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Altogether, it was a famous show ; sple, or palace — begins to: crumble and the only draw back to its barbaric away, the custom is not to restore it, splendor was the group of uncouth but to build another in its stead. The creatures in bottle-shaped helmets that damp, slimy pavement of the weedguard the outer gate, whose brown, grown courtyard is heaped with the ape-like forms, clad in faded scarlet remains of shattered cornices and fallen jackets trimmed with tawdry gold lace, pillars; and stones, dust, and rubbish were irresistibly suggestive of an organ- have choked up not a few of the small, grinder's monkey.
gloomy cells that form a kind of cloister That night both banks of the Me- around the four sides of the quadranNam (Mother of Waters), which forms gle, which, once tenanted by yellowthe main thoroughfare of this amphibi- robed Buddhist monks with shaven ous capital, were profusely illuminated, crowns, are now shared by toads and the very ships having every line of serpents, with gangs of native thieves. their hulls and rigging traced against Through one of the countless clefts the darkness in living fire. Conspicu- in these mouldering walls struggles a ous amid the swarm of crowns, arches, stray gleam of sunshine, glimmering towers, stars, etc., that hovered phan- faintly upon the gilded fragments of tom-like in the dark air, figured a mon- the sacred images of Buddha, one of ster letter-box formed by countless tiny which has a somewhat curious history: jets of fire — symbolizing the postal Between two blocks of stone in the service recently established by the king niche where it used to stand may still through the interior of Siam -around be seen a narrow opening, not unlike which a ring of shining letters wished the slit of a letter-box, into which once
Prosperity to the King and the Postal fell the offerings dropped through the and Telegraph Union." A girdle of mouth of the idol by the rich, and substars encircled the vast lower of the sequently taken out from behind by Wat-Cheng (Elephant Temple) on the the poor, in the belief that the holy right bank ; and the tall, spear-pointed image itself sent them the money. But pagoda that sentinelled the royal mau- in process of time, when the temple soleum stood out in one great spire of began to decay and to be deserted by quivering flame against the vast gulf of its richer worshippers, the contribublackness, like the red-hot pinnacles of tions gradually ceased ; and then the Dante's infernal city glaring through poorer folk, finding that their idol had the sunless gloom of the nether world. suspended the payment of his period
ical dividends, avenged his remissness A month later came the second and by breaking him in pieces on the spot. more characteristic of the two great This abode of desolation, however, national pageants — the “ Visitation of has still some inhabitants of its own, of the Temples " by the king and his a very appropriate kind. As you pick court — and, early on the appointed your way amid the heaps of ruin, grimmorning, in order to make sure of hav- looking warriors start up before you ing a full view of the day's proceed with brandished weapons, and hideous ings, we established ourselves, by the monsters threaten you with greedy advice of a veteran English resident, in fangs and uplifted paws.
But no the courtyard of the most celebrated sound issues from the gaping jaws. temple of all the far-famed Wat- the ponderous clubs never fall, the Cheng.
menacing claws never strike; all are This eldest and most stately of the of cold, hard stone, like the spell-bound great temples of Bangkok is now fast guardians of some enchanted palace, falling to decay, the whole lower part awaiting the destined champion whose of it being little better than an absolute coming shall arouse them from the torruin; for in Siam, as in Burma, no one por of
ages. ever dreams of repairing anything ; When you stand at the foot of the and when any building - house, tem- 'great pagoda itself, you seem to be
looking up at a mountain of living greasy market - women with hair
Thanks to the kindness of the Siam. nacle springs up into the sky like an ese Cabinet ministers, room had been embodied prayer, to a height of more made for our party, which included the than two hundred feet.
British consul and the American amAt the first glance the blaze of many- bassador, General H- on a raised colored splendor that lights up this stone platform occupied by themselves, tower from base to summit might lead close to the spot where the king was to one to suppose it thickly set with pre- land ; and from this point of vautage cious stones, or at least inlaid with the we beheld not a few spectacles which, costliest porcelain. But the admiring however common in this strange respectator is grievously disillusionized gion, would be abundantly startling when he comes nearer to it, and sees anywhere else. that this show of glittering magnifi
Just in front of us halted a native cence is produced merely by countless boat, one of the crew of which, while fragments of common earthenware rowing, had held between his toes the plates dabbed into a thick coating of “buri” or native cigar that he had just stucco, like almonds in hard-bake! been smoking, formed of a huge reed
Between the sentinel towers, the stuffed with tobacco. In an open space pyramidal sides of the structure slope a little to the rear of the seething upward in one great mass of sculptured crowd around us, a group of supple, archways, painted crockets, carved cor- slender - limbed native children, with nices, and scale-shaped tiles of green nothing on but a wreath of flowers and gold, rising terrace above terrace, around their solitary licad-luft of bristly without order and without end. Ever black hair the cutting of which is to and anon start up weirdly through this a Siamese boy what the putting on of wilderness of gorgeous hues a long line his first tail-coat is to an English one of goblin forms in many-colored robes were playing a kind of Orientalized and pointed caps, whose uplifted arms lawn tennis with a ball of palm-pith, seem to support the projecting cornice which they struck to and fro, not with overhead intended to represent an- their hands, but with their feet, using gels, though their black, misshapen the sole and the instep with equal ease. visages and huge tusks make them A little farther on, a small Siamese look more like devils.
cottage of plank and shingle was coming In the courtyard of this strange gravely up the river by itself, steered place we posted ourselves on the ap- with a huge, clunisy oar by its propripointed day, to await the coming of the etor, who stood on the wooden stair in king and his suite. We had no lack of front of the door with his children company, for the whole enclosure, so around him. One of these a little voiceless and deserted at other times, mite barely old cnough to walk alone was now full to overflowing. White- suddenly tumbled overboard, but, apfrocked slaves; helmeted soldiers ; parently not a whit discomposed, coolly doll-faced Chinamen in huge straw swam after his locomotive home, and hats ; blue-coated guardsmen ; stunted, scrambled up again to the side of his
philosophic father, who seenied as little Spain who was burned to death bedisturbed by this incident as the hero cause the proper officer was not at of it himself.
hand to put him out. Following the But all at once a buzz of excitement king came the boats of the various through the crowd, and a general turn- princes and nobles, similarly decorated, ing of heads up the river toward the the crews being as gay as a flowerpalace, warned us that the Procession show in their dresses of bright yellow, of Barges — the great show of the day green, blue, or crimson, to which the
was just coming in sight. And a dazzling sunshine did full justice. But .gallant sight it was. The king's state one and all kept at à respectful disbarge, which headed the procession, tance from the king's barge, it being was one blaze of bright paint and gild- ordained by law that the crew of any ing throughout its entire length, which boat daring to run against that which was very considerable, for it was lowed carries the person of Siamese royalty, by a hundred men, all as gorgeous as shall all be beheaded on the spot; and tropical butterflies in their uniform of though this humane statute has lately :Scarlet and blue, which are the royal fallen into disuse, the native boatmen
colors of Sia Bow and stern alike had evidently a wholesom fear of seewere one mass of gilding, and twisted ing it suddenly revived for their espeinto fantastic curves, which glittering cial benefit. in the cloudless sun, might well have On landing from his barge, the king been mistaken for the coils of a mon- was borne into the courtyard of the .strous snake ; and over the stern lung, ancient temple upon a kind of litter; by way of ornament, the tail of a yâk, but the same distinction was not exthe famous grunting ox of Tibet. Near tended to all his numerous brothers, the bow stood a richly dressed person- three or four of whom — strapping lads age, who seemed to act as boatswain, of fifteen or sixteen were carried like and regulated the movements of the babies in the arms of their native atoarsmen by thumping against the planks tendants, with their bare brown limbs upon which he stood the end of a long dangling down in a queer, helpless bamboo which he held in his right fashion that recalled to me how I had mand ; and just behind him was planted once seen the august governor of an a small cannon, as if to shoot him in African colony dragged out of the surf case he neglected his duty. After every on to the beach, with his feet higher :stroke, all the hundred rowers shot than his head, by the black lands of llieir broad-bladed oars into the air at three or four stalwart negtoes. once, with a sudden jerk, the effect of As the Lord of the White Elephant which — all the oars being profusely went past, the native spectators, to a gilded — was like that of a flash of man, went down on their hands and lightning
knees and bowed their faces to the Just amidships, beneath a small, very dust; and at the same instant I open-sided pavilion loaded with bar- myself performed an equally low prosbaric ornaments, sat the young king tration without intending it. One of himself, with the pagoda-shaped crown the Siamese ministers a corpulent of Siam upon his head. This crown is old fellow with a broad, heavy, goodonly worn once in three years, which is humored face. had just offered me a just as well for the unfortunate wearer, light open-work iron chair recently imits weight being fully thirty-six pounds ported from Paris, which shut up like English ; and were it to fall off, there a penknife the moment I sat down is no saying what might be the conse- upon it, and sent me rolling in the quence, only one official in the whole dust, to the immeasurable delight of realm being empowered to touch the the bystanders. The only thing to be crown, which even the king himself done was to get up again and join in must not do. In fact, the dilemma is the laugh ; but hardly had I done so, the same as that of the luckless king of when down went the old minister him
self in turn in precisely the same fash- sentient beings, and themselves, whicle ion and lay sprawling on his back in first taught them the rudiments of methe dirt, his great bulk and weight chanics. There is a fable which, like making it no easy matter for him to most, has a philosophic basis, that men rise again.
first learned the art of swimming by How much of this absurd scene the watching the instinctive actions of a. king lad witnessed, I cannot tell ; but young frog. A popular writer pubI afterwards learned that he had sin- lished some years ago a collection of gled out my wife and myself as new instances in which human inventionsfaces in the ministerial circle — for he were anticipated by the blind instinct was already familiar with those of the of beasts or herbs, and lias shown, for consul and the general - and had example, that the aquatic plant known asked one of his courtiers who we as Utricularia applied the principle of
The latter auswered — there the crab-pot ages before ever an archaic being naturally no Siamese equivalent fisherman caught crabs by that means. for “newspaper correspondents ” — that and there is no doubt that in many
people who made marks on cases the slow, half-intelligent perceppaper - a not inapt definition of a tion of the methods adopted in nature good many authors of the present day. for achieving mechanical results was
one chief source of instruction for the earliest engineers.
The axiom that example is better
than precept is one which has exerted. From Chambers' Journal. THE BIRTH OF THE MECHANICAL
an immense influence upon social evo
lution, and that influence made itself The tendency of modern research felt iu two ways. Some particular man is to establish the proposition that hu- would happen to do a certain thing, man society is au organism which has probably by accident, and others who grown to a complex forn out of simple noticed it would be at once filled with beginnings. It is difficult for the the desire to imitate it. In certain trained intellect of to-day to form a French watering-places, three or four mental picture of the untrained intelli- years ago, there arose a fashion amongst. gence of the earliest men, and the lan- the women of wearing gloves of difguage in which we express that primary ferent colors — for instance, a black mental condition does not convey exact glove on the right hand and a while notions to tlit mind. It is harder to glove on the left. This practice owed imagine than to describe a mind with its birth to the fact that at a certain no logical thought, and no knowledge concert early in the year a leader of of natural facts, still harder to conceive fashion appeared in the room wearing with what slowness any progress ever odd gloves in this way. She had put took place. Yet, as we travel back them on unconsciously, and was horupon the historic past into the region rified when she discovered her blunof pre-history, we at length encounter der; but the other women present at men around whom and in whom there once imagined that this was the new played physical forces of which they mode, and it was instantly adopted. In had no comprehension. Logical infer- ways just as accidental, individuals who. ence supports written tradition in say- had acquired a reputation for special ing that the remotest men had to start wisdom or aptitude would in early soin life with no stock in trade but a cieties become at once objects of minute group of faculties which as yet were imitation. wholly undeveloped.
All mechanical labor must in the naThese earliest men found themselves ture of things start from the foundation environed by the facts of life; and it afforded by the human hand. But men was the observation, not only of nat- would live in the world a very short ural events, but of the ways of other time before beginnivg to see that many
mechanical enterprises required as thought to be later in point of time, greater hand-power than that of a sin- there is no class more frequent than gle man. The inference suggested by that of mortars and pestles. Sandstone a study of the human remains of the blocks, or querns, bearing hollows glacial drift is that, from the very first, which have about them the aspect of men turned themselves into a sort of having been formed by the pounding compound machine by pulling together. of corn upon them, have been often Two facts conspired to impart to this found, and the whole inference is supact a peculiar development. The in-ported by other considerations that nate distaste of men to use their own during the age of Stone the waterhands on the one side, and the need for wheel as an agent for grinding corn disposing of prisoners taken in war on was not yet invented. The utilization the other, would, in an age of physical of human energy involved in the grindstruggle, when one race could hope to ing of corn by hand was in fact reexist only by effacing another, lead placed by that of quadrupeds long .conquering tribes to utilize the accumu- before horse and bullock power gave lated energy of living captive men. In way to water-power. Cattle-mills, for this sense it may be said that the first instance, were in use amongst the Romachine ever invented was a slave- mans at an early date. It is difficult to gang, and the first engineer its task- suppose that the first inventors of the master.
water-wheel used it for any purpose But besides the energy obtained from other than grinding, and the inference men, early engineers were not slow to is that mills driven by this power were utilize the power stored up in other of relatively late origin. There is reaanimals. There is evidence that even son to believe that the Egyptians had in the palæolithic age the art of domes- water-wheels in use in very early times ; ticating animals' was already in vogue ; and one is known to have been erected and one of the earliest scratched bones on the Tiber in the century before extant — the remote precursor of all Christ. The first water-mill known in pictorial art — represents a man in the history is that described in connection act of guiding a rude lopped pole, with the Mithridatic wars. The tidedrawn by a horse, as a sort of primitive wheel is of quite recent origin, none plough. The fact that in the Danish being recorded earlier than those used “ kitchen-middens,” or rubbish-heaps, by the Venetians in 1078 A.D. all the marrow bones are found to be Windmills, also, were not knowu in split and gnawed, is regarded as proof Europe before the twelfth century,
but of the existence at that time of a breed are believed to have been in use in the of domestic dogs. The ass, also, as far East before this time. A sawmill is back as Semitic traditions go, was a recorded to have been in use in Augsbeast of burden in western Asia. burg in 1332. The fact that of all modWhen it is remembered that the ass is crn African races not one has ever hit regarded as capable of five times the upon either water-power or wind-power work that can be done by a man, and seems to prove that they involve a that the horse is ten times as powerful kuowledge of advanced kinematics not as a man, it will at once be perceived attained by any races out of the track that the adoption of these animals as of the early civilizations.
prime movers would add immensely to Although the property of rubbed am
the mechanical capabilities of early en- ber was perceived by Thales as early gineers.
as the seventh century before Christ, The precise relative date at which yet it need scarcely be said that heat water-power first came into use cannot and electricity, as practical prime movbe asserted. Amongst the remains of ers, are developments of the past two the Stone Age, from the earliest to hundred years. those which, from their superior fin- Let us now examine one by one, in islı and more perfect adaptation, are the order of their birth, the mechanical