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The New Year. There are few days in all the year when we all salute each other with a that are pleasanter than the first of Jan-cheerful greeting ;—when children say uary-New Year's Day. It is a day to their parents, as they meet in the
morning, “I wish you a happy new little friends who cannot afford to buy it, year!” and the parents reply, “A hap- I wish you to lend it to them, so that
” py new year, my dear children!” they may peruse it.
The first of January is, then, a day Tom is a rare fellow! No sooner does of kind wishes; of happy hopes; of he get the Magazine than he sits down bright anticipations: it is a day in by the fire, just as you see him in the which we feel at peace with all the picture, and reads it from one end to world, and, if we have done our duty the other. If there is anything he don't well during the departed year, we feel understand, he goes to his father and he peaceful within.
explains it. If there are any pretty Methinks I hear my young readers verses, he learns them by heart; if say, “Would that all our days might be there is any good advice, he lays it up thus cheerful and agreeable!" Alas! this in his memory; if there is any useful may not be. It is not our lot to be thus information, he is sure to remember it. cheerful and happy all the days of our Tom resembles a squirrel in the autumn, lives. A part of our time must be de- who is always laying up nuts for the voted to study, to labor, to duty. We winter season; for the creature knows cannot always be enjoying holidays. that he will have need of them, then. And, indeed, it is not best we should. So it is with Tom; when he meets As people do not wish always to be with any valuable knowledge—it is like eating cake and sugar-plums, so they nuts to him--and he lays it up, for he do not always desire to be sporting and is sure that he will have use for it at playing. As the cake and sugar-plums some future day. And there is another would, by and by, become sickening to point in which Tom resembles the the palate, so the play would at last squirrel; the latter is as lively and grow tedious. As we should soon de- cheerful in gathering his stores for fusire some good solid meat, so we should ture use, as he is in the spring time, also desire some useful and instructive when he has only to frisk and frolic occupation.
amid the branches of the trees and But as it is now new year's day, let Tom is just as cheerful and pleasant us make the best of it. I wish you a about his books and his studies, as he happy new year, my black-eyed or is when playing blind-man’s-buff. blue-eyed reader! Nay, I wish you Now I should like to have my young many a happy new year! and, what is readers as much like Tom Stedfast as more,
I promise to do all in my power possible; as studious, as fond of knowlto make you happy, not only for this edge, and yet as lively and as good huensuing year, but for many seasons to mored. And there is another thing in
Ånd how do you think I pro- which I should wish all my young pose to do it? That is what I propose friends to resemble Tom; he thinks to tell you!
everything of me! No sooner does he In the first place, I am going to tell see me stumping and stilting along, you, month by month, a lot of stories than he runs up to me, calling out, both useful and amusing. I wish to “How do you do, Mr. Merry ? I'm glad
your time to myself, and, to see you; I hope you are well! How's like my young friend Tom Stedfast, your wooden leg ? » whose portrait I give you at the head Beside all this, Tom thinks my Muof this article, I wish you not only to seum is first-rate—and I assure you it read my Magazine, but, if you have any is a great comfort to my old heart, when
have a part
I find anybody pleased with my little not exactly scold me, but he gives me a Magazine. I do not pretend to write piece of his mind, and that leads to exsuch big books as some people; nor planations and a good understanding. *do I talk so learnedly as those who So we are the best friends in the world. go to college and learn the black And now what I intend to do is, to
But what I do know, I love to make my little readers as much like communicate ; and I am never so happy Tom Stedfast as possible. In this way as when I feel that I am gratifying and I hope I may benefit them not only for improving young people. This may the passing year, but for years to come. seem a simple business, to some people, I wish not only to assist my friends in for an old man; but if it gives me finding the right path, but I wish to acpleasure, surely no one has a right to custom their feet to it, so that they may grumble about it.
adopt good habits and continue to purThere is another thing in Tom Sted- sue it. With these intentions I enter fast which I like. If he meets with upon the new year, and I hope that the anything in my Magazine which he friendship already begun between me does not think right, he sits down and and my readers, will increase as writes me a letter about it. He does proceed in our journey together.
Wonders of Geology There are few things more curious, huge tail, which probably served as a strange, and wonderful than the facts means of defence, was larger than that revealed by geology. This science is of any other beast, living or extinct. occupied with the structure of the sur- This animal has been called the Meface of the earth; it tells us of the rocks, gatherium : mega, great, therion, wild gravel, clay, and soil of which it is beast. It was of the sloth species, and composed, and how they are arranged. seems to have had a very thick skin,
In investigating these materials, the like that of the armadillo, set on in geologists have discovered the bones of plates resembling a coat of armor. strange animals, imbedded either in the There are no such animals in existence rocks or the soil, and the remains of now; they belong to a former state of vegetables such as do not now exist. this earth,—to a time before the creation These are called fossil remains; the of man. word fossil meaning dug up. This sub- Discoveries have been made of the ject has occupied the attention of many remains of many other fossil animals very learned men, and they have at last belonging to the ancient earth.
. One come to the most astonishing results. of them is called the Ichthyosaurus, or A gigantic skeleton has been found in fish lizard. It had the teeth of a crocothe earth near Buenos Ayres, in South dile, the head of a lizard, and the fins or America; it is nearly as large as the paddles of a whale. These fins, or padelephant, its body being nine feet long dles were very curious, and consisted and seven feet high. Its feet were enor- of above a hundred small bones, closely mous, being a yard in length, and more united together. This animal used to than twelve inches wide. They were live principally at the bottoms of rivers, terminated by gigantic claws; while its and devour amazing quantities of fish,
and other water animals, and sometimes Regis, England, with part of a small its own species ; for an ichthyosaurus one in his stomach. This creature was has been dug out of the cliffs at Lyme sometimes thirty or forty feet long.
The jaws of the Ichthyosaurus. Another of these fossil animals is that of any living animal. In the encalled the Plesiosaurus, a word which graving at the beginning of this number, means, like a lizard. It appears to have you will see one of these animals swimg formed an intermediate link between the ming in the water. The following is a crocodile and the ichthyosaurus. It is view of his skeleton; the creature was remarkable for the great length of its about fifteen feet long. neck, which must have been longer than
Skeleton of the Plesiosaurus. But we have not yet mentioned the to be found in a famous book on the greatest wonder of fossil animals; this wonders of geology, by Mr. Mantel. is the Iguanodon, whose bones have There was another curious animal, been found in England. It was a sort called the Pterodactyle, with gigantic of lizard, and its thigh bones were eight wings. The skull of this animal must inches in diameter. This creature must have been very large in proportion to have been from seventy to a hundred the size of the skeleton, the jaws themfeet long, and one of its thighs must selves being almost as large as its body. have been as large as the body of an ox. I have given a portrait of this monster, drawn by Mr. Billings, an excellent young artist, whom you will find at No. 10, Court st., Boston. I cannot say that the picture is a very exact likeness; for as the fellow has been dead some thousands of years, we can only be expected to give a family resemblance. We have
Skeleton of the Pterodactyle. good reason to believe, however, that it is a tolerably faithful representation, for They were furnished with sharp, it is partly copied from a design by the hooked teeth. . The orbits of the eyes celebrated John Martin, in London, and were very large; hence it is probable that it was a nocturnal animal, like the bones we have been speaking of, are bat, which, at first sight, it very much found deeply imbedded in the earth, resembles in the wings, and other par- and that no animals of the kind now ticulars.
exist in any part of the world. Beside The word pterodactyle signifies wing- those we have mentioned, there were fingered ; and, if you observe, you will many others, as tortoises, elephants, tifind that it had a hand of three fingers gers, bears, and rhinoceroses, but of at the bend of each of its wings, by different kinds from those which now which, probably, it hung to the branches exist. of trees. Its food seems to have been It appears that there were elephants large dragon-flies, beetles and other in- of many sizes, and some of them had sects, the remains of some of which woolly hair. The skeleton of one of have been found close to the skeleton of the larger kinds, was found in Siberia, the animal. The largest of the ptero- some years since, partly imbedded in dactyles were of the size of a raven. ice, as I have told you in a former One of them is pictured in the cut with number. the Iguanodon.
The subject of which we are treating Another very curious animal which increases in interest as we pursue it. has been discovered is the Dinotherium, Not only does it appear, that, long bebeing of the enormous length of eigh- fore man was created, and before the teen feet. It was an herbiferous animal, present order of things existed on the and inhabited fresh water lakes and earth, strange animals, now unknown, rivers, feeding on weeds, aquatic roots, inhabited it, but that they were exceedand vegetables. Its lower jaws meas- ingly numerous. In certain caves in ured four feet in length, and are termi- England, immense quantities of the nated by two large tusks, curving down. bones of hyenas, bears, and foxes are wards, like those of the upper jaw of found; and the same is the fact in relathe walrus; by which it appears to have tion to certain caves in Germany. hooked itself to the banks of rivers as it Along the northern shores of Asia, slept in the water. It resembled the the traces of elephants and rhinoceroses tapirs of South America. There ap- are so abundant as to show that these pear to have been several kinds of the regions, now so cold and desolate, were dinotherium, some not larger than a once inhabited by thousands of quadrudog. One of these small ones is repre- peds of the largest kinds. In certain sented in the picture with the Iguano- parts of Europe, the hills and valleys don.
appear to be almost composed of the The bones of the creatures we have bones of extinct animals; and in all been describing, were all found in Eng- parts of the world, ridges, hills and land, France, and Germany, except mountains, are made up of the shells those of the megatherium, which was of marine animals, of which no living found in South America. In the Uni- specimen now dwells on the earth! ted States, the bones of an animal twice Nor is this the only marvel that is as big as an elephant, called the Masto- revealed by the discoveries of modern don, or Mammoth, have been dug up in geology. Whole tribes of birds and various places, and a nearly perfect insects, whole races of trees and plants, skeleton is to be seen at Peale’s Mu- have existed, and nothing is left of their seum, in Philadelphia.
story save the traces to be found in the Now it must be remembered that the soil, or the images depicted in the layers