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feelings, as in former times; for although I do not like to go back to ancient mustiness, and rust, and decay, yet I do like to go back to ancient heartiness; and I should like to see the new year still ushered in by rejoicings, presents, and good wishes, with hearty welcomes and happy greetings; and in this spirit, buoyant as boyhood, I say to all my young friends and companions—"A happy new year to you! A happy, a merry, a pleasant, and a useful year to the end of it! A happy One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty-two to you, with ten times one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two blessings!”

Being thus in for the new year, I can't help saying a little more about it. In Mr. Steward's “Popular Superstitions," there is some account of the Candlemas Bull on New Year's Eve, as introductory to the new year. The bull is a passing cloud, which highland imagination perverts into the form of that animal, as it rises or falls, or takes particular directions of great sigificance to the seers; so does it prognosticate good or bad weather. The more northern nations anciently assigned portentious qualities to the winds of New Year's Eve. One of these old legends, in Brand, may be thus versified—the last line eking out the verse:

“ If New Year's Eve night wind blow south,

It betokeneth warmth and growth;
If west, much milk and fish we see;
If north, much cold and storms there be ;
If east, the trees will bear much fruit;

If north-east, flee it man and brute." Let us hope and trust, my young friends, that all the prognostics of the present season may be favourable ones, and that the wind may set in from the right quarter. Let it blow, from any quarter of the

compass, so that it give us growth from the earth, milk from the kine, and fish from the sea.

As the year begins, and as it proceeds, I would have my young friends get a habit of looking abroad on Nature. There is much to see, I do assure them, in the earth, air, sea, and sky; and as by observing comes knowledge, and by knowledge comes wisdom, so, I say, learn to observe. Look after the young snowdrop and crocus; watch for the flowering of the coltsfoot, the winter hellebore, the dead nettle,


the daisy, violets, and primroses, and keep the ear awake to the first twittering of the redbreast and the thrush. Be up early in the morning. Do not lie looking at the starry crystals of the frozen pane till you freeze in bed; but up, up! out, out! and be merry—to the frozen pond—to the hard road—a good stout stick in hand, a light heart, and a lighter pair of heels, and so greet the birth of the year. But

. don't go about with a gun popping at sparrows, scaring ladies, and frightening horses.

something abunt



Then came old January wrapped well

In many weeds to keep the cold away ;
Yet did he quake and quiver like to quail,
And blows his nayles to warm them if he may,
For they were numbed with holding all the day
An hatchet keene with which he felled wood,
And from the trees did lop the needlesse spray."-SPENSER.


O sayeth the old poet Spenser, and he sayeth well; and in his spirit Peter Parley would have a few words on the months of the year as they successively offer.

I suppose it is scarcely worth while to say, that tho word January is derived from Janus, a deity, repre

sented by the Romans with two faces looking in opposite directions, and typical of the past and the future. Janus was the God of Gates and Avenues, and held a key in one hand and a rod in the other, symbolical of his opening and ruling the year.

January, although full of snows and frosts—is one of the most interesting months in the year. Nature is not dead but sleeping, and in her sleep seems dreaming of Spring. The weather during January is often beatifully clear, cold, and bright, and the beautiful effects of hoar frost are often sufficient to give animation to a landscape which would otherwise look blank and dreary. Every branch and spray is fringed with delicate crystals, sparkling in the sun's rays with the lustre of diamonds, and there is not a single blade of grass or a plant, however insignificant, but may become, thus adorned by these radiant gems, the object of our highest wonder and admiration. The very weeds which we are accustomed to pass unnoticed or to tread beneath our feet

Now shine
Conspicuous and in bright apparel clad,

And fledged with icy feathers, nod superb." All these effects are produced by the transient morning dew of summer, and are now exhibited still more strikingly in the brilliant hoar frost, and were it not that the constant recurrence of the wondrous scene had taught us to look on it with some degree of indifference, we could not fail to be struck with feelings of admiration and delight in remembrance that

“Nature is but a name for an effect

Whose cause is God.”

The beautiful hoar frost is but one of the effects of the absence of heat during this season of the year. As the cold increases, the surface




of lakes and rivers become fixed and converted apparently into floors of marble, and during the change this water expands-expands by cold-in direct opposition to the usual laws of nature, by which everything beside contracts by cold and expands only by heat. Here is a wonder, and one well worthy of investigation as illustrating the Divine care over all the works of Nature. It is a fact that even in this operation the old law of contraction is followed up to a certain point; but having reached a certain point, and the water having become condensed in the greatest degree of which it is susceptible by cold alone, a re-arrangement of particles takes place, by which the crystalline form the solid which is about to be produced occupies more space than the particles in the liquid form. Now supposing that water regularly contracted from its liquid to its solid state, it is quite clear that a certain bulk of ice would occupy less space than the bulk of water which formed it. Its weight would be, in short, bulk for bulk, greater than that of water, and it would consequently sink in Winter instead of forming the superficial crust of ice which covers them, and thus it would become one solid mass of ice, destroying all that life with which the waters teem; and would take a whole Summer to become liquid, since water is so imperfect a conductor of heat.

One effect of this property of water to expand during the process of congelation is to diminish the height of mountains, for the rain and melted snow remaining in their cavities and fissures during the Summer season become frozen, and seeking to occupy a greater space than before, force out masses of rock with irresistible power and send them thundering down to the valley beneath. Another and a general useful effect is the perforation of the earth to receive its destined seed,

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