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Title: Evening at Home - The Juvenile Budget Opened
Author: Barbauld, Mrs. L. E., Aikin, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Evening at Home - The Juvenile Budget Opened" ***

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[Illustration:

  A. C. CHAPMAN, Del        J. A. ADAMS Sc

  CANUTE’S REPROOF.
]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Illustration: EVENINGS AT HOME OR, THE JUVENILE BUDGET OPENED.]

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                           EVENINGS AT HOME;
                      THE JUVENILE BUDGET OPENED.


                    BY DR. AIKIN AND MRS. BARBAULD.

                            Revised Edition.

                   FROM THE FIFTEENTH LONDON EDITION.

    ILLUSTRATED WITH ENGRAVINGS AFTER HARVEY AND CHAPMAN, BY ADAMS.

                               NEW YORK:
                     HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
                            82 CLIFF STREET.

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                  PREFACE BY THE AMERICAN PUBLISHERS.


In presenting to the American public this new and beautiful edition of a
work that has been established as a favourite for nearly half a century,
the publishers do not think it needful to enlarge upon its merits, or to
point out the attractions which have secured for it a popularity so
universal and long continued. Fifteen editions in England, and probably
an equal or greater number in this country, have already borne testimony
in that behalf, much stronger than any praises which they can bestow.
Yet they may be permitted briefly to suggest a comparison between this
charming specimen of the good old school, and most of the illustrated
works that have recently been brought out in such profusion, professedly
for the entertainment and instruction of youth; works, in the majority
of which there is exhibited so little of that peculiar talent required
for imparting instruction with entertainment, and so little judgment in
the choice of subjects, as well as in the manner of dealing with them.
The great defect of these books—at least the greater portion of them—is
the total want of pure and unaffected simplicity; the principal
characteristic of well-trained youth, and therefore indispensable in
everything designed for youthful readers. Multitudes of authors have
written, of late years, for childhood; but small, indeed, is the number
of those who, like Mrs. Barbauld and Dr. Aikin, possess the faculty of
adaptation to the tastes and intellects of children; and in the effort
to make books suited to those tastes and intellects, they succeed only
in producing things too puerile for grown-up people, and so tainted with
the affectation of simplicity that the natural feelings of the child can
give to them no sympathy. And it would be a subject for rejoicing if
this were the worst or only fault with which some of them are
chargeable.

The nearest approach to perfection that a book written for young people
can make, is to give the idea of having been written by one of them.
When a child reads a story, and fancies that he could write just such
another, we may be sure that the author has hit the mark. This test of
excellence the “Evenings at Home” bears with a success unrivalled, as
must be within the experience of many parents. There is scarcely another
book ever placed in the hands of children, from the age of four or five
years to that of twelve or fourteen, which they read with so much
delight, or remember so long and well, or by which they are so strongly
incited to the attempt at composition.

Knowing the excellence of the work, and its enduring popularity, the
publishers have thought it worthy of a better style of publication than
it has ever enjoyed in this country; they have therefore brought out
this handsome edition on the best of paper, and for its embellishment
secured the valuable services of the same unrivalled engraver on wood
who illustrated their “Fairy Book,” and their editions of “Robinson
Crusoe,” the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” the “Life of Christ,” &c.



                PREFACE TO THE FIFTEENTH LONDON EDITION.


The thirteenth edition of “Evenings at Home,” a work which has not been
superseded in general estimation by any later publication for the
instruction and amusement of youth, appeared in 1823, enriched with the
addition of some new pieces, and carefully revised and corrected
throughout by Mr. Arthur Aikin. Since that time, its venerable author,
and his distinguished sister and coadjutor, have both paid the debt of
nature; and it appears proper to introduce this posthumous
republication, by an account of their respective shares in its
production. The plan, then, of the work originated solely with Dr.
Aikin; the Introduction and Epilogue are both his, and about eleven
parts in twelve of the whole. The pieces written by Mrs. Barbauld,
including one found among her papers, and now first printed, are, the
Young Mouse; the Wasp and Bee; Alfred, a Drama; Animals and their
Countries; Canute’s Reproof to his Courtiers; the Mask of Nature; Things
by their Right Names; the Goose and Horse; On Manufactures; the
Flying-Fish; a Lesson on the Art of Distinguishing; the Phenix and Dove;
the Manufacture of Paper; the Four Sisters; and Live Dolls;—amounting to
fifteen out of one hundred and one.

A new arrangement of the matter has been followed in this edition, for
which the editor is answerable. Her father was precluded from attending
to this point in the first instance, by the manner in which the work
grew under his hand. The volumes came out one or two at a time, with an
interval of several years between the earliest and the latest. He did
not at first contemplate so extensive a work; but his invention flowed
freely—the applause of parents and the delight of children invited him
to proceed; the slight thread by which he had connected the pieces was
capable of being drawn out indefinitely, and the plan was confessedly
that of a miscellany. Under these circumstances, it appeared allowable
on a view of the whole work, to change the order, so as to conduct the
young reader, in a gentle progress, from the easier pieces to the more
difficult; or rather, to adapt the different volumes to different ages,
by which the inconvenience might be avoided of either putting the whole
set into the hands of a child, while one portion of its contents would
not be intelligible to him, or withholding the whole until another
portion should have ceased to be interesting. This idea the editor has,
to the best of her ability, put in execution. Should she thus be the
humble means of extending, in any degree, the influence of her father’s
wisdom and genius—of his extensive knowledge, his manly principles, and
his genuine benevolence and tenderness of heart—her pains will be amply
rewarded.



                               CONTENTS.


           Introduction                                page 9
           The Young Mouse                                 11
           The Wasp and Bee                                12
           The Goose and Horse                             12
           The Flying-Fish                                 13
           The Little Dog                                  14
           Travellers’ Wonders                             15
           The Discontented Squirrel                       19
           On the Marten                                   22
           Mouse, Lapdog, and Monkey                       24
           Animals and their Countries                     25
           The Mask of Nature                              25
           The Farmyard Journal                            27
           The Price of Pleasure                           30
           The Rat with a Bell                             32
           The Dog balked of his Dinner                    33
           The Kid                                         36
           How to make the Best of it                      39
           Order and Disorder                              40
           Live Dolls                                      43
           The Hog and other Animals                       46
           The Bullies                                     49
           The Travelled Ant                               50
           The Colonists                                   56
           The Dog and his Relations                       60
           The History and Adventures of a Cat             62
           Canute’s Reproof to his Courtiers               67
           On Things to be Learned                         68
           On the Oak                                      74
           Alfred                                          80
           On the Pine and Fir Tribe                       85
           On Different Stations in Life                   90
           The Rookery                                     94
           The Ship                                        97
           Things by their Right Names                    103
           The Transmigrations of Indur                   105
           The Swallow and Tortoise                       117
           The Grass-Tribe                                119
           A Tea-Lecture                                  122
           The Kidnappers                                 126
           On Manufactures                                129
           On the Art of Distinguishing                   138
           The Phenix and Dove                            144
           The Manufacture of Paper                       145
           The Two Robbers                                148
           The Council of Quadrupeds                      150
           Tit for Tat                                    158
           On Wines and Spirits                           160
           The Boy without a Genius                       166
           Half a Crown’s Worth                           170
           Trial                                          172
           The Leguminous Plants                          179
           On Man                                         183
           Walking the Streets                            187
           The Compound-Flowered Plants                   189
           Presence of Mind                               192
           Phaeton Junior                                 198
           Why an Apple falls                             203
           Nature and Education                           206
           Aversion subdued                               207
           The Little Philosopher                         213
           What Animals are made for                      216
           True Heroism                                   219
           On Metals                                      222
           Flying and Swimming                            230
           The Female Choice                              232
           On Metals                                      234
           Eyes and No Eyes                               242
           Why the Earth moves round the Sun              249
           The Umbelliferous Plants                       252
           Humble Life, or the Cottagers                  256
           The Birthday Gift                              261
           On Earths and Stones                           263
           Show and Use, or the Two Presents              275
           The Cruciform-Flowered Plants                  277
           The Native Village                             281
           Perseverance against Fortune                   287
           The Goldfinch and Linnet                       297
           The Price of a Victory                         300
           Good Company                                   304
           The Wanderer’s Return                          306
           Difference and Agreement, or Sunday Morning    312
           The Landlord’s Visit                           314
           On Emblems                                     320
           Ledyard’s Praise of Women                      325
           Generous Revenge                               327
           The Power of Habit                             330
           The Cost of a War                              333
           Great Men                                      337
           The Four Sisters                               341
           The Gain of a Loss                             344
           Wise Men                                       346
           A Friend in Need                               349
           Earth and her Children                         357
           A Secret Character Unveiled                    359
           A Globe-Lecture                                367
           Envy and Emulation                             375
           Providence, or the Shipwreck                   377
           Epilogue                                       382

[Illustration]



                              INTRODUCTION


The mansion-house of the pleasant village of _Beechgrove_, was inhabited
by the family of FAIRBORNE, consisting of the master and mistress, and a
numerous progeny of children of both sexes. Of these, part were educated
at home under their parents’ care, and part were sent out to school. The
house was seldom unprovided with visiters, the intimate friends or
relations of the owners, who were entertained with cheerfulness and
hospitality, free from ceremony and parade. They formed, during their
stay, part of the family; and were ready to concur with Mr. and Mrs.
Fairborne in any little domestic plan for varying their amusements, and
particularly for promoting the instruction and entertainment of the
younger part of the household. As some of them were accustomed to
writing, they would frequently produce a fable, a story, or dialogue,
adapted to the age and understanding of the young people. It was always
considered as a high favour when they would so employ themselves; and
when the pieces were once read over, they were carefully deposited by
Mrs. Fairborne in a box, of which she kept the key. None of these were
allowed to be taken out again till all the children were assembled in
the holydays. It was then made one of the evening amusements of the
family to _rummage the budget_, as their phrase was. One of the least
children was sent to the box, who putting in its little hand, drew out
the paper that came next, and brought it into the parlour. This was then
read distinctly by one of the older ones; and after it had undergone
sufficient consideration, another little messenger was despatched for a
fresh supply; and so on, till as much time had been spent in this manner
as the parents thought proper. Other children were admitted to these
readings; and as the _Budget of Beechgrove Hall_ became somewhat
celebrated in the neighbourhood, its proprietors were at length urged to
lay it open to the public. They were induced to comply; and thus,
without further preface, begins the “First Evening.”

[Illustration:

  EVENING I.
]



                       THE YOUNG MOUSE.—A FABLE.


A young mouse lived in a cupboard where sweetmeats were kept; she dined
every day upon biscuit, marmalade, or fine sugar. Never had any little
mouse lived so well. She had often ventured to peep at the family while
they sat at supper; nay, she had sometimes stolen down on the carpet,
and picked up the crumbs, and nobody had ever hurt her. She would have
been quite happy, but that she was sometimes frightened by the cat, and
then she ran trembling to the hole behind the wainscot. One day she came
running to her mother in great joy. “Mother,” said she, “the good people
of this family have built me a house to live in; it is in the cupboard:
I am sure it is for me, for it is just big enough: the bottom is of
wood, and it is covered all over with wires! and I dare say they have
made it on purpose to screen me from that terrible cat, which ran after
me so often; there is an entrance just big enough for me, but puss
cannot follow; and they have been so good as to put in some toasted
cheese, which smells so deliciously, that I should have run in directly
and taken possession of my new house, but I thought I would tell you
first, that we might go in together, and both lodge there to-night, for
it will hold us both.”

“My dear child,” said the old mouse, “it is most happy that you did not
go in, for this house is called a trap, and you would never have come
out again, except to have been devoured, or put to death in some way or
other. Though man has not so fierce a look as a cat, he is as much our
enemy, and has still more cunning.”



                       THE WASP AND BEE.—A FABLE.


A wasp met a bee, and said to him, “Pray, can you tell me what is the
reason that men are so ill-natured to me, while they are so fond of you?
We are both very much alike, only that the broad golden rings about my
body make me much handsomer than you are: we are both winged insects, we
both love honey, and we both sting people when we are angry, yet men
always hate me and try to kill me, though I am much more familiar with
them than you are, and pay them visits in their houses, and at their
tea-table, and at all their meals; while you are very shy, and hardly
ever come near them: yet they build you curious houses, thatched with
straw, and take care of and feed you in the winter very often:—I wonder
what is the reason?”

The bee said, “Because you never do them any good, but, on the contrary,
are very troublesome and mischievous; therefore, they do not like to see
you, but they know that I am busy all day long in making them honey. You
had better pay them fewer visits, and try to be useful.”



                     THE GOOSE AND HORSE.—A FABLE.


A goose, who was plucking grass upon a common, thought herself affronted
by a _horse_ who fed near her, and in hissing accents thus addressed
him: “I am certainly a more noble and perfect animal than you, for the
whole range and extent of your faculties is confined to one element. I
can walk upon the ground as well as you: I have besides wings, with
which I can raise myself in the air; and when I please, I can sport in
ponds and lakes, and refresh myself in the cool waters: I enjoy the
different powers of a bird, a fish, and a quadruped.”

The _horse_, snorting somewhat disdainfully, replied, “It is true you
inhabit three elements, but you make no very distinguished figure in any
one of them. You fly, indeed; but your flight is so heavy and clumsy,
that you have no right to put yourself on a level with the lark or the
swallow. You can swim on the surface of the waters, but you cannot live
in them as fishes do; you cannot find your food in that element, nor
glide smoothly along the bottom of the waves. And when you walk, or
rather waddle, upon the ground, with your broad feet, and your long neck
stretched out, hissing at every one who passes by, you bring upon
yourself the derision of all beholders. I confess that I am only formed
to move upon the ground; but how graceful is my make! how well turned my
limbs! how highly finished my whole body! how great my strength! how
astonishing my speed! I had far rather be confined to one element, and
be admired in that, than be a _goose_ in all.”



                            THE FLYING-FISH.


The flying-fish, says the fable, had originally no wings, but being of
an ambitious and discontented temper, she repined at being always
confined to the waters, and wished to soar in the air. “If I could fly
like the birds,” said she, “I should not only see more of the beauties
of nature, but I should be able to escape from those fish which are
continually pursuing me, and which render my life miserable.” She
therefore petitioned Jupiter for a pair of wings; and immediately she
perceived her fins to expand. They suddenly grew to the length of her
whole body, and became at the same time so strong as to do the office of
a pinion. She was at first much pleased with her new powers, and looked
with an air of disdain on all her former companions; but she soon
perceived herself exposed to new dangers. When flying in the air, she
was incessantly pursued by the tropic bird and the albatross; and when
for safety she dropped into the water, she was so fatigued with her
flight, that she was less able than ever to escape from her old enemies
the fish. Finding herself more unhappy than before, she now begged of
Jupiter to recall his present; but Jupiter said to her, “When I gave you
your wings, I well knew they would prove a curse; but your proud and
restless disposition deserved this disappointment. Now, therefore, what
you begged as a favour, keep as a punishment!”



                        THE LITTLE DOG.—A FABLE.


“What shall I do,” said a very little dog one day to his mother, “to
show my gratitude to our good master, and make myself of some value to
him? I cannot draw or carry burdens, like the horse, nor give him milk,
like the cow; nor lend him my covering for his clothing, like the sheep;
nor produce him eggs, like the poultry; nor catch mice and rats so well
as the cat. I cannot divert him with singing, like the canaries and
linnets; nor can I defend him against robbers, like our relation Towzer.
I should not be of use to him even if I were dead, as the hogs are. I am
a poor insignificant creature, not worth the cost of keeping; and I
don’t see that I can do a single thing to entitle me to his regard.” So
saying, the poor little dog hung down his head in silent despondency.

“My dear child,” replied his mother, “though your abilities are but
small, yet a hearty good will is sufficient to supply all defects. Do
but love him dearly, and prove your love by all the means in your power,
and you will not fail to please him.”

The little dog was comforted with this assurance; and on his master’s
approach, ran to him, licked his feet, gambolled before him, and every
now and then stopped, wagging his tail, and looking up to his master
with expressions of the most humble and affectionate attachment. The
master observed him. “Ah, little Fido,” said he, “you are an honest,
good-natured little fellow!”—and stooped down to pat his head. Poor Fido
was ready to go out of his wits for joy.

Fido was now his master’s constant companion in his walks, playing and
skipping round him, and amusing him by a thousand sportive tricks. He
took care, however, not to be troublesome by leaping on him with dirty
paws, nor would he follow him into the parlour, unless invited. He also
attempted to make himself useful by a number of little services. He
would drive away the sparrows as they were stealing the chickens’ food,
and would run and bark with the utmost fury at any strange pigs or other
animals that offered to come into the yard. He kept the poultry, geese,
and pigs, from straying beyond their bounds, and particularly from doing
mischief in the garden. He was always ready to alarm Towzer if there was
any suspicious noise about the house, day or night. If his master pulled
off his coat in the field to help his workmen, as he would sometimes do,
Fido always sat by it, and would not suffer either man or beast to touch
it. By this means he came to be considered as a very trusty protector of
his master’s property.

His master was once confined to his bed with a dangerous illness. Fido
planted himself at the chamber-door, and could not be persuaded to leave
it, even to take food; and as soon as his master was so far recovered as
to sit up, Fido being admitted into the room, ran up to him with such
marks of excessive joy and affection, as would have melted any heart to
behold. This circumstance wonderfully endeared him to his master; and,
some time after, he had an opportunity of doing him a very important
service. One hot day, after dinner, his master was sleeping in a
summer-house with Fido by his side. The building was old and crazy; and
the dog, who was faithfully watching his master, perceived the walls
shake, and pieces of mortar fall from the ceiling. He comprehended the
danger, and began barking to awake his master; and this not sufficing,
he jumped up and gently bit his finger. The master, upon this, started
up, and had just time to get out of the door before the whole building
fell down. Fido, who was behind, got hurt by some rubbish which fell
upon him; on which his master had him taken care of with the utmost
tenderness, and ever after acknowledged his obligation to this animal as
the preserver of his life. Thus his love and fidelity had their full
reward.

MORAL.—The poorest man may repay his obligations to the richest and
greatest by faithful and affectionate service—the meanest creature may
obtain the favour and regard of the Creator himself, by humble gratitude
and steadfast obedience.



                          TRAVELLERS’ WONDERS.


One winter’s evening, as _Captain Compass_ was sitting by the fireside
with his children all around him, little Jack said to him, “Papa, pray
tell us some stories about what you have seen in your voyages. I have
been vastly entertained, while you were abroad, with Gulliver’s Travels,
and the Adventures of Sinbad the Sailor; and I think, as you have gone
round and round the world, you must have met with things as wonderful as
they did.”—“No, my dear,” said the captain, “I never met with
Lilliputians or Brobdignagians, I assure you, nor ever saw the black
loadstone mountain, or the valley of diamonds; but, to be sure, I have
seen a great variety of people, and their different manners and ways of
living; and if it will be any entertainment to you, I will tell you some
curious particulars of what I observed.”—“Pray do, papa,” cried Jack and
all his brothers and sisters: so they drew close round him, and he began
as follows:—

“Well, then—I was once, about this time of the year, in a country where
it was very cold, and the poor inhabitants had much ado to keep
themselves from starving. They were clad partly in the skins of beasts,
made smooth and soft by a particular art, but chiefly in garments made
from the outward covering of a middle-sized quadruped, which they were
so cruel as to strip off his back while he was alive. They dwelt in
habitations, part of which was sunk underground. The materials were
either stones, or earth hardened by fire; and so violent in that country
were the storms of wind and rain, that many of them covered their roofs
all over with stones. The walls of their houses had holes to let in the
light: but to prevent the cold air and wet from coming in, they were
covered by a sort of transparent stone, made artificially of melted sand
or flints. As wood was rather scarce, I know not what they would have
done for firing, had they not discovered in the bowels of the earth a
very extraordinary kind of stone, which when put among burning wood,
caught fire and flamed like a torch.”

“Dear me,” said Jack, “what a wonderful stone! I suppose it was somewhat
like what we call fire-stones, that shine so when we rub them
together.”—“I don’t think they would burn,” replied the captain;
“besides, these are of a darker colour.”

“Well—but their diet too was remarkable. Some of them ate fish that had
been hung up in the smoke till they were quite dry and hard; and along
with it they ate either the roots of plants, or a sort of coarse black
cake made of powdered seeds. These were the poorer class; the richer had
a whiter kind of cake, which they were fond of daubing over with a
greasy matter that was the product of a large animal among them. This
grease they used, too, in almost all their dishes, and, when fresh, it
really was not unpalatable. They likewise devoured the flesh of many
birds and beasts when they could get it; and ate the leaves and other
parts of a variety of vegetables growing in the country, some absolutely
raw, others variously prepared by the aid of fire. Another great article
of food was the curd of milk, pressed into a hard mass and salted. This
had so rank a smell, that persons of weak stomachs often could not bear
to come near it. For drink, they made great use of the water in which
certain dry leaves had been steeped. These leaves, I was told, came from
a great distance. They had likewise a method of preparing a liquor of
the seeds of a grasslike plant steeped in water with the addition of a
bitter herb, and then set to work or ferment. I was prevailed upon to
taste it, and thought it at first nauseous enough, but in time I liked
it pretty well. When a large quantity of the ingredients is used, it
becomes perfectly intoxicating. But what astonished me most, was their
use of a liquor so excessively hot and pungent that it seems like liquid
fire. I once got a mouthful of it by mistake, taking it for water, which
it resembles in appearance, but I thought it would instantly have taken
away my breath. Indeed, people are not unfrequently killed by it; and
yet many of them will swallow it greedily whenever they can get it.
This, too, is said to be prepared from the seeds abovementioned, which
are innocent and even salutary in their natural state, though made to
yield such a pernicious juice. The strangest custom that I believe
prevails in any nation I found here, which was, that some take a mighty
pleasure in filling their mouths full of stinking smoke and others, in
thrusting a nasty powder up their nostrils.”

“I should think it would choke them,” said Jack. “It almost did me,”
answered his father, “only to stand by while they did it—but use, it is
truly said, is second nature.”

“I was glad enough to leave this cold climate; and about half a year
after, I fell in with a people enjoying a delicious temperature of air,
and a country full of beauty and verdure. The trees and shrubs were
furnished with a great variety of fruits, which, with other vegetable
products, constituted a large part of the food of the inhabitants. I
particularly relished certain berries growing in bunches, some white and
some red, of a very pleasant sourish taste, and so transparent that one
might see the seeds at their very centre. Here were whole fields full of
extremely odoriferous flowers, which they told me were succeeded by pods
bearing seeds, that afforded good nourishment to man and beast. A great
variety of birds enlivened the groves and woods; among which I was
entertained with one, that without any teaching spoke almost as
articulately as a parrot, though indeed it was only a repetition of a
single word. The people were tolerably gentle and civilized, and
possessed many of the arts of life. Their dress was very various. Many
were clad only in a thin cloth made of the long fibres of the stalk of a
plant cultivated for the purpose, which they prepared by soaking in
water, and then beating with large mallets. Others wore cloth woven from
a sort of vegetable wool, growing in pods upon bushes. But the most
singular material was a fine glossy stuff, used chiefly by the richer
classes, which, as I was credibly informed, is manufactured out of the
webs of caterpillars—a most wonderful circumstance, if we consider the
immense number of caterpillars necessary to the production of so large a
quantity of stuff as I saw used. This people are very fantastic in their
dress, especially the women, whose apparel consists of a great number of
articles impossible to be described, and strangely disguising the
natural form of the body. In some instances they seem very cleanly; but
in others, the Hottentots can scarce go beyond them; particularly in the
management of their hair, which is all matted and stiffened with the fat
of swine and other animals, mixed up with powders of various colours and
ingredients. Like most Indian nations, they use feathers in their
head-dress. One thing surprised me much, which was, that they bring up
in their houses an animal of the tiger-kind, with formidable teeth and
claws, which, notwithstanding its natural ferocity, is played with and
caressed by the most timid and delicate of their women.”

“I am sure I would not play with it,” said Jack. “Why, you might chance
to get an ugly scratch if you did,” said the captain.

“The language of this nation seems very harsh and unintelligible to a
foreigner, yet they converse among one another with great ease and
quickness. One of the oddest customs is that which men use on saluting
each other. Let the weather be what it will, they uncover their heads,
and remain uncovered for some time, if they mean to be extraordinarily
respectful.”

“Why that’s like pulling off our hats,” said Jack.—“Ah, ah! papa,” cried
Betsy, “I have found you out. You have been telling us of our own
country, and what is done at home, all this while!”—“But,” said Jack,
“we don’t burn stones or eat grease and powdered seeds, or wear skins
and caterpillars’ webs, or play with tigers.”—“No?” said the
Captain—“pray, what are coals but stones? and is not butter, grease; and
corn, seeds: and leather, skins; and silk, the web of a kind of
caterpillar? And may we not as well call a cat an animal of the tiger
kind, as a tiger an animal of the cat-kind? So, if you recollect what I
have been describing, you will find, with Betsy’s help, that all the
other wonderful things I have told you of are matters familiar among
ourselves. But I meant to show you, that a foreigner might easily
represent everything as equally strange and wonderful among us as we
could do with respect to his country; and also to make you sensible that
we daily call a great many things by their names, without ever inquiring
into their nature and properties; so that, in reality, it is only their
names, and not the things themselves, with which we are acquainted.”



                       THE DISCONTENTED SQUIRREL.


In a pleasant wood, on the western side of a ridge of mountains, there
lived a _squirrel_, who had passed two or three years of his life very
happily. At length, he began to grow discontented, and one day fell into
the following soliloquy:—

“What, must I spend all my time in this spot, running up and down the
same trees, gathering nuts and acorns, and dozing away months together
in a hole! I see a great many of the birds who inhabit this wood ramble
about to a distance wherever their fancy leads them; and, at the
approach of winter, set out for some remote country, where they enjoy
summer weather all the year round. My neighbour cuckoo tells me he is
just going; and even little nightingale will soon follow. To be sure, I
have not wings like them, but I have legs nimble enough; and if one does
not use them, one might as well be a mole or a dormouse. I dare say I
could easily reach to that blue ridge which I see from the tops of the
trees, which no doubt must be a fine place; for the sun comes directly
from it every morning, and it often appears all covered with red and
yellow, and the finest colours imaginable. There can be no harm, at
least, in trying; for I can soon get back again if I don’t like it. I am
resolved to go, and I will set out to-morrow morning.”

When squirrel had taken this resolution, he could not sleep all night
for thinking of it; and at peep of day, prudently taking with him as
much provision as he could conveniently carry, he began his journey in
high spirits. He presently got to the outside of the wood, and entered
upon the open moors that reached to the foot of the hills. These he
crossed before the sun was gotten high; and then, having eaten his
breakfast with an excellent appetite, he began to ascend. It was heavy
toilsome work scrambling up the steep sides of the mountains; but
squirrel was used to climbing; so for awhile he proceeded expeditiously.
Often, however, was he obliged to stop and take breath; so that it was a
good deal past noon before he had arrived at the summit of the first
cliff. Here he sat down to eat his dinner; and looking back, was
wonderfully pleased with the fine prospect. The wood in which he lived
lay far beneath his feet; and he viewed with scorn the humble habitation
in which he had been born and bred.

When he looked forward, however, he was somewhat discouraged to observe
that another eminence rose above him, full as distant as that to which
he had already reached; and he now began to feel stiff and fatigued.
However, after a little rest, he set out again, though not so briskly as
before. The ground was rugged, brown, and bare; and to his great
surprise, instead of finding it warmer as he got nearer the sun, he felt
it grow colder and colder. He had not travelled two hours before his
strength and spirits were almost spent; and he seriously thought of
giving up the point, and returning before night should come on. While he
was thus deliberating with himself, clouds began to gather round the
mountain, and to take away all view of distant objects. Presently, a
storm of mingled snow and hail came down, driven by a violent wind,
which pelted poor squirrel most pitifully, and made him quite unable to
move forward or backward. Besides, he had completely lost his road, and
did not know which way to turn toward that despised home which it was
now his only desire again to reach. The storm lasted till the approach
of night; and it was as much as he could do, benumbed and weary as he
was, to crawl to the hollow of a rock at some distance, which was the
best lodging he could find for the night. His provisions were spent; so
that, hungry and shivering, he crept into the farthest corner of the
cavern, and rolling himself up, with his bushy tail over his back, he
got a little sleep, though disturbed by the cold, and the shrill
whistling of the wind among the stones.

The morning broke over the distant tops of the mountains, when squirrel,
half frozen and famished, came out of his lodging, and advanced, as well
as he could, toward the brow of the hill, that he might discover which
way to take. As he was slowly creeping along, a hungry kite, soaring in
the air above, descried him, and making a stoop carried him off in her
talons. Poor squirrel, losing his senses with the fright, was borne away
with vast rapidity, and seemed inevitably doomed to become food for the
kite’s young ones: when an eagle, who had seen the kite seize her prey,
pursued her in order to take it from her; and overtaking her, gave her
such a buffet, as caused her to drop the squirrel in order to defend
herself. The poor animal kept falling through the air a long time, till
at last he alighted in the midst of a thick tree, the leaves and tender
boughs of which so broke his fall, that, though stunned and breathless,
he escaped without material injury, and after lying a while, came to
himself again. But what was his pleasure and surprise, to find himself
in the very tree which contained his nest. “Ah!” said he, “my dear
native place and peaceful home! if ever I am again tempted to leave you,
may I undergo a second time all the miseries and dangers from which I
have now so wonderfully escaped.”

[Illustration:

  The Mask of Nature, p. 25.

  EVENING II.
]



                             ON THE MARTEN.


“Look up, my dear,” said his papa to Little William, “at those
birds’nests above the chamber-windows, beneath the eaves of the house.
Some, you see, are just begun—nothing but a little clay stuck against
the wall. Others are half finished; and others are quite built—close and
tight—leaving nothing but a small hole for the birds to come in and go
out at.”

“What are they?” said William.

“They are martens’ nests,” replied his father; “and there you see the
owners. How busily they fly backward and forward, bringing clay and dirt
in their bills, and laying it upon their work, forming it into shape
with their bills and feet! The nests are built very strong and thick,
like a mud wall, and are lined with feathers to make a soft bed for the
young. Martens are a kind of swallows. They feed on flies, gnats, and
other insects; and always build in towns and villages about the houses.
People do not molest them, for they do good rather than harm, and it is
very amusing to view their manners and actions. See how swiftly they
skim through the air in pursuit of their prey! In the morning they are
up by daybreak, and twitter about your window while you are asleep in
bed; and all day long they are upon the wing, getting food for
themselves and their young. As soon as they have caught a few flies,
they hasten to their nests, pop into the hole, and feed their little
ones. I’ll tell you a story about the great care they take of their
young. A pair of martens once built their nest in a porch; and when they
had young ones, it happened that one of them climbing up to the hole
before he was fledged, fell out, and, lighting upon the stones, was
killed. The old birds, perceiving this accident, went and got short bits
of strong straw, and stuck them with mud, like palisades, all round the
hole of the nest, in order to keep the other little ones from tumbling
after their poor brother.”

“How cunning that was!” cried William.

“Yes,” said his father; “and I can tell you another story of their
sagacity, and also of their disposition to help one another. A saucy
cock-sparrow (you know what impudent rogues they are!) had got into a
marten’s nest while the owner was abroad; and when he returned, the
sparrow put his head out of the hole and pecked at the marten with open
bill, as he attempted to enter his own house. The poor marten was sadly
provoked at this injustice, but was unable by his own strength to right
himself. So he flew away and gathered a number of his companions, who
all came with bits of clay in their bills, with which they plastered up
the hole of the nest, and kept the sparrow in prison, who died miserably
for want of food and air.”

“He was rightly served,” said William.

“So he was,” rejoined his papa. “Well; I have more to say about the
sagacity of these birds. In autumn, when it begins to be cold weather,
the other swallows assemble upon the roofs of high buildings, and
prepare for their departure to a warmer country; for as all the insects
here die in the winter, they would have nothing to live on if they were
to stay. They take several short flights in flocks round and round, in
order to try their strength, and then on some fine calm day, they set
out together for a long journey southward, over sea and land, to a very
distant country.”

“But how do they find their way?” said William.

“We say,” answered his father, “that they are taught by _instinct_; that
is, God has implanted in their minds a desire of travelling at the
season which he knows to be proper, and has also given them an impulse
to take the right road. They steer their course through the wide air
directly to the proper spot. Sometimes, however, storms and contrary
winds meet them and drive the poor birds about till they are quite spent
and fall into the sea, unless they happen to meet with a ship, on which
they can light and rest themselves. The swallows from this country are
supposed to go as far as the middle of Africa to spend the winter, where
the weather is always warm, and insects are to be met with all the year.
In spring they take another long journey back again to these northern
countries. Sometimes, when we have fine weather very early, a few of
them come too soon; for when it changes to frost and snow again, the
poor creatures are starved for want of food, or perish from the cold.
Hence arises the proverb,

                 ‘One swallow does not make a summer.’

But when a great many of them are come, we may be sure that winter is
over, so that we are always very glad to see them again. The martens
find their way back over a great length of sea and land to the very same
villages and houses where they were bred. This has been discovered by
catching some of them, and marking them. They repair their old nests, or
build new ones, and then set about laying eggs and hatching their young.
Pretty things! I hope you will never knock down their nests, or take
their eggs or young ones! for, as they come such a long way to visit us,
and lodge in our houses without fear, we ought to use them kindly.”



                  MOUSE, LAPDOG, AND MONKEY.—A FABLE.


A poor little mouse, being half starved, ventured one day to steal from
behind the wainscot while the family were at dinner, and, trembling all
the while, picked up a few crumbs which were scattered on the ground.
She was soon observed, however; everybody was immediately alarmed; some
called for the cat; others took up whatever was at hand, and endeavoured
to crush her to pieces; and the poor terrified animal was driven round
the room in an agony of terror. At length, however, she was fortunate
enough to gain her hole, where she sat panting with fatigue. When the
family were again seated, a lapdog and a monkey came into the room. The
former jumped into the lap of his mistress, fawned upon every one of the
children, and made his court so effectually, that he was rewarded with
some of the best morsels of the entertainment. The monkey, on the other
hand, forced himself into notice by his grimaces. He played a thousand
little mischievous tricks, and was regaled, at the appearance of the
dessert, with plenty of nuts and apples. The unfortunate little mouse,
who saw from her hiding-place everything that passed, sighed in anguish
of heart, and said to herself, “Alas! how ignorant was I, to imagine
that poverty and distress were sufficient recommendations to the charity
of the opulent. I now find, that whoever is not master of fawning and
buffoonery, is but ill qualified for a dependant, and will not be
suffered even to pick up the crumbs that fall from the table.”



                      ANIMALS AND THEIR COUNTRIES.


       O’er Afric’s sand the tawny lion stalks:
       On Phasis’ banks the graceful pheasant walks:
       The lonely eagle builds on Kilda’s shore:
       Germania’s forests feed the tusky boar:
       From Alp to Alp the sprightly ibex bounds:
       With peaceful lowings Britain’s isle resounds:
       The Lapland peasant o’er the frozen meer
       Is drawn in sledges by the swift raindeer:
       The river-horse and scaly crocodile
       Infest the reedy banks of fruitful Nile:
       Dire dipsas hiss o’er Mauritania’s plain:
       And seals and spouting whales sport in the northern Main.



                          THE MASK OF NATURE.


Who is this beautiful Virgin that approaches clothed in a robe of light
green? She has a garland of flowers on her head, and flowers spring up
wherever she sets her foot. The snow, which covered the fields, and the
ice, which was in the rivers, melt away when she breathes upon them. The
young lambs frisk about her, and the birds warble in their little
throats to welcome her coming; and when they see her, they begin to
choose their mates, and to build their nests. Youths and maidens have
you seen this beautiful Virgin? If you have, tell me who she is, and
what is her name.

Who is this that cometh from the south, thinly clad in a light
transparent garment; her breath is hot and sultry; she seeks the
refreshment of the cool shade; she seeks the clear streams, and crystal
brooks, to bathe her languid limbs? The brooks and rivulets fly from
her, and are dried up at her approach. She cools her parched lips with
berries, and the grateful acid of all fruits,—the seedy melon, the sharp
apple, and the red pulp of the juicy cherry, which are poured out
plentifully around her. The tanned haymakers welcome her coming; and the
sheepshearer, who clips the fleeces off his flock with his sounding
shears. When she cometh let me lie under the thick shade of a spreading
beach-tree—let me walk with her in the early morning, when the dew is
yet upon the grass—let me wander with her in the soft twilight, when the
shepherd shuts his fold, and the star of evening appears. Who is she
that cometh from the south? Youths and maidens, tell me, if you know,
who she is, and what is her name.

Who is he that cometh with sober pace, stealing upon us unawares? His
garments are red with the blood of the grape, and his temples are bound
with a sheaf of ripe wheat. His hair is thin and begins to fall, and the
auburn is mixed with mournful gray. He shakes the brown nuts from the
tree. He winds the horn, and calls the hunters to their sport. The gun
sounds:—the trembling partridge and the beautiful pheasant flutter,
bleeding in the air, and fall dead at the sportsman’s feet. Who is he
that is crowned with a wheat-sheaf? Youths and maidens, tell me, if you
know, who he is, and what is his name.

Who is he that cometh from the north, clothed in furs and warm wool? He
wraps his cloak close about him. His head is bald; his beard is made of
sharp icicles. He loves the blazing fire high piled upon the hearth, and
the wine sparkling in the glass. He binds skates to his feet, and skims
over the frozen lakes. His breath is piercing and cold, and no little
flower dares to peep above the surface of the ground, when he is by.
Whatever he touches turns to ice. If he were to stroke you with his cold
hand, you would be quite stiff and dead, like a piece of marble. Youths
and maidens, do you see him? He is coming fast upon us, and soon he will
be here. Tell me, if you know, who he is, and what is his name.



                         THE FARMYARD JOURNAL.


    “DEAR TOM:—

    “Since we parted at the breaking up I have been for most of the
    time at a pleasant farm in Hertfordshire, where I have employed
    myself in rambling about the country and assisting, as well as I
    could, in the work going on at home and in the fields. On wet
    days, and in the evenings, I have amused myself with keeping a
    journal of all the great events that have happened among us; and
    hoping that, when you are tired of the bustle of your busy town,
    you may receive some entertainment from comparing our transactions
    with yours, I have copied out for your perusal, one of the days in
    my memorandum-book.

    “Pray, let me know in return what you are doing, and believe me,

                     “Your very affectionate friend,

    “_Hazel Farm_.”

                                                   “RICHARD MARKWELL.”


                                JOURNAL.

_June 10th._ Last night we had a dreadful alarm. A violent scream was
heard from the henroost; the geese all set up a cackle, and the dogs
barked. Ned, the boy who lies over the stable, jumped up, and ran into
the yard, when he observed a fox galloping away with a chicken in his
mouth, and the dogs in full chase after him. They could not overtake
him, and soon returned. Upon further examination, the large white cock
was found lying on the ground, all bloody, with his comb torn almost
off, and his feathers all ruffled, and the speckled hen and three
chickens lay dead beside him. The cock recovered, but appeared terribly
frightened. It seems that the fox had jumped over the garden-hedge, and
then crossing part of the yard behind the straw, had crept into the
henroost through a broken pale. John the carpenter was sent for, to make
all fast, and prevent the like mischief again.

Early this morning the brindled cow was delivered of a fine bull-calf.
Both are likely to do well. The calf is to be fattened for the butcher.

The duck-eggs that were sat upon by the old black hen, were hatched this
day, and the ducklings all directly ran into the pond, to the great
terror of the hen, who went round and round, clucking with all her might
in order to call them out, but they did not regard her. An old drake
took the little ones under his care, and they swam about very merrily.

As Dolly this morning was milking the new cow that was bought at the
fair, she kicked with her hind legs, and threw down the milk-pail, at
the same time knocking Dolly off her stool into the dirt. For this
offence the cow was sentenced to have her head fastened to the rack, and
her legs tied together.

A kite was observed to hover a long while over the yard with an
intention of carrying off some of the young chickens, but the hens
called their broods together under their wings, and the cocks put
themselves in order of battle, so that the kite was disappointed. At
length, one chicken, not minding its mother, but straggling heedlessly
to a distance, was descried by the kite, who made a sudden swoop, and
seized it in his talons. The chicken cried out, and the cocks and hens
all screamed; when Ralph, the farmer’s son, who saw the attack, snatched
up a loaded gun, and just as the kite was flying off with his prey,
fired and brought him dead to the ground, along with the poor chicken,
who was killed in the fall. The dead body of the kite was nailed up
against the wall, by way of a warning to his wicked comrades.

In the forenoon we were alarmed with strange noises approaching us, and
looking out we saw a number of people with frying-pans, warming-pans,
tongs, and pokers, beating, ringing, and making all possible din. We
soon discovered them to be our neighbours of the next farm, in pursuit
of a swarm of bees which was hovering in the air over their heads. The
bees at length alighted on the tall pear-tree in our orchard, and hung
in a bunch from one of the boughs. A ladder was got, and a man
ascending, with gloves on his hands, and an apron tied over his head,
swept them into a hive which was rubbed on the inside with honey and
sweet herbs. But as he was descending, some bees, which had got under
his gloves, stung him in such a manner, that he hastily threw down the
hive, upon which the greater part of the bees fell out, and began in a
rage to fly among the crowd, and sting all whom they lit upon. Away
scampered the people, the women shrieking, the children roaring; and
poor Adam, who had held the hive, was assailed so furiously, that he was
obliged to throw himself on the ground, and creep under the
gooseberry-bushes. At length, the bees began to return to the hive, in
which the queen-bee had remained; and after a while, all being quietly
settled, a cloth was thrown over it, and the swarm was carried home.

About noon, three pigs broke into the garden, where they were rioting
upon the carrots and turnips, and doing a great deal of mischief by
trampling the beds and rooting up the plants with their snouts, when
they were spied by old Towzer the mastiff, who ran among them, and
laying hold of their long ears with his teeth, made them squeal most
dismally, and get out of the garden as fast as they could.

Roger the ploughman, when he came for his dinner, brought word that he
had discovered a partridge’s nest with sixteen eggs in the home-field.
Upon which the farmer went out and broke them all; saying, that he did
not choose to rear birds upon his corn, which he was not allowed to
catch, but must leave to some qualified sportsman, who would besides
break down his fences in the pursuit.

A sheep-washing was held this day at the mill-pool, when seven-score
were well washed, and then penned in the high meadow to dry. Many of
them made great resistance at being thrown into the water; and the old
ram being dragged to the brink by a boy at each horn, and a third
pushing behind, by a sudden spring threw two of them into the water, to
the great diversion of the spectators.

Toward the dusk of the evening, the squire’s mongrel greyhound, which
had been long suspected of worrying sheep, was caught in the fact. He
had killed two lambs, and was making a hearty meal upon one of them,
when he was disturbed by the approach of the shepherd’s boy, and
directly leaped the hedge and made off. The dead bodies were taken to
the squire’s, with an endictment of wilful murder against the dog. But
when they came to look for the culprit, he was not to be found in any
part of the premises, and is supposed to have fled his country through
consciousness of his heinous offence.

Joseph, who sleeps in the garret at the old end of the house, after
having been some time in bed, came down stairs in his shirt, as pale as
ashes, and frightened the maids, who were going up. It was some time
before he could tell what was the matter; at length, he said he had
heard some dreadful noises overhead, which he was sure must be made by
some ghost or evil spirit; nay, he thought he had seen something moving,
though he owned he durst hardly lift up his eyes. He concluded with
declaring, that he would rather sit up all night in the kitchen than go
to his room again. The maids were almost as much alarmed as he, and did
not know what to do; but their master overhearing their talk, came out
and insisted upon their accompanying him to the spot, in order to search
into the affair. They all went into the garret, and for a while heard
nothing; when their master ordered the candle to be taken away, and
every one to keep quite still. Joseph and the maids stuck close to each
other, and trembled every limb. At length, a kind of groaning or snoring
began to be heard, which grew louder and louder, with intervals of a
strange sort of hissing. “That’s it!” whispered Joseph, drawing back
toward the door—the maids were ready to sink, and even the farmer
himself was a little disconcerted. The noise seemed to come from the
rafters near the thatch. In a while a glimpse of moonlight shining
through a hole at the place, plainly discovered the shadow of something
stirring; and on looking intently, something like feathers was
perceived. The farmer now began to suspect what the case was; and
ordering up a short ladder bid Joseph climb to the spot, and thrust his
hand into the hole. This he did rather unwillingly, and soon drew it
back, crying loudly that he was bit. However, gathering courage, he put
it in again, and pulled out a large white owl, another at the same time
being heard to fly away. The cause of the alarm was now made clear
enough; and poor Joseph, after being heartily jeered by the maids,
though they had been as much frightened as he, sneaked into bed, and the
house soon became quiet.



                         THE PRICE OF PLEASURE.


“I think I will take a ride,” said the little _Lord Linger_, after
breakfast; “bring me my boots, and let my horse be brought to the door.”

The horse was saddled, and his lordship’s spurs were putting on.

“No,” said he, “I’ll have my low chair and the ponies, and take a drive
round the park.”

The horse was led back, and the ponies were almost harnessed, when his
lordship sent his valet to countermand them. He would walk into the
cornfield, and see how the new pointer hunted.

“After all,” says he, “I think I will stay at home, and play a game or
two at billiards.”

He played half a game, but could not make a stroke to please himself.
His tutor, who was present, now thought it a good opportunity to ask his
lordship if he would read a little.

“Why—I think—I will; for I am tired of doing nothing. What shall we
have?”

“Your lordship left off last time in one of the finest passages of the
Æneid. Suppose we finish it?”

“Well—ay; but—no—I had rather go on with Hume’s history. Or—suppose we
do some geography?”

“With all my heart. The globes are upon the study-table.”

They went to the study; and the little lord, leaning upon his elbows,
looked at the globe—then twirled it round two or three times—and then
listened patiently while the tutor explained some of its parts and uses.
But while he was in the midst of a problem, “Come,” said his lordship,
“now for a little Virgil.”

The book was brought; and the pupil, with a good deal of help, got
through twenty lines.

“Well,” said he, ringing the bell, “I think we have done a good deal.
Tom! bring my bow and arrows.”

The fine London-made bow, in its green case, and the quiver with all its
appurtenances, were brought, and his lordship went down to the place
where the shooting-butts were erected. He aimed a few shots at the
target, but not coming near it, he shot all the remainder at random, and
then ordered out his horse.

He sauntered, with a servant at his heels, for a mile or two through the
lanes, and came, just as the clock struck twelve, to a village-green,
close by which a school was kept. A door flew open, and out burst a
shoal of boys, who, spreading over the green, with immoderate
vociferation, instantly began a variety of sports. Some fell to marbles,
some to trap-ball, some to leap-frog. In short, not one of the whole
crew but was eagerly employed. Everything was noise, motion, and
pleasure. Lord Linger, riding slowly up, espied one of his tenants’
sons, who had been formerly admitted as a playfellow of his, and called
him from the throng.

“Jack,” said he, “how do you like school?”

“O, pretty well, my lord.”

“What—have you a good deal of play?”

“O no! We have only from twelve to two for playing and eating our
dinners; and then an hour before supper.”

“That is very little, indeed!”

“But _we play heartily when we do play, and work when we work_. Good-by,
my lord! it is my turn to go in at trap!”

So saying, Jack ran off.

“I wish I was a school-boy!” cried the little lord to himself.



                     THE RAT WITH A BELL.—A FABLE.


A large old house in the country was so extremely infested with rats
that nothing could be secured from their depredations. They scaled the
walls to attack flitches of bacon, though hung as high as the ceiling.
Hanging shelves afforded no protection to the cheese and pastry. They
penetrated by sap into the store-room, and plundered it of preserves and
sweetmeats. They gnawed through cupboard-doors, undermined floors, and
ran races behind the wainscots. The cats could not get at them; they
were too cunning and too well fed to meddle with poison; and traps only
now and then caught a heedless straggler. One of these, however, on
being taken, was the occasion of practising a new device. This was, to
fasten a collar with a small bell about the prisoner’s neck, and then
turn him loose again.

Overjoyed at the recovery of his liberty, the rat ran into the nearest
hole, and went in search of his companions. They heard at a distance the
bell tinkle-tinkle through the dark passages, and suspecting some enemy
had got among them, away they scoured, some one way and some another.
The bell-bearer pursued; and soon guessing the cause of their flight, he
was greatly amused by it. Wherever he approached, it was all
hurry-scurry, and not a tail of one of them was to be seen. He chased
his old friends from hole to hole, and room to room, laughing all the
while at their fears, and increasing them by all the means in his power.
Presently, he had the whole house to himself. “That’s right,” quoth he,
“the fewer the better cheer.” So he rioted alone among the good things,
and stuffed till he could hardly walk.

For two or three days this course of life went on very pleasantly. He
ate, and ate, and played the bugbear to perfection. At length, he grew
tired of this lonely condition, and longed to mix with his companions
again upon the former footing. But the difficulty was, how to get rid of
his bell. He pulled and tugged with his fore-feet, and almost wore the
skin off his neck in the attempt, but all in vain. The bell was now his
plague and torment. He wandered from room to room earnestly desiring to
make himself known to one of his companions, but they all kept out of
his reach. At last, as he was moping about disconsolate he fell in
puss’s way, and was devoured in an instant.

He who is raised so much above his fellow-creatures as to be the object
of their terror, must suffer for it in losing all the comforts of
society. He is a solitary being in the midst of crowds. He keeps them at
a distance, and they equally shun him. Dread and affection cannot
subsist together.



                 THE DOG BALKED OF HIS DINNER.—A TALE.


          _Think yourself sure of nothing till you’ve got it_:
            This is the lesson of the day.
            In metaphoric language I might say,
          Count not your bird before you’ve shot it.
            Quoth Proverb, “’Twixt the cup and lip
            There’s many a slip.”
          Not every guest invited sits at table,
              So says _my_ fable.

            A man once gave a dinner to his friend;
          His friend!—his patron I should rather think
          By all the loads of meat and drink,
            And fruits and gellies without end,
            Sent home the morning of the feast.
            _Jowler_, his dog, a social beast,
          Soon as he smelt the matter out, away
          Scampers to old acquaintance _Tray_,
            And, with expressions kind and hearty,
            Invites him to the party.
          Tray wanted little pressing to a dinner;
          He was, in truth, a gormandizing sinner.
            He lick’d his chops, and wagg’d his tail,
            “Dear friend!” he cried, “I will not fail
            But what’s your hour?”
            “We dine at four;
          But if you come an hour too soon,
          You’ll find there’s something to be done.”

          His friend withdrawn, Tray, full of glee,
          As blithe as blithe could be,
          Skipp’d, danced, and play’d full many an antic
          Like one half frantic,
          Then sober in the sun lay winking,
          But could not sleep for thinking.
          He thought o’er every dainty dish,
            Fried, boil’d and roast,
          Flesh, fowl, and fish,
            With tripes and toast,
          Fit for a dog to eat;
          And in his fancy made a treat,
            Might grace a bill of fare
            For my lord-mayor.
          At length, just on the stroke of three,
            Forth sallied he;
          And through a well-known hole
            He slyly stole
          Pop on the scene of action.
          Here he beheld, with wondrous satisfaction
          All hands employ’d in drawing, stuffing,
            Skewering, spitting, and basting;
          The red-faced cook sweating and puffing,
            Chopping, mixing, and tasting.
          Tray skulk’d about, now here, now there
            Peep’d into this, and smelt at that,
            And lick’d the gravy, and the fat,
          And cried, “O rare! how I shall fare!”

          But Fortune, spiteful as Old Nick,
          Resolved to play our dog a trick;
            She made the cook
            Just cast a look
          Where Tray, beneath the dresser lying,
          His promised bliss was eying.
            A cook while cooking is a sort of fury,
            A maxim worth remem’bring, I assure ye.
              Tray found it true,
              And so may you,
          If e’er you choose to try.
          “How now!” quoth she, “what’s this I spy?
          A nasty cur! who let him in?
          Would he were hang’d with all his kin!
          A pretty kitchen-guest, indeed!
          But I shall pack him off with speed.”

            So saying, on poor Tray she flew,
            And dragg’d the culprit forth to view;
          Then, to his terror and amazement,
          Whirl’d him like lightning through the casement.

[Illustration:

  EVENING III.
]



                                THE KID.


One bleak day in March, _Sylvia_, returning from a visit to the
sheepfold, met with a young kidling deserted by its dam on the naked
heath. It was bleating piteously, and was so benumbed with the cold that
it could scarcely stand. Sylvia took it up in her arms, and pressed it
close to her bosom. She hastened home, and showing her little foundling
to her parents, begged she might rear it for her own. They consented;
and Sylvia immediately got a basketful of clean straw, and made a bed
for him on the hearth. She warmed some milk, and held it to him in a
platter The poor creature drank it up eagerly, and then licked her hand
for more. _Sylvia_ was delighted. She chafed his tender legs with her
warm hands, and soon saw him jump out of his basket and frisk across the
room. When full, he lay down again, and took a comfortable nap.

The next day, the kid had a name bestowed upon him. As he gave tokens of
being an excellent jumper, it was _Capriole_. He was introduced to all
the rest of the family, and the younger children were allowed to stroke
and pat him; but Sylvia would let nobody be intimate with him out
herself. The great mastiff was charged not to hurt him, and indeed, he
had no intention to do it.

Within a few days, Capriole followed Sylvia all about the house; trotted
by her side into the yard; ran races with her in the home-field; fed out
of her hand; and was declared pet and favourite. As the spring advanced,
Sylvia roamed in the fields, and gathered wild flowers, with which she
wove garlands, and hung them round the kid’s neck. He could not be kept,
however, from munching his finery when he could reach it with his mouth.
He was likewise rather troublesome in thrusting his nose into the
meal-tub and flour-box, and following people into the dairy, and sipping
the milk that was set for cream. He now and then got a blow for his
intrusion; but his mistress always took his part, and indulged him in
every liberty.

Capriole’s horns now began to bud, and a little white beard sprouted at
the end of his chin. He grew bold enough to put himself into a fighting
posture whenever he was offended. He butted down little Colin into the
dirt; quarrelled with the geese for their allowance of corn; and held
many a stout battle with the old turkey-cock. Everybody said, “Capriole
is growing too saucy; he must be sent away, or taught better manners.”
But Sylvia still stood his friend, and he repaid her love with many
tender caresses.

The farmhouse where Sylvia lived was situated in a sweet valley, by the
side of a clear stream bordered with trees. Above the house rose a
sloping meadow, and beyond that, was an open common covered with purple
heath and yellow furze. Farther on, at some distance, rose a steep hill,
the summit of which was a bare craggy rock, scarcely accessible to human
feet. Capriole, ranging at his pleasure, often got upon the common, and
was pleased with browsing the short grass and wild herbs which grew
there. Still, however, when his mistress came to see him, he would run
bounding at her call and accompany her back to the farm.

One fine summer’s day, Sylvia, after having finished the business of the
morning, wanted to play with her kid; and missing him, she went to the
side of the common, and called aloud, “Capriole! Capriole!” expecting to
see him come running to her as usual. No Capriole came. She went on and
on, still calling her kid with the most endearing accents; but nothing
was to be seen of him. Her heart began to flutter. “What can be come of
him? Surely somebody must have stolen him; or perhaps the neighbours’
dogs have worried him. Oh, my poor Capriole! my dear Capriole! I shall
never see you again!” and Sylvia began to weep.

She still went on, looking wistfully all around, and making the place
echo with “Capriole! Capriole! where are you, my Capriole?” till, at
length, she came to the foot of the steep hill. She climbed up its sides
to get a better view. No kid was to be seen. She sat down and wept and
wrung her hands. After a while she fancied she heard a bleating like the
well-known voice of her Capriole. She started up, and looked toward the
sound, which seemed a great way overhead. At length, she spied, just on
the edge of a steep crag, her Capriole peeping over. She stretched out
her hands to him, and began to call, but with a timid voice, lest in his
impatience to return to her, he should leap down and break his neck. But
there was no such danger. Capriole was inhaling the fresh breeze of the
mountains, and enjoying with rapture the scenes for which nature
designed him. His bleating was the expression of joy, and he bestowed
not a thought on his kind mistress, nor paid the least attention to her
call. Sylvia ascended as high as she could toward him, and called louder
and louder, but all in vain. Capriole leaped from rock to rock, cropped
the fine herbage in the clefts, and was quite lost in the pleasure of
his new existence.

Poor Sylvia stayed till she was tired, and then returned disconsolate to
the farm, to relate her misfortune. She got her brothers to accompany
her back to the hill, and took with her a slice of white bread and some
milk to tempt the little wanderer home. But he had mounted still higher,
and had joined a herd of companions of the same species, with whom he
was frisking and sporting. He had neither eyes nor ears for his old
friends of the valley. All former habits were broken at once, and he had
commenced free commoner of nature. Sylvia came back crying, as much from
vexation as sorrow. “The little ungrateful thing,” said she; “so well as
I loved him, and so kindly as I treated him, to desert me in this way at
last!—But he was always a rover.”

“Take care, then, Sylvia,” said her mother, “how you set your heart upon
_rovers_ again!”



                      HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF IT.


Robinet, a peasant of Lorraine, after a hard day’s work at the next
market-town, was running home with a basket in his hand. “What a
delicious supper shall I have!” said he to himself. “This piece of kid
well stewed down, with my onions sliced, thickened with my meal, and
seasoned with my salt and pepper, will make a dish for the bishop of the
diocese. Then I have a good piece of barley-loaf at home to finish with.
How I long to be at it!”

A noise in the hedge now attracted his notice, and he spied a squirrel
nimbly running up a tree, and popping into a hole between the branches.
“Ha!” thought he, “what a nice present a nest of young squirrels will be
to my little master! I’ll try if I can get it.” Upon this, he set down
his basket in the road, and began to climb the tree. He had half
ascended, when casting a look at his basket, he saw a dog with his nose
in it, ferreting out the piece of kid’s flesh. He made all possible
speed down, but the dog was too quick for him, and ran off with the meat
in his mouth. Robinet looked after him. “Well,” said he, “then I must be
contented with soupe maigre—and no bad thing neither.”

He travelled on, and came to a little public-house by the roadside,
where an acquaintance of his was sitting on a bench drinking. He invited
Robinet to take a draught. Robinet seated himself by his friend, and set
his basket on the bench close by him. A tame raven, which was kept at
the house, came slyly behind him, and perching on the basket, stole away
the bag in which the meal was tied up, and hopped off with it to his
hole. Robinet did not perceive the theft till he had got on his way
again. He returned to search for his bag, but could hear no tidings of
it. “Well,” says he, “my soup will be the thinner; but I will boil a
slice of bread with it, and that will do it some good at least.”

He went on again, and arrived at a little brook, over which was laid a
narrow plank. A young woman coming up to pass at the same time, Robinet
gallantly offered his hand. As soon as she was got to the middle, either
through fear or sport, she shrieked out, and cried she was falling.
Robinet hastening to support her with his other hand, let his basket
drop into the stream. As soon as she was safe over, he jumped in and
recovered it; but when he took it out he perceived that all the salt was
melted, and the pepper washed away. Nothing was now left but the onions.
“Well!” says Robinet, “then I must sup to-night upon roasted onions and
barley-bread. Last night I had the bread alone. To-morrow morning it
will not signify what I had.” So saying, he trudged on singing as
before.



                   ORDER AND DISORDER.—A FAIRY TALE.


Juliet was a clever, well-disposed girl, but apt to be heedless. She
could learn her lessons very well, but commonly as much time was taken
up in getting her things together as in doing what she was set about. If
she was at work, there was generally the housewife to seek in one place,
and the thread-papers in another. The scissors were left in her pocket
upstairs, and the thimble was rolling about the floor. In writing, the
copybook was generally missing, the ink dried up, and the pens, new and
old, all tumbled about the cupboard. The slate and slate-pencil were
never found together. In making her exercises, the English dictionary
always came to hand instead of the French grammar; and when she was to
read a chapter, she usually got hold of Robinson Crusoe, or the World
Displayed, instead of the Testament.

Juliet’s mamma was almost tired of teaching her, so she sent her to make
a visit to an old lady in the country, a very good woman, but rather
strict with young folks. Here she was shut up in a room above stairs by
herself after breakfast every day, till she had quite finished the tasks
set her. This house was one of the very few that are still haunted by
fairies. One of these, whose name was _Disorder_, took a pleasure in
plaguing poor Juliet. She was a frightful figure to look at, being
crooked and squint-eyed, with her hair hanging about her face, and her
dress put on all awry, and full of rents and tatters. She prevailed on
the old lady to let her set Juliet her tasks; so one morning she came up
with a workbag full of threads of silk of all sorts of colours, mixed
and entangled together, and a flower very nicely worked to copy. It was
a pansy, and the gradual melting of its hues into one another was
imitated with great accuracy and beauty. “Here, miss,” said she, “my
mistress has sent you a piece of work to do, and she insists upon having
it done before you come down to dinner. You will find all the materials
in this bag.”

Juliet took the flower and the bag, and turned out all the silks upon
the table. She slowly pulled out a red and a purple, and a blue and a
yellow, and at length fixed upon one to begin working with. After taking
two or three stitches, and looking at her model, she found another shade
was wanted. This was to be hunted out from the bunch, and a long while
it took her to find it. It was soon necessary to change it for another.
Juliet saw that, in going on at this rate, it would take days instead of
hours to work the flower, so she laid down the needle and fell a crying.
After this had continued some time, she was startled at the sound of
something stamping on the floor; and taking her handkerchief from her
eyes, she spied a diminutive female figure advancing toward her. She was
upright as an arrow, and had not so much as a hair out of its place, or
the least article of her dress rumpled or discomposed. When she came up
to Juliet, “My dear,” said she, “I heard you crying, and knowing you to
be a good girl in the main, I am come to your assistance. My name is
_Order_: your mamma is well acquainted with me, though this is the first
time you ever saw me; but I hope we shall know one another better for
the future.” She then jumped upon the table, and with a wand gave a tap
upon the heap of entangled silk.—Immediately the threads separated, and
arranged themselves in a long row consisting of little skeins, in which
all of the same colour were collected together, those approaching
nearest in shade being placed next each other. This done, she
disappeared. Juliet, as soon as her surprise was over, resumed her work,
and found it go on with ease and pleasure. She finished the flower by
dinner-time, and obtained great praise for the neatness of the
execution.

The next day the ill-natured fairy came up, with a great book under her
arm. “This,” said she, “is my mistress’s house-book, and she says you
must draw out against dinner an exact account of what it has cost her
last year in all the articles of housekeeping, including clothes, rent,
taxes, wages, and the like. You must state separately the amount of
every article, under the heads of baker, butcher, milliner, shoemaker,
and so forth, taking special care not to miss a single thing entered
down in the book. Here is a quire of paper and a parcel of pens.” So
saying, with a malicious grin, she left her.

Julia turned pale at the very thought of the task she had to perform.
She opened the great book, and saw all the pages closely written, but in
the most confused manner possible. Here was, “Paid Mr. Crusty for a
week’s bread and baking” so much. Then, “Paid Mr. Pinchtoe for shoes,”
so much. “Paid half a year’s rent,” so much. Then came a butcher’s bill,
succeeded by a milliner’s, and that by a tallow-chandler’s. “What shall
I do?” cried poor Juliet—“where am I to begin, and how can I possibly
pick out all these things? Was ever such a tedious, perplexing task? O
that my good little creature were here again with her wand!”

She had but just uttered these words when the fairy Order stood before
her. “Don’t be startled, my dear,” said she; “I knew your wish, and made
haste to comply with it. Let me see your book.” She turned over a few
leaves, and then cried, “I see my crossgrained sister has played you a
trick. She has brought you the _daybook_ instead of the _leger_; but I
will set the matter to rights instantly.” She vanished, and presently
returned with another book, in which she showed Juliet every one of the
articles required, standing at the tops of the pages, and all the
particulars entered under them from the daybook; so that there was
nothing for her to do but cast up the sums, and copy out the heads with
their amount in single lines. As Juliet was a ready accountant, she was
not long in finishing the business, and produced her account neatly
written on one sheet of paper, at dinner.

The next day, Juliet’s tormentor brought her up a large box full of
letters stamped upon small bits of ivory, capitals and common letters of
all sorts, but jumbled together promiscuously, as if they had been
shaken in a bag. “Now, miss,” said she, “before you come down to dinner,
you must exactly copy out this poem in these ivory letters, placing them
line by line on the floor of your room.”

Juliet thought at first that this task would be pretty sport enough; but
when she set about it, she found such trouble in hunting out the letters
she wanted, every one seeming to come to hand before the right one, that
she proceeded very slowly; and the poem being a long one, it was plain
that night would come before it was finished. Sitting down and crying
for her kind friend was, therefore, her only resource.

Order was not far distant, for, indeed, she had been watching her
proceedings all the while. She made herself visible, and giving a tap on
the letters with her wand, they immediately arranged themselves
alphabetically in little double heaps, the small in one, and the great
in the other. After this operation, Juliet’s task went on with such
expedition, that she called up the old lady an hour before dinner, to be
witness to its completion.

The good lady kissed her, and told her, that as she hoped she was now
made fully sensible of the benefits of order, and the inconveniences of
disorder, she would not confine her any longer to work by herself at set
tasks, but she should come and sit with her. Juliet took such pains to
please her, by doing everything with the greatest neatness and
regularity, and reforming all her careless habits, that when she was
sent back to her mother, the following presents were made her,
constantly to remind her of the beauty and advantage of order:—

A cabinet of English coins, in which all the gold and silver money of
the kings was arranged in the order of their reigns.

A set of plaster casts of the Roman emperors.

A cabinet of beautiful shells, displayed according to the most approved
system.

A very complete box of water-colours, and another of crayons, sorted in
all the shades of the primary colours.

And a very nice housewife, with all the implements belonging to a
seamstress, and a good store of the best needles in sizes.



                              LIVE DOLLS.


Mrs. Lacour was accustomed to lay out for her daughter, a girl about
eight years old, a great deal of money in playthings. One morning Eliza
(that was her name) was in raptures over a new wax-doll, which her mamma
had given two guineas for in Fleet street. By means of a concealed wire,
it had been made to open and shut its eyes, to the no small surprise of
the little girl, not unmixed with a certain degree of terror, when her
mother first exhibited the phenomenon; but having had the principle
explained to her, she had spent the greatest part of the morning in
moving the wires up and down, and making them alternately open and shut
the eyelids. It is true the mechanism had one defect, which we record,
in hopes that the ingenuity of future doll-makers may find a remedy for
it. The doll shut her eyes after the manner of a bird, by drawing up the
membrane over the eye, instead of letting the eyelid fall over it, as is
the custom in human creatures; but as Eliza had not studied comparative
anatomy, this slight irregularity was not noticed. She was still in
raptures over her new acquisition, when she was surprised by a visit
from Mrs. Dorcas, a maiden sister of her father, who sometimes called
upon her. “Look here, my dear aunt,” said she, “what a charming doll I
have got; see, now its eyes are shut, now they are open again—how
curious! I dare say you cannot guess how I do it. I can hardly help
fancying it alive. To-morrow I shall begin to dress it, for it must have
a fine worked cap, with a laced border, and a long muslin robe and
shoes. I do not know whether it should have shoes yet, for it is only a
baby; and I shall lay it in the cradle, and rock it; and when I want it
to go to sleep, its eyes shall be shut, and in the morning they shall be
open again, just as if it were really alive: I wish it could eat and
drink—why could they not make its mouth to open?”

_Mrs. D._ Your doll is very pretty, indeed, and I commend you for
intending to make its clothes yourself, but would not you like better to
have a real live doll to dress?

_Eliza._ O yes! that I should, indeed; but I believe—I am afraid there
is no such doll.

_Mrs. D._ I will find you such a one if you will dress it.

_Eliza._ And will it open its mouth and eat?

_Mrs. D._ Yes, it will.

_Eliza._ And can it speak, too?

_Mrs. D._ I do not say it can speak yet; it has not been taught; but you
shall hear its voice, and you shall see it breathe; your doll does not
breathe. [Eliza took her doll and placed her hand upon its waxen bosom,
as if she expected to feel it heave.] And the clothes you will make will
warm it too. A wax-doll is not warmed by its clothes. Your doll is as
cold when she is wrapped up in a quilt and placed in the cradle as if
she were laid naked upon a marble slab.

_Eliza._ Is she?

_Mrs. D._ Yes; you may convince yourself of that whenever you please;
but this live doll will not only be warmed by the clothes you make, but
perhaps she may die if you do not make them.

_Eliza._ O! do not let her die—I will set about making the clothes
directly.

_Mrs. D._ Then come along with me.

Eliza sallied forth with her aunt Dorcas: she was all the way silent,
and breathless with expectation. After leading her through a few
streets, her aunt stopped at a house, and asked to be shown into the
workroom. It was a room where a number of young girls were sitting at a
long table, with cheerful and busy looks. The table was covered with
workbags, needlecases, thread-papers, and such like sewing implements,
and spread with flannel, calico, dimity, and old linen; one of the girls
was making a cap, another a petticoat, a third a frock—the elder ones
were cutting out the cloth—some of the little ones were stretching out
their hands to hold a skein of thread for the others to wind; not one
was unemployed. “What are they all doing?” said Eliza.

_Mrs. D._ They are all working for live dolls.

_Eliza._ But where are the dolls?

_Mrs. D._ You cannot see them yet; they would suffer if the clothes were
not prepared for them before they came.

_Eliza._ But here are no laces nor worked muslins; here is nothing very
pretty.

_Mrs. D._ No, because pretty things seldom have the property of keeping
the wearers warm.

_Eliza._ But who are they working for?

At that instant, a woman, with a child upon her bosom, pale, but with a
countenance shining with joy and gratitude, entered the workroom,
pouring out her thanks to the good young ladies, as she truly called
them, for their well-timed bounty. “But for you,” she said, “this dear
little infant might perhaps have perished, or at least its little limbs
would have been chilled with cold for want of good and substantial
clothing. My husband was ill, and could not work, and I had no money to
buy anything but necessary food. If I could have bought the materials,
or if you had given them me, I could not have cut them out and contrived
them, and made them up myself: for I was never taught to be handy at my
needle as you have been, ladies. I was only set to coarse work. Look
what a sweet little infant it is, and how comfortable he looks. God
bless you, dear ladies! and make you all happy wives and mothers, when
the time comes!” The girls, with great pleasure, rose when she had
finished her address to them; and after congratulating the mother, took
the infant, and handing it from one to another, kissed and played with
it. Eliza, too, advanced, but timidly, and as if she had not yet earned
a right to caress it. “Approach, my niece,” said Mrs. Dorcas, “kiss the
lips of this infant, and imbibe that affection which is one of the
characteristics of your sex. Women are made to love children, and they
should begin to love them while they themselves are children; nor is
there any surer way of learning to love a being, than by doing good to
it. You see now why I brought you hither. This is the live doll I
promised you; its limbs are not the work of a clumsy mechanic, they are
fashioned by consummate wisdom and skill, and it will not always remain
as it is: this little frame has a principle of improvement in it—it has
powers that will unfold themselves by degrees—the limbs will stretch and
grow; after a while it will walk, it will speak, it will play, it will
be like one of you. How precious then is the life of such a creature!
But it has pleased the Creator of all things that this excellent being
should come into the world naked and helpless; it has neither hair, nor
wool, nor fur, nor feathers to keep it warm; if not clothed and
cherished, it would soon be killed with the cold. It is, therefore, very
desirable to help those poor people who cannot afford to clothe their
infants, lest so admirable a work of God as a human creature should
perish for want of care. There is a great deal of pain and danger in
bearing children in any situation of life; but when people are poor as
well as sick, the distress is very much increased. These good young
ladies, Eliza, have formed a society among themselves for making
baby-linen for the poor. Nobody bid them do it; it was entirely of their
own accord. They have agreed to subscribe a penny a week out of their
little pocket-money. A penny is a very small matter; girls who have a
great deal of money perhaps would not suppose it worth thinking about,
but a great many pennies every week will in time come to a sum that is
not so contemptible. With this they buy the materials, such as warm
flannels, coarse printed cottons, and dimity. Their mammas give them,
every now and then, some fine old linen and cast-off clothes; but the
value of their work is a great deal more than that of the materials: if
they did not cut and contrive, and make them up, they would be of little
service comparatively to the poor people; besides, the doing so will
make them clever managers when they come to have children of their own.
None of these good girls are above fourteen; and they have clothed a
number of little helpless infants, and made, as you have seen, the
mothers’ hearts very glad. Now, if you wish it, I dare say they will let
you work with them; but here is no finery, and if you like better to
work for your wax-doll, do so.”—“O, no!” said Eliza, “the live doll for
me;” and she bespoke a place at the long worktable.



                       THE HOG AND OTHER ANIMALS.


A debate once arose among the animals in a farmyard, which of them was
most valued by their common master. After the horse, the ox, the cow,
the sheep, and the dog, had stated their several pretensions, the hog
took up the discourse.

“It is plain,” said he, “that the greatest value must be set upon that
animal which is kept most for his own sake, without expecting from him
any return of use and service. Now, which of you can boast so much in
that respect as I can?

“As for you, horse, though you are very well fed and lodged, and have
servants to attend upon you, and make you sleek and clean, yet all this
is for the sake of your labour. Do not I see you taken out early every
morning, put in chains, or fastened to the shafts of a heavy cart, and
not brought back till noon; when, after a short respite, you are taken
to work again till late in the evening? I may say just the same to the
ox, except that he works for poorer fare.

“For you, Mrs. Cow, who are so dainty over your chopped straw and
grains, you are thought worth keeping only for your milk, which is
drained from you twice a day to the last drop, while your poor young
ones are taken from you, and sent I know not whither.

“You, poor innocent sheep, who are turned out to shift for yourselves
upon the bare hills, or penned upon the fallows with now and then a
withered turnip or some musty hay, you pay dearly enough for your keep
by resigning your warm coat every year, for want of which you are liable
to be frozen to death on some of the cold nights before summer.

“As for the dog, who prides himself so much on being admitted to our
master’s table, and made his companion, that he will scarce condescend
to reckon himself one of us, he is obliged to do all the offices of a
domestic servant by day, and to keep watch during the night, while we
are quietly asleep.

“In short, you are all of you creatures maintained for use—poor
subservient things, made to be enslaved or pillaged. I, on the contrary,
have a warm stye and plenty of provisions all at free cost. I have
nothing to do but grow fat and follow my amusement; and my master is
best pleased when he sees me lying at ease in the sun, or filling my
belly.”

Thus argued the hog, and put the rest to silence by so much logic and
rhetoric. This was not long before winter set in. It proved a very
scarce season for fodder of all kinds; so that the farmer began to
consider how he was to maintain all his live stock till spring. “It will
be impossible for me,” thought he, “to keep them all; I must therefore
part with those I can best spare. As for my horses and working oxen, I
shall have business enough to employ them; they must be kept, cost what
it will. My cows will not give me much milk in the winter, but they will
calve in the spring, and be ready for the new grass. I must not lose the
profit of my dairy. The sheep, poor things, will take care of themselves
as long as there is a bite upon the hills; and if deep snow comes, we
must do with them as well as we can by the help of a few turnips and
some hay, for I must have their wool at shearing-time to make out my
rent with. But my hogs will eat me out of house and home, without doing
me any good. They must go to pot, that’s certain; and the sooner I get
rid of the fat ones, the better.”

So saying, he singled out the orator as one of the prime among them, and
sent him to the butcher the very next day.

[Illustration:

  EVENING IV.
]



                              THE BULLIES.


As young Francis was walking through a village with his tutor, they were
annoyed by two or three cur-dogs, that came running after them with
looks of the utmost fury, snarling and barking as if they would tear
their throats, and seeming every moment ready to fly upon them. Francis
every now and then stopped and shook his stick at them, or stooped down
to pick up a stone, upon which the curs retreated as fast as they came;
but as soon as he turned about, they were after his heels again. This
lasted till they came to a farmyard, through which their road lay. A
large mastiff was lying down in it at his ease in the sun. Francis was
almost afraid to pass him, and kept as close to his tutor as possible.
However, the dog took not the least notice of them.

Presently, they came upon a common, where, going near a flock of geese,
they were assailed with hissings, and pursued some way by these foolish
birds, which, stretching out their long necks, made a very ridiculous
figure. Francis only laughed at them, though he was tempted to give the
foremost a switch across his neck. A little further was a herd of cows
with a bull among them, upon which Francis looked with some degree of
apprehension; but they kept quietly grazing, and did not take their
heads from the ground as he passed.

“It is a lucky thing,” said Francis to his tutor, “that mastiffs and
bulls are not so quarrelsome as curs and geese; but what can be the
reason of it?”

“The reason,” replied the tutor, “is, that paltry and contemptible
animals, possessing no confidence in their own strength and courage, and
knowing themselves liable to injury from most of those that come in
their way, think it safer to take the part of bullies, and to make a
show of attacking those of whom in reality they are afraid: whereas,
animals which are conscious of force sufficient for their own
protection, suspecting no evil designs from others, entertain none
themselves, but maintain dignified composure.

“Thus you will find it among mankind. Weak, mean, petty characters are
suspicious, snarling, and petulant. They raise an outcry against their
superiors in talents and reputation, of whom they stand in awe, and put
on airs of defiance and insolence through mere cowardice. But the truly
great are calm and inoffensive. They fear no injury, and offer none.
They even suffer slight attacks to go unnoticed, conscious of their
power to right themselves whenever the occasion shall seem to require
it.”



                           THE TRAVELLED ANT.


There was a garden enclosed with high brick walls, and laid out somewhat
in the old fashion. Under the walls were wide beds planted with flowers,
garden-stuff, and fruit-trees. Next to them was a broad gravel-walk
running round the garden; and the middle was laid out in grass-plots,
and beds of flowers and shrubs with a fish-pond in the centre.

Near the root of one of the wall fruit-trees, a numerous colony of ants
was established, which had extended its subterraneous works over great
part of the bed in its neighbourhood. One day, two of the inhabitants,
meeting in a gallery under ground, fell into the following
conversation:—

“Ha! my friend,” said the first, “is it you? I am glad to see you. Where
have you been this long time? All your acquaintance have been in pain
about you, lest some accident should have befallen you.”

“Why,” replied the other, “I am, indeed, a sort of stranger, for you
must know I am but just returned from a long journey.”

“A journey! whither, pray, and on what account?”

“A tour of mere curiosity. I had long felt dissatisfied with knowing so
little about this world of ours; so, at length, I took a resolution to
explore it. And I may now boast that I have gone round its utmost
extremities, and that no considerable part of it has escaped my
researches.”

“Wonderful! What a traveller you have been, and what sights you must
have seen!”

“Why, yes—I have seen more than most ants, to be sure; but it has been
at the expense of so much toil and danger, that I know not whether it
was worth the pains.”

“Would you oblige me with some account of your adventures?”

“Willingly: I set out, then, early one sunshiny morning; and, after
crossing our territory and the line of plantation by which it is
bordered; I came upon a wide open plain, where, as far as the eye could
reach, not a single green thing was to be descried, but the hard soil
was everywhere covered with huge stones, which made travelling equally
painful to the eye and the feet. As I was toiling onward, I heard a
rumbling noise behind me, which became louder and louder. I looked back,
and with the utmost horror beheld a prodigious rolling mountain
approaching me so fast that it was impossible to get out of the way. I
threw myself flat on the ground behind a stone, and lay expecting
nothing but present death. The mountain soon passed over me, and I
continued (I know not how long) in a state of insensibility. When I
recovered, I began to stretch my limbs one by one, and, to my surprise,
found myself not in the least injured! but the stone beside me was
almost buried in the earth by the crash!”

“What an escape!”

“A wonderful one, indeed. I journeyed on over the desert, and at length
came to the end of it, and entered upon a wide green tract consisting
chiefly of tall, narrow, pointed leaves, which grew so thick and
entangled, that it was with the greatest difficulty I could make my way
between them; and I should continually have lost my road, had I not
taken care to keep the sun in view before me. When I had got near the
middle of this region, I was startled with the sight of a huge
four-legged monster, with a yellow speckled skin, which took a flying
leap directly over me. Somewhat farther, before I was aware, I ran upon
one of those long, round, crawling creatures, without head, tail, or
legs, which we sometimes meet with under ground, near our settlement. As
soon as he felt me upon him, he drew back into his hole so swiftly, that
he was near drawing me in along with him. However, I jumped off, and
proceeded on my way.

“With much labour I got, at last, to the end of this perplexed tract,
and came to an open space like that in which we live, in the midst of
which grew trees so tall that I could not see to their tops. Being
hungry, I climbed the first I came to, in expectation of finding some
fruit; but after a weary search I returned empty. I tried several others
with no better success. There were, indeed, leaves and flowers in
plenty, but nothing of which I could make a meal; so that I might have
been famished, had I not found some sour harsh berries upon the ground,
on which I made a poor repast. While I was doing this, a greater danger
than any of the former befell me. One of those two-legged feathered
creatures, which we often see to our cost, jumped down from a bough, and
picked up in his enormous beak the very berry on which I was standing.
Luckily, he did not swallow it immediately, but flew up again with it to
the tree; and, in the meantime, I disengaged myself, and fell from a
vast height to the ground, but received no hurt.

“I crossed this plantation, and came to another entangled green like the
first. After I had laboured through it, I came on a sudden to the side
of a vast glittering plain, the nature of which I could not possibly
guess at. I walked along a fallen leaf which lay on the side, and coming
to the farther edge of it, I was greatly surprised to see another ant
coming from below to meet me. I advanced to give him a fraternal
embrace; but instead of what I expected, I met a cold yielding matter,
in which I should have sunk, had I not speedily turned about, and caught
hold of the leaf, by which I drew myself up again. And now I found this
great plain to consist of that fluid which sometimes falls from the sky,
and causes so much trouble by filling our holes.

“As I stood considering how to proceed on my journey, a gentle breeze
arose, which, before I was aware, carried the leaf I was upon away from
the solid land into this yielding fluid, which, however, bore it up and
me along with it. At first, I was greatly alarmed, and ran round and
round my leaf in order to find some way of getting back; but perceiving
this to be impracticable, I resigned myself to my fate, and even began
to take some pleasure in the easy motion by which I was borne forward.
But what new and wonderful forms of living creatures did I see
inhabiting this liquid land! Bodies of prodigious bulk, covered with
shining scales of various colours, shot by me with vast rapidity, and
sported a thousand ways. They had large heads and staring eyes,
tremendous wide mouths, but no legs; and they seemed to be carried on by
the action of something like small wings planted on various parts of the
body, and especially at the end of the tail, which continually waved
about. Other smaller creatures, of a great variety of extraordinary
forms, were moving through the clear fluid, or resting upon its surface;
and I saw with terror numbers of them continually seized and swallowed
by the larger ones before-mentioned.

“When I had got near the middle, the smooth surface of this plain was
all roughened, and moved up and down, so as to toss about my leaf, and
nearly overset it. I trembled to think what would become of me, should I
be thrown amidst all these terrible monsters. At last, however, I got
safe to the other side, and with joy set my feet on dry land again. I
ascended a gentle green slope, which led to a tall plantation like that
I had before passed through. Another green plain, and another stony
desert, succeeded; which brought me, at length, to the opposite boundary
of our world, enclosed by the same immense mound rising to the heavens,
which limits us on this side.

“Here I fell in with another nation of our species differing little in
way of life from ourselves. They invited me to their settlement, and
entertained me hospitably, and I accompanied them in several excursions
in the neighbourhood. There was a charming fruit-tree at no great
distance, to which we made frequent visits. One day as I was regaling
deliciously on the heart of a green-gage plum, I felt myself on a sudden
carried along with great swiftness, till I got into a dark place, where
a horrid crash threw me upon a soft moist piece of flesh, whence I was
soon driven forth in a torrent of wind and moisture, and found myself on
the ground all covered with slime. I disengaged myself with difficulty
and looking up, descried one of those enormous two-legged animals, which
often shake the ground over our heads, and put us in terror.

“My new friends now began to hint to me that it was time to depart, ‘for
you know we are not fond of naturalizing strangers.’ And lucky, indeed,
it was for me that I received the hint when I did; for I had but just
left the place, and was travelling over a neighbouring eminence, when I
heard behind me a tremendous noise; and looking back I saw the whole of
their settlement blown into the air with a prodigious explosion of fire
and smoke. Numbers of half-burnt bodies, together with the ruins of
their habitations, were thrown to a vast distance around; and such a
suffocating vapour arose, that I lay for some time deprived of sense and
motion. From some of the wretched fugitives I learned that the disaster
was attributed to subterranean fire bursting its way to the surface: the
cause of which, however, was supposed to be connected with the
machinations of that malignant two-legged monster, from whose jaws I had
so narrowly escaped, who had been observed, just before the explosion,
to pour through the holes leading to the great apartment of the
settlement, a number of black shining grains.

“On my return from this remote country, I kept along the boundary-wall,
which I knew by observation must at length bring me back to my own home.
I met with several wandering tribes of our species in my road, and
frequently joined their foraging parties in search of food. One day, a
company of us, allured by the smell of something sweet, climbed some
lofty pillars, on which was placed a vast round edifice, having only one
entrance. At this, were continually going in and coming out those winged
animals, somewhat like ourselves in form, but many times bigger, and
armed with a dreadful sting, which we so often meet with sipping the
juices of flowers; but whether they were the architects of this great
mansion, or it was built for them by some beneficent being of great
powers, I am unable to decide. It seemed, however, to be the place where
they deposited what they so industriously collect; for they were
perpetually arriving loaded with a fragrant substance, which they
carried in, and then returned empty. We had a great desire to enter with
them, but were deterred by their formidable appearance, and a kind of
angry hum, which continually proceeded from the house. At length two or
three of the boldest of our party, watching a time when the entrance was
pretty free, ventured to go in: but we soon saw them driven out in great
haste, and trampled down and massacred at the gateway. The rest of us
made a speedy retreat.

“Two more adventures which happened to me had very nearly prevented my
return to my own country. Having one evening, together with a companion,
taken up my quarters in an empty snail-shell, there came on such a
shower of rain in the night, that the shell was presently filled. I
awaked just suffocated; but, luckily, having my head turned towards the
mouth of the shell, I rose to the top, and made a shift to crawl to a
dry place. My companion, who had got farther into the shell, never rose
again.

“Not long after, as I was travelling under the wall, I descried a
curious pit, with a circular orifice, gradually growing narrower to the
bottom. On coming close to the brink in order to survey it, the edge,
which was of fine sand, gave way and I slid down the pit. As soon as I
had reached the bottom, a creature with a huge pair of horns and
dreadful claws made his appearance from beneath the sand, and attempted
to seize me. I flew back, and ran up the side of the pit; when he threw
over me such a shower of sand as blinded me, and had like to have
brought me down again. However, by exerting all my strength, I got out
of his reach, and did not cease running till I was at a considerable
distance. I was afterward informed that this was the den of an antlion,
a terrible foe of our species, which, not equalling us in speed, is
obliged to make use of this crafty device to entrap his heedless prey.

“This was the last of my perils. To my great joy, I reached my native
place last night, where I mean to stay content for the future. I do not
know how far I have benefited from my travels, but one important
conclusion I have drawn from them.”

“What is that?” said his friend.

“Why, you know it is the current opinion with us, that everything in
this world was made for our use. Now, I have seen such vast tracts not
at all fit for our residence, and peopled with creatures so much larger
and stronger than ourselves, that I cannot help being convinced that the
Creator had in view their accommodation as well as ours, in making this
world.”

“I confess this seems probable enough; but you had better keep your
opinion to yourself.”

“Why so?”

“You know we ants are a vain race, and make high pretensions to wisdom
as well as antiquity. We shall be affronted with any attempts to lessen
our importance in our own eyes.”

“But there is no wisdom in being deceived.”

“Well—do as you think proper. Meantime, farewell, and thanks for the
entertainment you have given me.”

“Farewell!”



                             THE COLONISTS.


“Come,” said Mr. Barlow to his boys, “I have a new play for you. I will
be the founder of a colony; and you shall be people of different trades
and professions coming to offer yourselves to go with me. What are you,
_A._?”

_A._ I am a farmer, sir.

_Mr. B._ Very well! Farming is the chief thing we have to depend upon,
so we cannot have too much of it. But you must be a working farmer, not
a gentleman-farmer. Labourers will be scarce among us, and every man
must put his own hand to the plough. There will be woods to clear, and
marshes to drain, and a great deal of stubborn work to do.

_A._ I shall be ready to do my part, sir.

_Mr. B._ Well, then, I shall entertain you willingly, and as many more
of your profession as you can bring. You shall have land enough, and
utensils; and you may fall to work as soon as you please. Now for the
next.

_B._ I am a miller, sir.

_Mr. B._ A very useful trade! The corn we grow must be ground, or it
will do us little good. But what will you do for a mill, my friend?

_B._ I suppose we must make one, sir.

_Mr. B._ True; but then you must bring with you a millwright for the
purpose. As for millstones, we will take them out with us. Who is next?

_C._ I am a carpenter, sir.

_Mr. B._ The most necessary man that could offer! We shall find you work
enough, never fear. There will be houses to build, fences to make, and
all kinds of wooden furniture to provide. But our timber is all growing.
You will have a great deal of hard work to do in felling trees, and
sawing planks, and shaping posts and the like. You must be a
field-carpenter as well as a house-carpenter.

_C._ I will, sir.

_Mr. B._ Very well! then I engage you, but you had better bring two or
three able hands along with you.

_D._ I am a blacksmith, sir.

_Mr. B._ An excellent companion for the carpenter! We cannot do without
either of you; so you may bring your great bellows and anvil, and we
will set up a forge for you as soon as we arrive. But, by-the-by, we
shall want a mason for that purpose.

_E._ I am one, sir.

_Mr. B._ That’s well. Though we may live in loghouses at first, we shall
want brick or stone work for chimneys, and hearths, and ovens; so there
will be employment for a mason. But if you can make bricks and burn
lime, too, you will be still more useful.

_E._ I will try what I can do, sir.

_Mr. B._ No man can do more. I engage you. Who is next?

_F._ I am a shoemaker, sir.

_Mr. B._ And shoes we cannot well do without. But can you make them,
like Eumæus in the Odyssey, out of a raw hide? for I fear we shall get
no leather.

_F._ But I can dress hides, too.

_Mr. B._ Can you?—then you are a clever fellow, and I will have you,
though I give you double wages.

_G._ I am a tailor, sir.

_Mr. B._ Well—though it will be some time before we want holyday-suits,
yet we must not go naked; so there will be work for the tailor But you
are not above mending and botching, I hope, for we must not mind patched
clothes while we work in the woods.

_G._ I am not, sir.

_Mr. B._ Then I engage you, too.

_H._ I am a weaver, sir.

_Mr. B._ Weaving is a very useful art, but I question if we can find
room for it in our colony for the present. We shall not grow either hemp
or flax for some time to come, and it will be cheaper for us to import
our cloth than to make it. In a few years, however, we may be very glad
of you.

_J._ I am a silversmith and jeweller, sir.

_Mr. B._ Then, my friend, you cannot go to a worse place than a new
colony to set up your trade in. You will break us, or we shall starve
you.

_J._ But I understand clock and watch making, too.

_Mr. B._ That is somewhat more to our purpose, for we shall want to know
how time goes. But I doubt we cannot give you sufficient encouragement
for a long time to come. For the present you had better stay where you
are.

_K._ I am a barber and hairdresser, sir.

_Mr. B._ Alas! what can we do with you? If you will shave our men’s
rough beards once a week, and crop their hair once a quarter, and be
content to help the carpenter, or follow the plough the rest of your
time, we shall reward you accordingly. But you will have no ladies and
gentlemen to dress for a ball, or wigs to curl and powder for Sundays, I
assure you. Your trade will not stand by itself with us for a great time
to come.

_L._ I am a medical man, sir.

_Mr. B._ Then, sir, you are very welcome. Health is the first of
blessings, and if you can give us that, you will be a valuable man
indeed. But I hope you understand surgery as well as physic, for we are
likely enough to get cuts and bruises, and broken bones occasionally.

_L._ I have had experience in that branch too, sir.

_Mr. B._ And if you understand the nature of plants, and their uses both
in medicine and diet, it will be a great addition to your usefulness.

_L._ Botany has been a favourite study with me, sir; and I have some
knowledge of chymistry, and the other parts of natural history, too.

_Mr. B._ Then you will be a treasure to us, sir, and I shall be happy to
make it worth your while to go with us.

_M._ I, sir, am a lawyer.

_Mr. B._ Sir, your most obedient servant. When we are rich enough to go
to law, we will let you know.

_N._ I am a schoolmaster, sir.

_Mr. B._ That is a profession which I am sure I do not mean to
undervalue; and as soon as ever we have young folks in our colony, we
shall be glad of your services. Though we are to be hard-working, plain
people, we do not intend to be ignorant, and we shall make it a point to
have every one taught reading and writing, at least. In the meantime,
till we have employment enough for you in teaching, you may keep the
accounts and records of the colony: and on Sunday you may read prayers
to all those that choose to attend upon you.

_N._ With all my heart, sir.

_Mr. B._ Then I engage you. Who comes here with so bold an air?

_O._ I am a soldier, sir; will you have me?

_Mr. B._ We are peaceable people, and I hope shall have no occasion to
fight. We mean honestly to purchase our land from the natives, and to be
just and fair in all our dealings with them. William Penn, the founder
of Pennsylvania followed that plan; and when the Indians were at war
with all the other European settlers, a person in a quaker’s habit might
pass through all their most ferocious tribes without the least injury.
It is my intention, however, to make all my colonists soldiers, so far
as to be able to defend themselves if attacked, and that being the case,
we shall have no need of _soldiers by trade_.

_P._ I am a gentleman, sir; and I have a great desire to accompany you,
because I hear game is very plentiful in that country.

_Mr. B._ A gentleman! And what good will you do us, sir?

_P._ O, sir, that is not at all my intention. I only mean to amuse
myself.

_Mr. B._ But do you mean, sir, that we should pay for your amusement?

_P._ As to maintenance, I expect to be able to kill game enough for my
own eating, with a little bread and garden-stuff, which you will give
me. Then I will be content with a house somewhat better than the common
ones; and your barber shall be my valet; so I shall give very little
trouble.

_Mr. B._ And pray, sir, what inducement can we have for doing all this
for you?

_P._ Why, sir, you will have the credit of having _one gentleman_ at
least in your colony.

_Mr. B._ Ha, ha, ha! A facetious gentleman, truly! Well, sir, when we
are ambitious of such a distinction, we will send for you.

[Illustration:

  EVENING V.
]



                       THE DOG AND HIS RELATIONS.


Keeper was a farmer’s mastiff, honest, brave, and vigilant. One day, as
he was ranging at some distance from home, he espied a wolf and a fox
sitting together at the corner of a wood. Keeper, not much liking their
looks, though by no means fearing them, was turning another way, when
they called after him, and civilly desired him to stay, “Surely, sir,”
says Reynard, “you wo’n’t disown your relations. My cousin Gaunt and I
were just talking over family-matters, and we both agreed that we had
the honour of reckoning you among our kin. You must know that, according
to the best accounts, the wolves and dogs were originally one race in
the forests of Armenia; but the dogs, taking to living with man, have
since become inhabitants of towns and villages, while the wolves have
retained their ancient mode of life. As to my ancestors, the foxes, they
were a branch of the same family, who settled farther northward, where
they became stinted in their growth, and adopted the custom of living in
holes under ground. The cold has sharpened our noses, and given us a
thicker fur and bushy tails to keep us warm. But we have all a family
likeness which it is impossible to mistake; and I am sure it is our
interest to be good friends with each other.”

The wolf was of the same opinion; and Keeper, looking narrowly at them,
could not help acknowledging their relationship. As he had a generous
heart, he readily entered into friendship with them. They took a ramble
together; but Keeper was rather surprised at observing the suspicious
shyness with which some of the weaker sort of animals surveyed them, and
wondered at the hasty flight of a flock of sheep as soon as they came
within view. However, he gave his cousins a cordial invitation to come
and see him at his yard, and then took his leave.

They did not fail to come the next day about dusk. Keeper received them
kindly, and treated them with part of his own supper. They stayed with
him till after dark, and then marched off with many compliments. The
next morning word was brought to the farm that a goose and three
goslings were missing, and that a couple of lambs were found almost
devoured in the home-field. Keeper was too honest himself readily to
suspect others, so he never thought of his kinsmen on the occasion. Soon
after, they paid him a second evening visit; and next day, another loss
appeared, of a hen and her chickens, and a fat sheep. Now Keeper could
not help mistrusting a little, and blamed himself for admitting
strangers without his master’s knowledge. However, he still did not love
to think ill of his own relations.

They came a third time. Keeper received them rather coldly; and hinted
that he should like better to see them in the daytime; but they excused
themselves for want of leisure. When they took their leave he resolved
to follow at some distance and watch their motions. A litter of young
pigs happened to be lying under a haystack without the yard. The wolf
seized one by the back, and ran off with him. The pig set up a most
dismal squeal; and Keeper, running up at the noise, caught his dear
cousin in the fact. He flew at him and made him relinquish his prey,
though not without much snarling and growling. The fox, who had been
prowling about the henroost, now came up, and began to make
protestations of his own innocence, with heavy reproaches against the
wolf for thus disgracing the family. “Begone, scoundrels both!” cried
Keeper; “I know you now too well. You may be of my blood, but I am sure
you are not of my spirit. Keeper holds no kindred with villains.” So
saying, he drove them from the premises.



                  THE HISTORY AND ADVENTURES OF A CAT.


Some days ago died GRIMALKIN, the favourite tabby-cat of Mrs. Petlove.
Her disorder was a shortness of breath, proceeding partly from old age,
and partly from fat. As she felt her end approaching, she called her
children to her, and with a great deal of difficulty spoke as follows:—

“Before I depart from this world, my children, I mean, if my breath will
give me leave, to relate to you the principal events of my life, as the
variety of scenes I have gone through may afford you some useful
instruction for avoiding those dangers to which our species are
particularly exposed.

“Without further preface, then, I was born at a farmhouse, in a village
some miles hence; and almost as soon as I came into the world, I was
very near leaving it again. My mother brought five of us at a litter;
and as the frugal people of the house only kept cats to be useful, and
were already sufficiently stocked, we were immediately doomed to be
drowned; and accordingly, a boy was ordered to take us all and throw us
into the horsepond. This commission he performed with the pleasure boys
seem naturally to take in acts of cruelty, and we were presently set a
swimming. While we were struggling for life, a little girl, daughter to
the farmer, came running to the pond-side, and begged very hard that she
might save one of us, and bring him up for her own. After some dispute
her request was granted; and the boy, reaching out his arm, took hold of
me, who was luckily nearest him, and brought me out when I was just
spent. I was laid on the grass, and it was some time before I recovered.
The girl then restored me to my mother, who was overjoyed to get again
one of her little ones; and for fear of another mischance, she took me
in her mouth to a dark hole, where she kept me till I could see, and was
able to run by her side. As soon as I came to light again, my little
mistress took possession of me, and tended me very carefully. Her
fondness, indeed, was sometimes troublesome, as she pinched my sides
with carrying me, and once or twice hurt me a good deal by letting me
fall. Soon, however, I became strong and active, and played and
gambolled all day long, to the great delight of my mistress and her
companions.

“At this time I had another narrow escape. A man brought into the house
a strange dog, who had been taught to worry all the cats that came in
his way. My mother slunk away at his entrance; but I, thinking, like a
little fool as I was, that I was able to protect myself, stayed on the
floor, growling, and setting up my back by way of defiance. The dog
instantly ran at me, and before I could get my claws ready, seized me
with his mouth, and began to gripe and shake me most terribly. I
screamed out, and, by good luck, my mistress was within hearing. She ran
to us, but was not able to disengage me; however, a servant, seeing her
distress took a great stick, and gave the dog such a bang on the back,
that he was forced to let me go. He had used me so roughly, that I was
not able to stand for some time; but by care and a good constitution I
recovered.

“I was now running after everybody’s heels, by which means I got one day
locked up in the dairy. I was not sorry for this accident, thinking to
feast upon the cream and other good things. But having climbed a shelf
to get at a bowl of cream, I unluckily fell backward into a large vessel
of buttermilk, where I should probably have been drowned, had not the
maid heard the noise, and come to see what was the matter. She took me
out, scolding bitterly at me, and after making me undergo a severe
discipline at the pump to clean me, she dismissed me with a good
whipping. I took care not to follow her into the dairy again.

“After a while I began to get into the yard, and my mother took me into
the barn on a mousing expedition. I shall never forget the pleasure this
gave me. We sat by a hole, and presently out came a mouse with a brood
of young ones. My mother darted among them, and first demolished the old
one, and then pursued the little ones, who ran about squeaking in
dreadful perplexity. I now thought it was time for me to do something,
and accordingly ran after a straggler, and soon overtook it. O, how
proud was I, as I stood over my trembling captive, and patted him with
my paws! My pride, however, soon met with a check; for seeing one day a
large rat I courageously flew at him; but instead of running from me, he
gave me such a bite on the nose, that I ran away to my mother mewing
piteously, with my face all bloody and swelled. For some time I did not
meddle with rats again; but at length, growing stronger and more
skilful, I feared neither rats nor any other vermin, and acquired the
reputation of an excellent hunter.

“I had some other escapes about this time. Once I happened to meet with
some poisoned food laid for the rats, and eating it, I was thrown into a
disorder that was very near killing me. At another time, I chanced to
set my foot in a rat-trap, and received so many deep wounds from its
teeth, that though I was loosened as gently as possible by the people
who heard me cry, I was rendered lame for some weeks after.

“Time went on, and I arrived at my full growth; and forming an
acquaintance with a male-cat about my age, after a decent resistance by
scolding, biting, and scratching, we made a match of it. I became a
mother in due time, and had the mortification of seeing several broods
of my kittens disposed of in the same manner as my brothers and sisters
had been. I shall mention two or three more adventures in the order I
remember them. I was once prowling for birds along a hedge at some
distance from home, when the ‘squire’s grayhounds came that way a
coursing. As soon as they spied me, they set off full speed, and running
much faster than I could do, were just behind me, when I reached a tree,
and saved myself by climbing it. But a greater danger befell me on
meeting with a parcel of boys returning from school. They surrounded me
before I was aware, and obliged me to take refuge in a tree; but I soon
found that a poor defence against such enemies; for they assembled about
it, and threw stones on all sides, so that I could not avoid receiving
many hard blows, one of which brought me senseless to the ground. The
biggest boy now seized me, and proposed to the rest making what he
called rare sport with me. This sport was to tie me to a board, and
launching me on a pond, to set some water-dogs at me, who were to duck
and half drown me, while I was to defend myself by biting their noses,
and scratching their eyes. Already was I bound, and just ready to be set
a sailing when the schoolmaster taking a walk that way, and seeing the
bustle, came up, and obliged the boys to set me at liberty, severely
reprimanding them for their cruel intentions.

“The next remarkable incident of my life was the occasion of my removal
from the country. My mistress’s brother had a tame linnet, of which he
was very fond; for it would come and light on his shoulder when he
called for it, and feed out of his hand; and it sung well besides. This
bird was usually either in its cage or upon a high perch; but one
unlucky day, when he and I were alone in the room together, he came down
on the table to pick up crumbs. I spied him, and not being able to
resist the temptation, sprung at him, and catching him in my claws, soon
began to devour him. I had almost finished when his master came into the
room; and seeing me with the remains of poor linnet in my mouth, he ran
to me in the greatest fury, and after chasing me several times round the
room, at length caught me. He was proceeding instantly to hang me, when
his sister, by many entreaties and tears, persuaded him, after a good
whipping, to forgive me, upon the promise that I should be sent away.
Accordingly, the next market-day I was despatched in the cart to a
relation of theirs in this town, who wanted a good cat, as the house was
overrun with mice.

“In the service of this family I continued a good while, performing my
duty as a mouser extremely well, so that I was in high esteem. I soon
became acquainted with all the particulars of a town life, and
distinguished my activity in climbing walls and houses, and jumping from
roof to roof, either in pursuit of prey, or upon gossiping parties with
my companions. Once, however, I had like to have suffered for my
venturing; for having made a great jump from one house to another, I lit
upon a loose tile, which giving way with me, I fell from a vast height
into the street, and should certainly have been killed, had I not had
the luck to light in a dung-cart, whence I escaped with no other injury
but being half stifled with filth.

“Notwithstanding the danger I had run from killing the linnet, I am
sorry to confess that I was again guilty of a similar offence. I
contrived one night to leap down from a roof upon the board of some
pigeon-holes, which led to a garret inhabited by those birds. I entered,
and finding them asleep, made sad havoc among all that were within my
reach, killing and sucking the blood of near a dozen. I was near paying
dearly for this, too; for on attempting to return, I found it was
impossible for me to leap up again to the place whence I had descended,
so that, after several dangerous trials, I was obliged to wait trembling
in the place where I had committed all these murders, till the owner
came up in the morning to feed his pigeons. I rushed out between his
legs as soon as the door was opened, and had the good fortune to get
safe down stairs, and make my escape through a window unknown; but never
shall I forget the horrors I felt that night! Let my double danger be a
warning to you, my children, to control your savage appetites, and on no
account to do harm to those creatures which, like ourselves, are under
the protection of man. We cats all lie under a bad name for treacherous
dispositions in this respect, and with shame I must acknowledge it is
but too well merited.

“Well—but my breath begins to fail me, and I must hasten to a
conclusion. I still lived in the same family, when our present kind
mistress, Mrs. Petlove, having lost a favourite tabby, advertised a very
handsome price for another, that should as nearly as possible resemble
her dead darling. My owners, tempted by the offer, took me for the good
lady’s inspection, and I had the honour of being preferred to a
multitude of rivals. I was immediately settled in the comfortable
mansion we now inhabit, and had many favours and indulgences bestowed
upon me, such as I had never before experienced. Among these I reckon
one of the principal that of being allowed to rear all my children, and
to see them grow up in peace and plenty. My adventures here have been
few; for after the monkey had spitefully bit off the last joint of my
tail, (for which I had the satisfaction to see him soundly corrected,) I
kept beyond the length of his chain; and neither the parrot nor lapdogs
ever dared to molest me. One of the greatest afflictions I have felt
here was the stifling of a whole litter of my kittens by a fat old lady,
a friend of my mistress, who sat down on the chair where they lay, and
never perceived the mischief she was doing till she rose, though I
pulled her clothes and used all the means in my power to show my
uneasiness. This misfortune my mistress took to heart almost as much as
myself, and the lady has never since entered our doors. Indeed, both I
and mine had ever been treated here with the utmost kindness—perhaps
with too much; for, to the pampering me with delicacies, together with
Mrs. Abigail’s frequent washings, I attribute this asthma, which is now
putting an end to my life rather sooner than its natural period. But I
know all was meant well; and with my last breath I charge you all to
show your gratitude to our worthy mistress, by every return in your
power.

“And now, my dear children, farewell; we shall perhaps meet again in a
land where there are no dogs to worry us, or boys to torment us—Adieu!”

Having thus said, Grimalkin became speechless, and presently departed
this life, to the great grief of all the family.



                   CANUTE’S REPROOF TO HIS COURTIERS.


                               PERSONS.

                     CANUTE       King of England.
                     OSWALD, OFFA Courtiers.


       Scene—_The seaside, near Southampton. The tide coming in._

_Canute._ Is it true, my friends, what you have so often told me, that I
am the greatest of monarchs?

_Offa._ It is true, my liege; you are the most powerful of all kings.

_Oswald._ We are all your slaves; we kiss the dust of your feet.

_Offa._ Not only we, but even the elements, are your slaves. The land
obeys you from shore to shore; and the sea obeys you.

_Canute._ Does the sea, with its loud boisterous waves, obey me? Will
that terrible element be still at my bidding?

_Offa._ Yes, the sea is yours; it was made to bear your ships upon its
bosom, and to pour the treasures of the world at your royal feet. It is
boisterous to your enemies, but it knows you to be its sovereign.

_Canute._ Is not the tide coming up?

_Oswald._ Yes, my liege; you may perceive the swell already.

_Canute._ Bring me a chair, then; set it here upon the sands.

_Offa._ Where the tide is coming up, my gracious lord?

_Canute._ Yes, set it just here.

_Oswald_ (_aside_). I wonder what he is going to do!

_Offa_ (_aside_). Surely, he is not such a fool as to believe us!

_Canute._ O, mighty ocean! thou art my subject: my courtiers tell me so;
and it is thy bounden duty to obey me. Thus, then, I stretch my sceptre
over thee, and command thee to retire. Roll back thy swelling waves, nor
let them presume to wet the feet of me, thy royal master.

_Oswald_ (_aside_). I believe the sea will pay very little regard to his
royal commands.

_Offa._ See how fast the tide rises!

_Oswald._ The next wave will come up to the chair. It is folly to stay;
we shall be covered with salt water.

_Canute._ Well, does the sea obey my commands? If it be my subject, it
is a very rebellious subject. See how it swells and dashes the angry
foam and salt spray over my sacred person. Vile sycophants! did you
think I was the dupe of your base lies? that I believed your abject
flatteries? Know, there is only one Being whom the sea will obey. He is
sovereign of heaven and earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords. It is
only he who can say to the ocean—“Thus far shalt thou go, but no
farther, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” A king is but a man;
and a man is but a worm. Shall a worm assume the power of the great God,
and think the elements will obey him? Take away this crown, I will never
wear it more. May kings learn to be humble from my example, and
courtiers learn truth from your disgrace.



                   DIALOGUE, ON THINGS TO BE LEARNED,
                        BETWEEN MAMMA AND KITTY.


_Kitty._ Pray, mamma, may I leave off working? I am tired.

_Mamma._ You have done very little, my dear; you know you were to finish
all that hem.

_K._ But I had rather write now, mamma, or read, or get my French
grammar.

_M._ I know very well what that means, Kitty; you had rather do anything
than what I set you about.

_K._ No, mamma; but you know I can work very well already, and I have a
great many more things to learn. There’s Miss Rich that cannot sew half
so well as I, and she is learning music and drawing already, besides
dancing, and I don’t know how many other things. She tells me that they
hardly work at all in their school.

_M._ Your tongue runs at a great rate, my dear; but, in the first place,
you cannot sew very well for if you could, you would not have been so
long in doing this little piece. Then I hope you will allow that mammas
know better what is proper for their little girls to learn than they do
themselves?

_K._ To be sure, mamma; but as I suppose I must learn all these things
some time or other, I thought you would like to have me begin them soon,
for I have often heard you say that children cannot be set too early
about what is necessary for them to do.

_M._ That’s very true; but all things are not equally necessary to every
one; for some that are very fit for one, are scarcely proper at all for
others.

_K._ Why, mamma?

_M._ Because, my dear, it is the purpose of all education to fit persons
for the station in which they are hereafter to live; and you know there
are very great differences in that respect, both among men and women.

_K._ Are there? I thought all _ladies_ lived alike.

_M._ It is usual to call all well-educated women, who have no occasion
to work for their livelihood, _ladies_; but, if you will think a little,
you must see that they live very differently from each other, for their
fathers and husbands are in very different ranks and situations in the
world, you know.

_K._ Yes, I know that some are lords, and some are ‘squires, and some
are clergymen, and some are merchants, and some are doctors, and some
are shopkeepers.

_M._ Well: and do you think the wives and daughters of these persons can
have just the same things to do, and the same duties to perform? You
know how I spend my time. I have to go to market and provide for the
family, to look after the servants, to help in taking care of you
children, and in teaching you to see that your clothes are in proper
condition, and assist in making and mending for myself, and you, and
your papa. All this is my necessary duty; and besides this, I must go
out a visiting to keep up our acquaintance; this I call partly business,
and partly amusement. Then when I am tired, and have done all that I
think necessary, I may amuse myself with reading, or in any other proper
way. Now a great many of these employments do not belong to Lady
Wealthy, or Mrs. Rich, who keep housekeepers and governesses, and
servants of all kinds, to do everything for them. It is very proper,
therefore, for them to pay more attention to music, drawing, ornamental
work, and any other elegant manner of passing their time and making
themselves agreeable.

_K._ And shall I have all the same things to do, mamma, that you have?

_M._ It is impossible, my dear, to foresee what your future station will
be; but you have no reason to expect that if you have a family you will
have fewer duties to perform than I have. This is the way of life for
which your education should prepare you; and everything will be useful
and important for you to learn, in proportion as it will make you fit
for this.

_K._ But when I am grown a young lady, shall I not have to visit, and go
to assemblies and plays, as Miss Wilsons and Miss Johnsons do?

_M._ It is very likely you may enter into some amusement of this sort:
but even then you will have several more serious employments, which will
take up a much greater part of your time; and if you do not do them
properly, you will have no right to partake of the others.

_K._ What will they be, mamma?

_M._ Why, don’t you think it proper that you should assist me in my
household affairs a little, as soon as you are able?

_K._ O yes, mamma, I should be very glad to do that.

_M._ Well, consider what talents will be necessary for that purpose;
will not a good hand at your needle be one of the very first qualities?

_K._ I believe it will.

_M._ Yes, and not only in assisting _me_, but in making things for
_yourself_. You know how we admired Miss Smart’s ingenuity when she was
with us, in contriving and making so many articles of her dress, for
which she must otherwise have gone to the milliner’s, which would have
cost a great deal of money.

_K._ Yes; she made my pretty bonnet, and she made you a very handsome
cap.

_M._ Very true; she was so clever as not only to furnish herself with
these things, but to oblige her friends with some of her work. And I
dare say she does a great deal of plain work also for herself and her
mother. Well, then, you are convinced of the importance of this
business, I hope.

_K._ Yes, mamma.

_M._ Reading and writing are such necessary parts of education, that I
need not say much to you about them.

_K._ O no, for I love reading dearly.

_M._ I know you do, if you can get entertaining stories to read, but
there are many things also to be read for instruction, which perhaps may
not be so pleasant at first.

_K._ But what need is there of so many books of this sort?

_M._ Some are to teach you your duty to your Maker, and your
fellow-creatures, of which I hope you are sensible you ought not to be
ignorant. Then it is very right to be acquainted with geography; for you
remember how poor Miss Blunder was laughed at for saying that if ever
she went to France, it should be by land.

_K._ That was because England is an island, and all surrounded with
water, was it not?

_M._ Yes, Great Britain, which contains both England and Scotland, is an
island. Well, it is very useful to knew something of the nature of
plants, and animals, and minerals, because we are always using some or
other of them. Something, too, of the heavenly bodies is very proper to
be known, both that we may admire the power and wisdom of God in
creating them, and that we may not make foolish mistakes, when their
natures and properties are the subject of conversation. The knowledge of
history too, is very important, especially that of our own country; and
in short, everything that makes part of the discourse of rational and
well-educated people, ought in some degree to be studied by every one
who has proper opportunities.

_K._ Yes, I like some of those things very well. But pray, mamma, what
do I learn French for—am I ever to live in France?

_M._ Probably not, my dear; but there are a great many books written in
French that are very well worth reading; and it may every now and then
happen that you may be in company with foreigners who cannot speak
English, and as they almost all talk French, you may be able to converse
with them in that language.

_K._ Yes, I remember there was a gentleman here that came from Germany,
I think, and he could hardly speak a word of English, but papa and you
could talk to him in French; and I wished very much to be able to
understand what you were saying, for I believe part of it was about me.

_M._ It was. Well, then, you see the use of French. But I cannot say
this is a _necessary_ part of knowledge to young women in general, only
it is well worth acquiring, if a person has leisure and opportunity. I
will tell you, however, what is quite necessary for one in your station,
and that is, to write a good hand, and to cast accounts well.

_K._ I should like to write well, because then I should send letters to
my friends when I pleased, and it would not be such a scrawl as our maid
Betty writes, that I dare say her friends can hardly make it out.

_M._ She had not the advantage of learning when young, for you know she
taught herself since she came to us, which was a very sensible thing of
her, and I suppose she will improve. Well, but accounts are almost as
necessary as writing; for how could I cast up all the market-bills and
tradesman’s accounts, and keep my housebooks, without it?

_K._ And what is the use of that, mamma?

_M._ It is of use to prevent our being overcharged in anything, and to
know exactly how much we spend, and whether or not we are exceeding our
income, and in what articles we ought to be more saving. Without keeping
accounts the richest man might soon come to be ruined, before he knew
that his affairs were going wrong.

_K._ But do women always keep accounts? I thought that was generally the
business of the men.

_M._ It is their business to keep the accounts belonging to their trade,
or profession, or estate; but it is the business of their wives to keep
all the household accounts; and a woman almost in any rank, unless,
perhaps, some of the highest of all, is to blame if she does not take
upon her this necessary office. I remember a remarkable instance of the
benefit which a young lady derived from an attention to this point. An
eminent merchant in London failed for a great sum!

_K._ What does that mean, mamma?

_M._ That he owed a great deal more than he could pay. His creditors,
that is, those to whom he was indebted, on examining his accounts, found
great deficiencies which they could not make out; for he had kept his
books very irregularly, and had omitted to put down many things that he
had bought and sold. They suspected, therefore, that great waste had
been made in the family expenses; and they were the more suspicious of
this, as a daughter, who was a very genteel young lady, was his
housekeeper, his wife being dead. She was told of this; upon which, when
the creditors were all met, she sent them her housebooks for their
examination. They were all written in a very fair hand, and every single
article was entered with the greatest regularity, and the sums were all
cast up with perfect exactness. The gentlemen were so highly pleased
with the proof of the young lady’s ability, that they all agreed to make
her a handsome present out of the effects; and one of the richest of
them, who was in want of a clever wife, soon after paid his addresses to
her, and married her.

_K._ That was very lucky, for I suppose she took care of her poor father
when she was rich. But I shall have nothing of that sort to do a great
while.

_M._ No; but young women should keep their own account of clothes and
pocket-money, and other expenses, as I intend you shall do when you grow
up.

_K._ Am I not to learn dancing, and music, and drawing, too, mamma?

_M._ Dancing you shall certainly learn pretty soon, because it is not
only an agreeable accomplishment in itself, but is useful in forming the
body to ease and elegance in all its motions. As to the other two, they
are merely ornamental accomplishments, which, though a woman of middling
station may be admired for possessing, yet she will never be censured
for being without. The propriety of attempting to acquire them must
depend on natural genius for them, and upon leisure and other accidental
circumstances. For some they are too expensive, and many are unable to
make such progress in them as will repay the pains of beginning. It is
soon enough, however, for us to think about these things, and at any
rate they are not to come in till you have made a very good proficiency
in what is useful and necessary. But I see you have now finished what I
set you about, so you shall take a walk with me into the marketplace,
where I have two or three things to buy.

_K._ Shall we not call at the bookseller’s, to inquire for those new
books that Miss Reader was talking about?

_M._ Perhaps we may. Now lay up your work neatly, and get on your hat
and tippet.

[Illustration:

  Alfred the Great, _p. 80_

  EVENING VI.
]



                        ON THE OAK.—A DIALOGUE.

                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry_.


_Tutor._—Come, my boys, let us sit down awhile under yon shady tree. I
don’t know how your young legs feel, but mine are almost tired.

_Geo._ I am not tired, but I am very hot.

_Har._ And I am hot and very dry, too.

_Tut._ When you have cooled yourself, you may drink out of that clear
brook. In the meantime, we will read a little out of a book I have in my
pocket. [_They go and sit down at the foot of the tree._]

_Har._ What an amazing large tree! How wide its branches spread! Pray
what tree is it?

_Geo._ I can tell you that. It is an oak. Don’t you see the acorns?

_Tut._ Yes, it is an oak—the noblest tree this country produces; not
only grand and beautiful to the sight, but of the greatest importance
from its uses.

_Har._ I should like to know something about it?

_Tut._ Very well; then instead of reading we will sit and talk about
oaks. George, who knew the oak by its acorns—should you have known it if
there had been none?

_Geo._ I don’t know; I believe not.

_Tut._ Observe, then, in the first place, that its bark is very rugged.
Then see in what manner it grows: its great arms run out almost
horizontally from its trunk, giving the whole tree a sort of round form,
and making it spread far on every side. Its branches are also subject to
be crooked or kneed. By these marks you might guess at an oak even in
winter, when quite bare of leaves. But its leaves afford a surer mark of
distinction, since they differ a good deal from those of other English
trees, being neither whole and even at the edges, nor yet cut like the
teeth of a saw, but rather deeply scolloped, and formed into several
rounded divisions. Their colour is a fine deep green. Then the fruit—

_Har._ Fruit!

_Tut._ Yes; all kinds of plants have what may properly be called fruit,
though we are apt to give that name only to such as are food for man.
The fruit of a plant is the seed, with what contains it. This, in the
oak, is called an acorn, which is a kind of nut, partly enclosed in a
cup.

_Geo._ Acorn-cups are very pretty things. I have made boats of them, and
set them swimming in a basin.

_Tut._ And if you were no bigger than a fairy, you might use them for
drinking cups, as those imaginary little beings are said to do.

                   Pearly drops of dew we drink,
                   In acorn-cups filled to the brink.

_Har._ Are acorns good to eat?

_Geo._ No; that they are not. I have tried, and did not like them at
all.

_Tut._ In the early ages of man, before he cultivated the earth, but
lived upon such wild products as Nature afforded, we are told that
acorns made a considerable part of his food; and at this day they are
eaten in Spain and Greece, and in some other of the southern countries
of Europe. But they are sweeter and better flavoured than ours, and are
produced by a different species of oak. The chief use which we make of
those which grow in this country is to feed hogs. In those parts of
England where oak-woods are common, great herds of swine are kept, which
are driven into the woods in autumn, when the acorns fall, and provide
for themselves plentifully for two or three months. This, however, is a
small part of the praise of the oak. You will be surprised when I tell
you that to this tree our country owes its chief glory and security.

_Har._ Ay! how can that be?

_Tut._ I don’t know whether in your reading you have ever met with the
story, that Athens, a famous city in Greece, consulting the oracle how
it might best defend itself against its enemies, was advised to trust to
wooden walls.

_Har._ Wooden walls? that’s odd. I should think stone-walls better; for
wooden ones might be set on fire.

_Tut._ True: but the meaning was, that as Athens was a place of great
trade, and its people were skilled in maritime affairs, they ought to
trust to their ships. Well, this is the case with Great Britain. As it
is an island, it has no need of walls and fortifications, while it
possesses ships to keep all enemies at a distance. Now, we have the
greatest and finest navy in the world, by which we both defend
ourselves, and attack other nations, when they insult us; and this is
all built of oak.

_Geo._ Would no other wood do to build ships?

_Tut._ None nearly so well, especially for men-of-war; for it is the
stoutest and strongest wood we have; and, therefore, best fitted, both
to keep sound under water, and to bear the blows and shocks of the
waves, and the terrible strokes of cannon-balls. It is a peculiar
excellence for this last purpose, that oak is not so liable to splinter
or shiver as other woods, so that a ball can pass through it without
making a large hole. Did you never hear the old song,

      Hearts of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men, &c.?

_Geo._ No.

_Tut._ It was made at a time when England was more successful in war
than had ever before been known, and our success was properly attributed
chiefly to our fleet, the great support of which is the British oak so I
hope you will look upon oaks with due respect.

_Har._ Yes; it shall always be my favourite tree.

_Tut._ Had not Pope reason, when he said, in his _Windsor Forest_,

            “Let India boast her plants, nor envy we
            The weeping amber, or the balmy tree,
            While by our oaks the precious loads are borne,
            And realms commanded which those trees adorn!”

These lines refer to its use as well for merchant-ships as for
men-of-war; and, in fact, all our ships are for the most part built
either of native or foreign oak.

_Geo._ Are the masts of ships made of oak?

_Tut._ No; it would be too heavy. Besides, it would not be easy to find
trunks of oak long and straight enough for that purpose. They are made
of various sorts of fir or pine, which grow very tall and taper.

_Geo._ Is oak wood used for anything besides ship-building?

_Tut._ O yes; it is one of the principal woods of the carpenter, being
employed wherever great strength and durability are required. It is used
for door and window frames, and the beams that are laid in walls to
strengthen them. Floors and staircases are sometimes made with it; and
in old houses in the country, which were built when oak was more
plentiful than at present, almost all the timber about them was oak. It
is also occasionally used for furniture, as tables, chairs, drawers, and
bedsteads; though mahogany has now much taken its place for the better
sort of goods, and the lighter and softer woods for the cheaper; for the
hardness of oak renders it difficult and expensive to work. It is still,
however, the chief material used in mill-work, in bridge and water
works, for wagon and cart bodies, for threshing-floors, for large casks
and tubs, and for the last piece of furniture a man has occasion for.
What is that, do you think, George?

_Geo._ I don’t know.

_Har._ A coffin.

_Tut._ So it is.

_Har._ But why should that be made of such strong wood?

_Tut._ There can be no other reason than that weak attachment we are apt
to have for our bodies when we are done with them, which has made men in
various countries desirous of keeping them as long as possible from
decay. But I have not yet done with the uses of the oak. Were either of
you ever in a tanner’s yard?

_Geo._ We often go by one at the end of the town; but we dare not go in
for fear of the great dog.

_Tut._ But he is always chained in the daytime.

_Har._ Yes; but he barks so loud and looks so fierce, that we were
afraid he would break his chain.

_Tut._ I doubt you are a couple of cowards. However, I suppose you came
near enough to observe great stacks of bark in the yard.

_Geo._ O yes; there are several.

_Tut._ Those are oak-bark, and it is used in tanning the hides.

_Har._ What does it do to them?

_Tut._ I’ll tell you. The hide, when taken from the animal, after being
steeped in lime and water to get off the hair and grease, is put to soak
in a liquor made by steeping oak-bark in water. This liquor is strongly
astringent, or binding, and has the property of converting skin into
leather. The change which the hide thus undergoes renders it at the same
time less liable to decay, and soft and pliable when dry; for raw skins,
by drying, acquire nearly the hardness and consistence of horn. Other
things are also tanned for the purpose of preserving them, as
fishing-nets and boat-sails. This use of the bark of the oak makes it a
very valuable commodity; and you may see people in the woods carefully
stripping the oaks when cut down, and piling up the bark in heaps.

_Geo._ I have seen such heaps of bark, but I thought they were only to
burn.

_Tut._ No; they are much too valuable for that. Well, but I have another
use of the oak to mention, and that is in dying.

_Har._ Dying! I wonder what colour it can die?

_Tut._ Oak sawdust is a principal ingredient in dying fustians. By
various mixtures and management it is made to give them all the
different shades of drab and brown. Then, all the parts of the oak, like
all other astringent vegetables, produce a dark blue or black by the
addition of any preparation of iron. The bark is sometimes used in this
way for dying black. And did you never see what the boys call an
oak-apple?

_Geo._ Yes; I have gathered them myself.

_Tut._ Do you know what they are?

_Geo._ I thought they were the fruit of the oak.

_Tut._ No; I have told you that the acorns are the fruits. These are
excrescences formed by an insect.

_Geo._ An insect! how can they make such a thing?

_Tut._ It is a sort of fly, that has the power of piercing the outer
skin of the oak boughs, under which it lays its eggs. The part then
swells into a kind of ball, and the young insects, when hatched, eat
their way out. Well this ball or apple is a pretty strong astringent,
and is sometimes used in dying black. But in the warm countries there is
a species of oak which bears round excrescences of the same kind, called
galls, which become hard, and are the strongest astringents known. They
are the principal ingredients in the black dies, and common ink is made
with them, together with a substance called green vitriol, or copperas,
which contains iron.

I have now told you the chief uses that I can recollect of the oak; and
these are so important, that whoever drops an acorn into the ground, and
takes proper care of it when it comes up, may be said to be a benefactor
to his country. Besides, no sight can be more beautiful and majestic
than a fine oak-wood. It is an ornament fit for the habitation of the
first nobleman in the land.

_Har._ I wonder, then, that all rich gentlemen who have ground enough do
not cover it with oaks.

_Tut._ Many of them, especially of late years, have made great
plantations of these trees. But all soils do not suit them; and then
there is another circumstance which prevents many from being at this
trouble and expense, which is the long time an oak takes in growing, so
that no person can reasonably expect to profit by those of his own
planting. An oak of fifty years is greatly short of its full growth, and
they are scarcely arrived at perfection under a century. However, it is
our duty to think of posterity as well as ourselves; and they who
receive oaks from their ancestors, ought certainly to furnish others to
their successors.

_Har._ Then I think that every one who cuts down an oak should be
obliged to plant another.

_Tut._ Very right—but he should plant two or three for one, for fear of
accidents in their growing.

I will now repeat to you some verses describing the oak in its state of
full growth, or rather of beginning to decay, with the various animals
living upon it—and then we will walk.

            “See where yon _Oak_ its awful structure rears,
            The massy growth of twice a hundred years;
            Survey his rugged trunk with moss o’ergrown,
            His lusty arms in rude disorder thrown,
            His forking branches wide at distance spread,
            And dark’ning half the sky, his lofty head.
            A mighty castle, built by Nature’s hands,
            Peopled by various living tribes, he stands.
            His airy top the clamorous rooks invest,
            And crowd the waving boughs with many a nest.
            Midway the nimble squirrel builds his bower;
            And sharp-billed pies the insect tribes devour
            That gnaw beneath the bark their secret ways,
            While unperceived the stately pile decays.”



                            ALFRED.—A DRAMA.


                         PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.

                     ALFRED   King of England.
                     GUBBA    a Farmer.
                     GANDELIN his Wife.
                     ELLA     an Officer of Alfred.


                     Scene—_The Isle of Athelney_.

_Alfred._ How retired and quiet is everything in this little spot! The
river winds its silent waters round this retreat; and the tangled bushes
of the thicket fence it from the attack of an enemy. The bloody Danes
have not yet pierced into this wild solitude. I believe I am safe from
their pursuit. But I hope I shall find some inhabitants here, otherwise
I shall die of hunger. Ha! here is a narrow path through the wood, and I
think I see the smoke of a cottage rising between the trees. I will bend
my steps thither.


                      Scene—_Before the Cottage_.

              GUBBA _coming forward_. GANDELIN, _within_.

_Alfred._ Good even to you, good man. Are you disposed to show
hospitality to a poor traveller?

_Gubba._ Why truly there are so many poor travellers now-a-days, that if
we entertain them all, we shall have nothing left for ourselves.
However, come along to my wife, and we will see what can be done for
you. Wife, I am very weary: I have been chopping wood all day.

_Gandelin._ You are always ready for your supper, but it is not ready
for you, I assure you: the cakes will take an hour to bake, and the sun
is yet high; it has not yet dipped behind the old barn. But who have you
with you, I trow?

_Alfred._ Good mother, I am a stranger; and entreat you to afford me
food and shelter.

_Gandelin._ Good mother, quotha! Good wife, if you please, and welcome.
But I do not love strangers; and the land has no reason to love them. It
has never been a merry day for Old England since strangers came into it.

_Alfred._ I am not a stranger in England, though I am a stranger here. I
am a trueborn Englishman.

_Gubba._ And do you hate those wicked Danes, that eat us up, and burn
our houses, and drive away our cattle?

_Alfred._ I do hate them.

_Gandelin._ Heartily! he does not speak heartily, husband.

_Alfred._ Heartily I hate them; most heartily.

_Gubba._ Give me thy hand, then; thou art an honest fellow.

_Alfred._ I was with King Alfred in the last battle he fought.

_Gandelin._ With King Alfred? Heaven bless him!

_Gubba._ What is become of our good king?

_Alfred._ Did you love him, then?

_Gubba._ Yes, as much as a poor man may love a king; and kneeled down
and prayed for him every night, that he might conquer those Danish
wolves; but it was not to be so.

_Alfred._ You could not love Alfred better than I did.

_Gubba._ But what is become of him?

_Alfred._ He is thought to be dead.

_Gubba._ Well, these are sad times; Heaven help us! Come, you shall be
welcome to share the brown loaf with us; I suppose you are too sharp set
to be nice.

_Gandelin._ Ay, come with us; you shall be as welcome as a prince! But
hark ye, husband; though I am very willing to be charitable to this
stranger, (it would be a sin to be otherwise,) yet there is no reason he
should not do something to maintain himself: he looks strong and
capable.

_Gubba._ Why, that’s true. What can you do, friend?

_Alfred._ I am very willing to help you in anything you choose to set me
about. It will please me best to earn my bread before I eat it.

_Gubba._ Let me see. Can you tie up fagots neatly?

_Alfred._ I have not been used to it. I am afraid I should be awkward.

_Gubba._ Can you thatch? There is a piece blown off the cowhouse.

_Alfred._ Alas! I cannot thatch.

_Gandelin._ Ask him if he can weave rushes: we want some new baskets.

_Alfred._ I have never learned.

_Gubba._ Can you stack hay?

_Alfred._ No.

_Gubba._ Why, here’s a fellow! and yet he hath as many pair of hands as
his neighbours. Dame, can you employ him in the house? He might lay wood
on the fire, and rub the tables.

_Gandelin._ Let him watch these cakes, then: I must go and milk the
kine.

_Gubba._ And I’ll go and stack the wood, since supper is not ready.

_Gandelin._ But pray, observe, friend; do not let the cakes burn; turn
them often on the hearth.

_Alfred._ I shall observe your directions.

                            ALFRED _alone_.

_Alfred._ For myself, I could bear it: but England, my bleeding country,
for thee my heart is wrung with bitter anguish!—From the Humber to the
Thames the rivers are stained with blood. My brave soldiers cut to
pieces! My poor people—some massacred, others driven from their warm
homes, stripped, abused, insulted; and I, whom Heaven appointed their
shepherd, unable to rescue my defenceless flock from the ravenous jaws
of these devourers! Gracious Heaven! if I am not worthy to save this
land from the Danish sword, raise up some other hero to fight with more
success than I have done, and let me spend my life in this obscure
cottage, in these servile offices: I shall be content if England is
happy. O! here come my blunt host and hostess.

                     _Enter_ GUBBA _and_ GANDELIN.

_Gandelin._ Help me down with the pail, husband. This new milk, with the
cakes, will make an excellent supper: but, mercy on us, how they are
burnt! black as my shoe; they have not once been turned: you oaf, you
lubber, you lazy loon—

_Alfred._ Indeed, dame, I am sorry for it: but my mind was full of sad
thoughts.

_Gubba._ Come, wife, you must forgive him; perhaps he is in love. I
remember when I was in love with thee——

_Gandelin._ You remember!

_Gubba._ Yes, dame, I do remember it, though it is many a long year
since; my mother was making a kettle of furmety—

_Gandelin._ Pr’y thee, hold thy tongue, and let us eat our suppers.

_Alfred._ How refreshing is this sweet new milk, and this wholesome
bread!

_Gubba._ Eat heartily, friend. Where shall we lodge him, Gandelin?

_Gandelin._ We have but one bed you know; but there is fresh straw in
the barn.

_Alfred_ (_aside_). If I shall not lodge like a king, at least I shall
lodge like a soldier. Alas! how many of my poor soldiers are stretched
on the bare ground!

_Gandelin._ What noise do I hear! It is the tramping of horses. Good
husband, go and see what is the matter!

_Alfred._ Heaven forbid my misfortunes should bring destruction on this
simple family! I had rather have perished in the wood.

       GUBBA _returns, followed by_ ELLA, _with his sword drawn_.

_Gandelin._ Mercy defend us, a sword!

_Gubba._ The Danes! the Danes! O, do not kill us!

_Ella_ (_kneeling_). My liege, my lord, my sovereign! have I found you?

_Alfred_ (_embracing him_). My brave Ella!

_Ella._ I bring you good news, my sovereign! Your troops that were shut
up in Kinwith Castle made a desperate sally—the Danes were slaughtered.
The fierce Hubba lies gasping on the plain.

_Alfred._ Is it possible! Am I yet a king!

_Ella._ Their famous standard, the Danish raven, is taken; their troops
are panic-struck; the English soldiers call aloud for _Alfred_. Here is
a letter which will inform you of more particulars. (_Gives a letter._)

_Gubba_ (_aside_). What will become of us? Ah! dame, that tongue of
thine has undone us!

_Gandelin._ O, my poor dear husband! we shall all be hanged, that’s
certain. But who could have thought it was the king?

_Gubba._ Why, Gandelin, do you see we might have guessed he was born to
be a king, or some such great man, because, you know, he was fit for
nothing else.

_Alfred_ (_coming forward_). God be praised for these tidings! Hope is
sprung up out of the depth of despair. O, my friend! shall I again shine
in arms—again fight at the head of my brave Englishmen—lead them on to
victory! Our friends shall now lift their heads again.

_Ella._ Yes, you have many friends, who have long been obliged, like
their master, to skulk in deserts and caves, and wander from cottage to
cottage. When they hear you are alive and in arms again, they will leave
their fastnesses, and flock to your standard.

_Alfred._ I am impatient to meet them: my people shall be revenged.

_Gubba and Gandelin_ (_throwing themselves at the feet of_ ALFRED). O,
my lord——

_Gandelin._ We hope your majesty will put us to a merciful death.
Indeed, we did not know your majesty’s grace.

_Gubba._ If your majesty could but pardon my wife’s tongue; she means no
harm, poor woman!

_Alfred._ Pardon you, good people! I not only pardon you, but thank you.
You have afforded me protection in my distress; and if ever I am seated
again on the throne of England, my first care shall be to reward your
hospitality. I am now going to protect _you_. Come, my faithful Ella, to
arms! to arms! My bosom burns to face once more the haughty Dane; and
here I vow to Heaven, that I will never sheath the sword against these
robbers, till either I lose my life in this just cause, or

            “Till dove-like peace return to England’s shore,
            And war and slaughter vex the land no more.”

[Illustration:

  EVENING VII.
]



                 ON THE PINE AND FIR TRIBE.—A DIALOGUE.

                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry_.


_Tutor._ Let us sit down awhile on this bench, and look about us. What a
charming prospect!

_Harry._ I admire those pleasure-grounds. What beautiful clumps of trees
there are in that lawn!

_George._ But what a dark gloomy wood that is at the back of the house!

_Tut._ It is a fir plantation; and those trees always look dismal in the
summer, when there are so many finer greens to compare them with. But
the winter is their time for show, when other trees are stripped of
their verdure.

_Geo._ Then they are evergreens.

_Tut._ Yes; most of the fir tribe are evergreens; and as they are
generally natives of cold mountainous countries, they contribute greatly
to cheer the wintry landscape.

_Geo._ You were so good when we walked out last, to tell us a great deal
about oaks. I thought it one of the prettiest lessons I ever heard. I
should be glad if you would give us such another about firs.

_Har._ So should I, too, I’m sure.

_Tut._ With all my heart, and I am pleased that you ask me. Nothing is
so great an encouragement to a tutor as to find his pupils of their own
accord seeking after useful knowledge.

_Geo._ And I think it is very useful to know such things as these.

_Tut._ Certainly it is. Well, then—you may know the pine or fir tribe in
general at first sight, as most of them are of a bluish-green colour,
and all have leaves consisting of a strong narrow pointed blade, which
gives them somewhat of a stiff appearance. Then all of them bear a hard
scaly fruit, of a longish or conical form.

_Har._ Are they what we call fir-apples?

_Tut._ Yes; that is one of the names boys give them.

_Har._ We often pick them up under trees, and throw them at each other.

_Geo._ I have sometimes brought home my pocket full to burn. They make a
fine clear flame.

_Tut._ Well—do you know where the seeds lie in them.

_Geo._ No—have they any?

_Tut._ Yes—at the bottom of every scale lie two winged seeds; but when
the scales open, the seeds fall out: so that you can seldom find any in
those you pick up.

_Har._ Are the seeds good for anything?

_Tut._ There is a kind of pine in the south of Europe called the
_stone-pine_, the kernels of which are eaten, and said to be as sweet as
an almond. And birds pick out the seeds of other sorts, though they are
so well defended by the woody scales.

_Har._ They must have good strong bills then.

_Tut._ Of this tribe of trees a variety of species are found in
different countries, and are cultivated in this. But the only kind
native here is the _wild-pine_ or _Scotch-fir_. Of this, there are large
natural forests in the Highlands of Scotland; and the principal
plantations consist of it. It is a hardy sort, fit for barren and
mountainous soils, but grows slowly.

_Geo._ Pray, what are those very tall trees that grow in two rows before
the old hall in our village?

_Tut._ They are the _common_ or _spruce fir_, a native of Norway, and
other northern countries, and one of the loftiest of the tribe. But
observe those trees that grow singly in the grounds opposite to us with
widespread branches spreading downward, and trailing on the ground,
thence gradually lessening till the top of the tree ends almost in a
point.

_Har._ What beautiful trees!

_Tut._ They are the Pines called _Larches_, natives of the Alps and
Apennines, introduced into this country about the middle of the last
century, for the purpose, at first, of decorating our gardens, and of
which extensive plantations for timber have since been made, both in
England and Scotland. These are not properly evergreens, as they shed
their leaves in winter, but quickly recover them again. Then we have
besides the _Weymouth pine_, which is the tallest species in America—the
_silver fir_, so called from the silvery hue of its foliage—the
_pinaster_—and a tree of ancient fame, the _cedar of Lebanon_.

_Geo._ I suppose that is a very great tree?

_Tut._ It grows to a large size, but is slow in coming to its full
growth.

_Geo._ Are pines and firs very useful trees?

_Tut._ Perhaps the most so of any. By much the greatest part of the wood
at present used among us comes from them.

_Har._ What—more than from the oak?

_Tut._ Yes, much more. Almost all the timber used in building houses,
for floors, beams, rafters, and roofs, is fir.

_Geo._ Does it all grow in this country?

_Tut._ Scarcely any of it. Norway, Sweden, and Russia, are the countries
from which we draw our timber, and a vast trade there is in it. You have
seen timber-yards?

_Geo._ O yes—several.

_Tut._ In them you would observe some very long thick beams, called
balks. These are whole trees, only stripped of the bark and squared. You
would also see great piles of planks and boards, of different lengths
and thickness. Those are called _deal_, and are brought over ready sawn
from the countries where they grow. They are of different colours. The
white are chiefly from the fir-tree; the yellow and red from the pine.

_Har._ I suppose there must be great forests of them in those countries,
or else they could not send us so much.

_Tut._ Yes: the mountains of Norway are overrun with them, enough for
the supply of all Europe; but on account of their ruggedness, and the
want of roads, it is found impossible to get the trees, when felled,
down to the seacoast, unless they grow near some river.

_Geo._ How do they manage then?

_Tut._ They take the opportunity when the rivers are swelled with rains
or melted snow, and tumble the trees into them, when they are carried
down to the mouth of the rivers, where they are stopped by a kind of
pens.

_Har._ I should like to see them swimming down the stream.

_Tut._ Yes—it would be curious enough; for in some places these torrents
roll over rocks, making steep waterfalls, down which the trees are
carried headlong, and do not rise again till they are got to a great
distance; and many of them are broken, and torn to pieces in the
passage.

_Geo._ Are these woods used for anything besides building?

_Tut._ For a variety of purposes; such as boxes, trunks, packing-cases,
pales, wainscots, and the like. Deal is a very soft wood, easily worked,
light, and cheap, which makes it preferred for so many uses, though it
is not very durable, and is very liable to split.

_Har._ Yes—I know my box is made of deal, and the lid is split all to
pieces with driving nails into it.

_Geo._ Are ships ever built with fir?

_Tut._ It was one of the first woods made use of for naval purposes; and
in the poets you will find the words _pine_ and _fir_ frequently
employed to signify _ship_. But as navigation has improved, the stronger
and more durable woods have generally taken its place. However, in the
countries where fir is very plentiful, large ships are still built with
it; for though they last but a short time, they cost so little in
proportion, that the profit of a few voyages is sufficient to repay the
expense. Then, from the great lightness of the wood, they swim higher in
the water, and consequently will bear more loading. Most of the large
ships that bring timber from Archangel, in Russia, are built of fir. As
for the masts of ships, those I have already told you are all made of
fir or pine, on account of their straightness and lightness.

_Geo._ Are there not some lines in Milton’s _Paradise Lost_ about that?

_Tut._ Yes: the spear of Satan is magnified by a comparison with a lofty
pine.

              His spear, to equal which the tallest pine,
              Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
              Of some great admiral, were but a wand.

_Har._ I remember, too, that the walking-staff of the giant Polypheme
was a pine.

_Tut._ Ay—so Homer and Ovid tell us, and he must have been a giant
indeed, to use such a stick. Well, so much for the wood of these trees.
But I have more to say about their uses.

_Har._ I am glad of it.

_Tut._ All of the tribe contain a juice of a bitterish taste and strong
fragrant smell. This, in some, is so abundant as to flow out from
incisions; when it is called _turpentine_. The larch, in particular,
yields a large quantity. Turpentine is one of the substances called
resinous; it is sticky, transparent, very inflammable, and will not mix
_with_ water, but will dissolve in spirits of wine.

_Geo._ What is it used for?

_Tut._ It is used medicinally, particularly in the composition of
plasters and ointments. It also is an ingredient in varnishes, cements,
and the like. An oil distilled from turpentine is employed in medicine,
and is much used by painters for mixing up their colours. What remains
after getting this oil is common _resin_. All these substances take fire
very easily, and burn with a great flame; and the wood of the pine has
so much of this quality, when dry, that it is often used for torches.

_Har._ I know deal shavings burn very briskly.

_Geo._ Yes; and matches are made of bits of deal dipped in brimstone.

_Tut._ True,—and when it was the custom to burn the bodies of the dead,
as you read in Homer and other old authors, the pines and pitch-trees
composed great part of the funeral pile.

_Har._ But what are pitch-trees? Does pitch grow upon trees?

_Tut._ I was going on to tell you about that. _Tar_ is a product of the
trees of this kind, especially of one species, called the pitch-pine.
The wood is burnt in a sort of oven made in the earth, and the resinous
juice sweats out, and acquires a peculiar taste and a black colour from
the fire. This is tar. Tar when boiled down to dryness becomes _pitch_.

_Geo._ Tar and pitch are chiefly used about ships; are they not?

_Tut._ They resist moisture, and therefore are of great service in
preventing things from decaying that are exposed to wet. For this
reason, the cables and other ropes of ships are well soaked with tar;
and the sides of ships are covered with pitch mixed with other
ingredients. Their seams, too, or the places where the planks join, are
filled with tow dipped in a composition of resin, tallow, and pitch, to
keep out the water. Wood for paling, for piles, for coverings of roofs
and other purposes of the like nature, is often tarred over. Cisterns
and casks are pitched to prevent leaking.

_Har._ But what are sheep tarred for after they are sheared?

_Tut._ To cure wounds and sores in their skin. For the like purposes an
ointment made with tar is often rubbed upon children’s heads. Several
parts of the pine are medicinal. The tops and green cones of the
spruce-fir are fermented with treacle, and the liquor, called
_spruce-beer_, is much drunk in America, particularly for the scurvy.

_Geo._ Is it pleasant?

_Tut._ Not to those who are unaccustomed to it. Well—I have now finished
my lesson, so let us walk.

_Har._ Shall we go through the grounds?

_Tut._ Yes; and then we will view some of the different kinds of fir and
pine more closely, and I will show you the difference of their leaves
and cones, by which they are distinguished.



               ON DIFFERENT STATIONS IN LIFE.—A DIALOGUE.


Little Sally Meanwell had one day been to pay an afternoon’s visit to
Miss Harriet, the daughter of Sir Thomas Pemberton. The evening proving
rainy, she was sent home in Sir Thomas’s coach; and on her return, the
following conversation passed between her and her mother:—

_Mrs. Meanwell._ Well, my dear, I hope you have had a pleasant visit?

_Sally._ O yes, mamma, very pleasant; you cannot think how many fine
things I have seen. And then it is so charming to ride in a coach!

_Mrs. M._ I suppose Miss Harriet showed you all her playthings?

_Sally._ O yes, such fine large dolls, so smartly dressed as I never saw
in my life before. Then she has a baby-house, and all sorts of furniture
in it; and a grotto all made of shells, and shining stones. And then she
showed me all her fine clothes for the next ball; there’s a white slip
all full of spangles, and pink ribands; you can’t think how beautiful it
looks!

_Mrs. M._ And what did you admire most of all these fine things?

_Sally._ I don’t know—I admired them all; and I think I liked riding in
the coach better than all the rest. Why don’t we keep a coach; and why
have I not such fine clothes and playthings as Miss Harriet?

_Mrs. M._ Because we cannot afford it, my dear. Your papa is not so rich
by a great deal, as Sir Thomas; and if we were to lay out our money upon
such things, we should not be able to procure food and raiment and other
necessaries for you all.

_Sally._ But why is not papa as rich as Sir Thomas?

_Mrs. M._ Sir Thomas had a large estate left him by his father; but your
papa has little but what he gains by his own industry.

_Sally._ But why should not papa be as rich as anybody else? I am sure
he deserves it as well.

_Mrs. M._ Do you not think that there are a great many people poorer
than he, that are also very deserving?

_Sally._ Are there?

_Mrs. M._ Yes, to be sure. Don’t you know what a number of poor people
there are all around us, who have few of the comforts we enjoy? What do
you think of Ploughman the labourer? I believe you never saw him idle in
your life.

_Sally._ No; he is gone to work long before I am up, and he does not
return till almost bedtime, unless it be for his dinner.

_Mrs. M._ Well! how do you think his wife and children live? should you
like that we should change places with them?

_Sally._ O, no! they are so dirty and ragged.

_Mrs. M._ They are, indeed, poor creatures; but I am afraid they suffer
worse evils than that.

_Sally._ What mamma?

_Mrs. M._ Why I am afraid they often do not get as much victuals as they
could eat. And then in winter they must be half frozen for want of fire
and warm clothing. How do you think you could bear all this?

_Sally._ Indeed, I don’t know. But I have seen Ploughman’s wife carry
great brown loaves into the house; and I remember once eating some brown
bread and milk, and I thought it very good.

_Mrs. M._ I believe you would not much like it constantly; besides, they
can hardly get enough of that. But you seem to know almost as little of
the poor as the young French princess did.

_Sally._ What was that, mamma?

_Mrs. M._ Why, there had been one year so bad a harvest in France that
numbers of the poor were famished to death. This calamity was so much
talked of, that it reached the court, and was mentioned before the young
princesses. “Dear me!” said one of them, “how _silly_ that was! Why,
rather than be famished, I would eat bread and cheese.” Her governess
was then obliged to acquaint her that the greatest part of her father’s
subjects scarcely ever eat anything better than black bread all their
lives; and that vast numbers would now think themselves very happy to
get only half their usual pittance of that. Such wretchedness as this
was what the princess had not the least idea of; and the account shocked
her so much, that she was glad to sacrifice all her finery to afford
some relief to the sufferings of the poor.

_Sally._ But I hope there is nobody famished in our country.

_Mrs. M._ I hope not, for we have laws by which every person is entitled
to relief from the parish, if he is unable to gain a subsistence; and
were there no laws about it, I am sure it would be our duty to part with
every superfluity, rather than let a fellow-creature perish for want of
necessaries.

_Sally._ Then do you think it was wrong for Miss Pemberton to have all
those fine things?

_Mrs. M._ No, my dear, if they are suitable to her fortune, and do not
consume the money which ought to be employed in more useful things to
herself and others.

_Sally._ But why might she not be contented with such things as I have;
and give the money that the rest cost to the poor?

_Mrs. M._ Because she can afford both to be charitable to the poor, and
also to indulge herself in these pleasures. But do you recollect that
the children of Mr. White the baker, and Mr. Shape the tailor, might
just ask the same questions about you?

_Sally._ How so?

_Mrs. M._ Are not you as much better dressed, and as much more
plentifully supplied with playthings than they are, as Miss Harriet is
than you?

_Sally._ Why, I believe I may, for I remember Polly White was very glad
of one of my old dolls; and Nancy Shape cried for such a sash as mine,
but her mother would not let her have one.

_Mrs. M._ Then you see, my dear, that there are many who have fewer
things to be thankful for than _you_ have; and you may also learn what
ought to be the true measure of the expectations of children, and the
indulgences of parents.

_Sally._ I don’t quite understand you, mamma.

_Mrs. M._ Everything ought to be suited to the station in which we live
or are likely to live, and the wants and duties of it. Your papa and I
do not grudge laying out part of our money to promote the innocent
pleasure of our children: but it would be very wrong in us to lay out so
much on this account as would oblige us to spare in more necessary
articles; as in their education, and the common household expenses
required in our way of living. Besides, it would be so far from making
you happier, that it would be doing you the greatest injury.

_Sally._ How could that be, mamma?

_Mrs. M._ If you were now to be dressed like Miss Pemberton, don’t you
think you would be greatly mortified at being worse dressed when you
came to be a young woman?

_Sally._ I believe I should, mamma; for then perhaps I might go to
assemblies; and to be sure I should like to be as smart then as at any
time.

_Mrs. M._ Well, but it would be still more improper for us to dress you
then beyond our circumstances, because your necessary clothes will then
cost more, you know. Then, if we were now to hire a coach or chair for
you to go visiting in, should you like to leave it off ever afterward?
But you have no reason to expect that you will be able to have those
indulgences when you are a woman. And so it is in everything else. The
more fine things, and the more gratifications you have now, the more you
will require hereafter: for custom makes things so familiar to us, that
while we enjoy them less we want them more.

_Sally._ How is that, mamma?

_Mrs. M._ Why, don’t you think you have enjoyed your ride in the coach
this evening more than Miss Harriet should have done?

_Sally._ I suppose I have; because if Miss Harriet liked it so well, she
would be always riding, for I know she might have the coach whenever she
pleased.

_Mrs. M._ But if you were both told that you were never to ride in a
coach again, which would think it the greater hardship? You could walk,
you know, as you have always done before; but she would rather stay at
home, I believe, than expose herself to the cold wind, and trudge
through the wet and dirt in pattens.

_Sally._ I believe so, too; and now, mamma, I see that all you have told
me is very right.

_Mrs. M._ Well, my dear, let it dwell upon your mind, so as to make you
cheerful and contented in your station, which you see is so much happier
than that of many and many other children. So now we will talk no more
on the subject.

[Illustration:

  EVENING VIII.
]



                              THE ROOKERY.


                 “There the hoarse-voiced hungry rook,
                 Near her stick-built nest doth croak,
                 Waving on the topmost bough.”

These lines Mr. Stangrove repeated pointing up to a rookery, as he was
walking in an avenue of tall trees, with his son Francis.

_Francis._ Is that a rookery, papa?

_Mr. Stangrove._ It is. Do you hear what a cawing the birds make?

_Fr._ Yes; and I see them hopping about among the boughs. Pray, are not
rooks the same with crows?

_Mr. St._ They are a species of crow; but they differ from the carrion
crow and raven in not living upon dead flesh, but upon corn and other
seeds, and grass. They indeed pick up beetles and other insects and
worms. See what a number of them have lighted on yonder ploughed field,
almost blackening it over.

_Fr._ What are they doing?

_Mr. St._ Searching for grubs and worms. You see the men in the field do
not molest them, for they do a great deal of service by destroying
grubs, which, if they were suffered to grow to winged insects, would do
much mischief to the trees and plants.

_Fr._ But do they hurt the corn?

_Mr. St._ Yes, they tear up a good deal of green corn, if they are not
driven away. But upon the whole, rooks are reckoned the farmers’
friends; and they do not choose to have them destroyed.

_Fr._ Do all rooks live in rookeries?

_Mr. St._ It is the general nature of them to associate together, and
build in numbers on the same or adjoining trees. But this is often in
the midst of woods or natural groves. However, they have no objections
to the neighbourhood of man, but readily take to a plantation of tall
trees, though it be close to a house; and this is commonly called a
rookery. They will even fix their habitations on trees in the midst of
towns; and I have seen a rookery in a churchyard in one of the closest
parts of London.

_Fr._ I think a rookery is a sort of town itself.

_Mr. St._ It is: a village in the air, peopled with numerous
inhabitants; and nothing can be more amusing than to view them all in
motion, flying to and fro, and busied in their several occupations. The
spring is their busiest time. Early in the year they begin to repair
their nests or build new ones.

_Fr._ Do they all work together or every one for itself?

_Mr. St._ Each pair, after they have coupled, build their own nest; and
instead of helping, they are very apt to steal the materials from one
another. If both birds go out at once in search of sticks, they often
find at their return, the work all destroyed, and the materials carried
off; so that one of them generally stays at home to keep watch. However,
I have met with a story which shows that they are not without some sense
of the criminality of thieving. There was in a rookery a lazy pair of
rooks, who never went out to get sticks for themselves, but made a
practice of watching when their neighbours were abroad, and helped
themselves from their nests. They had served most of the community in
this manner and by these means had just finished their own nest; when
all the other rooks in a rage, fell upon them at once, pulled their nest
in pieces, beat them soundly, and drove them from their society.

_Fr._ That was very right—I should have liked to have seen it. But why
do they live together if they do not help one another?

_Mr. St._ They probably receive pleasure from the company of their own
kind, as men and various other creatures do. Then, though they do not
assist one another in building, they are mutually serviceable in many
ways. If a large bird of prey hovers about a rookery for the purpose of
carrying off any of the young ones, they all unite to drive him away.
When they are feeding in a flock, several are placed as sentinels upon
the trees all round, who give the alarm if any danger approaches. They
often go a long way from home to feed; but every evening the whole flock
returns, making a loud cawing as they fly, as if to direct and call in
the stragglers. The older rooks take the lead: you may distinguish them
by the whiteness of their bills, occasioned by their frequent digging in
the ground, by which the black feathers at the root of the bill are worn
off.

_Fr._ Do rooks always keep to the same trees?

_Mr. St._ Yes; they are much attached to them, and when the trees happen
to be cut down, they seem greatly distressed, and keep hovering about
them as they are falling, and will scarcely desert them when they lie on
the ground.

_Fr._ Poor things! I suppose they feel as we should if our town was
burnt down or overthrown by an earthquake.

_Mr. St._ No doubt. The societies of animals greatly resemble those of
men; and that of rooks is like those of men in a savage state, such as
the communities of the North American Indians. It is a sort of league
for mutual aid and defence, but in which every one is left to do as he
pleases, without any obligation to employ himself for the whole body.
Others unite in a manner resembling more civilized societies of men.
This is the case with the beavers. They perform great public works by
the united efforts of the whole community, such as damming up streams,
and constructing mounds for their habitations. As these are works of
great art and labour, some of them must probably act under the direction
of others, and be compelled to work whether they will or not. Many
curious stories are told to this purpose by those who have observed them
in their remotest haunts, where they exercise their full sagacity.

_Fr._ But are they all true?

_Mr. St._ That is more than I can answer for; yet what we certainly know
of the economy of bees may justify us in believing extraordinary things
of the sagacity of animals. The society of bees goes farther than that
of beavers, and, in some respects, beyond most among men themselves.
They not only inhabit a common dwelling, and perform great works in
common, but they lay up a store of provision, which is the property of
the whole community, and is not used except at certain seasons, and
under certain regulations. A beehive is a true image of a commonwealth,
where no member acts for himself alone, but for the whole body.

_Fr._ But there are drones among them who do not work at all.

_Mr. St._ Yes; and at the approach of winter they are driven out of the
hive, and left to perish with cold and hunger. But I have not leisure at
present to tell you more about bees. You shall one day see them at work
in a glass hive. In the meantime, remember one thing, which applies to
all the societies of animals; and I wish it did as well to all those of
men likewise.

_Fr._ What is that?

_Mr. St._ The principle upon which they all associate, is to obtain some
benefit for the _whole body_, not to give particular advantages to a
few.



                               THE SHIP.


Charles Osborn, when at home in the holydays, had a visit from a
schoolfellow who was just entered as a midshipman on board of a
man-of-war. _Tom Hardy_ (that was his name) was a free-hearted, spirited
lad, and a favourite among his companions; but he never liked his book,
and had left school ignorant of almost everything he came there to
learn. What was worse, he had got a contempt for learning of all kinds,
and was fond of showing it. “What does your father mean,” says he, to
Charles, “to keep you moping and studying over things of no use in the
world but to plague folks?—Why can’t you go into his majesty’s service
like me, and be made a gentleman of? You are old enough, and I know you
are a lad of spirit.” This kind of talk made some impression upon young
_Osborn_. He became less attentive to the lessons his father set him,
and less willing to enter into instructive conversation. This change
gave his father much concern; but as he knew the cause, he thought it
best, instead of employing direct authority, to attempt to give a new
impression to his son’s mind, which might counteract the effect of his
companion’s suggestions.

Being acquainted with an East India captain, who was on the point of
sailing, he went with his son to pay him a farewell visit on board his
ship. They were shown all about the vessel, and viewed all the
preparations for so long a voyage. They saw her weigh anchor and unfurl
her sails; and they took leave of their friend amid the shouts of the
seamen and all the bustle of departure.

Charles was highly delighted with this scene, and as they were returning
could think and talk of nothing else. It was easy, therefore, for his
father to lead him into the following train of discourse:—

After Charles had been warmly expressing his admiration of the grand
sight of a large ship completely fitted out and getting under sail, “I
do not wonder,” said his father, “that you are so much struck with it;
it is, in reality, one of the finest spectacles created by human skill,
and the noblest triumph of art over untaught nature. Near two thousand
years ago, when Julius Cesar came over to this island, he found the
natives in possession of no other kind of vessel than a sort of canoe,
formed of wickerwork covered with hides, no bigger than a man or two
could carry. But the largest ship in Cesar’s fleet was not more superior
to these, than the Indiaman you have been seeing is to what that was.
Our savage ancestors ventured only to paddle along the rivers and
coasts, or cross small arms of the sea in calm weather; and Cesar
himself would have been alarmed to be a few days out of sight of land.
But the ship we have just left is going by itself to the opposite side
of the globe, prepared to encounter the tempestuous winds and
mountainous waves of the vast Southern ocean, and to find its way to its
destined port, though many weeks must pass with nothing in view but sea
and sky. Now what do you think can be the cause of this prodigious
difference in the powers of man at one period and another?”

Charles was silent.

_Fa._ Is it not that there is a great deal more knowledge in one than in
the other?

_Ch._ To be sure it is.

_Fa._ Would it not, think you, be as impossible for any number of men
untaught, by their utmost efforts, to build and navigate such a ship as
we have seen, as to fly through the air?

_Ch._ I suppose it would.

_Fa._ That we may be the more sensible of this, let us consider how many
arts and professions are necessary for this purpose. Come—you shall
begin to name them, and if you forget any, I will put you in mind. What
is the first?

_Ch._ The ship-carpenter, I think.

_Fa._ True—what does he do?

_Ch._ He builds the ship.

_Fa._ How is that done?

_Ch._ By fastening the planks and beams together.

_Fa._ But do you suppose he can do this as a common carpenter makes a
box or set of shelves?

_Ch._ I do not know.

_Fa._ Do you not think that such a vast bulk requires a good deal of
contrivance to bring it into shape, and fit it for all its purposes?

_Ch._ Yes.

_Fa._ Some ships, you have heard, sail quicker than others—some bear
storms better—some carry more lading—some draw less water—and so on. You
do not suppose all these things are left to chance?

_Ch._ No.

_Fa._ In order to produce these effects with certainty, it is necessary
to study proportions very exactly, and to lay down an accurate scale by
mathematical lines and figures after which to build the ship. Much has
been written upon this subject, and nice calculations have been made of
the resistance a ship meets with in making way through the water, and
the best means of overcoming it; also of the action of the wind on the
sails, and their action in pushing on the ship by means of the masts.
All these must be understood by a perfect master of ship-building.

_Ch._ But I think I know ship-builders who have never had an education
to fit them for understanding these things.

_Fa._ Very likely; but they have followed by rote the rules laid down by
others; and as they work merely by imitation, they cannot alter or
improve as occasion may require. Then, though common merchant-ships are
trusted to such builders, yet, in constructing men-of-war and Indiamen
persons of science are always employed. The French, however, attend to
this matter more than we do, and, in consequence, their ships generally
sail better than ours.

_Ch._ But need a captain of a ship know all these things?

_Fa._ It may not be absolutely necessary; yet occasions may frequently
arise in which it would be of great advantage for him to be able to
judge and give direction in these matters. But suppose the ship
built—what comes next?

_Ch._ I think she must be rigged.

_Fa._ Well—who are employed for this purpose?

_Ch._ Mast-makers, ropemakers, sailmakers, and I know not how many other
people.

_Fa._ These are all mechanical trades; and though in carrying them on
much ingenuity has been applied in the invention of machines and tools,
yet we will not stop to consider them. Suppose her, then, rigged—what
next?

_Ch._ She must take in her guns and powder.

_Fa._ Stop there and reflect how many arts you have now set to work.
Gunpowder is one of the greatest inventions of modern times, and what
has given such a superiority to civilized nations over the barbarous? An
English frigate, surrounded by the canoes of all the savages in the
world, would easily beat them off by means of her guns; and if Cesar
were to come again to England with his fleet, a battery of cannon would
sink all his ships, and set his legions a swimming in the sea. But the
making of gunpowder, and the casting of cannon, are arts that require an
exact knowledge of the science of _Chymistry_.

_Ch._ What is that?

_Fa._ It comprehends the knowledge of all the properties of metals and
minerals, salts, sulphur, oils, and gums, and of the action of fire, and
water, and air upon all substances, and the effects of mixing different
things together. Gunpowder is a mixture of three things only; saltpetre
or nitre, sulphur or brimstone, and charcoal. But who could have thought
such a wonderful effect would have been produced by it?

_Ch._ Was it not first discovered by accident?

_Fa._ Yes; but it was by one who was making chymical experiments, and
many more experiments have been employed to bring it to perfection.

_Ch._ But need a captain know how to make gunpowder and cannon?

_Fa._ It is not necessary, though it may often be useful to him.
However, it is quite necessary that he should know how to employ them.
Now the sciences of gunnery and fortification depend entirely upon
mathematical principles; for by these are calculated the direction of a
ball through the air, the distance it would reach to, and the force with
which it will strike any thing. All engineers, therefore, must be good
mathematicians.

_Ch._ But I think have heard of gunners being little better than common
men.

_Fa._ True—there is a way of doing that business, as well as many
others, by mere practice: and an uneducated man may acquire skill in
pointing a cannon, as well as in shooting with a common gun. But this is
only in ordinary cases, and an abler head is required to direct.
Well—now suppose your ship completely fitted out for sea, and the wind
blowing fair; how will you navigate her?

_Ch._ I would spread the sails, and steer by the rudder.

_Fa._ Very well—but how would you find your way to the port you are
bound for?

_Ch._ That I cannot tell.

_Fa._ Nor, perhaps, can I make you exactly comprehend it; but I can show
you enough to convince you that it is an affair that requires much
knowledge and early study. In former times, when a vessel left the sight
of land, it was steered by observation of the sun by day, and the moon
and stars by night. The sun, you know, rises in the east, and sets in
the west; and at noon, in these parts of the world, it is exactly south
of us. These points, therefore, may be found out when the sun shines.
The moon and stars vary: however, their place in the sky may be known by
exact observation. Then, there is one star that always points to the
north pole, and is therefore called the pole-star. This was of great use
in navigation, and the word pole-star is often used by the poets to
signify a sure guide. Do you recollect the description in Homer’s
Odyssey, when Ulysses sails away by himself from the island of
Calypso—how he steers by the stars?

_Ch._ I think I remember the lines in Pope’s translation.

_Fa._ Repeat them, then.

_Ch._

           “Placed at the helm he sat, and mark’d the skies,
           Nor closed in sleep his ever-watchful eyes;
           There view’d the Pleiades, and the Northern Team,
           And great Orion’s more effulgent beam,
           To which, around the axle of the sky,
           The Bear revolving points his golden eye:
           Who shines exalted on th’ ethereal plain,
           Nor bathes his blazing forehead in the main.”

_Fa._ Very well; they are fine lines, indeed! You see, then, how long
ago sailors thought it necessary to study astronomy. But as it
frequently happens, especially in stormy weather, that the stars are not
to be seen, this method was subject to great uncertainty, which rendered
it dangerous to undertake distant voyages. At length, near 500 years
since, a property was discovered in a mineral, called the magnet or
loadstone, which removed the difficulty. This was, its _polarity_, or
quality of always pointing to the poles of the earth, that is, due north
and south. This it can communicate to any piece of iron; so that a
needle well rubbed in a particular manner by a loadstone, and then
balanced upon its centre so as to turn round freely, will always point
to the north. With an instrument called a mariner’s compass, made of one
of these needles, and a card marked with all the points—north, south,
east, west, and the divisions between these, a ship may be steered to
any part of the globe.

_Ch._ It is a very easy matter, then.

_Fa._ Not quite so easy, neither. In a long voyage, cross or contrary
winds blow a ship out of her direct course, so that without nice
calculations both of the straight track she has gone, and all the
deviations from it, the sailors would not know where they were, nor to
what point to steer. It is also frequently necessary to take
observations, as they call it; that is, to observe with an instrument
where the sun’s place in the sky is at noon, by which they can determine
the _latitude_ they are in. Other observations are necessary to
determine their _longitude_. What these mean, I can show you upon the
globe. It is enough now to say that, by means of both together, they can
tell the exact spot they are on at any time; and then, by consulting
their map, and setting their compass, they can steer right to the place
they want. But all this requires a very exact knowledge of astronomy,
the use of the globes, mathematics, and arithmetic, which you may
suppose is not to be acquired without much study. A great number of
curious instruments have been invented to assist in these operations; so
that there is scarcely any matter in which so much art and science have
been employed as in navigation; and none but a very learned and
civilized nation can excel in it.

_Ch._ But how is Tom Hardy to do? for I am pretty sure he does not
understand any of these things.

_Fa._ He must learn them, if he means to come to anything in his
profession. He may, indeed, head a pressgang, or command a boat’s crew
without them; but he will never be fit to take charge of a man-of-war,
or even a merchant-ship.

_Ch._ However, he need not learn Latin and Greek.

_Fa._ I cannot say, indeed, that a sailor has occasion for those
languages; but a knowledge of Latin makes it much easier to acquire all
modern languages; and I hope you do not think them unnecessary to him.

_Ch._ I did not know they were of much importance.

_Fa._ No! Do you think that one who may probably visit most countries in
Europe, and their foreign settlements, should be able to converse in no
other language than his own? If the knowledge of languages is not useful
to _him_, I know not to whom it is so. He can hardly do at all without
knowing some; and the more the better.

_Ch._ Poor Tom! then I doubt he has not chosen so well as he thinks.

_Fa._ I doubt so, too.

Here ended the conversation. They soon after reached home, and Charles
did not forget to desire his father to show him on the globe what
longitude and latitude meant.



                      THINGS BY THEIR RIGHT NAMES.


_Charles._ Papa, you grow very lazy. Last winter you used to tell us
stories, and now you never tell us any; and we are all got round the
fire quite ready to hear you. Pray, dear papa, let us have a very pretty
one.

_Father._ With all my heart—What shall it be?

_Ch._ A bloody murder, papa!

_Fa._ A bloody murder! Well then—once upon a time some men dressed all
alike....

_Ch._ With black crapes over their faces?

_Fa._ No; they had steel caps on.—having crossed a dark heath, wound
cautiously along the skirts of a deep forest....

_Ch._ They were ill-looking fellows, I dare say?

_Fa._ I cannot say so; on the contrary, they were as tall, personable
men as most one shall see: leaving on their right hand an old ruined
tower on the hill....

_Ch._ At midnight, just as the clock struck twelve; was it not, papa?

_Fa._ No, really; it was on a fine balmy summer’s morning;—they moved
forward, one behind another....

_Ch._ As still as death, creeping along under the hedges?

_Fa._ On the contrary—they walked remarkably upright; and so far from
endeavouring to be hushed and still, they made a loud noise as they came
along, with several sorts of instruments.

_Ch._ But, papa, they would be found out immediately.

_Fa._ They did not seem to wish to conceal themselves: on the contrary,
they gloried in what they were about. They moved forward, I say, to a
large plain, where stood a neat pretty village which they set on fire.

_Ch._ Set a village on fire, wicked wretches!

_Fa._ And while it was burning they murdered—twenty thousand men.

_Ch._ O fie! papa! You don’t intend I should believe this; I thought all
along you were making up a tale, as you often do; but you shall not
catch me this time. What! they lay still, I suppose, and let these
fellows cut their throats?

_Fa._ No, truly, they resisted as long as they could.

_Ch._ How should these men kill twenty thousand people, pray?

_Fa._ Why not? the _murderers_ were thirty thousand.

_Ch._ O, now I have found you out! you mean a BATTLE.

_Fa._ Indeed I do. I do not know any _murders_ half so bloody.

[Illustration:

  EVENING IX.
]



                     THE TRANSMIGRATIONS OF INDUR.


At the time when fairies and genii possessed the powers which they have
now lost, there lived in the country of the Bramins, a man named Indur,
who was distinguished, not only for that gentleness of disposition and
humanity towards all living creatures, which are so much cultivated
among those people, but for an insatiable curiosity respecting the
nature and way of life of all animals. In pursuit of knowledge of this
kind he would frequently spend the night among lonely rocks, or in the
midst of thick forests; and there under shelter of a hanging cliff, or
mounted upon a high tree, he would watch the motions and actions of all
the animals that seek their prey in the night; and remaining in the same
spot till the break of day, he would observe this tribe of creatures
retiring to their dens, and all others coming forth to enjoy the beams
of the rising sun. On these occasions, if he saw any opportunity of
exercising his benevolence toward animals in distress, he never failed
to make use of it; and many times rescued the small bird from the
pitiless hawk, and the lamb or kid from the gripe of the wolf and lynx.
One day as he was sitting on a tree in the forest, a little frolicsome
monkey, in taking a great leap from one bough to another, chanced to
miss its hold, and fell from a great height to the ground. As it lay
there unable to move, Indur espied a large venomous serpent advancing to
make the poor defenceless creature his prey. He immediately descended
from his post, and taking the little monkey in his arms, ran with it to
the tree, and gently placed it upon a bough. In the meantime, the
enraged serpent pursuing him, overtook him before he could mount the
tree, and bit him in the leg. Presently, the limb began to swell, and
the effects of the venom became visible over Indur’s whole frame. He
grew faint, sick, and pale; and sinking on the ground was sensible that
his last moments were fast approaching. As thus he lay, he was surprised
to hear a human voice from the tree; and looking up, he beheld, on the
bow where he had placed the monkey, a beautiful woman, who thus
addressed him:—“Indur, I am truly grieved that thy kindness to me should
have been the cause of thy destruction. Know that, in the form of the
poor monkey, it was the potent fairy Perizinda to whom thou gavest
succour. Obliged to pass a certain number of days every year under the
shape of an animal, I have chosen this form; and though not mortal, I
should have suffered extreme agonies from the bite of the serpent, hadst
thou not so humanely assisted me. It is not in my power to prevent the
fatal effect of the poison; but I am able to grant thee any wish thou
shalt form respecting the future state of existence to which thou art
now hastening. Speak then, before it be too late, and let me show my
gratitude.”—“Great Perizinda!” replied Indur, “since you deign so
bounteously to return my service, this is the request that I make; in
all my transmigrations may I retain a rational soul, with the memory of
the adventures I have gone through; and when death sets me free from one
body, may I instantly animate another in the prime of its powers and
faculties, without passing through the helpless state of infancy.”—“It
is granted,” answered the fairy; and immediately, breaking a small
branch from the tree, and breathing on it, she threw it down to Indur,
and bid him hold it fast in his hand. He did so, and presently expired.

Instantly, he found himself in a green valley, by the side of a clear
stream, grazing amid a herd of antelopes. He admired his elegant shape,
sleek, spotted skin, and polished spiral horns; and drank with delight
of the cool rivulet, cropped the juicy herb, and sported with his
companions. Soon an alarm was given of the approach of an enemy; and
they all set off with the swiftness of the wind, to the neighbouring
immense plains, where they were presently out of the reach of injury.
Indur was highly delighted with the ease and rapidity of his motions;
and snuffing the keen air of the desert, bounded away, scarcely deigning
to touch the ground with his feet. This way of life went on very
pleasantly for some time, till at length the herd was one morning
alarmed with noises of trumpets, drums, and loud shouts on every side.
They started, and ran first to the right, then to the left, but were
continually driven back by the surrounding crowd, which now appeared to
be a whole army of hunters, with the king of the country, and all his
nobles, assembled at a solemn chase, after the manner of the Eastern
people. And now the circle began to close, and numbers of affrighted
animals of various kinds thronged together in the centre, keeping as far
as possible from the dangers that approached them from all quarters. The
huntsmen were now come near enough to reach their game with their
arrows; and the prince and his lords shot at them as they passed and
repassed, killing and wounding great numbers. Indur and his surviving
companions, seeing no other means of escape, resolved to make a bold
push toward that part of the ring which was the most weakly guarded; and
though many perished in the attempt, yet a few, leaping over the heads
of the people, got clear away: Indur was among the number. But while he
was scouring over the plain, rejoicing in his good fortune and conduct,
an enemy swifter than himself overtook him. This was a falcon, who, let
loose by one of the huntsmen, dashed like lightning after the fugitives;
and alighting upon the head of Indur, began to tear his eyes with his
beak, and flap his wings over his face. Indur, terrified and blinded,
knew not which way he went; and instead of proceeding straight-forward,
turned round and came again toward the hunters. One of these, riding
full speed with a javelin in his hand, came up to him, and ran the
weapon into his side. He fell down, and with repeated wounds was soon
despatched.

When the struggle of death was over, Indur was equally surprised and
pleased on finding himself soaring high in the air, as one of a flight
of wild geese, in their annual migration to breed in the arctic regions.
With vast delight he sprung forward on easy wing through the immense
fields of air, and surveyed beneath him extensive tracts of earth
perpetually varying with plains, mountains, rivers, lakes, and woods. At
the approach of night the flock lighted on the ground, and fed on the
green corn or grass; and at daybreak they were again on the wing,
arranged in regular wedge-like body, with an experienced leader at their
head. Thus for many days they continued their journey, passing over
countries inhabited by various nations, till at length they arrived in
the remotest part of Lapland, and settled in a wide marshy lake, filled
with numerous reedy islands, and surrounded on all sides with dark
forests of pine and birch. Here, in perfect security from man and
hurtful animals, they followed the great business of breeding and
providing for their young, living plentifully upon the insects and
aquatic reptiles that abounded in this sheltered spot. Indur with great
pleasure exercised his various powers of swimming, diving, and flying;
sailing round the islands, penetrating into every creek and bay, and
visiting the deepest recesses of the woods. He surveyed with
astonishment the sun, instead of rising and setting, making a complete
circle in the heavens, and cheering the earth with a perpetual day. Here
he met with innumerable tribes of kindred birds varying in size,
plumage, and voice, but all passing their time in a similar manner, and
furnished with the same powers for providing food and a safe retreat for
themselves and their young. The whole lake was covered with parties
fishing or sporting, and resounded with their loud cries; while the
islands were filled with their nests, and new broods of young were
continually coming forth and launching upon the surface of the waters.
One day, Indur’s curiosity having led him at a distance from his
companions to the woody border of the lake, he was near paying dear for
his heedlessness; for a fox, that lay in wait among the bushes, sprung
upon him, and it was with the utmost difficulty that by a strong
exertion he broke from his hold, not without the loss of some feathers.

Summer now drawing to an end, the vast congregation of water-fowl begun
to break up; and large bodies of them daily took their way southward, to
pass the winter in climates where the waters are never so frozen as to
become uninhabitable by the feathered race. The wild geese, to whom
Indur belonged, proceeded with their young ones, by long daily journeys
across Sweden, the Baltic sea, Poland and Turkey, to Lesser Asia, and
finished their journey at the celebrated plains on the banks of the
Cayster, a noted resort for their species ever since the age of Homer,
who in some very beautiful verses has described the manners and actions
of the various tribes of aquatic birds in that favourite spot.[1] Here
they soon recruited from the fatigue of their march, and enjoyed
themselves in the delicious climate till winter. This season, though
here extremely mild, yet making the means of sustenance somewhat scarce,
they were obliged to make foraging excursions to the cultivated lands in
the neighbourhood. Having committed great depredations upon a fine field
of young wheat, the owner spread a net on the ground, in which Indur,
with several of his companions, had the misfortune to be caught. No
mercy was shown them, but as they were taken out one by one, their necks
were all broken.

Footnote 1:

   Not less their number than th’ embodied cranes,
   Or milk-white swans on Asia’s wat’ry plains,
   That o’er the windings of Cayster’s springs
   Stretch their long necks, and clap their rustling wings
   Now tower aloft, and course in airy rounds;
   Now light with noise; with noise the field resounds.—POPE’S _Homer_.

Indur was not immediately sensible of the next change he underwent,
which was into a dormouse, fast asleep into a hole at the foot of a
bush. As it was in a country where the winter was pretty severe, he did
not awake for some weeks; when a thaw having taken place, and the sun
beginning to warm the earth, he unrolled himself one day, stretched,
opened his eyes, and not being able to make out where he was, he roused
a female companion whom he found by his side. When she was sufficiently
awakened, and they both began to feel hungry, she led the way to a
magazine of nuts and acorns, where they made a comfortable meal, and
soon fell asleep again. This nap having lasted a few days, they awaked a
second time, and having eaten, they ventured to crawl to the mouth of
their hole, where, pulling away some withered grass and leaves, they
peeped out into the open air. After taking a turn or two in the sun,
they grew chill, and went down again, stopping up the entrance after
them. The cold weather returning, they took another long nap, till, at
length, spring being fairly set in, they roused in earnest, and began to
make daily excursions abroad. Their winter-stock of provisions being now
exhausted, they were for some time reduced to great straits, and obliged
to dig for roots and pig-nuts. Their fare was mended as the season
advanced, and they made a nest near the bottom of a tree, where they
brought up a young family. They never ranged far from home, nor ascended
the higher branches of the tree, and passed great part of their time in
sleep, even during the midst of summer. When autumn came, they were
busily employed in collecting the nuts, acorns, and other dry fruits
that fell from the trees, and laying them up in their storehouses
underground. One day, as Indur was thus closely engaged at some distance
from his dwelling, he was seized by a wildcat, who, after tormenting him
for a time, gave him a gripe, and put him out of his pain.

From one of the smallest and most defenceless of animals, Indur found
himself instantly changed into a majestic elephant, in a lofty forest in
the isle of Ceylon. Elated with this wonderful advancement in the scale
of creation, he stalked along with conscious dignity, and surveyed with
pleasing wonder his own form and that of his companions, together with
the rich scenery of the ever-verdant woods, which perfumed the air with
their spicy odour, and lifted their tall heads to the clouds. Here,
fearing no injury, and not desirous to do any, the gigantic herd roamed
at large, feeding on the green branches which they tore down with their
trunks, and bathing in deep rivers during the heat of the day; and,
reposing in the depths of the forests, reclined against the massy trunks
of trees by night. It was long before Indur met with any adventure that
could lead him to doubt his security. But, one day, having penetrated
into a close entangled thicket, he espied, lurking under the thick
covert, a grim tiger, whose eyes flashed rage and fury. Though the tiger
was one of the largest of his species, yet his bulk was trifling
compared with that of an elephant, a single foot of which seemed
sufficient to crush him; yet the fierceness and cruelty of his looks,
his angry growl, and grinning teeth, struck some terror into Indur.
There was little time, however, for reflection: for when Indur had
advanced a single step, the tiger, setting up a roar, sprung to meet
him, attempting to seize his lifted trunk. Indur was dexterous enough to
receive him upon one of his tusks, and exerting all his strength, threw
the tiger to a great distance. He was somewhat stunned by the fall, but
recovering, renewed the assault with redoubled fury. Indur again, and a
third time, threw him off; after which the tiger, turning about, bounded
away into the midst of the thicket. Indur drew back, and rejoined his
companions, with some abatement in the confidence he had placed in his
size and strength, which had not prevented him from undergoing so
dangerous an attack.

Soon after, he joined the rest of the herd, in an expedition beyond the
bounds of the forest, to make depredations on some fields of maize. They
committed great havoc, devouring part, but tearing up and trampling down
much more; when the inhabitants taking the alarm, assembled in great
numbers, and with fierce shouts and flaming brands drove them back to
the woods. Not contented with this, they were resolved to make them pay
for the mischief they had done, by taking some prisoners. For this
purpose they enclosed a large space among the trees with strong posts
and stakes, bringing it to a narrower and narrower compass, and ending
at last in a passage only capable of admitting one elephant at a time.
This was divided into several apartments, by strong cross-bars, which
would lift up and down. They then sent out some tame female elephants
bred to the business, who approaching the herd of wild ones, inveigled
the males to follow them toward the enclosures. Indur was among the
first who was decoyed by their artifices; and with some others following
heedlessly, he got into the narrowest part of the enclosure, opposite to
the passage. Here they stood awhile, doubting whether they should go
farther. But the females leading the way, and uttering their cry of
invitation, they ventured at length to follow. When a sufficient number
was in the passage, the bars were let down by men placed for that
purpose, and the elephants were fairly caught in a trap. As soon as they
were sensible of their situation, they fell into a fit of rage, and with
all their efforts endeavoured to break through. But the hunters throwing
nooses over them, bound them fast with strong ropes and chains to the
post on each side, and thus kept them without food or sleep for three
days; when being exhausted with hunger and fatigue, they gave signs of
sufficient tameness. They were now let out one by one, and bound each of
them to two large tame elephants with riders on their backs, and thus
without resistance were led away close prisoners. They were then put
into separate stables, and by proper discipline, were presently rendered
quite tame and gentle.

Not long after, Indur, with five more, was sent over from Ceylon to the
continent of India, and sold to one of the princes of the country. He
was now trained to all the services elephants are there employed in;
which were, to carry people on his back in a kind of sedan, or litter,
to draw cannon, ships, and other great weights, to kneel and rise at
command, make obeisance to his lord, and perform all the motions and
attitudes he was ordered. Thus he lived a long time well fed and
caressed, clothed in costly trappings on days of ceremony, and
contributing to the pomp of Eastern royalty. At length, a war broke out,
and Indur came to be employed in a different scene. After proper
training he was marched with a number of his fellows, into the field,
bearing on his back a small wooden tower, in which were placed some
soldiers with a small field-piece. They soon came in sight of the enemy,
and both sides were drawn up for battle. Indur and the rest were urged
forward by their leaders wondering at the same time at the scene in
which they were engaged, so contrary to their nature and manners.
Presently, all was involved in smoke and fire. The elephants advancing,
soon put to flight those who were drawn up before them; but their career
was stopped by a battery of cannon, which played furiously against them.
Their vast bodies offered a fair mark to the balls, which presently
struck down some, and wounded others. Indur received a shot on one of
his tusks, which broke it, and put him to such pain and affright, that,
turning about, he ran with all speed over the plain; and falling in with
a body of their own infantry, he burst through, trampling down whole
ranks, and filling them with terror and confusion. His leader having now
lost all command over him, and finding him hurtful to his own party,
applied the sharp instrument he carried to the nape of his neck, and
driving it in with all his force, pierced his spinal marrow, so that he
fell lifeless to the ground.

In the next stage of his existence, Indur, to his great surprise, found
even the vast bulk of the elephant prodigiously exceeded; for he was now
a whale of the largest species, rolling in the midst of the arctic seas.
As he darted along, the lash of his tail made whirlpools in the mighty
deep. When he opened his immense jaws he drew in a flood of brine,
which, on rising to the surface, he spouted out again in a rushing
fountain, that rose high in the air with the noise of a mighty cataract.
All the other inhabitants of the ocean seemed as nothing to him. He
swallowed, almost without knowing it, whole shoals of the smaller kinds;
and the larger swiftly turned aside at his approach. “Now,” he cried to
himself, “whatever other evils await me, I am certainly secure from the
molestation of other animals; for what is the creature that can dare to
cope with me, or measure his strength with mine?” Having said this, he
saw swimming near him a fish not a quarter of his length, armed with a
dreadful row of teeth. This was a grampus, which directly flying upon
Indur, fastened on him, and made his great teeth meet in his flesh.
Indur roared with pain, and lashed the sea, till it was all in a foam,
but could neither reach nor shake off his cruel foe. He rolled over and
over, rose and sunk, and exerted all his boasted strength; but to no
purpose. At length, the grampus quitted his hold, and left him not a
little mortified with the adventure. This was, however, forgotten, and
Indur received pleasure from his new situation, as he roamed through the
boundless fields of ocean, now diving to its very bottom, now shooting
swiftly to its surface, and sporting with his companions in unwieldly
gambols. Having chosen a mate, he took his course with her southward,
and, in due time, brought up two young ones, of whom he was extremely
fond. The summer season being arrived, he more frequently than usual
rose to the surface, and basking in the sunbeams, floated unmoved with a
large part of his huge body above the waves. As he was thus one day
enjoying a profound sleep, he was awakened by a sharp instrument
penetrating deep into his back. Instantly, he sprung away with the
swiftness of lightning, and feeling the weapon still sticking, he dived
into the recesses of the deep, and stayed there till want of air obliged
him to ascend to the surface. Here another harpoon was plunged into him,
the smart of which again made him fly from his unseen foes; but, after a
shorter course, he was again compelled to rise, much weakened by the
loss of blood, which, gushing in a torrent, tinged the waters as he
passed. Another wound was inflicted, which soon brought him almost
lifeless to the surface; and the line fastened to the first harpoon
being now pulled in, this enormous creature was brought, an unresisting
prey, to the side of a ship, where he was soon quietly despatched, and
then cut to pieces.

The soul of this huge carcass had next a much narrower lodging, for
Indur was changed into a bee, which, with a great multitude of its young
companions, was on flight in search of a new settlement, their parents
having driven them out of the hive, which was unable to contain them
all. After a rambling excursion, the queen, by whom all their motions
were directed, settled on the branch of a lofty tree. They all
immediately clustered round her, and soon formed a large black bunch,
depending from the bough. A man presently planting a ladder, ascended
with a beehive, and swept them in. After they were quietly settled in
their new habitation, they were placed on a stand in the garden along
with some other colonies, and left to begin their labours. Every fine
morning, as soon as the sun was up, the greatest part of them sallied
forth, and roamed over the garden and the neighbouring fields in search
of fresh and fragrant flowers. They first collected a quantity of gluey
matter, with which they lined all the inside of their house. Then they
brought wax, and began to make their cells, building them with the
utmost regularity, though it was their first attempt, and they had no
teacher. As fast as they were built, some were filled with liquid honey,
gathered from the nectaries of flowers; and as they filled the cells,
they sealed them up with a thin covering of wax. In other cells, the
queen-bee deposited her eggs, which were to supply a new progeny for the
ensuing year. Nothing could be a more pleasing sight than to behold on a
sunshiny day the insects continually going forth to their labour, while
others were as constantly arriving at the mouth of the hole, either with
yellow balls of wax under their thighs, or full of the honey which they
had drawn in with their trunks for the purpose of spouting it out into
the cells of the honeycomb. Indur felt much delight in this useful and
active way of life, and was always one of the first abroad at the dawn,
and latest home in the evening. On rainy and foggy days they stayed at
home, and employed themselves in finishing their cells, and all the
necessary work within doors; and Indur, though endued with human reason,
could not but admire the readiness with which he and the rest formed the
most regular plans of work, all corresponding in design and execution,
guided by instinct alone.

The end of autumn now approaching, the bees had filled their combs with
honey; and nothing more being to be got abroad, they stayed within
doors, passing most of their time in sleep. They ate a little of their
store, but with great frugality; and all their meals were made in
public, none daring to make free with the common stock by himself. The
owner of the hives now came and took them one by one into his hand, that
he might judge by the weight whether or no they were full of honey. That
in which Indur was, proved to be one of the heaviest; and it was
therefore resolved to take the contents. For this purpose, one cold
night, when the bees were all fast asleep, the hive was placed over a
hole in the ground, in which were put brimstone matches set on fire. The
fumes rose into the hive, and soon suffocated great part of the bees,
and stupified the rest, so that they all fell from the combs. Indur was
among the dead.

He soon revived in the form of a young rabbit in a spacious warren. This
was like a populous town; being everywhere hollowed by burrows running
deep under ground, and each inhabited by one or more families. In the
evening the warren was covered with a vast number of rabbits, old and
young, some feeding, others frisking about, and pursuing one another in
wanton sport. At the least alarm, they all hurried into the holes
nearest them, and were in an instant safe from enemies, who either could
not follow them at all or, if they did, were foiled in the chase by the
numerous ways and turnings in the earth, communicating with each other,
so as to afford easy means of escape. Indur delighted much in this
secure and social life; and taking a mate, was soon the father of a
numerous offspring. Several of the little ones, however, not being
sufficiently careful, fell a prey either to hawks and crows, continually
hovering over the warren, or to cats, foxes, and other wild quadrupeds,
who used every art to catch them at a distance from their holes. Indur
himself ran several hazards. He was once very near being caught by a
little dog trained for the purpose, who kept playing round for a
considerable time, not seeming to attend to the rabbits, till having got
near, he all at once darted into the midst of them. Another time he
received some shot from a sportsman who lay on the watch behind a hedge
adjoining the warren.

The number of rabbits here was so great, that a hard winter coming on,
which killed most of the vegetables, or buried them deep under the snow,
they were reduced to great straits, and many were famished to death.
Some turnips and hay, however, which were laid for them, preserved the
greater part. The approach of spring renewed their sport and pleasure;
and Indur was made the father of another family. One night, however, was
fatal to them all. As they were sleeping, they were alarmed by the
attack of a ferret; and running with great speed to the mouth of their
burrow to escape it, they were all caught in nets placed over their
holes. Indur, with the rest, was despatched by a blow on the back of the
neck, and his body was sent to the nearest market-town.

His next change was into a young mastiff, brought up in a farmyard.
Having nearly acquired his full size, he was sent as a present to a
gentleman in the neighbourhood, who wanted a faithful guard for his
house and grounds. Indur presently attached himself to his master and
all his family, and showed every mark of a noble and generous nature.
Though fierce as a lion whenever he thought the persons or property of
his friends invaded, he was as gentle as a lamb at other times, and
would patiently suffer any kind of freedoms from those he loved. He
permitted the children of the house to lug him about, ride on his back,
and use him as roughly as their little hands were capable of; never,
even when hurt, showing any displeasure further than by a low growl. He
was extremely indulgent to all the other animals of his species in the
yard; and when abroad would treat the impertinent barking of little dogs
with silent contempt. Once, indeed, being provoked beyond bearing, not
only by the noise, but by the snaps of a malicious whelp, he suddenly
seized him in his open mouth; but when the bystanders thought that the
poor cur was going instantly to be destroyed, they were equally diverted
and pleased at seeing Indur go to the side of a muddy ditch, and drop
his antagonist unhurt into the middle of it.

He had, however, more serious conflicts frequently to sustain. He was
accustomed to attend the servant on market-days to the neighbouring
town, when it was his office to guard the provision cart, while the man
was making his purchases in the shops. On these occasions the boldest
dogs in the street would sometimes make an onset in a body; and while
some of them were engaging Indur, others would be mounting the cart, and
pulling down the meat-baskets. Indur had much ado to defend himself and
the baggage, too; however, he never failed to make some of the
assailants pay dearly for their impudence; and by his loud barking, he
summoned his human fellow-servant to his assistance, in time to prevent
their depredations.

At length, his courage was exerted on the most important service to
which it could be applied. His master returning home late one evening,
was attacked near his own house by three armed ruffians. Indur heard his
voice calling for help, and instantly flew to his relief. He seized one
of the villains by the throat, brought him to the ground, and presently
disabled him. The master, in the meantime, was keeping off the other two
with a large stick, but had received several wounds with a cutlass; and
one of the men had presented a pistol, and was just on the point of
firing. At this moment, Indur, leaving his vanquished foe on the ground,
rushed forward, and seizing the man’s arm, made him drop the pistol. The
master took it up; on which the other robber fled. He now advanced to
him with whom Indur was engaged, and fired the pistol at him. The ball
broke the man’s arm, and thence entered the body of Indur, and mortally
wounded him. He fell, but had the satisfaction of seeing his master
remain lord of the field; and the servants now coming up, made prisoners
of the two wounded robbers. The master threw himself by the side of
Indur, and expressed the warmest concern at the accident which had made
him the cause of death of the faithful animal that had preserved his
life. Indur died licking his hand.

So generous a nature was now no longer to be annexed to a brutal form.
Indur awaking as it were from a trance, found himself again in the happy
region he had formerly inhabited, and recommenced the innocent life of a
Bramin. He cherished the memory of his transmigrations, and handed them
down to posterity, in a relation from which the preceding account has
been extracted for the amusement of our young readers.

[Illustration:

  EVENING X.
]



                       THE SWALLOW AND TORTOISE.


         A tortoise in a garden’s bound,
       An ancient inmate of the place,
       Had left his winter-quarters underground,
       And, with a sober pace,
       Was crawling o’er a sunny bed,
       And thrusting from his shell his pretty toad-like head.

         Just come from sea, a swallow,
       As to and fro he nimbly flew,
       Beat our old racer hollow:
       At length, he stopped direct in view,
       And said, “Acquaintance brisk and gay,
       How have you fared this many a day?”
         “Thank you,” replied the close housekeeper,
       “Since you and I last autumn parted,
       I’ve been a precious sleeper,
       And never stirred nor started,
       But in my hole I lay as snug
       As fleas within a rug;
       Nor did I put my head abroad
       Till all the snow and ice were thawed.”
         “But I,” rejoined the bird,
       “Who love cold weather just as well as you,
       Soon as the warning blasts I heard.
       Away I flew,
       And mounting in the wind,
       Left gloomy winter far behind.
       Directed by the mid-day sun,
       O’er sea and land my venturous course I steered,
       Nor was my distant journey done
       Till Afric’s verdant coast appeared.
       There, all the season long,
       I chased gay butterflies and gnats,
       And gave my negro friends a morning song,
       And housed at night among the bats.
       Then, at the call of spring,
       I northward turned my wing,
       And here again her joyous message bring.”
         “Lord! what a deal of heedless ranging,”
       Returned the reptile grave,
       “For ever hurrying, bustling, changing,
       As if it were your life to save!
       Why need you visit foreign nations?
       Rather like me, and some of your relations,
       Take out a pleasant half-year’s nap,
       Secure from trouble and mishap.”
         “A pleasant nap, indeed!” replied the swallow
       “When I can neither see nor fly,
       The bright example I may follow
       ‘Till then, in truth, not I!
       I measure time by its employment,
       And only value life for life’s enjoyment
       As good be buried all at once,
       As doze out half one’s days, like you, you stupid dunce!”



                            THE GRASS-TRIBE.

                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry_.


_Harry._ Pray, what is that growing on the other side of the hedge?

_George._ Why it is corn—don’t you see it is in ear.

_Har._ Yes—but it seems too short for corn; and the corn we just now
passed is not in ear by a great deal.

_Geo._ Then I don’t know what it is. Pray, sir, will you tell us?

_Tut._ I don’t wonder you were puzzled about it. It is a sort of grass
sown for hay, and is called rye-grass.

_Har._ But how happens it that it is so very like corn?

_Tut._ There is no great wonder in that, for all corn is really a kind
of grass; on the other hand, if you were a Lilliputian, every species of
grass would appear to you amazing large corn.

_Geo._ Then there is no difference between corn and grass, but the size?

_Tut._ None at all.

_Har._ But we eat corn; and grass is not good to eat.

_Tut._ It is only the seeds of corn that we eat: we leave the stalks and
leaves for cows and horses. Now we might eat the seeds of grass, if they
were big enough to be worth gathering; and some particular kinds are in
fact eaten in certain countries.

_Har._ But are wheat and barley really grass?

_Tut._ Yes—they are a species of that great family of plants, which
botanists call _grasses_; and I will take this opportunity of telling
you something about them. Go, George, and pull us up a root of that
rye-grass. Harry and I will sit down on this stile till you come to us?

_Har._ Here is grass enough all round us.

_Tut._ Well, then, pull up a few roots that you see in ear.

_Geo._ Here is my grass.

_Har._ And here is mine.

_Tut._ Well—spread them all in a handkerchief before us. Now look at the
roots of them all. What do you call them?

_Geo._ I think they are what you have told us—_fibrous_ roots.

_Tut._ Right—they consist of a bundle of strings. Then look at their
stalks—you will find them jointed and hollow, like the straw of corn.

_Har._ So they are.

_Tut._ The leaves, you see, of all the kinds are very long and narrow,
tapering to a point at their ends. Those of corn, you know, are the
same.

_Har._ Yes—they are so like grass at first, that I can never tell the
difference.

_Tut._ Next observe the ears, or heads. Some of these, you see, are
thick, and close, like those of wheat or barley; others are more loose
and open, like oats. The first are generally called _spikes_; the second
_panicles_. If you examine them closely, you will find that they all
consist of a number of distinct husky bodies, which are properly the
flowers; each of which is succeeded by a single seed. I dare say you
have picked ears of wheat?

_Har._ O yes—I am very fond of them!

_Tut._ Well then—you found that the grains all lay single, contained in
a scaly husk making a part of the ear, or head. Before the seed was
formed, there was a flower in its place. I do not mean a gay
fine-coloured flower, but a few scales with threads coming out among
them, each crowned with a white tip. And soon after the ears of corn
appear you will find their flowers open, and these white tips coming out
of them. This is the structure of the flowers and flowering heads of
every one of the grass tribe.

_Geo._ But what are the _beards_ of corn?

_Tut._ The beards are bristles or points running out from the ends of
the husks. They are properly called _awns_. Most of the grass-tribe have
something of these, but they are much longer in some kinds than in
others. In barley, you know, they are very long, and give the whole
field a sort of downy or silky appearance, especially when waved by the
wind.

_Har._ Are there the same kinds of corn and grass in all countries?

_Tut._ No. With respect to corn, that is in all countries the product of
cultivation; and different sorts are found best to suit different
climates. Thus, in the northern parts of the temperate zone, oats and
rye are chiefly grown. In the middle and southern, barley and wheat.
Wheat is universally the species preferred for bread-corn; but there are
various kinds of it, differing from each other in size of grain, colour,
and other qualities

_Har._ Does not the best wheat of all grow in England?

_Tut._ By no means. Wheat is better suited to the warmer climates, and
it is only by great attention and upon particular soils that it is made
to succeed well here. On the other hand, the torrid zone is too hot for
wheat and our other grains; and they chiefly cultivate rice there, and
Indian corn.

_Geo._ I have seen heads of Indian corn as thick as my wrist, but they
do not look at all like our corn.

_Tut._ Yes—the seeds all grow single in a sort of chaffy head; and the
stalk and leaves resemble those of the grass-tribe, but of a gigantic
size. But there are other plants of this family, which perhaps you have
not thought of.

_Geo._ What are they?

_Tut._ Canes and reeds—from the sugarcanes and bamboo of the tropics, to
the common reed of our ditches, of which you make arrows. All these have
the general character of the grasses.

_Har._ I know that reeds have very fine feathery heads, like the tops of
grass.

_Tut._ They have so. And the stalks are composed of many joints; as are
also those of the sugarcane, and of the common cane which grows in the
southern countries of Europe, and of which fishing-rods are often made,
as well as of the bamboo imported hither for walking-sticks, and applied
to many more important uses in the countries of which it is a native.
Some of these are very tall plants, but the seeds of them are small in
proportion, and not useful for food. But there is yet another kind of
grasslike plants common among us.

_Geo._ What is that?

_Tut._ Have you not observed in the marshes, and on the sides of
ditches, a coarse broader-leaved sort of grass with large dark-coloured
spikes? This is _sedge_, in Latin _carex_, and there are many sorts of
it.

_Har._ What is that good for?

_Tut._ It is eaten by cattle, both fresh and dry, but is inferior in
quality to good grass.

_Geo._ What is it that makes one kind of grass better than another?

_Tut._ There are various properties which give value to grasses. Some
spread more than others, resist frost and drought better; yield a
greater crop of leaves, and are therefore better for pasturage and hay.
The juices of some are more nourishing and sweet than those of others.
In general, however, different grasses are suited to different soils;
and by improving soils, the quality of the grass is improved.

_Geo._ Does grass grow in all countries?

_Tut._ Yes—the green turf, which naturally covers fertile soils of all
countries, is chiefly composed of grasses of various kinds. They form,
therefore, the verdant carpet extended over the earth; and humble as
they are, contribute more to beauty and utility, than any other part of
the vegetable creation.

_Har._ What—more than trees?

_Tut._ Yes, certainly. A land entirely covered with trees would be
gloomy, unwholesome, and scarcely inhabitable; whereas, the meadow, the
down, and the cornfield, afford the most agreeable prospects to the eye,
and furnish every necessary, and many of the luxuries of life. Give us
corn and grass, and what shall we want for food?

_Har._ Let me see—what should we have? There’s bread and flour for
puddings.

_Geo._ Ay, and milk, for you know cows live on grass and hay—so there’s
cheese and butter and all things that are made of milk.

_Tut._ And are there not all kinds of meat too, and poultry? And then
for drink, there are beer and ale, which are made from barley. For all
these we are chiefly indebted to _the grasses_.

_Geo._ Then I am sure we are very much obliged to the grasses.

_Tut._ Well—let us now walk homeward. Some time hence you shall make a
collection of all the kinds of grasses, and learn to know them from each
other.



                             A TEA LECTURE.

                            _Tutor_—_Pupil_.


_Tutor._ Come—the tea is ready. Lay by your book, and let us talk a
little. You have assisted in tea-making a great many times, and yet I
dare say you never considered what kind of an operation it was.

_Pupil._ An operation of cookery—is it not?

_Tut._ You may call it so: but it is properly an operation of
_chymistry_.

_Pup._ Of chymistry! I thought that had been a very deep sort of a
business.

_Tut._ O—there are many things in common life that belong to the deepest
of sciences. Making tea is the chymical operation called _infusion_,
which is, when a hot liquor is poured upon a substance in order to
extract something from it. The water, you see, extracts from the
tea-leaves their colour, taste, and flavour.

_Pup._ Would not cold water do the same?

_Tut._ It would, but more slowly. Heat assists almost all liquors in
their power of extracting the virtues of herbs and other substances.
Thus good housewives were formerly used to boil their tea, in order to
get all goodness from it as completely as possible. The greater heat and
agitation of boiling make it act more powerfully. The liquor in which a
substance has been boiled is called a _decoction_ of that substance.

_Pup._ Then we had a decoction of mutton at dinner to-day.

_Tut._ We had—broth is a decoction, and so are gruel and barley-water.
But when anything is put to steep in a cold liquor it is called
_maceration_. The ingredients of which ink is made are _macerated_. In
all these cases, you see, the whole substance does not mix with the
liquor, but only part of it. The reason is, that part of it is _soluble_
in the liquor, and part not.

_Pup._ What is the meaning of that?

_Tut._ Solution is when a solid put into a fluid entirely disappears in
it, leaving the liquor clear. Thus when I throw this lump of sugar into
my tea, you see it gradually wastes away till it is all gone, and then I
can taste it in every single drop of my tea; but the tea is as clear as
before.

_Pup._ Salt would do the same.

_Tut._ It would. But if I were to throw in a lump of chalk, it would lie
undissolved at the bottom.

_Pup._ But it would make the water white.

_Tut._ True, while it was stirred; and then it would be a _diffusion_.
But while the chalk was thus mixed with the liquor, it would lose its
transparency, and not recover it again till, by standing, the chalk had
all subsided and left the liquor as it was before.

_Pup._ How is the cream mixed with the tea?

_Tut._ Why, that is only _diffused_, for it takes away the transparency
of the tea. But the particles of cream being finer and lighter than
those of chalk, it remains longer united with the liquor. However, in
time the cream would separate too, and rise to the top, leaving the tea
clear. Now, suppose you had a mixture of sugar, salt, chalk, and
tea-leaves, and were to throw it into water, either hot or cold; what
would be the effect?

_Pup._ The sugar and salt would be dissolved and disappear. The
tea-leaves would yield their colour and taste. The chalk—I do not know
what would become of that.

_Tut._ Why, if the mixture were stirred, the chalk would be diffused
through it, and make it _turbid_ or muddy; but on standing, it would
leave it unchanged.

_Pup._ Then there would remain at bottom the chalk and tea-leaves?

_Tut._ Yes. The clear liquor would contain in _solution_ salt, sugar,
and those particles of the tea in which its colour and taste consisted;
the remainder of the tea and the chalk would lie undissolved.

_Pup._ Then I suppose tea-leaves, after the tea is made, are lighter
than at first.

_Tut._ Undoubtedly. If taken out and dried they would be found to have
lost part of their weight, and the water would have gained it.
Sometimes, however, it is an extremely small portion of a substance
which is soluble, but it is that in which its most remarkable qualities
reside. Thus a small piece of spice will communicate a strong flavour to
a large quantity of liquid, with very little loss of weight.

_Pup._ Will all liquors dissolve the same things?

_Tut._ By no means. Many dissolve in water that will not in spirit of
wine; and the contrary. And upon this difference many curious matters in
the arts are founded. Thus, spirit-varnish is made of a solution of
various gums or resins in spirits that will not dissolve in water.
Therefore, when it has been laid over any surface with a brush, and is
become dry, the rain or moisture of the air will not affect it. This is
the case with the beautiful varnish laid upon coaches. On the other
hand, the varnish left by gum-water could not be washed off by spirits.

_Pup._ I remember when I made gum-water, upon setting the cup in a warm
place, it all dried away, and left the gum just as it was before. Would
the same happen if I had sugar or salt dissolved in water?

_Tut._ Yes, upon exposing the solution to warmth, it would dry away, and
you would get back your salt and sugar in a solid state as before.

_Pup._ But if I were to do so with a cup of tea, what should I get?

_Tut._ Not tea-leaves, certainly! But your question requires a little
previous explanation. It is the property of heat to make most things fly
off in vapour, which is called _evaporation_, or _exhalation_. But this
it does in very different degrees to different substances. Some are very
easily made to _evaporate_; others very difficultly; and others not at
all by the most violent fire we can raise. Fluids in general are easily
_evaporable_; but not equally so. Spirit of wine flies off in vapour
much sooner than water; so that if you had a mixture of the two, by
applying a gentle heat you might drive off almost all the spirit, while
the greater part of the water would remain. Water, again, is more
evaporable than oil. Some solid substances are much disposed to
evaporate: thus, smelling salts may by a little heat be entirely driven
away in the air. But in general, solids are more _fixed_ than fluids;
and, therefore, when a solid is dissolved in a fluid, it may commonly be
recovered again by evaporation. By this operation common salt is got
from seawater and salt springs, both artificially, and, in hot
countries, by the natural heat of the sun. When the water is no more
than is just sufficient to dissolve the salt, it is called a _saturated
solution_, and on evaporating the water further, the salt begins to
separate, forming little regular masses called _crystals_. Sugar may be
made in like manner to form crystals, and then it is sugar-candy.

_Pup._ But what is a sirup?

_Tut._ That is when so much sugar is dissolved as sensibly to thicken
the liquor, but not to separate from it. Well—now to your question about
tea. On exposing it to considerable heat, those fine particles in which
its flavour consists, being as _volatile_ or evaporable as the water,
would fly off along with it; and when the liquor came to dryness, there
would be left only those particles in which its roughness and colour
consist. This would make what is called an _extract_ of a plant.

_Pup._ What becomes of the water that evaporates?

_Tut._ It ascends into the air, and unites with it. But if in its way it
be stopped by any cold body, it is _condensed_, that is, it returns to
the state of water again. Lift up the lid of the teapot and you will
find water collected on the inside of it, which is condensed steam from
the hot tea beneath. Hold a spoon or knife in the way of the steam which
bursts out of the spout of the teakettle, and you will find it
immediately covered with drops. This operation of turning a fluid into
vapour, and then condensing it, is called _distillation_. For this
purpose, the vessel in which the liquor is heated is closely covered
with another called the head, into which the steam rises and is
condensed. It is then drawn off by means of a pipe into another vessel
called the receiver. In this way all sweet-scented and aromatic liquors
are drawn from fragrant vegetables, by means of water or spirits. The
fragrant part being very volatile rises along with the steam of the
water or spirit, and remains united with it after it is condensed.
Rosewater, and spirits of lavender, are liquors of this kind.

_Pup._ Then the water collected on the inside of the teapot-lid should
have the fragrance of the tea.

_Tut._ It should—but unless the tea were fine, you could scarcely
perceive it.

_Pup._ I think I have heard of making salt water fresh by distilling.

_Tut._ Yes. That is an old discovery lately revived. The salt in
seawater, being of a fixed nature, does not rise with the steam; and
therefore, on condensing the steam, the water is found to be fresh. And
this indeed is the method nature employs in raising water by exhalation
from the ocean, which, collecting in clouds, is condensed in the cold
region of the air, and falls down in rain.

But our tea is done: so we will now put an end to our chymical lecture.

_Pup._ But is this real chymistry?

_Tut._ Yes, it is.

_Pup._ Why, I understand it all without any difficulty.

_Tut._ I intended you should.



                            THE KIDNAPPERS.


Mr. B. was accustomed to read in the evening to his young folks some
select story, and then ask them in turn what they thought of it. From
the reflections they made on these occasions, he was enabled to form a
judgment of their dispositions, and was led to throw in remarks of his
own, by which their hearts and understandings might be improved. One
night he read the following narrative from Churchill’s Voyages:—

“In some voyages of discovery made from Denmark to Greenland, the
sailors were instructed to seize some of the natives by force or
stratagem, and bring them away. In consequence of these orders, several
Greenlanders were kidnapped and brought to Denmark. Though they were
treated there with kindness, the poor wretches were always melancholy,
and were observed frequently to turn their faces toward the north, and
sigh bitterly. They made several attempts to escape, by putting out to
sea in their little canoes, which had been brought with them. One of
them had got as far as thirty leagues from land before he was overtaken.
It was remarked that this poor man, whenever he met a woman with a child
in her arms, used to utter a deep sigh; whence it was conjectured that
he had left a wife and child behind him. They all pined away one after
another, and died miserably.”

“Now, Edward,” said he, “what is your opinion of this story?”

_Ed._ Poor creatures! I think it was barbarous to take them from home.

_Mr. B._ It was, indeed!

_Ed._ Have civilized nations any right to behave so to savages?

_Mr. B._ I think you may readily answer that question yourself. Suppose
you were a savage—what would be your opinion?

_Ed._ I dare say I should think it very wrong. But can savages think
about right and wrong as we do?

_Mr. B._ Why not? are they not men?

_Ed._ Yes; but not like civilized men, sure?

_Mr. B._ I know no important difference between ourselves and those
people we are pleased to call savage, but in the degree of knowledge and
virtue possessed by each. And I believe many individuals among the
Greenlanders as well as other unpolished people, exceed in these
respects many among us. In the present case I am sure the Danish sailors
showed themselves the greater savages.

_Ed._ But what did they take away the Greenlanders for?

_Mr. B._ The pretence was, that they might be brought to be instructed
in a Christian country, and then sent back to civilize their countrymen.

_Ed._ And was not that a good thing?

_Mr. B._ Certainly, if it were done by proper means; but to attempt it
by an act of violence and injustice could not be right: for they could
teach them nothing so good as their example was bad; and the poor people
were not likely to learn willingly from those who had begun with
injuring them so cruelly.

_Ed._ I remember Captain Cook, brought over somebody from Otaheite; and
poor Lee Boo was brought here from the Pelew islands. But I believe they
both came of their own accord?

_Mr. B._ They did. And it is a great proof of the better way of thinking
of modern voyagers than former ones, that they do not consider it as
justifiable to use violence even for the supposed benefit of the people
they visit.

_Ed._ I have read of taking possession of a newly-discovered country by
setting up the king’s standard or some such ceremony, though it was full
of inhabitants.

_Mr. B._ Such was formerly the custom; and a more impudent mockery of
all right and justice can scarcely be conceived. Yet this, I am sorry to
say, is the title by which European nations claim the greatest part of
their foreign settlements.

_Ed._ And might not the natives drive them out again, if they were able?

_Mr. B._ I am sure I do not know why they might not; _for force can
never give right_. Now, Harry, tell me what _you_ think of the story.

_Harry._ I think it very strange that people should want to go back to
such a cold dismal place as Greenland.

_Mr. B._ Why what country do you love best in the world?

_Har._ England, to be sure!

_Mr. B._ But England is by no means the warmest and finest country. Here
are no grapes growing in the fields, nor oranges in the woods and
hedges, as there are in more southern climates.

_Har._ I should like them very well, to be sure—but then England is my
own native country, where you and mamma and all my friends live. Besides
it is a very pleasant country, too.

_Mr. B._ As to your first reason, you must be sensible that the
Greenlander can say just the same; and the poor fellow who left a wife
and children behind, must have had the strongest of all ties to make him
wish to return. Do you think I should be easy to be separated from all
of you?

_Har._ No; and I am sure we should not be easy, neither.

_Mr. B._ Home, my dear, wherever it is, is the spot toward which a good
heart is the most strongly drawn. Then, as for the pleasantness of a
place, that all depends upon habit. The Greenlander, being accustomed to
the way of living, and all the objects of his own country, could not
relish any other so well. He loved whale-fat and seal as well as you can
do pudding and beef. He thought rowing his little boat amid the
boisterous waves pleasanter employment than driving a plough or a cart.
He fenced himself against the winter’s cold by warm clothing; and the
long night of many weeks, which you would think so gloomy, was to him a
season of ease and festivity in his habitation underground. It is a very
kind and wise dispensation of Providence, that every part of the world
is rendered most agreeable to those who live in it.

Now little Mary what have you to say?

_Mary._ I have only to say, that if they were to offer to carry me away
from home, I would scratch their eyes out!

_Mr. B._ Well said, my girl! stand up for yourself. Let nobody run away
with you—_against your will_.

_Mary._ That I won’t.

[Illustration:

  EVENING XI.
]



                            ON MANUFACTURES.

                           _Father_—_Henry._


_Henry._ My dear father, you observed the other day that we had a great
many manufactures in England. Pray, what is a manufacture?

_Father._ A manufacture is something made by the hand of man. It is
derived from two Latin words, _manus_, the hand, and _facere_, to make.
Manufactures are therefore opposed to productions, which latter are what
the bounty of nature spontaneously affords; as fruits, corn, marble.

_Hen._ But there is a great deal of trouble with corn: you have often
made me take notice how much pains it costs the farmer to plough his
ground, and put the seed in the earth, and keep it clear from weeds.

_Fa._ Very true: but the farmer does not make the corn; he only prepares
for it a proper soil and situation, and removes every hinderance arising
from the hardness of the ground, or the neighbourhood of other plants,
which might obstruct the secret and wonderful process of vegetation; but
with the vegetation itself he has nothing to do. It is not _his_ hand
that draws out the slender fibres of the root, pushes up the green
stalk, and by degrees the spiky ear; swells the grain, and embrowns it
with that rich tinge of tawny russet, which informs the husbandman it is
time to put in his sickle: all this operation is performed without his
care, or even knowledge.

_Hen._ Now, then, I understand; corn is a _production_, and bread is a
_manufacture_.

_Fa._ Bread is certainly, in strictness of speech, a manufacture; but we
do not in general apply the term to anything in which the original
material is so little changed. If we wanted to speak of bread
philosophically, we should say, it is a preparation of corn.

_Hen._ Is sugar a manufacture?

_Fa._ No, for the same reason. Besides which, I do not recollect the
term being applied to any article of food; I suppose from an idea that
food is of too perishable a nature, and generally obtained by a process
too simple to deserve the name. We say, therefore, sugar-works,
oil-mills, chocolate-works; we do not say a beer-manufactory, but a
brewery; but this is only a nicety of language, for properly all those
are manufactories, if there is much of art and curiosity in the process.

_Hen._ Do we say a manufactory of pictures?

_Fa._ No; but for a different reason. A picture, especially if it belong
to any of the higher kinds of painting, is an effort of genius. A
picture cannot be produced by any given combinations of canvass and
colour. It is the hand, indeed, that executes, but the head that works.
Sir Joshua Reynolds could not have gone, when he was engaged to paint a
picture, and hired workmen, the one to draw the eyes, another the nose,
a third the mouth: the whole must be the painter’s own, that particular
painter’s, and no other; and no one who has not his ideas can do his
work. His work is therefore nobler, of a higher species.

_Hen._ Pray, give me an instance of a manufacture.

_Fa._ The making of watches is a manufacture: the silver, iron, gold, or
whatever else is used in it, are productions, the materials of the work;
but it is by the wonderful art of man that they are wrought into the
numberless wheels and springs of which this complicated machine is
composed.

_Hen._ Then is there not as much art in making a watch as a picture?
Does not the head work?

_Fa._ Certainly, in the original invention of watches, as much, or more,
than in painting; but when once invented, the art of watchmaking is
capable of being reduced to a mere mechanical labour, which may be
exercised by any man of common capacity, according to certain precise
rules, when made familiar to him by practice: of this painting is not
capable.

_Hen._ But, my dear father, making books surely requires a great deal of
thinking and study; and yet I remember the other day at dinner a
gentleman said that Mr. Pica had manufactured a large volume in less
than a fortnight.

_Fa._ It was meant to convey a satirical remark on his book because it
was compiled from other authors, from whom he had taken a page in one
place, and a page in another; so that it was not produced by the labour
of his brain, but of his hands. Thus you heard your mother complain that
the London cream was manufactured; which was a pointed and concise way
of saying that the cream was not what it ought to be, or what it
pretended to be: for cream, when genuine, is a pure production; but when
mixed up and adulterated with flour and isinglass, and I know not what,
it becomes a manufacture. It was as much as to say, art has been here
where it has no business; where it is not beneficial, but hurtful. A
great deal of the delicacy of language depends upon an accurate
knowledge of the specific meaning of single terms, and a nice attention
to their relative propriety.

_Hen._ Have all nations manufactures?

_Fa._ All that are in any degree cultivated; but it very often happens
that countries naturally the poorest have manufactures of the greatest
extent and variety.

_Hen._ Why so?

_Fa._ For the same reason, I apprehend, that individuals, who are rich
without any labour of their own, are seldom so industrious and active as
those who depend upon their own exertions: thus the Spaniards, who
possess the richest gold and silver mines in the world, are in want of
many conveniences of life which are enjoyed in London and Amsterdam.

_Hen._ I can comprehend that: I believe if my uncle Leger were to find a
gold mine under his warehouse, he would soon shut up his shop.

_Fa._ I believe so. It is not, however, easy to establish manufactures
in a _very poor_ nation: they require science and genius for their
invention, art and contrivance for their execution; order, peace, and
union, for their flourishing. They require, too, a number of men to
combine together in an undertaking, and to prosecute it with the most
patient industry; they require, therefore, laws and government for their
protection. If you see extensive manufactures in any nation, you may be
sure it is a civilized nation, you may be sure property is accurately
ascertained and protected. They require great expenses for their first
establishment, costly machines for shortening manual labour, and money
and credit for purchasing materials from distant countries. There is not
a single manufacture of Great Britain which does not require, in some
part or other of its process, productions from the different parts of
the globe, oils, drugs, varnish, quicksilver, and the like: it requires,
therefore, _ships_ and a friendly intercourse with foreign nations, to
transport commodities and exchange productions. We could not be a
manufacturing, unless we were also a commercial nation. They require
time to take root in any place, and their excellence often depends upon
some nice and delicate circumstance; a peculiar quality, for instance,
in the air or water, or some other local circumstance not easily
ascertained. Thus, I have heard that the Irish women spin better than
the English, because the moister temperature of their climate makes
their skin more soft and their fingers more flexible: thus again we
cannot die so beautiful a scarlet as the French can, though with the
same drugs, perhaps on account of the superior purity of the air. But
though so much is necessary for the perfection of the more curious and
complicated manufactures, all nations possess those which are
subservient to the common conveniences of life;—the loom and the forge,
particularly, are of the highest antiquity.

_Hen._ Yes; I remember Hector bids Andromache return to her apartments,
and employ herself in weaving with her maids; and I remember the shield
of Achilles.

_Fa._ True; and you likewise remember, in an earlier period, the fine
linen of Egypt: and to go still higher, the working of iron and brass is
recorded of Tubal-Cain before the flood.

_Hen._ Which is the most important, manufactures or agriculture?

_Fa._ Agriculture is the most _necessary_, because it is first of all
necessary that man should live; but almost all the enjoyments and
comforts of life are produced by manufactures.

_Hen._ Why are we obliged to take so much pains to make ourselves
comfortable?

_Fa._ To exercise our industry. Nature provides the materials for man.
She pours out at his feet a profusion of gems, metals, dies, plants,
ores, bark, stones, gums, wax, marbles, woods, roots, skins, earth, and
minerals of all kinds! She has likewise given him tools.

_Hen._ I did not know that nature gave us tools.

_Fa._ No! what are those two instruments you carry always about with
you, so strong and yet so flexible, so nicely jointed, and branched out
into five long, taper, unequal divisions, any of which may be contracted
or stretched out at pleasure; the extremities of which have a feeling so
wonderfully delicate, and which are strengthened and defended by horn?

_Hen._ The hands?

_Fa._ Yes. Man is as much superior to the brutes in his outward form, by
means of the hand, as he is in his mind by the gifts of reason. The
trunk of the elephant comes perhaps the nearest to it in its exquisite
feeling and flexibility, (it is, indeed, called his hand in Latin,) and
accordingly that animal has always been reckoned the wisest of brutes.
When Nature gave man the hand, she said to him. “Exercise your ingenuity
and work.” As soon as ever a man rises above the state of a savage, he
begins to contrive and to make things, in order to improve his forlorn
condition: thus you may remember Thomson represents Industry coming to
the poor shivering wretch, and teaching him the arts of life:—

            “Taught him to chip the wood, and hew the stone,
            Till by degrees the finished fabric rose;
            Tore from his limbs the bloody-polluted fur,
            And wrapped them in the woolly vestment warm,
            Or bright in glossy silk and flowing lawn.”

_Hen._ It must require a great deal of knowledge, I suppose, for so many
curious works; what kind of knowledge is most necessary?

_Fa._ There is not any which may not be occasionally employed; but the
two sciences which most assist the manufacturer are _mechanics_ and
_chymistry_; the one for building mills, working mines, and in general
for constructing wheels, wedges, pulleys, &c., either to shorten the
labour of man, by performing it in less time, or to perform what the
strength of man alone could not accomplish; the other in fusing and
working ores, in dying and bleaching, and extracting the virtues of
various substances for particular uses; making of soap, for instance, is
a chymical operation; and by chymistry an ingenious gentleman has lately
found out a way of bleaching a piece of cloth in eight-and-forty hours,
which by the common process would have taken up a great many weeks. You
have heard of Sir Richard Arkwright, who died lately?

_Hen._ Yes, I have heard he was at first only a barber, and shaved
people for a penny apiece.

_Fa._ He did so; but having a strong turn for mechanics, he invented, or
at least perfected a machine, by which one pair of hands may do the work
of twenty or thirty; and, as in this country every one is free to rise
by merit, he acquired the largest fortune in the country, had a great
many hundreds of workmen under his orders, and had leave given him by
the king to put _Sir_ before his name.

_Hen._ Did that do him any good?

_Fa._ It pleased him, I suppose, or he would not have accepted of it;
and you will allow, I imagine, that if titles are used, it does honour
to those who bestow them, when they are given to such as have made
themselves noticed for something useful. Arkwright used to say, that if
he had time to perfect his inventions, he would put a fleece of wool
into a box, and it should come out broadcloth.

_Hen._ What did he mean by that? Was there any fairy in the box to turn
it into broadcloth with her wand?

_Fa._ He was assisted by the only fairies that ever had the power of
transformation—art and industry: he meant that he would contrive so many
machines, wheel within wheel, that the combing, carding, and various
other operations, should be performed by mechanism, almost without the
hand of man.

_Hen._ I think, if I had not been told, I should never have been able to
guess that my coat came off the back of the sheep.

_Fa._ You hardly would; but there are manufactures in which the material
is much more changed than in woollen cloth. What can be meaner in
appearance than sand and ashes? Would you imagine anything beautiful
could be made out of such a mixture? Yet the furnace transforms this
into that transparent crystal we call glass, than which nothing is more
sparkling, more brilliant, more full of lustre. It throws about the rays
of light as if it had life and motion.

_Hen._ There is a glass shop in London which always puts me in mind of
Aladdin’s palace.

_Fa._ It is certain that if a person, ignorant of the manufacture, were
to see one of our capital shops, he would think all the treasures of
Golconda were centred there, and that every drop of cut-glass was worth
a prince’s ransom. Again, who would suppose, on seeing the green stalks
of a plant, that it could be formed into a texture so smooth, so
snowy-white, so firm, and yet so flexible as to wrap round the limbs,
and adapt itself to every movement of the body? Who would guess this
fibrous stalk could be made to float in such light undulating folds as
in our lawns and cambrics; not less fine, we presume, than that
transparent drapery which the Romans called _ventus textilis_, _woven
wind_?

_Hen._ I wonder how anybody can spin such fine thread!

_Fa._ Their fingers must have the touch of a spider, that, as Pope says,

           “Feels at each thread, and lives along the line;”

and, indeed, you recollect that Arachne was a spinster. Lace is a still
finer production from flax, and is one of those in which the original
material is most improved. How many times the price of a pound of flax
do you think that flax will be worth when made into lace?

_Hen._ A great many times, I suppose.

_Fa._ Flax at the best hand is bought at fourteen pence a pound. They
make lace at Valenciennes, in French Flanders, of ten guineas a yard—I
believe, indeed, higher—but we will say ten guineas; this yard of lace
will weigh probably more than half an ounce: what is the value of half
an ounce of flax?

_Hen._ It comes to one farthing and three quarters of a farthing.

_Fa._ Right: now tell me how many times the original value the lace is
worth.

_Hen._ Prodigious! it is worth 5760 times as much as the flax it is made
of!

_Fa._ Yet there is another material that is still more improveable than
flax.

_Hen._ What can that be?

_Fa._ Iron. The price of pig-iron is ten shillings a hundred weight;
this is not quite one farthing for two ounces: now you have seen some of
the beautiful cut-steel that looks like diamonds?

_Hen._ Yes, I have seen buckles, and pins, and watchchains.

_Fa._ Then you can form an idea of it: but you have only seen the most
common sorts. There was a chain made at Woodstock, in Oxford shire, and
sent to France, which weighed only two ounces, and cost 170_l._
Calculate how many times that had increased its value.

_Hen._ Amazing! it was worth 163,600 times the value of the iron it was
made of!

_Fa._ That is what manufacture can do: here man is a kind of creator
and, like the great Creator, he may please himself with his work, and
say it is good. In the last-mentioned manufacture, too, that of steel,
the English have the honour of excelling all the world.

_Hen._ What are the chief manufactures of England?

_Fa._ We have at present a greater variety than I can pretend to
enumerate, but our staple manufacture is woollen cloth. England abounds
in fine pastures and extensive downs, which feed great numbers of sheep:
hence our wool has always been a valuable article of trade; but we did
not always know how to work it. We used to sell it to the Flemish or
Lombards, who wrought it into cloth; till, in the year 1326, Edward the
Third invited some Flemish weavers over to teach us the art; but there
was not much made in England till the reign of Henry the Seventh.
Manchester and Birmingham are towns which have arisen to great
consequence from small beginnings, almost within the memory of old men
now living; the first for cotton and muslin goods, the second for
cutlery and hardware, in which we at this moment excel all Europe. Of
late years, too, carpets, beautiful as fine tapestry, have been
fabricated in this country. Our clocks and watches are greatly esteemed.
The earthenware plates and dishes, which we all use in common, and the
elegant set for the tea-table, ornamented with musical instruments,
which we admired in our visit yesterday, belong to a very extensive
manufactory, the seat of which is at Burslem, in Staffordshire. The
principal potteries there belong to one person, an excellent chymist,
and a man of great taste; he, in conjunction with another man of taste,
who is since dead, has made our clay more valuable than the finest
porcelain of China. He has moulded it into all the forms of grace and
beauty that are to be met with in the precious remains of the Greek and
Etruscan artists. In the more common articles he has pencilled it with
the most elegant designs, shaped it into shells and leaves, twisted it
into wickerwork, and trailed the ductile foliage round the light basket.
He has filled our cabinets and chimney-pieces with urns, lamps, and
vases, on which are lightly traced, with the purest simplicity, the fine
forms and floating draperies of Herculaneum. In short, he has given to
our houses a classic air, and has made every saloon and every
dining-room schools of taste. I should add that there is a great demand
abroad for this elegant manufacture. The emperess of Russia has some
magnificent services of it; and the other day one was sent to the king
of Spain, intended as a present from him to the archbishop of Toledo,
which cost a thousand pounds. Some morning you shall go through the
rooms in the London warehouse.

_Hen._ I should like very much to see manufactures, now you have told me
some curious things about them.

_Fa._ You will do well! There is much more entertainment to a cultivated
mind in seeing a pin made, than in many a fashionable diversion which
young people half ruin themselves to attend. In the meantime I will give
you some account of one of the most elegant of them, which is _paper_.

_Hen._ Pray do, my dear father.

_Fa._ It shall be left for another evening, however, for it is now late.
Good-night.

[Illustration:

  The Two Robbers, p. 148.

  EVENING XII.
]



                 A LESSON IN THE ART OF DISTINGUISHING.


_Father._ Come hither, Charles; what is that you see grazing in the
meadow before you?

_Charles._ It is a horse.

_Fa._ Whose horse is it?

_Ch._ I do not know; I never saw it before.

_Fa._ How do you know it is a horse, if you never saw it before?

_Ch._ Because it is like other horses.

_Fa._ Are all horses alike, then?

_Ch._ Yes.

_Fa._ If they are alike, how do you know one horse from another?

_Ch._ They are not quite alike.

_Fa._ But they are so much alike, that you can easily distinguish a
horse from a cow?

_Ch._ Yes, indeed.

_Fa._ Or from a cabbage?

_Ch._ A horse from a cabbage? yes, surely I can.

_Fa._ Very well; then let us see if you can tell how a horse differs
from a cabbage?

_Ch._ Very easily; a horse is alive?

_Fa._ True; and how is every thing called which is alive?

_Ch._ I believe all things that are alive are called _animals_.

_Fa._ Right; but can you tell me what a horse and a cabbage are alike
in?

_Ch._ Nothing, I believe.

_Fa._ Yes, there is one thing in which the slenderest moss that grows
upon the wall is like the greatest man or the highest angel.

_Ch._ Because God made them.

_Fa._ Yes: and how do you call everything that is made?

_Ch._ A creature.

_Fa._ A horse, then, is a creature, but also a living creature; that is
to say, an animal.

_Ch._ And a cabbage is a dead creature: that is the difference.

_Fa._ Not so, neither; nothing is dead that has never been alive.

_Ch._ What must I call it, then, if it is neither dead nor alive?

_Fa._ An inanimate creature; there is the animate and inanimate
creation. Plants, stones, metals, are of the latter class; horses belong
to the former.

_Ch._ But the gardener told me some of my cabbages were _dead_, and some
were _alive_.

_Fa._ Very true. Plants have a _vegetative_ life, a principle of growth
and decay; this is common to them with all organized bodies; but they
have not sensation, at least we do not know they have—they have not
life, therefore in the sense in which animals enjoy it.

_Ch._ A horse is called an animal, then?

_Fa._ Yes; but a salmon is an animal; and so is a sparrow; how will you
distinguish a horse from these?

_Ch._ A salmon lives in the water, and swims; a sparrow flies and lives
in the air.

_Fa._ I think a salmon could not walk on the ground, even if it could
live out of the water.

_Ch._ No, indeed, it has no legs.

_Fa._ And a bird cannot gallop like a horse.

_Ch._ No; It hops upon its two slender legs.

_Fa._ How many legs has a horse?

_Ch._ Four.

_Fa._ And an ox?

_Ch._ Four likewise.

_Fa._ And a camel?

_Ch._ Four still.

_Fa._ Do you know any animals which live upon the earth that have not
four legs?

_Ch._ I think not; they have all four legs, except worms and insects,
and such things.

_Fa._ You remember, I suppose, what an animal is called that has four
legs; you have it in your little books?

_Ch._ A quadruped.

_Fa._ A horse then, is a _quadruped_: by this we distinguish him from
birds, fishes, and insects.

_Ch._ And from men.

_Fa._ True; but if you had been talking about birds, you would not have
found it so easy to distinguish them.

_Ch._ How so? a man is not at all like a bird.

_Fa._ Yet an ancient philosopher could find no way to distinguish them,
but by calling man a _two-legged animal without feathers_.

_Ch._ I think he was very silly; they are not at all alike, though they
have both two legs.

_Fa._ Another ancient philosopher, called Diogenes, was of your opinion.
He stripped a cock of his feathers, and turned him into the school where
Plato, that was his name, was teaching, and said, “Here is Plato’s man
for you!”

_Ch._ I wish I had been there, I should have laughed very much.

_Fa._ Probably. Before we laugh at others, however, let us see what we
can do ourselves. We have not yet found anything which will distinguish
a horse from an elephant, or from a Norway rat.

_Ch._ Oh, that is easy enough! An elephant is very large, and a rat is
very small; a horse is neither large nor small.

_Fa._ Before we go any farther look what is settled on the skirt of your
coat.

_Ch._ It is a butterfly: what a prodigiously large one! I never saw such
a one before.

_Fa._ Is it larger than a rat, think you?

_Ch._ No, that it is not.

_Fa._ Yet you called the butterfly large, and you called the rat small.

_Ch._ It is very large for a butterfly.

_Fa._ It is so. You see, therefore, that large and small are _relative
terms_.

_Ch._ I do not well understand that phrase.

_Fa._ It means that they have no precise and determinate signification
in themselves, but are applied differently according to the other ideas
which you join with them, and the different positions in which you view
them. This butterfly, therefore, is _large_, compared with those of its
own species, and _small_ compared with many other species of animals.
Besides, there is no circumstance which varies more than the size of
individuals. If you were to give an idea of a horse from its size, you
would certainly say it was much bigger than a dog; yet if you take the
smallest Shetland horse, and the largest Irish greyhound, you will find
them very much upon a par; size, therefore, is not a circumstance by
which you can accurately distinguish one animal from another; nor yet is
colour.

_Ch._ No; there are black horses, and bay, and white, and pied.

_Fa._ But you have not seen that variety of colours in a hare for
instance.

_Ch._ No, a hare is always brown.

_Fa._ Yet if you were to depend upon that circumstance, you would not
convey the idea of a hare to a mountaineer, or an inhabitant of Siberia;
for he sees them white as snow. We must, therefore find out some
circumstances that do not change like size and colour, and I may add
shape, though they are not so obvious, nor perhaps so striking. Look at
the feet of quadrupeds; are they all alike?

_Ch._ No: some have long taper claws, and some have thick clumsy feet
without claws.

_Fa._ The thick feet are horny: are they not?

_Ch._ Yes, I recollect they are called hoofs.

_Fa._ And the feet that are not covered with horn and are divided into
claws, are called _digitated_, from _digitus_, a finger; because they
are parted like fingers. Here, then, we have one grand division of
quadrupeds into _hoofed_ and _digitated_. Of which division is the
horse?

_Ch._ He is hoofed.

_Fa._ There are a great many different kinds of horses; did you ever
know one that was not hoofed?

_Ch._ No, never.

_Fa._ Do you think we run any hazard of a stranger telling us, “Sir,
horses are hoofed indeed in your country; but in mine, which is in a
different climate, and where we feed them differently, they have claws?”

_Ch._ No, I dare say not.

_Fa._ Then we have got something to our purpose; a circumstance easily
marked, which always belongs to the animal, under every variation of
situation or treatment. But an ox is hoofed, and so is a sheep; we must
distinguish still farther. You have often stood by, I suppose, while the
smith was shoeing a horse. What kind of a hoof has he?

_Ch._ It is round and all in one piece.

_Fa._ And is that of an ox so?

_Ch._ No, it is divided.

_Fa._ A horse, then, is not only hoofed but _whole-hoofed_. Now how many
quadrupeds do you think there are in the world that are whole-hoofed?

_Ch._ Indeed I do not know.

_Fa._ There are, among all animals that we are acquainted with, either
in this country or in any other, only the horse, the ass, and the zebra,
which is a species of the wild ass. Now, therefore, you see we have
nearly accomplished our purpose; we have only to distinguish him from
the ass.

_Ch._ That is easily done, I believe; I should be sorry if any body
could mistake my little horse for an ass.

_Fa._ It is not so easy, however, as you imagine; the eye readily
distinguishes them by the air and general appearance, but naturalists
have been rather puzzled to fix upon any specific difference, which may
serve the purpose of a definition. Some have, therefore, fixed upon the
ears, others on the mane and tail. What kind of ears has an ass?

_Ch._ Oh, very long clumsy ears! Asses’ ears are always laughed at.

_Fa._ And the horse?

_Ch._ The horse has small ears, nicely turned and upright.

_Fa._ And the mane, is there no difference there?

_Ch._ The horse has a fine long flowing mane; the ass has hardly any.

_Fa._ And the tail: is it not fuller of hair in the horse than in the
ass?

_Ch._ Yes; the ass has only a few long hairs at the end of the tail; but
the horse has a long bushy tail when it is not cut.

_Fa._ Which, by the way, it is a pity it ever should. Now, then, observe
what particulars we have got. _A horse is an animal of the quadruped
kind, whole-hoofed, with short erect ears, a flowing mane, and a tail
covered in every part with long hairs._ Now is there any other animal,
think you, in the world, that answers these particulars?

_Ch._ I do not know; this does not tell us a great deal about him.

_Fa._ And yet it tells us enough to distinguish him from all the
different tribes of the creation which we are acquainted with in any
part of the earth. Do you know now what we have been making?

_Ch._ What?

_Fa._ A DEFINITION. It is the business of a definition to distinguish
precisely the thing defined from any other thing, and to do it in as few
terms as possible. Its object is to separate the subject of definition,
first from those with which it has only a general resemblance, then,
from those which agree with it in a greater variety of particulars; and
so on till by constantly throwing out all which have not the qualities
we have taken notice of, we come at length to the individual or the
species we wish to ascertain. It is a kind of chase, and resembles the
manner of hunting in some countries, where they first enclose a large
circle with their dogs, nets, and horses; and then, by degrees, draw
their toils closer and closer, driving their game before them till it is
at length brought into so narrow a compass that the sportsmen have
nothing to do but to knock down their prey.

_Ch._ Just as we have been hunting this horse, till at last we held him
fast by his ears and tail.

_Fa._ I should observe to you, that in the definition naturalists give
of a horse it is generally mentioned that he has six cutting teeth in
each jaw; because this circumstance of the teeth has been found a very
convenient one for characterizing large classes: but as it is not
absolutely necessary here, I have omitted it; a definition being the
most perfect the fewer particulars you make use of, provided you can say
with certainty from those particulars the object so characterized must
be this and no other whatever.

_Ch._ But, papa, if I had never seen a horse, I should not know what
kind of animal it was by this definition.

_Fa._ Let us hear, then, how you would give me an idea of a horse.

_Ch._ I would say it was a fine large prancing creature with slender
legs and an arched neck, and a sleek, smooth skin, and a tail that
sweeps the ground, and that he snorts and neighs very loud, and tosses
his head, and runs as swift as the wind.

_Fa._ I think you learned some verses upon the horse in your last
lesson? Repeat them.

_Ch._

      The wanton courser thus with reins unbound
      Breaks from his stall, and beats the trembling ground;
      Pamper’d and proud, he seeks the wonted tides,
      And laves, in height of blood, his shining sides
      His head, now freed, he tosses to the skies;
      His mane dishevell’d o’er his shoulders flies;
      He snuffs the females in the distant plain,
      And springs, exulting, to his fields again.—POPE’S _Homer_.

_Fa._ You have said very well; but this is not a _definition_, it is a
_description_.

_Ch._ What is the difference?

_Fa._ A description is intended to give you a lively picture of an
object, as if you saw it; it ought to be very full. A definition gives
no picture to those who have not seen it: it rather tells you what its
subject is not, than what it is, by giving you such clear specific
marks, that it shall not be possible to confound it with anything else;
and hence it is of the greatest use in throwing things into classes. We
have a great many beautiful descriptions from ancient authors so loosely
worded that we cannot certainly tell what animals are meant by them:
whereas, if they had given us definitions, three lines would have
ascertained their meaning.

_Ch._ I like a description best, papa.

_Fa._ Perhaps so; I believe I should have done the same at your age.
Remember, however, that nothing is more useful than to learn to form
ideas with precision, and to express them with accuracy; I have not
given you a definition to teach you what a horse is, but to teach you to
_think_.



                          THE PHENIX AND DOVE.


A Phenix, who had long inhabited the solitary deserts of Arabia, once
flew so near the habitations of men as to meet with a tame dove, who was
sitting on her nest, with wings expanded, and fondly brooding over her
young ones, while she expected her mate, who was foraging abroad to
procure them food. The phenix, with a kind of insulting compassion, said
to her, “Poor bird, how much I pity thee! confined to a single spot, and
sunk in domestic cares, thou art continually employed either in laying
eggs or providing for thy brood; and thou exhausteth thy life and
strength in perpetuating a feeble and defenceless race. As to myself, I
live exempt from toil, care, and misfortune. I feed upon nothing less
precious than rich gums and spices. I fly through the trackless regions
of the air, and when I am seen by men, am gazed at with curiosity and
astonishment! I have no one to control my range, no one to provide for;
and when I have fulfilled my five centuries of life, and seen the
revolution of ages, I rather vanish than die, and a successor, without
my care, springs up from my ashes. I am an image of the great sun whom I
adore; and glory in being like him, single and alone, and having no
likeness.”

The dove replied, “O, phenix, I pity thee much more than thou affectest
to pity me! What pleasure canst thou enjoy, who livest forlorn and
solitary in a trackless and unpeopled desert? who hast no mate to caress
thee, no young ones to excite thy tenderness and reward thy cares, no
kindred, no society among thy fellows? Not long life only, but
immortality itself would be a curse, if it were to be bestowed on such
uncomfortable terms. For my part, I know that my life will be short, and
therefore I employ it in raising a numerous posterity, and in opening my
heart to all the sweets of domestic happiness. I am beloved by my
partner; I am dear to man; and shall leave marks behind me that I have
lived. As to the sun, to whom thou hast presumed to compare thyself,
that glorious being is so totally different from, and so infinitely
superior to, all the creatures upon earth, that it does not become us to
liken ourselves to him, or to determine upon the manner of his
existence. One obvious difference, however, thou mayest remark; that the
sun, though alone, by his prolific heat produces all things, and though
he shines so high above our heads, gives us reason every moment to bless
his beams; whereas thou, swelling with imaginary greatness, dreamest
away a long period of existence, equally void of comfort and of
usefulness.”



                       THE MANUFACTURE OF PAPER.


_Father._ I will now, as I promised, give you an account of the elegant
and useful manufacture of _paper_, the basis of which is itself a
manufacture. This delicate and beautiful substance is made from the
meanest and most disgusting materials, from old rags, which have passed
from one poor person to another, and have perhaps at length dropped in
tatters from the child of the beggar. These are carefully picked up from
dunghills, or bought from servants by Jews, who make it their business
to go about and collect them. They sell them to the rag-merchant, who
gives them from two pence to four pence a pound, according to their
quality; and he, when he has got a sufficient quantity, disposes of them
to the owner of the papermill. He gives them first to women to sort and
pick, agreeably to their different degrees of fineness; they also with a
knife cut out carefully all the seams, which they throw into a basket
for other purposes; they then put them into the dusting-engine, a large
circular wire sieve, where they receive some degree of cleansing. The
rags are then conveyed to the mill. Here they were formerly beat to
pieces with vast hammers, which rose and fell continually with a most
tremendous noise, that was heard at a great distance. But now they put
the rags into a large trough or cistern, into which a pipe of clear
spring water is constantly flowing. In this cistern is placed a
cylinder, about two feet long, set thick round with rows of iron spikes,
standing as near as they can to one another without touching. At the
bottom of the trough there are corresponding rows of spikes. The
cylinder is made to whirl round with inconceivable rapidity, and with
these iron teeth rends and tears the cloth in every possible direction;
till, by the assistance of the water, which continually flows through
the cistern, it is thoroughly masticated, and reduced to a fine pulp;
and by the same process all its impurities are cleansed away, and it is
restored to its original whiteness. This process takes about six hours.
To improve the colour they then put in a little smalt, which gives it a
bluish cast, which all paper has more or less: the French paper has less
of it than ours. This fine pulp is next put into a copper of warm water.
It is the substance of paper, but the form must now be given it: for
this purpose they use a mould. It is made of wire, strong one way, and
crossed with finer. This mould they just dip horizontally into the
copper and take it out again. It has a little wooden frame on the edge,
by means of which it retains as much of the pulp as is wanted for the
thickness of the sheet, and the water runs off through the interstices
of the wires. Another man instantly receives it, opens the frame, and
turns out the thin sheet, which has now shape, but not consistence, upon
soft felt, which is placed on the ground to receive it. On that is
placed another piece of felt, and then another sheet of paper, and so
on, till they have made a pile of forty or fifty. They are then pressed
with a large screw-press, moved by a long lever, which forcibly squeezes
the water out of them, and gives them immediate consistence. There is
still, however, a great deal to be done. The felts are taken off, and
thrown on one side, and the paper on the other, whence it is dexterously
taken up with an instrument in the form of a T, three sheets at a time,
and hung on lines to dry. There it hangs for a week or ten days, which
likewise further whitens it; and any knots and roughness it may have are
picked off carefully by the women. It is then sized. Size is a kind of
glue; and without this preparation the paper would not bear ink; it
would run and blot as you see it does on gray paper. The sheets are just
dipped into the size and taken out again. The exact degree of sizing is
a matter of nicety, which can only be known by experience. They are then
hung up again to dry, and when dry, taken to the finishing-room, where
they are examined anew, pressed in the dry-presses, which give them
their last gloss and smoothness; counted up into quires, made up into
reams, and sent to the stationer’s, from whom we have it, after he has
folded it again and cut the edges; some too he makes to shine like
satin, by hot-pressing it, or glossing it with hot plates. The whole
process of papermaking takes about three weeks.

_Har._ It is a very curious process indeed. I shall almost scruple for
the future to blacken a sheet of paper with a careless scrawl, now I
know how much pains it costs to make it so white and beautiful.

_Fa._ It is true that there is hardly anything we use with so much waste
and profusion as this manufacture: we should think ourselves confined in
the use of it, if we might not tear, disperse, and destroy it in a
thousand ways; so that it is really astonishing whence linen enough can
be procured to answer so vast a demand. As to the coarse brown papers,
of which an astonishing quantity is used by every shopkeeper in
packages, &c., these are made chiefly of oakum, that is, old hempen
ropes. A fine paper is made in China of silk.

_Har._ I have heard lately of woven paper; pray, what is that? they
cannot weave paper, surely!

_Fa._ Your question is very natural. In order to answer it, I must
desire you to take a sheet of common paper, and hold it up against the
light. Do not you see marks in it?

_Har._ I see a great many white lines running along lengthwise, like
ribs, and smaller that cross them. I see, too, letters and the figure of
a crown.

_Fa._ These are all the marks of the wires; the thickness of the wire
prevents so much of the pulp lying upon the sheet in those places,
consequently wherever the wires are the paper is thinner, and you see
the light through more readily, which gives that appearance of white
lines. The letters, too, are worked in the wire, and are the maker’s
name. Now, to prevent these lines, which take off from the beauty of the
paper, particularly of drawing-paper, there have been lately used moulds
of brass wire, exceeding fine, of equal thickness, and woven or latticed
one within another: the marks therefore of these are easily pressed out,
so as to be hardly visible; if you look at this sheet you will see it is
quite smooth.

_Har._ It is so.

_Fa._ I should mention to you, that there is a discovery very lately
made, by which they can make paper equal to any in whiteness, of the
coarsest brown rags, and even of died cotton; which they have till now
been obliged to throw by for inferior purposes.

_Har._ That is like what you told me before of bleaching cloth in a few
hours.

_Fa._ It is indeed founded upon the same discovery. The paper made of
these brown rags is likewise more valuable, from being very tough and
strong, almost like parchment.

_Har._ When was the making of paper found out?

_Fa._ It is a disputed point, but probably in the fourteenth century.
The invention has been of almost equal consequence to literature with
that of printing itself; and shows how the arts and sciences, like
children of the same family, mutually assist and bring forward each
other.



                            THE TWO ROBBERS.


  Scene—_Alexander the Great in his tent. Guards. A man with a fierce
        countenance, chained and fettered, brought before him._

_Alex._ What, art thou the Thracian robber of whose exploits I have
heard so much?

_Rob._ I am a Thracian and a soldier.

_A._ A soldier!—a thief, a plunderer, an assassin! the pest of the
country! could honour thy courage, but I must detest and punish thy
crimes.

_R._ What have I done, of which _you_ can complain?

_A._ Hast thou not set at defiance my authority, violated the public
peace, and passed thy life in injuring the persons and properties of thy
fellow-subjects?

_R._ Alexander, I am your captive—I must hear what you please to say,
and endure what you please to inflict. But my soul is unconquered; and
if I reply at all to your reproaches, I will reply like a free man.

_A._ Speak freely. Far be it from me to take the advantage of my power
to silence those with whom I deign to converse!

_R._ I must then answer your question by another. How have _you_ passed
your life?

_A._ Like a hero. Ask Fame and she will tell you. Among the brave, I
have been the bravest; among sovereigns, the noblest; among conquerors,
the mightiest.

_R._ And does not fame speak of me, too? Was there ever a bolder captain
of a more valiant band? Was there ever—but I scorn to boast. You
yourself know that I have not been easily subdued.

_A._ Still, what are you but a robber—a base dishonest robber?

_R._ And what is a conqueror? Have not you, too, gone about the earth
like an evil genius, blasting the fair fruits of peace and
industry;—plundering, ravaging, killing without law, without justice,
merely to gratify an insatiable lust for dominion? All that I have done
to a single district with a hundred followers, you have done to whole
nations with a hundred thousand. If I have stripped individuals, you
have ruined kings and princes. If I have burnt a few hamlets, you have
desolated the most flourishing kingdoms and cities of the earth. What is
then the difference, but that as you were born a king, and I a private
man, you have been able to become a mightier robber than I?

_A._ But if I have taken like a king, I have given like a king. If I
have subverted empires, I have founded greater. I have cherished arts,
commerce, and philosophy.

_R._ I, too, have freely given to the poor what I took from the rich. I
have established order and discipline among the most ferocious of
mankind; and have stretched out my protecting arm over the oppressed. I
know, indeed, little of the philosophy you talk of; but I believe
neither you nor I shall ever repay to the world the mischiefs we have
done it.

_A._ Leave me—take off his chains, and use him well. (_Exit robber._)
Are we then so much alike?—Alexander to a robber?—Let me reflect.

[Illustration:

  EVENING XIII.
]



                       THE COUNCIL OF QUADRUPEDS.


Among the large branches of an aged oak, which grew in the midst of a
thick wood, lived once upon a time a wildcat. In that tree she was born
and brought up, and had nursed many litters of kittens; her mother and
her grandmother, had lived there before her; indeed, I believe that, as
long as the oak had been an oak, this family of wildcats had made it
their home.

One day, as she was couching among some bushes near the foot of her
tree, watching her opportunity to spring upon any poor little bird who
might happen to alight within her reach, she heard a great rustling in
the thicket, and presently two men pushed their way through, and stood
before her. This part of the forest was so tangled and wild, and so far
from any human habitation, that it was a rare thing to see men there,
and the cat wondered very much why they came; so she lay quite still in
her hiding-place, watching them and listening to hear what they should
say. She soon discovered that they were woodcutters, for each was armed
with an axe, which he carried upon his shoulder.

Presently one said to his fellow, “Is it all to be cut down?”—“All the
whole forest,” answered the other, “and the ground is to be ploughed up
and sown with corn, but the largest trees are to be felled first.”—“If
that be the case,” said the first, “we cannot begin better than with
this noble oak before us, and I will put a mark on it that we may know
it again.” So saying, he pulled out a piece of chalk, and made a large
white cross on the bark of the poor cat’s own tree. “Next week,” added
he, “we will lay the axe to the root.” And he walked on, whistling with
great unconcern.

The unfortunate cat lay a long time on the ground, half dead with grief
and terror, and unable to move a limb. At length, after uttering several
cries so loud and shrill that the whole forest seemed to ring again, she
started up, and ran like one distracted to spread the dismal news among
her neighbours of the wood. The first creature that she met was the
stag: he had just started up from his lair, amid the thickest cover, and
stood listening, ready to bound away on the first appearance of danger.
“Was it you, neighbour puss,” cried he, “who set up that frightful yell
which I heard? I almost thought the hounds and hunters were upon me;—but
what is the matter?”—“Matter enough,” answered the cat; “worse than
either hounds or hunters; the forest is to be cut down.” And she told
him her sad story. “The forest cut down!” brayed out the poor stag,
while the tears ran in large drops down his hairy face; “and what is to
become of me and you, and all our neighbours? Man has always been my
enemy, but this is a stroke of cruelty which I did not expect even from
him. Is there no help, no remedy?”—“I will fight for my tree,” cried the
cat, “as long as teeth and claws hold good: and you with your great
horns may surely defend your own thicket; but this _man_ is a terrible
creature, and he has so many crafty tricks, that I know nobody, except
the fox, who is at all a match for him; suppose we run and ask his
advice.” “With all my heart,” said the stag; and they marched away
together in search of him.

The fox had his abode near the skirts of the forest, in the middle of a
dry bank, thickly covered with bushes and brambles. His hole was
burrowed deep into the earth, and cunningly contrived with several
openings on different sides, by which he might make his escape in case
of danger. The cat put her head in at one of the entrances, and called
to him to come out; but it was not till he had carefully peeped about,
and thoroughly satisfied himself that all was safe, that cunning Reynard
ventured to trust himself abroad.

In great distress the stag related the cause of their coming. “I have
heard something of this matter before,” replied the fox; “but you are
too condescending to come and ask the advice of a simple creature like
myself, who never yet knew what policy or artifice meant, and—.” Here
the cat and the stag eagerly interrupted him, and with one voice began
to compliment him on the sagacity and wisdom for which all the world
gave him credit, declaring that their whole hope and consolation rested
on his counsels. “Well,” returned the fox, “since you will have it so,
though I blush to utter my poor thoughts before beasts so much my
superiors, I will venture with all humility to suggest, that a general
meeting be immediately summoned of all the animals of the forest, in
order that we may take our measures in concert, and after hearing the
opinions of all.”

“An excellent proposal!” cried the stag. “An excellent proposal!” echoed
the cat; “but who shall we send to call them all together?”—“I would go
to them myself,” replied the fox, “but it is possible that some of the
smaller animals might doubt the innocence of my intentions, and refuse
to come; for I have been a much calumniated creature. The same thing
might happen with you, neighbour Puss; the squirrel and the mouse
especially....” “True,” cried the cat, “they would, perhaps, be taking
some idle notions into their heads....” “And as to my lord the stag,”
rejoined Reynard, “he is a beast of far too exalted a rank for such an
office. Stay, there is my worthy friend the hedgehog, suppose we send
him; a little slow of foot, to be sure, and not wonderfully bright; but
a plain honest creature as any that lives, well spoken of throughout the
forest, and the enemy of no one, except indeed of the flies and the
beetles; but we do not call the insects to council, of course.”—“Of
course,” rejoined the cat; “but what shall we say to the
reptiles?”—“Why, as to my neighbour the viper,” returned the fox, “I own
I am inclined to think favourably of him, whatever some may whisper to
his disadvantage; his temper indeed may be none of the mildest, but he
knows how to make himself respected, and I think we must by no means
leave him out; and if he is admitted, in common civility his cousin the
snake must be invited also.”—“And what say you to the toad, the frog,
and the newt?” asked the stag. “Poor creatures,” said the fox with a
sneer, “your lordship is certainly very condescending to remember the
existence of beings so inferior. They sit in our council, truly!
However, I would by no means give offence, at a time like this, even to
the meanest—they may be permitted to hear the debate, provided they do
not presume to speak among their betters.”

The fox now called in a somewhat imperious tone to the hedgehog to come
forth. At the sound of his voice, the little creature roused himself
with some difficulty from his morning’s nap, and hastily unrolling
himself and clearing his prickly coat from the grass and dead leaves
that stuck in it, and added not a little to his rude, slovenly
appearance, he crept out from his hole under the roots of a tree, and
inquired with much humility what Mr. Reynard wanted with him. The fox
explained in few words the alarming occurrence of the morning, and thus
proceeded to give the hedgehog his orders:—

“You are to summon all our good neighbours to meet this evening, an hour
before sunset, under the great yew-tree that stands by itself near the
centre of the wood. Please to attend, and I will name them to you in
their order, that you may make no mistakes. First, you turn down into
yonder dingle, and there, just beyond the old poplar which is blown up
by the roots and lies across the way, look very sharp, and in a snug
sheltered nook you will spy a hole running down into the steep bank; at
the bottom of it you will find the badger. Beg him to come without fail;
excepting the present company there is no animal in the forest of
greater size and consequence, nor whom I respect more. A little lower
down, on the very brink of the stream, lives my cousin the polecat;—a
damp situation, I should think, but they say he sometimes amuses himself
with fishing. He is a sharp fellow; we must by all means have him at our
council.

“The weasel comes next, and you will find him in a hollow tree not far
off. If the squirrel be not frolicking as usual among the boughs of the
large beech in which he has his nest, nuts are now ripe, and you must
look for him in the hazel-copse on the left. If I do not mistake, you
will also find the dormouse lodged under the roots of that large oak
hard by which is so full of acorns; and the woodmouse is his next-door
neighbour.

“You must then turn off toward the edge of the forest, and search among
the fern-brakes till you find the hare; she sits close in her form all
day. Assure her that we are extremely desirous of her company; and if
she, or any other of our good neighbours, should make the smallest
scruple of meeting puss or myself, be sure to mention that my lord the
stag passes his word for their safety, both coming and returning. The
snake will probably be sunning himself on the grass a little lower down;
and in the dry part of the wood above, if you look narrowly, you will
spy the viper lurking among the dead leaves. And now you may be gone.”

The hedgehog trudged off with his commission.

In the evening every one of the animals made his appearance under the
yew-tree, except the little lazy dormouse, who had just opened his eyes
when the hedgehog delivered his message, then turned himself round,
fallen asleep again, and forgotten the whole matter.

As undoubted lord of the forest, the stag took the upper place; puss
seated herself on his right, and Reynard on his left; the others placed
themselves in due order below. The stag opened the business of the day
by calling upon the cat to relate what she had that morning seen and
heard. Immediately, the afflicted creature yelled out her dismal tale,
ending with a long and melancholy mew which was echoed by every animal
present in his own note; the stag brayed, the fox howled, the polecat
and weasel cried, the badger and squirrel growled, the snake and viper
hissed, the hare screamed, and the mouse squeaked. When the din of these
discordant noises had a little subsided, “My friends,” said the stag,
“lamentations are in vain, let us now consider what is to be done; shall
we look on in tame submission to see our native wood levelled with the
earth, and ourselves turned out upon the wide world to seek for food and
shelter wherever we may find them, or shall we not rather all join to
defend it with such weapons as nature has given us? Let the cat speak
first.”

“I am for open war,” cried puss; “these teeth and these talons were not
bestowed upon me for nothing;” (and as she spoke she unsheathed a set of
claws at sight of which the mouse and the squirrel trembled all over.)
“The first man who attacks my tree shall feel them in his eyes; I will
defend my native home as long as I have breath in my body. Who is of the
same mind?”

“Reynard, let us hear your opinion,” said the stag. “I beg to speak
last,” said the crafty fox; “perhaps I have not yet made up my opinion.”

“For my part,” growled out the badger, thrusting forward his clumsy
person as he spoke, “I am not so cunning as some folks; I speak my mind
and care for nobody; and I have only this to say—that I never attack
first, but I have strong teeth and a tough hide; and if anybody attempts
to turn me out of my den, whether man, dog, or any other beast, I shall
try to make him repent it.”

It was observed that the badger, as he spoke, threw a sullen look at the
fox, which plainly showed that he had not forgotten the knavish trick by
which Reynard had once contrived to turn him out of a hole which he had
dug with the labours of his own claws, and to keep possession of it for
himself.

The viper now glided forward in easy curves, and coiling himself up, and
darting out his forked tongue in a threatening attitude, “Man,” said he,
“is my enemy, and I am his; let him set foot in my dominions if he
dares; I have a venom in my fangs which will soon teach him that my
anger is not to be despised.”

“I,” murmured out the snake, “have no venom to boast; I am an innocent
and defenceless creature, and I own that so far from attempting to
resist the invader, I shall quickly retreat from his approach. Nature,
in her bounty, has endued me with the power of swimming; and when I can
no longer find a shelter beneath these quiet shades, I shall plunge into
the stream which bounds our domain, and seek a safer retreat among the
tall weeds which flourish on its farther shore.”

“As for me,” feebly screamed out the hare, as she limped forth, staring
around her with a look of affright, “all the world must be aware how
weak and timid a creature I am. It has been said that I have many
friends, but I have never yet found a protector, and cruel and powerful
enemies lie in wait for my harmless life on every side. What will become
of me I know not, probably some evil end awaits me; but I shall use
these nimble legs, my only hope of safety, to bear me far away from the
dreadful sight of man.”

The sprightly squirrel came forward with a bound. “I have teeth,” cried
he, “very able to crack a nut, and claws by which I can cling fast
enough to a bough, but how am I to contend against the mighty power of
man? He would twist off my poor little head before I could draw one drop
of blood from his finger. It is true that I can live only in trees, and
one might as well die fighting as pine away with misery and hunger; but
I have better things in view than either. From the summit of my beech, I
have often observed, at some distance on the farther side of the river,
a group of noble chestnuts growing in a park, which would supply me both
with food and lodging. I have also discovered a spot where two trees on
opposite sides of the stream stretch forth their arms, and nearly meet
above:—I have made up my mind to the adventure; one bold leap will bear
me safely, I hope, to the farther shore, and the new and beautiful
country that lies beyond it.”

“I believe,” squeaked a small shrill voice which was found to proceed
from the mouse, “that my services would be of small importance in a war
against mankind; and I do not offer them. To say the truth, I find
myself, on second thoughts, not greatly concerned in this affair. If I
lose my nuts and acorns by the fall of the trees, I shall get wheat,
barley, and oats, in exchange, which are not worse eating, and I can
lodge full as well in the middle of a corn-rick as under the roots of a
tree.—Every one for himself in this world.”

“Our little friend is much in the right,” cried the weasel; “I really
believe that we shall find vastly comfortable lodging about barns and
farmhouses, and the very thought of a poultry-yard makes my mouth water:
for such an exchange I should not object to giving up my quarters in the
wood to-morrow.”—“Nor I, I protest,” exclaimed the polecat. “Hens’ eggs
are not bad things, and how delicious to fatten on the blood of turkeys,
geese, and chickens! A forest is not absolutely necessary to me; I can
hide myself well enough in a hedge, or under a ditch-bank.”

“Reynard,” said the stag, “all have spoken now but you, and we are
impatient for your opinion.”

The fox arose, cast his eyes on the ground with an air of great modesty,
and after pausing a few moments, as if to gain courage to speak, he thus
began, gracefully waving his long bushy tail as he spoke:—“While I
listened to the warlike eloquence of the cat, to the indignant harangue
of the viper, and to the resolute speech of my worthy friend, the
badger, I. like them, felt myself inspired with the valiant resolution
to die in defence of our native wood, and in open war with man. But when
I afterward began to consider the weakness of our lesser brethren, the
smallness of our numbers, and the wonderful power and resources of man,
I was induced to change my opinion. We cannot hope for victory, why
should we throw away our lives? The viper, in spite of his courage and
his venom, would be caught by the neck in a cleft stick, and put
ingloriously to death very likely before he had been able to inflict a
single bite. The badger is a favourite object of the cruelty of man; he
would set upon him his whole troop of dogs, hateful brutes, who are
always joined in league with him against their fellow beasts!—and though
my worthy friend would fight like a hero, and kill or maim several of
them, he would at length be torn in pieces. Of what avail would be the
teeth and claws of the cat against that thunder and lightning by which
man has the art of killing from afar? She would be brought down from her
highest bough pierced through the head or the heart, before she could
even see that enemy whose eyes she threatens to tear out with her
talons. Even you yourself, my lord stag, would assuredly fall by the
teeth of those detestable hounds after you had gored three or four of
the pack. I therefore propose more cautious measures. Not far off is a
wide unfrequented common, where the badger may dig himself a den and
remain at peace, and where the viper may glide undisturbed among the
heath and gorse. I have scarcely given a thought to the humble concerns
of my insignificant self; but perhaps I too may find some cover in that
neglected tract, which abounds also in wild rabbits. For you, my lord
stag, you have only to swim the stream to find yourself, like the
squirrel, in a noble park where man himself would be proud to become
your protector, and own you for the noblest ornament of his domain. And
why should not puss offer her services to hunt the mice and rats at some
snug farmhouse in the neighbourhood?”

“I!” interrupted puss, setting up her back and swelling in sudden anger,
“I become a fawning menial in the dwellings of man, like those miserable
little foreigners who have sometimes appeared in my sight, and whom I am
ashamed to own for cats! No, I am a beast of prey, a free native of the
English woods, and such I will live and die. Man may hunt me down, he
may destroy my whole race, as he has already hunted down and destroyed
the bear and the wolf, animals much my superiors in size and in
strength; but I disdain to become his household servant, or to skulk,
like some of vermin breed, about his outhouses, and poultry-yards,
picking up a base living by theft and rapine. And you, Reynard, crafty
knave as you are, do you think I do not see through your tricks and your
pretences? You too, like the weasel and polecat, have an eye on the
poultry-yard and the sheepfold; you live by man though he hates you, and
endeavours to destroy you, and you care not what becomes of the lives or
liberty of nobler animals: but I will reach _your_ eyes at least, and
teach you what it is to provoke me.” So saying, she flew at him in a
fury: her first attack brought him to the ground, and he was almost
blinded before he could strike a blow in his own defence. The polecat
and weasel, thinking their turns would come next, slunk away; the hare
and the smaller animals followed their example; even the stag himself
was seized with a panic and fled. The badger alone stood and looked on
with great composure at the distress of Reynard. At length, the fox,
seeing puss almost out of breath, made a desperate effort and broke
loose from her clutches. With his usual cunning he ran toward the river,
well knowing that the cat would not wet her feet. He plunged into the
water before she could overtake him, and swimming with some difficulty
to the opposite side, threw himself on the bank half dead with pain and
fright. Puss returned to her tree disappointed and sullen; and thus
unprofitably ended the Council of Quadrupeds.



                          TIT FOR TAT.—A TALE.


        A law there is of ancient fame,
          By Nature’s self in every land implanted,
        _Lex Talionis_ is its Latin name;
          But if an English term we wanted,
        Give your next neighbour but a pat,
        He’ll give you back as good, and tell you—_tit for tat_.

        This _tit for tat_, it seems, not men alone,
        But elephants, for legal justice own;
        In proof of this a story I shall tell ye,
        Imported from the famous town of Delhi.

        A mighty elephant that swell’d the state
            Of Aurengzebe the Great,
          One day was taken by his driver,
          To drink and cool him in the river;
        The driver on his neck was seated,
            And, as he rode along,
          By some acquaintance in the throng
        With a ripe cocoa-nut was treated.

        A cocoa-nut’s a pretty fruit enough,
        But guarded by a shell, both hard and tough.
          The fellow tried, and tried, and tried,
            Working and sweating,
            Pishing and fretting,
          To find out its inside,
        And pick the kernel for his eating.

        At length quite out of patience grown,
          “Who’ll reach me up,” he cries, “a stone
          To break this plaguy shell?
          But stay, I’ve here a solid bone
            May do perhaps as well.”
          So half in earnest, half in jest,
        He bang’d it on the forehead of his beast.

        An elephant, they say has human feeling,
          And full as well as we he knows
          The difference between words and blows,
        Between horse-play and civil dealing.
          Use him but well, he’ll do his best,
        And serve you faithfully and truly;
          But insults unprovoked he can’t digest,
        He studies o’er them, and repays them duly.

        “To make my head an anvil, (thought the creature,)
        Was never, certainly, the will of Nature;
        So, master mine! you may repent;”
        Then, shaking his broad ears, away he went.
          The driver took him to the water,
          And thought no more about the matter:
        But elephant within his memory hid it;
        He _felt_ the wrong,—the other only _did_ it.

          A week or two elapsed, one market-day
          Again the beast and driver took their way;
          Through rows of shops and booths they pass’d
        With eatables and trinkets stored,
          Till to a gard’ner’s stall they came at last,
        Where cocoa-nuts lay piled upon the board,—
          “Ha!” thought the elephant, “’tis now my turn
        To show this method of nut-breaking:
          My friend above will like to learn,
        Though at the cost of a head-aching.”

        Then in his curling trunk he took a heap,
        And waved it o’er his neck a sudden sweep,
          And on the hapless driver’s sconce
            He laid a blow so hard and full,
          That crack’d the nuts at once,
            But with them crack’d his scull.

            Young folks whene’er you feel inclined
          To rompish sports and freedoms roughs,
            Bear _tit for tat_ in mind,
          Nor give an elephant a cuff,
            To be repaid in kind.



                          ON WINE AND SPIRITS.


George and Harry, accompanied by their tutor, went one day to pay a
visit to a neighbouring gentleman, their father’s friend. They were very
kindly received, and shown all about the gardens and pleasure-grounds;
but nothing took their fancy so much as an extensive grapery, hung round
with bunches of various kinds fully ripe, and almost too big for the
vines to support. They were liberally treated with the fruit, and
carried away some bunches to eat as they walked. During their return, as
they were picking their grapes, George said to the tutor, “A thought is
just come into my head, sir. Wine, you know is called the juice of the
grape; but wine is hot, and intoxicates people that drink much of it.
Now we have had a good deal of grape-juice this morning, and yet I do
not feel heated, nor does it seem at all to have got into our heads.
What is the reason of this?”

_Tut._ The reason is, that grape-juice is not wine, though wine is made
from it.

_Geo._ Pray how is it made, then?

_Tut._ I will tell you; for it is a matter worth knowing. The juice
pressed from the grapes, called _must_, is at first a sweet watery
liquor, with a little tartness, but with no strength or spirit. After it
has stood awhile, it begins to grow thick and muddy, it moves up and
down, and throws scum and bubbles of air to the surface. This is called
_working_ or _fermenting_. It continues in this state for some time,
more or less, according to the quantity of the juice and the temperature
of the weather, and then gradually settles again, becoming clearer than
at first. It has now lost its sweet flat taste, and acquired a briskness
and pungency, with a heating and intoxicating property; that is, it has
become _wine_. This natural process is called the _vinous fermentation_,
and many liquors besides grape-juice are capable of undergoing it.

_Geo._ I have heard of the working of beer and ale. Is that of the same
kind?

_Tut._ It is: and beer and ale may properly be called barley-wine; for
you know they are clear, brisk, and intoxicating. In the same manner,
cider is apple-wine, and mead is honey-wine; and you have heard of
raisin-wine and currant-wine, and a great many others.

_Har._ Yes, there is elder-wine, and cowslip-wine and orange-wine.

_Geo._ Will everything of that sort make wine?

_Tut._ All vegetable juices that are sweet are capable of fermenting,
and of producing a liquor of a vinous nature; but if they have little
sweetness, the liquor is proportionally weak and poor, and is apt to
become sour or vapid.

_Har._ But barley is not sweet.

_Tut._ Barley as it comes from the ear is not; but before it is used for
brewing, it is made into _malt_, and then it is sensibly sweet. You know
what malt is?

_Har._ I have seen heaps of it in the malt-house, but I do not know how
it is made.

_Tut._ Barley is made malt by putting it in heaps and wetting it, when
it becomes hot, and swells, and would sprout out just as if it were
sown, unless it were then dried in a kiln. By this operation it acquires
a sweet taste. You have drunk sweet-wort?

_Har._ Yes.

_Tut._ Well, this is made by steeping malt in hot water. The water
extracts and dissolves all the sweet or sugary part of the malt. It then
becomes like a naturally sweet juice.

_Geo._ Would not sugar and water then make wine?

_Tut._ It would; and the wines made in England of our common fruits and
flowers have all a good deal of sugar in them. Cowslip flowers, for
example, give little more than the flavour to the wine named from them,
and it is the sugar added to them which properly makes the wine.

_Geo._ But none of these wines are so good as grape-wine?

_Tut._ No. The grape, from the richness and abundance of its juice, is
the fruit universally preferred for making wine, where it comes to
perfection, which it seldom does in our climate, except by means of
artificial heat.

_Geo._ I suppose, then, grapes are finest in the hottest countries?

_Tut._ Not so, neither; they are properly a fruit of the temperate zone,
and do not grow well between the tropics. And in very hot countries it
is scarcely possible to make wines of any kind to keep, for they ferment
so strongly as to turn sour almost immediately.

_Geo._ I think I have read of palm-wine on the coast of Guinea.

_Tut._ Yes. A sweet juice flows abundantly from incisions in certain
species of the palm; which ferments immediately, and makes a very
pleasant sort of weak wine. But it must be drunk the same day it is
made, for on the next it is as sour as vinegar.

_Geo._ What is vinegar—is it not sour wine?

_Tut._ Everything that makes wine will make vinegar also; and the
stronger the wine the stronger the vinegar. The vinous fermentation must
be first brought on, but it need not produce perfect wine, for when the
intention is to make vinegar, the liquor is kept still warm, and it goes
on without stopping to another kind of fermentation, called the
_acetous_, the product of which is vinegar.

_Geo._ I have heard of alegar. I suppose that is vinegar made of ale.

_Tut._ It is—but as ale is not so strong as wine, the vinegar made from
it is not so sharp or perfect. But housewives make good vinegar with
sugar and water.

_Har._ Will vinegar make people drunk if they take too much of it?

_Tut._ No: the wine loses its intoxicating quality as well as its taste
on turning to vinegar.

_Geo._ What are spirituous liquors—have they not something to do with
wine?

_Tut._ Yes: they consist of the spirituous or intoxicating part of wine
separated from the rest. You may remember that, on talking of
distillation, I told you that it was the raising of a liquor in steam or
vapour, and condensing it again; and that some liquors were more easily
turned to vapour than others, and were therefore called more volatile or
evaporable. Now, wine is a mixed or compound liquor, of which the
greater part is water; but what heats and intoxicates is _vinous
spirit_. This spirit being much more volatile than water, on the
application of a gentle heat, flies off in vapour, and may be collected
by itself in distilling vessels;—and thus are made spirituous liquors.

_Geo._ Will everything that you called wine yield spirits?

_Tut._ Yes: everything that has undergone the vinous fermentation. Thus,
in England a great deal of malt spirit is made from a kind of wort
brought into fermentation, and then set directly to distil, without
first making ale or beer of it. Gin is a spirituous liquor also got from
corn, and flavoured with juniper berries. Even potatoes, carrots, and
turnips, may be made to afford spirits, by first fermenting their
juices. In the West Indies, rum is distilled from the dregs of the
sugarcanes, washed out by water and fermented. But brandy is distilled
from the fermented juice of the grape, and is made in the wine
countries.

_Geo._ Is spirit of wine different from spirituous liquors?

_Tut._ It is the strongest part of them got by distilling over again;
for all these still contain a good deal of water, along with a pure
spirit, which may be separated by a gentler heat than was used at first.
But in order to procure this as strong and pure as possible, it must be
distilled several times over, always leaving some of the watery part
behind. When perfectly pure, it is the same, whatever spirituous liquor
it is got from.

_Har._ My mamma has little bottles of lavender water. What is that?

_Tut._ It is a spirit of wine flavoured with lavender flowers; and it
may in like manner be flavoured with many other fragrant things, since
their odoriferous part is volatile, and will rise in vapour along with
the spirit.

_Har._ Will not spirit of wine burn violently?

_Geo._ That it will, I can tell you: and so will rum and brandy; for you
know it was set on fire when we made snap-dragon.

_Tut._ All spirituous liquors are highly inflammable, and the more so
the purer they are. One way of trying the purity of spirit is to see if
it will burn all away without leaving any moisture behind. Then it is
much lighter than water, and that affords another way of judging of its
strength. A hollow ivory ball is set to swim in it; and the deeper it
sinks down, the lighter, and therefore the more spirituous, is the
liquor.

_Geo._ I have heard much of the mischief done by spirituous liquors—pray
what good do they do?

_Tut._ The use and abuse of wine and spirits is a very copious subject;
and there is scarcely any gift of human art, the general effects of
which are more dubious. You know what wine is said to be given for in
the Bible?

_Geo._ To make glad the heart of man.

_Tut._ Right. And nothing has such an immediate effect in inspiring
vigour of body and mind as wine. It banishes sorrow and care, recruits
from fatigue, enlivens the fancy, inflames the courage, and performs a
hundred fine things, of which I could bring you abundant proof from the
poets. The physicians, too, speak almost as much in its favour, both in
diet and medicine. But its really good effects are only when used in
moderation; and it unfortunately is one of those things which man can
hardly be brought to use moderately. Excess in wine brings on effects
the very contrary to its benefits. It stupifies and enfeebles the mind,
and fills the body with incurable diseases. And this it does even when
used without intoxication. But a drunken man loses for the time every
distinction of a reasonable creature, and becomes worse than a brute
beast. On this account Mahomet entirely forbade its use to his
followers, and to this day it is not publicly drunk in any of the
countries that receive the Mohammedan religion.

_Har._ Was not that right?

_Tut._ I think not. If we were entirely to renounce every thing that may
be misused, we should have scarce any enjoyments left; and it is a
proper exercise of our strength of mind to use good things with
moderation, when we have it in our power to do otherwise.

_Geo._ But spirituous liquors are not good at all, are they?

_Tut._ They have so little good and so much bad in them, that I confess
I wish their common use could be abolished altogether. They are
generally taken by the lowest class of people for the express purpose of
intoxication; and they are much sooner prejudicial to the health than
wine, and, indeed, when drunk unmixed, are no better than slow poison.

_Geo._ Spirit of wine is useful, though, for several things—is it not?

_Tut._ Yes; and I would have all spirits kept in the hands of chymists
and artists who know how to employ them usefully. Spirits of wine will
dissolve many things that water will not. Apothecaries use them in
drawing tinctures, and artists in preparing colours and making
varnishes. They are likewise very powerful preservatives from
corruption. You may have seen serpents and insects brought from abroad
in vials full of spirits.

_Geo._ I have.

_Har._ And I know of another use of spirits.

_Tut._ What, is that?

_Har._ To burn in lamps. My grandmamma has a teakettle with a lamp under
it to keep the water hot, and she burns spirits in it.

_Tut._ So she does. Well—so much for the use of these liquors.

_Geo._ But you have said nothing about ale and beer. Are they wholesome?

_Tut._ Yes, in moderation. But they are sadly abused too, and rob many
men of their health as well as their money and senses.

_Geo._ Small beer does no harm, however.

_Tut._ No—and we will indulge in a good draught of it when we get home.

_Har._ I like water better.

_Tut._ Then drink it by all means. He that is satisfied with water has
one want the less, and may defy thirst, in this country, at least.

[Illustration:

  The Trial, p. 172.

  EVENING XIV.
]



                       THE BOY WITHOUT A GENIUS.


Mr. Wiseman, the schoolmaster, at the end of the summer-vacation,
received a new scholar with the following letter:—

“SIR:—This will be delivered to you by my son Samuel, whom I beg leave
to commit to your care, hoping that, by your well-known skill and
attention, you will be able to make something of him, which, I am sorry
to say, none of his masters have hitherto done. He is now eleven, and
yet can do nothing but read his mother-tongue, and that but
indifferently. We sent him, at seven, to a grammar-school in our
neighbourhood; but his master soon found that his genius was not turned
to learning languages. He was then put to writing, but he set about it
so awkwardly that he made nothing of it. He was tried at accounts, but
it appeared that he had no genius for that either. He could do nothing
in geography for want of memory. In short, if he has any genius at all,
it does not yet show itself. But I trust to your experience in cases of
this nature, to discover what he is fit for, and to instruct him
accordingly. I beg to be favoured shortly with your opinion about him,
and remain, sir,

                                       “Your most obedient servant,
                                                       “HUMPHREY ACRES.”

When Mr. Wiseman had read this letter, he shook his head, and said to
his assistant:—“A pretty subject they have sent us here! a lad that has
a great genius for nothing at all. But perhaps my friend Mr. Acres
expects that a boy should show a genius for a thing before he knows
anything about it—no uncommon error! Let us see, however, what the youth
looks like. I suppose he is a human creature, at least.”

Master Samuel Acres was now called in. He came hanging down his head,
and looking as if he was going to be flogged.

“Come hither, my dear!” said Mr. Wiseman, “stand by me, and do not be
afraid. Nobody will hurt you. How old are you?”

“Eleven, last May, sir.”

“A well-grown boy of your age, indeed. You love play, I dare say?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What, are you a good hand at marbles?”

“Pretty good, sir.”

“And can spin a top, and drive a hoop, I suppose?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Then you have the full use of your hands and fingers?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Can you write, Samuel?”

“I learned a little, sir, but I left it off again.”

“And why so?”

“Because I could not make the letters.”

“No! Why, how do you think other boys do—have they more fingers than
you?”

“No, sir.”

“Are you not able to hold a pen as well as a marble?”

Samuel was silent.

“Let me look at your hand.”

Samuel held out both his paws like a dancing bear.

“I see nothing to hinder you from writing as well as any boy in the
school. You can read, I suppose?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Tell me, then, what is written over the school-room door.”

Samuel, with some hesitation, read:—

                  “WHATEVER MAN HAS DONE, MAN MAY DO.”

“Pray, how did you learn to read?—Was it not by taking pains?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well—taking more pains will enable you to read better. Do you know
anything of the Latin grammar?”

“No, sir.”

“Have you never learned it?”

“I tried, sir, but I could not get it by heart.”

“Why, you can say some things by heart. I dare say you can tell me the
names of the days of the week, in their order.”

“Yes, sir, I know them.”

“And the months in the year, perhaps.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And you could probably repeat the names of your brothers and sisters,
and all your father’s servants, and half the people in the village
besides.”

“I believe I could, sir.”

“Well—and is _hic_, _hæc_, _hoc_, more difficult to remember than
these?”

Samuel was silent.

“Have you learned anything of accounts?”

“I went into addition, sir, but I did not go on with it.”

“Why so?”

“I could not do it, sir.”

“How many marbles can you buy for a penny?”

“Twelve new ones, sir.”

“And how many for two pence?”

“Twenty-four.”

“And how many for a half-penny?”

“Six.”

“If you were to have a penny a day, what would that make in a week?”

“Seven pence.”

“But if you paid two pence out of that, what would you have left?”

Samuel studied a while, and then said, “Five pence.”

“Right. Why, here you have been practising the four great rules of
arithmetic—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division! Learning
accounts is no more than this. Well, Samuel, I shall see what you are
fit for. I shall set you about nothing but what you are able to do; but,
observe, you must do it. We have no _I can’t_ here. Now go among your
schoolfellows.”

Samuel went away, glad that his examination was over, and with more
confidence in his powers than he had felt before.

The next day he began business. A boy less than himself was called out
to set him a copy of letters, and another was appointed to hear him in
grammar. He read a few sentences in English that he could perfectly
understand to the master himself. Thus, by going on steadily and slowly,
he made a sensible progress. He had already joined his letters, got all
the declensions perfectly, and half the multiplication table, when Mr.
Wiseman thought it time to answer his father’s letter; which he did as
follows:—

    “SIR, I now think it right to give you some information concerning
    your son. You perhaps expected it sooner, but I always wish to
    avoid hasty judgments. You mentioned in your letter that it had
    not yet been discovered which way his genius pointed. If by
    _genius_ you meant such a decided bent of mind to any one pursuit
    as will lead to excel with little or no labour or instruction, I
    must say that I have not met with such a quality in more than
    three or four boys in my life, and your son is certainly not among
    the number. But if you mean only the _ability_ to do some of those
    things which the greater part of mankind can do when properly
    taught, I can affirm that I find in him no peculiar deficiency.
    And whether you choose to bring him up to trade, or to some
    practical profession, I see no reason to doubt that he may in time
    become sufficiently qualified for it. It is my favourite maxim,
    sir, that everything most valuable in this life may generally be
    acquired by taking pains for it. Your son has already lost much
    time in the fruitless expectation of finding out what he would
    take up of his own accord. Believe me, sir, few boys will take up
    anything of their own accord but a top or a marble. I will take
    care, while he is with me, that he loses no more time this way,
    but is employed about things that are fit for him, not doubting
    that we shall find him fit for them.

                                    “I am, sir, yours, &c.
                                                      “SOLON WISEMAN.”

Though the doctrine of this letter did not perfectly agree with Mr.
Acres’s notions, yet being convinced that Mr. Wiseman was more likely to
make something of his son than any of his former preceptors, he
continued him at his school for some years, and had the satisfaction to
find him going on in a steady course of gradual improvement. In due time
a profession was chosen for him, which seemed to suit his temper and
talents, but for which he had no _particular turn_, having never thought
at all about it. He made a respectable figure in it, and went through
the world with credit and usefulness, though _without a genius_.



                         HALF A CROWN’S WORTH.


Valentine was in his thirteenth year, and a scholar in one of our great
schools. He was a well-disposed boy, but could not help envying a
little, some of his companions, who had a larger allowance of money than
himself. He ventured in a letter to sound his father on the subject, not
directly asking for a particular sum, but mentioning that many of the
boys in his class had half a crown a week for pocket-money.

His father, who did not choose to comply with his wishes for various
reasons, nor yet to refuse him in a mortifying manner, wrote an answer,
the chief purpose of which was to make him sensible what sort of a sum
half a crown a week was, and to how many more important uses it might be
put, than to provide a school-boy with things absolutely superfluous to
him.

“It is calculated,” said he, “that a grown man may be kept in health and
fit for labour upon a pound and a half of good bread a day. Suppose the
value of this to be two pence half-penny, and add a penny for a quart of
milk, which will greatly improve his diet, half a crown will keep him
eight or nine days in this manner.

“A common labourer’s wages in our country are seven shillings per week,
and if you add somewhat extraordinary for harvest work, this will not
make it amount to three half-crowns on an average the year round.
Suppose his wife and children to earn another half-crown. For this ten
shillings per week he will maintain himself, his wife, and half a dozen
children, in food, lodging, clothes, and fuel. A half-crown then may be
reckoned the full weekly maintenance of two human creatures in every
thing necessary.

“Where potatoes are much cultivated, two bushels, weighing eighty pounds
a piece, may be purchased for half a crown. Here are one hundred and
sixty pounds of solid food, of which allowing for the waste in dressing,
you may reckon two pounds and a half sufficient for the sole daily
nourishment of one person. At this rate, nine people might be fed a week
for half a crown; poorly, indeed, but so as many thousands are fed, with
the addition of a little salt or buttermilk.

“If the father of a numerous family were out of work, or the mother
lying-in, a parish would think half a crown a week a very ample
assistance to them.

“Many of the cottagers round us would receive with great thankfulness a
sixpenny loaf per week, and reckon it a very material addition to their
children’s bread. For half a crown, therefore, you might purchase—the
weekly blessings of five poor families.

“Porter is a sort of luxury to a poor man, but not a useless one, since
it will stand in the place of some solid food, and enable him to work
with better heart. You could treat a hard-working man with a pint a day
of this liquor for twelve days, with half a crown.

“Many a cottage in the country inhabited by a large family is let for
forty shillings a year. Half a crown a week would pay the full rent of
three such cottages, and allow somewhat over for repairs.

“The usual price for schooling at a dame-school in a village is two
pence a week. You might, therefore, get fifteen children instructed in
reading, and the girls in sewing, for half a crown weekly. But even in a
town you might get them taught reading, writing, and accounts, and so
fitted for any common trade, for five shillings a quarter; and therefore
half a crown a week would keep six children at such a school, and
provide them with books besides.

“All these are ways in which half a crown a week might be made to do a
great deal of good to _others_. I shall now just mention one or two ways
of laying it out with advantage to yourself.

“I know you are very fond of coloured plates of plants, and other
objects of natural history. There are now several works of this sort
publishing in monthly numbers, as the Botanical Magazine, the English
Botany, the Flora Rustica, and the Naturalist’s Magazine. Now half a
crown a week would reach the purchase of the best of these.

“The same sum laid out in the old book-shops in London would buy you
more classics, and pretty editions too, in one year, than you could read
in five.

“Now I do not grudge laying out half a crown a week upon you; but when
so many good things for yourself and others may be done with it, I am
unwilling you should squander it away like your schoolfellows, in tarts
and trinkets.”



                                TRIAL[2]


 _Of a Complaint made against Sundry Persons for breaking the Windows of_
           DOROTHY CAREFUL, _Widow and Dealer in Gingerbread._

The court being seated, there appeared in person the widow _Dorothy
Careful_, to make a complaint against _Henry Luckless_, and other person
or persons unknown, for breaking three panes of glass, value ninepence,
in the house of the said widow. Being directed to tell her case to the
court, she made a courtesy, and began as follows:—

“Please your lordship, I was sitting at work by my fireside, between the
hours of six and seven in the evening, just as it was growing dusk, and
little Jack was spinning beside me, when all at once crack went the
window, and down fell a little basket of cakes that was set up against
it. I started up, and cried to Jack, ‘Bless me, what’s the matter?’ So,
says Jack, ‘Somebody has thrown a stone and broke the window, and I dare
say it is some of the schoolboys.’ With that I ran out of the house, and
saw some boys making off as fast as they could go. So I ran after them
as quick as my old legs would carry me; but I should never have come
near them, if one had not happened to fall down. Him I caught and
brought back to my house, when Jack knew him at once to be Master Harry
Luckless. So I told him I would complain of him the next day; and I hope
your worship will make him pay the damage, and I think he deserves a
good whipping into the bargain, for injuring a poor widow woman.”

Footnote 2:

  This was meant as a sequel of that very pleasing and ingenious little
  work, entitled _Juvenile Trials_, in which a Court of Justice is
  supposed to be instituted in a boarding-school, composed of the
  scholars themselves, for the purpose of trying offences committed at
  school.

The judge having heard Mrs. Careful’s story, desired her to sit down;
and then calling up Master Luckless, asked him what he had to say for
himself. Luckless appeared with his face a good deal scratched, and
looking very ruefully. After making his bow, and sobbing two or three
times, he said:—

“My lord, I am as innocent of this matter as any boy in the school, and
I am sure I have suffered enough about it already. My lord, Billy
Thompson and I were playing in the lane near Mrs. Careful’s house, when
we heard the window crash; and directly after she came running out
toward us. Upon this, Billy ran away, and I ran too, thinking I might
bear the blame. But after running a little way, I stumbled over
something that lay in the road, and before I could get up again she
overtook me, and caught me by the hair, and began lugging and cuffing
me. I told her it was not I that broke her window, but it did not
signify; so she dragged me to the light, lugging and scratching me all
the while, and then said she would inform against me; and that is all I
know of the matter.”

_Judge._ I find, good woman, you were willing to revenge yourself,
without waiting for the justice of this court.

_Widow Careful._ My lord, I confess I was put into a passion, and did
not properly consider what I was doing.

_Jud._ Well, where is Billy Thompson?

_Billy._ Here, my lord.

_Jud._ You have heard what Harry Luckless says. Declare upon your honour
whether he has spoken the truth.

_Bil._ My lord, I am sure neither he nor I had any concern in breaking
the window. We were standing together at the time, and I ran on hearing
the door open, for fear of being charged with it, and he followed. But
what became of him I did not stay to see.

_Jud._ So you let your friend shift for himself, and only thought of
saving yourself. But did you see any other person about the house or in
the lane?

_Bil._ My lord, I thought I heard somebody on the other side of the
hedge, creeping along, a little before the window was broken, but I saw
nobody.

_Jud._ You hear, good woman, what is alleged in behalf of the person you
have accused. Have you any other evidence against him?

_Wid._ One might be sure that they would deny it, and tell lies for one
another; but I hope I am not to be put off in that manner.

_Jud._ I must tell you, mistress, that you give too much liberty to your
tongue, and are guilty of as much injustice as that of which you
complain, I should be sorry, indeed, if the young gentlemen of this
school deserved the general character of liars. You will find among us,
I hope, as just a sense of what is right and honourable, as among those
who are older; and our worthy master certainly would not permit us to
try offences in this manner, if he thought us capable of bearing false
witness in each other’s favour.

_Wid._ I ask your lordship’s pardon, I did not mean to offend: but it is
a heavy loss for a poor woman, and though I did not catch the boy in the
fact, he was the nearest when it was done.

_Jud._ As this is no more than a suspicion, and he has the positive
evidence of his schoolfellow in his favour, it will be impossible to
convict him, consistently with the rules of justice. Have you discovered
any other circumstance that may point out the offender?

_Wid._ My lord, next morning Jack found on the floor this top, which I
suppose the window was broken with.

_Jud._ Hand it up—here, gentlemen of the jury, please to examine it, and
see if you can discover anything of its owner.

_Juryman._ Here is P. R. cut upon it.

_Another._ Yes, and I am sure I remember Peter Riot’s having just such a
one.

_Another._ So do I.

_Jud._ Master Riot, is this your top?

_Riot._ I don’t know, my lord, perhaps it may be mine; I have had a
great many tops, and when I have done with them, I throw them away, and
anybody may pick them up that pleases. You see it has lost its peg.

_Jud._ Very well, sir. Mrs. Careful, you may retire.

_Wid._ And must I have no amends, my lord?

_Jud._ Have patience. Leave everything to the court. We shall do you all
the justice in our power.

As soon as the widow was gone, the judge rose from his seat, and with
much solemnity thus addressed the assembly:—

“Gentlemen,—this business, I confess, gives me much dissatisfaction. A
poor woman has been insulted and injured in her property, apparently
without provocation; and though she has not been able to convict the
offender, it cannot be doubted that she, as well as the world in
general, will impute the crime to some of our society. Though I am in my
own mind convinced that in her passion she charged an innocent person,
yet the circumstance of the top is a strong suspicion, indeed almost a
proof, that the perpetrator of this unmanly mischief was one of our
body. The owner of the top has justly observed, that its having been his
property is no certain proof against him. Since, therefore, in the
present defect of evidence, the whole school must remain burdened with
the discredit of this action, and share in the guilt of it, I think fit,
in the first place, to decree, that restitution shall be made to the
sufferer out of the public chest; and next that a court of inquiry be
instituted for the express purpose of searching thoroughly into this
affair, with power to examine all persons upon honour who are thought
likely to be able to throw light upon it. I hope, gentlemen, these
measures meet with your concurrence?”

The whole court bowed to the judge, and expressed their entire
satisfaction with his determination.

It was then ordered that the public treasurer should go to the Widow
Careful’s house, any pay her the sum of one shilling, making at the same
time a handsome apology in the name of the school. And six persons were
taken by lot out of the jury to compose the court of inquiry, which was
to sit in the evening.

The court then adjourned.

On the meeting of the court of inquiry, the first thing proposed by the
president, was, that the persons who usually played with Master Riot
should be sent for. Accordingly Tom Frisk and Bob Loiter were summoned,
when the president asked them upon their honour if they knew the top to
have been Riot’s. They said they did. They were then asked whether they
remembered when Riot had it in his possession?

_Frisk._ He had it the day before yesterday, and split a top of mine
with it.

_Loiter._ Yes, and then, as he was making a stroke at mine, the peg flew
out.

_President._ What did he then do with it?

_Fr._ He put it into his pocket, and said, as it was a strong top, he
would have it mended.

_Pres._ Then he did not throw it away, or give it to any body?

_Loit._ No; he pocketed it up, and we saw no more of it.

_Pres._ Do you know of any quarrel he had with Widow Careful?

_Fr._ Yes; a day or two before, he went to her shop for some ginger
bread; but, as he already owed her sixpence, she would not let him have
any till he had paid his debts.

_Pres._ How did he take the disappointment?

_Fr._ He said he would be revenged on her.

_Pres._ Are you sure he used such words?

_Fr._ Yes; Loiter heard him as well as myself.

_Loit._ I did, sir.

_Pres._ Do either of you know any more of this affair?

_Both._ No, sir.

_Pres._ You may go.

The President now observed that these witnesses had done a great deal in
establishing proofs against Riot; for it was now pretty certain that no
one but himself could have been in possession of the top at the time the
crime was committed; and also it appeared that he had declared a
malicious intention against the woman, which it was highly probable he
would put into execution.—As the court were debating about the next step
to be taken, they were acquainted that Jack, the widow’s son, was
waiting at the school-door for admission; and a person being sent out
for him, Riot was found threatening the boy, and bidding him go home
about his business. The boy, however, was conveyed safely into the room,
when he thus addressed himself to the president:—

_Jack._ Sir, and please your worship, as I was looking about this
morning for sticks in the hedge over against our house, I found this
buckle. So I thought to myself, sure this must belong to the rascal that
broke our windows. So I have brought it to see if anybody in the school
would own it.

_Pres._ On which side of the hedge did you find it?

_Jack._ On the other side from our house, in the close.

_Pres._ Let us see it. Gentlemen, this is so smart a buckle, that I am
sure I remember it at once, and so I dare say you all do.

_Al_l. It is Riot’s.

_Pres._ Has anybody observed Riot’s shoes to-day?

_One Boy._ Yes, he has got them tied with strings.

_Pres._ Very well, gentlemen; we have nothing more to do than to draw up
an account of all the evidence we have heard, and lay it before his
lordship. Jack, you may go home.

_Jack._ Pray, sir, let somebody go with me, for I am afraid of Riot, who
has just been threatening me at the door.

_Pres._ Master Bold will please to go along with the boy.

The minutes of the court were then drawn up, and the President took them
to the judge’s chamber. After the judge had perused them, he ordered an
endictment to be drawn up against Peter Riot, “for that he meanly,
clandestinely, and with malice aforethought, had broken three panes in
the window of Widow Careful, with a certain instrument called a top,
whereby he had committed an atrocious injury on an innocent person, and
had brought a disgrace upon the society to which he belonged.” At the
same time, he sent an officer to inform Master Riot that his trial would
come on next morning.

Riot, who was with some of his gay companions, affected to treat the
matter with great indifference, and even to make a jest of it. However,
in the morning he thought it best to endeavour to make it up; and
accordingly, when the court was assembled, he sent one of his friends
with a shilling, saying that he would not trouble them with any further
inquiries, but would pay the sum that had been issued out of the public
stock. On the receipt of this message the Judge rose with much severity
in his countenance; and observing, that by such a contemptuous behaviour
towards the court the criminal had greatly added to his offence, he
ordered two officers with their staves immediately to go and bring in
Riot, and to use force if he should resist them. The culprit, thinking
it best to submit, was presently led in between the two officers; when,
being placed at the bar, the judge thus addressed him:—

“I am sorry, sir, that any member of this society can be so little
sensible of the nature of a crime, and so little acquainted with the
principles of a court of justice, as you have shown yourself to be, by
the proposal you took the improper liberty of sending to us. If you
meant it as a confession of your guilt, you certainly ought to have
waited to receive from us the penalty we thought proper to inflict, and
not to have imagined that an offer of the mere payment of damages would
satisfy the claims of justice against you. If you had only broken the
window by accident, and of your own accord offered restitution, nothing
less than the full damages could have been accepted. But you now stand
charged with having done this mischief, meanly, secretly, and
maliciously, and thereby have added a great deal of criminal intention
to the act. Can you then think that a court like this, designed to watch
over the morals, as well as protect the properties of our community, can
so slightly pass over such aggravated offences? You can claim no merit
from confessing the crime, now that you know so much evidence will
appear against you. And if you choose still to plead not guilty, you are
at liberty to do it, and we will proceed immediately to the trial,
without taking any advantage of the confession implied by your offer of
payment.”

Riot stood silent for some time, and then begged to be allowed to
consult with his friends what was best for him to do. This was agreed
to, and he was permitted to retire, though under guard of an officer.
After a short absence, he returned with more humility in his looks, and
said that he pleaded guilty, and threw himself on the mercy of the
court. The judge then made a speech of some length, for the purpose of
convincing the prisoner as well as the bystanders of the enormity of the
crime. He then pronounced the following sentence:—

“You, Peter Riot, are hereby sentenced to pay the sum of half a crown to
the public treasury, as a satisfaction for the mischief you have done,
and your attempt to conceal it. You are to repair to the house of Widow
Careful, accompanied by such witnesses as we shall appoint, and there
having first paid her the sum you owe her, you shall ask her pardon for
the insult you offered her. You shall likewise, to-morrow, after school,
stand up in your place, and before all the scholars ask pardon for the
disgrace you have been the means of bringing upon the society; and in
particular you shall apologise to Master Luckless, for the disagreeable
circumstance you were the means of bringing him into. Till all this is
complied with, you shall not presume to come into the play-ground, or
join in any of the diversions of the school; and all persons are hereby
admonished not to keep your company till this is done.”

Riot was then dismissed to his room; and in the afternoon he was taken
to the widow’s, who was pleased to receive his submission graciously,
and at the same time to apologise for her own improper treatment of
Master Luckless, to whom she sent a present of a nice ball by way of
amends.

Thus ended this important business.

[Illustration:

  On Man, p. 184.

  EVENING XV.
]



                         THE LEGUMINOUS PLANTS.

                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry._


_George._ What a delightful smell!

_Harry._ Charming! It is sweeter than Mr. Essence’s shop.

_Tutor._ Do you know whence it comes?

_Geo._ Oh—it is from the bean-field on the other side of the hedge, I
suppose.

_Tut._ It is. This is the month in which beans are in blossom. See the
stalks are full of their black and white flowers.

_Har._ I see peas in blossom, too, on the other side of the field.

_Geo._ You told us some time ago of grass and corn flowers, but they
make a poor figure compared to these.

_Tut._ They do. The glory of a cornfield is when it is ripe; but peas
and beans look very shabbily at that time. But suppose we take a closer
view of these blossoms. Go you, George, and bring me a bean-plant; and
you, Harry, a pea.

                                              [_They go and bring them._

_Tut._ Now let us sit down and compare them. Do you think these flowers
much alike?

_Har._ Oh no—very little.

_Geo._ Yes—a good deal!

_Tut._ A little and a good deal! How can that be? Come let us see. In
the first place, they do not much resemble each other in size or colour.

_Geo._ No—but I think they do in shape.

_Tut._ True. They are both irregular flowers, and have the same
distribution of parts. They are of the kind called _papilionaceous_,
from _papilio_, the Latin word for a butterfly, which insect they are
thought to resemble.

_Geo._ The pea does a little, but not much.

_Tut._ Some do much more than these. Well—you see first a broad leaf
standing upright, but somewhat bent back; this is named the _standard_.
On each side are two narrower, called the _wings_. The under side of the
flower is formed of a hollow part resembling a boat: this is called a
_keel_.

_Geo._ It is very like a boat indeed!

_Tut._ In some kinds, however, it is divided in the middle, and so is
like a boat split in two. All these parts have claws which unite to form
a tube, set in a _calyx_, or flower-cup. This tube, you observe, is
longer in the bean than in the pea, and the proportions of the other
parts are somewhat different; but the parts themselves are found in
both.

_Har._ So they are. I think them alike now.

_Tut._ That is the consequence of examining closely. Now let us strip
off all the leaves of this bean-flower but the keel. What do you think
this boat contains?

_Geo._ It must be those little things you told us are in all flowers.

_Har._ The chives and pistil.

_Tut._ Right. I will draw down the keel gently, and you shall see them.

_Har._ How curious!

_Tut._ Here are a number of chives joining in their bodies, so as to
make a round tube, or cylinder, through which comes out a crooked
thread, which is the pistil. I will now with a pin slit this cylinder.
What do you see within it?

_Geo._ Somewhat like a little pod.

_Tut._ True—and to show you that it is a pod, I will open it, and you
shall see the seeds within it.

_Har._ What tiny things! Is this, then, what makes the bean-pod
afterward?

_Tut._ It is. When the blossom drops, this seed-vessel grows bigger and
bigger, and at length hardens as the seeds grow ripe, becomes black and
shrivelled, and would burst and shed the seeds, if they were not
gathered.

_Geo._ I have seen several burst pods of our sweet-peas under the wall,
with nothing left in them.

_Tut._ And it is common for the field peas and beans to lose a great
part of the seeds while they are getting in.

_Har._ At the bottom of this pea-stalk there are some pods set already.

_Tut._ Open one. You see that the pod is composed of two shells, and
that all the seeds are fastened to one side of the pod, but alternately
to each shell.

_Geo._ Is it the same in beans?

_Tut._ Yes, and in all other pods of the papilionaceous flowers.
Well—this is the general structure of a very numerous and useful class
of plants, called the _leguminous_ or _podded_. Of these, in this
country, the greater part are herbaceous, with some shrubs. In the warm
climates there are also tall trees. Many of the leguminous plants afford
excellent nourishment for man and beast; and their pods have the name of
_pulse_.

_Geo._ I have read of persons living on pulse, but I did not know what
it meant before.

_Tut._ It is frequently mentioned as part of the diet of abstemious
persons. Of this kind, we eat peas, beans, and kidney or French beans,
of all which there are a variety of sorts cultivated. Other nations eat
lentils and lupines, which are of this class; with several others.

_Har._ I remember our lupines in the garden have flowers of this kind,
with pods growing in clusters. We only cultivate them for the colour and
smell.

_Tut._ But other nations eat them. Then, all the kinds of clover, or
trefoil, which are so useful in feeding cattle, belong to this tribe; as
do likewise vetches, sanfoin, and lucerne, which are used for the same
purpose. These principally compose what are usually, though improperly,
called, in agriculture, _artificial grasses_.

_Geo._ Clover flowers are as sweet as beans; but do they bear pods?

_Tut._ Yes; very short ones, with one or two seeds in each. But there is
a kind called nonsuch, with a very small yellow flower, that has a
curious twisted pod like a snail-shell. Many of the leguminous plants
are weak, and cannot support themselves; hence they are furnished with
tendrils, by means of which they clasp neighbouring plants, and run up
them. You know the garden-peas do so on the sticks which are set in the
rows with them. Some kind of vetches run in this manner up the hedges,
which they decorate with their long bunches of blue or purple flowers.
Tares, which are some of the slenderest of the family, do much mischief
among corn by twining round it and choking it.

_Har._ What are they good for, then?

_Tut._ They are weeds or noxious plants with respect to us; but
doubtless they have their uses in the creation. Some of our
papilionaceous plants, however, are able enough to shift for themselves;
for gorse or furze is of the number.

_Geo._ What, that prickly bush all covered over with yellow flowers,
that overruns our common?

_Tut._ Then there is broom, a plant as big, but without thorns, and with
larger flowers. This is as frequent as furze in some places.

_Har._ I know it grows in abundance in the broom-field.

_Tut._ It does; but the naming of fields and places from it is a proof
that it is not so common as the other.

_Geo._ We have some bushes of white broom in the shrubbery, and some
trees of Spanish broom.

_Tut._ True. You have also a small tree which flowers early, and bears a
great many pendent branches of yellow blossoms, that look peculiarly
beautiful when intermixed with the purple lilacs.

_Har._ I know it—laburnum.

_Tut._ Right. This is one of our class of plants too. Then there is a
large tree, with delicate little leaves, protected by long thorns, and
bearing bunches of white papilionaceous flowers.

_Geo._ I know which you mean, but I cannot tell the name.

_Tut._ It is the bastard-acacia, or locust-tree, a native of America.
Thus, you see, we have traced this class of plants through all sizes,
from the trefoil that covers the turf, to a large tree. I should not,
however, forget two others, the licorice, and the tamarind. The
licorice, with the sweet root of which you are well acquainted, grows in
the warmer countries, especially Spain, but is cultivated in some parts
of England, especially at Pomfret, in Yorkshire. The tamarind is a large
spreading tree growing in the West Indies, and valued for its shade, as
well as for the cooling acid pulp of its pods, which are preserved with
sugar and sent over to us.

_Har._ I know them very well.

_Tut._ Well—do you think now you shall both be able to discover a
papilionaceous flower when you meet with it again?

_Geo._ I believe I shall, if they are all like these we have been
examining.

_Tut._ They have all the same parts, though variously proportioned. What
are these?

_Geo._ There is the standard and two wings.

_Har._ And the keel.

_Tut._ Right—the keel sometimes cleft into two, and then it is an
irregular five-leaved flower. The chives are generally ten, of which one
stands apart from the rest. The pistil single, and ending in a pod.
Another circumstance common to most of this tribe, is, that their leaves
are _winged_, or _pinnated_, that is, having leaflets set opposite each
other, upon a middle rib. You see this structure in these bean-leaves.
But in the clovers there are only two opposite leaflets, and one
terminating; whence their name of trefoil, or three-leaf. What we call a
club on cards is properly a clover-leaf, and the French call it
_trefle_, which means the same.

_Geo._ I think this tribe of plants almost as useful as the grasses.

_Tut._ They perhaps come the next in utility: but their seeds, such as
beans and peas, are not quite such good nourishment as corn, and bread
cannot be made of them.

_Geo._ But clover is better than grass for cattle.

_Tut._ It is more fattening, and makes cows yield plenty of fine milk.
Well—let us march.



                                ON MAN.


_Charles._ You gave me the definition of a horse some time ago—Pray,
sir, how is a man defined?

_Father._ That is worth inquiring. Let us consider then. He must either
stand by himself, or be ranked among the quadrupeds; for there are no
other two-legged animals but birds, which he certainly does not
resemble.

_Ch._ But how can he be made a quadruped?

_Fa._ By setting him to crawl on the ground, in which case he will as
much resemble a baboon as a baboon set on his hind-legs does a man. In
reality, there is little difference between the arms of a man and the
fore-legs of a quadruped; and in all other circumstances of internal and
external structure, they are evidently formed upon the same model.

_Ch._ I suppose then we must call him a digitated quadruped, that
generally goes upon its hind legs.

_Fa._ A naturalist could not reckon him otherwise; and, accordingly,
Linnæus has placed him in the same division with apes, macocos, and
bats.

_Ch._ Apes, macocos, and bats!

_Fa._ Yes—they have all four cutting teeth in the upper jaw, and teats
on the breast. How do your like your relations?

_Ch._ Not at all!

_Fa._ Then we will get rid of them by applying to the other part of
human nature—the _mind_. Man is an animal possessed of _reason_, and the
only one. This, therefore, is enough to define him.

_Ch._ I have often heard that man is a rational creature, and I have a
notion what that means; but I should like to have an exact definition of
reason.

_Fa._ Reason is the faculty by which we compare ideas, and draw
conclusions. A man walking in the woods of an unknown country finds a
bow. He compares it in his mind with other bows, and forms the
conclusion that it must have been made by man, and that therefore the
country is probably inhabited. He discovers a hut; sees in it half-burnt
wood, and finds that the ashes are not quite cold. He concludes,
therefore, with certainty, not only that there are inhabitants, but that
they cannot be far distant. No other animal could do this.

_Ch._ But would not a dog who had been used to live with men run into
such a hut and expect to find people in it?

_Fa._ He probably would—and this, I acknowledge, is very like reason;
for he may be supposed to compare in his mind the hut he has lived in
with that he sees, and to conclude that as there were men in the first
there are in the last. But how little a way does this carry him? He
finds no men there, and he is unable by any marks to form any judgment
how long they have been absent, or what sort of people they were; still
less does he form any plan of conduct in consequence of his discovery.

_Ch._ Then is not the difference only that man has much reason, and
brutes little?

_Fa._ If we adhere to the mere words of the definition of reason, I
believe this must be admitted; but in the exercise of it, the
superiority of the human faculties is so great, that man is in many
points absolutely distinguished from brutes. In the first place he has
the _use of speech_, which no other animal has attained.

_Ch._ Cannot many animals make themselves understood by one another by
their cries?

_Fa._ They can make known a few of their common wants and desires, but
they cannot _discourse_, or communicate ideas stored up in the memory.
It is this faculty which makes man an _improvable_ being, the wisdom and
experience acquired by one individual being thus transmitted to others,
and so on in an endless series of progression.

There is no reason to suppose that the dogs of the present day are more
knowing than those which lived a thousand years ago; but the men of this
age are much better acquainted with numberless arts and sciences than
their remote ancestors; since, by the use of speech and of writing
(which is speech addressed to the eye), every age adds its own
discoveries to all former ones. This knowledge of the past likewise
gives man a great insight into the future. Shakspeare excellently
defines man by saying that he is a creature “made with large discourse,
looking before and after.”

_Ch._ Animals must surely know something of the future, when they lay up
a store of provisions for the winter.

_Fa._ No—it is pretty certain that this is not the case, for they will
do it as much the first year of their lives as any other. Young bees
turned out of their hive, as soon as they have swarmed and got a
habitation, begin laying up honey, though they cannot possibly foresee
the use they shall have for it. There are a vast number of actions of
this kind in animals which are directed to a useful end, but an end
which the animal knows nothing of. And this is what we call _instinct_,
and properly distinguish from reason. Man has less of it than almost any
other animal, because he wants it less. Another point of essential
difference is, that man is the only animal that makes use of
_instruments_ in any of his actions. He is a _tool-making_ and
_machine-making_ animal. By means of this faculty alone he is every
where lord of the creation, and has equally triumphed over the subtlety
of the cunning, the swiftness of the fleet, and the force of the strong.
He is the only animal that has found out the use of _fire_, a most
important acquisition!

_Ch._ I have read of some large apes that will come and sit round a fire
in the woods when men have left it, but have not the sense to keep it
in, by throwing on sticks.

_Fa._ Still less then could they light a fire. In consequence of this
discovery man cooks his food, which no other animal does. He alone
fences against the cold by clothing as well as by fire. He alone
cultivates the earth, and keeps living animals for future uses.

_Ch._ But have not there been wild men bred in the woods that could do
none of these things?

_Fa._ Some instances of this kind are recorded, and they are not to be
wondered at; for man was meant to be a _gregarious_ animal, or one
living in society, in which alone his faculties have full scope, and
especially his power of improving by the use of speech. These poor
solitary creatures, brought up with the brutes, were in a state entirely
unnatural to them. A solitary bee, ant, or beaver, would have none of
the skill and sagacity of those animals in their proper social
condition. Society sharpens all the faculties, and gives ideas and views
which never could have been entertained by an individual.

_Ch._ But some men that live in society seem to be little above the
brutes, at least when compared with other men. What is a Hottentot in
comparison with one of us?

_Fa._ The difference, indeed, is great; but we agree in the most
essential characters of _man_, and perhaps the advantage is not all on
our side. The Hottentot cultivates the earth and rears cattle. He not
only herds with his fellows, but he has instituted some sort of
government for the protection of the weak against the strong; he has a
notion of right and wrong, and is sensible of the necessity of
controlling present appetites and passions for the sake of a future
good. He has therefore _morals_. He is possessed of weapons, tools,
clothing, and furniture of his own making. In agility of body, and the
knowledge of various circumstances relative to the nature of animals, he
surpasses us. His inferiority lies in those things in which many of the
lowest class among us are equally inferior to the instructed.

_Ch._ But Hottentots have no notion of a God or a future state.

_Fa._ I am not certain how far that is fact: but alas! how many among us
have no knowledge at all on these subjects, or only some vague notions
full of absurdity and superstition! People far advanced in civilization
have held the grossest errors on these subjects, which are only to be
corrected by the serious application of reason, or by a direct
revelation from Heaven.

_Ch._ You said man was an _improveable_ creature—but have not many
nations been a long time in a savage state without improvement?

_Fa._ Man is always _capable of improvement_; but he may exist a long
time, in society, without _actually improving_ beyond a certain point.
There is little improvement among nations who have not the art of
_writing_, for tradition is not capable of preserving very accurate or
extensive knowledge; and many arts and sciences, after flourishing
greatly, have been entirely lost, in countries which have been overrun
by barbarous and illiterate nations. Then there is a principle which I
might have mentioned as one of those that distinguish man from brutes,
but it as much distinguishes some men from others. This is _curiosity_,
or the love of knowledge for its own sake. Most savages have little or
nothing of this; but without it we should want one of the chief
inducements to exert our faculties. It is curiosity that impels us to
search into the properties of every part of nature, to try all sorts of
experiments, to visit distant regions, and even to examine the
appearances and motions of the heavenly bodies. Every fact thus
discovered leads to other facts; and there is no limit to be set to this
progress. The time may come, when what we now know may seem as much
ignorance to future ages as the knowledge of early times does to us.

_Ch._ What nations know the most at present?

_Fa._ The Europeans have long been distinguished for superior ardour
after knowledge, and they possess beyond comparison the greatest share
of it, whereby they have been enabled to command the rest of the world.
The countries in which the arts and sciences most flourish at present
are the northern and middle parts of Europe, and also North America,
which, is inhabited by descendants of Europeans. In these countries man
may be said to be _most man_; and they may apply to themselves the
poet’s boast:—

             “Man is the nobler growth these realms supply,
             And souls are ripened in our northern sky.”



                    WALKING THE STREETS.—A PARABLE.


Have you ever walked through the crowded streets of a great city?

What shoals of people pouring in from opposite quarters, like torrents
meeting in a narrow valley! You would imagine it impossible for them to
get through; yet all pass on their way without stop or molestation.

Were each man to proceed exactly in the line in which he set out, he
could not move many paces without encountering another full in his
track. They would strike against each other, fall back, push forward
again, block up the way for themselves and those after them, and throw
the whole street into confusion. All this is avoided by every man’s
_yielding a little_.

Instead of advancing square, stiff, with arms stuck out, every one who
knows how to walk the streets glides along, his arms close, his body
oblique and flexible, his track gently winding, leaving now a few inches
on this side, now on that, so as to pass and be passed without touching,
in the smallest possible space.

He pushes no one into the kennel, nor goes into it himself. By _mutual
accommodation_, the path, though narrow, holds them all.

He goes neither much faster nor much slower than those who go in the
same direction. In the first case he would elbow, in the second he would
be elbowed.

If any accidental stop arises, from a carriage crossing, a cask rolled,
a pickpocket detected, or the like, he does not increase the bustle by
rushing into the midst of it, but checks his pace, and patiently waits
for its removal.

Like this is the _march of life_.

In our progress through the world a thousand things stand continually in
our way. Some people meet us full in the face with opposite opinions and
inclinations. Some stand before us in our pursuit of pleasure or
interest, and others follow close upon our heels. Now, we ought in the
first place to consider, that the _road is as free for one as another_;
and therefore we have no right to expect that persons should go out of
their way to let us pass, any more than we out of ours. Then, if we do
not mutually yield and accommodate a little, it is clear that we must
all stand still, or be thrown into a perpetual confusion of squeezing
and jostling. If we are all in a hurry to get on as fast as possible to
some point of pleasure or interest in our view, and do not occasionally
hold back, when the crowd gathers, and angry contentions arise, we shall
only augment the tumult, without advancing our own progress. On the
whole, it is our business to move onward, steadily, but quietly,
obstructing others as little as possible, yielding a little to this
man’s prejudices, and that man’s desires, and doing everything in our
power to make the _journey of life_ easy to all our fellow-travellers as
well as to ourselves.

[Illustration:

  Presence of Mind, p. 192.

  EVENING XVI.
]



                     THE COMPOUND-FLOWERED PLANTS.

                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry._


_George._ Harry, can you blow off all of these dandelion feathers at a
puff?

_Harry._ I will try.

_Geo._ See—you have left almost half of them.

_Har._ Can you do better?

_Geo._ Yes—look here.

_Har._ There are still several left.

_Tut._ A pretty child’s play you have got there. Bring me one of the
dandelion heads, and let us see if we can make no other use of it.

_Har._ Here is a very full one.

_Tut._ Do you know what these feathers, as you call them, are?

_Geo._ I believe they belong to the seed.

_Tut._ They do, and they are worth examining. Look at this single one
through my magnifying glass; you observe the seed at the bottom, like
the point of a dart. From it springs a slender hairy shaft crowned by a
very elegant spreading plume. You see it is a complete arrow of Nature’s
manufacture.

_Geo._ How exact!

_Har._ What a beautiful thing!

_Tut._ I am sure you see the use of it at once.

_Geo._ It is to set the seeds a flying with the wind.

_Har._ And I suppose they sow themselves where they light?

_Tut._ They do. This is one of Nature’s contrivances for
_dissemination_, or that scattering of the seeds of plants which makes
them reach all the places proper for their growth. I dare say you have
observed other plants furnished with the same winged or feathered seeds.

_Har._ O yes—there are groundsel, and ragwort, and thistles.

_Geo._ In a windy day I have seen the air all full of thistle-down.

_Tut._ Very likely: and for that reason you never saw a new-made bank of
earth, or a heap of dung in the fields, but it was presently covered
with thistles. These, and the other plants that have been named, belong
to a very extensive class, which it is worth while being acquainted
with. They are called the _compound-flowered plants_.

_Geo._ Will you be so good as to give us a lecture about them?

_Tut._ With all my heart. Get me a dandelion in flower, a thistle-head,
and a daisy—if you cannot find a common daisy, one of the great ox-eye
daisies in the corn will do as well.

_Geo. and Har._ Here they are.

_Tut._ Very well. All these are _compound flowers_; for if you will
examine them narrowly, you will perceive that they consist of a number
of little flowers, or _florets_, enclosed in a common cup, which cup is
made of a number of scales, lying on each other like the tiles of a
house.

_Geo._ I see it.

_Tut._ The florets are not all alike in shape. In the dandelion you will
observe that they consist of a tube, from which, at its upper end,
proceeds a sort of strap-shaped tongue or fillet; in the thistle they
are tubular or funnel-shaped throughout; in the daisy the centre ones,
which form the _disk_, as it is called, are tubular, while those in the
circumference have a broad strap on one side, which altogether compose
the _rays_ of the flowers; whence this sort are called _radiated_. Now
take the glass and examine the florets singly. Can you discern their
chives and pointals?

_Geo._ I can.

_Tut._ You may remark that there are five chives to each, the tips of
which unite into a tube, through which the pointal passes, having its
summit doubled, and curled back.

_Har._ I can just make it out with the glass, but hardly with the naked
eye.

_Tut._ It is from this circumstance of the tips of the chives growing
together that Linnæus has taken his distinction of the whole class; and
he has named it _Syngenesia_, from two Greek words having that
signification. You will further observe that all these florets stand
upon a stool or receptacle at the bottom of the flower, which is the
cushion left on the dandelion-stalk after the seeds are blown away. Into
this the seeds are slightly stuck, which are one apiece to every perfect
or fertile floret. This is the general structure of the compound
flowers.

_Har._ Are all their seeds feathered?

_Tut._ Not all. These of the daisy are not. But in a great many species
they are.

_Har._ I should have thought these were a very useful class of plants by
the pains nature has taken to spread them, if you had not told us that
thistles, and ragwort, and groundsel, were some of them.

_Tut._ And if you do not confine your idea of usefulness to what is
serviceable to man, but extend it to the whole creation, you may safely
conclude, from their abundance, that they must be highly useful in the
general economy of nature. In fact, no plants feed a greater number of
insects, and none are more important to the small birds, to whom they
furnish food by their seeds, and a fine warm down for lining their
nests. On the approach of winter you may see whole flocks of linnets and
goldfinches pecking among the thistles; and you know that groundsel is a
favourite treat to birds in a cage. To man, however, they are for the
most part troublesome and unsightly weeds. Burdock, thistles, and
yarrow, overrun his hedge-banks; dandelion, and hawkweed, which much
resembles it, fill his meadows; the tall and branching ragwort, and blue
succory, cumber his pastures; and wild camomile, ox-eye, and
corn-marygold, choke up his cornfields. These plants in general have a
bitter nauseous taste, so that no cattle will touch them. Daisies, I
believe, are the chief exception.

_Geo._ But some of them, I suppose, are useful to man?

_Tut._ Yes, several, and in various ways. Some that have milky bitter
juices are employed in medicine for purifying the blood and removing
obstructions. Of these are dandelion, succory, and sow-thistle. Many
others are bitter, and strongly aromatic; as camomile, wormwood,
southernwood, feverfew, and tansy; these are good for strengthening the
stomach and expelling worms. That capital ingredient in salad, lettuce,
is of this class, and so is endive. Artichoke forms a very singular
article of diet, for the part chiefly eaten, called the bottom, is the
receptacle of the flower, upon which the choke, or seeds with their
feathers, is placed. It is said that some of the larger species of
thistles may be dressed and eaten the same way. Then there is Jerusalem
artichoke, which is the root of a species of sunflower, and, when
boiled, much resembles in taste an artichoke bottom. On the whole,
however, a very small proportion of this class of plants is used in
food.

_Geo._ Are there no garden-flowers belonging to them?

_Tut._ Several, especially of the autumnal ones. There are sunflowers of
various kinds, which are the largest flowers the garden produces, though
not the most sightly; marygolds, both the common, and the French and
African, asters, china-asters, golden-rod, and chrysanthemums. Very few
flowers of this class have an agreeable scent, and their shape is not
the most pleasing; but they have often gay colours, and make a figure in
the garden when other things are over. Well—this is most that I
recollect worth noticing of the compound-flowered plants. They are a
difficult class to make out botanically, though pretty easily known from
each other by sight. I will take care to point out to you the principal
of them that we meet with in our walks, and you must get acquainted with
them.



                          ON PRESENCE OF MIND.


Mrs. F. one day having occasion to be blooded, sent for a surgeon. As
soon as he entered the room, her young daughter, Eliza, started up, and
was hastily going away, when her mother called her back.

_Mrs. F._ Eliza, do not go, I want you to stay by me.

_Eliz._ Dear mamma! I can never bear to see you blooded.

_Mrs. F._ Why not? what harm will it do you?

_Eliz._ O dear! I cannot look at blood. Besides, I cannot bear to see
you hurt, mamma!

_Mrs. F._ Oh, if I can bear to feel it, surely you may to see it. But,
come—you _must_ stay, and we will talk about it afterward.

Eliza, then, pale and trembling, stood by her mother and saw the whole
operation. She could not help, however, turning her head away when the
incision was made, and the first flow of blood made her start and
shudder. When all was over, and the surgeon gone, Mrs. F. began.

_Mrs. F._ Well, Eliza, what do you think of the mighty matter now? Would
it not have been very foolish to have run away from it?

_Eliz._ O mamma! how frightened I was when he took out his lancet. Did
it not hurt you a great deal?

_Mrs. F._ No, very little. And if it had, it was to do me good, you
know.

_Eliz._ But why should I stay to see it? I could do you no good.

_Mrs. F._ Perhaps not; but it will do you good to be accustomed to such
sights.

_Eliz._ Why, mamma?

_Mrs. F._ Because instances are every day happening in which it is our
duty to assist fellow-creatures in circumstances of pain and distress;
and if we were to indulge a reluctance to come near to them on those
occasions, we should never acquire either the knowledge or the presence
of mind necessary for the purpose.

_Eliz._ But if I had been told how to help people in such cases, could
not I do it without being used to see them?

_Mrs. F._ No. We have all naturally a horror at everything which is the
cause of pain and danger to ourselves or others; and nothing but habit
can give most of us the presence of mind necessary to enable us in such
occurrences to employ our knowledge to the best advantage.

_Eliz._ What is _presence of mind_, mamma?

_Mrs. F._ It is that steady possession of ourselves in cases of alarm,
that prevents us from being flurried and frightened. You have heard the
expression of _having all our wits about us_. That is the effect of
presence of mind, and a most inestimable quality it is, for without it
we are full as likely to run into danger as to avoid it. Do you not
remember hearing of your cousin Mary’s cap taking fire from a candle?

_Eliz._ O yes—very well.

_Mrs. F._ Well—the maid, as soon as she saw it, set up a great scream,
and ran out of the room; and Mary might have been burnt to death for any
assistance she could give her.

_Eliz._ How foolish that was!

_Mrs. F._ Yes—the girl had not the least presence of mind, and the
consequence was, depriving her of all recollection, and making her
entirely useless. But as soon as your aunt came up, she took the right
method for preventing the mischief. The cap was too much on fire to be
pulled off; so she whipped a quilt from the bed and flung it round
Mary’s head, and thus stifled the flame.

_Eliz._ Mary was a good deal scorched, though.

_Mrs. F._ Yes—but it was very well that it was no worse. If the maid,
however, had acted with any sense at first, no harm would have been
done, except burning the cap. I remember a much more fatal example of
the want of presence of mind. The mistress of a family was awakened by
flames bursting through the wainscot into her chamber. She flew to the
staircase; and in her confusion, instead of going upstairs to call her
children, who slept together in the nursery overhead, and who might all
have escaped by the top of the house, she ran down, and with much danger
made way through the fire, into the street. When she had got thither,
the thought of her poor children rushed into her mind, but it was too
late. The stairs had caught fire, so that nobody could get near them,
and they were burnt in their beds.

_Eliz._ What a sad thing!

_Mrs. F._ Sad, indeed! Now, I will tell you of a different conduct. A
lady was awakened by the crackling of fire, and saw it shining under her
chamber-door. Her husband would have immediately opened the door, but
she prevented him, since the smoke and flame would then have burst in
upon them.

The children with a maid slept in a room opening out of theirs. She went
and awakened them; and tying together the sheets and blankets, she sent
down the maid from the window first, and then let down the children one
by one to her. Last of all she descended herself. A few minutes after,
the floor fell in, and all the house was in flames.

_Eliz._ What a happy escape!

_Mrs. F._ Yes—and with what cool recollection of mind it was managed!
For mothers to love their children, and be willing to run any hazards
for them, is common; but in weak minds that very love is apt to prevent
exertions in the time of danger. I knew a lady who had a fine little boy
sitting in her lap. He put a whole plum into his mouth, which slipped
into his throat and choked him. The poor fellow turned black, and
struggled violently; and the mother was so frightened, that instead of
putting her finger in his throat, and pulling out the plum, which might
easily have been done, she laid him on the floor, and ran to call for
assistance. But the maids who came up were as much flurried as she; and
the child died before anything effectual was done to relieve him.

_Eliz._ How unhappy she must have been about it!

_Mrs. F._ Yes. It threw her into an illness which had liked to have cost
her her life.

Another lady, seeing her little boy climb up a high ladder, set up a
violent scream that frightened the child, so that he fell down and was
much hurt; whereas, if she had possessed command enough over herself to
speak to him gently, he might have got down safely.

_Eliz._ Dear mamma! what is that running down your arm?—O, it is blood!

_Mrs. F._ Yes—my arm bleeds again. I have stirred it too soon.

_Eliz._ Dear! What shall I do?

_Mrs. F._ Don’t frighten yourself. I shall stop the blood by pressing on
the orifice with my finger. In the meantime, do you ring the bell.

                                         [_Eliza rings—a servant comes._

_Mrs. F._ Betty, my arm bleeds. Can you tie it up again?

_Betty._ I believe I can, madam.

                       [_She takes off the bandage and puts on another._

_Eliz._ I hope it is stopped now?

_Mrs. F._ It is. Betty has done it very well. You see she went about it
with composure. This accident puts me in mind of another story which is
very well worth hearing. A man once reaping in the field, cut his arm
dreadfully with his sickle, and divided an artery.

_Eliz._ What is that, mamma?

_Mrs. F._ It is one of the canals or pipes through which the blood from
the heart runs like water in a pipe brought from a reservoir. When one
of these is cut it bleeds very violently, and the only way to stop it is
to make a pressure between the wounded place and the heart, in order to
intercept the course of the blood toward it. Well—this poor man bled
profusely; and the people about him, both men and women, were so
stupified with fright, that some ran one way, some another, and some
stood stock still. In short, he would have soon bled to death, had not a
brisk stout-hearted wench, who came up, slipped off her garter, and
bound it tight above the wound, by which means the bleeding was stopped
till proper help could be procured.

_Eliz._ What a clever wench! But how did she know what to do?

_Mrs. F._ She had perhaps heard it, as you have done now; and so
probably had some of the others, but they had not presence of mind
enough to put it into practice. It is a much greater trial of courage,
however, when the danger presses upon ourselves as well as others.
Suppose a furious bull was to come upon you in the midst of a field. You
could not possibly escape him by running, and attempting it would
destroy your only chance of safety.

_Eliz._ What would that be?

_Mrs. F._ I have a story for that, too. The mother of that Mr. Day, who
wrote _Sandford and Merton_, was distinguished, as he also was, for
courage and presence of mind. When a young woman, she was one day
walking in the fields with a companion, when they perceived a bull
coming to them, roaring and tossing about his head in the most
tremendous manner.

_Eliz._ O, how I should have screamed!

_Mrs. F._ I dare say you would; and so did her companion. But she bid
her walk away behind her as gently as she could, while she herself
stopped short, and faced the bull, eying him with a determined
countenance. The bull, when he had come near, stopped also, pawing the
ground and roaring. Few animals will attack a man who steadily waits for
him. In a while, she drew back some steps, still facing the bull. The
bull followed. She stopped, and then he stopped. In this manner, she
made good her retreat to the stile over which her companion had before
got. She then turned and sprung over it; and got clear out of danger.

_Eliz._ That was bravely done, indeed! But I think very few women could
have done as much.

_Mrs. F._ Such a degree of cool resolution, to be sure, is not common.
But I have read of a lady in the East Indies who showed at least as
much. She was sitting out of doors with a party of pleasure, when they
were aware of a huge tiger that had crept through a hedge near them, and
was just ready to make his fatal spring. They were struck with the
utmost consternation; but she, with an umbrella in her hand, turned to
the tiger, and suddenly spread it full in his face. This unusual assault
so terrified the beast, that, taking a prodigious leap, he sprung over
the fence, and plunged out of sight into the neighbouring thicket.

_Eliz._ Well—that was the boldest thing I ever heard of! But is it
possible, mamma, to make one’s self courageous?

_Mrs. F._ Courage, my dear, is of two kinds; one the gift of nature, the
other of reason and habit. Men have naturally more courage than women;
that is, they are less affected by danger; it makes a less impression
upon them, and does not flutter their spirits so much. This is owing to
the difference of their bodily constitution; and from the same cause
some men and some women are more courageous than others. But the other
kind of courage may in some measure be acquired by every one. Reason
teaches us to face smaller dangers in order to avoid greater, and even
to undergo the greatest when our duty requires it. Habit makes us less
affected by particular dangers which have often come in our way. A
sailor does not feel the danger of a storm so much as a landsman, but if
he was mounted upon a spirited horse in a fox-chase, he would probably
be the most timorous man in company. The courage of women is chiefly
tried in domestic dangers. They are attendants on the sick and dying;
and they must qualify themselves to go through many scenes of terror in
these situations, which would alarm the stoutest-hearted man who was not
accustomed to them.

_Eliz._ I have heard that women generally bear pain and illness better
than men.

_Mrs. F._ They do so, because they are more used to them, both in
themselves and others.

_Eliz._ I think I should not be afraid again to see anybody blooded.

_Mrs. F._ I hope not. It was for that purpose I made you stand by me.
And I would have you always force yourself to look on and give
assistance in cases of this kind, however painful it may at first be to
you, that you may as soon as possible gain that presence of mind which
arises from habit.

_Eliz._ But would that make me like to be blooded myself?

_Mrs. F._ Not to _like_ it, but to lose all foolish fears about it, and
submit calmly to it when good for you. But I hope you have sense enough
to do that already.

[Illustration:

  Why an Apple falls, p. 203.

  EVENING XVII.
]



                PHAETON JUNIOR: OR, THE GIG DEMOLISHED.


             Ye heroes of the upper form,
               Who long for whip and reins,
             Come listen to a dismal tale,
               Set forth in dismal strains.

             Young Jehu was a lad of fame
               As all the school could tell;
             At cricket, taw, and prison-bars,
               He bore away the bell.

             Now welcome Whitsuntide was come,
               And boys with merry hearts
             Were gone to visit dear mamma,
               And eat her pies and tarts.

             As soon as Jehu saw his sire,
               “A boon! a boon!” he cried;
             “O, if I am your darling boy,
               Let me not be denied.”

             “My darling boy indeed thou art,”
               The father wise replied;
             “So name the boon; I promise thee
               It shall not be denied.”

             “Then give me, sir, your long-lashed whip,
               And give your gig and pair,
             To drive alone to yonder town,
               And flourish through the fair.”

             The father shook his head; “My son,
               You know not what you ask;
             To drive a gig in crowded streets
               Is no such easy task.

             “The horses, full of rest and corn,
               Scarce I myself can guide;
             And much I fear, if you attempt,
               Some mischief will betide.

             “Then think, dear boy, of something else,
               That’s better worth your wishing;
             A bow and quiver, bats and balls,
               A rod and lines for fishing.”

             But nothing could young Jehu please
               Except a touch at driving;
             ‘Twas all in vain, his father found,
               To spend his breath in striving.

             “At least, attend, rash boy!” he cried,
               “And follow good advice,
             Or in a ditch both gig and you
               Will tumble in a trice.

             “Spare, spare the whip, hold hard the reins.
               The steeds go fast enough;
             Keep in the middle beaten track,
               Nor cross the ruts so rough:

             “And when within the town you come,
               Be sure, with special care,
             Drive clear of signposts, booths, and stalls
               And monsters of the fair.”

             The youth scarce heard his father out,
               But roared—“Bring out the whiskey!”
             With joy he viewed the rolling wheels,
               And prancing ponies frisky.

             He seized the reins, and up he sprung,
               And waved the whistling lash;
             “Take care; take care!” his father cried:
               But off he went slap-dash.

             “Who’s this light spark?” the horses thought,
               “We’ll try your strength, young master;”
             So o’er the ragged turnpike-road
               Still faster ran and faster.

             Young Jehu, tottering in his seat,
               Now wished to pull them in;
             But pulling from so young a hand
               They valued not a pin.

             A drove of grunting pigs before
               Now filled up half the way;
             Dash through the midst the horses drove
               And made a rueful day:

             For some were trampled under foot,
               Some crushed beneath the wheel;
             Lord! how the drivers cursed and swore
               And how the pigs did squeal!

             A farmer’s wife, on old blind Ball,
               Went slowly on the road,
             With butter, eggs, and cheese, and cream.
               In two large panniers stowed.

             Ere Ball could stride the rut, amain
               The gig came thundering on,
             Crash went the panniers, and the dame
               And Ball lay overthrown.

             Now through the town the mettled pair
               Ran rattling o’er the stones;
             They drove the crowd from side to side
               And shook poor Jehu’s bones.

             When, lo! directly in their course,
               A monstrous form appeared—
             A shaggy bear that stalked and roared
               On hinder legs upreared.

             Sidewise they started at the sight,
               And whisked the gig half round,
             Then ‘cross the crowded marketplace
               They flew with furious bound.

             First o’er a heap of crockery-ware
               The rapid car they whirled;
             And jugs, and mugs, and pots, and pans,
               In fragments wide they hurled.

             A booth stood near with tempting cakes
               And grocery richly fraught;
             All Birmingham on t’ other side
               The dazzling optics caught

             With active spring the nimble steeds
               Rushed through the pass between,
             And scarcely touched; the car behind
               Got through not quite so clean:

             For while one wheel one stall engaged,
               Its fellow took the other;
             Dire was the clash; down fell the booths,
               And made a dreadful pother.

             Nuts, oranges, and gingerbread,
               And figs here rolled around;
             And scissors, knives, and thimbles there
               Bestrewed the glittering ground.

             The fall of boards, the shouts and cries,
               Urged on the horses faster;
             And as they flew, at every step,
               They caused some new disaster.

             Here lay o’erturned, in woful plight,
               A pedlar and his pack;
             There, in a showman’s broken box,
               All London went to wrack.

             But now the fates decreed to stop
               The ruin of the day,
             And make the gig and driver too
               A heavy reckoning pay.

             A ditch there lay both broad and deep,
               Where streams as black as Styx
             From every quarter of the town
               Their muddy currents mix.

             Down to its brink in heedless haste
               The frantic horses flew,
             And in the midst, with sudden jerk,
               Their burden overthrew.

             The prostrate gig with desperate force
               They soon pulled out again,
             And at their heels in ruin dire
               Dragged lumbering o’er the plain.

             Here lay a wheel, the axle there,
               The body there remained,
             Till severed limb from limb, the car
               Nor name nor shape retained.

             But Jehu must not be forgot,
               Left floundering in the flood,
             With clothes all drenched, and mouth and eyes
               Beplastered o’er with mud.

             In piteous case he waded through
               And gained the slippery side,
             Where grinning crowds were gathered round
               To mock his fallen pride.

             They led him to a neighbouring pump
               To clear his dismal face,
             Whence cold and heartless home he slunk,
               Involved in sore disgrace.

             And many a bill for damage done
               His father had to pay.
             Take warning, youthful drivers, all!
               From Jehu’s first essay.



                          WHY AN APPLE FALLS.


“Papa,” said Lucy, “I have been reading to-day, that Sir Isaac Newton
was led to make some of his great discoveries by seeing an apple fall
from a tree. What was there extraordinary in that?”

_Papa._ There was nothing extraordinary; but it happened to catch his
attention, and set him to thinking.

_Lucy._ And what did he think about?

_Pa._ He thought by what means the apple was brought to the ground.

_Lu._ Why, I could have told him that—because the stalk gave way, and
there was nothing to support it.

_Pa._ And what then?

_Lu._ Why, then it must fall, you know.

_Pa._ But why _must_ it fall?—that is the point.

_Lu._ Because it could not help it.

_Pa._ But why could it not help it?

_Lu._ I don’t know—that is an odd question. Because there was nothing to
keep it up.

_Pa._ Suppose there was not—does it follow that it must come to the
ground?

_Lu._ Yes, surely!

_Pa._ Is an apple animate or inanimate?

_Lu._ Inanimate, to be sure!

_Pa._ And can inanimate things move of themselves?

_Lu._ No—I think not—but the apple falls because it is forced to fall.

_Pa._ Right! Some force out of itself acts upon it, otherwise it would
remain for ever where it was, notwithstanding it were loosened from the
tree.

_Lu._ Would it?

_Pa._ Undoubtedly! for there only two ways in which it could be moved;
by its own power of motion, or the power of something else moving it.
Now the first you acknowledge it has not; the cause of its motion must
therefore be the second. And what that is was the subject of the
philosopher’s inquiry.

_Lu._ But everything falls to the ground as well as an apple, when there
is nothing to keep it up.

_Pa._ True—there must therefore be a universal cause of this tendency to
fall.

_Lu._ And what is it?

_Pa._ Why, if things out of the earth cannot move themselves to it,
there can be no other cause of their coming together than that the earth
pulls them.

_Lu._ But the earth is no more animate than they are: so how can it
pull?

_Pa._ Well objected! This will bring us to the point. Sir Isaac Newton,
after deep meditation, discovered, that there was a law in nature called
_attraction_, by virtue of which every particle of matter, that is,
everything of which the world is composed, draws toward it every other
particle of matter, with a force proportioned to its size and distance.
Lay two marbles on the table. They have a tendency to come together, and
if there were nothing else in the world they would come together, but
they are also attracted by the table, by the ground, and by everything
besides in the room; and these different attractions pull against each
other. Now, the globe of the earth is a prodigious mass of matter, to
which nothing near it can bear any comparison. It draws, therefore, with
mighty force, everything within its reach, which is the cause of their
falling: and this is called the _gravitation_ of bodies, or what gives
them _weight_. When I lift anything, I act contrary to this force, for
which reason it seems _heavy_ to me, and the heavier the more matter it
contains, since that increases the attraction of the earth for it. Do
you understand this?

_Lu._ I think I do. It is like a loadstone drawing a needle.

_Pa._ Yes; that is an attraction, but of a particular kind, only taking
place between the magnet and iron. But gravitation, or the attraction of
the earth, acts upon everything alike.

_Lu._ Then it is pulling you and me at this moment.

_Pa._ It is.

_Lu._ But why do not we stick to the ground, then?

_Pa._ Because, as we are alive, we have a power of self-motion, which
can, to a certain degree, overcome the attraction of the earth. But the
reason you cannot jump a mile high as well as a foot, is this
attraction, which limits the force of your jump, and brings you down
again after that force is spent.

_Lu._ I think, then, I begin to understand what I have heard of people
living on the other side of the world. I believe they are called
_antipodes_, who have their feet turned toward ours, and their heads in
the air. I used to wonder how it could be that they did not fall off;
but I suppose the earth pulls them to it.

_Pa._ Very true. And whither should they fall? What have they over their
heads?

_Lu._ I don’t know; sky, I suppose.

_Pa._ They have. This earth is a vast ball, hung in the air, and
continually spinning round, and that is the cause why the sun and stars
seem to rise and set. At noon we have the sun over our heads, when the
antipodes have the stars over theirs; and at midnight the stars are over
our heads, and the sun over theirs. So whither should they fall to more
than we?—to the stars or the sun?

_Lu._ But we are up, and they are down.

_Pa._ What is up, but _from_ the earth and _toward_ the sky? Their feet
touch the earth, and their heads point to the sky, as well as ours; and
we are under their feet, as much as they are under ours. If a hole were
dug quite through the earth, what would you see through it?

_Lu._ Sky, with the sun or the stars; and now I see the whole matter
plainly. But pray what supports the earth in the air?

_Pa._ Why, whither should it go?

_Lu._ I don’t know—I suppose where there was most to draw it. I have
heard that the sun is a great many times bigger than the earth. Would it
not go to that?

_Pa._ You have thought very justly on the matter, I perceive. But I
shall take another opportunity of showing you how this is, and why the
earth does not fall into the sun, of which, I confess, there seems to be
some danger. Meanwhile, think how far the falling of an apple has
carried us?

_Lu._ To the antipodes, and I know not where.

_Pa._ You may see thence what use may be made of the commonest fact by a
thinking mind.



                     NATURE AND EDUCATION.—A FABLE.


Nature and Education were one day walking together through a nursery of
trees. “See,” says Nature, “how straight and fine those firs grow—that
is my doing! but as to those oaks, they are all crooked and stunted:
that, my good sister, is your fault. You have planted them too close,
and not pruned them properly.”—“Nay, sister,” said Education, “I am sure
I have taken all possible pains about them; but you gave me bad acorns,
so how should they ever make fine trees?”

The dispute grew warm; and, at length, instead of blaming one another
for negligence, they began to boast of their own powers, and to
challenge each other to a contest for the superiority. It was agreed
that each should adopt a favourite, and rear it up in spite of the ill
offices of her opponent. Nature fixed upon a vigorous young Weymouth
pine, the parent of which had grown to be the mainmast of a man-of-war.
“Do what you will to this plant,” said she to her sister, “I am resolved
to push it up as straight as an arrow.” Education took under her care a
crab-tree. “This,” said she, “I will rear to be at least as valuable as
your pine.”

Both went to work. While Nature was feeding her pine with plenty of
wholesome juices, Education passed a strong rope round its top, and
pulling it downward with all its force, fastened it to the trunk of a
neighbouring oak. The pine laboured to ascend, but not being able to
surmount the obstacle, it pushed out to one side, and presently became
bent like a bow. Still, such was its vigour, that its top, after
descending as low as its branches, made a new shoot upward: but its
beauty and usefulness were quite destroyed.

The crab-tree cost Education a world of pains. She pruned and pruned,
and endeavoured to bring it into shape, but in vain. Nature thrust out a
bough this way, and a knot that way, and would not push a single leading
shoot upward. The trunk was, indeed, kept tolerably straight by constant
efforts; but the head grew awry and ill-fashioned, and made a scrubby
figure. At length, Education, despairing of making a sightly plant of
it, ingrafted the stock with an apple, and brought it to bear tolerable
fruit.

At the end of the experiment, the sisters met to compare their
respective success. “Ah, sister!” said Nature, “I see it is in your
power to spoil the best of my works.”—“Ah, sister!” said Education, “it
is a hard matter to contend against you—however, something may be done
by taking pains enough.”



                       AVERSION SUBDUED.—A DRAMA.


                     SCENE—_A Road in the Country_.

                      _Arbury_—_Belford_, walking.

_Belford._ Pray, who is the present possessor of the Brookby estate?

_Arbury._ A man of the name of Goodwin.

_Bel._ Is he a good neighbour to you?

_Arb._ Far from it! and I wish he had settled a hundred miles off,
rather than come here to spoil our neighbourhood.

_Bel._ I am sorry to hear that; but what is your objection to him?

_Arb._ O, there is nothing in which we agree. In the first place he is
quite of the other side in politics; and that, you know, is enough to
prevent all intimacy.

_Bel._ I am not entirely of that opinion; but what else?

_Arb._ He is no sportsman, and refuses to join in our association for
protecting the game. Neither does he choose to be a member of any of our
clubs.

_Bel._ Has he been asked?

_Arb._ I don’t know that he has directly; but he might easily propose
himself, if he liked it. But he is of a close, unsociable temper, and I
believe very niggardly.

_Bel._ How has he shown it?

_Arb._ His style of living is not equal to his fortune; and I have heard
of several instances of his attention to petty economy.

_Bel._ Perhaps he spends money in charity?

_Arb._ Not he, I dare say. It was but last week that a poor fellow who
had lost his all by a fire went to him with a subscription paper, in
which were the names of all the gentlemen in the neighbourhood; and all
the answer he got was that he would consider of it.

_Bel._ And did he consider?

_Arb._ I don’t know, but I suppose it was only an excuse. Then his
predecessor had a park well stocked with deer, and used to make liberal
presents of venison to all his neighbours. But this frugal gentleman has
sold them all off, and got a flock of sheep instead.

_Bel._ I don’t see much harm in that, now mutton is so dear.

_Arb._ To be sure he has a right to do as he pleases with his park, but
that is not the way to be beloved, you know. As to myself, I have reason
to believe he bears me particular ill-will.

_Bel._ Then he is much in the wrong, for I believe you are as free from
ill-will to others as any man living. But how has he shown it, pray?

_Arb._ In twenty instances. He had a horse upon sale the other day to
which I took a liking, and bid money for it. As soon as he found I was
about it, he sent it off to a fair on the other side of the county. My
wife, you know, is passionately fond of cultivating flowers. Riding
lately by his grounds, she observed something new, and took a great
longing for a root or cutting of it. My gardener mentioned her wish to
his, (contrary, I own, to my inclination,) and he told his master; but
instead of obliging her, he charged the gardener on no account to touch
the plant. A little while ago I turned off a man for saucy behaviour;
but as he had lived many years with me, and was a very useful servant, I
meant to take him again upon his submission, which I did not doubt would
soon happen. Instead of that, he goes and offers himself to my civil
neighbour, who, without deigning to apply to me even for a character,
entertains him immediately. In short, he has not the least of a
gentleman about him, and I would give anything to be well rid of him.

_Bel._ Nothing, to be sure, can be more unpleasant, in the country, than
a bad neighbour, and I am concerned it is your lot to have one. But
there is a man who seems as if he wanted to speak with you.

                                             [_A Countryman approaches._

_Arb._ Ah! it is the poor fellow that was burnt out. Well, Richard, how
go you on?—what has the subscription produced you?

_Richard._ Thank your honour, my losses are nearly all made up.

_Arb._ I am very glad of that; but when I saw the paper last, it did not
reach half way.

_Rich._ It did not, sir; but you may remember asking me what Mr. Goodwin
had done for me, and I told you he took time to consider of it. Well,
sir, I found that the very next day he had been at our town, and had
made very particular inquiry about me and my losses, among my
neighbours. When I called upon him in a few days after, he told me he
was very glad to find that I bore such a good character, and that the
gentlemen round had so kindly taken up my case; and he would prevent the
necessity of my going any farther for relief. Upon which, he gave me,
God bless him! a draft upon his banker for fifty pounds.

_Arb._ Fifty pounds!

_Rich._ Yes, sir—it has made me quite my own man again; and I am now
going to purchase a new cart and team of horses.

_Arb._ A noble gift, indeed; I could never have thought it! Well,
Richard, I rejoice at your good fortune. I am sure you are much obliged
to Mr. Goodwin.

_Rich._ Indeed, I am, sir, and to all my good friends. God bless you!

                                                             [_Goes on._

_Bel._ Niggardliness, at least, is not this man’s foible.

_Arb._ No—I was mistaken in that point. I wronged him, and I am sorry
for it. But what a pity it is that men of real generosity should not be
amiable in their manners, and as ready to oblige in trifles as in
matters of consequence.

_Bel._ True—‘tis a pity when that is really the case.

_Arb._ How much less an exertion it would have been to have shown some
civility about a horse or a flower-root!

_Bel._ Apropos of flowers!—there’s your gardener carrying a large one in
a pot.

                           _Enter Gardener._

_Arb._ Now, James, what have you got there?

_Gardener._ A flower, sir, for madam, from Mr. Goodwin’s.

_Arb._ How did you come by it?

_Gard._ His gardener, sir, sent me word to come for it. We should have
had it before, but Mr. Goodwin thought it would not move safely.

_Arb._ I hope he has got more of them?

_Gard._ He has only a seedling plant or two, sir; but hearing that madam
took a liking to it, he resolved to send it her, and a choice thing it
is! I have a note for madam in my pocket.

_Arb._ Well, go on.

                                                       [_Exit Gardener._

_Bel._ Methinks this does not look like deficiency in civility?

_Arb._ No—it is a very polite action—I ca’n’t deny it, and I am obliged
to him for it. Perhaps, indeed, he may feel he owes me a little amends.

_Bel._ Possibly—it shows he _can_ feel, however.

_Arb._ It does. Ha! there’s Yorkshire Tom coming with a string of horses
from the fair. I’ll step up and speak to him. Now, Tom! how have horses
gone at Market-hill?

_Tom._ Dear enough, your honour!

_Arb._ How much more did you get for Mr. Goodwin’s mare than I offered
him?

_Tom._ Ah! sir, that was not a thing for your riding, and that Mr
Goodwin well knew. You never saw such a vicious toad. She had liked to
have killed the groom two or three times. So I was ordered to offer her
to the mail-coach people, and get what I could from them. I might have
sold her better if Mr. Goodwin would have let me, for she was a fine
creature to look at as need be, and quite sound.

_Arb._ And was that the true reason why the mare was not sold to me?

_Tom._ It was, indeed, sir.

_Arb._ Then I am highly obliged to Mr. Goodwin. (_Tom rides on._) This
was handsome behaviour, indeed!

_Bel._ Yes, I think it was somewhat more than politeness—it was real
goodness of heart.

_Arb._ It was. I find I must alter my opinion of him, and I do it with
pleasure. But, after all, his conduct with respect to my servant is
somewhat unaccountable.

_Bel._ I see reason to think so well of him in the main, that I am
inclined to hope he will be acquitted in this matter, too.

_Arb._ There the fellow is. I wonder he has my old livery on yet!

                                 [_Ned approaches, pulling off his hat._

_Ned._ Sir, I was coming to your honour.

_Arb._ What can you have to say to me now, Ned?

_Ned._ To ask pardon for my misbehaviour, and to beg you to take me
again.

_Arb._ What—have you so soon parted with your new master?

_Ned._ Mr. Goodwin never was my master, sir. He only kept me in his
house till I could make it up with you again; for he said he was sure
you were too honourable a gentleman to turn off an old servant without
good reason, and he hoped you would admit my excuses after your anger
was over.

_Arb._ Did he say all that?

_Ned._ Yes, sir; and he advised me not to delay any longer to ask your
pardon.

_Arb._ Well—go to my house, and I will talk with you on my return.

_Bel._ Now, my friend, what think you of this?

_Arb._ I think more than I can well express. It will be a lesson to me
never to make hasty judgments again.

_Bel._ Why, indeed, to have concluded that such a man had nothing of the
gentleman about him must have been rather hasty.

_Arb._ I acknowledge it. But it is the misfortune of these reserved
characters that they are so long in making themselves known; though,
when they are known, they often prove the most truly estimable. I am
afraid, even now, that I must be content with esteeming him at a
distance.

_Bel._ Why so?

_Arb._ You know I am of an open sociable disposition.

_Bel._ Perhaps he is so, too.

_Arb._ If he was, surely we should have been better acquainted before
this time.

_Bel._ It may have been prejudice rather than temper that has kept you
apart.

_Arb._ Possibly so. The vile spirit of party has such a sway in the
country, that men of the most liberal dispositions can hardly free
themselves from its influence. It poisons all the kindness of society;
and yonder comes an instance of its pernicious effects.

_Bel._ Who is he?

_Arb._ A poor schoolmaster with a large family in the next market-town,
who has lost all his scholars by his activity on our side in the last
election. I heartily wish it was in my power to do something for him;
for he is a very honest man, though, perhaps, rather too warm. [_The
schoolmaster comes up._] Now, Mr. Penman, how do things go with you?

_Pen._ I thank you, sir, they have gone poorly enough, but I hope they
are in a way to mend.

_Arb._ I am glad to hear it—but how?

_Pen._ Why, sir, the free-school of Stoke is vacant, and I believe I am
likely to get it.

_Arb._ Ay!—I wonder at that. I thought it was in the hands of the other
party?

_Pen._ It is, sir; but Mr. Goodwin has been so kind as to give me a
recommendation, and his interest is sufficient to carry it.

_Arb._ Mr. Goodwin! you surprise me!

_Pen._ I was much surprised, too, sir. He sent for me of his own accord,
(for I should never have thought of asking _him_ a favour,) and told me
he was sorry a man should be injured in his profession on account of
party, and as I could not live comfortably where I was, he would try to
settle me in a better place. So he mentioned the vacancy of Stoke, and
offered me letters for the trustees. I was never so affected in my life,
sir; I could hardly speak to return him thanks. He kept me to dinner,
and treated me with the greatest respect. Indeed, I believe there is not
a kinder man breathing than Mr. Goodwin.

_Arb._ You have the best reason in the world to say so, Mr. Penman.
What—did he converse familiarly with you?

_Pen._ Quite so, sir. We talked a great deal about party affairs in this
neighbourhood, and he lamented much that differences of this kind should
keep worthy men at a distance from each other. I took the liberty, sir,
of mentioning your name. He said he had not the honour of being
acquainted with you, but he had a sincere esteem for your character, and
should be glad of any occasion to cultivate a friendship with you. For
my part, I confess, to my shame I did not think there could have been
such a man on that side.

_Arb._ Well—good morning!

_Pen._ Your most obedient, sir.

                                                             [_He goes._

_Arb._ (_After some silence._) Come, my friend, let us go.

_Bel._ Whither?

_Arb._ Can you doubt it?—to Mr. Goodwin’s, to be sure! After all I have
heard, can I exist a moment without acknowledging the injustice I have
done him, and begging his friendship?

_Bel._ I shall be happy, I am sure, to accompany you on that errand. But
who is to introduce us?

_Arb._ O, what are form and ceremony in a case like this! Come—come.

_Bel._ Most willingly.

                                                              [_Exeunt._

[Illustration:

  EVENING XVIII.
]



                        THE LITTLE PHILOSOPHER.


Mr. L. was one morning riding by himself, when dismounting to gather a
plant in the hedge, his horse got loose and galloped away before him. He
followed, calling the horse by his name, which stopped, but on his
approach set off again. At length, a little boy in a neighbouring field,
seeing the affair, ran across where the road made a turn, and getting
before the horse, took him by the bridle, and held him till his owner
came up. Mr. L. looked at the boy, and admired his ruddy, cheerful
countenance.

“Thank you, my good lad!” said he; “you have caught my horse very
cleverly. What shall I give you for your trouble?” putting his hand in
his pocket.

_Boy._ I want nothing, sir.

_Mr. L._ Don’t you? so much the better for you. Few men can say as much.
But pray, what are you doing in the field?

_Boy._ I was rooting up weeds and tending the sheep that are feeding on
the turnips.

_Mr. L._ And do you like this employment?

_Boy._ Yes, very well, this fine weather.

_Mr. L._ But had you not rather play?

_Boy._ This is not hard work; it is almost as good as play.

_Mr. L._ Who set you to work?

_Boy._ My daddy, sir.

_Mr. L._ Where does he live?

_Boy._ Just by, among the trees there.

_Mr. L._ What is his name?

_Boy._ Thomas Hurdle.

_Mr. L._ And what is yours?

_Boy._ Peter, sir.

_Mr. L._ How old are you?

_Boy._ I shall be eight at Michaelmas.

_Mr. L._ How long have you been out in this field?

_Boy._ Ever since six in the morning.

_Mr. L._ And are not you hungry?

_Boy._ Yes—I shall go to dinner soon.

_Mr. L._ If you had sixpence now, what would you do with it?

_Boy._ I don’t know. I never had so much in my life.

_Mr. L._ Have you no playthings?

_Boy._ Playthings! what are those?

_Mr. L._ Such as balls, nine-pins, marbles, tops, and wooden horses.

_Boy._ No, sir; but our Tom makes footballs to kick in the cold weather,
and we set traps for birds; and then I have a jumping-pole and a pair of
stilts to walk through the dirt with; and I had a hoop, but it is broke.

_Mr. L._ And do you want nothing else?

_Boy._ No. I have hardly time for those: for I always ride the horses to
field, and bring up the cows, and run to the town of errands, and that
is as good as play, you know.

_Mr. L._ Well, but you could buy apples or gingerbread at the town, I
suppose, if you had money?

_Boy._ Oh—I can get apples at home; and as for gingerbread I don’t mind
it much, for my mammy gives me a pie now and then, and that is as good.

_Mr. L._ Would you not like a knife to cut sticks?

_Boy._ I have one—here it is—brother Tom gave it me.

_Mr. L._ Your shoes are full of holes—don’t you want a better pair?

_Boy._ I have a better pair for Sundays.

_Mr. L._ But these let in water.

_Boy._ Oh, I don’t care for that.

_Mr. L._ Your hat is all torn, too.

_Boy._ I have a better at home, but I had as leave have none at all, for
it hurts my head.

_Mr. L._ What do you do when it rains?

_Boy._ If it rains very hard, I get under the hedges till it is over.

_Mr. L._ What do you do when you are hungry before it is time to go
home?

_Boy._ I sometimes eat a raw turnip.

_Mr. L._ But if there are none?

_Boy._ Then I do as well as I can; I work on, and never think of it.

_Mr. L._ Are you not dry sometimes this hot weather?

_Boy._ Yes, but there is water enough.

_Mr. L._ Why, my little fellow, you are quite a philosopher!

_Boy._ Sir?

_Mr. L._ I say you are a philosopher, but I am sure you do not know what
that means.

_Boy._ No, sir, no harm, I hope.

_Mr. L._ No, no! (_Laughing._) Well, my boy, you seem to want nothing at
all, so I shall not give you money to make you want anything. But were
you ever at school?

_Boy._ No, sir, but daddy says I shall go after harvest.

_Mr. L._ You will want books then.

_Boy._ Yes, the boys have all a spelling-book and a testament.

_Mr. L._ Well, then, I will give you them—tell your daddy so, and that
it is because I think you a very good contented little boy. So now go to
your sheep again.

_Boy._ I will, sir. Thank you.

_Mr. L._ Good-by, Peter.

_Boy._ Good-by, sir.



                       WHAT ANIMALS ARE MADE FOR.


“Pray, papa,” said Sophia after she had been a long time teased with the
flies that buzzed about her ears, and settled on her nose and forehead
as she sat at work—“Pray, what were flies made for?”

“For some good, I dare say,” replied her papa.

_Sop._ But I think they do a great deal more harm than good, for I am
sure they plague me sadly: and in the kitchen they are so troublesome,
that the maids can hardly do their work for them.

_Pa._ Flies eat up many things that would otherwise corrupt and become
loathsome; and they serve for food to birds, spiders, and many other
animals.

_Sop._ But we could clean away everything that was offensive without
their help; and as to their serving for food, I have seen whole heaps of
them lying dead in a window, without seeming to have done good to
anything.

_Pa._ Well, then. Suppose a fly capable of thinking; would he not be
equally puzzled to find out what men were good for? “This great
two-legged monster,” he might say, “instead of helping us to live,
devours more food at a meal than would serve a whole legion of flies.
Then he kills us by hundreds when we come within his reach, and I see
him destroy and torment all other animals too. And when he dies he is
nailed up in a box, and put a great way under ground, as if he grudged
doing any more good after his death than when alive.” Now what would you
answer to such a reasoning fly?

_Sop._ I would tell him he was very impertinent for talking so of his
betters; for that he and all other creatures were made for the use of
man, and not man for theirs.

_Pa._ But would you tell him true? You have just been saying that you
could not find out of what use flies were to us: whereas, when they suck
our blood, there is no doubt that we are of use to them.

_Sop._ It is that which puzzles me.

_Pa._ There are many other animals which we call _noxious_, and which
are so far from being useful to us, that we take all possible pains to
get rid of them. More than that, there are vast tracks of the earth
where few or no men inhabit, which are yet full of beasts, birds,
insects, and all living things. These certainly do not exist there for
his use alone. On the contrary, they often keep man away.

_Sop._ Then what are they made for?

_Pa._ They are made to be happy. It is a manifest purpose of the Creator
to give being to as much life as possible, for life is enjoyment to all
creatures in health and in possession of their faculties. Man surpasses
other animals in his powers of enjoyment, and he has prospects in a
future state which they do not share with him. But the Creator equally
desires the happiness of all his creatures, and looks down with as much
benignity upon these flies that are sporting around us, as upon
ourselves.

_Sop._ Then we ought not to kill them, if they are ever so troublesome.

_Pa._ I do not say that. We have a right to make a reasonable use of all
animals for our advantage, and also to free ourselves from such as are
hurtful to us. So far our superiority over them may fairly extend. But
we should never abuse them for our mere amusement, nor take away their
lives wantonly. Nay, a good natured-man will rather undergo a _little_
inconvenience, than take away from a creature all that it possesses. An
infant may destroy life, but all the kings upon earth cannot restore it.
I remember reading of a good-tempered old gentleman that having been a
long time plagued with a great fly that buzzed about his face all
dinner-time, at length, after many efforts, caught it. Instead of
crushing it to death, he held it carefully in his hand, and opening the
window, “Go,” said he,—“get thee gone, poor creature, I won’t hurt a
hair of thy head; surely the world is wide enough for thee and me.”

_Sop._ I should have loved that man.

_Pa._ One of our poets has written some very pretty lines to a fly that
came to partake with him of his wine. They begin:—

                    “Busy, curious, thirsty fly,
                    Drink with me, and drink as I;
                    Welcome freely to my cup,
                    Couldst thou sip and sip it up.”

_Sop._ How pretty! I think they will almost make me love flies. But
pray, papa, do not animals destroy one another?

_Pa._ They do, indeed. The greatest part of them only live by the
destruction of life. There is a perpetual warfare going on, in which the
stronger prey upon the weaker, and, in their turns, are the prey of
those which are a degree stronger than themselves. Even the innocent
sheep, with every mouthful of grass, destroys hundreds of small insects.
In the air we breathe, and the water we drink, we give death to
thousands of invisible creatures.

_Sop._ But is not that very strange? If they were created to live and be
happy, why should they be destroyed so fast?

_Pa._ They are destroyed no faster than others are produced; and if they
enjoyed life while it lasted, they have had a good bargain. By making
animals the food of animals, Providence has filled up every chink, as it
were, of existence. You see these swarms of flies. During all the hot
weather they are continually coming forth from the state of eggs and
maggots, and as soon as they get the use of wings, they roam about and
fill every place in search of food. Meantime, they are giving sustenance
to the whole race of spiders; they maintain all the swallow tribe, and
contribute greatly to the support of many other small birds, and even
afford many a delicate morsel to the fishes. Their own numbers, however,
seem scarcely diminished, and vast multitudes live on till the cold
weather comes and puts an end to them. Were nothing to touch them, they
would probably become so numerous as to starve each other. As it is,
they are full of enjoyment themselves, and afford life and enjoyment to
other creatures, which in their turn supply the wants of others.

_Sop._ It is no charity, then, to tear a spider’s web in pieces in order
to set the fly at liberty.

_Pa._ None at all—no more than it would be to demolish the traps of a
poor Indian hunter who depended upon them for his dinner. They both act
as nature directs them. Shall I tell you a story?

_Sop._ O yes—pray do!

_Pa._ As a venerable Bramin, who had never in his days eaten anything
but rice, fruits, and milk, and held it the greatest of crimes to shed
the blood of anything that had life, was one day meditating on the banks
of the Ganges, he saw a little bird on the ground picking up ants as
fast as he could swallow. “Murderous wretch,” cried he, “what scores of
lives are sacrificed to one gluttonous meal of thine!” Presently, a
sparrow-hawk, pouncing down, seized him in his claws and flew off with
him. The Bramin was at first inclined to triumph over the little bird;
but on hearing his cries, he could not help pitying him. “Poor thing,”
said he, “thou art fallen into the clutches of a tyrant!” A stronger
tyrant, however, took up the matter; for a falcon in mid air darting on
the sparrow-hawk, struck him to the ground, with the bird lifeless in
his talons. Tyrant against tyrant, thought the Bramin, is well enough.
The falcon had not finished tearing his prey, when a lynx stealing from
behind a rock on which he was perched, sprung upon him, and having
strangled him, bore him to the edge of a neighbouring thicket, and began
to suck his blood. The Bramin was attentively viewing this new display
of retributive justice, when a sudden roar shook the air, and a huge
tiger rushing from the thicket, came like thunder on the lynx. The
Bramin was near enough to hear the crushing bones, and was making off in
great terror, when he met an English soldier armed with his musket. He
pointed eagerly to the place where the tiger was making his bloody
repast. The soldier levelled his gun, and laid the tiger dead. “Brave
fellow!” exclaimed the Bramin. “I am very hungry,” said the soldier,
“can you give me a beefsteak? I see you have plenty of cows
here.”—“Horrible!” cried the Bramin; “what! I kill the sacred cows of
Brama!”—“Then kill the next tiger yourself,” said the soldier.



                             TRUE HEROISM.


You have read, my Edmund, the stories of Achilles, and Alexander, and
Charles of Sweden, and have, I doubt not, admired the high courage which
seemed to set them above all sensations of fear, and rendered them
capable of the most extraordinary actions. The world called these men
_heroes_; but before we give them that noble appellation, let us
consider what were the motives which animated them to act and suffer as
they did.

The first was a ferocious savage, governed by the passions of anger and
revenge, in gratifying which he disregarded all impulses of duty and
humanity. The second was intoxicated with the love of glory—swollen with
absurd pride—and enslaved by dissolute pleasures; and in pursuit of
these objects he reckoned the blood of millions as of no account. The
third was unfeeling, obstinate, and tyrannical, and preferred ruining
his country, and sacrificing all his faithful followers, to the
humiliation of giving up any of his mad projects. _Self_, you see, was
the spring of all their conduct; and a selfish man can never be a hero.
I will give you two examples of genuine heroism, one shown in acting,
the other in suffering; and these shall be _true stories_, which is
perhaps more than can be said of half that is recorded of Achilles and
Alexander.

You have probably heard something of Mr. Howard, the reformer of
prisons, to whom a monument is erected in St. Paul’s church. His whole
life almost was heroism; for he confronted all sorts of dangers with the
sole view of relieving the miseries of his fellow-creatures. When he
began to examine the state of prisons, scarcely any in the country were
free from a very fatal and infectious distemper called the jail fever.
Wherever he heard of it, he made a point of seeing the poor sufferers,
and often went down into their dungeons, when the keepers themselves
would not accompany him. He travelled several times over almost the
whole of Europe, and even into Asia, in order to gain knowledge of the
state of prisons and hospitals, and point out means for lessening the
calamities that prevail in them. He even went into countries where the
plague was, that he might learn the best methods of treating that
terrible contagious disease; and he voluntarily exposed himself to
perform a strict quarantine, as one suspected of having the infection of
the plague, only that he might be thoroughly acquainted with the methods
used for prevention. He at length died of a fever caught in attending on
the sick on the borders of Crim Tartary, honoured and admired by all
Europe, after having greatly contributed to enlighten his own and many
other countries with respect to some of the most important objects of
humanity. Such was _Howard the good_; as great a hero in preserving
mankind, as some of the false heroes above mentioned were in destroying
them.

My second hero is a much humbler, but not less genuine one.

There was a journeyman bricklayer in this town—an able workman, but a
very drunken idle fellow, who spent at the alehouse almost all he
earned, and left his wife and children to shift for themselves as they
could. This is, unfortunately, a common case; and of all the tyranny and
cruelty exercised in the world, I believe that of bad husbands and
fathers is by much the most frequent and the worst.

The family might have starved, but for his eldest son, whom from a child
the father brought up to help him in his work; and who was so
industrious and attentive, that being now at the age of thirteen or
fourteen, he was able to earn pretty good wages, every farthing of
which, that he could keep out of his father’s hands, he brought to his
mother. And when his brute of a father came home drunk, cursing and
swearing, and in such an ill humour, that his mother and the rest of the
children durst not come near him for fear of a beating, this good lad
(Tom was his name) kept near him, to pacify him, and get him quietly to
bed. His mother, therefore, justly looked upon Tom as the support of the
family, and loved him dearly.

It chanced that one day Tom, in climbing up a high ladder with a load of
mortar on his head, missed his hold, and fell down to the bottom on a
heap of bricks and rubbish. The bystanders ran up to him, and found him
all bloody, and with his thigh broken and bent quite under him. They
raised him up, and sprinkled water on his face to recover him from a
swoon into which he had fallen. As soon as he could speak, looking
round, with a lamentable tone he cried, “O, what will become of my poor
mother!”

He was carried home, I was present while the surgeon set his thigh. His
mother was hanging over him half distracted: “Don’t cry, mother!” said
he, “I shall get well again in time.” Not a word more or a groan escaped
him while the operation lasted.

Tom was a ragged boy that could not read or write—yet Tom has always
stood on my list of heroes.

[Illustration:

  The Female Choice, p. 232.

  EVENING XIX.
]



                               ON METALS.
                                PART 1.


George and Harry, with their tutor, one day in their walk, were driven
by the rain to take shelter in a blacksmith’s shop; and the shower
lasting some time, the boys, in order to amuse themselves, began to
examine the things around them. The great bellows first attracted their
notice, and they admired the roaring it made, and the expedition with
which it raised the fire to a heat too intense for them to look at. They
were surprised at the dexterity with which the smith fashioned a bar of
iron into a horseshoe; first heating it, then hammering it well on the
anvil, cutting off a proper length, bending it round, turning up the
ends, and lastly, punching the nail-holes. They watched the whole
process of fitting it to the horse’s foot, and fastening it on; and it
had become fair some minutes before they showed a desire to leave the
shop and proceed on their walk.

“I should never have thought,” says George, beginning the conversation,
“that such a hard thing as iron could have been so easily managed.”

“Nor I neither,” said Harry.

_Tut._ It was managed, you saw, by the help of fire. The fire made it
soft and flexible, so that the smith could easily hammer it, and cut it,
and bend it to the shape he wanted; and then dipping it in the water
made it hard again.

_Geo._ Are all other metals managed in the same manner?

_Tut._ They are all worked by the help of fire in some way or other,
either in melting them, or making them soft.

_Geo._ There are a good many sorts of metals, are there not?

_Tut._ Yes, several; and if you have a mind I will tell you about them,
and their uses.

_Geo._ Pray do, sir.

_Har._ Yes; I should like to hear it of all things.

_Tut._ Well, then. First, let us consider what a metal is. Do you think
you should know one from a stone?

_Geo._ A stone!—Yes, I could not mistake a piece of lead or iron for a
stone.

_Tut._ How would you distinguish it?

_Geo._ A metal is bright and shining.

_Tut._ True—brilliance is one of their qualities. But glass and crystal
are very bright, too.

_Har._ But one may see through glass, and not through a piece of metal.

_Tut._ Right. Metals are brilliant, but opaque, or not transparent. The
thinnest plate of metal that can be made will keep out the light as
effectually as a stone-wall.

_Geo._ Metals are very heavy, too.

_Tut._ True. They are the heaviest bodies in nature; for the lightest
metal is nearly twice as heavy as the heaviest stone. Well, what else?

_Geo._ Why, they will bear beating with a hammer, which a stone would
not, without flying in pieces.

_Tut._ Yes: that property of extending or spreading under the hammer, is
called _malleability_; and another, like it, is that of bearing to be
drawn out into a wire, which is called _ductility_. Metals have both
these, and much of their use depends upon them.

_Geo._ Metals will melt, too.

_Har._ What! will iron melt?

_Tut._ Yes; all metals will melt, though some require greater heat than
others. The property of melting is called _fusibility_. Do you know
anything more about them?

_Geo._ No; except that they come out of the ground, I believe.

_Tut._ That is properly added, for it is this circumstance which makes
them rank among _fossils_, or minerals. To sum up their character, then,
a metal is a brilliant, opaque, heavy, malleable, ductile, and fusible
mineral.

_Geo._ I think I can hardly remember all that.

_Tut._ The _names_ may slip your memory, but you cannot see metals at
all used, without being sensible of the _things_.

_Geo._ But what are _ores_? I remember seeing a heap of iron ore which
men were breaking with hammers, and it looked only like stones.

_Tut._ The _ore_ of a metal is the state in which it is generally met
with in the earth, when it is so mixed with stony and other matters, as
not to show its proper qualities as a metal.

_Har._ How do people know it, then?

_Tut._ By experience. It was probably accident that in the early ages
discovered that certain fossils by the force of fire might be made to
yield a metal. The experiment was repeated on other fossils; so that in
length of time all the different metals were found out, and all the
different forms in which they lie concealed in the ground. The knowledge
of this is called _mineralogy_, and a very important science it is.

_Geo._ Yes, I suppose so: for metals are very valuable things. Our next
neighbour, Mr. Stirling, I have heard, gets a great deal of money every
year, from his mines in Wales.

_Tut._ He does. The mineral riches of some countries are much superior
to that of their products above ground, and the revenues of many kings
are in great part derived from their mines.

_Har._ I suppose they must be gold and silver mines?

_Tat._ Those, to be sure, are the most valuable, if the metals are found
in tolerable abundance. But do you know why they are so?

_Har._ Because money is made of gold and silver.

_Tut._ That is a principal reason, no doubt. But these metals have
intrinsic properties that make them highly valuable, else probably they
would not have been chosen in so many countries to make money of. In the
first place, gold and silver are both _perfect metals_, that is,
indestructible in the fire. Other metals, if kept a considerable time in
the fire, change by degrees into an earthy, scaly matter, called an
oxide. You have melted lead, I dare say?

_Geo._ Yes, often.

_Tut._ Have you not, then, perceived a drossy film collect upon its
surface, after it had kept melting a while?

_Geo._ Yes.

_Tut._ That is an oxide; and in time the whole lead would change to such
a substance. You may see, too, when you have heated the poker red-hot,
some scales separate from it, which are brittle.

_Har._ Yes, the kitchen poker is almost burnt away by putting into the
fire.

_Tut._ Well—all metals undergo these changes, except gold and silver;
but these, if kept ever so long in the hottest fire, sustain no loss or
change. They are therefore called _perfect metals_. Gold has several
other remarkable properties. It is the heaviest of all metals.

_Har._ What, is it heavier than lead?

_Tut._ Yes—about half as heavy again. It is between nineteen and twenty
times as heavy as an equal bulk of water. This great weight is a ready
means of discovering counterfeit gold coin from genuine; for as gold
must be adulterated with something much lighter than itself, a false
coin, if of the same weight with the true, will be sensibly bigger.
Gold, too, is the most ductile of all metals. You have seen gold-leaf?

_Geo._ Yes; I bought a book of it once.

_Tut._ Gold-leaf is made by beating a plate of gold placed between
pieces of skin, with heavy hammers, till it is spread out to the utmost
degree of thinness. And so great is its capacity for being extended,
that a single grain of the metal, which would be scarce bigger than a
large pin’s head, is beaten out to a surface of fifty square inches.

_Geo._ That is wonderful, indeed! But I know gold-leaf must be very
thin, for it will almost float upon the air.

_Tut._ By drawing gold out to a wire, it may be still farther extended.
Gold wire, as it is called, is made with silver overlaid with a small
proportion of gold, and they are drawn out together. In the wire
commonly used for laces, and embroidery, and the like, a grain of gold
is made completely to cover a length of three hundred and fifty-two
feet; and when it is stretched still farther by flatting, it will reach
four hundred and one feet.

_Geo._ Prodigious! What a vast way a guinea might be drawn out, then!

_Tut._ Yes, the gold of a guinea at that rate would reach above nine
miles and a half. This property in gold of being capable of extension to
so extraordinary a degree, is owing to its great tenacity or cohesion of
particles, which is such, that you can scarcely break a piece of gold
wire by twisting it.

_Har._ Then it would make very good wire for hanging bells.

_Tut._ It would; but such bell-hanging would come rather too dear.
Another valuable quality of gold, is its fine colour. You know scarce
anything makes a more splendid appearance than gilding. And a peculiar
advantage of it is, that gold is not liable to rust or tarnish, as other
metals are. It will keep its colour fresh for a great many years, in a
pure and clear air.

_Har._ I remember the vane of the church-steeple was new-gilt two years
ago, and it looks as well as at first.

_Tut._ This property of not rusting would render gold very useful for a
variety of purposes, if it were more common. It would make excellent
cooking utensils, water-pipes, mathematical instruments, clockwork, and
the like.

_Geo._ But is not gold soft? I have seen pieces of gold bent double.

_Tut._ Yes; it is next in softness to lead, and, therefore, when it is
made into coin, or used for any common purposes, it is mixed with a
small proportion of some other metal, in order to harden it. This is
called its _alloy_. Our gold coin has one twelfth of alloy, which is
copper.

_Geo._ How beautiful new gold coin is!

_Tut._ Yes—scarce any metal takes a stamp or impression better; and it
is capable of a very fine polish.

_Geo._ What countries yield the most gold?

_Tut._ South America, the East Indies, and the coast of Africa. Europe
affords but little; yet a moderate quantity is got every year from
Hungary.

_Geo._ I have heard of rivers rolling sands of gold. Is there any truth
in that?

_Tut._ The poets, as usual, have exaggerated the matter: however, there
are various streams in different parts of the world, the sands of which
contain particles of gold, and some of them in such quantity as to be
worth the search.

_Har._ How does the gold come there?

_Tut._ It is washed down along with the soil from mountains by the
torrents which are the sources of rivers. Some persons say that all
sands contain gold; but I would not advise you to take the pains to
search for it in our common sand: for, in more senses than one, _gold
may be bought too dear_.

_Har._ But what a fine thing it would be to find a gold mine on one’s
estate!

_Tut._ Perhaps not so fine as you may imagine, for many a one does not
pay the cost of working. A coal-pit would probably be a better thing.
Who do you think are the greatest gold-finders in Europe?

_Har._ I don’t know.

_Tut._ The gipsies in Hungary. A number of half-starved, half-naked
wretches of that community employ themselves in washing and picking the
sands of some mountain-streams in that country which contain gold, from
which they obtain just profit enough to keep body and soul together:
whereas, did they employ themselves in agriculture or manufactures, they
might have got a comfortable subsistence. Gold, almost all the world
over, is first got by slaves, and it makes slaves of those who possess
much of it.

_Geo._ For my part, I will be content with a silver mine.

_Har._ But we have none of those in England, have we?

_Tut._ We have no silver mines, properly so called, but silver is
procured in some of our lead mines. There are, however, valuable silver
mines in various parts of Europe; but the richest of all are in Peru, in
South America.

_Geo._ Are not the famous mines of Potosi there?

_Tut._ They are. Shall I now tell you some of the properties of silver?

_Geo._ By all means.

_Tut._ It is another _perfect_ metal. It is also as little liable to
rust as gold, though indeed it readily gets tarnished.

_Har._ Yes; I know our footman is often obliged to clean our plate
before it is used.

_Tut._ Plate, however, is not made of pure silver, any more than silver
coin, and silver utensils of all kinds. Copper is mixed with it, as with
gold, to harden it; and that makes it more liable to tarnish.

_Geo._ Bright silver, I think, is almost as beautiful as gold.

_Tut._ It is the most beautiful of the white metals, and is capable of a
very fine polish; and this, together with its rarity, makes it used for
a great variety of ornamental purposes. Then it is nearly as ductile and
malleable as gold.

_Geo._ I have had silver-leaf, and it seemed as thin as gold-leaf.

_Tut._ It is nearly so. That is used for silvering, as gold-leaf is for
gilding. It is common, too, to cover metals with a thin coating of
silver which is called plating.

_Har._ The child’s saucepan is silvered over on the inside. What is that
for?

_Tut._ To prevent the victuals from getting any taint from the metal of
the saucepan; for silver is not capable of being corroded or dissolved
by any of the liquids used for food, as iron and copper are.

_Har._ And that is the reason I suppose that fruit-knives are made of
silver.

_Tut._ It is; but the softness of the metal makes them bear a very poor
edge.

_Geo._ Does silver melt easily?

_Tut._ Silver and gold both melt more difficultly than lead; not till
they are above a common red heat. As to the weight of silver, it is
nearly one half less than that of gold, being only eleven times as heavy
as water.

_Har._ Is quicksilver a kind of silver?

_Tut._ It takes its name from silver, being very like it in colour; but
in reality it is a very different thing, and one of the most singular of
the metal kind.

_Geo._ It is not _malleable_, I am sure.

_Tut._ No; not when it is quick or fluid, as it always is in our
climate. But a very great degree of cold makes it solid, and then it is
malleable like other metals.

_Geo._ I have heard of _killing_ quicksilver; pray, what does that mean?

_Tut._ It means destroying its property of running about, by mixing it
with something else. Thus if quicksilver be well rubbed with fat, or
oil, or gum, it unites with them, losing all its metallic appearance or
fluidity. It also unites readily with gold and silver, and several other
metals, into a kind of shining paste, which is called an _amalgam_. This
is one of the ways of gilding or silvering a thing. Your buttons are
gilt by means of an amalgam.

_Geo._ How is that done?

_Tut._ The shells of the buttons, which are made of copper, are shaken
in a hat with a lump of amalgam of gold and quicksilver, till they are
all covered over with it. They are then put into a sort of frying-pan,
and held over the fire. The quicksilver, being very volatile in its
nature, flies off in the form of a smoke or vapour when it is heated,
leaving the gold behind it spread over the surface of the button. Thus
many dozens are gilt at once with the greatest ease.

_Geo._ What a clever way! I should like vastly to see it done.

_Tut._ You may see it any day at Birmingham, if you happen to be there;
as well as a great many other curious operations on metals.

_Geo._ What a weight quicksilver is! I remember taking up a bottleful of
it, and I had liked to have dropped it again, it was so much heavier
than I expected.

_Tut._ Yes, it is one of the heaviest of the metals—about fifteen times
as heavy as water.

_Geo._ Is not _mercury_ a name for quicksilver? I have heard them talk
of the mercury rising and falling in the weather-glass.

_Tut._ It is. You, perhaps, may have heard too of _mercurial medicines_,
which are those made of quicksilver prepared in one manner or another.

_Geo._ What are they good for?

_Tut._ For a great variety of complaints. Your brother took some lately
for the worms; and they are often given for breakings-out on the skin,
and for sores and swellings. But they have one remarkable effect, when
taken in a considerable quantity, which is to loosen the teeth, and
cause a great spitting. This is called salivation.

_Har._ I used to think quicksilver was poison.

_Tut._ When it is in its common state of running quicksilver it
generally does neither good nor harm; but it may be prepared, so as to
be a very violent medicine, or even a poison.

_Geo._ Is it useful for anything else?

_Tut._ Yes—For a variety of purposes in the arts, which I cannot now
very well explain to you. But you will perhaps be surprised to hear that
one of the finest red paints is made from quicksilver.

_Geo._ A red paint!—which is that?

_Tut._ Vermilion, or cinnabar, which is a particular mixture of sulphur
with quicksilver.

_Har._ Is quicksilver found in this country?

_Tut._ No. The greatest quantity comes from Spain, Istria, and South
America. It is a considerable object of commerce, and bears a high
value, though much inferior to silver. Well, so much for metals at
present. We will talk of the rest on some future opportunity.



                          FLYING AND SWIMMING.


“How I wish I could fly!” cried Robert, as he was gazing after his
pigeons that were exercising themselves in a morning’s flight. “How fine
it must be to soar to such a height, and to dash through the air with so
swift a motion!”

“I doubt not,” said his father, “that the pigeons have great pleasure in
it; but we have our pleasures, too; and it is idle to indulge longings
for things quite out of our power.”

_Robert._ But do you think it impossible for men to learn to fly?

_Father._ I do—for I see they are not furnished by Nature with organs
requisite for the purpose.

_Rob._ Might not artificial wings be contrived, such as Dædalus is said
to have used?

_Fa._ Possibly they might; but the difficulty would be to put them in
motion.

_Rob._ Why could not a man move them, if they were fastened to his
shoulders, as well as a bird?

_Fa._ Because he has got arms to move which the bird has not. The same
organs which in quadrupeds are employed to move the fore-legs, and in
man the arms, are used by birds in the motion of the wings. Nay, muscles
or bundles of flesh, that move the wings, are proportionally much larger
and stronger than those bestowed upon our arms; so that it is
impossible, formed as we are, that we should use wings, were they made
and fastened on with ever so much art.

_Rob._ But angels, and cupids, and such things are painted with wings;
and I think they look very natural.

_Fa._ To you they may appear so; but an anatomist sees them at once to
be monsters, which could not really exist.

_Rob._ God might have created winged men, however, if he had pleased.

_Fa._ No doubt; but they could not have had the same shape that men have
now. They would have been different creatures, such as it was not in his
plan to make. But you that long to fly—consider if you have made use of
all the faculties already given you! You want to subdue the element of
air—what can you do with that of water? Can you swim?

_Rob._ No, not yet.

_Fa._ Your companion, Johnson, I think, can swim very well?

_Rob._ Yes.

_Fa._ Reflect, then, on the difference betwixt him and you. A boat
oversets with you both in a deep stream. You plump at once to the
bottom, and infallibly lose your life. He rises like a cork, darts away
with the greatest ease, and reaches the side in perfect safety. Both of
you, pursued by a bull, come to the side of a river. He jumps in and
crosses it. You are drowned if you attempt it, and tossed by the bull if
you do not. What an advantage he has over you! Yet you are furnished
with exactly the same bodily powers that he is. How is this?

_Bob._ Because he has been taught, and I have not.

_Fa._ True, but it is an easy thing to learn, and requires no other
instruction than boys can give one another when they bathe together: so
that I wonder anybody should neglect to acquire an art at once agreeable
and useful. The Romans used to say, by way of proverb, of a blockhead,
“He can neither read nor swim.” You may remember how Cesar was saved at
Alexandria by throwing himself into the sea, and swimming with one hand,
while he held up his commentaries with the other.

_Rob._ I should like very well to swim, and I have often tried, but I
always pop under water, and that daunts me.

_Fa._ And it is that fear which prevents you from succeeding.

_Rob._ But is it as natural for man to swim as for other creatures? I
have heard that the young of all other animals swim the first time they
are thrown into the water.

_Fa._ They do—they are without fear. In our climate the water is
generally cold, and is early made an object of terror. But in the hot
countries, where bathing is one of the greatest pleasures, young
children swim so early and well, that I should suppose they take to it
almost naturally.

_Rob._ I am resolved to learn, and will ask Johnson to take me with him
to the river.

_Fa._ Do; but let him find you a safe place to begin at. I don’t want
you, however, to proceed so cautiously as Sir Nicholas Gimcrack did.

_Rob._ How was that?

_Fa._ He spread himself out on a large table, and placing before him a
basin of water with a frog in it, he struck with his arms and legs as he
observed the animal do.

_Rob._ And did that teach him?

_Fa._ Yes—to swim on dry land; but he never ventured himself in the
water.

_Rob._ Shall I get corks or bladders?

_Fa._ No; learn to depend on your own powers. It is a good lesson in
other things, as well as in swimming. Learning to swim with corks, is
like learning to construe Latin with a translation on the other side. It
saves some pains at first, but the business is not done half so
effectually.



                       THE FEMALE CHOICE.—A TALE.


A young girl, having fatigued herself one hot day with running about the
garden, sat herself down in a pleasant arbour, where she presently fell
asleep. During her slumbers, two female figures presented themselves
before her. One was loosely habited in a thin robe of pink with light
green trimmings. Her sash of silver gauze flowed to the ground. Her fair
hair fell in ringlets down her neck; and her head-dress consisted of
artificial flowers interwoven with feathers. She held in one hand a
ball-ticket, and in the other a fancy-dress all covered with spangles
and knots of gay riband. She advanced smiling to the girl, and with a
familiar air thus addressed her:—

“My dearest Melissa, I am a kind genius, who have watched you from your
birth, and have joyfully beheld all your beauties expand, till at length
they have rendered you a companion worthy of me. See what I have brought
you. This dress and this ticket will give you free access to all the
ravishing delights of my palace. With me you will pass your days in a
perpetual round of ever-varying amusements. Like the gay butterfly, you
will have no other business than to flutter from flower to flower, and
spread your charms before admiring spectators. No restraints, no toils,
no dull tasks are to be found within my happy domains. All is pleasure,
life, and good humour. Come, then, my dear! Let me put this dress on
you, which will make you quite enchanting; and away, away, with me!”

Melissa felt a strong inclination to comply with the call of this
inviting nymph; but first she thought it would be prudent at least to
ask her name.

“My name,” said she, “is DISSIPATION.”

The other female then advanced. She was clothed in a close habit of
brown stuff, simply relieved with white. She wore her smooth hair under
a plain cap. Her whole person was perfectly neat and clean. Her look was
serious, but satisfied; and her air was staid and composed. She held in
one hand a distaff; on the opposite arm hung a workbasket; and the
girdle round her waist was garnished with scissors, knitting needles,
reels, and other implements of female labour. A bunch of keys hung at
her side. She thus accosted the sleeping girl:—

“Melissa, I am the genius who have ever been the friend and companion of
your mother; and I now offer my protection to you. I have no allurements
to tempt you with, like those of my gay rival. Instead of spending all
your time in amusements, if you enter yourself of my train, you must
rise early, and pass the long day in a variety of employments, some of
them difficult, some laborious, and all requiring some exertion of body
or mind. You must dress plainly, live mostly at home, and aim at being
useful rather than shining. But in return I will ensure you content,
even spirits, self-approbation, and the esteem of all who thoroughly
know you. If these offers appear to your young mind less inviting than
those of my rival, be assured, however, that they are more real. She has
promised much more than she can ever make good. Perpetual pleasures are
no more in the power of Dissipation, than of Vice or Folly to bestow.
Her delights quickly pall, and are inevitably succeeded by languor and
disgust. She appears to you under disguise, and what you see is not her
real face. For myself, I shall never seem to you less amiable than I now
do, but, on the contrary, you will like me better and better. If I look
grave to you now, you will hear me sing at my work; and when work is
over, I can dance too. But I have said enough. It is time for you to
choose whom you will follow, and upon that choice all your happiness
depends. If you would know my name, it is HOUSEWIFERY.”

Melissa heard her with more attention than delight; and though overawed
by her manner, she could not help turning again to take another look at
the first speaker. She beheld her still offering her presents with so
bewitching an air that she felt it scarcely possible to resist: when, by
a lucky accident, the mask with which Dissipation’s face was so artfully
covered, fell off. As soon as Melissa beheld, instead of the smiling
features of youth and cheerfulness, a countenance wan and ghastly with
sickness, and soured by fretfulness, she turned away with horror, and
gave her hand unreluctantly to her sober and sincere companion.

[Illustration:

  Eyes and No Eyes, p. 242.

  EVENING XX.
]



                               ON METALS.
                                PART II.


                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry_.

_Tutor._ Well—have you forgotten what I told you about metals the other
day?

_George._ O no!

_Harry._ I am sure I have not.

_Tut._ What metals were they that we talked about?

_Geo._ Gold, silver, and quicksilver.

_Tut._ Suppose, then, we go on to the rest?

_Geo._ Pray, do.

_Har._ Yes, by all means.

_Tut._ Very well. You know _copper_, I don’t doubt?

_Geo._ O yes!

_Tut._ What colour do you call it?

_Geo._ I think it is a sort of reddish brown.

_Tut._ True. Sometimes, however, it is of a bright red, like
sealing-wax. It is not a very heavy metal, being not quite nine times
the weight of water. It is very ductile, bearing to be rolled or
hammered out to a very thin plate, and also to be drawn out to a fine
wire.

_Har._ I remember seeing a penny that had been rolled out to a long
riband.

_Geo._ Yes, and I have seen half a dozen men at a time with great
hammers beating out a piece of copper at the brazier’s.

_Tut._ Copper requires a very considerable heat to melt it: and by long
exposure to the fire, it may be burnt or calcined; for, like all we are
now to speak of, it is an _imperfect_ metal.

_Har._ And it rusts very easily, does it not?

_Tut._ It does; for all acids dissolve or corrode it, so do salts of
every kind: whence even air and common water in a short time act upon
it, for they are never free from somewhat of a saline nature.

_Geo._ Is not verdigris the rust of copper?

_Tut._ It is; a rust produced by the acid of grapes. But every rust of
copper is of a blue or green colour, as well as verdigris.

_Har._ And are they all poison, too?

_Tut._ They are all so in some degree, producing violent sickness and
pain in the bowels. They are all, too, extremely nauseous to the taste,
and the metal itself when heated, tastes and smells very disagreeably.

_Har._ Why is it used, then, so much in cooking, brewing, and the like?

_Tut._ Because it is a very convenient metal for making vessels,
especially large ones, as it is easily worked, and is sufficiently
strong, though hammered thin, and bears the fire well. And if vessels of
it are kept quite clean, and the liquor not suffered to stand long in
them when cold there is no danger in their use. But copper vessels for
cooking are generally lined on the inside with tin.

_Geo._ What else is copper used for?

_Tut._ A variety of things. Sheets of copper are sometimes used to cover
buildings; and of late a great quantity is consumed in sheathing ships,
that is, in covering all the part under water; the purpose of which is,
to protect the timber from the worms, and also to make the ship sail
faster, by means of the smoothness and therefore less obstruction which
the copper offers to the water, as the ship is forced through it by the
action of the wind on the sails.

_Har._ Money is made of copper, too.

_Tut._ It is; for it takes an impression in coining very well, and its
value is a proper proportion below silver, for a price for the cheapest
commodities. In some poor countries they have little other than copper
coin. Another great use of copper is as an ingredient in mixed metals,
such as bell-metal, cannon-metal, and particularly brass.

_Har._ But brass is yellow.

_Tut._ True; it is converted to that colour by means of another metallic
substance, named _zinc_ or _spelter_, the natural colour of which is
white. A kind of brown stone called _calamine_ is an ore of zinc. By
filling a pot with layers of powdered calamine and charcoal placed
alternately with copper, and applying a pretty strong heat, the zinc is
driven in vapour out of the calamine, and penetrates the copper,
changing it into brass.

_Geo._ What is the use of turning copper into brass?

_Tut._ It gains a fine gold-like colour, and becomes harder, more easy
to melt, and less liable to rust. Hence it is preferred for a variety of
utensils, ornamental and useful. Brass does not bear hammering well, but
is generally cast into the shape wanted, and then turned in a lathe and
polished. Well—these are the principal things I have to say about
copper.

_Har._ But where does it come from?

_Tut._ Copper is found in many countries. The Isle of Great Britain
yields abundance, especially in Wales and Cornwall. In Anglesey is a
whole hill called Paris Mountain, consisting of copper-ore, from which
immense quantities are dug every year. Now for _iron_.

_Har._ Ay! that is the most useful of all the metals.

_Tut._ I think it is; and it is likewise the most common, for there are
few countries in the world possessing hills and rocks, where it is not
met with, more or less. Iron is the hardest of metals, the most elastic
or springy, very tenacious or difficult to break, the most difficultly
fusible, and one of the lightest, being only seven or eight times as
heavy as water.

_Geo._ You say it is difficult to break; but I snapped the blade of a
penknife the other day by only bending it a little; and my mother is
continually breaking her needles.

_Tut._ Properly objected; but the qualities of iron differ extremely
according to the method of preparing it. There are forged iron, cast
iron, and steel, which are very different from each other. Iron, when
first melted from its ore, has little malleability, and the vessels and
other implements that are made of it in that state, by casting into
moulds, are easily broken. It acquires toughness and malleability by
_forging_, which is done by beating it when red-hot with heavy hammers,
till it becomes ductile and flexible. Steel, again, is made by heating
small bars of iron with charcoal, bone, and horn shavings, or other
inflammable matters, by which it acquires a finer grain and more compact
texture, and becomes harder, and more elastic. Steel may be rendered
either very flexible or brittle, by different manners of _tempering_,
which is performed by heating and then quenching it in water.

_Geo._ All cutting instruments are made of steel, are they not?

_Tut._ Yes; and the very fine-edged ones are generally tempered brittle,
as razors, penknives, and surgeons’ instruments; but sword-blades are
made flexible, and the best of them will bend double without breaking or
becoming crooked. The steel of which springs are made has the highest
possible degree of elasticity given it. A watch-spring is one of the
most perfect examples of this kind. Steel for ornaments is made
extremely hard and close-grained, so as to bear an exquisite polish.
Common hammered iron is chiefly used for works of strength, as
horseshoes, bars, bolts, and the like. It will bend but not straighten
itself again, as you may see in the kitchen poker. Cast iron is used for
pots and caldrons, cannons, cannon-balls, grates, pillars, and many
other purposes in which hardness without flexibility is wanted.

_Geo._ What a vast variety of uses this metal is put to!

_Tut._ Yes; I know not when I should have done, if I were tell you of
all.

_Har._ Then I think it is really more valuable than gold, though it is
so much cheaper.

_Tut._ That was the opinion of the wise Solon, when he observed to the
rich king Crœsus, who was showing him his treasures, “He who possesses
more iron will soon be master of all this gold.”

_Har._ I suppose he meant weapons and armour?

_Tut._ He did; but there are many nobler uses for these metals; and few
circumstances denote the progress of the arts in a country more than
having attained the full use of iron, without which scarcely any
manufacture or machinery can be brought to perfection. From the
difficulty of melting it out of the ore, many nations have been longer
in discovering it than some of the other metals. The Greeks, in Homer’s
time, seem to have employed copper or brass for their weapons much more
than iron; and the Mexicans and Peruvians, who possessed gold and
silver, were unacquainted with iron, when the Spaniards invaded them.

_Geo._ Iron is very subject to rust, however.

_Tut._ It is so, and that is one of its worst properties. Every liquor,
and even a moist air corrode it. But the rust of iron is not pernicious:
on the contrary, it is a very useful medicine.

_Geo._ I have heard of steel drops and steel filings given for medicine.

_Tut._ Yes; iron is given in a variety of forms, and the property of
them all is to strengthen the constitution. Many springs are made
medicinal by the iron that they dissolve in the bowels of the earth.
These are called _chalybeate_ waters, and they may be known by their
inky taste, and the rust-coloured sediment they leave in their course.

_Har._ May we drink such water if we meet with it?

_Tut._ Yes; it will do you no harm, at least. There is one other
property of iron, well worth knowing, and that is, that it is the only
thing attracted by the magnet or loadstone.

_Geo._ I had a magnet once that would take up needles and keys; but it
seemed a bar of iron itself.

_Tut._ True. The real loadstone, which is a particular ore of iron, can
communicate its virtue to a piece of iron by rubbing it; nay, a bar of
iron itself, in length of time, by being placed in a particular
position, will acquire the same property.

_Geo._ Is all the iron used in England produced there?

_Tut._ By no means. Their extensive manufactures require a great
importation of iron. Much is brought from Norway, Russia, and Sweden;
and the Swedish is reckoned particularly excellent. Well, now to another
metal. I dare say you can tell me a good deal about _lead_?

_Har._ I know several things about it. It is very heavy and soft, and
easily melted.

_Tut._ True; these are some of its distinguishing properties. Its weight
is between eleven and twelve times that of water. Its colour is a dull
bluish white; and from this livid hue, as well as its being totally void
of spring or elasticity, it has acquired a sort of character, of dulness
and sluggishness. Thus we say of a stupid man, that he has a _leaden_
disposition.

_Geo._ Lead is very malleable, I think?

_Tut._ Yes; it may be beaten out into a pretty thin leaf, but it will
not bear drawing into fine wire. It is not only very fusible, but very
readily oxidized by heat, changing into a powder, or a scaly matter,
which may be made to take all colours by the fire, from yellow to deep
red. You have seen red lead?

_Geo._ Yes.

_Tut._ That is oxide of lead exposed for a considerable time to a strong
flame. Lead may even be changed into glass by a moderate heat; and there
is a good deal of it in our finest glass.

_Geo._ What is white lead?

_Tut._ It is lead corroded by the steam of vinegar. Lead in various
forms is much used by painters. Its oxides dissolve in oil, and are
employed for the purpose of thickening paint and making it dry. All lead
paints, however, are unwholesome as long as they continue to smell, and
the fumes of lead, when melted, are likewise pernicious. This is the
cause why painters and plumbers are so subject to various diseases,
particularly violent colics and palsies. The white-lead manufacture is
so hurtful to the health, that the workmen, in a very short time, are
apt to lose the use of their limbs, and be otherwise severely
indisposed.

_Geo._ I wonder, then, that anybody will work in it.

_Tut._ Ignorance and high wages are sufficient to induce them. But it is
to be lamented that in a great many manufactures the health and lives of
individuals are sacrificed to the convenience and profit of the
community. Lead, too, when dissolved, as it may be in all sour liquors,
is a slow poison, and the more dangerous, as it gives no disagreeable
taste. A salt of lead made with vinegar, is so sweet, as to be called
the sugar of lead. It has been too common to put this or some other
preparation of lead into sour wines, in order to cure them; and much
mischief has been done by this practice.

_Geo._ If lead is poisonous, is it not wrong to make water-pipes and
cisterns of it?

_Tut._ This has been objected to; but it does not appear that water can
dissolve any of the lead. Nor does it readily rust in the air, and hence
it is much used to cover buildings with, as well as to line spouts and
water-courses. For these purposes the lead is cast into sheets, which
are easily cut and hammered into any shape.

_Har._ Bullets and shot, too, are made of lead.

_Tut._ They are; and in this way they are ten times more destructive
than as a poison.

_Geo._ I think lead seems to be more used than any metal except iron.

_Tut._ It is; and the plenty of it in our country is a great benefit to
us, both for domestic use, and as an article that brings in much profit
by exportation.

_Geo._ Where are our principal lead mines?

_Tut._ They are much scattered about. The west of England produces some,
in Cornwall, Devonshire, and Somersetshire. Wales affords a large
quantity. Derbyshire has long been noted for its lead mines, and so have
Northumberland and Durham. And there are considerable ones in the
southern part of Scotland. Now do you recollect another metal to be
spoken about?

_Geo._ Tin.

_Tut._ True. Tin resembles lead in colour, but has a more silvery
whiteness. It is soft and flexible, like lead, but is distinguished by
the crackling noise it makes on being bent. It melts as easily as lead,
and also is readily oxidized by keeping it in the fire. It is the
lightest of the metals, being only seven times as heavy as water. It may
be beaten into a thin leaf, but not drawn out to wire.

_Geo._ Is tin of much use?

_Tut._ It is not often used by itself, but very frequently in
conjunction with other metals. As tin is little liable to rust, or to be
corroded by common liquors, it is employed for a lining or coating of
vessels made of copper or iron. The saucepans and kettles in the
kitchen, you know, are all tinned.

_Geo._ Yes; how is it done?

_Tut._ By melting the tin, and spreading it upon the surface of the
copper, which is first heated, in order to make the tin adhere.

_Geo._ But what are the vessels made at the tinman’s? Are they not all
tin?

_Tut._ No. _Tinned_ ware, as it is properly called, is made of thin iron
plates, coated over with tin by dipping them into a vessel full of
melted tin. These plates are afterward cut and bent to proper shapes,
and the joinings are soldered together with a mixture of tin and other
metals. Another similar use of tin is in what is called the silvering of
pins.

_Geo._ What—is not that real silvering?

_Tut._ No. The pins which are made of brass wire, after being pointed
and headed, are boiled in hot water, in which grain-tin is put along
with tartar, which is a crust that collects on the inside of wine casks.
The tartar dissolves some of the tin, and makes it adhere to the surface
of the pins, and thus thousands are covered in an instant.

_Har._ That is as clever as what you told us of the gilding of buttons!

_Tut._ It is. Another purpose for which great quantities of tin used to
be employed was the making of pewter. The best pewter consists chiefly
of tin, with a small mixture of other metals to harden it; and the
London pewter was brought to such perfection as to look almost as well
as silver.

_Geo._ I can just remember a long row of pewter plates at my
grandmother’s.

_Tut._ You may. In her time all the plates and dishes for the table were
made of pewter, and a handsome range of pewter shelves was thought a
capital ornament for a kitchen. At present, this trade is almost come to
nothing, through the use of earthenware and china; and pewter is
employed for little but the worms of stills, and barbers’ basins, and
porter-pots. But a good deal is still exported. Tin is likewise an
ingredient in other mixed metals for various purposes, but, on the
whole, less of it is used than of the other common metals.

_Geo._ Is not England more famous for tin than any other country? I have
read of the Phoenicians trading here for it in very early times.

_Tut._ They did; and tin is still a very valuable article of export from
England. Much of it is sent as far as China. The tin mines are chiefly
in Cornwall, England, and I believe they are the most productive of any
in Europe. Very fine tin is also got in the peninsula of Malacca in the
East Indies. Well—we have now gone through the metals.

_Geo._ But you said nothing about a kind of metal called zinc.

_Tut._ That is one of another class of mineral substances called
_semi-metals_. These resemble metals in every quality but ductility, of
which they are almost wholly destitute, and for want of it they can
seldom be used in the arts, except when joined with metals.

_Geo._ Are there many of them?

_Tut._ Yes, several; but we will not talk of them till I have taken some
opportunity of showing them to you, for probably you may never have seen
any of them. Now try to repeat the names of all the metals to me in the
order of their weight.

_Har._ There is first _gold_.

_Geo._ Then _quicksilver_, _lead_, _silver_.

_Har._ _Copper_, _iron_, _tin_.

_Tut._ Very right. Now I must tell you of an old fancy that chymists
have had of christening these metals by the names of the heavenly
bodies. They have called gold _Sol_, or the sun.

_Geo._ That is suitable enough to its colour and brightness.

_Har._ Then silver should be the moon, for I have heard moonlight called
of a silvery hue.

_Tut._ True; and they have named it so. It is _Luna_. Quicksilver is
_Mercury_, so named probably from its great propensity to dance and jump
about, for _Mercury_, you know, was very nimble.

_Geo._ Yes—he had wings to his heels.

_Tut._ Copper is _Venus_.

_Geo._ _Venus!_ surely it is scarcely beautiful enough for that.

_Tut._ But they had disposed of the most beautiful ones before. Iron is
Mars.

_Har._ That is right enough, because swords are made of iron.

_Tut._ True. Then tin is _Jupiter_, and lead _Saturn_. I suppose only to
make out the number. Yet the dulness of lead might be thought to agree
with that planet which is most remote from the sun. These names,
childish as they may seem, are worth remembering, since chymists and
physicians still apply them to many preparations of the various metals.
You will, probably, often hear of _martial_, _lunar_, _mercurial_, and
_saturnine_; and you may now know what they mean.

_Geo._ I think the knowledge of metals seems more useful than all you
have told us about plants.

_Tut._ I don’t know that. Many nations make no use at all of metals, but
there are none which do not owe a great part of their subsistence to
vegetables. However, without inquiring what parts of natural knowledge
are _most_ useful, you may be assured of this, that all are useful in
some degree or other; and there are few things that give one man greater
superiority over another, than the extent and accuracy of his knowledge
in these particulars. One person passes all his life upon the earth, a
stranger to it; while another finds himself at home everywhere.



                EYES AND NO EYES; OR, THE ART OF SEEING.


“Well, Robert, where have you been walking this afternoon?” said Mr.
Andrews to one of his pupils, at the close of a holyday.

_Robert._ I have been, sir, to Broom-heath, and so round by the windmill
upon Camp-mount, and home through the meadows by the river-side.

_Mr. Andrews._ Well, that’s a pleasant round.

_Rob._ I thought it very dull, sir; I scarcely met with a single person.
I had rather by half have gone along the turnpike-road.

_Mr. An._ Why, if seeing men and horses is your object, you would,
indeed, be better entertained on the high-road. But did you see William?

_Rob._ We set out together, but he lagged behind in the lane, so I
walked on and left him.

_Mr. An._ That was a pity. He would have been company for you.

_Rob._ O, he is so tedious, always stopping to look at this thing and
that! I had rather walk alone. I dare say he is not got home yet.

_Mr. An._ Here he comes. Well, William, where have you been?

_William._ O, sir, the pleasantest walk! I went all over Broom-heath,
and so up to the mill at the top of the hill, and then down among the
green meadows by the side of the river.

_Mr. An._ Why, that is just the round Robert has been taking, and he
complains of its dulness, and prefers the high-road!

_Will._ I wonder at that. I am sure I hardly took a step that did not
delight me, and I have brought my handkerchief full of curiosities home.

_Mr. An._ Suppose, then, you give us some account of what amused you so
much. I fancy it will be as new to Robert as to me.

_Will._ I will, sir. The lane leading to the heath, you know, is close
and sandy, so I did not mind it much, but made the best of my way.
However, I spied a curious thing enough in the hedge. It was an old
crab-tree, out of which grew a great bunch of something green, quite
different from the tree itself. Here is a branch of it.

_Mr. An._ Ah! this is mistletoe, a plant of great fame for the use made
of it by the Druids of old, in their religious rites and incantations.
It bears a very slimy white berry, of which bird-lime may be made,
whence its Latin name of _Viscus_. It is one of those plants which do
not grow in the ground by a root of their own, but fix themselves upon
other plants; whence they have been humorously styled _parasitical_, as
being hangers-on, or dependants. It was the mistletoe of the oak that
the Druids particularly honoured.

_Will._ A little farther on I saw a green woodpecker fly to a tree, and
run up the trunk like a cat.

_Mr. An._ That was to seek for insects in the bark, on which they live.
They bore holes with their strong bills for that purpose, and do much
damage to the trees by it.

_Will._ What beautiful birds they are!

_Mr. An._ Yes; they have been called, from their colour and size, the
English parrot.

_Will._ When I got upon the open heath, how charming it was! The air
seemed so fresh, and the prospect on every side so free and unbounded!
Then it was all covered with gay flowers, many of which I had never
observed before. There were, at least, three kinds of heath, (I have got
them in my handkerchief here,) and gorse, and broom, and bellflower, and
many others of all colours, that I will beg you presently to tell me the
names of.

_Mr. An._ That I will readily.

_Will._ I saw, too, several birds that were new to me. There was a
pretty grayish one, of the size of a lark, that was hopping about some
great stones; and when he flew he showed a great deal of white above his
tail.

_Mr. An._ That was a wheat-ear. They are reckoned very delicious birds
to eat, and frequent the open downs in Sussex, and some other counties,
in great numbers.

_Will._ There was a flock of lapwings, upon a marshy part of the heath,
that amused me much. As I came near them, some of them kept flying round
and round just over my head, and crying _pewit_ so distinctly, one might
almost fancy they spoke. I thought I should have caught one of them, for
he flew as if one of his wings was broken, and often tumbled close to
the ground; but as I came near, he always made a shift to get away.

_Mr. An._ Ha, ha! you were finely taken in then! This was all an
artifice of the bird to entice you away from its nest; for they build
upon the bare ground, and their nests would easily be observed, did they
not draw off the attention of intruders by their loud cries and
counterfeit lameness.

_Will._ I wish I had known that, for he led me a long chase often over
shoes in water. However, it was the cause of my falling in with an old
man and a boy who were cutting and piling up turf for fuel, and I had a
good deal of talk with them about the manner of preparing the turf, and
the price it sells at. They gave me, too, a creature I never saw
before—a young viper, which they had just killed, together with its dam.
I have seen several common snakes, but this is thicker in proportion,
and of a darker colour than they are.

_Mr. An._ True. Vipers frequent those turfy, boggy grounds pretty much,
and I have known several turf-cutters bitten by them.

_Will._ They are very venomous, are they not?

_Mr. An._ Enough so to make their wounds painful and dangerous, though
they seldom prove fatal.

_Will._ Well—I then took my course up to the windmill on the mount. I
climbed up the steps of the mill, in order to get a better view of the
country round. What an extensive prospect! I counted fifteen
church-steeples; and I saw several gentlemen’s houses peeping out from
the midst of green woods and plantations; and I could trace the windings
of the river all along the low grounds, till it was lost behind a ridge
of hills. But I’ll tell you what I mean to do, sir, if you will give me
leave.

_Mr. An._ What is that?

_Will._ I will go again, and take with me Cary’s county-map, by which I
shall probably be able to make out most of the places.

_Mr. An._ You shall have it, and I will go with you and take my pocket
spying-glass.

_Will._ I shall be very glad of that. Well, a thought struck me, that as
the hill is called Camp-mount, there might probably be some remains of
ditches and mounds with which I have read that camps were surrounded.
And I really believe I discovered something of that sort running round
one side of the mount.

_Mr. An._ Very likely you might. I know antiquaries have described such
remains as existing there, which some suppose to be Roman, others
Danish; we will examine them farther, when we go.

_Will._ From the hill I went straight down to the meadows below, and
walked on the side of a brook that runs into the river. It was all
bordered with reeds and flags and tall towering plants, quite different
from those I had seen on the heath. As I was getting down the bank to
reach one of them, I heard something plunge into the water near me. It
was a large water-rat, and I saw it swim over to the other side, and go
into its hole. There were a great many large dragon-flies all about the
stream; I caught one of the finest, and have got him here in a leaf. But
how I longed to catch a bird that I saw hovering over the water, and
every now and then darting down into it! It was all over a mixture of
the most beautiful green and blue with some orange colour. It was
somewhat less than a thrush, and had a large head and bill, and a short
tail.

_Mr. An._ I can tell you what that bird was—a kingfisher; the celebrated
halcyon of the ancients, about which so many tales are told. It lives on
fish, which it catches in the manner you saw. It builds in holes in the
banks, and is a shy retired bird, never to be seen far from the stream
where it inhabits.

_Will._ I must try to get another sight of him, for I never saw a bird
that pleased me so much. Well—I followed this little brook till it
entered the river, and then took the path that runs along the bank. On
the opposite side I observed several little birds running along the
shore, and making a piping noise. They were brown and white, and about
as big as a snipe.

_Mr. An._ I suppose they were sand-pipers, one of the numerous family of
birds that get their living by wading among the shallows, and picking up
worms and insects.

_Will._ There were a great many swallows, too, sporting upon the surface
of the water, that entertained me with their motions. Sometimes they
dashed into the stream; sometimes they pursued one another so quick,
that the eye could scarcely follow them. In one place, where a high,
steep sandbank rose directly above the river, I observed many of them go
in and out of holes with which the bank was bored full.

_Mr. An._ Those were sand-martens, the smallest of our species of
swallows. They are of a mouse-colour above, and white beneath. They make
their nests and bring up their young in these holes, which run a great
depth, and, by their situation, are secure from all plunderers.

_Will._ A little farther I saw a man in a boat who was catching eels in
an odd way. He had a long pole with broad iron prongs at the end, just
like Neptune’s trident, only there were five instead of three. This he
pushed straight down among the mud in the deepest parts of the river,
and fetched up the eels sticking between the prongs.

_Mr. An._ I have seen this method. It is called spearing of eels.

_Will._ While I was looking at him, a heron came flying over my head,
with his large flagging wings. He lit at the next turn of the river, and
I crept softly behind the bank to watch his motions. He had waded into
the water as far as his long legs would carry him, and was standing with
his neck drawn in, looking intently on the stream. Presently, he darted
his long bill as quick as lightning into the water, and drew out a fish,
which he swallowed. I saw him catch another in the same manner. He then
took alarm at some noise I made, and flew away slowly to a wood at some
distance, where he settled.

_Mr. An._ Probably his nest was there, for herons build upon the
loftiest trees they can find, and sometimes in society together, like
rooks. Formerly, when these birds were valued for the amusement of
hawking, many gentlemen had their _heronries_, and a few are still
remaining.

_Will._ I think they are the largest wild birds we have.

_Mr. An._ They are of a great length and spread of wing, but their
bodies are comparatively small.

_Will._ I then turned homeward across the meadows, where I stopped a
while to look at a large flock of starlings which kept flying about at
no great distance. I could not tell at first what to make of them; for
they rose all together from the ground as thick as a swarm of bees, and
formed themselves into a kind of black cloud, hovering over the field.
After having a short round they settled again, and presently rose again
in the same manner. I dare say there were hundreds of them.

_Mr. An._ Perhaps so, for in the fenny countries their flocks are so
numerous as to break down whole acres of reeds by settling on them. This
disposition of starlings to fly in close swarms was remarked even by
Homer, who compares the foe flying from one of his heroes, to a _cloud_
of stares retiring dismayed at the approach of the hawk.

_Will._ After I had left the meadows, I crossed the cornfields in the
way to our house, and passed by a deep marl-pit. Looking into it, I saw
in one of the sides a cluster of what I took to be shells; and upon
going down, I picked up a clod of marl, which was quite full of them;
but how sea-shells could get there I cannot imagine.

_Mr. An._ I do not wonder at your surprise, since many philosophers have
been much perplexed to account for the same appearance. It is not
uncommon to find great quantities of shells and relics of marine animals
even in the bowels of high mountains, very remote from the sea. They are
certainly proofs that the earth was once in a very different state from
what it is at present; but in what manner, and how long ago these
changes took place, can only be guessed at.

_Will._ I got to the high field next our house just as the sun was
setting, and I stood looking at it till it was quite lost. What a
glorious sight! The clouds were tinged purple, and crimson, and yellow,
of all shades and hues, and the clear sky varied from blue to a fine
green at the horizon. But how large the sun appears just as it sets! I
think it seems twice as big as when it is overhead.

_Mr. An._ It does so; and you may probably have observed the same
apparent enlargement of the moon at its rising.

_Will._ I have; but pray, what is the reason of this?

_Mr. An._ It is an optical deception, depending upon principles which I
cannot well explain to you till you know more of that branch of science.
But what a number of new ideas this afternoon’s walk has afforded you! I
do not wonder that you found it amusing: it has been very instructive,
too. Did _you_ see nothing of all these sights, Robert?

_Rob._ I saw some of them, but I did not take particular notice of them.

_Mr. An._ Why not?

_Rob._ I don’t know. I did not care about them, and I made the best of
my way home.

_Mr. An._ That would have been right if you had been sent with a
message; but as you only walked for amusement, it would have been wiser
to have sought out as many sources of it as possible. But so it is—one
man walks through the world with his eyes open, and another with them
shut; and upon this difference depends all the superiority of knowledge
the one acquires above the other. I have known sailors who had been in
all the quarters of the world, and could tell you nothing but the signs
of the tippling-houses they frequented in different ports, and the price
and quality of the liquor. On the other hand, a Franklin could not cross
the channel without making some observations useful to mankind. While
many a vacant, thoughtless youth is whirled throughout Europe without
gaining a single idea worth crossing a street for, the observing eye and
inquiring mind find matter of improvement and delight in every ramble in
town or country. Do _you_, then, William, continue to make use of your
eyes: and _you_, Robert, learn that eyes were given you to use.

[Illustration:

  Umbelliferous Plants, p. 252.

  EVENING XXI.
]



                   WHY THE EARTH MOVES ROUND THE SUN.

                             _Papa_—_Lucy_.


_Papa._ You remember, Lucy, that I explained to you some time ago what
was the cause that things fell to the ground.

_Lucy._ O yes; it was because the ground drew them to it.

_Pa._ True. That is a consequence of the universal law in nature, that
bodies attract each other in proportion to their bulk. So a very small
thing in the neighbourhood of a very large one, always tends to go to
it, if not prevented by some or other power. Well—you know I told you
that the sun was a ball a vast many times bigger than the ball we
inhabit, called the earth; upon which you properly asked, how then it
happened that the earth did not fall into the sun.

_Lu._ And why does it not?

_Pa._ That I am going to explain to you. You have seen your brother
whirl round an ivory ball tied to the end of a string, which he held in
his hand.

_Lu._ Yes; and I have done it myself, too.

_Pa._ Well, then—you felt that the ball was continually pulling, as if
it tried to make its escape?

_Lu._ Yes; and one my brother was swinging _did_ make its escape, and
flew through the sash.

_Pa._ It did so. That was a lesson, in the _centrifugal_ motion, or that
power by which a body thus whirled, continually endeavours to fly off
from the centre round which it moves. This is owing to the force or
impulse you give it at setting out, as if you were going to throw it
away from you. The string by which you hold it, on the contrary, is the
power which keeps the ball toward the centre, called the _centripetal_
power. Thus you see there are two powers acting upon the ball at the
same time, one to make it fly off, the other to hold it in; and the
consequence is, that it moves directly according to neither, but between
both; that is, round and round. This it continues to do while you swing
it properly; but if the string breaks or slips off, away flies the ball;
on the other hand, if you cease to give it the whirling force, it falls
toward your hand.

_Lu._ I understand all this.

_Pa._ I will give you another instance of this double force acting at
the same time. Do not you remember seeing some curious feats of
horsemanship?

_Lu._ Yes.

_Pa._ One of them was, that a man standing with one leg upon the saddle,
and riding full speed, threw up balls into the air, and catched them as
they fell.

_Lu._ I remember it very well.

_Pa._ Perhaps you would have expected these balls to have fallen behind
him, as he was going at such a rate?

_Lu._ So I did.

_Pa._ But you saw that they fell into his hand as directly as if he had
been standing quite still. That was because at the instant he threw them
up, they received the motion of the horse straight forward as well as
the upright motion that he gave them, so that they made a slanting line
through the air, and came down in the same place they would have reached
if he had held them in his hand all the while.

_Lu._ That is very curious, indeed!

_Pa._ In the same manner you may have observed, in riding in a carriage,
that if you throw anything out of the window, it falls directly
opposite, just as if the carriage was standing still, and is not left
behind you.

_Lu._ I will try that the next time I ride in one.

_Pa._ You are then to imagine the sun to be a mighty mass of matter,
many thousand times bigger than our earth, placed in the centre, quiet
and unmoved. You are to conceive our earth, as soon as created, launched
with vast force in a straight line, as if it were a bowl on a green. It
would have flown off in this line for ever, through the boundless
regions of space, had it not at the same instant received a pull from
the sun by its attraction. By the wonderful skill of the Creator, these
two forces were made exactly to counterbalance each other; so that just
as much as the earth, from the original motion given to it, tends to fly
forward, just so much the sun draws it to the centre; and the
consequence is, that it takes a course between the two, which is a
circle round and round the sun.

_Lu._ But if the earth was set a rolling like a bowl upon a green, I
should think it would stop of itself, as the bowl does.

_Pa._ The bowl stops because it is continually rubbing against the
ground, which checks its motion, but the ball of the earth moves in
empty space, where there is nothing to stop it.

_Lu._ But if I throw a ball through the air, it will not go on for ever,
but it will come down to the ground.

_Pa._ That is because the force with which you can throw it is much less
than the force by which it is drawn to the earth. But there is another
reason, too, which is the resistance of the air. This space all round us
and over us is not empty space; it is quite full of a thin transparent
fluid called air.

_Lu._ Is it?

_Pa._ Yes. If you move your hand quickly through it, you will find
something resisting you, though in a slight degree. And the wind, you
well know, is capable of pressing against anything with almost
irresistible force; and yet wind is nothing but a quantity of air put
into violent motion. Everything, then, that moves through the air is
continually obliged to push some of this fluid out of the way, by which
means it is constantly losing part of its motion.

_Lu._ Then the earth would do the same?

_Pa._ No; for it moves in _empty space_.

_Lu._ What, does it not move through the air?

_Pa._ The earth does not move _through_ the air, but carries the air
along with it. All the air is contained in what is called the
_atmosphere_, which you may compare to a kind of mist or fog clinging
all round to the ball of the earth, and reaching a certain distance
above it, which has been calculated at above forty-five miles.

_Lu._ That is above the clouds, then.

_Pa._ Yes: all the clouds are within the atmosphere, for they are
supported by the air. Well—this atmosphere rolls about along with the
earth, as if it were a part of it, and moves with it through the sky,
which is a vast field of empty space. In this immense space are all the
stars and planets, which have also their several motions. There is
nothing to stop them, and therefore they continually go on, by means of
the force that the Creator has originally impressed upon them.

_Lu._ Do not some of the stars move round the sun, as well as our earth?

_Pa._ Yes; those that are called _planets_. These are all subject to the
same laws of motion with our earth. They are attracted by the sun as
their centre, and form, along with the earth, that assemblage of worlds,
which is called the _solar system_.

_Lu._ Is the moon one of them?

_Pa._ The moon is called a _secondary_ planet, because its immediate
connexion is with our earth, round which it rolls, as we do round the
sun. It, however, accompanies our earth on its journey round the sun.
But I will tell you more about its motion, and about the other planets
and stars another time. It is enough at present, if you thoroughly
understand what I have been describing.

_Lu._ I think I do.



                       THE UMBELLIFEROUS PLANTS.

                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry_.


_Harry._ What plant is that man gathering under the hedge?

_George._ I don’t know; but the boys call the stalks _hexes_, and blow
through them.

_Har._ I have seen them; but I want to know the plant.

_Geo._ Will you please to tell us, sir, what it is?

_Tutor._ It is hemlock.

_Geo._ Hemlock is poison is it not?

_Tut._ Yes, in some degree; and it is also a medicine; that man is
gathering it for the apothecaries.

_Har._ I should like to know it.

_Tut._ Well then—go and bring one.

                                                    [Harry _fetches it_.

_Geo._ I think I have seen a great many of this sort.

_Tut._ Perhaps you may; but there are many other kinds of plants
extremely like it. It is one of a large family called the
_umbelliferous_, which contains both food, physic, and poison. It will
be worth while for you to know something about them, so let us examine
this hemlock closely. You see this tall hollow stalk, which divides into
several branches, from each of which spring spokes or _rundles_, as they
are called, of flower-stalks. You see they are like rays from a circle,
or the spokes of a wheel.

_Har._ Or like the sticks of an umbrella.

_Tut._ True; and they are called _umbels_, which has the same
derivation. If you pursue one of these rundles or umbels, you will find
that each stick or spoke terminates in another set of smaller stalks,
each of which bears a single small flower.

_Geo._ They are small ones, indeed!

_Tut._ But if you look sharply, I dare say your eyes are good enough to
distinguish that they are divided into five leaves, and furnished with
five chives and two pistils in the middle.

_Har._ I can see them.

_Geo._ And so can I.

_Tut._ The pistils are succeeded by a sort of fruit, which is a
twin-seed joined in the middle, as you may see in this rundle that is
past flowering. Here I divide one of them into two.

_Geo._ Would each of these grow?

_Tut._ Yes. Well, this is the structure of the flowering part of the
umbelliferous tribe. Now for the leaf. Pluck one.

_Har._ Is this one leaf, or many?

_Tut._ It is properly one, but it is cut and divided into many portions.
From this mid-rib spring smaller leaves set opposite each other; and
from the rib of each of these proceed others, which themselves are also
divided. These are called doubly or trebly pinnated leaves; and most of
the umbelliferous plants, but not all, have leaves of this kind.

_Har._ It is like a parsley-leaf.

_Tut._ True—and parsley is one of the same tribe, and hemlock and others
are sometimes mistaken for it.

_Geo._ How curiously the stalk of this hemlock is spotted!

_Tut._ Yes. That is one of the marks by which it is known. It is also
distinguished by its peculiar smell, and by other circumstances which
you can only understand when you have compared a number of the tribe. I
will now tell you about some others, the names of which you are probably
acquainted with. In the first place, there are carrots and parsnips.

_Har._ Carrots and parsnips!—they are not poisons, I am sure.

_Geo._ I remember, now, that carrots have such a leaf as this.

_Tut._ They have. It is the _roots_ of these, you know, that are eaten.
But we eat the _leaves_ of parsley and fennel, which are of the same
class. Celery is another, the _stalks_ of which are chiefly used, made
white by trenching up the earth about them. The stalks of angelica are
used differently.

_Har._ I know how—candied.

_Tut._ Yes. Then there are many of which the _seeds_ are used. There is
caraway.

_Har._ What, the seeds that are put into cakes and comfits?

_Tut._ Yes. They are warm and pungent to the taste; and so are the seeds
of many others of the umbelliferous plants, as coriander, fennel, wild
carrot, angelica, anise, cummin, and dill. All these are employed in
food or medicine, and are good in warming or strengthening the stomach.

_Har._ Those are pleasant medicines enough.

_Tut._ They are; but you will not say the same of some others of the
class, which are noted medicines too; such as the plant yielding
asafœtida, and several more, from which what are called the fetid gums
are produced.

_Geo._ Asafœtida!—that’s nasty stuff, I know; does it grow here?

_Tut._ No; and most of the sweet seeds I before mentioned come from
abroad too. Now I will tell you of some of the poisons.

_Har._ Hemlock is one that we know already.

_Tut._ Yes. Then there is another kind that grows in the water, and is
more poisonous, called water-hemlock. Another is a large plant growing
in ditches, with leaves extremely like celery, called hemlock-dropwort.
Another, common in drier situations, and distinguished by leaves less
divided than most of the class, is cow-parsnip, or madnep. Of some of
these the leaves, of others the root, is most poisonous. Their effects
are to make the head giddy, bring on stupidity or delirium, and cause
violent sickness. The Athenians used to put criminals to death by making
them drink the juice of a kind of hemlock growing in that country, as
you may read in the life of that excellent philosopher, Socrates, who
was killed in that manner.

_Har._ What was he killed for?

_Tut._ Because he was wiser and better than his fellow-citizens. Among
us it is only by accident that mischief is done by these plants. I
remember a melancholy instance of a poor boy, who, in rambling about the
fields with his little brothers and sisters, chanced to meet with a root
of hemlock-dropwort. It looked so white and nice, that he was tempted to
eat a good deal of it. The other children also ate some, but not so
much. When they got home they were all taken very ill. The eldest boy,
who had eaten most, died in great agony. The others recovered, after
suffering a great deal.

_Geo._ Is there any way of preventing their bad effects?

_Tut._ The best way is to clear the stomach as soon as possible by a
strong vomit and large draughts of warm water. After that, vinegar is
useful in removing the disorder of the head.

_Har._ But are the roots sweet and pleasant, that people should be
tempted to eat them?

_Tut._ Several of them are. There is a small plant of the tribe, the
root of which is much sought after by boys, who dig for it with their
knives It is round, and called earth-nut, or pig-nut.

_Geo._ But that’s not poison, I suppose?

_Tut._ No; but it is not very wholesome. I believe, however, that the
roots of the most poisonous become innocent by boiling. I have heard
that boiled hemlock roots are as good as carrots.

_Geo._ I think I should not like to eat them, however. But pray, why
should there be any poisons at all?

_Tut._ What we call poisons, are only hurtful to particular animals.
They are the proper food of others, and no doubt do more good than hurt
in the creation. Most of the things that are poisonous to us in large
quantities, are useful medicines in small ones; and we have reason
bestowed upon _us_, to guard us against mischief. Other animals, in
general, refuse by instinct what would prove hurtful to them. You see
beneath yonder hedge a great crop of tall flourishing plants with white
flowers. They are of the umbelliferous family, and are called wild
cicely, or cow-weed. The latter name is given them, because the cows
will not touch them, though the pasture be ever so bare.

_Har._ Would they poison them?

_Tut._ Perhaps they would: at least they are not proper food for them.
We will go and examine them, and I will show you how they differ from
hemlock, for which they are sometimes mistaken.

_Geo._ I should like to get some of these plants, and dry them.

_Tut._ You shall, and write down the names of them all, and learn to
know the innocent from the hurtful.

_Geo._ That will be very useful.

_Tut._ It will. Remember now the general character of the umbelliferous
plants. The flower-stalks are divided into spokes or umbels, which are
again divided into others, each of them terminated by a small,
five-leaved flower, having five chives and two pistils, succeeded by a
twin-seed. Their leaves are generally finely divided. You will soon know
them, after having examined two or three of the tribe. Remember, too,
that they are a _suspicious race_, and not to be made free with till you
are well acquainted with them.



                    HUMBLE LIFE; OR, THE COTTAGERS.

          (_Mr. Everard and Charles, walking in the fields._)


_Mr. Everard._ Well, Charles, you seem to be in deep meditation. Pray,
what are you thinking about?

_Charles._ I was thinking, sir, how happy it is for us that we are not
in the place of that poor weaver whose cottage we just passed by.

_Mr. Ev._ It is very right to be sensible of all the advantages that
Providence has bestowed upon us in this world, and I commend you for
reflecting on them with gratitude. But what particular circumstance of
comparison between our condition and his struck you most just now?

_Ch._ O, almost everything! I could not bear to live in such a poor
house, with a cold clay floor, and half the windows stopped with paper.
Then how poorly he and his children are dressed! and I dare say they
must live as poorly too.

_Mr. Ev._ These things would be grievous enough to you, I do not doubt,
because you have been accustomed to a very different way of living. But
if they are healthy and contented, I don’t know that we have much more
to boast of. I believe the man is able to procure wholesome food for his
family, and clothes and firing enough to keep them from suffering from
the cold; and nature wants little more.

_Ch._ But, what a ragged, barefooted fellow the boy at the door was!

_Mr. Ev._ He was—but did you observe his ruddy cheeks, and his stout
legs, and the smiling grin upon his countenance? It is my opinion he
would beat you in running, though he is half the head less; and I dare
say he never cried because he did not know what to do with himself, in
his life.

_Ch._ But, sir, you have often told me that the mind is the noblest part
of man; and these poor creatures, I am sure, can have no opportunity to
improve their minds. They must be as ignorant as the brutes, almost.

_Mr. Ev._ Why so? Do you think there is no knowledge to be got but from
books; or that a weaver cannot teach his children right from wrong?

_Ch._ Not if he has never learned himself.

_Mr. Ev._ True—but I hope the country we live in is not so unfriendly to
a poor man, as to afford him no opportunity of learning his duty to God
and his neighbour. And as to other points of knowledge, necessity and
common observation will teach him a good deal. But come—let us go and
pay him a visit, for I doubt you hardly think them human creatures.

     [_They enter the cottage_—Jacob, _the weaver, at his loom. His wife
                 spinning. Children of different ages._]

_Mr. Ev._ Good morning to you, friend! Don’t let us disturb you all,
pray. We have just stepped in to look at your work.

_Jacob._ I have very little to show you, gentlemen; but you are welcome
to look on. Perhaps the young gentleman never saw weaving before.

_Ch._ I never did, near.

_Jac._ Look here, then, master. These long threads are the warp. They
are divided, you see, into two sets, and I pass my shuttle between them,
which carries with it the cross threads, and that makes the weft.
(_Explains the whole to him._)

_Ch._ Dear! how curious! And is all cloth made this way, papa?

_Mr. Ev._ Yes; only there are somewhat different contrivances for
different kinds of work. Well, how soon do you think you could learn to
weave like this honest man?

_Ch._ O—not for a great while?

_Mr. Ev._ But I suppose you could easily turn the wheel, and draw out
threads like that good woman?

_Ch._ Not without some practice, I fancy. But what is that boy doing?

_Jac._ He is cutting pegs for the shoemakers, master.

_Ch._ How quick he does them!

_Jac._ It is but poor employment, but better than being idle. The first
lesson I teach my children is, that their hands were made to get their
bread with.

_Mr. Ev._ And a very good lesson, too.

_Ch._ What is this heap of twigs for?

_Jac._ Why, master, my biggest boy and girl have learned a little how to
make basket-work, so I have got them a few osiers to employ them at
leisure hours. That bird-cage is their making: and the back of that
chair in which their grandmother sits.

_Ch._ Is not that cleverly done, papa?

_Mr. Ev._ It is, indeed. Here are several arts, you see, in this house,
which both you and I should be much puzzled to set about. But there are
some books, too, I perceive.

_Ch._ Here is a bible, and a testament, and a prayer-book, and a
spelling book, and a volume of the Gardener’s Dictionary.

_Mr. Ev._ And how many of your family can read, my friend?

_Jac._ All the children but the two youngest can read a little, sir; but
Meg, there, is the best scholar among us. She reads us a chapter in the
Testament every morning, and very well, too, though I say it.

_Mr. Ev._ Do you hear that, Charles?

_Ch._ I do, sir. Here’s an almanac, too, against the wall; and here are
my favourite ballads of the Children in the Wood, and Chevy-chase.

_Jac._ I let the children paste them up, sir, and a few more that have
no harm in them. There’s Hearts of Oak, and Rule Britannia, and Robin
Gray.

_Mr. Ev._ A very good choice, indeed. I see you have a pretty garden
there behind the house.

_Jac._ It is only a little spot, sir; but it serves for some amusement,
and use too.

_Ch._ What beautiful stocks and wall-flowers! We have none so fine in
our garden.

_Jac._ Why, master, to say the truth, we are rather proud of them. I
have got a way of cultivating them, that I believe few besides myself
are acquainted with; and on Sundays I have plenty of visiters to come
and admire them.

_Ch._ Pray, what is this bush with narrow whitish leaves and blue
flowers?

_Jac._ Don’t you know? It is rosemary.

_Ch._ Is it good for anything?

_Jac._ We like the smell of it; and then the leaves, mixed with a little
balm, make pleasant tea, which we sometimes drink in the afternoon.

_Ch._ Here are several more plants that I never saw before.

_Jac._ Some of them are pot-herbs, that we put into our broth or
porridge; and others are physic herbs, for we cannot afford to go to a
doctor for every trifling ailment.

_Ch._ But how do you learn the use of these things?

_Jac._ Why, partly, master, from an old herbal that I have got; and
partly from my good mother and some old neighbours; for we poor people
are obliged to help one another as well as we can. If you were curious
about plants, I could go into the fields, and show you a great many that
we reckon very fine for several uses, though I suppose we don’t call
them by the proper names.

_Mr. Ev._ You keep your garden very neat, friend, and seem to make the
most of every inch of ground.

_Jac._ Why, sir, we have hands enough, and all of us like to be doing a
little in it when our in-doors work is over. I am in hopes soon to be
allowed a bit of land from the waste for a potato-ground, which will be
a great help to us. I shall then be able to keep a pig.

_Mr. Ev._ I suppose, notwithstanding your industry, you live rather
hardly sometimes?

_Jac._ To be sure, sir, we are somewhat pinched in dear times and hard
weather; but, thank God, I have constant work, and my children begin to
be some help to us, so that we fare better than some of our neighbours.
If I do but keep my health, I don’t fear but we shall make a shift to
live.

_Mr. Ev._ Keep such a contented mind, my friend, and you will have few
to envy. Good morning to you, and if any sickness or accident should
befall you, remember you have a friend in your neighbour at the hall.

_Jac._ I will, sir, and thank you.

_Ch._ Good morning to you.

_Jac._ The same to you, master.

                                              [_They leave the cottage._

_Mr. Ev._ Well, Charles, what do you think of our visit?

_Ch._ I am highly pleased with it, sir. I shall have a better opinion of
a poor cottager as long as I live.

_Mr. Ev._ I am glad of it. You see when we compare ourselves with this
weaver, all the advantage is not on our side. He is possessed of an art,
the utility of which secures him a livelihood, whatever may be the
changes of the times. All his family are brought up to industry, and
show no small ingenuity in their several occupations. They are not
without instruction, and especially seem to be in no want of that best
of all, the knowledge of their duty. They understand something of the
cultivation and uses of plants, and are capable of receiving enjoyment
from the beauties of nature. They partake of the pleasures of home and
neighbourhood. Above all they seem content with their lot, and free from
anxious cares and repinings. I view them as truly respectable members of
society, acting well the part allotted to them, and that, a part most of
all necessary to the well-being of the whole. They may, from untoward
accidents, be rendered objects of our compassion, but they never can of
our contempt.

_Ch._ Indeed, sir, I am very far from despising them now. But would it
not be possible to make them more comfortable than they are at present?

_Mr. Ev._ I think it would; and when giving a little from the
superfluity of persons in our situation would add so much to the
happiness of persons in theirs, I am of opinion that it is unpardonable
not to do it. I intend to use my interest to get this poor man the piece
of waste land he wants, and he shall have some from my share rather than
go without.

_Ch._ And suppose, sir, we were to give him some good potatoes to plant
it?

_Mr. Ev._ We will. Then, you know, we have a fine sow, that never fails
to produce a numerous litter twice a year. Suppose we rear one of the
next brood to be ready for him as soon as he has got his potato-ground
into bearing?

_Ch._ O yes! that will be just the thing. But how is he to build a
pigsty?

_Mr. Ev._ You may leave that to his own ingenuity! I warrant he can
manage such a job as that with the help of a neighbour, at least. Well—I
hope both the weaver, and you, will be the better for the acquaintance
we have made to-day; and always remember, that _man, when fulfilling the
duties of his station, be that station what it may, is a worthy object
of respect to his fellow-men_.

[Illustration:

  EVENING XXII.
]



                           THE BIRTHDAY GIFT.


The populous kingdom of Ava, in India beyond the Ganges, was once
inherited by a minor prince, who was brought up in the luxurious
indolence of an eastern palace. When he had reached the age of
seventeen, which by the laws of that country, was the period of majority
for the crown, all the great men of his court, and the governors of the
provinces, according to established custom, laid at his feet presents
consisting of the most costly products of nature and art that they had
been able to procure. One offered a casket of the most precious jewels
of Golconda; another a curious piece of clockwork made by a European
artist; another, a piece of the richest silk from the looms of China;
another, a bezoar stone said to be a sovereign antidote against all
poisons and infectious diseases; another, a choice piece of the most
fragrant rose-wood, in a box of ebony inlaid with pearls; another, a
golden cruse full of genuine balsam of Mecca; another, a courser of the
purest breed of Arabia; and another, a female slave of exquisite beauty.
The whole court of the palace was overspread with rarities; and long
rows of slaves were continually passing loaded with vessels and utensils
of gold and silver, and other articles of high price.

At length, an aged magistrate from a distant province made his
appearance. He was simply clad in a long cotton robe, and his hoary
beard waved on his breast. He made his obeisance before the young
monarch, and holding forth an embroidered silken bag, he thus addressed
him:—

“Deign, great king, to accept the faithful homage and fervent good
wishes of thy servant on this important day, and with them the small
present I hold in my hand. Small, indeed, it is in show, but not so, I
trust, in value. Others have offered what may decorate thy person—here
is what will impart perpetual grace and lustre to thy features. Others
have presented thee with rich perfumes—here is what will make thy name
sweet and fragrant to the latest ages. Others have given what may afford
pleasure to thine eyes—here is what will nourish a source of
never-failing pleasure within thy breast. Others have furnished thee
with preservatives against bodily contagion—here is what will preserve
thy better parts uncontaminated. Others have heaped round thee the
riches of a temporal kingdom—this will secure thee the treasures of an
eternal one.”

He said, and drew from the purse a book, containing _the moral precepts
of the sage Zendar_, the wisest and most virtuous man the East had ever
beheld. “If,” he proceeded, “my gracious sovereign will condescend to
make this his constant companion, not an hour can pass in which its
perusal may not be a comfort and a blessing. In the arduous duties of
thy station it will prove a faithful guide and counsellor. Amid the
allurements of pleasure and the incitements of passion, it will be an
incorruptible monitor, that will never suffer thee to err without
warning thee of thy error. It will render thee a blessing to thy people,
and blessed in thyself: for what sovereign can be the one without the
other?”

He then returned the book to its place, and kneeling, gave it into the
hands of the king. He received it with respect and benignity, and
history affirms that the use he made of it corresponded with the wishes
of the donor.



                          ON EARTHS AND STONES

                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry_.


_Harry._ I wonder what all this heap of stones is for?

_George._ I can tell you—it is for the lime-kiln; do n’t you see it just
by?

_Har._ O yes, I do. But what is to be done to them there?

_Geo._ Why, they are to be burnt into lime; do n’t you know that?

_Har._ But what is lime, and what are its uses?

_Geo._ I can tell you one; they lay it on the fields for manure. Do n’t
you remember we saw a number of little heaps of it, that we took for
sheep at a distance, and wondered they did not move? However, I believe
we had better ask our tutor about it. Will you please, sir, to tell us
something about lime?

_Tutor._ Willingly. But suppose, as we talked about all sorts of metals
some time ago, I should now give you a lecture about stones and earths
of all kinds, which are equally valuable, and much more common than
metals.

_Geo._ Pray, do, sir.

_Har._ I shall be very glad to hear it.

_Tut._ Well, then. In the first place, the ground we tread upon, to as
great a depth as it has been dug, consists for the most part of matter
of various appearance and hardness, called by the general name of
_earths_. In common language, indeed, only the soft and powdery
substances are so named, while the hard and solid are called _stone_ or
_rock_; but chymists use the same term for all; as, in fact, earth is
only crumbled stone, and stone only consolidated earth.

_Har._ What!—has the mould of my garden ever been stone?

_Tut._ The black earth or mould which covers the surface wherever plants
grow, consists mostly of parts of rotted vegetables, such as stalks,
leaves, and roots, mixed with sand or loose clay; but this only reaches
a little way; and beneath it you always come to a bed of gravel, or
clay, or stone of some kind. Now these earths and stones are
distinguished into several species, but principally into three, the
properties of which make them useful to man for very different purposes,
and are, therefore, very well worth knowing. As you began with asking me
about lime, I shall first mention that class of earths from which it is
obtained. These have derived their name of _calcareous_ from this very
circumstance, _calx_ being lime, in Latin; and lime is got from them all
in the same way, by burning them in a strong fire. There are many kinds
of calcareous earths. One of them is _marble_; you know what that is?

_Geo._ O yes! Our parlour chimney-piece and hearth are marble.

_Har._ And so are the monuments in the church.

_Tut._ True. There are various kinds of it: white, black, yellow, gray,
mottled and veined with different colours; but all of them are hard and
heavy stones, admitting a fine polish, on which account they are much
used in ornamental works.

_Geo._ I think statues are made of it?

_Tut._ Yes; and where it is plentiful, columns, and porticoes, and
sometimes whole buildings. Marble is the luxury of architecture.

_Har._ Where does marble come from?

_Tut._ From a great many countries. Great Britain produces some, but
mostly of inferior kinds. What we use chiefly comes from Italy. The
Greek islands yield some fine sorts. That of Paros is of ancient fame
for whiteness and purity, and the finest antique statues have been made
of Parian marble.

_Har._ I suppose black marble will not burn into white lime?

_Tut._ Yes, it will. A violent heat will expel most of the colouring
matter of marbles, and make them white. _Chalk_ is another kind of
calcareous earth. This is of a much softer consistence than marble;
being easily cut with a knife, and marking things on which it is rubbed.
It is found in great beds in the earth; and in some parts of England
whole hills are composed of it.

_Geo._ Are chalk and whiting the same?

_Tut._ Whiting is made of the finer and purer particles of chalk washed
out from the rest, and then dried in lumps. This you know is quite soft
and crumbly. There are, besides, a great variety of stones in the earth
harder than chalk, but softer than marble, which will burn to lime, and
are therefore called _lime-stones_. These differ much in colour and
other properties, and accordingly furnish lime of different qualities.
Whole ridges of mountains in various parts are composed of lime-stone,
and it is found plentifully in most of the hilly counties of England, to
the great advantage of the inhabitants.

_Geo._ Will not oyster-shells burn into lime? I think I have heard of
oyster-shell lime.

_Tut._ They will, and this is another source of calcareous earth. The
shells of all animals, both land and sea, as oysters, mussels, cockles,
crabs, lobsters, snails, and the like, and also egg-shells of all kinds,
consist of this earth; and so does coral, which is formed by insects
under the sea, and is very abundant in some countries. Vast quantities
of shells are often found deep in the earth, in the midst of chalk and
lime-stone beds; whence some have supposed that all calcareous earth is
originally an animal production.

_Har._ But where could animals enough ever have lived to make mountains
of their shells?

_Tut._ That, indeed, I cannot answer. But there are sufficient proofs
that our world must long have existed in a very different state from the
present. Well—but besides these purer calcareous earths, it is very
frequently found mingled in different proportions with other earths.
Thus _marl_, which is so much used in manuring land, and of which there
are a great many kinds, consists of calcareous earth, united with clay
and sand; and the more of this earth it contains, the richer manure it
generally makes.

_Geo._ Is there any way of discovering it when it is mixed in this
manner with other things?

_Tut._ Yes—there is an easy and sure method of discovering the smallest
portion of it. All the varieties of calcareous earth that I have
mentioned have the property of dissolving in acids, and effervescing
with them; that is, they bubble and hiss when acids are poured upon
them. You may readily try this at any time with a piece of chalk or an
oyster-shell.

_Geo._ I will pour some vinegar upon an oyster-shell as soon as I get
home. But now I think of it, I have often done so in eating oysters, and
I never observed it to hiss or bubble.

_Tut._ Vinegar is not an acid strong enough to act upon a thing so solid
as a shell. But sulphuric and muriatic acids will do it at once; and
persons who examine the nature of fossils always travel with a bottle of
one of these acids, by way of a test of calcareous earth. Your vinegar
will answer with chalk or whiting. This property of dissolving in acids,
and what is called neutralizing them, or taking away their sourness, has
caused many of the calcareous earths to be used in medicine. You know
that sometimes our food turns very sour upon the stomach, and occasions
the pain called heart-burn, and other uneasy symptoms. In these cases it
is common to give chalk or powdered shells, or other things of this
kind, which afford relief, by neutralizing the acid.

_Geo._ I suppose, then, _magnesia_ is something of this sort, for I have
often seen it given to my little sister, when they said her stomach was
out of order?

_Tut._ It is; but though magnesia has some properties in common with
calcareous earths, it possesses others that are peculiar to itself.

_Geo._ Pray, what are the other uses of these earths?

_Tut._ Such of them as are hard stone, as the marbles and many of the
lime-stones, are used for the same purposes as other stones. But their
great use is in the form of lime, which is a substance of many curious
properties that I will now explain to you. When fresh burnt it is called
_quicklime_, on account of the heat and life, as it were, which it
possesses. Have you ever seen a lump put into water?

_Geo._ Yes, I have.

_Tut._ Were you not much surprised to see it swell and crack to pieces,
with a hissing noise and a great smoke and heat?

_Geo._ I was, indeed. But what is the cause of this—how can cold water
occasion so much heat?

_Tut._ I will tell you. The strong heat to which calcareous earth is
exposed in making it lime expels all the water it contained, (for all
earths, as well as almost everything else, naturally contain water,) and
also a quantity of a peculiar kind of air which was united with it. If
water be now added to this quicklime, it is drunk in again with such
rapidity, as to crack and break the lime to pieces. At the same time a
great heat is occasioned by the water combining with the lime, and this
makes itself sensible by its effects, burning all the things that it
touches, and turning part of the water to steam. This operation is
called slacking of lime. The water in which lime is slacked dissolves a
part of it, and acquires a very pungent harsh taste: this is used in
medicine under the name of lime-water. If instead of soaking quicklime
in water, it is exposed for sometime to the air, it attracts moisture
slowly, and by degrees fails to powder, without much heat or
disturbance. But whether lime be slacked in water or air, it does not at
first return to the state in which it was before, since it still remains
deprived of its air, and on that account is still pungent and caustic.
At length, however, it recovers this also from the atmosphere, and is
then mild calcareous earth as at first. Now it is upon some of these
circumstances that the utility of lime depends. In the first place, its
burning and corroding quality makes it useful to the tanner, in
loosening all the hair from the hides, and destroying the flesh and fat
that adhered to them. And so in various other trades it is used as a
great cleanser and purifier.

_Har._ I have a thought come into my head. When it is laid upon the
ground, I suppose its use must be to burn up the weeds?

_Tut._ True—that is part of its use.

_Geo._ But it must burn up the good grass and corn too?

_Tut._ Properly objected. But the case is, that the farmer does not sow
his seeds till the lime is rendered mild by exposure to the air and
weather, and is well mixed with the soil. And even then it is reckoned a
hot and forcing manure, chiefly fit for cold and wet lands. The
principal use of lime, however, is as an ingredient in _mortar_. This,
you know, is the cement by which bricks and stones are held together in
building. It is made of fresh slacked lime and a proportion of sand well
mixed together; and, when used for plastering walls, some chopped hair
is put into it. The lime binds with the other ingredients; and in length
of time, the mortar, if well made, becomes as hard, or harder, than
stone itself.

_Geo._ I have heard of the mortar in very old buildings being harder and
stronger than any made at present.

_Tut._ That is only on account of its age. Burning lime and making
mortar are as well understood now as ever: but in order to have it
excellent, the lime should be of a good quality, and thoroughly burnt.
Some sorts of lime have the property of making mortar which will harden
under water, whence it is much valued for bridges, locks, wharfs, and
the like.

_Geo._ Pray, is not plaster of Paris a kind of lime? I know it will
become hard by only mixing water with it, for I have used it to make
casts of.

_Tut._ The powder you call plaster of Paris is made of an earth named
_gypsum_, of which there are several kinds. _Alabaster_ is a stone of
this sort, and hard enough to be used like marble. The gypseous earths
are of the calcareous kind, but they have naturally a portion of acid
united with them, whence they will not effervesce on having acid poured
on them. But they are distinguished by the property, that after being
calcined or burnt in the fire, and reduced to powder, they will set into
a solid body by the addition of water alone. This makes them very useful
for ornamental plasters, that are to receive a form or impression, such
as the stucco for the ceiling of rooms.

Well—we have said enough about calcareous earths; now to another class,
the _argillaceous_.

_Geo._ I think I know what those are. _Argilla_ is _Latin_ for _clay_.

_Tut._ True; and they are also called _clayey_ earths. In general, these
earths are of a soft texture and a sort of greasy feel; but they are
peculiarly distinguished by the property of becoming sticky on being
tempered with water, so that they may be drawn out and worked into form
like a paste. Have you ever, when you were a little boy, made a
clay-house?

_Geo._ Yes, I have.

_Tut._ Then you well know the manner in which clay is tempered, and
worked for this purpose?

_Har._ Yes—and I remember helping to make little pots and mugs of clay.

_Tut._ Then you imitated the potter’s trade; for all utensils of
earthenware are made of clays either pure or mixed. This is one of the
oldest arts among mankind, and one of the most useful. They furnish
materials for building, too; for bricks and tiles are made of these
earths. But in order to be fit for these purposes, it is necessary that
clay should not only be soft and ductile while it is forming, but
capable of being hardened afterward; and this it is, by the assistance
of fire. Pottery-ware and bricks are burnt with a strong heat in kilns,
by which they acquire a hardness equal to that of the hardest stone.

_Geo._ I think I have heard of bricks being baked by the sun’s heat
alone in very hot countries.

_Tut._ True; and they may serve for building in climates where rain
scarcely ever falls; but heavy showers would wash them away. Fire seems
to change the nature of clays; for after they have undergone its
operation, they become incapable of returning of themselves to a soft
and ductile state. You might steep brick-dust or pounded pots in water
ever so long without making it hold together in the least.

_Geo._ I suppose there are many kinds of clays?

_Tut._ There are. Argillaceous earths differ greatly from each other in
colour, purity, and other qualities. Some are perfectly white, as that
of which tobacco-pipes are made. Others are blue, brown, yellow, and in
short of all hues, which they owe to mixtures of decaying vegetable
substances or metals. Those which burn red contain a portion of iron. No
clays are found perfectly pure; but they are mixed with more or less of
other earths. The common brick-clays contain a large proportion of sand,
which often makes them crumbly and perishable. In general, the finest
earthenware is made of the purest and whitest clays; but other matters
are mixed in order to harden and strengthen them. Thus _porcelain_ or
_china_ is made with a clayey earth mixed with a stone of vitrifiable
nature, that is, which may be melted into glass; and the fine pottery
called _queen’s ware_ is a mixture of tobacco-pipe clay, and flints
burnt and powdered. Common stone _ware_ is a coarse mixture of this
sort. Some species of pottery are made with mixtures of burnt and
unburnt clay; the former I told you before, being incapable of becoming
soft again with water like a natural clay.

_Har._ Are clays of no other use than to make pottery of?

_Tut._ Yes, the richest soils are those which have a proportion of clay;
and marl, which I have already mentioned as a manure, generally contains
a good deal of it. Then clay has the property of absorbing oil or
grease, whence some kinds of it are used like soap for cleaning clothes.
The substance called _fullers’ earth_ is a mixed earth of the
argillaceous kind; and its use in taking out the oil which naturally
adheres to wool is so great, that it has been one cause of the
superiority of our woollen cloths.

_Har._ Then I suppose it is found in England?

_Tut._ Yes. There are pits of the best kind of it near Woburn in
Bedfordshire, and Nutfield in Surrey, England. The different kinds of
slate, too, are stones of the argillaceous class; and very useful ones,
for covering houses, and other purposes.

_Har._ Are writing slates like the slates used for covering houses?

_Tut._ Yes; but their superior blackness and smoothness make them show
better the marks of the pencil.

_Geo._ You have mentioned something of sand and flints, but you have not
told us what sort of earths they are.

_Tut._ I reserved that till I spoke of the third great class of earths.
This is the _siliceous_ class, so named from _silex_, which is Latin for
a flint-stone. They have also been called _vitrifiable_ earths, because
they are the principal ingredient in glass, named in Latin _vitrum_.

_Geo._ I have heard of flint-glass.

_Tut._ Yes—but neither flint, nor any other of the kind, will make
glass, even by the strongest heat, without some addition; but this we
will speak of by-and-by. I shall now tell you the principal properties
of these earths. They are all very hard, and will strike fire with
steel, when in a mass large enough for the stroke. They mostly run into
particular shapes, with sharp angles and points, and have a certain
degree of transparency, which has made them also be called _crystalline_
earths. They do not in the least soften with water, like clays; nor are
they affected by acids, nor do they burn to lime, like the calcareous
earths. As to the different kinds of them, _flint_ has already been
mentioned. It is a very common production in some parts, and is
generally met with in pebbles, or round lumps forming pebbles, in
gravel-beds, and often almost entirely covering the surface of ploughed
fields.

_Har._ But do they not hinder the corn from growing?

_Tut._ The corn, to be sure, cannot take root upon them, but I believe
it has been found that the protection they afford to the young plants
which grow under them is more than equal to the harm they do by taking
up room. Flints are also frequently found imbedded in chalk under the
ground. Those used in the Staffordshire potteries chiefly come from the
chalk-pits near Gravesend. So much for flints. You have seen white
pebbles, which are semi-transparent, and when broken resemble white
sugar-candy. They are common on the seashore, and beds of rivers.

_Har._ O, yes. We call them fire-stones. When they are rubbed together
in the dark they send out great flashes of light, and have a particular
smell.

_Tut._ True. The proper name of these is _quartz_. It is found in large
quantities in the earth, and the ores of metals are often imbedded in
it. Sometimes it is perfectly transparent, and then it is called
_crystal_. Some of these crystals shoot into exact mathematical figures;
and because many salts do the same, and are also transparent, they are
called the _crystals_ of such or such a salt.

_Geo._ Is not fine glass called crystal, too?

_Tut._ It is called so by way of simile; thus we say of a thing, “It is
as clear as a crystal.” But the only true crystal is an earth of the
kind I have been describing. Well, now we come to _sand_; for this is
properly only quartz in a powdery state. If you examine the grains of
sand singly, or look at them with a magnifying glass, you will find them
all either entirely or partly transparent; and in some of the white
shining sands the grains are all little bright crystals.

_Har._ But most sand is broken or yellowish.

_Tut._ That is owing to some mixture generally of the metallic kind. I
believe I once told you that all sands were supposed to contain a small
portion of gold. It is more certain that many of them contain iron.

_Geo._ But what could have brought this quartz and crystal into powder,
so as to have produced all the sand in the world?

_Tut._ That is not very easy to determine. On the seashore, however, the
incessant rolling of the pebbles by the waves is enough in time to grind
them to powder; and there is reason to believe that the greatest part of
what is now dry land was once sea, which may account for the vast beds
of sand met with inland.

_Geo._ I have seen some stone so soft that one might crumble it between
one’s fingers, and then it seemed to turn to sand.

_Tut._ There are several of this kind, more or less solid, which are
chiefly composed of sand conglutinated by some natural cement. Such are
called _sandstone_, or _freestone_, and are used for various purposes,
in building, making grindstones, and the like, according to their
hardness.

_Har._ Pray, what are the common pebbles that the streets are paved
with? I am sure they strike fire enough with horses’ shoes.

_Tut._ They are stones of the siliceous kind, either pure or mixed with
other earths. One of the hardest and best for this purpose is called
_granite_, which is of various kinds and colours, but always consists of
grains of different siliceous stones cemented together. The streets of
London are paved with granite brought from Scotland. In some other
stones these bits of different earths dispersed through the cement are
so large as to look like plums in a pudding; whence they have obtained
the name of _pudding-stones_.

_Geo._ I think there is a kind of stones that you have not yet
mentioned—precious stones.

_Tut._ These, too, are mostly siliceous; but some even of the hardest
and most valuable are argillaceous in their nature, though possessing
none of the external properties of clay. The opaque and half-transparent
precious stones, such as jasper, agate, cornelian, and lapis lazuli, are
engraved upon for seal-stones; the more beautiful and transparent ones,
as ruby, emerald, sapphire, topaz, which go by the name of gems, are
generally only cut and polished, and worn in rings, ear-rings,
necklaces, and the like.

_Geo._ Diamond, no doubt, is one of them.

_Har._ So it has commonly been reckoned, and the purest of all; but late
experiments have shown, that though it is the hardest body in nature it
may be totally dispersed into vapour by a strong fire, so that
mineralogists will now hardly allow it to be a stone at all, but class
it among inflammable substances. The precious stones abovementioned owe
their colours chiefly to some metallic mixture. They are in general
extremely hard, so as to cut glass, and one another; but diamonds will
cut all the rest.

_Geo._ But are they not exceedingly rare?

_Tut._ Yes; and in this rarity consists the greatest part of their
value. They are, indeed, beautiful objects; but the figure they make in
proportion to their expense is so very small, that their high price may
be reckoned one of the principal follies among mankind. What proportion
can there possibly be between the real worth of a glittering stone as
big as a hazelnut, and a magnificent house and gardens, or a large tract
of country covered with noble woods and rich meadows and cornfields? And
as to the mere glitter, a large lustre of cut glass has an infinitely
greater effect on the eye than all the jewels of a foreign prince.

_Geo._ Will you please to tell us how glass is made?

_Tut._ Willingly. The base of it is, as I said before, some earth of the
siliceous class. Those commonly used are flint and sand. Flint is first
burnt or calcined, which makes it quite white, like enamel; and it is
then powdered. This is the material sometimes used for some very white
glasses; but sand is that commonly preferred, as being already in a
powdery form. The white crystalline sands are used for fine glass; the
brown or yellow for the common sort. As these earths will not melt of
themselves, the addition in making glass is somewhat that promotes their
fusion. Various things will do this; but what is generally used is an
alkaline salt, obtained from the ashes of burnt vegetables. Of this
there are several kinds, as potash, pearlash, barilla, and kelp. The
salt is mixed with the sand in a certain proportion, and the mixture
then exposed in earthen pots to a violent heat, till it is thoroughly
melted. The mass is then cooled till it is nearly of the consistence of
dough, and in this state it is fashioned by blowing and the use of
shears and other instruments. You must see this done some time, for it
is one of the most curious and pleasing of all manufactures; and it is
not possible to form an idea of the ease and dexterity with which glass
is wrought, without an actual view.

_Har._ I should like very much to see it, indeed.

_Geo._ Where is glass made in this country?

_Tut._ In many places. Some of the finest in London, but the coarser
kinds generally where coals are cheap; as at Newcastle and its
neighbourhood, in Lancashire, at Stourbridge, Bristol, and in South
Wales. I should have told you, however, that in our finest and most
brilliant glass, a quantity of the oxide of lead is put, which vitrifies
with the other ingredients, and gives the glass more firmness and
density. The blue, yellow, and red glasses are coloured with the oxides
of other metals. As to the common green glass, it is made with an alkali
that has a good deal of calcareous earth remaining with the ashes of the
plant. But to understand all the different circumstances of glassmaking,
one must have a thorough knowledge of chymistry.

_Geo._ I think making of glass is one of the finest inventions of human
skill.

_Tut._ It is perhaps not of that capital importance that some other arts
possess; but it has been a great addition to the comfort and pleasure of
life in many ways. Nothing makes such clean and agreeable vessels as
glass, which has the quality of not being corroded by any kind of
liquor, as well as that of showing its contents by its transparency.
Hence it is greatly preferable to the most precious metals for drinking
out of; and for the same reasons it is preferred to every other material
for chymical utensils, where the heat to be employed is not strong
enough to melt it.

_Har._ Then glass windows.

_Tut._ Ay; that is a very material comfort in a climate like ours, where
we so often wish to let in the light, and keep out the cold wind and
rain. What could be more gloomy than to sit in the dark, or with no
other light than came in through small holes covered with oiled paper or
bladder unable to see anything passing without doors! Yet this must have
been the case with the most sumptuous palaces before the invention of
window-glass, which was a good deal later than that of bottles and
drinking-glasses.

_Har._ I think looking-glasses are very beautiful.

_Tut._ They are, indeed, very elegant pieces of furniture, and very
costly too. The art of casting glass into large plates, big enough to
reach almost from the bottom to the top of a room, is but lately
introduced into this country from France. But the most splendid and
brilliant manner of employing glass is in lustres and chandeliers, hung
around with drops cut so as to reflect the light with all the colours of
the rainbow. Some of the shops in London, filled with these articles,
appear to realize all the wonders of an enchanted palace in the Arabian
Nights’ Entertainments

_Geo._ But are not spectacles and spying-glasses more useful than all
these?

_Tut._ I did not mean to pass them over, I assure you. By the curious
invention of optical glasses of various kinds, not only the natural
defects of the sight have been remedied, and old age has been in some
measure lightened of one of its calamities, but the sense of seeing has
been wonderfully extended. The telescope has brought distant objects
within our view, while the microscope has given us a clear survey of
near objects too minute for our unassisted eyes. By means of both, some
of the brightest discoveries of the modern times have been made; so that
glass has proved not less admirable in promoting science than in
contributing to splendour and convenience. Well—I don’t know that I have
anything more at present to say relative to the class of earths. We have
gone through the principal circumstances belonging to their three great
divisions, the _calcareous_, _argillaceous_, and _siliceous_. You will
remember, however, that most of the earths and stones offered by nature
are not in any one of these kinds perfectly pure, but contain a mixture
of one or both the others. There is not a pebble that you can pick up,
which would not exercise the skill of a mineralogist fully to ascertain
its properties, and the materials of its composition. So inexhaustible
is nature!

[Illustration:

  The Native Village, p. 281.

  EVENING XXIII.
]



                  SHOW AND USE; OR, THE TWO PRESENTS.


One morning, Lord Richmore, coming down to breakfast, was welcomed with
the tidings that his favourite mare, Miss Slim, had brought a foal, and
also, that a she-ass, kept for his lady’s use as a milker, had dropped a
young one. His lordship smiled at the inequality of the presents nature
had made him. “As for the foal,” said he to the groom, “that, you know,
has been long promised to my neighbour, Mr. Scamper. For young Balaam,
you may dispose of him as you please.” The groom thanked his lordship,
and said he would then give him to Isaac the woodman.

In due time, Miss Slim’s foal, which was the son of a noted racer, was
taken to Squire Scamper’s, who received him with great delight, and out
of compliment to the donor, named him _Young Peer_. He was brought up
with at least as much care and tenderness as the Squire’s own
children—kept in a warm stable, fed with the best of corn and hay, duly
dressed and regularly exercised. As he grew up, he gave tokens of great
beauty. His colour was bright bay, with a white star on his forehead;
his coat was fine, and shone like silk; and every point about him seemed
to promise perfection of shape and make. Everybody admired him as the
completest colt that could be seen.

So fine a creature could not be destined to any useful employment. After
he had passed his third year, he was sent to Newmarket to be trained for
the turf, and a groom was appointed to the care of him alone. His
master, who could not well afford the expense, saved part of it by
turning off a domestic tutor whom he kept for the education of his sons,
and was content with sending them to the curate of the parish.

At four years old, Young Peer started for a subscription purse, and came
in second out of a number of competitors. Soon after, he won a country
plate, and filled his master with joy and triumph. The Squire now turned
all his attention to the turf, made matches, betted high, and was at
first tolerably successful. At length, having ventured all the money he
could raise upon one grand match, Young Peer ran on the wrong side of
the post, was distanced, and the Squire ruined.

Meantime, young Balaam went into Isaac’s possession, where he had a very
different training. He was left to pick up his living as he could in the
lanes and commons; and on the coldest days in winter he had no other
shelter than the lee-side of the cottage, out of which he was often glad
to pluck the thatch for a subsistence. As soon as ever he was able to
bear a rider, Isaac’s children got upon him, sometimes two or three at
once; and if he did not go to their mind, a broomstick or bunch of furze
was freely applied to his hide. Nevertheless, he grew up, as the
children themselves did, strong and healthy; and though he was rather
bare on the ribs, his shape was good, and his limbs vigorous.

It was not long before his master thought of putting him to some use; so
taking him to the wood, he fastened a load of fagots on his back, and
sent him with his son Tom to the next town. Tom sold the fagots, and
mounting upon Balaam, rode him home. As Isaac could get plenty of fagots
and chips, he found it a profitable trade to send them for daily sale
upon Balaam’s back. Having a little garden, which, from the barrenness
of the soil, yielded him nothing of value, he bethought him of loading
Balaam back from town with dung for manure. Though all he could bring at
once was contained in two small panniers, yet this in time amounted to
enough to mend the soil of his whole garden, so that he grew very good
cabbages and potatoes, to the great relief of his family. Isaac being
now sensible of the value of his ass, began to treat him with more
attention. He got a small stack of rushy hay for his winter fodder, and
with his own hands built him a little shed of boughs and mud, in order
to shelter him from the bad weather. He would not suffer any of his
family to use Balaam ill, and after his daily journeys he was allowed to
ramble at pleasure. He was now and then cleaned and dressed, and upon
the whole made a reputable figure. Isaac took in more land from the
waste, so that by degrees he became a little farmer, and kept a horse
and cart, a cow, and two or three pigs. This made him quite a rich man,
but he had always the gratitude to impute his prosperity to the good
services of Balaam, the groom’s present; while the Squire cursed Young
Peer as the cause of his ruin, and many a time wished that his lordship
had kept his dainty gift to himself.



                     THE CRUCIFORM-FLOWERED PLANTS.

                       _Tutor_—_George_—_Harry._


_George._ How rich yon field looks with its yellow flowers! I wonder
what they can be?

_Tutor._ Suppose you go and see if you can find it out; and bring a
stalk of the flowers with you.

_Geo._ (_Returning_). I know now—they are turnips.

_Tut._ I thought you could make it out when you came near them. These
turnips are left to seed, which is the reason why you see them run to
flower. Commonly they are pulled up sooner.

_Harry._ I should not have thought a turnip had so sweet a flower.

_Geo._ I think I have smelt others like them. Pray, sir, what class of
plants do they belong to?

_Tut._ To a very numerous one, with which it is worth your while to get
acquainted. Let us sit down and examine them. The petal, you observe,
consists of four flat leaves set opposite to each other, or crosswise.
From this circumstance the flowers have been called _cruciform_. As most
plants with flowers of this kind bear their seeds in pods, they have
likewise been called the _siliquose_ plants, _siliqua_ being the Latin
for a pod.

_Geo._ But the papilionaceous flowers bear pods, too.

_Tut._ True; and therefore the name is not a good one. Now pull off the
petals one by one. You see they are fastened by long claws within the
flower cup. Now count the chives.

_Har._ There are six.

_Geo._ But they are not all of the same length—two are much shorter than
the rest.

_Tut._ Well observed. It is from this that Linnæus has formed a
particular class for the whole tribe, which he calls _tetradynamia_, a
word implying _four powers_, or the _power of four_, as if the four
longer chives were more perfect and efficacious than the two shorter;
which, however, we do not know to be the case. This superior length of
four chives is conspicuous in most plants of this tribe, but not in all.
They have, however, other resemblances which are sufficient to
constitute them a natural family; and accordingly all botanists have
made them such.

The flowers, as I have said, have in all of them four petals placed
crosswise. The calyx also consists of four oblong and hollow leaves.
There is a single pistil, standing upon a seed-bud, which, turns either
into a long pod, or a short round one called a pouch; and hence are
formed the two great branches of the family, the podded and the pouched.
The seed-vessel has two valves, or external openings, with a partition
between. The seeds are small and roundish, attached alternately to both
sutures or joinings of the valves. Do you observe all these
circumstances?

_Geo. and Har._ We do.

_Tut._ You shall examine them more minutely in a larger plant of the
kind. Further, almost all these plants have somewhat of a biting taste,
and also a disagreeable smell in their leaves, especially when decayed.
A turnip-field, you know, smells but indifferently; and cabbage, which
is one of this class, is apt to be remarkably offensive.

_Har._ Yes, there is nothing worse than rotten cabbage-leaves.

_Geo._ And the very water in which they are boiled is enough to scent a
whole house.

_Tut._ The flowers, however, of almost all the family are fragrant, and
some remarkably so. What do you think of wall-flowers, and stocks?

_Har._ What, are they of this kind?

_Tut._ Yes—and so is candy-tuft, and rocket.

_Har._ Then they are not to be despised.

_Tut._ No—and especially as not one of the whole class, I believe, is
poisonous; but, on the contrary, many of them afford good food for man
and beast. Shall I tell you about the principal of them?

_Geo._ Pray do, sir.

_Tut._ The pungency of taste which so many of them possess has caused
them to be used for salad herbs. Thus we have cress, water-cress, and
mustard; to which might be added many more which grow wild, as
lady-smock, wild-rocket, hedge-mustard, and jack-by-the-hedge, or
sauce-alone. Mustard, you know, is also greatly used for its seeds, the
powder or flower of which, made into a sort of paste with salt and
water, is eaten with many kinds of meat. Rape-seeds are very similar to
them, and from both an oil is pressed out, of the mild or tasteless
kind, as it is likewise from cole-seed, another product of this class.
Scurvy-grass, which is a pungent plant of this family, growing by the
seaside, has obtained its name from being a remedy for the scurvy. Then
there is horseradish, with the root of which I am sure you are well
acquainted, as a companion to roast beef. Common radish, too, is a plant
of this kind, which has a good deal of pungency. One sort of it has a
root like a turnip, which brings it near in quality to the turnip
itself. This last plant, though affording a sweet and mild nutriment,
has naturally a degree of pungency and rankness.

_Geo._ That, I suppose, is the reason why turnipy milk and butter have
such a strong taste?

_Tut._ It is.

_Har._ Then why do they feed cows with it?

_Tut._ In this case as in many others, quality is sacrificed to
quantity. But the better use of the turnip to the farmer is to fatten
sheep and cattle. By its assistance he is enabled to keep many more of
these animals than he could find grass or hay for; and the culture of
turnips prepares his land for grain as well, or better, than could be
done by letting it lie quite fallow. Turnip husbandry, as it is called,
is one of the capital modern improvements of agriculture.

_Geo._ I think I have heard that Norfolk is famous for it.

_Tut._ It is so. That county abounds in light sandy lands, which are
peculiarly suitable to turnips. But they are now grown in many parts of
England besides. Well—but we must say something more about cabbage, an
article of food of very long standing. The original species of this is a
seaside plant, but cultivation has produced a great number of varieties
well known in our gardens, as white and red cabbage, kale, colewort,
brocoli, borecole, and cauliflower.

_Har._ But the flower of cauliflower does not seem at all like that of
cabbage or turnip.

_Tut._ The white head, called its flower, is not properly so, but
consists of a cluster of imperfect buds. If they are left to grow for
seed, they throw out some spikes of yellow flowers like common cabbage.
Brocoli heads are of the same kind. As to the head of white or red
cabbage, it consists of a vast number of leaves closing round each
other, by which the innermost are prevented from expanding, and remain
white on account of the exclusion of the light and air. This part, you
know, is most valued for food. In some countries they cut cabbage-heads
into quarters, and make them undergo a kind of acid fermentation; after
which they are salted and preserved for winter food, under the name of
sour-krout.

_Geo._ Cattle, too, are sometimes fed with cabbage, I believe.

_Tut._ Yes, and large fields of them are cultivated for that purpose.
They succeed best in stiff clayey soils, where they sometimes grow to an
enormous bigness. They are given to milch kine as well as to fattening
cattle.

_Geo._ Do not they give a bad taste to the milk?

_Tut._ They are apt to do so unless great care is taken to pick off all
the decayed leaves.

Coleworts, which are a smaller sort of cabbage, are sometimes grown for
feeding sheep and cattle. I think I have now mentioned most of the
useful plants of this family, which you see are numerous and important.
They both yield beef and mutton, and the sauce to them. But many of the
species are troublesome weeds. You see how yonder corn is overrun with
yellow flowers.

_Geo._ Yes: they are as thick as if they had been sown.

_Tut._ They are of this family, and called charlock, or wild mustard, or
corn kale, which, indeed, are not all exactly the same things, though
nearly resembling. These produce such plenty of seeds, that it is very
difficult to clear a field of them, if once they are suffered to grow
till the seeds ripen. An extremely common weed in gardens and by
roadsides is shepherd’s-purse, which is a very good specimen of the
pouch-bearing plants of this tribe, its seed-vessels being exactly the
figure of a heart. Lady-smock is often so abundant a weed in wet meadows
as to make them all over white with their flowers. Some call this plant
cuckoo-flower, because its flowering is about the same time with the
first appearance of that bird in spring.

_Geo._ I remember some pretty lines in a song about spring, in which
lady-smock is mentioned:—

                 “When daisies pied, and violets blue,
                 And lady-smocks all silver white,
                 And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,
                 Do paint the meadows with delight.”

_Tut._ They are Shakspeare’s. You see he gives the name of cuckoo-bud to
some other flower, a yellow one, which appears at the same season. But
still earlier than this time, walls and hedge-banks are enlivened by a
very small white flower, called whitlow-grass, which is one of the
tribe.

_Har._ Is it easy to distinguish the plants of this family from one
another?

_Tut._ Not very easy; for the general similarity of the flowers is so
great, that little distinction can be drawn from them. The marks of the
species are chiefly taken from the form and manner of growth of the
seed-vessel, and we will examine some of them by the descriptions in a
book of botany. There is one very remarkable seed-vessel, which probably
you have observed in the garden. It is a perfectly round large flat
pouch, which after it has shed its seed, remains on the stalk and looks
likes a thin white bladder. The plant bearing it is commonly called
honesty.

_Har._ O, I know it very well! It is put into winter flower-pots.

_Tut._ True. So much, then, for the tetradynamous or cruciform-flowered
plants. You cannot well mistake them for any other class, if you remark
the six chives, four of them, generally, but not always, longer than the
two others; the single pistil changing either into a long pod or a round
pouch containing the seeds; the four opposite petals of the flower, and
four leaves of the calyx. You may safely make a salad of the young
leaves wherever you find them: the worst they can do to you is to bite
your tongue.



                      THE NATIVE VILLAGE.—A DRAMA.


         Scene—_A scattered Village almost hidden with trees_.

                    _Enter_ HARFORD _and_ BEAUMONT.

_Harford._ There is the place! This is the green on which I played many
a day with my companions; there are the tall trees that I have so often
climbed for birds’-nests; and that is the pond where I used to sail my
walnut-shell boats. What a crowd of mixed sensations rush on my mind!
What pleasures, and what regret! Yes, there is somewhat in our native
soil that affects the mind in a manner different from every other scene
in nature.

_Beaumont._ With you it must be merely the _place_; for I think you can
have no attachments of friendship or affection in it, considering your
long absence, and the removal of all your family.

_Harf._ No, I have no family connexions, and indeed can scarcely be said
ever to have had any; for, as you know, I was almost utterly neglected
after the death of my father and mother, and while all my elder brothers
and sisters were dispersed to one part or another, and the little
remaining property was disposed of, I was left with the poor people who
nursed me, to be brought up just as they thought proper; and the little
pension that was paid for me entirely ceased after a few years.

_Beau._ Then how were you afterward supported?

_Harf._ The honest couple who had the care of me continued to treat me
with the greatest kindness; and poor as they were, not only maintained
me as a child of their own, but did all in their power to procure me
advantages more suited to my birth than my deserted situation. With the
assistance of the worthy clergyman of the parish, they put me to a
day-school in the village, clothed me decently, and being themselves
sober, religious persons, took care to keep me from vice. The
obligations I am under to them, will, I hope, never be effaced from my
memory, and it is on their account alone that I have undertaken this
journey.

_Beau._ How long did you continue with them?

_Harf._ Till I was thirteen. I then felt an irresistible desire to fight
for my country; and learning by accident that a distant relation of our
family was a captain of a man-of-war, I took leave of my worthy
benefactors, and set off to the seaport where he lay, the good people
furnishing me in the best manner they were able with necessaries for the
journey. I shall never forget the tenderness with which they parted with
me. It was, if possible, beyond that of the kindest parents. You know my
subsequent adventures, from the time of my becoming a midshipman, to my
present state of first-lieutenant of the Britannia. Though it is now
fifteen years since my departure, I feel my affection for these good
folks stronger than ever, and could not be easy without taking the first
opportunity of seeing them.

_Beau._ It is a great chance if they are both living.

_Harf._ I happened to hear by a young man of the village, not long
since, that they were; but I believe much reduced in their
circumstances.

_Beau._ Whereabouts did they live?

_Harf._ Just at the turning of this corner. But what’s this?—I can’t
find the house—yet I am sure I have not forgot the situation. Surely it
must be pulled down! Oh! my dear old friends, what can have become of
you?

_Beau._ You had best ask that little girl.

_Harf._ Hark ye, my dear! do you know one John Beech, of this place?

_Girl._ What, old John Beech? O yes, very well, and Mary Beech, too.

_Harf._ Where do they live?

_Girl._ A little farther on in the lane.

_Harf._ Did they not once live hereabouts?

_Girl._ Yes, till Farmer Tything pulled the house down to make his
hop-garden.

_Harf._ Come with me to show me the place, and I’ll give you a penny.

_Girl._ Yes, that I will. (_They walk on._) There—that low thatched
house—and there’s Mary spinning at the door.

_Harf._ There, my dear (_gives money, and the girl goes away_). How my
heart beats! Surely that cannot be my nurse! Yes, I recollect her now;
but how very old and sickly she looks!

_Beau._ Fifteen years in her life, with care and hardship, must go a
great way in breaking her down.

_Harf._ (_going to the cottage-door_). Good morning, good woman; can you
give my companion and me something to drink? We are very thirsty with
walking this hot day.

_Mary Beech._ I have nothing better than water, sir; but if you please
to accept of that, I will bring you some.

_Beau._ Thank you—we will trouble you for some.

_Mary._ Will you please to walk in out of the sun, gentlemen; ours is a
very poor house, indeed; but I will find you a seat to sit down on,
while I draw the water.

_Harf._ (_to Beau._). The same good creature as ever! Let us go in.


Scene II.—_The inside of the cottage. An old man sitting by the hearth._

_Beau._ We have made bold, friend, to trouble your wife for a little
water.

_John._ Sit down—sit down—gentlemen. I would get up to give you my
chair, but I have the misfortune to be lame, and am almost blind too.

_Harf._ Lame and blind! Oh Beaumont! (_aside_).

_John._ Ay, sir, old age will come on; and, God knows, we have very
little means to fence against it.

_Beau._ What, have you nothing but your labour to subsist on?

_John._ We made that do, sir, as long as we could; but now I am hardly
capable of doing anything, and my poor wife can earn very little by
spinning, so we have been forced at last to apply to the parish.

_Harf._ To the parish! Well I hope they consider the services of your
better days, and provide for you comfortably.

_John._ Alas, sir; I am not much given to complain; but what can two
shillings a week do in these hard times?

_Harf._ Little enough, indeed! And is that all they allow you?

_John._ It is, sir; and we are not to have that much longer, for they
say we must come into the workhouse.

_Mary_ (_entering with the water_). Here, gentlemen, the jug is clean,
if you can drink out of it.

_Harf._ The workhouse, do you say?

_Mary._ Yes, gentlemen; that makes my poor husband so uneasy—that we
should come in our old days to die in a workhouse. We have lived better,
I assure you—but we were turned out of our little farm by the great
farmer near the church; and since then we have grown poorer and poorer,
and weaker and weaker, so that we have nothing to help ourselves with.

_John_ (_sobbing_). To die in a parish workhouse—I can hardly bear the
thought of it! But God knows best, and we must submit!

_Harf._ But, my good people, have you no children to assist you?

_John._ Our children, sir, are all dead except one that is settled a
long way off, and as poor as we are.

_Beau._ But surely, my friends, such decent people as you seem to be,
must have somebody to protect you.

_Mary._ No, sir; we know nobody but our neighbours, and they think the
workhouse good enough for the poor.

_Harf._ Pray, was there not a family of Harfords once in this village?

_John._ Yes, sir, a long while ago—but they are all dead and gone, or
else far enough from this place.

_Mary._ Ay, sir, the youngest of them, and the finest child among them,
that I’ll say for him, was nursed in our house when we lived on the old
spot near the green. He was with us till he was thirteen, and a
sweet-behaved boy he was; I loved him as well as ever I did any of my
own children.

_Harf._ What became of him?

_John._ Why, sir, he was a fine bold-spirited boy, though the best
tempered creature in the world—so last war he would be a sailor, and
fight the French and Spaniards, and away he went, nobody could stop him,
and we have never heard a word of him since.

_Mary._ Ay, he is dead or killed, I warrant—for if he was alive, I am
sure nothing would keep him from coming to see his poor daddy and mamma
as he used to call us. Many a night have I lain awake thinking of him!

_Harf._ (_to Beau._). I can hold no longer.

_Beau._ (_to him_). Restrain yourself awhile. Well, my friends, in
return for your kindness, I will tell you some news that will please
you. This same Harford, Edward Harford....

_Mary._ Ay, that was his name—my dear Ned!—What of him, sir, is he
living?

_John._ Let the gentlemen speak, my dear.

_Beau._ Ned Harford is now alive and well, and a lieutenant in his
majesty’s navy, and as brave an officer as any in the service.

_John._ I hope you do not jest with us, sir?

_Beau._ I do not, upon my honour.

_Mary._ Oh, thank God—thank God—if I could but see him!

_John._ Ay, I wish for nothing more before I die.

_Harf._ Here he is—here he is! My dearest, best benefactors! Here I am,
to pay some of the great debt of kindness I owe you. (_Clasps Mary round
the neck, and kisses her._)

_Mary._ What—this gentleman my Ned! Ay, it is, it is—I see it, I see it!

_John._ Oh, my old eyes!—but I know his voice now. (_Stretches out his
hand, which Harford grasps._)

_Harf._ My good old man! Oh that you could see me as clearly as I do
you!

_John._ Enough—enough—it is you, and I am contented.

_Mary._ O, happy day! O, happy day!

_Harf._ Did you think I could ever forget you?

_John._ Oh, no; I knew you better; but how long it is since we parted!

_Mary._ Fifteen years come Whitsuntide.

_Harf._ The first time I set foot in England all this long interval was
three weeks ago.

_John._ How good you were to come to us so soon!

_Mary._ What a tall strong man you are grown! but you have the same
sweet smile as ever.

_John._ I wish I could see him plain—but what signifies! he’s here, and
I hold him by the hand. Where’s the other good gentleman?

_Beau._ Here—very happy to see such worthy people made so.

_Harf._ He has been my dearest friend for a great many years, and I am
beholden to him almost as much as to you two.

_Mary._ Has he? God bless him and reward him!

_Harf._ I am grieved to think what you must have suffered from hardship
and poverty. But that is all at an end—no workhouse now.

_John._ God bless you! then I shall be happy still. But we must not be
burdensome to you.

_Harf._ Don’t talk of that. As long as I have a shilling, it is my duty
to give you sixpence of it. Did you not take care of me when all the
world forsook me, and treated me as your own child when I had no other
parent; and shall I ever forsake you in your old age! Oh never—never!

_Mary._ Ay, you had always a kind heart of your own. I always used to
think our dear Ned would some time or other prove a blessing to us.

_Harf._ You must leave this poor hut, that is not fit to keep out the
weather, and we must get you a snug cottage in this village or some
other.

_John._ Pray, my dear sir, let us die in this town, as we have always
lived in it. And as to a house, I believe that where old Richard
Carpenter used to live in is empty, if it would not be too good for us.

_Harf._ What, the white cottage on the green? I remember it; it is just
the thing. You shall remove there this very week.

_Mary._ This is beyond all my hopes and wishes!

_Harf._ There you shall have a little close to keep a cow—and a girl to
milk her, and take care of you both—and a garden well stocked with herbs
and roots—and a little yard for pigs and poultry; and some good new
furniture for your house.

_John._ O, too much—too much!

_Mary._ What makes me cry so, when so many good things are coming to us?

_Harf._ Who is the landlord of this house?

_John._ Our next neighbour, Mr. Wheatfield.

_Harf._ I’ll go and speak about it directly and then come to you again.
Come, Beaumont. God bless you both!

_John._ God in heaven bless you!

_Mary._ O, happy day. O, happy day!

[Illustration:

  EVENING XXIV.
]



                 PERSEVERANCE AGAINST FORTUNE.—A STORY.


Theodore was a boy of lively parts and engaging manners; but he had the
failing of being extremely impatient in his temper and inclined to
extremes. He was ardent in all his pursuits, but could bear no
disappointment; and if the least thing went wrong, he threw up what he
was about in a pet, and could not be prevailed upon to resume it. His
father, Mr. Carleton, had given him a bed in the garden, which he had
cultivated with great delight. The borders were set with double daisies
of different colours, next to which was a row of auriculas and
polyanthuses. Beyond were stocks and other taller flowers and shrubs;
and a beautiful damask rose graced the centre. This rose was just
budding, and Theodore watched its daily progress with great interest.
One unfortunate day, the door of the garden being left open, a drove of
pigs entered, and began to riot on the herbs and flowers. An alarm being
sounded, Theodore and the servant-boy rushed upon them, smacking their
whips. The whole herd, in affright, took their course across Theodore’s
flower-bed, on which some of them had before been grazing. Stocks,
daisies, and auriculas were all trampled down or torn up; and, what was
worst of all, a large old sow ran directly over the beautiful rose-tree,
and broke off its stem level with the ground. When Theodore came up and
beheld all the mischief, and especially his favourite rose strewed on
the soil, rage and grief choked his utterance. After standing a while
the picture of despair, he snatched up a spade that stood near, and with
furious haste dug over the whole bed, and whelmed all the relics of his
flowers deep under the soil. This exertion being ended, he burst into
tears, and silently left the garden.

His father, who had beheld the scene at a distance, though somewhat
diverted at the boy’s childish violence, yet began seriously to reflect
on the future consequences of such a temper, if suffered to grow up
without restraint. He said nothing to him at the time, but in the
afternoon he took a walk with him into a neighbouring parish. There was
a large wild common, and at the skirts of it a neat farmhouse with
fields lying round it, all well fenced, and cultivated in the best
manner. The air was sweetened with the bean-flower and clover. An
orchard of fine young fruit-trees lay behind the house and before it a
little garden, gay with all the flowers of the season. A stand of
beehives was on the southern side, sheltered by a thick hedge of
honeysuckle and sweet-brier. The farmyard was stocked with pigs and
poultry. A herd of cows with full udders was just coming home to be
milked. Everything wore the aspect of plenty and good management. The
charms of the scene struck Theodore very forcibly, and he expressed his
pleasure in the warmest terms. “This place,” said his father, “belongs
to a man who is the greatest example I know of patient fortitude bearing
up against misfortune; and all that you see is the reward of his own
perseverance. I am a little acquainted with him; and we will go in and
beg a draught of milk, and try if we can prevail upon him to tell us his
story.” Theodore willingly accompanied his father. They were received by
the farmer with cordial frankness. After they were seated, “Mr.
Hardman,” says Mr. Carleton, “I have often heard part of your
adventures, but never had a regular account of the whole. If you will
favour me and my little boy with the story of them, we shall think
ourselves much obliged to you.”—“Lacka-day! sir,” said he, “there’s
little in them worth telling of, as far as I know. I have had my ups and
downs in the world, to be sure, but so have many men besides. However,
if you wish to hear about them, they are at your service; and I can’t
say but it gives me pleasure sometimes to talk over old matters, and
think how much better things have turned out than might have been
expected.”—“Now I am of opinion,” said Mr. Carleton, “that from your
spirit and perseverance a good conclusion might always have been
expected.”—“You are pleased to compliment, sir,” replied the farmer;
“but I will begin without more words:—

“You may perhaps have heard that my father was a man of good estate. He
thought of nothing, poor man! but how to spend it; and he had the
uncommon luck to spend it twice over. For when he was obliged to sell it
the first time, it was bought in by a relation, who left it him by his
will. But my poor father was not a man to take warning. He fell to
living as he had done before, and just made his estate and his life hold
out together. He died at the age of five-and-forty, and left his family
beggars. I believe he would not have taken to drinking, as he did, had
it not been for his impatient temper, which made him fret and vex
himself for every trifle, and then he had nothing for it but to drown
his care in liquor.

“It was my lot to be taken by my mother’s brother, who was master of a
merchant-ship. I served him as an apprentice several years, and
underwent a good deal of the usual hardship of a sailor’s life. He had
just made me his mate in a voyage up the Mediterranean, when we had the
misfortune to be wrecked on the coast of Morocco. The ship struck at
some distance from shore, and we lay a long stormy night with the waves
dashing over us, expecting every moment to perish. My uncle and several
of the crew died of fatigue and want, and by morning but four of us were
left alive. My companions were so disheartened, that they thought of
nothing but submitting to their fate. For my part I thought life still
worth struggling for; and the weather having become calmer, I persuaded
them to join me in making a kind of raft, by the help of which, with
much toil and danger, we reached the land. Here we were seized by the
barbarous inhabitants, and carried up the country as slaves to the
emperor We were employed about some public buildings, made to work very
hard with the whip at our backs, and allowed nothing but water and a
kind of pulse. I have heard persons talk as if there was little in being
a slave but the name; but they who have been slaves themselves I am sure
will never make light of slavery in others. A ransom was set on our
heads, but so high, that it seemed impossible for poor friendless
creatures like us ever to pay it. The thought of perpetual servitude,
together with the hard treatment we met with, quite overcame my poor
companions. They drooped and died one after another. I still thought it
not impossible to mend my condition, and perhaps to recover my freedom.
We worked about twelve hours in the day, and had one holyday in the
week. I employed my leisure time in learning to make mats and
flag-baskets, in which I soon became so expert as to have a good many
for sale, and thereby got a little money to purchase better food, and
several small conveniences. We were afterward set to work in the
emperor’s gardens; and here I showed so much good will and attention,
that I got into favour with the overseer. He had a large garden of his
own; and he made interest for me to be suffered to work for him alone,
on the condition of paying a man to do my duty. I soon became so useful
to him, that he treated me more like a hired servant than a slave, and
gave me regular wages. I learned the language of the country, and I
might have passed my time comfortably enough could I have accommodated
myself to their manners and religion, and forgotten my native land. I
saved all I could in order to purchase my freedom; but the ransom was so
high, that I had little prospect of being able to do it for some years
to come. A circumstance, however, happened which brought it about at
once. Some villains one night laid a plot to murder my master and
plunder his house. I slept in a little shed in the garden where the
tools lay; and being awaked by a noise, I saw four men break through the
fence, and walk up an alley toward the house. I crept out with a spade
in my hand, and silently followed them. They made a hole with
instruments in the house-wall big enough for a man to enter at. Two of
them had got in, and the third was beginning to enter, when I rushed
forward, and with a blow of my spade clove the scull of one of the
robbers, and gave the other such a stroke on the shoulder as disabled
him. I then made a loud outcry to alarm the family. My master and his
son, who lay in the house, got up, and having let me in, we secured the
two others, after a sharp conflict, in which I received a severe wound
with a dagger. My master, who looked upon me as his preserver, had all
possible care taken of me, and as soon as I was cured made me a present
of my liberty. He would fain have kept me with him, but my mind was so
much bent on returning to my native country, that I immediately set out
to the nearest seaport, and took my passage in a vessel going to
Gibraltar.

“From this place I returned in the first ship for England. As soon as we
arrived in the Downs, and I was rejoicing at the sight of the white
cliffs, a man-of-war’s boat came on board, and pressed into the king’s
service all of us who were seamen. I could not but think it hard that
this should be my welcome at home after a long slavery, but there was no
remedy. I resolved to do my duty in my station, and leave the rest to
Providence. I was abroad during the remainder of the war, and saw many a
stout fellow sink under disease and despondence. My knowledge of
seamanship got me promoted to the post of a petty officer, and at the
peace I was paid off, and received a pretty sum for wages and
prize-money. With this I set off for London. I had experienced too much
distress from want to be inclined to squander away my money, so I put it
into a banker’s hands, and began to look out for some new way of life.

“Unfortunately, there were some things of which I had no more experience
than a child, and the tricks of London were among these. An
advertisement offering extraordinary advantages to a partner in a
commercial concern who could bring a small capital, tempted me to make
inquiry about the matter; and I was soon cajoled by a plausible artful
fellow to venture my whole stock in it. The business was a manufacture,
about which I knew nothing at all; but as I was not afraid of my labour,
I set about working as they directed me, with great diligence, and
thought all was going on prosperously. One morning, on coming to the
office, I found my partners decamped; and the same day I was arrested
for a considerable sum due by the partnership. It was in vain for me to
think of getting bail, so I was obliged to go to prison. Here I should
have been half starved, but for my Moorish trade of matmaking, by the
help of which I bettered my condition for some months; when the
creditors, finding that nothing could be got out of me, suffered me to
be set at liberty.

“I was now in the wide world without a farthing or a friend, but I,
thank God, had limbs and health left.

“I did not choose to trust the sea again, but preferred my other new
trade of gardening; so I applied to a nurseryman near town, and was
received as a day-labourer. I set myself cheerfully at work, taking care
to be in the grounds the first man in the morning, and the last at
night. I acquainted my employer with all the practices I had observed in
Morocco, and got him, in return, to instruct me in his own. In time, I
came to be considered as a skilful workman, and was advanced to higher
wages. My affairs were in a flourishing state. I was well fed, and
comfortably lodged, and saved money into the bargain. About this time I
fell in company with a young woman at service, very notable and well
behaved, who seemed well qualified for a wife to a working-man. I
ventured to make an offer to her, which proved not disagreeable; and
after we had calculated a little how we were to live, we married. I took
a cottage with an acre or two of land to it, and my wife’s saving
furnished our house, and bought a cow. All my leisure time I spent upon
my piece of ground, which I made very productive, and the profits of my
cow, with my wages, supported us very well. No mortal, I think, could be
happier than I was after a hard day’s work, by my own fireside, with my
wife beside me, and our little infant on my knee.

“After this way of life had lasted two or three years, a gentleman who
had dealt largely with my master for young plants, asked him if he could
recommend an honest industrious man for a tenant, upon some land that he
had lately taken in from the sea. My master, willing to do me a
kindness, mentioned me. I was tempted by the proposal, and going down to
view the premises, I took a farm upon a lease at a low rent, and removed
my family and goods to it, one hundred and fifty miles from London.
There was ground enough for money, but much was left to be done for it
in draining, manuring, and fencing. Then it required more stock than I
was able to furnish; so, though unwilling, I was obliged to borrow some
money of my landlord, who let me have it at a moderate interest. I began
with a good heart, and worked late and early to put things into the best
condition. My first misfortune was that the place proved unhealthy to
us. I fell into a lingering ague, which pulled me down much, and
hindered my business. My wife got a slow fever, and so did our eldest
child (we had now two.) The poor child died; and what with grief and
illness, my wife had much ado to recover. Then the rot got among my
sheep, and carried off the best part of my stock. I bore up against
distress as well as I could; and by the kindness of my landlord, was
enabled to bring things tolerably about again. We regained our health,
and began to be seasoned to the climate. As we were cheering ourselves
with the prospect of better times, a dreadful storm arose—it was one
night in February—I shall never forget it—and drove the spring tide with
such fury against our sea-banks, that they gave way. The water rushed in
with such force, that all was presently a sea. Two hours before daylight
I was awakened by the noise of the waves dashing against our house, and
bursting in at the door. My wife and I and the two children (the younger
but four weeks old) slept on a ground floor. We had just time to carry
the children up stairs, before all was afloat in the room. When day
appeared, we could see nothing from the windows but water. All the
outhouses, ricks, and utensils were swept away, and all the cattle and
sheep drowned. The sea kept rising, and the force of the current bore so
hard against our house, that we thought every moment it must fall. We
clasped our babies to our breasts, and expected nothing but present
death. At length, we spied a boat coming to us. With a good deal of
difficulty it got under our window, and took us in with a servant-maid
and boy. A few clothes was all the property we saved; and we had not
left the house half an hour, before it fell, and in a minute nothing was
to be seen of it. Not only the farmhouse, but the farm itself was gone.

“I was now again a ruined man, and, what was worse, I had three partners
in my ruin. My wife and I looked at one another, and then at our little
ones, and wept. Neither of us had a word of comfort to say. At last,
thought I, this country is not Morocco, however. Here are good souls
that will pity our case, and perhaps relieve us. Then I have a
character, and a pair of hands. Things are bad but they might have been
worse. I took my wife by the hand, and knelt down. She did the same. I
thanked God for his mercy in saving our lives, and prayed that he would
continue to protect us. We rose up with lightened hearts, and were able
to talk calmly about our condition. It was my desire to return to my
former master, the nurseryman; but how to convey my family so far
without money was the difficulty. Indeed I was much worse than nothing,
for I owed a good deal to my landlord. He came down upon the news of the
misfortune, and though his own losses were heavy, he not only forgave my
debt and released me from all obligations, but made me a small present.
Some charitable neighbours did the like; but I was most of all affected
by the kindness of our late maid-servant, who insisted upon our
accepting of a crown which she had saved out of her wages. Poor soul! we
had always treated her like one of ourselves, and she felt for us like
one.

“As soon as we had got some necessaries, and the weather was tolerable,
we set out on our long march. My wife carried her infant in her arms. I
took the bigger child on my back, and a bundle of clothes in my hand. We
could walk but a few miles a day, but we now and then got a lift in an
empty wagon or cart, which was a great help to us. One day we met with a
farmer returning with his team from market, who let me ride, and entered
into conversation with me. I told him of my adventures, by which he
seemed much interested; and learning that I was skilled in managing
trees, he acquainted me that a nobleman in his neighbourhood was making
great plantations, and would very likely be glad to engage me; and he
offered to carry us to the place. As all I was seeking was a living by
my labour, I thought the sooner I got it the better; so I thankfully
accepted his offer. He took us to the nobleman’s steward, and made known
our case. The steward wrote to my old master for a character; and
receiving a favourable one, he hired me as a principal manager of a new
plantation, and settled me and my family in a snug cottage near it. He
advanced us somewhat for furniture and present subsistence, and we had
once more a _home_. O sir! how many blessings are contained in that word
to those who have known the want of it!

“I entered upon my new employment with as much satisfaction as if I was
taking possession of an estate. My wife had enough to do in taking care
of the house and children; so it lay with me to provide for all, and I
may say that I was not idle. Besides my weekly pay from the steward, I
contrived to make a little money at leisure times by pruning and
dressing gentlemen’s fruit-trees. I was allowed a piece of waste ground
behind the house for a garden, and I spent a good deal of labour in
bringing it into order. My old master sent me down for a present some
choice young trees and flower-roots, which I planted, and they throve
wonderfully. Things went on almost as well as I could desire. The
situation being dry and healthy, my wife recovered her lost bloom, and
the children sprung up like my plants. I began to hope that I was almost
out of the reach of further misfortune; but it was not so ordered.

“I had been three years in this situation, and increased my family with
another child, when my lord died. He was succeeded by a very dissipated
young man, deep in debt, who presently put a stop to the planting and
improving of the estate, and sent orders to turn off all the workmen.
This was a great blow to me; however, I still hoped to be allowed to
keep my little house and garden, and I thought I could then maintain
myself as a nurseryman and gardener. But a new steward was sent down,
with directions to rack the tenants to the utmost. He asked me as much
rent for the place as if I had found the garden ready made to my hands;
and when I told him it was impossible for me to pay it, he gave me
notice to quit immediately. He would neither suffer me to take away my
trees and plants, nor allow me anything for them. His view, I found, was
to put in a favourite of his own, and set him up at my expense. I
remonstrated against this cruel injustice, but could obtain nothing but
hard words. As I saw it would be the ruin of me to be turned out in that
manner, I determined, rather hastily, to go up to London, and plead my
cause with my new lord. I took a sorrowful leave of my family, and
walking to the next market-town, I got a place on the outside of the
stage-coach. When we were within thirty or forty miles of London, the
coachman overturned the carriage, and I pitched directly on my head, and
was taken up senseless. Nobody knew anything about me; so I was carried
to the next village, where the overseer had me taken to the parish
workhouse. Here I lay a fortnight, much neglected, before I came to my
senses. As soon as I became sensible of my condition, I was almost
distracted in thinking of the distress of my poor wife, who was near
lying-in, must be under on my account, not hearing anything of me. I lay
another fortnight before I was fit to travel, for besides the hurt on my
head, I had a broken collarbone, and several bruises.

“My money had somehow all got out of my pocket, and I had no other means
of getting away than by being passed to my own parish. I returned in sad
plight, indeed, and found my wife very ill in bed. My children were
crying about her, and almost starving. We should now have been quite
lost, had I not raised a little money by selling our furniture; for I
was yet unable to work. As soon as my wife was somewhat recovered, we
were forced to quit our house. I cried like a child on leaving my
blooming garden and flourishing plantations, and was almost tempted to
demolish them, rather than that another should unjustly reap the fruit
of my labours. But I checked myself and I am glad that I did. We took
lodgings in a neighbouring village, and I went round among the gentlemen
of the country to see if I could get a little employment. In the
meantime, the former steward came down to settle accounts with his
successor, and was much concerned to find me in such a situation. He was
a very able and honest man, and had been engaged by another nobleman to
superintend a large improvable estate, in a distant part of the kingdom.
He told me, if I would try my fortune with him once more he would
endeavour to procure me a new settlement. I had nothing to lose, and,
therefore, was willing enough to run any hazard, but I was destitute of
means to convey my family to such a distance. My good friend, who was
much provoked at the injustice of the new steward, said so much to him,
that he brought him to make me an allowance for my garden; and with that
I was enabled to make another removal. It was to the place I now
inhabit.

“When I came here, sir, all this farm was a naked common like that you
crossed in coming. My lord got an enclosure-bill for his part of it, and
the steward divided it into different farms, and let it on improving
leases to several tenants. A dreary spot to be sure it looked at first,
enough to sink a man’s heart to sit down upon it. I had a little
unfinished cottage given me to live in; and as I had nothing to stock a
farm, I was for some years employed as head labourer and planter about
the new enclosures. By very hard working and saving, together with a
little help, I was at length enabled to take a small part of the ground
I now occupy. I had various discouragements, from bad seasons and other
accidents. One year the distemper carried off four out of seven cows
that I kept; another year I lost two of my best horses. A high wind once
almost entirely destroyed an orchard I had just planted, and blew down
my biggest barn. But I was too much used to misfortunes to be easily
disheartened, and my way always was to set about repairing them in the
best manner I could, and leave the rest to Heaven. This method seems to
have answered at last. I have now gone on many years in a course of
continued prosperity, adding field to field, increasing my stock, and
bringing up a numerous family with credit. My dear wife, who was my
faithful partner through so much distress, continues to share my
prosperous state; and few couples in the kingdom, I believe, have more
cause to be thankful for their lot. This, sir, is my history. You see it
contains nothing very extraordinary; but if it impresses on the mind of
this young gentleman the maxim that patience and perseverance will
scarcely fail of a good issue in the end, the time you have spent in
listening to it will not entirely be lost.”

Mr. Carleton thanked the good farmer very heartily for the amusement and
instruction he had afforded them, and took leave with many expressions
of regard. Theodore and he walked home, talking by the way of what they
had heard.

Next morning, Mr. C. looking out of the window, saw Theodore hard at
work in his garden. He was carefully disinterring his buried flowers,
trimming and cleaning them, and planting them anew. He had got the
gardener to cut a slip of the broken rose-tree, and set it in the middle
to give it a chance of growing. By noon everything was laid smooth and
neat, and the bed was well filled. All its splendour, indeed, was gone
for the present, but it seemed in a hopeful way to revive again.
Theodore looked with pleasure over his work; but his father felt more
pleasure in witnessing the first-fruits of Farmer Hardman’s story.



                       THE GOLDFINCH AND LINNET.


                 A gaudy goldfinch, pert and gay,
               Hopping blythe from spray to spray,
               Full of frolic, full of spring,
               With head well plumed and burnished wing,
               Spied a sober linnet-hen,
               Sitting all alone,
               And bowed and chirped, and bowed again;
               And with familiar tone
               He thus the dame addressed
               As to her side he closely pressed:—

                 “I hope, my dear, I don’t intrude,
               By breaking on your solitude?
               But it has always been my passion
               To forward pleasant conversation;
               And I should be a stupid bird
               To pass the fair without a word;
               I, who have been for ever noted
               To be the sex’s most devoted.
               Besides, a damsel unattended,
               Left unnoticed and unfriended,
               Appears (excuse me) so forlorn,
               That I can scarce suppose,
               To any she that e’er was born,
               ‘Twould be the thing she chose.
               How happy, then, I’m now at leisure
               To wait upon a lady’s pleasure;
               And all this morn have nought to do
               But pay my duty, love, to you.

                 “What, silent!—Ah, those looks demure,
               And eyes of langour, make me sure
               That in my random idle chatter
               I quite mistook the matter!
               It is not spleen or contemplation
               That draws you to the cover;
               But ‘tis some tender assignation;
               Well!—who’s the favoured lover?
               I met hard by, in quaker suit,
               A youth sedately grave and mute;
               And from the maxim, like to like,
               Perhaps the _sober youth_ might strike:
               Yes, yes, ‘tis he, I’ll lay my life,
               Who hopes to get you for his wife.

                 “But come, my dear, I know you’re wise,
               Compare and judge, and use your eyes;
               No female yet could e’er behold
               The lustre of my red and gold,
               My ivory bill and jetty crest,
               But all was done, and I was blest.
               Come, brighten up and act with spirit,
               And take the fortune that you merit.”

               He ceased—_Linnetta_ thus replied,
               With cool contempt and decent pride:—
               “’Tis pity, sir, a youth so sweet,
               In form and manners so complete,
               Should do an humble maid the honour
               To waste his precious time upon her.
               A poor forsaken she, you know,
               Can do no credit to a beau;
               And worse would be the case
               If meeting one whose faith was plighted,
               He should incur the sad disgrace
               Of being slighted.

                 “Now, sir, the _sober-suited youth_.
               Whom you were pleased to mention,
               To those small merits, sense and truth,
               And generous love, has some pretension;
               And then, to give him all his due,
               He sings, sir, full as well as you,
               And sometimes can be silent too.
               In short, my taste is so perverse,
               And such my wayward fate,
               That it would be my greatest curse
               To have a _coxcomb_ to my mate.”
               This said, away she scuds,
               And leaves _Beau Goldfinch_ in the suds.

[Illustration:

  The Wanderer’s Return, p. 304.

  EVENING XXV.
]



                        THE PRICE OF A VICTORY.


“Good news! great news! glorious news!” cried young Oswald, as he
entered his father’s house. “We have got a complete victory, and have
killed I don’t know how many thousands of the enemy; and we are to have
bonfires and illuminations!”

“And so,” said his father, “you think that killing a great many
thousands of human creatures is a thing to be very glad about?”

_Oswald._ No—I do not quite think so, neither: but surely it is right to
be glad that our country has gained a great advantage.

_Father._ No doubt, it is right to wish well to our country, as far as
its prosperity can be promoted without injuring the rest of mankind. But
wars are very seldom to the real advantage of any nation; and when they
are ever so useful or necessary, so many dreadful evils attend them,
that a humane man will scarcely rejoice in them, if he considers at all
on the subject.

_Os._ But if our enemies would do us a great deal of mischief, and we
prevent it by beating them, have we not a right to be glad of it?

_Fa._ Alas! we are in general little judges which of the parties has the
most mischievous intentions. Commonly, they are both in the wrong, and
success will make both of them unjust and unreasonable. But putting this
out of the question, he who rejoices in the event of a battle, rejoices
in the misery of many thousands of his species; and the thought of that
should make him pause a little. Suppose a surgeon were to come with a
smiling countenance, and tell us triumphantly that he had cut off half a
dozen legs to day, what would you think of him?

_Os._ I should think him very hard-hearted.

_Fa._ And yet those operations are done for the benefit of the
sufferers, and by their own desire. But in a battle, the probability is,
that none of those engaged on either side have any interest at all in
the cause they are fighting for, and most of them come there because
they cannot help it. In this battle that you are so rejoiced about,
there have been ten thousand men killed on the spot, and nearly as many
wounded.

_Os._ On both sides?

_Fa._ Yes—but they are _men_ on both sides. Consider now, that the ten
thousand sent out of the world in this morning’s work, though they are
past feeling themselves, have left probably two persons each, on an
average, to lament their loss, parents, wives, or children. Here are
then twenty thousand people made unhappy, at one stroke on their
account. This, however, is hardly so dreadful to think of, as the
condition of the wounded. At the moment we are talking, eight or ten
thousand more are lying in agony, torn with shot, or gashed with cuts,
their wounds all festering, some hourly to die a most excruciating
death, others to linger in torture weeks and months, and many doomed to
drag on a miserable existence for the rest of their lives, with diseased
and mutilated bodies.

_Os._ This is shocking to think of, indeed!

_Fa._ When you light your candles, then, this evening, _think what they
cost_.

_Os._ But everybody else is glad, and seems to think nothing of these
things.

_Fa._ True—they do _not_ think of them. If they did, I cannot suppose
they would be so void of feeling as to enjoy themselves in merriment
when so many of their fellow-creatures are made miserable. Do you not
remember, when poor Dickens had his legs broken to pieces by a loaded
wagon, how all the town pitied him?

_Os._ Yes, very well. I could not sleep the night after for thinking of
him.

_Fa._ But here are thousands suffering as much as he, and we scarce
bestow a single thought on them. If any one of these poor creatures were
before our eyes, we should probably feel much more than we do now for
them altogether. Shall I tell you a story of a soldier’s fortune, that
came to my own knowledge?

_Os._ Yes; pray, do.

_Fa._ In the village where I went to school, there was an honest
industrious weaver and his wife, who had an only son, named Walter, just
come to man’s estate. Walter was a good and dutiful lad, and a clever
workman, so that he was a great help to his parents. One unlucky day,
having gone to the next market-town with some work, he met with a
companion, who took him to the alehouse and treated him. As he was
coming away, a recruiting sergeant entered the room, who seeing Walter
to be a likely young fellow, had a great mind to entrap him. He
persuaded him to sit down again and take a glass with him; and kept him
in talk with fine stories about a soldier’s life, till Walter got
fuddled before he was aware. The sergeant then clapped a shilling into
his hand to drink his majesty’s health, and told him he was enlisted. He
was kept there all night, and next morning was taken before a magistrate
to be sworn in. Walter had now become sober, and was very sorry for what
he had done: but he was told that he could not get off without paying a
guinea smart money. This he knew not how to raise; and being likewise
afraid and ashamed to face his friends, he took the oath and
bounty-money, and marched away with the sergeant, without ever returning
home. His poor father and mother, when they heard of the affair, were
almost heart-broken; and a young woman in the village, who was his
sweetheart, had like to have gone distracted. Walter sent them a line
from the first stage, to bid them farewell, and comfort them. He joined
his regiment, which soon embarked for Germany, where it continued till
the peace. Walter once or twice sent word home of his welfare, but for
the last year nothing was heard of him.

_Os._ Where was he then?

_Fa._ You shall hear. One summer’s evening, a man in an old red coat,
hobbling on crutches, was seen to enter the village. His countenance was
pale and sickly, his cheeks hollow, and his whole appearance bespoke
extreme wretchedness. Several people gathered round him, looking
earnestly in his face. Among these a young woman having gazed at him a
while, cried out, “My Walter!” and fainted away. Walter fell on the
ground beside her. His father and mother being fetched by some of the
spectators, came and took him in their arms, weeping bitterly. I saw the
whole scene, and shall never forget it. At length, the neighbours helped
them into the house, where Walter told them the following story:—

“At the last great battle that our troops gained in Germany, I was among
the first engaged, and received a shot that broke my thigh. I fell, and
presently after our regiment was forced to retreat. A squadron of the
enemy’s horse came galloping down upon us. A trooper making a blow at me
with his sabre as I lay, I lifted up my arm to save my head, and got a
cut which divided all the sinews at the back of my wrist. Soon after the
enemy were driven back, and came across us again. A horse set his foot
on my side, and broke three of my ribs. The action was long and bloody,
and the wounded on both sides were left on the field all night. A
dreadful night it was to me you may think! I had fainted through loss of
blood, and when I recovered, I was tormented with thirst, and the cold
air made my wounds smart intolerably. About noon next day wagons came to
carry away those who remained alive; and I, with a number of others, was
put into one to be conveyed to the next town. The motion of the carriage
was terrible for my broken bones—every jolt went to my heart. We were
taken to an hospital, which was crammed as full as it could hold; and we
should all have been suffocated with the heat and stench, had not a
fever broke out, which soon thinned our numbers. I took it, and was
twice given over; however, I struggled through. But my wounds proved so
difficult to heal, that it was almost a twelvemonth before I could be
discharged. A great deal of the bone in my thigh came away in splinters,
and left the limb crooked and useless as you see. I entirely lost the
use of three fingers of my right hand; and my broken ribs made me spit
blood a long time, and have left a cough and difficulty of breathing,
which I believe will bring me to my grave. I was sent home, and
discharged from the army, and I have begged my way hither as well as I
could. I am told that the peace has left the affairs of my country just
as they were before; but who will restore me my health and limbs? I am
put on the list for a Chelsea pensioner, which will support me, if I
live to receive it, without being a burden to my friends. That is all
that remains for Walter now.”

_Os._ Poor Walter! What became of him afterward?

_Father._ The wound in his thigh broke out afresh, and discharged more
splinters after a great deal of pain and fever. As winter came on, his
cough increased. He wasted to a skeleton, and died the next spring. The
young woman, his sweetheart, sat up with him every night to the last;
and soon after his death, she fell into a consumption, and followed him.
The old people, deprived of the stay and comfort of their age, fell into
despair and poverty, and were taken into the workhouse, where they ended
their days.

This was the history of _Walter the soldier_. It has been that of
thousands more; and will be that of many a poor fellow, over whose fate
you are now rejoicing. Such is the _price of a victory_!



                             GOOD COMPANY.


“Be sure, Frederick, always keep _good company_,” was the final
admonition of Mr. Lofty, on dismissing his son to the University.

“I entreat you, Henry, always to choose _good company_,” said Mr. Manly,
on parting with his son to an apprenticeship in a neighbouring town.

But it was impossible for two people to mean more differently by the
same words.

In Mr. Lofty’s idea, _good_ company was that of persons superior to
ourselves in rank and fortune. By this alone he estimated it: and the
degrees of comparison, better and best, were made exactly to correspond
to such a scale. Thus, if an esquire was _good_ company, a baronet was
_better_, and a lord _best of all_, provided that he was not a _poor_
lord, for in that case, a rich gentleman might be at least as good. For
as, according to Mr. Lofty’s maxim, the great purpose for which
companions were to be chosen was to advance a young man in the world by
their credit and interest, those were to be preferred who afforded the
best prospects in this respect.

Mr. Manly, on the other hand, understood by _good_ company, that which
was improving to the morals and understanding; and by the _best_, that
which, to a high degree of these qualities, added true politeness of
manners. As superior advantages in education to a certain point
accompany superiority of condition, he wished his son to prefer as
companions those whose situation in life had afforded them the
opportunity of being well educated; but he was far from desiring him to
shun connexions with worth and talents, wherever he should find them.

Mr. Lofty had an utter aversion to _low company_, by which he meant
inferiors, people of no fashion and figure, shabby fellows whom nobody
knows.

Mr. Manly equally disliked _low company_, understanding by it persons of
mean habits and vulgar conversation.

A great part of Mr. Manly’s _good_ company was Mr. Lofty’s _low_
company; and not a few of Mr. Lofty’s very _best_ company were Mr.
Manly’s very _worst_.

Each of the sons understood his father’s meaning, and followed his
advice.

Frederick, from the time of his entrance at the University, commenced
what is called a _tuft-hunter_, from the tuft in the cap worn by young
noblemen. He took pains to insinuate himself into the good graces of all
the young men of high fashion in his college, and became a constant
companion in their schemes of frolic and dissipation. They treated him
with an insolent familiarity, often bordering upon contempt; but
following another maxim of his father, “one must stoop to rise,” he took
it all in good part. He totally neglected study as unnecessary, and
indeed inconsistent with his plan. He spent a great deal of money, with
which his father, finding that it went in _good company_, at first
supplied him freely. In time, however, his expenses amounted to so much,
that Mr. Lofty, who kept good company too, found it difficult to answer
his demands. A considerable sum that he lost at play with one of his
noble friends increased the difficulty. If it were not paid, the
disgrace of not having discharged a _debt of honour_ would lose him all
the favour he had acquired; yet the money could not be raised without
greatly embarrassing his father’s affairs.

In the midst of this perplexity, Mr. Lofty died, leaving behind him a
large family, and very little property. Frederick came up to town, and
soon dissipated in _good company_ the scanty portion that came to his
share. Having neither industry, knowledge, nor reputation, he was then
obliged to become an humble dependant on the great, flattering all their
follies, and ministering to their vices, treated by them with mortifying
neglect, and equally despised and detested by the rest of the world.

Henry, in the meantime, entered with spirit into the business of his new
profession, and employed his leisure in cultivating an acquaintance with
a few select friends. These were partly young men in a situation similar
to his own, partly persons already settled in life, but all
distinguished by propriety of conduct and improved understandings. From
all of them he learned something valuable, but he was more particularly
indebted to two of them, who were in a station of life inferior to that
of the rest. One was a watchmaker, an excellent mechanic and tolerable
mathematician, and well acquainted with the construction and use of all
the instruments employed in experimental philosophy. The other was a
young druggist, who had a good knowledge of chymistry, and frequently
employed himself in chymical operations and experiments. Both of them
were men of very decent manners, and took a pleasure in communicating
their knowledge to such as showed a taste for similar studies. Henry
frequently visited them, and derived much useful information from their
instructions, for which he ever expressed great thankfulness. These
various occupations and good examples effectually preserved him from the
errors of youth, and he passed his time with credit and satisfaction. He
had the same misfortune with Frederick, just as he was ready to come out
into the world, of losing his father, upon whom the support of the
family chiefly depended; but in the character he had established, and
the knowledge he had acquired, he found an effectual resource. One of
his young friends proposed to him a partnership in a manufactory he had
just set up at considerable expense, requiring for his share only the
exertion of his talents and industry. Henry accepted the offer, and made
such good use of the skill in mechanics and chymistry he had acquired,
that he introduced many improvements into the manufactory, and rendered
it a very profitable concern. He lived prosperous and independent, and
retained in manhood all the friendships of his youth.



                         THE WANDERER’S RETURN.


It was a delightful evening about the end of August. The sun, setting in
a pure sky, illuminated the tops of the western hills, and tipped the
opposite trees with a yellow lustre.

A traveller, with sunburnt cheeks and dusty feet, strong and active,
having a knapsack at his back, had gained the summit of a steep ascent,
and stood gazing on the plain below.

This was a wide tract of champaign country, checkered with villages,
whose towers and spires peeped above the trees in which they were
embosomed. The space between them was chiefly arable land, from which
the last products of the harvest were busily carrying away.

A rivulet wound through the plain, its course marked with gray willows.
On its banks were verdant meadows, covered with lowing herds, moving
slowly to the milkmaids, who came tripping along with pails on their
heads. A thick wood clothed the side of a gentle eminence rising from
the water, crowned with the ruins of an ancient castle.

Edward (that was the traveller’s name) dropped on one knee, and clasping
his hands, exclaimed, “Welcome, welcome, my dear native land. Many a
sweet spot have I seen since I left thee, but none so sweet as thou!
Never has thy dear image been out of my memory; and now with what
transport do I retrace all thy charms! O, receive me again, never more
to quit thee!” So saying, he threw himself on the turf; and having
kissed it, rose and proceeded on his journey.

As he descended into the plain, he overtook a little group of children,
merrily walking along the path, and stopping now and then to gather
berries in the hedge.

“Where are you going, my dears?” said Edward.

“We are going home,” they all replied.

“And where is that?”

“Why, to Summerton, that town there among the trees, just before us.
Don’t you see it?”

“I see it well,” answered Edward, the tear standing in his eye.

“And what is your name—and yours—and yours?”

The little innocents told their names. Edward’s heart leaped at the
well-known sounds.

“And what is _your_ name, my dear?” said he to a pretty girl, somewhat
older than the rest, who hung back shyly, and held the hand of a ruddy,
white-headed boy, just breeched.

“It is Rose Walsingham, and this is my younger brother, Roger.”

“Walsingham!” Edward clasped the girl round the neck, and surprised her
with two or three very close kisses. He then lifted up little Roger, and
almost devoured him. Roger seemed as if he wanted to be set down again,
but Edward told him he would carry him home.

“And can you show me the house you live at, Rose?” said Edward.

“Yes—it is just there, beside the pond, with the great barn before it,
and the orchard behind.”

“And will you take me home with you, Rose?”

“If you please,” answered Rose, hesitatingly.

They walked on; Edward said but little, for his heart was full, but he
frequently kissed little Roger.

Coming at length to a stile from which a path led across a little close,
“This is the way to our house,” said Rose.

The other children parted. Edward set down Roger, and got over the
stile. He still, however, kept hold of the boy’s hand. He trembled, and
looked wildly around him.

When they approached the house, an old mastiff came running to meet the
children. He looked up at Edward rather sourly, and gave a little growl;
when all at once his countenance changed; he leaped upon him, licked his
hand, wagged his tail, murmured in a soft voice, and seemed quite
overcome with joy. Edward stooped down, patted his head, and cried,
“Poor Captain, what! are you alive, yet?” Rose was surprised that the
stranger and their dog should know one another.

They all entered the house together. A good-looking middle-aged woman
was busied in preparing articles of cookery, assisted by her grown-up
daughter. She spoke to the children as they came in, and casting a look
of some surprise on Edward, asked him what his business was.

Edward was some time silent; at length, with a faltering voice, he
cried, “Have you forgot me, mother?”

“Edward! my son Edward!” exclaimed the good woman. And they were
instantly locked in each other’s arms.

“My brother Edward!” said Molly; and took her turn for an embrace, as
soon as her mother gave her room.

“Are you my brother?” said Rose.

“That I am,” replied Edward, with another kiss. Little Roger looked hard
at him, but said nothing.

News of Edward’s arrival soon flew across the yard, and in came from the
barn his father, his next brother, Thomas, and the third, William. The
father fell on his neck, and sobbed out his welcome and blessing. Edward
had not hands enough for them all to shake.

An aged, white-headed labourer came in, and held out his shrivelled
hand. Edward gave it a hearty squeeze. “God bless you,” said old Isaac;
“this is the best day I have seen this many a year.”

“And where have you been this long while?” cried the father. “Eight
years and more,” added the mother.

His elder brother took off his knapsack; and Molly drew him a chair.
Edward seated himself, and they all gathered round him; the old dog got
within the circle and lay at his feet.

“O, how glad I am to see you all again!” were Edward’s first words. “How
well you look, mother! but father grows thinner. As for the rest, I
should have known none of you, unless it had been Thomas and old Isaac.”

“What a sunburnt face you have got!—but you look brave and hearty,”
cried his mother.

“Ay, mother, I have been enough in the sun, I assure you. From seventeen
to five-and-twenty I have been a wanderer upon the face of the earth,
and I have seen more in that time than most men in the course of their
lives.

“Our young landlord, you know, took such a liking to me at school, that
he would have me go with him on his travels. We went through most of the
countries of Europe, and at last to Naples, where my poor master took a
fever and died. I never knew what grief was till then; and I believe the
thoughts of leaving me in a strange country went as much to his heart as
his illness. An intimate acquaintance of his, a rich young West Indian,
seeing my distress, engaged me to go with him in a voyage he was about
to make to Jamaica. We were too short a time in England before we
sailed, for me to come and see you first, but I wrote you a letter from
the Downs.”

“We never received it,” said his father.

“That was a pity,” returned Edward; “for you must have concluded I was
either dead or had forgotten you. Well—we arrived safe in the West
Indies, and there I stayed till I had buried that master, too; for young
men die fast in that country. I was very well treated, but I could never
like the place; and yet Jamaica is a very fine island, and has many good
people in it. But for me, used to see freemen work cheerfully along with
their masters—to behold nothing but droves of black slaves in the
fields, toiling in the burning sun, under the constant dread of the lash
of hard-hearted task-masters—it was what I could not bring myself to
bear; and though I might have been made an overseer of a plantation, I
chose rather to live in a town, and follow some domestic occupation. I
could soon have got rich there; but I fell into a bad state of health,
and people were dying all round me of the yellow fever; so I collected
my little property, and though a war had broken out, I ventured to
embark with it for England.

“The ship was taken, and carried into the Havana, and I lost my all and
my liberty besides. However, I had the good fortune to ingratiate myself
with a Spanish merchant whom I had known at Jamaica, and he took me with
him to the continent of South America. I visited great part of this
country, once possessed by flourishing and independent nations, but now
groaning under the severe yoke of their haughty conquerers. I saw those
famous gold and silver mines, where the poor natives worked naked, for
ever shut out from the light of day, in order that the wealth of their
unhappy land may go to spread luxury and corruption throughout the
remotest regions of Europe.

“I accompanied my master across the great southern ocean, a voyage of
some months, without the sight of anything but water and sky. We came to
the rich city of Manilla, the capital of the Spanish settlements in
those parts. There I had my liberty restored, along with a handsome
reward for my services. I got thence to China; and from China to the
English settlements in the East Indies, where the sight of my
countrymen, and the sounds of my native tongue, made me fancy myself
almost at home again, though still separated by half the globe.

“Here I saw a delightful country, swarming with industrious inhabitants,
some cultivating the land, others employed in manufactures, but of so
gentle and effeminate a disposition, that they have always fallen under
the yoke of their invaders. Here how was I forced to blush for my
countrymen, whose avarice and rapacity so often have laid waste this
fair land, and brought on it all the horrors of famine and desolation! I
have seen human creatures quarrelling like dogs for bare bones thrown
upon a dunghill. I have seen fathers selling their families for a little
rice, and mothers entreating strangers to take their children for
slaves, that they might not die of hunger. In the midst of such scenes I
saw pomp and luxury of which our country affords no examples.

“Having remained here a considerable time, I gladly at length set my
face homeward, and joined a company who undertook the long and perilous
journey to Europe over land. We crossed vast tracts both desert and
cultivated; sandy plains parched with heat and drought, and infested
with bands of ferocious plunderers. I have seen a well of muddy water
more valued than ten camel-loads of treasure; and a few half-naked
horsemen strike more terror than a king with all his guards. At length,
after numberless hardships and dangers, we arrived at civilized Europe,
and forgot all we had suffered. As I came nearer my native land, I grew
more and more impatient to reach it; and when I had set foot on it, I
was still more restless till I could see again my beloved home.

“Here I am at last—happy in bringing back a sound constitution and a
clear conscience. I have also brought enough of the relics of my honest
gains to furnish a little farm in the neighbourhood, where I mean to sit
down and spend my days in the midst of those whom I love better than all
the world besides.”

When Edward had finished, kisses and kind shakes of the hand were again
repeated, and his mother brought out a large slice of harvest-cake, with
a bottle of her nicest currant-wine, to refresh him after his day’s
march. “You are come,” said his father, “at a lucky time, for this is
our harvest-supper. We shall have some of our neighbours to make merry
with us, who will be almost as glad to see you as we are—for you were
always a favourite among them.”

It was not long before the visiters arrived. The young folks ran out to
meet them, crying, “Our Edward’s come back—our Edward’s come home! Here
he is—this is he;” and so without ceremony they introduced them.

“Welcome!—welcome!—God bless you!” sounded on all sides. Edward knew all
the elderly ones at first sight, but the young people puzzled him for
awhile. At length he recollected this to have been his schoolfellow, and
that his companion in driving plough; and he was not long in finding out
his favourite and playfellow Sally, of the next farmhouse, whom he left
a romping girl of fifteen, and now saw a blooming full-formed young
woman of three-and-twenty. He contrived in the evening to get next her:
and though she was somewhat reserved at first, they had pretty well
renewed their intimacy before the company broke up.

“Health to Edward, and a happy settlement among us!” was the parting
toast. When all were retired, the _Returned Wanderer_ went to rest in
the very room in which he was born, having first paid fervent thanks to
Heaven for preserving him to enjoy a blessing the dearest to his heart.

[Illustration:

  The Landlord’s Visit, p. 314

  EVENING XXVI.
]



              DIFFERENCE AND AGREEMENT OR, SUNDAY MORNING.


It was Sunday morning. All the bells were ringing for church, and the
streets were filled with people moving in all directions.

Here, numbers of well-dressed persons, and a long train of charity
children, were thronging in at the wide doors of a large handsome
church. There, a smaller number, almost equally gay in dress, were
entering an elegant meetinghouse. Up one alley, a Roman Catholic
congregation was turning into their retired chapel, every one crossing
himself with a finger dipped in holy water as he went in. The opposite
side of the street was covered with a train of Quakers, distinguished by
their plain and neat attire and sedate aspect, who walked without
ceremony into a room as plain as themselves, and took their seats, the
men on one side, and the women on the other, in silence. A spacious
building was filled with an overflowing crowd of Methodists, most of
them meanly habited, but decent and serious in demeanour; while a small
society of Baptists in the neighbourhood quietly occupied their humble
place of assembly.

Presently, the different services began. The church resounded with the
solemn organ, and with the indistinct murmurs of a large body of people
following the minister in responsive prayers. From the meeting were
heard the low psalm, and the single voice of the leader of their
devotions. The Roman Catholic chapel was enlivened by strains of music,
the tinkling of a small bell, and a perpetual change of service and
ceremonial. A profound silence and unvarying look and posture announced
the self-recollection and mental devotion of the Quakers.

Mr. Ambrose led his son Edwin round all these different assemblies as a
spectator. Edwin viewed everything with great attention, and was often
impatient to inquire of his father the meaning of what he saw; but Mr.
Ambrose would not suffer him to disturb any of the congregation even by
a whisper. When they had gone through the whole, Edwin found a greater
number of questions to put to his father, who explained everything put
to him in the best manner he could. At length says Edwin:—

“But why cannot all these people agree to go to the same place, and
worship God the same way?”

“And why should they agree?” replied his father. “Don’t you see that
people differ in a hundred other things? Do they all dress alike, and
eat and drink alike, and keep the same hours, and use the same
diversions?”

“Ay—but those are things in which they have a right to do as they
please.”

“And they have a right, too, to worship God as they please. It is their
own business, and concerns none but themselves.”

“But has not God ordered particular ways of worshipping him?”

“He has directed the mind and spirit with which he is to be worshipped,
but not the particular form or manner. That is left for every one to
choose, according as suits his temper and opinions. All these people
like their own way best, and why should they leave it for the choice of
another? Religion is one of the things in which _mankind were made to
differ_.”

The several congregations now began to be dismissed, and the street was
again overspread with persons of all the different sects, going
promiscuously to their respective homes. It chanced that a poor man fell
down in the street in a fit of apoplexy, and lay for dead. His wife and
children stood round him crying and lamenting in the bitterest distress.
The beholders immediately flocked round, and with looks and expressions
of the warmest compassion, gave their help. A Churchman raised the man
from the ground by lifting him under the arms, while a Dissenter held
his head, and wiped his face with his handkerchief. A Roman Catholic
lady took out her smelling-bottle, and assiduously applied it to his
nose. A Methodist ran for a doctor. A Quaker supported and comforted the
woman, and a Baptist took care of the children.

Edwin and his father were among the spectators. “Here,” said Mr.
Ambrose, “is a thing in _which mankind were made to agree_.”



                     THE LANDLORD’S VISIT.—A DRAMA.


  Scene—_A room in a farmhouse_. BETTY, _the farmer’s wife_; FANNY, _a
young woman grown up_; _children of various ages differently employed_.

                           _Enter_ LANDLORD.

_Landlord._ Good morning to you, Betty.

_Betty._ Ah!—is it your honour? How do you do, sir? how are madam and
all the good family?

_Land._ Very well, thank you; and how are you, and all yours?

_Bet._ Thank your honour—all pretty well. Will you please to sit down?
Ours is but a little crowded place, but there is a clean corner. Set out
the chair for his honour, Mary.

_Land._ I think everything is very clean. What, John’s in the field, I
suppose?

_Bet._ Yes, sir, with his two eldest sons, sowing and harrowing.

_Land._ Well, and here are two, three, four, six; all the rest of your
stock, I suppose.—All as busy as bees!

_Bet._ Ay, your honour! These are not times to be idle in. John and I
have always worked hard, and we bring up our children to work too.
There’s none of them, except the youngest, but can do something.

_Land._ You do very rightly. With industry and sobriety there is no fear
of their getting a living, come what may. I wish many gentlemen’s
children had as good a chance.

_Bet._ Lord! sir, if they have fortunes ready got for them, what need
they care?

_Land._ But fortunes are easier to spend than to get; and when they are
at the bottom of the purse, what must they do to fill it again?

_Bet._ Nay, that’s true, sir; and we have reason enough to be thankful,
that we are able and willing to work, and have a good landlord to live
under.

_Land._ Good tenants deserve good landlords; and I have been long
acquainted with your value. Come, little folks, I have brought something
for you.

                                                     [_Takes out cakes._

_Bet._ Why don’t you thank his honour?

_Land._ I did not think you had a daughter so old as that young woman.

_Bet._ No more I have, sir. She is not my own daughter, though she is as
good as one to me.

_Land._ Some relation, then, I suppose?

_Bet._ No, sir, none at all.

_Land._ Who is she, then?

_Bet._ (_whispering_). When she is gone out, I will tell your
honour.—(_aloud._) Go, Fanny, and take some milk to the young calf in
the stable.

                                                          [_Exit_ Fanny.

_Land._ A pretty modest-looking young woman, on my word!

_Bet._ Ay, sir—and as good as she is pretty. You must know, sir, that
this young woman is a stranger from a great way off. She came here quite
by accident, and has lived with us above a twelvemonth. I’ll tell your
honour all about it if you choose.

_Land._ Pray do—I am curious to hear it. But first favour me with a
draught of your whey.

_Bet._ I beg your pardon, sir, for not offering it. Run, Mary, and fetch
his honour some fresh whey in a clean basin.

                                                           [Mary _goes_.

_Land._ Now, pray, begin your story.

_Bet._ Well, sir—As our John was coming from work one evening, he saw at
some distance on the road a carrier’s wagon overturned. He ran up to
help, and found a poor old gentlewoman lying on the back much hurt, and
this girl sitting beside her, crying. My good man, after he had helped
in setting the wagon to rights, went to them, and with a good deal of
difficulty got the gentlewoman into the wagon again, and walked by the
side of it to our house. He called me out and we got something
comfortable for her; but she was so ill that she could not bear to be
carried farther. So after consulting a while, we took her into the
house, and put her to bed. Her head was sadly hurt, and she seemed to
grow worse instead of better. We got a doctor to her, and did our best
to nurse her, but all would not do, and we soon found she was likely to
die. Poor Fanny, her grand-daughter, never left her day or night; and it
would have gone to your honour’s heart, to have heard the pitiful moan
she made over her. She was the only friend she had in the world, she
said; and what would become of her if she were to lose her? Fanny’s
father and mother were both dead, and she was going with her grandmother
into the north, where the old gentlewoman came from, to live cheap, and
to try to find out some relations. Well—to make my story short, in a few
days the poor woman died. There was a little more money about her than
would serve to pay her doctor and bury her. Fanny was in sad trouble,
indeed. I thought she would never have left her grandmother’s grave. She
cried and wrung her hands most bitterly. But I tire your honour.

_Land._ O no! I am much interested in your story.

_Bet._ We comforted her as well as we could; but all her cry was, “What
will become of me? Where must I go? Who will take care of me?” So after
a while, said I to John, “Poor creature! my heart grieves for her.
Perhaps she would like to stay with us—though she seems to have been
brought up in a way of living different from ours, too; but what can she
do, left to herself in the wide world!” So my husband agreed that I
should ask her. When I mentioned it to her, poor thing! how her
countenance altered! “O,” said she, “I wish for nothing so much as to
stay and live with you! I am afraid I can do but little to serve you,
but indeed I will learn to do my best.” Said I: “Do no more than you
like; you are welcome to stay and partake with us as long as you
please.” Well, sir! she stayed with us; and set about learning to do all
kind of our work with such good-will, and so handily, that she soon
became my best helper. And she is so sweet-tempered, and so fond of us
and the children, that I love her as well as if she was my own child.
She has been well brought up, I am sure. She can read, and write, and
work with her needle, a great deal better than we can, and when work is
over, she teaches the children. Then she is extraordinarily
well-behaved, so as to be admired by all that see her.—So your honour
has now the story of our Fanny.

_Land._ I thank you heartily for it, my good Betty! It does much credit
both to you and Fanny. But pray, what is her surname?

_Bet._ It is—let me see—I think it is Welford.

_Land._ Welford! that is a name I am acquainted with. I should be glad
to talk with her a little.

_Bet._ I will call her in then.

                                                         [_Enter_ Fanny.

_Land._ Come hither, young woman; I have heard your story, and been much
interested by it. You are an orphan, I find.

_Fanny._ Yes, sir; a poor orphan.

_Land._ Your name is Welford?

_Fan._ It is, sir.

_Land._ Where did your parents live?

_Fan._ In London, sir; but they died when I was very young, and I went
to my grandmother’s in Surrey.

_Land._ Was she your father’s mother? You will excuse my questions. I do
not ask from idle curiosity.

_Fan._ She was, sir; and had been long a widow.

_Land._ Do you know what her maiden name was?

_Fan._ It was Borrowdale, sir.

_Land._ Borrowdale!—And pray, whither were you going when the
unfortunate accident happened?

_Fan._ To Kendal in Westmoreland, sir, near which my grandmother was
born.

_Land._ Ah! ‘tis the very same—every circumstance corresponds! My dear
Fanny (_taking her hand_), you have found a relation when you little
thought of it. I am your kinsman. My mother was a Borrowdale, of
Westmoreland, and half-sister to your grandmother. I have heard of all
your parentage; and I remember the death of your poor father, who was a
very honest ingenious artist: and of your mother soon after, of a broken
heart. I could never discover what family they left, nor what was become
of my kinswoman. But I rejoice I have found you out in this
extraordinary manner. You must come and live with me. My wife and
daughters will be very glad to receive one whose conduct has done her so
much credit.

_Fan._ I am much obliged to you, sir, for your kindness; but I am too
mean a person to live as a relation in a family like yours.

_Land._ O no! you will not find us of that sort who despise worthy
people for being low in the world; and your language and actions show
that you have been well brought up.

_Fan._ My poor grandmother, sir, was so kind as to give me all the
education in her power; and if I have not somewhat benefited by her
example and instructions, it must have been my own fault.

_Land._ You speak very well, and I feel more attached to you, the more I
hear you.—Well, you must prepare to come home with me. I will take care
to make proper acknowledgments to the good people here who have been so
kind to you.

_Bet._ My dear Fanny, I am heartily glad of your good fortune, but we
shall all be sorry to part with you.

_Fan._ I am sure, my dear friend and mistress, I shall be sorry too. You
received me when I had no other friend in the world, and you treated me
like your own child. I can never forget what I owe you.

_Enter_ John, _and his eldest son_ Thomas.

_John._ Is your honour here?

_Land._ Yes, John; and I have found something worth coming for.

_John._ What is that, sir?

_Land._ A relation, John. This young woman whom you have so kindly
entertained, is my kinswoman.

_John._ What—our Fanny?

_Thomas._ Fanny!

_Land._ Yes, indeed. And, after thanking you for your kindness to her
and her poor grandmother, I mean to take her home for a companion to my
wife and daughters.

_John._ This is wonderful news, indeed! Well, Fanny, I am very glad you
have got such a home to go to—you are worthy of it—but we shall miss you
much here.

_Bet._ So I have been telling her.

_Thom._ (_aside to_ Fanny). What, will you leave us, Fanny? Must we
part?

_Fan._ (_aside to him_). What can I do, Thomas?

_Land._ There seems some unwillingness to part, I see, on more sides
than one.

_Bet._ Indeed, sir, I believe there is. We have lived very happily
together.

_Thom._ (_aside to Fanny_). I see we must part with you, but I
hope—Surely you won’t quite forget us?

_Fan._ (_to him_). You distress me, Thomas. Forget you! O no!

_Land._ Come, I see there is something between the young folks that
ought to be spoken about plainly. Do you explain it, Betty.

_Bet._ Why, your honour knows, we could not tell that Fanny was your
relation. So, as my son Thomas and she seemed to take a liking to one
another, and she was such a clever girl, we did not object to their
thinking about making a match of it, as soon as he should be settled in
a farm.

_John._ But that must be over now.

_Thom._ Why so, father?

_John._ Why; you can’t think of his honour’s kinswoman.

_Land._ Come, Fanny, do you decide this affair.

_Fan._ Sir, Thomas offered me his service when he thought me a poor
friendless girl, and I might think myself favoured by his notice. He
gained my good will, which no change of circumstances can make me
withdraw. It is my determination to join my lot with his, be it what it
may.

_Thom._ My dearest Fanny!

                                                     [_Taking her hand._

_Land._ You act nobly, my dear girl, and make me proud of my relation.
You shall have my free consent, and something handsome into the bargain.

_Bet._ Heaven bless your honour! I know it would have been a
heartbreaking to my poor boy to have parted with her. Dear Fanny!

                                                          [_Kisses her._

_Land._ I have a farm just now vacant. Thomas shall take it, and Fanny’s
portion shall stock it for him.

_Thom._ I humbly thank your honour.

_John._ I thank you too, sir, for us all.

_Fan._ Sir, since you have been so indulgent in this matter, give me
leave to request you to be satisfied with my paying my duty to the
ladies, without going to live in a way so different from what I have
been used to, and must live in hereafter. I think I can be nowhere
better than with my friends and future parents here.

_Land._ Your request, Fanny, has so much propriety and good sense in it,
that I cannot refuse it. However, you must suffer us to improve our
acquaintance. I assure you it will give me particular pleasure.

_Fan._ Sir, you will always command my most grateful obedience.

_Land._ Well—let Thomas bring you to my house this afternoon, and I will
introduce you to your relations, and we will talk over matters.
Farewell, my dear! Nay, I must have a kiss.

_Fan._ I will wait on you, sir.

                                                       [_Exit Landlord._

_Bet._ My dear Fanny—daughter I may now call you—you cannot think how
much I feel obliged to you.

_Thom._ But who is so much obliged as I am?

_Fan._ Do you not all deserve everything from me?

_John._ Well, who could have thought when I went to help up the wagon,
that it would have brought so much good luck to us?

_Bet._ A good deed is never lost they say.

_Fan._ It shall be the business of my life to prove that this has not
been lost.



                              ON EMBLEMS.


“Pray, papa,” said Cecilia, “what is an _emblem_? I have met with the
word in my lesson to-day, and I do not quite understand it.”

“An emblem, my dear,” replied he, “is a visible image of an invisible
thing.”

_Cecilia._ A visible image of—I can hardly comprehend—

_Pa._ Well, I will explain it more at length. There are certain notions
that we form in our minds without the help of our eyes or any of our
senses. Thus, Virtue, Vice, Honour, Disgrace, Time, Death, and the like,
are not sensible objects, but ideas of the understanding.

_Cec._ Yes—We cannot feel them or see them, but we can think about them.

_Pa._ True. Now it sometimes happens that we wish to represent one of
these in a visible form; that is, to offer something to the sight that
shall raise a similar notion in the minds of the beholders. In order to
do this, we must take some action or circumstance belonging to it,
capable of being expressed by painting or sculpture, and this is called
a _type_ or _emblem_.

_Cec._ But how can this be done?

_Pa._ I will tell you by an example. You know the sessions-house, where
trials are held. It would be easy to write over the door in order to
distinguish it, “This is the sessions-house;” but it is a more ingenious
and elegant way of pointing it out, to place upon the building a figure
representing the purpose for which it was erected, namely, to distribute
_justice_. For this end the notion of justice is to be _personified_,
that is, changed from an idea of the understanding into one of the
sight. A human figure is therefore made, distinguished by tokens which
bear a relation to the character of that virtue. Justice carefully
_weighs_ both sides of a cause; she is therefore represented as holding
a _pair of scales_. It is her office to _punish_ crimes; she therefore
bears a _sword_. This is then an _emblematical figure_, and the sword
and scales are _emblems_.

_Cec._ I understand this very well. But why is she blindfolded?

_Pa._ To denote her impartiality—that she decides only from the merits
of the case, and not from a view of the parties.

_Cec._ How can she weigh anything, though, when her eyes are blinded?

_Pa._ Well objected. These are two inconsistent emblems; each proper in
itself, but when used together, making a contradictory action. An artist
of judgment will therefore drop one of them; and accordingly the best
modern figures of Justice have the balance and sword, without the
bandage over the eyes.

_Cec._ Is there not the same fault in making Cupid blindfolded, and yet
putting a bow and arrow into his hands?

_Pa._ There is. It is a gross absurdity, and not countenanced by the
ancient descriptions of Cupid, who is represented as the surest of all
archers.

_Cec._ I have a figure of _Death_ in my fable-book. I suppose that is
emblematical?

_Pa._ Certainly, or you could not know that it meant Death. How is it
represented?

_Cec._ He is nothing but bones, and he holds a scythe in one hand, and
an hour-glass in the other.

_Pa._ Well—how do you interpret these emblems?

_Cec._ I suppose he is all bones, because nothing but bones are left
after a dead body has lain long in the grave.

_Pa._ True. This, however, is not so properly an emblem, as the real and
visible effect of death. But the scythe?

_Cec._ Is not that because death mows down everything?

_Pa._ It is. No instrument could so properly represent the wide-wasting
sway of death, which sweeps down the race of animals like flowers
falling under the hands of the mower. It is a simile used in the
Scriptures.

_Cec._ The hour-glass, I suppose, is to show people their time is come.

_Pa._ Right. In the hour-glass that Death holds, all the sand is run out
from the upper to the lower part. Have you never observed upon a
monument an old figure, with wings, and a scythe, and with his head bald
all but a single lock before?

_Cec._ O yes;—and I have been told it is _Time_.

_Pa._ Well—and what do you make of it? Why is he old?

_Cec._ O! because he has lasted a long while.

_Pa._ And why has he wings?

_Cec._ Because Time is swift, and flies away.

_Pa._ What does his scythe mean?

_Cec._ I suppose it is because he destroys and cuts down everything,
like Death.

_Pa._ True. I think, however, a weapon rather slower in operation, as a
pick-axe, would have been more suitable to the gradual action of time.
But what is his single lock of hair for?

_Cec._ I have been thinking, and cannot make it out.

_Pa._ I thought that would puzzle you. It relates to time as giving
_opportunity_ for doing anything. It is to be seized as it presents
itself, or it will escape, and cannot be recovered. Thus the proverb
says, “Take Time by the forelock.” Well—now you understand what emblems
are.

_Cec._ Yes, I think I do. I suppose the painted sugar-loaves over the
grocer’s shop, and the mortar over the apothecary’s, are emblems, too?

_Pa._ Not so properly. They are only the pictures of things which are
themselves the objects of sight, as the real sugar-loaf in the shop of
the grocer, and the real mortar in that of the apothecary. However, an
implement belonging to a particular rank or profession is commonly used
as an emblem to point out the man exercising that rank or profession.
Thus, a crown is considered as an emblem of a king; a sword, or spear,
of a soldier; an anchor, of a sailor; and the like.

_Cec._ I remember Captain Heartwell, when he came to see us, had the
figure of an anchor on all his buttons.

_Pa._ He had. That was the emblem or badge of his belonging to the navy.

_Cec._ But you told me that an emblem was a visible sign of an invisible
thing; yet a sea-captain is not an invisible thing.

_Pa._ He is not invisible as a man, but his profession is invisible.

_Cec._ I do not well understand that.

_Pa._ Profession is a _quality_, belonging equally to a number of
individuals, however different they may be in external form and
appearance. It may be added or taken away without any visible change.
Thus, if Captain Heartwell were to give up his commission, he would
appear to you the same man as before. It is plain, therefore, that what
in that case he had lost, namely, his profession, was a thing invisible.
It is one of those ideas of the understanding which I before mentioned
to you as different from a sensible idea.

_Cec._ I comprehend it now.

_Pa._ I have got here a few emblematical pictures. Suppose you try
whether you can find out their meaning.

_Cec._ O yes—I shall like that very well.

_Pa._ Here is a man standing on the summit of a steep cliff, and going
to ascend a ladder which he has planted against a cloud.

_Cec._ Let me see!—that must be _Ambition_, I think.

_Pa._ How do you explain it?

_Cec._ He is got very high already, but he wants to be still higher; so
he ventures up the ladder, though it is only supported by a cloud, and
hangs over a precipice.

_Pa._ Very right. Here is now another man, hood-winked, who is crossing
a raging torrent upon stepping-stones.

_Cec._ Then he will certainly fall in. I suppose he is one that runs
into danger without considering whither he is going?

_Pa._ Yes; and you may call him _Fool-hardiness_. Do you see this hand
coming out of a black cloud, and putting an extinguisher upon a lamp?

_Cec._ I do. If that lamp be the lamp of life, the hand that
extinguishes it must be _Death_.

_Pa._ Very just. Here is an old, half-ruined building, supported by
props; and the figure of Time is sawing through one of the props.

_Cec._ That must be _Old Age_, surely.

_Pa._ It is. The next is a man leaning upon a breaking crutch.

_Cec._ I don’t well know what to make of that.

_Pa._ It is intended for _Instability_; however, it might also stand for
_False Confidence_. Here is a man poring over a sundial with a candle in
his hand.

_Cec._ I am at a loss for that, too.

_Pa._ Consider—a sundial is only made to tell the hour by the light of
the sun.

_Cec._ Then this man must know nothing about it.

_Pa._ True; and his name is therefore _Ignorance_. Here is a
walking-stick, the lower part of which is set in the water, and it
appears crooked. What does that denote?

_Cec._ Is the stick really crooked?

_Pa._ No; but it is the property of water to give that appearance.

_Cec._ Then it must signify _Deception_.

_Pa._ It does. I dare say you will at once know this fellow who is
running as fast as his legs will carry him, and looking back at his
shadow.

_Cec._ He must be _Fear_ or _Terror_, I fancy.

_Pa._ Yes; you may call him which you please. But who is this sower,
that scatters seeds in the ground?

_Cec._ Let me consider. I think there is a parable in the Bible about
seed sown, and it therefore signifies something like _Instruction_.

_Pa._ True; but it may also represent _Hope_, for no one sows without
hoping to reap the fruit. What do you think of this candle held before a
mirror, in which its figure is exactly reflected?

_Cec._ I do not know what it means.

_Pa._ It represents _Truth_; the essence of which consists in the
fidelity with which objects are received and reflected back by our
minds. The object is here a luminous one, to show the clearness and
brightness of Truth. Here is next an upright column, the perfect
straightness of which is shown by a plumb-line hanging from its summit,
and exactly parallel to the side of the column.

_Cec._ I suppose that must represent _Uprightness_.

_Pa._ Yes—or in other words, _Rectitude_. The strength and stability of
the pillar alone denote the security produced by this virtue. You see
here a woman disentangling and reeling off a very perplexed skein of
thread.

_Cec._ She must have a great deal of patience.

_Pa._ True. She is _Patience_ herself. The brooding hen, sitting beside
her, is another emblem of the same quality that aids the interpretation.
Who do you think this pleasing female is, that looks with such kindness
upon the drooping plant she is watering?

_Cec._ That must be _Charity_, I believe.

_Pa._ It is; or you may call her _Benignity_, which is nearly the same
thing. Here is a lady sitting demurely, with one finger on her lip,
while she holds a bridle in her other hand.

_Cec._ The finger on the lip, I suppose, denotes Silence. The bridle
must mean confinement. I should almost fancy her to be a schoolmistress.

_Pa._ Ha! ha! I hope, indeed, many schoolmistresses are endued with her
spirit, for she is _Prudence_ or _Discretion_. Well—we are now got to
the end of our pictures, and upon the whole you have interpreted them
very prettily.

_Cec._ But I have one question to ask you, papa. In these pictures and
others that I have seen of the same sort, almost all the _good_
qualities are represented in the form of _women_. What is the reason of
that?

_Pa._ It is certainly a compliment, my dear, either to your sex’s person
or mind. The inventor either chose the figure of a female to clothe each
agreeable quality in, because he thought that the most agreeable form,
and therefore best suited it; or he meant to imply that the female
character is really the most virtuous and amiable. I rather believe that
the first was his intention, but I shall not object to your taking it in
the light of the second.

_Cec._ But is it true—is it true?

_Pa._ Why, I can give you very good authority for the preference of the
female sex, in a moral view. One Ledyard, a great traveller, who had
walked through almost all the countries of Europe, and at last died in
an expedition to explore the internal parts of Africa, gave a most
decisive and pleasing testimony in favour of the superior character of
women, whether savage or civilized. I was so much pleased with it, that
I put great part of it into verse; and if it will not make you vain, I
will give you a copy of my lines.

_Cec._ O, pray, do!

_Pa._ Here they are. Read them.



                       LEDYARD’S PRAISE OF WOMEN.


             Through many a land and clime a ranger
               With toilsome steps, I’ve held my way,
             A lonely, unprotected stranger,
               To all the stranger’s ills a prey.

             While steering thus my course precarious,
               My fortune still had been to find
             Men’s hearts and dispositions various,
               But gentle Woman ever kind.

             Alive to every tender feeling,
               To deeds of mercy ever prone,
             The wounds of pain and sorrow healing
               With soft compassion’s sweetest tone.

             No proud delay, no dark suspicion,
               Stints the free bounty of their heart;
             They turn not from the sad petition,
               But cheerful aid at once impart.

             Formed in benevolence of nature,
               Obliging, modest, gay, and mild,
             Woman’s the same endearing creature
               In courtly town and savage wild.

             When parched with thirst, with hunger wasted,
               Her friendly hand refreshment gave,
             How sweet the coarsest food has tasted!
               What cordial in the simple wave!

             Her courteous looks, her words caressing,
               Shed comfort on the fainting soul:
             Woman’s the stranger’s general blessing,
               From sultry India to the Pole.

[Illustration:

  EVENING XXVII.
]



                           GENEROUS REVENGE.


At the period when the republic of Genoa was divided between the
factions of the nobles and the people, Uberto, a man of low origin, but
of an elevated mind and superior talents, and enriched by commerce,
having raised himself to be the head of a popular party, maintained for
a considerable time a democratic form of government.

The nobles, at length, uniting all their efforts, succeeded in
subverting this state of things, and regained their former supremacy.
They used their victory with considerable rigour; and in particular
having imprisoned Uberto, proceeded against him as a traitor, and
thought they displayed sufficient lenity in passing a sentence upon him
of perpetual banishment, and the confiscation of all his property.
Adorno, who was then possessed of the first magistracy, a man haughty in
temper, and proud of ancient nobility, though otherwise not void of
generous sentiments, in pronouncing this sentence on Uberto, aggravated
its severity by the insolent terms in which he conveyed it. “You,” said
he,—“you, the son of a base mechanic, who have dared to trample upon the
nobles of Genoa—you, by their clemency, are only doomed to shrink again
into the nothingness whence you sprung.”

Uberto received his condemnation with respectful submission to the
court; yet stung by the manner in which it was expressed, he could not
forbear saying to Adorno, that “perhaps he might hereafter find cause to
repent the language he had used to a man capable of sentiments as
elevated as his own.” He then made his obeisance and retired; and after
taking leave of his friends, embarked in a vessel bound for Naples, and
quitted his native country without a tear.

He collected some debts due to him in the Neapolitan dominions, and with
the wreck of his fortune went to settle on one of the islands in the
Archipelago belonging to the state of Venice. Here his industry and
capacity in mercantile pursuits raised him, in a course of years, to
greater wealth than he had possessed in his most prosperous days at
Genoa; and his reputation for honour and generosity equalled his
fortune.

Among other places which he frequently visited as a merchant, was the
city of Tunis, at that time in friendship with the Venetians, though
hostile to most of the other Italian states, and especially to Genoa. As
Uberto was on a visit to one of the first men of that place at his
country-house, he saw a young Christian slave at work in irons, whose
appearance excited his attention. The youth seemed oppressed with
labour, to which his delicate frame had not been accustomed, and while
he leaned at intervals upon the instrument with which he was working, a
sigh burst from his full heart, and a tear stole down his cheek. Uberto
eyed him with tender compassion, and addressed him in Italian. The youth
eagerly caught the sounds of his native tongue, and replying to his
inquiries, informed him he was a Genoese. “And what is your name, young
man?” said Uberto. “You need not be afraid of confessing to _me_ your
birth and condition.”

“Alas!” he answered, “I fear my captors already suspect enough to demand
a large ransom. My father is indeed one of the first men in Genoa. His
name is Adorno, and I am his only son.”—“Adorno!” Uberto checked himself
from uttering more aloud, but to himself he cried, “Thank Heaven! then I
shall be nobly revenged.”

He took leave of the youth, and immediately went to inquire after the
corsair captain who claimed a right in young Adorno, and having found
him, demanded the price of his ransom. He learned that he was considered
as a captive of value, and that less than two thousand crowns would not
be accepted. Uberto paid the sum; and causing his servant to follow him
with a horse and a complete suit of handsome apparel, he returned to the
youth, who was working as before, and told him he was free. With his own
hands he took off his fetters, and helped him to change his dress, and
mount on horseback. The youth was tempted to think it all a dream, and
the flutter of emotion almost deprived him of the power of returning
thanks to his generous benefactor. He was soon, however, convinced of
the reality of his good fortune, by sharing the lodging and table of
Uberto.

After a stay of some days at Tunis to despatch the remainder of his
business, Uberto departed homeward accompanied by young Adorno, who by
his pleasing manners had highly ingratiated himself with him. Uberto
kept him some time at his house, treating him with all the respect and
affection he could have shown for the son of his dearest friend. At
length, having a safe opportunity of sending him to Genoa, he gave him a
faithful servant for a conductor, fitted him out with every convenience,
slipped a purse of gold into one hand, and a letter into the other, and
thus addressed him:—

“My dear youth, I could with much pleasure detain you longer in my
humble mansion, but I feel your impatience to revisit your friends, and
I am sensible that it would be cruelty to deprive them longer than
necessary of the joy they will receive in recovering you. Deign to
accept this provision for your voyage, and deliver this letter to your
father. _He_ probably may recollect something of me, though you are too
young to do so. Farewell; I shall not soon forget you, and I hope you
will not forget me.” Adorno poured out the effusions of a grateful and
affectionate heart, and they parted with mutual tears and embraces.

The young man had a prosperous voyage home; and the transport with which
he was again beheld by his almost heart-broken parents may more easily
be conceived than described. After learning that he had been a captive
in Tunis, (for it was supposed that the ship in which he sailed had
foundered at sea,) “And to whom,” said old Adorno, “am I indebted for
the inestimable benefit of restoring you to my arms?”—“This letter,”
said his son, “will inform you.” He opened it, and read as follows:—

    “That son of a vile mechanic, who told you that one day you might
    repent the scorn with which you treated him, has the satisfaction
    of seeing his prediction accomplished. For know, proud noble! that
    the deliverer of your only son from slavery is

                                              “_The banished_ UBERTO.”

Adorno dropped the letter and covered his face with his hand, while his
son was displaying in the warmest language of gratitude the virtues of
Uberto, and the truly paternal kindness he had experienced from him. As
the debt could not be cancelled, Adorno resolved if possible to repay
it. He made such powerful intercessions with the other nobles, that the
sentence pronounced on Uberto was reversed, and full permission given
him to return to Genoa. In apprizing him of this event, Adorno expressed
his sense of the obligations he lay under to him, acknowledged the
genuine nobleness of his character, and requested his friendship. Uberto
returned to his country, and closed his days in peace, with the
universal esteem of his fellow-citizens.



                          THE POWER OF HABIT.


William was one day reading in a book of travels to his father, when he
came to the following relation:—

“The Andes in South America are the highest ridge of mountains in the
known world. There is a road over them, on which, about halfway between
the summit and the foot, is a house of entertainment, where it is common
for travellers in their ascent and descent to meet. The difference of
their feelings upon the same spot is very remarkable. Those who are
descending the mountain are melting with heat, so that they can scarcely
bear any clothes upon them; while those who are ascending shiver with
cold, and wrap themselves up in the warmest garments they have.”

“How strange this is!” cried William; “What can be the reason of it?”

“It is,” replied his father, “a striking instance of the _power of
habit_ over the body. The cold is so intense on the top of these
mountains, that it is as much as travellers can do to keep themselves
from being frozen to death. Their bodies, therefore, become so
habituated to the sensation of cold, that every diminution of it as they
descend seems to them a degree of actual heat; and when they are got
halfway down, they feel as if they were quite in a sultry climate. On
the other hand the valleys at the foot of the mountains are so
excessively hot, that the body becomes relaxed, and sensible to the
slightest degree of cold; so that when a traveller ascends from them
toward the hills, the middle regions appear quite inclement from their
coldness.”

“And does the same thing,” rejoined William, “always happen in crossing
high mountains?”

“It does,” returned his father, “in a degree proportioned to their
height, and the time taken in crossing them. Indeed, a short time is
sufficient to produce similar effects. Let one boy have been playing at
rolling snowballs, and another have been roasting himself before a great
fire, and let them meet in the porch of the house;—if you ask them how
they feel, I will answer for it you will find them as different in their
accounts as the travellers on the Andes. But this is only one example of
the operation of a universal principle belonging to human nature: for
the power of habit is the same thing whatever be the circumstance which
calls it forth, whether relating to the mind or the body.

“You may consider the story you have been reading as a sort of simile or
parable. The central station on the mountain may be compared to _middle
life_. With what different feelings is this regarded by those who bask
in the sunshine of opulence, and those who shrink under the cold blast
of penury!

“Suppose the wealthy duke, our neighbour, were suddenly obliged to
descend to our level, and live as we do—to part with all his carriages,
sell his coach-horses, and hunters, quit his noble seat with its fine
park and gardens, dismiss all his train of servants except two or three,
and take a house like ours; what a dreadful fall it would seem to him!
how wretched it would probably make him, and how much would he be pitied
by the world!

“On the other hand, suppose the labourer who lives in the next cottage
were unexpectedly to fall heir to an estate of a few hundreds a year,
and in consequence to get around him all the comforts and conveniences
that we possess—a commodious house to inhabit, good clothes to wear,
plenty of wholesome food and firing, servants to do all the drudgery of
the family and the like;—how all his acquaintance would congratulate
him, and what a paradise would he seem to himself to be got into! Yet
he, and the duke, and ourselves, are equally _men_, made liable by
nature to the same desires and necessities, and perhaps all equally
strong in constitution, and equally capable of supporting hardships. Is
not this fully as wonderful a difference in feeling as that on crossing
the Andes?”

“Indeed it is,” said William.

“And the cause of it must be exactly the same—the influence of habit.”

“I think so.”

“Of what importance then must it be toward a happy life, to regulate our
habits so, that in the possible changes of this world we may be more
likely to be gainers than losers!”

“But how can this be done? Would it be right for the duke to live like
us, or us like the labourer?”

“Certainly not. But to apply the case to persons of our middle
condition, I would have us use our advantages in such a frugal manner,
as to make them as little as possible essential to our happiness, should
fortune sink us to a lower station. For as to the chance of rising to a
higher, there is no need to prepare our habits for that—we should
readily enough accommodate our feelings to such a change. To be pleased
and satisfied with simple food, to accustom ourselves not to shrink from
the inclemencies of the seasons—to avoid indolence, and take delight in
some useful employment of the mind or body, to do as much as we can for
ourselves, and not expect to be waited upon on every small
occasion—these are the habits which will make us in some measure
independent of fortune, and secure us a moderate degree of enjoyment
under every change short of absolute want. I will tell you a story to
this purpose.

“A London merchant had two sons, James and Richard. James, from a boy,
accustomed himself to every indulgence in his power, and when he grew
up, was quite a fine gentleman. He dressed expensively, frequented
public diversions, kept his hunter at a livery stable, and was a member
of several convivial clubs. At home, it was almost a footman’s sole
business to wait on him. He would have thought it greatly beneath him to
buckle his own shoes; and if he wanted anything at the other end of the
room, he would ring the bell, and bring the servant up two pair of
stairs, rather than rise from his chair to fetch it. He did a little
business in the counting-house on forenoons, but devoted all his time
after dinner to indolence and amusement.

“Richard was a different character. He was plain in his appearance, and
domestic in his way of life. He gave as little trouble as possible, and
would have been ashamed to ask assistance in doing what he could easily
do for himself. He was assiduous in business, and employed his leisure
hours chiefly in reading and acquiring useful knowledge.

“Both were still young and unsettled when their father died, leaving
behind him a very trifling property. As the young men had not capital
sufficient to follow the same line of mercantile business in which he
had been engaged, they were obliged to look out for a new plan of
maintenance, and a great reduction of expense was the first thing
requisite. This was a severe stroke to James, who found himself at once
cut off from all the pleasures and indulgences to which he was so
habituated, that he thought life of no value without them. He grew
melancholy and dejected, hazarded all his little property in lottery
tickets, and was quite beggared. Still, unable to think of retrieving
himself by industry and frugality, he accepted a commission in a
new-raised regiment ordered for the West Indies, where, soon after his
arrival, he caught a fever and died.

“Richard, in the meantime, whose comforts were little impaired by his
change of situation, preserved his cheerfulness, and found no difficulty
in accommodating himself to his fortune. He engaged himself as a clerk
in a house his father had been connected with, and lived as frugally as
possible upon his salary. It furnished him with decent board, lodging,
and clothing, which was all he required, and his hours of leisure were
nearly as many as before. A book or a sober friend always sufficed to
procure him an agreeable evening. He gradually rose in the confidence of
his employers, who increased from time to time his salary and
emoluments. Every increase was a source of gratification to him, because
he was able to enjoy pleasures which, however, habit had not made
necessary to his comfort. In process of time he was enabled to settle
for himself, and passed through life in the enjoyment of that modest
competence which best suited his disposition.”



                           THE COST OF A WAR.


“You may remember, Oswald,” said Mr. B. to his son, “that I gave you
some time ago a notion of _the price of a victory_ to the poor souls
engaged in it.”

“I shall not soon forget it, I assure you, sir,” replied Oswald.

_Father._ Very well; I mean now to give you some idea _of the cost of a
war_ to the people among whom it is carried on. This may serve to abate
something of the admiration with which historians are to apt to inspire
us for great warriors and conquerors. You have heard, I doubt not, of
Louis the Fourteenth, king of France?

_Oswald._ Oh, yes!

_Fa._ He was entitled by his subjects _Louis le Grand_, and was compared
by them to the Cesars and Alexanders of antiquity; and with some justice
as to the extent of his power, and the use he made of it. He was the
most potent prince of his time; commanded mighty and victorious armies;
and enlarged the limits of his hereditary dominions. Louis was not
naturally a hard-hearted man; but having been taught from his cradle
that everything ought to give way to the interests of his glory, and
that this glory consisted in domineering over his neighbours, and making
conquests, he grew to be insensible to all the miseries brought on his
own and other people, in pursuit of this noble design, as he thought it.
Moreover, he was plunged in dissolute pleasures, and the delights of
pomp and splendour, from his youth; and he was ever surrounded by a
tribe of abject flatterers, who made him believe that he had a full
right, in all cases to do as he pleased. Conquest abroad and pleasure at
home, were therefore the chief business of his life.

One evening, his minister, Louvois, came to him and said, “Sire, it is
absolutely necessary to make a desert of the _Palatinate_.”

This is a country in Germany, on the banks of the Rhine, one of the most
populous and best-cultivated districts in that empire, filled with towns
and villages, and industrious inhabitants.

“I should be sorry to do it,” replied the king, “for you know how much
odium we acquired throughout Europe when a part of it was laid waste
sometime ago, under Marshal Turenne.”

“It cannot be helped, sire,” returned Louvois. “All the damage he did
has been repaired, and the country is as flourishing as ever. If we
leave it in its present state it will afford quarters to your majesty’s
enemies, and endanger your conquests. It must be entirely ruined—the
good of the service will not permit it to be otherwise.”

“Well, then,” answered Louis, “if it must be so, you are to give orders
accordingly.” So saying, he left the cabinet, and went to assist a
magnificent festival given in honour of his favourite mistress by a
prince of the blood.

The pitiless Louvois lost no time; but despatched a courier that very
night, with positive orders to the French generals in the Palatinate to
carry fire and desolation through the whole country—not to leave a house
or a tree standing—and to expel all the inhabitants.

It was the midst of a rigorous winter.

_Os._ O horrible! but surely the generals would not obey such orders?

_Fa._ What, a general disobey the commands of his sovereign!—That would
be contrary to every maxim of the _trade_. Right and wrong are no
considerations to a military man. He is only to do as he is bid. The
French generals who were upon the spot, and must see with their own eyes
all that was done, probably felt somewhat like men on the occasion; but
the sacrifice to their duty as soldiers was so much the greater. The
commands were peremptory, and they were obeyed to a tittle. Towns and
villages were burnt to the ground; vineyards and orchards were cut down
and rooted up; sheep and cattle were killed; all the fair works of ages
were destroyed in a moment; and the smiling face of culture was turned
to a dreary waste.

The poor inhabitants were driven from their warm and comfortable
habitations into the open fields, to confront all the inclemencies of
the season. Their furniture was burnt or pillaged, and nothing was left
them but the clothes on their backs, and the few necessaries they could
carry with them. The roads were covered with trembling fugitives, going
they knew not whither, shivering with cold and pinched with hunger. Here
an old man, dropping with fatigue, lay down to die—there a woman with a
new-born infant sunk perishing on the snow, while her husband hung over
them in all the horror of despair.

_Os._ O, what a scene! Poor creatures! What became of them at last?

_Fa._ Such of them as did not perish on the road got to the neighbouring
towns, where they were received with all the hospitality that such
calamitous times would afford; but they were beggared for life.
Meantime, their country for many a league round displayed no other sight
than that of black smoking ruins in the midst of silence and desolation.

_Os._ I hope, however, that such things do not often happen in war.

_Fa._ Not often, perhaps, to the same extent: but in some degree they
must take place in every war. A village which would afford a favourable
post to the enemy is always burnt without hesitation. A country which
can no longer be maintained, is cleared of all its provision and forage
before it is abandoned, lest the enemy should have the advantage of
them; and the poor inhabitants are left to subsist as they can. Crops of
corn are trampled down by armies in their march, or devoured while green
as fodder for their horses. Pillage, robbery and murder, are always
going on in the outskirts of the best-disciplined camp. Then consider
what must happen in every siege. On the first approach of the enemy, all
the buildings in the suburbs of a town are demolished, and all the trees
in gardens and public walks are cut down, lest they should afford
shelter to the besiegers. As the siege goes on, bombs, hot balls, and
cannon-shot, are continually flying about; by which the greatest part of
a town is ruined or laid in ashes, and many of the innocent people
killed or maimed. If the resistance is obstinate, famine and pestilence
are sure to take place; and if the garrison holds out to the last, and
the town is taken by storm, it is generally given up to be pillaged by
the enraged and licentious soldiery.

It would be easy to bring too many examples of cruelty exercised upon a
conquered country, even in very late times, when war is said to be
carried on with so much humanity; but, indeed, how can it be otherwise?
The art of war is essentially that of destruction, and it is impossible
there should be a mild and merciful way of murdering and ruining one’s
fellow-creatures. Soldiers, as men, are often humane; but war must ever
be cruel. Though Homer has filled his Iliad with the exploits of
fighting heroes, yet he makes Jupiter address Mars, the god of War, in
terms of the utmost abhorrence:—

           “Of all the gods who tread the spangled skies,
           Thou most unjust, most odious in our eyes;
           In human discord is thy dire delight,
           The waste of slaughter, and the rage of fight:
           No bound, no law, thy fiery temper quells.”—POPE.

_Os._ Surely, as war is so bad a thing, there might be some way of
preventing it.

_Fa._ Alas! I fear mankind have been too long accustomed to it, and it
is too agreeable to their bad passions, easily to be laid aside,
whatever miseries it may bring upon them. But, in the meantime, let us
correct our own ideas of the matter, and no longer lavish admiration
upon such a pest of the human race as a _Conqueror_, how brilliant
soever his qualities may be; nor ever think that a profession which
binds a man to be the servile instrument of cruelty and injustice is an
_honourable_ calling.

[Illustration:

  The Gain of a Loss, p. 344.

  EVENING XXVIII.
]



                               GREAT MEN.


“I will show you a _great man_,” said Mr. C. one day to his son, at the
time the duke of Bridgewater’s canal was making. He accordingly took him
to a place where several workmen were employed in raising a prodigious
mound, on the top of which the canal was to be carried across a deep
valley. In the midst of them was a very plain-dressed man, awkward in
his gestures, uncouth in his appearance, and rather heavy in his
countenance—in short, a mere countryman like the rest. He had a plan in
his hand and was giving directions to the people around him, and
surveying the whole labour with profound attention. “This, Arthur,” said
Mr. C., “is the _great Mr. Brindley_.”

“What,” cried Arthur in surprise, “is that a _great man_?”

_Mr. C._ Yes, a very great man. Why are you surprised?

_Ar._ I don’t know, but I should have expected a great man to have
looked very differently.

_Mr. C._ It matters little how a man looks, if he can perform great
things. That person, without any advantages of education, has become, by
the force of his own genius, the first engineer of the age. He is doing
things that were never done or even thought of in this country before.
He pierces hills, makes bridges over valleys, and aqueducts across
navigable rivers, and, in short, is likely to change the whole face of
the country, and to introduce improvements the value of which cannot be
calculated. When at a loss how to bring about any of his designs, he
does not go to other people for assistance, but he consults the
wonderful faculties of his own mind, and finds a way to overcome his
difficulties. He looks like a rustic it is true, but he has a soul of
the first order, such as is not granted to one out of millions of the
human race.

_Ar._ But are all men of extraordinary abilities properly _great men_?

_Mr. C._ The word has been variously used; but I would call every one a
great man _who does great things by means of his own powers_. Great
abilities are often employed about trifles, or indolently wasted without
any considerable exertion at all. To make a great man, the object
pursued should be large and important, and vigour and perseverance
should be employed in the pursuit.

_Ar._ All the great men I remember to have read about were kings, or
generals, or prime ministers, or in some high station or other.

_Mr. C._ It is natural they should stand foremost in the list of great
men, because the sphere in which they act is an extensive one, and what
they do has a powerful influence over numbers of mankind. Yet those that
invent useful arts, or discover important truths which may promote the
comfort and happiness of unborn generations in the most distant parts of
the world, act a still more important part; and their claim to merit is
generally more undoubted than that of the former, because what they do
is more certainly their own.

In order to estimate the real share a man in a high station has had in
the great events which have been attributed to him, strip him in your
imagination of all the external advantages of rank and power, and see
what a figure he would have made without them; or fancy a common man put
in his place, and judge whether affairs would have gone on in the same
track. Augustus Cesar, and Louis XIV. of France, have both been called
great princes; but deprive them of their crown, and they will both
dwindle into obscure and trivial characters. But no change of
circumstances could reduce Alfred the Great to the level of a common
man. The two former could sink into their graves, and yield their power
to a successor, and scarcely be missed; but Alfred’s death changed the
fate of his kingdom. Thus with Epaminondas fell all the glory and
greatness of the Theban state. He first raised it to consequence, and it
could not survive him.

_Ar._ Was not Czar Peter a great man?

_Mr. C._ I am not sure he deserves that title. Being a despotic prince,
at the head of a vast empire, he could put into execution whatever plans
he was led to adopt, and these plans in general were grand and
beneficial to his country. But the means he used were such as the master
of the lives and fortunes of millions could easily employ, and there was
more of brutal force than of skill and judgment in the manner in which
he pursued his designs. Still he was an _extraordinary_ man; and the
resolution of leaving his throne, in order to acquire in foreign
countries the knowledge necessary to rescue his own from barbarism, was
a feature of greatness. A truly great prince, however, would have
employed himself better than in learning to build boats at Saardam.

_Ar._ What was Alexander the Great?

_Mr. C._ A great conqueror, but not a great man. It was easy for him,
with the well-disciplined army of Greeks which he received from his
father Philip, to overrun the unwarlike kingdoms of Asia, and defeat the
Great King, as the king of Persia was called: but though he showed some
marks of an elevated mind, he seems to have possessed few qualities
which could have raised him to distinction had he been born in an humble
station. Compare his fugitive grandeur, supported by able ministers and
generals, to the power which his tutor the great Aristotle, merely
through the force of his own genius, exercised over men’s minds
throughout the most civilized part of the world for two thousand years
after his death. Compare also the part which has been acted in the world
by the Spanish monarchs, the masters of immense possessions in Europe
and America, to that by Christopher Columbus, the Genoese navigator, who
could have it inscribed on his tombstones that he _gave_ a new world to
the kingdom of Castile and Aragon. These comparisons will teach you to
distinguish between greatness of character and greatness of station,
which are too often confounded. He who governs a great country may in
one sense be called a great king; but this is no more than an
appellation belonging to rank, like that of the Great Mogul, or the
Grand Seignor, and infers no more personal grandeur than the title of
Mr. Such-a-one, the Great Grocer, or Great Brewer.

_Ar._ Must not great men be good men, too?

_Mr. C._ If that man is great who does great things, it will not follow
that goodness must necessarily be one of his qualities, since that
chiefly refers to the end and intentions of actions. Julius Cesar, and
Cromwell, for example, were men capable of the greatest exploits; but
directing them, not to the public good, but to the purposes of their own
ambition, in pursuit of which they violated all the duties of morality,
they have obtained the title of _great bad men_. A person, however,
cannot be great at all without possessing many virtues. He must be firm,
steady, and diligent, superior to difficulties and dangers, and equally
superior to the allurements of ease and pleasure. For want of these
moral qualities, many persons of exalted minds and great talents have
failed to deserve the title of great men. It is in vain that the French
poets and historians have decorated Henry the Fourth with the name of
Great; his facility of disposition and uncontrollable love of pleasure
have caused him to forfeit his claim to it in the estimation of
impartial judges. As power is essential to greatness, a man cannot be
great without _power over himself_, which is the highest kind of power.

_Ar._ After all, is it not better to be a good man than a great one?

_Mr. C._ There is more merit in being a good man, because it is what we
make ourselves, whereas the talents that produce greatness are the gift
of nature; though they may be improved by our own efforts, they cannot
be acquired. But if goodness is the proper object of our love and
esteem, greatness deserves our high admiration and respect. This Mr.
Brindley before us is by all accounts a worthy man, but it is not for
this reason I have brought you to see him. I wish you to look upon him
as one of those sublime and uncommon objects of nature which fill the
mind with a certain awe and astonishment. Next to being great oneself,
it is desirable to have a true relish for greatness.



                           THE FOUR SISTERS.


I am one of four sisters; and having some reason to think myself not
well used either by them or by the world, I beg leave to lay before you
a sketch of our history and characters. You will not wonder there should
be frequent bickerings among us, when I tell you that in our infancy we
were continually fighting; and so great was the noise, and din, and
confusion, in our continual struggles to get uppermost, that it was
impossible for anybody to live among us in such a scene of tumult and
disorder. These brawls, however, by a powerful interposition, were put
an end to; our proper place was assigned to each of us, and we had
strict orders not to encroach on the limits of each other’s property,
but to join our common offices for the good of the whole family.

My first sister (I call her the first, because we have generally allowed
her the precedence in rank) is, I must acknowledge, of a very active,
sprightly disposition; quick and lively, and has more brilliancy than
any of us; but she is hot: everything serves for fuel to her fury when
it is once raised to a certain degree, and she is so mischievous
whenever she gets the upper hand, that notwithstanding her aspiring
disposition, if I may freely speak my mind, she is calculated to make a
good servant, but a very bad mistress.

I am almost ashamed to mention that, notwithstanding her seeming
delicacy, she has a most voracious appetite, and devours everything that
comes in her way; though, like other eager thin people, she does no
credit to her keeping. Many a time she has consumed the product of my
barns and storehouses, but it is all lost upon her. She has even been
known to get into an oil-shop or tallow-chandler’s, when everybody was
asleep, and lick up with the utmost greediness whatever she found there.
Indeed, all prudent people are aware of her tricks, and though she is
admitted into the best families, they take care to watch her very
narrowly. I should not forget to mention, that my sister was once in a
country where she was treated with uncommon respect; she was lodged in a
sumptuous building, and had a number of young women of the best families
to attend on her, and feed her, and watch over her health: in short, she
was looked upon as something more than a common mortal. But she always
behaved with great severity to her maids, and if any of them were
negligent of their duty, or made a slip in their own conduct, nothing
would serve her but burying the poor girls alive. I have myself had some
dark hints and intimations from the most respectable authority, that she
will some time or other make an end of me. You need not wonder,
therefore, if I am jealous of her motions.

The next sister I shall mention to you has so far the appearance of
modesty and humility, that she generally seeks the lowest place. She is
indeed of a very yielding easy temper, generally cool, and often wears a
sweet placid smile upon her countenance; but she is easily ruffled, and
when worked up, as she often is, by another sister, whom I shall mention
to you by-and-by, she becomes a perfect fury. Indeed, she is so apt to
swell with sudden gusts of passion, that she is suspected at times to be
a little lunatic. Between her and my first-mentioned sister, there is a
more settled antipathy than between the Theban pair; and they never meet
without making efforts to destroy one another. With me she is always
ready to form the most intimate union, but it is not always to my
advantage. There goes a story in our family, that when we were all
young, she once attempted to drown me. She actually kept me under water
a considerable time, and though at length I got my head above water, my
constitution is generally thought to have been essentially injured by it
ever since. From that time she has made no such atrocious attempt, but
she is continually making encroachments upon my property, and even when
she appears most gentle, she is very insidious, and has such an
undermining way with her, that her insinuating arts are as much to be
dreaded as open violence. I might indeed remonstrate, but it is a known
part of her character, that nothing makes any lasting impression upon
her.

As to my third sister, I have already mentioned the ill office she does
me with my last-mentioned one, who is entirely under her influence. She
is besides of a very uncertain, variable temper, sometimes hot, and
sometimes cold, nobody knows where to have her. Her lightness is ever
proverbial, and she has nothing to give those who live with her more
substantial than the smiles of courtiers. I must add, that she keeps in
her service three or four rough blustering bullies, with puffed cheeks,
who when they are let loose, think they have nothing to do but drive the
world before them. She sometimes joins with my first sister, and their
violence occasionally throws me into such a trembling, that, though
naturally of a firm constitution, I shake as if I was in an ague fit.

As to myself, I am of a steady, solid temper; not shining, indeed, but
kind and liberal, quite a Lady Bountiful. Every one tastes of my
beneficence, and I am of so grateful a disposition, that I have been
known to return a hundred-fold for any present that has been made me. I
feed and clothe all my children, and afford a welcome home to the wretch
who has no other. I bear with unrepining patience all manner of ill
usage; I am trampled upon, I am torn and wounded with the most cutting
strokes; I am pillaged of the treasures hidden in my most secret
chambers; notwithstanding which I am always ready to return good for
evil, and am continually subservient to the pleasures or advantage of
others; yet so ungrateful is the world, that because I do not possess
all the airiness and activity of my sisters, I am stigmatized as dull
and heavy. Every sordid, miserly fellow is called by way of derision one
of my children; and if a person on entering a room does but turn his
eyes upon me, he is thought stupid and mean, and not fit for good
company. I have the satisfaction, however, of finding that people always
incline towards me as they grow older; and that those who seemed proudly
to disdain any affinity with me, are content to sink at last into my
bosom. You will probably wish to have some account of my person. I am
not a regular beauty; some of my features are rather harsh and
prominent, when viewed separately; but my countenance has so much
variety of expression, and so many different aspects of elegance, that
those who study my face with attention find out continually new charms;
and it may be truly said of me, what Titus says of his mistress, and for
a much longer space:—

         “Pendant cinq ans entières tous les jours je la vois,
         Et crois toujours la voir pour la première fois.”

         “For five whole years each day she meets my view,
         Yet every day I seem to see her new.”

Though I have been so long a mother, I have still a surprising air of
youth and freshness, which is assisted by all the advantages of
well-chosen ornament, for I dress well, and according to the season.

This is what I have to say chiefly of myself and my sisters. To a person
of your sagacity it will be unnecessary for me to sign my name. Indeed,
one who becomes acquainted with any one of the family, cannot be at a
loss to discover the rest, notwithstanding the difference in our
features and characters.



                          THE GAIN OF A LOSS.


Philander possessed a considerable place about the court, which obliged
him to live in a style of show and expense. He kept high company, made
frequent entertainments, and brought up a family of several daughters in
all the luxurious elegance which his situation and prospects seemed to
justify. His wife had balls and routs at her own house, and frequented
all the places of fashionable amusement. After some years passed in this
manner, a sudden change of parties threw Philander out of his
employment, and at once ruined all his plans of future advancement.
Though his place had been lucrative, the expense it led him into more
than compensated the profits, so that, instead of saving anything, he
had involved himself considerably in debt. His creditors, on hearing of
the change in his affairs, became so importunate, that, in order to
satisfy them, he was compelled to sell a moderate paternal estate in a
remote county, reserving nothing out of it but one small farm. Philander
had strength of mind sufficient to enable him at once to decide on the
best plan to be followed in his present circumstances; instead,
therefore, of wasting his time and remaining property in fruitless
attempts to interest his town friends in his favour, he sold off his
fine furniture, and without delay carried down his whole family to the
little spot he could still call his own, where he commenced a life of
industry and strict frugality in the capacity of a small farmer. It was
long before the female part of his household could accommodate
themselves to a mode of living so new to them, and so destitute of all
that they had been accustomed to regard as essential to their very
existence. At length, however, mutual affection and natural good sense,
and above all, necessity, brought them to acquiesce tolerably in their
situation, and to engage in earnest in its duties. Occasional regrets,
however, could not but remain; and the silent sigh would tell whither
their thoughts were fled.

Philander perceived it, but took care never to embitter their feelings
by harsh chidings or untimely admonitions. But on the anniversary of
their taking possession of the farmhouse, he assembled them under a
spreading tree that grew before their little garden, and while the
summer’s sun gilded all the objects around, he thus addressed them:—

“My dear partners in every fortune, if the revolution of a year has had
the effect on your mind that it has on mine, I may congratulate you on
your condition. I am now able with a firm tone to ask myself, what have
I lost? and I feel so much more to be pleased with than to regret, that
the question gives me rather comfort than sorrow. Look at yon splendid
luminary, and tell me if its gradual appearance above the horizon on a
fine morning, shedding light and joy over the wide creation, be not a
grander as well as a more heart-cheering spectacle than that of the most
magnificent saloon, illuminated with dazzling lustres. Is not the spirit
of the wholesome breeze, fresh from the mountain, and perfumed with wild
flowers, infinitely more invigorating to the senses than the air of the
crowded drawing-room, loaded with scented powder and essences? Did we
relish so well the disguised dishes with which a French cook strove to
whet our sickly appetites, as we do our draught of new milk, our
homemade loaf, and the other articles of our simple fare? Was our sleep
so sweet after midnight suppers and the long vigils of cards, as it is
now, that early rising and the exercises of the day prepare us for
closing our eyes as soon as night has covered everything with her
friendly veil? Shall we complain that our clothes at present only answer
the purpose of keeping us warm, when we recollect all the care and pains
it cost us to keep pace with the fashion, and the mortification we
underwent at being outshone by our superiors in fortune? Did not the
vexation of insolent and unfaithful servants overbalance the trouble we
now find in waiting on ourselves? We may regret the loss of society;
but, alas! what was the society of a crowd of visiters who regarded us
merely as the keepers of a place of public resort, and whom we visited
with similar sensations? If we formerly could command leisure to
cultivate our minds and acquire polite accomplishments, did we, in
reality, apply much leisure to these purposes, and is not our time now
filled more to our satisfaction by employments of which we cannot doubt
the usefulness? not to say that the moral virtues we are now called upon
to exercise afford the truest cultivation to our minds. What, then, have
we lost? In improved health, the charms of a beautiful country, a decent
supply of all real wants, and the love and kind offices of each other,
do not we still possess enough for worldly happiness? We have lost,
indeed, a certain rank and station in life; but have we not acquired
another as truly respectable? We are debarred the prospects of future
advancement; but if our present condition is a good one, why need we
lament that it is likely to be lasting? The next anniversary will find
us more in harmony with our situation than even the present. Look
forward, then, cheerily. The storm is past. We have been shipwrecked,
but we have only exchanged a cumbrous vessel for a light pinnace, and we
are again on our course. Much of our cargo has been thrown overboard,
but no one loses what he does not miss.”

Thus saying, Philander tenderly embraced his wife and daughters. The
tear stood in their eyes, but consolation beamed on their hearts.



                               WISE MEN.


“You may remember, Arthur,” said Mr. C. to his son, “that, sometime ago,
I endeavoured to give you a notion what a _great man_ was. Suppose we
now talk a little about _wise men_?”

“With all my heart, sir,” replied Arthur.

_Mr. C._ A wise man, then, is _he who pursues the best ends by the
properest means_. But as this definition may be rather too abstract to
give you a clear comprehension of the thing, I shall open it to you by
examples. What do you think is the best end a man can pursue in life?

_Ar._ I suppose to make himself happy.

_Mr. C._ True. And as we are so constituted that we cannot be happy
ourselves without making others happy, the best end of living is to
produce as much general happiness as lies in our power.

_Ar._ But that is _goodness_, is it not?

_Mr. C._ It is; and therefore wisdom includes goodness. The wise man
always intends what is good, and employs skill or judgment in attaining
it. If he were to pursue the best things weakly, he could not be wise;
any more than if he were to pursue bad or indifferent things
judiciously. One of the wisest men I know is our neighbour Mr. Freeland.

_Ar._ What, the justice?

_Mr. C._ Yes, few men have succeeded more perfectly in securing their
own happiness, and promoting that of those around them. Born to a
competent estate, he early settled upon it, and began to improve it. He
reduced all his expenses within his income, and indulged no tastes that
could lead him into excesses of any kind. At the same time he did not
refuse any proper and innocent pleasures that came in his way; and his
house has always been distinguished for decent cheerfulness and
hospitality. He applied himself with diligence to mending the morals and
improving the condition of his dependants. He studied attentively the
laws of his country, and qualified himself for administering justice
with skill and fidelity. No one discovers sooner where the right lies,
or takes surer means to enforce it. He is the person to whom the
neighbours of all degrees apply for counsel in their difficulties. His
conduct is always consistent and uniform—never violent, never rash,
never in extremes, but always deliberating before he acts, and then
acting with firmness and vigour. The peace and good order of the whole
neighbourhood materially depend upon him; and upon every emergency his
opinion is the first thing inquired after. He enjoys the respect of the
rich, the confidence of the poor, and the good-will of both.

_Ar._ But I have heard some people reckon old Harpy as wise a man as he.

_Mr. C._ It is a great abuse of words to call Harpy a wise man. He is of
another species—_a cunning man_—who is to a wise man what an ape is to a
human creature—a bad and contemptible resemblance.

_Ar._ He is very clever, though; is he not?

_Mr. C._ Harpy has a good natural understanding, a clear head, and a
cool temper; but his only end in life has been to raise a fortune by
base and dishonest means. Being thoroughly acquainted with all the
tricks and artifices of the law, he employed his knowledge to take undue
advantages of all who intrusted him with the management of their
affairs; and under colour of assisting them, he contrived to get
possession of all their property. Thus he has become extremely rich,
lives in a great house with a number of servants, is even visited by
persons of rank, yet is universally detested and despised, and has not a
friend in the world. He is conscious of this, and is wretched. Suspicion
and remorse continually prey upon his mind. Of all whom he has cheated,
he has deceived himself the most; and has proved himself as much a fool
in the end he has pursued, as a knave in the means.

_Ar._ Are not men of great learning and knowledge wise men?

_Mr. C._ They are so, if that knowledge and learning are employed to
make them happier and more useful. But it too often happens that their
speculations are of a kind neither beneficial to themselves nor to
others; and they often neglect to regulate their tempers while they
improve their understandings. Some men of great learning have been the
most arrogant and quarrelsome of mortals, and as foolish and absurd in
their conduct as the most untaught of their species.

_Ar._ But are not a philosopher and a wise man the same thing?

_Mr. C._ A philosopher is properly a _lover of wisdom_; and if he
searches after it with a right disposition, he will probably find it
oftener than other men. But he must practise as well as know, in order
to be truly wise.

_Ar._ I have read of the seven wise men of Greece. What were they?

_Mr. C._ They were men distinguished for their knowledge and talents,
and some of them for their virtue, too. But wiser than them all was
Socrates, whose chief praise it was that he turned philosophy from vain
and fruitless disputation to the regulation of life and manners, and
that he was himself a great example of the wisdom he taught.

_Ar._ Have we had any person lately very remarkable for wisdom?

_Mr. C._ In my opinion, few wiser men have ever existed than the late
Dr. Franklin, the American. From the low station of journeyman-printer
to the elevated one of ambassador plenipotentiary from his country to
the court of France, he always distinguished himself by sagacity in
discovering, and good sense in practising, what was most beneficial to
himself and others. He was a great natural philosopher, and made some
very brilliant discoveries; but it was ever his favourite purpose to
turn everything to use, and to extract some practical advantage from his
speculations. He thoroughly understood _common life_, and all that
conduces to its comfort; and he has left behind him treasures of
domestic wisdom, superior, perhaps, to any of the boasted maxims of
antiquity. He never let slip any opportunity of improving his knowledge,
whether of great things or of small; and was equally ready to converse
with a day-labourer and a prime-minister upon topics from which he might
derive instruction. He rose to wealth, but obtained it by honourable
means. He prolonged his life by temperance to a great age, and enjoyed
it to the last. Few men knew more than he, and none employed knowledge
to better purposes.

_Ar._ A man, then, I suppose, cannot be wise without knowing a great
deal?

_Mr. C._ If he knows everything belonging to his station, it is wisdom
enough; and a peasant may be as truly wise in his place as a statesman
or a legislator. You remember that fable of Gay, in which a shepherd
gives lessons of wisdom to a philosopher.

_Ar._ O yes—it begins:—

                  “Remote from cities lived a swain.”

_Mr. C._ True. He is represented as drawing all his maxims of conduct
from observation of brute animals. And they, indeed, have universally
that character of wisdom, of pursuing the ends best suited to them by
the properest means. But this is owing to the impulse of unerring
instinct. Man has reason for his guide, and his wisdom can only be the
consequence of the right use of his reason. This will lead him to
virtue. Thus the fable we have been mentioning rightly concludes with—

               “’Thy fame is just,’ the sage replies;
               ‘Thy _virtue_ proves thee _truly wise_.’”

[Illustration:

  EVENING XXIX.
]



                           A FRIEND IN NEED.


George Cornish, a native of London, was brought up to the sea. After
making several voyages to the East Indies in the capacity of mate, he
obtained the command of a ship in the country-trade there, and passed
many years of his life in sailing from one port to another of the
Company’s different settlements, and residing at intervals on shore with
the superintendence of their commercial concerns. Having by these means
raised a moderate fortune, and being now beyond the meridian of life, he
felt a strong desire of returning to his native country, and seeing his
family and friends, concerning whom he had received no tidings for a
long time. He realized his property, settled his affairs, and taking his
passage for England, arrived in the Downs after an absence of sixteen
years.

He immediately repaired to London, and went to the house of an only
brother whom he had left possessed of a genteel place in a public
office. He found that his brother was dead, and the family broken up;
and he was directed to the house of one of his nieces, who was married
and settled at a small distance from town. On making himself known, he
was received with great respect and affection by the married niece, and
a single sister who resided with her; to which good reception the idea
of his bringing back with him a large fortune did not a little
contribute. They pressed him in the most urgent manner to take up his
abode there, and omitted nothing that could testify their dutiful regard
to so near a relation. On his part, he was sincerely glad to see them,
and presented them with some valuable Indian commodities which he had
brought with him. They soon fell into conversation concerning the family
events that had taken place during his long absence. Mutual condolences
passed on the death of the father; the mother had been dead long before.
The captain, in the warmth of his heart, declared his intention of
befriending the survivors of the family, and his wishes of seeing the
second sister as comfortably settled in the world as the first seemed to
be.

“But,” said he, “are you two the only ones left? What is become of my
little smiling playfellow Amelia? I remember her as if it were
yesterday, coming behind my chair, and giving me a sly pull, and then
running away that I might follow her for a kiss. I should be sorry if
anything had happened to her.”—“Alas! sir,” said the eldest niece, “she
has been the cause of an infinite deal of trouble to her friends! She
was always a giddy girl, and her misconduct has proved her ruin. It
would be happy if we could all forget her!”—“What, then,” said the
uncle, “has she dishonoured herself? Poor creature!”—“I cannot say,”
replied the niece, “that she has done so in the worst sense of the word;
but she has disgraced herself and her family by a hasty foolish match
with one beneath her, and it is ended, as might have been expected, in
poverty and wretchedness.”—“I am glad,” returned the captain, “that it
is no worse; for though I much disapprove of improper matches, yet young
girls may fall into still greater evils, and where there is no crime,
there can be no irreparable disgrace. But who was the man, and what did
my brother say to it?”—“Why, sir, I cannot say but it was partly my
father’s own fault; for he took a sort of liking to the young man, who
was a drawing-master employed in the family, and would not forbid him
the house, after we had informed him of the danger of an attachment
between Amelia and him. So when it was too late, he fell into a violent
passion about it, which had no other effect than to drive the girl
directly into her lover’s arms. They married, and soon fell into
difficulties. My father of course would do nothing for them; and when he
died, he not only disinherited her, but made us promise no longer to
look upon her as a sister.”—“And you _did_ make that promise?” said the
captain, in a tone of surprise and displeasure. “We could not disobey
our parent,” replied the other sister; “but we have several times sent
her relief in her necessities, though it was improper for us to see
her.”—“And pray, what has become of her at last—where is she
now?”—“Really, she and her husband have shifted their lodgings so often,
that it is sometime since we heard anything about them.”—“Sometime! how
long?”—“Perhaps half a year or more.”—“Poor outcast!” cried the captain,
in a sort of muttered half-voice; “_I_ have made no promise, however, to
renounce thee. Be pleased, madam,” he continued, addressing himself
gravely to the married niece, “to favour me with the last direction you
had to this unfortunate sister.” She blushed and looked confused; and at
length, after a good deal of searching, presented it to her uncle. “But,
my dear sir,” said she, “you will not think of leaving us to-day? My
servant shall make all the inquiries you choose, and save you the
trouble; and to-morrow you can ride to town, and do as you think
proper.”—“My good niece,” said the captain, “I am but an indifferent
sleeper, and I am afraid things would run in my head and keep me awake.
Besides, I am naturally impatient, and love to do my business myself.
You will excuse me.”—So saying, he took up his hat, and without much
ceremony, went out of the house, and took the road to town on foot,
leaving his two nieces somewhat disconcerted.

When he arrived, he went without delay to the place mentioned, which was
a by-street near Soho. The people who kept the lodgings informed him,
that the persons he inquired after had left them several months, and
they did not know what was become of them. This threw the captain into
great perplexity; but while he was considering what he should do next,
the woman of the house recollected that Mr. Bland (that was the
drawing-master’s name) had been employed at a certain school, where
information about him might possibly be obtained. Captain Cornish
hastened away to the place, and was informed by the master of the school
that such a man had, indeed, been engaged there, but had ceased to
attend for some time past. “He was a very well-behaved, industrious
young man,” added the master, “but in distressed circumstances, which
prevented him from making that genteel appearance which we expect in all
who attend our school; so I was obliged to dismiss him. It was a great
force upon my _feelings_, I assure you, sir, to do so; but you know the
thing could not be helped.” The captain eyed him with indignant
contempt, and said, “I suppose, then, sir, your _feelings_ never
suffered you to inquire where this poor creature lodged, or what became
of him afterward?”—“As to that,” replied the master, “every man knows
his own business best, and my time is fully taken up with my own
concerns; but I believe I have a note of the lodgings he then
occupied—here it is.” The captain took it, and turning on his heel,
withdrew in silence.

He posted away to the place, but there, too, had the mortification of
learning that he was too late. The people, however, told him that they
believed he might find the family he was seeking in a neighbouring
alley, at a lodging up three pair of stairs. The captain’s heart sunk
within him; however, taking a boy as a guide, he proceeded immediately
to the spot. On going up the narrow creaking staircase, he met a man
coming down with a bed on his shoulders. At the top of the landing stood
another with a bundle of blankets and sheets. A woman with a child in
her arms was expostulating with him, and he heard her exclaim, “Cruel!
not to leave me _one_ bed for myself and my poor children!”—“Stop,” said
the captain to the man, “set down those things.” The man hesitated. The
captain renewed his command in a peremptory tone, and then advanced
towards the woman. They looked earnestly at each other. Through her pale
and emaciated features he saw something of his little smiler; and at
length, in a faint voice, he addressed her, “Are you Amelia
Cornish?”—“That _was_ my name,” she replied. “I am your uncle,” he
cried, clasping her in his arms, and sobbing as if his heart would
break. “My uncle!” said she, and fainted. He was just able to set her
down on the only remaining chair, and take her child from her. Two other
young children came running up, and began to scream with terror. Amelia
recovered herself. “Oh, sir, what a situation you see me in!”—“A
situation, indeed!” said he. “Poor forsaken creature! but you have _one_
friend left!”

He then asked what was become of her husband? She told him, that having
fatigued himself with walking every day to a great distance for a little
employment that scarcely afforded them bread, he had fallen ill, and was
now in an hospital, and that after having been obliged to sell most of
their little furniture and clothes for present subsistence, their
landlord had just seized their only remaining bed for some arrears of
rent. The captain immediately discharged the debt, and causing the bed
to be brought up again, dismissed the man. He then entered into a
conversation with his niece about the events that had befallen her.
“Alas! sir,” said she, “I am sensible I was greatly to blame in
disobeying my father, and leaving his roof as I did; but perhaps
something might be alleged in my excuse—at least, years of calamity and
distress may be an expiation. As to my husband, however, he has never
given me the least cause of complaint—he has ever been kind and good,
and what we have suffered has been through misfortune, and not fault. To
be sure, when we married, we did not know how a family was to be
maintained. His was a poor employment, and sickness and other accidents
soon brought us to a state of poverty, from which we could never
retrieve ourselves. He, poor man! was never idle when he could help it,
and denied himself every indulgence in order to provide for the wants of
me and the children. I did my part too as well as I was able. But my
father’s unrelenting severity made me quite heart-broken; and though my
sisters two or three times gave us a little relief in our pressing
necessities—for nothing else could have made me ask in the manner I
did—yet they would never permit me to see them, and for some time past
have entirely abandoned us. I thought Heaven had abandoned us too. The
hour of extremest distress was come; but you have been sent for our
comfort.”—“And your comfort, please God! I will be,” cried the captain
with energy. “You are my own dear child, and your little ones shall be
mine too. Dry up your tears—better days I hope, are approaching.”

Evening was now coming on, and it was too late to think of changing
lodgings. The captain procured a neighbour to go out for some provisions
and other necessaries, and then took his leave, with a promise of being
with his niece early the next morning. Indeed, as he proposed going to
pay a visit to her husband, she was far from wishing to detain him
longer. He went directly thence to the hospital, and having got access
to the apothecary, begged to be informed of the real state of his
patient, Bland. The apothecary told him that he laboured under a slow
fever, attended with extreme dejection of spirits, but that there were
no signs of urgent danger. “If you will allow me to see him,” said the
captain, “I believe I shall be able to administer a cordial more
effectual, perhaps, than all your medicines.” He was shown up to the
ward where the poor man lay, and, seated by his bedside, “Mr. Bland,”
said he, “I am a stranger to you, but I come to bring you some news of
your family.” The sick man roused himself, as it were, from a stupor,
and fixed his eyes in silence on the captain. He proceeded—“Perhaps you
may have heard of an uncle that your wife had in the East Indies—he is
come home, and—and—I am he.” Upon this he eagerly stretched out his
hand, and taking that of Bland, which was thrust out of the bedclothes
to meet it, gave it a cordial shake. The sick man’s eyes glistened—he
grasped the captain’s hand with all his remaining strength, and drawing
it to his mouth, kissed it with fervour. All he could say was, “God
bless you!—be kind to poor Amelia!”—“I will—I will,” cried the captain,
“I will be a father to you all. Cheer up—keep up your spirits—all will
be well.” He then, with a kind look and another shake of the hand,
wished him a good night, and left the poor man lightened at once of half
his disease.

The captain went home to the coffee-house where he lodged, got a light
supper, and went early to bed. After meditating sometime with heartfelt
satisfaction on the work of the day, he fell into a sweet sleep, which
lasted till daybreak. The next morning early he rose and sallied forth
in search of furnished lodgings. After some inquiry, he met with a
commodious set, in a pleasant airy situation, for which he agreed. He
then drove to Amelia, and found her and her children neat and clean, and
as well dressed as their poor wardrobe would admit. He embraced them
with the utmost affection, and rejoiced Amelia’s heart with a favourable
account of her husband. He then told them to prepare for a ride with
him. The children were overjoyed at the proposal, and they accompanied
him down to the coach in high spirits. Amelia scarcely knew what to
think or expect. They drove first to a warehouse for ready-made linen,
where the captain made Amelia furnish herself with a complete set of
everything necessary for present use for the children and herself, not
forgetting some shirts for her husband. Thence they went to a clothes
shop, where the little boy was supplied with a jacket and trowsers, a
hat and great coat, and the girl with another great coat and a
bonnet—both were made as happy as happy could be. They were next all
furnished with new shoes. In short, they had not proceeded far, before
the mother and three children were all in complete new habiliments,
decent but not fine; while the old ones were all tied up in a great
bundle, and destined for some family still poorer than they had been.

The captain then drove to the lodgings he had taken, and which he had
directed to be put in thorough order. He led Amelia upstairs, who knew
not whither she was going. He brought her into a handsome parlour, and
seated her in a chair. “This, my dear,” said he, “is your house. I hope
you will let me now and then come and see you in it?” Amelia turned pale
and could not speak. At length, a flood of tears came to her relief, and
she suddenly threw herself at her uncle’s feet, and poured out thanks
and blessings in a broken voice. He raised her, and kindly kissing her
and her children, slipped a purse of gold into her hand, and hurried
downstairs.

He next went to the hospital, and found Mr. Bland sitting up in bed, and
taking some food with apparent pleasure. He sat down by him. “God bless
you! sir,” said Bland, “I see now it is all a reality, and not a dream.
Your figure has been haunting me all night, and I have scarcely been
able to satisfy myself whether I had really seen and spoke to you, or
whether it was a fit of delirium. Yet my spirits have been lightened,
and I have now been eating with a relish I have not experienced for many
days past. But may I ask how is my poor Amelia and my little
ones?”—“They are well and happy, my good friend;” said the captain, “and
I hope you will soon be so along with them.” The apothecary came up and
felt his patient’s pulse. “You are a lucky doctor, indeed, sir,” said he
to Captain Cornish, “you have cured the poor man of his fever. His pulse
is as calm as my own.” The captain consulted him about the safety of
removing him; and the apothecary thought that there would be no hazard
in doing it that very day. The captain waited the arrival of the
physician, who confirmed the same opinion. A sedan-chair was procured,
and full directions being obtained for the future treatment, with the
physician’s promise to look after him, the captain walked before the
chair, to the new lodgings. On the knock at the door, Amelia looked out
of the window, and seeing the chair, ran down, and met her uncle and
husband in the passage. The poor man, not knowing where he was, and
gazing wildly around him, was carried upstairs and placed upon a good
bed, while his wife and children assembled around it. A glass of wine
brought by the people of the house restored him to his recollection,
when a most tender scene ensued, which the uncle closed as soon as he
could, for fear of too much agitating the yet feeble organs of the sick
man.

By Amelia’s constant attention, assisted by proper help, Mr. Bland
shortly recovered; and the whole family lost their sickly, emaciated
appearance, and became healthy and happy. The kind uncle was never long
absent from them, and was always received with looks of pleasure and
gratitude that penetrated his very soul. He obtained for Mr. Bland a
good situation in the exercise of his profession, and took Amelia and
her children into his special care. As to his other nieces, though he
did not entirely break off his connexion with them, but, on the
contrary, showed them occasional marks of the kindness of a relation,
yet he could never look upon them with true cordiality. And as they had
so well kept their promise to their father of never treating Amelia as a
sister, while in her afflicted state, he took care not to tempt them to
break it, now she was in a favoured and prosperous condition.

[Illustration:

  A Secret Character Unveiled, p. 359.

  EVENING XXX.
]



                        EARTH AND HER CHILDREN.


In a certain district of the globe things one year went so ill, that
almost the whole race of living beings, animals and vegetables, carried
their lamentations and complaints to their common mother _the Earth_.

First came _Man_. “O Earth,” said he, “how can you behold unmoved the
intolerable calamities of your favourite offspring! Heaven shuts up all
the sources of its benignity to us, and showers plagues and pestilence
on our heads—storms tear to pieces all the works of human labour—the
elements of fire and water seem let loose to devour us—and in the midst
of all these evils some demon possesses us with a rage of worrying and
destroying one another; so that the whole species seems doomed to
perish. O, intercede in our behalf, or else receive us again into your
maternal womb, and hide us from the sight of these accumulated
distresses!”

The other animals then spoke by their deputies, the horse, the ox, and
the sheep. “O pity, mother Earth, those of your children that repose on
your breast, and derive their subsistence from your foodful bosom! We
are parched with drought, we are scorched by lightning, we are beaten by
pitiless tempests, salubrious vegetables refuse to nourish us, we
languish under disease, and the race of men treat us with unusual
rigour. Never, without speedy succour, can we survive to another year.”

The vegetables next, those that form the verdant carpet of the earth,
that cover the waving fields of harvest, and that spread their lofty
branches in the air, sent forth their complaint:—“O, our general mother,
to whose breast we cleave, and whose vital juices we drain, have
compassion upon us! See, how we wither and droop under the baleful gales
that sweep over us—how we thirst in vain for the gentle dew of
Heaven—how immense tribes of noxious insects pierce and devour us—how
the famishing flocks and herds tear us up by the roots—and how men,
through mutual spite, lay waste and destroy us, while yet immature.
Already whole nations of us are desolated, and unless you save us,
another year will witness our total destruction.”

“My children,” said Earth, “I have now existed some thousand years; and
scarcely one of them has passed in which similar complaints have not
risen from one quarter or another. Nevertheless, everything has remained
in nearly the same state, and no species of created beings has been
finally lost. The injuries of one year are repaired by the gifts of the
succeeding one. The growing vegetables may be blasted, but the seeds of
others lie secure in my bosom, ready to receive the vital influence of
more favourable seasons. Animals may be thinned by want and disease, but
a remnant is always left, in whom survives the principle of future
increase. As to man, who suffers not only from natural causes, but from
the effects of his own follies and vices, his miseries rouse within him
the latent powers of remedy, and bring him to his reason again; while
experience continually goes along with him to improve his means of
happiness, if he will but listen to its dictates. Have patience, then,
my children! You were born to suffer, as well as to enjoy, and you must
submit to your lot. But console yourselves with the thought that you
have a kind Master above, who created you for benevolent purposes, and
will not withhold his protection when you stand most in need of it.”



                      A SECRET CHARACTER UNVEILED.


At a small house in a court in London, there resided for many years, a
person beyond the middle age of life, whose family consisted of one male
and one female servant, both of long standing. He was of grave and
somewhat pensive aspect. His dress was perfectly plain and never varied.
He wore his own gray hair, and his general appearance resembled that of
a Quaker, though without the peculiarities of that sect. He was not
known to his neighbours but by sight. They frequently observed him go
out and come in, almost always on foot, even in the worst weather. He
did not appear to keep any company, and his mode of life seemed to be
very uniform. He paid ready money to the few tradespeople with whom he
dealt, and never made any one call a second time for dues and taxes. In
some charitable collections that were set on foot in the parish, he gave
as much as was expected from him, and no more. He returned the
salutation of the hat to those who gave it him, but never exceeded a
word or two in conversation with his neighbours. His religion and
political sentiments were entirely unknown. The general notion about him
was, either that he was a reduced gentleman, obliged to live privately,
or one concerned in some private money transactions, and bent upon
hoarding a fortune. His name, from the parish-books, appeared to be
_Mortimer_.

After he had thus lived a long time, a train of accidental circumstances
occurred within a short space, which fully displayed his character.

In a blind alley at some little distance, there lived a poor widow who
had several children, the eldest a beautiful girl of eighteen. The woman
was very industrious, and supported her family by taking in work in
which her children assisted. It happened that some of them, and at
length herself, fell ill of a fever, which continued so long as to
reduce them to great distress. She was obliged to part with many things
for a present subsistence; and, on their recovery, a half-year’s rent
being due which she was unable to pay, the landlord threatened to seize
the remainder of her goods, and turn her and her children into the
street. He intimated, however, that it might be in the power of the
eldest daughter to settle accounts with him in a less difficult manner;
but his hints were treated with virtuous disdain. The girl had a
faithful lover, a journeyman-carpenter, who, during the illness of the
family, contributed half his wages to their support, and now by promises
endeavoured to mollify the landlord, but in vain. He was coming
disconsolately one night after work to pay his usual visit to the
distressed family, when he observed Mr. Mortimer, whom he knew, having
worked at his house, stealing upstairs to the widow’s lodging. The
suspicion natural to a lover led him to follow. He saw him open the
door, and he entered unperceived after him. Mr. Mortimer walked into the
room where were all the poor family; the mother and eldest daughter
weeping over the rest. They showed much surprise at his approach, and
still more, when, going up to the widow, he put a purse of guineas into
her hand, and immediately turned about and went away. “What angel from
heaven,” cried the poor woman, “has brought me this? Run after him,
daughter, and thank him on your knees!” She ran, but he was got almost
down stairs. “I know him,” cried the journeyman-carpenter, making his
appearance, “’t is Mr. Mortimer.”

In a chamber of a house in an obscure part of the town a gang of
clippers and coiners were detected by the officers of justice. A poor
lame fellow, who lived in the adjoining room, was brought along with the
rest for examination. “Well,” said one of the justices, “and who are
you?”

“Please your worship, I am a poor man who have lost the use of my limbs
these seven years.”

“And how have you been supported all that time?”

“Why, sir, I might have starved long ago, as I have no settlement in
these parts, and the masters for whom I worked would do nothing for me,
but a very good gentleman has been so kind as to give me five shillings
a week for these six years.”

“Ay! you were lucky, indeed, to light upon such a kind gentleman. Pray,
what is his name?”

“I don’t know it, your worship.”

“No!—that’s very strange, that you should not know the name of the
person who keeps you from starving. But where does he live?”

“Indeed, sir, I don’t know that neither. I know nothing at all of him
but the good he does me.”

“Why, how came you at first to be acquainted with him?”

“I had just been turned out of the hospital incurable, and was thinking
that nothing remained for me but begging and starving in the streets,
when the gentleman came up to my poor lodging (God knows how he found
it) and gave me a guinea to buy some necessaries, and told me, if I
would do what little I could to maintain myself, he would take care that
I should not want. And ever since, either he or his man has brought me a
crown every week.”

“This story, my friend, will hardly pass. But tell me what trade you
worked at before you lost the use of your limbs?”

“Plating and gilding, your worship.”

“O! ho! Then you understand working in metals! You must be kept till you
give a more probable account of yourself.”

The poor man in vain protested that every word he had said was true, and
offered to bring proof of his honesty and sobriety from his neighbours;
he was ordered to a place of confinement till further examination. The
constable was taking him thither, when by good fortune he chanced to spy
his benefactor crossing the street just before him. He called aloud, and
requested him to stop; and then in a piteous tone relating his story,
entreated him to go back with them to the justice, and bear witness in
his behalf. This could not be refused. They were admitted into a crowded
hall, when the constable told the cause of his return. All eyes were
turned upon the gentleman, who was desired to give his name. “It is
Mortimer,” said he. He then, in a few words, mentioned, that having some
years ago come to the knowledge of the poor man’s character and
distress, he had since taken care of him.

“’Tis enough, sir,” said a gentleman at the board; “I have the honour of
being a neighbour of yours, but I did not before know _what_ a neighbour
I had.” Mr. Mortimer bowed and retired. The poor fellow was discharged.

Two maiden sisters, daughters of a very worthy tradesman, whom
misfortunes had reduced to poverty, and who died of a broken heart, were
for several years supported by an annuity of forty pounds each, which
came from an unknown quarter. The mode in which they received it was,
that twice a year, at night, a person knocked at the door of their
lodging, which was upon a second floor, and delivered into the hands of
one of them a parcel containing two twenty-pound bank-notes, with a
paper on which was written, “To be continued—no inquiry!” Though this
injunction prevented them from taking any steps to detect their
benefactor, yet many were the conjectures which, between themselves,
they made on this subject, but without attaining to the least
probability. One night, about the time that the above-related events
happened, the person, who came as usual to deliver the notes, on hastily
turning round to retire, fell from the top of the stairs to the bottom.
The lady shrieked out, and running down, found the man lying senseless
and bloody. Help was procured, and he was taken up to their lodging. A
surgeon was immediately sent for, who, by bleeding and other means,
restored him to his senses. As soon as the man recovered his speech, he
requested to be taken to his master’s. “Who is your master?” cried the
surgeon; “Mr. Mortimer, of —— Court.”—“What!” exclaimed the elder of the
ladies, “Mr. Mortimer, my poor father’s greatest creditor—is it he to
whom we have been so long indebted for everything?” The man laid his
finger on his lips, and she was silent, but not a word had escaped the
surgeon. The servant was sent away in a coach, the surgeon accompanying
him. They arrived at Mr. Mortimer’s, where, after the confusion
occasioned by the accident had subsided, the surgeon found that the face
of both master and man were familiar to him. “I am sure I am not
mistaken,” said he, “you are the gentleman who so charitably took care
of the poor fellow that had such a bad broken leg in this neighbourhood,
and paid me for my attendance.” Mr. Mortimer assented. “Here is a double
discovery,” said the surgeon to himself; and on taking his leave,
“Permit me to assure you, sir,” he cried, “that I venerate you beyond
any other human being!”—At the corner of the court where Mr. Mortimer
resided was a shoemaker’s shop, kept by a man who had a wife and five
children. He was one of the most industrious creatures breathing, and
with great exertions was just able to maintain decently his family, of
whom he was extremely fond. A younger brother of his had come up out of
the country, and obtained a place in a public office, for which it was
necessary to give security; and he had prevailed upon his brother to
enter into a joint bond with him for two hundred pounds. The brother
fell into vicious courses, and at length absconded with all the money he
was intrusted with. The shoemaker was now called upon to pay the
forfeiture of his bond, which, on account of bad debts, and having been
lately drained of all his ready money to pay for leather, he was unable
to do; and, in consequence, was sent to jail. The distress this brought
upon the family was aggravated by the condition of his wife, who was
near lying-in; and their mutual affection was turned into a source of
the bitterest grief. He had been about six weeks in prison, without any
prospect of release, all his friends and relations having been in vain
tried, when, one evening, the keeper who had treated him with much
compassion, came up to his room with pleasure in his countenance, and
said, “You are free.” The poor man could at first scarcely believe him,
but finding him persist in the truth of it, he almost fainted away
through surprise and joy. When he was sufficiently recovered to reflect
on the matter, he was quite bewildered in conjecturing how it had been
brought about. He could only learn, that a discharge of the debt bad
been sent to the jail, and all the fees and expenses there paid by a
person whose name was unknown, but whose face they were well acquainted
with, as he had several times been on the same errand there before. “O!”
cried the shoemaker, “that I could but know my benefactor!” He hastened
home, where his unexpected appearance almost overwhelmed his poor
family. On talking over the business with his wife, he learned that Mr.
Mortimer’s servant had a few days before been at the shop, and had been
very particular in inquiring the cause and place of his confinement.
This occasioned a strong suspicion, for Mr. Mortimer’s character now
came to be talked of; and soon after it was changed into certainty by a
visit from the keeper of the prison, who acquainted the shoemaker, that
they had now discovered who his benefactor and that of so many others
was; one of their people having chanced to be at the sessions-house when
Mr. Mortimer appeared there in behalf of the lame man taken up on
suspicion, and having recognised him to be the same person. The
shoemaker was overjoyed at this intelligence, but was still at a loss to
know in what manner he ought to express his gratitude. He was afraid of
offending, by doing it in a public manner, as it had evidently been Mr.
Mortimer’s intention to remain concealed; yet it was necessary that his
heart should have some vent for its emotions. He took his wife and
children, and went to Mr. Mortimer’s house, desiring to speak with him.
Being admitted into the study, the poor man began a speech which he had
prepared; but instead of going on, he burst into a fit of crying, fell
on his knees, seizing one hand of his benefactor, while his wife did the
same on the other side, and kissing them with the utmost fervency, both
in a broken voice implored endless blessings on his head. The children
fell on their knees, too, and held up their little hands. Mr. Mortimer
was moved and remained awhile silent; at length, recollecting himself,
“Too much! too much!” he cried, “Go home, go home, my good people! God
bless you all!” and thus dismissed them.

An old clergyman from the country came up to town on business about this
time, and paid a visit to an intimate friend of the same profession.
After some mutual greetings and inquiries, “Ah! my good friend,” said
the country clergyman, “our parish has undergone a blessed alteration
since you knew it! The principal estate was sold some years ago to a
gentleman in London, who is one of those few that are never wearied in
well-doing. He built, in the first place, half a score neat cottages,
where all the industrious poor who are past labour are comfortably
maintained at his expense. He endowed a free school for all the children
of the parish without exception, where they are taught to read and
write, and some of the poorest are clothed. Every winter he orders the
baker to deliver twice a week a large loaf at the house of each cottager
during the hard weather. He has frequently remitted his rents to poor
tenants in bad seasons; and, in short, I should never have done were I
to enumerate all his deeds of charity. I myself have in various ways
been much indebted to him, and I am well informed that he contributes
largely to the support of an aged dissenting minister in the parish. But
what is singular, he is very shy of being seen, nor do we know anything
of his rank and profession, or his town residence; nay, I believe we
should not have learned his name, had not the purchase necessarily made
it public. It is Mortimer.”

“Why,” said his friend, “I have a parishioner of that name; and from
what I have lately heard of him, I suspect him to be the man.”

“Could not I get a sight of him?” replied the first.

“Probably you may,” said the other; and presently, seeing him cross the
court, he pointed him out.

“Ah! that is the blessed man!” exclaimed the old clergyman in a rapture.
And running out, he went up, grasped him eagerly by the hand, and poured
out the most affectionate wishes for his welfare.

Mr. Mortimer now stood _completely detected_.

The world, however, was not satisfied with the general knowledge of his
goodness and benevolence. Curiosity was at work to discover his
connexions, habits, property, employment; in short, the whole personal
history of the man. One only friend, to whom he intrusted all the
secrets of his heart and life, thought fit, after he was removed from
this mortal state, to gratify the world in this particular.

Mr. Mortimer was a younger son of a respectable family in the country,
and came to London at an early age, to be educated for commercial life.
In this he succeeded so well, that after going through the different
stages of clerk, partner, and principal, he found himself possessed of a
considerable fortune. For sometime he made that use of his wealth which
persons who live within the bounds of what is called decency think
permitted to them. But the common pleasures of the world palled daily
more and more upon his taste. He found a void which could only be filled
by reading and contemplation. He grew fond of taking enlarged views of
mankind, their several conditions, characters, and destinations. He
compared the higher classes with the lower, the instructed with the
ignorant; above all, he examined _himself_, and inquired into the great
purpose for which he was brought into the world. In order to augment his
sphere of knowledge, he resolved to visit foreign countries; and having
no family encumbrances, he drew his affairs into a small compass,
relinquished business, and went abroad. During a course of some years,
he was a wanderer through most countries of Europe, travelling chiefly
on foot, avoiding common routes, and mingling with the mass of the
people.

He saw, abroad as well as at home, a great deal of misery; he saw
wretchedness everywhere close in the train of splendour—indigence by the
side of prodigality—baseness under the foot of authority. He lamented
the evils of the world; but whatever might be their original source, he
saw that man had within himself the power of remedying many of them. In
exercising this power, all duty, all virtue seemed to consist. “This,
then,” said he, “must be the proper business of every man in this life.
It is then _mine_; and how shall I best perform it?”

Full of these meditations, he returned; and convinced that the great
inequality of rank and property is one principal cause (though a
necessary one) of the ills of life, he resolved, as much as it lay in
his power, to counteract it. “How few things,” thought he, “are
necessary to my external comfort! Wholesome food, warm clothing, clean
lodging, a little waiting upon, and a few books. This is all that even
selfishness asks of me. Whose, then, is the superfluity?”

That he might at once get rid of the craving and burdensome demands
which _opinion_ imposes, he took a house in a part of the town where his
name was unknown; and of all his former acquaintance, he only reserved
one or two congenial friends. He selected out of the number of his
former domestics one of each sex, steady and confidential, whose lives
he made as comfortable as his own. After all the expenses of his frugal,
but not scanty mode of living were discharged, there remained two thirds
of his income, which he never failed to bestow in secret charity. He
chose that his charities should be secret, not only as being utterly
averse to all ostentation, but also to avoid those importunities which
might lead his bounty to unworthy objects. He would himself know the
real circumstances of every case; and it was the chief employment of his
time, by hunting into obscure corners, and searching out the private
history of the indigent classes of the community, to obtain exact
information of the existence of misery, and the proper modes of
relieving it. He neglected no kinds of distress, but it was his great
delight to relieve virtuous poverty, and alleviate those keen wounds of
fortune which she inflicts on those who have once participated in some
share of her smiles. Hence the sums which he bestowed were often so
considerable as at once to retrieve the affairs of the sufferer, nor did
he think it right to withdraw his sustaining hand as long as its support
was needful.

With respect to his opinions on other subjects, his enlarged
acquaintance with men and books effectually preserved him from bigotry.
He well knew in what points mankind agreed, and in what they differed,
and he attached much superior importance to the former.

So he lived—so he died! injuring none—benefiting many—bearing with pious
resignation the evils that fell to his own lot—continually endeavouring
to alleviate those of others—and hoping to behold a state in which all
evil shall be abolished.

[Illustration:

  Providence, or the Shipwreck, p. 377.

  EVENING XXXI.
]



                            A GLOBE-LECTURE.

                             _Papa_—_Lucy_.


_Papa._ You may remember, Lucy, that I talked to you sometime ago about
the earth’s motion round the sun.

_Lucy._ Yes, papa; and you said you would tell me another time something
about the other planets.

_Pa._ I mean some day to take you to the lecture of an ingenious
philosopher, who has contrived a machine that will give you a better
notion of these things in an hour, than I could by mere talking in a
week. But it is now my intention to make you better acquainted with this
globe which we inhabit, and which, indeed, is the most important to us.
Cast your eyes upon this little ball. You see it is a representation of
the earth, being covered with a painted map of the world. This map is
crossed with lines in various directions; but all you have to observe
relative to what I am going to talk about, is the great line across the
middle called the _equator_ or _equinoctial line_, and the two points at
top and bottom called the _poles_, of which the uppermost is the
northern, the lowermost the southern.

_Lu._ I see them.

_Pa._ Now, the sun, which illuminates all the parts of this globe by
turns as they roll round before it, shines directly upon the equator,
but darts its rays aslant toward the poles; and this is the cause of the
great heat perceived in the middle regions of the earth, and of its
gradual diminution as you proceed from them on either side toward the
extremities. To use a familiar illustration, it is like a piece of meat
roasting before a fire, the middle part of which is liable to be
overdone, while the two ends are raw.

_Lu._ I can comprehend that.

_Pa._ From this simple circumstance some of the greatest differences on
the surface of the earth, with respect to man, other animals, and
vegetables, proceed; for heat is the great principle of life and
vegetation; and where it most prevails, provided it be accompanied with
due moisture, nature is most replenished with all sorts of living and
growing things. In general, then, the countries lying on each side about
the equator, and forming a broad belt round the globe, called the
_tropics_, or _torrid zone_, are rich and exuberant in their products to
a degree much superior to what we see in our climates. Trees and other
plants shoot to a vast size, and are clothed in perpetual verdure, and
loaded with flowers of the gayest colours and sweetest fragrance,
succeeded by fruits of high flavour or abundant nutriment. The insect
tribe is multiplied so as to fill all the air, and many of them astonish
by their size and extraordinary forms, and the splendour of their hues.
The ground is all alive with reptiles, some harmless, some armed with
deadly poisons.

_Lu._ O, but I should not like that at all!

_Pa._ The birds, however, decked in the gayest plumage conceivable, must
give unmixed delight; and a tropical forest, filled with parrots,
macaws, and peacocks, and enlivened with the gambols of monkeys and
other nimble quadrupeds, must be a very amusing spectacle. The largest
of quadrupeds, too, the elephant, the rhinoceros, and the hippopotamus,
are natives of these regions; and not only these sublime and harmless
animals, but the terrible lion, the cruel tiger, and all the most
ravenous beasts of prey, are here found in their greatest bulk and
fierceness.

_Lu._ That would be worse than the insects and reptiles.

_Pa._ The sea likewise is filled with inhabitants of an immense variety
of size and figure; not only fishes, but tortoises, and all the shelly
tribes. The shores are spread with shells of a beauty unknown to our
coasts; for it would seem as if the influence of the solar heat
penetrated into the farthest recesses of nature.

_Lu._ How I should like to ramble on the seaside there!

_Pa._ But the elements, too, are there upon a grand and terrific scale.
The sky either blazes with intolerable beams, or pours down rain in
irresistible torrents. The winds swell to furious hurricanes, which
often desolate the whole face of nature in a day. Earthquakes rock the
ground, and sometimes open it in chasms which swallow up entire cities.
Storms raise the waves of the ocean into mountains, and drive them in a
deluge to the land.

_Lu._ Ah! that would spoil my shell-gathering. These countries may be
very fine, but I don’t like them.

_Pa._ Well, then—we will turn from them to the _temperate_ regions. You
will observe, on looking at the map, that these chiefly lie on the
northern side of the tropics; for on the southern side the space is
almost wholly occupied by sea. Though geographers have drawn a boundary
line between the torrid and temperate zones, yet nature has made none;
and for a considerable space on the borders, the diminution of heat is
so gradual as to produce little difference in the appearance of nature.
But, in general, the temperate _zones_ or _belts_ form the most
desirable districts on the face of the earth. Their products are
extremely various, and abound in beauty and utility. Corn, wine, and
oil, are among their vegetable stores: the horse, the ox, and the sheep,
graze their verdant pastures. Their seasons have the pleasing
vicissitudes of summer and winter, spring and autumn. Though in some
parts they are subject to excess of heat, and in others of cold, yet
they deserve the general praise of a mild temperature compared to the
rest of the globe.

_Lu._ They are the countries for me, then.

_Pa._ You _do_ live in one of them, though our island is situated so far
to the north that it ranks rather among the cold countries than the warm
ones. However, we have the good fortune to be a long way removed from
those dreary and comfortless tracts of the globe which lie about the
poles, and are called the _frigid zones_. In these, the cheering
influence of the sun gradually becomes extinct, and perpetual frost and
snow take possession of the earth. Trees and plants diminish in number
and size, till at length no vegetables are found but some mosses and a
few stunted herbs. Land animals are reduced to three or four
species—raindeer, white bears, and arctic foxes. The sea, however, as
far as it remains free from ice, is all alive with aquatic birds, and
with the finny tribe. Enormous whales spout and gambol among the
floating ice-islands, and herds of seals pursue the shoals of smaller
fish, and harbour in the caverns of the rocky coasts.

_Lu._ Then I suppose these creatures have not much to do with the sun?

_Pa._ Nature has given them powers of enduring cold beyond those of many
other animals; and then the water is always warmer than the land in cold
climates; nay, at a certain depth, it is equally warm in all parts of
the globe.

_Lu._ Well, but as I cannot go to the bottom of the sea, I desire to
have nothing to do with these dismal countries. But do any men live
there?

_Pa._ It is one of the wonderful things belonging to man, that he is
capable of living in all parts of the globe where any other animals
live. And as nothing relative to this earth is so important to us as the
condition of human creatures in it, suppose we take a general survey of
the different races of men who inhabit all the tracts we have been
speaking of?

_Lu._ Blacks, and whites, and all colours?

_Pa._ Surely. If a black dog is as much a dog as a white one, why should
not a black man be as much a man? I know nothing that colour has to do
with mind. Well, then—to go back to the equator. The middle or tropical
girdle of the earth, which by the ancients was concluded to be
uninhabitable from its extreme heat, has been found by modern
discoveries to be as well filled with men as it is with other living
creatures. And no wonder; for life is maintained here at less cost than
elsewhere. Clothes and fuel are scarcely at all necessary. A shed of
bamboo covered with palm-leaves serves for a house; and food is almost
the spontaneous produce of nature. The bread-fruit, the cocoa, the
banana, and the plantain, offer their stores freely to the gatherer; and
if he takes the additional pains to plant a few yams, or sow a little
Indian corn, he is furnished with never-failing plenty. Hence the
inhabitants of many tropical countries live nearly in what is called a
state of nature, without care or labour, using the gifts of Providence
like the animals around them. The naked Indian, stretched at ease under
the shade of a lofty tree, passes his hours in indolent repose, unless
roused to temporary exertion by the passion of the chase, or the love of
dancing and other social sports.

_Lu._ Well—that would be a charming life!

_Pa._ So the poet Thomson seemed to think, when he burst into a
rapturous description of the beauties and pleasures afforded by these
favoured regions. Perhaps you can remember some of his lines?

_Lu._ I will try.

            ——“Thrown at gayer ease, on some fair brow
            Let me behold, by breezy murmurs cooled,
            Broad o’er my head the verdant cedar wave,
            And high palmettoes lift their grateful shade.
            O, stretched amid these orchards of the sun,
            Give me to drain the cocoa’s milky bowl,
            And from the palm to draw its freshening wine!”

_Pa._ Delightful! Think, however, at what price they purchase this
indolent enjoyment of life. In the first place, all the work that is
done is thrown upon the women, who are always most tyrannized over, the
nearer a people approach to a state of nature.

_Lu._ O, horrible! I am glad I do not live there.

_Pa._ Then the mind not having that spur to exertion which necessity
alone can give, moulders in inaction, and becomes incapable of those
advances in knowledge and vigour which raise and dignify the human
character.

_Lu._ But that is the same with lazy people everywhere.

_Pa._ True. The excessive heat, however, of these countries seems of
itself to relax the mind, and unfit it for its noblest exertions. And I
question if a single instance could be produced of an original
inhabitant of the tropics, who had attained to eminence in the higher
walks of science. It is their general character to be gay, volatile, and
thoughtless, subject to violent passions, but commonly mild and gentle,
fond of society and amusements, ingenious in little arts, but incapable
of great or long-continued efforts. They form a large portion of the
human race, and probably not the least happy. You see what vast tracts
of land lie within this division; most of Africa and South America, all
the great islands of Asia and two of its large peninsulas. Of these the
Asiatic part is the most populous and civilized; indeed, many of its
nations are as far removed from a state of nature as we are, and their
constitutional indolence has been completely overcome by necessity. The
clothing of those who are in a civilized state is mostly made of cotton,
which is a natural product of those climates. Their food is chiefly of
the vegetable kind and besides the articles already mentioned, consists
much of rice.

_Lu._ Are the people all black?

_Pa._ Yes; entirely or nearly so.

_Lu._ I suppose that is owing to the heat of the sun.

_Pa._ Undoubtedly; for we find all the shades from jet black to tawny,
and at length white, as we proceed from the equator toward the poles.
The African negroes, however, from their curled woolly hair and their
flat features, have been supposed an originally distinct race of
mankind. The East Indian blacks, though under an equally hot climate,
have long flowing hair, and features not different from their fairer
neighbours. Almost all these nations are subject to despotic
governments. In religion they are mostly pagans, with a mixture of
Mohammedans.

_Lu._ I think we have had enough about these people.

_Pa._ Well, then—look again on the globe to the northern side of the
tropics, and see what a tour we shall take among the inhabitants of the
north temperate zone. Here are all the most famous places on the earth;
rich, populous countries, renowned at different periods for arts and
arms. Here is the greatest part of Asia, a little of Africa, all Europe,
and North America.

_Lu._ I suppose, however, there must be great differences both in the
climate and the way of life, in so many countries?

_Pa._ Extremely great. The southern parts partake a good deal of the
character of the tropical regions. The heat is still excessive, and
renders exertion painful; whence the people have in general been
reckoned soft, effeminate, and voluptuous. Let us, however, look at them
a little closer. Here is the mighty empire of China, swarming with
people to such a degree, that, notwithstanding its size and fertility,
the inhabitants are obliged to exert the greatest industry to procure
the necessaries of life. Nearly in a line with it are the Mogul’s
Empire, the kingdom of Persia, and the Turkish dominions in Asia; all
warm climates abounding in products of use and beauty, and inhabited by
numerous and civilized people. Here stretches out the great peninsula of
Arabia, for the most part a dry and desert land, overspread with burning
sands, only to be crossed by the patient camel. Wild and ferocious
tribes of men wander over it, chiefly supported by their herds and
flocks, and by the trade of robbery, which they exercise on all
travellers that fall in their way. A tract somewhat similar, though in a
colder climate, is the vast country of Tartary, stretching like a belt
from east to west across the middle of Asia; over the immense plains and
deserts of which, a number of independent tribes continually roam,
fixing their moveable habitations in one part or another, according as
they afford pasturage to their herds of cattle and horses. These men
have for many ages lived in the same simple state, unacquainted as well
with the arts as the vices of civilized nations.

_Lu._ Well. I think it must be a very pleasant life to ramble about from
place to place, and change one’s abode according to the season.

_Pa._ The Tartars think so; for the worst wish they can find for man, is
that he may live in a house and work like a Russian. Now look at Europe.
See what a small figure it makes on the surface of the globe as to size;
and yet it has for many ages held the first place in knowledge,
activity, civilization, and all the qualities that elevate man among his
fellows. For this it is much indebted to that temperature of climate
which calls forth all the faculties of man in order to render life
comfortable, yet affords enough of the beauties of nature to warm the
heart and exalt the imagination. Men here earn their bread with the
sweat of their brow. Nature does not drop her fruits into their mouths,
but offers them as the price of labour. Human wants are many. Clothes,
food, lodging, are all objects of much care and contrivance, but the
human powers fully exerted are equal to the demand; and nowhere are
enjoyments so various and multiplied. What the land does not yield
itself, its inhabitants by their active industry procure from the
remotest parts of the globe. When we drink tea, we sweeten the infusion
of a Chinese herb with the juice of a West Indian cane; and your common
dress is composed of materials collected from the equator to the frigid
zone. Europeans render all countries and climates familiar to them; and
everywhere they assume a superiority over the less enlightened or less
industrious natives.

_Lu._ Then Europe for me, after all! But is not America as good?

_Pa._ That part of North America which has been settled by Europeans, is
only another Europe in manners and civilization. But the original
inhabitants of that extensive country were bold and hardy barbarians,
and many of them continue so to this day. So much for the temperate
zone, which contains the prime of mankind. They differ extremely,
however, in government, laws, customs, and religions. The Christian
religion has the credit of reckoning among its votaries all the
civilized people of Europe and America. The Mahometan possesses all the
nearer parts of Asia, and the north of Africa, but China, Japan, and
most of the circumjacent countries, profess different forms of paganism.
The East, in general, is enslaved to despotism; but the nobler West
enjoys in most of its states more or less of freedom.

As to the frigid zone, its few inhabitants can but just sustain a life
little better than that of the brutes. Their faculties are benumbed by
the climate. Their chief employment is the fishery or the chase, by
which they procure their food. The tending of herds of raindeer in some
parts varies their occupations and diet. They pass their long winters in
holes dug underground, where they doze out most of their time in stupid
repose.

_Lu._ I wonder any people should stay in such miserable places!

_Pa._ Yet none of the inhabitants of the globe seem more attached to
their country and way of life. Nor do they, indeed, want powers to
render their situation tolerably comfortable. Their canoes, and fishing,
and hunting tackle, are made with great ingenuity; and their clothing is
admirably adapted to fence against the rigours of cold. They are not
without some amusements to cheer the gloom of their condition: but they
are abjectly superstitious, and given to fear and melancholy.

_Lu._ If I had my choice, I would rather go to a warmer than a colder
country.

_Pa._ Perhaps the warmer countries are pleasanter; but there are few
advantages which are not balanced by some inconveniences; and it is the
truest wisdom to be contented with our lot, and endeavour to make the
best of it. One great lesson, however, I wish you to derive from this
_globe-lecture_. You see that no part of the world is void of our human
brethren, who, amid all the diversities of character and condition, are
yet all _men_, filling the station in which their Creator has placed
them. We are too apt to look at the differences of mankind, and to
undervalue all those who do not agree with us in matters that we think
of high importance. But who are we—and what cause have we to think
ourselves right, and all others wrong? Can we imagine that hundreds of
millions of our species in other parts of the world are left destitute
of what is essential to their well-being, while a favoured few like
ourselves are the only ones who possess it? Having all a common nature,
we must necessarily agree in more things than we differ in. The road to
virtue and happiness is alike open to all. The mode of pursuit is
various: the end is the same.



                          ENVY AND EMULATION.


At one of the celebrated schools of painting in Italy, a young man named
Guidotto produced a piece so excellent, that it was the admiration of
the masters in the art, who all declared it to be their opinion that he
could not fail of rising to the summit of his profession, should he
proceed as he had begun.

This performance was looked upon with very different eyes by two of his
fellow-scholars. Brunello, the elder of them, who had himself acquired
some reputation in his studies, was mortified in the highest degree at
this superiority of Guidotto; and regarding all the honour his rival had
acquired as so much taken from himself, he conceived the most rancorous
dislike of him, and longed for nothing so much as to see him lose the
credit he had gained. Afraid openly to decry the merit of a work which
had obtained the approbation of the best judges, he threw out secret
insinuations that Guidotto had been assisted in it by one or other of
his masters; and he affected to represent it as a sort of lucky hit,
which the reputed author would never equal.

Not so Lorenzo. Though a very young proficient in the art, he
comprehended in its full extent the excellence of Guidotto’s
performance, and became one of the sincerest of his admirers. Fired with
the praises he saw him receive on all sides, he ardently longed one day
to deserve the like. He placed him before his eyes as a fair model,
which it was his highest ambition to arrive at equalling—for, as to
excelling him, he could not as yet conceive the possibility of it. He
never spoke of him but with rapture, and could not bear to hear the
detractions of Brunello.

But Lorenzo did not content himself with words. He entered with his
whole soul into the career of improvement—was first and last of all the
scholars in the designing-room—and devoted to practice at home those
hours which the other youths passed in amusement. It was long before he
could please himself with any of the attempts, and he was continually
repeating over them, “Alas! how far distant is this from Guidotto’s!” At
length, however, he had the satisfaction of becoming sensible of
progress; and having received considerable applause on account of one of
his performances, he ventured to say to himself, “And why may not I too
become a Guidotto?”

Meanwhile, Guidotto continued to bear away the palm from all
competitors. Brunello struggled awhile to contest with him, but at
length gave up the point, and consoled himself under his inferiority by
ill-natured sarcasm and petulant criticism. Lorenzo worked away in
silence, and it was long before his modesty would suffer him to place
any piece of his in view at the same time with one of Guidotto’s.

There was a certain day in the year in which it was customary for all
the scholars to exhibit their best performance in a public hall, where
their merit was solemnly judged by a number of select examiners, and a
prize of value was awarded to the most excellent. Guidotto had prepared
for this anniversary a piece which was to excel all he had before
executed. He had just finished it on the evening before the exhibition,
and nothing remained but to heighten the colouring by means of a
transparent varnish. The malignant Brunello contrived artfully to convey
into the vial containing this varnish some drops of a caustic
preparation, the effect of which would be entirely to destroy the beauty
and splendour of the piece. Guidotto laid it on by candlelight, and then
with great satisfaction hung up his picture in the public room against
the morrow.

Lorenzo, too, with beating heart, had prepared himself for the day. With
vast application he had finished a piece which he humbly hoped might
appear not greatly inferior to some of Guidotto’s earlier performances.

The important day was now arrived. The company assembled, and were
introduced into the great room, where the light had just been fully
admitted by drawing up a curtain. All went up with raised expectations
to Guidotto’s picture, when, behold! instead of the brilliant beauty
they had conceived, there was nothing but a dead surface of confused and
blotched colours. “Surely,” they cried, “this cannot be Guidotto’s!” The
unfortunate youth himself came up, and in beholding the dismal change of
his favourite piece, burst out into an agony of grief, and exclaimed
that he was betrayed and undone. The vile Brunello in a corner was
enjoying his distress. But Lorenzo was little less affected than
Guidotto himself. “Trick! knavery!” he cried. “Indeed, gentlemen, this
is not Guidotto’s work: I saw it when only half finished, and it was a
most charming performance. Look at the outline, and judge what it must
have been before it was so basely injured.”

The spectators were all struck with Lorenzo’s generous warmth, and
sympathized in the disgrace of Guidotto; but it was impossible to
adjudge the prize to his picture, in the state in which they beheld it.
They examined all the others attentively, and that of Lorenzo, till then
an unknown artist to them, gained a great majority of suffrages. The
prize was therefore awarded to him; but Lorenzo, on receiving it, went
up to Guidotto, and presenting it to him, said, “Take what merit would
undoubtedly have acquired for you, had not the basest malice and envy
defrauded you of it. To me it is honour enough to be accounted your
second. If hereafter I may aspire to equal you, it shall be by means of
fair competition, not by the aid of treachery.”

Lorenzo’s nobleness of conduct excited the warmest encomiums among the
judges, who at length determined, that for this time there should be two
equal prizes distributed; for that if Guidotto had deserved the prize of
painting, Lorenzo was entitled to that of virtue.



                     PROVIDENCE; OR, THE SHIPWRECK.


It was a dreadful storm. The wind blowing full on the seashore, rolled
tremendous waves on the beach, while the half-sunk rocks at the entrance
of the bay were enveloped in a mist of white foam. A ship appeared in
the offing, driving impetuously under her bare poles to land; now
tilting aloft on the surging waves, now plunging into the intervening
hollows. Presently, she rushed among the rocks, and there struck, the
billows beating over her deck, and climbing up her shattered rigging.
“Mercy! mercy!” exclaimed an ancient solitary, as he viewed from the
cliff the dismal scene. It was in vain. The ship fell on her side and
was seen no more.

Soon, however, a small, dark object appeared coming from the rocks
toward the shore; at first, dimly descried through the foam, then quite
plain as it rode on the summit of a wave, then for a time totally lost.
It approached, and showed itself to be a boat with men in it rowing for
their lives. The solitary hastened down to the beach, and in all the
agonizing vicissitudes of hope and fear watched its advance. At length,
after the most imminent hazards, the boat was thrown violently on the
shore, and the dripping, half-dead mariners crawled out on dry land.

“Heaven be praised!” cried the solitary, “what a providential escape!”
And he led the poor men to his cell, where, kindling a good fire, and
bringing out his little store of provisions, he restored them to health
and spirits. “And are you six men the only ones saved?”—“That we are,”
answered one of them. “Threescore and fifteen men, women, and children,
were in the ship when she struck. You may think what a clamour and
confusion there were: women clinging to their husbands’ necks, and
children hanging about their clothes, all shrieking, crying, and
praying! There was no time to be lost. We got out the small-boat in a
twinkling—jumped in, without staying for our captain, who was fool
enough to be minding the passengers—cut the rope, and pushed away just
time enough to be clear of the ship as she went down; and here we are,
all alive and merry!” An oath concluded his speech. The solitary was
shocked, and could not help secretly wishing that it had pleased
Providence to have saved some of the innocent passengers, rather than
these reprobates.

The sailors having got what they could, departed, scarcely thanking
their benefactor, and marched up the country. Night came on. They
descried a light at some distance, and made up to it. It proceeded from
the window of a good-looking house, surrounded with a farmyard and
garden. They knocked at the door, and in a supplicating tone made known
their distress, and begged relief. They were admitted, and treated with
compassion and hospitality. In the house were the mistress, her
children, and women-servants, an old man and a boy: the master was
abroad. The sailors, sitting round the kitchen fire, whispered to each
other that here was an opportunity of making a booty that would amply
compensate for the loss of clothes and wages. They settled their plan;
and on the old man’s coming with logs to the fire, one of them broke his
scull with the poker, and laid him dead. Another took up a knife which
had been brought with the loaf and cheese, and running after the boy,
who was making his escape out of the house, stabbed him to the heart.
The rest locked the doors, and after tying all the women and children,
began to ransack the house. One of the children continuing to make loud
exclamations, a fellow went and strangled it. They had nearly finished
packing up such of the most valuable things as they could carry off,
when the master of the house came home. He was a smuggler as well as a
farmer, and had just returned from an expedition, leaving his companions
with their goods at a neighbouring public-house. Surprised at finding
the doors locked, and seeing lights moving about in the chambers, he
suspected something amiss; and upon listening, he heard strange voices,
and saw some of the sailors through the windows. He hastened back to his
companions, and brought them with him just as the robbers opened the
door, and were coming out with their pillage, having first set fire to
the house, in order to conceal what they had done. The smuggler and his
friends let fly their blunderbusses in the midst of them, and then
rushing forward, seized the survivors, and secured them. Perceiving
flames in the house, they ran and extinguished them. The villains were
next day led to prison amid the curses of the neighbourhood.

The good solitary, on hearing of the event, at first exclaimed, “What a
wonderful interference of Providence, to punish guilt, and protect
innocence!” Pausing awhile, he added, “Yet had Providence thought fit to
have drowned these sailors in their passage from the ship, where they
left so many better people to perish, the lives of three innocent
persons would have been saved, and these wretches would have died
without such accumulated guilt and ignominy. On the other hand, had the
master of the house been at home, instead of following a lawless and
desperate trade, he would perhaps have perished with all his family, and
the villains have escaped with their booty. What am I to think of all
this?” Thus pensive and perplexed he laid him down to rest, and after
some time spent in gloomy reflections, fell asleep.

In his dream he fancied himself seated on the top of a high mountain,
where he was accosted by a venerable figure in a long white garment, who
asked him the cause of the melancholy expressed on his countenance. “It
is,” said he, “because I am unable to reconcile the decrees of
Providence with my ideas of wisdom and justice.”—“That,” replied the
stranger, “is probably because thy notions of Providence are narrow and
erroneous. Thou seekest it in _particular events_, and dost not raise
thy survey to the _great whole_. Every occurrence in the universe is
_providential_, because it is the consequence of those laws which divine
wisdom has established as most productive of the general good. But to
select individual facts as more directed by the hand of Providence than
others, because we think we see a particular good purpose answered by
them, is an infallible inlet to error and superstition. Follow me to the
edge of the cliff.” He seemed to follow.

“Now look down,” said the stranger, “and tell me what thou seest.” “I
see,” replied the solitary, “a hawk darting amid a flock of small birds,
one of which he has caught, while the others escape.”—“And canst thou
think,” rejoined the stranger, “that the single bird made a prey of by
the hawk lies under any particular doom of Providence, or that those who
fly away are more the objects of divine favour than it? Hawks by nature
were made to feed upon living prey, and were endowed with strength and
swiftness to enable them to overtake and master it. Thus life is
sacrificed to the support of life. But to this destruction limits are
set. The small birds are much more numerous and prolific than the birds
of prey; and though they cannot resist his force, they have dexterity
and nimbleness of flight sufficient in general to elude his pursuit. It
is in this _balance_ that the wisdom of Providence is seen; and what can
be a greater proof of it, than that both species, the destroyer and his
prey, have subsisted together from their first creation? Now, look
again, and tell me what thou seest.”

“I see,” said the solitary, “a thick black cloud gathering in the sky. I
hear the thunder rolling from side to side of the vault of heaven. I
behold the red lightning darting from the bosom of darkness. Now it has
fallen on a stately tree and shattered it to pieces, striking to the
ground an ox sheltered at its foot. Now it falls again in the midst of a
flock of timorous sheep, and several of them are left on the plain;—and
see! the shepherd himself lies extended by their side. Now it strikes a
lofty spire, and at the same time sets in a blaze an humble cottage
beneath. It is an awful and terrible sight!”

“It is so,” returned the stranger, “but what dost thou conclude from it?
Dost thou not know, that from the genial heat which gives life to plants
and animals, and ripens the fruits of the earth, proceeds this
electrical fire, which ascending to the clouds, and charging them beyond
what they are able to contain, is launched again in burning bolts to the
earth? Must it leave its direct course to strike the tree rather than
the dome of worship, or to spend its fury on the herd rather than the
herdsman! Millions and millions of living creatures have owed their
birth to this active element; and shall we think it strange if a few
meet their deaths from it? Thus the mountain torrent that rushes down to
fertilize the plain, in its course may sweep away the works of human
industry, and man himself with them; but could its benefits be purchased
at another price?”

“All this,” said the solitary, “I tolerably comprehend; but may I
presume to ask whence have proceeded the _moral evils_ of the painful
scenes of yesterday? What good end is answered by making man the scourge
of man, and preserving the guilty at the cost of the innocent?”

“That, too,” replied the venerable stranger, “is a consequence of the
same wise laws of Providence. If it was right to make man a creature of
habit, and render those things easy to him with which he is most
familiar, the sailor, of course, must be better able to shift for
himself in a shipwreck than the passenger; while that self-love, which
is essential to the preservation of life must, in general, cause him to
consult his own safety before that of others. The same force of habit in
a way of life full of peril and hardship, must conduce to form a rough,
bold, and unfeeling character. This, under the direction of principle,
will make a brave man; without it, a robber and a murderer. In the
latter case, human laws step in to remove the evil which they have not
been able to prevent. Wickedness meets with the fate which sooner or
later always awaits it; and innocence, though it occasionally suffers,
is proved in the end to be the surest path to happiness.”

“But,” resumed the solitary, “can it be said that the lot of innocence
is _always_ preferable to that of guilt in this world?”

“If it cannot,” replied the other, “thinkest thou that the Almighty is
unable to make retribution in a future world? Dismiss, then, from thy
mind the care of _single events_, secure that the _great whole_ is
ordered for the best. Expect not a particular interposition of Heaven,
because such an interposition would seem to thee seasonable. Thou,
perhaps, wouldest stop the vast machine of the universe to save a fly
from being crushed under its wheels. But innumerable flies and men are
crushed every day, yet the grand motion goes on, and will go on, to
fulfil the benevolent intentions of its Author.”

He ceased, and sleep on a sudden left the eyelids of the solitary. He
looked abroad from his cell, and beheld all nature smiling around him.
The rising sun shone in a clear sky. Birds were sporting in the air, and
fish glancing on the surface of the waters. Fleets were pursuing their
steady course, gently wafted by the pleasant breeze. Light fleecy clouds
were sailing over the blue expanse of heaven. His soul sympathized with
the scene, and peace and joy filled his bosom.



                               EPILOGUE.


              And now, so many _Evenings_ past,
              Our _Budget_’s fairly out at last;
              Exhausted all its various store,
              Nor like to be replenished more.
              Then, youthful friends, farewell! my heart
              Shall speak a blessing as we part.
                May Wisdom’s seeds in every mind
              Fit soil and careful culture find;
              Each generous plant with vigour shoot.
              And kindly ripen into fruit!
              Hope of the world, the _rising race_
              May Heaven with fostering love embrace,
              And turning to a whiter page,
              Commence with them a _better age_!
              An age of light and joy, which we,
              Alas! in promise only see.

                                                    J. A.


                                THE END

------------------------------------------------------------------------



                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


 1. Corrected and to any on p. 216.
 2. Corrected beating to heating on p. 223.
 3. Corrected my to by on p. 237.
 4. Added missing word I on p. 241.
 5. Corrected and to an on p. 308.
 6. Corrected “a ways” to “always” on p. 346.
 7. Removed unnecessary word “a” on p. 348.
 8. Silently corrected typographical errors.
 9. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
10. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.





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