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Men commit strange mistakes, and you, but if his weak words should be attended may have been calculating on the length with a Divine influence, they will be of human existence, as if it depended en- powerful enough to dispose you to reflectirely upon man, without bearing in mind tion. At all events, refusé not an old that God alone is the Author of your man's blessing, who desires, with his heart existence and preservation, and that he and soul, that when you cease to be a only can loose the silver cord, and stop director of a life insurance office on life's pendulum. Till the almighty dea earth, your name may be found written cree goes forth, no man will die. Then, in the Lamb's book of eternal life, and and not till then, “shall the dust return to your voice be heard among the trithe earth as it was, and the spirit shall re umphant throng, saying, “ Blessing, and turn unto God who gave it.'

glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, And shall Old Humphrey, while he and honour, and power, and might, be believes it possible that you are under unto our God, for ever and ever. such a sad mistake, shall he smile and speak pleasant things to you, and allow you to go unmolested down the slippery BAXTER UPON HIS DEATH-BED. pathway that leads to so fearful a pre- “ You come hither to learn to die; I cipice ? No! rather will he seize you by am not the only person that must go

this the arm, and compel you to listen to his

way. I can assure you that your whole remonstrance.

life, be it ever so long, is little enough to Did you never read the words, “ All prepare for death. Have a care of this have sinned, and come short of the glory vain deceitful world, and the lusts of the of God." “ The soul that sinneth it flesh; be sure you choose God for your shall die.” Except ye repent, ye shall portion, heaven for your home, God's all likewise perish ?" These are not the glory for your end, his word for your words of Old Humphrey, a fellow-sin- rule, and then you need never fear but ner; a poor, unworthy, mutable, dying we shall meet with comfort. worm of the earth; but the words of the

“God may justly condemn me for the living God; and so sure as we shall lie best duty I ever did; and all my hopes down and moulder in the dust, so sure as are from the free mercy of God in Christ. the High and Lofty One sits on the

“ I was but a pen in God's hand, and throne of heaven, his judgments and his what praise is due to a pen ?” promises will both be fulfilled. I ask you, When he was asked how he did, his then, have

you
insured

your
life?

answer was,

« Almost well." Surely you will never urge another to buckle on his armour, to brave the temporary evils of time, and go yourself un- SPIDERS AND THEIR WEBS.-No. I. armed to encounter the never-ending evils The ingenious stratagem of the ant-liono of eternity? This, if done without reflec- for procuring its prey has already been tjon, would be thoughtlessness; but with detailed in p. 369 of the Weekly Visitor for reflection, folly and madness. Again, then, 1834, as a sequel to it we here design to I urge the question, Have you

insured

say a few words respecting the habits of a your life? If not, hasten to the Author race of insects with which we are all famiand Giver of life, present and eternal, with liar, and whose ingenuity, celebrated in the inquiry, “ What shall I do that I every age, cannot but have often excited may have eternal life?” And the libe- the admiration of our readers. We allude rality of the terms will surprise you. to the artifices of the race of spiders ; to “ Hear, and your soul shall "live. To the net, the web, the filmy cordage, with the Lord our God belong mercies and which they entangle and secure their prey. forgivenesses, though we have rebelled All spiders, however, are not weavers or against him.” “ This is a faithful saying, spinners. Some lurk in ambush under and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ stones or leaves, and thence dart, tiger-like, Jesus came into the world to save sin- upon such insects as pass. Some hunt

“ Believe on the Lord Jesus down their victim, which they carry when Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” seized to their den, that they may devour it

The words of a weak, erring old man at leisure. Some skim the surface of the may be disregarded, however affection. water, and others, otter-like, dive after ately they may be spoken ; and therefore their prey, their bodies being kept unwet Old Humphrey will not calculate on doing by an atmosphere of air which surrounds you all the good he willingly would do ; them.

ners.

It is not to these that we shall now the creature guides and arranges the glusolicit attention, but to those that weave tinous threads as they are drawn from the their web, or stretch their gauze-like net as spinners. In order to be more effectual as traps for the unwary. Let us first examine instruments, two of the claws (at least in the nature of the material employed. The many species) are furnished underneath thread of the spider is similar to that of with teeth like a comb, by means of which the silk-worm and other caterpillars; being the threads are duly separated and disoriginally a viscid or glutinous secretion, posed; but this is not all. It often hapdrawn out from certain reservoirs on the pens, that the spider has to ascend by the body of the insect.

line which has enabled her to drop from “ If you examine a spider minutely, an elevation upon the ground beneath, and you will perceive four or six little teat- in so doing it winds up the line, as it prolike protuberances or spinners. These are ceeds, into a little ball. In this maneuvre,

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cess

(Spider's Claws magnified.) (Spinnaret magnified.)

the pectinated claws are not used, but a

third claw, between the other two, which the machinery through which, by a pro- appears to be provided expressly for such

more singular than that of rope- an operation. The fabrication of spinning spinning, the thread is drawn. Each spinner spiders may be divided into two kinds; is furnished with a multitude of tubes, so 1. close tissues or webs, composed of numerous, and so exquisitely fine, that a fibres, crossing each other in various direcspace often not much bigger than the tions; and, 2. an open-work of threads, pointed end of a pin, is furnished, accord- more or less symmetrically arranged, coning to Reaumur, with a thousand of them. stituting nets of exquisite beauty. From each of these tubes, consisting of Of the artificers which produce the fortwo pieces, the last of which terminates in mer kind of manufacture, we may notice the a point exceedingly fine, proceeds a thread of common house spider, (aranea domestica ;) astonishingly slender ; which, immediately of those producing the latter, the beautiful after issuing from it, unites with all the garden spider, (epeira diadema,) whose other threads into one; hence from each geometrical net-work is abundant during spinner proceeds a compound thread; and autumn along our hedges and on every these four threads, at the distance of about bush. one-tenth of an inch from the apex of the The webs of the common house spider spinners again unite and form the thread are well known to all; they are placed in we are accustomed to see, which the spider corners of rooms, barns, stables, out-houses, uses in forming the web.”

and other situations; and are constructed Of such delicate cordage is the web, or as follows. Having chosen the site, and the mesh of the spider constructed; but arranged the general plan and dimensions how is this network interwoven ? what are of the web, the spider dexterously affixes the instruments required for the elaborate the first thread which is to form the edge work? The spider uses only the claws of or selvage of the tissue, to one of the its feet, nature's instruments. With these, walls, or to some convenient point; and

5

BOTANY.-No. XVII.

NYMPHÆCEÆ.

in black, with a curious cap. The same from the white water lily, by the smoothwriter says that he was two days in going ness of that feshy bed in which the several from London to Oxford by the stage coach, seed vessels are immersed. In the white water though in 1603, the journey to Salisbury lily, this crown which covers the seed veswas performed in the same time, and that sels below, is larger and full of scars. The to Exeter in four days. Sir William water lilies are not only a curious ornament Douglas notes in his Diary, that a frequent in our streams, but they connect themselves communication between the metropolis and with antiquarian researches by the nymvarious parts of the country, was established phæ a lotus, with representations of which so early as the middle of the seventeenth the statues of two favourite deities of the century; and he speaks of travelling from Egyptians are often crowned. London by the Coventry coach; and of This plant, remarkable for its beauty, is Aylesbury, Banbury, and Bedford stages ; common in the Nile, and in all the stagagain, in a comedy written during the nant pools of Egypt. The fruit is eatable, Commonwealth, the first incident is the but can hardly have been that lotus so fabled descent of the company from the Reading for its charming sweetness of old, that if a stage. A“ Flying Coach" was next start- man did but once taste it, he forthwith fored from Oxford to London in thirteen hours, got all the engaging ties of home, and was or about four miles an hour, but this was content to live in perpetual oblivion of too expeditious, and two days were again those attachments, which of all others, are allotted as the time for the journey.-- thought to be most permanent. Domestic Life in England.

The zyzyphus lotus belonging to the same order as the buckthorn, has been with much reason esteemed as the true lotus

of antiquity, the berries of which are reIt is among those plants which contri- nature of the true lotus may be ascer

markable for their delightful taste. The bute to ornament our rivers, the water lily tained, by considering that the jujube lotakes a conspicuous place, easily known by its large cup-shaped yellow flower, and its zenges borrow their name from a species of broad heart-shaped leaves, which float upon the zyzyphus vulgaris

. Though the pur

the same genus as the true lotus, namely the surface of the water. Water lilies, of chaser must not imagine that these lodifferent kinds, are to be found in other climates, but chiefly in the warmer. They

zenges contain

any savour from the fruit of all agree in a succulent habit, and conse

that tree ; for it often happens, that the quently find nourishment proportioned to

persons who prepare them never saw any their wants in the streams and running

jujube juice. waters. The corolla usually consists of the nelumbium speciosum, or rose of the

The last example we shall mention, is several rows of petals, with four or five on each row, as the calyx happens to have whence, at an early period,

it was, perhaps,

Nile. It is a native of India, from four or five divisions. The stamens arrange themselves also in many rows,

introduced into Egypt. The large rose

and by their forms furnish an object of curious of peculiar splendor. When cut hori

coloured, sweet-scented flowers are objects interest; for the filament is much flattened, zontally, or the top sliced off, the fruit exand retains so much of the nature of the hibits an exact picture of an honey-comb, in petal, from which, by transformation, it is the cells of which are lodged the seeds, which derived, that it may be regarded as in a kind of transition-state, a condition inter- this plant was called the Egyptian bean.

resemble beans : hence it came to pass that mediate between a petal and a stamen. As this plant was deemed sacred, it was The stamens of the yellow water lily will from this circumstance that Pythagoras observe as an exemplification of this remark, tained the hint he adopted about the sacred which at the first glance seem of an anoma

nature of the bean ; though in respect of lous and doubtful character. It is by such instances of the transition, not the slightest similitude between this

habit, structure, and appearance, there is or intermediate state, that we are taught to infer that all the members of a flower are and that well-known familiar of our tables,

beautiful sample of nature's handy work as so many steps or grades in the scale of

the bean. transformation. The yellow water lily which we cited as

JOHN DAVIS, 56, Paternoster Row, London. an example of this order, forms the type of

Price id. each, or in Monthly Parts, containing Five a separate genus, under the appellation of

Numbers in a Cover, 3d. sphar, and is essentially distinguished

W. TYLER, Printer, Bolt-court, Fleet-street.

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BOTANY.-No, XVIII.

of recognition accessible to all. The seedCRUCIFERÆ.

vessel is constantly divided into two cells This order, which has the expressive by a middle partition, as we see in the fruit name of cross-bearing, in allusion to the of the cheiranthus cheiri, or wall-flower, uniform existence of four petals, shows which breathes its delightful fragrance from such a harmony and agreement among its the walls of our old castles and various numerous members, that the most indif- other structures of long-standing; or in the ferent eye cannot fail to acknowledge it, clove gilliflower, (mathiola incana,) the when the most hasty comparison is made common inmate of our gardens ; or in the among them. The invariable presence of dame's violet, which breathes its delightful four petals, and six stamens, two of which fragrance at eventide. are shorter than the other four, are marks Among the useful kinds of vegetable we

VOL. III.

TT

find many belonging to this family, which ble relish at dinner, in company with will serve as specimens for inspection. The the cress, belongs to this family. The garden cabbage, (brassica oleracea,) for ex- mustard (sinapis) is distinguished by the ample, when in fower will give a notion of valves or sides of its pods, which are the peculiarities which distinguish the cru- marked with nerves, its little sharp-pointciferæ. In the flower we find four petals, ed style, and its spreading calyx. The placed so as to correspond with two diame- charlork, (sinapis arvensis,) which often ters of a circle, when drawn at right angles overruns the corn-fields, to the great disto each other, four longer and two shorter may of the farmer, may serve as a wild stamens, which are marks common to every example of this genus. After glancing at member of the group. This important ar- a few specimens generally met with in culticle of domestic cultivation contains up- tivated grounds, we may notice two or three wards of thirty varieties; many of which that commonly present themselves in our are familiar to all. Among the rest, is the excursions through the fields. We can wild variety, the parent of all the others, scarcely advance three steps without findwhich is found in some places on rocks ing the shepherd's purse, which is known near the sea shore. To this genus, (brassi- by its small white Howers and its seedca,) distinguished by the closed nature of vessels, which resemble little pouches. the calyx, and the tapering form of its pod, These pouches are divided by a transverse the turnip belongs, (brassica rapa,) not less partition, which bears the seeds. In each remarkable for the odour which it diffuses, cell of the shepherd's purse (capsella burwhen in flower, than for its importance in sa pastoris) the number of seeds is various. the service of man. It is also a native of this This plant is found diffused all over Europe, country; but cultivation, as usual, has pro- India, Cape of Good Hope, and Japan. duced several varieties. To these examples There is another sample of this order, of brassica we may add B. napus, or the which is nearly as common as the shep' navew, of which there are two varieties in herd's purse; the yellow hedge mustard. general cultivation : the one for the oil It may be known by its small yellow which is afforded by its seeds; the other flowers, and its fruit stem, when the pods for the esculent nature of its root. In the are ripe, which is then so much lengthened class of edibles, though without any nutri- out as to give the plant altogether another tive properties, may be reckoned the radish, appearance. Even those who are not (raphanus sativus,) the principal generic curious in plants, cannot fail to be struck character of which is the jointed appearance with the strange transformation which of the pod, occasioned by the seeds being takes place. The reason why this affects placed at some distance from each other, us with so little surprise is, that they are and the covering or capsule being pressed imagined to be different; and the writer in between them. The seeds are round, has sometimes found a difficulty in perand hang freely upon their stems. The sea- suading some persons that the leafy and not kale is approximated to the radish by the ungraceful plant, when in youth, was identwo-jointed nature of its pod. This plant, tical with the bare, dark-coloured, and known as the crambe maritima, has a very lengthened plant when in fruit. In early disagreeable savour in its wild state, but spring, we find in every ditch the hedge by the process of earthing, which the French mustard (alliaria officinalis ;) it may be call etiolation, it is rendered a delicacy known by its tall straight stem, with among the vegetables destined for the Aowers and broad leaves, which have the table. The water-cress, (sisymbrium nas- smell of garlic. This, till lately, was assoturtium, or nasturtium officinale,) regarded ciated with the former, under the generic among the rustics from

name of erysimum. In the alliaria, the time immemorial, has become by cultiva- | pod is somewhat four-cornered ; in the erytion one of the most abundant among vege- simum accurately so: in the former the tables. The mode of cultivation consists calyx is loose, but in the latter closed. In merely in keeping the roots clean, and sup- this account we have taken no notice of the plying them with their wonted nutriment seeds, which, it is right to apprise the of fresh running water. In this genus reader, are now regarded as the most im(nasturtium) the pod is tapering, and portant part in making distinctions. But either shortened or bent back, while, the as we are preparing a few sketches from calyx and corolla have both of them their nature of the part in question, we shall take divisions spreading apart from each other. another opportunity of laying the subject The mustard, so well known as yielding before our readers. a condiment, and furnishing an agreea- Erysimum barbarea, distinguished by

as a

sallet

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