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ancient Romans, was, in like manner, of destruction; man would not be able the great symbol of the union, that to live, and the beasts of the field, with bound the members of a family to each the plants that feed them, would no other.

longer be seen. The little grain of salt, Scarcely less general is, however, the at which we hardly glance, is thus of dread which salt inspired by its strange vital importance in the great household power of destroying the productiveness of nature. But it shares the fate of all of the soil; and thus it became, very indispensable things by which we are cárly, already the symbol of sterility surrounded : habit makes dull the senalso. Jeremiah cursed Judah, by con- sibility of our senses, and with it the demning it" to inhabit the parched pla- activity of thought that depends on ces in the wilderness, in a salt-land, and such impressions. Only what is rare not inhabited;" and the terrible fate of and unusual attracts our attention, Lot's wife has left the curse vivid in the though it have but an outside brilliancy memory of men.

For the same reason, and useless beauty. The sparkling diawhen Abimelech had destroyed the city mond is sure of admiration; set in of Sichem, and rased its walls to the bright gold, it is esteemed above all ground, the place where it had stood things, and serves to enhance beauty, to was sown with salt, not in order to make display our wealth, or to symbolize it sterile, but as a sign that it should

supreme power. The unattractive twinremain waste forever. Even the Middle sister, black coal, has to do hard work Ages employed the dread symbol; and in the kitchen, the workshop, and the the great Barbarossa, after taking rebel- factory, like a true Cinderella; and lious Milan, and destroying its beautiful yet on coal, and not on the diamond, buildings, ordered the plough to be rests the true wealth of a nation, the passed over the city, and then salt to be foundation of happiness for countless strewn on the spot, leaving only the millions. Thus it is with the tiny grain churches unharmed, “ for the greater of salt; rich and poor sce it, day by glory of God.”

day, on their table, and enjoy it with On the other hand, salt makes “ every thing they eat and drink, but savory things” palatable again, as Job few ever inquire whence it came, and already mentions; and hence it soon what accident or what necessity brought became usual to speak of it as a symbol it there. And yet, let it be missing but of that sagacity which uses apparently for a single day, and how we would worthless matters for a good purpose, suffer ! and employs words of trifling import We all know that the ocean is salt, in themselves with great effect. This and that without it neither animal nor was the first meaning of Attic salt; plant could live in the vast basins of the hence, also, St. Paul writes, “Let your earth. But it is less generally known speech be alway with grace, seasoned that the amount of salt in different seas with salt, that ye may know how to is not the same, but steadily decreases answer every man ;” and the Saviour in the direction from the equator to the Himself calls His disciples “the salt of poles. Scoresby tells us that, of Eurothe earth,” as men by whose instruction pean seas, the Mediterranean holds most, and example their brethren are to be the Baltic least; so that the fishermen taught and saved from condemnation. of the north have to send for the salt

All this worship of salt as a divine they need in preserving their fish, to gift, this veneration of its sacred char- the more favored regions of the south, acter, and this dread of its destructive and salt becomes a patron of active powers, centre, however, in the simple trade. The Atlantic Ocean, again, has fact, taught by modern chemistry, that more salt than the Pacific, and the Posalt is the great regulator of the health lar Sea least of all. With the amount of the world. Without it, the seas would of salt, which makes the water denser, he impure and the land a desolate scene and thus better able to bear heavy ves

VOL. II.--46


sels on its broad shoulders, changes, of ture. Five hundred years before Christ, course, also the degree of density; and already, the mythical king, Ancus Maras water is naturally desirous to restore tius, established, at the mouth of the the equilibrium, there follows a constant Tiber, a saline, under the control of the flow to and fro; so that salt here appears state; and at a later period the censor as the great motive-power, which causes Livius earned the name of Salinator, by the currents of the sea ! These again, raising the duty on salt. From distant in their turn, bestow warmth on West- China to the west of Europe, every Gov. ern Europe, mix the differently heated ernment learned to treat salt as one of waters of the ocean so as to protect the the regalia ; and not many years ago, life that teems in them against cold, poor French peasants were still cruelly and favor the sailing of trade-ships. punished if they dared draw a bucket Thus climate and temperature, winds of water from the great ocean, in order and currents, navigation and the fertil- to secure the few grains of salt it conity of coast-lands, all depend on the tained ! presence of the little pinch of salt ! As vegetable food is both unpalatable

Far better known is the fact that and little nutritious unless accompanied man, like all animal life, cannot exist by salt, herbivorous animals everywhere without salt, but must miserably perish, delight in its use. The wild buffalo so that among the most terrible punish- and the deer, as well as our domestic ments, entailing certain death with fear- cattle, enjoy it with evident relish ; and ful suffering, that of feeding criminals the Alpine herdsman, like the Gaucho with saltless food was not uncommon in of the Pampas, traips his half-wild barbarous times, and prevailed, to our herds to meet him at certain places, by disgrace, until quite recently, in one of depositing sinall quantities of salt at the northern countries of Europe. Ani- regular intervals.

When the eager mals, deprived of salt, lose their hair, huntsman, in Southern Africa, is in become lean and hideous to look at, search of rare sport, he hides himself at and die a death of unspeakable suffer- a favorite salt-lick, and is sure to be ing. The reason is simple. A man, amply rewarded ; and the cunning weighing a hundred and fifty pounds, chamois-hunter of the Alps prepares his carries in him at least one pound of salt; way, years ahead, by cautiously placing it constitutes five per cent. of the solid a handful of salt in accessible spots, matter of his blood, and an almost equal until even those sagacious animals are proportion of all the cartilages of the beguiled, by their greediness, and finally body, and the bile contains soda as a fall into the hands of their enemy. special and indispensable element in the Even here, however, man shows his process of digestion. If the salt, then, strange superiority over lower beings; be withdrawn, or the ounce which every for while animals, without exception, one of use daily loses, by perspiration love salt with equal fondness, the desire and other means, be not replaced, diges- among men differs essentially. Nations tion is arrested, the bony part of our who live largely on animal food, value frame is not rebuilt, the eye loses its it naturally less than those who prefer a brilliancy, and the whole system breaks vegetable diet. Thus Mungo Park down.

speaks of certain tribes in Southwestern Hence the craving of man and beast Africa, who never take salt by any alike for the precious grain. Pliny but chance, and adds that even Europeans, expressed the necessity of its use for travelling in their country, never feel life, when he said that all the loveliness the want of it. The same disregard and joyousness of life could not be bet prevails in the colds of Siberia, where ter expressed than by the name of salt, the peoples of whole districts eat their and the rulers of the world were not food without a particle of salt. On the slow in taking advantage of this fact, other hand, there are Indian tribes, true by taxing the indispensable gift of na- vegetarians, who consume it in large quantities, so that the children are seen races, who could not live a fortnight sucking pieces of salt like sugar. In without his accustomed supply. certain portions of Africa, he is deemed How wonderful, then, that the presa rich man who can afford eating salt ence of a "pinch of salt," a thing of no with his food; in the mountains of the value and hardly noticed by millions of South, small pieces of it circulate as us, should be the condition of animal money, and on the Gold Coast a hand- and vegetable life on our earth! Truly, ful of salt will purchase two serviceable not only is man fearfully and wonderslaves !

fully made, that his physical life and A nicer distinction, yet, is the well- the activity of his heaven-born mind established fact, that the active races should depend on the little white crysrequire salt more imperatively than the tal, but great are the works and won-. passive races; and this, in connection drous is the wisdom of Him, who, from with the refined instincts of the body, His throne on high, orders alike the explains, no doubt, the startling dif- heavenly bodies in their unmeasured fer bet een the Gaucho of South space, and the invisible grain of salt America, who hardly knows what salt the bowels of the earth and the deep is, and the intelligent son of European of the sea !


Thou, in whose garden I have grown apace,

Plant of no grace,

Filling a good tree's place,
Spreading no shade, nor showing any fruit-
Thankless from crown to root !

Thou who, these twenty years, hast come and found,

On tree or ground,

Sound, be it, or unsound,
No fruit, to praise Thee for Thy patient care--
Stubborn, and hard, and bare !

“ One Year More, Master !-one year for My own!

Let him alone :

With shame, and sob, and groan,
I'll dig around his heart-roots-graft and prune.
Then, if, for all, he bear not !

Ah! so soon?
Ah! give me one year more !"






We too have a Planchette, and a great many things very intelligibly, and Planchette with this signal merit: it this without trick, collusion, or imposdisclaims all pretensions to supermun- ture of any kind. We present the subdane inspirations; it operates freely- ject in the light merely of a very curiindeed, with extraordinary freedom ; it ous study. What mental, electric, maggoes at the tap of the drum. The first netic, odic, or other forces are lying touch of the operators, no matter under perdus about us, which may be utilized what circumstances it is brought out to by inanimate agents, seems to become reveal its knowledge, sets it in motion. a legitimate object, or at least a curious But it brings no communications from subject of inquiry, under the phenomeany celestial or spiritual sources. Its na disclosed by the agile motions of our chirography is generally good, and fre- three-legged agent. This is equally quently excellent. Its remarks evince true whether the practical results proman intelligence often above that of the ise to come to something or to nothoperators, and its talent at answering or ing. evading difficult questions is admirable. The Ghostology of the world, which We have no theories about it.

seems to have accompanied every phase Mr. Buckle's statement that the phil- of its historical development, is a nebuosophical comprehension of history is la which must, some day, be resolved only to be attained by the digestion of into scientific facts. Planchettism seems myriads of historic facts, must be ap- to occupy a dim corner in this vague and plied before any definite conclusion with extensive realm. regard to this mysterious agent can even We make no pretensions to the posbe hinted at; and it is precisely these session of a mental telescope which is facts that are wanting to the man of capable of bringing this dimness to science.

light. We but offer the simple results Accepting this view, we shall certain. of our observations. All we claim is, ly be excused for not attempting an ex- that those observations are absoluteplanation of the methods by which this ly authentic. We at least have not simplest of machinery works, or sug

“ forced " nor “ doctored” them, as gesting the sources of its power. We some more scientific observers are said take its own word that it appropriates sometimes to do. the combined intelligence of the com- The era which began with Mesmer, pany in which it operates, and that this proceeding through the various stages constitutes its working-capital, its entire of biology, spirit-rapping, table-tipping,

, stock-in-trade.

clairvoyance, and other modern mystic We feel that we can accept this mod developments, has evolved a new phase est estimate of its power without danger in Planchette. Such vague indications to our faith or morals; and we cannot as raps, such ponderous machinery as sce that, after such a bland limitation heavy tables, might be delusive. This upon the authority of its communica- little heart-shaped board certainly contions, any body need feel shaky or in tains no trick of spring, or wire, which danger of being undermined in any may impose upon the confiding. A favorite particular, by what such a go- shingle and a pair of common castors, between can say. The chief curiosity with a Faber's pencil No. 2, furnish you about our modest friend is, that it is with the required mechanism. You able to say any thing at all. Our rec- know you are honest yourself. Some ord is to the point that it does say a of you have friends in whose probity

1 own.

you can confide as thoroughly as in your Besides this, it invariably makes a

period when it bas done writing a senIn the instances which we propose to tence, occasionally employs commas, and give, exactly as they occurred, we could frequently has been known to insert an have no doubt of the good faith of the apostrophe, and to put the proper acoperators. With my own hands on the cent over a French vowel, all unexpectinstrument, it would have been impos- edly to the people whose hands were sible not to detect any guidance of the upon the board, they being unaware of machine by the muscular force, either what it was writing, and even engaged voluntary or involuntary, of the vis-à-vis. in conversation upon a different topic, Some of the writing was effected with at the same time. the hands of three people upon the in- I have seen it draw rough caricatures strument, each with a definite thought of people, making the eyes and ears in in his mind, which was not in the least the right places, without any guidance, the communication written by the pen- and in one case adding a hat to one cil.

head after the outline was completed. We give the strange statements of the In contradiction to the other theory of magnetic agent, nota for the mere pur- the Lippincott writer, that it is always pose of astonishing the public, but to controlled by the strongest intelligence furnish those who, like ourselves, are in the room, I will state that we have really desirous of penetrating the mys- known it to give a conundrum that had tery, with some few of the wonderful never been heard by any one of the facts which must abound.

party; then give the answer, and finalWe are all conscious of the existence ly, in the teeth of our united asseveraof involuntary muscular and nervous tions to the contrary, to affirm that it action, and we are likewise cognizant could never give any but stale ones,” of an activity of the brain, undirected and that the question and answer were by will, such as is shown in the ravings in all our minds, which they emphaticof delirium and the curious phenomena ally were not. of dreams; therefore, leaving altogether On one occasion, being asked to write aside the supernatural theory, we would poetry, Planchette wrote the first lines wish to see the subject grappled with of “Thanatopsis,” which were not conon purely scientific grounds.

sciously in the minds of any of those The clever article, republished in present; and what was more peculiar, Every Saturday, entitled, “A Three- wrote the word natural instead of visible Legged Impostor,” furnished only a in the second line, a mistake patent to few statements. “My Experience with all who knew the poem-a second time Planchette,” in the August number of controverting the theory of the LippinLippincott's Magazine, shows grave er- cott writer, that its errors are those of rors, in underrating the capabilities of the minds employed, which contradicthe machine. The latter states, for in- tion is confirmed in the fact that, when stance, with great positiveness, that asked to write its name, it invariably Planchette “must always write a run- responds "Planchet,” though we have ning hand,” and could, consequently, never recognized it as other than of the never have made a cross, as described feminine gender. Again, on being rein the novel, “ Who Breaks, Pays." monstrated with for illiteracy, it de

This is a mistake; our Planchette fended itself by saying, “I always was frequently separates words completely, a bad speler (sic) ;” an orthographical goes back, and dots an ¿ with precis- blunder that no one in the room was ion, writes figures, and returns to put capable of making. the mark $ before them; and on one But, on the whole, our Planchette is occasion, being requested to do some- a cultivated and scientific intelligence, thing beyond its ability, wrote, “I am of more than average order, though it not to that."

may be, at times, slightly inaccurate in

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