Page images



[ocr errors]

some parcels of black tea, which were composed of Consumers do not know that they are raising the

I black lead in large proportions. That was bad, price of the necessaries of existence upon cows; and black enough, but, upon a closer examination, but these animals never complain. We may also the presumed tea was found to contain fifteen per say that no reason exists for supposing that these cent. of dust, or sand. It is a hard case that these mixtures are pernicious. O, si sic omnia ! but there Chinese mixers, not contented with giving us paints is no si sic as regardeth omnia—and very necessary and poisons, insist upon adding to the bad bargain things, too. also of their own sand. Their sand cannot "cheer" Even bread--the loaves that we pay for so us when weary, remove a headache, or do anything handsomely, are not always, and all, made of flour better than some hidden mischief in the region of only. Alum, of course, is requisite to whiten, and the stomach, known only to medical men-some- then we have all sorts of breadstuffs mingling with thing very terrible, we fear. The only hope, the more aristocratic flour of wheat and perhaps indeed the only safety-we enjoy in this matter of not disadvantageously, in every instance – to sand, is that it may be hard, very hard, liard as cheapen the productions. Yet, it is likely that rock, and indissoluble.

the public would prefer to take their potatoes, We are assured by dealers in, and writers upon, for example, in the vulgar state, rather than tea and “the trade,” that the Chinese do not wish | madle up as bread; while they would altogether to mix their staple article, for they are proud of excuse the absence of deleterious matters. its quality ; but they are compelled to meet the We may, as affairs stand, bake bread in housediseased taste of buyers. If this be the only cause hold ovens; and then the consumer has only to for the Prussian blue and the turmeric, it can be keep an eye upon the flours. We may even buy no reason for the bricks, the clay, the dirt, the a domestic corn-mill, and grind wheat as the useful dust, the granite in powder, the oolites, the traps ; amusement of winter evenings in parlours; and nobody's taste in Britain or Ireland is depraved or then the eaters would only require to provide for diseased enough for them ; and so the Chinese and the quality of the wheat. These alternatives are, their teas, like the licensed victuallers and their however, only retrogressions, necessary from the liquors, need to be put under inspection.

absence of honest dealings, which every person Sugar is an article of large consumption, and is should expect who buys an article at a fair price. not extensively mixed with pretences or substi- The system of selling under false names should be tutes. A little potato starch, and some other smothered in an Act of Parliament; for the majovegetable substances, with a portion of the sulphate rity of families cannot prosecute their proper busiof lime left in half-refined goods " by a blunder," ness and the baking and grinding trades, at the form the foreign substances met usually in sugars, same time, with advantage.

Confections are given to children from kind The water used in kneading bread, in large motives, but they suffer—both the confections and manufactories, was found, according to the evidence the children suffer—from the articles often used produced before the House of Commons, to be in preparing the former. Buyers, we presume, do detrimental. In some instances, it was found to not generally grudge the price of “carraways," and be mixed with sewage liquid. In others, less or yet Dr. Thomson says, and even swears, that he more objectionable contamination had occurred. has found more than twenty-five per cent. of terra In London, the common water supplied by the comalba in some specimens. This frightful “terra panies may be generally used—and it is not always alba”—this something passing under a very general good, although those who employ it may be unable Dame-was only plaster of Paris ! but that is a to obtain a better or a purer article. They cannot, rather injurious article of digestion to the young, like the people of Glasgow, turn a Highland lake is cheaper than sugar, and can be detected easily; some thirty miles or more down upon their city. yet Dr. Thomson found it in considerable quan- They have not adopted even the gravitation princitities amongst mints and sweetmeats.

ple, which might supply them with abundance of Jams, marmalades, and all preserves, with few clear, filtered water, pure and sweet from the bills exceptions, contain a small quantity of copper- of Surrey. They suffer under a load of six or which is poisonous in large quantities; but as seven water companies, sufficient to contaminate copper is rather dearer than these commodities, it the water of a kingdom. One of these companies gets into them during manufacture from the cop has shares of one hundred pounds worth from ten per vessels in which they are generally prepared, to twelve thousand pounds; and is yet perpetually both in domestic efforts at preserving, and in large squabbling with its customers respecting the means manufactories. Means are proposed, and have of laying dust on streets in warm days. The been proposed for ages, to neutralise this result of supply of water to nearly all large cities is inadeboiling fruits in copper vessels ; but they have quate in quality and quantity, although no other never been successful in unskilful hands, and necessary of existence has been more diffusely supconsumers are minutely poisoned.

plied to this country. Everybody will agree with Preserves are mixed in another fashion with Mrs. Brodrip-unless, of course, the aristocracy different materials to make them pretences. Thus, of water, who may have New River shares, or beet-root and parsnips, but especially turnips some other interest in the trade—when she wrote :* being nearer to tasteless-make capital marmalade.

• Wayside Fancies.”


[blocks in formation]

Oh, God! that gavest monntain rills,

and after importation in the mill of the grinder, That trickle pure and clear,

the cellars of the wholesale dealers, and the shop Through moss, and rush ; and gurgling brooks That spring up everywhere ;

of the retailer. · The processes are refinements of Not thine the gift of fetid streams

cruelty, because they must be known to the That poison as they flow,

persons implicated, and cupidity is the reason for And bear on their polluted course

the deception. Nobody who can pay anything Disease, and death, and woe.

for drugs grudges any price. In no other deBut water, we fancy, does not come within the partment of trade is a good and pure article more list of manufactured drinks or food, and the necessary, and a fair, or even a high price, more changes in its elements, caused by negligence or easily obtained. And yet ample evidence bas selfishness, may require to be obviated by a special been afforded to the House of Commons that a class of measures.

medical man cannot even prescribe opium, a most The luxuries of life are cheapened to a great important, if not, in a majority of cases, the most extent by mixtures of an objectionable character. important drug, with any certainty that it will be Cigars are generally made from tobacco, but hay supplied in a state of parits. If the mixture and brown paper are sometimes used; and cigars were so regular and systematic that an idea could from hay are preferable to any others. Even be formed, when the prescription was in prepara. tobacco is, on the whole, in a commendable state. tion, of the dilution in strength that had occurred, The manufacturers content themselves with salts, the dose could be increased to meet the case ; but sugars, and water ; while, except for the sake of if by some accident the retailer had a pure parcel the revenue, the two latter substances are im- on hand, the patient in that case would very proprovements. Snuff, we regret to observe, is in a bably be killed by common honesty. Dr. Thomson, very dangerous condition. Between chromate of of St. Thomas's Hospital, said that the mixture of lead, chloride of sodium-that is to say, salts, drugs was a common evil, and an enormous evil; alkalines, and earthy carbonates, lime, and earthy but he had no hope of overcoming it, except by phosphates, red ochre and yellow ochre, with medical inspectors. The public were helpless, amber—the snuffers are in a bad predicament. and he might have added hopeless, for he said Not satisfied with putting lead instead of tobacco that in 1838 the subject was taken up with vigour; into the buyers' systems, the manufacturers add say nineteen years since, but no good came out of iron, oxide of iron, so that a snuffer may become this vigour, and the Government are determined cast metal before he quite understands himself to to complete the twentieth year before they more in be in process of transmutation. Lest he should the matter. Next year Parliament will be engaged escape that doom, the grinders of snuff put in with the Reform Bill, and of course incapable of silica to account for the finty hearts of snuff attending to anything of so small importance as takers, and glass, pounded glass, to cut up their what we drink and eat, and the medicine that we nostrils entirely, and powdered orris-root; and are compelled to swallow when ill. The subject this must be something very bad, although we do will thus have attained its majority since the date not know, but merely suppose it to be terrible as when Dr. Thomson described it professionally as the last, and naturally the worst, of an execrable vigorous, before we have a chance of these great list.

grievances, unless by energetic action during the Cayenne powder, pickles, sauces, and all similar the present month, being in any manner rectified. condiments have been poisoned rather to suit the The corruption of drugs generally occurs at the public taste than for any profit made to the ope- drug grinders, and always, unless when the grinders rators by the process; but the purchasers swallow are dishonest, with the consent, or rather, by the large quantities of copper, in order to have their order of the wholesale dealers. A quantity of favourite pickles coloured with an unnatural green. drugs are sent to the grinder, with instructions to Some improvements have been effected in the return equal weight, and as the, articles lose in preparation of these articles, as of other mixtures, grinding, he cannot comply with the instructions, by the exposures which have been circulated except by the introduction of foreign substances. widely, and have acted like warnings; but no After the dealers have shown thus the way of doubt exists that pickles in purity are still com- cheating the public to the gripders, some of the paratively rare, and that cayenne powder, and latter occasionally cheat their immediate customers, carrie powders, are, to a considerable extent, chro- and act in the manner imputed of old time to corn mate of lead, which is an active poison.

millers. After men or women, by the aid of all these Carelessness has sometimes as much to do with processes and putrefactions, become ill; or, chil. these matters as cupidity, and is equally dangerous. dren get sick from the use of half-poisoned lolly. Dr. Thomson says he once required the "tincture pops; a doctor is called.

As a general rule, of sesquichloride of iron,” for St. Thomas's Hosmedical men wish to save their patients--there pital; this medicine ought to contain thirty can be no doubt upon that point. They are, grains in the ounce of " sesquioxide of iron." kowever, cast out of their reckoning by the The specimen furnished to Dr. Thomson contained character of the drugs in the market. Drugs are only twenty-five grains. He returned it on mixed with cheaper ingredients before importation account of the deficiency, and received another

[blocks in formation]

specimen containing thirty-five grains. He was We do not appreciate the reasons for advancompelled to return it also; because, while the cing some measures and delaying others, in the composition with twenty-five grains of sesquioxide present session, on account of the labour requisite of iron would not have produced the required in the one, or the importance attached to the results, that with thirty-five grains, would have other. The Jewish nation are a very respectable produced more than were wanted. The first class of persons in our estimation, but a sharp would have been inefficient, the second super. enactment against the frauds in necessaries of exefficient, and both bad-both dangerous.

istence might even have been more valuable to the Calamine was a medicine once in common use, people of London than the animation of their sus. for surgical purposes, and one pound of calamine pended member, although both might have been supplied to Dr. Thomson was a prepartion of sul. | accomplished. The public have been indebted phate of baryta, ehalk, and ochre," neither of ere now to the Reformers of Birmingham for which has any business whatever in calamine, for practical suggestions, and perseverance in their it appears to be carbonate of zinc. This specimen realisation. An association in that great town contained no single trace of zinc, and therefore, have already done good service in circulating inforcould have been of no use for those purposes in mation on this topic, and if they could oblige the the preparation of which zinc may be valuable. public still farther by urging the propriety of imCalamine by name may be anything whatever by mediate action concerning it upon their town and patare. One specimen comprised 65 per cent. of county members, who possess very considerable oxide of zinc, and another contained 57.76 of the influence among the two great parties in the same oxide.

If that oxide have any influence State, although Sir George Grey is not easily whatever, bad, good, or indifferent, the two speci. pressed into work, yet it might be possible to per. mens could not both have been properly prescribed suade him that a measure could be matured, even for medical purposes under one name.

at this late date, to secure pure medicine for those No difficulty exists in the adjustment of this who bave been gradually dragged into sickness by subject, and honest traders would rejoice to see it the previous processes of trade; and very prosettled. Parliament should at once create the bably a few lives might be extended, that will, on machinery necessary for the prosecution of persons the other hand, be shortened by the delay of this making or selling articles under false names. The provision,--for the medical witnesses examined by mixture of matters to be drunk, or to be eaten, the committee of the Commons honestly told them with alien substances, or even with allied sub- that their evidence had previously secured nothing stances of a cheaper nature, should be suppressed, better than extended information on the means of and if a general law is too heavy during the sum mixing drugs to those who sought the profits of the mer months for our legislators, at least some pro- crime; and no good reasons can be found for devision should be made for the sick, that medicine laying enactments necessary to extend life. may be supplied in its native and pure state.




"WELL, how are you this morning P" was the "But, I am really not in a story-telling mood," salutation of my tale-relating friend, as, the follow he said. “I cannot feel in the least melancholy ing day, he entered the room, and placed himself or sentimental ; and, as I told you, 'The Daisy of beside me.

Grouville' is a very melancholy tale. I came this "I am quite well,” I replied; "and quite morning to ask you to drive with me to Mount ready to listen to the story you promised me.” Orgueil Castle, the scene of a part of the tale ; if

“Now, that is really too bad,” he said. “Be- you consent, the spirit of what shall I call it ?fore I have had time to breathe-before you have narration will come to me, and you shall hear this even asked me how I am, or ascertained whether I story under the very rocks which are described in am suffering from beadaobe or dyspepsia (conse- it. But I am very much afraid


will expect quence of oyster-soup, &c.), you put me on duty, too much after all this talking." place me in the ranks, and command me to fire "I don't expect anything," I said, "except a away at the story! I've a great mind to turn pretty tale ; and I shall be delighted to take the rebellious, and refuse."

drive, as it will afford me an opportunity of “Take care!" I answered, “or I shall place you seeing the country; and you will be a protecunder arrest-order a court-martial, and send you tion against another maniac attack, should we be to-Coventry."

unfortunate enough to meet a second Le Clerc."

[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]

“Do you call it unfortunate ?he asked. I have now turned from the coast and taken an in“Now, I should have considered the rencontre a land road. Look to the left, do you see that high very happy one, inasmuch as it had put me in tower p" possession of a very interesting legend.”

“ Yes." “Umph!" I replied, “legends are very pretty “It is called Princess Tower. Beyond it lies things in their way, but scarcely worth the chance the Queen's Farm-a small property belonging to of a 'grip' from a madman, and a broken neck by her Majesty, which, possibly, she never heard of way of denouement. If I had not managed to before her visit to the island some few years get away from that old fellow, he would, in bis since." facetiousness, have tumbled me over the precipice ! "I suppose," I remarked, “that was a grand

,' However, here we are, wasting all this fine day

event." in talking ; so, you go now and order the car. “ It was indeed. The sight of a real live Queen riage, and I will put on my bonnet while you are and Prince was an incident of startling interest to gone."

the Jersey peasantry, although I think a great "Put on your bonnet!” he replied smiling many of them were disappointed at seeing a mere

. " What an assumption of simplicity there is in lady and gentleman; they expected the Queen in that feminine term— put on my bonnet'! As if scarlet satin and ermine the crown on her head, you bad not a hundred other little things for the sceptre in her hand; while, I believe, they sooth, to put on-cuffs, collars, little bows, petti pictured Prince Albert in a kind of conjuror's coats

gown-purple velvet, covered with gold stars. “Hush !" I exclaimed ; " you ought not to talk See! there is Grouville church ; and that is the about petticoats-you, a bachelor! what can you cottage where Marguerite, the heroine of the comknow about petticoats? But do go and get the ing story, lived." carriage; and I will don the manifold articles of I looked. There was nothing very promising dress you seem to fancy we wear, and be ready by in its outer aspect. It was simply a whitethe time you return.”

washed cottage, as glaring and commonplace as In about a quarter of an hour, the carriage whitewashed cottages always are. I felt myself, stood at the door. I jumped in and off we however, in duty bound to look, and try to see drove.

something to admire (even in the whitewash) for “We will first go along the coast of the St. the sake of Marguerite. Clement's Bay; thence to Grouville and Prince's We passed Grouville, and drove on to Gorey, a Tower," my companion said ; " this will lengthen small fishing town on the western side of the our drive considerably; but the scenery is so island. It possesses a harbour, and two or three pretty, I don't think you will object to the exten- public-houses-—"hotels," or "inns," they may have sion."

the audacity to call themselves. Notwithstanding “On the contrary, I shall be glad of it." these advantages, it is an insignificant place, little

We drove through the town again, and then came worthy of notice. As to its castle, the site of in sight of the St. Clement's Bay,

that is beautiful indeed. Situated on a rock overI thought it even more beautiful than that hanging the sea, it frowns defiance at all enemies. which I had seen in my previous drive.

Cannon bristle round this castle, and on its It was low water, and I noticed those dreadful summit-cannon, which would bellow forth their rocks—their sharp, pointed summits, just appearing voice of warning, did any, unbidden and unwelabove the tide-which are said to form the natural come, seek to force an entrance there. defence of Jersey, on that side of the island, at “We will leave the carriage, and walk on; least.

or, if you are willing to spend the day here, we will These rocks thickly interspersed the bay. Some send it back to the village, and order it to come did not appear larger than the pointed trunk of a for us again to-night." good sized tree; while others seemed to attain the “As you like," I replied; "but how do you size of miniature islands.

propose to dine ? I am very matter-of-fact, and There they were like watch-dogs, guarding the cannot live on the poetry of a scene; besides, if I island from every inimical sail.

could, you, I know, could not. It is a very "What a dreadful navigation !" I exclaimed. melancholy circumstance, that people must eat and "Surely large ships do not attempt to enter or drink; no matter how romantic they mean to be, anchor here?"

they must attend to the vulgar consideration of "Certainly not; why should they—when they dinner; so, again I ask you where shall we have that splendid harbour and the St. Aubin's dine ?"

“Let me first dismiss the carriage ; and then I • Now," I said, "I know you are saying to will show you," he said. yourself, 'No one but a woman could have suggested

as in a few moments lie again joined such an absurdity.' Come, confess; was not that me, "now, this way.” your thought "

We walked on. Then my companion stopped. "It would be ungallant to plead guilty to such “Look !" he said, “is not the castle beautiful an idea, even if I entertained it. But you see we from this aspect ?"

[ocr errors]

Bay pa

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

or die,”

I did look; and then answered heartily, "Yes." “But I have my sewing," I replied, as I triThere it was before me, with its great sullen umphantly drew it from my pocket; " so now looking walls, a sloping ascent of the softest grass begin. This time I shall not be disappointed by reaching to its foundation. On this ascent some the ringing of that eternal dinner bell.” sheep were grazing, looking so mild and peaceful, “I would not trust to my memory,” he said, as a contrast to the frowning fortress above them- he drew a manuscript from his pocket. “I have fitting types of peace and war, I thought. And it written down bere, for the story is too long to then my mind went wandering on—as it always remember accurately.” He leant against the will-into the visionary realms of thought. I wall as he spoke, and began to read as follows :pictured that castle in a state of siege—the battle- Marguerite Le Genre, the heroine of the present ments manned by the brave soldiers ; the pent-up tale, was one of the most lovely girls I ever saw. animal at bay! the human stag, hunted by his Dark in complexion, with the richest colour fellow man! Fancy led me into the interior. I mantling in her cheek; hair of that purple blacksaw the daily decreasing supply of provisions ; ness which is rarely seen, and eyes of the deepest the wistful faces round; the anxious, yet deter- hue, swimming in their own liquid light! Then mined brow, which said, "Here we can either live her mouth-aye, that was a thing to dream about !

An ever-varying expression played round the coral Why, how silent you have become !" ex- lips-a look of mirth it might be, or a gleam of claimed my companion. “I want to show you thought (for the mouth can express thought as where we can dine."

well as the eyes), which curled and parted "I don't want any dinner at least, not yet,"I those lips, and showed the pearly teeth within. added, for common sense came to my aid, and led She was of French extraction-from Granville ; me down from the clouds. “Nevertheless, as I hence ber beauty, for all the Granvillaise are said see you mean to take me through that arch, which to be beautiful. Her parents, poor but honest looks inviting, I will go."

people, had come to Jersey (lured by the words of We passed through the arch, which was nothing those who wished them there), to try and make a more nor less than the castle gate. Inside that livelihood. It was a difficult matter, but they Fas the cottage, where I discovered we were to succeeded ; that is to say, they lived from hand to dine. An apology for a garden stood before the mouth, made but little, and lived on that little. cottage; then came a wall (the castle wall), and Madame Le Genre took in washing-Monsieur outside that again was the sea, dashing against the went out as a gardener. rocks on which the castle stood.

They brought up Marguerite excellently; and, “Will you go and order dinner, or shall IP" instead of teaching her embroidery, crochet, and asked my friend.

other useless employments, they made her take the "Oh, you by all means," I replied. “I don't household work on her. Even when she was but care what I have ; let it be something which we can a mere child, I can remember seeing her scrub the eat quickly, and then be out again.”

floor of their little kitchen, and perform other acts "Very well. The unfailing English dish of of domestic utility. In process of time she was cutlets or steak will do I suppose."

exalted to the washing tub; for the good old "Oh, yes-anything; only make haste, for I mother looked on the washing tub with venerawant to see the inside of the castle. Can we go tion, as the most productive source of the family over it p"

labour, and so guarded it sacredly from profane “Yes. It is nothing very wonderful though ; fingers.

fingers. Marguerite's, however, were not profane but no doubt you will people each vaulted and she had been carefully introduced into all the stony corridor with phantom forms of your own mysteries of "soaping-in," “rubbing," " rinsing," creating, and so make it interesting."

etc.; and, at the age of eighteen, was pronounced, Indeed, I shall do nothing of the kind," I by the indisputable word of her mother, to be replied. "I am looking forward all this time to perfect in her art. the Daisy of Grouville. Why cannot we sit "Allons, Marguerite," she would say, "il faut down here on this shady ledge of rock, and begin? finir tout cela, et cela, et cela !” and she would Surely that murmuring sea beneath, and the bright indicate certain difficulties and works of labour, in blue sky above, are enough to excite your imagi- the way of fine collars, crimped frills, etc., and nation."

Marguerite, nothing daunted, would set about My companion took the seat I indicated, and I it, singing all the time some bright French air. saw that a shade of sadness was stealing over

The fortunes of the Le Genre family were looking up.

A girl was hired on washing days to "I never can think of this tale without feeling do the household work, for Marguerite was too sorrowful," he said. "But I must not make you busy to attend to that now. Madame was saving gloomy, or you will vote me a dull companion. money! She had a little hoard put carefully away Why! what will you do with your hands during in the foot of an old stocking-her bank. From the progress of the story P for you have no time to time she added a silver piece or two to the sewing here!" and he glanced at me with malici hoard; but lately, instead of adding to, she had

taken from, this store ; taken from it several of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


qus glee.

« PreviousContinue »