« ÎnapoiContinuă »
plants, are to be found the most remarkable chemical decompositions, which no chemist can ever produce. Here various bodies are fixed or eliminated, and nourishment supplied to the tissues. Then, as to exhalation-from the green parts of plants we find that oxygen, the chief essential of plants and animals, is given off abundantly from those parts which are colored. Carbonic acid is important to plants; containing carbon, a black body resembling charcoal, of which it is the chief constituent. A remarkable instance of the adaptation of birds to their leafy habitations, is, that in singing they give off this body largely, mixed with air. Animals are chiefly fed by plants, containing the same four elements abovementioned, but modified in their condition.
a well known fact that, unless we eat and drink, we die; but that while we are eating and drink ing we are really dying, may appear a paradox. It nevertheless is strictly true. The destruction and reproduction of the particles of the human frame are continually going on; so that a man at forty years, though apparently the same as at twenty, has not probably a single atom in his body which has not been changed. Respiration itself is, in fact, a species of slow combustion. By this, the vital current is purified and supplied with oxygen; while a portion of the same body combined with superfluous carbon, is again given off. So that we may truly be said "to die daily,' and to enter again upon a kind of new life; this continues till the vital force finally becomes extinct, when another series of changes are produced.-CHEMICUS.
Effect of Electricity on Flowers.-M. Bertholon, of Montpelier, announces that he has proved by experiment that flowers on being electrified emit a much stronger odor than usual; which explains the fact that the atmosphere is generally loaded with fragrance during the prevalence of thunderstorms.-P. T.
Insects, Lasiocampa, Rubi, &c.-I am not at all surprised that "Cerura's" friend has been unsuccesful in rearing the larvæ of Lasiocampa ·Rubi. Many years ago, I myself made the same mistake in feeding them on the bramble. They all, of course, died. Experience has made me wiser; and I have many a time reared them as mentioned in the March number of OUR JOURNAL. Bear in mind that I lay down no absolute rule; I speak of that which I individually have found to be best. Wet food I have always considered objectionable; for there is generally sufficient moisture in the leaves for the proper nourishment of the larvæ. But by all means let "Cerura" follow his own fancy in this matter. "Chacun a sa façon." I shall have pleasure, at the proper season, in sending him through you some eggs of Potatoria. I did not positively assert that his larva of Ligustri was stuck by an ichneumon; I merely suggested (ante page 125), the probability of such a thing. "Cerura" says he is able readily to decide when a caterpillar is unfortunately so stuck. I confess that I have often been deceived by appearances; and knowing how very liable the larva of Ligustri is to be destroyed by its enemy the ichneumon, I really did conclude his had fallen a victim to this abominably destructive insect. After all, I have still some slight misgivings as to this matter, more especially as "Cerura" simply affirms his own disbelief, without stating his own opinion of the fact. Is "Cerura" fond of coleopterous insects? If not, let me recommend him to study them as an additional most instructive recreation (if simply recreation); but I would much rather see it made a thorough study.-BOMBYX ATLAS.
A Beautiful" Dove-like" Flower.-The Panama Star mentions a beautiful lily, with a bulb root, long oval leaves, and a stock four feet in length, found only on one particular part of the Isthmus, near Panama. It is named Espiritu Santo, and is thus described:-"The plant possesses little beauty beyond what is contained in the flower itself, which is of a most elegant and peculiar formation. The outward part, which is smaller than a pigeon's egg, resembles a curiously shaped vase: on opening the lid of which, the most perfect and beautiful fac simile of the dove is found within The head is turned over its back, appearing as if it were about to take its farewell of earth, and soar to some brighter region. No person can see this extraordinary flower for the first time without a deep feeling of wonder and admiration at the perfection and beauty displayed in its formation; and every succeeding time it is met with, the observer gazes upon it with increased admiration and curiosity."-HELEN W.
[The flower is elsewhere styled the "Paradise Flower;" and if we remember rightly, there is a sonnet to it in a collection of poems, by the Rev. J. W. Burgon, of Oriel College, Oxford.]
or mixed with an equal bulk of spirits of wine. No stain will be left; and if spirits of wine be used, the odor is by no means disagreeable.ARABELLA E.
Death of "the Nottinghamshire Entomologist."-Mr. John Trueman, of Edmonston, well known in Mansfield and its neighborhood as "the Nottinghamshire Entomologist,' was killed accidentally on the 4th ult., at Ollerton races, by coming in contact with a fly which was driving at a rapid rate. His collection of English insects was one of the completest ever formed by a private individual, and the British Museum is indebted to it for many specimens.-E. W.
How to turn a White Dahlia blue.-I have been told, but never have tried the experiment, by a celebrated cultivator of dahlias in Belgium, that he hopes to be able, in the course of a year or two, to produce a blue one, by keeping constantly watered the root of a white one with a solution of sulphate of iron. The sulphate of iron turns hydrangeas blue, and why not, he says, other white flowers as well? Of course, the solution must be very weak when used.-G. C.
Epitaph on a favorite Mouse.-A few days since, my old master was looking over some manuscripts written very nearly half a century ago; when all of a sudden I saw a peculiar smile on his face. As he was calmly watching my movements, I asked--what amused him so much? He then showed me the book, and extracted from it the following epitaph on the "Death of a favorite Mouse," written thirty-five years ago. It will prove to my little cousin, Bo-peep," that formerly our race was as much petted as they are I admire the verses so much for their simple, natural, and unaffected feeling, that I thought you would not object to giving them a corner in OUR JOURNAL.-DOWNY.
ON THE DEATH OF A FAVORITE MOUSE.
Beneath this beech, we quiet lay
The ashes of a fav'rite mouse, Which Death untimely snatched away And laid within its narrow house.
In vain thy coat of velvet sleek,
Thy fair long tail and sparkling eye, To ward the fatal blow would seek;
Since mice, as well as men, must die.
But yet thy mem'ry long shall live,
And in our hearts for ever dwell; And sorrowing friendship still shall give A tear for one she loved so well! Gatcombe Park, April, 15, 1818.
Cats, beyond all question, " Vermin".-Let me confess to you, my dear Sir, that there has always been one point, and one only, in which I considered there was some little discrepancy between your "preaching and practice;" but, having now discovered my error, and no longer thinking so, I cannot do otherwise than write you 'a plain unvarnished tale" by way of making the amende honorable. I could never for a moment imagine until now, how you, being as well as myself such
a lover of all dumb created things, could write so strongly against that silky, artful creature, "the Cat;" until "woful experience" has opened my eyes to such being quite consistent with your other opinions on Natural History. The fact is th My "second-self" has for some years past kept a few, say ten or a dozen, little Bantam fowls-great pets of ours as you may guess, living as we do in the midst of bricks and mortar in a town. From time to time, however, during several years, divers of these pets have most unaccountably disappearedI say unaccountably, for from their house being a brick-built and slated one, with railings at the sides, and no rat-holes discoverable therein, it became impossible, unless I could believe in what I considered your "theory," that cats could be the aggressors. This year likewise, three chickens and one hen have been destroyed in the same mysterious manner; and on Friday night last our greatest pet, a splendid little fellow and a present to our only child, was killed. It was found on the following morning, much mutilated; the head being off, and the body mangled. A piece or two of fur were adhering to the spurs of the bird, evidently from his struggles with the enemy. Doubt seemed now at an end; accordingly the next night a rat gin was placed close to the fowl-house door, and baited with the head of the unfortunate cock. The next morning, a brown monster in the form of a cat was discovered, caught by the leg. I need not tell you that his life was speedily put an end to with the kitchen poker. We now hope to have a little peace for our feathered pets. I really feel bound, Sir, to absolve you from the charge of cruelty to animals; and to admit that you are fully justified in using the strong language you occasionally do against those plagues the domestic cats, which are allowed to range at large in such numbers during the night.-JOHN GARLAND, Dorchester.
Insects, Potatoria, &c.-Let me thank C. MILLER for his obliging communication (ante page 253). I have bred some thousands of Potatorias, but certainly never adopted the plan he speaks of. I hope this year to try the experiment. I fear C. Miller's olfactory nerves are not very sensitive; as he has not yet been able to perceive the offensive smell emitted by the caterpillar and chrysalis of the Goat-Moth. Only three days since, I had occasion to examine a box which contained one of these chrysalides; and I can assure him the perfume was as pungent as ever, although placed there nine years ago.— BOMBYX ATLAS, May 5.
The Country; and the Benefits derivable from Early Rising-You are really very tantalising, Mr. Editor, for writing so graphically and so vividly about the joys of the country, and the sympathetic feeling that unites all ramblers in the fields. I want to do as you do, but cannot. I drink deeply into the spirit of every word you write, and long to share with you all the delectabilities you speak of. I am confident we should sympathise. But where I live-some two hundred miles from you-people do not regard pure feeling; they ridicule everything like sentiment. My heart, like yours, is formed for friendship; but I live in an atmosphere where friendship, properly so called, cannot flourish. Eating, drinking, and
such a man as Dr. Ashburner should have been duped by so shallow an artifice, and given sanction too to the imposture by the publication of his name! As for Robert Owen, the octogenarian, it is no wonder if at his age he should exhibit signs of decay; and we can afford to smile at the poor old man's egotistical credulity. It seems that women always officiate in these matters. Dux fæmina facti! Is it then a matter to marvel at, if petticoat influence should warp the judg ment? I am very greatly mistaken if I did not one day observe Mrs. Hayden, the rapping “Medium," walking arm-in-arm through the public streets with one of our professed modern philosophers, a man ranking high in the medical profession. Hence his perversion from the cause of truth! Mr. Robert Spicer is another singularly
sleeping, are the gods we worship; and I have no inducement to early rising. Oh, if you lived nearer; if you would but knock at my casement at sun-rise, and let me join you-how gladly would I become your pupil, and emerge into a new and blissful life! I should like to see an article on Early Rising from your pen.-FANNY, Liverpool. [We have curtailed your letter, Fanny, but we are well pleased to let the sentiment remain. You feel, just as we wish all our readers to feel the life we are compelled to live is an artificial one. We sacrifice nature altogether, and pay dearly for the sacrifice-at this lovely season in particular. We have in our former volumes gone largely into the subject of Early Rising. Consult the index to each volume. Hear what Daniel Webster says about enjoying the Beauties of the Morning :"Everybody knows the morning in its meta-demented individual, the avowed champion of Rapphorical sense, applied to so many occasions. ping Spirits. He has been inditing a very silly The health, strength, and beauty of early years, letter to the Critic, which, to show his ignorance lead us to call that period the morning of life.' I imagine, they have cruelly printed at length! Of a lovely young woman, we say she is bright When he talks about Spirits conversing by as the morning; and no one doubts why Lucifer alphabets under the table, he quite upsets one's is called 'son of the morning.' But the morning gravity. Besides, the Spirits give incorrect reitself, few people, inhabitants of cities, know any-plies in ninety-nine cases out of every hundred ; thing about. Among all the good people, not one the single correct reply is by a lucky guess. The in a thousand sees the sun rise once a-year. They humbug has been got up in a slovenly manner. know nothing of the morning. Their idea of it is, In the haste to get money, the rehearsals have that it is that part of the day which comes after a been neglected. The cloven foot is ill concealed. cup of coffee, or a piece of toast. With them, The impostors may "pay " well to be written up; morning is not a new issuing of light, a new but it will not do. We can deal with science, and bursting forth of the sun, a new waking up of all believe everything that is connected therewith. that has life from a sort of temporary death, to be- But let this world be the limit; and let us not hold again the works of God, the Heaven and the presume publicly to recognise any new editions of earth-it is only a part of the domestic day, be- the "Witch of Endor." The trick is stale; the longing to reading the newspapers, answering imposition is detected; the public are wide awake. notes, sending the children to school, giving orders-LYNX. for dinner, &c. The first streak of light, the earliest purpling of the east, which the lark springs forth to greet; and the deeper and deeper coloring into orange and red, till at length the glorious sun is seen, regent of the day-this they never enjoy, for they never see it. I never could think that Adam had much the advantage of us, from having seen the world while it was new. The manifestations of the power of God, like his mercies, are, new every morning,' and fresh every moment. WE see as fine risings of the sun as ever Adam saw; and its risings are as much a miracle now as they were in his day, and I think a good deal more; because it is now a part of the miracle, that for thousands and thousands of years he has come to his appointed time, without the variation of a millionth part of a second. I know the morning; I am acquainted with it, and I love it. I love it, fresh and sweet as it is a daily new creation, breaking forth, and calling all that have life, and breath, and being, to new adoration and enjoyments, and new gratitude."-Let these remarks, Fanny, rouse you to an effort in our absence. We thank you for your good-will, and shall be happy to hear you have become an early riser. Having no precise address, we could not write you privately.]
[You have only anticipated what we would
*Poor Robert Owen was sadly hoaxed. His seduction by the fair "Medium was comparatively easy. The following is his confession.-"While conversing with Mrs. Hayden, and while we were both standing before the fire, and talking of our mutual friends, suddenly raps were heard on a table at some distance from us, no one being near to it. I was surprised; and as the raps continued and appeared to indicate a strong desire to attract attention, I asked what was the meaning of the sounds. Mrs. Hayden said, they were made by Spirits anxious to communicate with some one, and she would inquire who they were. They replied to her, by the alphabet, that they were friends of mine who were desirous to communicate with me. Mrs. Hayden then gave me the alphabet and pencil, and I found that the spirits were those of my mother and father.(!) I tested their truth by various questions, and their answers, all correct, surprised me exceedingly. I have since had twelve séances, some of long continuance, and during which I have asked a considerable number of questions; to all of which, with one exception, I have had prompt and true answers, so far as to the past and present, and very rational replies as to the future."-After this, Mrs. Hayden raised the ghosts of Benjamin Franklin and others; among them, the ghost of Mrs. Owen, and her younger daughter! All this garbage is printed and published-and how much more!-ED. K. J.
The Spirit Rappers."-You deserve public thanks, Mr. Editor, for having so completely exposed these wretched impostors. From what I hear, and from what I have seen, I imagine their reign is nearly over. It is to be lamented that
ourself have said on this subject. The cheat was too transparent to last for any length of time. The question of rap-ping up Spirits has no connection whatever either with philosophy or science. Neither is it a delusion wrought on the minds of the practitioners. It is simply one of the newest modes of studied extortion. John Bull may be superstitious; but this is too large even for his swallow. We have heard of Judas Iscariot being recently seen reflected in the globules of a crystal. He was clad in scarlet hosen, and he wore an alarmingly large cocked-hat. The boy who held the crystal, declared he saw him thus habited. In his hand was a snuff box; and he sat cross-legged; in his mouth was a small pipe. The boy remarked, he was blazing away." He was mesmerised when he saw this. Here we have" the explanation." But the boy heard no rappings; and used no printed alphabet. He was wandering in his sleep; and his disordered brain saw a vision—a droll one we confess. The sooner these tom-fooleries cease the better.]
Death of the mutilated Jackdaw at Southampton. The poor animal about whose cruel treatment you have so interested yourself, is dead. His sufferings have terminated. I observe the following remarks in the Hampshire Advertiser of May 7.-" The Mutilated Jackdaw. The poor pet at Blechynden-terrace, whose story has twice appeared in our columns, and afterwards been found worthy of a niche in KIDD'S JOURNAL, died about a month ago; as we learned upon recent inquiry. His mistresses were unceasing in their attentions to him, but he gradually dwindled away after our previous visit; and they imagine it was owing to the want of out-of-door's food, which the mutilation of his lower mandible prevented him from obtaining."-With all my endeavors, Mr. Editor, I have been unable to obtain the name of the fiend who committed this barbarous act of inhumanity. He is screened by everybody-as if he had done a meritorious action! What an unaccountable world this is!-HEARTSEASE, Hants.
[It is indeed, "Heartsease!" This fellow is even a greater miscreant than KING, who did finish roasting his victim and her unborn family, We lament, as much as you do, that we cannot immortalise his name; we still hope to be able to do so.]
England, or the Tropics?-Our countrymen are getting dissatisfied, Mr. Editor, with our happy land," and are flying all over the world. Let me recommend them to take a trip to a tropical climate, and then see if England has not some claims upon their love. To mention only one "treat" peculiar to tropical climates--the visitation of insects. Of these Sydney Smith says:-"The bête rouge lays the foundation of a tremendous ulcer. In a moment you are covered with ticks. Chigoes bury themselves in your flesh, and hatch a large colony of young chigoes in a few hours. They will not live together, but every chigoe sets up a separate ulcer, and hath his own private portion of pus. Flies get into your mouth, into your eyes, into your nose; you eat flies, drink flies, and breathe flies. Lizards, cockroaches, and snakes, get into your beds; ants eat up the books; scorpions sting you on the foot. Everything bites,
stings, or bruises. Every second of your existence you are wounded by some piece of animal life that nobody has ever seen before, except Swammerdam and Meriam. An insect with eleven legs is swimming in your tea-cup; a nondescript, with nine wings, is struggling in the small-beer; or a caterpillar, with several dozen eyes in his stomach, is hastening over the bread and butter. All nature is alive, and seems to be gathering all her entomological host to eat you up, as you are standing, out of coat, waistcoat, and over-alls. Such are the tropics! All this reconciles us to our dews, fogs, vapors and drizzle; to our apothecaries rushing about with tincture and gargles; to our old British constitutional coughs, sore throats, and swelled faces."-Aye, most truly reconciles us, say I. We never know half our comforts, till we are deprived of them.-JULIANA. [Well spoken, “Juliana." "Old England for ever!" say we. If we cannot live here, we can live nowhere. There is very little poetical feeling abroad, we imagine.]
The Rose Maggot.-Two years ago, minutely inspecting the buds of my Rose-trees about the end of March, I observed some very small powdery matter about them, and on examining with a glass, I found a very small maggot in the bud; it occurred to me that as there are side buds which come into growth when the main bud is accidentally destroyed, I should possibly get rid of one set of caterpillars by removing all the main buds; I did so on a large branch, leaving the rest of the bush to take its chance. On the back of many of the buds I found the little creatures busy at work. I noticed the denuded branch during the summer, and found my conjecture confirmed. New buds came, and the branch was covered with flowers uninjured, whilst the rest of the tree was very much infested-the only drawback was, that the roses on the experimental branch came somewhat later. I repeated the experiment last year with the same result, and I make this communication in the hope that others may be induced to try the same mode of getting rid of one of our worst pests, as the plan has the advantage of extirpating, as far as it is practised, the propagation of the progeny. A quick hand, after the bushes are pruned, would soon clear a number of trees much quicker and very much better than could possibly be effected by hand-picking, when the mischief, in nine cases out of ten, is already irretrievably done. If any of your correspondents should try this mode, perhaps they will communicate their results.-T. H., Stoke Newington.
Destructive Birds.-Some remarks have lately appeared in your columns relative to destructive birds. If your correspondents could destroy the birds of which they speak, they would soon wish them all back again. A King of Prussia procured the destruction of sparrows throughout his dominions, but soon retraced his steps. One pair of sparrows in the spring and early summer destroy 6000 caterpillars a week. In the French game laws of 1840, or thereabouts, it is expressly enacted that it shall be lawful for the prefects of departments to forbid the destruction of all small birds. It is fit to add that bird-catching is practised on
the continent to a most extraordinary extent, and able for bouquets, and alike fit for windows, greenthis provision is intended to check it, the act re- houses, borders, and beds. Under favorable culticiting that in consequence of such destruction vation, its blossoms increase in size nearly oneit had been found that vegetation greatly suffered. half. The plants only required to be divided anAlmost all the thick-billed birds which eat cornnually, and to have the flower-spikes cut off as the and seeds will also prey upon caterpillars, insects, lower-florets decay. By thus preventing their seedand larvæ. In fact it is difficult to name a single ing, a very protracted display of bloom is obtained. bird which does not do as much good as harm. These are not a hundredth part of the native flowers The bullfinch is perhaps a plague. Walk out which might be introduced with the happiest effect quietly among your plum-trees, and you will see into our gardens.-GEORGE GLENNY. every now and then two or three of these birds quietly crushing the blossoming buds all over the tree; but these birds are not over numerous. Wood-pigeons have increased of late years, so as to become a nuisance; they will shear off entire rows of peas as clean as a rabbit. The two latternamed birds do not, as far as I am aware, compensate for the mischief they do. The preservation of game, causing the extirpation of nearly all the birds and animals of prey, have immensely increased the numbers of the feathered tribes, and at the same time in a great measure stopped the predatory incursions of the bird-nester in our fields and woods. Thus the equilibrium of check and counter-check, which in such things constitutes the economy of nature, is somewhat interfered with.-I.
Our Native Flowers.-Perhaps no one of your readers would dissent from the proposition that beauty, not rarity, is the first quality to be desired in the tenants of our parterres; and, for ourselves, we have no hesitation in saying, that that gardener should not have the direction of our flower-borders who rejected the beautiful, because it was common, to make room for the more insignificant, merely because it was scarce. No; we prefer, before all other considerations, beauty of color, beauty of form, and excellence of fragrance. Moreover, we are not of those who admire most that which costs most; but, on the contrary, we should be best delighted to save every guinea we could from being expended upon the tenants of our out-door departments, in order that we might have that guinea to spare upon our stove and greenhouse, the denizens in which must, beyond escape, be excellent, in proportion to their costliness. We make these observations, because we happen to know that effects the most beautiful may be obtained by the aid of our native plants. We have seen rustic seats looking gay, yet refreshing, from their profuse clothing of our Vinca minor and major; and we will venture to wager a Persian melon against a pompion, that half the amateur gardeners of England would not recognise these flowers in their cultivated dwelling-place. Again, if any one wishes to have the soil beneath his shrub beries gladsome in early spring, let him introduce that pretty page-like flower, the wood anemone, to wave and flourish over the primroses and violets. Let him have there, also, and in his borders too, the blue and the white forget-me-not, Myosotis palustris and M. Alba. We will venture the same wager, that not a tithe of your readers ever saw that last-named gay little native. Mr. Paxton's observation applies to them both, when he says, as a border-flower it has a very high characteristic -it only requires planting in a moist soil, slightly sheltered and shaded, to become a truly brilliant object; it is equally good for forcing, very valu
Australia; two sides to every Question.-The climate of Australia has been much lauded in OUR JOURNAL, and no doubt, the climate, at certain seasons, is lovely. But is it always so? Listen! Mr. W. Howitt, writing from the Ovens Diggings, says:-"The season has been frightfully unhealthy, and the journey to the gold-fields has been fatal to many. Thousands have been struck down by sickness; hundreds have already returned, cursing the parties who sent them such one-sided statements of the gold-fields and the climate. Hundreds were still lying ill from the insidious influence of this 'fine, salubrious climate.' In a letter just received from Melbourne, I hear that scarcely a soul there but has been ill, and all up the country it is the same. Gentlemen who have been in India, China, and over the whole continents of Europe and America, say that this is the worst climate they know. Without any apparent cause people are everywhere attacked with dysentery, rheumatism, cramp, and influenza. All this ought to be fully and fairly stated. One-sided statements are a dishonest procedure-'a delusion, a mockery, and a snare.' The little black fly of Australia is a perfect devil. The grass-seeds in summer, which pierce your legs like needles, will actually run through the sheep-skins into the flesh of the sheep, and into their lungs, and kill them; but this is more particularly the case with the seed-spikes of a wild geranium, which act like corkscrews. The dust winds, and the violent variations of the atmosphere-often of no less than 100 degrees in a day-these are nuisances which ought to be well-known. A deal is said about sending out young women to marry men in the bush. God help such young women as marry the greater portion of such fellows as the common class here. Their very language is perfectly measled with obscenity and the vilest oaths and the basest phraseology, and they drink all they can get. In short, this is a country to come to, as people go to India, to make money; as to spending it here, that, under present circumstances, would require different tastes to those of most cultivated men and women. The greatest thing that can be said of this country is, that the better classes are so exceedingly kind and hospitable, and, considering their isolated lives, not deficient in general information. I am sure we shall always have occasion to remember the kindness of the inhabitants of the bush. Every house, if we had desired it, would have opened itself to us as a home, and, but for bush kindness, I should, perhaps, not have been writing this."-Do, Mr. Editor, print this little extract. It may do some real good. It can do no harm.-REBECCA J.
[The accounts now arriving from Australia are terrific-really no other word is suitable to express one's sentiments. If thousands are going out,