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of threads, which seem as if let down, doubts about its identity with the chickfrom the roof of the capsule to the seed weed, he has only to examine the stem, bearing pillar below it.
when he will find, if it be truly the herb There is nothing more striking, in a in question, that a crest of hairs runs diligent contemplation of the works of along one side of the stem, from its God, than the depth of the resources, and summit to its base. By this singularity the choice of expedients, which the the plant is easily determined. Creator has been pleased to employ,
A There is a 'tall red flower, very com. right philosophy leads us to conclude, mon in our hedges, the lychnis dioica, or that the Deity is infinite in wisdom, as campion, which may be known by its well as in power; the believer has the agreement with the general characters highest possible proof of it in his own given of this order, and by having the salvation; but the student of vegetable top or mouth of the tube formed by the nature finds a never-ending variety of petals, crowned with little coloured proinstances, which exemplify and press upon cesses, like stunted petals. The singuhim the conviction, that there is no limit larity of this plant consists in this, that to the multitude of those processes by one plant furnishes stamens, and another which he can bring about any of his a seed-vessel; whence it is said to be purposes.
That countless number of diæcious. forms exhibited by flowers, whether they Amidst the standing corn, the cornembroider the meadow, adorn the sloping cockle (lychnis githago) often forms a sides of our hills, or grow in the retirement conspicuous object, distinguished by the and moisture of the wood or the rill, have hoary appearance of its leaves, red all the same object to effect; namely, to flowers, and the length of the divisions serve in the protection and maturation of of the calyx. the seed. In fact, the science of botany, The mouse-ear chickweeds (cerastium when considered fundamentally, is but viscosum and vulgatum) are ever at hand the reckoning up of the various methods as we are passing through the fields, by which the Creator has thought fit to the side of the footpaths. The small make use of in bringing a seed to per- white flower, and small rough leaf, some. fection.
what resembling a mouse-ear in shape, But, to cite a few more instances, to will distinguish them. The capsules illustrate this order, let us imagine our- burst at the top, and form a circular ring selves walking by the side of some ditch, of ten teeth, which are bent back. This under the shelter of a hedge, in the pretty little circumstance is the diagmonth of April. We may observe, that nosis, or distinguishing trait of the under the covert of the bushes there is a cerastium. copious display of snow-white flowers, On heaths, and by the sea-side, we ornamenting the bank without intermis- may pick up the sand-worts, (arenaria,) sion. These flowers, we see, are borne known by their narrow fleshy leaves ; by slender stems, which, at intervals, are and, in connexion with the general chafurnished with pairs of narrow leaves. racters of this order, by the capsule parting A closer observation shows that it has into from three to six valves or points five petals, deeply cloven, ten stamens, at the top. three styles, and a capsule, which en. The last example we shall mention, closes a column paved with seeds. This and of which we have given a figure, is the stellaria holostea, or greater stitch- is the chickweed breakstone, (sagina prowort. If, after surveying the flowers, cumbens,) an humble plant, which may we examine the leaf, we shall find one of often be seen growing in sandy places. its specific distinctions is the delicate The stem, by leaning upon the ground, is teeth, which may be felt by passing the tempted, by the moisture of the earth, to hand along the edge of the leaf. throw out additional roots; hence it pre
The chickweed, which grows so abun- sents itself as a small tuft of branches, dantly in all cultivated ground, and in all closely attached to the ground. The situations where the soil is good, belongs stamens in this plant are reduced to four, to the genus stellaria. It may easily be but the seed-vessel, opening at the top, known by the small fresh green leaves, and the general habit, connects it with and its small white flowers, which corre- the order before us. The collector should spond in structure with the species just arrange these plants in a book by themdescribed. If the collector, when he has selves, which would afford him an opporgathered a plant, should entertain any tunity of tracing their common points of
I was very
similitude, as they are varied with the , and if you have ever climbed up a mounrespective tokens of generic and specific tain half as high and as steep as he found distinction.
the Skiddaw to be, you will know that the undertaking was not an easy one. Oh, how
many times did I turn my back to the OLD HUMPHREY, ON THE APPEARANCE mountain, to rest myself, before I had
clambered half-way up its rugged sides ! Things are not exactly what they ap- I did reach the cloud at last, but had pear in any case; but, in some cases they not much reason to congratulate myself. are as different from what they appear as one That which appeared from Keswick vale thing can be from another. To know this in a beautiful blue cloud, was, when I apage is well ; but could we know it in youth, proached it, nothing more than a thick it would be invaluable. This, however, mist. Not only was it without beauty, cannot be expected : it is experience, and but it hindered me from seeing any thing sometimes bitter experience only, that can that was beautiful. The lovely valley, correct our mistakes in this particular. and the magnificent lake below me, were Our very outward senses lead us astray, completely hidden from my view; and I until they are assisted by knowledge and came down from the Skiddaw in a much judgment, from the days of our infancy : a worse temper than child thinks that the sun and the moon are silly for thus being put out of temper; no larger than they look to be. In his and must confess that since then, often has estimation, they are about the size of a Old Humphrey got into a mist in followpot-lid, or a wooden trencher. You may ing out the foolish inclinations of his heart. tell him, if you will, that they are bigger How has it been with you ? than the house ; but you must tell him so
What a world of trouble we give ourmany times over, before he will believe selves to attain what is of little value ! you.
and disappointment works no cure; the A counterfeit looks very much like a failure of yesterday prevents not the exgolden coin, but there is a great difference pectation of to-day, and the blighted between them, and when we have mis- promise of to-day destroys not the hope taken the one for the other, we feel sadly of to-morrow. disappointed. It is so with a thousand things Again, I say, that things are not what in the world : they are not half so valuable they appear, and we willingly allow ouras they seem to be.
selves to be cheated from childhood to In the days of my youth, when playing old age, by running after or climbing to with half a dozen of my companions, we obtain what is any thing but the thing saw something at a distance that shone as we take it to be. Oh that we could use bright as a diamond ; and a pretty scamper this world as not abusing it, remembering
to get hold of it. A high that the fashion of it passeth away! but hedge, a deep ditch, and a boggy field, lay no! In vain the wise man tells us of between us and that which had so much the things we seek, that “all is vanity excited our attention ; but had the hedge and vexation of spirit.” In vain an been higher than it was, the ditch deeper, apostle exhorts us to set our affections and the field ten times more boggy, they on things above, not on things on the would not have hindered us from obtaining earth.” Disbelieving the assertion of the the prize. After tearing our clothes, splash- one, and disregarding the exhortation of ing ourselves up to the neck, and running the other, we still, like children, run after till we were out of breath, we found that bubbles, that lose their brightness the which glittered in the sun's rays like a moment they are possessed. diamond to be nothing more than a bit of Old Humphrey is ashamed to think glass; a piece of an old broken bottle ! how keen a relich he has for the very Now I will venture to say, that you have things which have deceived him again many a time given yourself as much trouble and again. The glittering will-o'-theas I did, and got nothing better than a wisps that surround him, look so like piece of a broken bottle for your pains. friendly tapers in hospitable dwellings,
When a young man, Old Humphrey that he still follows them, till the bogs they once saw. a beautiful blue cloud resting on lead him into convince him of his mis. the side of a very high mountain in Cum- take. We may safely conclude, that berland, called the Skiddaw, and he thought “all is not gold that glitters,” nor all pure it would be a very pleasant thing to climb that looks like snow. up close to it; so he made the attempt: But while we thus complain that things
are not what they appear, are we our- | which she traverses until she reaches the selves what we appear to be? Though opposite spot to that where she fixed her I have been speaking of other matters, thread; all this time she was drawing out this is the question that I wanted to her line, keeping it distinct by one of her come to. This question, brought home hind feet, so as to prevent its being glued to our hearts, is like cutting the finger to the threads along which she walked : nail to the quick; taking a thorn out of this thread she now fixes; it crosses the a tender part; or, indeed, touching the middle of the area. She now alters her apple of the eye ; but it is worth while plan, and begins at the middle of this putting it for all that. Other people may diagonal thread, where she fastens another, pose us, but the closest method of ques- carrying it to the nearest part of the outline, tioning is, to question ourselves. Are we, to be there secured. From the same spot, then, what we appear to be ? For if we which is to be the centre of the net, she are either ignorant of the evil of our again carries another thread to the outline, own hearts, or railing against others when and so on until the number of radii are we are more guilty than they are, it is completed ; generally from twenty to thirty. high time that such a state of things Having assured herself that each thread is should be altered.
sufficiently strong, which she does by pullWere the Searcher of all hearts to ing at each separately, and replacing such put the inquiry to you and to me, Art as may be found faulty, the spider next thou what thou appearest to be ? would proceeds to form the concentric circles ; not the reply be, "If I justify myself, beginning at the centre, she spins a ring, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if attached to each radius at a litile distance I say I am perfect, it shall also prove me from the centre point ; this is followed by perverse. Behold, I am vile ; what shall others at a very small interval from each I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon other : the interval, however, increasing as my mouth.”
she proceeds from the centre to the circum
ference. The whole of these circles being SPIDERS AND THEIR WEBS.-No. III.
finished, she now returns to the centre, and Tue geometric spider of our gardens bites off the point at which all the radii were (epeira diadema) is as remarkable for the united, so as to make their security depend beauty of its markings as it is for the light on the circular threads alone ; by this mode ness and filmy delicacy of the webs it con-,
the elasticity of the net is most probably structs. Who, that has walked abroad on
increased. In this central spot the spia fine autumnal morning, with his senses
der takes her station, on the watch for prey. alive to nature's thousand charms, can have This is, however, by no means an invariable failed to notice the threads and circular rule; for she always spins a cell in some net of this artist, laden with pearly drops of retired spot, in which to lurk unobserved, dew, hanging in profusion along every having threads of communication from her hedge-row and on every bush, and noticing, retreat to the centre of the net, the vibracan have failed to reflect on Him who has tions of which serve to inform her of the taught
capture of her booty. “ The wild bird how to build its nest,
So far all is tolerably plain; but we
have yet to account for those long lines, The mode in which the geometric spider stretched to distant points, which it was imconstructs its net is very curious ; and some possible for the spider to have personally points, connected with the subject, are not visited. These lines sometimes pass from yet quite understood. Its first object is to the web to distant branches; sometimes construct the outline, which it does by pass- from one branch to another ; we have seen ing from one leaf or sprig to another, fixing them yards in length, passing from a hedgeits threads as it proceeds, and thus encir- row to trees a considerable distance, and cling a considerable area. This outline it at various degrees of elevation, from the strengthens by fresh additions, until a due ground. degree of toughness is produced, keep- The explanation of the fact is thus solved ing the whole in the requisite degree of by Mr. Blackwall, who says, “ I have tension, by securing the line to every thoroughly satisfied myself, by observation possible object.
and experiment, that in such instances The outline thus formed, the next step spiders invariably avail themselves of curis to fill it up by radii, like the spokes of rents of air, by which their lines are somea wheel. To do this, the spider fixes a times carried to a surprising distance. If thread to a convenient part of the outline, the geometric spider be placed on twigs, set
The insect weave its web!"
upright in glazed earthen vessels, with per- / this aerial navigation the little insect floats pendicular sides, containing a sufficient with its back downwards and its legs quantity of water sufficiently to immerse folded, and thus reposing at its ease, uptheir bases, the spiders thus insulated use borne on streamers of silken threads, it every means in their power to effect an commits itself to the
air, M. escape; all their efforts, however, uniformly prove unavailing in a still atmosphere : nevertheless, when exposed to a
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN INDIA. current of air, or when gently blown upon The Rev. A. Duff, missionary of the with the breath, they immediately turn the Church of Scotland, in India, observes :abdomen in the direction of the breeze, and With regard to the medium of teaching emit from the spinning apparatus some of in our institution, it is English. There is their liquid gum, which being carried out appended to it a Bengali school, where the in a line by the current, becomes connected pupils daily attend, in successive classes, with some object in the vicinity. This the to perfect their acquaintance with the verspider ascertains by pulling at it with her nacular tongue. But the grand medium, feet, and drawing it in till it is sufficiently by which all our knowledge is conveyed, tense; she gums it fast to the twig, and is the English language. This has led passing along it speedily regains her liberty. some to think that our scheme is to eradiNow, that the same means are frequently cate the native languages altogether, and resorted to by spiders in their natural haunts, substitute English universally in their for the purposes of changing their situation place. No such thing was ever dreamed and fixing the foundations of their snares, of: no such conspiracy against the languages I have repeatedly observed.”
of India ever entered our imagination. It It must not be forgotten, however, that is the misconception, the delusion, of ignothis theory of Mr. Blackwall is by no means rant or thoughtless minds. What we deconfirmed. On this subject, we refer to a clare, without fear or contradiction, is, that most interesting paper on the aërial spider, while it is confessed that the vernacular by J. Murray, Esq., in the first vol. of languages alone are available for imparting “ Loudon's Magazine of Natural History." an elementary education to the mass of the This talented writer observes, at “ the people of Hindostan, it is insisted on as a aëronautic spider can propel its threads, fact, that these languages do not at present both horizontally and vertically, and at all afford an adequate medium for communirelative angles in motionless air, or in an cating a knowledge of the higher departatmosphere agitated by winds; nay more, ments of literature, science, and theology. the aërial traveller can even dart its thread, For such a purpose, these dialects do not to use a nautical phrase, in the wind's contain a sufficient number and variety of eye.' My opinion and observations are terms; and even if they did, there are no based on hundreds of experiments ; on original writings, and not enough translated, favourable occasions I am constantly ex- nor will be, for centuries to come. The tending their amount, and as often do I English language, and it alone, is found to find my deductions supported, namely, supply the necessary medium. It is acthat the entire phenomena are electrical.” cordingly employed as the only adequate Subjoined we present a sketch of the instrument for the conveyance of every
branch of useful knowledge, with the view of raising up a higher and more effective order of men, who shall spread a healthful influence over society on every side. The English in India holds the same place now, which the Latin and Greek did in Europe at the period of the reformation. Where did our reformers obtain their information ? Not in the vernacular tongues, because these did not contain it. They had to search for it in those ancient languages in which were embodied all the treasures of the existing knowledge. But,
by degrees, some of the original European gossamer spider, sailing along in a para- languages have become so enriched by the chute, formed by two diverging fasciculi of incorporation of foreign terms, that the threads, as observed by Mr. Bowman. In necessity for studying the ancient ones, as
media of knowledge, is in a great measure has been the Persian, whose attainment superseded. Precisely similar is the case will not enlighten, though it may greatly of India. Do we want to raise up there a darken the mind and vitiate the heart. At class of men who shall have the stamp and present there is a strong disposition to character and energy of reformers? If so, abolish it altogether, and substitute the they must be the recipients of a higher English in its place. About two years ago, knowledge. And where is this knowledge it was abolished in the political department to be acquired ? Not, surely, in the native of government. This change has already languages, which have it not; but in that begun to work. In the great native courts, modern language which has it all in highest instead of a Persian, must in future be perfection—the English. And when the supported an English secretary : and the former become sufficiently enriched by a next step is to send for an English schoolcopious infusion and intermixture of ex- master. In some instances these two offices pressive terms, drained from other sources, have been conjoined, so that in several of the latter may, as a medium of acquiring the palaces of the rajahs there is now an knowledge, be altogether dispensed with English school. Owing to this substitution Thus, for the present, must the English of the English for Persian, a considerable language in India be viewed as the medium sensation has taken place. The present of acquisition to the thoroughly educated noble and enlightened governor has given few; and the vernacular dialects, to the intensity to this sensation. Instead of ordinarily educated many. The one forms sending, as heretofore, presents of cashthe channel of contribution to the reservoir mere shawls, and other oriental ornaments, of those minds that are to be cultivated, so to the different princes, he has, with a wisas to disseminate all knowledge; the other dom peculiar to himself, as governor-genewill form the channels of distribution to ral of India, resolved, in most cases, to subthose who must be satisfied with the mere stitute something more profitable; such as elements of knowledge. The former un- globes, atlases, telescopes, microscopes, seals the inexhaustible fountain of all know- barometers, thermometers, and English ledge. The latter serve as ducts to diffuse spelling-books, with large pictures in them, its vivifying waters over the wastes of a dry to suit eastern taste; often accompanying and parched land. To those who have them with a note to this effect, “ That studied the history of the world, and having understood that such a person was traced the rise of reformations, and marked aware of the great difference between the the progress of society, I now appeal, whe- learning of the east and of the west, he ther the process now described be not a wished he would, by comparison, ascertain rational one: one based on the lessons to the nature and amount of these differences, be gathered from the experience of ages ? and, at his own convenience, acquaint him The English language, I repeat it, is the with the result of his inquiries.” Such relever which, as an instrument, is destined quisition was admirably calculated to stito move all Hindostan.
mulate curiosity; and the consequence has This naturally leads me to refer to a been, that from the Burman empire to the crisis in the history of India which seems banks of the Indus, there has been, more or now approaching. If, as has been shown, less, a demand for English books and Enthe communication of useful knowledge glish teachers. will destroy the ancient Hindoo systems; and if the English language cannot be thoroughly mastered without such knowledge being acquired, what follows? The uni- Tue chief feature in the interior of an versal spread of English would prove the ancient residence, of every class, was the universal death-knell of the Hindoo systems. great or stone hall, which often gave its And what next? One almost shrinks from name to the whole house. The principal the contemplation of it. Weigh the facts of entrance to the main building, from the the case. Already, in Calcutta, Allahabad, first or outer court, opened into a thorough Delhi, and other stations, there are govern- lobby, having on one side several doors ment seminaries established where English or arches, leading to the buttery, kitchen, is taught without religion. And the demand and domestic offices; on the other side for English is likely soon to increase ten- the hall, parted off by a screen, genefold, if not a hundred-fold. The reason is ob- rally of wood carved, and with several vious. Till very recently, the language uni- arches, having folding doors. Above versal in India as the language of government the screen, and over the lobby, was the business, political, financial, and judicial, gallery for minstrels, or musicians, and
OLD ENGLISH MANSION.