Matthew Fontaine Maury/19

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(1) The following are notes and sources I will add as I transcribe this work and enter it into Wikisource and they will not be in order until I have finished everything else.

This book on Matthew Fontaine Maury by Diane Fontaine Corbin was edited by Sir Clements Robert Markham. See the excellent Wikipedia article on him. That article does not include the following information.



"It was on this cruise that he began his work on "Inca Civilisation," and commenced to edit and prepare for publication Mrs. Corbin's Life of her father, Captain Maury, author of "The Physical Geography of the Sea."

"The work of editing the "Life of Captain Maury" he found extremely tiresome and intricate, causing him much labour. The task of connecting the narrative from the letters that had been submitted to him proved to be harder than he had anticipated. In fact, he had to evolve order out of chaos."


Councillor M. F. Maury

India Office, May 17th, 1867


With reference to my letter of the 15th of August last, forwarding three parcels of chinchona seeds for transportation to the Mexican Government, I have the honour to transmit, by direction of the Secretary of State for India, fifty copies of a pamphlet on chinchona cultivation, in the Spanish language, for the guidance of those who have been charged with the management of chinchona cultivation in that Empire, and of those who may hereafter undertake the cultivation.

Sir Stafford Northcote has received the intelligence contained in the letter from the Secretary of the Mexican Society of Geography and Statistics, dated the 11th of December last, that several thousands of chinchona seeds sent from Madras according to your instructions have germinated satisfactorily in the Mexican Mountains,

with much gratification.
I have, &c.,
Clements R. Markham

The first Mexican chinchona "plantation" was established near Cordoba.


President Millard Fillmore 1851.




"The advantages of science in nautical affairs have rarely been more strikingly illustrated than in the fact, stated in the report of the Navy Department, that by means of the wind and current charts projected and prepared by Lieutenant Maury, the Superintendent of the Naval Observatory, the passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific ports of our country has been shortened by about forty days."

The Song of the Shirt

Thomas Hood

WITH fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread--
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch

She sang the "Song of the Shirt."

"Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
And work--work--work,
Till the stars shine through the roof!
It's Oh! to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk,
Where woman has never a soul to save,
If this is Christian work!

Till the brain begins to swim;
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream!

"Oh, Men, with Sisters dear!
Oh, men, with Mothers and Wives!
It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives!
In poverty, hunger and dirt,
Sewing at once, with a double thread,
A Shroud as well as a Shirt.

"But why do I talk of Death?
That Phantom of grisly bone,
I hardly fear its terrible shape,
It seems so like my own--
It seems so like my own,
Because of the fasts I keep;
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!

My labour never flags;
And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread--and rags.
That shatter'd roof--and this naked floor--
A table--a broken chair--
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank
For sometimes falling there!

From weary chime to chime,
As prisoners work for crime!
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumb'd.
As well as the weary hand.

In the dull December light,
And work--work--work,
When the weather is warm and bright--
While underneath the eaves
The brooding swallows cling
As if to show me their sunny backs
And twit me with the spring.

"Oh! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet--
With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet,
For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!

"Oh! but for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
No blessed leisure for Love or Hope,
But only time for Grief!
A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop
Hinders needle and thread!"

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread--

Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,--
Would that its tone could reach the Rich!--
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"