« ElőzőTovább »
culars, that it was urgently desired that no The black republic of Liberia, from its little more stamps should be sent, as the young corner in Western Africa, sends forth a set lady had procured the number she required. of stamps which would be no disgrace to a
The following sketch gives some idea of European country, and which add another the packages. One of them is a large wine link to the chain of proof that under favourhamper, another a large wine cooler, next al able circumstances the negro will rise. large clothes basket. The two latter were Nicaragua and Costa Rica have issued very used to put the smaller packets in as they beautiful stamps; and the very fact of their arrived, being altogether many bushels. being in use, we may hope, points to a more Next is a packet from a great mercantile settled state of affairs in those countries. In house in London, and contains 240,000 another direction, also, stamps are useful. Queen's heads. There was also a tea-chest They represent to the mind distant nations full sent from another quarter. There were as actually in existence, whom we previously nine boxes between one and two feet long, hardly believed in. To the juvenile, whose a foot wide, and about six inches deep. idea of a country is generally that it is an Smaller packets formed a heap two feet six irregular space on a map, surrounded by inches long, one foot wide, and one foot six coloured lines, and covered with names and inches deep; and two baskets two feet long, black dots, and who thinks of it only as (in one foot six inches wide, and one foot four the words of his geography) bounded on inches deep were filled; besides which many the north by the Pacific Ocean, on the east boxes were not received but sent back to the by the Atlantic Ocean,' &c., stamps are railway station. In addition to this accu- | especially instructive. The Bahamas, for mulation, letters from all quarters arrived, instance, cease to be thought of as mere many from persons of the highest rank, black-letter words; they become, in the mind expressing the deepest sympathy and the of the collector, the actual residence of an most kindly feeling. Numbers of them industrious community. The queen's head stated that large collections of heads would on the Hong Kong stamps shows that her still be sent, if required.—Illustrateel London subjects must be there; and the Chinese News, May 18, 1850.
figures at her side remove all shade of dis
belief in the existence of that grotesque STAMP COLLECTING AND ITS USES. language and people, and all doubt as to It may be, and often is, objected, - ‘Of what whether or not the wonderful hieroglyphics use is stamp collecting?' The writer is on the tea chests are not daubed on by the ready to admit that it is not the most bene grocers' apprentices in fits of artistic inspificial occupation of time; but still believes it ration. It is, indeed, surprising how few may claim the merit of being instructive, colonies there now are which do not issue and that as an evidence of the advance in
stamps. The owners of the boundless pamcivilisation of the nations using them, postage pas of South America frank their letters stamps are not without interest. The newly
with curiously-designed stamps. The British issued Turkish stamps are a visible proof of
Columbian miner ensures the safe delivery of the onward progress of that barbaric power, his roughly-scrawled epistle by a stamp. and of its wish for more extended intercourse.
New Caledonia and Reunion can each boast When Captain Cooke landed at Otaheite,* he a stamp. Disturbed Mexico has had its little imagined that in less than a century
stamps. The Moldavian peasant ponders after, the inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands over the strange bit of paper which will would have so far advanced as to require
carry his letter far away from him. The postage stamps to facilitate their correspon colony honoured by Dr. Colenso's presence dence. Yet such is the case : the half-length issues a very pretty portrait of our Queen. portrait of the king of the islands figures on
Prince Edward Island, Queensland, St. a very respectable stamp issued at Honolulu.
Helena, and St. Lucia have all issues of their * The writer seems to imagine Otaheite one of the
own. Even the European's grave, Sierra Sandwich Islands.-ED.
Leone, is not without its emblem of civiliza
tion. The Papal States delight in a stamp of poverty-stricken appearance; and the convict in Western Australia affixes a stamp, perforated in the centre, to his letters to distinguish them from others.
In another light, also, stamps are interest. ing. We notice in the successive issues of different countries and colonies a proof of improvement in the engraver's art as applied to stamp devices. The handsomest stamps are in most cases the latest issues. The earlier ones, particularly those of our colonies, being in many cases scarcely more than incomprehensible smudges, several of them having been printed from wood blocks. Probably the most beautiful stamps are those of Nova Scotia : they are of two kinds, one bearing a medallion portrait of the queen, whilst her bvst is impressed on the other. Each is engraved with exquisite finish, and the effect is heightened by the simplicity of the design.
G. O. T. THE GENERAL POST-OFFICE AT
: SIX O'CLOCK, P.M. The General Post-Office, which is regarded as the centre of the whole postal network of the kingdom, stands in St. Martin's-leGrand. It is a compact edifice, built of Portland stone, in a cold regular style, and has three porticoes supported by arches. The central portico, over which is a frieze bearing the name of George IV., leads by a flight of steps to a grand passage or hall, that runs through the whole width of the building, and opens into Foster Lane. In this passage are the boxes to receive the letters destined for the four cardinal points of the world, and behind these boxes are lofty windows, generally closed. I will, however, suppose that the time is a quarter to six P.M. The first window on the left hand, over which may be read For newspapers only,' is then wide open. An impetuous crowd, entering from either end of the passage, fills the hall, and the letters fall like hail into the boxes; but it is the newspaper window which will principally attract our attention. The peristyle is blockaded by a band of porters and newspaper boys, lads of twelve or thirteen years of age, employed in the service of the papers. They run up
perspiring and panting under bags full of papers, and jostle each other in spite of the efforts of the policemen, who try to maintain some degree of order in the midst of the curlss.on. Every moment the mob grows larger, for it is well known that the Post-Office clock is faithful and pitiless. The journals, covered with a band, fly like a flock of pigeons round the windows, hurled by a thousand hands. Sacks, packages, and baskets pour, as into an abyss, ream after ream of paper. All this falls pell-mell, thrown from the outside, and is caught in its flight, as it were, by the men inside: they empty the sacks and baskets, and then return them to their owners. It is hard work; and a policeman on duty told me that, "a few years ago, before certain precautionary measures were taken, the officials had more than once had their eyes and faces blackened by the avalanche of newspapers hurled upon them. There is even a rumour that in the heat of action, a boy was one day thrown with the bundles, by mistake, into the office.
The clock begins striking six; the eagerness and thronging are redoubled; the newspapers still stream in; but, at the last stroke, the window is sharply closed. Too late!' one or two discontented laggards exclaim. Letters and papers, however, can still be sent off the same evening, the former by paying up to seven o'clock an extra penny stamp, the latter one halfpenny, as a fine inflicted for negligence. This exciting scene, called by the English the Newspaper Fair, ought especially to be seen on Friday and Monday, because these are the two days on which the weekly newspapers are sent off. For letters, the great day is Saturday, as the Post-Office is closed on Sunday, and commercial houses generally devote Saturday to their correspondence.- The English at Home.
A SINGULAR POST-OFFICE. How Cities GROW IN AMERICA.-When the first sod of the Union Pacific Railway, for completing railroad communication from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was dug last month at Omaha city, a citizen gave the assemblage an account of his arrival at that city, or rather at the site, in October, 1854. 'Along
a narrow path,' he said, 'cut by some stal the twopenny Victoria a different shade of wart men through the tall, rank prairie, I mauve; and some of the New Zealand wended my way in search of the post-office. | individuals vary in colour. At length I found an old pioneer, seated The single specimen that alone redeems apparently in solitary rumination upon a the postal novelties from a barren blank is piece of hewn timber, and inquired of him the new shilling Cape of Good Hope, whose for the post-office. He replied that he was form, no longer triangular, is now what is the postmaster, and would examine the office called in the provinces, with very unmathefor my letters. Thereupon he removed from matical want of precision, a longish square. his head a bat, to say the least of it, some. We believe the change of shape in the what veteran in appearance, and drew from green stamp has also taken place in the its cavernous depths the coveted letters. On sixpenny, though we have not yet seen a that day the wolves and the Omabas were specimen; and conclude that the fourpenny the almost undisputed lords of the soil; and and penny will follow suit; leaving the the entire postal system of the city was threepenny Newfoundland the sole repreconducted in the crown of this venerable sentative of a triangle out of the couple of hat. To-day, our postal service, sheltered dozen hundred different varieties of postage by a costly edifice, spreads its briarean arms stamps known to collectors. towards north, south, east, and west,' &c; In the superseded stamp, the figure of but all that goes without speaking. Omaha Hope, the tutelar symbol of the colony, was city is now the capital of Nebraska.
very comfortably reclining in the space
assigned her; and she does not appear at NEWLY-ISSUED, OR INEDITED all comfortable in her change of position, STAMPS.
putting us in mind of the first motto at the Sitting upon thorns.' - Common Saying,
head of our paper. Ne sutor ultra crepidam.'--PHEDRUS.
She is not, literally, sitting on thorns, but • Everything loses by translation, except a bishop.' is evidently very ill at ease upon the cold,
--SYDNEY SMITH. hard anchor that supports her, on the fluke Feeling in duty bound to afford a paper for of which her right arm rests. She is trying the magazine every month under some such to ease herself, as one does when in a contitle as the above, in the paucity of more strained position, by resting the left hand on legitimate objects for note, we must endea the back of one of the handsome Cape sheep, vour to eke out sufficient matter from whose fleece seems the only soft article in comparatively extraneous sources, to fill the the group. There are the hard ground, the requisite space in the pages assigned us. hard Cape mountain, the hard iron anchor,
We shall offer a few remarks applicable to and a vine at the right of the figure, as hard each of our quotations; or rather, to which as the other objects of the representation, each of the quoted saws will form an appro the leaves of which give one the idea of priate motto.
being modelled in iron. With a solitary exception, the pages of Our second proverb came into mind on collectors' albums have lately received no perusal of the Post-Office Savings Bank additions save a few impressions with change Almanack for the present year, in which the of colour,-as the sixpenny Bahamas, which very trifling amount of information on the is now printed with a rich mauve ink; and subject of postage-stamp collecting possessed the penny Natal, now as dark as the Baha by the writer is evinced by his instancing mas of the same value. The stamps of these the number of fourteen hundred stamps that two colonies evidently come from the same must be found before 'a collection is perfect.' manufactory, as proved by the die of the We ourselves bad-alas ! that we are comqueen's head, the paper used, the perforations pelled to use the past tense--upwards of 80 difficult to make use of, and the anti nineteen hundred ; aud the amateur whose adhesive nature of the backs. The penny choice collection some two score of ours Van Diemen’s Land is a rich deep claret; helped to swell, numbers at present, inclusive
of proofs and essays, a thousand more than for the home of those specimens of acknow. the almanack's limit to an entire collection! | ledged beauty, -Nova Scotia! The writer names the sum of six-and
An engraving of one of
81 BOSTAGE 1 twenty pounds as representing the value of
the Prince Albert Essays is a complete set of stamps. In our own nine
here given. A letter by teen hundred, six-and-twenty alone would
Mr. J. H. Burn appeared in have commanded that amount in any stamp
our last number; a perusal market! An absurd climax is reached by
of which will give collectors the quotation of the postage currency stamp
a good deal of interesting
IONE PENNY J of the United States as the most interesting
information concerning these of the whole series. We dare say it is in newly-discovered rarities. the land of the almighty dollar, though it We possess another stamp which has till enters a few collectors' albums on sufferance lately most marvellously escaped the reonly here.
searches of collectors, and which we have The following extract from the London seen quoted in one manuscript continental Journal of January 16th, testifies to the truth catalogue only. It is a Spanish of the issue of the saying of the witty divine constituting' of 1857, value 12 cuartos; the colour is a our last quotation :- The cheapest postage rich bright vermilion. stamp is the l-centime French ; the dearest' The annexed engraving is the Horse-post of California, 4 dollars (21 represents a stamp recently francs); the best engraved are those of issued by the Confederate France, Greece, and particularly that of New States of America, and has Caledonia (!!), which merits the first place; already been fully described the ugliest are those of Belgium and the in a previous number. English penny; the largest are those of This paper will not be Siberia (!!); and the smallest, one of Meck so barren in notice of lenburg, bearing the head of an ox.'
newly-issued stamps as we expected when This astounding paragraph is apparently penning the early part. We have just met a translation from a translation; and we ! with a new series of the New Granada or should have found some difficulty in grasping United States of Columbia stamps. They at the meaning of the original through the are four in number; in colours and values thorns and briars of the misapprehension of the same as the preceding issue; but the one or both of the translators, had we not | shield and branches are white on coloured, recognised a sentence of our own, extracted in lieu of colour on white ground; and the from an early number of this magazine, four vacant corners of the stamps are filled through the distorted media before us. with a sort of fleur-de-lis device. We saw
A German magazine did us the honour of the red 20 c. of this series some time since, translating our remarks; and Horse-post is but were not sufficiently assured of its a free rendering of the foreign equivalent for authenticity to introduce it to notice. Pony Express. The unrecorded stamp of Engravings of the new 4 cuartos stamp Siberia was a sufficient excuse for introducing for Spain, and the threepenny scarlet Mauthe matter in this part of the magazine; ritius—both of which were referred to in though the veriest tyro will readily appre our last number—are here presented to our lend the clerical misprint of that country in readers. lieu of Liberia, the stamps of which are indeed among the largest issues; but we were almost floored at the audacious claim of the hidevus stamp of New Caledonia to the palm of beauty, till we recollected that the German equivalent for that island—thus causing the amusing blunder—will equally answer, as it was of course intended to do,
SKETCHES OF THE LESS-KNOWN
BY C. W. VINER, A.M., PH.D.
MOLDAVIA AND WALLACHIA. The famous astrologer of the sixteenth century, Cornelius Agrippa, is related to have possessed a wonderful mirror, in which his art enabled him to revive the images of the deceased for the gratification of their surviving friends. One evening, he was visited by a stranger in Asiatic costume, desiring the exercise of his power in raising to view the shade of Miriam, his beloved daughter. After sonje preliminaries, Agrippa bade him name how long he had mourned her death, as his wand must be waved once before the mirror for each ten years that had elapsed. “Wave on,' was the reply, and see that thy hand tire not.' A period representing nearly fifteen centuries passed on ere the amazed magician beheld the inist disperse from the polished surface, and expose to view the resuscitated form of the beautiful and long-regretted daughter of the Wandering Jew.
For many a decade more must the magician's wand have waved ere he could have raised the phantom of one of the earliest historically known inhabitants of the countries now represented by the pair of uncouth and unartistic-looking postage stamps of which fac-similes are subjoined.
direction. Forty years afterwards they took Lysimachus, king of Thrace, prisoner during an aggressive attack of that monarch ; and Dromichetes, the sovereign of the country, generously restoring the royal captive to liberty, was rewarded with the hand of his daughter in marriage.
These Getæ, better known by the name of Dacians, not very long afterwards were themselves defeated by the Gauls, and many of them sold as slaves to the Athenians and other Greeks. Strabo tells us that the Daci were originally called Davi; and etymologists add that by some extraordinary process of interchange of letters, c and » are found to be convertible, and instance the English words quick as synonymous with vivus, and twelve with duodecim ! However this may be, we frequently find the name Davus applied to a slave in the Latin plays of Terence, and in other authors, where their innate northern astuteness is so curiously evinced by outwitting their ostensibly more civilized masters.
It is owing to the exile of the poet among the barbarous Getæ-though the actual spot where he lived and died in banishment from the bitterly-regretted refinement of imperial Rome, is without the boundaries of the region we are actually commemoratingthat we owe the beautiful and pathetic Tristiu of Ovid. The peasants of the district still hold the tradition that ages ago a man of honeyed words died among their ancestors, vainly entreating with his last breath that his remains might be transported to his yearned-for home ; and it is not improbable that relics of the poem he composed in the Getian tongue, may yet exist in the traditionally-preserved household rhymes of the region.
To the early emperors of Rome, the warlike Dacians proved formidable antagonists. Tiberius got some slight advantage over them ; but an expedition under one of the Cato family was signally defeated ; and the tyrannical coward Domitian, after agreeing to pay them an annual tribute, named himself Dacicus, as having achieved a conquest. Trajan, however, after having constructed the wonderful bridge across the Danube, some remains of which exist to