Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

To their meagre wines—pale of hue and appearance of maturity being thus imparted to devoid of body-the cunning artificer adds a the mendacious bark. Surely the consumers large proportion of alum to heighten the colour: may have good reason to long for the "dura for the same purpose the inspissated juice of messorum ilia.” elderberries, and a strong decoction of logwood, From the same source we give an instance of are employed. To impart astringency and the the ingenuity and rapidity with which these flavour of age to new raw wine, oak sawdust, tricksters can imitate the choicest wines. or some of the salts of copper, are added with

The late Prince of Wales, it seems, “had at a liberal hand: then, again, the oil of bitter one time a small quantity of remarkably fine almonds (a deadly poison), bunches of elder- wine, of which his household approved so flowers, or pieces of orrice-root, supply the highly, that they speedily drank it out, leaving desiderated perfume.

but two bottles! Suddenly the Prince ordered A preponderance of acid is met by a large some for his table. The royal butler in a moaddition of lime, of potash, or of sugar of lead, ment stood aghast, but being a man of ready in which latter case, indeed, the whole cask wit, he went immediately to a city merchant teems with the elements of paralysis and death. and stated his dilemma. The dealer quickly

But very frequently the bottled fluids vended reassured him, observing, “Send me a bottle at many of the provincial hotels and inns con- of what remains, and what I send must be drunk tain not even one drop of the juice of the immediately: I can imitate it.The trick was grape. Innumerable are the recipes in vogue successful, and was repeated whenever requisite. among publicans of the lower class to enable Need we feel any surprise that, under such a them to defraud their too-confiding customers. systemthe ramifications of which extend The following is one, which, according to Mr. through every department of the trade; from the Mitchell,* is in considerable use for producing time when the pure juice is first pressed from the a “fine fruity port!”–

ripe grape, until it “sparkles on the board” of Damson wine, eleven gallons; brandy, five the defrauded consumer-a striking falling off gallons; cyder, thirty-six gallons; elder wine, should be each year perceptible in the imporeleven gallons.

tations from abroad, notwithstanding our vastly In a little book entitled a “Treatise on Wine- increasing wealth and numbers ? making,” under the suspicious heading, “Secrets belonging to vintners," will be found a

Those who are desirous of ascertaining to what exvast number of directions, which, if adopted, tent their wine-merchant is undermining their pockets must infallibly be attended with disastrous re- and their health, may arrive at tolerably satisfactory results. Fortunately for mankind the book is now

sults from the subjoined tests :

The alcohol in wines may be ascertained thus:- Add scarce, though we fear it has, since its publica

one part of a concentrated solution of subacetate of lead tion, been productive of incalculable mischief.+ to eight parts of the wine by measurement. A precipi

The report just published of the Select Com- tate will then be formed. Shake the mixture for a minute mittee on the import duties of wines, gives or two, and pour the whole upon a filter, and then collect some curious information on the subject of their wine with some of the lead. Add by little and little to manufacture. Take, for instance, the following this fluid, warm, dry, and pure subcarbonate of potash interesting account of the mode in which that (not the salt of tartar and subcarbonate of potash of comhighly-prized but anomalous article, port wine, merce), which has been freed from water by heat. Do

this until the last portion remains undissolved. The spirit is made up for sale. I

contained in the fluid will then be separated, the potash

Gallons. Cvder

abstracting all the water, and the spirit forming a stratum 45

separating upon the salt. Make the experiment in a Brandy

6 glass tube from half-an-inch to two inches in diameter, Port wine

8 graduated into 100 parts, and the quantity of spirit per Sloes, two gallons, stewed in water, 2 cent. may be read off at once.

To detect colouring matter in wine (red wine), acetate If the colour be not good, tincture of red of lead with pure wine throws down a greenish-grey sanders or cudbear is added. This is bottled precipitate. If elderberries, bilberries, or logwood have in a few days, and sold as port! A tea-spoonful been used, this test will give a blue precipitate. Brazil of powder of catechu being mixed with each wood, red sanders, and beet are thrown down red. When

beet is used, wine loses its colour with lime-water. bottle, a fine crusted appearance quickly fol- The French recommend liquid potash. The following lows. The ends of the corks having been are said to be its precipitates :soaked in a strong decoction of Brazil-wood

Berries of Yebla

Violet.
Indian wood

Violet red. and alum, the process is complete, the

Mulberries

Violet.
Brazil wood.

Red. * “ Treatise on the Falsifications of Foods."

Beet

Red. † “ The Victualler's Guide:” a work published with Turnsole or litmus

Clear violet. similar views, had an immense success, and went rapidly Myrtleberries

Lees of wine colour. through four editions.

Elderberries.

Bluish. $ Evidence of Cyrus Redding, Esq., 21st May 1852 With the natural colour of the wine the precipitate is (5221). Report, Part I. p. 661.

green.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

In corroboration of this statement, we lay The vastly increased and increasing conbefore our readers the following table, shewing sumption of alcoholic drinks and malt liquor, the quantity of wine imported and retained together with the high rate of duty, have no for home consumption in the United Kingdom doubt tended to diminish the consumption of in the following years :

wine, in addition to that which has already Imp. Gals. Years.

Imp. Gals.

been assigned as the principal reason. It is, 6,650,644, 1820 .

4,586,495 1789 5,959,098 1821

however, an astonishing fact, be the cause what 1790

6,601,038 1822 . 4,606,999 it may, that, in 1851, 217 fewer pipes should 1791

7,573,790 1823. 4,845,060 actually have been imported than in 1788, 1792 7,851,707 1824.

5,030,992 the population having more than doubled in 1793 6,610,701 1825

8,009,542 1794 6,811,374 | 1826

6,058,443

the interim. Temperance, it is to be feared, 1795 8,233,438 | 1827

6,826,361 has had little to do in the matter. 5,776,260 1828

7,162,376 The advocates of total abstinence from all 1797 3,569,261 1829

6,217,652 spirituous and fermented drinks themselves 1798 5,265,768 1830

6,434,445 1799

seem to fare little better than the wine-drinkers, 6,138,164 | 1831

6,212,264 1800 7,294,752 | 1832

5,965,542

as regards the purity of the only liquid which 1801. 6,876,710 | 1833

6,207,770 they permit to pass the portal of their lips. 7,113,416 1834

6,480,544 We have before us representations of the mi8,226,464 1835

6,420,342

croscopic display presented by a drop of water 5,457,691 1836

6,809,212 4,622,701 | 1837

6,391,531 taken from the supplies furnished by each of 5,825,178 | 1838

6,990,271 the different metropolitan water companies. It 6,271,346 1839

7,000,486 is difficult to say which abounds with the great6,331,875 1840

6,553,922

est amount of insect loathsomeness. It matters 5,894,177 1841

6,184,960 6,521,293 1842

4,815,222 little, indeed, whether the denizen of Cockayne 5,629,722 1843

6,068,987 quench his thirst from the pipes of the New 5,024,530 | 1844

6,838,684 River, the Southwark, the Lambeth, the East 4,565,477 1845 .

6,736,131

London, the Chelsea, or the Hampstead com5,330,774 1846 .

6,740 316 4,624,105 1847. 6,053,847 panies : dreadful shapes appear on every side, 1816 4,057,038 1848

6,136,547 intermingled with the decaying remains of ve1817 5,142,829 1849.

6,251,862

getable and animal life. 5,635,216 1850.

6,437,222 1819

The annexed wood-cuts furnish an accurate 4,615,212 1851

6,280,653

[graphic]

1802 1803 1904. 1805 1805 1807 1508 1809 1810

1811.

Sample of the water of the Hampstead Company, exhibiting some of the principal living productions detected

in it, as supplied by this Company.

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

Sample of the water of the New-River Company, sbewing some of the remarkable vegetable and animal

productions in it, as supplied to consumers. representation of a single drop of water from But enough : we are warned that it is necesthe mains of the Hampstead and the New- sary, for the present at least, to throw a veil River Companies, the sources of whose supply over the painful scene. are usually considered the least objectionable! Our object in the foregoing remarks has The water-pipes of the other companies yielded been, not to excite needless alarm, but to sugstill more terrible results.

gest the propriety, in a sanitary point of view, The very names with which science has bap- of using due circumspection in the various tized the unclean creatures which animate our articles daily employed for the maintenance of cisterns, and whose grim corpses invisibly crowd life. the oaken ale-cask, the crystal goblet, and the Mark yonder portly man: he has scarcely silver urn, are indicative of their monstro- passed the period of maturity, and yet he insity.

cessantly complains of ailments which the art When we find that a minute drop, that might of no physician has yet been enabled to reach : be taken up by the point of a feather, contains his health is evidently breaking, his system has such beings as a Cladophera glomerata, an Oxy- struggled long against the ravages of an insitricha gibba, a Surrirella striatula, an Euglena dious foe. longicaudata, or, worse than all, an Amphilep- Probably the water with which his domicile is tus margaretifer, it is not difficult to believe supplied, besides being tainted with all the foulthat a quarto volume would hardly contain the ness that a London Company can impart, is cognomens of the uncouth and ungainly rep- received into leaden cisterns, which are fast tiles imbibed at one deep draught.

corroding from the action of carbonic acid, and Fortunately for our peace of mind our eyes are thus hourly tending to bring their victim to are not naturally endowed with microscopic the grave by means, slow, but sure, and terrible power, or we should recoil with horror from as sure.* the proffered cup in which we beheld a Nitzschia At breakfast, his tea coloured (as it comelongata lurking, or observed a Daphnia quad- monly is) with Prussian blue, chromate of rangula chasing, with wolf-like rapacity, a Lynceus sphæricus, while a Cyclops quadricor

* The use of water impregnated with the salts of lead, nis by his side was rending in pieces an unfortu

even in minute quantities, is productive of paralysis in nate and feeble Scenedesmus quadricaudatus. its worst form, followed by the most cruel of deaths.

lead, or carbonate of copper, adds to the already have since so ably discharged, the Commissiopoisonous nature of the water with which it is ners of the “ Lancet" had in view three obcombined. His bread, if he reside in London, jects—To record the results of actual analyses is certainly adulterated with alum,* not impro- of samples of the various solids and fluids conbably with plaster of Paris or sand. His beer sumed in the metropolis, as well as those sold with cocculus indicus, grains of paradise, quas- in the chief provincial cities and towns; and sia, &c.t

then to extend their investigations to every Those girkins, of emerald hue, that appear so description of medicine and drug. innocent, and consequently so tempting in their It will be seen at once that their field of prismatic jar, owe their seductive beauty to one inquiry was tolerably extensive, and that their of the deadliest poisons in all the range of che- researches must already have involved great mistry: The verdant apricots in that tart are labour and a considerable outlay. attractive from the same baneful cause. The During the first year of their operations the anchovy-paste produced contemporaneously Commissioners were occupied only with the first with the cheese, if analysed, would be found to of the objects above enumerated, and even this consist of an amalgam of decayed sprats, vene- has scarcely yet been brought to completion. tan red, and red lead; nay, that double Glouces. The analysts, however, have gone over many ter itself is not free from contamination : its of the most important articles of consumption, colour is due to annatto, and that annatto has as sugar, tea, coffee, chicory, cocoa, chocobeen compounded of red lead, chrome, and late, mustard, pepper, bread, flour, arrow-root, ochre. The oil in that salad has possibly come farrinaceous foods, including the compounds from Paris, where incredible quantities are ma- ervalenta and revalenta, oatmeal, isinglass, nufactured at the knacker's yard! Whole car

water, and milk. cases of horses being there boiled down, the fat Deep and extensive systems of adulteration is resolved into its component stearine and elaine; have been detected; often commencing with the former being converted into candles, and the manufacturer, and terminating with the the latter into olive oil.

petty shopkeeper. The cloth is removed; the dessert and children They have proved to demonstration “that are introduced; the more juvenile and clamo- in purchasing any article of food or drink, the rous are appeased with the coveted ornaments rule is, that you obtain an adulterated one, the from the central cake. As well almost might genuine commodity being the exception." the fond parent give them dirks or loaded pis- Further, that the articles used for adulteratols for toys. The brilliant colours they prize tion are always of inferior quality, often worthso highly derive their charm from gypsum, less, frequently positively injurious, and not salts of lead, mercury, and arsenic, and can uncommonly poisonous. hardly fail to lay the foundation of future sick- The labours of the Analytical Sanitary Comness, and, not improbably, of long-protracted mission are characterized by three very distinct misery.

features. That treacherous wine may contain, not only The first and great peculiarity is, that they salts of lead and copper, but even sulphuric and record the results of the actual examination of prussic acids, and still more hurtful ingredients. samples as purchased from dealers, and thereIn short, to such an extent is the fraudulent fore in the exact condition in which they reach adulteration of all kinds of provisions carried the consumer. Much has been written from by tradesmen of every denomination, that the time to time on adulteration, but comparatively system calls for legislative interference in order to little purpose, since the writings hitherto 10 stay the further dissemination of disease. published contain less the results of the expeTheir knavery, like the spectre in Anastasius, rience of the several authors than the statements is “ever present at the festive board, and hands and opinions of others, often extremely erroneus whatever we would attempt to reach; but ous, handed down from year to year, and from whatever it presents is blasted by the touch. book to book. To our wine it gives the taste of blood; to our The strongest possible proof that the asserbread the rank Havour of death !”

tions of the “ Lancet” on these matters are On assuming the important functions they incontrovertible, rests on the fact that, though

in every case that Journal has given the names * In a penny bun lately were found three grains of and addresses of the fraudulent tradesmen, in alma and ten of chalk. * Whatever the purity of the beer sent out from the

no one instance have any of the delinquents brewery, it is almost invariably found in a highly sophise dared to take proceedings against the“ Lancet” ticated state on the pr ses of the publican.

or its Commissioners.

D

THE WHIM-WHAMS AND OPINIONS OF SIR ARCHIBALD ALISON, BART.*

“the great

When Mr. D’Israeli, in one of his novels, philosophy. He is no more like Tacitus than sneered at Mr. Alison as

Mr. Wordy, a woolpack is like a diamond; no more like who had written a history of Europe in twenty Macaulay than the Pavilion at Brighton is like volumes,” he manifested a very just apprecia- St. Mark's at Venice. He is verbose, and yet tion of the merits of that gentleman as an his- obscure, grandiloquent and common-place;t torian : perhaps, also, he betrayed the jealousy ambitious in words and mean in ideas; conof a litterateur who saw a brother writer mak- fused in arrangement, dogmatical without wising a great deal of money with very little merit. dom, and positive without knowledge. He criWhen the same Mr. D’Israeli inaugurated the ticises the campaign of Waterloo with more than return of the Tory party to power, by conferring the confidence of a great military leader, and upon Mr. Alison the title of baronet, he pro- exposes the faults and oversights of Wellington claimed the poverty of his party in literary ta- with an easy superiority that allows us no allent, and their gratitude for very small favours. ternative but to admire him as a great master He shewed that the Tories had the courage to of strategics, or to get vexed with him, and perbestow, for a few articles in “Blackwood,” a re- haps call him a coxcomb or a presumptuous ward that was thought sufficient for Scott; and and shallow pedanti-an impropriety which he contrasted, in the strongest possible manner, the appreciation of literary services by the Whigs † Take the following beautiful bit of bathos (p. 567) : and the Tories, when he conferred on Alison

“ As the Congress (at Aix la Chapelle) was expected to

be short, there was not the same brilliant concourse of what successive Whig Cabinets had deemed un strangers which had met at Vienna in 1814; but still earned by Hallam or Macaulay.

enough to throw an air of splendour over the august asWe do not grudge Mr. Alison his baronetcy. sembly. The princess Lieven, and Lady Castlereagh; He has given the true English pledge of merit- shone pre-eminent among the female diplomatists ***

The splendid diamonds of the latter were the object of general he has made money in his calling: he has quite admiration * * * Madame Catalani appeared there with as much right to be made a baronet for his the magnificent diamond brooch which had been given her by quickly-selling books, as a London citizen has the Emperor Alexander." Punch's " friend - Jenkins for his success in the sale of candles, or as a

at the Morning Post has surely mistaken his vocation.

He should have writteen a History of England. banker has to be made a peer for his operations We have heard old military men vent many pishes in the money-marketà tous seigneurs tous hon- and pshaws, and even other less mistakeable monosylla

bles, when we have read to them some passages from the That money should reward the shrewdness 376th page of the nineteenth volume of År. Alison's

veritable history. which produces a useful article, fit for general

“In the first place, it is evident, whatever the English consumption, is one of those ordinary sequences writers may say to the contrary, that both Blucher and whereof none has a right to complain: that the the Duke of Wellington were unexpectedly assailed by acquisition of such substantial and evidentsuccess Napoleon's invasion of Belgium on the 15th June, and should lead to honour and much respect, is the nigh proved a decisive, advantage by that circumstance.".

that he gained in the outset a great, and, what had well common course of events among a matter-of-fact The “historian" disposes promptly, as we have often commercial people. When Mr. Smith became delighted to observe to our irate military friends, of all Lord Carrington, and when Mr. Jones Lloyd objections as to shutting Napoleon out from the road to became Lord Overstone, who did not look upon tulate himself on his campaign,” triumphantly replies

“ He would have had little reason to congrait as the most natural circumstance in the world? Phormio of Ephesus-we mean Sir Archibald Alison of If Chatterton or Otway had been made ba- Edinburgh, "if he had passed the allies and occupied ronets, what respecter of our ancient institutions Brussels, if they had passed him and taken Paris !" would not have been deeply scandalized ?

If Wellington had only acted as Mr. Alison would have

done under similar circumstances, “ the campaign would But it is a very different thing to allow a have been secured, and Napoleon overthrown in the very man to walk in proud precedence with rich first encounter, without risk to either party;"!!! but as it Lord Mayors, and to exalt him to the rank of happened, the victory was nothing but “the result of misClarendon, Gibbon, Hume, Robertson, and information on the part of one general, and heroic but Hallam. If this be claimed, we must have for the extraordinary circumstance which was not to be

imprudent valour on the other" (p. 382). In fact, " but some better passport than Mr. D’Israeli's pa- reckoned on—of D’Erlon's corps, 24,000 strong, being tent.

marched and countermarched the whole of the 16th, withNow Sir Archibald Alison has no one quality leon would have gained, on the very first day of the cam

out firing a shot either at Quatre Bras or Ligny-Napoof an eminent historian. He has neither im- paign, a victory over both the English and Prussian partiality, eloquence, elegance, research, or forces” (p. 379). It is quite evident," therefore, as we

took the liberty of remarking to General Bulletriddled * History of Europe, from the fall of Napoleon in 1815 of the fighting third division, that either Sir A. Alison to the accession of Louis Napoleon in 1852, by Sir Archi- ought to be looked upon as a foolish bore, who talks nonbald Alison, Bart. Vol. I. Blackwood. Edinburgh, sense over a subject he knows nothing about, or else that 1852.

the defence of England, in case of an invasion, ought at

neurs.

« PoprzedniaDalej »