Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

eturn pure

does not even contain half of one part in a All bodies found in plants, are derived hundred; and the apple little more than either as liquids through the soil, by the quarter, being respectively represented as roots, or as gases from the air by the leaves. 0.41, and 0.27. Our grain contains a much From the soil, the plant takes dead inert larger quantity. A thousand parts of wheat matter; which perhaps never existed as the yield twenty-three parts; and the same heat or life, and yet may have been the quantity of oats yields no fewer than forty. earthly prison of mind itself; and from this Hay again, which of course has lost a con- death it makes new life. From the air, the siderable amount in weight by the process plant absorbs that poisonous gas, carbonic of drying, exhibits a figure of ninety parts acid (C. and 0.) which rises like choking in the thousand.

smoke from the furnace within man's laboring The constituents of this ash are very bosom, and from this death, this enemy of varied. Dr. Johnson gives no fewer than life, it extracts the sting and sends back the fourteen elementary bodies; and these by pure vivifying Oxygen, again to cheer the combination with the 0. H. C. or N. form exhausted flame of life, again to combine an infinity of compounds. Potash and soda with the rebel Carbon, again to are among the most plentiful and commonly and blameless; and so through this giddy met with of all the components of this ash. whirl of revolutions, till the great day shall Sea plants, and those growing in the come when life will depend on something vicinity of the sea, abound in soda ; whereas more infinite than a thin subtle gas. inland species possess a larger quantity of Plants and animals are the antithesis of potash. It is a curious and interesting fact each other. The plant is the great gatherer. in the economy of the plant, that a species It takes from the dead and motionless, which inhabits the sea shore, will, on being whether in earth or air ; and it builds a cultivated at a distance from it, lose its living structure in itself. This is preyed appetite for soda, and put up with the upon by the animal; and another living matter at hand most nearly resembling it, fabric is the result. It dies, and then all which is potash. Nay, it has been noticed, this accumulation of organism,-all this and proved beyond the shadow of a doubt fair body, rifled from the grave, returns to by Professor Dickie, that the sea-thrift, sea- it again. Even we who write and read this plantain and scurvy-grass (which grow both page, when the passing bell has told that on the sea shore and on elevated mountain our spirits have walked out in fresher districts), contain in the former situation raiment, and the green turf has been spread much soda, and in the latter much potash; over our weary heads,-must restore to the one being increased as the other is earth all of her that we possess—to be again diminished.

stolen from her bosom by the green herbage, Flint in a highly reduced state, occurs

to be cropped by the sheep, aye, or even the very abundantly in many plants, especially ass; again and again to perform that harin what are called horse-tails and Dutch monious round of unceasing and untiring

D. rushes ; also in the stems of grasses of usefulness. different kinds. Oat and wheat-straw

SONG OF THE BEES. furnish respectively, forty-five and twentyeight parts in the thousand; whereas the Away! for the heath-flowers' pendent bells grains exhibit only nineteen, and four. Are heavy with honied dew; Lime, which is next in quantity, and para- And the cowslip buds in their sunny

dells mount in importance, is found in all plants. Are bright with a golden hue. Sometimes, in union with oxalic acid (as in We spread to the breeze our gossamer wings, the rhubarb) it acts as an antidote to the to hover around in airy rings, poisonous qualities which are the necessary concomitants of the acidity; at other times, when weary, we lie on the fragrant breast

And sip from the sweetest flowers. it unites with C. and forms a body identical

Of the rose, ere its charms decay; with chalk and marble, with which it encases And, cradled in beauty, one moment rest, the growing plant. This occurs in some Then spread our light wings and away! water plants. Still more valuable is it, We climb up the clover-bud's slender stem, however, when, in conjunction with phos- And o'er its sweet blossoms linger; phorus, it is prepared to supply the waste For the honey-dew lies like a precious gem in our bony structure. In this form, it is

On a fair girl's taper finger. chiefly found in the cereal grains which Drowsily humming our cheerful song, minister to our daily wants. Iron, magnesia, O'er meadow and mountain we speed along

Till the air echoes back the measure, copper, iodine, and a multitude of others are occasionally found though in very small were man's life as useful and gay as ours,

To gather the golden treasure. quantities ; and, as some of these will be Oh ! he would be bless'd indeed ; noticed under the head of products, we may But whilst we are sipping the sweetest flowers, conveniently pass on without them.

He rests on a noisome weed!

THE DELIGHTS OF A GARDEN. there is the pet Fuchsia or Geranium, which the

good wife so assiduously cultivates as an ornament

We must have that; so, Mr. HE WHO HAS NO TASTE for a garden is for her window. to be pitied.

We question, indeed, if such Secretary, put down “ The best blooming plant in a person can be amiable. Flowers have a a pot, 2s. 6d." charm about them that inust win upon a gentle

I would have one exhibition in each year, and

no more ; but that should be a general holiday : heart.

and I would take especial care that the children We rarely pass by a cottager's garden should have their annual treat on that day, which without being struck by the neatness of its should be in every respect worthy to be marked arrangement, and the beauty of its flowers ; with a white stone in our calendar. and we as rarely fail to find the gude wife a

We hardly need add, how cordially we type of what is exhibited out of doors. Apropos to this subject, is an article which agree with all that this sensible writer has appears in a late number of the Florist. It advanced. May it be as he says ! is entitled “The Poor Man and his Garden." From it we make an extract or two, as being

MY RUSSET GOWN. well worthy attention :

My Russet Gown is dear to me, It is a remarkable fact, and one to which I scarcely know an exception, that the state of the

Though years have passed away

Since my young heart beat joyously cottage-garden is a tolerably correct index to the

Beneath its folds of grey. internal condition of the tenement and its inhabitants. Whenever I find outside the door a neat

No jewels hung around my neck,

Or glittered in my hair, and well-cropped garden, and more especially if

With lightsome step I tript along, I observe one cherished spot radiant with the

My spirit knew no care ; brightest of flowers (can any one tell me why cottage flowers are always so very, very bright?)

The roses near my windows crept,

And shed their sweets around, I am certain to find cleanliness, order, and com

Hard was the bed on which I slept fort within. The cottager who takes a delight in his gar

But yet my sleep was sound. den is essentially a domestic man. It is there,

My Russet Gown I laid aside, at home, surrounded by his family, he finds ro

For one of rich brocade ; laxation and amusement after the fatigues of the

I thought in my simplicity day. And when he seeks bis humble couch

Its charm could never fade. (sweet and invigorating be his slumber !) will any

I left the cot where I had passed one dare to affirm that the bosom of this wearied

My happy childhood years, son of the soil does not glow with a feeling of

I left my aged father sad, honest pride, a sense of the dignity of the man My mother was in tears ; within him, that the mightiest noble of the land

I left them for a wealthy home, might envy? I regret that so many of our cot- To be a rich man's bride, tages are without gardens; I fear that there ex

And thought that splendor would atone ists a prejudice in the minds of large occupiers of For loss of all beside. land, which fixes too narrow a limit to the cottage garden; and although this evil has been My Russet Gown, when next I gazed somewhat remedied of late years, there is still Upon its sombre hue, considerable room for improvement in this re- Brought such a lesson to my heart spect. I am at a loss to account for this prejudice, Ah, sad as it was true. as it would be no difficult matter to prove that the Its simple neatness seemed to mock good gardener is almost invariably a first-rate My silks and jewels gay, laborer; how indeed should it be otherwise ?

And bore my wandering thoughts to those The establishment of horticultural societies Dear friends so far away. in various parts of the country, with liberal prizes I felt how fleeting were the joys to cottagers, has been productive of the greatest That wealth alone can buy, good ; but these societies are like angels' visits- And for that humble cottage home few and far between. I would multiply them. I My bosom heav'd a sigh. would have one in every parish of considerable extent. Smaller parishes might unite in twos My Russet Gown I still have kept, and threes for the purpose.

I would give prizes To check my growing pride ; for every description of vegetable useful to the A true though silent monitor, cottager ; and one main feature of my society My folly to deride. should be as many premiums, graduated in And when I meet with faithless friends amount, for the best managed cottage-garden, as Among the giddy throng, the funds would allow. Would I exclude flowers ? Whom vice and pleasure, in their train, By no means. I would invite their production, Drag heedlessly along, by bidding highly for the best nosegay ; but the I feel how gladly I would give word bouquet should not appear in my schedule ; My coach and bed of down, it seems sadly out of place in a cottager's prize- Once more in sweet content to live, list, though I have often seen it there for the pur

AND WEAR MY Russer Gown. pose, I presume, of astonishing the natives. But

M. C.

66

[ocr errors]

AN AFTERNOON RAMBLE,

collection of hovels, some old, some new, A SKETCH FROM NATURE.

some thatched, and some tiled; most of them

were crowded with ragged and noisy chilA CIRCUMSTANCE, unimportant in itself, dren, whilst some few were remarkable for obliged me some considerable time since to their neatness, and seemed the abode of stop for the night in a small village remote from peace and happiness. any of the great roads. After refreshing Here, at least,” thought I, " dwell conmyself in mine inn, after the usual manner tent and prosperity. Man seems in the of travellers, I began to reconnoitre the country to be of a different species from the locality in which fate had cast my lot for pale, care-worn beings of a crowded city; the next twelve hours. It was an ancient he has leisure to pause from toil, to look hostelry, called "The Leather Boitle ; ' around him, and to feel conscious that he beneath its faded sign an inscription denoted exists for a noble purpose. What a relief that the house was kept by Millicent Gilly. it is to turn one's back upon the great Babyflower, a widow. A great, obtrusive-look- lon, to lose sight of the pale-faced clerks ing bow-window, gave the place an air of and eternal blue-bags, that haunt one in the consequence above that of the surrounding smoky, purlieus of Lincoln's Inn.". Many tenements; and there was a little enclosed were the smiling faces that peeped from begreen on one side, intended for playing at neath their snowy cap-borders to take a look bowls. In one corner of this green stood at the strange gentleman. A troop of bareseveral benches and a rustic arbour; and in legged urchins were wading through a another reposed the body of an old yellow brook, engaged in the humane employment post-chaise of the most ancient fashion. of spearing minnows with a two-pronged

The wheels had long trundled themselves fork; these also, abandoning their piscatory away, and had been replaced by four low sport, joined the retinue which had already posts, upon which stood this veteran of the followed me from the door of the “ Leather roads, like some Greenwich pensioner rest. Bottle.” Thus escorted, I sauntered along ing upon his wooden legs. The interior had in my favorite attitude, my hands clasped been converted by the ingenuity of Mistress behind me under the tails of my coat, my Gillyflower into a resting-place for her chin slightly elevated, my step deliberate feathered subjects; the upper part being and measured as that of a village dominie. fitted up with perches, whilst from below After many stoppages, to muse upon whattwo fierce-looking hens stretched out their ever attracted my attention, I entered a necks, and threatened to peck at the eyes of narrow lane, the approach to which was all those who were rash enough to look guarded by a turnstile. A few yards further under the seat. Beyond this enclosure was stood a cottage which I wished to examine; the little garden, the especial pride and care for I was attracted towards it by a kind of of the hostess. The entrance to it was old-world appearance about the place. It guarded by two tall yew-trees, cut into the was built of wood, and plastered between shape of pepper-castors, which stood like the beams with yellow clay, being construcsentries on each side of the gate.

ted after the fashion in which our ancestors The garden was kept with the utmost delighted; the gables stood towards the neatness, and was gay with summer flowers. front, with their little diamond-paned winIt did my heart good to look at them, for dows of coarse glass almost obscured by the there I recognised many old friends which capacious eaves. are now banished from modern gardens : According to the taste of former times, there were goodly plots of camomile, and the whole skeleton of the house was visible. rosemary, and rue, and pennyroyal, inter- There were beams and uprights, and corner spersed with the livelier hues of " love lies pieces, and cross-trees, all formed of solid bleeding,"

," “Venus' looking-glass,” and “the oak, and intersecting the plaster in a lozengedevil in the bush." There the “Star of like pattern. In front of the cottage was a Bethlehem” reared its spiral bloom, and small enclosure, for it could scarcely be there flourished the stately sunflower. Com- called a garden; here grew the stumps from mend me to a well-grown sunflower, with which some cabbages had been cut, and a his jolly round face, that one can see out of few stunted specimens of that vegetable; the parlor window! Having selected a the whole of the floricultural department fine clove pink for the ornamenting of my was comprised in one large rose tree, which, waistcoat, I sauntered forth into the village though old and cankered, was covered with to pass away the evening till bed-time. My bloom; beyond this, there was no attempt at a arrival seemed to have caused a consider- garden. Another object, however, very soon able sensation, for the whole population of engaged my attention, and this was a wicker the place, including, I believe, every cat cage, containing a young blackbird, which and dog, turned out to look at me. The hung upon a nail near the window. It was village was like most of its kind, a straggling about five o'clock in the afternoon, and the whole force of a summer sun poured down hall of some baronial mansion, and accorded upon its devoted head, without even the well with the stout iron plate which defended shelter of a leaf or a bough to protect it.* the chimney-back from the fire. The poor creature lay at the bottom of its Across the mantel-piece was stretched a cage, gasping for breath, and was unfur- small valance of printed cotton, over which nished with either food or water. So strongly was suspended, in a neat black frame, a did I feel moved to pity by its unfortunate picture of the Nativity, upon which the condition, that I determined to intercede in artist had not been sparing of his colors. its behalf. I knocked repeatedly with my On either side of this, hung a china medalknuckles on the door ; but receiving no lion; upon that on the right was inscribed, answer, I gently raised the latch, and found • Prepare to meet thy God," and on its myself in a small low apartment, which ap- companion, “ Lay hold on eternal life.” peared to answer the double purpose of a Near the fire-place stood a quaint-looking kitchen and a living room.

arm-chair, the seat of which was covered The scene which now presented itself was with a well-worn calf-skin.-But to return worthy the pencil of a Wilkie cr a Hunt. to the old woman: there she sat near the There was but one human being present ; but ample chimney, and by the side of a small from her I could not take my eyes. Nay round table, whose three legs each terminow, gentle reader, repress that smile, which nated in a claw holding a ball. Before her is curling your lip so disdainfully, and cease lay, a few of those miscellaneous articles your bantering remarks ; for methinks I hear which are supposed to be necessary to the you say, “Now for a love adventure; the art of stitchery. In the midst of these author has mounted his highflyer, and is things sat a pretty tortoiseshell kitten, divgoing to rave about dimpled cheeks, pearly ing its little busy paw into the recesses of teeth, and dove-like eyes, in a strain more the work-basket, and making a glorious befitting a midshipman in her Majesty's confusion amongst the cotton and bobbins : navy, than a sober, middle-aged gentleman, luckily for her, all this mighty mischief who wears short gaiters, and carries two was unperceived by her mistress, who still seals to his watch.' No, my dear friend, continued her nap. there were neither dimples, teeth, nor even The work upon which the good woman had eyes to be seen; for these last were closed been engaged, was the knitting of a stocking; in sleep: and as for the two first, they had and though the grasp of her fingers was unlong taken a final leave of the person loosed from the pins, they were frequently before me.

In sober parlance she was moved by the convulsive twitchings of an an old woman-a very old woman—and uneasy sleep. The ball of worsted had one who bore no traces of ever having rolled into the middle of the room, assisted been remarkable for personal attractions. perhaps by the same mischievous agency What then, you will say, could I see

that was at work amongst the cottons. so interesting about her ? I scarcely know The slumbers of the person before me myself; perhaps it was the whole scene to- were by no means tranquil ; ever and anon gether that pleased me; there was, besides, i she sighed bitterly; and once I thought an air of neatness and comfort in the interior that I saw a tear stealing from under her of the cottage, which the outside did not eye-lashes. “Poor soul!" thought I, “ you, lead one to expect.

too, have tasted of the bitterness of Seeing that my entrance into this dwelling life!” It seemed to me also, as if she had did not awake its inmate, who still continued known better days; for her dress, though to slumber in her high-backed chair, I hesi- made of coarse materials, and in a byegone tated what to do; but being, like the good fashion, had something about it above that daine before me, rather overcome with the of a common cottager. Her silvery hair heat of the weather, I took possession of a

was neatly parted below her plaited cap-frill, vacant seat, and began to look about me.

and her neckerchief was of snowy whiteness. The old-fashioned, one-handed clock, ticked She was a little woman, of a spare habit ; solemnly in its tall and well-polished case; and though there was nothing approaching and the walnut-wood dresser was garnished to a lady,

about her, yet she did not look with its holiday plates; but the large open exactly like a village goody. chimney pleased me the most ;- it was capacious enough to form a little room of and, contrary to my expectation, manifested

At length, with a heavy sigh, she awoke; itself. The massive fire-dogs, of cast iron, but little surprise at seeing me before her. seemed as if they had once belonged to the It is true I have not much the appearance

of either a housebreaker or a pedlar. She * Similar acts of brutal cruelty may at this did not even ask my business, but mechaniseason be witnessed daily, both in town and cally resuming her knitting, she quietly incountry Innocent birds, as we have repeatedly formed me that her nephew would be home said, are a doomed race.--Ed. K. J.

from his work in a few minutes, as the clock

had gone five, and that Susan had stepped or speak. I felt exceedingly faint, and graout to Mrs. Simmons's with some clothes to dually a kind of mistiness seemed to come mangle.

between me and the objects in the room ; You seem to have been enjoying a com- they appeared to get further off, yet larger. fortable sleep, ma'am,” said I; for, with my A chilly feeling crept over me; it came tirst usual absence of mind, I had quite forgotten in my hands and feet, and seemed gradually the original cause of my entering the cot- to invade my whole frame, till my heart tage.

itself was frozen and lost the power of beat"Indeed I have, sir,” she replied ; “but ing. The shade deepened, till all was dark, bless me, here have I dropped one, two, and a feeling of icy coldness seemed to wrap three stitches, while I have been dozing. me round on every side ; this, in its turn, Well-a-day, sleep's a refreshing thing, come faded away into total insensibility. Gradually when it will. It makes one forget all one's came returning consciousness, accompanied troubles, though new ones do seem to rise by a feeling of being poised in the air. I up ever a-while in one's dreams. Do you could as yet see nothing, but all around was believe in dreams, sir?”

a rushing, rustling sound, as of angels' wings. “Why, partly, madam,” said I, willing to * * * The vision returned to me, and the fall in with her humor; “I must say I think air seemed alive with beautiful forms, which there is sometimes more in them than most came thronging round in countless myriads ; people will allow."

thousands of sweet voices were singing the "Do you think so, sir ? ” she replied, praises of the most high, and other spirits rather eagerly; “ I have oftentimes strange seemed to be journeying the same road with dreams myself; one in particular, which re- myself. After a long flight, graturns to me again and again."

dually rocks, mountains, trees, and rivers “I should like to hear it,” said I.

became visible, and I found myself in a “Ah! sir, it would tire the like of you to garden more beautiful than it can enter into the be listening to an old woman's dreams. imagination of man to conceive; cool founThere's my nevey, whenever I say any tains, mossy dells, and the sweetest flowers thing about them, he tells me I am growing were on every side; the spirits of those childish; and Susan, too, begins to talk I loved on earth came thronging round to to me about the march of intellect, and all welcome me. Though they had neither manner of things, that I never heard of when shape nor form, I knew them for friends ; I was young

and my heart yearned towards them. They "Young people will presume a little upon appeared but as the small pale light of a their education now-a-days, ma'am.” glow-worm, shining from its leafy bower.

“But they are very kind to me too, sir. Here again I seemed to rejoin the husband Five years, next Martinmas, I have lived of my youth, long lost, and ever mourned; with them. Once I had children and a hus- and a still small voice gently whispered, in band, but now all are gone, and it appears

accents once familiar-Mother !'" to me like a dream that I was once a wedded from her

eyes the tears which were slowly

Here the poor old woman paused, to wipe wife. Oh! the long weary years that have passed over my head since those happy

stealing down her furrowed cheeks. days! It seems almost as if death had

Poor weary soul! Who knows, thought forgotten me.

I, whether this dream of thine be not a foreAround me I see falling the and healthy; fathers and mothers, strive to make Death a King of Terrors ?

shadowing of the future ? Why should we young the young wife and the only child; whilst

Rather let us think of him as a herald of 1, who have none to care for me, still live on, bliss. Weep not for the dead ! Sometimes, in my dreams, I seem to die, and pass into another world, so bright, so beau

H. HARKNESS. tiful, and peopled with familiar forms; when I wake up to the dull cold reality of this life, I feel almost angry at being recalled

CHILDHOOD. to sufferings and infirmities which seemed to have left me for ever. Even while you

Hark! the whoop of merry voiceshave been sitting here sir, one of these

Hark! to childhood's roundelay; dreams which I mentioned to you has been

How the human heart rejoices busy with my mind, and which, as you wish

In its wild and boundless play! it, I will relate to you. I must have fallen

In its never-ceasing gladness,

In its innocence and mirthasleep with my eyes open, for I recollect

Who could yield to grief or sadness perfectly that at first I saw everything in

While such music glads the earth ? the room as distinctly as I now see it. I

Happy, merry, sunny childhood, heard the clock tick, and watched the Wheresoe'er thy bright smiles beflickering shade of the rose tree upon the In the household or the wild wood casement, but I had not the power to move Thou'rt a thing of joy to me!

« ÎnapoiContinuați »