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to the ground while the current from the battery | accept and interpret the legend. For it is sober is found not to have sufficient intensity to overleap truth, that the apparently aimless and meaningless the space between the knobs, and hence does not movements of the magnetic-needles when vibrating descend the wire-as it would do if the knobs at such times, are, after all, the expressive fingertouched.
signs of a dumb alphabet, in which nature is exAn additional and very ingenious device against plaining to us certain of her mysteries ; and already, lightning-shocks injuring the station-houses, con- too, we are learning something of their signifisists in making one part of the wire which is led cance. off to them from the main line very thin. If a Peculiar difficulties have attended the transmispowerful electrical discharge reach this, it melts sion of electric signals through some of the railit; so that the lightning, like an enemy too hasty way tunnels. Those have been traced, in some in pursuit, burns the only bridge by which it cases, to the effect of the moisture trickling down could cross to make an attack, and remains on the the walls in destroying insulation ; and the wires safe side-out-generalled by itself.
have in consequence been coated, like those of the By one or other, or all of the methods described marine telegraph, with gutta percha. In other sufficient protection can, on the whole, be secured, cases the index-needles at the stations nearest the against the more familiar and more perilous effects tunnels have remained set to one side for considerof atmospheric electricity. Electrical disturb-able periods. This has been referred to the influances, however, of a kind which do not manifest ence on the tunnel wires of electrical or magnetic themselves in discharges of lightning, or involve disturbances in the strata in the neighborhood of life or ordinary property in danger, are quite suffi- the tunnel. If this view be well founded, it would cient to derange the operations of the telegraph. be wise to make the telegraph-wires, where they During snow and hail-storms, whilst dry fogs are pass through the tunnels, of copper, and not of prevailing, when the aurora borealis appears, and iron—as the non-magnetic character of the former in truth during most meteorological changes, much metal makes it less susceptible of electrical exciteelectricity is developed in the atmosphere. It is ment. A wire cannot be magnetic and electrical sometimes directly transferred to the telegraph- in the same direction at the same time.
If a wires, but as frequently its action is only indirect. telegraph-wire become magnetic in the direction A body in which free electricity is in any way of its length, like a long compass-needle, it will developed determines a similar electrical condition resist the passage of comparatively feeble electric in an insulated mass of metal near it, exactly as a currents, which would have traversed it had it magnet induces magnetism in pieces of iron been non-magnetic. This fact, perhaps, has not placed in its neighborhood. Thus an electrical been sufficiently considered in the explanations cloud floating along above the extended wires gen- which have been given of the derangements of the erates a current of electricity in them; or, to speak telegraph. Iron becomes so readily magnetic that more strictly, causes the electricity naturally pres- the telegraph-wires, when made as they are now ent in a latent state in the wire, to become free of that metal, cannot in certain circumstances and move along the metal. The currents which escape being magnetized by the earth. Now that thus travel, as well as those which are directly railways are projected in India, it may not be transferred from the atmosphere, have the same amiss also to notice that near the Equator iron effects on the index-needles and signal: bells, as the rods or wires lying north and south after a time electricity purposely sent along the wires from the become magnetic. And wherever, in other rebattery. The needles are swung unceasingly to gions, the wires are extended in the direction of the and fro, or remain for hours deflected to one side. magnetic dip, the same effect will occur. The The bells ring violently at irregular intervals, or cheapness, elasticity, and strength of iron, howstop only when their weights are run down. Sig- ever, more than counterbalance the inconveniences nals cannot be transmitted at all when atmospheric referred to. electricity is thus largely developed ; and they The defects referred to in the electric telegraph become more or less confused whenever it is suffi- we have been considering, we may soon expect to ciently powerful to affect the index-needles. see lessened, since so many accomplished men are
A part altogether from its practical importance, strenuously seeking to remedy them. The stepthere is something exciting in the contemplation by-step, the electro-chemical, and the printing teleof these strange atmospheric influences. It must graphs are less liable to disorder by atmospheric be not a little startling to the drowsy occupant of influences than the magnetic-needle arrangement, some solitary telegraph station, to be roused from which is chiefly in use at present. Their merits, his midnight slumber by the spectral clanging of however, have been but lately brought before the his signal bell, bidding him quail at the wild quiv- public; nor have they been tested for any long erings of the magnets, now swayed plainly by no period on the large scale. It will be enough, mortal hands. An imaginative man might then therefore, if we cordially wish them success. well recall the legends which tell of disembodied Meanwhile, if our electric telegraph is not persouls sent back to this earth, to divulge some great fect, as no tool of man's is, it assuredly is a most secret of the world of spirits, and seeking in vain wonderful instrument; and it has been brought for means of utterance which shall be intelligible from small beginnings to its present completeness to those in the body. A philosopher, too, might in a singularly short period of time. To unscien
VOL. XXIII. 29
tific observers, indeed, the rapidity of its develop- of even the semblance of a habitation, may be exment cannot, we think, but seem miraculous. pected to create a demand for dwellings not easily
We have heard of one of Naylor's Like some swift-growing tropical plant, it has supplied. spread in a few months its far-stretching iron ten- $340, bringing in California $5,000. These houses
houses, through a private letter, which cost here drils throughout the length and breadth of the land. are of galvanized iron. Their surfaces being bright, It would have done so, however, twenty years ago, the rays of the sun are refracted, and the temperahad the mechanical conditions for its extension ture within kept at a much lower degree than it existed :—and we must thank the railroads for its would otherwise be. Not far from 600 such buildearly maturity. Till they provided a secure path- ings have been sent out since 1848, including 9 way for its progress it could only exist in embryo. stores or warehouses for the U. S. governmentIt now fringes every railway with its harp-like nix, of Valparaiso ; an equal number for Messrs.
some of them of large size-30 or 40 for Mr. Pewires—apparently as inseparable and as natural Howland & Aspinwall ; 15 for Thomas O. Larkin, an appendage, as the graceful parasitical orchideæ of San Francisco ; 15 or 20 for Mr. Boardman, alsó which spread along the branches of the South of San Francisco; 50 for M. Y. Beach & Son ; American forest trees.
also, a hotel for Livingston & Wells, to be called Nursling, however, as the electric telegraph is
“ The Iron Hotel," which was taken across the of this century, almost of this decade, an ingenious isthmus. An order for 30 or 40 more is being ex pupil of Niebuhr might find in an ancient tradition ecuted, for Mr. John Parrot, U. S. minister at
Mazatlan. its birth foretold centuries ago. In the
In the building of frame houses, six or eight firms as the historians of the Reformation tell us, the are pretty largely engaged, in this city and BrookElector Frederick of Saxony had a strange dream. lyn. Spaan & Co., No. 11 Park Row, have The monk Luther appeared to him, writing upon shipped, for various firms in the city, 100 portable the door of the palace-chapel at Wittemberg in his section houses, built on their plan, to be carried dominions. But the pen which Luther handled over the isthmus on pack mules; also, 175 houses,
of sizes varying from 12 feet by 16 feet, to 90 feet was so long that its feather-end reached to Rome, by 65 feet, and from one to three and a half stories and shook the Pope's triple crown on his head. in height, for shipment around the Horn. There The cardinals and princes of the empire ran up remain to be sent, by this firm, something over 100 hastily to support the tiara, and one after another houses, belonging to various parties, among which tried in vain to break the pen. It crackled, how- is a large hotel, three and a half stories high, 180 ever, as if it had been made of iron, and would feet front, and 90 feet deep, to be erected at San not break ; and whilst they were wondering at its Francisco, under the name of the Astor House. It
will have 100 rooms, 10 stores on the second floor, strength, a loud cry arose, “ And from the monk's and a wide, ornamental entrance. The plans will long pen issued a host of other pens.”
shortly be exhibited at the Merchants’ Exchange. The Elector's dream has been fulfilled in our Another building, of a similar character, is conown day. The long pen of iron sprouting forth structing, three stories high, and 30 by 65 feet, for hosts of pens is in our hands; and every day a Frenchman, recently from Illinois. The average grows longer. It has reached to Rome, and much cost of the dwelling-houses is about $400. further ; and shaken popes and kings, and emper
Messrs. Robbins & Treadwell, No. 111 Broad
street, have built 450 or 500 houses, most of them ors' crowns; and foretold, like the Belshazzar saw, the fall of thrones and the ruin About 120 are now in progress for Capt. Billings,
a story and a half in height, and 15 by 25 feet. of dynasties. It has written much of wars and who is also having 80 others built by S. P. Linrevolutions, and garments rolled in blood; and coln, of Brooklyn, costing $150 or $200 each. must write much more. But it is the emblem and Among them is a bowling-alley, 20 by 70 feet, minister of peace—and the Long Pen shall yet will form the cargoes of the ships Sartell and Lau
built by Mr. Robbins; also two hospitals. They vanquish the Long Sword.
rens, the former of which sails next week. The same parties are building 120 houses for Capt A. Miner, with which to freight the ship Diadem to sail in a week or two. They are accompanied by
a kind of mineral pigment, called Beman's Cottage The rapid settlement of California under the in- Paint, which is alleged to possess qualities making fluence of the gold fever has given rise to a traffic it superior to ordinary paints, and is withal much of a novel character, namely, the exportation of cheaper. It cannot fail to impart to the clusters of dwellings, hotels, churches, and buildings of every California villages a grotesque and pleasing effect, description, framed, and ready for erection upon by its greatly varied shades of color. their arrival at their destination. From Boston, Mr. S.P. Lincoln is building a hotel for Messrs. Maine, and various parts of the Eastern States, we Churchland and Whittemore, to cost about $1000, hear of individuals or companies largely engaged and to be completed five days after the commencein house-building for California, or exporting lum- ment of the work. It is 60 by 30 feet. Attached ber—while from this city and vicinity it may be to it is a kitchen, 15 by 30 feet. It goes out in the safely estimated that not less than 5000 buildings ship Rowena. The ship Hampden, last week, have been sent out since the commencement of the took out a hotel for Henry Elliott, 30 by 40 feet, “excitement,” or are now under contract. Doubt- with panelled doors, shutiers, &c. Four houses Jess many fortunes will be made, and perhaps not a have also been made for Mr. Warburton, president few lost. Still, 50,000 or 60,000 men, with con- of the Hartford Bank, and ten for Dr. Hulse ; also etant accessions to their numbers, suddenly landed a hospital for Mr. Morris, and seventeen dwellings in an inhospitable territory, most of them deitute for Mr. Elliott. Mr. Denis is connected with
From the Journal of Commerce.
HOUSES FOR CALIFORNIA.
another firm, at No. 50 Broadway, which has gone As spots of blood the banquet-hall, pretty largely into the house-building business.
In some young knight's romantic dream. Their sales, thus far, are not less than $10,000.
No more the water-lily's pride
In milk-white circles swims content,
How speeds from in the river's thought ple. From early morn until late in the evening,
The spirit of the leaf that falls, these industrious men are engaged in their occupa
Its heaven in this cold bosom wrought, tion of house-builders, of which a great many have
As mine among these crimson walls. been exported from China, and the quietness and
From the dry bough it spins to greet order, cheerfulness and temperance, which is ob
Its shadow on the placid river, servable in their habits, is noticed by every one.
So might I my companions meet, Search the city through and you will not find an
Nor roam the countless worlds forever. idle Chinaman, and their cleanliness exceeds any other people we ever saw.
Autumn, thy wreath and mine are blent The buildings brought from China are generally With the same colors, for to me 20 feet square, one story in height, and 12 feet from
A richer sky than all is lent, the floor to the ceiling. The timbers are round, While fades my dreamlike company. and many of them very crooked. We have noticed, in several instances, the erection of China buildings Our skies grow purple—but the wind of double the size described above, but we suppose
Sobs chill thro' green trees and bright grass, that in such cases two separate frames are erected To-day shines fair, and lurks behind together, thus forming a single building. The first The times that into winter pass. movement after raising the frame is to attach the window, which consists of a frame and blinds, with
So fair we seem, so cold we are, out sash. The blind is so constructed as to close
So fast we hasten to decay ; itself by its own weight—the slat being of double
Yet through our night glows many a star, width outside. The timber is very uniform in size,
That still shall claim its sunny day. and about six or eight inches in diameter. The boards are well seasoned, and resemble American
From the New York Evening Post cedar. The price of a Chinese building, such as
That still go gliding by,
To Him who sits on high.
The poison or the nectar,
Our heart's deep flower-cups yield, BY WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING, OF CONCORD.
A sample still they gather swift,
And leave us in the field.
And some fly by on pinions
Of gorgeous gold and blue,
And some fly in with drooping wing
Of sorrow's darker hue.
And as we spend each minute
That God to us hath given,
The deeds are known before his throneThe aster's violet
The tale is told in heaven.
And we, who walk among them,
As one by one departs,
Think not that they are hovering
Forever round our hearts.
Like summer bees that hover
Around the idle flowers,
They gather every act and thought,
These viewless angel hours.
And still they steal the record,
And bear it far away;
Their mission flight, by day or night,
No magic powers can stay.
So teach me, Heavenly Father!
To spend each flying hour,
That, as they go, they may not show
My heart a poison flower.
over it, while the water, rising every instant, CHAPTER VI.—THE JESUIT'S STORY.
threatened to carry it away. He approached the “ As nearly as I can recollect,” he said, “it father and daughter. What words he used were was in the month of May; and the spring, always
never known ; but he seemed to be persuading
the beautiful in these Alpine regions, appeared to
young woman to allow him to save her life. have come forth with tenfold splendor. The She, however, pointed to her father, and shrunk sun's warmth, in that season of the year, thaws from the deliverance she was not to share with
him. - the mind as well as the earth. People put on sportive looks for the summer, and the joyous of the Jesuit, now passed over the pine, for the pur
"A young man, emboldened by the example ness of their feelings is represented externally by bright-colored clothes. Suddenly the clouds gath- pose of aiding in the pious work of preserving the ered, and hung from ridge to ridge, entirely roof- father and his loving child. All saw there was ing over the valley. Through tunnels, as it
no time to be lost. The rain descended in floods, were, in their substance, the thunder rolled in the furious stream increased momentarily, the cessantly; while the lightning flashed downwards, pine began to be touched and shaken by the wares; with a brightness so vivid and piercing, that it and the villagers, who looked on in comparative threatened to consume, utterly, both man and safety, soon felt how little hope there was of beast. Then followed indescribable torrents of deliverance for their neighbors. They lified up rain, descending as from the open windows of their hands to heaven—they prayed for them; heaven, until every brook and streamlet swelled but the storm seemed to beat down their words, to a torrent, and the Rhone rushed through its while their hopes were swallowed up in the dark bed with tremendous force and velocity. In the wrath of the elements. The little group now midst of the storm, a noise was lieard in the approached the pine-the father and his supporter mountains, compared with which the thunder advancing first, and our brother and his beautiful shrunk into a whisper. It appeared as if the companion following. Most true it is that the foundations of the everlasting hills had been vio- race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to lently shaken from their place. All the villagers
the strong. The man of years and feebleness, hurried to their doors, where they stood, pale and against all hope and expectation, reached the trembling, not knowing what to do.
shore in safety. But at the very moment his another frightful crash. The curtain of rocks
foot touched the land, a stream of whirling eddies which you behold yonder, disparted from top to
struck the pine, swept it forward, and plunged bottom; and out rushed an irresistible flood, with the Jesuit and the girl into the boiling flood. a roaring like that of the ocean. There was no
Danger produces, sometimes, a strange effect time for flight. Terror paralyzed all
limbs. upon the mind. Instead of quitting his hold, Onward swept the torrent, ploughing up the
and striving to make for the bank, our brother plain in various directions, flooding the fields and clasped his companion in his arms; and they the gardens, overthrowing walls and houses, and
sunk together. Some days afterwards, their hurrying forward their ruins towards the Rhone. bodies were found far down in the channel of the Several hundred persons were drowned in a mo
Rhone, fast locked together in the embrace of ment. But some, who happened to be in situa- death. We buried them in the same grave; and tions favorable for flight, escaped destruction.
the good old man, her father, still lives to visit “ There was one cottage, inhabited by an old the spot where the once warm heart of his child man and his daughter, which stood near the lies cold. It will not be long before he joins her brink of the great chasm, through which the in the grave, because he is old and feeble, and principal arm of the waters was roaring and foam- has nothing in this world to support him. Bus ing along. The channel was widening fast by he is a pious Christian, and hopes to be greeted the earth crumbling into it; and it was evident in heaven by the soul of his beloved daughter, as the cottage must go in a few minutes. A young well as by him who lost his life in the endeavor brother of our order stood on the opposite bank, to save her. I tell you these facts," said the beholding with pity the young woman wringing Jesuit,“ without ornament or amplification. In her hands, imploring pity and assistance. Her itself it was a very touching thing to see, though father, ill and feeble, had tottered to the door, it is little or nothing when related.” where, seeing death around him on all sides, he stood transfixed like a statue. His daughter
CHAPTER VII.-SLEEP AND JEWELS. now approached, and now retreated from him, In the inn at Brigg, which we reached early looking wildly towards a small group on the in the evening, we found a number of English opposite bank. What she said could not be people, who, however, kept all together, and held heard, as her voice was drowned in the thunder me out no temptations to join them. It is a fact, of the torrent. But our brother formed his res- which most persons must have observed, that the olution. A pine tree, lopped and barked, lay moment a man leaves his own fireside, he strives, near him on the ground ; he entreated the by- by putting on grand airs, and otherwise, to pass standers to lend their assistance in throwing it for what he is not. He alters the tone of his across the chasm. When they had done so- voice, throws additional dignity into his aspect rounded, slippery as it was—he made his way and gait, and, if he expects to be overheard, dis
courses on topics calculated to display his conse- | sent of the governments of Piedmont and the quence. Most travellers do this, rendering them- Valais, pass into Italy in less than a week. His selves thereby extremely disagreeable. For my- behavior at supper put me strongly in mind of a self, at least, I hate people of consequence, and butler in the service of the Margravine of Anspach. prefer conversing with the ragtag-and-bobtail of That lady, in whose history there were many litsociety ; persons altogether without pretensions, tle odds and ends with which she did not wish without titles, and, often, also, it is to be pre- common fame to be acquainted, gave this same sumed, without cash—these are your truly merry butler a guinea to hold his peace on a particular companions on a journey. The Roman poet says, point; but the money took him to the tavern, “ The poor man sings in the midst of thieves, where, drinking good wine with his friends, he because he has nothing to lose ;” and travellers grew warm and communicative, and related the who are very nearly in that predicament usually very anecdote which her ladyship most especially take things easily, and rely confidently on Prov- desired to be forgotten. Hearing afterwards of his idence to provide them with breakfast, dinner, indiscretion, she reproached him, when he ingenand a diligence.
uously replied, “Ah! your ladyship should not As I have said, I did not make up towards my have given me money, but have let me remain countrymen, because they appeared to be of far sober; for I am exactly like a hedgehog—when I too much consequence for me. It was years since am wet, I open." I had been in England ; and I, therefore, was not Monsieur Carli, until the wine began to soften at all familiar with the current topics of the day. his heart, had affected all the airs of a small diploOur countrymen, of course, are all politicians. matist, and would, if possible, have made a mysNot that, as a rule, they understand politics, buttery of the fact that the sun shines at noon-day. that it is the most exciting topic with which they At supper his tongue grew supple, and scattered are acquainted. They now talked of the princi- about confidence as a cow's tail scatters dew-drops pal notabilities of the day, whose names, though in the morning from the grass. He professed sufficiently respectable, need not be repeated great relish for our society, swore we were the best here. Political reputations are easily built up, fellows he had ever met with, and said it would especially in England ; where any man of fam- give him the utmost possible delight to travel ily or fortune, with a slight dash of industry, and round the world with us. Unfortunately, howa very moderate amount of perseverance, may get ever, our intimacy was destined to be cut short at credit for all manner of public virtues. He has that luckless town of Brigg, unless—which was but to select a hobby-horse for himself, and to ride very unlikely—there was a gentleman in the party it with moderate steadiness, to be set down for a who happened to have a passport for himself and great patriot, and be looked upon as an adorable his wife, and yet had left his wife behind him. creature among the ladies of his party. Time, “In that case," cried M. Carli, in great animation, of course, squares his account with fame—that is, “ he could take Madame under his protection, get dissipates his pretensions into thin air, and leaves her over the frontier as his own better-half, and him overwhelmed amid the formless ruins of ob- then, of course, deliver her to me. For myself, I livion. But he is not the less a notability while could easily climb the hills a little, and so step he lives, and vanity always" whispers in his ear into Piedmont without a passport." that he will form an exception to the general rule, Events appeared to have framed themselves just and be remembered forever.
as Monsieur Carli wished, for I happened to have 1-found myself at supper, purely by accident, exactly such a passport, except that it would have beside Madame Carli, whom I had treated during enabled me to take over the frontier seven other the day with something like neglect ; my atten- persons, in addition to his wife. When I mention having been absorbed almost entirely by the tioned this fact, and offered to take charge of Madisciple of Ignatius Loyola. She was now re- dame Carli, the little man was transported with joy, solved that I should do penance for my sins, and as a week at Brigg would, he owned, have been for some time would only converse with me in the death of him. Besides, he did not doubt that the most distant and formal manner. I am not the cholera was close at his heels; and as it was the least in the world a materialist; but have still to escape this fearful malady that he had hurried found by experience, that a good supper and so rapidly out of France, there was nothing he sparkling wines produce a wonderful harmony in would not have given at this moment to be lodged our microcosm, and incline us to gossip and phi- safely on the other side of the Alps. It was now Janthropy. What the dishes at Brigg consisted agreed that Madame Carli should be Madame St. of, Heaven only knows. I never pry into mys- John till our arrival at Duomo d'Ossola. teries of that sort ; but eat, if I can, whatever is While this arrangement was in the course of set before me, and am thankful for it. I only completion, Madame Carli and I were engaged in know that everything that evening seemed very passing a separate treaty of peace. I had already nice, and that the wines were perfectly delicious. atoned for the negligence of the day, by all sorts Monsieur Carli, since his arrival at Brigg, had of submissions, till we were once more as free and made a discovery which discomposed him consid- gay as ever. This, of course, was partly owing erably, which was, that, having left France dur- to the supper and the wine, which put us first in ing the cholera, he could not, without the con- good humor with ourselves, and then with every