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to its organization and its capability of sustaining life. The camel is adduced as an illustration of this law. It is the peculiarity of this animal, that the structure of his feet is so modified, that whilst he can proceed with the greatest facility over sandy deserts, he could in no circumstances walk over a rough or stony surface. Another remarkable quality in the camel is, that it is incapable of travelling for any distance over moist ground, as it is liable to suffer from the effects of the moisture. The result is, that this animal is limited to his aboriginal seat in the heart of Asia, being evidently unfitted, from the nature of his limbs, to reside in any other country. But would it not be desirable to place the camel in a part of the world where water is very rarely found? No doubt it would, provided the animal was not inconvenienced by this privation; but the real truth is, that the internal organs with which he is furnished are so contrived, that they can be filled with water at proper intervals, and the fluid retained for the future use of the animal. Thus is the camel rendered a serviceable creature to man, in those peculiar districts where scarcely any other mode of conveyance could be put into practice.
Dr. Kidd pursues the subject somewhat further, and enters into the domestication of animals—of animals regarded as a source of food—and of animals as a source of clothing, &c. Amongst the substances of a useful nature which are obtained from the animal kingdom, there is none which is better calculated to excite the interest of the philosopher, than the material so well known under the name of sal ammoniac. The process of its formation is particularly distinguished in this respect, that in every stage almost of its course the products which arise are useful, so that the benefit of its direct use can scarcely be said to be greater than the advantages which spring from it indirectly. The history of the process is well worthy of being recommended to the perusal of the reader:
Any one who is in the habit of walking much in the streets of London, will frequently see some half-clothed wretched individual stooping down and holding open an apron, into which he throws from time to time pieces of broken bone and other offal, which he has disengaged from the interstices of the stones that form the carriage pavement. The unsightly load thus obtained is conveyed to the sal ammoniac manufactory; and when a sufficient mass of bones has been accumulated from this and other sources, they are thrown into a cauldron of water, and are boiled for the purpose of clearing them of the grease with which they are enveloped: which grease, subsequently collected from the surface of the water on which it floats, is employed in the composition of soap.
The bones thus cleaned are thrown into large retorts, surrounded by burning fuel, and submitted to the process called destructive distillation; whereby, in consequence of the application of a sufficient degree of heat, the matter of the bone is resolved into its constituent elements, from which new compounds are formed. Of these, some pass off in the state of vapour or gas, while the fixed principles remain in the retort.
Among the more remarkable products which pass off are carbonic acid gas, commonly known by the name of fixed air; and various combinations of hydrogen and carbon, forming different kinds of inflammable air■ together with water holding carbonate of ammonia (salt of hartshorn) in solution; and a peculiar oil. Of these products, the fixed air and inflammable air are disregarded, and suffered to escape. The oil is employed to feed lamps placed in small chambers, the sides of which become incrusted with the smoke arising from the combustion: which smoke being collected, becomes an article of sale under the name of lamp black; a substance of considerable importance as the basis of printing ink, &c.
It would be tedious and uninteresting to the general reader, to describe all the intermediate steps of the process: and it is sufficient for the present purpose to state that, towards the conclusion of it, two new compounds are formed, namely, muriate of ammonia and sulphate of soda: of which the sulphate of soda is separated by the process of crystallization, and is sold to the druggists under the common name of Glauber's salt; and the muriate of ammonia (sal ammoniac), the great object of the whole manufacture, is finally obtained in a separate state by the process called sublimation.
The form of the bones submitted to destructive distillation in this process, is not altered; and the unvolatilized mass, remaining in the retorts, consists of the earthy and saline matter of these bones, blackened by the carbon which is evolved from their animal matter. Exposure to an open fire drives off this carbon, and leaves the bones still unaltered in form, but nearly blanched: and these bones, subsequently reduced to powder, and mixed with a sufficient quantity of water to give them the requisite degree of consistence, are formed into vessels, which are employed in the process of refining gold and silver.—pp. 268—270.
The last chapter in this volume professes to be devoted to the purpose of showing the adaptation which the external world bears to the exercise of the intellectual faculties of man. The bare announcement of this category ought to have been sufficient to call forth all the energies of Dr. Kidd, in an attempt to exhibit the ameliorating and exalting influence which the contemplation of nature, throughout all her productions, is so well calculated to produce on the human mind. Who is it that can behold the wonderful variety of the structures—the apparatuses, which are endowed with the power of life, that does not feel his impulses towards virtue and benevolence excited by the view? Yet all these noble effects, all these mental operations, which have their beginning in the accidental knowledge of nature, are neglected by Dr. Kidd, who choses rather to indulge in the recollections of classic times, and in the theories of the schools. The sections into which this chapter are divided have for their particular subjects—an exposition of the opinions of Lucretius on the constitution of matter in general—a summary of the opinions of the ancients on the organization and classification of animals, and of the animal forms entitled monsters, or lusus natvrcp.
In the Appendix, Dr. Kidd presents us with a series of sclection's from Aristotle, containing that illustrious author's descriptions of some natural groups and species of animals. These extracts he places in juxta-position with others from Cuvier, and in both a very remarkahle identity prevails. The conclusion arrived at by this comparison is, that all these points in the natural history of animals which were accessible to these great men, are nearly as accurately described by Aristotle as by Cuvier.
Art. VII.—Indian Traits, being Sketches of the Manners, Customs, and Character of the North American Natives. By B. B. Thatcher, author of " Lives of the Indians." In 2 vols., being Parts I. and II. of "Harper's Miscellany." New York: Harper. 1833.
In these volumes we have a specimen of a series of period-cal publications, (somewhat analogous to our Lardner's Cyclopedia and Family Library, J which have just begun to make their appearance in the United States, and to which we turn with considerable pleasure, as evidences of the spirit of noble enterprize which seems to animate our Transatlantic brethren in the cause of education. This is a sort of rivalship in which we are proud to see the Americans engaged with us; and this is the legitimate strife which, we trust, will subsist when all minor and less worthy controversies between us w ill be buried in eternal oblivion.
As a subject of deep consideration for the philosopher, and as calculated to afford instruction of much practical value, the contemplation of the condition in which the aborigines of any country are found when they are discovered by the first beams of civilization, never loses its importance or interest. We turn constantly to all such themes as to topics congenial to our minds, and, more than any other of the great questions of life, demanding our warmest sympathies. The narrative now before us, which displays the ancient and present condition of the great Indian population inhabiting the American continent, comprehends many peculiar circumstances that render it an object of singular attraction to the British reader.
The natives of the North American continent, who only two centuries ago were diffused over every part of its habitable surface, have within the lapse of those brief centuries undergone a revolution such as is almost unexampled for its rapidity; for whilst in the ancient time they lived in health, security, ease, and in freedom, and were comparatively a prosperous population, at the present day they are but a remnant of what they were, driven as it were by the advance of civilization into the wild forests and glens of the remote west, and of the frozen north, so that those natives who constituted a community, two hundred years ago, of nearly two millions in the United States, are now diminished to somewhat about an eighth of that number. The race, in fact, has degenerated and disappeared to a most extraordinary amount, and every day adds to the progress of decay amongst them. This fact, however, only furnishes an additional motive for taking the earliest opportunity of studying their peculiar character in all its varied aspects.
The stature of the Indians, it appears, is generally about the medium one of whites; but many individuals, and sometimes whole tribes, will be found of a height under this average. Amongst them the fewness of cases of deformity was particularly striking. The complexion of the American Indians is usually described in works on anthropology, as being of a copper colour: but this appears to be an exaggeration, for the children are usually as white as the children of Europeans, and it is only when they attain a mature age that their colour assumes the hue of “well-smoked bacon,” which may at least partly be accounted for by the practice of greasing o faces, of exposing their skin to the sun, and to the smoke in their wigwams. Amongst the southern tribes the colour approaches that of the negro. The hair of these Indians is uniformly black, lank, and hangs in large knots, and resembles horses’ hair, though it is much finer. They generally pluck out their beards, which has given rise to the opinion that they are naturally deficient of this growth. The author next relates several curious anecdotes showing the swiftness of foot, and the intrepidity in danger which characterized the Indians. Their costume forms another topic of a very amusing nature. Up to a late period the Indians principally employed the skins of various animals for dress; and even still they can dexterously render any skins, even that of a buffalo, so pliant, as that it shall be capable of any purÉ. to which a soft substance is applicable. Beaver and racoon
lankets are still in use ; a series are sewn together, so that the fur will be uniform in the direction of each part, a circumstance which enables the rain to descend completely down from all the external costume. They often make blankets and mantles of the feathers of the wild turkey or goose, which are most skilfully sewn together by a thread formed of the bark of the wild hemp and nettle. But now these elementary articles of natural production are set aside for manufactures by the tribes, and a figured cotton shirt is now worn by the men, and a cloth petticoat by the women. Blankets, too, are worn by both sexes and all ages. Leggins, of blue, green, or red cloth, are in ordinary use ; and are generally more or less ornamented, as well as tied with a garter of coloured worsted below the knee. The small apron, in front, is also ornamented around the edges. Additional to these articles, the males carry a knife in a scabbard, confined to the string or narrow belt which girds the waist; also a pipe, and a skin tobacco-pouch, containing, besides o and smoking weed, a fire-steel, flint, and some kind of tinder.
Painting their bodies is alway9 a necessary preparation when the Indians attend a dance or festival. The chiefs of the New England tribes performed this part of the toilet, says Mr. Thatcher, in such a manner, that, added to n mantle of moose or deer-skin, painted and embroidered with white shells or beads, a necklace of fish-bones, and a large wild cat or bear skin, with the jaws and ears left entire, hanging over the shoulders, and dangling down to the knees, it gave them truly a most ferocious and frightful appearance. This art was the more cultivated, because those warriors who made themselves look most terrific, especially for a war dance or a scalping party, were admired by all spectators as the best men.
In the western parts, when the warriors attend a great dancev they usually wear two or three clasps of silver about their arms, generally jewels in their ears, and often in the nose; nor is it uncommon to see in these tribes a circular piece of silver hanging an inch or two from the nose, the hair twisted with painted porcupine quills, and the ears and neck ornamented with animals' tails, bears' or alligators' teeth, eagles' claws, red beads, or even red-thorn plums. Brass bells are laid thickly on the lower part of the dress.
The habitations of the Indians in all parts of the continent differed very little from each other. The wigwam was usually formed of small young trees, bent and twisted together, and arranged arbour-wise. The central spot within was the place chosen for the fire, above which an opening was made for the escape of the smoke. A place of entrance was made on one side, forming the door; but this, like the roof-hole, was occasionally stopped: thus, though the storm and rain were averted, yet the interior became almost intolerable from the smoke. The materials for the wigwams were fre* quently of dry poles, which, being portable, were carried by the family from place to place, and as the spot preferred by them depended for their choice on its proximity to a neighbourhood where fresh fish and fresh water could be had, so was it that a cluster of wigwams was always found near springs, brooks, or rivers. In one of these contrivances, several families appear to have been accommodated at the same time, no other separation taking place between them, save what could be produced by some mats and boughs laid on the floor ; and occasionally the use of pine knots for fuel, or such light, dry wood, as gave out but little smoke, made the residence very agreeable. After some account of the furniture of the wigwam, the author comes to the consideration of their fcod. They used neither spice, salt, butter, cheese, or milk; they drank nothing but water fresh from the river or spring; but their solid food consisted of the flesh and entrails of the moose deer, racoons, geese, turkeys, ducks, eels, and all kinds of fish, flesh, and fowl, which they found in the woods. But the nature of their subsistence altered necessarily with the seasons: in summer they lived on green corn, beans, squashes, and the various fruits naturally produced; and in winter, when no flesh could be procured, they fed on such vegeta