Слике страница
PDF
ePub

known two seasons only, and he had leaped from youth to imbecility. His smile was one of the sweetest I ever looked upon; his voice almost the most melodious that I had ever heard; his manner gentleness itself, and every thing about him bespoke a kind and amiable disposition. He is said to be very affectionate, to his mother especially, and is generous to the extreme of prodigality. But there is that indescribably sad expression in his countenance, which is thought to indicate an early death. A presentiment of the kind mingled perhaps with a boding fear of the overthrow of his country, seems to pervade and depress his spirits. In truth, like Damocles, this descendant of the Caliphs sits beneath a suspended fate. Through him the souls of the mighty monarchs who have gone before, seem to brood over the impending fate of an empire which once extended from the Atlantic to the Ganges, from the Caucasus to the Indian Ocean.

AARON BURR AND HIS DAUGHTER..

The history of every nation is fraught with romantic incidents. England has the story of her Alfred; Scotland of her Wallace, her Bruce, her Mary, and her Charles Stuart; Ireland her Fitzgerald; France her Man with the Iron Mask and Marie Antoinette; Poland her Thaddeus, and Russia her Siberian Exiles. But we very much doubt whether any exceeds in interest the singularly touching story of Aaron Burr and his highly accomplished, his beautiful and devoted daughter Theodosia. The rise and fall of Burr in the affections of his countrymen, are subjects of deep historical interest. At one time we see him carried on the wave of popular favour to such giddy heights that the Presidency itself seemed almost within his grasp, which he only missed to become the second officer in the new

republic. He became Vice-President of the United States. How rapid his rise! and then his fall, how sudden, how complete! In consequence of his duel with Gen. Hamilton, he became a fugitive from justice, is indicted for murder by the Grand Jury of New Jersey, flies to the South, lives a few months in obscurity, until the meeting of Congress, when he comes forth and again takes the chair as President of the Senate. After the term expires, he goes to the West, becomes the leading spirit in a scheme of ambition to invade Mexico, (very few will now believe that he sought a dismemberment of the Union,) is brought back a prisoner of state to Richmond, charged with high treason, is tried and acquitted, is forced to leave his native land, and go to Europe. In England he is suspected, and retires to France, where he lives in reduced circumstances, at times not being able to procure a meal of victuals.

After an absence of several years, he finds means to return home. He lands in Boston without a cent in his pocket, an object of distrust to all. Burr had heard no tidings of his daughter since his departure from home. He was anxious to hear from her, her husband, and her boy, an only child, in whom his whole soul seemed bound up. The first news he heard was that his grandchild died while he was an outcast in foreign lands, which stroke of Providence he felt keenly, for he dearly loved the boy. Theodosia, the daughter of Burr, was the wife of Governor Allston, of South Carolina. She was married young, and while her father was near the zenith of his fame. She was beautiful and accomplished, a lady of the finest feelings, an elegant writer, a devoted wife, a fond mother, and a most dutiful and loving daughter, who clung with redoubled affection to the fortunes of her father, as the clouds of adversity gathered around him, and he was deserted by the friends whom he formerly cherished. The first duty Burr performed after his arrival here, was to acquaint Mrs. Allston of his return. She immediately wrote back to him that she was coming to see him, and would meet him in a few weeks in New York. This letter was couched in the most affectionate terms, and is another evidence of the purity and power of woman's love.

In the expectation of seeing his daughter in a few days, Burr received much pleasure. She had become his all on earth. Wife, grandchild, friends, all were gone; his daughter alone remained to cheer and solace the evening of his life, and welcome him back from his exile. Days passed on-then weeks-and weeks were lengthened into months -yet naught was heard from Mrs. Allston. Burr grew impatient, and began to think that she too had left him, so apt is misfortune to doubt the sincerity of friendship. At length he received a letter from Mr. Allston, inquiring if his wife had arrived safe, and stating that she had sailed from Charleston some weeks previous, in a vessel chartered by him on purpose to convey her to New York. Not receiving any tidings of her arrival, he was anxious to learn the cause of her silence.

What had occurred to delay the vessel?—why had it not arrived ?these were questions which Burr could ask himself, but no one could answer.

The sequel is soon told. The vessel NEVER arrived. It undoubtedly foundered at sea, and all on board perished. No tidings have ever been heard respecting the vessel, the crew, or the daughter of Aaron Burr-all were lost. This last sad bereavement was only required to fill Burr's cup of sorrow. “The last link was broken" which bound him to life. The uncertainty of her fate but added to the poignancy of his grief. Hope, the last refuge of the afflicted, became extinct when years had rolled on, and yet no tidings of the loved and lost one were gleaned.

Burr lived in New York until the year 1836, we believe, when he died. The last years of his life were passed in comparative obscurity. Some few old friends, who had never deserted him, were his companions; they closed his eyes in death, and followed his body to the grave, where it will rest till the trump of the Almighty shall call it into judgment.

Such is a brief sketch of the latter part of the strange and eventful history of Aaron Burr. None of the family now live—it has become extinct—and his name but lives in the history of his country and in the remembrance of those who knew him.

GREEN TEA-HOW COLOURED.

DURING a visit I paid to a tea manufactory, in the city of Shanghae, I happened to meet some merchants who came from the celebrated green tea district of Wheychou. Thinking this a good opportunity for obtaining some information regarding the mode of colouring green teas, and as I was accompanied by Mr. M‘Donald, an excellent Chinese scholar, I had some questions put to them on this subject. They would not acknowledge that any colouring matter was used in the manufacture of their teas, and pretended to laugh at the idea of such a thing. They said, moreover, that they were aware the practice of colouring was a common one about Canton, where inferior teas were made,—but that they never coloured their teas in Wheychou. They then skilfully enough tried to change the subject by telling us that we should not give credence to all we heard. “If we did so," said they,“we would make some strange mistakes with regard to the productions and manufactures of your country. For example,” they continued, “it is commonly reported that you buy our teas in order to convert them into opium and re-sell them in that form to us. Now, we do not believe that you do that;—and neither should you believe all you hear about the colouring of our green teas.” After giving us this sage advice, they asked us very gravely how we used this tea in England,

-and if it was true that we had the leaves boiled and beat up with sugar and milk?

It is, however, a difficult thing to get the truth out of a Chinaman; and from information which I had received I knew quite well that our Wheychou friends were deceiving us in the present instance. Shortly afterwards I had an opportunity of seeing the whole process; and as it is one of considerable interest, I noted it down at the time with great care, and now send

observations. The superintendent of the tea makers managed the colouring part of the business himself. In the first place, he procured a portion of indigo which he threw into a porcelain bowl, not unlike a chemist's mortar, and crushed it into a fine powder. He then burned a quantity of gypsum in the charcoal fires which were roasting the tea. The object of this was to soften the gypsum in order that it might easily be pounded into a fine powder in the same manner as the indigo had been. When taken from the fire, it readily crumbled down, and was reduced to powder in the mortar. These two substances having been thus prepared, were then mixed up in the proportion of four parts gypsum to three of indigo, and together formed a light blue powder which in this state was ready for use. This colouring matter was applied to the tea during the last process of roasting. The Chinese manufacturer having no watch to guide him, uses a joss stick* to regulate his movements with regard to time. He knows exactly how long the joss stick burns, and it of course answers the purpose of a watch. About five minutes before the tea was taken out of the pans, the superintendent took a small porcelain spoon and lifted out a portion of the colouring matter from the basin and scattered it over the tea in the first pan; he did the same to the whole, and the workmen turned the leaves rapidly round with their hands in order that the colour might be well diffused.

you a copy

of my

During this part of the operation the hands of the men at the pans were quite blue. I could not help thinking that if any drinker of green tea had been present during this part of the process his taste would have been corrected-and, I hope I may be allowed to add, improved. It seemed perfectly ridiculous that a civilized people should prefer these dyed teas to those of a natural green. No wonder that the Chinese consider the nations of the West as " barbarians.” One day Mr. Shaw, a merchant in Shanghae, asked the Wheychou Chinamen their reasons for dyeing their teas: they quietly replied, that as foreigners always paid a higher price for such teas, they of course preferred them—and that such being the case, the Chinese manufacturer could have no objection to supply them!

'I took some trouble to ascertain precisely the quantity of colouring matter used in the process of dyeing green teas; certainly not with the view of assisting others, either at home or abroad, in the art of colouring, but simply to show green tea drinkers in England—and more particularly in the United States of America-what quantity of gypsum and indigo they eat or drink in the course of the year. To 14} pounds of tea were applied rather more than an ounce of colouring matter. For every hundred pounds of green tea which are consumed in England or America, the consumer really eats more than half a pound of gypsum and indigo: —and I have little doubt that in many instances Prussian blue is substituted for indigo. And yet, tell these green tea drinkers that the Chinese eat dogs, cats and rats, and they will hold up their hands in amazement and pity the taste of the poor Celestials.

In five minutes from the time of the colour being thrown into the pan the desired effect was produced. Before the tea was removed the superintendent took a tray and placed a handful from each pan upon it.

* A small reed, covered with odoriferous dust, which the Chinese use to burn before idols.

These he examined at the window to see if they were uniform in colour; and if the examination was satisfactory he gave the order to remove the tea from the pans—and the process was complete. It sometimes happened that there was a slight difference amongst the samples: and in that case it was necessary to add more colour, and consequently keep the tea a little longer in the pan.- Foreign Correspon. Athenæum.

THE TOMATO.

This plant or vegetable, sometimes called Love-Apple or Jerusalem Apple, which belongs to the same genus with the potato, was first found in South America. The use of this fruit as food, is said to have been derived from the Spaniards. It has been long used also by the French and Italians. The date of its introduction to this country is unknown. It is said that the tomato has been used in some parts of Illinois for more than fifty years. Its introduction on our tables, as a culinary vegetable, is of recent date. Thirty years ago in this vicinity, it was scarcely known, except as an ornament to the flower garden, and for pickling. It is now cultivated in all parts of the country, and found either in a cooked or raw state on most tables. In warm climates it is said, that the tomato is more used than in the northern, and has a more agreeable taste. It is now much used in various parts of the country, in soups and sauces, to which it imparts an agreeable acid flavour; and is also stewed and dressed in various ways, very much admired, and many people consider it a great luxury.

We often hear it said that a relish for this vegetable is an acquired one; scarcely any person at first liking it, but eventually becoming very fond of it. It has, indeed, within a few years, come into very general use, and is considered a particularly healthy article. A learned medical professor in the West pronounces the tomato to be a very wholesome food in various ways, and advises the daily use of it. He says that it is very salutary in dyspepsia, and indigestion, and is a good antidote to bilious disorders, to which persons are liable in going from a northern to a warmer climate. He recommends the use of it also in diarrhea, and thinks it preferable to calomel.

The tomato is a tender, herbaceous plant of rank growth, but weak, fetid and glutinous. The leaves resemble those of the potato, but the flowers are yellow and arranged in large divided branches. The fruit is of light yellow, and a bright red colour, pendulous, and formed like the large squash-shaped pepper. There are smaller varieties, one pear

« ПретходнаНастави »