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ubim is king of the whole earth, and that was more buying and selling, more sudden he doeth what he will in the armies of changes of fortane, more eating and drinking, heaven and among the children of men, chewing, more crime and profligacy, and, at the
more smoking, swearing, gambling, and tobaccocannot help seeing the same hand which
same time, more solid advancement made by destroyed the Tower of Babel in the plains the people, as a body, in wealth, prosperity, and of Shinar, the same power routing the le
the refinements of civilization, than could be gions, and scattering like the small dust of
shown in an equal space of time by any community of the same size on the face of the
the one great lesson of our subject. God will existence was not a fast-enough pace for Calipermit no towering Babel to overshadow
fornians in their impetuous pursuit of wealth,
The longest period of time ever thought of was his sin-stricken but redeemed world. It
a month. Money was loaned, and houses were is he who hath decreed that nations shall rented, by the month ; interest and rent being dwell separately ; it is he who hath ap- invariably payable monthly and in advance. pointed the bounds of their habitation.
All engagements were made by the month, during which period the changes and contingencies were so great that no one was willing
to commit himself for a longer term. In the CALIFORNIA SIX YEARS AGO. space of a month the whole city might be swept
off by fire, and a totally new one might be HREE years in California is the title Aourishing in its place. so great was the conof a new work recently published in
stant fluctuation in the price of goods, and so
rash and speculative was the usual style of busiLondon. The author, Mr. Borthwick, was
ness, that no great idea of stability could be a victim to that peculiar disease the “gold attached to anything, and the ever-varying asfever." The fever seized him in 1851; pect of the streets, as the houses were being he fled from a pleasant life and a comfort- constantly pulled down and rebuilt, was eni
blematic of the equally varying fortunes of the able home; dashed off from New York
inhabitants." for Chagres, became very sea-sick en route, but he did not repent—at least he
There was no order, honesty, safety, or does not say so—and was landed at length police, and the only law that of selfsafely in San Francisco. The city, six defense, or mob justice. In such a city
robbery and murder were rife, revenge years ago, was in a much more primitive state than at present. Manners and morals
common, and vice predominant. But in were at a low ebb. Every man then car
all congregations of men, however deried his revolver or his bowie-knife, quar
praved, however madly resolved to mainreled with his neighbor or was quarreled tain themselves free from all restraint, the with, and had no other alternative open to profound truth that it is better to live him but to murder, or be murdered. The under any authority than under none, city was divided between gambling booths, later insures a prompt and decisive result.
strikes their convictions, and sooner or drinking saloons, theaters, and thieves ; a crop of villains, too, of the most accom
The great social necessities, “law and plished class, was plentiful ; while the order," come to the surface, and after a
' brief struggle are indelibly stamped upon vices and depravities of civilization, flavored with the spice of thorough unre
the society, and firmly established among straint, were reveled in with savage takes effect, and society immediately
the people. The natural law of reaction greediness. Never was there such a pandemonium as San Francisco exhibited avenges itself by stern decrees against the
license of the previous age. six years ago, nor such a remarkable instance of a commerce arising so purely the rule. In less than five years law and
San Francisco offered no exception to speculative, profitable, and generally successful. He says:
order were established. Public opinion
controlled individual conduct. The at“ San Francisco exhibited an immense amount tractions of vice gave way to the enjoyof vitality compressed into a small compass,
ments of social life, of home, of marriage, and a degree of earnestness was observable in every action of a man's daily life. People lived
and domestic comfort. Trade, and commore there in a week than they would in a merce, and the ledger, superseded cards year in most other places.
and the gambling saloons ; rascality and “In the course of a month, or a year, in San Francisco, there was more bard work done, more
vice were fairly beaten out of the field by speculative schemes were conceived and exe
industry and respectability, and the very cuted, more money was made and lost, there men who a few years before exhausted
themselves in the lowest debauchery, re Francisco. They appear to be an ingesolved into hard-working honest citizens, nious rather than a practical race. · who read their newspapers, carried on a “ Their mechanical contrivances were not in gigantic trade, built churches and schools, the usual rough, straightforward style of the and took their wives to an evening con
mines; they were curious, and very elaborately cert. Mr. Borthwick fails to tell us by
got up, but extremely wasteful of labor, and,
moreover, very ineffective. what means this stable government was
" The pumps which they had at work here produced by 1856 out of the chaos of con
were an instance of this. They were on the fusion of 1851. It is no easy task to form principle of a chain-pump, the chain being a constitution, or to establish a govern- hinging on each other, with cross-pieces in the
formed of pieces of wood about six inches long, ment. However, if San Francisco in middle for buckets, having about six square 1851 was a miracle of vice, in 1856 it was inches of surface. The hinges fitted exactly to a miracle of energy, enterprise, industry, the spokes of a small wheel, which was turned and improvement. A more healthy tone
by a Chinaman at each side of it working a
miniature treadmill of four spokes on the same pervaded the morale of society. It was
axle. As specimens of joiner-work they were no longer restricted to men ; women, as very pretty, but as pumps they were ridiculous; wives and daughters, softened and subdued they threw a mere driblet of water: the chain the tone of the place. Trade and manu
was not even incased in a box; it merely lay factures flourished. The extent and ac
in a slanting trough, so that more than one half
the capacity of the buckets was lost. An Amercommodation of the city had enormously ican miner, at the expenditure of one tenth part increased. The inventive mechanical ge- of the labor of making such toys, would have nius of our people devised a steam spade, set a water-wheel in the river to work an eleor paddy, which swept away the surround- vating pump, which would have thrown more
water in half an hour than four-and-twenty ing sand-hills, where well-built houses
Chinamen could throw in a day with a dozen now form populous suburbs, while long of these gimcrack contrivances. ranges of magnificent and lofty warehouses They are an industrious set of people, no stretch out for a mile upon land recovered doubt, but are certainly not calculated for gold
digging. They do not work with the same from the sea, so that the Upper Town force or vigor as American or European miners, looks proudly down upon handsome streets, but handle their tools like so many women, as churches, banks, and buildings, which do if they were afraid of hurting themselves. The honor to the public spirit and liberality of
Americans call it "scratching,' which was a the citizens of San Francisco.
very expressive term for their style of digging.
They did not venture to assert equal rights so One of the most curious features of San
far as to take up any claim which other miners Francisco is the Chinese quarter of the would think it worth while to work ; but in city. The Celestials have invaded Cali- such places as yielded them a dollar or two a fornia to the extent of some forty thousand ; lested.
day they were allowed to scratch away unmo
Had they happened to strike a rich at one time they arrived in such ship-lead, they would have been driven off their loads that the Americans seriously con claim immediately. They were very averse to sidered the propriety of expelling the working in the water, and for four or five hours whole race from the country. They form the shade of a tree, where they sat fanning
in the heat of the day they assembled under a distinct class, live by themselves, and themselves, drinking tea, and saying 'too both in the towns and at the mines main- / muchee hot.'” tain their exclusiveness. They trade or A Chinaman is about the most harmless, dig, as the case may be, and, when they inoffensive creature on the face of the have realized sufficient wealth, they leave earth; he is not pugilistic by nature. the country, taking their gold with them. Here is a laughable description of a squabTheir whole system is most singular. Able in their camp: ship-load will arrive consigned to some
“On the whole, they seemed a harmless, inwealthy Chinaman in San Francisco. He offensive people ; but one day, as we were going immediately prepares quarters for the im to dinner, we heard an unusual hullaballoo migrants in the town, lands them like a going on where the Chinamen were at work ; cargo of slaves, and in a day or two
and on reaching the place we found the whole
tribe of Celestials divided into two equal parmarches them off in charge of an agent to ties, drawn up against each other in battle arthe mines, to work at fixed wages. While ray, brandishing picks and shovels, lifting stones at the diggings they are kept under com
as if to hurl them at their adversaries' heads, plete control by the agent, and are regu
and every man chattering and gesticulating in
the most frantic manner. The miners collected larly victualed, clothed, and paid like
on the ground to see the muss,' and cheered soldiers on service, by the chief at San I the Chinamen on to more active hostilities. But
after taunting and threatening each other in tried to keep pace with the progress of the this way for about an hour, during which time,
day. although the excitement seemed to be continually increasing, not a blow was struck nor a “They had their theater and their gamblingstone thrown, the two parties suddenly, and rooms, the latter being small dirty places, without any apparent cause, fraternized, and badly lighted with Chinese paper lanıps. They moved off together to their tents. What all the played a peculiar game. The dealer placed on row was about, or why peace was so suddenly the table several handfuls of small copper coins, proclaimed, was of course a mystery to us out with square holes in them. Bets were made by side barbarians; and the tame and unsatis- placing the stake on one of four divisions, factory termination of such warlike demonstra marked in the middle of the table, and the tions was a great disappointment, as we had dealer, drawing the coins away from the heap, been every moment expecting that the ball four at a time, the bets were decided according would open, and hoped to see a general en to whether one, two, three, or four remained at gagement.
the last. They are great gamblers, and, when “It reminded me of the way in which a their last dollar is gone, will stake anything couple of French Canadians have a set-to. they possess: numbers of watches, rings, and Shaking their fists within an inch of each such articles, were always lying in pawn on the other's faces, they call each other all the names table. imaginable, beginning with sacré cochon, and “ The Chinese theater was a curious pagoda. going through a long series of still less com looking edifice, built by them expressly for plimentary epithets, till finally sacré astrologe theatrical purposes, and painted, outside and in, caps the climax. This is a regular smasher; | in an extraordinary manner. The performit is supposed to be such a comprehensive term ances went on day and nicht, without interas to exhaust the whole vocabulary ; both par- mission, and consisted principally of juggling ties then give in for want of ammunition, and and feats of dexterity. The most exciting part the fight is over. I presume it was by a similar of the exhibition was when one man, and deprocess that the Chinamen arrived at a solution | cidedly a man of some little nerve, made a of their difficulty; at all events, discretion spread eagle of himself and stood up against a seemed to form a very large component part of door, while half a dozen others, at a distance Celestial valor.”
of fifteen or twenty feet, pelted the door with
sharp-pointed bowie-knives, putting a knife into In San Francisco their quarter presents every square inch of the door, but never touchsome novel features :
ing the man. It was very pleasant to see, from “Here the majority of the houses were of
the unflinching way in which the fellow stood
it out, the confidence he placed in the infalliChinese importation, and were stores, stocked
bility of his brethren. They had also short with hams, tea, dried fish, dried ducks, and
dramatic performances, which were quite uninother very nasty-looking Chinese eatables, be
telligible to outside barbarians. The only point sides copper-pots and kettles, fans, shawls, of interest about them was the extraordinary chessmen, and all sorts of curiosities. Sus
gorgeous dresses of the actors; but the inces. pended over the doors were brilliantly-colored
sant noise they made with gongs and kettleboards, about the size and shape of a head
drums was so discordant and deafening, that a board over a grave, covered with Chinese char
few minutes at a time was as long as any one acters, and with several yards of red ribbon
could stay in the place.” streaming from them; while the streets were thronged with long-tailed Celestials, chattering
Among the principal sports of the digvociferously as they rushed about from store to store, or standing in groups studying the
gings in California is the bear and bullChinese bills posted up in the shop windows,
fight; here is a description of one, which which may have been play-bills-for there was the reader may compare with the account a Chinese theater–or perhaps advertisements of a Spanish bull-fight by one of our own informing the public where the best rat pies were to be bad. A peculiarly nasty smell per
correspondents in the present number. vaded this locality, and it was generally be
Savage brutality characterizes both; and lieved that rats were not so numerous here as we are not sure that in this respect the elsewhere.
palm does not belong to our own country“Owing to the great scarcity of washerwomen, Chinese energy had ample room to display itself in the washing and ironing business.
The bear, a fine specimen of a grizzly, Throughout the town might be seen occasion called after General Scott, was chained in ally, over some small house, a large American the middle of the arena by a twenty foot sign, intimating that Ching Sing, Wong Choo, chain. or Ki-chong did washing and ironing at five dollars a dozen. Inside these places one found " The next thing to be done was to introtwo or three Chinamen ironing shirts. with duce the bull. The bars between his pen and large flat-bottomed copper pots full of burning the arena were removed, while two or three charcoal, and, buried in heaps of dirty clothes, men stood ready to put them up again as soon half a dozen more, smoking and drinking tea." as he should come out. But he did not seem But the Celestials did not despise the
to like the prospect, and was not disposed to
move till pretty sharply poked up from behind, rices of European civilization. They when, making a furious dash at the red flag
which was being waved in front of the gate, he rather in favor of the bear; the bull seemed to found himself in the ring face to face with be quite used up, and to have lost all chance General Scott.
of victory. “The General, in the mean time, had scraped “ The conductor of the performances then a hole for himself two or three inches deep, in mounted the barrier, and, addressing the crowd, which he was lying down.This, I was told by asked them if the bull had not had fair play, those who had seen his performances before, which was unanimously allowed. He then was his usual fighting attitude.
stated that he knew there was not a bull in “The bull was a very beautiful animal, of a California which the General could not whip, dark purple color marked with white. His and that for two hundred dollars he would let horns were regular and sharp, and his coat was in the other bull, and the three should fight it as smooth and glossy as a racer's. He stood out till one or all were killed. for a moment taking a survey of the bear, the “ This proposal was received with lond cheers, ring, and the crowds of people; but not liking and two or three men going round with hats the appearance of things in general, he wheeled soon collected, in voluntary contributions, the round, and made a splendid dash at the bars, required amount. The people were intensely which had already been put up between him excited and delighted with the sport, and double and his pen, smashing through them with as the sum would have been just as quickly raised much ease as the man in the circus leaps through to insure a continuance of the scene. a hoop of brown paper. This was only losing sitting next me, who was a connoisseur in beartime, however, for he had to go in and fight, fights, and passionately fond of the amusement, and might as well have done so at once. He informed me that this was the finest fight ever was accordingly again pursuaded to enter the fit in the country.' arena, and a perfect barricade of bars and " The second bull was equally handsome as boards was erected to prevent his making the first, and in as good condition. On enteranother retreat. But by this time he had made ing the arena, and looking around him, he up his mind to fight; and after looking steadily seemed to understand the state of affairs at at the bear for a few minutes, as if taking aim once. Glancing from the bear lying on the at him, he put down his head and charged fu- ground to the other bull standing at the opporiously at him across the arena. The bear site side of the ring, with drooping head and received him crouching down as low as he bloody nose, he seemed to divine at once that could, and though one could hear the bump of the bear was their common enemy, and rushed the bull's head and horns upon his ribs, he was at him full tilt. The bear, as usual, pinned quick enough to seize the bull by the nose be- him by the nose ; but this bull did not take fore he could retreat. This spirited commence such treatment so quietly as the other; strugment of the battle on the part of the bull was gling violently, he soon freed himself, and, hailed with uproarious applause ; and, by hav- wheeling round as he did so, he caught the ing shown such pluck, he had gained more than bear on the hind-quarters and knocked him erer the sympathy of the vast assemblage of over ; while the other bull, who had been quipeople.
etly watching the proceedings, thought this a " In the mean time, the bear, lying on his good opportunity to pitch in also, and rushing back, held the bull's nose firmly between his up, he gave the bear a dig in the ribs on the teeth, and embraced him round the neck with other side before he had time to recover himhis fore-paws, while the bull made the most of
self. The poor General between the two did not his opportunities in stamping on the bear with know what to do, but struck out blindly with his his hind-feet. At last the General became ex- forc-paws with such a pitiable look, that I asperated at such treatment, and shook the thought this the most disgusting part of the bull savagely by the nose, when a promiscuous whole exhibition. scuffle ensued, which resulted in the bear "After another round or two with the fresh throwing his antagonist to the ground with his bull, it was evident that he was no match for fore-paws.
the bear, and it was agreed to conclude the " For this feat the bear was cheered im- performances. The bulls were then shot to put mensely, and it was thought that, having the them out of pain, and the company dispersed, bull down, he would make short work of him; all apparently satisfied that it had been a very but apparently wild beasts do not tear each splendid fight.”. other to pieces quite so easily as is generally supposed, for neither the bear's teeth nor his Such were the scenes witnessed in San long claws seemed to have much effect on the Francisco but eight short years ago. hide of the bull, who soon regained his feet, Few cities in the Union can boast of more and, disengaging himself, retired to the other side of the ring, while the bear again crouched order-loving citizens, especially since the down in his hole.
celebrated Vigilance Committee under"The bull showed no inclination to renew took the task of ridding it of its murderers the combat; but by goading him, and waving and gamblers ; and we have much pleasa red flag over the bear, he was eventually worked up to such a state of fury as to make
ure in apprizing Mr. Borthwick of the another charge. The result was exactly the fact, which, up to the present, he appears same as before, only that when the bull man
to be totally ignorant of. San Francisco aged to get up after being thrown, the bear still has steadily advanced in morality, and the had hold of the skin of his back:
" In the next round both parties fought more days when her citizens delighted in bear savagely than ever, and the advantage was and bull-fighting are past.
THE FATE OF LAVOISIER.
smiled, and remarked that farmer-general
ship was a fine trade—they wished they MHE philosopher who gave the final coup had the like; but if the old Lavoisier had
1 de grâce to the wild mysticism of als been a little close, young Antoine Laurent, chemy, and laid the foundation of modern when the office devolved on hiin, was so chemistry as we find it, Antoine Laurent generous—thinking so little of amassing Lavoisier, was an extraordinary character. wealth, and doing so much good with itHe was also an unfortunate man. He that it would have been difficult to find a lost his head by a stroke of the guillotine rich government official with fewer enein the stormiest part of the first French mies. Then, finally, when the storm of republic, and because of a tobacco question ! revolution came, and the lucrative sinecure, Yes, it was even so. For this cause, os- with others of its stamp, was swept away, tensibly, the wise, the generous, the be- | Lavoisier treated the matter so lightlynevolent Antoine Laurent Lavoisier died. speaking of it as a positive gain, and as He was said by his enemies to have water-, giving him more time to cultivate philosoed his tobacco!
phy, that the few who had been envious It was in the year 1794, when the no- of him were constrained to admit Antoine torious triumvirate of public safety were Laurent Lavoisier to be—what his friends committing their atrocities—when to be and the world knew long before-a phigood, or well-born, or rich, was each a losopher. sufficient cause to be held in suspicion by At the period to which our remarks apthe triumvirate -- that Antoine Laurent ply, Lavoisier was living at Paris, whither Lavoisier, and his friend Berthollet, were he had come some years before, the better engaged in making some of those discov- to follow out, in the society of congenial eries which have rendered them both so minds, some experiments in which he was celebrated. The house of Lavoisier was engaged. Being himself rich, he threw where they prosecuted their experiments. | open his house and his laboratory to those That house was in Paris. Men engaged who, with similar tastes to his own, had in any deep pursuit usually take little heed fewer means of gratifying them. of political strife. They live in a world One great disadvantage under which a of abstraction, all their own, and are not chemist is placed, in comparison with usually much influenced or affected by what workers in other branches of philosophy, is taking place outside their own sphere. is the expense of the instruments with
Lavoisier was like Cavendish in one which he has to work. Many a student respect—he was a scientific man, and he of pure mathematics has positively no ininherited riches. His family had for many struments. If he have to practically apgenerations held the post of fermier- ply his mathematics, a few fixed, unchanggeneral—an office, we need hardly say, ing instruments are all he requires. Give abolished before the time of which we | the botanist a pocket lens, and, if he be write, because the terrible revolution swept | luxurious, a microscope, and he is well all those posts of the old régime away. provided ; and though the instruments Would that all the crimes to be laid to the necessary to the astronomers are costly, charge of the French revolutionists were they too are for the most part unchanging. so venial as this! The office of fermier- But men who devote themselves to new general was of this kind; a responsible lines of chemical investigation frequently individual agreed, for a consideration, to require instruments to be devised, and, pay into the exchequer a fixed sum on be- what is still more difficult, the wherehalf of certain things, tobacco being one. withal to pay for them. The fermier-general then, whoever he Lavoisier, at the period of our memoir, might be, held the monopoly for the sale was engaged in proving what has since of tobacco for his own district. For many become a truth in the mouth of every generations the post in question had been moderately educated person, namely, that held by the family of Lavoisier. They the diamond and charcoal are in composigrew wealthy upon it, which may be taken tion identical. An investigation so curi. as a proof that they found it a good thing. ous made great stir at the time, and the But no flagrant charge of impropriety English chemist Priestley, and the cele. was ever brought against the Lavoisiers. brated French chemist Berthollet, were People shook their heads sometimes, and I appointed to come to the laboratory of