Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

whole length, and sometimes in shorter renders them warm, and prevents the adpieces, cross cuts being made at certain mission of moisture. The ancient Egypintervals. . In some instances, the perpen- tians frequently made coffins of it. On dicular and transverse incisions are made, account of its lightness, cork is used for and the cork is left upon the trees, until

, false legs; and from its being impervious by the growth of the new bark beneath, it to water, it is sometimes placed between becomes sufficiently loose to be removed the soles of shoes, to keep out moisture. by the hand. After the pieces are de- When burnt, it constitutes that light black tached, they are soaked in water, and, substance known by the name of Spanish when nearly dry, are placed over a fire of black. In the cutting of corks for use, the coals, which blackens their external sur- only tool employed is a very broad, thin face. By the latter operation, they are and sharp knife; and, as the cork tends rendered smooth, and all the smaller very much to blunt this, it is sharpened blemishes are thereby concealed ; the on a board by one whet or stroke on each larger holes and cracks are filled up by side, after every cut, and now and then the introduction of soot and dirt. They upon a common whetstone. The corks are next loaded with weights to make for bottles are cut lengthwise of the them even, and subsequently are dried bark, and consequently the pores lie and stacked, or packed in bales for expor- across. Bungs, and corks of large size, are tation.—The uses of cork were well known cut in a contrary direction: the pores in to the ancients, and were nearly the same these are therefore downward-a circumto which it is applied by us. Its elasticity stance which renders them much more renders it peculiarly serviceable for the defective in stopping out the air than the stopping of vessels of different kinds, and others. The parings of cork are carefully thus preventing either the liquids therein kept, and sold to the makers of Spanish contained from running out, or the exter- black. nal air from passing in. The use of cork CORMORANT (a corruption of the French for stopping glass bottles is generally con- words corbeau marin); the trivial name of sidered to have been introduced about the

a genus of aquatic birds included by Linné 15th century. The practice of employing under pelecanus, but properly removed this substance for jackets to assist in thence by Brisson, to form a distinct_geswimming is very ancient; and it has nus, denominated phalacrocorax.

This been applied in various ways towards the term is indicated by Pliny, as being the preservation of life when endangered by Greek name for the cormorant, though it shipwreck. The cork jacket, revived from is not employed by Aristotle, who called an old German discovery by Mr. Du- the bird hydrocorax, or sea-crow, whence bourg, to preserve the lives of persons in the French name above-mentioned. The danger of drowning, is constructed as fol- cormorants belong to the family totipalmes lows :-Pieces of cork, about three inches of Cuvier, steganopodes, Bonap. They long by two wide, and the usual thickness are aquatic birds, having the great toe of the bark, are enclosed between two united to the others by a common mempieces of strong cloth or canvass, and brane, and their feet are thus most admiformed like a jacket without sleeves; the rably adapted for swimming; yet they are pieces of cloth are sewed together round among the very few web-footed birds caeach piece of cork, to keep them in their pable of perching on the branches of proper situations; the lower part of the trees, which they do with great ease and jacket, about the hips, is made like the security. The genus is distinguished by same part of women's stays, to give free- the following characters : a moderatedom to the thighs in swimming; it is sized, robust, thick, straight and commade sufficiently large to fit a stout man, pressed bill, having the upper mandible and is secured to the

body by two or three seamed, and rounded above, with the strong straps sewed far back on each side, ridge distinct, unguiculated and hooked at and tied before ; the strings are thus the point, which is rather obtuse. The placed to enable any wearer to tighten it to lower mandible is somewhat shorter, trunhis own convenience. The floats of nets cated at tip, osseous throughout, and furused for fishing are frequently made of nished, at the base, with a small, naked. cork. Pieces fastened together make coriaceous membrane, which is continued buoys, which, by floating on the surface on the throat. The nostrils, opening in of the water, afford direction for vessels the furrows, are basal, lateral, linear, and in harbors, rivers, and other places. In scarcely visible; the tongue is cartilagisome parts of Spain, it is customary to pous, very short, carinated above, papillous line the walls of houses with cork, which beneath, and obtuse. The occiput is very protuberant; the face and small pouch are head, neck and body, and because of its naked; the neck is rather short, and of awkward manner of keeping itself erect, moderate strength ; the body is com- being under the necessity of resting upon pressed. The feet are short, robust, and its rigid tail feathers. But, mounted in rather turned outwards; the legs are air, these birds are of swift and vigorous wholly feathered, and closely drawn to- flight, and, when desirous of rest, alight wards the belly; the tarsus is naked, one upon the branches of tall trees or the third shorter than the outer toe, much summits of rocks, where they delight to compressed and carinated before and be- spread their wings and bask for hours in hind. The outer toe is the longest, and the sun. They select similar situations for edged externally by a small membrane; building their nests, though sometimes the webbing membrane is broad, full and they make them upon the ground or entire; the hind toe is half as long as the among reeds, always rudely and with middle, and all are provided with moder- coarse materials. In them they lay three ate-sized, curved, broad, bluntish nails, the or four whitish eggs.—That the services middle one being serrated on its inner of birds, which are such excellent fishers, edge, and equal to the others. The wings should be desired by man, is by no means are moderate and slender, with stiff quills, surprising; and we are informed that the of which the second and third primaries Chinese have long trained cormorants to are longest ; the tail is rounded, and com- fish for them. This training is begun by posed of 12 or 14 rigid feathers.--About placing a ring upon the lower part of the 15 species of cormorant are at present bird's neck, to prevent it from swallowing known, and are distributed over the whole its prey. After a time, the cormorant world, engaged in the same office,—that learns to deliver the fish to its master of aiding to maintain the due balance of without having the ring upon its neck. animal life, by consuming vast numbers It is said to be a very interesting sight to of the finny tribes. Like the pelicans, to observe the fishing-boats, having but one which they are closely allied in conforma- or two persons on board, and a consideration and habits, the cormorants reside in ble number of cormorants, which latter, considerable families near the waters at a signal given by their master, plunge whence they obtain fish. It is scarcely into the water, and soon return, bringing possible to imagine any animal better a fish in their mouths, which is willingly adapted to this mode of life, since they relinquished. The male and female redive with great force, and swim under semble each other in size and plumage; water with such celerity that few fish can but the young, especially when about a

When engaged in this year old, differ greatly from the adult chase, they not only exert their broadly- birds. They change their thick, close, webbed feet, but ply their wings like oars, black plumage, or moult, twice a year, acto propel their bodies forward, which, quiring additional ornaments in winter. being thin and keel-shaped, offer the least Four or five species of cormorants are degree of resistance to the water. They known to be inhabitants or occasional swim at all times low in the water, with visitors of the American continent; but, little more than the head above the sur- with the exception of P. graculus, which face, and, therefore, though large birds, is very common, and breeds in Florida might easily be overlooked by one unac- (though also abundant within the arctic customed to their habits. Should a cor- and antarctic circles), they are rather rare, morant seize a fish in any other way than and only seen during winter in the U. by the head, he rises to the surface, and States. In some parts of Europe fretossing the fish into the air, adroitly quented by species of the cormorant, they catches it head foremost as it falls, so that commit great depredations upon the fishthe fins, being properly laid against the ponds, which are kept for the purpose of fish's sides, cause no injury to the throat supplying the tables of the proprietors; of the bird. This precaution is the more and in Holland, they are said to be espenecessary, as the cormorants are very vo- cially troublesome in this way, two or racious feeders, and are often found not three of these greedy birds speedily clearonly with their stomachs crammed, but ing a pond of all its finny inhabitants. with a fish in the mouth and throat, which From their great voracity and entirely remains until the material below is di- piscivorous regimen, it will readily be gested, and is then passed into the stom- inferred that their flesh promises very litach. When standing on shore, the cor- tle to gratify the epicure. It is so black, morant appears to very little advantage, tough, and rankly fishy, that few persons both on account of the proportions of its venture upon it more than once, where

escape them.

а

a

a

any thing else can be had. Nevertheless, &c., have been likewise found effective. In naval officers, and others, condemned, by large cities, as London, Paris, &c., people the nature of their service, to situations make a business of curing corns. where they are long debarred from fresh CORN, INDIAN. (See Maize.) provisions, sometimes have the cormorant CORN Laws. An adequate supply of served at their tables, after having taken bread stuffs is evidently of the very first the precaution to skin it, and endeavored, importance to every country, and should by the artifices of cookery, to disguise its be as regular as is possible, since sudden peculiar flavor.

fluctuations in an article of so universal CORN; a hardened portion of cuticle, necessity are injurious, and scarcity, with produced by pressure ; so called, because the consequent high prices, brings distress a piece can be picked out like a corn of upon the poorer classes, and is a fruitful barley. Corns are generally found on the cause of discontent and convulsions. The outside of the toes, but sometimes between best means of securing a sufficient and them, on the sides of the foot, or even on steady supply of this article is a subject the ball. They gradually penetrate deeper of some diversity of opinion, and the into the parts, and sometimes occasion practice of governments has varied much extreme pain, and, from the frequency of at different times. One theory, urged by their occurrence, hold a prominent rank Adam Smith, but questioned by Mr. Malamong the petty miseries of mankind, and thus and most others, is, that the governfrequently exert no small influence upon ment should do absolutely nothing in the the temper of individuals. A monarch's matter, on the ground that the farmers corns may affect the welfare of a nation. and corn-merchants, if unchecked, will No part of the human body, probably, has always form correct views of their own been injured so much by our injudicious interest, and that their interest will comode of dress, as the feet, which have incide with that of the community. But become, in general, deformed; so much broad, sweeping theories of this sort are so, that sculptors and painters can hardly rarely adopted in the practical adminisever copy this part from living subjects, tration of affairs; and a government, in but depend for a good foot almost solely making regulations on this subject, as on on the remains of ancient art. To this every other, looks at its internal condition, general deformity of the foot belong the the character and pursuits of its populacorns, produced by the absurd forms of tion, and its foreign commercial relations; our shoes and boots. They appear, at and though it may not judge correctly of first, as small, dark points in the hardened the

best means of securing a steady and skin, and, in this state, stimulants or es- sufficient supply, this does not prove that charotics, as nitrate of silver (lunar caus- a total neglect of the subject would be the tic), are recommended. The corn is to wisest and safest policy in all countries be" wet, and rubbed with a pencil of and at all times. It is certain, however, the caustic every evening. It is well to that very unwise measures have often have the skin previously softened. If the been resorted to, and sometimes such as corn has attained a large size, removal by tended to aggravate the evil rather than to cutting or by ligature will be proper; if it provide a remedy. One way to guard hangs by a small neck, it is recommended against a scarcity is that adopted by the to tie a silk thread round it, which is to be king of Egypt, in the time of Joseph-the tightened every day, until the corn is purchasing of corn by the government, in completely removed. I all cases of cut- time of plenty at home, or importing it ting corns, very great precaution is to be from abroad, and storing it in public magobserved. The feet ought always to be azines, to be distributed as the public bathed previously. Mortification has, in wants may demand. But this system is many instances, resulted from the neglect attended with great expense, and affords of this precaution, and from cutting too but an uncertain and inadequate provisdeep. Another simple and generally very ion. Most governments, accordingly, inefficacious means, is the application of a stead of making direct purchases, attempt thick adhesive plaster, in the centre of to provide a remedy by the passage of which a hole has been made for the re- laws. This subject of grain legislation is ception of the projecting part. From by no means entirely modern. The Athetime to time, a plaster must be added. nians had laws prohibiting the exportaThus, the surrounding parts being pressedtion of corn, and requiring merchants who down, the corn is often expelled, and, at loaded their vessels with it in foreign all events, is prevented from enlarging. ports, to bring their cargoes to Athens. Paring with files, rubbing with fish-skin, The public provision and distribution of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

corn was an important branch of admin- average sales in certain specified places istration at Rome, and very intimately for a given time; and, when it rises above connected with the public tranquillity. a certain other fixed price, the importation The regulation of the supply of corn and is permitted. By Mr. Burke's bill

, wheat the trade in the article has been a fruitful might be exported when the price was subject of legislation in modern Europe. under 44 shillings the quarter, and imBut it is to be observed, that the public ported when it was over 48 shillings. The solicitude and current of legislation take home grower is, therefore, sure to be free this direction only in populous countries, from foreign competition at any price unor at least those in which the population der 48 shillings, and this gives him confipresses hard upon the means of domestic dence in pursuing this species of cultiva. production of bread stuffs; for a country tion. The rates or prices at which exof which, like Poland, the staple export is portation and importation have since been corn, needs to take no measures for se- allowed, have varied, from time to time, curing a supply; and as flour and Indian very materially; but the principles of the meal are great articles of exportation in laws and their effect are the same. This the U. States, this country has had no oc- system is allowed by Mr. Malthus and casion for laws to guard against a famine, many others, who are, in general, opposed since the ordinary course of industry and to restrictions and encouragements of trade gives the greatest possible security, trade, to be the best system by which the by producing a surplus of provisions, home supply could be secured; and they which a high price at home, in anticipa- further think, that Great Britain could not tion of any scarcity, will be sure to retain safely open its ports to a perfectly free for the supply of domestic wants. In ag- trade in so essential an article, since the ricultural countries, the object of solicitude fluctuations of price and the occasional is to supply the want of arts and manufac- scarcity, in consequence of wars or other tures, as in populous and highly improved interruptions of trade with the countries countries, it is to supply the want of food. depended upon for a supply, would proBut the laws directed to this object have duce great distress, and tend to breed disbeen very various, and some of them con- turbances and riots in the kingdom. tradictory; for as in Athens, so in Eng- CORNARO, Ludovico, was descended land at one period, the laws prohibited the from a Venetian family which had given exportation of corn; whereas, at another several doges to Venice, and, in the 15th period, and for a very long one in the century, a queen to the island of Cyprus, latter country, a bounty was given on the who left that kingdom to the Venetian ex portation; and both these laws had the republic. He died at Padua, in 1566, aged same object, viz. the adequate and steady 104 years, without pain or struggle. From supply of the article. For this purpose, the 25th to the Hôth year of his age, he the bounty is the measure undoubtedly was afflicted with a disordered stomach, calculated to produce the effect intended, with the gout, and with slow fevers, till at and the permanent prohibition of exporta- length he gave up the use of medicine, tion must aggravate the scarcity which it and accustomed himself to extreme fruis intended to prevent. Such a bounty gality in his diet. The beneficial effects tends to stimulate a surplus production, of this he relates in his book entitled The and so to give a country, by this factitious Advantages of a temperate Life. Comaro's encouragement, the same security, in re- precepts are not, indeed, applicable, in spect to a supply, as results from the their full extent, to every constitution; but spontaneous course of industry and trade his general rules will always be correct. in Poland, the southern part of Russia, His diseases vanished, and gave place to a and the U. States. But the objection to state of vigorous health and

tranquillity of the bounty is its great expense, requiring, spirits, to which he had hitherto been an as it does, the imposition of a tax, and, at entire stranger. He wrote three additional the same time, raising the price of the treatises on the same subject. In his work article to the domestic consumer. To se- upon the Birth and Death of Man, which cure the advantages, and avoid some of he composed in his 95th year, he says of the burthens of this law, Mr. Burke, in himself,“ “ I am now as healthy as any 1773, proposed the system of corn laws person of 25 years of age. I write daily 7 since adhered to in Great Britain, accord- or 8 hours, and the rest of the time I OCing to which no bounty is paid, but the ex- cupy in walking, conversing, and occaportation of corn is permitted when it is sionally in attending concerts. I am sold under a certain price in the home happy, and relish every thing that I eat. market. This price is determined by the My imagination is lively, my memory tenacious; my judgment good; and, what timent de l'Académie Française sur la Trais most remarkable, in a person of my gi-comédie du Cid is

, therefore, more credadvanced age, my voice is strong and har- itable to the learning than to the taste of monious.”

the French literati. Others hoped, by deCORNEILLE, Peter, the founder of crying the poet, to obtain the favor of the French tragedy, and the first, in point minister. But the works of Corneille of time, among the great authors of the were a sufficient answer to their attacks. age of Louis XIV, was born at Rouen, In 1639, his Horaces made its appearance June 6, 1606, at which place his father (the earlier editions had the title Horace, was advocate-general. In his later and but the later ones have Horaces), whereby more finished works, he showed how he refuted the reproach of a deficiency of much the court intrigues, and the troubles invention; which was, however, repeated, which prevailed during the first years of when he brought out his Heraclius, in the reign of Louis XIII, had influenced 1647, imitated from Calderon, and the the formation of his character. A some- Menteur, in 1642, after Pedro de Roxas. what equivocal success with the mistress This objection, perhaps, was the cause of of his friend, to whom he was unsuspect- the poet's leaving modern subjects ; for ingly introduced by her lover, first made henceforward, he applied himself almost him a comic writer. He related this ad- exclusively to the Roman; and the strict venture in verse, and brought it on the patriotism of the ancient, with the artful stage, under the name of Mélite, in the politics of the more modern Romans, as an year 1629. Its great success encouraged ingenious critic says, now took the place of him to persevere, and he soon produced that chivalric honor and faith, the repreClitandre, La Veuve, and La Galerie du sentation of which in the Cid shows him Palais, La Suivante and La Place Roy- to participate in the spirit of the Spanish ale, the last of which appeared in 1635. dramatic writers. The French critics are The success of these pieces was so great, inclined to consider Cinna, which appearand the applause so universal, that a par- ed in 1639, as his masterpiece;

but forticular company of actors was established eigners will not place it above Polyeucté. for their performance, and many of them. The happy blending of the pathetic with modernized in some respects, retain their the dignified gravity to which Corneille so place on the stage to this day. The neg- much inclines, makes this piece more lect of nature was common to Corneille attractive than the others. In the Mort with his contemporaries. His Medea, pro- de Pompée, which appeared in 1641, the duced in 1635, was imitated from Seneca, noble dignity of the piece cannot excuse and written in the declamatory style of its bombast. In his Menteur, nature and that author. At that time, cardinal Rich- truth of description take the place of the elieu retained several poets in his pay, artificial tone then prevalent; and a comwho were obliged to write comedies from parison of this piece with the Spanish plots furnished by him. Corneille was original (La Sospechosa Verdad) may be about to place himself in the same situa- instructive to the friends of dramatic litertion; but a change, which he took the ature. At length, the genius of this proliberty of making, in a plot submitted to lific poet seemed to have been exhausted. him, offended the cardinal, and prevented Rhodogune, the favorite of Corneille, prothe execution of this plan. He then with- duced in 1646, leaves a painful impression, drew to Rouen, where he met monsieur de and the artful combination of the accumuChalon, the former secretary of Mary of lated

terrors of the piece cannot redeem Medici, who advised him to turn his atten- it. The later works of Corneille (e. g., tion to tragedy, and recommended the Heraclius, which appeared in 1647, Don Spanish writers as models. Upon this, Sanche d'Arragon, Andromède, a piece with Corneille learned the Spanish language, music, processions and dancing), are less and, in 1636, produced the Cid, which known, and, according to the opinion of the confirmed the predictions of his intelligent French, less worthy of being so, with the friend. Cardinal Richelieu was the only exception of Nicomède, which appeared in person who did not join in the general ad- 1652, and which was revived by Talma, miration, and, mortified by the poet's open and still maintains its place upon the stage. rejection of his offered patronage, induced The disdainful scorn of fate, in the hero of the newly-established academy to decry this piece, is susceptible of very great efthe merits of the Cid. Chapelain, by whom fect; but that rhetorical antithesis prevails the criticism was written, attempted to in it which is found in many of Corneille's satisfy the founder, without too much pieces. Pertharite, in 1653, failed entirely. offending the general opinion. The Sen- Becoming distrustful of his talents, Cor

46

VOL. III.

« AnteriorContinua »