Imágenes de páginas


wind changes there is a perfect hurricane of dust; the women run and shut one door and open the other, and then we have a fine cool breeze. Not only ladies, but gentle

- and even horses, wear veils, to keep the dust out of their eyes and mouth. Waggons or drays are drawn by bullocks; sometimes sixteen or twenty in a team. At first, I thought this a queer sight. In summer, we have sometimes three or four months without as much rain as will lay the dust, and the people in Collingwood and all about Melbourne have to buy their water by cart-loads, and keep it in large casks. This water, which is soft and good, comes from our noble river the Yarra Yarra, which means,

“Ever flowing.” After a while we shall have water in pipes like you, and also railroads and turnpikes. In this sunny hemisphere the light is very, very strong and clear, and the atmosphere very buoyant; and you could see to read, mend stockings, or play by moonlight.

People that dont drink fire-water, and mind not to eat too much, are very cheerful and healthy. Intoxicating beverages and tobacco are bad in any country, but especially in dry and hot climates. We are doing well in our Sabbath School. And our large chapel in Collingwood is very well attended. We are going to build several more chapels as soon as we can raise the money. Were all our members and friends down from the Bendigo, Simpson's Ranges, Ovens, Forest Creek, and Ballarat Diggings, then our chapels would be far too small. We have a neat little chapel and Sabbath-school at Kildare, near Geelong. We are much obliged to you for sending us out another Missionary; but he is not yet arrived, and you must not forget that we shall need several more. Mr. Bradney will be stationed at Geelong, which is fifty miles from Melbourne.

And now, my dear young Friends, accept my sincere thanks for all your favours to this Mission : and as we may never have an opportunity of meeting together again on earth, let us all live for a better world, where preachers and hearers-scholars and teachers-parents and children - will meet together,

[ocr errors]

“ And O that will be joyful ;

Meet to part no more. I am, my dear young Friends, yours very affectionately,

JOSEPH TOWNEND. Wesleyan Methodist Association Mission

House, Albert Street, Collingwood,
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Oct.
24th, 1854.

THE “COW TREE” OF SOUTH AMERICA. Mr. Higson says that he met with two species of cow tree, which he states to be abundant in the deep and humid woods of the provinces of Choco and Popayan. He gives an account of an excursion he made about twelve miles

up the river, in company with the alcaide and two other gentlemen in quest of some of these milk trees, one species of which, known to the inhabitants by the name of popa, yields, during the ascent of the sap, a redundance of a nutritive milky juice, obtained by incisions made into the thick bark which clothes the trunk, and which he describes as of an ash colour externally, while the interior is of a clay red. Instinct has taught the jaguars, and other wild beasts of the forest, the value of this milk, which they obtain by lacerating the bark with their claws and catching the milk as it flows from the incisions. A similar instinct prevails among the hogs that have become wild in the forests of Jamaica, where a species of Rhus grows,

the bark of which, on being wounded, yields a resinous juice, possessing many valuable medicinal properties, and among them that of rapidly cicatrising wounds. The fact is sufficiently notorious in Jamaica, where the wild hogs, when wounded, seek out one of these trees, which, from the first discovery of its sanative properties, have been named "hog gum trees," and abraiding the bark with their teeth, rub the wounded part of their bodies against it, so as to coat the wound with a covering of the gummy, or rather gum-resinous fluid, that exudes from the bark. In like banner, Mr. Higson says the jaguars, instructed in the nuritious properties of the potable juice of the popa, jump p against the stem, and lacerating the bark with their laws greedily catch the liquid nectar as it issues from the round. By a strange perverseness of his nature, man, in ne pride of his heart, spurns this delicious beverage, which speedily fattens all who feed on it, and contents him$lf with using it, when inspissated by the sun, as a birdme to catch parrots; or converting it into a glue, which vithstands humidity by boiling it with the gum of the rangle-tree tempered with wood ashes. Mr. Higson states, hat they caught plenty of the milk, which was of the consistence of cream, of a bland and sweetish taste, and a somewhat aromatic flavour, and so white as to communicate a tolerably permanent stain wherever it fell ; it mixed with spirit as readily as cow's milk, and made, with the addition of water, a very agreeable and refreshing beverage, of which they drank several tutumos full. They cut down a tree, one of the tallest of the forest, to procure specimens, and found the timber white, of a fine grain and well adapted for boards or shingles. They were about a month too late to obtain the blossoms, which were said to be very showy, but found abundance of fruit, disposed on short foot stalks in the alæ of the leaves; these were scabrous, and about the size of a nutmeg. The leaves he describes as having very short petioles, hearted at the base, and of a corriaceous consistence, and covered with large semi-globular glands.

Besides the popa, he speaks of another lactescent tree, called Sande, the milk of which, though more abundant, is thinner, bluish like skimmed milk, and not so palatable. This, inspissated in the sun, acquires the appearance of a black gum, and is so highly valued for its medicinal properties, especially as a topical application in inflammatory affections of the spleen, pleura, and liver, that it fetches a dollar the ounce in the Valle del Cauca. The leaves are described as resembling those ofthe Chrysophyllum cainito, or broad-leaved star apple, springing from short petioles, ten or twelve inches long, oblong,

ovate, pointed, with alternate veins and ferrugineous on the under surface. The locality of the Sande he does not point out, but says that a third kind of milk tree, the juice of which is potable, grows in the same forest, where it is known by the name of Lyria. This he regarded as identical with the cow tree of Carraccus, of which Humboldt has given so graphic a description.


AGONIZING DEATH AT THE FALLS OF NIAGARA. The following telegraphic despatch appeared sometime ago in a Boston paper :—“Buffalo, July 19.-A boat, in which were three men asleep, got adrift last night, and floated into the current, where it was upset. Two of the men were carried immediately over the Falls of Niagara, and were dashed to pieces on the rocks below. The third, named Joseph Avery, caught at a stump in his passage, and clung to it. He was discovered almost on the brink of the Falls. Several boats were launched in order to rescue him, but they were swamped the moment they touched the Rapids. A life-boat has been sent for, and hopes are entertained that he will be rescued. Thousands of citizens are on the banks in full view of the unfortunate man, but at present without means to relieve him. A party on the bridge, however, have just succeeded in floating a boat of provisions to him."

The Buffalo Commercial Advertiser has since published the following more circumstantial account of the conclusion of this horrible tragedy.

• Up to six o'clock last evening, the public were kept in a state of excitement by despatches received at intervals from the Falls, bringing information of the situation of poor Avery, each report fluctuating between hope and fear,—now expressing confidence in his eventual safety, and now almost despairing of his rescue. A large number of persons left this city for the scene of excitement by the trains, and swelled the thousands already around the spot. We have been furnished with an account of the proceedings, by an eye-witness; but we are under obligation to the operators upon Kissock's Canada line for the earliest intelligence of the wretched fate of the victim. Our informant tells us that the man was in a part of the Rapids where the rocks rise nearly to the surface of the water, A log of wood, apparently wedged tightly between the rocks, and crossed by another, still higher out of the water was his resting-place. Here he remained, half olinging to and half perching upon the log, from which he would occasionally slip down and walk on the rocks which were only a short distance under water. A few feet in advance was a small fall of about four or five feet, and here and on each side of him the waters rushed wildly on at a speed of about 40 miles an hour. A raft was constructed, formed of crossed timbers, strongly fastened in a square form, a hogshead being placed on the centre. The raft was strongly secured with ropes on each side, and was floated down to the rocks upon which Avery was stationed. As it approached the spot where he stood the rope got fast in the rocks, and the raft became immovable. Avery then appeared to muster strength and courage, and, descending from the log, walked over the rocks to the place where the rope had caught, and laboured long and hard to disengage it from the rocks. After some time he succeeded, and then with renewed energy, inspired by the hope of rescue, he pulled manfully at the rope until he succeeded in bringing the raft from the current towards his fearful resting-place. Avery now got on the raft, making himself fast thereto by means of ropes which had been placed there for that purpose, and those on the land commenced drawing it towards the shore. It had approached within 30 feet of one of the small islands, towards which its course was directed, when suddenly it became stationary in the midst of the Rapids, the ropes again caught in the rocks. All endeavours to move it were found to be in vain, and much fear was entertained that the strains upon the ropes might break them, and occasion the poor fellow's loss. Various sug.

« AnteriorContinuar »