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that the proposed and needful change took place at Christmas." We had so much to prattle about at this season-so much of the interesting to communicate in the matter of social réunions, and the annual renewals of those affectionate feelings of love and friendship which do such honor and service to humanity. Well is it for us, that "Fashion"-children-we behold a sight, and hear sounds, the universal tyrant, has not swept away this which we cannot but rejoice in. May the annual custom of meeting together, as well time never arrive that shall see us differently as so many other of the wholesome ob- minded! servances of life!

far exceeds any other pleasure. It leaves a goodly savor behind it. Selfishness must not, cannot intrude at such seasons. Beholding our friends happy, their hearts warm, their countenances radiant with delight; and whilst listening to the joyous sounds of merriment proceeding from their innocent

There is a great deal of rust contracted on the human heart, in the course of a single year-aye, in the course of a few short months. Absence very often produces a cruel coldness amongst those who ought to be the best of friends; and this coldness of feeling too often grows into something worse than indifference. Then, people will get fancying all sorts of silly things; nor does ill-nature slumber under such circumstances. Many a sly hint will be thrown out by a venomous tongue, interested in spreading dissension, that will keep the choicest of friends at variance. However, "Time works wonders." The season for friendly meetings again comes round. Invitations are given and accepted. Old acquaintances meet; the hand is offered and taken-aye, shaken too! Doubts are cleared up; the heart expands under Nature's warmth, and all are "happy"-as they should be. Nature! how we love thee!

Well; all that we have been talking about has already taken place. Friends have embraced, laughed, danced, sung, played, and made merry. Youth and age have melted into one. The follies of fashion have, among the sensible, dwindled away; and Nature has reigned triumphant nongst her children. Thus has the New Year come in, radiant with smiles. The glorious sun heralded in the 1st of January, 1853. We saw his face with delight. It was but a glimpse, truly; but that glimpse shadowed forth a host of "promises" now in course of daily fulfil

ment.

Now let us improve these few opening observations on the season. Let each one of us boldly ask himself-if his heart does not feel all the lighter for the share he has taken in promoting the happiness of others? And the beauty of it is, the pleasure of pleasing

We have before mentioned (see our SECOND VOLUME, passim), "why" we have been constrained to convert OUR JOURNAL into a MONTHLY Periodical. The booksellers refused to procure it in its weekly form; and the complaints we received from all parts of the country in consequence, have left us no alternative. The tender mercies of a bookseller are indeed cruel! Their community stand unenviably "alone" in their feelings of envy and hard-heartedness.

Whilst very many thousands have been so enjoying themselves, it will hardly be imaOh no! gined that we have stood out. Familiarly and pleasingly known as "OUR EDITOR," we have dropped in here, there, everywhere--a welcome, privileged friend. We were an invalid too; and, on that account, the more "interesting!"

Christmas Day was, of course, our "first appearance this season." On that happy day we were enrolled-Self & Co.-among the members of a numerous "happy family." We passed the day as it ought to be passedin amity, friendship, love, and unity. We never tell tales; but we may relate, in confidence, that the "good old customs were rigidly and properly kept up. One arch ace--we will not say how many more arch faces followed the good example-slyly drawing us beneath

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The blossom that hangs on the bough," playfully remarked, "Our Editor, being invisible,* is nobody!" The arch face, with a pretty mouth, then whispered somethingoh, how sweet !-in our ear; and as we sighed out,-"Take heed,-whisper low! the lisp died softly away in the distance. "Sweet seventeen!" (-aye, and "Sweet twenty-one !") how we love thee! Long may innocence like thine live to greet us annually; long may we live to go through the same pleasing ceremonies of the season with thee! So treated, we will remain “nobody" all our life. We never can grow "old."

We have, no doubt, here touched a chord that will awaken in other breasts besides ours, many a pleasing reminiscence of Christmas 1852-3.

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We are all children at such times, and ought to be so. It is Nature's gentle law, and must be obeyed. Thus do our minds become unbent, our best feelings expanded; and thus are all the avenues opened which lead to kind, friendly, and affectionate solicitude, one for the other.

PRUDERY must never dare show her ugly deformed features at holiday times. No! No! We will have none of her detestable

Hereby hangs a curious tale. Our invisible cloak, and its mysterious properties, will be found duly chronicled in our first volume, page 104.

heresies introduced amongst Nature's children. Her ladyship claims to rule, in her own sweet way, once a year at least; and insists in putting us in the right way, whether we continue to walk in it or not. She hates the superficial and the artificial as much as we do. Oh that we could, between us, banish

them for ever!

The curtain must here fall. Papas and mammas, boys and girls, young and old, grave and gay-all have met to keep Nature's holiday, and to rejoice together in love. Sight-seeing is at an end. The vacation is nearly over. The last boy is now "due" at school. Whilst we write, "Black Monday" is frowning on our young friends, and duty is beckoning them away from pleasure.

Well; they have had their treat, and must now away to improve their minds. We will, in their absence, try and prepare something to "assist" in this, against their return. The seasons will soon roll over; then will they again assemble to give a loose to the dictates of honest Nature.

May God bless our rising youth! say we; and as we grow older, may we contrive-if possible, to grow more natural!

THE BLESSING OF SIGHT AND HEARING.

THE following graphic sketch appears in the "Boston Transcript." There is a vein of feeling in it, which we wish to impress upon the mind of every reader. How little do we value our gifts, until by comparison we are brought to reflection!

A few days since, says Dr. C., the narrator, I paid a visit, by invitation, with a friend, to the "Blind Institution" at South Boston, where I had an opportunity of seeing Laura Bridgman. Although much has been written about this interesting young lady, yet I am inclined to believe that her actual condition is not generally well understood. The Blind Institution has long been established, and is now under the superintendence of Dr. Howe, a man whose intelligence and humanity ad mirably fit him for the situation.

Laura is blind, deaf, and dumb. She can neither hear, see, nor speak! I had somehow formed an opinion that she was a little girl, but I learned that she was 22 years of age, although she appeared not above 16 or 18. Her features are regular-an oval face, with a very pleasing expression of counteHer head is what phrenologists would call "finely balanced "-the moral and intellectual predominating. Her demeanor was lady-like, and attractive. One would not suppose she ever entertained a thought of sadness, from her appearance.

nance.

The mode of communicating intelligence to her, is entirely different from that of any other human being-she being the only per

son living who is at once blind, deaf, and dumb. The deaf and dumb can learn by seeing; and the blind by hearing,—but Laura can learn in no such way. She can only learn by the sense of touch alone! Strange as it may appear, she has been taught not only to converse freely, but to write. This has been accomplished by the sense of touch alone. How did she learn her letters? How was the first idea communicated to her? As we entered the room, she was in earnest conversation with her blind companion. The blind girl could hear our approach, but Laura literally "turned a deaf ear" to us.

While viewing the two, we almost envied the condition of the blind girl, in contrast with the night of night in which poor Laura was encompassed. Laura could speak to others by the motion of her fingers, like the deaf and dumb spelling out every word. But while she could speak to others in this way, no one by similar motions could speak to her. She could not see the motion of their hands. In speaking to her, the motion of the fingers had to be made inside of her hand. She could then understand their mean. ing. Laura and the blind girl both conversed in this way. On the desk, before Laura, lay asked if she would write her name for me; a piece of grooved tin, with a slip of paper. I as I should prize it as

choice memento. She complied cheerfully, after learning the request through her teacher. She placed the paper on the grooved tin, measuring the distance from the side; and wrote in plain

round letters-" LAURA BRIDGMAN TO Dr.

C." She guided her pencil with the left hand, in the grooves of the tin.

Poor Laura! Heaven grant that the darkness which now surrounds you, may end in this life! There is a kind Providence, whose care is over even the most obscure creature, and in time will compensate and rectify all Wrongs. There is no blindness or deafness in Heaven. "There the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unOn leaving the Blind Institution, stopped." I trust I had a more truthful sense of the blessings of sight and hearing, and of the corresponding obligations they impose. Laura Bridgman is considered by those who the highest object of interest in the world. Let those who indulge in complaints at the disappointments and disadvantages they suffer in life, only think of LAURA BRIDG

know her condition and her attainments, as

MAN!

that we arrive at, is an imaginary milestone in THE NEW YEAR.-Every first of January the track of human life; at once a resting-place for thought and meditation, and a starting point for fresh exertions in the performance of our journey.

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From all parts of the country, testimonials of gratitude for little services professionally rendered by us, have flowed in like a river. We name this under a general head, in order that one tribute of thankful acknowledgment may be accorded to all. We never could make a speech" under such circumstances ;" and we shall most assuredly not attempt to

do so now.

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Among the assembled offerings was one," most delicately conveyed. It reached us just before Christmas. It was franked throughout, and forwarded anonymously. On a sheet of paper, in a most loveable handwriting, were penned these words:--" For the Editor. From a grateful friend-wishing the Editor and his family a merry Christmas and a happy New Year." The" present" was a noble, snow-white bird, sacred to Christmas, weighing some eighteen pounds. A neat label notified that it had ceased to live, three days previously; and a ticket showed that it had travelled on the Southampton Railway. This offering of gratitude delighted us. The bird was not packed in the usual way. It had evidently occupied some little time in its preparation. It was placed (so neatly!) in a rush basket; and the sewing, it needed no prophet to tell us, was leisurely performed by a little hand which felt a secret pleasure every time the needle was inserted and withdrawn. We repeat we know not the donor; but we rejoice in feeling that we are remembered by "one," with whom time, perhaps, will make us better acquainted. A tribute thus paid can never be forgotten,-it were impossible.

We were becoming melancholy at the

close of the year,-despairing, perhaps, lest, after all, our enterprise should fall to the ground. When, however, we found ourself such a general object of regard, and experienced such overwhelming and convincing proofs that OUR JOURNAL had so won its way to favor,-creeping into the very hearts of our readers, we took fresh courage, and feel at the present time that there are those interested in our success who will never slumber nor sleep till we are placed beyond the reach of danger.

We have labored hard-very hard, to create a brotherly and a sisterly feeling among mankind generally. It has indeed been up-hill work! Our three-halfpenny readers positively derided us for our sentiments, and withdrew from our standard. It was "natural," perhaps-yet rather unkind. But let it pass.

Our present body guard are of a very different order. They tell us, frankly, they could not expect us to write, nor could they unless they knew that we were, at all events, be satisfied to read anything we had written, protected from actual loss. This is manly, fair, and just. We love such sentiments.

The year 1852 has not passed without affording us many opportunities for noticing how much real good may be effected by kindness, and that, in a multitude of little ways. The hollowness of "the world we live in," deadens those latent feelings that only want a fitting occasion to show themselves; and people, naturally kind, loving, and sociable, are by circumstances rendered too often callous, indifferent, and morose. They find no echo to their own sentiments, become misanthropical, and turn their backs upon society with disgust. These are the people after whom we seek. We have picked up many of them already, and they have become polished jewels. More,-many more, we trust, are yet to be found. Our pen shall search them out.

heart creates love. Love, when once born, Kindness begets kindness, and sincerity of never dies. We have set ourselves a task to prove this. We will prove it, if we live.

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REAL CHARITY.

When thou hast done a good deed, do not show
It with thy finger, neither let it be
Profaned: else it will come back unto thee
Like to a handled flower, where the glow
Of hue and sweetness of the perfume no
More dwells. Upon God's altar, with all the
First freshness on it, place it; and then HE
Will make its perfume everlasting, so
"Twill be a joy for aye. There are but two
To whom it matters that thy deeds be known-
GOD and thyself. And if to these alone
They be so, then rejoice thereat; for you
Thus know them to be good deeds, in the true
And sublime sense-true, like thy father's own!
ELLISON.

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AS IT IS NOW SOME FIFTY-SIX WEEKS since we put forth a Prospectus of the nature and objects of this Paper, it may be as well, for the benefit of new readers, briefly to re-state them.

Let it be borne in mind then, imprimis, that OUR JOURNAL is a Journal of Nature. We avowedly eschew all that is artificial; we lay bare the wretched hypocrisy that so universally prevails in society; and we call all things by their proper names. We regard life, not as a mere puppet to be played with as we will, but as a "reality"-involving considerations of the deepest interest here and hereafter. Thus viewed, it possesses a new interest altogether.

We are a grovelling nation, for the most part. Our lives are sacrificed in the vain pursuit of wealth. It is the only God that we "worship." When we get it, it hardens our heart; and whilst we seek it, we neglect most of the kind offices of life. "In the midst of life we are in death," and know it Neither care we for it. Here is a daguerreotyped picture of humanity! True to the letter, nevertheless. Well might WORDSWORTH say :-

not.

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are not; to show them that happiness does not consist in selfishness; and that true charity, if sought after, can readily be found. We want to crush false pride wherever it inhabits, and to cement a bond of brotherly and sisterly love between those who now see no beauty in such a union. We want to establish common honesty among us; a reign of kindness instead of a reign of terror. We desire to do away with a mass of the cool calculation that now exists amongst us as to "what we can get" by doing offices of socalled kindness. In fact, we want to regenerate the human heart.

Should it be urged that this is an impossibility, we admit that it is so, to a certain extent. Yet have we evidence in our possession, that we have not labored in vain touching this matter. For twelve months has our pen been unceasingly occupied in the endeavor to accomplish what we now profess to be our aim. During that period, our correspondence from all parts of the world has been immense,-more particularly during the latter quarter of the past year.

Among this correspondence are letters, whose value we can never sufficiently appreciate. Entering fully into our views, and fathoming our heart, the writers of these letters have not hesitated to tell us the large amount of good we have already done, in certain quarters; and they urge us to persevere with increased energy in "the noble work we have undertaken.' This it is that

has kept us so unflinchingly to our self-imposed task; and that has induced us not to give up all as lost, without a further effort.

We have found out, that there is many a heart seeking,-aye, pining, for feelings in unison with its own; but which, for lack of opportunity, it has never been able to fall in with. These hearts-not a few, have sought and found a resting place, a harbour of refuge, in OUR heart. There they have liveddo live, and will live, whilst we are an inhabitant of this lower world. This is one of the "rewards" we claim for our labor of love.

The other main objects of OUR JOURNAL are-harmless amusement, blended with solid popular instruction; and an inter-communication of ideas between ourselves and the Public, connected with Natural History and matters of every-day life.

This renders our Miscellany an amusing one for the time being; and stamps a lasting value on it as a work of reference on Natural History, and Things in General.

Our two First Volumes are still in print; and we are well contented to let them speak for us in the absence of a longer prospectus. "Deeds, not words," is our motto; and it is one which is now very generally received.

SOMETHING "SEASONABLE."
ST. VALENTINE'S DAY,-1853.

Soon as grey morn invests yon eastern hill,
What perturbations youthful bosoms fill!
What throbs! what strange anxieties are known-
While "doubt" remains where Love shall fix his
throne !

The "pairing of birds" is said to commence on this day; and many bird-fanciers make their preparations in consequence. It is not for us to debate upon the policy of such a step, at a time like this; at all events, the birds are not allowed to have all the love to themselves. The example they set, is thought good enough to be followed by their young masters and mistresses. Accordingly, we find the day ushered in with an amount of pleasing curiosity, and harmless excitement, perfectly indescribable. Poor Robin says, in his Almanac for 1557, "Term is no sooner out, than in comes Valentine, to trade in sweethearts. Then the maids look out sharp to have him for a Valentine (if possible) whom they could inwardly incline to choose for a husband." He adds:

"A glorious month indeed, maids, this is!
It brings you scores and scores of kisses,
For always, when the sun comes there,*
Valentine's Day is drawing near;.

See our article on "St. Valentine's Day," in Volume 1, of OUR JOURNAL, page 97.

And both the men and maids incline
To choose them each a Valentine.
Should a man get the one he loves,
He gives her first a pair of gloves;
And entre nous, to seal his bliss,
He crowns the favor with a kiss.
The kiss begets more love-and then
That love begets a kiss again;
Until the man this trade doth catch,
And then he does propose the match.
The maid is "willing" tho' she's shy,
She gives her swain this soft reply:
"I'll not decide one thing or other
Until I first consult my mother!"
When she says so, 'tis half a grant,
And may be taken for 'consent.'

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IT SEEMS BUT AS YESTERDAY, that we sat down to pen a few random thoughts on this most interesting day; and yet have very nearly twelve months passed over our heads since our expressed thoughts went forth to the world. So very quickly does the time slip away when the mind is fully occupied !

The importance of St. Valentine's Day no person attempts to dispute. Birds and animals, lads and lasses, young people and old people, rich and poor, gentle and simple, -all seem to regard the day as an eventful Just so, good Robin. Only get the ear of one in the Calendar. As for the poor post-words will quickly sink into her heart; and your "heart's idol" to listen to you. Your men-those shamefully ill-paid, but best of men, their legs know little rest from morning till night. So laden are they with 'heavy "messages of love, and borne down by "pictures" of the wooed and the wooing; some very like-a whale!

her "wish will be her mother's

A tolerable idea may be formed of the extent of adoration lavished by the worshippers at the shrine of St. Valentine, on the objects of their heart, when we state a little statistical fact in connection with the 14th day of last February. Up to five o'clock, p.m., 200,000 letters over and above the ordinary daily average, had passed through the Post Office in St. Martin's-le-Grand. This was for London alone; and the net profit was nearly £1,500. When we come to calculate further the quantity of ink, paper, wax, and pens used, and also the cost of the "Devices," &c., we imagine the revenue must feel grateful to the "good saint" for his patronage.

Never go one step, say we, without the consent of the mother. Her blessing is above all. This is a remark by the way.

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ments

We are inclined favorably towards the little displays made on this memorable day, harmless. The ideas are, with a few excepinasmuch as they are for the most part purely tions, cut and dried. They are not the irrepressible bursts of passion, made by a heart "full to o'erflowing." No! The "sentiare prepared in a garret by some poor author, or disappointed suitor, perhaps and disposed of by him to the printers of to be wedded to certain symbolic designs, these literary curiosities. They have then and invested with a dignity meant to strike We will not attempt deep into the heart. to turn such poetical effusions into contempt. Oh no! Let them go forth with their speaking voices; led by rosy-faced Cupids, armed with majestically-mischievous bows and glittering arrows, and attended with the flaming torches of Hymen-chariots of love, crowned with roses, and drawn by sylphs, flying ethereally towards the altar.

these elaborated missives of love. No sooner There is a pretty considerable trade done in has the new year dawned upon us, than "Valentines" greet us in multitudes, in nearly every successive window of the shops of London and the suburbs. How we do delight in halting now and then, to fathom the hearts behold gazing into those same shop windows! many pretty, innocent faces, that we Nor will we affirm that we have not made a vivá voce observation more than once, that has called forth a bewitching smile from the rosy lips, parted by a row of ivory, which belonged to the fair creature we have been addressing.

of the

*The sun this month enters into "Pisces."

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