portion of the fuel is passing away unconsumed, namely, that which ascends the chimney in the form of smoke. At certain intervals, the fire of which we speak requires poking, trimming, and refreshing, by additional supplies of fuel. If it happen that we have a good fire, when fresh fuel is laid on, the waste will bear some proportion to the quantity of ignited fuel already in the grate as compared with the fresh supply. Sometimes the latter will be speedily vaporized, as when we have a blazing fire ; at other times waste will occur by coal falling through the grate before it is properly ignited; whilst it not unfrequently happens, that by fucl injudiciously applied, either as respects the mode or the quantity, a good fire is suddenly converted into a dull one, which, unless carefully tended, will soon be extinguished. On a moderate calculation, it is estimated that, from the causes just mentioned, one-fifth part of all the coal used for domestic purposes is lost to the consumer. And this is unavoidable even with careful management. Where cinders and small coal are thrown on the ash-heap, the proportion is, of course, much greater. But the waste of fuel is a trifling consideration in comparison with that of heat. The abundant supply of coal with which in this country we are favoured, and its consequent cheapness, is one of the principal causes of the long-continued use of an open fire. Far be it from us to undervalue the comforts of an English fire-side, or to appear insensible to the many delightful associations connected with it. The existence of these we admit, as we do also their influence upon the national character. But dismissing our prejudices on this subject, we believe it will be found that the advantages of an open fire are not so great as we imagine, and that even its comforts are pretty equally balanced by its inconveniences. Hence we cannot but venture the opinion, that, by and by, we 368 ––2
(or at any rate our successors) shall become equally attached to more rational and more economical modes of warming as we are now to those in common use. We have said that the waste of heat by an open fire greatly exceeds that of fuel. In an ordinary fire-place, whatever be its form, the quantity of air which passes by, or over, the fire is much greater than that which passes through it. We need hardly remark that the combustion of the fuel depends on an uninterrupted supply of air, and the more rapidly the air circulates amongst the ignited fuel, the greater is the quantity of heat liberated in a given time. A condition essential to the operation of an open fire is, that it be placed almost immediately under a flue communicating with a chimney, which flue must, in some respects, correspond with the size of the fireplace. To insure sufficient draught in the flue to make the fire burn, and to carry off the smoke, a current of hot air must be constantly ascending it. Any defect in this part of the process occasions what is very justly considered a nuisance, namely, a smoky apartment. To the situation of the fire, and the quantity of air permitted to pass over it, may be attributed the loss of heat of which we complain. Under the circumstances just described, the heat which enters the room is only what is radiated from the front of the fire. By its means the air immediately surrounding the fire has its temperature raised, but the moment the door of the apartment is opened, the air thus warmed is propelled into the chimney, and several minutes must elapse before the air which gained admittance will be warmed to the same temperature as that which was so suddenly driven out. Hence it is, that however comfortably an apartment may be fitted up, if it be warmed by an open fire, the temperature of the air within it is partial and unequal. We naturally turn towards the fire for warmth; but who can deny that the nearer they approach the fire the more difficult is it to keep warm that part of the body which is turned away from it 2 In the best constructed houses, the crevices in floors and around doors and windows permit the entrance of more air than, under ordinary circumstances, is sufficient for all the purposes of warming and ventilating. The quantity of air required for the combustion of fuel, when that fuel is economically employed, is almost inconceivably small. But in an open fire-place, in proportion that the fire is enlarged, so much the more rapid will be the motion of the hot air in the chimney; a process which necessarily implies the access of an equal quantity of cold air to the room. Thus we may often notice when there is a large fire in a room, the air will make a whistling sound in passing through a key-hole; but the sound ceases when the intensity of the fire has abated. It can be satisfactorily proved, that by an open fire, at least three-fourths, and in many cases, seven-eighths, of the heat produced from a given quantity of fuel are absolutely wasted by being permitted to ascend the chimney. Another mode of heating, and which is adopted very generally in entrance-halls, shops, offices, and public buildings, is by means of the hot-air stove, which consists of an enclosed fire-place surrounded at the back and sides by an iron case, between which and the fire-place air is permitted to circulate, and consequently becomes heated. By this stove less heat is wasted than in an ordinary fire-place, but there are several objections to its use, of which we mention the following. The hot-air stove requires a good deal of attention: almost as much as an open fire. It is liable to be heated red-hot; the salubrity of the air which comes
in contact with it being thereby impaired, whilst an odour peculiarly disagreeable is diffused throughout the apartment in which it is placed. There is danger attending the use of this stove, unless the pipes by which it communicates with a chimney or the external air are fixed at a proper distance from wood and other inflammable materials. To the neglect of this necessary precaution, in conjunction with carelessly over-heating stoves of this kind, we may attribute some of the most extensive fires of recent occurrence.
The stove invented by Dr. Arnott differs essentially from the common hot-air stove, and still more from an open fire-place. But let us describe it; and in doing that we shall find that the following sketch will materially assist us. It represents the stove with one of its sides removed, so as to exhibit its interior arrangements.
The outlines of the figure, a a a a, represent the case or body of the stove, which might be formed either of cast or sheet iron. It is divided into two chambers by the partition, b b; but in such a way that there may be a free communication at the top and bottom. c is a small furnace, or, as it is called by the inventor, a fire-box, made of iron, and lined with fire-bricks. The fire-box is not in contact with the exterior case of the stove. It communicates at the bottom with an ash-pit, the door of which is at d, —that of the stove, by which the fuel is introduced, is at d'. Both these doors must fit very accurately. Above the door of the ash-pit is a bent pipe e, by which air gains admittance to the fire. A fire being kindled and the doors at d d" shut, the only way in which air has access to the fuel is by the pipe e ; the air so admitted, passing through the fire before it enters the upper part of the stove. That portion of the air not required to aid the combustion of the fuel having reached the main body of the stove, and there mixing with the smoke and other products, they circulate slowly in the directions indicated by the arrows, and at length pass into the chimney by the pipe f. The slow movement just mentioned as taking place within the stove may well be contrasted with what happens in an open fire-place. In one case the greater part of the heat produced is rapidly carried off by a current of air ascending the chimney—by the Thermometer-stove it is detained until almost the whole of it has been diffused throughout the apartment. The bent tube g terminating in a cup-shaped opening at g’, is a self-regulating valve. The tube is closed at the end g within the stove. g. g” represents mercury which occupies the bend of the tube. When the fire in the stove burns too briskly, the air in the tube occupying the space between g and 9” is ex