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wit and practical humor, with which in many houses the banquet seems to have been seasoned, give us a lower idea of the manners of Roman gentlemen than any perhaps of these trifling pastimes.—Merivale's History of the Romans.
Russia.-A society for the diffusion of useful knowledge has been formed in Russia for the lower classes, by means of small books published at a cheap rate. Another society has been formed in St. Petersburg to afford the poor Jewish children a proper education.
Slavery in Brazil.-At the late anniversary of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, the Chevalier de Almeida Portugal made some interesting statements concerning the state of slavery in the empire of Brazil. He said the Brazilians were anxious to see slavery extinguished from their shores, and would embrace every opportunity and use every means in their power to this end. The government had been sincerely desirous of putting an end to the slave trade, and its cruisers had effectually abolished it. He said that in Brazil slavery never separated man and wife, as it does in America. While the slaves were not exactly their own masters, yet they had great liberties, and their comforts were, to some extent, studied. They were allowed to work in their own time in order to raise capital which they could put to their own uses, and the master was quite willing to give them their freedom for a small trifle, and by so doing they brought to the slave the wish of working and employment of time. And as to education and the like, there were no distinctions of color; but if slaves became educated, they might rise. He knew a colored man in the naval department of Brazil who raised himself up to the head of the medical department. This showed that freedom was one of the first elements of that constitution of Brazil, and under such banners no one could believe that they wish to keep alive slavery, which was against the heart of any one who was at all actuated by the principles of religion. There are three million slaves in that country, and the parliament is already occupied with the consideration of measures increasing the privileges of the slaves, looking to emancipation as early as the interests of the country will allow.
Taggard & Thompson, of Boston, have added the tenth volume to their edition of the "Works of Francis Bacon." It includes translations of the philosophical works, and begins with the "History of Life and Death," prefaced by the few quaint yet noble lines addressed "To the Present and Future Ages, greeting." The volume is, in its paper and typography, another specimen of excellent book-making; and it would be superfluous to speak of its literary contents.
Prof. Loomis, of Yale College, communicates a table to the New-Haven Palladium showing the days in every year since 1778 on which the mercury rose above 95 degrees. From this table it appears that Sunday, 19th ult., was the hottest day experienced in New Haven for the 85 years covered by the record, the thermometer on that day marking 102 deg. in the shade. Only on five other days of that period did the heat reach 100 deg., namely: July 8th, 1781, 100 deg.; July 2d, 1798, 101 deg.; July 3d, 1798, 101 deg.; July 7th, 1800, 1004.
Army Charioteers.-The wagon trains quartered at the Ecole Militaire have just been exercised on several new maneuvers in the Champ de Mars.
The object of these exercises is to teach the drivers how to turn short in the smallest possible space at the word of command, to avoid impediments, and to pass through narrow and over difficult roads. These maneuvers are performed with baggage and artillery wagons drawn by four horses, and driven by two men. The wagons formed into platoons take up position as if in line-of-battle, march in column, and wheel to right and left. When it is intended to imitate the passage of a defile a num. ber of wagons are ranged in two parallel lines with just sufficient space for another wagon to pass between them. This narrow space is traversed forward and backward, the horses sometimes trotting and even going at a gallop. The drivers have made great progress in their profession since these exercises were instituted. The man who mounts the leaders is instructed not to keep the traces too tight, so that the other driver may have full liberty in directing the wagon. There is to be a general inspection soon, and then wooden posts will be substituted for the parallel lines of wagons. These posts or pins will not be fixed in the ground, and the drivers who knock down the fewest will receive some prize. Perhaps categories will be established of 1st, 2d, and 3d charioteer.-Paris letter.
The First Turnpike in England.-Exactly five hundred years have elapsed since a hermit, weary of the labor of having nothing to do, and tired of sitting the dull day through by the side of the stone which supported the sun-dial in front of St. Anthony's Chapel, on Highgate-hill-that stone which subsequently became known as Whittington's-resolved to mend the ways between the summit of the hill and the low part of the vale ending in Islington. This hermit was a man of some means and he devoted them to bringing gravel from the top of the hill and laying it all along the unclean tract which then, as now, bore the name of" Hollow Way." By digging out gravel he gave a pond to the folk on the hill, where it was greatly needed, and he contributed cleanliness and security to the vale, where neither had hitherto been known. Travelers blessed the hermit who had turned constructor of highways; the pilgrims to St. Anthony's found their access to the shrine of the saint made easy and pleasant by him; and as for the beneficent hermit himself, his only regret was that, in accomplishing this meritorious act for the good of his fellow-men, he had entirely exhausted all his fortune. The king, however, came to the rescue. He set up a toll-bar, and published a decree addressed to "our well-beloved William Phelippe, the hermit," that he and the public might know wherefore.
The king declared that he highly appreciated the motive which had induced the hermit to benefit "our people passing through the highway between Heghgate and Smithfield, in many places notoriously miry and deep." And in order that the new way might be maintained and kept in repair, the king licensed the hermit to take toll, and keep the road in order and himself in comfort and dignity. This was the first road-bar erected in England, and William Phelippe, the hermit, was the father of the race of turnpike-keepers.-Cornhill Magazine.
Chinese junks are busy capturing French, English, and Portuguese vessels in the Lamporan Passage and destroying them, as they have no ports into which their prizes can be taken.