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difficult to separate the living from the dead ; | little value the myriads of minute laboratories in and the latter class includes the decaying and the greensward, which, busy all the day long, decayed. The brown, friable, pulverulent matter drink up the detrimental carbonic acid gas of our which is called mould, and composes a con- empoisoned air, and pour out in return, volume siderable portion of the underground mass of the for volume, invisible fountains of purest oxygen! sod, is vegetable fibre, having undergone its com- Such, humble as they are, is their high vocation, plete decay. Chemists call it humus. It is in- so far as it directly relates to man. That fatal soluble, or nearly so, in water ; it cannot, there- gas which he and his manufactures, and his fore, although rich in carbon, contribute any of humbler relatives in the zoological schemethat element directly to the thick vegetation animals, birds, and the almost invisible insectflourishing above. Yet it was long considered alike combine to produce, the cheerful sward that this very humus was the real and only feeds upon, gladly appropriates, makes into origin of the wood of plants. As, however, wood, turns into leaves and stems, and, more plants can only receive soluble particles by their useful still, converts into health-sustaining food roots, and those of humus are insoluble, it is a for man and beast. During the shades of night very simple and just conclusion to arrive at that the grass lands, in common with the rest of vegethe source of carbon in vegetation lies not for tation, evolve carbonic acid ; but it has been the most part in the soil. The thin air and the satisfactorily demonstrated that the preponderviewless winds will better answer the question. ance is incomparably in favour of the oxygen Is the humus of the sod, then, altogether useless? evolution during the day. Not so. It is the reservoir of all the alkaline We have spoken of the tender blades which and mineral ingredients of the last generation of crown our sod as forming food. The chemical plants, and these are absolutely essential to the analysis effected by Sir H. Davy shows that well-being, even to the existence of vegetation. the following principles in the grasses are those In the undisturbed greensward, allowed to lie for by the possession of which it is adapted for this years by the grazier, this stock of salts amounts end. Their remarkable simplicity will not fail to a large quantity; and if the plough is now to be observed : mucilage, sugar, bitter extractive sent through it, the smiling, sod torn up, broken, matter, a substance analogous to albumen, and and crushed and sown for wheat, a crop of vast various saline ingredients. luxuriance follows. But this only lasts for a Let this suffice for the history of a sod. The year or two, and the land returns to its former desire has been to exhibit, however imperfectly, average, or possibly falls under, for reasons not the rich and varied amount of interest and instructo be here entered into. In the upper layers of tion which may be made to flow out of the conthe sod, vegetable fibre in the actual process of templation of one of the commonest objects in decay is sure to be found. It may be recognised nature. by its crumbling character and brown colour. Possibly it consists of the slain bodies of the grasses which were felled by the last winter's
ANTHRACITE COAL. frosts. Water and air are busy here; the work The increasing business of our city and counof destruction hastens on; the woody, fibres try, the multiplication of our manufactures, and undergo «eremecausis,' to use the Liebigian the steady, annual addition to our agricultural phrase—that is, they are slowly, or by degrees productions, are not upfrequent topics of conconsumed. In so doing, they are continually versation, or of newspaper paragraphs. Indeed, evolving small portions of carbonic acid gas ; we are so accustomed to the terms, increase, prothe fibres become more and more broken up; gress, &c., that we do not always confine our until at length it is not possible to distinguish application of them to the arts, manufactures and them from the pulverulent humus above-mention- multiplying population of our country, but are ed. In this process all the salts and mineral quite ready, forscoth, to refer them to ourselves, constituents which entered into the composition and not a few have, rationally enough, as they of the original fibres are again surrendered to the believe, arrived at the conclusion, that our intelsoil in their turn, to enter into new relations, and lectual developments here in the United States, to serve new purposes in the physiological have progressed and progressed, until we have economy of another generation. The carbonic really got ahead of all our transatlantic contemacid gas eliminated in decay is not produced in poraries ! Now these latter suggestions of our vain. When the rooilets of the young grasses vanity, it is true, are all silly enough: and we are feeble, while the growing stem and leaves will say but little about our wisdom, as one is draw much upon them, the genial rain descend- not apt to place much confidence in that which ing dissolves this gas, and supplies it to the openly puis forth its claim to superiority. But spongioles of the roots in a liquid form, to be if we refer the terms I have used to many cirthen carried up into the vegetable system, and cumstances around us, it would really seem as if there decomposed. So far for the chemistry of we had good ground for doing so. death in the sod. How little do we prize the vidence has permitted us to move on in an purifying influence of our green fields! How I almost uninterrupted course of prosperity. Pro
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gress, to an unprecedented extent, has been for our own citizens and strangers to put on their stamped upon our earthly concerns.
every day clothes and examine it for themselves. There scarcely need be produced a more
Z. striking instance of this, in a new line of business-a new channel for enterprise-than the coal trade of Pennsylvania. The pioneers of
BROTHERLY KINDNESS. that experiment are yet living, -active men, somewhat, indeed, beyond the prime of life, but Not only in spirituals, but also in matters restill well able to plan and to execute. Many of lating to this life, are the declarations of Scripthe readers of the Review in this city, will reture oftentimes highly instructive.
What a member when a few 'tons of coal were brought valuable lesson may even the selfish man derive here, and persons could scarcely be found—not from Prov, xi. 24,—. There is that scattereth, to buy it, but who were willing to receive it as and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth a gift, and consume it as an experiment, in their more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." houses. When the Legislature in 1818 gave to The following verse alsn--" he that watereth, Josiah White, and two or three others, authority shall be watered also himself”-conveys a lesson to improve the navigation of the Lehigh, their of the same character, and may incite us all to project was considered so chimerical, it was a be kindly affectioned one to another, with common opinion, even among the members of brotherly love." The following incident is illusthe Legislature themselves, that the applicants trative of the texts I have quoted, and shows to had only received legal authority to facilitate advantage the natural tendency of a kindly act, to their own ruin. In 1820, after overcoming dif- be reflected back upon him who performs it. ficulty that followed difficulty, the Lehigh Navigation and Coal Company-which particular “A story is told of two travellers in Lapland, circumstances, that I need not stop here to ex- which throws more light on the art of being plain, had called into existence-succeeded in happy than a whole volume of precepts and sending 365 tons of coal to Philadelphia. This aphorisms. Upon a very cold day in the winter, quantity completely stocked the market, and it they were driving along in a sledge, wrapped up was not easily disposed of. The next year the in furs from head to foot. Even their faces title of the company was changed to that by were closely covered; and you could see hardly which it is now known—The Lehigh Coal and anything but their eyebrows; and these were Navigation Company, and a little more than white and glistening with frost. At length they one thousand tons of coal, were landed at our
saw a poor man who had sunk down, benumbed wharves, principally at Walnut street. This and frozen, in the snow. We must stop and business, from the small beginning we have help him,' said one of the travellers. Stop glanced at, has been steadily increasing: and and help him ? replied the other; you will there is no question but the rapid growth and never think of stopping on such a day as this ! prosperity of our beautiful city, is, under Pro- We are half frozen ourselves, and ought to be at vidence, mainly attributable to the opening of our journey's end as soon as possible. But I
• these new and vast resources for fuel, and the cannot leave this inan to perish,' rejoined the timely introduction of the Anthracite coal. more humane traveller; I must go to his relief;'
About 10,000 tons are now daily sent from and he stopped his sledge. Come,' said he, our mines. For the week ending the 13th inst., come and help me to rouse him.' Not I,' rethe Reading Rail Road carried 35,109 tons. plied the other, “I have too much regard for my There were shipped in the same time from the own life to expose myself to this freezing atmoLehigh region, 20,714 tons, and by the Schuyl- sphere more than is necessary. I will sit here, kill canal, there were sent down 13,613 tons. and keep myself as warm as I can till you come Last
year about 2,000,000 of tons were trans- back.' So saving, he resolutely kept his seat; ported on our three great thoroughfares-the while his companion hastened to the relief of Lehigh Navigation, the Reading Rail Road, and the perishing man, whom they had so provithe Schuylkill Navigation. Already this season, dentially discovered. The ordinary means for nearly 1,100,000 tons have been sent to find a restoring consciousness and activity were tried market. About 5000 tons are daily, except First with complete success, But the kind-hearted day, deposited by the Reading Rail Road, at its traveller was so intent upon saving the life of a depot, at Richmond, some two or three miles up fellow-creature, that he had forgotten his own the Delaware. Most of this is shipped to feed exposure; and what were the consequences ? the furnaces and engines of our eastern friends ; Why, the very effort which he had made to and with 40 or 50 vessels continually loading at warm the stranger, warmed himself ! And thus the wharves, we find Richmond one of the be had a two-fold reward. He had the sweet busiest places we have seen : as bustling and as consciousness of doing a benevolent act, and he dirty as the heart even of a steam engine-were also found himself glowing from head to foot, by we allowed to speak of the physiology of a reason of the exertions which he had made. And machine-could desire. It is well worth while how was it with his companion, who had been
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so much afraid of exposing himself? He was covered monster, it was not difficult to compute almost ready to freeze, notwithstanding the its magnitude, which appeared alarmingly great. efforts he had been making to keep warm. As the creature, whatever it was, exhibited the
appearance of life, the degree of heat which it
was able to endure became a subject of calculaSAGACITY AND ATTACHMENT OF A HORSE. tion, and was found of course to be many times
Instances frequently occur in which domestic greater than that of red hot iron. Its translation animals are evidently made instrumental to the from one part of the sun's disc 10 another, when preservation of life by the application of a viewed at the distance of ninety-four millions of sagacity which does not fall within the usual miles, indicated an astonishing power of locorange of their intellects. The following circum
motion. This momentous discovery, with the stance was related to me, soon after its occur.
results scientifically deduced from the phenorence, by a man upon whose veracity I can
mena, being duly announced, numerous spectarely, who received it immediately from the sub- tors were attracied to witness and admire the ject of the narrative.
appalling appearance. All was astonishment About twenty years ago, J. B., who resided and fear; and none could question the reality of in Chester county, Pennsylvania, not far from what was plainly visible to every eye which the west branch of the Brandywine, was re
was applied to the telescope. At length one of turning home on horseback, at a time when the spectators, rather more shrewd than the that stream, across which his road lay, was rest, suggested the expediency of examining the much swollen by rain or melting snow.
The interior of the instrument, when it was discodepth and force of the current dislodged him vered that a small fly was lodged on one of the from his seat, and he was cast upon a bank,
glasses. formed, I think, by a cake of ice, where his life
Now before we laugh at the credulity of the was in evident jeopardy. The horse in the astronomer, it would not be amiss 10' inquire mean time, released from restraint, made his way
whether we do not sometimes commit a similar to the shore; but instead of running away, he or more important blunder. The supposed disstopped on the bank, looked round and neighed. covery, while admited to be real, could hardly Perceiving his master in his perilous situation, lead to any injurious practical results. The fls surrounded by the rushing torrent, the sagacious might have crawled out of the field of view, and animal returned into the water, and coming close
the phenomenon have been considered as one of to him, stood there till he was securely seated
the inexplicable mysteries of nature. on his back. And this could not be very hastily duct of others, apparently with critical accuracy,
But when we see persons viewing the condone, as the man was advanced in years and his clothes saturated with water. Not being able to and discovering errors and faults which are not regain the ford, the pair arrived at the margin of visible to common observers, we may very the stream, at a place where the bank was too justly suspect that a fly has got into the telesteep to be mounted by the horse with his scope. burden. Help at length came, and the horse
When we hear political opponents discussing and his rider were extricated from their dan- the plans and designs of each other, and per. gerous position; but the former was so much ceiving evidence of folly and knavery in all exhausted by his exertions that he lay down and their measures, we naturally suppose that the stretched himself out as if dying. He however
instrument or the medium throngh which they recovered, and his owner assured my informant
are looking furnishes a distorted image which is that no price that could be offered should ever, not to be found in the object. We readily imawhile he lived, transfer the noble beast to another gine there is a fly in the ielescope. master. This attachment to the horse was
When we find religious professors scrutinizing pleasing and natural, but I should consider the the opinions and practices of others with a zeal principal debt of gratitude due to an overruling in which charity cannot mingle, and placing on hand which directed the sagacity of the animal their sentiments and actions the most unfavourto the object and the means of preserving the able construction they can bear, we would do life of the owner.
well to examine whether there is not a fly in the telescope.
In the opinions which we venture to form and
promulgate respecting those with whom we are A FLY IN THE TELESCOPE.
connected, either in social or religious commuI remember reading, many years ago, a story nion, it is of incalculable importance to remember of an astronomer who was viewing the sun our own fallibility; and to be careful never to through a telescope, and was surprised by the announce as blemishes in others what may posdiscovery of what seemed to be a monster on sibly be nothing else than defects in the organ the face of that luminary. From the known of vision; and to reflect that we only expose dimensions of the sun, and the portion of its our own credulity if we mistake a fly in the surface which was occupied by the newly dis- I telescope for a monster in the sun.
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LIABILITY OF RAILROAD COMPANIES. intentional mischief; although it may be cogent A question of considerable importance has evidence of such an act. Of the latter a tresbeen recently tried in New York, in which the passer may complain, although he cannot be liability of Railroad Companies to damages for allowed to do so in regard to the former." injuries to cattle which may be found on their As the principles here expounded are applitrack, was brought to a legal decision.
cable to similar cases in other States, we may A farmer in Gates had a pair of oxen which consider it as law, that domestic animals, if broke out of his enclosure into the highway, suffered to wander on the track of railroads, are and thence wandered upon the track of the there at the risk of their owners ; and if injured Towando railroad, where they were killed by the trains without such neglect on the part during the night by the train. The owner sued of the conductors, as to afford evidence of malithe company for the value of the oxen, before a cious intention, the company or its agents are Court of Common Pleas in Monroe county, and not liable for damages. obtained a decision in his favour. From this judgment a writ of error was brought, and the case being argued before the Supreme Court,
CONSCIENCE AND CHARITY. the judgment of the Common Pleas was re- Fourth of Fourth month, 1758. Orders came versed.
to some officers in Mount Holly, about one The subject appears to have been very closely hundred soldiers. An officer and two other examined, and the records of legal decisions men, all inhabitants of our town, came to my carefully explored. The report of the case house. The officer told me that he came to occupies eight columns in the American Rail- desire me to provide lodging and entertainment road Journal; but the principles on which the for two soldiers, and that six shillings a week decision was made may be explained in a few per man would be allowed as pay for it. The lines.
case being new and unexpected, I made no The cattle were not on the highway for any answer suddenly, but sat a time silent, my mind of the purposes designed by public roads. Those being inward. 'I was fully convinced that the roads belong to the public for the purpose of proceedings in wars are inconsistent with the travelling, not for pasturage. · Of course the purity of the Christian religion ; and to entertain oxen were trespassing, when wandering on the men, who were then under pay as soldiers, was highway, and their entry on the ground occu- a difficulty. I expected they had legal authority pied by the railroad, was a trespass on the for what they did ; and after a short time I said property of the company. It does not appear to the officer, if the men are sent here for enterthat there was intentional negligence on the part tainment, I believe I shall not refuse to admit of the owner of the oxen, or of the conductors them into my house; but I cannot keep them on of the train. But as the loss of the cattle was hire: one of the men intimated that he thought the consequence of a trespass, arising from their I might do_it consistently with my religious owner's neglect, he could not recover from the principles. To which I made no reply, believing owners of the land. Their destruction may have silence, at the time, best for me. Though they arisen from some neglect on the part of the spake of two there came only one, who tarried company or its agents ; but the fact that they at my house about two weeks, and behaved were committing a trespass constitutes a decisive himself civilly. When the officer came to pay obstacle to any recovery of damages for such me, I told him I could not take pay, having injury.
admitted him into my house in passive obedience "One who complains of another's negligence, to authority. I was on horseback when he should himself be without fault. Where the spoke to me, and as I turned from him he said plaintiff, at the time of the alleged injury was he was obliged to me, to which I said nothing; trespassing on the defendant, or otherwise wrong but thinking on the expression, I grew uneasy; in the particular act complained of, such delin- and afterwards, being near where he lived, I quency alone, with very few exceptions, is a went and told him on what grounds I refused decisive answer to any claim for damages founded taking pay for keeping the soldier. on the defendant's negligence.
I have been informed that Thomas a Kempis “ Negligence is a violation of the obligation lived and died in the profession of the Roman which enjoins care and caution in what we do. Catholic religion ; and in reading his writings, But this duty is relative; and where it has no I have believed him to be a man of a true existence between particular parties, there can Christian spirit, as fully so as many who died be no such thing as negligence in the legal sense martyrs because they could not join with some of the term. But injuries inflicted by design superstitions in that church. All true Chrisare not thus to be excused. A wrong doer tians are of the same spirit, but their gifts are is not necessarily an outlaw, but may justly diverse; Jesus Christ appointing to each one complain of wanton and malicious mischief. his peculiar office, agreeably to his infinite Negligence, however, even when gross, is but wisdom. an omission of duty. It is not designed and John Huss contended against the errors which
had crept into the church, in opposition to the evil. This opinion the speaker before us has succouncil of Constance, which the historian re- cessfully assailed and exposed. ports to have consisted of some thousand persons. The subject of slavery, and particularly its extenHe modestly vindicated the cause which he sion over territories from which it is now excluded, believed was right; and though his language has become a subject intensely interesting to the and conduct towards his judges appear to have been respectful, yet he never could be moved philanthropist of our day; and while we wish to from the principles settled in his mind. To use desire that the people of these United States may
keep clear of political excitement, we cannot fail to his own words: “ This I most humbly require and desire of you all, even for his sake who is duly appreciate the importance of their position; the God of us all, that I be not compelled to and the influence which they must exercise on the the thing which my conscience doth repugn or advancement and civilization of the world. strive against.” And again, in his answer to the Emperor: “I refuse nothing, most noble
PEAK OF POPOCATAPETL. Emperor, whatsoever the council shall decree or
(Concluded from page 684.) determine upon me, only this one thing I except, Profiting by our experience, we went this that I do not offend God and my conscience.' time well prepared with green veils and specta[Fox's Acts and Monuments, page 233.] At cles, warm gloves and thick sacks. Since the length, rather than act contrary to that which day of our failure we had had fine sunny weather, he believed the Lord required of him, he chose and a great deal of the snow that had fallen then, to suffer death by fire. Thomas a Kempis, had melted away. We left the escort at the without disputing against the articles then gene- Vacaria, and proceeded with our attendants and rally agreed to, appears to have laboured, by a a few soldiers who wished to accompany us, to pious example, as well as by preaching and within a quarter of a mile of the limit of vegetawriting, to promote virtue, and the inward tion, where we pitched our tents. The night spiritual religion ; and I believe they were both was far different from the first, being as clear sincere-hearted followers of Christ. True charity and calm as could be desired. We rose at halfis an excellent virtue; and sincerely to labour past one o'clock, and were on our way at halffor their good, whose belief in all points doth past two. In order to save our strength as much not agree with ours, is a happy state.-John as we could for the tag above the Pico del Woolman.
Frayle, we determined to ride our horses as far as possible, and then send them back to camp.
The volcanic sand which lies between the limit FRIENDS' REVIEW..
of vegetation and the region of eternal snow, and
which, from its depth, is usually more fatiguing PHILADELPHIA, SEVENTH MONTH 22, 1848. to travel over than the snow itself, was now for
tunately frozen so hard that our horses carried We introduce to our readers in the present num
us with great ease nearly two miles beyond the ber, a testimony respecting a deceased minister, pines. It would have been quite practicable to who, though her removal is not of a very recent ride still further, but we did not care to jade our date, is no doubt still vividly remembered by many
horses by forcing them up the ascent, which Friends on this side of the Atlantic. To her, we
was now becoming very steep; and, moreover
, apprehend, may be justly applied the declaration of would be more pleasant to climb than to ride.
our benumbed fingers and toes suggested that it holy writ; “ blessed are the dead who die in the
Clambering up the steep slope was exceedingly Lord; they shall rest from their labours and their toilsome, and we began also to feel the effect of the works do follow them."
rarefaction of the air. - We could not walk more
than thirty steps without stopping to recover The reader will find in our columns of this week, breath. The sun rose beautifully clear when a considerable portion of a speech lately delivered we were at an elevation of nearly sixteen thouin the Senate of the United States, on the subject of sand feet, and we enjoyed at that moment another the territorial government of Oregon. As the speech singularly striking sight. The huge shadow of in its whole extent is much too long for insertion in the mountain was thrown across the valleys at the Review, the selections which have been made its feet
, over the range of mountains to the west necessarily exhibit the arguments in an imperfect
of the valley of Mexico, far across the distant form. Though we do not wish to endorse the blue point several degrees above the horizon. In
valley of Toluca, and finally vanished in a dimly opinions of the speaker in every part, we think there the purple light which was spread over the are many passages in the speech of remarkable country covered by the shadow, only the hills clearness and force. The opinion has been fre- and valleys and prominent features of the land. quently advanced that the diffusion of the slaves over scape could be faintly distinguished, whilst on a greater extent of surface, adds nothing to their either side everything was glittering in the bright number, and consequently does not increase the morning sunshine. Far away, to the west we