Giving Your Hamster a Bath
Does your room smell like a pigsty because of your hamster's cage? If you find out it's not the cage, but the hamster itself, here are some good instructions to rid your hamster of the smelly odor.
(Alternatives to Bathing (preferred
Understand that your hamster should never need a bath! That being said, if you are considering giving your hamster a bath, be sure to educate yourself of the dangers. Only bathe your hamster if there is something stuck in their fur
Clean the cage more frequently. If the cage/hamster is smelling badly, more than likely, you need to clean out the cage more frequently and/or better.
This means touching up daily, and changing all of the bedding weekly.
During estrus, female hamsters can also have a different odor when they are in heat. The only time you should give your hamster a bath is if there is something on their coat that could harm them, i.e. something toxic or something that they could choke on if they tried to clean themselves. If you've spilled something harmful on your hamster, you will probably wish to bathe it
If your hamster is not life-threateningly dirty, a sand bath should be sufficient. Get some chinchilla sand (make sure it's sand, not dust, which can cause respiratory problems) at the pet store and put it in a little bowl for your hamster. If the sand is a permanent fixture in your hamster's cage or playpen, make sure to check it daily as your hamster may start using it as a litterbox. If the hamster has something toxic or sticky on its coat, be prepared to wash it, but do it carefully
If there is something sticky or toxic on your hamster, make sure there is no other way to remove it. If your long-haired hamster has gum in its fur, you might be able to simply cut it out.
Bathing Your Hamster
If you absolutely must bathe your hamster, get a bowl and fill it with a couple cm of lukewarm water
Very gently, moisten your hamster, taking care to keep the water away from your hamster's face area. You could use an old toothbrush to gently clean the hamster but make sure not to get it near the face
If water alone will not remove the toxic and/or sticky substance, you can use a very small amount of the mildest baby shampoo you can find. Be very careful to keep the suds away from your hamster's face
Rinse the hamster
Place your hamster on a towel and gently pat it dry. Make sure to get most of the water off before putting your hamster before back in its cage to sleep off its agitation
You may also use baby wipes to bathe your hamster
Fill a basin with one or two cups of room temperature water. Add a few drops of baby shampoo. Take a wash cloth and get it wet in the basin. If there's suds or any kind of lather, you've used too much shampoo. Start over
Very carefully swab your Hamster with the cloth. Go with the fur, like you would when you're petting it
Wipe it off with a soft, dry towel. Place your Hamster in its clean and fresh cage, and place the cage in a place a little warmer than normal. Make sure there's absolutely no draft.
Do this on a warm day if you can, as hamsters are very susceptible to chills.
If you have a skittish sort of hamster, you may want to conscript a friend or family member to help you, especially when you're drying the hamster off.
Hamsters actually bathe themselves by licking.
Do not put the hamster back in its cage until it is completely dry.
You can also buy a bath scented sand for your hamsters. Put a small quantity into a bowl and place your hamster in it. The hamster will roll around the sand causing the dirt to fall into the sand.
Don't simply wash a hamster for fun or because you want them to be the cleanest hamster on the block. If you want to compete for beauty, a hamster isn't your thing.
Don't let your hamster near anything toxic. Don't spill things on your hamster. Don't let your hamster run around in the garage. Don't attach gum to your hamster. Life is weird and stuff happens, but a little common sense goes a long way.
If this is your first time bathing a hamster, look at other articles or talk to a current hamster owner to find the best way to clean your hamster.
In addition to causing chills, water can strip necessary oils from a hamster's fur and skin. Again, do not bathe your hamster unless you need to for your hamster's health.
There are no 100% safe ways to bathe a hamster.
Do not attempt to dry your hamster with a hair dryer.
So if you bathe your hamster make sure you do the steps right and be safe.
Hamsters are, as mentioned above, very susceptible to chills. If you give your hamster a bath, it can catch a chill and die. Do not give your hamster a bath unless it is absolutely necessary.
Do not make your hamster swim, because they could get tired out, stop swimming, and drown.
Do not bathe your hamster unless told to by your vet. If possible, have a pro bathe them
Always double check with your vet before starting.
Do not use any kind of shampoo on your hamster as it may cause irritation.
برچسبها: چطور یک همستر را به حمام ببریم
Improve Your Memory!
Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, "Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?" "Outstanding," Fred replied. "They taught us all the latest psychological techniques - visualization, association - it has made a big difference for me." "That's great! What was the name of that clinic?" Fred went blank. He thought and thought but couldn't remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, "What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?" "You mean a rose?" "Yes, that's it!" Then he turned to his wife and asked, "Rose, what was the name of that clinic?"
A Big Decision
A six-year-old boy walked up to his father one day and announced, 'Daddy, I'd like to get married.'
His father replied hesitantly, 'Sure, son, do you have anyone special in mind?'
'Yes,' answered the boy. 'I want to marry Grandma.'
'Now, wait a minute,' said his father. 'You don't think I'd let you get married with my mother, do you?'
'Why not?' the boy asked. 'You married mine.'
درطول یک نبرد بسیار مهم، یک ژنرال ژاپنی تصمیم می گیرد که حمله بسیار سختی را ترتیب دهد درعین اینکه تعداد آنها بسیار زیاد بود. او می خواست که دل سربازانش را به جهت پیروزی مطمئن کند، اما آنها مملو از شک و تردید بودند. یک روز در میان جنگ، آنها نبرد را برای انجام مراسم مذهبی متوقف کردند. پس از سپاسگذاری و انجام مراسم سربازان، ژنرال سکه ای را از جیبش برون آورد و گفت: اکنون میگذاریم این سکه سرنوشتمان را تعیین کند. اگر "شیر" آمد ما فاتح میدان خواهیم بود و اگر خط آمد پیروزی را از دست خواهیم داد. سرنوشت خودش را نشان خواهد داد. او سکه را به هوا پرتاب کرد و همه مشتاقانه آن را نگاه کردند. آن "َشیر" بود. سربازان از این بابت بسیار خوشحال و کیفور شدند و وجودشان سرشار از پیروزی اطمینان و امید به پیروزی شد و با تمام قوا به دشمن حمله ور شدند و درنهایت فاتح میدان. پس از نبرد، یکی از معاونان ژنرال گفت: هیچکس نمی تواند سرنوشت را تغییر دهد.
ژنرال جواب داد: درست است.
و سپس سکه را نشان معاونش داد. هر دو طرف سکه "شیر" بود!
During a momentous battle, a Japanese general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to the battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men, the general took out a coin and said, "I shall now toss this coin. If it is heads, we shall win. If it is tails we shall lose." "Destiny will now reveal itself." He threw the coin into the air and all watched intently as it landed. It was heads. The soldiers were so overjoyed and filled with confidence that they vigorously attacked the enemy and were victorious. After the battle. a lieutenant remarked to the general, "No one can change destiny." "Quite right," the general replied as he showed the lieutenant the coin, which had heads on both sides
11 افسانه غیرعلمی در مورد کاکائو
نام لاتین درخت کاکائو برگرفته از کلمه ای ست به معنی خواراکی از جانب خداوند. اینطور بنظر می اید که لذیذ بودن میوه این درخت سبب نام گرفتن بدین صورت شده است.
در سالهای اخیر شکلات برای متخصصین تغذیه به دلیل سودمند بودن برای سلامتی قابل توجه شده و پس از آن، این نکته حائز اهمیت آشکار شد که شکلات(کاکائو) خطر ناشی از سکته و حملات قلبی را کاهش می دهد.
همچنین از مدت ها پیش نقش مخرب این ماده بر بدن مانند آکنه، اضافه وزن و افزایش کلسترول بدست آمده است.
1-شکلات، افزاینده کلسترول های بد بدن
اگر شما مصرف شکلات را به دلیل امکان افزایش کلسترول بد ترک کنید، ممکن است اشتباها قربانی ترک یک عادت خوشایند برای هیچ چیز شوید. درحالی که این گفته که شکلات حاوی شیره کاکائو است صحیح می باشد، که دارای میزان بالایی چربی اشباع شده است، بیشتر این چربی ها ناشی از اسیداستریک که چربی گیاهی است می شود، که همانند چربی های اشباع نشده عمل نمی کند. مطالعات نشان می دهند که کاکائو باعث افزایش کلسترول بد نمی شود، و در حقیقت برای برخی افراد، کاکادو می تواند میزان کلسترولشان را کاهش دهد.
2-کاکائو منبعی از کافئین
3-شکر موجود در شکلات ایجاد حساسیت مزمن می نماید
بر باور عده ای شکر در رژیم غذایی بچه ها سبب بیش فعالی انها می شود. ولی هیچ مدرکی مبنی بر این رفتار نیز ایجاد حساسیت در بدن گزارش نشده است.
4-دیابتی ها مجبور به ترک شکلات هستند.
لازم نیست افراد دیابتی کاملا از خوردن شکلات پرهیز کنند. در حقیقت بسیاری از افراد متعجب می شوند هنگامی که میفهمند که شکلات حاوی مقدار کمی اسیدگلیسیریک است. مطالعات اخیر پیشنهاد می کند که شکلات تلخ ممکن است انسولین بدن را به حد مطلوب و نرمال برساند و همچنین فشار خون بالا را کاهش دهد.
5-شکلات باعث پوسیدگی و کرم خوردگی دندان می شود
مطالعه تحقیقاتی مبنی بر ایجاد پلاک بر رو دندان توسط شکلات انجام گرفت که حاصل آن این بود که شکلات در ایجاد پلاک دندانی خیلی کمتر از یک وعده شکر خالص منجر به ایجاد پلاک دندانی می شود.
6-شکلات عامل اضافه وزن
البته که درست است ولی نه لزوما. تحقیقات گسترده ای نشان می دهد که مصرف مقدار کم و معینی شکلات در پنج روز از هفته ارتباط مستقیمی با کاهش BMI(جدول اندازه گیری میزان نرمال وزن)دارد، حتی اگر کسی کالری بیشتری مصرف کرده باشد و تحرک بدنی نیز نداشته باشد این امر صادق است. پس به رژیم شکلاتی سلام کنید.
7-مصرف شکر و شکلات می تواند بر اضطراب بیفزاید
یک مطالعه نشان داد که مصرف مقدار کمی شکلات سیاه(تلخ) در روز برای دو هفته میزان هورمون های استرس زا را در افرادی که مضطرب هستند کاهش می دهد.
8-شکلات سبب فقر غذایی می شود
اگر تابحال تعداد زیادی از تحقیقات علمی مبنی برمفید بودن شکلات را دیده باشید شاید فکر کنید که اشتباه است. اما بدانید که چرا شکلات مغذی است؟ این ماده واقعا یک ماده غذایی فوق العاده است. یک شمش از یک شکلات سیاه(تلخ) محتوی همان مقدار آنتی اکسیدان(ماده ای شامل ویتامین هایی مثل ویتامین E، C، می باشد) هست که در دو و سه چهارم فنجانچای سبز، یک لیوان شراب قرمز، یا دوسوم فنجان توت سیاه جنگلی(ميوه ى گوشتالو و بي هسته و دانه دانه (مانند توت فرنگي). به علاوه، همچنین شکلات دارای مواد معدنی و فیبر خوراکی نیز می باشد.
9-شکلات ها حداقل دارای 70درصد کاکائو هستند که برای شما مفید است.
10-شکلات تقویت کننده نیروی قوه با
سرخپوستان مکزیک اولین کسانی بودند که بر این باور بودند که رابطه ای بین شکلات و احساسات عاشقانه برقرار است. اما تعداد بیشماری از مطالعاتی که تاکنون انجام گرفته است نشان می دهند که شکلات سوخت و ساز را افزایش میدهد. بدین منظور که خوردن شکلات احساسات را برانگیخته می کند، اضطراب را کاهش میدهد، و نیز ممکن است تقویت کننده نیره با(جنسی) باشد که منشا اینها عوامل روانی است.
11-شکلات باعث ایجاد آکنه می شود.
باوجود اینکه هر نوجوانی به شما خواهد گفت که شکلات از عوامل ایجاد آکنه است، مطالعات برمی گردند با سال های دور دهه 60 میلادی که هیچگونه رابطه ای بین مصرف شکلات و آکنه پیدا نکردند.
پس نتیجه امر:شکلات بخورید! اما اعتدال را رعایت کنید.
(Translated by: M.Broujerdi.(Admin)
Top 11 Chocolate Myths
The Latin name for the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means "food of the gods," and it does seem that the fruit of the tree and its delicious derivatives are indeed fit for the deities.
In recent years it has become the darling of nutritionists as health benefit after health benefit has been revealed - most notably that it lowers the risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Yet, it's long been the character actor bad guy in any number of scenarios, including acne, weight gain and high cholesterol
1. Chocolate raises bad cholesterol
More ادامه مطلب
اصطلاحات ساده و جملات کاربردی در مکالمه انگلیسی
این به آن در ..... Tit for tat
بی خیال- مهم نیست..... Never mind
بزن قدش!.... Give me a five
سه سوته ..... In no time
وقت گل نی! ..... When the pigs fly! = When two Sundays meet them
حالم از قیافه ت بهم می خوره ..... Your face makes me sick
محض رضای خدا ..... For god sake
لطفا قدی بلندتر(صحبت کنید) ..... Please a bit a loader
بهت خوش گذشت؟ ..... Did you have fun?
اجازه بده ببینم(فکر کنم) ..... Let`s see- Let me think
فهمیدی؟گرفتی؟ ..... Got it?= Understand
خونش به جوش آمده- احساساتش تحریک شده ..... His blood is up
از اشتباهی که شده متاسفم ..... I regret the error
می تونی روی من حساب کنی ..... You can count on me= I`ll help you
هنوزم وقت داری ..... Maybe it`s not too late= You can still do it= You already have time
کار اورژانسی داری-عجله داری..... You are in a hurry = You are busy and have emergency work
ما را دلگرم می کنی ..... You will warm our heart with that
بجنب! زود باش! عجله کن ..... Look sharp!= buck up!=Get a move on
تا کی؟ ..... How long?
اگه تو بخوای حرفی ندارم ..... If you want I`m OK
خواب به من حرام شد ..... Sleep was lost to me
مدت زیادی است که تمامش کردم ..... It`s long since I finished it
به شرافتم قسم ..... Upon my honor
زنده باد! ..... Long live!
به درد نمی خورد ..... It`s of no use = It`s a piece of junk
عادت دارم. بهش معتادم ..... I`m used to it
ثابتش کن!چطور همچین حرفی میزنی؟ ..... How do you say that?
منظورت چیه؟ ..... What do you mean?
جوجه را آخر پاییز می شمارند ..... Don`t count the chickens before hatch
البته که نه..... Of course not
خدا را شکر ..... Thanks God
در هوای آزاد ..... Under the open sky
خواب من سبک است ..... I`m a light sleeper
خوابم میاد ..... I feel sleepy
قند در دلش آب شد- گل از گلش شکفت ..... He was all smiles
به خدا توکل کن ..... Rest in God
برف میباره ..... It snows
تا دیروقت بیدار بودم ..... I was stay up late
برای چه؟چرا؟ ..... What for?
کلمه به کلمه ..... Word for word
خدا نکنه! ..... God forbid!
استعمال دخانیات ممنوع ..... Smoking is forbidden
هرگونه حقی محفوظ است(اختصاص به مولف دارد) ..... All right reserved
التماس می کنم ..... I beg you!
من بی تقصیرم ..... I`m not to blame
توطئه ای در کار است ..... There is something brooding
جیم شو! بزن به چاک! ..... Buzz off!
چه خبر است؟چه خیر است؟ ..... What goes by?
محض خاطر شما ..... For your sake
این موضوع برای من روشن نیست ..... I`m not clear about that
هرچه بادا باد! ..... Come what may!
صورت را از ته تراشیدن ..... Close shave
درست از آب درآمدن ..... It`s come true
به مذاق من خوش نمی آید ..... It doesn`t commend itself to me
روت حساب می کنم- به امید شما هستم ..... I count on you
گمان نمی کنم ..... I don`t think so
ناجوانمردانه است ..... It`s not cricket
مثل اینکه حالم خوب نیست ..... I sort of feel sick
اینطور اشخاص ..... This sort of people
انگشتم له شد! ..... I pinched my finger!
جای تاسف است- حیف شد ..... !It`s a pity
از شنیدنش خوشحال شدم ..... I was pleased to hear it
حوصله اش را ندارم ..... I have no patience with him
دو دو تا چهارتا ..... two and two make four
دومی ندارم! ..... I`m second to none!
آهان! فهمیدم ..... I see! = I know
اهمیت نده! ..... Never mind!
بسه دیگه! ..... No more of that = Stop it!
هرچه بیشتر می گیرد بیشتر می خواهد..... The more he gets the more he wants
بیشترین کاری که می توانم انجام دهم..... The most that I can do
چه شکلی است؟..... What`s that like?
شوخی می کنی! ..... You`re kidding!
داری سربه سرم میذاری؟!..... Are you kidding me?!
اعتراضی نسبت به آن ندارم..... I have no objection to that
بی پرده با شما سخن خواهم گفت..... I`ll be open with you
چه کسی هزینه آن را خواهد داد؟..... Who will pay for it?
برای خودش مبلغی است(پول خوبی است) ..... That`s a pretty penny
نه، این همه اش نیست..... No, this isn`t all
شاید تو راست میگی..... Maybe you`re right
بگذریم! ..... By a way!
قابلی ندارد..... You can keep it
امروز چند شنبه است؟..... What day is today?
(این)اختیاری است..... That`s optional
مرا بخندان!..... make me laugh!
نوبت شماست..... This is your turn
به آسانی آب خوردن است..... It`s as easy as she ling peas
حقیقت امر این است که – راستش را بخواهی..... As a matter of fact
منم! ..... This is me! = It`s me! = It`s I
میتونم برم؟..... May I go? = May I excuse?
حفظش کنید- از برش کنید- بخاطر بسپاریدش..... Keep it in your mind = memorize it!
دلم سوخت-غمگین شدم..... I felt sorry
بی دست و پا است- خام است..... His fingers are all thumbs
باهات موافقم..... I agree with you
وقت تمام است! ..... Time is over!
ادامه بده! ..... Go ahead! = keep it = continue!
بی شوخی- شوخی به کنار..... All jocking aside!
در این صورت..... Such being the case
تا آنجا که می دانم..... To best of my knowledge
هله هوله..... bits and pieces
کم کم- ذره ذره..... bit by bit
کمی(مقداری) صبر کنید..... Wait a bit! = Wait a minute!= Wait for it
من عاشق (اسم شخص(ایکس)) هستم..... I`m in love with (X)
عاشق شدم! ..... I fell in love
برچسبها: یادگیری زبان انگلیسی؛اصطلاحات زبان انگلیسی
چطور صورتتان را ماساژ خشک دهید
برچسبها: ماساژ خشک صورت چطور صورتتان را ماساژ خشک دهید How
More ادامه مطلب
چطور خودتان صورتتان را ماساژ بدهید
برچسبها: چطور خودتان صورتتان را ماساژ بدهید How to Give You
More ادامه مطلب
دانلود بخش های دیگر و توضیح کتاب در ادامه مطالب...
برچسبها: کتاب صوتی انگلیسی سرود کریسمس اثر چارلز دیکنز A Ch
More ادامه مطلب
برچسبها: چطور دانش انگلیسی تان را افزایش دهید, How to Improve Your Knowledge of English
More ادامه مطلب
چطور به خوبی یک گوینده انگلیسی زبان، انگلیسی صحبت کنیم؟
برچسبها: How to Learn Perfect English As a Native English S, انگلیسی صحبت کنیم
More ادامه مطلب
چطور واژگان زبان انگلیسی خود را غنی کنید؟
کلمات را دوست بدارید. اگر می خواهید موفق باشید مجبورید بخواهید که واژگان جدیدی را به خاطر بسپارید.
برچسبها: How to Enrich Your English Language Vocabulary چط
How to Choose a Dictionary
چطور یک دیکشنری(فرهنگ لغت) انتخاب کنیم؟
بیشتر مردم از دیکشنری های متفاوتی استفاده می کنند. دیکشنری ها مانند یکدیگر نیستند. هر دیکشنری ای که استفاده می کنید بنا به نوع نیازتان متفاوت است. در اینجا توجهتان را به نکات مفیدی قبل از خرید فرهنگ لغت جلب می کنم.
برچسبها: How to Choose a Dictionary چطور یک دیکشنری, فرهنگ لغت, انتخاب کنیم
More ادامه مطلب
The Man From Downstream
by Shane Tourtellotte
Is quitting ever the wisest course?
Marcia Balbi tapped the shoulder of her freedman, just as the wagon rolled through the Porta Superior town gate. “I’ll get off here, Alastor,” Marcia said. “You collect the new plough and drive it home. I’ll walk back.”
“Yes, domina,” said Alastor, unruffled; he was used to this arrangement. He reined in the oxen long enough for Marcia to step down, then drove straight ahead. Marcia cinched up her stola to keep its hem out of the dust and mire and made a right turn toward the familiar workshop, the clang of metal already reaching her ears.
Nobody greeted her at the door, as everyone was at the main worktable, hammering away at a perplexing gridiron of metal bars. A smaller table near her held a collection of gears and a clock face, so there was little doubt about today’s project. Remnants of earlier work stood on shelves along the walls: a crank and boiling chamber for the steam-driven mill that ground out his fire-powders, pots of binding glue, and a few discarded hand molds for printing type. In the far corner, a pendulum clock marked the time, unheard over the din.
She took a step closer and finally caught one laborer’s eye. He lowered the hammer he had been about to swing, and leaned toward the older man nearby who had still not noticed. “Quintus Julius, you have a visitor.”
“You mean a customer? Then—aah.”
Quintus Julius Americus did not look like an extraordinary man. He wore a smudged tunic and sandals, like his hired workmen. He stood something over medium height, but his shoulders slumped and his gray hair was starting to thin. A rustic beard covered his chin, its gray fading toward white. He had shaved for his recent trip to Roma, where fashion only abided a bare chin, but began regrowing his beard the day he returned home. He did not look like anyone who would appear on a marble bust, even if some people—including Marcia—thought he might deserve it.
“Marcia, salve,” Americus said with a smile. “What brings you here today?”
“I came into town with Alastor,” Marcia said. “He’s collecting our new plough. There won’t be room in the cart for me on his return, so I thought you could see me home.”
The workers, used to such obvious pretenses, all encouraged Americus with their usual familiarity to help his lady. “Nice try, boys,” Americus said, “but we still have work. It’s not tenth hour yet, and you’re not getting—”
A chime interrupted him. The clock in the corner, pendulum swinging in its stately arc, had just rung the hour. The laborers all laughed, Marcia nearly joining. Americus could only yield with good humor. “That’s why we’re building this one: better accuracy. Very well, let’s clean up the shop, then we can all go home.”
Soon after, he and Marcia were out of town, walking south on the footpath along the down-sloping Via Flaminia toward her farm. His gait was still stiff, maybe slower than usual. She made no comment, as always, merely adjusting her own pace and drawing her mantle over her head against the sun.
Marcia talked briefly of her day’s work, mostly preparing for sowing of the winter wheat, then asked about his day. Americus spoke of a few curious customers and a funny story one
of his workers had told, but stuck largely with the new clock project. He always had new ideas.
He went on smoothly, few promptings needed to encourage the flow. That gave Marcia a chance to listen close, hoping to catch some clues to the puzzles that still surrounded this man after more than two years.
The greatest mystery was why this man, of all people, was so terribly sad.
He hid it, of course. He hid many things, most concealed better than his misery. Some of them hidden very well indeed.
He arrived in the spring of 726 ab urbe condita: a northbound wanderer on the Via Flaminia, past middle age, weary beneath a heavy pack, and obviously not from these parts. His dusty tunic was of excellent material, better than someone who needed to walk would usually wear. It wasn’t local linen. Might it be Egyptian?
He spied her watching him from the gar-den and approached with an upraised hand. “Domina, salve. I am a traveler, named Americus. Might I speak to the lord of the house?”
His name was strange, his Latin peculiar, and his accent barbarian. His assumption was also mistaken. “The house is mine, viator,” she said, standing and brushing dirt off her hands. “My husband is dead.”
“Oh, my apologies, lady. May I ask if you are willing to take on a boarder?” His lips gave a curious curl. “I have come as far as I need to.”
Marcia didn’t have much to offer a boarder. The farm had been just adequate to support the household when Aulus had been alive. After he joined Caesar Octavianus’s army—and perished of disease at Actium—she had struggled terribly to support herself, the two children, and their slave.
That was all the more reason to get some money while she could. It might preserve her a while from needing to sell out to the big local landholders—or to accept one of the opportunistic suitors she had had. That might be worth admitting a stranger into the household, with all its unknowable risks.
But she did not fear this man. Something about his fancy tunic . . . before she had married, Marcia’s family cognomen had been Ralla. This literally meant a tunic of fine fabric, just like his. She didn’t believe strongly in omens, having seen so few in her life, but this one . . .
She named a price as high as she dared, three sestertii a day, and prepared to haggle. Instead, Americus rummaged through his pack and produced a small, shining ingot, stamped with unfamiliar characters.
“Will this suffice for the first four months?” he asked. Stunned, Marcia quickly said yes and held out her hands. The ingot was genuine silver, and if later she learned he had underpaid about a tenth, she still thought herself far ahead in the bargain.
Despite his oddness, Americus adapted himself to the household. Granted, he seemed unaccustomed to rising at dawn or earlier, to the limited variety of the food, or even to having his main meal properly at midday. He was used to an easier, richer life. Yet he humbly adjusted himself to their ways, not something Marcia would expect of most rich folk.
After two days of settling in, he finally made his first excursion into town early one morning. “Well, I’m off to Narnia,” he told her with that curious smile of his. The name of the town was always an unspoken joke with him, and Marcia had never learned the secret.
More surprises sprang out of his pack in Narnia. He had a large stash of goods that he began trading for money. Rumors soon began flying that he was a thief, plying stolen wares upon them. The rich folk of Narnia and the surrounding towns he visited didn’t believe it or didn’t care. They gladly bought his cinnamon sticks, his silks, his pearls. They hesitated at the dye—it didn’t have the distinctive smell of true Tyrian purple—but the color was right, and someone finally bought it. Probably Quintus Seius Avitus, parading himself about like a Senator.
Then there were those little blue pills Americus sold to Gnaeus Labienus Flaccus. What a scandal that was—as long as the supply held out. What Gnaeus Labienus then tried in place of the Blue Fives, as he called them, was a worse scandal, and not nearly as enjoyable.
Americus could have lived very well on his proceeds. Instead, he rented that modest workshop on the edge of town, and didn’t even think of leaving Marcia’s farmhouse. He said he liked the peace of the countryside, liked walking to work. Not even now, when his legs labored, did he rethink that.
Soon, he and the skilled freedmen he hired for the workshop began producing things. Remarkable things.
“It’s because metals expand a little as they grow warmer,” Americus was saying, explaining why the new pendulum for his clocks was so complicated. “Clocks will thus run a little slower in summer. But different metals, like iron and lead, expand at different rates. I can use the lead rods, running up, to balance out the iron rods running down, and the pendulum will stay the same length, however hot or cold.”
“I . . . see.” Marcia said nothing for a moment, working it out in her head. “Could you use this somehow to make your clocks run properly? Twelve hours from sunrise to sunset, whatever the season?”
Americus grimaced. He had this rigid, almost Greek notion of hours being the same duration year-round, as opposed to the more natural Roman concept. “I couldn’t make that work,” he said, “even with this innovation. But this will keep time much more precisely than any water clock or hour candle ever invented.”
His grimace worsened. Marcia knew it was his legs. She made an exaggerated brush of her forehead, nearly dislodging her mantle. “I’ve gotten warm. Could we sit at the milestone and have a drink?”
Another hundred short paces brought them to the fifty-fifth milestone. He sat on the stone bench left there for travelers, while Marcia got them water from the nearby fountain, fed by Narnia’s local springs. They refreshed themselves in comfortable silence, before Marcia got them walking again. Americus grunted as he stood.
“I’d gladly stay longer,” Marcia said, “but the Sun keeps its own time.”
Americus smirked. “A fair point. Let’s go.”
She might tease him, but she truly respected his mechanical clock. It was one of his earliest inventions, one that sold well to the richer families of Umbria and Tuscania. This new variety might revive that market.
She heard the clop of hooves and the growl of wheels behind them. Knowing those sounds intimately, she was calling out “You have the plough, Alastor?” before she had turned her head.
“Certainly, domina.” It sat gently swaying in the back. “There’s even a little space left for the two of you, if you wish.”
“No, go on home. We’ll be there soon.” Americus watched the oxen trudge past with only a hint of regret.
That was another of Americus’ innovations, of course, with both its wheels and the iron sheeting laid over the wood blade. He sold several, for rather low prices, before letting some local carpenters and ironworkers build the design for a share of their takings. Marcia was sure they were cheating him, and just as sure that Americus knew and didn’t care. It was enough, apparently, to endear himself strongly to the local farmers.
He did not endear himself to local scribes with his printing press, but he had anticipated their resistance. He argued to the scribes that they were naturals for typesetting jobs: literate, intelligent, good at fine work and at avoiding mistakes. His calculated flattery didn’t convince them all, but it convinced enough. Many of them even adopted his novel ideas about adding spaces between words and marks after sentences, to simplify reading.
Nobody embraced his notions for new letters, the bottom-curved I and rounded V, but he took that rebuff in good humor.
Thanks to his flourishing printing shops, books were much more plentiful, and cheaper. Marcia had even bought a couple herself, without his prodding. She was not used to reading for pleasure, but she had gotten through Cicero’s Philippics, mainly on her shared detestation of Antony.
His printing method didn’t work properly on scrolls, but Americus had a solution. He was so proud of his codex, flat pages bound together at the margins. Marcia almost hated to show him an old ledger of Aulus’ from the Pharsalus campaign. Julius Caesar had beaten Americus to this idea, though now it could have a wider application.
That hadn’t been Americus’ sole disappointment, or the worst. He had so much faith in his steam engines, and if he had troubles building them on the grand scale he envisioned, they still worked well on smaller scales. His richer customers were glad to use them for curiosities, toys to amuse themselves and impress their friends, but his vision to use them for works on a massive scale went unappreciated.
And why should he have expected otherwise? Why build a hulking, boiling, bashing, scalding machine to do the work a couple of dozen slaves could do, and probably better for their having some measure of intelligence?
Americus threw himself against that pragmatic barrier, railed against it, and could not budge it. The rebuff left him stumped and dismayed—until he decided that if competition against slave muscle demanded more power, he’d produce more power.
Once again, he had planned ahead. He sank much of his early earnings into scouring the countryside to find and buy nitrum, an obscure mineral. Once he had managed to purify it to his liking—he called the result “salt-stone”—he combined his stocks with sulfur and charcoal, mixing them in a bronze mill powered by one of his disdained steam engines.
The result on the day of his first experiment was a thunderclap that, in time, reached the ears of the Princeps himself.
Enough of this fire-powder could blast through earth or even stone, doing the work of hundreds or thousands of laborers in a flash of flame. That people could use, for road-building, quarrying, a host of constructive purposes. Destructive ones as well: It could change the art of siege-craft forever.
Americus could not produce it fast enough, for lack of nitrum. He set up a strange alternative source that involved aging urine and wood ashes, but it needed almost a year to produce anything. Fortunately, someone simplified the matter. Augustus bought up the secrets of fire-powder as a state monopoly, for a rich bounty of money—and what was far more, the citizenship.
Americus went to Roma a few months ago, along with the jumped-up Quintus Seius Avitus as his nominal sponsor, to meet the Princeps and receive the citizenship from those majestic hands. He came home with his new name: Quintus to honor his sponsor, Julius to honor Augustus for granting him the citizenship—and Americus as his cognomen, as that was who he was.
What he didn’t bring home was happiness. He should have been in exaltation on his return to Narnia, but Marcia saw through the mask of his appearance, to the despondency beneath.
Americus’ talk had wound down, much like his clocks if neglected. “What are your next plans,” Marcia asked him, “after you master this problem?”
Such thoughts usually raised his mood, but this time it did little. He had a couple of notions—using glass and silver to make an improved mirror, attaching a steam engine to a cart to drive it without animal power—but they sounded perfunctory. “And we know how nobody likes my steam machines, except for playthings,” he grumbled.
Americus usually brimmed with ideas, and with enthusiasm for them. His joy was in imagining and creating. It was when a project ended that the melancholy asserted itself, no less painful in the wake of success than of failure. As it was taking him now, in the letdown after his day’s work.
None too soon, they were home. She left him at the front door, with a cheerfulness she feared was wasted on him, to do the rounds of the farm. He would probably retreat to his bedroom and work on his plans and diagrams. Maybe that would let him feel better.
She found Alastor and the new plough in the shed, and gave the new implement her inspection and approval. She sent him to the pen to feed their chickens, pigs, and sheep—they could be shorn soon—and went to the olive grove herself.
The old trees wouldn’t need harvesting for more than a month, so she paid attention to the new ones. Alastor had freshly manured them this morning, and they were all growing well. It would be another three years before they began yielding, and when they did, the olives and their oil would bring good prices.
Americus’ rent payments had risen steadily, always on his initiative. The money had first been a buffer against destitution, then a
stepping-stone to something akin to prosperity. Marcia used the money cautiously—who could know when Americus might depart?—but made steady improvements on the farm. Better tools, more sheep for wool and cheese, a few other animals for the luxury of meat, and of course the olive saplings added to the four old trees. It took away land for grain, but the days when her family needed to depend on the farm for all its food were fading into the past.
The only trouble came when Marcia bought Eudokia.
A second slave was a great help in the house-hold, but it left Americus disturbed, almost affronted. It was not long before he quietly began offering to buy both Eudokia and Alastor, with the intent of freeing them. His notions about slavery were in some ways admirable, but also shockingly naïve.
Still, both of them had good characters, not unworthy of liberty. She finally reached a quiet compromise with her boarder. Marcia would do the freeing, as was proper for the head of a household, but Americus would provide the money she would pay them as their wages. He overpaid, naturally, but that hadn’t yet made them indolen or insolent. They worked as hard as before, and if Marcia knew anything about men and women, she’d have a marriage to celebrate soon.
She made her way back to the house, with plans to set the children to a few last chores before vesperna. She found them in the atrium playing, to her slight surprise, with Americus. It was his game, of course: using letter tiles to spell words across a demarcated board.
Marcilla pointed at the tiles she and her elder brother were playing together. “It spells ‘volup,’ Aulus. Play it.”
“There’s no place to play it. We need to cross somewhere. And don’t tell him our—oh, Mother.”
Marcia looked down sternly. “Is this how you finish your work, children?”
“They told me they finished their chores before we got home,” Americus said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have played with them.”
“We did, mamma, we really did,” Marcilla said. “I swept the atrium, and Aulus brought in the firewood and water, and everything.”
Marcia looked along the atrium floor, taking her time. She couldn’t have them think her indulgence came easily. “Very well, but be sure to finish the game before we eat.” Her decision brought cries of thankful joy from the children, and a small nod from Americus.
He had applied his covert persuasion again regarding their education. On most local farms, a boy of nine and a girl of seven would be working most of the day, with maybe a couple hours for someone in the family to give them lessons. Americus thought they should be schooled in town, offering to pay the teacher’s fees—and for Marcilla as much as young Aulus, which was a pleasant surprise to Marcia.
She told him no. And he let the matter drop. He didn’t coerce her; he didn’t use his money as a cudgel. She changed her answer days later, giving the assent she always meant to, once she was convinced that he did not mean to impose himself as the new master of the family. Most men she knew would, in like circumstances, but Americus granted Marcia her control, and her dignity.
He had never even made any kind of advance on her. As she looked back, watching him play his ingenious little teaching game with her children, she regretted that, and not for the first time.
She knew Americus had once had a wife, and that she had died, violently. Perhaps the wounds that inflicted made him unwilling to yield to Venus again. It could even be the reason for his greater melancholy, but she did not think so. One got on with life—at least she had after losing her Aulus.
Marcia helped Eudokia in the kitchen, doing those little things she had meant Marcilla to do. The game in the atrium reached its end just as the clock—one of Americus’, naturally—chimed the hour. She brought out the vegetable bowl as young Aulus hurried to the table. “And did you win, son?”
“No, Mother. Americus is too smart.”
Marcilla joined him. “Very smart. But we’ll do better than him someday. Someday soon.”
Americus patted their shoulders. “I’m sure you will.” He put on a smile, but Marcia saw straight through it. She could do nothing for his pain now, though, except possibly distract it.
Vesperna was mainly what was left over from noontime cena. Plenty of garden vegetables filled the bowls, while one plate held the last scraps of cold chicken. Everyone sat at the table together, their distinctions of age and station set aside.
Even with her raised circumstances, Marcia had never cared to buy couches for dining. It would cost something of the closeness: of having Eudokia nearby as she traded gentle words with Alastor, of seeing her children working together to pick individual favorites from the vegetable bowl, and of Americus’ quiet, benign company at her right hand.
The meal passed with its familiar pleasantness. Americus seemed as happy as everyone else at the table. Perhaps he was happy, for this moment. Marcia still had not plumbed the sorrow beneath, but there was always tomorrow. She offered him the chicken platter, thinking to keep this moment happy.
.: Weblog Themes By Pichak :.