Page images
PDF
EPUB

chines are of two kinds, the one in common use has | In this manner twenty-eight occas of fruit produce only one stone attached to a perpendicular beam eight, nine, or ten occas of oil. The water takes up which rotates with it. A horse is attached by traces most of the colouring matter of the fruit, and Aows to a horizontal pole which runs through the centre of away from the cottages like rivulets of blood, dyeing the stone, and to a stick on the other side by a rein the ground for some little distance of a deep and ingeniously tightened, so that the horse most un- beautiful crimson. The refuse of the fruit comes from willingly pulls itself along when once the machine is the press in square hardish masses, that are placed set in motion. The improved machine has two before the fire, where they soon become quite dry, smaller stones further removed from the central and serve for fuel to heat the water that is so conbeam, which does not rotate with them, but is made stantly required in the various processes.

The oil, fast to the roof of the building. These are much which is of a beautiful light-green colour, is removed more effective than the other as they describe larger from the trough into a large jar close to the press, circles, but require more moving power. The object and after depositing any water or dirt, is poured into of the mill is only to crush the Olives, no oil what- skins, having the hair upon the inside. These are ever being expressed. A sufficient quantity of fruit weighed before being carried away to the proprietor's being thrown in from the bin at hand, the machine house; a common sized one weighed sixty occas. is set in motion, and a man goes before the horse, At the proprietor's house it is poured into large with a long pole armed with iron, to push the fruit earthenware jars, four or five feet in height, which in the path of the wheel. After a few rounds, about are let into the ground, so that the short necks are two gallons of boiling water is poured in to assist the alone seen above the surface. Here it remains for at action of the stone, and more added as required, till least two months, till all impurities are deposited, but the whole mass acquires the consistence of a coarse it still retains a greenish colour, never seen in the paste. It is now put into a large jar and carried to oil consumed in England, and which makes it less the press, where one of the men kneads it with more offensive to the prejudices of those unaccustomed to hot water into a thinner paste, and as often as its use, as it appears more like, what it really is, an he fills the shallow dish before him, empties it agreeable vegetable juice, rather than a gross animal upon a square cloth of the same coarse and thick oil. material as the capotes or cloaks of the country, and Sometimes the supply of oil falls short, as was the of such strength as to bear the greatest power of the case in November, 1835, when there was scarcely press without bursting. Another man immediately any old oil to be purchased in or near Athens. In forms the paste with his hands into a square flat November, 1834, the old oil sold for one drachma mass, folds up the cloth neatly, ties it with a string(rather more than 8d.) an occa (3) pints), but at attached to each, and places it in the press before the same time in the following year, the same quanhim, and so on to the number of sixteen or seven- tity could scarcely be bought for 25 drachmas (about teen. The press is now turned down by means of 1s. 8 d.) The presses were consequently crowded a hand-lever, and when more power is required, a with purchasers, but the new oil is almost unfit for rope is carried from the lever to an upright rotary the purposes of burning, as it gives a most wretched beam at some ittle distance, which two men turn light. round with great rapidity; this part is very amusing. To keep a press and mill in constant work, to The men make it rather a sport than work, and there receive the fruit, send away the oil, and attend to the is almost a snake-like elegance in their large half-coppers for boiling the water, requires six men. These clad and swarthy limbs, as they chase each other are paid in oil; it is, in fact, but one continued series round the central beam with extraordinary velocity. of bartering, fruit for oil, and oil for labour, till the The effects of their labour are soon seen. The oil produce is carried into the city to be retailed, but the and water run down the sides of the pile of cloths in oil being of universal use makes it a most convecrimson rivulets into the trough before the press, nient medium of exchange. which, though rudely hewn out of one log of wood, The above description answers to the method by is constructed upon the knowledge of the relative which oil is prepared in all parts of Greece and the specific gravities of oil and water. It is divided into Ionian Islands, and does not materially differ from two parts by a partition that does not come to the the same operations as performed throughout Southtop of the trough, but is about two inches below the ern Europe. level of the sides, so that when the oil and water The fresh ripe fruit eaten with bread is by no means run together into one part, it allows the oil, which unpleasant, and when preserved by being sprinkled is lighter than the water, and consequently floats on with salt, is almost the only food allowed to the the surface, to flow over into the other division of poorer Greeks during Lent. The oil too enters into the trough, while the water sinks to the bottom and all their dishes, nor are they satisfied with it in the is conveyed away by a pipe carried upwards on the pure inodorous and nearly insipid state that we obtain outside, to the level at which they wish to maintain it in this country, but prefer it, especially the lower the water within the trough.

classes, after it has acquired a rank odour and rancid taste. I have known Greek servants, when offered fish that had been fried in fresh oil, to suit the fastidious palate of an Englishman, refuse to eat it until they had given it a flavour, by cooking it over again with their own rancid oil; but the decided preference

that, under similar circumstances, a Chinese would When the press is screwed down as far as possible, show for castor oil is still more peculiar. It is, howit is loosened ; hot water is thrown upon the pile to ever, to be regretted, that a prejudice against pure wash off any oil that may remain upon the cloths, olive oil exists at our own tables, for, when taken in which are now removed and the paste within kneaded, small quantities, especially with vegetables, its use is but without unfolding the cloths. More boiling as natural, and its effects as salutary, as those of water is poured upon each, and they are again placed melted butter are artificial and pernicious. in the press, to be again removed to undergo for a

G. F. F. third time the same operations, till no oil remains.

THE SEASONS.

accuracy, -an accuracy which has no parallel in the I. WINTER.

computations of time, and distance, and magnitude, The changes of the seasons, and the varied phe

which occur in the ordinary affairs of life. nomena consequent thereon, is a subject well deserv

The moon, as being our nearest neighbour in the ing the most patient investigation. We believe, how regions of space, has in all ages been an object of ever, that there is no department of human know- peculiar 'interest and of unwearying observation ; ledge, interesting and instructive as it is, respecting chimerical, that we find it difficult to believe in the

giving occasion, however, to opinions so wild and which a greater degree of error prevails. Almost everything relating to the weather, to the alternations of heat sanity of those by whom they were promulgated. It and cold, to the origin of dew and rain, hail, snow, influence over the atmosphere and the ocean; but it

is unquestionable that the moon exercises a specific frost, and storms, is encumbered with popular errors.

has also been asserted, and is very generally believed, Many of these errors are of great antiquity, and may be traced to defective information respecting what, in animal creation; and particularly upon the bodies

that its influence is equally extraordinary upon the the present day, are considered some of the most simple laws of nature, Other errors originated in

and minds of mankind, those affected by mental the absurd rites and superstitions of idolatry; whilst derangement having thereby acquired the name of

lunatics. a third class, and that probably the most numerous, is the offspring of the pretended science of astrology, this subject ; respecting which, however, it must be

There are some very curious facts connected with which, to the credit of the present times, is rapidly confessed that our knowledge is exceedingly limited. falling into the contempt it always merited.

As most appropriate to the period of the year in | The most we can do is carefully to note the effects ; which we are writing, we shall endeavour to explain the testimony of those who have paid attention to such

the cause is at present veiled in uncertainty. From some of the causes and the effects of the atmospherical changes commonly incident to Winter, which matters, it would seem that the moon-beams possess by their constant recurrence are rendered familiar, noticed that so late in the Spring as April and May,

a cold-producing agency. In France it has been but which on that. very account are probably less attentively studied, and less perfectly understood than the leaves and buds of plants, exposed to the full other phenomena which happen at longer and more

moon, on a clear night, have been frozen, whilst the uncertain intervals.

temperature of the surrounding air has been several First of all, let us notice the lowness of tempera- and especially on board ship, instances have fre

degrees above the freezing point. In warm climates, ture, or the coldness of the weather, which is the most remarkable characteristic of Winter.

quently occurred, where persons who incautiously, or There is no fact in philosophy more satisfactorily the face exposed to the moon's rays, have had their

through ignorance, have slept in the open air with established, than that the atmosphere which surrounds the earth, is the medium through which the their sight seriously injured. In some cases these

muscles distorted, their mouths drawn awry, and Creator and Preserver of the universe displays the effects have remained for several months; and in ordinary operations of his providence towards that others, the individuals thus exposed, have sustained portion of his dominions, which is allotted to man for a temporary habitation. The air, in which, as in

a temporary loss of reason; resembling those laboura seamless garment, our planet is enveloped, and / ing under the stupefying effects of narcotic poisons. which accompanies it in its diurnal and annual revo

It ought to be known that fish, which are hung lutions, is generally supposed to be about 45 miles in thereby rendered unwholesome. It may not be so in

out of doors to dry, if placed in moon-light are height. This elevation, great as it may appear when compared with that of our highest mountains, or the

every case; but on several occasions we have witgreatest altitude attained by the balloon, (41 miles,) fish which had been so exposed. One case we re

nessed the most alarming symptoms result from eating is not equal to one-eightieth part of the earth's semidiameter. . If we suppose the dark line in the an

member in which a whole family, consisting of six nexed figure to indicate a part of the earth's surface, persons, was placed in imminent danger from the the faint line will denote the extreme limits of the

cause just mentioned. atmosphere as already mentioned, the proportions referred to, and which are supposed to depend on the

Many other effects, equally remarkable as those being about one-twentieth of an inch on a globe of eight inches in diameter.

moon's influence, could be enumerated; but these hints must here suffice.

It has been stated that the periodical changes peculiar to the different climates of the earth, are effected through the agency of the atmosphere; but

in this important work it performs only the part of It can hardly be doubted, that the sun (indepen-an auxiliary; the sun, as the source of light and dently of its heating and light-giving properties,) the heat, being the primary cause of those changes.moon, the planets, and comets also, exercise some And let it not be supposed that the relative intensity kind of influence upon our globe, which, as we may of the sun's rays, or, in other words, their heating reasonably inagine, bears a direct proportion to the property, as experienced at different periods of the relative sizes, distances, and movements of the year, is occasioned by the earth's nearer approach to, respective bodies. But it is difficult, if not impos- or greater distance from, the sun. Strange as it sible, to determine what is the precise character of may appear, the earth, during the period of Winter the mutual influences which we suppose to subsist in this country, is many millions of miles nearer the among the members of that system to which the sun than it is in Summer. Other causes operate, earth belongs. Nor ought this to be matter of sur-therefore, in producing the variations of temperature prise. We may rather wonder that so much is on which the aspects of the seasons depend; and the known, respecting bodies so remote. By the aids of principal of these is the position of the earth with modern science, the sizės, distances, and periodical reference to the direction of the sun's rays, and as a revolutions of the planets, and their attendant satel- consequence of that position, the alternate increase lites, have been ascertained with almost incredible I and decrease of the period of day-light.

It cannot escape the notice of the most superficial works on a hinge, is intended to exclude as much light observer, that, from the 21st of December until the as possible from the surface of the ground-glass; and 21st of June, the arc in the heavens described by the when the instrument is in use it is brought down halfsun gradually enlarges; that luminary rising earlier way to B. and setting later in proportion as the space it occu- The rays of light from an object placed at n, pass pies above the horizon increases. Arrived at its ex- through the lens g, and reaching the looking-glass a treme northern boundary, the sun, from day to day, are reflected upwards on the ground-glass L, and an rises more towards the south, and on the 21st of De- image of the object is seen on its upper surface. cember its return to the north recommences.

This image may be traced with a black-lead pencil, A fact we must not omit here to mention, will be but it 'is almost impossible to transfer it from the required for the illustration of succeeding parts of our glass. To obviate this inconvenience, Sir D. Brewster subject. We allude to the periods of the highest recommends the employment of a partially opaque and lowest temperatures; which do not occur just varnish to the surface of a piece of smooth glass. when the sun has reached its respective southern and This varnish can be marked with the finest lines of a northern limits; but in both cases about four or five pencil, and an impression of the sketch conveyed to weeks afterwards. Thus, the warmest weather gene- paper, by slightly pressing it on the drawing with rally happens in July or August, and the coldest in the hand: one of the simplest and the best of the varJanuary or February.

nishes he used was that of skimmed milk, perfectly It will be understood that in speaking as we have freed of all remains of cream. done of the sun, we have been describing appear- Another form is the following:—the frame-work ances only. The earth is the body actually in motion, of this Camera Obscura is made of thin mahogany, whilst the sun is stationary; and the apparent advance and retirement of the sun through a certain portion of the heavens is occasioned by the earth's motion in the contrary direction.

Fig. 3.

[graphic]

[ocr errors]

THE CAMERA OBSCURA. The Camera Obscura, or dark chamber, is an optical instrument, for the purpose of making drawings of objects, which was invented rather earlier than the telescope. If a room be made entirely dark, and a convex lens of two or three feet focus be placed in a hole in the shutter, a beautiful image of all the objects before will be formed in the room behind it, and this image may be received on a sheet of white paper held behind it, but the image will necessarily be and so contrived as to fold up; the inside of this, reversed. Suppose

Fig. 1.

and of all these instruments, must be painted black. A, Fig. 1, to be the

A is the mirror, B the lens, c a white surface on which object, c the shutter,

the image is received; the draughtsman passes his with the lens in the

head through an opening on one side, and his hand centre, and B the

with the pencil through another, a green curtain surimage received on a

rounding him to exclude the light. white screen. If it is

When a Camera Obscura is intended to allow required to trace the

several persons to see the picture at the same time, it outline of this pic

is made on a large scale, and great care is taken in ture a different arrangement must be made.

preparing the table on which the picture is to be reThe most usual form in which the Camera Obscura ceived. The outer portion of the image transmitted is made on a small scale is the following: A, B, C, D, is a by the lens when thrown upon a flat surface, is always

distorted, especially when the table is large.

To Fig. 2.

remedy this in some degree, the table is hollowed out like a saucer, the curve being decided by that of the lens itself: thus, A being the

Fig. 4. centre of the circle which forms the outline of the lens, B will form also the centre of the intended curve of the table; according to this rule, therefore, the curve cd would represent a section of a table adapted to receive the picture through a lens

of the same curvature as B. small oblong mahogany box, with the side removed to show the internal arrangement; a smaller box, E F, the Camera Obscura in the Observatory at Clifton, slides easily in and out at one end. In the end of

near Bristol. this box, at G, a convex lens is placed, whose focus is rather greater thanathe length of the larger box. His a looking-glass placed at an angle of forty-five degrees

LONDON: with respect to the bottom of the box: that is, if a per

JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. pendicular line were drawn from 1 to K, D, B, K, 1, would

PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE Penny, AND IN MONTHLY PART form a square : on the top of the box at l, a square piece of ground glass is placed. The cover m, which Sold by all Booksellers and Newsienders in the Kingdom.

[graphic]

N

al There is a very excellent table of this description in

PRICE SIXPENCE.

[ocr errors][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE CITY OF ROME. PART VII.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]

THE BATHS OF TITUS.

some entire parts, in constructing his baths; this fact is

abundantly shown by certain irregularities which the present "This name," says Dr. Burton, "by no means answers to ruins display. A number of apartments belonging to the the immensity of the building which once covered great baths, were discovered in the sixteenth century; they had part of the Esquiline Hill, and should more properly be lain hidden for centuries under a mass of ruins. It is said styled the Palace of Titus. This is, in fact, the name that Raffael studied their fresco ornaments, and imitated which Pliny gives to it." The present ruins extend from them in painting the ceiling of the Vatican; and he is the base of the Esquiline Hill near the Coliseum, to one accused of having had the rooms filled up again that his of its summits at the Church of SS. Martino e Silvestro, thefts might not be discovered. It is certain that they and to another at S. Pietro in Vincoli. The site is, to a were open in his time, and that they were subsequently great extent, occupied by gardens, in various parts of filled up; and appearances seem to justify the supposition which are to be seen fragments, all once belonging to the that they were filled up purposely, and not by the gradual same great edifice. The house of Mecænas had previously accumulation of soil. But there are other modes of acstood on the same spot, to which, indeed, the Golden House counting for the filling up, without charging it upon Raffael; of Nero had extended from the Palatine Hill. Titus em- the owners of the land, may have wished to clear it for the ployed the materials of both of these edifices, and even of l purposes of cultivation, and these subterranean chambers Vol. XII.

369

would afford most convenient receptacles for the superin-, a height of thirty feet, which must, of course, make them cumbent rubbish. According to one account, they were appear still narrower than they are. Many of them are filied up to prevent their becoming the hiding-places of without any trace of windows, as is the case with the most banditti. If the fact be true, it furnishes an impressive perfect remains of chambers in the Baths of Caracalla. comment upon the state of the modern, as well as of the As the ancients were acquainted with the use of glass even ancient city, at that period. In the year 1777 a new exca- for windows, it is presumed that the object of omitting vation was made; but the chief merit of clearing away windows here was to render the rooms as cool as possible the rubbish which concealed the chambers is due to the by excluding the external air. French, who carried on the work with great spirit during “ In such rooms as these," says Dr. Burton, “in the their occupation of Rome. The building seems to have Baths of Titus, lamps must always have been used; and originally consisted of two stories: of the upper one but it may be observed, that there is scarcely a passage in an little remains; of the lower there are more than thirty ancient author, where mention is made of a banquet, but rooms perfectly accessible.

the golden lamps,' hanging from the roofs,' are always “ We passed," says the author of Rome in the Nineteenth added. According to the hours which the ancients observed Century, describing a visit to the Baths,—" the mouths of for their meals, (the cæna, or last meal, being at about three nine long corridors, converging together like the radii of o'clock,) there would have been no need of lights had there the segment of a circle, divided from each other by dead been windows to the rooms; which affords another proof walls, covered at the top and closed at the end. They must that they were frequently constructed without them. Inalways have been dark. They are supposed to have been deed, Grecian architecture seems to derive a peculiar chaentrances to the baths, and they are supposed to have served racter from the absence of such apertures; if any objection for substructions to the theatre above, which is supposed to is to be made to the chaste and simple models which ancient have formed a part of the upper story, of which not a trace Greece has left us, it is that there is a heaviness and a want remains; and the whole of these suppositions have their of relief in the vast masses of solid masonry. The modern source in the inflammable imaginations of Roman anti- Italian architects have gone into the contrary extreme; quaries. Nothing is certain about them, excepting that their aim seems to have been to break every portion of the they are not worth looking at. In one of them are piled building into as many parts as possible; and in the pediup pieces of broken amphoræ, marbles of various kinds, ments of their windows they have been particularly profuse and other heterogeneous fragments found in the excavations of ornament. The difference is probably to be traced to by the French, among wbich are some pots of colours. the fact of the ancients having had few windows in their They were analyzed, but nothing new discovered.

buildings, and the moderns having many. In such struc“Having passed these corridors, we entered the portal of tures as the Palace of Titus, where many ornaments, both what is called the House of Mecænas. It is known that in painting and sculpture, were assembled, it might be the house and gardens of Mecænas stood in this part of thought that much of the effect would be lost by their being the Esquiline Hill, which, before it was given him by never seen except by the light of lamps. With respect to Augustus, was the charnel-ground of the common people. sculpture, however, it is well known that there is no greater The contlagration in Nero's reign did not reach to them; test of the excellence of the work, than to view it by torchand it is believed, that a part of them was taken by Nero light; the rising of the muscles, and all those delicate into his buildings, and by Titus into his baths. Antiquaries touches of the chisel, which are scarcely observed on the think they can trace a difference in the brick-work and smooth surface of the white marble, are thrown into a much style of building, between what they consider as the erection stronger light and shade in this manner. It is not unof Augustus's and that of Titus's age; and on these common for parties to visit the Vatican at night, and view grounds, the parts they point out as vestiges of the House the statues by torch-light. The effect is certainly very of Mecænas are, the entrance, which leads into a range of good; and some pretend to discover that the modern prosquare and rootless chambers, (called, on supposition, the ductions appear greatly inferior to the ancient on such Public Baths,) and the wall on the right in passing through occasions. We know that there were formerly some of the them, which is partially formed of reticulated building in finest specimens of sculpture in the Baths of Titus, and patches. From these real or imaginary classic remains, the paintings on the walls still remain." we entered a damp and dark corridor, the ceiling of which These paintings on the walls consist chiefly of what we is still adorned with some of the most beautiful specimens now call arabesques; the figures are all very small, and that now remain of the paintings of antiquity. Their arranged in patterns and borders. They consist of birds, colouring is fast fading away, and their very outline, I beasts, &c., among which some green parrots may be seen should fear, must be obliterated at no very disiant period; very distinctly; the ground is generally a rich dark red. so extreme is the humidity of the place, and so incessantly Ai the end of one of the rooms is a large painting of some does the water drop full*. By the light of a few trembling building, in which the perspective is said to be correctly tapers elevated on the top of a long bending cane, we saw given; this seems to disprove the charge which has been at least twenty feet abore our heads, paintings in arabesque, brought against the ancient painters of not understanding executed with a grace, a freedom, a correciness of design, the rules of perspective. None of these paintings can, and a masterly cominand of pencil, that awakened our however, be justly regarded as specimens of ancient art; highest admiration, in spite of all the disadvantages under they were intended solely as decorations to the apartments

, which they were viewed. ... . Leaving the painted corridor, and were doubtless the work of ordinary house-painters. which is adorned with these beautiful specimens of ancient To judge of the proficiency of the ancient painters from art, we entered halls, which, like it, must always have been such 'remains as these, would be as unfair, to

use Dr. dark, but are still magnificent. The bright colouring of Burton's remark, as to estimate the state of the arts in the crimson stucco, the alcove still adorned with gilding, England from the sign-posts. Where the walls of the and the ceilings beautifully painted with fantastic designs,

rooms are bare, the brickwork has a most singular appearstill remain in many parts of them; but how chill, how ance of freshness; the stucco also is very perfect in many damp, how desolate are now these gloomy halls of imperial parts; but the marble, of which there are evident traces on luxury! No sound is to be heard through them, but that the walls and floors, is gone. of the slow water-drop. In one of these splendid dungeons, we saw the remains of a bath supposed to have been for

TIIE SEVEN HALLS OF VESPASIAN. the private use of the emperor. In another we were shown the crimson-painted alcove where the Laocoon was found In one of the gardens forming a portion of the large tract in the reign of Leo the Tenth. The French, who cleared of ground over which the ruins of the Baths of Titus are out a great many of these chambers, found nothing but the spread, is a building supposed to have been connected with Pluto and Cerberus, now in the Capitol, a work of very in these baths, and commonly called the Sette Sale di Vesdifferent sculpture.

pasiano,—" the Seven Halls of Vespasian,"—though for The height of the rooms in the Baths of Titus is very what reason it would be difficult even to conjecture. The great, or as Dr. Burton expressed it, prodigious; and they name was given to it when only seven halls had been are comparatively very narrow. Mr. Williams assigns them opened; there are nine now, and as they form an upper

siory, it is supposed that there are nine others below them . Dr. Burton's account is, on this head, very different. He says in the lower story which is buried. These halls communithat, Notwithstanding the depth of soil which has accumulated on cate with each other by means of arches in the partition the top of the building, and which serves for gardens, there are

walls; and the arches are not placed opposite to one paintings on the ceiling which may be called extremely perfect. The damp seems to have had liule or no effect upon them, which is

another so as to afford a straight view through the whole probably owing to the excellence of the Roman brickwork." building in the direction of its length, but are so arranged

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »