صور الصفحة
PDF
[merged small][ocr errors]

round and behind objeets. The eonvergenee and divergenee of the eyes may be shewn by the same diagram. The eyes, when direeted on the objeet e, are more eonverged than when looking at d. In other words, e is seen at a mueh greater angle than d; the rays of light proeeeding from eord eompelling the pupils of the eyes to approaeh or reeede from eaeh other. This opening and elosing of the visual axis may be fitly eompared to the same aetion in a pair of eompasses, and it is by the quantity of this aetion going on with the eyes that we are enabled to estimate the relative distanee of near objeets. The eyes, then, may be simply eonsidered as a pair of optieal eompasses, and the rays of light emanating from the objeet as the limbs of the eompasses. The sensation or effeet of distanee results from the power whieh we possess with two eyea to see round and behind objeets.

It has been fully explained, in the preeeding diagram, hew we are enabled to see distant objeets, altheugh other objeets may intervene; and this is greatly assisted by the neeessary ehange of foeus whieh, whilst it makes the distant objeet elear and distinet, at the same time makes the near and intervening objeet less visible. The quality of foeal ehange beeomes of more value and importanee in eoses 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 diffieulty the distanee of objeets. It would be almost impossible to snuff a eandle with one eye elosed, or even to plaee the finger exaetly on any fixed point . The single eye, like the single leg of a eompass, eannot at first measure distanee: but, after some time, experienee teaehes the one eye to estimate distanee by the ehange of foeus alone, whilst with both eyes we feel and measure distanee by the eonvergenee and divergenee of the visual axis. The strueture of the eye has at all times been quoted as one of the most beautiful illustrations of design and natural meehanism, and eertainly the additional discoveries whieh we may expeet to be diselosed by the Stereoseope will not diminish our wonders at the minute and beautiful arrangements by whieh external pietures are painted on the mirror of the mind. We have, then, arrived to this eonelusion, that, to experienee the effeet of distanee or solidity, eertain eireumstanees must exist to eompel the opening and elosing of the visual angle, in proportion as the eyes are direeted to different parts of the same pieture . but, as in an ordinary single pieture, like the painting of a landseape, all parts of it are at the same relative distanee from the eyes, it follows that the angle of vision is the same for all parts, and, eonsequently, the sense or feeling of distanee eannot be experieneed. It matters not whether we look at the foreground or haekground, there ean be no mistake about its being on a flat surfaee; it gives rise to no feeling of distanee; altheugh the idea of nature may be skilfully repreVol. Xlv.—29

sented, the most art ean do is to imitate the impression of one eye alone. To produeo the effeet of nature, we must do as nature does: two pietures must be painted, one for eaeh eye, and eomhined, to produee the sensation of one. This is effeeted by the Stereoseope, the eompound image having all the qualities of the natural pieture, eaeh part of it eompelling the eye to eonverge and diverge, as it appears more or less distant. This is the most remarkable part of the Stereoseope diseovery, that two pietures on a perfeetly flat surfaee, when eomhined, sheuld neeessitate the same opening and elosing of the visual axis as is oeeasioned by a natural pieture where the parts whieh eonstitute it are separated by aetual measurable spaee.

We will now proeeed to examine the eonstruetion of the eompound Stereoseope pieture. It has already been explained that it is eonstituted of two pietures, eaeh taken from a different point of sight eorresponding with the two eyes; take, for example, a, the simplest form of pieture—an arrow standing in a vertieal direetion through a eirele—it would appear to eaeh eye like the diagram. These two designs being all that is neeessary to produee, with

[graphic]

the aid of the Stereoseope, the effeet of one arrow standing through a single eirele, with the harbed end uppermost, it now remains to explain hew this effeet is produeed. It is important to know that, in looking at natural objeets, both eyes are invariably direeted, or eonverge on the same point, and ean only regard a single point at the same time, whilst the Stereoseope enables eaeh eye to look at the eorresponding points of two separate pietures. This is, indeed, the whele seeret of this instrument, whieh, by bending the rays of light eoming from eaeh pieturo towards eaeh other, enables eaeh eye to regard a different image at the same time. In the diagram of the arrows, d a and xb b are eorresponding points, the parts ,b b being separated by a wider spaee than d a: eonsequently, the eyes being eaeh direeted on the parts x5 5 will be wider apart, or will have a greator divergenee than when looking At d a; and, as parts of the same objeet in nature give the effeet of greater or less distanee in proportion as they eause the eyes to eonverge and diverge, it follows, aeeording to this law, x5 b sheuld appear at a greater distanee than d a; in other words, the harbed part of the arrow sheuld appear uppermost. The annexed diagram may assist the explanation: here the arrows are supposed to bo

[merged small][graphic]

e e d is a mueh smaller angle than a e d; eonsequently, & a, or the harbed part of the arrow, must appear the nearest; that sueh is the faet may be proved by experiment. When this law is understood, the most eurious effeets may be produeed by equally simple means; the addition of a mere dot, or a single line, to a diagram, will be all that is neeessary to make it stand out from the surfaee on whieh it is drawn. The following are illustrations of some of the simplest forms of stereoseopie pietures: the first is intended to produee the effeet of

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][merged small]

direeted to 5: a eomparison of the angles will at onee shew that 5 must appear in the haekground from the inereased divergenee of the eyes. The singular part of this eose is, that only the right eye moves, whilst the left eye is stationary. A mere glanee at any geometrie stereoseopio pietures will at onee shew whieh parts sheuld be in the foreground, and whieh in the haekground. All that is neeessary is to measure the spaee between eorresponding points of both pietures; these whieh are) widest apart will appear behind these parts whieh are nearer to eaeh other. In this diagram, the pair

and eonvergenee of the eyes are produeed by terreosoopie pietures: the eomhined pietures of the halls are represented in this diagram. The left eye, being in a direet line, ean only see the hall d, and remains fixed on this point when the right eye is

[table]

of pietures produee opposite effeets to eaeh other; the part whieh stands out in one is behind in the other. The law just mentioned will explain it. In the upper pair, & is nearer to a than *5 is to b; henee the part et a will appear nearest, and nee verm in the lower pair of pietures. We eannot, from vision alone, have the idea of distanee; it is only when eomhined with the aetual experienee of toueh or measurement that we ean say one part is nearer than another. Nothing ean be more subjeet to deeeption than vision: as an example, the refleetion of a natural pieture in a mirror presents all the effeets of distanee; yet wo know from experienee every part of this pieture is refleeted from a plane surfaee. Again, the reeently-diseovered pseudoseope has the effeet of making objeets exaetly the opposite of what they really are: solids look hellow, objeets on the right appear on the left, the most distant objeets look the nearest, objeets approaehing have the effeet of reeeding, Ae. A natural pieture may, then, simply be eonsidered as a pieture eontaining effeets whieh eannot be rendered on a flat surfaee; all the ideas assoeiated with it, of distanee, Ae., are the result of a knowledge or experienee whieh is quite independent of the pieture itself, altheugh they assist most materially in giving a eharaeter to the impression made on the brain. Color also assists in giving an idea of the form of irregular images, and, in a eertain degree, may indieate distanee by its foree or tone. The ehief funetion of eolor, by whieh is meant light and shade, is to assist in exhihiting the shape of objeets when there is an absenee of direet lines. A globe is an illustration of this; witheut light and shade, it would look like a flat eirele.

A few words, in eonelusion, on the advaneement of phetography. The eommereial or publie appli

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Is rural distriets, the merrymakings have a natural heartiness about them never seen in eities, towns, nor villages. Overweening self-respeet has not eome in to fetter the motions of the body, nor to smother the laugh in its free utteranee. Feeling and aetion are in elose relationship. You eome nearer to nature, untrammelled by eustom and unaffeeted by art.

A merrymaking par exeellenee is a New England husking frolie. The husking frolie at the South is a different affair altogether. There, it is a eongregation of negroes from the various plantations near at hand, whe, while they work, make the air voeal almost for miles around with their rude melodies, a few of whieh have been rendered familiar to ears polite by the "Serenadera" whe have so higbly amused the publie during the past two or three years. But, at the North, the "busking," like the "quilting," draws together the gentle maidens and loving swains of a neighborheod, whe meet to enjoy themselves in their own way. And sueh 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-laeed eonventionality is gradually fmding its way beyond the eity limits, and hinding the free spirits of our eountry maidens. They meet oftener with the "eity folks," gradually falling more and more into their hahits as they partake more and more of their spirit; and, when they assemble for enjoyment, they eheek their impulses, restrain their movements, and hush almost into silenee 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 eoverings, amid laughter, musie, and the mingling of sweet voiees, as of old, mere "labor" eomes in too often to perform the

serviee, and silently and eoldly does its work. Yet, here and there, a farmer, whe eannot forget the pleasant times when he was young, sends forth his annual summons after the maize harvest is gathered, and then eomes a merrymaking for old and young that is enjoyed in a way never to be forgotten.

Old Ephraim Bradley was a man of this seheol. 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 saered thing, half involving sin in the omission.

Kate Mayflower, a wild romp of a girl from Boston—at least some in the eity regarded her as sueh —was spending a few weeks in D , when invitations eame 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 announeement was made that one was to be held in the neighborheod, and that she was invited to be present. It was a frolie that, from all she had heard, would just suit her temperament, and she set off, when the time eame, to make one of the party, in the merriest possible mood.

Evening had elosed in on the arrival of the party

from D , whe quiekly joined some seore or two

of young people in the large kitehen, where lay heaped up in the eentre a huge pile of Indian eorn.

"All that to be husked V whispered Kate, as she entered the room.

"Oh yes; all that and more, perhaps," was the smiling reply. "We have eome to work, you know."

"Now, gals," said old Mr. Bradley, whe stood looking on as the young folks gathered, with bright faees, 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 eeased, down dropped, amid gay voiees and laughter, the whele eompany upon the floor, in all graeeful and ungraeeful positions, in a eirele around the pile of eorn. Kate alone remained standing, for the movement was so sudden that she eould not aet with it .

"Here's room for you, Kate," eried one of the girls whe had eome with her, making a plaee by her side; and down sank Kate, feeling, for the first time, a little awkward and eonfused. Beside her was a stout, rough eountry youth, whese faee was all merriment, and whese eyes were daneing with antieipated pleasure. The eity girl eyed his rough, brown hands, eoarse garments, and uupolished faee, 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 elose, if you want a good fire."

Kate eould not help laughing at this. As she laughed, he added—

"All free and easy here." He had grasped an ear of eorn, and was already stripping down the husk. "A red ear, by jingo !" suddenly burst from his lips, in a tone of triumph; and, as he spoke, he sprang towards, or rather upon Kate, with the graee of a young bear, and kissed her with a "smaek" that might have been heard a dozen rooms off. Ere she had time to reeover from the surprise, and, it must be admitted, indignation, oeeasioned by this unexpeeted assault upon her lips, the hero of the first "red ear" was half around the eirele of struggling girls, kissing both right and left with a skill and heartiness that awoke sheuts of applause from the young "fellers," whe 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 theught that the eustom was too good to have beeome obsolete; but a praetieal view, and a personal partieipation like this, was a thing that her imagination had, in none of its vagaries, eoneeived. An old-fashioned, straight-haeked, flag-bottomed ehair stood near, and, unwilling to trust herself again upon the floor, Kate drew that into the eirele, and seated herself elose to the pilo of eorn just as the young man had eompleted his task of kissing every girl in the room.

"First-rate that!" said he, smaeking his lips, as he threw himself at her feet. "Wasn't I lueky?"

Kate's indignation had, by this time, all melted away under a lively sense of the ludierous, and she eould not help laughing with the merriest . Soon another red ear was announeed, and then the kissing eommeneed again. Sueh struggling, wrestling, sereaming, and laughinu', Kate had never heard nor eeen. The young man whu held the prize had all

i the nerve required to go through with his part, as j Kate elearly proved when it eame to her turn to rej eeive a salute. Springing from her ehair, she fled ; into the next room; but this only inereased his i eagerness to toueh the lips of "the beautiful girl I from Boston," and he soon had his arms around her 5 and his hands upon her eheeks. The struggle was I long and well sustained on the part of the maiden; 1 but her fate was to be kissed, and kissed by a rough I young eountryman whem she had never met before. \ The deed was done, and then the blushing, panting j girl was led haek in triumph to the room from whieh j she had eseaped.

\ Red ears were in plenty that evening. It was j shrewdly guessed that every young man had eome

< with at least two in his poekets, for all the girls avowed that never before had farmer Bradley's field of eorn produeed so many. As for Kate, she was kissed and kissed, until making, as she alleged to her friend, a virtue of neeessity, she submitted with the kindliest graee imaginable; and, if the truth must bo told, enjoyed the frolie with as lively a sett as any one present .

At length, the great pile of eorn disappeared, and the eompany arranged themselves for daneing; but they had hardly been on the floor half an heur, when supper was announeed—and sueh a supper as i that was! No pyramids of iee-eream or eandied 5 oranges. No moek nor real turtle; nor oysters in a j dozen styles. Turkies there were, but not seientifii eally "boned." No; there were nono of the fashs ionable eity delieaeies; but, instead, "a gigantie j round of beef in the eentre of the table was flanked s on either side with vegetables. A bouneing junk j of eornod beef was at one end, and a hig ehieken\ pie at the other. An Indian pudding, of ample i dimensions, stood forth between the middle and end

< of the end dishes, and a giant pot of beans loomed

< up on the other side; whilst pumpkin-pies, applei sauee, and a hest of other 'fixings' filled up the I spaees."

\ This was the hill of fare for the evening, and ! our eity belle looked on with a new surprise, as she > saw the artieles disappearing one after another i like frost work on window-panes at suurise. If the j good wife did not say on this, as was said on a ! similar oeeasion, "Lay held, and help yourselves, I gals—make a long arm; and let the men folks take j keer of themselves. If any on you likes turnips : squat and buttered, squat and butter 'em to suit i yourselves"—at least as hearty and primitive an ini vitation to go to work on the good things was ex\ tended, and no one eould eomplain that it was not j aeted upon. What followed is best given in the j language of one whe has already deseribed a similar \ seene

\ "The guests seemed to do ample justiee to the \ viands; mirth and festivity reigned around the j board. Jokes, wittieisms, and flashes of fun would \ oeeasionally 'set the table in a roar.' All appeared 345

CORN SHUCKING IN THE OLD DOMINION.

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 eleared away in a jiffy. Blindman's buff was then introdueed; the eompany now was uproarious! Daneing was the next eonsideration. Amos Bunker serewed up his viol, rosined the bow, and 'did up' the toe and heelinspiring notes of Fisher's Horupipe; whilst a number of the party, whe were somewhat skilled in the terpsieherean art, put in the' double shuffle rigadoon.' Presently the lookers-on eaught the enthusiasm, and the whele eompany, old and young,

adepts and noviees, took the floor and did their utmost:

'Twas right and left, and down outside, six round and haek to haek:

n&rum-searum, helter-skelter, bump togother, whaek!'

"And thus was the husking kept up till the old eloek, whieh stood in one eorner of the kitehen, beat out twelve; then broke up this jolly gathering."

So it was at old farmer Bradley's. When Kate went haek 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" eame off.

CORN SHUCKING IN THE OLD DOMINION.

(See Plate.)

The following is by the gentleman whe kindly furnished us with the drawing of "Corn Shueking in the Old Dominion."

"I send you a pen and ink sketeh, whieh, theugh familiar to all from the 'sunny South,' may be a novelty to these residing at the North. It represents eorn shueking in the Old Dominion. This is the season of merrymaking among the blaeks, who assemble for miles around; and, for a supper of 'heg meat and heminy,' and as mueh whiskey as will make them merry, will, in a single night, husk the produet of a large plantation. The labor of husking is made light by songs, and sometimes the musie of a hanjo. One man, whe is eelebrated for his wit and his faeility in rhyming, mounts the pile, and treats his sable brethren to a reeitative song, deserihing their joys and sorrows, their loves and their hardships, ' in soul-moving poesy;' at the end of eaeh line the eherus is eaught up by these around the pile, and for miles their songs are borne on the still night air, lulling to rest all whe are within reaeh of its soothing influenee. The party does not break up till near day, and many find great diffieulty in getting heme, on aeeount of their seeing double from their night dehaueh. P. H. C."

The following we extraet from " Bryant's Letters from the South :"—

"A Cork Shuekino.—But you must hear of the eom shueking. The one at whieh I was present was given on purpose that I might witness the humors of the Carolina negroes. A huge firo of lightmood was made near the eorn-heuse. Light-wood is the wood of the long-leaved pine, and is so ealled, not beeause it is light, for it is almost the heaviest wood in the world, but beeause it gives more light than any other fuel. In elearing lands, the pines are girdled and suffered to stand; the outer portion of the wood deeays and falls off; the inner part, whieh is saturated with turpentine, remains upright

for years, and eonstitutes the planter's provision of fuel. When a supply is wanted, one of these dead trunks is felled by the axe. The abundanee of light-wood is one of the boasts of South Carolina. Wherever you are, if you happen to be ehilly, yon may have a fire extempore; a hit of light-wood and a eoal 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 ehilly, in the pens where they are milking the eows. At a plantation where I passed a frosty night, I saw fires in a small inelosure, and was told by the lady of the bouse that she had ordered them to be made to warm the eattle.

"The light-wood fire Whs made, and the negroes dropped in from the neighboring plantations, singing as they eame. The driver of the plantation, a eolored man, brought out haskets of eorn in tho 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 musie, and now and then throwing in a joke and an extravagant burst of laughter. The songs were generally of a eomie eharaeter.

"When the work of the evening was over, the negroes adjourned to a spaeious kitehen. One of them took his plaee as musieian, whistling and beating time with two stieks upon the floor. Several of the men eame forward and exeeuted various danees, eapering, praneing, and drumming with heel and too upon the floor, with astonishing agility nnd perseveraneo, theugh all of them had performed their daily tasks, and had worked all the evening, and somo had walked from four to seven miles to attend the eorn shueking. From the danees a transition was mado to a moek military parade, a sort of burlesque of our militia trainings, in whieh the words of eommand and the evolutions were extremely ludierous. It beeame neeessary for the

« السابقةمتابعة »