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mavacure four or five lines in diameter, the darts, which it renders mortal ; but are scraped with a knife; and the bark taken internally, the Indians consider that comes off is bruised, and reduced the curare to be an excellent stomachic. into very thin filaments, on the stone “ Scarcely a fowl is eaten (adds our employed for grinding cassava. The author,) on the banks of the Oroonoko, venomous juice being yellow, the whole which has not been killed with a poifibrous mass takes this colour. It is soned arrow. The missionaries prethrown into a funnel nine inches high, tend, that the flesh of animals is never with an opening four inches wide. so good as when these means are emThis funnel was, of all the instruments ployed. Father Zea, who accompaof the Indian laboratory, that of which nied us, though ill of a tertian fever, the master of poison seemed to be caused every morning the live fowl almost proud. He asked us repeatedly, lotted for our repast to be brought to if por allà (down yonder, that is in his hammock, together with an arrow. Europe) we had ever seen any thing Notwithstanding his habitual state of to be compared to his empudo. It weakness, he would not confide this was a leaf of the plantain-tree rolled operation, to which he attached great up in the form of a cone, and placed importance, to any other person. in another stronger cone made of the Large birds, a guan (pava de monte) leaves of the palm-tree. The whole for instance, or curassoa (alector) of this apparatus was supported by when wounded in the thigh, perish in slight framework made of the petioli two or three minutes ; but it is often and ribs of palm-leaves. A cold infu- ten or twelve before a pig or a pecari sion is first prepared by pouring water expires." on the fibrous matter, which is the M. Humboldt does not seem to be ground bark of the mavacure. A yel- acquainted with any certain antidote, lowish water filters during several if such exists, to this fatal poison. Suhours, drop by drop, through the leafy gar, garlic, the muriate of soda, &c. funnel. This filtered water is the ve are mentioned doubtingly. In Lonnomous liquor, but it acquires strength don, some very curious experiments only when it is concentrated by evapo- were tried on animals, somewhat reration, like molasses in a large earthen sembling those used to restore suspend pot. The Indian from time to time ed animation by drowning. By keepinvited us to taste the liquid ; its taste, ing up a constant motion of the lungs more or less bitter, decides when the (by inflation with bellows and expiraconcentration by fire has been carried tion through pressure,) for many hours, sufficiently far. There is no danger in it was supposed that the creature appathis operation, the curare being dele- rently killed by the curare would reterious only when it comes into imme- vive : we are not informed whether diate contact with the blood. The the operation ever succeeded, but we vapours, therefore, that are disengaged believe that several dead horses and from the pans, are not hurtful, notwith- asses refused to come to life again! standing what has been asserted on this But to return to the narrative. point by the missionaries of the Oroo “ The old Indian, who was called noko. "Fontana, in his fine experi- the master of poison, seemed flattered ments on the poison of the ticunas of by the interest we had taken in his the river of Amazons, long ago proved, chemical processes. He found us sufthat the vapours rising from this poi- ficiently intelligent to have no doubt son, when thrown on burning charcoal, that we knew how to make soap, and, may be inhaled without apprehension; next to the fabrication of curare, this and that it is false as M. de la Conda- art appeared to him one of the finest mine has announced, that Indian wo- inventions of the human mind. When men, when condemned to death, have the liquid poison was poured into the been killed by the vapours of the poi- vessels prepared for this purpose, we son of the ticunas."
accompanied the Indian to the festival The juice is thickened with a gluti- of the juvias. The harvest of juvias, nous substance to cause it to stick to or fruits of the bertholletia excelsa,
was celebrated by dancing, and the ex- silent gravity. Most frequently the cesses of the most savage intoxication. dancers themselves are the musicians. The hut, where the natives were as- Feeble sounds, drawn from a series of sembled, displayed,during several days, reeds of different lengths, form a slow a very singular aspect. There was and plaintive accompaniment. The neither table nor bench, but large roast- first dancer, to mark the time, bends ed monkeys, blackened by smoke, both knees in a kind of cadence.were ranged in order, resting against Sometimes they all make a pause in the wall. These were the marimon- their places, and execute little oscillades (ateles belzebuth,) and those beard- tory movements, bending the body ed monkeys called capuchins, which from one side to the other. These must not be confounded with the weep- reeds, ranged in a line, and fastened er, or sai (simia capucina of Buffon.) together, resemble the pipe of Pan, as The manner of roasting these anthro- we find it represented in the bacchanapomorphous animals contributes singu- lian processions on Grecian vases. To larly to render their appearance disa- unite reeds of different lengths, and greeable in the eyes of civilized man. make them sound in succession by A little grating or lattice of very hard passing them before the lips, is a simwood is formed, and raised one foot ple idea, and naturally presented itself from the ground. The monkey is to every nation. We were surprised skinned, and bent into a sitting pos- to see with what promptitude the young ture; the head generally resting on Indians constructed and tuned these the arms, which are meagre and long; pipes, when they found reeds (carices) but sometimes these are crossed be on the bank of the river. Men, in a hind the back. When it is tied on the state of nature, in every zone, make grating, a very clear fire is kindled be- great use of these gramina with high low. The monkey, enveloped in smoke stalks. The Greeks said with truth, and flame, is broiled and blackened at that reeds had contributed to subjugate the same time. On seeing the natives nations by furnishing arrows, to soften devour the arm or leg of a roasted men's manners by the charms of mumonkey, it is difficult not to believe, sic, and to unfold their understanding that this habit of eating animals, that by affording the first instruments for so much resemble man in their physi- tracing letters. These different uses cal organization, has, in a certain de- of reeds mark in some sort three differgree, contributed to diminish the hor- ent periods in the life of nations. We ror of anthropophagy among savages. must admit, that the tribes of the OrooRoasted monkeys, particularly those noko are found at the first step of that have a very round head, display a dawning civilization. The reed serves hideous resemblance to a child; the them only as an instrument of war and Europeans therefore, who are obliged of hunting ; and the Pan's pipes, of to feed on quadrimanes, prefer sepa- which we have spoken, have not yet, rating the head and the hands, and on those distant shores, yielded sounds serve up only the rest of the animal at capable of awakening mild and humane their tables. The flesh of monkeys is feelings." so lean and dry, that Mr. Bonpland has Mr. H. gives an interesting account preserved in his collections at Paris an of the Juvia, (chesnut-trees,) the hararm and hand, which had been broiled vested fruits of which cause the natives over the fire at Esmeralda; and no to rejoice so much ; but there is anothsmell arises from them after a greater tree, the character of which is still number of years.
more curious It is thus described :“ We saw the Indians dance. The “We saw on the slope of the Cerra monotony of this dance is increased by Duida shirt trees fifty feet high. The the women not daring to take a part in Indians cut off cylindrical pieces two it. The men, young and old, form a feet in diameter, from which they peel circle, holding each other's hands, and the red and fibrous bark, without makturn sometimes to the right, and some- ing any longitudinal incision. This times to the left, for whole hours, with bark affords them a sort of garment,
which resembles sacks of a very coarse cabbage. I mention this last productexture, and without a seam. The tion, which has the taste of our cauliupper opening serves for the head : flowers, because in no other country and two lateral boles are cut to admit had we seen specimens of such an imthe arms. The natives wear these mense size. The leaves that are not shirts of marima in the rainy season : unfolded are counfounded with the they have the form of the ponchos and young stem, and we measured cylinruanas of cotton, which are so com- ders of six feet long and five inches in mon in New Grenada, at Quito, and in diameter. Another substance, which Peru. As in these climates the riches is much more nutritive, is obtained and beneficence of Nature are regard- from the animal kingdom : this is fish ed as the primary causes of the indo- flour. The Indians in all the Upper lence of the inhabitants, the missiona- Oroonoko fry fish, dry them in the sun, ries do not fail to say, in showing the and reduce them to powder without shirts of marima, in the forests of the separating the bones. I have seen Oroonoko, garments are found ready masses of fifty or sixty pounds of this made on the trees.' We may add to flour, which resembles that of tassava. this tale of the shirts the pointed caps, When it is wanted for eating, it is mixwhich the spathes of certain palm-trees ed with water, and reduced to a paste. furnish, and which resemble coarse In every climate the abundance of fish net-work.
has led to the invention of the same “At the festival of which we were means of preserving them. Pliny and spectators, the women were excluded Diodorus Siculus have described the from the dance, and every sort of pub- fish bread of the ichthyophagous nalic rejoicing; they were daily occupied tions, that dwelt on the Persian gulf, in serving the men with roasted mon- and the shores of the Red Sea.” key, fermented liquors, and the palm
ORIGINAL LETTER FROM A LADY AT BATAVIA.*
April 1, 1820.
nut trees and plantains, two of the WE are now at Rysewick, about standing fruits of the country, and of
three miles from Batavia, which the greatest importance to the natives, renders our situation more healthy; for as with the addition of rice and salt my part I have not yet felt the heat they supply them with almost every more oppressive here than upon a hot thing which they deem the necessaries summer's day in England, and in some of life. Cocoa-nut trees grow in almost parts of the day it is even cooler. This every field around us ; however, the tais owing to the west or wet mon- ble of an European does not seem comsoon, which generally commences about plete without a dish of boiled rice and the end of November, and continues currie, both for breakfast and dinner. till March or April. During this sea- We lately purchased a milch goat with son the inhabitants are exposed to a kid for two rupees and a half, and sharp winds and violent torrents of eight fowls may be had for a rupee. rain. Thunder storms, accompanied Pork is not difficult to obtain, but other with vivid lightning, are very frequent, meat is scarce, and not equal to what especially towards the close of the mon- we have in England. The cows are
Batavia is very fertile; the very poor looking animals, and yield whole year is one perpetual spring; very little milk; goats are substitutes the interior is quite the garden of the both for sheep and cows. Butter is east; fruit is abundant, but few are extravagantly dear, and good cheese is equal in flavour with that produced in a scarce article. Wines are quite medEngland.
erate; the Cape wine is nine rupees the Our house is surrounded with cocoa dozen. As to our situation, we reside
Mrs. Phillips, wife of an English Missionary.
in a house principally constructed of exactly the case, and it makes a pretty bamboo, in a pleasant green lane about appearance. The contrast of the white three miles from Batavia; it is about walls with the green trees which sur44 feet long and 35 wide, with a ve- round it, gives a cheerful aspect to the randa before and behind. The centre whole. The sentinel tree, which preis a large hall with folding doors oppo- sides over our gate of bamboo, is a masite each other, which admit a free cur- jestic tamarind, now loaded with fruit. rent of air; on each side is a sleeping The front veranda looks into a garden, room and a study. The walls are the back into a poultry yard. My litbamboo ; the posts of teak; the floor tle canary bird, my companion for fifis paved with square bricks, and the teen thousand miles, hangs in the front roof thatched with palm leaves. You veranda, and has never ceased warbmay think it strange to hear of a house ling from cock-crowing till sunset. The without an upstair room, a pane of value of this little bird is equal to three glass, or a single chimney; yet this is houses in this country.
(New Monthly Magazine.)
FROM A SWEDISH LEGEND.
One is surprised that the legendary lore of Sweden should be so little known to the rest of
Europe; for, although in a country less explored by travellers than any other so far advanced in civilization, there is a penetrating spirit in popular poetry, that usually ena
bles it to make its way, under every disadvantage. The incidents in the following tale are taken from an old Swedish Ballad, founded on a
superstition common in ancient times to that country, and our own ; the mythology of both nations having peopled the interior of their mountains with a powerful, vindiotive, and mysterious race-objects always of terror, and sometimes of unwary love, but usual
ly fatal to those by whom they were not sedulously shunned. - Open, open, green hill, and let a fair maid in,” with the subsequent admittance of the
damsel, according to her invocation, in one of our nursery-tales, is evidently akin to the fate of Isabel.
THE MOUNTAIN KING,
She heard the bell toll, and went forth at the dawn
In a palace of splendour, received as a Queen,