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and you will think that if, from a literary | M. Dagnan Bouveret, in his “ Bénédiction point of view, France has lost much, she des Fiancés,” shows himself to be a prohas, perhaps, gained much in gravity and found psychologist and a master of the in persevering, modest activity. Wait play of light. There could he nothing only a few years and you will see the more touching than the serious, collected effect of the immense sacrifices made for faces of the fiancés and the saddened, education. M. Albert Duruy, in a book tender gravity of the parents. M. Gervex, which is otherwise very interesting and in his picture of the " Port au Charbon," remarkable, on “Public Education during has shown how to draw artistic effects the Revolution” (Hachette), shows bow from the commonest objects of low life. great a disproportion existed between the And the landscape painters - MM. Stott, ambitious and grandiose projects of the Binet, Bernier, Adan, Zuber, Armandmen of the Revolution and the poverty of Delille, Sauzay – portray for us nature, their action in the matter of general édu- always young and beautiful, seen by incation. He forgot to add that they traced telligent eyes and emotional souls. M. the outlines which have to-day been filled Adan's picture of an autumn evening, in by their heirs, and that it is to them in was, with those of MM. Dagnan and Sargreat measure that we should give our gent, the great surprise of the Salon. A gratitude for the progress made during woman leans her arm on a terrace above a the past fifty years.
valley bathed in mist and yellowed by the If we pass from the literary to the mellowness of October. It is nothing artistic and theatrical world, besides what its simplicity is perfect, but it is impossithere incontestably is to regret and to be ble to see this canvas without emotion, troubled for, I find also reasons for re- without all its tenderness and melancholy joicing. No doubt the important place going to one's very heart. Do we now occupied by painting and music in con- seek strong, manly work? Look at the temporary life is partially owing to the masterpiece of M. Lhermitte, “ La Paie fact that we are more open to sensation des Laboreurs ; " look at the sculpture; than to thought, partially to the medioc- look at M. Antonin Merieé's group. What rity of literary work. Painting has be- is it? a strong Alsatian supports with come an amusement for the eye, a luxuri- one hand a dying soldier, while with the ous furnishing To the eyes of many other he brandishes with heroic gesture there is nothing to choose between the the gun he has let fall. It says clearly annual Salon and the Musée Grévin just that defeat is a mere accident, that right opened, in which we see all our contem- remains unconquered, and that the heart poraries — politicians, literary men, ar- of Alsace is faithful to France. lists, actors as wax figures. It is to I think, also, that we may rejoice in the be regretted that our two most remarkable progress made by musical taste. It is military painters, Detaille and De Neu- grave music that people like great ville, should have spent a year in painting music, such as elevates the soul. It has the panorama of the Battle of Cham- often been said that the chief defect of the pigny; although, to our taste, the pano- French was that they could not bear to be rama is a chef d'auvre, and gives a really bored. I do not say that the music at our artistic impression. It may be deplorable concerts is a bore - quite the contrary; that commercial ideas should be at the but it is a good symptom to find the gen. bottom of these multiplied exhibitions of eral public seeking, not light, gay music, landscape painters, of female artists, of but such as requires close attention and animal painters, of liberal arts, etc., etc.; reflection, such as appeals to the deepest but, after all, this incredible development interests of the mind — to find them listen of artistic production results in a develop to music which is difficult to understand, ment of public taste; from the mass of because it contains original ideas, real works of art originality and really elevated science, harmonious effects. The taste tendencies work themselves out. The for symphonies, the indifference to the “Ludus pro Patriil” of M. Puvis de opera, are proofs that the taste of the Chavannes, spite of the criticism it de public has grown more serious. serves, is a work of great inspiration and As for the theatre, it is not the fault of produces a pure and noble impression. the public that but few really beautiful The “Portrait" and the “Dancer” of M. pieces are applauded there. Let a fine Sargent are noi only pictures of marvel- drama appear, and we should see what a lous ability, but are bursting with a feel. reception it would have. M. Coppée had ing of life which is incredibly intense. I last year a real success at the Odéon with
"Madame de Maintenon," in spite of its | dealing creatures are few compared to defects, because it embodied a noble idea their more innocent brethren, though in written in excellent verse. The “Edipe India the fatalities which are yearly reRoi” of Sophocles, splendidly played at ported are still as appalling as ever. With the Théâtre Français by Mounet-Sully, a view to providing a remedy for the bite excited real enthusiasm ; and the people of what are termed deadly snakes, many came in great numbers to the Odéon to experiments have been, and still continue hear“ Othello," although the actors were to be made ; but as yet we have heard of deplorably mediocre and the translation no certain cure. One of our greatest of M. de Gramont was not first-rate. If authorities, Dr. Fayrer, is obliged to adthe Théâtre Français would play the admit that there is no hope for the person mirable translation of published last who has been bitten by a cobra whose year by M. J. Aicard, author of “ Miette poison is fully secreted and delivered. et Noré," it would be seen that the legiti- Our contributor Dr. Arthur Stradling, mate drama can always excite enthusi. late of the Royal Mail (Marine) Service,
M. Perrin has promised “Othello" who favors us with the following interest. for several years past; and in Mounet- ing anecdotes, has made a lifelong study Sulley he has an Othello to his hand. of the habits of snakes, both poisonous Tbe applause received at the Porte St. and non-poisonous. He has, we believe, Martin by M. Aicard's “ Davenant,”
," made many experiments with the hope of which contains translations of several mitigating the dire results accruing from fragments of Shakespeare, proves that the snake bites, and has even gone the length public always knows how to understand of voluntarily permitting various poisonand applaud fine work. All is not decay ous species to exercise their fangs upon in the France of to-day. Let us, instead his own person ! Taking certain precauof pandering to the evil instincts of the tions beforehand – the nature of which crowd, address ourselves to its healthy Dr. Stradling has not yet made public passions, its noble tendencies, and we he has risked his life in the endeavor to shall find a deep and re-echoing response. counteract the baleful effects of snake
G. MONOD. poison. If in the end he may be enabled
to prescribe an antidote that shall prove effectual in staying the effects of the
dreaded virus, mankind will owe him a From Chambers' Journal.
debt of gratitude akin to that which it has
paid to the discoverer of vaccination. SNAKE-ANECDOTES.
With this prelude, we offer to our readers a few of the doctor's snake-stories.
He writes as follows:
For the truth of the following anecdotes, To the generality of people the very in which serpents play a part more or less word snake conveys a shuddering im- prominent, I can vouch; the incidents pression. The animals themselves are except the first — having all occurred regarded with wholesale aversion. Nor within my own personal experience. The is this altogether to be wondered at when exception, however, is matter of history we consider the terrible effects produced at the Zoological Gardens; and not only by the bite of many species – the mortal were the eye-witnesses of the occurrence effects produced by a certain section of among whom were Mr. Bartlett and the tribe. . There are, however, some the late Mr. Frank Buckland — well folks who, so far from entertaining any known to me - my informants, indeed – aversion to these creatures, are anxiously but the snake itself afterwards became a engaged in studying their ways, their great friend of mine. mode of life, and happily the dreaded A few years ago, an immense anaconda powers with which the poisonous species or water-boa was received at the Gardens - one-fifth only of the entire race - are in Regent's Park, brought in a barrel on endowed. In Great Britain, one species board a steamer from Central America to only, the adder, is poisonous, though not Liverpool, and forwarded thence by rail. to the extent of being deadly poisonous; This reptile, as perhaps my readers are but the case is different in countries such aware, is the largest of the serpent tribe, as India and South America, where there inhabiting the swamps of tropical Amer. are snakes from whose bite there is no ica, and sometimes attaining a length of hope of recovery. Happily, these death-thirty or forty feet, it may be much more.
IN TWO PARTS.
It is one of the constrictors that is to thoroughly enraged, contrived to extrisay, it is non-venomous, and kills its prey, cate his head from the covering, and be. like the boa and python, by crushing it fore the men could escape, flew at the within the convolutions of its powerful carpenter and seized him by the shoulder, body. In the British Museum there is a The keeper courageously turned, gripped fine stuffed specimen, about thirty feet the serpent by the throat, and forced him long, represented in the act of seizing, to let go, but not until the unfortunate though not constricting, a peccary. The man's arm was terribly lacerated by the subject of my tale measured twenty-three powerful lancet-like teeth. feet in length, and in girth was equal to Luckily, the door of the reptile-house the circumference of a man's thigh — a had been locked when the first contreformidable customer, capable of swallow- temps took place, so that no casual visiting a sheep. Prepared for his reception, ors were witnesses of the scene; otherwith the floor duly gravelled, and a tank wise, fainting women and horror-stricken with water, Den No. 3, on the left-hand men would doubtless have added to its side of the reptile-house, counting from confusion. By this time the groove was the entrance-door, was allotted to him; clear, and the frame temporarily secured, and within the cage is a stunted tree, up so that the carpenter made good his exit, which these large serpents are wont to while the keeper, watching his opportu. climb. The top of the cask unscrewed, nity, fung the creature from bim and the creature was allowed to find his way jumped out. into the cage through the small aperture But it afterwards became very tame behind.
and tractable, and I established very Roaming about in the full enjöyment of friendly relations with it. Many a time his new-found liberty, he presently turned have I stood at the door with Holland the round between the tree and the front of keeper, and allowed it to rear its great
- a space of several feet - in black-spotted head out of the tank till it such a way that the bight of his body flickered its tongue against my face, while to use a seafaring expression - lay within 1 patted its shining scales with my hand. this space. Here, feeling the contact of Towards Holland it was most affectionthe glass on one side and the wood on the ate, and would always come up to the other, he suddenly expanded his coil, grated ventilator to see him when he was probably in the sheer luxury of being able sweeping out the passage behind, though to stretch himself, and pushed the front it took no notice of the people in front. of the cage out! Not simply the glass Snakes take strong likings and dislikes itself, which was not broken, but the to people, often unaccountably. Holland heavy framework in which it is fixed, was was one of the kindest and most intelliforced away from its connection with the gent keepers that ever handled a reptile, surrounding beams. Hereupon, several and could generally win anything's conof the spectators had the presence of fidence; yet there was — and probably is mind to rush forward and catch the sash still - a west-African python, some sixbefore it could fall to the floor. In this teen feet long, in the house, that positively way they supported it as well as they conceived a murderous hatred of him. could with hands and knees until fresh Why this should be so, neither he nor assistance arrived, for the weight was any one else could ever understand; but too great for them to lift it back into po- it is a fact that this python at feeding; sition again; while the reptile inside, ex. times would sit up close to the door and cited by the shouting and commotion, wait, not for the ducks and rabbits, but was dashing about furiously in all direc. for him ! tions. This scattered the gravel about; The anaconda to which we have just and it was then found impossible to return referred was eventually killed by a guineathe frame into its proper place, as the pig! The little animal had been put into groove was choked with the small stones. the den for a smaller snake's delectation, Mr. Frank Buckland, aided now by a as our friend was torpid just then, owing number of men from all parts of the Gar- to the approaching casting of the skin, in dens, still kept the glass from descending, which state they do not feed. The guineawhile the keeper and carpenter, who got pig was running carelessly over him, and into the cage from behind, having thrown the irritation of its feet probably caused some blankets over the snake and pushed the anaconda to move slightly, for its leg him into a corner, proceeded to scrape became entangled between two folds of away the gravel. But the anaconda, now the serpent's body — not constricted or
nipped in anger, in which case it would was thrown down; and as the ship rolled have been all up with guinea-pig in a very back to the weather-side, a huge wave short time — and it could not get free. thundered in at the open port and flooded It must probably have struggled some the cabin; but I clung to my basket and time, and then bitten its unconscious cap-box all the time, holding them together tor till it got away, for a great hole was literally for dear life; for I knew I might found in the snake's side, and it lost much as well be drowned or get my brains blood. This caused such profuse suppu-knocked out, as let my prisoner escape. ration and ulceration of the whole body, He was safely housed at last: but a filathat the poor brute had to be destroyed. ment of the grass lasso remained around
I have succeeded in bringing alive to his neck, spite of all my attempts to disthis country two specimens of that dead. engage it; this interfered with his respiliest of serpents, the Brazilian qurucucu, ration, and he died shortly after his aror bush-inaster as it is called in Guiana; rival at the Zoo. and in connection with the first of these Having brought home many scores, perI had a disagreeable little adventure. It haps hundreds, of live snakes in the course was sent to me in Rio de Janeiro in an of my voyages, I have at different times open, bowl-shaped basket, having been published the results of my experience in caught with a lasso, which, drawn tight that line, in the hope of inducing others behind its large triangular head, and to do the same. In the study of ophiolpassed through the wicker-work, secured ogy, living specimens are a great desiderit to the bottom of the basket. Evidently, atum, since after death and in spirits, it could not go home like this. I had no snakes alter so much as to be scarcely snake-tongs, and was not at that time recognizable, especially when injured, as quite so confident about manipulating they usually are. Nothing is more easily poisonous serpents as closer familiarity or safely kept during a voyage than a with them has since made me; besides, a snake, if attention be paid to one or two cabin on board ship contains so many small details. It is more easily kept than nooks and crannies wherein a snake, once a bird, as it requires neither food, water, escaped from control, would be wholly light, nor abundant ventilation; and beirrecoverable. Therefore, I covered the yond warmth, needs scarcely more care moutb of the basket with canvas in such th a dead one in a bottle; but I suppose a way as to convert it into a sort of kettle. it is because these small details are so drum; and cut a square hole in this, little known that we get so few rare snakes which corresponded exactly, when the at the Zoo. In my papers, I have endrum was turned upside down, to an ap-deavored to point out not only all that is erture in a snake-box, made by removing necessary for their well-being in transmis. the perforated zinc. Then, applying the sion, but also the dangers connected with two accurately together, I cut the noose them to be avoided on board ship. Nevfrom the outside, in the hope that the ertheless, an incident happened to one of reptile would drop through into the box. nine some time ago, the possibility of This, however, he refused to do, but darted which had never entered my head. I say round and round inside the basket, strik- to “one of mine;” but in reality the reping passionately; and as the wicker was tile, a fine full-grown rattlesnake, did not neither very thick nor close in texture, it belong to me, but to a brother oflicer, who may be imagined that the situation was had bought it for presentation to the rather a sensational one. I had com. Zoological Garden at Hamburg, on the menced operations just as we were steam- strength of my promise to look after it ing out of the Bay of Rio; and while for him. It was brought on board in a affairs stood in the position I have in small square box - a Schiedam-case, in dicated, we crossed the bar. The heavy fact — neatly tied up in brown paper, at swell from the outside caught the ship my suggestion, and labelled “Feather right abeam, and caused her to give two Flowers," sor the benefit of inquisitive or three of the most tremendous lurches passengers. This box was fronted with I ever experienced. I thought for the galvanized wire-netting of small mesh, moment that she was going over. Every, which must have been nailed on after the thing in my cabin went adrift; books, snake had been put in, as there was no boxes, cages, chairs, and about a dozen door. All was perfectly secure; so, as I other snakes, caine tumbling about me had a numerous serpent tenantry at the with a deafening din of smashing glass time in my own specially constructed and woodwork. I lost my footing, and cases, I decided to let my lodger remain
where it was, more especially as I judged, box for about two inches along the two
I from its plump appearance, that it had late sides of the angle, and fixed a screw inly fed, and would require no more nourish- stead at the extreme angle itself. Then, ment till it got home. (It is worthy of with an excision saw - out of my case of remark that, as a rule, snakes. seed, or re- surgical instruments - we cut through quire to be fed, only at long intervals; a the wood for two inches each way, so as rattlesnake has been known to live a year to complete the square, then nailed the and eleven months without food.) mouth of the stocking over it, and finally
Imagine my surprise when, on going to removed the screw with a small screwmy cabin about a week later, I met a little driver through a tiny slit in the stocking rattlesnake, six or seven inches long, itself. The piece of wood, two inches climbing over the combing of the door- square, thus severed all connection, and way! There was no doubt about it; Cro- the screw dropped down into the foot; talus horridus * was written in every scale and by dint of shaking and knocking, the of his wicked little head and diamond little reptiles were induced to follow. patterned back, and signed by the horn When a good many were in, the stocking at the end of his tail, which went quiver- was tied with cord tightly near the heel, ing upwards as soon as he saw me. It and again about an inch higher, and the was not a time to stand on ceremony, so lower part was cut off between the two I stood on him instead. Inside the cabin ligatures. This was emptied of its conwas another, wriggling along the floor, on tents into a glass box which stood ready whom also I executed a pas seul without for their reception, while the rest of the further inquiry; and on turning round, babies were shaken down into the leg of sure enough there was a third on the the stocking, which still remained a cul washing-stand, sticking up his head and de sac. The only hitch in the proceedtail with the most menacing intentions. ings was a momentary though rather seriThere was no longer any doubt that an ous one, caused by mamma protruding interesting event had happened, a fact her head and evincing a disposition to which was evidenced by the spectacle of follow her offspring. When all the little the box swarming with writhing little cork- ones – there were thirteen of them, ex. screws, one of which was in the very act clusive of those I had killed — were out of escaping through the wire. I snatched of the box, the bag was again tied twice, up a towel and pressed it over the case; and divided; and they were restored to and while my boy nailed it on, and thus the society of their brothers and sis. blinded the front, I despatched the two ters. strays.
But stop a bit! The resources of our Now came the question, What was to very subtle contrivance were not yet ex. be done? The inmates were safe enough hausted. About a foot-length of that for the time; but it obviously would not most useful stocking was still left, and do to trust to a thin towel as the only this was tied once more, but this time dividing medium between them and the close up to the box; then the lower end ship at large, for the rest of the voyage. was untied, two rats introduced and fas: I had to be cautious then, not being in tened up again; then, the upper ligature possession of the means which place me being removed, the rats were shaken into now to a great extent beyond the pale of the cage, and the maternal rattlesnake danger, and allow me to handle these was compensated for the loss of her things with comparative impunity; but I promising family by a good dinner. Fi. was none the less anxious to save the nally, the stocking
- or what was left of brood. A woman happily extricated me it was pushed into the box, and the from my dilemma — the old stewardess, square piece of wood was nailed securely who was quite in my confidence, since she on again over it. But there was a pleas. “ didn't mind them things,” and who used ing uncertainty for the remainder of the to allay any anxiety on the subject among voyage as to how many had got adrift lady passengers with, I fear, a greater before I discovered them, and where they regard for me than for the truth. She had stowed themselves, which rendered gave me an old stocking; and this is what going to bed, putting on one's boots and we did with it. First, we removed all the the like, full of interest. When the imnails from one corner at the back of the portation of rattlesnakes becomes a rec
ognized branch of industry, I shall take • The Latin name for the rattlesnake. out a patent for that stocking dodge.