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THE OMNIBUS,

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something quite superior to the later As early as 1662 Paris was already fiacre of the streets of Paris; they were provided with that convenience we are provided with steps, which let down, accustomed to consider as quite modern, like other good carriages of the time. -the omnibus of large towns. And it The success of the enterprise was at was no less a person than the great first very great. The sister of Pascal, Pascal, the author of the Pensées and Madame Périer, writing to M. Arnauld the Lettres Provinciales, to whom the de Pomponne, March 21, 1662, says: citizens owed the useful idea. The “ The plan has been so successful, that Duke de Roannès, a friend of Pascal, from the first morning the coaches were was the patron of the enterprise, and well filled. Even women went in them. provided the means of carrying it out. In the afternoon there was such a crowd Here, assuredly, was a promising begin- that one could not get near them ; and ning. For a time the plan was highly it has been the same ever since." Like a successful, Three noble partners--if good sister, as she was, and proud of her such commercial phrase be applicable brother's success, Madame Périer adds -obtained from King Louis XIV. a later : “I heard blessings poured on the royal grant of monopoly for the un- head of the founder of an enterprise so dertaking; they were the Duke de advantageous, and so useful to the pubRoannès, the Marquis de Crenau, and lic.” the Marquis de Sourches. A great re

Great indeed was the success. Ere ligious philosopher, a courtly duke, and long every important street in Paris had two of those perfumed marquises of petitioned to be included in the route Versailles so riddled by the witty ridi- of the “sixpenny-coaches.” A second cule of Molière, were thus the founders line was soon opened, by royal ordonof the omnibus ! The grant of the king nance as usual, between the Place Rowas dated February 7th, 1662. A month yale and the well-known church of St. later—Saturday, March 18th, at seven Roch, in the Rue St. Honoré-one of o'clock in the morning—the new car- the most profitable lines of the modern riages were in motion, “ running," as Parisian omnibus to-day. Other routes the king's ordonnance expresses it, “ like were opened. The number of the coaches the coaches travelling in the country,

was increased. Every thing looked prosmaking daily trips in Paris between the perous. The plan was succeeding to addifferent parts of the city."

miration. Pascal might well feel gratiThe route lay between the Porte St. fied at the result of his benevolent plan. Antoine and the Palace of the Luxem- The perfumed marquises were doubtless bourg, to and fro. There were at first charmed with the prospect of the golden seven of these coaches, each carrying louis to be added to their coffers. Sudsix or eight passengers very comfort- denly the aspect of things changed. Afably. The coachnien wore blue coats, ter so good a beginning, at the end of with the arms of the king and those another twelvemonth the “sixpennyof the city of Paris on the breast. The coaches” bad entirely disappeared from numbers were marked on the coach- the streets of Paris. The enterprise failed panels by golden fleur-de-lis. The in the end. The death of Pascal occurprice of fare was five sous, equivalent ring about that time, was, idly enough, to six sous to-day; and the vehicles supposed by some to have caused this were called carrosses à cinq sous, from

failure. The real cause appears simple this fact. By law, the coachman was enough to us to-day. The spirit of arisforbidden to change large coin, and tocracy, getting the better of common thus delay the passengers. Every one sense, ruined the omnibus of 1662. The must come “ fip” in hand. We are not spirit of democracy has, many a time told whether this suggestion originated since that day, worked mischief by in the mathematical head of Pascal, or the same forgetfulness. And yet, with. not. The new coaches must have been out common sense, neither “sixpenny.

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coach " nor any other public enterprise, even labored to bring these to practical small or great, whether aristocratic or results. In a volume of “ Physico-Mathdemocratic in spirit, can long prosper. ematical Recreations " he inquires into A royal ordonnance appeared, restrict- the possibility of “two individuals coming the use of the “sixpenny-coach” to municating with each other by means the burghers, the bourgeois de Puris, in of the magnetic needle.” Here he touchthe French sense of the words: those ed the problem. In 1746 he however classes for whom it was best adapted made certain experiments in the Jardin were particularly forbidden to use it ! du Roi, and in the grounds of the Char

Soldiers, pages, artisans, lackeys, and treuse, as to the transmissibility of elecworkmen,” were banished by law from tricity by iron, and succeeded in produthe “ sixpenny-coach.” In short, the cing favorable results with wires nearly carrosses à cing sous of Pascal now a thousand toises in length. In 1753 became in character the very reverse of there appeared an article in the Scots' the omnibus of to-day. As a matter of Magazine, signed with the initials C. M., course, they immediately began to run which would seem to have nearly reachhalf empty. Soon the amount of fares ed the recent great movements of Prowould not pay for the oats eaten by the fessor Morse: the article was reprinted horses. Ere long they were entirely with in Cosmos a few years since. In 1765 drawn from the streets, and, after a most we draw still nearer to something posiprosperous beginning, at the end of tive: a Genevese, Georges-Louis Lesage, twenty years were only remembered to in a voluminous essay, gave his views be laughed at, in spite of Pascal. Now on the subject of the “Transmission of and then their memory was revived to News by Electricity.” The essay was give point to some bon-mot ; as, for in- copied and sent to Frederic of Prussia, stance, in a comedy of Dufresnoy, of -a man capable, no doubt, of compre1692, which tells its audience of “cheap hending the immense importance of the coaches, moving rapidly from the Palais suggestion. But Frederic appears to de Justice to the Hospital—leaving have paid the subject no attention; he while the courts are in session; and probably looked upon it as wholly chifrom the Medical School to the Incura- merical. The paper was thrown aside bles-leaving every hour ! ”

and forgotten, until it lately came to light again from the archives of the

Academy at Berlin. In France, Lesage Many of the phenomena of electricity attracted rather more attention. His eswere partially investigated, and imper- say was printed, in 1782, in the Journal fectly comprehended, in the earliest ages. des Savants; but it went no farther. The property by which amber, when This was stopping on the threshold, and heated by friction, draws to itself all get the system of Lesage was capable of small adjacent bodies, was observed very being carried out to full success. His early. From the verb elicere, to attract, telegraph was composed of as many this substance received its name of elec- wires as there are letters of the alphatron, whence our modern word of elec- bet. Each one of these was connected tricity.

with an electrometer. As soon as one It is quite singular that one of the of the metallic wires received the imfruits of electricity which has been of pression of the electric machine, a little slowest growth, which has been the ball was impelled against the correspondgreatest length of time in reaching prac. ing letter of the alphabet placed immetical perfection, was yet one of the first diately opposite to it. It would be of which science may be said to have scarcely possible to come nearer than had a presentiment. We allude to the this to the perfect invention, without electric telegraph. As early as 1636, actually achieving it. Lesage, however, Schwenter would seem to have had cer- was not allowed to make any public extain ideas on the subject, and to have hibition. It was only in his own apart

TIIE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.

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ment, and in presence of a few friends, The first occasion on which a grand that he carried on his experiments. public experiment of the new discovery

The mechanician Lomond was mak- was made, appears to have been in Spain, ing a movement in the same direction, a country little accustomed for centuries in 1787. His efforts were almost equal to make any movement in researches to those of Lesage. Arthur Young went connected with art or science. In 1796, to see him, as he passed through Paris, under the patronage of Godoy-Prince and, in his “ Travels,” gives the follow- of Peace—the electric telegraph was first ing account of an experiment made in allowed to work officially, and for once his presence: “I went to see M. Lo- only. The Gazette of Madrid, of Novem mond, a very ingenious mechanician, ber 25th, 1796, gives an account of the who has the genius of invention. He experiment: “The Prince of Peace havhas made a very remarkable discovery ing learned that Don F. Salva, who had in electricity. You write two or three read before the Academy of Sciences of words on paper; he takes them into an- Madrid a paper on the application of other room, and turns a cylindrical casė, electricity to telegraphing, had also preconnected with which is an electrometer, sented an electric telegraph of his own a pretty little ball of the pith of feath- invention, wished to see the instrument, ers; a wire is attached to a similar cy- and was delighted with the promptitude linder placed in a distant apartment, and fidelity with which it worked. The and his wife, by watching the move- Prince of Peace caused it to be exhibments of the ball corresponding with it, ited to the King and the Court, and writes out the words indicated in this worked the instrument himself before way. It appears that he has thus form- their Majesties. In consequence of this ed a moving alphabet. As the length experiment, the Infant, Don Antonio, of the wire makes no difference what- desired to make a more complete teleever as regards the effect, it would be graph, and has occupied himself with possible to carry on a correspondence calculations regarding the amount of from a great distance. Whatever be electrical force necessary, in order to the uses to which it be applied, this make use of the telegraph for different discovery, in itself, is admirable.” distances, by sea or land. Some useful

These experiments, however, were gen- experiments have taken place. We shall erally looked upon as mere idle amuse- refer to them later." ments—"a dream of some idler," as they But here ends the story, as regards the were termed, in speaking of similar ex- Gazette of Madrid. Nevertheless, this periments of Linguet, who nevertheless single fact is very interesting. Withanticipated, in 1782, one of the grandest out this brief record of the circumsteps of modern progress, in this way, stance, who would have dreamed of by proposing "to establish underground naming Godoy, Prince of Peace, and electric conductors of gilt wire, to be Don Antonio, Infant of Spain, among enclosed in resined cases."

the earliest telegraph-workers?

A NIGHT-HUNT IN THE ADIRONDACS.

We had taken with enthusiasm our sion, it lifted up its head, and lo! a first lesson in wood-craft at a place great blue heron. Seeing us approach, called the Still-water of the Boreas,-a it spread its long wings and flew sollong, deep, dark reach in one of the emnly across to a dead tree on the remote branches of the Hudson,-had other side of the lake, enhancing, rather tasted thoroughly the luxury of sleep- than relieving, the loneliness and desoing on hemlock-boughs, and of know- lation that brooded over the scene. As ing that the next meal was not a ques we proceeded it flew from tree to tree tion of a stated number of hours, or of in advance of us, apparently loth to be our promptness at the dinner-table, but disturbed in its ancient and solitary a question of skill in the use of the rod domain. In the margin of the pond we or the gun,-when our guide, a young found the pitcher-plant growing, and backwoodsman, with a lope like a here and there in the sand the closed hound and reticence like an Indian, gentian lifted up its blue head. proposed to conduct us to a lake in the In traversing the shores of this wild, mountains where we might float for desolate lake, I was conscious of a slight deer.

thrill of expectation, as if some secret Our journey commenced in a steep of Nature might here be revealed, or and rugged ascent, which brought us, some rare and unheard-of

game

disturbafter an hour's heavy climbing, to an ed. There is ever a lurking suspicion elevated region of pine forest, years that the beginning of things is in some before ravished by lumbermen, and way associated with water, and one presenting all manner of obstacles to may notice that in his private walks he our awkward and encumbered pedes- is led by a curious attraction to fetch all trianism. The woods were largely pine, the springs and ponds in his route, as if though yellow-birch, beech, and maple by them was the place for wonders and were common. The satisfaction of hav

miracles to happen. Once, while far in ing a gun, should any game show itself, advance of my companions, I saw, from was the chief compensation to those of a high rock, wavelets rapidly chasing us who were thus burdened. A par- each other along a small bay, but on tridge would occasionally whirr up be- reaching the point found only a little fore us, or a red squirrel snicker and has- roiled water, and the commotion quite ten to his den; else the woods appeared stilled. quite tenantless. The most noted object Pressing on through the forest, after was a mammoth pine, apparently the many adventures with the pine-knots, last of a great race, which presided over we reached, about the middle of the a cluster of yellow-birches, far up the afternoon, our destination, Nate's Pond, mountain's side.

-a pretty sheet of water, lying like a About noon we came out upon a long silver mirror in the lap of the mountain, shallow sheet of water which the guide about a mile long and half a mile wide, called Bloody-Moose Pond, from a tra- surrounded by dark forests of balsam, dition that a moose had been slaughter- hemlock, and pine, and, like the one we ed there many years before. Looking had just passed, a very picture of unout over the silent and lonely scene, his broken solitude. eye was the first to detect an object ap- It is not in the woods alone to give parently feeding upon lily-pads, which one this impression of utter loneliness. our willing fancies readily shaped into In the woods are sounds and voices, a deer. As we were eagerly waiting and a dumb kind of companionship; some movement to confirm this impres- one is little more than a walking treo himself; but come upon one of these thetical dug-out our hopes of venison mountain-lakes, and the wildness stands rested. After a little searching it was relieved and meets you face to face. found under the top of a fallen hemlock, Water is thus facile and adaptive, that but in a sorry condition. A large piece it makes the wild more wild, while it had been split out of one end, and a enhances culture and art.

fearful chink was visible nearly to the The end of the pond which we ap

water-line. Freed from the tree-top, proached was quite shoal, the stones however, and caulked with a little rising above the surface as in a summer- moss, it floated with two aboard, which brook, and everywhere showing marks was quite enough for our purpose. A of the noble game we were in quest of jack and an oar were necessary to com-footprints, dung, and cropped and plete the arrangement, and before the sun uprooted lily-pads. After resting for a had set our professor of wood-craft had half-bour, and replenishing our game- both in readiness. From a young yellowpouches at the expense of the most re- birch, an oar took shape with marvelspectable frogs of the locality, we filed on lous rapidity-trimmed and smoothed through the soft, resinous pine-woods, with a neatness almost fastidious,-no intending to camp near the other end make-shift, but an instrument fitted for of the lake, where, the guide assured us, the delicate work it was to perform. we should find a hunter's cabin ready A jack was made with equal skill and built. A half-hour's march brought us speed. A stout staff about three feet to the locality, and a most delightful long was placed upright in the bow of one it was,—so hospitable and inviting the boat, and held to its place by a that all the kindly and beneficent in- horizontal bar, through a hole in which fluences of the woods must have abided it turned easily; a half wheel eight or there. In a slight valley, about one ten inches in diameter, cut from a large hundred yards from the lake, though chip, was placed at the top, around hidden from it for good reasons, sur

which was bent a section of new birchrounded by a heavy growth of birch, bark, thus forming a rude semicircular hemlock, and pine, with a lining of reflector. Three candles placed within balsam and fir, the rude cabin welcomed the circle completed the jack. With us. It was of the approved style, three moss and boughs seats were arrangedsides enclosed, with a roof of bark and one in the bow for the marksman, and a bed of boughs, and a rock in front one in the stern for the oarsman. А that afforded a permanent back-log to meal of frogs and squirrels was a good all fires. A faint voice of running water gastronomic preparation, and when was heard near by, and, following the darkness came, all were keenly alive to sound, a delicious spring-rivulet was the opportunity it brought. Though disclosed, hidden by the moss and by no means an expert in the use of the debris as by a new fall of snow, but gun-adding the superlative degree of here and there rising in little well-like enthusiasm to only the positive degree openings, as if for our special conveni- of skill-yet it seemed tacitly agreed ence. On smooth places on the logs I that I should act as marksman, and kill noticed female names inscribed in a the deer, if such was to be our luck. female hand; and the guide told us of After it was thoroughly dark we went an English lady, an artist, who had down to make a short trial-trip. Every traversed this region with a single thing working to satisfaction, about ten guide, making sketches.

o'clock we pushed out in earnest. For Our packs unslung and the kettle the twentieth time I felt in the pocket over, our first move was to ascertain in that contained the matches, ran over what state of preservation a certain dug- the part I was to perform, and pressed out might be, which, the guide averred, my gun firmly, to be sure there was no he had left moored in the vicinity the mistake. My position was that of kneel. summer before,---for upon this hypo- ing directly under the jack, which I was

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