« VorigeDoorgaan »
A BOOK ABOUT BOYS. By A. R. HOPE. Roberts Brothers, Boston.
LITTLE WOMEN, OR MEG, JO, BETH, AND AMY. By LOUISA M. ALCOTT.
by MARY ALCOTT. Roberts Brothers, Boston.
RUBY'S HUSBAND. By MARION HARLAND. Sheldon & Co., New York.
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY
LITTELL & GAY, BOSTON.
FOR EIGHT DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, the LIVING AGE will be punctually for. warded for a year, free of postage. But we do not prepay postage on less than a year, nor where we have to pay commission for forwarding the money.
Price of the First Series, in Cloth, 36 volumes, 90 dollars.
The Complete Work,
Any Volume Bound, 3 dollars; Unbound, 2 dollars. The sets, or volumes, will be sent at the expense of the publishers.
PREMIUMS FOR CLUBS.
For 5 new subscribers ($40.), a sixth copy; or a set of HORNE'S INTRODUCTION TO THE BIBLE, unabridged, in 4 large volumes, cloth, price $10; or any 5 of the back volumes of the LIVING AGE, in numbers, price $10.
From Good Words.
YESTERDAY AND TO-DAY.
THE vale lay green as Eden
Below the morning sun,
And murm'ring sweet as Eden's stream I heard the river run:
Its happy mist to heaven
Stole up the wealthy fields,
Alas! for down the valley
Came war- a crush -a cryAnd trode to earth the yellow grain, And rent the gazing sky.
And, lit and struck with bolts of flame That pierced their sulph'rous fold, The wild hills shouted battle shocks, The valley echoes roll'd !
Along the troubled valley
The evening shed its rest;
A last faint troubled gleam of day
The river of the valley
Crept sighing to the sea,
And crimson with the red red flood
The stars lean'd from their chambers,
And watch'd the dead all night:
And they, with upward faces,
Lay stiff'ning in their scars,
Again we have the morning,
The merry breeze of day;
Sweet smiles the waking valley,
And sweet the sun-dyed hill. But ah! the hearts that leap'd so late Are lying cold and still.
IN THE TEMPLE.
MARIE ANTOINETTE REVERIE.
SLEEP on, and take thy rest awhile;
Sleep on, my royal love; such rest
The love that hid the people's hate, That scorned the people's will, What though it lured me to my fate! I proudly bless it still.
True love, but vain; the sun has set,
And night is not at darkest yet,
Sleep, Louis! soft the sunbeams fall
Into this dreary place.
Sleep, Louis! thine the calmer heart,
Hold thine unspoken dread, my heart,
A wakeful courage is my part:
From The Quarterly Review.
1. The Lake Dwellings of Switzerland and other Parts of Europe. By Dr. Ferdinand Keller, President of the Antiqua
rian Association of Zürich. Trans-
2. L'Homme Fossile en Europe. Par H.
the careful shepherds on little carriages, to protect them from being wounded by dragging on the rough ground; yet, allowing for some extravagance in the dimensions of the tails, we all know there are such breeds. So his stories of the Scythians killing and eating their sick and aged relatives has been questioned; but ethnologists are well aware that modern tribes have been found practising such horrors, though, like these Scythians, rather in kindness than in cruelty. And among other curious accounts recorded by the Father of History, his matter-of-fact description of certain people of Lake Prasias, in Thrace, in the 6th century B.C., has been treated as imaginary. The houses of these people, he 5. Lake Habitations and Pre-Historic Re- tells us, were built on planks on piles out mains in the Turbaries and Marl-Beds in the lake, with a narrow bridge to conof Northern and Central Italy. By nect them with the shore. The platforms were at first set up by the citizens working in common; but afterwards it became a rule that every man should drive three new piles for each wife he married, they having many wives. Each man had his own hut, with its trap-door over the lake; and they tied the babies by the foot with a cord, to prevent their rolling into the water. They gave the horses and cattle fish for food, which was so plentiful that a man had only to let down his trap-door and lower a basket (probably a wicker fish-trap) into the water, and in a short time he would draw it
Bartolomeo Gastaldi. Translated and
6. Habitations Lacustres des Temps Anciens et Modernes. Par Frédéric Troyon. Lausanne, 1860.
THERE are few readier means of attacking the testimony of an old traveller or historian than to point out that he tells improbable stories: things not perhaps physically impossible, but unfamiliar to the critic's experience, and therefore not set down by him in the catalogue of likely in-up full of fish.* cidents. This kind of criticism, however, Now, so far from its being impossible has the serious fault of going hand-in-hand with ignorance. The less the critic knows of the world, the more things, of course, seem unlikely to him; and in the long run his assault is apt to strengthen the very evidence it was directed against. It comes out that what the old writer asserted does unquestionably happen somewhere else, and his credit at once stands higher than ever; the unbelieving critic is laughed at, and public opinion turns, by a natural reaction, towards the belief that everything an old book says must be true unless it be proved false. The argument from improbability has in this way been brought to bear against Herodotus, with the effect on the whole of strengthening our confidence in him. Thus fault has been found with his account of the broad-tailed sheep, with their tails fixed by
that people should choose such a mode of life as this, they have again and again been found living so. There is a record by Abulfeda, the Syrian geographer, of Christian fishermen living in the thirteenth century in wooden huts built on piles in one of the Apamean lakes on the Orontes. The pile-huts of the Papuans of New Guinea were described and drawn, some forty years ago, by Dumont d'Urville, and they are still inhabited. Mr. A. R. Wallace, the naturalist, lived for days in one of their quaint water-villages, with their floors supported on piles carved into rude human figures seeming to stand upon the water
rows of grotesque and somewhat disagreeable savage Caryatides. Still later, Captain Burton mentions a visit to an African
* Herodotus, v. 16.
tribe, the Iso, who, during some forgotten | such words will do, some mutilated tradiwar, fled from Dahome and established tion of this earliest local nomenclature. themselves in a lagoon marked in our In lakes of North Italy and Germany simicharts as the Denham waters: lar discoveries have since been made, and The Dahoman king is sworn never to lead the crannoges of the Irish and Scotch lakes his army where canoes may be required; these have been not indeed freshly discovered, Iso, therefore, have built their huts upon tall but examined by antiquaries with new care, poles, about a mile distant from the shore. as belonging to the now interesting class of Their villages at once suggest the Prasian lake lacustrine works. Had it not been for a dwellings of Herodotus, and the crannoges of loss lately sustained by ethnological sciIreland and the Swiss waters. The people are ence, we might perhaps at this moment essentially boatmen; they avoid dry land as have been testing the truth of Herodotus's much as possible, and though said to be fero-account of the Pæonian lake-dwellers by cious, they are civil enough to strangers. In commenting on actual specimens of their June, 1863, I moored my little canoe under one huts, their weapons, and their fishing imof their huts, and I well remember the gro-plements. With the aid of Sir John Lubtesque sensation of hearing children, dogs, pigs, and poultry actively engaged aloft.' *
But the habits of such aquatic tribes, ancient or modern, would have attracted little attention, had it not been for a course of discoveries made within the last few years, which have given to the lake-dwellers a prominent place in what we may venture to call the pre-historic history of Europe. The Lake of Zürich happened to be unusually low at the end of 1853; the inhabitants near by took advantage of the favourable moment, walled in plots of low land, and set to work to raise this into useful ground by bringing mud from the flats now left bare by the Lake. In excavating this mud, the workmen were astonished to find themselves standing among the piles of an ancient lake settlement, with the implements and rubbish of the old inhabitants still lying round them. Before long the Swiss antiquaries had explored the margins of other lakes, and had proved that the old description of Herodotus was typical of the life of early Swiss tribes, whose hundreds of water villages had once fringed the shore-line, where the water was not too deep nor the ground too hard for pile-driving. In fact, the great blank spaces that stand for inland waters in the Swiss maps would have been encroached on in a more ancient survey by a bordering of lake settlements, whose names no geographer is now ever likely to restore, though perchance the names of adjoining villages on the shore may still keep up, as
Memoirs Anthropological Society of London,' vol. i. p. 311.
bock, and others interested in such inquiries, Professor von Morlot, a zealous Swiss archæologist, was in the midst of arranging an expedition into Roumelia to dredge in Lake Prasias, when he died, leaving in his will a characteristic bequest to science-his own skull to be set up as a specimen. If the Prasian lake-men ever existed, their remains may be reasonably expected to be still lying there in situ; and it is to be hoped that some properly qualified traveller may ere long carry out the curious research so unhappily interrupted.
Until lately, the only systematic book devoted to lake dwellings was that of M. Troyon, an early and successful investigator, but who wrote with a certain poetic license suited to a young science, of then but seven years' growth, rather than with the more rigid strictness of argument into which the subject has now settled down after seven years more. Dr. Keller, of Zürich, is perhaps the leading authority on lacustrine matters; and now that Mr. Lee has collected and edited his papers in an excellent English translation, this volume must become the main work of reference for archeologists; while less special readers, who avoid elaborate details of antiquarian 'finds,' will yet read with pleasure and profit the general essays on the manner of life and place in history of dwellers in the lakes.
The habits of these people are known with wonderful accuracy; their houses, their agricultural and pastoral pursuits, their manufactures, and even their bartering commerce with foreign lands, are
vouched for by good evidence; and yet, in three acres in extent. Not far across the spite of all this, it is utterly unknown what moor we come among places where the manner of men they were in body, what piles are standing by scores in little sheets their language and their laws may have of water. When these piles were driven been like, what they believed, and what they were in the lake itself, a mile or so they worshipped. We are left to judge of from the shore, and only connected with their mental and moral condition as best it by a long pier, also on piles; but since we may, by comparing them with recent then, in the course of ages, the peat has races whose material life stands near the encroached upon the water and pushed same level. For this purpose an excellent back the lake to a sheet of half its former manual is available, scientific in matter and extent, standing in the middle of its earlier popular in expression. In Sir John Lub-basin. In these spots, however, where the bock's Pre-historic Times,' the lake-dwell-excavators have cut through the thin layer ers are not drawn in an isolated sketch, but set in their proper niche among tribes of culture more or less resembling their own men of the Stone and Bronze Ages and the entrance of the Iron Age, the cavedwellers* and the men of the Scandinavian shell-heaps, the mound-builders of America, and more modern savage tribes taken in a general view.
of mould which now overlies the moor, and have then removed a couple of yards or so of peat, and the water has flowed in and filled the excavated space to half its depth, things have been restored to something like their original condition, and the piles again stand in water as they used to do before the deserted village was finally left to be embedded in the growing peat. Piles
It need hardly be said that descriptions that have lately been drawn out lie about and drawings, and the rows of flint-flakes and potsherds in museums, cannot give to these old tribes the touch of real human interest that is gained by exploring the very places where they lived. The Swiss lake-dwellers were but savages in wooden huts; but we can stand among stumps of rude posts in a mud-bank or a peat-bog, and shape to ourselves the liveliest pictures of their homes and habits. What impressions these strange old sites leave on the minds of observers may perhaps be judged from the following notes of a recent visit to the place of one of the most remarkable lake-towns in Switzerland.
On the railway between Zürich and Chur there is a little station called Wetzikon, in a lowland country backed by the Glarus mountains, but itself only saved from flatness by the undulating hills of Molasse' near by. A short drive through the village of Stegen ends in a wide stretch of peat-moor, with the swampy little lake of Pfäffikon in sight a few hundred yards further on. This is Robenhausen, the site of a lake settlement of the Stone Age, some
We have for the sake of convenience adopted the ordinary arrangement of modern archæologists, but we have grave doubts whether there is such an invariable sequence in the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages, especially in the two latter, as is usually supposed.
in heaps. They are posts made of whole trunks of young firs, not even barked when they were set up, though the bark has now often gone; they look fresh and almost new, and though the wood is rotten, the end of each pile, rudely sharpened for driving deep into the mud, still shows every scoop of the stone hatchet with which it was painfully hacked to a point. But this can only be seen while the piles are fresh, for when taken away to be put in collections they have the troublesome habit of shrinking to a sixth of their size while drying, and this they do in a curious way: first there appears a crack lengthwise, which opens out day by day into a wide split down to the centre, till the sides of the wound at last fold back towards each other, like a book opened in the middle and turned back more than wide-open. In this state they are distorted out of all knowledge, so that the way to keep the impression of the tool-marks is to take a plaster-cast from the pile while it is still wet.
The plates in Dr. Keller's book give an excellent notion of the appearance of these patches of old Robenhausen restored, for a while to the appearance of still recent ruins, though only to perish by exposure to the air. Among the piles lies every