Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/298

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and reeds for the poor; and all draw and puff their smoke with equal pleasure. The form and size of the bowls depend more or less on what is smoked, and the fashion of smoking. And what is smoked? Tobacco by the Europeans of Europe and America—when it is not something else under that name. And these are as nothing in comparison with the hundreds of millions of Asiatics and other hundreds of millions of Africans who use opium, hemp, toadstools, rose leaves, tea leaves, cabbage leaves, and what not. We might say that everything is smoked, except tobacco. While tobacco pipes are generally of moderate capacity, some German and Danish smokers use pipe bowls nine or ten inches long and wide in proportion, and there are pipes in Africa and Damascus that will hold nearly a pound. There are pipes of two and more bowls, some Dutch seventeenth-century pipes with six and seven bowls, each having an elaborately shaped stem, being mentioned by M. de Watteville; and other pipes having several stems. The stems vary in length from the stubby pipe that the workman can smoke as he works, to the elongated six-or eight-foot coiled tubes of the Oriental nargilehs. The length of the stem is partly a matter of climate: short stems for cold countries, long for hot ones. The decorations of pipes are subject to the caprices of fancy and the prevailing fashion. Some Oriental pipes are fairly worth their weight in gold by virtue of the jewels with which they are adorned. They often bear coats of arms or a political device, like a cigar holder of the German Kulturkampf period, on which Bismarck was represented as a shoemaker. At every inhalation the figure raised its right arm and brought its hammer heavily down upon the back of a priest.


History in Minerals.—Palæomineralogy is the name which M. J. Thoulet has given to the study of the traces that events have left upon minerals, by means of which we may learn facts in the past history of the rock, whether it be a few days or months or thousands of years old. It aims to reconstitute the geography of the earth in its most remote epochs, in attempting which we have to take cognizance of the most minute details, as we would do in exploring a hitherto unknown island. The methods of this branch of investigation are illustrated by the studies of Sorby on the formation of liquid inclusions in crystals; by those of Des Cloiseaux and Maillard on the optical deformation of minerals, as a result of which we are able to ascertain whether the feldspar in the rocks has or has not been subjected to a red heat. Other experiments, physical and mechanical, permit us to read similar lessons in the history of minerals. Thus Daubrée, after studying the effects of wearing upon pebbles, remarked that "every grain of sand bears its history inscribed upon it." In this way M. Redgers traced the origin of the dunes of Holland to the Scandinavian rocks. Relations have been discovered between the shapes of grains of sand and the velocity of the currents in which they have been carried and the distance. The length of time the grain has been exposed to the action of water is a subject for further study; and it is hoped that it will be possible some time, by the examination of the fossils contained in a specimen, to determine the probable depth of the water adjacent to the deposits; and from the lessons furnished by a piece of limestone, for instance, to reconstitute the geological ocean in which it originated, estimating the dimensions of the sea, the force and direction of the currents and waves and of the winds that blow over it, and the depth of the water, its temperature, salinity, and density—all, in short, that we are only beginning to learn concerning our present seas.


Customs of Demerara Negroes.—The Demerara boatman, Mr. J. Rodway says, "has great powers of endurance. He can paddle for hour after hour, often against the stream, until you wonder how he bears such a strain. But when his work is done he falls asleep in almost any position. Under the burning rays of a cloudless sun which would blister your face he sprawls down in the bateau and sleeps like a dog." With his inclination to sleep during the day the negro will spend the night in gossip, dancing, or singing, and often in such a way as to be a nuisance to his neighbors. Such he is in his wakes, when fifty or a hundred people will gather in the yard, there being no room in the house, and, beginning with hymns and going on after midnight to songs and games,