Harper's Weekly 02/27/1869
HOME AND FOREIGN GOSSIP.
The question is often asked with painful solicitude,
what climate is best for consumptive invalids? The
answers given are puzzlingly diverse, and must al-
ways be so, since the climate best adapted to the needs
of a consumptive person must in general be a matter
of experiment in each individuals case. It is, however,
a common and sensible opinion that relief is most
likely to be procured by some change of air—that is,
if the disease has not progressed too far. To take a
very feeble invalid away from home is usually danger-
ous. Within a few years past many Eastern physi-
cians have recommended Minnesota as a favorable
place of residence for those threatened with lung dis-
eases. Many have been permanently benefited by the
climate. Others have continued to waste away. Min-
nesota is by no means a warm country. The ther-
mometer is said to fall frequently thirty and forty de-
grees below zero in the winter; but the air is pure,
dry, and still, and one does not feel the intense cold as
in places of the same temperature where high, damp
winds prevail. March and April are, as in most sec-
tions, trying months. It is said, moreover, that those
who regain health by going to Minnesota need to stay
there in order to render the cure permanent. Nassaue,
on New Providence, one of the Bahama Islands, is a
favorite resort for those threatened with pulmonary
complaints. A voyage of about four days takes one
to this city. Fruits, such as oranges, bananas, and
cocoa-nuts abound; but the special attraction is the
equable temperature, which enables a person whose
lungs are affected to keep constantly out of doors.
No such thing as a fire-place or stove is ever required
for warmth. There are no damp, cold winds, no sud-
den changes in the atmosphere. The thermometer
seldom falls below sixty-two degrees in what is called
winter, nor is the heat so excessive in summer as it
sometimes is in New York. It is the genial climate
which draws invalids to the city of Nassau.
The prophets are against Louis Napoleon most de-
cidedly. They have been looking up dates of import-
ant events; and have drawn the following curious
parallel between the present Emperor of France and
Louis Philippe. Those who attach significance to co-
incidences may be interested in solving the arithmet-
Louis Philippe ascended the throne
Queen was born
They were married
The year of banishment.
Louis Napoleon proclaimed Emperor
Empress was born
To be dethroned.
The Liederkranz Ball, held in the Academy of Music
last week, was so numerously attended, that the large
building was crowded to its utmost capacity. The
costumes were elegant, and generally in excellent
taste. A significant feature of this ball, which dis-
tinguishes it from many others which have been given
this season, was the absence of objectionable persons.
The committee were so particular that one mask who
appeared in a rather indecorous toilet was politely re-
quested to withdraw.
The trial trips of the Elevated Railway, which has
been constructed on Greenwich Street, from Court-
land Street to the Battery, appear to have given great
satisfaction. The cars are drawn by an endless chain,
and every part of the machinery seems to have been
designed with a view of rendering accidents impossi-
ble. The chain is worked by a pair of oscillating en-
gines. It is proposed to extend this railway to Thir-
tieth Street, to connect with the Hudson River Rail-
A standard heading to one column in our daily pa-
pers continues to be “The Rogers Murder.” New de-
velopments of various kinds appear from time to time,
but they seem to have no important bearing on the
case. The mystery is still mysterious at the time of
this writing, though something new, startling, and
even decisive may “turn up” any day. There are
some cases on record as strangely dark as this; but
crime of such a nature is generally brought to light,
and it is believed that the old adage, “Murder will
out,” will prove true in this instance.
Will not some genius invent a machine for com-
posing editorials, interesting stories, and the like?
In this progressive age somebody really should under-
take to do it! It would scarcely be more difficult than
to design a mathematical contrivance for adding fig-
ures in so simple a manner as Mr. C. H. Webb has
done. His “Adding Machine” works in a wonder-
fully intelligent manner, and will give a most agreea-
ble rest to the brains of those whose lives are often
harassed by puzzling figures.
The dangers of the sea have been unusually great
during the present winter. Seldom has the Atlantic
Ocean been visited by so many violent storms, and
some terrible marine disasters are the consequence.
That so many vessels have been able to outride the
furious elements and bring their passengers safe to
port, is a matter of devout thankfulness.
In an essay read at a recent meeting of the French
Academy of Sciences the author stated that manufac-
turers of silk are in the habit of fixing a large quanti-
ty of coloring matter, sometimes as much as 300 per
cent, of the whole weight, on silk subjected to the
dyeing process—a practice which must be injurious
to its quality. Some silk charged with foreign mat-
ter to the amount of 150 per cent., having been sub-
jected to a temperature of 239° Fahrenheit, it lost 22
per cent, of water. One end of a sample thus treated
caught fire even before it was taken from the stove,
and the whole burst into a blaze immediately after.
A second sample did not ignite when it was brought
out, but emitted sparks which threatened to break
out into a flame. The material, being perfectly dry,
absorbed moisture so rapidly when exposed to the air
as to cause an immense increase of temperature.
A curious story is reported from Washington.
Among the appropriations recently asked from Con-
gress was one for paying the Superintendent of the
Crypt. Nobody knew any thing about the Crypt.
Investigation showed that, soon after General Wash-
ington died, Congress provided for the construction
of a vault under the Capitol, to be called the Crypt,
in which his remains were to be deposited. A light
was to be kept burning near it, and a Superintendent
was appointed to watch it, as he has been doing daily
for the last fifty years! Meantime, Washington's body
was not deposited there, and every body, Congress in-
cluded, forgot that any such thing was in existence.
The only memorial that exists to keep the memory
of the affair alive has been the annual appropriation
for the Superintendent.
The Secretary of the Treasury has issued stringent
orders to prevent the killing of fur seals in Alaska.
A military force is to be stationed on the islands of
St. Paul and St. George, in Bering's Sea, and a steam-
er will cruise in their neighborhood. The seale fre-
quent in numbers only these islands, and their habits
and timidity are such as to make necessary the utmost
caution in dealing with them, or they would be speedi-
ly driven from the Territory. Every proceeding like-
ly to frighten the animals is prohibited; but if the
stoppage of seal-hunting causes want among the na-
tives, food will be furnished them by Government.
Strict regulations are to be enforced until Congress
shall make provision by law permitting the animals
to be killed.
General Grant maintains his characteristic reticence
even toward ladies, who, fancying perhaps that they
can find a weak spot, appeal to his gallantry. “Gen-
eral,” remarked a lady to him not long ago, “I am
dying to know who are to be in the Cabinet!”“Are
you?” was the composed rejoinder. “Yes,” she re-
peated, “I am dying with curiosity!”“That's just
what Mrs. Grant says!” was the cool reply of the
Every one who writes about tea and coffee nowa-
days—and there are not a few who find a good deal to
say about them—gives a new recipe for making these
beverages, which he thinks is the only really good one
extant. It is somewhat amusing as well as puzzling
to read the various methods, which are each one the
”best.” The latest directions we have seen are these:
“In point of strength it is found experimentally that
infusions of tea and coffee are strong enough when
about two and a half tea-spoonfuls of tea or two ounces
of freshly-roasted coffee are infused in boiling water.”
Boiling water! How much, pray? A gill, or a gallon,
or what other quantity?
Chicago is to have a mammoth hotel. A company
has been incorporated, styled the Interoceanic Hotel
Company, which, with a capital of two million dollars,
and many enterprising leaders, will doubtless accom-
plish something excellent in the hotel line.
The Chinese language is peculiar in construction
and inflections. An American missionary lately ask-
ed for a hammer, and had a shuttle-cock brought to
him. Another, demanding a beef-steak, was supplied
with three sheep-tails. A third applied for some can-
dy, and received a rusty old hatchet.
Do children ever feel cold when they are doing what
they like to do, is a question suggested by the recent
case of a little fellow. He was crying bitterly with
the cold when he was told by his mother to remain in
the house. To insure compliance with her demands
she removed the youngster's boots. He was discov-
ered an hour later merrily coasting barefooted along
It is reported that Queen Isabella has remarked
that if she had known Paris was such a pleasant place
to live in she would have abdicated long ago. Her
apartments in her new Parisian mansion are spacious
and gorgeous. She goes out but little, except for her
daily promenade at the Bois de Boulogne. She usu-
ally spends her evenings at home reading, writing,
or receiving callers. Of course numerous visitors en-
deavor to gain access to her, but all are not admit-
ted. Isabella is a fond mother. Her son, the Prince
of Asturias, is said to be a pleasant boy, lively and
keen. He is ten years old, and seems to like Paris.
PANORAMIC VIEW OF HAVANA, CUBA.—[Photographed by C. D. Fredricks, No 108 Calle de la Habana.]