Harper's Weekly 04/01/1865


INTERESTING ITEMS.

Effects of Smoking.

The effects of moderate and im-
moderate smoking on the organs of the body are stated to
be as follows: In an adult man who is tolerant of tobacco,
moderate smoking—say to the extent of three clean pipes
of the milder forms of pure tobacco in the twenty-four
hours—does no great harm. It somewhat stops waste, and
soothes; but there are times when it unsettles the diges-
tion. To an immoderate degree—say to six or eight pipes
a day, especially if strong tobacco and fine pipes be used—
smoking unquestionably is very injurious to the animal
functions. The blood is made too fluid; the biliary secre-
tion is arrested; and the digestion is constantly deranged:
there is dryness of the tongue and frequent nausea. On
the heart the symptoms are very marked. They consist
of palpitation, a sensation as though the heart were rising
upward, a feeling of breathlessness, and, in bad cases, of
severe pain through the chest, extending through the up-
per limbs. The action of the heart is intermittent, and
faintness may be experienced. Extreme smoking is also
very injurious to the organs of sense. In all inveterate,
constant smokers, the pupils of the eye are dilated, owing
to absorption of nicotine, and the vision is impaired in
strong light; but the symptom which most of all affects
the vision is the retention of images on the retina after the
eye is withdrawn from them. Thus, if he turn his eyes
from a window, he retains the impression of the window,
the panes seeming red and the bars dark. When such
pictures are seen for some minutes, the smoker may be as-
sured that he has carried his indulgence out of the pale of
safety. On the sense of hearing inveterate smoking pro-
duces disturbances: these consist of restless deafness, and
ringing or whistling in the ears. The circulation of the
brain is sometimes also disturbed, and giddiness and ver-
tigo are produced. The muscles, after extreme smoking,
are prostrated. Long smoking also affects the mucous
membrane of the mouth, causing “smoker's sore throat.”
There are also some other effects occasionally produced in
the mouth—viz.: sponginess of the gums and tartar on
the teeth. On the whole, however, smoking does not in-
jure the teeth. These are the worst effects of tobacco:
they all point to functional disturbance. The question re-
mains whether worse effects ever follow from over-indul-
gence in smoking. The great effect of tobacco is to arrest
the functional processes on which growth and development
depend. To the whole body of the growing youth, there-
fore, the act of smoking is decidedly deleterious. When,
however, the body has ceased to grow, the effects of tobacco
in this regard are not felt; and, when the body was fall-
ing into decay, smoking seems conservative in its action.
As regards the production of specific diseases by tobacco,
the hypotheses that have been raised are too loose to be
accepted. It is said that tobacco dulls and destroys the
mental faculties. The facts are that, when the body is in
full vigor, smoking does lessen the power of the faculties;
but, when the body is overworked and worn, tobacco soothes
and conserves. If there were any foundation in the idea
that tobacco produces insanity, the fact would be at once
broadly marked in the difference of numbers of the insane
in the different sexes. This remark is, however, less ap-
plicable to paralysis. It has been urged that tobacco pro-
duces cancer; the statement is utterly groundless. Nei-
ther consumption nor bronchitis, in the chronic form, can
be induced primarily by smoking. At the same time it
must be admitted that smoking does mischief in both these
disorders when they exist, except in asthma. In the main,
smoking is a luxury which any man is better without. Of
nearly every luxury tobacco is the least injurious. It is
innocuous as compared with alcohol; it does infinitely less
harm than opium; it is in no sense worse than tea, and,
by the side of high living, altogether contrasts most favor-
sably.


Napoleon's Portrait of CÆsár

His lofty stature
and his finely-moulded and well-proportioned limbs im-
parted to his person a grace which distinguished him
from all others. His eyes were dark, his glance penetra-
ting, his complexion colorless, and his nose straight and
somewhat thick. His mouth was small and regular, and
the lips, rather full, gave to the lower of his face an
expression of kindliness; while his breadth of forehead in-
dicated the development of the intellectual faculties. His
face was full, at least in his youth; but in the busts
which were made toward the close of his life his features
are thinner, and bear the traces of fatigue. His voice was
sonorous and vibrating, his gesture noble, and an air of
dignity pervaded his whole person. His consitution,
which at first was delicate, grew robust by sober living,
and by his habit of exposing himself to the inclemency of
the seasons. Accustomed from his youth to manly exer-
cise, he was a bold horseman; and he supported with
ease privations and fatigues. Habitually abstemious, his
health was not weakened by excess of labor, nor by excess
of pleasure. Nevertheless, on two occasions—once at Cor-
dova, and then at Thapsus—he had a nervous attack,
which was erroneously thought to be epilepsy. He paid
particular attention to his person, shaved with care, or
had the hairs plucked out; he brought forward artistical-
ly his hair to the front of his head, and this in his more
advanced age served to conceal his baldness. He was re-
proached with the affectation of scratching his head with
only one finger for fear of deranging his hair. His dress
was arranged with exquisite taste. His gown was gener-
ally bordered with laticlam ornamented with fringes to
the hands, and was bound round the loins by a sash loose-
ly knotted—a fashion which distinguished the elegant and
effeminate youth of the period. But sylla was not de-
ceived by this show of frivolity, and he was wont to rec-
ommend that people should have an eye on that young
man with the flowing sash. He had a taste for pictures,
statues, and gems; and he always wore on his finger, in
memory of his origin, a ring on which was engraved the
figure of an armed Venus. To sum up, there were found
in Cæsar, physically and morally, two natures which are
rarely combined in the same person. He joined aristo-
ment of the soldier; the graces of mind to the profundity
of thought; the love of luxury and of the arts to a pas-
sion for military life in all its simplicity and rudeness.
In a word, he joined the elegance of manner which se-
duces to the energy of character which commands. Such
was Cæsar at the age of 18, when Sylla possessed himself
of the Dictatorship. He had already attracted the atten-
tion of the Romans by his name, his wit, his engaging
manners, which were so pleasing to men, and still more
so, perhaps, to women.


The Way you always Stopped.”

The Vermont
Record tells a good story of an innocent old lady, who
never before had “rid on a railroad,” who was passenger
on one of the Vermont railroads at the time of a recent
collision, when a freight train ran into a passenger train,
smashing one of the cars, killing several passengers, and
upsetting things generally. As soon as he could recover
his scattered senses, the conductor went in search of the
venerable dame, whom he found sitting solitary and alone
in the car(the other passengers having sought terra firma),
with a very placid expression upon her countenance, not-
withstanding she had made a complete somersault over
the seat in front, and her bandbox and bundle had gone
unceremoniously down the passage way. “Are you hurt?”
inquired the conductor. “Hurt! why?” said the old
lady. “We have just been run into by a freight train,
two or three passengers have been killed, and several
others severely injured.”“La, me; I didn't know but
that was the way you always stopped.”


Musical Boots.

A new invention in France is said to
be a pair of musical boots, which have been exhibited to
the Emperor. At every step the pressure of the foot pro-
duces melody—it may be a waltz, a mazourka, or an oper-
atic air. This arrangement would be extremely conven-
ient for a dancing-master.


Bishop Simpson and President Lincoln.

The bishop
recently delivered his great lecture in Wesley Chapel,
Washington, to a large audience, among whom were presi-
dent Lincoln and Secretary Station. The bishop told an
anecdote about a Kentuckian asked by an Englishman
what were the boundaries of our country. The Kentuck-
ian replied that the United States were “bounded on the
east by the rising sun, on the west by the precession of the
equinoxes, on the north by the aurora borealis, and on the
south by the day of judgment.” This reminded the face-
tious President of the following story, which he told sub
voce to those around him: “John Bull met with a North
American Indian, and in the course of conversation was
very anxious to impress him with the greatness of the
British Empire. “The sun,' said Mr. Bull, 'never sets on
English dominion. Do you understand how that is?” 'Oh,
yes,' said the Indian, 'that is because God is afraid to
trust them in the dark.'” The lecture ended, the Presi-
dent waited to greet the bishop, but could not wind up
without another joke. The bishop, in showing our ability
to carry on the war for any length of time that rebel pluck
or persistence might make necessary, had enumerated
our vast sources of wealth. “Bishop,” said Mr. Lincoln,
as the bishop approached him, “you never struck the
ile!”


Mechanical Spies.

The great importance of strict
punctuality and vigilance in the night police employed on
the French railways suggested a few years ago to a French
gentleman, M. Arésa, the idea of constructing a “tell-tale
clock”—a very ingenious mechanical contrivance, which
enables the superintendent of the guard to detect with
certainty any neglect of duty in the men under his orders.
The duty of the guard, or policeman, being to pass par-
ticular spots at extact intervals during his night patrol, a
kind of table dial is placed at such places, and at the times
indicated it becomes the duty of the watchman to press
his finger upon a small button, or stud, no other part of
the apparatus being within his control. On the following
day, when the clock is opened, a circular card is found to
be pierced with holes, made by the guard at each of his
visits, and this card shows at a glance the extact moment
of the night when each hole was pierced. The mechanism
is stated to be very simple. the circular card is made to
revolve by means of the hour-wheel of the clock, and the
stud which is pressed by the watchman acts on a sharp
needle which perforates the card. Of course, if the card
be pierced in a wrong place it affords incontestable evidence
that a neglect of duty has taken place, by which the lives
of railway travelers have been endangered. The employ-
ment of these ingenious mechanical spies has proved high-
ly successful. The temptation to sleep, so natural in night-
watchers, but often so disastrous in its consequences, is of
course greatly diminished where the slightest neglect is
certain to be detected. Messrs. Smith's detector clock,
employed in some of our prisons, appears to be similar in
principle to Mr. Arésa's instrument. This apparatus con-
sists of a revolving frame fitted with pins. As on the French
railways, the watchman is required at stated period of the
night to touch the little knob, which leaves an infallible
evidence of his watchfulness while the other impacts of the
prison are wrapped in slumber.


Perfume.

Perfume, as its name imports, was in a
manufacturing sense originally incense, the earliest use
of perfumery having been to offer sweet odors to the gods.
It was very soon, however, applied to human use, all the
great nation of the old civilization esteeming sweet scents
among the most recondite and delicious of luxuries. They
were made and sold by the Egyptian priests from myrrh,
frankincense, almonds, and other plants, and were used
generally in the form of unguents or sweetened oils. The
priests seem to have understood their art pretty thorough-
ly, for there is a vase in Alnwick Castle which after six-
thousand years (?) still retains its scent. They burned
also aromatic woods, and they communicated their art to
the Jews, Moses, for example, who was learned in all the
wisdom of Egypt, giving distinct recipes for the manufac-
ture of perfume by mingling stacte, onycha, and galbanum
with pure frankincense, while the Canticles record in one
verse nearly all the perfumes then in use, which were
camphire, spikenard (sumbul, a plant like valerian, the
true botanic name of which is valeriana jatamansi), saf-
fron, calamus (root of the sweet flag), cinnamon, frankin-
cense, myrrh, and aloes—the last meaning the wood of the
aloexylum agallochum, and not the plant commonly known
by that name. The Jews perfumed their beds, as country
folks do now, and probably for the same motive, as they
certainly thought many perfumes preservative of their
clothes. The Greeks, too, scented the oils with which
they anointed themselves, and Solon, who entertained
strongly the idea of the ancient world that refinement
enervates, prohibited perfumes, which, however, remained
in use among all who could afford to pay for them. The
scents most frequently used were iris, rose, saffron, spike-
nard, marjoram, extract of vine leaves, and many other
flowers and substances, different cities having local repu-
tations for their unguents. Unguents were used also at
the banquet, and guests were sometimes crowned with
violets or sprinkled with scented water—a practice which
in a Southern climate and among a race not clad in broad-
cloth has a delicious effect. The Romans loved perfume,
as they loved all luxuries costing money and trouble, and
were especially devoted to unguents, though they used
liquids and invented the scented powders which are still
used all over the world. They had a curious partiality
for saffron, spreading it over their rooms, and Martial once
complained bitterly that a friend gave him a dinner of
perfumes only.


Charles the Fifth is said to have first brought short
hair into fashion, when, afflicted with severe headaches,
he had his locks clipped as close as might be. But suc-
ceeding generations tired of this mode and permitted their
hair to grow long. The Cavaliers more than ever cher-
ished their flowing curis—following the fashion of their
martyred king, and distinguishing themselves markedly
from their opponents, the Parliamentarians, who, holding
“love-locks” and “Absalom hair” to be sinful, shaved
close, and earned the names of Crop-ears and Roundheads.
In later days, when time and misfortune had thinned and
grizzled their hair, the Royalists were glad to take up
with the peruke which Louis XIV., to give height and
importance to a presence not naturally dignified, had
made the vogue in France. Youth followed the example
which age had set. To be a man of fashion it was indis-
pensable to wear a wig. The perukes of the time of
Charles and James the Second were of enormous size.
The pictures of Lely and Kneller offer fine examples of
these wigs. It has been said that the two painters may
always be distinguished by their method of treating this
important article of dress. In Lely's portraits the wig
falls down the shoulders in front; in Kneller's it is tossed
back and hangs over the shoulders behind. That these
extravagant head-dresses had their devout admires may
be gathered from the story told of a country gentleman,
who employed an artist to paint periwigs on the head of
several portraits of his ancestors by Vandyck—determined,
it is presumed, that the departed worthies, though in their
graves, should yet be in the fashion.


The Campaign Wig was imported from France some
time before 1700. This was very full and curly, eighteen
inches in length, with “drop locks.” When sufficient
human hair was not procurable for the purpose, a little
horse-hair was used in the parts least visible. The Prot-
estant Mercury
of July 10, 1700, relates a story of a provi-
dent Oxfordshire lass, who was unwilling to marry with-
out a sum of $50 in hand by way of portion; her friends
being unable to assist her she came to town, “where she
met with a good chapman in the Strand, who made a pur-
chase of her hair (which was delicately long and light),
and gave her $60 for it, being twenty ounces at £3 an
ounce; with which money she joyfully returned into the
country and bought her a husband.”


These wigs were sometimes worth forty or fifty guineas.
This probably accounts for their being so frequently
stolen. The Weekly Journal of March 30, 1717, informs
the public that the thieves have discovered a villain-
ous mode of robbing gentlemen by cutting through the
backs of hackney-coaches, and taking away their wigs,
and also “the fine head-dresses of the gentlewomen.”
“So,” says the journalist, “a gentleman was served last
Sunday in Tooley Street, and another but last Tuesday
in Fenchurch Street; wherefore this may serve as a cau-
tion to gentlemen or gentlewomen that ride single in the
night-time, to sit on the fore seat, which will prevent
that way of robbing.” Another way (to use a cookery-
book phrase) is recorded in Gay's “Trivia”—


Where the mob gathers, swiftly shoot along,
Nor idly mingle in the noisy throng,
Lured by the silver hilt, amid the swarm,
The subtle artist will thy side disarm.
Nor is the flaxen wig with safety worn:
High on the shoulder, in a basket borne,
Lurks the sly boy whose hand to rapine bred
Plucks off the curling honors of thy head.

The theft was rendered the more easy of accomplishment
from the fact of the hat never being worn over these wigs,
but simply carried in the hand or under the arm.


A story is told of a large black wig with long flowing
curls, which had been worn by King Charles II., coming into
possession of Suett, the comedian, a great collector of wigs.
This particular wig was put up for auction at a sale of the
effects of Mr. Rawle, Royal Accoutrement Maker, who died
late in the last century. The wig, handed round to the
company, was put on by Suett, who facetiously continued
his biddings with the royal peruke on his head. The oth-
er bidders, greatly amused, declared the lot ought to be
knocked down to the actor before he took it off; this was
done in a moment; the wig was Suett's before he could
remove it from his head. He played in it for some years
in “Tom Thumb,” and other plays, until it was burned
in a fire which destroyed the theatre at Birmingham.
Suett was met the morning after the fire exclaiming dis-
consolately, “My wig's gone! my wig's gone!”


But wigs went out at last with powder, and patches,
and hoops. The French Revolution brought in new fash-
ions. Men brushed up their hair straight from their fore-
heads, according to the Brutus fashion of the Republic.
Women cut their hair short at the back, wearing little
crisp curls that left the neck entirely free, with room for
an imaginary axe to fall cleanly; this mode was called à
la guillotine. For Fashion seldom approaches even the
sensible; you must never expect her to be serious; she
was not shocked into sobriety of demeanor even by the
Reign of Terror. The scaffolds still wet and crimson,
she instituted Bals à Victime, into which none were ad-
missible but those whom the executioner had deprived of
a relative or relatives, and every dancer was to wear a
band of crape round the left arm. “Peace be to the dead:
let us dance to their memory,” as Mr. Carlyle puts it.


Valuation of San Francisco.

The San Francisco
Bulletin says: “During the last three years, which have
been the most trying of the transition period, the assessed
valuation of this city has increased from $147,000,000, in
round numbers, to $177,000,000, showing an average gain
of $10,000,000 per annum, in spite of Washoe and drought.
The increase in one year alone, from 1862 to 1863, was
about $14,000,000.”


An Innocent Robber.

The Naroduy Listy of Prague
relates the following curious incident: “One night lately,
M. M—, a magistrate, when returning home through a
dark and narrow street, come into violent contact with a
passenger, who instantly made off with all speed. The
judge immediately felt for his watch, and finding that it
was not in his pocket, he ran after the supposed robber
and demanded its restitution. The man hesitated a mo-
ment, but at last handed him a watch. On arriving at
home, M. M.—was astonished to see his own watch lying
on a table. The next morning he went to the police-office,
related his adventure, and gave up the watch which he
had so strangely obtained on the previous evening. The
officer on duty then informed the magistrate that a person
had just called to complain that he had been robbed of his.
watch in the street mentioned, and the fact was at once
ascertained that both the magistrate and the complainant
had mistaken each other for robbers.”


A Fair Share.

With this year the British Parliament
has been in existence six hundred years, out of which
Lord Palmerston has had a tenth as his share.



GEN: SHERMAN RECEIVING “THE MAROH TO THE SEA”


RUINS OF COLUMBIA FROM THE FRONT OF THE CAPITOL LOOKING NORTH.


Asylum. Treasury Building. Market-house. New State House.
SCENES IN COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, THE MORNING AFTER THE FIRE.





INTERIOR OF OFFICER'S PRISON. COLUMBIA, S.C.




STATE CAPITOL, COLUMBIA, S.C. FEB.18. /65.




ESCAPED PRISONERS AIDING UNION CITIZENS.




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