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will not pay a price sufficient to remunerate the dealer for so costly a preparation, and still demands a fine, soft, and bright powder, the grinder has to resort to the plan of supplying the place of the fibre thus removed, by an equivalent of flour or some other soft grain. A powder is thus obtained of nearly the same strength as the ginger (if ground entirely—fibre and all) would have produced, but of a much finer and prettier aspect, for the inert fibre gives to the powder a dark, dirty, and very specky appearance.
Under the name of prepared ginger many villanous compounds are, we fear, often imposed on the public. We have ourselves met with a very pretty sample, which, on examination, was found to consist of only one part of ginger to three parts of a mixture of wheat, sago, and Indian meal, coloured with turmeric, and made pungent by an addition of cayenne pepper. All the samples which my friend, Mr. Samuelson, and myself have examined, we find to contain extraneous farinaceous matters, with but one exception. One sample contained a little rice, and being very highly coloured we found abundance of turmeric. In other samples we found much larger proportions of rice, and in some a mixture of wheat flour. One sample we did meet with free from farinaceous matters, but it was not as represented, “ Prepared Jamaica Ginger,” for we found abundant evidence of the epidermal coating of ginger and a small quantity of turmeric; it had evidently been ground from an undecorticated root. It is extremely difficult to obtain prepared ginger such as we first described, yet for medicinal purposes it is prepared, and in certain localities it may be procured by paying a proportionate price. The difference between it and that usually sold as the best is very striking, and for medicinal purposes none other should be used.
We have examined some of the other spices, such as Cloves, NUTMEGS, &c., but have not found them adulterated. CINNAMON we have met with in a powdered state consisting wholly of cassia, and are inclined to believe that cassia is very generally substituted for the more costly cinnamon, when used as pudding spice, &c.; but for medicinal purposes we think a true powder is invariably used.
At the conclusion of the paper on “ Coffee and its Adulterations," in 1852, we ventured to express an opinion that a great boon would be conferred upon the community by the establishment of efficient examiners of food, in all large towns, with full power to condemn all adulterated and spurious articles. On again returning to the subject of adulterations, with Mr. Samuelson, we see no reason for changing an opinion we both fully concur in; and although we do not feel prepared to endorse all that Dr. Hassal and others have put forth on the subject, yet our experience tends to establish the fact that food is adulterated to a very great extent, and that in an inverse ratio to the professions made ; thus, where we have heard the greatest outcry against adulterations, and at those establishments where extracts, &c., from the reports of “learned professors ” on the analysis of their articles are conspicuously placarded, we may expect to find sophistication in full play; but it will be generally found that at the unpretending, steady-going establishments genuine articles may be obtained, and not only do these remarks apply to food, but to commodities of all kinds. We do not wish, however, to lay all the blame of this system of fraud, if it may be so called, to the dealer, wholesale or retail; the public, we think, is equally to blame, for as long as the public insists on cheap, or rather low priced, commodities, and so long as it is satisfied with what it gets at the price, so long will the excessive competition that exists compel the dealer to sell such an article as he can profit by.
THIRTEENTH ORDINARY MEETING.
· ROYAL INSTITUTION, April 28th, 1856.
T. C. ARCHER, Esq., Vice-President, in the Chair.
Sir John S. P. Salusbury was elected an Ordinary Member.
Mr. Byerley exhibited the Leptocephalus Morrisii, or Anglesea Morris, an exceedingly rare fish, taken here at low water; also the Lernea bronchialis, a parasite from the gills of the cod fish.
The Rev. H. H. Higgins communicated some observations upon the habits of the Tipula, showing the use of the long legs in the process of depositing the ova.
Mr. Marrat exhibited the first number (1805) of the “Liverpool Cause List.”
Mr. T. C. Archer exhibited a curious gall from Asia, known there as
bud; likewise preparations of hemp used in Africa for smoking, put up in a peculiar manner, from the Bight of Biaffra.
The following paper was then read :
ON SOME OF THE MENTAL AND SOCIAL PHENOMENA
OF THE DAY, WITH THEIR POETICAL SOLUTION, AS ILLUSTRATED BY TENNYSON'S “ MAUD."
By J. C. REDISH, Esq. The civilization of the present age is so often dwelt upon and so much applauded that it may not be amiss if we examine carefully into one of its manifestations, and enquire in what degree it is truly entitled to our admiration.
“ The development of the individual and mental existence—the development of man himself, of his faculties, sentiments and ideas," is pronounced by M. Guizot, as proclaiming, with no less uncertainty than “the development of society, properly so called, of the relations of men amongst themselves,” that a nation is truly civilized; and of all active mental existence, that which attests the poet is the highest. In entering then into the enquiry, whether the last poem of England's Poet Laureate be worthy of his fame and our admiration, we are at the same time indirectly enquiring whether, in one of the great tests of civilization, we are entitled, as a nation, to the fame we boast and the rank we claim; for we think we are justified in the assumption that the nation, at the present day, is content to accept Tennyson as its representative poet, and is prepared to allow its poetical pretensions to stand or fall with him. Poets have been pronounced the “unacknowledged legislators of mankind," and there can be little doubt of the immense influence they have exercised over the destiny of man; in seeking, then, to learn whether the natural influence which is now wielded by Tennyson be rightly and legitimately used—in other words, whether he is true to his high vocation,—we shall also learn whether we may look for good or evil as the result of the tendencies of the present age.
Just in proportion as the poet's view of human life is true-just in proportion as he is enabled, by the light of a pure creed, to view man and his destiny aright-and so far as he succeeds in embodying the truth he has to proclaim in a garb that will attract and a form that will endure ; so may he hope, by appealing to the higher part of man, his nobler sympathies, his unselfish feelings, his love of the beautiful, to rouse him to loftier views of truth, and, as a necessary consequence, to more ennobling action.
Now we believe that this correct view of life is one of the chief
Lasse Teez's poety: 19 Date de dreamer is be; no Ferce zi ise bearis de pest pezz; Lu iarratilg, as some pestre erseibe see eikecoa c sie actual power; tut sich a jau kies te bere, a trze oseben of ite Deoassides of men
vaz 2 2 seseis parada. For this is one of ike great feira da
je is the stage Exampies he takas, be is true D e s s inia clara der: tis lastations are not Is t e bat si c 'est ibe ugirersal law. Hence,
Seis IT Here stuen, for a particular period, de roca s a great poest are resi. upiersiooi, and appreciatel in
E Di e se Era poet redderts, in one way or another, ve siasa si gredzot ideas of the age in sinch he lived. E: e de inte sint of Las age; the Greek trigedians L
e s bes: Horace, the epicarean tone of Roman Set: Tessu si Astor ist in the age of chivalry they lived
ite: I'Cie si En estbt the reinous throes that Ted Det tres: Stetsreare we see that Christianity had enerseits d e Oter the poet's rien of human life, and that the - Tis
D a c'essie tot romantie: Byron reflects at once the se x ibe et of his time: yet in the writings of each of iese poets. Tecei a tbey are, we find also reflected our common taky. Tie case is the s e rith Tecnrson: looking at life from the size oeSHT pit of vier; choosing not for hero either Cressier u Pigua artist, be exhibits the men and women of the preseci se in the the géis that occurs them, and, according to his porer. dziestcars to guide aright these thoughts and energies. " It is Teenrse's cachoke sympa:br with moien life in all its characteristie plases thsi is lis distinguishing quality; and that, in comtiration with his Cornel poetic skil, renders him the farourite poet of the catariei essses."
Tearsjer that - Maai" is to be judged by these considerations ; taking the chansters from ordinary every day life, accompanied only hr the incidents with wbich we are constantly familiar, he get succeeds in rendering the characters of the poem types, not merely of a class but o: humanity, and shers, with a fidelity that cannot be resisted, that here, in this pracucal Engiand of the nineteenth century, with all its sciashness and its apparent non-recognition of aught but what appeals to it externais-that even here the eternal elements of tragedy may be found, and that they do not fail to work out their appointed purpose. We consider it absolutely essential to the right understanding and appreciation of " Maud" that this view should be clearly held, for it at once disposes of the only serious charges that are brought against it. This poem is essentially tragic in its aim and construction, the progress of the story being shewn, and the characters of the personages being developed by what they themselves say or do, not by what the author narrates of them. Hence, the first object of enquiry will naturally be, whether the characters of the poem are such as might probably be found in the age chosen by the poet; and next, whether they are animated by the broad principles of our common humanity, modified and diversified by the special peculiarities of their various mental idiosyncrasies. We consider that these questions will best be answered by an analysis of the piece. The hero, who finds himself at twenty-five,
“Sick, sick to the heart of life,” occasioned by the family misfortunes that had overwhelmed him, and over which he had continued to brood whilst
" Living alone in an empty house,” is evidently a being gifted, or cursed, as opinion may incline, with a more than ordinary sensibility of temperament, which leads him to take delight in dissecting the misery which afflicts him. From private grief to public wrong the transition is easy; those who groan under personal sorrow, occasioned by wrongs inflicted by their fellow-men, often look beyond their individual woes to the general law which seems to prevail in such cases. The hero is one of these ; and the lamentations in which he indulges throughout the poem are as often directed against the social wrong which pervades the world, as against the individual wrong which afficts himself. That such characters do exist at the present day, of deep, sensitive, even morbid natures, there cannot be a doubt, and we consider that the poet scarcely requires a justification for having chosen such a one for his hero; but we are bound to consider with deeper thought the subjects that he chooses for his invectives.
We have stated enough to shew that the mind of the hero is in no healthy state, but is in that morbid, bysterical condition which is nearly allied to madness. We state this clearly in the outset, for a charge has been promulgated against the poem that it is morbid, whilst we hope to shew that the poem is as free from such a charge as “Hamlet” itself. This point, however, we must leave till we reach the dénouement.
To a mind gifted with a deep sympathy for the wrongs of suffering humanity, the evils that exist around us at the present day must be particularly grievous. Poets in all ages have been among the first to see and denounce the evil tendencies of their time, and have too generally met with that neglect or scorn which bore witness to the