« ElőzőTovább »
still likely enough to splutter when they get a mouthful of it. Caviare is the roe of the sturgeon tribe of fish; but salmon and pike roe are usually added, to assist in increasing the bulk. The roe is cleaned, then washed with vinegar, salted, and dried, when it is packed in casks. The best quality is prepared more carefully from the sturgeons alone. The salting is conducted in long narrow bags of linen, which are hung along a cord and half filled with roe. A very strong brine is then poured into each bag until it overflows. When the brine has all passed through, the bags are taken down, carefully squeezed, to expel all superfluous liquid, and after a short exposure to the air, packed in casks. The finest quality of caviare made is that prepared from sterlet roe; but this is said not to find its way into commerce, being reserved mainly for the czar's table. It has been stated that three and one-half million pounds of caviare are annually packed at Astrakhan alone.
Every known method of fish-capture is probably pursued in Russia, from the spear to the hook, and from the net to the trap; but as the Russian fishes for commerce, and not for sport, the sanity of a man who prefers a "fly" to a draggingnet would be strongly questioned. In other words, "legitimate sport" is a consideration which never enters a Russian's head. The fishery is the best harvest, and the best man is he who boasts the biggest take. The fishing-season is a time of joy, for then each man knows he is laying in a stock for the winter, or is earning his best wages. At the fishing season, therefore, the villages are full of life and merriment. Bonfires are lighted on the shore, to prepare food for the fishermen, and carts are held in readiness to take the monsters off at once to the cleaning-houses, where men and women are busily engaged in the various processes.
Night expeditions are preferred by the villagers. Beyond the prow of the boat hangs an iron cage, in which burns a fire af pine logs. The fish come in shoals towards the light, and a man standing in the boat harpoons them with a spear of three prongs. Now and again, down goes the spear; and when it is drawn in, a finny monster is wriggling on its prongs. This is drawn into the boat by means of hooks, and the men immediately row to the shore with their prize. It is a weird sight to see the immense expanse of water dotted with these moving fires, and surrounded by the stationary fires of the encampment, with the dark pine forests
for a background; it is weird to hear the shouts from boat to boat, and the loud merriment of those on shore.
The capitalists who fish for a season go to work more systematically. They first of all construct an utschiug or fish-dam. Stout poles long enough to project a foot out of the water are driven into the bed of the river until they reach right across. strong rail joins the tops of these posts; and to this are fastened constructions of basket-work which do not touch the bottom. On this arrangement, against the stream, are placed a number of chambers or compartments of basket-work with a swing flap or door. When the fish comes against the flap, it opens, admits the fish into the compartment, and then closes. Occasionally, such a chamber is lowered into the water by itself by means of a number of ropes. In these compartments are arranged several strings, attached to floats in such a way that by watching the floats it is easy to see when a capture is made. In winter, one of these compartments is let down through a hole in the ice, and a hut is erected close by for the watchers. Sometimes, especially in winter, the telltales, instead of being attached to floats, are fastened to bells, so that the attendants may remain on shore by their fire until they hear the fish ringing his death-knell.
Occasionally, a cable is sunk into the water; to this are attached a certain number of night-lines baited with a kind of fish known as an obla. Whenever the compartments or night-lines are examined, a man stands ready with a strong gaff, which he plunges smartly into the gills of the fish as soon as it appears on the surface. A rope is immediately fixed to the gaff, and the boat makes for the shore, where the fish is more readily despatched. The cleansers commence operations by beheading their fish; they then open it and carefully remove the roe, which is placed by itself in a tub, and sent off to the caviare works. The sounds are next taken out and hung up on a long line to dry in the sun. The inner fat is now scraped out, and sent away, to be clarified and made into a kind of fish butter. The flesh is last of all cut up into convenient slices, and salted or smoked as the case may be, or preserved in ice, to be sent all over Russia as fresh fish.
Some years back, the entrails and refuse were thrown away, and were at once seized by cormorants, which came in great numbers; but in the best-regulated fish-villages, the modern economic chemist has
set to work to convert all this refuse into | all those whose defects of vision were so isinglass, glue, or manure. He acknowl-obvious as to attract the notice of the edges nothing as "waste," and has not only banished the word from his vocabulary, but has actually shown that some of the most solid profits of a fishery are realized by "gathering up the fragments."
SIR THOMAS CRAWFORD recently delivered an address at the Congress of the British Medical Association in Dublin. Referring to the boasts of the champions of sanitary science as to the prolongation of life which has been secured through improved sanitary arrangements, he said there was evidence of perceptible deterioration or degradation of life in the lower order of people. An analysis of the results from 32,324 examinations of men made by army surgeons from 1860 to 1864 inclusive showed that during those years, in which the number of men required for the army averaged 6,465, and permitted therefore a stricter investigation of physical fitness both by recruiters and surgeons, the rejections from all causes were only 371.67 per 1,000; while out of 132,563 men examined between 1882 and 1886 inclusive the rejections were 415-8 per 1,000. A careful examination of those tables led to the inference that the lower class, from whom the recruits for the army are chiefly taken, are of an inferior physique now to what they were twentyfive years ago. The recruits drawn from town-bred populations gave by far the larger proportion of rejections; while the causes of rejection usually indicate a decidedly inferior physique. The rejections from defective vision and diseases of the eye were nearly 42 per 1,000, exclusive of
recruiter and who would be thus excluded. There was a peculiar form of ophthalmia which, wherever it was met with, whether in military or civil life, was mainly caused by the vitiated atmosphere arising from overcrowding. Of late years that scourge had been practically banished by the sanitary improvements that have been introduced into barracks. It was to his mind the most striking illustration of what such measures could accomplish, and there was no longer any excuse for the existence of the disease. As with the blind so with the insane. What were the causes which produced the very large class of sufferers included under this head? He might be told these causes were moral, lying beyond the proper sphere of the sanitary officer; but was it really so? They must look to improved personal hygiene, especially during the training of the young, if they desired these classes of breadwinners so reared that they might enter upon the struggles of life both mentally and physically fit; and if that be so with the bread-winners, why not still more necessary in regard to the genesis of the future race? The habits of the people, too, had a very marked effect upon the development or deterioration of the species. Look at the effects of physical culture as seen in the upper and middle classes of England at the present time, where every well-regulated school has its gymnasium, every village its cricketground, and every house its lawn-tennis Courts, and compare the young men and women to be seen there with the dwarfed specimens of humanity in the overcrowded slums of the large towns. The result of such a contrast will convince the most sceptical not only of the value but also of the necessity of educating public opinion on this important subject.
RUSSIAN QUICKSILVER. - Quicksilver has been long known to exist in the Ural Mountains and in the district of Nertchinsk, but the mines were never turned to account. That found several years ago near Nikitofka Station, on the Koursk-Kharkoff-Azoff Railway, Bakhmoot district, province of Ekaterinoslav, is now being worked by a company under the superintendence of Mr. Minenkoff, mining engineer, who discovered this precious metal. A pit is being sunk two hundred and eighty
feet deep, supplied with the necessary ma chinery and appliances for the production of quicksilver, store-rooms, etc., and dwellings for the miners are also being erected. All the works just mentioned will shortly be com pleted. Up to the present, about three thou sand tons of ore containing cinnabar have been extracted. The ore, it is calculated, will ren der one per cent. of metal, and it is proposed to turn out annually about thirty-two hundred hundredweight of mercury.
For EIGHT DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.
Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money-order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register leers when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, and money-orders should be made payable to the order of LITTELL & Co.
Single Numbers of THE LIVING AGE, 18 cents.
WILD hollow deeply cloven in the hills,
Is lulled with low, half-noiseless noise of rills; Where grey hill-shadows keep the noontide cool,
Where no rude world-born dissonance intrudes,
The heart evolves within thy solitudes, From formless dreams the formed and beautiful.
What wonder I have chosen thee, dark glen, For song and rest, since following thy streams,
I lonely, rapt in tremulous gladness, far From turmoil and the narrow ways of men, Have known the light of slowly kindling dreams,
And nebulous thought concentring to a star?
From The Edinburgh Review. ENGLISH ACTORS IN THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.*
THE first French Revolution, it is well
known, attracted to Paris men from all parts of the world, and of all classes. enthusiasts, adventurers, sensation-hunters; some of the best specimens of humanity and some of the worst; some of the most generous minds and some of the most selfish; some of the busiest brains and some of the idlest. Not a few of these moths perished in the flame which they had imprudently approached; others escaped with a singeing of their wings; others, again, were fortunate enough to pass unscathed. Some died in their beds just before the Terror ended, but without any assurance of its ending; others only just saw the end. The foreigners, like the natives, who fairly survived the Revolution, had very various fortunes. Some were thoroughly disillusioned, became vehement reactionaries, or abjured poli
serving of study. There was much base metal, but there was also genuine gold. If of some who underwent imprisonment or death we can hardly avoid thinking that they deserved their fate, there are others whom we must sincerely pity, men to whom the Revolution was a religion over-riding all claims of country and kindred.
French historians cannot be expected to take much notice of these aliens. In their eyes they are but imperceptible specks in the great eddy. Their attention is absorbed by their own country. men; they have none to spare for interlopers, none of whom played a leading rôle. If they devote a few lines to Clootz or Paine, they consider they have done quite enough. French readers, moreover, while anxious for the minutest details on Mirabeau, or Madame Roland, or Danton, and while familiar at least with the names of the principal Girondins and Montagnards, do not care to hear about a fortics and were transformed into sober or eigner who here and there sat in the Asenterprising men of business. Others semblies, commanded on battle-fields, or crossed or recrossed the Atlantic, and lived fell a victim to the guillotine. Yet for us, to a green and honored old age, or gave surely, fellow-countrymen have an espeway to degrading vices. Others, remain- cial interest. We would fain single them ing in France, hailed the rising star of Na-out on the crowded stage of the Revolu poleon, and lived long enough to be disen- tion. They are more to us, not than the chanted, but perhaps not long enough to actors of first rank, but than secondary see the restoration of the Bourbons. The characters of these men are an interesting chapter in psychology. The honest among them had left house and parents and brethren, if not wife and children, for the sake of what they believed to be in its way a kingdom of heaven. They appeal to our sympathies more than the cold observers, if indeed there were any such, who foresaw the lamentable collapse of all these highly-wrought expectations. No doubt some of these immigrants were restless agitators, empty demagogues, pretentious egotists; but even these are not unde
characters like Brissot or Vergniaud. Here, however, English writers will not help us. If they have not surveyed the field with French eyes, they have at least used French spectacles. French artists have painted the panorama; English connoisseurs give us their opinion of the panorama, but not of the actual scene which it represents. To vary the metaphor, or rather to state a fact, they work up the materials collected by French authors; they do not go in search of materials for themselves. Not a single English book on the Revolution tells us who represented our own country in Clootz's deputation of the human race, gives us an accurate account of Paine's experiences, or specifies the number, much less the names, of the British victims to the guillotine. Nor can pri. vate inquiry do very much to remedy this deficiency. The men in question, as a rule, left no issue, and their collateral descend