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FROM THE DANGEROUS CLASSES IN PARIS. ChiffonnIERS. -- It is in Paris only that the chiffonniers, or rubbish-hunters, form a distinct and specific class :
The extension of industry during the last thirty years has added to the dignity of this profession, which is alike followed by meu, women, and children. It requires no apprenticeship, no previous course of study, no expensive outfit: a large and compactly-shaped basket, a stick with a hook at the end of it, and a lantern, are the entire stock-in-trade of this singular species of labourers. The men, gain, on an average, and according to the season of the year, from (wenty-five to forty sous a-day; but to do this they are obliged: lo make three rounds, two by day, and one during the wight; their labour coinmencing at five in the morning and er ding at midnight.. Between their rounds they examine and sort the cargoes which they bring in, aud which they term their merchandize; and having done so, go and sell the arranged treasures to the master or managing chiffonnier : for, like all other professions, this has its gradations of rauks, the higher of which are only reached after long periods of subordinate labour. Many of these chiefs keep furnished lodgings, which they let out exclusively to those ambulatory chifloopiers wliu, have no lixed residence; reserving to their own use the grouudfloor', as a magazine for their wares. The important operation of sorting his booty, if the chiffonnier is one of the better class, on desirous of a healthy lodging, is performed either in a separate room, bired for the purpose, or, when the weather will permit, in the open air ; but the far greater number possess only a single roomn, and in this, surrounded and assisted by iheir chi!dren, they spread out, examine, and sort the filthy produce of each journey. The floor is covered with rags , fragments of animal substances, glass, paper, and a thousand other things, some whole, some broken , and all begrimed with dirt: whilst the several selections fill all the corners of the room, and are liea ped up under the bed. The stran
ger who enters is almost suffocated by the stench, which is rendered still more offensive by one, and sometimes lwo, large dogs, which form part of the domestic establishment of most chiffonniers, and which they take out with them in their nocturnal rounds. It is maller of astonishment that habit should enable these people to en. dure with impunity the putrid exhalations amidst which they live. The hotte of ihe chiffonnier is not merely the receptacle of his mer. chandize, it is also his market-basket : among all the filthy trash which he collects, he takes care not to neglect the luxuries of his fuble — vegetables for his soup, pieces of bread, hall-rolten fruit, everything which he conceives to be eatable. It is not unamusing to watch the sorting of all this, and to listen to the professional talk which seasons the operation when the sorter is in good temper, as he generally is, if his basket has been well Gilled and you address him with civility. Squatting down before it, he will show you, with a smile of exultation, a large beef-bone-a perfect beauty-and other ans ticles of equal worth ; and as he arranges his several heaps on the pavement, he will tell you « that competition kills Irade-that cooks have become dead to all sense of humanity, that they now make money of everything, bones and broken glass especially!. Tliese ragamuffins have their moments of good fortune and joy-it is when, in breaking apart a mass of filth, they see glittering before their eyes a silver spoon or fork; and, thanks to the carelessness of ser. vants, these rich prizes are not of rare occurrence. The happy individual fortlıwith proreeds to the barrier with his friends, generally in a hackney-coach, to celebrate the event by a copious repast: the coachman, who anticipates the dirty state of his cushions, being The only dissatisfied individual of the party. The daily gain of the lady-chiffonniers amounts to, perhaps, fifteen or twenty sous : that of the children, to about ten. Many children, who run away from their parents at a very early age, take to this trade as a means of subsistence. The life they lead is almost savage: they are remark. able for the audacity and harshness of their manners. Some beroine so perfectly estranged that they lose all recollection of their father's abode, nay, even of his name.
• As with all other classes of operatives, the wine and spirit shop is the constant resort of these rubbish-hunters. To the aged chilfonniers, still more to the aged' females of the class, brandy has an attraction which nothing else can equal. These women believe, and act upon the belief, that spirituous liquors afford the same nourishinent as solid, lood: They conceive that the artificial tone which results from the use of them is genuine strength; and the error is persisted in, until the constitution is destroyed. No wonder that the rate of morlality in this class is so high.
All the lower ranks display a certain pride and ostentation in their expenditure at the cabaret, but the chiffonniers more than any
other. The ordinary sort of wine will not suffice them; bot wine is their usual luxury, and they are vastly indignant if the lemon and sugar be not abundant. The cabaret-keepers are greatly srandalized by these extravagancies – that is to say, when a difficulty uccurs, as it frequently does, irr making up the reckoning. The generous sentiments which animale the belter class of operatives are Totally wanting : mong these people: shunned and scorned by everyone, they in return shun and late all their fellow-creatures ; they atfect a cynic tone and manuer, and appear to pride themselves on proclaiming their degradation and their vice. A considerable proportion of the men have passed ihrough the hands of justice; and many of the women are prostitutes of the lowest order.'
(QUARTERLY REVIEW.) NAUTICAL ALLEGORIES. «Thucydides explains the profound horror of the sea selt by all the earlier races of mankind, when he tells us that the fear of pirates prevented the Greeks for a long time from inhabiting the coasts. This is tbe reason why Homér arms the hand of Neptune with a trident, which makes the earth tremble. This trident was only a hook for seizing vessels, and the poet calls it dent (or tooth), by an appropriate metaphor, prefixing a particle which gives it a superlative sense.
a In these piratical vessels we recognise the Bull, in which Jupiter carried off Europa ; the Minotaur, or Bull of Minos, with which he bore away the young men and maidens of the coast of Allica. The yards of a vessel were called corn:lie navis — (the horns); the sails were termed its wings, alurim remigium;- hence the monster which was to devour Andromeda, and the winged horse upon which Perseus came to deliver her. The thread of Ariadne is the art of navigation, which guided Theseus through the labyrinth of the Egean Isles: ----Michelet's Principes de la Philosophie de l'Histoire, p. 236.
Comparatively recent times have indulged in similar allegories. Whillington's forlunate ship, the Cat, so named probably from its figure-head, was fabled into a quadruped, whence he derived all his wealth. But the schoolboy was surely illiberal, and perhaps not quite accurale in his deductions, when he declared that all the etymological inferences lo be drawn from the Roinan Neels and tbeir crews, were unfavourable to their character, since they were compounded of naughly knaves and puppies—(Naute—!.aves--p!uppes.)
GREEK LITERATURE. — The Greek literature is like the shafts of a mine, always warmer the deeper wè penetrate, though it be cold on the surface ; most modern poems bave heat only on the outside.
AMERICAN HORSE-RAKE.- In some parts of the country, where Jabour is very dear, they use a machine for raking the bay, called « the Flexible Horse-rake It is distinguished from all others by a joint in the centre of the head, by which the rake contracts to any uneven ground, and takes the hay clean. Also, by the form of the teeth, which glide over hillocks or stones, like the runner of a sledge. This rake has also a smolh back-board, on a level with the teeth which support it ; and it is not liable to become entangled with the hay, when canted over to be emplied. Twenty-four acres a day are raked perfectly clean with this instrument-one man holding it, a small boy riding the horse. The labour of managing it is less than thal of holding a small plough.
SUBORDINATION. – An Englishman made the remark that, in madbouses, the idea of subordination is very seldom to be found : Bedlam is inhabited only by gods, kings, popes and philosophers.
MR. Scott RUSSELL'S INDEX FOR THE SPEED OF STEAM-VESSELS. — Mr. Russell stated, that his index of speed was founded on the well-known dynamical fact, that is an aperture were made in the lower part of a vessel containing waler, and a stream were allowed to issue from it against an aperture in another yessel containing water, the force of the current would keep the water in the second vessel at the same height as in the vessel from which the current issued. It would follow, from this principle, that if a vessel were passing through the waler at a speed equivalent to tbat of the current produced by a given bead of water, tbe resistance would raise waler in a tube inside the vessel, but subjected to the action of the external Quid. Mr. Russell then proceeded to delail the particulars of the invention to which he had applied this principle,
by passing a tube through the bow of the vessel, and carrying it along the flooring to the centre of gravity of the vessel, where it terminated in a vertical glass tube, exhibiting the weight of water within. To this tube there was attached a moveable scale , the zero of which being placed on a level with the point at which the waler stood when the vessel was at resl, the rise of the water in the tube when the vessel was set in motion exhibited the velocity at which the vessel was passing through the water. With the view of testing the accuracy of this invention he had tried it repeatedly over a distance of 15 miles , measured trigonometrically. He had also compared it with the best logs, and was perfectly satisfied of its accuracy. From these experiments he had constructed a scale , which he exhibited, and of which the following is a copy; the first column exhibiting the speed in miles per hour, and the second the height of the water in the tube above the zero line expressed in feet and decimal parts : Miles per hour.
. Feet on the scale. . . . . 7.5625
. . 6·5880
. 0.8400 4 . . . . . . 0.5370
0•3025 . . . . . , . 0:1340
1 . . . . . . . 0·0336 IMMENSE GUN. – On Wednesday last a barge arrived at the wharf of the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, having on board the largest gun ever made in this country. A powerful shears