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THE BEEHIVE, No. IV. FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci.
Keep to the right as the law directs, Such is the order of the statute in travelling upon turnpike roads; and it is very satisfactory and convenient that a rule has been established, to which all denominations of travellers must yield obedience. It prevents those altercations and quarrels, which sometimes occurred formerly upon our roads, from the uncertainty in which the question of right was enveloped.
It is however to be regretted that the rule was not reversed. Keep to the left as the law directs, would have been as convenient to all descriptions of travellers, and for a large and useful class, incomparably more safe. Wagoners, when they travel on foot, as very frequently occurs, walk on the left side of their teams. Of course, in narrow or difficult roads, when they encounter other teams, they are placed between the two, and are actually in danger of being crushed to death. Accidents of this kind will probably happen. And as prevention is in every case better than cure, and as this is one of those cases, which, after the event has taken place, admit of no cure, it deserves the attention of the legislature to pass an act making the alteration suggested.
I am informed, and on the very best authority, that the English rule is-Keep to the left.
A new project to restrain mendicity. The rev. Mr. Haweis, an English clergyman, published, in the year 1788, a work on the situation of the
with some plans for diminishing the number of beggars. Some of them were very extraordinary, and among the rest one had a very curious novelty to recommend it to the public attention. He proposed to pass an act imposing a penalty, not, as the reader would suppose, upon the mendicant, but on those who supplied his wants. * “ Charity covereth a multitude of sins.”
Ruggles's History of the Poor, vol. ii, p. 36.
A hint to directors of libraries. Many of the libraries of this country, even of those which are regarded as of the first order, arc remarkably deficient of various ancient valuable works, which are sometimes cagerly sought for in the elucidation of important points. The Philadelphia Library is without cloubt highly reputable, and reflects credit upon the city by its extent, ä: d the livinliiy va osporitille, whereby it is enriched with all the stores of meri in li.Tuure. Nevertheless, some ye.l's since, one of our citize:., lixiving a question of some consequence to investigule, was surprised to find that more than half the valuable books cui:llclic with it, were not in the library.
I propose a simple remed;.
There are numbers of bookseilers in London, perhaps twenty, whose business consists principally in the purchase and sale of old libraries. They publish sie cutalogues crery year, and some of them twice a year, containing complcio lists of all their books, with the prices annexed, which are in general tolerably reasonable. I have seen some of these catalogues, containing 3 or 400,000 volumes; among these are frequently to be found works of the utmost rarity. Instances hare occurred of books purchased in this manner, of which there probably were not twenty copies for sale in ail Christe::dom.
Ilow are we on this side of the Atlantic to avail ourselves of these treasures? The mode is very simple. Let an annual appropriation of two or thrce liundred dollars be made, and remitted to London to a suitable correspondert. Let a committee of the directors of the library, composed of men of luste and erudition, make a list of such valuüble ancient books as are not in the library, and as it would be desirable to procure. Let the list be sent over with the remittance, and let the correspondent be directed, on the appearance of the sale catalogues, to purchase such of the enumerated articles as they contain, within such limitations as may be proper. In a few years the advantage would be signal and striking Opportunities of procuring inestimable books in London occur daily, in this mode, which, once lost, may never return.
A word on hours of attendance in libraries. In Europe they are generally open from an early hour in the morning, till a late hour in the evening. Our library is opened at two o'clock, and shut at sunset This, during a considerable portion of the year, is only three or four hours. When this regulation was adopted, I presume the convenience merely of those who take books out of the library was consulted. The board did not ad. vert to a valuable description of studious men, who frequent public libraries, with a view of consulting authorities, and who find the morning more suitable to their pursuits, than the afternoon; and some of whom would occasionally require the whole day, For those who send for books, three hours would probably answer almost as well as the whole of the longest day in summer. But the other class are unquestionably entitled to attention: and as a small addition to the librarian's salary would compensate him for the residue of his time, it is respectfully submitted to the directors of libraries in general, whether the advantages of the alteration would not amply compensate for the increased expenditure.
Proximus ardet Ucalegon. Your neighbour's house is on fire.
Every idea, calculated to diminish the ravages of the dcvouring element, fire, which so frequently inflicts upon the inhabitants of our cities, towns and villages, such tremendous calamities, is deserving of the most serious attention. I therefore trust that these few lines may induce some of our fire companies, to adopt a simple and unexpensive plan, of the efficacy whereof no doubt can be entertained. It has been frequently tried, and always with the most salutary consequences.
Let every fire company provide itself with a dozen or two of the thickest and largest blankets that can be purchased. Let them be stitched together double, and provided at the sides with hooks and eyes alternately, at proper distances. As soon as a fire begins to rage, let these blankets be thrown over the roofs of the houses adjacent to that where the devouring fire prevails; and if it be in a narrow street, and the wind high, the roofs of the opposite
houses ought to be covered in the same manner. Frame houses ought to be covered on the top and front and rear.
I feel pretty confident that a single enzinc, properly worked on houses covered in this way, would have a more powerful cffect, than ten engines, unaided by the blankets.
If an hundred tons of water were poured upon the roof of a house next door to one on fire, in ten minutes after the torrent ceased, the shingles would be as inilammabic äs at first. But a single engine well directed, would keep the blankets constantly saturated.
I am so sanguine in my expectations of the success of this plan that I believe by way of experiment a frame house, in the midst of an entire solid square of houses of that description, might be burned down, and all the rest be preserved, provided there was a brick wall on each side, with a parapet. But be that as it may, if in a range of brick houses one took fire, I would insure the others for one hall per cent. if this plan was adopted.
I claim no merit from this suggestion, as a discovery. It was carried into operation, at a dreadful fire in Carter's ailey, a few years since, by a few intelligent individuals, and actually arrested the progress of the conflagration.
Shortly afterwards, I recommended the project in one of the gazettes, and a genuine wise man of Gotham turned it into ridicule.
A question for gentlemen to solve. Among the fair sex in this city has not “the human face divine,” greatly improved in beauty, in all its various shades and degrees, within the last twenty or twenty-five years? I am clearly and unequivocally for an afirmative answer.
I believe that out of every hundred females, from sisteen to five and twenty years of age there are probably twice as many bcautiful, and twice as many handsome, as there were at the commencement of the period embraced in my inquiry. Perhaps I am wrong, But I hope and trust the idca is well founded
Fashion. This invincibic tyrant, who holds in chains so large a portion of mankind, laughs to scorn all attempts to abridge or contract his