« السابقةمتابعة »
sented, the most art can do is to imitate the impression of one eye alone. To produce the effect of nature, we must do as nature does: two pictures must be painted, one for each eye, and combined, to produce the sensation of one. This is effected by the Stereoscope, the compound image having all the qualities of the natural picture, each part of it compelling the eye to converge and diverge, as it appears more or less distant. This is the most remarkable part of the Stereoscope discovery, that two pictures on a perfectly flat surface, when combined, should necessitate the same opening and closing of the visual axis as is occasioned by a natural picture where the parts which constitute it are separated by actual measurable space.
We will now proceed to examine the construction of the compound Stereoscope picture. It has already been explained that it is constituted of two pictures, each taken from a different point of sight corresponding with the two eyes; take, for example, a, the simplest form of picture--an arrow standing in a vertical direction through a circle—it would appear to each eye like the diagram. These two designs being all that is necessary to produce, with
round and behind objects. The convergence and divergence of the eyes may be shown by the same diagram. The eyes, when directed on the object c, are more converged than when looking at d. In other words, c is seen at a much greater angle than d; the rays of light proceeding from c or d compelling the pupils of the eyes to approach or recede from each other. This opening and closing of the visual axis may be fitly compared to the same action in a pair of compasses, and it is by the quantity of this action going on with the eyes that we are enabled to estimate the relative distance of near objects. The eyes, then, may be simply considered as a pair of optical compasses, and the rays of light emanating from the object as the limbs of the compasses. The sensation or effect of distance results from the power which we possess with two eyes to see round and behind objects.
It has been fully explained, in the preceding diagram, how we are enabled to see distant objects, although other objects may intervene ; and this is greatly assisted by the necessary change of focus which, whilst it makes the distant object clear and distinct, at the same time makes the near and intervening object less visible. The quality of focal change becomes of more value and importance in cases where the sight of one eye is lost. It may not be generally known that a person suddenly deprived of the use of one eye estimates with the greatest difficulty the distance of objects. It would be almost impossible to snuff a candle with one eye closed, or even to place the finger exactly on any fixed point. The single eye, like the single leg of a compass, cannot at first measure distance; but, after some time, experience teaches the one eye to estimate distance by the change of focus alone, whilst with both eyes we feel and measure distance by the convergence and divergence of the visual axis. The structure of the eye has at all times been quoted as one of the most beautiful illustrations of design and natural mechanism, and certainly the additional discoveries wbich we may expect to be disclosed by the Stereoscope will not diminish our wonders at the minute and beautiful arrangements by which external pictures are painted on the mirror of the mind. We have, then, arrived to this conclusion, that, to experience the effect of distance or solidity, certain circumstances must exist to compel the opening and closing of the visual angle, in proportion as the eyes are directed to different parts of the same picture ; but, as in an ordinary single picture, like the painting of a landscape, all parts of it are at the same relative distance from the eyes, it follows that the angle of vision is the same for all parts, and, consequently, the sense or feeling of distance cannot be experienced. It matters not whether we look at the foreground or background, there can be no mistake about its being on a flat surface; it gives rise to no feeling of distance; although the idea of nature may be skilfully repre
the aid of the Stereoscope, the effect of one arrow standing through a single circle, with the barbed end uppermost, it now remains to explain how this effect is produced. It is important to know that, in looking at natural objects, both eyes are invariably directed, or converge on the same point, and can only regard a single point at the same time, whilst the Stereoscope enables each eye to look at the corresponding points of two separate pictures. This is, indeed, the whole secret of this instrument, which, by bending the rays of light coming from each picture towards each other, enables each eye to regard a different image at the same time. In the diagram of the arrows, à a and '% b are corresponding points, the parts 'b b being separated by a wider space than à a: consequently, the eyes being each directed on the parts 'b will be wider apart, or will have a greater divergence than when looking at d a; and, as parts of the same object in nature give the effect of greater or less distance in proportion as they cause the eyes to converge and diverge, it follows, according to this law, '6b should appear at a greater distance than da; in other words, the barbed part of the arrow should appear uppermost. The annexed diagram may assist the explanation : here the arrows are supposed to be combined, or stand over each other; the eyes (c d) being directed on the corresponding points (à a), the visual angle will be represented by a cd; and when directed on ' b, the angle will be e cd; but
directed to b: a comparison of the angles will at once show that b must appear in the background from the increased divergence of the eyes. The singular part of this case is, that only the right eye moves, whilst the left eye is stationary. A mere glance at any geometric stereoscopic pictures will at once show which parts should be in the foreground, and which in the background. All that is necessary is to measure the space between corresponding points of both pictures ; those which are widest apart will appear behind those parts which are nearer to each other. In this diagram, the pair
ecd is a much smaller angle than a cd; consequently, à a, or the barbed part of the arrow, must appear the nearest; that such is the fact may be proved by experiment. When this law is understood, the most curious effects may be produced by equally simple means; the addition of a mere dot, or a single line, to a diagram, will be all that is necessary to make stand out from the surface on which it is drawn. The following are illustrations of some of the simplest forms of stereoscopic pictures : the first is intended to produce the effect of
one ball standing before the other; the second, the effeot of the barb of an arrow pointing towards the
observer; the third, two lines; and the fourth, a nail.
An explanation of the construction of the first image will suffice for the remainder. The balls aro supposed to be in a direct line with the left eye; consequently, the left image will be represented by one ball, and the right image by two. This diagram will also serve to show more forcibly how divergenco
of pictures produce opposite effects to each other ; the part which stands out in one is behind in the other. The law just mentioned will explain it. In the upper pair, d is nearer to a than 's is to b; hence the part à a will appear nearest, and vice versa in the lower pair of pictures. We cannot, from vision alone, have the idea of distance; it is only when combined with the actual experience of touch or measurement that we can say one part is nearer than another. Nothing can be more subject to deception than vision: as an example, the reflection of a natural picture in a mirror presents all the effects of distance; yet we know from experience every part of this picture is reflected from a plane surface. Again, the recently-discovered pseudoscope has the effect of making objects exactly the opposite of what they really are: solids look hollow, objects on the right appear on the left, the most distant objects look the nearest, objects approaching have the effect of receding, &c. A natural picture may, then, simply be considered as a picture containing effects which cannot be rendered on a flat surface; all the ideas associated with it, of distance, &c., are the result of a knowledge or experience which is quite independent of the picture itself, although they assist most materially in giving a character to the impression made on the brain. Color also assists in giving an idea of the form of irregular images, and, in a certain degree, may indicate distance by its force or tone. The chief function of color, by which is meant light and shade, is to assist in exhibiting the shape of objects when there is an absence of direct lines. A globe is an illustration of this; without light and shade, it would look like a flat circle.
A few words, in conclusion, on the advancement of photography. The commercial or public appli
cation of photographic science in this country has been, in a great measure, confined to the action of light on metallic plates, although most beautiful effects may be produced on a more convenient and cheaper material, and it is probable that this branch of the subject will be more than ever investigated, since stereoscopo pictures on metal, from their weight, cost, and other inconveniences, will not be so largely employed as camera pictures on paper.
In the course of this inquiry, many matters have been left untouched, through fear of confusing the
subject; the chief object being to show the analogy between the stereoscopio and natural pictures in their relation to the organs and sense of vision. To the scientific man, many of the foregoing explanations will appear unnecessarily explicit and tedious; but we trust, to the great bulk of our readers, we may have succeeded in making this beautiful and remarkable discovery intelligible : in that case, we shall not have failed in proving, in this particular instance, like effects result from like causes.
THE RED EAR; OR, THE HUSKING FROLIC.
BY T. 8. ARTHUR.
In rural districts, the merrymakings have a natural heartiness about them never seen in cities, towns, nor villages. Overweening self-respect has not come in to fotter the motions of the body, nor to smother the laugh in its free utterance. Feeling and action are in close relationship. You come nearer to nature, untrammelled by custom and unaffected by art.
A merrymaking par excellence is a New England husking frolic. The husking frolic at the South is a different affair altogether. There, it is a congregation of negroes from the various plantations near at hand, who, while they work, make the air vocal almost for miles around with their rude melodies, & few of which have been rendered familiar to ears polite by the “Serenaders” who have so highly amused the public during the past two or three years. But, at the North, the “husking,” like the “quilting," draws together the gentle maidens and loving swains of a neighborhood, who meet to enjoy themselves in their own way. And such enjoyment as they have, in kind and degree, is not to be met with every day. In former times, the “husking" was a wilder affair than at present. Straight-laced conventionality is gradually finding its way beyond the city limits, and binding the free spirits of our country maidens. They meet oftener with the "city folks,” gradually falling more and more into their habits as they partake more and more of their spirit; and, when they assemble for enjoyment, they check their impulses, restrain their movements, and hush almost into silence the merry laughter that seeks to leap forth like the singing waters of the fountain. No; "huskings” are not what they were. Instead of seeing on the threshing-floor a troop of young men and maidens, stripping from the bright ears of grain their leafy coverings, amid laughter, music, and the mingling of sweet voices, as of old, mere “labor" comes in too often to perform the
service, and silently and coldly does its work. Yet, here and there, a farmer, who cannot forget the pleasant times when he was young, sends forth his annual summons after the maize harvest is gathered, and then comes a merrymaking for old and young that is enjoyed in a way never to be forgotten.
Old Ephraim Bradley was a man of this school. If his head grew white under the falling snows of many winters, the grass was fresh and green, and the flowers ever blooming on his heart. With him, the annual "husking" was never omitted. It was like Christmas and Thanksgiving, almost a sacred thing, half involving sin in the omission.
Kate Mayflower, a wild romp of a girl from Boston-at least some in the city regarded her as such -was spending a few weeks in D- when invitations came to attend a husking party at Ephraim Bradley's. The old man lived some three miles from the village. Kate had heard about husking parties, and her young spirits leaped up when the announcement was made that one was to be held in the neighborhood, and that she was invited to be present. It was a frolic that, from all she had heard, would just suit her temperament, and she set off, when the time came, to make one of the party, in the merriest possible mood.
Evening had closed in on the arrival of the party from D-, who quickly joined some score or two of young people in the large kitchen, where lay heaped up in the centre a huge pile of Indian corn.
“All that to be husked ?” whispered Kate, as she entered the room.
“Oh yes; all that and more, perhaps," was the smiling reply.
“ We have come to work, you know."
“Now, gals,” said old Mr. Bradley, who stood looking on as the young folks gathered, with bright faces, around the golden grain, “now for a good old-fashioned time. If there are not half a dozen weddings between this and Christmas, I shall say there is no virtue in red ears."
As he ceased, down dropped, amid gay voices and laughter, the whole company upon the floor, in all graceful and ungraceful positions, in a circle around the pile of corn. Kate alone remained standing, for the movement was so sudden that she could not act with it.
“Here's room for you, Kate," cried one of the girls who had come with her, making a place by her side; and down sank Kate, feeling, for the first time, a little awkward and confused. Beside her was a stout, rough country youth, whose face was all merriment, and whose eyes were dancing with anticipated pleasure. The city girl eyed his rough, brown hands, coarse garments, and unpolished face, with a slight feeling of repulsion, and drew a little from him towards her friend.
“Oh, plenty of room, miss! Plenty of room," said he, turning broadly around, and addressing her with a familiar leer. “The tighter we fit in, the better. Lay the brands close, if you want a good fire."
Kate could not help laughing at this. As she laughed, he added
“ All free and easy here.” He had grasped an ear of corn, and was already stripping down the husk. "A red ear, by jingo!" guddenly burst from his lips, in a tone of triumph ; and, as he spoke, he sprang towards, or rather upon Kate, with the grace of a young bear, and kissed her with a “smack” that might have been heard a dozen rooms off. Ere she had time to recover from the surprise, and, it must be admitted, indignation, occasioned by this unexpected assault upon her lips, the hero of the first “red ear” was half around the circle of struggling girls, kissing both right and left with a skill and heartiness that awoke shouts of applause from the young "fellers," who envied his good fortune.
That was a new phase of life to Kate. She had heard of kissing as an amusement among young folks, and had often thought that the custom was too good to have become obsolete ; but a practical riew, and a personal participation like this, was a thing that her imagination had, in none of its vagaries, conceived. An old-fashioned, straight-backed, flag-bottomed chair stood near, and, unwilling to trust herself again upon the floor, Kate drew that into the circle, and seated herself close to the pilo of corn just as the young man had completed his task of kissing every girl in the room.
“First-rate that!” said he, smacking his lips, as he threw himself at her feet. “Wasn't I lucky ?"
Kate's indignation had, by this time, all melted away under a lively sense of the ludicrous, and she could not help laughing with the merriest. Soon another red ear was announced, and then the kissing commenco again. Such struggling, wrestling, screaming, and laughing, Kate had never heard nor seen. The young man who held the prize bad all
the nerve required to go through with his part, as Kate clearly proved when it came to her turn to receive a salute. Springing from her chair, she fled into the next room; but this only increased his eagerness to touch the lips of "the beautiful girl from Boston," and he soon had his arms around her and his hands upon her cheeks. The struggle was long and well sustained on the part of the maiden; but her fate was to be kissed, and kissed by a rough young countryman whom she had never met before. The deed was done, and then the blushing, panting girl was led back in triumph to the room from which she had escaped.
Red ears were in plenty that evening. It was shrewd guessed that every young man had come with at least two in his pockets, for all the girls avowed that never before had farmer Bradley's field of corn produced so many. As for Kate, she was kissed and kissed, until making, as she alleged to her friend, a virtue of necessity, she submitted with the kindliest grace imaginable; and, if the truth must be told, enjoyed the frolic with as lively a zest as any one present.
At length, the great pile of corn disappeared, and the company arranged themselves for dancing; but they had hardly been on the floor half an hour, when supper was announced—and such a supper as that was! No pyramids of ice-cream or candied oranges. No mock nor real turtle; nor oysters in a dozen styles. Turkies there were, but not scientific cally “boned." No; there were none of the fashionable city delicacies; but, instead, “a gigantic round of beef in the centre of the table was flanked on either side with vegetables. A bouncing junk of corned beef was at one end, and a big chickenpie at the other. An Indian pudding, of ample dimensions, stood forth between the middle and end of the end dishes, and a giant pot of beans loomed np on the other side ; whilst pumpkin-pies, applesauce, and a host of other fixings' filled up the spaces."
This was the bill of fare for the evening, and our city belle looked on with a new surprise, as she saw the articles disappearing one after another like frost work on window-panes at sunrise. If the good wife did not say on this, as was said on a similar occasion, "Lay hold, and help yourselves, gals—make a long arm; and let the men folks take keer of themselves. If any on you likes turnips squat and buttered, squat and butter 'em to suit yourselves"—at least as hearty and primitive an invitation to go to work on the good things was extended, and no one could complain that it was not acted upon. What followed is best given in the language of one who has already described a similar
“The guests seemed to do ample justice to the viands; mirth and festivity reigned around the board. Jokes, witticisms, and flashes of fun would occasionally set the table in a roar.' All appeared adepts and novices, took the floor and did their utmost:
'Twas right and left, and down outside, six round and
back to back: Harum-scarum, helter-skelter, bump together, whack!
determined to enjoy themselves at the top of their bent.'
“Soon as supper was over, all the girls lent a hand, and the table was cleared away in a jiffy. Blindman's buff was then introduced ; the company now was uproarious! Dancing was the next consideration. Amos Bunker screwed up his viol, rosined the bow, and did up' the toe and heelinspiring notes of Fisher's Hornpipe; whilst a number of the party, who were somewhat skilled in the terpsichorean art, put in the double shuffle rigadoon.' Presently the lookers-on caught the enthusiasm, and the whole company, old and young,
“And thus was the husking kept up till the old clock, which stood in one corner of the kitchen, beat out twelve; then broke up this jolly gathering."
So it was at old farmer Bradley's. When Kate went back to Boston, she was free to own that she had enjoyed a new kind of merrymaking, and avowed her purpose to be at old Ephraim Bradley's when the next “husking" came off.
IN THE OLD DOMINION.
Tae following is by the gentleman who kindly furnished us with the drawing of “Corn Shucking in the Old Dominion."
“I send you a pen and ink sketch, which, though familiar to all from the "sunny South,' may be a novelty to those residing at the North. It represents corn shucking in the Old Dominion. This is the season of merrymaking among the blacks, who assemble for miles around; and, for a supper of hog meat and hominy,' and as much whiskey as will make them merry, will, in a single night, husk the product of a large plantation. The labor of husking is made light by songs, and sometimes the music of a banjo. One man, who is celebrated for his wit and his facility in rhyming, mounts the pile, and treats his sable brethren to a recitative song, describing their joys and sorrows, their loves and their hardships, “in soul-moving poesy;' at the end of each line the chorus is caught up by those around the pile, and for miles their songs are borne on the still night air, lulling to rest all who are within reach of its soothing influence. The party does not break up till near day, and many find great difficulty in getting home, on account of their seeing double from their night debauch. P. H. C."
The following we extract from "Bryant's Letters from the South :"
“A CORN SHUCKING.—But you must hear of the corn shucking. The one at which I was present was given on purpose that I might witness the humors of the Carolina negroes. A huge fire of lightwood was made near the corn-house. Light-wood is the wood of the long-leaved pine, and is so called, not because it is light, for it is almost the heaviest wood in the world, but because it gives more light than any other fuel. In clearing lands, the pines are girdled and suffered to stand; the outer portion of the wood decays and falls off; the inner part, which is saturated with turpentine, remains upright
for years, and constitutes the planter's provision of fuel. When a supply is wanted, one of these dead trunks is felled by the axe. The abundance of light-wood is one of the boasts of South Carolina. Wherever you are, if you happen to be chilly, you may have a fire extempore ; a bit of light-wood and a coal give you a bright blaze and a strong heat in an instant. The negroes make fires of it in the fields where they work, and, when the mornings are wet and chilly, in the pens where they are milking the cows.
At a plantation where I passed a frosty night, I saw fires in a small inclosure, and was told by the lady of the house that she had ordered them to be made to warm the cattle.
“ The light-wood fire was made, and the negroes dropped in from the neighboring plantations, singing as they came. The driver of the plantation, a colored man, brought out baskets of corn in the husk, and piled it in a heap; and the negroes began to strip the husks from the ears, singing with great glee as they worked, keeping time to the music, and now and then throwing in a joke and an extravagant burst of laughter. The songs were generally of a comic character.
" When the work of the evening was over, the negroes adjourned to a spacious kitchen. One of them took his place as musician, whistling and beating time with two sticks upon the floor. Several of the men came forward and executed various dances, capering, prancing, and drumming with heel and toe upon the floor, with astonishing agility and perseverance, though all of them had performed their daily tasks, and had worked all the evening, and some had walked from four to seven miles to attend the corn shucking. From the dances & transition was made to a mock military parade, & sort of burlesque of our militia trainings, in which the words of command and the evolutions were extremely ludicrous. It became necessary for the