The Melon and Cucumber.—These exotic fruits are extensively cultivated; the latter takes various shapes in our bills of fare; the former is more a luxury than a fruit for general use; their culture on hot-beds forms a material branch of modern gardening, and with that of the gourd, pumpkin, squash, vegetable marrow, &c., is well known.
The Pine-Apple.—This sovereign of fruits is, and can only be, in this country, an appendage to opulence and rank. Several varieties are cultivated in our forcing-stoves, and grace the tables of the rich, and in as great perfection as they can be had between the tropics. In their wild state, they affect the sides of rivulets, and often under the shade of lofty trees; but are of inferior flavour, unless the weather is very dry when they are ripening off; and when cultivated, they receive little or no water during the last stage of their growth.—Quarterly Journal of Science, &c.
ANECDOTES OF THE MARVELLOUS.
A Prediction Fulfilled.
At the time of the American war, a gentleman (a mere youth) entered the army, and saw some little service. One day, during an engagement, he was, in the hurry and confusion of it, knocked down; and a soldier, setting his foot upon his chest in passing over him, hurt him so exceedingly that he became senseless; upon recovering, he found himself still stretched on the ground, and a singular, looking female stood beside him, who, as he opened his eyes, exclaimed in an ill-boding voice, "Ay, young man, mark my words: that hurt will be the death of you in your forty-second year." He immediately recognised in this old raven one of those soothsayers who usually followed the army, and gained a livelihood by their oracular powers. Mr. L. certainly did mark her words, inasmuch as returning to England, he quitted the army, entered the church, and amongst other red-coat reminiscences, used frequently to mention (and mention but to ridicule) the American soothsayer's prediction. Nevertheless, true it is, that he did die in his forty-second year, and of a disease in his chest too, although he had never suffered from the hurt beyond the period at which he received it.
The measles (it is pretty well known to all voyagers) is at St. Helena a hideous and fatal disorder, although generally mild at the Cape, which is about a fortnight's sail from the former island: every ship, therefore, from the Cape, upon touching at St. Helena, undergoes examination, and, if the measles are known to be prevalent at the former place, is put into quarantine, and no officer, however urgent his business may be, allowed to land without making oath or affidavit that he has not been on shore at the Cape, or approached an infected person. Some years since, a naval officer, acquainted with the then governor of St. Helena, General P——n, was invited to dine with him, and met at dinner another officer from another vessel, who, it is to be presumed, had eluded undergoing the usual precautionary measures, and was perhaps ignorant of their existence, since he mentioned, during the repast, that the measles were prevailing at Cape Town, and admitted that he had entered it. Now, he had just arrived at St. Helena, and though he expressly stated that he had not gone near any infected person, poor Mrs. P——, uttering a shriek, fled from the table, exclaiming that she knew she should have the measles; in fact, she immediately fell sick of that disorder, (and died, I think I understood.) All her family took it, and it raged through the island, proving dreadfully destructive.
It was the wedding day of Mr. and Mrs. Terry, (I mean the actual, not the anniversary wedding-day,) and the jocund bridegroom, bride, and their guests were assembled about noon in the drawing-room, when a servant entered, and said a gentleman had called, and wished to speak to Mr. T.; that he was waiting below stairs, and would not come up, because he came upon very particular business. Mr. Terry, desiring his company to excuse him for a few minutes, quitted the room. One hour elapsed—no bridegroom; two hours—he did not appear;—three—four—he was not returned: the bride's mind misgave her, and the hymeneal guests were quite alarmed: the servants declared that they had seen their master and the gentleman walk into the garden, from whence they were not returned. Now, a high brick wall, in which there was no outlet, and over which no person could climb except by a ladder, enclosed the garden, which, when searched, was empty, whilst, at the same time, Mr. Terry and his friend, "the gentleman," could not have walked out at the hall-door without being, from its situation, seen and heard by the servants in the kitchen. Time fled—and he did not return—no!—and although his lady lived to be nearly ninety years of age, she never gained tidings again of the spouse, thus so mysteriously spirited away!
Raising the Wind.
The superstitions of sailors are not few, as those assert who are conversant in maritime affairs. Amongst others, is the custom, pretty well known, of whistling for a wind. A gentleman told me, that, on his first voyage, being then very young, and ignorant of sea usages, he was in the habit of walking the deck a great deal, "and whistling as he went," perhaps "for want of thought"—perhaps for lack of something better to do. Shortly, he fancied that the captain of the vessel seemed not a little annoyed whenever this took place, although he kept a respectful silence upon the subject. At length Mr. ——— resolved to speak to him himself: and, accordingly, one day, when it blew a pretty brisk gale, said, "I observe, captain, that you appear particularly uneasy whenever I whistle."—"To say the truth, sir, I am just now," replied he. "On a fair, still day, whistle as much as you please; but, when there is a wind like this, we don't like to have any more called."—New London Literary Gaz.
LITERARY NOTICES OF
A PHILOSOPHICAL KITCHEN.
A romantic and ludicrous novel has just appeared, entitled "The Mummy, or Tale of the Twenty-second Century," exhibiting some of the probable results of "the march of intellect;" and of the pungency of its satire the following is a fair specimen, describing a kitchen in the twenty-second century:—
When Dr. Entwerfen left the breakfast-room of Lord Gustavus, which he did not do till a considerable time after the rest of the party had quitted it, he was so absorbed in meditation, that he did not know exactly which way he was going; and, happening unfortunately to turn to the right when he should have gone to the left, to his infinite surprise he found himself in the kitchen instead of his own study. Absent as the doctor was, however, his attention was soon roused by the scene before him. Being, like many of his learned brotherhood, somewhat of a gourmand, his indignation was violently excited by finding the cook comfortably asleep on a sofa on one side of the room, whilst the meat intended for dinner, a meal it was then the fashion to take about noon, was as comfortably resting itself from its toils on the other. The chemical substitute for fire, which ought to have cooked it, having gone out, and the cook's nap precluding all reasonable expectation of its re-illumination, the doctor's wrath was kindled, though the fire was not, and in a violent rage he seized the gentle Celestina's shoulder, and and shook her till she woke. "Where am I?" exclaimed she, opening her eyes. "Any where but where you ought to be," cried the doctor, in a fury. "Look, hussy! look at that fine joint of meat, lying quite cold and sodden in its own steam."