« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
before they retire into winter quarters. Upon their capital of fat they subsist during their lethargy, the respiration being lessened, the pulse reduced to a few beats per minute, and the temperature perhaps nearly to the freezing-point. But when the season of torpor terminates, they issue from their caves and burrows meagre and ravenous, having burned up their stock of fuel, Bruin himself appearing to be anxious to defraud the perfumers of the unguent which is so precious in their eyes.
8. But perhaps the most striking feature in this warmthproducing apparatus within us is the self-regulating power which it possesses. The fires on our domestic hearths decline at one moment and augment at another. Sometimes the mistress of the house threatens to faint on account of excessive heat; sometimes the master endeavors to improve the temperature by a passionate use of the poker, with an occasional growl respecting the excessive cold.
9. Were such irregularities to prevail unchecked in our fleshly stoves, we should suffer considerable annoyance. After a meal of very inflammatory materials, or an hour spent in extraordinary exertion, the gush of caloric might throw the system into a state of high fever. How is this prevented? In some of our artificial stoves little doors or slides are employed. to control the admission of air; in furnaces connected with steam-engines we may have dampers, which will accomplish the same purpose by the ingenious workings of the machine itself.
10. But neither doors nor dampers, pokers nor stokers, can be employed in the bodily apparatus. If, on the one hand, our human fires should begin to flag from undue expenditure of heat, the appetite speaks out sharply and compels the owner to look round for fuel. Hunger rings the bell and orders up coals in the shape of savory meats. Or should the summons be neglected, the garnered fat, as we have seen, is thrown into the grate to keep the furnace in play.
11. If, on the other hand, the heat of the body should become unreasonably intense, a very cunning process of reduction is adopted. When a substance grows too hot, the simplest
method of bringing it into a cooler frame is to sprinkle it with water. This is precisely what occurs in our human frames. For no sooner does our internal heat rise above its standard height than the perspiration tubes, with their six or seven millions of openings, indignant at the event, begin to pour out the fluid, so as to bathe the surface of the whole body. Whenever, therefore, a man becomes overheated by working, running, rowing, fighting, making furious speeches or other violent exertions, he invariably resorts to this method of quenching the heat by "pouring on water."
12. What shall we say, then, good reader? Speaking seriously, and looking at the question from a mere human point of view, could any project appear more hopeless than one for burning fuel in a soft, delicate fabric like the human body— a fabric composed for the most part of mere fluids—a fabric which might be easily scorched by excess of heat or damaged by excess of cold? Does it not seem strange that a stove should have flesh for its walls, veins for its flues and skin for its coverings? Yet here is an apparatus which, as if by magic, produces a steady stream of heat-not trickling penuriously from its fountains, but flowing on day and night, winter and summer, without a moment's cessation, from January to December.
13. Carry this splendid machine to the coldest regions on the globe, set it up where the frosts are so crushing that nature seems to be trampled dead; still it pours out its mysterious supplies with unabated profusion. It is an apparatus, too, which does its work unwatched, and, in a great measure, unaided. The very fuel which is thrown into it in random heaps is internally sifted and sorted, so that the true combustible elements are conveyed to their place and applied to their duty with unerring precision.
14. No hand is needed to trim its fires, to temper its glow, to remove its ashes. Smoke there is none, spark there is none, flame there is none. All is so delicately managed that the fairest skin is neither shriveled nor blackened by the burning within. Is this apparatus placed in circumstances which rob
it too fast of its caloric? Then the appetite becomes clamorous for food, and in satisfying its demands the fleshly stove is silently replenished. Or are we placed in peril from superabundant warmth? Then the tiny flood-gates of perspiration are flung open, and the surface is laid under water until the fires within are reduced to their wonted level.
15. Assailed on the one hand by heat, the body resists the attack, if resistance be possible, until the store of moisture is dissipated; assailed on the other by cold, it keeps the enemy at bay until the hoarded fuel is expended. Thus protected, thus provisioned, let us ask whether these human hearths are not entitled to rank among the standing marvels of creation; for is it not startling to find that, let the climate be mild or rigorous, let the wind blow from the sultry desert or come loaded with polar sleet, let the fluctuations of temperature be as violent as they may without us, there shall still be a calm, unchanging, undying summer within us?
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Alderman : A. S. aldorman, a senior; fr. ald, old, and man. ・ ・ ・ Appetite: L. appeti'tio, a reaching to or after; fr. ad and pet'o, peti'tum, to fall upon, to seek; h., ap-petence, centri-p'etal (seeking the centre), com-pete, com-petent (lit., seeking after together, h., agreeing, fit, sufficient), com-petition, im-petuous (fr. im'peto, I fall or rush upon), im-petus, in-com-petent, per-petual, petition, re-peat, re-petition. . Bruin : French brun, brown; a name given to the bear from his brown color. . . . Caloric: L. cal'or, heat; fr. cal'eo, I am warm; cal'idus, warm; h., caldron, calorific (causing heat), in-calescence (a growing warm), scald, etc. . . . Capillary, hair-like: L. capil'lus, hair. . . . Carbon: L. car'bo, carbo'nis, a coal; h., carbonic, carbuncle. . . . Combustion : L. combu'ro, combus'tum, to wholly burn; fr. com and bu'ro=u'ro, us'tum, to burn; h., com-bustible, etc. . . . Congratulate: L. congratulor, I wish joy warmly; fr. con- and gratulor, gratula'tus, to manifest joy; fr. gra'tus, beloved, grateful; h., a-gree (a—ad), a-greeable, dis-grace, grace, gracious, grateful, gratify, gratis (L. in favor of; h., for nothing), gratitude, gratuitous, in-grate, in-gratiate, in-gratitude, etc. December: L.; fr. děcem, ten; h., dě'cimus, tenth; h., decimate (to take the tenth).... Element: L. el-e-men'ta, pl., the first principles of things. Enthusiastic: Gr. enthousias'tikos, inspired; fr. ĕn'thĕŏs, full of the god; fr. en, in, and thě'òs, a god. . . . Epicure: fr. Epicurus, a Greek philosopher who taught that pleasure was the chief good. . . . Hibernate: fr. the L. hiber'nus, wintry, hi'ems, winter. . . . Hydrogen: Gr. hudōr (üdwp), water, and gènein (yéveɩv), to generate; so called as the generator of water. Ignite: L. ig'nio, igni'tum; fr. igʻnis, fire; h., ig'neous (fiery,) etc. . . . January: L. Janua'rius; fr. Ja'nus, an
Lethargy: Gr. lethargia, fr. lê thê, Lucifer, light-bringer: L.; fr. lux, Penurious: L. penu'ria, want; Gr.
old Italian deity, the sun-god. forgetfulness, and ar'gōs, idle. lu'cis, light, and fer'o, I bring. pei'na, hunger. . . . Perspire : v. SPIRIT. Propose: L. propo'no; fr. pro, forth, po'no, I put: v. POSITION. . . . Replenish : fr. L. re, again, and ple'nus, full; h., plenary, pleni-potentiary (v. POTENT), plenitude, plenty, etc. ... Subsist : L. subsis'to, I take a stand; fr. sub, under, sis'to, I stand: v. CONSIST.... Ultimate: L. ultimus, the furthest; superlative of ul'ter, that is beyond, ul-těr'i-or, further, ultra, adv., beyond; h., outrage (L. L. ultra'gium), ultimatum (last offer or proposition), etc. . . . Unguent: L. unguent'um; fr. un'guo, unc'tum, to anoint; h., ointment, unction, unctuous.
Born in Paris in 1754, Madame Roland fell a victim to the atrocities of the French Revolution in 1793. She was a noble and gifted woman, and her execution must for ever reflect infamy on her brutal judges.
Pronounce Roland, ro-lõng'; Lamarche, lä-marsh'; Conciergerie, konse-airza're; Gironde, zhe-rond'; Place de la Concorde, plähs deh la kong kord.
The Gironde were a political party, termed Girondins, from La Gironde, the department in which Bordeaux (bor-do') is situated. The Conciergerie was a noted prison in Paris.
1. THE examination and trial of Madame Roland were but a repetition of those charges against the Gironde with which every harangue of the Jacobin party was filled. She was reproached with being the wife of Roland and the friend of his accomplices. With a proud look of triumph, she admitted her guilt in both instances, spoke with tenderness of her husband, with respect of her friends and with dignified modesty of herself; but, borne down by the clamors of the court whenever she gave vent to her indignation against her persecutors, she ceased speaking amid the threats and invectives of her hearers. The people were at that period permitted to take a fearful and leading part in the dialogue between the judges and accused; they even permitted persons on trial to address the court or compelled their silence; the very verdict rested with them.
2. Madame Roland heard herself sentenced to death with the air of one who saw in her condemnation merely her title to immortality. She rose, and, slightly bowing to her judges,
said, with a bitter and ironical smile, "I thank you for considering me worthy to share the fate of the good and great men you have murdered!" She flew down the steps of the Conciergerie with the rapid swiftness of a child about to obtain some long-desired object: the end and aim of her desires was death.
3. As she passed along the corridor, where all the prisoners had assembled to greet her return, she looked at them smilingly, and drawing her right hand across her throat, made a sign expressive of cutting off a head. This was her only. farewell; it was tragic as her destiny, joyous as her deliverance, and well was it understood by those who saw it. Many who were incapable of weeping for their own fate shed tears of unfeigned sorrow for hers.
4. On that day (November 10, 1793) a greater number than usual of carts laden with victims rolled onward toward the scaffold. Madame Roland was placed in the last, beside an infirm old man, named Lamarche. She wore a white robe, as a symbol of her innocence, of which she was anxious to convince the people; her magnificent hair, black and glossy as a raven's wing, fell in thick masses almost to her knees; her complexion, purified by her long captivity, and now glowing under the influence of a sharp, frosty November day, bloomed with all the freshness of early youth. Her eyes were full of expression; her whole countenance seemed radiant with glory, while a movement between pity and contempt agitated her lips. A crowd followed them, uttering the coarsest threats. and most revolting expressions. "To the guillotine! to the guillotine!" exclaimed the female part of the rabble.
5. "I am going to the guillotine," replied Madame Roland; a few moments and I shall be there, but those who send me thither will follow me ere long. I go innocent, but they will come stained with blood, and you who applaud our execution will then applaud theirs with equal zeal." Sometimes she would turn away her head that she might not appear to hear the insults with which she was assailed, and would lean with almost filial tenderness over the agëd partner of her execution