« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
but what are the poverty-stricken signifi- broad-shouldered man, whose bones were cations of the letter O, even when inflated well covered with fresh, and whose flesh into a word, when compared to those of I was well covered with a good suit of by itself I 7
clothes, came up, and gave directions to When it is considered how universally the workmen. There was an elevation of mankind allow this letter to take the lead the eye, and a consciousness of power, of all others, both in writing and speaking, visibly stereotyped in his features. He one almost wonders why it was not made a pointed with his cane as he spoke, and little bigger than the rest
. It is unques- raised his voice as one having authority; tionably the proudest letter of the alphabet, as one whose word was law, and whose and no marvel that it should be so, while law was no more to be disputed than that we all treat the coxcomb with such defer- of the Medes and Persians. Old Humence and respect.
phrey saw at a glance, that he was an I by When an author takes up his pen, his itself 1, and found, on inquiry, that he dear darling, I by itself I, is directly in- was the wealthy landlord of all the houses troduced to the reader. “ I have long around. thought such a work wanted : ” “ I felt It was not more than half an hour after, determined to supply the deficiency : that I met a thin stripling of a young fellow, “ I trust that I have done my part in in- whom I knew to be a draper's apprentice, he troducing this volume to the public.” had a ring on his finger, a chain across his And when a speaker rises to address an breast, and a sparkling pin stuck in his assembly, it is very often I by itself 1, bosom. The way in which he walked, from beginning to end. “ I did thus : with his hat a little on one side, amused “ I agreed to that, and I felt resolved to me; for the springing up of his heel, and prevent the other.
the lifting up of his elbow, told me that, It is not in the alphabet only, and whatever he might be in the opinion of printed books, and public and private others, he was an I by itself I in his own. speeches, that I by itself I is to be There is a neighbour of mine who is the found. No, it is to be seen living and leader of a concert, and I am told that moving in all ranks and stations of life, when he presides, he has an air of as much from the monarch to the mountebank. importance as though the welfare of the
It is an every day error, when speaking four quarters of the world depended solely or thinking of vanity and pride, for us to on the sounds that he produces from his look towards the great folks of the earth, as fiddle-strings. Next door to him lives one though pride and vanity had taken up their skilled in the mathematics, who utterly abode with them alone, while, in fact, they despises the musician, and laments that a dwell with the low as well as with the man having a head on his shoulders should high, and sometimes puff up the heart of be content with fiddling his way through a cobbler as much as that of a king, the world. Nothing like mathematical
A writer, I have said, is almost always an knowledge in his estimation. I overheard I by itself I. He plumes himself on giving him the other day say to a friend of his, information to his readers, and imagines that “Some people take our neighbour Old he has outdone those who have written on the Humphrey to be a wise man; but, poor creasame subject. Then when his book comes ture, he knows no more of mathematics out, with what vanity does be regard it! than I do of astrology.” The musician He persuades himself that it will be very undervalues the mathematician in his tum, popular, and that hundreds, and perhaps and says, “If there be a proof of a man's thousands, will admire the taste and the being a simpleton, it is when he has no ear talent that the author has displayed. for music; but when he bothers his brains
Oftentimes, too, the reader is as much in useless calculations, there is no hope for. an I by itself. I, as the writer, for he sits him." Each of these is an I by itself I. in judgment on the book, points out its Vanity assumes strange shapes and wears manifold defects, suggests numberless im- strange disguises, but is pretty sure to maprovements, and thinks how much better nifest itself at last. It is bad enough to the work would have been executed, had see any man in any place influenced by it; he taken the pen in hand, or benefited the but there is one place where the shadow of writer with his valuable observations. it should never appear. An I by itself I
It was but yesterday, that I stopped to in the pulpit is terrible. When a minister exchange a word with some bricklayers forgets God and remembers himself ; when who were building a wall near some large he indulges in exhibitions of his own talents, houses. In a short time a good-looking, playing his brilliant parts before their eyes,
whose souls are hungering for the bread of have very little influence upon the mind. life, it is sad indeed. Oh, the blessing of a The man of the world is reconciled to his simple-minded, faithful, and affectionate sins, and not to his state. The man of minister of the gospel ! one who considers piety is in hostility to his sins, and reconhimself a round 0, rather than an I by it- ciled to his state. The men of the world self I; one who is mainly anxious to are always changing their state, and imawatch over and gain the souls of men, and gining a happiness which continually flies willing to be nothing, that his heavenly from them. ' It is the same in every period Master
of life. In youth, the objects of the world In looking abroad, I sometimes fancy not being tried, they think themselves at that there are many more I by itself I's liberty to take excursions after happiness, than there are other letters among mankind, and place it in the gratification of their for vanity, more or less, at particular sea- passions. Weary of these, they become sons, seems to lift up every head, and to men, and affect a grave and dignified puff up every beart." Some are vain al
course : they then pursue riches, and asways, some generally, and others only oc pire after grandeur and consequence, but casionally; but to find one person perfectly soon find that these have their cares and free from vanity and selfishness would be anxieties. When they become old, they a hard day's work.
look with equal contempt upon both peIf you wish to see an I by itself I in riods; for both appear to them like a concommon life, you may soon have your de- fused dream, that leaves nothing but a sire. A girl is an I by itself I when her succession of images which have lost their first waxen doll is given her; a boy, when charms. But piety will produce satisfacfirst put into buttoned clothes; an apprentice, tion with our condition, and prevent the the day he is out of his time; a servant- indulgence of the passions. In fact, in girl, in her new bonnet and blue ribands; every way and at all periods, it will preand a church warden, the first time he serve them; in youth, in manhood, and in enters his great pew.
advanced age. It will teach men that they I might give you a score more illustra- have one solid good to obtain, and that tions ; but, to tell you an honest truth, I time is short for obtaining it. Dejection hardly know a more confirmed I by itself and gloom can have no place in that man I, thán Old Humphrey. Oh, what pride who, having spent his life in serving God, and vanity, at times, gather round an old looks forward ''to glory,honour, and immorman's heart! He is shrewd enough in ob- tality;" for he “runs without being weary, serving others' failings, but it costs him and walks without being faint." He has much to keep under his own; he values exchanged the vigour of youth for the full himself on the very wisdom he has gained growth of the christian, and is ready to say from others, and feels proud even of his with the apostle, “ I have fought a good humility, when acknowledging his own in- fight, I have finished my course, I have firmities. Surely it becomes him, if it be kept the faith : henceforth there is laid up comes any man on earth, to exercise charity for me a crown of righteousness, which the and forbearance !
Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me in
that day.”-Robert Hall.
And feel for all mankind.
THE DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT.
If the doctrine of atonement by the cross Every one must perceive, that an almost of Christ be a divine truth, it constitutes the universal discontent with their condition very substance of the gospel, and consepervades mankind. Every one is anxious to quently is essential to it. The doctrine of change his own state for another, in which the cross is represented in the New Testahe imagines he shall be more happy; Reli- ment as the grand peculiarity and the pringion reverses this disorder of the mind, which cipal glory of christianity. It occupies a springs from the corruption of our nature: large proportion among the doctrines of it shows us our unworthiness on account of scripture, and is expressed in a vast vasin; and while it produces content with the riety of language. Christ“ was delivered place we are in, it makes us dissatisfied for our offences, wounded for our transgreswith ourselves ; so that the state and exter- sions, bruised for our iniquities ;' nal condition in which we are found, will died for our sins," &c. In fine, the
THE WAY OF THE WORLD.
| doctrine of the cross is the central point in mon understanding and the common feel
which all the lines of evangelical truth meet, ings of men. Now such is the exhibition and are united. What the sun is to the which the great mass of mankind, who are system of nature, that the doctrine of the rapidly carried in succession down the cross is to the system of the gospel ; it is the stream of time, towards a dark unknown life of it. The revolving planets might as eternity, present to those whose eyes are well exist and keep their course without opened to discover things as they are ; and the attracting influence of the one, as a such precisely is the cause to which the gospel be exhibited worthy of the name that scripture ascribes their portentous, foreshould leave out the other. Fuller. boding insensibility: it declares that they
are under the influence of strong delusion; that a fatal infatuation has been thrown over their understandings by a malignant
spirit; that “the god of this world has If you were standing on the margin of blinded their minds, lest the glorious gospel a great river, and saw a multitude of per- of Christ, who is the image of God, should sons, in a vessel over which they had no shine unto them.”- Carlile. management, floating rapidly down the stream, towards a cataract, so near that they were already within sight and hearing of persons before them, trembling, fainting, shrieking, when they were brought to the
GRAMINEÆ, THE GRASSES. brink, and then sinking and disappearing The gramineæ, or grasses, compose one amidst the foam and roar of the waters; if of the most natural and useful tribe or fayou saw, that notwithstanding the appalling mily that is to be found within the compass condition, they had given themselves up to of the vegetable creation ; since the wheat, amusement, and merriment, and indul- which yields the “staff of life,” the oats, that gence; or that they were intent in making furnish the most suitable provender for the observations on the objects that were horse, and the barley, which by the proswiftly passing in review before them in cesses of art affo at once the most agree their course; or that they were engaged in able and substantial beverage, all belong to contentions and competitions about pre- the natural order of the grasses. Also the cedence and distinction, or about the pos- various sorts of grass which flourish in our session of rich dresses, or conspicuous meadows,yielding the most wholesome pasplaces in the vessel, while the rapid tide turage for our cattle in summer, and a was sweeping them along to the dark goodly super-abundance for a store in winyawning gulf already in their view; what ter. We will not, however, insist any furcould you say of them, but that they were ther upon the utility of objects so extenmad or intoxicated ? If, indeed, there was sively applied and understood, but proceed no possibility of escape for them, you to adduce some of those peculiar circuminight suppose that, in their desperation, stances which distinguish this family from they were merely endeavouring to divert all the rest. We may begin with the stem, their thoughts from a fate which they saw which is hollow, but divided by knots, to be inevitable. But if you saw some conspicuous on the outside, and is hence, reasonable prospect of deliverance held out for distinction sake, called a culm. Whilst to them, men from the shore offering to as- the stems of other plants are variously sist them, boats launched, ropes conveyed branched, we find the culm single, till, in to them, and yet that they disregarded some instances, it parts to produce a clusevery signal, every warning, every cry of ter of flowers. In the leaves, we find a entreaty, and continued intent on their re- singularity in the length of them, when velry, or their vain pursuits, till they came compared with their breadth ; and we are to the brink, when they, too, immediately so accustomed to look for a narrow leaf, began to tremble and faint, and shriek, and that were we shown a strange plant, which bewail their folly, like those that had gone in flowers coincided with the grasses, but before them, and then plunged into the producing leaves not more than twice as abyss, and disappeared for ever; you could long as they were broad, we should be innot account for so strange an exhibition of clined to look upon it as a great deviation human nature, but by supposing they were from the general rule. The flowers, we under the power of some awful infatuation observe, are composed of concave valves, --some diabolical witchery-some species applied one over the other. When four of of insanity that deprived them of the com- these valves appertain to a single seed, the
lower pair are called the calyx, and the because the eye, after turning from one upper the corolla.
developement of beauty and grandeur to In some grasses, every particular seed is another, sought at last to rest itself upon accompanied by a calyx and corolla, as, for some grassy plot of ground, but sought in example, the canary grass, distinguished by vain. the prettiness of its compact head of flowers, We have now referred to an example or in Timothy grass, (phleum,) remarkable or two, in which each seed is accompanied for its long spike of flowers, which may be by two pairs of minute leaves, called the likened to the tail of a cat. The latter is fre- calyx and the corolla; we may next refer quent upon the grassy wastes, which form an to an instance which, in each of the lower edging to some of our roads. The round pair, called the calyx, contains two of the long tapering flower will indicate it, where- pairs which bear one seed in each; hence ever, during the sultry months of summer, if we call the latter pairs with the parts it may be seen.
they contain the florets, each calyx will As another example of a grass in which in this case contain two florets. When each several seed is accoinpanied by four we enter the opening glades of some minute leaves or valves, we may next refer wood, the eye is often attracted by large to the cock’s-foot grass, which may be tufts of grass, which give rise to a bundle found in almost every place where grass of tall flowering stems, that are remarkable grows. The form of the flower was thought for the purple colour and the extreme by our forefathers to bear some resemblance fineness of the branches by which the to the foot of the cock, and by this similar- silken flowers are borne. So conspicuous ity it may be distinguished from the rest. an object does this grass offer in some of If, therefore, one of our friends should find our sheltering woods, that we can scarcely a grass which imagination likens to the foot imagine a person to pass it without say. of some animal, while the separate parts ing, “ I wonder what this grass is called!” resemble the balls upon the foot of the dog This is the turfy hair grass, (aira caespior a cat, he need entertain very little doubt tosa,) and a handful fresh gathered of it about its identity with the dactylis glome would be no uncomely ornament for a rata, or rough cock’s-foot. The essential cottager's mantel-piece after she had put character of dactylis consists in one of the the floor and the furniture in a cleanly outer pair of leaves, or calyx belonging to preparation for the sabbath rest. In low each seed, being larger than the other. meadows and in verdant nooks, where the
Another example under this head is ex- water stagnates during the greater part of tremely common, which is the common the year, we generally find tufts of a deep bent, (agrostis vulgaris ;) the flowers of green and rank growing grass, with tall which, from their dark impurpled colour in stems, bearing large clusters of delicate some places, communicate the name of flowers: this is known by the name of the black bent (flower) to this grass. It is very water hair-grass (aira aquatica.) The abundant in every pasture, and may most leaves are thick and curiously plaited frequently be seen shooting its clusters at lengthwise, and by their length and numthe top of a stem, about ten inches or a ber, in a single tuft, will not fail to interfoot long, by the sides of ditches, especially est the attention of one who occasionally in places where the cattle are prevented enlivens a walk of duty or exercise by from cropping it off. The short descrip- casting his eyes along the sides of the tions which we have given will assist the pathway. inquirer in detecting and distinguishing In the last of those three divisions into it from the others. The interest which which botanists, for the convenience of every one feels in the soft verdure of a the student, usually distribute the grasses, grassy plot of ground, or knoll
, might a single pair of calyx leaves contains sefairly stimulate the most indifferent to a veral florets. A very pretty example of desire of knowing something more than this kind may be found in all the months that certain plants are called grasses, of summer, on the margin of every stream without being in the least degree aware of water. This is the floating sweet-grass, of those instructive characters, which the the leaves of which are borne upon the Creator has thought fit to impress upon surface of the running stream in its downeach one of them. There is something ward course. Connected with these floatdelightfully refreshing in the appearance ing leaves are many stems, which bear of a grassy champaign: some of the most several small tapering spikes, or ears. sublime scenes the writer was ever privi- The leaves of the calyx and corolla are leged to behold,seemed to want something, neatly marked with 'lines. But the
prettiest object is the delicate branching terraces of raised earth, for purposes of a of down (the stigmas) which crown the copious irrigation. Hence the methods of seed. They form a proper subject for the farmer of wheat and the cultivator of microscopic entertainment, and have this rice are of an opposite character; the advantage, that the grass may be met with former, when the land is moist, takes care by the sides of every piece of water, great to guide the deep-dug drain to some conor small, for three or four months of the venient dyke or ditch, to dry the bumid year.
soil; the latter is not less solicitous to stop The very first grass which makes its ap- the career of the running stream, and to pearance upon a bare plot of earth is an
turn its fertilizing waters upon the rice other example of a pair of calyx leaves, crop. The writer, when in Loo-choo, off containing several florets. It is the annual the coast of China, saw fields tilled in this meadow-grass, (poa annua,) of which the manner, which, from the neatness of the stems or bents are in flower for nearly surrounding terraces, presented a very half a year. It grows at the foot of every beautiful appearance. wall, and augments the labour of keeping a pavement clean, by springing up with a pertinacious growth between its stones and pebbles.
of this division the wheat, (triticum,) MR. BRANDE has made some interesting the oat, (avena,) and the barley, (hor- observations on this subject, which are redeum,) afford examples. Those small yel- plete with good sense. He
When, low points which beautify an ear of wheat, indeed, we reflect upon the vast importance when in “flower,” are the anthers, or the of this species of fuel in a country dependtops of the stamens, of which there are ent, not merely for its prosperity, but even three, with a uniformity of occurrence for its very existence, upon its manufactures, that has very few exceptions. Nor is this and consequent commerce; when we reinstance of uniformity more complete than member its enormous and increasing conanother, which consists in the unvarying sumption; when we consider that the meexistence of two threads at the top of tropolis alone swallows up annually conevery seed: these, called the styles, siderably more than a million of chaldrons, are pretty objects when viewed with an exclusively from the Tyne and Wear disassisted eye, and sometimes of peculiar tricts, it might appear that the apprehenelegance, as in the floating sweet-grass sions of some worthy persons upon this mentioned above.
score were not altogether without foundaBy way of sweetening the dryness of tion. It is, however, admitted on the other botanical detail,we will conclude by citing hand, that the Newcastle mines only are two examples, which are not less conspi- capable of continuing their supply for cuous for their beauty, than for the grate another thousand years; and, if this reflecful food which they yield. The first of tion be insufficient, they may console themthese is the sugar-cane, (saccharum,) selves with the knowledge, that there are which, under favourable circumstances, many other districts which have only been, rises to more than twenty feet in height. as it were, begun upon, and probably nuThe top of this lofty stem is surmounted merous deposits of which we are as yet by a large bunch of deep purple flowers, ignorant, but which will be searched for while each seed is surrounded by a circlet and found when wanted. Besides which, of silky down, which is beautifully con- it may, I think, be calculated, that, of every trasted with the impurpled exterior. But chaldron of coals consumed in our ordinary we hope to find another opportunity of fires, about one-eighth part is lost in the illustrating the history of this important character of soot, smoke, and other unburnt grass. The other is the rice, (oryza,) matters; that in London only, upwards of which holds the same rank among the one hundred thousand chaldrons of coals necessaries of life in Hindoostan and are thus dissipated and unprofitably applied, China that wheat does in England. The to the contamination of our atmosphere, habits of these precious vegetables are which smoke, by improved methods of very different; a dry summer is generally combustion, or burning, might be turned to followed by a harvest abundant in the profitable account. The waste of coals quality and quantity of wheat, whereas a at the pit's mouth may also be stated at dry season destroys the crops of rice, one-sixth of the quantity sold, and that since it grows in enclosures covered with left in the mines at one-third. water, which is confined by causeways or
• Outlines of Geology, 1829