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Physicians, in visiting the sick, have been known to form a prognostic, before having seen the patient, from the effluvia of the sick-room. Those who are in the habit of visiting the insane, know the peculiar odour that characterises that dire calamity; and it was remarked of the plague, that it had “ a scent of the flavour of mellow apples."

It is said that monkeys possess this power of discrimination in a very eminent degree. A story is told of a lady who had a pet of this description, whom she made her constant companion, and who suddenly, without any apparent cause, forsook her, and could not be persuaded to re-enter her chamber. The lady was at that time infected with measles, which shortly after appeared upon her; but, on her perfect recovery,

the monkey returned to her with his usual familiarity. Some time after, the same lady caught cold, and was apparently very ill, but without fever. The monkey, as far as might be judged from his appearance, seemed to condole with his sick mistress, and to understand the difference of her distempers, by the confidence with which he remained in attendance

upon her.

It has even been said, that the sagacity of some dogs has led them to prognosticate the fatal termination of disease. “ Whilst I lived at Ripon," says a learned doctor, “ I took notice of a little dog, of a chestnut colour, that very often boded the death of sick persons, without being once, for aught I could learn, mistaken. Every time he barked in the night under the windows of any one whose sickness did not even appear dangerous, it happened, infallibly, that the sick person died that week. I knew also," observes the same author, "a man bit by a mad dog, who could distinguish his friends at a considerable distance by the smell, before even he could distinguish them by sight.

So early as the second century, the supplying the deficiency of a lost nose became an object of professional consideration ; and the Greeks gave the name Korolópata, to those who required such an operation. Taliacotius was the first who treated it scientifically; and, from his time, the art of Addition became one of the branches of surgery; and, under the title De Decoratione,” formed a very interesting chapter.

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Although Taliacotius has the credit of bringing the art of nose-making into fashion, and being the first to write on the mode and manner of performing the operation, yet it appears that one Branca had been in the habit of performing it long before, as we learn from an ancient author, whose name must, in this instance, be considered as the highest authority, being no less a person than NOSORENUS.

Why the magistracy of Bologna should have conferred the high honour of a statue on Taliacotius it is difficult to understand, unless the loss of the nose was of more frequent occurrence than in those days, from the barbarity of warfare and civil punishment; for an old law of the Lombards assigned the loss of the nose as a punishment for theft; and the captives in war were equally spoiled for snuff-takers.

That this was no uncommon dilemma with Italian gentlemen in the fifteenth century, appears by the style, in which a Neapolitan poet writes to the noseless Orpianus :6. If,” says he,

you would have your nose restored, come to me—truly the thing is wonderful. Be assured that, if you come, you may go home again with as much nose as you please."

It does not, however, appear that the nasal operation made any impression on our ancient English surgeons. Wiseman does not even mention it, though slitting the nose, and cutting off the ears, was a common mode of punishing political delinquents in his time ; and it is said that Prynne, whose ears were cut off, had new ones made,“ à la Taliacotius.” The fact is, that the operation was misunderstood, and disbelieved, as we know by the jocose manner in which it is alluded to by Butler. It has, however, been successfully revived, and performed, by Mr. Carpue.

Connected with the varieties of the organ of scent, is the well-known story of that extraordinary lusus,

The Pig-faced Lady. A years ago,

the town was amused with the account of a pig-faced lady, who lived at Chelsea. The credulous stared, and longed for a peep at her " Ladyship;" while some of the incredulous were not without slight doubts and misgivings,

Very few

whether an ugly person might not be found, of the nature of a hog. The newspapers, as usual, rang the changes upon this prodigy; and, in the circumstantiality of their details, actually gave a noble pedigree to this pig-gy production. But the fact is, that about once in a quarter of a century, the old story of “ Mistris TANNAKIN SKINKER" is revived, with embellishments to suit the taste of the times. Now, as it does not fall in the way of every body to read such old and such true stories as Mistris Tannakin Skinker, we will give a short abstract of this “hog-faced gentlewoman,”as stated in an original document. Be it known, then, that Miss Tannakin was born at Wirkham, on the Rhine, 1618, and, to the great discomfiture of her worthy papa and mamma, with a face more bespeaking her relationship to the Bacon family, or a cousin of the hogs of Hampshire, than of Christian subjects of a neutral town. The account states, that it was supposed that her mother had been bewitched, and that the daughter could never recover her true shape until she was married.

“ If the joy of the parents,” says the narrator," was in the hope of a childe, how much greater may wee conjecture their sorrowes were, to be the parents of such a monster; so they meditated with the midwife, and other women (by which we learn that men-midwives were not then in fashion) that were present at the birth, that they should keepe it secret, as it was possible to doe: and they called the name of it Tannakin, which is in English as Anne, or Hannah."

As might be supposed, she lived, “ unknowne in this kind to any one but her parents and a few other neighbours.” At length her father hearing of a famous artist, an astrologian, named V andermast,_" one suspected to have bin well verst in blacke and hidden arts,”—he very parentally consulted the cunning man, who recommended matrimony as a cure.

To accomplish this desirable end, the worthy parents had much reasoning, pro and con; and they wisely determined to gild the pill, and therefore they fixed her dowry at forty thousand pounds, --so that the prize, and not the person, should be aimed at.

We can easily believe that this bait made many fish bite, and

the doors were beset with suitors. One said, “ If she cannot speak, she cannot scold;" another, that her diet would not cost much; therefore, she must be a good bargain.

Amongst the first came a Scotchman, who spent a month's pay on a suit of clothes ; and he was highly enamoured of her person; but when he beheld her face, he would stay no conference, but ran away without further answer, saying, they must pardon him, for hee could indure no porke !"

Many others appeared; but all ran away. A souceman of Rumford, on taking leave, said, " I never saw such a hog-snout; but whenever my stomack shall serve for any such dish, I will never venter on any raw; but I will be sure it shall be either well boyled, or rosted." A tailor also declared that he would never stir a stitch in such a business. In short, as the learned author remarks, it would occupy voluminous leaves of paper to shew the various men, of sundry conditions, who came to carry off this “ masse or magazine of money."

In order to show how probable this story is, another, very much after the style of “ Beauty and the Beast,” is narrated; and then the whole is concluded with what must satisfy the greater portion of mankind, viz., the author's own assurance, that " whoever shall, in pamphlet or ballad, write or sing otherwise than is discoursed of in this small tract, they erre from truth; for what is here discovered, is according to the best, and most approved intelligence."

All these periodical prodigies, even Mistris Tannakin, have their origin in a story current in Paris, 1595; and Brunckman gives another edition of it, in the true history of a Madame Laurussel. To this hour, there is scarcely a provincial fair in the kingdom where some of the Tannakin family may not be seen at the “small charge of one penny!”

39

Topography of the River Niagara.

[Communicated by Dr. Bigsby.] The river Niagara fully merits its fame. It is magnificent in dimension, beautiful in form, enriched with various and exuberant foliage, and cheered with bright skies. Its east bank, the north frontier of the United States, is still, for the most part, covered with dense forests; while the Canadian shore presents a succession of hamlets and farms, interspersed here and there with very ornamental gentlemen's seats. As a whole, its great cataract is unequalled. It is annually visited by several thousand strangers of all nations; for whose accommodation three large hotels have been built in the immediate neighbourhood, with every accessary facility that the most fastidious delicacy, or a feeble state of health, might demand for the full enjoyment of the stupendous spectacle.

The superiority of this Fall, however, resides, not so much in its height, and in the grandeur of its surrounding scenery, as in the vast space it fills, and the immense volume of water it discharges. In a picture, it is tame and formal; but in nature these qualities are lost in the general effect, and it becomes permanently attractive beyond expression.

The rapid transition from the placid lake-like character of the river above, to the vehemence and reverberating roar of the Falls, makes also a remarkable impression on the spectator, approaching from Lake Erie*. The great chasm, (at a part of which the superfluous waters of the great lakes pass through a channel only 115 yards broad,) and its picturesque outlet or gorge, are additional features of peculiar charms.

For highly-wrought descriptions of the most interesting scenes on the Niagara, and their effects on the imagination, I must refer to Weld, Hall, Howison, Heriot, and others; the first-named writer being by far the most correct and clear, and, I may add, the most rational. I shall confine myself to plain remarks on the general topography of the river, illustrative of its connexions, size, form, course, and geological structure.

The river Niagara issues from the north-east end of Lake Erie, at the lowest point of its barrier, and enters Lake Ontario

* For effect, this is the best approach.

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